Gerry & The Pacemakers : Ferry Cross The Mersey – Anthems from Liverpool

Thom Hickey on Gerry and the Pacemakers

The Immortal Jukebox

British Beat – Some Other Guys 4

‘People they rush everywhere

Each with their own secret care’

(Gerry Marsden – Ferry Cross The Mersey)

Liverpool in the 1950s was a city filled with youthful dreamers.

Of course, the quartet of dreamers who would go on to launch millions of dreams across the entire globe were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – The Beatles.

But, dreaming alongside them and in their wake were thousands of other young men from the port city.

Dreamers who had, like The Beatles, been electrified by the records brought home to Liverpool by sailors returning from America (for a more detailed introduction on this topic and the City of Liverpool see the opening paragraphs of : The Swinging Blue Jeans : Merseybeat Kings – The Hippy Hippy Shake, You’re No Good)

Prominent among these dreamers were two brothers from Dingle in…

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Who Killed Major Nzeogwu? – By Max Siollun.

An interesting piece on the Nigerian Civil War


Nzeogwu died in the final week of July 1967. While there is consensus that he died, exactly how he died and at the hands of whom has remained in dispute. In conspiracy rife Nigeria, all manner of rumours and apocryphal stories have alleged that Nzeogwu was murdered in a Machiavellian plot engineered by Ojukwu to eliminate him or perhaps that he was killed while trying to defect to join the federal army. As always, the truth is much more mundane.

Nzeogwu in Prison

For his role in Nigeria’s first military coup, Nzeogwu was imprisoned by the military regime of Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi at the notorious Kiri-Kiri maximum security prison in Lagos. His co-conspirators were also initially detained there but many of them were later moved to prisons in the Eastern Region: including Majors Ifeajuna (Uyo prison), Ademoyega, Onwuatuegwu (Enugu prison), Captain Gbulie (Abakaliki prison), Major Chukwuka, Captain Nwobosi (both Owerri prison)…

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Stagecoach To Somewhere – Walt Whitman and Elvis Presley

Great article juxtaposing Elvis Presley and Walt Whitman

Howard Jackson

French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this in Democracy In America

There will be more wit than erudition, more imagination than profundity  … performance will bear marks of the untutored and rude vigour of thought, frequently of great variety and singular fecundity.

It sums up Elvis Golden Records Volume 1 quite well.

This is what Walt Whitman said in his poem Song Of Myself –

I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,

The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,

The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

Whitman was determined to deny himself nothing, to embrace the whole world because he was, like all

Walt Whitman Walt Whitman

human beings, ‘inevitable and limitless’. He was not necessarily the father of American ambition but he was…

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Arthur Alexander : The Poet of Melancholy – In The Middle Of It All

Beautiful article on Arthur Alexander

The Immortal Jukebox

The Immortal Jukebox A3 : 

Arthur Alexander – In The Middle Of It All 

‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation’.

(Henry David Thoreau)

‘Now I ache, with heartbreak and pain and the hurt that I just can’t explain’

(Arthur Alexander)

Imagine you are the manager of a blue collar bar in a tough small town.  You work long hours making sure everybody has a good time and that nobody’s good time winds up leaving someone else on their way to hospital.

You know who not to serve, who to share a joke with, who to warn off and who to throw out for their own good.

You keep a weighted pool cue just out of sight from the floor within your reach – just in case.

You stock the jukebox and make sure that there’s old and new favourites: something that counts as a home town anthem…

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Was Elizabeth I’s refusal to marry psychological or circumstantial?

Great exposition by Louisealacy on Queen Elizabeth1

9e903137460065896171293eadbbc35f Elizabeth before her coronation

The idea of Elizabeth I never marrying has always fascinated me. As a female, living in a predominantly male environment reigning over a nation the way that she did sparked my interest to discover her motives for not marrying. Were her motivations psychological, stemming from a turbulent childhood which saw her mother executed and her stepmother die shortly after childbirth? Did these reasons stop Elizabeth from forming a union with a suitor or were her reasons merely because she sacrificed her matrimonial and maternal instincts to rule the country? Roger Ascham who was Elizabeth’s tutor wrote that ‘her mind (had) no womanly weakness, her perseverance (was) equal to that of a man’. I wondered too if Elizabeth ruled the country as a female or with a masculine approach and so came up with the question, were Elizabeth I’s reasons for not marrying psychological or circumstantial?

Katherine Parr Katherine…

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The Immortal Juke Box A5 : Toussaint McCall Nothing Takes The Place Of You

The Immortal Jukebox


It’s dark when you set off for another shift at the plant and it’s dark when you get back to this dark room in the boarding house held together with flaking paint.

Your overalls are stuck fast to your back and your body holds on to the ache reminding you that there are still some things you can feel.

The radio doesn’t work anymore and the TV is filled with smiling fools selling dreams no one believes in any more or pictures of boys who could be your sons dying in Vietnam for a reason you never could get.

Outside there’s someone shouting at someone something about something that never mattered anyhow. The rain’s begining to fall and the moon stares silently down promising to keep the worlds secrets for one more night.

You stopped off at the corner to buy a bottle that’ll take you through till sleep…

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It was the best of all times, it was the worst of all times, it was the dawn of despair, it was the season of hope, it was the age of sackings, it was an era of promotions…It’s no longer news that Nigeria won the 2013 African Cup of Nations held in South Africa, our first victory since 1994 exactly 19 years on, it’s no coincidence that the man wearing the number 19 jersey Sunday Mba, scored the 2 most important goals of the tournament on 2 different Sundays, the goal that knocked out Ivory Coast the continent’s strongest team on paper, and the goal that won the trophy for Nigeria in the tournament’s final game. What stood Sunday Mba out was he was and presently is a home based player.

Not much was expected from the Nigerian Super Eagles at the tournament for many reasons like we did not qualify for the last tournament, something that had not occurred since 1986 (26 years before), Nigeria did not have many players plying their trade in Europes top clubs, and of the few in the other clubs not many were regulars and the few regulars were out of favour with the coach Stephen Keshi, Odemwingie and Taiwo come to mind. Coach Keshi’s final tournament list and Odemwingie’s rant dismissed the little hope many had for the team to make any impact, as the list included 17 debutants and 6 home based players. This was quite a departure from former Coach Samson Siasia who made a name by blooding home based players but failed to qualify Nigeria for the last tournament when he relied on big name foreign based players who disappointed him and the nation. Both Keshi and Siasia had almost the same kind of footballing education and otherwise, both attended the famed St. Finbarrs College, Akoka that produced about 10 Nigerian internationals. Father Dennis Slattery was the principal, both represented the school team in the Principal’s Cup completion for secondary schools, and both were junior internationals representing Nigeria and later became full internationals. Stephen Keshi was the pioneer that opened up Belgium for African footballers after he, Henry Nwosu (another St. Finbarrs allumni) and some NNB FC of Benin players were unjustly banned for a year, Siasia was one of the first players to join him there. Both were first team players at the beginning of the Clemens Westahof era, so both of them knew the secret of his success was getting the right blend of foreign and home based players in the national team and that merit mattered more than big names as both of them were later dropped from first team roles even though Keshi was team captain. Siasia took after Westahof by developing the home based players and he was successful winning Silver in the 2005 junior world cup and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On the back of his achievements he was appointed Head Coach of the Super Eagles and he focused more on foreign based players and there was no sense of competition in the team again, this culminated in failure to qualify for the Cup of Nation competition and he was promptly sacked. Keshi on the other hand had moderate success In Togo and Mali, and was appointed to take over from Siasia. He promptly started grooming the best home based players in the land, he had seen from the examples of Westahof and Siasia that a competitive spirit must be fostered on the team and home based players deserve a chance also. Keshi’s all conquering Nations Cup team had six home based players, 2 of them were regulars; Godfrey Oboabona played in central defence while the hero of the hour Sunday Mba played in the Midfield.

Keshi would do well to build on his success by giving more home based players opportunities and his teams should all be merit based, if he can do that, who says the Super Eagles can’t win the next World Cup?


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