Tuesday, May 06, 2008

SWAMPOODLE REPORT

Sam Smith

Both Clinton and Obama are trying hard to identify with working class Americans by accent, anecdote and analogy rather than offering actual policies the voters might like. Thus we find Obama at a Joe's Junction convenience store in Indianapolis saying, "One of the ironies of the last two or three weeks was this idea that somehow Michelle and I are elitist, pointy-headed intellectual types. . . The fact is Michelle and I, our lives - if you look back over the last two decades - more closely approximate the lives of the average voter than any other candidate. We struggled with paying student loans, we tried to figure out how to make sure that we got adequate day care, I filled up my own gas tanks.". . . This is a pretty embarrassing and desperate routine which, say, elitist Franklin Roosevelt avoided by giving people things like Social Security and a minimum wage. It still might work.

As probably the only journalist in America to have defended both Al Sharpton and Don Imus, I'm pleased to note that podcasts of individual Imus interviews are now available from WABC. Recent goodies included Craig Crawford and Bill Richardson, the former my favorite reporter to hear on the air and the latter one of the more natural pols you'll run into these days. The irony of the whole Imus mess is that if the liberal fundamentalists had left him alone after a good scolding, Obama might have been the nominee some time ago, because Imus clearly prefers him over Clinton and reaches just the sort of people the liberals can't. The one group who understood this were the Clintonistas who seem to have been behind the fire Imus movement.

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PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

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Your editor has been a musician for many decades. He started the first band his Quaker school ever had and played drums with bands up until 1980 when he switched to stride piano. He had his own band until the mid-1990s and has played with the New Sunshine Jazz Band, Hill City Jazz Band, Not So Modern Jazz Band and the Phoenix Jazz Band.

NOTES ON THE MUSIC

Here are a few tracks:

SAM SMITH'S DECOLAND BAND

'SHINE' 

JELLY ROLL

PHOENIX JAZZ BAND

APEX BLUES   Sam playing with the Phoenix Jazz Band at the Central Ohio Jazz festival in 1990. Joining the band is George James on sax. James, then 84, had been a member of the Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller orchestras and hadappeared on some 60 records. More notes on James

WISER MAN  Sam piano & vocal

OH MAMA  Sam piano & vocal