This Week’s Birthdays (May 1 – 7)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 01
1929 ● Sonny James (James Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop singer/songwriter, “Young Love” (#1, Country #1, 1957), scored a five-year run of 16 back-to-back #1 country hits (among 23 total #1’s and 72 country chart hits from the late 50s through the early 80s)
1930 ● Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist, “My Babe” (R&B #1, 1955), first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound, only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died on 2/15/1968 from a coronary blood clot
1939 ● Judy Collins → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter, “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Mimi Fariña (Margarita Baez) → Folk singer/songwriter, duets with husband Richard in the early 60s,then solo after his death in a motorcycle accident, social activist, younger sister of Joan Baez, died of cancer on 7/18/2001
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → Versatile Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (#2, 1977), backing vocals for Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie and others, married to singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (1973 – 1980)
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → Bassist for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → Guitarist, songwriter, producer and bandleader, sessions with The Spinners, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and others, formed Raydio in 1977, “Jack And Jill” (#8, 1978), wrote and performed the movie theme song “Ghostbusters” (#1, 1984)
1957 ● Rick Driscoll → Guitar and vocals for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1957 ● Steve Farris → Guitarist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Phillip Smith → Saxophone for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Owen Paul (McGee) → Scottish pop-rock singer, “My Favourite Waste Of Time” (UK #3, 1986), sessions and touring with Mike + The Mechanics
1966 ● Johnny Colt → Original bassist for raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), left to form rock trio Brand New Immortals, then modern rock Train, “Drops Of Jupiter” (#5, 2001)
1967 ● Tim McGraw (Samuel Timothy Smith) → Hugely popular Grammy-winning neo-traditional country star with 22 country #1 hits, including “It’s Your Love” (Country #1, 1997), husband of Faith Hill and son of former baseball pitcher Tug McGraw
1968 ● D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Bass guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1970 ● Bernard Butler → Guitar and vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996), solo, duet with David McAlmont, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1978 ● Chris Kelly → Vocals for teenage rap sensation Kris Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), partner Chris Smith and he were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song

May 02
1929 ● Frederick Lincoln “Link” Wray → Rock and rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, “fuzz” and power chord guitar pioneer, “Rumble” (#16, 1958), Rolling Stone magazine’s 67th greatest guitarist of all time, died of heart failure on 11/5/2005
1933 ● John “Bunk” Gardner → Reeds and woodwinds for Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), backing band for Zappa‘s solo albums, reformed as Grandmothers in 80s
1936 ● Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold George Dorsey) → The “King of Romance”, MOR crooner and balladeer with 13 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, “After The Lovin'” (#8, 1977)
1944 ● Bob Henrit → Journeyman Brit drummer for hard rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1984, “Do It Again” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1984), session work for Dave Davies, Leo Sayer and others
1945 ● Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger → Wife of Mick, social activist, actress, fashion icon
1945 ● Goldy McJohn (John Raymond Goadsby) → Keyboards for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Judge Dread (Alexander Minto Hughes) → Blue-eyed ska and reggae singer with six UK Top 15 singles, including “Big Six” (UK #1, 1972) and a record 11 songs banned from the BBC, collapsed and died from a heart attack while leaving the stage following a performance in Canterbury, England on 3/13/1998
1945 ● Randy Cain → Vocals for “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), formed pop-soul Blue Magic, “Sideshow” (#8, R&B #1, 1974), died 4/9/2009
1946 ● Lesley Gore (Goldstein) → Girl Group era solo teen pop singer/songwriter, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Larry Gatlin → Grammy-winning country-pop solo star and frontman for sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits
1950 ● Lou Gramm (Louis Grammatico) → Vocals for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), then formed Christian-rock Lou Gramm Band
1951 ● John Glascock → Bassist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1954 ● Prescott Niles → Bassist for pop-rock The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Jo Callis → Synthesizer, keyboards and guitar for punk rock Rezillos, wrote “Top Of The Pops” (UK #17, 1978), then joined New Wave synth-pop Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1961 ● Dr. Robert (Bruce Robert Howard) → Lead singer, guitar, piano and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1967 ● David McAlmont → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, duet with Bernard Butler, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Ben Leach → Keyboards and synthesizer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), then joined electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Smile” (#49, UK #1, 2006)

May 03
1903 ● Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby → Vastly popular multi-media megastar singer and actor with thousands of recorded songs, hundreds of albums and dozens of stage and screen roles, “White Christmas” (#1, 1942), died of a heart attack while golfing in Spain on 10/14/1977
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer/songwriter, guitarist and environmental activist, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), then solo, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” for The Byrds (#1, 1965) and “If I Had A Hammer” for Peter, Paul & Mary (#10, 1962)
1921 ● Joe Ames (Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2007
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died on 12/25/2006 from pneumonia
1934 ● Frankie Valli (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), solo, “Grease” (#1, 1978)
1944 ● Peter Staples → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● John Richardson → Drums and vocals for glam-pop-rock The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (#37, UK #1, 1974)
1950 ● Mary Hopkin → Welsh folk-pop singer and early Apple Records artist, “Those Were The Days” (#2, 1968)
1951 ● Christopher Cross (Geppert) → Grammy-winning, flash-in-the-pan pop-rock sing/songwriter with 6 Top 10 hits in three years, including “Arthur’s Theme” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Bruce Hall → Second bassist for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1959 ● David Ball → Multi-instrumentalist for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982)
1965 ● Simon Smith → Drummer for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1969 ● Jay Darlington → Keyboardist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), toured with Oasis
1972 ● Josey Scott → Lead singer for rap-metal Saliva, “Always” (#51, Mainstream Rock #2, 2002), sang “Hero” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, the theme song to the film Spider-Man (2002)
1979 ● Danny Foster → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Farrah Franklin → Singer, actress and model with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), fired after 5 months, now solo

May 04
1923 ● Ed “Mr. Skin” Cassidy → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeteer in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006
1937 ● Dick Dale (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The “King of the Surf Guitar”, pioneer of the single-note staccato picking technique, developed reverberation, frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones, “Let’s Go Trippin'” (#60, 1962)
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others
1943 ● Ronnie Bond (Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963)
1945 ● Georg “Jojjie” Wadenius → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Alistair “Zal” Cleminson → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazereth in 1979
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died 6/30/1999
1951 ● Sigmund Esco “Jackie” Jackson → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1959 ● Randy Travis (Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10’s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch

1972 ● Mike Dirnt (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for pop boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

May 05
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died 5/31/2000 after a heart attack
1942 ● Tammy Wynette (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmiaon on 4/6/1998
1942 ● Jim King (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1954 ● Pete Erskine → Session percussionist and journeyman jazz and jazz-rock fusion session drummer, has worked with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Weather Report, the Brecker Brothers, among others
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele (Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

May 06
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia, “Love Is Strange” (#11, 1957)
1939 ● Herbie Cox → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Sandra Tilley → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981
1945 ● Bob Seger → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and bandleader, “Night Moves” (#4, 1976) and “Shakedown” (#1, 1986) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986)
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a herion overdose on 9/23/1974
1960 ● John Flansburgh → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

May 07
1931 ● Teresa Brewer (Breuer) → 50s novelty pop singer, “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died on 9/8/1997
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The Temptations‘s David Ruffin
1939 ● Johnny Maestro → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969)
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West (Richard Westwood) → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967)
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Charles L’Empereur “Prairie” Prince → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1956 ● Anne Dudley (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson-Piper → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye Cherry → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

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