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Sunday morning coming down

Added 05-15-22 07:31:02am EST - “I saw singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester perform on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota more than 25 years years ago and he bowled me over. There couldn't have been more than a?” - Powerlineblog.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Powerlineblog.com: “Sunday morning coming down”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

I saw singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester perform on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota more than 25 years years ago and he bowled me over. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred people in the audience. Accompanying himself on guitar, he turned in a beautiful performance that concluded with “Yankee Lady.” Although Winchester had famously evaded the draft by decamping to Canada in 1967, returning only after the Carter amnesty, there was not a hint of politics in his performance.

I try to appreciate the music and put politics to one side in these posts. I understand some people can’t. I shared Winchester’s feelings about the war at the time but am a little younger than he was and drew a high number in the draft lottery held in the summer of 1970. Luckily for me (because I was wrong), my convictions were never put to the test. Winchester committed his own views to a single autobiographical verse in his adaptation of “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt” on Learn To Love It in 1974.

Winchester died of cancer in 2014 at the age of 69. Jon Pareles has an account of Winchester’s career in the New York Times obituary. Bob Mehr took an extended look in the Memphis Commercial Appeal obituary. Winchester was a fraternity brother of William Bennett at Williams College. As I recall, Bill spoke warmly of him when he passed in 2014. The anniversary of his birth this coming Tuesday affords an opportune moment to remember him with the resources of YouTube.

Winchester grew up in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He spoke with an endearing Southern accent that seems to me, in Winchester’s case, how American English should be spoken. You can hear all the crosscurrents of American popular music in his songwriting and in his singing. Country, blues, rock, soul, and gospel — they’re all there.

Winchester’s songwriting was appreciated by fellow musicians such as Wynonna Judd. Wynonna recorded Winchester’s gospel-tinged declaration of faith — “Let’s Make A Baby King” — on Tell Me Why (1993), along with Winchester’s “Just Like New.” The album’s ten cuts generated five hit singles, but Wynonna’s version of “Let’s Make a Baby King” reached number 61 on the country chart based on unsolicited airplay.

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