This Week’s Birthdays (April 15 – 22)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 15
1894 ● Bessie Smith → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937
1933 ● Roy Clark → Affable country superstar singer/songwriter, guitar and banjo player, “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, Country #9, 1969), 23-year host of TV show Hee Haw
1939 ● Marty Wilde (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1940 ● Clarence “Satch” Satchell → Saxophone and guitar for R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975), died from a brain aneurysm on 12/30/1995
1944 ● Dave Edmunds → Roots-rock guitarist, vocals, songwriter, producer and bandleader for Love Sculpture, solo “I Hear You Knocking'” (#4, 1970), member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe
1947 ● Michael Chapman → Australian born songwriter and producer with co-writer Nicky Chinn, created the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team, worked with Mud, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet, produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1947 ● Stuart “Wooly” Wolstenholme → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died 12/13/2010
1948 ● Michael Kamen → American composer, arranger and orchestral arranger, collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Lethal Weapon (1987), co-scored Die Hard (1988) plus sequels and multiple other films, worked with Roger Waters, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and others, co-wrote Bryan Adams‘ ballad “(Everything I Do), I Do It for You” (#1, 1991), died on 11/18/2003 from a heart attack
1962 ● Ivor Neville “Nick” Kamen → Brit pop-rock model and pop-rock singer, “Each Time You Break My Heart” (UK #5, 1986)
1965 ● Linda Perry → Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocals for indie hard rock 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up?” (#11, 1993), went solo in 1995, wrote “Beautiful” (#2, 2002) for Christina Aguilera, plus other songs for Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Gavin Rossdale
1965 ● Oscar Harrison → Drummer for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1966 ● Graeme Clark → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox → Former pinup tart and teen Page 3 topless model turned pop singer, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” (#3, Dance #1, 1987)
1967 ● Frankie Poullian → Bassist for Brit hard/glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream #35, 2004)
1968 ● Edward John O’Brien → Guitarist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)

Apr 16
1924 ● Henry Mancini → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994
1924 ● Rudy Pompilli → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died on 2/5/1976 of lung cancer
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969
1930 ● Herbie Mann (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died on 7/1/2003 from prostate cancer
1935 ● Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999
1943 ● “Lonesome” Dave Peverett → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure 1/4/2011
1947 ● Lee “The Bear” Kerslake → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little” Jimmy Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez

Apr 17
1934 ● Don Kirshner → Entertainment mogul, led Brill Building songwriting teams, formed The Monkees, owned Kirshner Records (“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, #1, 1969), major concert promoter, TV music show host, died of heart failure 1/17/2011
1936 ● Alexander “Pete” Graves → Vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955)
1940 ● Billy Fury (Ronald Wycherley) → Early British rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Halfway To Paradise”” (UK #3, 1961) and 25 other UK Top 40 singles between 1959 and 1966, starred as rock ‘n’ roller “Stormy Tempest” in the film That’ll Be The Day (1973) with David Essex and Ringo Starr, died of a heart attack on 1/28/1983
1942 ● Shelly Buchansky → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Roy Estrada → Bassist for experimental art rock Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), later Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1945 ● Tony Crane → Founding member, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1948 ● Jan Hammer → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck Group, composed and performed TV’s “Miami Vice Theme” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Michael Sembello → Producer, composer, session guitarist for many pop-rock acts, solo one hit wonder singer, “Maniac” (#1, 1983) from the film Flashdance (1983)
1955 ● Pete Shelley (McNeish) → Founder, lead guitar, principal songwriter and vocals for early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, went solo in 1981, “On Your Own” (Dance/Club #10, 1986)
1957 ● Afrika Bambaataa (Kevin Donovan) → Proto-rap hip-hop DJ and electro-funk artist, “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), Zulu Nation spiritual leader
1964 ● Maynard James Keenan → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead vocalist for Grammy-winning prog-metal band Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006) plus side project alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003)
1967 ● Liz Phair → Lo-fi indie pop-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Why Can’t I?” (#32, Top 40 #10, 2004)
1967 ● Matt Chamberlain → Widely-heard session drummer, played on over 200 albums with rock and pop bands such as Christina Aguilera, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, David Bowie, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Morrissey, Pearl Jam, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, John Mayer, William Shatner and many others
1970 ● Redman (Reginald Noble) → Actor, producer and funk/reggae-tinged rapper, “How High” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), worked with Method Man on the 1999 album Blackout!, featured on Christina Aguilera‘s “Dirrty” (#48, UK #1, 2002)
1974 ● Victoria Adams → Vocals and “Posh Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997), married soccer star David Beckham in June 1999

Apr 18
1924 ● Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown → Grammy-winning electric Texas blues, country, Cajun and R&B guitarist, “Okie Dokie Stomp” (1954), died of emphysema on 9/10/2005
1935 ● Paul A. Rothchild → Boston-area folk album producer, discovered The Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s and went on to produce albums by The Doors, Janis Joplin, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Love, Bonnie Raitt, The Outlaws and others, died from lung cancer on 3/30/1995
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, first with post-Buddy Holly & The Crickets, then in the TV show Shindig house band and Elvis Presley‘s backing band, session work for Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others
1941 ● Mike Vickers → Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, flute and sax) for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then film score composer and session man, played synthesizer on The BeatlesAbbey Road album
1946 ● Alexander Lee “Skip” Spence → Early guitarist for psych-folk Quicksilver Messenger Service, left to become original drummer for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), left to form eclectic psych-rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), went solo in 1969, died from lung cancer on 4/16/1999
1946 ● Lonnie Baker → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
1958 ● Andy Kyriacou → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● Les Pattinson → Bassist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Shirlie Holliman → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1963 ● Michael Mangini → Drummer for Canadian thrash metal Annihilator, left to join heavy metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), sessions and Steve Vai backing band
1964 ● Mark “Bez” Berry → On stage dancer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), left to form and dance for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1970 ● Greg Eklund → Drummer for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1974 ● Mark Tremonti → Guitarist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000), founding member of hard rock Alter Bridge, “Open Your Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)

Apr 19
1928 ● Alexis Korner → Major force in early British blues-rock, formed Blues Incorporated with Charlie Watts, then blues-rock ensemble CCS which covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” (#58, 1971), writer and radio DJ, died from lung cancer on 1/1/1984.
1934 ● Richard Dorian “Dickie” Goodman → With partner Bill Buchanan, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), plus solo work, “Mr. Jaws” (#4, 1975), died from self-inflicted gun shot wounds on 11/6/1989
1942 ● Alan Price → Organist for early line-up of Brit blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left for one hit solo career, “‘Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear” (UK #4, 1967)
1943 ● Eve Graham (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1944 ● Bernie Worrell → Keyboards for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1946 ● Tim Curry → Singer, stage and film actor, voice actor, came to prominence as “Dr. Frank N. Futer” in cult classic move The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), later in Annie (1982), Legend (1985), Clue (1985) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (2004)
1947 ● Mark Volman → With long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Kaylan, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1956 ● Gary Langan → Recording engineer and founding member of avant garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988), record producer
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein → Drummer for jazz-Southern rock fusion Dixie Dregs, later with pop-metal Winger, “Miles Away” (#12, 1990)
1965 ● Marion “Suge” Knight, Jr. → Strong-armed co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, served time for parole violation, suspected of involvement in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

Apr 20
1929 ● Bob Braun → Long-time radio DJ (WLWT-Cincinnati) and TV music show host, one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Till Death Do Us Part” (#26, 1962)
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson → Country, pop, R&B and adult crossover singer/songwriter, “Poetry In Motion” (#2, 1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston → Original organ player for British Invasion raunch/rock The Small Faces, left for obscurity in 1965 before the band hit notoriety
1948 ● Craig Frost → Keyboardist, joined hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1972, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), joined Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band in the early 80s
1951 ● Luther Vandross → Eight-time Grammy-winning R&B/smooth soul singer/balladeer, “Power Of Love/Love Power” (#4, 1986) and duet with Janet Jackson, “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (#10, 1997), died on 7/1/2005 following a stroke and heart attack caused by genetic diabetes and hypertension
1967 ● Mike Portnoy → Drummer for heavy metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992)
1971 ● Mikey Welsh → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1972 ● Carmen Electra → Erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Baywatch beach tart and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1972 ● Stephen Robert Nesta “Ziggy” Marley → Grammy-winning roots reggae/ska singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), son of reggae superstar and icon Bob Marley
1974 ● Tina Cousins → Fashion model turned dance-pop diva with five UK Top 20 singles, including “Killin’ Time” (UK #15, 1999)

Apr 21
1939 ● Ernie Maresca → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose credits include several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1943 ● Mars Bonfire (Dennis Eugene McCrohan aka Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Wagner → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1947 ● Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg) → Frontman and vocals for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, solo, “Lust For Life” (1977, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums #147)
1947 ● John Weider → Guitar and violin for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then bassist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), sessions and solo as a jazz-new age guitarist and singer/songwriter
1948 ● Paul Davis → Pop-rock and country-pop singer/songwriter, “I Go Crazy” (#7, 1977), guest vocalist with Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker, wrote several country hits for others, died of a heart attack on 4/22/2008
1951 ● Nicole Barclay → Vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1959 ● Michael Timmins → Guitarist and songwriter for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1959 ● Robert Smith → Founder, frontman, guitarist, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of gloomy post-punk-pop The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989), plus over 20 other Top 40 singles in his native UK
1960 ● John Maher → Drummer in early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), now sells and races Volkswagen cars
1963 ● Johnny McElhone → Bassist for Scottish teen-aged post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), then joined Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1978 ● Brandon Steineckert → Drummer in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005), left in 2006 to join punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)

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