Any Last Requests?

On Easter Sunday, I hosted a national network holiday show for CBC Radio in Canada and its themes were centered around loss and redemption.  Amongst my guests were music legend, Ian Tyson (Four Strong Winds, Someday Soon), painter Kate MacDonald, and victims advocate Marlene Swift.  Additionally, I featured profiles of some people who overcame unique and tremendous odds to find meaning and recovery in their lives.

I also played some great music to go along with the stories, including Ziggy Marley with the Chieftains, Ron Hynes, Joe Strummer, Joe Jackson, Morrissey, Metric, Amy MacDonald, The Proclaimers, Julie Crochetiere, and Ann Vriend.

Here’s a link to listen to the show.

And a special thanks to everyone who took the time to email me following the show.  Here’s some of the correspondence.

“Dear Russell. I have been listening to your Easter Sunday special this morning.  I do not observe religious holidays and have no interest in being a part of any religious organization.  Your program has been very appropriate today.  Many religions seem to have forgotten the basic tenets of compassion, forgiveness and redemption and seem to focus on damnation, punishment and exclusion.  Perhaps that is why so many people have lost trust with organized religion.  I know some of your guests stated they were faithful, but even if they are not, they demonstrate the ideals that many organized religions claim to promote yet sadly do not.  Wonderful program, Thank you.” – Helen, Winnipeg

“Every once in awhile a person comes across a moment that resonates in a special way.  Daybreak carried on CBC Regina this morning was one of those moments. Often in the a.m. I wake up and hit my snooze button to catch the local news or weekend programming and this morning I happened to do that near the end of your broadcast.  The music you chose was so fitting and moving as you drew back from your relationship with your mother.  My mother just celebrated her 98th birthday.  It is hard to express in words how I felt after listening to you but trust it will suffice to know that it was something significant.” – Rodney, Regina

“Greetings;  I have enjoyed listening to and memorizing Mr. Tyson’s music for a long time.  I keep some of his CDs in the car and sing along as I travel.  A few years ago, my spouse and I were on a road trip down to Reno and had chosen the Inland Empire route south from The Dalles, Oregon.  I wanted to see the Adel store and we made the detour.  After parking and entering the store, I saw three people and asked, “Are you Chuck and Annie?”.  One of the men answered that Chuck had moved to San Francisco and Annie had passed away.  Then they asked me if I was a Canadian.  I replied, “Yes, how did you know?”.  They said that only Canadians asked about the couple who used to be here.  They added that we were about the fifth couple to ask about them.  Then I was asked, “What is the reason that so many Canadians are interested in these people?”.  I told the story about Ian Tyson and the song he wrote about the MC Horses.  They said that they had never heard the song.  I offered to sing it and they said yes.  I had the song memorized and did the best I could.  At the end one of them said, “So, that’s what it is about, the MC Ranch”.  So, we were a part of a line of people coming to see the store, but, I was the first to sing the song for them.  I didn’t have a beer, but, after looking at the cow heads up on the wall, I bought a baseball hat with Adel on it as we drove back east and then continued south to Reno.” – Gerry