Born January 19
By: Legacy Staff
12 months ago
Janis Joplin's big voice catapulted her to stardom in the 1960s with electrifying songs including "Piece of My Heart," "Me and Bobby McGee," and "Ball 'n' Chain." She achieved fame as the lead singer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, also performing as a solo artist and with the Kozmic Blues Band and the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She made a splash at the famous Monterey Pop Festival, and by the time Woodstock rolled around, she was a hippie icon, added to the bill as a headliner before she even knew of the festival's existence. Joplin could captivate an audience with her charisma, delivering unforgettable live shows. She was just 27 when she died after a short but influential career. We remember Joplin's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
1969: Junior Seau, U.S. NFL linebacker with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots, is born in San Diego, California.
He spent nearly 20 years in the NFL, earning dozens of honors before retiring after the 2009 season. Seau took his own life in 2012, and an examination of his body revealed chronic brain damage that some doctors believe drove the former linebacker to kill himself. The same type of brain damage has been found in other former NFL players, leading to concerns that the sport is endangering its players. Today, the debate over Seau, football, and brain damage continues in the courts between the players and the league. Read more
1958: Thomas Kinkade, U.S. painter whose bucolic scenes were very popular, is born in Sacramento, California.
He claimed to be the nation's most collected living artist, and his paintings and spinoff products were said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales, and to be in 10 million homes in the U.S., according to his 2012 obituary by The Associated Press. Those light-infused renderings are often displayed prominently in buildings, malls, and on products — generally depicting tranquil scenes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby. Many contain images from Bible passages. Read more
1949: Robert Palmer, English singer-songwriter whose solo hits included "Addicted to Love," who also was lead vocalist for the Power Station with hits including "Some Like It Hot," is born in Batley, England.
The singer had known success before '85 – a top-20 hit with "Every Kinda People," a Billboard year-end chart topper with "Bad Case of Loving You" – but nothing could have prepared him, or his fans, for what 1985 would bring: two platinum albums (one with the Power Station, one solo); four hot singles (with more to follow in 1986 from his year-end release "Riptide"); and a prominent entry in the annals of 1980s' pop culture with the unmistakable styling of his iconic videos. Read more
1943: Janis Joplin, U.S. singer-songwriter known for performances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, and for hits including "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Piece of My Heart," is born in Port Arthur, Texas.
She recorded three albums with Big Brother and the Holding Company, an outfit her heirs have often been at odds with. She released one record in 1969 with the Kozmic Blues Band, since reissued in 1999 with three extra tracks, and another with the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Though there have been a couple of live records and various repackagings of previously released material, since 1999 nothing new has been unearthed. Read more
1939: Phil Everly, U.S. singer who was one-half of the Everly Brothers, whose songs included "Bye Bye Love" and "Wake Up Little Susie," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
You could argue that while Elvis Presley was the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Phil and Don Everly were its troubled princes, according to Phil Everly's January 2014 obituary by The Associated Press. The brothers sang dark songs hidden behind deceptively pleasing harmonies and were perfect interpreters of the twitchy hearts of millions of baby-boomer teens coming of age in the 1950s and '60s looking to express themselves beyond the simple platitudes of the pop music of the day. Read more
1924: Nicholas Colasanto, U.S. actor known best for portraying Coach Ernie Pantusso on the TV sitcom "Cheers," is born in Providence, Rhode Island.
But don't pigeonhole her as Edith Bunker. The role was just one in the talented actress's long and diverse career. And though Stapleton appreciated the beloved character she played, she felt Edith was "submissive" and out of step with the changing times. So, after 10 years as Archie Bunker's better half, Stapleton made the decision to move on, and requested that Edith's death be written into the plot. As she explained at the time, "My identity as an actress is in jeopardy if I invested my entire career in Edith Bunker." Read more
1921: Patricia Highsmith, U.S. author whose novel "Strangers on a Train" was adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock, is born in Fort Worth, Texas.
1918: John H. Johnson, U.S. businessman and publisher who founded the Johnson Publishing Co. and magazines including Ebony, becoming the first African-American on the Forbes 400, is born in Arkansas City, Arkansas.
Born into an impoverished family in Arkansas, Johnson went into business with a $500 loan secured by his mother's furniture and built a publishing and cosmetics empire that made him one of the wealthiest and most influential black men in the United States, according to his 2005 obituary by The Associated Press. Beyond his own economic stature, Johnson broke new ground by bringing positive portrayals of blacks into a mass-market publication and encouraging corporations to use black models in advertising aimed at black consumers. Read more
1917: John Raitt, U.S. actor and singer known best for stage roles in musicals including "Carousel" and "Oklahoma!", and the father of singer Bonnie Raitt, is born in Santa Ana, California.
1839: Paul Cezanne, French post-impressionist painter who influenced Pablo Picasso and other artists, is born in Aix-en-Provence, France.
1809: Edgar Allan Poe, U.S. author known for macabre short stories and poems including "The Telltale Heart" and "The Raven," is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
Poe was a master of the macabre, penning some of the greatest works of terror and horror in literary history. Legend has it that his spirit still haunts his old home and favorite bar in New York. But regardless of whether you believe in the ghost stories about Poe, there's no doubt that he lives on in our imaginations thanks to the legendary stories and poems he wrote. Read more
1807: Robert E. Lee, U.S. general who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, is born in Stratford Hall, Virginia.