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May 10, 1946: A Musical Hat Trick

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Dave Mason Was Just One of the Three Future Rock Stars All Born on May 10, 1946

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May is hands-down the best musical month in the year, which would be true even if it were not for the significance of its 24th day. As most fans know, Bob Dylan came into the world as Robert Zimmerman on that very day back in 1941.

As special as that day is, the 24th is not the best reason to celebrate May as the most musical month. Actually, that designation should be reserved for may 10th, especially the one in 1946.

Just weeks before Abe Zimmerman's son would celebrate his fifth birthday, one of Dylan's future disciples came into existence. No one could have seen any possible connection between the infant and the soon-to-be five year old, since they were right then separated by an ocean and a half a continent.

In Maryhill, Glasgow, Donovan Leitch arrived to the world, and twenty three years later he would be quite successfully emulating Bob Dylan. Just like the Hibbing, Minnesota native, Donovan would transition from a lucrative folk career into an even more profitable rock and roll turn.

Early singles such as “Catch the Wind” and “Colours” resemble Dylan's Freewheelin' period, which would shortly afterward give way to an electric approach. While Bob was making Highway 61 Revisited, Donovan gave us Mellow Yellow and “Sunshine Superman.”

Three hundred and eleven miles from the home where the Leitches welcomed Donovan, two parents on that very same day saw the arrival of another future musician. Dave Mason, born in Worcester on May 10 in 1946, would also move from playing folk music to become a rock and roll guitarist.

Mason would of course gain notoriety as a member of Traffic in the Sixties, after which he embarked on a successful solo career. He even broke through in 1977 with a Top Ten album called Split Coconut, highlighted by the single “We Just Disagree.”

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Only 115 miles away from the site of Dave Mason's emergence to life came another birth, and in fact another future musician. Graham Gouldman, who would rise to fame first as a songwriter and then as a member of a popular rock and roll band, was born in Lancashire on May 10, 1946.

Gouldman's first success came when his composition “Bus Stop” was picked up by the Hollies, who turned it into a Top Ten single. He would then return plenty of times to the top of the charts as one of the leading songwriters of 10cc, the group he founded with Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley.

“I'm Not in Love” came first for the quartet, and a few years later they scored with “The Things We Do For Love.” Gouldman and Stewart would carry on after the departure of the other two, charting once again with the reggae-based hit “Dreadlock Holiday.”

Since we are fortunate to have the three legends still with us, I offer a suggestion to finally bring them together into a supergroup. Imagine the great material fans could enjoy by this trio, who would call themselves May 10, 1946 based on the day of their birth.


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