Stuart Cosgrove

Falkirk Trinity Church, Falkirk.

Stuart Cosgrove

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GENERAL ADMISSION £8.80 (£8.00)

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Falkirk Storytelling Festival presents Stuart Cosgrove, live in the Faw Kirk! Stuart is a Scottish journalist, broadcaster and television executive. Originally from Perth, he was a staff writer with the black music paper Echoes, Media Editor on the NME and a feature writer for a range of newspapers and magazines. He joined Channel 4 in 1994, serving for eight years as Controller of Arts and Entertainment and then as Head of Programmes until stepping down in 2015. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympics 2012. He is also a rare soul music collector.

Harlem 69 is the third book in Stuart’s series ‘The Soul Trilogy’. In 1969, among Harlem's Rabelaisian cast of characters are bandleader King Curtis, soul singers Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway, and drug peddler Jimmy `Goldfinger' Terrell. In February a raid on tenements across New York leads to the arrest of 21 Black Panther party members and one of the most controversial trials of the era. In the summer Harlem plays host to Black Woodstock and concerts starring Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone. The world's most famous guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, a major supporter of the Black Panthers, returns to Harlem in support of their cause.

By the end of the year Harlem is gripped by a heroin pandemic and the death of a 12-year-old child sends shockwaves through the USA, leaving Harlem stigmatised as an area ravaged by crime, gangsters and a darkly vengeful drug problem.