This Week’s Birthdays (December 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 19
1918 ● Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) → New Orleans R&B, blues then rock ‘n roll pianist
1940 ● Phil Ochs → 60s folk “outlaw” singer/songwriter, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965)
1941 ● Maurice White → Drummer, singer/songwriter, founder of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1944 ● Alvin Lee → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist for Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971)
1944 ● Zalman “Zal” Yanovsky → The “Zany One” for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965)
1945 ● John McEuen → Banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1957 ● Doug Johnson → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “NeverEnding Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard → Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)

Dec 20
1944 ● Bobby Colomby → Drummer for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Peter Criss (Criscoula) → Drummer for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976)
1948 ● Stephen Wright → Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1966)
1949 ● Alan Parsons → Brit studio engineer, producer, musician, bandleader, prog-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1956 ● Guy Babylon → Keyboardist and contributor, Elton John band
1957 ● Anita Ward → R&B/soul-disco one hit wonder singer, “Ring My Bell” (#1, 1979)
1957 ● Michael Watt → Seminal post-punk bassist and founder of Minutemen, dos, fiREHOUSE. Also with The Stooges and Banyan.
1957 ● Stephen William “Billy” Bragg → Brit alt rock singer/songwriter and left-wing activist, “Sexuality” (Modern Rock #2, 1991)
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1975 ● Graham Hopkins → Former drummer for Irish grunge rock Therapy?, then solo, now sessions and touring bands
1990 ● JoJo (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer/songwriter, “Too Little Too Late” (#3, 2006), actress

Dec 21
1920 ● Luigi Creatore → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists
1940 ● Frank Zappa → Multi-instrumentalist, satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, producer, bandleader, Mothers Of Invention, solo, “Valley Girl” (#32, 1975)
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, early pop-rock vocal duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1942 ● Carla Thomas → Stax Records artist, the “Queen of Memphis Soul”,”B-A-B-Y” (R&B #3, Pop #14, 1966), daughter of Rufus
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-rock guitarist, Head Hands & Feat, sessions with Emmylou Harris, Clapton, others, solo
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966)
1951 ● Nick Gilder → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul/quiet storm vocals, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Emmett J. “Murph” Murphy III → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), The Lemonheads
1965 ● Gabrielle “Gabby” Glaser → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

Dec 22
1939 ● James Gurley → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968)
1944 ● Barry Jenkins → Drummer for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Rick Nielsen → Vocals and guitar for power pop-rock Cheap Trick, “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Singer/songwriter, producer, pop-rock then disco The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), younger twin of Robin
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Singer/songwriter, producer, pop-rock then disco The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice
1950 ● Alan Williams → Vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK#1, US #37, 1974)
1955 ● Barry Sless → Six-string and peddle steel guitarist for David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil (Lesh) & Friends, others
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988)
1966 ● Danny Saber → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ, former bassist with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1968 ● Richard James Edwards → Rhythm guitar, songwriter and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis → French teen-pop singer, actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (Euro #11, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician and DJ, dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #3, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Briana Sparks → R&B/pop-soul singer/songwriter, American Idol winner, “No Air” (2008)

Dec 23
1935 ● Johnny Kidd (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960)
1935 ● Little Esther Phillips (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, 1962)
1940 ● Eugene Record → Vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971)
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1941 ● Tim Hardin → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965)
1942 ● Declan “Dec” Cluskey → Irish pop-rock The Bachelors, “Diane” (#10, 1964)
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Actor who portrayed Derek Smalls in the mock-rock movie Spinal Tap
1945 ● Ron Bushy → Drummer for hard rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970)
1946 ● Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then glam-rock Mott the Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Robbie Dupree (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock one hit wonder vocalist, “Steal Away” (#6, 1980)
1949 ● Robert Steven “Adrian” Belew → Guitarist and singer, sessions, Talking Heads, King Crimson, David Bowie, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
1958 ● Dave Murray → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Victoria Williams → Idiosyncratic country-folk singer/songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994)
1960 ● Will Sinnott → Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1964 ● Eddie Vedder (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1974 ● Montsho Eshe → Progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood → Pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Harry Judd → Drummer for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

Dec 24
1920 ● Dave Bartholomew → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, with Fats Domino co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955)
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966)
1944 ● Mike Curb → MGM Records head, producer
1945 ● Doyle Bramhall II → Guitarist/songwriter, Smokestack, Eric Clapton band, Roger Waters band
1945 ● Lemmy (Ian Frasier Kilminster) → Space-rock Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (1972), founded punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Founding member and guitarist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971)
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Folk-pop John & Mary, then lead vocals for 10,000 Maniacs after Natalie Merchant’s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1971 ● Ricky Martin (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican pop superstar, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), actor
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt rock/white soul Toploader, “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)

Dec 25
1907 ● Cab Calloway → Jazz/scat singer, songwriter, bandleader, “Minnie The Moocher” (1931)
1929 ● Chris Kenner → Teen pop and early rock ‘n roll singer, “I Like It Like That” (#2, 1961)
1929 ● William Franklin “Billy” Billy Horton → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley, Jr. → Six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop crossover keyboardist, composer, arranger, bandleader
1940 ● Pete Brown → Poet and co-lyricist (with Jack Bruce) for Cream, “I Feel Free” (1967)
1940 ● Phil Spector → Musician, songwriter, record producer, originator of the “Wall of Sound” technique, pioneer of 60s girl groups
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), Al Stewart band, The Strawbs
1944 ● Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine → Guitarist for folk-blues-rock Canned Heat, “”Let’s Work Together” (1970), The Mothers Of Invention
1944 ● Kenny Everett (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ, TV presenter, comedian, musician, “Snot Rap” (1983)
1945 ● David Noel Redding → Bassist for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (#65, 1967), solo
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → Country-folk-pop-rock singer/songwriter, beach bum and chief Parrothead, “Margaritaville” (#8, 1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, country singer/songwriter, “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” (Country #1, 1977)
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Backup/session singer, solo, vocals on The Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter”, actress
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Tourists, “I Only Want To Be With You” (#83, 1980), Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams” (#1, 1983), solo
1954 ● Robin Campbell → Guitar and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988)
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Guitar and vocals for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Alannah Myles → Canadian sultry, smoky, sensual pop singer/songwriter, “Black Velvet” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Bob Stanley → Guitars and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Dido (Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer/songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
1972 ● Josh Freese → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), also with The Vandals and Devo, others

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