February 22nd – 28th – Birthdays. This week’s birthdays includes Norman “Hurricane” Smith, Johnny Winter, Brad Whitford, Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, Lonnie Turner, George Harrison. As well as Fats Domino, Johnny Cash, Bob “The Bear” Hite, Neal Schon, Johnny Van Zant and Brian Jones!
Norman “Hurricane” Smith – 2/22/1923
Although Norman Smith’s résumé is not mind-blowing, it does include significant work with the Beatles and Pink Floyd, one of the first rock concept albums, and a one-shot hit as a recording artist. He joined Abbey Road studios as a tape operator in 1959 and was the primary sound engineer on virtually all of the recordings the Beatles made through the end of 1965. Lastly, in 1966 he works as a producer with Pink Floyd.
Johnny Winter – 2/23/1944
Is an American singer and guitarist. Everyone knows Winter for his high-energy blues rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s. Furthermore, he also produces three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters.
After his time with Waters, Winter records several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he is inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
Brad Whitford – 2/23/1952
Brad Whitford is an American musician who is the rhythm and co-lead guitarist for the hard rock band Aerosmith. He has also works as a songwriter for the group, co-composing well-received tracks such as 1976’s “Last Child”. Other projects include The Joe Perry Project, Experience Hendrix, and Whitford/St. Holmes.
Paul Jones – 2/24/1942
is an English singer, actor, harmonica player, radio personality and television presenter. He first came to prominence as the lead singer and harmonicist of the successful 1960s group “Manfred Mann”, with whom he had several Top Ten hit records from 1962 to 1966. As well as, presenting “The Blues Show” on BBC Radio 2 for thirty-two years, from 1986 to 2018.
Nicky Hopkins – 2/24/1944
Nicholas Christian Hopkins was an English pianist and organist. Hopkins recorded and performed on many notable British and American pop and rock music releases from the 1960s through the 1990s including many songs by The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who.
Lonnie Turner – 2/24/1947
Lonnie Turner is a founding member of the Steve Miller Band. From their humble beginnings as a Bay Area psychedelic blues-rock ensemble to their emergence as a 1970s hit-making, arena filling, platinum- album selling machine that could rock with the best of them! Whereas many bassists accompanying a guitar icon tend to play it safe on the bottom end, Turner is particularly adept.
By working the upper and lower registers with equal dexterity and creativity, and he is a master pocket player. Also, he’s an accomplished backing vocalist, Lonnie also shines on albums with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Albert King, Tommy Tutone, and Terry & the Pirates.
George Harrison – 2/25/1943
English musician, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called “the quiet Beatle”, Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles’ work.
Fats Domino – 2/26/28
Hugely influential New Orleans pianist and singer-songwriter who performs piano blues, R&B, and rock and roll. With over thirty songs on the Top 40 charts in the United States, with “The Fat Man” “Blueberry Hill”. Along with a few others selling more than a million copies.
Antoine Domino Jr. was a generally unsung hero and pioneer of Rock and Roll music. Domino was born in New Orleans where he began playing piano at bars at the age of fourteen. Antoine got his nickname from the celebrated jazz pianist Fats Waller because of his similar style.
Johnny Cash – 2/26/1932
Without a doubt one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. As well as his powerful music and iconic image are celebrated throughout the world. Remembered mostly as a country music phenomenon, throughout his celebrated career he performs in the genres of blues, folk, gospel, and is an important contributor to both rock & roll and rockabilly music.
“Folsom Prison Blues”, “I Walk the Line”, “A Boy Named Sue”, “Ring of Fire”, and “Man in Black” are but a few of the hundreds upon hundreds of songs that Cash wrote in his lifetime. Since 1960 he has been the recipient of dozens of awards and has since been inducted into the Country, Gospel, and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame. His life and music have influenced too many artist to count, and both continue to inspire musicians to this day.
Bob “The Bear” Hite – 2/26/1943
Guitarist, harpist, flute player, songwriter and the lead singer of the blues and boogie rock band Canned Heat. Furthermore, he also takes the helm as the producer on the double album Hooker ‘n Heat. An album that saw the band teaming up with blues legend John Lee Hooker.
Neal Schon – 2/27/1954
Neal Joseph Schon is an American rock guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist, best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He was a member of the rock band Santana before forming Journey and was also an original member of Hardline.
Johnny Van Zant – 2/27/1959
Johnny Roy Van Zant is an American singer/composer and the current lead vocalist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is the younger brother of the late Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder and former lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, and of the 38 Special founder Donnie Van Zant.
Brian Jones – 2/28/1942
English musician, producer, and songwriter who, in 1962, brought together the musicians and acted as the original bandleader of the Rolling Stones. Jones provides lead guitar, harmonica, keyboards, and backing vocals to the group, in addition to a dozen other musical instruments.
Though he is the early driving force behind the songs the band plays and direction of the Stones’ music, he became alienated from his bandmates and fell into substance abuse. Shortly after, he’s asked to leave the band.
February 22nd – 28th – Birthdays That’s all for this week. Be sure to check back next week for more KTBA Birthdays!
Keeping the Blues Alive – February 22nd – 28th – Birthdays