On this day in 1577, the great Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was born. He was named after Pee-wee Herman. Oh, I kid the great Flemish painters! But I do wonder if the great actor was named after him. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born in 1703. The great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in 1712. Delta bluesman, David “Honeyboy” Edwards was born in 1915. Pat Morita, Keisuke Miyagi from the original The Karate Kid series, was born in 1932. And comedian Gilda Radner was born in 1946.
Mel Brooks is 87 today. As I’ve noted a number of times, I’m not fond of the man. He has been a part of a few really good movies—mostly where he took undeserved credit. I didn’t know he was so old. The great Kathy Bates is 65, so I’m sure she’ll stop acting. And John Cusack, is 47.
The day, however, belongs to the great musical composer Richard Rodgers. He had two incredibly successful collaborations with lyricists: first Lorenz Hart and second with Oscar Hammerstein. I prefer the Hart era myself but all of the work was great. Here is “Manhattan” from The Garrick Gaieties:
Happy birthday Richard Rodgers!