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Pearl Jam, NIN, R.E.M. Sign New Orleans Presidential Debate Petition

August 6, 2008 4:08 PM ET

Pearl Jam, My Morning Jacket, R.E.M. and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor have all signed a petition asking both Barack Obama and John McCain to have a presidential debate in the flood-ravaged city of New Orleans. Organized by the Gulf Restoration Network and Voice of the Wetlands, the petition asks the candidates to come to the Big Easy to discuss how the government plans to use federal money to restore Louisiana's coastal security and stabilize the state's communities. Google, YouTube and New Orleans universities are co-sponsoring the debate, scheduled for September 18th, and ask both candidates to commit the attend the event. Artists like 311, Jackson Browne and a host of N'Awlins-based musicians like Dr. John and the Neville Brothers have also signed the petition, which was then sent to Obama and McCain via the U.S. Senate. So far, neither has responded.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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