Buffy Sainte-Marie to Rock Humboldt
By ALLIE HOSTLER, Two Rivers Tribune
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s remarkable career spans 50 years. She was an American Indian Movement (AIM) activist and folk singer in the 1960s that grew into an award winning performer and songwriter with Elvis Presley, the Indigo Girls and Kanye West recording her lyrics.
“It’s absolutely thrilling that Buffy will be performing in Humboldt County next weekend,” said Patty Clary, Hoopa resident and organizer of the non-profit organization, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. CATs is hosting the benefit concert on April 30 at the Eureka Theater.
Regularly heard on KIDE 91.3FM and tribal radio stations, Sainte-Marie’s legacy isn’t exclusive to Indian Country. Her art crosses racial boundaries, straight to the colorblind human soul.
Joe Orozco, the station manager at KIDE 91.3FM has met and interviewed Sainte-Marie numerous times and played her 18 albums hundreds of times. “I’ve always admired her stance on women’s and children’s rights. She’s also quite the environmentalist,” he said.
Sainte-Marie’s values are why CATs spent nine months getting her to the North Coast. “It was not an easy task,” Clary said. “She doesn’t like to tour much because she is a creator. When she’s on the road she isn’t able to create.”
Orozco still carries around Sainte-Marie’s phone number. She gave it to him in 2000 when she performed at the Mateel Community Center for the purpose of helping to set up funding for a performing arts center in the Hoopa Community.
“She’s well connected,” he said. “I think it’s time to take her up on her offer.”
Many locals crossed paths with Sainte-Marie throughout the years. She was at the Alcatraz occupation in the 1960s and was a vocal advocate for Indian Rights during the Wounded Knee Shootout.
According to her online biography, Sainte-Marie disappeared from the mainstream American airwaves during the Lyndon Johnson years. Her name was included on a White House memo listing musicians whose music “deserved to be suppressed,” and radio airplay disappeared. She was even told by a talk show host that Native issues and the peace movement had become unfashionable and to limit her comments to celebrity chat.
Sainte-Marie doesn’t like to be quiet.
Jim Henson hired her in 1975 to join the cast of Sesame Street where she regularly appeared for five years sending messages of equality and justice to young children everywhere. She went on to create television specials, movies, earned a Ph.D. in fine arts, raised a son, taught digital music at several colleges, and one an Academy Award Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for the song Up Where We Belong.
Tickets for the show are on sale at Office FX and More in Hoopa for $32. Tickets will also available at the door for $35. The show is April 30, 2011 at the Eureka Theater at 8PM. Doors open at 7PM.