David Bowie became a star in eighteen months. He spent the rest of his career trying to refuse the narratives of stardom.
The American songwriter Jackson C. Frank’s only record was produced by Paul Simon and had Al Stewart on second guitar. His life was tragic, but his song Blues Run The Game is now a folk standard.
Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s resolutions are a long and detailed list.
Some quotes on films and the film business.
In another universe Skyfall would have been the final Bond film. The villain is the security services, seen in the shadows in a darkened mirror.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is thought of as a Christmas film about virtue being recognised. But Capra’s movie is also about the ties that bind communities together.
Sondheim said that Follies was a play without a plot. Maybe. But it does have a story, about memory, regret, and illusion. And songs.
‘Silk Stockings’ is one of the last musicals from MGM producer Arthur Freed. It can be read as a commentary on the whole genre, as it’s made obsolete by rock ‘n’ roll.
The launch of Sputnik, in October 1957, meant that people had to reimagine their ideas about the Soviet Union–and about space.
On his current tour the folk singer Martin Simpson is singing ‘Palaces of Gold’ to remember the Grenfell Fire victims, both dead and alive. The song was written by Leon Rosselson after the Aberfan disaster.