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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 103 | January 25, 2009|


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Sounds & Rhythm

A man of singular appeal- Harold Pinter

Compiled by Sarah Z H

HAROLD Pinter was born in Hackney, a working-class neighborhood in London's East End, the son of a tailor. Both of his parents were Jewish, born in England. As a child Pinter got on well with his mother, but he didn't get on well with his father, who was a strong disciplinarian. On the outbreak of World War II Pinter was evacuated from the city to Cornwall; to be wrenched from his parents was a traumatic event for Pinter. He lived with 26 other boys in a castle on the coast. At the age of 14, he returned to London.

In 1950 Pinter started to publish poems in Poetry (London) under the name Harold Pinta. He worked as a bit-part actor on a BBC Radio program, Focus on Football Pools. He also studied for a short time at the Central School of Speech and Drama and toured Ireland from 1951 to 1952 with a Shakespearean troupe. In 1953 he appeared during Donald Wolfit's 1953 season at the King's Theatre in Hammersmith.

After four more years in provincial repertory theatre under the pseudonym David Baron, Pinter began to write for the stage. THE ROOM (1957), originally written for Bristol University's drama department, was finished in four days. A SLIGHT ACHE, Pinter's first radio piece, was broadcast on the BBC in 1959. His first full-length play, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, was first performed by Bristol University's drama department in 1957 and produced in 1958 in the West End. The play, which closed with disastrous reviews after one week, dealt in a Kafkaesque manner with an apparently ordinary man who is threatened by strangers for an unknown reason. He tries to run away but is tracked down. Although most reviewers were hostile, Pinter produced in rapid succession the body of work, which made him the master of 'the comedy of menace.'

In 1960 Pinter wrote THE DUMB WAITER. With his second full-length play, THE CARETAKER (1960), Pinter made his breakthrough as a major modern talent, although in Düsseldorf the play was booed. The Caretaker was followed by A SLIGHT ACHE (1961), THE COLLECTION (1962), THE DWARFS (1963), THE LOVER (1963).

THE HOMECOMING (1965) is perhaps the most enigmatic of all Pinter's early works. It won a Tony Award, the Whitbread Anglo-American Theater Award, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. In the story an estranged son, Teddy, brings his wife Ruth home to London to meet his family, his father Max, a nagging, aggressive ex-butcher, and other tough members of the all-male household. At the end Teddy returns alone to his university job in America. Ruth stays as a mother or whore to his family. Everyone needs her. - Similar motifs - the battle for domination in a sexual context - recur in Landscape and Silence (both 1969), and in Old Times (1971).

Several of Pinter's plays were originally written for British radio or TV. In the 1960s he also directed several of his dramas. After BETRAYAL (1978) Pinter wrote no new full-length plays until MOONLIGHT (1994). Short plays include A KIND OF ALASKA (1982), inspired by the case histories in Oliver Sack's Awakenings (1973).

From the 1970s Pinter has directed a number of stage plays and the American Film Theatre production of Butler (1974). In 1977 he published a screenplay based on Marcel Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Pinter has received many awards, including the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear in 1963, BAFTA awards in 1965 and in 1971, the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize in 1970, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or in 1971, and the Commonwealth Award in 1981. He was awarded a CBE in 1966, but he later turned down John Major's offer of a knighthood. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in the theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature.

Pinter's works include a number of screenplays, including The Servant (1963), The Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971), The Last Tycoon (1974, dir. by Elia Kazan), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981, novel by John Fowles), Betrayal (1982), Turtle Diary (1985), Reunion (1989), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), The Comfort of Strangers (1990), and The Trial by Franz Kafka (1990). In the 1990s Pinter became more active as a director than as a playwright. He oversaw David Mamet's Oleanna and several works by Simon Gray.

Crystal Gayle- The blue eyed Country sensation

Nazia Ahmed

BEFORE country was 'cool,' Crystal was 'class'. Although the name Crystal came to her in quite an unusual fashion, Brenda Gayle Webb was suggested by her older sister, Loretta Lynn, to adopt the name 'Crystal' when she began recording. Crystal encapsulates everything the dazzling qualities of her name imply. Born in Paintsville, Kentucky, USA, on January 9, 1951, the youngest daughter of Melvin "Ted" and Clara Marie, Crystal was Inspired by Lynn's success, and learned guitar, performed folk songs in high school and sang backing vocals in her brother's band.

In the beginning country, folk, pop, rock n roll, Broadway show tunes, gospel…all found equal place in her heart, growing up as the youngest of eight children. Like sister Loretta Crystal too was a “coal miners daughter” before she was a platinum selling singer and a world class entertainer.

“Brown Eyes” opened the world's eyes to Crystal Gayle. She became a household name in homes, grand and small, from Louisville to Leningrad.

The glamour and the mystique of the Crystal Gayle phenomena made her an instantly “ in demand” artist. From symphony halls to Carnegie Hall…from the best-kept stages in Las Vegas to the prestige of the London Palladium... one word“Crystal”crossed musical genres and oceans.

Crystal globe hopped, and was seen in all the best camera lenses. Her CBS prime time special was followed by an equally groundbreaking HBO concert special viewed by millions. She appeared in Bob Hope's historic NBC-TV Special, “On The Road To China.” She was seen hosting the “American Music Awards,” the “Academy Of Country Music Awards,” and her third network special, “A Crystal Christmas From Sweden.” She swept through toursand repeat toursof the U.S., Japan, England, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Australia and the Far East.

In the wake…her hit list of platinum and gold record sales was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA's “Female Vocalist Of The Year,” for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for “Best Female Vocal Performance,” thanks to her beloved “Brown Eyes” a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy Of Country Music Awards for three of their “Top Female Vocalist” statuettes. As her music and her career path widened to mainstream audiencesso did her accolades. She is the recipient of three “American Music Awards” voted by the nation as America's “Favorite Female Artist.”

Her inspirational album, “Someday,” was nominated for a Grammy. With the advent of the new millennium, Crystal recorded “In My Arms,” an enduring collection of children's lullabies, the project was an outgrowth of her love for the littlest of listeners, and of her visit to “Sesame Street” to sing with Big Bird to a new generation of music lovers.

Always gracious and generous with her time and talents, Crystal has been awarded the coveted “Celebration of Light Award” in recognition of her myriad humanitarian effortsamong them the Make-A-Wish Foundation (for whom she has recorded the official theme song) and the Arthritis Foundation, for whom she has served as telethon co-host for several years. Fittingly, the “Celebration of Light Award” was a presentation in Waterford Crystal.

One of the most fitting honors in her career came in 1999 when “Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” was recognized by ASCAP as one being one of the ten most performed songs of the 20th century. Gayle released two more studio albums during the 1990s: Ain't Gonna Worry (1990) produced by Allen Reynolds and Three Good Reasons (1992). Both albums failed to chart and their singles all failed to reestablish Gayle at country radio. Gayle subsequently recorded several specialty projects. She released two gospel albums - Someday (1995) and He Is Beautiful (1997). In 1999, she released the tribute album, Crystal Gayle Sings The Heart And Soul Of Hoagy Carmichael. Gayle released a children's album, In My Arms, in 2000. Her most recent studio album was the 2003 standards collection, All My Tomorrows. Gayle has since released two live albums, Crystal Gayle In Concert (2005) and Live! An Evening With Crystal Gayle (2007).

At home in Nashville when not touring, Crystal continues to make the world a little more beautiful just by her presence. Her upscale boutique, “Crystal's” is one of the cities premiere destinations for the most beautiful gifts and finest jewelry. Her two children daughter Catherine and son Chrisand her husband-- Bill Gatzimos are her admitted heartbeat. Gayle is known to be the female artist with the longest hair in the world. Her website says she grew her hair to such incredible lengths because she had to have it boyishly short as a child. She has had at least "classic length" hair all through adulthood, but now keeps her hair to three inches off the floor.

Sources: Internet

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