This Week’s Birthdays (December 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 18
1938 ● Bryan James “Chas” Chandler → Bassist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), producer and manager for Jimi Hendrix and Slade, died of heart failure on 7/17/1996
1941 ● Sam Andrew → Founding member, guitarist and singer for 60s psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), Janis Joplin‘s Kozmic Blues Band, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), film score composer, reunited Big Brother in 1987 and continues
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Tenor vocal for R&B/doo wop The Del-Satins, which became The Brooklyn Bridge, “Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1968)
1943 ● Keith Richards → The “Human Guitar Riff,” founding member, lead guitarist, and co-songwriter for The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), solo, Rolling Stone magazine’s #10 Great Guitarist of All Time
1948 ● Bill Nelson → Prog rock, electropop, experimental and ambient music composer, guitarist and songwriter, founded and fronted prog rock Be Bop Deluxe, “Modern Music” (1977), prolific solo career since the late 70s
1950 ● Martha Johnson → Vocals and leader of Canadian post-punk Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” (Juno Single of the Year, 1980)
1953 ● Elliot Easton → Lead guitar for The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, 1978), The New Cars, power pop Click Five and roots rock Creedence Clearwater Revisited
1958 ● Kevin “Geordie” Walker → Guitarist in post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1959 ● Grantley Evan “Daddy G” Marshall → Vocals and songwriter in pioneering trip-hop collaborative duo Massive Attack, “Teardrop” (UK #10, 1998), producer
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → Drummer for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1964 ● Robson Green → Brit singer, songwriter, TV host and actor, covered “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1995)
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Bassist for indie “blonde” pop-rockers The Primitives, “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988)
1968 ● Andy Miller → Guitarist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1970 ● DMX (Earl Simmons) → Vocalist, songwriter and drum machine rap pioneer, “Party Up (Up In Here)” (#27, 1999), screen actor, Reality TV host
1972 ● DJ Lethal (Leor Dimant) → Latvian-born producer and DJ/turntablist for House Of Pain and rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1980 ● Christina Aguilera → Dance-pop singer, “Genie In A Bottle” (#1, 1999), collaborated with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink on remake of “Lady Maramalade” (#1, 2001)
1980 ● Lyndsay Armaou → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)

Dec 19
1915 ● Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → Widely popular French-born opera and adult pop singer, “Milord” (#88, 1959), died on 10/11/1963 from liver cancer
1918 ● Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) → Influential and pioneering New Orleans R&B singer and pianist, switched to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and later jazz, won a posthumous Grammy for the collection House Party New Orleans Style (1987), died of a heart attack on 1/30/1980
1940 ● Phil Ochs → 60s folk “outlaw” singer and songwriter, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), committed suicide by hanging himself at his sister’s home in Queens, NY on 4/9/1976
1941 ● Maurice White → Seven-time Grammy-winning drummer, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), producer for Deniece Williams, The Emotions and others
1944 ● Alvin Lee (Graham Barnes) → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist, founding member, lead vocals and lead guitar for Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971)
1944 ● Zalman “Zal” Yanovsky → The “Zany One,” guitarist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), restauranteur in Kingston, Ontario, died 12/13/2002 after a heart attack
1945 ● John McEuen → Singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971), solo and Grammy-winning producer
1957 ● Doug Johnson → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “Never Ending Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1961 ● John Eascott → Trumpet for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard → Original drummer for 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 and “Catman” character in campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo
1948 ● Stephen “Little Stevie” Wright → Lead vocals for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), then solo
1949 ● Alan Parsons → Brit studio engineer, part-producer for The BeatlesAbbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970), plus Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), songwriter, musician and bandleader for prog-pop-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1956 ● Guy Babylon → Keyboardist and contributor in the Elton John band, died in a swimming accident in his L.A. home pool on 9/2/2009
1957 ● Anita Ward → One hit wonder R&B/soul-disco 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) and “She’s Leaving Home” (UK #1, 1988), wrote “A New England” for Kirsty MacColl (UK #7, 1985)
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock The 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
1980 ● Christopher “Dibs” Edwards → Bassist for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1990 ● JoJo (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer and 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, including Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” (#49, 1959)
1940 ● Frank Zappa → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, solo, “Valley Girl” (#32, 1975), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1942 ● Carla Thomas → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998
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 and quiet storm vocalist, “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), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
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), performed with the band into the 00s, died on 12/20/2009 from a heart attack
1944 ● Colin Ernest “Barrie” Jenkins → Founding member and drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964) and hard/blues-rock The Animals, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#12, 1966), now manages a music store
1946 ● Rick Nielsen → Vocals and guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), solo and producer, younger twin of Robin Gibb, died on 1/12/2003 from a twisted intestine
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice Gibb
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 country-rock David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh & Friends, others
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Lead singer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), solo, now a DJ on BBC Radio Scotland
1966 ● Danny Saber → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ and 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), disappeared on 2/1/1995 and officially presumed dead in a 2008 court ruling
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis → French teen-pop singer and actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (UK #3, France #1, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician, DJ and dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #1, UK #1, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Briana Sparks → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, American Idol 2007 winner and youngest to date, “No Air” (#3, 2008) and four other Top 20 hits

Dec 23
1935 ● Johnny Kidd (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll singer and frontman for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), died in a car crash on 10/7/1966
1935 ● Little Esther Phillips (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, R&B #1, 1962) and seven other R&B Top 40 hits, died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure on 8/7/1984
1940 ● Eugene Record → Vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna, still touring and recording in 2011
1941 ● Tim Hardin → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965), died of a heroin overdose on 12/29/1980
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Actor who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1945 ● Ron Bushy → Drummer for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970)
1946 ● Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers 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 → Session and touring guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, with whom he records and tours in the 00s, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Vocals for 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 and songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994), career limited by multiple sclerosis, subject of the tribute/benefit album Sweet Relief (1993) featuring Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, Vanessa Williams and others
1960 ● Will Sinnott → Bassist in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992), drowned while swimming in the Canary Islands on 5/22/1991
1964 ● Eddie Vedder (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), solo
1974 ● Montsho Eshe → Vocals for Grammy-winning, progressive Afrocentric rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop group Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood → Singer in 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), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986
1944 ● Mike Curb → Musician, producer, record label executive with MGM, Bizarre and Curb records, former Lt. Governor of California, NASCAR racing team owner
1945 ● Lemmy (Ian Frasier Kilminster) → Bass and vocals for space rock pioneers 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), solo, music journalist
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Vocals in folk-pop John & Mary, then joined 10,000 Maniacs as lead vocalist in 1994 after Natalie Merchant‘s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1968 ● Doyle Bramhall II → Guitarist and songwriter in Texas blues-rock The Arc Angels and Smokestack, played second guitar for Eric Clapton‘s band from 2004 to 2009, solo
1971 ● Ricky Martin (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican teen-pop and later adult-pop superstar singer, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), TV actor in daytime soap opera General Hospital
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)

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