Birthday greetings to a pair of Chicagoans, who, alas, no longer are with us: Warren Zevon born January 24, 1947, and John Belushi (1949).
Both left the world too soon—Zevon was 56 when he succumbed to cancer, while Belushi was only 33 when he OD’d.
Happy 258th birthday to Robert Burns, born in Alloway, Scotland, January 25 1759. Remarkably, he’s still considered Scotland’s national poet (I believe he was an early figure in the Romantic school, as well).
Burns isn’t so big in the U.S., but in Scotland there are monuments to him everywhere, including this three-story beast in Edinburgh in the shadow of the great castle.
January 27, 1970: John Lennon writes “Instant Karma” in less than an hour in the morning and records it in the evening with the help of George Harrison playing acoustic guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White drumming. It was released February 6.
Play it loud. John said so.
Happy 262nd birthday to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. He farted out his first concerto at two months old. What a guy!
January 27, 2010: J.D. Salinger dies in his Cornish, New Hampshire, home at 91.
Whatever happened to all those manuscripts he left behind, were any published? Anyone know?
R.I.P. Mort Walker, who passed January 27 at 94. He drew Beetle Bailey for 67 years (the longest single run for any cartoonist). Saw him at New York Comic Con many times, nice guy. He also drew Hi and Lois (Lois is Beetle’s sister). His kids are going to continue to produce Beetle Bailey, but it won’t be the same.
Michael Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He is also former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.