Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Justice at last: William Zantzinger, R.I.H. (roast in hell)

I'm a little late on this item, but have just found out that William Zantzinger--whom Bob Dylan immortalized, along with the Black waitress Zantzinger killed with a cane, in the great 1960s song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"--is dead and buried at last.

Several years ago Mother Jones magazine revisited the story, here is the link for those interested.

Dylan changed the spelling of Zantzinger's name to Zanzinger, perhaps for legal reasons although more likely he just got it wrong. Whatever the case, he got the moral point right, and the song is one of the greatest cries against injustice an artist has ever produced.

Here is a video of Dylan singing it, one of a number available on YouTube:

Photo: AP.

Addendum: Jackson Williams had an interesting post on Zantzinger on the Huffington Post, including some worthwhile links.

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