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Melani Obit: U.S. Senator Paul Simon (1928-2003) (19) RE: Obit: Paul Simon 23 Dec 03

For what it's worth, there is some relation to a music thread here. Some years ago there was a flap about the criteria being used to grant H-1 visas, the type needed by musicians from other countries who want to tour in the US. I believe it was the Reagan administration who decided that to be granted an H-1 visa, a musician must be outstanding in the field of music in general; i.e., as well-known internationally as somebody like Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong get the picture. This would of course exclude most of the folk musicians I personally would be interested in seeing, even though they might be considered outstanding in the field of, say, Celtic music. The issue was publicized in one of the local alternative papers, and all concerned were encouraged to write to key legislators. One of them was Paul Simon, who was rumored to be fond of folk music. Or maybe it was just that he wwas on the right committee. Anyway, he was a good guy.

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