Ray Conniff

Joseph Raymond Conniff was an American bandleader and arranger best known for his Ray Conniff Singers during the 1960s. Conniff was born in Attleboro, United States, learned to play the trombone from his father, he studied music arranging from a course book. After serving in the U. S. Army in World War II, he wrote many arrangements for him. After his stint with Shaw, he was hired by Mitch Miller in 1954 head of A&R at Columbia Records, as their home arranger, working with several artists including Rosemary Clooney, Marty Robbins, Frankie Laine, Johnny Mathis, Guy Mitchell and Johnnie Ray, he wrote a top 10 arrangement for Don Cherry's "Band of Gold" in 1955, a single that sold more than a million copies. Among the hit singles he backed with his orchestra were "Yes Tonight Josephine" and "Just Walkin' in the Rain" by Johnnie Ray, he backed up the albums Tony by Tony Bennett, Blue Swing by Eileen Rodgers, Swingin' for Two by Don Cherry, half the tracks of The Big Beat by Johnnie Ray. In these early years he produced similar-sounding records for Columbia's Epic label under the name of Jay Raye among them a backing album and singles with Somethin' Smith and the Redheads, an American male vocal group.

Between 1957-68, Conniff had 28 albums in the American Top 40, the most famous one being Somewhere My Love. He topped the album list in Britain in 1969 with His Orchestra, His Chorus, His Singers, His Sound, an album, published to promote his European tour in 1969, he was the first American popular artist to record in Russia—in 1974 he recorded Ray Conniff in Moscow with the help of a local choir. His albums like Exclusivamente Latino, Amor Amor, Latinisimo made him popular in Latin-American countries more so after performing in the Viña del Mar International Song Festival. In Brazil and Chile he was treated like a young pop superstar in the 1980s and 1990s when he was in his seventies and eighties, he played live with his orchestra and eight-person chorus in large football stadiums as well as in Viña del Mar. Conniff commented, "One time I was recording an album with Mitch Miller - we had a big band and a small choir. I decided to have the choir sing along with the big band using wordless lyrics.

The women were doubled with the trumpets and the men were doubled with the trombones. In the booth Mitch was surprised and excited at how well it worked." Because of the success of his backing arrangements, the new sound Conniff created, Miller allowed him to make his own record, this became the successful ’s Wonderful!, a collection of standards that were recorded with an orchestra and a wordless singing chorus. He released many more albums in the same vein, including ’s Marvelous, ’s Awful Nice, Concert in Rhythm, Broadway in Rhythm, Hollywood in Rhythm, Concert in Rhythm, Vol. II, Say It With Music, Memories Are Made of This, ’s Continental, his second album was Dance the Bop!. It was an experiment by one of the brass at Columbia to cash in on a conceived dance step creation, but from the outset, Conniff disliked it; when it sold poorly, he had it withdrawn from the market. In 1959, he released the album It's the Talk of the Town; this group brought him the biggest hit he had in his career: Somewhere My Love.

The lyrics of the album's title selection were written to the music of "Lara's Theme" from the film Doctor Zhivago, the result was a top 10 single in the US. The album reached the US top 20 and went platinum, Conniff won a Grammy; the single and album reached high positions in the international charts, while the first of four Christmas albums by the Singers, Christmas with Conniff was successful. Nearly 50 years after its release, in 2004, Conniff was posthumously awarded a platinum album/CD. Other well-known releases by the Singers included Ray Conniff's Hawaiian album, featuring the hit song "Pearly Shells" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which included Conniff's original composition "Someone", remakes of such hits as "All I Have to Do is Dream", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "Something". Musically different highlights in Conniff's career are two albums he produced in cooperation with Billy Butterfield, an old friend from earlier swing days. Conniff Meets Butterfield featured a small rhythm group.

Both albums did not feature any vocals. Conniff recorded in New York from 1955–61, in Los Angeles from 1962 through 2000. In the 1960s he produced an average of two instrumental and one vocal album a year. In 1979, Conniff was hired to re-arrange and record a new version of "Those Were The Days" and "Remembering You", the opening and closing themes to All In The Family for Carroll O'Connor's new spin-off, Archie Bunker's Place on CBS with a small ensemble, trombone solo, honky-tonk piano. Conniff sold about 70 million albums worldwide, and

Alex Nicholls (footballer)

Alex Nicholls is an English professional footballer who plays as both a midfielder and a striker for Stourbridge. He has played for Walsall, Burton Albion, Northampton Town, Exeter City, Dundee United, Crewe Alexandra and Solihull Moors. After impressing in reserve and youth team games, Nicholls broke into Walsall's first team in the 2005–06 season, making his debut in December 2005 in a FA Cup clash with Yeovil Town. In that same season Nicholls went on to make 13 appearances which included a Football League Trophy clash with Swansea City, it was in this game that he scored his first professional goal for the club. However, his season ended prematurely as he broke his leg while playing in a youth cup tie with Hednesford Town. In 2007, Nicholls went on loan to Burton Albion, he made 14 appearances for the Brewers before returning to Walsall at the end of April. During the 2007–08 season, Nicholls played as both a right winger and a striker, making 24 appearances and scoring three goals, which included an FA Cup goal in an away replay with Millwall.

Nicholls was offered a new two-year contract by the club on 10 May 2010. He scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season against Brentford in a 2–1 victory, by scoring a well placed lob. In his final season for the club he was joint top goal scorer with 8 goals. Nicholls went on to make a total of 219 appearances for the club before leaving on a free transfer in 2012. In June 2012, Nicholls joined League Two side Northampton Town on a free transfer after his contract expired. Nicholls soon became a fans favourite at the club with his all energy displays and some vital goals, he scored 8 goals in 16 games before his season was ended prematurely when on 27 October he broke his leg after a late challenge from Port Vale defender John McCombe. On 1 September 2014, Nicholls joined Exeter City, on a one-month loan deal where he Helped them move clear of the relegation zone. Nicholls completed his permanent move to Exeter City on 5 January 2015. Nicholls played a total of 73 games for Exeter before moving to Barnet Nicholls joined Barnet on 1 July 2016.

He scored on his debut against Cambridge United on 6 August. Nicholls was loaned to Scottish Championship club Dundee United in January 2017. On 25 March 2017, Nicholls picked up a Scottish Challenge Cup winners medal when Dundee United beat St Mirren F. C. to lift the trophy at Fir Park. On 6 July 2018, Nicholls joined Crewe Alexandra on a one-year contract, and, on his first team debut on 4 August 2018, scored twice during a 6–0 win over Morecambe. At the end of the 2018-19 season, Nicholls was set to leave the club. On 23 August 2019, Nicholls joined Solihull Moors on a one-month contract. Following the expiry of his short-term contract with Solihull, Nicholls joined Stourbridge; as of match played 9 November 2019 Dundee UnitedScottish Challenge Cup Winners: 2016–17 Alex Nicholls at Soccerbase

McKamey Manor

McKamey Manor is an American haunted house attraction where "survival horror" events are performed, a pioneer of the notion of "extreme haunts". It was founded in San Diego by resident Russ McKamey and was located on his property; the house operates the tour can last up to eight hours. Guests must sign a liability waiver to participate. McKamey Manor has attracted significant controversy and media scrutiny for its use of simulated aggression and various forms of physical and psychological torture towards guests; the house permits just a handful of patrons to enter each weekend. Guests are not required to pay an entrance fee. Instead, McKamey accepts payment only in dog food for his pet dogs. At the Tennessee location, those age 18-20 with parental consent; the Alabama location is 21 and over. The tour can last from four to eight hours, no guest has made it all the way through. Despite not allowing safewords, McKamey says that guests have the option to use one that ends the experience immediately.

The house operates year-round, there is a waiting list of over 24,000 people. The newest iteration of the performance, a ten-hour experience called Desolation, offers a prize of $20,000 for successful completion, but deducts $500 from the prize for every failed challenge or use of profanity. During the tour, employees of the Manor may physically assault patrons, hit them with vibrating toys, waterboard them, force them to eat and drink unknown substances, have them bound and gagged, or engage in other forms of physical and psychological torture. One journalist, Tara West, mentions that in the communities where it occurs, the residents question how the attraction stays legal with a waiver. While there is a safe-word, one participant, Laura Hertz Brotherton, says that during her experience she repeated the safe phrase for several minutes before employees stopped torturing her, she went to a hospital for extensive injuries. Participants can be drugged during their experience. One of the volunteer guides detailed that the 40-page waiver signed by participants lists all of the possible risks endured, including pulling out their own teeth, a chance of getting a tattoo and getting fingernails pulled out.

According to an editorial by Jeff Heimbuch of HorrorBuzz, the haunt community does not consider McKamey Manor a part of traditional Halloween horror houses. The McKamey Manor facility in Summertown, Tennessee has been the subject of numerous complaints in Lawrence County. County Commissioner Scott Franks wrote about an incident in which deputies were called to the property after a neighbor saw a woman dragged screaming from a van as part of the experience, saying "Staged or not, this is something that none of us want anywhere near us." District Attorney Brent Cooper said that the program is legal because people are subjecting themselves to it voluntarily, though participants can withdraw their consent at any time according to Tennessee law. McKamey Manor was featured extensively in the 2017 documentary film Haunters: The Art of the Scare and on the Netflix original series Dark Tourist. Official website