Solomon Burke was known as the King of Rock and Soul. We remember Burke’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Solomon Burke was known as the King of Rock and Soul. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member had 35 singles that charted in the U.S. including “Cry to Me.” He has been described as an overlooked singer, but Atlantic Records Jerry Wexler called him the greatest male soul singer of all time. We remember Burke’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1975: Justin Pierce, English-American actor known for roles in “Kids” and “Next Friday,” is born in London, England.
1943: Vivian Stanshall, English musician who was a founding member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, is born in Oxford, England.
1940: Solomon Burke, U.S. singer-songwriter whose hits include “Cry to Me” and “If You Need Me,” is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke, “the best soul singer of all time.” Anti- Records President Andy Kaulkin, whose label produced Burke’s comeback record, “Don’t Give Up on Me,” which won him his first and only Grammy, said, “Popular music today wouldn’t be where it is without Solomon Burke.” Kaulkin called Burke a precursor to singers like Isaac Hayes and Barry White. Read more
1930: James Coco, U.S. character actor who won a Tony Award for his performance in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” is born in New York, New York.
1922: Russ Meyer, U.S. film director known for low-budget movies including “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”, is born in San Leandro, California.
1910: Julio Gallo, U.S. businessman who co-founded the E.&J. Gallo Winery, is born in Oakland, California.
1906: John D. Rockefeller III, U.S. philanthropist who was a third-generation member of the famous Rockefeller family, is born in New York, New York.
1904: Forrest Mars Sr., U.S. businessman who created M&Ms and the Mars bar, is born in Wadena, Minnesota.
1902: Son House, U.S. blues guitarist and singer who influenced generations of musicians, is born in Lyon, Mississippi.
House planned throughout his childhood to be a Baptist preacher, and the Baptist church of the early-20th century strongly disapproved of blues music and the debauched lifestyle that often went with it. A Baptist preacher most certainly would not play the blues in his free time. But the call of the blues was strong – strong enough to sway House from his intended career path. He taught himself to play guitar and, after a couple years in jail for killing a man in self-defense (which may have only upped his blues cachet), he began performing. Read more
1867: Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., U.S. theater director and producer known for his “Ziegfeld Follies,” is born in Chicago, Illinois.
With his incredibly elaborate Ziegfeld Follies revues, recast almost every year from their creation in 1907 until Ziegfeld’s death in 1932, he created the Ziegfeld Girl and defined the American standard of beauty at that time. His lavish productions, including the groundbreaking musical “Show Boat,” set the bar for Broadway. The biggest showman of his time, Ziegfeld helped launch the careers of Will Rogers, Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, and W.C. Fields. Read more
1839: Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer whose well-known works include “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Pictures at an Exhibition,” is born in Karevo, Russia.