Born today: July 15 mega-post

There are so many interesting artists born on July 15 that it is impossible in my schedule to write pieces about them. So here are some shorties, along with a video or two for each.

--Francis Bebey / July 15, 1929 - May 28, 2001

This unique Cameroonian composer and his interesting DIY synth-pop crossed with traditional music has been justly making new fans in recent years.

--James Jacson / July 15, 1932 - Aug 10, 1997

Happy cosmic birthday to James Jacson, one of my favorite characters from Sun Ra's Arkestra. Jacson is the one who was instructed to build a drum from a tree that Sun Ra said was going to be struck by lightning. After the tree was struck by lightning the next day, Jacson built the "Infinity Lightning Drum". Jacson also sang, played flute, bassoon and other percussion instruments and was a vital member of the Arkestra for many years. I got to see him with the Arkestra a few times. He passed away in the Sun Ra house.

--Philly Joe Jones / July 15, 1923 - Aug 30, 1985

Happy birthday to the great bebop drummer Philly Joe Jones, heard often with the likes of Miles Davis, Elmo Hope, Hank Mobley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans and even Archie Shepp.

--Joe Harriott / July 15, 1928 - Jan 2, 1973

Happy birthday to the great, forward-thinking Jamaican saxophonist Joe Harriott! From mento, calypso and ska and on to bebop, free jazz and Indian-inspired improvisations, he was underrated but full of adventurous ideas. As such, he can rightly be looked at as a pioneer of both free jazz and "world music".

--Gregory Isaacs / July 15, 1951 - Oct 25, 2010

Isaacs was one of the greatest and most distinguishable voices of reggae and any other style of music.

--Johnny Thunders / July 15, 1952 - April 23, 1991

Johnny Thunders, one of the godfathers of punk, best known for his work with the NY Dolls and the Heartbreakers.


--Ian Curtis / July 15, 1956 - May 18, 1980

Front man for one of the greatest bands of its era, Joy Division.

--Cordell Jackson / July 15, 1923 - Oct 14, 2004

A pioneer rock & roller, one of the first women to produce her own records, starting Moon Records in 1956 in Memphis (as a diss to Sun Records).


--Abner Jay / July 15, 1921 - Nov 4, 1993

The one-man band Abner Wingate Jay came from the Southern medicine & minstrel show circuit to become a well-known DIY touring agent of "outsider" folk music, playing several instruments (some of them home-built), often at the same time. Anthony Braxton once called him "an American Master". His bluesy, folky ranting style has a lot of nuttiness in his stories. Aside from his own DIY releases, he also had '60s singles on London and Peacock.

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