This Week’s Birthdays (February 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 03
1920 ● Russell Lee Arms → One hit wonder pop singer (“Cinco Robles (Five Oaks),” #22, 1957) and sometime 60s TV actor best known as a house vocalist on Your Hit Parade, the 50s weekly NBC radio and TV musical variety show where a cast of regulars performed the popular hits of the day, died from natural causes on 2/13/2012, age 92
1928 ● Val Doonican / (Michael Valentine Doonican) → Irish folk-pop/easy listening singer and TV host, “Walk Tall” (UK #3, 1964)
1928 ● Frankie Vaughan / (Frank Abelson) → Brit film actor and popular singer known as “Mr. Moonlight”, recorded over 80 singles, including “Green Door” (UK #2, 1956), died 9/17/1999 of heart failure
1935 ● Johnny “Guitar” Watson / (Johnny Watson, Jr.) → Electric blues guitarist and songwriter, “Space Guitar” (1954) turned R&B/funk-rocker, “A Real Mother For Ya” (#41, R&B #5, 1977), collapsed and died on stage in Japan on 5/17/1996
1936 ● James J. Marshall → Grammy-winning rock music photographer famous for shooting Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire and iconic scenes at Woodstock among hundreds of photos on album covers and in music magazines, received a posthumous Grammy Award in 2014, the only photographer ever so honored, died in his sleep on 3/24/2010, age 74
1939 ● Johnny Bristol / (John William Bristol) → R&B/soul singer (“Hang On In There Baby,” #8, R&B #2, 1974), songwriter and producer for Motown Records, co-produced “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#19, R&B #3, 1967) for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell plus tracks for Edwin Starr, The Velvelettes, Jermaine Jackson and others, moved to Columbia Records in 1973 and helped Boz Scaggs hone his blue-eyed soul album Slow Dancer (1974),continued to record into the 90s, died from natural causes on 3/21//2004, age 65
1940 ● Angelo d’Aleo → Vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961)
1943 ● Eric Haydock → Original bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966), fired in 1966 after questioning the manager’s honesty, started unsuccessful solo career
1943 ● Shawn Phillips → 60s folk-rock pioneer singer/songwriter, collaborated with Donovan, sang on The Beatles‘ “Lovely Rita (Meter Maid)”, issued light space rock albums and singles in the 70s, including “Lost Horizon” (#63, 1973)
1943 ● Neil Bogart / (Neil Scott Bogatz) → Record company executive with Cameo-Parkway and Buddha Records, key player in the rise of 60s/70s bubblegum pop, co-founded Casablanca Records in 1973, signed Kiss, T. Rex and others, but the label became associated with the disco craze with acts like Donna Summer and The Village People, died of lymphoma on 5/8/1982, age 39
1943 ● Dennis Edwards → Three-stint member (1968-77, 1979-83, 1992-present) and frequent lead vocalist of R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972)
1945 ● Johnny Cymbal / (John Hendry Blair) → Scottish-born pop singer, songwriter and producer, sang “Mr. Bass Man” (#16, 1963) as himself and “Cinnamon” (#11, 1968) using his brother’s name, Derek, later a country songwriter based in Nashville, died of a heart attack on 3/16/1993
1946 ● Stan Webb → Guitar, vocals and frontman for Brit blues-rock Chicken Shack (featured keyboard player and future Fleetwood Mac member Christine Perfect), “I’d Rather Go Blind” (UK #14, 1969)
1947 ● Dave Davies → Founder (with brother Ray), lead guitarist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), #88 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists list
1947 ● Melanie Safka → 60s folk-pop “flower power” singer, songwriter and Woodstock veteran, “Brand New Key” (#1, 1971) and five other early 70s Top 40 hits
1949 ● Killer Kane / (Arthur Harold Kane, Jr.) → Bass guitar for proto-glam-rock New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), died 7/13/2004 from complications from leukemia
1951 ● Jeanette Hutchinson → Vocals for R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1956 ● Lee Ranaldo → Co-founder and guitarist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1959 ● Lol Tolhurst / (Laurence Tolhurst) → Founding member and former drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992), left in 1989, currently with wife Cindy Levinson in alt rock Levinhurst
1960 ● Tim Chandler → Bassist in alternative Christian rock bands Daniel Amos, The Swirling Eddies and The Choir
1965 ● Nick Hawkins → Guitarist for Big Audio Dynamite II, “Rush” (Modern Rock #1, 1991), left in 1997 for solo writing and production career, died of heart attack on 10/10/2005
1970 ● Richie Kotzen → Guitarist for glam-metal Poison, “Stand” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1993), then joined pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big and jazz-rock fusion Vert with former Return To Forever rhythm section Stanley Clarke and Lenny White
1982 ● Jessica Harp → With Michelle Branch, one half of the country-pop duo The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006), briefly solo then retired in 2010 to concentrate on songwriting for other artists
1990 ● Sean Kingston / (Kisean Jamal Anderson) → Jamaican-born dancehall/reggae-pop rapper, “Beautiful Girls” (#1, 2007)

February 04
1929 ● Paul Burlison → Pioneer rockabilly guitarist and founding member of The Rock And Roll Trio with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, left the music business to become an electrical contractor when their several singles met with little success, stayed out of the business until the rockabilly revival of the 90s, continued with parallel careers until his death from colon caner on 9/27/2003, age 74
1941 ● John Steel → Original drummer for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left in 1966
1943 ● Jimmy Johnson → Guitarist, session musician, recording engineer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also engineered The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album, among others
1943 ● Barry Beckett / (Barry Edward Beckett) → Keyboardist, session musician, record producer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also toured with Traffic and produced albums by ‘Bob Dylan and others, died from natural causes on 6/10/2009
1944 ● Florence LaRue → Vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Mary Ann Ganser → With twin sister Margie, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of a drug overdose on 3/14/1970
1947 ● Margie Ganser / (Marguerite Ganser) → With twin sister Mary Ann, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of breast cancer on 7/28/1996
1948 ● Alice Cooper / (Vincent Damon Furnier) → Singer and frontman for campy glam-rock the Earwigs and Alice Cooper Band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972)
1950 ● James Dunn → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Phil Ehart → Co-founder, continuous member and drummer for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), now manages the group’s affairs
1952 ● Jerry Shirley → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972), sessions and collaborations, re-formed Humble Pie in 80s
1960 ● Matthieu Hartley → Original keyboardist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1960 ● Tim Booth → Founding member and lead singer for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (Modern Rock #3, 1994), left in 2001 solo career, rejoined in 2007
1962 ● Clint Black → Trad-country-pop crossover guitarist and singer/songwriter, “When I Said I Do” (#31, Country #1, 1999)
1963 ● Noodles Wasserman / (Kevin Samuel Wasserman) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1968 ● Steve Queralt → Bassist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1975 ● Natalie Imbruglia → Aussie-born actress, model and alt pop-rock singer, “Torn” (#1, 1997)
1975 ● Rick Burch → Bassist for alt rock/neo-punk Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle” (#5, Adult Top 40 #2, 2002)
1976 ● Cam’ron (aka “Killa Cam”) / (Cameron Giles)) → Grammy-nominated rapper and actor, founded The Diplomats and The U.N., solo, “Oh Boy” (#4, 2002)
1977 ● Gavin DeGraw → Blue-eyed soul and pop-rock singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist, “I Don’t Want To Be” (#10, 2004)
1982 ● Kimberly Wyatt → Singer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress and choreographer best known as a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, left in 2010 and continues to perform fronting Her Majesty & The Wolves

February 05
1919 ● Red Buttons / (Aaron Chwatt) → Broadway and Catskill “Borscht Belt” stage actor, comedian, TV host, Academy Award-winning screen actor, singer, “Strange Things Are Happening” (1953), died 7/13/2006 at home near L.A.
1923 ● Claude King → Trad-country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, “Wolverton Mountain” (Adult Contemporary #3, 1962)
1929 ● Hal Blaine / (Harold Simon Belsky) → Session drummer and founding member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played behind The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Natalie Cole and many others, credited with drumming on six consecutive Grammy Album of the Year winners between 1966 and 1971
1930 ● Don Goldie → Versatile and visible postwar jazz trumpet player and bandleader in the 60s, played with numerous jazz luminaries and fronted several jazz ensembles, incusing The Dangerous Jazz Band, committed suicide while suffering from declining health due to diabetes on 11/25/1995, age 65
1935 ● Alex Harvey → Scottish rock ‘n roll guitarist and bandleader, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), died 2/4/1982
1941 ● Barrett StrongMotown R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Money (That’s What I Want)” (#23, R&B #2, 1962), co-wrote multiple hits with Norman Whitfield, including “War” for Edwin Starr (#1, 1970) and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” for The Temptations (#1, 1972)
1941 ● Henson Cargill → One hit wonder country-pop singer with a single crossover hit, “Skip A Rope” (#25, Country #1, 1958), but with nine other Country Top 40 hits, played the Vegas/Reno circuit until his death following a surgical procedure on 3/24/2007, age 66
1943 ● Chuck Winfield / (Charles Winfield) → Trumpet for jazz-rock-pop fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1943 ● Larry Tamblyn → Co-founding member, lead vocals and keyboards for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), appeared in several 60s feature films, continues to tour and perform with the band into the 10s
1944 ● Al Kooper → Influential but underrated rock contributor, from 60s blues-rock guitarist and bandleader for The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” (#3, 1958), then jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), sessions with Bob Dylan, producer for The Zombies, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others
1944 ● J.R. Cobb / (James B. Cobb, Jr.) → Guitars for soft rock Classics IV, “Spooky” (#3, 1968), morphed into Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “So Into You” (#7, 1977)
1948 ● Christopher Guest → Screenwriter and composer, wrote screenplay and portrayed the fictional lead guitarist Nigel Tufnell in the mock-rock band Spinal Tap (1984 film This Is Spinal Tap), also played Alan Barrows of the fictional folk trio The Folksmen on Saturday Night Live and the film A Mighty Wind (2003)
1948 ● David Denny → Founding member and guitarist for psych-rock Frumious Bandersnatch, played with Steve Miller Band on several albums and hits, including “Swingtown” (#17, 1977)
1960 ● Paul Jones → Bassist for Welsh post-Brit-pop jangle rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1964 ● Duff McKagan / (Michael McKagan) → Bassist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1987), then for supergroup Velvet Revolver and Duff McKagan’s Loaded, now a newspaper columnist
1964 ● Sally Still → Bassist for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1968 ● Chris Barron → Vocals for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1969 ● Bobby Brown → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), solo, “My Prerogative” (#1, 1988)
1971 ● Sara Evans → Award-winning neo-traditionalist country-pop singer and songwriter with nine Country Top 10 and seven Top 40 pop hits, including “Born To Fly” (#34, Country #1, 2000)
1975 ● Adam Carson → Drummer for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and electronica Blaqk Audio, “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)

February 06
1926 ● Nancy Swain Overton / (Anne Swain) → Popular music singer in Tommy Tucker‘s Two Timers band and Mel Tormé‘s The Meltones, joined pop girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954) in 1958 and sang on the hits “Zorro” (#17, 1958) and “Never On Sunday” (#13, AC#4, 1961), married to jazz pianist/composer/arranger Hall Overton until his death in 1972, died from esophageal cancer on 4/5/2009, age 83
1936 ● Donnie Brooks / (John Dee Abohosh) → Pop and rockabilly one hit wonder singer (“Mission Bell,” #7, 1960), toured on the oldies circuit until a 2003 car accident ended his career, died from heart failure on 2/23/2007, age 71
1941 ● Dave Berry / (David Holgate Grundy) → 60s era Brit pop-rock and R&B/teen idol singer, “The Crying Game” (UK #5, 1964), became a superstar on the Continent but not in the UK or US
1942 ● John London / (John Carl Kuehne) → Songwriter and session bass player with The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, formed innovative but commercially overlooked country-rock First National Band with friend Mike Nesmith, later enjoyed a second career as a key grip for TV and mainstream movies, died on 2/12/2000, age 58
1943 ● Fabian / (Fabiano Forte Bonaparte) → Teen idol pop/light rock singer, “Tiger” (#3, 1964) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1960, actor in more than two dozen films, including The Longest Day (1962) and Ten Little Indians (1965)
1943 ● Georgeanna Tillman / (Georgeanna Marie Tillman Gordon) → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died from complications of blood disorders on 1/6/1980, age 36
1944 ● Willie Tee / (Wilson Turbinton) → New Orleans blues and jazz pianist with one national hit, “I’m Teasin’ You” (#97, R&B #12, 1960) but plenty of recognition in his native city where he is credited with helping shape the “New Orleans Sound” fusing blues, jazz and rock elements, died from complications of colon cancer on 9/11/2007, age 63
1945 ● Bob Marley / (Robert Nesta Marley) → Reggae music and cultural giant, bandleader (The Wailers), singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974), inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, his birthday is commemorated in Jamaica by a national holiday, died of cancer on 5/11/1981, age 36
1946 ● Kate McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Anna in critically-acclaimed 70s-90s light folk duo Kate & Anna McGarrigle, former wife of folk singer Loudon Wainwright lll, mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died of cancer on 1/18/2010, age 63
1946 ● Richie Hayward → Founding member and drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Robert Palmer, Bob Seger, Warren Zevon and others, died from complications of liver cancer on 8/12/2010, age 64
1947 ● Alan Jones → Saxophonist for Welsh early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1950 ● Mike Batt → Brit composer, producer, singer and songwriter for film, TV theater and pop music, solo hit with “Summertime City” (UK #4, 1975), wrote “Bright Eyes” (UK #1, 1979) for the film Watership Down and Art Garfunkel, created the novelty pop group The Wombles and four UK Top 10 hits
1950 ● Natalie Cole / (Stephanie Natalie Maria Cole) → R&B/urban contemporary jazz-based pop singer, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” (#6, R&B #1, 1975), reemerged from a career lull caused by drug addictions with Unforgettable (#1, 1991), the hit album of pop standard covers originally recorded by her father, jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, died from congestive heart failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 12/31/15, age 65
1953 ● Steve Kirby → Lead guitar for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Jon Walmsley → Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, actor and producer, worked with many notable pop and rock artists, including The Doobie Brothers, Gregg Allman, Merle Haggard, Roger Daltrey, the Strawberry Alarm Clock and others, played Jason Walton for nine seasons on TV’s The Waltons and created the voice of Christopher Robin in Disney’s Winnie The Pooh cartoons
1962 ● Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose Bailey) → Lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist, frontman and only constant member of hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Richie McDonald / (Richard Vance McDonald) → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1964 ● Gord Downie / (Gordon Edgar Downie) → Frontman, lyricist, lead singer and guitarist for “Canada’s band,” alt/blues/roots rock The Tragically Hip, “Ahead By A Century” (Can #1, 1996), died from brain cancer on 10/17/2017, age 53
1966 ● Rick Astley → Award-winning Brit musician, radio host and dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Never Gonna Give You Up” (US and worldwide #1, 1987)
1980 ● Yasutaka Nakata → Japanese multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music producer, DJ and bandleader, co-founded EDM/electronica group Capsule in 1997 with vocalist Toshiko Koshijima and has written scores of songs and produced dozens of albums for various artists, often with himself as a musician, including seven Japanese (Oricon) #1 albums

February 07
1887 ● Eubie Blake / (James Hubert Blake) → Composer, lyricist and pianist whose career spanned from the ragtime era of the late 19th century to contemporary Broadway theater in the 1980s, brought the first black musical comedy to the stage in 1921 with Shuffle Along, wrote or co-wrote now-standard songs, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (1921) and “Memories Of You” (1930), unofficial leader of the ragtime revival of the 1970s, died from pneumonia on 2/12/1983, age 96
1920 ● Oscar Brand → Canadian-American folk balladeer, playwright, author, university professor, musician and host of Folksong Festival on WNYC-am in New York since it debuted in 1945, now the longest running radio program with the same host, composed over 300 songs (including “A Guy Is A Guy,” #1, 1952 for Doris Day) and released nearly 100 albums covering novelty music and social commentary in nearly every genre, including the patriotic “Something To Sing About” (1963), one of Canada’s unofficial national anthems, died from pneumonia on 9/30/2016, age 96
1924 ● Dora Bryan / (Dora Mae Broadbent) → Brit stage, film and TV actress, occasional novelty pop singer, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle” (#20, 1963)
1924 ● Mario Maglieri / (Mario Mikael Maglieri) → Co-owner and proprietor of Whisky A Go Go and The Rainbow Bar & Grill, the legendary Los Angeles nightclubs wherein he provided fatherly guidance and tough love to many up-and-coming acts as well as established stars, hosted hundreds of rock artists over the decades, including The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Guns N’ Roses and Linkin Park, died from natural causes on 5/4/2017, age 93
1930 ● Ikutaro Kakehashi → Electronics engineer, entrepreneur and inventor of the Roland TR-808 electronic drum machine well-known among generations of rock percussionists, collaborator in the development of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) software that allows connection and communication between musical instruments, and founder of Ace Tone, the manufacturer of electronic organs, analog drum machines and effects pedals, died from unspecified causes on 4/1/2017
1934 ● King Curtis / (Curtis Ousley) → Virtuoso R&B/pop and soul saxophonist, first in sessions (including The Coasters‘ “Yakety Yak” and Boots Randolph‘s “Yakety Sax”), then as a solo artist, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, R&B #6, 1967), died on 8/14/1971 at the peak of his career after being fatally stabbed late at night outside his New York City home by a vagrant, buried in the same Long Island cemetery as Count Basie and John Coltrane
1934 ● Earl King / (Earl Silas Johnson IV) → New Orleans R&B/blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” (R&B #7, 1955) under the nom de plume Pearl King co-wrote “I Hear You Knockin'” (1955) and wrote “Come On (Let The Good Time Roll)” (1960), died from complications of diabetes on 4/17/2003, age 69
1940 ● Bob Burnett → Founding member of influential, straight-laced collegiate folk-pop vocal quintet The Highwaymen (“Michael,” #1, AC #1, 1961 and “Cotton Fields,” #13, AC #3, 1962), left in 1964 for a career in business law but reunited in 1987 and performed occasionally into the 00s, died from brain cancer on 12/7/2011, age 71
1943 ● Harvey Hersh / (Harvey Hershkowitz) → Baritone vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1943 ● Walter Scott / (Walter Notheis, Jr.) → Lead singer for one hit wonder horn-rock Bob Kuban & The Hit-Men (“The Cheater,” #12, 1966), left the band for an unsuccessful solo career, disappeared on 12/27/1983 and was later declared murdered by his wife and her lover in a tangled case, age 40
1946 ● Sammy Johns / (Sammy Reginald Johns) → One hit wonder country-pop singer/songwriter, “Chevy Van” (#5, 1975), wrote “America” for Waylon Jennings (Country #6, 1984) and “Common Man” for John Conlee (Country #1, 1983), among other minor hits, died from unspecified causes on 1/4/2013, age 66
1947 ● Pugwash Weathers / (John Patrick “Pugwash” Weathers) → Drummer for Brit progressive/art rock and jazz fusion band The Eyes of Blue, then prog rock Gentle Giant
1948 ● Jimmy Greenspoon → Organist for pop-rock Three Dog Night (“Joy To The World,” #1, 1971 and nine other Top 10 hits) between 1969 and 1973, rejoined the band in 1976 and continued to record and tour until his death from melanoma (cancer) on 3/11/2015, age 67
1949 ● Alan Lancaster → Original bassist for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 50 other UK Top 75 singles, left in 1984
1949 ● Stony Browder, Jr. → With half-brother August Darnell Browder (aka “King Creole”), formed pop-rock The In-Laws, then big band and swing-influenced R&B/disco group Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “Cherchez La Femme” (Dance/Club #1, 1976)
1959 ● Brian Travers → Saxophonist for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Steve Bronski → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1962 ● David Bryan / (David Bryan Rashbaum) → Keyboardist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), has released two solo prog rock albums
1962 ● Deborah Bonham → English rock and blues vocalist, released two UK and one US albums, sister of John Bonham, the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin
1962 ● Garth Brooks / (Troyal Garth Brooks) → Unparalleled country music superstar, second highest selling US solo albums artist (after Elvis Presley), credited with merging country and honky tonk with rock and pop and delivering a mass audience, scored eight double-double albums (#1 on both Billboard pop and country album charts), top singles include “Friends In Low Places” (Country #1, 1990) and “Lost In You” (#5, 1999)
1968 ● Sully Erna / (Salvatore Paul Erna) → Guitar and vocals for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1974 ● Danny Goffey / (Daniel Robert Goffey) → Drummer for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1974 ● J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) / (James Dewitt Yancey) → Influential hip hop producer and MC, worked with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes, died on 2/10/2006 of a rare blood disease at his home in L.A.
1975 ● Wesley Borland → Guitarist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)

February 08
1899 ● Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson → New Orleans blues and jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter, recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos, “Tomorrow Night” (#19, R&B #7, 1948), hit by a car on a Toronto sidewalk in Match 1969 and suffered a stroke in August 1969, died from complications of the two on 6/16/1970, age 71
1931 ● James Dean / (James Byron Dean) → Actor, teen idol and cultural icon, signature films were Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), killed in a car crash at age 25 on a Salinas, CA highway on 9/30/1955, age 24
1932 ● John Williams → Composer, conductor, pianist, 5-time Academy Award and 22-time Grammy winner, composed some of the most well-known and enduring film scores in the history of American cinema, including Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and others, plus theme music for four Olympic Games, sports and news programs, TV series, and classical and orchestral works, former principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, released nearly 400 albums and placed four tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Star Wars Theme” (#10, 1977)
1936 ● Larry Verne / (Larry Vern Erickson) → One hit wonder novelty song singer, “Mr. Custer” (#1, R&B #9, 1960), left the music industry and became a Hollywood set designer, died from heart failure on 10/8/2013, age 77
1938 ● Ray Sharpe → Country-western, blues and rockabilly singer, guitarist and songwriter with multiple singles but only one minor hit, “Linda Lu” (#46, 1959) which was covered by The Rolling Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, Tom Jones and others, later released singles recorded with King Curtis and Jimi Hendrix as a session guitarist, continues to perform in the Fort Worth,, TX area
1941 ● Tom Rush → Early and influential, genre-defining singer/songwriter of folk, blues and light pop mix, his “No Regrets” (1968) is a folk-rock standard
1942 ● Terry Melcher / (Terrence P. Jorden) → Son of actress Doris Day, vocalist with 60s surf rock the Rip Chords (“Hey Little Cobra,” #4, 1964) and then record producer best known for The Byrds‘ two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (both #1, 1965), plus songs and albums by The Beach Boys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Mamas & The Papas, Glen Campbell and others, producer of two of his mother’s TV shows, died from melanoma on 11/19/2004, age 62
1943 ● Creed Bratton / (William Charles Schneider) → Guitarist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968) plus thirteen other Top 40 hits, solo pop-rock artist, film and TV actor, including The Office
1946 ● Fito de la Parra / (Adolpho de la Parra) → Drummer for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968)
1946 ● Paul Wheatbread → Drummer for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Ron Tyson → Journeyman R&B vocalist and songwriter credited with composing over 200 songs in the Philly-soul style, worked with various R&B groups through the 70s, joined The Temptations in 1983 as vocalist and sang lead on a number of hits, including “Sail Away” (#54, R&B #13, 1983), continues with the group in he 10s and has issued several solo albums
1948 ● Dan Seals / (Danny Wayland Seals) → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” (#2, 1976), then solo country star with eleven #1 country hits, brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts, died of complications of mantle cell lymphoma on 3/25/2009, age 61
1961 ● Sam Llanas → Founder, guitar and vocals for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Vince Neil / (Vincent Neil Wharton) → Vocals for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989) and solo, “Sister Of Pain” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1993)
1962 ● Ken McCluskey / (Kenneth McCluskey) → Harmonica and vocals for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1968 ● Tjinder Singh → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1971 ● Will Turpin / (William Ross Turpin) → Bass and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, “Shine” (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1974 ● Guy-Manuel / (Guillaume Emmanuel de Homem-Christo) → DJ for French progressive dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), remixed for Gabrielle and Chemical Brothers
1977 ● Phoenix Farrell / (David Michael Farrell) → Bassist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (#2, Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1980 ● Cameron Muncey → Guitarist for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1983 ● Jim Verraros / (James Conrad Verraros) → Pop-rock singer and entertainer, Top 10 finalist in first season of American Idol, solo singing career, “You Turn It On” (Dance/Club #21, 2005)
1985 ● Jeremy Davis → Bassist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)
1994 ● Nikki Yanofsky / (Nicole Yanofsky) → Canadian jazz-pop singer, festival and TV entertainer, recorded “Gotta Go My Own Way” for High School Musical 2, has multiple hits including “I Believe” (Canada #1, 2010), sang the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

February 09
1909 ● Carmen Miranda → The “Brazilian Bombshell,” samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress and film star whose trademark fruit-basket headdress and exotic outfits belied her considerable talents, first Brazilian to achieve international stardom and first to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, generally credited with exposing Latin culture to a broader audience worldwide, died in her prime from a heart attack on 8/5/1955, age 46
1914 ● Ernest Tubb → Legendary singer, songwriter and pioneer of modern country music, first of the honky tonk singers and first to achieve national recognition, scored 91 country chart hits over a 50-year career, including “Soldier’s Last Laugh” (#16, Country #1, 1944) and “Walking The Floor Over You” (#18, Country #31, 1979), died from emphysema on 9/6/1984, age 70
1918 ● George Goldner → Jewish-American record producer and label executive who contributed to the development of rock ‘n’ roll in the 50s by recording and promoting R&B acts, primarily doo wop, through his record labels Rama, Roulette, Gee and End Records, brought The Crows, The Wrens, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers and dozens of other groups to the national stage, in the 60s through his Red Bird Records produced hits for the Shangri-Las, the Dixie Cups and the Ad-Libs, among others, died from a heart attack on 4/15/1970, age 52
1939 ● Barry Mann / (Barry Iberman) → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with his wife, Cynthia Weil, issued novelty pop solo “Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (#7, 1961), wrote “On Broadway”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “Somewhere Out There” among other hits for varied rock and pop artists
1940 ● Brian Bennett → Composer, arranger and producer best known as the drummer for multiple early Brit rock ‘n’ roll bands including instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (worldwide #1, 1960) and pop-rock Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “Foot Tapper” (UK #1, 1963)
1942 ● Carole King / (Carol Klein) → Brill Building composer with husband Gerry Goffin, pianist and solo Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “I Feel The Earth Move” (#1, 1971), wrote or co-wrote nearly 120 pop hits recorded by herself and other artists, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “One Fine Day”
1942 ● Mark Mathis / (Marcus Felton Mathis) → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1943 ● Barbara Lewis → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, “Baby I’m Yours” (#11, R&B #5, 1965)
1947 ● Joe Ely / (Earle R. Ely) → Country, honky tonk and rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, first with The Flatlanders, then solo, “Musta Notta Gotta Lotta” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1981), plus session and tour work with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Uncle Tupelo
1947 ● Major Harris → “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul guitarist and singer with numerous groups including The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), then solo, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” (#5, R&B #1, 1975), died from lung and heart failure on 11/8/2012, age 66
1951 ● Dee Tee Thomas / (Dennis Thomas) → Saxophonist for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1955 ● Jimmy Pursey / (James Timothy Pursey) → Founder, frontman and lead vocals for Brit punk rock Sham 69 (“Hersham Boys,” UK #6, 1979), continues to record and perform in the 10s with a new lineup of the band
1960 ● Holly Johnson / (William Johnson) → Lead vocals and founding member of Brit New Wave pop-rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1963 ● Dave Rotheray → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Travis Tritt → Grammy-winning, hatless country and Southern rock singer/songwriter with forty country chart hits and five #1s, including “Foolish Pride” (Country #1, 1994)
1964 ● Rachel Bolan / (James Richard Southworth) → Founder, bassist and chief songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), also worked with Ace Frehley (of Kiss), Mötley Crüe and stoner metal Godspeed
1981 ● The Rev / (James Owen Sullivan) → Founding member, drummer, vocalist and songwriter for heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, wrote “Almost Easy” (Mainstream #3, 2007) and other hits prior to the band’s peak years in the 10s, died from an overdose of pain killers an alcohol on 12/28/2009, age 28

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