Monday, June 14, 2010

Today's Musical Birthdays

I don't put much stock in astrology, but it seems that June 14 was a fortuitous day for the musically inclined.

Burl Ives (1909 - 1995)

Actor and folk singer best remembered as the voice of Sam the Snowman in the Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Cy Coleman (1929 - 2004)

Award winning (five Tonys, three Emmys and two Grammys) songwriter, composer and jazz pianist. As child prodigy he played Carnegie Hall before the age of nine. He moved to jazz, forming his own trio and then to Broadway where his shows include Sweet Charity, Barnum, The Will Rogers Follies, and On the Twentieth Century. Along the way he penned a number of classics including If My Friends Could See Me Now, Hey Big Spender, Witchcraft, and The Best Is Yet to Come.

Here he is performing Witchcraft on an episode of Playboy's Penthouse from 1959. Was this guy cool as ice or what?

Junior Walker (1931 - 1995)

With his group the All Stars, Walker had a string of top 10 hits for Motown in the 60's and 70's featuring his cool tenor sax and raspy vocals. Here he is performing his 1965 breakout hit, Shotgun.

Rod Argent (1945)

Rock musician (keyboard, piano and vocals) and founding member of the 1960's British rock group The Zombies and the 1970's band Argent. Here are Argent (pictured above far left) and The Zombies performing their 1964 debut single She's Not There.

George O'Dowd (1961)

O'Dowd is better known as the singer/songwriter Boy George of Culture Club fame. Here's why I love the 80s -with performers like Boy George around, it was never dull. Here's Culture Club performing their 1982 breakout hit, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?

Lorenzo Jerald Paterson (1969)

Patterson is best know to fans of Hip Hop as MC Ren, one of the founding members of the seminal gangsta rap group N.W.A.