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George’s Journal’s fourth birthday party: forty years of undeniable legends (1950-89)

March 16, 2014

paul_mccartney_and_mick_jagger_1967_share_a_train_carriage_golden

(Summer of ) Love train? a collision of legendary ’60s rock royalty as Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger share a railway carriage aboard a train leaving London’s Euston Station in 1967 

So, how was the birthday cake yesterday, peeps? Must say, you really are a greedy bunch. Not only have you scoffed all that sponge, raspberry jam, cream and icing, but I get the feeling you’d like more post-related birthday party shenanigans, wouldn’t you? Just as well then I’ve another dose of pictorial near-perfection up my virtual sleeve, for here comes the second of two posts celebrating this blog’s fourth anniversary (which it’s actually celebrating this very day, don’cha know).

So, folks, following on from yesterday’s ‘Talent’-tastic offering, today’s is an image-based bumper collection of ‘Legends‘ from across this nook of the Internet’s favoured four decades past. Whether they represent the fields of film, TV, music, sport or unrivalled human achievement, the legends of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s are all here. Oh yes. So, let’s, each and every one of us, crack out the brandy and toast the great men of lore – oh, and George’s Journal, of course…

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CLICK on the images for full-size

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1950 ~ Nat King Cole

Making this year his by: recording one of his career-defining tunes Mona Lisa, which will top the US charts for a full four weeks and win the Oscar for Best Original Song (after appearing in the film Captain Carey, USA)

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nat_king_cole_1950_photographed_by_eliot_elisofon

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.1951 ~ Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers
and Harry Secombe

Making this year theirs by: revolutionising comedy for all-time by coming up with the first season of the nation-gripping BBC radio programme The Goon Show (1951-60)

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1952 ~ Richard Burton

Making this year his by: unleashing his immense talent on America by making his Hollywood debut in – and winning the first of his seven Oscar nominations for – My Cousin Rachel 

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1953 ~ Edmund Hillary

Making this year his by: becoming the first human being to make it to the summit of Mount Everest, along with Nepalese sherpa extraordinaire Tenzing Norgay; he will devote much of the rest of his life to improving the lives of the Sherpa people through the Himalayan Trust

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1954 ~ Frank Sinatra

Making this year his by: resurrecting his career by winning an Oscar for his role in From Here To Eternity (1953) and bouncing back to the top of the charts with his first two albums for Capitol Records, Songs For Young Lovers and Swing Easy!

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Pal Joey (1957) Directed by George Sidney Shown: Frank Sinatra

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1955 ~ Marlon Brando

Making this year his by: winning the first of his two Oscars (the one he didn’t turn down) and changing film acting forever thanks to a powerhouse performance in Elia Kazan’s blistering On The Waterfront (1954)

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1956 ~ Elvis Presley

Making this year his by: becoming rock ‘n’ roll’s de facto leader thanks to his unforgettable first national TV appearances, eponymous debut album and sensational singles Heartbreak HotelBlue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and Love Me Tender

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People - Elvis Presley 1956 by Roger Marshutz

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1957 ~ Jack Kerouac

Making this year his by: having his debut novel On The Road (written in 1951) finally published, immediately catapulting him to the head of the ‘Beat Generation’ pack

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1958 ~ David Niven

Making this year his by: confirming himself as the ultimate English-gent-Hollywood-insider by following up his turn as Phileas Fogg in Around The World In 80 Days (1956) with an Oscar-winning performance in Separate Tables

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1959 ~ Cary Grant

Making this year his by: providing the perfectly urbane yet somehow also everyman-in-peril heroic lead to Alfred Hitchcock’s adventure masterpiece North By Northwest

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1960 ~ John F Kennedy

Making this year his by: becoming the 35th – and youngest ever elected – President of the United States

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1961 ~ Peter Cook, Dudley Moore,
Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller

Making this year theirs by: setting The Establishment in their sights and ushering in a dynamic, devastating era of satire as they take their Beyond The Fringe revue to the West End

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NPG x27384; Beyond the Fringe (Peter Cook; Jonathan Miller; Dudley Moore; Alan Bennett) by Lewis Morley

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1962 ~ Peter O’Toole

Making this year his by: becoming an instant global star via a perfectly nuanced lead performance in the awesome Lawrence Of Arabia

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1963 ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Making this year his by: leading the ‘March on Washington’ and delivering his extraordinary ‘I have a dream’ speech, thereby giving the civil rights movement a momentous leap forward

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1964 ~ Sean Connery

Making this year his by: redefining cool by sporting that white tuxedo jacket and red carnation as very special secret agent 007 in the utterly iconic Goldfinger   

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1965 ~ Bob Dylan

Making this year his by: ruffling feathers throughout the folk scene by going electric, but inspiring an entire generation by releasing the albums Bringing It Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited and the singles The Times They Are A-Changin’, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Like A Rolling Stone and Positively 4th Street 

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1966 ~ The Beatles

Making this year theirs by: recording their (and the world’s?) best ever album Revolver, while looking like the coolest people ever to have walked the Earth

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1967 ~ Sidney Poitier

Making this year his by: headlining the trio of blockbusters Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, In The Heat Of The Night and To Sir, With Love, making him the year’s #1 box-office star

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1968 ~ George Best

Making this year his by: consolidating his reputation as ‘The Fifth Beatle’ by proving the catalyst in Manchester United winning football’s European Cup – the first English club to do so

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1969 ~ Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin
and Michael Collins

Making this year theirs by: going to The Moon. And, in the case of Armstrong and then Aldrin, becoming the first peeps ever to set foot and walk on it

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1970 ~ Pelé

Making this year his by: displaying dazzling display after dazzling display in Mexico’s World Cup for the incredible Brazil, whom keep the trophy after winning it a record third time

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1971 ~ Steve McQueen

Making this year his by: confirming his ‘King of Cool’ credentials by following up racing car drama Le Mans (1971) by filming visceral thriller The Getaway (1972) with girlfriend Ali McGraw

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1972 ~ The Rolling Stones

Making this year theirs by: becoming tax exiles in Southern France but turning out their career masterpiece, the album Let It Bleed

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1973 ~ David Bowie

Making this year his by: leading glam rock to dizzying heights with his Ziggy Stardust alter ego and the sensational Spiders From Mars album

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1974 ~ Muhammad Ali

Making this year his by: regaining boxing’s World Heavyweight title for an astonishing fourth time by beating George Foreman in perhaps the sporting event of the decade, Zaire’s ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’

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1975 ~ Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford,
Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein

Making this year theirs by: the two Hollywood stars making the world aware, via the brilliant All The President’s Men, just how the ace Washington Post journos’ investigating precipitated the Watergate scandal

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1976 ~ James Hunt

Making this year his by: leading an enviable jet-setting playboy lifestyle while somehow becoming the Formula 1 World Champion with race team McLaren

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1977 ~ Roger Moore

Making this year his by: irresistibly embossing the Sir Rog brand all over his favourite Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, ensuring summer ’77 truly was the season of 007

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1978 ~ Morecambe and Wise

Making this year theirs by: riding the crest of the wave generated by their 1977 Christmas special attracting an audience of 28 million across Blighty – and following it up in this year’s by (despite moving from the Beeb to ITV) featuring and sending up recently stepped-down PM Harold Wilson

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1979 ~ Tom Baker

Making this year his by: confirming his status as ‘the master’ of all Docs by seeing his City Of Death serial of Doctor Who (1963-present) attract 16 million Saturday teatime viewers

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1980 ~ Robert De Niro

Making this year his by: delivering an utterly knock-out, Oscar-winning performance as boxing hero-to-zero Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull

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1981 ~ John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg

Making this year theirs by: ensuring their rivalry reaches its zenith in a climactic encounter in the Wimbledon tennis final – which saw the outspoken New Yorker (immortalising his ‘You can’t be serious!’ exclamation at this tournament) finally defeat the ice-cool Swede

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1982 ~ Harrison Ford

Making this year his by: completing an incredible three-year-hat-trick by following up The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) with lead duties in Ridley Scott’s ingenious sci-fi noir Blade Runner (1982)

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1983 ~ Michael Caine

Making this year his by: putting one too many box-office bombs behind him by going on to win a BAFTA and getting Oscar-nominated for maybe his best ever performance in the brilliant class-improvement-themed comedy drama Educating Rita

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Michael Caine, London, 1973

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1984 ~ Daley Thompson

Making this year his by: superbly winning back-to-back Olympic decathlon gold medals in Los Angeles, then winding up Brit traditionalists by whistling God Save The Queen on the podium but charming the socks off everyone else

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1985 ~ Michael J Fox

Making this year his by: starring in both the #1 movie at the box office and the #1 show on US TV – that’d be, respectively, Back To The Future and Family Ties (1982-89) then

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1986 ~ Freddie Mercury

Making this year his by: following up a sensational set that made 1984’s phenomenal trans-Atlantic Live Aid rock/ pop event in aid of Ethiopian famine relief with another sell-out but Queen-only gig at Wembley stadium

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1987 ~ Paul Newman

Making this year his by: earning himself a Best Actor Oscar thanks to hitting the green beize again as ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson (from 1961’s The Hustler) in Scorsese’s The Color Of Money

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The Color Of Money

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1988 ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

Making this year his by: launching Glastnost, his programme of increased openness throughout the Soviet Union, thus taking a decisive step towards ending the Cold War (and dismantling the nation of which he’s premier)

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1989 ~ Frank Bruno

Making this year his by: going toe-to-toe in the ring with World Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and thus becoming a British national hero – before appearing in panto

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