birth day


    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.


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