Tag Archives: Sam Cooke

Almanac – January 22

1647 – A phantom battle was seen in the skies over Northamptonshire. It was believed to be an action replay of a battle fought eight months earlier, and it continued to appear sporadically for the next two weeks.

The show came complete with the sounds of battle – clashing arms, drumbeats and the groans of the wounded.

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1788 – George Gordon Byron (Lord Byron) born.  English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron’s best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and the short lyric “She Walks in Beauty.” He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.

Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts, numerous love affairs, rumours of a scandalous incestuous liaison with his half-sister, and self-imposed exile. It has been speculated that he suffered from bipolar I disorder.

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1931 – Sam Cooke born. American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music.

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Almanac – December 11

1282 – Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of an independent  Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, Wales.

There are legends surrounding the fate of Llywelyn’s severed head. It is known that it was sent to Edward I of England  at Rhuddlan and after being shown to the English troops based in Anglesey, Edward sent the head on to London, where it was set up in the city pillory for a day, and crowned with ivy {i.e. to show he was a “king” of Outlaws} and in mockery of the ancient Welsh prophecy, which said that a Welshman would be crowned in London as king of the whole of Britain. Then it was carried by a horseman on the point of his lance to the Tower of London and set up over the gate. It was still on the Tower of London 15 years later.

The last resting place of Llywelyn’s body is not known for certain, however it has always been tradition that it was interred at the Cistercian Abbey at Abbeycwmhir.

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1926 – Big Mama Thornton born. American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.

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1964 – Sam Cooke died. American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music.

He was fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled that Cooke was drunk and distressed, and that the manager had killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been widely questioned.

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2008 – Bettie Page died. American model who became famous in the 1950s for her pin-up photos. Often referred to as the “Queen of Pinups”, her jet black hair, blue eyes, and trademark bangs have influenced many – The Cramps, for example.

From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with pin-up, bondage or sadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model.

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