Tag: Books and literature

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Entertainment

Duke Ellington: the man and his music

DUKE ELLINGTON (Courier File Photo) by Jerry HarkavyAssociated Press Writer “Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington” (Gotham Books), by Terry Teachout Duke Ellington died nearly 40 years ago, but for jazz fans of a certain age his musical creativity and elegant style remain timeless. Whether he was leading his orchestra in “Take the A Train,” the composition by collaborator Billy Strayhorn that became Ellington’s theme, or assuring his fans in his velvety bass-baritone that he loved them madly, the Duke’s public persona as a jazz giant has endured for half a century.

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National

JFK’s image shines on despite contradictions

In this July 25, 1960 file photo , Sen. John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., sits with wife, Jacqueline, as she reads to their daughter, Caroline, at Hyannis Port, Mass. (AP Photo) by Hillel ItalieAssociated Press Writer BOSTON (AP) — Four days a week, David O’Donnell leads a 90-minute “Kennedy Tour” around Boston that features stops at government buildings, museums, hotels and meeting halls. Tour-goers from throughout the United States and abroad, who may see John F. Kennedy as inspiration, martyr or Cold War hero, hear stories of his ancestors and early campaigns, the rise of the Irish in state politics, the odd fact that Kennedy was the only president outlived by his grandmother. Yet at some point along the tour, inevitably, questions from the crowd shift from politics to gossip.

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People

Rock legend Lou Reed dead at 71

In this Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009 file photo, Lou Reed performs at the Lollapalooza music festival, in Chicago. (AP Photo/John Smierciak, File) by Hillel ItalieAP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Lou Reed, the punk poet of rock n’ roll who profoundly influenced generations of musicians as leader of the Velvet Underground and remained a vital solo performer for decades after, died Sunday age 71. Reed died in Southampton, N.Y. of an ailment related to his recent liver transplant, according to his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who added that Reed had been in frail health for months. Reed shared a home in Southampton with his wife and fellow musician, Laurie Anderson, whom he married in 2008. Reed never approached the commercial success of such superstars as the Beatles and Bob Dylan, but no songwriter to emerge after Dylan so radically expanded the territory of rock lyrics. And no band did more than the Velvet Underground to open rock music to the avant-garde — to experimental theater, art, literature and film, to William Burroughs and Kurt Weill, to John Cage and Andy Warhol, Reed’s early patron.

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Entertainment

Superheroes rule but comics fight for respect

PITTSBURGH (AP) — He towers over the land, his muscles rippling and blond mane blowing in a windstorm of his own making. Wielding his trusty magical hammer, he crushes villains as easily as he romances beautiful women. Thor, epic god of thunder, was inspired by Norse mythology. But his modern, movie-star incarnation was born on the pulpy, hand-drawn pages of 1960s comic books.

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People

Novelist Tom Clancy a master of military thrillers

This undated file image provided by Paramount Studios shows a scene from “The Hunt for Red October” starring, from left, Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and Scott Glenn. The film is based on the book by Tom Clancy. (AP Photo/Paramount Studios) LOS ANGELES (AP) — With CIA analyst Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy created a character that spoke to audiences from both page and screen, representing the changing mood of a country facing growing geopolitical challenges. “Thrillers, like all art, are always a reflection of the culture,” said fellow author Brad Meltzer. “No one captured that Cold War fear — and that uniquely American perspective— like Clancy. Jack Ryan wasn’t just a character. He was us. He was every American in those days when we were a push-of-the-button away from nuclear war.” Clancy brought such realism and attention to detail to his novels that in 1985, a year after the Cold War thriller “The Hunt for Red October” came out, a military official suspected the author of having access to classified material.