Elvis was the ‘King’ but Levi Stubbs was a prince
Jerry Brown, come back! We need a touch of sanity in Sacramento
Wednesday was the King’s birthday. Elvis Presley would have turned 85, meaning he has now been gone longer (43 years) than he was alive (42 years).
No doubt he was a great one, but I listened to and read about another great one the other night — Levi Stubbs.
Stubbs, born a year after Elvis, in 1936, was the lead singer of the legendary Motown group the Four Tops.
Active (with Stubbs as lead) from 1954 to 2004, the group sold more than 50 million records, including hits such “Bernadette,” “Standing in the Shadows of Love,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” “Baby, I Need Your Lovin’” and “It’s the Same Old Song.”
I sometimes ask Alexa to play Motown songs, and of course the Four Tops are prominently featured. I realized I didn’t know much about them and did a little research.
We didn’t have Google when I listened to them in the 1960s.
Stubbs was more than a great singer. He was loyal and true to his roots.
Unlike so many lead singers in those days and ever since, Stubbs refused to go out on his own as a solo act.
He even refused to take lead billing over his longtime friends and bandmates — there would be no “Levi Stubbs and the Four Tops.”
He remained married to wife Cliniece for 48 years, until his death from cancer in 2008 at age 72.
Stubbs was born in Detroit and died in Detroit.
Elvis might have been the King, but Levi Stubbs was a prince of a fellow.
Hearing the Four Tops today instantly takes me back to wintry nights in Central New York, listening to the top hits on WNDR in Syracuse.
Say what you want about Jerry Brown, at least our former governor was a check on the lunacy coming out of the far-left Legislature.
With Gavin Newsom as governor, anything goes. Newsom signed many measures previously vetoed by Brown.
It says a lot when Jerry Brown looks like the model of normalcy compared to what we have now.
Brown would have vetoed the absurd AB 5, the intrusive measure you’ve been reading about that makes it impossible for thousands of freelance writers to make a living.
Under the law, which granted exemptions to lobbies that apparently coughed up enough cash in legal bribery, employers are limited in whom they can employ as independent contractors.
The goal ostensibly was to prevent Uber and Lyft from employing drivers full-time without offering them benefits that full-time employees would receive.
For writers, like me and all the other Valley Press contributing columnists, the cap is 35 articles per year.
Beyond that and the publication must make you an employee with the associated benefits.
Obviously written by people who have never run businesses. I suspect many who voted for it have never held what you and I would call real jobs.
As noted in a front-page article and editorial this week, the freelancers of the state are suing on First Amendment grounds, with a hearing in March.
At three columns per week, the middle of March would have me at my quota for 2020.
As I have a full-time teaching job, I neither want nor need full-time employments/benefits from the newspaper.
I just want to write my columns.
When I first heard about this last year, I thought it so ridiculous it couldn’t possibly hold up. But here we are in the new year, and as of now, the law stands.
The Valley Press powers that be are working on ways that we columnists can continue our contributions and remain within the law.
But they shouldn’t have to spend time on that.
Admittedly, Jerry Brown was a bit out there. But I always rather liked him, and I am confident he would never have signed a monstrosity like AB 5.