Born July 3
By: Legacy Staff
16 days ago
Laura Branigan's powerful voice was a staple of early 1980s radio. Her hit single "Gloria" shot to the top of airplay charts all over the world in 1982 and 1983, setting a record as it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 36 weeks, more than any other song by a female artist at the time. Other hits included "Self Control" and "Solitaire," as well as songs Branigan contributed to the soundtracks for "Flashdance," "Baywatch," and "Ghostbusters." She dabbled in acting, with guest spots on TV shows like "CHiPs" and "Knight Rider" as well as a few movie and stage roles. We remember Branigan's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1957: Ken Ober, U.S. game show host and actor who hosted the MTV game show "Remote Control," is born in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Ober hosted five seasons of "Remote Control" beginning in 1987. Contestants in lounge chairs were asked pop-culture questions from categories such as "Dead or Canadian?" The show featured early appearances by comedians Adam Sandler, Denis Leary, and Colin Quinn. Read more
1952: Laura Branigan, U.S. singer-songwriter known for hit singles including "Gloria" and "Self Control," is born in Brewster, New York.
Branigan's biggest hits occupied a slightly awkward musical moment between the end of disco and the rise of New Wave in America, when dance clubs didn't have an obvious style and when Atlantic Records couldn't decide quite what to do with a young woman who wanted to sing Americanized versions of Italian pop songs. In that climate, a less talented singer could have slipped through the cracks, becoming a footnote rather than a chart-topper. Read more
1952: Andy Fraser, English bassist who was a founding member of hard rock band Free, is born in London, England.
At age 15, the London-born Fraser briefly became a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. The group functioned as a training ground for young British rockers including Eric Clapton and Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. Within a year, Fraser became a founding member of Free. The band's most prominent member was singer and guitarist Paul Rodgers, who would also go on to front Bad Company and the Firm. Read more
1940: Fontella Bass, U.S. singer-songwriter known best for her 1965 hit "Rescue Me," is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bass began performing at a young age, singing in her church's choir at age 6. She was surrounded by music, often traveling on national tours with her mother and her gospel group. Her interest turned from gospel to R&B when she was a teenager, and she began her professional career at the Showboat Club in north St. Louis at age 17. She eventually auditioned for Chess Records and landed a recording contract, first as a duet artist. Her duet with Bobby McClure, "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing," reached No. 5 on the R&B charts and No. 33 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1965. Read more
1927: Ken Russell, English film director whose notable movies include "Women in Love" and "Tommy," is born in Southampton, England.
Russell was a fiercely original director whose vision occasionally brought mainstream success, but often tested the patience of audiences and critics. He had one of his biggest hits in 1969 with "Women in Love," based on the book by D.H. Lawrence, which earned Academy Award nominations for the director and for writer Larry Kramer, and a best actress Oscar for the star, Glenda Jackson. It included one of the decade's most famous scenes – a nude wrestling bout between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed. Read more
1913: Dorothy Kilgallen, U.S. journalist who wrote the popular syndicated newspaper column "The Voice of Broadway," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Kilgallen often took on contentious items, like the trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard for the murder of his wife. She also wrote on more than one occasion about, as she called them, "flying saucers" – believing that they were real and deserving of national attention. And there was one particularly prominent and contentious story Kilgallen tackled. … That was the story of President John F. Kennedy's murder. Though she never revealed its contents, Kilgallen claimed to have conducted an interview with Jack Ruby while he was on trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more
1906: George Sanders, Russian-English actor who had notable roles in "Rebecca," "All About Eve," and "The Jungle Book," is born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire.
1892: Mississippi John Hurt, U.S. blues singer and guitarist whose songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Doc Watson, and others, is born in Teoc, Mississippi.
1883: Franz Kafka, Czech-Austrian author of well-known works including "The Metamorphosis" and "The Trial," is born in Prague, Austria-Hungary.
1878: George M. Cohan, U.S. playwright, composer, and actor who wrote standards such as "Over There," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and "Give My Regards to Broadway," is born in Providence, Rhode Island.