Home on the Range...

By Bill Gallagher of Portland, Oregon. For 25 years, Bill Gallagher has been a fixture in Portland radio, including seven years as the host of the top-rated "Bill Gallagher Show" on KXL. Until last month, he was a news director at KPAM.

WARNING - This posting is about a political fund-raiser last night. But it's not very political.

I just witnessed the perfect band for Sam Adam's Inaugural Ball.

At the Doug Fir tonight at the end of a fund-raiser for Jeff Merkley, members of the Decemberists took the stage with the heart (Thomas Lauderdale) and soul (China Fobes) of Pink Martini for the final encore.

And what song did they play?

"Home On The Range."

So maybe Sam can get the same players together again for Inauguration Night but
give them some free reign. Chris Funk of the Decemberists, after all, smacked down Steve Colbert in the never-to-be-forgotten SHRED OFF.

But I digress.

Without a lot of notice, key members of two of Portland's most prestigious bands played a fund-raiser tonight for the Merkley Campaign. I'll take a WAG (Wild- Ass Guess) and estimate the event raised about six grand.

Sam Adams was there. He introduced Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. With Funk and the saintly Jenny Conlin on accordion he played four songs. "Oceanside" which Meloy called their "paean to Oregon", the Graham Nash song called "Military Madness, one I didn't recognize called "Before The Fog", and one of their hits, "Sixteen Military Wives".

Jeff Merkley gave a very short speech. He knew the music was the thing.

China Forbes and Thomas Lauderdale took the stage about 9pm. It was like we were in their living room. China has never sounded better singing and is very pregnant. She had a Merkley button pinned front and center on her dress, "My baby's for Jeff Merkley," she assured the crowd of about 400.

Six songs made up their set. One of them was called "Oregon, Oregon." I think they said it was written by Stan Freberg back in 1959 and will be updated for the Sesquicentennial next year. (Check out Stan Freberg on Wikipedia. He's a genius.)

By the time China and Thomas brought members of the Decemberists back on stage, Jeff Merkley and Sam Adams were gone. But those who stayed can say they were there when Pink Martini and The Decemberists sang "Home On The Range".

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    There is a rare copy of "Oregon, Oregon" by Stan Freberg at the Central Library in Downtown Portland. Freberg recorded a whole little play (for radio, of course) and distributed it (though Blitz brewery I belive) for Oregon's centennial in 1959. It is Freberg at his classic best.

    One of his little songs, about "you gotta have a State" mentions that " you need a university, to kick the pants off USC..."

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Hey, Bill, when are you coming back to talk radio? I posted backthread on how much I appreciated your show in earlier days.

    New poll just out, KATU/SUSA - Merkely leading by five, 46-41. http://www.openleft.com/viewQuickHits.do#4802

  • (Show?)

    This was a sneaker event. It came out of nowhere and knocked out those of us who where there. It was of the best fundraisers I've ever been to. To see two of my favorite bands in such an intimate setting that they were taking requests from the crowd was just great. It was icing on the cake that my wife took the stage with Thomas and China for Oregon, Oregon!

  • Jobama's Mama (unverified)

    Oh, give me a home where the progressives roam And the queers and the feminists play Where condoms are free and so is herpes And the eyes stay red all day

    Home, Home on LSD Where health care should always be free Where abortions are many and cost just a penny And highs are plenty all day.

  • (Show?)

    Almost as sad as a collapsed soufflé. Not even points for effort!

  • (Show?)

    My bad. The saintly Jenny, of The Decemberists, spells her last name Conlee.

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