This Week’s Birthdays (March 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 19

1937 ● Clarence “Frogman” Henry → R&B/blues and soul singer with a trademark croak to his singing, best exemplified on “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20, R&B #3, 1956), scored two other Top 20 hits, including “But I Do” (#4, R&B #9, 1961), opened for 18 Beatles concerts in the U.S., continues to perform at various New Orleans conventions into the 10s
1944 ● Tom Constanten → Classically-trained keyboardist and composer, member of the Grateful Dead from 1966-1970, remained in the Dead‘s periphery and has issued several collaborative albums with Robert Hunter and others
1946 ● Paul Atkinson → Guitarist in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), later became a recorded company A&R executive for Columbia and RCA, discovered ABBA, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest and Michael Penn, died from liver and kidney failure on 4/1/2004, age 58
1946 ● Ruth Pointer → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Derek Longmuir → Drummer for Scottish teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1953 ● Billy Sheehan → Bass guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992), also worked with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth
1953 ● Philip Henry “Phil” Mitchell → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson → Guitarist and founding member (with sister Cindy) of New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989), died from AIDS/HIV on 10/12/1985, age 32
1955 ● Bruce Willis → Action film actor (Die Hard series) and occasional pop singer with two albums, two modest hits and a Top 5 single, “Respect Yourself” (#5, 1987)
1959 ● Terry Hall → Frontman and lead vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), formed The Colourfield, “Thinking Of You’ (UK #12, 1985)
1971 ● Jack Bessant → Bassist for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow

March 20

1906 ● Oswald George “Ozzie” Nelson → Bandleader, radio host and TV actor, director and producer, fronted swing/easy listening The Ozzie Nelson Band in the 30s and 40s (“And Then Some,” #1, 1935) with his wife, Harriet on second vocal, developed and produced The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet (with their sons, David and Ricky) on radio in 1944 and moved to TV in 1952, appeared on TV for a final time in 1973 and died from liver cancer on 6/3/1975, age 69
1917 ● Dame Vera Lynn (Welch) → Enormously popular World War II-era touring singer and actress whose career continued after the war with hits in the 50s (“Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” #1, UK #10, 1952) and a UK #1 album in 2009 (We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn), making her the oldest living artist with a top-ranked album ever
1922 ● Larry Elgart → Swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Les, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, and his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982)
1935 ● Sam Lay → Chicago blues, jazz and rock drummer and vocalist, performed and recorded with many blues greats, including Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, joined The Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-60s, recorded and toured with Bob Dylan and the Chess Records All-Stars and has issued several albums of his own since 1969, his home movies of fellow blues performers in various Chicago venues in the 50s and 60s were featured in the PBS special History Of The Blues (2003)
1936 ● Lee “Scratch” Perry (Rainford Hugh Perry) → Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter and pioneer in the development of the “dub” subgenre of reggae music, worked with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Murvin, The Heptones and others
1937 ● Jerry Reed (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → The “Guitar Man,” Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, “Amos Moses” (#8, 1971), sessionman, TV and screen actor (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), died from emphysema on 9/1/2008, age 71
1937 ● Joe Rivers → One half of the R&B vocal duo Johnnie & Joe, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” (#8, R&B #3, 1957) and two other R&B Top 20 hits in 1957, played the oldies circuit and recorded a 1982 album
1940 ● Rod Lauren (Rod Lawrence Strunk) → One hit wonder pop singer (“If I Had A Girl,” #31, 1960), nightclub entertainer, bit part TV actor and one role B-movie star (The Crawling Hand, 1963), husband and suspected murderer of Filipino TV actress Nida Blanca, left the Philippines in 2002 and fought extradition from the U.S., committed suicide by jumping from a second-story hotel balcony on 6/12/2007, age 67
1941 ● Vito Picone → Frontman, lead singer and one of two remaining original members of teenage doo wop quintet The Elegants (“Little Star,” #1, R&B #1, 1958), bit-part TV and film actor (Goodfellas, The Sopranos and others, most recently hosts a New York City weekly nostalgia and music variety radio program
1942 ● Robert “Robin” Luke → One hit wonder teen pop/rockabilly singer and songwriter, “Susie Darlin'” (#5, 1958), later earned a Ph.D. in business administration and headed the Marketing Department at Missouri State University
1950 ● Carl Palmer → Progressive rock drummer and percussionist, first with Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (, 1971), then supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, “From The Beginning” (#39, 1972), and later Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982)
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan → Blues-rock guitarist and singer, founded Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986), solo, brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played occasionally and released one “duo album,” Family Style (1990), released just after Stevie Ray’s death on 8/27/1990
1956 ● Alphonso “Phonso” Martin → Percussion and vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), left in 1991 to pursue interests outside of music
1959 ● Owen If (Ian Frederick Rossiter) → Drummer for Brit electronic dance/rap Stereo MC’s, “Connected” (#20, Modern Rock #5, 1992)
1959 ● Richard Drummie → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom (James McDonnell) → Drummer with rockabilly revival Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#3, 1983)
1967 ● David “Shutty” Shuttleworth → Drummer for hard rock/heavy metal Spoilt Bratz and Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1968 ● Fredrik Schönfeldt → Guitars and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1972 ● Alexander Kapranos → Vocals for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1972 ● Michelle Lena “Shelly” Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1976 ● Chester Bennington → Vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1982 ● Nick Wheeler → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21

1902 ● Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. → Innovative and influential Delta blues and gospel slide guitarist and vocalist, recorded first in the 30s and for the Library of Congress in 1941 but drifted into obscurity until being “rediscovered” in 1964 during the folk-blues revival, toured and recorded thereafter extensively, influenced Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) and others, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/19/1988, age 86
1923 ● Mort Lindsey (Morton Lippman) → Orchestra leader, TV and film soundtrack composer, pianist and musical director for Judy Garland‘s four-time Grammy-winning concert album Judy At Carnegie Hall (#1, 1961) and Barbra Streisand‘s 1967 TV concert A Happening In Central Park, won two Emmy’s as the 25-year musical director for The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986), died following a long illness on 5/4/2012, age 89
1930 ● Otis Spann → Chicago blues keyboardist and guitarist, member of Muddy Waters‘ band from 1952 to 1968 while concurrently working as a session musician for Chess Records and on solo albums, worked with B. B. King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton and others, died from liver cancer on 4/24/1970, age 40
1940 ● Solomon Burke → The “King of Rock & Soul,” early and influential Grammy-winning R&B/classic soul singer, “Got To Get You Off My Mind” (#22, R&B #1, 1965) and 14 other R&B Top 20 hits but never achieved the recognition afforded peers James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, died from a suspected pulmonary embolism onboard a commercial airliner while flying from Washington, DC to a sold-out show in The Netherlands on 10/10/2010, age 70
1941 ● John Boylan → Songwriter and producer for Rick Nelson, The Association, The Dillards and others, managed Linda Ronstadt and handpicked her backing band in 1971, the session musicians who later became the Eagles
1943 ● Victor Anthony “Vivian” Stanshall → Eccentric 60s UK underground rock figure and founder of the comedy/satirical art rock outfit Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died in a fire at his home on 3/5/1995, age 52
1944 ● David Lindley → Top-rated session musician, recorded with Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield, Dolly Parton, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others, key member of Jackson Browne‘s recording and touring band from 1971 to 1981, solo, “Mercury Blues” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1981)
1945 ● Rosemary “Sister Rose” and “Rosie Stone” Stewart → Platinum-wigged lead vocalist and keyboardist with her two brothers Sly and Freddie in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), solo and sessions for Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and others
1946 ● Ray Dorset → Founder, guitarist, vocals and chief songwriter for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), solo
1949 ● Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → Police trainee turned rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Two Tickets To Paradise” (#22, 1977) and “Walk On Water” (#9, 1988)
1950 ● Roger Hodgson → Founding member, frontman, keyboards, vocals and chief hit songwriter for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), solo
1951 ● Conrad Lozano → Bassist for Tex-Mex roots/blues/country-rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1953 ● Robert Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1956 ● Guy Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie psych-rock The House Of Love, “Shine On” (, 1990)
1957 ● John Reddington → Guitarist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1957 ● Sean Dickson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for Scottish alt rock/indie dance-pop The Soup Dragons, “I’m Free” (#79, Modern Rock #2, UK #5, 1990), after 1995 disbandment formed alt rock The High Fidelity
1958 ● Jonathan “Butch” Norton → Drums and vocals for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997), then sessions and/or touring bands for Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Rufus Wainwright and Lucinda Williams
1963 ● Sharon “Share” Pedersen Ross → Bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Shawn Lane → Jazz-rock guitar virtuoso, joined Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, left for a solo career, sessions and collaborations including with outlaw country The Highwaymen, died from respiratory failure on 9/26/2003, age 40
1966 ● DJ Premier (Christopher Martin) → East Coast rap DJ and record producer, one half the hip hop duo Gang Starr, “Take It Personal” (Rap #1, 1992), recorded with The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and others, founder and chief of Year Round Records
1967 ● Jonas “Joker” Berggren → Guitar and keyboards for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1967 ● Maxim (Keith Palmer) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1968 ● Andrew Copeland → Guitar and vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1977 ● Mark Hamilton → Founding member, bass, synthesizer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kevin Federline → Dancer, fashion model, tabloid fodder ex-husband of Britney Spears and pop-rap singer, “Lose Control” (2006)
1980 ● Deryck “Bizzy D” Whibley → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Wiseman Humes → Singer, actress and TV host, 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)

March 22

1916 ● George Wyle (Bernard Weissman) → Orchestra leader and composer, wrote the theme song to 60s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, musical director for 70s variety program The Flip Wilson Show, served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers from 1979-2003, died on 5/2/2003, age 87
1930 ● Steven Sondheim → Eight-time Tony and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist best known for writing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and other music theater shows, wrote the lyrics to West Side Story, Gypsy and other films, wrote multiple hit songs, including “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” for Madonna (Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1991)
1932 ● Juke Boy Bonner (Weldon Bonner) → Texas blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and poet who recorded numerous singles and several albums of mostly original material, including his best material on Arhoolie Records in the 60s, but never broke through to commercial success, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 6/29/1978, age 46
1936 ● Roger Whittaker → Internationally-acclaimed baritone pop singer and songwriter, “The Last Farewell” (#19, 1975), TV actor
1937 ● Johnny Ferguson → 50s Nashville disc jockey turned transatlantic one hit wonder country-pop singer with a cover version of John D. Loudermilk‘s “Angela Jones” (Top 30, 1960)
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde → One half of strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964), TV actor
1943 ● George Benson → Grammy-winning jazz and R&B/pop guitarist and scat singer, “Give Me The Night” (R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Keith Relf → Guitars and vocals for hard rock Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), then prog rock Renaissance and hard rock Medicine Head, died from electrocution while playing his electric guitar in his basement on 5/14/1976, age 33
1944 ● Christopher Stainton → Session keyboardist and songwriter, started with Joe Cocker, later worked with Eric Clapton, The Who, Bryan Ferry, Roger Waters and others
1947 ● Harry Vanda → Dutch-born lead guitarist for pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), later with pop-rock Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive → Percussionist and bassist for R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1948 ● Andrew Lloyd Webber → Highly successful Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and composer of musicals, often as collaborator with Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976) and Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs → Bassist for pop-rock The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965), then with blues-rock Johnny Winter band, died from heart failure caused by years of drug abuse on 8/5/1993, age 45
1957 ● Stephanie Mills → Broadway star (The Wiz, 1975) turned Grammy-winning R&B/pop-disco diva, “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, 1980)
1958 ● Peter Wylie → Singer and frontman for post-punk alt rock Wah!, “Story Of The Blues” (UK #3, 1982)
1963 ● Susanne Sulley → Vocals for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1968 ● Mickey Dale → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1970 ● Andreas Johnson → Swedish pop-rock musician and songwriter, “Glorious” (UK #4, 1999)
1971 ● Steve Howell → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994), now with Placebo
1979 ● Aaron Wright North → Guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1980 ● Shannon Rae Bex → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006), solo
1981 ● Shawn Mims → Jamaican-descent rapper, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (#1, 2007)
1986 ● Amy Studt → Brit contemporary pop singer, first hit at age 15 with “Just A Little Girl” (UK #14, 2002) and “Misfit” (UK #6, 2003)

March 23

1917 ● Granville Henry “Stick” McGhee → Jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for the oft-covered blues and proto-typical rock ‘n’ roll song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (R&B #3, 1949), younger brother of electric blues guitarist Brownie McGhee, died of lung cancer on 8/15/1961, age 44
1932 ● Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter) → Flamboyant Southern blues guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player, recorded over 50 albums plus guest appearances and collaborations, best known for “Sweet Blood Call” (1975), died following a stroke on 2/25/2012, age 79
1938 ● Irwin Jesse Levine → Pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys plus “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando & Dawn and other top hits, died from renal failure on 1/21/1997, age 58
1940 ● Janis Martin → The “Female Elvis,” early and pioneering country/rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist with the teenaged hit on Sun Records, “Will You Willyum” (#38, 1956) with the B-side, “Drugstore Rock And Roll” becoming a rockabilly classic, left the industry in the late 50s to raise her son and manage a country club until the rockabilly revival of the 80s, died from lung cancer on 9/3/2007, age 67
1942 ● Jimmy Miller → Record producer and occasional session drummer on albums and songs he produced for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the lone Blind Faith album, the Plasmatics, Primal Scream and others, including key albums by The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973), died from liver failure on 10/22/1994, age 52
1944 ● Michael Nyman → Composer, pianist, bandleader and librettist, wrote the soundtrack album to the Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993)
1944 ● Tony McPhee → Lead guitar and vocals for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1948 ● Cindy Scott (Sundray Kay Tucker) → Performed and recorded under both her stage (Scott) and birth (Tucker) names, early member of 60s doo wop girl group The Ordettes, released “What Are You Doin’ To Me” as Cindy Scott & The Cousins, sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, recorded as a solo artist on various indie labels through the 00s, sister of Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and cousin of Tammi Terrell and Bunny Sigler
1949 ● Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek) → Guitar, frontman and songwriter for synth-pop/hard rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978), solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon → Keyboardist for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), sessions and sideman for numerous rock acts
1952 ● David Bartram → Vocals for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1953 ● Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Vocals for R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974), then solo, “I Feel For You” (#3, 1984)
1953 ● Phil Keaggy → Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music guitarist and vocalist, co-founded psych-rock power trio Glass Harp in the 60s, converted to Christianity in the 70s and released over 50 albums of CCM and mainstream pop-rock music, continues to perform with Glass Harp in Ohio and the Northeast into the 10s
1958 ● Eldon “El Duce” Hoke → Drummer and lead singer for pioneer 80s “shock-” and “rape rock” metal band The Mentors, known for their chauvinistic, filthy lyrics and crude production, died from coroner-termed “misadventure” (hit by a freight train) on 4/19/1997, age 39
1966 ● Marti Pellow (Mark McLachlan) → Frontman and lead singer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994), solo
1967 ● John Strohm → Drummer turned guitarist for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, then for several other groups, including teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) plus solo albums, now a lawyer
1968 ● Damon Albarn → Singer, songwriter and producer, first as frontman for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), then in virtual pop-rock dub band Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (#14, 2005)
1971 ● Abraham “Abe” Laboriel, Jr. → Berklee College of Music graduate and session and tour drummer for Steve Vai, Seal, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and others, son of renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
1972 ● Beverly Knight → Brit R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer, “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” (UK #10, 2002)

March 24

1912 ● Nervous Norvus (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1958, age 56
1922 ● Dave Appell → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92
1935 ● Carol Kaye (Everett) → Hugely prolific session bassist, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, M*A*S*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, music instruction author and teacher
1936 ● Don Covay (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolff, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickettt, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay (Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique
1941 ● Michel Masser → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Steve “Zetro” Souza → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004)

March 25

1923 ● Bonnie Guitar (Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers, “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight others Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rockThe Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, returned to recording in the mid-60s and continues into the 10s
1934 ● Johnny Burnette → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30
1938 ● Hoyt Axton → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin → The “Queen of Soul,” Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop super-diva, “Respect” (#1, 1967) and over 25 other Top 20 hits
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1947 ● Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1948 ● Michael Stanley (Gee) → Bassist for folk-rock Silk, then solo, then frontman for the underrated hard rock Michael Stanley Band, “In The Heartland” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile (Terius Grey) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

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