An all Special Birthdays Remembrance Edition -- three great artists we can't imagine having grown up without...

The Everly Brothers
Phil and Don Everly, c 1960. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1/19/1939 - Born this date, singer-songwriter Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers, one of the greatest vocal acts in music history -- Their use of steel-string guitars and close harmony singing made them pioneers of the country-rock genre before it was ever recognized as such -- Most noteworthy, of course, was their pure sound: The Everlys catalog of classic singles from the 1950's and pre-Brit Invasion '60's had beyond-tremendous influence on The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and so many more -- "Bye Bye Love", "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "(Till) I Kissed You", "Let It Be Me", "Cathy's Clown", "When Will I Be Loved", "Walk Right Back", all completely amazing and timeless -- Phil passed away on January 3, 2014, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; he was 74.

1/19/1943 - Born this date, Janis Joplin; her raw, powerful, uninhibited vocal style, combined with a turbulent and emotional-roller-coaster lifestyle, made her one of the biggest female stars of the 20th century. Her appearance with Big Brother & the Holding Co. at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival established her as a mega- talent, poised for the big time. Sadly, she never really found true love and happiness, passing away at age 27 from an accidental drug overdose after releasing only three proper solo studio albums. She remains one of the best selling artists ever in the U.S. though, with sales of over 16 million and music fans continually re-discovering her works on a steady basis, year-in, year-out. A bona-fide all-time great.

1/19/1949 - Born this date, singer-songwriter-producer Robert Palmer. Because he was (in effect) almost too-cool-to-be-be-true, much of his recorded work has not been taken as seriously as it should: Robert was not only a distinctive and soulful singer, he was a totally fearless artist who could tackle any style of music and turn it into his own sound, usually on the same album -- jazz, pop, reggae, blues, soul, it didn't matter -- which confounded critics and fans alike sometimes. When you're ahead of the curve, which he most definitely was, sometimes it takes years before people can really catch on to what you're doing. Robert died quite unexpectedly from cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel room on September 26, 2003; he was 54. Truly, a great loss.

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