Saturday, March 1, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Joe Williams (1918 - 1999)
Born Joseph Goreed in Cordele, Georia, his father abandoned his family when Joe was young so his mother moved them both in with her parents, then moved to Chicago alone and worked until she had saved enough money to bring Joe with her. It was there that he was exposed to Chicago's thriving jazz scene and fell in love with the music.
As a teen he taught himself to play piano and formed a gospel quartet that sang at local church functions. He later began singing solo with various local bands and began earning a little money. At 16 he dropped out of school to pursue a career in music, at which time he adopted the last name of Williams as a stage name.
In 1938 he got his first break when jazz musician Jimmie Noone hired him to sing with his band. He became more and more well-known, eventually being hired as a replacement singer for Lionel Hampton's band in 1942, but then lost that job when the regular singer returned. But during his time with Hampton, his fame grew in leaps and bounds.
In 1954, he was hired as the male vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra. He stayed with Count Basie until 1961.
Williams continued to sing for numerous big names in jazz, and in the 1980s was cast in a recurring role as Grandpa Al Hanks (Heathcliff Huxtable's father-in-law) on The Cosby Show.
He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983, next to Count Basie's star.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Henry Beam Piper (1904 - 1964)
Apparently, on New Texas, killing a politician was not malum in se, and was mallum prohibitorum only to the extent that what happened to the politician was in excess of what he deserved.I don't know where to start. H. Beam Piper was a mostly self-educated writer of science fiction short stories and novels. His first publication was the short story "Time and Time Again" in 1947. Common themes in his stories are that history always repeats itself; and the idea of the self-reliant man who does what needs to be done without first consulting with his "betters."
--from Lone Star Planet (1958)
Piper committed suicide in 1964. Although he left a note behind, he didn't make it clear as to why he killed himself. Various theories have been postulated, of course. At the time of his death, his writing career was blossoming greatly and in hindsight it seems that he would have eventually joined the ranks of other extremely famous and influential sci-fi writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein.
Many of his stories have become public domain and are available for reading at Project Gutenberg.
The H. Beam Piper Memorial Website
Books by Piper, H. Beam at Project Gutenberg
"Time and Time Again" (mp3 file) from X Minus One (Old Time Radio Researchers Group at archive.org)