Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
Johnnie Ray was a singer/songwriter considered to have begun the rock and roll movement. Johnnie Ray was born on January 10, 1927. During his childhood, his parents recognized his talent and sent him to an organ teacher. The organ teacher sent him back, since Ray could hear any song once and play it.
At 13, Ray was involved in an accident that caused him to lose 50% of his hearing. He would wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life. This caused his style, since he had to over-enunciate words in his songs to compensate.
After leaving the house, Ray headed to Hollywood. Nothing much happened there, so he moved to Detroit. He became the only white performer at the “Flame Show Bar”. He started playing blues. This is where Columbia/Okeh Record’s Rhythm & Blues chief Danny Kessler found him. He recorded his first songs with Okeh in 1951.
Johnnie Ray performed for years, and passed away February 24, 1990. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Sources: http://www.johnnieray.com/bio.html, www.biographybase.com/biography/Ray_Johnnie.html
Joe DiMaggio was a superstar outfielder for the New York Yankees who set the modern record of 55 consecutive games with a hit.
Born on November 25, 1914 to immigrant Italian parents in San Francisco, Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio was suppose to follow his father into the fishing industry. Joe had different ideas. He made his pro ball debut with the independent San Francisco Seals at 17. In 1933, DiMaggio actually hit in 66 straight games. After the next season, the Seals sent him to New York.
DiMaggio blossomed into a star that season. He started a 13-straight all-star season streak. He hit 29 homers in his first season and led the league with 15 triples. He played 7 seasons before entering into the military. He forfeited three prime seasons for the USA. He returned in 1946 and picked up where he left off. His last season was in 1951. He then turned the centerfield reigns over to another good player, Mickey Mantle.
DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe on January 14, 1954. Their marriage was short one, lasting less than a year.
Joe DiMaggio, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955, died of lung cancer on March 8, 1999.
Sources: http://www.joedimaggio.com, www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dimagjo01.shtml, http://www.biography.com/people/joe-dimaggio-9274899