Tag Archives: Video

John Virtue

22 Jan
John Virtue

John Virtue

Just found out that John Virtue….an artist of some repute, was born here in my home town of  Accrington.

Born in 1947, he specialises in monochrome landscapes. He is honorary Professor of Fine Art at the University of Plymouth, and from 2003–2005 was the sixth Associate Artist at London’s National Gallery. Virtue trained at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1965–69.

In 1971 he moved to Green Haworth, (which is about half a mile from where I live)  painting landscapes for a couple of  years before abandoning painting in favour of pen and ink drawings comprising dense networks of lines supposedly “akin to the work of Samuel Palmer”.


Moonlight, a landscape with sheep.
Samuel Palmer

From 1978 he worked as a postman, giving this up in 1985 to work as a full-time artist. He lived in Devon from 1988–2004. Maintaining a studio in Exeter, he produced works around the Exe estuary, before being offered the post of Associate Artist (the sixth) at the National Gallery in 2005. The scheme engages contemporary artists to produce work that “connects to the National Gallery Collection” and demonstrates “the continuing inspiration of the Old Master tradition”.

Some of Virtue’s local art:

Accrington from the Coppice by John Virtue. From the collection at accrington's Haworth Art Gallery.

Accrington from the Coppice by John Virtue. From the collection at Accrington’s Haworth Art Gallery.

The Coppice is a part of Hameldon Hill in Lancashire

Green Haworth

Green Haworth, by John Virtue. From collection at Townley Hall Museum, Burnley.

Green Haworth, the area John Virtue used to live in.

View of Oswaldtwistle by John Virtue. From collection at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.

View of Oswaldtwistle by John Virtue. From collection at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.

Just down the road from Green Haworth.

I’m not sure I am over impressed by his work, and I certainly wouldn’t have put it in the same class as Palmer. But then what do I know? I’m not an art critic. I just know what I like..or don’t.

Below is a video showing John and some of his later monochrome stuff. He seems to draw mainly pictures of the London area these days.

What do you think?

Jon Anderson

14 Jan

Jon Anderson, formerly of the group Yes

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson 2011

He was born here in Accrington.

Born 25th October 1944 John Roy Anderson

Attended St John’s School Baxenden. (in Accrington)
He left school at the age of 15 to support his family working as a farm hand. Later he was  also a milkman.
Joined the Warriors in 1962
The band Yes formed in 1968

I remember him from the early sixties. He was then with an “Accy” group called The Warriors. His mum lived just across the way from us and for a while, all the local kids used to hang around waiting for autographs from him and his brother Tony. We were all glued to the TV one Saturday morning when the group appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars

He also made a version of  Never My Love” as “Hans Christian”. (Video at bottom of the post)

I liked some of their stuff, but was never a big fan of Yes – though I did like his work with Vangelis (“I’ll find My Way Home” video at the bottom of post)

He is now an “ambassador” for Accrington Stanley and has actually promised a gig at the stadium at some time in the future. (He was a ball boy and a mascot at one stage).

Jon & Vangelis

The Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington to hold an exhibition to celebrate his 60th birthday in 2004

Jon Anderson Online

Penguins’ Riverdance

23 Dec

Needed cheering up today, this certainly did the trick! Cute..

Bird Feeds Dog & Cat

6 Dec

Ah this is so cute.

Cha cha the crow seems to rule the roost in that house!

Two Year Old Has The Moves

15 Nov

Just found this and I think it’s brilliant, could watch it over and over. So cute!

Two year old William Stokkebroe dancing to Jailhouse Rock by Elvis

Viral videos

Unchained Melody

15 Nov

My favourite  song of all time is Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. I think most people (at least those of a certain age) would consider this to be the best version.

Technically it’s not the Righteous Brothers singing . Just Bobby Hatfield whilst Bill Medley stands aside.

His voice was tremendous. The high notes he reaches  at the end never fail to give me the shivers.

Sadly Bobby Hatfield passed away just before a concert in 2003.

I knew there were versions of this song recorded before the Righteous brothers, particularly by British DJ Jimmy Young.

I hadn’t realised though, just how many times it had been done both before and after, as singles or album tracks.

It was penned in 1955, music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret.

The  music was used as a theme for a prison film called “Unchained” in that year, hence the title of the song (sung by Todd Duncan). The Righteous Brothers version was obviously used  in the 1990 film “Ghost”.

It is the only song to have sold over a million by three separate acts in the UK (the Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome and Gareth Gates)

Sir Paul McCartney now owns the rights to the song…fancy that.

Before the Righteous Brothers:

Les Baxter 1955 (instrumental)

Jimmy Young 1955

Al Hibbler 1955

Liberace 1955 (instrumental)

To name a few..

Apparently at least 670 artistes have covered this song. Some are listed here.

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