I haven’t discussed it for a while, but those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time know that I’m really a 1970s kind of guy. I have more of a nostalgia for the seventies than for the eighties and I much prefer seventies music to eighties music. The default radio station on my SiriusXM car radio is The Bridge, which plays music of James Taylor, Carly Simon, Gordon Lightfoot and the like.
That seventies vibe informs my Saturday morning routine. While waiting to hear from my brother or sister-in-law as to where Terry and I going to have breakfast with them, my dad, nephew, and great niece I have my internet radio on the Sirius XM channel 70 on 7, which plays reruns of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 from the 70s. When we get in the car I switch over to 70s on 7.
I look at the date on the display and remember where I was and what I was doing at the time. Some of the songs were not part of my world then, but many bring back memories.
I really am a 1970s kind of guy.
First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska, Ariel Merivil, conductor.
We lost one of the finest interpreters of the Great American Songbook on Friday. Wesla Whitfield died at age 70. She announced her retirement from performing some months back as she was working to overcome an infection. More recently she was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and not long ago her husband and accompanist, Mike Greensill, let us know in an email that she had chosen to go on hospice care. She had been a paraplegic since 1977 when she was hit by a bullet. She was tired and she left on her own terms.
Terry and I were both big fans of Wesla. We knew her as a regular guest on the West Coast Live radio program. We have many of her CDs. We saw her in person multiple time. I believe the first time was at the Carriage House, part of the Villa Montalvo venue in Saratoga. We also saw her at the Mountain View Performing Arts Center.
The last time we saw her was at the Plush Room in San Francisco. It was located in the York Hotel (if I recall correctly) and we made it into a date weekend, staying at the hotel. When we got there we were surprised at the lack of eating choices in walking distance. We ended up ordering a pizza from a shop down the street and taking it up to our room. But it was good pizza and it got us ready for the show.
We loved the performance. After it was over Mike came out and mingled with the guests. He said to us, “We saw you smooching.” We were. They were romantic songs. We saw Wesla turn a wheelie in her wheelchair (or so it seemed to me) as she left the room.
She has now left the room for good, but I trust she is performing the Great American Songbook somewhere else without the need of a wheelchair.
I’ve shared this before, and more than once. It’s time to do so again, however. Mostly because I need it for myself. And besides, I love the 1970s look.
The Choir and Congregation of First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska, Tom Trenney, Organist.
The choir and congregation of First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska.
I have shared this before, but it’s worth sharing again. And this is a really good performance.