Born at Pickett's grave, song comes full circle

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Hugo Duarte's "Hollywood," a song inspired when he was locked in Hollywood Cemetery near the grave of Confederate Gen. George E. Pickett, was about to come full circle. Duarte will sing it today with Pickett, the great-great-great-nephew of the general.

Moreover, they'll sing it at the place where it was inspired, Pickett's grave.

An 11:30 a.m. graveside ceremony, open to the public, will mark Pickett's 181st birthday. In addition to "Hollywood," there will be the annual artillery salute and presenting of a floral wreath.

Afterward, Larry S. Chowning, author of "Soldiers at the Doorstep," will speak to the Pickett Society's sold-out luncheon. This evening, Duarte and possibly Pickett will perform at Mulligan's, 1323 W. Main St.

"Hollywood" has become something of a local phenomenon.

Duarte, a Southerner and son of a history professor, believes he felt the song through the dead general and his men ("Songwriter heard sorrow in Hollywood," column here Oct. 29).

He says it is far from a Confederate anthem.

As "Pickett" tells him in the song: "Tell'em what you saw when the sun went down / Tell'em for my boys restin' in the ground / That ya heard in the silence / How sorrow sounds."

The song was a local hit last fall on Lite-98 FM.

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