Posts Tagged musician birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (July 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

July 15
1905 ● Dorothy Fields → Prolific, Oscar-winning stage and screen librettist/lyricist, wrote over 400 Broadway, age 68 tunes, first woman elected to Songwriters Hall of Fame, long-time collaborator with Jimmy McHugh, died of a stroke on 3/28/1974, age 68
1913 ● Cowboy Copas / (Lloyd Estel Copas) → Country music singer in the 40s and 50s with nine Country Top 10 songs and a lone crossover hit, “Alabam” (#63, Country #1, 1960), otherwise known for being killed in the same plane crash that took country star Patsy Cline‘s life on 3/5/1963, age 49
1936 ● H.B. Barnum / (Hidle Brown Barnum) → Child actor turned novelty song singer (as “Pee Wee” Barnum or just “Dudley”), pianist and songwriter for doo wop The Robins (“Quarter To Twelve”, 19578) and instrumental pop solo artist (“Lost Love,” #35, 1961), later produced records for Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes and others, and scored TV specials and advertising jingles
1939 ● Tommy Dee → With collaborator Carol Kay, wrote and performed the pop-rock tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, “Three Stars” (#11, 1959)
1944 ● Millie Jackson / (Mildred Jackson) → R&B/soul singer “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right” (1975)
1945 ● Peter Lewis → Lead guitar for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967)
1946 ● Linda Ronstadt → Lead vocals for folk-pop Stone Poneys, “Different Drum” (#13, 1967), then prolific and multi-genre, Grammy-winning country-pop-rock solo career, “You’re No Good” (#1, 1975), duet with Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much” (#2, 1989) and 17 other Top 40 hits
1947 ● Ian McCredie → Guitarist for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1947 ● Roky Erickson / (Roger Kynard Erickson) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, founding member of pioneering psych-rock 13th Floor Elevators (“You’re Gonna Miss Me,” #55, 1966) and early casualty of LSD and other hallucinogens, committed to a mental institution after the band broke up in 1969, returned to recording as a solo artist in the 90s
1947 ● Peter Banks / (Peter William Brockbanks) → Original lead guitarist for prog rock pioneers Yes (1968-70), pushed out and co-founded prog-rock Flash, “Small Beginnings” (#29, 1972), went solo and performed with various bands and Yes offshoots and tribute bands until his death from heart failure on 3/7/2013, age 65
1948 ● Artimus Pyle / (Thomas Delmar Pyle) → Drummer for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), solo and sessions
1949 ● Trevor Horn → Bassist, songwriter and co-founder of New Wave synth-pop The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40, 1979), producer, lead vocals and bassist for Yes, then full producer for such diverse acts as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and others
1951 ● Cool Ruler Isaacs / (Gregory Anthony Isaacs) → Jamaican superstar reggae singer with a languid, suave and sexy delivery that became known as “lovers rock,” recorded over 70 studio albums of material in his 30-year career, including Night Nurse (Reggae Albums #16, 2002) and many self-penned hit songs, died from lung cancer after years of drug abuse on 10/25/2010, age 59
1952 ● David Pack → Co-founder, guitarist principal songwriter and lead singer for pop-rock Ambrosia (“Biggest Part Of Me,” #3, 1980), also produced albums for multiple rock and pop artists (Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Vai and others) plus various concerts and events, including Bill Clinton‘s presidential inaugurations in 1993 and 1997, continues to tour and perform with Ambrosia and others into the 10s
1952 ● Jeff Carlisli → Founding member and guitarist for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1952 ● Johnny Thunders / (John Genzale, Jr.) → Hard-living guitarist and vocalist for influential glam-rock/proto-punk New York Dolls (“Personality Crisis,” 1973), also fronted Brit punk The Heartbreakers and released several solo albums, died under suspicious circumstances but of a suspected methadone overdose on 4/23/1991, age 38
1953 ● Alicia Bridges → One hit wonder disco diva, “I Love The Night Life (Disco ‘Round)” (#5, 1978)
1956 ● Marky Ramone / (Marc Bell) → Drummer for seminal punk-rockers The Ramones, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” (#81, 1977)
1956 ● Satch Satriani / (Joe Satriani) → Guitar virtuoso, instructor and mentor, solo artist, brief bandmember of Mick Jagger‘s band (1988) and Deep Purple (1984), sessions, currently lead guitarist with blues-funk-rock supergroup Chickenfoot
1956 ● Ian Curtis → Singer, lyricist, guitarist and often frontman for post-punk/synth-pop Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), hung himself at home after succumbing to depression and epilepsy on 5/18/1980, age 23
1966 ● Jason John Bonham → Rock drummer and son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, performed with Zeppelin members individually and as a band on numerous occasions following his father death in 1980, toured and recorded with Paul Rodgers, UFO, Joe Bonamassa, Foreigner and others
1970 ● Chi Ling Dai Cheng → Bassist for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1973 ● John Dolmayan → Drummer for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1977 ● Ray Toro → Lead guitar for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1983 ● Mark Anthony Myrie / (Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie)) → Jamaican dancehall reggae singer and Rastafarian, “Champion” (Dance #15, 1995)

July 16
1925 ● Cal Tjader / (Callen Radcliffe Tjader, Jr.) → Highly successful, Grammy-winning non-Latino Latin jazz drummer, vibraphonist and bandleader with eight charting albums in the 60s and 70s, including Soul Sauce (#52, R&B #8, 1965), credited with the early development of Latin rock and acid jazz, died of a heart attack while on tour in the Philippines on 5/5/1982, age 56
1927 ● Mindy Carson → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll traditional pop vocalist, often in duets with Guy Mitchell but with several charting songs of her own, including “Wake The Town And Tell The People” (#13, 1955), stopped recording and moved to Broadway musicals in the 60s
1939 ● Denise LaSalle / (Ora Denise Allen) → Contemporary urban blues singer and songwriter with over a hundred songwriting credits and several self-written hits R&B hits as a singer, including “Now Run And Tell That” (#46, R&B #3, 1972), “Trapped By A Thing Called Love” (#13, R&B #1, 1971) and the zydeco remake “My Tu-Tu” (UK #6, 1985), performed on the gospel and blues festival circuits, inducted to the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in 2015, reigned as the “Queen of the Blues” at her death from complications of leg amputation surgery on 1/8/2018, age 78
1940 ● Tony Jackson → Bass and vocals for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), died from a variety of ailments related to long-term alcohol abuse on 8/18/2003, age 63
1942 ● Desmond Dekker / (Desmond Dacres) → Influential and first Jamaican ska/reggae star, singer and frontman for The Aces, “The Israelites” (#8, 1968), died of a heart attack on 5/25/2006, age 63
1944 ● Thomas Boggs → Drummer for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops (“The Letter,” #1, 1967), left the industry in the early 70s for a long career as a restaurateur, died of cancer on 5/5/2008, age 63
1949 ● Ray Major → Guitarist for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), which became Mott in 1974 and British Lions in 1976
1952 ● Stewart Copeland → Drummer for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), then co-founded post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police, “Every Breath You Take” (#1, 1983), solo under the pseudonym Klark Kent, collaborations and session work, classical music and film score composer
1961 ● Mark McEntee → Founder, co-frontman and guitarist for Aussie power pop Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (#4, 1991)
1964 ● Polly Hancock → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1971 ● Edward Joel Kowalczyk → Lead vocals for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995), solo
1978 ● TJ / (Tito Joseph Jackson) → With brothers Tariano Adaryll “Taj” and Taryll Adren Jackson, vocals in R&B/urban soul trio 3T, “Anything” (#15, 1995), sons of Tito and nephews of Michael Jackson

July 17
1928 ● Vince Guaraldi / (Vincent Dellaglio) → Grammy-winning jazz pianist, bandleader and composer noted for penning the music and arrangements for the nearly all of the animated Peanuts television specials and films, including the signature “Linus & Lucy,” died from an aortic aneurysm on 2/6/1976, age 47
1938 ● Stanley Bronstein → Founding member and saxophonist for jazz-psych-rock Elephant’s Memory, “Mongoose” (Top 100, 1969), which became the backing band for John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 70s, worked with John Lennon on his 1972 album ‘Some Time In New York City’
1942 ● Gale Garnett / (Gale Zoë Garnett) → New Zealand-born Canadian pre-The Beatles one hit wonder pop singer with the Grammy-winning “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine” (#4, , 1964), later fronted psych-pop The Gentle Reign and became a journalist and TV actress
1942 ● Spencer Davis → Welsh guitarist and frontman for 60s British pop-rock The Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin'” (#7, 1966), producer
1945 ● Eric McCredie → Bassist for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971), died on 10/6/2007, age 62
1947 ● Abraham Laboriel, Sr. → Mexican-American session and tour bassist with over 4,000 recording s to his credit, including work with George Benson, Barbra Streisand, Chris Isaak, Elton John, Madonna and many others in nearly every genre, issued three solo albums
1947 ● Wolfgang Flür → Electronic percussion for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● Mick Tucker → Drummer and backing vocals for glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1973), died of leukemia on 2/14/2002, age 54
1948 ● Ron Asheton → Guitarist for influential proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), #29 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, found dead in his home on 1/6/2009 having died of a heart attack a day or two earlier, age 60
1949 ● Geezer Butler / (Terence Butler) → Longtime bassist and lyricist for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998), founding member of heavy metal supergroup Heaven & Hell in 2006
1949 ● Mike Vale → Bassist for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966) and psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1950 ● Phoebe Snow (Phoebe Ann Laub) → Poet, songwriter and folk-pop-jazz singer, “Poetry Man” (#5, 1974), backing vocals and collaborations with multiple other artists, died from complications of a brain hemorrhage on 4/26/2011, age 60
1952 ● Chet McCracken → Drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972)
1952 ● Nicolette Larson → Country-rock backing vocalist and country-pop solo artist, “Lotta Love” (#8, 1979), died from cerebral edema and liver failure on 12/16/1997, age 45
1957 ● Bruce Crump → Drummer for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), then Gator Country
1963 ● Regina Belle → R&B-jazz-gospel singer/songwriter, Grammy-winning duet with Peabo Bryson, “A Whole New World” (#1, 1993)
1966 ● Lou Barlow → Bassist for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993)
1967 ● Stokely Williams → Lead singer and drummer for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1970 ● Mandy Smith → Dance-pop singer, model, ex-wife of Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman whom she started dating in 1983 at age 13 (he was then 47) and married in 1989, divorced 1992, Wyman‘s son dated Mandy‘s mother.
1971 ● DJ Minute Mix / (Jarrett Cordes) → Innovative brother hip hop, smooth soul, urban R&B and prog rap duo P.M. Dawn, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” (#3, Dance/Club #6, 1991), stepson of George Brown, founding member of soul/funk Kool & The Gang
1982 ● Natasha Hamilton → Vocals for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000)
1985 ● Tom Fletcher → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)
1987 ● Jeremih / (Jeremy Felton) → Contemporary R&B/hip hop singer and songwriter with slow jam “Birthday Sex” (#4, R&B #1, 2009) and three other Top 20 hits

July 18
1909 ● Deek Watson / (Ivory Watson) → Founding member, tenor vocals, trumpet and guitar for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), continued with various incarnations of the group through the 50s, died on 11/4/1969, age 60
1924 ● Earl Beal → Founding member and baritone vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958), died on 3/22/2001, age 76
1929 ● Screamin’ Jay Hawkins / (Jelacy Hawkins) → Outrageously flamboyant early rock ‘n’ roll singer, pianist and stage performer, “I Put A Spell On You” (1956), died following surgery for an aneurysm on 2/12/2000, age 70
1931 ● Papa Dee Allen / (Thomas Sylvester Allen) → Percussion and vocals for laid-back R&B/soul-funk War, “Spill The Wine” (#3, 1970), died from a heart attack during a performance on 8/30/1988, age 57
1935 ● Johnny Funches → First tenor and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop, soul-funk and disco The Dells, “Stay In My Corner” (#10, R&B #1, 1968), died 1/23/1998, age 62
1938 ● Ian Stewart → Founding member and first keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, dismissed from the band in 1963 but continued as road manager and session pianist, died of a heart attack in his doctor’s waiting room on 12/12/1985
1939 ● Brian Auger → Underappreciated jazz-rock keyboardist, composer and bandleader The Trinity, Oblivion Express, solo
1939 ● Dion / (Dion DiMucci) → Doo wop, pop and rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, songwriter and bandleader, Dion & The Belmonts, solo, “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961) and 19 other Top 40 in the 60s
1941 ● Martha Reeves → Vocals and frontwoman for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), solo, Detroit city councilwoman
1941 ● Lonnie Mack / (Lonnie McIntosh) → Pioneering blues-rock guitarist, early user of the tremolo arm (“whammy bar”) on electric guitar and blue-eyed soul balladeer, his “Memphis” (#5, 1963) was only the fourth instrumental rock single to break the Billboard Top 5 and his album The Wham Of That Memphis Man! (1964) was Guitar World magazine’s #1 of 50 landmark albums of all time, died of natural causes on 4/21/2-016, age 74
1943 ● Robin MacDonald → Guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1945 ● Danny McCulloch / (Daniel Joseph McCulloch) → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Tim Lynch → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1948 ● Cesar Zuiderwijk → Drummer for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1948 ● Phil Harris → Guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1949 ● Craig Fuller → Singer/songwriter, guitarist and co-founding member of country-rock Pure Prairie League, “Amie” (#27, 1973), left to serve a six month jail sentence for draft evasion, formed California light country-rock American Flyer (Let Me Down Easy,” #80, 1976) in the late 70s with Eric Kaz from Blues Magoos and Steve Katz from Blood, Sweat & Tears, joined Little Feat (“Let It Roll,” Rock #3, 1988) in 1987 and reformed PPL in 1996, continues to perform with variations of both bands
1949 ● Wally Bryson → Guitarist for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir“It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972) and power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978)
1950 ● Sir Richard Branson → Business magnate, founder and CEO of Virgin Group, which includes the Virgin Records label, Virgin Megastores and Virgin Atlantic Airways
1950 ● Glenn Hughes → Biker character in campy concept disco group The Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1979), died of lung cancer on 3/4/2001, age 50
1954 ● Ricky Scaggs / (Richard Lee Scaggs) → Country-bluegrass megastar singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Highway 40 Blues” (Country #1, 1983), eleven time Grammy winner and 1982 Country Music Association singer of the year
1955 ● Terry Chambers → Co-founder and drummer for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1957 ● Julian Keith Levene → Roadie for prog rock Yes, then guitarist for an early lineup of influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982) and later lead guitar and songwriter for post-punk Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983)
1958 ● Nigel Twist → Drummer for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream #2, 1989)
1962 ● Jack Irons → Journeyman drummer for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), hard rock Eleven, “Reach Out” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1994) and post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), sessions and tours for Neil Young, Joe Strummer and others
1975 ● Daron Malakian → Guitarist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Tony Fagenson → Drummer for teen punk-pop trio Eve 6, “Inside Out” (#28, Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1982 ● Ryan Cabrera → Acoustic pop-rock guitarist and songwriter, “On The Way Down” (#15, 2004)

July 19
1925 ● Sue Thompson / (Eva Sue McKee) → Youthful-voiced, teen-audience novelty pop singer, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” (#5, 1961), then mature country-pop duet and solo artist, “Big Mable Murphy” (Country #50, 1975)
1937 ● Karen J. Dalton / (Karen J. Cariker) → Relatively unknown but influential early 60s Greenwich Village singer/songwriter who interpreted country, pop, Motown, blues and traditional folk songs in a style that was often compared to jazz singer Billie Holiday, contemporary of and occasional collaborator with Fred Neil, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin and the Holy Modal Rounders, died in obscurity from AIDS on 3/19/1993, age 55
1937 ● George Hamilton IV → Late 50s teen idol pop singer with 10 chart hits in four years, including “A Rose And A Baby Ruth” (#6, 1956), switched to country-pop and rockabilly in the 60s and charted 40 country hits through the 70s, including “Abilene” (#15, Country #1, 1963), toured and performed into the 00s, died following a heart attack on 9/17/2014, age 77
1941 ● Vikki Carr / (Florencia Cardona) → Pop vocalist, “It Must Be Him” (#3, 1966), then successful Latin-pop singer, including Grammy-winning album Cosas Del Amor (1991)
1944 ● Commander Cody / (George Frayne IV) → Vocals, keyboards and frontman for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
1946 ● Alan Gorrie → Base and vocals for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Bernie Leadon → Guitar, banjo, mandolin and vocals for country rock Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, which became country rock/L.A. rock Eagles, “One Of These Nights” (#1, 1975), quit in 1976 to pursue a solo career
1947 ● Brian May → Founding member and guitarist for camp rock/mock-opera/hard pop Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (#9, 1976) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (#1, 1980), solo, “Driven By You” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1993), film score composer and astronomy author, #39 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
1948 ● Keith Godchaux → Keyboards and backing vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973), duo with wife Donna, died following a car crash on 7/23/1980, age 32
1952 ● Allen Collins / (Larkin Allen Collins, Jr.) → Hard luck guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama,” #8, 1974), survived the October 20, 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers and crew, then co-founded Rossington-Collins Band (“Welcome Me Home,” Mainstream Rock #9, 1988), lost his first wife during pregnancy in 1980, became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 1986 that killed his then-girlfriend, died from complications of pneumonia on 1/23/1990, age 37
1956 ● Nikki Sudden / (Adrian Godfrey) → Underrated post-punk songwriter and guitarist, journeyman lead singer for his own bands and side projects, including 80s post-punk Swell Maps and the Jacobites, died from a heart attack on 3/26/22006, age 49
1960 ● Kevin Haskins / (Kevin Michael Dompe) → Drummer for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979) and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1968 ● Ged Lynch → Drummer for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1971 ● Urs Bühler → Tenor for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1976 ● Eric Prydz → Swedish DJ and dance-pop producer using a variety of project names, including Pryda, Sheridan, Dirty Funker and Moo, “Call on Me” (Dance/Club #29, 2004)
1979 ● Michelle Heaton → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

July 20
1933 ● Buddy Wayne Knox → Early rockabilly and “Tex-Mex” sound pioneer, wrote and performed “Party Doll” (#1, 1957), becoming the first artist to pen his own #1 hit in the rock ‘n’ roll era, died of lung cancer on 2/14/11999, age 65
1934 ● Bob Krasnow / (Robert Alan Krasnow) → Music industry executive with a long career at several key labels, started at King Records in the 50s, founded Blue Thumb in the 60s, expanded Warner Brothers into R&B in the 70s, revived Elektra Records in the 80s and 90s at one time or another worked with artists as varied as Captain Beefheart, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Björk and Metallica, died from organ failure on 12/11/2016, age 82
1943 ● Tony Joe White → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Pork Salad Annie” (#8, 1969), wrote “Rainy Night In Georgia”, covered by Brook Benton (#4, 1970), Ray Charles, Hank Williams, Jr. and others
1943 ● Dennis Yost → Founding member, drummer and lead singer for soft Southern rock The Classics IV (“Spooky,” #3, 1967 and “Stormy,” #5, 1968), kept the band going through the 70s after several band members left to eventually form Atlanta Rhythm Section, continued on the oldies circuit until he suffered a brain injury in a fall and died two years later from respiratory failure on 12/7/2008, age 65
1944 ● T.G. Sheppard / (Billy Neal Browder) → Urban country crossover singer, “I’ve Loved ‘Em Every One” (#37, Country #1, 1981)
1945 ● John Lodge → Bass and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) and “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986)
1945 ● Kim Carnes → Throaty-voiced singer, Grammy-winning “Bette Davis Eyes” (#1, 1981), later country music songwriter
1946 ● Wendy Richard → One hit wonder pop singer, duet with Mike Sarne “Come Outside” (UK #1, 1962), longtime cast member of Brit TV soap opera Eastenders
1947 ● Carlos Santana → Guitarist, vocals, songwriter and frontman for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), solo, “Smooth” (#1, 1999), awarded eight Grammys for his Supernatural album (2000)
1947 ● Tony Thorpe → Lead guitar and vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1948 ● James Hooker / (James Hooker Brown, Jr.) → Founding member and pianist for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), after breakup in the early 80s joined Steve Winwood‘s touring band as keyboardist and co-wrote “Freedom Overspill” (#20, Main #4, UK #69, 1986), later led country/folk Nanci Griffith‘s backing band for 20 years and self-released several solo albums
1952 ● Jay Jay French / (John French Segall) → Guitarist for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983)
1955 ● Jem Finer / (Jemremy Max Finer) → Banjo for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1956 ● Paul Cook → Drummer for premier punk rockers the Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977) and punk rock supergroup Greedy Bastards
1957 ● Merlina DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1958 ● Michael McNeil → Keyboards for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1959 ● James Irvin → Vocals for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1961 ● Martin Gore → Keyboards for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990)
1962 ● Dig Wayne / (Timothy Wayne Ball) → Lead vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1964 ● Tim Kellett → Keyboards and trumpet for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986), then trip-hop/electronica trio Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, 1997)
1964 ● Chris Cornell / (Christopher John Boyle) → Frontman, lead vocals and guitar for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun,” Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), Audioslave (“Be Yourself,” #32, Mainstream Rock #1, 2005) plus five solo albums and numerous soundtrack contributions, hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room following a performance by a reformed Soundgarden on 5/17/2017, age 52
1966 ● Andrew Levy → Founding member, bassist, keyboards and songwriter for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1966 ● Craig Gannon → Rhythm guitarist for 80s Scottish New Wave pop-rock Aztec Camera, jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983) and indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984), now a television and film composer/producer and session guitarist for multiple artists
1966 ● Stone Gossard → Founding member and rhythm guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), previously with grunge rock Green River and Mother Love Bone, solo
1969 ● Vitamin C / (Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick) → Co-founder, frontwoman and vocalist for punk-pop Eve’s Plum, “I Want It All” (Modern Rock #30, 1993), solo, “Smile” (#7, 1999), actress
1970 ● Sam Watters → Vocals for a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1971 ● Alison Krauss → Folk-bluegrass singer, songwriter and fiddler, “When You Say Nothing At All” (#53, Country #3, 1995), frontwoman for Union Station, winner of 1996 Rolling Stone‘s critic’s choice Best Country Artist, Grammy-winning collaboration album with Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant, Raising Sand (#2, 2007)
1971 ● DJ Screw / (Robert Earl Davis, Jr.) → Legendary Houston hip hop DJ who created the now-famous “chopped and screwed” mixing and DJ technique involving slowed down music, died of a prescription codeine overdose on 11/12/2000, age 29
1974 ● Andrew Tierney → With his younger brother, Mike, and two schoolmates, co-founder, vocals and keyboards 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
1978 ● Elliott Yamin → One hit wonder R&B/pop-neo-soul singer, “Wait For You” (#13, 2007), fifth season American Idol finalist
1980 ● Mike Kennerty → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

July 21
1922 ● Kay Starr / (Katherine LaVerne Starks) → Successful 30s and 40s Big Band jazz-pop singer who migrated to country-pop and early rock ‘n’ roll during the 50s with even more success, including two #1 hits, “Wheel Of Fortune” (#1, 1952) and “The Rock And Roll Waltz” (#1, UK #1, 1956), continued to record and perform to a loyal following well after her style went out and well into her 80s, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 11/3/2016, age 94
1942 ● Kim Vincent Fowley → Singer-songwriter, producer, disc jockey and band manager, best known for putting together the all-girl punk/hard rock The Runaways (“Cherry Bomb,” 1976), died from bladder cancer on 1/15/2015, age 72
1943 ● Henry McCullough → Irish guitarist in early folk-rock Sweeney’s Men and with Joe Cocker in the 60s, best known for his work with Paul McCartney‘s Wings in the 70s and his guitar solo on “My Love” (#1, 1973), continued to record and perform into the 10s, suffered a heart attack in 2012 and died four years later on 7/14/2016, age 72
1945 ● Mike Wilsh / (Michael Wilshaw) → Bass, keyboards and backing vocals for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US
1945 ● Rosie Hamlin / (Rosalie Hamlin) → 15-year old lead singer and principal songwriter in one hit wonder light pop/rock Rosie And The Originals, “Angel Baby” (#5, 1960), left the industry for motherhood in the early 60s but had her song covered by John Lennon and included on his posthumous 1986 album Menlove Avenue, died from “ill health” on 3/30/2017, age 71
1946 ● Bean Whitwam / (Barry “Bean” Whitwam) → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1. 1965)
1948 ● Cat Stevens / (Stephen Demitri Georgiou, now Yusuf Islam) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Peace Train” (#7, 1971) and 10 other US Top 40 hits, converted to Muslim in 1977
1953 ● Eric Bazilian → Co-founder, guitarist and vocals for 80s MTV pop-rock The Hooters, “And We Danced” (#21, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1955 ● Taco / (Taco Ockerse) → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (#4, 1983)
1955 ● Howie Epstein → Bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989), died of a drug overdose on 2/23/2003, age 47
1961 ● Jim Martin / (James Blanco Martin) → Guitarist for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1962 ● Lee Aaron / (Karen Lynn Greening) → Award-winning Canadian pop, rock, jazz and singer/songwriter and guitarist with Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), solo
1969 ● Emerson Hart → Founder, guitar and vocals for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1974 ● Terry Caldwell → 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 ● Blake Lewis → Beatboxer and American Idol runner-up, “How Many Words” (Dance/Club #8, 2008)

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This Week’s Birthdays (July 7 – 14)

Happy Birthday this week to:

July 08
1908 ● Louis Jordan → Premier jazz and early R&B saxophonist, bandleader and songwriter, the “King of the Jukebox” and the “Father of Rhythm and Blues,” had an influential run of 18 R&B #1 and nine cross-over-to-pop Top 10 hits between 1949 and ’59, including “G.I. Jive” (#1, R&B #1, 1944), died from a heart attack on 2/4/1975, age 66
1914 ● Billy Eckstine / (William Clarence Eckstine) → Swing bandleader and smooth baritone balladeer, formed the first be bop band in 1944, eventually featuring such future jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and others, duet with Sarah Vaughan, “Passing Strangers” (#82, 1957), suffered a heart attack and died two months later on 3/8/1993, age 78
1924 ● Johnnie Johnson → Legendary blues and rock ‘n’ roll piano player, sideman to Chuck Berry for over 25 years and co-arranger of many of Berry‘s hits, including “Johnny B. Goode” (#8, R&B #2, 1958), left the band in 1973 and drove a bus in St. Louis before returning to the music business in 1987 to work with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Bob Weir‘s Ratdog and others, continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 4/18/2005, age 80
1930 ● Earl Van Dyke → Principal keyboardist in Motown Records‘ house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motownn hit, died of prostate cancer on 9/18/1992, age 62
1930 ● Jerry Vale / (Genaro Louis Vitaliano) → High-tenor pop crooner with 31 Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Have You Looked Into Your Heart” (AC #1, 1964), died in his sleep from natural causes on 5/18/2014, age 83
1933 ● Stan Cornyn → The “King of Liner Notes,” long-time Warner Bros. music executive overseeing Frank Sinatra and multiple 50s popular artists, penned or edited the liner notes for countless albums, authored Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group (1980), produced several albums and mentored different rock acts, died from cancer on 5/11/2015, age 81
1935 ● Steve Lawrence / (Sidney Liebowitz) → Solo and with wife and singing partner Eydie Gormé in the pop/easy listening/adult contemporary duo Steve And Eydie, “Go Away Little Girl” (#1, 1963), Broadway, TV and film actor
1944 ● Jaimoe Johanson / (Johnny Lee Johnson) → Session and tour drummer with Otis Redding and Sam & Dave, then founding member, drums and percussion for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973)
1944 ● Bill Deal → Frontman for blue-eyed soul/surf rock septet The Rhondels, an early “big band rock” outfit in the vein of Blood, Sweat & Tears but with only three significant singles, all in 1969, “What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am” (#23), “I’ve Been Hurt” (#35) and “May I” (#39), left the industry in 1983 after the murder of his band manager following a concert in Richmond, VA, died on 12/10/2003, age 59
1945 ● Ricky Wolf → Vocals for one hit wonder psychedelic pop The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #4, 1967)
1956 ● Russell Christian → Saxophone and vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1961 ● Andy Fletcher → Bass, synthesizer, co-founder, constant member and business manager of electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Graham Jones → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1961 ● Toby Keith / (Toby Keith Covel) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter, post-9/11 politically charged “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” (#25, Country #1, 2002) and 34 other Country Top 10 hits
1962 ● Joan Osborne → Roots and contemporary rock singer/songwriter and solo artist, “One Of Us” (#4, 1995), toured with Dixie Chicks, Grateful Dead and Motown house band The Funk Brothers and appeared in the film Standing In The Shadows Of Motown
1970 ● Beck Hansen / (Bek David Campbell) → Multi-instrumentalist singer and crossover songwriter fusing rock, hip hop, blues and soul, “Loser” (#10, 1994) and later “Where It’s At” (#64, 1996) from the critically-acclaimed and Grammy-winning album Odelay
1971 ● Neil Mavers → Drums for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1985 ● Jamie Cook → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

July 09
1916 ● Norman Pickering / (Norman Charles Pickering) → Engineer, musician and inventor credited with improving the “pickup” that translates the information in a record groove into an analog signal for sound reproduction via the Pickering cartridge, died from cancer on 11/18/2015, age 99
1925 ● Alan Dale / (Aldo Sigismondi) → Immensely popular traditional pop and light rock ‘n’ roll singer in the 50s, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (#14, 1955), hosted his own TV and radio shows, died on 4/20/2002, age 76
1927 ● Ed Ames / (Ed Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, then as “Mingo” in the Daniel Boone TV series, then solo singer career, “My Cup Runneth Over” (#8, 1967)
1929 ● Lee Hazelwood → Country-pop singer, songwriter and producer, collaborated with rockabilly guitarist Duane Eddy on a number of hits, including “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958), wrote and produced the Nancy Sinatra hit, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” (#1, 1966), died of renal cancer on 8/4/2007, age 78
1940 ● John Salvato → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962)
1941 ● Donald McPherson → Founding member and lead singer for R&B/soul The Main Ingredient, “I’m So Proud” (#49, R&B #13, 1971), died of leukemia on 7/4/1971 before the band’s breakout hit, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972), age 30
1946 ● Joe Micelli → Drums and percussion for blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Bon Scott / (Ronald Belford Scott) → Scotland-born original frontman and lead vocals for Aussie power chord hard rock AC/DC, “Highway To Hell” (#47, 1979), drank himself to death on 2/19/1980, age 33
1947 ● Mitch Mitchell / (John Graham Mitchell) → Child actor and accomplished teenage jazz drummer turned rock stickman for pop-rock Georgie Fame (“The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde,” #7, CAN #1, UK #1, 1967) and then psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience (“Purple Haze,” US #65, UK #3, 1967), later in ITV’s Ready Steady Go! house band and various one-off projects, drummed in Hendrix Experience tribute tours and died in his sleep in a hotel room following one such show on 11/12/2008, age 61
1950 ● Gwen Guthrie → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, solo artist, “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent” (#42, Dance/Club #1, 1986), backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and others, died of uterine cancer on 2/3/1999, age 48
1952 ● Carlos Peron → Founding member and multi-instrumentalist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987), then solo
1953 ● Kate Garner → Vocals for quirky Brit New Wave synth-pop Haysi Fantayzee, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (UK #11, 1982)
1954 ● Debbie Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge and the disco anthem “We Are Family” (#2, 1979) plus ten other R&B Top 10 hits
1959 ● Jim Kerr → Vocals for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1959 ● Marc Almond → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), formed euro-disco Marc & The Mambas in 1983 and solo since 1984
1964 ● Courtney Love / (Courtney Michelle Harrison) → Guitar and vocals for post-punk Babes In Toyland, formed and fronted grunge rock Hole in 1989, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998), solo, married Kurt Cobain from Nirvana on 2/24/1992, film actress in Sid And Nancy (1986) and The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1999)
1965 ● Frankie Bello / (Frank Joseph Bello) → Bassist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1965 ● Tom Hingley → Vocals for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1967 ● Dickon Hinchcliffe → Guitar and violin for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1967 ● Owen Paul → Guitar for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (, 1998)
1971 ● Kelvin Grant → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1975 ● Isaac Brock / (Isaac Christopher Brock) → Founding member, singer, guitarist and lyricist for indie rock Modest Mouse, “Float On” (Top 40 #32, 2004) and the album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (#1, 2007), also fronts a side project, indie rock Ugly Casanova
1975 ● Jack White / (John Anthony Gillis) → With wife Meg White, guitar and vocals in garage rock revival duo The White Stripes, 2007 Grammy-winning song “Icky Thump” (#26, 2007), side projects with power pop The Raconteurs and indie rock Dead Weather, produced country legend Loretta Lynn‘s comeback album Van Lear Rose (2004)
1976 ● Dan Estrin → Guitarist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1986 ● Kiely Alexis Williams → Vocals in R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

July 10
1900 ● Mitchell Parish → Pop music lyricist and collaborator with Duke Ellington and numerous other top composers for multiple hits from the 20s to 50s, known best for penning the lyrics to Hoagy Carmichael‘s music for the American pop classic “Stardust,” one of the most recorded songs in history (originally “Star Dust,” 1927), died from natural causes on 3/31/1993, age 92
1933 ● Jumpin’ Gene Simmons / (Morris Eugene Simmons) → One hit wonder rockabilly singer and songwriter with the novelty song “Haunted House” (#11, 1964), Kiss frontman Gene Simmons (born Chiam Witz) took the name as a tribute to the singer, died after a long illness on 8/29/2006, age 73
1936 ● Johnny Griffith → Piano and keyboard session musician, member of The Funk Brothers, Motown Record‘s house band which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 11/10/2002, age 66
1939 ● Mavis Staples → Lead vocalist for four-sister R&B/soul-gospel act The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972)
1941 ● Ian Whitcomb → One hit wonder Brit singer/songwriter, “You Turn Me On” (#8, 1965), author of pre-rock history book After The Ball
1942 ● Ronnie James Dio / (Ronald James Padavona)) → Heavy metal vocalist and songwriter, frontman for Rainbow, “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#57, 1979) and “Stone Cold” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982), Black Sabbath (1979-82), “Turn Up The Night” (Mainstream Rock #24, 1982), founded heavy metal quintet Dio, “Rainbow In The Dark” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1983), died from stomach cancer on 5/16/2010, age 67
1943 ● Jerry Miller → Guitarist for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967)
1944 ● Beaky Dymond / (John Dymond) → Rhythm guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), left in 1989 but rejoined the band on the oldies circuit in 2013
1947 ● Arlo Guthrie → Folk/rock singer/songwriter with three notable songs, the comic-monologue-song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (1967), “Coming Into Los Angeles” from the Woodstock festival and movie, and “The City Of New Orleans” (#18, 1972), son of folk legend Woody Guthrie
1948 ● John Whitehead → With Gene McFadden, one-half the soul music songwriting duo for Philadelphia International Records, co-wrote “Back Stabbers” for The O’Jays (#3, R&B #1, 1972) and other hits, including the disco smash “Ain’t’ No Stopping Us Now” (#13, R&B #1, 1979) for their own album McFadden & Whitehead (1979), died from in an unsolved but apparently mistaken-identity murder outside his home on 5/11/2004, age 55
1949 ● Dave Smalley → Founding member and lead vocals for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir, “It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972)
1950 ● Greg Kihn → Pop/rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, Greg Kihn Band, “Jeopardy” (#2, 1983)
1953 ● Rik Emmett / (Richard Gordon Emmett) → Lead guitar and vocals for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), left the band in 1988 to pursue a moderately successful solo career, rejoined in 2008, contributes to Guitar Player magazine and teaches music business at Humber College in Toronto
1954 ● Neil Tennant → Vocals for synth-pop dance Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls” (#1, 1986)
1958 ● Béla Anton Leoš Fleck → Innovative jazz-bluegrass (“blu-bop”) banjo player, first with New Grass Revival, “Callin’ Baton Rouge” (Country #37, 1989) then as bandleader for Grammy-winning progressive folk-bluegrass Béla Fleck And The Flecktones, “The Sinister Minister” (Best Pop Instrumental, 1997), session work and tours with Asleep At The Wheel, Dave Matthews Band, Phish and others
1959 ● Sandy West / (Sandra Sue Pesavento) → Drummer, singer, songwriter and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), died from cancer on 10/21/2006, age 47
1960 ● Martyn P. Casey → Keyboards for alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1962 ● Play Martin / (Christopher Martin) → With Christopher “Kid” Reid, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1964 ● Graham Lambert → Guitarist for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1965 ● Peter DiStefano → Guitarist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then co-founded hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), solo
1970 ● Gary LeVox → Vocals for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1970 ● Jason Orange → Vocals for teen pop quintet Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, UK #1, 1995) and seven other UK #1 hits including “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1974 ● Imelda May / (Imelda Clabby Higham) → Irish-born jazz-pop and neo-burlesque singer and guitarist, “Mayhem” (Ireland #24, 2010), plus sessions and backing vocals for Jeff Beck, Elvis Costello, Elton John and others
1976 ● Elijah Blue Allman → Guitarist, vocalist and songwriting for industrial/nu metal Deadsy, “The Elements” (1997), also worked with Orgy, Sugar Ray, Korn and others, son of Cher and Gregg Allman, currently a contemporary artist in L.A.
1980 ● Jessica Simpson → Tabloid-fodder film and reality TV actress, 90s dance-pop and 00s contemporary country-pop singer, “Irresistible” (#15, 2001), featured on MTV’s Newlyweds show with her husband and 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey

July 11
1929 ● Danny Flores → Rock ‘n’ roll saxophonist and songwriter, wrote the Latin-flavored instrumental classic “Tequila” (#1, R&B #1, 1958) for one hit wonder The Champs, left the band in the early 60s and recorded sporadically until his death from pneumonia on 9/19/2006, age 77
1931 ● Tab Hunter / (Arthur Kelm Gelien) → Actor in more than 40 movies and one hit wonder teen idol singer, “Young Love” (#1, 1957)
1931 ● Thurston Harris → One hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll singer “Little Bitty Pretty One” (#6, R&B #2, 1957), the song also charted with versions by Frankie Lymon and The Jackson 5, died from a heart attack on 4/14/1990, age 58
1932 ● Billy Davis / (Roquel Billy Davis) → Detroit R&B singer in an early version of The Four Tops and songwriter with several hits recorded by others, including “Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson (#7, R&B #1, 1959), produced “Rescue Me” for Fontella Bass (#4, R&B #1, 1965) among other hits, turned to advertising and produced the jingles “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” “”Things Go Better With Coke” and other jingles for Coca-Cola, died of natural causes on 9/2/2004, age 72
1938 ● Terry Garthwaite → With collaborator Toni Brown, co-frontwoman, guitar and vocals in folk-rock Joy Of Cooking, “Brownsville” (#66, 1971), solo
1946 ● John Lawton → Vocals for German prog rock and early heavy metal cult band Lucifer’s Friend, joined Brit prog rock Uriah Heep in 1976 as lead singer but returned to Lucifer’s Friend and other bands starting in 1980
1947 ● Jeff Hanna → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● John Holt / (Winston Holt) → Jamaican singer and prolific songwriter with ska and rocksteady vocal quartet The Paragons, wrote “The Tide Is High” (1969), which became a US and UK #1 for Blondie in 1980, died from colon cancer on 10/19/2014, age 67
1950 ● Bonnie Pointer / (Patricia Eva Pointer) → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1953 ● Benjamin DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop sibling act The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1953 ● Peter Brown → Electronic, disco, funk and dance-pop singer, songwriter and producer with seven charting hits between 1977 and 1982, including disco-funk “Dance With Me” (#88, R&B #5, 1977), co-wrote “Material Girl” for Madonna (#2, 1985), left the industry in the late 80s due to hearing loss
1957 ● Peter Murphy → Vocals for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979), co-founded alt goth Dali’s Car, then solo, “Cuts You Up” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1990)
1959 ● Richie Sambora / (Richard Stephen Sambora) → Guitarist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987)
1959 ● Suzanne Vega → Folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Luka” (#3, 1987)
1961 ● Adrian York → Piano for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1965 ● Scott Shriner → Bass and vocals for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1966 ● Melanie Susan Appleby → Singer and actress, with older sister Kim in R&B/dance-pop duo Mel & Kim, “Respectable” (Dance/Club #1, 1986), died from pneumonia during cancer treatments on 6/18/1990, age 23
1969 ● Al Sobrante / (John Kiffmeyer) → Drummer for California punk rock Sweet Children, left the band in 1990 during its transition to post-grunge alt rock/punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Lil’ Kim / (Kimberly Denise Jones) → Hip hop actress, model and rapper, member of rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A., “Player’s Anthem” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), solo, “Not Tonight” (#6, Rap #2, 1997)
1975 ● Rick McMurray → Founding member, drummer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1975 ● Samer El Nahhal → Bassist for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1978 ● Kathleen Edwards → Critically-acclaimed Canadian-born light country and roots rock singer and songwriter, “The Cheapest Key” (2008), toured with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones

July 12
1895 ● Oscar Hammerstein II → Stage, film and TV music lyricist/librettist with over 800 titles, many of which are included in the Great American Songbook, collaborator with Richard Rogers on some of the best-known songs in popular music, died from stomach cancer on 8/23/1960, age 65
1928 ● Barbara Russell Cowsill → Matriarch 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, died from emphysema on 1/31/1985, age 56
1939 ● Kenny Dino / (Kenneth J. Diono) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night” (#24, 1961), died from a heart attack while driving on Interstate 95 in Florida on 12/10/2009, age 70
1942 ● Swamp Dogg / (Jerry Williams, Jr.) → Self-proclaimed “musical genius” rock & soul songwriter, producer, soul artist, “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe” (R&B #33, 1970)
1943 ● Christine McVie → Vocals and songwriter for Chicken Shack, then huge pop-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), solo
1946 ● Jeff Christie → Frontman, lead vocals, bassist and chief songwriter for one hit wonder Brit light pop-rock Christie, “Yellow River” (#23, UK #1, 1970), continued to tour on the oldies circuit with various lineups through the 10s
1946 ● Peter Pye → Rhythm guitarist for one hit wonder English beat/pop-rock The Honeycombs, “Have I The Right?” (#5, 1964)
1947 ● Wilko Johnson / (John Wilkinson) → Founding member and first lead guitar for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), then founding member of blues-rock Solid Senders
1948 ● Walter Egan → One hit wonder singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Magnet And Steel” (#8, 1978), now a high school teacher
1949 ● Malcolm Jones → Bassist for one hit wonder pop-rock Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride” (#4, 1970), then Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1950 ● Eric “The Fox” Carr / (Paul Caravello) → Drummer for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), died from cancer on 11/24/1991, age 41
1952 ● Liz Mitchell → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978)
1952 ● Philip Taylor Kramer → Bass guitar for Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), presumed a suicide when his body and wrecked car were discovered in a Malibu canyon four years after he disappeared on 2/12/1995, age 42
1953 ● Billy Alessi / (William Alessi) → With identical twin brother Bobby, vocals in one hit wonder pop-rock duo Alessi Brothers, “Oh, Lori” (UK #8, 1977)
1953 ● Bobby Alessi / (Robert Alessi) → With identical twin brother Billy, vocals in one hit wonder pop-rock duo Alessi Brothers, “Oh, Lori” (UK #8, 1977)
1956 ● Sandi Patty / (Sandra Faye Patty) → Often referred to as “The Voice”, Grammy-winning contemporary Christian music (CCM) and new age singer and pianist
1959 ● Ray Gillen → Journeyman rock vocalist for hard rock Black Sabbath, all-star project Phenomena II, blues-rock Badlands, “Dreams In The Dark” (Mainstream Rock #39, 1989), Tariff, and Sun Red Sun, died from AIDS on 12/1/1993, age 34
1962 ● Dan Murphy → Guitarist for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Tim Gane → Guitar and keyboards for experimental/electronic pop-rock Stereolab, “Ping Pong” (UK #45, 1994)
1967 ● John Petrucci → Virtuoso metal/”shredder” guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer, founding member and producer for progressive metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992), included in GuitarOne magazine’s Top 10 greatest guitar shredders of all time
1972 ● Brett A. Reed → Original drummer in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995), left in 2010 to concentrate on side project psychobilly Devils Brigade
1976 ● Tracie Spencer → Teen pop singer, “In This House” (#3, 1990) and “It’s All About You (Not About Me)” (#18, 1999)
1984 ● Gareth Gates → Brit teen pop singer, TV’s Pop Idol runner up in 2002, “Unchained Melody” (#1, 2002)

July 13
1915 ● Hucklebuck Williams / (Paul Williams) → Saxophonist, composer and 40s bandleader with the first big R&B hit, “The Hucklebuck” (R&B #1, 1949) among eight other R&B Top 20 singles, became a member of the Atlantic Records house band and music director of James Brown‘s backing band in the 60s, opened a music booking business in the late 60s, died of natural causes on 9/14/2002, age 87
1923 ● Norma Zimmer → The last and best-known “Champagne Lady” from the Lawrence Welk Show and a Christian music singer on radio and TV and in various groups from the 50s through the 70s, including with Billy Graham, died on 5/10/2011, age 87
1935 ● Pete Escovedo → Mexican-American jazz and fusion percussionist with Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), solo and leader of Latin big band Azteca
1942 ● Jay Uzzell → With brothers James and Moses and cousin George Wooten, vocals for R&B/doo wop The Corsairs, “Smoky Places” (#12, 1962)
1942 ● Roger McGuinn / (James Joseph McGuinn III) → Twelve-string Rickenbacker jingle-jangle guitarist, songwriter, singer and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), McGuinn-Clark & Hillman, “Don’t You Write Her Off” (#33, 1979), solo
1942 ● Stephen Bladd → Drummer for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1942 ● Tom King / (Thomas R. King) → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead guitarist for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), producer and manager, died from heart failure on 4/23/2011, age 68
1946 ● Cheech Marin / (Richard Anthony Marin) → Mexican-American comedian, TV actor (Nash Bridges, 1996-2001), Disney voice artist and one half the stoner comedy team Cheech & Chong (album Big Bambu, #2, 1972), released two albums of bilingual children’s music, My Name Is Cheech, The School Bus Driver (1992) and Coast To Coast (1997)
1954 ● Thelma Louise Mandrell → Country-pop bassist and singer, played in sister Barbara Mandrell‘s band, The D-Rights, then solo, “Save Me” (Country #5, 1985)
1955 ● Mark “The Animal” Mendoza / (Mark Glickman) → Bassist for proto-punk The Dictators, joined heavy metal Twisted Sister in 1978, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983)
1958 ● Danny Gayol / (Rafael Bernardo Gayol) → Drummer for roots rock and adult pop BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Lawrence Donegan → Bassist for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983), then Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985), author and golf journalist
1966 ● Gerald Levert → Vocals and frontman for R&B/smooth soul trio LeVert, “Casanova” (#5, R&B #1, 1987), son of O’Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died of a heart attack on 11/10/2006, age 40
1969 ● Barney Greenway / (Mark Greenway) → Extreme metal singer for punk/grindcore Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and Benediction
1974 ● Deborah Cox → Canadian R&B singer/songwriter, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” (#2, 1998)

July 14
1912 ● Woody Guthrie / (Woodrow Wilson Guthrie) → Legendary and highly influential American music giant, folk singer and songwriter, “This Land Is Your Land” (1940) and hundreds of others, died from complications of Huntington’s disease on 10/3/1967, age 55
1926 ● Lowman Pauling → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for gospel, jump blues and doo wop fusion quintet The “5” Royales, “Tears Of Joy” (R&B #9, 1957), co-wrote “Dedicated To The One I Love” (#81, 1961) which was covered by The Shirelles (#3, 1961) and The Mamas & The Papas (#2, 1967), also wrote or co-wrote hits for James Brown, Ray Charles and others, died while at work as a janitor in a Brooklyn, NY synagogue on 12/26/1973, age 47
1932 ● Del Reeves / (Franklin Delano Reeves) → Country music singer and songwriter with 25 Country Top 40 hits in the 60s and 80s, including “Girl On The Billboard” (Country #1, 1965), moved into music and artist management and discovered Billy Ray Cyrus in the 90s, continued to perform until just prior to his death from emphysema on New Year’s Day 2007, age 74
1938 ● Bob Scholl → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop one hit wonder quintet The Mello-Kings, “Tonite, Tonite” (#77, 1957), died in a boating accident on 8/27/1975, age 37
1939 ● Vince Taylor / (Brian Maurice Holden) → Early and flamboyant Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer with The Playboys and solo, career cut short by drug and alcohol abuse and erratic behavior, served as the inspiration for David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust character and the Golden Earring song “Just Like Vince Taylor,” died from cancer on 8/28/1991, age 52
1945 ● Jim Gordon → Top session drummer in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote “Layla” (#10, 1972) with Eric Clapton, worked with The Byrds, The Everly Brothers, The Monkees, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa and others, diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic serving a prison sentence since 1984 for murdering his mother
1948 ● Tommy Mottola → CEO of Sony Music Entertainment and Columbia Records, mentored Hall & Oates, John (Cougar) Mellencamp, Diana Ross, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez, among others, ex-husband of dance-pop diva Mariah Carey
1952 ● Chris Cross / (Christopher St. John) → Bass and synthesizer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Bob Casale, Jr. → Guitarist and keyboardist for quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), left in the mid-80s for a career in music and TV sound engineering and production, worked with Police guitarist ‘Andy Summers and others, rejoined Devo bandmates in Mutato Muzika, died of heart failure on 2/17/2014, age 61
1965 ● Igor Khoroshev → Keyboardist replacing Rick Wakeman in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), solo
1966 ● Ellen Reid → Keyboards and backing vocals for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1966 ● Tanya Donelly → Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist, co-founder of alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989), guitar and vocals for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, 1993) and alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993), solo
1971 ● Nick McCabe → Lead guitar for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998), session work, now founder of The Black Ships
1975 ● Taboo / (Jaime Luis Gómez) → Rapper and singer with Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005)
1975 ● Tiny Cottle-Harris / (Tameka Cottle-Harris) → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)
1987 ● Dan Reynolds → Frontman for Las Vegas-based indie pop-rock Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive,” #3, Rock #1, 2012)

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 23
1907 ● Eddie Pola / (Sydney Edward Pollacsek) → Radio and TV program producer, actor and songwriter best known for co-writing several enduring pop tunes with George Wyle, including “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” (1963), retired from the industry and taught elementary school music, died on 111/3/1995, age 88
1929 ● June Carter Cash / (Valerie June Carter) → Singer, songwriter, actress and country music matriarch, The Carter Family, solo, “Jackson” (Country #2, 1967), duets with her husband Johnny, the “Man in Black”, died on 5/15/2003, age 73
1937 ● Niki Sullivan → Original member, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for Buddy Holly‘s backing group, The Crickets, co-wrote and/or sang on many of Holly‘s hit songs before leaving the band in 1957, died of a heart attack on 4/6/2004, age 66
1938 ● Alan Vega / (Boruch Alan Bermowitz) → Singer and guitarist with Martin Rev in highly influential, confrontational, proto-punk/minimalist duo Suicide, their eponymous debut album (1977) is considered a landmark of electronic music and a precursor to post-punk industrial rock, died in his sleep on 7/16/2016, age 78
1940 ● Stuart Sutcliffe / (Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe) → First Beatles bassist for 18 months in 1960-61, left the band when the others returned to England in July 1961 and remained in Hamburg, Germany where he died from a brain hemorrhage on 4/10/1962, age 21
1940 ● Adam Faith / (Terence Nelhams-Wright) → Brit teen-idol pop singer, “What Do You Want” (UK #1, 1959) and 10 other UK Top 10 hits, successful TV, film and stage actor with multiple roles, later became a largely unsuccessful financial advisor, died of a heart attack on 3/8/2003
1941 ● Robert Hunter → Folk-bluegrass musician, singer, songwriter and poet best known as the Grateful Dead‘s lyricist, solo folk-country-rock artist
1944 ● Rosetta Hightower / (Rosetta Jeanette Hightower) → Lead vocals for mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in the late 60s for session work in England with Joe Cocker, John Lennon and others, died from a brain hemorrhage on 8/2/2014, age 70
1945 ● Paul Goddard → Founding member and bassist for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover, #7, 1978), died from cancer on 4/29/2014, age 68
1955 ● Glenn Danzig / (Glenn Allen Anzalone) → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founder/bandleader for hardcore “horror” punk The Misfits, “Dig Up Her Bones” (1997), left in 1983 to form heavy/death metal Samhain and later blues-metal Danzig, now runs an adult-entertainment comics magazine
1956 ● Randall Darius Jackson → Session bass guitarist, bandmember for Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia, record producer, label executive, solo artist and now judge on popular TV show American Idol
1957 ● Lee John / (John Leslie McGregor) → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1960 ● Brendan O’Brien → Former Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist and sessionman turned highly regarded and successful record producer and music company executive, worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others, won a Grammy Award for Bruce Springsteen‘s The Rising (2002) and produced thirteen other Billboard #1 albums
1962 ● Richard Coles → Multi-instrumentalist for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986), now an ordained priest and BBC radio host
1962 ● Steve Shelley → Drummer for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1965 ● Bonehead Arthurs / (Paul Arthurs) → Guitar for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1966 ● James MacPherson → Drummer for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, 1993)
1966 ● Mark Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1975 ● KT Tunstall / (Kate Victoria Tunstall) → Scottish singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” (#20, Adult Top 40 #9, 2006)
1977 ● Jason Mraz → Grammy-winning contemporary pop-rock singer/songwriter, “I’m Yours” (#6, 2008)
1980 ● Jessica Taylor → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Antony Costa → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1984 ● Duffy / (Aimée Ann Duffy) → Grammy-winning Welsh singer-songwriter, “Mercy” (Adult Top 40 #9, 2008)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

May 23
1910 ● Artie Shaw / (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) → Big Band-era bandleader, composer and one of the most-renowned clarinetists of all time, his version of Cole Porter‘s “Begin The Beguine” (#3, 1938) is one of the most popular and enduring songs of the Swing Era, retired from touring in the early 50s, returned briefly in the mid-80s and died of natural causes on 12/30/2004, age 94
1918 ● Bumps Blackwell / (Robert Blackwell) → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985, age 66
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008, age 86
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002, age 74
1933 ● Gary Burden → Grammy-winning designer of music album covers for many rock and pop luminaries, including The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, as well as 40 covers for Neil Young beginning with After The Gold Rush (1970) and continuing for over 35 years, died from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2018, age 84
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and inventor of the synthesizer, built his first electronic instrument – the Theremin – at age 14 and in 1970 produced the MiniMoog “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” died on 8/21/2005 four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, age 71
1941 ● General Norman Johnson → Frontman and lead singer for R&B/soul-pop Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970), left for a successful songwriting career, including the Grammy-winning “Patches” for Clarence Carter (#4, R&B #2, 1971) and “Want Ads” for Honey Cone (#1, R&B #1, 1971), died from lung cancer on 10/13/2010, age 69
1944 ● Tiki Fulwood / (Raymond Fulwood) → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979, age 35
1945 ● Misty Morgan → With husband Jack Blanchard, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1946 ● Ruth Underwood / (Ruth Komanoff) → Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and general percussionist for Frank Zappa and his backing band, The Mothers Of Invention (“Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” 1967) in the 60s and 70s, also did session work for pop-rock Ambrosia, jazz-fusion George Duke and others, retired from music in the 80s
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1955 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995, age 37
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Junior Waite / (Frederick Waite, Jr.) → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1970 ● Matt Flynn → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004) since 2006, previously played with The B-52’s, Chicago and others
1973 ● Maxwell / (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel / (Jewel Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Mad Dog / (Scott Raynor) → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

May 24
1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1938 ● Tommy Chong → Canadian-American comedian, TV and film actor, voice artist, director and one-half the groundbreaking stoner duo Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus And His Old Lady” (#3, 1972), performed in various venues with and without his comedic partner through to their reunion in the 00s, became the oldest contestant to make the semi-finals on Dancing With The Stars in September 2014
1938 ● Prince Buster / (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → One of the most important figures in the development of ska and rocksteady music in Jamaica and beyond, hugely influential reggae/ska perfumer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, scored UK (“Al Capone,” UK #18, 1967) and US hits (“Ten Commandments Of Man,” #81, R&B #17, 1967), dropped out of the industry in the late 70s and recorded and performed only sporadically up to his death following a stroke on 9/8/2016, age 78
1941 ● Bob Dylan / (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino / (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) / (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Plaster Caster / (Cynthia Caster) → Rock groupie known for making plaster casts of rock star’s penises and breasts, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars
1947 ● Waddy Wachtel / (Robert Wachtel) → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls‘ video of “It’s Raining Men,” died from a stroke related to HIV on 11/14/2003, age 41
1967 ● Heavy D / (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died after collapsing outside his L.A. condo on 11/8/2011, age 44
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

May 25
1921 ● Hal David → Pop/MOR lyricist, co-wrote dozens of hits, often in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969), died from a stroke on 9/1/2012, age 91
1922 ● Kitty Kallen / (Katherine Kalinsky) → Pop vocalist with 21 Top 40 hits in the 40s and 50s, including “Little Things Mean A Lot” (#1, 1954), retired from singing in 1955 to nurse paralyzed vocal cords but returned in 1959 to score two additional hits before Beatlemania sank her career
1927 ● Norman Petty → Musician and record producer best known for his work in the 50s with Buddy Holly and his backing band, The Crickets, as coach, recording engineer, producer, band manager and occasional co-writer of numerous hit songs, including “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), also fronted his own band and produced albums for Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs and others, died from leukemia on 8/15/1984, age 57
1927 ● Paul Oliver / (Paul Hereford Oliver) → Brit architectural historian whose sideline interest in blues music led him to author several early and authoirtative books on the subject, including “The Story Of The Blues” (1969), wrote multiple biographies and narratives about indigenous American music over 40 years, left an unfinished 1,400 page manuscript on Texas blues when he died from natural causes on 8/15/2017, age 90
1936 ● Tom T. Hall → Grammy-winning country storytelling songwriter and singer, wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” for Jeannie C. Riley (#1, 1968) and as a solo artist recorded 21 Country Top 10 hits, including “I Love” (#12, Country #1, 1973)
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer with a lone 50s minor hit, “What Can I Do?” (#61, R&B #12, 1957), left for the UK and recorded there with some success in the 60s, returned to the US in 1970 and had eight charting singles in eight years, including “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989, age 52
1942 ● Blinky Davison / (Brian Davison) → Drummer for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968), prog rock Refugee and space-rock Gong, died 4/15/2008, age 65
1943 ● Jessi Colter / (Miriam Johnson) → Singer/songwriter and lone female star from the “outlaw country” genre, “I’m Not Lisa” (#4, Country #1, 1975), wife of Waylon Jennings, teamed with Waylon, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country music album to sell over a million copies
1943 ● Poli Palmer / (John Michael Palmer) → Piano and vibraphone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1945 ● Dave Lee Travis / (David Patrick Griffin) → BBC Radio 1 and TV host, with fellow DJ Paul Burnette released “Convoy GB” (UK #4, 1976) as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, a parody of . McCall‘s “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1975)
1947 ● Mitch Margo / (Mitchell Stuart Margo) → Tenor vocals and piano for blue-eyed R&B/doo-wop group The Tokens, was just 14 years old when the band released it’s biggest hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), later helped produce albums for the Chiffons and Tony Orlando & Dawn, wrote songs for others, including “Laugh ” (1967) for The Monkees and “Slow Dance” (1989) for The Carpenters, performed with various Tokens lineups, composed TV scores and painted for album covers and children’s books until his death from natural causes on 11/24/2017, age 70
1948 ● Klaus Meine → Lead vocals and frontman for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1949 ● Clarence Burke Jr. → With his four siblings, lead singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison‘s Dark Horse label, reformed the Stairsteps with two brothers as R&B/disco The Invisible Man’s Band (“All Night Thing,” Dance/Club #10, 1980), continued to perform until just before his death from undisclosed causes on 5/26/2013, age 64
1950 ● Jean Millington → Vocals and bassist with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label, still playing as Slammin’ Babes
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt / (Robert Eugene Steinhardt) → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1951 ● Chuck Ruff / (Charles Frederick Carson Ruff) → Rock drummer best known as a founding member of hard rock Edgar Winter Group (“Frankenstein,” #1, 1973 and “Free Ride,” #14, 1973), later played on albums by Sammy Hagar (“Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (#13, 1983) and worked in various solo and collaboration bands, died after a long illness on 10/14/2011, age 60
1955 ● John Grimaldi → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972)
1958 ● Paul Weller / (John William Weller) → Co-founder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for punk rock/modcon trio The Jam, “Going Underground” (UK #1, 1980), then co-founded sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “Peacock Suit” (UK #5, 1996) and 28 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Rick Smith / (Richard Smith) → Keyboards for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1975 ● Lauryn Hill → Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Doo Wop (That Thing” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Joe King → Co-founder, guitar, backing vocals and songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 26
1886 ● Al Jolson / (Asa Yoelson) → Pre-eminent traditional and Tin Pan Alley pop singer, Broadway actor, radio host, comedian, early sound-era movie star and self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” recorded dozens of still-popular songs, including “Swanee” (1921), “April Showers” (1924) and “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1927), starred in he first “talkie” film, The Jazz Singer (1927), continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 10/23/1950, age 64
1904 ● George Formby / (George Hoy Booth) → Widely popular Brit stage/screen actor, singing comedian and ukulele player, recorded more than 200 albums and appeared in 20 films, best known for the song “Leaning On A Lamp Post,” died after a heart attack on 3/6/1961, age 56
1909 ● Papa Charlie McCoy / (Charles McCoy) → Delta blues guitarist and songwriter, frontman for The Mississippi Hot Footers and partner is several bands with his older brother, Kansas Joe McCoy, with whom he recorded the earliest version of the now-standard “Sweet Home Chicago,” died from paralytic brain disease on 7/26/1950, age 41
1920 ● Peggy Lee / (Norma Deloris Egstrom) → Sultry, distinctive singer, pop-jazz-big band songwriter and actress, “Fever” (#8, 1958), Grammy-winner, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and others, died from complications of diabetes and a heart attack on 1/21/2002, age 81
1922 ● Frank Guida → Sicilian-American record store owner turned songwriter and record producer credited with crafting the 60s lo-fi, dance-party “Norfolk Sound,” discovered and produced hits for doo-wop/soul Gary U.S. Bonds, including “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961), also co-wrote and produced “If You Wanna Be Happy” for Jimmy Soul (#1, 1963), died on 5/19/2007, age 85
1926 ● Miles Davis / (Miles Dewey Davis III) → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter and composer, major influence on jazz and fusion music, 8-time Grammy winner, including his 1970 album Bitches Brew, died on 9/28/1991, age 65
1938 ● Jaki Liebezeit / (Hans Liebezeit) → Quietly influential, minimalist rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from pneumonia on 1/22/2017, age 78
1940 ● Leon Helm / (Mark Lavon Helm) → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, producer, bandleader, hosts weekly Midnight Ramble revue near Woodstock, NY, died from cancer on 4/19/2012
1941 ● Art Sharp → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Ray Ennis → Vocals and guitar for British Invasionn pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#24, 1964)
1944 ● Verden Allen / (Terence Allen) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1945 ● Garry Peterson → Long-time drummer for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Ronnie Harkai → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1946 ● Mick Ronson / (Michael Ronson) → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, session work for Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey and others, Rolling Stone magazine’s 64th greatest guitarist of all time, died of liver cancer on 4/29/1993, age 46
1948 ● Stevie Nicks / (Stephanie Lynn Nicks) → Hugely successful female rock/pop vocalist, achieved fame with blues-rock turned mega-star band Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), successful solo career, “Talk To Me” (#4, 1985)
1949 ● Hank Williams, Jr. / (Randall Hank Williams, Jr.) → Country-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Honky Tonkin'” (1982), son of country music legend Hank Williams, Sr.
1958 ● Wayne Hussey / (Jerry Lovelock) → Guitarist for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985), then goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990)
1962 ● Colin Vearncombe → Frontman and singer/songwriter for Brit pop-rock Black, “Wonderful Life” (UK #8, 1987), solo
1964 ● Lenny Kravitz / (Leonard Albert Kravitz) → Grammy-winning multi-instrumental singer, songwriter, “Fly Away” (#12, 199), session musician and singer with Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie and others
1966 ● Tommy Stewart → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), also with Everclear, Fuel, Halloween and other bands
1967 ● Kristen Pfaff → Bass guitarist for Minneapolis post-hardcore Janitor Joe, recruited to Seattle grunge rock girl group Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joee but died from a suspected but unconfirmed opium overdose on 6/16/1994, age 27
1968 ● Phillip Rhodes → Drummer for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1971 ● Joey Kibble → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Alan White → Drummer (1994-2005, replacing Tony McCarroll) in Grammy-nominated Britpop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1978 ● Jaheim Hoagland → R&B/dance-pop singer, “My Place” with Nelly (#4, Rap #4, 1992)
1981 ● Isaac Slade → Co-founder, lead singer, pianist and chief songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 29 – May 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

May 03
1903 ● Bing Crosby / (Harry Lillis Crosby) → Vastly popular multi-media megastar singer and actor with thousands of recorded songs, hundreds of albums and dozens of stage and screen roles, “White Christmas” (#1, 1942), died of a heart attack while golfing in Spain on 10/14/1977, age 74
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer and prolific songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, social and environmental activist, beloved American popular music icon and champion of traditional folk music, mentor to younger topical folkies Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie and others, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), issued dozens of solo albums, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” (The Byrds, #1, 1965), “If I Had A Hammer” (Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962) and other folk-pop and folk-rock hits, recorded and toured until the early 10s including with Bruce Springsteen and a Grammy winning album (Pete, 1996), died from natural causes on 12/27/2013, age 94
1921 ● Joe Ames / (Joseph Uric) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2007, age 86
1928 ● Dave Dudlley / (David Pedruska) → The “Father of Truck Driving Music”, honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Six Days On The Road” (#32, Country #2, 1963), died from a heart attack on 12/22/2003, age 75
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died from pneumonia on 12/25/2006, age 73
1934 ● Frankie Valli / (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), solo, “Grease” (#1, 1978)
1944 ● Peter Staples → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● John Richardson → Drums and vocals for glam-pop-rock The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (#37, UK #1, 1974)
1950 ● Mary Hopkin → Welsh folk-pop singer and early Apple Records artist, “Those Were The Days” (#2, 1968)
1951 ● Christopher Cross / (Christopher Geppert) → Grammy-winning, flash-in-the-pan pop-rock sing and songwriter with 6 Top 10 hits in three years, including “Arthur’s Theme” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Bruce Hall → Second bassist for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1959 ● David Ball → Multi-instrumentalist for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982)
1964 ● Sterling Campbell → Drummer and session/touring musician, worked with numerous acts, including Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum and David Bowiee, with whom he toured for 14 years
1965 ● Simon Smith → Drummer for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1969 ● Jay Darlington → Keyboardist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), toured with Oasis
1972 ● Josey Scott → Lead singer for rap-metal Saliva, “Always” (#51, Mainstream Rock #2, 2002), sang “Hero” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, the theme song to the film Spider-Man (2002)
1977 ● Eric Church / (Kenneth Eric Church) → Country music singer, songwriter and avid advocate for marijuana legalization (“Smoke a Little Smoke”) with 18 Country Top 20 hits, including “Springsteen” (#19, Country #1, 2012)
1977 ● Joe Gooch → Blues-rock guitarist, joined Ten Years After (“I’d Love To Change The World,” Top 40, 1971) in 2003
1978 ● Paul Banks → English-American lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk revival Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (Alternative Rock #11, 2007)
1979 ● Danny Foster → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Farrah Franklin → Singer, actress and model with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), fired after 5 months, now solo
1981 ● Father John Misty / (Joshua Tillman) → Folk and roots rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer, founding member of indie shoegaze band Saxon Shore in 2001, drummed for Grammy-nominated indie folk Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012, has released 15 LPs and Eps, thirteen as J. Tillman and four under the current moniker Father John Misty

May 04
1923 ● Mr. Skin / (Ed Cassidy) → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeter in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006, age 78
1937 ● Dick Dale / (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The “King of the Surf Guitar”, pioneer of the single-note staccato picking technique, developed reverberation, frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones, “Let’s Go Trippin'” (#60, 1962)
1938 ● Tyrone Davis / (Tyrone Fettson) → Chicago-style smooth soul R&B singer with multiple hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Can I Change My Mind’ (#5, R&B #1, 1968) and “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (#3, R&B #1) but continued to record into the 00s until he suffered a stroke and died five months later on 2/9/2005, age 66
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Tammy Wynette / (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others, died from complications of throat cancer on 8/22/2011, age 69
1943 ● Ronnie Bond / (Ronald Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992, age 49
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia / (Margaret Santiglia) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1945 ● Jojjie Wadenius / (Georg Wadenius) → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Zal Cleminson / (Alistair Cleminson) → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazareth in 1979
1951 ● Jackie Jackson / (Sigmund Esco Jackson) → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1951 ● Mick Mars / (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died on 6/30/1999, age 48
1952 ● Jacob Miller → Up-and-coming Jamaican reggae singer and lead vocalist for the reggae band Inner Circle until his death in a car accident on 3/23/1980, age 27
1956 ● Sharon Jones / (Sharon Lafaye Jones) → R&B/soul and funk singer, lead vocalist and frontwoman for revivalist funk band The Dap-Kings and eight albums starting in 1996, including the Grammy-nominated Give The People What They Want (2014), continued to perform (opened for two Hall & Oates tours in 2015) and record (issued two albums in 2016-16) until shortly before her death from pancreatic cancer on 11/18/2016, age 60
1959 ● Randy Travis / (Randy Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1964 ● Gary Holt → Guitarist and chief songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), since 2011 lead guitarist for thrash metal Slayer (“Hate Worldwide,” #2, 2009)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch
1972 ● Chris Tomlin / (Christopher Dwayne Tomlin) → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music star with multiple CCM hits, including “Our God” (#9, Christian #1, 2010)
1972 ● Mike Dirnt / (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

May 05
1901 ● Blind Willie McTell / (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● Ace Cannon / (John Cannon) → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor / (Johnnie Harrison Taylor) → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
1942 ● Jim King / (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele / (Adele Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan / (Brooke Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam / (Skye Alexandra Sweetnam) → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 15

1894 ● Bessie Smith / → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and an inspiration to many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937, age 43
1933 ● Roy Clark / → Affable country superstar singer/songwriter, guitar and banjo player, “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, Country #9, 1969), 23-year host of TV show Hee Haw
1935 ● Eliot Tiber / (Eliyahu Teichberg) → Abstract artist, interior designer and Catskill Mountains hotel owner credited with saving the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival by issuing a permit to hold the event in Bethel, NY after the nearby town of Wallkill revoked an earlier permit in July 1969, just weeks before the festival kick-off, became the subject of several books and the Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock (2009), died from complications of a stroke on 8/10/2016, age 81
1937 ● Bob Luman / → Country, rockabilly and one hit wonder pop crossover singer, “Let’s Think About Livin'” (#7, Country #9, 1960) plus 20 other Country Top 40 hits, died from pneumonia on 12/27/1978, age 41
1939 ● Marty Wilde / (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1940 ● Satch Satchell / (Clarence Satchell) → Saxophone and guitar for R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975), died from a brain aneurysm on 12/30/1995, age 55
1944 ● Dave Edmunds / → Roots-rock guitarist, vocals, songwriter, producer and bandleader for Love Sculpture, solo “I Hear You Knocking'” (#4, 1970), member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe
1947 ● Mike Chapman / (Michael Donald Chapman) → Australian-born songwriter and producer, created the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team with co-writer Nicky Chinn, wrote and produced UK Top 10 hits for Mud, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet, produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1947 ● Wooly Wolstenholme / (Stuart Wolstenholme) → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died on 12/13/2010, age 63
1948 ● Michael Kamen / → American composer, arranger and orchestral arranger, collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Lethal Weapon (1987), co-scored Die Hard (1988) plus sequels and multiple other films, worked with Roger Waters, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and others, co-wrote Bryan Adams‘ ballad “(Everything I Do), I Do It for You” (#1, 1991), died from a heart attack on 11/18/2003, age 55
1962 ● Nick Kamen / (Ivor Neville Kamen) → Brit pop-rock model and pop-rock singer, “Each Time You Break My Heart” (UK #5, 1986)
1965 ● Linda Perry / → Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocals for indie hard rock 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up?” (#11, 1993), went solo in 1995, wrote “Beautiful” (#2, 2002) for Christina Aguilera, plus other songs for Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Gavin Rossdale
1965 ● Oscar Harrison / → Drummer for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1966 ● Graeme Clark / → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox / → Former pinup tart and teen Page 3 topless model turned pop singer, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” (#3, Dance #1, 1987)
1967 ● Frankie Poullian / → Bassist for Brit hard/glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream #35, 2004)
1968 ● Edward John O’Brien / → Guitarist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1980 ● Patrick Carney / → Founding member and drummer for blues-rock The Black Keys, “Tighten Up” (Alt Rock #1, 2010), produced records for up-and-coming bands and founded independent label Eagle Rock Records

April 16

1924 ● Henry Mancini / → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994, age 70
1924 ● Rudy Pompilli / → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died of lung cancer on 2/5/1976, age 51
1929 ● Ed Townsend / → Award-winning soul singer and songwriter, wrote and produced the autobiographical Impressions hit “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” (#17, R&B #1, 1974), co-wrote with Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (#2, R&B #1, 1973), had his own hit with “For Your Love” (#13, R&B #7, 1958) and wrote songs for many other soul and pop artists through the 70s, died of a heart attack on 8/13/2003, age 74
1929 ● Roy Hamilton / → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969, age 40
1930 ● Herbie Mann / (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died from prostate cancer on 7/1/2003, age 73
1934 ● Robert Stigwood / (Robert Colin Stigwood) → Australian-born music executive and producer, founder of Robert Stigwood Organization and the RSO Records label, manager for supergroup Cream and disco-pop The Bee Gees, producer of stage shows Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the hit films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978) and Evita (1996) starring Madonna, died of natural causes on 1/4/2016, age 81
1935 ● Bobby Vinton / (Stanley Robert Vinton) → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield / (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999, age 59
1943 ● “Lonesome Dave” Peverett / (David Jack Peverett) → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000, age 56
1945 ● Johnny Sandlin / (John Everett Sandlin) → Bandmate with brothers Duane and Gregg Allman in 60s rock Hour Glass, then joined Capricorn Records as a session musician, later engineered and produced albums for The Allman Brothers Band, including At Fillmore East (#13, 1971) and Eat A Peach (#4, 1972), also worked with Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs and Widespread Panic, died from cancer on 9/19/2017, age 72
1945 ● Stefan Grossman / → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty / (Gerald Rafferty) → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure caused by acute alcoholism on 1/4/2011, age 63
1947 ● “The Bear” Kerslake / (Lee Kerslake) → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1951 ● John Bentley / → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1953 ● Peter Garrett / → Towering Australian musician, politician and activist, frontman and lead vocals from 1975 to 2002 for politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988) , the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 best albums of the 80s, served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013
1956 ● Paul Buchanan / → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton / → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye / → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little Jimmy” Osmond / (James Arthur Osmond) → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry / → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner / → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook / → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle / (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez / → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez, murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, age 23
1973 ● Akon / (Aliaune Thiam) → Senegalese-American R&B/hip hop artist, “I Wanna Love You” (#1, 2006) plus 10 other Top 40 hits, first artist of any genre to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 on two separate occasions, recorded as a guest on over 300 other Top 40 singles

April 17

1926 ● Sam Carr / (Samuel Lee McCollum) → Drummer in electric Mississippi Delta blues trio The Jelly Roll Kings known for his minimalist drum kit, died from congestive heart failure on 9/21/2009, age 83
1931 ● David Axelrod / → Top-level 60s and 70s music producer, worked with jazz and R&B artists from Cannonball Adderly to Lou Rawls and varied pop acts as David McCallum and The Electric Prunes, enjoyed a resurgence of sorts when hip hop acts sampled his work in the 90s, died of lung cancer on 2/5/2017, age 85
1934 ● Don Kirshner / → Entertainment mogul, led Brill Building songwriting teams, formed The Monkees, owned Kirshner Records (“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, #1, 1969), major concert promoter, TV music show host, died of heart failure 1/17/2011, age 76
1936 ● Pete Graves / (Alexander Graves) → Vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955)
1937 ● Don Buchla / (Donald Buchla) → Berkeley-trained NASA engineer, musician, business entrepreneur and unheralded electronic music pioneer, his many creations were mostly outside of contemporary bounds but included precursors to 80s synthesizers and computer-based keyboard controllers, his “Buchla Box” supplied the sound for Ken Kesey‘s “Acid Tests” and Grateful Dead sounds systems in the 60s, died of cancer on 9/14/2016, age 79
1940 ● Billy Fury / (Ronald Wycherley) → Early British rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Halfway To Paradise”” (UK #3, 1961) and 25 other UK Top 40 singles between 1959 and 1966, starred as rock ‘n’ roller “Stormy Tempest” in the film That’ll Be The Day (1973) with David Essex and Ringo Starr, died of a heart attack on 1/28/1983, age 42
1942 ● Shelly Buchansky / → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Roy Estrada / → Bassist for experimental art rock Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), co-founded Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), left after their first two albums to rejoin various Zappa projects, currently serving 25 years without parole for sexually abusing a child on several occasions
1945 ● Tony Crane / → Founding member, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1948 ● Graham Bell / → Brit pop-rock vocalist as a solo act and bandmember, started with psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the 60s, recorded the rock opera Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra, joined jazzy prog rock Every Which Way and formed pop-rock Bell & Arc in the 70s, toured with and did session work for Long John Baldry, Jackie Lomax and others, died of cancer on 5/2/2008, age 60
1948 ● Jan Hammer / → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck Group, composed and performed TV’s “Miami Vice Theme” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Michael Sembello / → Producer, composer, session guitarist for many pop-rock acts, solo one hit wonder singer, “Maniac” (#1, 1983) from the film Flashdance (1983)
1955 ● Pete Shelley / (Peter McNeish) → Founder, lead guitar, principal songwriter and vocals for early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, went solo in 1981, “On Your Own” (Dance/Club #10, 1986)
1957 ● Afrika Bambaataa / (Kevin Donovan) → Proto-rap hip-hop DJ and electro-funk artist, “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), Zulu Nation spiritual leader
1964 ● Maynard James Keenan / → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead vocalist for Grammy-winning prog-metal band Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006) plus side project alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003)
1967 ● Liz Phair / → Lo-fi indie pop-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Why Can’t I?” (#32, Top 40 #10, 2004)
1967 ● Matt Chamberlain / → Widely-heard session drummer, played on over 200 albums with rock and pop bands such as Christina Aguilera, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, David Bowie, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Morrissey, Pearl Jam, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, John Mayer, William Shatner and many others
1970 ● Redman / (Reginald Noble) → Actor, producer and funk/reggae-tinged rapper, “How High” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), worked with Method Man on the 1999 album Blackout!, featured on Christina Aguilera‘s “Dirrty” (#48, UK #1, 2002)
1974 ● Victoria Beckham / (Victoria Adams Beckham) → Vocals and “Posh Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997), married soccer star David Beckham in June 1999

April 18

1918 ● Tony Mottola / → Session guitarist for Perry Como, Burl Ives and others, member of Frank Sinatra‘s backing band and Doc Severinsen‘s The Tonight Show house band, one hit wonder easy listening soloist (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” Easy Listening #22, 1968) with dozens of light pop guitar-based albums, died from complications of pneumonia on 8/9/2004, age 86
1924 ● Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown / → Grammy-winning electric Texas blues, country, Cajun and R&B guitarist, “Okie Dokie Stomp” (1954), died of emphysema on 9/10/2005, age 81
1935 ● Paul Rothchild / (Paul A. Rothchild) → Boston-area folk album producer, discovered The Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s, moved to Southern California and became central to the development of the L.A. Sound in the 60s and 70s, produced five albums by The Doors, plus various recordings for Janis Joplin, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Love, Bonnie Raitt, The Outlaws and others, died from lung cancer on 3/30/1995, age 59
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin / → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, first with post-Buddy Holly & The Crickets, then in the TV show Shindig house band and Elvis Presley‘s backing band, session work for Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others
1941 ● Mike Vickers / (Michael Vickers) → Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, flute and sax) for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then film score composer and session man, played synthesizer on The BeatlesAbbey Road album
1943 ● Clyde Stubblefield / (Clyde Austin Stubblefield) → R&B and funk drummer with Eddie Kirkland and Otis Redding in the early 60s, then joined James Brown‘s band in 1965 and created memorable funk rhythm patterns, including the drum break on “Funky Drummer” (#51, R&B #20, 1970), the most sampled music segment ever, continued to record on his own and with others through the 10s and performed in central Wisconsin until his death from kidney failure on 2/18/2017, age 68
1945 ● Charles Love / → Guitarist and founding member of a cappella doo wop group turned early and influential funk and black rock Bloodstone, “Natural High” (#10, R&B #4, 1973) and eleven other charting singles, died from emphysema on 3/6/2014, age 68
1946 ● Skip Spence / (Alexander Lee Spence) → Early guitarist for psych-folk Quicksilver Messenger Service, left to become original drummer for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), left to form eclectic psych-rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), went solo in 1969, died from lung cancer on 4/16/1999, age 52
1946 ● Lennie Baker / (Leonard J. Baker) → Saxophonist in a later lineup of 50s rock ‘n’ roll Danny & The Juniors, joined “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975) in 1970 and played saxophone and sang with the group for 30 years on stage, film and TV, died from an unspecified infection on 2/24/2016, age 69
1958 ● Andy Kyriacou / → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● Les Pattinson / → Bassist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1959 ● Richard Lyons / (Richard Duaine Lyons) → Founding member of avant-garde, sonic experimentation and collage sound cult band Negativland, since 1980 the band has released nearly two dozen LPs and EPs and hosted a weekly live radio program, Over The Edge, on KPFA in Berkeley, CA, all featuring sound bites, music sampling, distortion, dubbing and random noises, died from complications of nodular melanoma on 4/18/2016, age 57
1962 ● Shirlie Holliman / → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1963 ● Michael Mangini / → Drummer for Canadian thrash metal Annihilator, left to join heavy metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), sessions and Steve Vai backing band
1964 ● Bez Berry / (Mark Berry) → On stage dancer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), left to form and dance for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1970 ● Greg Eklund / → Drummer for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1974 ● Mark Tremonti / → Guitarist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000), founding member of hard rock Alter Bridge, “Open Your Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Marie-Élaine Thibert / → Canadian adult contemporary and teen pop singer, runner-up in the first season of the Quebec singing idol reality show Star Académie, two-time Felix award winner for best female artist in Quebec and one-time Juno award winner for best Francophone album in Canada, her first four albums reached the Top 10 in Canada

April 19

1928 ● Alexis Korner / → Major force in early British blues-rock, formed Blues Incorporated with Charlie Watts, then blues-rock ensemble CCS which covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” (#58, 1971), writer and radio DJ, died from lung cancer on 1/1/1984, age 55
1934 ● Dickie Goodman / (Richard Dorian Goodman) → With partner Bill Buchanan, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), plus solo work, “Mr. Jaws” (#4, 1975), died from self-inflicted gun shot wounds on 11/6/1989, age 55
1940 ● Bobby Russell / → Country-pop crossover singer with several minor singles, including “Saturday Morning Confusion” (#28, Country #24, 1971), best known for penning several country and pop hits, from Grammy-winning “Little Green Apples” for O. C. Smith (#2, 1968) to “Honey” for Bobby Goldsboro (#1, 1968) and “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1972) for his then-wife Vicki Lawrence, died from coronary artery disease on 11/19/1992, age 52
1942 ● Alan Price / → Organist for early line-up of Brit blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left for one hit solo career, “‘Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear” (UK #4, 1967)
1942 ● Larry Ramos / (Hilario Ramos) → Filipino-American guitarist, banjo player and singer with 60s folk-pop vocal ensemble The Association, co-sang two of the group’s hits, “Windy” (#1, 1967) and “Never My Love” (#2, 1967), left in 1975 over musical differences but returned in 1979 and performed with the group until just prior to his death from melanoma on 4/30/2014, age 72
1943 ● Eve Graham / (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1944 ● Bernie Worrell / (George Bernard Worrell, Jr.) → Founding member and keyboards for R&B/soul-funk Parliament-Funkadelic, co-wrote many P-Funk hits with bandleader George Clinton including synth-funk classic “Flash Light” (#16, R&B #1), worked with Talking Heads, Gov’t Mule and Black Jack Johnson among others and fronted the Bernie Worrell Orchestra until his death from lung cancer on 6/24/2016, age 72
1945 ● Michael Stewart / → Co-founder and guitarist for folk-pop harmony group We Five “You Were On My Mind” (#3, AC #1, 1965), brother of John Stewart of The Kingston Trio and producer of Billy Joel‘s Piano Man album (#27, 1973), worked as a computer programmer until he committed suicide on 11/13/2002, age 57
1946 ● Tim Curry / → Singer, stage and film actor, voice actor, came to prominence as “Dr. Frank N. Futer” in cult classic move The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), later in Annie (1982), Legend (1985), Clue (1985) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (2004)
1947 ● Mark Volman / → With long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Kaylan, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Stuart McLean / (Andrew Stuart McLean) → Canadian humorist, author and host of the long-running weekly music and storytelling variety show The Vinyl Café on the CBC, the BBC and dozens of U.S. public radio stations, contracted melanoma in 2015 and suspended production of the show in 2016, died of the disease on 2/15/2017, age 68
1956 ● Gary Langan / → Recording engineer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988), record producer
1956 ● Paul Mario Day / → Original lead vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden (“Flight Of Icarus,” Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1976 for lack of stage charisma and went on to perform and record with various hard rock bands in New South Wales, Australia
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein / → Drummer for jazz-Southern rock fusion Dixie Dregs, later with pop-metal Winger, “Miles Away” (#12, 1990)
1957 ● Tony Martin / (Anthony Harford) → Multi-instrumentalist heavy metal lead singer for Black Sabbathh (“TV Crimes,” UK #33, 1992) in two stints between 1987 and 1997, second longest tenured vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne, issued several solo albums and worked with other metal acts through the 00s
1965 ● Suge Knight / (Marion Knight, Jr.) → Strong-armed co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, served time for parole violation, suspected of involvement in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

April 20

1923 ● Tito Puente / (Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente, Jr.) → The “King of Latin Music,” five-time Grammy-winning virtuoso vibraphonist, bandleader, songwriter and arranger in a 50-year career that brought mamba, cha-cha-cha and “salsa” music to mainstream audiences through albums, nightclubs, radio and movies, appeared in the TV sitcom The Cosby Show in 1983 and the film The Mambo Kings (1992), Latin rock Santana covered his “Oye Como Va” (#13, 1970), died following heart valve surgery on 5/31/2000, age 77
1929 ● Bob Braun / → Long-time radio DJ (WLWT-Cincinnati), TV music show host and one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Till Death Do Us Part” (#26, 1962), died from cancer on 1/15/2001, age 71
1932 ● Gerry Granahan / → Philadelphia radio DJ, songwriter, Influential rock ‘n’ roll producer and pop-rock singer with the minor hit “No Chemise Please” (#23, 1958), co-wrote “Click Clack” (#28, 1958) and performed the song and others in the fictional band Dickey Doo & The Don’ts, produced “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963) for The Angels and songs for Patty Duke, Jay & The Americans and others, served as an executive with Dot and Paramount Records, continued to perform in the 90s
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson / → Country, pop, R&B and adult crossover singer/songwriter, “Poetry In Motion” (#2, 1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston / → Original organ player for British Invasion raunch/rock The Small Faces, left for obscurity in 1965 before the band hit notoriety
1947 ● Ken Scott / → EMI Studios recording engineer whose first session was The Beatles‘ 1964 A Hard Days Night album, worked on multiple other Beatles albums and hit songs, plus recordings for Manfred Mann, Peter and Gordon, Jeff Beck Group, Procol Harum and others, left in 1969 for Trident Studios where he worked with Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp, America, Lou Reed and others, helped create the harder jazz rock sound typified by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clark and Jeff Beck, moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and produced albums by The Tubes, Devo, Kansas, Level 42 and L.A. punk and hard rock bands, continues to work in studios and talk about the profession
1947 ● Mark Fisher / → Brit architect and stage designer known for his elaborate sets for The Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd (The Wall Tour, 1980), Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga and others, died after a long illness on 6/25/2013, age 66
1948 ● Craig Frost / → Keyboardist, joined hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1972, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), joined Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band in the early 80s
1951 ● Luther Vandross / → Eight-time Grammy-winning R&B/smooth soul singer/balladeer, “Power Of Love/Love Power” (#4, 1986) and duet with Janet Jackson, “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (#10, 1997), died following a stroke and heart attack caused by genetic diabetes and hypertension on 7/1/2005, age 54
1967 ● Mike Portnoy / → Drummer for heavy metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992)
1971 ● Mikey Welsh / → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005), died of an overdose-induced heart attack in a Chicago hotel on 10/8/2011, age 40
1972 ● Carmen Electra / → Erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Baywatch beach tart and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1972 ● Ziggy Marley / (Stephen Robert Nesta Marley) → Grammy-winning roots reggae/ska singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), son of reggae superstar and icon Bob Marley
1974 ● Tina Cousins / → Fashion model turned dance-pop diva with five UK Top 20 singles, including “Killin’ Time” (UK #15, 1999)

April 21

1919 ● Don Cornell / → Smooth baritone pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop and easy listening singer with over 30 Top 40 hits between 1942 and 1955, including “Hold My Hand” (#2, UK #1, 1954) , died from emphysema and diabetes on 2/23/2004, age 84
1939 ● Ernie Maresca / (Ernest Peter Maresca) → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose résumé includes several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), and a brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1943 ● Mars Bonfire / (Dennis Eugene McCrohan Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Warner / → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), later wrote dozens of musical instrument instructions books
1947 ● Iggy Pop / (James Newell Osterberg) → Frontman and vocals for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, solo, Lust For Life (1977, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums #147)
1947 ● John Weider / → Guitar and violin for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then bassist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), sessions and solo as a jazz-new age guitarist and singer/songwriter
1948 ● Paul Davis / → Pop-rock and country-pop singer/songwriter (“I Go Crazy, #7, 1977), guest vocalist with Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker, wrote several country hits for others, died of a heart attack on 4/22/2008, age 60
1951 ● Nicole Barclay / → Vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1958 ● Mike Barson / → Keyboards for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, continues to record and perform with the band into the 10s
1959 ● Michael Timmins / → Guitarist and songwriter for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1959 ● Robert Smith / → Founder, frontman, guitarist, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of gloomy post-punk-pop The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989), plus over 20 other Top 40 singles in his native UK
1960 ● John Maher / → Drummer in early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), now sells and races Volkswagen cars
1963 ● Johnny McElhone / (John Francis McElhone) → Bassist for Scottish teen-aged post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), then joined Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Franti / → Creator, frontman, chief poet, lead vocals and guitar for politically and socially active hip hop-funk-rock fusion Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” #18, R&B #1, 2009)
1978 ● Brandon Steineckert / → Drummer in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005), left in 2006 to join punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 8 -14)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 08

1896 ● Yip Harburg / (Edgar Yipsel Harburg) → One of the top Broadway and Hollywood lyricists of the 30s and 40s, wrote the lyrics to multiple pop standards, including “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” (1932), co-wrote the songs to The Wizard Of Oz and the Oscar-winning “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1939), died from a heart attack on 3/5/1981, age 84
1914 ● Irving Taylor / (Irving Goldberg) → Composer, lyricist and screenwriter known for his late 50s whimsical novelty and parody songs, and for co-writing “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Dean Martin, #1, 1964) which improbably knocked The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night” off Billboard’s top spot, also wrote for Bob Newhart and Jonathan Winters on their TV show scripts, died on 12/3/1983, age 69
1920 ● Carmen McRae / → Pianist, songwriter and versatile jazz singer, worked with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, recorded over 60 albums and was a seven-time Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Performance – Female, received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 1994, continued to tour and perform until just before her death following a stroke on 11/10/1994, age 74
1929 ● Jacques Brel / → Internationally acclaimed Belgian singer and songwriter whose compositions have been interpreted by Marc Almond, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, sold over 25 million records worldwide, all in French, died of cancer 10/9/1978, age 49
1941 ● J.J. Jackson / (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul singer and organist, “But It’s Alright” (#22, R&B #4, 1966)
1941 ● Peggy Lennon / (Margaret Anne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 1999 and was replaced by her younger sister, Mimi
1942 ● Leon Huff / → With partner Kenny Gamble in the famed Philadelphia songwriting and production team of Gamble & Huff, crafted the “Philly soul” sound as the founders and chief creative team for Motown-rival Philadelphia International Records, wrote and produced dozens of hits from “Expressway To Your Heart” (The Soul Survivors, #4, R&B #3, 1967) to “Love Train” (The O’Jays, #1, R&B #1, 1872) and “Close the Door” (Teddy Pendergrass, #25, R&B #1, 1978), after the disco era the shine on the label faded but the two continue to write into the 10s
1942 ● Chappo Chapman / (Roger Chapman) → Co-frontman and lead vocals for Brit art/blues-rock Family, then hard blues-rock Streetwalkers, now solo
1944 ● Deke Richards / (Dennis Lussier) → Songwriter and record producer, part of the Motown songwriting team known as “The Clan” and later “The Corporation,” co-wrote multiple hits for several Motown bands, most importantly bubblegum-soul The Jackson 5 including “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), “ABC” (#1, 1970), retired to operate a vintage movie poster business and died from esophageal cancer on 3/24/2013, age 68
1944 ● Keef Hartley / → Drummer for Brit beat group Rory Storm & The Hurricanes (replaced Ringo Starr), then blues-rock John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then founded jazz-pop-rock fusion Keef Hartley Band and was the first British act to appear at Woodstock, died from unspecified causes on 11/26/2011, age 67
1947 ● Larry Norman / → Musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner and pioneer of Christian rock music with a catalogue of over 100 albums despite an often contentious relationship with the Christian church and the Christian music industry, his long hair and radical social themes kept his records out of Bible stores for much of his career, died from complications of long-term heart ailments on 2/27/2008, age 60
1947 ● Steve Howe / → Lead guitarist in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971) and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), then pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), also Bodast, GTR, the Syndicats and Tomorrow
1956 ● Justin Sullivan / → Frontman, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1962 ● Adam Mole / → Keyboards for “grebo” dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1962 ● Izzy Stradlin / (Jeffrey Isbell) → Guitarist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), also fronted the Ju Ju Hounds
1962 ● Jem Kelly / → Guitars for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983)
1963 ● Donita Sparks / → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1963 ● Julian Lennon / → Guitarist and singer/songwriter, pop-rock “Too Late For Goodbyes” (#11, 1984), son of John and only child of his first wife Cynthia
1964 ● Biz Markie / (Marcel Theo Hall) → Freestyle rhymer/rapper, “Just A Friend” (#9, Rap #5, 1989)
1971 ● Darren Jessee / → Drummer for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (Modern Rock #6, 1998)
1972 ● The Pig / (Paul Dedrick Gray) → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), died from an accidental drug overdose on 5/24/2010, age 38
1975 ● Anouk Teeuwe / → Dutch pop-rock singer, “Nobody’s Wife” (1997)
1984 ● Ezra Koenig / → Lead singer and rhythm guitar for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

April 09

1932 ● Carl Perkins / → The “King of Rockabilly,” singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2, 1955), died from throat cancer on 1/19/1998, age 65
1938 ● “Rockin'” Sidney Simien / (Sidney Simien) → Grammy-winning Cajun/swamp blues and zydeco singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, one hit wonder crossover phenomenon “My Toot Toot” (Country #19, 1985), zydeco’s first international hit, died of throat cancer on 2/25/1998, age 59
1943 ● Terry Knight / (Richard Terrance Knapp) → Producer, promote, radio DJ and later manager for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973) and Bloodrock, “D.O.A.” (#76, 1978), died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by his teenage daughter’s boyfriend during an argument on 11/1/2004, age 61
1944 ● Emil Stucchio / → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● Les Gray / (Thomas Leslie Gray) → Vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), died from throat cancer on 2/21/2004, age 57
1948 ● Chico Ryan / (David Allen Ryan) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died on 7/26/1998, age 50
1948 ● Phillip Wright / → Drummer and lead vocals for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1950 ● Peter Wood / → Keyboardist for folk-pop-rock Quiver and The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver (“Arms Of Mary,” #81, UK #5, 1976), later worked with Al Stewart, with whom he co-wrote “Year Of The Cat” (#8, 1977), and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in the backing band for The Wall concerts in 1980-81, died in December 1994, age 44
1961 ● Mark Kelly / → Keyboards for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1969 ● Kevin Martin / → Lead vocals for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1977 ● Gerard Way / → Vocals for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1978 ● Rachel Stevens / → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1980 ● Albert L. Hammond, Jr. / → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1987 ● Jesse McCartney / → Teen TV actor (All My Children), then dance-pop boy band Dream Street, solo, “Beautiful Soul” (#16, 2006)

April 10

1911 ● Martin Denny / → Composer credited with inventing the exotica genre of easy listening lounge music combining Latin, South Pacific and “space age” pop music in rearrangements of popular songs, “Quiet Village” (#4, R&B #11, 1959) from the #1 album Exotica (1959), toured extensively through the early 00s and performed his last concert in Hawaii just three weeks before his death on 3/2/2005, age 93
1921 ● Sheb Wooley / (Shelby F. Wooley) → Country music singer with eight Country Top 40 hits and the novelty-pop hit “The Purple People Eater” (#1, 1958), TV actor (played Pete Nolan in the TV series Rawhide), died of leukemia on 9/16/2003, age 82
1928 ● Rosco Gordon / → Memphis blues singer and distinctive piano player with two R&B Top 5 hits in the immediate pre-rock ‘n’ roll days (“Booted,” R&B #1, 1952 and “No More Doggin’,” R&B #2, 1952) and a later crossover hit (“Just A Little Bit,” #64, R&B #2, 1960), his shuffling-style called “Rosco’s Rhythm” has been cited as a building block for Jamaican ska music beginning in the 60s, died of a heart attack on 7/11/2002, age 74
1932 ● Nate Nelson / (Nathaniel Nelson) → Founding member and tenor vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), appeared with his bandmates in the rock ‘n’ roll musicals Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) and Go, Johnny, Go! (1959), died from heart disease on 6/1/1984, age 52
1936 ● Bobby Smith / (Robert Smith) → Principal lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, died from pneumonia caused by lung cancer on 3/16/2013, age 76
1940 ● Ricky Valance (David Spencer) / (David Spencer) → Welsh singer, covered “Tell Laura I Love Her” (UK #1, 1960), becoming the first UK #1 by an artist from Wales
1947 ● Bunny Wailer (aka Bunny Livingston) / (Neville O’Reilly Livingston) → Reggae/ska percussionist and singer/songwriter, original member of The Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Grammy-winning solo career, named by Newsweek magazine as one of the three most important figures in world music
1947 ● Burke Shelley / → Bass guitar and vocals for early and influential Welsh heavy metal band Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1947 ● Karl Russell / → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits
1948 ● Fred Smith / → Original bassist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), left in 1975 to replace Richard Hell in punk-rock Television, rejoining Blondie in 1978
1950 ● Eddie Hazel / → Lead guitarist for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), his solo is the funk-metal guitar classic on “Maggot Brain” (1971), died of liver failure on 12/23/1992, age 42
1950 ● Ernest Stewart / → Rhythm guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits, died on 4/26/1977, age 47
1953 ● Terre Roche / → Singer/songwriter in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal female folk-pop harmony vocal sister trio The Roches, backed Paul Simon, solo
1957 ● Steve Gustafson / → Bassist for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992)
1959 ● Babyface / (Kenneth Brian Edmonds) → Urban contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “When Can I See You” (#4, 1994), writer and producer for Toni Braxton, Bobby Brown, Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, TLC and others
1959 ● Brian Setzer / → Founder and frontman for rockabilly revival The Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#9, 1983), then leader of pop-swing revival Brian Setzer Orchestra, “Jump Jive An’ Wail” (Adult Top 40 #14, 1998)
1959 ● Katrina Leskanich / → Lead vocals for New Wave pop-rock Katrina And The Waves, “Walking On Sunshine” (#9, 1985) and the Eurovision 1997 contest winner “Love Shine A Light” (UK #3, 1997)
1963 ● Mark Oliver Everett / → Guitarist and lead singer for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997)
1963 ● Torch DeMartini / (Warren DeMartini) → Lead guitarist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1964 ● Reni Wren / (Alan Wren) → Drummer for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989)
1968 ● Kenediid Osman / → Bassist for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1970 ● Kenny Lattimore / → R&B singer, “For You” (#33, 1997)
1970 ● Mike Mushok / → Guitarist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Q-Tip / (Jonathan Davis (aka Kamaal Ibn John Fareed)) → MC in artistic hip hop jazz-rap fusion trio A Tribe Called Quest, “Check The Rhime” (Rap #1, 1991), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Vivrant Thins” (#26, Rap #10, 1999), producer and actor
1975 ● Chris Carrabba / → Frontman, lead singer and guitarist for alt rock/emo band Dashboard Confessional, “Stolen” (#44, 2007)
1979 ● Sophie Ellis Bextor / → Lead singer for indie-rock Brit-pop Theaudience, then solo, “Murder On The Dancefloor” (UK #2, 2001)
1980 ● Bryce Soderberg / → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1981 ● Liz McClarnon / (Elizabeth Margaret McClarnon) → Vocals for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000)
1983 ● Andrew Dost / → Founding member and keyboards for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), co-composed the soundtrack to the comedy drama film The D Train (2015)
1984 ● Mandy Moore / → Teen idol pop singer, “I Wanna Be With You” (#24, Top 40 #11, 2000) turned film actress (A Walk To Remember, 2002) and Adult Contemporary singer/songwriter

April 11

1934 ● Cleotha Staples / → Eldest sibling in influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 2/21/2013, age 78
1935 ● Richard Berry / → R&B/ballad and novelty singer/songwriter and backing vocalist, wrote and recorded “Louie Louie” in 1956 (became a #2 hit and subsequent garage rock classic for The Kingsmen in 1962), died from heart failure on 1/23/1997, age 61
1939 ● Freddie Gorman / (Frederick Cortez Gorman) → Versatile Motown Records singer, songwriter and producer in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (#1, R&B #1, 1961) and a dozen others, member of session group The Originals which also had string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died of lung cancer on 6/13/2006, age 67
1943 ● Tony Victor / → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering Bob” Harris / (Robert Brinley Joseph Harris) → Iconic BBC Radio 2 DJ and TV host, including the long running contemporary music show The Old Grey Whistle Test and current twice-weekly rock music program
1950 ● Tom Hill / → Bassist for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Fox / → Guitarist and lead singer for punk/dub reggae/club and Rock Against Racism-supporting quartet The Ruts, “Babylon’s Burning” (UK #7, 1979), continued with various post-punk and revival bands through to his death from lung cancer on 10/21/2007, age 56
1956 ● Neville Staples / → Vocals for 2 Tone Records multiracial ska band The Specials, “Ghost Town” (#1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy 3, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), frontman for The Neville Staple Band
1958 ● Stuart Adamson / (William Stuart Adamson) → Guitar and vocals for Scottish art-punk-rock The Skids, “Into The Valley,” UK #10, 1979), then for art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country,” #17, Mainstream Rock #3, UK #17, 1983), suffered from alcoholism and hanged himself in a Honolulu hotel room on 12/16/2001, age 43
1961 ● Doug Hopkins / → Co-founder, lead guitarist and chief songwriter for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), committed suicide on 12/5/1993, age 32
1965 ● Nigel Pulsford / → Founding member and original lead guitarist for alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995), left in 2002 to spend time with his family
1966 ● Lisa Stansfield / → English singer/songwriter, first as lead vocals for pop-rock Blue Zone UK, “Jackie” (#54, Dance/Club #37, 1988), then solo “All Around The World” (#3, 1989)
1969 ● Cerys Elizabeth Philip Matthews / → Vocals for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1970 ● Delroy Pearson / → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1970 ● Dylan Keefe / → Bass and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1971 ● Ollie Riedel / (Oliver Riedel) → Bassist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1978 ● Tom Thacker / → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1979 ● Chris Gaylor / → Drums and percussion for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Joss Stone / (Jocelyn Eve Stoker) → Blue-eyed Brit R&B/neo-soul singer, released first album at age 16, first hit at 17, “Fell In Love With A Boy” (, 2004), Grammy-winner in 2007 with John Legend and Van Hunt for cover of Sly & The Family Stone‘s “Family Affair”

April 12

1916 ● Russell Garcia / → Composer and arranger for NBC Radio, MGM Studios, Warner Bros. and Disney on soundtracks from classic movies (The Time Machine, 1960) to TV shows (Rawhide, 1962), orchestra conductor for Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Judy Garland and others, bandleader with the acclaimed, spooky and innovative Fantastica: Music From Out Space (1959), relocated to New Zealand in the 60s and led the country’s national symphony orchestra, died following a fall on 11/19/2011, age 95
1917 ● Helen Forrest / (Helen Fogel) → Extremely popular jazz-swing-pop “girl singer” of the Big Band era, performed with Benny Goodman, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Artie Shaw and as a solo artist, charted dozens of Top 40 singles and seven #1 hits, including “Taking A Chance On Love” (#1, 1943), died from heart failure on 7/11/1999, age 82
1919 ● Billy Vaughn / → Saxophonist, orchestra leader and arranger with more Top 40 hits during the early rock ‘n’ roll era than any other orchestra, including “Sail Along Silvery Moon” (#5, 1957), musical director for Dot Records and artists such as Pat Boone and the Fontane Sisters in the 60s and recorded over 30 albums of mainstream instrumental covers, retired in the 80s and died from mesothelioma on 9/26/1991, age 72
1925 ● Ned Miller / (Henry Ned Miller) → Shy, unassuming country crooner and songwriter whose stage fright caused him to stop touring and eventually quit songwriting, but not until he penned 11 charting Country hits for himself, including the huge crossover single “From A Jack To A King” (#6, Country #2, 1962) plus numerous hits for others, including Hank Snow, Gale Storm and Ricky Van Shelton, left the music business in the late 60s and faded into obscurity, died of natural causes on 3/18/2016, age 90
1925 ● Prentiss Barnes / → Bass vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows (“Sincerely,” R&B #1, 1955), received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1995, died in a car accident on 10/1/2006, age 81
1930 ● Carole Lindsay Young / → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956), died 8/20/2006, age 76
1933 ● Tiny Tim / (Herbert Khaury) → Warbling singer and ukulele-strumming, 60s flash-in-the-pan novelty act, “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” (#17, 1968), married Victoria Mae “Miss Vicki” Budinger on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show on 1217/1969, died of a heart attack on stage on 11/30/1996, age 63
1940 ● Herbie Hancock / (Herbert Jeffrey Hancock) → Renowned jazz fusion keyboardist with Miles Davis and Chick Corea, solo “Chameleon” (1973), composed film soundtracks
1944 ● John Kay / (Joachim Krauledat) → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Lois Reeves / (Sandra Delores Reeves) → Joined sister Martha’s Motown R&B/soul-pop group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in 1967 to replace Betty Kelly, “Jimmy Mack” (#11, R&B #1, 1967)
1949 ● Donald Ray Mitchell / → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989)
1950 ● David Cassidy / (David Bruce Cassidy) → TV, stage and screen actor and singer, portrayed Keith Partridge, the teen idol oldest son of real-life stepmother Shirley Jones, in the pre-fab TV show and sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970), followed with a 40-year career as an international adult pop music star (“How Can I Be Sure,” #25, AC #3, UK #1, 1972) and TV actor, died from liver failure on 11/21/2017, age 67
1951 ● Alexander Briley / → Vocals (and the Army G. I. character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1954 ● Pat Travers / → Canadian bluesy hard rock guitarist, singer and bandleader for the Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981) and solo
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer / → German film actor (Das Boot, 1981) and film score composer, now successful pop-rocker, “Mensch” (German #1, 2002)
1957 ● Vince Gill / → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League, “Amie” (#27, 1973), then successful solo career with 17 Country Music Awards and 14 Grammys, married to singer Amy Grant
1958 ● Will Sergeant / → Guitarist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Art Alexakis / → Frontman, guitars, lead vocals and principal songwriter for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1964 ● Amy Ray / → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1965 ● Sean Welch / → Bassist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1967 ● Mellow Man Ace / (Ulpiano Sergio Reyes) → Cuban-born rapper and house music singer (“Mentirosa,” #14, 1990), brother of Sen Dog
1967 ● Sarah Cracknell / → Frontwoman and lead vocals for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum / → Vocals and rhythm guitar for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996)
1974 ● Shakir Stewart / → Record label executive noted for signing Beyoncé to Hitco Music, Ciara to LaFace Records and Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records, where he was Executive Vice President until his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on 11/1/2008, age 34
1978 ● Guy Berryman / → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1980 ● Bryan McFadden / → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits, now solo and judge on Australia’s Got Talent TV show
1987 ● Brendon Urie / → Lead singer, guitar and piano for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

April 13

1926 ● Cosimo Matassa / (Cosimo Vincent Matassa) → Early rock ‘n’ roll recording engineer credited with creating the “New Orleans Sound” from his studio near the French Quarter through recordings for Fats Domino (“The Fat Man,” R&B #2, 1950) and Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti,” #17, 1956), and later albums by Ray Charles, Dr. John and others, including 21 gold records, retired in the 80s and died from natural causes on 9/11/2014, age 88
1934 ● Horace Kay / → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1936 ● Rashad Feild / (Richard Timothy Feild) → Vocals and guitar with Dusty Springfield and her brother in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), now Sufi mystic and spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers / → Lead vocals, harmonica and percussion for bi-racial psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Bill Conti / → Prolific film and TV score composer, best known for the Rocky movie series, wrote and directed “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), theme song from Rocky, orchestra conductor for the Academy Awards
1943 ● Guy Stevens / → Label executive, producer and band manager, early figure at Island Records and the Britbeat and blues scenes in the 60s, managed Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, UK #1, 1967) and mentored Mott The Hoople (“All the Young Dudes, #37, UK #3, 1972), produced albums for <strongFree and Spooky Tooth plus the punk classic London Calling (1978) for The Clash, died from a prescription drug overdose on 8/29/1981, age 38
1944 ● Brian Pendleton / → Original rhythm guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964), died of lung cancer on 5/15/2001, age 57
1944 ● Jack Casady / (John William Casady) → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1945 ● Lowell George / → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, frontman for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), solo, died of an accidental drug overdose on 6/29/1979, age 34
1946 ● Al Green / (Albert Greene) → Southern R&B and gospel singer, “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, 1972), #65 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1946 ● Roy Loney / → Founding member, wild frontman and lead vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, left for mostly quiet solo career in 1971
1948 ● Peter Sweval / (Piet Sweval) → Co-founder and bassist for the band the eventually became one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass (“Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” #1, 1972), later joined pop/metal Starz (“Cherry Baby,” #33, 1977), died from cancer on 1/23/1990, age 41
1951 ● Max Weinberg / → Drummer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, frontman for Max Weinberg 7 (house band for TV’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien), author of 1991 book The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Greatest Drummers
1951 ● Peabo Bryson / (Robert Peabo Bryson) → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, duet with Roberta Flack “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (1983) plus solo, “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (#10, 1984)
1954 ● Jimmy Destri / (James Mollica) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Louis Johnson / → Bass and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Brothers Johnson, “Strawberry Letter 23” (#, R&B #1, 1977), session musician for renowned producer Quincy Jones, played on Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous albums and recorded five solo LPs of gospel and funk music, died in his Las Vegas home on 5/21/2015
1957 ● Wayne Lewis / → Lead singer and keyboards for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Butch Taylor / (Clarence Frederick Taylor) → Keyboards for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1961 ● Hiro Yamamoto / → Founding member and original bassist for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), left in 1991 to form three piece indie rock/neo psychedelia Truly
1962 ● Hillel Slovak / → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), died from a heroin overdose 6/25/1988, age 26
1966 ● Marc Ford / → Lead guitarist for roots/raunch rock Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), solo
1972 ● Aaron Lewis / → Vocals for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1975 ● Lou Bega / (David Lubega) → German-born, Italian and Ugandan-descended dance-pop Latino-tinged singer, “Mambo No. 5” (#3, 1999)
1979 ● Tony Lundon / → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

April 14

1925 ● Bill Harris / (William Harris) → Guitarist and vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), left in 1958 and, following several decades of business successes and failures, died from pancreatic cancer nearly penniless on 12/6/1988, age 63
1932 ● D. L. Menard / (Doris Leon Menard) → The “Cajun Hank Williams,” contemporary Cajun music guitarist, singer, songwriter and frontman for the several bands, including The Louisiana Aces and most recently Jambalaya for over two decades, wrote the oft-covered Cajun standard “The Back Door” (“La Porte En Arrière”), died from multiple cancer and heart-related ailments on 7/27/2017, age 85
1935 ● Loretta Lynn / (Loretta Webb) → Iconic country music star singer/songwriter, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (#83, Country #1, 1970), first female to be named Country Music Entertainer of the Year
1942 ● Tony Burrows / → Session singer who, in the spring of 1970, set the record for the most UK Top 10 singles at one time, all with different groups: Edison Lighthouse “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” (#5, UK #10, 1970), White Plains “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, UK #9, 1970), The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding” (#9, UK #6, 1970) and the Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970), also sang lead vocals for The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965), psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), and pop-rock The First Class, “Beach Baby” (#4, UK #13, 1974)
1945 ● Ritchie Blackmore / → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple (“Smoke On The Water,” #4, 1973), founded and fronted hard rock Rainbow (“Since You’ve Been Gone,” #57, 1979, and “Stone Cold, “Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) then renaissance-folk-rock Blackmore’s Night
1946 ● Patrick Fairley / (Patrick Fairlie) → Founding member and rhythm guitar for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● June Millington / → Guitar and vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1948 ● Larry Ferguson / → Keyboardist for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Dennis Byron / → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), worked with The Bee Gees during the 70s and ’80s
1949 ● Sonja Kristina / → Vocals for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1962 ● Joey Pesce / → Keyboardist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Moore / (Vincent Moore) → Influential shred guitarist and member of Brit hard rock UFO, “Doctor Doctor” (UK #35, 1979) and “The Writer” (Rock #23, 1982), solo
1965 ● Carl Hunter / → Bassist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), film producer and academic media professor
1965 ● Sheila Chandra / → Vocals for Brit prog rock trio Monsoon, “Ever So Lonely” (UK #12, 1982), then solo
1969 ● Martyn Le Noble / → Dutch bassist and founding member of hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), later worked with Jane’s Addiction, The Cult, Scott Welland, Dave Navarro and others
1973 ● David Miller / → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1974 ● DaBrat / (Shawta Harris) → Hard-edged MC/urban rapper, “Funkdafied” (#6, Rap #1, 1994), first female hip hop artist with a platinum selling record (Funkdafied, 1994)
1980 ● Win Butler / → Lead vocalist and songwriter for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

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