Letter to the Editor: Cokie Roberts article lacked accuracy

By Dr. Jody Graves, Director of Piano Studies

Dear Easterner Editor,

I enjoy the articles, and all the great work your reporters do. I would like to offer a suggestion regarding a recent article about Cokie Roberts. The paragraph I am referring to is: “The evening began with a musical performance by Jodie Graves. She sang three songs including ‘John Brown’s Body’ and set the tone of the evening. The performances prefaced the tone of Roberts’ lecture. Graves concluded with a recital of ‘Blue Tail Fly,’ where Roberts came from behind the curtain and joined her to finish the chorus.”

I was the pianist for this event and I performed with the singer, Ann Fennessey, who is a Spokane icon. We were asked to begin the evening with specific music, but I was not the singer, as was indicated in the program with our bios. We also did not do “John Brown’s Body” and we ended the set with “Was My Brother in the Battle.” My name is also misspelled in the article.

I wanted to share this with you, as I know this is an educational process for these students. I thought it might be helpful for the person who wrote the article to be clear about name spellings and accurate about citing titles. It also might be more clear if the writer said “rendition of ‘Blue Tail Fly’” rather than recital.

I’m so glad someone was there to report, as it was a memorable evening. I hope you take this in the spirit it is being offered. And my thanks to the person who wrote the article.


Dr. Jody Graves, NCTM

Director of Piano Studies

Graduate Program Director

Associate Professor of Piano