Conclave is the latest exciting historical thriller by Robert Harris. It features seventy-five year old Cardinal Jacopo Lomeli who has been contemplating retirement to peaceful meditation and study for several years, but the Pope insists that he still needs him at the Vatican. Lomeli feels he is a better manager than he is priest but this feels like a deviation from his real purpose. Can a manager truly be close to God? How much closer to God can he get than to be the Dean for the Pope?
Suddenly though, the Pope dies. After the initial shock and more than a few prayers, Lomeli suddenly realizes, as the Dean, he is responsible for managing the conclave that will select the next Pope. God have mercy on his soul. So Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe vote in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth. Lomeli doesn’t particularly want to be Pope, but he does have the name he would use selected if God does call him to serve. As much as Lomeli tells himself and others that he doesn’t want to be Pope, there is a small part of his heart that glows with the possibility.
Managing a conclave proves a terrifying experience. The egos of the Cardinals arriving are so large that the room can barely contain the mass of their collective self-esteem. As we all know, they must be sequestered during the conclave to insure that no outside influence can be brought to bear on the process. However Despite all the precautions, there are always those who will go to great lengths to circumvent any system. Fervent disagreements arise early in the process as Cardinals jockey for votes, as piously as possible, thinly disguising their most vehement desires to be the most powerful spiritual leader on the planet. Lomeli is unnerved by the spectacle of so much naked aspirations, but at the same time, he is also trying to control his own ambitious pride.
Then the unknown Cardinal Benitez shows up claiming that he received the red hat: ”In pectore (‘in the heart’) which is an ancient provision that allows a Pope to create a cardinal without revealing his name….” A Pope only does this if the Cardinal is working in an area hostile to Catholicism. Cardinal Benitez is a Filipino by birth but has worked in dangerous areas across Africa. He has the paperwork to prove that the recently departed Pope had named him the Cardinal of Baghdad.
A series of votes follow without any conclusive result. There are four main contenders. However each of them has committed indiscretions which could stop them from becoming Pope. Then allegations are made concerning these indiscretions and Lomeli finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to investigate them and it starts to look as if he is meticulously eliminating his competition to be Pope….
World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”. April 26th was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.
The WIPO Convention (formally, the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization) is a multilateral treaty which established the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Convention was signed at Stockholm, Sweden, on 14 July 1967 and entered into force on 26 April 1970. As of August 2016, the convention has 189 parties: 186 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and Niue.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world”. WIPO currently has 189 member states,administers 26 international treaties, and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry, who took office on October 1, 2008. 186 of the UN Members as well as the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue are Members of WIPO. Non-members are the states of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and East Timor. The Palestinians have observer status.
An exhibition showing the intellectual property (IP) behind Steve Jobs’ innovations opened to the public at WIPO on March 30, 2012 and ran through to World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, 2012. The exhibition tied in with 2012’s World Intellectual Property Day theme – ‘Visionary Innovators’. Following a statement made at the Assembly of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September 1998, the Director General of the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property (INAPI) proposed an international day for intellectual property with the following aims:
- To set up a framework for broader mobilization and awareness.
- To open up access to the promotional aspect of innovation and recognise the achievements of promoters of intellectual property throughout the world.
- To promote the awareness of intellectual property protection,
- To expand the influence of intellectual property protection across the world.
- To urge countries to publicize and popularize intellectual property protection laws and regulations.
- To enhance the public legal awareness of intellectual property right.
- To encourage invention-innovation activities in various countries.
- To strengthen international exchange in the intellectual property field.
French American Ornithologist, naturalist, hunter and Painter John James Audubon (Jean-Jacques Audubon) was born April 26, 1785 in Les Cayes in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). He is famous for having painted, catalogued, and described the birds of North America in a manner far superior to any before him. From his earliest days, Audubon had an affinity for birds. His father encouraged this interest in nature. Once in America Audubon went to a boarding house run by Quaker women. They taught him English, and He traveled with the family’s Quaker lawyer to the Audubon family farm Mill Grove, near Philadelphia. Audubon lived with the tenants in what he considered a paradise. “Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment, Studying his surroundings, Audubon quickly learned the ornithologist’s rule, which he wrote, “The nature of the place—whether high or low, moist or dry, whether sloping north or south, or bearing tall trees or low shrubs—generally gives hint as to its inhabitants.”
His father hoped that the lead mines on the property could be commercially developed, as lead was an essential component of bullets. This could provide his son with a profitable occupation. Audubon met his neighbor William Bakewell, the owner of the nearby estate, whose daughter Lucy he married five years later. The two young people shared many common interests, and early on began to spend time together, exploring the natural world around them. Audubon then set about studying American birds with the goal of illustrating his findings in a more realistic manner than most artists did then. He began conducting the first known bird-banding on the continent: he tied yarn to the legs of Eastern Phoebes and determined that they returned to the same nesting spots year after year. He also began drawing and painting birds, and recording their behavior. Audubon continued his bird studies and created his own nature museum, perhaps inspired by the great museum of natural history created by Charles Willson Peale in Philadelphia. Peale’s bird exhibits were considered scientifically advanced. Audubon’s room was brimming with birds’ eggs, stuffed raccoons and opossums, fish, snakes, and other creatures. He had become proficient at specimen preparation and taxidermy. With his father’s approval, Audubon sold part of his farm, including the house and mine, as they deemed the mining venture too risky. He retained some land for investment, then went to New York to learn the import-export trade, hoping to find a business to support his marriage to Lucy. The protective Mr. Bakewell wanted to see the young Frenchman established in a solid career before releasing his daughter to him.
On October 12, 1820, Audubon went to Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in search of ornithological specimens. He traveled with George Lehman, a professional Swiss landscape artist. The following summer, he moved upriver to the Oakley Plantation in the Felicianas, where he taught drawing to Eliza Pirrie, the young daughter of the owners. After a short stay in Cincinnati to work as a naturalist and taxidermist at a museum, Audubon traveled south on the Mississippi. By this time He was committed to find and paint all the birds of North America for eventual publication. His goal was to surpass the earlier ornithological work of poet-naturalist Alexander Wilson, whose work he used to guide him whenever he had access to a copy. Audubon called his future work “Birds of America”. He attempted to paint one page each day. Painting with newly discovered technique, he decided his earlier works were inferior and re-did them. He hired hunters to gather specimens for him. Audubon realized the ambitious project would take him away from his family for months at a time. In 1824 Audubon returned to Philadelphia to seek a publisher for his bird drawings. He was rebuffed by many publishers, although he did met Thomas Sully, one of the most famous portrait painters of the time and a valuable ally, and had earned the enmity of some of the city’s leading scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He took oil painting lessons from Sully and met Charles Bonaparte, who admired his work and recommended he go to Europe to have his bird drawings engraved.
So in 1826 Audubon took his growing collection of work to England, taking a portfolio of over 300 drawings. With letters of introduction to prominent Englishmen, Audubon gained their quick attention.The British could not get enough of his images of backwoods America and its natural attractions. He met with great acceptance as he toured around England and Scotland, and was lionized as “the American woodsman.” He raised enough money to begin publishing his Birds of America. This monumental work consists of 435 hand-colored, life-size prints of 497 bird species, made from engraved copper plates of various sizes depending on the size of the image. They were printed on sheets measuring about 39 by 26 inches (660 mm). The work contains just over 700 North American bird species. The pages were organized for artistic effect and contrasting interest, as if the reader were taking a visual tour. The first and perhaps most famous plate was the Wild Turkey, which had been Benjamin Franklin’s candidate for the national bird. It lost to the Bald Eagle. Audubon also sold oil-painted copies of the drawings to make extra money and publicize the book.
Audubon soon had many fans including King George IV was also a subscriber to his book. London’s Royal Society recognized his achievement by electing Audubon a fellow. He followed Benjamin Franklin, who was the first American fellow. While in Edinburgh to seek subscriptions for the book, Audubon gave a demonstration of his method of propping up birds with wire at professor Robert Jameson’s Wernerian Natural History Association. Student Charles Darwin was in the audience. Audubon also visited the dissecting theatre of the anatomist Robert Knox. Audubon was a hit in France as well, gaining the King and several of the nobility as subscribers. Audubon returned to America in 1829 to complete more drawings for his magnum opus. He also hunted animals and shipped the valued skins to British friends. He was reunited with his family. After settling business affairs, Lucy accompanied him back to England.
He followed Birds of America with a sequel Ornithological Biographies. This was a collection of life histories of each species written with Scottish ornithologist William MacGillivray. The two books were printed separately to avoid a British law requiring copies of all publications with text to be deposited in Crown libraries, a huge financial burden for the self-published Audubon. Both books were published between 1827 and 1839. During the 1830s, Audubon continued making expeditions in North America. During a trip to Key West, a companion wrote in a newspaper article, “Mr. Audubon is the most enthusiastic and indefatigable man I ever knew…Mr. Audubon was neither dispirited by heat, fatigue, or bad luck”. he would draw during the day before returning to the field in the evening, a routine he kept up for weeks and months. In 1833, Audubon set forth from Maine accompanied by his son John, and five other young colleagues to explore the ornithology of Labrador. On the return voyage, the Ripley made a stop at St.George’s, Newfoundland and Audubon and his assistants documented 36 species of birds. In 1839 having finished the Ornithological Biography, Audubon returned to the United States with his family. He bought an estate on the Hudson River (now Audubon Park). In 1842, he published an octavo edition of Birds of America, with 65 additional plates. It earned $36,000 and was purchased by 1100 subscribers. Audubon spent much time on “subscription gathering trips”, drumming up sales of the octavo edition, as he hoped to leave his family a sizable income. Audubon went West to record Western species he had missed, but his health began to fail, Until In 1848, he manifested signs of senility, his “noble mind in ruins.”
Audubon sadly died at his family home on January 27, 1851. He is buried, close to the location of his home, in the graveyard at the Church of the Intercession in the Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum at 155th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. There is an imposing monument in his honor at the cemetery, which is the center of the Heritage Rose District of NYC. Audubon’s final work was on mammals, the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, prepared in collaboration with his good friend Rev. John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina. Bachman supplied much of the scientific text. The work was completed by Audubon’s sons and son-in-law and published posthumously. His son John did most of the drawings. Audubon’s influence on ornithology and natural history was far reaching. Nearly all later ornithological works were inspired by his artistry and high standards. Charles Darwin quoted Audubon three times in On the Origin of Species and also in later works. Audubon’s field notes were a significant contribution to the understanding of bird anatomy and behavior. Birds of America is still considered one of the greatest examples of book art. Audubon discovered 25 new species and 12 new subspecies. He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Linnaean Society, and the Royal Society in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Natural history.
International DNA Day is celebrated annually on April 25 to commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA entitled Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” in the scientific journal Nature in its 171st volume on 25 April 1953 which described the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, using X-ray diffraction and the mathematics of a helix transform.
DNA stands for Deoxyribose Nucliec Acid. It is the hereditary material which contains the information for creating and maintaining humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA). The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.
DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder’s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder. DNA can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.
Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” is often termed a “pearl” of science because it is brief and contains the answer to a fundamental mystery about living organisms. This mystery was the question of how it is possible that genetic instructions are held inside organisms and how they are passed from generation to generation. The article presents a simple and elegant solution, which surprised many biologists at the time who believed that DNA transmission was going to be more difficult to deduce and understand. The discovery had a major impact on biology, particularly in the field of genetics, enabling later researchers to understand the genetic code.
Molecular Biology is the application of physics and chemistry to biological problems led to the development of molecular biology. Molecular biology is particularly concerned with the flow and consequences of biological information at the level of genes and proteins. The discovery of the DNA double helix made clear that genes are functionally defined parts of DNA molecules and that there must be a way for cells to make use of their DNA genes in order to make proteins. Linus Pauling was another chemist who was very influential in developing an understanding of the structure of biological molecules and In 1951, Pauling published the structure of the alpha helix, a fundamentally important structural component of proteins. In early 1953, Pauling published an incorrect triple helix model of DNA. Both Crick, and Watson, thought that they were racing against Pauling to discover the structure of DNA.
Max Delbrück was a physicist who recognized some of the biological implications of quantum physics. Delbruck’s thinking about the physical basis of life stimulated Erwin Schrödinger to write, What Is Life? Schrödinger’s book was an important influence on Crick, Watson, and Maurice Wilkins who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in recognition of their discovery of the DNA double helix. Delbruck’s efforts to promote the “Phage Group” (exploring genetics by way of the viruses that infect bacteria) was important in the early development of molecular biology in general and the development of Watson’s scientific interests in particular.
DNA structure and function is related to its function. This was described at the end of the article: “the specific pairing suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material”.The “specific pairing” is a key feature of the Watson and Crick model of DNA, the pairing of nucleotide subunits. In DNA, the amount of guanine is equal to cytosine and the amount of adenine is equal to thymine. The A:T and C:G pairs are structurally similar. In particular, the length of each base pair is the same and they fit equally between the two sugar-phosphate backbones (Figure 2). The base pairs are held together by hydrogen bonds, a type of chemical attraction that is easy to break and easy to reform. After realizing the structural similarity of the A:T and C:G pairs, Watson and Crick soon produced their double helix model of DNA with the hydrogen bonds at the core of the helix providing a way to unzip the two complementary strands for easy replication: the last key requirement for a likely model of the genetic molecule. The base-pairing suggested a way to copy a DNA molecule. Just pull apart the two sugar-phosphate backbones, each with its hydrogen bonded A, T, G, and C components. Each strand could then be used as a template for assembly of a new base-pair complementary strand.
When Watson and Crick produced their double helix model of DNA, it was known that most of the specialized features of the many different life forms on Earth are made possible by proteins. Structurally, proteins are long chains of amino acid subunits. In some way, the genetic molecule, DNA, had to contain instructions for how to make the thousands of proteins found in cells. From the DNA double helix model, it was clear that there must be some correspondence between the linear sequences of nucleotides in DNA molecules to the linear sequences of amino acids in proteins. The details of how sequences of DNA instruct cells to make specific proteins was worked out by molecular biologists during the period from 1953 to 1965. Francis Crick played an integral role in both the theory and analysis of the experiments that led to an improved understanding of the genetic code. Other advances in molecular biology stemming from the discovery of the DNA double helix eventually led to ways to sequence genes. James Watson directed the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes facilility. The ability to sequence and manipulate DNA is now central to the biotechnology industry and modern medicine. The austere beauty of the structure and the practical implications of the DNA double helix combined to make Molecular structure of Nucleic Acids; A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid one of the most prominent biology articles of the twentieth century. In 2003 it was declared that the Human Genome Project was very close to complete, and “the remaining tiny gaps were considered too costly to fill. Every year from 2003 onward, annual DNA Day celebrations have been organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), starting as early as April 23 in 2010, April 15 in 2011 and April 20 in 2012. April 25 has since been declared “International DNA Day” and “World DNA Day” by several groups.
April 25 has been chosen as Parental Alienation Awareness Day (PAAD), part of a global awareness campaign to raise awareness about parental alienation. The idea was introduced in Canada by Sarvy Emo in late 2005, with the original date being March 28. This date was changed after the start of the campaign to coincide with the appearance in Toronto of parental alienation expert Dr. Richard Warshak.
In 2011, Bermuda, Seventeen U.S. states (New York, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma), many Canadian towns and cities officially recognized April 25 as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. The day has since been arranged in 25 countries.
Best known as the author of the classic novel Black Beauty, English Novellist Anna Sewell sadly died 25 April 1878 of Hepititis or Tuburculosis. She was born 30 March 1820 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and When Anna was twelve, the family moved to Stoke Newington where she attended school for the first time. Two years later, however, she slipped while walking home from school and severely injured both of her ankles. Her father took a job in Brighton in 1836, in the hope that the climate there would help to cure her. Despite this, and most likely because of mistreatment of her injury, for the rest of her life Anna was unable to stand without a crutch or to walk for any length of time. For greater mobility, she frequently used horse-drawn carriages, which contributed to her love of horses and concern for the humane treatment of animals.
At about this time, both Anna and her mother left the Society of Friends to join the Church of England, though both remained active in evangelical circles. Her mother expressed her religious faith most noticeably by authoring a series of evangelical children’s books, which Anna helped to edit, though all the Sewells, and Mary Sewell’s family, the Wrights, engaged in many other good works. While seeking to improve her health in Europe, Sewell encountered various writers, artists, and philosophers, to which her previous background had not exposed her.
Sewell’s only published work was Black Beauty, written during 1871 to 1877, after she had moved to Old Catton, a village outside the city of Norwich in Norfolk. During this time her health was declining. She was often so weak that she was confined to her bed and writing was a challenge. She dictated the text to her mother and from 1876 began to write on slips of paper which her mother then transcribed. Sewell sold the novel to local publisher Jarrolds on 24 November 1877, when she was 57 years of age. Although it is now considered a children’s classic, she originally wrote it for those who worked with horses. She said “a special aim was to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses”. Sadly though Sewell died five months after her book was published, but lived long enough to see its initial success. She was buried on 30 April 1878 in the Quaker burial-ground at Lammas near Buxton, Norfolk, not far from Norwich, where a wall plaque now marks her resting place and Her birthplace in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, has been the home to a museum and tea shop.
English musician, actor and Singer Tony Christie was born 25 April 1943. He is best known for his track, “Is This the Way to Amarillo”. He has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. He had two Top Twenty hits in the UK Singles Chart in 1971 with “I Did What I Did for Maria”, and “Is This the Way to Amarillo”, He also had a minor hit with “Avenues and Alleyways” the theme to the television series The Protectors. “Is This the Way to Amarillo” sold more than one million copies by September 1972, and was awarded a gold disc. His early songs were dramatic big-voiced numbers, many of which were written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.
He recorded albums regularly throughout the 1970s including With Loving Feeling which contained the song “Is This The Way to Amarillo”. He also recorded an album in the United States in 1973, followed by A live album. In June 1972, he was invited on the music festival, The Golden Orpheus, then in communist Bulgaria. He played the role of Magaldi on the original 1976 album recording of the musical Evita, and sought to represent the UK in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “The Queen of the Mardi Gras”. he maintained a successful singing career in continental Europe during this period recording four albums in Germany, including the collaboration Welcome To My Music, In 1999, he was the vocalist on the Jarvis Cocker-penned UK Top Ten hit, “Walk Like a Panther”, recorded by the Sheffield band, All Seeing I. His influence on a new generation of singers was further demonstrated when indie pop band Rinaldi Sings released a cover version of “Avenues & Alleyways”.
In 2002, “Is This the Way to Amarillo” was used in the TV comedy series Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, leading to a resurgence in his popularity. The song was re-released on 14 March 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, And became the longest running chart-topper since Cher’s “Believe”, almost seven years earlier. The single was credited as “featuring Peter Kay”, though Kay only appeared in the video; the audio track was the original 1971version. In 2005 Christie re-recorded “Amarillo” together with the Hermes House Band for the German market, Following the song’s success, Christie was awarded the freedom of Amarillo, Texas, and made a guest appearance on the Yorkshire based TV soap opera, Emmerdale. To follow up the success of Amarillo he re-released another single “Avenues & Alleyways”, Following on from this success, Christie released a big band cover of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody”. The B-side contained a big band version of “Is This the Way to Amarillo” and a live recording of “If It Feels Good, Do It” plus videos of the first two tracks. To coincide with the 2006 World Cup, a new version of “Amarillo” was released on the novelty single “(Is This The Way To) The World Cup?” Christie also released the album, Simply in Love. In 2008 Christie recorded the album, Made in Sheffield, with contributions from Alex Turner and Jarvis Cocker. On 20 May 2008, he performed one of the album’s songs, “Danger Is A Woman In Love”, at the Royal Albert Hall with Hawley. 2009 saw the release of the download single, “Every Word She Said”. The same year, Christie also featured in “Heresy”, with his nephew’s band Laruso, which was released on their début album A Classic Case of Cause and Effect.
In July 2010 Christie made his West End début in the musical Dreamboats and Petticoats Playing the roles of ‘Older Bobby’ and ‘Phil’. On 22 December 2010, Christie appeared in a celebrity version of Come Dine with Me. Christie’s nineteenth studio album, Now’s the Time!, was released in the UK in 2011 And included collaborations with Jarvis Cocker and Róisín Murphy. To coincide with 50 years in the music industry, Christie embarked on a 50-date national tour promoting the new album and also sang his back catalogue of hits including Avenues and Alleyways, Las Vegas, Walk Like A Panther, a version of Mr Bojangles made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. and a cover of the Smokey Robinson hit Shop Around. On 23 October 2011, Christie released a charity single, a special arrangement of “Steal The Sun” in aid of the Help for Heroes Charity, supporting all of the British Forces fighting on the frontline in Afghanistan, with all proceeds going to the charity and From December 2011 Christie appeared in pantomime at The Theatre Royal, Windsor as the King.
Andy Bell, singer songwriter with Synth pop duo Erasure, was born 25th April 1964 in Peterborough. He formed Erasure, with Vince Clarke after Clarke left Depeche Mode in 1981 and Yazoo and advertised for a vocalist in Melody Maker. He selected Andy Bell. The origins of the band’s name stem from tHe word “erasure” which was erroneously written on a demo tape for “Who Needs Love Like That. At the time, the duo still hadn’t thought of a name, and upon rescuing the tape, they decided upon Erasure. their debut single “Who Needs Love Like That” was released in 1985, Followed by Oh L’amour. Their debut album, Wonderland, was released in June and their fourth single, “Sometimes”, was released in 1986 beginning a string of major hits for the duo. From 1986 to 1997, including “A Little Respect“, “Chains of Love” and “Always“. Erasure’s next album, The Circus, was released in March 1987 and reached number six and turned platinum in the UK with three additional hit singles: “It Doesn’t Have To Be”, “Victim of Love” and “The Circus”. The album remained on the charts for over a year. Erasure’s third album, The Innocents, was released in April 1988. containing the singles “Ship of Fools”, “Chains of Love” and “A Little Respect”. This was followed In November 1988, by the Crackers International EP, led by the song “Stop!”, hit number two in the UK singles chart. The albums Wild! (1989) and Chorus (1991) both contained four Top 20 singles and were major sellers.
in 1992 Erasure released another EP, Abba-esque, covering four ABBA hits, which became Erasure’s first (and to date only) number one in the UK Singles Chart. It featured a memorable video of the duo dressed in ABBA outfits, and contributed to the ABBA revival scene in the 1990s. Also in 1990, Erasure contributed the song “Too Darn Hot” to the Cole Porter tribute album “Red Hot + Blue” produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1992, a singles compilation, Pop! – the First 20 Hits, also hit number one and went triple platinum, featuring all the band’s singles released from 1985 to 1992. In 1994, Erasure released I Say I Say I Say, their fifth consecutive number one in the UK Albums Chart. Its first single, “Always”, became the band’s third Top 20 hit in the United States, next its second single, “Run to the Sun” was released in July and became their final UK Top 10 hit until 2003. Its third and final single, “I Love Saturday” was released in November. The October 1995 release of the album Erasure marked a determined shift away from Erasure’s signature three-minute synthpop to a more introspective and experimental sound. Nevertheless, it made the UK Top 15 and spawned two UK Top 20 singles, “Stay With Me” and “Fingers & Thumbs”. A remixed version of “Rock Me Gently” was released only in Germany as third single. sadly, the 1997 album Cowboy did not restore the success of their 1986–1994 era. Cowboy enjoyed a short-lived success, The first single “In My Arms” reached number 13 in the UK and entered the Top 2 in the U.S. Dance chart. The second single “Don’t Say Your Love Is Killing Me” made number 23 in the UK. The third single “Rain” was also only released in Germany and Czech Republic.
In October 2000, Erasure released their ninth studio album Loveboat, containing the single “Freedom”,In 2001 the released a limited EP “Moon & the Sky” which contained new versions of the title song, a cover of the song “Baby Love” and some acoustic versions of Loveboat songs. The 2003 release Other People’s Songs was a collection of cover versions. Including a cover of Peter Gabriel’s song “Solsbury Hill” and a cover of Steve Harley’s “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me). In 2003 a new best-of compilation was released, called Hits! The Very Best of Erasure. Included was a new version of the 1986 song “Oh L’amour” . Erasure’s 2005 album Nightbird’s contained the single, “Breathe”. The next single, “Don’t Say You Love Me”, enabled purchasers to configure their own remixes of the single through the band’s website, with each variant of the song limited to a single download. The third single was a double A-side, features new versions of “Here I Go Impossible Again”/”All This Time Still Falling Out of Love”.
Union Street was a 2006 side-project which featured a collection of previously released album tracks that the band reinterpreted in an acoustic/country & western style. The duo then released a more ‘dance-oriented’ album Titled Light at the End of the World, containing the single “I Could Fall in Love with You”, “Sunday Girl”, and The Storm Chaser EP which included an exclusive B-side “Early Bird”, a duet with Cyndi Lauper. In 2009 they released Total Pop! – the First 40 Hits, a collection of Erasure’s first 40 hits plus a new remix of “Always” by Jeremy Wheatley, Erasure also released a six-track EP of classic remixes entitled Erasure.Club andTo celebrate 21 years since its release, the album The Innocents was remastered and re-released on 26 October 2009. Erasure’s next album Tomorrow’s World contained the singles When I Start To (Break It All Down)”, “Be with You” and “Fill Us with Fire, Erasure also toured internationally in 2011. In 2013, Erasure released their first holiday album, Snow Globe featuring a cover of the 1973 Steeleye Span track “Gaudete”. Erasure’ Have also released the career spanning retrospective “Always – The Very Best of”. Andy Bell has also released the solo album Electric Blue.
Ofter known as the First Lady of Song” “Queen of Jazz” and “Lady Ella,” The American jazz and song vocalist Ella Fitzgerald was born April 25 in 1917 in Newport News, Virginia, In her youth Fitzgerald wanted to be a dancer, although she loved listening to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and The Boswell Sisters. She idolized the lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, “My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it….I tried so hard to sound just like her. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing and had a vocal range spanning three octaves. Sadly In 1932, her mother tragically died from a heart attack, Following this trauma, Fitzgerald’s grades dropped dramatically and she frequently skipped school and was first taken in by an aunt she also worked as a lookout at a bordello and also with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. When the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, the Bronx. However, when the orphanage proved too crowded she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory. Eventually she escaped and for a time was homeless
She made her singing debut at 17 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous “Amateur Nights”. She had originally intended to go on stage and dance but, intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead in the style of Connee Boswell. She sang Boswell’s “Judy” and “The Object of My Affection,” a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of US$25.00. In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House and began singing regularly with Chick Webb’s Orchestra through 1935 at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including “Love and Kisses” and “(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”. But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”, a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim.In 1942, Fitzgerald left the band to begin a solo career and had several popular hits with such artists as the Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.
With the demise of the Swing era and the decline of the great touring big bands, a major change in jazz music occurred. The advent of bebop led to new developments in Fitzgerald’s vocal style, influenced by her work with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band. While singing with Gillespie, Fitzgerald recalled, “I just tried to do with my voice what I heard the horns in the band doing.” Her 1945 scat recording of “Flying Home” was desribed as “one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade Where other singers, most notably Louis Armstrong, had tried similar improvisation, no one before Miss Fitzgerald employed the technique with such dazzling inventiveness.” Her bebop recording of “Oh, Lady be Good!” was similarly popular and increased her reputation as one of the leading jazz vocalists.
Fitzgerald sadly passed away however During her prolific career Ella Fitzgerald won thirteen Grammy awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement in 1967 And and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush. Other major awards and honors she received during her career were the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, National Medal of Art, first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named “Ella” in her honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, UCLA Spring Sing.Across town at the University of Southern California, she received the coveted USC “Magnum Opus” Award which hangs in the office of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.
In 1997, Newport News, Virginia created a music festival with Christopher Newport University to honor Ella Fitzgerald in her birth city. The Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival is designed to teach the region’s youth of the musical legacy of Fitzgerald and jazz. Past performers at the week-long festival include: Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval, Jean Carne, Phil Woods, Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Cassandra Wilson, Ethel Ennis, David Sanborn, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ramsey Lewis, Patti Austin, and Ann Hampton Callaway.
Callaway, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Patti Austin have all recorded albums in tribute to Fitzgerald. Callaway’s album To Ella with Love features fourteen jazz standards made popular by Fitzgerald, and the album also features the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Bridgewater’s album Dear Ella featured many musicians that were closely associated with Fitzgerald during her career, including the pianist Lou Levy, the trumpeter Benny Powell, and Fitzgerald’s second husband, double bassist Ray Brown. Bridgewater’s following album, Live at Yoshi’s, was recorded live on April 25, 1998, on what would have been Fitzgerald’s 81st birthday. There is also a bronze sculpture of Fitzgerald in Yonkers,created by American artist Vinnie Bagwell, the city in which she grew up and there s also a bust of Fitzgerald on the campus of Chapman College in Orange, California.
Bjorn Ulvaeus, The Swedish singer and songwriter wth the group ABBA was born on 25th April 1945, ABBA were a Swedish pop/rock group formed in Stockholm in 1972, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982. They are also known for winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest whch was held in Brighton and gave Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest and became the most successful group ever to take part in the contest. ABBA has sold over 370 million records worldwide and still sell millions of records a year, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists. ABBA was the first pop group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Philippines. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish.
During the band’s active years, Fältskog and Ulvaeus were a married couple, as were Lyngstad and Andersson–although both couples later divorced. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus-Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson-Lyngstad marriage in 1981. As a result, these relationship changes began appearing in the group’s music, and later compositions produced more introspective lyrics.
After ABBA broke up in early 1983, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued individual solo careers with mixed success. ABBA’s music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group, spawning several tribute bands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name starring Meryl Streep, was released in 2008 and became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010