Arts: his was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day 40 years ago jazz history was made when Miles Davis went into the studio with brief outlines of two new tracks and completed his breathtaking Kind of Blue album. And in 1744 nursery rhyme history was made with the publication of "Baa, baa black sheep", in Tommy Thumb's Song Book by Mrs Mary Cooper.

Tomorrow In 1928, long before children's television, 2,000 youngsters queued to see a film of Robinson Crusoe at the Empire, Willesden, in Britain's first regular children's matinee. The Japanese director Akira Kurosawa was born in 1910. His Seven Samurai was reincarnated as The Magnificent Seven and his Ran (to be shown on Wednesday on FilmFour) is a born-again King Lear.

Wednesday The craftsman and socialist William Morris was born, in 1834. His designs live on in curtains and wallpapers, while his wife Jane Burden lives on in the Tate's Queen Guinevere, his only oil painting.

Thursday Fifty years ago Hamlet was the first British film to win an Oscar for Best Picture, and the director, Laurence Olivier (aged 40, with dyed hair) also won an Academy Award for playing the Dane.

Friday Having had his first musical job at 11 (well, he was a late starter) Beethoven died in 1827 aged 56, not long after completing "Ode to Joy"; his funeral was a national day of mourning.

Saturday Sir Arthur Bliss died, in 1975; as well as composing Miracle in the Gorbals, he was Master of the Queen's Music, which is as badly paid a job as being Poet Laureate, but more tuneful.

Sunday Pop music got a shot in the arm, and the BBC's Light Programme a kick up the bum, in 1964 when Radio Caroline, Britain's first pirate station, began broadcasting from a boat in the Channel. Later the skull- and-crossbones DJs had unmusical encounters with a boarding-party of creditors and also with a sandbank.