Blowing out birthday candles today is pop crooner Richard Marx, born in
Chicago, Ill. 34 years ago today. The son of Dick Marx, a commercial
jingle composer and Ruth, a commercial jingle singer, it would seem that
Marx's pop sensibilities runs in his blood. His parents continually
brought him to work with them and Marx made his commercial singing debut at
the age of 5. When Marx hit adolescence, tired of singing songs about
fishsticks, he began writing songs of his own. By the age of 18, Marx had
gotten a demo into the hands of Lionel Richie, who then let Marx sing
background on his solo hits "All Night Long" and "Running With The Night."
From there, he went on to writing songs with Kenny Rogers ("What About Me")
and contributing a track to the "Staying Alive" soundtrack; the leading
lady from which, Cynthia Rhodes, he married in 1989. They are still married
today and have three sons.
When Marx finally got a record contract of his own in 1987, he was an
immediate sensation. His self titled debut hit #8 on the charts and brought
the world such earworms as "Don't Mean Nothing," "Should've Known Better,"
and "Hold On To The Nights." His next album was called Repeat
Offender, a little nose tweak for his critics who were offended that
such sappy and hooky guitar pop could sell so well. Needless to say, it
went triple platinum, backed by such tracks as "Satisfied" and "Right Here
Waiting." The rise of grunge and rap in the '90s pushed Marx off MTV but
not completely off the charts. 1991's Rush Street was a modest
success, but not the blockbuster he was used to. His next few albums,
1994's Paid Vacation and 1997's Flesh and Bone were each
greeted with enthusiasm from a devoted fan base, but without much fanfare
from casual fans. Marx is scheduled to release a greatest hits package
later this year.
Other birthdays: B.B. King, 72; Jon Butler (Lovin' Spoonful), 54; Betty
Kelley (Martha & The Vandellas), 53; Sonny Lemaire (Exile), 50; Kenny Jones
(Small Faces/Faces/The Who), 49; David Bellamy (Bellamy Brothers), 47; Earl
Klugh, 44 and Charles Fearing (Raydio), 41.