Just in time for JFK anniversary, Minnesota musician revives 'Jack Ruby'


An acclaimed Minnesota musician is bringing back his haunting song "Jack Ruby" in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Paul Metsa recorded the song 21 years ago, and is dusting it off as the tragic event turns 50 on Friday.

The Star Tribune says Metsa has also released a new video for the song, which includes footage of Ruby shooting the president's then-suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as clips from the Kennedy assassination.

Metsa also remastered the recording for the November re-release of the song. You can also listen to it on website, BlueGuitarHighway.com. It is also featured on Metsa's new compilation CD, "Blues, Ballads and Broadsides — Songs from the Blue Guitar Highway."

Metsa was 8 years old when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He recalls sitting in front of the TV when Ruby gunned down Oswald.

"It was the first time in my life, as a young white middle class American, where I really felt the presence of evil," Metsa tells MPR.

The folk song tracks Ruby's origins and his time in organized crime. Metsa also pleads in the tune for witnesses to come forward for the truth to be revealed about the assassination.

The musician tells MPR he got the idea for the folk song in the 1990s, after he happened upon a newspaper article on Ruby's brother while living in a spooky mansion in Minneapolis.

Metsa says he didn't make out Ruby to be a hero in the song, and now describes him as an "anti-hero."

The Star Tribune profiled Metsa in 2011 when the musician released his memoir, "Blue Guitar Highway."

Metsa, who has shared the stage with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger, performed the song at Farm Aid in Irving, Texas, 1992.

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