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Music World Bid Adieu to “Rock and Roll” Legend Jerry Lee Lewis

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Music World Bid Adieu to "Rock and Roll" Legend Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis’ family, friends, and admirers gathered Saturday in his north Louisiana hometown to say farewell to the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer.

Lewis, best known for singles including “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” died on October 28 at his home south of Memphis, Tennessee. He was 87.

Lewis’ cousin, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, told the crowd of more than 100 people inside Young’s Funeral Home in Ferriday, where Lewis was born, that when Lewis died, he “lost the brother I never had.”

Swaggart recalled, “We learned to play the piano together.” “I had to force myself to accept that he was no longer present.”

Swaggart and Lewis released “The Boys From Ferriday,” a gospel CD, earlier this year, and Swaggart expressed concern that Lewis might be unable to complete the recording session.

Swaggart described him as “extremely feeble.” “I recall saying to the Lord, ‘Lord, I’m not sure if he can do it or not.'” But when Jerry Lee sat at the piano, you know he was limited to what he could play due to the stroke, but when the engineer said the red light was on and he opened his mouth, he exclaimed.

The session resulted in the CD and two of its tracks, “In the Garden” and “The Old Rugged Cross,” performed throughout the ceremony. As the tapes aired, audience members were spotted wiping away tears and singing along with Lewis.

Swaggart described him as “one of the finest entertainers ever lived.”

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Jerry Lee Lewis, dubbed “The Killer,” was the last surviving musician of a generation of musicians who rewrote music history, including Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard.

Lewis’s body was in the funeral home’s main room, inside a closed crimson casket with a spray of red roses. Several funeral wreaths, including one in the shape of a musical note, adorned the walls behind and surrounding the casket, as did images of the singer, one of which depicted him stooping over and singing into a microphone while dressed in a red suit.

Donnie Swaggart, Lewis’ son, recounted a meeting between Lewis and members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a country rock band, in Memphis that showcased Lewis’ comedic side.

Jerry Lee Lewis was laid to rest by his family and fans.

Family, friends, and fans are gearing up to bid farewell to rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis at memorial services in his hometown of North Louisiana (November 5)

He stated that his father and Lewis were headed toward the exit of an arena when the band members entered.

“As they got closer to Lewis, one of them questioned, ‘Is that who I believe it is?’ ‘Does that look like Jerry Lee Lewis?’ One of the men said, ‘Are you Jerry Lee Lewis?’ as Jerry Lee passed.

jerry lee lewis former teen bride breaks silence rock n roll icons death

Jerry Lee came to a halt, looked each of them in the eyes, and said, ‘Boys, Killer’s my name, and music’s my thing.’ Then he walked away.”

According to Donnie Swaggart, the lads stood there with their jaws dropped in awe. “What a sense of humour he had,” he exclaimed as the audience laughed.

After news of his marriage to his cousin, 13-year-old — possibly even 12-year-old — Myra Gale Brown, while still married to his former wife, blew up in the late 1950s, the piano pianist and rock rebel was blacklisted from radio, and his earnings sank to nearly nothing.

Lewis struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, legal issues, and physical disease during the next several decades.

“Even in his darkest hours, he had a heart for God,” Jimmy Swaggart stated. “I will miss him greatly.”

Lewis’s story inspires Xavier Ellis, 28, a Ferriday native now teaching in Opelousas, Louisiana.

“He was a poor lad from Ferriday who rose to great heights.” His life tale has left an impression on me. “I’m sorry to see him go, but his legacy will go on,” Ellis added.

Lewis rebuilt himself as a country musician in the 60s, and the music industry eventually forgave him.

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From 1967 to 1970, he had a string of top-ten country successes.

Jerry Lee Lewis was inaugurated into the Rock “N” Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and others, and he was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame this year.

Younger admirers were introduced to his life and music through the movie “Great Balls of Fire” and the documentary “Trouble in Mind.”

“Million Dollar Quartet,” a 2010 Broadway musical, was inspired by a recording session including Lewis, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.

Lewis earned a Grammy for best-spoken word recording in 1987 as part of an interview CD and a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2005.

“Whole Lotta Shakin'” was picked for the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry the following year, with the board praising the “propulsive boogie piano that was wonderfully balanced by the thrust of J.M. Van Eaton’s aggressive drumming.

” Listeners to the recording, like Jerry Lee Lewis, struggled to stay seated during the performance.”

Tom Tomschin and Sandra Tomschin of Cicero, Illinois, flew to Ferriday to honour Lewis for his contributions to the music industry.

“We were compelled to pay our respects to the pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll who played a significant role in the birth and shaping of the music,” Tomschin explained. “I’ve been a fan all my life.”

Tomschin, 45, a government administrator, said “Crazy Arms” and “You Win Again” are two of Lewis’ favourite songs.

Lewis, according to Tomschin, “never lived a life behind a curtain.” “In his ups and downs, good and terrible, Lewis did what he said he would do.” Jerry Lee Lewis laid everything on the table. Nobody will ever be able to replace Jerry Lee Lewis.”

Sandra Tomschin, 44, a library director, said Lewis’ music influenced her growing up and has left an unforgettable mark on her life.

“We enjoy it,” she stated of his music. “We attended several of his concerts, and even though Jerry Lee is no longer with us, he will live on in our hearts.”

Death of Jerry Lee Lewis, Reported by TMZ

 

 

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Vice President Harris’ Trip Aims To Deepen US Ties In Africa

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will strive to strengthen and reinterpret U.S. partnerships in Africa during a weeklong trip that marks the Biden administration’s latest and most visible outreach as it moves to offset China’s growing influence.

Harris intends to travel to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia, focusing on economic development, climate change, food security, and a growing young population. She is set to arrive in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Sunday. Doug Emhoff, her husband, is accompanying her.

“For far too long, the United States’ foreign policy establishment has treated Africa as an after-school project rather than part of the core curriculum,” said Michelle Gavin, an Africa expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former United States ambassador to Botswana. “I see a concerted effort now to change that mindset.” However, it takes time.”

Harris will be widely followed across Africa as the first person of color and the first woman to serve as America’s vice president. Harris was reared in California even though her mother was born in India and her father was born in Jamaica.

“Everyone is excited about Kamala Harris,” said Idayat Hassan, director of Abuja, Nigeria’s Centre for Democracy and Development. “You can be whatever you want — that’s what she represents to many of us.”

A lecture in Accra and a visit to Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were once put onto ships bound for America, will highlight Harris’ trip. Harris also intends to meet with authorities in each country she visits and to lay a wreath in memory of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital.

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Harris will be widely followed across Africa as the first person of color and the first woman to serve as America’s vice president.

Her schedule also includes a few non-traditional sites designed to emphasize the exciting future of a continent with a median age of only 19.

Harris intends to visit a recording studio in Accra, meet with female entrepreneurs, and visit a tech accelerator in Dar es Salaam. Harris is scheduled to meet with corporate and charity leaders in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, to discuss boosting access to digital and financial systems.

Emhoff’s events have a similar focus. During his visit to Ghana, he intends to hold a town hall meeting with performers from a local television show, attend a girls’ basketball clinic, and tour a women-run chocolate company.

According to administration sources, the goal is to promote Africa as a site for investment rather than just aid packages, a subject that Harris underlined in December during a U.S.-Africa meeting in Washington.

“Because of your energy, ambition, and ability to turn seemingly intractable problems into opportunities,” she remarked, “I am an optimist about what lies ahead for Africa and, by extension, for the world.” “Simply put, your ability to see what could be, unburdened by what has been.”

Harris will spend three nights in Ghana, two nights in Tanzania, and one in Zambia before returning to Washington on April 2.

“It’s trip to support reformers,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Africa Security Initiative. “All three countries have faced significant challenges and changed dramatically.”

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Tanzania’s first female president has loosened restrictions on opposition parties and rallies.

Ghana is facing a debt crisis and excessive inflation, dragging down an economy that was once among the best in the region. It is particularly concerned about instability caused by Islamist extremists and Russian mercenaries operating in countries north of Ghana.

Tanzania’s first female president has loosened restrictions on opposition parties and rallies. Zambia has implemented its reforms, such as decriminalizing presidential slander. However, democratic development in both areas is thought to be fragile.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and First Lady Jill Biden have traveled to Africa. President Joe Biden is set to leave office later this year.

Harris will visit Zambia for the first time since childhood when her maternal grandpa worked there. He was a civil servant from India who assisted with refugee relocation after Zambia gained independence from Britain.

“Grandpa was one of my favorite people in the world and one of the earliest and most lasting influences in my life,” Harris writes in her book.

The December U.S.-Africa meeting was the first since President Obama hosted one in 2014. Although Washington’s approach to Africa has had some historic successes, such as President George W. Bush’s HIV/AIDS effort, which has saved millions of lives, there have also been times of neglect.

“There’s a lot of skepticism and doubt about American staying power,” said Daniel Russel, a former State Department official who now works at the Asia Society Policy Institute. “They’re used to American promises that fizzle out and don’t amount to much.”

In stark contrast, China has led far-reaching infrastructure projects and increased telecom activities throughout the region.

According to John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, African leaders are “beginning to realize that China is not their friend.”

“China’s interests in the region are purely selfish, in contrast to the U.S.,” he remarked. “We are truly committed to assisting our African friends in dealing with many challenges.”

Senior administration officials have been careful not to characterize Harris’ visit as another step in a geopolitical contest, which might alienate African leaders weary of choosing sides between global heavyweights.

They are now waiting to see what Harris and the U.S. have to give over the next week.

“Because of her profile, she has a very good reputation in Africa,” said Rama Yade, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. “However, beyond that, public opinion in the three countries will develop expectations very quickly.”

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SOURCE – (AP)

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UN Head Says Survival Depends On How People Manage Water In 2023

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WATER The United Nations Humanity’s survival depends on how people manage water, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday at the close of a three-day conference on global water resources, during which developing countries made urgent requests for assistance with cleaner drinking water and better sanitation.

In his final remarks, Guterres stated, “All of humanity’s hopes for the future depend, in some way, on charting a new course to sustainably manage and conserve water.”

He stated that water “needs to be at the center of the global political agenda” and that this implies more aggressive action against climate change.

According to the United Nations World Water Development Report, released on the eve of the conference, 26% of the world’s population—2 billion people — lacks access to safe drinking water, while 46% — 3.6 billion people — lack access to basic sanitation. According to UN studies, nearly half the world’s population will face acute water stress by 2030.

Many rhetorical pledges to enhance water supply were made at the conference, but there needed to be more precise commitments to translate aspirations into better daily lives for regular people.

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Throughout the meeting, water-stressed states, particularly those in the developing world

“We have such lovely, ambitious initiatives,” said Lina Taing, senior researcher at the global think tank United Nations University.

“We know that we are completely off track,” she stated, regarding providing them with clean water and sanitation. Taing stated that the world’s actions must be increased “fourfold.”

Throughout the meeting, water-stressed states, particularly those in the developing world, told U.N. members of their need for international aid to provide their people with drinking water and sanitation facilities.

“Waging a war on two fronts at the same time to address water issues and climate change is no easy task, especially for a small island nation like Kiribati, which has very limited resources at its disposal,” said Teburoro Tito, the United Nations representative for the Pacific island nation of fewer than 200,000 people. He claimed that Kiribati was particularly unprepared to deal with natural calamities.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2 Dead In Missouri Flash Flood; Tornado Threat In The South

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DECATUR, Texas — Two persons were killed early Friday in Missouri after their automobile was carried away by torrential rains as part of a severe weather storm raging over the Midwest and South.

The crash occurred shortly after midnight in a sparsely inhabited area of southwest Missouri. According to authorities, six young adults were in the vehicle washed away while attempting to cross a bridge over a flooded creek in Grovespring.

Four of the six survived the water. Devon Holt, 20, of Grovespring, was discovered about 3:30 a.m., and Alexander Roman-Ranelli, 19, of Springfield, was discovered about six hours later, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Thomas Young.

According to Young, the motorist told investigators that severe rains made it difficult to detect that water from a creek had submerged the bridge.

Meanwhile, the hunt for a lady who went missing after flash flooding from a tiny river drove her car off the road in another southwestern Missouri county. According to the Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District, the victim’s dog was recovered safely, but there was no sign of the woman. Two additional people in the car were saved.

Southern Missouri received about 3 inches of rain Thursday night and into Friday morning, and severe weather was also affecting neighboring areas. A possible tornado touched down in north Texas early Friday as a dynamic storm system threatened to produce tornadoes in numerous Southern states.

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Flash flooding from a tiny river drove her car off the road in another southwestern Missouri county.

According to Matt Elliott, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Severe weather is forecast throughout many states.

“We’re talking about several tornadoes, some of which could be strong and intense,” Elliott warned.

The Storm Prediction Center warned that tornadoes would be most likely across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee on Friday afternoon and evening. Storms with destructive winds and hail were predicted to move from eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma into southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Heavy rain Thursday night and Friday morning prompted flash flooding in areas of Missouri, where a vehicle became stranded near the town of Fordham, according to authorities. Rescue teams were called to a low-water crossing on the Finley River late Thursday, according to Logan Rogersville Fire Protection District authorities on Facebook.

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Southern Missouri has received 3 inches of rain since Thursday

Two persons were rescued, but a third was still missing as of Friday morning. The crews intended to deploy boats and have searchers stroll along the river’s edge.

According to the meteorological service, some sections of southern Missouri have received 3 inches of rain since Thursday, and rain is likely to continue until Saturday morning. Most of southern Missouri was under a flash flood watch or warning on Friday.

According to Cody Powell, the county’s emergency management coordinator, a probable tornado impacted the southwest portion of Wise County around 5 a.m., damaging homes and downing trees and electrical lines. Powell stated that he had received no reports of injuries.

Although the weather service has not confirmed a tornado, damage to residences has been recorded in neighboring Parker County, according to meteorologist Matt Stalley, and investigators will likely head to the region later Friday to make that conclusion.

The two areas are roughly 10 miles (16 km) apart on the western border of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and the storm system is predicted to pass east of the region by early Friday afternoon, according to Stalley.

SOURCE – (AP)

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