One O’Clock Count

Count BasieI like the birthday posts, but they are a pain to do. On a normal day, it takes two hours or so to do. I do enjoy checking out a new painter, listening to music, trying to figure out what some obscure mathematician was on about. But time is precious and most days I don’t feel like I have the time to do in properly. Just so you know. I still plan to keep it up for the whole year.

On this day in 1725, the great French painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze was born. The great French mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy was born in 1789. French organic chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt was born in 1816. Three great Frenchmen in one paragraph.

Comparative biologist Karl Gegenbaur was born in 1826. Art Nouveau artist Aubrey Beardsley was born in 1872. Animator Friz Freleng was born in 1905. Novelist M. M. Kaye was born in 1908. The great Soviet quantum field theorist Nikolay Bogolyubov was born in 1909.

Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920. I’ll let you figure out who he is. One of the great heroes of my youth, Wilt Chamberlain was born in 1936. And the great Joe Strummer was born in 1952. He would only be 61 today. Sad. Here he is with The Only Band That Matters doing their biggest hit:

Co-founder of the Church of the SubGenius, Ivan Stang is 60 today. Actor Kim Cattrall is 57. I’ve had a crush on her ever since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. (I’ve always had a thing for nubile Vulcans.) Another science fiction Bob Dobbsheartthrob, actor Carrie-Anne Moss is 46. (What nerd could not have a crush on her, although Belinda McClory is a close second.) Just to finish off this suite of crushes, is my current biggest crush, actor Joanne Froggatt who is 33. I don’t think she’s an especially beautiful woman. It is just that she plays Anna on Downton Abbey. And she falls in love and is steadfast to an older handicapped man with a dodgy background. How could I not crush on her? (Like a high school boy, I have her picture on my desktop.)

And the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt is 27 today. He made lots of news on this most recent Olympics, but he’s been huge for a long time. Of course, I only knew about him because of the screenplay I was writing that dealt with an older man sprinting. Anyway, it’s very interesting, but it is hard to think that sprinters are anything but born, even if you do believe in free will.

The day, however, belongs to the great jazz composer and musician Count Basie who was born on this day in 1904. He is best known as a big band leader. But I am most fond of his trio. Here he is at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1977:

And here he is with his “theme” the “One O’Clock Jump”:

Happy birthday Count Basie!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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