Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new… someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
This week, a rather strange theme: death.
What prompted this unusual idea?
The other day, a local CBS News affiliate reported on the growing popularity of death cafes. Check out this report and video.
Not exactly my cup of tea.
I see no redeeming value. I'd rather watch a Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings game outside when its 20 below in my underwear with lutefisk as my only snack.
So these odd gatherings got me thinking. What kind of music might they play at such meetings, even if just for background purposes?
Let’s get started. We haven’t any time to lose.
We go from pioneers of jazz-rock to folk, circa 1958 and a #1 Billboard hit. History.com writes:
“The song ‘Tom Dooley’ was probably first sung sometime after May 1, 1868, when a North Carolina man named Tom Dula was hanged to death for the murder of his fiancée, Laura Foster. Thanks to extensive coverage in major newspapers like The New York Times, the trial of Mr. Dula made him something of a national cause celebre, and he proclaimed his innocence of the murder even as he stood on the gallows. It is not clear when or by whom the mournful murder ballad based on his story was written, but it was resurrected by the Kingston Trio in the late 1950s after hearing a fellow folk singer perform it in an audition at San Francisco's Purple Onion club.
“The Kingston Trio's version of ‘Tom Dooley’ focused more on moody Appalachian atmospherics than on the graphic details of the love quadrangle found in the original, but that trade-off, combined with the Trio's banjo-backed harmonies, made ‘Tom Dooley’ into the mammoth hit that launched their massively successful career.”
Tom Dooley was based on a true story. The serial killer we’re about to hear about was a Lennon-McCartney creation.
This next selection was originally a country song. Elvis has the most famous recording, but he changed the sound to soul and R & B
We continue our uplifting feature with a classic. It has death, it has unrequited love, it has third-party gossip.
And it’s considered by many to be the greatest country song of all-time.
Many, many songs have been penned about dying and death. Here are some that did not make our cut:
Vincent – Don McClean
American Pie – Don McClean
Dead Man's Curve – Jan and Dean
Go Wherever You Wanna Go - Patty Griffin
Knocking On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
Last Kiss - J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum
Tell Laura I Love Her - Ray Peterson
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - The Walker Brothers
Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead - The Munchkins
I'd prefer cafes reflecting on the wonder and beauty of life.
That’s it for this week.
Have a death defying weekend!
We close with an interesting collaboration.