This Week’s Birthdays (May 1 – 7)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 01

1891 ● Charley Patton → The “Father of Delta Blues,” influential Mississippi Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, his “Pony Blues” (1929) is included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, died on 4/28/1934, age 43
1907 ● Kate Smith → The “First Lady of Radio,” a contrello singer and media star in the 40s and 50s, best known for her booming renditions of “God Bless America”, died from diabetes-related respiratory arrest on 6/17/1986, age 79
1924 ● Big Maybelle (Mabel Louise Smith) → R&B singer known for her early version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1955) and the hit “Candy” (R&B #11, 1956), died in a diabetic coma on 1/23/1972, age 47
1929 ● Sonny James (James Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop crooner/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), died of natural causes on 2/22/2016, age 87
1930 ● Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist (“My Babe,” R&B #1, 1955) and the first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound and became the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died from a coronary blood clot on 2/15/1968, age 37
1939 ● Judy Collins → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter best known for her version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Carson Whitsett → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, Stax and Malaco Records session musician, worked with or wrote songs for Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many others, including the adult Contemporary hit “Why Not Me” for Fred Knobloch (#18, AC #1, 1980), died from brain cancer on 5/8/2007, age 62
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 ● Jerry Weiss → Trumpet and flugelhorn player and founding member of jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), left by 1970 for an unsuccessful solo career
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)
1977 ● Dan Regan → Trombone and vocals for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), currently in hip hop side project under the pseudonym Black Casper
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, died from a suspected drug overdose on 5/1/2013, age 35
1978 ● Nick Traina (Nicholas John Steel Toth) → Son of author Danielle Steel and lead singer for punk band Link 80, died from a self-administered morphine overdose on 9/20/1997, age 19

May 02

1924 ● Theodore Bikel → Austrian-American actor and respected folk singer/songwriter, appeared in numerous West End London and Broadway shows, feature films and TV shows, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and issued multiple albums of mostly Jewish folk songs, current president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and former president of the Actor’s Equity
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, age 76
1933 ● John “Bunk” Gardner → Reeds and woodwinds for Frank 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 art/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 ● 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, age 52
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 at home from undisclosed causes on 4/9/2009, age 63
1945 ● Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger → Wife of Mick Jagger, 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)
1946 ● Lesley Gore (Goldstein) → Girl Group-era solo teenage pop singer/songwriter who had four Top 10 hits when she was 17 years old, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963), “Judy’s Turn To Cry” (#5, 1963), “She’s A Fool” (#5, 1963) and “You Don’t Own Me” (#2, 1964), continued to record and write songs into the 00s, hosted the PBS television series In The Life promoting LGBT issues, died from lung cancer on 2/16/2015, age 68
1948 ● Larry Gatlin → Country-pop solo star in the 70s with 10 Country Top 40 hits, then frontman for Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured and performed as a trio into the 00s
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 in prog rock quintet Carmen, left in 1975 to join Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), died from complications of a genetic heart valve condition on 11/17/1979, age 28
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)
1962 ● Alain Johannes → Multi-instrumentalist musician and founding member of 90s alt rock Eleven (“Rainbows End,” 1991), later producer for hard rock Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and others
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)
1984 ● Rose Falcon → Singer and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by Faith Hill, country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” #2, Country #1, 2009) and others, her songs have been used in films, TV show and advertising commercials
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer and 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, age 74
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer and prolific songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, social and environmental activist, beloved American popular music icon and champion of traditional folk music, mentor to younger topical folkies Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie and others, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), issued dozens of solo albums, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” (The Byrds, #1, 1965), “If I Had A Hammer” (Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962) and other folk-pop and folk-rock hits, recorded and toured until the early 10s including with Bruce Springsteen and a Grammy winning album (Pete, 1996), died from natural causes on 12/27/2013, age 94
1921 ● Joe Ames (Uric) → 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, age 86
1928 ● Dave Dudley (Pedruska) → The “Father of Truck Driving Music”, honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Six Days On The Road” (#32, Country #2, 1963), died from a heart attack on 12/22/2003, age 75
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died from pneumonia on 12/25/2006, age 73
1934 ● Frankie Valli (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop vocal quartet 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 and 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)
1964 ● Sterling Campbell → Drummer and session/touring musician, worked with numerous acts, including Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum and David Bowiee, with whom he toured for 14 years
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)
1977 ● Eric Church → Country music singer, songwriter and avid advocate for marijuana legalization (“Smoke a Little Smoke”) with 18 Country Top 20 hits, including “Springsteen” (#19, Country #1, 2012)
1977 ● Joe Gooch → Blues-rock guitarist, joined Ten Years After (“I’d Love To Change The World,” Top 40, 1971) in 2003
1978 ● Paul Banks → English-American lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk revival Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (Alternative Rock #11, 2007)
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
1981 ● Father John Misty (Joshua Tillman) → Folk and roots rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer, founding member of indie shoegaze band Saxon Shore in 2001, drummed for Grammy-nominated indie folk Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012, has released 15 LPs and Eps, thirteen as J. Tillman and four under the current moniker Father John Misty

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 trumpeter 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, age 78
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)
1938 ● Tyrone Davis (Fettson) → Chicago-style smooth soul R&B singer with multiple hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Can I Change My Mind’ (#5, R&B #1, 1968) and “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (#3, R&B #1) but continued to record into the 00s until he suffered a stroke and died five months later on 2/9/2005, age 66
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, died from complications of throat cancer on 8/22/2011, age 69
1943 ● Ronnie Bond (Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992, age 49
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
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 Nazareth 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 on 6/30/1999, age 48
1951 ● Mick Mars (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
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)
1952 ● Jacob Miller → Up-and-coming Jamaican reggae singer and lead vocalist for the reggae band Inner Circle until his death in a car accident on 3/23/1980, age 27
1959 ● Randy Travis (Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), 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)
1964 ● Gary Holt → Guitarist and chief songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), since 2011 lead guitarist for thrash metal Slayer (“Hate Worldwide,” #2, 2009)
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 ● Chris Tomlin → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music star with multiple CCM hits, including “Our God” (#9, Christian #1, 2010)
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 teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

May 05

1901 ● Blind Willie McTell (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● John “Ace” Cannon → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
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 arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
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)
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)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan (Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
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

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, age 38
1943 ● Mike Ratledge → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
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 heroin overdose on 9/23/1974, age 24
1951 ● Davey Johnstone → Scottish guitarist in folk-prog rock Magna Carta from 1970-1971, then joined The Elton John Band and has performed on dozens of albums and in over 2,000 live shows with EJ, currently serves as music director for the band
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

1927 ● Jim Lowe → Radio personality and country-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in the mid-50s among seven total Billboard 100 charting songs, including “The Green Door” (#1, R&B #5, 1956), had a successful career as a radio DJ and on-air personality at WNEW-AM, WNBC-AM (both in New York) and nationally, retired in 1977
1931 ● Teresa Brewer (Breuer) → Novelty pop singer with hundreds of 50s recordings, including “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others, died from progressive supranuclear palsy on 10/17/2007, age 76
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997, age 65
1939 ● Johnny Maestro (Mastrangelo) → 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), died of cancer on 3/24/2010, age 70
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The TemptationsDavid Ruffin, died in a Las Vegas intensive care unit on 11/17/2014, age 75
1940 ● Jim “JC” Connors → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987, age 46
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) → Original member, guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock quintet The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), left the band in 2012 after more than 50 years
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 ● Cornelius Bumpus → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004, age 58
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 ● 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, age 45
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 ● 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
1955 ● Steve Diggle → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
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
1974 ● Lynden David Hall → Award-winning, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer in the Brit neo-soul movement of the 90s with six UK Top 50 singles, including his debut “Sexy Cinderella” (UK #45, 1997), died from complications of a stem cell transplant he received to combat lymphoma on 2/14/2006, age 31
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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