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Ma Rainey

"Ma" Rainey was one of the earliest African-American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of blues singers to record. She was billed as the "Mother of the Blues", she began performing as a teenager and became known as Ma Rainey after her marriage to Will Rainey, in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and formed their own group and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues, her first recording was made in 1923. In the next five years, she made over 100 recordings, including "Bo-Weevil Blues", "Moonshine Blues", "See See Rider Blues", "Black Bottom", "Soon This Morning". Rainey was known for her powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, a "moaning" style of singing, her qualities are present and most evident in her early recordings "Bo-Weevil Blues" and "Moonshine Blues". Rainey recorded with Louis Armstrong, she toured and recorded with the Georgia Jazz Band, she continued to tour until 1935, when she went to live in her hometown. Pridgett claimed to have been born on April 1886, in Columbus, Georgia.

However, the 1900 census indicates she was born in September 1882 in Alabama, researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc suggest that her birthplace was in Russell County, Alabama. She was the second of five children of Ella Pridgett, from Alabama, she had at least two brothers and a sister, with whom Gertrude was confused by some writers. She began her career as a performer at a talent show in Columbus, when she was about 12 to 14 years old. A member of the First African Baptist Church, she began performing in black minstrel shows, she claimed that she was first exposed to blues music around 1902. She formed the Alabama Fun Makers Company with her husband, Will Rainey, but in 1906 they both joined Pat Chappelle's much larger and more popular Rabbit's Foot Company, in which they were billed together as "Black Face Song and Dance Comedians, Jubilee Singers Cake Walkers". In 1910, she was described as "Mrs. Gertrude Rainey, our coon shouter", she continued with the Rabbit's Foot Company after it was taken over by a new owner, F. S. Wolcott, in 1912.

Beginning in 1914, the Raineys were billed as Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Wintering in New Orleans, she met numerous musicians, including Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Pops Foster; as the popularity of blues music increased, she became well known. Around this time, she met Bessie Smith, a young blues singer, making a name for herself. A story developed that Rainey kidnapped Smith, forced her to join the Rabbit's Foot Minstrels, taught her to sing the blues. From the late 1910s, there was an increasing demand for recordings by black musicians. In 1920, Mamie Smith was the first black woman to be recorded. In 1923, Rainey was discovered by Paramount Records producer J. Mayo Williams, she signed a recording contract with Paramount, in December she made her first eight recordings in Chicago, including "Bad Luck Blues", "Bo-Weevil Blues" and "Moonshine Blues". She made more than 100 other recordings over the next five years, which brought her fame beyond the South. Paramount marketed her extensively, calling her the "Mother of the Blues", the "Songbird of the South", the "Gold-Neck Woman of the Blues" and the "Paramount Wildcat".

In 1924 she made some recordings with Louis Armstrong, including "Jelly Bean Blues", "Countin' the Blues" and "See, See Rider". In the same year she embarked on a tour of the Theater Owners Booking Association in the South and Midwest of the United States, singing for black and white audiences, she was accompanied by the bandleader and pianist Thomas Dorsey and the band he assembled, the Wildcats Jazz Band. They began their tour with an appearance in Chicago in April 1924 and continued, on and off, until 1928. Dorsey left the group in 1926 because of ill health and was replaced as pianist by Lillian Hardaway Henderson, the wife of Rainey's cornetist Fuller Henderson, who became the band's leader. Although most of Rainey's songs that mention sexuality refer to love affairs with men, some of her lyrics contain references to lesbianism or bisexuality, such as the 1928 song "Prove It on Me":They said I do it, ain't nobody caught me. Sure got to prove it on me. Went out last night with a crowd of my friends.

They must've been women,'cause I don't like no men. According to the website queerculturalcenter.org, the lyrics refer to an incident in 1925 in which Rainey was "arrested for taking part in an orgy at home involving women in her chorus." "Prove It on Me" further alludes to presumed lesbian behavior: "It's true I wear a collar and a tie... Talk to the gals just like any old man." The political activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis noted that "'Prove It on Me' is a cultural precursor to the lesbian cultural movement of the 1970s, which began to crystallize around the performance and recording of lesbian-affirming songs."Towards the end of the 1920s, live vaudeville went into decline, being replaced by radio and recordings. Rainey's career was not affected. In 1928, she worked with Dorsey again and recorded 20 songs, before Paramount terminated her contract, her style of blues was no longer considered fashionable by the label. In 1935, Rainey returned to her hometown, Georgia, where she ran three theatres, the Lyric, the Airdrome, the Liberty Theatre until her death.

She died of a heart attack in 1939, at the age of 53 (or 57, according to the rese

Cochin Harbour Terminus

Cochin Harbour Terminus is one of the railway stations in the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. It is located on the Willingdon Island; the Cochin Harbour Terminus is the principal station providing rail connectivity to the southern segment of the Port of Kochi located on the Willingdon Island.. And hence it handles goods transport in and out of the Kochi Port. Cochin Harbour Terminus railway station is not in use after the commissioning of Vallarpadam container terminus; the station is now locked and all the trains to this station from Ernakulam Junction were stopped in 2013. This station is under renovation for the suburban rail networks in Kochi. Cochin harbour terminus is located on the Bristow Road in the Willingdon Kochi; the station is an easy way to access the Willingdon island in Kochi,which is difficult to reach for those outside the city. Cochin Harbour Terminus railway station was built for handling the cargo from Cochin Harbour. A port is never complete without a railway line.

Earlier the trains came only up till the Ernakulam Terminus. The station had a metre gauge line to Shoranur; this had to be converted to broad gauge to connect it to rest of India. The new broad gauge line would pass through Ernakulam into Willingdon Island. Many different routes were studied and new stations were planned, built along the way; these were Ernakulam Town, Ernakulam Jn, Mattancherry Halt and Cochin Harbour Terminus. More than the passenger traffic, freight traffic was anticipated; the huge Venduruthy Bridge had to be built to connect Willingdon Island with the mainland. The road bridge across Vembanad Lake was sanctioned and the engineers submitted their plan for a rail bridge alongside the road bridge and it was approved in 1936. Construction work started immediately and was completed in 1938. Freight TrafficTea, coir and other export consignments came here by wagonloads from the harbour, to be loaded to distant destinations across the world, its strategic location made it a strong revenue-pulling base for freight traffic.

A separate Coal Berth had to be built next to the wharf to cater to the terminus's constant demand for fuel. A station named Cochin Berth Station was constructed near Cochin port so that trains from Cochin Harbour Terminus railway station will come there to offload passengers and freight directly to the ships waiting on the side; this station is less than 10 metres from the water. There was a 60-ton railway weigh bridge in the railway station which used to weigh tea that arrived from Mettupalayam by Tea Garden Express; the 1980s saw significant growth in freight traffic from the station. A new container yard was built and storage facilities for ammonia and coal were started near the station. Passenger TrafficThe passenger trains became operational from the station in 1943 with the introduction of Cochin-Shornur Junction passenger; this train had the same schedule till it skipped the station, with a service each in the morning and evening. The introduction of the Madras-Cochin Express in 1944 that had through coaches to Bangalore and Bombay elevated the status of this station.

Being the British Raj era, these trains had separate coaches for privileged travellers. Around the same time another ride, which added a lot of charm was the Ooty-Cochin Tea Garden Express set off from this terminus; the Island Express named after Willingdon Island started in the 1960s. A train to Chennai, leaving Cochin in the afternoon was introduced later. An important landmark in the history of this terminus was in 1961 when the first diesel train was flagged of by the Railway Minister, when many other parts of India still ran on steam. By this time this railway station had become a major focal point for cargo movement; the next two decades witnessed more trains chugging off from this terminus. A second train to Madras set forth. With the opening of this station many other trains like the Jayanthi Janatha,Netravathi, Rajkot, Bilaspur Expresses commenced operations; this terminus was directly linked to all the remote destinations of India. Around 16 trains started from this station during the peak time of operation.

There are various reasons which can be attributed to the downfall of Cochin Harbour Terminus Station. Shifting of Base stationCochin Harbour Terminus railway station suffered a major setback in 1978, when Thiruvananthapuram was selected over Kochi as the base station of Southern India Railways, in spite of protests and uproar in the Parliament, contributed to the sidelining of this station. Opening of new stations Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam TownAs the new stations Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town were inaugurated most of the passenger trains were diverted to these stations and there by passenger patronage decreased. Rail Link extensions to Trivandrum and AlappuzhaAs the rail link connecting to Trivandrum Central via Kottayam and Ernakulam-Kayamkulam coastal railway line via Alappuzha was completed many trains were diverted from Cochin Harbour Terminus to Trivandrum Central. Remaining trains has been diverted to Ernakulam Junction also; the shifting of train routes started in 1991, when the Cochin-Madras Express, was extended to Alappuzha.

Objection of Navy in electrification of lineIn 1996 the Railways charted out the electrification route and decided to make this terminus the focal point. But the Navy and the Civil Aviation Department objected due to the risk

Kawasaki Tomcat ZX-10

The Ninja ZX-10 was a sport motorcycle manufactured by Kawasaki Motorcycles between 1988 and 1990, part of the Kawasaki Ninja line. With a top speed of 165 miles per hour, it was the fastest production motorcycle in 1988; the ZX-10 replaced the GPZ1000RX as the flagship sportbike from Kawasaki. The engine was designed after its predecessor's, with the same displacement but 36 mm semi-downdraft CV carburetors and a narrower valve angle. Engine internals were altered: Compression ratio was raised to 11.0:1. It had a design which has since become standard. Aerodynamics were claimed to be better than the outgoing model's. Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, a Ninja sportbike produced starting in 2004 Media related to Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10 at Wikimedia Commons