Today's Birthday 17/11

Taylor Thompson-Fuller
Rock musician Jeff Buckley disappeared in the waters of Wolf River in Memphis one night in May 1997

Today's Birthday, November 17: Jeff Buckley, American musician (1966 - 1997)

A new book titled Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice has opened a vault of personal treasures to fans of the late American musician, whose songs maintain a cult-like following.

The book offers a glimpse into the late singer's diaries, song writing books and personal photos. All the items were collected by his mother, who co-wrote the book.

"You get to hear from him directly about some of his goals and frustrations, and I think [His Own Voice] will enhance his legacy in terms of showing what he put into his art," said his one-time biographer and editor of the book, David Browne.

Jeff Scott Buckely was born in Anaheim, California, to Mary Guibert and famous musician Tim Buckley.

He was raised by his mother and stepfather after his biological father Tim Buckley divorced Guibert.

Tim died of an overdose at the age of 28 when Jeff was just nine. They had only met once before Tim's death.

"For nine years that boy lived with a living father who did not send him a single birthday card, a phone call, Christmas card, nothing," Guibert told Rolling Stone.

After finishing high school and attending a music school in Hollywood, Jeff spent six years working in a hotel playing guitar for various bands.

He moved to New York City in 1990, where he made tapes of his original music and played at clubs around Lower Manhattan.

In those clubs he built a cult following, and record executives clambered to sign him to their labels.

After signing to Columbia he released the now highly regarded album Grace, which included Buckley's widely recognised cover of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

After the critical success of the album and a world tour, Buckley began working on his second record Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk.

While recording the album he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he would play local bars trying to figure out the live aspect of the new material.

On the evening of May 29 1997, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor in Memphis and disappeared.

The Coroner ruled that he wasn't intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, and his death was an accidental drowning.

"[If he had lived] I could almost see him following the route of Elvis Costello, who he really admired," said his biographer David Browne.