Posts Tagged country-rock birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (October 1 – 7)

Happy Birthday this week to:

October 01

1913 ● Charles Randolph Grean / → Songwriter and producer, worked with various big bands in the 40s, wrote or co-wrote several hits in the 50s, including novelty pop “The Thing” for Phil Harris (#1, 1950), “I Dreamed” for his wife, Betty Johnson (#12, 1956) and Leonard Nimoy, lost a plagiarism lawsuit against him for the music to “I Dreamed” which was alleged to have copied Fred Spielman’s “Rendezvous” from 1953, died from natural causes on 12/20/2003, age 90

1927 ● Buddy McRae / (Floyd McRae) → Founding member and second tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop The Chords, one of the earliest black groups to cross over to the pop charts with “Sh-Boom” (#9, R&B #3, 1954), died on 3/19/2013, age 85

1930 ● Richard Harris / → Irish actor, film director, theatrical producer and adult contemporary singer/songwriter, “Macarthur Park” (#2, 1968), died of Hodgkin’s disease on 10/25/2002, age 72

1932 ● Albert Collins / → The “Master of the Telecaster,” influential electric blues singer and guitarist, “Get Your Business Straight” (R&B #46, 1972) and Grammy-winning album Live ’92/93 (1993), died from liver cancer on 11/24/1993, age 61

1934 ● Geoff Stephens / → Brit songwriter and record producer, created US one hit wonder The New Vaudeville Band with a collection of studio musicians to record his Grammy-winning novelty pop hit “Winchester Cathedral” (#1, UK #4, 1966) and several other minor hits in the UK, also wrote hits for The Holliess, Tom Jones, Hot Chocolate, David Soul and many others

1935 ● Julie Andrews / (Julia Elizabeth Wells) → Film and stage actress, author and Grammy-winning singer, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (#66, 1965)

1940 ● Steve O’Rourke / → Booking agent turned band manager for space/psych/prog rock Pink Floyd following the departure of founding member Syd Barrett in 1968, continued to manage the group’s affairs while pursuing a parallel career as an historic race car driver, died from a stroke on 10/30/2003, age 63

1942 ● Herb Fame / (Herbert Feemster) → Male vocalist and only constant member of R&B/soul-pop duo Peaches & Herb, “Reunited” (#1, 1978), now a Washington, DC police officer

1943 ● Jerry Martini / → Co-founder and saxophone for R&B/funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People” (#1, 1969), played with Rubicon and Prince’s backing band

1944 ● Barbara Parritt / → Singer for R&B/pop girl trio The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2, 1965)

1944 ● Toubo Rhoad / (Herbert Rhoad) → Baritone vocals for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), died while on tour with the group on 12/8/1988, age 44

1945 ● Donny Hathaway / → Rising star smooth R&B/soul singer best known for duets with Roberta Flack, including “Where Is The Love?” (#5, 1972), jumped from New York City hotel window 1/13/1979, age 33

1947 ● Jane Dornacker / → Rock vocalist and stand-up comedienne turned TV traffic reporter, early member of camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes (“She’s A Beauty,” #10, 1978), died in a news traffic helicopter crash in New York City on 10/22/1986 , age 39

1947 ● Martin Turner / → Founding member, bass and vocals for prog/hard rock, twin lead guitar pioneers Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)

1947 ● Rob Davis / → Guitarist for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), songwriter who co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002)

1948 ● Mariska Veres / → Lead vocals and frontgal for Dutch pop-rock one hit wonder Shocking Blue, “Venus” (#1, 1970), died from cancer on 12/2/2006, age 58

1948 ● Cub Koda / (Michael Koda) → Guitarist, founder, frontman and songwriter for hard rock Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” (#3, 1973), solo career, disc jockey and music journalist, died from kidney failure on 7/5/2000, age 51

1955 ● Howard Hewett / → Lead vocalist and frontman for R&B-urban contemporary Shalamar, solo “I’m For Real” (R&B #2, 1986), solo

1957 ● Andy Walton / → Drummer for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)

1958 ● Martin Cooper / → Saxophonist and occasional songwriter for New Wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986), painter

1959 ● Youssou N’Dour / → Senegalese dance-pop percussionist and singer, vocals on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” (1986), solo, “7 Seconds” (#98, UK #3, 1994), worked with Peter Gabriel, Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and others

1968 ● Kevin Griffin / → Founder, guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist for alt pop-rock Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995)

1974 ● Keith Duffy / → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999), TV actor

1976 ● Richard Oakes / → Guitarist for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)

1985 ● Dizzee Rascal / (Dylan Kwabena Mills) → British garage songwriter, record producer and rapper, “Holiday (UK #1, 2009)

October 02

1933 ● David Somerville / → Canadian singer and songwriter, co-founder and original lead singer for pop vocal group The Diamonds, “Little Darlin'” (#2, 1957) and fourteen other Top 40 hits between 1956 and 1961, co-wrote the theme song to TV drama series The Fall Guy (1981-1986) with show producer Glen Larson of The Four Preps, with whom he toured in the 80s, died from cancer on 7/14/2015, age 81

1935 ● René Herrera / → Mexican-American singer and, with René Ornelas, one half of the Tejano-pop duo René y René with two minor 60s hits, “Angelito” (“Little Angel”) (#43, 1964) and “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You)” (AC #14, 1969), one of the first Chicano acts on American Bandstand in 1964, retired in 1969 for a career in banking, died from cancer on 12/20/2005, age 70

1938 ● Nick Gravenites / → Blues, rock and folk guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer, worked with Quicksilver Messenger Service and Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues Band, joined The Butterfield Blues Band and founded blues-rock Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield, wrote the score to the film The Trip (1967) and produced the music to the film Steelyard Blues (1973), inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003

1939 ● Lolly Vegas / (Candido Vasquez-Vegas) → With brother Patrick, co-founder, guitar and vocals for Native American rockers Redbone, “Come And Get Your Love” (#5, 1974), died 3/4/2010, age 70

1941 ● Ron Meagher / → Co-founder and bassist in pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964)

1945 ● Don McLean / → Folk-rock singer/songwriter best known for his 8 minute epic, “American Pie” (#1, 1971), the song inspired by and a tribute to the death of Buddy Holly

1946 ● Ron Griffiths / → Bassist, vocals and songwriter for power pop quartet The Iveys, “Maybe Tomorrow” (#67, 1968), left before the band changed its name and became Badfinger

1947 ● Skip Konte / (Frank Konte) → Record producer, movie score writer and pop-rock keyboardist, joined The Blues Image in 1967 and co-wrote “Ride Captain Ride” (#4, 1970), left in 1973 to join pop-rock Three Dog Night (“Joy To The World,” #1, 1971), formed KonteMedia and produced the sci-fi movie Meridian in 2010

1949 ● Richard Hell / (Richard Lester Meyers) → Bassist, singer and songwriter, one of the original New York punk rockers, co-founded punk-rock Television, then fronted The Voidoids, “Blank Generation” (1977), now an author

1950 ● Mike Rutherford / → Bass, backing vocals and one of two constant members of prog-rock turned pop-rock Genesis, “Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), fronts side project Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986)

1951 ● Sting / (Gordon Matthew Sumner) → Lead vocals, bass guitar and songwriter for post-punk The Police, “Every Breath You Take” (#1, 1983), then highly successful solo career, “Fortress Around Your Heart” (#1, 1985) and five other Top 20 hits and 11 Grammy Awards

1952 ● John Otway / → Novelty folk-rock cult singer/songwriter, “Really Free” (UK #27, 1977) with Wild Willy Barrett and “Bunsen Burner” (UK #9, 2002)

1955 ● Philip Oakey / → Vocals for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)

1956 ● Freddie Jackson / → R&B/urban soul balladeer, “You Are My Lady” (#12, R&B #1, 1985) and nine other R&B #1 hits

1958 ● Robbie Nevil / → Songwriter, guitarist and pop-rock solo singer, “C’est La Vie” (#2, 1987), producer and writer for Babyface, Jessica Simpson, Destiny’s Child, Smash Mouth and others

1960 ● Al Connelly / → Guitarist for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)

1962 ● Claude McKnight / (Claude V. McKnight, III) → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)

1962 ● Siggi Baldursson / (Sigtryggur Baldursson) → Drummer in Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)

1967 ● Bud Gaugh / (Floyd I. Gaugh IV) → Drums and percussion for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997)

1967 ● Gillian Welch / → Country, bluegrass and light roots-rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and percussionist, released multiple albums with musical partner David Rawlings, including Grammy-nominated The Harrow & The Harvest (#20, Indie Albums #3, 2011)

1969 ● Badly Drawn Boy / (Damon Gough) → Alternative rock singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, “You Were Right” (UK #9, 2002)

1970 ● Dion Allen / → Backing vocals in hip hop/urban rap quintet Az Yet, “Last Night” (#9, R&B #1, 1996)

1971 ● Tiffany Renee Darwish / → Late 80s teen queen and bubblegum pop singer, “Could’ve Been” (#1, 1987) and “I Think We’re Alone Now” (#1, 1987)

1973 ● LaTocha Scott / → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)

1973 ● Lene / (Lene Grawford Nystrøm Rasted) → Vocals for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content

1973 ● Proof / (DeShaun Holton) → Detroit rapper, high school chum of Eminem and member with him of the hip hop collective D12 (aka Dirty Dozen), “My Band” (#6, 2004) plus several solo and collaborative projects, died from gunshot wounds at a nightclub shooting on 4/11/2006, age 32

October 03

1938 ● Eddie Cochran / (Edward Raymond Cochran) → Pioneering rockabilly singer, songwriter, influential power chord guitarist and up-and-coming rock star, “Summertime Blues” (#8, 1958) and two other Top 40 hits, died in a car crash while on tour in England on 4/17/1960, age 21

1940 ● Alan O’Day / (Alan Earle O’Day) → One hit wonder pop rock singer, “Undercover Agent” (#1, UK #43, 1977), also wrote hit songs for Helen Reddy (“Angie Baby,” #1, 1974) and co-wrote The Righteous Brothers (“Rock And Roll Heaven,” #3, 1974), turned to TV in the 80s and co-wrote over 100 songs for the Muppet Babes series, died from brain cancer on 5/17/2013, age 72

1941 ● Chubby Checker / (Ernest Evans) → Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer and early 60s dance-craze instigator, “The Twist” (#1, 1960 and 1962), the only song to hit #1 in the US singles charts twice, plus 17 other Top 40 hits

1941 ● Lenny Waronker / → Record producer and former CEO of Warner Bros. Records, worked with Maria Muldaur, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Newman, The Doobie Brothers and multiple other 70s rock bands, partner with DreamWorks development team

1945 ● Antonio Martinez / → Guitarist for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band

1946 ● P. P. Arnold / (Patricia Ann Cole) → L.A.-born gospel and R&B/soul singer recruited from motherhood to the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in 1964, left the band for a London-based solo career including a Mick Jagger produced debit album, The First Lady Of Immediate (1967) and several UK-only cover hits plus backing work with the Small Faces, Humble Pie, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel and others into the 00s

1947 ● Ben Cauley / → Trumpet player 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, survived the December 1967 plane crash that killed Redding and four bandmates, reformed the The Bar-Kays and backed Isaac Hayes on his landmark album, Hot Buttered Soul (1969), continued to perform until his death on 9/21/2015 , age 68

1949 ● Lindsey Buckingham / → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for pop duo Buckingham Nicks, joined pop-rock Fleetwood Mac in 1974, wrote “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), then solo, “Trouble” (#9, 1981), producer

1950 ● Ronnie Laws / → Jazz, blues and funk saxophonist and singer, first with R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), then solo, “Every Generation” (R&B #12, 1980), sessions for Ramsey Lewis, Hugh Masekela, Sister Sledge and others

1954 ● Stevie Ray Vaughan / → Grammy-winning Texas blues-rock guitar master, “Crossfire” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1983), died in a helicopter crash following a show in Wisconsin on 8/27/1990, age 35

1961 ● Robbie Jaymes / → Keyboards for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)

1962 ● Tommy Lee / (Tommy Lee Bass) → Drummer in hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989), founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, “Get Naked” (2000) and other solo work, former spouse of actresses Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson

1965 ● Neil Sims / → Drummer for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)

1966 ● Dan Miller / → Guitarist for at pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)

1967 ● Chris Collingwood / → Singer, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and founding member of power pop band Fountains Of Wayne, “Stacy’s Mom” (#21, 2003)

1969 ● Gwen Stefani / → Lead vocals for rock/ska No Doubt, “Underneath It All” (#3, 2002), then solo, “Hollaback Girl” (#1, 2005) from the 2004 worldwide Top 10 album Love, Angel, Music, Baby, fashion designer

1971 ● Kevin Richardson / → Vocals in pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)

1975 ● India.Arie / (India Arie Simpson) → Grammy-winning neo-classic R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Little Things” (Song of the Year, 2000)

1978 ● Jake Shears / (Jason Sellards) → Vocals dance-glam-rock Scissor Sisters, “Filthy Gorgeous” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)

1979 ● Nate Wood / → Drums, percussion and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001)

1983 ● Danny O’Donoghue / → Irish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in teen-pop boy band Mytown, “Body Bumpin'” (Canada #12, 2000) then Celtic folk-pop-rock The Script, “Breakeven” (#12, 2010)

1984 ● Ashlee Simpson / → Reality TV series actress and teen-dance-pop singer, “Pieces Of Me” (#5, 2004), fodder for tabloid magazines

October 04

1929 ● Leroy Van Dyke / → Country-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Walk On By” (#5, Country #1, 1961), named by Billboard magazine as the most popular country song of all time

1937 ● Pirkle Lee Moses, Jr. / → Lead vocals for Chicago doo wop The El Dorados, “At My Front Door” (#17, R&B #1, 1955), fronted various incarnations of the group until his death on 12/6/2000, age 63

1944 ● Marlena Davis / → Vocals in mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in late 1963 for a career as an executive secretary, died from lung cancer on 2/25/1993, age 48

1947 ● Jim Fielder / → Bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), sessions

1952 ● Jody Stevens / → Drummer and last surviving original member of power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), currently a studio engineer

1957 ● Barbara K. / (Barbara Kooyman MacDonald) → With then-husband Pat MacDonald, one half of one hit wonder alt country-folk-pop duo Timbuk 3, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” (#19, 1986), following divorce in 1995 pursued a solo music career mixed with social activism

1959 ● Chris Lowe / → Keyboards for synth-pop dance Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls” (#1, 1986)

1961 ● Juan Jon Secada / (Juan Secada) → Cuban-American R&B and pop singer and songwriter, “Just Another Day” (#5, 1992), two albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Latin Pop Performance

1965 ● Leo Barnes / → Saxophone for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)

1977 ● Richard Reed Parry / → Multi-instrumentalist member of Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

1984 ● Lena Katina / (Elena Sergeevna Katina) → Singer in Russian teen pop duo t.A.T.u., “All The Things She Said” (#20, UK #1, 2003), solo

October 05

1907 ● Mrs. Miller / (Elva Ruby Connes) → Undeniably unique, improbably humorous and oddly catchy novelty pop singer with an off-key, warbling, faux-operatic delivery on renditions of light pop, jazz and easy listening hits, including “Yellow Submarine,” “The Girl From Ipanema” and “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” scored two Top 100 hits and a Top 20 album (Mrs. Miller’s Greatest Hits, #15, 1966) before disappearing into obscurity the early 70s, died on 7/5/1997, age 89

1911 ● Maxine King / (Maxine Elliott Driggs Thomas) → 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 and holiday specials thereafter, died from natural causes at age 92 on 5/13/2009, age 97

1924 ● Bill Dana / (William Szathmary) → TV actor, comedian and screenwriter, created the character José Jiménez and the comedy single “The Astronaut” (Top 20, 1961)

1935 ● Margie Singleton / (Margaret Louis Ebey) → Popular country duet and solo singer, “Keeping Up With The Joneses” (Country #5, 1964) and four other Country Top 20 hits

1936 ● Wydell Jones / (George Jones Jr.) → Lead vocals and songwriter for doo-wop The Edsels, “Rama Lama Ding Dong” (#21, 1961), died from cancer on 9/27/2008, age 71

1937 ● Carlo Mastrangelo / → Bass and later lead vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “A Teenager In Love” (#5, 1959), continued after frontman Dion DiMucci left in 1960 as The Belmonts, “Tell Me Why” (#18, 1961), performed with the group until just prior to his death from cancer on 4/4/2016, age 78

1939 ● Abi Ofarim / (Abraham Reichstadt) → Israeli guitarist, vocalist and dancer, one half the folk-pop-rock husband/wife duo Esther & Abi, “Cinderella Rockafella” (UK #1, 1968)

1941 ● Arlene Smith / → Vocals for early R&B/pop girl group trio The Chantels, “Maybe” (#15, R&B #2, 1958), one of the definitive songs of the genre

1941 ● Wally Lester / → Vocals in R&B doo wop The Skyliners, “Since I Don’t Have You” (#12, 1959)

1942 ● Richard Street / → Lead vocals from 1971 to 1993 for Motown R&B/soul legends The Temptations, Grammy-winning “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), his unfinished autobiography was published after his death from a pulmonary embolism on 2/27/2013, age 70

1943 ● Steve Miller / → Guitarist, singer, songwriter and frontman for blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973), now teaches college music courses

1945 ● Brian Connolly / → Vocals for glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1973), died of kidney and liver failure after years of alcoholism on 2/10/1997, age 51

1947 ● Brian Johnson / → Lead vocals for Brit glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1972), joined AC/DC replacing deceased lead singer Bon Scott in 1980, “Back In Black” (#37, 1981)

1948 ● Carter Cornelius / → Singer, musician and member of sibling R&B/soul-pop Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, “Treat Her Like A Lady” (#3, R&B #20, 1971) and “Too Late To Turn Back Now” (#2, R&B #5, 1972) and seven other charting hits in the mid-70s, went into seclusion with a religious sect in the late 70s and died from a heart attack on 11/7/1991 , age 43

1948 ● Tawl Ross / (Lucius “Tawl” Ross) → Rhythm guitar for R&B/funk giants Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#28, 1978)

1949 ● B.W. Stevenson / (Louis Charles Stevenson III) → One hit wonder country-pop singer, “My Maria” (#9, 1973), died during heart valve surgery on 4/28/1988, age 38

1950 ● “Fast” Eddie Clarke / (Edward Allan Clarke) → Guitar and vocals in speed-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980), left the band in 1982 to co-found heavy metal Fastway

1951 ● Bob Geldof / → Frontman, guitar, singer and songwriter for Irish New Wave punk-pop Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, UK #1, 1980) plus 8 other UK Top 20 hits, Live Aid founder/promoter, author, and political activist

1952 ● Harold Faltermeyer / (Harald Faltermeier) → Grammy-winning German synth-pop keyboardist, producer and composer, co-wrote the themes from the movies Beverly Hills Cop “Axel F” (#3, 1985) and Top Gun, session work with Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Billy Idol, Cheap Trick and others

1953 ● Russell Craig Mael / → With brother Ron, vocals and frontman for quirky pop-rock Sparks, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us” (UK #2, 1974) and “Just Got Back From Heaven” (Dance/Club #7, 1989)

1957 ● Lee Thompson / → Sax and vocals for punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles

1960 ● Paul Heard / → Keyboards and programming for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)

1964 ● Dave Dederer / → Co-founder, bass and vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Lump” (Mainstream Rock #7, 1995), later with web/mobile media company Melodeo

1974 ● Heather Headley / → Trinidadian R&B/soul, calypso, reggae and soca singer, “In My Mind” (Dance/Club #1, 2006), Broadway stage actress, The Lion King (1997) and Aida (1998)

1977 ● Kele Le Roc / (Kelly Biggs) → Brit pop, garage and R&B/soul singer, “Little Bit Of Lovin'” (UK #8, 1998), backing vocals for Shy FX and Curtis Lynch, Jr.

1978 ● James Valentine / → Guitarist for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)

1980 ● Paul Anthony Thomas / → Bass guitar for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)

1985 ● Nicola Roberts / → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)

October 06

1917 ● Bob Neal / → Memphis country and pop radio DJ, music talent agent, Elvis Presley’s second manager, resigned in favor of Colonel Tom Parker in early 1955

1940 ● Jerry Heller / (Gerald E. Heller) → Music impresario best known for managing early rap stars N.W.A. and introducing gangsta rap to a mainstream audience, co-founded Ruthless Records with rapper Eazy-E in 1987, N.W.A. and the label eventually fell into acrimony that continued up to his lawsuit against NBC Universal and others for the negative portrayal of his character in the film Straight Outta Compton (2015) about N.W.A. and the rise of rap music, died after a heart attack on 9/2/2016, age 75

1942 ● Neil Korner / → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)

1945 ● Robin Shaw / (Robin George Scrimshaw) → Session vocalist recruited to pre-fab British Invasion pop-rock The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (Top 10, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970) and later pop-rock The First Class, “Beach Baby” (#4, UK #13, 1974)

1946 ● Millie Small / (Millicent Dolly May Small ) → Jamaican one hit wonder “bluebeat” reggae/ska singer, “My Boy Lollipop” (#2, 1964), the first international ska hit

1949 ● Bobby Farrell / (Roberto Alfonso Farrell) → West Indian vocalist in R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), left for a solo career in 1988 and later fronted his own version of the band, Bobby Farrell’s Boney M, died in his sleep from a heart attack on 12/30/2010, age 61

1949 ● Thomas McClary / → Guitarist for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978), left for a solo career in gospel music

1951 ● Gavin Sutherland / → Bass guitar and vocals for folk-rock sibling duo The Sutherland Brothers, “(I Don’t Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway” (#48, 1973), then joined with an obscure rock band to form The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, “The Arms Of Mary” (#81, UK #5, 1975)

1951 ● Kevin Cronin / → Lead vocals, rhythm guitar and songwriter for arena rock REO Speedwagon, wrote “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (#1, 1985)

1954 ● David Hidalgo / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Tex-Mex roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987), solo, side projects and session work, also member of supergroup Los Super Seven and the Latin Playboys

1958 ● Tim Mooney / → Drummer for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)

1960 ● Richard Jobson / → Lead singer in New Wave art-punk-rock The Skids, “Into The Valley” (UK #10, 1979), later producer, TV host, film director and screenwriter

1961 ● Tim Burgess / → Drummer for new wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)

1964 ● Matthew Sweet / → Power pop guitarist and songwriter, “Girlfriend” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992), collaborated with The Bangles’ singer Susanna Hoffs on two albums, Under The Covers, (2006) and Vol. 2 (2009), featuring covers of 60s and 70s pop-rock hits

1966 ● Tommy Stinson / → Lead guitar for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), solo, sessions, played with Guns N’ Roses, Soul Asylum, The Old 97’s and others

1982 ● William Pierce Butler / → Multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

October 07

1927 ● Al Martino / (Jasper Cini) → Italian-American pop crooner, “I Love You Because” (#3, 1963) and ten other Top 40 hits, film actor, played Johnny Fontane in The Godfather series, died on 10/13/2009, age 82

1939 ● Colin Cooper / → Founding member, saxophone, guitar and vocals for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977), died on 7/3/2008, age 68

1941 ● Martin Murray / → Rhythm guitar for one hit wonder English beat/pop-rock The Honeycombs, “Have I The Right?” (#5, 1964)

1941 ● Panama Silvester / (Tony “Panama” Silvester) → Panama-born founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972) and 11 R&B Top 40 singles, died from multiple myeloma on 11/27/2006, age 65

1945 ● Bob Webber / → Co-founder, keyboards and vocals for one hit wonder pop-rock Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” (#3, 1970)

1945 ● Kevin Godley / → Drummer, vocals and songwriter for soft pop-rock 10cc (“I’m Not In Love,” #2, 1975), then co-founded pop duo Godley & Crème, “Cry” (#16, 1985), since the late 80s directed music videos for Fine Young Cannibals, U2, Eric Clapton and many others

1949 ● David Hope / → Founding member and bassist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Dust In The Wind” (#6, 1978), converted to Christianity and formed religious-tinged hard rock AD with other Kansas bandmates, now an Anglican priest and author

1951 ● John Cougar Mellencamp / → Grammy-winning roots rock singer/songwriter, “Jack And Diane” (#1, 1982) and 23 other Top 40 and 16 Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits

1953 ● Tico Torres / (Hector Samuel Torres) → Drummer and percussionist in Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987)

1959 ● David Taylor / → Original bass guitarist for studio-only pop-rock one hit wonder Edison Lighthouse, “(Love Grows) Where My Rosemary Goes” (#5, 1970)

1959 ● Simon Cowell / → Record A&R executive, TV producer, music entrepreneur and notoriously critical judge on TV shows Popstars, Pop Idol, American Idol and, starting in 2011, the US version of The X Factor

1964 ● Sam Brown / (Samantha “Sam” Brown) → Brit singer, keyboardist and songwriter, “Stop!” (UK #4, 1989), also backing vocals in sessions and tours with Steve Marriott, The Small Faces, Jools Holland Band, Spandau Ballet and Pink Floyd

1967 ● Toni Braxton / (Toni Michelle Braxton) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop singer, “Un Break My Heart” (#1, 1996), Broadway stage and film actress, Las Vegas showroom headliner

1968 ● Thom Yorke / (Thomas Edward Yorke) → Lead vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003), solo, “Black Swan” (Mainstream Rock #40, 2006)

1976 ● Taylor Hicks / → Blue-eyed soul singer and songwriter, 2006 American Idol winner, “Do I Make You Proud” (#1, 2006)

1978 ● Alesha Dixon / → Brit singer, dancer and songwriter in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), solo, “The Boy Does Nothing” (UK #5, 2008), model

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jun 19

1902 ● Gaetano Alberto “Guy” Lombardo → Canadian-American easy listening violinist and bandleader, formed big band The Royal Canadians with three brothers and several other musicians in the 20s and became known for nearly 50 years of New Years Eve radio and then TV broadcasts, moonlighted as a hydroplane speedboat racer, won the Gold Cup and every other trophy in the field, died from a heart attack on 11/5/1977, age 75
1914 ● Lester Flatt → Legendary and musically prodigious bluegrass guitarist, cohort of Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys and in duo Flatt & Scruggs, died of heart failure on 5/11/1979, age 64
1925 ● Charlie Drake (Charles Edward Spungall) → Brit comedian, children’s songwriter, TV actor and BBC program host, and (in the U.S.) one hit wonder novelty song singer, “My Boomerang Won’t Come Back” (#21, UK #14, 1962), died in his sleep on 12/23/2006, age 81
1936 ● Tommy DeVito → Founding member, guitarist and singer for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), left in 1971 and sold his stake in the group to cover gambling and tax debts
1936 ● Shirley Goodman → One half of 50s teen R&B/pop male-female contrasting duet-style Shirley & Lee, “Let The Good Times Roll” (#20, R&B #1, 1956), resurfaced as lead singer for one hit wonder, pre-disco dance-pop Shirley & Company, “Shame Shame Shame” (#12, 1974), died on 7/5/2005, age 69
1939 ● Al Wilson → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, “Show and Tell” (#1, 1973), died of kidney failure on 4/21/2008, age 68
1942 ● Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane → Frontwoman and lead vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), joined the reformed The Mamas & The Papas in 1982
1944 ● Robin Box → Lead guitar for Brit pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1945 ● Robert Palmer, Jr. → Musician, journalist, author and rock music critic, played clarinet in 60s jazz-rock The Insect Trust, covered rock music for the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s and 80s, produced blues albums and published books in the 80s and 90s, died from liver disease on 11/20/1997, age 52
1948 ● Nick Drake → Dark-themed, multi-instrumentalist Brit folk-rock singer/songwriter, notable album Pink Moon (1972), committed suicide on 11/25/1974, age 26
1950 ● Ann Wilson → With younger sister Nancy, co-frontwoman for hard AOR rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1953 ● Larry Dunn (Lawrence Dunhill) → Keyboards, synthesizer and musical director for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1957 ● Maxi Jazz (Maxwell Fraser) → Rapper in electronic house-pop club quartet Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1959 ● Mark “Marty” DeBarge → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1960 ● Dennis Fuller → With Edem Ephraim, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Ephraim in a car collision on 1/21/1996, age 36
1962 ● Paula Abdul → Former L. A. Laker cheerleader and rock/pop stage and video dance choreographer turned hugely successful dance-pop diva, “Opposites Attract” (#1, 1989) and five other US #1 hits, producer and judge on the TV show American Idol
1963 ● Simon Wright → Drummer for hard rock AC/DC starting in 1983, left in 1989 to join heavy metal Dio
1964 ● Brian Vander Ark → Frontman, guitar and vocals for alt/indie pop-rock The Verve Pipe, “The Freshmen” (#5, 1997)
1970 ● Brian “Head” Welch → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002), solo
1976 ● Scott Avett → Founding member, lead vocals and multiple instruments for 90s-00s folk-rock The Avett Brothers, currently pits and runs an art gallery in North Carolina
1983 ● Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) → Rapper and songwriter, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with Ryan Lewis as the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the pair had back-to-back debut singles, “Can’t Hold Us” (#1, 2011) and “Thrift Shop” (#1, 2013), and four Grammy Awards in 2014

Jun 20

1907 ● Jimmy Driftwood (James Corbitt Morris) → Legendary and prolific country, folk-pop and roots rock songwriter, wrote thousands of songs (of which some 300 were recorded), often with American history themes such as the oft-covered “The Battle Of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton, #1, 1959), died of a heart attack on 7/12/1998, age 91
1920 ● Donato Joseph “Danny” Cedrone → Rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Bill Haley & His Comets, played lead on all their hits including “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died instantly from a broken neck after falling down a staircase on 6/7/1954 at age 34 and never knew his role in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll
1924 ● Chester Burton “Chet” Atkins → Eleven-time Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist, songwriter, sessionman, producer and solo artist, “Yakety Axe” (Country #4, 1965), created the smoother “Nashville Sound” blending country and pop, died from a brain tumor on 6/30/2001, age 77
1928 ● Eric Dolphy → Avant garde “free jazz” flute, alto sax and clarinet musician, influenced jazz-rock fusionists, died suddenly from a diabetic coma on 6/29/1964, age 36
1936 ● Billy Guy → Bass singer for R&B/doo wop/soul-pop The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958), solo comedy album plus producer, died in his sleep of a probable heart attack on 11/5/2002, age 66
1936 ● Mickie Most (Michael Peter Hayes) → Producer for The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, Lulu and Jeff Beck, formed RAK Records in 1969 and issued hits for Hot Chocolate, Mud and Suzi Quatro, died of cancer on 5/30/2003, age 66
1937 ● Jerry Keller → One hit wonder pop singer/songwriter, “Here Comes Summer” (#14, UK #1, 1959), wrote several minors hit for others and soundtracks, TV commercial jingle vocalist
1942 ● Brian Wilson → Leader, keyboards, bass guitar, lead and backing harmony vocals and chief songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), referred by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “one of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music”
1945 ● Anne Murray → Grammy-winning, Nova Scotia-born country-pop and adult contemporary singer, “You Needed Me” (#1, 1978)
1948 ● Alan Longmuir → Bassist for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1948 ● Don Airey → Long and varied journeyman career as keyboard sessionman and bandmember for Hammer, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Colosseum II, Whitesnake, Judas Priest and others, with Deep Purple since 2002
1949 ● Lionel Richie → Saxophone and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978), then hugely successful R&B-pop/adult contemporary solo career beginning with “Endless Love” (#1, 1981), the first of 13 straight Top 10 hits, five of which were #1
1954 ● Michael Anthony (Sobolewski) → Founding member and only bassist for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), co-founded blues-funk-rock supergroup Chickenfoot in 2008, markets a line of hot sauces and related products named Mad Anthony
1958 ● Simon Underwood → Bassist for post-punk Pigbag, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” (Dance/Club #56, UK #3, 1981)
1958 ● Kelly Johnson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981), died of spinal cancer on 7/15/2007, age 49
1960 ● John Taylor → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001), co-founded The Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and mid-90s supergroup Neurotic Outsiders, “Jerk” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1996), plus solo, ” I Do What I Do” (Theme from 9-1/2 Weeks) (#23, 1986)
1960 ● Chris Gibson → Percussion and vocals with brothers Patrick and Alex in R&B/disco-salsa The Gibson Brothers, “Cuba” (Dance/Club #9, 1979)
1967 ● Jerome Fontamillas → Guitars, keyboards and vocals with several industrial and alt rock bands in the 90s, in 2000 joined Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1968 ● Murphy Karges → Bassist for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1971 ● Twiggy Ramirez (Jeordie Osbourne White) → Bassist for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later Nine Inch Nails touring band, A Perfect Circle and Goon Moon
1972 ● Chino Moreno → Vocals for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000), ranked #51 in Hit Parader magazine’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time
1979 ● Charlotte Hatherly → Founding member, guitar and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)

Jun 21

1926 ● Nick Noble (Nicholas Valkan) → Pop and easy listening singer with several Top 40 hits in the 50s and 60s, including “A Fallen Star” (#22, 1957) and a minor but near-career reviving country-pop crossover hit, “Stay With Me” (AC #38, Country #40, 1978), died on 3/24/2012, age 85
1932 ● Lalo Schifrin → Argentinean-born, Grammy-winning pianist, conductor, composer and arranger of TV and film soundtracks, including “Mission: Impossible” (Adult Contemporary #7, 1968), “Jaws” (Disco #5, 1976) and the theme song to Mannix (1967-1975), also worked with Clint Eastwood to compose the scores to several films in the Dirty Harry series
1942 ● Ocie Lee “O.C.” Smith → Jazz vocalist in Count Basie‘s band, then country-R&B-pop solo singer, “Little Green Apples” (#2, 1968), later became a pastor and church leader, died on 11/23/2001, age 59
1944 ● Miquel Vicens Danus → Bassist for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1944 ● Jon Hiseman → Brit jazz-rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, left to form prog rock Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), recording engineer, producer and music publisher
1944 ● Ray Davies → Founding member, frontman, guitar, vocals and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970) and “Come Dancing” (#6, 1983)
1946 ● Brenda Holloway → Second-tier Motown Records R&B/soul singer, “Every Little Bit Hurts” (#13, 1964), left the label in the late 60s for “religious reasons” and to raise a family, released a one-off gospel album in 1980, returned to recording and performing on the revival circuit and continues as of 2015
1947 ● Joey Molland → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), has performed in various incarnations of the band for four decades
1949 ● Greg Munford → Lead vocals for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Joey Kramer → Long-time drummer 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)
1951 ● Alan Silson → Lead guitar and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1951 ● Nils Lofgren → Rock guitarist, pianist, songwriter and vocals, joined Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse in 1968, from 1971 to 1974 recorded four albums with his own band, Grin, solo, “Valentine”, (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1984 and is a two-time member with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band
1957 ● Mark Brzezicki → Drummer for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), also stints with The Cult, Ultravox and Procol Harum, plus session work for The Pretenders, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and others
1959 ● Marcella Detroit (Levy) → Back-up singer for Eric Clapton, then vocalist and songwriter in R&B/synth-pop duo Shakespear’s Sister, “Stay” (#4, 1992), sessions, solo
1959 ● Kathy Mattea → Grammy-winning bluegrass and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Goin’ Gone” (Country #1, 1987) and 13 other Country Top 10 singles
1967 ● Tim Simenon → Hip hop producer, co-produced for Neneh Cherry and Seal, composer and frontman for one man electronic/sampladelic Bomb The Bass, “Beat Dis” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1968 ● Sonique (Sonia Clarke) → Brit dance-pop diva and DJ, first with dance-pop acid house S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988), then solo, “Feels So Good” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 2000)
1969 ● Pat Sansone → Multi-instrumentalist for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1975 ● Justin Cary → Bassist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1976 ● Mike Einziger → Guitarist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Brandon Flowers → Vocals and keyboards for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1985 ● Lana Del Ray (Elizabeth Grant) → Model, guitarist and trip hop/house singer, “Summertime Sadness” (#6, 2012)

Jun 22

1913 ● Dotty Todd (Doris Dabb) → With her husband in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from natural causes on 10/10/2007, age 87
1927 ● Remo Delmo Belli → Creator of the less expensive, more durable synthetic drumhead cover in the late 50s, which launched thousands of 60s garage bands and fueled the rock ‘n’ roll boom, died from pneumonia on 4/25/2016, age 88
1930 ● Roy Drusky → Countrypolitan music singer and songwriter with twelve Country Top 10 hits in the 60s and 70s but only one crossover single, “Three Hearts In A Triangle” (#35, Country #2, 1961), died from lung cancer on 9/23/2004, age 74
1936 ● Kris Kristofferson → Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter, wrote “Me & Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin, #1, 1971), solo artist, “Why Me” (#16, Country #1, 1973), film actor in many top films and roles, including A Star Is Born (1976) opposite Barbra Streisand, husband of folkie Rita Coolidge from 1973 to 1980
1937 ● Chris Blackwell → Highly-influential Brit music executive and producer, founder of fiercely independent Island Records, which forged the early careers of Traffic, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and countless other rock acts, founded Mango Records and Palm Records, currently oversees Jamaican resort properties and philanthropic organizations
1942 ● Eumir Deodato → Brazilian multi-instrumentalist producer and arranger known for mixing rock, R&B/funk and heavy Latin influences in a crossover orchestral jazz sound, scored several instrumental pop and disco dance-pop hits in the 70s and 80s, including a rendition of “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” (#2, 1973), also arranged and produced hundreds of albums for multiple artists over three decades through the 00s
1944 ● Bill Thompson → Manager for psychedelic rock Jefferson Airplane (“Somebody To Love,” #5, 1967) through successful but turbulent times from 1968 to 1972, stayed with the band members for various solo projects, including folk-rock Hot Tuna (LP Burgers, 1972) and reformation as electric folk/pop-rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975) and spinoff pop-rock Starship (“We Built This City,” #1, 1985), died of a heart attack on 1/12/2015, age 70
1944 ● Peter Asher → With Gordon Waller, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, manager, record producer and one-time head of Apple Records
1947 ● Howard Kaylan → With long-time collaborator Mark Vollman, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Vollman, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Todd Rundgren → Guitarist, singer/songwriter, bandleader for pop-rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#71, 1969) and Utopia, “Set Me Free” (#27, 1980), solo, “I Saw The Light” (#16, 1972), member of The New Cars, “Not Tonight” (2006) and producer of albums by Meat Loaf, The Band, Badfinger and Grand Funk Railroad, among others
1949 ● Alan Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1953 ● Cyndi Lauper → Nasally-voiced, rag-tag early MTV star pop-rock girl solo singer, “Time After Time” (#1, 1983)
1956 ● Derek Forbes → Bassist for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1956 ● Green Gartside (Paul Julian Strohmeyer) → Wales-born founding member, frontman, songwriter, vocals and only constant member of left-wing post-punk then pop-punk Scritti Politti, “Perfect Way” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1985)
1957 ● Gary Beers → Bassist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Ruby Turner → Jamaican-born R&B/soul singer, backing vocals for R&B/reggae UB40 and Culture Club, then solo, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” (R&B #1, Dance/Club #5, 1989)
1959 ● Alan Anton (Alizojvodic) → Bassist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Jimmy Somerville → Lead vocals and songwriter for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984), then vocals for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986)
1962 ● Stephen Vaughan → Bassist for alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey, “Sheela-Na-Gig” (Alt Rock #9, 1991)
1964 ● Bobby Gillespie → Drummer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994), then founding member, guitar and vocals for jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1964 ● Richard Michael “Dicky” Barrett → Frontman and lead vocals for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997), radio DJ, TV voice-over artist and announcer for the Jimmy Kimmel Show
1964 ● Mike Edwards → Vocals for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy Cunningham → Drummer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Steven Page → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1973 ● Chris Traynor → Guitarist and co-founder of post-hardcore Orange 9mm, then joined alt heavy metal Helmet, “Exactly What You Wanted” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), worked with alt-rock Bush, “The People That We love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2001), studio soundtrack sessions for Blue Man Group, touring and sessions with Blur, Rival Schools, Katy Perry and others
1976 ● Sally Polihronas → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1981 ● Chris Urbanowicz → Guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

Jun 23

1907 ● Eddie Pola (Sydney Edward Pollacsek) → Radio and TV program producer, actor and songwriter best known for co-writing several enduring pop tunes with George Wyle, including “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” (1963), retired from the industry and taught elementary school music, died on 111/3/1995, age 88
1929 ● June Carter Cash (Valerie June Carter) → Singer, songwriter, actress and country music matriarch, The Carter Family, solo, “Jackson” (Country #2, 1967), duets with her husband Johnny, the “Man in Black”, died on 5/15/2003, age 73
1937 ● Niki Sullivan → Original member, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for Buddy Holly‘s backing group, The Crickets, co-wrote and/or sang on many of Holly‘s hit songs before leaving the band in 1957, died of a heart attack on 4/6/2004, age 66
1940 ● James Walter “Jimmy” 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
1940 ● Adam Faith (Terence Nelhams-Wright) → Brit teen-idol pop singer, “What Do You Want” (UK #1, 1959) and 10 other UK Top 10 hits, successful TV, film and stage actor with multiple roles, later became a largely unsuccessful financial advisor, died of a heart attack on 3/8/2003
1940 ● Stuart Sutcliffe → First Beatles bassist for 18 months in 1960-61, left the band when the others returned to England in July 1961 and remained in Hamburg, Germany where he died from a brain hemorrhage on 4/10/1962, age 21
1941 ● Robert Hunter → Folk-bluegrass musician, singer, songwriter and poet best known as the Grateful Dead‘s lyricist, solo folk-country-rock artist
1944 ● Rosetta Hightower → Lead vocals for mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in the late 60s for session work in England with Joe Cocker, John Lennon and others, died from a brain hemorrhage on 8/2/2014, age 70
1955 ● Glenn Danzig (Anzalone) → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founder/bandleader for hardcore “horror” punk The Misfits, “Dig Up Her Bones” (1997), left in 1983 to form heavy/death metal Samhain and later blues-metal Danzig, now runs an adult-entertainment comics magazine
1956 ● Randall Darius Jackson → Session bass guitarist, bandmember for Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia, record producer, label executive, solo artist and now judge on popular TV show American Idol
1957 ● Lee John (John Leslie McGregor) → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1960 ● Brendan O’Brien → Former Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist and sessionman turned highly regarded and successful record producer and music company executive, worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others, won a Grammy Award for Bruce Springsteen‘s The Rising (2002) and produced thirteen other Billboard #1 albums
1962 ● Steve Shelley → Drummer for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1962 ● Richard Coles → Multi-instrumentalist for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986), now an ordained priest and BBC radio host
1965 ● Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs → Guitar for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1966 ● James MacPherson → Drummer for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, 1993)
1966 ● Mark Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1975 ● Kate Victoria “KT” Tunstall → Scottish singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” (#20, Adult Top 40 #9, 2006)
1977 ● Jason Mraz → Grammy-winning contemporary pop-rock singer/songwriter, “I’m Yours” (#6, 2008)
1980 ● Jessica Taylor → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Antony Costa → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1984 ● Duffy (Aimée Ann Duffy) → Grammy-winning Welsh singer-songwriter, “Mercy” (Adult Top 40 #9, 2008)

Jun 24

1921 ● Peggy DeCastro → Eldest of three sisters who formed the 50s Cuban-American pop singing trio The DeCastro Sisters (“Teach Me Tonight,” #2, 1954), left for a mediocre solo career but continued to perform with her sisters and various other members until her death from lung cancer on 3/6/2004, age 82
1939 ● Paul “Oz” Bach → Founding member, bass guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), session work for Fred Neil, Tom Paxton, Linda Ronstadt and Steve Miller, among others, died of cancer on 9/21/1998, age 59
1944 ● Chris Wood → Founding member, saxophone and flute for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and later reformed Traffic, sessions, died of pneumonia on 7/12/1983, age 39
1944 ● Charlie Whitney → Guitarist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1944 ● Jeff Beck → Highly influential, five-time Grammy-winning lead guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, replaced Eric Clapton in blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, multiple solo albums and singles, “People Get Ready” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1985), formed The Honeydrippers with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Nile Rodgers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984), #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Great Guitarists of All-Time
1944 ● Arthur Brown → Outlandish, theatrical, hellfire-bearing frontman for one hit wonder, psychedelic pop The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#2, 1968), played the Priest in the rock film Tommy (1975)
1945 ● Colin Blunstone → Founding member and lead vocals in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), then solo, “Say You Don’t Mind” (UK #15, 1972), contributed lead vocals for several Alan Parsons Project tracks
1947 ● Mick Fleetwood → Founding member, part namesake and drummer for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1948 ● Patrick Moraz → Prog and jazz-rock keyboardist, replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes 1974-76, then 1978-1991 with The Moody Blues, “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986), solo
1949 ● John Illsley → Bass and vocals for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1950 ● Derrick “Duckie” Simpson → Co-founder and only constant member of Grammy-winning, second generation reggae band Black Uhuru, album Anthem was the Best Reggae Album of 1984
1957 ● Astro (Terence Wilson) → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1959 ● Andy McCluskey → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1961 ● Curt Smith → Bass and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1961 ● Dennis Danell → Founding guitarist in Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996), died from a brain aneurysm on 2/29/2000, age 38
1967 ● Jeff Cease → Lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), left in 1991
1967 ● Richard Zven Kruspe → Lead guitarist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Medeiros → Teen idol poster-boy singer, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and duet with Bobby Brown, “She Ain’t Worth It” (#1, 1990)

Jun 25

1918 ● Sid Tepper → Songwriter and collaborator with Roy C. Bennett, with whom he wrote over 300 songs, including “Red Roses For A Blue Lady” for Vaughn Monroe (#4, 1948), “The Young Ones” for Cliff Richard (UK #1, 1962) and over 40 for ‘Elvis Presley, died from natural causes on 4/24/2015, age 96
1925 ● Clifton Chenier → The undisputed “King of Zydeco,” Creole accordion player, songwriter and bandleader, blended French and Cajun waltzes with New Orleans R&B, blues and jazz to create the exuberant, dance-happy sounds of zydeco, won a Grammy Award in 1983, recognized with a National Heritage Fellowship and inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame, died of diabetes-related kidney disease on 12/12/1987, age 62
1934 ● Fred Ronald “Ron” Lundy → Radio disc jockey who held the midday shift at WABC (New York) – the most successful Top 40 radio station ever – from 1965 until the station switched to talk radio in 1982, moved to WCBS-FM and remained there until his retirement in 1997, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2010, age 75
1935 ● Eddie Floyd → R&B/Memphis soul singer/songwriter, co-founded proto-soul The Falcons, “You’re So Fine” (#17, R&B #2, 1959), then solo artist, “Knock On Wood” (#28, R&B #1, 1966) and staff writer/producer at Stax Records, co-wrote “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)” for Wilson Pickett (#13, R&B #1, 1966)
1939 ● Harold Melvin → Singer, pianist and bandleader for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), suffered a stroke in 1996 and died on 3/24/1997, age 57
1940 ● Clint Warwick (Albert Clinton Eccles) → Original bassist for pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Go Now” (#1, UK #10, 1964), left in 1966 to become a carpenter, died of liver cancer on 5/15/2004, age 63
1943 ● Chris Huston → Teenage friend of John Lennon, in 1961 co-founded Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups that never charted in any Top 40, left in 1966 to tour with Joey Dee And The Starlighters, teamed up with The Rascals as producer and engineer, winning a gold disc for “Groovin'” (#1, 1967), later worked with The Who, Led Zeppelin, Todd Rundgren, War, Eric Burdon, Ben E. King and many others, currently an acoustic and building design consultant in Nashville
1945 ● Carly Simon → Grammy-winning pop-rock singer/songwriter, “You’re So Vain” (#1, 1973) and “Mockingbird” (#5, 1974), a duet with then-husband James Taylor
1946 ● Ian McDonald → Co-founding member and multi-instrumentalist of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then co-founder of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left in 1979 for production, sessions and solo career
1946 ● Allen Lanier → Founding member, songwriter, guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976), also contributed music to Patti Smith, The Clash and others, died from lung disease on 8/14/2013, age 67
1952 ● Tim Finn → Singer/songwriter with brother Neil in for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987) and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1954 ● David Paich → Vocals and keyboards for Toto, “Hold The Line” (1978)
1963 ● George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) → Vocals and co-frontman for pop-revival, early boyband duo Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (#1, 1984), then Grammy-winning dance-pop solo career, “Faith” (#1, 1987) and 12 other Top 10 hits and three Dance/Club #1 singles
1968 ● Candyman (Candell Manson) → Los Angeles crossover rapper, backed Tone-Loc before going solo, “Knockin’ Boots” (#9, Rap #1, 1990)
1972 ● Mike Kroeger → Bassist for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1974 ● Mario Calire → Drummer for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), then Grammy-winning Latin salsa/hip hop/funk-rock blended Ozomatli, 2001 album Embrace The Chaos
1985 ● Hanna Nicole Pérez Mosa → Mexican-American singer and songwriter, with sister Ashley in contemporary Latin pop-rock duo Ha*Ash, “No Te Quiero Nada” (Latin Pop #6, 2008)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 29 – June 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 29

1939 ● Sir Monti Rock III (Joseph Montanez Jr.) → Flamboyant Puerto Rican-American performer, musician and 60s TV entertainment show guest, opened the disco era with the LP Disco Tex And His Sex-O-Lettes (1975) with producer Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons), scored the hit “Get Dancin'” (#10, 1975) and several others, performed on the Vegas club circuit through the 00s
1941 ● Roy Crewsdon → Guitarist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), now operates a bar in Tenerife
1945 ● Gary Brooker → Chief songwriter, keyboardist and vocals for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), solo plus session work for Eric Clapton
1947 ● Joey Levine → Unabashed bubblegum pop music songwriter, record producer and vocalist, as part of the Jerry Kasenetz/Jeffrey Katz team sang lead vocals for studio group Ohio Express (“Yummy Yummy Yummy,” #4, 1968) and other groups comprised of studio musicians, wrote and produced multiple pop hits by The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Music Explosion and others, formed his own branding company and wrote jingles for national or global brands including Pepsi, Chevrolet and Anheuser-Busch
1949 ● Francis Rossi → Co-founder and lead guitarist for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), solo
1950 ● Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson → Eldest of the Jackson family of musicians, performed with her brothers beginning in 1974, solo, “Centipede” (#24, R&B #4, 1984)
1953 ● Danny Elfman → Grammy-winning TV and film score composer, frequently in collaboration with Tim Burton (Batman, 1989), singer/songwriter and leader of New Wave ska-pop/alt rock Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (#45, Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1955 ● Mike Porcaro → Session musician who joined his brothers Jeff and Steve Porcaro in 1982 as bassist in pop/arena rock Toto (“Africa,” #1, 1982), retired from the band in 2007 and died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on 3/15/2015, age 59
1956 ● La Toya Jackson → Background vocals for her brothers’ band The Jackson 5, then largely unsuccessful and unnoticed solo singing career
1959 ● Mel Gaynor → Drummer for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” (#1, 1985)
1960 ● Jesse Johnson → Guitarist for R&B/soul-funk The Time, wrote “Jungle Love” (#20, Dance/Club #9, 1984), then solo, “Crazay” (Dance/Club #12, 1986)
1961 ● David Palmer → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1961 ● Melissa Etheridge → Grammy-winning alt-heartland rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I’m The Only One” (#8, 1993), gay activist
1962 ● John Pedder → Bassist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1963 ● Blaze Bayley (Bayley Alexander Cooke) → Lead vocalist for heavy metal Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, Iron Maiden (“The Angel And The Gambler”, Mainstream Rock #24, 1998) from 1994 to 1999, solo and frontman for Blaze
1967 ● Noel Gallagher → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1969 ● Chandler “Chad” Kinchla → Guitarist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1975 ● Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown → Vocals and “Scary Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1976 ● Dave Buckner → Founding member and original drummer for alt metal/rap metal Papa Roach (“Scars, #15, Alt Rock #2, 2004), left the band in 2007 for rehabilitation
1978 ● Daniel Pearce → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

May 30

1909 ● Benny Goodman → The “King of Swing” and most popular figure of the early Swing Era bandleaders, clarinetist, film actor (playing himself), died from a heart attack on 6/13/1986, age 77
1915 ● Maxine Powell → African American child actress turned finishing school owner who became the etiquette and style coach for Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records in the 60s, the only such training program offered at any record label at any time, died after a long period of declining health on 10/14/2013, age 98
1926 ● Johnny Gimble → Grammy-winning virtuoso country and Western swing fiddler, played with Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys in the 50s, as a session musician appeared on numerous albums by Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and others in the 60s, toured with Willie Nelson, worked with Asleep At The Wheel and acted in films and on TV in the 70s and 80s, died following a stroke on 5/9/2015, age 88
1944 ● Gladys Horton → Founder and lead vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died following a stroke on 1/26/2011, age 66
1944 ● Lenny Davidson → Guitarist and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1955 ● Nicholas Bowen “Topper” Headon → Drummer and occasional vocals for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, wrote “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982)
1958 ● Marie Fredriksson → Vocals for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1960 ● Stephen Duffy → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1964 ● Wynonna Judd (Christina Ciminella) → Country singer/songwriter in duo The Judds (with mother Naomi), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) and 17 other Top 10 country hits, solo, “To Be Loved By You” (Adult Contemporary #25, Country #1, 1996)
1964 ● Tom Morello → Guitarist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1967 ● Sven Pipien → Bassist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1968 ● Tim Burgess → Vocals for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), solo
1971 ● Patrick Dalheimer → Bassist for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995) and The Gracious Few
1974 ● Cee Lo Green (Thomas Callaway) → Singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer, member of pioneering Dirty South rap group Goodie Mob, “Cell Therapy” (#13, Rap #1, 1995), then Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (#2, 2006) and solo, “F**k You” (#2, 2010)

May 31

1930 ● Clinton Eastwood → Wannabe jazz pianist turned globally-acclaimed actor, film director, politician and film score composer, wrote the music to Mystic River (2003), Flags Of Our Fathers (2006) and J. Edgar (2011), among other films, co-wrote “Why Should I Care” (1999) for Diana Krall, nominated for or won numerous awards for other music compositions
1935 ● Herb Alpert → Nine time Grammy-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader for The Tijuana Brass, the only artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with a vocal single (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” #1, 1968) and an instrumental song (“Rise,” #1, 1979), founder and former executive of A&M Records with partner Jerry Moss
1938 ● Johnny Paycheck (Donald Eugene Lytle) → Gruff-voiced “outlaw” country music singer with 21 Country Top 20 hits, mostly in the 70s, best known for rendition of “Take This Job And Shove It” (Country #1, 1978), his career was cut short by drug, alcohol and prison troubles, died in Nashville from emphysema on 2/19/2003, age 64
1938 ● Peter Yarrow → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963)
1940 ● August “Augie” Meyers → Founding member of early country-rock Sir Douglas Quintet (“She’s About A Mover,” #13, 1965) and later the Tejano (fusion of rock, country and various Mexican styles) supergroupTexas Tornados with Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez
1943 ● Wayne Carson (Head) → Grammy-winning country and pop songwriter, musician and record producer, wrote “Somebody Like Me” (#53, Country #1, 1966) for Eddy Arnold and “The Letter” (#11, 1967) for The Box Tops, co-wrote “Always On My Mind” which has been recorded over 300 times, most notably by Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from congestive heart failure on 7/20/2015, age 72
1947 ● William “Junior” Campbell → Lead guitar for pop/rock the Gaylords, then Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● John Henry “Bonzo” Bonham → Original drummer for influential hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), #1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s readers’ poll of the “best drummers of all time”, died after choking on his own vomit on 9/25/1980, age 32
1952 ● Karl Bartos → Percussionist for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975), left in 1990 for solo career and collaborations
1954 ● Vicki Sue Robinson → Theater and film actress turned one hit wonder R&B/disco singer, “Turn The Beat Around” (#10, 1976), died of cancer on 4/27/2000, age 45
1959 ● Danny Pearson → Bassist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
1962 ● Corey Hart → Canadian singer/songwriter with 27 Canada Top 40 hits, including “Never Surrender” (#3, Canada #1, 1985)
1963 ● Wendy Smith → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1964 ● Scotti Hill (Scott Lawrence Mulvehill) → Longtime guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1964 ● Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels → MC and rapper for premier hardcore rap group Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986)
1965 ● Steve White → Drummer for sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then sessions, The Players, Trio Valore and stand-in for drummer/brother Alan White of Oasis for several shows
1980 ● Andrew John Hurley → Drummer for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)

Jun 01

1921 ● Nelson Riddle → Jazz, blues, swing and pop composer, orchestrator, bandleader, producer and arranger for Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt and others, died from liver failure on 10/6/1985, age 64
1925 ● Hazel Dickens → Bluegrass singer, songwriter and guitarist known for her pro-union and feminist songs and activism in support of coal miners, one of the first women to release a bluegrass album, appeared in the documentary film Harlan County, USA and contributed four songs to the film’s soundtrack, died from complications of pneumonia on 4/22/2011, age 85
1934 ● Pat Boone → Adult contemporary pop and later gospel singer, TV host, author, Billboard magazine’s second biggest charting artist of the 1950s behind Elvis Presley, “Love Letters In The Sand (#1, 1957)
1945 ● James William McCarty → Blues-rock and rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Jenny Take A Ride” (#10, 1966), funk-rock Buddy Miles Express, hard/boogie rock supergroup Cactus, blues-rock The Rockets, formed Mystery Train
1945 ● Linda Scott (Linda Joy Sampson) → Brill Building early 60s pop singer, “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star” (#3, 1961)
1947 ● Ron Wood → Guitarist for Jeff Beck Group, then raunch-rock The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), in 1975 joined The Rolling Stones, “Miss You” (#1, 1978)
1949 ● Michael Stephen Levine → Bassist and keyboardist for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), left the band to pursue other interests in 1993, returned in 2008 and still tours
1950 ● Tom Robinson → Bassist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, first acoustic folk-rock Café Society, then fronting the punk/hard politicized rock Tom Robinson Band, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” (UK #5, 1977) and “Glad To Be Gay” (1978), then Sector 27 and solo, “War Baby” (UK #6, 1983)
1950 ● Graham Russell → Guitar and vocals for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1950 ● Charlene Marilyn D’Angelo → One hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “I’ve Never Been To Me” (#3, 1982)
1952 ● John Ellis → Guitarist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1953 ● Ronnie Dunn → Singer and songwriter, one-half of astronomically successful country-pop vocal duo Brooks & Dunn, “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” (#25, Country #1, 2001), solo
1958 ● Barry Adamson → Bassist for post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995), solo
1959 ● Alan Wilder → Vocals and keyboards for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), then founder and frontman for experimental electro-synth art rock Recoil, producer
1960 ● Simon Gallup → Bassist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1963 ● Mike Joyce → Drummer for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1967 ● Roger Sanchez → Grammy-winning House music DJ, “Lost” (Dance/Club #1, 2006), producer
1968 ● Jason Donovan → Aussie TV soap opera actor and teen idol singer, “Especially For You” (Australia #2, UK #1, 1988)
1968 ● Stefani Sargent → Founding member and guitarist for Seattle grunge/punk girl group 7 Year Bitch (“Antidisestablishmentarianism,” 1992), died at the onset of the band’s peak potential after asphyxiating on her own vomit while passed out from alcohol and heroin on 6/27/1992, age 24
1969 ● Damon Minchella → Bassist for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1974 ● Alanis Morissette → Canadian-American teenage dance-pop singer turned Grammy-winning alt rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Ironic” (#4, Mainstream Rock #1, 1996) from the album Jagged Little Pill, the #1 selling album of the 90s

Jun 02

1924 ● Maurice Kinn → Music promoter who launched The New Musical Express (NME) in 1952, started first UK singles chart, sold the weekly in 1963, died on 8/3/2000, age 76
1930 ● Everett Joseph “Vic” Firth → Principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002 and founder (in his garage workshop in the early 60s) and former CEO of the Vic Firth Company, the world’s largest maker of drumsticks and percussion mallets, died at home from natural causes on 7/26/2015, age 85
1932 ● Sammy Turner (Samuel Black) → Smooth R&B/soul singer known for two remakes of classics, “Lavender-Blue” (#3, 1959) and “Always” (#19, R&B #2, 1959), recorded with Motown starting in the late 60s with limited success
1934 ● John E. “Johnny” Carter → First tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), in 1964 joined R&B/Chicago soul vocal group The Dells, “Oh, What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), died from lung cancer on 8/21/2009, age 75
1936 ● Otis Williams → Lead vocals and frontman for R&B/doo-wop The Charms, “Ivory Tower” (#11, R&B #5, 1956), left the industry after being drafted in 1960, returned in the 70s as a country music singer, reformed The Charms in the 90s
1937 ● Jimmy Jones → African American country and pop singer/songwriter best known for his one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll single “Handy Man” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Charles Miller → Saxophone and vocals for funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), murdered in L.A. on 6/14/1980, age 41
1941 ● William Guest → Backing vocals in R&B/soul-pop family quartet Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1941 ● Charlie Watts → Drummer for Blues Incorporated and since 1963 The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), also in boogie-woogie Rocket 88, frontman for various incarnations of the Charlie Watts Band, horse breeder
1944 ● Marvin Hamlisch → Grammy-winning film, theater and pop music composer, arranger, “The Entertainer” (#3, 1973), co-wrote “The Way We Were” for Barbra Streisand (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Steve Brookins → Founding member and original drummer for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Antone Lee “Chubby” Tavares → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Michael Susanne Steele → Bass and vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Bangles, “Manic Monday” (#2, 1986)
1957 ● Simon Phillips → Rock session and backing drummer for Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno,Toto, Judas Priest and others, toured with The Who, co-produced with Mike Oldfield, plus several solo albums
1960 ● Tony Hadley → Vocals for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983), solo
1962 ● Thor Eldon Jonsson → Guitarist for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1965 ● Jeremy Cunningham → Bassist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1970 ● Dominic Greensmith → Drummer for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1970 ● B Real (Louis Freese) → Vocals and MC for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1976 ● Tim Rice-Oxley → Keyboards for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1980 ● Fabrizio Moretti → Drummer for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Irish Grinsted → Vocals with sister LeMisha in hip hop R&B/dance-pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999), American Music Awards “Best New Soul/R&B Artist” for 2000

Jun 03

1906 ● Josephine Baker (Freda Josephine McDonald) → Legendary chanson-singing dancer and actress of the 20s and 30s, one of the most successful African American entertainers of her time, left the demeaning U.S. vaudeville circuit for the open-minded Parisian cabaret scene, became a French citizen, a star and a voice against prejudice while performing exotic dances in risqué costumes (or none at all), starred in movies alongside Bob Hope, Fanny Brice and others, became an outspoken figure in the American Civil Rights movement of the 60s, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 4/12/1975, age 68
1924 ● Jimmy Rogers (James A. Lane) → Chicago-style blues guitarist, singer and harmonica player in Muddy Waters‘ band and with Little Walter Jacobs plus solo, “Walking By Myself” (R&B #14, 1957) and multiple albums including the posthumous Blues Blues Blues (1998) featuring Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Taj Mahal and others, died from colon cancer on 12/19/1997, age 73
1926 ● Irwin Allen Ginsburg → Poet, leading figure in the Beat Generation of the 50s and frequent participant in various hippie events in the 60s, author of the epic poem “Howl,” longtime friend of Bob Dylan with whom he often collaborated with poetry set to music, died from liver cancer on 4/5/1997, age 70
1927 ● Homer “Boots” Randolph III → Tenor saxophonist and major contributor to the “Nashville Sound” of pop flavoring within country music in the 50s, 60s and 70s, as a solo artist scored 14 Billboard Top 200 albums and the Top 40 single “Yakety Sax” (#35, 1963), died following a brain hemorrhage a month after the release of his final studio album on 7/3/2007, age 80
1942 ● Curtis Mayfield → R&B/soul giant, singer, songwriter and composer, member of The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, R&B #1, 1963), solo, “Freddie’s Dead” (#4, R&B #2, 1972), wrote dozens of R&B and pop hits for others, died on 12/26/1999 after years of steadily declining health following an on-stage accident in 1980, age 57
1943 ● Mike Dennis → Second tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1946 ● Ian Hunter (Patterson) → Founding member, songwriter, keyboards and lead singer for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), then solo, “Cleveland Rocks” (1979), wrote the book Diary Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (1974)
1946 ● Michael Clarke (Michael Dick) → Drummer for seminal country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then Flying Burrito Bros. and light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976), died of liver failure on 12/19/1993, age 47
1946 ● Eddie Holman → Philly soul, pop and gospel tenor vocalist best known for “Hey There Lonely Girl” (#2, R&B #4, 1970), largely disappeared from the music business in the 80s, became an ordained Baptist minister and occasionally performed into the 00s
1947 ● Dave Alexander → Original bassist for influential proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), died from pulmonary edema on 2/10/1975, age 27
1947 ● Mickey Finn (Michael Hearne) → Percussion for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), died from suspected liver and kidney failure on 1/11/2003, age 55
1950 ● Florian Pilkington-Miksa → Original drummer for Brit prog/avant garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), played in Kiki Dee‘s band, rejoined Curved Air in 2008
1950 ● Suzi Quatro (Susan Kay Quatrocchio) → Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, iconoclastic if not well-known female rocker, “Stumblin’ In” (#4, 1979)
1950 ● Deniece “Niecy” Williams (June Deniece Chandler) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-funk singer and songwriter, worked as a backing singer with Stevie Wonder‘s group Wonderlove, then solo, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (#1, 1984)
1952 ● Billy Powell → Keyboards for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died after suffering a heart attack on 6/28/2009, age 56
1954 ● Dan Hill → Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Sometimes When We Touch” (#3, 1978)
1956 ● Danny Wilde → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for legendary power pop bands The Quick, Great Buildings and The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song from the TV show Friends
1962 ● David Cole → Songwriter, vocals, producer and one half of the R&B/electro-dance-pop team C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (#1, 1990), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and others, died from complications of AIDS and spinal meningitis on 1/25/1995, age 32
1964 ● Kerry King → Rhythm guitar for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1965 ● Mike Gordon → Bass, banjo, piano, harmonica and percussion for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo and award-winning filmmaker
1968 ● Samantha Sprackling → Vocals for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1971 ● Gabriel Hernandez → With twin brother Ariel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Ariel Hernandez → With twin brother Gabriel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1974 ● Kelly Jones → Vocalist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1985 ● Tavion La’Corey Mathis → Singer for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)

Jun 04

1937 ● Freddy Fender (Baldemar Garza Huerta) → Grammy-winning Hispanic country, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll crossover singer and songwriter, his biggest hit “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” (#1, Country #1, 1975) came after a near career-ending stint in prison for marijuana possession, in the 90s joined supergroups The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, died from lung cancer on 10/14/2006, age 69
1940 ● Cliff Bennett → Early beat/rock ‘n’ roll singer and bandleader for The Rebel Rousers, lone hit was a cover of the Lennon/McCartney tune “Got To Get You Into My Life” (UK #6, 1966)
1944 ● Roger Ball → Saxophonist for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1944 ● Michelle Phillips (Holly Michelle Gilliam) → Vocals for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), wife of late bandmate John Phillips, film and TV actress, solo artist and backing vocals on various songs and albums by Belinda Carlisle, Cheech & Chong, the movie soundtrack to California Dreaming (1979), and others
1945 ● Anthony Braxton → Jazz and experimental jazz fusion multi-reedist, bandleader and composer with over 100 albums in a nearly 50 year career, currently a college music professor
1945 ● Gordon Waller → With Peter Asher, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, died of a heart attack on 7/17/2009, age 64
1953 ● Jimmy McCulloch → Scottish rock guitarist and backing vocalist for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), later gigged with John Mayall and Stone The Crows, sessions for John Entwhistle, Peter Frampton and others, played lead guitar for Paul McCartney‘s Wings 1974-77, died from heart failure due to a heroin overdose on 9/27/1979, age 26
1954 ● Raphael Ravenscroft → Welsh session saxophonist, composer and author, recorded the sax break on Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street” (#2, 1975), receiving only an hours’ union wages and no royalties, later worked with Pink Floyd, ABBA, Robert Plant, America and many other artists, and composed film scores and advertising jingles until his death from a heart attack on 10/19/2014, age 60
1956 ● Reeves Gabrels → Multi-genre American virtuoso guitarist, composer and songwriter, collaborated with David Bowie (1987-2000) in Tin Machine, film score musician/producer, multiple session and other collaborative works
1958 ● Selwyn Brown → Vocals and keyboards for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978)
1961 ● Eldra Patrick “El” Debarge → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1962 ● Steve Grimes → Guitarist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1964 ● Chris Kavanagh → Drummer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1974 ● Stefan Lessard → Bassist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1976 ● Kasey Chambers → Australian country-rock crossover singer/songwriter with three successive Australian #1 albums and seven Aussie Top 10 hits, including “Not Pretty Enough” (Australia #1, 2002)
1987 ● Mollie King → Singer, songwriter and member of electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010), signed a solo contract with Island Records in 2015
1990 ● Zachary Farro → Drummer for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 22

1924 ● Charles Aznavour (Shahnour Aznavourian) → The “French Frank Sinatra”, world-known French-Armenian music hall singer, songwriter, actor and diplomat, “She” (UK #1, 1974)
1930 ● Jimmy Keyes → Founding member and first tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop The Chords, one of the earliest black groups to cross over to the pop charts with “Sh-Boom” (#9, R&B #3, 1954), died on 7/22/1995, age 65
1937 ● Kenny Ball → Brit traditional jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Kenny Ball & His Jazzman, “Midnight In Moscow” (#2, 1962)
1941 ● Jackie Landry Jackson → Vocals for early R&B/pop girl group trio The Chantels, “Maybe” (#15, R&B #2, 1958), one of the definitive songs of the genre, became a stenographer in the Bronx (NY) court system following her music career, died from breast cancer on 12/23/1997, age 56
1941 ● Bruce Rowlands → Drummer in Joe Cocker‘s backing group The Grease Band, then joined renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969)
1942 ● Calvin Simon → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Parliaments, “(I Wanna) Testify” (#20, R&B #3, 1967), then R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Chris Butler → Lead guitarist and chief songwriter for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), solo and record producer/executive
1950 ● Bernie Taupin → Lyricist and renowned songwriting partner of Elton John with dozens of collaborative hits, also co-wrote Jefferson Starship‘s “We Built This City” (#1, 1985), Heart‘s “These Dreams” ( #1, 1986), and songs for Rod Stewart, Cher, The Motels, John Waite, Alice Cooper and multiple others
1954 ● Jerry Dammers → Founding member and keyboard play for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), producer and co-founder of 2 Tone Records
1955 ● Iva Davies → Welsh singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer and film score composer, frontman for Aussie New Wave synth-pop/pub rock Icehouse, “Electric Blue” (#7, 1987)
1955 ● Mary Black → Irish folk and contemporary pop-rock-blues singer and songwriter, “Columbus” (1989)
1959 ● Morrissey (Steven Patrick Morrissey) → Vocalist and lyricist, frontman for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984), solo, “Suedehead” (UK #5, 1988) and over 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1962 ● Jesse Valenzuela → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1966 ● Johnny Gill → R&B/hip hop “new jack swing” singer, “Super Love” (#29, 1983), joined New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), returned to solo recording, “Rub You The Right Way” (#3, 1990)
1967 ● Dan Roberts → Bassist for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1979 ● Russell Pritchard → Bass guitarist for Brit indie rock The Zutons, “Valerie” (UK #9, 2006)
1981 ● Su-Elise Nash → Vocals in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), now a performing arts school director

May 23

1918 ● Robert “Bumps” Blackwell → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985, age 66
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008, age 86
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002, age 74
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and inventor of the synthesizer, built his first electronic instrument – the Theremin – at age 14 and in 1970 produced the MiniMoog “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” died on 8/21/2005 four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, age 71
1941 ● General Norman Johnson → Frontman and lead singer for R&B/soul-pop Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970), left for a successful songwriting career, including the Grammy-winning “Patches” for Clarence Carter (#4, R&B #2, 1971) and “Want Ads” for Honey Cone (#1, R&B #1, 1971), died from lung cancer on 10/13/2010, age 69
1944 ● Raymon “Tiki” Fulwood → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979, age 35
1945 ● Misty Morgan → With husband Jack Blanchard, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1946 ● Ruth Underwood (Komanoff) → Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and general percussionist for Frank Zappa and his backing band, The Mothers Of Invention (“Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” 1967) in the 60s and 70s, also did session work for pop-rock Ambrosia, jazz-fusion George Duke and others, retired from music in the 80s
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1955 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995, age 37
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Frederick “Junior” Waite → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1970 ● Matt Flynn → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004) since 2006, previously played with The B-52’s, Chicago and others
1973 ● Maxwell (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel (Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Scott “Mad Dog” Raynor → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

May 24

1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1938 ● Tommy Chong → Canadian-American comedian, TV and film actor, voice artist, director and one-half the groundbreaking stoner duo Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus And His Old Lady” (#3, 1972), performed in various venues with and without his comedic partner through to their reunion in the 00s, became the oldest contestant to make the semi-finals on Dancing With The Stars in September 2014
1941 ● Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Cynthia “Plaster” Caster → Rock groupie known for making plaster casts of rock star’s penises and breasts, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars
1947 ● Robert “Waddy” Wachtel → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls‘ video of “It’s Raining Men,” died from a stroke related to HIV on 11/14/2003, age 41
1967 ● Heavy D (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died after collapsing outside his L.A. condo on 11/8/2011, age 44
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

May 25

1921 ● Hal David → Pop/MOR lyricist, co-wrote dozens of hits, often in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969), died from a stroke on 9/1/2012, age 91
1922 ● Kitty Kallen (Katherine Kalinsky) → Pop vocalist with 21 Top 40 hits in the 40s and 50s, including “Little Things Mean A Lot” (#1, 1954), retired from singing in 1955 to nurse paralyzed vocal cords but returned in 1959 to score two additional hits before Beatlemania sank her career
1927 ● Norman Petty → Musician and record producer best known for his work in the 50s with Buddy Holly and his backing band, The Crickets, as coach, recording engineer, producer, band manager and occasional co-writer of numerous hit songs, including “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), also fronted his own band and produced albums for Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs and others, died from leukemia on 8/15/1984, age 57
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989, age 52
1936 ● Tom T. Hall → Grammy-winning country storytelling songwriter and singer, wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” for Jeannie C. Riley (#1, 1968) and as a solo artist recorded 21 Country Top 10 hits, including “I Love” (#12, Country #1, 1973)
1942 ● Brian “Blinky” Davison → Drummer for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968), prog rock Refugee and space-rock Gong, died 4/15/2008, age 65
1943 ● Jessi Colter (Miriam Johnson) → Singer/songwriter and lone female star from the “outlaw country” genre, “I’m Not Lisa” (#4, Country #1, 1975), wife of Waylon Jennings, teamed with Waylon, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country music album to sell over a million copies
1943 ● John Michael “Poli” Palmer → Piano and vibraphone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1945 ● Dave Lee Travis (David Patrick Griffin) → BBC Radio 1 and TV host, with fellow DJ Paul Burnette released “Convoy GB” (UK #4, 1976) as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, a parody of . McCall‘s “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1975)
1947 ● Mitch Margo → Vocals for white doo-wop group The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1948 ● Klaus Meine → Lead vocals and frontman for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1949 ● Clarence Burke Jr. → With his four siblings, lead singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison‘s Dark Horse label, reformed the Stairsteps with two brothers as R&B/disco The Invisible Man’s Band (“All Night Thing,” Dance/Club #10, 1980), continued to perform until just before his death from undisclosed causes on 5/26/2013, age 64
1950 ● Jean Millington → Vocals and bassist with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label, still playing as Slammin’ Babes
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1951 ● Chuck Ruff → Rock drummer best known as a founding member of hard rock Edgar Winter Group (“Frankenstein,” #1, 1973 and “Free Ride,” #14, 1973), later played on albums by Sammy Hagar (“Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (#13, 1983) and worked in various solo and collaboration bands, died after a long illness on 10/14/2011, age 60
1955 ● John Grimaldi → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972)
1958 ● John William “Paul” Weller → Co-founder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for punk rock/modcon trio The Jam, “Going Underground” (UK #1, 1980), then co-founded sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “Peacock Suit” (UK #5, 1996) and 28 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Rick Smith → Keyboards for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1975 ● Lauryn Hill → Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Doo Wop (That Thing” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Joe King → Co-founder, guitar, backing vocals and songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 26

1886 ● Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson) → Pre-eminent traditional and Tin Pan Alley pop singer, Broadway actor, radio host, comedian, early sound-era movie star and self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” recorded dozens of still-popular songs, including “Swanee” (1921), “April Showers” (1924) and “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1927), starred in he first “talkie” film, The Jazz Singer (1927), continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 10/23/1950, age 64
1904 ● George Formby (Booth) → Widely popular Brit stage/screen actor, singing comedian and ukulele player, recorded more than 200 albums and appeared in 20 films, best known for the song “Leaning On A Lamp Post,” died after a heart attack on 3/6/1961, age 56
1909 ● “Papa Charlie” McCoy → Delta blues guitarist and songwriter, frontman for The Mississippi Hot Footers and partner is several bands with his older brother, Kansas Joe McCoy, with whom he recorded the earliest version of the now-standard “Sweet Home Chicago,” died from paralytic brain disease on 7/26/1950, age 41
1920 ● Peggy Lee (Norma Deloris Egstrom) → Sultry, distinctive singer, pop-jazz-big band songwriter and actress, “Fever” (#8, 1958), Grammy-winner, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and others, died from complications of diabetes and a heart attack on 1/21/2002, age 81
1922 ● Frank Guida → Sicilian-American record store owner turned songwriter and record producer credited with crafting the 60s lo-fi, dance-party “Norfolk Sound,” discovered and produced hits for doo-wop/soul Gary U.S. Bonds, including “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961), also co-wrote and produced “If You Wanna Be Happy” for Jimmy Soul (#1, 1963), died on 5/19/2007, age 85
1926 ● Miles Dewey Davis III → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter and composer, major influence on jazz and fusion music, 8-time Grammy winner, including his 1970 album Bitches Brew, died on 9/28/1991, age 65
1939 ● Jaki Liebezeit → German rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976)
1940 ● Levon Helm → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, producer, bandleader, hosts weekly Midnight Ramble revue near Woodstock, NY, died from cancer on 4/19/2012
1941 ● Art Sharp → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Ray Ennis → Vocals and guitar for British Invasionn pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#24, 1964)
1944 ● Terence “Verden” Allen → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1945 ● Garry Peterson → Long-time drummer for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Michael “Mick” Ronson → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, session work for Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey and others, Rolling Stone magazine’s 64th greatest guitarist of all time, died of liver cancer on 4/29/1993, age 46
1946 ● Ronnie Harkai → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1948 ● Stephanie Lynn (“Stevie”) Nicks → Hugely successful female rock/pop vocalist, achieved fame with blues-rock turned mega-star band Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), successful solo career, “Talk To Me” (#4, 1985)
1949 ● Randall Hank Williams, Jr. → Country-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Honky Tonkin'” (1982), son of country music legend Hank Williams, Sr.
1958 ● Wayne Hussey (Jerry Lovelock) → Guitarist for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985), then goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990)
1962 ● Colin Vearncombe → Frontman and singer/songwriter for Brit pop-rock Black, “Wonderful Life” (UK #8, 1987), solo
1964 ● Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz → Grammy-winning multi-instrumental singer, songwriter, “Fly Away” (#12, 199), session musician and singer with Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie and others
1966 ● Tommy Stewart → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), also with Everclear, Fuel, Halloween and other bands
1967 ● Kristen Pfaff → Bass guitarist for Minneapolis post-hardcore Janitor Joe, recruited to Seattle grunge rock Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joe but died from an opium overdose on 6/16/1994, age 27
1968 ● Phillip Rhodes → Drummer for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1971 ● Joey Kibble → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Alan White → Drummer (1994-2005, replacing Tony McCarroll) in Grammy-nominated Britpop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1978 ● Jaheim Hoagland → R&B/dance-pop singer, “My Place” with Nelly (#4, Rap #4, 1992)
1981 ● Isaac Slade → Co-founder, lead singer, pianist and chief songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 27

1922 ● Christopher Lee → Decorated World War II RAF veteran, 70-year film actor (mostly villainous roles or in horror films) and singer with a late-in-life career as a heavy metal vocalist, often interpreting classical pieces in a hard rock mode, issued several “symphonic metal” albums and, at age 91, became the oldest living performer to score a chart hit with his seasonal “Jingle Hell” (#18, 2013) from the album A Very Metal Christmas (2013), continued to record until just before his death on 6/7/2015, age 93
1932 ● Junior Parker (Hermon Parker, Jr.) → Memphis blues/soul vocalist, “Driving Wheel” (R&B #5, 1961), co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “Mystery Train” (Country #11, 1956), died during surgery to remove a brain tumor on 11/18/1971
1935 ● Ramsey Lewis → Grammy-winning jazz/pop pianist, bandleader and composer, “The In Crowd” (#5, 1965)
1939 ● Don Williams → The “Gentle Giant,” mild-mannered, mainstream countrypolitan singer and songwriter with 17 Country #1 hits, including “I Believe In You” (#24, Country #1, 1980), his songs have been covered by Eric Clapton (“Tulsa Time,” #30, 1980), Bonnie Raitt, Pete Townshend and multiple others
1943 ● Cilla Black (Priscilla White) → Working-girl-made-good Swinging Sixties light pop Brit singer, actress and TV/radio personality with a 50-year career in music and entertainment, recorded 11 UK Top 10 singles, including “You’re My World” (#26, UK #1, 1964), hosted or guested on various BBC TV programs through the early 10s, died following a fall and stroke on 8/1/2015, age 72
1944 ● Billy Adamson → Drummer for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), retired from the band in 1998 and died from undisclosed causes on 11/11/2013, age 69
1945 ● Bruce Cockburn → Canadian folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Wondering Where The Lions Are” (#21, 1980)
1947 ● Marty Kristian → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1947 ● Peter Knight → Violin for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1948 ● Pete Sears → Journeyman bassist and keyboardist, session work for Rod Stewart in 70s, 1974-1987 with Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987), then Hot Tuna, David Nelson Band, Moonalice and session work
1949 ● James Mitchell → Vocals for R&B/soul quartet The Detroit Emeralds, “Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)” (#24, R&B #4, 1972), left to co-found R&B/quiet storm The Floaters, “Float On” (#2, 1977)
1957 ● Eddie Harsch → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1957 ● Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion) → Vocals and frontwoman for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983)
1958 ● Neil Finn → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), solo and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1966 ● Sean Kinney → Drummer in alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1971 ● Lisa Nicole “Left Eye” Lopes → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), died in a car accident on 4/25/2002, age 30
1975 ● Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin) → Half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004), solo

May 28

1910 ● Aaron Thibeaux “T. Bone” Walker → Electric blues pioneer, “Stormy Monday” (1947), influenced Albert Collins, B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and many others, #47 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists list, died of bronchial pneumonia following a stoke on 3/16/1975, age 64
1917 ● John Henry “Papa John” Creach → Fiddler for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), died after suffering a heart attack during the Northridge earthquake on 2/22/1994, age 76
1930 ● Prince Buster (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → One of the most important figures in the development of ska and rocksteady music in Jamaica and beyond, hugely influential reggae/ska singer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, “Ten Commandments Of Man” (#81, R&B #17, 1967), occasionally records and performs into the 10s
1931 ● Sonny BurgessSun Records artist, boogie woogie and rockabilly singer, guitarist and frontman for The Pacers (“Red Headed Woman,” 1956), performed and toured for four decades, currently retired and hosting a rockabilly nostalgia radio show in Arkansas
1943 ● Tony Mansfield → Drummer for 60s British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1944 ● Gary Stewart → Outlaw country singer and songwriter mixing honky tonk and Southern rock sounds for nine Country Top 20 among nearly 30 charting songs, including “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” (Country #1, 1975), collaborated with Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts on Cactus And A Rose (1980), committed suicide a month after the death of his wife of 43 years on 12/16/2003, age 59
1944 ● Billy Vera (William McCord, Jr.) → Rock historian, songwriter and singer, duet with Judy Clay, “Storybook Children” (#20, 1968) and solo as frontman for pop-rock The Beaters, “At This Moment” (#1, 1986), featured on the TV show Family Ties
1944 ● Gladys Knight → The “Empress of Soul”, Grammy-winning R&B vocals and frontwoman for The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973), solo
1945 ● John Fogerty → Frontman, songwriter, guitar and vocals for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969), Grammy-winning solo career (album Centerfield, #1, 1985) and bandleader for The Blue Ridge Rangers
1948 ● Ray Laidlaw → Drummer for Brit folk-rock Brethren, which became Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Wendy O. Williams → Mohawk hairdo-sporting, controversial singer and frontwoman for outrageous punk/heavy metal Plasmatics, “Butcher Baby” (UK #55, 1980), solo, actress in sexploitation film Reform School Girls (1986), committed suicide on 4/6/1998, age 48
1952 ● JoJo Billingsley (Deborah Jo Billingsley White) → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), only bandmember not aboard the fatal flight on 10/20/1977, claimed to have been born again by the event and turned to Christian music, died from cancer on 6/24/2010, age 58
1955 ● John McGeoch → Scottish guitarist, singer and co-founder of post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), then with punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd., died in his sleep ion 3/4/2004, age 48
1955 ● Edwin “Eddie” Jobson → Respected journeyman violinist and synthesizer player with Frank Zappa‘s band, long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), Roxy Music, U.K., Yes, solo
1959 ● Steve Strange (Stephen Harrington) → Frontman and vocals for New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), nightclub host and promoter
1961 ● Roland Gift → Lead singer for Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1964 ● Wes Burt-Martin → Guitarist for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989)
1965 ● Chris Ballew → Co-founder, bass and vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Lump” (Mainstream Rock #7, 1995), currently performs children’s music under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants
1968 ● Kylie Minogue → Grammy-winning, widely-popular Aussie pop singer, songwriter and actress, “The Loco-Motion” (#3, 1988)
1970 ● Jimi Goodwin → Vocals, bass and guitar for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Mark Richardson → Drummer for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Mark Feehily → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1985 ● Colbie Caillat → Pop singer and guitarist, “Bubbly” (2007), daughter of Ken Caillat who co-produced Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Tusk albums

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 20

1936 ● Judy Henske → The “Queen of the Beatniks,” late 50s and 60s Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon folk singer, songwriter and one-time TV actress, worked with Lenny Bruce and the Whiskey Hill Singers with ex-Kingston Triomember Dave Guard, recorded two solo albums on Elektra Records in the early 60s, married and recorded with Jerry Yester, including the cult album Farewell Aldebaran (1969), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1944 ● Bobby Colomby → Drummer for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Peter Criss (Criscoula) → Drummer and “Catman” character in campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo
1948 ● Stephen “Little Stevie” Wright → Lead vocals for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), then solo
1949 ● Alan Parsons → Brit studio engineer, part-producer for The BeatlesAbbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970), plus Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), songwriter, musician and bandleader for prog-pop-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1956 ● Guy Babylon → Keyboardist and contributor in the Elton John band, died in a swimming accident in his L.A. home pool on 9/2/2009
1957 ● Anita Ward → One hit wonder R&B/soul-disco singer, “Ring My Bell” (#1, 1979)
1957 ● Michael Watt → Seminal post-punk bassist and founder of Minutemen, dos, FireHouse, also with The Stooges and Banyan
1957 ● Stephen William “Billy” Bragg → Brit alt rock singer, songwriter and left-wing activist, “Sexuality” (Modern Rock #2, 1991) and “She’s Leaving Home” (UK #1, 1988), wrote “A New England” for Kirsty MacColl (UK #7, 1985)
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Roger J. Beaujard → Guitarist and drum machine programmer for death metal/deathgrind duo Mortician, “Chainsaw Dismemberment” (1999)
1975 ● Graham Hopkins → Former drummer for Irish grunge rock Therapy?, then solo, now sessions and touring bands
1980 ● Christopher “Dibs” Edwards → Bassist for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1982 ● David Cook → Multi-instrumentalist post-grunge pop-rock singer and songwriter, “The Time Of My Life” (#3, 2008), winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008)
1990 ● JoJo (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Too Little Too Late” (#3, 2006), actress

Dec 21

1913 ● Luise King (Louise Driggs Rey) → 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 from cancer on 8/4/1997
1921 ● Luigi Creatore → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, teamed with cousin Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died from pneumonia on 11/13/2015
1939 ● Wes Farrell → Musician, prolific songwriter and 60s/70s record producer, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, including “Boys” for The Shirelles (1960) and The Beatles (1963), “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys (#1, 1965) and the theme song (“C’mon On, Get Happy”) to the Partridge Family TV series, founded Chelsea Records in 1972, died from cancer on 2/29/1996
1940 ● Frank Zappa → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, solo, “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1942 ● Carla Thomas → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998
1951 ● Nick Gilder → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul and quiet storm vocalist, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Emmett J. “Murph” Murphy III → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
1965 ● Gabrielle “Gabby” Glaser → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

Dec 22

1939 ● James Gurley → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), performed with the band into the 00s, died on 12/20/2009 from a heart attack
1944 ● Colin Ernest “Barrie” Jenkins → Founding member and drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964) and hard/blues-rock The Animals, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#12, 1966), now manages a music store
1946 ● Pamela Susan Courson → Long-time companion of Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), inherited his estate over the objection of his family following a California court decision that theirs was a “common law marriage,” died from a heroin overdose on 4/25/1974
1946 ● Rick Nielsen → Vocals and guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), solo and producer, younger twin of Robin Gibb, died on 1/12/2003 from a twisted intestine
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice Gibb, died from liver and colon cancer on 5/20/2012
1950 ● Alan Williams → Vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1955 ● Barry Sless → Six-string and peddle steel guitarist for country-rock David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh & Friends and others
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Lead singer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), solo, now a DJ on BBC Radio Scotland
1966 ● Danny Saber → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ and former bassist with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1968 ● Richard James Edwards → Rhythm guitar, songwriter and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000), disappeared on 2/1/1995 and officially presumed dead in a 2008 court ruling
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis → French teen-pop singer and actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (UK #3, France #1, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician, DJ and dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #1, UK #1, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Briana Sparks → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, American Idol 2007 winner and youngest to date, “No Air” (#3, 2008) and four other Top 20 hits

Dec 23

1935 ● Little Esther Phillips (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
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
1940 ● Eugene Record → Vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005
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
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
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 ● Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Robbie Dupree (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock one hit wonder vocalist, “Steal Away” (#6, 1980)
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
1949 ● Robert Steven “Adrian” 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 rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” parody group Sha Na Na
1958 ● 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
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)

Dec 24

1920 ● Dave Bartholomew → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, with Fats Domino co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955)
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986
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
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 Kilminster) → Bass and vocals for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (1972), founded punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
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 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)

Dec 25

1907 ● Cabell “Cab” 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
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
1929 ● William Franklin “Billy” Horton → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1937 ● 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 on 3/31/1986 following as heart attack
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 → 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
1940 ● 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)
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
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
1944 ● Henry “The Sunflower” 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)
1945 ● 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
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
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Dido (Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
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

Dec 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
1935 ● Abdul “Duke” 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
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)
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 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 28 – July 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jun 28

1902 ● Richard Rodgers → Stage, film and TV music composer and lyricist with over 900 titles and 43 musicals, collaborator with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein III on some of the best-known songs in popular music, died on 12/30/1979
1943 ● Bobby Harrison → Drummer for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), formed psych rock Freedom in 1968
1945 ● David Knights → Original bass guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969
1959 ● Clint Boon → Keyboards for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992), formed The Clint Boon Experience in 1995
1963 ● Beverley Craven → Brit easy listening singer/songwriter and balladeer, “Promise Me” (UK #3, 1991) and “Holding On” (Adult Contemporary #30, 1992)
1963 ● Charles Clouser → Keyboardist and drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), producer and sound engineer for Deftones, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and others
1965 ● Saul Davis → Guitar and violin for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (#61, Modern Rock #3, 1994)
1966 ● Bobby Bare, Jr. → Country and roots rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, at age 8 received a Grammy nomination with his father, Bobby Bare, for the duet “Daddy What If” (#41, Country #2, 1974), frontman for alt country-rock Young Criminals Starvation League and indie rock Bare Jr.
1971 ● Ray Slijngaard → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1977 ● Mark Stoermer → Bass guitarist for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1979 ● Tim McCord → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1986 ● Kellie Dawn PicklerAmerican Idol runner-up and contemporary country/country-pop singer with eight Country Top 40 hits, including “Best Days Of Your Life” (Country #12, 2008) from the Country #1 (Pop #9) album Kellie Pickler

Jun 29

1942 ● Gilberto Gil (Moreira) → Brazilian “tropicalia” samba-salsa-pop-rock fusion singer and guitarist, Grammy-winning album Quanta Gente Veio Ver: Ao Vivo (1998), Minister of Culture for Brazil, 2003-2008
1943 ● Roger Ruskin Spear → Co-founder, kazoo, Jew’s harp, musical toy instrumentalist for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died 1/18/1990
1945 ● Little Eva (Boyd) → Babysitter and maid for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin, who wrote her hit “The Loco-Motion” (#1, 1962) about her dancing while doing housework, died of cervical cancer on 4/10/2003
1948 ● Bill Kirchen → The “Dieselbilly King,” versatile rockabilly, boogie, Western swing, rock ‘n’ roll and trucking music guitarist with Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), multiple solo albums including the Grammy-winning Word To The Wise (2010), frontman for several bands and tours/sessions with Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris and others
1948 ● Dervin Gordon → With twin brother Lincoln, Jamaican-born lead vocals for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1948 ● Ian Paice → Drummer for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), the only constant member of the band since it formed in 1968, also played with hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987)
1948 ● Lincoln Gordon → With twin brother Dervin, Jamaican-born guitarist for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1953 ● Colin Hay → Co-founder, vocals and guitar for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1964 ● Steadman Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1978 ● Nicole Scherzinger → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group, then lead singer for dance-pop Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005), solo, “Baby Love” (Dance/Club #4, 2007), winner of Dancing With The Stars in 2010
1978 ● Sam Farrar → Bassist for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), son of John Farrar of The Shadows (“Apache,” Worldwide #1, 1960)
1979 ● Richard Breen → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1983 ● Aundrea Aurora Fimbres → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)

Jun 30

1917 ● Lena Horne → Grammy-winning contemporary pop singer, stage, film and TV actress and nightclub entertainer, “Love Me Or Leave Me” (#19, 1955)
1936 ● Dave Van Ronk → Folk and acoustic blues singer/songwriter and guitarist, figurehead in the 60s Greenwich Village folk coffeehouse scene, influenced Bob Dylan and many other young folksters, died from complications of colon cancer surgery on 2/10/2002
1937 ● Lawrence Joel “Larry” Henley → Lead vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1939 ● Tony Hatch → Composer, pianist, Pye Records staff songwriter, producer for The Searchers, David Bowie, the Montanas and others, wrote “Downtown” for Petula Clark (#1, 1964)
1943 ● Flo Ballard (Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman) → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1967 when Motown snubbed her and pushed Diana Ross to the front, tried to become a solo act but was largely unsuccessful, died of a heart attack on 2/22/1976
1944 ● Glenn Shorrock → Songwriter, lead vocals and co-founder of several top-level Aussie pop/rock bands, including Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), solo
1946 ● William “Billy” Brown → Vocals for R&B/soul trio The Moments, “Love On A Two-Way Street” (#3, 1970), then name change to sweet soul Ray, Goodman & Brown, “Special Lady” (#5, R&B #1, 1979)
1949 ● Andy Scott → Guitar and synthesizer for neo-bubblegum/glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1973)
1951 ● Stanley Clarke → Virtuoso electric and acoustic jazz and jazz-rock fusion bassist, bandleader and solo, “Sweet Baby” (#19, R&B #6, 1981), collaborated with Chick Corea in fusion band Return To Forever, session work for Santana, Keith Richards, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney and others, film score composer
1953 ● Hal Lindes → Guitarist and film score composer, joined post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing” (#1, 1985) in 1981, solo and session work
1956 ● Philip Adrian Wright → Joined synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981) in 1978 as “Director of Visuals”, learned keyboards, left the band in 1986 to pursue graphic design
1957 ● Doug Sampson → Original drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), left the band in 1977 to escape the rigors of constant touring and never played professionally again
1962 ● Julianne Regan → Vocals for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988)
1963 ● Yngwie Malmsteen → Swedish composer, bandleader and technically accomplished neo-classical heavy metal guitarist, pioneer of the lightning fast “shredding” technique, “Heaven Tonight” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1988)
1967 ● Peter James “Cammy” Camell → Bass and rhythm guitar for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1968 ● Philip Anselmo → Lead vocals for alt heavy metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994)
1969 ● Tom Drummond → Bassist for alt pop-rock trio Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Andrew Burrows → Drummer for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)
1983 ● Anton Gordon → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1983 ● Cheryl Cole (Cheryl Ann Tweedy) → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002), judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008, solo, “Fight For This Love” (UK #1, 2009)
1984 ● Fantasia (Barrino) → R&B/soul singer, actress, “I Believe” (#1, 2004), the first debut single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart
1985 ● T-Pain (Faheem Rasheed Najm) → R&B/hip hop MC and singer, “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” (#1, 2007)
1992 ● Lamb Lennon Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lynx, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)
1992 ● Lynx Vaughan Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lamb, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)

Jul 01

1915 ● Willie Dixon → The “Poet Laureate of the Blues,” vital Chicago blues pioneer, singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed over 500 songs, including recognized standards such as “Spoonful,” “Back Door Man,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Little Red Rooster” and many others, major influence on blues-rockers, including The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, died of heart failure on 1/29/1992
1928 ● Bobby Day (Robert James Byrd) → R&B/doo wop vocals and songwriter with The Hollywood Flames, “Buzz Buzz Buzz” (#11, R&B #5, 1957), then solo, “Rockin’ Robin” (#2, R&B #1, 1958), later one half of the duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963), died of cancer on 1/27/1990
1933 ● Eddie Bond → Pioneer rockabilly star, singer and guitarist, “Rockin’ Daddy” (1956), toured on the Louisiana Hayride with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton and others, radio DJ
1939 ● Delaney Bramlett → Accomplished guitarist and songwriter, member of house band The Shindogs for TV pop music variety show Shindig, one half of husband/wife front for rock/soul revue Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, “Never Ending Song Of Love” (#13, 1971), worked with Eric Clapton, Dave Mason and George Harrison, died on 12/27/2008 from complications of gall bladder surgery
1942 ● Andraé Crouch → The “Father of Modern Gospel,” Grammy-winning, renowned and respected pioneer of contemporary gospel, singer, writer, producer, solo artist, “I’ll Be Thinking Of You” (R&B #69, 1980), collaborated with Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Madonna and others, film score composer and pastor, died following a heart attack on 1/8/2015
1945 ● Debbie Harry → Singer and frontwoman for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), solo, “In Love With Love” (#70, Dance/Club #1, 1987)
1946 ● June Monteiro → Singer for pop girl trio The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2, 1965)
1948 ● John Ford → Bass and acoustic guitar for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), formed rock duo Hudson Ford with bandmate/drummer Richard Hudson, “Pick Up The Pieces” (UK #8, 1973), then punk rock The Monks, “Nice Legs Shame About Her Face” (UK #19, 1979)
1949 ● John Farnham → Hugely popular solo pop-rock singer and songwriter in his native Australia, “You’re The Voice” (#82, UK #6, 1987)
1951 ● Fred Schneider → Vocals and frontman for New wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1952 ● Dan Akroyd → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Elwood Blues” in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979)
1952 ● Leon “Ndugu” Chancler → Jazz-funk drummer, percussionist and sessionman, worked The Crusaders, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson (drummed on “Billie Jean”, #1, 1983), Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Weather Report and many others
1956 ● Phil Solem → Singer, songwriter, co-founder of power pop Great Buildings, which became The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song to the TV situation comedy Friends
1959 ● Edem Ephraim → With Dennis Fuller, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Fuller in a car collision on 1/21/1996
1960 ● Evelyn “Champagne” King → R&B/disco and post-disco singer, “Love Come Down” (#17, Dance/Club #1, 1982)
1960 ● Ted Key → Bassist for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1963 ● Roddy Bottum → Keyboards for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Pol Burton → Drummer for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1971 ● Adam MacDougall → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Melissa “Missy” Elliott → Hugely successful, four time Grammy-winning female rapper and songwriter, “Work It” (#2, 2002), producer, wrote “If Your Girl Only Knew” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1996) for Aaliyah

Jul 02

1925 ● Marvin Rainwater (Percy) → One quarter Cherokee country, rockabilly and pop singer, “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird” (#18, Country #3, 1957) and “Whole Lotta Woman” (#60, UK #1, 1958)
1926 ● Lee Allen → New Orleans-based rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and later rockabilly saxophonist, session work for Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Stray Cats, The Blasters and others, toured with The Rolling Stones, died
1936 ● Tom Springfield (Dion O’Brien) → Vocals and songwriting with sister Dusty Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962)
1937 ● Dee Palmer (David Palmer) → Classically-trained composer, arranger and keyboardist with long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), underwent male-to-female sex change operation in 2004
1939 ● Paul Williams → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), shot himself to death on 8/17/1973
1942 ● Leapy Lee (Graham Pulleybank) → One hit wonder Brit comedian and stage actor turned country-pop crossover singer, “Little Arrows” (#16, Country #11, 1968)
1945 ● Peter Cruikshank → Bassist for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1949 ● Roy “The Professor” Bittan → Keyboards and synthesizer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, session work for David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Meat Loaf, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, others
1950 ● Duncan Mackay → Keyboards for glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975)
1952 ● Johnny Colla → Saxophone and guitar for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Pete Briquette → Bass and vocals for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1955 ● Jerry Hall → Fashion model and sometime actress known chiefly for her marriage to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger in November 1990, ending in divorce in 1999
1956 ● Jeffrey Cooper → Backing vocals for synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990)
1957 ● Mike Anger → Bassist in New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1961 ● Ann-Marie Teresa Antionette “Annie” Ruddock → Vocals and saxophone for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1964 ● Roy Boulter → Drummer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1965 ● Dave Parsons → Bassist for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), joined alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995) in 1992
1970 ● Monie Love (Simone Wilson) → Former protégé of Queen Latifah and member of Native Tongues hip hop collective, solo rapper, “It’s A Shame, My Sister” (#26, Dance/Club #2, 1991)
1974 ● Rocky Gray → Drummer for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003), played lead guitar for Christian metal Living Sacrifice and drums for other metal bands in his native Arkansas
1983 ● Michelle Branch → Teen pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All You Wanted” (#6, 2002) and duet with Carlos Santana, “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002), then formed country-pop The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006)
1985 ● Ashley Michelle Tisdale → Model, actress and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever), solo, “It’s Alright, It’s OK” (Dance/Club #20, 2009)

Jul 03

1893 ● “Mississippi” John Hurt → Country-blues legend, guitarist, songwriter, first recorded in the 20s, then rediscovered in the 60s folk revival, died of a heart attack on 11/2/1966
1929 ● David Lynch → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958), died of cancer on 1/2/1981
1930 ● Tommy Tedesco → Top session guitarist, billed by Guitar Player magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history, worked on TV and film scores and recorded with The Association, The Beach Boys, Cher, Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, The Supremes, Frank Zappa and numerous others, died from lung cancer on 11/10/1997
1936 ● Frederick Tupper Saussy III → American composer, musician, advertising executive, watercolor painter, author, high school English teacher, jazz recording artist and Nashville Symphony contributor best known as the songwriter and keyboardist for psych-pop The Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” (Top 20, 1969), later convicted of tax evasion and spent nearly 10 years as a fugitive before surfacing and turning himself in, became chapel music director and piano instructor for prisoners while serving his sentence in a California correctional facility, upon release wrote several books and resumed recording, died from a heart attack on 3/16/2007, two days before the release of his first CD and first new music album in 37 years, The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar (2007)
1940 ● Fontella Bass → Gospel-rooted R&B/soul diva and pianist, “Rescue Me” (#4, R&B #1, 1965)
1940 ● Maureen Kennedy → Vocals for 60s all-girl Brit-pop ensemble The Vernon Girls, “Lover Please” (UK #16, 1962)
1943 ● Garland Jeffreys → African-American/Puerto Rican American rock, reggae and blues singer and songwriter, “Wild In The Street” (1973) and several solo albums
1943 ● Judith Durham → Vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), solo
1946 ● Victor Unitt → Guitarist with Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970), joined blues-rock The Pretty Things and appeared on the album Parachute (1970)
1947 ● Betty Buckley → Film (Carrie, 1976), TV (Eight Is Enough, 1977) and Broadway (Cats, 1983) actress, traditional pop and show tunes singer with 14 solo albums, plus cast recording of multiple Broadway shows
1948 ● Paul Barrere → Guitarist and songwriter for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1949 ● John Verity → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), formed Phoenix and later Charlie, “It’s Inevitable” (Mainstream Rock #13, 1983), solo, producer
1949 ● Johnnie Wilder → Vocals in multinational, sophisticated disco-funk Heatwave, “Boogie Nights” (#2, 1977)
1950 ● Damon Harris → Joined Motown R&B/soul legends The Temptations as tenor vocalist in 1971, Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), left in 1975 and formed disco Impact, “Give A Broken Heart A Break” (Disco #5, 1976), solo
1955 ● Mike Corby → Keyboards and guitars for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Isn’t It Time” (#13, 1977), left in 1978
1955 ● Neil Clark → Guitar for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1957 ● Laura Branigan → Pop-rock singer-songwriter, “Gloria” (#2, 1982), actress, died of a brain aneurysm on 8/26/2004
1959 ● Stephen Pearcy → Lead vocalist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1960 ● Vince Clarke (Vincent John Martin) → Keyboards, synthesizer and founding member of electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Just Can’t Get Enough” (Dance/Club #26, 1982), left to form synth-pop duo Yaz (Yazoo in the UK), “Nobody’s Diary” (Dance/Club #1, 1983), then co-founded synth-pop duo The Assembly, “Never Never” (UK #4, 1983), then synth-dance duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, Dance/Club #4, 1988) plus over 20 other Dance/Club hits
1968 ● Martyn Walsh → Bassist for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1969 ● Butterfly (Ishmael Butler) → Vocals and producer for hip hop rap-jazz fusion trio Digable Planets, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)” (#15, R&B #5, 1993)
1969 ● Kevin Hearn → Keyboards, accordion and guitar for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1975 ● Javier Weyler → Drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), replacing Richard Cable who departed in 2003
1976 ● Shane Lynch → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)

Jul 04

1826 ● Stephen Foster → The “Father of American Music,” enduring 19th century popular music composer whose works are at the core of the American Songbook, his hundreds of titles include lasting standards such as “Oh, Susanna” (1849), “Camptown Races” (1850) and “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864)
1889 ● Joe Young → Tin Pan Alley and popular music lyricist, co-wrote “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” a #5 hit for Fats Waller in 1935 and a #3 hit for Billy Williams in 1957, among others, died 4/21/1939
1911 ● Mitch Miller → Classical musician, then pop bandleader, arranger, singer, “The Yellow Rose Of Texas” (#1, 1955), head of A&R (artists and repertory) for Columbia Records pop division, TV show host
1934 ● Gilbert Lopez → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1938 ● Bill Withers → Three-time Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Lean On Me” (#1, 1972) and “Just The Two Of Us” (#2, 1981)
1940 ● Dave Rowberry → Keyboards for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), died from a bleeding ulcer on 6/6/2003
1943 ● Fred Wesley → Jazz and funk trombonist, music director and bandleader for James Brown‘s backing band, The J.B.’s, “Doing It To Death” (#22, R&B #1, 1973), also recorded and toured with funk Parliament and Funkadelic, Count Basie, Maceo Parker, De La Soul and others, currently a visiting artist/adjunct professor at Berklee College of Music and other schools
1943 ● Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died of a drug overdose on 9/3/1970
1943 ● Annette Beard Sterling Helton → Original member and vocalist for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), left the group in 1964 for her family
1947 ● Jacques Morali → French producer and songwriter, produced over 65 albums, formed and managed gay disco troupe Village People, “YMCA” (#2, 1979), died of AIDS on 11/15/1991
1948 ● Jeremy Spencer → Early member and slide guitarist for blues-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross” (UK #1, 1969), left the band abruptly during a 1971 tour to join the Children of God religious sect
1949 ● Gene Gunnels → Early drummer in 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), but left before the song became a hit
1950 ● David ‘Kid’ Jensen → Canadian-born, Danish descent radio DJ and TV personality, first for Radio Luxembourg in the late 60s and the BBC Radio 1 beginning in 1976, later Capital FM and other London stations
1951 ● Ralph Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1955 ● John Waite → Singer, songwriter and bassist for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then arena rock Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989), then pop-rock balladeer solo, “Missing You” (#1, 1984)
1958 ● Kirk Pengilly → Guitar and vocals for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Matt Malley → Bassist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Mark Slaughter → Vocals, guitar, keyboards, songwriter and frontman for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), currently a voice-over actor and TV music composer
1970 ● Andy McClure → Drummer for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1971 ● Andrew Creeggan → Piano for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1972 ● William Goldsmith → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999) quit the band in 1997
1978 ● Stephen McNally → Vocals and guitar for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000)

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jun 21

1932 ● Lalo Schifrin → Argentinean-born, Grammy-winning pianist, conductor, composer and arranger of TV and film soundtracks, including “Mission: Impossible” (Adult Contemporary #7, 1968), “Jaws” (Disco #5, 1976) and the theme song to Mannix (1967-1975), also worked with Clint Eastwood to compose the scores to several films in the Dirty Harry series
1942 ● Ocie Lee “O.C.” Smith → Jazz vocalist in Count Basie‘s band, then country-R&B-pop solo singer, “Little Green Apples” (#2, 1968), became a pastor and church leader, died on 11/23/2001
1944 ● Jon Hiseman → Brit jazz-rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, left to form prog rock Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), recording engineer, producer and music publisher
1944 ● Miquel Vicens Danus → Bassist for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1944 ● Ray Davies → Founding member, frontman, guitar, vocals and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970) and “Come Dancing” (#6, 1983)
1947 ● Joey Molland → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), has performed in various incarnations of the band for four decades
1949 ● Greg Munford → Lead vocals for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Joey Kramer → Long-time drummer 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)
1951 ● Alan Silson → Lead guitar and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1951 ● Nils Lofgren → Rock guitarist, pianist, songwriter and vocals, joined Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse in 1968, from 1971 to 1974 recorded four albums with his own band, Grin, solo, “Valentine”, (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1984 and is a two-time member with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band
1957 ● Mark Brzezicki → Drummer for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), also stints with The Cult, Ultravox and Procol Harum, plus session work for The Pretenders, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and others
1959 ● Kathy Mattea → Grammy-winning bluegrass and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Goin’ Gone” (Country #1, 1987) and 13 other Country Top 10 singles
1959 ● Marcella Detroit (Levy) → Back-up singer for Eric Clapton, then vocalist and songwriter in R&B/synth-pop duo Shakespear’s Sister, “Stay” (#4, 1992), sessions, solo
1967 ● Tim Simenon → Hip hop producer, co-produced for Neneh Cherry and Seal, composer and frontman for one man electronic/sampladelic Bomb The Bass, “Beat Dis” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1968 ● Sonique (Sonia Clarke) → Brit dance-pop diva and DJ, first with dance-pop acid house S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988), then solo, “Feels So Good” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 2000)
1969 ● Pat Sansone → Multi-instrumentalist for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1975 ● Justin Cary → Bassist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1976 ● Mike Einziger → Guitarist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Brandon Flowers → Vocals and keyboards for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)

Jun 22

1936 ● Kris Kristofferson → Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter, wrote “Me & Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin, #1, 1971), solo artist, “Why Me” (#16, Country #1, 1973), film actor in many top films and roles, including A Star Is Born (1976) opposite Barbra Streisand, husband of folkie Rita Coolidge from 1973 to 1980
1937 ● Chris Blackwell → Highly-influential Brit music executive and producer, founder of fiercely independent Island Records, which forged the early careers of Traffic, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and countless other rock acts, founded Mango Records and Palm Records, currently oversees Jamaican resort properties and philanthropic organizations
1944 ● Peter Asher → With Gordon Waller, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, manager, record producer and one-time head of Apple Records
1944 ● Bill Thompson → Manager for psychedelic rock Jefferson Airplane (“Somebody To Love,” #5, 1967) through successful but turbulent times from 1968 to 1972, stayed with the band members for various solo projects, including folk-rock Hot Tuna (LP Burgers, 1972) and reformation as electric folk/pop-rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975) and spinoff pop-rock Starship (“We Built This City,” #1, 1985), died of a heart attack on 1/12/2015
1947 ● Howard Kaylan → With long-time collaborator Mark Vollman, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Vollman, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Todd Rundgren → Guitarist, singer/songwriter, bandleader for pop-rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#71, 1969) and Utopia, “Set Me Free” (#27, 1980), solo, “I Saw The Light” (#16, 1972), member of The New Cars, “Not Tonight” (2006) and producer of albums by Meat Loaf, The Band, Badfinger and Grand Funk Railroad, among others
1949 ● Alan Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1953 ● Cyndi Lauper → Nasally-voiced, rag-tag early MTV star pop-rock girl solo singer, “Time After Time” (#1, 1983)
1956 ● Derek Forbes → Bassist for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1956 ● Green Gartside (Paul Julian Strohmeyer) → Wales-born founding member, frontman, songwriter, vocals and only constant member of left-wing post-punk then pop-punk Scritti Politti, “Perfect Way” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1985)
1957 ● Gary Beers → Bassist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Ruby Turner → Jamaican-born R&B/soul singer, backing vocals for R&B/reggae UB40 and Culture Club, then solo, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” (R&B #1, Dance/Club #5, 1989)
1959 ● Alan Anton → Bassist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Jimmy Somerville → Lead vocals and songwriter for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984), then vocals for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986)
1962 ● Stephen Vaughan → Bassist for alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey, “Sheela-Na-Gig” (Alt Rock #9, 1991)
1964 ● Bobby Gillespie → Drummer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994), then founding member, guitar and vocals for jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1964 ● Mike Edwards → Vocals for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1964 ● Richard Michael “Dicky” Barrett → Frontman and lead vocals for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997), radio DJ, TV voice-over artist and announcer for the Jimmy Kimmel Show
1965 ● Tommy Cunningham → Drummer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Steven Page → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1973 ● Chris Traynor → Guitarist and co-founder of post-hardcore Orange 9mm, then joined alt heavy metal Helmet, “Exactly What You Wanted” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), worked with alt-rock Bush, “The People That We love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2001), studio soundtrack sessions for Blue Man Group, touring and sessions with Blur, Rival Schools, Katy Perry and others
1976 ● Sally Polihronas → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1981 ● Chris Urbanowicz → Guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

Jun 23

1929 ● June Carter Cash (Valerie June Carter) → Singer, songwriter, actress and country music matriarch, The Carter Family, solo, “Jackson” (Country #2, 1967), duets with her husband Johnny, the “Man in Black”, died on 5/15/2003
1937 ● Niki Sullivan → Original member, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for Buddy Holly‘s backing group, The Crickets, co-wrote and/or sang on many of Holly‘s hit songs before leaving the band in 1957, died of a heart attack on 4/6/2004
1940 ● James Walter “Jimmy” 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
1940 ● Adam Faith (Terence Nelhams-Wright) → Brit teen-idol pop singer, “What Do You Want” (UK #1, 1959) and 10 other UK Top 10 hits, successful TV, film and stage actor with multiple roles, largely unsuccessful financial advisor, died of a heart attack on 3/8/2003
1940 ● Stuart Sutcliffe → First Beatles bassist for 18 months in 1960-61, left the band and remained in Hamburg, Germany where he died from a brain hemorrhage on 4/10/1962
1941 ● Robert Hunter → Folk-bluegrass musician, singer, songwriter and poet best known as the Grateful Dead‘s lyricist, solo folk-country-rock artist
1944 ● Rosetta Hightower → Lead vocals for mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962)
1955 ● Glenn Danzig (Anzalone) → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founder/bandleader for hardcore “horror” punk The Misfits, “Dig Up Her Bones” (1997), left in 1983 to form heavy/death metal Samhain and later blues-metal Danzig, now runs an adult-entertainment comics magazine
1956 ● Randall Darius Jackson → Session bass guitarist, bandmember for Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia, record producer, label executive, solo artist and now judge on popular TV show American Idol
1957 ● Lee John (John Leslie McGregor) → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1962 ● Richard Coles → Multi-instrumentalist for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986), now an ordained priest and BBC radio host
1962 ● Steve Shelley → Drummer for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1965 ● Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs → Guitar for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1966 ● James MacPherson → Drummer for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, 1993)
1966 ● Mark Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1975 ● Kate Victoria “KT” Tunstall → Scottish singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” (#20, Adult Top 40 #9, 2006)
1977 ● Jason Mraz → Grammy-winning contemporary pop-rock singer/songwriter, “I’m Yours” (#6, 2008)
1980 ● Jessica Taylor → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Antony Costa → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1984 ● Duffy (Aimée Ann Duffy) → Grammy-winning Welsh singer-songwriter, “Mercy” (Adult Top 40 #9, 2008)

Jun 24

1939 ● Paul “Oz” Bach → Founding member, bass guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), session work for Fred Neil, Tom Paxton, Linda Ronstadt and Steve Miller, among others, died of cancer on 9/21/1998
1944 ● Arthur Brown → Outlandish, theatrical, hellfire-bearing frontman for one hit wonder, psychedelic pop The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#2, 1968), played the Priest in the rock film Tommy (1975)
1944 ● Charlie Whitney → Guitarist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1944 ● Chris Wood → Founding member, saxophone and flute for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and later reformed Traffic, sessions, died of pneumonia on 7/12/1983
1944 ● Jeff Beck → Highly influential, five-time Grammy-winning lead guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, replaced Eric Clapton in blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, multiple solo albums and singles, “People Get Ready” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1985), formed The Honeydrippers with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Nile Rodgers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984), #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Great Guitarists of All-Time
1945 ● Colin Blunstone → Founding member and lead vocals in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), then solo, “Say You Don’t Mind” (UK #15, 1972), contributed lead vocals for several Alan Parsons Project tracks
1947 ● Mick Fleetwood → Founding member, part namesake and drummer for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1948 ● Patrick Moraz → Prog and jazz-rock keyboardist, replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes 1974-76, then 1978-1991 with The Moody Blues, “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986), solo
1949 ● John Illsley → Bass and vocals for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1950 ● Derrick “Duckie” Simpson → Co-founder and only constant member of Grammy-winning, second generation reggae band Black Uhuru, album Anthem was the Best Reggae Album of 1984
1957 ● Astro (Terence Wilson) → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1959 ● Andy McCluskey → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1961 ● Curt Smith → Bass and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1961 ● Dennis Danell → Founding guitarist in Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996), died from a brain aneurysm on 2/29/2000
1967 ● Jeff Cease → Lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), left in 1991
1967 ● Richard Zven Kruspe → Lead guitarist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Medeiros → Teen idol poster-boy singer, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and duet with Bobby Brown, “She Ain’t Worth It” (#1, 1990)

Jun 25

1918 ● Sid Tepper → Songwriter and collaborator with Roy C. Bennett, with whom he wrote over 300 songs, including “Red Roses For A Blue Lady” for Vaughn Monroe (#4, 1948), “The Young Ones” for Cliff Richard (UK #1, 1962) and over 40 for ‘Elvis Presley, died from natural causes on 4/24/2015
1925 ● Clifton Chenier → The undisputed “King of Zydeco,” Creole accordion player, songwriter and bandleader, blended French and Cajun waltzes with New Orleans R&B, blues and jazz to create the exuberant, dance-happy sounds of zydeco, won a Grammy Award in 1983, recognized with a National Heritage Fellowship and inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame, died of diabetes-related kidney disease on 12/12/1987
1934 ● Fred Ronald “Ron” Lundy → Radio disc jockey who held the midday shift at WABC (New York) – the most successful Top 40 radio station ever – from 1965 until the station switched to talk radio in 1982, moved to WCBS-FM and remained there until his retirement in 1997, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2010
1935 ● Eddie Floyd → R&B/Memphis soul singer/songwriter, co-founded proto-soul The Falcons, “You’re So Fine” (#17, R&B #2, 1959), then solo artist, “Knock On Wood” (#28, R&B #1, 1966) and staff writer/producer at Stax Records, co-wrote “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)” for Wilson Pickett (#13, R&B #1, 1966)
1939 ● Harold Melvin → Singer, pianist and bandleader for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), suffered a stroke in 1996 and died on 3/24/1997
1940 ● Clint Warwick (Albert Clinton Eccles) → Original bassist for pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Go Now” (#1, UK #10, 1964), left in 1966 to become a carpenter, died of liver cancer on 5/15/2004
1943 ● Chris Huston → Teenage friend of John Lennon, in 1961 co-founded Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups that never charted in any Top 40, left in 1966 to tour with Joey Dee And The Starlighters, teamed up with The Rascals as producer and engineer, winning a gold disc for “Groovin'” (#1, 1967), later worked with The Who, Led Zeppelin, Todd Rundgren, War, Eric Burdon, Ben E. King and many others, currently an acoustic and building design consultant in Nashville
1945 ● Carly Simon → Grammy-winning pop-rock singer/songwriter, “You’re So Vain” (#1, 1973) and “Mockingbird” (#5, 1974), a duet with then-husband James Taylor
1946 ● Allen Lanier → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1946 ● Ian McDonald → Co-founding member and multi-instrumentalist of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then co-founder of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left in 1979 for production, sessions and solo career
1952 ● Tim Finn → Singer/songwriter with brother Neil in for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987) and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1954 ● David Paich → Vocals and keyboards for Toto, “Hold The Line” (1978)
1963 ● George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) → Vocals and co-frontman for pop-revival, early boyband duo Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (#1, 1984), then Grammy-winning dance-pop solo career, “Faith” (#1, 1987) and 12 other Top 10 hits and three Dance/Club #1 singles
1968 ● Candyman (Candell Manson) → Los Angeles crossover rapper, backed Tone-Loc before going solo, “Knockin’ Boots” (#9, Rap #1, 1990)
1972 ● Mike Kroeger → Bassist for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1974 ● Mario Calire → Drummer for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), then Grammy-winning Latin salsa/hip hop/funk-rock blended Ozomatli, 2001 album Embrace The Chaos
1985 ● Hanna Nicole Pérez Mosa → Mexican-American singer and songwriter, with sister Ashley in contemporary Latin pop-rock duo Ha*Ash, “No Te Quiero Nada” (Latin Pop #6, 2008)

Jun 26

1893 ● William Lee “Big Bill” Broonzy → Chicago blues pioneer, guitarist and prolific songwriter with over 300 titles, including standards such as “All By Myself” (1941) and “Key To The Highway” (1941)
1909 ● Colonel Tom Parker (Andreas Cornelius Van Kuijk) → Dutch-born entertainment impresario, manager for Gene Austin, Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow, then took over as Elvis Presley‘s manager in 1955, died from a stroke on 1/21/1997
1940 ● Billy Davis, Jr. → Founding member and vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), solo, Grammy-winning duet with wife Marilyn McCoo,”You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)” (#1, 1976)
1942 ● Larry Taylor → Bassist for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968)
1943 ● Georgie Fame (Clive Powell) → Brit R&B, jazz and pop-rock vocalist and keyboard player, “The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde” (#7, UK #1, 1968)
1948 ● Richard McCarken → Bassist for Irish blues-rock power trio Taste, On The Boards album reached UK #18 in 1970
1950 ● Junior Daye → Vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1955 ● Ivan Julian → Guitarist and founding member of seminal punk/New Wave Richard Hell And The Voidoids, “Love Comes In Spurts” from the album Blank Generation (1977)
1955 ● Michael Geoffrey “Mick” Jones → Co-founder and lead guitarist of influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982), left in 1983 to form funk-punk Big Audio Dynamite, “V. Thirteen” (Dance/Club #15, 1987)
1956 ● Chris Isaak → Rockabilly and roots rock singer/songwriter/guitarist, “Wicked Game” (#6, 1990), occasional actor and TV talk show host
1957 ● Patty Smyth → Lead vocals for hard/arena rock Scandal, “The Warrior” (#7, 1984), left in 1984 for solo career, “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” (#2, 1992)
1959 ● Stef Burns → Guitarist for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1960 ● Chris Duffy → Vocals in Welsh pop-rock duo Waterfront, “Cry” (#10, 1989)
1961 ● Terri Nunn → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1963 ● Harriet Wheeler → Vocals for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1966 ● Par Wiksten → Guitar and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1969 ● Colin Greenwood → Bassist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1969 ● Mark Decloedt → Drummer for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers”), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1972 ● Jussi Sydänmaa → Guitarist for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1973 ● Gretchen Wilson → Country singer/songwriter, “Redneck Woman” (#22, Country #1, 2004)
1975 ● Paul Phillips → On-again, off-again lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for post-grunge Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1979 ● Ivan Nathan Followill → Drummer for Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)
1979 ● Ryan Tedder → Songwriter, producer, founding member for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1980 ● Jason Schwartzman → Drummer for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), TV and film actor plus solo music projects

Jun 27

1925 ● Doc Pomus (Jerome Felder) → Blues singer, guitarist and performer turned prolific rock and pop songwriter, wrote or co-wrote with collaborator and pianist Mort Shuman many memorable hits, including “Turn Me Loose” (Fabian, #9, 1959), “Teenager In Love” (Dion & The Belmonts, #5, 1959), “Save The Last Dance For Me” (The Drifters, #1, 1960), “Sweets For My Sweet” (The Drifters, #16, 1961), and “Viva Las Vegas” (Elvis Presley, #29, 1964), died from lung cancer on 3/14/1991
1942 ● Bruce Johnston (Benjamin Baldwin) → Guitar and vocals for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo, wrote Grammy-winning “I Write The Songs” for Barry Manilow (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Gilson Lavis → Drummer in Chuck Berry‘s band, also toured with Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton, then 1976-92 with New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981), now Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
1958 ● Lisa Germano → American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, 1994 album Geek The Girl, session work for David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, Iggy Pop, Jewel, John Mellencamp, Simple Minds and others
1959 ● Loretta Lynn “Lorrie” Morgan → Country-pop singer, “What Part Of No” (Country #1, 1992) and 17 other Country Top 20 hits
1962 ● Michael Ball → Brit TV host, stage actor and pop singer, “Love Changes Everything” (UK #2, 1989)
1970 ● Laurence Colbert → Drummer for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1976 ● Leigh Nash → Singer for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1983 ● Evan David Taubenfeld → Lead guitarist and vocals with Avril Lavigne, “Complicated” #2, 2002), formed punk-pop The Black List Club in 2004
1902 ● Richard Rodgers → Stage, film and TV music composer and lyricist with over 900 titles and 43 musicals, collaborator with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein III on some of the best-known songs in popular music, died on 12/30/1979
1943 ● Bobby Harrison → Drummer for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), formed psych rock Freedom in 1968
1945 ● David Knights → Original bass guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969
1959 ● Clint Boon → Keyboards for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992), formed The Clint Boon Experience in 1995
1963 ● Beverley Craven → Brit easy listening singer/songwriter and balladeer, “Promise Me” (UK #3, 1991) and “Holding On” (Adult Contemporary #30, 1992)
1963 ● Charles Clouser → Keyboardist and drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), producer and sound engineer for Deftones, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and others
1965 ● Saul Davis → Guitar and violin for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (#61, Modern Rock #3, 1994)
1966 ● Bobby Bare, Jr. → Country and roots rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, at age 8 received a Grammy nomination with his father, Bobby Bare, for the duet “Daddy What If” (#41, Country #2, 1974), frontman for alt country-rock Young Criminals Starvation League and indie rock Bare Jr.
1971 ● Ray Slijngaard → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1977 ● Mark Stoermer → Bass guitarist for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1979 ● Tim McCord → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1986 ● Kellie Dawn PicklerAmerican Idol runner-up and contemporary country/country-pop singer with eight Country Top 40 hits, including “Best Days Of Your Life” (Country #12, 2008) from the Country #1 (Pop #9) album Kellie Pickler

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