(blogged by Howie Klein) Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12--he would be 197 today if John Wilkes Booth hadn't shot him in 1865. The Doors' keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, was born on this day in 1939. The dude's gonna be 70! WOW! Happy damn birthday-- loved those albums you produced by Echo & the Bunnymen and X. A bunch of other classic rock musicians celebrate their birthdays today too: Steve Hacket (Genesis), Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers), Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy-- and Motorhead). And an old pal of mine was born on this day in 1970, Jim Creegan, bass player of the Barenaked Ladies. But today is also the day the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins (born in 1929) passed away-- in 2000. He was a one of a kind-- and one of the greatest showmen in rock'n'roll. He didn't always have that bone in his nose but he almost always popped out of a coffin onstage-- a schitk suggested to him by Alan Freed. He had some good songs over his 50 year career but this was the big one, "I Put A Spell On You:"
Tonight's contest: Tell us your favorite rock'n'roll gimmick (you know, like popping out of a coffin). The 5 best entries get The Essential Donovan (his 14 biggest hits). Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org