Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series
When it comes to knowing who’s who in today’s entertainment world, I’m constantly reminded just how ignorant I am.
The theme park where we’re working for the summer also has a performing arts center adjacent to it and hosts several concerts through the summer. There are some big names coming this year, like the Doobie Brothers, Toby Keith, Joan Jett, ZZ Top and Def Leppard with REO Speedwagon.
In fact, Melissa Lambert performed here Thursday night and … what? It’s Miranda Lambert? Are you sure? OK, so that’s the point.
Apparently, she’s a pretty big name, but I didn’t know her. Much like other shows scheduled this year: 5 Seconds of Summer, Brantley Gilbert, Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, Josh Groban, G-Eazy and Logic, Fifth Harmony, and Goo Goo Dolls, among others. The only reason I know Florida-Georgia Line and Darius Rucker are because they performed here last year.
Go ahead, express your disappointment that I’m so out of touch. And it’s not just music. What got me started was reading through the today in history post produced by The Associated Press for June 26. After the lengthy and always informative list of things that happened on this date in history – in 1483, Richard III began his reign as king of England – there was the usual compilation of today’s birthdays.
I ran down the list and found three names of people I knew who they were (surely there’s a better way to write that). Three. Out of 32. That’s less than 10 percent.
To enable you to legitimately make fun of me, here’s the complete list, courtesy of the AP:
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 82. Actor Josef Sommer is 82. Singer Billy Davis Jr. is 78. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 73. Actor Clive Francis is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brenda Holloway is 70. Actor Michael Paul Chan is 66. Actor Robert Davi is 65. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 61. Actor Gedde Watanabe (GEH’-dee wah-tah-NAH’-bee) is 61. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 60. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 59. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 57. U.S. Bicycling Hall of Famer Greg LeMond is 55. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 53. Country musician Eddie Perez (The Mavericks) is 48. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 47. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 46. Actor Sean Hayes is 46. Actor Matt Letscher is 46. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 46. Actor Nick Offerman is 46. Actress Rebecca Budig is 43. MLB All-Star Derek Jeter is 42. Contemporary Christian musician Jeff Frankenstein (Newsboys) is 42. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 42. Rock musician Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon) is 37. Pop-rock singer-musician Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) is 37. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 36. Actress Aubrey Plaza is 32. Actress-singer Jennette McCurdy is 24. Actress-singer Ariana Grande is 23.
Certainly, there are some who, once I see their faces, I’d go, “Oh, that guy!” Or I would recognize a song. Surely. And, as I posted the list, I saw another name that looked familiar, but then I had to admit I did not know anything he had done or what he looked like.
It would be easy to say my condition is the result of getting older and slipping out of touch, but several of these folks are older than me and I don’t know any of them. Maybe it’s because we have too many entertainers considered noteworthy.
You did notice that, didn’t you? They’re all singers, musicians, actors or athletes. The only one slightly outside the box is Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s a writer, but he writes and directs films, so not all that different.
A little math, if you will. There are 32 names on today’s list. There are 365.25 days in a year. Multiply those and you get 11,688 celebrity birthdays in a year. And that’s only counting celebrities who are still alive. That’s too many for anyone to keep up with.
OK, I feel better now.
But, no, I’m still not going to tell you which three names I knew.