About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Presidents' Day

Happy Presidents' Day! OK, it isn't until tomorrow, but Lincoln's birthday is already passed and Washington's is on the horizon. Let me guess: You don't know many songs about Lincoln or Washington, right? Hmm, that is a shame.

Of course, with my studies of the Civil War, I have learned a number of songs that mention, directly or indirectly, the President of the time. I won't mention them here, leaving them for others to suggest. But let's open it up a little further: how about all the Presidents? I know, I can really be opening things up for some negative stuff as many protest songs have been written about various Presidents (especially during particular time periods), so I am going to request that we remember the purpose of Presents' Day: to honor our Commander in Chief (believe me, I could come up with about 2 dozen negative Presidents' songs). So, now that I have really taxed your brains, let me share one that I have on a 45-rpm record that I have never forgotten. It was written in about 1959 for the campaign of John F. Kennedy, sung by Frank Sinatra (there are actually 2 songs on the record, but I'll just put in my favorite here): "Everyone wants to back Jack, Jack is on the right track, 'cause he has high hopes, high hopes . . ." Check the YouTube version with slides of campaign ribbons, etc.

What do you remember of a song that promotes or honors a President?

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