This Week’s Birthdays (June 28 – July 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jun 28

1902 ● Richard Rodgers → Stage, film and TV music composer and lyricist with over 900 titles and 43 musicals, collaborator with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein III on some of the best-known songs in popular music, died on 12/30/1979
1943 ● Bobby Harrison → Drummer for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), formed psych rock Freedom in 1968
1945 ● David Knights → Original bass guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969
1959 ● Clint Boon → Keyboards for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992), formed The Clint Boon Experience in 1995
1963 ● Beverley Craven → Brit easy listening singer/songwriter and balladeer, “Promise Me” (UK #3, 1991) and “Holding On” (Adult Contemporary #30, 1992)
1963 ● Charles Clouser → Keyboardist and drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), producer and sound engineer for Deftones, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and others
1965 ● Saul Davis → Guitar and violin for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (#61, Modern Rock #3, 1994)
1966 ● Bobby Bare, Jr. → Country and roots rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, at age 8 received a Grammy nomination with his father, Bobby Bare, for the duet “Daddy What If” (#41, Country #2, 1974), frontman for alt country-rock Young Criminals Starvation League and indie rock Bare Jr.
1971 ● Ray Slijngaard → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1977 ● Mark Stoermer → Bass guitarist for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1979 ● Tim McCord → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1986 ● Kellie Dawn PicklerAmerican Idol runner-up and contemporary country/country-pop singer with eight Country Top 40 hits, including “Best Days Of Your Life” (Country #12, 2008) from the Country #1 (Pop #9) album Kellie Pickler

Jun 29

1942 ● Gilberto Gil (Moreira) → Brazilian “tropicalia” samba-salsa-pop-rock fusion singer and guitarist, Grammy-winning album Quanta Gente Veio Ver: Ao Vivo (1998), Minister of Culture for Brazil, 2003-2008
1943 ● Roger Ruskin Spear → Co-founder, kazoo, Jew’s harp, musical toy instrumentalist for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died 1/18/1990
1945 ● Little Eva (Boyd) → Babysitter and maid for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin, who wrote her hit “The Loco-Motion” (#1, 1962) about her dancing while doing housework, died of cervical cancer on 4/10/2003
1948 ● Bill Kirchen → The “Dieselbilly King,” versatile rockabilly, boogie, Western swing, rock ‘n’ roll and trucking music guitarist with Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), multiple solo albums including the Grammy-winning Word To The Wise (2010), frontman for several bands and tours/sessions with Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris and others
1948 ● Dervin Gordon → With twin brother Lincoln, Jamaican-born lead vocals for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1948 ● Ian Paice → Drummer for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), the only constant member of the band since it formed in 1968, also played with hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987)
1948 ● Lincoln Gordon → With twin brother Dervin, Jamaican-born guitarist for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1953 ● Colin Hay → Co-founder, vocals and guitar for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1964 ● Steadman Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1978 ● Nicole Scherzinger → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group, then lead singer for dance-pop Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005), solo, “Baby Love” (Dance/Club #4, 2007), winner of Dancing With The Stars in 2010
1978 ● Sam Farrar → Bassist for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), son of John Farrar of The Shadows (“Apache,” Worldwide #1, 1960)
1979 ● Richard Breen → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1983 ● Aundrea Aurora Fimbres → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)

Jun 30

1917 ● Lena Horne → Grammy-winning contemporary pop singer, stage, film and TV actress and nightclub entertainer, “Love Me Or Leave Me” (#19, 1955)
1936 ● Dave Van Ronk → Folk and acoustic blues singer/songwriter and guitarist, figurehead in the 60s Greenwich Village folk coffeehouse scene, influenced Bob Dylan and many other young folksters, died from complications of colon cancer surgery on 2/10/2002
1937 ● Lawrence Joel “Larry” Henley → Lead vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1939 ● Tony Hatch → Composer, pianist, Pye Records staff songwriter, producer for The Searchers, David Bowie, the Montanas and others, wrote “Downtown” for Petula Clark (#1, 1964)
1943 ● Flo Ballard (Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman) → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1967 when Motown snubbed her and pushed Diana Ross to the front, tried to become a solo act but was largely unsuccessful, died of a heart attack on 2/22/1976
1944 ● Glenn Shorrock → Songwriter, lead vocals and co-founder of several top-level Aussie pop/rock bands, including Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), solo
1946 ● William “Billy” Brown → Vocals for R&B/soul trio The Moments, “Love On A Two-Way Street” (#3, 1970), then name change to sweet soul Ray, Goodman & Brown, “Special Lady” (#5, R&B #1, 1979)
1949 ● Andy Scott → Guitar and synthesizer for neo-bubblegum/glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1973)
1951 ● Stanley Clarke → Virtuoso electric and acoustic jazz and jazz-rock fusion bassist, bandleader and solo, “Sweet Baby” (#19, R&B #6, 1981), collaborated with Chick Corea in fusion band Return To Forever, session work for Santana, Keith Richards, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney and others, film score composer
1953 ● Hal Lindes → Guitarist and film score composer, joined post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing” (#1, 1985) in 1981, solo and session work
1956 ● Philip Adrian Wright → Joined synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981) in 1978 as “Director of Visuals”, learned keyboards, left the band in 1986 to pursue graphic design
1957 ● Doug Sampson → Original drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), left the band in 1977 to escape the rigors of constant touring and never played professionally again
1962 ● Julianne Regan → Vocals for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988)
1963 ● Yngwie Malmsteen → Swedish composer, bandleader and technically accomplished neo-classical heavy metal guitarist, pioneer of the lightning fast “shredding” technique, “Heaven Tonight” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1988)
1967 ● Peter James “Cammy” Camell → Bass and rhythm guitar for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1968 ● Philip Anselmo → Lead vocals for alt heavy metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994)
1969 ● Tom Drummond → Bassist for alt pop-rock trio Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Andrew Burrows → Drummer for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)
1983 ● Anton Gordon → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1983 ● Cheryl Cole (Cheryl Ann Tweedy) → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002), judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008, solo, “Fight For This Love” (UK #1, 2009)
1984 ● Fantasia (Barrino) → R&B/soul singer, actress, “I Believe” (#1, 2004), the first debut single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart
1985 ● T-Pain (Faheem Rasheed Najm) → R&B/hip hop MC and singer, “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” (#1, 2007)
1992 ● Lamb Lennon Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lynx, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)
1992 ● Lynx Vaughan Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lamb, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)

Jul 01

1915 ● Willie Dixon → The “Poet Laureate of the Blues,” vital Chicago blues pioneer, singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed over 500 songs, including recognized standards such as “Spoonful,” “Back Door Man,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Little Red Rooster” and many others, major influence on blues-rockers, including The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, died of heart failure on 1/29/1992
1928 ● Bobby Day (Robert James Byrd) → R&B/doo wop vocals and songwriter with The Hollywood Flames, “Buzz Buzz Buzz” (#11, R&B #5, 1957), then solo, “Rockin’ Robin” (#2, R&B #1, 1958), later one half of the duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963), died of cancer on 1/27/1990
1933 ● Eddie Bond → Pioneer rockabilly star, singer and guitarist, “Rockin’ Daddy” (1956), toured on the Louisiana Hayride with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton and others, radio DJ
1939 ● Delaney Bramlett → Accomplished guitarist and songwriter, member of house band The Shindogs for TV pop music variety show Shindig, one half of husband/wife front for rock/soul revue Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, “Never Ending Song Of Love” (#13, 1971), worked with Eric Clapton, Dave Mason and George Harrison, died on 12/27/2008 from complications of gall bladder surgery
1942 ● Andraé Crouch → The “Father of Modern Gospel,” Grammy-winning, renowned and respected pioneer of contemporary gospel, singer, writer, producer, solo artist, “I’ll Be Thinking Of You” (R&B #69, 1980), collaborated with Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Madonna and others, film score composer and pastor, died following a heart attack on 1/8/2015
1945 ● Debbie Harry → Singer and frontwoman for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), solo, “In Love With Love” (#70, Dance/Club #1, 1987)
1946 ● June Monteiro → Singer for pop girl trio The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2, 1965)
1948 ● John Ford → Bass and acoustic guitar for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), formed rock duo Hudson Ford with bandmate/drummer Richard Hudson, “Pick Up The Pieces” (UK #8, 1973), then punk rock The Monks, “Nice Legs Shame About Her Face” (UK #19, 1979)
1949 ● John Farnham → Hugely popular solo pop-rock singer and songwriter in his native Australia, “You’re The Voice” (#82, UK #6, 1987)
1951 ● Fred Schneider → Vocals and frontman for New wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1952 ● Dan Akroyd → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Elwood Blues” in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979)
1952 ● Leon “Ndugu” Chancler → Jazz-funk drummer, percussionist and sessionman, worked The Crusaders, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson (drummed on “Billie Jean”, #1, 1983), Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Weather Report and many others
1956 ● Phil Solem → Singer, songwriter, co-founder of power pop Great Buildings, which became The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song to the TV situation comedy Friends
1959 ● Edem Ephraim → With Dennis Fuller, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Fuller in a car collision on 1/21/1996
1960 ● Evelyn “Champagne” King → R&B/disco and post-disco singer, “Love Come Down” (#17, Dance/Club #1, 1982)
1960 ● Ted Key → Bassist for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1963 ● Roddy Bottum → Keyboards for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Pol Burton → Drummer for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1971 ● Adam MacDougall → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Melissa “Missy” Elliott → Hugely successful, four time Grammy-winning female rapper and songwriter, “Work It” (#2, 2002), producer, wrote “If Your Girl Only Knew” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1996) for Aaliyah

Jul 02

1925 ● Marvin Rainwater (Percy) → One quarter Cherokee country, rockabilly and pop singer, “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird” (#18, Country #3, 1957) and “Whole Lotta Woman” (#60, UK #1, 1958)
1926 ● Lee Allen → New Orleans-based rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and later rockabilly saxophonist, session work for Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Stray Cats, The Blasters and others, toured with The Rolling Stones, died
1936 ● Tom Springfield (Dion O’Brien) → Vocals and songwriting with sister Dusty Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962)
1937 ● Dee Palmer (David Palmer) → Classically-trained composer, arranger and keyboardist with long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), underwent male-to-female sex change operation in 2004
1939 ● Paul Williams → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), shot himself to death on 8/17/1973
1942 ● Leapy Lee (Graham Pulleybank) → One hit wonder Brit comedian and stage actor turned country-pop crossover singer, “Little Arrows” (#16, Country #11, 1968)
1945 ● Peter Cruikshank → Bassist for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1949 ● Roy “The Professor” Bittan → Keyboards and synthesizer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, session work for David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Meat Loaf, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, others
1950 ● Duncan Mackay → Keyboards for glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975)
1952 ● Johnny Colla → Saxophone and guitar for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Pete Briquette → Bass and vocals for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1955 ● Jerry Hall → Fashion model and sometime actress known chiefly for her marriage to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger in November 1990, ending in divorce in 1999
1956 ● Jeffrey Cooper → Backing vocals for synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990)
1957 ● Mike Anger → Bassist in New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1961 ● Ann-Marie Teresa Antionette “Annie” Ruddock → Vocals and saxophone for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1964 ● Roy Boulter → Drummer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1965 ● Dave Parsons → Bassist for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), joined alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995) in 1992
1970 ● Monie Love (Simone Wilson) → Former protégé of Queen Latifah and member of Native Tongues hip hop collective, solo rapper, “It’s A Shame, My Sister” (#26, Dance/Club #2, 1991)
1974 ● Rocky Gray → Drummer for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003), played lead guitar for Christian metal Living Sacrifice and drums for other metal bands in his native Arkansas
1983 ● Michelle Branch → Teen pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All You Wanted” (#6, 2002) and duet with Carlos Santana, “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002), then formed country-pop The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006)
1985 ● Ashley Michelle Tisdale → Model, actress and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever), solo, “It’s Alright, It’s OK” (Dance/Club #20, 2009)

Jul 03

1893 ● “Mississippi” John Hurt → Country-blues legend, guitarist, songwriter, first recorded in the 20s, then rediscovered in the 60s folk revival, died of a heart attack on 11/2/1966
1929 ● David Lynch → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958), died of cancer on 1/2/1981
1930 ● Tommy Tedesco → Top session guitarist, billed by Guitar Player magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history, worked on TV and film scores and recorded with The Association, The Beach Boys, Cher, Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, The Supremes, Frank Zappa and numerous others, died from lung cancer on 11/10/1997
1936 ● Frederick Tupper Saussy III → American composer, musician, advertising executive, watercolor painter, author, high school English teacher, jazz recording artist and Nashville Symphony contributor best known as the songwriter and keyboardist for psych-pop The Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” (Top 20, 1969), later convicted of tax evasion and spent nearly 10 years as a fugitive before surfacing and turning himself in, became chapel music director and piano instructor for prisoners while serving his sentence in a California correctional facility, upon release wrote several books and resumed recording, died from a heart attack on 3/16/2007, two days before the release of his first CD and first new music album in 37 years, The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar (2007)
1940 ● Fontella Bass → Gospel-rooted R&B/soul diva and pianist, “Rescue Me” (#4, R&B #1, 1965)
1940 ● Maureen Kennedy → Vocals for 60s all-girl Brit-pop ensemble The Vernon Girls, “Lover Please” (UK #16, 1962)
1943 ● Garland Jeffreys → African-American/Puerto Rican American rock, reggae and blues singer and songwriter, “Wild In The Street” (1973) and several solo albums
1943 ● Judith Durham → Vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), solo
1946 ● Victor Unitt → Guitarist with Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970), joined blues-rock The Pretty Things and appeared on the album Parachute (1970)
1947 ● Betty Buckley → Film (Carrie, 1976), TV (Eight Is Enough, 1977) and Broadway (Cats, 1983) actress, traditional pop and show tunes singer with 14 solo albums, plus cast recording of multiple Broadway shows
1948 ● Paul Barrere → Guitarist and songwriter for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1949 ● John Verity → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), formed Phoenix and later Charlie, “It’s Inevitable” (Mainstream Rock #13, 1983), solo, producer
1949 ● Johnnie Wilder → Vocals in multinational, sophisticated disco-funk Heatwave, “Boogie Nights” (#2, 1977)
1950 ● Damon Harris → Joined Motown R&B/soul legends The Temptations as tenor vocalist in 1971, Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), left in 1975 and formed disco Impact, “Give A Broken Heart A Break” (Disco #5, 1976), solo
1955 ● Mike Corby → Keyboards and guitars for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Isn’t It Time” (#13, 1977), left in 1978
1955 ● Neil Clark → Guitar for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1957 ● Laura Branigan → Pop-rock singer-songwriter, “Gloria” (#2, 1982), actress, died of a brain aneurysm on 8/26/2004
1959 ● Stephen Pearcy → Lead vocalist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1960 ● Vince Clarke (Vincent John Martin) → Keyboards, synthesizer and founding member of electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Just Can’t Get Enough” (Dance/Club #26, 1982), left to form synth-pop duo Yaz (Yazoo in the UK), “Nobody’s Diary” (Dance/Club #1, 1983), then co-founded synth-pop duo The Assembly, “Never Never” (UK #4, 1983), then synth-dance duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, Dance/Club #4, 1988) plus over 20 other Dance/Club hits
1968 ● Martyn Walsh → Bassist for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1969 ● Butterfly (Ishmael Butler) → Vocals and producer for hip hop rap-jazz fusion trio Digable Planets, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)” (#15, R&B #5, 1993)
1969 ● Kevin Hearn → Keyboards, accordion and guitar for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1975 ● Javier Weyler → Drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), replacing Richard Cable who departed in 2003
1976 ● Shane Lynch → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)

Jul 04

1826 ● Stephen Foster → The “Father of American Music,” enduring 19th century popular music composer whose works are at the core of the American Songbook, his hundreds of titles include lasting standards such as “Oh, Susanna” (1849), “Camptown Races” (1850) and “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864)
1889 ● Joe Young → Tin Pan Alley and popular music lyricist, co-wrote “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” a #5 hit for Fats Waller in 1935 and a #3 hit for Billy Williams in 1957, among others, died 4/21/1939
1911 ● Mitch Miller → Classical musician, then pop bandleader, arranger, singer, “The Yellow Rose Of Texas” (#1, 1955), head of A&R (artists and repertory) for Columbia Records pop division, TV show host
1934 ● Gilbert Lopez → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1938 ● Bill Withers → Three-time Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Lean On Me” (#1, 1972) and “Just The Two Of Us” (#2, 1981)
1940 ● Dave Rowberry → Keyboards for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), died from a bleeding ulcer on 6/6/2003
1943 ● Fred Wesley → Jazz and funk trombonist, music director and bandleader for James Brown‘s backing band, The J.B.’s, “Doing It To Death” (#22, R&B #1, 1973), also recorded and toured with funk Parliament and Funkadelic, Count Basie, Maceo Parker, De La Soul and others, currently a visiting artist/adjunct professor at Berklee College of Music and other schools
1943 ● Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died of a drug overdose on 9/3/1970
1943 ● Annette Beard Sterling Helton → Original member and vocalist for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), left the group in 1964 for her family
1947 ● Jacques Morali → French producer and songwriter, produced over 65 albums, formed and managed gay disco troupe Village People, “YMCA” (#2, 1979), died of AIDS on 11/15/1991
1948 ● Jeremy Spencer → Early member and slide guitarist for blues-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross” (UK #1, 1969), left the band abruptly during a 1971 tour to join the Children of God religious sect
1949 ● Gene Gunnels → Early drummer in 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), but left before the song became a hit
1950 ● David ‘Kid’ Jensen → Canadian-born, Danish descent radio DJ and TV personality, first for Radio Luxembourg in the late 60s and the BBC Radio 1 beginning in 1976, later Capital FM and other London stations
1951 ● Ralph Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1955 ● John Waite → Singer, songwriter and bassist for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then arena rock Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989), then pop-rock balladeer solo, “Missing You” (#1, 1984)
1958 ● Kirk Pengilly → Guitar and vocals for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Matt Malley → Bassist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Mark Slaughter → Vocals, guitar, keyboards, songwriter and frontman for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), currently a voice-over actor and TV music composer
1970 ● Andy McClure → Drummer for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1971 ● Andrew Creeggan → Piano for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1972 ● William Goldsmith → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999) quit the band in 1997
1978 ● Stephen McNally → Vocals and guitar for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000)

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