George Harrison is one of four names that have gone down in history as some of the very greatest in rock ‘n’ roll. We remember Harrison’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
George Harrison is one of four names that have gone down in history as some of the very greatest in rock ‘n’ roll. As one of the Beatles, Harrison helped change the face of popular music – and though his compositions sometimes played second fiddle to those of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, he was responsible for enduring tunes including “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.” After the breakup of the Beatles, he thrived as a solo artist, with hit singles including “My Sweet Lord” and “Got My Mind Set on You.” The socially conscious Harrison organized the legendary 1971 Concert for Bangladesh and supported the civil rights movement. We remember Harrison’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1961: Davey Allison, U.S. NASCAR driver with Robert Yates Racing, is born in Hollywood, Florida.
If there is any question that Allison could be forgotten, there is a road called Allison-Bonnett Memorial Drive in his hometown of Hueytown, Alabama, and in the NASCAR 99 and NASCAR 2000 video games, he shows up as a NASCAR Legend with the Texaco Ford he drove from 1987-1989. A portrait of him was in the Texaco headquarters (before the company was bought by Chevron), and he was posthumously inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998. Read more
1943: George Harrison, English singer and guitarist who was one of the Beatles and had a successful solo career with hits including “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth),” is born in Liverpool, England.
It was 1969 and Harrison was having a difficult year. The band was having business troubles, he’d been busted for marijuana possession, had temporarily left the Beatles, and had even had his tonsils removed. Perhaps he needed something to lift his spirits, and there is no better spirit-lifting song than “Here Comes the Sun.” Harrison wrote the tune while visiting his friend Eric Clapton. “It was just a really nice sunny day,” he told the BBC. “And I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song.” It was the first Harrison song released as a Beatles A-side single. Read more
1940: Ron Santo, U.S. MLB Hall of Fame third baseman with the Chicago Cubs, is born in Seattle, Washington.
A nine-time All-Star in his 15-year career, Santo was widely regarded as one of the best players never to gain induction into the Hall of Fame. The quiet sadness with which he met the news year after year that he hadn’t been inducted helped cement his relationship with the fans. But nothing brought fans closer to Santo — or caused critics to roll their eyes more — than his work in the radio booth, where he made it clear that nobody rooted harder for the Cubs and nobody took it harder when they lost. Santo’s groans of “Oh, nooo!” and “It’s bad” when something bad happened to the Cubs – sometimes just minutes after shouting “YES! YES!” or “ALL RIGHT!” – became part of team lore as the “Cubbies” came up short year after year. Santo, who died in 2010, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. Read more
1932: Faron Young, U.S. country music singer-songwriter whose hits include “Hello Walls” and “It’s Four in the Morning,” is born in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1931: Christopher George, U.S. actor known best for his starring role on the TV series “The Rat Patrol,” is born in Royal Oak, Michigan.
He played in a number of off-Broadway productions, including a 16-week run in the play “Mr. Roberts.” But it was playing a groom on his honeymoon night in a 60-second shaving cream commercial in 1962 that won him a best actor in a commercial award at the New York Film Festival. That was followed by roles in several TV series, including “Naked City” and “Bewitched.” His first film role – all 30 seconds of it – came in 1965, playing a dying sailor in “In Harm’s Way,” where he met his idol John Wayne. Read more
“I hope he will be remembered as a gifted musician,” Jim Newsom said in a telephone interview in reaction to his uncle’s death. “I’m sure he will be remembered for his wit and deadpan humor on ‘The Tonight Show.’ And to some of us (of) a certain age, he will always be remembered as Mr. Excitement.” That was the nickname Carson gave Newsom to make light of his low-key personality and drab brown and blue suits – a sharp contrast to the flashy style of bandleader Doc Severinsen. Read more
1928: Larry Gelbart, U.S. author and screenwriter who created and produced the TV show “M*A*S*H,” is born in Chicago, Illinois.
He went on to write gags for Bob Hope, Jack Paar, Red Buttons, Jack Carson, Eddie Cantor, and Joan Davis, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. In 1953, he accepted Sid Caesar‘s offer of $1,000 a week to work for “Caesar’s Hour,” joining a legendary writing team that included Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Neil Simon. “He’s the fastest of the fast, the wittiest man in the business,” Brooks once said of him. Read more
1927: Ralph Stanley, U.S. legendary bluegrass musician who was a co-founder of the Clinch Mountain Boys, is born in McClure, Virginia.
Stanley was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which shared its condolences to the Stanley family in a post on Facebook. “Our hearts are saddened by the news of the passing of Opry member Dr. Ralph Stanley,” the Opry wrote. “His music will live on forever.” Read more
1927: Dick Jones, U.S. actor and singer known best for providing the voice of the title character in Walt Disney’s “Pinocchio,” is born in Snyder, Texas.
Jones was just 10 years old but already had appeared in nearly 40 movies when he got the part of Pinocchio, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. The son of a Texas newspaper editor, he learned to ride and rope from an early age and had a Western show career by age 4. Other roles included Henry Aldrich on the radio show “The Aldrich Family” and parts in movies such as “Destry Rides Again” and “Stella Dallas.” In the 1950s, he had roles on TV Westerns, including the lead on “Buffalo Bill Jr.” Read more
1920: Sun Myung Moon, Korean religious leader who founded the Unification Church, is born in Jeong-ju, Japanese Korea.
The patriarch and founder of the controversial Unification Church gained fame in the 1970s and 1980s for pairing up and marrying off thousands of followers at elaborate mass weddings, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Critics accused the church of demanding cult-like devotion from its followers. The church also built a business empire that included newspapers, schools, a ski resort, and dozens of other ventures in several countries, including a peace institute, carmaker, and hotel in North Korea. Read more
1919: Monte Irvin, U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder for the New York Giants who was one of the first to break the Major League Baseball color line and who won a championship with the Giants in 1954, is born in Haleburg, Alabama.
1918: Bobby Riggs, U.S. tennis player who was the World No. 1 player for three years and was well-known for playing in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match against Billie Jean King, is born in Los Angeles, California.
1913: Jim Backus, U.S. actor who played James Dean‘s character’s father in “Rebel Without a Cause,” played Thurston Howell III on TV’s “Gilligan’s Island,” and provided the voice for the nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1906: Mary Chase, U.S. playwright known best for the Broadway play “Harvey,” is born in Denver, Colorado.
1901: Zeppo Marx, U.S. actor, agent, and engineer who was one of the Marx Brothers, is born in New York, New York.
1888: John Foster Dulles, U.S. politician who served as U.S. secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is born in Washington, D.C.
1873: Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor who achieved worldwide fame for his many performances and recordings, is born in Naples, Italy.
1841: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French artist known for his impressionist paintings, is born in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.