You Say It's Your Birthday: Rush's Geddy Lee

Today is the 44th birthday of Rush vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee (given name:

Gary Lee Weinrib), who was born in Toronto, Canada. One of the first bands to proudly wear the label of thinking man's rock, Rush has experimented with traditional rock 'n' roll, creating a progressive and creative feel that remains unique. Formed in 1969, the Canadian trio -- Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neal Peart -- toured Canada for a number of years, gaining a slow following which led to the recording of albums such as their self-titled debut and 1975's Fly By Night. From the beginning, Rush's songs have been marked by a combination of weighty topics and Lee's wry sense of humor.

In 1976, the band released their concept album 2112 and hit it big,

first going gold and eventually platinum. Other hit albums followed,

including Permanent Waves and Signals, the latter of which was

produced by the Police's guitarist Andy Summers. While Lee's voice in the beginning had been high-pitched and sometimes grating, he'd learned to soften his tones; making it warmer and easier to listen to. Later in the 1980s, Rush fell out of the public eye; their albums did not sell as well. But 1993's Counterparts marked a return to form and included a number of hit singles. Their most recent album is 1996's Test for Echo.

Other birthdays: John Sykes (Whitesnake), Christopher Gorman (Belly) and

Randy Sparks (New Christie Minstrels).