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Appreciation: Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester (1944-2014)
Appreciation: Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester (1944-2014)

It was an offhanded comment by singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, but it stopped Elvis Costello cold when he was chatting with Winchester for his short-lived music-interview series “Spectacle” on the Sundance Channel a few years ago. In an aside, the inordinately gifted songwriter casually identified “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz” (one of the first songs for which he’d gained acclaim in the early 1970s) as the first song he’d ever written. Then he nonchalantly moved on to finish the main point he was making about the art of writing songs. Costello interrupted, in utter disbelief: “You mean to say that was actually the first song you ever...

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