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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 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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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

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Volodymyr Zelensky claims 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed during Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The Ukrainian president stated that he would not disclose the number of wounded because it would facilitate Russian military plans.

Typically, the Ukrainian government do not release casualty counts, and other estimates are significantly higher.

The defence minister said half of all Western aid to Ukraine had been delayed, costing lives and land.

Mr Zelensky said on Sunday that he would provide an updated death toll in reaction to Russia’s inflated estimates.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

“31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have killed in this conflict. Not 300,000, 150,000, or whatever Putin and his dishonest circle claim. But each of these losses is a significant loss to us.”

Speaking about the war’s overall losses, Mr Zelensky stated that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, but the exact figure was unknown.

“I don’t know how many of them died, how many were killed, how many were murdered, tortured, how many were deported.”

Ukraine rarely reports a military death toll, and other estimates suggest a far higher figure.

In August, US officials estimated that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, with up to 120,000 injured.

In terms of Russian losses, Mr Zelensky stated that 180,000 Russian soldiers were killed and tens of thousands more injured.

BBC Russian, in collaboration with the Mediazona website, has identified the names of more than 45,000 Russian servicemen who have perished. However, it thinks that the total number is larger than that.

In February, the UK military ministry claimed that 350,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured.
President Zelensky’s speech came after his defence minister, Rustam Umerov, chastised the country’s

Western partners for delays in military assistance.

“At the moment, commitment does not constitute delivery,” he added.

Ukraine is currently facing several setbacks in its efforts to expel Russia from its land.

Mr. Umerov stated that the lack of supplies put Ukraine at a greater disadvantage “in the mathematics of war”.

“We do everything possible and impossible but without timely supply it harms us,” he told reporters.
Germany warned in November that the European Union’s (EU) promise to provide a million artillery shells by March would not be met.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

In January, the EU stated that little over half of these would reach Ukraine by the deadline, but the promised total would arrive at the end of 2024.

President Zelensky stated that a lack of armaments was one of the reasons Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive last year began later.

That counter-offensive was mostly unsuccessful, one of several failures for Kyiv following early victories in repelling Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Last week, it was revealed that Ukrainian troops had withdrawn from the strategic eastern town of Avdiivka, Moscow’s largest victory in months.

Mr Zelensky further blamed the situation on dwindling Western military shipments.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has claimed that the hold-up in Congress over a $60 billion aid plan for Ukraine led to the town’s fall.

Western leaders travelled to Kyiv on Saturday to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine as it marked two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

There was an announcement that Italy and Canada had inked security agreements with Ukraine, increasing support until the country could join NATO.

Canada’s agreement comprised more than three billion Canadian dollars (£1.7 billion) in financial and military assistance.

zelensky

Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

It is not only Ukraine that is having difficulty funding its military activities. Western diplomats say Russia is also straining to send ammo and weaponry.

“Russia’s domestic ammunition production capabilities are currently insufficient for meeting the needs of the Ukraine conflict,” according to a Western diplomat.

They also stated that Moscow has only been able to augment its supply by exploring alternative sources of ammunition and weaponry, which provides a short-term answer.

Meanwhile, the director of Ukraine’s security service stated on Sunday that 47 Russian spy networks operating within Ukraine were discovered last year.

Vasyl Malik further stated that around 2,000 suspected “traitors” have been arrested since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya’s world marathon record holder, was accorded a state funeral Friday after being killed in a vehicle accident earlier this month, prompting many Kenyans to call on the government to do more to protect the country’s famed sportsmen.

Hundreds of dignitaries, including Kenyan President William Ruto and World Athletics Federation President Sebastian Coe, paid their final respects to Kiptum as he was interred in Naiberi, some 6 kilometres (4 miles) from his village of Chepkorio in western Kenya.

The 24-year-old runner and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, died in a collision two weeks ago near the town of Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of a high-altitude region known as a training ground for Kenya’s and the world’s greatest distance runners.

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum was one of the most promising road runners to emerge in recent years, breaking the world record in only his third competitive marathon outing. Just days before his death, the world track body World Athletics certified his record of 2 hours and 35 seconds achieved at the Chicago Marathon last October.

Kiptum intended to break the two-hour marathon record in Rotterdam in April and make his Olympic debut in Paris this year.

His death echoed throughout Kenya, where runners are the biggest sports heroes, and many people have become accustomed to tragedies involving their best athletes, with dozens dying in traffic accidents or as a result of domestic abuse.

According to officials, Kiptum was driving on the night of February 11 when the car went off the road into a ditch and collided with a huge tree. He and Hakizimana died instantly. Sharon Kosgei, another passenger, was also hurt in the incident.

Kiptum, an only child, leaves his wife, Asentah Cheruto, and their two children. A High Court on Thursday declined to postpone the funeral in response to a woman’s legal claim that Kiptum fathered her kid.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum ran the fastest as a marathon debutant in the 2022 Valencia Marathon. The next year, he won two of the world’s most prestigious marathons: London and Chicago. He set a new course record at the London Marathon in April; months later, he set the global record in Chicago.

He became the latest Kenyan celebrity to die in sad circumstances.

David Lelei, an All-Africa Games silver medalist, was killed in a car crash in 2010. Francis Kiplagat, a marathon runner, was among five individuals who died in a crash in 2018. Nicholas Bett, who won gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships, was also killed in a car accident in 2018.

Many Kenyans believe the government should do more to protect athletes who bring international attention to their country, such as providing them with security, drivers, and advisors.

Elizabeth Wairimu, a vegetable trader in the western Kenya town of Nakuru, said the number of athletes killed in road accidents was frightening.

“I am asking myself what is the problem with our athletes,” she said. “The government should look into this… figure out what is killing our athletes. Where are we headed?”

She expressed sadness that the government was rushing through the process instead of Kiptum, who had pledged to build a new house for his parents.

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Others in the packed market agreed with Wairimu’s comments.

“The government should not wait until the legends are dead to start caring about their welfare,” said George Thuo, a market seller.

Jimmy Muindi, a six-time Honolulu Marathon winner from Kenya, believes young athletes who reach Kiptum’s level require assistance managing their newfound celebrity status. Former marathoner Isaac Macharia concurred, stating that a support system is required to develop stars.

Jack Tuwei, the president of Athletics Kenya, urged President Ruto and MPs to find a solution to secure the athletes’ well-being and “allow them to have everything they need to be safe.”

Ruto announced that an endowment fund would be established for athletes and that the government would provide Kiptum’s widow with another house and $34,000 in support.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

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The body of leading Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been returned to his mother, according to his spokesman.

In a post on X, Kira Yarmysh thanked everyone who asked that the authorities hand over his remains.
“The funeral is yet to take place,” she wrote.

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Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, was reportedly told to agree to a “secret” funeral. If she refused, he would be buried in the penal colony where he had died.

She had spent the previous week in the town near the prison where he died, attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of his remains before requesting that they be delivered to her.

After signing a death certificate stating that he died of natural causes, she was allowed three hours to settle on a “secret” burial for her son.

Ms Yarmysh claims his mother was warned that if she did not consent, he would be buried on the grounds of the prison where he had died.

However, Lyudmila appears to have declined to engage with the authorities.

Ms Yarmysh stated that the funeral plans were still unclear.

“We don’t know whether the authorities will interfere with it being carried out in the way the family wants and as Alexei deserves,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, accused Vladimir Putin of holding her late husband’s body “hostage” and demanded its unconditional release.

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Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

“Give us the body of my husband,” she pleaded in a video message.

“You tortured him living, and now you continue to punish him in death. “You mock the remains of the deceased.”

Ms Navalnaya again accused the Russian president of being responsible for her husband’s death.
The Kremlin has dismissed the charges, calling the Western outrage to the killing “hysterical”.

Navalny died on February 16 in a Russian prison located inside the Arctic Circle.
Details concerning what happened to him are scant. His team has offered security officers €20,000 ($22,000; £17,000) as a prize and aid in fleeing Russia in exchange for information concerning his death in custody.

navalny

Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

For years, he was the most prominent critic of Russia’s leader.

In August 2020, a team of would-be assassins from the Russian secret services poisoned Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.

He was airlifted to Germany and recovered before being imprisoned upon his return to Russia in January 2021.

Attempts to commemorate his death have been greeted with a heavy-handed response from Russian authorities, with improvised monuments removed and hundreds jailed.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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