It's the birthday of the jazz pianist Thelonious (Sphere) Monk, born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina (1917), who helped invent bebop in the late 1930s with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Parker and Gillespie achieved fame right way, but Monk spent the next 20 years struggling to make a living. He played any nightclub that would take him, sometimes working for just $20 a week. It wasn't until he began to play with John Coltrane in 1957 that people realized how revolutionary his style was, and some of his compositions became jazz standards, including "'Round About Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser." Thelonious Monk said, "There are no wrong notes."
from The Writer's Almanac 10/10/2007