Johann, Son, Rush, and Slovoj

Johann Sebastian BachIt is quite a day for birthdays! I’m really going to have to limit today’s article to those who are really worthy. The great mathematician and physicist Joseph Fourier was born on this day back in 1768. Theater producer Florenz Ziegfeld of Ziegfeld Follies fame was born in 1867. The great blues man Son House was born in 1902. And the great independent filmmaker Russ Meyer was born in 1922.

There are lots of birthdays today. Rose Stone of Sly & the Family Stone is 68 today. Timothy Dalton is 67. The brilliant philosopher and social critic Slavoj Zizek is 64. The great British actor Gary Oldman turns 55 today. And The Young Turks creator Cenk Uygur is 43.

I really had to grapple with giving the day to Zizek or Meyer or Son House. But in the end, I had to give it to Johann Sebastian Bach. It is interesting that when he was alive and for a while afterwards, Bach was not that popular. It was only toward the end of Mozart’s life that people began to appreciate just how great a composer Bach the elder was. Here is one of his best known works, Toccata & Fugue in D Minor:

Happy birthday old man! You’ve made my life incalculably richer!

Afterword

I can’t help it. Here’s a little Son House:

And a bit from an early Russ Meyer film that I really like, Eve And The Handyman:

And an animated Slavoj Zizek lecture:

Update (29 April 2013 9:36 pm)

I made a mistake. Bach was actually born 31 March 1685.

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