Today In History: June 24, 1945

Happy 70th birthday to Colin Blunstone, born in Hatfield, England on June 24, 1945. As I state in Going Coastal‘s roundup of the top songs of 1965, Blunstone’s warm, sonorous voice is one of the British Invasion’s greatest gifts to pop music. He is, of course, best known for his work with The Zombies (and still tours with fellow Zombie Rod Argent to this day). While everyone knows such classics as “Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There,” the 1997 Zombie Heaven boxed set (featuring encyclopedic liner notes by Alec Palao) reveals the band’s untold riches. I’m partial to the swinging symphonic triumph of 1965’s “She’s Coming Home”:

Then again, I can’t forget the manic majesty of 1965’s “Sometimes”:

Blunstone’s solo work is nothing to be sneezed at, either. Take his cover of Tim Hardin’s “Misty Roses” from 1971:

Like other superheroes before him, Colin Blunstone has a secret identity. In 1969 (for reasons that aren’t entirely clear), Blunstone released three singles for Deram Records under the name Neil MacArthur. This Italian-language version of “She’s Not There” has a nifty Tropicalia vibe:

Best wishes to the grooviest guy ever to have worked in the insurance business (luckily, music’s call proved to be too strong), Mr. Colin Blunstone.

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