Conceived and written by Dallas Morning News columnist Michael Granberry, One Song is part of an occasional series on a single song composed by a major American songwriter.
For those of us who lived through the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on Nov. 22, 1963, the shock will never go away. Songwriter Gretchen Peters had just turned 6, when Walter Cronkite announced on CBS News: “From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time.”
Peters and her family lived in Westchester County, near New York City, where her father, William Peters, was a colleague of Cronkite’s, a producer for CBS Reports and the protégé of broadcasting legend Edward R. Murrow.
Years later, his daughter would turn not to journalism but to music as her way of making sense of the world. Now 58, she has recorded 10 solo albums and in 2014 was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her 2012 album, Hello Cruel World, contains a gem of a song in cut No. 10. “Idlewild” takes its name from the New York City airport that would come to be known as JFK soon after the president’s death…
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