- Barry Kernfeld
Sun Ra (22 May 1914–30 May 1993), jazz bandleader, composer, and keyboard player, was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Nothing is known of his father; his mother ran restaurants. Sun Ra claimed that he was a visitor from Saturn and acted accordingly, often discouraging investigations into his earthly upbringing. His given name was Herman and his surname may have been Lee, but his siblings were named Blount, perhaps from a stepfather. He denied that his surname was really Blount, and yet this surname was documented early in his professional career. In childhood he received the nickname Sonny....