by Sarah Fenske
Vocalist Kim Massie, beloved locally for her blues and gospel performances, has pulled out of a planned performance September 12 under the Gateway Arch -- saying she didn't realize that the event was sponsored by the St. Louis Tea Party.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Massie made it clear she does not support the group's politics.
"Please be assured that not only will you NOT see me perform at the rally, but I also do not support the efforts of the Tea Party," she wrote.
Massie did not respond to an email last night seeking more information about her change of heart.
The "Under the Arch" event has been clearly promoted as a Tea Party event -- it's actually called the "9/12 Tea Party," so it's unclear how the event's sponsorship came as a surprise to the singer. Promotional materials show that Massie (described as "one of the most recognizable voices in St. Louis") has been listed as a scheduled performer for weeks.
Still, Massie's decision not to perform has drawn almost universally positive feedback on her Facebook page last night. As of 10 a.m. today, 40 of her friends "liked" the post announcing her withdrawal; another 20-something posted comments applauding her decision.
Only the most recent comment on Massie's page strikes a slightly more skeptical note: "Well if they were going to hire you it doesn't appear that they're racist and seem to have good taste in music. From all I've seen and read its about smaller government and lower taxes, yes?"
We'll leave the answer to that one up to Massie's many friends and fans.