Throwback Thursday: Billy Joel

‘It was the worst of times’

by The Economist

IN FEBRUARY 1970 a 16-year-old boy, Zhang Hongbing, denounced his mother to an army officer in his village in Anhui province, in eastern China. He slipped a note under the officer’s door accusing her of criticising the Cultural Revolution and its leader, Mao Zedong. She was bound, publicly beaten and executed. Decades later Mr Zhang began writing a blog about the tragedy, seeking to clear his mother’s name and to explain how her death happened.

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‘Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder’

by Nick Paumgarten (New Yorker)

Joel has not released an album of new pop material since 1993. Since then, he has written and recorded just one song, “All My Life,” an ill-advised Sinatra-ish tribute to his then wife Katie Lee, which was released onPeople’s Web site on Valentine’s Day in 2007. He has been almost meticulously unproductive.

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