Armenians and Cherokee Share ‘Trail of Tears’

Those of you with Armenian blood in you will understand why I am posting the piece below written by a Native American in The Tennessean on March 15, President Andrew Jackson’s birthday. Jackson was a Tennessean and his home is in Nashville. While I do not agree with some of the extreme language the writer uses (which was absent in the actual newspaper printed version of this column), I have long sympathized with the plight of the mostly Cherokee Native Americans who were forced out of their ancestral lands in the Southeast (mostly Tennessee and Georgia) and marched across hundreds of miles of starvation and death to “resettlement camps” in Oklahoma and further west. Their plight, known as The Trail of Tears, is remarkably similar to the fate suffered by so many Armenians approximately 100+ years later. While we all know that history is complicated and the truth is often difficult to unravel, there is no denying that there are events that need to be seen for what they are. As descendants of Armenians expelled from ancestral homelands nearing the April 24th date of the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Massacres, we should take a moment to remember those who were sent to their death along American The Trail of Tears. 

FROM WIKIPEDIA — The Armenian Genocide (also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern (Armenian: Մեծ Եղեռն, “Great Crime”),[9] was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre.[10][11][12] — END WIKIPEDIA

Albert Bender Column

Laura Nyro’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession released this date 1968. She was her own genre.

There was madness to Laura Nyro’s music. Some songs tip-toed gently as fairy’s feet on flower petals; others stomped like a ghetto gang charging down an alley—and any one of her song’s could do both. Her lyrics could be glints of sparkling sunlight bouncing off flowing melodies or heavy hail pounding a tin roof or mournful tears washing away dreams. Upbeat as a picnic in Central Park. Dark as Satan’s heart. Jazzy. Folksy. Broadway. Soul. Funk. Rock. Gospel. Soaring. Crashing. A poetic muse. A alluring siren. A gutter cussing waif. Her creations were the ultimate synthesis of mind-soul-hand. They should have named a new genre of music just for her: Stream of Consciousness music.

If you have never listened to this woman and enjoy musical surprises, explore songs on You Tube.

Here are two of my favorite examples of her versatility. They go up down over and round just about every mood you can think of. Floating violins. Crashing drums. That’s Laura.

Women’s Blues from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Nyro’s)

Women’s Blues from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Nyro’s)

Cover of classic pop/rock. This is the kind of music that is running through the veins of some of us urban boomers. It’s just there. Can’t help it.

Gonna Take a Miracle

From Wikipedia

Laura Nyro /ˈnɪər/ near-oh[1] (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs. Her style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, show tunes, rock, and soul.[2]

Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with “Blowing Away“, “Wedding Bell Blues“, “Stoned Soul Picnic“, “Sweet Blindness“, “Save the Country“, and “Black Patch”;Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul & Mary with “And When I Die“; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson with “Eli’s Comin’“; and Barbra Streisand with “Stoney End“, “Time and Love”, and “Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)”. Nyro’s best-selling single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin‘s “Up on the Roof“.[2]

In 2012, Nyro was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[3][4]

Eli and the Thirteenth Confession

(All music written and composed [and sang] by Laura Nyro)

Side One

  1. Luckie
  2. Lu
  3. Sweet Blindness
  4. Poverty Train
  5. Lonely Women
  6. Eli’s Comin’

Side Two

  1. Timer
  2. Stoned Soul Pinic
  3. Emmie
  4. Woman’s Blues
  5. Once it Was Alright Now
  6. December’s Budoir
  7. The Confession