The big band Big Man, Count Basie, was born today in 1904 (d. 1984). In his heyday, he was as popular as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller or any of the other jazz orchestras of the Swing Era. A couple of videos don’t do him justice, so go to YouTube and catch some of his other great performances.
Just listen to how Basie beefed up “April in Paris” in 1956:
From the early days of rock to today, James Burton (born today in 1939) has been an innovator and the rhythmic backbone of performers such as Elvis Presley. Although often in the background, he’s one hell of a lead guitar player.
What the world needed in 1944, and got, was singer Jackie DeShannon. Here’s her biggest hit, “What the World Needs Now is Love” (and it still does):