It’s summertime...and the living is easy. So is this quiz actually. All you have to do is know whose birthday it is. Why, that’s as easy as apple pie with a dollop of butter pecan ice cream on it along with caramel sauce. All of the birthday performers in question had hits in the Top 10 during either the 1960’s ‘70’s, ‘80’s or ‘90’s and nearly all of them had multiple # 1’s. So make a wish that you’ll be able to figure them all out...then blow out the candles. By the way, if you’re celebrating a birthday this week, like I am, then mazel tov.
1. This megastar singer (born July 26, 1943) could have gone on to a distinguished career in finance if music hadn’t lured him away. His band had the ‘satisfaction’ of having their first # 1 in 1965. They’ve had seven chart toppers since then and continue to tour, having just passed their 50th anniversary. Does the name of this birthday bad boy come easily to your lips? Is so, who is he?
2. Singer, songwriter, drummer are three words to describe our next birthday celebrity (born July 22, 1947). He was once in Linda Ronstadt’s touring back-up band, then left to form his own group that later became superstars. His band has sold over 120 million albums, won six Grammy Awards, had five # 1 singles and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. After his band first broke up in 1980, he embarked on a successful solo career, racking up a half dozen Top Ten songs, including his most successful single, “Dirty Laundry” in 1983. Can you name this Texas troubadour?
3. This singer (born August 10, 1943) was a passenger on the same plane as The Beatles when they flew from England to America for the first time on February 7th, 1964. By that time, her group had already charted several Top Forty hits, although their most successful single only climbed to # 9. Later, The Beatles would sign her to a solo deal for their Apple label. From 1968 until 1974, she was married to a world famous record producer, who also worked with The Beatles on the original “Let It Be” album in 1970. That ex-husband is currently in a U.S. federal prison serving a life sentence for murder. This singer also performed with Eddie Money on his 1986 Top Five hit, “Take Me Home Tonight”. Who is this distinctive voiced singer?
4. This musician (born August 1, 1942) became famous as a co-founding member of a counter culture band from San Francisco during the late 1960’s, along with Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The band became very popular as a live act. He was the bearded guitar player who Rolling Stone readers voted # 13 in their “100 Greatest guitarists Of All Time” list. He struggled with drug addiction for many years along with diabetes and died at the age of 53. Who is this “Truckin’” musician?
5. This “Lonely Boy” Canadian singer/songwriter (born July 30, 1941) has had an incredible career. He had # 1 hits in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s and wrote many hits for other artists, including Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley. He co-wrote two songs with the late Michael Jackson, including “This Is It” and “Love Never Felt So Good”, the latter included on Michael’s 2014 posthumous release “Xscape”. Can you name this songpainter?
1. That would be Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, who attended the London School of Economics before embarking on a rock career. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was The Stones first # 1 hit single in July 1965. The Stones stood at the top of Billboards’ Hot 100 chart again in November of ’65 with “Get Off Of My Cloud”. The other 6 Stones # 1’s are: “Paint It, Black” (1966), “Ruby Tuesday” (1967), “Honky Tonk Women” (1969), “Brown Sugar” (1971), “Angie” (1973) and “Miss You” (1978).
2. Don Henley of The Eagles is 67 this year. Born in Gilroy, Texas, Henley hightailed it to California where he became part of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band (along with Glenn Frey). The Eagles formed in the early ‘70’s and hit the record charts almost immediately. The Eagles five # 1 hits are: “Best Of My Love” (1975), “One Of These Nights” (1975), “New Kid In Town” (1977), “Hotel California” (1977) and “Heartache Tonight” (1979/80). Of these, Henley sang lead on “Best Of My Love”, “One Of These Nights” and “Hotel California” along with other Top Ten hits such as “Witchy Woman”, “Desperado”, “Life In The Fast Lane” and “The Long Run”. Besides “Dirty Laundry”, Henley’s solo hits include: “The Boys Of Summer”, “All She Want To Do Is Dance” and “The End Of The Innocence”.
3. Ronnie Spector is the correct answer. As lead singer for The Ronettes, Ronnie Bennett shared the stage and the spotlight with her sister Estelle and their cousin Nedra Talley. The group came to the attention of producer Phil Spector, who signed them to his Philles label and produced their biggest hits, including the 1963 # 2 song “Be My Baby” and 1964’s “Baby, I Love You”. Ronnie was married to Phil Spector from 1968 until 1972. Her solo career was not very successful, despite being signed to The Beatles Apple label, her only single from that era, “Try Some, Buy Some” only climbed to # 77 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart. Ronnie Spector also sang on “Say Goodbye To Hollywood”, along with the E Street Band and Eddie Money’s 1986 # 4 hit “Take Me Home Tonight”. The Ronettes won a Grammy Award in 1965 for “Walking In The Rain”. “Be My Baby” was the song that saw them inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Other honours for The Ronettes include the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
4. The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia never saw his band hit # 1 on the singles chart, the highest the Dead ever got was # 9 with Touch of Grey” in 1987. Their fans, aka ‘Deadheads’ were legion, many of them followed the band from gig to gig, city to city. The Grateful Dead were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. His parent named him after legendary songwriter/composer Jerome Kern and although his full name was Jerome John Garcia, he became much better known as simply Jerry. Garcia died on August 9, 1995 of a heart attack.
5. Ottawa born Paul Anka has been a major force in the music business since “Diana”, first hit # 1 hit in 1957. Paul continued having hits into the ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s and racked up two additional # 1’s and over 50 charted hits. Paul’s songs have been recorded successfully by many other performers, including Annette Funicello, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Donnie Osmond and Elvis Presley.