February 1: Happy Birthday Don Everly and Clark Gable
Don Everly, one half of one of the most successful brother duos in music history, is celebrating his 81st today. He and his younger brother Phil (1939-2014) began singing and playing together as boys, on their father Ike’s radio show. When Don graduated from high school in 1955, the brothers moved to Nashville and soon signed a contract with Cadence Records.
Their first single, “Bye Bye Love,” was released in early 1957 and became a #2 hit, and launched a string of Top Ten hits for the Everly Brothers that lasted through about 1962. Many of their hits, such as “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up, Little Susie”—both written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant—were the work of other songwriters, but the brothers also wrote some of their own material, such as this #1 single from 1960.
After about 1962 the Everly Brothers’ success tailed off. There were a variety of reasons—the duo struggled with substance abuse issues, they had military commitments, they had a dispute with music publisher Wesley Rose that cut them off from songwriters like the Bryants, and as of 1964 or so they faced the British Invasion. However, they continued to record and perform until the mid-2000s.
Clark Gable (1901-1960) began the career that would see him dubbed the “King of Hollywood” by acting in a variety of regional and touring theater companies in the early 1920s. He worked for a couple of years in silent films in the mid-twenties, returned to the stage, and then signed a contract with MGM in 1930. He played a few villains early in his career, but broke out as a leading man in the 1932 adventure classic Red Dust. Although he worked almost exclusively at MGM until the mid-fifties, he won his only Oscar when he was loaned out to Columbia to make a comedy directed by Frank Capra.
After It Happened One Night, Gable was nominated for two more Oscars, as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty and Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. Some of his other famous films from the 1930s included Manhattan Melodrama, China Seas, San Francisco, and Test Pilot. His romance with and marriage to Carole Lombard was one of Hollywood’s great love stories, one that turned tragic with Lombard’s death in 1942.
Gable served in the Air Force in World War 2, and resumed his film career afterwards, but with diminishing success. Although he had some successes, like The Hucksters and Across the Wide Missouri, he became dissatisfied with his roles at MGM and left the studio in 1954. He suffered a heart attack, which turned out to be fatal, just two days after completing filming on his final movie, John Huston’s The Misfits.
Garrett Morris, who is 81 today, will be recognized by fans of 2 Broke Girls, where he was a regular for all six seasons; he previously was a regular on Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show. Sara Malakul Lane, who has appeared in the two latest Kickboxer films among others, is turning 35. Brian Krause, who turns 49, was a regular on Charmed as Leo Wyatt. Lauren Mary Kim, who celebrates her 37th, is one of the busiest stuntwomen around these days—she works regularly on series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scorpion, and The Defenders, and in films like Furious 7.
Rapper Antwan Patton, better known as Big Boi, who is best known as one half of the duo Outkast (who had three #1 hits in the 2000s), is 43 today. Argentine footballer Gabriel Batistuta, who is turning 49, had a great career with La Albiceleste as well as a club player in Europe; he is Argentina’s #2 all-time goalscorer in international play.
Michael C. Hall and John Ford were the February 1 headliners one year ago.
Michael C. Hall is celebrating his 47th. He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for starring in the off-Broadway production of the musical Lazarus (music and lyrics by David Bowie), and then starred in the London production as well. He played John Dean in Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, and will star in the upcoming series Safe, which Netflix will be airing in the US.
Sherilyn Fenn, who is 53, reprised the role of Audrey Horne on Showtime’s Twin Peaks. Linus Roache, who costarred in Mandy, screened recently at Sundance, is 54. Ronda Rousey is 31; her film career is apparently on hold, while she recently signed a full-time contract with the WWE. Abbi Jacobson, who celebrates her 34th, will star in the upcoming 6 Balloons, and continues to star on Broad City (of which she is the co-creator).
If today is your birthday, congratulations on sharing your big day with these notable names. Birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a big day today. Come back tomorrow for more celebrity birthdays.