January is a busy month for music history.
- Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones celebrated his 77th birthday on January 3.
- R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe celebrated his 63rd birthday on January 4
- Joy Division and New Order founder Bernard Sumner also celebrated his 67th birthday on January 4
- The 70th anniversary of AC/DC co-founder, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and backing vocalist Malcom Young’s birth was on January 6
- The 76th anniversary of David Bowie‘s brith was on January 8
- The Doors‘ Robby Krieger celebrated his 77th birthday on January 8
- Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page celebrated his 79th birthday on January 9
- Steely Dan co-founder, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Donald Fagen celebrated his 75th birthday on January 10.
- Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul celebrated her 52nd birthday on January 11
- Raekwon celebrated his 52nd birthday on January 12. Raekwon’s work with Wu-Tangand as a solo artist have helped to cement his reputation among the cognoscenti as one of the most gifted and unique emcees in the history of hip-hop.
- Dave Grohl celebrated his 54th birthday on January 14
- Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam’s frontwoman Lisa “Lisa Lisa” Velez celebrated her 56th birthday on January 15
- The queen of Quiet Storm, Sade celebrated her 64th birthday on January 16
- The Bangles’ co-founder and frontperson Susanna Hoffs celebrated her 64th birthday on January 17
- The Temptations‘ former lead singer David Ruffin was born 82 years ago. He was the lead singer from 1963-1968, which may arguably be the soul act’s most legendary and pioneering period. He also had an impressive solo career — with some equally great songs for a period of time.
- The 80th anniversary of Janis Joplin‘s birth is today.
Adding to the auspiciousness of both the month and the day, Dolly Parton celebrates her 77th birthday today. Parton is one of the greatest singer/songwriters and performers ever. I’ve seen Dolly at Forest Hills Stadium — and she was amazing.
As a songwriter, there’s an old story that she wrote two of her signature songs “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” — in the same day. She wrote the feminist anthem “9 to 5”– and starred in the movie.
Let’s not forget that she’s the book lady. And she’s a recent Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
So let’s celebrate this legend today. Happy birthday, Dolly! May there be many, many more!