You Say It's Your Birthday: Sheryl Crow

Today is the birthday of Sheryl Crow, who was born in 1962

in Kennett, Missouri. Crow has risen to popularity over the past few years with

her smart pop songs, edgy voice and blues-rock backing. The child of a piano

and a trumpet player, Crow was treated to piano lessons from age five and could

play songs by ear when she was six. She attended school at the University of

Missouri, majoring in music -- all the while soaking in the influences of Bob

Dylan and Tom Waits -- and went on to teach music at an elementary school in

St. Louis for a few years before moving to Los Angeles in 1986.

Her first

gig was singing backup for Michael Jackson on the Bad World Tour; the National

Enquirer even went so far as to imply she was dating The Gloved One, though she

also backed everyone from Don Henley to Stevie Wonder and Sting. Meanwhile, she

was writing songs for folks like Eric Clapton and Wynnona Judd.

After

urging from Henley, Crow quit singing backup and began writing songs and, after

a long fallow period was asked to join the Tuesday Night Music Club by Bill

Bottrell, a producer who organized weekly jam sessions for LA-based

songwriters. Out of those sessions came Crow's first record, Tuesday Night

Music Club, which featured the hit "All I Wanna Do" as well as "Leaving Las

Vegas," which she wrote on her first Tuesday Night.

Crow toured, including

a stop at the 1994 Woodstock Fest, before winning three Grammy Awards in 1995.

She returned to the studio to record her self-titled followup, released in late

1996; it's already spawned two hits with If It Makes You Happy and

Every Day Is a Winding Road. The album has been banned by Wal-Mart

stores for suggesting that the chain sells guns to children.

Other

birthdays: John Mills (Mills Brothers), Gene Vincent, Sergio Mendes, Leon

Haywood, Rochelle Flemming (First Choice) and D'Angelo. -- Beth

Winegarner