This Week’s Birthdays (December 16 -22)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 16

12/16/1899 ● Noel Coward → Multi-talented author, poet, playwright, actor, stage, film and television producer and director, songwriter and pop/cabaret singer, “Mad About The Boy” (1932), died of a heart attack on 3/26/1973
1931 ● Karl Denver (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → Scottish one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Wimoweh” (UK #4, 1961), died on 12/21/1998 from a brain tumor
1945 ● Tony Hicks → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966) and “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (#2, 1972)
1946 ● Benny Andersson → Keyboards and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Billy “Reverend Willie G.” Gibbons → Guitar and vocals for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1959 ● Steven Irvine → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1968 ● Christopher Thorn → Guitarist for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Eulaulah Donyll “Lalah” Hathaway → The “First Daughter of Soul,” contemporary R&B and jazz-pop singer, “Heaven Knows” (R&B/Hip Hop #3, 1990), daughter of R&B/soul legend Donny Hathaway, member of the Daughters Of Soul supergroup with Nona Hendryx and others
1971 ● Michael McCary → Former bass vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)

Dec 17

1936 ● Tommy Steele (Thomas William Hicks) → Early Brit rock ‘n roll teen idol vocalist, “Rock With The Caveman” (UK #13, 1956) and more than 20 other UK Top 40 hits, actor
1937 ● Art Neville → Vocalist and pianist with New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1938 ● Carlo Little (Carl O’Neil Little) → First Rolling Stones drummer, replaced by Charlie Watts in 1963, session work including “Let’s Go To San Francisco” by The Flower Pot Men (UK #1, 1967)
1939 ● Eddie Kendricks → Founding member and lead vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965), left in 1971 for solo career, “Keep On Truckin” (#1, 1973) plus 18 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 10/5/1992
1942 ● Paul Butterfield → Blues-rock singer, harmonica player and bandleader with the legendary and biracial Butterfield Blues Band, later fronted Better Days and issued solo albums, died 5/4/1987 from a drug-related heart attack
1943 ● David Dee (David John Harman) → Lead vocals for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), died of cancer on 1/9/2009
1946 ● Martin Smith → Jazz and blues rock drummer for Brit prog-rockers Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Gentle Giant, died on 3/2/1997 from internal hemorrhaging
1947 ● Simon Bates → Brit radio DJ and music show host for the BBC Radio 1, Classic FM and The Breakfast Show on Smooth Radio
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti → Drummer for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir, “It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972), reunited in the 00s
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Guitar and vocals for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), supergroup The Firm and rock duo The Law with Kenney Jones of The Who, solo
1950 ● Carlton “Carlie” Barrett → Drummer for early reggae band The Upsetters and roots reggae Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Buffalo Soldier” (1983), murdered on 4/17/1987
1951 ● Wanda Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel and disco sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1958 ● Mike Mills → Bassist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1959 ● Bob Stinson → Guitarist for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), died of an accidental drug overdose on 2/18/1995
1961 ● Sarah Dallin → Singer for pop-rock Bananarama, “Venus” (#1, 1986) and 11 Dance/Club Top 40 hits
1964 ● David “Ginger” Walls → Founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Brit hard rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1969 ● Micky Quinn → Bassist for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1972 ● Craig “DJ Homicide” Bullock → DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), solo
1973 ● Eddie Fisher → Drums and percussion for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1978 ● Neil Christopher Sanderson → Co-founder, drummer and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1989 ● Taylor York → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

Dec 18

1917 ● Eddie “Cleanhead” Vincent → Jump blues, jazz bebop and R&B alto saxophonist, blues shouter and bandleader, “Old Maid Boogie” (R&B #1, 1947), toured and recorded regularly through four decades before dying of a heart attack on 7/2/1988
1931 ● Allen Klein → Businessman, talent agent, film producer, record label executive and manager for Sam Cooke, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 7/4/2009
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, co-wrote “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), died from a cannabis overdose on 2/4/2009
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), restaurateur 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)
1971 ● Roger J. Beaujard → Guitarist and drum machine programmer for death metal/deathgrind duo Mortician, “Chainsaw Dismemberment” (1999)
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)
1982 ● David Cook → Multi-instrumentalist post-grunge pop-rock singer and songwriter, “The Time Of My Life” (#3, 2008), winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008)
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 and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, solo, “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), 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 ● Pamela Susan Courson → Long-time companion of Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), inherited his estate over the objection of his family following a California court decision that theirs was a “common law marriage,” died from a heroin overdose on 4/25/1974
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, died from liver and colon cancer on 5/20/2012
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 and 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

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