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Showing posts from February 10, 2007

He's Still Got Some Hurtin' Left To Do

George Jones. One of the most beautiful voices in the world. I don't care what he's singing, whether it's a corn-ball song about corn-licker or a 1980's country power ballad. Thankfully he's sung some of the greatest songs in the world along with the moonshine songs and power ballads. "Window Up Above" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today". And, of course he made some classic duets with ex-wife Tammy Wynette. If you compare country singers, George Jones and Merle Haggard have the prettiest voices, Willie Nelson has the voice you feel you're already friends with. Johnny Cash has a sort of scary voice that tells compelling, dark stories. But George Jones! His voice is like an angel's. An angel wearing a polyesther pantsuit and sporting huge sideburns. I read his autobiography called "I Lived To Tell It All", and it was really interesting, if not a bit depressing. I'm glad he's happier now. He's a truly great a…

Shakespeare and Co.

Still the same for the last 50 years. Shakespeare and Co., the english-language bookstore across the street from the Notre Dame cathedral in central Paris, is unchanged. 20 years ago, I stayed there for a few nights as an itinerant student, and recently returned to find it exactly as it was, run by George Whitman, proprietor. George opened Shakespeare and Co. in 1951, intending to carry on the spirit of Sylvia Beach's original Shakespeare and Co. bookstore. Opened to create a place for literary and artistic talent to gather and discuss their work and the times, Shakespeare has hosted many travelers, and been vistited by the likes of Hemingway, Henry Miller, Carl Jung, and Alec Ginsberg. George will allow writers to live in the tiny, ancient apartments above the shop, if they work for it. When Lisa Jackson and I arrived, he promptly put us to work washing the windows in the front of the store. We found ourselves scrubbing ancient grime from the front of the store while the …