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2005-10-22 - 9:52 a.m.

Have started watching the Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons DVDs, and they are fun. (Thanks, Michael Powers, for the recommendation).

I only vaguely remember Cavett (who underwent shock treatment, yeeow!) as the decidedly grown-up talk show host who my parents watched sometimes. He wasn't kid-friendly like Mike Douglas or Merv.

Now, to watch his show, you can see that although he is witty and urbane, he also has a goofy, self-deprecating charm that harbinges Conan and Letterman.

The first episode is a revelation--it was taped directly after Woodstock, and features the Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, and Stills/Crosby, sans Nash and Young.

Icons, indeed, and a more annoying bunch of hippies you couldn't dream up, and yet! Their performances are all excellent (Jefferson Airplane--who knew?). And they are all, as individuals, funny and casual and, at that point, not full of themselves, just medium-level celebrities promoting their music on a TV show, as uncomfortable-looking teenagers in the audience clap politely.

But these are my kind of icons!

Randy Travis has a beautiful new album of country-gospel and worship songs, and you don't have to be a fan of the JC to appreciate the artistry here. He covers the always-moving "This Train" (although the lyrics are a little judgmental, no? she says right after condemning the Woodstock generation) and these guys are on it.

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