21 August

Theft Makes Mona Lisa's Name

Mona Lisa

So we are drinking a...

Mona Lisa

For all her famous smile, and for all Da Vinci's talents, it is intriguing that the Mona Lisa has become the world's most famous artwork.

It was on this day in 1911 that her status became assured, when Vincenzo Peruggia crept out of a broom closet in Paris's Louvre museum, unhooked the painting and carried it out under his clothes. The ensuing furore made the artwork globally famous, and by the time a Florence art dealer reported Peruggia, the Mona Lisa was an icon. A splendid excuse, we think, to enjoy a long and fruity Mona Lisa.

Today is also Count Basie's birthday

If you've listened to big band jazz, or swing, you've likely listened to Count Basie and his orchestra, or one of a myriad groups that Count Basie influenced.

One of jazz music's all-time greats, Basie brought the sound of the Jazz Age and Harlem to generations of listeners, played with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Sinatra, and left a legacy of tens upon tens of recordings.

He was born on this day in 1904, to a handyman father and a laundry-lady mother, in Red Bank, a small town in New Jersey. We're celebrating his anniversary with The Harlem, quite possibly created at Harlem's Cotton Club, where Basie, like other jazz greats, played. Cheers!

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