You Say It's Your Birthday: Richard Marx

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.