Actor and singer Sheb Wooley would be a century old today. As an actor, he appeared in Westerns in the movies and on television, and was the creator of the Wilhelm Scream. As a singer, Sheb did mostly novelty songs, including "The Purple People Eater," which was a #1 hit in 1958. The orchestra and chorus were directed by Neely Plumb, whose daughter Eve played Jan Brady on the ’70’s comedy The Brady Bunch.
Tom Lehrer, whom Wikipedia calls "a retired American musician, singer-songwriter, satirist, and mathematician, having lectured on mathematics and musical theater," turns 93 today. He’s known outside academia as the writer of satirical topical songs. In the 1960’s he wrote songs for the American version of the TV show That Was The Week That Was. "New Math" was from his 1965 album That Was The Year That Was. I hope this doesn’t trigger anyone over the age of 60…
Jazz singer and pianist Carmen McRae would be 101 today. She’s considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th Century and is known for her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretation of the lyrics, according to Wikipedia. "Take Five" is from the 1961 album Tonight Only! that she did with the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Country singer and songwriter Bobby Bare was born on this day in 1935. "Marie Laveau" was written by Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor and originally done by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show on their 1971 album Doctor Hook. Bobby’s 1974 live cover reached #1 on the US and Canadian Country charts. The video was done by CC Productions.
Songwriter Leo Robin was born on this day in 1900. He’s best known for the Oscar-winning song "Thanks For The Memory," which he wrote with Ralph Rainger and was sung by Bob Hope (which became his signature song) and Shirley Ross in the movie The Big Broadcast of 1938. Robin and Rainger also wrote "Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend" for Carol Channing (and, later, Marilyn Monroe).