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February 08, 2012

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Algabal

This finally answers who Neil Diamond was talking about in the song "Gone Too Soon." It's a mystery that has puzzled me for years. I had been spelling the name wrong all this time. Thank you!

Artie Mondello

I first heard of Chessman through two paperbacks I bought at an estate sale some twenty years ago, CELL 2455 DEATH ROW and THE KID WAS A KILLER. The former had a couple of newspaper clippings tucked inside about his execution, which kinda lent a depressing air to the whole purchase... Anyway, Country Johnny Mathis's "Caryl Chessman" stands as one of my all-time favorite records, country or otherwise. Sheer, haunting poetry, affecting whether or not you know the story.

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