Braindead obituarists hoaxed by Wikipedia

The veteran BBC TV composer and arranger Ronnie Hazlehurst died on Monday night. His long career at the corporation produced some of the most (irritatingly) memorable theme tunes: including The Two Ronnies, Reggie Perrin, Last Of The Summer Wine, Blankety Blank and the Morse Code theme for Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

But when his obituaries appeared yesterday, there was an odd addition to Hazlehurst’s canon. Apparently he had emerged from retirement a few years ago to co-write the song ‘Reach’, a hit for Simon “Spice Girls” Fuller’s creation S Club 7.

“There could only be one source for this,” suggests Shaun Rolph, who tipped us off.

And yes – you can probably guess what it is:

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“The biggest attempt at recording theft ever attempted”

The husband of the late classical pianist Joyce Hatto has apparently admitted to “doctoring” sound recordings issued on his own record label.

William Barrington-Coupe issued over 100 CDs of his wife, who hadn’t performed in public for 30 years, on his label Concert Artists Recordings. Recently Hatto, who died last year, had been rediscovered to great critical acclaim.

However, sound analysis commissioned by Gramophone magazine revealed very strong evidence that the CDs issued under her name were actually the clumsily-manipulated recordings of other performers.

Audio expert and sound restorer Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio told us last week it was “the biggest attempt at recording theft ever attempted”.
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'Hoax' stuns classical music world

Joyce Hatto

Gramophone magazine has unearthed what one sound recording expert describes as “the biggest attempt at recording theft ever.”

Thanks to the internet, the formerly obscure British classical pianist Joyce Hatto had become a critical favorite shortly before her death last year.

In 2005, the Boston Globe described her as “the greatest living pianist that almost no one has heard of”.

The Guardian‘s music critic Jeremy Nicholas called the recordings “the most extraordinary recordings I have ever heard.”

“Best of all is her musical imagination, which finds original things to say about the most familiar music,” wrote a thrilled Globe critic.

The problem is, experts who have analysed her recordings say, is that they’re not original at all.
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Wikipedia defends reality against Stephen Colbert

TV wit Stephen Colbert has had more fun at the expense of Wikipedia with another deeply ironic prank.

Last year Colbert satirized the project’s dependence on the consensus theory of truth – which for Wikipedians is a feature, not a bug. The project’s guideline “WP:V” states, “The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth” [their emphasis] – and in practice this means that if you can can find a source on the notoriously reliable truth machine called the internet, then cobble up enough votes to support a notion, you win!

On his show The Colbert Report, the comedian seized on news that Microsoft had paid a contractor to fiddle with an entry about open source file formats.

There’s a transcript below to save you wrestling with the Comedy Channel’s user-unfriendly video player, but in short, Colbert urged viewers to amend the entry for “Reality” to read “Reality Has Become A Commodity”.

Viewers obliged, forcing Wikipedia’s version of Reality to be locked down, with administrators – quite wisely – warning of the damage that Californians could do to reality.

Here’s Colbert’s report.
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