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February 8th – 14th Birthdays

February 8th – 14th Birthdays

February 8th – 14th – Birthdays. This week’s birthdays include Floyd Dixon, Lonnie Johnson, Brian Bennett, Ernest Tubb, Nigel Olsson, Joshua White, Ray Manzarek. As well as Peter Gabriel and Magic Sam.

Floyd Dixon – 2/8/1929

R&B, West Coast and jump blues pianist and singer best known for his 1954 hit, “Hey Bartender” and for performing at blues and jazz festivals in Europe and the United States later in his life. In the 1970s Dixon left the music industry for a quieter life in Texas, though he did occasional tours.

Also, in 1984 he writes “Olympic Blues” for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Equally important, in 1993, Dixon receives a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. And in the mid-1990s, he secures a contract with Alligator Records, releasing the critically acclaimed album, “Wake Up And Live.

Lonnie Johnson – 2/8/1899

With a career that spans nearly fifty years, this pioneer guitarist, as well as singer, songwriter, and electric violinist. Revolutionizing the role of the guitar in both the genres of jazz and the blues. His music marks the beginning of an unprecedented style of single note soloing. Which uses string bending and vibrato when he first begins recording in 1925.

He works with a number of the greatest musicians of his time, performing with Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, and Louis Armstrong. Along with Django Reinhardt, T-Bone Walker, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley. And even Robert Johnson who drew inspiration from this genius of a guitarist.

Brian Bennett – 2/9/1940 

An English drummer, pianist, composer, and producer of popular music. He’s the drummer of the UK rock and roll group “The Shadows”. As well as the father of musician and Shadows band member Warren Bennett.

Ernest Tubb – 2/9/1914

Nicknamed the “Texas Troubadour”, he was an American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music. His biggest career hit song, “Walking the Floor Over You”, marks the rise of the “honky tonk” style of music. 

Nigel Olsson – 2/10/1949

Nigel Olsson is an English rock drummer and singer best known for his long-time affiliation with Elton John. A dynamic drummer and backing vocalist, Olsson helps establish the Elton John sound as a member of John’s original power trio alongside bassist Dee Murray.

Joshua White – 2/11/1914

Musician, actor, and civil rights activist who performed in the genres of gospel, folk, jazz, protest songs and blues. Active for over four decades, his work has influenced dozens upon dozens of artists including: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles. Along with Elvis Presley, Brownie McGee, Robert Plant, Peter Seeger, Odetta, Blind Boy Fuller, Alexis Korner, Mike Bloomfield, and more.

Ray Manzarek – 2/12/1939

Keyboardist, singer-songwriter, producer, and director known for his role as a member and co-founder of the influential rock group The Doors. As a keyboardist, While Manzarek’s skills were an essential component to the group’s sound, he also performs on both the organ and piano bass.

After the Doors disbanded, he pursued a solo career and performed with numerous other artists. In 2001 he joined with former band-mate Robby Krieger to form The Doors of the 21st Century of which he would remain a part of until sadly passing away on May 20, 2013.

Peter Gabriel – 2/13/1950

Peter Gabriel is an English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and activist. Furthermore, he rises to fame as the original lead singer of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, he launches a successful solo career with “Solsbury Hill” as his first single.

While, his 1986 album, So, is his best-selling release. Which is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S. The album’s most successful single, “Sledgehammer”, won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards.

 Magic Sam – 2/14/1937

Influential singer-songwriter and guitarist who helps pioneer the blues of Chicago’s West side during the late 50’s and 60’s. A unique musician whose impassioned vocals and finger picking style offers a fresh take on the music of the Windy City.

From his explosive performance at the very first Ann Arbor Blues Festival to his revered debut album, West Side Soul. Magic Sam made a sizable impact with his unfortunately short career.

February 8th – 14th Birthdays. That’s all for this week, be sure to check back next week!

Keeping the Blues Alive

Help us with our mission of Keeping the Blues Alive in schools! To learn more or donate to Keeping the Blues Alive, visit our website at https://keepingthebluesalive.org/donate

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