RIP, Jesse Winchester (1944–2014)

We’ve lost too many great artists in the past year and none greater than Jesse Winchester, who died yesterday after a second battle with cancer. He’s been a friend I never met for more than 40 years—from “Yankee Lady” and “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz” to “Bless Your Foolish Heart” and “Baby Blue.” Albums ranging from A Touch on the Rainy Side to the relatively recent Love Filling Station suggest there was no one quite like him, as does this 2009 performance of “Sham–a-Ling-Dong-Ding” on Elvis Costello’s TV show. Among the artists looking on is Neko Case, who as you’ll see is moved to tears by the end. RIP, Jesse. The world—mine, anyway—just won’t be the same without you.

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