Frank Sinatra

American singer and film actor Frank Sinatra saldy passed away May 14, 1998. Born December 12, 1915, He began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra found unprecedented success as a solo artist from the early to mid-1940s after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the “bobby soxers”, he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity.He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice ‘n’ Easy).

Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way”. However With sales of his music dwindling and after appearing in several poorly received films, Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several albums, scoring a Top 40 hit with “(Theme From) New York, New York” in 1980.

Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally, until a short time before his death in 1998.Sinatra also forged a highly successful career as a film actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, a nomination for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm, and critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate. He also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and his music remains popular and legend lives on.

FRANK SINATRA AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL 1970

B. B. King

Legendary American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist B B. King passed away 14 May 2015. He was born September 16, 1925 and grew up singing in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. At the age of 12, he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John’s Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi. In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King shortly returned to Mssissippi, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop a local audience for his sound. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the legendary Memphis radio station WDIA. King’s Spot became so popular, it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened toBlues Boy and finally to B.B.It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker.

In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King’s early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. Before his RPM contract King had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single “Miss Martha King” (1949), which did not chart well. “My very first recordings [in 1949] were for a company out of Nashville called Bllet, the Bullet Record Transcription company,” King recalls. “I had horns that very first session. I had Phineas Newborn on piano; his father played drums, and his brother, Calvin, played guitar with me. I had Tuff Green on bass, Ben Branch on tenor sax, his brother, Thomas Branch, on trumpet, and a lady trombone player. The Newborn family were the house band at the famous Plantation Inn in West Memphis.”Performing with his famous guitar, LucilleKing assembled his own band; the B.B. King Review, under the leadership of Millard Lee. The band initially consisted of Calvin Owens and Kenneth Sands (trumpet), Lawrence Burdin (alto saxophone),George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone), Millard Lee (piano),George Joyner (bass) and Earl Forest and Ted Curry (drums). Onzie Horne was a trained musician elicited as an arranger to assist King with his compositions. By his own admission, he cannot play chords well and always relies on improvisation. This was followed by tours across the USA with performances in major theaters in cities such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and St. Louis, as well as numerous gigs in small clubs and juke joints of the southern US states.

In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, which triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his beloved guitar, a Gibson hollow electric. Two people died in the fire. The next day, King learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.King also toured the entire “Chitlin’ circuit” and 1956 became a record-breaking year, with 342 concerts booked. The same year he founded his own record label, Blues Boys Kingdom, with headquarters at Beale Street in Memphis. There, among other projects, he produced artists such as Millard Lee and Levi Seabury. In the 1950s, B.B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music, amassing an impressive list of hits including “3 O’Clock Blues”, “You Know I Love You,” “Woke Up This Morning,” “Please Love Me,” “When My Heart Beats like a Hammer,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “You Upset Me Baby,” “Every Day I Have the Blues”, “Sneakin’ Around,” “Ten Long Years,” “Bad Luck,” “Sweet Little Angel”, “On My Word of Honor,” and “Please Accept My Love.”

King was extremely busy during this period and made 342 appearances and 3 recording sessions in 1956 alone. In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was later absorbed into MCA Records, and this hence into his current label, Geffen Records. In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois.King won a Grammy Award for a tune called “The Thrill Is Gone”; his version became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts, It also gained the number 183 spot in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. He gained further visibility among rock audiences as an opening act on The Rolling Stones’ 1969 American Tour. King’s mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like “To Know You is to Love You” and “I Like to Live the Love”.King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004 he was awarded the international Polar Music Prize, given to artists “in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music.”[19]B.B. King in concert in France 1989.

From the 1980s onward he has continued to maintain a highly visible and active career, appearing on numerous television shows and performing 300 nights a year. In 1988, King reached a new generation of fans with the single “When Love Comes to Town”, a collaborative effort between King and the Irish band U2 on their Rattle and Hum album. Also that year King played for the 1988 Republican National Convention at the behest of the notorious Republican operative Lee Atwater. King has remained friendly with the Bush Family ever since and in 1990 was awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts by George H.W. Bushand the Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2008. In 2000, King teamed up with guitaristEric Clapton to record Riding With the King. In 1998, King appeared in The Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of the lead singer of the Louisiana Gator Boys, along with Clapton, Dr. John, Koko Taylor and Bo Diddley.

On March 29, 2006, King played at Hallam Arena in Sheffield, England supported by Northern Irish guitarist Gary Moore, with whom King had previously toured and recorded, and on June 28, 2009 King returned to Wembley arena with British blues icon John Mayall. In July King went back to Europe, playing twice at the Zürich at the Blues at Sunset and the 40th Montreux Jazz Festival where he jammed with Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, David Sanborn, Gladys Knight, Lella James, Andre Beeka, Earl Thomas, Stanley Clarke, John McLaughlin, Barbara Hendricks and George Duke. In November and December, King played six times in Brazil. .”In June 2006, King was present at a memorial of his first radio broadcast at the Three Deuces Building in Greenwood, Mississippi, where an official marker of the Mississippi Blues Trail was erected. The same month, a groundbreaking was held for a new museum, dedicated to King. in Indianola, Mississippi. The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened on September 13, 2008. In late October 2006, he recorded a concert CD and DVD entitled B.B. King: Live at his B.B. King Blues Clubs in Nashville and Memphis. which was his first live performance recording in 14 years.On July 28, 2007, King played at Eric Clapton’s second Crossroads Guitar Festival with 20 other guitarists to raise money for the Crossroads Centre for addictive disorders. Performing in Chicago, he played “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss”, “Rock Me Baby” and “Thrill is Gone” ( with Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin. Also in 2007, King accepted an invitation to contribute to Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard Records). With Ivan Neville’s DumpstaPhunk, King contributed his version of the title song, “Goin’ Home”.

In 2007 King performed “One Shoe Blues” on the Sandra Boynton children’s album Blue Moo, In June 2008, King played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee; he was also the final performer at the 25th annual Chicago Blues Festival on June 8, 2008, and at the Monterey Blues Festival, following Taj Mahal. King was also inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame alongside Liza Minnelli and Sir James Galway.In July 2008, Sirius XM Radio’s Bluesville channel was renamed B.B. King’s Bluesville. On December 3, King was the closing act at the 51st Grammy Nomination Concert, . On December 30, 2008, King played at The Kennedy Center Honors Awards Show; his performance was in honor of actor Morgan Freeman.European Tour 2009, Vienna, July 2009In Summer 2009, King started a European Tour with concerts in France, Germany, Belgium, Finland and Denmark.In March 2010, King contributed to Cyndi Lauper’s album Memphis Blues, which was released on June 22, 2010.

King performed at the Mawazine festival in Rabat, Morocco, on May 27, 2010. On June 25, 2011 King played the pyramid stage at The Glastonbury Music Festival. On the June 28 he opened his new European tour at The Royal Albert Hall, London, supported byDerek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Ronnie Wood, Mick Hucknall and Slash.Barack Obama and B.B. King singing “Sweet Home Chicago” on February 21, 2012On February 21, 2012, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama hosted, “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues”, a celebration of blues music held in the East Room of the White House and B.B. King was among the performers. Later on that night, President Obama, encouraged by Buddy Guy and B.B. King, sang part of “Sweet Home Chicago”. On March 22, 2012, King played a concert at the Chicago House of Blues, where Benson made a guest appearance and both King & Benson held a jammin’ session for over 20 minutes, it was also the celebration of Benson’s birthday.King performed on the debut album of rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T., who also hails from Mississippi.On July 5, 2012, King performed a concert at the Byblos Festival, Lebanon.

over a period of 64 years, King played in excess of 15,000 performances. A feature documentary about B.B. King narrated by Morgan Freeman, was released on October 15, 2012. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King). Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatst guitarists of all time , and he was ranked No. 7 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. Throughout his musical career King performed tirelessly, appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. Over the years, King developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, he has inspired thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. King has mixed blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.

H. Rider Haggard

English novellist Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE sadly died 14 May 1925. He was born 22 June 1856 in Bradenham, Norfolk, and studied at Garsington Rectory in Oxfordshire under Reverend H. J. Graham but unlike his older brothers who graduated from various private schools, he attended Ipswich Grammar School. In 1875, Haggard’s father sent him to South Africa, to take up an unpaid position as assistant to the secretary to Sir Henry Bulwer, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Natal. In 1876 he was transferred to the staff of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Special Commissioner for the Transvaal. I was in this role that Haggard was present in Pretoria in April 1877 for the official announcement of the British annexation of the Boer Republic of the Transvaal. In 1878 he became Registrar of the High Court in the Transvaal, and wrote to his father informing him that he intended to return to England. When Haggard eventually returned to England, he married a friend of his sister, (Mariana) Louisa Margitson in 1880. And they settled in Ditchingham, Norfolk, Louisa’s ancestral home. Later they lived in Kessingland and had connections with the church in Bungay, Suffolk.

After returning to England in 1882, Haggard published a book on the political situation in South Africa and handful of unsuccessful novels, before writing the book for which he is most famous, King Solomon’s Mines. He accepted a 10% royalty rather than ₤100 for the copyright. A sequel, Allan Quatermain, soon followed, and She and its sequel Ayesha, swashbuckling adventure novels set in the context of the Scramble for Africa (the action of Ayesha however happens in Tibet). Due to this The hugely popular King Solomon’s Mines is sometimes considered the first of the Lost World genre and features the heroic Zulu warrior Umslopogaas and Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland, while Sheon the other hand is generally considered to be one of the classics of imaginative literature . He is also remembered for Nada the Lily (a tale of adventure among the Zulus) and the epic Viking romance, Eric Brighteyes. Three of Haggard’s novels were written in collaboration with his friend Andrew Lang who shared his interest in the spiritual realm and paranormal phenomena.

Haggard also studied law and was called to the bar in 1884 and He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Conservative candidate for the Eastern division of Norfolk in the 1895 summer election, losing by only 198 votes.Haggard was also heavily involved in reforming agriculture and was a member of many commissions on land use and related affairs, work that involved several trips to the Colonies and Dominions Haggard also wrote about agricultural and social reform, in part inspired by his experiences in Africa, but also based on what he saw in Europe and this eventually led to the passage of the 1909 Development Bill.

Haggard’s Lost World genre influenced popular American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy, Philip José Farmer and Abraham Merritt and his stories are still widely read today. Ayesha, the female protagonist of She, has been cited as a prototype by psychoanalysts as different as Sigmund Freud (in The Interpretation of Dreams) and Carl Jung. Her epithet “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is used by British author John Mortimer in his Rumpole of the Bailey series as the private name which the lead character uses for his wife, Hilda, before whom he trembles at home (despite the fact that he is a barrister with some skill in court). Allan Quatermain, the adventure hero of King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel Allan Quatermain, was a template for the American character Indiana Jones, featured in the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Quatermain has gained recent popularity thanks to being a main character in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Haggard was praised in 1965 by Roger Lancelyn Green, one of the Oxford Inklings, as a writer of a consistently high level of “literary skill and sheer imaginative power” and a co-originator with Robert Louis Stevenson of the Age of the Story Tellers. The first chapter of his book People of the Mist is credited with inspiring the motto of the Royal Air Force (formerly the Royal Flying Corps), Per ardua ad astra.

In recognition of his agricultural reforms Haggard was made a Knight Bachelor in 1912 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919. towards the end of his life he also became a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position he shared with his friend Rudyard Kipling, with whom he had bonded upon Kipling’s arrival at London in 1889, and the two remained lifelong friends. Haggard sadly passed away at the age 68. His ashes were buried at Ditchingham Church and his papers are held at the Norfolk Record Office

Thomas Gainsborough

English painter Thomas Gainsborough was christened on ths date 14 May in 1727. He s best remembered as an English portrait and landscape painter. He was born the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver in Suffolk, and, in 1740, left home to study art in London with Hubert Gravelot, Francis Hayman, and William Hogarth. In 1746, he married Margaret Burr, and the couple became the parents of two daughters. He moved to Bath in 1759 where fashionable society patronised him, and he began exhibiting in London.

In 1769, he became a founding member of the Royal Academy, but his relationship with the organisation was thorny and he sometimes withdrew his work from exhibition. Gainsborough moved to London in 1774, and painted portraits of the King and Queen, but the King was obliged to name as royal painter Gainsborough’s rival Joshua Reynolds. In his last years, Gainsborough painted relatively simple landscapes and is credited (with Richard Wilson) as the originator of the 18th century British landscape school.

Gainsborough sadly passed away from the effects of cancer in 1788 and is interred at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, Surrey. However he has left the world with some wonderful paintings most of which are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits. There have also been many films based on his life and Cecil Kellaway portrayed him in the 1945 film Kitty.

NSPCC

The children’s charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was launched in London on 14 May 1889 to campaign for and work towards child protection in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.It was founded after Liverpool businessman Thomas Agnew visited the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was so impressed by the charity, that he returned to England determined to provide similar help for the children of Liverpool. In 1883 he set up the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (LSPCC). Other towns and cities began to follow Liverpool’s example, leading in 1884 to the founding of the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (London SPCC) by Lord Shaftesbury, Reverend Edward Rudolf and Reverend Benjamin Waugh.

After five years of campaigning by the London SPCC, Parliament passed the first ever UK law to protect children from abuse and neglect in 1889.The London SPCC was renamed the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1889, because by then it had branches across Great Britain and Ireland. The NSPCC was granted its Royal Charter in 1895, when Queen Victoria became its first Royal Patron. It did not change its title to “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children” or similar, as the name NSPCC was already well established, and to avoid confusion with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which had already existed for more than fifty years. Today, the NSPCC works in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Children 1st – formerly the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – is the NSPCC’s equivalent in Scotland. The NSPCC’s organisation in the Republic of Ireland was taken up by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), founded in 1956 as a replacement for the NSPCC. The NSPCC is the only UK charity which has been granted statutory powers under the Children Act 1989, allowing it to apply for care and supervision orders for children at risk.

George Lucas

imageAmerican Producer screenwriter, director and Entreprenuer George Lucas was born May 14th 1944 in Modesto California. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones and is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful directors/producers.Lucas grew up in Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his USC student film 1:42.08, as well as his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Lucas originally wanted to be a race-car driver. However, a near-fatal accident on June 12, 1962, changed his mind and he attended Modesto Junior College instead and got accepted into a junior college where he developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks.After George Lucas graduated from USC in California he met an experimental filmmaker who toured local coffee houses and screened the work of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers. Lucas regularly went to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of these screenings. Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films and transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. where he became very good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas was also deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school & saw many great films, which inspired him to make many 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinéma vérité concentrating on camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director.

Star WarsAfter graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. and directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student Film Festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was also awarded a student scholarship by Warner Brothers.Aside from the nine short films he made in the 1960s, he also directed six major features. His work from 1971 and 1977 as a writer-director, which established him as a major figure in Hollywood, and consists of just three films: THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars. Lucas acted as a writer and executive producer on another successful Hollywood film franchise, the Indiana Jones series.In addition, he established his own effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), to make the original Star Wars film. Lucas also co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola—whom he met at Warner Brothers, and then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd. His new-found wealth and reputation enabled him to develop a story set in space – Star Wars, which quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time, displaced five years later by Spielberg’s E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial. Due to the overwhelming success of Star Wars George was able to finance the sequel “Empire Strikes Back” himself.Since Star Wars, Lucas has worked extensively as a writer and/or producer, on the many Star Wars spinoffs made for film, TV, and other media, and was also executive producer for the next two Star Wars films as well as as executive producer and story writer on all four of the Indiana Jones films.

For the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucas was able to enhance the trilogy and add certain scenes using newly available digital technology, which were released as the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. In 1994, Lucas began work on the prequel Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which was released in 1999, beginning a new trilogy of Star Wars films. Lucas also directed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2008, he also reteamed with Spielberg for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThe American Film Institute awarded Lucas its Life Achievement Award on June 9, 2005, shortly after the releaseof Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and On June 5, 2005, Lucas was named among the 100 “Greatest Americans” by the Discovery Channel,and was also nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti, and Best Directing and Writing for Star Wars. He received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese.On June 17, 2006, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted George Lucas and three others and On August 25, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced that Lucas would be one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum’s yearlong exhibit. Then On September 6, 2009, Lucas, along with the the Pixar team was presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Biennale Venice Film Festival. George Lucas is also involved in the latest Star Wars film episode VII The Force Awakens, directed by J.J.Abrahams and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Uarrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Ian Astbury

best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band The Cult, the English rock musician and songwriter Ian Robert Astury was (born 14 May 1962, Heswall, Merseyside.The Cult are a Post Modern Rock band formed by Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury After the initial punk rock movement (led by the Sex Pistols) died out, They met while Duffy was guitarist for the Theatre of Hate while Ian Astbury fronted gothic rock band Southern Death Cult. Astbury was impressed with Duffy’s playing and abandoned Southern Death Cult to start a new band with him.Together, they exploited the Southern Death Cult’s success by calling themselves Death Cult. After initial fanfare and a couple of singles, Duffy convinced Astbury to shorten the band’s name to The Cult in 1984.

The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”,and Their first album, Dreamtime was released in 1984, and Duffy began establishing a distinctive sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the next album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”, which introduced them to an international audience. For their third album,Electric, The Cult dropped their post-punk sound in favour of metal-blues , with the help of producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin.who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction and facillitated a polish on this new sound and produced the record which includes the songs “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower.

In 1988 the two writing partners (with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart) turned to stadium rock and recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience. their next album, Ceremony, was released during the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury and Duffy returned to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure from Duffy and The Cult in 1995. However Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, which led to a new recording contract with Atlantic Records, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006, to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material, and Their latest album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012