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In Tune with June!


To tell the truth, I was beginning to feel that it might be time to discontinue my ranting and raving. After all, it’s been appearing for 34 years on the first Wednesday of every month (never missed one). When thinking I should say farewell, however, I told three dear friends, Ruth, Meri and Rebecca. They all convinced me to change my mind and continue on. So here goes!

My daughter-in-law Dorrie (I should simply say my daughter because that’s what she is to me-a wonderful daughter!) met Taylor Alison Swift on an airplane ride, first class of course, from Los Angeles to London. The young singer- songwriter has received widespread media coverage and no wonder. Only 29 years old she is one of the best-selling music artists of all times, having sold more than 40 million albums. Swift was born in Reading, Pa. Her father was a financial advisor and her mother was a homemaker who had previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Swift spent the early years of her life on a Christmas tree farm. At the age of nine, she became interested in musical theater- she also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. Later Swift shifted her focus toward country music. At the age of eleven, she traveled with her mother to visit Nashville record labels. “Everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do.” So she thought she needed to figure out a way to be different.

At almost twelve years, Swift learned how to play the guitar. It’s amusing to think that at fourteen she recalled that she was “running out of time-I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through.” Released in 2006 the NY Times described it as a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Swift’s firm, pleading voice. As of August 2016, the album has sold over 7.75 million copies worldwide. Swift had tapped into a previously unknown market – teenage girls who listen to country music. In support of her 6th album, “Reputation,” she embarked on a stadium tour this year.

One of her earliest musical memories was listening to her maternal grandmother.

“My parents noticed that once I had run out of words, I would just make up my own.” Rolling Stone describes Swift as “a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge-architecture.” The Hollywood Reporter credits her as “the best people person since Bill Clinton.”

Swift considers Michelle Obama to be a role model. She has said that her fans are “the longest and best relationship I ever had.” Swift is dedicated “to help others.” Her philanthropic efforts have been recognized and have inspired others through action. And to get back to my daughter-in-law, Dorrie was sitting close enough to notice that Taylor Swift, both she and her mother were very nice. Dorrie didn’t want to intrude. However, she observed an important detail. Taylor Swift puts ketchup on her eggs. Ha!

Perhaps you were a fan of the NBC sitcom, “Cheers.” Watching that program, I became a fan of Edward Bridges “Ted” Danson III. He’s an actor and producer who played the lead character, Sam Malone, on “Cheers.” During his career, Danson was nominated for 15 Emmy awards, 10 Golden Globe awards, even more awards, plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Danson was born in San Diego, CA to Jessica and Edward Danson, an archeologist and museum director. His ancestry includes English and Scottish. His early career consisted of playing in a daytime soap opera and also in commercials. In 1982, Danson was cast in the role that won me over – the womanizing former baseball player and bartender. In “Cheers,” he has an on and off relationship with college educated, sophisticated Diane Chambers. By 1960, “Cheers,” the sitcom was one of the top ten shows on TV.

After two divorces, his affair with Whoopi Goldberg led to a costly divorce. In 1995, Danson married another favorite of mine, actress Mary Steenburgen, and became the stepfather to her two children. Danson adhered to a pescatarian diet. I had to run to my dictionary to learn that pescatarian is a fancy word for the fact that Danson is mainly a fish eater (I enjoy writing “In Tune” because my vocabulary gets enlarged)! Danson worries about being without a job. Steenburgen says that the longest Ted goes without a job is maybe 20 minutes! The 6 foot 2 Danson hikes, bikes and works out. Here’s a quote from the man who grew up with friends who are either Hopi, Navajo or the sons and daughter of ranchers. “There wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t told that I was loved in one form or another!” Ditto for lucky me!

Here I go, quoting one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost: “In three words I can sum up everything about life: it goes on.” Well, I have a generous son, Andy. I admired a new jacket he was wearing. On the back of the jacket is a photo of the Beatles and it is very comfortable to wear for my daily walks. At any rate, with time, I became a fan, along with the rest of the world, especially of Paul McCartney, one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He gained worldwide fame as the bass guitarist and singer for the Beatles.

James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England. His many occupations included singer, songwriter, music and film producer, and businessman. McCartney plays bass, ukulele, grand and upright pianos, and acoustic and electric guitars. At the beginning of Beatlemania, every screaming teen in 1964 knew that John was the “smart” one, Paul was the “cute” one, George was the “serious” one and Ringo was the “loveable” one. McCartney had a freakish melodic gift.

He could toss off a classic song like “Yesterday” while casually remarking that his working title had been “Scrambled Eggs!” It seemed as though he might have been a Tin Pan Alley songwriter in rocker’s clothing! Paul McCartney will always be the “cute” Beatle in my mind but he also became the “cool” Beatle.

Paul is the beneficiary of the greatest gift of all. He’s alive and the beloved bearer of the Beatles legacy. He is a master of his craft, almost miraculously still capable of evoking boyish charm at the age of 75. McCartney is one of the wealthiest musicians in the world. And just in case you care, he has married three times and is the father of five children. “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” are my favorites. Which ones are yours?

You can e-mail June Sturz at intunejune@optonline.net.

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