Today we celebrate three of the coolest ever. There's no doubt about it.

Bryan Ferry, Aug. 2001. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

9/26/1964 (54 years ago today) - File under "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow": Roy Orbison starts three weeks at No. 1 on this date with the so-good-it's-beyond-classic single "Oh Pretty Woman" -- The title was inspired by Roy's wife Claudette interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out; when Orbison asked if she needed any cash, his co-writer Bill Dees said "A pretty woman never needs any money." 

9/26/2003 (15 years ago today) - Gone too soon: British singer-songwriter-producer-arranger and fashion icon Robert Palmer died at the age of 54 from a heart attack while staying at a Paris, France hotel. One of the very few of his time who never tried to bulls---t you, Robert stayed true to the music he wanted to make, and he never (not once!) ever gave in to formulaic expectation. His career may have been a tad erratic, but the fact is he left behind one of the more intriguing and flat-out funky catalogs of music around. Better than you remember...

9/26/1945 - Born on this date, near the very top of the most influential British artists of all time list, the totally unique and fantastic Bryan Ferry, 73 years old today. Along with David Bowie, Bryan defined the glam art rock scene and rose to prominence as lead vocalist and singer-songwriter for Roxy Music (three Number One albums and ten Top 10 singles in the U.K. between 1972 and '82) -- "Avalon" was {maybe} the pinnacle, but Ferry's solo career remains a benchmark for true astonishment: how you can get away with covering both Bob Dylan and Cole Porter without sounding ridiculous is sheer genius! His solo releases reverberate with a strange, hard-to-define other-worldly integrity that most of his "peers" will never, ever come near. More revered in Europe, yes, but he still sells out theaters in America whenever he gets here -- Add the Roxy albums and the solo stuff together and Bryan's sold over 30 million worldwide. Still making excellent records, still going strong, still sounds like he's been beamed in from the future!

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