Blues News

August 24 – August 30 – Birthdays

August 24 – August 30. This week’s birthdays features David Freiberg, Gene Simmons, Jimmie Rushing, Tim Bogart, Odie Payne. As well as Danny Seraphine, Dinah Washington, Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson. 

David Freiberg – 8/24/1938

David Freiberg is a member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. Also, he co-wrote “Jane,” a hit for Jefferson Starship. As well as contributing vocals, keyboards, electric bass, rhythm guitar, viola, and percussion to each of these bands.

Gene Simmons – 8/25/1949

Gene Simmons is an Israeli American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, author and television personality. Also known by his stage persona “The Demon”, he is the bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss. The rock band he co-founds with lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley in the early 1970s. 

Jimmy Rushing – 8/26/1901

Renowned for his immense voice, this Jump blues shouter and jazz singer was a part of Count Basie’s Orchestra. Consequently, you can hear him on such songs as “Going to Chicago” and “Harvard Blues”. Rushing is a powerful singer who has a range from baritone to tenor. Sometimes he’s been classified as a blues shouter. He could project his voice so that it soars over the horn and reed sections in a big-band setting. 

Tim Bogert – 8/27/1944

A legendary rock bassist that put the thunder bass and amazing his vocals in so many classic rock bands. Such as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, and Beck Bogert Appice. Tim and drummer Carmine Appice are one of the most famous rhythm sections in rock history. Additionally, he is a founding member of such groups as “Vanilla Fudge”, “Cactus”, and “Beck, Bogert & Appice.”

Odie Payne – 8/27/1926

A son of the “Windy City”, this talented Chicago blues drummer developed his skills from an early age. These skills earned himself a spot in the bands of Little Johnny Jones and Tampa Red. He joined the band of Elmore James in 1952. Although he only remained with James’ band for three years, he would record with the guitar master until 1959. After this, he became a highly sought-after session musician. This exemplary drummer lent his skills to recordings of such artists as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, and more.

Danny Seraphine – 8/28/1948 

As an American drummer, record producer, theatrical producer, and film producer. He’s the original drummer and founding member of the rock band Chicago. Which is a tenure that lasts from February 1967 to May 1990.

Dinah Washington – 8/29/1924

Dinah Washington is a singer, pianist, and jazz vocalist performing the blues, jazz, and traditional pop music. She gives herself the title “the Queen of the Blues”. Born in Alabama, she begins performing in Chicago clubs in her teens and soon is singing with Lionel Hampton’s band. She becomes one of the nation’s most popular singers in the mid-1940’s and ’50’s, with 27 top ten hits.

Throughout her career, she continues to perform with jazz luminaries like Ben Webster and Cannonball Adderley. Known for her distinctive vocal style, high pitched voice, and terrific phrasing. Washington wins a Grammy Award for her song “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Unfortunately, she passes at the young age of 39 from an accidental prescription drug overdose. Her musical legacy remains strong and in 1993, she’s an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson – 8/30/1934

A Georgia native, Luther teaches himself how to play the guitar that soon gives him an appreciation for music.  From guitarist, he also starts singing and songwriter for mostly Chicago and electric blues. In 1966, he begins performing with Muddy Water’s backing band. In the seventies, he moved to Boston where he found success in blues festivals and on college circuits. Furthermore, He jump starts his own career with 1969’s “Come on Home” and continues performing until his death.

Keeping the Blues Alive  

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