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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23, 1949

It's time for another edition of the Tuesday Timeline, and this time around, I'll be putting the spotlight on a man who has worn many hats during his career.  And, by hats I don't mean literal hats...I mean that he's a real renaissance man who could be considered a real jack of all trades.  A fair dinkum kind of mate, if you will.

I'll let you Google what I just wrote while we go over the list of events that took place on this date in history.

30 BC - Octavian executes Marcus Antonius Antyllus and Caesarion following the successful invasion of Egypt by the Romans

1541 - French explorer Jacques Cartier arrives in Quebec City during his third voyage to Canada

1831 - Nat Turner's slave rebellion is supressed

1904 - The automobile tire chain is patented

1912 - Actor/singer/dancer Gene Kelly (d. 1996) is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1914 - Japan declares war on Germany during World War I

1928 - Actress Marian Seldes (d. 2014) is born in New York City

1929 - The Hebron Massacre takes place during the 1929 Palestine Riots

1942 - The Battle of Stalingrad begins

1944 - Sixty-one people are killed when a United States Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber accidentally crashes through a school in Freckleton, England

1946 - The Who drummer Keith Moon (d. 1978) is born in Wembley, Middlesex, England

1951 - Survivor frontman Jimi Jamison (d. 2014) is born in Durant, Mississippi

1966 - Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon...and speaking of moons...

1967 - The Who's Keith Moon drives his car into a hotel swimming pool during his 21st birthday celebration

1970 - Actor River Phoenix (d. 1993) is born in Madras, Oregon

1973 - The term "Stockholm Syndrome" is coined following a failed bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden where the hostages took pity on the robbers

1989 - The "Singing Revolution" takes place where two million people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania stand on the Vilnius-Tallinn Road holding hands

1991 - Tim Berners-Lee opens the World Wide Web to new users

1993 - The Galileo spacecraft discovers the moon Dactyl

2006 - After spending eight years in captivity, Natascha Kampusch escapes her kidnapper; the kidnapper - Wolfgang Priklopil commits suicide by jumping in front of a train

2008 - Madonna kicks off her "Sticky and Sweet Tour"

2010 - The Manila hostage takes place on a tourist bus where eight people are killed

2012 - Puppeteer/voice artist Jerry Nelson dies at the age of 78

And for celebrity birthdays, we have the following famous faces turning one year older; Vera Miles, Barbara Eden, Mark Russell, Richard Sanders, Willy Russell, Rowena Wallace, Shelley Long, Mark Hudson, Queen Noor of Jordan, Charles Busch, Edwyn Collins, Chris Potter, Dean DeLeo, Alexandre Desplat, Shaun Ryder, Kenny Wallace, Wendy Pepper, Jay Mohr, Ray Park, Shifty Shellshock, Eliza Carthy, Scott Caan, Kobe Bryant, Julian Casablancas, Andrew Rannells, Ritchie Neville, Ozzy Lusth, Natalie Coughlin, and Sky Blu.

Oh, there's one other birthday that I have to add to that list - the birthday of our Tuesday Timeline spotlight.

He was born 67 years ago today on August 23, 1949.

As I mentioned before, this is a person who has had many different career paths.  In some cases, he dominated the music scene with several hits to his credit.  In others, he was a television actor appearing in everything from soap operas to teen dramas.  He's also dabbled in writing and voice work!  Quite the list of achievements for this Australian born entertainer!

Yes, today is the 67th birthday of Rick Springfield, and to celebrate his birthday, I thought we'd have a look at just a few of the many hats he wore during his life and times.  Many of these you'll probably already know, but there may be a surprise or two along the way.

So, let's start with the hat that Rick Springfield has worn the most and go from there.


Okay, so it's fairly obvious that Rick Springfield is probably best known for his music career.  After all, the song below went to #1 in the summer of 1981.

ARTIST:  Rick Springfield
SONG:  Jessie's Girl
ALBUM:  Working Class Dog
DATE RELEASED:  February 1981

But I bet you didn't know that Rick Springfield's career began long before that song was even released!

Having developed a fondness for playing music since he was a child and learning how to play the guitar at the age of 13, Springfield joined the Australian band Zoot in 1969, replacing original lead guitarist Roger Hicks.  And while he became a teen idol for girls in Australia around this time, the cost of being a member of Zoot was quite high.

Could you imagine wearing an all pink satin ensemble like this?  I know I definitely couldn't pull it off!  It was quite difficult for Springfield to be taken seriously as an artist when he had to dress up in Pepto-Bismol pink jumpsuits and sing songs like "Hey Pinky".  Though the band did have a very clever cover version of the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby" in the early 1970s.

By 1971, Zoot had broken up, and it gave Rick the opportunity to cultivate a solo career.  Though his first few albums weren't as successful as he had hoped they would be, he never gave up on recording music.  It would be in 1981 that "Jessie's Girl" would be released, making him an international rock star.  Other hits followed, including "Don't Talk To Strangers", "Affair of the Heart", and "Rock of Life".  And his success came with great rewards, including a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Male Performance for "Jessie's Girl".

And he's still releasing music today, with his latest album "Rocket Science" having come out in February 2016.


But we also can't forget the fact that Rick Springfield is also quite the talented actor as well.  During the late 1970s, Springfield had made several television appearances with roles on "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Rockford Files".  But 1981 would also prove to be a pivotal year in his television career as well when Springfield landed a role on a popular daytime drama.

"General Hospital" was definitely the show to watch in 1981, and while part of that could have been because that was the year that Luke and Laura got hitched (the most watched soap opera episode in the United States ever), a lot of it had to do with Springfield's role as Dr. Noah Drake.  He had signed onto the show for a two-year contract right around the time that "Jessie's Girl" was released, which he did as a back-up plan just in case the album didn't do so well.  But when "Jessie's Girl" became a #1 hit, it doubled Springfield's workload because when he wasn't working on "General Hospital" he was touring the country with his band to promote his music.  He did the schedule for two years before bowing out of the soap in 1983, though he has returned to "General Hospital" for several appearances between 2005 and 2013.

He also made a couple of films - most notably "Hard to Hold", "Nick Knight", and "Legion".  He also appeared in "Californication", "Hawaii Five-0", "Hot in Cleveland", and "True Detective", and has joined the cast of "Supernatural" - his episodes will start airing in October 2016.


Of course, you could classify the number of songs he wrote for his numerous albums as being part of the writing career, but in 2010, Springfield penned his own autobiography entitled "Late, Late at Night: A Memoir", which did quite well on the New York Times Bestseller List (it peaked at #13).  I've read snippits of it online and it's quite interesting.  Apparently Rolling Stone Magazine thought so too - they ranked it at #23 of the 25 Great Rock Memoirs of All Time.  Not too shabby.


Believe it or not, there actually was a cartoon in which Rick Springfield voiced himself in the cartoon "Mission: Magic"!  I really don't know much about the cartoon as it debuted a full eight years before I was even born, but needless to say it was quite a trippy series.  I suppose the best way to describe it is that it was sort of like the Magic School Bus, only using teenagers instead of fifth graders.  Unfortunately, I don't think the series aged all that well, as Rick Springfield was later quoted as saying that the cartoon scarred him for life.  Ouch!  But still...he did voice work in cartoons, so I have to include it - though I'm sure that the late Casey Kasem probably looked at the years that he did Scooby-Doo a lot more fondly!

So, whatever hat you associate with Rick Springfield, know that he has proven to be skilled in all of them. 

Happy birthday, Rick Springfield!

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