Sting (Gordon Sumner) The Police

Better known by the stage name Sting,  the English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist Gordon Matthew ThomasSumner, CBE was born 2 October 1951). He is best known as the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police and for his subsequent solo career.Sting has varied his musical style, incorporating distinct elements of jazz, reggae,classical, New Age, and worldbeat into his music.As a solo musician and member of the Police, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy forBest Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981, three Brit Awards – winning Best British Male in 1994, a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, and several Oscar nominations for Best Original Song. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.The Police consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by punk, regga, and jazz.They made many albums including Regatta de Blance, Zenyatta Mondatta and Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, which reached number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and sold over 8 million copies in the US. The group disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008.

In September 1981, Sting made his first live solo appearance, performing on all four nights of the fourth Amnesty International benefitThe Secret Policeman’s Other Ball and led an all-star band (dubbed “The Secret Police”) on his own arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”. The band and chorus included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, all of whom except Beck later worked together on Live Aid. . In 1982 he released a solo single, “Spread a Little Happiness” from the film version of theDennis Potter television play Brimstone and Treacle. . His first solo album, 1985’s The Dream of the Blue Turtles, featured a cast of jazz musicians, including Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones,Omar Hakim and Branford Marsalis. It included the hit singles “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, (backed with the non-LP song “Another Day”) “Fortress Around Your Heart”, “Love Is the Seventh Wave”, and “Russians”, the last of which was based on a theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite.Within a year, the album reached Triple Platinum. This album would garner Sting a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.Also in 1985, he sang the introduction and chorus to “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits. Sting was reportedly embarrassed when his publishing company insisted on a co-writing credit (and royalties)’ since his “I Want My MTV” line was sung to exactly the same notes as the chorus of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”. He performed this song with Dire Straits at theLive Aid Concert at Wembley Stadium

Prior to the Live Aid concert, in November 1984 Sting was part of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.in 1985, Sting provided a short guest vocal performance on the Miles Davis album You’re Under Arrest. He also sang backing vocals on Arcadia’s single “The Promise”, and on two songs from Phil Collins’ album No Jacket Required. He also contributed a version of “Mack the Knife” to the Hal Willner-produced tribute album Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill. In September 1985, Sting performed “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards. The 1986 film Bring on the Night, directed by Michael Apted, documented the formation of the band and its first concert in France.Sting released …Nothing Like the Sun in 1987, including the hit songs “We’ll Be Together”, “Fragile”, “Englishman in New York”, and “Be Still My Beating Heart”, dedicated to his mother, who had recently died. The song “The Secret Marriage” from this album was adapted from a melody by German composer Hanns Eisler, and “Englishman In New York” was about the eccentric writer Quentin Crisp. The album’s title is taken from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130.  in February 1988, he released Nada como el sol, a selection of five songs from Sun . He was also involved in two other recordings in the late 1980s, the first in 1987 with jazz arranger Gil Evans, , and the second on Frank Zappa’s 1988 Broadway the Hard Way album, where Sting performs an unusual arrangement of “Murder By Numbers”, set to the tune “Stolen Moments” by jazz composer Oliver Nelson, and “dedicated” to fundamentalist evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. October 1988 saw the release of Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with the London Sinfonietta conducted by Kent Nagano. It featured Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Ian McKellen and Sting in the role of the soldier.

His 1991 he released his Grammy award winning album The Soul Cages  including the Top 10 song “All This Time” and the following year, he married Trudie Styler and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in music from Northumbria University. In 1991, Sting appeared on Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin,and performed “Come Down in Time”. The album  was released on 22 October 1991 Also in 1991, a recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf was made by Deutsche Grammophon, narrated by Sting, and played by Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This was also used as the soundtrack to the television special Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy.In 1993, he released the album Ten Summoner’s Tales, which peaked at number two in the UK and US Album Charts, and went triple platinum in just over a year.Ten Summoner’s Tales was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1993 and nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1994. The title is a wordplay on his surname, Sumner, and The Summoner’s Tale, one of The Canterbury Tales. Hit singles on the album include “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.”, the latter earning Sting his second Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 36th Grammy Awards. Concurrent video albums were released to support Soul Cages and Ten Summoner’s Tales.In May 1993, he released a cover of his own Police song from the Ghost in the Machine album, “Demolition Man”, for the Demolition Man film. Together with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, Sting performed the chart-topping song “All for Love” for the film The Three Musketeers. it is to date Sting’s only song from his post-Police career to top the U.S. charts. In February, he won two more Grammy Awards and was nominated for three more.TheBerklee College of Music gave him his second honorary doctorate of music degree in May. In November, he released a greatest hits compilation called Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting, and also did a duet with Vanessa Williams on the song “Sister Moon.

At the 1994 Brit Awards in London, Sting won the award for Best British Male.His 1996 album, Mercury Falling contained the single “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot”  “You Still Touch Me” (June) and “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” During this period, Sting also recorded music for the upcoming Disney film Kingdom of the Sun, which went on to be reworked into The Emperor’s New Groove. That same year Sting also released a little-known CD-ROM called All This Time, which provided music, commentary and custom computer features describing Sting and his music from his perspective.Also in 1996, he provided some vocals for the Tina Turner single “On Silent Wings” as a part of her Wildest Dreams album. In the same year, his performance with the Brazilian composer/artist Tom Jobim in the song “How Insensitive” was featured in the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Rio produced by the Red Hot Organization. Sting has also cooperated with Greek popular singer George Dalaras,  “Moonlight”, a rare jazz performance by Sting for the 1995 remake of Sabrina, written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and John Williams, was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. On 4 September 1997, Sting performed “I’ll Be Missing You” with Puff Daddy at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards in tribute of the late Notorious B.I.G..On 15 September 1997, Sting appeared at the Music for Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, performing alongside artists such as Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney.

The Emperor’s New Groove soundtrack was released with complete songs from the previous version of the film, which included Rascal Flatts and Shawn Colvin. The final single used to promote the film was “My Funny Friend and Me”. Sting’s September 1999 album Brand New Day included the Top 40 hits “Brand New Day” and “Desert Rose”. The album went Triple Platinum by January 2001. In 2000, he won Grammy Awards for Brand New Day and the song of the same name. At the awards ceremony, he performed “Desert Rose” with his collaborator on the album version, Cheb Mami. For his performance, the Arab-American Institute Foundation gave him the Khalil GibranSpirit of Humanity Award. However, Sting was criticised for appearing in a Jaguar advertisement using “Desert Rose” as its backing track, particularly as he was a notable environmentalist.In February 2001, he won another Grammy Award for his rendition of “She Walks This Earth (Soberana Rosa)” on A Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins. His song “After the Rain Has Fallen” made it into the Top 40. His next project was to record a live album at hisTuscan villa in Figline Valdarno, which was to be released as a CD and DVD were to be entitled On Such a Night and was intended to feature re-workings of Sting favourites such as “Roxanne” and “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.” The concert, scheduled for 11 September 2001, was altered in various ways due to theterrorist attacks in America that day. The webcast was shut down after one song (a reworked version of “Fragile”), after which Sting let it be up to the audience whether or not to continue with the show. Eventually they decided to go through with the concert, and the resultant album and DVD was released in November under a different title. Both are dedicated “to all those who lost their lives on that day”. He performed a special arrangement of “Fragile” with Yo-Yo Ma and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.In 2002, he won a Golden Globe Award for the song “Until…” from the film Kate and Leopold whichwas also nominated for Academy Award for Best Song.At the 2002 Brit Awards in February, Sting received the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Music.In June he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2003 Sting was appointed a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire For services to the Music Industry .At the 54th Primetime Emmy Awards in September, Sting won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program, for his A&E special, Sting in Tuscany… All This Time.In 2003 he released Sacred Love, featuring collaborations with hip-hopartist Mary J. Blige and sitar performer Anoushka Shankar. He and Blige won a Grammy for their duet, “Whenever I Say Your Name”. The song is based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Praeambulum  from the Klavierbuechlein fuer Wilhelm Friedemann Bach .His autobiography Broken Music was published in October. He embarked on a Sacred Love tour in 2004 with performances by Annie Lennox. . Sting also appears as a guest on the 2005 Monkey Business CD by American hip-hop groupThe Black Eyed Peas, adding vocals to the track “Union” which makes heavy use of samples from his Englishman in New York. Continuing with his involvement in Live Aid, he appeared at Live 8 in July 2005. During 2006, Sting collaborated with Roberto Livi in producing a Spanish-language version of his cult classic “Fragile” entitled “Fragilidad” on the album Rhythms Del Mundo by Latino recording legends “The Buena Vista Sound” (previously known as the Buena Vista Social Club).

During 2006, Sting was guest on the Gregg Kofi Brown album, singing “Lullaby to an anxious child”  .In October 2006, he released  Songs from the Labyrinth featuring the music of John Dowland (an Elizabethan-era composer) and accompaniment from Bosnian lute player Edin Karamazov. Sting’s musical interpretation of this English Renaissance composer and his cooperation with Edin Karamazov brought him significant recognition in classical music circles., he also appeared on the fifth episode of Studio 60 during which he performed a segment of Dowland’s “Come Again” as well as his own “Fields of Gold”. In May 2007, Deutsche Grammophon released the opera Welcome to the Voice, with Sting portraying Dyonisos.On 11 February 2007, he reunited with the other members of the Police as the introductory act for the 2007 Grammy Awards, singing “Roxanne”, and subsequently announced the Police Reunion Tour. The Police toured North America, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  Toronto documentary producer Vanessa Dylyn, who was producing a film called The Musical Brain, featuring neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, approached Sting about participating in the film. . Sting was also featured in Levitin’s second book, The World in Six Songs, where several of his songs (including “Russians”) are discussed.He is featured as a playable character in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour.”Brand New Day” was the final song of the night for the Neighborhood Ball, one of ten inaugural balls honouring President Barack Obama on Inauguration Day, 20 January 2009. Sting was joined by Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Sting’s new album If on a Winter’s Night was released on October 2009. Sting also appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert, playing “Higher Ground” and “Roxanne” with Stevie Wonder. Sting himself was inducted in 2003, as a member of The Police.

In 2010–2011, Sting continued his Symphonicity Tour,  and also began his Back to Bass Tour, Time magazine also named Sting one of the 100 most influential people in the world. On 26 April he performed “Every Breath You Take”, “Roxanne” and “Desert Rose” at the Time 100 Gala in New York City. Sting recorded a song called “Power’s Out” with Nicole Scherzinger. The song, originally recorded in 2007, was to have been included on Scherzinger’s shelved album Her Name is Nicole. The song was released on Scherzinger’s 2011 debut album Killer Love.Sting recorded a new version of the song “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot” as a duet with Glee actor/singer Matthew Morrison, which appears on Morrison’s 2011 eponymous debut album. On 15 September 2011, Sting performed “Fragile” at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, to honour the memory of his friend, financier-philanthropist Herman Sandler, who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. On 25 November 2011 Sting performed in an episode of CMT Crossroads with country legend Vince Gill.For several years, Sting has been working on a musical, The Last Ship, partially inspired by his album The Soul Cages. In 2013, the musical had a staged reading. The Last Ship tells a story about the demise of the shipbuilding industry in 1980s Newcastle, and will debut on Broadway in 2014.Sting’s eleventh studio album, titled The Last Ship and inspired by the play, was released on 24 September 2013.

tribute to novellist Grahame Greene

English writer,playwright and literary critic Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH, was born 2 October 1904. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was noted for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair. Several works such asThe Confidential Agent, The Third Man, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.Greene suffered from bipolar disorder, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife Vivien, he told her that he had “a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life”, and that “unfortunately, the disease is also one’s material”. William Golding described Greene as “the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety.” Greene never received the Nobel Prize in Literature, though he finished runner-up to Ivo Andrić in 1961. Grahame Greene sadly passed away 3 April 1991but has left us with some classic novels including Brighton Rock, The third man and the End of the Affair.

Mike Rutherford (Genesis)

Mike Rutherford, musician with English rock band Genesis and Mike & The Mechanics was born 2nd October 1950. Genesis were formed in 1967. The band currently consists of its three longest-tenured members – Tony Banks (keyboards) and Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar), who were founder members; and Phil Collins (vocals, drums), who first joined in 1970. Past members Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Anthony Phillips (guitar), also played major roles in the band in its early years.Genesis release of their first album in the late 1960′s, which was initially regarded by the band and the fans as a pop experiment, referring to then-popular melodic pop. Then, over the course of a year, (beginning with their second album in mid-1970) they quickly evolved into a progressive rock band with the incorporation of complex song structures and elaborate instrumentation. Their concerts became theatrical experiences with innovative stage design, pyrotechnics, extravagant costumes and on-stage stories. This second phase was characterised by lengthy performances such as the 23-minute “Supper’s Ready” and the 1974 concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. In the late ’70s and early ’80s the band’s musical direction changed once again, becoming more pop oriented and commercially accessible. This resulted in their first top 40 single in the US with “Follow You Follow Me”, their first number one album in the United Kingdom, Duke, and their only number one single in the United States, “Invisible Touch”.

Genesis has undergone several personnel changes throughout its history. Stage fright forced founding member Anthony Phillips to leave the band in 1970. In 1975, Collins, then the band’s drummer, replaced Peter Gabriel as lead singer after a lengthy search for a replacement. To facilitate Collins’s move to lead vocals during concerts, Bill Bruford and Chester Thompson played drums for the band as they toured, with Collins joining in briefly during lengthy instrumental passages. In 1977, guitarist Steve Hackett left the band. After Phil Collins left the band in 1996, Genesis recruited Ray Wilson (formerly of Stiltskin). Wilson appeared on the 1997 album Calling All Stations, after which the band announced an indefinite hiatus. In 2007, Banks, Collins and Rutherford reunited for a 20-city tour of Europe and North America, which included a free concert at Rome’s Circo Massimo in front of 500,000 fans. Genesis were among five bands inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. The future of the band remains uncertain with Collins’s retirement from the music business and the other members’ solo work.Mike Rutherford also formed English rock/pop supergroup Mike + The Mechanics in 1985 as a side project. The band is known for their hit singles “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)”, “All I Need Is a Miracle”, “Word of Mouth”, “Over My Shoulder”, and “The Living Years” .Initially, the band included Rutherford, vocalists Paul Carrack and Paul Young, keyboardist Adrian Lee and drummer Peter Van Hooke. Carrack was generally assigned to ballads and more pop-oriented numbers, while Young handled the band’s heavier work. Following Young’s death Paul Carrack became the band’s sole lead vocalist until 2004 when the band went on hiatus. The band identity was revived in 2010 with a completely new set of Mechanics working with Rutherford, including new vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar.

tribute to the late, great Groucho Marks

I am a big fan of The the hilariously daft films of the late, great American comedian, actor television star Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx who was Born 2nd October 1890 in New York City. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. His rapid-fire, often impromptu delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers and imitators. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.Julius took to the stage as a boy singer in 1905. Though he reputedly claimed that as a vaudevillian he was “hopelessly average,” it was merely a wisecrack. By 1909, Juius and his brothers became a vaudeville singing group. Billed as “The Four Nightingales”, Julius (Groucho), Milton (Gummo Marx), Arthur (Harpo Marx), and another boy singer, Lou Levy, traveled the U.S. vaudeville circuits to little fanfare. After exhausting their prospects in the East, the family moved to La Grange, Illinois, to play the Midwest. After a particularly dispiriting performance, Julius, Milton, and Arthur began cracking jokes onstage for their own amusement. Much to their surprise, the audience liked them better as comedians than as singers, so They modified the then-popular Gus Edwards comedy skit “School Days” and renamed it “Fun In Hi Skule”. For a time in vaudeville all the brothers performed using ethnic accents. Leonard, the oldest, developed the Italian accent he used as Chico Marx to convince some roving bullies that he was Italian, not Jewish. Arthur, the next oldest, donned a curly red wig and became “Patsy Brannigan”, a stereotypical Irish character. His discomfort speaking on stage led to his uncle Al Shean’s suggestion that he stop speaking altogether and play the role in mime and Julius Marx developed a fast-talking wise-guy character  that became his trademark.

A DAY AT THE RACES http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_9NpCXH7MdA

Groucho Marx made 26 movies, 13 of them with his brothers Chico and Harpo and developed a routine as a wise-cracking hustler with a distinctive chicken-walking lope, an exaggerated greasepaint mustache and eyebrows, and an ever-present cigar, all of which were carried over from his days in vaudeville, improvising insults to stuffy dowagers (often played by Margaret Dumont) and anyone else who stood in his way. As the Marx Brothers, he and his brothers starred in a series of popular stage shows and movies.Their first movie was a silent film made in 1921  & A decade later, the team made some of their Broadway hits into movies, including The Coconauts and Animal Crackers. Other successful films were Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, and A Night at the Opera. Amazingly off-camera, Harpo and Chico were difficult to recognize by their fans without their wigs and costumes, and it was almost impossible to recognize Groucho without his trademark eye-glasses, fake eyebrows and mustache.Marx also worked as a radio comedian and show host. One of his earliest stints was in a short-lived series in 1932 Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, co-starring Chico.  In 1947, he was chosen to host a radio quiz program You Bet Your Life. Filmed before a live audience, the television show consisted of Marx interviewing the contestants and ad libbing jokes, before playing a brief quiz. The show was responsible for many memorable catchphrases ” Groucho also made a supposed response to a contestant who had nine children, which brought the house down. In response to Marx asking in disbelief why she had so many children, the contestant replied, “I love my husband.” To this, Marx responded, “I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.” and it remains one of the most often quoted “Groucho-isms”. Throughout his career he introduced a number of memorable songs in films, including “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” and “Hello, I Must Be Going”, in Animal Crackers, “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It”, “Everyone Says I Love You” and “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”. Frank Sinatra, who once quipped that the only thing he could do better than Marx was sing, made a film with Marx and Jane Russell in 1951 entitled Double Dynamite.Marx sadly passed away after he was hospitalized for pneumonia on June 22, 1977 and died on August 19 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was cremated and the ashes were interred in the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. His mausoleum marker bears only his stage name, a Star of David, and the years of his birth and death although he remains, the most recognizable and well-known of the Marx Brothers.

keep feeling fascination – happy birthday Phil Oakey

Phil Oakey, singer with English electronic New Wave band The Human League was Born 2 october 1955. Formed in Sheffield in 1977. The Human League had an early hit with “Being Boiled”, but achieved stardom after a key change in line-up in 1980, releasing multiple international hits from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s. Dare (1981), the band’s most popular album, yielded the single “Don’t You Want Me”, a No. 1 hit in the UK, US, and many other territories. Other international hits include: “Love Action”, “Open Your Heart”, “Mirror Man”, “Fascination”, “The Lebanon”, “Human” (a US No. 1) and “Tell Me When”.The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based group, The Human League evolved into a commercially successful synthpop band under Oakey’s leadership. Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (who joined the ensemble in 1980), with various sidemen. The Human League has influenced many electro-pop, other synthpop, and mainstream performers including Madonna, La Roux, Moby, Pet Shop Boys, and Little Boots. They have been sampled and covered by various artists including Tony Christie, Utah Saints, Ministry of Sound, Craig David, George Michael, KMFDM, Robbie Williams and Out of the Blue (Oxford University). Since 1978, The Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs, thirty singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UK Top Ten and have sold more than 20 million records

BEST OF THE HUMAN LEAGUE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IoN5jLI6f8Y