coronavirus, Covid 19 pandemic, music

A pandemic diary: It’s five o’clock somewhere!

October 22, 2020

John Pizzarelli.

It’s Thursday afternoon and the pandemic has got you down. You need a break from the loop of bad news, a slice of normalcy, a little fun. If any of that sounds familiar, go to Facebook or Instagram at 6:00 p.m. Eastern for, “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere: A Musical Social From a Distance,” an hour of music and good times hosted by the amazing John Pizzarelli.

My wife and I have been Pizzarelli fans for years but watching these shows for the past few months has helped save our sanity. He’s a jazz singer and guitarist who loves the Great American Songbook, making the classics sound fresh and vital. He’s also the son of legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, who left us in April, followed by John’s mother Ruth a week later.

The show goes live from a “deluxe” cabin at an undisclosed location in New Jersey where John and his wife Jessica Molaskey, aka “the gluten-free singer,” have been isolating. It’s free but John accepts donations, with portions going to organizations like the Jazz Foundation of America, which helps musicians in need.

Tune in and you’ll hear standards like “How High the Moon,” and “Autumn Leaves,” some songs by Johnny Mercer, Sinatra, Nat King Cole and his brother Freddy, but also James Taylor, Paul McCartney, and Brian Wilson, plus Brazilian sounds from Antonio Carlos Jobim. He takes requests and always includes “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught,” which debuted in the musical “South Pacific” in 1949, but could’ve been written yesterday. He says he’ll keep playing it until it no longer applies.

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
You’ve got to be taught from year to year
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught

The hour has spawned a community, hundreds of regular fans all over the world digging the music, drinking drinks, chatting, and posting pictures. It’s a pure, unadulterated good time. Hope to see you there every Thursday, at least for a while yet, until the craziness ends. Take care and be safe.

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