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Henry Mancini

Best remembered for his film and television scores, the Grammy Award Winning American composer, conductor and arranger, Nicola “Henry” Mancini sadly died 14 June 1994 in Los Angeles. He was born April 16, 1924 in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland. He 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 was a steelworker, who made his only child begin piccolo lessons at the age of eight. 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.

At the time of his untimely demise Mancini was working 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. 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”. 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.

Posted in books

G. K. Chesterton

Prolific English writer G.K Chesterton sadly died 14 June 1926. He was born 29th May 1874. He published works on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”. Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories— first carefully turning them inside out.” For example, Chesterton wrote “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.

Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both progressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify successful h a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius”. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and John Ruskin.Among his best known works are The Napoleon of Notting Hill, Heretics, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, The Man Who Was Thursday, Orthodoxy, Manalive, Father Brown short stories (detective fiction), Eugenics and Other Evils, Saint Francis of Assisi (1923), Doubleday, The Everlasting Man & Saint Thomas Aquinas. A lot of these can currently be found on the Project Gutenberg Website.

Posted in books

Jerome K. Jerome

Best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat, the English Writer and Humourist Jerome K Jerome, sadly died 14 June 1927. He was born 2nd May 1859 in Caldmore, Walsall, England, and moved to London, where He attended St Marylebone Grammar School. 14 June 1927). The young Jerome wished to go into politics or be a man of letters, but the death of his father at age 13, and his mother at age 15, forced him to quit his studies and find work to support himself. He was employed at the London and North Western Railway, initially collecting coal that fell along the railway, and remained there for four years. In 1877, inspired by his older sister Blandina’s love for the theatre, Jerome decided to try his hand at acting, under the stage name Harold Crichton. He joined a repertory troupe that produced plays on a shoestring budget, Jerome was penniless at the time.

After three years on the road and with no evident success, the 21-year-old Jerome decided he’d had enough with stage life, and tried to become a journalist, writing essays, satires and short stories, but most of these were rejected. Over the next few years he was a school teacher, a packer, and a solicitor’s clerk. Finally, in 1885, he had some success with On the Stage — and Off, a comic memoir of his experiences with the acting troupe. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, a collection of humorous essays, followed in 1886. On 21 June 1888, Jerome married Georgina Elizabeth Henrietta Stanley Marris (a.k.a. Ettie), nine days after she had divorced her first husband. She had a daughter from her previous, five-year marriage, nicknamed Elsie (her actual name was also Georgina). The honeymoon took place on the Thames “in a little boat,” a fact which was to have a significant influence on his next, and most important work, Three Men in a Boat.

Jerome sat down to write Three Men in a Boat as soon as the couple returned from their honeymoon. In the novel, his wife was replaced by his longtime friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). This allowed him to create comic situations which were nonetheless intertwined with the history of the Thames region. The book, published in 1889, became an instant success and is still in print. Its popularity was such that the number of registered Thames boats went up fifty percent in the year following its publication, and it contributed significantly to the Thames becoming a tourist attraction. The book has also been adapted to movies, TV and radio shows, stage plays, and even a musical. Its writing style influenced many humorists and satirists in England and elsewhere. Following on from this success Jerome dedicated all of his time to writing and wrote a number of plays, essays and novels, but was never able to recapture the success of Three Men in a Boat.In 1898, a short stay in Germany inspired Three Men on the Bummel, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat. While reintroducing the same characters in the setting of a foreign bicycle tour, the book was unable to capture the life-force and historic roots of its predecessor, and only enjoyed a mild success.

In 1902 he published the novel Paul Kelver, which is widely regarded as autobiographical. His 1908 play The Passing of the Third Floor Back introduced a more sombre and religious Jerome. This was a tremendous commercial success but was condemned by critics.During World War I, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the French Army but this experience was said to have dampened his spirit, as did the death in 1921 of his stepdaughter, Elsie. In 1926, Jerome published his autobiography, My Life and Times. Shortly afterwards, the Borough of Walsall conferred on him the title Freeman of the Borough. During these last years, Jerome spent more time at his farmhouse in Ewelme near Wallingford. Sadly in June 1927 Jerome suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral haemorrhage during a motoring tour and lay in Northampton General Hospital for two weeks before succumbing on 14 June. He was cremated at Golders Green and his ashes buried at St Mary’s Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire. Elsie, Ettie, and his sister Blandina are buried beside him. His legacy lives on in the form of a French graphic novel series named Jérôme K. Jérôme Bloche after the author and There is a street named after him called Jerome Road in Alumwell and Walsall Museum has some of Jerome’s writing equipment on permanent display.

Posted in aviation, Events

Weston Park International Model Airshow

Weston Park International Model Air show takes place from Friday 14 June until Sunday 16 June 2019 at Weston Park. Weston Park is a 15th Century stately home covering over 1,000 acres in Shropshire, not far from RAF Cosford. Weston Park International Model Air Show has established itself as one the foremost model shows in the country, attracting visitors and pilots from all over the world. Giving an opportunity for Model aircraft enthusiasts as well as The top model pilots from all the over the UK and Europe to take to the skies and demonstrate their awesome flying skills.

There is also a Battle of Britain pyrotechnic display and the Swift Glider display team will perform their amazing mid-air acrobatics. In addition there will be a model boat regatta, slot car racing and a fun fair for children who can also attend free model building workshops. There is also a mega swap meet and trade stand selling everything you need to create your own model aircraft.

There is also a Luxury Glamping Village and on site food and catering selling hamburgers, baguettes, fish and chips, hot dogs, Pasta, Ice Cream, Doughnuts, candy floss, there is also an on site pub selling many alcoholic beverages. The Weston Park Steam Gala Weekend will also be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, featuring four guest steam engines which will be taking visitors on rides on the Miniature Railway.

Posted in Events, Health

World Blood Doner Day

World Blood Doner day takes place annually on 14 June to celebrate the birth of Austrian Biologist, physician and Scientist Karl Landsteiner who was born on 14 June in 1868. Karl Landsteiner was the first person to distinguish the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the blood, and identified the Rhesus factor with Alexander S. Wiener in 1937. These discoveries enabled physicians to safely transfuse blood without endangering the patient’s life. He also discovered the polio virus in 1909 With Constantin Levaditi and Erwin Popper. Following his revolutionary discoveries He received the Aronson Prize in 1926 and In 1930, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was posthumously awarded the Lasker Award in 1946, and has been described as the father of transfusion medicine.

The aim of World Blood Doner Day is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood which helps save millions of lives every year. The transfusion of blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth. In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. It emphasizes thanking of blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and inspires more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” Many lives (including mine) have been saved thanks to blood transfusions.

Activities include special events, meetings, publication of relevant stories on media, scientific conferences, publication of articles on national, regional and international scientific journals, and other activities that would help in encouraging the title of this year’s World Blood Donor Day. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2015 was China through its blood center in Shanghai, Shanghai Blood Centre, also the WHO Collaborating Center for Blood Transfusion Services. The focus of the WBDD 2014 campaign was “Safe blood for saving mothers”. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries, as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding is the cause of 34% of maternal deaths in Africa, 31% in Asia and 21% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The global host for the WBDD 2014 event was Sri Lanka. Through its national blood transfusion service, Sri Lanka promotes voluntary unpaid donation to increase access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products.

The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2013 was France. Through its national blood service, the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS), France has been promoting voluntary non-remunerated blood donation since the 1950s. The focus for the WBDD 2013 campaign – which marked the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day – was blood donation as a gift that saves lives. The WHO encouraged all countries to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so. The 2012 campaign focused on the idea that any person can become a hero by giving blood. Blood cannot yet be manufactured artificially, so voluntary blood donation remains vital for healthcare worldwide. Many anonymous blood donors save lives every day through their blood donations.

World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.

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Maxi Jazz (Faithless)

Maxi Jazz, British rapper with the band Faithless was born 14th June 1957. Faithless were a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The group is best known for their dance songs (“Insomnia”, “God Is a DJ” and “We Come 1″). Faithless recorded six albums. During their career they sold over 15 million records worldwide. The band have now officially split up after the climax of their Passing The Baton dates at Brixton Academy which was on the 7 and 8 April 2011.

The band was formed in early 1995, and their debut single “Salva Mea (Save Me)” was also released in 1995. Jazz acted as a vocalist, whilst Bliss constructed most of the music herself electronically, but also played the piano, violin, saxophone and bass guitar. Rollo heads and produces the band. Lead female vocals for many of their songs are performed by Pauline Taylor, who also performed lead vocals for singles by Rollo released under his monikers Rollo Goes Mystic and Rollo Goes Spiritual. Albums released by Faithless include Reverence (which reached number 26), Sunday 8Pm, Outrospective and No Roots, with a greatest hits compilation album out in 2005. Each of the four studio albums has also been followed with a subsequent bonus disc of remixes. Their fifth album, To All New Arrivals, was released in 2006 and Their sixth album, The Dance, was released on 16 May 2010, after a four year hiaitus and they returned to the Glastonbury Festival after eight years, playing on the Pyramid Stage. They performed many of their most popular songs including “Insomnia”, “God is a DJ”, and “We Come 1”.

On 16 March 2011, Maxi Jazz announced on his website that Faithless would cease to be, commenting “But, like when writing a song, you always just know when it’s finished… this is and was the Thank YOU And Goodbye tour. They played two nights at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. The latter date would allegedly be the final full Faithless touring band show and was transmitted live via satellite to cinemas across Europe. On 2011 The Faithless ‘Sound System’ (consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and percussionist Sudha Kheterpal) performed shows on 22 July 2011 at the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium, at the Waterford Music Fest in Ireland on 30 July and in Split (Croatia) at the Riva Discothèque on 12 August. However, in February 2015 they reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band and their latest album, Faithless 2.0 was released in 2015, this contains even more remixes of their best tunes.

Posted in music

Alan White (Yes)

Alan White the drummer and songwriter with the bands Yes, Plastic Ono Band, White, and Circa, was born 14 June 1949. Yes were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and went on to achieve worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974).White released his only solo album, Ramshackled, in 1975. White only performed drums on the album and wrote none of the songs.

Wakeman returned to Yes on the albums Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). However Anderson and Wakeman left the group in 1980 due to musical differences amongst the band and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and Tony Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman was then replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra. Squire also joined the short-lived supergroup XYZ, (ex-Yes, Zeppelin) which featured Squire, Yes’ Alan White, and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. Sadly though Chris Squire, died 27 June 2013 at the age of 67, following his battle with Acute Erythroid Leukemia, with which he was diagnosed in 2015. He had been a member of the band’s current line-up alongside singer Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes.

In addition to his drum playing, White has played piano and written music for several Yes albums. Sadly Due to various health problems, White missed a tour with Yes in 2016, with Jay Schellen substituting for him. Schellen and White then toured together into 2017. On summer 2017 touring, White was accompanied by Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe), with Schellen returning to the role in early 2018.

Alan White Has also guested with Seattle band MerKaBa on a number of occasions and White and MerKaBa also had links with another band, Treason. In 2003, White joined sessions for a new MerKaBa album, but these evolved into a new band, called White, and an album’s worth of demo recordings under the name Loyal. As well as Alan, the band consisted of Kevin Currie (from MerKaBa; lead vocals), Karl Haug (from Treason); electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel), Steve Boyce (from MerKaBa; bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Ted Stockwell (from Treason and MerKaBa; keys, guitar). Stockwell left the band and, in April 2005, was replaced by Alan’s former colleague in Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes. A new album, White, was recorded, partly based on the Loyal demos. The album was released in 2006, with a cover by Roger Dean.

The band has played live (with various keyboardists) in the Seattle area. They were due to join the abortive More Drama Tour, scheduled to begin in North America in August 2005, with three acts: White, The Syn, and Steve Howe, with Yes members Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes playing Yes material at the end of the evening (with Currie handling lead vocals). However, the tour was cancelled shortly before it was due to begin. White later joined The Syn touring band for dates in the first half of 2006. Subsequently, White has been working on projects with Billy Sherwood, notably in the initial line-up of Circa, with a third Yes alumnus, Tony Kaye. In 2010, the band White re-emerged after a hiatus with a new line-up of White, Haug and Boyce joined by two musicians from Yes tribute band Parallels, who have previously worked with Alan: vocalist Robyn Dawn and keyboardist Jonathan Sindelman. White also serves as the Grand Marshal at the Issaquah, Washington Salmon Days FestivalOn 28 October 2017, to celebrate his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, White played Roundabout in a halftime performance with the University of Washington Husky Marching Band, also featuring music from Pearl Jam, Journey, and Electric Light Orchestra.

Posted in music

Dom Brown (Duran Duran)

The guitarist and singer-songwriter Dominic “Dom” Brown was born 14 June 1972. He has worked with many popular musicians, including Duran Duran, Elton John, Lionel Richie and Take That. He has also done both studio and live recordings with Justin Timberlake, Liam Gallagher and the Sugababes, along with many others. Dom cites his influences as “Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, James Brown, Miles Davis, Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Beck, Jeff Buckley, Dave Gilmour, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Meters, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, Otis Redding, Chic, Ben Harper, AC/DC, Robert Johnson, Mick Ronson, Mozart, Frank Zappa, White Stripes, Massive Attack, Soundgarden, Cream, John Mayer, Howlin’ Wolf, Smashing Pumpkins, Ian Hunter, The Stranglers, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Sly Stone, Beck, Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Muddy Waters, Curtis Mayfield and more…”

He began playing guitar at the age of 14, and by 16 had put together the band Nexus, based in Twickenham. He was soon touring with his father, musician Rob Brown. He has performed solo and in his own bands around the world, as well as serving as a sessions and live backup player for numerous other performers. Brown first appeared with Duran Duran in December 2004 as a stand-in for ill guitarist Andy Taylor, and performed in Taylor’s place several more times over the following two years. After Taylor left the band in October 2006, Brown was hired to record guitar parts for their next album, Red Carpet Massacre (2007), and perform on the supporting world tour. He also played with the band at the Concert for Diana and Live Earth London at Wembley Stadium. Brown continues in his role as Duran Duran’s guitarist albeit not as a full member of the band. He co-wrote 13 of the 15 tracks on the band’s 2011 album All You Need Is Now and 4 of the 12 tracks on their 2015 album Paper Gods. Dominic’s solo albums are published by the independent UK record label Remedy Records.

Duran Duran were formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the US. Since the 1980s, they have placed 14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold over 70 million records. While they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet, when they first emerged, the band later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image. The band has won a number of awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look than was standard at the time. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows.

The group was formed by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, with the later addition of drummer Roger Taylor, and after numerous personnel changes, guitarist Andy Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon. These five members featured in their most commercially successful line-up. The group has never disbanded, but after separation of Andy Taylor in 1986, the line-up has changed to include former Missing Persons American guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and American drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band once again in mid-2006, and guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member. Duran Duran’s latest album Paper Gods was released 2015 and includes the song “Pressure off” featuring Janelle Monae and Nile Rogers.

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Jim Lea/Noddy Holder (Slade)

Noddy Holder, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor with glam rock band Slade was born 15 June 1946, in addition Jim Lea, the singer-songwriter, bass guitarist / keyboard player / violinist / guitarist and producer with Slade was born 14 June 1949. He joined Slade after meeting Fellow members Dave Hill and Don Powell playing in a band called The Vendors, who changed the name Of the band to The N’ Betweens. After Jim Lea auditioned, Drummer Don Powell then spotted Noddy Holder playing with Steve Brett & The Mavericks and he and Hill got Holder to join the N’Betweens. They regrouped as Ambrose Slade, and changed the name to Slade comprising of Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Dave Hill and Don Powell.

Slade rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s with 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones including Come on feel the noise, Goodbye to Jane and Merry Xmas Everybody. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to achieve three singlesenter at number one; all six of the band’s chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, “Merry Xmas Everybody”, has sold in excess of one million copies. Following an unsuccessful move to the United States in 1975, Slade’s popularity waned but was unexpectedly revived in 1980 when they were last minute replacements for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Rock Festival. The band later acknowledged this to have been one of the highlights of their career.

The original Slade line up split in 1992 but the band reformed the following year as Slade II. The band has continued, with a number of line-up changes, to the present day. They have now shortened the group name back to Slade. A number of diverse artists have cited Slade as an influence, including grunge icons Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, punk pioneers the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Undertones, the Runaways and the Clash, glam followers Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister ,Quiet Riot, Poison and Def Leppard, pop-rock stalwarts the Replacements, Cheap Trick and Oasis. Over the years Slade have become known for Holder’s powerful vocals, guitarist Dave Hill’s equally arresting dress sense and the deliberate misspelling of their song titles. Their song Merry Christmas is also repeated annually during every Christmas Season. Since Slade split Noddy Holder has also acted in a couple of television series such as Max and Paddy’s road to nowhere and adverts like Nobby’s Nuts.