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Monday, July 6, 2020

Finding hope and music in July, after the 4th -- amidst alarming news. Monday, July 6th onward, 2020

Only one addition for Saturday, July 11th. It's an update to our ongoing "Covidology 101" series. Here it is, right up-top:

Covidology 101

for Saturday, July 11th, 2020. (UPDATED: more added in bullet-point first section, 5:19 pm PDT)

•  The total number of COVID-19 cases in the US is now greater than the population of 17 states.

•  Today's increase in COVID cases is 66,000, including overnight increases in Florida and Texas of 10,000 in each state.

•  As much as 40% of those infected with COVID may display no symptoms and may be "silent spreaders," unknowingly infecting others with the disease. That's the finding of a new study by the National Academy of Sciences. They conclude that -- if their interpretation of the data is correct -- far more widespread testing, with prompt or immediate results that allow for effective contact tracing, will be essential to produce a significant reduction in new cases. More about the study here. See the full study here.

•  As Major League Baseball returns to its ballparks for intramurals, the star Yankees closer has been diagnosed with the virus. Aroldis Chapman, a four-time All-Star, has symptoms and a fever. Meanwhile, at least six players of the NBA's New Jersey Nets have tested positive.

The CDC Predicts Deaths Will Soar in 12 States

The nationwide death toll is rising again, and the CDC just released its new list of where fatalities will rise. "This week's national ensemble forecast predicts that there will likely be between 140,000 and 160,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by August 1st," reports the agency.

A copyrighted feature in "Eat This, Not That!" is presented as one of those annoyingly endkess slide shows, but it does a good job of listing those states with notes covering "why," so we consolidated it in one straiggt-read-through for you. It begins, "The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks" will rise in these twelve states:

1. Arizona: With 113,000 cases and 2,047 deaths, Arizona is wracked with coronavirus—and an upcoming heat wave won't help. "Arizona is currently suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 with the highest daily reported cases per capita in the country," reports Vox. "Meanwhile, Phoenix hit a high of 109 degrees Fahrenheit in recent weeks…From hampering surge capacity plans for hospitals to increasing people's likelihood of getting exposed to the virus while sheltering indoors from the heat, heat can make things harder." Meanwhile, Republican "Gov. Doug Ducey did not announce significant new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona on Thursday despite pleas for aggressive action from doctors, mayors and some state lawmakers," reports AZ Central.

2. Alabama: Causing 49,174 cases and 1,068 deaths, coronavirus has already claimed at least one official. "A longtime mayor in Alabama has died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 84," reports People. "Billy Joe Driver, the mayor of Clanton, Alabama, was diagnosed with the contagious respiratory virus last month." Meanwhile, another official said he'd like to see more people catch the disease. "I'm not as concerned as much as the number of cases—and in fact, quite honestly—I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it," State Senator Del Marsh, a Republican, said. He's on the state's coronavirus task force.

3. Florida: "Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are going back to work Saturday as Disney World is pushing ahead with plans to reopen even as Florida continue to rack up a near-record number of new coronavirus cases," reports NBC News. "The 11,433 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday was the state's biggest daily increase since July 3, when 11,458 cases were recorded. Additionally, the state health department reported 435 more hospitalizations—the state's largest single-day increase. Florida also reported 93 additional deaths Friday, bringing the statewide COVID-19 death toll above 4,100." "There's no need to be fearful," Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

4. Idaho: "Citing an 'incredible surge' in confirmed COVID-19 cases, Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, announced Thursday that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its coronavirus rebound plan for at least two more weeks," reports Idaho Mountain Express. "There were a total of 8,969 cases statewide as of Thursday afternoon, according to the state's dedicated coronavirus website—more than double the 3,399 cases that had been reported by June 13, when Idaho first advanced from Stage 3 to Stage 4." The state has seen 101 deaths.

5. Montana: "Montana state health officials reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a new single-day record, according to the Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map. The previous single-day record for COVID-19 cases in Montana was 96 which was set on Thursday," reports KPAX. "Friday's data shows the total number of cases in the state now stands at 1,632." Montana has 25 deaths.

6. North Dakota: "The North Dakota Department of Health on Friday, July 10, announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 on another high-testing day," reports Inforum. "There are now 573 residents of the state known to be infected with the illness—more than double the number of active cases on North Dakota's recent low point of June 22." The state has had 4,074 confirmed cases and 89 deaths.

7. Nevada: "Bars in Clark County and some additional counties in Nevada will reclose on Friday after health officials warned Gov. Steve Sisolak," a Democrat, "that the number of COVID-19 cases could surge," reports Eater. "He says federal health officials warned of a new potential surge in cases that would cause a strain on hospitals. The governor also recommends that restaurants should encourage outdoor dining and no longer serve more than six people at a table." Nevada has had 25,055 cases and 574 deaths.

8. Ohio: "Ohio has seen a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the state over the last few weeks. Twelve counties have now been placed on the state's COVID-19 risk alert system," reports Fox 8. "There were 62,856 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, which is an addition of 1,525 cases and the highest daily cases reported in Ohio since the pandemic began. The virus has also resulted in a total of 3,032 deaths (up 26 from Thursday) across the state."

9. South Carolina: South Carolina has 50,691 cases and 905 deaths, and a 400%+ increase in cases for young adults since June 1st. "We're going to be worse than New York," one Charleston ER nurse told The Daily Beast, which notes that the state is reporting more cases per capita than most countries. "But at least in New York, people took the virus seriously. Here, we're in a war zone that people refuse to accept." Folks are partying, there are bike shows and beach fests. "We've completely lost control of the situation," one doctor told the Beast. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster reiterated he won't issue a mask mandate.

10. Tennessee: "The Vanderbilt COVID-19 Report for Tennessee expects the state to keep with previous projections and reach 1,000 hospitalizations in the next two weeks," reports Fox 17. "The report cites a number of concerning indicators as the state sees more positive cases, hospitalizations, and a growing rate of spread." The state has had 56,941 cases and 700 deaths. Republican Gov. Bill Lee extended the state of emergency.

11. Texas: "As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue surging throughout Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday there are no plans for an imminent economic shutdown as long as Texans are able to reduce the spread of the virus," reports KSAT. "Let me be clear about this because a lot of people are asking about that question," Abbott, a Republican, said. "There are rumors out there that there will be an imminent shutdown and that is not the case." He has mandated face masks and shut down bars.

12. West Virginia: COVID-19-related hospitalizations in West Virginia grew to 56 Friday, the highest number since May 1. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past week. "State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews 'Talkline' those numbers could go up even more because hospitalizations tend to lag behind the reporting of positive cases," according to WV Metro News. "Over the last two weeks we've seen about a doubling of the number of active cases, so we know that COVID is spreading (in WV) and we know that there is a delay between when the positives happen and the hospital stuff starts to really jump," Marsh said. The state has 3,882 confirmed cases and 95 deaths.

How to Stay Healthy in Your State

Avoid crowds, don't go indoors with large groups, wear your face mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently, monitor your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

Dr. Fauci Just Blamed These States for Coronavirus Outbreak

He says they are responsible for 50% of all the new infections.

This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been doing a media tour, sounding the alarm as coronavirus cases rise at a worrying rate; we are nearing 60,000 cases a day, and the country hit another daily record, it's sixth in ten days. 

In an interview with Anna Rothschild, on FiveThirtyEight's Podcast-19, he spoke about what's most urgent today—including which states are to blame.

1)  On the Big Coronavirus Surge

"I know what's going on there because it's pretty obvious is that in some of the States, the governors or the mayors essentially jumped over the guidelines and the checkpoints and opened up a little bit too soon. And they were not prepared to deal with the resurgences that they saw in other States, [where] the governors and the mayors actually abided by the guidelines and the restrictions—but the people in the state, particularly the young people threw caution to the wind and you see the films of people, very densely congregated at bars and in areas where they're getting together, not looking at social distancing, not wearing a mask. So I think what we're seeing right now are the results of that in those States, those four States that are accounting for about 50% of all the new infections"— Arizona, California, Florida and Texas —"that we're seeing in the United States."

2)  Did Some States Open Too Quickly?

"You know, I think in some respects, in some cases, they did not always. But I think that that certainly is contributing to that. Certainly Florida I know, you know, I think jumped over a couple of checkpoints."

3)  Can the Surge Be Blamed on Politicians Not Following Guidelines and People Not Following Orders?

"Yes. It is both. I mean, it's not a unidimensional thing. It's complicated. There are some governors and mayors that did it perfectly correctly. They stayed exactly. They wanted to open up, so they went through the guidelines of opening up their state. But what happened is that many of the citizenry, said, 'You know, well, I'm either going to be locked down or I'm going to let it all rip. And you could see from just looking, documented on TV and in the papers of still photos of people at bars and congregations, which are a perfect setup, particularly if you don't have a mask. Yeah, then there are some times when despite the guidelines and the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently, some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly."

4)  How the U.S. is Doing Overall?

"Well, let me say there are parts of the United States, like where you live right now [in New York], that are doing really well, that you've been through something really bad and you have things under control. And you have a governor and mayor in the city who understand what it means to go by the guidelines for the gateway, phase one, phase two, phase three. So you're doing well. Other cities are doing well. But as a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not. We plateaued at 20,000 for weeks and weeks and weeks. And now the last couple of weeks, we've gone back as high as 50,000 new cases per day. And now like yesterday, it was 43,000, but 43 and 50 is twice what your baseline is. I don't think we should be congratulating ourselves about how well we're doing."

5)  Does Partisanship Make Things More Difficult?

"You know, I think you'd have to admit that that's the case. We live, I mean, you have to be having blindfolders on and covering your ears to think that we don't live in a very divisive society now, from a political standpoint. I mean, it's just unfortunate, but it is what it is. And you know, from experience historically, that when you don't have unanimity in an approach to something, you're not as effective in how you handle it. So I think you'd have to make the assumption that if there wasn't such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach."
As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
This feature originally ran in "Eat This, Not That!" © Provided by Eat This, Not That!

They tell us:



This edition's full content follows, prior to the above update added Saturday, June 11th.


New for Friday: our "Covidology 101" feature has updates; more updates -- events, etc -- later today.

New Thursday: IBMA (Int'l Bluegrass Music Association) online event at 11 am PDT is FOR ARTISTS & OTHERS; plus additions to our news features and "Covidology 101" sections. 

Up-top: an important Op/ed added Wednesday morning. Everything else is still here, after it. Plus, our "Covidology 101" feature has fresh updates (in red), and there is added music news.

From the intro line above:

We present here, up-top, a feature op/ed today, Wednesday. The need for it has been developing for some time. So why now, added in the middle of the week, dropped atop an edition published back at the beginning of the week? It answers that for itself. Here it is.

A Guide Op/ed, Wednesday, June 8, 2020

Today's Protests and Intellectual Honesty 

by Larry Wines

"A Letter on Justice and Open Debate" dated July 7, 2020, is slated for publication in Harper's Magazine, signed by prominent writers including J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky, Malcom Gladwell, Michelle Goldberg, Bari Weiss, Matthew Yglesias, and Olivia Nuzzi, and multirole people that include Wynton Marsalis and Fareed Zakariah.

Here's an excerpt:

"Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

"This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other."

A term has come about to label this "thing" about which they are cautioning. It is "cancel culture." Why that, instead of something more accurate, like "social wave pop censorship," or "woke conformity," we don't know. Perhaps these additional excerpts from the letter are more enlightening:

"The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted," the letter said. "While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty."

The daily "Reliable Sources" e-newsletter by Brian Stelter was on it Tuesday night. Their feature includes these two points:

"As NYT's Jennifer Schuessler and Elizabeth Harris reported, 'On social media, the reaction was swift, with some heaping ridicule on the letter’s signatories...'"


"Kerry Flynn emails: After the letter published, historian Kerri Greenidge tweeted that she was 'in contact with Harper's about a retraction.' Harper's spokesperson Giulia Melucci told me the signees 'read and approved' the letter before it was posted and that 'no one is required to be in full ideological agreement with the other 150 (or so) signers.' But Harper's did end up removing Greenidge's name..."

Read the full multi-author letter here.

Here at The Guide, we find ourselves in agreement with the Harper's letter and its signers.

By default, that means we are prepared for criticism by the new movement that demands a singular perspective and finds multiple viewpoints intolerable.

Why are we jumping into the fray? Because there is no room for regimented, exclusionary "acceptable ideas" in the arts, and the arts reflect the highest aspirations of our species.

This has been coming for some time. This entire trend of sanitizing every aspect of culture to make it inoffensive to a lowest common denominator of the hypersensitive; it produces snowflakes incapable of seeing any other viewpoint. The sudden withdrawal of Aunt Jemimah pancake syrup and Uncle Ben's rice, when neither brand had a demeaning image, and in fact sold well because the products themselves were good, is illustrative. It's also a test, choosing those examples, to see who just got outraged.

Pulling-down a bust of Ulysses Grant, as happened last week, is likewise representative. Grant was the man who militarily won the Civil War for the Union and thereby ended slavery in the Southern slavocracy. So attacking him seems utterly incongruous. But look into it, and it illustrates the same new intolerance of puritan conformity. 

Those who chose to deprive the public of that monument are enraged that "Grant had a slave!" Had they inquired at all, they would have learned that Grant was humiliated when given a slave by his father-in-law. Grant in turn embarrassed his in-law when he worked alongside the slave, in fact doing the same work, until he gave the man his freedom. And Grant did that, despite the fact that he desperately needed money and the emancipated man could have been sold for an appreciable sum.

The pulling-down of Confederate statues, though more complex, brings another example of a requirement for singular viewpoint. The accompanying rhetoric -- necessary to destroy any argument -- is suddenly, "These people committed TREASON against the United States and it is unacceptable that any image of them remain!"

No less than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi emotionally evoked the "treason!" line last week when referring to righteously making ex-Confederates disappear.

Given the current climate that the Harper's letter "outs," it is scant wonder that no historian has risked objecting to the sudden one-size-fits-all label of "treason!"

In fact, that question was settled at the time, when surrendering Confederates were neither tried nor executed for treason.

The one man who was tried and executed was the commandant of a prisoner of war camp where those penned-up perished of hunger, disease, brutality and abuse. And that wasn't a trial for treason. Otherwise, that charge was used only in the trials of non-military conspirators for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Not only did ex-general Robert E. Lee become president of a university where he could influence the minds and loyalties of the impressionable young, but other former Confederate officers fought in the uniform of the re-United States in the Spanish-American War. This new requirement to paint with a broad brush and make every Confederate a reviled traitor is intellectually dishonest and denies the history of how those who defeated them treated them at the time.

The notion that the Confederacy is synonymous in all regards with slavery is likewise dishonest. The overwhelming majority of those who wore the grey or butternut uniforms never held another human being in bondage. Most were independent subsistence farmers who worked their land only with their families, or they were clerks or other townsfolk whose occupational experiences were indistinguishable from those who wore blue.

True, Southern macroeconomics were based on plantation agriculture that was built on a slavocracy. But the current demand for one viewpoint actually deprives us of considering the massive wealth disparities between the South's rich exploiters and the masses of poor. That would resonate in today's America if we could discuss the historical aspects without being shouted-down for trying.

In fact, even calling the conflict "The Civil War" has always been problematic for American history, because a true civil war is an insurrection against a government aimed at overthrowing it. The seceded states individually, and collectively as the Confederacy, never had any intention of overthrowing the government of the United States. They were separatists. Moreover, the Constitution as it stood at the time actually supported the argument that a state could secede -- and what state had already made that point, decades earlier? Try Massachusetts.

But modern writers are terrified of calling the conflict of 1861-1865 a failed war by separatists who wanted to establish their own nation and who, however imperfectly, saw their cause in the same light as the American Revolution. 

Making such a statement is suddenly heretical, regardless of its historical validity. It will bring rabid attack and accusations that the one saying such a thing is either deluded by the myth of "The Lost Cause," and/or, an obvious racist. And the latter attack is almost guaranteed because arguments no longer ratchet-up based on evidence and exchanges. They immediately default to the nuclear option because outrage is the only criteria.

To which we counter, did any of those intolerant singularities of criticism ever see the award-winning, acclaimed-by-academics, Ken Burns' documentary series? In fact, it is doubtful that series could be made now, at all. Surely somebody would be offended that the names of Southern "traitors" were being glorified because of military prowess, when such names must never be spoken again within the hearing of the righteously outraged.

That comes with consequences. We deprive ourselves of making decisions to right wrongs -- things like taking the names of Ku Klux Klansmen off bridges and other public facilities -- when we revert to the Ancient Egyptian practice of chiseling names off everything that mentions them. In a larger sense, we will have no business being surprised when a younger generation is ignorant of how things got to be the way they are, if we seek to erase history by sanitizing it to remove our ability to consider and understand things.

These examples go beyond the generalities of the Harper's letter. But they are representative of why the letter was necessary and why so many prominent chroniclers signed it.

The Constitution itself beckoned future generations to pursue "a more perfect union." And there was plenty of reason to do so. But none among those authors -- the esteemed nor the scoundrels -- advocated a singular viewpoint as the only acceptable way that everyone must think. Want proof? Freedom of religion.

Demanding conformity without dialog, and with actual or anticipated reprisal if conformity is questioned, is fascism, plain and simple.

Consider it another way: take those participating in any given protest. Is everyone there for exactly the same reason? Is it fair to assume everyone is subscribing to the same agenda, with no allowance for diverse reasons that may, in fact, form the mosaic of motivations that cause individuals to become a crowd?

If there is resentment when certain conservatives attempt to claim protesters and looters and arsonists are the same singularity, then why isn't there consistency? Where is the resentment when equally ludicrous singularities are used to exclude the true range of diverse factors that are in play? Whether or not some pseudo thought police will allow recognition and consideration of the full picture isn't just intellectual honesty. It determines whether solutions are delusions.

Neither artists nor intellectuals can accept constraints that force creativity and inquiry into an eye of a needle through which society's camel must pass.

When free range, broadly exploratory inquiries are possible without offense, we will be an intellectually free society. It will enable us to default to evoking science and fully examining our foibles. Until then, we are constrained by fear, and deprived of voicing -- and acknowledging that we are dangerously pursuing -- free thinking.


Now we take you back to Monday's edition as published, plus things added to it in our usual chronology of day-by-day events.

The original intro is...

This is loaded with new material. Granted, it was an unplanned edition, but events on Monday made it necessary, just to keep up with events. So it quickly gained other material that was waiting for the next planned edition. It's nicely organized now that it's here. Just remember that our last edition has SO MUCH in it, and it's still there.

■  All the NEWS in the previous edition is still here, easily accessible, waiting for you to catch-up.

■  THIS EDITION has newly reported events and lots of fresh news, which includes:

•  the FREE, ONLINE 2-WEEK "MUSIC INDUSTRY EVOLUTION SUMMIT" starts Monday -- you can sign-up later in the week (!) -- see our feature story.

•  Ennio Morricone is dead at age 91. The award-winning composer of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," over 400 scores for cinema and television, and more than 100 classical works...

•  New in this edition: CHARLIE DANIELS died today. We look at the man and his importance to music and those in it.

•  Additional stories are new here, for the first time. 

•  Events happening Monday or later have been updated as needed (scroll down, it's chronological).

Scheduled online concerts and events -- daily, starting Monday the 6th -- are reported after the news feature stories. They're chronological. Just scroll down.


News... fresh, this edition 


Thursday morning news additions, up-top...

7:47 am Thursday morning PDT

Yes! -- D'oh! -- Whaat? -- Noooo...

The Supremes rule it's illegal for Trump to hide his taxes; so why does the public seem to win, but still lose?

The US Supreme Court, in a pair of 7-to-2 decisions Thursday morning, declared that Trump cannot hide his financial records and tax returns, nor does any president have (as Trump contended he did have) "absolute immunity" from criminal investigation just because he is president.

     That appears to clear the way for a New York Grand Jury, and for three committes of Congress, to finally get the documents they had subpoenaed months ago from banks and from Trump and his associates.

     But hold on. In both cases, the Supremes declared Trump had no right to hide them. But in both cases, everything was returned to lower courts for detailed determinations of whether the records could be turned over to the entities that subpoenaed them.

     Legal experts quickly declared there is no way those lower courts can expeditite the machinations of the convoluted, easy-for-the-rich-to-maipulate legal system, to force the release of any of Trump's records in any reasonable amount of time.

     Meaning nobody can see them before the November election.

     So... while Trump's Supreme Court appointees voted with the 7-2 majority saying he has no special rights or privileges under the law, that prob'lee matters for law school students, only... Because, in effect, the public has no right to know what he isn't entitled to hide. So a big, historic loss for Donald Trump is a win for him, anyway.

The talking heads are losing no time interpreting the inexplicable

     "If Trump loses [the election], he may end-up being a cell mate to Michael Cohen," said historian Douglas Brinkley.

    "He will be able to hide his tax returns, unlike any other candidate, for one more election," says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who adds, "He needs some more appointments to get extremely conservative judges in place if he is ultimately going to beat this."

According to one legal writer:


Six items from Brian Stelter,  Wednesday night...

Facing COVID, Competing Film Festivals are cooperating

"The art form we love is in crisis" 

"The Toronto, New York, Telluride and Venice film festivals, knocked sideways in their planning by the coronavirus pandemic, have unveiled a joint statement that commits the longtime rivals to cooperate and not compete for film titles and awards-season bragging rights in the fall," THR's Etan Vlessing reports.

The statement says the festival heads are "sharing ideas and info," part of a commitment to "collaboration." It's great to see this. "We're all in this together" is more than a slogan...

Rock Hall of Fame's new plan

Lisa Respers France reports: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it will be replacing its live induction ceremony with an HBO special because of the pandemic. Details here... 


"Thanks to 'Hamilton,' Live Capture Could Be Broadway's Next Act," Tatiana Siegel writes... (THR)

Easy come, easy go

"Only 72,000 of Quibi's early subscribers have stuck around past their 90-day trial, according to new estimates" from an analytics firm. Quibi's statement implies that the true # is higher, but won't give specifics... (Protocol)

Paying for social media?

Kaya Yurieff reports: "Twitter may be working on a paid product." Twitter shares rose 8% on Wednesday after folks spotted a "job posting that said the company is building a subscription platform codenamed 'Gryphon...'" (CNN Business)

The Supremes season finale

1)  Supreme Court "season finale" on Thursday

"The Supreme Court is expected to issue opinions in two cases concerning access to President Donald Trump's financial records on Thursday, the final day of the term," per CNN's team.

Court watchers have been waiting for these opinions for weeks. Brian Lowry likened Thursday to the "cliffhanging season finale of SCOTUS...."
2)  Jeffrey Toobin's assessment

This is the year of Chief Justice Roberts -- his shocking embrace of the four liberal Justices in three major cases," CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told Brian Stelter. "The big question for Thursday is whether, in the Trump financial documents cases, it's a grand slam of repudiation for the President."


Covidology 101


There are no encouraging numbers today.

•  The number of new US cases and number of deats are both setting records, and epidemiologists are predicting the number of dead Americans will top 200,000 within the next two to three months.

•  The highest one-day number of cases -- about 34,000 -- was a day in mid-April, until that number was exceeded five days in a row this week.

•  Numbers of new cases are up in at least 37 states, and the graphs are nearly vertical lines in five states.

•  In Texas, the rate of infection is 34%, meaning more than 1 out of every 4 tests is coming back positive.

•  Some of those tested are getting bills for over $1,000, despite the federal law requiring insurance companies pay for the tests. Many employers require each employee provide them a negative test before being eligible to return to work. And those with no health insurance can be liable for several thousands of dollars for a test, with no alternative if their employment requires it.

•  In many places throughout the nation, those tested are waiting 7, 10, 14 or more days for the results, and Dr. Anthony Fauci says that makes contact tracing "impossible" and "useless."

•  Disney World is set to re-open to the public tomorrow, despite the fact that most of it is located in a Florida county where the number of cases has increased 1,400% since the re-opening was announced.

•  The White House remains intransigent that schools "must reopen," and is threatening to withhold an unspecified range of federal funding to any state that does not reopen its schools by the end of August. Meanwhile, the L.A. Teachers Union again reiterated to the LAUSD Board that it is unsafe to open schools except for online distance-learning.

•  Several COVID relief bills passed weeks ago by the US House of Representatives remain stalled without being brought to votes in the US Senate. And there is no reason to believe the Senate will allow any more funding for unemployed, struggling Americans, leaving states and cities trying to provide rent relief & groceries.

○  Still, we need some sunshine. Except that in Southern California, it will bring record heat this weekend, today through Monday.

♡  So, anything happy? Okay, there's this: A two-year-old thoroughbred race horse named Fauci won its first race Thursday in Lexington, Kentucky.



US de-funds global health watchdog amidst pandemic; Senator wants your help to get relief for struggling Americans

As coronavirus cases spiked around the country, the Trump administration officially formalized the decision for the U.S. to withdraw from the World Health Organization, depriving THE global watchdog of most of its funding. 

US Senator Mazie Hirono (D, Hawai'i) said Trump himself is "...again refusing to take responsibility and blaming his gross lack of leadership on the [World Health] organization."

The senator continues: "We are in the midst of a worldwide health crisis, yet our non-mask wearing president and his right hand man, Mitch McConnell, are not taking this crisis seriously."

In fact, she had plenty to say. The rest was about demanding help for Americans who are sleepless because they are struggling and need the kind of bailout that all the corporations get.

"McConnell is following Trump’s lead by 'taking a pause' and ignoring the Heroes Act -- which passed over a month ago in the House and would support essential workers and provide additional stimulus checks and other critical relief to help struggling American families -- and now sits idle in the Senate," says Senator Hirono. 

She concludes:

"If Senate Republicans refuse to extend relief and protections, millions of families, especially people of color, will face eviction and other inequities that have been laid bare by the pandemic. We can take action to prevent an eviction crisis in this country. 

"Over 40 million Americans are unemployed and 26 million people across the country will have trouble paying rent in September. And yet, Republicans thought one $1,200 stimulus check during the pandemic would be enough. 
The American people need help. Now."

It isn't just rhetoric. She wants your help to take action. Offering the link below, she asks:



•  A record 60,000 new US COVID cases were reported overnight Tuesday for Wednesday morning.

•  Early Wednesday, global cases neared 12 million, with over 3 million of them US cases.

•  The US makes up 4% of the world’s population. That’s just 1 out of every 25 people on Earth. But the US now accounts for 1 out of every 4 reported cases of COVID-19 on the entire planet.

•  The current 130,000 dead from COVID in the US is equivalent to the entire population of a city the size of Waco, Texas, or Gainesville, Florida, or Charleston, South Carolina, noted a disease specialist doctor on CNN Wednesday morning.

•  New US urban-suburban cases are now 50%+ in the 18-40 year-old age group.

•  Doctors are reporting that new COVID patients present themselves with far more serious symptoms, with many more requiring immediate hospitalization as a matter of life-and-death. Fewer patients can be sent home to recover in quarantine. Does that mean the virus has (as most viruses do) mutated, and into a more deadly form? Doctors say they're fighting a fire that's out of control and they don't have time to play arson investigator.


•  Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has the virus, after spending months dismissing its seriousness.

•  31 US states are going in the wrong direction. Only four states are reporting declining numbers of new cases.

•  Florida is becoming the new center of the pandemic, posting staggering numbers despite state-mandated reporting techniques that hide a lot of what's happening. Currently, 43 hospital ICUs are full there, with no capacity left, and 24 more have less than 5% capacity remaining. Yet Florida schools are set to re-open. In the past 13 days in Miami-Dade County, the number of COVID patients has increased by 90%.



To register for a test at any of L.A. County's 34 testing sites, click here

Avoiding maskless Maskholes and gatherings of 
maskless Branch Covidians 

In Texas, where the daily number of new infections is setting a record each day, the Texas Medical Association has enlisted the state's PBS stations to get this graphic into the public consciousness. 

Note what is fourth from the bottom.

(Click or tap graphic to enlarge.)


Covidology reading list...


Charlie Daniels photo by Erick Anderson

Charlie Daniels died Monday at age 83

A Country, Americana, Bluegrass, Western, and Southern Rock music legend, fellow performers and others in music share memories of his influence

by Larry Wines and Jeremy Westby

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry member and southern rock and Americana legend Charlie Daniels passed away this morning, Monday, July 6th at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee. Doctors determined the cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke. Daniels was 83.

In California, Guide editor Larry Wines recalls:

"Everyone should understand when they put themselves in front of the public, that every impression they make is determinative. Most artists 'get it' that the hardest think to fake is sincerity. But then there are those who really are sincere, and so absolutely genuine that nobody else could ever make you believe otherwise of them.

"When I first interviewed Charlie Daniels I was working as a newspaper political columnist who, oddly enough, also got all the choice musician interviews because I was the paper's 'go to' guy with the arts. I met Charlie when we did a phone interview that was set for twenty minutes. When I noticed we were at 22 minutes, I pointed that out to him. He replied, 'Well, thanks for letting me know. If you gotta go it's okay.'

"I assured him I would like to spend more time if he had it available. Somewhere past 35 or 40 minutes, a voice in the room on his end asked if he was 'still talking to that guy.' He said, 'Yes I am, and please go away,' and apologized to me for the interruption.

Well past an hour and a half, he said, 'I do need to go now. Are you coming to our show?' I said yes, and he asked if I had good seats. I said, yes, third row. He said, 'We can do better'n that.' Within seconds I was front row center, set for backstage credentials, and invited to join him in his tour bus after the show. He hung up saying, 'I'll look forward to meeting you in person, pard. I've really enjoyed this.'

"Fast forward two weeks. I was directed to where he was after sound check. I expected I'd get "Who?" But nope, he wanted to pick up where we left off, so we got a few minutes then, and another hour on the bus after the concert, before it was time to roll.

"So what did he find so compelling about our conversations? Sure, we had conscientiously covered his music including many hits and my own favorites of his from an ancient album -- "High Lonesome" -- whose songs he didn't remember how to play anymore. He chuckled at that, saying, 'Heck, I wrote it, and somebody likes it. You'd think the least I could do is remember how to play it!'

"He was intrigued when I told him that record was very much a folk album, and how he could easily get himself booked to play any folk festival he wanted. He said he knew he had "horsepower as a bluegrass guy when he talked to the right people," but 'nobody has ever confused me with Bob Dylan.' More laughter. I observed that he was doing original cowboy music, and that wasn't fashionable in Nashville any more.

"We had a rapport, and I knew it when he told me something. Charlie or his people had checked me out before agreeing to do the phone interview. He knew I was a political columnist so he had taken the time to read several of my pieces. He said that was to see if it was safe to talk to me. In turn, I told him I knew he did a political blog that was hardline conservative. He knew, going in, we didn't see things eye to eye. At all.

"But he said, 'I wanted to talk to you pard, because I knew we disagreed. I always figured nobody ever learns anything if you only talk to people who agree with you. I saw some of your interviews and knew I'd get a fair shake and it seemed like it would be fun. I can talk to anybody anytime just about music. All the big magazines and tv people. I enjoy that well enough and in my business I need to do it. But it gets old. So what else can we talk about?'

"What followed on the phone -- and resumed without missing a beat two weeks later, aboard his bus -- was what politics today wholly lacks and desperately needs. Two well-read people thoughtfully discussing the problems of society and the planet, with each thanking the other for raising things the other didn't know or hadn't considered. And it was fun.

"There's an old line about disagreeing without being disagreeable. Our conversations didn't even evoke that much tension. Each of the times we spoke, he always signed-off that he enjoyed talking with me. Not "to" me, but "with" me. Journalists need to preserve objectivity, of course. But each time, I found it enjoyable, and indeed, a full-on joy, to talk with him, too.

"Charlie kept doing his blog with his political views through that era. It always ended with, 'So, what do YOU think?' and he always read and politely commented on the comments, even when they were impolite.

"We talked a few more times on the phone, but the pace of his tours made for shorter conversations and waits of several days between call backs.

"I could have been a more persistent acquaintance after I left that newspaper, which wasn't long after my series of interviews that year with music luminaries. But it would have felt irresponsible, given his need to do advance work, including talking to media to promote upcoming shows in their markets. Besides, I knew by then that the pace of a tour is exhausting, and somebody could end up resenting you if you got underfoot.

"But some interview subjects become real people who always stay with you. Later, when I programned and hosted "Tied to the Tracks," the Acoustic Americana radio show on Los Angeles airwaves and global web simulcast, I spun Charlie's acoustic cuts and always got listener calls that they had no idea he had recorded any music like that, or that it brought back happy memories of what he played in concert that was never on the radio.

"More than anything, I always have, and always will, call Charlie Daniels a consummate gentleman and mindfully thoughtful human being. That comes first, before I get to the part about his songwriting, musicianship, and stage presence. Or how we politely disagreed with each other's politics."

Of course, others have more to say about Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels was a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern Rock, Americana, and Bluegrass, in addition to Country.

From his Dove Award-winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America's musical landscape than Charlie Daniels.

An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor, and a true road warrior, Daniels parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a spotlight supporting the military, underprivileged children, and others in need. The Charlie Daniels Band has long populated radio with memorable hits such as the signature song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Over the course of his career, Daniels received numerous accolades, including becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, inductions into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Charlie helped to shine the spotlight on the many causes that are close to his heart. He was a staunch supporter of the military and gave his time and talent to numerous charitable organizations including The Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his long-time manager, David Corlew, to help veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

Fellow artists have dropped whatever they were doing today to express their thoughts, as they mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories. It may sound trite, but it is certain that he left them inspired for the duration of their lives.

“I will truly miss my friend and fellow Country Music Hall Of Fame member, Charlie Daniels. He was one of the most honest and genuinely nice people in the business. I will miss our talks. We shared lots of memories and supported each other. My prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

~ Charley Pride

“All of The Oak Ridge Boys are saddened and devastated by this sudden and immeasurable loss. Charlie was not only a dear friend but a Patriot who loved Jesus and loved the USA. It is all so very hard to process right now...We will miss Charlie, but we know where he is… The Everlasting Arms of HIS and OUR Savior hold him now…Until The Day Charlie…Until the DAY…prayers for Hazel.”

~ Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys

“One of the best friends, not only a peer, but a true friend. He was one of the most spiritual men. When we got together for a show in Oklahoma, we performed ‘Will The Circle be Unbroken.’ I never will forget that night.”

~ Sam Moore

"What a loss and a shock - we can hardly put this in words. Charlie was such a beloved part of our community! He was a great friend and a fellow patriot. I will always cherish the countless shows we worked together over the decades and our backstage talks. He leaves an immeasurable mark on country and southern rock music. Charlie was a great leader and philanthropist, incredibly humble and one of the biggest supporters of our armed forces and veterans. I loved standing in the wings when he took the stage - he was powerful and magical - he left other artists in awe and every audience on their feet!  We love you Charlie and will forever cherish our friendship."

~ Lee and Kim Greenwood

“I am very saddened to hear of Charlie Daniels’ passing. I have known and loved Charlie since our early days when he appeared on one of my television specials and l played his Volunteer Jams. Charlie was a strong man who loved his family, fans and country. The music community and the world have lost an old friend.”

~ Crystal Gayle

“Charlie Daniels has been a friend of mine for the last 40 or 50 years. He is one of the greatest artists in country music and an all around wonderful man. We will miss you Charlie.”

~ B.J. Thomas

“I recall a show I played in West Texas with Charlie, what a great talent and personality he was, and so respected in the music world.  He and his memory are cherished and loved by all.”

~ Janie Fricke

“It was an honor to know Charlie. He was a Godly, family man and the U.S.A. didn’t have a better friend. He always had an encouraging word and a firm handshake. Sheila and I pray for Miss Hazel, the family, the band and his entire organization. Rest in peace ol’ pal!”

~ T. Graham Brown

“I am absolutely stunned and heart broken over the loss of our legendary friend, the great Charlie Daniels! You could not find a finer or kinder man! His giant talent paled in comparison to the phenomenal human being that he was! He was passionate and honest about what he believed in and unapologetically spoke his truth.There is a reason he was so loved by all who knew him and such an Icon in Country Music!!! He cut a wide path in our hearts! We love you Charlie! My prayers are with his family at this time of deep loss. Rest In Peace Charlie.”

~ Deborah Allen

"My heart goes out to Hazel, Charlie Jr. and their family.  I always loved Charlie, and his music.  He was the real deal and one of the great ones."

~ Lacy J. Dalton

“I’m hurt. Charlie was one of the nicest guys in country music. He was always there to help anyone and he will be missed by all.”

~ Johnny Lee

“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Charlie Daniels, a true Country Music Legend. ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ will live on as one of the most quintessential Southern Rock songs in history. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family. Rest in peace Charlie and God bless you.“

~ Deana Martin

“What a huge loss not only in the music industry, but in the world. Charlie was simply one of the kindest, most loving patriotic friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He loved his friends and country so deeply. I was honored and blessed to perform on his infamous Volunteer Jam. My heart is broken today and I send my prayers of comfort up for his precious family.”

~ Kelly Lang

“It’s hard to imagine country music without Charlie Daniels and the world will never be the same. Thankfully he left a legacy like no other that we can reflect on. You are loved and you will be missed!”

~ Shane Owens

“Charlie Daniels was a music icon, yet every time I played piano for Charlie he made me feel like I was part of the Charlie Daniels' family.   He loved our country and devoted much of his time to encouraging and performing for our men and women in uniform.  When my son Torre was in the Army, and he was about to ship out for his first tour in Iraq, Charlie met with Torre before he left, and he prayed with him.  You have no idea what that meant to me.  The devil can stay down in Georgia for all I care, because Charlie Daniels is heaven bound!” 

~ Tim Atwood

"Rest in Peace to Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels.  He was one of the true icons in country music and will forever be remembered. Charlie Daniels was a True American.  Country Music has lost one of its finest ambassadors today. Prayers to the family of Charlie Daniels."

~ J.D. Shelburne

“It truly breaks my heart to hear of the passing of Mr. Charlie Daniels. As a fellow NC native, he was included in the soundtrack of nearly every road trip, bonfire night, and any other occasion! He was an extraordinary musician and such a joy to watch onstage - his spirit for music and performing was truly incredible! His family are in my thoughts and prayers during this hard time. He will truly be missed by fans all around!”

~ Paige King Johnson

“When I was a kid at boarding school listening to my roommate's Charlie Daniels albums, I had never been exposed to country music, and I didn’t know what I was hearing, I just knew that it grabbed me.  So I transported the feel of it to my rudimentary songwriting on the grand piano in the common room of that dorm, and it has stayed with me ever since.  Classic songwriting and musical authenticity can reach across a culture like nothing else.  Thanks to Charlie for waking a powerful spirit, all over the world.”

~ Carrington MacDuffie

“A pioneer that stood for so many great things outside of music, a true patriot. He taught us all what a fiddle truly was while never being afraid to voice his opinion. He’s going to be deeply missed but his legacy will no doubt live on. Prayers and thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.”

~ Vonn Kiss

And finally, this personal note from Jeremy Westby, former publicist for Charlie Daniels:

"I had the pleasure of representing Charlie Daniels and his charity The Journey Home Project for many years. He headlined a concert at the Air Force Academy back in 1998 when I was road managing the opening act -- the Clark Family Experience -- who were managed by Jim and Sherman Halsey. I'll never forget how Charlie could shred that bow and keep the audience at the edge of their seats. I didn't have the pleasure of talking to him then but as the years passed and my career came full-circle, I did - and then some.

"Charlie was much more than a client. He welcomed me and my family into his home on holidays, we had media junkets to New York and more wonderful experiences than I can count. To say he leaves an indelible mark on our community is an absolute understatement. I will forever cherish the moments we had, and being part of the team to help guide his induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame will never be forgotten!

"My heart goes out to Hazel, David, Bebe, Paula, Angela, Charlie Jr. and the rest of The CDB. Love to you all."

~ Jeremy Westby

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.


Hear two tracks from the editor's favorite Charlie Daniels' album, mentioned in the story:

"High Lonesome," album title track.


Published pre-dawn Monday morning as late breaking news / obituary...

Ennio Morricone, award-winning composer of innovative music for cinema, dies at age 91

Ennio Morricone directed a concert in Rome in January.
Credit: Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse, via Associated Press
by The Guide overnight staff

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" solidified Italian composer Ennio Morricone's international fame, already developing through his creation of atmospheric scores for preceding spaghetti westerns. His approximately 500 works include film soundtracks by a Who’s Who of Oscar winners and international directors, including "The Mission" and "Cinema Paradiso."

The Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player wrote in a wide range of musical styles. Since 1961, Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works.

Often his orchestral compositions featured operatic voices or soaring, yet haunting choirs, always effective on listeners without regard to the language they speak.

His artistry and long career -- he was still conducting orchestras this year -- made him one of the world’s most versatile and influential creators of music for the modern cinema. In 2018, Morricone conducted concerts on his "60 Years of Music World Tour." He died on Monday in Rome, following complications from a fall last week in which he fractured his femur. He was 91.

His score for "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" (1966) -- considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history -- is among his several successful collaborations with director Sergio Leone, including the 1960s "man with no name" series with the young Clint Eastwood.

Morricone's glittering filmography extends through more than 70 award-winning films, including all of Leone’s films, all of Giuseppe Tornatore’s films from the much-loved "Cinema Paradiso" onwards, "The Battle Of Algiers," Dario Argento’s "Animal Trilogy," "Days Of Heaven," "The Thing," "The Mission," "The Untouchables," "Bugsy," and "Ripley’s Game."

In 2016, he won the Oscar for his score for Quentin Tarantino’s film "The Hateful Eight," making him, at the time, the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. He has been nominated for a further six Academy Awards.

Born in 1928, Morricone was, early in life, an enthusiastic soccer player and passionate AS Roma fan. But he quickly turned to music, playing trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s. Then he became a studio arranger and started ghost writing for film and theater.

Andreas Wiseman writes in the "Deadline":

"From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives and from the 1970s his career took off in Hollywood, composing for directors including Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, Quentin Tarantino and John Carpenter.

"His European collaborators also included Bernardo Bertolucci, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henry Veneuil. The cinema great would also compose music for singers such as Zucchero and Andrea Boccelli."

"By 2016, Morricone had sold more than 70 million records worldwide and a year later he received the Academy’s Honorary Award 'for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.'"

Over the span of his storied career, Ennio Morricone won three Grammys, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatellows and two European Film Awards.

Even coming in the middle of the night, the news of his death began an avalanche of tributes online, including these:

Edgar Wright, English director, screenwriter and producer, said:

“Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”

C. Robert Cargill, American screenwriter, novelist, podcast host, and former film critic, wrote:

"Ennio Morricone. You always know when it's a Morricone score, even before you see his name. With just a few notes he evokes images of a whole genre. There aren't any others like him. One of the titans is gone."

Don Winslow, NYT bestselling author & Raymond Chandler Award recipient, said:

"Over the next few days, a lot of good people are going to tell you how great Ennio Morricone was and how much he meant to film music. But I would like to invite you to just listen to this for yourself."
~ he included a link to hear Ennio Morricone's theme song for Sergio Leone's film "Once Upon a Time in the west" (1968). 

Listen to Morricone's iconic theme  for "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly":

⊙  Conducted by Ennio Morricone "Live at Palais Omnisports (Paris)" with full symphony and huge choir in February 2014.

⊙  In a fun version with 18 1/2 million views, performed by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

⊙   A bit rushed, as rendered by the Prague Philharmonic.


Show biz lost a third giant Monday, this time to COVID-19...

RIP Broadway star Nick Cordero

Lisa Respers France writes: Amanda Kloots took us on a journey of hope for her husband, Nick Cordero, through her Instagram postings. His resilience -- and Kloots' seemingly endless reserve of positivity and faith -- were inspirational to many. Now Kloots and an online communitare mourning the death of the Broadway actor.

On Monday evening, Kloots held an emotional Instagram Live video to provide some sense of closure. Chloe Melas has details here...

Nick Cordero before he spent 95 days in intensive care, fighting the Coronavirus that killed him. That's his wife,
Amanda Kloots, fitness trainer & former Broadway dancer, and their one-year-old, Elvis.


Miscellaneous shorts...

Good listens
  • Eliot Bronson lets a lover go on "Good for You," a tender goodbye taken from Empty Spaces (out July 24). Listen here
  • Los Coast tap Gary Clark Jr. for "A Change Is Gonna Come," a poignant rendition of the Sam Cooke classic. Listen here
  • Cinder Well finds strength in isolation on "Fallen," a melancholy folk preview of No Summer (out July 24). Listen here

Three assorted items from Brian Stelter...

SiriusXM is near a deal to buy Stitcher from E.W. Scripps "for around $300 million." Anne Steele has the scoop, citing "people familiar with the matter." She says Sirius is "working to expand into the rapidly growing podcasting industry," just like Spotify and iHeartMedia. No comment from the parties involved... (WSJ)

On July 27 the House Judiciary Committee will bring four leaders of FAANG together: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Google’s Sundar Pichai. The hearing, announced on Monday, will be titled "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple..."

Two more projects about the lives of veteran actors: "Olympia," an intimate portrait of Olympia Dukakis that lands later this week; and "Kaye Ballard – The Show Goes On!" next week, billed as being devoted to "the greatest star you never knew." For an industry that exalts youth and often dismisses age, that's a pretty welcome hat trick...

Stelter also has this...

🎶 Five "Hamilton" notes 🎶

-- Take these #'s with lots of grains of salt 🧂but two analytics firms say Disney+ enjoyed a big bump in downloads around the time "Hamilton" the musical debuted on the streaming service... (Yahoo)

 -- Per Google Trends, search interest in Hamilton reached "an all-time high, both in the US and Worldwide..."

 -- Michelle Obama sent congrats to the #Hamifilm team on Monday, and added, "We've seen recently that the young and diverse America that you all represent and bring to life on screen is still here, still hopeful, and still blowing us all away." (Twitter)

 -- Brian Lowry writes: In case you were wondering, Marc Malkin points out that "Hamilton" won't be eligible for the Oscars, whenever those already-delayed awards actually wind up happening... (Variety)

 -- On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," he (Stelter) showed how "Hamilton" on Disney+ intersects with the economic struggles caused by the pandemic... (CNN)

The Guide also heard from Farrell Hirsch, CEO of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center on the subject. He writes:

"Did you happen to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' on Disney Plus this weekend?  What had been a theatrical must-see for the past half decade, suddenly became a bonafide national phenomenon.  Trending on Twitter, seen by millions, on the front page of every major newspaper and periodical.  In fact, right here in Orange County it was viewed by more than 80,000 people.

"That's remarkable for a piece of art about a historical figure.  Wouldn't you say?"


Plus, our thanks to "Wired Women" Pasadena, CA for three items...

Daily online musicality...
Neil Sedaka has written over 800 songs in his long career. Each day he performs a mini-concert of 3-4 songs as a gift to us all. Find them on YouTube.

Keb' Mo' says...
Think this country (or the whole world) would be a better place with women in charge? Keb' Mo' thinks so. Listen up here.

Timeless voice speaks to our tumultuous time...
 If you missed hearing Frederick Douglass's famed 4th of July speech, read by his descendants, find it here.


New music


Willie Nelson
First Rose of Spring
Amazon | Spotify


New watchable tuneage

The Allman Betts Band
“Magnolia Road”

The Avett Brothers
"We Americans"

Charley Crockett
“Run Horse Run”

Arlo McKinley
“Die Midwestern”

Bones Owens
"Lightning Strike"

Whiskey Myers
“Bury My Bones"


Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum has delightful online learning experiences

The good folks at the Theatricum tell us, "New Adult Classes Enrolling Now! Shakespeare, Music, Movement, and More!

They continue, "We have put together a BREATHTAKING menu of classes for all age groups. Below you'll find our adult classes, and you can see everything we have to offer at We hope you will join us, online this time, for our Summer Academy of the Classics!"

Click to see all of their Adult Summer Academy of the Classics Classes
Click any class title below for details and to enroll
West African Djembe Drumming w/ Gerald Rivers begins July 21
Classical Hair for Actresses w/ Willow Geer begins July 11
Global Dance Studies w/ Shivani Thakkar begins July 12
Great American Poets w/ Melora Marshall begins July 12
Directing Actors in the Classics w/ Ellen Geer begins July 18
Alexander Technique w/ Misako Tsuchiya begins July 21
Movement with Alexandra Wright begins July 18
Unlocking Shakespeare’s Language w/ Susan Angelo begins July 18
Voice for the Stage w/ Caitlin Stegemoller begins July 20
Elizabethan History w/ Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell begins July 25
Modern Monologues w/ Cindy Kania-Guastaferro begins July 17
Dig Into the Play: Examining Cymbeline w/ Frank Weidner and Special Guests begins July 9
Intro to Ukulele w/ Jackie Nicole Anglin-Simon begins July 27
The Next Step in Breath and Shakespeare w/ Michael Nehring begins July 27
Phonetics w/ Alexandra Wright begins August 1
Multiple Enrollment Discount: Enroll a student in multiple classes, and save $25 off your tuition in every additional class! Contact us for details.

COVID Relief: If your family is facing economic challenges because of the COVID crisis, but your student is passionate about participating in Theatricum programs, contact your program manager, as the Geer has some COVID scholarships they are able to share.

YOUTH/TEEN: Cindy at
ADULT: Frank at

Or call their office at (310) 455-2322


Late addition -- extra -- feature story

From Wildlife Refuge to Air Force Bombing Range?

Nearly ONE MILLION ACRES of the officially preserved "Desert National Wildlife Refuge" is about to be turned into an off-limits militarized zone to become an Air Force bombing range

by The Guide staff

This is unbelievable (like too damn much else of late), but it is literally a "save it or lose it forever" moment.

"In the mountains of Nevada, desert bighorn sheep are just beginning their breeding season. These stocky, powerful animals have adapted to their habitat, able to go weeks without water and use their unique hooves to climb steep and rocky terrain. But they can't outrun the U.S. Air Force — and now their desert refuge could turn into a bombing range," declares Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

His Arizona-based Center is fighting to save them and protect these public lands in the safe status they have enjoyed. To do that,  the Center has issued an urgent public appeal to support this particular part of their lifesaving work through the "Saving Life on Earth Fund."

Bighorn Sheep in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, suddenly endangered by conversion to a bombing range. Photo,

For years the Air Force has wanted to expand its Nevada Test and Training Range — and it just got its wish. How they did it will make you scream inside your mask.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted last month NOT to allow this expansion. But then, public lands opponent Congressman Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican, sneaked-through an amendment to the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives version of the "National Defense Authorization Act." And that Act was approved last week on one of those devil-filled-details-be-damned voice votes -- by the Democratic-majority House Armed Services Committee.

We want to organize an expedition to DC to administer multiple ass kickings.

But what they've done requires us to focus of fixing the damage. Because, otherwise, as it is now, almost ONE MILLION ACRES of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge will be turned into a militarized zone. This must be stopped.

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states. It's home not just to desert bighorn sheep but also to threatened Mojave desert tortoises.

"We're already mobilizing to overturn this decision. We're grateful for our supporters, who so far have submitted more than 20,000 comments since last Friday in defense of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and the wildlife that call it home," says the Center for Biological Diversity, which is accustomed to acting very quickly.

This summer has seen a spate of ugly attacks on wildlife refuges. The Trump administration has finalized rules that allow cruel hunting methods in refuges in Alaska, and is proposing expanding those tactics into Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

A separate Trump proposal aims to open to hunting -- for the first time ever -- federally-protected wildlife refuges from Arizona to Massachusetts.

"Refuges are supposed to be safe havens for wild creatures. We can't turn back the extinction crisis while refuges are turned into trophy-hunter amusement parks and military bombing ranges. When it comes to saving wildlife, we can't let our guard down at any moment. And we won't. Please support the 'Saving Life on Earth Fund' today," says the Center for Biological Diversity.

They do good work. Vital work. The Guide supports and endorses this critical cause and this initiative. You can help. Find out how, by clicking here.


Monday, July 6


THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America, and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter, and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics."

~ Peter Singer, philosopher and professor of bioethics (born July 6, 1946)

(our thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the quote)


Today is the 85th birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama (born in 1935), the spiritual leader of Tibet, in exile.


Begins Monday, July 6th, and runs live for two weeks...


It's a FREE, two-week, "Virtual Summit" with an impressive lineup of speakers, put together by David Brownstein. David is founder of the Total Artist program, a Grammy-nominated music video producer and director, and award winning filmmaker.

"As we all know, the world and the music industry are not the same as they were 3 months ago. Touring is on hold. Streaming is alive. Collaboration and creation are ramping back up and adjusting to new ways and operating online. You may find yourself excited by the changes, but I am guessing, it is putting a major damper in your plans," says Debra Russell, Certified Master Business Coach who works privately with arts and entertainment industry professionals, professional athletes and small business owners. She is a presenter at the summit.


The focus of the summit is on how musicians and artists can be more creative and productive in these times, and how they will make more money to replace lost or changed revenue streams.


Musicians, creatives and the industry at large need information, support and community to learn how to increase their business and how to increase their output, inspiration and creativity.

Especially in this moment of transition in the world and in our industry, we can all benefit from learning new ways of reaching more people, getting our message out, creating more outlets to be seen, heard and having an impact through music.

Featured Summit Speakers:

● Michael Elsner, Master Music Licensing

● Harriet Schock, Solo Artist, Songwriter, Songwriting teacher

● Judy Stakee, Artist Development Specialist, formerly with Warner Chappell

● Kris Bradley, Produce Like a Boss

● Ronan Chris Murphy, Record Producer and Engineer

● Michelle Lewis, Songwriter and co-founder of SONA

● Mike Warner, Author- "Work Hard, Playlist Hard" - Chartmetric

● Xavier Keyz, Artist & Creator of “W.I.R.E” Blueprint

● Bill O'Hanlon, Songwriter, Author and Publication Coach

● Durell Peart, Double N Management & Marketing Group, LLC

● Tiffany VanBoxtel, Vocal Coach

● Roxie & Lucas Francis, Artist Development Specialists - I Heart My Voice

● Rob Seals, The Songwriting School of Los Angeles

● Brad Schreiber, Literary Writer and Consultant

● David Browning, Crowd Music

● Elliot Tousley, De Novo Agency

● Debra Russell, Certified Business Coach and owner of Artist’s EDGE®️

● Mike Meiers, Songwriter, Producer & Teacher

● Joe Wadsworth, The Online Recording Studio

Click the link to sign up for the FREE summit.

It begins July 6th, and will be live for two weeks.

Monday-Friday, you will receive an email in your inbox with that day’s offerings (2 great interviews per day). You will hear from 20 speakers who are music industry leaders with valuable insights to share. They will share their insider tips and will also be offering a FREE gift from their business to you. You will want to sign up to claim yours.

Decide what you need in your music career right now, and show up to get it. Participate in the FaceBook group to put yourself out there, meet new collaborators and find the information you are looking for.

Together, participants and presenters will share perspectives and steps you can be taking to further your music career. They promise, "You won’t want to miss this if you are feeling unsure of your next steps."
Sign up



   Tuesday, July 7


THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from two born on this date

"People's souls are like gardens. You can't turn your back on someone because his garden's full of weeds. You have to give him water and lots of sunshine."

~ Nancy Farmer, author (born July 7, 1941)

(Our thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the quote)


“Nothing good was ever written in a large room.”

~ David McCullough, American author, historian, and narrator (that's his voice narrating the Ken Burns' PBS epic, "The Civil War"); winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, both for nonfiction books about presidents: Truman (1993), and John Adams (2001).
    For many years, he wrote in a small, windowed shed in the backyard of his Martha’s Vineyard home. He said the shed had no running water and no telephone. Family members had to whistle when they approached so as not to startle McCullough. On his desk were a green banker’s lamp and a Royal typewriter, which he had freshly oiled for each new book. (See? All of us creatives are quirky, even the ones who win two Pulitzers.)


Happy birthday today to

Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter, drummer, actor, and a Beatle

David McCullough, American author, historian, and narrator (That's him narrating the Ken Burns' PBS epic, "The Civil War"); winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, both for nonfiction books about presidents: Truman (1993), and John Adams (2001).

Doc Severinsen, American trumpet player and conductor, leader of the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" Band

Vonda Shepard, American singer-songwriter and actress

Claudia Russell, American acoustic musician, folksinger-songwriter.

Kaci Brown, American singer-songwriter

Sevyn Streeter, American singer-songwriter

Alesso, Swedish DJ, record producer and musician

Bill Oddie, English comedian, actor, and singer


In memoriam to departed artists and influencers born on this date

Pinetop Perkins, American singer and pianist (1913-2011)

Charlie Louvin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (1927-2011)

Hank Mobley, American saxophonist and composer (1930-1986)

Otto Frederick Rohwedder, American engineer, inventor of sliced bread (1880-1960)

Anton Karas, Austrian zither player and composer (1906-1985)

Toivo Kuula, Finnish conductor and composer (1884-1918)

Gian Carlo Menotti, Italian-American composer (1911-2007)

Charles Albert Tindley, American minister and composer (1851-1933)

Mary Ford, American singer and guitarist (1924-1977). (Longtime collaborator with Les Paul)

Iva Withers, Canadian-American actress and singer (1917-2014)

Eduardo Falú, Argentinian guitarist and composer (1923-2013)

Joe Zawinul, Austrian jazz keyboardist and composer (1932-2007)

Nikos Xilouris, Greek singer-songwriter (1936-1980)

Elena Obraztsova, Russian soprano and actress (1939-2015)

Jim Rodford, English bass player (1941-2018)

Helô Pinheiro, inspiration for the song "The Girl from Ipanema"

George Cukor, American director and producer (1899-1983)

Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (1907-1988)

Maria Bard, German stage and silent film actress (1900-1944)

Satchel Paige, American baseball player and coach (1906-1982)

And our two featured folks to remember...

Nettie Stevens, American genetics pioneer (1861-1911). She worked to put herself through school, finally earning her PhD at age 39. Quickly, she became the one to discover that x and y chromosomes determined sex. Alas, she had little time, dying at age 50 of breast cancer. (Imagine what she could have done with a career start at age 24 or 25, with Bernie's free college.)

Gustav Mahler, Jewish Bohemian German composer (1860-1911). Born where he was a persecuted minority, he had heart trouble, was inclined to vitality and determination, and was active and athletic. At the age of four, he was playing, by ear, the military marches and folk music he heard, and soon composing pieces of his own on piano and accordion. He made his public piano debut at 10, and was accepted to the Vienna Conservatory at 15. Quickly he was conductor, then artistic director, of the Vienna Court Opera, becoming famous throughout Europe. But he was fanatical in his work habits and drove his musicians crazy, with many always wanting him fired.
     Garrison Keillor picks it up there: "1907 was a difficult year for Mahler: he was forced to resign from the Vienna Opera; his three-year-old daughter, Maria, died; and he was diagnosed with fatal heart disease.
     "Superstitious, he believed that he had had a premonition of these events when composing his 'Tragic Symphony,' No. 6 (1906), which ends with three climactic hammer blows representing 'the three blows of fate which fall on a hero, the last one felling him as a tree is felled.'
     "When he composed his ninth symphony, he refused to call it 'Symphony No. 9' because he believed that, like Beethoven and Bruckner before him, his ninth symphony would be his last. He called it 'A Symphony for Tenor, Baritone, and Orchestra' instead, and he appeared to have fooled fate, because he went on to compose another symphony.
     "This one he called 'Symphony No. 9' (1910); he joked that he was safe, since it was really his 10th symphony, but No. 9 proved to be his last symphony after all, and he died in 1911.
     "Most of his work was misunderstood during his lifetime, and his music was largely ignored — and sometimes banned — for more than 30 years after his death. A new generation of listeners discovered him after World War II, and today he is one of the most recorded and performed composers in classical music."


On this day...

Show biz...
     The first "Live Earth" benefit concert was held in 11 locations around the world today in 2007.
     Elvis Presley makes his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, "That's All Right" today in 1954.
     Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. staged his first "Ziegfeld Follies" on the roof of the New York Theater in New York City, today in 1907.

Sliced bread is sold for the first time today in 1928 (on Otto Frederick Rohwedder, the inventor's, 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.

Protecting Earth...
     The US, UK, Japan, and Russia signed the "North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911" banning open-water seal hunting, 109 years ago today. It was the first international treaty to address wildlife preservation issues.

     Today in 1846, US troops occupied Monterey and Yerba Buena, thus beginning the US conquest of California and its theft from Mexico.
     Today in 1898, US President William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States.
     Today in 1958, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into law.

Speaking of empires, an uncanny number of ancient rulers were born on July 7:
•  Emperor Shirakawa of Japan in 1053
•  Emperor Sutoku of Japan in 1119
•  Elizabeth of Hungary in 1207
•  Archduchess Anna of Austria, in 1528
•  John Sigismund Zápolya, King of Hungary, in 1540
Plus, there was...
•  Andrzej Krzycki, who became Polish archbishop, born today in 1482

Oops... but no do-over...
     Today in 1456, a retrial verdict acquitted Joan of Arc of heresy -- 25 years after she was burned at the stake.

Civil Rights, Civil War...
     Today in 1834, in New York City, 27 years before the Civil War, four nights of rioting against abolitionists began.
     Today in 1863, the US began its first military draft to feed the Uniin Army during the Civil War; but the rich could get out of it -- exemptions cost $300.
     Today in 1865, four conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln are hanged before a crowd who brought picnics. One was Mary Surrat, the first woman ever hanged by the US government. Everyone expected her sentence to be commuted to life, but President Andrew Johnson would not relent.
     Today in 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor received appointment to become the first female member of the Supreme Court of the US. Nominated this day by US President Ronald Reagan, she still needed Senate confirmation.
     Today in 1992, the New York Court of Appeals rules that women have the same right as men to go topless in public.

     A series of 4 explosions on London's transport system kills 56 people, including 4 suicide bombers, and leaves over 700 wounded today in 2005.
     Ex-US Army soldier Micah Xavier Johnson shoots 14 policemen during an anti-police protest in downtown Dallas, Texas, killing five of them; he is subsequently killed by a robot-delivered bomb, today in 2016.

     In a huge cultural break in the Cold War, Samantha Smith, a US schoolgirl, flies to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Secretary General Yuri Andropov, today in 1983.

By a dam site...
     90 years ago today, in 1930, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser began construction of Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam). The consortium of builders, known as Six Companies, would finish the job ahead of schedule and under budget. (Somebody needs to tell today's corporacratic kleptocrats about that.)

The way of the future...
     Howard Hughes nearly dies when his XF-11 reconnaissance aircraft prototype crashes today in 1946 in a Beverly Hills neighborhood.

Still a speed secret...
     The ocean liner SS United States passed Bishop Rock on her maiden voyage, breaking the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world, today in 1952. The record still stands and the decaying ship still exists because, even today, nobody is allowed to see the bottom of the hull and the propellers that made her so fast.

     Venus occults the star Regulus today in 1959. The rare event is used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.
     17 years ago today in 2003, NASA's "Opportunity" rover, MER-B or Mars Exploration Rover–B, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket.


Mars workshop today, from NASA's 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Teaching Space With NASA - Exploring Mars Science With the Perseverance Rover

Tuesday, July 7:
1-2 pm PDT (4-5 pm EDT)
In this one-hour live workshop, we’ll get an in-depth look at how Perseverance will explore the science of Mars, building on the understanding of the Red Planet and preparing for future human missions.

Hear from JPL Systems Engineer Christina Hernandez about her work on the rover's PIXL science instrument

Get an overview of the rover's science goals and the science instruments it will use to search for signs of habitability and ancient life, collect samples and prepare for future astronauts. 

With a focus on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science practices, learn how lessons and activities from JPL’s Education Office can get you -- and if you are a teacher, your students -- excited about Mars and Earth science, whether they are learning in a traditional classroom, summer camp or online.

  • Read NASA's latest Teachable Moment about the Perseverance Mars rover and how to watch the launch
The Guide notes:  17 years ago today in 2003, NASA's "Opportunity" rover, MER-B or Mars Exploration Rover–B, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket.


Tuesday, July 7:
6-7 pm Pacific -- 
The Salastina Society is presenting a virtual happy hour featuring two scientists who are also musicians

•  Dr. Indre Viskontas is a neuroscientist and operatic soprano.

 •  Dr. Lucy Jones, AKA "the Earthquake Lady," also plays the viol and has worked on many projects at the intersection of music and science.

•  Register for the happy hour here.


Tuesday, July 7:
6-6:30 pm Pacific -- 
Malone At Home 🔹 The Tuesday Show on

Bob says, "I ask my faithful StageIt viewers: what do you want to hear on this Tuesday's show? By Monday I should be sufficiently recovered to put it together. Hope you all had a fab 4th!🍔"


   Wednesday, July 8


THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"The court is like a palace built of marble; I mean that it is made up of very hard and very polished people."

~ Jean de la Fontaine, poet and fabulist (born July 8, 1621, died 1695)


Wed, Jul 8:
7 pm PDT, 10 pm EDT
ANDY & RENEE play their Livestream #29.
•  Watch  at
•  Make requests from their list of 470 songs. They'll get to as many requests as possible. See the list HERE, and send your requests to before the show.


Wed, Jul 8:
7:30 pm PDT, 10:30 pm EDT
Fiddlers Crossing Online Open Mic
 *  Peter Cutler, longtime sound engineer and radio producer of the legendary "FolkScene," invites you to this weekly event, a scheduled Zoom meeting from Tehachapi, California.
*  Sign-in early if you want to perform.
*  Join Zoom Meeting for the show, at:
*  Meeting ID: 879 2961 3453 
*   Password: 451709
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,87929613453#,,,,0#,,451709# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,87929613453#,,,,0#,,451709# US (Houston)
*  Dial by your location
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
*  Find your local number:


   Thursday, July 9


THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"I wanted to live my life so that people would know unmistakably that I am alive, so that when I finally die people will know the difference for sure between my living and my death."

~ June Jordan, Jamaican-American essayist, writer, teacher, and activist (born July 9, 1936, died 2002)

(our thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the quote)

Happy birthday to

Jesse McReynolds, American singer and mandolin player, who turns 91

Ed Ames, American singer and actor, who turns 93

David Zinman, American violinist and conductor, who turns 84

Jack White, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer

Tom Hanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, COVID survivor

John Tesh, American pianist, composer, and radio and television host

Jim Kerr, Scottish singer-songwriter and keyboard player

Marc Almond, English singer-songwriter

Mac MacLeod, English musician

Courtney Love, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress

Isaac Brock, American singer-songwriter and guitarist

Frank Bello, American bass player

Pamela Adlon, American actress and voice artist

Ara Babajian, American drummer and songwriter

Kiely Williams, American singer-songwriter and dancer

Rebecca Sugar, American animator, composer, and screenwriter

Mitchel Musso, American actor and singer

Claire Corlett, American voice actress

Jacob Hoggard, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist

Nicklas Barker, Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist

Nikola Šarčević, Swedish singer-songwriter and bass player

Gary Chaw, Malaysian Chinese singer-songwriter

Haruomi Hosono, Japanese singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer

Yūko Asano, Japanese actress and singer

In memoriam to departed artists and influencers born on this date

Buddy Bregman, American composer and conductor (1930-2017)

Zheng Cao, Chinese-American soprano and actress (1966-2013)

Mercedes Sosa, Argentinian singer and activist (1935-2009)

Mitch Mitchell, English drummer (1947-2008)

Lee Hazlewood, American singer-songwriter and producer (1929-2007)

David Diamond, American composer and educator (1915-2005)

June Jordan, Jamaican-American essayist, writer, teacher, and activist (1936-2002)

Eddie Dean, American singer-songwriter (1907-1999)

Vince Edwards, American actor, singer, and director (1928-1996)

Root Boy Slim, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (1945-1993)

Dean Goffin, New Zealand composer (1916-1984)

Pierre Cochereau, French organist and composer (1924-1984)

Bon Scott, Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter (1946-1980)

Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer and conductor (1879-1936)

Haynes Johnson, American journalist and author (1931-2013)

Samuel Eliot Morison, American admiral and historian (1887-1976)

Elias Howe, American inventor, invented the sewing machine (1819-1867)

On this day

Shocking power of nature...
     A wave 1,722 ft (525 m) high was produced as a megatsunami on this day in 1958. But nobody who saw it lived. A 7.8 Mw strike-slip earthquake in Alaska caused a landslide down into a bay, where the runup from the wave reached that shocking height on the rim of Lituya Bay; five people were killed.
     Two years earlier today in 1956, the 7.7 Mw Amorgos earthquake shakes the Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shaking and the destructive tsunami that followed left 53 people dead. A damaging M7.2 aftershock occurred minutes after the mainshock.

Pivotal events, because they rippled...
     The Allied invasion of Sicily today in 1943 soon causes the downfall of Mussolini and forces Hitler to break off the WW II Battle of Kursk. The latter gave the Soviet Red Army the victory in the biggest tank battle of all time
     One year later, today in 1944, American forces captured the island of Saipan, bringing the Japanese home islands within range of B-29 raids, and causing the downfall of the Tojo government.
     Eleven years after THAT, the "Russell–Einstein Manifesto" calls for a reduction of the risk of nuclear warfare and gives birth the anti-nuclear movement today in 1955 as the Cold War began an orgy of weaponry that continued for decades; to wit, today in 1962, the "Starfish Prime" test measured the effects of a nuclear blast at orbital altitudes.
     In the modern record for staying pissed, the Herzegovina Uprising against Ottoman rule began today in 1875, and in its first phase would last until 1878. But it had far-reaching implications throughout the Balkans into the distant future, including the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which started World War I in 1914, and manifested into genocidal wars in the 1990s.

Power to the people...
     Today in 1776, George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud to members of the Continental Army in Manhattan, while thousands of British troops on Staten Island prepared for the Battle of Long Island. Washington would subsequently execute a miraculous silent evacuation of the entire army by boat, at night, leaving the Redcoats in possession of New York City, but saving his army to fight another day.

American presidents...
     Today in  1850, U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies after eating raw fruit and iced milk; he is succeeded in office by Vice President Millard Fillmore, who will universally be known as the worst president ever -- until the excruciations of our times.

Populism, when it was real...
     William Jennings Bryan delivers his "Cross of Gold" speech today in 1896,  advocating bimetallism with silver at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. At the time, the rich held all the gold, and the common people could afford silver, but it was legally forbidden from being used as money.

Mother Russia...
     Today in 1762, Catherine the Great became Empress of Russia following the coup against her husband, Peter III.
     28 years later, today in 1790, the Swedish Navy captured one third of the Russian Baltic fleet.

Civil rights...
     Today in 1793, "The Act Against Slavery in Upper Canada" banned the importation of slaves; it also will free those born into slavery after the Act's passage when they reach 25 years of age. Which meant you were free long after you couldn't go to school to learn to read and write.
     Today in 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.
     The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified today in 1868, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law. It is still invoked today in individual rights, equal-justice-under-law, and discrimination / denial of rights cases.
      The New Zealand Parliament passed the "Homosexual Law Reform Act" today in 1986, legalizing homosexuality in New Zealand.
     The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today in 2002, replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The organization's first chairman was Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa. The continent still struggles with discrimination of white economic interests against blacks and black governments that deny rights to white citizens.

Lewis and Clark didn't close the door...
     Today in 1811, explorer David Thompson posted a sign near what is now Sacajawea State Park in Washington state, claiming the Columbia District for the United Kingdom.

Worst train wreck...
     In Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collides with an outbound express, killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history, today in 1918.

Bad day to fly, too...
     Today in 1986, Pan Am Flight 759 crashes in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 145 people on board and eight others on the ground.
     Today in 2006, S7 Airlines Flight 778, an Airbus A310 passenger jet, kills 125 people when it veers off the runway while landing in wet conditions at Irkutsk Airport in Siberia.

     Today in 1821, 470 people, all prominent Cypriots, including Archbishop Kyprianos, are executed in response to Cypriot aid to the Greek War of Independence.
     Today in 1900, the Governor of Shanxi province in North China ordered the execution of 45 foreign Christian missionaries and local church members, including children.
     The Navaly church bombing is carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force killing 125 Tamil civilian refugees today in 1995.

     Tennis, anyone? -- today marks 143 years since the inaugural Wimbledon Championships began in 1877.
     Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the 'minute barrier' today in 1922. In the 1930s, he would enjoy a new career as "Tarzan" in a series of movies.

Lost film history...
     The silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation are destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.

     The first successful open-heart surgery in the United States was performed today in 1893 -- without anesthesia -- by Daniel Hale Williams, American heart surgeon.


Thursday's events...


"WE ENDURE" is a webinar series on personal and professional resilience. Presented by the International Bluegrass Music Association, WE ENDURE provides discussion and resources on mental health, diversity and inclusion, and alternative revenue models.

Each webinar will explore techniques to help you stay connected, cope with a new normal, and help those around you do the same. All content will be streamed live on the IBMA Facebook page and available later for on-demand viewing through Facebook and YouTube.

Tune in Thursday, July 9th at 2 pm Central, 11 am Pacific, as we kick off the series with "Mental Wellness, Part One: Caring For Yourself & Others."

In this discussion, bluegrass community members and mental health professionals will join together to share their stories and offer tangible ways to help you and your loved ones during these trying times.

Moderated by Danielle Bowker, MusiCares
Anni Beach, Jam Pak
Zach Borer, Backline
David Moultrup, 
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Tristan Scroggins, Scroggins & Rose

Click below to view #WeEndure on Facebook!


Get into Spaciness

07-07-2020 08:30 AM CEST

NO2 concentrations over France

On July 9th at 9:30 BST / 10.30 CEST, you can join the second online "Global Space Economic Workshop" (GSEW) to discuss the value of Earth observation data during and after the COVID-19 crisis. You'll get an understanding of how space data can help with monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and how this will assist the recovery in the post-COVID world.

Join the discussion on ESA web TV or ESA Space Economy.


     Further on down the road...

     And more  NEWS FEATURES you'll want to see!


July 12 -- Accelerating Change: Music to Life House Concerts

Featuring Texas Accelerator Artists & Friends

featuring Jaimee Harris & Cheryl Cawood
Join us for an entertaining and inspirational series of Zoom-cast concerts, professionally produced by OneFoot Productions and featuring Music to Life's Accelerator artists and friends. Each hour-long show is curated to include live music sets, engaging talk-backs and captivating videos.


 Red Hen Press Poetry Hour 

 returns online  

 July 16 


The Broad Stage and esteemed local publisher Red Hen Press return with an enhanced and compelling series, moderated by award-winning actor/writer Sandra Tsing Loh. Watch as performing artists and poets come together to explore social justice themes central to works featured in The Broad Stage's 2020/21 Season. Join us monthly July through December via our online programs portal The Broad Stage at Home.

Finding Truths and Creating Art in Exile

Iranian-American poet/writer/playwright Sholeh Wolpé and Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour are joined by other notable guests (t.b.a.) for readings and conversations on bridging the gap between perceptions and reality of cultural norms. The artists will dig deep into the lives they live and the lives that people in the West imagine for them.


Women's Audio Mission to launch first-ever WAMCON Virtual Recording Arts Conference, July 24-25

Speakers and panelists include award-winning producers and engineers for artists including Beyoncé, Madonna, Janelle Monáe, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Van Halen & more

(San Francisco, CA – July 1, 2020) – Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women and gender non-confirming (GNC) individuals in music production and the recording arts, will present WAMCon Virtual, the organization’s first online immersive recording arts conference from July 24-25, 2020.

This year, in response to the current health pandemic, WAM has moved its conference to an online setting for the first time. WAMCon Virtual will deliver WAM’s leading panels, workshops and live demos in a safe environment and accessible format that will kick off on Friday, July 24 with the legendary women recording engineers that shaped the sound of one of the most iconic artists of our time, Prince. “Engineering Prince,” features Lisa Chamblee (Prince, Stevie Wonder), Sylvia Massy (Prince, Tool, Johnny Cash), Peggy McCreary (Prince, Booker T. Jones, Van Halen) and Susan Rogers (Prince, David Byrne). Friday’s keynote will be followed by a full day of workshops with special guests including mix engineer Marcella Araica (M.I.A., Madonna)  and front-of-house engineer Amanda Davis who tours with Janelle Monáe, Chloe x Halle and Tegan and Sara.

“Each year we look forward to connecting to women and GNC individuals across the country through our WAMCon conferences,” said WAM Executive Director Terri Winston. “Given the challenges of the current environment, we worked hard to ensure we were able to deliver the same stellar, immersive training experiences with this year’s online event. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate and learn from the hands-down best music industry professionals in the business to inspire the next generation of music producers and audio professionals.” 

WAM trains more than 2,000 women, girls and GNC individuals a year in music production and the recording arts to address the critical lack of women in the audio industry (less than 5%). WAM’s immersive experiences and transformative online programs have spread internationally, providing women with access to top leaders in the recording industry and an award-winning curriculum. Since 2017, WAM has hosted six sold-out WAMCon conferences in Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and Boston, reaching 800+ emerging women producers, engineers and musicians.

WAMCon Virtual is sponsored by Dolby, Sweetwater, The Recording Academy, sE Electronics, Stage Ten and Shure.

For more information about WAMCon Virtual, including panelists and workshops, head to: WAMCon Virtual. More information on WAMCon Virtual tickets available here.

About Women's Audio Mission: Women's Audio Mission is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women/Gender Non-Comforming (GNC) individuals in music production and the recording arts. In a field where women/GNC individuals are critically underrepresented (less than 5%), WAM seeks to "change the face of sound" by providing hands-on training, experience, career counseling and job placement in media technology for music, radio, film, television and the internet. WAM believes that women/GNC's mastery of music technology and inclusion in the production process will expand the vision and voice of media and popular culture. For more information,  visit


J.D. Shelburne exclusively premieres with CMT 
“Church Pew Bar Stool” -- just out July 1st

J.D. Shelburne: Church Pew Bar Stool
Video Premiered on and CMT Music Channel 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Country music singer/songwriter J.D. Shelburne delivers every ounce of country sound needed to light up the airwaves with the release of his latest single “Church Pew Bar Stool.” Coming in hot like a southern summer, Shelburne's single hits close to home while starring as a staple in every country playlist. The “Church Pew Bar Stool” music video exclusively premiered on CMT Music and on July 1st to a worldwide audience. The single is now available on all streaming platforms for fans to enjoy.

“I am so thrilled and honored to get a World Premiere on CMT - the most well-recognized video platform in country music,” says Shelburne. “I grew up watching CMT as a kid and all through college, dreaming of one day having my video featured. CMT was one of my top goals as an artist to reach when I moved to town back in 2008. Thank you to the staff at CMT for believing in my music. I am forever grateful for their support.”

To watch the “Church Pew Bar Stool” music video on CMT click HERE.

The clever lyrics of “Church Pew Bar Stool” allow listeners to reminisce conversations with familiar faces on late nights in a whiskey soaked, southern bar lit by flickering beer signs. While drawing a line of symmetry between a church sermon and a honky tonk homily, Shelburne pulls fans into a timeless story-line just in time for careless summer nights where they may find themselves sitting on their own ‘church pew bar stool.’ In addition to this new release, Shelburne was named by Texas Roadhouse as May’s ‘Artist of the Month’ nationwide. His latest single, “Straight From Kentucky” was featured in all locations seeing over 20,000 guests each month. With plans to release his next album, ‘Straight From Kentucky’ this fall, country music fans will not want to miss what this elite entertainer has in store for the coming months!

About J.D. Shelburne

Nashville-based country music artist J.D. Shelburne was raised on a tobacco farm in Taylorsville, Kentucky, just outside of Louisville. When J.D. was 19, he found a guitar after the death of his grandmother. He quickly learned how to play it, and began writing and singing songs on his own. By his sophomore year of college, he had found a few gigs at some local bars in Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky area venues, developing a large base of fans along the way. Fast forward to today, J.D.’s latest album Two Lane Town, is building upon his blossoming career as a modern country singer, songwriter and performer. His debut single and video for “One Less Girl” world premiered on CMT in 2018, and then went on to become a Top 30 Music Row charted song at country radio. CMT again world premiered his second song and video for “She Keeps Me Up Nights” in April of 2019, which peaked at #3 of their 12 Pack countdown series.

At the close of 2019, Shelburne joined international superstars Lewis Capaldi and Billie Eilish on BandsInTown’s year-end fan favorites list — for playing more shows in 2019 than any other artist on their social networking platform. A global accomplishment for a country boy from rural Kentucky.

To keep up with new music and upcoming show announcements, follow J.D’s socials linked at his website,


We hesitated with this one...

The eagle isn't wearing a mask, and there has been no shortage of intransigently maskless Maskholes and Branch Covidians invoking "Constitutional rights" to recklessly infect others.

But we see this as an opportunity to remind them of something:

Their rights to drive on public highways require them to wear a seat belt and drive a safe distance from others on the road. So their right to wander around in public spaces during a deadly pandemic can certainly require they wear a mask and keep a safe distance. 

Or they might recall another age-old American principle: your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

God bless America.


Closing thought... wearing lots of hats, above your mask...

Remember Marianne Williamson, who was running for President?

Artists readily identify with playing whatever role is needed to pay the bills between gigs, concert tours, or if we're lucky, residencies, or getting parts in something recurring. Of course no one expected such a long stint with Uber or Door Dash or whatever is putting scarey amounts of mileage on the car.

For some, new skill sets have been developed during quasi-quarantine. Like learning to play a new instrument, or mastering new cyber skills that let you produce Brady box performances on Zoom -- or even just participate in such things. Some have mastered podcasts and built followings in a time when overall numbers of podland viewers has declined.

We thought you'd enjoy seeing what someone else is doing. Someone who is a public figure and performer of another kind.

In addition to returning to her role as writer, author, lecturer, and spiritual guru / encourager of those who need it, Marianne Williamson has retained a role in the political arena where she impressed so many. In addition to all the other things she does, Marianne has undertaken a series of interviews with political office holders and seekers -- asking questions and pursuing topics that are not the standard line of partisan contentiousness. Here's the info & link for the latest one:
Marianne says, "Our Candidate Spotlight this week is on Betsy Sweet, running in the Democratic Senatorial primary in Maine on July 14th. Click here to learn more and to watch my interview with Betsy."


Oh, by the way...

Our challenge still stands to any big media organization with a deep video or photo archive that goes back through 2009.

It's simple:

(1)  Go to your archive and get images from your reporting on Americans' reactions when the overseas SARS and EBOLA outbreaks were reported and quickly contained, all during the previous administration.

(2)  Specifically, get images of all those panic-fomenting protesters holding signs reading "Obama will kill us all!"

(3)  Use your biometric software on those images and on your current images of pro-Trump zealots loudly claiming that their constitutional rights are being violated by masks and social distancing in the middle of a pandemic. It'll be easy to do, since the latter are the only ones not wearing masks.

(4)  Then prove our hypothesis is wrong, when we say those people are the same ones. The ones who were terrified of dying from a disease until a real one was called "A hoax" by their ochre ogre.


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♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS – and views of interest to artists everywhere – more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers -- and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.

We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)

Til we catch ya again on the flip side 
in this new world of the improbable unknown...


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