On Monday 14th August, Paul Oliver – the world’s most prolific writer and most respected blues scholar – passed away in Oxfordshire at the age of 90. Scores of blues historians, researchers, enthusiasts and musicians are paying tribute to his life and work on the blues, and obituaries summarizing his life and career have just … More The Dean of Blues Scholars: Remembering Paul Oliver (1927-2017)
The web is bursting with tributes and obituaries to Chuck Berry, the songwriter and guitarist who died on Friday at the age of 90. And this is understandably so. Berry’s famous repertoire which includes songs like ‘Johnny B Goode,’ ‘Maybellene,’ ‘You Never Can Tell,’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ – just to name a few – … More Farewell Mr Rock’n’Roll
On the face of it this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival does not offer a great deal of interest to the student of history. Yes, there are sessions on Rethinking the Somme, the Great War, Cheltenham in the Great War, and on shellshock, with contributions from Lyn MacDonald, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, Allan Mallinson, and Taylor Dowling, plus … More History at the Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016
Having just been to see Race, the (rather boring, I have to say) bio-pic about the great African American athlete, Jesse Owens, I found myself thinking about people like Owens, and Joe Louis, and contrasting them with Muhammad Ali. How many people recall Owens and his achievements at the 1936 Olympics – four golds, three … More The Man – or his Times?
This Friday will witness the funeral of Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer in history and a figure whose importance transcended sport. Hundreds will attend his funeral and many thousands more around the world will mourn his passing because Ali was internationally loved. He was one of my heroes. Thousands of words have been written about … More The Passing of a Hero