Albums of the year: Rock, folk and Americana

I was not chuffed to be asked to review Elton John's joint effort with Leon Russell The Union, not having liked John since Honky Château. Glad I said yes, though. Unexpected pleasure is the most ardent of all the joys. Then, in a good year for venerable pianists, Jerry Lee Lewis's people stirred themselves to rope in a few young things to help The Killer rock the living daylights out of his dying embers for Mean Old Man.

Blues: When Santa Claus wants some lovin'

Never mind mistletoe and wine. It's sex and sadness that made the blues singers' seasonal songs so potent

George David Weiss: Songwriter who worked with Elvis Presley and wrote ‘What A Wonderful World’

Following his Las Vegas comeback in 1969, Elvis Presley made hundreds of concert appearances during the last eight years of his life. He had a wide repertoire but every concert ended the same way. With every ounce of energy and often with his cape outstretched, he would belt out "Can't Help Falling In Love", written by George David Weiss with the production team, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore (known as Hugo and Luigi).

Album: Jimi Hendrix, West Coast Seattle Boy (Sony Legacy/Experience Hendrix)

This is a far less satisfactory vault-rummaging exercise than Springsteen's, begging questions about whether Hendrix himself would really have appreciated the release of rough demo versions of things like "1983... (A Merman I Shall Turn to Be)" and Dylan's "Tears of Rage".

Elvis's will among memorabilia to go under hammer



Memorabilia belonging to Elvis Presley is to go under the hammer, it was announced today.

Chilean miner rises to the challenge of New York Marathon

Edison Pena knows a thing or two about marathons, having survived 69 days trapped deep underneath Chile's Atacama Desert. But he discovered yesterday that negotiating 26.2 miles of Manhattan's streets can also be a long, hard slog.

Life, By Keith Richards with James Fox

Afterlife" might have been the working title for Keith Richards' autobiography, given the regularity with which commentators have predicted his demise. As early as 1973, when he was only 30, New Musical Express drew up a list of the top ten rock stars most likely to snuff it. Keith was at the top. "That was the only chart on which I was Number One for 10 years in a row," he writes ruefully. "I was kind of proud of that position. I was really disappointed when I went down [to number 9.] Oh my God, it's over."

James Neal: Lawyer who put Jimmy Hoffa in jail and prosecuted the perpetrators of the Watergate cover-up

James Neal, a stocky, cigar-chomping ex-Marine, won victories on both sides of the courtroom and was involved in some of America's biggest legal battles. He successfully prosecuted the Teamsters' boss Jimmy Hoffa, as well as key Nixon administration officials for conspiracy during the Watergate scandal. He also acted for the defence for the film-maker John Landis and in the Ford Pinto and Exxon Valdez cases.

Life in the mine for one of 'Los 33'

Extraordinary photographs reveal the routine that kept Edison Peña going during his 69 days underground

Duane Eddy, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, Clapham Grand, London

King of Twang and his pals raise the roof with some of that old Tennessee spirit

Album: Jerry Lee Lewis, Mean Old Man (Verve)

The voice is frail but you can still hear the braggart in it. That's authenticity for you.

No more music from the quilted generation

Old rockers should hang up their leather trousers while their reputation and their dignity are still intact, says Andy Gill

Bill Porter: Recording engineer who helped shape the Nashville Sound

Visiting RCA Studio B in Nashville can be an eerie experience because the place has changed so little since the early 1960s, when the American sound engineer Bill Porter recorded 150 tracks by Elvis Presley, including the Transatlantic chart-toppers "It's Now or Never", "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", "Surrender" and "Good Luck Charm" on a then state-of-the-art three-track machine.

Great Balls of Fire! Jerry Lee Lewis rocks again at 75

The original wild boy of 50s music – he had six wives, including his 13-year-old cousin – returns to the studio to cut a new album.
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
Sport
football
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker