- In 2014, David Cameron followed in the footsteps of Tony Blair by hosting an event “to celebrate the achievements of Britain’s creative industries”, a celebration which continues in regular statistics claiming exceptional success. As this story shows, the creative industries agenda has traction far beyond Britain.
- In the Britain of the 2010s, government arts funding seems to be in decline, and similar patterns can be identified elsewhere. In this article, Labour minister Harriet Harman considered issues for arts funding in a climate of ‘austerity’.
- The ‘Rebalancing Our Cultural Capital’ report considers the disparity in arts funding between London and the rest of England, and was discussed in the House of Lords.
- Peter Bazalgette, chair of Arts Council England, former chair of English National Opera, and former chair of Endemol UK (responsible for bringing ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Deal or No Deal’ to the UK), argues the case for the value of culture in April 2014:
It starts with the inherent value of culture, continues through all the social and educational benefits and only ends with the economic.
On April 4, 1953, singer Patti Page’s disarmingly soulful rendition of “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window” topped the nation’s pop music charts-and held on to the No. 1 spot for eight weeks. Punctuated by barks from Page’s arranger and violinist, the musical stray told the tale of a girl who desperately wanted to buy her sweetie a puppy before he took off for California. ‘‘If he has a dog/He won’t be lonesome,” cooed Page. ”And the doggie will have a good home.” How could such a thing sell two million copies?
The song which kicked off Revolver, The Beatles’ 1966 masterpiece, was written by George Harrison and was a bitter attack on Britain’s supertax system. Inspiration for Taxman came after Harrison discovered how much of The Beatles’ earnings went straight to the Treasury.
Standing in front of 304 Holloway Road in the rain, you can’t quite believe that in this scruffy-looking building, the Tornados recorded “Telstar” – Margaret Thatcher’s favourite piece of music and the first single by a British group to reach number one in the US.
[Ivor] Novello’s wartime waltz “We’ll Gather Lilacs (in the spring again)” [was] written for the troops in the second world war. It was not the first time Novello had hit the jackpot in that way: “Keep the Home Fires Burning”, his first big hit, had cheered the troops and indeed the nation in 1914, right at the beginning of the first world war. But it is the later song that is the more characteristic of Novello […] Its lyrics, written, unusually for him, by Novello himself, are far from sophisticated, but in conjunction with the irresistible melody they retain their power to touch, even to move: “We’ll gather lilacs in the spring again / And walk together down an English lane / Until our hearts have learned to sing again / When you come home once more / // And in the evening by the firelight’s glow / You’ll hold me close and never let me go / Your eyes will tell me all I need to know / When you come home once more.” The song soon found its way into his 1945 musical, Perchance to Dream”. XX10
- ‘Yer Baby’. A 2005 drawing by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. Ringo explained his artistic practice during this year as follows:
I started in the late nineties with my computer art. While I was touring it gave me something to do in all those crazy hotels you have to stay in on the road […] Most of the titles for my pieces arrived because on [the] computer you have to call them something , so I have. The easy way to look at it is, if it has a hat on, it will probably be called Hat Man.