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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Eve Goldberg Obit: Jackie Washington, 1919 - 2009 (27) RE: Obit: Jackie Washington, 1919 - 2009 28 Jun 09

And finally, here's what I posted to Maplepost tonight:

I am so sad to hear Jackie is gone from us. He was one-of-a-kind.

I remember meeting him as a teenager at Mariposa. I was babysitting for one of the performers that year, and when I brought this young toddler into the performer's area for lunch, there was Jackie, holding court in the corner. Jackie, of course, was like a magnet pulling her in, and he proceeded to give her a private concert, complete with stories and jokes, much to the delight of everyone around. Meanwhile, I was mesmerized by this guy who seemed to have an endless store of old classic swing and jazz songs that I wanted to know more about.

I feel lucky to have been able to get to know him over the years, and to have heard him sing and play so often. If I was somewhere near where Jackie was playing, I wanted to be there. He never failed to entertain, and no matter how many times I saw him, inevitably there would be a song I'd never heard at some point in the set. Somewhere I have a cassette tape, that I made on a crappy handheld recorder, of an acoustic session that Jackie did in the middle of the forest at Eaglewood Folk Festival. Somehow I wanted to preserve what I was hearing. If I remember right, that's the first time I heard him sing "Triscadecaphobia."

There was the year I was at Home County when the festival brought out a huge birthday cake for him, not realizing that the "Jackie Washington Birthday" segment they'd heard on CBC Morningside that week was a repeat from November (Ironically, Jackie knew everyone's birthday and could recite them all any time you wanted!).

I also remember hearing his stories of growing up in in Hamilton in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's, meeting many of the jazz musicians passing through southern Ontario, working at the racetrack, being one of the first black broadcasters in Canada. Whenever I talked to Jackie, I felt like I was with someone I had a lot to learn from.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ken Whiteley for helping keep Jackie's music in the public eye and documenting his incredible legacy. It's because of Ken that we have those wonderful albums featuring Jackie, recordings that barely scratch the surface but have brought so much to us in Canada.

And thanks to the Jackie Washington committee for all their hard work over the years. My heart goes out to all of his close friends and his family.

Today, the song that keeps running through my head seems appropriate. RIP Jackie, we'll miss you.

We'll Meet Again

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day.

Keep smiling through, just like you always do
'Til the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away.

So won't you please say "Hello" to the folks that I know
Tell them I won't be very long,
They'll be happy to know that when you saw me go
I was singing this song.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day.


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