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Immigrants Of The Day: Eddie Van Halen of Netherlands, Alice Callaghan of Canada, and Itzhak Perlman of Israel

by Kevin R. Johnson

Eddie Van Halen (The Netherlands)

220pxeddie_van_halen_28199329 Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (born January 26, 1955 in the Netherlands), is a musician most famous for being the lead guitarist and a co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. states that "[s]econd to only Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen was undoubtedly one of the most influential, original, and talented rock guitarists of the 20th century."

Eddie Van Halen spent his early childhood in Nijmegen in the east of the country. in 1962, his family moved to Pasadena, California, United States.

In 1972, the hard rock band Van Halen formed formed. They group success from the release of "Van Halen" album in 1978 until the late 1990s.  Van Halen has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and has had the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.  According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best selling band/artist of all time with sales of over 56 million albums in the United States and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the United States.

Watch and listen to the Van Halen cover of Roy Orbison's song "Pretty Woman" -- one of my van Halen favorites -- by clicking here.

January 17, 2008 | Permalink

Alice Callaghan (Canada)

She was born 1947, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she is an Episcopalian priest and a former Roman Catholic nun. She is an advocate of the homeless and poor of downtown Los Angeles and the founder of the SRO Housing Trust and the manager of Las Familias Del Pueblo, a Skid row community center. Some developers view the Skid row area in Los Angeles as an opportunity to convert aging buildings into condominiums and sell them for big profits. Callaghan has insisted that the renovated buildings be used to house the poor.

Callaghan's family moved from Canada to southern California when she was a small child. Like many teens in southern California, she became an avid surfer. After attending college, Alice became a nun but later left the convent to become an Episcopalian priest.

Callaghan is a proponent of immigrants learning English and wrote an op/ed on the subject (and critical of bilingual education) in the N.Y. Times.  For more about Callaghan, click here and here.

January 18, 2008 | Permalink

Itzhak Perlman (Israel)

220pxitzhakperlmanwhitehouse2 Itzhak Perlman (born August 31, 1945) is one of the most distinguished violinists of the late 20th century. Born in Tel Aviv, Palestine, now Israel, Perlman first became interested in the violin when he heard a classical music performance on the radio. He studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv before moving to the United States to study at the Juilliard School.

Perlman made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963 and won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964. Soon afterward he began to tour extensively.

Perlman plays on the antique Soil Stradivarius violin of 1714, considered to be one of the finest violins made during Stradivari's "golden period."

In recent years, Perlman has begun to conduct, taking the post of principal guest conductor at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, Mr. Perlman was named the holder of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair in Violin Studies at the Juilliard School.

Perlman played during the entertainment at the state dinner attended by Queen Elizabeth II on May 7, 2007, in the East Room at the White House.

In 1995, the Perlmans founded the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island, New York, offering gifted young string players a summer residential course.

Click here to see a video of Perlman perform as a 13 year old.

January 22, 2008 | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.