John J. Mellencamp is celebrating his 69th birthday today!
John Mellencamp is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2018), and is a founding member of “Farm Aid” along with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. John Mellencamp is a grammy award winner and has racked up 22 Top 40 hits.
He is one of just a handful of artists to perform using multiple names. Thanks to his manager Tony DeFries, in 1976 John Mellencamp started as Johnny Cougar (which he hated). DeFries felt the name Mellencamp was too clunky for a rock star. In 1979 Mellencamp shortened his name to John Cougar. Then, in 1983, he added his last name, John Cougar Mellencamp. Finally, in 1991, he retired the name “Cougar” and has been John Mellencamp ever since.
Johnny Cash called John Mellencamp “one of the ten best songwriters in America”. His style of music has been called “folk rock”, “roots rock”, and “heartland rock”. Happy 69th Birthday John Mellencamp!
-- Doug O’Brien