» Boulevard Elementary music teacher to bring


When Ann Trojan first got her dog Gabe, the plan was for him to compete in Dock Diving, a sport where dogs jump into water and are judged by distance and/or height. 

Gabe  a golden retriever  excelled at the sport, but found an even greater fondness for the people around him.

“Gabe is an attention hog,” Trojan said, laughing. “He loves pets, hugs and kisses.”

Upon noticing his penchant for human interaction, Trojan, a certified dog trainer, decided to begin the process so Gabe could be a therapy dog. She trained Gabe herself and received his certification through Pet Partners, a non-profit that educates and tests hopeful therapy dogs.

“The test itself is not for the faint of heart,” Trojan said. “It’s one hour with 20 skills tested.”

With the right expertise under his belt, Gabe will join Trojan at Boulevard Elementary in Gloversville, where she is a music teacher, in the fall. Therapy dogs aren’t new to the district as a whole, the high school has two and Kingsborough has one, Trojan said.

“I don’t think Boulevard has ever had one. Gabe could be the first,” she said.

Gabe will work with students as part of the new Core Knowledge Language Arts program. Students will be given the chance to read to Gabe, and each kid who does will receive a certificate.

Trojan will travel to other classrooms with Gabe as her own teaching schedule allows. During the 8:30 to 9 a.m. block, Trojan will bring the pup to a rotating array of classrooms and two students will be able to read to him for 15 minutes each. The reading to Gabe program is an Animal Assisted Activity that Trojan signed up for through Pet Partners.

“What I like about bringing Gabe in is it combines by three greatest passions,” Trojan said. “Just having Gabe in my classroom is the greatest benefit to myself. Secondly, the passion I have for dogs and the love and therapy they can provide to people, then my love for reading itself.”

Gabe will have breaks. Between reading sessions, he will have his own corner of Trojan’s classroom to unwind, aptly dubbed “Gabe’s Getaway.”

To start the year, Gabe will work mornings only. He will greet students as they arrive and help them navigate the school building, then Trojan will take him home during lunch.

Once he’s acclimated, the golden retriever will have Monday and Thursday afternoons off. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, he will be in the building all day.

Categories: -News-, Education, Fulton | Montgomery | Schoharie, Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

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How an unflattering photo drove Trump to DENOUNCE


On Donald Trump’s “List Of Things I Should Worry About” he should be five digits deep before he ever arrives at “the picture of me Fox and Friends uses.”

But an inability to prioritize or see the big picture is what got Trump into five-digit lists in the first place.

Nevertheless, Trump — facing nearly 100 felony counts — is now openly complaining that Fox and Friends intentionally uses an ugly picture of him.

This morning, Trump posted this primal scream:

“Why doesn’t Fox and Friends show all of the Polls where I am beating Biden, by a lot. They just won’t do it! Also, they purposely show the absolutely worst pictures of me, especially the big ‘orange’ one with my chin pulled way back. They think they are getting away with something, they’re not. Just like 2016 all over again…And then they want me to debate!”

Mr. former, twice-impeached, President, “Sir,” (I’m crying and big and burly), perhaps it is because there are no polls showing you over President Biden by a lot?

And here is the offending photo:

Story continues below tweet:

I’ve seen worse. I have even seen worse pictures of Trump, not many, but I’m sure I have. Indeed, given the news of the day, Fox and Friends could use this picture, and Trump would look much worse.

Story continues below tweet:

Trump’s issue with Fox and Friends isn’t really about the picture… well, yes, it is sort of about the picture because Trump is so vain that he wears more makeup than Kimberly Guilfoyle.

No, his issue is with the fact that Rupert Murdoch finally realized that the world would be a much better place (to make money in) if Donald Trump is never president again.

Thus, as the owner and producer of Fox News, the word went forth that they were not going to be in the tank for Trump in the Republican primary.

Trump: “THAT’S NOT ALLOWED! Look at the Republican rules I had engraved on tablets, the NUMBER ONE RULE, “I am the Lord your God, thou shall have NO gods, candidates OR presidents before me!”

Sorry, I’m not sure how Trump got into the column.

Trump needs himself ensconced into the presidency as fast as possible with as little resistance as possible because that clears up the five-digit problems down to a manageable five total (Yes, his picture would be a top-five problem, he is that vain).

But Fox News is getting in the way!

Fox News has refused to endorse him (we are months away from even the first primary), and the station still regularly covers the other candidates, even with Trump’s lead.

One could say that Fox and Friends is doing all it can to push another Republican ahead of Trump. I don’t know that for a fact, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

After all, Brian Kilmeade learned how to play catch just to have a genuine “softball interview” with Ron DeSantis.

Story continues below tweet:

Yes, fun fact, DeSantis did play baseball at Yale, a point emphasized in the “softball interview” (Yes, I realize they used a baseball, which also used to be called “hardball” in some places, but definitely not in that interview).

So that is Trump’s problem. DeSantis gets to look kind of young and vigorous (He is only vigorously angry these days), while also getting softball interviews about things DeSantis likes, such as not being indicted in four locales as but one handy example.

(DeSantis is young. Give him time.)

Meanwhile, Trump gets to look like this.

Story continues below tweet:

For now.

But if he keeps complaining, don’t be surprised if they start using something worse…

They could use a four-picture rotation.

Story continues below tweet:

Or, they can start using random pictures of donkeys, which are perfectly respectable animals, an animal with dignity, one that works hard, is loyal, calm, contemplative, a vegetarian, and is the symbol used by Democrats. All things Trump hates!

It is also a jackass.

I can be reached at and on Twitter @JasonMiciak.

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece reflecting the opinion of the author alone

Vinnie Longobardo

Managing Editor

Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He’s a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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Music & the Spoken Word: Our own ‘Silent Minute’


Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This was recorded in London, England, on June 16, 2022, and will be given on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

Standing behind me in newly refurbished glory after almost five years of reconstruction, polishing and paint is the British icon known as Big Ben. It stands prominently on the north end of the Houses of Parliament, on the edge of the River Thames.

To be precise, Big Ben is actually the name of the largest of the tower’s five bells. The tower itself is officially titled Elizabeth Tower, after Her Majesty the Queen, and the clock is named the Clock of Westminster. But to many people here in London and around the world, the bells, tower, and clock together are known simply as Big Ben.

Much has happened during Big Ben’s lifetime. Motor cars have replaced horses and carriages, electricity has replaced gas streetlights, and the Tube — London’s underground rapid transit system — was built below where this famous timekeeper stands. Since 1859, with only a few interruptions, the reliable chimes of Big Ben have helped Londoners mark the passage of time. But at a pivotal moment in British history, Big Ben’s chimes marked something more important than simply the start of another hour.

Big Ben clock tower is centered between two buildings and all are dark silhouettes against a sunset, with purple, red, pink and orange.

The Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, of the Houses of Parliament, is seen in London, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023

Kin Cheung, Associated Press

During World War II, when England was subjected to nightly air raids, a British major had the idea of inviting citizens to unite in a regular moment of silence — a time to pause and pray for peace. The idea was embraced by King George VI, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and millions of people in and out of the United Kingdom, regardless of their faith tradition.

Each day at 9 p.m., Big Ben’s familiar bell tolled on British radio, signaling to listeners the nightly beginning of what came to be called the “Silent Minute.” It might be said that Big Ben was helping the people mark, in Churchill’s words, “their finest hour” (see “Their Finest Hour,” Winston Churchill’s address to the House of Commons, June 18, 1940,

World War II, of course, has ended. But the need for peace in our lives has not. And while we can’t stop time from ticking away, perhaps we can stop ourselves occasionally. Maybe we can pause and take some time — if only a minute — to pray and ponder and hope for peace. Our own silent minute could be just what we need to renew our intent to pursue peace of mind, peace of conscience, peace in our relationships, and peace in the world around us.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143),, and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

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Davido Speaks On Retirement From Music


Nigerian award-winning singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has vowed to retire from the music industry before he turns sour.

Naija News reports that Davido made this known in a video shared online by his friend and entertainment blogger, Tunde Ednut, stating that his greatest fear in life is when his music career starts going down.

The ‘Unavailable’ crooner explained he is really scared of the moment in his career when things start to slow down and people no longer go crazy whenever he gets on stage.

Davido admitted that everybody goes through a phase in their career when people no longer go wild for their music.

However, he never wants to get to that point in his career and he often jokes with friends that he will retire before he goes sour.

In his words: “The only thing I’m really scared of is that moment maybe…when I get on stage, people cry, they go crazy.

“But it’s going to get to a point in my career where it’s going to start slowing down, everybody goes through it, so that’s what I’m really scared of, that point.

“I never want to get there. I always make a joke to my friends, I’m gonna retire before I turn sour”

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Arnhem Land metal band Wildfire Manwurrk sings


The Rostron family is in its element thrashing guitars, riding on the back of troupes and hunting on stone country in Central West Arnhem. 

Victor Rostron, his four sons and nephew make up the band Wildfire Manwurrk, which last week won two National Indigenous Music Awards.

Their song Mararradj took out the community film clip award, and shows the band painting rock art, singing around a campfire, and setting fire to the country, as they play guitar in creek beds and dance on top of the Arnhem Land escarpment.

The band has been 12 years in the making, and Mr Rostron says although making the film clip in remote Arnhem Land was a “really, really big struggle for everyone”, it is a work of great integrity.

“The story, the songlines, everything [is] there, and that’s where we should be doing it, on country,” Mr Rostron said.

From a cave in the middle of nowhere

Mr Rostron remembers the night his family started creating the sound that would become Wildfire Manwurrk.

A group of men stand around a campfire at night with clapsticks

Wildfire Manwurrk are self-taught musicians.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

“We got a generator and got a little second-hand instrument, we went bush — middle of nowhere — and then started making noise,” he said.

Lighting a massive fire behind them, they jammed. 

Weaving ancient stories and songlines, with metal, rock, and punk music, something magical happened out there on stone country.

“That’s where we start the band from, the bush, middle of nowhere,” Mr Rostron said.

The band started playing as Karrkad Kanjdji or KK band, doing gigs at stations and festivals in the Northern Territory for years before recording its first EP, The Next Future, in 2021 under its new name Wildfire Manwurrk.

‘The only chance we’ve got’

The Rostrons and their extended family are some of the last speakers of Kune, an endangered dialect of the Bininj Kunwork language, which is spoken to the south of Maningrida.

“We don’t want to lose that language, our Kune, because some languages [are] already gone,” Mr Rostron said.

Six men stand on a rock shelf holding spears.

Wildfire Manwurrk won the Archie Roach Foundation award.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

The members of Wildfire Manwurrk each speak at least five Indigenous languages, and most of their songs are in Kune language.

“We want to sing in our language so people can hear we still got that language and culture,” Mr Rostron said.

Australia has one of the fastest rates of language loss in the world.

While more than 250 Indigenous languages were spoken prior to colonisation, only 40 now survive, according to a 2021 study by the Australian National University.

“We got a big, big chance, that’s the only chance we got, through music,” Mr Rostron said.

“We want to keep that language and culture really strong.”

‘Heartbreak is really powerful’

The band is passionate about sharing traditional knowledge alongside the harsh contemporary realities its community faces.

A white troupe drives over sand in the bush with five people sitting on the roof

A still from film clip Mararradj.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Lead singer Sires Rostron, 31, said his song Don’t Smoke was inspired by what he saw in community.

“I saw parents smoking cigarettes near children,” he said.

“That’s so bad, small children smelling the smoke, bad for their health.”

He wanted to send a message.

“I was thinking, I’ve got to make this song so parents can listen and think, ‘Ah yeah, don’t smoke cigarettes near children, our children.'”

Mr Rostron agrees that health problems, from smoking and heart disease to diabetes and mental health are overwhelming in community, and their impacts are felt intimately.

“In every remote community there are suicides. And suicide is not our culture, it’s really new for us mob,” Mr Rostron said.

After speaking about the impact of suicide at Wildfire Manwurrk performances for years, tragedy hit Mr Rostron last month when he lost his eldest daughter to suicide.

“Heartbreak is really powerful,” he said.

While Mr Rostron continues to grieve, he emphasises “the healthy country behind us” is one of his key sources of strength.

“Always three things: music, art, and country. Put together, they make you strong and powerful,” he said.

Six men stand on a rock shelf in front of rock art spirits painted in white.

Mimih creation spirits are depicted in rock art dating back 50,000 years. (Supplied: Renae Saxby)

The family are traditional owners of Mimih ceremony, and mimih creation spirits are depicted in rock art that dates back 50,000 years.

Mr Rostron and Jay Jarrupula Rostron, mother of Mr Rostron’s sons in the band, are respected artists and continue the family tradition of painting rock art on country.

Most of the family works as rangers as well as playing music, and Mr Rostron’s younger daughter Cindy Rostron, 18, has established a second career as a model.

A young woman modelling clothes on a runway.

Cindy Rostron walked in nine shows at this year’s fashion week.(ABC News: Harriet Tatham)

Frequently flying between Maningrida and Sydney Ms Rostron models for major labels, has appeared on the cover of Vogue, and has more than 150,000 TikTok followers.

Balanda and Bininj, Whitefella and Blackfella, way

Despite the family’s gradually growing public profile, the challenges of walking in two cultures and worlds are constant.

“For bush people, it is really hard to get out from the Northern Territory,” Mr Rostron said.

In the wet season, roads out of Maningrida are inaccessible, and every time the band of six leaves its community, it costs tens of thousands of dollars in flights alone, which is almost impossible to finance.

“I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for bush people like us trying to get funding,” Mr Rostron said.

Six men sit and stand on the sand around a campfire in front of a rock shelf, holding didgeridoos and spears.

Wildfire Manwurrk won the community film clip award.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Even though Maningrida has money for arts and community development, the band struggled to find funding to record its music, eventually getting support through East Coast connections.

Recording its EP in the NSW North Coast town of Mullumbimby in 2021 was the first time most of the band had left the Northern Territory.

“It feel different down there, we were a little bit homesick for the NT. It was a big change for us mob,” Sires Rostron said.

Natalie Carey, who has co-managed the band for 10 years with Mr Rostron, says Wildfire Manwurrk’s rise has been slow and deliberate, prioritising integrity and self-determination.

“Victor is much more than just the face and voice of the band, he’s controlling where it goes,” she said.

As Mr Rostron learns management skills, Ms Carey says he is starting to build up the next generation.

“Victor is excited to be a role model for bands coming out of community, mentoring them around how the music industry works,” Ms Carey said.

A band silhouetted at sunset.

Wildifire Manwurrk was nominated for three awards and won two.(Supplied: Renae Saxby)

Mr Rostron’s vision is bigger than his own family. He dreams of a network of independent “bush musicians”, who can create a future by celebrating and sharing knowledge and culture through music.

“We’ve been talking about working in double tools, Balanda and Bininj, Whiteman and Blackfella, and we did it,” Mr Rostron said.

Wildfire Manwurrk plans to record a second EP and make its first east coast tour in 2024.


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Quavo, Hozier, Doechii, Addison Rae and More –


Billboard’s Friday Music Guide serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond. 



See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

This week, Quavo pays homage while moving forward, Hozier takes us to church (and the Inferno), and Doechii wants you to dance at all costs. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Quavo, Rocket Power 

Quavo’s nephew and Migos co-leader, Takeoff, was nicknamed “The Rocket” — and less than a year after the rapper was killed at the age of 28, his family member and group mate is drawing upon his thoughts and instincts as inspiration for his new solo album. Parts of Rocket Power are racked with grief, including the soulful highlight “Hold Me” and the memory-flooded title track, although Quavo also makes ample room in the sprawling full-length to celebrate life, as on the Future-assisted hit “Turn Yo Clic Up” and the crackling “Stain” with BabyDrill; ultimately, the album depicts a long-running rap star in a more complex light, and immediately makes the case as Quavo’s best solo project.

Hozier, Unreal Unearth 

When Hozier revealed that his third studio album — which follows 2019’s Wasteland, Baby!, the first No. 1 album of his career — would be inspired by Dante’s Inferno and include passages sung in Irish Gaelic, fears that the “Take Me To Church” singer-songwriter was turning inscrutable were only natural. Yet Unreal Unearth not only showcases the strength of Hozier’s voice and songwriting, but also remains accessible to hardcore fans and casual alt-rock listeners, from the snappy single “Eat Your Young” to the gargantuan Brandi Carlile duet “Damage Gets Done” to the restrained grace of closer “First Light.”

Doechii, “Booty Drop” 

“Shawty, what it is? / Bring that ass to the club,” Doechii commands on “Booty Drop,” a late bid for the summer’s most kinetic dance song. The Tampa native has shown promise as a recording artist and performer over the past year — signing with TDE, scoring an opening spot on Doja Cat and Ice Spice’s upcoming tour, and mesmerizing audiences whenever she hits the stage — but her latest single, a gleefully explicit take on the Jersey club style that never stops moving, might be the moment where her appeal spills over into the mainstream once and for all.

Addison Rae, AR EP 

Although Addison Rae’s newly released EP rescues a handful of tracks intended for the influencer’s never-released debut album, AR does not sound like a collection of odds and ends: instead, the five songs engross the listener with fresh melodies and bursts of personality, showcasing the 22-year-old as a quick study within this brand of pop. “2 Die 4” with Charli XCX is the highlight — marvel at the mini-hooks jam-packed into that chorus! — but the whole project is worth bookmarking as the potential start of something big.

Anitta, Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story 

When Anitta released her single “Funk Rave” in June, the Latin music star hinted that a deeper dive into Brazilian funk music would be both a way to honor her roots and a rewarding sonic exploration; with Funk Generation: A Favela Love Story, a three-song project that follows up “Funk Rave” with two new heaters, Anitta has more or less confirmed her suggestions. “Casi Casi” and “Used to Be” adopt different approaches — the former a chattering sashay, the latter a slow-building reflection — but Anitta excels at both tempos, and has us hoping for even more to come.

Editor’s Pick: FIFTY FIFTY feat. Sabrina Carpenter, “Cupid Twin Ver.” 

Think of FIFTY FIFTY’s new version “Cupid,” featuring Sabrina Carpenter on the remix, as a well-earned victory lap for both artists: the K-pop group crashed the upper reaches of the Hot 100 chart with the undeniable sing-along, while Carpenter is a little over a year removed from Emails I Can’t Send, one of the strongest pop albums of 2022, and its viral hit “Nonsense.” Together, FIFTY FIFTY and Carpenter reinvent a rock-solid hit ever so slightly, as Carpenter slides into the second verse and handles that sugary “I gave a second chance to Cupiiiiiid!” hook with aplomb.

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Oliver Anthony reveals he’s turned down $8 MILLION


Country music sensation Oliver Anthony has claimed he’s turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ soared to No. 1 on Apple Music’s global charts.

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top above stars including Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Travis Scott, and fellow country singer Morgan Wallen.

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off.

‘I’m sitting in such a weird place in my life right now. I never wanted to be a full time musician, much less sit at the top of the iTunes charts,’ he wrote, saying he hoped that when he filmed the videos, they might hit 300,000 views.

‘I still don’t quite believe what has went on since we uploaded that. It’s just strange to me,’ Anthony wrote.

He then confessed to have gotten ‘blank stares’ from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million.

Virginia factory worker Oliver Anthony claims he's turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ' Rich Men North of Richmond ' soared to No. 1 on Apple Music's global charts

Virginia factory worker Oliver Anthony claims he’s turned down offers for as much as $8million after viral hit ‘ Rich Men North of Richmond ‘ soared to No. 1 on Apple Music’s global charts 

‘I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression,’ he confessed.

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are ‘being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar.’ 

He then went into his full biography, saying that he had ‘never taken the time to tell you who I actually am.’ 

‘My legal name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford. My grandfather was Oliver Anthony, and ‘Oliver Anthony Music’ is a dedication not only to him, but 1930’s Appalachia where he was born and raised. Dirt floors, seven kids, hard times,’ he wrote.

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that ‘either is fine.’

Anthony claims he dropped out of high school in 2010 and got his GED at the age of 17.

He describes in detail the conditions he worked under that ended up inspiring his songs once he left school. 

‘I worked multiple plant jobs in Western NC, my last being at the paper mill in McDowell county. I worked 3rd shift, 6 days a week for $14.50 an hour in a living hell. In 2013, I had a bad fall at work and fractured my skull.’

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off

Anthony addressed the speculation about who he is, why he performs and what he thinks led to his sudden rise in a Facebook post Thursday after he claimed to have gotten over 50,000 messages after the video took off

He confessed to have gotten 'blank stares' from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million

He confessed to have gotten ‘blank stares’ from people in the music industry after having rejected the offers off $8million

Anthony moved back to Virginia, he says, and was unable to work again until six months after the injury.

In 2014, he started working in ‘outside sales’ in industrial manufacturing, which he says has taken him ‘all over Virginia and into the Carolinas.’ 

‘Ive spent all day, everyday, for the last 10 years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided and manipulated.’

Of his living conditions, he says he lives on a $97,500 piece of farmland (which he claims to still owe $60,000 on) inside a 27-foot camper with a tarp on the roof that he bought for $750 on Craigslist. 

He reiterates that his success is ‘nothing special’ to do with him to the point of self-deprecation.

‘I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.’

He then calls for unity and a deviation from the same internet culture that has made him famous. 

‘I HATE the way the Internet has divided all of us. The Internet is a parasite, that infects the minds of humans and has their way with them. Hours wasted, goals forgotten, loved ones sitting in houses with each other distracted all day by technology made by the hands of other poor souls in sweat shops in a foreign land.’

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are 'being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar'

Anthony feels the secret to his success is that his songs are ‘being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bulls**t. Just some idiot and his guitar’

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that 'either is fine'

He said that everyone now knows him as Oliver but that friends and family still call him Chris but adds that ‘either is fine’

He goes on to say that we should be fighting for ‘what is right’ and freedom of speech and that people should turn toward God. 

‘Just like those once wandering in the desert, we have lost our way from God and have let false idols distract us and divide us. It’s a damn shame,’ he finishes his letter.

‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ has gained mass notoriety for its ‘bone-chilling’ portrayal of life for the ‘average man’ in the United States. 

Lyrics include: ‘Lord, it’s a damn shame / What the world’s gotten to / For people like me and people like you / Wish I could just wake up and it not be true.’ 

The music video for the song, which includes Anthony strumming a guitar and singing soulfully to camera, has amassed more than 18 million views in a week. 

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top of the Apple Music charts

The song, released in early August, is sitting at the top of the Apple Music charts 

Anthony, who lives in Farmville – an hour outside of Richmond – has said the song is meant to share the struggles of the blue-collar worker. 

‘The universal thing I see is no matter how much effort they put into whatever it is they’re doing, they can’t quite get ahead because the dollar’s not worth enough, they are being over-taxed,’ Anthony said. 

‘I want to be a voice for those people. And not just them, but humans in general,’ the singer-songwriter explained of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’ 

‘As long as you’re above the dirt, you’ve got a fightin’ chance,’ he continued. 

On Spotify, the song has captured nearly 6 million listens in just five days. 

It is also currently being predicted as a contender to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart come late August.  

The tune has been adopted as the ‘working class anthem’ by many conservatives while some progressives have remained skeptical due to its lyrics. 

The song touches on human trafficking of children, even alluding to late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his illicit activities involving minors. 

‘I wish politicians looked out for minors and not just minors on an island,’ Anthony sings in the song, which is just over three minutes long. 

The singer also touches on out-of-touch politicians, high taxes, and those who take advantage of the system by ‘milking welfare.’ 

‘Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothing to eat and the obese milking welfare,’ he sings. ‘Well God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds, taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.’

Its message has been amplified by major voices including Fox News’ Laura Ingraham and popular podcast host Joe Rogan. 

Morgan Wallen

Taylor Swift

Oliver Anthony’s song beat out country singer Morgan Wallen (left) and Taylor Swift (right) 

Reaction to the song has been instantaneous with the song climbing up the charts and millions around the world sharing how the song has touched them. 

‘I’m a 40-year-old Iraq vet Marine. This one got my eyes a little soggy too… But I’m very proud of this young man for having the cahones to tell it like it is. Semper Fidelis Oliver,’ one person wrote on YouTube. 

‘This is the first time a non-gospel song has brought tears to my eyes and left me speechless. This is beautifully written and so true,’ a woman shared. 

‘I’m 75 years. I worked overtime for bullshit pay my entire life and I approve this message,’ another added. 

‘I’ve been an iron worker for 17 years and broke is an understatement to my finances. This song is the ‘American dream,” wrote one person who resonated. 

Outside of the U.S., supporters of the musician have weighed in across social media 

‘Speaking from Ireland, this song is an emotional masterpiece. It genuinely moves me multiple times every single time I play it,’ one person wrote. 

‘You speak of the majority of the 🌎 F**k the rich men north of Richmond.’ 

‘Just a guy from Greece here… Lifelong dream to move to the US one day. Some would say a song like this should only discourage me, but damn… I’ve always been inspired by its people, its true people, its heart and soul, and this man singing this song is a fine example,’ another commenter shared on YouTube. 

‘This song isn’t just for the US, this song should bring all people together, at least all of those whose heart’s in the right place,’ the commenter continued. 

Since going live, Anthony’s song has also been met with open arms from many in the music industry. 

One man, Jason Howerton, said on Twitter that ‘legendary country producer’ John Rich has offered to pay for Anthony to record his debut album. 

Howerton also claimed in a tweet that Rich will produce the album for the singer. 

On Thursday, rapper Gucci Mane also showed interest in the country singer in a post on Instagram. 

In a post, the ‘Black Beatles’ crooner told his followers that he would love to sign Anthony to his 1017 imprint. 

‘Aye fam I need y’all help on this one I’m trying sign these guys as my first country artists to 1017!!!’ the rapper wrote. 

Gucci Man shared a screenshot of the song on Apple Music and urged his 17 million followers to help him get in contact with the ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ singer.  

‘I need the info asap,’ he shared. 

Since finding seemingly overnight success, Anthony has taken a step back briefly to cope with the newfound fame. 

Clearly overwhelmed by the chart topping climb, Anthony posted on Facebook that he is ‘so thankful’ for the support and is working on new music and shows. 

‘I’m working on getting gigs scheduled and will post a calendar when it’s available.’ 

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TikTok Music Division Reportedly Grapples With


About one month after TikTok Music became available in nations including Brazil and Indonesia, the division behind the streaming service’s music offerings is reportedly grappling with layoffs.

Word of TikTok’s music-side personnel cutbacks, including across its TikTok Music streaming service and its SoundOn distribution platform, entered the media spotlight in a report from Billboard. At the time of this writing, ByteDance and TikTok execs hadn’t addressed the matter publicly.

Similarly, none of the reportedly impacted individuals – seven staffers in total, all based in the United States – seemed to have weighed in on the less-than-ideal news on LinkedIn. Inversely, in a sign that the layoffs might be one component of a broader shakeup, two-year company vet Alex Shahparnia today announced his elevation from SoundOn artist and label partnerships lead to label and promotion lead for the overarching TikTok.

According to anonymous sources cited in the noted report, though, the team-size reduction has reached the aforementioned units as well as TikTok’s global music division. One of the affected persons, senior product strategy and operations head Kelly Chen Solomero, had per her LinkedIn profile led a more than 30-person team “to launch SoundOn.”

Another now-former TikTok employee, U.S. music partnerships and operations lead Marisa Jeffries, started with the highly controversial short-form app in March of 2021 following a total of over 15 years at Sony Music and SoundCloud, her own LinkedIn profile shows.

Needless to say, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for additional (and potentially farther-reaching) layoffs from TikTok, which in July of 2022 moved to trim a comparatively substantial 100 or so positions. Specifically when it comes to music, however, logic suggests that the video-sharing giant could largely maintain (and possibly keep on growing) its team in the approaching months notwithstanding concerns about the economy and ByteDance’s massive losses.

Expanding upon the point, ByteDance and TikTok, far from avoiding music expansion initiatives, have during 2023 rolled out a livestream music competition, an artist-promotion program called Elevate, a “portable audio workstation” called Ripple, a bolstered song-discovery hub, and a “talent manager portal,” to name some.

Meanwhile, TikTok has also continued to build out the previously highlighted TikTok Music and scored a major licensing agreement with Warner Music Group on the year. But recent headlines haven’t been entirely positive for the platform, which was this week banned on government devices in New York City due to longstanding security concerns associated with its use.

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