Friday, January 25, 2008

Viscount Severn In Allergy Scare


James, Viscount Severn, infant son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Queen's eighth grandchild, was rushed to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital Thursday following what was first described as "a mystery illness". This was later clarified to be an allergic reaction, which nonetheless necessitated an overnight stay for both mother and son and a visit by the Earl himself. It was business as usual Friday for the Earl, who attended engagements in the Midlands and was kept apprised of his son's condition while there via mobile.

A Palace spokesperson described the tests as "routine", stating that if it had been an emergency the five-week-old child would have been taken to the local hospital (where he was born, in December 2007) near where the Wessexes live, at Bagshot Park in Surrey.
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"Take It To The Limit" by Etta James

If there's one thing Etta James knows all about it, it's taking things to the limit; for more than fifty years she's been honing her own variety of soul that's been rubbed raw by losses in love, in a record industry that treats women badly and black women even worse.

Born on this day seventy years ago in Los Angeles, while still a teenager James formed a doo-wop group called The Peaches, who got their big break auditioning for producer Johnny Otis. Their first single - The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry) - was released in 1955 as an answer song to Hank Ballard's Work With Me, Annie; James would have to wait six more years to strike gold on her own, and when she did she struck a very rich vein indeed.

Her performance in At Last, inspired by her love for her new husband Harvey Fuqua, remains her signature tune to this day; having attained the penultimate position on the R&B charts, it made it all the way to 22 on the pop charts - far enough to guarantee play at countless sock hops, thus embedding it into the hearts of white and black kids alike.

It was followed by such hits as Trust In Me, A Sunday Kind of Love, and my personal favourite Tough Mary. Interest in James' career revived when her songs began showing up in television commercials in the mid-1990s, striking a sentimental chord in the generation who grew up listening to them and endearing her to a whole new audience at the same time.
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