04 June, 2012
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of over one million copies.
Ken Sykora, born Charles Kenneth Sykora was a British jazz guitarist and radio presenter.
Sykora was born in 1923 in Fulham, London and studied geography at the University of Cambridge, where he organized the Cambridge University Band Society. He then studied business and economics at the London School of Economics. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Far East. After the war he taught in London at the London School of Economics and the College for Distributive Trades. Influenced by guitarist Django Reinhardt, he led his own band in the 1950s, appearing with other bandleaders such as Ted Heath. During this time he appeared on the Melody Maker reader's poll for best British jazz guitarist for five consecutive years and won it twice.
He worked on radio for the BBC and hosted the popular BBC program Guitar Club. For BBC Radio 2, he created and presented the program series Be My Guest, interviewing Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Andrés Segovia, Isaac Stern and Gloria Swanson, among others. In January 1962 he was a guest on Desert Island Discs.
In the 1970s, Sykora and his family moved to Scotland, where the couple ran a hotel in Colintraive on the Kyles of Bute. After five years he sold the hotel, moved to Blairmore and continued to produce music programs for BBC Radio Scotland and for Radio Clyde.
Sykora died in Blairmore on 7 March 2006.
John Lee Hooker was a highly influential American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.
Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, William Hooker, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally a unique brand of country blues. He developed a 'talking blues' style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his blues guitar playing and singing. His best known songs include "Boogie Chillen'" (1948), "I'm in the Mood" (1951) and "Boom Boom" (1962), the first two reaching R&B #1 in the Billboard charts.