Posts Tagged musician birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (March 26 – April 1)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 26

1917 ● Rufus Thomas → Memphis R&B/funk-soul singer and comedian, “Do The Funky Chicken” (#28, R&B #5, 1970), father of R&B/soul singer Carla Thomas, died from heart failure on 12/15/2001, age 84
1921 ● Julie Harris → Oscar- and BAFTA-winning British costume designer whose work included James Bond films and The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night and Help!, for which she later quipped “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked,” died following a brief illness on 5/30/2015, age 94
1934 ● Alan Arkin → American actor, director, musician and singer, scored a Top Ten hit as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers, “Cindy, Oh Cindy” (#9, 1956), starred in dozens of films and TV movies and series, including Catch 22 (1970) and Edward Scissorhands (1990)
1936 ● Fred Parris → Leader and vocals for long-running R&B/doo wop The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1944 ● Diana Ross (Diane Earle) → Motown R&B/soul-pop diva, lead vocals and eventual frontwoman for The Supremes, “Baby Love” (#1, 1964), then highly successful solo career, “Endless Love” (#1, 1981) and 22 other Top 40 hits
1946 ● Johnny Crawford → Child actor, original Mouseketeer on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club, co-star of Western series The Rifleman, short-lived teen-pop singer with three Top 20 hits in 1962, including “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8, 1962), continued to act on TV through the 90s in various bit parts
1948 ● Ned Doheny → West Coast singer/songwriter, first artist signed to David Geffen‘s Asylum Records label, solo albums featured guests such as Glen Frey, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadtt, limited commercial success in the U.S. but significant popularity in Japan, wrote or co-wrote several minor chart hits plus songs covered by Chaka Khan, Average White Band and Dave Mason
1948 ● Richard Tandy → Keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1948 ● Steven Tyler (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Frontman and lead vocals for long-lived, Grammy-winning 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)
1949 ● Fran Sheehan → Bassist for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence (Vicki Ann Axelrad) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Lead singer for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), then successful solo career, “Love T.K.O.” (R&B #2, 1980), died on 1/13/2010 after colon cancer surgery
1953 ● Billy Lyall → Scottish keyboardist, vocalist and early member of teen pop boy band Bay City Rollers, then co-founded pop-rock Pilot, “Magic” (#1, 1974), worked with Alan Parsons Project, died of AIDS-related causes on 12/1/1989
1955 ● Martin Price → Record shop owner and founding member of electro-dance/acid house 808 State, “Bombadin” (Dance/Club #3, 1994)
1957 ● Paul Morley → Music journalist, former New Music Express writer, band manager, producer and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● James Jonas Iha → Vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Contemporary country star singer and songwriter, “Never Wanted Nothing More” (#22, Country #1, 2007), and 19 other Country #1 hits, married to Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Chicago (2002) film actress Renée Zellweger
1971 ● John Hendy → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Jay Sean (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Anglo-Indian singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer and Bhangra-R&B fusion pioneer with Rishi Rich Project, “Dance With You” (UK #12, 2003), then solo, “Down” (#1, 2009) with Lil’ Wayne

March 27

1921 ● Philip Chess (Fiszel Czyz) → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Leonard, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died at home on 10/18/2016, age 95
1934 ● Sarah Vaughan → Grammy-winning jazz singer, “Make Yourself Comfortable” (#6, 1955) and 8 other Top 20 hits, died from lung cancer on 4/3/1990, age 56
1940 ● Derrick Morgan → The “King of Ska,” Jamaican singer and pre-reggae, first-wave ska artist, held the top seven spots on the Jamaican pop music chart for one week in 1965, recorded the first song in the rocksteady genre, “Tougher Than Tough,” in 1966 and the first reggae song, “Seven Letters,” in 1967, produced albums for up-and-coming reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and others, continues to perform in ska/reggae oldies shows into the 10s
1941 ● Walter “Bunny” Sigler → Pop, R&B and soul songwriter and producer whose work with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff made him instrumental in creating the Philly Sound of the 70s soul music, fronted the house band Instant Funk and had several chart hits of his own, including “Let Me Party With You (Part 1)” (#43, R&B #8, 1978) while producing music for The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle and others
1942 ● Michael “Smitty” Smith → Early lineup drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965), left in 1967 due to creative differences with frontman Paul Revere Dick and the band’s management, returned for the band’s hit “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) and moved to Hawaii following their final dissolution in 1975, died from internal bleeding on 3/5/2001, age 58
1947 ● Andrew Bown → Guitar and keyboards for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), sessions and gigs with Status Quo and Pink Floyd
1950 ● Tony Banks → Founding member and keyboards for prog-rock turned pop-rock Genesis,”Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), mildly successful solo career
1953 ● Walt Stocker → Lead guitarist for pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), toured with Rod Stewart and Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1956 ● Paul “Wix” Wickens → Brit multi-instrumentalist singer, composer, session and touring musician, worked with ‘Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Damned, Boy George, David Gilmour and others, member of Paul McCartney‘s touring band since 1989
1957 ● Billy Mackenzie → Vocals for New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), committed suicide on 1/23/1997, age 39
1959 ● Andrew Farris → Keyboards with his two brothers in Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1960 ● Jackie Chambers → Vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1962 ● Derrick McKenzie → Drummer for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1964 ● Clark Datchler → Vocals and songwriter for underappreciated, one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), solo
1965 ● Johnny April → Bassist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Brendan Hill → Drummer for blues-rock jam quartet Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1970 ● Mariah Carey → Grammy-winning vocalist, songwriter and top selling 90s pop diva with five straight US #1 career-starting singles, plus Billboard Song of the Decade, “Fantasy” (#1, 2005)
1975 ● Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) → R&B/dance-pop vocalist and songwriter, former teen TV actress (Kids Incorporated) and teen pop Wild Orchid, now with hip-hop Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005) and solo, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 2007)
1988 ● Jessie J (Jessica Ellen Cornish) → Blue-eyed soul, pop and hip hop genre-blending Brit singer and songwriter, “Domino” (#6, UK #1, 2012)
1990 ● Kimbra Lee Johnson → Grammy-winning New Zealand electropop and R&B singer, “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Gotye (Worldwide #1, 2011)

March 28

1890 ● Paul Whiteman → Early Big Band jazz-pop ensemble leader whose star-studded outfits influenced future performers, his versatile dance bands were immensely popular in the 20s and 30s and performed various genres in each show, the slower version of his hit “Ol’ Man River” (#1, 1928) won a posthumousGrammy Award in 2006, died from a heart attack on 12/29/1967, age 77
1915 ● Jay Livingston → Prolific stage and screen songwriter, in collaboration with lyricist Ray Evans wrote songs for over 100 films and stage productions, including three Academy Award winners, “Buttons and Bows” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950) and “Que Será, Será” (“Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) (1956), also co-wrote the theme music to the TV shows Bonanza and Mr. Ed, among others, died from natural causes on 10/17/2001, age 86
1937 ● Dean Webb → Mandolin for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1941 ● Charlie McCoy → Harmonica player and top Nashville sessionman, founding member of supergroup Area Code 615, solo career, “Boogie Woogie” (Country #22, 1974) plus member of country-rock Barefoot Jerry
1945 ● Charles “Chuck” Portz → Bassist for pop-rock The Turtles, “It Ain’t Me Babe” (#8, 1965), left in 1966 before the band reeled off 7 other Top 10 hits
1948 ● John Evan (Evans) → Keyboards for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1948 ● Milan B. Williams → Founding member, keyboards and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk The Commodores (“Three Times A Lady,” #1, 1978 and “Nightshift,” #3, 1985), left the band in 1989 after allegedly refusing to appear on stage in South Africa, died from cancer on 7/9/2006, age 58
1949 ● Sarah Cecilia “Sally” Carr → Vocals for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1955 ● Reba McEntire → Hugely successful traditional and contemporary country singer, songwriter and bandleader, scored 22 Country #1 hits including “Somebody” (#35, 2004), TV actress
1962 ● Geo Grimes → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987), later with Deacon Blue and currently Simple Minds
1963 ● Andy Cousin → Bassist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), also played for The Mission UK, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990) and The Lucy Nation, “Alright” (1999) from the Austin Powers movie soundtrack
1965 ● Steve Turner → Founder, vocals and lead guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1966 ● Salt (Cheryl James) → Vocals for female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1969 ● James Atkin → Vocals and guitar for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers”), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1976 ● Dave Keuning → Guitar and backing vocals for synth-pop-rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1986 ● Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) → Electronic dance-pop singer, songwriter and fashion bug, “Just Dance” (#1, 2008) and “Poker Face” (Worldwide #1, 2008)

March 29

1918 ● Pearl Bailey → Well-known and respected but modest-selling Broadway, TV and Hollywood actress and blues-jazz-pop singer, scored a hit with “Takes Two To Tango” (#7, 1952), issued the Grammy-wining soundtrack album Porgy And Bess (#8, 1959), won a Tony Award for the title role in Hello, Dolly! (1967) and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988, died from coronary artery disease on 8/17/1990, age 72
1930 ● Donny Conn (Donald Claps) → Vocals and drummer for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1940 ● Astrud Gilberto → Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer, won Grammy Award for 1965 Record of the Year “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, Easy Listening #1, 1964), issued over 30 albums and a dozen singles in several languages through the 80s
1942 ● Eden Kane (Richard Graham Sarstedt) → Pre-Beatles teen pop Brit singer, “Well I Ask You” (UK #1, 1961)
1943 ● Chad Allan (Allan Kowbel) → Founding member, early frontman, lead vocals, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo artist, TV host
1943 ● Vangelis (Evangelos O. Papathanassiou) → Greek keyboardist and electronic music composer, “Chariots Of Fire” (#1, 1982), started with prog rock Aphrodite’s Child, “Rain And Tears” (UK #29, 1968), auditioned with Yes and collaborated with Jon Anderson in pop-rock Jon & Vangelis, “I’ll Find My Way Home” (#51, 1982) before turning to film scores
1944 ● Terry Jacks → Canadian pop singer/songwriter with former wife Susan Pesklevits in pop-rock duo the Poppy Family, “Which Way You Goin’, Billy? (#2, 1969), then solo, “Seasons In The Sun” (#1, 1974), now environmental activist
1945 ● John “Speedy” Keen → Drums, vocals and songwriter for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), died unexpectedly on 3/12/2002, age 56
1947 ● Bobby Kimball (Robert Toteaux) → Lead vocals and namesake for arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1982)
1949 ● Dave Greenfield → Keyboards for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1949 ● Michael Brecker → Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked on over 700 albums with appearances for James Taylor, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and countless others, member of the Saturday Night Live house band, died from complications of leukemia on 1/13/2007, age 57
1956 ● Patty Donahue → Lead singer for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), died of lung cancer 12/6/1996, age 40
1959 ● Perry Farrell (Bernstein) → Founder, frontman and vocals for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then formed hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), created the Lollapalooza concert tour program
1967 ● John Popper → Frontman, singer and harpist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1981 ● Paul “PJ” Morton → Singer and keyboardist in idiosyncratic soul-pop Maroon 5 (“Makes Me Wonder,” #1, 2007) and ten other Top 10 hits, also solo work and side projects

March 30

1913 ● Frankie Laine (Francesco LoVecchio) → “Mr. Rhythm,” American jazz-pop singer, his “I Believe”, (UK #1, 1953) spent 18 weeks at the top of the UK chart, plus “Moonlight Gambler” (#3, 1957) and six other US Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died of heart failure on 2/6/2007, age 93
1914 ● John Lee Curtis “Sonny Boy” Williamson → The “Father of the Modern Blues Harp,” virtuoso blues harmonica player “Shake The Boogie” (Race Records chart #4, 1947), murdered while walking home from a nightclub performance in Chicago on 6/1/1948, age 34
1930 ● Rolf Harris → Aussie-born singer, artist, TV presenter and musician, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” (#3, 1963)
1941 ● Graeme Edge → Drummer and songwriter for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1972), solo with the Graeme Edge Band
1943 ● John “Jay” Traynor → Lead singer for first lineup of clean cut pop-rock vocal group Jay & The Americans, “She Cried” (#5, 1962), left for a little-noticed solo career, “Up And Over” (1966), died of liver cancer on 1/2/2014, age 70
1943 ● Kenny Forssi → Original bassist for underground cult folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died of a brain tumor on 1/10/1998, age 54
1944 ● Ronnie Rice → Lead vocals and keyboards in Chicago-based, British Invasion-styled soft rock The New Colony Six, “Things I’d Like To Say” (#16, 1969), continues to perform in the Chicago area into the 10s
1945 ● Eric Patrick Clapton → Top-level blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with the Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, then long and acclaimed solo career, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974) and “Tears In Heaven” (#2, 1992), various collaborations
1948 ● Jim “Dandy” Mangrum → Frontman and vocals for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974)
1950 ● Dave Ball → Guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, joining in 1971 to replace Robin Trower, played lead on the acclaimed Procol Harum Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra album, then formed hard rock Bedlam and played with Long John Baldry
1951 ● Matthew Kelly → Valet and tour assistant for soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmembers on 12/10/1967, age 16
1954 ● Lene Lovich (Lili-Marlene Premilovich) → New Wave quirky dance-pop singer, “Lucky Number” (, 1979) and “New Toy” (Dance/Club #19, 1981)
1955 ● Randy VanWarmer → One hit wonder singer and songwriter for others, “Just When I Needed You Most” (#4, 1979), died of leukemia on 1/12/2004. age 48
1962 ● MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell) → First mass audience rap star, “U Can’t Touch This” (#8, 1990), hip hop cultural icon, dancer, actor
1964 ● Tracy Chapman → Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Fast Car” (#6, 1988) and “Give Me One Reason” (#3, 1996)
1965 ● Tim Dorney → Keyboardist for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1966 ● Joey Castillo → Drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), left in 2012 and replaced Jason Bonham in California Breed in 2013
1967 ● Martin “Ace” Kent → Guitarist for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1968 ● Céline Dion → French-Canadian pop singer, “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996) and 12 other Top 25 hits
1973 ● Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein → Club DJ and member of rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001), worked on albums with Blink 182, Madonna and Will Smith, died of an accidental drug overdose on 1/28/2009, age 36
1976 ● Mark McClelland → Bass guitar and co-founder of Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006), later with Little Doses
1979 ● Norah Jones (Geethali N. J. Shankar) → Grammy-winning acoustic jazz-pop singer/songwriter and pianist, “Come Away With Me” (2002), daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar
1979 ● Simon Webbe → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1980 ● Paul Wall (Paul Slayton) → Hip hop MC and DJ, hardcore rapper, “Girl” (Rhythmic Top 40 #3, 2006), also featured on “Grillz” (#1, 2005) by Nelly

March 31

1921 ● Lowell Fulson → West Coast blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with “Tramp” (#52, R&B #5, 1967) and three other R&B Top 20 hits plus one pop Top 10 smash, “Lonesome Christmas (Part 1)” (#6, 1966) in a five decade career, died from complications of diabetes and heart disease on 3/7/1999, age 77
1928 ● William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell → Country and honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist with a distinctive and enduring vocal style that smoothed the rough edges of honky tonk and led to mainstream acceptance for the many that followed him over the decades, charted nine Country Top 40 hits between 1955 and 1965, including “Saginaw, Michigan” (#85, Country #1, 1964) but never achieved the fame of several Country contemporaries, continued to record until his death from a stroke on 7/19/1975, age 47
1929 ● Eugene Puerling → Influential, acclaimed and Grammy-winning vocalist and vocal arranger, formed and fronted a cappella The Hi-Lo’s and The Singers Unlimited, wrote, arranged and/or produced the music on dozens of albums by his groups and others, his influence is heard in the harmonies of The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, died from complications of diabetes on 3/25/2008, age 78
1933 ● Ina Anita Carter → Youngest daughter of country music legend “Mother” Maybelle Carter and member of country singing trio and Nashville regulars The Carter Sisters, opened for Elvis Presley tours in the mid-50s, backed Johnny Cash (whom sister June married in 1968) and appeared on TV variety shows including Hee Haw, died on 6/29/1999, age 66
1934 ● John D. Loudermilk → Nashville-based country and pop singer/songwriter with a handful of minor hits as a solo artist in the 50s and 60s, but best known for writing dozens of hits for others in the 60s and 70s, including “Ebony Eyes” by The Everly Brothers (#8, 1961), “Tobacco Road” by The Nashville Teens (#14, UK #6, 1960) and “Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere & The Raiders (#1, 1971), died from as heart attack on 9/21/2016, age 82
1934 ● Shirley Jones → TV/screen actress and singer, played the tambourine-shaking mother (with real-life stepson David Cassidy) in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970)
1935 ● Richard Chamberlain → Brief but successful MOR/pop singer, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#14, Adult #6, 1963) while starring in the fresh-faced lead role in the TV series Dr. Kildare, continued to appear in various TV series as a guest star and on Broadway through the 00s
1942 ● Hugh McCracken → Session guitarist and harmonica player on dozens of albums for numerous top artists from The Left Banke in 1967 to Steely Dan in 2003, plus Roberta Flack, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, James Taylor and others, co-produced two albums for Dr. John in 1978, died from leukemia on 3/28/2013, age 70
1944 ● Michael Geoffrey “Mick” Ralphs → Guitarist and founding member of glam-rock Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972) and hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), solo
1944 ● Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge) → Lead vocals and bassist in Brit pop-rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died from liver cancer on 1/10/2008, age 63
1946 ● G. Allan Nichol → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Jon Poulos → Drummer for pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), died from a suspected drug overdose on 3/26/1980, age 33
1947 ● Willie Albert “Al” Goodman → Vocals in R&B/smooth soul trio The Moments, “Sexy Mama” (#17, R&B #3, 1973) and 26 other R&B chart hits, changed their name to Ray, Goodman & Brown in 1979 due to a contract dispute and scored 10 more R&B hits, including “Special Lady” (#5, 1979), continued to perform with the group until his death from heart failure on 7/27/2010, age 63
1948 ● Thijs Van Leer → Founding member, organ and flute for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo classical and jazz-rock albums
1953 ● Sean Hopper → Keyboards and vocals for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Tony Brock → Drummer for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), sessions for Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Elton John and others
1955 ● Angus Young → Schoolboy-uniformed co-founder, lead guitarist and songwriter for power chord rock AC/DC, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1981)
1958 ● Pat McGlynn → Bassist for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1958 ● Paul Ferguson → Founding member and drummer for post-punk New Wave industrial-dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1959 ● Robert Holmes → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (1985), then blues-rock Ultra Blue and a cappella doo wop quintet Street Magic, now freelance rock guitarist
1971 ● Julian Deane → Guitarist for alt pub rock/blue-eyed soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1974 ● Stefan Olsdal → Swedish bassist for alt glam-rock/punk revival Placebo, “Pure Morning” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1999)
1978 ● Tony Yayo (Marvin Bernard) → Haitian-American rapper with G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003) and solo, “So Seductive'” feat. 50 Cent (#48, Rap #12, 2005), convicted felon
1984 ● Jack Antonoff → Singer/songwriter and lead guitarist in Grammy-winning indie pop Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2012), currently guitar, piano and vocals in indie pop-rock Bleachers (“I Wanna Get Better,” Alt Rock #1, 2014)

April 01

1897 ● Lucille Bogan → Under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson, early blues recording artist known for her sexually charged lyrics including “Shave ‘Em Dry” (1935) and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (1937), considered one of the “big three” of the blues with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, died from coronary sclerosis on 8/10/1948, age 51
1921 ● Arthur Smith → Country music instrumentalist and pioneer of electric guitar music in the late 40s, charted the oft-covered “Guitar Boogie” (#25, 1948), an early rock ‘n’ roller, wrote hundreds of songs, including “Dueling Banjos” from the film Deliverance (1972), hosted country music’s first syndicated TV show beginning in 1951, died at home on 4/3/2014, age 93
1927 ● Amos Milburn → Boogie-blues piano master, singer and rock ‘n’ roll roots pioneer, “Chicken Shack Boogie” (R&B #1, 1948) and eight other R&B Top 10 hits, died following a stroke on 1/3/1980, age 52
1932 ● Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds → Popular film, stage and TV actress and adult-pop singer “Tammy” (#1, 1957), starred numerous films including the genre-defining Hollywood musical Singing In The Rain (1952), one of the top films in American cinema history, continues to be active in business and charitable organizations into the 10s
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown → Country and country-pop singer and radio and TV host, found early fame with his two sisters in 50-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), followed with a solo career and 13 Country Top 25 hits, including “Morning” (Country #1, 1970), recorded seven Country Top 10 duets with Helen Cornelius in the late 70s, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” (Country #1, 1976), hosted various country music radio and TV entertainment shows until shortly before his death from lung cancer on 6/3/2015, age 81
1939 ● Rudolph Isley → Vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Alan Blakely → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), died of cancer on 6/1/1996, age 54
1942 ● Phil Margo → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1944 ● Frank Gari (Garofalo) → Pop music singer and songwriter with three Top 40 hits in 1961, including “Lullaby Of Love” (#23, 1961), transitioned to an Emmy and Clio award-winning career composing theme and advertising jingles for TV and radio, worked for McDonald’s, Smuckers, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and many advertisers and TV programs worldwide
1945 ● John Barbata → Drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972 and remained through 1978 with Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), later sessions work
1946 ● Ronald Frederick “Ronnie” Lane → Bass player, songwriter and vocals for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), formed rock ‘n’ roll Slim Chance, “How Come” (UK #5, 1974), collaborated with Pete Townshend (Rough Mix, 1977) and issued several solo albums, died of multiple sclerosis on 6/4/1997, age 51
1947 ● M (Robin Scott) → New Wave synth-pop one hit wonder electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Pop Muzik” (#1, 1979), producer and collaborator
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff (James Chambers) → Pioneering ska and reggae singer, songwriter, bandleader, actor in the film The Harder They Come (1972) and singer of the title track, also “I Can See Clearly Now” (#18, 1993)
1948 ● Simon Cowe → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Gil Scott-Heron → Spoken-word, soul and jazz poet known for his critiques of politics, racism and the mass media society, highly influential progenitor of hip hop music and countless rappers, issued fifteen Top 25 Jazz Albums and seven Top 40 R&B albums along with multiple charting singles including “Angel Dust” (R&B #15, 1978) but never achieved fame beyond cult popularity, died after a brief illness related to HIV on 3/27/2011, age 62
1951 ● Henry Gross → Guitar and vocals in “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), at age 18 was the youngest performer at Woodstock, left the band in 1970 for a one hit wonder singer/songwriter solo career (“Shannon,” #6, 1976), continues to record and perform in the 10s
1952 ● Billy Currie → Keyboards for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Rob Wasserman → Grammy-winning stand up bass guitarist and composer with three acclaimed solo albums Solo (1983), Duets (1988) and Trios (1994) and session work with Neil Young, Elvis Costello and many others, co-founded RatDog with Bob Weir and toured extensively with Lou Reed, died from cancer on 6/29/2016, age 64
1954 ● Jeff Porcaro → Drummer for jazz-pop-rock Steely Dan in the mid-70s, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4, 1974), then sessions for Boz Scaggs, Warren Zevon, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and many others, formed arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1983), died of a heart attack from suspected cocaine use on 8/5/1992, age 38
1958 ● D. Boon (Dennes Dale Boon) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for influential hardcore/punk rock trio The Minutemen, died in a car accident at the peak of the band’s underground popularity on 12/22/1985, age 27
1961 ● Mark White → Guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-dance-pop ABC, “The Look Of Love” (#18, 1982)
1961 ● Susan Boyle → Amateur Scottish singer, “I Dreamed A Dream” (2009), whose out-of-nowhere rise to fame (and fortune) resulted from her appearance on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent
1964 ● Leslie Langston → Bassist for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1965 ● Peter O’Toole → Bassist for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1977 ● Simon White → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1981 ● Hannah Louise Spearitt → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1986 ● Hillary Scott → Vocals and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009), solo
1994 ● Ella Eyre (McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (March 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 19

1937 ● Clarence “Frogman” Henry → R&B/blues and soul singer with a trademark croak to his singing, best exemplified on “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20, R&B #3, 1956), scored two other Top 20 hits, including “But I Do” (#4, R&B #9, 1961), opened for 18 Beatles concerts in the U.S., continues to perform at various New Orleans conventions into the 10s
1944 ● Tom Constanten → Classically-trained keyboardist and composer, member of the Grateful Dead from 1966-1970, remained in the Dead‘s periphery and has issued several collaborative albums with Robert Hunter and others
1946 ● Paul Atkinson → Guitarist in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), later became a recorded company A&R executive for Columbia and RCA, discovered ABBA, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest and Michael Penn, died from liver and kidney failure on 4/1/2004, age 58
1946 ● Ruth Pointer → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Derek Longmuir → Drummer for Scottish teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1953 ● Billy Sheehan → Bass guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992), also worked with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth
1953 ● Philip Henry “Phil” Mitchell → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson → Guitarist and founding member (with sister Cindy) of New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989), died from AIDS/HIV on 10/12/1985, age 32
1955 ● Bruce Willis → Action film actor (Die Hard series) and occasional pop singer with two albums, two modest hits and a Top 5 single, “Respect Yourself” (#5, 1987)
1959 ● Terry Hall → Frontman and lead vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), formed The Colourfield, “Thinking Of You’ (UK #12, 1985)
1971 ● Jack Bessant → Bassist for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow

March 20

1906 ● Oswald George “Ozzie” Nelson → Bandleader, radio host and TV actor, director and producer, fronted swing/easy listening The Ozzie Nelson Band in the 30s and 40s (“And Then Some,” #1, 1935) with his wife, Harriet on second vocal, developed and produced The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet (with their sons, David and Ricky) on radio in 1944 and moved to TV in 1952, appeared on TV for a final time in 1973 and died from liver cancer on 6/3/1975, age 69
1917 ● Dame Vera Lynn (Welch) → Enormously popular World War II-era touring singer and actress whose career continued after the war with hits in the 50s (“Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” #1, UK #10, 1952) and a UK #1 album in 2009 (We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn), making her the oldest living artist with a top-ranked album ever
1922 ● Larry Elgart → Swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Les, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, and his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982)
1935 ● Sam Lay → Chicago blues, jazz and rock drummer and vocalist, performed and recorded with many blues greats, including Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, joined The Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-60s, recorded and toured with Bob Dylan and the Chess Records All-Stars and has issued several albums of his own since 1969, his home movies of fellow blues performers in various Chicago venues in the 50s and 60s were featured in the PBS special History Of The Blues (2003)
1936 ● Lee “Scratch” Perry (Rainford Hugh Perry) → Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter and pioneer in the development of the “dub” subgenre of reggae music, worked with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Murvin, The Heptones and others
1937 ● Jerry Reed (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → The “Guitar Man,” Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, “Amos Moses” (#8, 1971), sessionman, TV and screen actor (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), died from emphysema on 9/1/2008, age 71
1937 ● Joe Rivers → One half of the R&B vocal duo Johnnie & Joe, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” (#8, R&B #3, 1957) and two other R&B Top 20 hits in 1957, played the oldies circuit and recorded a 1982 album
1940 ● Rod Lauren (Rod Lawrence Strunk) → One hit wonder pop singer (“If I Had A Girl,” #31, 1960), nightclub entertainer, bit part TV actor and one role B-movie star (The Crawling Hand, 1963), husband and suspected murderer of Filipino TV actress Nida Blanca, left the Philippines in 2002 and fought extradition from the U.S., committed suicide by jumping from a second-story hotel balcony on 6/12/2007, age 67
1941 ● Vito Picone → Frontman, lead singer and one of two remaining original members of teenage doo wop quintet The Elegants (“Little Star,” #1, R&B #1, 1958), bit-part TV and film actor (Goodfellas, The Sopranos and others, most recently hosts a New York City weekly nostalgia and music variety radio program
1942 ● Robert “Robin” Luke → One hit wonder teen pop/rockabilly singer and songwriter, “Susie Darlin'” (#5, 1958), later earned a Ph.D. in business administration and headed the Marketing Department at Missouri State University
1950 ● Carl Palmer → Progressive rock drummer and percussionist, first with Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (, 1971), then supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, “From The Beginning” (#39, 1972), and later Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982)
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan → Blues-rock guitarist and singer, founded Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986), solo, brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played occasionally and released one “duo album,” Family Style (1990), released just after Stevie Ray’s death on 8/27/1990
1956 ● Alphonso “Phonso” Martin → Percussion and vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), left in 1991 to pursue interests outside of music
1959 ● Owen If (Ian Frederick Rossiter) → Drummer for Brit electronic dance/rap Stereo MC’s, “Connected” (#20, Modern Rock #5, 1992)
1959 ● Richard Drummie → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom (James McDonnell) → Drummer with rockabilly revival Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#3, 1983)
1967 ● David “Shutty” Shuttleworth → Drummer for hard rock/heavy metal Spoilt Bratz and Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1968 ● Fredrik Schönfeldt → Guitars and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1972 ● Alexander Kapranos → Vocals for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1972 ● Michelle Lena “Shelly” Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1976 ● Chester Bennington → Vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1982 ● Nick Wheeler → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21

1902 ● Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. → Innovative and influential Delta blues and gospel slide guitarist and vocalist, recorded first in the 30s and for the Library of Congress in 1941 but drifted into obscurity until being “rediscovered” in 1964 during the folk-blues revival, toured and recorded thereafter extensively, influenced Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) and others, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/19/1988, age 86
1923 ● Mort Lindsey (Morton Lippman) → Orchestra leader, TV and film soundtrack composer, pianist and musical director for Judy Garland‘s four-time Grammy-winning concert album Judy At Carnegie Hall (#1, 1961) and Barbra Streisand‘s 1967 TV concert A Happening In Central Park, won two Emmy’s as the 25-year musical director for The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986), died following a long illness on 5/4/2012, age 89
1930 ● Otis Spann → Chicago blues keyboardist and guitarist, member of Muddy Waters‘ band from 1952 to 1968 while concurrently working as a session musician for Chess Records and on solo albums, worked with B. B. King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton and others, died from liver cancer on 4/24/1970, age 40
1940 ● Solomon Burke → The “King of Rock & Soul,” early and influential Grammy-winning R&B/classic soul singer, “Got To Get You Off My Mind” (#22, R&B #1, 1965) and 14 other R&B Top 20 hits but never achieved the recognition afforded peers James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, died from a suspected pulmonary embolism onboard a commercial airliner while flying from Washington, DC to a sold-out show in The Netherlands on 10/10/2010, age 70
1941 ● John Boylan → Songwriter and producer for Rick Nelson, The Association, The Dillards and others, managed Linda Ronstadt and handpicked her backing band in 1971, the session musicians who later became the Eagles
1943 ● Victor Anthony “Vivian” Stanshall → Eccentric 60s UK underground rock figure and founder of the comedy/satirical art rock outfit Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died in a fire at his home on 3/5/1995, age 52
1944 ● David Lindley → Top-rated session musician, recorded with Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield, Dolly Parton, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others, key member of Jackson Browne‘s recording and touring band from 1971 to 1981, solo, “Mercury Blues” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1981)
1945 ● Rosemary “Sister Rose” and “Rosie Stone” Stewart → Platinum-wigged lead vocalist and keyboardist with her two brothers Sly and Freddie in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), solo and sessions for Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and others
1946 ● Ray Dorset → Founder, guitarist, vocals and chief songwriter for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), solo
1949 ● Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → Police trainee turned rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Two Tickets To Paradise” (#22, 1977) and “Walk On Water” (#9, 1988)
1950 ● Roger Hodgson → Founding member, frontman, keyboards, vocals and chief hit songwriter for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), solo
1951 ● Conrad Lozano → Bassist for Tex-Mex roots/blues/country-rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1953 ● Robert Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1956 ● Guy Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie psych-rock The House Of Love, “Shine On” (, 1990)
1957 ● John Reddington → Guitarist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1957 ● Sean Dickson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for Scottish alt rock/indie dance-pop The Soup Dragons, “I’m Free” (#79, Modern Rock #2, UK #5, 1990), after 1995 disbandment formed alt rock The High Fidelity
1958 ● Jonathan “Butch” Norton → Drums and vocals for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997), then sessions and/or touring bands for Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Rufus Wainwright and Lucinda Williams
1963 ● Sharon “Share” Pedersen Ross → Bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Shawn Lane → Jazz-rock guitar virtuoso, joined Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, left for a solo career, sessions and collaborations including with outlaw country The Highwaymen, died from respiratory failure on 9/26/2003, age 40
1966 ● DJ Premier (Christopher Martin) → East Coast rap DJ and record producer, one half the hip hop duo Gang Starr, “Take It Personal” (Rap #1, 1992), recorded with The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and others, founder and chief of Year Round Records
1967 ● Jonas “Joker” Berggren → Guitar and keyboards for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1967 ● Maxim (Keith Palmer) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1968 ● Andrew Copeland → Guitar and vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1977 ● Mark Hamilton → Founding member, bass, synthesizer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kevin Federline → Dancer, fashion model, tabloid fodder ex-husband of Britney Spears and pop-rap singer, “Lose Control” (2006)
1980 ● Deryck “Bizzy D” Whibley → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Wiseman Humes → Singer, actress and TV host, member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

March 22

1916 ● George Wyle (Bernard Weissman) → Orchestra leader and composer, wrote the theme song to 60s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, musical director for 70s variety program The Flip Wilson Show, served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers from 1979-2003, died on 5/2/2003, age 87
1930 ● Steven Sondheim → Eight-time Tony and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist best known for writing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and other music theater shows, wrote the lyrics to West Side Story, Gypsy and other films, wrote multiple hit songs, including “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” for Madonna (Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1991)
1932 ● Juke Boy Bonner (Weldon Bonner) → Texas blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and poet who recorded numerous singles and several albums of mostly original material, including his best material on Arhoolie Records in the 60s, but never broke through to commercial success, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 6/29/1978, age 46
1936 ● Roger Whittaker → Internationally-acclaimed baritone pop singer and songwriter, “The Last Farewell” (#19, 1975), TV actor
1937 ● Johnny Ferguson → 50s Nashville disc jockey turned transatlantic one hit wonder country-pop singer with a cover version of John D. Loudermilk‘s “Angela Jones” (Top 30, 1960)
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde → One half of strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964), TV actor
1943 ● George Benson → Grammy-winning jazz and R&B/pop guitarist and scat singer, “Give Me The Night” (R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Keith Relf → Guitars and vocals for hard rock Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), then prog rock Renaissance and hard rock Medicine Head, died from electrocution while playing his electric guitar in his basement on 5/14/1976, age 33
1944 ● Christopher Stainton → Session keyboardist and songwriter, started with Joe Cocker, later worked with Eric Clapton, The Who, Bryan Ferry, Roger Waters and others
1947 ● Harry Vanda → Dutch-born lead guitarist for pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), later with pop-rock Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive → Percussionist and bassist for R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1948 ● Andrew Lloyd Webber → Highly successful Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and composer of musicals, often as collaborator with Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976) and Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs → Bassist for pop-rock The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965), then with blues-rock Johnny Winter band, died from heart failure caused by years of drug abuse on 8/5/1993, age 45
1957 ● Stephanie Mills → Broadway star (The Wiz, 1975) turned Grammy-winning R&B/pop-disco diva, “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, 1980)
1958 ● Peter Wylie → Singer and frontman for post-punk alt rock Wah!, “Story Of The Blues” (UK #3, 1982)
1963 ● Susanne Sulley → Vocals for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1968 ● Mickey Dale → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1970 ● Andreas Johnson → Swedish pop-rock musician and songwriter, “Glorious” (UK #4, 1999)
1971 ● Steve Howell → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994), now with Placebo
1979 ● Aaron Wright North → Guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1980 ● Shannon Rae Bex → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006), solo
1981 ● Shawn Mims → Jamaican-descent rapper, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (#1, 2007)
1986 ● Amy Studt → Brit contemporary pop singer, first hit at age 15 with “Just A Little Girl” (UK #14, 2002) and “Misfit” (UK #6, 2003)

March 23

1917 ● Granville Henry “Stick” McGhee → Jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for the oft-covered blues and proto-typical rock ‘n’ roll song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (R&B #3, 1949), younger brother of electric blues guitarist Brownie McGhee, died of lung cancer on 8/15/1961, age 44
1932 ● Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter) → Flamboyant Southern blues guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player, recorded over 50 albums plus guest appearances and collaborations, best known for “Sweet Blood Call” (1975), died following a stroke on 2/25/2012, age 79
1938 ● Irwin Jesse Levine → Pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys plus “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando & Dawn and other top hits, died from renal failure on 1/21/1997, age 58
1940 ● Janis Martin → The “Female Elvis,” early and pioneering country/rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist with the teenaged hit on Sun Records, “Will You Willyum” (#38, 1956) with the B-side, “Drugstore Rock And Roll” becoming a rockabilly classic, left the industry in the late 50s to raise her son and manage a country club until the rockabilly revival of the 80s, died from lung cancer on 9/3/2007, age 67
1942 ● Jimmy Miller → Record producer and occasional session drummer on albums and songs he produced for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the lone Blind Faith album, the Plasmatics, Primal Scream and others, including key albums by The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973), died from liver failure on 10/22/1994, age 52
1944 ● Michael Nyman → Composer, pianist, bandleader and librettist, wrote the soundtrack album to the Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993)
1944 ● Tony McPhee → Lead guitar and vocals for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1948 ● Cindy Scott (Sundray Kay Tucker) → Performed and recorded under both her stage (Scott) and birth (Tucker) names, early member of 60s doo wop girl group The Ordettes, released “What Are You Doin’ To Me” as Cindy Scott & The Cousins, sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, recorded as a solo artist on various indie labels through the 00s, sister of Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and cousin of Tammi Terrell and Bunny Sigler
1949 ● Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek) → Guitar, frontman and songwriter for synth-pop/hard rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978), solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon → Keyboardist for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), sessions and sideman for numerous rock acts
1952 ● David Bartram → Vocals for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1953 ● Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Vocals for R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974), then solo, “I Feel For You” (#3, 1984)
1953 ● Phil Keaggy → Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music guitarist and vocalist, co-founded psych-rock power trio Glass Harp in the 60s, converted to Christianity in the 70s and released over 50 albums of CCM and mainstream pop-rock music, continues to perform with Glass Harp in Ohio and the Northeast into the 10s
1958 ● Eldon “El Duce” Hoke → Drummer and lead singer for pioneer 80s “shock-” and “rape rock” metal band The Mentors, known for their chauvinistic, filthy lyrics and crude production, died from coroner-termed “misadventure” (hit by a freight train) on 4/19/1997, age 39
1966 ● Marti Pellow (Mark McLachlan) → Frontman and lead singer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994), solo
1967 ● John Strohm → Drummer turned guitarist for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, then for several other groups, including teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) plus solo albums, now a lawyer
1968 ● Damon Albarn → Singer, songwriter and producer, first as frontman for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), then in virtual pop-rock dub band Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (#14, 2005)
1971 ● Abraham “Abe” Laboriel, Jr. → Berklee College of Music graduate and session and tour drummer for Steve Vai, Seal, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and others, son of renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
1972 ● Beverly Knight → Brit R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer, “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” (UK #10, 2002)

March 24

1912 ● Nervous Norvus (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1958, age 56
1922 ● Dave Appell → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92
1935 ● Carol Kaye (Everett) → Hugely prolific session bassist, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, M*A*S*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, music instruction author and teacher
1936 ● Don Covay (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolff, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickettt, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay (Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique
1941 ● Michel Masser → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Steve “Zetro” Souza → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004)

March 25

1923 ● Bonnie Guitar (Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers, “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight others Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rockThe Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, returned to recording in the mid-60s and continues into the 10s
1934 ● Johnny Burnette → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30
1938 ● Hoyt Axton → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin → The “Queen of Soul,” Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop super-diva, “Respect” (#1, 1967) and over 25 other Top 20 hits
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1947 ● Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1948 ● Michael Stanley (Gee) → Bassist for folk-rock Silk, then solo, then frontman for the underrated hard rock Michael Stanley Band, “In The Heartland” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile (Terius Grey) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (March 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 12

1910 ● Arthur Todd → With his wife 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 congestive heart failure on 10/10/2007, age 97
1917 ● Leonard Chess → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Philip, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died of a heart attack a few months after selling Chess to General Recorded Tape (GRT) on 10/16/1969, age 52
1921 ● Gordon MacRae → Pop music recording artist, stage and film actor, and TV and radio personality best known for starring in the film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956) and for a string of 28 straight Top 40 hits from 1947 to 1954, including a duet with Jo Stafford, “My Darling, My Darling” (#1, 1948), died from pneumonia on 1/24/1986
1930 ● Wardell Quezergue → Unheralded but influential New Orleans R&B bandleader, producer and music arranger known as the “Creole Beethoven,” worked with multiple artists, including The Dixie Cups (“Chapel Of Love,” #1, 1964), Robert Parker (“Barefootin’,” #7, R&B #2, 1966), King Floyd (“Groove Me,” #6, R&B #1, 1970), Jean Knight (“Mr. Big Stuff,” #2, R&B #1, 1971), Paul Simon (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, #2, 1973) and Dr. John (Grammy-winning Goin’ Back To New Orleans, Jazz #1, 1992), died from congestive heart failure on 9/6/2011, age 81
1932 ● Don Drummond → Jamaican ska trombonist, 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) and writing many of their local hits, convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1965, died from disputed causes while serving a life sentence on 5/6/1969, age 37
1940 ● Al Jarreau → Seven-time, three-category (jazz, pop and R&B), four-decade Grammy-winning singer, “We’re In This Love Together” (#15, R&B #6, 1981), cancelled a tour schedule due to exhaustion and died shortly afterwards on 2/12/2017, age 76
1942 ● Brian O’Hara → Guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), committed suicide by hanging himself on 6/27/1999, age 57
1942 ● Larry Kaye (Kassman) → Lead vocals for Brooklyn-based white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961), performed occasionally in various reunion lineups of the group through the 00s
1946 ● Liza Minnelli → Stage and film actress, dancer and pop singer, “Cabaret” (1972), daughter of actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli
1948 ● James Taylor → Quintessential “sensitive” folk-pop/light rock singer/songwriter, “You’ve Got A Friend” (#1, 1971)
1948 ● Les Holyrod → Bassist for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977)
1949 ● Bill Payne → Keyboardist and songwriter for Southern-fired blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart and others, released debut solo album in 2005
1949 ● Mike Gibbins → Drummer with Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), left in 1974 for session work, started solo career in 1998, died of natural causes on 10/4/2005, age 56
1951 ● Jack Green → Guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1957 ● Marlon Jackson → Vocals for R&B/pop-soul brother group The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), pursued a largely unsuccessful, one hit solo career, “Don’t Go” (R&B #2, 1987), now sells real estate in Southern California and produces for the Black Family Channel on TV, twin brother Brandon died 24 hours after their premature birth
1957 ● Steve Harris → Founder, principal songwriter, backing vocalist and bassist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and guitarist Dave Murray are the only two bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1965 ● Coleen Nolan → Vocals for Irish girl group all-sibling pop group The Nolan Sisters, “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” (UK #3, 1980), TV host and author
1969 ● Graham Coxon → Guitarist for alt rock then Brit pop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), solo
1975 ● Kelle Bryan → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1977 ● Ben Kenney → Bassist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), session work and Ghetto Crush Industries record executive
1978 ● Claudio Sanchez → Lead singer and guitarist for alt prog rock Coheed And Cambria, “A Favor House Atlantic” (Modern Rock #13, 2004), creator of comic book series The Amory Wars, author
1979 ● Pete Doherty → Co-founder and vocals for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Babyshambles, former paramour of model Kate Moss
1986 ● Danny Jones → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

March 13

1913 ● Lightnin’ Slim (Otis V. Hicks) → Important Louisiana electric blues guitarist and singer, bridged country, blues and mainstream pop, “Rooster Blues” (R&B #23, 1959), stopped recording in the 1960s and worked in a Detroit foundry, rediscovered and resumed touring the U.S. and Europe in the early 70s before dying of stomach cancer on 7/27/1974, age 61
1933 ● Mike Stoller → Pianist, producer, record label owner, lyricist and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965)
1939 ● Neil Sedaka → Pop singer, pianist and songwriter, “Calendar Girl” (#4, 1961), plus over 30 other Top 40 hits, co-wrote the film theme song “Where The Boys Are” for Connie Francis (#4, 1961)
1940 ● Daniel Bennie → Second tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Marshall Chess → Music industry entrepreneur, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess and CEO following his father’s death in 1969, became founding CEO of Rolling Stones Records in the 70s and worked closely with the band and other artists, produced blues and rock documentary films, founded several independent labels and hosted satellite radio programs into the 10s
1942 ● Scatman John (John Larkin) → Stuttering jazz and R&B/dance-pop singer and pianist who combined scat singing with dance rhythms and turned his affliction into the international Top 10 hit “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)” (#60, Dance/Club #10, 1995), died from lung cancer on 12/3/1999, age 57
1944 ● Bobby Patterson → Dallas-based record producer and label executive, music promoter, radio DJ, songwriter and journeyman R&B/soul-blues singer, following a mildly successful 60s-70s solo career with several regional hits, produced records for Fontella Bass, Chuck Jackson, Little Johnny Taylor and others, wrote songs recorded by Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and others, issued a comeback album in 2014 (I Got More Soul!)
1949 ● Donald York → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1959 ● Greg Norton → Bassist for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), solo
1959 ● Ronnie Rogers → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1960 ● Adam Clayton → Bassist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987)
1972 ● Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) → Sophisticated underground jazz-rap artist, “Take It Ez” (Rap #5, 1992) and “One Nine Nine Nine” (Rap #4, 1999)
1973 ● David Draiman → Lead vocals/songwriter for Chicago-based heavy metal Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1974 ● Phil Burton → With brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney and another schoolmate, co-founder, guitar and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Ed Sloan → Lead guitar and vocals for hard rock/power metal trio Crossfade, wrote the band’s first hit, “Cold” (#81, Alt Rock #2, 2004) which spent 65 weeks on the rock chart
1979 ● Toni Lundow → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 14

1912 ● Lester Raymond “Les” Brown, Sr. → Big Band musician, composer and bandleader, fronted Les Brown And His Band of Renown for 70 years, issued two dozens albums and appeared on stage, film and numerous TV variety programs, including USO gigs with Bob Hope and on Hope’s Christmas specials, the highest rated U.S. TV programs prior to the Super Bowl era, died from lung cancer on 1/4/2001, age 88
1922 ● Leslie Thompson “Les” Baxter → Pianist, easy listening/pop music composer, pioneer of “exotica” incorporating Polynesian and African sounds, “Poor People Of Paris” (#1, 1956), wrote the “Whistle” theme song to the TV show Lassie, died on 1/15/1996, age 73
1931 ● Phil Phillips (John Phillip Baptiste) → Louisiana R&B/blues and swamp pop one hit wonder singer, “Sea Of Love” (#2, 1959)
1933 ● Quincy Jones → Six decade music industry giant, bandleader, producer, songwriter, film score composer and record label executive, solo artist, “Stuff Like That” (#21, R&B #1, 1978), worked with Michael Jackson for Thriller and Off The Wall
1934 ● Shirley Scott → The “Queen of the Organ,” hard bop and soul-jazz organist with over 30 albums as a solo artist and bandleader, also collaborated with husband Stanley Turrentine and Eddie “Lockjaw” David on numerous albums and projects, successfully sued the manufacturer of diet drug fen-phen in 2000 but died from heart failure caused by the drug on 3/10/2002, age 67
1943 ● Jim Pons → Bassist for The Leaves, then pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then with Frank Zappa‘s Mothers Of Invention
1943 ● Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner → Frontman and bassist for influential R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975) and six other Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, died on 1/26/2013, age 69
1945 ● Michael Martin Murphey → Grammy-winning Western swing. light country-rock, pop ballad and cowboy song singer and songwriter, “Wildfire” (#3, 1975) and “Carolina In The Pines” (Country #9, 1985), wrote the New Mexico state song, “The Land Of Enchantment,” concentrated on cowboy themes and Western music in the 90s and early 00s, shifted to bluegrass in the later 00s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1945 ● Walter Parazaider → Saxophonist for pop-rock Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972) and five #1 albums during the 1970s
1947 ● Jimmy O’Rourke → Guitarist and singer with blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● Jona Lewie (John Lewis) → Brit indie/pub rock keyboards, vocals and songwriter, Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, “Seaside Shuffle” (UK #2, 1972), then solo, “Stop The Cavalry” (UK #3, 1980)
1947 ● Peter Skellern → Brit pianist and pop/easy listening singer and songwriter, “Your A Lady” (#50, UK #3, 1972)
1950 ● Rigdon Osmond “Rick” Dees III → Comedian, songwriter, musician, Los Angeles radio DJ (KIIS-FM) and host of the syndicated Weekly Top 40 Countdown, also known for the novelty-pop single “Disco Duck” (#1, 1976)
1957 ● Chris Redburn → Bassist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1963 ● Mike Muir → Vocals for hardcore punk/thrash metal Suicidal Tendencies, “Institutionalized” (1994)
1963 ● Steve Lambert → Vocals for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1969 ● Michael Bland → Session drummer for Prince (1989-96), Soul Asylum, Paul Westerberg, Nick Jonas & The Administration
1970 ● Kristian Merrill Bush → Vocals and guitars for country-pop duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008)
1979 ● Jacques Brautbar → Guitarist for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), professional photographer and collaborator in various music projects
1983 ● Jordan Taylor Hanson → Keyboards and vocals for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1988 ● Colby O’Donis (Colón) → Grammy-winning R&B/hip hop singer and songwriter, “What You Got” (#14, 2008) and “Just Dance” with Lady GaGa (#1, 2009), actor

March 15

1912 ● Sam John “Lightnin'” Hopkins → Texas country blues singer, songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #71), “Mojo Hand” (1960), influenced many blues-rock guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, died of esophageal cancer on 1/30/1982, age 69
1919 ● George Avalian → Russian-American jazz critic, record producer and music executive, produced jazz and popular music albums for Columbia Records and other labels with Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and others, co-founded the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (presenters of the Grammy Awards)
1921 ● Les Cooper → Doo wop singer, band manager and frontman for one hit wonder The Soul Rockets and the pounding pop instrumental “Wiggle Wobble” (#12, 1962), died 8/3/2013, age 92
1922 ● Eddie Calvert → British solo trumpeter and instrumental composer, his biggest hit was “Oh, Mein Papa” (UK #1, 1954), died of a heart attack on 8/7/1978, age 56
1931 ● Dominic Joseph “D. J.” Fontana → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer who played in Elvis Presley‘s backing band on over 450 songs from 1954 through 1968
1932 ● Arif MardinAtlantic Records producer and arranger, worked with Al Green, Aretha Franklin, The Doobie Brothers, Bette Midler, Average White Band, Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones and others, died on 6/25/2006, age 74
1936 ● Howard Greenfield → Lyricist and songwriter, worked in the Brill Building in the 1960s, co-wrote dozens of hits, including “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” for Neil Sedaka (#1, 1962) and “Love Will Keep Us Together” for The Captain & Tennille, #1, 1970), co-wrote TV theme songs, including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel, died from complications due to AIDS on 3/4/1986, age 49
1940 ● Phil Lesh → Bassist and occasional lead vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), the Dead spinoffs The Other Ones and Phil Lesh & Friends
1941 ● Mike Love → Lead vocals and, since 1961, the only consistent member of surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966) and “Kokomo” (#1, 1988), lone solo album in 1981
1942 ● Hughie Flint → Drummer for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then blues-rock McGuinness Flint, “When I’m Dead And Gone” (#47, 1971)
1944 ● David Costell → Guitarist for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● Ralph MacDonald → Trinbagonian-American percussionist, producer and songwriter, played with scores of acts including as charter member of Jimmy Buffett‘s Coral Reefer Band, best known for co-penning the Grammy winners “Where Is The Love” for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (#5, R&B #1, 1972), as well as “Just The Two Of Us” for Bill Withers and Grover Washington, Jr. (#2, 1981), among others, died from lung cancer on 12/18/2011, age 67
1944 ● Ron Stone → Music industry manager and artist advocate, handled career-development for Joni Mitchell, Eagles, Bob Dylan, America and others, currently represents the music industry in intellectual property and content rights litigation
1944 ● Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) → Founder, frontman, vocals, guitar and keyboards for R&B/funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People” (#1, 1969)
1946 ● Howard Scott → Co-founder and guitarist for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1947 ● Hernandez Lugo → Bassist for garage rock ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder → Country-folk-blues-rock session guitarist, member of supergroups Rising Sons and later Little Village, Grammy-winning solo artist
1948 ● Stephen “Grizzly” Nisbett → Drums for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), retired in 2001
1953 ● Preston Hubbard → Bassist for blues/swing revival Roomful Of Blues, then blues-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1955 ● Etterlene “Bunny” DeBarge → With her four brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1955 ● Daniel “Dee” Snider → Frontman and vocals for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983), solo, radio DJ, VH1 DJ, TV reality show star
1962 ● Steve Coy → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1962 ● Terence Trent D’Arby (Howard) → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Wishing Well” (#1, 1988)
1963 ● Brett Michaels → Frontman, songwriter and vocals for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1964 ● Rockwell (Kenneth Gordy) → One hit wonder R&B/pop singer, “Somebody’s Watching Me” (#2, 1984), son of Motown Records founder and executive Berry Gordy
1968 ● Jon Schaffer → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for heavy metal Iced Earth, “I Walk Among You” (Sales #3, 2008), nominated for “Riff Lord” at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards
1968 ● Mark McGrath → Lead singer for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), TV host on tabloid show Extra and Don’t Forget the Lyrics
1972 ● Mark Hoppus → Bassist for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1975 ● will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.) → Rapper, songwriter, lead vocals and producer for hip hop Black Eyed Peas, “Where Is The Love” (#1, 2003), producer for Michael Jackson, U2, Britney Spears and others
1977 ● Mr. Hahn (Joseph Hahn) → Korean-American DJ and sampler for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)

March 16

1936 ● Fred Neil → Important Greenwich Village folk scene singer and songwriter who achieved little critical acclaim but wrote several hits for others, including the Grammy-winning “Everybody’s Talkin'” for Harry Nilsson (#6, 1968), and influenced a young Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian and many others, died from natural causes on 7/7/2001, age 65
1942 ● Jerry Jeff Walker (Ronald Clyde Crosby) → Progressive, “outlaw” country singer, wrote and recorded “Mr. Bojangles” (#77, 1968), a #9 hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1971
1948 ● Michael Bruce → Guitarist for glam/hard rock Alice Cooper band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972), solo
1954 ● Jimmy Nail (James Bradford) → Brit TV actor (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Spender), novelist and pop singer/songwriter, “Ain’t No Doubt” (UK #1, 1992)
1954 ● Nancy Wilson → Co-frontwoman, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for hard rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Flavor Flav (William Jonathan Drayton, Jr.) → Court jester and rap vocals for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989)
1963 ● Stuart Kerr → Drummer for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● H. P. Baxxter (Hans-Peter Geerdes) → Co-founder, frontman and vocals for German techno/dance/hardcore group Scooter, “Ramp! (The Logical Song)” (UK #2, 2001), the band is one of the most successful German pop-rock bands ever
1970 ● Alex Lee → Session guitarist and sideman in various alt rock, pop-rock and electronica groups, including Goldfrapp, Suede, Placebo and The Blues Aeroplanes, arranged music for Florence & The Machine, Marina & The Diamonds and the Royal Shakespeare Company, composed soundtracks for TV and film
1972 ● Andrew Dunlop → Guitarist for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1976 ● Blu Cantrell (Tiffany Cobb) → R&B/contemporary soul singer and songwriter, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (oops!)” (#2, 2001)
1979 ● Leena Peisa → Keyboards for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1991 ● Wolfgang Van Halen → Son of Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli and current bassist for hard rock Van Halen (replaced Mark Anthony in 2006)

March 17

1919 ● Nat King Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles) → Jazz pianist and bandleader turned pop singer, “Ramblin’ Rose” (#2, 1962) and 18 other Top 25 hits, TV host, father of soul-pop singer Natalie Cole and actress/producer Carole “Cookie” Cole, died from lung cancer on 2/15/1965, age 55
1937 ● Adam Wade → R&B/pop vocalist, “Take Good Care Of Her” (#7, 1961), TV and film actor, voice-overs
1937 ● Louis Aldine “Dean” Mathis → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1937 ● Vince Martin (Vincent Marcellino) → Folk singer/songwriter and guitarist who scored a Top Ten hit fronting The Tarriers (“Cindy, Oh Cindy,” #9, 1956) with bandmate and future actor Alan Arkin, later sang with relatively unknown folksinger Fred Neil for an album of duets, Tear Down The Walls (1964) which launched Neil‘s career, issued several obscure solo albums, continues to perform and record
1938 ● Zola Mae Taylor → R&B, blues and soul singer and original female member of hugely successful doo wop quintet The Platters (“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” #1, 1958), left the band before legal infighting began in the mid-60s but became entangled in the 80s public soap opera as one of three women claiming to be 50s teen idol Frankie Lymon‘s widow, died from pneumonia following several strokes on 4/30/2007, age 69
1939 ● Clarence Collins → Co-founder and baritone for long-lived R&B/doo wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1941 ● Paul Lorin Kantner → Founding member, vocals and guitar for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane (“White Rabbit,” #8, 1967) and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975), which he fronted in various incarnations for 40 years, died from complications following a heart attack on 1/28/2016, age 74
1944 ● Bob Johnson → Guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975)
1944 ● John B. Sebastian → Frontman, guitarist and singer/songwriter for folk-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966), then solo, “Welcome Back” (#1, 1976)
1944 ● Pat McAuley → Drummer and keyboards for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Patricia Anne “Patty” Boyd → Model, photographer and former wife of George Harrison (1966-77) and Eric Clapton (1979-89), possible inspiration for “I Need You” and “Layla,” among other Harrison and Eric Clapton love songs
1946 ● Harold Brown → Co-founder and drummer for R&B/funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), now Lowrider
1948 ● Fran Byrne → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1948 ● Patrick Lloyd → Bassist for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, UK #1, 1968)
1951 ● Scott Gorham → Guitarist for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1959 ● Mike Lindup → Keyboards for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Clare Grogan → Frontwoman and vocals for Scottish post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), TV and film actress (Gregory’s Girl), VH1 presenter
1962 ● Janet Gardner → Founding member, rhythm guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Roxy Petrucci → Founding member and original drummer for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Michael Ivins → Bassist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1967 ● Billy Corgan → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996), then Zwan and producer for Hole and others
1970 ● Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) → Founding member, vocals, guitar and songwriter for experimental alternative rock duo Ween, “Mutilated Lips” (1997)
1972 ● Melissa Auf der Maur → Second bassist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998), toured with Smashing Pumpkins in 2000, solo and various collaborations
1973 ● Caroline Corr → With two sisters and brother, drummer and vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1975 ● Justin Hawkins → Flamboyant frontman, vocals, guitars and keyboards for glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Top 40 #35, 2004)
1976 ● Stephen Gately → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999), died from a pulmonary edema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition on 10/9/2009, age 33
1990 ● Hozier (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) → Irish indie-rock, soul and blues singer/songwriter, wrote and performed Grammy Song Of The Year nominee “Take Me To Church” (#2, 2013)

March 18

1911 ● Smiley Burnette (Lester Alvin Burnett) → Comedian, TV actor (Petticoat Junction, 1960s), singer, multi-instrumentalist, country-pop songwriter and movie soundtrack composer, wrote over 400 songs and performed many of them on stage and screen, often as sidekick to Gene Autry, including “Ridin’ Down the Canyon (To Watch the Sun Go Down),” died from leukemia on 2/16/1967, age 55
1929 ● George Scott → Blind from birth original member and vocals for spiritually-uplifting, five-time Grammy-winning gospel group Blind Boys Of Alabama, recorded more than 50 albums with the group over 70-plus years, retired from touring a year before his death from heart failure on 3/9/2005, age 76
1936 ● Robert Lee Smith → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1938 ● Carl Gottlieb → Screen and TV scriptwriter with credits including Jaws (1977) and episodes of All In The Family (1971-79), sometime actor, Writers Guild of America board member and co-author of two David Crosby autobiographies, Long Time Gone (1989) and Since Then (2006)
1938 ● Charley Pride → Grammy-winning country singer with 36 number one hits, including “I’d Rather Love You” (Country #1, 1971), the most successful African-American country star ever
1941 ● Wilson Pickett → Legendary R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “In The Midnight Hour” (#21, 1968), died of a heart attack on 1/19/2006, age 64
1942 ● Helen Gathers → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and baritone vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), left the group in the late 60s and disappeared from the music industry, died from cancer on 2/13/2011, age 68
1943 ● Dennis Linde
→ Country and pop music singer and songwriter best known for penning Elvis Presley‘s hit, “Burning Love” (#2, 1972) and Dixie Chicks‘ “Goodbye Earl” (#19, Country #13, 2000), wrote or co-wrote songs for Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and many others, died from pulmonary fibrosis on 12/22/22006, age 63
1945 ● Eric Woolfson → Scottish songwriter, lyricist pianist, producer and co-creator of prog rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981), wrote musicals and released a solo album, died from kidney cancer on 12/2/2009
1947 ● Brian James “B.J.” Wilson → Drummer in R&B/blues The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), fell into a coma following a car accident and died several months later on 10/8/1990, age 43
1948 ● Bobby Whitlock → Session musician for Stax Records then R&B/blue-eyed soul singer, member of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Derek And The Dominos and George Harrison‘s backing band, session work on The Rolling StonesExile On Main Street album, retired to farm in Mississippi
1950 ● John Hartman → Co-founder and drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), left in 1979 but returned for 1987-1992
1959 ● Irene Cara (Irene T. Escalera) → R&B/disco-pop singer, “Flashdance…What A Feelin'” (#1, 1983), actress who played Coco Hernandez in the movie Fame (1983)
1960 ● James McMurtry → Texas rock, folk-rock and Americana singer, songwriter, occasional actor, guitarist and bandleader with twelve solo albums including Complicated Game (US Indie Rock #39, 2015) and a single hit, “Painting By Numbers” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1989), appeared in the film Daisy Miller (1974) and the TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), member of country-rock supergroup Buzzin’ Cousins with John Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely and Dwight Yoakam
1961 ● Grantzberg Vernon “Grant” Hart → Drummer and songwriter for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), solo
1963 ● Jeff LeBar → Guitarist for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990)
1963 ● Vanessa L. Williams → Model and disgraced Miss America winner turned successful actress and R&B/pop vocalist, “Save The Best For Last” (#1, 1992)
1964 ● Courtney Pine → Multi-instrumentalist jazz musician and composer of TV and film music, “Children Of The Ghetto” (UK Top 10, 1986), also worked with Charlie Watts, Mica Paris, Trevor Jones and Jazz Warriors
1966 ● Jerry Cantrell → Guitars, vocals and songwriting for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), solo, “My Song” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1998)
1967 ● Miki Berenyi → Guitar and lead vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1967 ● Robert Harrison → Singer and guitarist for unheralded power pop Cotton Mather, “My Before And After” (1998), now fronts indie pop-rock Future Clouds & Radar
1970 ● Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens) → First bona fide female rap star (with first gold LP by a female MC), “U.N.I.T.Y.” (#23, Hot Rap #2, 1993), Emmy and Golden Globe-winning TV and film actress, talk show host, eponymous cosmetics product line
1974 ● Stuart Zender → Bassist in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1977 ● Harold “Devin” Lima → Vocals for pop/rap trio LFO (“Lyte Funkie Ones” or “Low Frequency Oscillator”), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999), formed The Cadbury Diesel in 2007
1979 ● Adam Levine → Guitar and lead vocals for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1979 ● Shola Ama (Mathurian Campbell) → Brit soul-pop singer, “You’re The One I Love” (UK #3, 1997)
1985 ● Marvin Humes → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (“Jack The Lad Swing”), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (March 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 05

1933 ● Tommy Tucker (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1946 ● Murray Head → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Robert L.”Bobby” Debarge, Jr. → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith → Founder, frontman, singer, songwriter, vocalist and only constant member of 35+ year punk and post-punk The Fall, “There’s A Ghost In My House” (UK #30, 1987)
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1905 ● James Robert “Bob” Wills → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1893 ● Walter “Furry” Lewis → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinso → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Domingo “Sam” Samudio → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis

March 06

1937 ● Doug Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1939 ● Jerry Naylor (Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1944 ● Mary Wilson → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1976 to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career
1945 ● Hugh Grundy → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07

1942 ● Hamilton Bohannon → Drummer, bandleader, producer and one of the leading figures in the rise of 70s disco/dance music, worked with Stevie Wonder in his early years, toured with major Motown artists in the late 60s and joined Dakar/Brunswick Records in 1972, perfected the thudding baseline and heavy rhythms of disco and went on to record and produce numerous dance-pop hits, including his own “Let’s Start The Dance” (R&B #9, 1978)
1943 ● Chris Taylor White → Bassist and one of two primary songwriters in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1944 ● Townes Van Zandt → Reclusive country-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet, wrote “If I Needed You” (Country #3, 1981 for Emmylou Harris) and “Pancho And Lefty” (Country #1, 1983 for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), issued several solo albums but remained a largely cult musician, died on 1/1/1997 from cardiac arrhythmia following years of substance abuse, age 52
1945 ● Arthur Lee (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Founder, guitarist, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died from leukemia on 8/3/2006
1946 ● Matthew Fisher → Keyboardist, lead vocals and songwriter for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969 for solo career and record producer for Robin Trower and others
1946 ● Peter Wolf (Blankfield) → Radio DJ (WBCN-fm, Boston) before joining boogie-blues-rock ‘n’ roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982) as lead singer and songwriter, left in 1983 for a solo career, “Lights Out” (#12, 1984), former husband of actress Faye Dunaway
1952 ● Ernest “Ernie” Isley → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1962 ● Taylor Dayne (Leslie Wunderman) → Dance-pop diva with a career-igniting seven straight Top 10 singles between 1987 and 1990, including “Love Will Lead You Back” (#1, 1990) and a recharge with “Planet Love” (Dance/Pop #1, 2000)
1966 ● Paul Davis → Keyboards for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Randy Guss → Drummer for alt folk-pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992)
1973 ● Sébastien Izambard → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1977 ● Paul Cattermole → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1982 ● Kelli Young → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 08

1931 ● Lloyd Knibb → Jamaican ska music pioneer and drummer in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), played and toured with the band until his death from liver cancer on 3/12/2011, age 80
1937 ● Raynoma Gordy Singleton → Second wife and business partner of Motown Records founder and CEO Berry Gordy in the formative years of the hugely influential label, sang back-up on early hits and mentored artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, divorced Gordy and left Motown before the big run of hits in the mid-60s, later managed the careers of her two sons with Gordy and authored a tell-all biography, died from brain cancer on 11/11/2016, age 79
1937 ● Richard George Fariña → Author and folksinger, duets with wife Mimi (Baez) Fariña, wrote the 60s cult classic Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, died on 4/30/1966 in a motorcycle accident
1942 ● Ralph Ellis → Guitarist and songwriter for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1943 ● Shel Macrae (Andrew Semple) → Vocals and lead guitar Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1945 ● George Michael “Micky” Dolenz, Jr. → Drummer and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo, producer
1946 ● Carole Bayer Sager → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer and songwriter, co-wrote “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (The Mindbenders, #2, 1966 and Phil Collins, #1, 1988), co-wrote “Nobody Does It Better” (Carly Simon, #2, 1980), issued three solo albums, former wife of and musical collaborator with Burt Bacharach
1946 ● Randy Meisner → Original bassist in country-rock Poco, left to join Rick Nelson‘s Stone Canyon Band, plus session work for Linda Ronstadt, whose backing band became country-rock Eagles, co-wrote and sang “Take It To The Limit” (#4, 1977), left in 1977 for solo career, “Hearts On Fire” (#19, 1981)
1947 ● Michael Allsup → Guitarist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1948 ● Little Peggy March (Margaret Battavio) → Girl group-era one hit wonder pop vocalist, “I Will Follow Him” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Mel Galley → Guitarist for hard funk-rock Trapeze, “Keepin’ Time” (1972), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), died of cancer on 7/1/2008
1949 ● Dave Lambert → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), solo
1954 ● Cheryl Baker (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1957 ● Clive Burr → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Gary Numan (Webb) → Composer, musician and bandleader for New Wave synth-pop Tubeway Army, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (UK #1, 1979), and seminal 80s New Wave hit “Cars” (#9, 1980)
1960 ● Richard Darbyshire → Lead vocals and guitar for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1962 ● Steve Grantley → Drummer for The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers, plus session work for Julian Lennon, Eighth Wonder and The Clash, author of a book about 70s metal band Slade and another covering The Who‘s discography
1964 ● Peter “Ped” Gill → Backing vocals and drummer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1968 ● Rob Dukes → Lead vocalist for thrash metal Exodus (Blood In, Blood Out, #38, 2014) from 2004 to 2014, currently vocalist for crossover thrash metal Generation Kill
1968 ● Shawn Mullins → Atlanta-based folk/pop male singer, “Lullaby” (#7, 1998)
1972 ● Angie Hart → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-pop Frente!, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (#49, 1994)
1976 ● Gareth Coombes → Vocals and guitar for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams → Vocals for teen R&B dance/pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999)
1979 ● Tom Chaplin → Vocals for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1988 ● Eleanor Jackson → Singer and namesake (“the red-haired one”) of electro-dance-pop duo La Roux, “Bulletproof” (#8, 2010)

March 09

1925 ● Billy Ford → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith (Dorothy Jackson Keely) → Jazz and pop singer with husband Louis Prima in 50s Vegas-lounge and recording duo with the Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958) , later divorced and had a successful solo career, including the single “You’re Breaking My Heart” (#14, 1965), continued to record through the 00s
1930 ● Ornette Coleman → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with several Top 40 hits, including “Stagger Lee” (#1, 1959), now manages a food service company using his name on various Southern-style packaged food products
1936 ● Mickey Gilley → Country-pop singer “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), owner of Gilley’s nightclubs
1942 ● John Davies Cale → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton (Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robert Calvert → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Robin Trower → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Ron Wilson → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife
1948 ● Chris Thompson → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

March 10

1903 ● Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke → Influential jazz pianist, cornetist and composer, proto-“cool jazz” soloist, “Singin’ The Blues” (1927), died of complications of alcoholism on 8/6/1931, age 28
1920 ● Jethro (Kenneth C. Burns) → With partner Henry D. Haynes, one half the satirical country-pop radio and TV comedy/music duo Homer & Jethro, parodied country and pop hits and won a Grammy Award for “The Battle Of Kookamonga” (#14, 1959) , their take on Johnny Horton‘s #1 hit “The Battle Of New Orleans,” continued to perform and teach mandolin and was considered a virtuoso on the instrument, died from prostate cancer on 2/4/1989, age 68
1935 ● Dexter Tisby → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits
1938 ● Omar Shariff (Dave Alexander) → Award-winning but obscure Texas blues singer and pianist with eight or more blues and jazz fusion albums between 1972 and 1998, found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on 1/8/2012, age 73
1940 ● Dean Torrence → One-half of the legendary surf-rock duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), the pair had 16 Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1966
1943 ● Ritchie Cordell (Richard Rosenblatt) → Songwriter and record producer, wrote and produced “I Think We’re Alone Now” (#4, 1967) and “Mony Mony” (#3, 1968) for Tommy James & The Shondells, remakes of the two songs by Tiffany and Billy Idol traded the #1 spot 20 years later in 1987, also produced Joan Jett & The Blackhearts‘ debut album I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (#2, 1982) and albums by The Ramones and Bow Wow Wow, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/13/2004, age 61
1945 ● Pete Nelson (Lipscomb) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1947 ● Tom Scholz → Founder, guitarist and tape wizard for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1950 ● Ted McKenna → Scottish drummer for Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1954 ● Tina Charles (Hoskins) → Brit R&B/disco dance-pop singer, “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)” (Disco #2, 1976)
1960 ● Gail Greenwood → Bassist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1962 ● Gary Clark → With brother Kit, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1963 ● Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin → Record producer, former co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of legendary Def Jam Records and a key player in the rise of hip-hop music, produced two of the landmark rap albums, the Beastie Boys‘ Licensed To Ill (1986) and Run-D.M.C.‘s Raising Hell (1986), renamed Def Jam American Recordings in 1993 and produced multiple albums by Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus individual albums by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty and others
1963 ● Jeff Ament → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1964 ● Neneh Cherry (Neneh Mariann Karlsson) → Hip hop/dance-pop singer “Buffalo Stance” (#3, 1989), stepdaughter of jazz musician Don Cherry
1964 ● Patrick Kane → With brother Greg, vocals for Scottish contemporary dance-pop/electronica Hue And Cry, “Labour Of Love” (UK #6, 1987)
1966 ● Dave Krusen → Drummer and backing vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1966 ● Edie Brickell → Vocals and frontwoman for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989), married Paul Simon in 1992
1967 ● Susie Q (Susan Banfield) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1971 ● Doug Ardito → Bass and guitars for post-grunge hard rock Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1971 ● Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Moseley) → Rapper, “Up Jumps Da Boogie” (#12, Rap #1, 1997) and producer, with partner Magoo member of hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo, produced hits for Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, The Pussycat Dolls and others
1973 ● John Charles LcCompt → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1975 ● Jerry Horton → Lead guitar for hard rock/heavy metal Papa Roach, “Scars” (#15, Mainstream Rock #4, 2005)
1977 ● Matthew Rubano → Bassist for melodic hardcore metal Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006)
1977 ● Robin Thicke → Pop R&B and hip hop singer/songwriter, musician and sometime actor, “Lost Without U” (#14, 2007), son of actor and composer Alan Thicke
1978 ● Benjamin Burnley → Lead vocals, rhythm guitar and chief songwriter for post-grunge hard rock Breaking Benjamin, “So Cold” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Jonathan Ansell → Tenor for Brit pop vocal quartet G4, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (UK #8, 2005), went solo when the troupe disbanded
1983 ● Carrie Underwood → Grammy-winning country-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Inside Your Heaven” (#1, 2005), her album Some Hearts is the best selling solo female debut album in country music history

March 11

1903 ● Lawrence Welk → Iconic and beloved MOR easy listening/pop accordionist, bandleader, television host and impresario noted for his “champagne music” style, “Calcutta” (#1, 1961), died of pneumonia on 5/17/1992, age 89
1908 ● Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck Ford “Rice” Miller) → Legendary blues singer/songwriter/harmonica player, recorded with Robert Johnson in the 1930s and Eric Clapton in the 1960s
1938 ● Joseph Brooks → Screenwriter, film score composer and prolific author of advertising jingles (Geritol, Dial soap, Maxwell House coffee, and others), wrote “You Light Up My Life” for Debby Boone (#1, 1977) and the movie of the same name he wrote, directed and scored, and for which he won an Oscar and Grammy Award, committed suicide on 5/22/2011, age 73, just before the start of his trial for drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women he lured to his apartment for movie auditions
1944 ● Ric Rothwell → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965)
1945 ● Harvey “The Snake” Mandel → Blues-rock guitarist with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and others, plus solo
1947 ● Derek “Blue” Weaver → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), replaced Rick Wakeman in folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), then pop-disco The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1978), the with the reformed Strawbs and session work for Stevie Wonder, Pet Shop Boys, Chicago, The Damned and others
1947 ● Mark Stein → Vocals, guitars and keyboards for psych-rock Vanilla Fudge, the Tommy Bolin band and Alice Cooper‘s band
1948 ● George Kooymans → Founder, vocals and guitar for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1950 ● Bobby McFerrin → Grammy-winning virtuoso jazz, pop and classical vocalist, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (#1, 1988)
1950 ● Keith Diamond (Alexander) → Songwriter and record producer, worked with Michael Bolton, Mick Jagger, Sheena Easton, Donna Summer and others, wrote “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984) and other songs for Billy Ocean, died from a heart attack on 1/18/1997
1951 ● Katie Kissoon (Katherine Farthing) → Vocals with her brother, Gerald Farthing, in one hit wonder easy listening/bubblegum pop duo Mac & Katie Kissoon (“Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep,” #20, 1971), then backing vocals/sessions for Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Pet Shop Boys and others
1955 ● Catherina “Nina” Hagen → German bandleader, songwriter and post-punk dance-pop singer, “New York New York” (Dance/Club #9, 1984), now Christian music singer
1955 ● Flinto Chandia → Bassist in Brit pop one hit wonder Jimmy The Hoover, “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)” (UK #18, 1983)
1957 ● Cheryl Lynn → R&B/disco multi-hit diva and former Gong Show winner, “Got To Be Real” (#12, R&B #1, 1978)
1961 ● Bruce Watson → Guitarist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983)
1961 ● Mike Percy → Bassist and songwriter for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Paul Abbott → With brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, co-founder and drummer in thrash metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and metal supergroup Damageplan, “Save Me” (Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), Darrell was murdered on stage by a deranged fan at a show in Columbus, OH on 12/8/2004 and Damageplan broke up, joined supergroup Hellyeah in 2006
1968 ● Lisa Loeb → Contemporary folk-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Stay, I Missed You” (#1, 1994) from the soundtrack to Reality Bites (1994), voice-overs and children’s recordings
1969 ● Pete Droge → Post-grunge roots rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself)” (Mainstream Rock #28, 1995)
1969 ● Rami Jaffee → Keyboardist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996)
1979 ● Benji Madden (Benjamin Levi Combs) → With twin brother Joel, guitar and backing vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1979 ● Joel Madden (Joel Reuben Combs) → With twin brother Benji, lead vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1981 ● LeToya Nicole Luckett → Singer with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), quit in 1999 and eventually started a solo career, “Torn” (#31, 2006)
1981 ● Paul Wall (Slayton) → Texas rapper with two Top 10 crossover albums, The Peoples Champ (#1, 2005) and Get Money, Stay True (#8, 2007) and one major crossover hit, “Grillz” (#1, 2005) with Nelly and Ali & Gipp
1981 ● Russell Lissack → Lead guitar for indie pop-punk revival Bloc Party, “Helicopter” (Dance #5, 2006)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (February 26 – March 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 26

1926 ● Nancy Swain Overton (Anne Swain) → Popular music singer in Tommy Tucker‘s Two Timers and Mel Tormé‘s The Meltones, joined pop girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954) in the 60s, married to jazz pianist/composer/arranger Hall Overton until his death in 1972, died from esophageal cancer on 4/5/2009, age 83
1928 ● Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. → Rock ‘n’ roll singer, pianist, bandleader and songwriter, best-selling black artist of the 50s starting with “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, R&B #1, 1955) and 33 Top 40 hits through 1962
1930 ● Chic Hetti (Carl Cicchetti) → Vocals and piano for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Johnny Cash → The “Man in Black,” super-legendary traditional and outlaw country singer, songwriter and guitarist with dozens of top country hits plus “A Boy Named Sue” (#2, 1969), died from respiratory failure 9/12/2003, age 71
1943 ● Paul Cotton → Stalwart member, guitarist, songwriter and vocals for country-rock Poco, wrote “The Heart Of The Night” (#20, Adult Contemporary #5, 1979)
1945 ● Bob “The Bear” Hite → Harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died from a heroin-induced heart attack on 4/6/1981, age 36
1945 ● Mitch Ryder (William Levise, Jr.) → Frontman and vocals for classic rock ‘n’ roll garage band The Detroit Wheels, “Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” (#4, 1966) and 25 albums as a solo artist since 1967
1947 ● Sandie Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) → Brit girl-group style pop singer, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#52, UK #1, 1967)
1950 ● Jonathan Cain → Keyboards for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989)
1953 ● Michael Bolton (Bolotin) → Solo pop-rock singer, then lead vocals for heavy metal Blackjack, then Grammy-winning solo soft pop-rock balladeer, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” (#1, 1990) and five Top 10 albums
1958 ● Steve Grant → Stage dancer, male model and session singer recruited to front pre-fab Brit synth-dance-pop trio Tight Fit to support the cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (UK #1, 1982) and several other UK hits for a brief period of stardom, after disbandment in 1984 returned to appearing in theater productions
1960 ● Jeremy “Jaz” Coleman → Vocals and keyboards for post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1961 ● John Jon (Jonathan Hellyer) → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1968 ● Tim Commerford → Bassist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999), then alt metal Audioslave, “Doesn’t Remind Me” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1969 ● Timothy Brown → Bassist for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Erykah Badu → Smooth R&B/neo-soul songwriter and vocalist, “On & On” (#12, Hot Dance #3, 1997)
1971 ● Martin Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg → Swedish music songwriter and producer for Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, *NSYNC and Pink
1979 ● Corinne Bailey Rae → Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul songstress, “Your Love Is Mine” (Dance/Club #4, 2007)
1982 ● Nate Ruess → Lead vocalist for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), recorded with Pink (“Just Give Me A Reason,” #1, 2013) then started solo career in 2015 (“Nothing Without Love,” Rock #6, 2015)

February 27

1948 ● Eddie Gray → Guitarist for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1950 ● Robert Balderrama → Guitarist for garage rock ? and the Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1951 ● Steve Harley (Stephen Nice) → Frontman and lead singer for glam-rock Cockney Rebel, then solo, “Ballerina (Prima Donna)” (UK #51, 1983)
1954 ● Neil Schon → Guitarist for Latin-tinged rock Santana, “Everybody’s Everything” (#12, 1971), then lead guitar and frontman for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), sessions and stints with Bad English and Hardline
1955 ● Garry Christian → Lead vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1957 ● Adrian Smith → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1959 ● Johnny Van Zant → Lead vocals and frontman for his own band, then replaced his older, deceased brother Ronnie in the reformed Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, issued solo “Brickyard Road” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), plays with older brother Donnie (formerly .38 Special) in hard Rock Van Zant
1960 ● Paul Humphreys → Keyboards and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1963 ● Nasty Suicide (Jan Stenfors) → Guitarist for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1964 ● Derek McKenzie → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1964 ● Ewen Vernal → Bassist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), now with folk-rock Capercaillie
1965 ● David Boulter → Keyboards for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1971 ● Chilli (Rozonda Ocelean Thomas) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1972 ● Jeremy Dean → Keyboards for indie power pop band Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” (#6, 2000)
1973 ● Peter Andre (Andrea) → Greek Cypriot, Australia-raised blue-eyed R&B/soul revivalist singer and former actor, “Gimme Little Sign” (Aussie #3, 1992), then urban dance-pop “I Feel You” (UK #1, 1995)
1981 ● Josh Groban → Adult-oriented pop and classical singer, “Believe” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2004), top selling US artist in 2007

February 28

1934 ● Giorgio Gomelsky → Georgian-born rock impresario, band manager, songwriter and producer, owned The Crawdaddy Club in London and hired The Rolling Stones as house band, managed The Yardbirds and other 60s Brit rock bands, guided early prog rock bands like The Soft Machine, 10cc and their 70s musical cousins, Gong and John McLaughlin, died from colon cancer on 1/13/2016, age 81
1938 ● Ed Cobb → Founding member and bass singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps (“26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” #2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later wrote and/or produced Grammy-wining and gold record songs for others, including the Standells‘ “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966) and Soft Cell‘s “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), toured with incarnations of The Four Preps into the 90s, died from leukemia on 9/19/1999, age 61
1939 ● John Fahey → Steel string acoustic folk and roots music guitarist (Rolling Stone #35), Takoma Records owner, died after undergoing sextuple bypass heart surgery on 2/22/2001, age 61
1940 ● Joe South (Souter) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Games People Play” (#12, 1969), session guitarist for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, wrote Deep Purple‘s “Hush” (#4, 1968) and Lynn Anderson’s “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1970), age 72
1941 ● Marty Sanders → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), plus nine other Top 30 hits
1942 ● Brian Jones → Founding member, first band leader and original guitarist for The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” (#1, 1966), was fired from the band he started and drowned in his swimming pool while under the influence of drugs and alcohol less than a month later on 7/3/1969, age 27
1943 ● Barbara Acklin → R&B/Chicago soul vocalist and songwriter, “Love Makes A Woman” (#15, R&B #3, 1968), co-wrote “Have You Seen Her” for The Chi-Lites (#3, R&B #1, 1971) and MC Hammer (#4, 1990), died from pneumonia on 11/27/1998, age 55
1943 ● Donnie Iris (Dominic Ierace) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for pop-rock The Jaggerz, “The Rapper” (#2, 1970), then briefly with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), then solo, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1981)
1944 ● Storm Thorgerson → Commercial graphic designer and childhood friend of Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters, Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, his firm designed the cover for the band’s The Dark Side Of The Moon album (1973) and covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Al Stewart, The Cranberries and many others, worked in graphic design until his death from an unspecified cancer on 4/18/2013, age 69
1945 ● Ronnie Rosman → Keyboards for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966) and psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Don Ciccone → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for 60s pop-rock The Critters, wrote their biggest hit, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” (#17, 1966), later sang with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and managed and played bass for Tommy James & The Shondels, died from unspecified causes on 10/8/2016, age 70
1952 ● Eddie “Kingfish” Manion → Saxophonist for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978), then with Bruce Springsteen‘s Seeger Sessions Band
1957 ● Cindy Wilson → Frontgal and vocals for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1957 ● Ian Stanley → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1957 ● Phil Gould → Drummer for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1967 ● Marcus Lillington → Guitarist for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1969 ● Pat Monahan → Lead vocals for Grammy-winning roots rock/folk-pop Train, “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, (#5, 2001), solo and songwriting with Guy Chambers
1971 ● Nigel Godrich → Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer for Radiohead, Beck, U2, R.E.M. and others, plus lead singer with Thom Yorke‘s Atoms For Peace
1972 ● Danny McCormack → Bass and vocals for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)

February 29

1904 ● Jimmy Dorsey → Reed player and Swing era Big Band leader with brother Tommy and on his own with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, multiple Top 40 hits including his last, “So Rare” (#2, 1957), died from throat cancer on 6/12/1957, age 53
1916 ● Dinah Shore (Francis Rose Shore) → Popular 1940s big band then 50s pop singer with 80 consecutive charting hits, including “Whatever Lola Wants” (#12, 1955), film actress and four decade TV music variety and talk show host, died from ovarian cancer on 2/24/1994, age 77
1940 ● Gretchen Christopher → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1944 ● David Briggs → Rock album producer known primarily for his work with Neil Young and Young‘s backing band Crazy Horse from the 60s to the 90s, produced many of Young‘s albums, including Tonight’s The Night (1975), also worked with Spirit, Nils Lofgren and others,, died from lung cancer on 11/26/1995, age 51
1948 ● Ruby Wilson → The “Queen of Beale Street,” Memphis blues, soul and gospel singer with 10 solo albums and multiple recordings with Ray Charles, Isaac Hayes and The Four Tops, among others, performed in B. B. King‘s nightclub, on cruises and in several movies and TV commercials, suffered a heart attack and died four weeks later on 8/12/2016, age 68
1972 ● Saul Williams → Spoken-word rapper known for his blend of poetry and hip-hop, “NiggyTardust” (2007)
1976 ● Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) → Murder, Inc. label rapper, “Always On Time” (#1, 2002), actor and convicted felon

March 01

1904 ● Alton Glenn Miller → Immensely popular Big Band-era swing and jazz composer, bandleader, trombonist and movie actor, wrote dozens of popular swing hits, including “In The Mood” (#1, 1940), “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Top 5, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), died during a tour of Western Europe to entertain U.S. troops when the transport plane in which he was flying disappeared over the English Channel during bad weather on 12/15/1944, age 40
1927 ● Harold George “Harry” Bellanfanti, Jr. (Bellanfanti) → The “King of Calypso,” entertainer, social activist, humanitarian and 50s pop and adult contemporary singer, “Banana Boat Song” (#5, 1956) plus five other Top 20 hits
1939 ● Warren Davis → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1942 ● Jerry Fisher → Vocals for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1944 ● Michael David “Mike” d’Abo → Singer, songwriter and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), wrote The Foundations‘ “Build Me Up Buttercup” (#3, 1969) and Rod Stewart‘s “Handbags & Gladrags” (#42, 1972)
1944 ● Roger Daltrey → Lead singer for venerable hard rock The Who, “Who Are You” (#14, 1978) and solo, “After The Fire” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1946 ● Edward Anthony “Tony” Ashton → Vocals and keyboards in 60s Merseybeat quintet The Remo Four, backed George Harrison on his Wonderwall Music soundtrack album (1968), co-founded early 70s art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke (“Resurrection Shuffle,” #40, UK #3, 1971), briefly joined prog rock Family and collaborated with Deep Purple‘sJon Lord on a number of projects, turned to art and writing in the 90s and died from cancer on 5/28/2001, age 55
1947 ● Alan Willis Jeffrey Thicke → Canadian songwriter, stage and screen actor with multiple credits, producer and TV show host, co-wrote Bill Champlin‘s minor hit “Sara” (1978), composed TV theme songs, including Diff’rent Strokes (1978) and The Facts Of Life (1979), hosted The Thicke Of The Night talk show (1983-84) and starred in the sitcom Growing Pains (1985-1992), died from an aortic dissection on 12/13/2016, age 69
1947 ● Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) → Two-time Grammy-winning roots-reggae singer, songwriter, Rastafarian preacher and bandleader with eleven Top 20 charting world and reggae music albums
1950 ● Dave Marsh → Rock music critic, magazine editor, author and radio talk show host, founding editor of music magazine Creem, wrote for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone and other music magazines, credited with coining the term “punk rock” in 1971, serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selection committee
1957 ● Jon Carroll → Singer in one hit wonder folk-pop Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (1976)
1958 ● Nik Kershaw → Singer, songwriter, jazz-funk guitarist and 80s teen idol, “Wouldn’t It Be Good” (#46, UK #4, 1984), producer
1962 ● Bill Leen → Bassist and co-founder of power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1962 ● Peter Stephenson → Founding member and keyboards in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Christina Bergmark → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1963 ● Rob Affuso → Drummer for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1969 ● Davydd Leuan → Drummer for Welsh electro-psych rock Super Furry Animals, “Northern Lites” (UK #11, 1999)
1973 ● Ryan Peake → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1987 ● Kesha Rose Sebert → Dance-pop rapper with Flo Rida, “Right Round”, (#1, 2009) and solo, “Tik Tok” (#1, 2010)
1994 ● Justin Bieber → Canadian teen idol pop singer and the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Baby” (#5, 2010)

March 02

1900 ● Kurt Weill → German stage producer and composer, frequently in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, co-wrote the stage production The Threepenny Opera and the now-standard “Mack The Knife” which was covered by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin (#1, 1959), Frank Sinatra, The Psychedelic Furs and several others, died after suffering a heart attack on 4/3/1950, age 50
1917 ● Desi Arnaz, Sr. → Musician and bandleader who helped popularize conga music in the US by adding Latin-Cuban themes to Big Band pop in the 40s, then became the beloved character Ricky Ricardo opposite his wife, Lucille Ball on the enduring 50s-60s I Love Lucy series, died from lung cancer on 12/2/1986, age 69
1938 ● Lawrence Payton → Tenor vocals and songwriter for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), on died 6/20/1997, age 59
1941 ● Keith Potger → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967) and The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1942 ● Lou Reed (Lewis Allan Reed) → Founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968), then renowned four decade solo career, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#16, 1973), died from liver failure on 10/27/2013, age 71
1943 ● Daniel Joseph Anthony “Tony” Meehan → Drummer for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), died after an accidental fall at home in London on 11/28/2005, age 62
1948 ● Larry Carlton → Grammy-winning jazz-rock fusion guitarist with The Crusaders (1971-76), session work for Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and others, composed the theme to the TV show Hill Street Blues and recorded several acclaimed solo albums
1948 ● Rory Gallagher → Hugely underrated Irish blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and vocalist with eleven solo studio albums plus sessions work, died from complications of a liver transplant on 6/14/1995, age 47
1950 ● Helmut Köllen → Bassist with cousin Jürgen Fritz in German prog rock trio Triumvirat, a lone and posthumous solo album was released in late 1977 after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a car in his garage with the engine running listening to cassette tapes of the work-in-progress on 5/3/1977, age 27
1950 ● Karen Carpenter → Vocals and drums for pop sibling act The Carpenters, three US #1 hits including “Close To You” (#1, 1970), died from anorexia nervosa on 2/4/1983, age 32
1955 ● Dale Bozzio (Consalvi) → Former Playboy bunny and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1955 ● Jay Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1956 ● John Cowsill → Drums and 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, member of 80s one hit wonder pop-rock Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny,” #4, 1982), currently touring with The Beach Boys
1956 ● Mark Evans → Original bassist for power rock AC/DC, “Let There Be Rock” (#154, 1977), quit in 1977 after becoming tired of tour schedule
1956 ● Steve “Lips” Kudlow → Canadian guitarist, vocalist and founding member of heavy metal Anvil with friend Robb Reiner in 1978
1962 ● Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.) → Vocals and frontman for pop metal/hard rock Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), then solo, “Blaze Of Glory” (#1, 1990), then reformed Bon Jovi, “Always” (#4, 1994) and moved into country-Heartland rock, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Adult Top 40 #6, 2006)
1967 ● Dennis Seaton → Lead vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1971 ● Method Man (Clifford Smith) → Founding member and MC for 9-man hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then first and biggest solo star to emerge from the Clan, “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By” (#3, Rap #1, 1995)
1977 ● Chris Martin → Guitar, vocals and piano for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1985 ● Luke Pritchard → Lead vocalist and guitarist with Brit-pop-rock The Kooks, “Always Where I Need To Be” (Alt Rock #22, 2008)

March 03

1923 ● Arthel L. “Doc” Watson → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1925 ● Herb Hardesty → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist noted for his work with Fats Domino and solos on nearly every hit song, including “I’m Walking” (#4, R&B #1, 1957), also recorded or toured with Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits and others over 50 years, performed with Dr. John in various New Orleans festivals until just a few years before his death from cancer on 12/3/2016, age 91
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1948 ● Byron MacGregor (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1948 ● Terence Charles “Snowy” White → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1950 ● Re Styles (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1983 ● Katie White → Vocals, guitar and drums for girl group punk trio TKO, then with Jules De Martino in indie pop duo The Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go” (Dance/Pop #1, 2008)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04

1925 ● Paul Mauriat → French orchestra conductor and composer of pop/easy listening music, best known for his one hit wonder version of “Love Is Blue” (#1, 1968), died 11/3/1966, age 81
1932 ● Miriam Makeba → Grammy-winning, influential and beloved South African folk-pop singer, “Pata Pata” (#12, 1967), died on 11/9/2008, age 76
1934 ● Barbara McNair → R&B/pop-soul singer with a dozen minor hits in the 60s, but better known as a Broadway and TV actress and host of her own musical variety show, The Barbara McNair Show (1969-1972), died from throat cancer on 3/4/2007, age 72
1936 ● Eric Allandale → Trombone in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), songwriter and jazz bandleader
1938 ● Angus MacLise → Experimental, avant-garde music percussionist, original drummer for proto-punk/art rock Velvet Underground , left in 1965 and continued to write and record in a variety of “spiritual” settings, eventually landing in Nepal,, died in Kathmandu from hypoglycemia and tuberculosis caused by general malnutrition and years of drug use on 6/21/1979, age 41
1944 ● Bobby Womack → R&B/soul singer and musician, scored a R&B Top Ten hit with his brothers as soul/pop The Valentinos, “Lookin’ For A Love” (#72, R&B #8, 1962) on Sam Cooke‘s SAR Records, wrote and recorded as a solo artist and session musician, including “It’s All Over Now” (The Rolling Stoness, #26, UK #1, 1964) and “Across 110th Street” (#56, R&B #19, 1972), died after a long period of multiple ailments on 6/27/2014, age 70
1944 ● Michael “Mick” Wilson → Drummer for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1945 ● Dieter Meier → Manager, producer, vocalist and lyricist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1946 ● Red Stripe (David Gittens) → Vocals for Brit a cappella Flying Pickets, “Only You” (#1, 1983)
1947 ● Robert Lewis → Founding member group that became quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980) but left before the band signed a multi-million dollar recording contract, sued his bandmates for intellectual property rights and settled out of court, produced videos and music for bands in the Akron, Ohio region, now a consultant to music industry litigation lawyers
1948 ● Chris Squire → Influential bass guitarist and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971), co-wrote “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), only bandmember to have appeared on all of the band’s albums and participated in every tour, died from leukemia on 6/27/2015, age 67
1948 ● Shakin’ Stevens (Michael Barrett) → Welsh rock ‘n’ roll revival singer and songwriter, “I Cry Just A Little Bit” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1984)
1951 ● Chris Rea → Singer, songwriter and slide guitarist, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1978) and “Working On It” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1951 ● Peter Haycock → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977), played and toured as a solo artist and with various collaborations in the 80s and 90s, and contributed to multiple film score projects (Thelma & Louise, 1991), worked until his death from a heart attack on 10/30/2013, age 62
1953 ● Emilio Estefan, Jr. → Keyboards for Latin-funk-dance Miami Sound Machine, “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (#1, 1989), husband of Gloria
1954 ● St. Clair L. Palmer → St. Kitts-born vocalist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1955 ● Rowland “Boon” Gould → Founding member and guitarist for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Jon Durno → Bass guitar for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1963 ● Jason Newsted → Bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), later Echobrain and Voivod
1965 ● Richard March → Bassist for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991), then founded Bentley Rhythm Ace in mid 90s
1966 ● Grand Puba (Maxwell Dixon) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1966 ● Patrick “Patch” Hannan → Drummer for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1967 ● Evan Dando → Guitar and vocals for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Patsy Kensit → Film and TV actress, singer and bandleader for Brit pop-rock Eighth Wonder, “Cross My Heart” (Dance/Club #10, 1988), appeared in Lethal Weapon II as Mel Gibson’s love interest, formerly married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and Oasis singer Liam Gallagher
1971 ● Fergal Lawlor → Drums for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Alison Wheeler → Vocals in alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Hawksley Workman (Ryan Corrigan) → Canadian cabaret-pop and glam-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, “Anger As Beauty” (Canada #29, 2003)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (February 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 19

1924 ● Lee Marvin → Tough-guy TV and film actor in Cat Ballou (1965) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), scored a 1970 UK #1 single with “Wand’rin Star” from the soundtrack to Paint Your Wagon (1969), died of a heart attack on 8/29/1987, age 63
1936 ● Bob Engemann → Vocals in close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961)
1940 ● Bobby Rogers → Tenor vocals in R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, scored over 40 R&B Top 40 hits, including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970) as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, died on 3/3/2013, age 73
1940 ● William “Smokey” RobinsonMotown singer, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, “The Tears Of A Clown” (#1, 1970), went solo in 70s and may be the top romantic soul/quiet storm singer of all time with more than a dozen R&B Top 10 hits, including “Being With You” (#2, R&B #1, 1981)
1942 ● Lenny Citrin → Vocals in New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) → Three-octave pop solo singer and songwriter with four Top 10 hits in the 60s, including “Lightnin’ Strikes” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Paul Dean → Lead guitar for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1946 ● Pierre Van Den Linden → Original drummer for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), left in 1973 but returned for sessions and tours through the 00s
1947 ● Schuyler Larsen → Bassist with one hit wonder folk-sunshine pop Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (1967)
1948 ● Mark Andes → Journeyman bassist for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976) and pop-rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986), then solo and sessions
1948 ● Tony Iommi → Pioneering and highly influential heavy metal guitarist and songwriter, founder and only constant member of hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998) plus solo work, “Goodbye Lament” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2000)
1949 ● Eddie Hardin → Replaced Steve Winwood on keyboards when the latter left British Invasion pop/rock The Spencer Davis Group for Traffic in 1967
1950 ● Andy Powell → Guitarist for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1954 ● Francis Buchholz → Bassist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1956 ● Dave Wakeling → Co-founder, lead vocals and guitar for ska-pop The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then solo
1957 ● Falco (Johann Hölzel) → Austrian pop-rock singer, “Rock Me Amadeus” (#1, 1986), the first US #1 for an Austrian pop artist, died in a car crash on 2/6/1998, age 39
1960 ● Prince Markie Dee (Mark Morales) → Corpulent singer in novelty rap trio The Fat Boys, “Wipe Out” (#12, 1987), then solo “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)” (#64, Rap #1, 1993), producer for Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Lisa Stansfield and others
1963 ● Seal (Seal Henry Samuel) → Award-winning Brit house music veteran turned soul-pop singer, “Kiss From A Rose” (#1, 1995)
1965 ● Jonathan Fishman → Drummer and songwriter for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), side project with funk-blues-rock Pork Tornado
1965 ● Kate Radley → Keyboards for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1969 ● Maniac (Sven Erik Kristiansen) → Lead vocals and songwriter for leading Norwegian black metal band Mayhem from 1986-1988 and 1994-2005, fired for alcohol-induced misbehavior and formed extreme metal Skitliv
1975 ● Daniel Adair → Former drummer for post grunge/alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000), now with Nickelback, “Gotta Be Somebody” (#10, 2008)
1986 ● Maria Mena → Norwegian pop/rock singer and songwriter, “You’re The Only One” (Top 40 Mainstream #25, 2004)

February 20

1898 ● Jimmy Yancey → Boogie-woogie pianist (Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, 1986), composer, lyricist, Chicago White Sox groundskeeper, died from a stroke on 9/17/1951, age 53
1925 ● Robert Altman → Award-winning satirical comedy film producer/director, MASH (1970) and Nashville (1975), his 14-year-old son penned the lyrics to “Suicide Is Painless”, the instrumental version of which became the “Theme From M.A.S.H.” for the TV show, died of complications from leukemia on 11/20/2006, age 81
1937 ● David Ackles → Unheralded but influential folk-rock singer and songwriter, noted for his album American Gothic (1970) and the minor hit “Candy Man” (1970), fans include Elvis Costello, Elton John and Phil Collins, died from lung cancer on 3/2/1999, age 62
1937 ● Nancy Wilson → Grammy-winning jazz, R&B, blues, cabaret and adult contemporary pop “song stylist” diva, “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” (#11, 1964)
1940 ● Barbara Ellis → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1941 ● Buffy Sainte-Marie → Canadian folk singer/songwriter “Universal Soldier” (1964), wrote “Up Where We Belong” for Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker (#1, 1982)
1943 ● Paul Leka → Songwriter, producer, composer and arranger, co-wrote “Green Tambourine” for The Lemon Pipers (#1, 1968) and the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” for pop-rock Steam (#1, 1969), died in a hospice on 10/12/2011, age 68
1944 ● Lew Soloff → Jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader and sometime actor best known for his years with jazz/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Spinning Wheel,” #2, 1969), recorded with George Benson, Maynard Ferguson and multiple jazz bands and ensembles over a 50+ year career, died from a heart attack on 3/8/2015, age 71
1945 ● Alan Hull → Founding member, vocals, guitar and principal songwriter for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971), solo, died of a heart thrombosis on 11/17/1995, age 50
1946 ● John Warren “J.” Geils, Jr. → Frontman and lead guitarist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1950 ● Walter Becker → Bass guitar, vocals and co-songwriter for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits
1951 ● Randy California (Randolph Craig Wolfe) → Guitar and vocals for jazz-psych-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), drowned in Hawaii while trying to rescue his 12-year old son from a riptide on 1/2/1997, age 45
1953 ● Poison Ivy (Kristy Wallace) → Guitarist for punk-rock The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” (Modern Rock #10, 1989), married to Cramps singer Lux Interior who died on 2/4/2009
1960 ● Kee Marcello (Kjell Hilding Lövbom) → Original guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo
1960 ● Mark Riley → Frontman and singer for Latin-tinged jazz-dance-pop Matt Bianco, “Don’t Blame It On That Girl’ (UK #11, 1988)
1960 ● Robert Boustead → Bassist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1963 ● Ian Brown → Frontman and vocals for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and solo, “Dolphins Were Monkeys” (UK #5, 2000)
1967 ● Kurt Cobain → Frontman, vocals, guitarist and chief songwriter for premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), committed suicide on 4/5/1994, age 27
1972 ● Neil Primrose → Drummer for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1975 ● Brian Littrell → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1977 ● Edwin Graham → Drummer for Brit hard rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #35, 2004)
1981 ● Edward Lay → Drummer for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1985 ● Yulia Olegovna Volkova → Singer for Russian teen-dance-pop duo t.A.T.u., “All The Things She Said” (Worldwide #1, 2002)
1988 ● Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) → Grammy-winning Barbadian dance-pop singer and songwriter, “SOS” (#1, 2006)

February 21

1891 ● Karl L. King → Marching music bandmaster and composer best known for composing the music to the march music standard “Barnum And Bailey’s Favorite” (1913) and many other pieces, died from diverticulitis on 3/31/1971, age 80
1930 ● Allan Richard Williams → Liverpool night club owner, impresario and first manager of the young and raw but talented band that would become The Beatles during the 14-week stint in Hamburg he arranged in 1960, lost his job when the band returned to Germany in 1961, later co-founded a Beatles festival in Liverpool and appeared at Beatles conventions worldwide until his death from natural causes on 12/30/2016, age 86
1933 ● Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) → Jazz-pop-soul and Broadway singer, “I Loves You Porgy” (#18, R&B #2, 1959), died of cancer on 4/21/2003, age 70
1938 ● Bobby Charles (Guidry) → Cajun-American singer, songwriter and pioneer of the South Louisiana sound known as “swamp pop,” wrote “See You Later, Alligator” for Bill Haley & His Comets (#6, 1956) and “Walking To New Orleans” for Fats Domino (#6, R&B #2, 1960), appeared with The Band on The Last Waltz album (1978) but not in the subsequent film, played with Paul Butterfield’s Better Days and other roots-rock acts in the 70s but largely disappeared from view in the 80s, died from diabetes on 1/14/2010, age 71
1942 ● Bob Allison (Bernard Colin Day) → Vocals in pop-rock duo and Eurovision contestants The Allisons, “Are You Sure” (UK #2, 1961)
1943 ● David Geffen → Founder of Asylum Records in 1971, signed Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Tom Waits, among others, founded Geffen Records in 1980 (Donna Summer, John Lennon, Aerosmith and others), co-founded Dreamworks Studios in 1994 with Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
1946 ● Paul Newton → Original bassist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1949 ● Jerry Harrison → Guitar and keyboards for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), since 1991 producer for Violent Femmes, General Public, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many others
1951 ● Vince Welnick → Co-founder and keyboardist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), then Grateful Dead, Missing Man Show and sessions, committed suicide on 6/2/2006 following many years of depression, age 55
1952 ● Jean-Jacques Burel → Bass and vocals for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1954 ● Mike Pickering → DJ, producer and record company recruiter, then founder and frontman for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1956 ● Lester Hunt → Guitar and backing vocals for re-formed Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1958 ● Mary Chapin Carpenter → Grammy-winning country-folk singer/songwriter, “Shut Up And Kiss Me” (Country #4, 1994)
1961 ● Rankin’ Roger (Charlery) → Co-founder and vocalist for ska revival The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then Special Beat, solo and sessions
1962 ● Mark Arm → Founder, vocals and rhythm guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● Michael Ward → Guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), sessions
1969 ● James Dean Bradfield → Guitar and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● Eric Wilson → Bassist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997)
1973 ● Justin Sane (Justin Geever) → Irish-American lead guitarist, singer and songwriter in punk rock Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse” (Alt Rock #37, 2006)
1975 ● Wish Bone (Charles C. Scruggs) → Rapper and former member of Grammy-winning hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Crossroad” (#1, 1996), Thugline Records co-founder
1979 ● Jennifer Love Hewitt → Film and TV actress, producer, director and one hit wonder pop singer, “How Do I Deal” (#59, 1999)
1986 ● Charlotte Church (Reed) → Welsh actress, TV presenter and classical-turned-pop crossover singer/songwriter, “Crazy Chick” (UK #2, 2005)
1989 ● Corbin Bleu (Reivers) → Actor and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movie ever) and charting pop singer, “Push It To The Limit” (#17, 2006)

February 22

1896 ● Ignacio Herb “Nacio” Brown → Film score composer in the earliest years of sound, worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and frequently with lyricist Arthur Freed, wrote or co-wrote the music to hundreds of songs, including well-known movies soundtrack tunes such as “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” (1940) and “Singin’ In The Rain” (1952), died on 9/28/1964, age 68
1923 ● Norman “Hurricane” Smith → World War II glider pilot and unsuccessful jazz musician, joined EMI as a sound engineer in 1959 and, among other bands, engineered almost 100 Beatles songs and all early albums through to Rubber Soul, when promoted to producer, worked with Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Barclay James Harvest and others, switched to songwriting and recording as Hurricane Smith and had a UK #2 hit in 1971 (“Don’t Let it Die”), continued to record until his death from natural causes on 3/3/2008, age 85
1927 ● Guy Mitchell (Albert Cernick) → Croatian-American pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop singer and TV show host with nine Top 10 and 21 other chart hits, the last being “Heartaches By The Number” (#1, 1959), died from complications of cancer surgery on 7/1/1999, age 72
1936 ● Ernie K-Doe (Ernest Kador, Jr.) → One hit wonder New Orleans R&B singer, “Mother-In-Law” (#1, 1961), died from kidney and liver failure on 7/5/2001, age 65
1938 ● Bobby Hendricks → R&B/doo wop solo singer with two minor chart singles, also with the Five Crowns, Swallows, The Drifters, “Save The Last Dance For Me” (#1, 1960)
1943 ● Louise Lopez → Vocals for R&B/disco-dance-funk trio Odyssey, “Inside Out” (#12, 1982) and “Use It Up And Wear It Out” (UK #1, 1980)
1944 ● Michael Robert “Mick” Green → Renowned rock guitarist for pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), then Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964), died from heart failure on 1/11/2010, age 65
1945 ● Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) → Broadway actor and singer in the musical Hair, “Good Morning Starshine” (#3, 1969), died of cancer 2/12/2000, age 55
1953 ● Graham Lewis → Bassist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1953 ● John B. “Sparko” Sparks → Founding member and first bassist for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Nigel Planer → Brit stage, TV and film actor, charted with a cover of Traffic‘s “Hole In My Shoe” (UK #2, 1984)
1955 ● Jon Brant → Bassist from 1981-88 for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988), sessions
1963 ● Rob Lambert → Saxophone for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Bradley Nowell → Lead singer and guitarist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997), died from a heroin overdose on 5/25/1996, age 28
1973 ● Scott Phillips → Drummer for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1974 ● James Blunt (James Hiller Blount) → Acoustic folk-pop singer, songwriter and former Army captain, “You’re Beautiful” (#1, 2006), first Brit atop the US charts since Elton John‘s “Candle In The Wind” in 1997
1978 ● Jennifer Frost → Vocals in Brit girl group pop quartet Precious, “Say It Again” (UK #6, 1999), replaced Kerry Katona in 2001 in pop trio Atomic Kitten, “The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)” (UK #1, 2002), now a TV host
1979 ● Tom Higgenson → Vocals for pop-rock Plain White T’s, “Hey There Delilah” (#1, 2007)

February 23

1943 ● Gordon Geoffrey Nugent → Rhythm guitar and vocals 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.
1944 ● John Dawson “Johnny” Winter III → Respected blues-rock guitarist (Rolling Stone magazine #74), first in the Rick Derringer band, then his brother’s Edgar Winter Blues Band and solo, “Johnny B. Goode” (#92, 1970), produced three Grammy-winning blues albums for Muddy Waters in the late 70s, died from emphysema-related pneumonia in a Swiss hotel room while on tour on 7/16/2014, age 70
1944 ● Mike Maxfield → Guitarist and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1946 ● Rusty Young → Vocals and pedal steel guitar for country-rock Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth” (#17, 1967), then mainstay member with Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1949 ● Terry “Tex” Comer → Bassist for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1950 ● Steve Priest → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1975) and three other mid-70s Top 10 hits
1952 ● Brad Whitford → Rhythm guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter 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)
1955 ● Howard Jones → Synth-pop-dance singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “No One Is To Blame” (#4, 1986)
1955 ● Zeke Manyika → Vocalist for Scottish post-punk/neo-pop dance-funk Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1983)
1958 ● David Sylvian (David Alan Batt) → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1962 ● Michael Wilton → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1963 ● Rob Collins → Keyboards for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), died in a car crash on 7/23/1996, age 33
1964 ● John Norum → Norwegian-born co-founder and rhythm guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1967 ● Chris Vrenna → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), then Grammy-winning sound engineer and producer for Rammstein, U2, Weezer, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson and others
1971 ● Jett Beres → Bass and harmony vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Lars Olaf “Lasse” Johansson → Keyboards for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1977 ● Stuart Black → Bassist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)

February 24

1941 ● Joanie Sommers (Drost) → One hit wonder 60s teen pop vocalist, “Johnny Get Angry” (#7, 1962), then Pepsi commercial jingles
1942 ● Paul Jones (Paul Pond) → Harmonica and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964) and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo, actor and BBC radio presenter
1944 ● Nicholas Christian “Nicky” Hopkins → Session pianist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Steve Miller, Small Faces, The Who and others, died from complications following intestinal surgery on 9/6/1994, age 50
1947 ● Leonard Lewis “Lonnie” Turner → Co-founding member and bassist from 1966-1969 and 1975-1979 in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973), also played with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone and others, died from lung cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on 4/28/2013, age 66
1947 ● Rupert Holmes → Pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (#1, 1979), wrote the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical Drood
1948 ● Dennis Waterman → Brit TV and film actor and singer with the theme from UK TV show Minder, “I Could Be So Good For You” (UK #3, 1980)
1949 ● Howie Blauvelt → Bass guitarist with Billy Joel in three obscure 60s bands, The Echoes, The Lost Souls and The Hassles before joining hard rock Ram Jam (“Black Betty,” #18, 1977), died from a heart attack on 10/25/1993, age 44
1950 ● George Thorogood → Frontman for long-time boogie-blues-rock group The (Delaware) Destroyers, “Bad To The Bone” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982)
1955 ● Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs → Immeasurably influential technology entrepreneur and industry visionary whose company, Apple, Inc. changed the music business through products such as the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, died from complications of pancreatic cancer on 10/5/2011, age 56
1959 ● Colin Farley → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Michelle Shocked (Karen Michelle Johnston) → Urban/indie folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If Love Was A Train” (Modern Rock #20, 1988)
1973 ● Christopher Michael “3” Fehn → Percussionist and backing vocals for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), now bassist with noise metal Will Haven
1974 ● Charles Edward “Chad” Hugo → Multi-instrumentalist and one half of the funk-dance-rock hip hop band N.E.R.D., “She Wants To Move” (Dance #6, 2004) and hip hop production and writing duo The Neptunes, produced numerous #1 hits for Mystikal, Jay-Z, *NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly
1974 ● Noah “Wuv” Bernardo, Jr. → Founding member and drummer of Grammy-nominated Christian metal band P.O.D., “Alive” (Modern Rock #2, 2001)
1978 ● John Nolan → Lead vocals and guitar for punk-pop Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006), left to form emo-pop quartet Straylight Run
1983 ● Matt McGinley → Co-founder and drummer for alt hip hop/rap rock Gym Class Heroes, “Intramurals: Cupid’s Chokehold” (#4, 2007), solo

February 25

1932 ● Faron Young → The “Hillbilly Heartthrob”, country music singer, songwriter and movie actor with twenty-two Country Top 5 hits, including “Hello Walls” (#12, Country #1, 1961), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 12/10/1996, age 64
1941 ● Sandy Bull → Multi-instrumental folk, rock and world music composer whose eclectic blends of folk and pop with Eastern influences presaged psychedelic music of the late 60s, left the industry for a time in the 70s due to drug problems, returned in the 80s and continued to record until his death from lung cancer on 4/11/2001, age 60
1942 ● Loy Bones (Roy Michaels) → With Stephen Stills and Richie Furay in the Au Go Go Singers, then co-founded alt country rock Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, “Good Old Rock ‘N’ Roll” (#21, 1969)
1943 ● George Harrison → Lead guitarist (Rolling Stone #21), singer and songwriter for The Beatles, wrote their hit “Something” (#1, 1969), then solo, “My Sweet Lord” (#1, 1970), died of cancer on 11/29/2001
1945 ● Elkie Brooks (Elaine Bookbinder) → Pop-rock singer in Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer, then solo, “Pearl’s A Singer” (UK #8, 1977)
1947 ● David Stensen → Original bassist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1957 ● Dennis Diken → Drummer for alt pop-rock The Smithereens, “Only A Memory” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1957 ● Stuart “Woody” Wood → Bass guitar for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1959 ● Michael Leslie “Mike” Peters → Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream #2, 1989), then solo and Dead Men Walking
1962 ● Pia Maiocco → Founding member and original bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989), wife of influential guitar virtuoso Steve Vai
1965 ● Brian Baker → Bassist and sometime rhythm guitar for punk rock Minor Threat, then hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1973 ● Justin Jeffre → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1976 ● Daniel Powter → Canadian folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bad Day” (#1, 2005)
1982 ● Robert Edward “Bert” McCracken → Lead vocals and songwriter for indie rock/screamo punk quartet The Used, “Under Pressure” (#41, 2005)

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (January 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 15

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

January 16

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

January 17

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

January 18

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

January 19

1926 ● Frederick James “Bob” Wooler → Resident DJ, booking agent and later compère at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, booked The Beatles there in 1961, declined to manage them but introduced them to Brian Epstein, died after a long illness on 2/8/2002, age 76
1935 ● Johnny “The Wild One” O’Keefe → Canadian-born singer, became “Australia’s King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with dozens of Top 10 hits, including “She’s My Baby” (Australia #1, 1960), died of prescription drug overdose and subsequent heart attack on 10/6/1978, age 43
1936 ● Willie “Big Eyes” Smith → Grammy-winning blues harmonica player, drummer, vocalist and bandleader, member of Muddy Waters, backing band and co-founder of supergroup The Legendary Blues Band, toured with John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and others, died from a stroke on 9/16/2011, age 75
1939 ● Phil Everly → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with older brother Don in hugely influential folk-rock duo The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits, several co-written with Don, penned “When Will I Be Loved (Linda Ronstadt, #2, 1975), died of pulmonary disease on 1/3/2014, age 74
1942 ● Michael Crawford (Dumble-Smith) → Actor and singer best known for lead roll in The Phantom Of The Opera, “The Music Of The Night” (Brit Top 10, 1987)
1943 ● Janis Lynn Joplin → Vocals and frontwoman for psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, then solo, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), died form accidental heroin overdose on 10/4/1970, age 27
1944 ● Lawrence “Laurie” London → Brit folk-pop 13-year-old one hit wonder, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#1, 1958)
1944 ● Michelle Ann Marie “Shelley” Fabares → TV actress (The Donna Reed Show, 1958-63, Coach, 1989-97), film star (Girl Happy with Elvis Presley, 1965) and one hit wonder pop singer, “Johnny Angel” (#1, 1962)
1900 ● Trevor Williams → Bass guitarist in Brit cult art rock Audience (“Indian Summer,” #74, 1971), later with pop-rock The Nashville Teens and Irish folk-rock Jonathan Kelly’s Outside, reformed Audience in 2004
1946 ● Dolly Parton → Five-time Grammy-winning country-pop superstar singer, songwriter, actress, TV host and business entrepreneur, “Nine To Five” (#1, 1981), wrote “I Will Always Love You” for herself (Country #1, 1974) and Whitney Houston (#1, 1992)
1947 ● Rod Evans → Early lead vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, sang “Hush” (#4, 1968)
1948 ● Harvey Hinsley → Guitarist for Brit mixed race R&B/soul-funk-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Robert Palmer → Underrated rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with country-blues-rock Vinegar Joe, then supergroup Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and solo, “Addicted to Love” (#1, 1986), died from cardiac arrest on 9/26/2003, age 54
1952 ● Dewey Bunnell → Brit-born guitarist and backing singer for folk-pop trio America, “A Horse With No Name” (#1, 1972), continues to tour and release albums with America bandmate Gerry Beckley in the 10s
1952 ● Eric Leeds → Jazz/funk session saxophonist and flutist, worked with Prince on nine albums as a member of his backing band The Family (now fDeluxe), solo
1953 ● Clive Edwards → Session or full member drummer for numerous hard rock bands, including Medicine Head, UFO, Pat Travers, Wirehead and others
1953 ● Desi Arnaz, Jr. → TV actor and singer, son of comedy team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Dean Paul Martin and classmate Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), owns and operates a ballet company theater in Boulder, CO
1953 ● Michael Boddicker → Film score composer and electronic music sessionman, played synthesizer on Michael Jackson albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous
1955 ● Tony Mansfield → Founding member, singer and guitarist for underrated New Wave electronic synth-pop New Musik, “Living By Numbers” (UK #13, 1980), then producer for Naked Eyes, A-Ha, The B-52’s, others
1957 ● Mickey Virtue → Keyboards for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1963 ● Caron Wheeler → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-disco-hip hop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989 )
1969 ● Trey Lorenz (Lloyd Lorenz Smith) → Back-up singer for Mariah Carey, duet “I’ll Be There” (#1, 1992), then solo, “Someone To Hold” (#19, 1992)
1971 ● John Wozniak → Guitar and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1978 ● John Parker → Double bass, human beatbox and vocals for Brit folk-rock-hip hop one hit wonder Nizlopi, “JCB Song” (UK #1, 2005)

January 20

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

January 21

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

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment