Johnny Mathis was born on September 30, 1935. Mathis is best known as an interpreter of romantic ballads, but in his 60-year career, he’s recorded in a wide range of musical styles—standards and show tunes, jazz, country, Latin, tropical, and R&B.
Bert Kaempfert was born on October 16, 1923. In the 1960s, Kaempfert was one of the last great stars of the easy listening genre, leading his band in smooth instrumental music that mixed pre-rock Tin Pan Alley, international folk music, and occasional touches of jazz.
Jane Smiley was born on September 26, 1949. Smiley is best known as a novelist, but has also written several nonfiction books on a wide range of topics, and is a frequent contributor to essay collections.
George Gershwin was born on September 26, 1898. Gershwin wrote music for both the concert hall and the Broadway stage; whether writing popular songs or music for orchestra, he gave us standards that remain popular today.
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ric Ocasek died on September 15, at the age of (depending on the source) 70 or 75. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Ocasek was the leader of The Cars, a band who fused a variety of rock styles into a distinctively popular blend.
On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates representing 12 of the original 13 states (Rhode Island sent no delegates) signed the newly drafted United States Constitution, which is the oldest written codified constitution in existence.