FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sydney, NS (April 17, 2013) It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Cape Breton’s first lady of song, Rita MacNeil. Rita died last evening (April 16th) from complications following surgery, at the age of 68.
A gentle soul with a heart of gold and the voice of an angel, Rita’s music spoke of her love of home and family, the courage to rise above life’s challenges and the hardworking men and women that tie this country together. “Working Man”, “Flying on Your Own”, Reason to Believe”, “I’ll Accept The Rose Tonight” and “Home I’ll Be”, are just a few of the songs that endeared Rita to fans in Canada, the U.K and Australia.
Born in Big Pond, Cape Breton on May 28th, 1944 to Neil and Catherine (Rene) MacNeil, Rita was one of eight children. It wasn’t an easy life, as depicted in her autobiography “On A Personal Note”(released in 1998), but with determination and a passion for writing songs and singing, Rita pushed beyond a profound shyness and found her way to a stage at Expo 86 in Vancouver. It was here that the world discovered Rita MacNeil.
In 1987 she won her first Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. She was 42. “Flying on Your Own” followed in 1987 and in 1989, her Juno performance with Cape Breton’s Men of the Deeps of “Working Man”, brought the house down.
Over the course of her career, Rita recorded more than 24 albums which sold in the millions. She won 3 Juno’s, as well as numerous East Coast Music Awards, Country Music Awards, and a Gemini for her CBC variety show ‘Rita & Friends’ that ran from 1994 to 1997. She was a Member of the Order of Canada, was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia and is the recipient of five honorary doctorates. In 1986 she opened up Rita’s Tea Room in her hometown of Big Pond, which in the past few years enjoyed frequent visits from Rita herself.
Rita’s quick wit and sly sense of humour was a hallmark of her live shows and was in evidence when she was featured in an episode of the Trailer Park Boys.
A mother to Laura (Dana) and Wade (Lori), a grandmother, a dear friend, and a sister, Rita was a Canadian icon – a woman who had a dream that became a reality – who brought joy and inspiration to so many.
And you never let the hard times
Take away your soul
And you stopped the tears from falling
As you watched the young ones go
You’re as peaceful as a clear day
You’re as rugged as the seas
I caress you, oh, Cape Breton, in my dreams
Home I’ll Be – Rita MacNeil
“Music is timeless and ageless,” noted the legendary singer, “the passion I feel for what I do can’t be put aside with a number and a year. It is a big part of my life – the concerts, the touring, the letters and the joy the audience gives back to me when the music touches a chord with them.” Rita MacNeil
Watched “Django Unchained” [7/10], and realized that bodies were exploding because it was a Tarantino movie. It went about as expected. Some parts should not be watched, or it will cause trauma; Like the dogs ripping someone apart. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this Jim Croce song.
Before arriving at the Golden Mile theatre, there was a white husky dog with a green (shock?, tracking?) box collar on, and a Regina tag, but I couldn’t get the number on it to call the City because the dog would nip when I held his collar. It ran off to a car to investigate a barking dog, and I let nature (and the SPCA) take its course.
Buffy St. Marie tackled the subject of Aboriginal peoples’ self image. What has been the basis for it? In many cases in popular culture, it’s from philosophers in Europe who never met the First Peoples in their life!
The reality is that First Nations civilizations were much more complex, scientific, and peaceful than depicted by European and settler academics and politicians.
Listen to Corb Lund’s cover of Stompin’ Tom’s Hockey Song. It has a bonus verse too. “It’s culturally important to hear that song.”
Here’s one of my oldest blog posts:
ADDED from 2002:
I went to a show tonight with Jesse, after buying a monthly membership at CrashBang Labs (which is in the same building as The Club at The Exchange on 8th Ave.
You can listen to Zachary Lucky online or in Saskatoon very soon.
Dan Geortz was also good. His song about being sold to the circus he footnoted as fiction, especially since his dad was in the audience.
In CrashBang Labs, I watched an iPod get LASER etched. A 40W laser apparently, but it doesn’t work at quite its full capacity, especially at a high moving head speed.
I grew up thinking that Killer Robots From Venus was a pretty amusing song. Now that we’re living in 2013, the ‘future’, we have to seriously contemplate the implications of building robots that can kill as their intended purpose. Our next-future expectations depend upon what we choose now. I’m not okay with building Terminators, just because we have the technical capability. We should be seriously concerned, even if we don’t think a Skynet scenario will play out as it did in the movies.
The consequences are dire and deadly even if the machines don’t ‘decide’ to turn against their human programmers.
“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimising civilian deaths and injuries.”
US political activist Jody Williams, who won a Nobel peace prize for her work at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, is expected to join Sharkey at the launch at the House of Commons. Williams said she was confident that a pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons could be achieved in the same way as the international embargo on anti-personnel landmines. “I know we can do the same thing with killer robots. I know we can stop them before they hit the battlefield,” said Williams, who chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
“Killer robots loom over our future if we do not take action to ban them now,” she said. “The six Nobel peace laureates involved in the Nobel Women’s Initiative fully support the call for an international treaty to ban fully autonomous weaponised robots.”
“They may be metallic, but they’re just like me and you.” – Arrogant Worms.
No, they are not just like me and you; they’re killing-machines. Don’t let computer scientists program killer robots.
We can’t even seem to convince some people that it’s a good idea to harness wind energy, yet those same people might defend the creation of deadly robots that could quite literally be turned against them and their family giving a worst case scenario.
Last week I watched “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” [9/10] which is a must-see movie, not only if you love it when alien bugs invade brains. I won’t spoil the ending, but someone important dies.
I saw the end of “Death Race” [3/10] and I’m glad I didn’t see the beginning.
Time for a humourous song moment:
United Breaks More Guitars
I think this was the coolest model plane ever, and I only just discovered the video of it:
Model plane flight doesn’t always work:
Elections Canada may be allowing the Conservative Party to set the glacial pace of the criminal investigation across Canada into illegal election robocalls that misdirected and harassed electors. May be? Who are we kidding. It’s well past 600 days since the crime that calls into question the right of the Conservatives to represent our country, and Elections Canada investigators are moving so slowly that newspapers are announcing their next move before they bring suspects in for questioning.
The full audio of a clip previously available in a CBC story, is posted in the latest from the Citizen.
The message captured by O’Reilly’s voice mail purports to be a get-out-the-vote call from Liberal candidate Doug Ferguson and directs her to a voting location far from her home. The message is recorded in a female voice with what sounds like a slight American accent.
According to Dickson’s statement, Ferguson said his campaign did not make the call.
Some useful analysis of the call can be found on this blog.
The message, from a woman claiming to be with the Ferguson campaign, arrived mid-afternoon on election day, May 2, advising O’Reilly she could vote at a polling station at “the Emily Carr public school” on Hawthorne Rd. O’Reilly had already voted at her assigned station – not that school, which is about 10 km from her home – when she got the message. She forgot about it, she says, until this weekend.
“Honestly, I thought, wow, what if this call was one of the calls (they’re) looking for?” said O’Reilly, who added she never erased the message, as it’s her family’s habit to “hold onto things forever.”
I missed this Rap News from last May. You won’t want to miss it. If it’s confusing though, you’ve got fifty minutes of documentary catch-up, plus some news footnotes to follow up on. Plus, it helps if you’ve seen Star Wars. If this is all greek/geek to you, it’s a good thing you’re reading my blog, you’ll be up to speed in ‘know time’.
I love that Hrafnsson’s daughter commented on the video. [Strange she missed an 's' in the name though ;-)]
Wikileaks: “A little group of activists…” – Julian Assange