This Week’s Birthdays (January 8 – 14)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 08

1928 ● Luther Perkins → Guitarist 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), toured and recorded with Cash up to his death from injuries sustained in a house fire on 8/5/1968, age 40
1931 ● Bill Graham (Wulf Wolodia Grajonca) → German-born, legendary rock impresario, producer, promoter and venue manager at the Fillmore East in New York and the Fillmore West and Winterland Arena in San Francisco, introduced many Bay-area bands to a wider audience, including Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company and Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane, continued to produce concerts and promote various rock acts until his death in a helicopter crash on 10/25/1991, ager 60
1935 ● Elvis Presley → The “King of Rock ‘N Roll” with over 100 Top 40 and 18 US #1 singles, including “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956) and “Moody Blue” (#31, Country #1, 1977) plus ten US #1 albums and sales exceeding any other popular artist, died from drug abuse on 8/16/1977, age 42
1937 ● Shirley Bassey, DBE → “Bassey the Belter,” Welsh-born cabaret and pop vocalist best known in the U.S. for singing the theme songs to James Bond movies, including “Goldfinger” (#8, 1965), “Diamonds Are Forever” (#57, 1972) and “Moonraker” (1979)
1940 ● Jimmy O’Neill → Radio disc jockey and TV host, just 19 years old when he became the top-rated DJ in Los Angeles and was the first on the air when KRLA switched from country-western to rock ‘n’ roll in 1959, rose to national celebrity as emcee of Shindig!, one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll shows on prime-time television, died from complications of diabetes on 1/11/2013, age 73
1940 ● Little Anthony (Jerome Anthony Gourdine) → Frontman for premier and long-lived R&B/doo-wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1942 ● John Petersen → Drummer for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964) and Harpers Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), died on 1/11/2013, age 73
1943 ● Lee Jackson → Bass and vocals for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968)
1943 ● Marcus Hutson → Vocals in R&B/soul-dance harmony quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1944 ● William Joel “Taz” DiGregorio → Longtime keyboardist for Southern rock The Charlie Daniels Band, co-wrote the signature song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (#3, 1979), died in a single car accident while driving to a CDB performance on 10/12/2011, age 67
1946 ● Robbie Krieger → Guitarist for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● David Bowie (David Robert Jones) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer known as the “Chameleon” for his ability to adapt his music to changing times, from vaudeville to mod to glam to Philly soul to pop-rock, “Fame” (#1, 1977) and “Let’s Dance” (#1, 1983) plus nine other Top 40 hits, released his 27th studio album just two days before he died from cancer on 1/10/2016, age 69
1947 ● Terry Sylvester → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964), left in 1968 to replace Graham Nash in The Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe” (#6, 1974)
1955 ● Mike Reno (Joseph Michael Rynoski) → Drums and vocals for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1957 ● Dr. Rock → Erstwhile FM radio DJ, rock and pop music aficionado and current Chief Musicologist for DrRock.com, coined the slogan “the BEST music ever made”
1959 ● Paul Hester → Drummer for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980) then Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), committed suicide by hanging on 3/26/2005, age 46
1962 ● Chris Marion → Co-founder of country rock band Western Flyer, studio musician and touring keyboardist, producer for Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys and others, vocalist and keyboardist for the current touring lineup of Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band (“Lonesome Loser,” #6, 1979), founder of TourPRO personal resource service for touring artists
1966 ● Andrew Wood → Founding member, frontman and lead singer for seminal grunge rock Malfunkshun, then joined nascent glam/punk supergroup Mother Love Bone, died from a drug overdose just as the band was beginning to gel on 3/19/1990, age 24
1968 ● R. Kelly (Robert Sylvester Kelly) → Contemporary urban R&B vocalist, producer and songwriter, frontman for Public Announcement, “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)” (#5, 1998) then solo, “Bump N’ Grind” (#1, 1994)
1969 ● Jeff Abercrombie → Bassist for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1971 ● Karen Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1975 ● Sean Paul (Henriques) → Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall vocalist, “Get Busy” (#1, 2003)
1975 ● Steven William “Stove” King → Former bassist for post-Britpop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)

January 09

1901 ● Ishman Bracey → Early delta blues singer, guitarist and performer with a limited but valued catalog, best known for his “Trouble Hearted Blues” from the 1930s, became a preacher and gospel singer before dying on 2/12/1970, age 69
1915 ● Les Paul (Lester Williams Polfus) → Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso, songwriter and country-pop singer with his wife Mary Ford, “How High The Moon” (#1, 1951), designer of eponymous solid-body guitars, died from pneumonia on 8/13/2009, age 94
1916 ● Vic Mizzy → TV and movie theme song composer and pop music songwriter, co-wrote several hits in the 30s and 40s, including “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time” for Doris Day and The Les Brown Orchestra (#1, 1945), wrote the music for Green Acres, The Addams Family and other TV programs in the 60s and 70s as well as several movies, died at home from natural causes on 10/17/2009, age 93
1920 ● Clive Dunn → Brit film and TV actor, comedian and one hit wonder pop singer, “Grandad” (UK #1, 1971)
1940 ● Big Al Downing → Roots rock, R&B/blues and club/dance singer and songwriter with several minor pop hits in the 60s and 70s, “went country” in the 80s and scored five Country Top 40 hits, including “Bring It On Home” (Country #20, 1980), continued to perform until his death from leukemia on 7/4/2005, age 65
1940 ● Jimmy Boyd → Singer and TV actor with several chart singles while in his early teens, including the mega-hit “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (#1, 1952) at age 13, moved into acting and later stand-up comedy, died from cancer on 3/7/2009, age 69
1941 ● Joan Baez → Social activist, songwriter and folk-pop singer, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (#3, 1971) and the acclaimed album Diamonds & Rust (#11, 1975)
1943 ● Dick Yount → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967)
1943 ● Jerry Yester → Folk-rocker with New Christy Minstrels, Modern Folk Quartet, briefly with The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Do You Believe In Magic?” (#9, 1965), producer for The Association, The Turtles, Tim Buckley and others, reformed The Lovin’ Spoonful in the early 90s
1943 ● Kenneth “Wally” Kelly → Founding member and vocals for R&B/doo wop then sweet soul The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, R&B #1, 1976), left the group in the late 80s to complete a Ph.D. in biology and teach in public high schools in New Jersey and North Carolina, died from undisclosed causes on 2/17/2015, age 72
1943 ● Roy Head → Country and rock musician with the one hit wonder blue-eyed soul single “Treat Her Right” (#2, R&B #2, 1965)
1943 ● Scott Walker (Noel Scott Engel) → Guitar and vocals for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● James Patrick “Jimmy” Page → Superstar guitarist, songwriter, producer and backing vocalist with The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965) then co-founded hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1969) and roots-rock The Honeydrippers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984)
1946 ● Bill Albaugh → Drummer for bubblegum/psychedelic pop one hit wonder The Lemon Pipers, “Green Tambourine” (#1, UK #8, 1968), went into obscurity after the band broke up in 1969, died of natural causes on 1/20/1999, age 53
1948 ● Cassie LaRue Gaines → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 29
1948 ● Paul King → Guitar, kazoo and jug for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), then King Earl Boogie Band and later Skeleton Krew
1948 ● Tim Hart → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975), died from lung cancer on 12/24/2009, age 61
1948 ● Billy Cowsill → Lead singer and guitars 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 at home from complications of multiple long-term ailments on 2/18/2006, age 58
1950 ● David Johansen → Frontman for glam-proto-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), solo, played Buster Poindexter in Saturday Night Live house band
1950 ● Steve McRay → Keyboards for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981) and session musician
1951 ● Crystal Gayle (Brenda Gail Webb) → Country singer and songwriter, “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” (#2, 1977), plus 20 Country #1 hits, younger sister of country star Loretta Lynn by 19 years
1963 ● Eric Erlandson → Co-founder (with Courtney Love) and guitarist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1964 ● Phil Hartnoll → With brother Paul Hartnoll, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1964 ● Rocky George → Heavy metal guitarist for Suicidal Tendencies, “I’ll Hate You Better” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1993), 40 Cycle Hum, Cro-Mags and Fishbone
1965 ● Haddaway (Alexander Nestor Haddaway) → Electronic HI-NRG club-dance singer, “What Is Love” (#11, 1993)
1967 ● Carl Bell → Guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock quartet Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1967 ● Dave Matthews → Grammy-winning South African singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), solo and occasional actor
1967 ● Steve Harwell → Co-founding member, vocals and piano for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1968 ● Al Schnier → Guitars and vocals for prog rock/jam band Moe., album The Conch (Indie Albums #9, 2007), solo plus collaborations with wife, Diane Schnier and tours with Phil Lesh & Friends
1971 ● Mia X (Young) → First female rapper to sign with Master P on his No Limit Records, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (Rap #4, 1998)
1978 ● A.J. McLean → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1984 ● Drew Brown → Guitars and keyboards for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1987 ● Paolo Nutini → Scottish adult alternative singer and songwriter, “New Shoes” (Adult Top 40 #24, 2007)

January 10

1912 ● Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Johnson → R&B “jump blues” pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Bring It Home To Me” (R&B #9, 1956), died from a brain tumor and sickle cell anemia on 2/9/1977, age 65
1917 ● Jerry Wexler → Coiner of the term “rhythm and blues,” Atlantic Records co-owner, Vice President at Warner Brothers records, producer for Ray Charles, Phil Spector, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan and many others, died from congestive heart failure on 8/15/2008, age 91
1927 ● Gisèle MacKenzie → Canadian pop singer and CBC radio hostess, relocated to Los Angeles and became a regular on TV variety shows in the 50s, including Your Hit Parade and scored a handful of pop hits (“Hard To Get,” #4, 1955), appeared in soap operas, sitcoms and theater performances until her death from colon cancer on 9/5/2003, age 76
1927 ● Johnnie Ray → Teen idol singer, songwriter and pianist with over 20 Top 40 hits in the 50s, including “Just Walking In The Rain” (#2, 1951), died from liver failure 2/21/90, age 63
1935 ● Ronnie “Mr. Dynamo” Hawkins → Arkansas-born, Canadian-transplant rockabilly singer and frontman for The Hawks (early members later became The Band), “Mary Lou” (#26, R&B #7, 1959)
1937 ● Bob Relf → R&B/soul and doo wop musician, with Earl Nelson one half of the soul duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963 and UK #7, 1969), left the duo in the early 70s and worked with Barry White before disappearing from view in the 80s, died on 11/20/2007, age 70
1939 ● Sal Mineo → Stage and screen actor (Rebel Without A Cause, 1955) turned rock ‘n’ roll singer with two charting singles including “Start Movin’ (In My Direction)” (#8, 1957), returned to movies and TV and was riding a career revival when stabbed to death in an attempted robbery on 2/12/1976, age 37
1939 ● Scott McKenzie (Philip Wallach Blondheim) → 60s one hit wonder hippy-folk-flower-power singer and songwriter with the improbable but still generation-defining “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” (#4, 1967), died from a nervous system disorder on 8/18/2012, age 73
1943 ● Jim Croce → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist with four Top 10 albums and nine Top 40 hits, including “Time in a Bottle” (#1, 1973), died in plane crash at the peak of his career on 9/20/1973, age 30
1944 ● Francis Wayne “Frank” Sinatra, Jr. → Singer, songwriter, TV guest actor and son of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra with a half-dozen mostly unremarkable pop albums and an equally unremarkable acting career, died after a heart attack on 3/16/2016, age 72
1945 ● Rod Stewart → Raspy singer and songwriter for the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971) and solo, “Maggie May” (#1, 1971) plus 49 other Top 40 and Adult Contemporary hits and 15 Top 10 albums through 2010
1945 ● Ronnie Light → Longtime Nashville music producer, recording engineer and songwriter, worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins and multiple other country stars
1946 ● Aynsley Dunbar → Journeyman and in-demand rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Jeff Beck Group, Jefferson Starship, Journey, Whitesnake, “Hear I Go Again” (#1, 1987) and others, Rolling Stone magazine 27th Greatest Drummer of All Time
1946 ● Bob Lang → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “The Game Of Love” (#1, 1965)
1946 ● Neal Smith → Founding member and drummer in the original Alice Cooper band (“School’s Out,” #2, 1972), left in 1974 to work in several Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult spin-off bands, sold real estate in New England since the early 80s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Donald Fagen → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits, plus solo, “I.G.Y.” (#26, 1983)
1948 ● Fayette Pinkney → Original member for Philly soul and disco trio The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again” (#2, 1974), left for a brief solo career and eventually a Masters degree in human services, died from acute respiratory failure on 6/27/2009, age 61
1953 ● Pat Benatar (Patricia Andrzejewski) → Hard rocking singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (#9, 1979) plus 18 other Top 40 hits
1955 ● Luci Martin → Vocals for top R&B/disco-funk band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Michael Schenker → Founder, frontman and guitarist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984), also with UFO and frontman for the Michael Schenker Band
1956 ● Shawn Colvin → New Folk Movement singer, songwriter and guitarist, then mainstream neo-folk, “Sunny Come Home” (#7, 1997)
1959 ● Curt Kirkwood → Guitarist for punk-psych-country-rock Meat Puppets, “Backwater” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Brad Roberts → Lead singer and guitar for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1965 ● Nathan Moore → Vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1973 ● Aerle Taree → Vocals for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1974 ● Jemaine Clement → New Zealand comedian, actor and musician, one half (along with Bret McKenzie) of the Grammy-winning musical comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords, eponymous debut album reached US #3 in 2008
1978 ● Matt Roberts → Rhythm guitar for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1979 ● Chris “Daddy Mack” Smith → One-half of the teen sensation pop-rap duo Kriss Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992)

January 11

1901 ● Walter Henri Dyett → High school music teacher in predominantly African-American public schools in Chicago who improbably instructed dozens of now-famous youngsters in the art of music, including Nat King Cole, Bo Diddley, Eddie Harris, Dinah Washington and many others over a 30-year career, died from unspecified causes on 11/17/1968, age 68
1924 ● Don Cherry → Big band and traditional pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (#5, 1955), former professional golfer
1924 ● Slim Harpo (James Moore) → Blues harmonica master and singer, “Baby Scratch My Back” (#16, 1966), died from heart attack on 1/31/1970, age 46
1933 ● Argolda Voncie “Goldie” Hill → Pioneering country music singer, one of the first women to top the country music charts (“I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes,” Country #1, 1953), scored a total of five Country Top 20 hits in the 50s before “retiring” to raise a family, died from cancer on 2/24/2005, age 72
1938 ● Frankie Randall (Franklin Joseph Lisbona) → “Rat Pack” crooner, actor and sometime comedian, starred in the beach-party movie Wild On The Beach (1965), sidekick and guest host on The Dean Martin Show in the 60s, performed with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., issued three traditional pop albums, died of lung cancer on 12/28/2014, age 76
1942 ● Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons → Saxophone and vocals for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, then solo “You’re A Friend Of Mine” (#18, 1985), suffered a stroke and died a week later on 6/18/2011, age 69
1946 ● Naomi Judd → Country singer and songwriter in family vocal duo The Judds (with daughter Wynonna), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) plus 17 other Top 10 country hits
1946 ● Tony Kaye (Anthony John Selridge) → Keyboards for archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), went solo in 1971, returned to Yes in 1983-95, recently with Neil Young tribute band The Neil Deal and producer
1948 ● Terry Williams → Journeyman rock drummer with Welsh prog rock Man, Dave EdmundsRockpile, Meat Loaf‘s backing band and Dire Straits
1949 ● Frederick “Denny” Greene → Founding member of “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), performed at Woodstock, in the band’s syndicated TV variety show and in the movie Grease (1978), left to earn a master’s degree at Harvard and a law degree at Yale University, served as a vice president at Columbia Records and later as a professor at several prominent law schools, died from esophageal cancer on 9/5/2015, age 66
1956 ● Henry Lee “Big Bank Hank” Johnson → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40, died from complications of cancer on 11/11/2014 , age 58
1958 ● Vicki Peterson → Guitar and vocals for New Wave pop-rock girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1963 ● Simon Cohen → Drummer for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1966 ● Mary Hansen → Guitars and vocals for experimental/electronic pop-rock Stereolab, “Ping Pong” (UK #45, 1994) and backing vocals for others, died in traffic accident on 12/9/2002, age 36
1968 ● Tom Dumont → Guitarist and producer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1969 ● Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell → R&B/pop singer in smooth soul Brownstone (“If You Love Me,” #8, R&B #2, 1994), bled to death from a neck wound following an accidental fall onto a broken wine glass on 2/27/2015, age 46
1971 ● Mary Jane Blige → The “Queen of Hip Hop Soul”, singer, songwriter and actress. “Family Affair” (#1, 2001)
1971 ● Tom Rowlands → DJ for dance-rock-rap fusion duo The Chemical Brothers, “It Began In Afrika” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jamelia Niela Davis → Brit R&B/pop singer, songwriter, actress and TV host, “Thank You” (UK #2, 2004)
1981 ● Thomas Meighan → Lead singer for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1985 ● Newton Faulkner → Brit pop music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Dream Catch Me” (UK #7, 2007)
1895 ● Laurens Hammond → Engineer and inventor holding over 100 patents, including the tonewheel generator for the now ubiquitous Hammond organ, a staple for rock bands for over 50 years, died from unspecified causes on 7/3/1973, age 78

January 12

1904 ● “Mississippi” Fred McDowell → Original Delta blues bottle-neck guitarist, singer and songwriter, influenced Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones (“You Gotta Move,” 1971) and others, died from cancer on 7/3/1972, age 68
1905 ● Woodward Maurice “Tex” Ritter → Country Music Hall of Fame singing cowboy, “I Dreamed Of Hill-Billy Heaven” (#20, Country #5, 1961) plus fifteen other Country Top 15 hits, actor in more than 30 Western movies, father of actor John Ritter, died following a heart attack on 1/2/1974, age 68
1918 ● Maharishi Mahesh Yogi → Monk, business entrepreneur and developer of the Transcendental Meditation technique, leader and guru of the worldwide TM religious movement within the multibillion-dollar self-help industry, spiritual advisor to The Beatles, members of The Beach Boys and other rock and social luminaries in the 60s, died in his sleep from natural causes on 2/5/2008, age 97
1926 ● Ray Price → Grammy-winning country music baritone singer, songwriter and guitarist with Country Top 10 hits in four decades, including “For The Good Times” (#11, Country #1, 1970), continued to record and tour well into his 80s, died from pancreatic cancer on 12/16/2013, age 87
1928 ● Ruth Brown (Ruth Alston Weston) → R&B/soul singer, Atlantic Records‘ (the “House That Ruth Built”) top-selling 1950s artist, “Teardrops In My Eyes” (R&B #1, 1950), died following a stroke and heart attack on 11/17/2006 , ager 78
1930 ● Glenn Yarbrough → Tenor vocals and guitar for successful folk-pop The Limeliters, “A Dollar Down” (#60, 1961), then solo, “Baby, The Rain Must Fall” (#12, 1965), left the music industry in the 70s for a nomadic life of sailing the world’s oceans, died from complications of dementia on 8/10/2016, age 86
1931 ● Roland Alphonso → Jamaican ska tenor saxophonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), following their breakup in 1965 co-founded and performed with multiple Jamaican bands and as a session musician, died following a stroke on 11/20/1998, age 67
1932 ● Des O’Connor → Brit easy listening/pop singer, comedian and TV host, “I Pretend” (UK #1, 1968)
1932 ● John Berg → Graphic designer and album cover artist for Columbia Records from 1961 to 1985, designed hundreds of album covers and won Grammy Awards for The Barbra Streisand Album (1964), Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (1968), Underground (Thelonius Monk, 1969) and Chicago X (1977), died from pneumonia on 10/11/2015, age 83
1939 ● William Lee Golden → Baritone singer and forty-year member of country/gospel/folk The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981), went solo after being fired from the band in 1987 but returned in 1995 and continues into the 10s
1941 ● John William “Long John” Baldry → UK blues singer and frontman for Bluesology (which featured his friend, Reginald Dwight – later Elton John – on keyboards) and other bands in the 60s, turned solo (“Let The Heartaches Begin,” #88, UK #1, 1968) and sang in duets and with various bands in the 70s, settled in Canada in the 80s and continued to tour, record and do voiceover work until his death from pneumonia on 7/21/2005, age 64
1945 ● Abe “Abrim” Tilmon → Vocals for R&B/soul harmony group The Detroit Emeralds, “Feel The Need In Me” (R&B #22, 1973), died of heart attack on 6/6/1982, age 37
1945 ● Maggie Bell → The “British Janis Joplin,” Scottish blues-soul-rock singer for The Power, Stone The Crows and solo, “After Midnight” (#97, 1974)
1946 ● Cynthia Robinson → Trumpet and backing vocals for R&B/soul-funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), died from cancer on 11/23/2015, age 69
1946 ● George Duke → Jazz fusion, R&B and smooth jazz/pop keyboardist, composer, bandleader and session musician with over 30 solo albums, worked with Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa and others, died from chronic leukemia on 8/5/2013, age 67
1951 ● Chris Bell → Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died in a car accident 12/27/1978, age 27
1952 ● Ricky Van Shelton → Country-pop singer and guitarist with 10 Country #1 hits, including a duet with Dolly Parton, “Rockin’ Years” (Country #1, 1991)
1954 ● Felipe Rose → Vocals (and the Native American character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1955 ● Tom Ardolino → Drummer and occasional vocals for 40-year cult roots rock bar band NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quintet), died from complications of diabetes on 1/6/2012, age 56
1959 ● Blixa Bargeld (Hans Christian Emmerich) → Guitarist, composer and founder of industrial rock Einstürzende Neubauten, plus Aussie alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1959 ● Per Gessle → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1963 ● Guy Chambers → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, member of Celtic folk-rock The Waterboys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), World Party, “Way Down Now” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), co-founder of The Lemon Trees, collaborator with Brit dance-pop mega-star Robbie Williams, “Millennium” (UK #4, 1997)
1965 ● Mark Moore → Brit dance-pop producer and DJ, founder and frontman for S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1966 ● Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings) → Frontman for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1968 ● Raekwon (Corey Woods, aka “The Chef”) → Vocals for influential East Coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then solo, “Glaciers Of Ice” (Hot Rap #5, 1995)
1970 ● Zach de la Rocha → Vocals for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1973 ● Matthew Wong → Founding member and bassist for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), retired from the band in 2007 to spend time with his young family
1974 ● Mel C. (Melanie Chisholm) → Vocals and “Sporty Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Jeremy Camp → Contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “The Way” (CCM #1, 2011)
1978 ● Kristopher Roe → Founding member, songwriter, lead guitarist, vocalist and only constant member of mainstream pop-punk The Ataris, “The Boys Of Summer” (#20, Modern Rock #2, 2003)
1991 ● Victoria Louise “Pixie” Lott → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)” (UK #1, 2009)
1993 ● ‘Zayn Malik → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

January 13

1927 ● Elizabeth Jane Haaby “Liz” Anderson → Early female country singer and songwriter with several minor hits for herself but wrote songs for others, including “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” for Merle Haggard (Country #1, 1966), mother of country-pop singer Lynn Anderson (“(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” #3, Country #1, 1970), died from complications of heart and lung disease on 10/31/2011, age 84
1930 ● Bobby Lester → Lead vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955), left in the 60s to front and tour with his own groups, died from lung cancer-caused pneumonia on 10/15/1980, age 50
1938 ● Crathman Plato “C. P.” Spencer → Original member of Grammy-winning R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, left to join heralded Motownn session vocalists The Voice Masters and The Originals, the latter having a string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died from a heart attack on 10/20/2004, age 66
1938 ● Daevid Allen (Christopher David Allen) → Australian guitarist, poet, composer, performance artist and founding member of psychedelic rock Soft Machine in 1966 and progressive rock Gong in 1967, founded and performed with various Gong spin-offs and reunions over the years until his death from lung cancer on 3/13/2015, age 77
1948 ● John Lees → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for underappreciated Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, “Mockingbird” (1971), solo, continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1954 ● Trevor Rabin → South African born guitarist and frontman for power pop Rabbitt, then with seminal prog-rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), left in 1995 to score movie soundtracks for over three dozen mainstream films
1955 ● Fred White → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1956 ● Malcolm Foster → Bass guitarist with brother Graham in pop-rock The Foster Brothers, replaced Pete Farndon in The Pretenders (“Don’t Get Me Wrong,” #10, 1986), session bass player for Simple Minds (“Let There Be Love,” UK #6, 1991) from 1989-95, continues with both groups plus session work
1957 ● Don Snow → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1957 ● Jim Parris → Founding member and bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1959 ● James “Jlo” LoMenzo → Heavy metal session and touring bassist with White Lion, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, David Lee Roth, Megadeth (“Trust,” Mainstream Rock #5, 1997), Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society and others
1961 ● Graham “Suggs” McPherson → Vocals for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo, “I’m Only Sleeping” (UK #7, 1995)
1961 ● Wayne Coyne → Guitar and vocals for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1962 ● Tony Rebel (Patrick Barrett) → Jamaican roots reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter and DJ with over 10 solo albums and several singles, founder and CEO of Flames Records and organizer of the annual Rebel Salute music festival
1963 ● Tim Kelly → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/, age 355/1998
1964 ● David McCluskey → Drummer for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1971 ● Lee Agnew → Scottish drummer and son of Pete Agnew, co-founder and bassist for hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), joined the band in 1999 to replace deceased drummer Darrell Sweet
1887 ● Siophie Tucker (Sonya Kaalish) → Ukrainian-born singer, comedienne, actress, radio personality and a widely popular recording artist in the early 20th century, best known for her of comedic and risqué deliveries of popular songs, known as the “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” died of kidney failure on 2/9/1966, age 79

January 14

1908 ● Russ Colombo (Ruggiero Eugenio Colombo) → Italian-American pop singer, prototypical ballad crooner, romantic idol and sometime actor best known for his signature tune, “You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love” (1931), also co-wrote the now-standard pop tune “Prisoner Of Love” (1931) which has been covered by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, James Brown (#18, R&B #6, 1963) and many others, died under mysterious circumstances from an accidental gunshot wound on 9/2/1934, age 26
1929 ● William Marvin “Billy” Walker → The “Tall Texan,” country and country-pop music singer and songwriter with over 50 charting songs and 13 Country Top 10 hits in a nearly sixty-year career, but only one Number 1, “(I’d Like To Be In) Charlie’s Shoes” (Country #1, 1962), died in a car accident returning to his Nashville home from an Alabama concert on 5/21/2006, age 77
1936 ● Clarence Carter → Blind from birth, gritty Muscle Shoals R&B/soul singer and guitarist, “Slip Away” (#6, 1968) and the Grammy-winning “Patches” (#4, 1970) plus five other R&B Top 10 hits
1937 ● Billie Jo Spears → Female bluesy-voiced trad-country balladeer with two minor crossover hits in the U.S., “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over” (#80, Country #4, 1969) and “Blanket On The Ground” (#78, Country #1, 1975) along with 19 other Country Top 40 hits and two Top 10 pop hits in the UK, where she had a considerable fan base, died from cancer on 12/14/2011, age 74
1938 ● Allen Toussaint → Highly influential New Orleans R&B songwriter, performer and producer, worked with numerous artists, among them Joe Cocker, The Band, Neville Brothers and Paul Simon, wrote several hit songs covered by others, including “Southern Nights” (Glen Campbell, #1, 1977), died from a heart attack following a performance in Spain on 11/10/2015, age 77
1938 ● John Allan “Jack” Jones → Grammy-winning jazz and contemporary-pop singer, “Wives And Lovers” (#14, 1963)
1941 ● Hubert Johnson → Cousin of R&B/soul legend Jackie Wilson and original member of early Motown R&B/soul quartet The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (#3, R&B #1, 1962), left Motown and the band in 1964, disappeared from the music business and suffered from depression until his death from suicide on 7/11/1981, age 40
1948 ● Joseph Henry “T-Bone” Burnett → Rootsy singer, songwriter, session guitarist, and Grammy-winning soundtrack and record producer, worked with dozens of top artists, including Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, BoDeans, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
1948 ● Tim Harris → Drummer in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1949 ● Lamar Williams → Bassist for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, joining after the death of original bassist Berry Oakley in 1972, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), died of lung cancer on 1/21/1983, age 33
1956 ● Bob Bradbury → Vocals for Brit teenage glam rockers Hello, “Tell Him” (UK #6, 1975)
1959 ● Chas Smash (Cathal Smyth aka Carl Smyth) → Horns for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Geoff Tate → Vocals for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1961 ● Mike Tramp → Vocals for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1962 ● Patricia Morrison → Heavy metal bassist for The Gun Club, goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992) and reformed punk-rock The Damned
1965 ● Slick Rick (Richard Walters) → British-American “Golden Age” rapper, “Children’s Story” (Rap #2, 1989)
1967 ● Steve Bowman → Founding member and first drummer for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), left in 1994 to join Third Eye Blind and later John Wesley Harding and Luce
1967 ● Zakk Wylde (Jeffrey Phillip Wiedlant) → Long-time friend of and guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, left in 1994 to form power trio Pride & Glory, then Black Label Society, “Stillborn” (Mainstream Rock #20, 2003)
1968 ● LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) → Prolific and long-lived East Coast rap-pop artist, “Hey Lover” (#3, 1995) and 12 other Top 40 and nine Rap Top 10 hits
1969 ● Dave Grohl → Vocals and drummer for grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), then founded hard rock Foo Fighters, “All My Life” (#5, 1995)
1974 ● Denise Van Outen → TV host, stage actress and adult contemporary pop singer, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (UK #23, 2002), a duet with Andy Williams who was 45 years her senior
1981 ● Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez) → Cuban-American Southern rap (crunk) artist, “I Know You Want Me” (#2, 2009)
1982 ● Anthony Caleb Followill → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)
1989 ● Frankie Sandford → Brit R&B and pop singer, songwriter, occasional actress and member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

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