Almanac – August 4

1577 – A supernatural Black Dog disrupted a service at the church of the Holy Trinity, in Blythburgh, Suffolk.

“A strange and terrible tempest” struck the building and toppled the spire through the roof, where it shattered the font. Three people were killed and others badly scorched. Claw marks were subsequently discovered on the church door.

The entity then went on to Bungay church, where it left two worshippers “strangled at their prayers” and a third “as shrunken as a piece of leather scorched in a fire.”



1693 – Date traditionally ascribed, erroneously,  to Dom Perignon‘s invention of Champagne.  He was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still and red. Popular myths frequently  credit him with the invention of sparkling Champagne, which however  didn’t become the dominant style of Champagne until mid-19th century.

The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the préstige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named after him.



1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley born. One of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language.  The novelist Mary Shelley (née Godwin) – creator of Frankenstein –  was his second wife.


1901 – Louis Armstrong born. American jazz trumpeter and singer,  coming to prominence in the 1920s as an inventive cornet and trumpet player.  Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music’s focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, he was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).

1940 – Timi Yuro born. American soul and R&B singer-songwriter,  considered to be one of the first blue-eyed soul stylists of the rock era and creator of one of my all-time favorite Northern Soul  tracks,   “It’ll Never Be Over For Me”.





2007 – Lee Hazlewood died.  American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s.

Hazlewood had a distinctive baritone voice that added a resonance to his music. Hazlewood’s collaborations with Nancy Sinatra as well as his solo output in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been praised as an essential contribution to a sound often described as “Cowboy Psychedelia” or “Saccharine Underground”.

Mr. Frankenstein





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