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Blanc was an American voice actor and comedian best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. during the… [More] “Golden Age of American animation” as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons. He later worked for Hanna-Barbera’s television cartoons, most notably as the voice of Barney Rubble in “The Flintstones” and Mr. Spacely in “The Jetsons.” [Less]
1909: Benny Goodman
Goodman was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader, widely known as the King… [More] of Swing. Born in Chicago, he was the ninth of twelve children of poor Jewish immigrants from Russia. Goodman gained fame as a clarinetist and bandleader. In the mid-1930s, he led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.” Goodman’s bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz, and during an era of segregation, he also led one of the first well-known racially-integrated jazz groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, including exploring his interest in classical music. [Less]
1966: Stephen Malkmus
Malkmus is an American musician best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the alternative rock… [More] band Pavement. He currently performs with the band Pavement, and with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Malkmus met fellow WTJU DJs David Berman (who would later front the Silver Jews) and James McNew (of Yo La Tengo) during his early years. In early 1999 Stephen Malkmus participated in a Sonic Youth side project called Kim’s Bedroom that included bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon, guitarist/vocalist Thurston Moore, Chicago avant-garde veteran Jim O’Rourke, and renowned Japanese drummer Ikue Mori; they never released an album, but did play a few live shows. Malkmus is currently frontman of The Jicks. In 2007, Malkmus provided 3 songs to the Todd Haynes’ film “I’m Not There,” based on the life of Bob Dylan. He contributed on the songs “Ballad of a Thin Man”, “Can’t Leave Her Behind” and “Maggie’s Farm”. Interesting fact: In the late 1980s, he was employed as a security guard at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, along with Berman and Bob Nastanovich. He is presumed to be Jewish. [Less]