You Say It's Your Birthday: Culture Club's Mikey Craig

It's also Mick Avory of the Kinks birthday today.

Today is the birthday of Culture Club bassist Mikey Craig,

who was born in 1960 in London, England. Culture Club's mix of frontman Boy

George's androgyny and the group's soulful pop tunes made them one of the most

memorable bands of the 1980s.

Formed in 1981 in London, Culture Club was

one of the most intriguing acts of the MTV generation. Their frontman, Boy

George, played with people's assumptions of gender with his makeup, braided

dreadlocks and long tunics, as well as his gorgeous tenor voice and flirty

eyes; the other members -- Craig, guitarist Roy Hay and drummer Jon Moss --

often were seen as little more than a backup band.

Their first major hit

came in 1982 with the #1 smash "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me," off their debut

Kissing to be Clever. "Time" and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" also charted well,

and the stage was set for their 1983 release Colour By Numbers. The

latter record included Karma Chameleon, which can be found on any '80s

retrospective, as well as "Miss Me Blind."

As their third record flopped,

rumors circulated about George's drug use; in July 1986, just as their fourth

and final record was due, the singer revealed he'd been addicted to heroin and

was arrested. After heavy counseling and battles with narcotics, George finally

came clean, but by then Culture Club was dead and gone. While the singer has

enjoyed a semi-successful solo career, his bandmates haven't been heard from

since.

Other birthdays: Brian Holland (Holland Dosier Holland), Mick Avory

(The Kinks), Denny Zager (Zager & Evans), John Helliwell (Supertramp), David

Brown (Santana), Melissa Manchester, Ali Campbell (UB40), Mike & David Milliner

(Pasadenas) and Malcolm Travis (Sugar). -- Beth Winegarner