Lightnin’ Hopkins was one of the great blues guitarists of the 20th century, named by Rolling Stone to the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. We remember Hopkins’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Lightnin’ Hopkins was one of the great blues guitarists of the 20th century, named by Rolling Stone to the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. He recorded dozens of albums, more than any other blues musician. And he inspired many – in his obituary by The New York Times, he was cited as “perhaps the greatest single influence on rock guitar players.” We remember Hopkins’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1946: Bobby Bonds, U.S. Major League Baseball player with the San Francisco Giants and the father of baseball star Barry Bonds, is born in Riverside, California.
Bobby Bonds was a dazzling player who approached every aspect of the game with aggression – for better and worse. He led the majors in strikeouts three times in his first six seasons, setting the single-season record with 189 in 1970. “When I pitched against him, I loved to watch him swing at those high fastballs,” Hall of Famer Tom Seaver recalled. “He used to tease me and say, ‘Listen, when I go to the American League, you’ll lose three strikeouts a game.'” Read more
1936: Howard Greenfield, U.S. songwriter whose compositions include “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” and “Love Will Keep Us Together,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1932: Alan Bean, astronaut who was the fourth person to walk on the moon, is born in Wheeler, Texas.
1927: Carl Smith, U.S. country musician whose hits include “Loose Talk” and “Wicked Lies,” and the first husband of June Carter Cash, is born in Maynardville, Tennessee.
1921: Madelyn Pugh Davis, U.S. television writer known best for her work on “I Love Lucy,” is born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Davis and her longtime writing partner, Bob Carroll Jr., crafted all episodes for the hit CBS TV sitcom’s first four years before they were joined by two other writers, said Lucie Arnaz, Lucille Ball‘s daughter. Whenever her mother was complimented on her success, Arnaz recalled, “the first words out of her mouth were, ‘I have these wonderful writers,’ or, ‘I can’t do it without my writers.’ Most of the time she was referring to Davis and Carroll.” Read more
1916: Harry James, U.S. jazz trumpeter and bandleader who employed a young Frank Sinatra as singer for a short period, is born in Albany, Georgia.
1914: Joe E. Ross, U.S. actor known for roles on “The Phil Silvers Show” and “Car 54, Where Are You?”, is born in New York, New York.
1912: Lightnin’ Hopkins, U.S. blues singer-songwriter and guitarist, is born in Centerville, Texas.
Hopkins was one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time, and he didn’t have to make any deals with the devil to get there. He learned as a soloist how to sound like a band – often playing lead, rhythm, bass and percussion all on one instrument, while singing as well. It was a distinctive style, and one that required massive skill. Read more
1887: Marjorie Merriweather Post, U.S. businesswoman who founded General Foods and was at one time the wealthiest woman in the U.S., is born in Springfield, Illinois.
1767: Andrew Jackson, U.S. politician who was the seventh president of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837, is born in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas.