Formed in the late 1970s in Coventry, England - The Selecter was one of the early acts to sign to 2 Tone Records, home to Madness, The Beat and The Specials. They became an integral part of the emerging ska scene, setting themselves apart from the pack by being one of the only female fronted ska bands. Led by the fashionable and talented Pauline Black, The Selecter released a number of seminal singles on 2 Tone including “On My Radio,” “Three Minute Hero,” and “Missing Words.” A couple of these songs made it on their 1980 debut LP, Too Much Pressure, which charted in the Top 5 in the UK.
On Halloween in 2010, Pauline Black and Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson celebrated the 30th anniversary of Too Much Pressure with The Selecter performing the album live at the Sinners Day Festival in Belgium. This event kicked off the current revitalized incarnation of the legendary band who has continued to write and release new music. Their latest record, String Theory, came out earlier this year.
Pauline Black was born to an Anglo-Jewish teenage mother and Nigerian father and was adopted and raised by a white middle-aged couple. She wrote about her life and experience discovering her roots in Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir.
Clare Balding is an award-winning BBC broadcaster and writer. At the London Olympics of 2012 she was proclaimed a “national treasure.'” She became the face of the BBC’s horse racing coverage in 1998, and now works across a wide range of sports. She will join us to tell tales from her new memoir, My Animals and Other Family.
John Kelly’s new book about the Irish Potato Famine is deeply researched, compelling in its details, and startling in its conclusions about the appalling decisions behind a tragedy of epic proportions.
It started in 1845 and before it was over more than one million men, women, and children would die and another two million would flee the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was the worst disasters in the nineteenth century—it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War.