Today is the birthday of singer Jewel (last name:
Kilcher), who was born in 1975 in Homer, Alaska. Known for her rich folky voice
and youthful spirit, Jewel has made waves in the past two years as the singer
responsible for "Who Will Save Your Soul?" and "You Were Meant For Me."
Jewel was raised on a homestead outside of rural Homer without electricity
or running water; she and her siblings were schooled at home in everything from
reading and math to art and music. At the age of six Jewel began performing
on-stage with her parents, and her yodeling routine became a highlight of the
show. When her parents divorced she continued to perform with her dad in bars
Jewel studied at Michigan's Interlochen Fine Arts Academy
on a vocal scholarship, then moved to San Diego at 18 to figure out what she
wanted to do with her life. After several failed jobs, she began living in her
van and writing songs which she would come to perform in local coffeehouses.
Innerchange CafŽ featured her as a regular musician, and soon the crowds began
growing exponentially. She caught the eye of record execs at Atlantic,
recording much of her debut album, Pieces of You, live at Innerchange.
Despite being produced by Ben Keith (who's worked with Patsy Cline and
Neil Young), Pieces nearly flopped its first time around; VH-1
halfheartedly pushed "Who Will Save Your Soul," but no one was biting. Just
when most record companies would have dropped the album, however, Atlantic
promoted it a second time, and found a niche with Jewel's sweet vocals and
acoustic guitar. Since then her first single has made its mark on the Top 40,
and "You Were Meant For Me" has had a steady stint at Billboard's #1
spot. Jewel continues to tour her record, and plans to make a second album --
perhaps before the end of the year.
Other birthdays: Robert A. Moog,
Daniel Klein (J. Geils Band), Bill Hunt (ELO), Rick Fenn (10cc), "General"
Norman Johnson (Chairmen Of The Board), Jimmy McShane (Baltimora), Junior Waite
(Musical Youth), Simon Gilbert (Suede), Phil Selway (Radiohead), Bigga Don
(R.A.S. Posse), Tim Burgess (Charlatans UK), Jim Mankey (Concrete Blonde), Lars
Frederickson (Rancid) and actress Joan Collins. -- Beth Winegarner