Posts Tagged pop music birthdays today

This Week’s Birthdays (March 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 24
1912 ● Nervous Norvus / (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1958, age 56
1922 ● Dave Appell → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92
1935 ● Carol Kaye / (Carol Kaye Smith) → Hugely prolific session bassist, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, M*A*S*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, music instruction author and teacher
1936 ● Don Covay / (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolff, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay / (Holger Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique, recorded and performed for decades until his death from undisclosed causes on 9/5/23017, age 79
1941 ● Michel Masser / (Michael William Masser) → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson / (Douglas Campbell Thomson) → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena / (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Zetro / (Steve Souza) → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase / (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004)

March 25
1923 ● Bonnie Guitar / (Bonnie Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers with “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight other Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought R&B/doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rockThe Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, as an audio engineer, record producer and label executive in the 60s was an extremely rare female in the top echelons of a vastly male-dominated music industry, largely retired in the 70s but performed occasionally until shortly before her death from natural causes on 1/12/2019, age 95
1934 ● Johnny Burnette / (John Joseph Burnette) → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30
1938 ● Hoyt Axton / (Hoyt Wayne Axton) → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin / (Aretha Louise Franklin) → The undisputed “Queen of Soul,” Hall of Fame and Grammy-winning R&B/soul super-diva whose bold and influential style was rooted in gospel but blended jazz, rock, pop and later classical, charted more than 100 Billboard singles, 17 Top 10 pop hits and 20 R&B #1 hits, including her signature “Respect” (#1, R&B #1, 1967), which became an anthem for the civil rights, feminist and counterculture movements, performed for three presidential inaugural programs and topped Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” (2010), died from pancreatic cancer on 8/16/2018, age 76
1946 ● Peter Daltrey / (Peter James Daltrey) → Co-founder, chief lyricist, lead vocals and keyboards for 60s Brit psych-rock cult band Kaleidoscope (“Flight From Ashiya,” 1967) and its successor band, Fairfield Parlour (“Bordeaux Rose,” 1970), following the band’s dissolution released several modest solo albums and collaborated with Ayreon, Clifford T. Ward and Damien Youth, contributed to Kaleidoscope archival releases and is currently working on a pictorial book and TV documentary of the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Elton John / (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1948 ● Michael Stanley / (Michael Stanley Gee) → Bassist for folk-rock Silk, then solo, then frontman for the underrated hard rock Michael Stanley Band, “In The Heartland” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile / (Terius Gray) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

March 26
1917 ● Rufus Thomas → Memphis R&B/funk-soul singer and comedian, “Do The Funky Chicken” (#28, R&B #5, 1970), father of R&B/soul singer Carla Thomas, died from heart failure on 12/15/2001, age 84
1921 ● Julie Harris → Oscar- and BAFTA-winning British costume designer whose work included James Bond films and The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night and Help!, for which she later quipped “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked,” died following a brief illness on 5/30/2015, age 94
1934 ● Alan Arkin → American actor, director, musician and singer, scored a Top Ten hit as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers, “Cindy, Oh Cindy” (#9, 1956), starred in dozens of films and TV movies and series, including Catch 22 (1970) and Edward Scissorhands (1990)
1936 ● Fred Parris → Leader and vocals for long-running R&B/doo wop The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1944 ● Diana Ross / (Diane Ernestine Earle Ross) → Motown R&B/soul-pop diva, lead vocals and eventual frontwoman for The Supremes, “Baby Love” (#1, 1964), then highly successful solo career, “Endless Love” (#1, 1981) and 22 other Top 40 hits
1946 ● Johnny Crawford / (John Ernest Crawford) → Child character actor, original Mouseketeer on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club, co-star of Western series The Rifleman, short-lived teen-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in 1962-63, including “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8, 1962), continued to act on TV through the 90s in various bit parts
1948 ● Ned Doheny → West Coast singer/songwriter, first artist signed to David Geffen‘s Asylum Records label, solo albums featured guests such as Glen Frey, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadtt, limited commercial success in the U.S. but significant popularity in Japan, wrote or co-wrote several minor chart hits plus songs covered by Chaka Khan, Average White Band and Dave Mason
1948 ● Richard Tandy → Keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1948 ● Steven Tyler / (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Frontman and lead vocals for long-lived, Grammy-winning hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1949 ● Fran Sheehan → Bassist for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence / (Vicki Ann Axelrad) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Lead singer for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), then successful solo career, “Love T.K.O.” (R&B #2, 1980), died on 1/13/2010 after colon cancer surgery
1953 ● Billy Lyall / (William Lyall) → Scottish keyboardist, vocalist and early member of tartan-clad, teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, then co-founded pop-rock Pilot (“Magic,” #1, 1974) and worked with the Alan Parsons Project before dying from AIDS-related causes on 12/1/1989, age 36
1955 ● Martin Price → Record shop owner and founding member of electro-dance/acid house 808 State, “Bombadin” (Dance/Club #3, 1994)
1957 ● Paul Morley → Music journalist, former New Music Express writer, band manager, producer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● James Jonas Iha → Vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Contemporary country star singer and songwriter, “Never Wanted Nothing More” (#22, Country #1, 2007), and 19 other Country #1 hits, married to Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Chicago (2002) film actress Renée Zellweger
1971 ● John Hendy → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Jay Sean / (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Anglo-Indian singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer and Bhangra-R&B fusion pioneer with Rishi Rich Project, “Dance With You” (UK #12, 2003), then solo, “Down” (#1, 2009) with Lil’ Wayne

March 27
1921 ● Philip Chess / (Fiszel Czyz) → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Leonard, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died at home on 10/18/2016, age 95
1934 ● Sarah Vaughan → Grammy-winning jazz singer, “Make Yourself Comfortable” (#6, 1955) and 8 other Top 20 hits, died from lung cancer on 4/3/1990, age 56
1940 ● Derrick Morgan → The “King of Ska,” Jamaican singer and pre-reggae, first-wave ska artist, held the top seven spots on the Jamaican pop music chart for one week in 1965, recorded the first song in the rocksteady genre, “Tougher Than Tough,” in 1966 and the first reggae song, “Seven Letters,” in 1967, produced albums for up-and-coming reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and others, continues to perform in ska/reggae oldies shows into the 10s
1941 ● Bunny Sigler / (Walter Sigler) → Pop, R&B and soul songwriter and producer whose work with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff made him instrumental in creating the Philly Sound of the 70s soul music, fronted the house band Instant Funk and had several chart hits of his own, including “Let Me Party With You (Part 1)” (#43, R&B #8, 1978) while producing music for The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle and others, died following a heart attack on 10/6/2017, age 76
1942 ● Smitty Smith / (Michael Smith) → Early lineup drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965), left in 1967 due to creative differences with frontman Paul Revere Dick and the band’s management, returned for the band’s hit “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) and moved to Hawaii following their final dissolution in 1975, died from internal bleeding on 3/5/2001, age 58
1947 ● Andy Bown / (Andrew Steven Bown) → Guitar and keyboards for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), sessions and gigs with Status Quo and Pink Floyd
1950 ● Tony Banks / (Anthony George Banks) → Founding member and keyboards for prog-rock turned pop-rock Genesis,”Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), mildly successful solo career
1953 ● Wally Stocker / (Walter Frederick Stocker) → Lead guitarist for pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), toured with Rod Stewart and Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1956 ● Wix Wickens / (Paul Wickens) → Brit multi-instrumentalist singer, composer, session and touring musician, worked with ‘Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Damned, Boy George, David Gilmour and others, member of Paul McCartney‘s touring band since 1989
1957 ● Billy Mackenzie → Vocals for New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), committed suicide on 1/23/1997, age 39
1959 ● Andrew Farris → Keyboards with his two brothers in Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1960 ● Jackie Chambers → Vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1962 ● Derrick McKenzie → Drummer for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1964 ● Clark Datchler → Vocals and songwriter for underappreciated, one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), solo
1965 ● Johnny April → Bassist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Brendan Hill → Drummer for blues-rock jam quartet Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1970 ● Mariah Carey → Grammy-winning vocalist, songwriter and top selling 90s pop diva with five straight US #1 career-starting singles, plus Billboard Song of the Decade, “Fantasy” (#1, 2005)
1975 ● Fergie / (Stacy Ann Ferguson) → R&B/dance-pop vocalist and songwriter, former teen TV actress (Kids Incorporated) and teen pop Wild Orchid, now with hip-hop Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005) and solo, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 2007)
1988 ● Jessie J / (Jessica Ellen Cornish) → Blue-eyed soul, pop and hip hop genre-blending Brit singer and songwriter, “Domino” (#6, UK #1, 2012)
1990 ● Kimbra Lee Johnson → Grammy-winning New Zealand electropop and R&B singer, “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Gotye (Worldwide #1, 2011)

March 28
1890 ● Paul Whiteman → Early Big Band jazz-pop ensemble leader whose star-studded outfits influenced future performers, his versatile dance bands were immensely popular in the 20s and 30s and performed various genres in each show, the slower version of his hit “Ol’ Man River” (#1, 1928) won a posthumousGrammy Award in 2006, died from a heart attack on 12/29/1967, age 77
1915 ● Jay Livingston → Prolific stage and screen songwriter, in collaboration with lyricist Ray Evans wrote songs for over 100 films and stage productions, including three Academy Award winners, “Buttons and Bows” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950) and “Que Será, Será” (“Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) (1956), also co-wrote the theme music to the TV shows Bonanza and Mr. Ed, among others, died from natural causes on 10/17/2001, age 86
1937 ● Dean Webb → Mandolin for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1941 ● Charlie McCoy → Harmonica player and top Nashville sessionman, founding member of supergroup Area Code 615, solo career, “Boogie Woogie” (Country #22, 1974) plus member of country-rock Barefoot Jerry
1945 ● Chuck Portz / (Charles Portz) → Bassist for pop-rock The Turtles, “It Ain’t Me Babe” (#8, 1965), left in 1966 before the band reeled off 7 other Top 10 hits
1948 ● John Evan / (John Evans) → Keyboards for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1948 ● Milan B. Williams → Founding member, keyboards and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk The Commodores (“Three Times A Lady,” #1, 1978 and “Nightshift,” #3, 1985), left the band in 1989 after allegedly refusing to appear on stage in South Africa, died from cancer on 7/9/2006, age 58
1949 ● Sally Carr / (Sarah Cecilia Carr) → Vocals for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1955 ● Reba McEntire → Hugely successful traditional and contemporary country singer, songwriter and bandleader, scored 22 Country #1 hits including “Somebody” (#35, 2004), TV actress
1962 ● Geo Grimes → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987), later with Deacon Blue and currently Simple Minds
1963 ● Andy Cousin → Bassist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), also played for The Mission UK, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990) and The Lucy Nation, “Alright” (1999) from the Austin Powers movie soundtrack
1965 ● Steve Turner → Founder, vocals and lead guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1966 ● Salt / (Cheryl James) → Vocals for female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1969 ● James Atkin → Vocals and guitar for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers”), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1976 ● Dave Keuning → Guitar and backing vocals for synth-pop-rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1986 ● Lady Gaga / (Stefani Germanotta) → Electronic dance-pop singer, songwriter and fashion bug, “Just Dance” (#1, 2008) and “Poker Face” (Worldwide #1, 2008)

March 29
1918 ● Pearl Bailey → Well-known and respected but modest-selling Broadway, TV and Hollywood actress and blues-jazz-pop singer, scored a hit with “Takes Two To Tango” (#7, 1952), issued the Grammy-wining soundtrack album Porgy And Bess (#8, 1959), won a Tony Award for the title role in Hello, Dolly! (1967) and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988, died from coronary artery disease on 8/17/1990, age 72
1930 ● Donny Conn / (Donald Claps) → Vocals and drummer for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1940 ● Astrud Gilberto → Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer, won Grammy Award for 1965 Record of the Year “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, Easy Listening #1, 1964), issued over 30 albums and a dozen singles in several languages through the 80s
1942 ● Eden Kane / (Richard Graham Sarstedt) → Pre-Beatles teen pop Brit singer, “Well I Ask You” (UK #1, 1961)
1943 ● Chad Allan / (Allan Kowbel) → Founding member, early frontman, lead vocals, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo artist, TV host
1943 ● Vangelis / (Evangelos O. Papathanassiou) → Greek keyboardist and electronic music composer, “Chariots Of Fire” (#1, 1982), started with prog rock Aphrodite’s Child, “Rain And Tears” (UK #29, 1968), auditioned with Yes and collaborated with Jon Anderson in pop-rock Jon & Vangelis, “I’ll Find My Way Home” (#51, 1982) before turning to film scores
1944 ● Terry Jacks → Canadian pop singer/songwriter with former wife Susan Pesklevits in pop-rock duo the Poppy Family, “Which Way You Goin’, Billy? (#2, 1969), then solo, “Seasons In The Sun” (#1, 1974), now environmental activist
1945 ● Speedy Keen / (John Keen) → Drums, vocals and songwriter for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), died unexpectedly on 3/12/2002, age 56
1945 ● Hardy Fox / (Hardy Winfred Fox Jr.) → Frontman, chief composer and creative wizard in avant-garde, non-conformist collective The Residents, over 45 years and more than 70 albums developed a deep cult following for the group’s deconstruction of popular songs and surreal, experimental music, all the while maintaining members’ anonymity through full masks, outrageous costumes, public denials and ever-changing pseudonyms, continued to record and provide creative direction until just before his death from brain cancer on 10/30/2018, age 73
1947 ● Bobby Kimball / (Robert Toteaux) → Lead vocals and namesake for arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1982)
1949 ● Dave Greenfield → Keyboards for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1949 ● Michael Brecker → Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked on over 700 albums with appearances for James Taylor, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and countless others, member of the Saturday Night Live house band, died from complications of leukemia on 1/13/2007, age 57
1956 ● Patty Donahue → Lead singer for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), died of lung cancer 12/6/1996, age 40
1959 ● Perry Farrell / (Perry Bernstein) → Founder, frontman and vocals for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then formed hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), created the Lollapalooza concert tour program
1967 ● John Popper → Frontman, singer and harpist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1981 ● PJ Morton / (Paul Morton) → Singer and keyboardist in idiosyncratic soul-pop Maroon 5 (“Makes Me Wonder,” #1, 2007) and ten other Top 10 hits, also solo work and side projects

March 30
1913 ● Frankie Laine / (Francesco LoVecchio) → “Mr. Rhythm,” American jazz-pop singer, his “I Believe”, (UK #1, 1953) spent 18 weeks at the top of the UK chart, plus “Moonlight Gambler” (#3, 1957) and six other US Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died of heart failure on 2/6/2007, age 93
1914 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (John Lee Curtis Williamson) → The “Father of the Modern Blues Harp,” virtuoso blues harmonica player “Shake The Boogie” (Race Records chart #4, 1947), murdered while walking home from a nightclub performance in Chicago on 6/1/1948, age 34
1930 ● Rolf Harris → Aussie-born singer, artist, TV presenter and musician, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” (#3, 1963)
1941 ● Graeme Edge → Drummer and songwriter for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1972), solo with the Graeme Edge Band
1943 ● Kenny Forssi → Original bassist for underground cult folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died of a brain tumor on 1/10/1998, age 54
1944 ● Ronnie Rice → Lead vocals and keyboards in Chicago-based, British Invasion-styled soft rock The New Colony Six, “Things I’d Like To Say” (#16, 1969), continues to perform in the Chicago area into the 10s
1945 ● Eric Clapton / (Eric Patrick Clapton) → Top-level blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with the Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, then long and acclaimed solo career, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974) and “Tears In Heaven” (#2, 1992), various collaborations
1948 ● Jim “Dandy” Mangrum / (James Mangrum) → Frontman and vocals for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974)
1950 ● Dave Ball → Guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, joining in 1971 to replace Robin Trower, played lead on the acclaimed Procol Harum Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra album, then formed hard rock Bedlam and played with Long John Baldry
1951 ● Matthew Kelly → Valet and tour assistant for soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmembers on 12/10/1967, age 16
1954 ● Lene Lovich / (Lili-Marlene Premilovich) → New Wave quirky dance-pop singer, “Lucky Number” (, 1979) and “New Toy” (Dance/Club #19, 1981)
1955 ● Randy VanWarmer → One hit wonder singer and songwriter for others, “Just When I Needed You Most” (#4, 1979), died of leukemia on 1/12/2004. age 48
1962 ● MC Hammer / (Stanley Kirk Burrell) → First mass audience rap star, “U Can’t Touch This” (#8, 1990), hip hop cultural icon, dancer, actor
1964 ● Tracy Chapman → Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Fast Car” (#6, 1988) and “Give Me One Reason” (#3, 1996)
1965 ● Tim Dorney → Keyboardist for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1966 ● Joey Castillo → Drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), left in 2012 and replaced Jason Bonham in California Breed in 2013
1967 ● Ace Kent / (Martin Kent) → Guitarist for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1968 ● Céline Dion → French-Canadian pop singer, “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996) and 12 other Top 25 hits
1973 ● DJ AM / (Adam Goldstein) → Club DJ and member of rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001), worked on albums with Blink 182, Madonna and Will Smith, died of an accidental drug overdose on 1/28/2009, age 36
1976 ● Mark McClelland → Bass guitar and co-founder of Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006), later with Little Doses
1979 ● Norah Jones / (Geethali N. J. Shankar) → Grammy-winning acoustic jazz-pop singer/songwriter and pianist, “Come Away With Me” (2002), daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar
1979 ● Simon Webbe → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1980 ● Paul Wall / (Paul Slayton) → Hip hop MC and DJ, hardcore rapper, “Girl” (Rhythmic Top 40 #3, 2006), also featured on “Grillz” (#1, 2005) by Nelly

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 03
1923 ● Doc Watson / (Arthel L. Watson) → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender / (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1943 ● Jay Traynor / (John Traynor) → Lead singer for first lineup of clean cut pop-rock vocal group Jay & The Americans, “She Cried” (#5, 1962), left for a little-noticed solo career, “Up And Over” (1966), died of liver cancer on 1/2/2014, age 70
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in movie-soundtrack duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1948 ● Snowy White / (Terence Charles White) → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1948 ● Byron MacGregor / (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1950 ● Re Style / (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick / (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc / (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1983 ● Katie White → Vocals, guitar and drums for girl group punk trio TKO, then with Jules De Martino in indie pop duo The Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go” (Dance/Pop #1, 2008)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04
1925 ● Paul Mauriat → French orchestra conductor and composer of pop/easy listening music, best known for his one hit wonder version of “Love Is Blue” (#1, 1968), died 11/3/1966, age 81
1932 ● Miriam Makeba → Grammy-winning, influential and beloved South African folk-pop singer, “Pata Pata” (#12, 1967), died on 11/9/2008, age 76
1934 ● Barbara McNair / (Barbara Jean McNair) → R&B/pop-soul singer with a dozen minor hits in the 60s, but better known as a Broadway and TV actress and host of her own musical variety show, The Barbara McNair Show (1969-1972), died from throat cancer on 3/4/2007, age 72
1936 ● Eric Allandale → Trombone in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), songwriter and jazz bandleader
1938 ● Angus MacLise → Experimental, avant-garde music percussionist, original drummer for proto-punk/art rock Velvet Underground , left in 1965 and continued to write and record in a variety of “spiritual” settings, eventually landing in Nepal,, died in Kathmandu from hypoglycemia and tuberculosis caused by general malnutrition and years of drug use on 6/21/1979, age 41
1944 ● Mick Wilson / (Michael Wilson) → Drummer for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1944 ● Bobby Womack → R&B/soul singer and musician, scored a R&B Top Ten hit with his brothers as soul/pop The Valentinos, “Lookin’ For A Love” (#72, R&B #8, 1962) on Sam Cooke‘s SAR Records, wrote and recorded as a solo artist and session musician, including “It’s All Over Now” (The Rolling Stoness, #26, UK #1, 1964) and “Across 110th Street” (#56, R&B #19, 1972), died after a long period of multiple ailments on 6/27/2014, age 70
1945 ● Dieter Meier → Manager, producer, vocalist and lyricist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1946 ● Red Stripe / (David Gittens) → Vocals for Brit a cappella Flying Pickets, “Only You” (#1, 1983)
1947 ● Robert Lewis → Founding member group that became quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980) but left before the band signed a multi-million dollar recording contract, sued his bandmates for intellectual property rights and settled out of court, produced videos and music for bands in the Akron, Ohio region, now a consultant to music industry litigation lawyers
1948 ● Shakin’ Stevens / (Michael Barrett) → Welsh rock ‘n’ roll revival singer and songwriter, “I Cry Just A Little Bit” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1984)
1948 ● Chris Squire → Influential bass guitarist and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971), co-wrote “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), only bandmember to have appeared on all of the band’s albums and participated in every tour, died from leukemia on 6/27/2015, age 67
1951 ● Chris Rea → Singer, songwriter and slide guitarist, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1978) and “Working On It” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1951 ● Peter Haycock → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977), played and toured as a solo artist and with various collaborations in the 80s and 90s, and contributed to multiple film score projects (Thelma & Louise, 1991), worked until his death from a heart attack on 10/30/2013, age 62
1953 ● Emilio Estefan, Jr. → Keyboards for Latin-funk-dance Miami Sound Machine, “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (#1, 1989), husband of Gloria
1954 ● St. Clair L. Palmer → St. Kitts-born vocalist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1955 ● Boon Gould / (Rowland Gould) → Founding member and guitarist for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Jon Durno → Bass guitar for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1963 ● Jason Newsted → Bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), later Echobrain and Voivod
1965 ● Richard March → Bassist for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991), then founded Bentley Rhythm Ace in mid 90s
1966 ● Grand Puba / (Maxwell Dixon) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1966 ● Patch Hannan / (Patrick Hannan) → Drummer for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1967 ● Evan Dando → Guitar and vocals for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Patsy Kensit → Film and TV actress, singer and bandleader for Brit pop-rock Eighth Wonder, “Cross My Heart” (Dance/Club #10, 1988), appeared in Lethal Weapon II as Mel Gibson’s love interest, formerly married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and Oasis singer Liam Gallagher
1971 ● Fergal Lawlor → Drums for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Alison Wheeler → Vocals in alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Hawksley Workman (Ryan Corrigan) → Canadian cabaret-pop and glam-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, “Anger As Beauty” (Canada #29, 2003)

March 05
1933 ● Tommy Tucker / (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1946 ● Murray Head → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Bobby Debarge / (Robert L.Debarge, Jr.) → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie / (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith / (Mark Edward Smith) → Founder, frontman, lead singer, chief songwriter and only constant member of influential post-punk The Fall (“There’s A Ghost In My House,” UK #30, 1987), his grinding riffs and casustic lyrics filled 32 studio albums as The Fall and two albums as a solo artist over a 42-year career that ended on his death from throat and respiratory problems on 1/24/2018, age 60
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

March 06
1893 ● Furry Lewis / (Walter Lewis) → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1905 ● Bob Wills / (James Robert Wills) → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Doug Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1937 ● Sam Samudio / (Domingo Samudio) → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis
1939 ● Jerry Naylor / (Jerry Naylor Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1944 ● Mary Wilson → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1976 to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career
1945 ● Hugh Grundy → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee / (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy / (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo / (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel / (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx / (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07
1942 ● Hamilton Bohannon → Drummer, bandleader, producer and one of the leading figures in the rise of 70s disco/dance music, worked with Stevie Wonder in his early years, toured with major Motown artists in the late 60s and joined Dakar/Brunswick Records in 1972, perfected the thudding baseline and heavy rhythms of disco and went on to record and produce numerous dance-pop hits, including his own “Let’s Start The Dance” (R&B #9, 1978)
1943 ● Chris Taylor White → Bassist and one of two primary songwriters in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1944 ● Townes Van Zandt → Reclusive country-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet, wrote “If I Needed You” (Country #3, 1981 for Emmylou Harris) and “Pancho And Lefty” (Country #1, 1983 for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), issued several solo albums but remained a largely cult musician, died on 1/1/1997 from cardiac arrhythmia following years of substance abuse, age 52
1945 ● Arthur Lee / (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Founder, guitarist, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died from leukemia on 8/3/2006
1946 ● Matthew Fisher → Keyboardist, lead vocals and songwriter for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969 for solo career and record producer for Robin Trower and others
1946 ● Peter Wolf / (Peter Blankfield) → Radio DJ (WBCN-fm, Boston) before joining boogie-blues-rock ‘n’ roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982) as lead singer and songwriter, left in 1983 for a solo career, “Lights Out” (#12, 1984), former husband of actress Faye Dunaway
1952 ● Ernie Isley / (Ernest Isley) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1962 ● Taylor Dayne / (Leslie Wunderman) → Dance-pop diva with a career-igniting seven straight Top 10 singles between 1987 and 1990, including “Love Will Lead You Back” (#1, 1990) and a recharge with “Planet Love” (Dance/Pop #1, 2000)
1966 ● Paul Davis → Keyboards for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Randy Guss → Drummer for alt folk-pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992)
1973 ● Sébastien Izambard → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1977 ● Paul Cattermole → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1982 ● Kelli Young → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 08
1931 ● Lloyd Knibb → Jamaican ska music pioneer and drummer in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), played and toured with the band until his death from liver cancer on 3/12/2011, age 80
1937 ● Richard Fariña / (Richard George Fariña) → Author and folksinger, duets with wife Mimi (Baez) Fariña, wrote the 60s cult classic Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, died on 4/30/1966 in a motorcycle accident
1937 ● Raynoma Gordy Singleton / (Raynoma Mayberry) → Second wife and business partner of Motown Records founder and CEO Berry Gordy in the formative years of the hugely influential label, sang back-up on early hits and mentored artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, divorced Gordy and left Motown before the big run of hits in the mid-60s, later managed the careers of her two sons with Gordy and authored a tell-all biography, died from brain cancer on 11/11/2016, age 79
1942 ● Ralph Ellis → Guitarist and songwriter for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1943 ● Shel Macrae / (Andrew Semple) → Vocals and lead guitar Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1945 ● Micky Dolenz / (George Michael Dolenz, Jr.) → Drummer and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo, producer
1946 ● Carole Bayer Sager → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer and songwriter, co-wrote “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (The Mindbenders, #2, 1966 and Phil Collins, #1, 1988), co-wrote “Nobody Does It Better” (Carly Simon, #2, 1980), issued three solo albums, former wife of and musical collaborator with Burt Bacharach
1946 ● Randy Meisner / (Randy Herman Meisner) → Original bassist in country-rock Poco, left to join Rick Nelson‘s Stone Canyon Band, plus session work for Linda Ronstadt, whose backing band became country-rock Eagles, co-wrote and sang “Take It To The Limit” (#4, 1977), left in 1977 for solo career, “Hearts On Fire” (#19, 1981)
1947 ● Michael Allsup → Guitarist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1947 ● Tom Rapp / (Thomas Dale Rapp) → Founder, frontman and only constant member in eclectic 60s/70s underground psychedelic folk Pearls Before Swine (“Uncle John,” 1967), issued 10 albums as a band and three solo albums before retiring from music in the late 70s, studied law and became a civil rights lawyer, resurfaced with a fourth solo album in 1999, died from cancer on 2/11/2018, age 70
1948 ● Little Peggy March / (Margaret Battavio) → Girl group-era one hit wonder pop vocalist, “I Will Follow Him” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Mel Galley / (Melvin John Galley) → Guitarist for hard funk-rock Trapeze, “Keepin’ Time” (1972), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), died of esophageal cancer on 7/1/2008, age 60
1949 ● Dave Lambert → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), solo
1954 ● Cheryl Baker / (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1957 ● Clive Burr → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Gary Numan / (Gary Webb) → Composer, musician and bandleader for New Wave synth-pop Tubeway Army, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (UK #1, 1979), and seminal 80s New Wave hit “Cars” (#9, 1980)
1960 ● Richard Darbyshire → Lead vocals and guitar for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1962 ● Steve Grantley → Drummer for The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers, plus session work for Julian Lennon, Eighth Wonder and The Clash, author of a book about 70s metal band Slade and another covering The Who‘s discography
1964 ● Ped Gill / (Peter Gill) → Backing vocals and drummer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1968 ● Rob Dukes → Lead vocalist for thrash metal Exodus (Blood In, Blood Out, #38, 2014) from 2004 to 2014, currently vocalist for crossover thrash metal Generation Kill
1968 ● Shawn Mullins → Atlanta-based folk/pop male singer, “Lullaby” (#7, 1998)
1972 ● Angie Hart → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-pop Frente!, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (#49, 1994)
1976 ● Gareth Coombes → Vocals and guitar for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams → Vocals for teen R&B dance/pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999)
1979 ● Tom Chaplin → Vocals for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1988 ● Eleanor Jackson → Singer and namesake (“the red-haired one”) of electro-dance-pop duo La Roux, “Bulletproof” (#8, 2010)

March 09
1925 ● Billy Ford → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith / (Dorothy Jacqueline Keely) → Sultry-voiced singer and half of the 1950s Grammy-winning vocal and comedy duo with then-husband Louis Prima, their jazz and pop act headlined the Las Vegas strip and produced several hits, including “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958), divorced Prima and performed solo in the 60s with more success in the UK than in the US (“You’re Breaking My Heart,” UK #14, 1965), reprised “That Ol’ Black Magic” at the 2008 Grammy awards ceremony as a duet with Kid Rock, their performance dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 20 “weird and wild Grammy collaborations,” died from heart failure on 12/16/2017, age 85
1930 ● Ornette Coleman → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with several Top 40 hits, including “Stagger Lee” (#1, 1959), now manages a food service company using his name on various Southern-style packaged food products
1936 ● Mickey Gilley → Country-pop singer “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), owner of Gilley’s nightclubs
1942 ● John Davies Cale → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker / (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton / (Trevor Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robin Trower → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Robert Calvert → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Ron Wilson → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife
1948 ● Chris Thompson → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ / (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy / (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow / (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 20
1888 ● Lead Belly / (Huddie William Ledbetter) → Multi-instrumentalist, oft-covered country-blues-folk singer and songwriter, “Goodnight Irene” (1934), died of AMS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on 12/6/1949, age 61
1922 ● Ray Anthony → Trumpeter, bandleader relentless self-promoter and songwriter (“Dragnet” theme song, “The Bunny Hop,” and “Dancing In The Dark”) with a long and prosperous career in 40s and 50s big bands and various 60s-80s music enterprises, recorded the highest selling cover of the theme song from the TV series Peter Gunn (#8, 1959), continues into the 10s as a music label executive
1922 ● Piney Brown / (Perry Columbus) → Legendary but unheralded early R&B/blue, ages shouter, songwriter, bandleader and life-long devotee to the blues, issued several albums from the 50s to the 00s but never achieved commercial success or notoriety, died in a nursing home of natural causes on 2/5/2009, age 87
1924 ● Lee Pockriss / (Lee Julian Pockriss) → Songwriter with hit songs in multiple genres, best known for co-writing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” for Brian Hyland (#1, 1960) and “Johnny Angel” for Shelley Fabares (#1, 1962), worked on Broadway musicals and wrote children’s songs for Sesame Street, died after a long illness on 11/14/2011, age 87
1924 ● Slim Whitman / (Otis Dewey Whitman, Jr.) → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955), died of heart failure on 6/19/2013, age 89
1929 ● Jean-Jacques Perrey / (Jean Leroy) → French electronic music pioneer, early composer of electronic pop albums and user of the Moog synthesizer, his compositions were adapted for use in Disney theme parks, in episodes of The Simpsons and other TV programs, and as an aid to insomniacs which led to ambient music in the 80s, the last of his more than 30 albums, Destination Space (2007) was released when he was nearly 80 years old, died from lung cancer on 11/4/2016, age 87
1931 ● Earl Grant → Pianist, organist and pop and R&B singer with six albums and seven charting hits in the 50s and 60s, including “The End” (#7, 1957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson / (Ronald Townson) → Original member and tenor vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), stayed with the group until poor health forced his retirement in 1997, died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001, age 68
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977, age 35
1943 ● Rick Evans → Vocals and lyricist in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1945 ● Eric Stewart → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965), contemporary pop Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” (#22, 1970) and soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975)
1946 ● Jimmy Chambers → Singer with Brit-American R&B/dance-pop Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (#1, 1991)
1947 ● George Grantham → Drummer with country-rock Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1948 ● Melvin Pritchard → Drummer for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died of a heart attack on 1/28/2004, age 56
1952 ● Ian Hill → Bassist with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Paul Stanley / (Stanley Harvey Eisen) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) plus three solo albums
1960 ● Scott Thunes → Bassist with Frank Zappa‘s band from 1981 through 1988, also worked with Steve Vai and The Waterboys and currently plays with The Mother Hips
1965 ● Greg Kriesel → Bassist for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1965 ● Heather Small → Lead singer for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1966 ● Tracii Guns / (Tracy Richard Ulrich) → Founder and guitarist for glam-metal L. A. Guns, “The Ballad Of Jayne” (#33, 1990) then hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988) and Motörhead, Contraband and Brides Of Destruction
1969 ● Nicky Wire / (Nicholas Allen Jones) → Bassist, lyricist and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1969 ● Tina O’Neill → Drummer for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1971 ● Gary Barlow → Frontman, vocals, piano and chief songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), wrote sixteen UK Top 5 hits, eleven UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums for Take That, plus two UK #1 solo singles and a UK #1 solo album,
1978 ● Ratboy Wilson / (Sidney Wilson) → DJ and turntablist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1979 ● Rob Bourdon → Drummer for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Will Young → Pop singer and inaugural winner of UK TV’s Pop Idol show, “Anything Is Possible/Evergreen” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Nathan Connolly → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)

January 21
1923 ● Frank Virtue → Founder, frontman and guitarist for one hit wonder instrumental pop-rock The Virtues (“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” #5, R&B #27, 1959), later career as a record producer and recording engineer, died on 6/11/1994, age 71
1924 ● Benny Hill / (Alfred Hawthorne Hill) → English singer and comedian with a long-running slapstick comedy TV show and several charting comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961) and “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (UK #1, 1971), died from kidney failure on 4/20/1992, age 68
1924 ● Telly Savalas / (Aristotle Savalas) → Greek-American film star, TV actor (Kojak) and pop singer with two UK #1 songs and a non-charting take-off on his signature line “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, died of cancer on 1/22/1994, age 70
1938 ● Wolfman Jack / (Robert Weston Smith) → Legendary gravel-voiced rock ‘n roll radio DJ and TV host, died of heart attack on 7/1/1995, age 57
1941 ● Placido Domingo / (Jose Placido Domingo Embil) → Grammy-winning opera tenor and conductor, member of The Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, 1994 Billboard #4 Album, In Concert
1941 ● Richie Havens / (Richard Pierce Havens) → Low-screen folk and R&B guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for his appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971), died of a heart attack on 4/22/2013, age 72
1942 ● Mac Davis / (Morris Mac Davis) → 60s session guitarist turned 70s countrypolitan pop-rock crossover star, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (#1, 1972), wrote “In The Ghetto” (#3, 1969) and “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6, 1970) for Elvis Presley
1942 ● Edwin Starr / (Charles Edwin Hatcher) → Rough, tough and re-inventive R&B/soul-pop-disco singer, “25 Miles” (#6, 1969), then anthemic protest song “War” (#1, 1970), then disco hit “(Eye-To-Eye) Contact” (Disco #1, 1979), died from a heart attack on 4/2/2003, age 61
1945 ● Chris Britton → Guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Ibbotson → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock pioneers The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● Pye Hastings / (Julian Frederick Hastings) → Scot guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and 40-year frontman for venerable psych-jazz-rock Caravan, “Nine Feet Underground” (1971)
1948 ● Peter Kircher → Mid-80s drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1950 ● Billy Ocean / (Leslie Sebastian Charles) → Trinidad-born, UK-based R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984)
1954 ● Nigel Glockler → Drummer for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxonn, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1956 ● Rob Brill → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Vic Reeves / (James Roderick Moir) → With Bob Mortimer, one half of Brit comedy/satire act Vic And Bob, then pop-rock The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1965 ● 3D / (Robert Del Naja) → Founding member, MC and singer for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1965 ● Jam Master Jay / (Jason William Mizell) → Founding member of premier hardcore rap trio Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), murdered by an assassin on 10/30/2002, age 37
1966 ● Wendy James → Lead singer and Madonna-wannabe frontgal for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), left for a solo career that included an mildly successful LP of songs written for her by Elvis Costello, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears (UK #43, 1993)
1972 ● Cat Power / (Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall) → Indie folk- and blues-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor and model, album Moon Pix (1998)
1972 ● Tweet / (Charlene Keys) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Oops (Oh My)” featuring Missy Elliott (#7, R&B #1, 2002)
1973 ● Chris Kilmore → Turntables and keyboards for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1976 ● Emma Lee Bunton → Vocals and “Baby Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Nokio / (Tamir Ruffin) → Founder, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/urban soul-dance Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), producer for DMX, Torrey Carter and others
1980 ● Benjamin Moody → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)

January 22
1931 ● Sam Cooke → Pioneering R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record executive and civil rights activist, “You Send Me” (#1, 1957), shot and killed during an altercation with his landlord on 12/11/1964, age 33
1938 ● Eugene Church → Singer and collaborator with Jesse Belvin as doo-wop The Cliques, solo as Eugene Church & The Fellows (“Pretty Girls Everywhere,” #36, R&B #6, 1958), later moved to gospel music, died from cancer on 4/3/1993 , age 55
1938 ● Joe Esposito / (Joseph Carmine Esposito) → Army-years buddy of Elvis Presley, became his right-hand man, road manager and key member of Elvis‘s entourage, the “Memphis Mafia,” played bit parts in several Elvis films in the 60s, later worked as road manager for Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, John Denver and others, co-authored six books about Elvis and attended Elvis look-alike conventions, died after a long period of failing health on 11/23/2016, age 78
1940 ● Mickie Harris / (Addie Harris) → Vocals for Brill Building pop, girl-group-defining The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of a heart attack on stage during an oldies circuit performance on 6/10/1982, age 42
1946 ● Malcolm McLaren → Brit performer, impresario and solo artist, “Double Dutch” (UK #3, 1983), manager of the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, died of cancer 4/8/2010, age 64
1949 ● Nigel Pegrum → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then prog-rock Uriah Heep, art-rock Gnidrolog and folk-rock Steeleye Span, producer and session drummer
1949 ● Steve Perry / (Stephen Ray Pereira) → Lead singer for arena rock Journey beginning in 1977, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), then solo, “Oh, Sherrie” (#3, 1986), then re-formed Journey 1996, “When You Love A Woman” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1996)
1952 ● Teddy Gentry → Founding member, bass and background vocals for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1960 ● Michael Hutchence → Founding member, lead singer, songwriter and 20-year frontman for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987), found dead in a Sydney hotel room after an apparent suicide on 11/22/1997, age 37
1965 ● Andrew Roachford → Frontman, vocals and keyboards for Brit urban contemporary R&B Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” (# 25, UK #4, 1989)
1965 ● D.J. Jazzy Jeff / (Jeffrey Allen Townes) → R&B/hip hop artist, record producer, turntablist and actor, with Will Smith in duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, 1991)
1965 ● Steven Adler / (Michael Coletti) → Songwriter and drummer (1985-90) for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), then Road Crew and started Adler’s Appetite and Adler
1969 ● Marc Gay → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1981 ● Ben Robert Moody → Founder, vocals, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1981 ● Willa Ford / (Amanda Lee Williford Modano) → Dance-pop singer, songwriter, model, TV and film actress, “I Wanna Be Bad” (Top 40 Mainstream #11, 2001)
1985 ● Orianthi Panagaris → Aussie singer, songwriter and guitarist, “According To You” (#17, 2009), played for Prince and was Michael Jackson‘s lead guitarist for the ill-fated This Is It tour

January 23
1910 ● Django Reinhardt / (Jean Baptiste Reinhardt) → Belgian-born gypsy-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953, age 43
1932 ● Cyril Davies → One of the first harmonica players on the British blues scene, formed various skiffle and blues groups in the 50s and Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry in the 60s, club owner and R&B promoter, died from endocarditis on 1/7/1964, age 31
1940 ● Joe Dowell → Two hit wonder early 60s pop singer (“Wooden Heart,” #1, 1961 and “Little Red Rented Rowboat,” #23, 1962), later wrote and recorded his own songs without commercial success and launched a radio advertisement production company
1940 ● Jimmy Castor / (James Walter Castor) → Pop and funk saxophonist and singer, briefly replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers, then fronted novelty/disco-funk Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Caveman)” (#4, 1972), died from heart failure on 1/16/2012, age 72
1941 ● Buddy Buie / (Perry Carlton Buie) → Music producer, publisher and songwriter with over 340 titles penned alone or in collaborations with others, including the oft-covered pop classic “Spooky” (#3, 1967) by The Classics IV, formed, managed and produced Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover,” #7, 1978) and co-wrote most of their songs, produced albums for Wynonna Judd and Garth Brooks, died following a heart attack on 7/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● Jerry Lawson → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008, age 58
1953 ● Robin Zander → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch → Co-founder, producer and bassist 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
1955 ● Reggie Calloway → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1956 ● Ralph Carney → Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, first with artsy New Wave “Akron Sound” Tin Huey (covered “I’m A Believer,” 1979) then as a sessionman with a long list of studio credits, including multiple albums with Tom Waits plus recordings with The B-52’s, Elvis Costello, the Black Keys and many others, fell in his Oregon home and died the following day from head injuries on 12/16/2017, age 61
1957 ● Earl Falconer → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita / (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

January 24
1933 ● Zeke Carey / (Ezekial Carey) → Founding member and second tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), died on 12/24/1999, age 66
1936 ● Doug Kershaw / (Douglas James Kershaw) → Cajun country-rock singer/songwriter, bandleader and fiddler, “Louisiana Man” (Country #10, 1961)
1936 ● Jack Scott / (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → Canadian rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and country-pop singer with eight U.S. Top 40 singles in less than 3 years, including “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960)
1939 ● Ray Stevens / (Harold Ray Ragsdale) → Grammy-winning country-pop and often novelty singer, songwriter and producer, “Everything Is Beautiful” (#1, 1970)
1941 ● Aaron Neville → New Orleans R&B/soul-funk singer, “Tell It Like It Is” (R&B #1, 1966), then formed The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989), then solo again, including duets with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know Much” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1989)
1941 ● Michael Chapman → Critically acclaimed but commercially underrated Brit folk singer and songwriter best known for his “Postcards Of Scarborough” (1970) and an over 40 album catalog, continues to record and perform in the 10s
1941 ● Neil Diamond → Often called the “Jewish Elvis,” prolific songwriter, singer and guitarist “Cracklin’ Rose” (#1, 1970), plus dozens of Top 40 hits and those covered by others, from The Monkees (“I’m A Believer,” #1, 1966) to Deep Purple (“Kentucky Woman,” #38, 1968)
1947 ● Warren Zevon → Sardonic singer/songwriter with 15 solo albums and multiple Top 40 hits, including “Werewolves Of London” (#21, 1978), died from asbestos-related lung cancer on 9/7/2003, age 56
1949 ● John Belushi → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Joliet Jake” Blues in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died from drug overdose 3/5/1982, age 33
1953 ● Matthew Wilder (Weiner) → One hit wonder singer/songwriter, started in early 70s folk-pop duo Matthew & Peter, then pop-rock solo “Break My Stride” (#5, 1983), now record producer
1958 ● Julian Miles “Jools” Holland → Pianist, producer, singer, composer and bandleader, including keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1963 ● Keech Rainwater → Drummer for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1974 ● Christopher River Hesse → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Paul Marazzi → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1989 ● Calvin Goldspink → Vocals in pre-fab teen pop S Club Juniors (a spin-off of S Club 7), “One Step Closer” (UK #2, 2002) and six other UK Top 15 hits in two years, actor

January 25
1915 ● Ewan MacColl → Influential Brit folk revival singer, songwriter, poet and producer, wrote Grammy-winning “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1972), died from complications following heart surgery on 10/22/1989, age 74
1923 ● Rusty Draper / (Farrell H. “Rusty” Draper) → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll country and pop crossover star with five Top 20 hits in the 50s, including “The Shifting, Whispering Sands” (#3, 1955), continued with minor country hits in the 60s and dropped out of site by the 80s, died from pneumonia on 3/28/2003, age 80
1931 ● Stig Anderson → Songwriter, producer and manager for Swede superstar pop-rock ABBA, co-wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1977), died of a heart attack on 9/12/1997, age 66
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) / (Jamesetta Hawkins) → Versatile Grammy-winning blues, gospel, R&B/soul and jazz singer, “Tell Mama” (#23, R&B #10, 1968) and the enduring ballad “At Last” (#47, R&B #2, 1961), died from complications of leukemia on 1/20/2012, age 73
1949 ● John Cooper Clarke → The “Bard of Salford”, performance poet laureate of the punk movement, “Gimmix” (UK #39, 1979), opened tours for the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello, continues to contribute to poetry journals
1950 ● Michael Cotten → Synthesizers for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1953 ● Malcolm Green → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (UK #12, 1980)
1956 ● Andy Cox → Guitarist and co-founder of ska revivalist mixed-race The English Beat in 1978, then moved with bandmates to form Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Actor and journeyman bass guitarist for Roxy Music, The Vibrators, post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982), Code Blue and The Fixx
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Vocals for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983), solo
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Vocalist for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1971 ● China Wing Kantner → Daughter of Jefferson AirplaneGrace Slick and Paul Kantner, TV and film actress, former MTV VJ
1973 ● Chris Wilkie → Guitarist and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1977 ● Christian Ingebrigtsen → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1981 ● Alicia Keys / (Alicia Auguello Cook) → Nine-time Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fallin'” (#1, 2001) and ten other Top 40 hits, TV and film actress, philanthropist

January 26
1913 ● Jimmy Van Heusen / (Edward Chester Babcock) → Four-time Academy Award winning popular music composer, wrote or co-wrote dozens of pop hits in the 40s through 60s for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, including “Swingin’ On A Star” for Crosby (1944) and “My Kind Of Town” for Sinatra (1964), died from complications following a stroke on 2/6/1990, age 77
1922 ● Page Cavanaugh → Jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, popular 40s and 50s bandleader on radio, TV and films with a number of Top 40 hits, early purveyor of the jazz-pop sound now known as “smooth jazz,” continued to perform as a night club and lounge act into the 00s, died from kidney failure on 12/19/2008, age 86
1926 ● Ronnie Hilton / ((Adrian Hill) → Brit 50s pop crooner, “No Other Love” (UK #1, 1956) plus 21 other Top 40 hits during the onslaught of rock ‘n’ doll, BBC radio host of the weekly show Sounds of the Fifties, died of a stroke on 2/21/2001, age 75
1932 ● The Tall Texan / (Claude Gray) → Country music singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his contribution to the “Nashville sound” and the Countrypolitan movement that created the crossover genre blending country and pop music, scored 12 Country Top 40 hits including “I’ll Have Another Cup Of Coffee” (Country #3, 1961), continues to tour and perform on TV into the 10s
1934 ● Piano Smith / (Huey Pierce Smith) → New Orleans “good time” R&B/rock ‘n roll pianist, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (R&B #5, 1957), wrote and played on Frankie Ford‘s “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959)
1937 ● Alison Steele / (Ceil Loman) → Pioneering DJ known as “The Night Bird” on archetypical progressive rock station WNEW-FM (New York) from 1967 to 1979, inspiration for Jimi Hendrix‘s “Night Bird Flying,” music writer, producer and CNN correspondent, died from stomach cancer on 9/27/1995, age 56
1939 ● Marshall Lieb → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2002, age 63
1943 ● Jean Knight / (Jean Caliste) → One hit wonder R&B/soul and funk singer, “Mr. Big Stuff” (#2, 1971), toured on the oldies circuit through the 00s
1945 ● Tyger Hutchings / (Ashley Stephen Hutchings) → Bassist for renowned Brit folk-rock revival bands Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1946 ● Deon Jackson → One hit wonder 60s R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (#11, 1966), faded into the Chicago oldies circuit until his death from a brain hemorrhage on 4/18/2014, age 68
1948 ● Corky Laing / (Laurence Gordon Laing) → Drummer in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), then power trio West, Bruce & Laing, solo and collaborations
1949 ● Derek Holt → Guitar and keyboards for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1951 ● David Briggs → Guitarist and songwriter for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, wrote “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), now recording engineer and producer
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Bassist in quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from cancer on 7/19/2010, age 59
1952 ● Maurice Bacon → Drummer for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → Underappreciated country-folk-roots rock singer and songwriter, “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998) from the Grammy-winning album of the same name
1955 ● Eddie Van Halen / (Edward Lodewijk Van Halen) → Top rock guitarist, frontman, songwriter and vocals for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), solo, collaborations and film score compositions, uncredited guitar solo on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” (#1, 1983)
1958 ● Anita Baker → Grammy-winning R&B/quiet storm singer, “Sweet Love” (#8, 1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → Percussion, trombone and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Charlie Gillingham → Keyboards for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock boy band Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984) and 6 other US Top 10 hits
1963 ● Jazzie B. / (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → DJ, mixmaster, producer and founding member of R&B/dance-pop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989)
1964 ● Susannah Melvoin → Vocalist, songwriter and actress, backing singer for Prince, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Wendy & Lisa
1966 ● Pim Jones → Guitarist for Scottish contemporary pop-rock Hipsway, “The Honeythief” (#19, 1986)
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Looking For You” (#61, 2005)
1972 ● Ya Kid K / (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, wrote lyrics and sang vocals on “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 6 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 30 – January 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 30
1917 ● Wesley Tuttle → Early and influential country-pop, hillbilly and smooth-Western singer and guitarist known for having only a thumb and pinky finger on his left hand but scoring the early hits “With Tears in My Eyes” (Country #1, 1945) and “Detour” (Country #4, 1946), and for yodeling to the “Silly Song” in Walt Disney‘s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, left the music industry in the 90s and died from heart failure on 9/29/2003, age 85
1928 ● Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel) / (Ellas Otha Bates McDanie) → Grammy-winning early R&B/rock ‘n roll guitarist, prolific singer and songwriter, “I’m A Man” (R&B #1, 1955) and nine other R&B Top 40 hits, originator of the oft-used “Diddley Beat” (bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp), died from heart failure on 6/2/2008, age 79
1931 ● Skeeter Davis / (Mary Frances Penick) → Unheralded early rockabilly and later country-crossover singer, “The End Of The World” (#2, 1963), died from breast cancer on 9/19/2004, age 72
1934 ● Del Shannon / (Charles Westover) → Early rock ‘n roll teen idol then heralded pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Runaway” (#1, 1961), rumored to be replacing Roy Orbison in pop-rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys but shot-gunned himself to death before any official announcement on 2/8/1990, age 55
1937 ● Paul Stookey / (Noel Paul Stookey) → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963), then solo, “Wedding Song (There Is Love)” (#24, 1971)
1937 ● John Hartford / (John Harford) → Grammy-winning folk-pop-country-rock and Newgrass singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote and recorded the oft-covered and hugely popular standard “Gentle On My Mind” (1967), died from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/4/2001, age 63
1939 ● Felix Pappalardi / (Felix A. Pappalardi, Jr.) → Producer for blues-rock Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) and later bassist for pioneering hard rock/heavy metal trio Mountain, “Mississippi Queen” (#21, 1970), shot dead by his wife in a supposed accident on 4/17/1983, age 43
1940 ● Mr. Popeye / (Kenny Pentifallo) → Drummer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1940 ● Perry Ford → Member of Brit pop vocal trio The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965) and backing vocals for The Who
1942 ● Mike Nesmith / (Robert Michael Nesmith) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), then Grammy-winning country-rock solo career (“Joanne” #21, 1970) and producer
1942 ● Robert Quine → Heralded punk-era guitarist with Richard Hell & The Voidoids, then collaborated with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Tom Waits and others, committed suicide on 5/31/2004, age 61
1945 ● Davy Jones / (David Thomas Jones) → Lead vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo and stage actor, died from a heart attack on 2/29/2012, age 66
1946 ● Clive Bunker / (Clive William Bunker) → Drummer for early line-up of Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1946 ● Patti Smith / (Patricia Lee Smith) → The “Godmother of Punk,” singer, poet, songwriter and bandleader, co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen “Because The Night” (#13, 1978)
1947 ● Jeff Lynne / (Jeffrey Lynne) → Top-level producer, keyboardist, songwriter and frontman for The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), Electric Light Orchestra, “Telephone Line” (#7, 1977), and the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, “Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988)
1951 ● Chris Jasper → Brother-in-law, keyboardist and key member of six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1956 ● Suzy Bogguss / (Susan Kay Bogguss) → Award-winning country singer and songwriter, “Drive South” (Country #2, 1992)
1959 ● Tracey Ullman / (Trace Ullman) → 80s “girl-group revival” pop-rock singer “They Don’t Know” (#8, 1984), then TV comedienne
1969 ● Jay Kay Cheetham / (Jason “Jay Kay” Cheetham) → Lead singer in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1970 ● Sister Bliss / (Ayalah Bentovim) → Former club DJ then founding member of techno-club-dance duo Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1973 ● Jon Theodore → Current drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age (“No One Knows,” #51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and in power duo One Day As A Lion with Zack de la Rocha of Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine (“Guerrilla Radio,” Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1978 ● Tyrese / (Tyrese Darnell Gibson) → R&B/hip hop singer, songwriter and rapper, “How You Gonna Act Like That” (#7, 2003), film actor, producer
1986 ● Ellie Goulding / (Elena Jane Goulding) → Brit indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with several charting hits in the U.S., including “Lights” (#2, UK #49, 2011) and “Love Me Like You Do” (#3, UK #1, 2015)
1988 ● Leon Jackson → Scottish pop singer and winner of the UK TV talent show The X Factor in 2007, “When You Believe” (#1, 2007)

December 31
1914 ● Cyril Stapleton → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974, age 59
1920 ● Rex Allen / (Rex Elvie Allen) → Actor, songwriter and “singing cowboy” with nearly 50 Western movie roles, over 150 narrations of Disney films, a dozen albums and five Top 30 country-pop crossover hits, including his cover of “Crying In The Chapel” (#8, Country #4, 1953), died after his caregiver accidentally ran over him with his car in his driveway on 12/17/1999, age 79
1928 ● Ross Barbour → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001, age 82
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died from heart disease on 12/2/2008, age 77
1942 ● Andy Summers / (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● John Denver / (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997, age 53
1943 ● Peter Quaife → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010, age 66
1947 ● Burton Cummings → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer / (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012, age 63
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton → Bassist 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)
1959 ● Paul Westerberg / (Paul Harold Westerberg) → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian / (Scott Ian Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara / (Daniel Anthony McNamara) → Founder and lead vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1972 ● Joey McIntyre / (Joseph Mulrey McIntyre) → Vocalist in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1977 ● PSY / (Park Jae-Sang) → South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper and “K-Pop” phenomenon known for his global hit “Gangnam Style” (#2, UK #1, 2012)
1979 ● Bob Bryar / (Robert Nathaniel Corey Bryar) → Drummer for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)

January 01
1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher / (Toni Fisher Monzello) → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and in synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999, age 68
1941 ● James West → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country Joe” McDonald / (Joseph Allen McDonald) → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1949 ● Phalon Jones / (Phalon R. Jones, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Morgan Fisher / (Stehphen Morgan Fisher) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1954 ● Billy Miller / (William Henry Miller, Jr.) → Rock music archivist, collector, publisher and record label executive, co-founded Kicks magazine in 1979 and Norton Records in 1986 with his wife and fellow arcane music enthusiast Miriam Linna (former drummer for punk/rockabilly The Cramps), focused on overlooked garage rock, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Link Wray, The Alarm Clocks and the Wailers, among many others, died from complications of multiple myeloma on 11/13/2016, age 62
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash / (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs / (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan / (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

January 02
1930 ● Julius La Rosa → Italian-American traditional pop singer with ten Top 25 hits in the 50s, including “Eh Cumpari” (#2, 1953), was fired on-air from the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1953, later guested on various TV variety shows and sitcoms and enjoyed a long career as a New York City radio DJ, continued to record and release pop CDs until a few years before his death from natural causes on 5/12/2016, age 86
1936 ● Roger Miller → Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “King Of The Road” (#4, 1965), TV star, died of lung cancer on 10/25/1992, age 56
1948 ● Kerry Minnear / (Kerry C. Minnear) → Classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger, keyboardist of Brit progressive rock Gentle Giant during the 70s, left to teach and perform in church assembles, continues to compose music for film and TV, manages the release of Gentle Giant anthologies
1949 ● Chick Churchill / (Michael George Churchill) → Keyboardist for British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (#40, 1971), later switched to ambient music and writing TV commercial jingles before becoming a professional photographer
1954 ● Glen Goins → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 7/29/1978, age 24
1963 ● Keith Gregory → Bassist 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
1967 ● Robert Gregory → Drummer for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1975 ● Chris Cheney → Lead guitar, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie punk rock/psychobilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Rock #23, 1997)
1975 ● Douglas Robb → Vocalist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy / (Kelton Kessee) → Drummer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999)

January 03
1909 ● Victor Borge / (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Andrews / (Maxene Angelyn Andrews) → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995, age 79
1926 ● Sir George Martin / (George Henry Martin) → Highly-successful and influential record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums and becoming the “Fifth Beatle” for his creative arrangements and complement to the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others, overall produced 23 number one singles and 19 number one albums in the U.S., died in his sleep on 3/8/2016, age 90
1937 ● John Gorman → Brit comedian and vocalist with Paul McCartney‘s brother in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1937 ● Glen Larson → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Stills / (Stephen Arthur Stills) → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones / (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1948 ● Rex Braley / (Rex Charles Braley) → Guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1955 ● Clive Gregson → Founder, frontman, vocals and songwriter for New Wave punk-pop Any Trouble, then 90s Brit folk-rock revival duo Gregson & Collister, solo and producer for others
1958 ● Marcel King → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995, age 37
1964 ● Raymond McGinley → Lead guitar and vocals for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1975 ● Thomas Bangaltier → DJ for French progressive electronic dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1977 ● Timothy Wheeler → Founding member, songwriter and vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kimberly Locke → Adult contemporary pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (Dance #1, Adult Contemporary #9, 2007)

January 04
1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock / (Miriam Kahan Abramson) → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
1942 ● John McLaughlin → Jazz-fusion guitarist and composer, played with Miles Davis, founded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rolling Stone magazine #49 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1944 ● Volker Hombach → Flutist for first lineup of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1946 ● Arthur Conley → R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, co-wrote (with Otis Redding) and sang “Sweet Soul Music” (#2, R&B #2, UK #7, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003, age 57
1956 ● Bernard Sumner / (Bernard Edward Sumner) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless / (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1959 ● Vanity / (Denise Matthews) → Canadian singer, sometime actress, backing vocalist for Prince and lead singer of R&B/dance-funk Vanity 6 (“Nasty Girl,” #, 1982) plus a brief solo career (“Under The Influence,” #56, R&B #9, 1986), eschewed the celebrity lifestyle after a cocaine-induced near-death kidney failure and become a Christian evangelist, died from kidney disease on 2/15/2016, age 57
1960 ● Michael Stipe → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Martin McAloon → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Robin Guthrie → Guitar and drum machine for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1962 ● Till Lindemann → Poet, frontman and lead vocals for German industrial metal band Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1962 ● Peter Steele / (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010, age 48
1965 ● Beth Gibbons → Singer for avant-garde fusion of electronica and pop Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1965 ● Cait O’Riordan → Bassist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1965 ● David Glasper → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Deana Carter → Neo-traditional country-folk singer, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” (Country #25, 1997)
1967 ● Benjamin Darvill → Harmonica for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)

January 05
1922 ● Bob Keane / (Robert Verril Kuhn) → Producer and record label owner best known for discovering and managing Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba,” #22, 1958), also “discovered” Sam Cooke and marketed his first hit, “You Send Me” (#1, UK #29, 1957) on his Keen Records label, formed Del-Fi Records in 1957 and in addition to Valens jumpstarted the careers of Brenda Holloway, Frank Zappa and Barry White, signed The Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought The Law,” #1, 1965) and produced and sold music by surf band The Surfaris, among others, died from renal failure on 11/28/2009, age 87
1923 ● Sam Phillips / (Samuel Cornelius Phillips) → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary and pioneer, founder of Sun Records, discovered, nurtured and made Elvis Presley a star, as well as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003, age 80
1932 ● Johnny Adams / (Laten John Adams) → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1934 ● Phil Ramone → Innovative, Grammy-winning recording engineer, record producer, violin prodigy, composer and founder of A&R Recording, Inc. studios in New York, which engineered and produced records for dozens of top pop and rock artists from Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/30/2013, age 79
1940 ● Athol Guy → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1940 ● George Malone / (George Walter Malone) → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), reunited with the group for the oldies circuit in the 90s, died from a stroke on 10/5/2007, age 67
1941 ● Grady Thomas → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Funky Brown / (George Brown) → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford / (Peter Rodney Byford) → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 23
1923 ● Milt Okun / (Milton Theodore Okun) → Music producer and arranger, founder of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, nurtured the careers of a diverse range of superstars, from folkies Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver to jazz-pop Harry Belafonte and opera star Placido Domingo, produced Laura Nyro‘s debut album More Than A Discovery (1966) and Starland Vocal Band‘s hit “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976), died from unspecified causes on 11/15/2016, age 92
1926 ● Harold Dorman / (Harold Kenneth Dorman) → One hit wonder pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter with the self-penned, oft-covered “Mountain Of Love” (#21, R&B #7, 1960), continued to write songs for other artists until his death following a stroke on 10/8/1988, age 61
1929 ● Chet Baker / (Chesney Henry Baker, Jr.) → West Coast “cool school” jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist, played with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan before forming his own quintet and recording several noteworthy albums in the 50s, in later years performed with Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and others, died after falling from a second story hotel room window in Amsterdam after a night of heroin and cocaine on 5/13/1988, age 58
1935 ● Johnny Kidd / (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll singer and frontman for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), died in a car crash on 10/7/1966, age 30
1935 ● Little Esther / (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, R&B #1, 1962) and seven other R&B Top 40 hits, died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure on 8/7/1984, age 48
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna, still touring and recording in 2011
1940 ● Eugene Record → Founding member and vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005, age 64
1941 ● Tim Hardin → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965), died of a heroin overdose on 12/29/1980, age 39
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Actor who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1946 ● Ariel Bender / (Luther James Grosvenor) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Crazy Raymond / (Ray Tabano) → Original member of hard rock Aerosmith (“Dream On,” #6, 1976), replaced as rhythm guitarist by Brad Whitford and became the band’s assistant manager in 1971, was fired in 1979 and became a catering business manager
1946 ● Robbie Dupree / (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock singer-songwriter with a handful of hits, including “Steal Away” (#6, R&B #85, 1980) and “Hot Rod Hearts” (#15, 1980), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Jim Pash → Vietnam veteran and original saxophonist for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), converted to classical harp music in later years, died from heart failure on 4/29/2005, age 56
1949 ● Adrian Belew / (Robert Steven Belew) → Session and touring guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, with whom he records and tours in the 00s, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1951 ● Doug Stegmeyer → Bass guitarist and backing vocals in Billy Joel‘s touring and studio band from 1974 through 1989, plus session work for Hall & Oates, The Carpenters and others, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 8/25/1995, age 43
1953 ● Martha Wash → One half of the plus-sized, late 70s R&B backing vocal duo Two Tons O’ Fun, which became one hit wonder disco-pop duo The Weather Girls and recorded the Hi-NRG, gay club anthem “It’s Raining Men” (#46, Dance #1, UK #2, 1982), transitioned to house music in the late 80s as a solo act and scored twelve #1 and 16 overall Top 10 hits on the Billboard Dance chart through 2016
1956 ● Dave Murray → One of the earliest members and stalwart guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and bassist Steve Harris are the only bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1958 ● Victoria Williams → Idiosyncratic country-folk singer and songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994), career limited by multiple sclerosis, subject of the tribute/benefit album Sweet Relief (1993) featuring Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, Vanessa Williams and others
1960 ● Will Sinnott → Bassist in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992), drowned while swimming in the Canary Islands on 5/23/1991, age 30
1964 ● Eddie Vedder / (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), solo
1966 ● Bobby Schayer → Drummer for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995) from 1991 to 2001, resigned from the band after suffering a shoulder injury which left him unable to drum professionally
1974 ● Montsho Eshe → Vocals for Grammy-winning, progressive Afrocentric rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop group Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Harry Judd → Drummer for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

December 24
1920 ● Dave Bartholomew / (David Louis Bartholomew) → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955) with Fats Domino
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986, age 61
1931 ● Ray Bryant → Blues- and gospel-flavored jazz pianist, composer and bandleader (The Ray Bryant Combo), scored a lone top 40 hit with “The Madison Time” (#30, R&B #5, 1960) and recorded into the mid-00s, died following a long illness on 6/2/2011, age 79
1944 ● Mike Curb → Musician, producer, record label executive with MGM, Bizarre and Curb records, former Lt. Governor of California, NASCAR racing team owner
1945 ● Lemmy / (Ian Frasier Kilmister) → Hard-playing, hard-living bass guitarist, first with space rock pioneers Hawkwind (“Silver Machine,” 1972), then founded and fronted punk-metal Motörhead (“Ace Of Spades,” UK #15, 1980) and performed with his group until his death from cancer on 12/28/2016, age 70
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Founding member and guitarist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo, music journalist
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Vocals in folk-pop John & Mary, then joined 10,000 Maniacs as lead vocalist in 1994 after Natalie Merchant‘s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1968 ● Doyle Bramhall / (Doyle Bramhall II) → Guitarist and songwriter in Texas blues-rock The Arc Angels and Smokestack, played second guitar for Eric Clapton‘s band from 2004 to 2009, solo
1971 ● Ricky Martin / (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican teen-pop and later adult-pop superstar singer, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), TV actor in daytime soap opera General Hospital
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1991 ● Louis Tomlinson → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

December 25
1907 ● Cab Calloway / (Cabell Calloway III) → Popular jazz and scat singer, pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Minnie The Moocher” (1931 and R&B #91, 1978), continued to perform up to his death following a stroke on 11/18/1994, age 86
1913 ● Tony Martin / (Alvin Morris) → Big Band and trad pop singer with a steady flow of hits in the 40s and 50s, including “It’s a Blue World” (#2, 1940), “Walk Hand In Hand” (#10, 1956) and 28 other Top 20 singles, was rolled under by the mid-50s rock ‘n’ roll onslaught but became a cabaret performer with his wife of 60 years, singer/actress Cyd Charisse, died from natural causes on 7/27/2012, age 98
1929 ● Billy Horton / (William Franklin Horton) → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1929 ● Chris Kenner → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n roll singer and songwriter, “I Like It Like That” (#2, 1961), his “Land Of A Thousand Dances” was covered by Wilson Pickett, Patti Smith and others, died from a heart attack on 1/25/1976, age 46
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley / (O’Kelly Isley, Jr.) → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973), died following as heart attack on 3/31/1986, age 48
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop crossover keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader, “Feel Like Making Love” (#88, 1974) and two Grammy-winning albums, One On One (1980) and Double Vision (1986)
1940 ● Pete Brown / (Peter Ronald Brown) → Poet and co-lyricist for blues-rock Cream, co-wrote “I Feel Free” (1966) and “White Room” (#6, 1968) with Jack Bruce and “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) with Bruce and Eric Clapton
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Guitarist and vocalist with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Fotheringay, producer for Al Stewart, The Strawbs and others, died of a heart attack on 2/4/1989, age 45
1944 ● John Edwards / (Jonathan Edwards) → R&B/soul singer on regional circuits in the 60s and early 70s with one big hit, “Careful Man” (R&B #8, 1974), joined Grammy-winning Motown Records and later Atlantic soul group The Spinners in 1977 for their last two of twelve Top 20 hits in the 70s, the medley “Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl” (#2, 1980) and “Cupid” (#4, 1980), stayed with the group until a stroke sidelined him in 2000
1944 ● Kenny Everett / (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ, Thames Television host, comedian and musician, “Snot Rap” (1983), died from an AIDS-related illness on 4/4/1995, age 50
1944 ● The Sunflower / (Henry Charles Vestine) → Guitarist for folk-blues-rock Canned Heat, “”Let’s Work Together” (1970) and Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), died from heart failure in a Paris hotel at the end of a Canned Heat tour of Europe on 10/20/1997, age 52
1945 ● Steve Mancha / (Clyde Darnell Wilson) → Vocals in Motown funk/soul group 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” (#8, R&B #6, 1970) and little-known 8th Day, “She’s Not Just Another Woman” (#11, R&B #3, 1971), later tried gospel and an unsuccessful return to funk/soul but largely disappeared from the music business in the 00s
1945 ● Noel Redding / (David Noel Redding) → Bassist for psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), solo, died from complications of cirrhosis of the liver on 5/11/2003, age 57
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → Country-folk-pop-rock singer, songwriter, perpetual beach bum and chief Parrothead, “Margaritaville” (#8, 1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Country singer, songwriter and three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” (Country #1, 1977)
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Soul and gospel touring and session singer, recorded with Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and others, duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter”, solo
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Tourists, “I Only Want To Be With You” (#83, 1980), co-founder and one-half the synth-pop duo Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams” (#1, 1983), Grammy-winning solo career, “Walking On Broken Glass” (#14, 1992) and three other Top 40 hits
1954 ● Robin Campbell → Guitar and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Guitar and vocals for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Alannah Myles → Sultry, smoky and sensual Canadian pop singer and songwriter, “Black Velvet” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Bob Stanley → Guitars and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Jason Thirsk → Bass player with power punk trio Pennywise (“The Western World,” Alt Rock #22, 2008), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 7/29/1996, age 28
1971 ● Dido / (Dido Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Josh Freese → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), also with The Vandals, Devo and others
1984 ● Jessica Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Lisa, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)
1984 ● Lisa Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Jessica, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)

December 26
1921 ● Steve Allen → TV personality, musician, composer, comedian and author, first host of The Tonight Show, hosted numerous game and variety shows including The Steve Allen Show and I’ve Got A Secret, penned thousands of songs including Grammy-winning “The Gravy Waltz” (1963) and pop/easy listening tunes covered by Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and others, issued several albums of piano works, died from a heart attack following a car accident on 10/30/2000, age 78
1935 ● Duke Fakir / (Abdul Fakir) → Ethiopian-American tenor vocalist in six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), last surviving member of the group that performed together for over 40 years from 1953 without a change in lineup
1939 ● Phil Spector → Musician, songwriter, record producer and originator of the “Wall of Sound” recording technique, pioneer of 60s girl groups and former husband of Ronnie Bennett Spector of The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1946 ● Bob Carpenter → Pianist (from 1977) for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and simply The Dirt Band, backed Steve Martin on “King Tut” (#17, 1978)
1947 ● George J. Porter, Jr. → Founding member and bassist for influential New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing bassist for Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Tori Amos and others, continues to perform and record with others and as a solo artist into the 10s
1951 ● Paul Anthony Quinn → Early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1953 ● Henning Schmitz → Sound engineer then keyboardist for German electro-rock Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1953 ● Steve Witherington → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Kashif Saleem / (Michael Jones) → Singer, producer, songwriter and key figure on the development of R&B in the post-disco 80s, joined funk/disco B. T. Express (“Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied),” #2, R&B #1, 1974) in 1971 as a teenager, in the 80s did session work, went solo with numerous R&B hits, including “I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On),” #103, R&B #5, 1983) and produced hits for Whitney Houston, went behind the scenes in the 90s, wrote several books and was producing a documentary film about R&B music when he died from undisclosed causes on 9/25/2016, age 59
1963 ● Dana Baldinger → Bassist for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1963 ● Lars Ulrich → Drummer for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991)
1967 ● J. / (Jay Noel Yuenger) → Guitarist for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1969 ● Peter Klett → Founding member and guitarist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1971 ● Jared Leto / (Jared Joseph Leto) → Lead vocals, guitar and songwriter for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006), actor
1979 ● Chris Daughtry → Fifth season American Idol finalist, bandleader and guitarist for rock Daughtry “It’s Not Over” (#4, 2006)

December 27
1931 ● Scotty Moore / (Winfield Scott Moore III) → Sun Records sessionman, longtime Elvis Presley backing band guitarist and Rolling Stone magazine’s #29 Greatest Guitarist of All Time, established the guitar as a lead instrument in rock ‘n’ roll music and invented power chording, played on dozens of Elvis‘s early hits, including “Hound Dog” (#1, 1956), “Jailhouse Rock” (#1, 1957) and “Little Sister” (#5, 1961), left Sun Records in 1964 for a career as a freelance studio engineer, died on 6/28/2016, age 84
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Piano and saxophone for Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1941 ● Mike Pinder → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967), left in 1978 for a solo career
1942 ● Mike Heron → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in esoteric Scottish psych-Celtic-folk/early World music duo The Incredible String Band
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → Early member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then solo and songwriter
1944 ● Mick Jones / (Michael Leslie Jones) → Rock guitarist for Spooky Tooth and founding member of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978)
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Founder, frontwoman and lead vocals for underappreciated 60s psych-blues-rock Mother Earth, then solo
1946 ● Lenny Kaye → Musician, writer, record producer and lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group (“Because The Night,” #13, UK #5, 1978), compiled and produced Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (1972), the double album collection of garage rock and proto-punk recordings that influenced punk and college rock in the 70s, co-authored Waylon, The Life Story of Waylon Jennings, produced albums for R.E.M., Suzanne Vega, Soul Asylum and others, continues to write and record into the 10s
1948 ● Larry Byrom → Guitar for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), solo, sessions
1948 ● Ronnie Caldwell / (Ronald Louis Caldwell) → Founding member, keyboardist and lone white member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died three weeks shy of his 19th birthday in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Drummer for Frank Zappa‘s band, then founded New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream #12, 1982)
1952 ● David Knopfler → Rhythm guitar and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, songwriter, younger brother of Mark Knopfler
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → L.A. pop-rock singer and songwriter, backing vocalist in Linda Ronstadt‘s band, solo “Personally” (#19, 1982)
1957 ● Jerry Gaskill → Drummer for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1960 ● Youth Glover / (Martin Glover ) → Founding member and bassist for post-punk New Wave dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Lead guitar and principal songwriter for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1988 ● Hayley Nichole Williams → Lead vocals and keyboards for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 28
1903 ● Fatha Hines / (Earl Kenneth Hines) → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983, age 79
1910 ● Billy Williams → R&B/soul-blues singer with six Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” (#3, 1957), lost his voice due to diabetes in the 60s and became a social worker until his death on 10/17/1972, age 61
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000, age 89
1915 ● Pops Staples / (Roebuck Staples) → Patriarch and manager of 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 on 12/19/2000, age 84
1921 ● Johnny Otis / (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (#9, R&B #3, 1958), continued to perform and record with his band The Johnny Otis Show into the 80s and host an annual rock and R&B festival in Los Angeles into the 00s, died from natural causes on 1/17/2012, age 90
1929 ● Matt “Guitar” Murphy / (Matthew Tyler Murphy) → Highly-regarded electric blues guitarist best known as a member of The Blues Brothers band (“Soul Man,” #14, 1979) and appearances in both Blues Brothers movies as the fictional husband of diner-matron Aretha Franklin, over the years played with Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, James Cotton and other notable blues masters, issued four respectable solo albums, died from undisclosed causes on 6/15/2018, age 88
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979, age 46
1938 ● Charles Neville → Jazz-influenced saxophonist for blues great B. B. King, pop-rock Joey Dee & The Starliters (“Peppermint Twist,” #1, 1962) and several New York R&B bands, returned home in 1977 to co-found celebrated New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers (Grammy-winning “Healing Chant,” 1989), recorded and toured for over 30 years until declining health forced his retirement, died from pancreatic cancer on 4/27/2018, age 79
1941 ● Bob Seidenmann / (Robert Emett Seidenmann) → Photographer in the counterculture scene in 1960s San Francisco, where he created concert posters and iconic photographs of Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead and others, later moved to England where he worked with Eric Clapton and produced the infamous cover photograph for his supergroup’s eponymous debut (and only) album, Blind Faith (#1, UK #1, 1969), returned to the US and developed a second career photographing aviation stars like Chuck Yeager and Gen. James H. Doolittle, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 11/27/2017, age 75
1943 ● Chas Hodges / (Charles Hodges) → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde / (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1948 ● Ziggy Modeliste / (Joseph Modeliste) → Founding member and drummer for New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing drummer for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, formed funk band The Wild Tchoupitoulas in the 70s, continues to perform with both band and record as a solo artist into the 10s
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then influential but only cult-level power-pop band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from heart failure on 3/17/2010, age 59
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997, age 45
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1961 ● Christine Collister → Contemporary Brit folk-rock vocalist, backing singer with the Richard Thompson Band and five albums of duets with Clive Gregson in the late 80s, released solo albums in the 90s, toured with all-female vocal group Daphne’s Flight and collaborated in various projects and tours in the 00s and 10s
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend / (John Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)

December 29
1931 ● Buddy Bailey → Founding member, tenor and lead vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), stayed with the group and various splinters, and toured with other doo wop groups until his death on 2/3/1994, age 62
1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop The Velvets, “Tonight (Could Be The Night)” (#26, 1961)
1939 ● Ed Bruce / (William Edwin Bruce, Jr.) → Country music songwriter, singer and TV actor, co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” for himself (Country #15, 1976) and covered by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (Country #1, 1978) on the duet album Waylon & Willy (#12, Country #1, 1978), wrote and sang the theme song, and co-starred with James Garner in the TV series Bret Maverick (1981-82), scored six Country Top 10 hits in the 80s
1941 ● Ray Thomas → Founding member, harmonica, flute and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, his flute solo on “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) is widely considered to be a defining moment in rock music, and the development of the prog rock subgenre, recorded two solo albums in the 70s while the band was on hiatus, left in 2002 due to declining health and died from prostate cancer on 1/4/2018, age 76
1942 ● Jerry Summers / (Jerry Gross) → Lead and first tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1942 ● Rick Danko → Canadian-born bassist, vocalist and occasional songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, died at home in his sleep from heart failure on 12/10/1999, age 56
1943 ● Bill Aucion → Artist consultant and band manager credited with discovering campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) and developing their costumes, stage presence, record contracts and merchandise into a multi-million dollar enterprise, also managed other hard rock bands, including Billy Idol, Starz and Finnish heavy metal Lordi, died from complications following prostrate cancer surgery on 6/28/2010, age 66
1943 ● Barbara Alston / (Barbara Ann Alston) → Founding member in Phil Spector-produced 60s girl group The Crystals and lead singer on their first two hits, “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” (#20, 1962) and “Uptown” (#13, 1962), relinquished the front spot due to stage fright and sang back-up until leaving the group in 1965 to raise her first son (who was transgender and killed in an unsolved murder in 2010), died from complications of the flu on 2/16/2018, age 74
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, former paramour of Mick Jagger, co-wrote The Rolling Stones‘ “Sister Morphine,” solo vocalist, “As Tears Go By” (#22, 1964), continues to record and release albums into the 10s
1947 ● Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) → Journeyman but sought after and influential rock drummer with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and others, died in a one-car crash in the UK on 4/5/1998, age 50
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → Trumpeter in blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → Hawaii-born pop-rock singer and songwriter, acted in the Broadway stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), member of Eric Clapton‘s band and solo “If I Can’t Have You” (#1, 1977)
1955 ● Spyder Giraldo / (Neil Giraldo) → Lead guitarist for Pat Benatar‘s band, “Love Is A Battlefield” (#5, 1983)
1961 ● Cow Day / (Mark Day) → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1961 ● Jim Reid → Co-founder and lead singer in Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1963 ● Alex Gifford → Keyboards, bass and DJ for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998)
1965 ● Dexter Holland / (Bryan Keith Holland) → Aspiring molecular biology PhD candidate turned frontman, guitar and vocals for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997), returned to academia in the 10s
1968 ● Sadat X / (Derek Murphy) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Phillips → Founder, lead vocals and songwriter for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 16 – 22)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 16
1899 ● Noel Coward → Multi-talented author, poet, playwright, actor, stage, film and television producer and director, songwriter and pop/cabaret singer, “Mad About The Boy” (1932), died of a heart attack on 3/26/1973, age 73
1931 ● Karl Denver / (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → Scottish pop-rock singer with eleven UK Top 40 hits just before The Beatles hit big, including a cover of “Wimoweh” (UK #4, 1961), continued to perform and record sporadically into the 90s, died from a brain tumor on 12/21/1998, age 67
1944 ● John Abercrombie / (John Laird Abercrombie) → Prominent 70s jazz-rock fusion guitarist, sideman for Gato Barbieri, Billy Cobham and others, began to move away from fusion following release of his first solo album, Timeless (1974), became a respected improvisational jazz, post bop and avant-garde jazz guitarist with dozens of collaborations and over 30 solo albums, mostly with jazz-label ECM Records, continued to record and perform until his death from heart failure on 8/22/2017, age 72
1945 ● Tony Hicks → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966) and “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (#2, 1972)
1946 ● Benny Andersson → Keyboards and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Reverend Willie G. or Billy Gibbons / (William Frederick Gibbons) → Guitar and vocals for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1959 ● Steven Irvine → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1968 ● Christopher Thorn → Guitarist for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Lalah Hathaway / (Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway) → The “First Daughter of Soul,” contemporary R&B and jazz-pop singer, “Heaven Knows” (R&B/Hip Hop #3, 1990), daughter of R&B/soul legend Donny Hathaway, member of the Daughters Of Soul supergroup with Nona Hendryx and others
1971 ● Michael McCary → Former bass vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)

December 17
1936 ● Tommy Steele / (Thomas William Hicks) → Early Brit rock ‘n roll teen idol vocalist, “Rock With The Caveman” (UK #13, 1956) and more than 20 other UK Top 40 hits, actor
1937 ● Art Neville → Vocalist and pianist with New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1938 ● Carlo Little / (Carl O’Neil Little) → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer in the 60s Britbeat scene in London, played with The Rolling Stones until replaced by Charlie Watts in 1963, did session work for multiple bands including The Flower Pot Men (“Let’s Go To San Francisco,” UK #1, 1967), auditioned Deep Purple and influenced Keith Moon of The Who, worked as a bread salesman and performed in various pub bands as well as his own The All Stars, died from lung cancer on 8/6/2005, age 66
1939 ● Eddie Kendricks → Founding member and lead vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965), left in 1971 for solo career, “Keep On Truckin” (#1, 1973) plus 18 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 10/5/1992, age 52
1942 ● Paul Butterfield → Blues-rock singer, harmonica player and bandleader with the legendary and biracial Butterfield Blues Band, later fronted Better Days and issued solo albums, died from a drug-related heart attack on 5/4/1987, age 44
1943 ● David Dee / (David Dee (David John Harman)) → Lead vocals for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), died of cancer on 1/9/2009, age 65
1946 ● Martin Smith → Jazz and blues rock drummer for Brit prog-rockers Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Gentle Giant, died from internal hemorrhaging on 3/2/1997, age 50
1947 ● Simon Bates → Brit radio DJ and music show host for the BBC Radio 1, Classic FM and The Breakfast Show on Smooth Radio
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti → Drummer 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), reunited in the 00s
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Guitar and vocals for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), supergroup The Firm and rock duo The Law with Kenney Jones of The Who, solo
1950 ● Carly Barrett / (Carlton Barrett) → Jamaican drummer for early reggae band The Upsetters and later roots reggae Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Buffalo Soldier” (1983),, murdered outside his home by a hit man hired by his wife and her lover on 4/17/1987, age 36
1951 ● Wanda Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel and disco sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1958 ● Mike Mills / (Michael Edward Mills) → Bassist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1959 ● Bob Stinson / (Robert Neil Stinson) → Guitarist for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), died from organ failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 2/18/1995, age 35
1961 ● Sarah Dallin → Singer for pop-rock Bananarama, “Venus” (#1, 1986) and 11 Dance/Club Top 40 hits
1964 ● Ginger Walls / (David Walls) → Founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Brit hard rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1969 ● Micky Quinn → Bassist for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1970 ● DJ Homicide / (Craig Bullock) → DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), solo
1973 ● Eddie Fisher → Drums and percussion for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1978 ● Neil Sanderson / (Neil Christopher Sanderson) → Co-founder, drummer and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1989 ● Taylor York → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 18
1917 ● Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson / (Edward L. Vinson, Jr.) → Jump blues, jazz bebop and R&B alto saxophonist, blues shouter and bandleader, “Old Maid Boogie” (R&B #1, 1947), toured and recorded regularly through four decades before dying of a heart attack on 7/2/1988. age 70
1927 ● Fred Tomlinson / (Frederick Tomlinson) → Singer, choral arranger and frontman for the nonsensical Fred Tomlinson Singers, backing vocalists for sketch comedy troupe Monty Python (“Spam Song,” 1970) and other British TV comedy programs, died from undisclosed causes on 7/17/2016, age 88
1931 ● Allen Klein → Businessman, talent agent, film producer, record label executive and manager for Sam Cooke, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 7/4/2009, age 77
1933 ● Lonnie Brooks / (Lee Baker, Jr.) → Influential and renowned if little known Chicago blues style guitarist and singer, recorded an early version of “Sweet Home Chicago,” appeared in the Blues Brothers 2000 movie (1998), died from natural causes on 4/1/2017 , age 83
1934 ● Dandy Dan / (Vergil Glynn Daniel) → “America’s most adequate swinging disc jockey,” New York City AM radio DJ at WMCA in the 60s, member of the Good Guys team of Top 40 broadcasters, later with WCBS-FM spinning classic hits, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 81
1938 ● Chas Chandler / (Bryan James Chandler) → Bassist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), producer and manager for Jimi Hendrix and Slade, died of heart failure on 7/17/1996, age 57
1941 ● Sam Andrew → Founding member, guitarist and singer for 60s psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), Janis Joplin‘s Kozmic Blues Band, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), film score composer, reunited Big Brother in 1987 and continued to tour and record in various projects until his death from complications of open-heart surgery on 2/12/2015, age 73
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Tenor vocal for R&B/doo wop The Del-Satins, which became The Brooklyn Bridge, “Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1968)
1943 ● Keith Richards → The “Human Guitar Riff,” founding member, lead guitarist, and co-songwriter for The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), solo, Rolling Stone magazine’s #10 Great Guitarist of All Time
1943 ● Bobby Keys / (Robert Henry Keys) → Hard-living, hard-playing, Texas-born session and touring saxophonist, most notably with The Rolling Stones with whom he toured and played for over 40 years, including the sax solo on “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), also played on hundreds of songs on albums for such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and others, died from cirrhosis on 12/2/2014, age 70
1948 ● Bill Nelson → Prog rock, electropop, experimental and ambient music composer, guitarist and songwriter, founded and fronted prog rock Be Bop Deluxe, “Modern Music” (1977), prolific solo career since the late 70s
1950 ● Martha Johnson → Vocals and leader of Canadian post-punk Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” (Juno Single of the Year, 1980)
1950 ● Randy Castillo → Rock drummer best known for 10-years with Ozzy Osbourne‘s band (“Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), joined heavy metal Mötley Crüe in 1999 and continued until his death from a stomach tumor on 3/26/2002, age 51
1953 ● Elliot Easton → Lead guitar for The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, 1978), The New Cars, power pop Click Five and roots rock Creedence Clearwater Revisited
1958 ● Kevin “Geordie” Walker → Guitarist in post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1959 ● Daddy G / (Grantley Evan Marshall) → Vocals and songwriter in pioneering trip-hop collaborative duo Massive Attack, “Teardrop” (UK #10, 1998), producer
1961 ● Angie Stone / (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/smooth soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, producer and film and TV actor, early career in hip hop girl trio The Sequence (“Funk You Up,” R&B #15, 1979) and other rap and soul groups in the 80s and 90s, then solo with seven R&B Top 20 albums, Including The Art Of Love & War (#11, R&B #1, 2007) plus 16 charting singles through 2016
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → Drummer for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1964 ● Robson Green → Brit singer, songwriter, TV host and actor, covered “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1995)
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Bassist for indie “blonde” pop-rockers The Primitives, co-wrote “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), died from a cannabis overdose on 2/4/2009, age 42
1968 ● Andy Miller → Guitarist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1970 ● DMX / (Earl Simmons) → Vocalist, songwriter and drum machine rap pioneer, “Party Up (Up In Here)” (#27, 1999), screen actor, Reality TV host
1972 ● DJ Lethal / (Leor Dimant) → Latvian-born producer and DJ/turntablist for House Of Pain and rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1975 ● Sia / (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) → Australian singer and songwriter whose sixth solo album, 1000 Forms Of Fear (#1, 2014) and the single “Chandelier” (#8, 2014) found the fame her first five could not
1980 ● Christina Aguilera → Dance-pop singer, “Genie In A Bottle” (#1, 1999), collaborated with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink on remake of “Lady Maramalade” (#1, 2001)
1980 ● Lyndsay Armaou → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)

December 19
1915 ● Edith Piaf / (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → Widely popular French-born opera and adult pop singer, “Milord” (#88, 1959, died from liver cancer on 10/11/1963, age 47
1915 ● Charlie Ryan / (CharlesRyan) → Singer and songwriter best known for co-writing and first recording in 1955 the rockabilly classic “Hot Rod Lincoln,” the remake of which he recorded as Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders (#33, Country #14, 1960), making him a one hit wonder, died on 2/16/2008, age 92
1918 ● Professor Longhair / (Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd)) → Influential and pioneering New Orleans R&B singer and pianist, switched to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and later jazz, won a posthumous Grammy for the collection House Party New Orleans Style (1987), died of a heart attack on 1/30/1980, age 61
1940 ● Phil Ochs / (Philip David Ochs) → 60s folk revival “topical” singer and songwriter known for his anti-Vietnam War and civil rights protest songs, the best known being “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), committed suicide by hanging himself at his sister’s home in Queens, NY on 4/9/1976, age 35
1941 ● Maurice White → Highly-regarded seven-time Grammy-winning drummer, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), producer for Deniece Williams, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Emotions and others, died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 2/4/2016, age 74
1944 ● Stuart Colman / (Ian Stuart Colman) → Brit radio broadcaster, musician and record producer, founding member and bassist for one hit wonder pop-easy listening The Flying Machine (“Smile A Little Smile For Me,” Top 5, 1969), later acclaimed BBC Radio disc jockey
1944 ● Zal Yanovsky / (Zalman Yanovsky) → The “Zany One,” guitarist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), restaurateur in Kingston, Ontario, died after a heart attack on 12/13/2002, age 57
1944 ● Alvin Lee / (Graham Barnes) → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist, founding member, lead vocals and lead guitar for Ten Years After, achieved instant if fleeting fame with his rendition of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969 but other than “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971) never had significant commercial success, died from “complications of a routine surgical procedure” to correct atrial arrhythmia on 3/6/2013, age 68
1945 ● John McEuen → Singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971), solo and Grammy-winning producer
1947 ● Jimmy Bain / (James Stewart Bain) → Bass guitarist with hard rock Rainbow (“Stone Cold,” #40, Mainstream #1, 1982) and heavy metal Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark,” #14, 1983), co-wrote songs for Phil Lynott‘s solo albums in the 80s, toured with various metal groups and solo projects in the 90s and 00s, died from undiagnosed lung cancer while touring with his band Last In Line on board Def Leppard‘s Hysteria On The High Seas cruise on 1/23/2016, age 68
1957 ● Doug Johnson → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl / (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “Never Ending Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1961 ● John Eascott → Trumpet for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard → Original drummer for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1985 ● Lady Sovereign / (Louise Harman) → Brit rapper and US one hit wonder singer, “Love Me Or Hate Me” (#45, Dance #1, UK #26, 2006)

December 20
1936 ● Judy Henske → The “Queen of the Beatniks,” late 50s and 60s Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon folk singer, songwriter and one-time TV actress, worked with Lenny Bruce and the Whiskey Hill Singers with ex-Kingston Triomember Dave Guard, recorded two solo albums on Elektra Records in the early 60s, married and recorded with Jerry Yester, including the cult album Farewell Aldebaran (1969), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1939 ● Kim Weston / (Agatha Natalia Weston) → Motown soul singer known for her solo hit “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)” (#50, R&B #4, 1965) and her duet with Marvin Gaye, “It Takes Two” (#14, R&B #4, 1966), left Motown in 1967 for a mildly successful career with MGM, Stax/Volt and Motorcity Records
1944 ● Bobby Colomby → Drummer for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Peter Criss / (Peter Criss (Criscoula)) → Drummer and “Catman” character in campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo
1948 ● Alan Parsons → Brit studio engineer, part-producer for The BeatlesAbbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970), plus Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), songwriter, musician and bandleader for prog-pop-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1948 ● Little Stevie Wright / (Stephen Wright) → Lead vocals for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), then solo
1956 ● Guy Babylon / (Guy Graham Babylon) → Grammy-winning keyboardist and 20-year member of Elton John‘s band, also did session work for B. B. King, Iron Butterfly, Blues Image and others, stricken with arrhythmia while swimming in his L.A. home pool and died in the hospital on 9/2/2009, age 52
1957 ● Anita Ward → One hit wonder R&B/soul-disco singer, “Ring My Bell” (#1, 1979)
1957 ● Billy Bragg / (Stephen William Bragg) → Brit alt rock singer, songwriter and left-wing activist, “Sexuality” (Modern Rock #2, 1991) and “She’s Leaving Home” (UK #1, 1988), wrote “A New England” for Kirsty MacColl (UK #7, 1985)
1957 ● Michael Watt → Seminal post-punk bassist and founder of Minutemen, dos, FireHouse, also with The Stooges and Banyan
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Roger J. Beaujard → Guitarist and drum machine programmer for death metal/deathgrind duo Mortician, “Chainsaw Dismemberment” (1999)
1975 ● Graham Hopkins → Former drummer for Irish grunge rock Therapy?, then solo, now sessions and touring bands
1980 ● Dibs Edwards / (Christopher “Dibs” Edwards) → Bassist for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1982 ● David Cook → Multi-instrumentalist post-grunge pop-rock singer and songwriter, “The Time Of My Life” (#3, 2008), winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008)
1990 ● JoJo / (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Too Little Too Late” (#3, 2006), actress

December 21
1913 ● Luise King / (Louise Driggs Rey) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/4/1997, age 83
1921 ● Luigi Creatore → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, teamed with cousin Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died from pneumonia on 11/13/2015, age 93
1926 ● Freddie Hart / (Frederick Segrest) → Country-pop crossover singer with charting singles in four decades, including 19 straight Country Top 20 hits in the early 70s starting with “Easy Loving” (#17, Country #1, 1971), migrated to gospel in the 90s and continues to perform into the 10s
1939 ● Wes Farrell → Musician, prolific songwriter and 60s/70s record producer, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, including “Boys” for The Shirelles (1960) and The Beatles (1963), “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys (#1, 1965) and the theme song (“C’mon On, Get Happy”) to the Partridge Family TV series, founded Chelsea Records in 1972, died from cancer on 2/29/1996
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1940 ● Frank Zappa / (Frank Vincent Zappa) → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, , long solo career with a handful of charting singles, including “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993, age 52
1942 ● Carla Thomas → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1943 ● Gwen McCrae → Southern R&B diva known best for “Rockin’ Chair” (#9, R&B #1, 1975) but scored a dozen other disco and soul hits in the 70s and 80s, often in collaboration with her husband, George McCrae, later found success in the UK and Europe where she performed and recorded into the 00s
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998, age 51
1951 ● Nick Gilder / (Nicholas George Gilder) → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul and quiet storm vocalist, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Murph Murphy / (Emmett J. Murphy III) → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
1965 ● Gabby Glaser / (Gabrielle Glaser) → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions / (Brett Allen Scallions) → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

December 22
1939 ● James Gurley → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), performed with the band into the 00s, died from a heart attack on 12/20/2009, age 69
1944 ● Barrie Jenkins / (Colin ErnestJenkins) → Founding member and drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964) and hard/blues-rock The Animals, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#12, 1966), now manages a music store
1946 ● Rick Nielsen → Vocals and guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1946 ● Pamela Susan Courson → Long-time companion of Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), inherited his estate over the objection of his family following a California court decision that theirs was a “common law marriage,” died from a heroin overdose on 4/25/1974, age 27
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), solo and producer, younger twin of Robin Gibb, died from a twisted intestine on 1/12/2003, age 53
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice Gibb, died from colon and liver cancer on 5/20/2012, age 62
1950 ● Alan Williams → Vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1955 ● Barry Sless → Six-string and peddle steel guitarist for country-rock David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh & Friends and others
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Lead singer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), solo, now a DJ on BBC Radio Scotland
1966 ● Danny Saber → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ and former bassist with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1968 ● Richey Edwards / (Richard James Edwards) → Rhythm guitar, songwriter and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000), officially presumed dead in a November 2008 court ruling, thirteen years after he disappeared on 2/1/1995, age 26
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis → French teen-pop singer and actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (UK #3, France #1, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter / (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician, DJ and dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #1, UK #1, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Sparks / (Jordin Briana Sparks) → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, American Idol 2007 winner and youngest to date, “No Air” (#3, 2008) and four other Top 20 hits
1993 ● Meghan Trainor → Retro R&B and pop singer and songwriter, produced and released three independent albums as a teenager before hitting big with her major label debut Title (#1, 2015) and worldwide hit “All About That Bass” (#1, CAN #1, UK #1, 2014)

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