June 28th – July 4th Birthdays
June 28th – July 4th Birthdays. Celebrating birthdays this week includes Honeyboy Edwards, Ian Paice, Bo Carter, James Cotton, Dan Aykroyd, Willie Dixon, Anthony Topham. And Alan Wilson!
Honeyboy Edwards – 6/28/1915
Traveling with the Delta blues musician and his mentor Big Joe Williams as a young man. While playing the likes of Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, and even plays with Robert Johnson. Up until his death, he is performing the blues for nearly seventy years and winning numerous awards and honors. Including Grammy and National Guitar Museum Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Ian Paice – 6/29/1948
Ian Paice is an English musician, the drummer and only remaining original member of the English rock band Deep Purple. In August 1979, Paice takes a job from David Coverdale to join Whitesnake on the Japanese tour. It’s for the “Lovehunter” album. Afterwards, he stays with the band for almost three years.
Bo Carter – June 30, 1892
Since the 1960s, Carter has become best known for his bawdy songs, such as “Let Me Roll Your Lemon”. Also, “Banana in Your Fruit Basket”, “Pin in Your Cushion”, and “Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me”. However, his output is not limited to dirty blues. In 1928, he records the original version of “Corrine, Corrina”, which later becomes a hit for Big Joe Turner. And a standard in various musical genres. Carter makes his recording debut in 1928, backing Alec Johnson, and is soon was recording as a solo musician. Later, he becomes one of the dominant blues recording acts of the 1930s, recording 110 sides.
James Cotton – July 1, 1935
A legend of the Chicago blues, this harmonica virtuoso, bandleader, and singer-songwriter made a name for himself. By backing some of the biggest names in the business before blazing his own trail. Mentoring at a very young age by harpist extraordinaire Sonny Boy Williamson II, his first venture as professional musician. Finds him backing the towering Howlin’ Wolf in the early 50’s. In 1954, Cotton is personally asked by Muddy Waters to join his backing band, where he would remain and contribute his exemplary skills for twelve years. In 1967 he sets out on his own to begin what would become his own acclaimed and successful forty-plus year career.
Dan Aykroyd aka Elwood Blues – July 1, 1952
We couldn’t leave a blues brother out of this one! Dan Aykroyd developed his musical career in his hometown of Ottawa, particularly through his regular attendances at The Owl, a club that featured many blues artists, including James Cotton, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and many more. After meeting John Belushi on Saturday Night Live, and with a little encouragement from then-SNL music director Paul Shaffer, the Blues Brothers characters were born. The Blues Brothers turned into a real-life performing band and then the 1980 film by the same name we all know and love. Aykroyd also went on to create the “House of Blues” chain of music venues.
William “Willie” Dixon – July 1, 1915
Perhaps the most important songwriter of blues music in his day Dixon had a hand in hundreds of songs over the course of his career. These include the classics, “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “Little Red Rooster.” He was a major influence in shaping Chicago blues by penning songs for the likes of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Little Walter, and even some of the biggest songs in the arsenals of both Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.
Charlie Watts – July 2, 1941
An English drummer, best known as a member of the Rolling Stones since 1963. Originally trained as a graphic artist, he started playing drums in London’s rhythm and blues clubs, where he met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.
In January 1963, he joined their fledgling group, the Rolling Stones, as drummer, while doubling as designer of their record sleeves and tour stages. Watts has been the only Rolling Stones member other than Jagger or Richards to have been featured on all of their studio albums.
Anthony Topham – July 3, 1947
The English blues guitarist is best known for being the first lead guitarist of The Yardbirds. At only 16 years old, he faced parental disapproval coupled with the anxiety of abandoning his art studies, so Topham left the band before they achieved mainstream popularity and was replaced by Eric Clapton. He played and recorded with several groups throughout the years, including John Mayall, and different iterations of the Yardbirds, but also devoted his life to painting and interior design.
Alan Wilson aka Blind Owl – July 4, 1943
An American musician, best known as the co-founder, leader, co-lead singer, and primary composer of the blues band Canned Heat. He sang and played harmonica and guitar with the group live and on recordings. Wilson was the lead singer for the group’s two biggest U.S. hit singles: “On the Road Again” and “Going Up the Country”.
June 28th – July 4th – That’s all for this week’s Birthdays – Be sure to check back next week!
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/