Jesse Winchester RIP

Sad to hear of the passing of singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester. RIP.

We had the pleasure of attending one of his wonderful performances at Hugh’s Room here in Toronto a few years back. He sure had a way with a song.

Peter Appleyard RIP

I heard today that Peter Appleyard died, at 84. Do you know his work? He was a great vibraphone player who lived and played in the Toronto area for many years.

Here’s another video I’ve shared before in which Mr. Appleyard has an opportunity to rock out a little with the late Jane Vasey, the fantastic piano player in Downchild back in the day. I could play this video 100 times in a row. Just feel the joy.

And finally, here he is playing with Benny Goodman back in 73.

Always Be Closing

Our cat Rossi died today. He had a stroke or maybe strokes about a year ago and since he’s been living with seizures that have become increasingly severe with the passing of days. He was a good cat, grumpy, independent and yet in a strange way the most affectionate of the bunch – on his own terms. I admire that.

His first name, the name we called him by when we first met him, was Always be Closing, from GlenGarry Glen Ross. We called him that because when he showed up on our porch at Blackthorn, he did everything he could to close the deal.

We realized soon enough that Always be Closing was a stupid name for a cat, so we changed it to Rossi.

Always be Closing
Always be Closing

RIP bud.

In Your Own Sweet Way

Jazz-man Dave Brubeck has passed at 91. RIP

Here’s In Your Own Sweet Way

Let’s take five and listen to his big one…this melody was all over the radio tonight.

George Gregory RIP

Sheila (known on this blog as Tuffy P) lost her dad this morning. He had been ailing from kidney disease for some time and passed away at the hospital. George and I shared a birthday – he would have been 87 next month. I’m going to miss him greatly and I know the same is true for the whole family.

Some people are storytellers – they can’t help themselves, and George Gregory had the storytelling gene. Like all the best storytellers, he never shied away from telling the same ones several times. Like a fine cheese they ripen with age. He told all manner of stories, but all of them said much about his character. He was a kind and generous man, but he could be tough too, especially when it came to defending something he believed in. George believed in hard work and perseverance. He was the kind of guy who believed in loyalty – at work he thought it best to stay with a company for the long run (and he did that) and he believed it was possible to start at the bottom and work your way to the top (he did that too).

George was also known to break into song at a moment’s notice. He liked Irish tunes in particular. Here’s one of his favourites…

Details of visitation and funeral are available at the Marshall’s Funeral Home site.

Sam Sniderman RIP

I just read that Sam Sniderman, well known to all Torontonians of my generation as Sam the Record Man, has died at 92. He was a household name in this city for many years. I bought many records at his store over the years. I used to love searching through his huge stock for hidden gems.