Oxford Dictionary of National Biography podcast: Robert Newman, concert manager

Until 1902 Newman managed the Queen’s Hall entirely alone. He added Saturday Afternoon Symphony Concerts in January 1897 and Sunday Afternoon Concerts, begun in the face of much sabbatarian opposition, later that year. He invited the leading continental conductors and orchestras, and the Queen’s Hall soon became the focus for London’s concert music. Notable early events included two London music festivals, in 1899 and 1902, in which the celebrated Lamoureux Orchestra under its founder and the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Wood shared the programmes. The later support of the orchestra and Promenade Concerts by the BBC was first negotiated, unsuccessfully, by Newman shortly before his death; he was the constant factor in changing commercial conditions.

The story of Robert Newman is one of over 200 episodes available from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’s podcast archive. New episodes are released every second Wednesday.

Image: BBC Proms 31, by Yuichi. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Have you ever flown on the “kangaroo route”: flying from Australia to the United Kingdom via a short stopover in another country?
Image: Red kangaroo, by SeanMack, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever flown on the “kangaroo route”: flying from Australia to the United Kingdom via a short stopover in another country?

Image: Red kangaroo, by SeanMack, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Alfie often spends his days thinking about some of life’s more complex questions. Today he was contemplating how the history of our planet can be told by a single pebble.
Do you have any scholarly pets? Join the Oxford menagerie and tag your pictures of pets with our books with #OUP Animals.

Alfie often spends his days thinking about some of life’s more complex questions. Today he was contemplating how the history of our planet can be told by a single pebble.

Do you have any scholarly pets? Join the Oxford menagerie and tag your pictures of pets with our books with #OUP Animals.


"After Europe plunged into war in 1914, he applied to the Old World the vision of America’s mission that [Woodrow Wilson] first offered to the Western Hemisphere. The rise of the United States in the global political economy and the collapse of Europe’s balance of power, which the First World War clearly revealed, provided the conditions for his redefinition of America’s global mission."

Learn more about Woodrow Wilson and the United States’ gradual entrance into the First World War in the American National Biography Online. 

"After Europe plunged into war in 1914, he applied to the Old World the vision of America’s mission that [Woodrow Wilson] first offered to the Western Hemisphere. The rise of the United States in the global political economy and the collapse of Europe’s balance of power, which the First World War clearly revealed, provided the conditions for his redefinition of America’s global mission."

Learn more about Woodrow Wilson and the United States’ gradual entrance into the First World War in the American National Biography Online. 

michaelaross:

The Remarkable Detective Noble: Former Slave, Drummer Boy, Union Soldier, and Trailblazing Sleuth. 

In mid-July 1870, the lead detective in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, John Baptiste Jourdain, received a tip that a former slave named Rosa Lee knew of the whereabouts of the kidnappers he sought. Because policemen were “invariably met with silence and suspicion” in black neighborhoods, Jourdain hoped he could dress in workman’s clothes and trick Lee into divulging what she knew about the case. As a light-skinned Creole of color from a privileged background,  Jourdain would need to play his role well by adopting the mannerisms of a freedman. To lend authenticity to his disguise, Jourdain brought along gray-haired Detective Jordan Noble who, at age seventy-two, was the oldest man on the force and one of the few former slaves in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police.
Detective Noble was famous in New Orleans and perhaps an odd choice for an undercover assignment. Born into slavery in Georgia, Noble had earned his freedom after serving as Andrew Jackson’s drummer boy at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He later accompanied Louisiana troops in the Everglades during the Seminole War, as well as serving as drummer for the elite New Orleans-based Washington Artillery during the Mexican War. In the 1850s, Noble regularly marched with his drum in patriotic parades alongside white veterans who nicknamed him “Old Jordan.” When the Civil War began, he helped organize one of the regiments that volunteered to fight with the Confederacy, but he later switched sides and served in the Union ranks. Like Jourdain, Noble seized the opportunity during Reconstruction to join the Metropolitan Police as a detective, and despite Noble’s celebrity Jourdain believed that he and Noble, like the famous French detectives they emulated, could be “masters of disguise.”
Dressed in grubby work clothes, the two detectives made their way to the neighborhood near the back-swamps where Rosa Lee lived. When they found her standing outside of her house, the detectives’ deception began.

michaelaross:

The Remarkable Detective Noble: Former Slave, Drummer Boy, Union Soldier, and Trailblazing Sleuth.

In mid-July 1870, the lead detective in the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, John Baptiste Jourdain, received a tip that a former slave named Rosa Lee knew of the whereabouts of the kidnappers he sought. Because policemen were “invariably met with silence and suspicion” in black neighborhoods, Jourdain hoped he could dress in workman’s clothes and trick Lee into divulging what she knew about the case. As a light-skinned Creole of color from a privileged background,  Jourdain would need to play his role well by adopting the mannerisms of a freedman. To lend authenticity to his disguise, Jourdain brought along gray-haired Detective Jordan Noble who, at age seventy-two, was the oldest man on the force and one of the few former slaves in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police.

Detective Noble was famous in New Orleans and perhaps an odd choice for an undercover assignment. Born into slavery in Georgia, Noble had earned his freedom after serving as Andrew Jackson’s drummer boy at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He later accompanied Louisiana troops in the Everglades during the Seminole War, as well as serving as drummer for the elite New Orleans-based Washington Artillery during the Mexican War. In the 1850s, Noble regularly marched with his drum in patriotic parades alongside white veterans who nicknamed him “Old Jordan.” When the Civil War began, he helped organize one of the regiments that volunteered to fight with the Confederacy, but he later switched sides and served in the Union ranks. Like Jourdain, Noble seized the opportunity during Reconstruction to join the Metropolitan Police as a detective, and despite Noble’s celebrity Jourdain believed that he and Noble, like the famous French detectives they emulated, could be “masters of disguise.”

Dressed in grubby work clothes, the two detectives made their way to the neighborhood near the back-swamps where Rosa Lee lived. When they found her standing outside of her house, the detectives’ deception began.

Word of the day: beer pong

On the Shelves in Oxford this week we’ve got texts looking at the 12th century, the 20th century, and beyond the 21st century. The Race for Paradise examines the Crusades from a Muslim perspective, presenting a dramatically different story to the Christian one we know from the European chronicles. Full of Hope and Fear reveals an epistolary correspondence between a family during the First World War. Finally, Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence asks important questions about the future of artificial intelligence and how this could directly affect the future of humanity.

Most biographical sources say that Mendoza was born in 1764. The Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia Judaica, Chambers Biographical Dictionary, and the Encyclopedia of World Biography all give 1764 for Mendoza’s year of birth, as do the the websites of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Hall of Fame, WorldCat, and Wikipedia.

Did the boxing community celebrate the 250th anniversary of Daniel Mendoza’s birth a year too soon?

Just how Australian is Nick ‘honey badger’ Cummins? Are you head over biscuit to find out? Or maybe you’re as mad as a tree full of galahs.
Image: Honey badger, by Jaganath, CC-BY-S.A-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Just how Australian is Nick ‘honey badger’ Cummins? Are you head over biscuit to find out? Or maybe you’re as mad as a tree full of galahs.

Image: Honey badger, by Jaganath, CC-BY-S.A-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This month marks the 100th birthday of Billy Eckstine, who was born William Clarence Eckstein in Pittsburgh, PA on 8 July 1914. Eckstine’s musical career was a short but influential one. Below are five facts about the man known as “Mr. B”:

  1. It was obvious that Mr. B had a gift for singing from early on – he started when he was just seven years old – but vocals were not his only talent. While in his first band with Earl Hines, he learned to play the trumpet while their first tour was in progress. In his later career, Eckstine was known to dance and do impressions as well as sing.
  2. Eckstine was something of a jazz mentor. During his time in Hines’s band, he enlisted then-newcomers Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan, to name a few. Eckstine continued to recruit up-and-coming jazz musicians when he later had his own band.
  3. He was the most popular vocalist in the country from 1949-1950, an achievement that got him both a photo spread in Life magazine and a five-year contract with MGM.
  4. Eckstine traversed genres during his career. While he got his start as a jazz singer and bop band leader, he recorded ballads with MGM like “Everything I Have Is Yours” and “Fools Rush In.”
  5. Although Eckstine did not enjoy the popularity he had in the 1940s as the decade turned, he continued to perform and even recorded for Motown during the 1960s.

More information on Billy Eckstine and other jazz greats is available on Grove Music and Oxford Reference.

(Source: Spotify)