Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birthday Bios from 1907 to 1954...

If you've ever sung "God Bless America" a few octaves higher than you should, then you're imitating Kate Smith, one of the most popular singers of the '20s and '30s. She is born today in Greenville, Ala.

Popular country artist Sonny James is born in Hackleburg, Ala., today. His biggest pop hit was the 1957 No. 1 "Young Love."

Little Walter is generally considered the best of the post-war blues harmonica players, reason enough to celebrate his birthday. He is born Marion Walter Jacobs in Marksville, La. Duane Allman, Fleetwood Mac, and Mike Bloomfield have covered his songs.

R&B singer/songwriter Titus Turner is born in Atlanta. His compositions, such as "Leave My Kitten Alone," have been covered by artists including the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Elvis Costello.

Judy Collins is born in Seattle. She was one of folk music's most recognizable faces in the early '60s. A gifted interpretor, she was one of the first artists to cut songs by Joni Mitchell. Her string of discs on the Elektra label bridge the span between folk and adult pop. 

Rita Coolidge, who toured with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen ensemble, and cut several duet discs with husband Kris Kristofferson, is born in Nashville.

Avant-garde musician Tim Hodgkinson is born. He's added sax to albums by cult concerns Henry Cow and Peter Blegvad.

Ray Parker Jr., who wrote and sang "Ghostbusters," is born today. 

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