Track of the Day: 'Why'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader who grew up in eastern Montana flagged some sad news today: the death of Joe Medicine Crow. He was a Native American historian, the last war chief of the Crow Tribe of Montana, and the winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Medicine Crow earned the title war chief “for his deeds in Europe in World War II, which included stealing enemy horses and showing mercy on a German soldier he could have killed,” Montana Public Radio’s Eric Whitney reports. He was also a living link to the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, having heard direct testimony from someone who took part in the battle and later chronicling it as a historian.

Our reader passed along this video of Medicine Crow talking about that fateful battle with General Custer, as well as recalling his deeds in WWII:

Joe Medicine Crow lived to the remarkable age of 102.

A few months ago, our Montana reader submitted a song from another member of the Crow Nation, rapper Chris Parrish, aka Supaman:

He’s a wonderful man and an inspiration and deserves all the success he can muster. In 2014 he was named Artist of the Week by MTV’s Iggy blog and has received multiple awards in native music, etc. If you like the track and can find a theme for it, please play it if you have a chance.

(Track of the Day archive here. Access it through Spotify here. Submit via hello@)