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Born on this day ...
Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born on this day in 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. I recently read ‘Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez’ and would recommend it to anyone interested in a more in-depth picture, not only of his story, but of the background behind, and the making of the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, which while not inaccurate, is selective in its focus and fairly light in comparison to the book. 

It’s a tragedy that his genius and artistry was swept under the carpet for so many years, and that although he went platinum in South Africa, he didn’t have a clue about that, nor did he receive a dime for his trouble. Wretched industry sometimes – the egos and the greed but I suppose that can apply to almost any commercial endeavour. The movie centers on the South African story because that’s where the authors of the tale come from, and they’re the ones who tracked him down and researched what happened, but it turns out he was also well known and loved in the Antipodes. In SA, we took his music totally for granted – well I did – it seemed to have always been there, in everyone’s record collection – that highly recognisable album cover and the songs we all knew by heart. It really is quite bizarre! 

Anyway – it appears Rodriguez has a second lease of life, and going by his website, is still touring. To my knowledge he has expressed no desire for the trappings of fame and fortune and from all accounts, gives away most of his newfound wealth and still resides in the same house he lived in during all his years of hard manual labour on constructions sites. Upon the relaunching of his career, his family have rallied around to protect and shield him – something they do with ferocity.
For anyone who is not familiar with his music, he writes and sings about social and political issues, specifically those faced by the inner city poor, the sometimes ridiculous dichotomies life presents, and he has a wryly intelligent, earthy, poetic and eloquent take on it all; a man who is largely self-educated and who, while no saint at all, somehow swallowed what must have been a sizeable bitter pill of disappointment, and rose above it, constantly reading and learning (he once even ran for office, and to add insult to general injury, they spelled his name wrong on the ballot!) and in turn encouraging his children to appreciate all forms of art and culture.

From his first album Cold Fact – “Crucify Your Mind”

And from what I first knew as After the Fact, aka Coming From Reality

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
Pedro Aznar was born on this day in 1959, in Beunos Aires, Argentina. He is a vocalist and a mean bass player, primarily, but also a multi-instrumentalist. He’s played with an Argentinian prog rock outfit about whom I know precisely nothing, but I do know about Pat Metheny, who invited him to join the Pat Metheny Group (which he doesn't do lightly) and with whom he, and they, recorded three Grammy Award winning albums.

The best translation I could find of the lyrics to this lovely song from Letter from Home …  
"I tossed a poem to the sea
That took with it my questions and my voice
Like a slow ship it got lost in the spray
I asked it not to return
Without having seen the open sea
And in dreams telling me of its visions.
Even if it didn’t return
I would know if it arrived.
Travel the whole life
On the blue calm or foundering in storms
Little matters the way if some port awaits
I waited so long for the message
That I forgot to return to the sea
And thus I lost the poem
I cried to the heavens all my rancor
I finally found it written in the sand
Like a prayer
The sea beat in my veins
And set my heart free"

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
I pray that Alison Krauss is having herself a safe and awesome 47th birthday today!

God bless you and her always!!!

Holly (a fan of Alison since 1994)
Listen to my most favorite singer here sometime, James Otto that is!
David Muse was born on this day in 1949, in Rome, Georgia, USA. He’s a flautist, saxophonist and keyboard player and an original member of Firefall, later The Marshall Tucker Band, Boulder County Conspiracy and solo. His fourth album, Forgotten Journey was released in May of this year – it errs a tad too much on the side of muse-ak for my taste, sorry to say and with apologies for the pun - on the other hand, I think his instruments were crucial to the whole lovely big warm Firefall sound; woodwinds, organ and synths especially – harmonica too.

Coupla songs …

“Goodbye, I Love You” – featuring Mr Muse’s sax -

"Strange Way" - some flute -

“Dolphin’s Lullaby” -

“Someday Soon” – from Luna Sea, speaking of which, I’m witnessing a total eclipse of the moon right now which is quite magical … it’s called a Blood Moon and I can see why ... amazing … so clear – like a marble the colour of ruby grapefruit … beautiful!!

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
David Sanborn was born on this day in 1945, in Tampa, Florida, USA. Renowned alto saxophonist with a ridiculously long list of session credits as well as being a leader on at least twenty albums and a sideman for such esteemed artists as David Bowie, George Benson, Michael Franks, the Eagles, Mike Stern, James Taylor, etc., etc., ad infinitum! 
What sets him apart from Kenny G you might ask? Well for one thing I’m pretty sure neither Steely Dan nor John McLaughlin would give Gorelick the time of day, and nor would Pat Metheny who has very publicly and succinctly roasted his sorry you know what … but I digress … Mr Sanborn, despite being quite possibly the most commercially successful saxophonist of our time, prefers to disassociate himself from a smooth jazz label, has proven his musicality, is remarkably versatile, and through the years has done nothing to diminish the respect he has earned from musical peers and audiences alike. He continues to tour and perform. Vive le woodwind!
I know these …
“Maputo” from Double Vision, with Bob James –
“Time out of Mind” – Steely Dan, Gaucho … (guess whose dulcet guitar tones??) ….
“Windswept” – Bryan Ferry, Boy and Girls … 

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
I pray that my most favorite male singer James Otto had himself a safe and awesome 45th birthday yesterday!

God bless you and him always!!!

Listen to my most favorite singer here sometime, James Otto that is!
John Richard Deacon was born on this day in 1951, in Leicester, England. He was known as the quiet one in Queen – a more than able bassist, guitarist, keys player and songwriter with a first class honours degree in electronics, so in possession of some useful technical skills as well! He cobbled together components he found lying around in a skip and engineered a piece of equipment the band referred to as the ‘Deacy Amp’. It was used pretty much right throughout their heyday, unless my info is incorrect. I was fortunate enough to attend a show during theirWorks! tour, and much to my astonishment, still have the programme - all in one piece! I remember security being incredibly tight (not to mention the pants – jeepers). Quite a show that was – fantastic performance and staging!

Deacon may not have been one for the limelight, but his contribution to the success of the band is beyond dispute, as are his bass lines. He didn’t sing, other than backing vocals, but he did write one or two songs on each of their albums, could play a number of instruments, and did, and had a great working collaboration with Freddie, particularly. Not so much with Mr May (reading between the lines) – or at least not latterly, when they started wanting to follow different creative directions; in fact, he refused to let the rocket scientist record the guitar parts on several of the pieces he wrote and instead, did it himself, which led to some tension, as one might imagine.

Once Freddie had passed on, he had no further interest in the band – didn’t see the point in carrying on sans the presence of the mercurial one (with which sentiment I’m inclined to agree), and has now retired from the biz. He still manages the money though, which seems very sensible.  

He wrote “Another One Bites the Dust” which while far removed from being my personal favourite, turned out to be their best-selling single. He also wrote “I Want to Break Free” which too is not much loved by moi. These are some more of his …

“Back Chat” caused a bit of in-house controversy but was taken on board by Mr Mercury (and Michael Jackson too) -

“You and I”-

“You’re My Best Friend” -

and “Spread Your Wings” – love this clip … 

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
Firstly – apologies for being so absent. I don’t have access to broadband right now which is incredibly frustrating. It’s right there, in my new place, but so are the contractors who have seemingly never heard of the Gregorian calendar and who work entirely to the beat of their own mysterious drummer. I am in limbo – moved out but can’t move in. Gah!! Soooo – sometimes the mobile connection works ok, sometimes it just #$%&* doesn’t. Sheer chance that I get anything posted on here at all. Anyway – grumbling over …

Alastair Ian ‘Al’ Stewart was born on this day in 1945, Glasgow, Scotland, and I can’t believe he’s missing from this thread! How remiss!! He writes and sings about pithy stuff – lots of historical subjects, more recently wine and associated matters – he became enamoured of the fruit of the vine when he started making shedloads of money and thought perhaps he’d better invest some of it, which he did, in prize bottles … one thing leads to another (which is something you’d never hear Al say as he is not given to clichés and repetition and never quotes someone else without credit – a bit of a stickler ol’ Al, and why not?). There seem to have been a few musicians around in the early 70’s who were of a similar ilk – British musos at any rate, which I know more of than others; Cat Stevens, Gordon Giltrap, Donovan Leitch spring to mind - there are more. All primarily solo performers, doing their own thing and somehow making their voices heard – some more successfully than others. Al’s big breakthrough was Year of the Cat, but his music is kinda timeless, I think. It doesn’t feel old and decrepit and I love his sources of inspiration – so much more interesting than the utter crud that gets dished up en masse and I’m pretty sure Alan Parsons would never have produced him unless he was worthy of that particular honour! He’s also worked with some notable guitarists, including Tm Renwick (who I’m sure I’ve raved on about on several occasions), Laurence Juber, Jimmy Page and Richard Thompson.

Trotting out the usual suspects … with Laurence Juber – “Tasting History” -

And Tim Renwick –

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
Paul Hamilton Williams Jr was born on this day in 1940, in Nebraska, Omaha, USA. Composer, musician, songwriter and actor, he’s probably a lot better not known for the songs he wrote than for those he recorded. Big Grin He created what turned out to be some real biggies back in the day – “Evergreen” from A Star is Born, and a couple of the Carpenter’s No 1. hits – “I Won’t Last a Day Without You”, “We’ve Only  Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays”, for starters – there were more for others. He also scored for film and TV picking up an Oscar nomination along the way for this song from The Muppet Movie -
I would have thought “Old Fashioned Love Song” or something would be one of the first tunes to spring to mind when seeing his name on the birthday lists, but nooooo – for some bizarre reason, especially since I never saw Phantom of the Paradise, or even listened to the soundtrack (which incidentally also got a nomination from the Academy and a Golden Globe Award), it was “The Hell Of It”!! 

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson

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