Mahalia Jackson was born on October 26, 1911. Jackson was a gospel singer, a towering presence in the genre whose popularity extended to mainstream audiences. In the 1950s and 1960s, she devoted much of her time to civil rights activism.
Debbie Macomber was born on October 22, 1948. Macomber is the author of more than 150 novels; she primarily writes romance and women's fiction.
Musical comedians don't tend to have long careers. Political satirist Tom Lehrer retired after about a decade; folk-singer parodist Allan Sherman's moment in the spotlight lasted for two years.
On November 10, 1928, Ennio Morricone was born. Morricone is the composer of more than 400 film scores and dozens of concert works, and one of the most popular and best-selling film composers of all time.
This week, we celebrate the birthdays of two of the three members of the country group the Dixie Chicks. Martie Maguire was born on October 12, 1969, and Natalie Maines was born on October 14, 1974.
Elmore Leonard was born on October 11, 1925. Leonard was a writer of novels, short stories, and screenplays. At the beginning of his career, he wrote mostly Westerns; when he shifted to crime and suspense novels, he became one of the country's most popular novelists.
Giuseppe Verdi was born on October 9, 1813. Verdi was a composer of opera, and many of his works are among the most beloved operas in the repertoire. He had an unusually long career as a composer, spanning almost sixty years.