Today would have been composer Michael Kamen’s 70th birthday
Michael Kamen (April 15, 1948 – November 18, 2003) was an American composer (especially of film scores), orchestral arranger, orchestral conductor, songwriter, and session musician. In 1985, Kamen won a BAFTA for Best Original Television Score for Edge of Darkness and he won a Grammy (with Metallica) for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “The Call of Ktulu”, conducting the San Francisco Orchestra on the band’s album S&M (1999).
Rastafarian poet Benjamin Zephaniah is 60 today
The son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse, Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham and, being dyslexic, he left school at 13 unable to read or write. His poetry, which he calls “street politics” is influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica. He is a vegan and animal rights activist.
Find out more at benjaminzephaniah.com.
Also born today in…
Carry On legend Kenneth Williams died 30 years ago today
Kenneth Williams (February 22, 1926 – April 15, 1988) was an English actor, best known for his comedy roles and in later life as a raconteur and diarist. He was one of the main ensemble in the Carry On films, and appeared in many British television programmes and radio comedies, including series with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne.
Williams served in the Royal Engineers during World War II, where he first became interested in becoming an entertainer. After achieving national fame in Hancock’s Half Hour, appearing throughout the radio series’ run, he sustained continued success with 26 appearances in Carry On films, and subsequently kept himself in the public eye with chat shows and other television work.
Though Williams was fondly regarded in the entertainment industry, he suffered from depression and found it hard to come to terms with his homosexuality, leading to his death after an overdose. He kept a series of diaries throughout his life that achieved posthumous acclaim.