Happy Birthday Gavin Sutherland of Sutherland Brothers!

The Sutherland Brothers (Gavin and Iain Sutherland) originally performed as a folk and rock music duo in the British music scene in the early 1970s, and then from 1973 to 1978 joined with rock band Quiver to record and tour as Sutherland Brothers & Quiver. Under this combined moniker, the group recorded several albums and had a significant international hit single with the song “Arms of Mary” in 1976. In North America they are primarily known for their 1973 debut single “(I Don’t Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway”, which was not a hit in the UK.

The Sutherland Brothers began their career in 1968 as A New Generation, having some success with the single “Smokie Blues Away” (which used a melody based on the second movement of Dvořák’s, New World Symphony), backed with “She’s A Soldier Boy” on Spark. Subsequently with the Sutherland Brothers Band (featuring bassist Kim Ludman[2] and drummer Neil Hopwood), they won a new recording contract with Island Records and put out an album in 1972. Their first single as the Sutherland Brothers Band was under this contract, and was a minor hit, “The Pie”, in January 1972. Their follow-up single was Sailing, which had much radio play but was commercially unsuccessful (it was later covered by Rod Stewart).

Their second album Lifeboat was billed simply as Sutherland Brothers, and was recorded with different backing musicians.

They released another two singles in 1972 (one as the Sutherland Brothers Band, one as Sutherland Brothers), then in early 1973, in an effort to diversify and expand their folk based sound, the Sutherland Brothers joined forces with a local rock band known as Quiver. Quiver were originally formed by guitarist Tim Renwick and bassist John ‘Honk’ Lodge (both formerly with Junior’s Eyes and David Bowie), but soon comprised Tim Renwick, guitarist and singer Cal Batchelor, bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Willie Wilson. Most of the members of Quiver are featured on Al Stewart’s 1972 album Orange.

The Sutherland Brothers’ greatest success came through their collaboration with Quiver, whereby releases were credited to the “Sutherland Brothers and Quiver”. The amalgamated group’s first single, 1973′s “(I Don’t Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway”, was a minor success in North America, reaching No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, N. 20 on the Cashbox pop charts[3] and peaking at No. 25 in Canada.[4] After the release of this single, and after only a few gigs with the band, Batchelor (who had been Quiver’s primary songwriter) left. After a few more shows as a five-piece, Batchelor was replaced by keyboardist Peter Wood. The six-piece group then recorded three other tracks that were included on a heavily-revised North American issue of Lifeboat. In the US and Canada, Lifeboat was credited to the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, although Quiver did not play on the majority of the album’s tracks.

The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver’s proper full length debut was 1973′s Dream Kid, which span off no hits. Bruce Thomas, who had been repeatedly clashing with Iain Sutherland, then was asked to leave the group during a tour of Europe in March 1974. With only a week to go before the band was due to record their next album, Tex Comer filled in on bass for live gigs and a few album cuts, but Gavin Sutherland quickly moved over from guitar to bass, and the band continued as a five-piece.

The 1974 album Beat of the Street also span off no hits. Wood then left the group, and the remaining members left Island Records for CBS.

As the band was switching labels, a cover of one of the earlier Sutherland Brothers recordings, “Sailing”, became a major UK hit for Rod Stewart.

The September 1975 album release Reach for the Sky marked the debut of the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver on CBS Records. Their first CBS single, “Ain’t Too Proud” (1975; featuring David Gilmour of Pink Floyd on pedal steel guitar[5]) did not chart, but the second CBS single, “Arms of Mary” charted in April 1976, becoming a UK Top Ten hit single. “Arms of Mary” was also an international success most notably in Ireland and the Netherlands – in which territories the track was No. 1 for respectively four and three weeks – with the track also reaching No. 1 on Belgium’s Flemish charts. The track “When the train comes” was also released as a single.

The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver achieved one further UK chart success, “Secrets”, in November 1976. Guitarist Renwick left the group in 1977 and was not replaced; this left drummer Willie Wilson as the only remaining member of Quiver. The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver recorded one final album with a wide array of guest musicians helping out, including Renwick, Andy Pyle from the Kinks, Rick Wills of the Small Faces, Brian Bennett from the Shadows and ex-Moon drummer John Shearer on percussion. It failed to chart, or to spin off any hits.

The Sutherland Brothers parted company with Quiver (i.e., Wilson) by 1979, but continued to release material as the Sutherland Brothers for a time. In this period they achieved one further chart success with “Easy Come Easy Go”, in June 1979. However they disbanded late in 1979 after recording a final album When The Night Comes Down on CBS, with the final single being “First Love”/”Crazy Town”.

Happy Birthday Kate Winslet!

ABOUT
Best known for playing Rose DeWitt Bukater in the 1997 classic Titanic. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 2008 film The Reader and also received Academy Award nominations for her roles in Sense and Sensibility, Titanic, Iris, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Little Children.

BEFORE FAME
She attended the Redroofs Theatre School to study Drama and starred in a Sugar Puffs cereal commercial at age twelve.

TRIVIA
She received an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries for her lead role in 2011′s Mildred Pierce.

FAMILY LIFE
She was married to Jim Threapleton from 1998 to 2001 and director Sam Mendes from 2003 to 2011. She married Ned Rocknroll in 2012. Her sister is the actress Beth Winslet. She has two sons named Bear and Joe and a daughter named Mia.

ASSOCIATED WITH
She starred alongside Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 2004.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino wants 48-team tournament…

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup finals to a 48-team tournament – a larger number than his election promise.

The Italian suggested 16 of those teams would be eliminated after one knockout match – before the group stages.

The rest of the tournament would be the same as it is now, with 32 teams competing in group stages followed by knockout rounds.

One of his election promises was to expand the finals to 40 teams.

Infantino said a decision would be taken by the governing body’s council in January.

“These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017,” said the 46-year-old.

“They are ideas which we put forward to see which one is the best.”

Infantino took charge of football’s world governing body in February after the disgraced Sepp Blatter resigned.

Under his proposal, a preliminary knockout round in the host country would involve 32 teams with the winners reaching the groups, while a further 16 seeded teams would get a bye to that stage.

“It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party,” he added.

“Fifa’s idea is to develop football in the whole world, and the World Cup is the biggest event there is. It’s more than a competition, it’s a social event.”

PM’s 1,500-day economic plan within two weeks…

The much-anticipated five-year economic plan of the coalition government is expected to be announced within the next two weeks by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to the Governor of the Central Bank.

This is long overdue as it was initially planned to be announced in June. “ ….the Prime Minister is about to deliver, during the next week or two, what he calls his ‘1,500-day economic plan’, which is intended to flesh out his economic policy statement of last year and to give framework in terms of the development plans for the next five years,” said Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

Speaking at an event organised by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka last week, Dr. Coomaraswamy asked the private sector to closely listen to the policy statement which could provide clues on the direction and vision of the government for the economy as it will help them to plan their businesses and investments.

Investors, both domestic and foreign, have long been waiting for a clear direction for the economy from the government before making crucial medium to long-term investments in the country. The US $ 1.5 billion three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement struck with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given some assurance to the investor community that the government would take a more disciplined path in fiscal spending.

In fact, the agreement bode well for the Sri Lankan economy as foreign inflows resumed to the government securities market bringing some stability into an otherwise volatile exchange rate. The government too has shown much discipline in handling the budget during the first six months of the year.

Further, a month later, the appointment of respected economist Dr. Coomaraswamy as the Central Bank Governor also brought in integrity to the Central Bank and certainty to the trajectory of the interest rates and inflation.

The government has also been taking steps to forge new links with its old and new trade partners in an attempt to broaden the country’s market access. However, still much need to be done in creating a predictable policy climate and improving the doing business conditions and the forthcoming policy statement by the premier is expected to shed more light into these areas.

Premier Wickremesinghe is also expected to announce the political reforms the government is envisaging within the next few weeks, including that of the electoral reforms.

Happy Birthday Jon Secada

Jon Secada (born Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez; October 4, 1962) is a Cuban American singer and songwriter.[1] Secada was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Hialeah, Florida. He has won two Grammy Awards and sold 20 million albums since his English-language debut album in 1992. His music fuses funk, soul, pop and Latin percussion. Secada also has worked as a songwriter for Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Mandy Moore and other performers.

Secada emigrated with his parents to the United States at age 12 after previously living in Spain; while he attended school, his family managed a coffee shop. As a teen, Secada discovered his gift for music. In the culturally-diverse city of Miami, Secada was exposed to salsa and merengue. Secada also became interested in rhythm and blues and pop music performed by Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder.

Secada graduated from South Florida’s Hialeah High School in 1979 and then enrolled at Miami Dade Community College, then transferring to the University of Miami. During college, he became an accomplished jazz musician and was inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Music and then earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Vocal Performance.

In the late 1980s, Gloria Estefan hired Secada as a background singer. He also started composing music for Estefan, including some of her best-known ballads. Among other songs, Secada co-wrote and sang background on “Coming Out of the Dark”, Gloria’s number one hit from her 1991 album Into the Light. During Estefan’s ‘Into the Light World Tour’, Secada was given the life-changing opportunity of taking over the stage and performing solo. The song was “Always Something” which would be featured later on his debut album. It launched his career as a solo performer.

In 1991, Secada legally changed his first name from Juan to Jon. The following year, Secada released his self-titled debut album Jon Secada (SBK/EMI), which sold over six million copies worldwide and was certified triple platinum in the U.S., where it reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Secada scored a No. 5 Pop hit (and a No. 5 UK hit) with his Gold single “Just Another Day”, and three more top 30 hits, “Angel” (No. 18 Pop, No. 23 UK), “I’m Free” (No. 27 Pop, No. 50 UK), “Do You Believe in Us?” (No. 13 Pop, No. 30 UK), and “Do You Really Want Me” (No. 30 UK) received national radio play. The Spanish-language version of Secada’s solo album, Otro Día Más Sin Verte (EMI-Latin), became the No. 1 Latin album of 1992 and earned Secada his first Grammy Award for “Best Latin Pop Album”.

In 1994, Secada’s second album, Heart, Soul & a Voice (EMI) featured members of the Miami Sound Machine and guests Arturo Sandoval (trumpeter) and Betty Wright (background vocals). The album went Platinum in the US. One of its singles, “If You Go”, was a top ten Pop hit and “Mental Picture”, a Top 30 hit which was used in the soundtrack for the film The Specialist. His third album on EMI, Amor, was released in 1995 and earned Secada his second Grammy for “Best Latin Pop Performance”.

Secada co-wrote the song “Bella”, the Spanish version of “She’s All I Ever Had” for Ricky Martin’s 1999 multi-platinum self-titled album. He also co-wrote and co-produced the song “Baila” for Jennifer Lopez, which appeared on her 1999 multi-platinum album, On the 6. He worked with teen singing sensation Mandy Moore on two of her tracks, “One Sided Love” and “It Only Took a Minute” from her self-titled multi-platinum album. In 2001, he was a backing vocalist on Enrique Iglesias’s album Escape on the tracks “Don’t Turn Off the Lights” and “Love 4 Fun”.

Secada has performed with opera legend Luciano Pavarotti and recorded a duet with Frank Sinatra on “The Best is Yet to Come” from Sinatra’s Duets II album.

In 1995, Secada starred in Broadway’s hit musical Grease, playing the lead role of Danny Zuko. Broadway called upon Secada once again in 2003, where he played the emcee role in Sam Mendes’ acclaimed version of Cabaret. In the fall of 2004, Secada also starred as ‘Joseph’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s theatrical hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

On November 30, 2007, Secada participated in the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade which was taped inside the Magic Kingdom at Disney World Orlando, Florida.

On June 3, 2011, the heavily Cuban-American community of Union City, New Jersey honored Secada with a star on the Walk of Fame at Celia Cruz Plaza.[2]

On October 27, 2012, Secada starred in the Broadway-style musical Loving the Silent Tears, which premiered in Los Angeles.