Posts Tagged celebrity birth dates

This Week’s Birthdays (January 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 20
1888 ● Lead Belly / (Huddie William Ledbetter) → Multi-instrumentalist, oft-covered country-blues-folk singer and songwriter, “Goodnight Irene” (1934), died of AMS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on 12/6/1949, age 61
1922 ● Ray Anthony → Trumpeter, bandleader relentless self-promoter and songwriter (“Dragnet” theme song, “The Bunny Hop,” and “Dancing In The Dark”) with a long and prosperous career in 40s and 50s big bands and various 60s-80s music enterprises, recorded the highest selling cover of the theme song from the TV series Peter Gunn (#8, 1959), continues into the 10s as a music label executive
1922 ● Piney Brown / (Perry Columbus) → Legendary but unheralded early R&B/blue, ages shouter, songwriter, bandleader and life-long devotee to the blues, issued several albums from the 50s to the 00s but never achieved commercial success or notoriety, died in a nursing home of natural causes on 2/5/2009, age 87
1924 ● Lee Pockriss / (Lee Julian Pockriss) → Songwriter with hit songs in multiple genres, best known for co-writing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” for Brian Hyland (#1, 1960) and “Johnny Angel” for Shelley Fabares (#1, 1962), worked on Broadway musicals and wrote children’s songs for Sesame Street, died after a long illness on 11/14/2011, age 87
1924 ● Slim Whitman / (Otis Dewey Whitman, Jr.) → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955), died of heart failure on 6/19/2013, age 89
1929 ● Jean-Jacques Perrey / (Jean Leroy) → French electronic music pioneer, early composer of electronic pop albums and user of the Moog synthesizer, his compositions were adapted for use in Disney theme parks, in episodes of The Simpsons and other TV programs, and as an aid to insomniacs which led to ambient music in the 80s, the last of his more than 30 albums, Destination Space (2007) was released when he was nearly 80 years old, died from lung cancer on 11/4/2016, age 87
1931 ● Earl Grant → Pianist, organist and pop and R&B singer with six albums and seven charting hits in the 50s and 60s, including “The End” (#7, 1957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson / (Ronald Townson) → Original member and tenor vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), stayed with the group until poor health forced his retirement in 1997, died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001, age 68
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977, age 35
1943 ● Rick Evans → Vocals and lyricist in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1945 ● Eric Stewart → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965), contemporary pop Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” (#22, 1970) and soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975)
1946 ● Jimmy Chambers → Singer with Brit-American R&B/dance-pop Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (#1, 1991)
1947 ● George Grantham → Drummer with country-rock Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1948 ● Melvin Pritchard → Drummer for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died of a heart attack on 1/28/2004, age 56
1952 ● Ian Hill → Bassist with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Paul Stanley / (Stanley Harvey Eisen) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) plus three solo albums
1960 ● Scott Thunes → Bassist with Frank Zappa‘s band from 1981 through 1988, also worked with Steve Vai and The Waterboys and currently plays with The Mother Hips
1965 ● Greg Kriesel → Bassist for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1965 ● Heather Small → Lead singer for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1966 ● Tracii Guns / (Tracy Richard Ulrich) → Founder and guitarist for glam-metal L. A. Guns, “The Ballad Of Jayne” (#33, 1990) then hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988) and Motörhead, Contraband and Brides Of Destruction
1969 ● Nicky Wire / (Nicholas Allen Jones) → Bassist, lyricist and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1969 ● Tina O’Neill → Drummer for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1971 ● Gary Barlow → Frontman, vocals, piano and chief songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), wrote sixteen UK Top 5 hits, eleven UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums for Take That, plus two UK #1 solo singles and a UK #1 solo album,
1978 ● Ratboy Wilson / (Sidney Wilson) → DJ and turntablist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1979 ● Rob Bourdon → Drummer for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Will Young → Pop singer and inaugural winner of UK TV’s Pop Idol show, “Anything Is Possible/Evergreen” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Nathan Connolly → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)

January 21
1923 ● Frank Virtue → Founder, frontman and guitarist for one hit wonder instrumental pop-rock The Virtues (“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” #5, R&B #27, 1959), later career as a record producer and recording engineer, died on 6/11/1994, age 71
1924 ● Benny Hill / (Alfred Hawthorne Hill) → English singer and comedian with a long-running slapstick comedy TV show and several charting comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961) and “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (UK #1, 1971), died from kidney failure on 4/20/1992, age 68
1924 ● Telly Savalas / (Aristotle Savalas) → Greek-American film star, TV actor (Kojak) and pop singer with two UK #1 songs and a non-charting take-off on his signature line “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, died of cancer on 1/22/1994, age 70
1938 ● Wolfman Jack / (Robert Weston Smith) → Legendary gravel-voiced rock ‘n roll radio DJ and TV host, died of heart attack on 7/1/1995, age 57
1941 ● Placido Domingo / (Jose Placido Domingo Embil) → Grammy-winning opera tenor and conductor, member of The Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, 1994 Billboard #4 Album, In Concert
1941 ● Richie Havens / (Richard Pierce Havens) → Low-screen folk and R&B guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for his appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971), died of a heart attack on 4/22/2013, age 72
1942 ● Mac Davis / (Morris Mac Davis) → 60s session guitarist turned 70s countrypolitan pop-rock crossover star, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (#1, 1972), wrote “In The Ghetto” (#3, 1969) and “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6, 1970) for Elvis Presley
1942 ● Edwin Starr / (Charles Edwin Hatcher) → Rough, tough and re-inventive R&B/soul-pop-disco singer, “25 Miles” (#6, 1969), then anthemic protest song “War” (#1, 1970), then disco hit “(Eye-To-Eye) Contact” (Disco #1, 1979), died from a heart attack on 4/2/2003, age 61
1945 ● Chris Britton → Guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Ibbotson → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock pioneers The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● Pye Hastings / (Julian Frederick Hastings) → Scot guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and 40-year frontman for venerable psych-jazz-rock Caravan, “Nine Feet Underground” (1971)
1948 ● Peter Kircher → Mid-80s drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1950 ● Billy Ocean / (Leslie Sebastian Charles) → Trinidad-born, UK-based R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984)
1954 ● Nigel Glockler → Drummer for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxonn, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1956 ● Rob Brill → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Vic Reeves / (James Roderick Moir) → With Bob Mortimer, one half of Brit comedy/satire act Vic And Bob, then pop-rock The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1965 ● 3D / (Robert Del Naja) → Founding member, MC and singer for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1965 ● Jam Master Jay / (Jason William Mizell) → Founding member of premier hardcore rap trio Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), murdered by an assassin on 10/30/2002, age 37
1966 ● Wendy James → Lead singer and Madonna-wannabe frontgal for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), left for a solo career that included an mildly successful LP of songs written for her by Elvis Costello, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears (UK #43, 1993)
1972 ● Cat Power / (Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall) → Indie folk- and blues-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor and model, album Moon Pix (1998)
1972 ● Tweet / (Charlene Keys) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Oops (Oh My)” featuring Missy Elliott (#7, R&B #1, 2002)
1973 ● Chris Kilmore → Turntables and keyboards for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1976 ● Emma Lee Bunton → Vocals and “Baby Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Nokio / (Tamir Ruffin) → Founder, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/urban soul-dance Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), producer for DMX, Torrey Carter and others
1980 ● Benjamin Moody → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)

January 22
1931 ● Sam Cooke → Pioneering R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record executive and civil rights activist, “You Send Me” (#1, 1957), shot and killed during an altercation with his landlord on 12/11/1964, age 33
1938 ● Eugene Church → Singer and collaborator with Jesse Belvin as doo-wop The Cliques, solo as Eugene Church & The Fellows (“Pretty Girls Everywhere,” #36, R&B #6, 1958), later moved to gospel music, died from cancer on 4/3/1993 , age 55
1938 ● Joe Esposito / (Joseph Carmine Esposito) → Army-years buddy of Elvis Presley, became his right-hand man, road manager and key member of Elvis‘s entourage, the “Memphis Mafia,” played bit parts in several Elvis films in the 60s, later worked as road manager for Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, John Denver and others, co-authored six books about Elvis and attended Elvis look-alike conventions, died after a long period of failing health on 11/23/2016, age 78
1940 ● Mickie Harris / (Addie Harris) → Vocals for Brill Building pop, girl-group-defining The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of a heart attack on stage during an oldies circuit performance on 6/10/1982, age 42
1946 ● Malcolm McLaren → Brit performer, impresario and solo artist, “Double Dutch” (UK #3, 1983), manager of the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, died of cancer 4/8/2010, age 64
1949 ● Nigel Pegrum → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then prog-rock Uriah Heep, art-rock Gnidrolog and folk-rock Steeleye Span, producer and session drummer
1949 ● Steve Perry / (Stephen Ray Pereira) → Lead singer for arena rock Journey beginning in 1977, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), then solo, “Oh, Sherrie” (#3, 1986), then re-formed Journey 1996, “When You Love A Woman” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1996)
1952 ● Teddy Gentry → Founding member, bass and background vocals for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1960 ● Michael Hutchence → Founding member, lead singer, songwriter and 20-year frontman for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987), found dead in a Sydney hotel room after an apparent suicide on 11/22/1997, age 37
1965 ● Andrew Roachford → Frontman, vocals and keyboards for Brit urban contemporary R&B Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” (# 25, UK #4, 1989)
1965 ● D.J. Jazzy Jeff / (Jeffrey Allen Townes) → R&B/hip hop artist, record producer, turntablist and actor, with Will Smith in duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, 1991)
1965 ● Steven Adler / (Michael Coletti) → Songwriter and drummer (1985-90) for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), then Road Crew and started Adler’s Appetite and Adler
1969 ● Marc Gay → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1981 ● Ben Robert Moody → Founder, vocals, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1981 ● Willa Ford / (Amanda Lee Williford Modano) → Dance-pop singer, songwriter, model, TV and film actress, “I Wanna Be Bad” (Top 40 Mainstream #11, 2001)
1985 ● Orianthi Panagaris → Aussie singer, songwriter and guitarist, “According To You” (#17, 2009), played for Prince and was Michael Jackson‘s lead guitarist for the ill-fated This Is It tour

January 23
1910 ● Django Reinhardt / (Jean Baptiste Reinhardt) → Belgian-born gypsy-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953, age 43
1932 ● Cyril Davies → One of the first harmonica players on the British blues scene, formed various skiffle and blues groups in the 50s and Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry in the 60s, club owner and R&B promoter, died from endocarditis on 1/7/1964, age 31
1940 ● Joe Dowell → Two hit wonder early 60s pop singer (“Wooden Heart,” #1, 1961 and “Little Red Rented Rowboat,” #23, 1962), later wrote and recorded his own songs without commercial success and launched a radio advertisement production company
1940 ● Jimmy Castor / (James Walter Castor) → Pop and funk saxophonist and singer, briefly replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers, then fronted novelty/disco-funk Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Caveman)” (#4, 1972), died from heart failure on 1/16/2012, age 72
1941 ● Buddy Buie / (Perry Carlton Buie) → Music producer, publisher and songwriter with over 340 titles penned alone or in collaborations with others, including the oft-covered pop classic “Spooky” (#3, 1967) by The Classics IV, formed, managed and produced Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover,” #7, 1978) and co-wrote most of their songs, produced albums for Wynonna Judd and Garth Brooks, died following a heart attack on 7/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● Jerry Lawson → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008, age 58
1953 ● Robin Zander → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch → Co-founder, producer and bassist for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1955 ● Reggie Calloway → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1956 ● Ralph Carney → Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, first with artsy New Wave “Akron Sound” Tin Huey (covered “I’m A Believer,” 1979) then as a sessionman with a long list of studio credits, including multiple albums with Tom Waits plus recordings with The B-52’s, Elvis Costello, the Black Keys and many others, fell in his Oregon home and died the following day from head injuries on 12/16/2017, age 61
1957 ● Earl Falconer → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita / (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

January 24
1933 ● Zeke Carey / (Ezekial Carey) → Founding member and second tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), died on 12/24/1999, age 66
1936 ● Doug Kershaw / (Douglas James Kershaw) → Cajun country-rock singer/songwriter, bandleader and fiddler, “Louisiana Man” (Country #10, 1961)
1936 ● Jack Scott / (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → Canadian rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and country-pop singer with eight U.S. Top 40 singles in less than 3 years, including “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960)
1939 ● Ray Stevens / (Harold Ray Ragsdale) → Grammy-winning country-pop and often novelty singer, songwriter and producer, “Everything Is Beautiful” (#1, 1970)
1941 ● Aaron Neville → New Orleans R&B/soul-funk singer, “Tell It Like It Is” (R&B #1, 1966), then formed The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989), then solo again, including duets with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know Much” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1989)
1941 ● Michael Chapman → Critically acclaimed but commercially underrated Brit folk singer and songwriter best known for his “Postcards Of Scarborough” (1970) and an over 40 album catalog, continues to record and perform in the 10s
1941 ● Neil Diamond → Often called the “Jewish Elvis,” prolific songwriter, singer and guitarist “Cracklin’ Rose” (#1, 1970), plus dozens of Top 40 hits and those covered by others, from The Monkees (“I’m A Believer,” #1, 1966) to Deep Purple (“Kentucky Woman,” #38, 1968)
1947 ● Warren Zevon → Sardonic singer/songwriter with 15 solo albums and multiple Top 40 hits, including “Werewolves Of London” (#21, 1978), died from asbestos-related lung cancer on 9/7/2003, age 56
1949 ● John Belushi → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Joliet Jake” Blues in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died from drug overdose 3/5/1982, age 33
1953 ● Matthew Wilder (Weiner) → One hit wonder singer/songwriter, started in early 70s folk-pop duo Matthew & Peter, then pop-rock solo “Break My Stride” (#5, 1983), now record producer
1958 ● Julian Miles “Jools” Holland → Pianist, producer, singer, composer and bandleader, including keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1963 ● Keech Rainwater → Drummer for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1974 ● Christopher River Hesse → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Paul Marazzi → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1989 ● Calvin Goldspink → Vocals in pre-fab teen pop S Club Juniors (a spin-off of S Club 7), “One Step Closer” (UK #2, 2002) and six other UK Top 15 hits in two years, actor

January 25
1915 ● Ewan MacColl → Influential Brit folk revival singer, songwriter, poet and producer, wrote Grammy-winning “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1972), died from complications following heart surgery on 10/22/1989, age 74
1923 ● Rusty Draper / (Farrell H. “Rusty” Draper) → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll country and pop crossover star with five Top 20 hits in the 50s, including “The Shifting, Whispering Sands” (#3, 1955), continued with minor country hits in the 60s and dropped out of site by the 80s, died from pneumonia on 3/28/2003, age 80
1931 ● Stig Anderson → Songwriter, producer and manager for Swede superstar pop-rock ABBA, co-wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1977), died of a heart attack on 9/12/1997, age 66
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) / (Jamesetta Hawkins) → Versatile Grammy-winning blues, gospel, R&B/soul and jazz singer, “Tell Mama” (#23, R&B #10, 1968) and the enduring ballad “At Last” (#47, R&B #2, 1961), died from complications of leukemia on 1/20/2012, age 73
1949 ● John Cooper Clarke → The “Bard of Salford”, performance poet laureate of the punk movement, “Gimmix” (UK #39, 1979), opened tours for the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello, continues to contribute to poetry journals
1950 ● Michael Cotten → Synthesizers for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1953 ● Malcolm Green → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (UK #12, 1980)
1956 ● Andy Cox → Guitarist and co-founder of ska revivalist mixed-race The English Beat in 1978, then moved with bandmates to form Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Actor and journeyman bass guitarist for Roxy Music, The Vibrators, post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982), Code Blue and The Fixx
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Vocals for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983), solo
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Vocalist for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1971 ● China Wing Kantner → Daughter of Jefferson AirplaneGrace Slick and Paul Kantner, TV and film actress, former MTV VJ
1973 ● Chris Wilkie → Guitarist and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1977 ● Christian Ingebrigtsen → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1981 ● Alicia Keys / (Alicia Auguello Cook) → Nine-time Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fallin'” (#1, 2001) and ten other Top 40 hits, TV and film actress, philanthropist

January 26
1913 ● Jimmy Van Heusen / (Edward Chester Babcock) → Four-time Academy Award winning popular music composer, wrote or co-wrote dozens of pop hits in the 40s through 60s for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, including “Swingin’ On A Star” for Crosby (1944) and “My Kind Of Town” for Sinatra (1964), died from complications following a stroke on 2/6/1990, age 77
1922 ● Page Cavanaugh → Jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, popular 40s and 50s bandleader on radio, TV and films with a number of Top 40 hits, early purveyor of the jazz-pop sound now known as “smooth jazz,” continued to perform as a night club and lounge act into the 00s, died from kidney failure on 12/19/2008, age 86
1926 ● Ronnie Hilton / ((Adrian Hill) → Brit 50s pop crooner, “No Other Love” (UK #1, 1956) plus 21 other Top 40 hits during the onslaught of rock ‘n’ doll, BBC radio host of the weekly show Sounds of the Fifties, died of a stroke on 2/21/2001, age 75
1932 ● The Tall Texan / (Claude Gray) → Country music singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his contribution to the “Nashville sound” and the Countrypolitan movement that created the crossover genre blending country and pop music, scored 12 Country Top 40 hits including “I’ll Have Another Cup Of Coffee” (Country #3, 1961), continues to tour and perform on TV into the 10s
1934 ● Piano Smith / (Huey Pierce Smith) → New Orleans “good time” R&B/rock ‘n roll pianist, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (R&B #5, 1957), wrote and played on Frankie Ford‘s “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959)
1937 ● Alison Steele / (Ceil Loman) → Pioneering DJ known as “The Night Bird” on archetypical progressive rock station WNEW-FM (New York) from 1967 to 1979, inspiration for Jimi Hendrix‘s “Night Bird Flying,” music writer, producer and CNN correspondent, died from stomach cancer on 9/27/1995, age 56
1939 ● Marshall Lieb → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2002, age 63
1943 ● Jean Knight / (Jean Caliste) → One hit wonder R&B/soul and funk singer, “Mr. Big Stuff” (#2, 1971), toured on the oldies circuit through the 00s
1945 ● Tyger Hutchings / (Ashley Stephen Hutchings) → Bassist for renowned Brit folk-rock revival bands Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1946 ● Deon Jackson → One hit wonder 60s R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (#11, 1966), faded into the Chicago oldies circuit until his death from a brain hemorrhage on 4/18/2014, age 68
1948 ● Corky Laing / (Laurence Gordon Laing) → Drummer in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), then power trio West, Bruce & Laing, solo and collaborations
1949 ● Derek Holt → Guitar and keyboards for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1951 ● David Briggs → Guitarist and songwriter for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, wrote “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), now recording engineer and producer
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Bassist in quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from cancer on 7/19/2010, age 59
1952 ● Maurice Bacon → Drummer for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → Underappreciated country-folk-roots rock singer and songwriter, “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998) from the Grammy-winning album of the same name
1955 ● Eddie Van Halen / (Edward Lodewijk Van Halen) → Top rock guitarist, frontman, songwriter and vocals for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), solo, collaborations and film score compositions, uncredited guitar solo on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” (#1, 1983)
1958 ● Anita Baker → Grammy-winning R&B/quiet storm singer, “Sweet Love” (#8, 1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → Percussion, trombone and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Charlie Gillingham → Keyboards for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock boy band Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984) and 6 other US Top 10 hits
1963 ● Jazzie B. / (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → DJ, mixmaster, producer and founding member of R&B/dance-pop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989)
1964 ● Susannah Melvoin → Vocalist, songwriter and actress, backing singer for Prince, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Wendy & Lisa
1966 ● Pim Jones → Guitarist for Scottish contemporary pop-rock Hipsway, “The Honeythief” (#19, 1986)
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Looking For You” (#61, 2005)
1972 ● Ya Kid K / (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, wrote lyrics and sang vocals on “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 13
1887 ● Sophie 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
1927 ● Liz Anderson / (Elizabeth Jane Haaby 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 / (Robert 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 ● C. P. Spencer / (Crathman Plato 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 ● JLo / (James 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 ● Suggs McPherson / (Graham 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

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 ● Billy Walker / (William Marvin 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 / (Billie Jean 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 ● Jack Jones / (John Allan Jones) → Grammy-winning jazz and contemporary-pop singer, “Wives And Lovers” (#14, 1963)
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
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 ● T-Bone Burnett / (Joseph Henry 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)

January 15
1893 ● Ivor Novello / (David Ivor Davies) → Welsh composer, singer, stage and screen actor and popular entertainer, namesake for annual British music awards, died on 3/6/51, age 58
1909 ● Gene Krupa / (Eugene Bertram Krupa) → Renowned jazz and big band drummer, composer, bandleader, drum kit developer, mentor and influencer, died from leukemia and heart failure on 10/16/1973, age 64
1920 ● Vonnie King / (Cornelia Yvonne Driggs Burch) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died following a fall at home on 12/13/2009, age 89
1929 ● Earl Hooker → Non-singing, commercially less successful but heralded blues slide guitar virtuoso, both as a sideman and on numerous instrumental albums under his own name, died from tuberculosis on 4/21/1970, age 41
1941 ● Captain Beefheart / (Don Van Vliet (nee Don Glen Vliet)) → Innovative, offbeat, satirical, visionary and influential art rock multi-instrumentalist, composer, frontman for The Magic Band and solo, album Trout Mask Replica (1969), died of complications from multiple sclerosis on 12/17/2010, age 69
1942 ● Sonny Bivins / (Edward J. Bivins, Jr.) → Founding member and songwriter in R&B/doo wop then sweet soul vocal quintet The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, 1976), the only member to sing on every hit and appear on every one of the band’s albums, remained with the group and was its de facto leader at the time of his death on 12/3/2014, age 72
1944 ● Joan Marie Johnson → With her cousins, Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins, founding member of pop musical trio The Dixie Cups, their hit “Chapel Of Love” (#1, UK #22, 1964) knocked The Beatles‘ “Love Me Do” off the U.S. top spot in June 1964, left the group to become a Jehovah’s witness but returned for occasional reunions on the oldies circuit, died from congestive heart failure on 10/2/2016, age 72
1947 ● Pete Waterman → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting and production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1948 ● Ronnie Van Zant → Lead singer and primary lyricist for raunchy Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 29
1951 ● Charo / (María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza) → Curvy, zesty and provocative Spanish-American singer, comedienne, dancer and flamenco guitarist with a number of dance-pop hits including “Dance A Little Bit Closer” (Dance #18, 1977) and “España Cañi” (Dance #14, 2008), a long list of film credits and TV appearances, and the signature phrase “cuchi-cuchi”
1951 ● Martha Davis → Vocalist and frontwoman for L.A.-based New Wave smooth pop-rock The Motels, “Only The Lonely” (#9, 1982)
1952 ● Melvyn Gale → Strings for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Boris Blank → Founding member, composer and multi-instrumentalist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1953 ● Duke Erickson / (Douglas Elwin Erickson) → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1959 ● Peter Trevaras / (Peter Trewavas) → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1961 ● Stephen Damian O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1965 ● Adam Jones → Grammy-winning Welsh-American songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #75) for Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), visual artist
1967 ● Lisa Velez → Vocals and frontwoman for 80s dance-pop/proto-hip hop Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, “Head To Toe” (#1, 1987)
1974 ● Edith Bowman → Scottish music critic, TV hostess and BBC 1 weekend morning radio DJ
1975 ● Belinda Chapple → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)

January 16
1908 ● Ethel Merman / (Ethel Agnes Zimmerman) → Award-winning theater, film and TV actress, brassy comedienne and belting singer known as the “undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage” and for her many contributions to pop music, including renditions of “I Got Rhythm” and “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” died from a brain tumor on 2/15/1984, age 76
1934 ● Bob Bogle / (Robert Lenard Bogle) → Founding member and lead guitarist for seminal surfer rock ‘n roll instrumental group The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/14/2009, age 75
1939 ● Ray Phillips / (Ramon “Ray” Phillips) → Lead vocals and bass for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Barbara Lynn / (Barbara Lynn Ozen) → Southern R&B guitarist, bandleader, singer and solo artist, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” (#8, 1962)
1942 ● William Francis → Keyboards for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1942 ● René Angélil → French-Canadian music producer who discovered 12-year old Céline Dion, nurtured her to superstardom (“My Heart Will Go On,” #1, 1997 and fifteen other US Top 40 hits) and then married her, died from throat cancer on 1/14/2016, age 74
1943 ● Ronnie Milsap / (Ronnie Lee Milsap) → Six-time Grammy-winning blind country-pop 70s/80s superstar singer and pianist, “Any Day Now” (#14, Country #1, 1982) plus 35 other Country #1 hits
1944 ● Jim Stafford / (James Wayne Stafford) → Country-pop comic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Spiders & Snakes” (#3, 1974) and five other Top 40 hits, also a TV and radio entertainer
1944 ● Katherine Anderson Schaffner → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles
1948 ● John Carpenter → Film score composer, producer, director and screenwriter, including the soundtrack to his film Halloween (1978)
1950 ● Damo Suzuki / (Kenji Suzuki) → Japanese lead vocalist for pioneer Kraut rock group Can, now avant-garde/improv group Damo Suzuki’s Network
1957 ● Yan Style / (Ian Stile) → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1959 ● Sade / (Helen Folasade Adu) → Silky-smooth R&B/quiet storm singer, “Smooth Operator” (#5, 1984)
1962 ● Paul Webb → Bassist for Brit New Romantic synth-pop Talk Talk, “It’s My Life” (#31, 1984)
1965 ● Jill Sobule → One hit wonder 90s indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with the novelty MTV hit “I Kissed A Girl” (#67, Modern Rock #20, 1995)
1966 ● Maxine Jones → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance group En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1970 ● Brendan O’Hare → Drummer for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991), now solo
1976 ● Stuart Fletcher → Bassist for Britpop/indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997)
1979 ● Aaliyah Dana Haughton → Actress, model and teen R&B/club-dance star, “Try Again” (#1, 2000), killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas on 8/25/2001, age 22
1980 ● Luke Alex Broughton → Nephew and current bandmate of Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1981 ● Nick Valensi / (Nicholas Valensi) → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1982 ● Samuel Dylan Murray Preston → Lead singer and guitarist in post-punk/indie pop-rock The Ordinary Boys, “Boys Will Be Boys” (UK ##, 2006)

January 17
1927 ● Eartha Kitt → Slinky actress, 40s/50s cabaret star and multi-decade throaty-purr singer, “Where Is My Man” (Dance/Club #7, 1983), died from colon cancer on 12/25/2008, age 81
1933 ● Dalida / (Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti) → Egyptian-born French pop singer and one of the most successful female pop artists of all time despite having virtually no presence in the U.S., recorded more than 1000 songs in 10 languages and over 75 albums in a 30 year career, died from an intentional prescription drug overdose on 5/3/1987, age 54
1943 ● Chris Montez / (Ezekiel Christopher Montanez) → One hit wonder rock ‘n roll singer, “Let’s Dance” (#4, 1962), then MOR-pop balladeer, “Call Me” (Easy Listening #2, 1966)
1944 ● Francoise Hardy → French MOR-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “All Over The World” (UK #16, 1965)
1945 ● Poogie Hart / (William Hart) → Vocals in R&B/Philly soul The Delfonics, “La-La Means I Love You” (#4, 1968), formed The Three Tenors of Soul in mid-00s
1946 ● Domenic Troiano → Canadian rock guitarist, played lead guitar for Ronnie Hawkins‘ backing band and pop-rock Mandala in the 60s, James Gang (“Walk Away,” #51, 1971) and The Guess Who (“Clap For The Wolfman,” #6, 1974) in the early 70s, and fronted his own band in the late 70s, performed session work and composed film scores in the 80s and 90s, died from prostate cancer on 5/25/2005, age 59
1948 ● Mick Taylor / (Michael Kevin “Mick” Taylor) → Guitarist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, joined The Rolling Stones (“Brown Sugar”, #1, 1971) in 1969, left in 1974, session work with Jack Bruce, Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield and Ron Wood
1953 ● Sheila Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Cheryl Bentyne → Vocals in Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1955 ● Steve Earle → Oft-covered, rough-edged country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Guitar Town” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1989)
1956 ● Paul Young → Manchesterian R&B/blue-eyed soul-pop interpretive singer, “Everytime You Go Away” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jez Strode / (Jeremy Strode) → Drummer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), independent music equipment lessor
1959 ● Susanna Hoffs → Guitar and vocals for New Wave girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1960 ● John Crawford → Bass and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Dave Collard → Keyboards for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1963 ● Kai Michael Hansen → The “Godfather of Power Metal,” German heavy metal guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, founding member of three seminal German power metal bands, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Unisonic, plus multiple guest appearance with other thrash and power metal bands
1964 ● Andy Rourke → Bassist for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1966 ● Shabba Ranks / (Rexton Gordon) → Grammy-winning R&B/dance hall reggae and hip hop singer, “Mr. Loverman” (Dance #2, Hot 100 #40, 1992)
1967 ● Richard Hawley → Guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer, founding member of 90s Britpop Longpigs (“On And On,” Modern Rock #17, UK #16, 1996), later with 00s lineup of alt rock Pulp, released nine solo studio albums through 2012
1971 ● Jon Wysocki → Drummer for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1971 ● Kid Rock / (Robert James Ritchie) → White-trash rap-rock superstar, “Picture” (#4, 2003) and ten other Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits
1972 ● Aqualung / (Matt Hales) → Contemporary/indie pop singer and songwriter, “Brighter Than Sunshine” (Adult Top 40 #32, UK #37, 2006)
1978 ● Ricky Wilson → Vocals for Britpop/indie rock Kaiser Chiefs, “Ruby” (UK #1, 2007)
1982 ● Alex Varkatzas → Vocals and lyrics for rap-metal Atreyu, “Ex’s And Oh’s” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2006)
1984 ● Calvin Harris / (Adam Richard Wiles) → Scottish electropop singer and songwriter, “The Girls” (UK ##, 2007), producer for Kylie Minogue and Dizzee Rascal

January 18
1933 ● Ray Milton Dolby → Billionaire engineer and inventor who helped develop the first audio tape recorder in the late 1940s and prototype video tape recorders in the 1950s for Ampex, invented and marketed the electronic noise reduction system known as Dolby NR for reducing tape hiss in the 60s, died from leukemia on 9/12/2013, age 80
1940 ● Alvis Moorer → With his brother, Gilbert, lead singer in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died on 8/21/2011, age 71
1941 ● Bobby Goldsboro → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Honey” (#1, 1968), children’s TV producer, The Swamp Critters of the Lost Lagoon (1995)
1941 ● David Ruffin / (Davis Eli Ruffin) → Tenor vocals for the mid-60s lineup of R&B giants The Temptations, sang lead om “My Girl” (#1, 1965), “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (#13, R&B #1, 1968) and eight other Top 20 hits from 1964-68, left the group for a mildly successful solo career, died from drug overdose 6/1/1991, age 50
1943 ● Dave Greenslade → Keyboards and vocals for jazz-blues-rock fusion Colosseum (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), then founded prog-rock Greenslade, solo
1944 ● “Legs” Larry Smith / (Larry Smith) → Drummer for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1953 ● Brett Hudson (Salerno) / (Brett Stuart Hudson) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), TV producer and script writer
1954 ● Tom Bailey / (Thomas Alexander Bailey) → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), then Babble
1959 ● Bob Rosenberg → Founder and leader of dance-pop/mix music Will To Power, “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Jeremy Healey → Guitar for quirky Brit New Wave synth-pop Haysi Fantayzee, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (UK #11, 1982)
1970 ● DJ Quik / (David Martin Blake) → Premier West Coast DJ and rapper, “Tonite” (Hot Rap #3, Hot 100 #49, 1991), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Snoop Dogg and many others
1971 ● Jonathan Davis → Vocals for hard rock/”nu metal” Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1973 ● Crispian “Dodge” Mills / (Crispian Boulting) → Frontman, guitar and vocals for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1973 ● Luther Dickinson → Founder (with brother Cody Dickinson), lead vocals and guitar for Grammy-winning Southern blues/rock North Mississippi Allstars, now lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Good Morning Captain” (Mainstream Rock #30, 2009)
1974 ● Christian Burns → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen pop-rock BBMak, “Back Here” (#8, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Tierney → With his older brother, Andrew, and two schoolmates, co-founder and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Richard Archer → Singer and guitarist for indie rock Hard-Fi, “Cash Machine” (Modern Rock #15, 2005)
1980 ● Estelle Swaray → Grammy-winning Brit R&B/hip-hop singer, songwriter and producer, “American Boy” featuring Kanye West (#9, 2008)
1982 ● Quinn Allman → Guitarist in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005)
1983 ● Samantha Mumba → Irish singer, songwriter and actress, “Gotta Tell You” (#4, 2000)

January 19
1926 ● Bob Wooler / (Frederick James Wooler) → Resident DJ, booking agent and later compère at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, booked The Beatles there in 1961, declined to manage them but introduced them to Brian Epstein, died after a long illness on 2/8/2002, age 76
1935 ● Johnny “The Wild One” O’Keefe / (John Michael O’Keefe) → Canadian-born singer, became “Australia’s King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with dozens of Top 10 hits, including “She’s My Baby” (Australia #1, 1960), died of prescription drug overdose and subsequent heart attack on 10/6/1978, age 43
1936 ● Big Eyes Smith / (Willie Smith) → Grammy-winning blues harmonica player, drummer, vocalist and bandleader, member of Muddy Waters, backing band and co-founder of supergroup The Legendary Blues Band, toured with John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and others, died from a stroke on 9/16/2011, age 75
1939 ● Phil Everly / (Philip Everly) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with older brother Don in hugely influential folk-rock duo The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits, several co-written with Don, penned “When Will I Be Loved (Linda Ronstadt, #2, 1975), died of pulmonary disease on 1/3/2014, age 74
1942 ● Michael Crawford / (Michael Patrick Smith) → Actor and singer best known for lead roll in The Phantom Of The Opera, “The Music Of The Night” (Brit Top 10, 1987)
1943 ● Janis Joplin / (Janis Lynn Joplin) → Vocals and frontwoman for psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, then solo, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), died form accidental heroin overdose on 10/4/1970, age 27
1944 ● Laurie London / (Lawrence London) → Brit folk-pop 13-year-old one hit wonder, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#1, 1958)
1944 ● Shelley Fabares / (Michelle Ann Marie Fabares) → TV actress (The Donna Reed Show, 1958-63, Coach, 1989-97), film star (Girl Happy with Elvis Presley, 1965) and one hit wonder pop singer, “Johnny Angel” (#1, 1962)
1945 ● Trevor Williams → Bass guitarist in Brit cult art rock Audience (“Indian Summer,” #74, 1971), later with pop-rock The Nashville Teens and Irish folk-rock Jonathan Kelly’s Outside, reformed Audience in 2004
1946 ● Dolly Parton / (Dolly Rebecca Parton) → Five-time Grammy-winning country-pop superstar singer, songwriter, actress, TV host and business entrepreneur, “Nine To Five” (#1, 1981), wrote “I Will Always Love You” for herself (Country #1, 1974) and Whitney Houston (#1, 1992)
1947 ● Rod Evans / (Roderic Evans) → Early lead vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, sang “Hush” (#4, 1968)
1948 ● Harvey Hinsley → Guitarist for Brit mixed race R&B/soul-funk-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Robert Palmer → Underrated rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with country-blues-rock Vinegar Joe, then supergroup Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and solo, “Addicted to Love” (#1, 1986), died from cardiac arrest on 9/26/2003, age 54
1952 ● Dewey Bunnell → Brit-born guitarist and backing singer for folk-pop trio America, “A Horse With No Name” (#1, 1972), continues to tour and release albums with America bandmate Gerry Beckley in the 10s
1952 ● Eric Leeds → Jazz/funk session saxophonist and flutist, worked with Prince on nine albums as a member of his backing band The Family (now fDeluxe), solo
1953 ● Clive Edwards → Session or full member drummer for numerous hard rock bands, including Medicine Head, UFO, Pat Travers, Wirehead and others
1953 ● Desi Arnaz, Jr. → TV actor and singer, son of comedy team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Dean Paul Martin and classmate Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), owns and operates a ballet company theater in Boulder, CO
1953 ● Michael Boddicker → Film score composer and electronic music sessionman, played synthesizer on Michael Jackson albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous
1955 ● Tony Mansfield → Founding member, singer and guitarist for underrated New Wave electronic synth-pop New Musik, “Living By Numbers” (UK #13, 1980), then producer for Naked Eyes, A-Ha, The B-52’s, others
1957 ● Mickey Virtue / (Michael Virtue) → Keyboards for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1963 ● Caron Wheeler → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-disco-hip hop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989 )
1969 ● Trey Lorenz / (Lloyd Lorenz Smith) → Back-up singer for Mariah Carey, duet “I’ll Be There” (#1, 1992), then solo, “Someone To Hold” (#19, 1992)
1971 ● John Wozniak → Guitar and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1978 ● John Parker → Double bass, human beatbox and vocals for Brit folk-rock-hip hop one hit wonder Nizlopi, “JCB Song” (UK #1, 2005)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 6 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 06
1924 ● Earl Scruggs → Five-string, three-finger banjo virtuoso, co-bandleader (with Lester Flatt) of renowned bluegrass band the Foggy Mountain Boys and Flatt & Scruggs, “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” (#44, Country #1, 1963), frontman for the Earl Scruggs Revue
1929 ● Wilbert Harrison → Boogie-pop-rock singer, pianist and songwriter, “Kansas City” (#1, 1959) and “Let’s Work Together” (#32, 1969), the latter covered by blues-rock Canned Heat (#26, 1970) and Bryan Ferry, died of a stroke on 10/26/1994, age 65
1934 ● Bobby Lord / (Robert L. Lord) → Country and rockabilly music artist popular in the 50s and 60s, “Without Your Love” (#10, 1956) and five other Country Top 40 hits, also hosted TV shows, died after a long illness on 2/16/2008, age 74
1935 ● Nino Tempo / (Antonio LoTempio) → Session saxophonist and singer, recorded (with his sister Carol LoTempio) the duet “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963), then jazz musician
1937 ● Doris Troy / (Doris Elaine Higginsen) → R&B/soul, gospel and rock singer, backing vocalist for The Drifters, Solomon Burke and others before recording her lone US hit, “Just One Look” (#10, R&B #3, 1963), wrote or co-wrote songs for Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston and others, moved to England and sang back-up for The Rolling Stones (wailer on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” 1969) and Pink Floyd (vocals on Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973), subject of the long-running Broadway show Mama, I Want To Sing (1983), died from emphysema on 2/16/2004, age 67
1944 ● Van McCoy / (Van Allen Clinton McCoy) → R&B/soul producer, songwriter, conductor and bandleader best known for the disco hit “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died after a heart attack on 7/6/1979, age 35
1946 ● Syd Barrett / (Roger Keith Barrett) → Original member, singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of psych/space rock Pink Floyd, left in 1968 for a brief solo career, subject of “Wish You Were Here” (1975), died from complications of diabetes on 7/7/2006, age 60
1947 ● Sandy Denny / (Alexandra Elene Denny) → Singer and songwriter for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), then solo, died from brain trauma following a fall on 4/21/1978, age 31
1951 ● Kim Wilson → Harmonica, lead vocals and songwriting for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1953 ● Malcolm Young / (Malcolm Mitchell Young) → Rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriter for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982)
1959 ● Kathy Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge and the disco anthem “We Are Family” (#2, 1979) plus ten other R&B Top 10 hits
1959 ● Neil Simpson → Bassist for present-day incarnation of Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1960 ● Muzz Skillings / (Manuel Skillings) → Original bassist and singer for Grammy-winning prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), then Medicine Stick
1964 ● Mark O’Toole → Founding member, bassist and co-songwriter for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Tim Garbutt → Former club DJ, then partner and producer in Brit dance-pop duo Utah Saints, “Something Good” (UK #4, 1992)
1982 ● Morgan Lee Lander → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alternative metal girl group Kittie, “Funeral For Yesterday” (Mainstream Rock #40, 2006)
1986 ● Alex Turner → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

January 07
1922 ● Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal → French virtuoso classical flautist credited with returning the flute to the forefront of recorded music, collaborated with Claude Bolling (Grammy-nominated Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano, 1975), Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern and many others in multiple genres, died of heart failure on 5/20/2000, age 78
1930 ● Jack Greene → The “Jolly Green Giant” due to his height and deep voice, Grammy-nominated country music singer and songwriter best known for “There Goes My Everything” (Country #1, 1966), Country Music Association Song of the Year, one of five Country #1 hits among eight Country Top 10s, continued to record and perform until shortly before his death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 3/14/2013, age 83
1936 ● Eldee Young → Premier jazz bassist in the 50s and 60s, worked with Ramsey Lewis Trio, then formed one hit wonder jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, “Soulful Strut” (#3, 1969), died from a heart attack on 2/12/2007, age 71
1938 ● Rory Storm / (Alan Caldwell) → Frontman for Liverpool-based, Beatles-competitor (and Ringo Starr employer) The Hurricanes, “America” (1964), died from an apparent suicide on 9/28/1972, age 34
1938 ● Paul Revere / (Paul Dick) → Keyboards and frontman for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) plus 13 other Top 40 hit singles, continued to front new lineups of the band until his death from cancer on 10/4/2014, age 76
1939 ● Lefty Baker / (Eustace Britchforth) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died on 8/11/1971, age 32
1941 ● Jim West → Lead vocals for pop-harmony trio The Innocents, “Gee Whiz” (#28, 1961) and backing vocals for Kathy Young, “A Thousand Stars” (#3, 1960), solo
1942 ● Danny Williams → Britain’s Johnny Mathis, R&B/smooth-pop singer, “White On White” (#9, 1964) and the Oscar-winning “Moon River” from the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), died from lung cancer on 12/6/2005, age 63
1943 ● Leona Williams / (Leona Belle Helton) → Country bassist and vocalist in Loretta Lynn‘s band and her then-husband Merle Haggard‘s band, “The Bull And The Beaver” (Country #8, 1978), solo
1943 ● Jerry Corbitt → Founding member, guitar and vocals in light country-rock The Youngbloods, “Get Together” (#5, 1969), later produced Don McLean‘s album Tapestry (1970) and other country-rock recordings for a variety of artists, composed movie and TV soundtracks and served as Vanguard Records A&R executive, died from lung cancer on 3/8/2014, age 71
1944 ● Mike McGrear / (Michael McCartney) → Brother of Paul McCartney, comedian and vocalist in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1945 ● Dave Cousins / (David Joseph Hindson) → Founder and lead guitarist for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973)
1945 ● Bugs Pemberton / (Warren Pemberton) → Drums for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups of the 60s that never charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K., died on 10/13/2013, age 68
1946 ● Andy Brown → Drummer for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1946 ● Jann Wenner → Co-founder and publisher of the music and social/political biweekly Rolling Stone magazine
1948 ● Kenny Loggins → One half of the light country rock duo Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1973), then solo pop-rock, “Footloose” (#1, 1984)
1959 ● Kathy Valentine → Bassist for New Wave pop-punk girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”, (#2, 1982), the most successful all-female pop and rock band of all time and the only one to play their own instruments and write their own songs
1962 ● Taja Sevelle / (Nancy Richardson) → Pop/crossover singer and songwriter signed by Prince to Paisley Park Records, “Love Is Contagious” (#62, 1987), novelist and founder of Urban Farming, a not-for-profit group that plants food crops on vacant urban land to feed the poor
1967 ● Mark Lamarr / (Mark Jones) → Brit comedian, TV music show host and radio DJ for the BBC known for shows featuring obscure rock ‘n’ roll gems
1974 ● John Rich → Lead vocals and bass for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)

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
1935 ● Elvis Presley / (Elvis Aron 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 / (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 ● 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)
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
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 ● Taz DiGregorio / (William Joel 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 / (Robert Alan Krieger) → Guitarist for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968)
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)
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
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 / (Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques) → Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall vocalist, “Get Busy” (#1, 2003)
1975 ● Stove King / (Steven William 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 / (Victor 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)
1931 ● Bill Graham / (Wolfgang 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
1940 ● Big Al Downing / (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 ● 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)
1943 ● Wally Kelly / (Kenneth Bernard 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
1944 ● Jimmy Page / (James Patrick 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 / (William E. 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 ● 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 ● 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 ● Billy Cowsill / (William Joseph Cowsill, Jr.) → 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
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
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 / (Mia 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 ● Buddy Johnson / (Woodrow Wilson 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 ● Johnnie Ray / (John Alvin 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
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
1935 ● Ronnie “Mr. Dynamo” Hawkins / (Ronald 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 / (Robert Nelson 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 / (Salvatore Mineo, Jr.) → 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 / (James Joseph 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 ● Frank Sinatra, Jr. / (Francis Wayne 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 ● Daddy Mack Smith / (Chris Smith) → One-half of the teen sensation pop-rap duo Kriss Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992)

January 11
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
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 ● Goldie Hill / (Argolda Voncie 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
1940 ● Phil Walden → College-age manager for R&B greats Otis Redding, Al Green and Percy Sledge, then co-founded Capricorn Records and became a driving force behind the creation of the blues-, soul- and country-based Southern rock sound of the 70s with a stable of artists that included The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs and others, took the label through bankruptcy in 1979 and renewal in 1991 before selling it in 2000, died of cancer on 4/22/2006, age 66
1942 ● The Big Man / (Clarence 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 ● Denny Greene / (Frederick 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 ● Big Bank Hank Johnson / (Henry Lee 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 ● Maxee Maxwell / (Charmayne 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)

January 12
1904 ● “Mississippi” Fred McDowell / (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 ● Tex Ritter / (Woodward Maurice 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 / (Glenn Robertson 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 ● Long John Baldry / (John William 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 ● Maggie Bell / (Margaret Bell) → The “British Janis Joplin,” Scottish blues-soul-rock singer for The Power, Stone The Crows and solo, “After Midnight” (#97, 1974)
1945 ● Abe Tilmon / (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
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
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
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 Quontrell Woods) → 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
1973 ● Paz Lenchantin → Argentinian-American bass guitarist, first with alt metal supergroup A Perfect Circle (“Judith,” Mainstream Rock #4, 2000), later with dream pop Zwan (“Honestly,” Alt Rock #7, 2002), stoner rock The Entrance Band and as a session musician with multiple alt rock bands
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 ● Pixie Lott / (Victoria Louise 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 30 – January 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 30
1917 ● Wesley Tuttle → Early and influential country-pop, hillbilly and smooth-Western singer and guitarist known for having only a thumb and pinky finger on his left hand but scoring the early hits “With Tears in My Eyes” (Country #1, 1945) and “Detour” (Country #4, 1946), and for yodeling to the “Silly Song” in Walt Disney‘s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, left the music industry in the 90s and died from heart failure on 9/29/2003, age 85
1928 ● Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel) / (Ellas Otha Bates McDanie) → Grammy-winning early R&B/rock ‘n roll guitarist, prolific singer and songwriter, “I’m A Man” (R&B #1, 1955) and nine other R&B Top 40 hits, originator of the oft-used “Diddley Beat” (bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp), died from heart failure on 6/2/2008, age 79
1931 ● Skeeter Davis / (Mary Frances Penick) → Unheralded early rockabilly and later country-crossover singer, “The End Of The World” (#2, 1963), died from breast cancer on 9/19/2004, age 72
1934 ● Del Shannon / (Charles Westover) → Early rock ‘n roll teen idol then heralded pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Runaway” (#1, 1961), rumored to be replacing Roy Orbison in pop-rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys but shot-gunned himself to death before any official announcement on 2/8/1990, age 55
1937 ● Paul Stookey / (Noel Paul Stookey) → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963), then solo, “Wedding Song (There Is Love)” (#24, 1971)
1937 ● John Hartford / (John Harford) → Grammy-winning folk-pop-country-rock and Newgrass singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote and recorded the oft-covered and hugely popular standard “Gentle On My Mind” (1967), died from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/4/2001, age 63
1939 ● Felix Pappalardi / (Felix A. Pappalardi, Jr.) → Producer for blues-rock Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) and later bassist for pioneering hard rock/heavy metal trio Mountain, “Mississippi Queen” (#21, 1970), shot dead by his wife in a supposed accident on 4/17/1983, age 43
1940 ● Mr. Popeye / (Kenny Pentifallo) → Drummer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1940 ● Perry Ford → Member of Brit pop vocal trio The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965) and backing vocals for The Who
1942 ● Mike Nesmith / (Robert Michael Nesmith) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), then Grammy-winning country-rock solo career (“Joanne” #21, 1970) and producer
1942 ● Robert Quine → Heralded punk-era guitarist with Richard Hell & The Voidoids, then collaborated with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Tom Waits and others, committed suicide on 5/31/2004, age 61
1945 ● Davy Jones / (David Thomas Jones) → Lead vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo and stage actor, died from a heart attack on 2/29/2012, age 66
1946 ● Clive Bunker / (Clive William Bunker) → Drummer for early line-up of Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1946 ● Patti Smith / (Patricia Lee Smith) → The “Godmother of Punk,” singer, poet, songwriter and bandleader, co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen “Because The Night” (#13, 1978)
1947 ● Jeff Lynne / (Jeffrey Lynne) → Top-level producer, keyboardist, songwriter and frontman for The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), Electric Light Orchestra, “Telephone Line” (#7, 1977), and the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, “Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988)
1951 ● Chris Jasper → Brother-in-law, keyboardist and key member of six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1956 ● Suzy Bogguss / (Susan Kay Bogguss) → Award-winning country singer and songwriter, “Drive South” (Country #2, 1992)
1959 ● Tracey Ullman / (Trace Ullman) → 80s “girl-group revival” pop-rock singer “They Don’t Know” (#8, 1984), then TV comedienne
1969 ● Jay Kay Cheetham / (Jason “Jay Kay” Cheetham) → Lead singer in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1970 ● Sister Bliss / (Ayalah Bentovim) → Former club DJ then founding member of techno-club-dance duo Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1973 ● Jon Theodore → Current drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age (“No One Knows,” #51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and in power duo One Day As A Lion with Zack de la Rocha of Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine (“Guerrilla Radio,” Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1978 ● Tyrese / (Tyrese Darnell Gibson) → R&B/hip hop singer, songwriter and rapper, “How You Gonna Act Like That” (#7, 2003), film actor, producer
1986 ● Ellie Goulding / (Elena Jane Goulding) → Brit indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with several charting hits in the U.S., including “Lights” (#2, UK #49, 2011) and “Love Me Like You Do” (#3, UK #1, 2015)
1988 ● Leon Jackson → Scottish pop singer and winner of the UK TV talent show The X Factor in 2007, “When You Believe” (#1, 2007)

December 31
1914 ● Cyril Stapleton → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974, age 59
1920 ● Rex Allen / (Rex Elvie Allen) → Actor, songwriter and “singing cowboy” with nearly 50 Western movie roles, over 150 narrations of Disney films, a dozen albums and five Top 30 country-pop crossover hits, including his cover of “Crying In The Chapel” (#8, Country #4, 1953), died after his caregiver accidentally ran over him with his car in his driveway on 12/17/1999, age 79
1928 ● Ross Barbour → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001, age 82
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died from heart disease on 12/2/2008, age 77
1942 ● Andy Summers / (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● John Denver / (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997, age 53
1943 ● Peter Quaife → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010, age 66
1947 ● Burton Cummings → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer / (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012, age 63
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton → Bassist for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1959 ● Paul Westerberg / (Paul Harold Westerberg) → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian / (Scott Ian Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara / (Daniel Anthony McNamara) → Founder and lead vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1972 ● Joey McIntyre / (Joseph Mulrey McIntyre) → Vocalist in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1977 ● PSY / (Park Jae-Sang) → South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper and “K-Pop” phenomenon known for his global hit “Gangnam Style” (#2, UK #1, 2012)
1979 ● Bob Bryar / (Robert Nathaniel Corey Bryar) → Drummer for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)

January 01
1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher / (Toni Fisher Monzello) → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and in synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999, age 68
1941 ● James West → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country Joe” McDonald / (Joseph Allen McDonald) → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1949 ● Phalon Jones / (Phalon R. Jones, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Morgan Fisher / (Stehphen Morgan Fisher) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1954 ● Billy Miller / (William Henry Miller, Jr.) → Rock music archivist, collector, publisher and record label executive, co-founded Kicks magazine in 1979 and Norton Records in 1986 with his wife and fellow arcane music enthusiast Miriam Linna (former drummer for punk/rockabilly The Cramps), focused on overlooked garage rock, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Link Wray, The Alarm Clocks and the Wailers, among many others, died from complications of multiple myeloma on 11/13/2016, age 62
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash / (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs / (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan / (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

January 02
1930 ● Julius La Rosa → Italian-American traditional pop singer with ten Top 25 hits in the 50s, including “Eh Cumpari” (#2, 1953), was fired on-air from the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1953, later guested on various TV variety shows and sitcoms and enjoyed a long career as a New York City radio DJ, continued to record and release pop CDs until a few years before his death from natural causes on 5/12/2016, age 86
1936 ● Roger Miller → Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “King Of The Road” (#4, 1965), TV star, died of lung cancer on 10/25/1992, age 56
1948 ● Kerry Minnear / (Kerry C. Minnear) → Classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger, keyboardist of Brit progressive rock Gentle Giant during the 70s, left to teach and perform in church assembles, continues to compose music for film and TV, manages the release of Gentle Giant anthologies
1949 ● Chick Churchill / (Michael George Churchill) → Keyboardist for British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (#40, 1971), later switched to ambient music and writing TV commercial jingles before becoming a professional photographer
1954 ● Glen Goins → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 7/29/1978, age 24
1963 ● Keith Gregory → Bassist for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1967 ● Robert Gregory → Drummer for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1975 ● Chris Cheney → Lead guitar, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie punk rock/psychobilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Rock #23, 1997)
1975 ● Douglas Robb → Vocalist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy / (Kelton Kessee) → Drummer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999)

January 03
1909 ● Victor Borge / (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Andrews / (Maxene Angelyn Andrews) → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995, age 79
1926 ● Sir George Martin / (George Henry Martin) → Highly-successful and influential record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums and becoming the “Fifth Beatle” for his creative arrangements and complement to the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others, overall produced 23 number one singles and 19 number one albums in the U.S., died in his sleep on 3/8/2016, age 90
1937 ● John Gorman → Brit comedian and vocalist with Paul McCartney‘s brother in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1937 ● Glen Larson → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Stills / (Stephen Arthur Stills) → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones / (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1948 ● Rex Braley / (Rex Charles Braley) → Guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1955 ● Clive Gregson → Founder, frontman, vocals and songwriter for New Wave punk-pop Any Trouble, then 90s Brit folk-rock revival duo Gregson & Collister, solo and producer for others
1958 ● Marcel King → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995, age 37
1964 ● Raymond McGinley → Lead guitar and vocals for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1975 ● Thomas Bangaltier → DJ for French progressive electronic dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1977 ● Timothy Wheeler → Founding member, songwriter and vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kimberly Locke → Adult contemporary pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (Dance #1, Adult Contemporary #9, 2007)

January 04
1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock / (Miriam Kahan Abramson) → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
1942 ● John McLaughlin → Jazz-fusion guitarist and composer, played with Miles Davis, founded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rolling Stone magazine #49 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1944 ● Volker Hombach → Flutist for first lineup of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1946 ● Arthur Conley → R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, co-wrote (with Otis Redding) and sang “Sweet Soul Music” (#2, R&B #2, UK #7, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003, age 57
1956 ● Bernard Sumner / (Bernard Edward Sumner) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless / (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1959 ● Vanity / (Denise Matthews) → Canadian singer, sometime actress, backing vocalist for Prince and lead singer of R&B/dance-funk Vanity 6 (“Nasty Girl,” #, 1982) plus a brief solo career (“Under The Influence,” #56, R&B #9, 1986), eschewed the celebrity lifestyle after a cocaine-induced near-death kidney failure and become a Christian evangelist, died from kidney disease on 2/15/2016, age 57
1960 ● Michael Stipe → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Martin McAloon → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Robin Guthrie → Guitar and drum machine for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1962 ● Till Lindemann → Poet, frontman and lead vocals for German industrial metal band Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1962 ● Peter Steele / (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010, age 48
1965 ● Beth Gibbons → Singer for avant-garde fusion of electronica and pop Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1965 ● Cait O’Riordan → Bassist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1965 ● David Glasper → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Deana Carter → Neo-traditional country-folk singer, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” (Country #25, 1997)
1967 ● Benjamin Darvill → Harmonica for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)

January 05
1922 ● Bob Keane / (Robert Verril Kuhn) → Producer and record label owner best known for discovering and managing Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba,” #22, 1958), also “discovered” Sam Cooke and marketed his first hit, “You Send Me” (#1, UK #29, 1957) on his Keen Records label, formed Del-Fi Records in 1957 and in addition to Valens jumpstarted the careers of Brenda Holloway, Frank Zappa and Barry White, signed The Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought The Law,” #1, 1965) and produced and sold music by surf band The Surfaris, among others, died from renal failure on 11/28/2009, age 87
1923 ● Sam Phillips / (Samuel Cornelius Phillips) → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary and pioneer, founder of Sun Records, discovered, nurtured and made Elvis Presley a star, as well as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003, age 80
1932 ● Johnny Adams / (Laten John Adams) → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1934 ● Phil Ramone → Innovative, Grammy-winning recording engineer, record producer, violin prodigy, composer and founder of A&R Recording, Inc. studios in New York, which engineered and produced records for dozens of top pop and rock artists from Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/30/2013, age 79
1940 ● Athol Guy → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1940 ● George Malone / (George Walter Malone) → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), reunited with the group for the oldies circuit in the 90s, died from a stroke on 10/5/2007, age 67
1941 ● Grady Thomas → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Funky Brown / (George Brown) → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford / (Peter Rodney Byford) → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 23
1923 ● Milt Okun / (Milton Theodore Okun) → Music producer and arranger, founder of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, nurtured the careers of a diverse range of superstars, from folkies Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver to jazz-pop Harry Belafonte and opera star Placido Domingo, produced Laura Nyro‘s debut album More Than A Discovery (1966) and Starland Vocal Band‘s hit “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976), died from unspecified causes on 11/15/2016, age 92
1926 ● Harold Dorman / (Harold Kenneth Dorman) → One hit wonder pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter with the self-penned, oft-covered “Mountain Of Love” (#21, R&B #7, 1960), continued to write songs for other artists until his death following a stroke on 10/8/1988, age 61
1929 ● Chet Baker / (Chesney Henry Baker, Jr.) → West Coast “cool school” jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist, played with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan before forming his own quintet and recording several noteworthy albums in the 50s, in later years performed with Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and others, died after falling from a second story hotel room window in Amsterdam after a night of heroin and cocaine on 5/13/1988, age 58
1935 ● Johnny Kidd / (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll singer and frontman for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), died in a car crash on 10/7/1966, age 30
1935 ● Little Esther / (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, R&B #1, 1962) and seven other R&B Top 40 hits, died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure on 8/7/1984, age 48
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna, still touring and recording in 2011
1940 ● Eugene Record → Founding member and vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005, age 64
1941 ● Tim Hardin → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965), died of a heroin overdose on 12/29/1980, age 39
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Actor who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1946 ● Ariel Bender / (Luther James Grosvenor) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Crazy Raymond / (Ray Tabano) → Original member of hard rock Aerosmith (“Dream On,” #6, 1976), replaced as rhythm guitarist by Brad Whitford and became the band’s assistant manager in 1971, was fired in 1979 and became a catering business manager
1946 ● Robbie Dupree / (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock singer-songwriter with a handful of hits, including “Steal Away” (#6, R&B #85, 1980) and “Hot Rod Hearts” (#15, 1980), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Jim Pash → Vietnam veteran and original saxophonist for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), converted to classical harp music in later years, died from heart failure on 4/29/2005, age 56
1949 ● Adrian Belew / (Robert Steven Belew) → Session and touring guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, with whom he records and tours in the 00s, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1951 ● Doug Stegmeyer → Bass guitarist and backing vocals in Billy Joel‘s touring and studio band from 1974 through 1989, plus session work for Hall & Oates, The Carpenters and others, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 8/25/1995, age 43
1953 ● Martha Wash → One half of the plus-sized, late 70s R&B backing vocal duo Two Tons O’ Fun, which became one hit wonder disco-pop duo The Weather Girls and recorded the Hi-NRG, gay club anthem “It’s Raining Men” (#46, Dance #1, UK #2, 1982), transitioned to house music in the late 80s as a solo act and scored twelve #1 and 16 overall Top 10 hits on the Billboard Dance chart through 2016
1956 ● Dave Murray → One of the earliest members and stalwart guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and bassist Steve Harris are the only bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1958 ● Victoria Williams → Idiosyncratic country-folk singer and songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994), career limited by multiple sclerosis, subject of the tribute/benefit album Sweet Relief (1993) featuring Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, Vanessa Williams and others
1960 ● Will Sinnott → Bassist in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992), drowned while swimming in the Canary Islands on 5/23/1991, age 30
1964 ● Eddie Vedder / (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), solo
1966 ● Bobby Schayer → Drummer for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995) from 1991 to 2001, resigned from the band after suffering a shoulder injury which left him unable to drum professionally
1974 ● Montsho Eshe → Vocals for Grammy-winning, progressive Afrocentric rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop group Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Harry Judd → Drummer for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

December 24
1920 ● Dave Bartholomew / (David Louis Bartholomew) → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955) with Fats Domino
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986, age 61
1931 ● Ray Bryant → Blues- and gospel-flavored jazz pianist, composer and bandleader (The Ray Bryant Combo), scored a lone top 40 hit with “The Madison Time” (#30, R&B #5, 1960) and recorded into the mid-00s, died following a long illness on 6/2/2011, age 79
1944 ● Mike Curb → Musician, producer, record label executive with MGM, Bizarre and Curb records, former Lt. Governor of California, NASCAR racing team owner
1945 ● Lemmy / (Ian Frasier Kilmister) → Hard-playing, hard-living bass guitarist, first with space rock pioneers Hawkwind (“Silver Machine,” 1972), then founded and fronted punk-metal Motörhead (“Ace Of Spades,” UK #15, 1980) and performed with his group until his death from cancer on 12/28/2016, age 70
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Founding member and guitarist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo, music journalist
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Vocals in folk-pop John & Mary, then joined 10,000 Maniacs as lead vocalist in 1994 after Natalie Merchant‘s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1968 ● Doyle Bramhall / (Doyle Bramhall II) → Guitarist and songwriter in Texas blues-rock The Arc Angels and Smokestack, played second guitar for Eric Clapton‘s band from 2004 to 2009, solo
1971 ● Ricky Martin / (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican teen-pop and later adult-pop superstar singer, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), TV actor in daytime soap opera General Hospital
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1991 ● Louis Tomlinson → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

December 25
1907 ● Cab Calloway / (Cabell Calloway III) → Popular jazz and scat singer, pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Minnie The Moocher” (1931 and R&B #91, 1978), continued to perform up to his death following a stroke on 11/18/1994, age 86
1913 ● Tony Martin / (Alvin Morris) → Big Band and trad pop singer with a steady flow of hits in the 40s and 50s, including “It’s a Blue World” (#2, 1940), “Walk Hand In Hand” (#10, 1956) and 28 other Top 20 singles, was rolled under by the mid-50s rock ‘n’ roll onslaught but became a cabaret performer with his wife of 60 years, singer/actress Cyd Charisse, died from natural causes on 7/27/2012, age 98
1929 ● Billy Horton / (William Franklin Horton) → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1929 ● Chris Kenner → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n roll singer and songwriter, “I Like It Like That” (#2, 1961), his “Land Of A Thousand Dances” was covered by Wilson Pickett, Patti Smith and others, died from a heart attack on 1/25/1976, age 46
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley / (O’Kelly Isley, Jr.) → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973), died following as heart attack on 3/31/1986, age 48
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop crossover keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader, “Feel Like Making Love” (#88, 1974) and two Grammy-winning albums, One On One (1980) and Double Vision (1986)
1940 ● Pete Brown / (Peter Ronald Brown) → Poet and co-lyricist for blues-rock Cream, co-wrote “I Feel Free” (1966) and “White Room” (#6, 1968) with Jack Bruce and “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) with Bruce and Eric Clapton
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Guitarist and vocalist with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Fotheringay, producer for Al Stewart, The Strawbs and others, died of a heart attack on 2/4/1989, age 45
1944 ● John Edwards / (Jonathan Edwards) → R&B/soul singer on regional circuits in the 60s and early 70s with one big hit, “Careful Man” (R&B #8, 1974), joined Grammy-winning Motown Records and later Atlantic soul group The Spinners in 1977 for their last two of twelve Top 20 hits in the 70s, the medley “Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl” (#2, 1980) and “Cupid” (#4, 1980), stayed with the group until a stroke sidelined him in 2000
1944 ● Kenny Everett / (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ, Thames Television host, comedian and musician, “Snot Rap” (1983), died from an AIDS-related illness on 4/4/1995, age 50
1944 ● The Sunflower / (Henry Charles Vestine) → Guitarist for folk-blues-rock Canned Heat, “”Let’s Work Together” (1970) and Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), died from heart failure in a Paris hotel at the end of a Canned Heat tour of Europe on 10/20/1997, age 52
1945 ● Steve Mancha / (Clyde Darnell Wilson) → Vocals in Motown funk/soul group 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” (#8, R&B #6, 1970) and little-known 8th Day, “She’s Not Just Another Woman” (#11, R&B #3, 1971), later tried gospel and an unsuccessful return to funk/soul but largely disappeared from the music business in the 00s
1945 ● Noel Redding / (David Noel Redding) → Bassist for psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), solo, died from complications of cirrhosis of the liver on 5/11/2003, age 57
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → Country-folk-pop-rock singer, songwriter, perpetual beach bum and chief Parrothead, “Margaritaville” (#8, 1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Country singer, songwriter and three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” (Country #1, 1977)
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Soul and gospel touring and session singer, recorded with Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and others, duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter”, solo
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Tourists, “I Only Want To Be With You” (#83, 1980), co-founder and one-half the synth-pop duo Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams” (#1, 1983), Grammy-winning solo career, “Walking On Broken Glass” (#14, 1992) and three other Top 40 hits
1954 ● Robin Campbell → Guitar and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Guitar and vocals for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Alannah Myles → Sultry, smoky and sensual Canadian pop singer and songwriter, “Black Velvet” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Bob Stanley → Guitars and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Jason Thirsk → Bass player with power punk trio Pennywise (“The Western World,” Alt Rock #22, 2008), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 7/29/1996, age 28
1971 ● Dido / (Dido Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Josh Freese → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), also with The Vandals, Devo and others
1984 ● Jessica Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Lisa, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)
1984 ● Lisa Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Jessica, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)

December 26
1921 ● Steve Allen → TV personality, musician, composer, comedian and author, first host of The Tonight Show, hosted numerous game and variety shows including The Steve Allen Show and I’ve Got A Secret, penned thousands of songs including Grammy-winning “The Gravy Waltz” (1963) and pop/easy listening tunes covered by Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and others, issued several albums of piano works, died from a heart attack following a car accident on 10/30/2000, age 78
1935 ● Duke Fakir / (Abdul Fakir) → Ethiopian-American tenor vocalist in six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), last surviving member of the group that performed together for over 40 years from 1953 without a change in lineup
1939 ● Phil Spector → Musician, songwriter, record producer and originator of the “Wall of Sound” recording technique, pioneer of 60s girl groups and former husband of Ronnie Bennett Spector of The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1946 ● Bob Carpenter → Pianist (from 1977) for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and simply The Dirt Band, backed Steve Martin on “King Tut” (#17, 1978)
1947 ● George J. Porter, Jr. → Founding member and bassist for influential New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing bassist for Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Tori Amos and others, continues to perform and record with others and as a solo artist into the 10s
1951 ● Paul Anthony Quinn → Early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1953 ● Henning Schmitz → Sound engineer then keyboardist for German electro-rock Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1953 ● Steve Witherington → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Kashif Saleem / (Michael Jones) → Singer, producer, songwriter and key figure on the development of R&B in the post-disco 80s, joined funk/disco B. T. Express (“Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied),” #2, R&B #1, 1974) in 1971 as a teenager, in the 80s did session work, went solo with numerous R&B hits, including “I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On),” #103, R&B #5, 1983) and produced hits for Whitney Houston, went behind the scenes in the 90s, wrote several books and was producing a documentary film about R&B music when he died from undisclosed causes on 9/25/2016, age 59
1963 ● Dana Baldinger → Bassist for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1963 ● Lars Ulrich → Drummer for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991)
1967 ● J. / (Jay Noel Yuenger) → Guitarist for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1969 ● Peter Klett → Founding member and guitarist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1971 ● Jared Leto / (Jared Joseph Leto) → Lead vocals, guitar and songwriter for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006), actor
1979 ● Chris Daughtry → Fifth season American Idol finalist, bandleader and guitarist for rock Daughtry “It’s Not Over” (#4, 2006)

December 27
1931 ● Scotty Moore / (Winfield Scott Moore III) → Sun Records sessionman, longtime Elvis Presley backing band guitarist and Rolling Stone magazine’s #29 Greatest Guitarist of All Time, established the guitar as a lead instrument in rock ‘n’ roll music and invented power chording, played on dozens of Elvis‘s early hits, including “Hound Dog” (#1, 1956), “Jailhouse Rock” (#1, 1957) and “Little Sister” (#5, 1961), left Sun Records in 1964 for a career as a freelance studio engineer, died on 6/28/2016, age 84
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Piano and saxophone for Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1941 ● Mike Pinder → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967), left in 1978 for a solo career
1942 ● Mike Heron → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in esoteric Scottish psych-Celtic-folk/early World music duo The Incredible String Band
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → Early member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then solo and songwriter
1944 ● Mick Jones / (Michael Leslie Jones) → Rock guitarist for Spooky Tooth and founding member of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978)
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Founder, frontwoman and lead vocals for underappreciated 60s psych-blues-rock Mother Earth, then solo
1946 ● Lenny Kaye → Musician, writer, record producer and lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group (“Because The Night,” #13, UK #5, 1978), compiled and produced Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (1972), the double album collection of garage rock and proto-punk recordings that influenced punk and college rock in the 70s, co-authored Waylon, The Life Story of Waylon Jennings, produced albums for R.E.M., Suzanne Vega, Soul Asylum and others, continues to write and record into the 10s
1948 ● Larry Byrom → Guitar for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), solo, sessions
1948 ● Ronnie Caldwell / (Ronald Louis Caldwell) → Founding member, keyboardist and lone white member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died three weeks shy of his 19th birthday in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Drummer for Frank Zappa‘s band, then founded New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream #12, 1982)
1952 ● David Knopfler → Rhythm guitar and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, songwriter, younger brother of Mark Knopfler
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → L.A. pop-rock singer and songwriter, backing vocalist in Linda Ronstadt‘s band, solo “Personally” (#19, 1982)
1957 ● Jerry Gaskill → Drummer for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1960 ● Youth Glover / (Martin Glover ) → Founding member and bassist for post-punk New Wave dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Lead guitar and principal songwriter for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1988 ● Hayley Nichole Williams → Lead vocals and keyboards for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 28
1903 ● Fatha Hines / (Earl Kenneth Hines) → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983, age 79
1910 ● Billy Williams → R&B/soul-blues singer with six Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” (#3, 1957), lost his voice due to diabetes in the 60s and became a social worker until his death on 10/17/1972, age 61
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000, age 89
1915 ● Pops Staples / (Roebuck Staples) → Patriarch and manager of influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died on 12/19/2000, age 84
1921 ● Johnny Otis / (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (#9, R&B #3, 1958), continued to perform and record with his band The Johnny Otis Show into the 80s and host an annual rock and R&B festival in Los Angeles into the 00s, died from natural causes on 1/17/2012, age 90
1929 ● Matt “Guitar” Murphy / (Matthew Tyler Murphy) → Highly-regarded electric blues guitarist best known as a member of The Blues Brothers band (“Soul Man,” #14, 1979) and appearances in both Blues Brothers movies as the fictional husband of diner-matron Aretha Franklin, over the years played with Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, James Cotton and other notable blues masters, issued four respectable solo albums, died from undisclosed causes on 6/15/2018, age 88
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979, age 46
1938 ● Charles Neville → Jazz-influenced saxophonist for blues great B. B. King, pop-rock Joey Dee & The Starliters (“Peppermint Twist,” #1, 1962) and several New York R&B bands, returned home in 1977 to co-found celebrated New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers (Grammy-winning “Healing Chant,” 1989), recorded and toured for over 30 years until declining health forced his retirement, died from pancreatic cancer on 4/27/2018, age 79
1941 ● Bob Seidenmann / (Robert Emett Seidenmann) → Photographer in the counterculture scene in 1960s San Francisco, where he created concert posters and iconic photographs of Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead and others, later moved to England where he worked with Eric Clapton and produced the infamous cover photograph for his supergroup’s eponymous debut (and only) album, Blind Faith (#1, UK #1, 1969), returned to the US and developed a second career photographing aviation stars like Chuck Yeager and Gen. James H. Doolittle, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 11/27/2017, age 75
1943 ● Chas Hodges / (Charles Hodges) → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde / (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1948 ● Ziggy Modeliste / (Joseph Modeliste) → Founding member and drummer for New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing drummer for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, formed funk band The Wild Tchoupitoulas in the 70s, continues to perform with both band and record as a solo artist into the 10s
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then influential but only cult-level power-pop band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from heart failure on 3/17/2010, age 59
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997, age 45
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1961 ● Christine Collister → Contemporary Brit folk-rock vocalist, backing singer with the Richard Thompson Band and five albums of duets with Clive Gregson in the late 80s, released solo albums in the 90s, toured with all-female vocal group Daphne’s Flight and collaborated in various projects and tours in the 00s and 10s
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend / (John Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)

December 29
1931 ● Buddy Bailey → Founding member, tenor and lead vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), stayed with the group and various splinters, and toured with other doo wop groups until his death on 2/3/1994, age 62
1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop The Velvets, “Tonight (Could Be The Night)” (#26, 1961)
1939 ● Ed Bruce / (William Edwin Bruce, Jr.) → Country music songwriter, singer and TV actor, co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” for himself (Country #15, 1976) and covered by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (Country #1, 1978) on the duet album Waylon & Willy (#12, Country #1, 1978), wrote and sang the theme song, and co-starred with James Garner in the TV series Bret Maverick (1981-82), scored six Country Top 10 hits in the 80s
1941 ● Ray Thomas → Founding member, harmonica, flute and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, his flute solo on “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) is widely considered to be a defining moment in rock music, and the development of the prog rock subgenre, recorded two solo albums in the 70s while the band was on hiatus, left in 2002 due to declining health and died from prostate cancer on 1/4/2018, age 76
1942 ● Jerry Summers / (Jerry Gross) → Lead and first tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1942 ● Rick Danko → Canadian-born bassist, vocalist and occasional songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, died at home in his sleep from heart failure on 12/10/1999, age 56
1943 ● Bill Aucion → Artist consultant and band manager credited with discovering campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) and developing their costumes, stage presence, record contracts and merchandise into a multi-million dollar enterprise, also managed other hard rock bands, including Billy Idol, Starz and Finnish heavy metal Lordi, died from complications following prostrate cancer surgery on 6/28/2010, age 66
1943 ● Barbara Alston / (Barbara Ann Alston) → Founding member in Phil Spector-produced 60s girl group The Crystals and lead singer on their first two hits, “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” (#20, 1962) and “Uptown” (#13, 1962), relinquished the front spot due to stage fright and sang back-up until leaving the group in 1965 to raise her first son (who was transgender and killed in an unsolved murder in 2010), died from complications of the flu on 2/16/2018, age 74
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, former paramour of Mick Jagger, co-wrote The Rolling Stones‘ “Sister Morphine,” solo vocalist, “As Tears Go By” (#22, 1964), continues to record and release albums into the 10s
1947 ● Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) → Journeyman but sought after and influential rock drummer with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and others, died in a one-car crash in the UK on 4/5/1998, age 50
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → Trumpeter in blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → Hawaii-born pop-rock singer and songwriter, acted in the Broadway stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), member of Eric Clapton‘s band and solo “If I Can’t Have You” (#1, 1977)
1955 ● Spyder Giraldo / (Neil Giraldo) → Lead guitarist for Pat Benatar‘s band, “Love Is A Battlefield” (#5, 1983)
1961 ● Cow Day / (Mark Day) → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1961 ● Jim Reid → Co-founder and lead singer in Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1963 ● Alex Gifford → Keyboards, bass and DJ for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998)
1965 ● Dexter Holland / (Bryan Keith Holland) → Aspiring molecular biology PhD candidate turned frontman, guitar and vocals for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997), returned to academia in the 10s
1968 ● Sadat X / (Derek Murphy) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Phillips → Founder, lead vocals and songwriter for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 2 – 8)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 02
1905 ● Moe Asch / (Mose Asch) → Polish-American recording engineer and music executive, as founder and owner of Folkways Records became a major figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s and 60s, oversaw the recording of hundreds folk-pop songs, including “Goodnight Irene” by Lead Belly (1933) and “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (1945), his immense catalog was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution just prior to his death on 10/19/1986, age 80
1906 ● Dr. Peter Carl Goldmark → Hungarian-born engineer who developed the long-play (LP) microgroove 33-1/3 rpm vinyl phonograph disc, died in a car crash on 12/7/1977, age 71
1916 ● Howard Finster → Baptist minister in Georgia and eccentric artist with 46,000 pieces of art in his outdoor sculpture garden, also known as the designer of album covers for R.E.M. (Reckoning, #27, 1984) and Talking Heads (Little Creatures, #20 , 1985), died on 10/22/2001, age 84
1918 ● Milton Delugg → Talented accordionist, musical director on the forerunner to NBC’s The Tonight Show, producer of Buddy Holly‘s hit “Rave On” (#37, 1958) and bandleader for the infamous TV game show spoof The Gong Show, directed the music for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 2013, died from natural causes on 4/6/2015, age 96
1941 ● Tom McGuinness / (Thomas John Patrick McGuinness) → Bass and later lead guitar plus songwriting and vocals for Britbeat Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), in 1969 formed duo McGuiness Flint with Hubie Flint and thereafter The Blues Band, authored So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star in 1986 and tours with splinter group The Manfreds into the 10s
1941 ● Dick St. John / (Richard St. John Gosting) → Singer, songwriter and half of the teen/R&B/soul-pop duo Dick & Dee Dee with partner and high school classmate Mary “Dee Dee” Sperling, their hit “The Mountain’s High” (#2, 1961) was one of five Top 30 hits just prior to Beatlemania, died following a fall from a ladder at home on 12/27/2003, age 62
1942 ● Ted Bluechell, Jr. → Drums and vocals for light pop-rock harmony group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1960 ● Rick Savage → Bassist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1960 ● Sydney Youngblood (Ford) → R&B/soul-dance-funk singer, “I’d Rather Go Blind” (#46, 1990)
1960 ● Razzle Dingley / (Nicholas Dingley) → Drummer for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984), died when a car driven by Mötley Crüe‘s Vince Neil crashed in L.A. on 12/8/1984, age 24
1961 ● Matt Dike / (Matthew William Dike) → Los Angeles night club owner, D.J. and co-founder of the hip hop record label Delicious Vinyl, whose early hits – including “Wild Thing” (#2, R&B #1, 1988) by Tone L?c and “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989) by Young M.C. – helped thrust hip hop music onto mainstream radio and popular music charts, later contributed sampling tracks and co-produced the Beastie Boys landmark hip hop album, Paul’s Boutique (#14, 1989), dropped out of sight in the early 90s and lived in seclusion in his L.A. mansion, where he died from salivary gland cancer on 1/16/2018, age 56
1968 ● Jimi Haha → Founder, vocals and guitar for alt rock funk-metal Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, “Do Right” (Modern Rock #12, 1999)
1968 ● Nate Mendel → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1970 ● Treach / (Anthony Criss) → Vocals in Grammy-winning hip hop trio Naughty By Nature, “Hip Hop Hooray” (#8, 1993)
1971 ● Donna Matthews → Guitarist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1978 ● Nelly Furtado / (Nelly Kim Furtado) → Portuguese-Canadian dance-pop actress, singer and songwriter, “Say It Right” (#1, 2006)
1981 ● Britney Spears → Teen-pop phenomenon, media icon and tabloid headlining singer and actress, “Baby One More Time” (#1, 2000) and 18 other Top 40 hits
1986 ● Tal Wilkenfeld → Australian jazz and rock bass guitarist, bandleader and session player for Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Jackson Browne, Toto and other well-known rock artists, fronted several of her own bands and was named by Bass Player magazine 2008’s “Most Exciting New Bass Player”
1991 ● Charlie Puth / (Charles Otto “Charlie” Puth Jr.) → Pop singer and songwriter whose YouTube uploads caught the eye (and ear) of TV host Ellen DeGeneres for her ElevenEleven record label, later signed with Atlantic Records and released several major solo and collaborative hits, including “See You Again” (Worldwide #1, 2015) with Wiz Khalifa

December 03
1925 ● Ferlin Husky → Radio comic under the name Simon Crum and honky tonk singer with the stage name Terry Preston, then country-pop crossover star under his legal name with a string of hits in the 50s and 60s, including “Gone” (#4, Country #1, 1958), “Wings Of A Dove” (#12, Country #1, 1960) and three dozen other minor chart singles through 1975, died from coronary failure on 3/17/2011, age 85
1927 ● Andy Williams / (Howard Andrew Williams) → Easy Listening/jazz-pop vocalist, “Butterfly” (#1, 1962) plus over 25 other US Top 40 singles, TV actor and variety show host, died from bladder cancer on 9/25/2012, age 84
1931 ● Jaye P. Morgan / (Mary Margaret Morgan) → Popular 50s and 60s traditional pop vocalist (“That’ All I Want From You,” #3, 1954), TV show character actress (General Electric Theater, The Joey Bishop Show, The Odd Couple, etc.), nightclub singer, and game show panelist (The Gong Show, Match Game, Hollywood Squares, etc.), continued with occasional TV appearances in the 90s
1936 ● Nick Venet / (Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis) → Record producer and A&R executive, first with World Jazz and later with Capitol Records, where he signed The Beach Boys and produced hits for them and dozens of other artists, including The Lettermen, Jim Croce, The Kingston Trio, Linda Ronstadt and Frank Zappa, died from Burkitt’s lymphoma on 1/2/1998, age 61
1938 ● Jody Reynolds → One hit wonder rockabilly singer with the original teenage death song, “Endless Sleep” (#5, R&B #5, 1958), his follow-up single, “Fire Of Love” (#66, 1958) fizzled but became a punk rock classic when covered by the MC5 (1969) and The Gun Club (1982), left the industry in the late 60s and sold real estate in California until his death from liver cancer on 11/7/2008, age 69
1940 ● Jim Freeman → Vocals in R&B/doo wop harmony group The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1942 ● Ken Lewis / (Kenneth James Hawker) → Brit songwriter and producer, collaborator with John Carter in The Ivy League, wrote “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” for Herman’s Hermits (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Paul Nicholas / (Paul Oscar Beuselinck) → Brit pop singer and stage, screen and TV actor, released numerous singles in the 60s and 70s, including “Heaven On The 7th Floor” (#6, UK #40, 1977) while concurrently performing in film and stage musicals, formed several production and direction businesses in the 90s, continues to act into the 10s and oversees the franchise company Paul Nicholas School of Acting & Performing Arts
1944 ● Ralph McTell / (Ralph May) → Brit folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Streets Of London” (UK #2, 1974), children’s TV host
1946 ● Vic Malcolm → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1947 ● John Wilson → Drummer for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966), joined blues-rock Taste in 1968, Stud in 1971 and Sid Row in 1975, reformed Them in the 90s
1947 ● Joe Lala → Pop and rock drummer, actor and voice actor, appeared on 32 gold records and 28 platinum records during his career, beginning as a founding member of pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride,” #4, 1970) and continuing with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, and others, plus multiple movie soundtracks including Saturday Night Fever (1977), Airplane! (1980) and All The Right Moves (1983), appeared on TV and in movies after carpal tunnel syndrome ended his drumming career, died from lung cancer on 3/18/2014, age 66
1948 ● Buffalo Bruce Barlow / (Paul Bruce Barlow) → Bass guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
1948 ● Ozzy Osbourne / (John Michael Osbourne) → Hard rock icon, founder and frontman for gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970), solo goth-rock artist, “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (#28, Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), producer, TV actor and host
1949 ● Mickey Thomas → Lead vocals for Elvin Bishop Group, “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (#3, 1975), then Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Kimberley Rew → Brit pop-rock and 80s New Wave singer, songwriter, and guitarist starting with Robyn Hitchcock‘s punk/power pop Soft Boys in 1978, co-founded mainstream pop Katrina And The Waves in 1981, wrote “Walking On Sunshine” (#9, 1985) and “Love Shine A Light” (UK #3, 1997), the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1997
1951 ● Mike Stock → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), co-wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1951 ● Nicky Stevens → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man, “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1952 ● Don Barnes → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1952 ● Duane Roland → Co-founder and lead guitar for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), died of “natural causes” on 6/19/2006, age 55
1968 ● Montell Jordan → Contemporary R&B/soul-new jack swing singer and songwriter, “This Is How We Do It” (#1, 1995)
1979 ● Daniel Bedingfield → New Zealand-born Brit pop/rock vocalist, “Gotta Get Thru This” (#10, 2001)

December 04
1915 ● Eddie Heywood / (Edward “Eddie” Heywood, Jr.) → Popular 40s and 50s jazz and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “Canadian Sunset” (#2, 1956), died after suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases on 1/2/1989, age 73
1940 ● Freddy “Boom-Boom” Cannon / (Frederico Picariello) → Early and persistent pre-Beatles rock ‘n roller, “Palisades Park” (#3, 1962) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1965
1942 ● Bob Mosley / (James Robert Mosley) → Bass, vocals and songwriting for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), continues to write and record music, occasionally with the band, despite being a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic
1944 ● Anna McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Kate in 70s-90s light folk duo The McGarrigle Sisters, wrote “Heart Like A Wheel” for Linda Ronstadt (1975)
1944 ● Chris Hillman → Bassist, singer, songwriter and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), country-rock The Flying Burrito Brothers, light country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band and country-pop Desert Rose Band, “I Still Believe In You” (Country #1, 1988) and nine other Country Top 15 singles
1944 ● Dennis Wilson → Drummer, vocalist and songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo, drowned in a swimming accident on 12/28/1983, age 39
1945 ● Gary P. Nunn → Texas Hill Country folk, blues and progressive country singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “London Homesick Blues” (the theme song to the music TV show Austin City Limits) and numerous other songs covered by multiple artists, played with Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphey as a member of the Lost Gonzo Band, plus Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and many others, issued nearly 20 solo albums and received numerous music achievement awards
1947 ● Terry Woods → Mandolin and cittern for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993), also played with Steeleye Span, Sweeney’s Men, The Bucks and, briefly, Dr. Strangely Strange
1948 ● Southside Johnny / (John Lyon) → Lead vocals and frontman for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1951 ● Gary Rossington → Guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), survived the October 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers, then founded Rossington-Collins Band with other Skynyrd alumni, “Welcome Me Home” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988)
1959 ● Bob Griffin → Bassist for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Les Nemes → Bassist for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Vinnie Dombroski / (Mark Dombroski) → Lead vocals and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain)” (Modern Rock #3, 1995) and other Detroit rock bands
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Lead singer and guitarist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1967 ● Adamski / (Adam Tinley) → Brit dance-pop producer, songwriter and singer, “Killer” (with Seal, UK #1, US Dance #23, 1990)
1969 ● Jay-Z / (Shawn Corey Carter) → Producer, Def Jam Records executive, New Jersey Nets part-owner, hugely successful hip hop artist and Grammy-winning rapper, “Empire State Of Mind” (#1, 2009)
1972 ● Justin Welch → Drummer for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1973 ● Kate Rusby → The “First Lady of Young Folkies,” Brit contemporary acoustic folk singer and songwriter, “All Over Again” (UK #6, 2006)

December 05
1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (Aleck “Rice” Miller) → Celebrated Chicago-style blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, played with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others, The Animals, Van Morrison, The Who, Yardbirds and many others covered his songs, died from a heart attack on 5/25/1965, age 65
1922 ● Don Robertson → Country and pop songwriter, wrote or co-wrote multiple hits for others, including “Born To Be With You” for The Chordettes (#5, 1956) and Dave Edmunds (UK #3, 1973), “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” for Hank Locklin (Country #1, 1960) and over 25 songs for Elvis Presley plus one for his own recording, the country-pop novelty “The Happy Whistler” (#6, 1956), died on 3/16/2015, age 82
1932 ● Little Richard / (Richard Wayne Penniman) → Pianist, songwriter, legendary musical wildman and key figure in the transformation of R&B to rock ‘n roll, “Long Tall Sally” (#6, 1956) plus ten other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → The “King of Gospel music”, Grammy-winning singer, arranger and modern soul/Gospel sound innovator who fused church Gospel with jazz and pop influences, died of heart failure on 2/9/1991, age 58
1936 ● Chad Mitchell → Singer-songwriter and frontman for collegiate folk-pop The Chad Mitchell Trio, the group charted eight albums and one Top 50 hit, “Lizzie Borden” (#44, 1962) but missed out on the success enjoyed by other folk revival groups of equal credibility such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary
1938 ● J.J. Cale / (John Weldon Cale) → Roots-blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, one of the originators of the laid-back “Tulsa Sound” mixing country, blues, rockabilly and jazz, a lone Top 40 hit, “Crazy Mama” (#22, 1972) and “After Midnight” (#42, 1972) were his only chart appearances, best known for writing “Cocaine” (Eric Clapton, #30, 1980) and “Call Me The Breeze” (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974) among many others and for winning a Grammy Award for the album The Road To Escondido (2007) with Clapton, died following a heart attack on 7/26/2013, age 74
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → Original drummer for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Andy Kim / (Andrew Youakim) → Canadian pop-rock singer and songwriter, wrote “Sugar Sugar” for bubblegum-pop The Archies (#1, 1969) and scored his own #1 hit with “Rock Me Gently” (#1, 1974), disappeared in the late 70s but resurfaced as “Baron Longfellow” in 1980, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1947 ● Jim Messina → Country-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967), Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970) and Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1972)
1960 ● Jack Russell → Lead vocals for hard rock/metal Great White, “One Bitten, Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), survived Rhode Island night club fire in 2003 in which nearly 100 fans died
1968 ● Glen Graham → Drums and percussion for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1971 ● Craig Gill → Drummer for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1980 ● Shiian / (Christian Smith Pancorvo) → Drummer in Brit indie rock Razorlight, “Golden Touch” (UK #9, 2004) and currently Serafin, “Day By Day” (UK #49, 2003)
1980 ● Zainam Higgins → Singer and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Keri Lynn Hilson → R&B singer and songwriter, wrote hits as part of The Clutch five-person songwriting team, solo, “Knock You Down” (#3, 2009)

December 06
1896 ● Ira Gershwin / (Israel Gershowitz) → With his brother, George Gershwin, one of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera lyricist and librettist, best known their his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), continued to write music for decades after his brother’s death in 1937, including “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (#2, 1944) with Jerome Kern from the film Cover Girl (1944), died from cardiovascular disease on 8/17/1983, age 86
1916 ● Hugo E. Peretti → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with cousin Luigi Creatore to produce dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), died from undisclosed causes on 5/1/1986, age 69
1920 ● Dave Brubeck / (David Warren Brubeck) → Renowned jazz-pop pianist, bandleader and composer, best known for the enduring jazz-pop “Take Five” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1961) from the album Time Out, the first jazz album to sell upwards of a million copies,, died from heart failure while enroute to his cardiologist on 12/5/2012, age 91
1935 ● George Williams / (George Reginald Williams, Jr.) → Lead vocals in Philly soul The Tymes, one of the few acts to have their only #1 hits in both the U.S. and the U.K. with different songs – “So Much In Love” (#1, UK #21, 1963) and “Ms. Grace” (#91, UK #1, 1974), left the band in 1978 and relocated to the U.K., died on 7/28/2004, age 66
1936 ● David Ossman → Comedian, novelist, theater producer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, produced major audio theater broadcasts for National Public Radio during the 80s and live radio plays in the 00s
1939 ● Steve Alaimo → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with nine Billboard Top 100 singles without a Top 40 hit – the most low-enders by any artist anytime – later hosted and co-produced with Dick Clark the American Bandstand spinoff music variety show Where The Action Is (1965-67), became a mildly successful record producer and label owner
1942 ● Robb Royer / (Robert W. Royer) → Guitar, keyboards, bass and songwriting for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), co-wrote “For All We Know,” the 1971 Academy Award Best Song of the Year by the Carpenters from the movie Lovers And Other Strangers, songwriting credits include songs written for The Remingtons, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Randy Travis and others
1943 ● Keith West (Hopkins) / (Keith Alan Hopkins) → Singer, songwriter and frontman for Brit early psych-rock group Tomorrow, then pop-psych solo career, “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” (UK #2, 1967), now a producer of music
1943 ● Mike Smith / (Michael George Smith) → Keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 13 other Top 25 hits in the US (but only nine in their home UK), suffered a spinal injury in a fall from a fence in 2003 and was paralyzed from the waist down, died from pneumonia on 2/28/2008, age 64
1944 ● Jonathan King / (Kenneth George King) → Brit singer and songwriter, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (#17, 1965) plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under various names, record producer, early manager for prog rock Genesis, convicted and jailed (2001) sex offender
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Founder and guitarist for Brit blues-rock Savoy Brown, “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971)
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Czech-born bassist for jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1977), solo
1947 ● Fritz Fryer / (David Roderick Fryer) → Lead guitarist for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US, died of pancreatic cancer on 9/2/2007, age 59
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Up and coming heavy metal/pop-metal guitarist, founder of hard rock Quiet Riot, joined Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band for landmark albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981), died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida on 3/19/1982, age 29
1954 ● Robert Kane → Lead vocals since 1999 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1955 ● Edward Tudor-Pole → Leader of Brit punk-rock band Tenpole Tudor, “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, (UK #6, 1981), solo, “Who Killed Bambi?” (1978), TV actor and host
1955 ● Rick Buckler → Drummer for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982)
1956 ● Peter Buck → Guitarist and songwriter for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1957 ● Adrian Borland → Brit singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk, critically successful The Sound from 1979 to 1987, issued five albums as a solo artist before committing suicide on 4/26/1999, age 41
1961 ● David Lovering → Drummer for melodic post-punk alternative rock The Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man” (Modern Rock #3, 1989)
1961 ● Jonathan Melvoin → Multi-instrumentalist session and touring musician for various 80s punk bands, contributed to projects for his sister Wendy Melvoin‘s funk-pop vocal duet Wendy & Lisa as well as for Prince & The Revolution, toured with The Smashing Pumpkins up to his death from a heroin overdose on 7/12/1996, age 34
1962 ● Ben Watt → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Blando Bland / (Jeff Bland) → Guitarist in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/5/1998
1969 ● Mark Gardener → Singer and guitarist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1969 ● Steven Drozd → Drummer and vocalist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)

December 07
1910 ● Louis Prima → New Orleans jazz band frontman in the 20s, swing combo member in 30s, Big Band leader in the 40s, Las Vegas lounge act with then wife Keely Smith in the 50s (Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic,” #18, 1958) and pop-rocker in the 60s and 70s, died from pneumonia while in a coma following unsuccessful brain tumor surgery on 8/24/1978, age 67
1924 ● Bent Fabric / (Bent Fabricius-Bjerre) → One hit wonder Danish pianist and composer with the Grammy-winning, worldwide instrumental pop hit “Alley Cat” (#7, AC #2, 1962)
1924 ● Boyd Bennett → Rockabilly singer and songwriter with two Top 40 hits in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, “Seventeen” (#5, R&B #7, 1955) and “My Boy Flat-Top” (#39, R&B #13, 1955), when his teenage audience began ageing, retired from music in the early 60s and ventured into business ownership, died from a lung ailment on 6/2/2002, age 77
1931 ● Bobby Osborne → With his younger brother, Sonny, one half of the influential bluegrass act The Osborne Brothers, “Rocky Top” (Country #33, 1967), the song was voted the official state song of Tennessee and one of two official state songs the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1942 ● Harry Chapin / (Harry Foster Chapin) → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed many narrative-based “story songs” including “Taxi” (#24, CAN #5, 1972) and “Cat’s In The Cradle” (#1, CAN #3, 1974), died in a car collision on the Long Island Expressway on 7/16/1981, age 38
1949 ● Tom Waits → Grammy-winning gravelly, growling blues-rock singer and songwriter, film actor, film score composer, voice-over contributor, wrote “Ol’ 55′” for the Eagles (1974)
1954 ● Mike Nolan → Vocals in Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981) and 12 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Thunderstick / (Barry Purkis) → Brit drummer briefly with early Iron Maiden and later with the cult band Samson, known for wearing various horror masks and performing in a cage, named by Classic Rock magazine as number 36 on the “50 Greatest Drummers of Rock” list
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Bassist and co-founder of Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1961 ● Robert Downes → Guitarist in New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Barbara Weathers → Lead vocals for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Huw Chadbourne → Keyboardist for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1965 ● Brian Futter → Guitarist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1973 ● Dodi Ma / (Damien Rice) → Multi-instrumentalist Irish indie folk-rock singer and songwriter, fronted folk-pop Juniper, then solo, “Cannonball” (UK #19, 2004)
1974 ● Nicole Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1977 ● Dominic Howard → Drummer for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1979 ● Sara Beth Bareilles → Grammy-nominated contemporary pop-rock pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Love Song” (#4, 2007)
1986 ● Jonathan Benjamin “J.B.” Gill → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-pop boy band JLS (aka Jack The Lad Swing), “She Makes Me Wanna” (Dance/Club #25, 2011), runners-up of the fifth season (2008) of The X Factor
1987 ● Aaron Carter → Teen idol hip hop/pop singer, “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” (#35, 2002)
1988 ● Winston Marshall → Electric guitar, banjo and vocals for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

December 08
1922 ● Jean Ritchie → The “Mother of Folk,” singer, songwriter, dulcimer player, author and Appalachian music heritage stewardess whose influence on the commercial “folk revival” boom of the 60s was immeasurable, recorded nearly three dozen albums and wrote hundreds of original songs based on the traditions of Appalachia, explored the links between American and British folk music, toured extensively until her death from natural causes on 6/1/2015, age 92
1925 ● Sammy Davis, Jr. → Versatile TV and film actor, impersonator, dancer, “Rat Pack” contemporary pop singer and “member” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, solo artist, “Candy Man” (#1, 1972), died of lung cancer on 5/16/1990, age 64
1925 ● Jimmy Smith → Jazz organist, Hammond B-3 electronic organ innovator and recognized virtuoso, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master, bandleader and composer, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#4, 1962), found dead in his home on 2/8/2005, age 79
1939 ● James Galway → The “Man with the Golden Flute,” Irish virtuoso flutist, “Annie’s Song” (UK #33, 1978), played with Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall in 1990
1939 ● Jerry Butler → The “Ice Man,” vocals in Chicago soul/doo wop The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, 1963), then solo, “Only The Strong Survive” (#4, R&B #1, 1969) and 15 other Top 40 hits, now a member of the Chicago/Cook County Board of Commissioners since 1986
1942 ● Bobby Elliot → Drummer in British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1943 ● Jim Morrison / (James Douglas Morrison) → Vocals and frontman for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), died from a drug overdose in Paris, France on 7/3/1971, age 27
1944 ● George Baker / (Johannes Bouwens) → Dutch singer and frontman for light pop-rock quintet George Baker Selection and two international hits, “Little Green Bag” (#21, 1969) and “Una Paloma Blanca” (#26, AC #1, Country #33, 1975), continued with a mildly successful solo career after disbanding the group in the late 70s
1944 ● Mike Botts / (Michael Gene Botts) → Drummer for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970) and session musician, died from colon cancer on 12/9/2005, age 61
1946 ● John Knight / (John Graham Knight) → Founding member and bassist for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Geoff Daking → Drummer for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1947 ● Gregg Allman / (Gregory LeNoir Allman) → The “Greatest White Blues Singer,” co-founder, lead vocalist, keyboards and songwriter for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band (“Ramblin’ Man,” #2, 1973) plus nine solo albums and 15 singles (“I’m No Angel,” Mainstream Rock #1, 1987) and a duet album with then-wife Cher (Two The Hard Way, 1977), died from liver failure on 5/27/2017, age 69
1949 ● Ray Shulman → Bass, violin and guitar in pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1950 ● Dan Hartman / (Daniel Earl Hartman) → Multi-instrumentalist member of the Edgar Winter Group, wrote “Free Ride” (#14, 1972), session musician, producer for multiple artists, solo R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter, “I Can Dream About You” (#6, 1984), died from an AIDS-related brain tumor on 3/22/1994, age 43
1950 ● Wah Wah Watson / (Melvin Ragin) → Widely-admired R&B, soul and funk guitarist known for his mastery of the “wah-wah” pedal, the tone-altering filter on electric guitars, parlayed a connection at Motown Records into a position on house-band the Funk Brothers, with whom he played on dozens of hit songs and albums by Michael Jackson, the The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and others, later issued a solo album and did session work for Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand and Blondie, caught on with neo-solo and hip hop acts in the 90s and 00s and recorded with Alicia Keys, Maxwell and Me’shell Ndegeocello, among others, died from complications of a stroke on 10/24/2018, age 67
1953 ● Colin Gibb / (Colin Routh) → Bass and backing vocals for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Avado” (UK #2, 1984), continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1956 ● Warren Cuccurullo → Guitarist in New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1957 ● Phil Collen → Lead guitar for hard rock/Brit New Wave of Heavy Metal (“NWOBHM”) band Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1959 ● Paul Rutherford → Backing vocals, keyboards and dancer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1962 ● Marty Friedman → Lead guitarist for trash metal Megadeth, “Trust” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1997)
1966 ● Bushwick Bill / (Richard Shaw) → Rapper and vocals for gangsta/horror-rap Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” (#23, 1991)
1966 ● Sinead O’Connor → Irish-born controversial folk-pop singer and songwriter, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (#1, 1990)
1972 ● Ryan Newell → Backing vocals, lead and slide guitar for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● 8 / (Corey Todd Taylor) → Guitarist and singer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004) and Stone Sour, “Bother” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2002)
1973 ● Judith Pronk / (Judith Anna Pronk) → Dutch-born lead vocalist for euro-pop-dance Alice Deejay, “Better Off Alone” (Dance/Club #3, 1999)
1974 ● Nick Zinner → Guitarist for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1982 ● Chrisette Michele / (Chrisette Michele Payne) → Contemporary R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Epiphany” (R&B #14, 2009)
1984 ● Sam Hunt → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, co-wrote Kenny Chesney‘s “Come Over” (#23, Country #1, 2012) and followed with his debut album Montevallo (#3, Country #1, 2014) and four Top 40 hits, including “Take Your Time” (#20, Country #1, 2014()

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This Week’s Birthdays (November 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 18
1909 ● Johnny Mercer / (John Herndon Mercer) → Popular music lyricist, composer, singer and pianist, wrote or co-wrote over 1,500 songs, many of which are pop standards, won Grammy Awards for “Moon River” (1961) and “Days Of Wine And Roses,” died from an inoperable brain tumor on 6/25/1976, age 66
1922 ● Albert Dvorin → Music promoter and talent agent, planned and managed Elvis Presley‘s tours for 22 years from the mid-50s and coined the phrase “Elvis has left the building,,” died in a car accident returning from an Elvis impersonator performance on 8/22/2004, age 81
1926 ● Dorothy Collins / (Marjorie Chandler) → Canadian-American girl-next-door pre-rock ‘n’ roll traditional pop singer and TV entertainer, scored several minor hits in the 50s (“My Boy – Flat Top,” #16, 1955), featured vocalist on 50s top music variety show Your Hit Parade and spokeswoman for sponsor The American Tobacco Co., left to co-host TV’s immortal Candid Camera and perform in theater and on Broadway, died from asthma(!) and heart disease on 7/21/1994, age 67
1927 ● Hank Ballard / (John Henry Kendricks) → Vocals and frontman for R&B doo wop The Midnighters, raunchy proto-rock ‘n’ roll “Work With Me, Annie” (banned/no charts, 1954), solo, “Finger Poppin’ Time” (R&B #2, 1960), co-wrote “The Twist” for Chubby Checker (#1, 1960), died from throat cancer on 3/2/2003, age 75
1936 ● Don Cherry → Innovative “free” jazz cornetist and trumpeter, father of alternative singer Eagle-Eye and stepfather of hip hop dance-pop Neneh, died on 10/19/1995, age 58
1941 ● Con Cluskey / (Conleth “Con” Cluskey) → With his brother, Dec and John Stokes, founding member, vocals and multiple instruments in Irish beat pop-rock trio The Bachelors, “Diane” (#10, UK #1, 1964) and seven other UK Top 10 hits in 1964-66, continued to perform with various lineups of the band through the 00s
1945 ● Mark Weitz → Keyboards for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Mike Carbello → Congas and percussion for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), session work on over two dozen albums for The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton and many others
1949 ● Herman “Ze German” Rarebell / (Hermann Erbel) → Drummer for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1950 ● Graham Parker → Author, singer, songwriter, guitarist, frontman for Brit pub-rock The Rumour and solo, “Wake Up (Next To You)” (#39, Mainstream Rock #19, 1985)
1950 ● Rudy Sarzo / (Rodolfo Maximiliano Sarzo Lavieille Grande Ruiz Payret y Chaumont) → Cuban-American bassist for heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot, “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” (#31, 1983)
1954 ● Charles Williams → Keyboardist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1954 ● John Parr → One hit wonder pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Laura Lynch → Founding member, bassist, co-lead singer and occasional songwriter for country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, pushed out of the band in 1996 prior to their rise to stardom, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006), now sells real estate in Texas
1958 ● Michael Ramos → Keyboards for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Kim Wilde / (Kim Smith) → New Wave synth-pop singer, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#1, 1987) plus 20 other Top 50 UK singles, author, Brit TV host and professional landscape gardener
1961 ● Janice Kuehnemund → Founding member, lead guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Kirk Hammett → Lead guitar and vocals for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), #11 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1962 ● Jeff Ward → Journeyman drummer in the Chicago industrial music scene, including a brief stint with Nine Inch Nails (1990-1991) as their tour drummer and gigs with Ministry, Skafish and others, died by suicide brought on by heroin addiction on 3/19/1993, age 30
1969 ● Duncan Sheik → Alternative pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Barely Breathing” (#16, 1997), Grammy-winning stage and film score composer
1972 ● Matt Knight → Bassist and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1975 ● Ant McPartlin / (Anthony David McPartlin) → Actor, singer and one half the pop music duo PJ & Duncan (later renamed Ant & Dec), “Lets Get Ready To Rhumble” (UK #9, 1994), TV host
1977 ● Fabolous / (John David Jackson) → East coast rapper, “Can’t Let You Go” (#4, 2003)
1984 ● Johnny Christ / (Joanthan Lewis Seward) → Starting in 2003, bass guitar and backing vocals for pop/metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)

November 19
1905 ● Tommy Dorsey → Noted Swing Era bandleader, trombonist and songwriter, “Tea For Two” (#7, 1958), brother of jazz reed player Jimmy Dorsey
1927 ● The Singing Postman / (Allan Francis Smethurst) → Brit folk singer and actual postal service employee who hummed tunes while delivering the mail and eventually released several novelty-pop albums and the hit “Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy,” which won the Novello Award in 1966 for best novelty song, died penniless in a Salvation Army hostel on 12/24/2000, age 73
1927 ● Joe Hunter → R&B pianist for Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go,” #6, R&B #1, 1960), then early 60s in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, left in 1963 to become a freelance session player and arranger, died in Detroit on 2/2/2007
1928 ● Don Hunstein / (Donald Robert Hunstein) → Staff photographer at Columbia Records from the 1950s to 1986, credited with hundreds of well-known photos of rock legendaries, including the iconic album cover to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) and memorable images of Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Billy Joel and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 3/18/2017, age 88
1936 ● Robert Willie White → Session guitarist in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, played the guitar riff in The Temptations‘ classic “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and performed on multiple other Motown hits, died from complications following open heart surgery on 10/27/1994
1936 ● Ray Collins → Founding member and vocals in L.A. blue-eyed soul The Soul Giants, recruited Frank Zappa as guitarist who transformed the band into satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967) and eventually Zappa’s backing band, left in 1968 and became a taxi driver and drifter until his death following a heart attack on 12/24/2012, age 73
1937 ● Geoff Goddard → Songwriter and session keyboardist, wrote “Johnny Remember Me” for John Leyton (UK #1, 1961) and dozens of other 60s rock ‘n’ roll tunes, played on Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados‘ “Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, retired from the music industry in the mid-60s, died on 5/15/2000
1938 ● Hank Medress → Vocals in blue-eyed R&B/doo wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), producer for Tony Orlando & Dawn, Melissa Manchester, Dan Hill, Rick Springfield and others, record label executive with EMI Canada and Bottom Line Records, died from lung cancer on 6/25/2007, age 68
1939 ● Pete Moore / (Warren Moore) → Bass vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, co-wrote “Going To A Go-Go” (#11, 1965)
1943 ● Fred Lipsius → Piano and saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1946 ● Joe Correro, Jr. → Drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) plus 14 other US Top 30 hit singles
1952 ● Bill Sharpe → Founding member and keyboardist for Brit jazz fusion Shakatak, “Night Birds” (UK #9, 1982)
1952 ● Eddie Rayner → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), producer and music director for New Zealand Idol
1954 ● Annette Guest → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1960 ● Matt Sorum → Anglo-Norwegian hard rock drummer and percussion, toured with The Cult, joined hard rock Guns N’ Roses in 1989, “November Rain” (#3, 1992), then co-founded hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, “Fall To Pieces” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1965 ● J Spaceman / (Jason Pierce) → Leader of Brit psych-space-rock bands Spacemen 3, “Revolution” (UK Ind. #1, 1989) and Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992), solo
1965 ● Sonic Boom / (Pete Kember) → Founding member, guitar and organ for Brit psych-space-rock Spacemen 3, “Revolution” (UK Ind. #1, 1989)
1969 ● Travis McNabb → Drummer and percussionist with alt pop-rock Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995), since 2007 in backing band for country-pop duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008)
1971 ● Justin Chancellor → Bassist for prog-metal bands Peach and Grammy-winning Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006)
1971 ● Tony Rich / (Antonion Jeffries) → Grammy-winning contemporary R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Nobody Knows” (#2, 1996)

November 20
1924 ● Irwin Stambler → Music-loving aeronautics engineer who published “The Encyclopedia of Rock, Pop and Soul” in 1974, one of the earliest compilations of facts and biographies covering a broad swath of contemporary music and a resource for countless researchers, authors and bloggers up to the present, died from sepsis on 2/10/2017, age 92
1930 ● Curly Putman / (Claude Putman, Jr.) → Nashville-based country-pop songwriter who wrote “Green, Green Grass Of Home,” covered by Porter Wagoner (Country #4, 1965), Tom Jones (#11, Easy #12, UK #1, 1966), Elvis Presley, Grateful Dead and many others, Paul McCartney‘s “Junior’s Farm” (#3, UK #16, 1974) was inspired by a visit to Putman’s Tennessee farm, died from congestive heart and kidney failures on 10/30/2016, age 85
1940 ● Tony Butala / (Anthony Francis Butala) → Lead vocals and only constant member of close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961), still performing in the 10s
1942 ● Norman GreenbaumOne hit wonder Jewish (not Christian) pop/rocker, “Spirit In The Sky” (#3, 1970), retired from music in late 70s and took up dairy farming
1943 ● Suze Rotolo / (Susan Rotolo) → Greenwich Village artist and Bob Dylan girlfriend who appeared with him on the iconic cover of album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), died of lung cancer on 2/25/2011, age 67
1944 ● Mike Vernon / (Michael William Hugh Vernon) → Founder and CEO of Blue Horizon record label, blues-rock album producer with credits on dozens of albums for David Bowie, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After and others
1944 ● Paul Griggs → Pop-rock musician, songwriter, bandmember and producer, formed mid-60s Brit pop-psych Octopus with his brother, Nigel (later of Split Enz), joined pre-fab pop band Guys ‘N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), since the mid-80s has written and produced various award-winning songs and several albums of his work
1945 ● “Dirty Dan” McBride / (Daniel Hatton) → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” parody group Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died in his sleep on 7/23/2009, age 63
1946 ● Ray Stiles → Bassist in for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), joined pop-rock The Hollies in 1989 and continues with the band
1946 ● Duane Allman / (Howard Duane Allman) → Slide guitar virtuoso and co-founder of Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, did session work with Wilson Pickett, Derek And The Dominos (guitar solo on “Layla,” #10, 1972) and others, died in a motorcycle accident on 10/29/1971, age 24
1946 ● J. Blackfoot / (John Colbert) → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children (“I’ll Be The Other Woman, #36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave, died from pancreatic cancer on 11/30/2011, age 65
1947 ● Joe Walsh → Songwriter and guitarist for underrated hard rock The James Gang, “Walk Away” (#51, 1971), left for an off-and-on solo career, “Life’s Been Good” (#12, 1978), joined the Eagles in 1975 and co-wrote “Life In The Fast Lane” (#11, 1976)
1950 ● Gary Green → Guitarist for innovative prog rock Gentle Giant from 1970 to 1980
1954 ● Frank Marino → Founder, frontman and lead guitarist for 70s Canadian power rock trio Mahogany Rush and various incarnations through the 00s
1956 ● Robert Poss → Guitar and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1957 ● Jim Brown → Drummer in multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1961 ● Jim Brickman → Former advertising jingle writer and classical-trained pianist turned adult pop and light new age singer and songwriter, “Simple Things” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2001) plus six gold and platinum, longtime host for his own radio music variety show and PBS TV music specials
1961 ● Paul King → Irish-born New Wave pop-soul singer and frontman for King, “Love & Pride” (US #55, UK #2, 1985), solo album, since 1989 a VJ and producer on MTV and VH1
1962 ● Gail Ann Dorsey → Top alt rock session bassist and backing vocalist, worked with Tears For Fears, Bryan Ferry, The The, Gwen Stefani and others, member of David Bowie‘s band since 1995
1962 ● Steve Alexander → Vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1965 ● Mike D / (Michael Louis Diamond) → Drummer, singer and rapper for hardcore punk then hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1965 ● Sen Dog / (Senen Reyes) → Vocals and rapper in Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, Rap #1, 1994) and The Reyes Brothers
1966 ● Eg White / (Francis Anthony White) → Vocals in Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988), now a successful songwriter with hits by Will Young, Natalie Imbruglia, Joss Stone, Kylie Minogue and others
1966 ● Kevin Gilbert → Multi-instrumental composer and producer, member of prog rock Giraffe and Toy Matinee, co-wrote “All I Wanna Do” (#2, 1995) with then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow,, died from apparent autoerotic asphyxiation on 5/17/1996, age 29
1970 ● Phife Dawg / (Malik Isaac Taylor) → Trinidadian-American rapper and member of acclaimed artistic hip hop jazz-rap fusion trio A Tribe Called Quest, “Check The Rhime” (Rap #1, 1991), then solo, “Flawless” (Rap #4, 2000), died from complications of diabetes on 3/22/2016, age 45
1973 ● Jacqueline Abbott → Lead vocals for alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Davey Havok / (David Paden Passaro) → Lead vocals 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)
1975 ● Dierks Bentley → Country-rock crossover singer, songwriter and guitarist with 14 Country Top 10 hits, ten of which went #1, including “What Was I Thinkin’ (#22, Country #1, 2003)
1975 ● Jeffrey Lewis → Anti-folk singer, songwriter and guitarist with over 20 solo and collaborative albums, underground comic book artist and frequent collaborator with the Moldy Peaches and other anti-folk acts
1975 ● Tamika Scott → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)
1981 ● Kimberly Walsh → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)
1986 ● Michael Jared Followill → Bassist in Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)

November 21
1907 ● Buck Ram / (Samuel Ram) → R&B/soul composer, arranger and producer from the 1930s on, managed hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, wrote and produced for The Coasters, The Drifters, Ike & Tina Turner and others, died on 1/1/1991, age 83
1933 ● Jean Shepard / (Ollie Imogene Shepard) → Pioneering female honky tonk and country music singer with 24 studio albums and 21 Country Top 20 hits, including the crossover singles “Slippin’ Away” (#81, Country #4, 1973) and, in collaboration with Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter” (#4, Country #1, 1953), continued to perform into her 80s and became the first female to be a Grand Old Opry member for over 60 years, died from complications of Parkinson’s and heart disease on 9/25/2016, age 82
1940 ● Dr. John / (Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr.) → Four-time Grammy-winning New Orleans boogie-blues-folk-rock pianist, guitarist and singer of “voodoo” music, “Right Place, Wrong Time” (#9, 1973)
1941 ● David Porter → Songwriting partner with Isaac Hayes at Stax Records, co-wrote “Soul Man” (#2, 1967) for Sam & Dave and other hits, released two solo R&B/piano albums and several singles
1941 ● Andrew Love → Saxophonist for legendary Stax Records‘ house band The Memphis Horns, played sessions for Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Sam And Dave, Elvis Presley, The Doobie Brothers, The Rascals and countless other top rock and soul acts, continued to do session work until retiring in 2002 due to Alzheimer’s disease, died on 4/12/2012, age 70
1942 ● Thunderclap Newman / (Andy Newman) → Keyboards for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969)
1948 ● Lonnie Jordan / (LeRoy Jordan) → Singer and keyboardist for laid-back R&B/soul-funk War, “Spill The Wine” (#3, 1970), solo
1948 ● Rabbit Bundrick / (John Bundrick) → Touring keyboardist for The Who since the late 70s, session musician for Bob Marley, Roger Waters, Eric Burdon and others, briefly a member of Free, principal musician for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, solo
1948 ● Mark Tulin → Bassist for psych/garage rock icons The Electric Prunes (“I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night),” #11, 1967), joined psych/goth/prog rock Smashing Pumpkins in 2008, returned to recording with new versions of The Electric Prunes and other psych/garage rock oldies groups, collapsed after a SCUBA dive at a volunteer underwater cleanup event and died on 2/26/2011, age 62
1949 ● Randy Zehringer → With his brother Rick Derringer, drummer in garage-rock legends The McCoys and their classic “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965) plus two other clunky 60s rock hits, played with various versions of Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter‘s blues-rock groups in the 70s and retired from music due to health reasons in the mid-70s
1950 ● Gary Pihl → Guitarist for hard rock Sammy Hagar‘s band, left in 1986 to join arena rock Boston, “Amanda” (#1, 1986)
1950 ● Livingston Taylor → Light folk-pop singer and songwriter, “I Will Be In Love With You” (#13, 1978), brother of James Taylor
1952 ● Lorna Luft → TV and film actress with multiple small part credits, stage perfumer and unremarkable pop singer, daughter of Judy Garland and half-sister of Liza Minelli, issued several non-charting singles in the 70s and 80s, sang backing vocals on Blondie‘s album Eat To The Beat (1979)
1955 ● Peter Koppes → Guitarist and backing vocals for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1962 ● Steven Curtis Chapman → Hugely successful contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter and guitarist fusing light 70s rock and pop sounds with religious themes, five-time Grammy winner and holder of 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and seven Artist of the Year awards from the GMA, “Cinderella” (Adult Contemporary #23, Christian #4, 2003), his songs have been recorded by Glen Campbell, Roger Whittaker and others
1965 ● Björk Gundmundsdottir → Vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991), solo and actress
1967 ● Margret Ornolfsdottir → Keyboards and vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1968 ● Alex James → Bassist for alt rock then Britpop quartet Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), journalist, TV actor and host, radio personality and cheese maker
1970 ● Francis McDonald → Drummer in Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1974 ● Kelsi Marie Osborn → Vocals and guitar in country-pop sister trio SHeDAISY, “I Will…But” (#43, Country #2, 1999)

November 22
1899 ● Hoagy Carmichael / (Howard Hoagland Carmichael) → Composer, actor, singer, pianist and bandleader, wrote or co-wrote several classic American pop tunes including “Stardust” (1927), “Georgia On My Mind” (1930) and “Heart And Soul” (1938), died of heart failure on 12/27/1981, age 82
1941 ● Jesse Colin Young / (Perry Miller) → Mid-60s Greenwich Village folk singer and songwriter, co-founded folk-rock The Youngbloods (“Get Together, #5, 1969), left in 1972 for a 40-year solo career, including LPs Song For Juli (#51, 1973) and Songbird (#26, 1975) plus several charting singles
1941 ● Terry Stafford → One hit wonder country and pop-rock singer and songwriter with the Elvis sound-alike “Suspicion” (#4, 1961), died from liver ailments on 3/17/1996, age 54
1942 ● Floyd Sneed → Drummer for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1942 ● Stephen Caldwell → Vocals in mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in 1964 for a career in trade union management and 29 years on the Philadelphia Board of Education, reformed the group in 1988 for the oldies circuit
1946 ● Family Man Barrett / (Aston Francis Barrett) → Rastafarian and bassist for reggae bands The Upsetters and Bob Marley & The Wailers, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Sonny Geraci → Lead singer for Cleveland garage rock quintet The Outsiders (“Time Won’t Let Me,” #5, 1966) and L.A. light AM pop Climax (“Precious And Few,” #3, 1972), one of only a very few artists who have scored Top 10 its fronting two different acts, continued to perform on the oldies circuit into the 10s
1947 ● Rod Price → Slide guitar for Brit boogie/blues-rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), solo, died following a heart attack on 3/22/2005, age 57
1948 ● Dennis Larden → With brother Larry, guitar and vocals for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1950 ● “Miami” Steve (aka “Little Steve”) Van Zandt / (Steven Van Zandt) → Guitarist and songwriter, founding member of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1975, solo and frontman for Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, social activist and founder of Artists United Against Apartheid, record producer and TV actor (“Silvio Dante” on The Sopranos)
1950 ● Tina Weymouth → Bassist for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978) and co-founder of synth-pop Tom Tom Club, “Genius Of Love” (#31, R&B #2, 1982)
1954 ● Craig Huxley / (Craig Hundley) → Child actor turned Emmy-winning film producer and Grammy-nominated musician and soundtrack producer over a wide range of projects, including concert collaborations with Deep Purple, session work with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and others, soundtrack composer for the Star Trek movie series, music director for actor/singer William Shatner, founder of The Enterprise Interactive recording studios and producer of hits by Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Paul McCartney and dozens more, music arranger for Broadway shows, IMAX films and extreme expedition Blue-ray videos
1957 ● Sharon Bailey → Percussion for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1958 ● Jason Ringenberg → Founder, frontman for alt country-rock “cowpunk” Jason & The Scorchers, “Golden Ball And Chain” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1986), now records and performs children’s music as Farmer Jason
1960 ● Jim Bob / (James Morrison) → One half of the alt dance-pop sampling duo Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, “The Only Living Boy In New Cross” (Modern Rock #26, UK #7, 1992)
1962 ● Daniel Schmid → Co-founder and bassist for jazz-rock-ska-swing revival Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Zoot Suit Riot” (Modern Rock #15, 1998)
1962 ● Neil Fraser → Guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1968 ● Rasa Don / (Donald Norris) → Rapper in Grammy-winning, progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1970 ● Chris Fryar → Drummer for Grammy-winning alt-country-rock Zac Brown Band (“Knee Deep,” #18, Country #1,, 2012)
1976 ● Alex Grossi → Journeyman rock guitarist best known for his work with heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot (“Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” #31, 1984)
1978 ● Karen O / (Karen Lee Orzolek) → Vocals and keyboards for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1979 ● Scott Robinson → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1981 ● Ben Adams → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)

November 23
1939 ● Betty Everett → R&B/soul-pop vocalist and pianist, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” (#6, R&B #1, 1964), died at home on 8/19/2001, age 61
1940 ● Freddie Marsden / (Frederick John Marsden) → With brother Gerry Marsden, co-founder and drummer in 50s Brit skiffle band Mars Bars, which shortly became Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers(“How Do You Do It?, #9, AUS #3, UK #1, 1964), the second most popular Liverpool, England band of all time, left the music industry in the late 60s to open a driving school, died from cancer on 12/9/2006, age 66
1945 ● Bobby Bloom / (Robert Bloom) → One hit wonder calypso-pop singer and songwriter, “Montego Bay” (#1, 1974), died in an accidental gun shooting on 2/28/74, age 28
1949 ● Alan Paul → Singer in Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1949 ● Marcia Griffiths / (Marcia Llyneth Griffiths) → Jamaican pop singer and the “Queen of Reggae,” solo artist in the 60s and later in the I Threes as backing vocalist for Bob Marley & The Wailers, went solo and scored the minor hit “Electric Boogie” (#51, 1982) which became the basis for Ric Silver‘s dance-craze, copyright-infested “Electric Slide” (1976)
1949 ● Sandra Stevens → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1954 ● Bruce Hornsby → Grammy-winning rock-pop-jazz-classical-bluegrass keyboardist, singer and songwriter, bandleader for The Range “The Way It Is” (#1, 1986), solo, producer for Leon Russell and others, filled in on keyboards for the Grateful Dead, now fronts separate bluegrass and jazz bands
1962 ● Calvin Hayes → Keyboards and drums for underappreciated, one hit wonder (in the U.S.) New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988)
1962 ● Chris Bostock → Bassist in dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1964 ● Conny Bloom / (Conquistador Blomqvist) → Guitarist and songwriter for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1966 ● Charlie Grover → Drummer in post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain” (Modern Rock #3, 1995)
1966 ● Ken Block → Lead singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997), solo
1978 ● Alison Mosshart → Singer, songwriter and occasional model, lead singer for indie rock The Kills (“The Good Ones,” UK #23, 2005) and blues-rock supergroup The Dead Weather (“Die By The Drop,” Alt Rock #20, 2010)
1978 ● Tommy Marth / (Thomas Christian Marth, Jr.) → Freelance journalist, Las Vegas nightclub manager,Hard Rock Café marketing director and session saxophonist in alt hard rock The Killers (“Mr. Brightside,” #10, Alt. Rock #3, 2003), committed suicide by gunshot on 4/23/2012, age 33
1984 ● Lucas Stephen Grabeel → Pop singer and actor, played “Ryan Evans” in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever)
1992 ● Miley Cyrus / (Destiney Hope Cyrus) → Teen idol actress and star of the Disney Hannah Montana series, then pop vocalist, “Party In The U.S.A.” (#2, 2009), daughter of country-pop singer Billy Ray Cyrus

November 24
1868 ● Scott Joplin → The “King of Ragtime,” pianist and prolific jazz and ragtime composer best known for his signature piece, “Maple Leaf Rag” (copyright 1899), died from dementia caused by syphilis on 4/1/1917, age 49
1924 ● Eileen Barton → Child vaudeville performer, teenage radio program vocalist, 20-something pop singer with ten Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the perky “If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked You A Cake” (#1, 1950), continued as a night club and stage entertainer in her 30s and 40s, died from ovarian cancer on 6/27/2006, age 81
1931 ● Tommy Allsup / (Tommy Douglas Allsup) → Rockabilly and swing guitarist with Buddy Holly & The Crickets, lost a coin toss with Ritchie Valens for the last seat on the fateful flight on February 3, 1959 that killed Holly, Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, later worked as a session musician for Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson and others, died from complications of a hernia surgery on 1/11/2017, age 85
1938 ● Charles Laquidara → Radio DJ on early “free format” WBCN/Boston, his morning drive time show The Big Mattress ran for nearly 30 years and set the bar for FM radio morning shows
1939 ● Jim Yester → Guitar and vocals for light pop-rock vocal group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1939 ● Carl Bunch → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer recruited for Buddy Holly‘s band in the “Winter Dance Party” tour of 1959, suffered frostbite due to a malfunctioning tour bus heater and was hospitalized while the rest of the band took the ill-fated plane flight that killed Holly and others, did session work in Nashville following a stint in the Army, died from diabetes on 3/26/2011, age 71
1940 ● Johnny Carver → Country-pop crossover singer with fifteen Country Top 40 hits in the late 60s through the late 70s, including counterfeits of Tony Orlando & Dawn‘s “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Old Oak Tree” (Country #5, 1973) and Starland Vocal Band‘s “Afternoon Delight” (Country #9, 1976), performed in Branson, MO venues into the 90s
1941 ● Pete Best / (Randolph Peter Best) → The “5th The Beatle“, drummer for The Beatles from August 1960 until fired and replaced by Ringo Starr in August 1962, went into civil service and continued to perform as frontman to his own bands
1941 ● Duck Dunn / (Donald Dunn) → Bassist, songwriter, highly regarded session player, member of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1962) and The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died in his sleep while on tour in Tokyo on 5/13/2012, age 70
1941 ● Wayne Jackson / (Wayne Lamar Jackson) → Trumpet player for various studio session bands at Stax Records, first as The Mar-Keys (“Last Night,” #3, 1961) and later as Booker T. & The M.G.’s, joined with tenor saxophonist Andrew Love to form The Memphis Horns in 1969 and played on scores of albums by Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, U2, among others, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 74
1942 ● Billy Connolly → Scottish comedian, film and TV actor and singer, member of folk trio The Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty in 70s, then briefly a folk-novelty-pop solo artist, covered “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.” (UK #1, 1975)
1943 ● Robin Williamson → Guitarist and principal in Scottish psych-folk and early world music duo The Incredible String Band, 1968 album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter reached #161 in the US
1943 ● Richard Tee / (Richard Ten Ryk) → R&B and funk keyboardist, session musician, arranger and singer who played on hundreds of studio albums by top-tier artists in rock, pop and soul as well as in band’s led by George Benson, Grover Washington, Jr., Steve Gadd and others, issued seven solo albums, two of which reached into the Jazz Top 25, died in his prime from prostate cancer on 7/21/1993, age 49
1945 ● Lee Michaels / (Michael Olsen) → One hit wonder psych-rock/blue eyed soul singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Do You Know What I Mean” (#6, 1971)
1948 ● Tony Bourge → Guitarist for early and influential heavy metal Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1949 ● Anita Louis → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children, “I’ll Be The Other Woman” (#36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave
1950 ● Robert Burns, Jr. → Original drummer and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), left in 1974 after the band’s first two albums due to road fatigue, died in a single-car accident on 4/3/2015, age 64
1955 ● Clement Burke / (Clement Bozewski) → Original drummer for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), later with The Romantics, occasional tours with The Ramones (as “Elvis Ramone”), session work for Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, The Gog-Go’s, The Sex Pistols and others
1957 ● Chris Hayes → Guitar and backing vocals for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Carmel McCourt → Brit jazz-pop-rock vocalist and bandleader for Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Stonadge → Bassist for funk-punk Big Audio Dynamite, “V. Thirteen” (Dance/Club #15, 1987) and The Rotten Hill Gang
1962 ● John Squire → Guitarist for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997), painter
1964 ● Tony Rombola → Guitarist for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1970 ● Chad Taylor → Guitarist for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995) and The Gracious Few, “Appetite” (Mainstream Rock #29, 2010)

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