Ray Charles was born today.
My parents had an old LP of his,
“Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music,”
that I played over and over and
I remember how I could feel
“You Don’t Know Me” tearing up
my insides; I was seven, maybe.
That song still kills me.
Bruce Springsteen was born today.
My senior year in high school he made
the covers of TIME and Newsweek with
“The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle.”
A decade later, I saw him at the Cotton Bowl –
both nights – and sang at the top of my lungs,
“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night,”
which I still do, every chance I get.
Burt Burleson was born today
and he has been my friend for a little
less than half of my life — the kind of
friend that stays with you like a good song,
the melody deep in my muscle memory
and as close as his voice on the phone
that feels as though he still lives down
the hall and is waiting to play guitars.