Posts Tagged pop music birthdays today

This Week’s Birthdays (June 30 – July 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 30
1917 ● Lena Horne / (Lena Mary Calhoun Horne) → Grammy-winning contemporary pop singer, stage, film and TV actress and nightclub entertainer with a 70 year career from the Cotton Club in the 30s to Hollywood films in the 40s to blacklisting in the 50s to TV and Broadway in the 70s and 80s, recorded several charting hits, including “Love Me Or Leave Me” (#19, 1955), died from unspecified causes on 5/9/2010, age 92.
1936 ● Dave Van Ronk → Folk and acoustic blues singer/songwriter and guitarist, figurehead in the 60s Greenwich Village folk coffeehouse scene, influenced Bob Dylan and many other young folksters, died from complications of colon cancer surgery on 2/10/2002, age 65
1937 ● Larry Henley / (Lawrence Joel Henley) → Lead vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964) but better known as a Nashville songwriter with several Country #1 hits and for co-writing “Wind Beneath My Wings” (#1, 1989) for Bette Midler, died from complications of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases on 12/18/2014, age 77
1939 ● Tony Hatch → Composer, pianist, Pye Records staff songwriter, producer for The Searchers, David Bowie, the Montanas and others, wrote “Downtown” for Petula Clark (#1, 1964)
1940 ● Larry Hall / (Lawrence Kendall Hall) → One hit wonder pop singer with the debut hit “Sandy” (#15, 1960), left the industry after several unsuccessful follow-ups and became an Oregon cattle rancher, died from cancer on 9/24/1997, age 57
1943 ● Flo Ballard / (Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman) → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1967 when Motown snubbed her and pushed Diana Ross to the front, tried to become a solo act but was largely unsuccessful, died of a heart attack on 2/22/1976, age 32
1944 ● Glenn Shorrock → Songwriter, lead vocals and co-founder of several top-level Aussie pop/rock bands, including Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), solo
1946 ● Billy Brown / (William Brown) → Vocals for R&B/soul trio The Moments, “Love On A Two-Way Street” (#3, 1970), then name change to sweet soul Ray, Goodman & Brown, “Special Lady” (#5, R&B #1, 1979)
1949 ● Andy Scott → Guitar and synthesizer for neo-bubblegum/glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1973)
1951 ● Stanley Clarke → Virtuoso electric and acoustic jazz and jazz-rock fusion bassist, bandleader and solo, “Sweet Baby” (#19, R&B #6, 1981), collaborated with Chick Corea in fusion band Return To Forever, session work for Santana, Keith Richards, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney and others, film score composer
1953 ● Hal Lindes → Guitarist and film score composer, joined post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Money For Nothing” (#1, 1985) in 1981, solo and session work
1956 ● Philip Adrian Wright → Joined synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981) in 1978 as “Director of Visuals”, learned keyboards, left the band in 1986 to pursue graphic design
1957 ● Doug Sampson → Original drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), left the band in 1977 to escape the rigors of constant touring and never played professionally again
1962 ● Julianne Regan → Vocals for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988)
1963 ● Yngwie Malmsteen → Swedish composer, bandleader and technically accomplished neo-classical heavy metal guitarist, pioneer of the lightning fast “shredding” technique, “Heaven Tonight” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1988)
1967 ● Cammy Camell / (Peter James Camell) → Bass and rhythm guitar for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1968 ● Philip Anselmo → Lead vocals for alt heavy metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994)
1969 ● Tom Drummond → Bassist for alt pop-rock trio Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Andrew Burrows → Drummer for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)
1983 ● Anton Gordon → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1983 ● Cheryl Cole / (Cheryl Ann Tweedy) → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002), judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008, solo, “Fight For This Love” (UK #1, 2009)
1984 ● Fantasia / (Fantasia Barrino) → R&B/soul singer, actress, “I Believe” (#1, 2004), the first debut single to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart
1985 ● T-Pain / (Faheem Rasheed Najm) → R&B/hip hop MC and singer, “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” (#1, 2007)
1992 ● Lamb Lennon Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lynx, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)
1992 ● Lynx Vaughan Gaede → With fraternal twin sister Lamb, one half of the white supremacist bubblegum teen pop/”hate rock” duo Prussian Blue, “I Will Bleed For You” (2004)

July 01
1915 ● Willie Dixon → The “Poet Laureate of the Blues,” vital Chicago blues pioneer, singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed over 500 songs, including recognized standards such as “Spoonful,” “Back Door Man,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Little Red Rooster” and many others, major influence on blues-rockers, including The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, died of heart failure on 1/29/1992, age 76
1928 ● Bobby Day / (Robert James Byrd) → R&B/doo wop vocals and songwriter with The Hollywood Flames, “Buzz Buzz Buzz” (#11, R&B #5, 1957), then solo, “Rockin’ Robin” (#2, R&B #1, 1958), later one half of the duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963), died of cancer on 1/27/1990, age 62
1933 ● Eddie Bond → Pioneer rockabilly star, singer and guitarist, “Rockin’ Daddy” (1956), toured on the Louisiana Hayride with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton and others, radio DJ
1939 ● Delaney Bramlett → Accomplished guitarist and songwriter, member of house band The Shindogs for TV pop music variety show Shindig, one half of husband/wife front for rock/soul revue Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, “Never Ending Song Of Love” (#13, 1971), worked with Eric Clapton, Dave Mason and George Harrison died from complications of gall bladder surgery on 12/27/2008, age 69
1942 ● Andraé Crouch → The “Father of Modern Gospel,” Grammy-winning, renowned and respected pioneer of contemporary gospel, singer, writer, producer, solo artist, “I’ll Be Thinking Of You” (R&B #69, 1980), collaborated with Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Madonna and others, film score composer and pastor, died following a heart attack on 1/8/2015, age 72
1945 ● Debbie Harry → Singer and frontwoman for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), solo, “In Love With Love” (#70, Dance/Club #1, 1987)
1946 ● June Monteiro → Singer for pop girl trio The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2, 1965)
1948 ● John Ford → Bass and acoustic guitar for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), formed rock duo Hudson Ford with bandmate/drummer Richard Hudson, “Pick Up The Pieces” (UK #8, 1973), then punk rock The Monks, “Nice Legs Shame About Her Face” (UK #19, 1979)
1949 ● John Farnham → Hugely popular solo pop-rock singer and songwriter in his native Australia, “You’re The Voice” (#82, UK #6, 1987)
1951 ● Fred Schneider → Vocals and frontman for New wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1951 ● Victor Willis → Original member, lead singer, songwriter and policeman or naval officer character for campy, suggestive gay pop-rock vocal man band The Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978), co-wrote most of the band’s hit songs and became embroiled in a copyright dispute after leaving in 1980, released a solo album in 2015 that had been recorded in 1979
1952 ● Dan Akroyd → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Elwood Blues” in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979)
1952 ● Ndugu Chancler / (Leon Chancler) → Grammy-winning jazz-funk drummer, percussionist and sought-after sessionman, worked The Crusaders, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson (drummed on “Billie Jean,” #1, 1983), Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Weather Report and many others on hundreds of albums, died from prostate cancer on 2/3/2018, age 65
1956 ● Phil Solem → Singer, songwriter, co-founder of power pop Great Buildings, which became The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song to the TV situation comedy Friends
1959 ● Edem Ephraim → With Dennis Fuller, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Fuller in a car collision on 1/21/1996, age 36
1960 ● Champagne King / (Evelyn King) → R&B/disco and post-disco singer, “Love Come Down” (#17, Dance/Club #1, 1982)
1960 ● Ted Key → Bassist for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1963 ● Roddy Bottum → Keyboards for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Pol Burton → Drummer for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1971 ● Adam MacDougall → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Missy Elliott / (Melissa Elliott) → Hugely successful, four time Grammy-winning female rapper and songwriter, “Work It” (#2, 2002), producer, wrote “If Your Girl Only Knew” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1996) for Aaliyah

July 02
1917 ● Murry Wilson / (Murry Gage Wilson) → Tough-love patriarch, business manager, co-producer and publisher for Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilsonn in the formative years of sunshine pop/surf rock The Beach Boys (“I Get Around,” #1, 1964), dismissed as manager by Brian in 1964 and died from a heart attack on 6/4/1973, age 55
1925 ● Marvin Rainwatef / (Marvin Percy) → One quarter Cherokee country, rockabilly and pop singer, “Gonna Find Me A Bluebird” (#18, Country #3, 1957) and “Whole Lotta Woman” (#60, UK #1, 1958), age 88
1927 ● Lee Allen → Early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist and session musician in New Orleans in the 50s, played on many hits by Fats Domino (“I’m Walking,” #4, R&B #1, 1957), Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti,” #14, R&B #2, 1956) and others but found little success on his own except for “Walkin’ With Mr. Lee” (#54, 1958), performed with Fats Domino through the 70s, and with Stray Cats and The Blasters in the 80s, died on 10/18/1994, age 67
1936 ● Tom Springfield / (Dion O’Brien) → Vocals and songwriting with sister Dusty Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962)
1937 ● Dee Palmer / (David Palmer) → Classically-trained composer, arranger and keyboardist with long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), underwent male-to-female sex change operation in 2004
1939 ● Paul Williams → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), shot himself to death on 8/17/1973, age 34
1942 ● Leapy Lee / (Graham Pulleybank) → One hit wonder Brit comedian and stage actor turned country-pop crossover singer, “Little Arrows” (#16, Country #11, 1968)
1945 ● Peter Cruikshank → Bassist for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1949 ● The Professor / (Roy Bittan) → Keyboards and synthesizer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, session work for David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Meat Loaf, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, others
1950 ● Duncan Mackay → Keyboards for glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975)
1952 ● Johnny Colla → Saxophone and guitar for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Pete Briquette → Bass and vocals for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1955 ● Jerry Hall → Fashion model and sometime actress known chiefly for her marriage to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger in November 1990, ending in divorce in 1999
1956 ● Jeffrey Cooper → Backing vocals for synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990)
1957 ● Mike Anger → Bassist in New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1961 ● Annie Ruddock / (Ann-Marie Teresa Antoinette Ruddock) → Vocals and saxophone for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1964 ● Roy Boulter → Drummer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1965 ● Dave Parsons → Bassist for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), joined alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995) in 1992
1970 ● Monie Love / (Simone Wilson) → Former protégé of Queen Latifah and member of Native Tongues hip hop collective, solo rapper, “It’s A Shame, My Sister” (#26, Dance/Club #2, 1991)
1974 ● Rocky Gray → Drummer for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003), played lead guitar for Christian metal Living Sacrifice and drums for other metal bands in his native Arkansas
1983 ● Michelle Branch → Teen pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All You Wanted” (#6, 2002) and duet with Carlos Santana, “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002), then formed country-pop The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006)
1985 ● Ashley Michelle Tisdale → Model, actress and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever), solo, “It’s Alright, It’s OK” (Dance/Club #20, 2009)

July 03
1878 ● George M. Cohan / (George Michael Cohan) → Heralded composer, playwright and entertainer known as the “Father of American musical comedy” and for publishing more than 300 songs, including enduring favorites “Give My Regards To Broadway” (1904), “The Yankee Doodle Boy” (1904) and “You’re A Grand Old Flag” (1906), created and produced over 50 Broadway musicals in the 10s and 20s, acted in and produced movie musicals in the 30s, died from cancer on 11/5/1942, age 64
1893 ● “Mississippi” John Hurt / (John Smith Hurt) → Dexterous country-blues guitarist and songwriter who might have passed in obscurity but for the 60s blues-folk revival, his 1964 recordings for the Library of Congress touched off a brief period in the spotlight that continued after his death from a heart attack on 11/2/1966, age 73
1929 ● David Lynch → Vocals for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, died of cancer on 1/2/1981, age 51
1930 ● Tommy Tedesco → Top session guitarist, billed by Guitar Player magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history, worked on TV and film scores and recorded with The Association, The Beach Boys, Cher, Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, The Supremes, Frank Zappa and numerous others, died from lung cancer on 11/10/1997, age 67
1934 ● Hot Dog Rog / (Roger Christian) → Songwriter and popular Los Angeles radio DJ in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote several surf-rock and hot rod songs and ballads, including “Little Deuce Coup” (#15, 1963) and “Don’t Worry Baby” (#24, 1964) with Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” (#3, 1964) and “Dead Man’s Curve” ((#8, 1964) with Jan Berry of Jan & Dean, died from kidney and liver failure on 7/11/1991, age 57
1936 ● Frederick Tupper Saussy III → American composer, musician, advertising executive, watercolor painter, author, high school English teacher, jazz recording artist and Nashville Symphony contributor best known as the songwriter and keyboardist for psych-pop The Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” (#17, 1969), later convicted of tax evasion and spent nearly 10 years as a fugitive before surfacing and turning himself in, became chapel music director and piano instructor for prisoners while serving his sentence in a California correctional facility, upon release wrote several books and resumed recording, died from a heart attack on 3/16/2007, two days before the release of his first CD and first new music album in 37 years, The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar (2007), age 70
1940 ● Maureen Kennedy → Vocals for 60s all-girl Brit-pop ensemble The Vernon Girls, “Lover Please” (UK #16, 1962)
1940 ● Fontella Bass → Gospel-rooted R&B/soul diva and pianist, “Rescue Me” (#4, R&B #1, 1965), left the music business in the mid-70s to raise her children, successfully sued for back royalties in the 90s, died following a heart attack on 12/26/2012, age 72
1943 ● Garland Jeffreys → African-American/Puerto Rican American rock, reggae and blues singer and songwriter, “Wild In The Street” (1973) and several solo albums
1943 ● Judith Durham → Vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), solo
1946 ● Victor Unitt → Guitarist with Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970), joined blues-rock The Pretty Things and appeared on the album Parachute (1970)
1947 ● Betty Buckley → Film (Carrie, 1976), TV (Eight Is Enough, 1977) and Broadway (Cats, 1983) actress, traditional pop and show tunes singer with 14 solo albums, plus cast recording of multiple Broadway shows
1948 ● Paul Barrere → Guitarist and songwriter for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1949 ● John Verity → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), formed Phoenix and later Charlie, “It’s Inevitable” (Mainstream Rock #13, 1983), solo, producer
1949 ● Johnnie Wilder, Jr. → Co-founder and Lead vocals in multinational, sophisticated disco-funk Heatwave, “Boogie Nights” (#2, 1977), died in his sleep on 5/13/2006, age 56
1950 ● Damon Harris → Joined Motown R&B/soul legends The Temptations as tenor vocalist in 1971, Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), left in 1975 and formed disco Impact, “Give A Broken Heart A Break” (Disco #5, 1976), solo
1952 ● Laura Branigan / (Laura Ann Branigan) → Grammy-winning 80s pop-rock singer, songwriter and actress with a pair of hits, “Gloria” (#2, 1982) and “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” (#12, AC #1, 1983) plus writing credits for soundtracks to Flashdance (1983) and Ghostbusters (1984) and TV and stage acting, died of a brain aneurysm on 8/26/2004, age 52
1952 ● Andy Fraser → Bassist and songwriter, briefly with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before co-founding power rock Free (“All Right Now,” #4, 1970) at age 16, wrote “Obama (Yes We Can)” for Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential campaign, his songs have been covered by Joe Cocker, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart and others, died from cancer and AIDS on 3/16/2015, age 62
1955 ● Mike Corby → Keyboards and guitars for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Isn’t It Time” (#13, 1977), left in 1978
1955 ● Neil Clark → Guitar for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1956 ● Stephen Pearcy → Lead vocalist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1960 ● Vince Clarke / (Vincent John Martin) → Keyboards, synthesizer and founding member of electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Just Can’t Get Enough” (Dance/Club #26, 1982), left to form synth-pop duo Yaz (Yazoo in the UK), “Nobody’s Diary” (Dance/Club #1, 1983), then co-founded synth-pop duo The Assembly, “Never Never” (UK #4, 1983), then synth-dance duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, Dance/Club #4, 1988) plus over 20 other Dance/Club hits
1968 ● Martyn Walsh → Bassist for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1969 ● Butterfly / (Ishmael Butler) → Vocals and producer for hip hop rap-jazz fusion trio Digable Planets, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)” (#15, R&B #5, 1993)
1969 ● Kevin Hearn → Keyboards, accordion and guitar for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1975 ● Javier Weyler → Drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), replacing Richard Cable who departed in 2003
1976 ● Shane Lynch → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)

July 04
1826 ● Stephen Foster → The “Father of American Music,” enduring 19th century popular music composer whose works are at the core of the American Songbook, his hundreds of titles include lasting standards such as “Oh, Susanna” (1849), “Camptown Races” (1850) and “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864), died following an accidental fall on 1/13/1864, age 37
1889 ● Joe Young → Tin Pan Alley and popular music lyricist, co-wrote “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” a #5 hit for Fats Waller in 1935 and a #3 hit for Billy Williams in 1957, among others, died 4/21/1939, age 49
1911 ● Mitch Miller / (William Mitchell Miller) → Classical musician, then pop bandleader, arranger and singer, “The Yellow Rose Of Texas” (#1, 1955), later head of A&R (artists and repertory) for Columbia Records pop division and host of his own TV program that featured the “Sing Along With Mitch” concept based on the success of 20 such albums he released in the early 60s, died after a short illness on 7/31/2010, age 99
1934 ● Gilbert Lopez → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1938 ● Bill Withers → Three-time Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Lean On Me” (#1, 1972) and “Just The Two Of Us” (#2, 1981)
1940 ● Dave Rowberry → Keyboards for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), died from a bleeding ulcer on 6/6/2003, age 62
1941 ● Dick Addrisi → With his older brother, Don, one-half the pop vocal duo The Addrisi Brothers, scored several minor hits in the 60s and 70s but found greater success as a songwriting team, including “Never My Love” for The Association (#2, 1967) which they recorded for themselves and reached #80 (AC #28) in 1977, continued to write and perform together until his brother’s death in 1984
1943 ● Annette Beard Sterling Helton → Original member and vocalist for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), left the group in 1964 for her family
1943 ● Fred Wesley → Jazz and funk trombonist, music director and bandleader for James Brown‘s backing band, The J.B.’s, “Doing It To Death” (#22, R&B #1, 1973), also recorded and toured with funk Parliament and Funkadelic, Count Basie, Maceo Parker, De La Soul and others, currently a visiting artist/adjunct professor at Berklee College of Music and other schools
1943 ● Blind Owl Wilson / (Alan Wilson) → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died of a drug overdose on 9/3/1970, age 27
1947 ● Jacques Morali → French producer and songwriter, produced over 65 albums, formed and managed gay disco troupe Village People, “YMCA” (#2, 1979), died of AIDS on 11/15/1991, age 44
1948 ● Jeremy Spencer → Early member and slide guitarist for blues-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross” (UK #1, 1969), left the band abruptly during a 1971 tour to join the Children of God religious sect
1949 ● Gene Gunnels → Early drummer in 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), but left before the song became a hit
1950 ● Kid Jensen / (David ‘Jensen) → Canadian-born, Danish descent radio DJ and TV personality, first for Radio Luxembourg in the late 60s and the BBC Radio 1 beginning in 1976, later Capital FM and other London stations
1951 ● Ralph Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1952 ● John Waite → Singer, songwriter and bassist for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then arena rock Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989), then pop-rock balladeer solo, “Missing You” (#1, 1984)
1958 ● Kirk Pengilly → Guitar and vocals for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Matt Malley → Bassist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Mark Slaughter → Vocals, guitar, keyboards, songwriter and frontman for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), currently a voice-over actor and TV music composer
1970 ● Andy McClure → Drummer for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1971 ● Andrew Creeggan → Piano for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1972 ● William Goldsmith → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999) quit the band in 1997
1978 ● Stephen McNally → Vocals and guitar for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000)

July 05
1912 ● Mack David → Elder brother of composer Hal David, film and TV lyricist and songwriter with credits to over 1,000 songs, particularly those from the Disney films Cinderella (1950) and Alice In Wonderland (1951), plus Walk On The Wild Side (1963), Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) and Cat Ballou (1966) among others, co-wrote “Baby It’s You” (The Shirelles, #8, R&B #3, 1961), died from natural causes on 12/30/1993, age 81
1920 ● Smiley Lewis / (Overton Amos Lemons) → New Orleans R&B guitarist, songwriter and booming-voiced singer, “I Hear You Knocking” (R&B #2, 1955), wrote “One Night” covered by Elvis Presley (#4, 1958), died from stomach cancer on 10/7/1966, age 46
1930 ● Mitch Jayne / (Mitchell Franklin Jayne) → Bluegrass radio DJ, then founding member, bassist and lyricist for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1938 ● Snuff Garrett / (Thomas Lesslie Garrett) → Record label executive, DJ, TV host, producer and arranger, as A&R man for Liberty Records produced “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys and other hits in the 60s, left Liberty and started his own production company with acts including Sonny & Cher, Eddie Rabbitt, Vicki Lawrence, Tanya Tucker and others, died from cancer on 12/16/2015, age 76
1941 ● Terry Cashman / (Dennis Minoque) → The “Balladeer of Baseball,” one-time minor league player turned singer/songwriter with doo wop The Chevrons, “Lullabye” (1960) and pop duo Cashman & West, “American City Suite” (#27, 1972), co-produced several of Jim Croce‘s hits, then solo and best known for his minor hit “Talkin’ Baseball” (1981), which he has since recorded with custom lyrics for nearly every Major League Baseball franchise
1943 ● Robbie Robertson / (Jaime Royal Robertson) → Guitar, vocals and chief songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, “Showdown At Big Sky” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1987)
1945 ● Dick Scoppettone → Vocals for folk and sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967)
1949 ● Doug Grassel / (Douglas Martin Grassel) → Rhythm guitarist in the Jerry Kasenetz/Jeffrey Katz ever-changing team of session musicians whose recordings were marketed as Ohio Express (“Yummy Yummy Yummy,” #4, 1968) and other fictional pop acts, continued to perform in various oldies-circuit groups until he died from fibrosis of the lungs on 9/21/2013, age 64
1950 ● Andy Ellison → Guitar, vocals and frontman for Brit pop art/mod rock John’s Children, “Desdemona” (1967), the band occasionally recognized as a punk and glam-rock precursor
1950 ● Huey Lewis / (Hugh Anthony Craig III) → Leader and lead vocalist for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1950 ● Michael Monarch → Original guitarist for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1956 ● Terry Chimes → Original drummer for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982), played with Hanoi Rocks and toured with Black Sabbath before becoming a chiropractor
1959 ● Marc Cohn → Folk-rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Walking In Memphis” (#13, 1991), Grammy winner for Best New Artist of 1991
1964 ● Toni Halliday / (Antoinette Halliday) → Vocalist, lyricist. occasional guitarist and one half of the alt pop-rock duo Curve, “Coast Is Clear” (Modern Rock #12, 1991)
1969 ● Aled Richards → Drummer for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1973 ● Bengt Fredrik Lagerberg → Drummer for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Joe / (Joseph Lewis Thomas) → Gospel-based R&B/smooth soul singer, “Stutter” (#1, 2001), producer
1973 ● Roisin Murphy → Irish singer with dance/funk trip hop duo Moloko “Sing It Back” (Dance/Club #1, 1999), now solo, “Movie Star” (Dance #8, 2008)
1979 ● Shane Filan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1980 ● Jason Wade → Guitar and vocals for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1982 ● Dave Haywood → Guitar, mandolin and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009)
1985 ● Nick O’Malley → Bassist for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)
1986 ● Adam Young → Keyboards, vocals and founder/frontman for electronic emo-pop one man band Owl City, “Fireflies” (#1, 2009)

July 06
1892 ● Jack Yellen / (Jack Selig Yellen) → Lyricist and screenwriter best known for penning the lyrics to pop music standards “Ain’t She Sweet” (1927) and “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1929) plus several Hollywood musicals, board member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) from 1951 to 1969, died from natural causes on 4/17/1991, age 99
1911 ● LaVerne Sophia Andrews → Vocals and dance routines in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop vocal trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 5/8/1967, age 55
1924 ● Louie Bellson / (Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni) → Influential jazz drummer, composer, bandleader, industry executive and music educator credited with developing the use of two base drums, performed with Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others, fronted his own bands and recorded extensively through the 00s, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 2/14/2009, age 84
1925 ● Bill Haley / (William John Clifton Haley) → Early rock ‘n’ roll guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader (Bill Haley & The Comets) whose “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955) was the first rock ‘n’ roll song to reach #1 on the pop chart thus is considered the birth of the rock ‘n’ roll era, died from alcoholism and a brain tumor on 2/9/1981, age 55
1927 ● Fluff Freeman / (Alan Freeman, MBE) → Australian radio DJ, relocated to London in 1957 and became a popular on-air personality for the BBC and other stations over the next five decades, including as host of the Pick Of The Pops program from 1961 to 2000, died from pneumonia on 11/27/2006, age 79
1931 ● Della Reese / (Delloreese Patricia Early) → Gospel, jazz, blues and pop singer, “Don’t You Know?” (#2, 1959), TV game show panelist, talk-show host and ordained minister
1931 ● Della Reese / (Delloreese Patricia Early) → Ordained minister with California congregation, R&B/jazz-pop diva with several Top 40 hits, including “Don’t You Know?” #2, R&B #1, 1959), TV talk show host (Della, 1969-70), guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, guest appearances on dozens of TV sitcoms, film star in multiple films with Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and others, star of the TV religious supernatural drama Touched By An Angel (1994-2003), died from undisclosed causes (but likely complications of diabetes) on 11/19/2017, age 86
1932 ● Big Dee Irwin / (DiFosco T. Ervin Jr.) → Pop singer and songwriter with doo wop The Pastels (“Been So Long,” #24, R&B #4, 1958), then one hit wonder solo career and a duet version of “Swinging On A Star” with Little Eva (#38, UK #7, 1963), wrote songs for Ray Charles, Bobby Vinton, The Hollies and others, died from heart failure on 8/27/1995, age 63
1937 ● Gene Chandler / (Eugene Dixon) → R&B/doo wop and soul-pop singer with The Dukays, whose “Duke Of Earl” (#1, 1962) was credited to him as a solo artist, then solo, “Get Down” (R&B #3, 1979)
1939 ● Jet Harris / (Terence Harris) → Bassist for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), then pop-rock duo with Tony Meehan, “Diamonds” (UK #1, 1963), died from throat cancer on 3/18/2011, age 71
1942 ● Izora Armstead / (Izora Rhodes Armstead) → 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), continued to record and perform until her death from heart failure on 9/16/2004, age 62
1943 ● Jan BradleyChess Records one hit wonder R&B/soul singer with the Curtis Mayfield song “Mama Don’t Lie” (#14, R&B #8, 1963), wrote her own songs with marginal success and left the industry to raise a family and become a social worker
1945 ● Rik Elswit → Guitarist for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1947 ● Libby Titus / (Elizabeth Jurist) → Singer/songwriter with two unnoticed solo albums but with multiple credits as a writer and co-writer of numerous pop hits, including the now-standard “Love Has No Pride” by Linda Ronstadt (Adult Contemporary #23, 1973), worked with Burt Bacharach in the 70s, provided backing vocals for Martin Mull, Bonnie Raitt and others, produced albums with and for Dr. John and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and had relationships with both, co-founded the New York Rock And Soul Review with Fagen and married him in 1993
1949 ● Michael Shrieve → Drummer and composer for Latin-rock Santana (“Black Magic Woman,” #4, 1970), known for his “electrifying” drum solo on “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock when he was age 20, contributed music and lyrics to four songs on the Caravanserai album (#8, 1972), left in 1974 for solo career and various jazz and fusion projects, plus session work, including The Rolling Stones‘ album Emotional Rescue (#1, 1980), later composed soundtracks for several movies, among them Apollo 13 (1995)
1949 ● Phylis Hyman → Silky voiced R&B/quiet storm ballad and light dance singer, “Can’t We Fall In Love Again” (R&B #9, 1981), committed suicide via a drug overdose hours before a scheduled performance at New York’s Apollo Theater on 6/30/1995, age 46
1952 ● David Smith → Singer for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (UK #1, 1976)
1952 ● Graham Oliver → Guitarist for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983), solo
1953 ● Nanci Griffith → Grammy-winning country-folk (“folkabilly”) singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Lone Star State Of Mind” (Country #36, 1987)
1959 ● John Keeble → Drummer for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1961 ● Robert Heaton → Drummer and songwriter for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985), died from pancreatic cancer on 11/4/2004, age 43
1963 ● Tim Bricheno → Guitarist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), later XC-NN and The Mission
1965 ● Eddie Campbell → Keyboards for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1969 ● Michael Grant → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1975 ● 50 Cent / (Curtis J. Jackson III) → Controversial rapper, survived 2000 murder attempt to release “In Da Club” (#1, 2003) and 12 other Top 40 hits, Grammy-winning song “Crack A Bottle” with Eminem and others in 2009
1979 ● Nic Cester / (Nicholas John Cester) → Guitarist, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1984 ● D. Woods / (Wanite Woodgett) → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)
1987 ● Kate Nash → Brit indie pop singer, songwriter and pianist, “Foundations” (UK #2, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 12
1928 ● Burt Bacharach → Pianist, arranger, producer and songwriter, wrote 70 Top 40 hits, often in collaboration with lyricist Hal David, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969)
1935 ● Steve Knight → Keyboards in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), after the band broke up in 1972 he returned to traditional jazz, songwriting and miscellaneous projects until his death from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 1/19/2013, age 77
1936 ● Klaus Doldinger → German jazz-rock fusion saxophonist, composer and bandleader (Passport)
1937 ● George Carlin → Five-time Grammy-winning counterculture stand-up comedian, film and TV actor, sociopolitical commentator and author, his landmark “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” routine was central to the 1978 Supreme Court case upholding the FCC’s right to regulate indecent material on public airwaves, appeared in films and on TV, and issued albums of new material until his death from heart failure on 6/22/2008, age 71
1940 ● Norman Whitfield → Songwriter and producer, best known for his work with Motown Records, collaborated with Barrett Strong on “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”, “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, “Cloud Nine”, “War”, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and “Car Wash,” died from complications of diabetes on 9/16/2008, age 68
1942 ● Billy Swan / (William Lance Swan) → Country-pop singer/songwriter, touring band member for Kris Kristofferson, producer, solo artist, “I Can Help” (#1, 1974), joined ex-Eagles Randy Meisner in country-rock Black Tie
1942 ● Ian Dury → Cult-favorite singer, songwriter, poet, actor, bandleader (The Blockheads), solo, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (1977) and “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (UK #1, 1978), died of colorectal cancer on 3/27/2000, age 57
1943 ● David Walker → Guitarist with pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● James Purify → With cousin Robert Lee Dickey, R&B/Southern soul duo James & Bobby Purify, “I’m Your Puppet” (#6, 1966)
1945 ● Jayotis Washington → Vocalist with a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), session work for Don McLean, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder and others
1945 ● Ian McLagan → Keyboardist for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott departed and Rod Stewart and Rod Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), session work for Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and others, died after a stroke on 12/3/2014, age 69
1946 ● Bob MacVittie → Rhythm guitar for one hit wonder pop-rock Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” (#3, 1970)
1948 ● Steve Winwood → Keyboards, vocals and songwriter, teenaged lead singer for Brit pop-rock Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin”” (#7, 1967), then folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then super-trio Blind Faith (US #1 album Blind Faith, 1969), solo, “Higher Love” (#1, 1986)
1950 ● Billy Squier → 80s hard pop-rock anthem and balladeer guitarist and singer, “The Stroke” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Jocko Marcellino / (John Marcellino) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1954 ● Barry Borden → Brief stint in the 80s as drummer for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979)
1955 ● Kix Brooks / (Leon Eric Brooks) → Singer and songwriter, one-half of astronomically successful country-pop vocal duo Brooks & Dunn, “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” (#25, Country #1, 2001), solo
1958 ● Eric Singer / (Eric Mesinger) → Hard rock journeyman drummer for Lita Ford, Black Sabbath, Badlands, Paul Stanley‘s touring band, Kiss and Alice Cooper
1961 ● Billy Duffy → Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for punk-rock Theater Of Hate, then co-founded hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989)
1962 ● Brett W. Gurewitz → Co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995), owner of Epitaph Records
1972 ● Mark Morrison → German-born electro-dance-pop singer, “Moan And Groan” (#2, 1997)

May 13
1912 ● Gil Evans → Grammy-winning Canadian jazz pianist, innovator, arranger and bandleader best known for his extensive work with Miles Davis and the development of free jazz and jazz-rock fusion, died while recovering from peritonitis surgery on 3/20/1988, age 75
1926 ● Daddy-O Phillips / (Dewey Phillips) → The “King of Memphis Radio” and one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll DJ’s on par with Cleveland’s Alan Freed, played black and white music, R&B, pop and jazz punctuated with frenetic, demented-hillbilly delivery that kept him on top for a decade, could not make the transition to Top 40 in the 60s, died from years of drug and alcohol abuse on 9/28/1968, age 42
1927 ● Fred Hellerman → Folk singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer, suspected McCarthy-era Communist sympathizer, founding member of left-leaning, influential, successful folk-pop The Weavers (“Goodnight Irene,” #1, 1950) and key figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s, produced several albums for others, including Arlo Guthrie‘s Alice’s Restaurant (1967), issued his only solo album, Caught In The Act in 2005, died from natural causes on 9/1/2016, age 89
1935 ● Teddy Randazzo / (Theodore Alexander Randazzo) → Singer, songwriter and pop music arranger best known for co-writing “Going Out Of My Head” for Little Anthony & The Imperials (#6, 1964) and “Hurts So Bad” (#8 , 1980) for Linda Ronstadt, died of natural causes on 11/21/2003, age 68
1938 ● John Smith → Bass vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1941 ● Joe Brown → Stage and TV actor, BBC radio host, early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist, “A Picture Of You” (UK #2, 1962), still performs after nearly 60 years of rocking
1941 ● Ritchie Valens / (Ricardo Valenzuela Reyes) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, promising early rock ‘n’ roller and the first Latino pop star, released the Top 5 hit “Donna” (#2, 1958) and the enduring “La Bamba” (#22, 1959) just months before he died along with Buddy Holly and J. R. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in an Iowa plane crash on the night of 2/3/1959, age 17
1943 ● Mary WellsMotown R&B/soul-pop singer, “My Guy” (#1, 1964) and 17 other R&B Top 20 singles (five of which made the Pop Top 20), died of cancer on 7/26/1992, age 49
1945 ● Blue Lou Mairini / (Louis Marini, Jr. ) → Jazz, blues and rock saxophonist with Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Saturday Night Live house band, The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), solo
1945 ● Magic Dick / (Richard Salwitz) → Harmonica and organ for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1947 ● Peter Watts / (Peter Overend Watts) → Bassist for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), producer
1950 ● Danny Kirwan / (Daniel David Kirwan) → Guitarist and songwriter with early lineups of Fleetwood Mac (1968-72) and during the band’s transition from blues-rock stalwarts to pop-rock megastars, left before the band achieved superstardom and enjoyed a moderately successful solo career before fading into obscurity outside the music industry, died from undisclosed causes on 06/10/2018, age 68
1950 ● Johnny Logan / (Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard) → Aussie-born Irish singer, songwriter, three-time Eurovision winner and guitarist, “What’s Another Year” (UK #1, 1980)
1950 ● Stevie Wonder / (Stevland Hardaway Judkins) → Teenaged Motown R&B/soul singer (“Fingertips,” #1, 1963) turned Grammy-winning soul-pop singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with 15 #1 albums and over 30 Top 40 singles (nine #1 hits) including “Superstition” (#1, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Thompson → Drummer for prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976) and post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1959 ● Kim McAuliffe → Founding member, vocals and rhythm guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1963 ● Julian Brookhouse → Guitarist for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1964 ● Lorraine McIntosh → Vocalist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), married to lead singer Ricky Ross
1966 ● Alison Goldfrapp → Vocals and synthesizer with Will Gregory in Brit electro-dance-pop due Goldfrapp, “Number 1” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1966 ● Darius Rucker → Vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995), solo
1967 ● Melanie Thornton → African American R&B/gospel and dance-pop singer with very little attention in the U.S. but with a moderately successful and growing career in Europe, particularly in Germany, died in a commercial plane crash in Switzerland on 11/24/2001, age 34
1979 ● Michael Madden → Bassist for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)

May 14
1916 ● Skip Martin / (Lloyd Martin) → Jazz and Big Band saxophonist, music arranger and orchestrator, played in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other big band’s and became a studio musician and arranger for Hollywood films in the 50s, including Judy Garland‘s comeback movie A Star Is Born (1954), died on 2/12/1976, age 59
1932 ● Bob Johnston → Rockabilly and pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote numerous songs for Elvis Presley in the mid-60s, then produced a string of classic albums in the late 60s and 70s, including Bob Dylan‘s Blonde On Blonde and Johnny Cash‘s At Folsom Prison, fell into relative obscurity in the 80s and 90s but continued to produce independent albums, died from heart failure on 8/14/2015 , age 83
1936 ● Charlie Gracie / (Charles Graci) → Rockabilly and pop-rock guitarist and songwriter, Philadelphia’s first rock ‘n roll star and an American Bandstand regular, “Butterfly” (#1, 1957)
1936 ● Bobby Darin / (Walden Robert Cassotto) → Film actor (Come September, 1961), musician, adult pop vocalist, “Mack The Knife” (#1, 1959) and 20 other Top 40 singles, husband of actress/singer Sandra Dee,, died after open heat surgery to repair damaged valves on 12/20/1973, age 37
1938 ● Mike Preston / (Jack Davies) → Boxer turned pop singer, “Mr. Blue” (UK #12, 1959) turned Aussie and US TV/film actor, The A-Team and The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
1940 ● Troy Shondell / (Gary Shelton) → Transatlantic one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll/pop singer, “This Time” (#6, 1961), his stage name was the inspiration for Tommy James & The Shondells, later with Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville and ASCAP as a regional music publishing executive
1943 ● Jack Bruce / (John Symon Asher Bruce) → Renowned Scottish bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, “Pretty Flamingo” (#29, UK #1, 1966) and Cream, co-wrote “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), “White Room” (#6, 1968) and “I Feel Free”, later with supertrio West Bruce & Laing and 14 solo albums through 2014, died from liver failure on 10/25/2014, age 71
1943 ● Clive Palmer / (Clive Harold Palmer) → Founding member and principal in Scottish psych-folk and early world music duo The Incredible String Band, 1968 album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter reached #161 in the US, died after a long illness on 11/23/2014, age 71
1945 ● Gene Cornish → Guitar and vocals for blue-eyed soul-pop The Rascals, “Groovin'”, (#1, 1967), then power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978), solo
1945 ● Lek Leckenby / (Derek Leckenby) → Guitar, banjo and songwriting for British Invasion pop-rock British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits (“Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” #1, 1965), continued with various incarnation sof the band until his death lymphoma on 6/4/1994, age 49
1947 ● Al Ciner → Guitarist for pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968), Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974)
1950 ● Arthur James Grant → Drummer for Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1952 ● David Byrne → Guitar, vocals, songwriting and de facto frontman for art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), Grammy-winning solo artist and composer
1953 ● John Rutsey → Drummer and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles, died from complications of diabetes on 5/11/2008, age 54
1956 ● H / (Steve Hogarth) → Lead vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1962 ● C.C. DeVille / (Bruce Johannesson)) → Guitarist for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Ian Astbury → Singer and guitarist for punk-rock Southern Death Cult, which evolved into hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989)
1964 ● Shelley Preston → Joined Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz as lead vocalist in 1985, “New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)” (UK #8, 1986), left in 1990 for a modeling and backing vocals career
1966 ● Fabrice Morvan → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, resurrected a solo career in the early 00s
1966 ● Mike Inez → Bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1966 ● Raphael Saddiq / (Charles Ray Wiggins) → Old school R&B/soul singer, songwriter and bass guitarist, with brother Dwayne and cousin Timothy Christian in R&B/dance Tony! Toni! Toné! (“Feels Good,” #9, R&B #1, 1990), then solo (“Ask Of You,” #19, R&B #2) and the critically-acclaimed album Stone Rollin (#14, 2011)
1969 ● Danny Wood → Singer, songwriter and choreographer for early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Steve Hellier → Keyboards and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1971 ● Freaky Tah / (Raymond Rogers) → MC, hype man and vocals for 90s rap quartet The Lost Boyz, “Music Makes Me High” (#51, Rap #5, 1996) plus three R&B Top 10 albums, murdered by gun fire in a hotel lobby on 3/28/1999, age 27
1973 ● Natalie Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1973 ● Shanice / (Shanice Wilson) → Motown R&B/dance-pop singer/songwriter, “I Love Your Smile” (#2, 1991)
1976 ● Hunter Burgan → Multi-instrumentalist and current bass guitarist for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006)
1976 ● Martine McCutcheon / (Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting) → Brit actress who gained stardom after playing Tiffany Mitchell on BBC TV’s EastEnders (1995-1998), then pop singer, “Perfect Moment” (UK #1, 1999)
1979 ● Dan Auerbach / (Daniel Quine Auerbach) → Grammy-winning blues-rock songwriter, producer and songwriter, frontman for 00s neo-blues-rock The Black Keys (“Lonely Boy,” #64, Alt Rock #1, 2010) along with other side projects and collaborations
1984 ● Olly Murs / (Oliver Stanley Murs) → Brit singer, songwriter, TV actor and program host with multiple UK hits, including “Troublemaker” (#25, UK #1, 2016)

May 15
1918 ● Eddy Arnold / (Richard Edward Arnold) → Most popular country music entertainer of the 20th century with 14 Country Top 10 albums, 147 charting singles and 28 Country #1 hits, including “Make The World Go Away” (#6, Country #1, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/8/2008, age 89
1931 ● James Mitchell → Saxophone for Stax Records’ house band The Memphis Horns, played sessions for The Doobie Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Sam And Dave and many other notables, died from heart failure on 12/18/2000, age 69
1932 ● Baba Oje → Spiritual leader for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1937 ● Trini Lopez / (Trinidad Lopez) → Chicano folk-pop singer and guitarist, “If I Had A Hammer” (#3, 1963)
1938 ● Lenny Welch / (Leon Welch) → MOR/pop balladeer, “Since I Fell For You” (#4, 1963)
1942 ● K.T. Oslin / (Kay Toinette Oslin) → Grammy-winning country singer and songwriter with anthemic “80s Ladies” (#7, 1987) plus 6 other Country Top 10 hits
1944 ● Tich Amey / (Iam Frederick Amey) → Lead guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1946 ● Bob Garner → Bass guitar for underappreciated and little known (except in Germany) Britbeat/power pop The Creation, “Painter Man” (GER #8, UK #36, 1967), left the band in 1968 but participated in various reunion performances through the early 00s, died on 6/16/2016, age 70
1947 ● Graham Goble → Guitar and vocals for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979) and 12 other Top 40 singles
1947 ● Jimy Rogers / (James Rogers) → Vocals for Chicago blue-eyed soul/garage rockers Mauds, “Hold On” (1967), sessions, most recently fronted Blue Road, died 12/4/2010, age 63
1948 ● Brian Eno → Synthesizers and keyboards with glam/prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), then pub-rock The Winkies and solo, producer for David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, John Cale and others, ambient and world music pioneer, multimedia artist
1948 ● Gary Thain → Bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Keef Hartley Band, then hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (1972) , died of a drug overdose 12/8/1975, age 27
1951 ● Fergie / (Dennis Fredericksen) → Lead vocals for pomp-rock MSFunk and Trillion, hard pop-rock Survivor, “American Heartbeat” (#17, 1982), AOR pop-rock Le Roux, “Carrie’s Gone” (#79, 1982), then replaced Bobby Kimball in arena rock Toto, “Stranger In Town” (#30, Mainstream Rock #7, 1984), solo, sessions
1952 ● Phil Seymour → Power pop drummer, singer, guitarist, songwriter and partner in pop/rock Dwight Twilley Band, “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975), session work including backing vocals for Tom Petty, released three solo albums and several singles, including “Precious To Me” (#22, 1981), died from lymphoma on 8/17/1993, age 41
1953 ● Mike Oldfield → Multi-instrumentalist, new age electronic prog rock composer and bandleader, “Tubular Bells” (#7, 1974), the title track from the first album issued by Virgin Records
1955 ● Kevin John Morris → Drummer since 1983 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1959 ● Andrew Eldritch → Vocals for goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992)
1965 ● Jon Sevink → Violin for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1965 ● Mark Colwill → Bass guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1966 ● Peter Wiggs → Keyboardist and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Prince Be / (Attrell Cordes) → Vocals in innovative brother hip hop duo P.M. Dawn melding smooth soul, urban R&B and prog rap, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” (#3, Dance/Club #6, 1991), stepson of George Brown, founding member of soul/funk Kool & The Gang, died from renal failure on 6/17/2016, age 46
1982 ● Jessica Sutta → Dancer, singer, model, actress and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005), then solo, “Show Me” (Dance #1, 2011)
1983 ● Devin Bronson → Lead guitarist with Avril Lavigne band, Kelly Osbourne band, Black List Club and Canadian rock band Treble Charger

May 16
1919 ● Liberace / (Wladziu Valentino Liberace) → Campy, sequin-suited easy listening/pop pianist, Vegas showman and TV host (with a candelabra on his piano), died from complications of AIDS and emphysema on 2/4/1987, age 67
1932 ● Red Holt / (Isaac Holt) → Drummer in 50s and 60s jazz ensemble Ramsey Lewis Trio, then formed one hit wonder jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, “Soulful Strut” (#3, 1969)
1936 ● Kripp Johnson / (Corinthian Johnson) → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Del-Vikings, “Come Go With Me” (#4, 1957), died on 6/22/1990
1944 ● Billy Cobham → Jazz-rock fusion drummer for Miles Davis, founded Mahavishnu Orchestra, backed James Brown and Santana, played with Grateful Dead and offshoot Bobby & The Midnights, solo and bandleader as Spectrum
1945 ● Nicky Chinn / (Nicholas Barry Chinn) → Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer, co-wrote with Michael Chapman as the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team over fifty Top 40 hits, worked with Sweet (“The Ballroom Blitz,” #5, UK #2, 1973), Suzi Quatro (“Devil Gate Drive,” UK #1, 1974) and Smokie (“Living Next Door Too Alice,” #25, UK #5, 1976), produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1946 ● Robert Fripp → Avant-garde and experimental pop-rock composer, guitarist and bandleader, only constant member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), solo albums and multiple side and collaboration projects
1946 ● Roger Earl → Drummer for blues-rock Savoy Brown, then co-founded blues-rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975) and constant bandmember in the 40-plus year history of the band
1947 ● Barbara Lee Jones → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), died from a heart attack on 5/15/1992, age 44
1947 ● Darrell Sweet → Co-founder and drummer for Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), died from a fatal heart attack before a show in Indiana on 4/30/1999, age 52
1951 ● Jonathan Richman → Guitarist, singer and songwriter, founded and fronted proto-punk The Modern Lovers, “Roadrunner” (, 1977), solo and collaborations, appeared in the film There’s Something About Mary (1998)
1953 ● Richard Page → Bass guitarist and vocals for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1955 ● Hazel O’Connor → Brit singer/songwriter and actress, starred in the film Breaking Glass (1980) which launched her pop singing career, “Will You” (UK #8, 1981),
1958 ● Glenn Gregory → Vocals for 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1960 ● Lovebug Starski / (Kevin Smith) → Teenage gang member turned rapper, MC, record producer and self-styled creator of the term “hip-hop” for which he was widely-recognized as a key player in the development of hip-hop music in the South Bronx in the mid-70s, issued a single album and a dozen singles in the 80s, was attempting a career reboot in Las Vegas but died following a heart attack on 2/8/2018, age 57
1964 ● Boyd Tinsley → Violinist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998)
1965 ● Chris Novoselic / (Krist Anthony Novoselic) → Croatian-American bass guitarist and co-founder of premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), played in variety of bands since Nirvana broke up in 1994, music columnist and founder of JAMPAC
1966 ● Janet Jackson → Youngest of the ten Jackson children, R&B/soul-pop superstar, “Miss You Much” (#1, 1989), TV and film actress
1968 ● Ralph Tresvant → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988)
1971 ● Simon Katz → Percussion in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1973 ● Will White → DJ, vocals and mixmaster for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998), remixed 808 State, Luscious Jackson

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

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 21
1919 ● Don Cornell → Smooth baritone pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop and easy listening singer with over 30 Top 40 hits between 1942 and 1955, including “Hold My Hand” (#2, UK #1, 1954) , died from emphysema and diabetes on 2/23/2004, age 84
1939 ● Ernie Maresca / (Ernest Peter Maresca) → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose résumé includes several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), and a brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1943 ● Mars Bonfire / (Dennis Eugene McCrohan Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Warner → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), later wrote dozens of musical instrument instructions books
1947 ● Iggy Pop / (James Newell Osterberg) → Frontman and vocals for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, solo, Lust For Life (1977, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums #147)
1947 ● John Weider → Guitar and violin for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then bassist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), sessions and solo as a jazz-new age guitarist and singer/songwriter
1948 ● Paul Davis → Pop-rock and country-pop singer/songwriter (“I Go Crazy, #7, 1977), guest vocalist with Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker, wrote several country hits for others, died of a heart attack on 4/22/2008, age 60
1951 ● Nicky Barclay / (Nicole Barclay) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriter in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny (“Butter Boy,” #29, 1975), one of the earliest women-only rock bands and the first to release an album on a major record label (Fanny, Reprise, 1970), left the band in 1974 for an unsuccessful solo career but eventually played on albums by Barbra Streisand and Keith Moon and recorded and performed in the U.K. with former members of prog rock Procol Harum and blues-rock Rory Gallagher‘s band.
1958 ● Mike Barson → Keyboards for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, continues to record and perform with the band into the 10s
1959 ● Michael Timmins → Guitarist and songwriter for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1959 ● Robert Smith → Founder, frontman, guitarist, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of gloomy post-punk-pop The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989), plus over 20 other Top 40 singles in his native UK
1960 ● John Maher → Drummer in early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), now sells and races Volkswagen cars
1963 ● Johnny McElhone / (John Francis McElhone) → Bassist for Scottish teen-aged post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), then joined Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Franti → Creator, frontman, chief poet, lead vocals and guitar for politically and socially active hip hop-funk-rock fusion Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” #18, R&B #1, 2009)
1978 ● Brandon Steineckert → Drummer in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005), left in 2006 to join punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)

April 22
1922 ● Charles Mingus → Universally-lauded jazz bassist, bandleader and composer, in his last months collaborated with Joni Mitchell on her tribute album Mingus, died from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 1/5/1979, age 56
1927 ● Laurel Aitken / (Lorenzo Aitken) → The “Godfather of Ska,” Cuban-Jamaican singer whose 1958 single “Boogie In My Bones” was the first Jamaican popular music record released in the UK, became one of ska music’s leading artists in the 70s and continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 7/17/2005, age 78
1931 ● Joe Cuba (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) / (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) → The “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” Puerto Rican-American conga drummer widely regarded as one of the creators of the Latin soul fusion of R&B and Cuban salsa instrumentation called “boogaloo,” which originated in New York City and became briefly popular in the late 60s, “Bang, Bang” (#63, 1966), died from a bacterial infection on 2/15/2009, age 77
1932 ● Isao Tomita → Analog synthesizer musician, composer and pioneer of space and electronic music, used electronic music sequencers to combine classical pieces with sci-fi themes, won four Grammy Awards for his 1974 album Snowflakes Are Dancing, died from cardiac failure on 5/5/2016, age 84
1936 ● Glen Campbell / (Glen Travis Campbell) → 60s session musician with the Wrecking Crew of top-notch musicians, recorded with The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, The Mamas & the Papas and others, member of the touring band for The Beach Boys in place of Brian Wilson in 1964-65, then Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist and singer/songwriter with dozens of Country Top 10 and Pop Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” (#1, 1975), occasional actor and TV host throughout his music career, died after a long and publicized battle with Alzheimer’s disease on 8/8/2017, age 81
1937 ● Jack Nitzsche / (Bernard Alfred “Jack” Nitzsche) → Producer, arranger, session musician, solo singer/songwriter, “The Lonely Surfer” (#39, 1963), worked with Phil Spector in the early 60s, with Buffy Sainte-Marie co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) from the film An Officer And A Gentleman (1982), produced albums for The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and others, died after a heart attack on 8/25/2000, age 63
1939 ● Mel Carter → Soul-pop and Easy Listening singer with several minor hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but with eight Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” (#8, AC #1, 1965)
1939 ● Simon Napier-Bell → Music industry journeyman bandmember, session musician, producer, songwriter, journalist and author, at one time or another served as manager for The Yardbirds, John’s Children, Marc Bolan, Japan, London, Asia, Ultravox, Boney M., Wham! and others
1944 ● Howard Wyeth → Session drummer for Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robert Gordon, Link Wray and others, grandson of painter Noel Wyeth, died of a heart attack 3/27/1996, age 51
1944 ● Alan Gordon → Songwriter and musician noted for co-writing “Happy Together” by The Turtles (#1, 1967) and “Celebrate” by Three Dog Night (#15, 1970), and writing “My Heart Belongs To Me” by Barbra Streisand (#4, 1977), died from cancer on 11/22/2008, age 64
1946 ● Frankie Cannibal / (Francisco “Frankie Cannibal” Garcia) → Lead vocals for pioneering L.A. “East Side Sound” Mexican-American one hit wonder brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from AIDS on 1/21/1996, age 49
1948 ● Larry Groce → Folk and children’s music singer/songwriter, radio DJ and voice-over artist remembered for his one hit wonder single “Junk Food Junkie” (#9, 1976), appeared on nine Disney albums between 1979 and 1990, founded and continues as host and music director of Mountain Stage, the live music program produced by West Virginia Public Radio and aired nationally on NPR
1950 ● Pete Carr / (Jesse Willard Carr) → Guitarist, session musician, producer and member of early Southern rock The Hour Glass with Gregg and Duane Allman, member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, recorded with Lenny LeBlanc in the soft rock duet LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), played lead guitar on many hits songs, including Bob Seger‘s “Mainstreet” and Paul Simon‘s “Kodachrome”
1950 ● Peter Frampton → Blues-rock and pop-rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and bandleader for The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), Humble Pie, “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), Frampton’s Camel, 70s-80s solo superstar, “Show Me The Way” (#6, 1976), toured in 90s with Bill Wyman & The Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band
1951 ● Paul Carrack → Journeyman keyboards, guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975), then New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981) and pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), plus a single solo hit, “Don’t Shed A Tear” (#9, 1987)
1955 ● Arthur Baker → Club DJ and early hip-hop producer, including New Edition‘s “Candy Girl” (Dance/Club #17, R&B #1, 1983) and New Order‘s “Confusion” (Dance/Club #5, 1983), then Afrika Bambaataa‘s “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), plus a solo hit, “Let There Be Love” (Dance/Club #14, 1991)
1956 ● Kenny Lyon → Guitarist and music producer, toured and recorded with multiple bands, most notably post-punk rock then teen-pop The Lemonheads (“Into Your Arms,” Modern Rock #1, 1993) and indie pop Brazzaville, produced albums for numerous indie groups, issued two solo albums and authored a novel, short stories and screenplays
1966 ● Kimberley Dahme → Current bassist (since 2002) for reunited 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), record producer
1969 ● Craig Logan → Bassist in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (UK #1, 1988), left in 1989 for a career as a producer, manager and EMI Records executive, worked with Tina Turner, Sade, Joe Cocker, Pink and others, founded Logan Media Entertainment in 2006
1974 ● Shavo Odadjian → Bassist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Jason Stollsteimer → Vocals, guitar, principle songwriter and producer for indie rock The Von Blondies, “C’mon C’mon” (Modern Rock #25, UK #21, 2004), since 2011 with The Hounds Below
1979 ● Daniel Johns → Frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1984 ● Amelle Berrabah → Vocalist who replaced co-founding member Mutya Buena in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

April 23
1936 ● Roy Orbison → Rockabilly-rooted, country-pop/rock ‘n’ roll quavering singer/songwriter, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (#1, 1964) plus 22 more Top 40 hits, joined supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in 1988 (“Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988), died of a heart attack at the height of a career revival on 1/25/2005, age 52
1939 ● Ray Peterson → Four-octave pop-rock singer, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (#7, 1960), became Baptist minister in the 70s, died from cancer on 1/25/2005, age 65
1940 ● Dale Houston → With performing partner Grace Broussard in two hit wonder Dale & Grace (“I’m Leaving It Up To You,” #1, 1963 and “Stop And Think It Over,” #6, 1964), died from heart failure on 9/27/2007, age 67
1944 ● Sandra Dee / (Alexandra Zuck) → Occasional singer best known as the ingénue-playing, Golden Globe-winning film actress, star of the teen beach film Gidget (1959) and former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005, age 60
1945 ● John Allen → Lead guitar for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1949 ● John Miles → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Slow Down” (Dance/Club #2, UK #10, 1977), managed Tina Turner‘s tours and did session work for Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Page and Joe Cocker
1951 ● Cliff Hugo / (Clifford Clyde Hugo) → Bass guitarist for Brit art/prog rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), also worked with Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and others
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden → Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and producer, performed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, session work for Jeff Beck, produced and/or wrote/co-wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Starship, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, solo career includes “I Shoulda Loved You” (R&B #4, 1980)
1953 ● Rob Dean → Guitarist for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1955 ● Captain Sensible / (Raymond Burns) → Co-founder, vocals, guitar and songwriting for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo
1960 ● David Gedge → Guitar and vocals 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
1960 ● Steve Clark → Guitarist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), died after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs on 1/8/1991, age 30
1964 ● Gen / (Simon Matthews) → Drummer for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy DeCarlo → Current lead singer for arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), joined the band to replace deceased lead singer Brad Delp at the invitation of bandleader Tom Scholz, to whom DeCarlo sent Myspace tapes of himself covering Boston singles
1968 ● Paul Clifford → Bassist for Britpop The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1969 ● Stan Frazier → Vocals and DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1983 ● Taio Cruz → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer, occasional rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, “Break Your Heart” (#1, 2010)

April 24
1923 ● Freddy Bienstock → Vienna-born music publishing executive whose Jewish family resettled in the U.S. in 1939, first worked in the 40s as a “song plugger” salesman for writers in the famous Bill Building in New York City, later as song screener for Elvis Presley and others, and beginning in the 60s as a publishing executive with several firms, including Carlin Music which continues and controls the rights to thousands of pop and rock songs, died on 9/20/2009, age 86
1933 ● Freddie Scott → R&B/soul singer, “Are You Lonely For Me” (1966), died 4/24/1933,, age 74
1937 ● Dick Kniss → Stand-up bass player and “fourth member” behind folk-pop trio Peter, Paul & Mary, also in John Denver‘s band in the 70s, co-wrote “Sunshine On My Shoulders” (#1, 1974), died from chronic pulmonary on 1/25/2012, age 74
1940 ● George Tomsco → Guitarist for Tex-Mex instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Fireballs, “Torquay” (#39, 1959)
1942 ● Barbra Streisand → Stage, film and TV actress, pop vocalist, “The Way We Were” (#1, 1974), “Woman In Love” (*#1, 1980) and 4 other US #1 pop hits
1943 ● Glen Dale / (Richard Garforth) → Guitars and vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony vocals The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1944 ● Bernard St. Clair Lee → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits, continued to perform with incarnations of the band until his death due to natural causes on 3/8/2011, age 66
1945 ● Doug Clifford → Drummer for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1945 ● Robert Knight → Founder and frontman for R&B/harmony soul The Paramounts, “Free Me” (R&B #15, 1961), then 60s one hit wonder solo career, “Everlasting Love” (#13, 1967)
1947 ● Glenn Cornick → First bassist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), then formed Wild Turkey and later Paris
1947 ● Hubert Ann Kelly → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits
1948 ● Steve York → Bassist for Brit beat pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964)
1951 ● Nigel Harrison → Bass player with New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979) from 1977-82, also a member of glam-rock quintet Silverhead
1954 ● Jack Blades → Bassist with hard rock Night Ranger, “Sister Christian” (#5, 1984), then joined Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw (Styx) in pop metal/arena rock supergroup Damn Yankees, “High Enough” (#3, 1990)
1955 ● Gary Cambra → Guitars and keyboards for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1957 ● David J. / (David J. Haskins) → Bass and vocals for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979), solo and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1958 ● Boris Williams → Drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1960 ● Paula Yates → UK TV host (music shows The Tube and The Big Breakfast), ex-wife of Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and girlfriend of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, died from a heroin overdose on 9/17/2000, age 40
1963 ● Billy Gould → Bassist for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Paul Ryder → Bassist for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Patty Schemel → Second drummer for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1967 ● Shannon Larkin → Drummer for hard rock/metal Ugly Kid Joe, then hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1968 ● Aaron Comess → Drummer for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1971 ● Jas Mann / (Jasbinder Singh Mann) → Brit record producer and one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Spaceman” (UK #1, 1996)
1974 ● Barry James Stock → Guitar and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1974 ● Brian Marshall → Bassist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1982 ● Kelly Clarkson → Pop singer and inaugural-season (2002) winner on American Idol, “Since U Been Gone” (#1, 2005)
1984 ● Tyson Ritter → Co-founder, lead vocals and bass guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Ben Howard → Folk-pop singer (“Only Love,” AAA #6, UK #9, 2012) and two-time 2013 BRIT Award winner (Breakthrough Act and Solo Male Artist)

April 25
1913 ● Earl Bostic → Underappreciated jazz and R&B alto saxophonist, “Temptation” (R&B Top 10, 1948), died of a heart attack while performing on stage on 10/28/1965, age 52
1917 ● Ella Fitzgerald → The “First Lady of Song”, Grammy-winning six-decade jazz/R&B/scat mega-diva, “Mack The Knife” (#27, R&B #6, 1960), died from diabetes on 6/15/1996, age 79
1923 ● Albert King / (Albert Nelson) → Highly influential blues guitarist, one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” with B. B. King and Freddie King, “Cold Feet” (#67, R&B #20, 1968), died from a heart attack on 12/21/1992, age 69
1928 ● Jinny Osborn / (Virginia A. Cole) → Original member and tenor vocals with long lasting, close-harmony girl group The Chordettes, missed the recording of the mega-hit “Mr. Sandman (#1, UK #11, 1954) while raising a new daughter but sang lead on their second big hit, “Lollipop” (#2, R&B #3, 1958), died from cancer on 5/19/2003, age 75
1928 ● Vassar Clements → Innovative, Grammy-winning jazz, swing and bluegrass fiddler with over 30 solo albums and years of session and touring work with a broad array of artists, including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman‘s Old & In The Way,The Monkees and Jimmy Buffett, continued to perform until just prior to his death from lung and brain cancer on 8/16/2005, age 77
1932 ● Gator Jackson / (Willis “Gator” Jackson) → Soul-jazz saxophonist and bandleader known best for his “honking” style and close collaborations and short marriage to R&B diva Ruth Brown (“(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (#23, R&B #1, 1953), died following heart surgery on 10/25/1987, age 55
1932 ● Gene Gene the Dancing Machine / (Eugene Patton) → NBC Studios stagehand turned TV personality as a regular dancing skit performer on the absurdist talent search program The Gong Show (1976-78), whereon he would shuffle and sway to Count Basie‘s “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” died from complications of diabetes on 3/9/2015, age 82
1933 ● Jerry Leiber → Lyricist, producer, record label owner and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller hit songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965), died from cardio-pulmonary failure on 8/22/2011, age 78
1943 ● Tony Christie → Brit pop singer, “I Did What I Did For Maria” (UK #2, 1971), in 2005 re-released his 1971 UK #18 single “Is This The Way To Amarillo” in support of Comic Relief, the song went to #1 on the UK chart 33 years after its original release
1944 ● Charlie Harper → Founder, frontman and vocals for early punk rockers UK Subs, “Stranglehold” (UK #26, 1979)
1945 ● Bjorn Ulvaeus → Guitar and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1945 ● Mike Kogel → Lead singer for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1945 ● Stu Cook → Bassist for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● Ronnie Gilbert → Founding member and basis for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1949 ● Mike Brown / (Michael Lookofsky) → Keyboards and songwriter for “baroque pop” The Left Banke, composed “Walk Away Renee” (#5, 1967) and “Pretty Ballerina” (#15, 1967), then formed pop-rock quartet Stories but left before the band’s “Brother Louie” became a US #1 hit in 1973, died from heart failure on 3/19/2015, age 66
1950 ● Steve Ferrone → Drummer for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), sessions
1955 ● David Sikes → Second bassist (1987-98) for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), then joined hard rock/arena pop Giuffria
1958 ● Fish / (Derek William Dick) → Vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985), later solo and now radio DJ
1960 ● Paul Baloff → Heavy metal singer best known for his three stints as lead vocalist and songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), died after he was removed from life support following a stroke-induced coma on 2/2/2002, age 41
1964 ● Andy Bell → Flamboyant, openly gay vocalist for Brit synth-pop duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and 16 other UK Top 10 hits
1964 ● Maya Gilder → Keyboards for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1965 ● Eric Avery → Co-founding member and bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), toured with Garbage and Peter Murphy
1965 ● Simon Fowler → Vocals for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1980 ● Jacob Underwood → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

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

April 27
1904 ● Syd Nathan → Music executive who contributed to the development of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll music through his ownership of King Records and its subsidiaries, which he founded in 1943 and brought obscure young artists to the national stage, including Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie,” R&B #1, 1954) and James Brown (“Please, Please, Please,” R&B #6, 1956), who recorded on King through the 60s (“I Got You (I Feel Good),” #3, R&B #1, 1965), the label became the sixth largest record company in the US before the mid-60s payola scandal impacted sales, died from heart disease on 5/5/1968, age 63
1932 ● Maxine Brown → Vocals for 50s-60s country-folk harmony sibling vocal trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, 1959), solo
1932 ● Casey Kasem / (Kemil Amen Kasem) → Legendary and iconic radio DJ who confessed to not loving rock ‘n’ roll but built a long and lucrative career from it , creator and long-time host of one of the most popular syndicated music programs on radio, American Top 40, voice-over artist for TV commercials and shows (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons), died from a degenerative neurological and muscular disease on 6/15/2014, age 82
1944 ● Cuba Gooding, Sr. → Lead vocals for R&B/romantic soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972) and eight other R&B Top 40 hits, found dead in his car on a busy street in a Los Angeles neighborhood on 4/20/2017, age 72
1947 ● Anne Peebles → R&B/Southern soul singer, “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (#38, R&B #6, 1973)
1947 ● Gordon Haskell → Folk-pop singer/songwriter, briefly with King Crimson, then sessions and solo, resurfaced in 2001 with “How Wonderful You Are” (UK #2, 2001) and a UK #2 album, Harry’s Bar
1947 ● Peter Ham → Guitar, vocals, chief songwriter and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger (“Day After Day,” #4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 4/24/1975, age 27
1948 ● Kate Pierson → Bouffant-haired vocalist and frontwoman for campy alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1949 ● Clive Taylor → Bassist for Welsh pop-rock Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1949 ● Herb Murrell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Ace Frehley / (Paul “Ace” Frehley) → Influential hard rock guitarist and vocals for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo, “New York Groove” (#13, 1979)
1954 ● Wally Palmar / (Volodymyr Palamarchuk) → Ukrainian-American founding member and lead vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Romantics, “What I Like About You” (#49, 1980) and “Talking In Your Sleep” (#3, 1984), later played with Ringo Starr‘s All-Star Band and co-founded garage rock supergroup The Empty Hearts
1959 ● Marco Pirroni → Guitarist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1959 ● Sheena Easton / (Sheena Shirley Orr) → Grammy-winning pop singer, “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” (#1, 1980) and James Bond movie theme song “For Your Eyes Only” (#4, 1981) and 11 other Top 40 singles, stage and TV actress
1969 ● Mica Paris / (Michelle Wallen) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “My One Temptation” (#97, Adult Contemporary #8, 1989)
1972 ● Bob Coombes → Keyboards for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Will Boyd → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1984 ● Patrick Stump → Lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007), solo
1984 ● Yonah Higgins → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 14 -20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 14
1925 ● Bill Harris / (William Harris) → Guitarist and vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), left in 1958 and, following several decades of business successes and failures, died from pancreatic cancer nearly penniless on 12/6/1988, age 63
1932 ● D. L. Menard / (Doris Leon Menard) → The “Cajun Hank Williams,” contemporary Cajun music guitarist, singer, songwriter and frontman for the several bands, including The Louisiana Aces and most recently Jambalaya for over two decades, wrote the oft-covered Cajun standard “The Back Door” (“La Porte En Arrière”), died from multiple cancer and heart-related ailments on 7/27/2017, age 85
1935 ● Loretta Lynn / (Loretta Webb) → Iconic country music star singer/songwriter, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (#83, Country #1, 1970), first female to be named Country Music Entertainer of the Year
1942 ● Tony Burrows → Session singer who, in the spring of 1970, set the record for the most UK Top 10 singles at one time, all with different groups: Edison Lighthouse “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” (#5, UK #10, 1970), White Plains “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, UK #9, 1970), The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding” (#9, UK #6, 1970) and the Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970), also sang lead vocals for The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965), psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), and pop-rock The First Class, “Beach Baby” (#4, UK #13, 1974)
1945 ● Ritchie Blackmore → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple (“Smoke On The Water,” #4, 1973), founded and fronted hard rock Rainbow (“Since You’ve Been Gone,” #57, 1979, and “Stone Cold, “Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) then renaissance-folk-rock Blackmore’s Night
1946 ● Patrick Fairley / (Patrick Fairlie) → Founding member and rhythm guitar for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● June Millington → Guitar and vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1948 ● Larry Ferguson → Keyboardist for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Dennis Byron → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), worked with The Bee Gees during the 70s and ’80s
1949 ● Sonja Kristina → Vocals for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1962 ● Joey Pesce → Keyboardist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Moore / (Vincent Moore) → Influential shred guitarist and member of Brit hard rock UFO, “Doctor Doctor” (UK #35, 1979) and “The Writer” (Rock #23, 1982), solo
1965 ● Carl Hunter → Bassist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), film producer and academic media professor
1965 ● Sheila Chandra → Vocals for Brit prog rock trio Monsoon, “Ever So Lonely” (UK #12, 1982), then solo
1969 ● Martyn Le Noble → Dutch bassist and founding member of hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), later worked with Jane’s Addiction, The Cult, Scott Welland, Dave Navarro and others
1973 ● David Miller → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1974 ● DaBrat / (Shawta Harris) → Hard-edged MC/urban rapper, “Funkdafied” (#6, Rap #1, 1994), first female hip hop artist with a platinum selling record (Funkdafied, 1994)
1980 ● Win Butler → Lead vocalist and songwriter for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

April 15
1894 ● Bessie Smith → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and an inspiration to many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937, age 43
1933 ● Roy Clark / (Roy Linwood Clark) → Accomplished, multi-instrumentalist country superstar singer/songwriter with nine Country Top 10 albums and nine Country Top 10 hits, including “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, AC #6, Country #9, 1969), but best known as the affable, 23-year host of variety TV show Hee Haw, country music’s answer to the comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, Hee Haw brought him into millions of American homes each week, after 1990 toured lightly and collaborated occasionally until his death from complications of pneumonia on 11/15/2018, age 85
1935 ● Eliot Tiber / (Eliyahu Teichberg) → Abstract artist, interior designer and Catskill Mountains hotel owner credited with saving the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival by issuing a permit to hold the event in Bethel, NY after the nearby town of Wallkill revoked an earlier permit in July 1969, just weeks before the festival kick-off, became the subject of several books and the Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock (2009), died from complications of a stroke on 8/10/2016, age 81
1937 ● Bob Luman → Country, rockabilly and one hit wonder pop crossover singer, “Let’s Think About Livin'” (#7, Country #9, 1960) plus 20 other Country Top 40 hits, died from pneumonia on 12/27/1978, age 41
1939 ● Marty Wilde / (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1939 ● Ronald Dunbar → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, first at Motown Records with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team and later with their spin-off labels, co-wrote “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970) for the Chairmen Of The Board and “Band Of Gold (#3, 1970) for Freda Payne, co-wrote Grammy-winning “Patches” (#4, 1970) for Clarence Carter, moved to George Clinton‘s stable of funk artist and labels and managed artist development off and on for 20 years, then rejoined Eddie Holland in 1998 in his new R%B production company and worked with artists and groups until dying in a doctor’s office from undisclosed causes on 4/8/2018, age 78
1940 ● Satch Satchell / (Clarence Satchell) → Saxophone and guitar for R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975), died from a brain aneurysm on 12/30/1995, age 55
1944 ● Dave Edmunds → Roots-rock guitarist, vocals, songwriter, producer and bandleader for Love Sculpture, solo “I Hear You Knocking'” (#4, 1970), member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe
1947 ● Mike Chapman / (Michael Donald Chapman) → Australian-born songwriter and producer, created the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team with co-writer Nicky Chinn, wrote and produced UK Top 10 hits for Mud, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet, produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1947 ● Wooly Wolstenholme / (Stuart Wolstenholme) → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died on 12/13/2010, age 63
1948 ● Michael Kamen → American composer, arranger and orchestral arranger, collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Lethal Weapon (1987), co-scored Die Hard (1988) plus sequels and multiple other films, worked with Roger Waters, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and others, co-wrote Bryan Adams‘ ballad “(Everything I Do), I Do It for You” (#1, 1991), died from a heart attack on 11/18/2003, age 55
1962 ● Nick Kamen / (Ivor Neville Kamen) → Brit pop-rock model and pop-rock singer, “Each Time You Break My Heart” (UK #5, 1986)
1965 ● Linda Perry → Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocals for indie hard rock 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up?” (#11, 1993), went solo in 1995, wrote “Beautiful” (#2, 2002) for Christina Aguilera, plus other songs for Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Gavin Rossdale
1965 ● Oscar Harrison → Drummer for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1966 ● Graeme Clark → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox → Former pinup tart and teen Page 3 topless model turned pop singer, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” (#3, Dance #1, 1987)
1967 ● Frankie Poullian → Bassist for Brit hard/glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream #35, 2004)
1968 ● Edward John O’Brien → Guitarist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1980 ● Patrick Carney → Founding member and drummer for blues-rock The Black Keys, “Tighten Up” (Alt Rock #1, 2010), produced records for up-and-coming bands and founded independent label Eagle Rock Records

April 16
1924 ● Rudy Pompilli → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died of lung cancer on 2/5/1976, age 51
1924 ● Henry Mancini → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994, age 70
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969, age 40
1929 ● Ed Townsend → Award-winning soul singer and songwriter, wrote and produced the autobiographical Impressions hit “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” (#17, R&B #1, 1974), co-wrote with Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (#2, R&B #1, 1973), had his own hit with “For Your Love” (#13, R&B #7, 1958) and wrote songs for many other soul and pop artists through the 70s, died of a heart attack on 8/13/2003, age 74
1930 ● Herbie Mann / (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died from prostate cancer on 7/1/2003, age 73
1934 ● Robert Stigwood / (Robert Colin Stigwood) → Australian-born music executive and producer, founder of Robert Stigwood Organization and the RSO Records label, manager for supergroup Cream and disco-pop The Bee Gees, producer of stage shows Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the hit films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978) and Evita (1996) starring Madonna, died of natural causes on 1/4/2016, age 81
1935 ● Bobby Vinton / (Stanley Robert Vinton) → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield / (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999, age 59
1943 ● “Lonesome Dave” Peverett / (David Jack Peverett) → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000, age 56
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1945 ● Johnny Sandlin / (John Everett Sandlin) → Bandmate with brothers Duane and Gregg Allman in 60s rock Hour Glass, then joined Capricorn Records as a session musician, later engineered and produced albums for The Allman Brothers Band, including At Fillmore East (#13, 1971) and Eat A Peach (#4, 1972), also worked with Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs and Widespread Panic, died from cancer on 9/19/2017, age 72
1947 ● “The Bear” Kerslake / (Lee Kerslake) → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty / (Gerald Rafferty) → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure caused by acute alcoholism on 1/4/2011, age 63
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1953 ● Peter Garrett → Towering Australian musician, politician and activist, frontman and lead vocals from 1975 to 2002 for politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988) , the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 best albums of the 80s, served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little Jimmy” Osmond / (James Arthur Osmond) → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle / (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez, murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, age 23
1973 ● Akon / (Aliaune Thiam) → Senegalese-American R&B/hip hop artist, “I Wanna Love You” (#1, 2006) plus 10 other Top 40 hits, first artist of any genre to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 on two separate occasions, recorded as a guest on over 300 other Top 40 singles

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

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

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

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 07
1908 ● Percy Faith → Composer, bandleader, producer and easy listening/pop singer, “The Theme From A Summer Place” (#1, 1960), died of cancer on 2/9/1976, age 67
1912 ● Jack Lawrence → Hall of Fame songwriter and musical theater lyricist noted for songs that helped launch the careers of The Ink Spots (“If I Didn’t Care,” #2, 1939), Frank Sinatra (“All Or Nothing At All,” #2, 1943) and Bobby Darin (“By The Sea,” #6, 1959), wrote the song “Linda” for his friend Lee Eastman‘s daughter, who grew up to marry Paul McCartney, died from complications of a broken pelvis from a fall in his home on 3/16/2009, age 96
1915 ● Billie Holiday / (Eleanora Fagan Gough) → Known as “Lady Day”, hugely successful and revered jazz-blues singer, “Lady Sings The Blues” (1956), died from liver failure on 7/17/1959, age 44
1920 ● Ravi Shankar / (Rabindra Shankar Chowdery) → World-renowned Indian sitarist, mentor to George Harrison, music professor and university department head, member of Indian parliament, father of contemporary jazz-pop star Norah Jones, died from complications following heart valve replacement surgery on 12/11/2012, age 92
1922 ● Mongo Santamaria / (Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría Rodríguez) → Grammy-winning Cuban percussionist and Latin-jazz bandleader, “Watermelon Man” (#10, R&B #8, 1963), died following a stroke on 2/1/2003, age 80
1935 ● Bobby Bare → Country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All American Boy” (#2, 1959) and Grammy-winning “Detroit City” (#16, Adult Contemporary #4, 1963) plus over 50 Country Top 40 hits from 1964 to 1983
1937 ● Charlie Thomas → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Five Crowns, who changed their name in 1958 to The Drifters, “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964)
1938 ● Spencer Dryden → Drummer for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then country-folk-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, “Panama Red” (1973), died of cancer on 1/11/2005, age 66
1938 ● Freddie Hubbard / (Frederick Dewayne Hubbard) → Renowned jazz/be bop NEA Jazz Master trumpeter with a Grammy-winning album (First Light, 1972) which led to accusations of commercial sell-out, performed in numerous collaborations with George Benson, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine and many others, died from a heart attack on 11/26/2008, age 70
1943 ● Mick Abrahams / (Michael Timothy Abrahams) → Original lead guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left after a falling-out with bandleader Ian Anderson, formed blues-rock Blodwyn Pig that released two charting albums in the early 70s
1943 ● Alan Buck → Drummer for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the U.S., died from a heart attack on 3/15/1994, age 50
1947 ● Florian Schneider-Esleben → Drums and keyboards for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● Patricia Bennett → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963)
1947 ● Skip Pitts / (Charles Pitts) → Soul, funk and blues guitarist, “wah-wah” style innovator, session musician with Stax Records, performed with Isaac Hayes (soundtrack album Shaft, 1971), also worked with James Brown, Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper and others, died of cancer on 5/1/2012, age 65
1948 ● Carol Douglas → Disco diva with the early dance-pop/disco hit “Doctor’s Orders” (#11, Disco #2, 1975) and several other Dance/Club chart singles but little commercial success, continued to perform in clubs into the 90s
1948 ● Dallas Taylor, Jr. → Session drummer for John Sebastian and with Lowell George in pre-Little Feat folk-rock The Factory, founding member of 60s psych rock Clear Light (“Mr. Blue,” 1967), joined Crosby, Stills & Nash for their debut album (1969) and their follow-up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (1970), played with Stephen Stills on his solo albums and with his band Manassas, toured with Paul Butterfield‘s band in the late 70s, died from liver failure on 1/18/2015, age 66
1949 ● John Oates → Singer/songwriter and one half of Philly soul-pop-rock duo Hall & Oates, “Private Eyes” (#1, 1981), plus 20 other Top 20 hits
1949 ● Wells Kelly → Multi-instrumentalist musician, early member of pop-rock King Harvest (his brother Sherman wrote the hit “Dancing In The Moonlight” – #1, 1973) and co-founder of pop-rock Orleans (“Still The One,” #5, 1976), toured with Steve Forbert, Clarence Clemons and Meat Loaf in the early 80s, found dead on the front steps of a London flat after a night of partying during a tour on 10/29/1984, age 35
1950 ● Steve Ellis / (Stephen John Ellis) → Vocals for London-based R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, left in 1969 for a marginal solo career and stints with various Brit rock bands, still records and performs with The New Amen Corner into the 10s
1951 ● Janis Ian / (Janis Eddy Fink) → Grammy-winning, often controversial singer/songwriter, first hit was at age 16, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” (#14, 1967), then “At Seventeen” (#3, 1975)
1951 ● Bruce Gary → Drummer for power pop The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979), worked with Albert Collins, Jack Bruce, Dr. John in the 70s and Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yoko Ono, Bette Midler and others, and as a producer before dying of lymphoma on 8/22/2006, age 55
1960 ● Simon Climie → Songwriter and member of the Brit pop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988), lately collaborating with Eric Clapton
1962 ● Barbara Kessler → Folk-pop singer and songwriter (“Deep Country,” 1994)
1978 ● Duncan James / (Duncan Matthew James Inglis) → Actor, TV host and singer with Brit boy band Blue, “If You Come Back” (UK #1, 2002), solo

April 08
1896 ● Yip Harburg / (Edgar Yipsel Harburg) → One of the top Broadway and Hollywood lyricists of the 30s and 40s, wrote the lyrics to multiple pop standards, including “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” (1932), co-wrote the songs to The Wizard Of Oz and the Oscar-winning “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1939), died from a heart attack on 3/5/1981, age 84
1914 ● Irving Taylor / (Irving Goldberg) → Composer, lyricist and screenwriter known for his late 50s whimsical novelty and parody songs, and for co-writing “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Dean Martin, #1, 1964) which improbably knocked The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night” off Billboard’s top spot, also wrote for Bob Newhart and Jonathan Winters on their TV show scripts, died on 12/3/1983, age 69
1920 ● Carmen McRae → Pianist, songwriter and versatile jazz singer, worked with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, recorded over 60 albums and was a seven-time Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Performance – Female, received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 1994, continued to tour and perform until just before her death following a stroke on 11/10/1994, age 74
1929 ● Jacques Brel → Internationally acclaimed Belgian singer and songwriter whose compositions have been interpreted by Marc Almond, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, sold over 25 million records worldwide, all in French, died of cancer 10/9/1978, age 49
1941 ● J.J. Jackson / (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul singer and organist, “But It’s Alright” (#22, R&B #4, 1966)
1941 ● Peggy Lennon / (Margaret Anne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 1999 and was replaced by her younger sister, Mimi
1942 ● Chappo Chapman / (Roger Chapman) → Co-frontman and lead vocals for Brit art/blues-rock Family, then hard blues-rock Streetwalkers, now solo
1942 ● Leon Huff → With partner Kenny Gamble in the famed Philadelphia songwriting and production team of Gamble & Huff, crafted the “Philly soul” sound as the founders and chief creative team for Motown-rival Philadelphia International Records, wrote and produced dozens of hits from “Expressway To Your Heart” (The Soul Survivors, #4, R&B #3, 1967) to “Love Train” (The O’Jays, #1, R&B #1, 1872) and “Close the Door” (Teddy Pendergrass, #25, R&B #1, 1978), after the disco era the shine on the label faded but the two continue to write into the 10s
1944 ● Keef Hartley → Drummer for Brit beat group Rory Storm & The Hurricanes (replaced Ringo Starr), then blues-rock John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then founded jazz-pop-rock fusion Keef Hartley Band and was the first British act to appear at Woodstock, died from unspecified causes on 11/26/2011, age 67
1944 ● Deke Richards / (Dennis Lussier) → Songwriter and record producer, part of the Motown songwriting team known as “The Clan” and later “The Corporation,” co-wrote multiple hits for several Motown bands, most importantly bubblegum-soul The Jackson 5 including “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), “ABC” (#1, 1970), retired to operate a vintage movie poster business and died from esophageal cancer on 3/24/2013, age 68
1947 ● Steve Howe → Lead guitarist in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971) and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), then pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), also Bodast, GTR, the Syndicats and Tomorrow
1947 ● Larry Norman → Musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner and pioneer of Christian rock music with a catalogue of over 100 albums despite an often contentious relationship with the Christian church and the Christian music industry, his long hair and radical social themes kept his records out of Bible stores for much of his career, died from complications of long-term heart ailments on 2/27/2008, age 60
1956 ● Justin Sullivan → Frontman, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1962 ● Adam Mole → Keyboards for “grebo” dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1962 ● Izzy Stradlin / (Jeffrey Isbell) → Guitarist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), also fronted the Ju Ju Hounds
1962 ● Jem Kelly → Guitars for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983)
1963 ● Donita Sparks → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1963 ● Julian Lennon → Guitarist and singer/songwriter, pop-rock “Too Late For Goodbyes” (#11, 1984), son of John and only child of his first wife Cynthia
1964 ● Biz Markie / (Marcel Theo Hall) → Freestyle rhymer/rapper, “Just A Friend” (#9, Rap #5, 1989)
1971 ● Darren Jessee → Drummer for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (Modern Rock #6, 1998)
1972 ● The Pig / (Paul Dedrick Gray) → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), died from an accidental drug overdose on 5/24/2010, age 38
1975 ● Anouk Teeuwe → Dutch pop-rock singer, “Nobody’s Wife” (1997)
1984 ● Ezra Koenig → Lead singer and rhythm guitar for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

April 09
1932 ● Carl Perkins → The “King of Rockabilly,” singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2, 1955), died from throat cancer on 1/19/1998, age 65
1938 ● “Rockin'” Sidney Simien / (Sidney Simien) → Grammy-winning Cajun/swamp blues and zydeco singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, one hit wonder crossover phenomenon “My Toot Toot” (Country #19, 1985), zydeco’s first international hit, died of throat cancer on 2/25/1998, age 59
1943 ● Terry Knight / (Richard Terrance Knapp) → Producer, promote, radio DJ and later manager for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973) and Bloodrock, “D.O.A.” (#76, 1978), died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by his teenage daughter’s boyfriend during an argument on 11/1/2004, age 61
1944 ● Emil Stucchio → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● Les Gray / (Thomas Leslie Gray) → Vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), died from throat cancer on 2/21/2004, age 57
1948 ● Phillip Wright → Drummer and lead vocals for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1948 ● Chico Ryan / (David Allen Ryan) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died on 7/26/1998, age 50
1950 ● Peter Wood → Keyboardist for folk-pop-rock Quiver and The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver (“Arms Of Mary,” #81, UK #5, 1976), later worked with Al Stewart, with whom he co-wrote “Year Of The Cat” (#8, 1977), and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in the backing band for The Wall concerts in 1980-81, died in December 1994, age 44
1961 ● Mark Kelly → Keyboards for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1969 ● Kevin Martin → Lead vocals for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1977 ● Gerard Way → Vocals for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1978 ● Rachel Stevens → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1980 ● Albert L. Hammond, Jr. → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1987 ● Jesse McCartney → Teen TV actor (All My Children), then dance-pop boy band Dream Street, solo, “Beautiful Soul” (#16, 2006)

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

April 11
1934 ● Cleotha Staples → Eldest sibling in influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 2/21/2013, age 78
1935 ● Richard Berry → R&B/ballad and novelty singer/songwriter and backing vocalist, wrote and recorded “Louie Louie” in 1956 (became a #2 hit and subsequent garage rock classic for The Kingsmen in 1962), died from heart failure on 1/23/1997, age 61
1939 ● Freddie Gorman / (Frederick Cortez Gorman) → Versatile Motown Records singer, songwriter and producer in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (#1, R&B #1, 1961) and a dozen others, member of session group The Originals which also had string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died of lung cancer on 6/13/2006, age 67
1943 ● Tony Victor → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering Bob” Harris / (Robert Brinley Joseph Harris) → Iconic BBC Radio 2 DJ and TV host, including the long running contemporary music show The Old Grey Whistle Test and current twice-weekly rock music program
1950 ● Tom Hill → Bassist for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Fox → Guitarist and lead singer for punk/dub reggae/club and Rock Against Racism-supporting quartet The Ruts, “Babylon’s Burning” (UK #7, 1979), continued with various post-punk and revival bands through to his death from lung cancer on 10/21/2007, age 56
1956 ● Neville Staples → Vocals for 2 Tone Records multiracial ska band The Specials, “Ghost Town” (#1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy 3, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), frontman for The Neville Staple Band
1958 ● Stuart Adamson / (William Stuart Adamson) → Guitar and vocals for Scottish art-punk-rock The Skids, “Into The Valley,” UK #10, 1979), then for art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country,” #17, Mainstream Rock #3, UK #17, 1983), suffered from alcoholism and hanged himself in a Honolulu hotel room on 12/16/2001, age 43
1961 ● Doug Hopkins → Co-founder, lead guitarist and chief songwriter for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), committed suicide on 12/5/1993, age 32
1965 ● Nigel Pulsford → Founding member and original lead guitarist for alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995), left in 2002 to spend time with his family
1966 ● Lisa Stansfield → English singer/songwriter, first as lead vocals for pop-rock Blue Zone UK, “Jackie” (#54, Dance/Club #37, 1988), then solo “All Around The World” (#3, 1989)
1969 ● Cerys Elizabeth Philip Matthews → Vocals for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1970 ● Delroy Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1970 ● Dylan Keefe → Bass and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1971 ● Ollie Riedel / (Oliver Riedel) → Bassist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1978 ● Tom Thacker → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1979 ● Chris Gaylor → Drums and percussion for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Joss Stone / (Jocelyn Eve Stoker) → Blue-eyed Brit R&B/neo-soul singer, released first album at age 16, first hit at 17, “Fell In Love With A Boy” (, 2004), Grammy-winner in 2007 with John Legend and Van Hunt for cover of Sly & The Family Stone‘s “Family Affair”

April 12
1916 ● Russell Garcia → Composer and arranger for NBC Radio, MGM Studios, Warner Bros. and Disney on soundtracks from classic movies (The Time Machine, 1960) to TV shows (Rawhide, 1962), orchestra conductor for Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Judy Garland and others, bandleader with the acclaimed, spooky and innovative Fantastica: Music From Out Space (1959), relocated to New Zealand in the 60s and led the country’s national symphony orchestra, died following a fall on 11/19/2011, age 95
1917 ● Helen Forrest / (Helen Fogel) → Extremely popular jazz-swing-pop “girl singer” of the Big Band era, performed with Benny Goodman, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Artie Shaw and as a solo artist, charted dozens of Top 40 singles and seven #1 hits, including “Taking A Chance On Love” (#1, 1943), died from heart failure on 7/11/1999, age 82
1919 ● Billy Vaughn → Saxophonist, orchestra leader and arranger with more Top 40 hits during the early rock ‘n’ roll era than any other orchestra, including “Sail Along Silvery Moon” (#5, 1957), musical director for Dot Records and artists such as Pat Boone and the Fontane Sisters in the 60s and recorded over 30 albums of mainstream instrumental covers, retired in the 80s and died from mesothelioma on 9/26/1991, age 72
1925 ● Prentiss Barnes → Bass vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows (“Sincerely,” R&B #1, 1955), received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1995, died in a car accident on 10/1/2006, age 81
1925 ● Ned Miller / (Henry Ned Miller) → Shy, unassuming country crooner and songwriter whose stage fright caused him to stop touring and eventually quit songwriting, but not until he penned 11 charting Country hits for himself, including the huge crossover single “From A Jack To A King” (#6, Country #2, 1962) plus numerous hits for others, including Hank Snow, Gale Storm and Ricky Van Shelton, left the music business in the late 60s and faded into obscurity, died of natural causes on 3/18/2016, age 90
1930 ● Carole Lindsay Young → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956), died 8/20/2006, age 76
1933 ● Tiny Tim / (Herbert Khaury) → Warbling singer and ukulele-strumming, 60s flash-in-the-pan novelty act, “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” (#17, 1968), married Victoria Mae “Miss Vicki” Budinger on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show on 1217/1969, died of a heart attack on stage on 11/30/1996, age 63
1940 ● Herbie Hancock / (Herbert Jeffrey Hancock) → Renowned jazz fusion keyboardist with Miles Davis and Chick Corea, solo “Chameleon” (1973), composed film soundtracks
1944 ● John Kay / (Joachim Krauledat) → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Lois Reeves / (Sandra Delores Reeves) → Joined sister Martha’s Motown R&B/soul-pop group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in 1967 to replace Betty Kelly, “Jimmy Mack” (#11, R&B #1, 1967)
1949 ● Donald Ray Mitchell → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989)
1950 ● David Cassidy / (David Bruce Cassidy) → TV, stage and screen actor and singer, portrayed Keith Partridge, the teen idol oldest son of real-life stepmother Shirley Jones, in the pre-fab TV show and sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970), followed with a 40-year career as an international adult pop music star (“How Can I Be Sure,” #25, AC #3, UK #1, 1972) and TV actor, died from liver failure on 11/21/2017, age 67
1951 ● Alexander Briley → Vocals (and the Army G. I. character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1954 ● Pat Travers → Canadian bluesy hard rock guitarist, singer and bandleader for the Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981) and solo
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer → German film actor (Das Boot, 1981) and film score composer, now successful pop-rocker, “Mensch” (German #1, 2002)
1957 ● Vince Gill / (Vincent Grant Gill) → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League (“Amie,” (#27, 1973) from 1978 to 1982, left for a successful solo career with 18 Country Music Assoc. awards, 21 Grammy awards, 16 Country Top 10 albums and 40 charting hits, including “I Still Believe In You” (AC #30, Country #1, 1993), married to singer Amy Grant since 2000
1958 ● Will Sergeant → Guitarist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Art Alexakis → Frontman, guitars, lead vocals and principal songwriter for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1964 ● Amy Ray → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1965 ● Sean Welch → Bassist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1967 ● Mellow Man Ace / (Ulpiano Sergio Reyes) → Cuban-born rapper and house music singer (“Mentirosa,” #14, 1990), brother of Sen Dog
1967 ● Sarah Cracknell → Frontwoman and lead vocals for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum → Vocals and rhythm guitar for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996)
1974 ● Shakir Stewart → Record label executive noted for signing Beyoncé to Hitco Music, Ciara to LaFace Records and Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records, where he was Executive Vice President until his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on 11/1/2008, age 34
1978 ● Guy Berryman → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1980 ● Bryan McFadden → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits, now solo and judge on Australia’s Got Talent TV show
1987 ● Brendon Urie → Lead singer, guitar and piano for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

April 13
1926 ● Cosimo Matassa / (Cosimo Vincent Matassa) → Early rock ‘n’ roll recording engineer credited with creating the “New Orleans Sound” from his studio near the French Quarter through recordings for Fats Domino (“The Fat Man,” R&B #2, 1950) and Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti,” #17, 1956), and later albums by Ray Charles, Dr. John and others, including 21 gold records, retired in the 80s and died from natural causes on 9/11/2014, age 88
1934 ● Horace Kay → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1936 ● Rashad Feild / (Richard Timothy Feild) → Vocals and guitar with Dusty Springfield and her brother in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), now Sufi mystic and spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers → Lead vocals, harmonica and percussion for bi-racial psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Bill Conti → Prolific film and TV score composer, best known for the Rocky movie series, wrote and directed “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), theme song from Rocky, orchestra conductor for the Academy Awards
1943 ● Guy Stevens → Label executive, producer and band manager, early figure at Island Records and the Britbeat and blues scenes in the 60s, managed Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, UK #1, 1967) and mentored Mott The Hoople (“All the Young Dudes, #37, UK #3, 1972), produced albums for <strongFree
and Spooky Tooth plus the punk classic London Calling (1978) for The Clash, died from a prescription drug overdose on 8/29/1981, age 38
1944 ● Jack Casady / (John William Casady) → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1944 ● Brian Pendleton → Original rhythm guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964), died of lung cancer on 5/15/2001, age 57
1945 ● Lowell George → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, frontman for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), solo, died of an accidental drug overdose on 6/29/1979, age 34
1946 ● Al Green / (Albert Greene) → Southern R&B and gospel singer, “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, 1972), #65 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1946 ● Roy Loney → Founding member, wild frontman and lead vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, left for mostly quiet solo career in 1971
1948 ● Peter Sweval / (Piet Sweval) → Co-founder and bassist for the band the eventually became one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass (“Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” #1, 1972), later joined pop/metal Starz (“Cherry Baby,” #33, 1977), died from cancer on 1/23/1990, age 41
1951 ● Max Weinberg → Drummer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, frontman for Max Weinberg 7 (house band for TV’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien), author of 1991 book The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Greatest Drummers
1951 ● Peabo Bryson / (Robert Peabo Bryson) → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, duet with Roberta Flack “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (1983) plus solo, “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (#10, 1984)
1954 ● Jimmy Destri / (James Mollica) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Louis Johnson → Bass and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Brothers Johnson, “Strawberry Letter 23” (#, R&B #1, 1977), session musician for renowned producer Quincy Jones, played on Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous albums and recorded five solo LPs of gospel and funk music, died in his Las Vegas home on 5/21/2015
1957 ● Wayne Lewis → Lead singer and keyboards for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Butch Taylor / (Clarence Frederick Taylor) → Keyboards for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1961 ● Hiro Yamamoto → Founding member and original bassist for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), left in 1991 to form three piece indie rock/neo psychedelia Truly
1962 ● Hillel Slovak → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), died from a heroin overdose 6/25/1988, age 26
1966 ● Marc Ford → Lead guitarist for roots/raunch rock Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), solo
1972 ● Aaron Lewis → Vocals for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1975 ● Lou Bega / (David Lubega) → German-born, Italian and Ugandan-descended dance-pop Latino-tinged singer, “Mambo No. 5” (#3, 1999)
1979 ● Tony Lundon → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

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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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