Another Thanksgiving Day is here, and with it another opportunity for each of us to give thanks for our blessings. Despite how corrupted the holiday has become as a result of increased football and Black Friday sales that start on Thursday, I still think it’s a really good idea to have one day a year when we can focus on the things that mean the most to us. And I don’t mean turkey and stuffing, although they’re good too.

Like everyone else, I’m thankful for family and friends, for home and health, for love and longevity. As you might have guessed, I’m also thankful for music. No matter where I’ve been, or what I’ve been doing, music has been the constant over the years, the guiding star in a life that like most lives, has seen its share of twists and turns.

For many years I played music, and I still do now and then. On Sunday I organized a little benefit here in Rhode Island, with the proceeds going to help those affected by the recent hurricane that ravaged the Jersey shore, my former home. I invited some of my favorite RI musicians to play and they stepped up without hesitation. I invited the people of RI to show up, and they did — all for people in NJ that they do not know. Hope.

I’m thankful for those musicians, including Mark Cutler, Bob Kendall, and all the guys in their bands, and Rick Barry who traveled here form the Jersey shore to lend some real authenticity and personal witness to our event. We raised a lot of money on Sunday. Tomorrow I’m going to NJ to deliver it to where it’s most needed.

There are similar benefits going on in many places, and people across the country are contributing to relief funds. It all serves to prove that evidence to the contrary (I’m looking at you Congress) notwithstanding, we can still work together, and we can still do good in this world.

So music, in all of its beautiful variety. And out of those endless forms and formats, genres and generations, it is classic soul music that took up residence in my heart many years ago, and has remained there to this day. Now, the ability to write about it, and a space to publish that writing, has become more to be thankful for in a life already overflowing with blessings.

This is not what I planned to write about today. I sat down with my laptop, and this is what came out. I’m thankful to you for taking the time to read this little column every week, and I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Instead of having me ramble on, how about we just let the great Sam & Dave take the mic.

Sam & Dave – “I Thank You”

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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