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 became 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.

Joss Stone

English soul singer-songwriter and actress Joss Stone was born 11th April in 1987. She rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist. Her second album, Mind Body & Soul, also went platinum and spawned the top ten hit “You Had Me”, Stone’s most successful single on the UK Singles Chart to date. Both album and single each received one nomination at the 2005 Grammy Awards, while Stone herself was nominated for Best New Artist, and in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2004 was ranked fifth as a predicted breakthrough act of 2004. She became the youngest British female singer to top the UK Albums Chart in history to have her first album at number one.

JOSS STONE LIVE AT JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013 http://youtu.be/BwPQYekQIwc

In early 2009, she joined the eclectic supergroup SuperHeavy. Stone’s third album, Introducing Joss Stone, released in March 2007, achieved gold record status by the RIAA and yielded the second-ever highest debut for a British female solo artist on the Billboard 200, which became Stone’s first Top 5 album in the United States and first non-Top 10 album in the United Kingdom. Stone released her fourth album, Colour Me Free!, on 20 October 2009, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard. Stone released her fifth album, LP1, on 22 July 2011, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard.

Throughout her career, Stone has sold eleven million albums, establishing herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time, best-selling soul artists of the 2000s and best-selling British artists of her time. Her first three albums have sold over 2,722,000 copies in the United States, while her first two albums have sold over 2,000,000 copies in United Kingdom. Stone has won two BRIT Awards and one Grammy Award. Stone has also mentioned the upcoming release of two new albums, including one she referred to as “The Soul Sessions 2″. This album, like LP1, is co-produced and co-written by Dave Stewart.

In addition Stone also joined the supergroup SuperHeavy which was formed by Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones, together with Dave Stewart, Damian Marley – youngest son of Bob Marley, and the Indian musician and producer A.R. Rahman. The album was recorded at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles and was released in 20 September 2011 by A&M Records. The debut single, “Miracle Worker”, was released on 19 July 2011. She also made her film acting debut in 2006 playing the Mystic “Angela” in the fantasy adventure film Eragon, and made her television debut portraying Anne of Cleves in the Showtime series The Tudors in 2009.

Cerys Matthews MBE

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.