Curtis Jones

Blues musician Curtis Jones was born on August 18, 1906. He wrote and recorded Highway 51 in 1938, famously covered by Bob Dylan in 1962.

Curtis Jones, Highway 51, 1938

The Man Who Came to Dinner

And the greatest British adventurer you’ve never heard of. To Alexander Woollcott, for reasons that are nobody’s business.

Gene Stratton-Porter’s portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl.

Photographer Gene Stratton-Porter was born on August 17, 1863. 

Shakespearean actress Julia Marlowe was born on August 17, 1866, in England.

Actress Mae West was born on August 17, 1893.

Actor Monty Wooley was born on August 17, 1888.

Travel writer Vivienne de Watteville was born on August 17, 1900, in the United Kingdom. She is the author of 

two books Africa: Out in the Blue (1927) and Speak to the Earth: Wanderings and Reflections Among Elephants and Mountains(1935).

Hemingway’s original manuscript for the short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro included an epithet from Speak to the Earth. Here is a link to an article about her in The Telegraph called On the trail of the greatest female British adventurer you’ve never heard of by Anthony Peregrine.

L: Vivienne de Watteville. R: Publicity photo of Monty Wooley from a stage presentation of his most famous role in The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Plymouth Theater.

Photographer Lida Moser was born on August 17, 1920. See more of her work National Gallery of Art Linda Moser Archive or the photographic estate holder of Moser’s work Alida Anderson Art Projects.

Parts of the Face: French Vocabulary Lesson 1961 Larry Rivers 1923–2002 Purchased 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00522

Expressionist artist Larry Rivers was born on August 17, 1923. Neither here nor there, but he has been a favorite of mine ever since a wonderful painting teacher named Fred Lynch showed me a thick book of his paintings in 1999.

Ike Abrams Quebec

Jazz tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec was born on August 17, 1918.

Also born on August 17th:

Davy Crockett, 1786; movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, 1882; actor Robert de Niro, 1943; and lead singer of the Go-Gos Belinda Carlisle, 1958.

For today:

Lucky number: 5

Magic Eight Ball says: Don’t count on it.

Robert De Niro movie to watch: Goodfellas

Closing Thoughts: Vacation. It’s all you ever wanted.

Samuel Coleridge Taylor

Composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, circa 1905, available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c22324

Composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor was born on August 15, 1875.