You Say It's Your Birthday: Blessid Union of Souls' Jim Pence

Today is the birthday of Jim Pence, vocalist with the

Cincinnati group Blessid Union of Souls, whose soul-based vocal harmonies wowed

pop audiences with the single for "I Believe" in 1995. Blessid Union, which

includes Pence, Eliot Sloan, H.P. Roth and Eddie Hedges, has a penchant for

intelligent, emotive songwriting has made them VH-1 darlings as well as

gold-winning sellers for their debut record, Home. Named for the

bandmates' spiritual optimism, the group has shown up in some unlikely places,

including on an episode of All My Childen, in the film Ace Ventura:

When Nature Calls and a tribute to Carole King.

Sloan's and Roth's

musical accolades followed them to the act: Sloan had toured previously with

Bell Biv Devoe and Johnny Gill; Roth has recorded with folks like Denis Leary

and Ozzy Osbourne. Much ado, in fact, was made of the group's multiethnic

background, and in the end perhaps their refusal to fall into a niche is what

has made it difficult for Blessid Union to find success with any of its singles

following "I Believe."

Other birthdays: Carl Perkins, the late Dave Prater

(Sam & Dave), Terry Knight (Terry Knight & The Pack/Grand Funk Railroad),

Phillip Wright (Paper Lace) and Joey Peters (Grant Lee Buffalo). -- Beth

Winegarner