Malcolm X

African-American Muslim minister and human Civil rights activist Malcolm X was Born 19th May in 1925. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, antisemitism, and violence. Malcolm X’s father died—killed by white supremacists, it was rumored—when he was young, and at least one of his uncles was lynched.

When he was thirteen, his mother was placed in a mental hospital, and he was placed in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for breaking and entering. In prison, Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam and after his parole in 1952 he quickly rose to become one of its leaders.For a dozen years Malcolm X was the public face of the controversial group, but disillusionment with Nation of Islam head Elijah Muhammad led him to leave the Nation in March 1964. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, he returned to the United States, where he founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. In February 1965, less than a year after leaving the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three members of the group. Malcolm X’s expressed beliefs changed substantially over time. As a spokesman for the Nation of Islam he taught black supremacy and advocated separation of black and white Americans—in contrast to the civil rights movement’s emphasis on integration. After breaking with the Nation of Islam in 1964—saying of his association with it, “I was a zombie then … pointed in a certain direction and told to march”—and becoming a Sunni Muslim, he disavowed racism and expressed willingness to work with civil rights leaders, though still emphasizing black self-determination and self defense.

Sadly On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated, as he prepared to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, after a disturbance broke out in the 400-person audience. As Malcolm X and his bodyguards moved to quiet the disturbance, a man seated in the front row rushed forward and shot him once in the chest with a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired semi-automatic handguns, hitting Malcolm X several times.The funeral was held on February 27 at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in Harlem and Malcolm X was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.Malcolm X has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history and is credited with raising the self-esteem of black Americans and reconnecting them with their African heritage. He is largely responsible for the spread of Islam in the black community in the United States. Many African Americans, especially those who lived in cities in the Northern and Western United States, felt that Malcolm X articulated their complaints concerning inequality better than the mainstream civil rights movement did.

Eurovision Song Contest 2019

The final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 takes place on Saturday 18 May at theTel Aviv Fairgrounds, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Here is the running order

1 🇲🇹Malta- Michela- Chameleon
2 🇦🇱Albania -Jonida MaliqiKtheju tokës
3 🇨🇿Czech Republic-Lake Malawi – Friend of a Friend
4 🇩🇪Germany -S!sters -Sister
5 🇷🇺Russia- Sergey Lazarev- Scream
6. 🇩🇰Denmark- Leonora- Love Is Forever
7 🇸🇲San Marino- Serhat- Say Na Na Na
8 🇲🇰North Macedonia-Tamara Todevska-Proud
9 🇸🇪Sweden-John Lundvik-Too Late For Love
10 🇸🇮Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl -Sebi
11 🇨🇾Cyprus- Tamta-Replay
12 🇳🇱The Netherlands- Duncan Laurence- Arcade
13 🇬🇷Greece- Katerine Duska- Better Love
14 🇮🇱Israel- Kobi Marimi- Home
15 🇳🇴Norway- KEiiNO- Spirit in the Sky
16 🇬🇧United Kingdom- Michael Rice- Bigger Than Us
17 🇮🇸Iceland- Hatari- Hatrið mun sigra
18 🇪🇪Estonia- Victor Crone- Storm
19 🇧🇾Belarus- ZENA- Like It
20 🇦🇿Azerbaijan- Chingiz- Truth
21 🇫🇷France- Bilal Hassani- Roi
22 🇮🇹Italy- Mahmood- Soldi
23 🇷🇸Serbia- Nevena Božović -Kruna
24 🇨🇭Switzerland -Luca Hänni -She Got Me
25 🇦🇺Australia- Kate Miller-Heidke- Zero Gravity
26 🇪🇸Spain-Miki – La Venda

Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman (YES)

bill Bruford, Who was Drummer, percussionist and composer with Progressive Rock Bands Yes & King Crimson was born 17th May 1949. He was the original drummer in the band, from 1968-1972, who achieved 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 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.Bruford began playing the drums when he was thirteen, and was influenced by jazz drumming, which manifested itself on early Yes albums and remained an influence on his style throughout his career.

During his time with Yes Bruford played on their first five albums including the LPs The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge. Bruford has also performed for numerous other acts as well, including a stint as touring drummer for Genesis in 1976. Following his departure from Yes and at various times until 1997, Bruford was the drummer for progressive rock band King Crimson, But moved away from progressive rock to concentrate on jazz, leading his own jazz group, Earthworks, for several years. He retired from public performance in 2009, but continues to run his two record labels and to speak about music. His autobiography, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, was published in early 2009.

Keyboard player, composer and songwriter Rick Wakeman was also born 18th May 1949). He is best known for being the former keyboardist with progressive rock band Yes. He has also written many solo albums and hosted a radio show on Planet Rock called Rick’s place, that aired until December 2010.Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968, he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work.

 

 

 

 

He went on to feature on songs by artists including Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye, and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980.

Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989, and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992.He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band’s 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004. Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010, Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and Yes continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.

Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Gala

The three Day Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Gala is taking place from Thursday16 May until Saturday 18 May 2019 with a Mixed Traffic Day occurring on Sunday 19 May. During which There will be a mix of heritage and mainline diesel locomotives in service. Visiting lcomotives this year include Class 25 No. D7535, Class 31 No. 97205, Class 33 No. 33108, Class 37 No. 37688, Class 40 No. 40106 Atlantic Conveyor, Class 44 No. D4 Great Gable, Class 46 No. 46010, Class 47 47749 City Of Truro, Class 55 ‘Deltic’ No. 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier, GBRf Class 60095, GBRf Class 66 and DRS Class 88. Prototype HST Power Car No. 41001 will be on static display during the event. Class 44 No. 44004 Great Gable will no longer be attending either due to low oil pressure issues. Class 14 No. D9551 will not operating at the event either due to mechanical issues. However it was on static display at Bridgnorth

Members of the home fleet in service include Class 42 No. D821 Greyhound, With thanks to the Diesel Traction Group, Class 50s No. 50031 Hood, No. 50035 Ark Royal & No 50044 Exeter With thanks to the Class 50 Alliance and Class 52 No. D1062 Western Courier With thanks to the Western Locomotive Association.

There will be evening running and Kidderminster Diesel Depot will be open for visits on Saturday & Sunday only. On Thursday evening there was Live entertainment and pig roast at the Engine House. Entry to The Engine House will be FREE with a Spring Diesel Festival Thursday rover ticket, real Ale will also be on Sale. (More photos to follow).

 

Ronnie James Dio

American singer, songwriter, and musician Ronald James Dio (Padavona) sadly died May 16, 2010. He was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 10 July 1942 to Italian-American parents who had moved to Portsmouth from Cortland, New York, where they had grown up, as part of Dio’s father’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II.The family resided in Portsmouth for only a short time before returning to Cortland. Dio listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza.His first and only formal musical training began at age 5 learning to play the trumpet. During high school, Dio played in the school band and was one of the youngest members selected to play in the school’s official Dance Band. It was also during high school that Dio formed his first rock-n-roll group, the Vegas Kings (the name would soon change to Ronnie and the Rumblers, and then Ronnie and the Red Caps). Though Dio began his rock-n-roll career on trumpet, he quickly added bass guitar to his skillset once he assumed singing duties for the group.

Dio graduated from Cortland High School in 1960. Though he claimed in a later interview to have been offered a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, he did not pursue it due to his continuing interest in rock-n-roll music Instead, after graduation, he attended the University at Buffalo, majoring in Pharmacology. He only attended from 1960 to 1961 and played trumpet in the university’s concert band, but did not graduate.Despite being known for his powerful singing voice, Dio claimed never to have taken any vocal training. Rather, he attributed his singing ability to the use of correct breathing techniques learned while playing trumpet.

Dio’s musical career began in 1957 when several Cortland, New York musicians formed the band, The Vegas Kings. The group’s lineup consisted of Dio on bass guitar, Billy DeWolfe on lead vocals, Nick Pantas on guitar, Tom Rogers on drums, and Jack Musci on saxophone. In 1958, the band again changed their name from Ronnie & The Rumblers to Ronnie and the Redcaps. Musci left the band in 1960, and a new guitarist, Dick Botoff, joined the lineup. The Redcaps released two singles: “Conquest”/”Lover” and “An Angel Is Missing”/”What’d I Say”. Padavona first used the name Dio on a recording in 1960, when he added it to thr band’s second release on Seneca. Soon after that the band modified their name to Ronnie Dio and the Prophets. The Prophets toured the New York region and played college fraternity parties. They released several singles including “Mr Misery” In late 1967 Ronnie Dio and the Prophets transformed into a new band called The Electric Elves and added a keyboard player. After recovering from a deadly car accident in February 1968 (which killed guitarist Nick Pantas and put Dio and other band members briefly in hospital), the group shortened its name to The Elves and used that name until mid-1972, when it released its first proper album under the name Elf and were a regular opening act for Deep Purple. Elf recorded three albums until disbanding in 1975

Dio’s vocals caught the ear of Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore who invited Dio along with Gary Driscoll to record two songs in Tampa, Florida. Blackmore stated I left Deep Purple because I’d met up with Ronnie Dio, and he was so easy to work with. Blackmore decided to recruit more of Elf’s musicians and form his own band, initially known as Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. They released the self-titled debut album Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow in early 1975. After that, Dio recorded two more studio albums (Rising and Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll) and two live albums (Live in Munich 1977 and Live in Germany 1976) with Blackmore. During his tenure with Rainbow, Dio and Blackmore. However Dio and Blackmore split, with Blackmore taking Rainbow in a more commercial direction, with Graham Bonnet on vocals and the album Down to Earth. Dio left Rainbow in 1979 and soon joined Black Sabbath, replacing the fired Ozzy Osbourne after meeting Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi by chance at The Rainbow on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 1979. Dio arrived at Iommi’s Los Angeles house for a relaxed, getting-to-know-you jam session. On that first day the duo wrote the song, “Children of the Sea”, which would appear on the Heaven and Hell album, the first the band recorded with Dio as vocalist, released in 1980. The follow-up album, Mob Rules, also featured new drummer Vinny Appice. Sadly personality conflict arose within the band during the next album Live Evil which eventually led to Dio and Appice quitting the band. In 1992, Dio briefly returned to Black Sabbath to record the Dehumanizer album anf The single “Time Machine” which was featured in the movie Wayne’s World.

 

 

 

 

Sadly Dio and Appice again left the band, citing an inability to work with Iommi and Butler. So in 1982 Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice left and formed Dio, with Vivian Campbell playing guitar and Jimmy Bain on bass; the latter of whom Dio had known since the old Rainbow days. Their debut album, Holy Diver, included the singles “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Holy Diver”. The band added keyboardist Claude Schnell and recorded two more full-length studio albums, The Last in Line and Sacred Heart. By 1990 Dio was the only original member. Except for a few breaks, Dio, the band, were always touring or recording. They released ten albums, with Master of the Moon being the last one, recorded in 2004. In 2006, Dio joined Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice to tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, the title of the first Dio era Black Sabbath album. They chose the name Heaven & Hell as Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were still in Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne and felt it was best to use a different moniker for the Dio version of the band. In 2007, the band recorded three new songs under the Black Sabbath name for the compilation album Black Sabbath: The Dio Years. In 2008, the band completed a 98-date world tour. The band released one album under the Heaven & Hell name, The Devil You Know.

In 1974, Dio sang on the Roger Glover conducted and produced concept album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. Along with other guest-singers, the album featured Deep Purple members Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale. Dio provided vocals for the songs “Homeward”, “Sitting in a Dream”, and the UK single “Love is All”. In 1980, Dio sang the tracks “To Live for the King” and “Mask of the Great Deceiver” on Kerry Livgren’s solo album, Seeds of Change. In 1985, Dio contributed to the metal world’s answer to Band Aid and USA for Africa with the Hear ‘n Aid project. With a heavy metal all-star ensemble which was the brainchild of his fellow Dio band mates Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain. In 1997, Dio also had a cameo on Pat Boone’s In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, an album of famous heavy metal songs played in big band style. In 1999, he was parodied in the TV show South Park, in the episode Hooked on Monkey Fonics and also participated in the Deep Purple project, Concerto for Group and Orchestra, recording cover versions of Deep Purple songs, and songs from the earlier The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast album. Tenacious D included a tribute song entitled “Dio” that appeared on their self-titled album.

The song explains how he has to “pass the torch” for a new generation. Reportedly, Dio approved of it, and had Tenacious D appear in his video “Push” from Killing the Dragon in 2002. Dio also appeared in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. In 2005, Dio was revealed to be the voice behind Dr. X in Operation: Mindcrime II, the sequel to Queensrÿche’s seminal concept album Operation: Mindcrime. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame at Guitar Center on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. Dio assisted in the 2011 film Atlas Shrugged: Part I,

Ian Astbury) The Cult

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

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

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

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

I am currently reading The Long Earth series of science fiction novels by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It spans across the novels The Long Earth, the Long War, the Long Mars, the Long Utopia and the Long Cosmos and features a (possibly infinite) series of parallel worlds that are similar to Earth. These can be reached by using an inexpensive device called a “Stepper”. The “close” worlds are almost identical to “our” Earth (referred to as “Datum Earth”), others differ in greater and greater details, but all share one similarity: there are no humans (Homo sapiens) – although some are inhabited by primative Homo habilis.

It concerns the adventures of Joshua Valienté (a natural “Stepper”) and Lobsang, who claims to be a Tibetan motorcycle repairman reincarnated as an artificial intelligence. They decide to learn as much as possible about the parallel worlds, travelling millions of steps away from the original Earth. Along the way They encounter evidence of other humanoid species (referred to as trolls, Kobolds and elves), a race of bipedal dinosaurs and a race of Intelligent Bipedal Canines called Beagles.

They are joined on their expedition bySally Linsay, daughter of the inventor of the stepper, and Many others who decide to leave Datum Earth Creating new colonies and political movements as they go. One such pioneer is a young girl, Helen Green, and her family who trek across the long earth to form a new community, Reboot, on Earth West 101,754.

Eventually Joshua and Lobsang reach “The Gap” – a universe around two million steps from the Datum. Here they encounter a great threat which absorbs all other sentient life forms on the planet before stepping to the next world. So Joshua and Sally decide to return to Datum Earth, However Upon reaching Earth West 101,754, they hear some distressing news…..

Long War By Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

This novel starts a generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has now spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping and Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airships link the stepwise Americas with trade and culture. A new “America”, called Valhalla, is emerging more than a million steps from Datum Earth, with core American values restated in the plentiful environment of the Long Earth, using “combing”, slang for hunting-gathering to support their economy. Valhalla is growing restless under the control of the Datum government.

To make matters worse, the local trolls, are getting angry at humanity’s thoughtless exploitation. Joshua, now married to Helen, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with gathering multiple crises that threaten to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before. When Sally turns up unexpected to Joshua’s home—now in Hell-Knows-Where, a small town on Earth West 1,397,426 where he has been elected Mayor—Joshua is forced to return with his family, wife Helen and son Dan, to Datum Earth to investigate and defuse the growing tensions between humans and trolls.

Meanwhile, Sally dashes off to Earth West two million, the enigmatic “Gap” world existing without an earth, with Ex-Lieutenant Jansson to aid A troll named Mary and her son from possible execution. Joshua later follows with the help of Bill and another Lobsang, hoping to find Sally, Jansson and the lost trolls. However Upon arriving, Joshua finds himself in mortal danger after he is captured by a race of highly evolved and intelligent dogs called “Beagles” who force Sally and Jansson, with the help of a kobold, on a dangerous mission.

Meanwhile US Navy Twain Captain Maggie Kauffman is sent in the ship Benjamin Franklin, by the US President Cowley. to wage war on the “So-called rebels” who want independence from Datum Earth. UpOn reaching Valhalla they find a peaceful settlement led by so-called “rebel” leader Jack Green (Father of Helen and Rod). However These troubles are soon eclipsed when a Cataclysmic event threatens to wipe out all life on Datum Earth….