01-04-1946 — 11-17-2003 Arthur Lee Conley (also known as Lee Roberts) – Born in McIntosh County, Georgia. He was an American soul singer. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & the Corvets. Three singles were released with this group. In 1964, he moved to a new label and released I’m a Lonely Stranger. When Otis Redding heard it, he asked Conley to record a new version, which was released on Redding’s own fledgling label. In 1967, Conley and Redding rewrote the Sam Cooke song Yeah Man into Sweet Soul Music. In 1967, the song became a big hit for Conley, going to the number two position on the U.S. charts and the Top Ten across much of Europe. After several hits in the early 1970s, he relocated to England in 1975 and then settled in Amsterdam, (Netherlands) in 1977. Conley was gay, and several music writers have stated that his homosexuality was a bar to greater success in the United States and one of the reasons he moved to Europe and eventually changed his name. In 2014, rock historian Ed Ward wrote,”[Conley] headed to Amsterdam and changed his name to Lee Roberts. Nobody knew ‘Lee Roberts’ and at last Conley was able to live in peace with a secret he had hidden—or thought he had—for his entire career: he was gay. But nobody in The Netherlands cared.” Conley died at the age of 57 from intestinal cancer in 2003.
01-04-1948 Natalie Goldberg – Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. She is an American popular New Age author and speaker, best known for a series of books which explore writing as Zen practice. Writing Down the Bones (1986) is one of her best known works. Goldberg has studied Zen Buddhism for more than thirty years. She is openly lesbian. She has often taught and lead workshops at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico.
01-04-1974 Kaj Hasselriis – Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a Canadian journalist, community activist, and politician. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he is a lifelong Winnipegger and earned a sociology degree from the University of Manitoba in 1995, as well as a journalism degree from Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1997. From 1997 to 2002, he worked as a reporter and producer for CBC Television. He also created an English-language monthly in Lima, Peru called Limazine. He is openly gay and was the national spokesperson for Canadians for Equal Marriage in 2006. He currently contributes to the Xtral chain of LGBT newspapers as a Winnipeg-area reporter. Hasselriis also wrote a series of travel essays on gay life in India while traveling in the winter of 2008-2009 for both Xtral and its gay travel magazine The Guide.