Born January 6
By: Legacy Staff
6 months ago
Syd Barrett was a pioneer of psychedelic rock. Best known as a founding member of the band Pink Floyd, he was the lead singer, guitarist, and main songwriter during the band's early years. We remember Barrett's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1964: Denise Borino-Quinn, U.S. actress who played Ginny Sacrimoni on "The Sopranos," is born in Roseland, New Jersey.
Borino-Quinn had no acting experience when she was hired in 2000 to play Ginny Sacrimoni, the mafia wife with a weight problem, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. The character quickly became popular with fans and was featured in an October 2002 episode. Borino-Quinn had attended the casting call mostly to support a childhood friend and was shocked when she was hired for the HBO show. Read more
1962: Michael Houser, lead guitarist for the rock band Widespread Panic, is born in Boone, North Carolina.
1954: Anthony Minghella, English film director whose movies include "The English Patient" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," is born in Ryde, England.
"The English Patient," the 1996 World War II drama, won nine Academy awards, including best director for Minghella, best picture and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche. Based on the celebrated novel by Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, the movie tells of a burn victim's tortured recollections of his misdeeds in time of war. Minghella also was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for "The English Patient," and for his screenplay for "The Talented Mr. Ripley," according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
1947: Sandy Denny, English singer-songwriter who was the lead singer for the folk-rock band Fairport Convention, is born in London, England.
Though the lovely ballad is often what we think of when we think of Denny, it isn't her only claim to fame. In addition to her many albums and singles, she holds a unique distinction: She was the only guest vocalist ever to sing on a Led Zeppelin studio album. Her duet with Robert Plant in "The Battle of Evermore" is as ethereally beautiful as her solo work. Read more
1946: Syd Barrett, English singer-songwriter and guitarist who was a founding member of Pink Floyd but left the band before they became world famous, is born in Cambridge, England.
Pink Floyd, meanwhile, went on to become the biggest band on the planet. But they never forgot their inspirational early leader and the grief and confusion brought on by losing Barrett to mental illness. The songs "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" were direct tributes to Barrett, the latter recording session providing an eerie moment when Barrett showed up in the studio unannounced, hair and eyebrows shaved, and having gained so much weight that none of his former friends and bandmates at first recognized him. Floyd again invoked his memory in their 1980 film, "The Wall," with the character played by Bob Geldof largely based on Barrett during his breakdown. Read more
1940: Van McCoy, U.S. musician and songwriter known best for his 1975 disco hit, "The Hustle," is born in Washington, D.C.
What made "The Hustle" so special? "It was a revolutionary dance, because it was the first time in a long time that partners held each other," The Associated Press noted in 1979. "The hustle was more highly stylized and sophisticated than the more 'hang loose' dances of the decade, such as the bump and the boogaloo." Read more
1939: Murray Rose, Australian swimmer and actor who won Olympic gold in 1956 and 1960 and starred in movies including "Ride the Wild Surf," is born in Nairn, Scotland.
Rose adhered to a vegan lifestyle during his career, earning the nickname "The Seaweed Streak," according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He continued swimming into his later years in masters competitions. Rose was one of eight people who carried the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Games. He appeared with other Australian Olympic stars on postage stamps to commemorate the games. Read more
1937: Doris Troy, U.S. rhythm and blues singer-songwriter whose hits include "Just One Look," is born in Bronx, New York.
1931: Dickie Moore, Canadian NHL Hall of Fame left winger for the Montreal Canadiens, is born in Montreal, Quebec.
1928: Capucine, born Germaine Lefebvre, French actress and model known best for roles in "The Pink Panther" and "What's New Pussycat?", is born in Saint-Raphaël, France.
1926: Mickey Hargitay, Hungarian-born U.S. actor and bodybuilder who was named Mr. Universe in 1955 and was the father of actress Mariska Hargitay, is born in Budapest, Hungary.
1925: John DeLorean, U.S. businessman who founded the DeLorean Motor Co., is born in Detroit, Michigan.
Scruggs was an innovator who pioneered the modern banjo sound. His use of three fingers rather than the clawhammer style elevated the banjo from a part of the rhythm section – or a comedian's prop – to a lead instrument. His string-bending and lead runs became known worldwide as the Scruggs Picking Style, and the versatility it allowed has helped popularize the banjo in almost every genre of music. Read more
1920: Early Wynn, U.S. Major League Baseball player with the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox who is considered one of the game's most powerful pitchers, is born in Hartford, Alabama.
1915: Alan Watts, English philosopher who helped popularize Eastern philosophy in the West, is born in Chislehurst, England.
1913: Loretta Young, U.S. actress who won an Academy Award for her lead role in "The Farmer's Daughter," is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1912: Danny Thomas, U.S. actor who starred on the sitcom "Make Room for Daddy" and founded St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, is born in Deerfield, Michigan.
1883: Khalil Gibran, U.S. poet known best for his 1923 book "The Prophet," is born in Bsharri, Lebanon.
1878: Carl Sandburg, U.S. writer known best for poems including "Chicago," as well as his biography of Abraham Lincoln, is born in Galesburg, Illinois.
1412: Joan of Arc, French saint who helped France gain freedom from England and was burned at the stake, is born in Domrémy, France.