Tuesday, November 8, 2016

POLITICS: FDR's Secretary of State

purchase [ FDR in Trinidad]

I would have preferred to post this 24 hours earlier: hate to be accused of tilting the votes one way or another.
Rather than ramblin’ off on a tangent about how the state of the poor in the US is a result of politics and dragging Ry Cooder into the whole business, I might have gone directly to some Cooder politics in my previous post.
An article published via NPR a while back noted that Barack Obama was only the 2nd US president to visit Trinidad. He was preceded by FDR. To follow up on FDR's visit, Atilla the Hun composed a song.

To me, Cooder's <Into the Purple Valley> is about the time he solidified what I see as his style: crisp guitar of a semi-jazz style, assertive vocals, unusual backing bands and song-choice/themes that bring (musical) history to life.
Several others have taken up the song (van Dyke Parks and Ry among them).
The NPR story noted that FDR's Secretary of State received a certain amount of credit in the song (it was Cordell Hull), and the article continued by asking if Obama's Secretary of State (at that time) would have gotten as much credit today (need I tell you who that was?)
Now, we know a little about Obama’s musical taste - see the various artists he has invited to the White House, and we know that FDR became a fan of calypso following his visit to the island. But how much do we know about his Secretary of State’s (AT THAT TIME) musical preferences? Hope the results wont skew your votes either way!

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