Sunday, 1 July 2012

July

July already - perhaps the summer will start.

For his July song Fantasy Bob is cheating a little bit. He has chosen not a song but an album - Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July which issued in September 1980. It was his most successful album in the UK, even FB bought it, and reached number 2 in the album charts

The album has any number of fine tracks - the title is taken from the opening lyric of the song Master Blaster. 'Everyone's feelin' pretty, It's hotter than July................
Cricketers might think it only appropriate that Stevie Wonder should dedicate a song to Viv Richards. Cricket had barely featured in his work before but cricketers are never slow to welcome a convert.

But the song was actually written in tribute to Bob Marley. It makes reference to Marley's song Jammin' and to Marley himself - and there is the suggestion that it is intended as an extension of Marley's number - play them together and see what you think.

Another prominent song on the album is Happy Birthday, written to honour Martin Luther King and to campaign for King's birthday to become a national holiday in the US. This campaign was successful and the day, 15 January, became a federal holiday in 1983.
Master Blaster
Master Blaster got to number 2 in the UK singles chart in late 1980. Happy Birthday reached the same position in August 1981.

In that period the Master Blaster himself was nearing the peak of his powers. In November and December West Indies played 4 Tests in Pakistan. In 6 innings, Richards scored 364 runs at 72.80. In February and March they played another 4 Tests against England in the Caribbean, when Richards scored 340 in his 5 innings at an average of 85. West Indies were unassailable at that time and won both series.

The Bridgetown Test, in which Richards scored 182* in the second innings, was notable for the death during the night after the second day's play of coach Ken Barrington. But England played on in respect for him although they lost by a wide margin. Would this happen in these more emotionally charged days - or would the match be abandoned, as a mark of respect.

Ken Barrington-
Jammin' until the end of the day........

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