On Sunday, 60 Minutes achieved the trifecta for me. All three segments were interesting and uplifting. One featured Fed Chairman Powell and his outlook for the economy. The second featured innovative government programs to end pandemics forever and the third segment was on the artist Prince and the vast collection of unreleased music that he left in his “vault” when he died five years ago.
With the release of iconic hits like Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette in the early 80s, Prince entertained us for over 30 years, and it looks like he will continue to entertain us for years to come. According to 60 Minutes and other sources, it is estimated that there may be as many as 8,000 unreleased songs in the vault. Shelby J, a singer/songwriter and one of Prince’s mentees noted, “Well, music, you know, it ain’t milk. It don’t expire.” When Jon Wertheim asked keyboardist Morris Hayes “How often would you guys record something that was great that wasn’t released?” he answered quickly “That was all the time.”
The segment focused on Prince’s brilliance as an artist and the joy he took in making music, even when he was not sharing it with his fans. But Prince had his own struggles and challenges. He died of an overdose at age 57 and died without a will. Five years after his death, the nasty legal battle goes on.
Brilliance yet challenges and struggles. Sounds like Prince was similar to the rest of us, human.
An album of unreleased songs, Welcome 2 America, will be released this summer. And I look forward to someday in the distant future when one of great grandkids mentions a Prince album being released and I can smoothly reply that I also used to listen to Prince when I was young.
This week’s selection is:
BOOK or MOVIE:
Critic Brian Tallerico writes “Fern (Frances McDormand) is grieving a life that’s been ripped away from her. It seems like she was relatively happy in Empire, Nevada, one of those many American small towns built around industry. When the gypsum plant there closed, the town of Empire quite literally closed with it. In six months, its entire zip code was eliminated. In this nightmare state, Fern’s husband died, leaving her completely alone and, well, she likes the word “houseless” more than “homeless.” Hitting the road in search of work as a seasonal employee at an Amazon center, Fern starts living in her van, eventually getting involved with a group of modern nomads, people who sometimes form makeshift communities, but she inevitably ends up alone again, traversing the American landscape. Fern is the unforgettable center of Chloé Zhao’s masterful “Nomadland,” a movie that finds poetry in the story of a seemingly average woman. It is a gorgeous film that’s alternately dreamlike in the way it captures the beauty of this country and grounded in its story about the kind of person we don’t usually see in movies. I love everything about it.”