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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Quite a bit has happened in the entertainment world in the last few days.  Sad to say that a bit of it has been tragic.  Jimmy Buffett, mayor of Margaritiville, pioneer of pirate and island music, the sole reason Kenny Chesney has a career in the music business, passed away Friday at age 76 of skin cancer.  He battled it for years before his passing.  Buffett suffered from Merkel cell cancer, his website said.  

Merkel cell cancer is very rare, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Risk factors include sun exposure, having a weak immune system, and being over 50.  It tends to grow quickly and spread at an early age to nearby lymph nodes and then to lymph nodes or skin in other parts of the body, including lungs, brain, bones and other organs.

Buffett continued to perform during his treatment.  His final show was a surprise appearance in Rhode Island in early July, according to his website.  Key West, Florida honored Buffett with a parade Sunday evening, CBS News Miami reports.  Buffett was a longtime resident of the island. 

Buffett rescheduled tourmates in 2022 because of health issues and a brief hospitalization.  He cancelled a South Carolina concert this May after being hospitalized.  “Growing old is not for sissies, I promise you”, he said at the time.  

Buffett died at his home in Sag Harbor, New York, according to his website.  He was surrounded by family and friends.  He is survived by his wife Jane Slagsvol, two daughters Savannah Jane and Sarah Delaney, and son Cameron Marley.  (www.CBSNews,com) I thought it ironic that his son’s last name is Marley since Jimmy was an island musician.  

Jimmy’s passing was felt and noted at the Jam at the Dam concert I attended with friends Saturday night.  The show was all ‘90’s: Tonic, Fastball, Sugar Ray and Gin Blossoms.  Fastball began their set by covering “Margaritaville”, paying homage to Jimmy.  Tonic was next on the bill followed by Sugar Ray.  Sugar Ray wowed the crowd with monster hits such as “Someday”, “Every Mornin’” as well as some classic covers.  They flowed easily from “Every Mornin’” into “Groovin’ by The Rascals.  The band played “stump the lead” where they throw every type of song at lead singer Mark McGrath.  The man can sing anything, as was proven this night.  He even went into “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys.  That’s some range, as it’s not even Sugar Ray’s genre.  To top it all off, they left the stage to “There’s No Business Like Showbusiness” .an Irvin Berlin song written for the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Each band played for about an hour, culminated by The Gin Blossoms, who sent everyone home happy.  There was a guitar signed by all the artists that was auctioned off that night to benefit Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas’ foundation Sidewalk Angels. Which benefits children in need.  

Below are links to my podcast, Blendertainment:  


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