Here are some people born the same month as I was. The crux of the matter is that all this year, I’ve been briefly mentioning folks born in 1953, and I will continue to do so. But these ones are my fellow Marchians. Martians? Whatever.
Chaka Khan (23rd): She was born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago. I first knew her as the vocalist for the band Rufus, who had hits such as Once You Get Started in the mid-70s. As a solo artist, I’m Every Woman (#21 pop, #1 for three weeks RB in 1978), written by Ashford and Simpson; and I Feel For You (#3 pop for three weeks, #1 for three weeks RB in 1984, gold record, Grammy winner), penned by Prince.
Also check out I’ll Be Good To You (#18 pop, #1 for two weeks RB in 1990, Grammy winner) from from the great Back On The Block album by Quincy Jones; this track features Ray Charles and Chaka on a song written by and originally performed by The Brothers Johnson.
But my FAVORITE song of hers has to be the Rufus track Tell Me Something Good (#3 pop for three weeks, #3 RB in 1974, gold record, Grammy winner), written by Stevie Wonder.
She’s been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seven times, four times with Rufus, and thrice as a solo artist.
Russ Feingold (2nd) served as a United States Senator (D-WI) from 1993 to 2011. He “cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act)… Russ was the only Senator to vote against the initial enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act during the first vote on the legislation and was well-known for his opposition to the Iraq War and as the Senate’s leading opponent of the death penalty. “
He is now the President of the American Constitution Society. And in 2005 (!), I wrote in this blog that he was my preferred candidate for President in 2008.
Armen Keteyian (6th) is a reporter on both the hard news and the sports beats. “An 11-time Emmy award winner, he has spent 30 years as a network television correspondent for World News Tonight, CBS Sports and News,… and 60 Minutes. He has also authored or co-authored 10 books.”
Jimmy Iovine (11th) co-founded Interscope Records, co-produced the Oscar-winning film 8 Mile that starred Eminem, and scads more. I know him as a producer for albums by Patti Smith, Meat Loaf, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, U2, Pretenders, and many others. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.
Carl Hiassen (12th) “was born and raised in a bizarre place called Florida, where he still lives. His books have been described as savagely funny, riotous, and cathartic. Oddly, they are beloved even by readers who’ve never set foot in the Sunshine State.”
Louie Anderson (24th) was a ubitiquitous comedic presence on television. In a show called Baskets (2016-2019), which I never saw, he played the mother figure and won an Emmy. He was on a lot of game shows, including a particularly lame one called Funny You Should Ask (2017-2019); he did not look well. Louie Anderson died on January 21, 2022. His website is still up so you can still buy his books, but I can’t find a mention of his passing.
Elaine Chao (26th) was Secretary of Labor (2001-2009) in the George W. Bush administration, making her the first Asian-American to serve in a Presidential cabinet. Then she was Secretary of Transportation (2017-2021). She had been the target of racist verbal taunts by her former boss, Trump. Her husband since 1993, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has not responded publicly to the comments. But now she has.