Happy Birthday Steve Cropper, Manfred Mann, Elvin Bishop, Lux Interior, Charlotte Caffey, Lee Loughnane, Julian Cope and Steve Lukather!

Not often a day comes along that packs as much historic rock punch as October 21, which is the birthday for many rock luminaries.

Now, if I were to place one above all the others based on the sheer depth of his contribution to rock music, it would be Julian Cope.  Ha ha, just kidding.  Actually, it would be Steve Cropper (who turns 73 today), who, in addition to playing HIMSELF in "The Blues Brothers", also happened to play on a few (hundred) legendary records here and there, like Otis Redding's "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" and Sam and Dave's "Soul Man" - which mentions him by name.  Blues Brothers version, too!

Manfred Mann (age 74), leader of many a band bearing his name, first hit the top of the charts in 1964 with "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and went on to score four more U.S. #1 hits with "Pretty Flamingo", "Mighty Quinn", and "Fox On The Run".  In the 70's, Mann formed the Earth Band and enjoyed a whole new lease on life by covering Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light".

Elvin Bishop (who celebrates his 72nd birthday today) met Paul Butterfield right here in the Windy City (Hyde Park, to be exact) and joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.  He later formed the Elvin Bishop Group, who rocketed to #3 in 1976 with the tune "Fooled Around And Fell In Love".

Lee Loughnane (age 68) is a founding member of the band Chicago and remains one of four original members still active with the band.  Despite being criminally shunned by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Chicago's commercial success and musical influence is undeniable.  Loughnane, in addition to playing trumpet and flugelhorn for the band, also wrote "Call On Me" (which reached #6 on the pop charts) and "No Tell Lover" (#14).

Lux Interior, lead singer for seminal psychobilly band The Cramps, would have turned 68 today.  He and wife Ivy Rorschach fronted the band from 1973 to 2006, churning out eight studio albums on a variety of labels, including IRS Records, Big Beat and Enigma Records.  He passed away suddenly in 2009.  

Julian Cope, 57, first came to our attention as singer for UK band The Teardrop Explodes, whose "Reward" was a Top 10 UK hit in 1981.  Cope went solo in 1983, releasing 28 studio albums.  His most commercially rewarding period came in 1987-1988, with albums Saint Julian and My Nation Underground attaining the highest chart success of his career.  His best known single, "World Shut Your Mouth", peaked at #19 in the UK.

Go-Go's guitarist Charlotte Caffey (who turns 57 today) is best known for writing "We Got The Beat", which peaked at #2 on the US pop charts.  She is married to Redd Kross singer Jeff McDonald and continues to tour with the Go-Go's to this day.

Steve Lukather (age 57) is a well-known session guitarist and member of the band Toto.  His session work includes Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and Olivia Newton-John's "Physical", as well as uncredited work on Guns & Roses' Appetite For Destruction.  Toto's fourth album, Toto IV, featured three Top 10 hits, "Rosanna", "Africa" and "I Won't Hold You Back", and won six Grammy awards in 1983. 

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