Ernest Hemingway

American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway was Born July 21 1899. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image also influenced later generations. However, long before Ernest Hemingway wrote his first story, his mother was busy writing about him, in a series of scrapbooks documenting the future author’s childhood.Starting Sunday, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston will make the contents of five Hemingway scrapbooks available online for the first time, giving fans and scholars the chance to follow the life of one of te 20th century’s literary greats from diapers to high school degree.Grace Hall Hemingway began the series of scrapbooks by describing how the sun shone and robins sang on the day in July 1899 when Hemingway was born.The scrapbooks also contain childhood paintings and tell of Hemingway playing the cello, suiting up for a ‘lightweight’ football squad and taking up boxing. During his junior year of high school, he was on his school’s prom committee and, according to a report card note from his Latin teacher, showed ‘improvement both in attitude and work.’

As Hemingway matured, the scrapbooks showcased his earliest attempts at the craft that would come to define his professional life. Among them were a short story from his high school’s literary magazine, clippings from some of his first assignments as a high school newspaper reporter and a sonnet in which 16-year-old Hemingway seemed to poke fun at himself.’Nobody likes Ernest, that, is straight stuff,’ he said, ‘and when he writes stories – we all cry “Enough.” By the time Hemingway was five, his mother noted that he was collecting war cartoons and had an appreciation for characters with courage.’He loves stories about Great Americans,’ she wrote.The scrapbooks have a plethora of family photos from the Hemingway family’s home in Oak Park, Illinois, and their vacation cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan, including shots of a bare-bottomed baby Hemingway playing in the water by a canoe.They include letters to Hemingway and others he wrote as a child, including a note of contrition in which he confessed to bad behavior in church.’My conduct tomorrow will be good,’ 13-year-old Hemingway promised.

Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.emingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.

After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. However They also divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had acted as a journalist, and he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II; during which he was present at the Normandy Landings and liberation of Paris.Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and 1940s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where sadly he committed suicide on July 2, 1961. However A farewell to Arms remains a popular novel and ‘The scrapbooks his Mother created are part of the collection that Hemingway’s widow, Mary, gifted to the JFK Library and Museum after the author’s tragic suicide 2 July 1961.

The Robots of Death

imageI have recently watched the classic Doctor Who episode The Robots of Death in which
The fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) arrive on a distant inhospitable, barren planet, where a huge sandminer vehicle, Storm Mine 4, is slowly scraping the surface in search of precious minerals. The sandminer is manned by nine humans and numerous robots – black ‘Dums’ that cannot speak, pale green ‘Vocs’, and a silver ‘Super Voc’ which controls all the ‘Dums’ and ‘ Vocs’.

However the harmony aboard the Sandminer is rudely disrupted when a meteorologist called Chub, is later found dead and the crew discover the Doctor and Leela wondering about and accuse them of being stowaways and murdering Chub and incarcerate them. However the Doctor suspects something far more sinister may be happening. Then another crew member is found dead so The crew ask The Doctor for help and he suggests somebody may be reprogramming the Robots to clobber people. However the Sandminer crew reject the idea citing Asimov’s first Law of Robotics – No robot shall kill a human being.

Leela then discovers a third dead man (Cass) and a ‘Dum’ robot (D84) which can secretly speak. Commander Uvanov orders them to be locked up in the robot storage bay, on suspicion of killing all three humans. However One of the crew members, Poul, thinks the Doctor and Leela are innocent, so he frees them and learns that a robot may have killed the mineralogist. Then Another crew member named Zilda is found murdered, and Commander Uvanov is confined to quarters, accused of murdering her. Then the engineer Borg is killed and the Sandminer’s controls are deliberately sabotaged by somebody and it is almost destroyed until The Doctor aided by Dask repair the damage.

The Doctor then meets the Dum robot, D84 which reveals that it and Poul are in fact undercover agents for the mining company, who were placed on board the miner as a precaution to threats of a robot revolution by a mad scientist called Taren Capel, who was raised by robots and is intent on releasing the robots from bondage to human dross. They uncover a secret workshop where the robots’ are being reprogrammed to kill humans. So Dask shuts down all of the robots whose programming has not been changed, leaving just the killer robots and D84 operational. However Dask is not what he seems and is hiding a big secret. It is not long before the Doctor, Leela and everyone else is in danger from rampaging killer Robots and the Doctor must find away to destroy the robots, stop Taren Capel’s mad scheme and save the remaining crew of Storm Mine 4 before it is too late.

Take the long way home

imageRick Davies, English singer-songwriter and keyboardist with 70′s band Supertramp was born 22 July 1944. Supertramp’s origins start in 1969 when Dutch Millionnaire Stanley ‘Sam’ August Miesegaes, offered Swindon-born keyboardist Rick Davies an opportunity to form his own band, with Miesegaes’s financial backing.Davies assembled Roger Hodgson (bass and vocals), Richard Palmer (guitars), and Keith Baker (percussion) after placing an advertisement in the weekly music newspaper, Melody Maker.Davies and Hodgson had radically different backgrounds and musical inspirations: Davies was working class and fiercely devoted to blues and jazz, while Hodgson had gone straight from private school to the music business and was fond of pop and psychedelia. The group initially dubbed themselves Daddy. Palmer wrote the lyrics while Baker was almost immediately replaced by former stage actor Robert Millar

However To avoid confusion with the similarly named Daddy Longlegs, the band changed its name to “Supertramp”, a moniker inspired by The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp by William Henry Davies.Supertramps eponymous debut album, Supertramp, was released in 1970 they also performed at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. This was followed in 1971 by the album Indelibly Stamped, for which Frank Farrell (bass) and Kevin Currie (percussion) replaced Palmer and Millar, and Dave Winthrop (flute and saxophone) joined the group while Hodgson switched to guitar and Davies served as a second lead singer. They were also joined by Dougie Thomson (bass), Bob Siebenberg (initially credited as Bob C. Benberg; drums & percussion) and John Helliwell (saxophone, other woodwinds, occasional keyboards, backing vocals), completing the line-up. Then In 1974 Supertramp released the album Crime of the Century featuring the song “Dreamer” and “Bloody well Right”.The followup album was entitled Crisis? What Crisis? Which consisted of leftover songs from Crime of the Century, luckily The following album, Even in the Quietest Moments…, released in April 1977, was more successful and contained the song “Give a Little Bit”.

Then In 1979 Supertramp released the hugely successful album Breakfast in America, which contained “The Logical Song”,”Goodbye Stranger”, “Take the Long Way Home” and “Breakfast in America” Which helped them gain significant popularity in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia. They then embarked on a 10 month 120 date tour for Breakfast In America. Following the success of Breakfast In America Supertramp released Paris in 1980, a 2-LP live album recorded mostly at the Pavillon de Paris which included A live version of “Dreamer”. Their next album, …Famous Last Words…, was released in 1982 and contained “It’s Raining Again” and “My Kind of Lady”. Hodgson then left Supertramp.

The Davies-led Supertramp released the album Brother Where You Bound in 1985. Which included the song “Cannonball”, along with the title track, a 16-minute exposition on Cold War themes highlighted by guitar solos from Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. in 1987 Supertramp released the album Free as a Bird, which experimented in heavily synthesised music, such as “I’m Beggin’ You”. In 1996, Davies re-formed Supertramp with Helliwell, Siebenberg and guitarist/vocalist Mark Hart, The result of this reunion was Some Things Never Change, a new studio album released in March 1997 that echoed the earlier Supertramp sound and they toured again, resulting in the live It Was the Best of Times (1999).

In 2002 Supertramp released an album entitled Slow Motion (their last one to date), followed by a world tour entitled “One More for the Road Tour”. They continued to play several Hodgson-penned songs during live shows following their reunion. Hodgson now has contractual approval rights over the use of his songs and Davies for his. Supertramp’s music was used in the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance and In 2010, Supertramp performed 35 concerts in late 2010 in Europe. The tour was titled “70-10” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the group’s first release. However Roger Hodgson embarked on a solo tour to Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe, Canada and the US,[40] and thus was unable to rejoin the band for the 70-10 tour. Hodgson and Supertramp continued to tour separately in 2011. Supertramp performed their last 2011 show on 16 July at “Les Vieilles Charrues” Festival, Carhaix, France. In 2012 Hodgson toured his “Breakfast in America World Tour” from 2012 onwards. On 25 January 2015 at Cirque Royal in Brussels, Belgium, Hodgson continued his “Breakfast in America World Tour” with a European leg due to end on 7 September 2015 at Tempodrom in Berlin, Germany). Supertramp will embark on another tour in 2015 starting in Portugal and ending in Amsterdam.


George Clinton (Parliament Funkadelic, P-Funk)

clintonhardcoreOften cited as one of the foremost innovators of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, The American singer and musician, bandleader, music producer and principal architect of P-Funk, George Clinton, was born 22 July 1941. He pioneered late 1960s and early ’70s funk. The fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia and also created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid called Funkadelic, the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. George was the also the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s.

The collective’s origins date back to the doo-wop group The Parliaments, which was formed in the late 1950s in Plainfield, New Jersey by a then teenage George Clinton and For a period in the 1960s Clinton was also a staff songwriter for Motown. Despite initial commercial failure (and one major hit single, “(I Wanna) Testify” in 1967), The Parliaments eventually found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the seventies as a funk, soul and rock music collective headed by George Clinton. Funkadelic had a psychedelic rock touch whose influences include the amplifier sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, James Brown’s funk, blues, Sun Ra’s experimentation, Frank Zappa’s and the Coasters’ humour, the concept albums of the Beatles and the Who and southern soul artists like Otis Redding and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, other influences also include the funky side of Hendrix and Sly Stone, Motown soul groups turned funk groups like the Temptations, the political songs of the Impressions, Rufus Thomas’ southern funk, doo-wop groups like the Coasters for the humour and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Their style has been dubbed P-Funk.

Collectively the group has existed under various names since the 1960s and has been known for top-notch musicianship, politically charged lyrics, outlandish concept albums and memorable live performances. Overall, the collective achieved thirteen top ten hits in the American R&B music charts between 1967 and 1983, including six number one hits and and three platinum albums.By the early 1980s, Clinton consolidated the collective’s multiple projects and continued touring under the names “George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars” or “George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic”. In 1982, Clinton released the songs Computer Games and “Atomic Dog”. During the next four years, Clinton released three more studio albums (You Shouldn’t-Nuf Bit Fish, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends and R&B Skeletons in the Closet) as well as a live album, Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston, Texas) and charting three singles in the R&B Top 30, “Nubian Nut”, “Last Dance”, and “Do Fries Go with That Shake?”.In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album Freaky Styley, because the band members were huge fans of George Clinton and funk in general. Clinton, in fact, wrote the vocals and lyrics to the title track which was originally intended by the band to be left as an instrumental piece. The album was not a commercial success at the time, but has since sold 500,000 copies after the Red Hot Chili Peppers became popular years later.

Clinton is also a notable music producer working on almost all of the albums he performs on, as well as producing albums for Bootsy Collins and also contribute to several tracks on Primal Scream’s studio album Give Out But Don’t Give Up, and also sang “Mind Games” on the John Lennon tribute Working Class Hero. Clinton also worked with Tupac Shakur on the song “Can’t C Me” from the album All Eyez on Me; Ice Cube on the song and video for “Bop Gun (One Nation)” on the Lethal Injection album (which sampled Funkadelic’s earlier hit “One Nation Under A Groove”); Outkast on the song “Synthesizer” from the album Aquemini; Redman on the song “J.U.M.P.” from the album Malpractice; Souls of Mischief on “Mama Knows Best” from the album Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution; Killah Priest on “Come With me” from the album Priesthood, and the Wu Tang Clan on “Wolves” from the album 8 Diagrams.

In 1997 Sixteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic (Including Clinton) were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and P-Funk’s effect on modern popular music is still immense. Besides their innovation in the entire genre of funk music, George Clinton and P-Funk are still heard often today, especially in hip-hop sampling. The song “Atomic Dog” is one of the most sampled songs in the history of hip hop, especially in the sub-genre G-funk. The Red Hot Chili Peppers video for their 2006 single Dani California featured a tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic. Parliament-Funkadelic’s musical influence can also be heard in R&B, Soul music, Electronica, Gospel, Jazz, and New Wave