Thank for tuning in, your normal host Rembert N Parker has passed from this world. His obituary is included at the bottom of this blog for all those who would like to see a glimpse into this amazing man’s life! I’m Marshall Morris, a stage 4 cancer Gladiator and founder of Dying Defiantly (a charity that helps those with a terminal diagnosis) and I got the pleasure of spending a good portion of the last decade getting to know Rembert. As I recall, I’ve known Rembert since 2009 or 10. We had discussed love and the ABC’s of life many times. We skinned our hearts and knees many times during our friendship, when I was diagnosed with a stage 4 incurable cancer, and then again when Rembert was diagnosed with Stage 4 Central Nervous System cancer this last year! He never truly let anyone know how sick he was, he just didn’t have time for it! So, I decided to write this BLOG entry to say GOODBYE TO YOU MY TRUSTED FRIEND!!! I hope you enjoy! Please leave comments to let us know if we should continue his blog, thank you!
Seasons in the Sun” is an English-language adaptation of the 1961 Belgian song “Le Moribond” (in English “The Dying Man”) by singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with lyrics rewritten in 1963 by American singer-poet Rod McKuen, portraying a dying man’s farewell to his loved ones. It became a worldwide hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks and became a Christmas number one in the UK in 1999 for Westlife.
The first version of the song was recorded by Brel, who reportedly wrote it in a brothel in Tangiers. Sung in a marching tempo, it tells of a man dying of a broken heart and shows him saying his last farewells to his close friend Emile, a priest friend, an acquaintance named Antoine, and his wife who has cheated on him numerous times with Antoine. Despite knowing of Antoine being his wife’s lover, he wishes no ill upon him but tells him to take care of his wife. American Rod McKuen translated the lyrics into English. In 1964, the Kingston Trio first recorded an English version of “Seasons in the Sun”, which was later heard by Terry Jacks and became the basis for his rendition.
Jacks rewrote the lyrics, although he is uncredited for it. He justifies the rewriting by stating that he deemed the original version and its translations as “too macabre”. The inspiration for the rewritten lyrics was a close friend of his who was suffering from acute leukemia and died four months later. The Terry Jacks rendition, which was later dedicated to the friend, has the dying man giving his last words to his loved ones with whom he shared his life, much like the original. However, unlike the Brel version, the man does not die broken-hearted but instead, acknowledges the rights and wrongs of his actions in life as he passes away peacefully. In the rewritten version, the man first addresses a close friend whom he had known since childhood and reminisces about the happy times they had, such as playing and studying together (“climbed hills and trees”, “learned of love and ABC’s”) and friendships with others (“skinned our hearts and skinned our knees”). He then addresses his father, who tried to give him a good upbringing and exert a positive influence on his undisciplined life (“I was the black sheep of the family”, “You tried to teach me right from wrong”, “wonder how I got along”) which included overindulgence, vices, and revelry (“too much wine and too much song”). The man finally addresses a “Michelle”, recounting how she had lifted his spirit up in times of despair.
According to Jacks, the Beach Boys asked him to be their producer during the sessions for the band’s album Surf’s Up. On July 31, 1970 they attempted a rendition of the “Seasons in the Sun”, but the session went badly, and the track was never finished. Afterwards, Mike Love told an interviewer: “We did record a version [of ‘Seasons’] but it was so wimpy we had to throw it out. … It was just the wrong song for us.” The recording remained unreleased until the 2021 compilation Feel Flows.
Jacks recorded his rendition in Vancouver in 1973. The piano arpeggio parts and double bass parts in the second verse were done by a young David Foster.
Jacks released his version as a single in 1973 on his own label, Goldfish Records. “Put the Bone In”, an original composition about burying a deceased pet dog, was included as the B-side. The single soon topped the record charts in the US (where it was released on Bell Records), in Canada, and the UK, selling over 14 million copies worldwide.
Jacks’s version was released in the United States in December 1973 and made the Billboard Hot 100 a month later. On March 2, 1974, the song began a three-week run at number one atop the Hot 100 and remained in the top 40 until almost Memorial Day weekend. Jacks’s version also spent one week on the Easy Listening charts. Billboard ranked it as the number two song for 1974. Although he released several other singles that were moderately successful in Canada, “Seasons in the Sun” would become Jacks’s only major solo hit in the United States. In Canada, the single (Gold Fish GF 100) reached number one on the RPM magazine charts January 26, 1974, and remained there four weeks.
Though the song enjoyed contemporary success, some modern critics take a dimmer view, considering it overly sentimentalized. Jacks’s version has been held up as an example of bad music, such as having been listed as one of the worst pop songs ever recorded and ranking number five in a similar CNN poll in 2006. Jacks also released a German-language version in Germany with lyrics by Gerd Müller-Schwanke, “In den Gärten der Zeit”.
The song has seemingly no end as it has become the official trailer music for John Wick: Chapter 4.
DEDICATED TO REMBERTS AMAZING WIFE AND JOHN WICK FAN,
BEVERLY “BEVIE” PARKER
- The first recording of the English-language version (lyrics by McKuen) was released on 1963 album Time to Think by The Kingston Trio.
- The Fortunes recorded the song for a 1968 single.
- The Newmen, an Irish vocal group, released a version in 1969 on Dolphin Records (DOS37) with ‘Bonnie Bonnie’ on the B-side.
- Colombian duet Ana y Jaime released a Spanish version called Estaciones en el Sol.
- Pearls Before Swine included a version of the song on their album City of Gold in 1971, with lyrics reflecting the darkness of Brel’s original version.
- A cover version by Bobby Wright reached #24 of the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in 1974.
- Hong Kong English pop and Cantopop band The Wynners cover version in 1974 album Listen to the Wynners and Alan Tam as the vocal.
- Klaus Hoffmann recorded a German version of “Le Moribond”, titled “Adieu Emile”, in 1975.
- Too Much Joy recorded the song for their 1988 album Son Of Sam I Am, and it became a regular part of their live shows.
- Nirvana also recorded the song in 1993, which was released in the box set With the Lights Out in 2004.
- Damir released a version of the song in 1993
- Westlife made their cover version in 1999 and included it on their album Westlife.
- Nana Mouskouri did a version of the song.
- Black Box Recorder included their cover as the first track on their B-sides compilation album The Worst Of Black Box Recorder.
- Spell (an ensemble composed of Boyd Rice and Rose McDowall) recorded a version in 1993, and titled their only album after the song.
- Alcazar covered the song in 2000.
- Jim Bob released a version in 2021.
A LIFE REMEMBERED…
Rembert Nesbitt Parker, 72 (30+42), of Anderson, passed away on January 4, 2023. He was born on October 5,1950, in Greensboro, North Carolina; Rembert was well-travelled living in several states to include Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Rhode Island, Illinois and New York but ultimately planted roots in the Anderson, Indiana area in 1997 where he has resided since. During his life Rembert worked as a photographer’s assistant, golf caddy, busboy, librarian, radio disc jockey, computer programmer, actuary, professor, television talk show host & AOL community leader setting up the science fiction & comics forums.
Rembert ran numerous science fiction, comic book, and gaming conventions in cities around the country. He was the master of ceremonies for several conventions and the emcee for costume contests at various conventions (including GenCon).
Rembert was an award-winning author. His early publications included gaming adventures for Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. A series of books he has written included social commentary in Resisting the Challenges of the 21st Century, and music history in the forthcoming Lost or Forgotten Oldies Buried by the Sands of Time. Rembert enjoyed blogging in his spare time with his series What Was Left In.
Rembert was a Boy Scout & nature lover; He was an avid gardener loving to tend to his fruits & vegetables in the back-yard garden (and a not so big fan of the rabbits eating his efforts). He was a lover of animals, but his favorite routine was spending his mornings & evenings with his cat, Colby Solo Parker.
Rembert loved music so much so that one would consider him a musical historian. Those that knew him could always count on hearing a fascinating story as Rembert was a wealth of knowledge and lived experiences; He was once even invited to sing on stage with Three Dog Night in front of a sold-out crowd.
Rembert graduated from Ball State University to which he received his master’s in Computer Science & doctorate in Computer Science Education (after writing a textbook for new programmers). He was a retired professor at Anderson University where he taught Computer Sciences.
Rembert was a beloved pillar of the Anderson Comic and Gaming community as the proprietor of Reader Copies. Reader Copies was founded in Jacksonville, Florida 1994; Rembert first did travel comic shows in the southeast United States and in 1995 opened his first store front. Setting-up in Anderson 1997, Rembert became known for his gaming & comic knowledge as evident by his absolute passion for the industry. Reader Copies, at its core, was about the culture and friendships; a mindset that goes all the way back to his own “Friday Night” gaming days.
Rembert is survived by his loving wife of 32 years Beverly “Bevie” (Sizelove) Parker, Daughter Claire Parker (& Josh Lennen) of Evansville, IN, Son Keith Prichard (& Mary Bowling) of Anderson, Daughter Wendy (Brian) Opie of Bloomington, IN and Daughter Julie (Brandon) Howey of Anderson, IN.
Rembert is survived by his grandchildren Connor Lennen, Benjamin Lennen, Emily Lennen, Jon Borror, Philip Opie, Serenity Bowling, Lilly West & Allison West.
Rembert is survived by his 3 brothers Vann (Carol) Parker of California, Todd (Sandi) Parker of Virginia & Jon (Mari) Parker of North Carolina along with several nieces & nephews.
Rembert is survived by special friends Jean Rabe (writer), Timothy Zahn (writer), Donald Bingle (writer), Robert Daniels (artist), Alan M. Clark (artist), Steve Jackson (American Game Designer), Matt Phillips & the t.W.o, Jon Cook, Marshall Morris, Dan Schaffer, & Gale “Sonny” Bloom.
Rembert is survived by his students & every customer of Reader Copies, his “other family”. Rembert in his way loved and appreciated all of you.
He was preceded in death by father, Julian Walton (Helen) Parker, mother, Marsha (Howard) Wulff.
GOODBYE TO YOU MY TRUSTED FRIEND
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