Happy Freaky Birthday and Valentine's Day, Blowfly


Happy Blowfly Day.

75 years ago, in the backwoods of Vienna, Georgia, Clarence Henry Reid was born at the farm where his family sharecropped. The odds that scrawny, cantankerous, foul-mouthed "Junior" would escape those humble beginnings were staggering. The music world can thank his mother, Annie, for moving to Florida alone in the early '50s in search of a better life. She inspired her middle-school aged mama's boy to run away from grandma's house and KKK-enforced institutional poverty to join her in West Palm Beach and discover his natural gift for harmony while washing dishes after school at Morrison's Cafeteria.

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David Bowie is Back with a New Video and Upcoming Album, The Next Day

Categories: Birthday
If you're a consistent follower of County Grind, you're familiar with our birthday blogs. These pieces are usually a nice way to say "thanks" to artists we appreciate, and a great way for us to exercise of our trivia muscles and give muso-nerds everywhere a thread to troll. 

However, today we have a truly special one: David Bowie (for the hearing impaired: DAVID FUCKING BOWIE) has announced with the first sunrise of his 66th year, that he will be releasing his first album of fresh material in over 10 years this coming March.  

And, if an album announcement wasn't enough to get you digging through the stacks of the Thin White Duke's 29 other classic albums in anticipation, the man has been kind enough to grant us a track and video from the future release, which will be titled The Next Day!
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Elvis Is Possibly Celebrating His 77th Birthday in California

Categories: Birthday
Elvis at 77: Somewhat craggy, sad to say
Today, we celebrate the birthday of a King. The King. Elvis Presley. 

The reason for the faithful to flock to Graceland and mourn the man who would have been 77 years old, had not an unfortunate convergence of prescription drugs not killed him in the john. This particular anniversary is an auspicious one, indeed. It marks 35 years since Presley gave up the ghost, and finally left the building for the final time. 

If you need to satisfy that hunka, hunka burning love, now there's proof that it's not just the music, but the man himself who lives on. 

Nearly a year ago, diehard devotees were enticed by a documentary boasting a title that gave good reason for Elvis conspiracy theorists to finally feel fulfilled. No matter that Elvis Found Alive was likely intended as a spoof; it still appealed to a certain sect that either don't get the joke or, like those convinced that JFK was indeed the victim of an alien plot and Neil Armstrong never really walked on the moon, believe that Elvis grew tired of fame and fortune (really?) and currently works at a BK in Sawbuck, Iowa. 

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HOT 105 FM's Newscaster Traci Cloyd Is South Florida's Premier Radio Multi-tasker

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: HOT 105's Traci Cloyd talks about the coolest people she's ever met.

Traci Cloyd works double duty. To HOT 105 FM listeners, she is a bright, effervescent, and straight-talking radio personality who adds local flavor to the Tom Joyner syndicated morning program. However she's also adept at working behind the scenes as the station's news director, which literally puts her on call 24 hours 7 days a week.

A local media veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the South Florida market, Traci's built an impressive resume that includes on-air interviews with numerous celebs of every stripe and distinction, among them Rosie O'Donnell, Denzel Washington, Dr. Robert Atkins, even President Bill Clinton, and then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. This time around, New Times turned the tables and put her on the receiving end of some Qs and As.

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Happy Birthday, Jaco Pastorius; Here's to Other National South Florida Legends

Categories: Birthday

"There's hardly a bass player alive that doesn't owe gratitude to Jaco for how he changed the role of the bass. Moreover, Jaco left an indelible mark on the music world as an uncompromising artist and composer. The music Jaco created during his brief lifetime sounds just as fresh and urgent today as it ever did." Acclaimed bassist Gerald Veasley sums up Fort Lauderdale musician Jaco Pastorius' contributions succinctly. Widely recognized as one of the most talented and imaginative musicians to ever pick up a bass guitar, Pastorius left a legacy that still lingers some 25 years after his untimely passing. 

Fortunately, other talented artists that have emerged from South Florida achieved far happier results while gaining superstardom. Here are a few examples of some hometown heroes that took the national stage by storm.

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Bruce Hornsby and 10 Other Famous University of Miami's Frost School of Music Alumni

The University of Miami's Frost School of Music is a hotbed of talent. Case in point, Bruce Hornsby (though not the Range) graduated from the program in 1977. 

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We all know Hornsby for his hit "The Way It Is," a moving statement about the state of American race relations, which landed him a 1987 Grammy for Best New Artist. But after that, Hornsby continued to make his presence known, tampering with his template and expanding his parameters by working with everyone from Elton John to Bela Fleck. The reason why Hornsby draws such hurrahs has a lot to do with his remarkable diversity. He's managed to cross several stylistic boundaries, from the early rural ballads to the populist platform he ascended by joining the Grateful Dead for two years. 

Today, on Hornsby's birthday, we celebrate his career and those of other graduates of the UM's Frost School of Music. 

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Happy Birthday, Jeff Buckley! 10 Other Musical Offspring as Great as Their Famous Dads

Categories: Birthday
Jeff Buckley: Dad would be proud...
Born on November 17, 1966, Jeff Buckley was never close to his famous father, folksinger Tim. And by the time the elder Buckley died of a drug overdose in 1975, his son had only met him once. Consequently, he was raised by his mother and her second husband, and given the name Scotty Moorhead in deference to his stepfather's surname. Yet, he clearly retained his father's musical inclination, and by the time he was in his early twenties, he was making a name for his himself as an itinerant musician in New York's East Village. However, he only chose to trade on his dad's name was when he was taken under the wing of the elder Buckley's manager, Herb Cohen, who helped him land a deal with Columbia Records. 

During his lifetime, Buckley saw the release of only one album, Grace, in 1994, but the impact of that effort was enough to secure devoted fans. Sadly, Buckley died while recording My Sweetheart the Drunk, his planned sophomore release. He drowned in a freak accident while taking a spontaneous swim in the Wolf River near Memphis on May 29, 1997. His body wasn't discovered until six days later.

Of course, Buckley's not the only musical offspring who has come close to matching a parent's success. Here are a few other notable prodigies who have succeeded and even surpassed their famous fathers. 

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10 Musicians Who Share the Same November Birthdays Like Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams (No Joke!)

Categories: Birthday

Ol' Dirty Bastard: Not to be confused with Petula Clark...
It's somewhat intriguing to note how people born on the same day can either share similarities or, on the other hand, actually be polar opposites in every single way, besides both being human, of course.

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- Happy Birthday, Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams!

Just yesterday, pop crooner Bryan Adams and indie rocker Ryan Adams both got one year older, same darn day. Crazy, right? You know, cause their names rhyme?  

This got us thinking, there are quite a few other celebs who oddly enough share birthdays. Here are ten born in November, and our thoughts on their other earthly connections. 

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Happy Birthday, Vanilla Ice! A Deeper Look at "Ice Ice Baby"

Categories: Birthday
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Bet you can't even count how many times you've screamed out at the TV, the DJ, the person in the passenger seat next to you, in response to the words A1A, "Beachfront Avenue!"

In 1989, Vanilla Ice, AKA Robert Matthew Van Winkle, made it big time with his debut album, Hooked (re-titled To the Extreme when it was re-released by EMI) and his super-charged single, "Ice Ice Baby." This tune proudly promoted some of South Florida's greatest attributes, like convertibles, girls in bikinis, and, of course, Fort Lauderdale's main beach strip.   

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Happy Birthday to Tom Petty, One Fine Florida Dude

Categories: Birthday

He's got the key to our hearts: A proud Petty reaffirms his root
Given his spectacular 35 year career that's placed him at the pinnacle of international rock 'n' roll success, it's easy to forget that Tom Petty is a proud Florida boy whose personal and professional roots were first nurtured in Gainesville.

Born October 20, 1950, Petty's budding interest in music came about when his uncle, who was working on the set of the Elvis Presley film Follow That Dream in Ocala, invited his ten year-old nephew to watch the proceedings. Petty also got to meet Presley, and in short order, he was hooked.

He allegedly traded his slingshot for a box of Elvis 45s.

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