Say It's Your Birthday: Quincy Jones

When Jackson stopped working with producer Quincy Jones his career kind of nose-dived.

For once the ATN Birthday Bureau is caught without a wise

crack. When confronted with all that Quincy Jones has accomplished in his 63

years we can only step back and marvel. Born in Chicago on this day in 1933,

the trumpeter had formed a band with a neighborhood pal and was playing bars

and clubs by the time he was fourteen. By 16 he was at the Berklee School of

Music in Boston. By 17 he was in New York playing with the likes of Dizzy

Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. His mark was made first as an

arranger and later as a producer. (The records he produced on Michael Jackson

are among the biggest sellers of all time. But our personal faves will always

be "You Don't Own Me.") The gentleman has won Academy Awards for film scoring,

has been nominated for over eighty Grammys, and is an Emmy winner for good

measure. He was one of the industry's pioneering African-American executives,

and has spun this success off into his own label (Qwest), magazine

(Vibe), film (The Color Purple), and TV (Fresh Prince of Bel

Aire,) production companies. And we haven't even mentioned the Cecil B. De

Mille epic cast album he released under his own name. One of our favorite

things about Q. is that when he started Qwest, he turned around and signed that

neighborhood pal with whom he had started his first band back in 1946. His

friend was the piano player, and a bit of a singer, by the name of Ray Charles.

Other birthdays today are Florence Ballin, David Byrne, Jim Pons of the Leaves

and the Turtles, and Albert Einstein.