War songs were a 60s thing; Michigan Rocker has one for Ukraine


There’s a reason we have creative people in the world. They help us wrap our mind around ideas, thoughts, sometimes around the unthinkable. The Russian assault on Ukraine falls into this third category. A power-hungry despot leading a superpower in a smaller, less powerful country doesn’t seem like a fair fight, and seeing the reports coming out of Ukraine over the past few weeks seems to confirm that.

Around the world, musicians perform anti-war protest songs for troops and for the victims of the Russian attack on Ukraine, including Billy Craig of Big Rapids of Brownsville Station.

Okean Elzy is perhaps Ukraine’s biggest rock band and in 2015 they released a powerful video reacting to the events unfolding around them and historically. And now the lead singer of the band, Slava Yakarchuk, uses his band’s songs to boost the morale of the Ukrainian troops.

(Ger Tatz via YouTube)

And then here in Michigan, there’s Billy Craig. You might not know his name, but for the past decade he’s been part of Brownsville Station, the Ann Arbor band that had big hits with “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.” He’s also from Big Rapids and always does stuff there.

But now Craig has released a song “Tears For Ukraine” with Michigan band Elsie Binx.

(Billy Craig-Topic via YouTube)

It may not be like the 1960s. Ukraine is a distant country, whereas with Viet Nam it was our brothers and classmates who went to Southeast Asia, and in some cases did not come back. But there are plenty of people living in this part of Michigan who have Eastern European, and specifically Ukrainian, blood running through them. And as the headlines get scarier every day, it’s not just about “Tears for Ukraine”, but about praying that we don’t see the start of World War III.

15 ways to help people in Ukraine right now

As Americans watch events unfold in Ukraine, many are wondering how they can help. Below is a list of organizations responding to the crisis in Ukraine along with information on how you can support their various missions.

Check out the best-selling album from the year you graduated from high school

Do you remember the best album from the year you graduated from high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, by looking at each year’s best-selling album since 1956. Sales data is not included until 1992, when Nielsen’s SoundScan began collecting computerized numbers.

In chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present to you the best-selling album from the year you graduated from high school.


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