“Anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young.
You know I just looked around and he’s gone.”
I’ll bet that many of you recognize the above lyrics. They’re from the song “Abraham, Martin and John,” written in 1968 by Dick Holler and recorded by Dion (of Dion & the Belmonts). The single was written as a tribute to the memory of four Americans, all icons of social change, and all gunned down by an assassin’s bullet.
I thought of this song as Ann and I watched the movie “Lincoln,” which is now playing in the Sawmill Theatres. What a marvelous movie!
Producer Steven Spielberg is at his finest in this two-and-a-half hour masterpiece. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the few actors who can pull off a movie that consists mainly of talking, and in “Lincoln,” it’s because he so fully disappears into our 16th president. You don’t feel like he’s simply studied the mannerisms and speech characteristics of Abraham Lincoln; you feel like he really is Lincoln. Under his acting skills, he brings Lincoln to life out of the pages of our history books.
As we mostly gray-haired audience nestled into our Sawmill Theatres reclining chairs, we knew right away that this was a Spielberg film — because of the amazing attention to detail played out in everything from the interior of the White House to the era-specific costumes to the carnage of the battlefields. Even the coloring of the film itself has an antique quality to it.
And even though this story occurred 147 years ago, you can see how the machinations of the Washington government are still played out today.
Like our current government, politicians have deep convictions and are not easily swayed to the other side. There are back-room maneuverings and the promise of jobs and positions. Abraham Lincoln, strong in his courage and convictions, knew how to play the game, and did so brilliantly, perfecting the art of reaching across party lines to move our country forward.
“Lincoln” is a great history lesson for both kids and adults, and Day-Lewis’ performance is an excellent character study about the final months of a legendary President who displayed a gift for the spoken word and a quiet dignity even in the darkest of hours.
This week’s Music Trivia Question
In the song “Abraham, Martin and John,” the writer, Holland, is referring to President Abraham Lincoln, 1960s civil rights activist Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy — each either loved or hated for their determination and dedication toward achieving social justice and equality for all Americans.
In the song, each of the first three verses features one of the men named in the song’s title. After a bridge, the fourth and final verse features the fourth American icon who was assassinated (only two months after Martin Luther King) and ends with a description of him walking over a hill with the other three men.
Is this fourth assassinated American icon A) John Wilkes Booth; B) Lee Harvey Oswald; C) James Earl Ray; or D) Robert “Bobby” Kennedy?
If you’re the fourth caller this week and have the right answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite singer or music genre.
Last week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s trivia question asked you to name (in honor of last week’s Electric Light parade) the singer who recorded the hit “Electric Avenue,” which peaked at number 2 on the pop charts in 1983.
This rock-reggae singer, born in Guyana and raised in London, England started out his singing career with the group The Equals. He had two other singles reach the Billboard charts — “I Don’t Wanna Dance” and “Romancing The Stone,” the title song from the movie starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.
Was this “Electric Avenue” singer A) Huey Lewis; B) Eddy Grant; C) David Bowie; or D) Lionel Richie?
The correct answer was Eddy Grant.
Each of the other three choices were also popular artists in the 1980s, with all three scoring at least one number 1 hit. There was no music trivia winner last week.
A couple of final notes
Wasn’t that just a wonderful Electric Light Parade last Saturday night? Kudos to Parks and Rec for putting on such a fantastic event. The late fall weather was ideal, the crowd was overflowing and the illuminated floats lit up Main Street like a candle in the wind. The parade was simply electrifying!
Also, my sincere thanks goes out to Lacy Shannon for joining me as a Salvation Army bell-ringer last weekend. A fifth-grade student at Julia Randall School, Lacy chimed in with me for more than an hour in front of Walmart, helping to raise money for our local needy. And if you passed by our station, I’m sure you noticed that Lacy kept the bell-ringing beat a whole lot better than I did.
Have a great Rim Country week!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482