You Say It's Your Birthday: Howard Jones

Aerosmith second guitarist Brad Whitford also celebrates his birthday today.

Today is the birthday of Howard Jones, who was born in

1955 in Southampton, England. Jones stood out among the 1980s pop vocalists as

one of the few whose intellect for songwriting equaled his ability to smell out

a winning hook. His songs were buoyant, perceptive and down-to-earth amid the

glam of Dead Or Alive and the pretty-boy posturing of Wham!.

Jones began

playing piano at age seven, traveling all over the world with his parents. He

had a brief stint playing organ with a progressive-rock band, Warrior, during

his teen years in Canada, and studied back at the Royal Northern School of

Music in Manchester, England before he decided that the school's anti-pop

attitude didn't suit him. He worked with other bands, but finally developed his

own one-man show with a drum machine, keyboards, a sequencer and his own voice.

Jones eventually signed with WEA and released Human's Lib in 1984,

featuring college-radio hits like "New Song" and "What Is Love." His follow-up,

Dream Into Action included "Things Can Only Get Better" and his most

successful song, "No One Is To Blame," which went to #4. He continued to make

records throughout the 1980s; his most recent, 1992's In the Running,

focused more on Jones' work with the piano than previous records did. The

Best of Howard Jones was released in 1993.

Other birthdays: Johnny

Winter, Rusty Young (Buffalo Springfield/Poco), Tex Comer (Ace), Steve Priest

(Sweet) and Brad Whitford (Aerosmith). -- Beth Winegarner