John F. Kennedy Sighted in Internet Song

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Internet hit "I Saw John Kennedy Today,Â? records a close encounter between songwriter Luke Powers and a very much alive and freewheeling JFK, who has been traveling the country in a pickup truck ever since his supposed Â?demise."

The latest internet “hit” is a quirky song about the 35th president written by singer-songwriter Luke Powers. “I Saw John Kennedy Today,” available for free download in mp3 format on http://www.phoebeclaire.com, records a close encounter between the songwriter and a very much alive and freewheeling JFK, who has been traveling the country in a pickup truck ever since his supposed “demise.”

The folk-country song begins: “I saw John Kennedy today, he ain’t dead like they say; he’s driving a pickup truck and he sure looks happy enough.”

Powers insists that he encountered Kennedy as the two were stuck in traffic on Route 66 outside Flagstaff, Arizona. Kennedy, he said, “was wearing his vintage shades and sure didn’t look his age.”

As the two continued to speak, Kennedy admitted that he escaped assassination by chance: “In Dallas it was my luck, I snuck out to buy this old truck. My double caught a bullet in the head, and I was free because I was dead.”

Powers says that it was a thrill to speak with JFK, but admitted that he would have been more thrilled to speak with David Ferrie, the shadowy assassination figure played by a hairless, hyperactive Joe Pesce in Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK.”

In addition to “hits,” Powers has received a number of emails about the song—mostly pro although at least one claimed that it was not Kennedy himself but his DNA which survived Dallas 1963 and that the DNA sample is currently under the control of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He says he hasn’t heard yet from Oliver Stone or Michael Moore, but thinks his song would make the basis for an interesting movie (a la “Convoy”)—preferably by more serious filmmakers such as the Coen or Farrelly brothers.

Conspiracy theorists agree that while Kennedy sightings are unusual (rarer, say, than Elvis, Hitler, Frodo or Jim Morrison), they do occur occasionally. “I Saw John Kennedy Today” has been featured on the popular Kennedy Conspiracy Website (John F. Kennedy: What Really Happened in Dallas on November, 22, 1963? http://jfkennedy.8m.com/) where it has provoked lively discussion.

Powers’ work has also been featured on the Bruce Springsteen fansite (http://www.backstreets.com) and the unofficial Bob Dylan website (http://www.expectingrain.com).

The song was produced by Powers' friend and musical collaborator Tommy Spurlock in Spurlock's infamous train-car studio. Spurlock, a session ace who has played with Rodney Crowell, The Band, Shania Twain and others, is also a maverick producer of albums by David Olney, Chip Taylor, Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Jon Wayne.

Doug Cornell of AMP3.com has written of the song: “This is a true story. Luke Powers says so and I believe him. I don't want to give away the rest of the story, but if you like simple roots-rock melodies and a good yarn, then this song is for you. Powers sings in a pleasant folk style, and the accompanying guitars, mandolin, and percussion are thoroughly enjoyable. Download if you'd like clever folk music.”

Nikki Rossiter of http://www.rambles.net declares that Powers writes “songs that, with time and exposure, could become folk music of tomorrow.”

Powers reports that he is thrilled that his song is getting hundreds of downloads a day. But he insists, “this isn’t about downloads—this is about getting the truth out there.”

ABOUT LUKE POWERS – Luke Powers is a college professor with a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (which he attended on the prestigious Morehead Scholarship). The specialist on British poet William Blake sidelines as a songwriter. He has collaborated with such Music City luminaries as Brian Ahern (producer of EmmyLou Harris, George Jones and Johnny Cash), Tommy Spurlock (Rodney Crowell, David Olney, Chip Taylor), Garth Hudson of The Band, as well as Mark Collie and Earl Bud Lee (co-author of “Friends in Low Places”). He has also worked extensively with his brother Sam Powers, who has played with bands including Superdrag and Guided by Voices. Poetry, song-clips, illustrated lyrics and scholarly work are available on Luke’s website (http://www.phoebeclaire.com).

ABOUT PHOEBE CLAIRE PUBLISHING, LLC - Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC, is a limited liability company established in 2001 to produce, publish and release creative work including original songs and literature. Its motto is “Words & Music.” As a music publisher it is affiliated with BMI. In cooperation with Waterline Records, it released Sandy Madaris' debut CD "Way Back Home" (2002) featuring songs written by Powers. Powers’ own album “Picture Book,” produced by Tommy Spurlock, will include “I Saw John Kennedy Today” and is scheduled for release in Fall 2004.

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