Say It's Your Birthday: Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore

April

14 is the birthday of Ritchie Blackmore, lead guitarist of Deep

Purple who was born in Weston-Super-Mare. The group's first album,

Shades Of Deep Purple, was released in 1968 on Bill Cosby's

Tetragrammaton label with remakes of Joe South's "Hush" and Neil

Diamond's "Kentucky Woman." Tetragrammaton went under, and Deep Purple

switched to Warner Bros., and added the dramatic lead singer Ian

Gillian. On Warners they pursued a hard-rock direction, generating

their greatest successes with Machine Head, Burn, and the

live double record set Made In Japan. In 1975 Deep Purple

earned the dubious distinction of being the "world's loudest band" in

the Guinness Book Of World Records. A year later they broke

up. Coincidence, perhaps. Today is also the birthday of Loretta Lynn.