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music memories

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Collage of Jim, Dan, Troy Seals, and Johnny Duncan from their album covers.
Keith Chaffee, October 16, 2020

On October 17, 1941, Jim Seals was born. He was half of Seals & Crofts, a 1970s duo who played amiably breezy pop. He was also part of an extended family of musicians who have been successful in pop and country music over the last half-century.


 Paul Simon wins album-of-the year Grammy for "Graceland" [1987]
Keith Chaffee, October 09, 2020

On October 13, 1941, Paul Simon was born. Simon has been a critically acclaimed pop singer and songwriter for more than 60 years, both as a solo act and as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel. Today, we’re focusing primarily on Simon as a soloist.


Pop singer Gwen Stefani on her album cover, You Make it Feel Like Christmas
Keith Chaffee, October 02, 2020

On October 3, 1969, Gwen Stefani was born. As the lead singer of No Doubt, and later as a solo artist, Stefani has been one of the most popular singers of the last twenty years.


Portrait of Dmitri Shostakovich in the audience at the Bach Celebration of July 28, 1950
Keith Chaffee, September 25, 2020

On September 25, 1906, Dmitri Shostakovich was born. Shostakovich was a composer who endured several cycles of official favor and disfavor from the Russian government; despite the political turmoil, he was one of the 20th century’s most important composers.


Paul Williams and Streisand win Best Original Song 1977. Herald Examiner Collection Photographer Mike Mullen
Keith Chaffee, September 18, 2020

On September 19, 1940, Paul Williams was born. Williams is a songwriter, singer, and actor whose songs have been hits for artists ranging from Three Dog Night to Kermit the Frog.


Barry White at Jordan High School, May 15, 1987
Keith Chaffee, September 11, 2020

On September 12, 1944, Barry White was born. White was a singer, songwriter, and producer who became one of pop music’s great romantic icons in the 1970s.


John Cage, LA native and avant-garde composer
Keith Chaffee, September 04, 2020

On September 5, 1912, John Cage was born. Cage was an avant-garde composer whose work often seemed to be equal parts music and philosophical exploration.


Dinah Washington on The Best of Dinah Washington album
Keith Chaffee, August 28, 2020

On August 29, 1924, Dinah Washington was born. Washington was a versatile R&B singer of the late 1940s and 1950s who crossed over to pop audiences near the end of her short life.


Steve Martin and Diane Keaton at the Central Library
Keith Chaffee, August 14, 2020

On August 14, 1945, Steve Martin was born. You might not have expected to see Martin in our “Music Memories” series, because he’s still better known as a comedian and actor. But he’s also a Grammy-winning and Tony-nominated musician, and today, we’re focusing on that side of his career.


Rashaan Roland Kirk on the cover of Roland Kirk’s Finest Hour
Keith Chaffee, August 07, 2020

On August 7, 1935, Rahsaan Roland Kirk was born. Kirk was a jazz musician noted for his ability to play a wide range of instruments, and for his unorthodox playing techniques, which often involved playing multiple instruments simultaneously.


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