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The American composer and singer Jermaine Jackson was born in 1954 in Gary, Indiana. Known best as one of the original members of the Jackson 5 and brother to music legend Michael Jackson, Jermaine grew up the fourth child in the Jackson family and was originally tapped to be the group’s lead singer. However, after his younger brother Michael began stealing the show with his vocals, Jermaine took a backseat so that Michael could begin his meteoric rise as first the lead singer of the...Jermaine Jackson Bio Continue
American football wide receiver Jerry Rice was born in 1962 in Crawford, Mississippi. Legend has it that a fortuitous run-in with his high school principal as a teenager led to an unusual consequence for his absence from classes and raucous behavior; according to the story, the principal gave him the choice of joining the football team or facing other consequences, and Jerry chose football. Whether the story is true or not may be irrelevant; for Jerry Rice joined the high school...Jerry Rice Bio Continue
The British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading was born in 1950 in Basseterre on the island of Saint Kitts in the Caribbean. Armatrading grew up in Birmingham, England, where as a teenager she began writing her own music. Young Joan became a self-taught guitarist and pianist, but her aspirations for a music career were initially cut short when she went to work to help support the family at the age of fifteen. When she wasn’t working, though, Armatrading b...Joan Armatrading Bio Continue
Joan Jett became a figurehead for multiple generations of female musicians by balancing her loud and overpowering rock and roll sound with a defiant feminine presence that never overtakes her talent. Joan Jett was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was twelve. By the time she was fifteen, she was performing around town with her first band. Jett was eventually discovered by Kim Fowler, an LA record producer, who renamed her group...Joan Jett Bio Continue
The R&B singer Jocelyn Brown was born in 1950 in Kingston, North Carolina. In the mid to late 1970’s, Brown released a number of chart-topping dance hits, including “Keep on Jumpin” and “In the Bush,” as a vocalist for Musique. During this time Jocelyn also sang for Cerrone and Inner Life, until in 1984 she burst onto the scene as a solo performer, releasing the album Somebody Else’s Guy. The album was a success, spawning the hit sin...Jocelyn Brown Bio Continue
The American singer and songwriter Jody Watley was born in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. Young Jody grew up in an environment which fostered her musical talents; her godfather was none other than Jackie Wilson, who encouraged the young Jody to sing when she was only a child. Her first appearance in performance was at his side, at the age of eight, and by the time she was a teenager, she’d begun appearing on the TV dance show Soul Train. Watley was selected t...Jody Watley Bio Continue
Joe Jackson was born in 1954 in Burton-on-Trent, England. As a young child, he originally had aspirations to be a writer, but found music far more interesting. He began studying music theory and music history, and then began piano lessons with the intention of pursuing composition. By the age of sixteen, he was writing songs that brought him into the pop and performance world, sometimes playing piano at local pubs around the neighborhood. A scholarship to London’s Ro...Joe Jackson Bio Continue
Joe Satriani was born in 1956 in Westbury, New York. Satriani began playing guitar was he was only fourteen years old, and within a few years he was teaching others to play. A move to California in the late 1970’s expanded his teaching circle significantly, and he can be credited with teaching future guitar legends such as Larry LaLonde (Primus), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), and David Bryson (Counting Crows.) Satriani released his first solo album, Not of This Earth, in 1986,...Joe Satriani Bio Continue
American country music singer John Conlee was born in 1946 in Versailles, Kentucky. John began singing at a very young age, while still in elementary school, and he learned to play guitar as a teenager. As a young man, Conlee first began work as a disc jockey for a local radio station before moving to Nashville in the early 1970’s, in pursuit of a career as a musician.John Conlee Bio Continue
John Elefante, best known as the lead singer of the band Kansas in the early 1980’s, was born in 1958 in Levittown, New York. John began studying music early on, learning to play drums and perfect his vocals. In 1981, he joined the band Kansas and remained with them until 1984. During his years with the band, Elefante not only performed as front man, but also penned some of the band’s most notable singles, and also found a passion for producing s well as performing. ...John Elefante Bio Continue
The actor John Goodman was born in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri. Long before Goodman rose to fame as Dan Conner, Roseanne’s husband on the hit television series of the same name, he grew up raised by a single mother in a family of three children. His father had passed away suddenly following a heart attack when John was only two years old. Goodman excelled in athletics as a high school student, ultimately earning a football scholarship to Missouri State University. While at the univer...John Goodman Bio Continue
American actor John Lithgow was born in 1945 in Rochester, New York. Long before Lithgow grew up to become one of America’s most awarded and recognized actors, he grew up influenced by his parents’ experiences in the entertainment industry; his mother had been an actress and his father worked as a director and producer in a local theater. Young John moved around quite a bit as a child, as his father brought the family with him wherever he was able t...John Lithgow Bio Continue
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