The best music of 2012: Americana

“There is,” wrote Cyril Connolly as long ago as 1938, “no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.” And that was in the days before CBeebies. So what music found its way into my ears and heart this year in spite of the intrusion of the Rastamouse theme song?

Zig Ziglar: Motivational speaker

Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker whose "Success Rallies" and "Born to Win" seminars, more than 25 self-help books and countless audiotapes attracted millions of followers with advice on career advancement and moral uplift. He won over crowds with his faith-filled proverbs and earnest metaphors about setting goals and facing adversity. "If you're going to have to swallow a frog," he would say, "you don't want to have to look at that sucker too long!" Or: "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want!"

More headlines

Gingrich refuses to step aside despite Santorum victories

Newt Gingrich was yesterday resisting growing demands to drop out of the Republican presidential race and allow his surging fellow conservative Rick Santorum an unimpeded shot at wresting the nomination from the faltering frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum wins crucial primaries in the deep south

Rick Santorum scored an upset double primary triumph in the deep south last night, guaranteeing that the Republican presidential race will drag on for weeks if not months yet. His victories in Alabama and Mississippi deliver a fresh jolt to the limping front runner Mitt Romney, and raise pressure on Newt Gingrich, his rival for the conservative vote, to drop out and thus set up a one-on-one Santorum-Romney battle for the Republican nomination to face president Obama in the autumn.