Dracula and Three Music Women

Bram StokerIt’s another one of those crappy days with very few good birthdays. But at least we’ll get a few good songs.

On this day in 1710, the writer Sarah Fielding was born. I’ve never read her. I never even knew she existed. She was the great novelist Henry Fielding’s younger sister. But she is important in her own right. She wrote the first children’s novel, The Governess, or The Little Female Academy. If you read it, let me know how it was.

Singer-songwriter Bonnie Bramlett is 69 today. Here she is with then husband Delaney Bramlett and a couple of other people you might recognize, doing a tribute to Robert Johnson, “Poor Elijah.” It is joyous music like all of Delaney & Bonnie:

Singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt is 64. I was going to put up her beautiful version of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery,” but I thought I might get complaints. “Not that song again!” So here is her breakthrough cover of Del Shannon & Max Crook’s great “Runaway”:

Rickie Lee Jones is 59. It’s really hard to find any decent video of her other than “Chuck E’s In Love.” But here is a nice version of “The Horses” (which she wrote with Walter Becker):

Other birthdays: Milton Bradley (1836); psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884); novelist Margaret Mitchell (1900); and the evil NRA head Wayne LaPierre (64).

The day, however, belongs to the great novelist Bram Stoker who was born on this day in 1847. At 50, he published the novel Dracula. The history of the novel is quite interesting. When it was first published, it received good reviews. And it sold modestly well. It didn’t stop Stoker from dying in poverty in 1912. It was only ten years later that the novel started to achieve its iconic status. In 1922, F W Murnau made the film Nosferatu based upon the novel without permission. Stoker’s widow was not please and she sued. As a result of that lawsuit and the movie, the book became very popular. Then came the stage play. And then came Bela Lugosi.

Happy birthday Bram Stoker!

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