Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Almanac – January 06

1066 – Harold Godwinson  crowned King of England.  He reigned  until his death at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October of that same year, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England.

Harold is the first of only three kings of England to have died in warfare; the other two were Richard I and Richard III.

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1883 – Khalil Gibran born. Lebanese artist, poet, and writer.  He is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose.

The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture.  Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu (in modern Pinyin, Laozi), the Chinese founder of Taoism.

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1937 – Doris Troy born. American R&B singer, known to her many fans as “Mama Soul“.  

“She was a rarity in the early sixties – a singer who wrote her own material. She was always at the cutting edge. One of the earliest Soul divas, on Atlantic before Aretha, and recording with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff years before the heady days of the Philadelphia sound.”Ian Levine

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1993 – Dizzy Gillespie died. merican jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer.

During the 1964 United States presidential campaign he put himself forward as an independent write-in candidate. He promised that if he were elected, the White House would be renamed “The Blues House,” and a cabinet composed of Duke Ellington (Secretary of State), Miles Davis (Director of the CIA), Max Roach (Secretary of Defense), Charles Mingus (Secretary of Peace), Ray Charles (Librarian of Congress), Louis Armstrong (Secretary of Agriculture), Mary Lou Williams (Ambassador to the Vatican), Thelonious Monk (Travelling Ambassador) and Malcolm X (Attorney General).

America, what a chance you missed.

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Almanac – August 14

1040 – Duncan I of Scotland killed by Macbeth . Unlike Shakespeare’s version of events in The Scottish Play,  he was  killed in action, at Bothganowan ( now Pitgaveny), near Elgin, by his own men led by Macbeth, he’d actually have been known as Donnchad mac Crínáin, and he was aged around 40.

Also, he’s supposed to be an ancestor of mine (yeah, me and about 20 million others – I’ll not be putting in a claim for the Scottish crown…)

1851 – Doc Holliday born. John Henry Holliday, American gambler, gunfighter and dentist, probably best remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

1936 – Rainey Bethea hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky –  the last public execution in the United States.

1956 – Bertolt Brecht died. German poet, playwright, and theatre director. An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel.

1967 – UK Marine Broadcasting Offences Act declared participation in offshore pirate radio illegal.

1988 – Robert Calvert died. South African born writer, poet, and musician.  He began his career by writing poetry and in 1967 formed a Street Theatre group Street Dada Nihilismus but  was best known as the lead singer, poet and frontman of Hawkwind intermittently from 1972–1979,  during which time he co-wrote their hit single “Silver Machine” and directed their Space Ritual Tour.


1994 – Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as “Carlos the Jackal,”  captured.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Jayne Mansfield & Jimi Hendrix

Today being the 45th anniversary of the death of Jayne Mansfield  got me remembering  the single  she recorded with Jimi Hendrix.

Well – sort of. It was Jayne’s record,  pre-fame Jimi, playing bass and lead, appeared as a session musician. I’ve no idea if they were even in the studio at the same time – according to Hendrix historian Steven Roby (Black Gold: The Lost Archives Of Jimi Hendrix, Billboard Books), this collaboration occurred because they shared the same manager.

The tracks were “As The Clouds Drift By”  b/w  “Suey”

Details for the UK release-

Composers:   As The Clouds Drift By – (Brodsky)  Suey – (Ed Chalpin, Douglas Henderson)
Producer:  Ed Chalpin?
Release date:  21 July 1967
Label:  London
Catalog number: HL 10147

 

 

Kind of nice in a 1960s girl-group way, with maybe a nod towards Marianne Faithfull ?

 

 

A bit more raunchy, this one, a bit more funky. I have this fantasy of her being backed by The Cramps…what a collaboration that would have been.

Never a dumb blonde, Jayne  had classical training in piano and violin. She sang in English and German for a number of her films, and in  1964  MGM Records  released a novelty album called Jayne Mansfield: Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky & Me, in which she recited Shakespeare’s sonnets and poems by Marlowe, Browning, Wordsworth, and others against a background of Tchaikovsky’s music. The album cover depicted a bouffant-coiffed Mansfield with lips pursed and breasts barely covered by a fur stole, posing between busts of Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare. The New York Times described the album as a reading of “30-odd poems in a husky, urban, baby voice”.

 

 

I’d rather like to hear more of that album. It kind of reminds me of the rather strange late-1960s album that actor Peter Wyngarde recorded…but that’s another story.

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – June 29th

1613 – London’s Globe Theatre burned down during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. A cannon shot employed for special effects ignited the theatre’s thatched roof (and the beams), burning the building to the ground.

1644 Charles I of England defeats a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil. And against English people.

1916 – Irish patriot Roger Casement found guilty of treason in a Dublin court and sentenced to death.

1967 – Actress Jayne Mansfield killed in a car crash – rumors that she was decapitated are untrue, though she did suffer severe head trauma.

 

 

 

1980Vigdis Finnbogadottir elected president of Iceland, becoming Europe’s first democratically elected female head of State.

 

Mr. Frankenstein

*******

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