This Week’s Birthdays (September 11 – 17)

Happy Birthday this week to:

September 11

1918 ● Estelle Axton → With her younger brother, Jim Stewart, co-founder of legendary Memphis-based soul label and Motown rival Stax Records, the widely-renowned home to Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers and others, died from natural causes on 2/24/2004, age 85
1938 ● Charles Patrick → Lead vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1940 ● Bernie Dwyer → Drummer for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), died of lung cancer on 12/4/2002, age 62
1943 ● Mickey Hart → Drums and percussion for Grateful Dead, “Touch Of Grey” (# 9, 1987), bandleader for Rolling Thunder Review, solo career with two Grammy-winning world music albums, author and film score composer
1943 ● Jack Ely → Guitarist, vocalist, co-founder of garage rock one hit wonder The Kingsmen and singer of their version of “Louie Louie” (#2, 1963), left for an unsuccessful solo career, recovered from alcoholism and recorded an album of Christian music in 2011, died from skin cancer on 4/29/2015, age 71
1945 ● Leo Kottke → Virtuoso acoustic folk guitar singer and songwriter with 21 albums and numerous collaborations with John Fahey, Lyle Lovett, Mike Gordon, Rickie Lee Jones and others
1946 ● Dennis Tufano → Original lead singer for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), continues with the band on the oldies circuit
1947 ● Richard Jaeger → Session and backing band percussionist for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Paul McCartney, The Pointer Sisters, Ringo Starr and others, died on 8/27/2000, age 52
1948 ● John Martyn (Iain David McGeachy) → Largely overlooked, innovative folk-blues-jazz rock fusion singer, songwriter and guitarist, Brit folk genre-defining album Solid Air (1970) and 19 other studio discs, died from pneumonia on 1/29/2009, age 60
1953 ● Tommy Shaw → Guitar for prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), then in pop metal/arena rock supergroup Damn Yankees, “High Enough” (#3, 1990)
1957 ● Jon Langford → Co-founder, guitar, vocals and one of two constant members of long-running punk rock The Mekons, “Never Been In A Riot” (1978), solo plus visual and comic artist
1957 ● Jon Moss → Drummer for new romantic synth-pop Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#12, 1984) and first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986)
1958 ● Mick Talbot → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Dexys Midnight Runners, “Come On Eileen” (#1, 1983), then sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984) and The Bureau
1959 ● Rory Lyons → Drummer for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1964 ● Victor Wooten → Composer, author, producer and Grammy-winning bassist with progressive folk-bluegrass Béla Fleck And The Flecktones, “The Sinister Minister” (Best Pop Instrumental, 1997), collaborations with Stanley Clarke and others, three-time winner of Bass Player magazine’s “Bassist of the Year” award
1965 ● Moby (Richard Melville Hall) → Multi-instrumentalist one man band techno-dance-pop artist, “South Side” (#14, 2000), producer, descendent of Moby Dick author Herman Melville
1966 ● Greg Kane → Scottish pianist and co-member with brother Pat in contemporary dance-pop/electronica Hue And Cry, “Labour Of Love” (UK #6, 1987)
1967 ● Harry Connick, Jr. → Three-time Grammy-winning big band and jazz-pop singer, “Hear Me In The Harmony” (Adult Contemporary #18, 1996)
1971 ● Richard Ashcroft → Guitar and vocals for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998), solo
1975 ● Brad Fischetti → Vocals for pop/rap trio LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones or Low Frequency Oscillator), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999)
1977 ● Ludacris (Christopher Brian Bridges) → Grammy-winning “Dirty South” movement rapper, “Stand Up” (#1, 2004), co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace label, actor and philanthropist
1977 ● Jon Buckland → Lead guitarist for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1981 ● Charles Kelley → Founding member, vocals and songwriting for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009) plus solo albums and collaborative songwriting

September 12

1924 ● Ella Mae Morse → Country, pop, jazz and R&B singer who flirted at the edges of what would become rock ‘n’ roll, first as a teenage vocalist with 40s big bands (“Cow Cow Boogie,” #1, 1942, Capitol Records‘ first million-selling record) and later as a 50s solo artist (“The Blacksmith Blues,” #1, 1952), retired by 1960 and died from respiratory failure on 10/16/1999, age 75
1931 ● George Jones → Hard-partying and hardcore honky tonk and later smooth ballad country star with 70 Country Top 10 hits, including “She Thinks I Still Care” (#1, 1962), married four times including six years to country queen Tammy Wynette, died from hypoxic respiratory failure on 4/26/2013, age 81
1938 ● Judy Clay (Judith Grace Guions} → R&B/soul and gospel singer best known for her duets with Billy Vera as The Sweet Inspirations, the first interracial singing duo, “Storybook Children” (#54, R&B #20, 1968), recorded several other minor hits as a solo artist and turned to session work for Ray Charles, Van Morrison and others, died from injuries in a car accident on 7/19/2001, age 62
1943 ● Maria Muldaur (D’Amato) → Greenwich Village folk scene bandmember, then solo folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Midnight at the Oasis” (#6, 1970), backing vocals for Grateful Dead in late-70s
1944 ● Colin Young → Lead singer for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1944 ● Barry White → Deep baritone R&B/soul singer, songwriter, producer/bandleader for the Love Unlimited Orchestra, his soaring instrumental “Love’s Theme” (#1, 1973) is widely considered the first “disco” hit and was followed by a string of solo R&B and Pop hits in the early 70s, including “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” (#1, R&B #1, 1974), enjoyed a Grammy-winning career resurgence in the late 80s and died from kidney failure caused by hypertension on 7/4/2003, age 58
1946 ● Anthony “T-Bone” Bellamy (Avila) → Lead guitar, piano and vocals for Native American rockers Redbone, “Come And Get Your Love” (#5, 1974), died from liver failure on 12/25/2009, age 63
1946 ● Richard Allan “Dickie” Peterson → Lead vocals and bass guitar for early metal/psych-blues-rock power trio Blue Cheer, “Summertime Blues” (#14, 1968), plus two solo albums, continued to perform in various lineups of the band until his death from liver cancer on 10/12/2009, age 63
1952 ● Neal Peart → Drummer and principal lyricist with Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles
1952 ● Gerry Beckley → Founding member, guitar, piano, vocals and songwriter for folk-pop America, “A Horse With No Name” (#1, 1972)
1956 ● Brian Robertson → Guitar for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1956 ● Barry Andrews → Vocals and keyboards for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979), left in 1979 for solo career and session work
1957 ● Hans Zimmer → Four-time Grammy-winning film score composer and record producer with over 150 movie credits, including blockbusters The Lion King (1994), the various Batman flicks and Interstellar (2014), worked for DreamWorks as head of film music and for his own production company
1965 ● John Norwood Fisher → Bass and vocals for alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1966 ● Ben Folds → Singer, songwriter, keyboards and frontman for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1967 ● Jon Stewart → Guitar for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1968 ● Reid Lawrence “Larry” LaLonde → Guitarist in early 80s death metal group Possessed, joined thrash metal Blind Illusion in 1987, now with funk-metal Primus, “N.I.B.” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2000)
1968 ● Kenny Thomas → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Thinking About Your Love” (UK #4, 1991), certified acupuncturist
1974 ● Jennifer Nettles → Two-time Grammy-winning country music star, lead vocals for duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008), duet with Jon Bon Jovi, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Country #1, 2005)
1978 ● Ruben Studdard → R&B/soul-pop and gospel crooner, “Flying Without Wings” (#2, 2003), winner of the second series of American Idol
1981 ● Jennifer Hudson → Third season American Idol finalist, Academy Award-winning actress in Dreamgirls (2006), Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop singer, “Spotlight” (#24, Dance/Club #8, 2008)

September 13

1911 ● Bill Monroe → The “Father of Bluegrass”, Grammy-winning singer, guitarist, composer and bandleader for the Blue Grass Boys, solo, “Gotta Travel On” (Country #15, 1959), suffered a stroke and died six weeks later on 9/9/1996, age 84
1916 ● Dick Haymes → Argentina-born actor and singer hugely popular in the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era, recorded dozens of solo singles, including “Little White Lies” (#2, 1948) plus duets withJudy Garland, the Andrews Sisters and others, starred in numerous films through the early 50s, died from lung cancer on 3/28/1980, age 63
1922 ● Yma Sumac → Peruvian-American easy listening lounge music act rumored at times to be a descendant of Incan kings or a housewife named Amy Camus, but known for her five-octave vocal range, flamboyant costumes, full figure and recordings of 50s erotica music, continued to tour and perform periodically through the 90s before dying from colon cancer on 11/1/2008, age 86
1922 ● Tony Russell “Charles” Brown → Texas blues and R&B/soul balladeer, member of influential Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers and key player in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, bridged 40s cool jazz with blues to form a bluesy R&B precursor to early rock ‘n’ roll, scored several hits in the early 50s, including “Black Night” (R&B #1, 1951), continued to record and perform into the 90s, died from congestive heart failure on 1/21/1999, age 76
1925 ● Mel Torme → The “Velvet Fog,” virtuoso smooth-toned, Grammy-winning jazz-pop nightclub and showroom singer, “Lover’s Roulette” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1967), composed the music for “The Christmas Song,” better known as the now-standard “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire,” died from complications of a 1996 stroke on 6/5/1999, age 73
1933 ● Lewie Steinberg → Original bass player in Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1962), session work outside Stax
1935 ● Bruce Lundvall → Wannabe jazz musician turned career record company executive, first at Columbia Records where he built the label’s jazz roster, later with the Elektra/Musician (jazz) and Manhattan (pop) labels, and, starting in 1984 and continuing for 25 years, as the head of Blue Note Records, where he revived the brand and signed artists such as Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis and Dianne Reeves, died during surgery related to Parkinson’s disease on 5/19/2015, age 79
1939 ● Gene Page → Prolific composer, arranger and conductor, worked with a wide variety of artists from Barry White, The Supremes and other Motown acts to Johnny Mathis and Jefferson Starship, managed smooth soul trio Love Unlimited (“I Belong To You,” #27, R&B #1, 1975), scored multiple films including cult Blaxploitation flick Blacula (1972) and comedy Fun With Dick And Jane (1977), died after a long illness on 8/24/1998, age 58
1939 ● Dave Quincy → Saxophonist with top notch Brit progressive jazz-rock band If
1941 ● David Clayton-Thomas (David Thomsett) → Canadian-born lead singer in jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), solo
1943 ● Ray Elliot → Keyboards, saxophone and flute for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Peter Cetera → Original member, bassist, lead vocals and songwriter for jazz-rock-pop fusion Chicago, wrote “Baby What A Big Surprise” (#4, 1977), solo, “Glory Of Love” (#1, 1986) and four other Top 40 singles, producer
1944 ● Les Harvey → Scottish rock guitarist and backing vocalist with his brother in the Alex Harvey Soul Band, joined hard rock Cartoone in 1969 and toured with Led Zeppelinn and Spirit, then co-founded blues-rock Stone The Crows, died from electrocution on stage during a concert on 5/3/1972, age 27
1952 ● Randy Jones → Vocals (and cowboy character) for campy R&B/disco suggestively gay Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1952 ● Don Was (Donald Fagenson) → Vocals and co-frontman for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989), producer for The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Stevie Nicks, The Barenaked Ladies and many others
1954 ● Steven John Kilbey → Bass and lead vocals for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1954 ● Denis Hegarty → Bass singer, arranger and music director in Brit doo wop/rock ‘n’ roll revival vocal group Darts, “Don’t Let It Fade Away” (UK #18, 1978), TV actor, BBC Radio 1 DJ
1957 ● Joni Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” (#2, 1979)
1961 ● Dave Mustaine → Original lead guitarist and co-songwriter for heavy metal Metallica, fired in 1983 and became founder, chief songwriter, lead guitarist and lead vocalist for thrash-metal Megadeth, “Symphony Of Destruction” (Mainstream #29, 1992)
1965 ● Zak Starkey → Drummer, son of Ringo Starr, third skinman in Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), unofficial member of The Who since 1996, collaborations with Paul Weller, The Waterboys, The Icicle Works and others
1967 ● Stephen Perkins → Drums and percussion for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), sessions
1967 ● Timothy S. “Ripper” Owens → Lead singer (1996-2003) for influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, left to join heavy/thrash metal Iced Earth, “I Walk Among You” (#3, 2008)
1972 ● Matt Everitt → Drummer for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1975 ● Joe Don Rooney → Guitar for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1977 ● Fiona Apple (Maggart) → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer-songwriter, “Criminal” (#21, 1996) was voted Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the 1997 Grammy Awards, now a cult artist
1983 ● James Bourne → Co-founder, singer and songwriter in Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003)
1993 ● ‘Niall James Horan → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

September 14

1914 ● Mae Boren Axton → Country songwriter, the “Queen Mother of Nashville,” wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs including Elvis Presley‘s hit “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956), died from drowning in her bath at home after a suspected heart attack on 4/9/1997, age 82
1918 ● Cachao (Israel López Valdés) → The “Original Mambo King,” Cuban bassist and composer credited with developing the mambo in the 30s and influencing modern Cuban music and, over time, dance-pop and Latin-rock sounds in the rest of the world, recorded dozens of albums in an 80-year performing career and won Grammy Awards in the 90s, died from kidney failure on 3/22/2008, age 89
1939 ● Cornelius “Nini” Harp → Lead vocals for bi-racial doo wop The Marcels (“Blue Moon,” #1, 1961), left in 1963 but rejoined the group for tours in 1975 and a TV special, Doo Wop 50, in 1999, died from natural causes on 6/4/2013, age 73
1944 ● Davenie Johanna “Joey” Heatherton → Purring blond sexpot 60s and 70s TV and film actress and two hit wonder pop singer, “Gone” (#24, 1972) and “I’m Sorry” (#87, 1972), her career decline after 1975 was marked by eating, drinking and public conduct disorders
1946 ● Pete Agnew → Bassist, co-founder and constant member of Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976)
1947 ● Jon “Bowzer” Bauman → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1949 ● Steve Gaines → Guitar for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), wrote “I Know A Little” (1977), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 28
1949 ● Edward C. King → Guitarist for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), replaced Leon Wilkeson on bass in raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), switched to guitar when Wilkeson returned to the band and created the signature triple-guitar attack sound, left in 1976 but returned to the reunited band in 1987, left for good due to health problems in 1996
1949 ● Fred “Sonic” Smith → Lead guitarist for Detroit proto-punk rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (1969), married punk singer and poet Patti Smith in 1980, died from heart failure on 11/4/1994, age 45
1950 ● Paul Kossoff → Guitarist for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), later formed hard rock Back Street Crawler and did session work before dying aboard a New York/L.A. commercial flight of a heart attack resulting from drug abuse on 3/19/1976, age 25
1954 ● Barry Cowsill → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, died in the flooding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina on 8/29/2005, age 50
1955 ● Steve Berlin → Saxophonist and keyboardist for all-American roots rock The Blasters, in 1984 joined Tex-Mex roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987), sessions and collaborations
1959 ● Morten Harket → Lead vocals in Norwegian synth-poppers A-ha, “Take On Me” (#1, 1985), solo
1967 ● John Power → Bass and vocals for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1970 ● Craig Montoya → Bassist for Pacific Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1970 ● Mark Webber → Joined alt rock/Britpop Pulp as second guitarist in 1995, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), now produces avant-garde films
1973 ● Nas (Nasir Jones) → Self-appointed “King of New York,” acclaimed and influential hip hop performer and East Coast rapper, “If I Ruled The World” (#53, Rhythmic Top 40 #8, 1996), US #1 album Hip Hop Is Dead (2006)
1981 ● Ashley Roberts → Vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1983 ● Amy Winehouse → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop and jazz-pop singer and songwriter, “Rehab” (#9, 2007), died from unknown causes at her London home on 7/23/2011, age 27

September 15

1903 ● Roy Acuff → The “King of Country Music,” singer, fiddler and country music promoter credited with “mainstreaming” early country music, co-founder of Acuff-Rose Music, which signed Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and others, died of heart failure on 11/23/1992, age 89
1924 ● Robert Waltrip “Bobby” Short → Sophisticated New York cabaret singer with a seven-decade career entertaining through pre-rock popular standards by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and others, recorded dozens of albums of jazz, blues, pop, easy listening, cabaret and swing music, continued to perform into the early 00s, died from leukemia on 3/21/2005, age 80
1928 ● Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley → High school band director turned renowned, Grammy-winning alto jazz saxophonist, bandleader and solo artist, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (#11, R&B #2, 1967), died of a stroke on 8/8/1975, age 46
1931 ● Jac Holzman → Music business executive, founded Elektra Records in 1950 and started other important music labels, signed fledging acts such as The Doors, Carly Simon, Bread and others, went on to various music industry executive positions, including stints with Time-Warner, Sony and Panavision
1933 ● Pat Barrett → High tenor for Canadian pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1940 ● Jimmy Gilmer → Frontman and vocals for early rock & roll/surf pioneers The Fireballs, “Sugar Shack” (#1, 1963)
1941 ● Les Braid → Bassist for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1941 ● Signe Toly Anderson → Original female vocalist for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, appeared on their debut album Takes Off (1966) as harmony vocalist and lead on “Chauffeur Blues,” left in October 1966 to spend time with her new daughter, was replaced by Grace Slick and faded from view, died from obstructive pulmonary disease on 1/28/2016. age 74
1942 ● Lee Dorman → Bassist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), later hard rock Captain Beyond, died of unknown causes at home on 12/21/2012, age 70
1946 ● Ola Brunkert → Swedish drummer in the backing band for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976), bled to death after hitting his head on a glass door and suffering a slit throat from a shard of broken glass 3/17/2008, age 61
1956 ● Jaki Graham → UK star but US one hit wonder R&B/dance-pop singer, “Ain’t Nobody” (Dance/Club #1,1994)
1958 ● Tim Whelan → Guitar for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1960 ● Michel “Mitch” Dorge → Drummer, songwriter and producer for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1969 ● Allen Shellenberger → Drummer for indie rock/pop punk Lit (“My Own Worst Enemy,” #51, Modern Rock #1, 1999), died from a malignant brain tumor on 8/13/2009, age 39
1976 ● Kingsley “KG” Goldsmith → Lead vocals for Brit R&B/swingbeat soul boy band MN8, “I’ve Got A Little Something For You” (UK #2, 1995)
1976 ● Ivette Sosa → 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
1977 ● Paul Thomson → Drummer for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1978 ● Zachary Filkens → Lead guitarist of self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, their “Apologize” (#1, 2006) is the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date

September 16

1913 ● Florence Greenberg → New Jersey housewife who parlayed an unlikely hit record by an unknown teen group, The Shirelles (“I Met Him On A Sunday” #49, 1958) into an improbable career as a music executive and owner of Scepter Records, the leading independent label of the 60s and home to Dionne Warwick, The Isley Brothers, B.J. Thomas and many others, sold out and retired in 1976, died from complications of a stoke on 11/2/1995, age 82
1925 ● Charlie Byrd → Classically-trained acoustic jazz guitarist who brought Brazilian bossa nova music to the mainstream in North America with the album Jazz Samba (#1, 1963) with Stan Getz and the instrumental “Desalinate” (#15, AC #4, 1962), continued to record mostly easy listening jazz-pop and authored a book on guitar instruction, died from cancer on 12/2/1999, age 74
1925 ● Riley B. “B.B.” King → The reigning “King of the Blues” and important electric guitarist, “The Thrill Is Gone” (#15, R&B #1,1970), influenced countless electric blues and rock guitarists, #3 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, died in his sleep on 5/14/2015, age 89
1934 ● Richard Blandon → Lead singer for early doo-wop The Dubs (“Could This Be Magic,” #23, 1957), left then returned to a reformed group which he fronted into the 80s, died on 12/30/1991, age 57
1941 ● Joe Butler → Drummer for 60s hit making folk-rock quartet The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966)
1942 ● Bernard Calvert → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Winston Grennan → The “Master Drummer of Jamaica,” session drummer and bandleader credited with creating the “One Drop” ska and rocksteady-based beat that underlies reggae music and the “Flyers” beat that precursed reggae, worked with Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and many other top reggae, ska, soul and pop acts, died from cancer on 10/27/2000, age 56
1944 ● Betty Kelly → Vocals for Motown R&B/soul girl group The Velvelettes, “Needle In A Haystack” (#45, 1964), left to join R&B/pop-soul girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Street”” (#2, 1964)
1948 ● Kenney Jones → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), hard-rockers The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), replaced deceased Keith Moon in 1979 in The Who, “You Better You Bet” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1981)
1948 ● Ron Blair → Original bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (#3, 1981), left in 1982 for session career and rejoined in 2002
1950 ● David Bellamy → With brother Homer, one half of country-pop The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (#1, 1976) and 35 other Country Top 40 hits
1953 ● Alan Leslie Barton → Guitarist for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Agadoo” (UK #2, 1984), joined pop-rock Smokie in 1986 as guitarist and lead vocalist, died when the band’s tour bus crashed in Germany on 3/23/1995, age 41
1954 ● Frank Reed → Joined a reconstituted version of Chicago R&B/smooth soul The Chi-Lites (“Have You Seen Her?”, #3, 1971) in 1988 as lead vocalist and remained with the band until his death on 2/26/2014, age 59
1954 ● Colin Newman → Vocals, guitar and songwriting for art/punk then post-punk then electronic Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989), solo artist, producer and co-founder of the Swim Records label
1956 ● Dave Blood (Schultise) → Ph.D. candidate in economics at Purdue University turned punk rock bassist in punk quartet Dead Milkmen, left the band in 1995 to move to Serbia to work and study, returned to the U.S. in the aftermath of the NATO bombing campaign in 1999, committed suicide by drug overdose on 3/10/2004, age 47
1960 ● Donald “Ean” Evans → Bass guitarist in multiple rock bands in the Southeastern U.S., joined raunchy Southern rockLynyrd Skynyrdd in 2001, replacing original and deceased bassist Leon Wilkeson, continued with the band until his death from lung cancer on 5/6/2009, age 48
1961 ● Bilinda Butcher → Guitar and vocals for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1962 ● Stephen Jones → Founder, guitarist, vocals and frontman of Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996), solo, novelist
1963 ● Richard Marx → Pop/rock singer and songwriter, “Right Here Waiting” (#1, 1987) turned Grammy-winning adult contemporary balladeer, “Dance With My Father” (Song of the Year 2003)
1964 ● Dave “The Snake” Sabo → Co-founder and lead guitar for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), teenage friend of rocker Jon Bon Jovi and original lead guitarist in JBJ‘s band
1968 ● Marc Anthony (Marco Antonio Muñiz) → Multi-talented, Grammy-winning Latin dance-pop (“tropical salsa”) singer, “I Need To Know” (#3, 1991), film actor
1969 ● Justine Frischmann → Co-founder guitar and vocals for alt rock/Britpop Suede, left for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), now an abstract painter
1976 ● Shannon Noll → Australian pop-rock singer, runner-up of the first series of Australian Idol (2003), ten consecutive Aussie Top 10 singles, including “What About Me?” (AUS #1, 2004)
1976 ● Tina Barrett → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1977 ● Musiq Soulchild (Talib Johnson) → R&B/neo-soul, funk, blues and gospel fusion hip hop artist, “Halfcrazy” (#16, 2002)
1981 ● Christopher Cester → Drummer and backing vocals for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1984 ● Ketevan “Katie” Melua → Jazz-pop/adult contemporary singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Nine Million Bicycles” (UK #5, 2005), album Piece By Piece (Jazz Albums #3, 2006)
1992 ● Nick Jonas → Singer and songwriter in teen-pop ballad trio the Jonas Brothers, “Burnin’ Up” (#5, 2008), actor

September 17

1923 ● Ralph Sharon → Grammy-winning jazz pianist, composer and arranger known for his 50 year collaboration with Tony Bennett and the signature song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” (#19, 1962), continued to perform with his own jazz-pop ensemble until his death on 3/31/2015, age 91
1923 ● Hiram King “Hank” Williams → The “Father of Contemporary Country Music” with 35 oft-covered Country Top 10 hits, including “Hey, Good Lookin'” (Country #1, 1951), died in his limo en route to a show on 1/1/1953, age 29
1926 ● Bill Black → Early rock ‘n roll bassist in Elvis Presley‘s backing band and his own Bill Black Combo, “Smokie” (1959), died from a brain tumor on 10/21/1965 at age 39
1926 ● “Brother” Jack McDuff (Eugene McDuffy) → Hard bop and jazz-soul Hammond B-3 organist and bandleader known for his funky, bluesy style and mentorship to young guitarist George Benson in his mid-60s quartet, continued to record until his death from heart failure on 1/23/2001, age 74
1929 ● Silvester “Sil” Austin → Jazz saxophonist in the 40s, switched to more accessible blues and funk-pop sound in the 50s and scored several hits, including “Slow Walk” (#17, R&B #3, 1956) , continued to record and perform into the 90s before dying from prostate cancer on 9/1/2001
1937 ● Phil Cracolici → Lead vocals for one hit wonder blue-eyed doo wop quintet The Mystics, “Hushabye” (#20, 1959)
1939 ● LaMonte McLemore → Founding member and vocals for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), professional photographer for Playboy, Jet, Ebony, Harper’s Bizarre and others
1947 ● Jim HodderSteely Dan backing band drummer 1972-74, session drummer for Sammy Hagar and David Soul, drowned in his backyard swimming pool on 6/5/1990, age 42
1950 ● John Waldo “Fee” Waybill → Lead singer and songwriter for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), producer for Bryan Adams, Richard Marx and others
1952 ● Steve Sanders → Baritone singer and member of country/gospel/folk The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981) replacing original member William Lee Golden from 1987 to 1995, left the band and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 6/10/1998, age 45
1953 ● Steve Williams → Drummer for early and influential Welsh heavy metal band Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1959 ● Will Gregory → Vocals and synthesizer with Alison Goldfrapp in Brit electro-dance-pop due Goldfrapp, “Number 1” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1961 ● Ty Tabor → Lead guitar, songwriting and vocals for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1962 ● Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann → Australian screenwriter, film director and one hit wonder novelty-pop/spoken word artist, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” (#45, Adult Top 40 #10, 1999), directed Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Australia (2008)
1962 ● Benjamin “BeBe” Winans → Grammy-winning R&B/soul and gospel crossover singer in duets with sister CeCe (Priscilla), “Close To You” (R&B/Hip Hop #21, 2009) or solo, “Thank You” (Dance/Club #6, 1998)
1966 ● Doug E. Fresh (Douglas E. Davis) → Rapper, producer and pioneering beat boxer known as “The Human Beat Box” for his near-perfect imitations of drum machines and effects using his mouth, lips, gums and throat, frontman for hip hop Get Fresh Crew, “The Show” (Hip Hop #3, 1985) and solo, “Freaks/I-ight (Alright)” (Dance #3, 1994)
1968 ● Lord Jamar (Lorenzo Dechalus) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1968 ● Anastacia Lyn Newkirk → R&B/dance-pop singer, “One Day In Your Life” (Dance/Club #1, 2002)
1968 ● John Penney → Vocals for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1969 ● Adam Devlin (Gorecki) → Guitarist and songwriter for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996)
1969 ● Keith Flint → Vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1970 ● Vinnie (Vincent Brown) → Vocals and sampling for pop-rap crossover trio Naughty By Nature, “O.P.P.” (#6, 1991) and Grammy-winning Poverty’s Property, Best Rap Album for 1995
1976 ● Maile Misajon → 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
1979 ● Chuck Comeau → Drummer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1979 ● Flo Rida (Tramar Dillard) → People’s Choice award Southern rapper, singer/songwriter and MC, “Low” feat. T-Pain (#1, 2007) and 12 other U.S. Top 20 hits through 2015
1985 ● Jonathan Jacob Walker → Bassist for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

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