Posts Tagged heavy metal birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (May 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
1938 ● 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 perfumer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, scored UK (“Al Capone,” UK #18, 1967) and US hits (“Ten Commandments Of Man,” #81, R&B #17, 1967), dropped out of the industry in the late 70s and recorded and performed only sporadically up to his death following a stroke on 9/8/2016, age 78
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) / (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 ● Plaster Caster / (Cynthia 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 ● Waddy Wachtel / (Robert 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
1927 ● Paul Oliver / (Paul Hereford Oliver) → Brit architectural historian whose sideline interest in blues music led him to author several early and authoirtative books on the subject, including “The Story Of The Blues” (1969), wrote multiple biographies and narratives about indigenous American music over 40 years, left an unfinished 1,400 page manuscript on Texas blues when he died from natural causes on 8/15/2017, age 90
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)
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer with a lone 50s minor hit, “What Can I Do?” (#61, R&B #12, 1957), left for the UK and recorded there with some success in the 60s, returned to the US in 1970 and had eight charting singles in eight years, including “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989, age 52
1942 ● Blinky Davison / (Brian 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 ● Poli Palmer / (John Michael 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 / (Mitchell Stuart Margo) → Tenor vocals and piano for blue-eyed R&B/doo-wop group The Tokens, was just 14 years old when the band released it’s biggest hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), later helped produce albums for the Chiffons and Tony Orlando & Dawn, wrote songs for others, including “Laugh ” (1967) for The Monkees and “Slow Dance” (1989) for The Carpenters, performed with various Tokens lineups, composed TV scores and painted for album covers and children’s books until his death from natural causes on 11/24/2017, age 70
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 guitar with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny (“Butter Boy,” #29, 1975), one of the earliest women-only rock bands and the first to release an album on a major record label (Fanny, Reprise, 1970), broke up in 1975 but continued to record and perform with her sister as a duet and in various Fanny reunions, including as Fanny Walks The Earth with an eponymous album in 2018.
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt / (Robert Eugene Steinhardt) → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1951 ● Chuck Ruff / (Charles Frederick Carson 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 ● Paul Weller / (John William 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 / (Richard 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 the 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 / (George Hoy 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 / (Charles 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 Davis / (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
1938 ● Jaki Liebezeit / (Hans Liebezeit) → Quietly influential, minimalist rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from pneumonia on 1/22/2017, age 78
1940 ● Levon Helm / (Mark Lavon Helm) → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocalist with four Canadian bandmates in seminal roots rock The Band (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), issued seventeen solo albums, produced albums for others, acted in nearly two dozens films, including Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), and hosted the weekly Midnight Ramble music revue at his home near Woodstock, NY, from the late 90s until his death 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 ● Verden Allen / (Terence 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 ● Ronnie Harkai → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1946 ● Mick Ronson / (Michael 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
1948 ● Stevie Nicks / (Stephanie Lynn 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 ● Hank Williams, Jr. / (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 ● Lenny Kravitz / (Leonard Albert 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 girl group Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joee but died from a suspected but unconfirmed 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 / (Donald Ray Williams) → Country’s “Gentle Giant,” mild-mannered, deep baritone 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, died from emphysema on 9/8/2017, age 78
1943 ● Cilla Black / (Priscilla Maria Veronica 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 ● Left Eye Lopes / (Lisa Nicole 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 ● André 3000 / (André Benjamin) → Half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004), solo

May 28
1910 ● T. Bone Walker / (Aaron Thibeaux 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 ● Papa John Creach / (John Henry 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
1929 ● Sonny Burgess / (Albert Austin Burgess) → The “Arkansas Wild Man,” freewheeling Sun Records boogie woogie and rockabilly singer, guitarist and frontman for The Pacers (“We Wanna Boogie,” 1956), chart success eluded him but he performed and recorded for four decades (except for a stint as a sewing supplies salesman in the 70s), hosted a weekly rockabilly nostalgia radio show in Arkansas in the 90s, fell in his home and died a month later on 8/18/2017, age 88
1943 ● Tony Mansfield → Drummer for 60s British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
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
1944 ● Gary Stewart / (Gary Ronnie Stewart) → “Outlaw country” singer and songwriter mixing honky tonk and Southern rock sounds on nine Country Top 20 hits among nearly 30 charting songs, including “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” (Country #1, 1975), his album Out of Hand (1975) was one of the highest acclaimed country albums of the 70s, collaborated with Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts on Cactus And A Rose (1980), toured and recorded through the 90s and committed suicide a month after the death of his wife of 43 years on 12/16/2003, age 59.
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
1946 ● Stacy Sutherland / (Stacy Keith Sutherland) → Guitarist and songwriter in legendary Austin, Texas acid/garage rock The 13th Floor Elevators (the first band to use the term “psychedelic rock” to describe their music – and their LSD/stoner lifestyle), the band’s 3-year stint led to four albums, seven singles and a lone charting hit (“You’re Gonna Miss Me,” #55, 1966), left in 1969 to form his own group (Ice), spend times behind bars and fall deeper into drug and alcohol addiction, his estranged wife Bunny accidentally shot and killed him during a domestic dispute on 8/24/1978, age 32.
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 ● Eddie Jobson / (Edwin 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
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
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

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
1947 ● Junior Campbell / (William Campbell, Jr.) → Lead guitar for pop/rock the Gaylords, then Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Larry Harris / (Larry Alan Harris) → Music industry executive and co-founder of Casablanca Records with his second cousin, Neil Bogart, signed and launched the careers of Kiss, Donna Summer, Village People and others, plus less flamboyant acts as Cher, funk band Parliament, and comedians Robin Williams and Rodney Dangerfield, left after the disco craze ended and the label fell into decline to work for other labels and open a comedy club in Seattle, died from an abdominal aneurysm on 122/18/2017, age 70
1949 ● Francis Rossi → Co-founder and lead guitarist for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), solo
1950 ● Rebbie Jackson / (Maureen Reillette Jackson Brown) → Eldest of the Jackson family of musicians, performed with her brothers beginning in 1974 on stage and on the TV variety show The Jacksons, issued four solo albums and charted several singles, including “Centipede” (#24, R&B #4, 1984)
1952 ● Karl Bartos → Percussionist for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975), left in 1990 for solo career and collaborations
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 ● Danny Pearson / (Daniel Pearson) → Bassist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
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
1964 ● Fresh Kid Ice / (Christopher Wong Won) → Asian-American rapper of Trinidadian and Chinese decent, founding member of notorious hip hop group 2 Live Crew (“Banned In The USA,” #20, Rap #1, 1990), their sexually-explicit lyrics resulted in arrests and sparked a national debate about obscenity and the legal limits of artistic expression, died from an unspecified “medical condition” at a Veterans Administration hospital on 7/13/2017, age 53
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 ● Chad Kinchla / (Chandler Kinchla) → Guitarist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1975 ● Melanie 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)
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)

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
1928 ● Herb Oscar Anderson / (Herbert Oscar Anderson) → Beloved, crooning Top 40 music radio DJ, member of the “Swingin’ 7” team of announcers on world-famous WABC-am in New York City during the 60s, left when 60s pop turned to 70s harder rock, continued to host music radio programs in different markets, including a weekly show on a Vero Beach, Florida station until his death from kidney failure on 1/29/2017, age 88
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
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
1955 ● Topper Headon / (Nicholas Bowen Headon) → Drummer and occasional vocals for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, wrote “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982)
1958 ● Marie Fredriksson / (Gun-Marie Fredriksson) → Pop singer and songwriter who balanced a successful solo career in Sweden and international acclaim as lead singer with Per Gessle in pop-rock duo Roxette, the second most successful Swedish pop act after ABBA, the pair scored multiple Top 10 hits worldwide and four #1 hits the U.S., including “Joyride” (#1, SWE #1, 1991), diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2002, underwent surgery and chemotherapy, recovered to continue performing and recording as a solo artist and with Gessle in Roxette reunions until her death from a recurrence of a brain tumor on 12/9/2019, age 61.
1960 ● Stephen Duffy → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1964 ● Tom Morello → Guitarist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
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)
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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 17
1921 ● Bob Merrill / (Henry Merrill Levan) → Pop and Broadway songwriter, wrote multiple hits, including “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window” for Patti Page (#1, 1953) and “People” for Barbra Streisand (Adult Contemporary #1, 1964), died after a long illness on 2/17/1998, age 76
1934 ● Sonny Knight / (Joseph Coleman Smith) → R&B singer (“Confidential,” #17, R&B #8, 1956) and author of the novel The Day The Music Died (1981) about racism in the music industry, suffered a massive stroke in 1996 and died two years later on 9/5/1998, age 64
1938 ● Pervis Jackson → Original member and bass vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, continued touring with the group until his death from cancer on 8/18/2008, age 70
1941 ● Malcolm Hale → Guitar, horns and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty home furnace on 10/30/1968, age 27
1942 ● Taj Mahal / (Henry St. Clair Fredericks) → Prominent multi-instrumentalist acoustic and electric folk-blues-country-reggae guitarist and songwriter, founded roots folk-rock Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, prolific solo career with over 30 studio and live albums, composer of film soundtracks, Grammy-winning best contemporary blues album Señor Blues (1997)
1944 ● Richard Schwartz → Vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1944 ● Jesse Winchester / (James Ridout Winchester) → Draft-dodging American folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Say What” (#2, 1981), moved to Canada in 1967 and received citizenship in 1973, continued to record and perform until his death from bladder cancer on 4/11/2014, age 69
1949 ● Bill Bruford → Inimitable rock drummer, composer, bandleader, producer and record company executive, founding member of prog/art rock Yes, briefly with prog rock Genesis in early 70s, then prog/space-rock King Crimson, “Heartbeat” (Mainstream Rock #57, 1982) for 25 years, solo albums and side projects including UK, ABWH and Earthworks
1950 ● Howard Ashman → With songwriting team partner/composer Alan Menken, Academy Award-winning lyricist and producer for stage and screen, co-wrote “Under The Sea” from Disney‘s The Little Mermaid (1989), the title song to Beauty And The Beast (1991) and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992), died of AIDS on 3/14/1991, age 40
1952 ● Roy Adams → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1953 ● Lightnin’ Licks Johnson / (George Johnson) → Vocals and guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk sibling group The Brothers Johnson, “Stomp!” (#7, R&B #1, 1980), solo
1955 ● David Townsend → EMI staff songwriter turned smooth soul singer and guitarist in the “quiet storm” trio Surface, “The First Time” (#1, R&B #1, 1990), found dead in his home on 10/26/2005, age 50
1958 ● Alan Rankine → Guitarist for post-punk New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), now college music lecturer
1959 ● Paul Di’Anno / (Paul Andrews) → Vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1981 and pursued a moderately successful solo career and as a member of several hard rock project groups, including Gogmagog, Battlezone, Praying Mantis and Killers
1960 ● Simon Fuller → Record and TV producer, manager for the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Will Young, Emma Bunton and others, creator of the Idol TV variety/contest series, first in the U.K. as Pop Idol and now with over 50 other versions including American Idol, Canadian Idol, and World Idol
1961 ● Enya / (Eithne Ni Bhraonain) → Vocals for Celtic folk-pop sibling group Clannad, then solo new age dreamy synth-pop, “Orinoco Flow” (#24, 1989) and “Only Time” (#10, 2001)
1962 ● Tracey Bryn → With sister Melissa Belland, frontgal and vocals in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1963 ● Page McConnell → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996) plus solo and side projects
1965 ● Homer O’Dell → Guitarist for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1965 ● Trent Reznor → Founder, leader and songwriter for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1966 ● Jan Kincaid → Founding member, drums and keyboards for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1967 ● Simon Friend → Guitarist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Dave Abbruzzese → Drummer (1991-94) for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Even Flow” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1992), solo
1970 ● Darnell Van Rensalier → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1970 ● Jordan Knight → Singer in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1971 ● Vernie Bennett / (Vernette Bennett) → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1973 ● Joshua Homme → Founding member, vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter for stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), later with supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Alt Rock #10, 2009)
1974 ● Andrea Corr → With two sisters and brother, lead vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000), solo and actress
1976 ● Kandi Burruss → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)

May 18
1911 ● Big Joe Turner / (Joseph Vernon Turner) → Premier blues “shouter” and boogie-woogie, jump blues and early rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” (#22, R&B #1, 1954), died from a kidney failure on 11/24/1985, age 74
1912 ● Perry Como / (Pierino Ronald Como) → Small town barber turned pre-rock ‘n’ roll crooner, then Grammy-winning smooth easy listening/pop singer, “Catch A Falling Star” (#1, 1958) and 19 other Pop Top 25 singles plus nine Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died in his sleep on 5/12/2001, age 88
1922 ● Kai Winding / (Kai Chresten Winding) → Danish-American jazz trombonist who played with every major jazz and be bop artist in small and large groups over a 40-year career, from Benny Goodman and Stan Kenton in the 40s to Quincy Jones and Chuck Mangione in the 70s, founded several of his own groups and collaborated with J. J. Johnson in the 50s, was the first to record “Time Is On My Side,” which later became the first US Top 10 hit for The Rolling Stones (#6, 1964), died following a heart attack during surgery for a brain tumor on 5/6/1983, age 60.
1933 ● Fred Smith / (Fred Sledge Smith) → R&B songwriter and record producer, co-wrote several 50-60s hits for doo wop The Olympics, including novelty song “Western Movies” (#8, R&B #7, 1958) and dance-craze “(Baby) Hully Bully” (#72, 1960), produced hits for Bob & Earl (“Harlem Shuffle,” #44, 1964) and Jackie Lee (“The Duck,” #14, 1965), formed his own label, MoSoul, in 1967 and produced two albums for Bill Cosby, worked briefly for Stax Records until it closed in 1975, left the music industry thereafter and died from undisclosed causes on 7/29/2005, age 72
1939 ● Gary Paxton / (Larry Wayne Stevens) → Grammy-winning, eccentric gospel musician whose career opened as a teenage pop singer with Clyde “Skip” Battin (later in The Byrds) in the duo Skip & Flip (“It Was I,” #11, 1959), later recorded with the Hollywood Argyles (“Alley-Oop,” #1, 1960) and produced “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962) for
Bobby “Boris” Pickett
, converted to Christianity in the 70s, won Best Inspirational Album award in 1975, survived an assassination attempt by hitmen in 1980, retired in 1999 and died at home on 7/16/2016, age 77
1942 ● Rodney Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass guitar and dobro player with brother Doug in duo country-rock The Dillards
1944 ● Albert Hammond → Brit-Gibraltarian pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “It Never Rains In Southern California” (#5, 1973)
1945 ● Scar Lopez / (Richard Lopez) → Founding member and vocals for pioneering “East Side Sound” of L.A., Mexican-American one hit wonder, brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from lung cancer on 7/30/2010, age 65
1946 ● Bruce Gilbert → Guitarist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1946 ● George Alexander → Bassist for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1949 ● Bill Wallace → Bassist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), now college music instructor
1949 ● Rick Wakeman → Renowned keyboardist and composer, started as sessionman for Black Sabbath, David Bowie and others in the 60s, joined folk-prog-rock The Strawbs in 1970, moved to archetypal prog rock Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), successful solo career and film score composing
1950 ● Mark Mothersbaugh → Multi-instrumental musician, composer, singer and founding member of quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), also wrote musical scores for dozens of films and television shows in the 90s and 00s in music production company Mutato Muzika with his former Devo bandmates
1952 ● George Strait → The “King of Country,” traditionalist country, honky tonk and Western swing singer, songwriter and guitarist with more (57) Country #1 hits than any other artist, including “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” (Country #1, 1987)
1953 ● Butch Tavares / (Feliciano Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Wreckless Eric / (Eric Goulden) → Singer, songwriter and Stiff Records artist, had the punk classic UK airplay hit “I’d Go The Whole Wide World” (1978)
1956 ● Jim Moginie / (James Moginie) → Australian singer and musician best known for founding politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988), the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Best Albums of the 80s
1957 ● Michael Cretu → Romanian-born founder, frontman, composer and creative genius behind new age electronic/world music Enigma, “Return To Innocence” (#4, 1994)
1958 ● Toyah Ann Wilcox → Brit actress and singer, appeared in the punk film Jubilee (1977) and in The Who‘s mod film Quadrophenia (1979), fronted punk-rock Toyah, “It’s A Mystery” (1981)
1961 ● Hugh Whittaker → Drummer for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1961 ● Russell Senior → Guitar and violin for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), left in 1997 to pursue other projects and sell antique glassware
1969 ● Martika / (Martika Marta Marrero) → Cuban-American teen-pop/bubblegum singer, “Toy Soldiers” (#1, 1989)
1970 ● Billy Howerdel → Guitar technician for alt rock Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), then founded alt-metal-fused-with-art rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1975 ● Jack Johnson → Hawaii born professional surfer turned acoustic soft beach rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Upside Down” (#38, Adult Top 40 #11, 2006)
1982 ● Eric West → 90s hip hop singer turned model and actor, returned to music with a 2010 solo album and the single “Gone” featuring Kanye West

May 19
1894 ● Moms Mabley / (Loretta Mary Aitken) → Hugely successful stand-up comedienne from the vaudeville era with 17 charting albums in the 60s and one hit, a cover of “Abraham, Martin And John” (#35, R&B #18, 1969), for a time making her the oldest living person to have a Billboard Top 40 hit, died from heart failure on 5/23/1975, age 82
1932 ● Alma Cogan / (Alma Cohen) → 50s and early 60s rising star Brit traditional pop female vocalist, “Dreamboat” (UK #1, 1955) plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits, died of stomach cancer on 10/26/1966, age 34
1940 ● Mickey Newbury / (Milton Sims Newbury, Jr.) → Prolific country music songwriter with dozens of hit songs performed by others, including Top 20 songs on four charts simultaneously, “Here Comes the Rain, Baby” (Eddy Arnold, Country #4, 1968), “Sweet Memories” (Andy Williams, Easy Listening #4, 1968), “Time Is A Thief” (Solomon Burke, R&B #15, 1968) and “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Pop #5, 1968), plus a solo hit single “An American Trilogy” (#26, 1972), died 9/29/2002, age 62
1945 ● Pete Townshend / (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) → Guitarist, songwriter, rock opera composer and vocalist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967) and 14 other US Top 40 singles, rock opera albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973), Grammy-winning solo career, “Face The Face” (#26, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1947 ● Jerry Hyman → Trombonist for jazz-rock/pop-rock horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1947 ● Paul Brady → Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with The Johnstons and Planxty, then long solo career, “Nobody Knows” (1990)
1947 ● Gregory Herbert → Alto saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), died of a drug overdose on 1/31/1978, age 30
1947 ● Steve Currie → Bassist for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), sessions, died in a car crash on 4/28/1981, age 33
1948 ● Tom Scott → Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock multi-reedist, composer, session musician and bandleader, co-founder of the Blues Brothers Band and jazz-rock The L. A. Express, which backed Joni Mitchell, Carole King, George Harrison and others, solo “Tom Cat” (R&B #93, 1975), composer of film soundtracks and TV shows, including the theme song for Starsky And Hutch
1948 ● Paul Williams / (Paul S. Williams) → Music journalist and writer, founder and editor of college-rag turned national publication Crawdaddy, the first journal entirely devoted to in-depth commentary about rock music and the career-starter for a generation of rock writers and critics, also wrote articles for Rolling Stone and other rock publications and some two dozen books on a variety of subjects, including three about Bob Dylan, suffered brain trauma in a 1995 bicycle accident and died from complications of resulting dementia on 3/27/2013, age 64.
1949 ● Dusty Hill / (Joe Michael Hill) → Bass, vocals and keyboards for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1949 ● Larry Wallis → English hard rock guitarist and songwriter with a long resume, including co-founder of late-60s pop-rock The Entire Sioux Nation and original member of heavy metal trio Motörhead during 1975, in between played with ex-T. Rex percussionist Steve Took‘s Shagrat, Blodwyn Pig, briefly with start-up UFO and the first incarnation of power pop/proto-punk Pink Fairies, after Motörhead wrote and recorded the punk classic “Police Car” in 1977 and became an in-house writer and producer for Stiff Records into the 80s, played in various collaborations before rejoining the Pink Fairies in 1987, released three albums with The Deviants and wrote for Dr. Feelgood in the 90s, continued working alongside other top names in British rock through to the 10s and in 2017 issued The Sound Of Speed, a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, died from undisclosed causes on 9/19/2019, age 70.
1950 ● Mike Wedgewood → Bassist for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1950 ● Romeo Challenger → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 ● Joey Ramone / (Jeffrey Hyman) → Cultural icon, lead vocals and songwriter for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died from lymphatic cancer on 4/15/2001, age 49
1952 ● Barbara Joyce Lomas → Vocals for 70s R&B/soul-funk-disco B.T. Express, “Do It (‘Til Your Satisfied)” (#2, R&B #1, 1974)
1952 ● Grace Jones / (Grace Mendoza) → Severely androgynous “Queen of the Gay Discos” and R&B/dance-pop-disco diva, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (R&B #5, Dance/Club #2, 1981), actress
1954 ● Phil Rudd / (Phillip Rudd) → Drummer for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982), left in 1983
1956 ● Teddy Bear Ware / (Martyn Ware) → Founding member of late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981), left to form 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1962 ● Iain Harvie → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for pop and country-rock Del Amitri, “Roll To Me” (#10, 1995)
1963 ● Yazz / (Yasmin Evans) → Brit dance-pop singer often credited as Yazz And The Plastic Population, “The Only Way Is Up” (#96, Dance/Club #2, 1988)
1965 ● Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot → Vocals for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Paul Hartnoll → With brother Phil, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1970 ● Stuart Cable → Original drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), left in 2003 and hosted cable TV show in Wales and BBC Radio Wales, choked to death on 6/7/2010
1972 ● Jenny Berggren → Singer and songwriter for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1992 ● Sam Smith / (Samuel Frederick Smith) → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer with the 2014 Song of the Year, “Stay With Me” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

May 20
1901 ● Jimmy Blythe / (James Louis Blythe) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1925 ● Vic Ames / (Victor Urick) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1940 ● Shorty Long / (Frederick Earl Long) → Overlooked Motown R&B/pop singer, “Here Comes The Judge” (#8, R&B #4, 1968), producer and song craftsman, drowned in a Detroit River boating accident on 6/29/1969
1942 ● Jill Jackson → Vocals in pop duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1944 ● Joe Cocker / (John Robert Cocker) → Gravelly-voiced, blue-eyed soul pub-rock/blues-pop-rock vocalist and hard partying rock star, “A Little Help From My Friends” (#68, UK #1, 1968), “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982), died from lung cancer on 12/22/14, age 70
1946 ● Cher / (Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) → Singer and TV and film actress, first with husband Sonny Bono in pop-rock duo Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965) and later as a five-decade solo act with 33 charting singles (22 in the Top 4), including “Believe” (#1, 1999)
1950 ● Stephen Alex Broughton → Drummer for Brit blues-rock then prog rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1950 ● Andy Johns → Brit sound engineer and record producer, worked on albums by Free (Highway, 1970), The Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street, 1972), Television (Marquee Moon, 1977) and many others, died from complications of a stomach ulcer on 4/7/2013, age 62
1952 ● Warren Cann → Drummer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Guy Hoffman / (Guy Edward Hoffman) → Drummer for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1954 ● Jimmy Henderson → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1955 ● Steve George → Keyboardist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jane Wiedlin → Guitar, songwriting and vocals for top New Wave pop-rock all-girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat (#2, 1982) and solo, “Rush Hour” (#9, 1988)
1959 ● Susan Cowsill → Sub-teen vocalist for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, backing vocalist for various artists in the 80s, then formed alt country-rock supergroup Continental Drifters in 1991, solo
1961 ● Dan Wilson → Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, wrote “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), producer
1961 ● Nick Heyward → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1963 ● Nasher / (Brian Nash) → Backing vocals and guitarist for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Patti Russo / (Patricia Russo) → Singer/songwriter and actress best known as the female lead vocalist with Meat Loaf‘s touring band, Neverland Express from 1993 to 2013
1966 ● Tom Gorman → Guitarist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1967 ● Kit Clark → With brother Gary Clark, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1972 ● Busta Rhymes / (Trevor Smith, Jr.) → Grammy-nominated, idiosyncratic speed rapper, first with Leaders Of The New School, “What’s Next” (Rap #1, 1993), then solo, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check ” (#8, Rap #1, 1996)
1981 ● Sean Conlon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1984 ● Naturi Naughton → Vocals for R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

May 21
1904 ● Fats Waller / (Thomas Wright Waller) → Jazz and ragtime pianist, co-wrote “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929), the oft-covered classic now included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, died 12/15/1943 from pneumonia, age 39
1926 ● Al Grossman / (Albert Bernard Grossman) → Chicago folk club owner and later promoter and manager for Bob Dylan (1962-70), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Band, Paul Butterfield, Janis Joplin and others, built Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, NY and founded Bearsville Records, died of a heart attack while flying to London on the Concorde to sign unknown British rock singer on 1/25/1986, age 59
1928 ● Tom Donahue → Rock Hall of Fame-inducted pioneering “free format” FM rock DJ on KSAN (San Francisco) and other stations, night club owner, concert producer/promoter, record label executive, died of a heart attack on 4/28/1975
1940 ● Tony Sheridan / (Anthony McGinnity) → Britbeat pop-rock bandleader, frontman for The Beat Brothers and collaborator with The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 60s, recorded several tracks with the Fab Four, including “My Bonnie” in June 1961, which reached #5 in West Germany, retired from the music business in the mid-70s, died following heart surgery on 2/16/2013, age 72
1941 ● Ronald Isley → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1943 ● Hilton Valentine → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1943 ● John Dalton → Bass guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), replaced Pete Quaiffe in 1969, left the band in 1976 and periodically appears with the Kast Off Kinks
1943 ● Vincent Crane / (Vincent Cheesman) → Keyboards and songwriter for Brit psych-rock The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#12, 1987), left with bandmate Carl Palmer to form prog/art rock Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (UK #4, 1971), died from an overdose of painkillers on 2/14/1989, age 45
1944 ● Marcie Blaine / (Marcia Blank) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Bobby’s Girl” (#3, 1962)
1947 ● Bill Champlin → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman for psych-rock Sons Of Champlin, joined pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “You’re The Inspiration” (#3, 1984) in 1981 and has played and toured with the band since, also solo and side projects
1948 ● Leo Sayer / (Gerard Hugh Sayer) → Grammy-winning blue-eyed R&B/pop-disco singer, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Marc Ribot → Multi-genre guitarist and composer, session work for dozens of artists from Norah Jones to Elvis Costello to Tom Waits, member of New York City avant-garde The Lounge Lizards
1955 ● Stan Lynch → Drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
1963 ● Kevin Shields → Founding member and guitarist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1963 ● Tim Lever → Keyboards for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Martin Blunt → Bass for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1972 ● The Notorious B.I.G. / (Christopher George Latore Wallace) → Street hustling drug dealer turned East Coast hip hop superstar, “Mo Money Mo Problems” (#1, 1997), murdered in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on 3/9/1997, age 24.
1975 ● Lee Gaze → Lead guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1978 ● Adam Wade Gontier → Lead singer and guitarist in Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1985 ● Mutya Buena → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), quit the group in 2005 for solo, “Real Girl” (UK #2, 2006)

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 ● 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)
1941 ● Jackie Jackson / (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
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
1910 ● Artie Shaw / (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) → Big Band-era bandleader, composer and one of the most-renowned clarinetists of all time, his version of Cole Porter‘s “Begin The Beguine” (#3, 1938) is one of the most popular and enduring songs of the Swing Era, retired from touring in the early 50s, returned briefly in the mid-80s and died of natural causes on 12/30/2004, age 94
1918 ● Bumps Blackwell / (Robert 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
1925 ● Mac Wiseman / (Malcolm Bell Wiseman) → Known as “The Voice with a Heart,” former radio DJ and guitarist for Bill Monroe‘s Foggy Mountain Boys, started a solo career in 1951 and became a legend in bluegrass and country music with over 60 albums and a knack for pulling from other genres through his versions of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” (Country #10, 1955), the R&B standard “I Hear You Knockin’,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again” and others, also recorded with jazz great Woody Herman and folkie John Prine, co-founded the Country Music Association (CMA) in 1958 to save country music from the rise of rock ‘n’ roll, received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowship in 1993 honoring his contributions to traditional American music and arts, died from kidney failure on 2/24/2019, age 93.
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
1933 ● Gary Burden → Grammy-winning designer of music album covers for many rock and pop luminaries, including The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, as well as 40 covers for Neil Young beginning with After The Gold Rush (1970) and continuing for over 35 years, died from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2018, age 84
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 ● Tiki Fulwood / (Raymond 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 / (Ruth 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 ● Junior Waite / (Frederick Waite, Jr.) → 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 / (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 ● Mad Dog / (Scott 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 26 – May 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 26
1886 ● Ma Rainey / (Gertrude Pridgett) → The “Mother of the Blues,” early female blues singer known for risqué lyrics, often about her own bi-sexuality, issued over 100 songs in the 1920s, many of which were national hits, recorded several with Louis Armstrong, including the earliest version of the now-blues standard “See See Rider” (1924), toured with gospel legend Thomas Dorsey in the Wildcats Jazz Band in the late 20s, retired from music and spent her final years operating theaters in Columbus, Georgia, died from a heart attack on 12/22/1939, age 53.
1919 ● Johnny Shines / (John Ned Shines) → Top slide guitarist and Delta blues singer, performed with Robert Johnson, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood, Jr., died on 4/20/1992, age 72
1925 ● Jorgen Ingmann → Danish jazz guitarist turned one hit wonder instrumental pop Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitars, covered “Apache” (#2, 1961)
1938 ● Duane Eddy → Influential electric guitar pioneer, rockabilly star and “twangy” instrumental rocker with fifteen Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1963, including “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958), continues to perform into the 10s
1938 ● Maurice Williams → Frontman and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Zodiacs, “Stay” (#1, 1960), solo
1940 ● Giorgio Moroder / (Hansjörg Moroder) → Disco and synth-pop producer including Donna Summer, “Love To Love You Baby” (#1, 1976), film soundtrack composer for Midnight Express (1978), Flashdance (1983), Top Gun (1986) and others
1941 ● Claudine Clark → One hit wonder singer and composer who, unlike most 60s female pop stars, wrote her own hit song, “Party Lights” (#5, R&B #3, 1962)
1942 ● Bobby Rydell / (Robert Ridarelli) → Former teen idol pop singer, “Wild One” (#2, 1960), plus 17 other Top 40 hits, now successful nightclub and concert performer
1943 ● Gary Wright → Keyboards and vocals for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then synth-rock solo, “Dream Weaver” (#2, 1976)
1945 ● Tony Murray → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Bucky Wilkin / (John Wilkin) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriting for country-tinged surf rock Ronny & The Daytonas, “G.T.O.” (#4, 1964)
1946 ● Vito Balsamo → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1951 ● Nick Garvey → Bassist and songwriter for early pub rock Ducks Deluxe, then power pop/rock The Motors, “Airport” (UK #4, 1978)
1952 ● Neol Davies → Founder and guitarist for multi-racial 2 Tone ska revival The Selecter, “On My Radio” (UK #8, 1979)
1959 ● John Corabi → Journeyman heavy metal guitar and vocals, hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989), Ratt, others
1960 ● Roger Taylor → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1961 ● Chris Mars → Drummer for alt-rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1970 ● Ruth-Ann Boyle → Vocals for Brit breakbeat/trip-hop trio Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, 1997)
1970 ● T-Boz / (Tionne Tenese Watkins) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1971 ● Jay DeMarcus / (Stanley Wayne DeMarcus, Jr.) → Bassist and harmony vocals for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1975 ● Joey Jordison → Drummer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1976 ● Jose Antonio Pasillas II → Drummer for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Ms. Dynamite / (Niomi McLean Daley) → Brit R&B/hip hop/garage singer and rapper, “It Takes More” (UK #7, 2002)
1982 ● Jonathan Lee → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)

April 27
1904 ● Syd Nathan → Music executive who contributed to the development of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll music through his ownership of King Records and its subsidiaries, which he founded in 1943 and brought obscure young artists to the national stage, including Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie,” R&B #1, 1954) and James Brown (“Please, Please, Please,” R&B #6, 1956), who recorded on King through the 60s (“I Got You (I Feel Good),” #3, R&B #1, 1965), the label became the sixth largest record company in the US before the mid-60s payola scandal impacted sales, died from heart disease on 5/5/1968, age 63
1932 ● Maxine Brown / (Ella Maxine Brown Russell) → With her younger siblings, Jim Ed and Bonnie, vocals in 50s-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, the group started in 1954 and performed regularly on the Louisiana Hayride radio and TV show, toured with then 20-year-old Elvis Presley in 1955 and had the huge crossover hit “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), retired in 1967 to raise a family but returned for a brief solo career in 1969 and for Browns reunions over the years, published her autobiography, Looking Back to See in 2005, died from complications of heart and kidney disease on 1/21/2019, age 87.
1932 ● Casey Kasem / (Kemil Amen Kasem) → Legendary and iconic radio DJ who confessed to not loving rock ‘n’ roll but built a long and lucrative career from it , creator and long-time host of one of the most popular syndicated music programs on radio, American Top 40, voice-over artist for TV commercials and shows (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons), died from a degenerative neurological and muscular disease on 6/15/2014, age 82
1944 ● Cuba Gooding, Sr. → Lead vocals for R&B/romantic soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972) and eight other R&B Top 40 hits, found dead in his car on a busy street in a Los Angeles neighborhood on 4/20/2017, age 72
1947 ● Anne Peebles → R&B/Southern soul singer, “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (#38, R&B #6, 1973)
1947 ● Gordon Haskell → Folk-pop singer/songwriter, briefly with King Crimson, then sessions and solo, resurfaced in 2001 with “How Wonderful You Are” (UK #2, 2001) and a UK #2 album, Harry’s Bar
1947 ● Peter Ham → Guitar, vocals, chief songwriter and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger (“Day After Day,” #4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 4/24/1975, age 27
1947 ● Bob Esty / (Robert Malcolm Esty II) → Songwriter, producer and arranger best known for hit collaborations with Donna Summer, Cher and Barbra Streisand during the height of the disco era at disco-king Casablanca Records, produced and arranged Summer‘s Grammy-winning “Last Dance” (#3, 1978) and co-wrote most tracks and produced Cher‘s album Take Me Home (#25, 1979), died after a short battle with metastatic cancer on 9/27/2019, age 72.
1948 ● Kate Pierson → Bouffant-haired vocalist and frontwoman for campy alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1949 ● Clive Taylor → Bassist for Welsh pop-rock Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1949 ● Herb Murrell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Ace Frehley / (Paul “Ace” Frehley) → Influential hard rock guitarist and vocals for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo, “New York Groove” (#13, 1979)
1954 ● Wally Palmar / (Volodymyr Palamarchuk) → Ukrainian-American founding member and lead vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Romantics, “What I Like About You” (#49, 1980) and “Talking In Your Sleep” (#3, 1984), later played with Ringo Starr‘s All-Star Band and co-founded garage rock supergroup The Empty Hearts
1959 ● Marco Pirroni → Guitarist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1959 ● Sheena Easton / (Sheena Shirley Orr) → Grammy-winning pop singer, “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” (#1, 1980) and James Bond movie theme song “For Your Eyes Only” (#4, 1981) and 11 other Top 40 singles, stage and TV actress
1960 ● Jake Black / (John Black) → Scottish musician with the pseudonym “The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love” in quirky, country-blues-acid-house fusion band Alabama 3, best known for co-writing “Woke Up This Morning” (UK #78, 1997), the memorable opening theme to the cutting-edge, hugely popular TV drama The Sopranos, hospitalized with an acute respiratory illness days after performing at a festival in Lancashire, England, and died on 5/21/2019, age 59.
1969 ● Mica Paris / (Michelle Wallen) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “My One Temptation” (#97, Adult Contemporary #8, 1989)
1972 ● Bob Coombes → Keyboards for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Will Boyd → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1984 ● Patrick Stump → Lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007), solo
1984 ● Yonah Higgins → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)

April 28
1941 ● Ann-Margret / (Ann-Margret Olsson) → Swedish-American pop singer and stage, film and TV actress known more for her performances in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) with Elvis Presley, Tommy (1975) as “Mrs. Walker” and over 60 other roles, also charted seven songs, including “I Just Don’t Understand” (#17, 1961) and “Love Rush” (Dance #8, 1979), continues to appear in movies and on TV into her late 70s
1941 ● Peter Anders / (Peter Andreoli) → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. / (John Corley) → Gospel turned R&B/soul one hit wonder singer, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” (#7, R&B #5, 1968)
1945 ● John Wolters → Drummer for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits, died of liver cancer on 6/16/1997, age 52
1946 ● Beverly Ann Bivens → Co-founder and lead singer for folk-pop harmony group We Five (“You Were On My Mind,” #3, AC #1, 1965), left the music industry when the group broke up in 1967
1947 ● Peaches Barker / (Francine Hurd “Peaches” Barker) → One half of R&B/soul-pop vocal duo Peaches & Herb, “Let’s Fall In Love” (R&B #11, 1966), died on 8/13/2005, age 58
1949 ● Steve Gilpin → Co-founder and lead vocalist for Mi-Sex, one of the most popular New Wave bands in Australia and New Zealand from the 70s to the late 90s, “Computer Games (AUS #1, 1979), died following a car accident on 1/6/1992, age 42
1952 ● Chuck Leavell / (Charles Alfred Leavell) → Piano and keyboards for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), session musician and keyboardist for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and others
1953 ● Kim Gordon → Bassist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1955 ● Eddie Jobson → Violin for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974) and prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976)
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes → Lead vocals for hugely popular Aussie pub rock/blues-rock Cold Chisel, “My Baby” (Mainstream Rock #32, 1981), then successful solo career with seven Australia #1 albums
1958 ● Enid Williams → Founding member, vocals and bass guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1966 ● Too Short / (Todd Shaw) → Successful solo 80-90s West Coast rap star, “The Ghetto” (Rap #3, 1990), came out of “early retirement” with “More Freaky Tales” (Rap #3, 1999) and subsequent solo and collaboration hits
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz / (Scott Mitchell Putesky) → Guitarist and co-founder of industrial-pop-metal Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later collaborated with alt rock Jack Off Jill
1968 ● Howard Donald → Drummer, pianist, singer and dancer for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), solo work, then reformed Take That, “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1973 ● Big Gipp / (Cameron Gipp) → Southern rapper, member of Goodie Mob, solo album plus collaborative work with Ali, Nelly, Outkast and others

April 29
1899 ● Duke Ellington / (Edward Kennedy Ellington) → Jazz composer, 50-year bandleader, film score and stage musical writer/producer, unquestioned giant of American popular music, “Take The ‘A’ Train” (1941), died from lung cancer and pneumonia on 5/24/1974, age 75.
1915 ● Donald Mills → Lead tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, continued to perform until he was the last remaining brother, then toured with his son until his death on 11/13/1999, age 84
1927 ● Big Jay McNeely / (Cecil James McNeely) → Early and influential tenor saxophonist whose “honking” style and flamboyant stage presence helped place the saxophone front and center in the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll before the electric guitar took over in the mid-50s, issued two dozen albums and several charting singles, including the instrumental “Deacon’s Hop” (R&B #1, 1949) and the ballad “There Is Something On Your Mind” (R&B Top 10, 1959), continued to record and tour, mostly in Europe, into the 10s, died from prostate cancer on 9/16/2018, age 91
1928 ● Carl Gardner → Lead tenor and 50-year soul vocalist, first for R&B/soul-doo wop The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then with offshoot soul-pop The Coasters as lead singer, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959), fronted the group until his death from a heart attack on 6/12/2011, age 83
1931 ● Lonnie Donegan / (Anthony James Donegan) → English rock ‘n’ roll pioneer singer who launched the skiffle craze, “Rock Island Line” (#8, 1956), plus over 30 UK Top 40 singles, died from a heart attack shortly before a scheduled appearance with The Rolling Stones in a memorial to George Harrison on 11/3/2002, age 71
1933 ● Willie Nelson / (Willie Hugh Nelson) → Country-pop songwriter turned Grammy-winning “outlaw” country superstar, “On The Road Again” (#20, Country #1, 1980)
1933 ● Rod McKuen / (Rodney Marvin McKuen) → The “unofficial poet laureate of America,” poet, lyricist, songwriter and bridge between the 50s Beat generation and the 70s New Age movement, released dozens of books of poetry and over 100 albums of vocal and spoken-word music, most of which was commercially successful if not critically-acclaimed, his over 1,500 songs were covered by Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand and many others, died from respiratory failure caused by pneumonia on 1/29/2015, age 81
1935 ● Otis Rush / (Otis Rush, Jr.) → Innovative and influential “West Side” Chicago blues guitarist, tenor singer and songwriter (“I Can’t Quit You Baby,” R&B #6, 1956), penned the oft-covered masterpiece “Double Trouble” (1958), from which Stevie Ray Vaughan derived his band’s name, inducted into the Blue Hall of Fame in 1984, won a Grammy Award in 1999 and named #53 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists in 2015, died from complications of a 2003 stroke on 9/29/2018, age 83
1936 ● Albee Cracolici → Baritone vocals for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Mystics, “Hushabye” (1959)
1936 ● April Stevens / (Carol LoTempio) → Grammy-winning pop singer, duet with Nino Tempo (her brother Antonio), “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963)
1942 ● Emma Pought / (Emma Pought Patron) → With her teenage sister, Jannie and three other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s
1942 ● Klaus Voorman → Grammy-winning German musician, producer and artist, bassist for Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), session musician for the Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, Harry Nilsson and others, designed album covers for The Beatles (Revolver) and others
1942 ● Vincent Poncia, Jr. → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Duane Allen → Vocals for long-running country/gospel/folk harmony quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981)
1944 ● June LeBell / (June Wendie LeBell) → Professional concert soprano who became one of the first women to be hired as an on-air announcer and interviewer in the male-dominated commercial classical music radio industry, over a 30-year career became a revered and respected personality on WQXR in New York, died from ovarian cancer on 4/30/2017, age 73
1945 ● Tammi Terrell / (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → R&B/soul vocalist for Motown, performed solo and frequently in duets with Marvin Gaye, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), died from a brain tumor on 3/16/1970, age 24
1945 ● Hugh Hopper → Founding member and bass guitarist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine and other related bands in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, issued two obscure solo albums, died from leukemia on 6/7/2009, age 64
1946 ● Lorraine Chandler / (Ermastine Lewis) → Detroit R&B/soul and funk singer, songwriter and one of the first black female producers, in the mid-60s teamed with famed musician and producer Jack Ashford to form production company Pied Piper, writing songs for Eddie Parker, the O’Jays, Billy Sha-Rae and others, recorded several singles in the 70s, “rediscovered” in the late 70s by the British Northern soul revival movement and enjoyed a second career recording in Detroit and performing at festivals in the UK, died from undisclosed causes on 1/2/2020, age 73.
1947 ● Joel Larson → Session drummer with The Turtles, Lee Michaels and others, played with AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1947 ● Tommy James / (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → Frontman and lead vocals for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Michael Karoli → Founding member, guitarist and violinist for influential experimental/kraut rock Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from cancer on 11/17/2001, age 53
1953 ● King Boy D / (Bill Drummond) → South African-born, Scottish-raised experimental/ambient music composer and producer, record company executive and A&R man, writer, musician with punk-rock Big In Japan, formed art rock KLF, “3 A.M. Eternal” (#5, 1990)
1958 ● Simon Edwards → Guitarrón player for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1960 ● Phil King → Bass guitar and backing vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1968 ● Carnie Wilson → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach BoysBrian Wilson
1969 ● Master P / (Percy Miller) → New Orleans-based hip hop/gangsta rap star, No Limit record company founder, “I Got The Hook Up” (#16, Rap #1, 1998)
1973 ● Mike Hogan → Bass and rhythm guitars for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1979 ● Joanne Velda O’Meara → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1979 ● Matt Tong → Drums and backing vocals for Brit indie rock Bloc Party, “The Prayer” (UK #4, 2007)
1980 ● Kian Egan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1981 ● Tom Smith → Bass guitar for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

April 30
1896 ● Rev. Gary Davis / (Gary D. Davis) → Highly-regarded ragtime, folk, gospel and blues guitarist with a unique thumb-and-index-finger style, influenced Bob Dylan, Donovan and Taj Mahal, mentor to David Bromberg, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen, died following a heart attack on 5/5/1972, age 76.
1917 ● Bea Wain / (Beatrice Ruth Wain) → Big Band-era singer with The Larry Clinton Orchestra, recorded four Number 1 hits, including “Heart And Soul” (1939) and “Deep Purple” (1939), left for a solo career after being voted most popular female vocalist in a Billboard college poll, hosted radio talk and music show “Mr. And Mrs. Music” with her husband, radio announcer André Baruch, in New York and Florida from the 40s to the 70s, died from congestive heart failure on 8/19/2017, age 100
1925 ● Johnny Horton → Country/honky tonk historical singer and songwriter, “The Battle of New Orleans” (#1, 1958), died in a car crash while returning home from a concert performance on 11/4/1960, age 35
1929 ● Will Holt → Singer, songwriter, lyricist and librettist, best known for a variety of Broadway shows, including Over Here!, Me And Bessie and Music Is, and for penning the Latin-tinged folk-pop song “Lemon Tree,” which was recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary (#35, AC #12, 1962), among others, and use as an advertising jingle by aerosol furniture polish Lemon Pledge, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 5/31/2015, age 86
1930 ● Bill Buchanan → With partner Dickie Goodman, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), songwriter and producer, died from cancer on 8/1/1996, age 34
1931 ● Peter La Farge / (Oliver Albee La Farge) → Native American-descendant 50s and 60s Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, contemporary of Bob Dylan, wrote or co-wrote numerous songs with Johnny Cash, including “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes” (Country #3, 1964), died of a Thorazine overdose on 10/27/1965, age 34
1936 ● Bobby Gregg / (Robert J. Grego) → Frontman for one hit wonder instrumental rock group Bobby Gregg And His Friends (“The Jam – Part I,” #29, R&B #14, 1962) and session drummer best known for playing on multiple Bob Dylan hits, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/3/2014, age 78
1941 ● Johnny Farina → Electric guitar for pop-rock brother duo Santo & Johnny, best known for the guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1943 ● Bobby Vee / (Robert Thomas Velline) → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with thirty-eight charting singles, ten of which reached the Top 20, including “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (#1, 1961), his career started when his garage band filled-in at a Fargo, ND dance for the deceased Buddy Holly the night after the Iowa plane crash that killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.R. “The Big Bopper’ Richardson in February 1959, continued to perform until contracting Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, died from complications of the disease on 10/24/2016, age 73
1944 ● Richard Shoff → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1945 ● Mimi Fariña / (Margarita Baez) → Folk singer/songwriter, duets with husband Richard Fariña in the early 60s, then solo after his death in a motorcycle accident, social activist, younger sister of Joan Baez, died of cancer on 7/18/2001, age 56
1947 ● Colonel Bruce Hampton / (Bruce Hampton) → Energetic guitarist, singer and frontman for several eclectic rock bands, widely recognized as an innovator in the creation of improvisational, genre-crossing jam-band music while fronting the Hampton Grease Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Code Talkers and others, over the decades his bands opened for jam band leaders The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews Band and many others, collapsed on stage toward the end of a 70th birthday concert in Atlanta and was pronounced dead on 5/1/2017, age 70
1948 ● Wayne Kramer → Guitarist for Detroit proto-punk/garage rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (#82, 1969), solo
1951 ● Des Tong → Bassist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Cafe, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979)
1953 ● Merrill Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1958 ● Wonder Mike / (Michael Anthony Wright) → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40
1962 ● Robert Reynolds → Founding member and bassist for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1967 ● Turbo B / (Durron Maurice Bulter) → Frontman and rapper for electronic/beatbox Snap!, “The Power” (#2, Rap #1, 1990), then solo and co-founder of Centory
1968 ● Ben Ayres → Guitar and vocals for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1969 ● Paulo “Destructor”, Jr. / (Paulo Xisto Pinto, Jr.) → Bassist and only remaining original member of Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Choc Dalyrimple / (Christopher Dalyrimple) → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1971 ● Christopher Henderson → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1971 ● Darren Emerson → DJ, keyboards and tranceman for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1972 ● J.R. Richards → Songwriter and lead singer for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996), solo
1973 ● Jeff Timmons → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1981 ● Justin Vernon → Singer, songwriter and founding member of Grammy-winning indie folk-pop Bon Iver, the 2012 Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album Bon Iver, Bon Iver
1982 ● Cleopatra Madonna Higgins → Vocals and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Lloyd Banks / (Christopher Lloyd) → Rapper and vocals with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo in rap trio G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003), later solo, “On Fire” (#8, Rap #3, 2004)
1987 ● Nikki Webster → Aussie pop singer and model, “Strawberry Kisses” (Australian #2, 2001), sang at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics opening ceremony
1989 ● Baauer / (Harry Bauer Rodrigues) → Emo, dance and trap and bass music one hit wonder producer, “Harlem Shake” (#1, 2013)

May 01
1891 ● Charley Patton → The “Father of Delta Blues,” influential Mississippi Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, his “Pony Blues” (1929) is included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, died on 4/28/1934, age 43
1907 ● Kate Smith / (Kathryn Elizabeth Smith) → The “First Lady of Radio,” a contrello singer and media star in the 40s and 50s, best known for her booming renditions of “God Bless America”, died from diabetes-related respiratory arrest on 6/17/1986, age 79
1924 ● Big Maybelle / (Mabel Louise Smith) → R&B singer known for her early version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1955) and the hit “Candy” (R&B #11, 1956), died in a diabetic coma on 1/23/1972, age 47
1929 ● Sonny James / (James Hugh Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop crooner/songwriter, “Young Love” (#1, Country #1, 1957), scored a five-year run of 16 back-to-back #1 country hits (among 23 total #1’s and 72 country chart hits from the late 50s through the early 80s), died of natural causes on 2/22/2016, age 87
1930 ● Little Walter / (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist (“My Babe,” R&B #1, 1955) and the first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound and became the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died from a coronary blood clot on 2/15/1968, age 37
1939 ● Judy Collins / (Judith Marjorie Collins) → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter best known for her version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → Versatile Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (#2, 1977), backing vocals for Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie and others, married to singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (1973 – 1980)
1945 ● Carson Whitsett → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, Stax and Malaco Records session musician, worked with or wrote songs for Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many others, including the adult Contemporary hit “Why Not Me” for Fred Knobloch (#18, AC #1, 1980), died from brain cancer on 5/8/2007, age 62
1945 ● Reather Dixon / (Reather Dixon Turner) → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s, died from cardiac arrest on 1/7/2014, age 69
1946 ● Jerry Weiss → Trumpet and flugelhorn player and founding member of jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), left by 1970 for an unsuccessful solo career
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → Bassist for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → Guitarist, songwriter, producer and bandleader, sessions with The Spinners, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and others, formed Raydio in 1977, “Jack And Jill” (#8, 1978), wrote and performed the movie theme song “Ghostbusters” (#1, 1984)
1957 ● Rick Driscoll → Guitar and vocals for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1957 ● Steve Farris → Guitarist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Phillip Smith → Saxophone for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Owen Paul / (Owen Paul McGee) → Scottish pop-rock singer, “My Favourite Waste Of Time” (UK #3, 1986), sessions and touring with Mike + The Mechanics
1966 ● Johnny Colt → Original bassist for raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), left to form rock trio Brand New Immortals, then modern rock Train, “Drops Of Jupiter” (#5, 2001)
1967 ● Tim McGraw / (Samuel Timothy Smith) → Hugely popular Grammy-winning neo-traditional country star with 22 country #1 hits, including “It’s Your Love” (Country #1, 1997), husband of Faith Hill and son of former baseball pitcher Tug McGraw
1968 ● D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Bass guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1970 ● Bernard Butler → Guitar and vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996), solo, duet with David McAlmont, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1977 ● Dan Regan → Trombone and vocals for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), currently in hip hop side project under the pseudonym Black Casper
1978 ● Nick Traina / (Nicholas John Steel Toth) → Son of author Danielle Steel and lead singer for punk band Link 80, died from a self-administered morphine overdose on 9/20/1997, age 19
1978 ● Chris Kelly → Vocals for teenage rap sensation Kris Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), partner Chris Smith and he were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song, died from a suspected drug overdose on 5/1/2013, age 35

May 02
1924 ● Theodore Bikel → Austrian-American actor and respected folk singer/songwriter, appeared in numerous West End London and Broadway shows, feature films and TV shows, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and issued multiple albums of mostly Jewish folk songs, current president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and former president of the Actor’s Equity
1924 ● Lynn Evans / (Lynn Evans Maud) → Amateur barbershop harmony singer recruited to all-girl pop vocal The Chordettes in 1953, sang lead on their mega-hits “Mr. Sandman (#1, 1954) and “Lollipop” (#2, R&B #3, 1958) plus six other Top 20 songs, after the group dissolved in 1964 earned a master’s degree and taught special education for 25 years in the Long Island (NY) public schools, retired in 1989 and toured with a reformed Chordettes in the 90s, died following a stoke on 2/6/2020, age 95.
1929 ● Link Wray / (Frederick Lincoln Wray) → Rock and rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, “fuzz” and power chord guitar pioneer, “Rumble” (#16, 1958), Rolling Stone magazine’s 67th greatest guitarist of all time, died of heart failure on 11/5/2005, age 76
1933 ● Bunk Gardner / (John Gardner) → Reeds and woodwinds for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), backing band for Zappa‘s solo albums, reformed as Grandmothers in 80s
1936 ● Engelbert Humperdinck / (Arnold George Dorsey) → The “King of Romance”, MOR crooner and balladeer with 13 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, “After The Lovin'” (#8, 1977)
1944 ● Bob Henrit → Journeyman Brit drummer for art/hard rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1984, “Do It Again” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1984), session work for Dave Davies, Leo Sayer and others
1945 ● Bianca Jagger / (Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger) → Wife of Mick Jagger, social activist, actress, fashion icon
1945 ● Goldy McJohn / (John Raymond Goadsby) → Keyboards for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Judge Dread / (Alexander Minto Hughes) → Blue-eyed ska and reggae singer with six UK Top 15 singles, including “Big Six” (UK #1, 1972) and a record 11 songs banned from the BBC, collapsed and died from a heart attack while leaving the stage following a performance in Canterbury, England on 3/13/1998, age 52
1945 ● Randy Cain → Vocals for “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), formed pop-soul Blue Magic, “Sideshow” (#8, R&B #1, 1974), died at home from undisclosed causes on 4/9/2009, age 63
1946 ● Lesley Gore / (Lesley Sue Goldstein) → Girl Group-era solo pop singer/songwriter who had four Top 10 hits of teenage romance by her 18th birthday, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963), “Judy’s Turn To Cry” (#5, 1963), “She’s A Fool” (#5, 1963) and the feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me” (#2, 1964), continued to record and write songs into the 00s, hosted the 80s PBS television series In The Life promoting LGBT issues, died from lung cancer on 2/16/2015, age 68.
1948 ● Larry Gatlin / (Larry Wayne Gatlin) → Country-pop solo star in the 70s with 10 Country Top 40 hits, then frontman for Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured and performed as a trio into the 00s, continues to tour as a solo acoustic act in the 10s
1950 ● Lou Gramm / (Louis Grammatico) → Vocals for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), then formed Christian-rock Lou Gramm Band
1951 ● John Glascock → Bassist in prog rock quintet Carmen, left in 1975 to join Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), died from complications of a genetic heart valve condition on 11/17/1979, age 28
1954 ● Prescott Niles → Bassist for pop-rock The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Jo Callis / (John William Callis) → Synthesizer, keyboards and guitar for punk rock Rezillos, wrote “Top Of The Pops” (UK #17, 1978), then joined New Wave synth-pop Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1961 ● Dr. Robert / (Bruce Robert Howard) → Lead singer, guitar, piano and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1962 ● Alain Johannes / (Alain Johannes Moschulski) → Multi-instrumentalist musician and founding member of 90s alt rock Eleven (“Rainbows End,” 1991), later producer for hard rock Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and others
1967 ● David McAlmont → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, duet with Bernard Butler, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Ben Leach → Keyboards and synthesizer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), then joined electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1984 ● Rose Falcon → Singer and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by Faith Hill, country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” #2, Country #1, 2009) and others, her songs have been used in films, TV show and advertising commercials
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Smile” (#49, UK #1, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 12
1904 ● “Mississippi” Fred McDowell / (Fred McDowell) → Original Delta blues bottle-neck guitarist, singer and songwriter, influenced Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones (“You Gotta Move,” 1971) and others, died from cancer on 7/3/1972, age 68
1905 ● Tex Ritter / (Woodward Maurice Ritter) → Country Music Hall of Fame singing cowboy, “I Dreamed Of Hill-Billy Heaven” (#20, Country #5, 1961) plus fifteen other Country Top 15 hits, actor in more than 30 Western movies, father of actor John Ritter, died following a heart attack on 1/2/1974, age 68
1918 ● Maharishi Mahesh Yogi → Monk, business entrepreneur and developer of the Transcendental Meditation technique, leader and guru of the worldwide TM religious movement within the multibillion-dollar self-help industry, spiritual advisor to The Beatles, members of The Beach Boys and other rock and social luminaries in the 60s, died in his sleep from natural causes on 2/5/2008, age 97
1926 ● Ray Price → Grammy-winning country music baritone singer, songwriter and guitarist with Country Top 10 hits in four decades, including “For The Good Times” (#11, Country #1, 1970), continued to record and tour well into his 80s, died from pancreatic cancer on 12/16/2013, age 87
1928 ● Ruth Brown / (Ruth Alston Weston) → R&B/soul singer, Atlantic Records‘ (the “House That Ruth Built”) top-selling 1950s artist, “Teardrops In My Eyes” (R&B #1, 1950), died following a stroke and heart attack on 11/17/2006 , ager 78
1930 ● Glenn Yarbrough / (Glenn Robertson Yarbrough) → Tenor vocals and guitar for successful folk-pop The Limeliters, “A Dollar Down” (#60, 1961), then solo, “Baby, The Rain Must Fall” (#12, 1965), left the music industry in the 70s for a nomadic life of sailing the world’s oceans, died from complications of dementia on 8/10/2016, age 86
1931 ● Roland Alphonso → Jamaican ska tenor saxophonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), following their breakup in 1965 co-founded and performed with multiple Jamaican bands and as a session musician, died following a stroke on 11/20/1998, age 67
1932 ● Des O’Connor → Brit easy listening/pop singer, comedian and TV host, “I Pretend” (UK #1, 1968)
1932 ● John Berg → Graphic designer and album cover artist for Columbia Records from 1961 to 1985, designed hundreds of album covers and won Grammy Awards for The Barbra Streisand Album (1964), Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (1968), Underground (Thelonius Monk, 1969) and Chicago X (1977), died from pneumonia on 10/11/2015, age 83
1939 ● William Lee Golden → Baritone singer and forty-year member of country/gospel/folk The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981), went solo after being fired from the band in 1987 but returned in 1995 and continues into the 10s
1941 ● Long John Baldry / (John William Baldry) → UK blues singer and frontman for Bluesology (which featured his friend, Reginald Dwight – later Elton John – on keyboards) and other bands in the 60s, turned solo (“Let The Heartaches Begin,” #88, UK #1, 1968) and sang in duets and with various bands in the 70s, settled in Canada in the 80s and continued to tour, record and do voiceover work until his death from pneumonia on 7/21/2005, age 64
1945 ● Maggie Bell / (Margaret Bell) → The “British Janis Joplin,” Scottish blues-soul-rock singer for The Power, Stone The Crows and solo, “After Midnight” (#97, 1974)
1945 ● Abe Tilmon / (Abrim Tilmon) → Vocals for R&B/soul harmony group The Detroit Emeralds, “Feel The Need In Me” (R&B #22, 1973), died of heart attack on 6/6/1982, age 37
1946 ● George Duke → Jazz fusion, R&B and smooth jazz/pop keyboardist, composer, bandleader and session musician with over 30 solo albums, worked with Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa and others, died from chronic leukemia on 8/5/2013, age 67
1946 ● Cynthia Robinson → Trumpet and backing vocals for R&B/soul-funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), died from cancer on 11/23/2015, age 69
1951 ● Chris Bell → Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died in a car accident 12/27/1978, age 27
1952 ● Ricky Van Shelton → Country-pop singer and guitarist with 10 Country #1 hits, including a duet with Dolly Parton, “Rockin’ Years” (Country #1, 1991)
1954 ● Felipe Rose → Vocals (and the Native American character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1955 ● Tom Ardolino → Drummer and occasional vocals for 40-year cult roots rock bar band NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quintet), died from complications of diabetes on 1/6/2012, age 56
1959 ● Blixa Bargeld / (Hans Christian Emmerich) → Guitarist, composer and founder of industrial rock Einstürzende Neubauten, plus Aussie alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1959 ● Per Gessle → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1963 ● Guy Chambers → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, member of Celtic folk-rock The Waterboys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), World Party, “Way Down Now” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), co-founder of The Lemon Trees, collaborator with Brit dance-pop mega-star Robbie Williams, “Millennium” (UK #4, 1997)
1965 ● Mark Moore → Brit dance-pop producer and DJ, founder and frontman for S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1966 ● Rob Zombie / (Robert Cummings) → Frontman for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1968 ● Raekwon / (Corey Quontrell Woods) → Vocals for influential East Coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then solo, “Glaciers Of Ice” (Hot Rap #5, 1995)
1970 ● Zach de la Rocha → Vocals for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1973 ● Matthew Wong → Founding member and bassist for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), retired from the band in 2007 to spend time with his young family
1973 ● Paz Lenchantin → Argentinian-American bass guitarist, first with alt metal supergroup A Perfect Circle (“Judith,” Mainstream Rock #4, 2000), later with dream pop Zwan (“Honestly,” Alt Rock #7, 2002), stoner rock The Entrance Band and as a session musician with multiple alt rock bands
1974 ● Mel C. / (Melanie Chisholm) → Vocals and “Sporty Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Jeremy Camp → Contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “The Way” (CCM #1, 2011)
1978 ● Kristopher Roe → Founding member, songwriter, lead guitarist, vocalist and only constant member of mainstream pop-punk The Ataris, “The Boys Of Summer” (#20, Modern Rock #2, 2003)
1991 ● Pixie Lott / (Victoria Louise Lott) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)” (UK #1, 2009)
1993 ● Zayn Malik → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (September 29 – October 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:

September 29
1907 ● Gene Autry / (Orvon Grover Autry) → The “Singing Cowboy” on radio, TV and in 93 films, cut over 600 records, scored 25 consecutive Top 10 Country hits between 1944 and 1952, including “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (#1, Country #1, 1949), owned hotels, broadcasting stations, oil wells and a major league baseball team, died of lymphoma on 10/2/1998, age 91
1935 ● Jerry Lee Lewis → The “Killer”, iconic and scandalous rock ‘n roll legend, keyboardist, singer and songwriter, “Great Balls Of Fire” (#2, 1957), #24 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, still performing as of 2010
1944 ● Anne Briggs / (Anne Patricia Briggs) → Influential but commercially unremarkable and reclusive Brit folk revival singer and songwriter, her style influenced a generation of British female folkies including Sandy Denny, Linda Thompson and Norma Waterson, and her songs were covered or interpreted by Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention and Led Zeppelin (“Black Mountain Side,” 1968), among others, left the industry for obscurity in the early 70s because she didn’t like the sound of her recorded voice
1948 ● Mike Pinera / (Carlos Michael Pinera) → Guitarist and singer with pop-rock Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride” (#4, 1970), later solo and with Iron Butterfly, Cactus and Classic Rock All Stars
1948 ● Mark Farner → Lead singer and guitarist for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), toured with Ringo Starr’s Allstars in mid-90s
1956 ● Suzzy Roche → Singer/songwriter in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal female folk-pop harmony vocal sister trio The Roches, backed Paul Simon, solo
1962 ● R. J. Vealey / (Robert Jason Vealey) → Drummer for the 90s lineup of Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “So Into You” (#7, 1977), died from a heart attack moments after finishing a free midday performance with the band in Florida on his daughter’s first birthday, 11/13/1999, age 37
1963 ● Les Claypool → Bassist with funk-metal Primus, “N.I.B.” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2000), solo, film producer
1965 ● Ian Baker → Keyboards for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1967 ● Brett Anderson → Vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)

September 30
1913 ● Cholly Atkins / (Charles Atkinson) → Vaudeville performer, legendary Cotton Club and Apollo Theater choreographer and Swing-era tap dancer with Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and others, parlayed freelance work as dance instructor for 50s R&B groups into the full-time, in-house choreographer position for Motown Records, designed trademark moves and gestures for The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5 and others, continued to teach dance until his death from pancreatic cancer on 4/19/2003, age 89
1917 ● Buddy Rich / (Bernard Rich) → Virtuoso jazz drummer known as the “King of the Drum Solo” over a seven decade career in big band, bop, swing and straight jazz, highly influential to dozens of jazz and rock drummers, scored eleven Jazz Top 20 albums between 1967 and 1981, died from heart failure following surgery for a malignant brain tumor on 4/2/1987, age 69
1933 ● Cissy Houston / (Emily Drinkard) → R&B/soul singer in gospel-soul family group The Drinkard Singers, then vocal team The Group backed Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross and others, fronted soul-pop The Sweet Inspirations, solo, “Think It Over” (Dance/Club #5, 1978), mother of Whitney Houston
1935 ● Johnny Mathis / (John Royce Mathis) → Jazz-pop adult contemporary vocalist, “Chances Are” (#1, 1957) and “Too Much Too Little Too Late (#1, 1978) plus 18 other Top 40 hits, Greatest Hits album remained on the US chart for over nine years
1940 ● Dewey Martin / (Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff) → Canadian drummer with country-rock The Dillards, then co-founded folk-rock Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth” (#7, 1967) and stayed with the band through various incarnations into the 90s, died from unknown causes on 2/1/2009, age 68
1942 ● Frankie Lymon / (Franklin Joseph Lymon) → Teenage lead singer and frontman for The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (#6, 1956), died from a drug overdose on 2/28/1968, age 25
1942 ● Gus Dudgeon → Record producer, primarily for The Beach Boys, Elton John, David Bowie, The Zombies, Kiki Dee, Strawbs, XTC and Joan Armatrading, died with his wife in a car accident on 7/21/2002, age 59
1943 ● Marilyn McCoo → Lead vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Wedding Bell Blues” (#1, 1969), then Grammy-winning solo career, including duet with spouse Billy Davis Jr., “You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)” (R&B #6, 1976), now TV host and stage actress
1946 ● Sylvia Peterson → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), retired from the group in the mid-90s
1947 ● Marc Bolan / (Mark Field) → Guitarist, songwriter and frontman for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), released several solo albums, died in a car accident on 9/16/1977, age 29
1952 ● John Lombardo → Co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, left to form duo John & Mary, returned with partner Mary Ramsey in 1994, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1953 ● Deborah Allen / (Deborah Lynn Thurmond) → Country-pop backing singer for Roy Orbison and Tennessee Ernie Ford, then three Country Top 10 duet singles with Jim Reeves (including “Oh, How I Miss You Tonight,” Country #6, 1979) and an 80s solo stint with 11 charting Country singles and a lone crossover hit, “Baby I Lied” (#26, Country #4, 1983), continued to record and write songs for others into the 10s
1954 ● Lesley Beach → Saxophone for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1954 ● Patrice Rushen → Grammy-winning R&B/jazz-pop pianist, producer, composer and vocalist, “Forget Me Nots” (#23, R&B #4, 1982), music professor, sessions and touring bands
1956 ● Basia Trzetrzelewska → Polish jazz-pop female vocalist in the Latin dance-pop jazz trio Matt Bianco, then solo, “Time And Tide” (#26, 1988) and “Drunk On Love” (Dance/Club #1, 1994)
1958 ● Biggie Tembo / (Tembo Marasha) → Zimbabwean singer and frontman for influential The Bhundu Boys, the band created “jit” music mixing rock ‘n’ roll and traditional chimurenga music into a dance-pop World beat that gained international recognition in the 80s and one charting U.S. album, Pamberi! (World Music Albums #15, 1990), fired from the band in 1990, tried unsuccessfully to launch a solo career, committed suicide by hanging on 7/30/1995, age 36
1962 ● Brian Bonhomme → Guitar and vocals for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1964 ● Robby Takac → Bassist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1964 ● Trey Anastasio / (Ernest Joseph Anastasio III) → Guitarist, songwriter and de facto frontman for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo
1965 ● Matt Fallon / (Matthew Frankel) → Original lead vocalist for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1987 to pursue an unsuccessful solo career
1984 ● Keisha Buchanan → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1986 ● Ben Lovett → Welsh multi-instrumentalist and member of Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

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 ● 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)
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
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
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
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
1947 ● John Perry Barlow → Montana cattle rancher, poet, Republican politician and internet political activist known for three decades of championing freedom and inclusion in cyberspace, as well as for co-writing nearly 30 songs for psych-rock/jam band Grateful Dead, mostly with his high school chum and Dead guitarist Bob Weir, including “Black-Throated Wind” (1972) and “Throwing Stones” (1987), served on the board of Electronic Frontier Foundation and was a Harvard University fellow at the time of his death after several years of declining health on 2/7/2018, age 70
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
1944 ● Larry Collins / (Lawrence Collins) → Gyrating rockabilly guitarist and falsetto singer, with his older sister, Lorrie, one half of the teen rockabilly duo The Collins Kids, their flashy Western wear and stage antics were well-suited to early TV variety shows in the 50s and earned them a spot on Tex Ritter‘s weekly Town Hall Party, after she eloped in 1961 turned to writing country-pop songs, including “Delta Dawn for Tanya Tucker (#72, Country #6, 1972) and Helen Reddy (#1, AC#1, 1973), The Collins Kids‘ multiple rockabilly and country-pop songs did not chart but are nonetheless appreciated by enthusiasts and still available, reunited in 1992 and performed with Lorrie at rockabilly festivals until her death from complications of a fall on 8/4/2018, age 76
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 ● Tawl Ross / (Lucius “Tawl” Ross) → Rhythm guitar for R&B/funk giants Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#28, 1978)
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
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) → Lightning-fingered guitarist and vocalist in the classic lineup of speed-metal MotörheadFastway, died from pneumonia on 1/10/2018, age 67
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
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
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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (September 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

September 15
1903 ● Roy Acuff / (Roy Claxton Acuff) → The “King of Country Music,” singer, fiddler and country music promoter credited with “mainstreaming” early country music, co-founder of Acuff-Rose Music, which signed Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and others, died of heart failure on 11/23/1992, age 89
1924 ● Bobby Short / (Robert Waltrip Short) → Sophisticated New York cabaret singer with a seven-decade career entertaining through pre-rock popular standards by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and others, recorded dozens of albums of jazz, blues, pop, easy listening, cabaret and swing music, continued to perform into the early 00s, died from leukemia on 3/21/2005, age 80
1928 ● Cannonball Adderley / (Julian Edwin Adderley) → High school band director turned renowned, Grammy-winning alto jazz saxophonist, bandleader and solo artist, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (#11, R&B #2, 1967), died of a stroke on 8/8/1975, age 46
1931 ● Jac Holzman → Music business executive, founded Elektra Records in 1950 and started other important music labels, signed fledging acts such as The Doors, Carly Simon, Bread and others, went on to various music industry executive positions, including stints with Time-Warner, Sony and Panavision
1933 ● Pat Barrett → High tenor for Canadian pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1938 ● Sylvia Moy / (Sylvia Rose Moy) → Motown Records songwriter and producer, the first such female at the label, worked extensively with Stevie Wonder, co-writing his hits “I Was Made To Lover Her” (#2, R&B #1, UK #5, 1965), “Mon Cherie Amour” (#7, R&B #5, UK #2, 1969) and others plus hits for other Motown soul acts such as Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston (“It Takes Two,” #14, R&B #4, UK #16, 1966) and The Isley Brothers (“This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You),” #12, R&B #6, UK #3, 1956), later formed a not-for-profit to mentor underprivileged Detroit children in the arts, died from complications of pneumonia on 4/15/2017, age 78
1940 ● Jimmy Gilmer → Frontman and vocals for early rock & roll/surf pioneers The Fireballs, “Sugar Shack” (#1, 1963)
1941 ● Les Braid → Bassist for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1941 ● Signe Toly Anderson → Original female vocalist for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, appeared on their debut album Takes Off (1966) as harmony vocalist and lead on “Chauffeur Blues,” left in October 1966 to spend time with her new daughter, was replaced by Grace Slick and faded from view, died from obstructive pulmonary disease on 1/28/2016. age 74
1942 ● Lee Dorman → Bassist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), later hard rock Captain Beyond, died of unknown causes at home on 12/21/2012, age 70
1946 ● Ola Brunkert → Swedish drummer in the backing band for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976), bled to death after hitting his head on a glass door and suffering a slit throat from a shard of broken glass 3/17/2008, age 61
1956 ● Jaki Graham → UK star but US one hit wonder R&B/dance-pop singer, “Ain’t Nobody” (Dance/Club #1,1994)
1958 ● Tim Whelan → Guitar for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1960 ● Mitch Dorge / (Michel Dorge) → Drummer, songwriter and producer for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1969 ● Allen Shellenberger → Drummer for indie rock/pop punk Lit (“My Own Worst Enemy,” #51, Modern Rock #1, 1999), died from a malignant brain tumor on 8/13/2009, age 39
1976 ● Ivette Sosa → 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
1976 ● KG Goldsmith / (Kingsley Goldsmith) → Lead vocals for Brit R&B/swingbeat soul boy band MN8, “I’ve Got A Little Something For You” (UK #2, 1995)
1977 ● Paul Thomson → Drummer for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1978 ● Zachary Filkens → Lead guitarist of self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, their “Apologize” (#1, 2006) is the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date

September 16
1913 ● Florence Greenberg → New Jersey housewife who parlayed an unlikely hit record by an unknown teen group, The Shirelles (“I Met Him On A Sunday” #49, 1958) into an improbable career as a music executive and owner of Scepter Records, the leading independent label of the 60s and home to Dionne Warwick, The Isley Brothers, B.J. Thomas and many others, sold out and retired in 1976, died from complications of a stoke on 11/2/1995, age 82
1921 ● Jon Hendricks / (John Carl Hendricks) → NEA Jazz Master, Emmy, Grammy and Peabody award winning jazz-pop singer and songwriter noted as one-third of the 50s-60s vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and an originator of “vocalese,” the art of putting lyrics to existing jazz instrumentals, won a Grammy award with Bobby McFerrin for “Another Night In Tunisia” from the Manhattan Transfer album Vocalese, for which he wot all of the lyrics, later taught college-level jazz history courses and wrote a stage show and TV documentary about the genre, died from natural causes on 11/22/2017, age 96
1925 ● Charlie Byrd → Classically-trained acoustic jazz guitarist who brought Brazilian bossa nova music to the mainstream in North America with the album Jazz Samba (#1, 1963) with Stan Getz and the instrumental “Desalinate” (#15, AC #4, 1962), continued to record mostly easy listening jazz-pop and authored a book on guitar instruction, died from cancer on 12/2/1999, age 74
1925 ● B.B. King / (Riley B. King) → The reigning “King of the Blues” and important electric guitarist, “The Thrill Is Gone” (#15, R&B #1,1970), influenced countless electric blues and rock guitarists, #3 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, died in his sleep on 5/14/2015, age 89
1934 ● Richard Blandon → Lead singer for early doo-wop The Dubs (“Could This Be Magic,” #23, 1957), left then returned to a reformed group which he fronted into the 80s, died on 12/30/1991, age 57
1941 ● Joe Butler → Drummer for 60s hit making folk-rock quartet The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966)
1942 ● Bernard Calvert → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Betty Kelly → Vocals for Motown R&B/soul girl group The Velvelettes, “Needle In A Haystack” (#45, 1964), left to join R&B/pop-soul girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Street”” (#2, 1964)
1944 ● Winston Grennan → The “Master Drummer of Jamaica,” session drummer and bandleader credited with creating the “One Drop” ska and rocksteady-based beat that underlies reggae music and the “Flyers” beat that precursed reggae, worked with Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and many other top reggae, ska, soul and pop acts, died from cancer on 10/27/2000, age 56
1948 ● Kenney Jones → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), hard-rockers The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), replaced deceased Keith Moon in 1979 in The Who, “You Better You Bet” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1981)
1948 ● Ron Blair → Original bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (#3, 1981), left in 1982 for session career and rejoined in 2002
1950 ● David Bellamy → With brother Homer, one half of country-pop The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (#1, 1976) and 35 other Country Top 40 hits
1953 ● Alan Leslie Barton → Guitarist for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Agadoo” (UK #2, 1984), joined pop-rock Smokie in 1986 as guitarist and lead vocalist, died when the band’s tour bus crashed in Germany on 3/23/1995, age 41
1954 ● Colin Newman → Vocals, guitar and songwriting for art/punk then post-punk then electronic Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989), solo artist, producer and co-founder of the Swim Records label
1954 ● Frank Reed / (Frank Kevin Reed) → Joined a reconstituted version of Chicago R&B/smooth soul The Chi-Lites (“Have You Seen Her?”, #3, 1971) in 1988 as lead vocalist and remained with the band until his death on 2/26/2014, age 59
1956 ● Dave Blood / (Dave Schultise) → Ph.D. candidate in economics at Purdue University turned punk rock bassist in punk quartet Dead Milkmen, left the band in 1995 to move to Serbia to work and study, returned to the U.S. in the aftermath of the NATO bombing campaign in 1999, committed suicide by drug overdose on 3/10/2004, age 47
1960 ● Ean Evans / (Donald Evans) → Bass guitarist in multiple rock bands in the Southeastern U.S., joined raunchy Southern rockLynyrd Skynyrdd in 2001, replacing original and deceased bassist Leon Wilkeson, continued with the band until his death from lung cancer on 5/6/2009, age 48
1961 ● Bilinda Butcher → Guitar and vocals for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1962 ● Stephen Jones → Founder, guitarist, vocals and frontman of Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996), solo, novelist
1963 ● Richard Marx → Pop/rock singer and songwriter, “Right Here Waiting” (#1, 1987) turned Grammy-winning adult contemporary balladeer, “Dance With My Father” (Song of the Year 2003)
1964 ● The Snake / (David Sabo) → Co-founder and lead guitar for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), teenage friend of rocker Jon Bon Jovi and original lead guitarist in JBJ‘s band
1968 ● Marc Anthony / (Marco Antonio Muñiz) → Multi-talented, Grammy-winning Latin dance-pop (“tropical salsa”) singer, “I Need To Know” (#3, 1991), film actor
1969 ● Justine Frischmann → Co-founder guitar and vocals for alt rock/Britpop Suede, left for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), now an abstract painter
1976 ● Shannon Noll → Australian pop-rock singer, runner-up of the first series of Australian Idol (2003), ten consecutive Aussie Top 10 singles, including “What About Me?” (AUS #1, 2004)
1976 ● Tina Barrett → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1977 ● Musiq Soulchild / (Talib Johnson) → R&B/neo-soul, funk, blues and gospel fusion hip hop artist, “Halfcrazy” (#16, 2002)
1981 ● Christopher Cester → Drummer and backing vocals for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1984 ● Katie Melua / (Ketevan Melua) → Jazz-pop/adult contemporary singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Nine Million Bicycles” (UK #5, 2005), album Piece By Piece (Jazz Albums #3, 2006)
1992 ● Nick Jonas → Singer and songwriter in teen-pop ballad trio the Jonas Brothers, “Burnin’ Up” (#5, 2008), actor

September 17
1923 ● Hank Williams / (Hiram King Williams) → The “Father of Contemporary Country Music” with 35 oft-covered Country Top 10 hits, including “Hey, Good Lookin'” (Country #1, 1951), died in his limo to a show on 1/1/1953, age 29
1923 ● Ralph Sharon → Grammy-winning jazz pianist, composer and arranger known for his 50 year collaboration with Tony Bennett and the signature song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” (#19, 1962), continued to perform with his own jazz-pop ensemble until his death on 3/31/2015, age 91
1926 ● Bill Black → Early rock ‘n roll bassist in Elvis Presley‘s backing band and his own Bill Black Combo, “Smokie” (1959), died from a brain tumor on 10/21/1965 at age 39
1926 ● Brother Jack McDuff / (Eugene McDuffy) → Hard bop and jazz-soul Hammond B-3 organist and bandleader known for his funky, bluesy style and mentorship to young guitarist George Benson in his mid-60s quartet, continued to record until his death from heart failure on 1/23/2001, age 74
1929 ● Sil Austin / (Silvester “Sil” Austin) → Jazz saxophonist in the 40s, switched to more accessible blues and funk-pop sound in the 50s and scored several hits, including “Slow Walk” (#17, R&B #3, 1956) , continued to record and perform into the 90s before dying from prostate cancer on 9/1/2001
1937 ● Phil Cracolici → Lead vocals for one hit wonder blue-eyed doo wop quintet The Mystics, “Hushabye” (#20, 1959)
1939 ● LaMonte McLemore → Founding member and vocals for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), professional photographer for Playboy, Jet, Ebony, Harper’s Bizarre and others
1947 ● Lol Crème / (Laurence Neill “Lol” Crème) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), co-founded pop duo Godley & Crème, “Cry” (#16, 1985) and joined art-rock/synth-pop Art Of Noise in 1998, now a music video producer.
1947 ● Jim HodderSteely Dan backing band drummer 1972-74, session drummer for Sammy Hagar and David Soul, drowned in his backyard swimming pool on 6/5/1990, age 42
1950 ● Fee Waybill / (John Waldo Waybill) → Lead singer and songwriter for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), producer for Bryan Adams, Richard Marx and others
1952 ● Steve Sanders → Baritone singer and member of country/gospel/folk The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981) replacing original member William Lee Golden from 1987 to 1995, left the band and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 6/10/1998, age 45
1953 ● Steve Williams → Drummer for early and influential Welsh heavy metal band Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1959 ● Will Gregory → Vocals and synthesizer with Alison Goldfrapp in Brit electro-dance-pop due Goldfrapp, “Number 1” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1961 ● Ty Tabor → Lead guitar, songwriting and vocals for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1962 ● Baz Luhrmann / (Mark Anthony Luhrmann) → Australian screenwriter, film director and one hit wonder novelty-pop/spoken word artist, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” (#45, Adult Top 40 #10, 1999), directed Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Australia (2008)
1962 ● BeBe Winans / (Benjamin Winans) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul and gospel crossover singer in duets with sister CeCe (Priscilla), “Close To You” (R&B/Hip Hop #21, 2009) or solo, “Thank You” (Dance/Club #6, 1998)
1963 ● Jarvis Crocker → Singer for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1966 ● Doug E. Fresh / (Douglas E. Davis) → Rapper, producer and pioneering beat boxer known as “The Human Beat Box” for his near-perfect imitations of drum machines and effects using his mouth, lips, gums and throat, frontman for hip hop Get Fresh Crew, “The Show” (Hip Hop #3, 1985) and solo, “Freaks/I-ight (Alright)” (Dance #3, 1994)
1968 ● Anastacia Lyn Newkirk → R&B/dance-pop singer, “One Day In Your Life” (Dance/Club #1, 2002)
1968 ● John Penney → Vocals for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1968 ● Lord Jamar / (Lorenzo Dechalus) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1969 ● Adam Devlin / (Adam Tadek Gorecki) → Guitarist and songwriter for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996)
1969 ● Candy Dulfer → Dutch alto saxophonist, “On & On” (Smooth Jazz #13, 2009), sessions and backing bands for Van Morrison, Prince and others, collaborated with Dave Stewart, “Lily Was Here” (UK #6, 1990)
1969 ● Keith Flint / (Keith Charles Flint) → Vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1970 ● Vinnie / (Vincent Brown) → Vocals and sampling for pop-rap crossover trio Naughty By Nature, “O.P.P.” (#6, 1991) and Grammy-winning Poverty’s Property, Best Rap Album for 1995
1971 ● Paul Winterhart → Drummer for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1973 ● A. Jay Popoff / (Alan Jay Popoff) → Frontman and vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Lit, “My Own Worst Enemy” (#51, Mainstream Rock #6, 1999)
1974 ● Jimmy Fallon → Stand-up comedian, film and TV actor, awards show host, former Saturday Night Live cast member and comedy/satire music singer/songwriter with the Grammy-nominated album The Bathroom Wall (#47, 2002)
1976 ● Maile Misajon → 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
1977 ● Ryan Dusick → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1979 ● Chuck Comeau → Drummer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1979 ● Flo Rida / (Tramar Lacel Dillard) → People’s Choice award Southern rapper, singer/songwriter and MC, “Low” feat. T-Pain (#1, 2007) and 12 other U.S. Top 20 hits through 2015
1985 ● Jonathan Jacob Walker → Bassist for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

September 18
1929 ● Teddi King / (Theodora King) → One hit wonder jazz and pop singer in the 40s and 50s, “Mr. Wonderful” (#18, 1956), faded during Beatlemania but made a brief comeback in the 70s before dying from lupus disease on 11/18/1977, age 48
1933 ● Jimmie Rodgers / (James Frederick Rodgers) → Pop and easy listening singer, “Honeycomb” (#1, 1957) and 13 other Top 40 hits in the late 50s and 1960s
1940 ● Frankie Avalon / (Francis Thomas Avallone) → Pretty-boy teen idol pop singer, “Venus” (#1, 1959) and 11 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1962, then film actor, Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
1945 ● Bam King / (Alan King) → Guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1945 ● P. F. Sloan / (Philip Gary Schlein) → Folk, pop and rock singer and songwriter known best for co-writing numerous 60s hits with Steve Barri, in particular the protest anthem “Eve Of Destruction” (#1, 1965) for Barry McGuire and “Secret Agent Man” (#3, 1966) for Johnny Rivers, recorded singles and several albums under various pseudonyms and band names, performed until just prior to his death from pancreatic cancer on 11/15/2015, age 70
1949 ● Kerry Livgren → Founding member, guitarist and songwriter for prog/heartland rock Kansas, wrote “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977) and “Dust In The Wind” (#6, 1978), converted to Christianity and formed religious-tinged hard rock AD with other Kansas bandmates, solo
1951 ● Dee Dee Ramone / (Doug Colvin) → Bassist for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died of a drug overdose on 6/5/2002, age 50
1955 ● Keith Morris → Frontman and lead vocals for hardcore L.A. punk rockers Black Flag, Circle Jerks and supergroup Off!
1961 ● Frosty Beedle / (Martin Beedle) → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Joanne Catherall → Vocals for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1962 ● Richard Walmsley → Writer and producer with electro-dance-pop The Beatmasters, “Warm Love” (Dance #16, 1990), the trio also produced hits for Cookie Crew, Yazz and P.P. Arnold, and albums for Erasure, Pet Shop Boys and others
1965 ● John David Dunlop → Canadian guitarist, composer, producer and music recording engineer, lead guitarist for hard rock The Full Nine and, since 2008, power trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983)
1966 ● Nigel Clark → Lead singer and bassist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1966 ● Spike Spice / (Ian Spice) → Co-founder and drummer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1967 ● Mike Heaton → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1967 ● Ricky Bell → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), then Bell Biv Devoe, “Poison” (#3, 1990)

September 19
1921 ● Billy Ward / (Robert L. Williams) → Child prodigy pianist and frontman, vocals and arranger for early R&B/doo wop Billy Ward & The Dominoes, (“Sixty Minute Man,” #17, R&B #1, 1951), the group spawned the careers of soul giants Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson, died in a long-term care hospital on 2/16/2002, age 80
1931 ● Brook Benton / (Benjamin Franklin Peay) → R&B/soul and early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “The Boll Weevil Song” (#2, 1961), plus comeback track “Rainy Night In Georgia” (#4, 1979) and 21 other Top 40 hits, died from complications of spiral meningitis on 4/9/1998, age 56
1934 ● Brian Epstein → Music entrepreneur, record store owner, manager of The Beatles from 1962 until his death, managed other Liverpool acts including Gerry & The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and The Cyrkle, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates and alcohol on 8/27/1967, age 32
1935 ● Nick Massi / (Nicholas Macioci) → Bass guitarist, arranger and vocalist for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), died of cancer on 12/24/2000, age 65
1937 ● Paul Siebel → Greenwich Village folk scene singer/songwriter and guitarist known solely for other artist’s cover versions of his songs, including “Louise” and “Any Day Woman,” dropped out of sight in the 70s after issuing two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums
1940 ● Bill Medley → Blue-eyed soul singer and, with Bobby Hatfield, one half of hugely successful pop-rock duo The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody” (#4, 1965), solo career including the Grammy-winning “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1940 ● Paul Williams → Grammy-winning pop songwriter, wrote “An Old Fashioned Love Song” (#4, 1971) for Three Dog Night, “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, and “We’ve Only Just Begun” (#2, 1970) and “Rainy Days And Mondays” (#2, 1971) for the Carpenters, solo act pop singer (“Waking Up Alone,” #60, 1972) and actor
1940 ● Sylvia Tyson / (Sylvia Fricker) → Canadian singer in influential male/female folk harmony vocal duo Ian & Sylvia, wrote “You Were On My Mind” for folk-pop We Five (#32, 1965)
1941 ● Mama Cass / (Ellen Naomi Cohen) → Vocals and percussion for folk-pop quarter The Mamas & The Papas (“Monday Monday,” #1, 1966), enjoyed a brief solo singing (“Dream A Little Dream Of Me,” #12, UK #11, 1968) and early 70s TV acting career before dying of a heart attack in Harry Nilsson‘s London apartment on 7/29/1974, age 32
1942 ● Danny Kalb → Folk- and blues-rock guitarist, composer and songwriter, co-founded jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “Flute Thing” (1966), solo career with numerous albums and collaborations
1942 ● Freda Payne → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Band of Gold” (#3, 1970), TV and film actress
1943 ● Mike Arnone → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962)
1945 ● David Bromberg → Multi-string instrumentalist and blues-folk and roots rock singer/songwriter, “The Holdup” (1971), now owns a violin sales and repair shop
1946 ● John Coghlan → Drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1949 ● Twiggy / (Lesley Hornby) → Iconic 60s model and later stage, screen and TV actress, one hit wonder pop singer, “Here I Go Again” (UK #17, 1976)
1951 ● Daniel Lanois → Grammy-winning Canadian record producer, guitarist and composer, best known producing Peter Gabriel‘s So (1986), U2‘s The Joshua Tree (1987) and Achtung Baby (1991), plus albums by Brian Eno, Bob Dylan and others, recorded nearly 20 solo albums beginning with Acadie (1989)
1952 ● Nile Rodgers / (Nile Gregory Rodgers) → Guitarist, co-founder and co-writer for R&B/disco band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978), influential record producer, composer and arranger, produced albums for David Bowie (Let’s Dance, 1983), Madonna (Like A Virgin, 1984), Mick Jagger (She’s The Boss, 1985) and others, continues to record, perform, write soundtracks and produce albums for others into the 10s
1955 ● Rex Smith → Stage and film actor and brief pop singer, debuted on Broadway in the lead role as Danny Zuko in ,em>Grease (1978), followed with a three-year recording career and the lone hit “You Take My Breath Away” (#10, 1979), returned to screen acting from the 80s through the 00s
1957 ● Rusty Egan → Drummer for New Wave power pop The Rich Kids, “Rich Kids” (UK #24, 1978) and New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey”(UK #8, 1981), London nightclub DJ
1958 ● Lita Ford / (Carmelita Rosanna Ford) → Guitar, vocals and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), pop-metal solo career, “Close My Eyes Forever” (#8, 1988)
1964 ● Trisha Yearwood / (Patricia Lynn Yearwood) → Grammy-winning country singer, “How Do I Live” (#23, Country #2, 1996) and 28 other Country Top 40 hits, TV and occasional film actress, cookbook editor

September 20
1911 ● Frank De Vol → Music arranger, theme song composer and actor, arranged music for numerous 40s and 50s hits, including “Nature Boy” (#1, 1948) by Nat King Cole, produced “The Happening” (#1, 1967) for The Supremes from the soundtrack to the movie of the same name he wrote, issued a series of “mood music” albums and led his own radio orchestra, composed the theme songs to dozens of movies and TV shows, including My Three Sons and The Brady Bunch, appeared as a deadpan comic actor on numerous TV sitcoms, died from congestive heart failure on 10/27/1999, age 88
1911 ● Frank De Vol / (Frank Denny De Vol) → Composer and music arranger, wrote arrangements for pop stars Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole (“Nature Boy,” #1, 1948) and others in the 40s, composed and recorded several “mood music” albums in the 50s and TV theme songs in the 60s, including Gidget, The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons, executive with Columbia Records, bandleader on stage and TV, wrote movie scores to Cat Ballou (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Frisco Kid (1979) and dozens more, played house bandleader Happy Kyne on the TV satire/sitcom Fernwood 2 Night (1977), died from congestive heart failure on 10/26/1999, age 88
1917 ● Johnny Allen → Grammy-winning arranger, pianist, bandleader and producer, worked with both Motown and Stax Records for artists including The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and The Staple Singers, co-wrote the “Theme From Shaft” (#1, 1971) with Isaac Hayes and shared the Best Instrumental Arrangement award at the 14th Grammy Awards in 1972, continued to perform in various jazz bands into his 90s, died from pneumonia on 1/29/2014, age 96
1924 ● Gogi Grant / (Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg) → Mid-50s pop singer with five albums in two years and two Top 10 hits, “Suddenly There’s A Valley” (#9, 1955) and “The Wayward Wind” (#1, UK #9, 1956), the latter knocking Elvis Presley‘s “Heartbreak Hotel” from the #1 spot, faded from view during Beatlemania, died on 3/10/2016, age 91
1925 ● Bobby Nunn / (Ulyssess B. Nunn, Sr.) → R&B/doo wop singer with The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then as bass vocals for offshoot soul-pop The Coasters, but left before their big hits “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959) and founded The Dukes in 1959, rejoined a new lineup of The Coasters in the mid-60s and toured and recorded with various versions of group through to his death from a heart attack on 11/5/1986, age 61
1930 ● Eddie Bo / (Edwin Joseph Bocage) → New Orleans-style jazz, blues and funk pianist, singer and prolific songwriter, released over 50 singles, including “Hook And Sling” (R&B #13, 1969) and the seminal funk song “Check Your Bucket,” wrote for and recorded with Art Tatum, Etta James and The Neville Brothers, among others, his “I’m Wise” was covered by Little Richard as “Slippin’ And Slidin'” (#33, R&B #2, 1956), May 22 is “Eddie Bo Day” in New Orleans, died following a heart attack on 3/18/2009, age 78
1938 ● Eric Gale → Jazz and session guitarist with a dozen of his own albums as frontman for various bands, plus appearances on over 500 other albums by Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Grover Washington, Jr. and many others over a 35 year career, died from lung cancer on 5/25/1994, age 55
1945 ● Sweet Pea Atkinson → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989), solo
1946 ● Mick Rogers / (Michael Oldroyd) → Guitarist and songwriter with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977)
1948 ● Chuck Panozzo → Bassist for prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981)
1948 ● John Panozzo → Drummer for prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/16/1996, age 47
1953 ● Ricci Martin / (Ricci James Martin) → Youngest son of actor and singer Dean Martin, collaborated with Beach Boy Carl Wilson (his future brother-in-law) on the 1977 album Beached, replaced his deceased brother, Dino Martin, in the 90s revival of the 60s teen bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Desi Arnez, Jr. and Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), sang his father’s hits and told stories in a long-running Vegas-style tribute show, died at home from unspecified causes on 8/3/2016, age 62
1954 ● Tony Destra → Original drummer for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990), left in 1985 to join glam-metal Britny Fox, “Long Way To Love” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1988), died in car accident on 2/8/1987, age 32
1957 ● Alannah Currie → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), now a sculptural art-furniture artist
1960 ● David Hemingway → Lead vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then co-founded alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1960 ● Cowboy Wiggins / (Robert Wiggins) → MC and vocals for hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five (“The Message,” R&B #4, 1982), the first hip hop group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died from complications of cocaine addiction on 9/8/1989, age 28
1966 ● Nuno Bettencourt → Portuguese guitarist and songwriter for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), solo, various collaborations and frontman for several hard rock bands
1967 ● Gunnar Nelson → With twin brother Matthew, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1967 ● Matthew Nelson → With twin brother Gunnar, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1968 ● Ben Shepherd → Bassist in seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1979 ● Rick Woolstenhulme → Drummer for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1981 ● Keith Semple → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

September 21
1913 ● Janet Ertel / (Janet Ertel Bleyer) → Founding member and vocalist in close-harmony pop music girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954 and “Lollipop,” #2, 1958)), later married Cadence Records (the band’s label) founder and owner Archie Bleyer, with whom she had a daughter who went on to marry Cadence artist Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers, died of cancer on 11/22/1988, age 75
1923 ● Jimmy Young / (Leslie Ronald Young) → Pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1955) and BBC Radio 2 DJ from 1973 to 2002
1932 ● Don Preston → Keyboards for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group Mothers of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), sessions
1932 ● Graeme Goodall → Australian recording engineer, studio designer, record producer, co-founder of Island Records and prominent figure in the development of Jamaican music and its recording industry, worked with dozens of ska, reggae and pop acts, including The Wailers, The Skatalites and Desmond Decker, died from natural causes on 12/3/2014, age 82
1934 ● Leonard Cohen / (Leonard Norman Cohen) → Influential and oft-covered Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Bird On The Wire” (1969), Grammy-winning Album of the Year River: The Joni Letters (2007)
1936 ● Dickey Lee / (Royden Dickey Lipscomb) → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Patches” (#6, 1962), then migrated to country music in the 70s and had 16 Country Top 40 hits, including “Rocky” (Country #1, 1975)
1943 ● David Hood → Bassist, session musician and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits byAretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also toured with Traffic in the 70s and produced songs by Cher and Willie Nelson, among others
1944 ● Jesse Davis / (Jesse Ed Davis III) → Native American guitarist with a lone blues-rock solo album (Jesse Davis, 1971) featuring Eric Clapton, Gram Parsons and Leon Russell, performed with George Harrison‘s Concert For Bangladesh (1971) and became a highly-regarded session musician and producer, worked with Gene Clark, John Lennon, Jackson Browne (solo on “Doctor My Eyes,” #8, 1972), Taj Mahal and many others, died from a heroin overdose on 6/22/1988, age 43
1947 ● Don Felder → Lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for country-rock and pop Eagles, composed music to “Hotel California” (#1, 1976), solo and collaborations with former bandmates
1949 ● Colin Gibson → Brit bassist and composer, started with psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the 60s, later joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and did session work for Stefan Grossman, Alvin Lee, Steve Howe and others, co-wrote a UK TV sitcom and film soundtracks, collaborates and produces various projects into the 10s
1952 ● David Gregory → Lead guitarist for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1954 ● Philthy Animal Taylor / (Philip John Taylor) → Drummer for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980), during periods away from the band did session work and collaborations with thrash metal artists, died from abusive lifestyle liver failure on 11/11/2015, age 61
1959 ● Corinne Drewerey → Vocals for Brit sophisti-pop Swing Out Sister, “Breakout” (#6, 1987)
1967 ● Faith Hill / (Audrey Faith Perry) → Five time Grammy-winning country-pop crossover star, “Breathe” (#2, 1999) and eight Country #1 hits, Billboard magazine’s #1 Adult Contemporary artist for 2009
1967 ● Timmy T / (Timothy Torres) → Rap-dance “freestyle” performer, “One More Try” (#1, 1991)
1967 ● Tyler Stewart → Drummer for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1968 ● Jon Brooks → Drummer for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1968 ● Trugoy the Dove / (David Jude Jolicoeur) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1972 ● David Silveria → Drummer for nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1972 ● Liam Gallagher → Frontman and vocals for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, now fronts Beady Eye
1973 ● Jimmy Constable → Vocals and co-founding member of Brit teen-dance-pop boy band 911, covered The Bee Gees‘ “More Than A Woman” (UK #2, 1998) and Bobby Gosh‘s “A Little Bit More” (UK #1, 1999), a US #11 hit for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show in 1976
1977 ● Sam Rivers → Bassist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1977 ● The-Dream / (Terius Youngdell Nash) → Grammy-winning rapper, songwriter and record producer, “Shawty Is A 10” (#17, 2007), co-wrote “Baby” for Justin Bieber (#5, 2010),
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” for Beyoncé (#1, 2008) and other hit songs
1984 ● Wale / (Olubowale Victor Akintimehin) → Rapper with multiple collaborative singles and albums, including the BET Award-winning “Lotus Flower Bomb” (#38, R&B #1, Rap #3, 2011) featuring Miguel
1989 ● Jason Derülo / (Jason Desrouleaux) → R&B/urban soul singer/songwriter, actor and dancer, “Watcha Say” (#1, 2009)

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This Week’s Birthdays (August 25 – 31)

Happy Birthday this week to:

August 25
1918 ● Leonard Bernstein → Talented composer, conductor, pianist, director of the New York Philharmonic, wrote the music to many Broadway shows, including West Side Story (1957), died from pneumonia on 10/14/1990, age 72
1933 ● Wayne Shorter → Leading jazz and fusion saxophonist and composer, played with the Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers, joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1964, co-founded jazz/rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo
1941 ● Christopher Augustine → Drummer for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1942 ● Walter Williams → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Alan Parker → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1947 ● Pete Arnesen → Piano for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (, US #37, 1974)
1949 ● Gene “The Demon” Simmons / (Chaim Witz) → Bass, vocals and frontman for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), released two solo albums, producer, talent scout, entrepreneur, author and film and TV actor
1949 ● Henry Paul → Founding member, lead singer and guitarist for Southern hard rock Outlaws (“Hurry Sundown,” #34, 1975), left in 1977 to form and front country-rock Henry Paul Band, in 1991 founded Nashville-based Blackhawk (“I’m Not Strong Enough To Say No,” #2, 1995), reformed Outlaws in 2005 and continues to record and tour
1950 ● Willy De Ville / (William Boray) → Guitar, vocals and frontman for blue-eyed soul/roots rock/punk rock Mink De Ville, “Storybook Love” (1987), solo and collaborations with notable blues and R&B stars, died of pancreatic cancer on 8/7/2009, age 58
1951 ● James Warren → Co-founder, bassist and vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Korgis, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” (#18, 1980)
1951 ● Rob Halford → Vocals for influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Geoff Downes → Founding member and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40, 1979), joined prog rock Yes for one album (Drama, 1980), left to form prog/pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), solo
1954 ● Elvis Costello / (Declan Patrick McManus) → Innovative, eclectic, multi-genre songwriter, singer and pub rock/punk/New Wave guitarist, frontman for The Attractions, “Veronica” (#19, 1989), 17 US Top 40 albums, has recorded classical-, jazz- and adult pop-based albums
1956 ● Matt Aitken → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1961 ● Billy Ray Cyrus → Once touted as the “Next Elvis,” country-pop one hit wonder crossover singer, debut single “Achy Breaky Heart” (#4, 1992) spawned the worldwide “line dance” craze, debut album Some Gave All spent 17 weeks on the US album chart, father of actress Miley Cyrus
1962 ● Vivian Patrick Campbell → Guitarist with hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), Dio and Whitesnake
1963 ● Candida Doyle → Keyboard and backing vocals for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1965 ● Erik Dahlgren → Drummer for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1966 ● Terminator X / (Norman Rogers) → Rapper and DJ for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989), solo, producer, retired to his South Carolina ostrich stud farm in 2003
1967 ● Jeff Tweedy → Co-founder, singer, songwriter and guitars for seminal roots rock trio Uncle Tupelo, after its breakup founded alt country-rock Wilco, “Outasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1969 ● Luke Scott → Guitarist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1970 ● Jo Dee Messina → Country-pop crossover singer with 12 Country Top 10 hits, six of them #1’s, including “That’s The Way” (#25, Country #1, 2000)
1985 ● Wynter Gordon / (Diana Gordon) → Dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Dirty Talk” (Dance #1, 2010), co-wrote “Sugar” for Flo Rida (#5, 2009)
1987 ● Amy MacDonald → Scottish soft folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over” (UK #48, 2010)
1988 ● Alexandra Burke → Brit R&B/neo-soul and electro-pop singer, won the 2008 UK talent show The X Factor, debut single “Hallelujah” (UK #1, 2008) plus four other UK Top 10 hits in two years
1988 ● Ray Quinn → English TV soap opera actor, dancer and singer, runner-up in the 2006 UK talent show The X Factor, “Doing It My Way” (UK #1, 2007)

August 26
1903 ● Mr. Five by Five / (Jimmy Rushing) → Short and stout blues/jazz “shouter” and singer, lead vocals for the Count Basie band, died of leukemia on 6/8/1972, age 68
1936 ● René Ornelas → Mexican-American singer and, with René Herrera, 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, continues to perform into the 10s as René René
1938 ● Jet Black / (Brian Duffy) → Drummer in punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1939 ● Fred Milano → Founding member and tenor 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 before his death from lung cancer on 1/1/2012, age 72
1940 ● Nik Turner → Founding member, saxophonist, flautist and composer for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), Sphynx and Space Ritual
1941 ● Chris Curtis → Drummer and vocals for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), died following a long illness on 2/28/2005, age 63
1942 ● Vic Dana → Tap dancer turned vocalist in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959), then solo, “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” (#10, 1965)
1944 ● Moe Tucker / (Maureen Ann Tucker) → Drummer for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968)
1948 ● Valerie Simpson → With husband Nickolas Ashford, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others
1949 ● Bob Cowsill / (Robert Cowsill) → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, his twin brother Richard “Dick” Cowsill was the road manager for the group
1949 ● Dick Cowsill / (Richard Cowsill) → Road manager for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, twin brother of bandmember Bob Cowsill
1949 ● Leon Redbone / (Dickran Gobalian) → Cyprus-born, baritone jazz/blues/ragtime singer and interpreter of early 20th century popular songs and Tin Pan Alley songwriters, “Seduced” (#72, 1981) and album Double Time (#38, 1977)
1952 ● Billy Rush → Songwriter and producer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1954 ● Michael Chetwood → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1954 ● Steve Wright → BBC Radio 2 disc jockey in the weekday afternoon time slot since 1999
1957 ● John O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1960 ● Branford Marsalis → Jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, played with Art Blakely, Herbie Hancock, his brother Wynton, and Sting, led Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band, formed his own record label in 2002 for his own albums and those of others
1965 ● Annie Holland → Bassist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1966 ● Dan Vickrey → Guitarist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1969 ● Adrian Young → Drummer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)

August 27
1927 ● Moishe (or Mo) Levy / (Morris Levy) → Jazz club owner, music publisher and record label owner/executive best known as the founder and CEO of jazz, rock and pop label Roulette Records, the Birdland jazz night club in New York City and the Northeast US retail music chain Strawberries, his career included multiple allegations of embezzlement and shady business deals, convicted of Federal extortion charges in 1988, contracted cancer, lost an appeal in January 1990 to have his sentence forgiven for health reasons, died four weeks before reporting for a 10-year prison sentence on 5/21/1990, age 62
1932 ● Hal Lucas / (Harold Lucas) → Founding member and baritone vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), stayed with the group and various splinters until his death from lung cancer on 1/6/1994, age 61
1937 ● Phil Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist (sax, flute, clarinet, piano and percussion) for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1937 ● Tommy Sands / (Thomas Adrian Sands) → Late 50s teen idol singer with one big hit among a half dozen charting singles, “Teen Age Crush” (#2, 1956), appeared on multiple TV shows and in several top films before his career waned in the late-60s, performed on the oldies circuit into the 90s
1942 ● Daryl “Captain” Dragon / (Daryl Dragon) → Touring and recording keyboardist, and occasional song co-writer, with The Beach Boys in the early 70s, later joined with future wife Toni Tennille in MOR/light pop-rock duo Captain & Tennille (“Love Will Keep Us Together,” #1, 1975 and six other Top 10 hits), their popularity leading to a TV variety program in 1976-77, continued to tour and record until developing a neurological condition in 2009, died from kidney failure on 1/2/2019, age 76.
1944 ● Tim Bogert / (John Voorhis Bogert III) → Bassist and vocals for hard psych rock/proto-metal Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6, 1968), formed boogie-rock Cactus in 1972 and “super” trio Beck, Bogert & Appice, “Superstition” (1973), sessions and tours, solo albums, teaching, Vanilla Fudge reunions
1945 ● Malcolm Allured → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1949 ● Jeff Cook → Co-founder, vocals, lead guitar, keyboards and fiddle for country-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, Country #1, 1981) and 31 other Country #1 hits
1950 ● John Turnbull → Brit pop-rock guitarist and singer, started with the psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the mid-60s, since played with Nick Lowe, Dave Stewart, Eurythmics, Ian Dury And The Blockheads and others, also contributed to film soundtracks including Get Carter (1971)
1951 ● Kevin Kavanaugh → Keyboards for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1953 ● Alex Lifeson / (Alexander Zivojinovich) → Guitarist, backing vocals and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles
1956 ● Glen Matlock → Bassist and songwriter for the original lineup of punk rock Sex Pistols, “Anarchy In The U.K.” (1976), left in 1977 and replaced by Sid Vicious, formed New Wave power pop The Rich Kids and other bands with limited success, joined the reformed Sex Pistols in 1996
1961 ● Yolanda Adams → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/gospel singer, “Open My Heart” (#57, Gospel #1, 1999), Billboard magazine’s #1 gospel artist of the 00s, radio host
1970 ● Tony Kanal → Bassist for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1972 ● Jimmy Pop / (James Moyer Franks) → Lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and chief songwriter for alt rock/comedy/satire Bloodhound Gang, “The Bad Touch” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1975 ● Mase / (Mason Durell Betha) → Hip hop entertainer, songwriter and rapper, duet with Kelly Price, “Feel So Good” (#5, Rap #1, 1997), also worked with Puff Daddy, Blackstreet and others, leads an international ministry
1979 ● Jonathan Siebels → Co-founder and guitarist for teen punk-pop trio Eve 6, “Inside Out” (#28, Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1979 ● Sarah Neufeld → Violinist for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007), side project is six-piece instrumental rock group Bell Orchestre
1986 ● Mario / (Dewar Bennett) → R&B/pop singer and songwriter, “Let Me Love You” (#1, 2004), film actor, fashion model and philanthropist

August 28
1904 ● Ernie Fields / (Ernest Lawrencce Fields) → Jazz and Swing-era musician, arranger and bandleader, first with the Royal Entertainers, then scored a lone hit with his Ernie Fields Orchestra, a cover of Glenn Miller‘s “In The Mood” (#4, UK #13, 1959), as a session musician at Rendezvous Records in the 50 and 60s played on numerous singles, including surf-rock “Out Of Limits” (The Marketts, #3, 1964), died from natural causes on 5/11/1997, age 92
1925 ● Billy Grammer → Country guitarist with multiple, minor hits on the country charts and one crossover hit, “Gotta Travel On” (#4, Country #5, 1959), retired from recording in the late 60s but performed at the Grand Ole Opry for years thereafter, died after a long illness on 8/10/2011, age 85
1931 ● John Perkins → Lead singer for Canadian pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1937 ● Clem Cattini / (Clemente Cattini) → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960) and The Tornados, “Telstar” (#1, 1962), then top session drummer who’s played on over 40 UK #1 hits by artists such as Bay City Rollers, Hot Chocolate, Tom Jones, The Seekers and T. Rex, reformed The Tornados in the 90s
1937 ● Joe Osborn → Bass guitarist best known as a member of Ricky Nelson‘s early band (“Travelin’ Man,” #1, 1961) and of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, with whom he backed dozens of top artists on multiple hit songs and numerous film scores and TV commercials, moved to Nashville in 1974 and as an in-demand session musician played bass on over 50 Country #1 hit songs
1940 ● Walter Ward → Founding member and lead singer for 50s/60s doo wop The Olympics (“Western Movies,” #8, R&B #7, 1958), continued to perform on the oldies circuit up to his death on 12/11/2006, age 66
1942 ● Ken Andrew → Drummer for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1943 ● David Soul / (David Richard Solberg) → Folk singer turned 70s TV actor (cop show Starsky & Hutch) turned pop singer, “Don’t Give Up On Us” (#1, UK #1, 1977), plus four other UK Top 20 hits and two Top 10 albums, moved to the UK, became a citizen continued his stage and TV acting career into the 10s
1943 ● Honey Lantree / (Anne Margot Lantree) → Female drummer for one hit wonder English beat/pop-rock The Honeycombs, “Have I The Right?” (#5, 1964)
1948 ● Daniel Seraphine → Founding member and drummer for pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972), left in 1990 and became a theatrical producer, formed Chicago Transit Authority in 2010
1948 ● Fred Cole / (Frederick Lee Cole) → Unheralded guitarist, singer and songwriter with a 50-year career as frontman for various garage, punk and proto-grunge rock bands that built a deep cult following in the Pacific Northwest and Europe, he and his wife, Kathleen were two-thirds of the 20-year garage-punk trio Dead Moon, continued to record and perform in the Portland, OR music scene until his death from liver cancer on 11/9/2017, age 69
1949 ● Hugh Cornwell → Guitar and vocals punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982) plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits, some time TV actor, author, solo career with seven albums, session work
1949 ● Martin Lamble → Founding member and original drummer for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), died when the band’s equipment truck crashed after a show in Birmingham, England on 5/14/1969, age 19
1951 ● Wayne Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1952 ● Dave Hlubek → Co-founder and lead guitar for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979)
1961 ● Kim Appleby → Singer and actress, with younger sister Melanie in R&B/dance-pop duo Mel & Kim, “Respectable” (Dance/Club #1, 1986)
1965 ● Shania Twain / (Eileen Regina Edwards) → Five-time Grammy-winning, Canadian-born country-pop megastar singer/songwriter, “You’re Still The One” (#2, 1998) from the album Come On Over, the best-selling album of all time by a female artist in any genre
1969 ● Jack Black / (Thomas Jacob Black) → Film actor (School Of Rock, 2003), comedian and musician, one half of the comedy/rock cult duo Tenacious D with Kyle Gass, “POD (The Pick Of Destiny)” (#57, UK #20, 2006)
1969 ● Mary Anna McCartney → Professional photographer and television documentary producer, daughter of Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman McCartney
1974 ● Peter Turner → Bassist in prog/alt rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008) from the Mercury Music Prize-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid
1978 ● Max Collins → Co-founder and bassist for teen punk-pop trio Eve 6, “Inside Out” (#28, Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1982 ● Margaret LeAnn Rimes → Teenage country-pop crossover star, “Blue” (#26, Country #10, 1996), has since won multiple Grammy Awards and issued 14 albums and six Top 40 singles
1986 ● Florence Welch → Pop, soul and baroque genre-bending singer/songwriter and frontwoman for Florence + The Machine, “Dog Days Are Over” (#21, 2010)

August 29
1920 ● Charlie “Bird” Parker / (Charles Parker, Jr.) → Virtuoso, pioneering and influential jazz/bebop saxophonist and composer with a brief but prolific career and several entries in the Grammy Hall of Fame, tributes include Weather Report‘s “Birdland” (1977), Steely Dan‘s “Parker’s Band” (1974), the chirping bird guitar sound created by Duane Allmann at the end of Derek & The Dominoes‘ “Layla” (1974) and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts‘ children’s book Ode To A High Flying Bird (1964), died of a heart attack brought on by cirrhosis and pneumonia on 3/12/1955, age 34
1924 ● Dinah Washington / (Ruth Lee Jones) → Often called the “Queen of the Blues,” widely popular 40s-50s blues, jazz, and R&B singer, “What A Difference A Day Made” (#8, 1959), died from a barbiturate overdose on 12/14/1963, age 39
1927 ● Jimmy C. Newman → Country and Cajun music singer, songwriter and bandleader with 30 hits in the Country Top 40 in the 50s and 60s and a lone crossover hit, “A Fallen Star” (#23, Country #2, 1957), died from cancer on 6/21/2014, age 86
1937 ● Marshall Sewell → Bass vocals for doo-wop The Edsels, “Rama Lama Ding Dong” (#21, 1961), later joined the Cleveland, OH police force and retired as a sergeant in 2001, died from esophageal cancer on 6/5/2013, age 75
1940 ● Johnny Paris / (Johnny Pocisk) → Frontman and saxophonist for instrumental rock ‘n’ roll Johnny & The Hurricanes, “Red River Rock” (#5, UK #3, 1959) and three other charting hits in 1959 and 1960, formed a new Hurricanes following disbandment of the first in 1965 and toured until 2005, just before his death from post-surgery infections on 5/1/2006, age 65
1942 ● Holmes Sterling Morrison, Jr. → Founding member and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat” (1968), died of cancer on 8/30/1995, age 53
1943 ● Dick Halligan → Keyboards, flute and vocals for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Chris Copping → Bassist and organist for English beat The Paramounts, “Poison Ivy” (#35, 1964), joined prog/psych rock Procol Harum in 1969, “Conquistador” (#16, 1972), later with Astrid Monday and art-rock Gnidrolog
1953 ● Rick Downey → Tour drummer for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, played on the tour that resulted in the Extraterrestrial Live album (#29, 1982) and the subsequent The Revölution By Night (#93, 1983)
1958 ● Elizabeth Fraser → Vocals for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1958 ● Michael Jackson / (Michael Joseph Jackson) → The “King of Pop,” singer, songwriter, cultural icon and pre-teen front for R&B/pop-soul sibling band The Jackson Five, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), went solo in 1971 and recorded “Billie Jean” (#1, 1983) and 11 other US #1 hits and 9 US Top 10 albums, the most successful pop entertainer of all time, died from heart failure induced by a doctor-administered mix of anxiety-relieving drugs and sedatives on 6/25/2009, age 50
1959 ● Eddi Reader / (Sadenia Reader) → Singer and songwriter for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988), solo
1963 ● Jerry Fehily → Drummer for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1967 ● Anton Newcombe → Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman for eclectic indie rock/neo-psychedelic The Brian Jonestown Massacre, with over a dozen albums to date, including Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request (1996), an homage to The Rolling Stones psych-rock album (1967)
1969 ● Me’Shell NdegeOcello / (Mary Johnson) → Singer/songwriter, rapper, bassist and R&B/neo-soul and jazz-pop vocalist, duet with John (Cougar) Mellencamp, “Wild Night” (#3, 1994) plus solo, “Who Is He And What Is He To You? (Dance/Club #1, 1996)
1970 ● Groove Martin / (Carl Martin) → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1971 ● Alex Griffin → Bassist for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1975 ● Kyle Cook → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1980 ● David Desrosiers → Bassist and backing vocals for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1993 ● Liam Payne → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

August 30
1919 ● Kitty Wells / (Ellen Muriel Deason) → Pioneering country music singer and the first female country star for her barrier-breaking hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (#27, Country #1, 1952), recorded 27 other Country Top 10 hits and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award for her 30 year recording career, died from complications of a stroke on 7/16/2012, age 92
1928 ● Johnny Mann → Composer of film scores and advertising jingles in the 50s, voice of Theodore on the original TV series Alvin & The Chipmunks (1961), music director for the NBC Comedy Hour and The Joey Bishop Show, and frontman for Grammy-winning clean-cut 60s and 70s easy listening Johnny Mann Singers, died of heart failure on 6/18/2014, age 85
1930 ● Ernie Ball / (Ronald Sherwood Ball) → Musician and business entrepreneur in guitar-related products through his Ernie Ball and Music Man companies, developed and sold the “Slinky” set of guitar strings used by Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and many current guitarists, continued to be involved with the business until his death after a long illness on 9/9/2004, age 74
1935 ● John Phillips → Known as “Papa John,” singer, songwriter, guitarist, founder and frontman for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1,1966), died of heart failure on 3/18/2001, age 65
1939 ● John Peel / (John Robert Parker Ravenscroft) → Offshore pirate station Radio London DJ, then from 1967 to 2004 the longest serving BBC Radio 1 and most influential British DJ ever, died in Peru of a heart attack on 10/25/2004, age 65
1941 ● John McNally → Founder, guitarist and singer for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1943 ● Robert Crumb → Artist, comic book and album cover illustrator, founder of the satirical and subversive underground comix movement, developed the “Keep on truckin'” and “Fritz the Cat” characters
1944 ● Chuck Colbert / (Charles Colbert) → Bassist for pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968)
1945 ● Fred Tackett → Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, first as a session player for and since 1988 as a full-time member of Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1950 ● Micky Moody → Guitarist in Brit blues-rock Juicy Lucy, covered Bo Diddley‘s classic “Who Do You Love” (UK #14, 1970), left in 1973 for session work, in 1978 joined Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987) but left for solo career and sessions
1951 ● Dana / (Rosemary Brown Scallon) → Irish folk-pop singer, won the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest with the worldwide hit “All Kinds Of Everything” (UK #1, 1970), in the 90s shifted to Christian pop music, “As We Lay” (#59, 1997)
1952 ● Kenny Andrews → Singer in Brit doo wop/rock ‘n’ roll revival vocal group Darts, “Don’t Let It Fade Away” (UK #18, 1978)
1953 ● Horace Panter / (Stephen Graham Panter) → Bassist for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), then pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994) and The Specials reunion concert, author and special needs teacher
1954 ● Ron Beitle → Drummer with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976)
1958 ● Martin Jackson → Drummer with post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978) and for Brit sophisti-pop Swing Out Sister, “Breakout” (#6, 1987) plus other Manchester New Wave bands
1961 ● Keith McKenzie → Founding member and drummer for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebenezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Paul Oakenfold → Dance-pop “house” music pioneer and DJ, toured with U2, Perfecto Records founder, producer and remixer for Happy Mondays, Simply Red, M People, New Order, Stone Roses and U2
1964 ● Robert Clivillés → 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)
1966 ● Peter Cunnah → Lead singer for 90s techno-dance-pop D:Ream, “U R The Best Thing” (Dance #1, 1993), solo
1971 ● Lars Frederiksen → Danish-American guitarist and vocalist in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995), producer
1974 ● Rich Cronin → Lead singer and chief songwriter for pop/rap trio LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones or Low Frequency Oscillator), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999), left the band and attempted a solo career until dying from complications of leukemia on 9/8/2007, age 35
1986 ● George Ross / (George Ryan Ross III) → Lead guitarist and singer for alt rock/pop punk quartet Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

August 31
1918 ● Alan Jay Lerner → Grammy-winning stage, screen and pop music lyricist and librettist, songwriting partner of Frederick Loewe, co-wrote dozens of Broadway shows and movies including Brigadoon (1947), My Fair Lady (1956) and Camelot (1960), died from lung cancer on 6/14/1986, age 67
1937 ● Bobby Parker / (Robert Lee Parker) → Electric blues and blues-rock guitarist and songwriter, his lone charting single, “Watch Your Step” (#51, 1961) was covered by The Beatles, Spencer Davis Group, Carlos Santana and others, continued to record and perform regionally until his death from a heart attack on 10/31/2013, age 76
1939 ● Jerry Allison / (Jerry Ivan Allison) → Drummer in rock ‘n’ roll Buddy Holly & The Crickets, co-wrote “That’ll Be The Day” (#1, 1957) and “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), after splitting with Holly became de factor leader of The Crickets, but their success was limited
1940 ● Wilton Felder → Founding member and saxophonist with hard bop The Jazz Crusaders (jazz-funk The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979), plus side work as a solo artist and session musician on electric bass for Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Randy Newman and others, died from myeloma on 9/27/2015, age 75
1944 ● Roger Dean → English artist and album cover designer for Asia, Atomic Rooster, Greenslade, Steve Howe, Uriah Heep, Yes and others
1945 ● Van Morrison / (George Ivan Morrison) → Northern Irish singer, songwriter, musician and poet, started as lead singer for Irish garage rock Them, “Here Comes The Night” (#24, UK #2, 1965), then a long and prolific blue eyed soul/rock solo career, “Brown Eyed Girl” (#10, UK #8, 1967) and over 40 albums plus six Grammy Awards
1945 ● Bob Welch → Pop/rock guitarist for pre-superstardom Fleetwood Mac, “Hypnotized” (1973), left in 1974 for largely unsuccessful solo career, “Sentimental Lady” (#8, 1978), committed suicide with a shotgun on 6/7/2012, age 66
1947 ● Peter Gage → Guitarist, pianist, composer and producer, founding member of blue-eyed soul Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, “Michael (The Lover)” (UK #39, 1966), later co-founded jazz-rock fusion Dada and R&B/horn band Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks (his future wife), produced songs for Brooks and albums for Joan Armatrading and The Meteors, among others
1948 ● Andy Stein → Classically trained violinist, saxophonist, arranger and composer, started with country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), thereafter in sessions or show bands and recordings with classical greats Itzhak Perlman and Placido Domingo, with pop artists Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and many others, with jazz artists Wynton Marsalis, Manhattan Transfer and multiple others, played with the Prairie Home Companion (PBS-TV) house band for 22 years
1948 ● Rudolf Schenker → Founder (at age 16), rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1955 ● Anthony Thistlethwaite → Multi-instrumentalist for Celtic folk-rock The Waterboys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), sessions, solo
1957 ● Gina Schock → Drummer for New Wave pop-punk girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”, (#2, 1982), the most successful all-female pop and rock band of all time and the only one to play their own instruments and write their own songs
1957 ● Glenn Tilbrook → Songwriter, guitar and vocals for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981)
1959 ● Tony DeFranco → Lead singer for teen bubblegum-pop sibling quintet The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1960 ● Chris Whitley / (Christopher Becker Whitley) → Roots and blues-rock guitarist and songwriter with two charting singles in the 90s, “Big Sky Country” (Mainstream Rock #36, 1991) and “Living With The Law” (Mainstream Rock #28, 1991), died from lung cancer on 11/20/2005, age 45
1961 ● Bruce Guthro → Lead vocals and guitar for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Larry Waddell → Keyboards for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1963 ● Reb Beach / (Richard Earl Beach, Jr.) → Berklee College of Music graduate, session guitarist for Chaka Khan, Roger Daltrey and The Bee Gees in the mid-80s, co-founded glam/prog metal Winger (“Headed For A Heartbreak,” #19, Mainstream #8, 1989) in the late 80s, played with several prominent hard rock and metal bands in the 90s, including Alice Cooper, Dokken and Sega, joined reformed Whitesnake in 2002 and currently tours and records with Winger and Whitesnake
1967 ● Gerard Love → Bassist for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1969 ● Jeff Russo → Guitarist for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1970 ● Debbie Gibson / (Deborah Ann Gibson) → Teen pop singer-songwriter, “Foolish Beat” (#1, 1988) and seven other Top 25 hits in the late 80s, actress
1977 ● Craig Nicholls → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for Aussie garage rock revival The Vines, “Get Free” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2002)
1977 ● Del Marquis / (Derek Gruen) → Guitarist for dance-glam-rock Scissor Sisters, “Filthy Gorgeous” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)

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