On this day, in 1956, saxophonist Kenny G was born.
Born in Seattle, Kenneth Gorelick grew up in the Seward Park neighborhood and started playing saxophone when he was 10-years-old after hearing a saxophonist on The Ed Sullivan Show. He went to Franklin High School and the University of Washington. The first time he tried to get into his high school jazz band, he didn't make the cut. He tried again the next year and got in.
He is now the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Global sales of his music top 75 million records.
Some Kenny G trivia:
He signed his first record deal in 1982 with Arista Records.
His sixth album, Breathless (1992) became the best-selling instrumental album of all time. It's sold over 12 million copies.
He once held the world record for playing the longest continuous note on a saxophone. He played an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds.
He is very popular in China. His recording of "Going Home" has become the unofficial national closing song for businesses in shopping malls and train stations throughout the country.