July 4, 2010: A look back at the Regina Riots - A Visit from Members of the 'Young at Heart' Chorus
Hour One: Fairy Tales can come true, it could happen to you... if you're 'Young at Heart'
- Mark Twain once said: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
That easily could be the motto for "Young at Heart", a group of singers in their seventies and eighties, whose repertoire is anything but traditional.
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This week our Summer guest host is Robert Harris.
Song: Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Artist: Panache a Trois
Album: Take us Home
Fairy Tales can come true, it could happen to you... if you're 'Young at Heart'
Mark Twain once said: "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
That easily could be the motto for Young at Heart, a group of singers in their seventies and eighties, whose repertoire is anything but traditional. Instead of folk songs or ballads or hymns, they've embraced iconic songs from the worlds of rock, punk and popular music…and made them their own.
Four years ago, a British filmmaker immortalized the Young at Heart chorus in a documentary named after the group; they've produced a CD; and since their inception more than three decades ago, they've been performing across North America, in Europe and in Japan.
This month, they're heading north for their first concert tour in Canada - just two cities - Toronto and Montreal - as part of the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Before they hit the road, we've invited a few members of Young at Heart to join us from their hometown in Massachusetts.
Jean Florio and Andy Walsh sing in the chorus. Bob Cilman is the co-founder and director of Young at Heart. They were all in the WRSI Radio studio in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Song: Shoudl I Stay or Should I go
Artist: Young at Heart Chorus
Album: Mostly Live
Song: Walk on the Wild Side
Artist: Young at Heart Chorus
Album: Mostly Live
Music Feature - Ringo Starr
And speaking of being young at heart...
It's not my birthday, it's someone else's, but this is one of those times when I feel my age. This week, Ringo Starr becomes a septuagenarian.
He was born in Liverpool in 1940, and named after his father, Richard Starkey, who was a bakery worker. Richard's childhood was not easy -- his parents broke up when he was three years old; at age six he had complications from appendicitis and lapsed into a coma for ten weeks; and at age 13, he developed chronic pleurisy and spent two years in a sanitorium...all of which meant he fell behind in school.
What sustained him was his love of music. He formed a band and joined in a couple of others, adopting the stage name Ringo for all the gaudy rings he wore, then in 1961 and '62, he sat in for Pete Best, the drummer for The Beatles. The rest, of course, is history.
Since the Beatles disbanded about forty years ago (now I really feel old), Ringo has had a few different gigs, including the job of narrator on the children's TV Show, Thomas the Tank Engine, but he is still primarily a musician, heading up his All-Starr Band.
This week we wanted to wish Ringo a happy seventieth by playing one of the few songs he wrote for The Beatles. This is from the White Album, a lament that perhaps we all feel from time to time as the years tick away, "Don't Pass Me By".
Song: Don''t Pass me by
Artist: The Beatles
Album: The Beatles
Song: We Can Work it Out
Artist: Les Boreades de Montreal
Album: Beatles Baroque, Vol. 2
My Life in a Fat Suit
In the masquerade ball called life, we all wear disguises. Some more dramatic than others. Some appealing. Some not. We turn ourselves inside out, trying to present a picture to the world that we imagine serves our interests. Kyla Hanington put her costume on many years ago. It's given her plenty of trouble, and a few gifts. Her essay this week was called My Life in a Fat Suit.
Song: SunWheel Dance
Album: Speechless: The Instrumental Bruce Cockburn
Song: Invention No. 8
Artist: Jacques Loussier/Bach
Album: Bach Aux Champs Elysees
Riots in the Streets
Two words that aren't often used in the same sentence - "riot" and "Canada", but last week certainly was an exception.
This morning on The Sunday Edition, the story of a riot not from the streets of Toronto but from the annals of Canadian history. It happened seventy-five years ago, at the height of the Great Depression. The Department of National Defence had been warehousing thousands of unemployed men in labour camps in the interior of British Columbia. They had been working under dismal conditions for low pay, when a large group of them decided enough was enough.
They hatched a plan to travel to Ottawa, and to lay their grievances at the feet of R. B. Bennett. It was a provocative idea, but no one in the Prime Minister's Office or the RCMP really believed it would happen. However, as hundreds of young men boarded freight trains and began the journey east, politicians on Parliament Hill began to take notice.
The trek approached Regina in June of 1935, and the authories decided to stop the men in their tracks. What happened next is one of the most controversial chapters of this country's history, a chapter that's been of great interest to our guests this morning.
William Brennan is an historian at the University of Regina, and Bill Waiser is an historian at the University of Saskatchewan, and they've spent their academic careers researching the history of Western Canada, including the story of the Regina Riots.
William Brennan was in our studios in Regina. Bill Waiser was in our studios in Saskatoon.
Song: Lost One
Artist: Hugh Fraser Quintet
Album: Red & Blue
Mail Pack - G20
Time now for some of your mail .
We did get a flood of it in the aftermath of Michael's coverage from "ground zero" of last week's G-20 meetings. That "ground zero" would be right here in this building, which was behind the massive security fence built to protect the world leaders.
Usually we receive a wide range of opinions about the stories we cover on the program. But not this week.
Artist: Alpha Yaya Diallo
The Paranoid Style in American Politics
Forty five years ago, Harper's Magazine published a ground-breaking essay by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Hofstadter.
It was the fall of 1964. Barry Goldwater had beaten out the more moderate Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. And Hofstadter believed that the right wing forces behind the Arizona Senator represented a disturbing and dangerous trend in American politics. Hofstadter was describing the angry and often hysterical tone of the political discourse of the day.
Harper's has called Hofstader's essay one of the most important and most influential articles published in the nearly 160 year history of the magazine. That essay was titled " The Paranoid Style in American Politics."
This past year, with the TEA partiers infusing american politics with their own special flavour; as some elements of the bloggosphere continued to wonder aloud about the "true" citizenship of the President , and as discussion of "death panels" was almost commonplace in the maintstream media, what Hofstadter wrote has had a chilling echo that seems to be getting even louder.
Last season , Michael spoke with Susan Jacoby, the author of "The Age of Unreason" and of "Alger Hiss and the Battle for History". And with Professor David Greenberg. Professor Greenberg is a former Richard Hostader Fellow at Columbia University. He is now an associate professor of History, Journalism and Media Studies Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Song: Smoothie Song
Artist: Nickel Creek
Album: This Side