Christina Grimmie started singing at the age of six and learned how to play the piano. She became a YouTube star as a teenager. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Christina Grimmie started singing at the age of six and learned how to play the piano. She started posting YouTube videos of herself singing when she was 15. Grimmie became a YouTube star and was signed by the managers of singer Selena Gomez. She appeared on “The Voice” in 2014 and finished in third place. She had signed a contract with Island Records and started to write her own songs. Tragically she was shot and killed immediately after finishing a performance at the young age of 22. We remember her life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1994: Christina Grimmie, U.S. singer who starred on season six of the NBC show “The Voice,” is born in Marlton, New Jersey.
1940: Al Jarreau, the legendary jazz singer won seven Grammy awards and was known for his song, “We’re in This Love Together.” is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1938: Lew DeWitt, U.S. singer-songwriter known best as a founding member of the Statler Brothers country music group, is born in Roanoke, Virginia.
For decades, the Statler Brothers brought their gospel harmonies to country music, winning award after award including Grammys, Country Music Association and American Music Awards show honors for their pitch-perfect performances and stellar songs. Writer Kurt Vonnegut once called them “America’s Poets” – and no doubt band member Lew DeWitt had a lot to do with that. DeWitt sang tenor for the Statler Brothers (only two of whom were brothers, and none of whom was named Statler), but he was more than one voice among many. DeWitt also was the songwriter of some of the group’s top hits, lending his poetic pen to their success. Read more
1934: Virginia Hamilton, U.S. author of books for children including “M.C. Higgins, the Great,” is born in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
1928: Edward Albee, acclaimed U.S. playwright who wrote “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, is born in Virginia.
Albee was one of the most acclaimed and influential American playwrights of the 20th century. He won the Tony Award for best play for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1963) and “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” (2002). He was a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for drama, for “A Delicate Balance” (1967), “Seascape” (1975), and “Three Tall Women” (1994). “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was denied a Pulitzer for its vulgarity, and no award was given that year. Read more
1925: Harry Harrison, U.S. author whose novel “Make Room! Make Room!” was adapted into the movie “Soylent Green,” is born in Stamford, Connecticut.
Harrison was a prolific writer whose works ranged from tongue-in-cheek intergalactic action romps to dystopian fantasies, with detours through children’s stories and shambolic crime capers. Carroll said most of the works delivered a stream of sly humor with a big bucket of action. “Imagine ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ and picture them as science fiction novels,” he said. “They’re rip-roaring adventures, but they’re stories with a lot of heart.” Read more
1923: Mae Young, U.S. professional wrestler who was a pioneer of women’s wrestling, is born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
Her career spanned eight decades and won her the adoration of fans and her fellow wrestlers, as well as a spot in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. When news broke of her death, condolences flooded the internet from her legion of fans, as well as the generations of wrestlers she inspired and trained over the years. Soon she will be laid to rest, near her friend and longtime wrestling partner, “The Fabulous Moolah,” but her legacy as a champion and a role model will last as long as men and women step into the ring and fight for fame and glory. Read more
1923: Wally Schirra, U.S. astronaut who was one of the original seven astronauts in Project Mercury, is born in Hackensack, New Jersey.
The former Navy test pilot said he initially had little interest when he heard of NASA’s Mercury program. But he grew more intrigued over time, and the space agency named him one of the Mercury Seven in April 1959. Supremely confident, Schirra sailed through rigorous astronaut training with what one reporter called “the ease of preparing for a family picnic.” Read more
1922: Jack Kerouac, U.S. author of novels including “On the Road” and “The Dharma Bums,” is born in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Kerouac came up with the scroll idea so he could write as quickly as possible, without having to take time to change pages in his typewriter. He originally hoped the novel would also be published in scroll format, so readers could experience his single long paragraph without the distraction of page-turning. Perhaps Kerouac would have appreciated today’s word processing programs and e-book readers … Read more
1921: Gordon MacRae, U.S. actor and singer known best for performances in “Carousel” and “Oklahoma!”, is born in East Orange, New Jersey.
1917: Googie Withers, Indian-English actress who had a role in Alfred Hitchcock‘s “The Lady Vanishes,” is born in Karachi, British India.
1913: Agathe von Trapp, Austrian singer who was a member of the Trapp Family Singers and was the inspiration for the character Liesl in “The Sound of Music,” is born in Pola, Austria-Hungary.
There are certainly some differences between “The Sound of Music” and the experiences of the real von Trapps, but there is no doubt that Agathe and her family opposed the Nazis. After the Nazis invaded Austria on the eve of Agathe’s 25th birthday, she sewed black aprons for the family to wear in mourning for their beloved homeland. Fortunately for the von Trapps – and the rest of the world who would later fall in love with the singing family – the devoted Austrians were technically citizens of Italy (thanks to some border redistricting following World War I), making it relatively easy for them to “escape” – unlike the film’s dramatic nighttime flight and Alpine trek, the von Trapps simply rented their house and boarded a train to Italy. Read more
1806: Jane Pierce, U.S. first lady who was the wife of President Franklin Pierce, is born in Hampton, New Hampshire.