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Thursday, 4 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #48 – 4 June 1954

Raphael Ravenscroft was born on 4 June, 1954.  He was a musician, composer and author. He played the saxophone riffs on Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit Baker Street. He said he was paid £27.50 for the session, the musician’s union rate at the time.  The song is said to have earned Rafferty £80,000 a year in royalties. 

After the success of Baker Street, Ravenscroft said his phone never stopped ringing with requests for his session skills.  He jumped from £27.50 to £5,000 per session! 

Ravenscroft worked with Gerry Rafferty on other albums and he contributed to a variety of recordings by artists such as Pink Floyd, Chris Rea, Robert Plant and Bonnie Tyler.

In 2011, he told a radio interviewer that he felt the saxophone riff on Baker Street was out of tune and flat ‘by enough of a degree that it irritates me.

Ravenscroft wrote a series of books under the banner of The Complete Saxophone Player.

Raphael Ravenscroft died at 60 on 19th October 2014.

Sources: Wikipedia and others.

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