Monday, May 19, 2014

Robert Khayat sings 'Long Black Veil'

Robert Khayat
    This is old news, but hey, if you haven't read it, it's still news.
    Almost three years ago Ole Miss held a reunion of Mississippian staffers to celebrate the newspaper's 100th anniversary. The journalism department videotaped the many events, posted them on Youtube, where they were promptly forgotten.
    Former Chancellor Robert Khayat did a little singing for us, and I have to say he wasn't bad at all. Plus, I liked his choice of music. He sang "Long Black Veil," which I've taken the liberty of presenting it today for your viewing pleasure.
    In introducing the song, Khayat referenced "The Eternal Triangle" of two men and one woman that seems to be at the heart of much if not most music and literature. Occasionally one can find two women and one man. Think about the popular "Twilight" series, "The Hunger Games," or any Louis L'Amour western.
    According to Wikipedia, "Long Black Veil" was written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin and originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell.
    Wikipedia also reports that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals referred to the song in the case United States v. Dayton, 604 F.2d 931, 935 n.3 (5th Cir. 1979). This case concerned the proper procedures trial court judges must take when accepting a guilty plea, and identified "the two most dangerous" pitfalls of a guilty plea as coerced pleas and ignorant pleas. In describing a modification made to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which governs acceptance of pleas, the court explained that the changed required that "the defendant be made aware of what might happen as a result of his plea, and that the court be satisfied that a factual basis existed for it." It dropped a footnote at this point which stated, "This change was doubtless effected to avoid such circumstances as are recounted in 'The Long Black Veil.'"
    As good as Khayat's version of the song was, my favorite cover is the one done by Jason and the Scorchers. I still remember their concert in Fulton Chapel back around 1985-86 when they opened for The Fabulous Thunderbirds. As far as I'm concerned Jason should have had top billing.

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