Sweet home Alabama

Michael Cartellone, American drummer with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Damn Yankees was born  7th June 1962. Best known for popularizing the Southern hard rock genre during the 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd were Originally formed In the summer of 1964, when teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. the group eventually settled on the name “Leonard Skinner”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair.

During the 1970′s the band experienced many line-up changes and in 1972 the band was discovered at one of their shows at a club in Atlanta, GA. They soon changed the spelling of their name to “Lynyrd Skynyrd”and their fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” helping them rise to worldwide recognition. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released in 1975 and the fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in January 1976, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums.

Steve Gaines joined the band in June 1976 and the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones. The next album 1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and included the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”.Sadly though, On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and at the peak of their success, three members (Including Gaines) all died in an airplane crash, Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978. Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as frontman. A version of the band continues to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2003.

tribute to Henri Gauguin

460px-Paul_Gauguin_085Being of an artistic nature I thoght I would do a post about Leading French Post-Impressionist artist Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin, who  was born7 June 1848. As a child he lived for four years in Lima with Paul’s uncle and his family. The imagery of Peru would later influence Gauguin in his art. It was in Lima that Gauguin encountered his first art. His motherdmired Pre-Columbian pottery,  He was collectng Inca pots that some colonists dismissed as barbaric.After attending a couple of local schools he was sent to a Catholic boarding school inLa Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, which he hated. He spent three years at the school. At seventeen, Gauguin sined on as a pilot’s assistant in the merchant marine to fulfill his required military service Three years later, he joined the French navy in which he served for two years. 1873, he married a Danish woman, Mette-Sophie Gad (1850–190). Over their next ten years, they had five children: Émile (1874–1955); Aline (1877–1897); Clovis (1879–1900); Jean René (1881–1961); and Paul Rollon (1883–1961). By 1884, Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, Denmark,In 1873, around the same time as he became a stockbroker, Gauguin began painting in his free tie. His Parisian life centred on the 9th arrondissement

He returned to Paris in 1885, after his wife and her family asked him to leave because he had renounced the values they shared.[citation needed] Paul Gauguin’s last physical contact with them was in 1891 .In 1887, after visiting Panama, Gauguin spent several months nearSaint Pierre in Martinique. While in Martinique, he produced between ten and twenty works and traveled widely and apparently came into contact with a small community of Indian immigrants, a contact that would later influence his art through the incorporation of Indian symbols. Gauguin, along with Émile Bernard, Charles Laval, Émile Schuffenecker and many others, frequently visited the artist colony of Pont-Aven in Brittany. By the bold use of pure color and Symbolist choice of subject matter, the group is now considered a Pont-Aven School.

Disappointed with Impressionism, Gauguin felt that traditional European painting had become too imitative and lacked symbolic depth. By contrast, the art of Africa and Asia seemed to him full of mystic symbolism and vigour. There was a vogue in Europe at the time for the art of other cultures, especially that of Japan (Japonism). He was invited to participate in the1889 exhibition .Under the influence of folk art and Japanese prints, Gauguin’s work evolved towards Cloisonnism, a style given its name by the critic Édouard Dujardin in response to Émile Bernard’s method of painting with flat areas of color and bold outlines, which reminded Dujardin of the Medieval cloisonné enamelling technique.Gauguin was very appreciative of Bernard’s art and of his daring with the employment of a style which suited Gauguin in his quest to express the essence of the objects in his art. the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms

His works of that period are full of quasi-religious symbolism and an exoticized view of the inhabitants of Polynesia. In Polynesia, he sided with the native peoples, clashing often with the colonial authorities and with the Catholic Church. During this period he also wrote the book Avant et après (before and after), a fragmented collection of observations about life in Polynesia, memories from his life and comments on literature and paintings. He also used Primitivism , which was an art movement of late 19th century painting and sculpture; characterized by exaggerated body proportions, animal totems, geometric designs and stark contrasts. .

Sadly his paintings were not well appreciated until after he passed away on 8th May 1903. however Gaugiuin’s bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art and his art became popular after his death luckily many of his paintings were in the possession of Russian collector Sergei Shchukin And he was later recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism and  he was influential to theSymbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer, andhis work also influenced that of the French Avante Garde such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

Tribute to E.M.Forster

apti-emfEnglish novelist E. M. Forster OM, CH sadly passed away on 7th June 1970. Born 1st January 1879. He was also a short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster had a humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.

His novel Howars End tells a story of social and familial relations in turn-of-the-century England and is generally considered to be Forster’s masterpiece. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The book is about three families in England at the beginning of the 20th century: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings (Margaret, Tibby, and Helen), who have much in common with the real-life Bloomsbury Group; and the Basts, a struggling couple in the lower-middle class. The Schlegel sisters try to help the poor Basts and try to make the Wilcoxes less prejudiced. The Schlegels frequently encounter the Wilcoxes. The youngest, Helen, is attracted to the younger Wilcox brother, Paul. The eldest, Margaret, becomes friends with Paul’s mother, Ruth Wilcox. Ruth’s most prized personal possession is her family house at Howards End. She wishes that Margaret could live there, as her own husband and children do not value the house and its rich history, So Ruth, who is terminally ill, bequeaths the cottage to Margaret causing great consternation among the Wilcoxes. So Mrs Wilcox’s widowed husband, Henry, and his children decide not to tell Margaret about her inheritance.

Not knowing about the inheritance, free-spirited Margaret becomes friends with Henry Wilcox and eventually marries him. However Henry’s elder son Charles and his wife try to keep Margaret from taking possession of Howards End.On Henry’s advice, Helen tells Leonard Bast to quit his respectable job as a clerk at an insurance company, because the company stands outside a protective group of companies and thus is vulnerable to failure. Bast then loses his tenuous hold on financial solvency. and Helen tries to help young Leonard Bast (perhaps in part out of guilt about having intervened in his life to begin with). Sadly it all goes terribly wrong when it is revealed that Bast’s wife had an affair with Henry in Cyprus ten years previously but he had then carelessly abandoned her.Margaret confronts Henry about his ill-treatment, and he is ashamed of the affair but unrepentant about his harsh treatment of her. In a moment of pity for the poor, doomed Leonard Bast, Helen has an affair with him. Finding herself pregnant, she leaves England to travel through Germany to conceal her condition, but eventually returns to England when she receives news of her Aunt Juley’s illness but refuses to meet with Margaret but is tricked into a meeting at Howards End Henry and Margaret plan an intervention with a doctor, thinking Helen’s evasive behavior is a sign of mental illness. When they come upon Helen at Howards End, they also discover the pregnancy. Margaret tries in vain to convince Henry to forgive Helen. Unaware of Helen’s presence Mr. Bast arrives at Howards End wishing to speak with Margaret, whereupon Henry’s son, Charles, attacks him, and accidentally kills him, Charles is charged with manslaughter and sent to jail for three years. The ensuing scandal and shock cause Henry to reevaluate his life…

A Room with a View is about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory also produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985 starring Helena Bonham-Carter and Dame Maggie Smith. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Room with a View 79th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Forster’s most successful novel A Passage to India, on the other hand is  set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. It was selected as one of the 100 great works of English literature by the Modern Library and won the 1924 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Time magazine included the novel in its “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005″. The novel is based on Forster’s experiences in India. E.M.Forster borrowed the book’s title from Walt Whitman’s poem Leaves of Grass.

Little Red Corvette

American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor Prince (born Prnce Rogers Nelson) was born June 7, 1958. During his long running career Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of the instruments on his recordings. In addition, Prince has been a “talent promoter” for the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, The Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others (including Chaka Khan, The Bangles, Sinéad O’Connor, and even Kim Basinger). He also has several hundred unreleased songs in his “vault”.   Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota,

Prince developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin’s band 94 East, seventeen-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album, For You, in 1978. His 1979 album, Prince, went platinum due to the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. His next three records, Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982) continued his success, showcasing Prince’s trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released the album Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name.

After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985), and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and he released the critically acclaimed double album Sign o’ the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting the band The New Power Generation in 1991, which saw Prince changing his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol known as “The Love Symbol”.In 1994, he began releasing new albums at a faster pace to eject himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros, releasing five records in a span of two years before signing to Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as Prince once again. He has released thirteen new albums since the beginning of the 21st century, including his latest record, 20Ten, released in 2010.

So far Prince has sold an estimated 80 million records worldwide  he also has a wide vocal range and is known for his flamboyant stage presence and costumes. His releases have sold over 80 million copies worldwide. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince No. 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.Prince’s music has been influenced by rock, R&B, soul, funk, rap, blues, New Wave, electronica, disco,psychedelia, folk, jazz, and pop. His artistic influences include Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Miles Davis, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, the Isley Brothers, Duke Ellington, Curtis Mayfield, and Stevie Wonder. Prince pioneered the “Minneapolis sound”, a hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B and New Wave that has influenced many other musicians

Happy Birthday Tom Jones

Tom Jones celebrates his birthday on 7th June

Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones OBE was born this date 7th June in 1940, So far Jones has had thirty-six Top 40 hits in the United Kingdom and nineteen in the United States; some of his notable songs include “It’s Not Unusual“, “What’s New Pussycat“, “Delilah”, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, “She’s a Lady” and “Kiss” (Which was originally recorded by Prince, Who also celebrates his birthday on 7th June). Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records. Having been awarded an OBE in 1999, Jones was dubbed a knight bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music” in 2006. Jones has received numerous other awards throughout his career, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, two Brit Awards—winning Best…

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Lincoln

The 2012 American historical drama film Lincoln, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg is out on DVD on Monday 10th June. starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President  Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.The film is based in part on Doris Kearns novel The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and takes place during the final four months of in Lincoln’s life.

The film recounts President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts, during January 1865, to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the United States House of Representatives, which would formally abolish slavery in the country. Lincoln is expecting the Civil War to end within a month but concerned that his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation may be discarded by the courts once the war has ended and the 13th Amendment defeated by the returning slave states and those who wish to delay its passage.

The Ammendment still faces obstacles and even if all the states are persuaded, it will still require the support of several Democratic congressmen if it is to pass. With dozens of Democrats losing their re-election campaigns in the fall of 1864, some of Lincoln’s advisors believe that he should wait until the new Republican-heavy Congress is seated. Lincoln, however wants the amendment in place and the issue of slavery settled before the war is over and the southern states readmitted into the Union.Lincoln’s hopes for passage of the amendment rely upon the support of the Republican Party founder Francis Preston Blair, the only one whose influence can ensure that all members of the western and border state conservative Republican faction will back the amendment. With Union victory likely, Blair is keen to end the hostilities as soon as possible.

Therefore, in return for his support, Blair insists that Lincoln allow him to immediately engage the Confederate government in peace negotiations. Unfortunately a significant portion of the support he has garnered for the amendment is from the Radical Republican faction for whom a negotiated peace  leaves slavery intact. Unable to proceed without Blair’s support, , Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward work on the issue of securing the necessary Democratic votes for the amendment So  they authorize agents to  contact Democratic congressmen with offers of federal jobs in exchange for their voting in favor of the amendment.As the amendment approaches a vote on the House floor, congressman Thaddeus Stevens decides to moderate his statements about racial equality to help the amendment’s chances of passage.

Despite the vote on the amendment being postponed, it proceeds, narrowly passing by a margin of two votes.  Two months later, Lincoln meets General Grant on the battlefield at Petersburg, Virginia, Shortly thereafter, Grant receives General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.On the evening of April 14, 1865, while discussing possible future measures to enfranchise blacks, he suddenly remembers he is due to go to Ford’s Theatre. Sadly Later that night tragedy strikes when he encounters an actor named John Wilkes Booth…