Monday, February 21, 2005

Bonnie's Father, John Raitt, He Never Lost His Chops: RIP 

I'm sure he will. RIP. He led a worthy Quaker life, and produced a wonderful daughter, who, like her father, was a great artist and a great citizen.

It's easy to lose track of what a big star Raitt was. He created Billy Bigelow in Carousel on Broadway; there was no bigger musical leading man except Alfred Drake. I can remember, as a very little girl, seeing John Raitt in the touring company of "The Pajama Game." (Our parents believed in taking their kids to the theatre, lucky us) It's saying something to observe that John Raitt singing "Hey There," stayed as vivid a memory as did the sensational Fosse-choreographed number, "Steam Heat," with the equally sensational Carol Haney.

Then Bonnie grew up and started singing. She was always a personal favorite of mine, even before she became, after many years of being an artist, a genuine star. Because John Raitt had struck me as so all-American, I'd assumed that Bonnie, with her lefty leanings and sympathies, had fallen a bit aways from the tree. I learned something about my own prejudices when I learned what an all-American lefty John had always been. The generosity between daughter and father was a delight to behold.

Even in his late eighties, John Raitt was so vigorous, still singing, still supporting his daughter's support of all the good causes, it's a shock to realize he's left us. But his is also a wonderful life to contemplate; John Raitt maintained his chops, as a singer, a muscian, a father, and a citizen, right to the end.

corrente SBL - New Location
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~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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