Obituary: John Hume

As SDLP leader, John Hume played a major role in bringing about Northern Ireland’s peace process.

When the IRA called a ceasefire in August 1994, it was greeted with jubilation and relief across Northern Ireland.

Despite enormous criticism, Hume always defended his decision to talk to Sinn Féin in order to build that peace process.

While many people were involved, the SDLP leader’s role was crucial.

“Politics,” he once said, “is the alternative to war.”

John Hume’s involvement in the cauldron of Northern Ireland politics began on the streets of his home city, Londonderry, where he was born in 1937.

Post-war education reforms enabled him to win a scholarship to the local grammar school and he trained briefly for the priesthood, before returning to work as a teacher.

John Hume in DerryJohn Hume on the streets during the earliest confrontations in Derry

 

Drawn into public life, Hume began to campaign on issues such as housing and helped set up a credit union in his native city. But more traumatic times lay ahead. Continue reading

Alan Parker, Versatile Film Director, Is Dead at 76

“Midnight Express” and “Mississippi Burning” brought him Oscar nominations, and many of his other films, including “Fame” and “The Commitments,” were acclaimed.

Alan Parker, who was nominated for the best-director Oscar for the 1978 film “Midnight Express” and again 10 years later for “Mississippi Burning,” died on Friday in South London. He was 76.

His death followed a long, unspecified illness, a spokeswoman for the British Film Institute said.

Read full story at NY TIMES: Alan Parker, Versatile Film Director, Is Dead at 76

Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble dies aged 71

Folk singer, who also had a solo career, had a long-term illness

The Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble has died aged 71. The folk artist, who also had a solo career, had been suffering from a long-term illness.

Dyble rose to prominence during the 1960s and performed on Fairport Convention songs including Time Will Show the Wiser.

A statement from her agent said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that English singer-songwriter Judy Dyble passed away on 12 July following a long illness borne with great courage. Judy Dyble was one of the pioneers of the English folk rock scene in the 1960s, most notably as a founding member of Fairport Convention and vocalist with cult band Trader Horne.

“We wish to express our deepest sympathies to Judy’s family, friends and many associates from her musical career at this time.” Continue reading

Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103


The singer of We’ll Meet Again, who entertained British troops in World War Two, has died.

The singer was best known for performing hits such as We’ll Meet Again to troops on the front line in countries including India and Egypt.

Her family said they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

In a statement, they confirmed she died on Thursday morning surrounded by her close relatives.

Source: Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103

Joy Division Singer Ian Curtis Remembered On The 40th Anniversary Of His Death

Jon Savage, the author of ‘This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else,’ discusses the post-punk singer, who committed suicide on May 18, 1980 at age 23.

A few months into 1980, the British post-punk group Joy Division were ready to take the next steps in their promising career. Led by their compelling lead singer Ian Curtis, the emerging quartet from Manchester were gaining momentum with an acclaimed debut album in Unknown Pleasures; their live shows were must-see draws; and they had gotten exposure on television and favorable reviews in the music press. Now Joy Division were set to embark on their first-ever U.S. tour and release a new record, Closer, that saw them expanding on their sonic palette. But that all came to a tragic halt when Curtis – who struggled with personal and health issues – committed suicide at the age of 23 on May 18, 1980.

“A poetic, sensitive, tortured soul, the Ian Curtis of the myth—he was definitely that,” former Joy Division bassist Peter Hook remembered Curtis Continue reading