Five People Born on March 12

jamestaylorToday is March 12, 2010 and the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 293 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1015 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1894, Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time.  Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

 
 

number1JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969)

A significant leader of the Beat movement in the United States, Kerouac  was a novelist and poet  most famous for his 1957 novel, On the Road, which had great cultural influence and sent a generation packing for California.  On the Road captured the spirit of its time as no other work of the 20th century had since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  Kerouac’s writings were spontaneous and dealt with topics such as: Jazz music, drugs, poverty, travel, Buddhism, and promiscuity.  He is often credited for helping to develop the Hippie Movement in the United States.  He influenced many authors, such as: Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Dylan, Ken Kesey, and Tom Robbins with his writings.   He died at the age of 47 from cirrhosis of the liver, contributed to a lifetime of drinking.

 
 

number2JAMES TAYLOR (Born 1948)

Born Vernon James Taylor in Boston, Taylor is an American singer-songwriter who helped to develop the songwriter movement of the 1970s.  Among the experiences that shaped Taylor, who grew up in an upper-middle-class North Carolina family, were voluntary stays in mental institutions—once as a teenager and later to overcome heroin addiction. Having played in bands with his brother Alex and friend Danny Kortchmar, Taylor traveled to England, where he released his largely unnoticed debut album in 1968 on the Beatles’ Apple label. His next album, Sweet Baby James (1970), and its melancholy hit “Fire and Rain” began Taylor’s reign as a chronicler of the life passages of middle-class baby boomers (for instance, later, his failed marriage to singer-songwriter Carly Simon). Conveyed by his gentle tenor, his contemplative songs—rooted in complex chord changes and influenced by Appalachian folk music, Hank Williams, and early soul vocalists—were set against his deft accompaniment on acoustic guitar and the rock-oriented backing of a regular group of studio musicians that included Kortchmar. Ironically, among his biggest hits were cover versions of rhythm-and-blues songs such as Otis Blackwell’s “Handy Man.” With more than 16 albums of varying commercial success behind him, Taylor remained a prolific writer and performer at the beginning of the 21st century. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

 
 

number3MITT ROMNEY (Born 1947)

This businessman and politician was born in Detroit, Michigan.  Mitt Romney attended the prestigious Cranbrook School before receiving his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1971. He attended Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School and received both a law degree and an M.B.A. in 1975.  The son of George Romney, Michigan governor and Republican presidential nominee (he was defeated by Richard Nixon in 1968), Mitt Romney began his career in business. He worked for the management consulting firm Bain & Company before founding the investment firm Bain Capital in 1984. In 1994, he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts but was defeated by longtime incumbent Edward Kennedy.  In 1999, Romney stepped into the national spotlight when he took over as president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He helped rescue the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial and ethical woes, and helmed a successful Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002.  Mitt Romney parlayed his success with the Olympics into politics when he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2003. After serving one term, he declined to run for reelection and announced his bid for U.S. president in the 2008 election.  He lost the Republican bid to John McCain.

 
 

 

number4LIZA MINNELLI (Born 1946)

Singer and actress, Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and Hollywood director, Vincente Minnelli.  Minnelli made her film debut as a toddler in the musical comedy In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which starred her mother and Van Johnson. While she made other appearances in her mother’s concert productions, Minnelli’s career in entertainment did not start in earnest until later.  As a teenager, Minnelli gave up on school and went to New York City to pursue a stage career. She landed a role in the off-Broadway revival of the musical Best Foot Forward in 1963, which brought her strong reviews.  In her first leading Broadway role, Minnelli appeared as the title character in Flora, The Red Menace in 1965. The light musical comedy poked fun at the 1930s communist movement. While it only ran for a few weeks, the musical brought Minnelli a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was only 19 at the time, making her one of the youngest performers to ever win the award.  Minnelli went on to co-star in the dramatic comedy Charlie Bubbles (1967) opposite Albert Finney. Playing an offbeat misfit named Pookie, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the 1969 film The Sterile Cuckoo. During the production of her next film, Otto Preminger’s Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1969), Minnelli suffered a great loss. Her mother died from an accidental drug overdose on June 22, 1969.  Two years later, Minnelli landed her greatest film role, playing floundering nightclub singer Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret (1972), which was set in Germany in the 1930s. The film, directed by Bob Fosse, showcased her singing talents as well as her range as an actress. For her efforts, Minnelli won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film won eight awards in total, including a Best Supporting Actor award for Joel Grey and Best Director for Fosse. Minnelli’s hot streak continued with the television special, Liza with a Z, which was produced by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. The show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program—Variety and Popular Music in 1973.  Minnelli returned to Broadway in The Act in 1977. She played a washed-up singer trying to revive her musical career. Giving an outstanding performance, Minnelli netted her second Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical. A few years later, she had another success on the big screen with the romantic comedy Arthur (1981). Minnelli co-starred with Dudley Moore as a waitress who falls in love with a wealthy, but often inebriated man.  Her acting career perked up in recent years, with her humorous guest appearances on the series Arrested Development in 2004 and 2005. For the most part, however, Minnelli has focused on live performances. She gives numerous concerts each year around the world.

 
 

number5AL JARREAU (Born 1940)

Wisconsin-born singer-songwriter, Jarreau is the only person in history to win three Grammy Awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B).  He has recorded more than two dozen albums over the last three decades.  Jarreau grew up in a religious household; his father was a minister and Al began singing in the church choir at the age of four. In 1960, he graduated from Wisconsin’s Ripon College, where he performed locally with a group called The Indigos on weekends. After earning his Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Iowa, he moved to San Francisco to begin a brief career as a social worker. There, his desire to sing persisted, and he found himself performing at a small jazz club with a trio headed by George Duke.  He moved to Los Angeles and began playing in small clubs on the West Coast. He branched out to New York City as well, where he gained national television exposure by crooning with Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin. His first album, 1965, released that year, was pure jazz featuring pianist Cal Bezemer, bassist Gary Allen and drummer Joe Abodeely.  In 1975, after a 10-year break from recording, Jarreau went back to the studio to produce We Got By, his first release for Warner Bros. Records. During the next two decades, Jarreau would release almost an album per year. Career highlights include 1981’s Breakin’ Away, which went platinum thanks to the hit single We’re in This Love Together and the popular theme song from the 1980s television show, Moonlighting.  In 1977, Jarreau embarked on his first world tour and won his first American Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. His fourth album, All Fly Home, was released in 1978, earning a second Grammy for Best Jazz Vocalist. In 1985, Al Jarreau Live In London, recorded at Wembley Arena, helped solidify his reputation as a world-class master of both studio and stage. Breakin’ Away won two more Grammy’s with awards for Best Male Pop Vocalist and Best Male Jazz Vocalist.  In 1992, after touring the globe for nearly two years, Jarreau returned to the studio to produce Heaven and Earth for which he received his fifth Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance. He released Tenderness in 1994 with an all-star cast, including David Sanborn, Kathleen Battle, Joe Sample and Steve Gadd.  In 1996, Jarreau began a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease. Other acting credits include appearances on New York Undercover and Touched By An Angel.  In 1996, the Best of Al Jarreau compilation was released on Warner Bros., featuring Jarreau’s career hits, Moonlighting, We’re in This Love Together, Boogie Down and Roof Garden, as well as two new tracks written by George Duke.