Born OTD in 1947, British journalist, author & Labour politician, Chris Mullin. As a journalist in the 80s, Chris led a campaign that resulted in the release of the Birmingham Six, victims of a miscarriage of justice. Author of four novels, including A Very British Coup: The novel that foretold the rise of Corbyn. Against the odds, former steel worker Harry Perkins has led the Labour party to a stunning victory. Now he’s going to dismantle Britain’s nuclear warheads, bring finance under public control & dismantle the media empires. But the establishment isn’t going down without a fight…

As MI5 conspires with the city and press barons to bring Perkins down, he finds himself caught up in a … More

Born OTD in 1945, Jamaican singer and songwriter, known as the leader for the reggae and ska band Toots & the Maytals, Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert. Hibbert moved to Kingston as a teenager in the early 1960s, met Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Matthias, and formed The Maytals. The Maytals became one of the more popular vocal groups in Jamaica in the 1960s, recording with producers Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, and Leslie Kong.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1940, Jamaican ska & reggae singer, songwriter, arranger, promoter, record producer & talent scout, Clancy Eccles. Eccles’s professional singing career began as a teenager, working the north-coast hotel circuit in the mid-1950s. In his late teens, he moved to Ocho Rios, where he performed at night in various shows, with artists such as The Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson and Buster Brown. He moved to Kingston in 1959, where he started his recording career. He first recorded for Coxsone Dodd, who had organised a talent show in which Eccles took part.

“..Social comment or protest had been part of the music scene since 1959 and Clancy Eccles ‘Freedom’ (a rudimentary R&B … More

Born OTD in 1842, Russian activist, zoologist, scientist, geographer, & philosopher who advocated anarcho-communism, Peter Kropotkin. The essays, initially published in the English periodical ‘The 19th Century’ between 1890 & 1896, explore the role of mutually-beneficial cooperation & reciprocity (or “mutual aid”) in the animal kingdom & human societies both past & present. It is an argument against theories of social Darwinism that emphasize competition and survival of the fittest.

Writing partly in response to Social Darwinism, Kropotkin draws on his scientific knowledge to illustrate the phenomenon of cooperation. After … More

Born OTD in 1945, Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter of dramas and screenwriter, John Banville. When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.

‘A novel in which all of his remarkable gifts come together to produce a real work of art, disquieting, beautiful, … More

Born OTD in 1928, American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist, Noam Chomsky. Profit Over People is one of the key texts explaining how the crisis facing us operates & how, through Chomsky’s analysis of resistance, we may find an escape from the closing net. Why is the Atlantic slowly filling with crude petroleum, threatening a millions-of-years-old ecological balance? Why did traders at prominent banks take high-risk gambles with the money entrusted to them by hundreds of thousands of clients around the world, expanding & leveraging their investments to the point that failure led to a global financial crisis that left millions of people jobless & hundreds of cities economically devastated?

Why would the worlds most powerful military spend ten years fighting an enemy that presents no direct threat to secure … More

Born OTD in 1857 Polish-British writer, Joseph Conrad. Writing near the peak of the British Empire, Conrad drew, among other things, on his native Poland’s national experiences and on his own experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world—including imperialism and colonialism—and that profoundly explore the human psyche.

Set in the Congo during the period of rapid colonial expansion in the 19th century, the story deals with the … More

Born OTD in 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker, William Blake. His poetry consistently embodies an attitude of rebellion against the abuse of class power as documented in David Erdman’s large study Blake: Prophet Against Empire: A Poet’s Interpretation of the History of His Own Times. Blake was concerned about senseless wars & the blighting effects of the Industrial Revolution. Much of his poetry recounts in symbolic allegory the effects of the French and American revolutions. Erdman claims Blake was disillusioned with them, believing they had simply replaced monarchy with irresponsible mercantilism and notes Blake was deeply opposed to slavery, and believes some of his poems read primarily as championing “free love” have had their anti-slavery implications short-changed.

Peter Marshall’s study draws on Blake’s complete writings, his poetry and his prose. It offers a lively and perceptive account … More

Born OTD in 1939, American singer & actress, Anna Mae Bullock, AKA Tina Turner. She began her career in 1958 as a featured singer with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, recording under the name “Little Ann” on “Boxtop.” Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue with the hit single “A Fool In Love”. The Soul of Ike & Tina Turner is the very first longplayer from Ike & Tina, including the duos debut single A Fool in Love from 1960 and three additional singles. The album was originally released in 1961 from Sue Records in America and was reissued several times from different labels, it was also re-released in it’s original format on vinyl.

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1949, Jamaican singer Marcia Griffiths. “How Marcia Griffiths came to find herself at Studio One is a story of being in the right place at the right time, although in Kingston during the 1960s, right places were plentiful as musicians of all types were springing up all around – sound systems on corner after corner, trombones & trumpets in Coxsone Dodd’s, Duke Reid’s & Leslie Kong’s studios..”

In a music world that was rougher than rough, where men took monikers of royalty and machismo like Duke and … More