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A Thought for Today

Of all the amazing gifts we have been given in this best of all possible worlds none is more precious than the lives that have been risked and lost so that we can continue to enjoy freedom in this country and the other democracies that co exist with us.


Today is the birthday of quite possibly the greatest female singer ever to inhale air and exhale song, Jo Stafford. In a four-decade plus career she had more number one hit singles than any singer in history including Sinatra and Crosby. Her influence has spread from folk, jazz and opera divas to pop singers of several generations. And, many an instrumentalist has learned to breath and phrase from her. Iíve written about Jo extensively in my "Songs That Won The War" series and every other place Iíve had a chance to shout her praise.

Once when someone asked me what I considered a perfect day I replied "Any day that I can turn someone on to the voice of Jo Stafford and/or the songs of Johnny Mercer." Iíll stand by that.

Celebrate American Popular Song by celebrating the birthday today of Jo Stafford.

RM 11/11/98 First published in Flight Plan 11/12/1998

notable birthdays

Veterans Day Observed

Alexander Borodin o Nadia Comaneci o Bob Crewe o Barbara Fairchild o Ryan Gosling o Tonya Harding o Kim Hunter o Brian Hyland o Grace Kelly o David Loeffler o Al Michaels o Jack Oakie o Lucia Popp o Auguste Rodin o David Schwimmer o Wallace Shawn o James Sheldon o Sammy Sosa o Yat-Sen Sun o DeWitt Wallace o Neil Young

Rod's random thoughts The selfish cheat themselves.

When all the animals have been killed, abused, or used up - man will turn on man.

Life remains unfinished without love.


I am grateful for the stars
that circle in the sky,
gentleness whenever
and wherever I find it.
An easier life
than I ever deserved.
Unexpected love and
unplanned lasting
A God thatís always
               been there.
And best of all
your voice floating
over good and bad days,
rich and not so rich times.
Assuring us that whatever
happens down a lifetime
as people, as friends,
as those who love or
        never know love,
we mustnít say goodbye;
Not without a smile,
some show of kindness.
or a wave that passes
        through eternity.

- Rod McKuen 11/12/98

© 1984, 1988, 1998, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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