Posts Tagged heavy metal birthdays

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)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (June 16 – 22)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 16
1934 ● Carl “Little Caesar” Burnett / (Carl Burnett) → Frontman and lead vocals for L.A.-based doo wop Little Caesar & The Romans and their one hit wonder single “Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)” (#9, 1961), one of the last doo wop era hits
1939 ● Crash Craddock / (Billy Wayne Craddock) → 50s teen-pop turned country-pop singer, “Rub It In” (#16, Country #1, 1974) and 18 other Country Top 20 singles in the 70s
1941 ● Lamont DozierMotown Records‘ musical arranger and producer with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, co-wrote many hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and others
1942 ● Edward Levert → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1942 ● John Rostill → Composer and bassist, early career in backing bands for touring artists including The Everly Brothers and Tommy Roe plus a stint in the Zoot Money Quartet (with future Police guitarist Andy Summers), joined instrumental pop-rock The Shadows (“Foot Tapper,” UK #1, 1963) in the early 60s, wrote or co-wrote a number of hits for The Shadows and other artists, including “Let Me Be There” for Olivia Newton-John (#6, 1973), died from electrocution in his home recording studio on 11/26/1973, age 31
1945 ● Ivan Lins → Latin Grammy-winning Brazilian jazz-pop vocalist with a 40-year recording history and multiple covers of his compositions by a diverse and growing group of artists, including Elle Fitzgerald, Sting, Dave Grusin, Michael Bublé and many others
1945 ● Rudolph Damiani → Founding member and drummer for 60s Boston-based garage rock The Remains (“Don’t Look Back,” 1966), the band received critical acclaim, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hullabaloo, and opened for The Beatless’ 1966 tour but gained little commercial success and disbanded in 1966, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 2/23/2014, age 68
1946 ● Ian Matthews / (Iain Matthew McDonald) → Irish guitarist and songwriter with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), formed light pop-folk-rock Southern Comfort, “Woodstock” (#23, 1970), solo, “Shake It” (#13, 1979)
1949 ● Peppy Castro / (Emil Thielheim) → Guitar and vocals for early psychedelic rock Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967), later formed pop-rock Balance, “Breaking Away” (#22, 1981)
1950 ● James Smith → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1952 ● Gino Vannelli → Canadian soft rock singer/songwriter, “People Gotta Move” (#22, 1974) and “Living Inside Myself” (#6, 1981)
1953 ● Ian Mosley → Drummer for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1953 ● Malcolm Paul Mortimer → Drummer for Gentle Giant, Mick Jagger band, Ian Dury and others, session work
1954 ● Garry Roberts / (Garrick “Garry” Roberts) → Guitarist for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1958 ● Patrick Waite → With brother Junior, bass guitar and vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982), died from hereditary heart failure while in police custody for drug charges on 2/13/1993, age 34
1971 ● 2Pac / (Lesane Parish Crooks) → Dancer and rapper for Digital Underground, then solo gangsta rapper, “California Love” (#31, 1996), died following a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip on 9/13/1996, age 25
1987 ● Diana DeGarmoAmerican Idol runner-up, Broadway actress, solo teen-pop singer, “Dreams” (#14, 2004)

June 17
1902 ● Sammy Fain / (Samuel E. Feinberg) → Broadway show songwriter and film score composer, penned the music for endearing popular songs, including “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” (1937) and “Tender Is The Night” (1962), won Oscars for “Secret Love” (1953) and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” (1955), scored film soundtracks for Alice In Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), April Love (1957) and the Broadway shows Hellzapoppin’ (1938), Christine (1960) and others, died from a heart attack on 12/6/1989, age 87
1910 ● Red Foley / (Clyde Julian Foley) → Pioneer country-pop crossover star in the post-WWII era with 56 Country Top 10 hits and 13 Pop Top 40 hits from 1944 to 1956, including “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” (#1, Country #1, 1950), continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack after a show in Indiana on 9/19/1968, age 58
1916 ● Terry Gilkyson / (Hamilton H. Gilkyson III) → Folk-pop singer and songwriter, wrote “The Cry Of The Wild Goose” (#1, 1950) for Frankie Lane and songs used by other artists, sang with The Weavers on “On Top Of Old Smokey” (#2, 1953), formed influential but unheralded folk trio The Easy Riders in the mid-50s and co-wrote their big hit, the oft-covered “Marianne” (#3, 1957), wrote songs that were used in Disney films, died from complications of an aneurysm on 10/15/1999 , age 83
1918 ● Billy Garland / (William Jefferson Garland) → Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter in the 40s, “Got Nothing On Me” (1945), died in a car accident on 3/16/1960, age 41
1930 ● Cliff Gallup → Guitarist for rockabilly Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (#7, 1956), died of a heart attack on 10/9/1988, age 58
1937 ● Edward Farran → With his identical twin brother, Fred and brothers Tom and Scott Herrick, singer in pop cover quartet The Arbors (“The Letter,” #20, 1969), coached rock and pop singers with voice lessons and wrote and sang commercial jingles for three decades thereafter, died of kidney failure on 1/2/2003, age 65
1937 ● Fred Farran → With his identical twin brother, Ed and brothers Tom and Scott Herrick, singer in pop cover quartet The Arbors (“The Letter,” #20, 1969), stayed as a group after their fame ran out and wrote and recorded commercial jingles for three decades thereafter, died of pneumonia on 8/29/2011, age 74
1939 ● Dave Alldred → Drummer in 50s Tex-Mex rockabilly The Rhythm Orchids with Buddy Knox, “Party Doll” (#1, 1957), co-wrote “Click Clack” (#28, 1958) and performed the song and others in the pop band Dickey Doo & The Don’ts, continued to perform in the 90s
1940 ● Chuck Rainey → Jazz and R&B/soul-funk bassist for King Curtis‘ band, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, 1967), session work with Aretha Franklin and many others
1942 ● Norman Kuhlke → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1943 ● Barry Manilow / (Barry Alan Pincus) → Highly successful adult contemporary/MOR singer, “I Write The Songs” (#1, 1976), songwriter, producer, conductor and stage performer
1944 ● Chris Spedding / (Peter Robinson) → Brit rock and jazz guitarist with several solo albums and a lone single, “Motorbikin'” (UK Top 20, 1975), but mainly known for sessions and touring with Harry Nilsson, John Cale, Roxy Music, Elton John and others, Greedy Bastards
1947 ● Gregg Rolie → Keyboardist and founding member of Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970) , then original lead singing for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), currently frontman for the Gregg Rolie Band
1947 ● Paul Young → Singer and percussionist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Café, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979), then pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), died of a heart attack on 7/15/2000, age 53
1949 ● Russell Smith → Founding member, lead singer, guitarist and somgwriter for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), left the group in 1985 for a country music career as a solo artist (“I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight,” Country #37, 1989) and songwriter with four County #1 hits, including “Look Heart, No Hands” (Country #1, 1993) for Randy Travis
1951 ● Lenny LeBlanc → Guitarist, session musician, songwriter and one half of the light pop-rock duo LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), as part of the Muscle Shoals Studios (Alabama) house band recorded with numerous top artists, including The Supremes, Ricky Scaggs, Roy Orbison, Amy Grant and others, switched to Christian music in the 80s and continues to record and produce music
1957 ● Philip Chevron → Guitarist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Jello Biafra / (Eric Boucher) → Lead singer and songwriter for controversial hard core punk rock Dead Kennedys, “Too Drunk To F**k” (UK #31, 1980), leading figure of the Green Party in the US
1960 ● Michael Monroe / (Matti Fagerholm) → Vocals for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, “Up Around The Bend” (1984)
1965 ● Richard Hynd → Drummer for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1969 ● Kevin Thornton → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1972 ● Rikrok / (Ricardo George Ducent) → London-born, Jamaican descent reggae singer and songwriter, “It Wasn’t Me” (#1, 2000)
1981 ● Ben Kweiler → Former teenage frontman for 90s post-grunge Radish, then solo, “Wasted & Ready” (Modern Rock #29, 2002) and two acclaimed Indie Top 10 albums, Ben Kweiler (#1, 2006 and Changing Horses (#8, 2009)
1983 ● Lee Ryan → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1987 ● Kendrick Lamar Duckworth → Grammy-winning hip hop solo artist (“Swimming Pools (Drank),” #17, Rap #1, 2012) and member of West Coast rap collaborative supergroup Black Hippy
1989 ● Simone Battle / (Simone Sherise Battle) → Actress and singer, The X Factor finalist in 2011 and member of pop girl group G.R.L. (“Ugly Heart,” #107, UK #11, 2014), committed suicide by hanging on 9/5/2014, age 25

June 18
1913 ● Sammy Cahn / (Samuel Cohen) → LA-based musician, songwriter and Tin Pan Alley-style lyricist for romantic films and Broadway shows, wrote or co-wrote dozens of popular songs, including the enduring and oft-covered “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (Vaughan Moore, #1, 1946), collaborated on multiple hits by Frank Sinatra, including “All The Way” (#1, 1957), died from congestive heart failure on 1/15/1993, age 79
1938 ● Sugarcane Harris / (Don Francis Bowman Harris) → Guitarist, pianist and half the 50s rock ‘n’ roll duo Don & Dewey, switched to electric violin and did session work for Little Richard, John Mayall, Frank Zappa and others, died from pulmonary disease on 11/30/1999, age 61
1942 ● Paul McCartney → The most successful rock composer of all time, with John Lennon co-wrote 21 US #1 and has over 30 US #1 singles as a solo artist and frontman for his band Wings
1942 ● Richard Perry → Highly successful and popular record producer with twelve gold discs, label owner (Planet Records, 1978-83), worked with Captain Beefheart, The Pointer Sisters, Diana Ross, Leo Sayer, Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand and others
1942 ● Carl Radle → Bass guitarist for Derek & The Dominos, Eric Clapton band, Delaney & Bonnie, sessions for George Harrison, died of kidney failure on 5/30/1980, age 37
1944 ● Sandy Posey → Session vocalist for Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge (backing vocals on “When A Man Loves A Woman,” #1, 1966) and others, then pop singer, “Born A Woman” (#12, 1966) and three more Top 40 hits in the 60s, turned to countrypolitan pop in the 70s and scored six Country Top 40 hits, continued to record and perform into the 00s
1944 ● Rick Griffin / (Richard Alden Griffin) → Cartoonist, graphic artist and pioneering designer of psychedelic posters and album covers, including work for the Grateful Dead, the Fillmore West, Jimi Hendrix and others, frequent contributor to Zap Comix magazine, died in a motorcycle accident on 8/18/1991, age 47
1952 ● Ricky Gazda → Trumpets for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (“Talk To Me,” 1978) and later as a member of The Miami Horns, the touring and session recording horn section that backed Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven, <, Sheryl Crow and many others
1953 ● Jerome Smith → Rhythm guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits, died in a construction site accident on 7/28/2000, age 47
1961 ● Alison Moyet → Bluesy-voiced Brit pop-rock singer in synth-pop duo Yazoo, “Nobody’s Diary” (Dance/Club #1, 1983), solo, “Invisible” (#31, 1985)
1963 ● Dizzy Reed / (Darren Arthur Reed) → Keyboards for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988)
1969 ● Sice / (Simon Rowbottom) → Guitarist and vocals for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Nathan Morris → Baritone for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1973 ● Gary Stringer → Vocals for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1973 ● Ray LaMontagne → Folk, folk-rock and folk-blues singer, songwriter and guitarist with five studio LPs, including Gossip In The Grain (#3, 2008), and multiple singles (“Beg, Steal Or Borrow,” AAA #1, 2010)
1975 ● Sikk The Shocker / (Vyshonne King Miller) → Vocals for gangsta rap trio The Real Untouchables (TRU), “I Always Feel Like” (#71, Rap #11, 1997), solo, “It Ain’t My Fault” (#18, R&B #5, Rap #1, 1998)
1976 ● Blake Shelton → Country-pop crossover singer, songwriter and TV show star, “Austin” #18, Country #1, 2001) and 19 other Country #1 hits plus 13 other Pop Top 40 hits, judge of music competition shows Nashville Star, Clash Of The Choirs and The Voice

June 19
1902 ● Guy Lombardo / (Gaetano Alberto Lombardo) → Canadian-American easy listening violinist and bandleader, formed big band The Royal Canadians with three brothers and several other musicians in the 20s and became known for nearly 50 years of New Years Eve radio and then TV broadcasts, moonlighted as a hydroplane speedboat racer, won the Gold Cup and every other trophy in the field, died from a heart attack on 11/5/1977, age 75
1914 ● Lester Flatt → Legendary and musically prodigious bluegrass guitarist, cohort of Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys and in duo Flatt & Scruggs, died of heart failure on 5/11/1979, age 64
1925 ● Charlie Drake / (Charles Edward Spungall) → Brit comedian, children’s songwriter, TV actor and BBC program host, and (in the U.S.) one hit wonder novelty song singer, “My Boomerang Won’t Come Back” (#21, UK #14, 1962), died in his sleep on 12/23/2006, age 81
1936 ● Tommy DeVito → Founding member, guitarist and singer for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), left in 1971 and sold his stake in the group to cover gambling and tax debts
1936 ● Shirley Goodman → One half of 50s teen R&B/pop male-female contrasting duet-style Shirley & Lee, “Let The Good Times Roll” (#20, R&B #1, 1956), resurfaced as lead singer for one hit wonder, pre-disco dance-pop Shirley & Company, “Shame Shame Shame” (#12, 1974), died on 7/5/2005, age 69
1939 ● Al Wilson → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, “Show and Tell” (#1, 1973), died of kidney failure on 4/21/2008, age 68
1942 ● Spanky McFarlane / (Elaine McFarlane) → Frontwoman and lead vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), joined the reformed The Mamas & The Papas in 1982
1944 ● Robin Box → Lead guitar for Brit pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1945 ● Robert Palmer, Jr. / (Robert Franklon Palmer, Jr.) → Musician, journalist, author and rock music critic, played clarinet in 60s jazz-rock The Insect Trust, covered rock music for the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s and 80s, produced blues albums and published books in the 80s and 90s, died from liver disease on 11/20/1997, age 52
1948 ● Nick Drake → Dark-themed, multi-instrumentalist Brit folk-rock singer/songwriter, notable album Pink Moon (1972), committed suicide on 11/25/1974, age 26
1950 ● Ann Wilson → With younger sister Nancy, co-frontwoman for hard AOR rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1953 ● Larry Dunn / (Larry Dunn (Lawrence Dunhill)) → Keyboards, synthesizer and musical director for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1954 ● Lou Pearlman / (Louis Jay Pearlman) → Record producer, band manager and fraudster known first as the manager of 90s boy bands Backstreet Boys (“Quit Playing Games )With My Heart),” #2, UK #2, 1996) and NSYNC (“Bye Bye Bye,” $1, UK #3, 2000), later achieved infamy as the perpetrator of a $300 million Ponzi scheme, tried and convicted in 2008, sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he died from a heart attack on 8/19/2016, age 62
1957 ● Maxi Jazz / (Maxwell Fraser) → Rapper in electronic house-pop club quartet Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1959 ● Marty DeBarge / (Mark DeBarge) → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1960 ● Dennis Fuller → With Edem Ephraim, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Ephraim in a car collision on 1/21/1996, age 36
1962 ● Paula Abdul → Former L. A. Laker cheerleader and rock/pop stage and video dance choreographer turned hugely successful dance-pop diva, “Opposites Attract” (#1, 1989) and five other US #1 hits, producer and judge on the TV show American Idol
1963 ● Simon Wright → Drummer for hard rock AC/DC starting in 1983, left in 1989 to join heavy metal Dio
1964 ● Brian Vander Ark → Frontman, guitar and vocals for alt/indie pop-rock The Verve Pipe, “The Freshmen” (#5, 1997)
1970 ● Brian “Head” Welch / (Brian Welch) → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002), solo
1976 ● Scott Avett / (Scott Yancey Avett) → With brother Seth, frontman and guitarist in progressive folk-rock quartet The Avett Brothers (Ain’t No Man,” AAA #1, Alt Rock #28, 2016), also paints and runs an art gallery in North Carolina
1983 ● Macklemore / (Ben Haggerty) → Rapper and songwriter, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with Ryan Lewis as the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the pair had back-to-back debut singles, “Can’t Hold Us” (#1, 2011) and “Thrift Shop” (#1, 2013), and four Grammy Awards in 2014

June 20
1907 ● Jimmy Driftwood / (James Corbitt Morris) → Legendary and prolific country, folk-pop and roots rock songwriter, wrote thousands of songs (of which some 300 were recorded), often with American history themes such as the oft-covered “The Battle Of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton, #1, 1959), died of a heart attack on 7/12/1998, age 91
1920 ● Danny Cedrone / (Donato Joseph Cedrone) → Rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Bill Haley & His Comets, played lead on all their hits including “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died instantly from a broken neck after falling down a staircase on 6/7/1954 at age 34 and never knew his role in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll
1924 ● Chet Atkins / (Chester Burton Atkins) → Eleven-time Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist, songwriter, sessionman, producer and solo artist, “Yakety Axe” (Country #4, 1965), created the smoother “Nashville Sound” blending country and pop, died from a brain tumor on 6/30/2001, age 77
1928 ● Eric Dolphy → avant-garde “free jazz” flute, alto sax and clarinet musician, influenced jazz-rock fusionists, died suddenly from a diabetic coma on 6/29/1964, age 36
1936 ● Billy Guy → Bass singer for R&B/doo wop/soul-pop The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958), solo comedy album plus producer, died in his sleep of a probable heart attack on 11/5/2002, age 66
1936 ● Mickie Most / (Michael Peter Hayes) → Producer for The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, Lulu and Jeff Beck, formed RAK Records in 1969 and issued hits for Hot Chocolate, Mud and Suzi Quatro, died of cancer on 5/30/2003, age 66
1937 ● Jerry Keller → One hit wonder pop singer/songwriter, “Here Comes Summer” (#14, UK #1, 1959), wrote several minors hit for others and soundtracks, TV commercial jingle vocalist
1942 ● Brian Wilson → Leader, keyboards, bass guitar, lead and backing harmony vocals and chief songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), referred by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “one of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music”
1945 ● Anne Murray → Grammy-winning, Nova Scotia-born country-pop and adult contemporary singer, “You Needed Me” (#1, 1978)
1947 ● Dolores “LaLa” Brooks / (Dolores Brooks (Sakinah Muhammad)) → Early member and lead vocals for influential Afro-American, Phil Spector-controlled girl group The Crystals, sang lead on the hits “Da Doo Ron Ron” (#3, 1963) and “Then He Kissed Me” (#6, UK #2, 1963), later acted in various Broadway musicals, toured and provided backing vocals for Isaac Hayes, the Neville Brothers and others, converted to Islam with her husband in the late 60s and participated in several Crystals reunion performances in the 80s through the 00s
1948 ● Alan Longmuir → With his younger brother, Derek, founding member and bassist for Scottish tartan-clad, teen-pop 70s boy group Bay City Rollers (“Saturday Night,” #1, 1976), left the group in 1976 due to stress-related issues and became a plumbing tradesman and building inspector, contracted an unspecified illness while on vacation in Mexico, returned home and died on 7/2/2018, age 70
1948 ● Don Airey → Long and varied journeyman career as keyboard sessionman and bandmember for Hammer, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Colosseum II, Whitesnake, Judas Priest and others, with Deep Purple since 2002
1949 ● Lionel Richie → Saxophone and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978), then hugely successful R&B-pop/adult contemporary solo career beginning with “Endless Love” (#1, 1981), the first of 13 straight Top 10 hits, five of which were #1
1954 ● Michael Anthony / (Michael Anthony Sobolewski) → Founding member and only bassist for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), co-founded blues-funk-rock supergroup Chickenfoot in 2008, markets a line of hot sauces and related products named Mad Anthony
1958 ● Simon Underwood → Bassist for post-punk Pigbag, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” (Dance/Club #56, UK #3, 1981)
1958 ● Kelly Johnson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981), died of spinal cancer on 7/15/2007, age 49
1960 ● Chris Gibson → Percussion and vocals with brothers Patrick and Alex in R&B/disco-salsa The Gibson Brothers, “Cuba” (Dance/Club #9, 1979)
1960 ● John Taylor → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001), co-founded The Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and mid-90s supergroup Neurotic Outsiders, “Jerk” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1996), plus solo, ” I Do What I Do” (Theme from 9-1/2 Weeks) (#23, 1986)
1967 ● Jerome Fontamillas → Guitars, keyboards and vocals with several industrial and alt rock bands in the 90s, in 2000 joined Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1968 ● Murphy Karges → Bassist for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1971 ● Twiggy Ramirez / (Jeordie Osbourne White) → Bassist for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later Nine Inch Nails touring band, A Perfect Circle and Goon Moon
1972 ● Chino Moreno → Vocals for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000), ranked #51 in Hit Parader magazine’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time
1977 ● Amos Lee / (Ryan Anthony Massaro) → School teacher and bartender turned folk, rock and soul singer-songwriter, toured as an opening act for numerous top artists, including Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Merle Haggard and Van Morrison, his Mission Bell album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2011
1979 ● Charlotte Hatherly → Founding member, guitar and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)

June 21
1926 ● Nick Noble / (Nicholas Valkan) → Pop and easy listening singer with several Top 40 hits in the 50s and 60s, including “A Fallen Star” (#22, 1957) and a minor but near-career reviving country-pop crossover hit, “Stay With Me” (AC #38, Country #40, 1978), died on 3/24/2012, age 85
1932 ● Lalo Schifrin → Argentinean-born, Grammy-winning pianist, conductor, composer and arranger of TV and film soundtracks, including “Mission: Impossible” (Adult Contemporary #7, 1968), “Jaws” (Disco #5, 1976) and the theme song to Mannix (1967-1975), also worked with Clint Eastwood to compose the scores to several films in the Dirty Harry series
1932 ● Carl White → Lead vocals and songwriter for 60s R&B/doo wop two hit wonder quartet The Rivingtons, co-wrote their novelty pop classics “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” (#48, 1962) and “The Bird’s The Word” (#52, 1963), died from acute tonsillitis on 1/7/1980, age 47
1942 ● O.C. Smith / (Ocie Lee Smith) → Jazz vocalist in Count Basie‘s band, then country-R&B-pop solo singer, “Little Green Apples” (#2, 1968), later became a pastor and church leader, died on 11/23/2001, age 59
1944 ● Philip John Hiseman / (Jon Hiseman) → British jazz-, blues- and progressive rock drummer, recording engineer, producer and prolific music publisher, often in collaboration with his wife, saxophonist and composer Barbara Thompson, replaced Ginger Baker (who joined with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton in Cream) in 1966 in John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, left to form prog rock Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, UK #15, 1969) and Tempest in 1971, formed Colosseum II in 1976, after 1979 worked with various jazz-rock ensembles until reuniting the original Colosseum in 1994 for two decades, continued to record and perform up to his suffering complications from brain tumor surgery and dying several weeks later on 6/12/2018, age 73
1944 ● Miquel Vicens Danus → Bassist for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1944 ● Ray Davies → Founding member, frontman, guitar, vocals and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970) and “Come Dancing” (#6, 1983)
1946 ● Brenda Holloway → Second-tier Motown Records R&B/soul singer, “Every Little Bit Hurts” (#13, 1964), left the label in the late 60s for “religious reasons” and to raise a family, released a one-off gospel album in 1980, returned to recording and performing on the revival circuit and continues as of 2015
1947 ● Joey Molland / (Joseph Charles Molland) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), has performed in various incarnations of the band for four decades
1949 ● Greg Munford → Lead vocals for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Joey Kramer / (Joseph Michael Kramer) → Long-time drummer for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1951 ● Alan Silson → Lead guitar and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1951 ● Nils Lofgren → Rock guitarist, pianist, songwriter and vocals, joined Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse in 1968, from 1971 to 1974 recorded four albums with his own band, Grin, solo, “Valentine”, (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1984 and is a two-time member with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band
1957 ● Mark Brzezicki → Drummer for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), also stints with The Cult, Ultravox and Procol Harum, plus session work for The Pretenders, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and others
1959 ● Kathy Mattea → Grammy-winning bluegrass and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Goin’ Gone” (Country #1, 1987) and 13 other Country Top 10 singles
1959 ● Marcella Detroit / (Marcella Levy) → Back-up singer for Eric Clapton, then vocalist and songwriter in R&B/synth-pop duo Shakespear’s Sister, “Stay” (#4, 1992), sessions, solo
1967 ● Tim Simenon → Hip hop producer, co-produced for Neneh Cherry and Seal, composer and frontman for one man electronic/sampladelic Bomb The Bass, “Beat Dis” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1968 ● Sonique / (Sonia Clarke) → Brit dance-pop diva and DJ, first with dance-pop acid house S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988), then solo, “Feels So Good” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 2000)
1969 ● Pat Sansone → Multi-instrumentalist for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1975 ● Justin Cary → Bassist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1976 ● Michael Aaron Einziger → Guitarist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Brandon Flowers → Vocals and keyboards for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1985 ● Lana Del Ray / (Elizabeth Grant) → Model, guitarist and trip hop/house singer, “Summertime Sadness” (#6, 2012)

June 22
1913 ● Dotty Todd / (Doris Dabb) → With her husband in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from natural causes on 10/10/2007, age 87
1927 ● Remo Delmo Belli → Creator of the less expensive, more durable synthetic drumhead cover in the late 50s, which launched thousands of 60s garage bands and fueled the rock ‘n’ roll boom, died from pneumonia on 4/25/2016, age 88
1930 ● Roy Drusky → Countrypolitan music singer and songwriter with twelve Country Top 10 hits in the 60s and 70s but only one crossover single, “Three Hearts In A Triangle” (#35, Country #2, 1961), died from lung cancer on 9/23/2004, age 74
1936 ● Kris Kristofferson → Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter, wrote “Me & Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin, #1, 1971), solo artist, “Why Me” (#16, Country #1, 1973), film actor in many top films and roles, including A Star Is Born (1976) opposite Barbra Streisand, husband of folkie Rita Coolidge from 1973 to 1980
1937 ● Chris Blackwell → Highly-influential Brit music executive and producer, founder of fiercely independent Island Records, which forged the early careers of Traffic, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and countless other rock acts, founded Mango Records and Palm Records, currently oversees Jamaican resort properties and philanthropic organizations
1942 ● Deodato / (Eumir Deodato de Almeida) → Brazilian multi-instrumentalist producer and arranger known for mixing rock, R&B/funk and heavy Latin influences in a crossover orchestral jazz sound, scored several instrumental pop and disco dance-pop hits in the 70s and 80s, including a rendition of “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” (#2, 1973), also arranged and produced hundreds of albums for multiple artists over three decades through the 00s
1944 ● Peter Asher → With Gordon Waller, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, manager, record producer and one-time head of Apple Records
1944 ● Bill Thompson → Manager for psychedelic rock Jefferson Airplane (“Somebody To Love,” #5, 1967) through successful but turbulent times from 1968 to 1972, stayed with the band members for various solo projects, including folk-rock Hot Tuna (LP Burgers, 1972) and reformation as electric folk/pop-rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975) and spinoff pop-rock Starship (“We Built This City,” #1, 1985), died of a heart attack on 1/12/2015, age 70
1947 ● Howard Kaylan / (Howard Kaplan) → With long-time collaborator Mark Vollman, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Vollman, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Todd Rundgren → Guitarist, singer/songwriter, bandleader for pop-rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#71, 1969) and Utopia, “Set Me Free” (#27, 1980), solo, “I Saw The Light” (#16, 1972), member of The New Cars, “Not Tonight” (2006) and producer of albums by Meat Loaf, The Band, Badfinger and Grand Funk Railroad, among others
1949 ● Alan Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1953 ● Cyndi Lauper → Nasally-voiced, rag-tag early MTV star pop-rock girl solo singer, “Time After Time” (#1, 1983)
1956 ● Derek Forbes → Bassist for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1956 ● Green Gartside / (Paul Julian Strohmeyer) → Wales-born founding member, frontman, songwriter, vocals and only constant member of left-wing post-punk then pop-punk Scritti Politti, “Perfect Way” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1985)
1957 ● Gary Beers → Bassist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Ruby Turner → Jamaican-born R&B/soul singer, backing vocals for R&B/reggae UB40 and Culture Club, then solo, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” (R&B #1, Dance/Club #5, 1989)
1959 ● Alan Anton / (Alan Alizojvodic) → Bassist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Jimmy Somerville → Lead vocals and songwriter for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984), then vocals for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986)
1962 ● Stephen Vaughan → Bassist for alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey, “Sheela-Na-Gig” (Alt Rock #9, 1991)
1964 ● Bobby Gillespie → Drummer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994), then founding member, guitar and vocals for jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1964 ● Dicky Barrett / (Richard Michael Barrett) → Frontman and lead vocals for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997), radio DJ, TV voice-over artist and announcer for the Jimmy Kimmel Show
1964 ● Mike Edwards → Vocals for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy Cunningham → Drummer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Steven Page → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1973 ● Chris Traynor → Guitarist and co-founder of post-hardcore Orange 9mm, then joined alt heavy metal Helmet, “Exactly What You Wanted” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), worked with alt-rock Bush, “The People That We love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2001), studio soundtrack sessions for Blue Man Group, touring and sessions with Blur, Rival Schools, Katy Perry and others
1976 ● Sally Polihronas → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1981 ● Chris Urbanowicz → Guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (January 6 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

January 08
1928 ● Luther Perkins → Guitarist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), toured and recorded with Cash up to his death from injuries sustained in a house fire on 8/5/1968, age 40
1935 ● Elvis Presley / (Elvis Aron Presley) → The “King of Rock ‘N Roll” with over 100 Top 40 and 18 US #1 singles, including “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956) and “Moody Blue” (#31, Country #1, 1977) plus ten US #1 albums and sales exceeding any other popular artist, died from drug abuse on 8/16/1977, age 42
1937 ● Shirley Bassey / (Shirley Bassey, DBE) → “Bassey the Belter,” Welsh-born cabaret and pop vocalist best known in the U.S. for singing the theme songs to James Bond movies, including “Goldfinger” (#8, 1965), “Diamonds Are Forever” (#57, 1972) and “Moonraker” (1979)
1940 ● Little Anthony / (Jerome Anthony Gourdine) → Frontman for premier and long-lived R&B/doo-wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1940 ● Jimmy O’Neill → Radio disc jockey and TV host, just 19 years old when he became the top-rated DJ in Los Angeles and was the first on the air when KRLA switched from country-western to rock ‘n’ roll in 1959, rose to national celebrity as emcee of Shindig!, one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll shows on prime-time television, died from complications of diabetes on 1/11/2013, age 73
1942 ● John Petersen → Drummer for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964) and Harpers Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), died on 1/11/2013, age 73
1943 ● Lee Jackson → Bass and vocals for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968)
1943 ● Marcus Hutson → Vocals in R&B/soul-dance harmony quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1944 ● Taz DiGregorio / (William Joel DiGregorio) → Longtime keyboardist for Southern rock The Charlie Daniels Band, co-wrote the signature song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (#3, 1979), died in a single car accident while driving to a CDB performance on 10/12/2011, age 67
1946 ● Robbie Krieger / (Robert Alan Krieger) → Guitarist for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● Terry Sylvester → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964), left in 1968 to replace Graham Nash in The Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe” (#6, 1974)
1947 ● David Bowie / (David Robert Jones) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer known as the “Chameleon” for his ability to adapt his music to changing times, from vaudeville to mod to glam to Philly soul to pop-rock, “Fame” (#1, 1977) and “Let’s Dance” (#1, 1983) plus nine other Top 40 hits, released his 27th studio album just two days before he died from cancer on 1/10/2016, age 69
1955 ● Mike Reno / (Joseph Michael Rynoski) → Drums and vocals for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1957 ● Dr. Rock → Erstwhile FM radio DJ, rock and pop music aficionado and current Chief Musicologist for DrRock.com, coined the slogan “the BEST music ever made”
1959 ● Paul Hester → Drummer for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980) then Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), committed suicide by hanging on 3/26/2005, age 46
1962 ● Chris Marion → Co-founder of country rock band Western Flyer, studio musician and touring keyboardist, producer for Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys and others, vocalist and keyboardist for the current touring lineup of Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band (“Lonesome Loser,” #6, 1979), founder of TourPRO personal resource service for touring artists
1966 ● Andrew Wood → Founding member, frontman and lead singer for seminal grunge rock Malfunkshun, then joined nascent glam/punk supergroup Mother Love Bone, died from a drug overdose just as the band was beginning to gel on 3/19/1990, age 24
1968 ● R. Kelly / (Robert Sylvester Kelly) → Contemporary urban R&B vocalist, producer and songwriter, frontman for Public Announcement, “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)” (#5, 1998) then solo, “Bump N’ Grind” (#1, 1994)
1969 ● Jeff Abercrombie → Bassist for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1971 ● Karen Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1975 ● Sean Paul / (Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques) → Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall vocalist, “Get Busy” (#1, 2003)
1975 ● Stove King / (Steven William King) → Former bassist for post-Britpop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)

January 09
1901 ● Ishman Bracey → Early delta blues singer, guitarist and performer with a limited but valued catalog, best known for his “Trouble Hearted Blues” from the 1930s, became a preacher and gospel singer before dying on 2/12/1970, age 69
1915 ● Les Paul / (Lester Williams Polfus) → Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso, songwriter and country-pop singer with his wife Mary Ford, “How High The Moon” (#1, 1951), designer of eponymous solid-body guitars, died from pneumonia on 8/13/2009, age 94
1916 ● Vic Mizzy / (Victor Mizzy) → TV and movie theme song composer and pop music songwriter, co-wrote several hits in the 30s and 40s, including “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time” for Doris Day and The Les Brown Orchestra (#1, 1945), wrote the music for Green Acres, The Addams Family and other TV programs in the 60s and 70s as well as several movies, died at home from natural causes on 10/17/2009, age 93
1920 ● Clive Dunn → Brit film and TV actor, comedian and one hit wonder pop singer, “Grandad” (UK #1, 1971)
1931 ● Bill Graham / (Wolfgang Grajonca) → German-born, legendary rock impresario, producer, promoter and venue manager at the Fillmore East in New York and the Fillmore West and Winterland Arena in San Francisco, introduced many Bay-area bands to a wider audience, including Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company and Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane, continued to produce concerts and promote various rock acts until his death in a helicopter crash on 10/25/1991, ager 60
1940 ● Big Al Downing / (Al Downing) → Roots rock, R&B/blues and club/dance singer and songwriter with several minor pop hits in the 60s and 70s, “went country” in the 80s and scored five Country Top 40 hits, including “Bring It On Home” (Country #20, 1980), continued to perform until his death from leukemia on 7/4/2005, age 65
1940 ● Jimmy Boyd → Singer and TV actor with several chart singles while in his early teens, including the mega-hit “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (#1, 1952) at age 13, moved into acting and later stand-up comedy, died from cancer on 3/7/2009, age 69
1941 ● Joan Baez → Social activist, songwriter and folk-pop singer, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (#3, 1971) and the acclaimed album Diamonds & Rust (#11, 1975)
1943 ● Dick Yount → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967)
1943 ● Jerry Yester → Folk-rocker with New Christy Minstrels, Modern Folk Quartet, briefly with The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Do You Believe In Magic?” (#9, 1965), producer for The Association, The Turtles, Tim Buckley and others, reformed The Lovin’ Spoonful in the early 90s
1943 ● Roy Head → Country and rock musician with the one hit wonder blue-eyed soul single “Treat Her Right” (#2, R&B #2, 1965)
1943 ● Scott Walker / (Noel Scott Engel) → Guitar and vocals for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1943 ● Wally Kelly / (Kenneth Bernard Kelly) → Founding member and vocals for R&B/doo wop then sweet soul The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, R&B #1, 1976), left the group in the late 80s to complete a Ph.D. in biology and teach in public high schools in New Jersey and North Carolina, died from undisclosed causes on 2/17/2015, age 72
1944 ● Jimmy Page / (James Patrick Page) → Superstar guitarist, songwriter, producer and backing vocalist with The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965) then co-founded hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1969) and roots-rock The Honeydrippers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984)
1946 ● Bill Albaugh / (William E. Albaugh) → Drummer for bubblegum/psychedelic pop one hit wonder The Lemon Pipers, “Green Tambourine” (#1, UK #8, 1968), went into obscurity after the band broke up in 1969, died of natural causes on 1/20/1999, age 53
1948 ● Paul King → Guitar, kazoo and jug for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), then King Earl Boogie Band and later Skeleton Krew
1948 ● Cassie LaRue Gaines → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 29
1948 ● Billy Cowsill / (William Joseph Cowsill, Jr.) → Lead singer and guitars for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, died at home from complications of multiple long-term ailments on 2/18/2006, age 58
1948 ● Tim Hart → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975), died from lung cancer on 12/24/2009, age 61
1950 ● David Johansen → Frontman for glam-proto-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), solo, played Buster Poindexter in Saturday Night Live house band
1950 ● Steve McRay → Keyboards for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981) and session musician
1951 ● Crystal Gayle / (Brenda Gail Webb) → Country singer and songwriter, “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” (#2, 1977), plus 20 Country #1 hits, younger sister of country star Loretta Lynn by 19 years
1963 ● Eric Erlandson → Co-founder (with Courtney Love) and guitarist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1964 ● Phil Hartnoll → With brother Paul Hartnoll, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1964 ● Rocky George → Heavy metal guitarist for Suicidal Tendencies, “I’ll Hate You Better” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1993), 40 Cycle Hum, Cro-Mags and Fishbone
1965 ● Haddaway / (Alexander Nestor Haddaway) → Electronic HI-NRG club-dance singer, “What Is Love” (#11, 1993)
1967 ● Carl Bell → Guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock quartet Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1967 ● Dave Matthews → Grammy-winning South African singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), solo and occasional actor
1967 ● Steve Harwell → Co-founding member, vocals and piano for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1968 ● Al Schnier → Guitars and vocals for prog rock/jam band Moe., album The Conch (Indie Albums #9, 2007), solo plus collaborations with wife, Diane Schnier and tours with Phil Lesh & Friends
1971 ● Mia X / (Mia Young) → First female rapper to sign with Master P on his No Limit Records, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (Rap #4, 1998)
1978 ● A.J. McLean → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1984 ● Drew Brown → Guitars and keyboards for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1987 ● Paolo Nutini → Scottish adult alternative singer and songwriter, “New Shoes” (Adult Top 40 #24, 2007)

January 10
1912 ● Buddy Johnson / (Woodrow Wilson Johnson) → R&B “jump blues” pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Bring It Home To Me” (R&B #9, 1956), died from a brain tumor and sickle cell anemia on 2/9/1977, age 65
1917 ● Jerry Wexler → Coiner of the term “rhythm and blues,” Atlantic Records co-owner, Vice President at Warner Brothers records, producer for Ray Charles, Phil Spector, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan and many others, died from congestive heart failure on 8/15/2008, age 91
1927 ● Johnnie Ray / (John Alvin Ray) → Teen idol singer, songwriter and pianist with over 20 Top 40 hits in the 50s, including “Just Walking In The Rain” (#2, 1951), died from liver failure 2/21/90, age 63
1927 ● Gisèle MacKenzie → Canadian pop singer and CBC radio hostess, relocated to Los Angeles and became a regular on TV variety shows in the 50s, including Your Hit Parade and scored a handful of pop hits (“Hard To Get,” #4, 1955), appeared in soap operas, sitcoms and theater performances until her death from colon cancer on 9/5/2003, age 76
1935 ● Ronnie “Mr. Dynamo” Hawkins / (Ronald Hawkins) → Arkansas-born, Canadian-transplant rockabilly singer and frontman for The Hawks (early members later became The Band), “Mary Lou” (#26, R&B #7, 1959)
1937 ● Bob Relf / (Robert Nelson Relf) → R&B/soul and doo wop musician, with Earl Nelson one half of the soul duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963 and UK #7, 1969), left the duo in the early 70s and worked with Barry White before disappearing from view in the 80s, died on 11/20/2007, age 70
1939 ● Sal Mineo / (Salvatore Mineo, Jr.) → Stage and screen actor (Rebel Without A Cause, 1955) turned rock ‘n’ roll singer with two charting singles including “Start Movin’ (In My Direction)” (#8, 1957), returned to movies and TV and was riding a career revival when stabbed to death in an attempted robbery on 2/12/1976, age 37
1939 ● Scott McKenzie / (Philip Wallach Blondheim) → 60s one hit wonder hippy-folk-flower-power singer and songwriter with the improbable but still generation-defining “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” (#4, 1967), died from a nervous system disorder on 8/18/2012, age 73
1943 ● Jim Croce / (James Joseph Croce) → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist with four Top 10 albums and nine Top 40 hits, including “Time in a Bottle” (#1, 1973), died in plane crash at the peak of his career on 9/20/1973, age 30
1944 ● Frank Sinatra, Jr. / (Francis Wayne Sinatra, Jr.) → Singer, songwriter, TV guest actor and son of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra with a half-dozen mostly unremarkable pop albums and an equally unremarkable acting career, died after a heart attack on 3/16/2016, age 72
1945 ● Rod Stewart → Raspy singer and songwriter for the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971) and solo, “Maggie May” (#1, 1971) plus 49 other Top 40 and Adult Contemporary hits and 15 Top 10 albums through 2010
1945 ● Ronnie Light → Longtime Nashville music producer, recording engineer and songwriter, worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins and multiple other country stars
1946 ● Aynsley Dunbar → Journeyman and in-demand rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Jeff Beck Group, Jefferson Starship, Journey, Whitesnake, “Hear I Go Again” (#1, 1987) and others, Rolling Stone magazine 27th Greatest Drummer of All Time
1946 ● Bob Lang → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “The Game Of Love” (#1, 1965)
1946 ● Neal Smith → Founding member and drummer in the original Alice Cooper band (“School’s Out,” #2, 1972), left in 1974 to work in several Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult spin-off bands, sold real estate in New England since the early 80s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Donald Fagen → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits, plus solo, “I.G.Y.” (#26, 1983)
1948 ● Fayette Pinkney → Original member for Philly soul and disco trio The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again” (#2, 1974), left for a brief solo career and eventually a Masters degree in human services, died from acute respiratory failure on 6/27/2009, age 61
1953 ● Pat Benatar / (Patricia Andrzejewski) → Hard rocking singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (#9, 1979) plus 18 other Top 40 hits
1955 ● Luci Martin → Vocals for top R&B/disco-funk band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Michael Schenker → Founder, frontman and guitarist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984), also with UFO and frontman for the Michael Schenker Band
1956 ● Shawn Colvin → New Folk Movement singer, songwriter and guitarist, then mainstream neo-folk, “Sunny Come Home” (#7, 1997)
1959 ● Curt Kirkwood → Guitarist for punk-psych-country-rock Meat Puppets, “Backwater” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Brad Roberts → Lead singer and guitar for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1965 ● Nathan Moore → Vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1973 ● Aerle Taree → Vocals for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1974 ● Jemaine Clement → New Zealand comedian, actor and musician, one half (along with Bret McKenzie) of the Grammy-winning musical comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords, eponymous debut album reached US #3 in 2008
1978 ● Matt Roberts → Rhythm guitar for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1979 ● Daddy Mack Smith / (Chris Smith) → One-half of the teen sensation pop-rap duo Kriss Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992)

January 11
1895 ● Laurens Hammond → Engineer and inventor holding over 100 patents, including the tonewheel generator for the now ubiquitous Hammond organ, a staple for rock bands for over 50 years, died from unspecified causes on 7/3/1973, age 78
1901 ● Walter Henri Dyett → High school music teacher in predominantly African-American public schools in Chicago who improbably instructed dozens of now-famous youngsters in the art of music, including Nat King Cole, Bo Diddley, Eddie Harris, Dinah Washington and many others over a 30-year career, died from unspecified causes on 11/17/1968, age 68
1924 ● Don Cherry → Big band and traditional pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (#5, 1955), former professional golfer
1924 ● Slim Harpo / (James Moore) → Blues harmonica master and singer, “Baby Scratch My Back” (#16, 1966), died from heart attack on 1/31/1970, age 46
1933 ● Goldie Hill / (Argolda Voncie Hill) → Pioneering country music singer, one of the first women to top the country music charts (“I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes,” Country #1, 1953), scored a total of five Country Top 20 hits in the 50s before “retiring” to raise a family, died from cancer on 2/24/2005, age 72
1938 ● Frankie Randall / (Franklin Joseph Lisbona) → “Rat Pack” crooner, actor and sometime comedian, starred in the beach-party movie Wild On The Beach (1965), sidekick and guest host on The Dean Martin Show in the 60s, performed with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., issued three traditional pop albums, died of lung cancer on 12/28/2014, age 76
1940 ● Phil Walden → College-age manager for R&B greats Otis Redding, Al Green and Percy Sledge, then co-founded Capricorn Records and became a driving force behind the creation of the blues-, soul- and country-based Southern rock sound of the 70s with a stable of artists that included The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs and others, took the label through bankruptcy in 1979 and renewal in 1991 before selling it in 2000, died of cancer on 4/22/2006, age 66
1942 ● The Big Man / (Clarence Clemons) → Saxophone and vocals for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, then solo “You’re A Friend Of Mine” (#18, 1985), suffered a stroke and died a week later on 6/18/2011, age 69
1946 ● Naomi Judd → Country singer and songwriter in family vocal duo The Judds (with daughter Wynonna), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) plus 17 other Top 10 country hits
1946 ● Tony Kaye / (Anthony John Selridge) → Keyboards for archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), went solo in 1971, returned to Yes in 1983-95, recently with Neil Young tribute band The Neil Deal and producer
1948 ● Terry Williams → Journeyman rock drummer with Welsh prog rock Man, Dave EdmundsRockpile, Meat Loaf‘s backing band and Dire Straits
1949 ● Denny Greene / (Frederick Greene) → Founding member of “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), performed at Woodstock, in the band’s syndicated TV variety show and in the movie Grease (1978), left to earn a master’s degree at Harvard and a law degree at Yale University, served as a vice president at Columbia Records and later as a professor at several prominent law schools, died from esophageal cancer on 9/5/2015, age 66
1956 ● Big Bank Hank Johnson / (Henry Lee Johnson) → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40, died from complications of cancer on 11/11/2014 , age 58
1958 ● Vicki Peterson → Guitar and vocals for New Wave pop-rock girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1963 ● Simon Cohen → Drummer for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1966 ● Mary Hansen → Guitars and vocals for experimental/electronic pop-rock Stereolab, “Ping Pong” (UK #45, 1994) and backing vocals for others, died in traffic accident on 12/9/2002, age 36
1968 ● Tom Dumont → Guitarist and producer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1969 ● Maxee Maxwell / (Charmayne Maxwell) → R&B/pop singer in smooth soul Brownstone (“If You Love Me,” #8, R&B #2, 1994), bled to death from a neck wound following an accidental fall onto a broken wine glass on 2/27/2015, age 46
1971 ● Mary Jane Blige → The “Queen of Hip Hop Soul”, singer, songwriter and actress. “Family Affair” (#1, 2001)
1971 ● Tom Rowlands → DJ for dance-rock-rap fusion duo The Chemical Brothers, “It Began In Afrika” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jamelia Niela Davis → Brit R&B/pop singer, songwriter, actress and TV host, “Thank You” (UK #2, 2004)
1981 ● Thomas Meighan → Lead singer for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1985 ● Newton Faulkner → Brit pop music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Dream Catch Me” (UK #7, 2007)

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

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (December 2 – 8)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (November 25 – December 1)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 25
1931 ● Nat Adderley / (Nathaniel Adderley) → Hard bebop and soul jazz cornet and trumpeteer player, wrote and recorded the now-standard “Work Song” in 1960, played with his brother Julian “Cannonball” Adderley in various jazz-pop bands, died from complications of diabetes on 1/2/2012, age 68
1935 ● Mack Starr / (Julius McMichael) → R&B vocalist, songwriter and frontman for Brooklyn street-corner harmony quintet The Paragons (“Florence,” 1957), unraveled the group in 1961 for a solo career, joined doo wop The Olympics in 1968 but left in the early 70s, died in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles on 6/1/1981, age 45
1941 ● Percy Sledge → Pleading R&B/Southern soul balladeer, “When A Man Loves A Woman” (#1, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits, died from liver cancer on 4/14/2015, age 73
1942 ● Bob Lind → One hit wonder folk-pop singer and songwriter, his “Elusive Butterfly” (#5, 1966) is sometimes credited with being in the vanguard of folk-rock music and his songs have been recorded by scores of other artists, continues to perform into the 10s
1944 ● Bev Bevan / (Beverly Bevan) → Drummer and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits and Black Sabbath, now a UK radio host on Saga FM
1947 ● Val Fuentes → Drummer for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1950 ● Jocelyn Brown → R&B/dance-pop session vocalist and solo artist, “Somebody Else’s Guy” (R&B #2, 1984), worked with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others
1959 ● Steve Rothery → Original member and lead guitar for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1960 ● Amy Grant → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music (CCM) then pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Every Heartbeat” (#1, 1991) and six other Top 40 hits
1964 ● Mark Lanegan → Vocals and songwriting for garage/psych/grunge rock Screaming Trees, “All I Know” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1996), stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1966 ● Stacey Lattishaw → R&B/dance-pop vocalist, “Let Me Be Your Angel” (#21, R&B #8, 1980), retired from music in 1990 to raise her family
1966 ● Tim Armstrong → Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter poet, producer and independent record label owner, frontman for 90s punk revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)
1967 ● Rodney Sheppard → Guitarist for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1968 ● Tunde / (Babatunde Emanuel Baiyewu) → Nigerian-descent singer in Brit R&B/Northern soul duo Lighthouse Family, “Lifted” (UK #4, 1996) and 9 other UK Top 40 hits, solo
1972 ● Mark Duane Morton → Lead guitar for groove metal Lamb God, album Wrath reached #2 in 2009

November 26
1917 ● Nesuhi Ertegun → Record producer and music company executive, joined his younger brother, Ahmet at Atlantic Records in 1956 and focused on the label’s jazz catalog and artists, worked with John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and others, later branched into R&B and rock with Ray Charles, The Drifters and Roberta Flack, founded WEA International and served as its CEO until just before his death from cancer on 7/15/1989, age 71
1924 ● Michael Holliday / (Norman Milne) → Late 50s, pre-Beatles adult contemporary/pop crooner, “The Story of My Life” (UK #1, 1957), died from an apparent suicidal drug overdose on 10/29/1963, age 38
1933 ● Roberrt Goulet → Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning, French-Canadian-American stage and screen entertainer and resonant baritone singer with several charting hits, including “My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)” (#16, AC #3, 1964) and dozens of jazz-pop/easy listening albums, plus 30-years worth of Broadway, TV, film and Las Vegas show performances until his death from pulmonary fibrosis on 10/30/2007. age 73
1939 ● Tina Turner / (Anna Mae Bullock) → R&B/soul-pop diva, first as a member of The Ikettes, husband Ike Turner‘s backing vocal group, then soul-pop duo Ike & Tina Turner, “Proud Mary” (#4, 1971) and Grammy-winning solo career, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (#1, 1984) and 12 other Top 40 singles
1940 ● Davey Graham / (David Michael Gordon Graham) → Folk guitarist, songwriter and highly influential figure in the Brit folk revival of the early 60s known for blending folk, blues, jazz and Middle Eastern sounds and inspiring Joni Mitchell, Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page and others, his oft-covered acoustic instrumental “Anji” (1962) is a standard among acoustic guitarists, died from lung cancer on 12/15/2008, age 68
1944 ● Jean Terrell → R&B/soul singer, replaced Diana Ross in The Supremes in 1969, “Up The Ladder To The Roof” (#10, 1970), left in 1973 for a solo career and backing vocalist for various jazz acts
1945 ● John McVie → Founding member, part namesake and bassist for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock group Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1946 ● Burt Ruiter → Bassist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971)
1946 ● Graham Foote → Guitarist in British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “The Game Of Love” (#1, 1965)
1948 ● John Rossall → Saxophone, trombone and music director for Gary Glitter‘s backing group The Glitter Band, “Angel Face” (UK #4, 1974) and later incarnations of the group
1949 ● Gayle McCormick → Little-known pop-rock singer with several minor albums and singles as a solo artist, plus lead vocals for pop-rock cover vocal group Smith and their grittier version of The Shirelles‘ “Baby It’s You” (#5, 1969), which charted higher than the original version from 1962, and on the group’s cover of “The Weight” from the soundtrack to the film Easy Rider (1969)
1949 ● Martin Lee → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man, “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1963 ● Adam Gaynor → Rhythm guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000), solo
1967 ● John Stirratt → Bassist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1970 ● Ron Jones → Guitarist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1981 ● Natasha Bedingfield → New Zealand-born dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Unwritten” (#5, 2006) plus three other Top 40 hits
1984 ● Ben Wysocki → Drummer for mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)
1985 ● Lil Fizz / (Dreux Frederic) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)
1990 ● Rita Ora → Kosovo-born UK dance/pop singer and dancer with three consecutive UK #1 singles, including “How We Do (Party)” (#62, Dance/Pop #1, UK #1, 2012)

November 27
1935 ● Al Jackson, Jr. → Drummer, songwriter, producer, highly regarded session player, member of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1962), murdered by intruders in his home on 10/1/1975, age 39
1941 ● Eddie Rabbitt / (Edward Thomas Rabbitt) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “I Love a Rainy Night” (#1, 1980), Elvis Presley, Dr. Hook, Tom Jones and others covered his songs, died of lung cancer on 5/7/1998, age 56
1942 ● Jimi Hendrix / (James Marshall Hendrix) → Electric blues, rock and R&B guitar innovator and virtuoso, songwriter and bandleader, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), died from a drug overdose in his London hotel room on 9/18/70, age 27
1944 ● Trevor “Dozy” Ward-Davies → Bass guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1945 ● Randy Brecker → Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked with jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, plus Horace Silver, Larry Coryell and other sessions, solo
1948 ● Dave Winthrop → Flute, saxophone and occasional lead vocals for Brit prog-art-then pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), briefly with blues-rock Chicken Shack and mod revival Secret Affair, session work
1959 ● Charlie Burchill → Guitar for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1960 ● Ashley Ingram → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1961 ● Princess / (Desiree Heslop) → Vocalist in Afro-pop/worldbeat Osibisa, “The Warrior” (Dance/Club #32, 1977) and solo “Say I’m Your Number One” (UK #7, 1985)
1962 ● Charlie Benante → Drummer for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993) and punk/metal side project Stormtroopers Of Death
1962 ● Mike Bordin → Drummer for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1965 ● Fiachna Ó Braonáin → Vocals and guitar for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988), duet with Belinda Carlisle on her 2007 album Voila
1970 ● Skoob (aka “Books”) / (William “Willie” Hines) → Vocals in rapid-fire, nonsensical rap duo Das EFX, “Straight From The Sewer” (Rap #3, 1992)
1971 ● Terry Corso → Guitarist for alt rock Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal” (#23, 2001)
1973 ● Twista / (Carl Terrell Mitchell) → Chicago rapper known at one time as the world’s fastest, “Slow Jamz” (#1, 2004) from the #1 album Kamikaze
1978 ● Mike Skinner → Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, rapper, songwriter and leader of the rap/garage “grime” project The Streets, “Dry Your Eyes” (UK #1, 2004)

November 28
1929 ● Berry Gordy, Jr. → Professional boxer turned record producer and talent agent, founded Motown Records and brought black music into tens of millions of white homes, composer and co-writer of several hits, including “Lonely Teardrops” for Jackie Wilson (#7, R&B #1, 1958)
1932 ● Ray Perkins → Bass vocals for Canadian harmony pop/rock quartet The Crew Cuts, covered “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1936 ● Roy McCurdy → Mid-70s drummer in jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), session work and now music professor
1939 ● Dave White / (David Ernest White) → Singer, songwriter and founding member of doo-wop Danny & The Juniors, co-wrote “At The Hop” (#1, R&B #1, 1958), “Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay” (#19, R&B #16, 1958) and other hits for the band, left in the early 60s to concentrate on songwriting, co-wrote “You Don’t Own Me” for Leslie Gore (#2, 1963) and “1-2-3” for Len Barry (#2, R&B #1, 1965), continues to write and produce pop music into the 10s
1939 ● Gary Troxel → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1940 ● Bruce Channel / (Bruce McMeans) → One hit wonder country-pop and pop/rock singer, “Hey Baby” (#1, 1962)
1940 ● Glen Curtis → Vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1943 ● Randy Newman / (Randall Stuart Newman) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and pianist, “Sail Away” (1972) and “Short People” (#2, 1978), wrote “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1970), composed the film soundtrack to Ragtime (1981)
1944 ● R.B. Greaves / (Ronald Betram “R.B.” Greaves, III) → One hit wonder soul-pop singer, “Take a Letter Maria” (#2, 1969)
1946 ● Billy Kinsley → Founding member, lead guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1947 ● Gary Taylor → Bassist for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968)
1948 ● Beeb Birtles / (Gerard Bertelkamp) → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), solo
1949 ● Hugh McKenna → Scottish keyboardist for rock ‘n roll The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1949 ● Paul Shaffer → Pianist, composer, music director, actor, and frontman for the Saturday Night Live and David Letterman house bands
1951 ● Lynton Guest → Keyboardist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1953 ● Alan Murphy → Brit session guitarist for Kate Bush, Go West, Mike + The Mechanics, Joan Armatrading and others, joined jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987) in 1988, died from AIDS-related pneumonia on 10/19/1989, age 35
1954 ● David Jaymes → Bassist for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● David Van Day → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with Thereza Bazar, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo and lately with pop-dance Bucks Fizz
1962 ● Matt Cameron → Drummer for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1968 ● Dawn Robinson → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance quartet En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1970 ● Matt Cheslin → Bassist for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1973 ● Jade Errol Puget → Guitarist for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and keyboards for electronica Blaqk Audio, “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)
1974 ● Apl.de.Ap / (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr.) → Filipino-American hip hop singer, producer, rapper with Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005)
1979 ● Chamillionaire / (Hakeem Seriki) → Rapper called the “Mixtape Messiah”, producer, record executive, “Ridin'” (#1, 2006)
1983 ● Rostam Batmanglij → Multi-instrumentalist and producer for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)
1983 ● Tyler Glenn → Vocals and keyboards for pop dance-punk Neon Trees, “Everybody Talks” (#6, 2012)
1984 ● Trey Songz / (Tremaine Aldon Neverson) → R&B/hip hop tenor singer and songwriter with multiple R&B and Hip Hop Chart Top 10 hits, including “Bottoms Up” (#6, Hip Hop #2, 2010) and

November 29
1917 ● Merle Travis → Country singer and songwriter, legendary guitarist (“Travis picking” style) and inventor of the first solid body electric guitar, wrote “Sixteen Tons for Ernie Ford (Country #1, 1955), died on 10/20/1983, age 65
1932 ● John Gary / (John Gary Strader) → Radio announcer, 30-time The Tonight Show guest, voice actor and three-and-a-half octave singer with five Top 20 albums, a single minor pop hit, “Soon I’ll Wed My Love” (#89, 1964) and an Adult Contemporary chart-topper, “Cold” (AC #1, 1967), died from prostate cancer on 1/4/1998, age 65
1933 ● John Mayall → The “Father of British Blues”, bandleader for The Bluesbreakers and mentor to Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jimmy McCulloch and many others
1939 ● Meco Monardo / (Domenico Monardo) → Trombonist, session musician, composer, record producer and one hit wonder bandleader with the disco hit “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” (#1, 1977)
1939 ● Peter Bergman → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, which formed as a result of his show Radio Free Oz on KPFK in Los Angeles in 1966, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from complications of leukemia on 3/9/2012, age 72
1940 ● Chuck Mangione / (Charles Frank Mangione) → Grammy-winning bebop and light jazz-pop instrumental trumpeter and flugelhorn player, “Feels So Good” (#4, 1978)
1941 ● Jody Miller / (Myrna Joy Brooks) → Country-pop guitarist, singer and songwriter, “Queen Of The House” (#12, Country #5, 1965), now a Christian and gospel artist
1941 ● Denny Doherty → Canadian folk-pop singer and songwriter, founding member of The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), died from an abdominal aneurysm on 1/19/2007, age 65
1944 ● Felix Cavaliere → Keyboards for early rock ‘n’ roll Joey Dee & The Starlighters, “The Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962), then organ and vocals for blue-eyed soul-pop The Rascals, “Groovin”” (#1, 1967), solo
1944 ● Twink / (John Charles Edward Alder) → Psych-rock drummer, singer, songwriter and sometime actor who was a central character in the London-based 60s and 70s psychedelic movement, formed and fronted numerous psychedelic pop and rock bands, including The In Crowd, The Pink Fairies and The Rings, issued fifteen solo albums, converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah and continues to record in the 10s
1947 ● Ronnie Montrose → Session guitarist for Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and the Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), then founder and frontman of hard rock Montrose, solo and hard rock Gamma, “Right The First Time” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1982), died of prostate cancer on 3/3/2012, age 64
1951 ● Barry Goudreau → Guitarist on first two albums for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), left for solo plus Orion The Hunter and RTZ
1951 ● Roger Troutman → Co-founder and innovative “talk box” lead singer for underrated but influential funk group Zapp, “More Bounce To The Ounce” (R&B #2, 1980), co-wrote and sang chorus for Tupac Shakur on “California Love” (#1, 1996), shot and killed by his brother and bandmate Larry Troutman in a murder/suicide on 4/25/1999, age 47
1958 ● Michael Dempsey → Bassist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992) and Scottish punk rock The Associates
1959 ● Wendy Wu / (Wendy Cruise) → Lead vocals and frontgal for New Wave post-punk Blondie-style The Photos, “Irene” (UK #56, 1980)
1965 ● Wallis Buchanan → Vibraphonist for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1968 ● Jonathan Knight → Vocals in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1968 ● Martin Carr → Guitarist, songwriter and founding member of 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1970 ● Frank Delgado → Turntablist, keyboardist and sampler for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1979 ● The Game / (Jayceon Terrell Taylor) → Grammy-nominated West Coast gangsta rapper, “Hate It Or Love It” (#2, 2005)

November 30
1915 ● Brownie McGhee → Influential Piedmont-style electric blues guitarist, long-time collaborator with blind harpist Sonny Terry, “Robbie Doby Boogie” (1948), Broadway, film and TV actor, died of stomach cancer on 2/16/1996, age 80
1924 ● Allan Sherman / (Allan Copelon) → Comedian, musical satirist, singer and songwriter, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” (#2, 1963), died from emphysema on 11/20/1973, age 48
1929 ● Dick Clark / (Richard Augustus Wagstaff Clark Jr.) → Formerly “America’s oldest living teenager,” clean-cut and venerable radio DJ/commentator, longtime TV host for American Bandstand, astute music impresario and executive producer for TV entertainment programs, died following a heart attack on 4/18/2012, age 82
1932 ● Bob Moore / (Bob Loyce Moore) → Bass guitarist and member of the Nashville A-Team of top session musicians in the 50s and 60s, backed dozens of hits by Elvis Presley,Bob Dylan,Jerry Lee Lewis and many others, directed backing bands for country star Red Foley, Connie Francis and Brenda Lee, issued several country-pop albums in the 60s and scored the Top 10 hit “Mexico” (#7, 1961), largely disappeared from the music business after the mid-60s
1937 ● Frank Ifield → London-born, Australian-raised country-pop and easy listening US one hit wonder singer with six UK Top 10 singles during Beatlemania, including “I Remember You” (#5, UK #1, 1962), continues to perform in the 10s
1937 ● Jimmy Bowen / (James Albert Bowen) → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“I’m Sticking With You,” #14, 1957), pivoted to the other side of the microphone and enjoyed a long career as a songwriter and producer, co-wrote “Party Doll” with Buddy Knox (#1, 1957) and produced “Strangers In The Night” for Frank Sinatra (#1, 1966), worked with Glen Campbell, Garth Brooks and others, oversaw movie productions in the 70s, 80s and 90s
1943 ● Leo Lyons / (David William Lyons) → Bassist in British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971)
1944 ● Luther Ingram → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” (#3, 1972), co-wrote The Staple Singers‘ “Respect Yourself” (#12, 1971), died from heart failure on 3/19/2007, age 62
1944 ● Rob Grill / (Robert Frank Grill) → Bassist, lead singer and songwriter for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968), fronted and toured with the band until his death following a stroke on 7/11/2011, age 66
1945 ● Roger Glover → Bassist in hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), left in 1973 for solo career, sessions, tours with Nazareth, Ian Gillian and others, joined Rainbow in 1979 and rejoined Deep Purple in 1984
1949 ● Ruby Starr / (Constance Henrietta Mierzviak) → Backing vocalist in Southern rock Black Oak Arkansas, sang on the hit duet “Jim Dandy” (#25, 1973), later fronted Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost and The Ruby Starr Band, died from lung cancer and a brain tumor on 11/29/1995, age 45
1953 ● David Sancious → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist, early work with Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, solo, sessions and collaborator with Stanley Clark, Peter Gabriel, Sting and others
1953 ● Shuggie Otis / (Johnny Otis, Jr.) → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Inspiration Information” (R&B #56, 1975), The Brothers Johnson covered his “Strawberry Letter 23” (#5, 1977)
1953 ● June Pointer / (June Pointer Whitmore) → Youngest of the R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981), died following a stroke on 4/11/2006, age 52
1954 ● George McArdle → Bassist for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), left in 1978 to pursue a career in ministry
1955 ● Billy Idol / (William Michael Albert Broad) → Co-founder and lead singer for punk rock Generation X, then post-punk pop-rock MTV superstar, “White Wedding” (#4, 1982)
1957 ● John Ashton → Guitar for Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1957 ● Richard Barbieri → Keyboards for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982), Porcupine Tree
1958 ● Stacey Q / (Stacey Lynn Swain) → Madonna-wanna-be dance/pop diva, “Two Of Hearts” (#3, 1986)
1963 ● Jalil Hutchins → Vocalist and lyricist for R&B/new jack swing trio Whodini, “Funky Beat” (R&B #19, 1986)
1965 ● Paul Wheeler → Drums and percussion for Aussie New Wave synth-pop/pub rock Icehouse, “Electric Blue” (#7, 1987)
1968 ● Des’ree / (Desiree Annette Weeks) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “You Gotta Be” (#5, 1995)
1973 ● John Moyer → Bassist for Chicago-based heavy metal band Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1975 ● Mindy McCready / (Malinda Gayle McCready) → Country-pop singer, “Guys Do It All The Time” (#72, Country #1, 1996) and five other Country Top 40 hits, died from a self-inflicted gunshot on 2/17/2013, age 37
1978 ● Clay Aiken / (Clayton Grissom) → Singer, actor, producer and author, 2003 American Idol runner-up, “This Is The Night” (#1, 2003)
1987 ● Dougie Lee Poynter → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005), Broadway actor in Monty Python’s Spamalot (2008)
1989 ● Daisy Evans / (Daisy Rebecca Evans) → Vocals for dance-pop pre-fab band S Club 8 (previously S Club Juniors), “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003)

December 01
1896 ● Ray Henderson / (Raymond Brost) → Popular music songwriter in the Tin Pan Alley group of American songwriters and publishers, composed the music for multiple pop standards, including “Bye Bye Blackbird” (1925), “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and “The Birth Of The Blues” (1926), died from a heart attack on 12/31/1970, age 74
1930 ● Matt Munro / (Terrence Parons) → Multi-hit international cabaret/swing vocalist, theme song “From Russia With Love” (#23, UK #4, 1963), died from liver cancer on 2/7/1985, age 54
1933 ● Lou Rawls → Smooth jazz-blues-soul and easy listening singer, “You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine” (#2, 1976), died of lung cancer on 1/6/2006, age 72
1934 ● Billy Paul / (Paul Williams) → Jazz singer and bandleader turned 70s Grammy-winning Philly R&B/soul-pop singer with 14 R&B charting hits, the biggest being “Me & Mrs. Jones” (#1, 1972), retired in 1989 and died from pancreatic cancer on 4/24/2016, age 81
1937 ● Bruce Brown / (Bruce Alan Brown) → Documentary film maker and early pioneer of the surf film genre, wrote, single-handedly produced and marketed the genre-defining, surprise hit The Endless Summer (1966) with a soundtrack mostly by surf-rock The Sandals, moved to motorcycle films in the 70s and produced the Grammy-nominated On Any Sunday (1971), came back to the surf for his last release, The Endless Summer II (1994), died from heart failure on 12/10/2017, age 80
1938 ● Sandy Nelson / (Sander L. Nelson) → Rock ‘n roll session drummer for The Teddy Bears, The Hollywood Argyles and others, then solo, “Teen Beat” (#4, 1959) and two other instrumental hits, lost his right foot in a 1963 motorcycle accident but continues to drum with modified equipment
1939 ● DeeDee Lennon / (Dianne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 2001 and left the group to continue as a trio
1944 ● Charlie Grima → Drummer for eccentric jazz-pop Wizzard, “See My Baby Jive” (UK #1, 1973)
1944 ● Eric Bloom → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1944 ● John Densmore → Drummer for influential and controversial hard rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), author, producer and jazz combo leader
1945 ● Bette Midler → The “Divine Miss M”, actress, comedienne, Grammy-winning singer, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (#1, 1989) and seven other Top 40 hits, starred in the Janis Joplin bio movie The Rose (1979)
1946 ● Gilbert O’Sullivan / (Raymond O’Sullivan) → Irish singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Alone Again Naturally” (#1, 1972) and three other Top 20 hits in 1972-73
1951 ● Jaco Pastorius / (John Fancis Pastorius) → Fretless bass player for jazz-rock fusion group Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo and sessions for Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny Group, Blood, Sweat & Tears and others, died after being beaten into a coma during an altercation outside a Florida nightclub on 9/21/1987, age 35
1956 ● Julee Cruise → Grammy-winning pop/rock singer, theme song to Twin Peaks TV show, “Falling” (Modern Rock #11, 1989)
1959 ● Steve Jansen / (Stephen Batt) → Drummer, songwriter and singer for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1963 ● Sam Reid → Keyboards for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1971 ● Greg Upchurch → Current drummer for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1977 ● Brad Delson → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1981 ● Mika Fineo → Current drummer for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999)

, , , , ,

Leave a comment