Foursquare Day

Foursquare Day takes place annually on 16 April, April being the 4th month and the 16th being equal to four squared. Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of places to go to near a user’s current location based on users’ “previous browsing history, purchases, or check-in history”.

Some cities have made official proclamations of April 16 being Foursquare Day (Istanbul, Turkey; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; Gaithersburg, Maryland; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Kennesaw, Georgia; Manchester, New Hampshire; New York City; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Seattle, Washington; Miami, Florida; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Ramat Hasharon, Israel; Singapore). Foursquare Day was coined by Nate Bonilla-Warford, an optometrist from Tampa, Florida on March 12, 2010. The idea came to him while “thinking about new ways to promote his business”.

Foursquare was created in late 2008 and launched in 2009 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai. Crowley had previously founded the similar project Dodgeball as his graduate thesis project in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Google bought Dodgeball in 2005 and shut it down in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude. Dodgeball user interactions were based on SMS technology, rather than an application. Foursquare was the second iteration of that same idea, that people can use mobile devices to interact with their environment. Foursquare was Dodgeball reimagined to take advantage of the new smartphones, like the iPhone, which had built in GPS to better detect a user’s location.

Until late July 2014, Foursquare featured a social networking layer that enabled a user to share their location with friends, via the “check in” – a user would manually tell the application when they were at a particular location using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. In May 2014, the company launched Swarm, a companion app to Foursquare, that reimagined the social networking and location sharing aspects of the service as a separate application. On August 7, 2014 the company launched Foursquare 8.0, the completely new version of the service which finally removed the check in and location sharing entirely, to focus entirely on local search.

As of December 2013, Foursquare reported 45 million registered users, though many of these will not be active users. Male and female users are equally represented and also 50 percent of users are outside the US. Support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese was added in February 2011. Support for Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai was added in September 2011. Support for Turkish was added in June 2012. On January 14, 2016, Co-founder Dennis Crowley, stepped down from his position as CEO. He moved to an Executive Chairman position while Jeff Glueck, the company’s COO, succeeded Crowley as the new CEO.

In 2010 McDonald’s launched a spring pilot program that took advantage of Foursquare Day. Foursquare users who checked into McDonald’s restaurants on Foursquare Day were given the chance to win gift cards in 5 and 10 dollar increments. Mashable reported that there was a “33% increase in foot traffic” to McDonald’s venues, as apparent in the increase in Foursquare check-ins.

World Voice Day

World Voice Day (WVD) is a worldwide annual event that takes place on April 16 devoted to the celebration of the phenomenon of voice.[1] The aim is to demonstrate the enormous importance of the voice in the daily lives of all people. Voice is a critical aspect of effective and healthy communication, and World Voice Day brings global awareness to the need for preventing voice problems, rehabilitating the deviant or sick voice, training the artistic voice, and researching the function and application of voice. A goal of World Voice Day is to encourage all those who use their voice for business or pleasure to learn to take care of their voice, and know how to seek help and training, and to support research on the voice. Voice production is studied and applied in many disciplines such as medicine, speech-language pathology, music, physics, psychology, phonetics, art, and biology.

The idea to devote a special day, each year on April 16, to the voice was originally launched in 1999 by the Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice. In 2002 the Portuguese laryngologist Professor Mario Andrea, Portugal, then President of the European Laryngological Society, suggested that World Voice Day should be celebrated all over the world. This idea was further developed and adopted in various countries, and then in 2012 three voice researchers, Prof. Johan Sundberg (Sweden), Prof. Tecumseh Fitch (Austria), and Dr Filipa Lã (Portugal) invited voice experts from a number of countries to form an international group for the celebration of World Voice Day. Presently the group consists of 66 members who initiate and help coordinate events for World Voice Day in their respective countries. In 2016 more than 700 events took place, and all are listed on the web site world-voice-day.org where further information can be found.

Gerry Rafferty

Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty was born 16 April 1947 in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.Rafferty grew up in a council house on the town’s Foxbar estate and was educated at St Mirin’s Academy. His Irish-born father, a violent alcoholic, was a miner and lorry driver who died in 1963 when Rafferty was 16. He learned both Irish and Scottish folk songs as a boy: “My father was Irish, so growing up in Paisley I was hearing all these songs when I was two or three. Songs like “She Moves Through the Fair”, which my mother sings beautifully. And a whole suite of Irish traditional songs and Scots traditional songs”. Heavily influenced by Irish and Scottish folk music and the music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, the young Rafferty started to write his own material.

Rafferty left St. Mirin’s Academy in 1963. He worked in a butcher’s shop, as a civil service clerk, and in a shoe shop, although as he noted in a later interview: “But there was never anything else for me but music. I never intended making a career out of any of the jobs I did.”On weekends he and a schoolfriend, future Stealers Wheel collaborator Joe Egan, played in a local group named The Mavericks, mainly covering chart songs by groups such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the mid 1960s Rafferty earned money, for a time, busking on the London Underground. In 1966, Rafferty and Egan were members of the band The Fifth Column. The group released the single “Benjamin Day”/”There’s Nobody Here” (Columbia 8068), but it was not a commercial success.

In 1969 He joined the folk-pop group The Humblebums composed of future comedian Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey. Harvey left shortly afterwards, and Rafferty and Connolly continued as a duo, recording two albums for Transatlantic Records. A 1970 gig at the Royal Festival Hall, supporting Fotheringay with Nick Drake, earned a positive review from critic Karl Dallas, who noted that all three acts showed “promise rather than fulfilment”, and observed that “Gerry Rafferty’s songs have the sweet tenderness of Paul McCartney in his ‘Yesterday’ mood”.[9] In his own stand-up shows, Connolly has often recalled this period, remembering how Rafferty made him laugh and the crazy things they would get up to while on tour. On one occasion Rafferty decided to look up the local Berlin telephone directory to see if there were any Hitlers registered.

After they disbanded in 1971, he recorded his first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back? Rafferty and Joe Egan then formed the group Stealers Wheel in 1972, producing several hits, most notably “Stuck in the Middle with You”, “Star”, Right Down the Line” and “Night Owl”. Even though Rafferty and Connolly parted ways in 1971, they remained close friends until Rafferty’s death in 2011. the two decided to go their separate ways in 1971, Transatlantic owner Nathan Joseph signed Rafferty to a contract as a solo performer and Rafferty recorded his first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back?, with Hugh Murphy, a young staff producer working for the label. Billboard praised the album as “high-grade folk-rock”, describing it as Rafferty’s “finest work” to date: “His tunes are rich and memorable with an undeniable charm that will definitely see him into the album and very possibly singles charts soon”. Yet although the album was a critical success, it did not enjoy commercial success. According to Rafferty’s daughter Martha, it was around this time that her father discovered, by chance, Colin Wilson’s classic book The Outsider, about alienation and creativity, which became a huge influence both on his songwriting and his outlook on the world: “The ideas and references contained in that one book were to sustain and inspire him for the rest of his life. Rafferty, himself, later confirmed that alienation was the “persistent theme” of his songs.

In 1972, having gained minor airplay from his Signpost recording “Make You, Break You”, Rafferty joined Egan to form Stealers Wheel and went on to record three albums with the legendary American songwriters and producers Leiber & Stoller. The group was beset by legal wranglings, but did have a huge hit “Stuck in the Middle With You”. Twenty years later, the song was used prominently in the 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs, although Rafferty refused to grant permission for its re-release. Stealers Wheel also produced the lesser top 50 hits, “Everything’ll Turn Out Fine”, followed by “Star”, and there were further suggestions of Rafferty’s growing alienation in tracks such as “Outside Looking In” and “Who Cares”. The duo disbanded in 1975.

Legal issues after the break-up of Stealers Wheel meant that, for three years, Rafferty was unable to release any material. After the disputes were resolved in 1978, he recorded his second solo album, City to City, with producer Hugh Murphy, which included the song with which he remains most identified, “Baker Street”. According to Murphy, interviewed by Billboard in 1993, he and Rafferty had to beg the record label, United Artists, to release “Baker Street” as a single: “They actually said it was too good for the public.” It was a good call: the single reached #3 in the UK and #2 in the US. The album sold over 5.5 million copies, toppling the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in the US on 8 July 1978. Rafferty considered this his first proper taste of success,

“Baker Street” featured a distinctive saxophone solo played by Raphael Ravenscroft,  a session musician, who was in the studio to record a brief soprano saxophone part and suggested that he record the now famous break using the alto saxophone he had in his car. When a remastered version of City to City was released in 2011, it included the original, electric guitar version of the song, confirming Rafferty’s authorship of the riff. “Ravenscroft also went on to play on Rafferty’s next two albums.

“Baker Street” remains a mainstay of soft-rock radio airplay and, in October 2010, it was recognised by the BMI for surpassing 5 million plays worldwide. “Stuck in the Middle With You” has received over 4 million plays worldwide, and “Right Down The Line” has had over 3 million plays and was the second single from City to City. The song made No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts in the US. It remained at the top of the adult contemporary chart for four non-consecutive weeks. The third single from the album, “Home and Dry”, reached No. 28 in the US Top 40 in early 1979.[27] One of the lesser known songs from that time is “Big Change in the Weather” (the B-side of “Baker Street”).The lyrics of “Baker Street” reflected Rafferty’s disenchantment with certain elements of the music industry. His next album, Night Owl, also did well. Guitarist Richard Thompson helped by performing on the track “Take The Money and Run”, and the title track was a UK No. 5 hit in 1979. “Days Gone Down” reached No. 17 in the US. The follow-up single “Get It Right Next Time” made the UK and US Top 40.

In 1982 Rafferty released the album Sleepwalking  which used synthesizers and drum machines that give the album a harder, less acoustic sound, and apparently eschewing the richly detailed arrangements notable on Rafferty’s three previous records. Instead of a cover painting and hand-lettering by John ‘Patrick’ Byrne, who had illustrated every previous Rafferty and Stealers Wheel album, Sleepwalking featured a simple, stark photograph of an empty road stretching to the sky. There was change too in the songs. The deeply introspective lyrics of Sleepwalking suggest Rafferty found success far from glamorous: tracks like “Standing at the Gates”, “Change of Heart”, and “The Right Moment” suggest the singer was exhausted, burnt-out, and desperately seeking a new direction – and continued his long-running theme of alienation and was now at the crossroads and looking to replace the treadmill with a new dimension in his life”.

In 1989 he released his next record, North and South and became interested in doing more production work, writing film soundtracks, and even floated the idea of writing a musical about the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. Rafferty collaborated with several other artists during this time. In 1980, he and Murphy produced a record for Richard and Linda Thompson; though never released, it eventually evolved into their album Shoot Out the Lights.[5] It was also during this period that Rafferty sang the Knopfler-penned song “The Way It Always Starts” (1983) on the soundtrack of the film Local Hero, and co-produced The Proclaimers first UK hit single “Letter from America” in 1987 with Hugh Murphy. Rafferty also recorded a cover version of the Bob Dylan song “The Times They Are a-Changin'” with Barbara Dickson, who had contributed backing vocals to both City to City and Night Owl. The track appeared on Dickson’s albums Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right (1992) and The Barbara Dickson Collection (2006).

Rafferty released two further albums in the 1990s in what musician Tom Robinson later described as “a major return to form”. On a Wing and a Prayer (1992) reunited him with his Stealers Wheel partner Egan on several tracks. It included three tracks cowritten with Rafferty’s brother Jim, also a singer-songwriter. Rafferty recorded a new version of his Humblebums song “Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway” on the album Over My Head (1994). These were the last two records Rafferty produced with Hugh Murphy, who died in 1998.

By the end of the 1990s, new technology enabled Rafferty to distance himself even further from the conventional approach of the music industry and work entirely on his own terms. Now based in London, he employed sound engineer Giles Twigg to assemble a Digidesign mobile recording studio and, with Twigg’s help, recorded the album Another World in London, Scotland, Barbados, France, and Italy with collaborators from previous albums, including Hugh Burns, Mark Knopfler, Kenny Craddock, and Mo Foster. Another World, featured an album cover illustrated by John ‘Patrick’ Byrne, who also illustrated the covers for Can I Have My Money Back?, City to City, Night Owl, and Snakes and Ladders, and all three Stealers Wheel albums. Byrne was also responsible for one of Rafferty’s most prized possessions: a hand-painted Martin acoustic guitar bearing his portrait and the name ‘Gerry Rafferty’, which features in many photographs of the singer. Thanks to the Internet, technology was allowing Rafferty to put his music directly in the hands of an appreciative audience. Rafferty also felt he had matured as an artist, Rafferty maintained his enthusiasm for this new approach to recording for the next three years. In a blog posting dated 31 March 2004 he wrote: “Let’s get back to music: after all that’s the only reason that this website has been set up.” Another posting announced that Rafferty would begin to release music regularly as free downloads: “In reality, Gerry could put a new track out every two weeks or so. We will keep you informed of developments as they happen. However Only a handful of tracks were ever released, however, and the website eventually closed down without any explanation. In 2009 Rafferty released Life Goes On, featuring a mixture of new recordings, covers of Christmas carols and traditional songs that had previously been available as downloads on his web site, and edited tracks from his previous three albums.

Gerry Rafferty sadly died4 January 2011, however this rekindled interest in the singer’s work. His daughter Martha relaunched Rafferty’s old website, gerryrafferty.com, with a full discography, rare photos, and new artwork by John ‘Patrick’ Byrne. She portrayed her father as an autodidact with an “incredibly strong work ethic” and passion for books (“There were literally whole walls of book shelves at home and he’d read every single word. Mainly philosophy, art, religion, psychology and many a biography.”).In September 2011, EMI issued a remastered collector’s edition of City to City featuring previously unheard demo versions of “Baker Street”, “Mattie’s Rag”, “City to City”, and other tracks from the album.

Other artists continue to be inspired by Rafferty’s work. In 2012, Cuillin Recordings issued “Paisley Spin”, a remix of three tracks from Can I Have My Money Back? by Celtic fusion artist Martyn Bennett. Bonnie Raitt recorded a reggae treatment of “Right Down the Line” for her Slipstream album released 10 April 2012. Barbara Dickson released a tribute album of 13 Rafferty songs, To Each and Everyone: The Songs of Gerry Rafferty, in September 2013, including cover versions of “Baker Street”, “The Ark”, and “Steamboat Row”.

Henry Mancini

Best remembered for his film and television scores, the Grammy Award Winning American composer, conductor and arranger, Nicola “Henry” Mancini was born April 16, 1924 in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, and was raised near Pittsburgh, in the steel town of West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His parents emigrated from the Abruzzo region of Italy. Mancini’s father, Quinto (born March 13, 1893, Scanno, Italy) was a steelworker, who made his only child begin piccolo lessons at the age of eight.[4] When Mancini was 12 years old, he began piano lessons. Quinto and Henry played flute together in the Aliquippa Italian immigrant band, “Sons of Italy”. After graduating from Aliquippa High School in 1942, Mancini attended the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1943, after roughly one year at Juilliard, his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. In 1945, he participated in the liberation of a concentration camp in southern Germany. After being discharged, Mancini entered the music industry. Entering 1946, he became a pianist and arranger for the newly re-formed Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by ‘Everyman’ Tex Beneke. After World War II, Mancini broadened his skills in composition, counterpoint, harmony and orchestration during studies opening with the composers Ernst Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal Pictures music department. During the next six years, he contributed music to over 100 movies, most notably The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, This Island Earth, The Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. During this time, he also wrote some popular songs. His first hit was a single by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians titled I Won’t Let You Out of My Heart. Mancini left Universal-International to work as an independent composer/arranger in 1958. Soon afterward, he scored the television series Peter Gunn for writer/producer Blake Edwards. This was the genesis of a relationship in which Edwards and Mancini collaborated on 30 films over 35 years. Along with Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Leith Stevens and Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini was a pioneer of the inclusion of jazz elements in the late romantic orchestral film and TV scoring prevalent at the time.

Mancini’s scores for Blake Edwards included Breakfast at Tiffany’s (with the standard “Moon River”) and Days of Wine and Roses (with the title song, “Days of Wine and Roses”), as well as Experiment in Terror, The Pink Panther (and all of its sequels), The Great Race, The Party, and Victor Victoria. Another director with whom Mancini had a longstanding partnership was Stanley Donen (Charade, Arabesque, Two for the Road). Mancini also composed for Howard Hawks (Man’s Favorite Sport?, Hatari! – which included the well-known “Baby Elephant Walk”), Martin Ritt (The Molly Maguires), Vittorio de Sica (Sunflower), Norman Jewison (Gaily, Gaily), Paul Newman (Sometimes a Great Notion, The Glass Menagerie), Stanley Kramer (Oklahoma Crude), George Roy Hill (The Great Waldo Pepper), Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak),[6] Ted Kotcheff (Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), and others. Mancini’s score for the Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy (1972) in Bachian organ andante, for organ and an orchestra of strings was rejected and replaced by Ron Goodwin’s work.

Mancini scored many TV movies, including The Thorn Birds and The Shadow Box. He wrote many television themes, including Mr. Lucky (starring John Vivyan and Ross Martin), NBC Mystery Movie, What’s Happening!!, Tic Tac Dough (1990 version) and Once Is Not Enough. In the 1984–85 television season, four series featured original Mancini themes: Newhart, Hotel, Remington Steele, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Mancini also composed the “Viewer Mail” theme for Late Night with David Letterman. Mancini composed the theme for NBC Nightly News used beginning in 1975, and a different theme by him, titled Salute to the President was used by NBC News for its election coverage (including primaries and conventions) from 1976 to 1992. Salute to the President was only published in a school-band arrangement, although Mancini performed it frequently with symphony orchestras on his concert tours.

Songs with music by Mancini were staples of the easy listening genre from the 1960s to the 1980s. Some of the artists who have recorded Mancini songs include Andy Williams, Paul Anka, Pat Boone, Anita Bryant, Jack Jones, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Connie Francis, Eydie Gorme, Steve Lawrence, Trini Lopez, George Maharis, Johnny Mathis, Jerry Vale, Ray Conniff, The Lennon Sisters, The Lettermen, Herb Alpert, Eddie Cano, Frank Chacksfield, Warren Covington, Percy Faith, Ferrante & Teicher, Horst Jankowski, Andre Kostelanetz, Peter Nero, Liberace, Mantovani, Tony Bennett, Julie London, Wayne Newton, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Peggy Lee, and Matt Monro. The Anita Kerr Quartet won a Grammy award (1965) for their album “We Dig Mancini”, a cover of his songs. Lawrence Welk held Mancini in very high regard, and frequently featured Mancini’s music on The Lawrence Welk Show (Mancini made at least one guest appearance on the show).

Mancini recorded over 90 albums, in styles ranging from big band to light classical to pop. Eight of these albums were certified gold by The Recording Industry Association of America. He had a 20-year contract with RCA Records, resulting in 60 commercial record albums that made him a household name among artists of easy-listening music. Mancini’s earliest recordings in the 1950s and early 1960s were of the jazz idiom; with the success of Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mancini shifted to primarily recording his own music in record albums and film soundtracks. (Relatively little of his music was written for recordings compared to the amount that was written for film and television.) Beginning with his 1969 hit arrangement of Nino Rota’s A Time for Us (as his only Hot 100 top 10 entry, the #1 hit “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet”) and its accompanying album A Warm Shade of Ivory, Mancini began to function more as a piano soloist and easy-listening artist primarily recording music written by other people. In this period, for two of his best-selling albums he was joined by trumpet virtuoso and The Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen. Among Mancini’s orchestral scores are (Lifeforce, The Great Mouse Detective, Sunflower, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, Molly Maguires, The Hawaiians), and darker themes (Experiment in Terror, The White Dawn, Wait Until Dark, The Night Visitor).

Mancini was also a concert performer, conducting over fifty engagements per year, resulting in over 600 symphony performances during his lifetime. He conducted nearly all of the leading symphonies of the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. One of his favorites was the Minnesota Orchestra, where he debuted the Thorn Birds Suite in June 1983. He appeared in 1966, 1980 and 1984 in command performances for the British Royal Family. He also toured several times with Johnny Mathis and also with Andy Williams, who had each sung many of Mancini’s songs; Mathis and Mancini collaborated on the 1986 album The Hollywood Musicals.

Mancini also made many cameo appearances on Television; Shortly before his death in 1994, he made a one-off cameo appearance in the first season of Frasier, as a call-in patient to Dr. Frasier Crane’s radio show. Mancini voiced the character Al, who speaks with a melancholy drawl and hates the sound of his own voice, in the episode “Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast?” Moments after Mancini’s cameo ends, Frasier’s radio broadcast plays “Moon River” to underscore a particularly heartfelt apology. Mancini also had an uncredited performance as a pianist in the 1967 movie Gunn, the movie version of the series Peter Gunn, the score of which was originally composed by Mancini himself. In the 1966 Pink Panther cartoon Pink, Plunk, Plink, the panther commandeered an orchestra and proceeded to conduct Mancini’s theme for the series. At the end, the shot switched to rare live action, and Mancini was seen alone applauding in the audience.

Sadly Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on June 14, 1994. He was working at the time on the Broadway stage version of Victor/Victoria, which he never saw on stage. Mancini was survived by his wife of 43 years, singer Virginia “Ginny” O’Connor, with whom he had three children. They had met while both were members of the Tex Beneke orchestra, just after World War II. In 1948, Mrs. Mancini was one of the founders of the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization which benefits the health and welfare of professional singers worldwide. Additionally the Society awards scholarships to students pursuing an education in the vocal arts. One of Mancini’s twin daughters, Monica Mancini, is a professional singer; her sister Felice runs The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF). His son Christopher is a music publisher and promoter in Los Angeles.

In 1996, the Henry Mancini Institute, an academy for young music professionals, was founded by Jack Elliott in Mancini’s honor, and was later under the direction of composer-conductor Patrick Williams. By the mid 2000s, however, the institute could not sustain itself and closed its doors on December 30, 2006.[12] However, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation “Henry Mancini Music Scholarship” has been awarded annually since 2001. While still alive, Henry created a scholarship at UCLA and the bulk of his library and works are archived in the music library at UCLA.

In 2005, the Henry Mancini Arts Academy was opened as a division of the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. The Center is located in Midland, Pennsylvania, minutes away from Mancini’s hometown of Aliquippa. The Henry Mancini Arts Academy is an evening-and-weekend performing arts program for children from pre-K to grade 12, with some classes also available for adults. The program includes dance, voice, musical theater, and instrumental lessons. The American Film Institute ranked Mancini’s songs Moon River in the No. 4 and Days of Wine and Roses in No. 39 on their list of the greatest songs and his score for The Pink Panther No. 20 on their list of the greatest film scores. His scores for Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade (1963), Hatari! (1962), Touch of Evil (1958) and Wait Until Dark (1967) were also nominated for the list.

Mancini was nominated for an unprecedented 72 Grammys, winning 20 and was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning four. He also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmys. and was awarded a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 for his original score of The Glenn Miller Story, on which he collaborated with Joseph Gershenson. He lost out to Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In 1962, he was nominated in the Best Music, Original Song category for “Bachelor in Paradise” from the film of the same name, in collaboration with lyricist Mack David. That song did not win. However, Mancini did receive two Oscars that year: one in the same category, for the song “Moon River” (shared with lyricist Johnny Mercer), and one for “Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture” for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The following year, he and Mercer took another Best Original Song award for “Days of Wine and Roses”,[4] another eponymous theme song. His next eleven nominations went for naught, but he finally garnered one last statuette working with lyricist Leslie Bricusse on the score for Victor Victoria, which won the Academy Award for “Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score”. All three of the films for which he won were directed by Blake Edwards. His score for Victor/Victoria was adapted for the 1995 Broadway musical of the same name.

Sir Spike Milligan KBE

The late, great Comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor Sir Terence Alan “Spike” Milligan KBE was born 16 April 1918. He was of Irish and English parentage and Irish nationality. His early life was spent in India where he was born. The majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He disliked his first name and began to call himself “Spike” after hearing the band Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of the popular British radio comedy programme The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters. The Goon Show was originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960, with occasional repeats on the BBC Light Programme. The first series was entitled Crazy People; subsequent series had the title The Goon Show, a title inspired, according to Spike Milligan, by a Popeye character. The scripts mixed ludicrous plots with surreal humour, puns, catchphrases and an array of bizarre sound effects. Some of the later episodes feature electronic effects devised by the fledgling BBC Radiophonic Workshop, many of which were reused by other shows for decades. Many elements of the show satirised contemporary life in Britain, parodying aspects of show business, commerce, industry, art, politics, diplomacy, the police, the military, education, class structure, literature and film.

The show was released internationally through the BBC Transcription Services. It was heard regularly from the 1950s in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Canada, although these TS versions were frequently edited to avoid controversial subjects. NBC began broadcasting the programme on its radio network from the mid-1950s.The programme exercised a considerable influence on the development of British and American comedy and popular culture. It was cited as a major influence by The Beatles and the American comedy team The Firesign Theatre as well as Monty Python and many others.

Milligan also wrote and edited many satirical books, including Puckoon and his seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall. He is also noted as a popular writer of comical verse; much of his poetry was written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids (1959). After success with the groundbreaking British radio programme, The Goon Show, Milligan translated this success to television with Q5, a surreal sketch show which is credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Milligan also appears briefly in the Mony Python film “The Life of Brian”. Spike Milligan claimed a right to Irish citizenship (as a child of an Irish citizen) after the British government declared him stateless. Milligan sadly passed away 27 February 2002 but his work remains popular.

Dusty Springfield

Dubbed The White Queen of Soul, British pop singer Dusty Springfield was born on this date 16 April in 1939. Her career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual sound, she was an important white soul singer, and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970. She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time.

Born in West London to an Irish Catholic family that enjoyed music, Springfield learned to sing at home. She joined her first professional group, The Lana Sisters, in 1958, then formed the pop-folk vocal trio The Springfields in 1960 with her brother Dion. Her solo career began in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit, “I Only Want to Be with You”. Among the hits that followed were “Wishin’ and Hopin’”, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself”, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, and “Son of a Preacher Man”. A fan of American pop music, she was the first public figure to bring little-known soul singers to a wider British audience, when she created and hosted the first British performances of the top-selling Motown artists in 1965. By 1966, she was the best-selling female singer in the world, and topped a number of popularity polls, including Melody Maker’s Best International Vocalist. She was the first British singer to top the New Musical Express readers’ poll for Female Singer.

Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde beehive hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties. The marked changes in pop music in the mid-1960s left many female pop singers out of fashion. To boost her credibility as a soul artist, Springfield went to Memphis, Tennessee, to record an album of pop and soul music with the Atlantic Records main production team. Released in 1969, Dusty in Memphis has been ranked among the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone and VH1 artists, New Musical Express readers, and the Channel 4 viewers polls. The album was also awarded a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

After this, however, Springfield experienced a career slump for eighteen years. She returned to the Top 20 of the British and American charts in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys on the songs “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, “Nothing Has Been Proved”, and “In Private”. Interest in Springfield’s early output was revived in 1994 due to the inclusion of “Son of a Preacher Man” on the soundtrack of the movie Pulp Fiction. Sadly though Dusty Passed away on March 2nd 1999, however she has left a wonderful legacy in the form of some great songs.

Charlie Chaplin

English Comic actor and filmmaker Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE was born 16 April 1889. He rose to fame in the silent film era, he became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. Chaplin’s had an impoverished childhood in London ; his father left and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19 he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. Chaplin was scouted for the film industry, and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. Chaplin directed his films from an early stage, and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best known figures in the world.

In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. Chaplin became increasingly political and his next film, The Great Dictator (1940), satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, while his involvement in a paternity suit and marriages to much younger women caused scandal. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland. He abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).

Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp’s struggles against adversity. Many contain social and political themes, as well as autobiographical elements. In 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work, Chaplin received an Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century”. He sadly passed away 25 December 1977 although he continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked among industry lists of the greatest films of all time.