Thursday, December 06, 2012

John Hall's very cool choice

By Richard K. Barry 

In the 2006 election, I quite enjoyed watching my home congressional district, NY-19, go to John Hall. Good news not only because he is a Democrat but because he is also a fairly well-known musician, having co-founded the successful '70s group Orleans. They had a few hits with songs like "Still the One" and "Dance with Me." 

He served from 2007 to 2011 before being defeating in that dreadful 2010 midterm slaughter by Republican Nan Hayworth.

Yesterday, as I was doing a bit of research on various congressional elections, I came across something interesting. In July 2011, Hall announced that he would not seek a rematch with Haywoth, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family, a common thing for politicians to want. The less common thing he said was that he also chose not to run because he wanted to have more time to travel across the country with his band.

As it turned out, he worked with state Democrats to find a good alternative in Sean Patrick Maloney, who went on to defeat Hayworth. Democrats targeted the seat and with Obama's strong showing in New York Hall had to know he was very likely to return to the House.

But no, in addition to other personal commitments, he needed to get back to his music.

As someone fully obsessed with two things in life, politics and music, I don't know how he made the decision, but it's cool that he had options.

In case you are unaware of his musical talents, here is part of his bio from his website:

Co-founder of the band Orleans, songwriter for artists ranging from Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt to James Taylor and Ricky Skaggs, guest lead guitarist for Little Feat and Jackson Browne, composer and musical director for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, John is a versatile and eclectic musician.

Always loved the harmonies on "Dance with Me."

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