World Parkinson’s Day

World Parkinson’s Day takes place annually on 11 April to mark the birth of English surgeon apothecary, geologist,paleontologist, and political activist James Parkinson FGS who was born 11 April 1755 in Shoreditch, London, England. He was the son of John Parkinson, an apothecary and surgeon practising in Hoxton Square in London. In 1784 Parkinson was approved by the City of London Corporation as a surgeon. On 21 May 1783, he married Mary Dale, with whom he subsequently had eight children; two did not survive past childhood. Soon after he was married, Parkinson succeeded his father in his practice in 1 Hoxton Square.

In addition to his medical practice, Parkinson had an avid interest in geology and palaeontology, as well as the politics of the day. He was also a strong advocate for the under-privileged, and an outspoken critic of the Pitt government. He was also involved in a variety of social and revolutionary causes, and some historians think it most likely that he was a strong proponent for the French Revolution. He published nearly twenty political pamphlets in the post-French Revolution period, while Britain was in political chaos. Writing under his own name and his pseudonym “Old Hubert”, he called for radical social reforms and universal suffrage.

Parkinson called for representation of the people in the House of Commons, the institution of annual parliaments, and universal suffrage. He was a member of several secret political societies, including the London Corresponding Society and the Society of Constitutional Information.In 1794 his membership in the organisation led to his being examined under oath before William Pitt and the Privy Council to give evidence about a trumped-up plot to assassinate King George III. He refused to testify regarding his part in the popgun plot, until he was certain he would not be forced to incriminate himself. The plan was to use a poisoned dart fired from a pop-gun to bring the king’s reign to a premature conclusion. No charges were ever brought against Parkinson but several of his friends languished in prison for many months before being acquitted.

Parkinson was also interested in improving the general health and well-being of the population. He wrote several medical doctrines that exposed a similar zeal for the health and welfare of the people that was expressed by his political activism. He was a crusader for legal protection for the mentally ill, as well as their doctors and families. Between 1799 and 1807 Parkinson published several medical works, including a work on gout in 1805. He was also responsible for early writings on ruptured appendix in English medical literature. In 1812 Parkinson also assisted his son with the first described case of appendicitis in English, and the first instance in which perforation was shown to be the cause of death.

.In 1817 he wrote, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in which he was the first to describe “paralysis agitans”, a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson’s disease by Jean-Martin Charcot. Parkinson was the first person to systematically describe six individuals with symptoms of the disease that bears his name. In his “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”, he reported on three of his own patients and three persons who he saw in the street. He referred to the disease that would later bear his name as paralysis agitans, or shaking palsy. He distinguished between resting tremors and the tremors with motion. Jean-Martin Charcot coined the term “Parkinson’s disease” some 60 years later. Although Parkinson erroneously predicted that the tremors in these patients were due to lesions in the cervical spinal cord.

Parkinson was also interested in geology, and palaeontology. He began collecting specimens and drawings of fossils in the latter part of the eighteenth century. He took his children and friends on excursions to collect and observe fossil plants and animals. His attempts to learn more about fossil identification and interpretation were frustrated by a lack of available literature in English, and so he took the decision to improve matters by writing his own introduction to the study of fossils.In 1804, he published the first volume of his book Organic Remains of a Former World. A second volume was also published in 1808, and a third in 1811. In 1822 Parkinson published the shorter “Outlines of Oryctology: an Introduction to the Study of Fossil Organic Remains, especially of those found in British Strata”. Parkinson also contributed several papers to William Nicholson’s “A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts”, and in the first, second, and fifth volumes of the “Geological Society’s Transactions”. He also wrote ‘Outlines of Orytology’ in 1822. In 1807, Parkinson accompanied Sir Humphry Davy, Arthur Aikin and George Bellas Greenough and other distinguished gentlemen at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London for the first meeting of the Geological Society of London.Several fossils were also named after him.

Parkinson sadly died on 21 December 1824 after a stroke that interfered with his speech, his houses inLangthorne went to his sons and wife and his apothecary’s shop to his son, John. He was buried at St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch. Parkinson’s life is commemorated with a stone tablet inside the church of St Leonard’s, Shoreditch. A blue plaque at 1 Hoxton Square, also marks the site of his home.

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Bunny Wailer (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

Reggae legend Singer, songwriter and drummer Bunny Wailer (Neville Livingstone) was born 10 April 1947. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, The Wailers released Their earliest reggae records with producer Lee Scratch Perry. Neville Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer) was friends with Bob Marley. They had started to play music together while at Stepney Primary and Junior High School. Marley left Nine Mile when he was 12 and moved to Trenchtown, Kingston. Marley and Livingston shared the same house in Trenchtown, and became interested in R&B and Ska music. They joined a band with Peter Tosh, Beverley Kelso and Junior Braithwaite and also met Joe Higgs, of the successful vocal act Higgs & Wilson, Marley and the others didn’t play any instruments at this time, and were more interested in being a vocal harmony group. Higgs helped them develop their vocal harmonies, and taught Marley how to play guitar.

In February 1962, Bob Marley recorded four songs, “Judge Not”, “One Cup of Coffee”, “Do You Still Love Me?” and “Terror”. Three of the songs were released Including One Cup of Coffee”. In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith changed the name of the band to The Wailing Rudeboys, then to The Wailing Wailers, and were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and shortened the name to The Wailers. They released the single “Simmer Down” and worked with established Jamaican musicians such as Ernest Ranglin (arranger “It Hurts To Be Alone”), the keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and saxophonist Roland Alphonso. By 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had left The Wailers, leaving the core trio of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh. After a financial disagreement with Dodd, Marley and his band teamed up with Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio band, The Upsetters. Although the alliance lasted less than a year, they recorded what many consider The Wailers’ finest work. Marley and Perry split after a dispute.

Between 1968 and 1972, Bob and Rita Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer re-cut some old tracks in an attempt to commercialise The Wailers’ sound. In 1968, Bob and Rita visited songwriter Jimmy Norman at. A three-day jam session with Norman and others, including Norman’s co-writer Al Pyfrom, resulted in a 24-minute tape of Marley performing several of his and Norman-Pyfrom’s compositions. Including n “Stay With Me” and “Splish for My Splash”. In1972, Bob Marley embarked on a UK tour with American soul singer Johnny Nash. While in London the Wailers were introduced to Chris Blackwell this resulted in the offer to record an album. In Marley, Blackwell recognized the elements needed to snare the rock audience: “I was dealing with rock music, which was really rebel music. I felt that would really be the way to break Jamaican music. But you needed someone who could be that image. When Bob walked in he really was that image.” the Wailers returned to Jamaica to record at Harry J’s in Kingston which resulted in the album Catch a Fire in which.Blackwell desired to create “more of a drifting, hypnotic-type feel than a reggae rhythm”,and restructured Marley’s mixes and arrangements. Catch a Fire, was released worldwide in April 1973, packaged like a rock record with a uniqueZippo lighter lift-top. It was followed later that year by the album Burnin’ which included the song “I Shot the Sheriff”. Eric Clapton was given the album by his guitarist George Terry in the hope that he would enjoy it.Clapton was suitably impressed and chose to record a cover version of “I Shot the Sheriff” which became his first US hit since “Layla”The Wailers were scheduled to open seventeen shows in the US for Sly and the Family Stone. After four shows, the band was fired because they were more popular than the acts they were opening for. the Wailers broke up in 1974 with each of the three main members pursuing solo careers. The reason for the breakup is shrouded in conjecture; some believe that there were disagreements amongst Bunny, Peter, and Bob concerning performances, while others claim that Bunny and Peter simply preferred solo work.

After the break-up, Marley continued recording as “Bob Marley & The Wailers”. His new backing band included brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Andersonon lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion. The “I Threes”, consisting of Judy Mowatt,Marcia Griffiths, and Marley’s wife, Rita, provided backing vocals. In 1975, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, “No Woman, No Cry”, from the Natty Dread album. this was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, Rastaman Vibration (1976), which reached the Top 50 of the Billboard Soul Charts. On 3 December 1976, two days before “Smile Jamaica”, a free concert organised by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley’s home. Taylor and Marley’s wife sustained serious injuries, but later made full recoveries. Bob Marley received minor wounds in the chest and arm.The attempt on his life was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley. Nonetheless, the concert proceeded, and an injured Marley performed as scheduled, two days after the attempt. When asked why, Marley responded, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?” The members of the group Zap Pow played as Bob Marley’s backup band before a festival crowd of 80,000 while members of The Wailers were still missing or in hiding.Marley left Jamaica at the end of 1976, and after a month-long “recovery and writing” sojourn at the site of Chris Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, arrived in England, where he spent two years in self-imposed exile.

Whilst in England, he recorded the albums Exodus and Kaya. Exodus stayed on the British album charts for fifty-six consecutive weeks. It included four UK hit singles: “Exodus”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Jamming”, and “One Love” (a rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s hit, “People Get Ready”). During his time in London, he was arrested and received a conviction forpossession of a small quantity of cannabis.In 1978, Marley returned to Jamaica and performed at another political concert, the One Love Peace Concert, again in an effort to calm warring parties. Near the end of the performance, by Marley’s request, Michael Manley (leader of then-ruling People’s National Party) and his political rival Edward Seaga(leader of the opposing Jamaica Labour Party), joined each other on stage and shook hands.Under the name Bob Marley and the Wailers eleven albums were released, four live albums and seven studio albums. The releases included Babylon by Bus, a double live album with thirteen tracks, were released in 1978 and received critical acclaim. This album, and specifically the final track “Jamming” with the audience in a frenzy, captured the intensity of Marley’s live performances.

The defiant and politically charged album, Survival Was released in 1979. Tracks such as “Zimbabwe”, “Africa Unite”, “Wake Up and Live”, and “Survival” reflected Marley’s support for the struggles of Africans. His appearance at the Amandla Festival in Boston in July 1979 showed his strong opposition to South African apartheid, which he already had shown in his song “War” in 1976. In early 1980, he was invited to perform at the 17 April celebration ofZimbabwe’s Independence Day. Uprising (1980) was Bob Marley’s final studio album, and is one of his most religious productions; it includes “Redemption Song” and “Forever Loving Jah”.Confrontation, released posthumously in 1983, contained unreleased material recorded during Marley’s lifetime, including the hit “Buffalo Soldier” and new mixes of singles previously only available in Jamaica.

Cerys Matthews

Welsh singer, songwriter, author, and broadcaster Cerys Elizabeth Matthews, MBE was born 11 April 1969 in Cardiff. The family moved to Swansea when she was seven. She attended St Michael’s, an independent school in Llanelli, and Fishguard comprehensive school when she lived in the Pembrokeshire village of Trefin. She is fluent in English, Welsh, Spanish, and French. She has cited her childhood heroes as being Pippi Longstocking and writers William Butler Yeats and Dylan Thomas. She learned to play the guitar at the age of nine, sang Welsh folk songs and taught herself traditional songs from all over the globe including blues and Irish folk songs. She was a member of the West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra. She had a stint in Spain as a nanny, where she learned to speak Catalan She was also a founding member of Welsh rock band Catatonia and a leading figure in the “Cool Cymru” movement of the late 1990s.

Catatonia was formed in 1992. She subsequently sang lead vocals on, and co-wrote the music and lyrics for, the band’s hits. Songs she co-wrote included “You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For”, “Mulder and Scully”, “Dead From the Waist Down”, and “Road Rage”. Matthews also played guitar on the earlier material before second guitarist Owen Powell joined the band. She also performed a single with the band Space named “The Ballad of Tom Jones”, which tells the story of two lovers who want to kill each other, but then hear a Tom Jones song that defuses their homicidal feelings. Matthews later collaborated with Jones to record a version of Frank Loesser’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on Jones’ album Reload. Matthews was voted the “Sexiest Female in Rock” in a 1999 readers’ poll in the now defunct magazine Melody Maker. After Catatonia’s rise to fame with their second album International Velvet, and subsequent success with Equally Cursed And Blessed, the band returned in 2001 with their fourth studio album Paper Scissors Stone. In September 2001, the band officially split.

Matthews joined The Pet Shop Boys on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in June 2000, performing a duet of their hit “What Have I Done To Deserve This”. In December 2001, she returned to the recording studio for the first time since Catatonia split up. She recorded a song in both English and Welsh for the pre-school cartoon series Sali Mali. She provided guest vocals on the track “Cyclops Rock”, from US alternative rock band They Might Be Giants 2001 album Mink Car. Her line was originally supposed to be provided by Joe Strummer of The Clash.

In 2001 Matthews moved to Nashville, Tennessee and began performing with Bucky Baxter, who had played lap steel guitar for Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams. She had already collected seventy-six traditional folk songs with the idea of making an album of folk covers. She released Her debut album, Cockahoop, in 2003 and Whilst recording this album she met Seth Riddle, whom she married in Pembrokeshire. In December 2005, Matthews recorded a new version of Len Barry’s 1960s UK and US top 10 hit “1-2-3” in Nashville and released her second solo album, Never Said Goodbye. Containing the song “Open Roads” and featuring Kevin Teel on guitar, Ben Elkins playing keyboards, Mason Neely on drums, and Jeff Irwin playing bass. She also headlined Cardiff’s Big Weekend festival. In 2006, Matthews embarked on a UK and Ireland tour, playing acks from her first two solo albums as well as three Catatonia hits. She also embarked upon a short acoustic Welsh tour in November 2006 before returning to Nashville for Christmas. Matthews appeared on the 2007 series of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Matthews also appeared at the live Guilty Pleasures concert at the Hackney Empire, London in 2007. She performed the Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers duet “Islands in the Stream” along with Terry Hall and the BBC Concert Orchestra. In 2007 She released the Welsh mini-album Awyren = Aeroplane which won her the ‘Contemporary Composition’ award in the National Eisteddfod. She also became Vice-President of the Welsh homelessness charity Shelter Cymru and became Performing Arts Ambassador for Linden Lodge School, Wimbledon. In 2008 Matthews joined the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers onstage at The O2 on 28 February 2008 to sing the female vocals of their 2007 hit “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”. Replacing Nina Persson in both the awards ceremony (within indigO2) and at the following ‘Big Gig’ live show.

Matthews also appears on radio programmes and hosts a weekly music show on BBC Radio 6 Music and a show on BBC World Service, From November 2008, Matthews sat in for Stephen Merchant and Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music and went on to present George Lamb’s slot in April 2009. In May 2009 she presented show A Month of Sundays With… Cerys Matthews. She then covered for Nemone on 6 Music from July 2009 while Nemone was on maternity leave. In April 2010, Matthews presented a weekend show on Sunday mornings And also produces and presents radio documentaries and shows, including Hook Line and singer, where she shared her love of fishing on Radio 4.

In 2009 Matthews released The album, Don’t Look Down,in two versions, one in English and the other in Welsh (the title of the Welsh edition was Paid Edrych i Lawr). Matthews also covered Glastonbury Festival for both BBC Television and BBC 6 Music, she wrote and presented a BBC Two programme on poetry, and presented TV documentaries on singer Dorothy Squires, the Mississippi River and Cuba. She wrote and presented a documentary on early blues players such as Memphis Minnie, also Pippi Longstocking, Mahalia Jackson, iconic British blues label ‘Blue Horizon’. She has presented a documentary for BBC Radio 2 on Maida Vale studios and frequently contributes to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as Feedback, Frontrow, Loose Ends, Saturday Live, and writes a column for world music magazine Songlines. She has curated festivals for the Tate Modern, the Shetland theatre and Womex. In 2010, Matthews released her third solo album Tir (in Welsh: ‘territory’ or ‘land’), a collection of traditional Welsh songs, and of photographs from her family archive from the 1880s to 1940s of people at work and play. Including the songs “Calon Lân”, “Cwm Rhondda”, “Migldi-Magldi” (with Bryn Terfel), “Myfanwy” and “Sosban Fach”. In 2011 Matthews’ released her fourth solo album Explorer 2011), featuring the song Sweet Magnolia. This album Featured music she has heard round the globe, and the places she had visited including Spanish, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and American styles, and genres.

In 2012 Matthews played the Isle of Wight and the Hay festival with a Woody Guthrie tribute show, and collaborated with artists such as Arun Ghosh, Tunde Jegede, Attab Haddad, Frank Moon and the London Bulgarian Choir. she also performed music from her acclaimed and popular selling collection of Welsh traditional songs ‘Tir’, with Ballet Cymru, And was nominated for a Theatre Critics Award 2012 and released the Christmas album Baby, it’s Cold Outside. Cerys also played many UK literary festivals including Dartington, Chester, Hay and Edinburgh and released an album of traditional Welsh reels and songs Hullabaloo’. Matthews sang Patsy Cline’s Crazy and Dylan’s Blowin’ in the wind as part of the memorial service for esteemed War correspondent Marie Colvin. Matthews also appeared as a celebrity guest mentor on the first series of the UK version of The Voice for Tom Jones’s Team broadcast.

In 2013 Matthews won gold at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, in the ‘Music Broadcaster of the year’ category. Baby it’s Cold Outside, released for Christmas 2013 on the Rainbow City label, is a selection of Christmas carols and classic Christmas songs all arranged and produced by Matthews using instruments such as Chinese temple blocks, oud, celeste and coconut shells. She was Artistic Director for the opening ceremony of Womex 2013 representing Wales.

In 2014 Cerys co-founded a brand new interactive festival – THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone held every September on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden, Flintshire which celebrates the great outdoors-with plenty of abseiling, campfires, axe throwing, foraging, talk on survival, as well as cultural activities, crafts, books and music. In 2014 Matthews won a prestigious ‘St David Award’ – for her contribution to culture – run by the Welsh government, in its inaugural year- 2014 Other prize winners on the night were Bryn Terfel and Lyn Evans. She was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to music. In July 2014 Cerys was awarded an honorary degree from Swansea University and won the Best Presenter Music award at the Audio Production Awards November 23, 2016.

Matthews also makes documentaries for television and radio and is a roving reporter for The One Show and also wrote the book Hook, Line and Singer, Cerys’ collection of singalong classics which includes personal anecdotes and song histories. Song examples are “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”, “Oh Susannah”, and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. She also wrote Tales from the deep is a duo of stories written in verse with paintings by Fran Evans, which was nominated for a People’s Choice Award and was followed by Gelert, a man’s best friend. She also writes a column for British Airways Highlife magazine.