Posts Tagged pop music birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (July 29 – August 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

July 29
1916 ● Charlie Christian → Swing and jazz guitarist, early and important electric guitar performer, played with Benny Goodman, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and others, died from tuberculosis on 3/2/1942, age 25
1918 ● Frank Miller → Guitar and vocals in influential but unheralded 50s folk trio The Easy Riders, co-wrote their big hit, the oft-covered “Marianne” (#3, 1957) and continued to write and record as a solo artist and in groups with other folk luminaires until retirement in the late 60s
1923 ● Jim Marshall / (James Charles Marshall) → The “Father of Loud” and pioneer of guitar amplification with iconic products used by Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and countless others from garage bands to superstars, often in a “Marshall stack” or wall of black, vinyl-clad cabinets mounted one atop the other, founded and led his company, Marshall Amplification well into his eighties, now considered one of the four major contributors to the development of rock music equipment along with Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover, died from cancer on 4/5/2012, age 88
1930 ● Jim Stewart → Part-time country music fiddler who co-founded Stax Records in Memphis with his sister, Estelle Axton, and recorded and published some of the top Southern soul and Memphis soul acts of the 60s and 70s, including house band Booker T. & The MG’s, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Staple Singers and many others
1933 ● Randy Sparks / (Lloyd A. Sparks) → Folk and pop musician and founder of iconic folk revival band The New Christy Minstrels (“Green, Green,” #14, AC #3, 1963), the group had 12 charting albums in the 60s, including the Grammy-winning Introducing The New Christy Minstrels (#19, 1962), still leads and performs with the band into the 10s
1938 ● Marvin Ingram / (Marvin Inabnett) → Founding member and high tenor singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, left the group in 1966 and died on 3/7/1999, age 60
1946 ● Neal Doughty → Co-founder, songwriter, keyboards and only constant member of arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1947 ● Carlo Santanna → Guitar for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1953 ● Geddy Leee / (Gary Lee Weinrib) → Bassist, lead vocals and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles
1953 ● Patty Scialfa / (Vivienne Patricia Scialfa) → Backing vocals for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, solo, wife of The Boss since 6/8/1991
1959 ● John Sykes → Guitarist for Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy (1982-83), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), then formed hard rock Blue Murder, solo
1962 ● Martin McCarrick → Guitar for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1966 ● Martina McBride / (Martina Mariea Schiff) → Grammy-winning country/country-pop singer and songwriter known as the “Celine Dion of Country Music, charted twenty Country Top 10, seven Top 40 and five Adult Contemporary hits through 2016, including “I Love You” (#24, Country #1, AC #1, 1999)
1966 ● Miles Hunt → Frontman, guitar and vocals for alt rock The Wonder Stuff, “Welcome To The Cheap Seats” (Modern Rock #28, UK #8, 1992), TV host
1967 ● Chris Gorman → Drummer for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993), now a commercial photographer
1972 ● Simon Jones → Bassist for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998)
1973 ● Wanya Jermaine Morris → Lead vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1977 ● Danger Mouse / (Brian Joseph Burton) → Multi-instrumentalist musician, Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, released the mashup album The Grey Album in 2004 combining The BeatlesWhite Album (1968) with rapper Jay-Z‘s The Black Album (2003), co-founded alt. neo-soul Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (#2, 2006), produced albums for Gorillaz, Beck, The Black Keys and U2

July 30
1926 ● Christine McGuire → Vocals for immensely popular sibling singing trio the McGuire Sisters, “Sugartime” (#1, 1958)
1936 ● Buddy Guy / (George Guy) → Pioneering and highly influential Chicago blues guitarist and singer, “Stone Crazy” (R&B #12, 1962), #30 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1938 ● Kookie Byrnes / (Edward Byrne Breitenberger) → TV actor (played the character Gerald Lloyd Kookson III on 77 Sunset Strip) and one hit wonder novelty-pop singer, “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb” (#4, 1959), a take-off from his character’s constant combing of his pompadour
1940 ● Big Jack Johnson / (Jack N. Johnson) → Contemporary Delta blues guitarist, songwriter and bandleader with a dozen critically acclaimed electric blues albums, many with social activism themes, died from an undisclosed illness on 3/14/2001, age 60
1941 ● Paul Anka → Canadian-born teen idol/contemporary pop/easy listening crooner and songwriter, “Lonely Boy” (#1, 1959), wrote the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Tom Jones‘ “She’s A Lady” (#2, 1971) and the lyrics to Frank Sinatra‘s “My Way” (#11, 1969)
1944 ● Chris Darrow → Highly-skilled and sought-after multi-instrumentalist L.A. session musician, co-founded 60s American eclectic folk-rock cult band Kaleidoscope, replaced Jackson Browne in country-rock the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (“Mr. Bojangles,” #9, 1971), worked in Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, recorded several solo albums and did studio work for James Taylor, Helen Reddy and many others, continues to record and produce folk- and country-rock music into the 10s
1945 ● David Sanborn → Influential jazz-pop saxophonist with the blues-rock The Butterfield Blues Band, jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), Grammy-winning solo career, “Bang Bang” (#53, Adult Contemporary #23, 1992), session work for David Bowie, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and others
1946 ● Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond → Early bass guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left the band in 1975 to return to his avocation, painting, but made several appearances with the band over the decades
1949 ● Hugh Nicholson → Guitarist and songwriter for Scottish freakbeat/psych-pop The Poets, “She Blew A Good Thing” (#45, R&B #2, 1966), then Scottish pop-rock Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970) and pop-rock Blue, “Gonna Capture Your Heart” (#88, UK #18, 1977)
1949 ● Joyce Jones → Singer for Philly R&B/disco female vocal group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1956 ● Phil Fearon → Jamaican-born guitarist and singer for R&B/funk-pop Galaxy, “Dancing Tight” (1983), independent label record company executive
1957 ● David Joseph → Keyboards and lead vocals for North London-based R&B/disco-funk boy band Hi-Tension, “British Hustle” (UK #8, 1978)
1957 ● Rat Scabies / (Chris Millar) → Founding member and drummer for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo and collaborations
1958 ● Kate Bush / (Catherine Bush) → Hugely successful Brit alt pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Wuthering Heights” (UK #1, 1978) and “Love And Anger” (Modern Rock #1, UK #38, 1990)
1959 ● Vaughn Toulouse / (Vaughn Cotillard) → Lead vocals for New Wave ska-pop Department S, “Is Vic There?” (#67, UK #22, 1981), died from AIDS related illness on 8/22/1991, age 32
1963 ● Tex Axile / (Anthony Doughty) → Keyboards for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1966 ● Jyoti Mishra → India-born frontman, composer and multi-instrumentalist for one man band, one hit wonder alt dance-pop White Town, “Your Woman” (#23, UK #1, 1997)
1968 ● Louise Wener → Vocals for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1968 ● Sean Moore → Drummer for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● MC Trouble / (LaTasha Sheron Rogers) → First female rapper signed to Motown Records, issued one album and a minor hit (“(I Wanna) Make You Mine,” Rap #15, 1990), while recording her second album died in her sleep from heart failure during an epileptic seizure on 6/4/1991, age 20
1971 ● Brad Hargreaves → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life” (#4, 1997)
1977 ● Ian Watkins → Singer for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1980 ● Seth Avett → With brother Scott, frontman and guitarist in progressive folk-rock quartet The Avett Brothers (Ain’t No Man,” AAA #1, Alt Rock #28, 2016)

July 31
1923 ● Ahmet Ertegun → Turkish immigrant who co-founded and became chief executive of Atlantic Records, a dominant force in jazz, R&B and pop/rock and a prime force in moving Black American music into the mainstream, fell and struck his head on a concrete floor backstage at a Rolling Stones benefit concert for the Clinton Foundation and died seven weeks later on 12/14/2006, age 83
1931 ● Kenny Burrell / (Kenneth Earl Burrell) → Bebop, cool jazz and electric blues guitarist with dozens of solo albums and multiple collaborations with Lena Horne, B. B. King, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Smith and many others, currently professor and Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA‘s Herb Alpert School of Music
1932 ● Morey Carr → Vocals for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1938 ● Bonnie Brown / (Bonnie Jean Brown) → Vocals for 50s-60s country-folk smooth harmony sibling trio The Browns (“The Three Bells,” #1, Country #1, 1959), retired from the music business in 1967 and died from lung cancer on 7/16/2016, age 77
1939 ● John West → Electric organ (“Cordovox”) for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1942 ● Daniel Boone / (Peter Charles Green) → Britbeat pop singer with a number of minor hits in the 60s as lead vocals for The Beachcombers and The Bruisers, or as a solo artist with the pseudonyms Peter Stirling and Lee Stirling, then became one hit wonder pop-rock singer with “Beautiful Sunday” (#15, UK #21, 1972)
1943 ● Lobo / (Roland Kent Lavoie) → Country-folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with several AM Top 40 hits in the 70s, including “Me And You And A Dog Named Boo” (#5, AC #1, UK #4, 1971) and “I’d Love You To Want Ne” (#2, AC #1, UK #5, 1972), continued to tour and record into the 10s
1946 ● Gary Lewis / (Gary Harold Lee Levitch) → Frontman, drums and vocals for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968, son of comedian/actor Jerry Lewis
1947 ● Karl Green → Guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1. 1965)
1951 ● Carlo Karges → Guitarist for German pop-rock band Nena, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984)
1953 ● Hugh McDowell → Cello for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1957 ● Daniel Ash → Guitarist for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979) and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989) , solo
1958 ● Bill Berry → Drummer for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), left the band in 1997 to work his hay farm in Georgia
1960 ● Malcolm Ross → Guitarist for Scot New Wave pop-rock Aztec Camera, “The Crying Scene” (Modern Rock #3, 1990)
1963 ● Fatboy Slim / (Norman Quentin Leo Cook) → Bassist for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), DJ and remixer for electronic dance-pop Beats International, “Dub Be Good To Me” (Dance/Pop #1, 1990), founder of acid jazz Freak Power, “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out” (UK #29, 1993), dance-pop Pizzaman and Brit-hop producer and solo artist, “The Rockafeller Skank” (#72, UK #6, 1998)
1964 ● Fuzz Townsend / (Robert Townsend) → Drummer for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1964 ● Jim Corr → With three sisters, guitars and keyboards in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1971 ● John 5 / (John Lowery) → Guitarist for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), five solo instrumental guitar albums, sessions for Garbage, Meat Loaf, Ozzy Osbourne and Lynyrd Skynyrd
1978 ● Will Champion → Drummer for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1981 ● M. Shadows / (Matthew Sanders) → Lead vocalist and songwriter for pop/metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)

August 01
1898 ● Morris Stoloff → Violinist, composer and arranger, wrote and performed “Moonglow” (#1, 1956), the love theme from the film Picnic (1956), arranged film scores for several other movies, including Lawrence Of Arabia (1962), died 4/16/1980, age 81
1929 ● Samuel Charters → Grammy-winning music historian, record producer, musician, poet and widely published author of books on blues and jazz music, his first book, The Country Blues (1959) and accompanying album of the same name are credited with inspiring the folk music revival of the early 60s and injecting forgotten blues artists into the consciousness of dozens of blues-rock artists like The Allman Brothers Band, Cream and The Rolling Stones, died from bone marrow cancer on 3/18/2015, age 85
1930 ● Lionel Bart / (Lionel Begleiter) → Brit pop music songwriter and musical composer, best known for writing the theme song to the James Bond film From Russia With Love (1966) and the hit musical Oliver!, wrote commercial jingles and staged other musicals until his death from cancer on 4/3/1999, age 68
1931 ● Ramblin’ Jack Elliott / (Elliot Charles Adnopoz) → Influential country-folk guitarist, one time protégé of folk legend Woody Guthrie, played in Bob Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder Revue and with Pete Seeger, Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead and others, Grammy-winning blues album A Stranger Here in 2009
1941 ● Rock Scully / (Rock Robert Scully) → San Francisco rock promoter and manager for psych/folk rock/jam band Grateful Dead (“Truckin’,” #64, 1970) from 1965 to 1985, during which he negotiated the band’s first contract with Warner Brothers and helped orchestrate the transformation from a loose folk and bluegrass outfit to one of rock music’s most memorable and enduring acts, died from lung cancer on 12/16/2014, age 73
1942 ● Jerry Garcia / (Jerome John Garcia) → Founding member, lead guitarist, vocals, songwriter and de facto frontman for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), solo and various collaborations, died from a drug-related heart attack on 8/9/1995, age 53
1946 ● Boz Burrell / (Raymond Burrell) → Bassist for prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), founding member of hard rock supergroup Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), died following a heart attack on 9/21/2006, age 60
1947 ● Rick Anderson → Bassist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1947 ● Rick Coonce → Drummer for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968), left the band in 1971 and moved to Canada to become a farmer and social worker, died from heart failure on 2/25/2011, age 63
1949 ● Jim Carroll → Author, poet, punk rock bandleader, “People Who Died” (#51, 1980), wrote the autobiography The Basketball Diaries, which became a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio (1995), died from a heart attack on 9/11/2009, ager 60
1951 ● Tim Bachman → With his brothers Randy and Robbie, guitarist for Canadian hard rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974), left in 1974 to pursue a music production career
1951 ● Tommy Bolin → Underrated and short-lived blues-rock guitarist, first with hard rock Zephyr, then with jazz-rock fusion drummer Billy Cobham on the classic Spectrum album, replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang, joined Deep Purple in 1972 to replace Ritchie Blackmore, left for solo career, died of a heroin overdose on 12/4/1976, age 25
1953 ● Robert Cray → Grammy-winning contemporary blues guitarist and vocalist , “Smoking Gun” (#22, Mainstream Rock #2, 1986)
1958 ● Michael Penn → Late-80s pop/rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “No Myth” (#13, 1989), brother of actor Sean Penn
1958 ● Robert Buck → Guitarist and songwriter with folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992), also played in folk-pop John & Mary with other bandmates, died from liver disease on 12/19/2000, age 42
1959 ● Joe Elliott → Vocals for hard rock/Brit New Wave of Heavy Metal band Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), formed hard rock Down ‘N’ Outz in 2009
1960 ● Chuck D. / (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) → Rapper and vocals for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989), author, producer
1960 ● Suzi Gardner → Guitar and vocals for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1963 ● Coolio / (Artis Leon Ivey, Jr.) → Musician, reality TV show actor, producer and rapper, “Gangsta’s Paradise” (#1, 1995)
1964 ● Adam Duritz → Piano, guitar, vocals, songwriting and frontman for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), solo, producer and record company executive
1964 ● Nick Christian Sayer → Guitarist for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1968 ● Dan Donegan → Guitarist for Chicago-based heavy metal Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1970 ● Kenwyn House → Guitar for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1978 ● Dhani Harrison → Guitarist and son of George Harrison, completed his father’s final album, Brainwashed, after his death in 2001, now founder, lead guitar and vocals for alt rock Thenewno2
1981 ● Ashley Angel / (Ashley Ward Parker) → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

August 02
1935 ● Hank Cochran / (Garland Perry “Hank” Cochran) → Country-pop music songwriter with seven charting hits of his own in the 60s-80s but better known for penning hits for Patsy Cline (“I Fall To Pieces,” #12, AC #6, Country #1, 1961) and Eddy Arnold (“Make The World Go Away,” #6, AC #1, Country #1, 1965), and songs covered by dozens of artists, including Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt and Norah Jones, died from pancreatic cancer on 7/15/2010, age 75
1937 ● Garth Hudson / (Eric Garth Hudson) → Canadian organist, keyboardist and saxophonist for seminal roots rockers The Band, “Chest Fever” (1968), sessions and solo
1939 ● Edward Patten → Vocals in R&B/soul-pop family quartet Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1941 ● Doris Coley / (Doris Coley Kenner-Jackson) → Vocals for first 60s girl-group to achieve national prominence, The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of breast cancer 2/4/2000, age 58
1941 ● Andrew Steele → Drummer for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), then Scottish folk-pop-rock Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle With You” (#6, 1973), died 4/18/2005, age 63
1943 ● Kathy 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, continues to record and perform as a trio in the 10s
1946 ● John Fleck / (John Fleckenstein) → Bass guitarist (1965-1966) for influential garage/psych rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), then briefly with garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966)
1948 ● Andrew Fairweather Low → Welsh roots rock guitarist, songwriter and singer, founding member of early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), then frontman for hard rock Fair Weather, “Natural Sinner” (UK #6, 1970), solo and sessions plus backing bands for The Who, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bill Wyman and others
1949 ● “Fat Larry” James / (Larry E. James) → Drummer, singer and frontman for R&B/soul-funk Fat Larry’s Band, “Act Like You Know” (Dance/Club #24, 1982), died on 12/5/1987 of a heart attack
1950 ● Ted Turner / (David Alan Turner) → Dual lead guitar and vocals for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972), session work for George Harrison, Billy Preston, Al Stewart and others
1951 ● Joe Lynn Turner / (Joseph Linquito) → Guitar, vocals for hard rock Fandango, joined Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow in 1981 as lead vocalist, “Stone Cold” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982), left in 1985 for solo career, “Endlessly” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1985), joined Deep Purple briefly, “King Of Dreams” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990), solo
1951 ● Andrew Gold → Pop and light rock (L. A. sound) singer/songwriter, “Lonely Boy” (#7, 1977), session musician for James Taylor, Carly Simon, Nicolette Larson and others, died in his sleep on 6/3/2011, age 59
1953 ● Donnie Munro / (Donaidh Rothach) → Lead guitar and vocals for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), solo
1957 ● Butch Vig / (Bryan Vigorson) → Founding member and drummer for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996), recording engineer and producer for Nirvana‘s Nevermind album (1991), Sonic Youth, The Smashing PumpkinsGish (1991), L7, Soul Asylum and others
1957 ● Mojo Nixon / (Neill Kirby McMillan, Jr.) → Satirical comedy/novelty singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child” (Modern Rock #16, 1989)
1959 ● Johnny Kemp → Bahamian R&B/dance-pop singer, songwriter and session vocalist whose biggest hit, “Just Got Paid” (#10, R&B #1, 1988) was nominated for a Grammy Award, found floating off a beach and presumed drowned in an accident on 4/16/2015, age 55
1961 ● Apollonia / (Patricia Kotero) → One of several female singers and musicians associated with Prince, lead actress in the film Purple Rain (1984), replaced singer Vanity in dance-pop trio Vanity 6 which was rechristened Apollonia 6 (“Sex Shooter” Dance/Club #32, 1984) plus solo a mildly successful solo career (“Since I Fell For You,” Dance/Club #6, 1988)
1961 ● Pete De Freitas → Drummer for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990), died in a motorcycle accident on 6/14/1989, age 27
1962 ● Lee Mavers → Guitar and vocals for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1965 ● Al Macaulay → Drummer for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1970 ● Zelma Davis → Vocals for dance-pop C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat” (#1, 1991)

August 03
1917 ● Les Elgart → Swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Larry, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, withdrew from performing in the late 60s, died from heart failure on 7/29/1995, age 78
1921 ● Richard Adler → Lyricist, composer and producer of acclaimed 50s Broadway shows, with songwriting partner Jerry Ross created several hit songs, among them “Rags To Riches” (Tony Bennett, #1, 1953) and “Whatever Lola Wants” (Sarah Vaughan, #6, 1955), following Ross‘s death in 1955 continued to write and co-write but had little commercial success, died from natural causes on 6/21/2012, age 90
1924 ● Gordon Stoker → Vocals and piano for premier Southern gospel backing group The Jordanaires, worked behind Elvis Presley for 25 years, backed Patsy Cline and other Nashville country stars, died after a long illness on 3/27/2013, age 88
1926 ● Tony Bennett / (Anthony Dominic Benedetto) → Fourteen-time Grammy-winning pop and easy listening singer, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” (#19, 1962) and eight other Top 40 singles and four other Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits
1929 ● Arthur Wood → Original keyboardist with Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1936 ● Kenny Hodges → Bass and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from viral pneumonia on 1/29/2013, age 76
1938 ● Terry Wogan / (Sir Michael Terrence Wogan) → Irish-born BBC radio and TV personality, Radio 2 host of various programs over nearly 40 years, including Wake Up To Wogan and Eurovision Song Contest
1939 ● Jimmy Nicol → Drummer and temporary member of The Beatles for nine Australian gigs in June 1964 at the height of Beatlemania, sitting in after Ringo Starr collapsed and was hospitalized on 6/3/964 with tonsillitis, returned to obscurity when Ringo rejoined the band on 6/14/1964
1941 ● Beverly Lee → Vocals for first 60s girl-group to achieve national prominence, The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961)
1946 ● John Foley York → Bassist for The Byrds replacing departed Chris Hillman in 1968, “Lay Lady Lay” (#132, 1969), solo and various collaborations and Byrds spin-offs
1949 ● B .B. Dickerson / (Morris Dickerson) → Bassist for laid-back R&B/soul-funk War, “Spill The Wine” (#3, 1970), continued with spin-off Lowrider Band
1951 ● John Graham → Guitarist for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1953 ● Ian Bairnson → Guitarist for soft pop-rock Pilot, “Magic” (#1, 1974)
1953 ● Randy Scruggs → Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter, producer and session player, solo artist, “It’s Only Love” (Country #67, 1998), son of legendary country/bluegrass great Earl Scruggs
1956 ● Kirk Brandon → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for Brit post-punk/goth/indie rock Spear Of Destiny, “Strangers In Our Town” (Dance/Club #40, 1987)
1959 ● Martin Atkins → Session drummer and member of post-punk Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983), fronted industrial music collective Pigface, worked in industrial metal band Ministry, “I Wanted To Tell Her” (Dance/Club #13, 1983), Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999) and post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981), Invisible Records founder and chief executive
1963 ● Ed Roland → Founder, primary songwriter, guitarist and engineer/producer for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, “Shine” (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1963 ● James Hetfield → Co-founder, rhythm guitar, chief songwriter and lead vocals for Grammy-winning heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#16, 1991), ranked #24 in Hit Parader magazine’s 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time
1966 ● Dean Sams → Keyboards and backing vocals for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1966 ● Shirley Manson → Scottish lead vocalist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1967 ● Skin / (Deborah Anne Dyer) → Vocals for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1971 ● DJ Spinderella / (Deidra Muriel Roper) → Vocals for female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1973 ● Stephen Carpenter → Guitar for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1985 ● Brent Kutzle → Bass guitar and cello for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1985 ● Holly Blake-Arnstein → Lead vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)

August 04
1901 ● Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong → Immensely influential jazz trumpeter and early soloist, enduring and Grammy-winning pop/easy listening singer and bandleader, “Hello, Dolly!” (#1, 1964) and “What a Wonderful World” (#116, UK #1, 1968) plus “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, died in his sleep from a heart attack on 7/6/1971, age 69
1936 ● Elsbeary Hobbs → Bass vocals for Harlem-based R&B/doo wop The Five Crowns, the core of which became post-1958 R&B The Drifters, “Up On The Roof” (1963), died 5/31/1996, age 59
1939 ● Frankie Ford / (Francis Guzzo) → One hit wonder blue-eyed New Orleans soul singer, “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959), continued to record and perform on the oldies circuit into the 00s, died from natural causes on 9/28/2015, age 76
1940 ● Larry Knechtel → Keyboard player and bass guitarist, performed and recorded with numerous bands, including early rocker Duane Eddy‘s Rebels and soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), stood in as bass player for several Doors albums, as a session musician was a member of the L.A.-based session group The Wrecking Crew, worked with Phil Spector as a pianist in the “Wall of Sound,” won a Grammy Award for his piano on Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and played harmonica and electric guitar on The Byrds‘ “Mr. Tambourine Man,” toured with Neil Diamond, Dixie Chicks and other artists and contributed to many albums through the 00s, died from a heart attack on 8/20/2009, age 69
1941 ● Timi Yuro / (Rosemary Timotea Aurro) → Blue-eyed R&B/pop-soul one hit wonder singer, “Hurt” (#2, 1961), toured with Frank Sinatra and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand and other music variety programs in the 60s, died of cancer on 5/30/2004, age 62
1943 ● David Carr → Keyboards and vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony vocals The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1945 ● Steve Martin → Emmy, Grammy and American Comedy award actor, comedian, producer and one hit wonder novelty song singer, “King Tut” (#17, 1975)
1947 ● Dave Manders → Guitar and lead vocals for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1947 ● Klaus Schulze → Pioneering German electronic music composer and multi-instrumentalist, in late-60s member of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream, left to co-found “kosmiche rock” Ash Ra Tempel in 1971, subsequent solo career includes over 60 albums released over five decades
1947 ● Paul Layton → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1951 ● Roy Flowers → Vocalist and drummer for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1952 ● Moya Brennan / (Maire Ni Bhraonian) → The “First Lady Of Celtic Music,” Emmy-winning singer, songwriter, harpist and frontwoman in Celtic folk-pop sibling group Clannad, “Harry’s Game” (UK #5, 1982), the only British hit single ever to be sung in Irish
1953 ● Vini Reilly / (Vincent Gerard Reilly) → Frontman for Manchester post-punk The Dunutti Column, the first act signed to Factory Records in the late 70s, also collaborated or did session work with Morrissey, Happy Mondays and other local bands, charted several solo albums in the U.K. Top 10 in the 80s, continues to record and perform in the 10s
1958 ● Ian Broudie → Vocals, guitar and frontman for alt rock/Britpop studio project The Lightning Seeds, “Pure” (#31, UK #16, 1989) and later as a full alt rock band, “Three Lions” (UK #1, 1996)
1959 ● Robbin Crosby → Guitarist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984), died from AIDS on 6/6/2002, age 42
1960 ● Graham Massey → Keyboards for electronic/acid-house band 808 State, “Pacific State” (, 1989)
1962 ● Joey Huffman → Keyboard and organ player, member of southern rock the Georgia Satellites (“Keep Your Hands To Yourself,” #2, 1986), did session work and toured with numerous bands, including Matchbox Twenty, Soul Asylum andLynyrd Skynyrd, currently in Hank Williams, Jr.‘s touring band
1962 ● Paul Reynolds → Guitarist for bizarrely-teased hair New Wave pop-rock A Flock of Seagulls, “I Ran (So Far Away)” (#9, 1982)
1963 ● Sam Yaffa / (Sami Takamäki) → Bassist for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1966 ● Andy Henderson → Drummer for Britpop Echobelly, “Great Things” (UK #13, 1995)
1968 ● Rob Cieka → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1969 ● Max Cavalera → Guitar and vocals for Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Yo-Yo / (Yolanda Whitaker) → Grammy-nominated rapper, “You Can’t Play With My Yo Yo” (#36, Rap #1, 1991), protégé of gangsta rapper Ice Cube, actress in several films, including Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit (1993)
1981 ● Batman Houston / (Marques Houston) → Vocals for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999), TV actor, producer for B2K and Destiny’s Child, among others

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 27 – June 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 27
1922 ● Christopher Lee → Decorated World War II RAF veteran, 70-year film actor (mostly villainous roles or in horror films) and singer with a late-in-life career as a heavy metal vocalist, often interpreting classical pieces in a hard rock mode, issued several “symphonic metal” albums and, at age 91, became the oldest living performer to score a chart hit with his seasonal “Jingle Hell” (#18, 2013) from the album A Very Metal Christmas (2013), continued to record until just before his death on 6/7/2015, age 93
1932 ● Junior Parker / (Hermon Parker, Jr.) → Memphis blues/soul vocalist, “Driving Wheel” (R&B #5, 1961), co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “Mystery Train” (Country #11, 1956), died during surgery to remove a brain tumor on 11/18/1971
1935 ● Ramsey Lewis → Grammy-winning jazz/pop pianist, bandleader and composer, “The In Crowd” (#5, 1965)
1939 ● Don Williams / (Donald Ray Williams) → Country’s “Gentle Giant,” mild-mannered, deep baritone mainstream countrypolitan singer and songwriter with 17 Country #1 hits, including “I Believe In You” (#24, Country #1, 1980), his songs have been covered by Eric Clapton (“Tulsa Time,” #30, 1980), Bonnie Raitt, Pete Townshend and multiple others, died from emphysema on 9/8/2017, age 78
1943 ● Cilla Black / (Priscilla White) → Working-girl-made-good Swinging Sixties light pop Brit singer, actress and TV/radio personality with a 50-year career in music and entertainment, recorded 11 UK Top 10 singles, including “You’re My World” (#26, UK #1, 1964), hosted or guested on various BBC TV programs through the early 10s, died following a fall and stroke on 8/1/2015, age 72
1944 ● Billy Adamson → Drummer for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), retired from the band in 1998 and died from undisclosed causes on 11/11/2013, age 69
1945 ● Bruce Cockburn → Canadian folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Wondering Where The Lions Are” (#21, 1980)
1947 ● Marty Kristian → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1947 ● Peter Knight → Violin for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1948 ● Pete Sears → Journeyman bassist and keyboardist, session work for Rod Stewart in 70s, 1974-1987 with Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987), then Hot Tuna, David Nelson Band, Moonalice and session work
1949 ● James Mitchell → Vocals for R&B/soul quartet The Detroit Emeralds, “Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)” (#24, R&B #4, 1972), left to co-found R&B/quiet storm The Floaters, “Float On” (#2, 1977)
1957 ● Eddie Harsch → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1957 ● Siouxsie Sioux / (Susan Dallion) → Vocals and frontwoman for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983)
1958 ● Neil Finn → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), solo and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1966 ● Sean Kinney → Drummer in alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1971 ● Left Eye Lopes / (Lisa Nicole Lopes) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), died in a car accident on 4/25/2002, age 30
1975 ● André 3000 / (André Benjamin) → Half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004), solo

May 28
1910 ● T. Bone Walker / (Aaron Thibeaux Walker) → Electric blues pioneer, “Stormy Monday” (1947), influenced Albert Collins, B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and many others, #47 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists list, died of bronchial pneumonia following a stoke on 3/16/1975, age 64
1917 ● Papa John Creach / (John Henry Creach) → Fiddler for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), died after suffering a heart attack during the Northridge earthquake on 2/22/1994, age 76
1929 ● Sonny Burgess / (Albert Austin Burgess) → The “Arkansas Wild Man,” freewheeling Sun Records boogie woogie and rockabilly singer, guitarist and frontman for The Pacers (“We Wanna Boogie,” 1956), chart success eluded him but he performed and recorded for four decades (except for a stint as a sewing supplies salesman in the 70s), hosted a weekly rockabilly nostalgia radio show in Arkansas in the 90s, fell in his home and died a month later on 8/18/2017, age 88
1943 ● Tony Mansfield → Drummer for 60s British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1944 ● Billy Vera / (William McCord, Jr.) → Rock historian, songwriter and singer, duet with Judy Clay, “Storybook Children” (#20, 1968) and solo as frontman for pop-rock The Beaters, “At This Moment” (#1, 1986), featured on the TV show Family Ties
1944 ● Gladys Knight → The “Empress of Soul”, Grammy-winning R&B vocals and frontwoman for The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973), solo
1944 ● Gary Stewart → Outlaw country singer and songwriter mixing honky tonk and Southern rock sounds for nine Country Top 20 among nearly 30 charting songs, including “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” (Country #1, 1975), collaborated with Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts on Cactus And A Rose (1980), committed suicide a month after the death of his wife of 43 years on 12/16/2003, age 59
1945 ● John Fogerty → Frontman, songwriter, guitar and vocals for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969), Grammy-winning solo career (album Centerfield, #1, 1985) and bandleader for The Blue Ridge Rangers
1948 ● Ray Laidlaw → Drummer for Brit folk-rock Brethren, which became Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Wendy O. Williams → Mohawk hairdo-sporting, controversial singer and frontwoman for outrageous punk/heavy metal Plasmatics, “Butcher Baby” (UK #55, 1980), solo, actress in sexploitation film Reform School Girls (1986), committed suicide on 4/6/1998, age 48
1952 ● JoJo Billingsley / (Deborah Jo Billingsley White) → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), only bandmember not aboard the fatal flight on 10/20/1977, claimed to have been born again by the event and turned to Christian music, died from cancer on 6/24/2010, age 58
1955 ● Eddie Jobson / (Edwin Jobson) → Respected journeyman violinist and synthesizer player with Frank Zappa‘s band, long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), Roxy Music, U.K., Yes, solo
1955 ● John McGeoch → Scottish guitarist, singer and co-founder of post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), then with punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd., died in his sleep ion 3/4/2004, age 48
1959 ● Steve Strange / (Stephen Harrington) → Frontman and vocals for New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), nightclub host and promoter
1961 ● Roland Gift → Lead singer for Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1964 ● Wes Burt-Martin → Guitarist for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989)
1965 ● Chris Ballew → Co-founder, bass and vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Lump” (Mainstream Rock #7, 1995), currently performs children’s music under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants
1968 ● Kylie Minogue → Grammy-winning, widely-popular Aussie pop singer, songwriter and actress, “The Loco-Motion” (#3, 1988)
1970 ● Jimi Goodwin → Vocals, bass and guitar for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Mark Richardson → Drummer for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Mark Feehily → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1985 ● Colbie Caillat → Pop singer and guitarist, “Bubbly” (2007), daughter of Ken Caillat who co-produced Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Tusk albums

May 29
1939 ● Sir Monti Rock III / (Joseph Montanez Jr.) → Flamboyant Puerto Rican-American performer, musician and 60s TV entertainment show guest, opened the disco era with the LP Disco Tex And His Sex-O-Lettes (1975) with producer Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons), scored the hit “Get Dancin'” (#10, 1975) and several others, performed on the Vegas club circuit through the 00s
1941 ● Roy Crewsdon → Guitarist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), now operates a bar in Tenerife
1945 ● Gary Brooker → Chief songwriter, keyboardist and vocals for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), solo plus session work for Eric Clapton
1947 ● Joey Levine → Unabashed bubblegum pop music songwriter, record producer and vocalist, as part of the Jerry Kasenetz/Jeffrey Katz team sang lead vocals for studio group Ohio Express (“Yummy Yummy Yummy,” #4, 1968) and other groups comprised of studio musicians, wrote and produced multiple pop hits by The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Music Explosion and others, formed his own branding company and wrote jingles for national or global brands including Pepsi, Chevrolet and Anheuser-Busch
1947 ● Junior Campbell / (William Campbell, Jr.) → Lead guitar for pop/rock the Gaylords, then Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Larry Harris / (Larry Alan Harris) → Music industry executive and co-founder of Casablanca Records with his second cousin, Neil Bogart, signed and launched the careers of Kiss, Donna Summer, Village People and others, plus less flamboyant acts as Cher, funk band Parliament, and comedians Robin Williams and Rodney Dangerfield, left after the disco craze ended and the label fell into decline to work for other labels and open a comedy club in Seattle, died from an abdominal aneurysm on 122/18/2017, age 70
1949 ● Francis Rossi → Co-founder and lead guitarist for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), solo
1950 ● Rebbie Jackson / (Maureen Jackson) → Eldest of the Jackson family of musicians, performed with her brothers beginning in 1974, solo, “Centipede” (#24, R&B #4, 1984)
1952 ● Karl Bartos → Percussionist for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975), left in 1990 for solo career and collaborations
1953 ● Danny Elfman → Grammy-winning TV and film score composer, frequently in collaboration with Tim Burton (Batman, 1989), singer/songwriter and leader of New Wave ska-pop/alt rock Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (#45, Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1955 ● Mike Porcaro → Session musician who joined his brothers Jeff and Steve Porcaro in 1982 as bassist in pop/arena rock Toto (“Africa,” #1, 1982), retired from the band in 2007 and died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on 3/15/2015, age 59
1956 ● La Toya Jackson → Background vocals for her brothers’ band The Jackson 5, then largely unsuccessful and unnoticed solo singing career
1959 ● Danny Pearson / (Daniel Pearson) → Bassist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
1959 ● Mel Gaynor → Drummer for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” (#1, 1985)
1960 ● Jesse Johnson → Guitarist for R&B/soul-funk The Time, wrote “Jungle Love” (#20, Dance/Club #9, 1984), then solo, “Crazay” (Dance/Club #12, 1986)
1961 ● David Palmer → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1961 ● Melissa Etheridge → Grammy-winning alt-heartland rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I’m The Only One” (#8, 1993), gay activist
1962 ● John Pedder → Bassist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1963 ● Blaze Bayley / (Bayley Alexander Cooke) → Lead vocalist for heavy metal Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, Iron Maiden (“The Angel And The Gambler”, Mainstream Rock #24, 1998) from 1994 to 1999, solo and frontman for Blaze
1964 ● Fresh Kid Ice / (Christopher Wong Won) → Asian-American rapper of Trinidadian and Chinese decent, founding member of notorious hip hop group 2 Live Crew (“Banned In The USA,” #20, Rap #1, 1990), their sexually-explicit lyrics resulted in arrests and sparked a national debate about obscenity and the legal limits of artistic expression, died from an unspecified “medical condition” at a Veterans Administration hospital on 7/13/2017, age 53
1967 ● Noel Gallagher → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1969 ● Chad Kinchla / (Chandler Kinchla) → Guitarist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1975 ● Melanie Brown → Vocals and “Scary Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1976 ● Dave Buckner → Founding member and original drummer for alt metal/rap metal Papa Roach (“Scars, #15, Alt Rock #2, 2004), left the band in 2007 for rehabilitation
1978 ● Daniel Pearce → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1980 ● Andrew John Hurley → Drummer for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)

May 30
1909 ● Benny Goodman → The “King of Swing” and most popular figure of the early Swing Era bandleaders, clarinetist, film actor (playing himself), died from a heart attack on 6/13/1986, age 77
1915 ● Maxine Powell → African American child actress turned finishing school owner who became the etiquette and style coach for Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records in the 60s, the only such training program offered at any record label at any time, died after a long period of declining health on 10/14/2013, age 98
1926 ● Johnny Gimble → Grammy-winning virtuoso country and Western swing fiddler, played with Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys in the 50s, as a session musician appeared on numerous albums by Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and others in the 60s, toured with Willie Nelson, worked with Asleep At The Wheel and acted in films and on TV in the 70s and 80s, died following a stroke on 5/9/2015, age 88
1928 ● Herb Oscar Anderson / (Herbert Oscar Anderson) → Beloved, crooning Top 40 music radio DJ, member of the “Swingin’ 7” team of announcers on world-famous WABC-am in New York City during the 60s, left when 60s pop turned to 70s harder rock, continued to host music radio programs in different markets, including a weekly show on a Vero Beach, Florida station until his death from kidney failure on 1/29/2017, age 88
1944 ● Lenny Davidson → Guitarist and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1944 ● Gladys Horton → Founder and lead vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died following a stroke on 1/26/2011, age 66
1955 ● Topper Headon / (Nicholas Bowen Headon) → Drummer and occasional vocals for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, wrote “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982)
1958 ● Marie Fredriksson → Vocals for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1960 ● Stephen Duffy → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1964 ● Tom Morello → Guitarist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1964 ● Wynonna Judd / (Christina Ciminella) → Country singer/songwriter in duo The Judds (with mother Naomi), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) and 17 other Top 10 country hits, solo, “To Be Loved By You” (Adult Contemporary #25, Country #1, 1996)
1967 ● Sven Pipien → Bassist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1968 ● Tim Burgess → Vocals for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), solo
1971 ● Patrick Dalheimer → Bassist for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995) and The Gracious Few
1974 ● Cee Lo Green / (Thomas Callaway) → Singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer, member of pioneering Dirty South rap group Goodie Mob, “Cell Therapy” (#13, Rap #1, 1995), then Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (#2, 2006) and solo, “F**k You” (#2, 2010)

May 31
1930 ● Clint Eastwood / (Clinton Eastwood, Jr.) → Wannabe jazz pianist turned globally-acclaimed actor, film director, politician and film score composer, wrote the music to Mystic River (2003), Flags Of Our Fathers (2006) and J. Edgar (2011), among other films, co-wrote “Why Should I Care” (1999) for Diana Krall, nominated for or won numerous awards for other music compositions
1935 ● Herb Alpert / (Herbert Alpert) → Nine time Grammy-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader for The Tijuana Brass, the only artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with a vocal single (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” #1, 1968) and an instrumental song (“Rise,” #1, 1979), founder and former executive of A&M Records with partner Jerry Moss
1936 ● Gayle Shepherd / (Joyce Gayle Shepherd) → With three of her sisters, vocals in 50s-60s one hit wonder girl group The Shepherd Sisters, “Alone (Why Must I Be Alone)” (#18, 1957) was their lone charting song despite multiple appearances on American Bandstand and several years touring with Alan Freed‘s America’s Greatest Teenage Recording Stars show, retired from the music industry in the mid-60s to start a family, died from dementia on 5/7/2018, age 81
1938 ● Peter Yarrow → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963)
1938 ● Johnny Paycheck / (Donald Eugene Lytle) → Gruff-voiced “outlaw” country music singer with 21 Country Top 20 hits, mostly in the 70s, best known for rendition of “Take This Job And Shove It” (Country #1, 1978), his career was cut short by drug, alcohol and prison troubles, died in Nashville from emphysema on 2/19/2003, age 64
1940 ● Augie Meyers / (August Meyers) → Founding member of early country-rock Sir Douglas Quintet (“She’s About A Mover,” #13, 1965) and later the Tejano (fusion of rock, country and various Mexican styles) supergroupTexas Tornados with Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez
1943 ● Wayne Carson / (Wayne Head) → Grammy-winning country and pop songwriter, musician and record producer, wrote “Somebody Like Me” (#53, Country #1, 1966) for Eddy Arnold and “The Letter” (#11, 1967) for The Box Tops, co-wrote “Always On My Mind” which has been recorded over 300 times, most notably by Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from congestive heart failure on 7/20/2015, age 72
1948 ● Bonzo Bonham / (John Henry Bonham) → Original drummer for influential hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), #1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s readers’ poll of the “best drummers of all time”, died after choking on his own vomit on 9/25/1980, age 32
1954 ● Vicki Sue Robinson → Theater and film actress turned one hit wonder R&B/disco singer, “Turn The Beat Around” (#10, 1976), died of cancer on 4/27/2000, age 45
1962 ● Corey Hart → Canadian singer/songwriter with 27 Canada Top 40 hits, including “Never Surrender” (#3, Canada #1, 1985)
1963 ● Wendy Smith → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1964 ● D.M.C. / (Darryl McDaniels) → MC and rapper for premier hardcore rap group Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986)
1964 ● Scotti Hill / (Scott Lawrence Mulvehill) → Longtime guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1965 ● Steve White → Drummer for sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then sessions, The Players, Trio Valore and stand-in for drummer/brother Alan White of Oasis for several shows

June 01
1921 ● Nelson Riddle → Jazz, blues, swing and pop composer, orchestrator, bandleader, producer and arranger for Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt and others, died from liver failure on 10/6/1985, age 64
1925 ● Hazel Dickens → Bluegrass singer, songwriter and guitarist known for her pro-union and feminist songs and activism in support of coal miners, one of the first women to release a bluegrass album, appeared in the documentary film Harlan County, USA and contributed four songs to the film’s soundtrack, died from complications of pneumonia on 4/22/2011, age 85
1934 ● Pat Boone → Adult contemporary pop and later gospel singer, TV host, author, Billboard magazine’s second biggest charting artist of the 1950s behind Elvis Presley, “Love Letters In The Sand (#1, 1957)
1945 ● James William McCarty → Blues-rock and rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Jenny Take A Ride” (#10, 1966), funk-rock Buddy Miles Express, hard/boogie rock supergroup Cactus, blues-rock The Rockets, formed Mystery Train
1945 ● Linda Scott / (Linda Joy Sampson) → Brill Building early 60s pop singer, “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star” (#3, 1961)
1947 ● Ron Wood → Guitarist for Jeff Beck Group, then raunch-rock The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), in 1975 joined The Rolling Stones, “Miss You” (#1, 1978)
1949 ● Michael Stephen Levine → Bassist and keyboardist for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), left the band to pursue other interests in 1993, returned in 2008 and still tours
1950 ● Charlene Marilyn D’Angelo → One hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “I’ve Never Been To Me” (#3, 1982)
1950 ● Graham Russell → Guitar and vocals for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1950 ● Tom Robinson → Bassist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, first with acoustic folk-rock Café Society, then fronting the politicized punk/hard rock Tom Robinson Band, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” (UK #5, 1977) and “Glad To Be Gay” (1978), then Sector 27 and solo, “War Baby” (UK #6, 1983)
1952 ● John Ellis → Guitarist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1953 ● Ronnie Dunn → 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 ● Barry Adamson → Bassist for post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995), solo
1959 ● Alan Wilder → Vocals and keyboards for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), then founder and frontman for experimental electro-synth art rock Recoil, producer
1960 ● Simon Gallup → Bassist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1963 ● Mike Joyce → Drummer for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1967 ● Roger Sanchez → Grammy-winning House music DJ, “Lost” (Dance/Club #1, 2006), producer
1968 ● Jason Donovan → Aussie TV soap opera actor and teen idol singer, “Especially For You” (Australia #2, UK #1, 1988)
1968 ● Stefani Sargent → Founding member and guitarist for Seattle grunge/punk girl group 7 Year Bitch (“Antidisestablishmentarianism,” 1992), died at the onset of the band’s peak potential after asphyxiating on her own vomit while passed out from alcohol and heroin on 6/27/1992, age 24
1969 ● Damon Minchella → Bassist for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1974 ● Alanis Morissette → Canadian-American teenage dance-pop singer turned Grammy-winning alt rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Ironic” (#4, Mainstream Rock #1, 1996) from the album Jagged Little Pill, the #1 selling album of the 90s

June 02
1924 ● Maurice Kinn → Music promoter who launched The New Musical Express (NME) in 1952, started first UK singles chart, sold the weekly in 1963, died on 8/3/2000, age 76
1930 ● Vic Firth / (Everett Joseph Firth) → Principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002 and founder (in his garage workshop in the early 60s) and former CEO of the Vic Firth Company, the world’s largest maker of drumsticks and percussion mallets, died at home from natural causes on 7/26/2015, age 85
1932 ● Sammy Turner / (Samuel Black) → Smooth R&B/soul singer known for two remakes of classics, “Lavender-Blue” (#3, 1959) and “Always” (#19, R&B #2, 1959), recorded with Motown starting in the late 60s with limited success
1934 ● Johnny Carter / (John E. Carter) → First tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), in 1964 joined R&B/Chicago soul vocal group The Dells, “Oh, What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), died from lung cancer on 8/21/2009, age 75
1936 ● Otis Williams → Lead vocals and frontman for R&B/doo-wop The Charms, “Ivory Tower” (#11, R&B #5, 1956), left the industry after being drafted in 1960, returned in the 70s as a country music singer, reformed The Charms in the 90s
1937 ● Jimmy Jones → African American country and pop singer/songwriter best known for his one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll single “Handy Man” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Charles Miller → Saxophone and vocals for funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), murdered in L.A. on 6/14/1980, age 41
1941 ● Charlie Watts → Drummer for Blues Incorporated and since 1963 The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), also in boogie-woogie Rocket 88, frontman for various incarnations of the Charlie Watts Band, horse breeder
1941 ● William Guest → Backing vocals in R&B/soul-pop family quartet Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Marvin Hamlisch → Grammy-winning film, theater and pop music composer, arranger, “The Entertainer” (#3, 1973), co-wrote “The Way We Were” for Barbra Streisand (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Ian Hunter / (Ian Patterson) → Founding member, songwriter, keyboards and lead singer for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), then solo, “Cleveland Rocks” (1979), wrote the book Diary Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (1974)
1947 ● Steve Brookins → Founding member and original drummer for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Chubby Tavares / (Antone Lee Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1950 ● Florian Pilkington-Miksa → Original drummer for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), played in Kiki Dee‘s band, rejoined Curved Air in 2008
1954 ● Michael Steele / (Susan Nancy Thomas) → Bass and vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Bangles, “Manic Monday” (#2, 1986)
1956 ● Danny Wilde → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for legendary power pop bands The Quick, Great Buildings and The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song from the TV show Friends
1957 ● Simon Phillips → Rock session and backing drummer for Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno,Toto, Judas Priest and others, toured with The Who, co-produced with Mike Oldfield, plus several solo albums
1960 ● Tony Hadley → Vocals for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983), solo
1962 ● Thor Eldon Jonsson → Guitarist for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1962 ● David Cole → Songwriter, vocals, producer and one half of the R&B/electro-dance-pop team C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (#1, 1990), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and others, died from complications of AIDS and spinal meningitis on 1/25/1995, age 32
1964 ● Kerry King → Rhythm guitar for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1965 ● Jeremy Cunningham → Bassist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Samantha Sprackling → Vocals for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1970 ● B Real / (Louis Freese) → Vocals and MC for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1970 ● Dominic Greensmith → Drummer for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1974 ● Kelly Jones → Vocalist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1976 ● Tim Rice-Oxley → Keyboards for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1980 ● Fabrizio Moretti → Drummer for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Irish Grinsted → Vocals with sister LeMisha in hip hop R&B/dance-pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999), American Music Awards “Best New Soul/R&B Artist” for 2000
1985 ● Tavion La’Corey Mathis → Singer for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 12

1910 ● Arthur Todd → With his wife in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from congestive heart failure on 10/10/2007, age 97
1917 ● Leonard Chess → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Philip, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died of a heart attack a few months after selling Chess to General Recorded Tape (GRT) on 10/16/1969, age 52
1921 ● Gordon MacRae → Pop music recording artist, stage and film actor, and TV and radio personality best known for starring in the film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956) and for a string of 28 straight Top 40 hits from 1947 to 1954, including a duet with Jo Stafford, “My Darling, My Darling” (#1, 1948), died from pneumonia on 1/24/1986
1930 ● Wardell Quezergue → Unheralded but influential New Orleans R&B bandleader, producer and music arranger known as the “Creole Beethoven,” worked with multiple artists, including The Dixie Cups (“Chapel Of Love,” #1, 1964), Robert Parker (“Barefootin’,” #7, R&B #2, 1966), King Floyd (“Groove Me,” #6, R&B #1, 1970), Jean Knight (“Mr. Big Stuff,” #2, R&B #1, 1971), Paul Simon (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, #2, 1973) and Dr. John (Grammy-winning Goin’ Back To New Orleans, Jazz #1, 1992), died from congestive heart failure on 9/6/2011, age 81
1932 ● Don Drummond → Jamaican ska trombonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967) and writing many of their local hits, convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1965, died from disputed causes while serving a life sentence on 5/6/1969, age 37
1940 ● Al Jarreau → Seven-time, three-category (jazz, pop and R&B), four-decade Grammy-winning singer, “We’re In This Love Together” (#15, R&B #6, 1981), cancelled a tour schedule due to exhaustion and died shortly afterwards on 2/12/2017, age 76
1942 ● Brian O’Hara → Guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), committed suicide by hanging himself on 6/27/1999, age 57
1942 ● Larry Kaye (Kassman) → Lead vocals for Brooklyn-based white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961), performed occasionally in various reunion lineups of the group through the 00s
1946 ● Liza Minnelli → Stage and film actress, dancer and pop singer, “Cabaret” (1972), daughter of actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli
1948 ● James Taylor → Quintessential “sensitive” folk-pop/light rock singer/songwriter, “You’ve Got A Friend” (#1, 1971)
1948 ● Les Holyrod → Bassist for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977)
1949 ● Bill Payne → Keyboardist and songwriter for Southern-fired blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart and others, released debut solo album in 2005
1949 ● Mike Gibbins → Drummer with Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), left in 1974 for session work, started solo career in 1998, died of natural causes on 10/4/2005, age 56
1951 ● Jack Green → Guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1957 ● Marlon Jackson → Vocals for R&B/pop-soul brother group The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), pursued a largely unsuccessful, one hit solo career, “Don’t Go” (R&B #2, 1987), now sells real estate in Southern California and produces for the Black Family Channel on TV, twin brother Brandon died 24 hours after their premature birth
1957 ● Steve Harris → Founder, principal songwriter, backing vocalist and bassist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and guitarist Dave Murray are the only two bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1965 ● Coleen Nolan → Vocals for Irish girl group all-sibling pop group The Nolan Sisters, “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” (UK #3, 1980), TV host and author
1969 ● Graham Coxon → Guitarist for alt rock then Brit pop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), solo
1975 ● Kelle Bryan → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1977 ● Ben Kenney → Bassist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), session work and Ghetto Crush Industries record executive
1978 ● Claudio Sanchez → Lead singer and guitarist for alt prog rock Coheed And Cambria, “A Favor House Atlantic” (Modern Rock #13, 2004), creator of comic book series The Amory Wars, author
1979 ● Pete Doherty → Co-founder and vocals for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Babyshambles, former paramour of model Kate Moss
1986 ● Danny Jones → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

March 13

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

March 14

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

March 15

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

March 16

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

March 17

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

March 18

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (August 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Aug 21

1904 ● William Allen “Count” Basie → Renowned nine-time Grammy-winning swing era jazz, blues and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “April In Paris” (#28, R&B #8, 1956), led his Count Basie Orchestra for nearly 50 years, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/26/1984 , age 79
1938 ● Kenny Rogers → Grammy-winning, multi-genre singer and songwriter, vocals for folk-pop The New Christy Minstrels, “Green, Green” (#14, 1963), frontman for country-pop The First Edition, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” (#6, 1969), prolific solo career with dozens of pop and country Top 10 hits, including “Lucille” (#5, 1977), “Lady” (#1, 1980), producer, TV and film actor, entrepreneur and restaurateur
1939 ● Harold Reid → Bass vocals and songwriter in country-gospel-pop crossover harmonic quartet The Statler Brothers (“Flowers On The Wall,” #4, Country #2, 1965), he and his younger brother, Don were the only brothers in the group and no one was named Statler, retired after the band’s farewell tour in 2002
1941 ● Tom Coster → Keyboards and piano for San Francisco psych-jazz-rock “cosmic R&B” The Loading Zone, joined Latin-tinged rock Santana in 1972, “She’s Not There” (#27, 1977), since 1978 has fronted various jazz fusion combos
1944 ● Jackie DeShannon (Sharon Lee Myers) → Early female rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, toured with The Beatles in 1964, co-wrote songs with Jimmy Page and Randy Newman, moved to folk-pop sounds in the late-60s, wrote and sang “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” (#4, 1969), co-wrote Grammy-winning “Bette Davis Eyes” for Kim Carnes (#1, 1981)
1947 ● Carl Giammarese → Guitarist and co-founder of Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), continues to front the band on the oldies circuit
1952 ● Glenn Hughes → Bass and vocals for Brit hard rock Trapeze, left in 1973 to join Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), sang for Black Sabbath on the Seventh Star album (1986), various solo and collaboration albums, currently fronts hard rock supergroup Black Country Communion
1952 ● Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor) → Frontman and principal songwriter of influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982), actor, film score composer, radio host, solo and frontman for The Mescaleros, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2002, age 50
1954 ● Nick Kane → Lead guitar for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1954 ● Steve Smith → Drummer for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981) during the band’s peak years in the late-70s and early 80s, founded fusion group Vital Information in 1983, joined fusion group Steps Ahead in 1986, in 2001 voted into the Top 25 Drummers of All Time list in Modern Drummer magazine
1957 ● Budgie (Peter Edward Clarke) → Drummer for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983), toured with John Cale, sessions
1957 ● Kim Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” (#2, 1979)
1961 ● David Morales → DJ, Grammy-winning remixer, producer and post-disco house music pioneer, “Needin’ U” (Dance/Club #1, 1998)
1967 ● Serj Tankian → Vocals for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1968 ● Geraldine “Dina” Carroll → Successful late-80s and 90s Brit soul-pop and dance-pop singer of Scottish and African American descent, “Don’t Be A Stranger” (UK #3, 1993) and “Special Kind Of Love” (Dance/Club #4, 1993)
1971 ● Liam “Master H.” Howlett → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996), producer and music DJ
1979 ● Kelis (Rogers) → Urban contemporary R&B vocalist, “Milkshake” (#3, Dance/Club #1, 2003), former spouse of rapper Nas
1984 ● Melissa Schuman → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000), solo, actress
1986 ● Conor Clapton → Son of rock superstar Eric Clapton and subject of his father’s lamenting, Grammy-winning song “Tears In Heaven” (#1, 1992) about the toddler’s tragic death from a fall out of a 53rd floor apartment window in New York City on 3/20/1991, age 4

Aug 22

1917 ● John Lee Hooker → Boogie-blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Boogie Chillen” (R&B #1, 1948) and “Boom Boom” (#60, R&B #16, 1962), develop the “talking blues” style, recorded over 100 albums, won four Grammys between 1989 and 1997, died of natural causes on 6/21/2001, age 83
1926 ● Bob Flanigan → Founding member, bassist, trombonist and tenor in clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, died of congestive heart failure on 5/15/2011, age 84
1936 ● Delmar Allen “Dale” Hawkins → Louisiana “swamp rock” and rockabilly pioneer, “Susie Q” (#27, R&B #7, 1957), AM pop record producer including John Fred & His Playboy Band‘s “Judy In Disguise (#1, 1968), died of colon cancer on 2/13/2010, age 73
1936 ● Chuck Brown → Guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader and the “Grandfather of Go-Go” music, the sub-genre of funk he helped develop in the 70s in metro Washington, DC, fronted Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers (“Bustin’ Loose,” #34, R&B #1, 1979), died from multiple organ failure on 5/16/2012, age 75
1942 ● Joseph Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1945 ● Ron Dante (Carmine Granito) → Singer, songwriter, session musician and vocals for “virtual” bubblegum-pop studio bands The Detergents (“Leader Of The Laundromat,” #19, 1965), TV cartoon show-based The Archies (“Sugar Sugar,” #1, 1967) and one hit wonder The Cuff Links (“Tracy,” #9, 1969), commercial jingle vocalist (McDonalds’ “You deserve a break today”), producer for Barry Manilow (“I Write The Songs,” #1, 1976), Cher, John Denver and others, Broadway show producer
1946 ● Gary “Mutha” Withem → Keyboards for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968), teaches high school music near San Diego
1947 ● Donna Jean Godchaux (Thatcher) → Session backing vocalist, sang with the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979 (only woman ever officially billed as a Grateful Dead bandmember), also vocals for Robert Hunter and the Jerry Garcia Band, released a self-titled album with her husband and former Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux
1948 ● David Marks → Pop singer, songwriter, session guitarist and original member of The Beach Boys (“Surfin’ Safari,” #3, 1963) from 1962-63, left the band but returned for two reunions in 1997 and 2012, worked as a session musician in the intervals
1949 ● Sam Neely → Talented country-pop singer and songwriter with star potential but minimal success, his highest charting tune was “You Can Have Her” (#34, Country #49, 1974), faded into obscurity in the late 80s and died from a heart attack while mowing the lawn on 7/19/2006, age 56
1952 ● Peter Laughner → Early and important figure in the development of punk and New Wave through his work with several Cleveland-area alt rock bands in the early 70s, his co-founding of eclectic underground/art rock Pere Ubu (“Waiting For Mary,” Modern Rock #6, 1989) and his solo efforts prior to his untimely death from acute pancreatitis on 6/22/1977, age 24
1956 ● Chris Biondo → Backing band guitarist, bassist and producer for Eva Cassidy, mixed-genre vocal interpreter of American classics and pop tunes including “Over The Rainbow” (1992), he produced all three of her posthumous UK #1 albums
1958 ● Vernon Reid → Guitarist and songwriter for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), sessions
1958 ● Ian Mitchell → Nine-month stint as bassist and vocals for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976), then co-founded pop-rock Rosetta Stone, the Ian Mitchell Band and La Rox, none of which were successful except outside the US and UK
1961 ● Debbi Peterson → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Roland Orzabal → Vocals, guitar and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1963 ● Myra Ellen “Tori” Amos → Alternative rock keyboardist and forefront of the 90s singer/songwriter revival, reestablished the piano as a rock instrument, “Cornflake Girl” (Modern Rock #1, UK #4, 1994)
1963 ● James DeBarge → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1966 ● The Genius (also GZA, nee Gary Grice) → Highly literate rapper, songwriter and founding member of influential East Coast rap collective Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), left for a part-time solo career (“Liquid Swords,” #48, Rap #3, 1995) and various collaboration projects
1967 ● Layne Staley → Lead singer and co-lyricist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from a “speedball” injection of heroin and cocaine on 4/5/2002, age 34
1969 ● Steve Cradock → Guitarist for mod revival Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles, concurrently a member of Paul Weller‘s backing band
1972 ● Paul Douchette → Former drummer and later rhythm guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1973 ● Howie D. (Dorough) → Vocals, guitar and percussion for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997), solo, occasional TV actor
1978 ● Jean-Francoise “Jeff” Stinco → Lead guitar for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)

Aug 23

1900 ● Malvina Reynolds → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and political activist, wrote “Little Boxes” for Pete Seeger (#70, 1964), “What Have They Done To The Rain?” for The Searchers (#29, 1965), songs covered by Joan Baez, Judy Collins and others, and children’s songs and material for the TV show Sesame Street, died on 3/17/1978, age 77
1912 ● Gene Kelly → Broadway and film actor, dancer and adult pop singer, a dominant force in Hollywood musical films of the 40s and 50s, best known for his lead role in the highly-regarded Singin’ In The Rain (1952), died in his sleep on 2/2/1996, age 83
1913 ● Bob Crosby → Swing-era vocalist and Dixieland bandleader, younger brother of crooner Bing Crosby, fronted authentic New Orleans swing band The Bob-Cats in the 30s, turned to radio in the 40s and became a popular variety program host, scored a hit duet single with Patty Andrews and “The Pussycat Song (Nyot! Nyow! Nyot!)” (#12, 1953), reunited The Bob-Cats for occasional performances until his death from cancer on 3/9/1993, age 79
1917 ● Sollie Paul “Tex” Williams → “Talking blues” style Western swing singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with ten Country Top 10 hits over a 35 year career, including “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” (Country #1, 1947), died from pancreatic cancer on 10/11/1985, age 68
1936 ● Rudy Lewis (Charles Rudolph Harrell) → Lead vocals from 1960-1964 for R&B/soul-doo wop The Drifters, “Up On The Roof” (#5, 1963), died in his sleep on 5/20/1964, the night before the group recorded “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964) without him, age 27
1941 ● Pete Shannon (Harris) → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Roger Greenaway → British pop music songwriter and performer, as David was one half the pop vocal duo David & Jonathan, “Michelle” (#18, Adult Contemporary #3, 1966), collaborated with Roger Cook (aka Jonathan) to pen dozens of pop-rock hit singles, including “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (The Hollies, #2, 1972) and “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (The New Seekers, #7, 1971)
1942 ● Anthony “Spaghetti” Micale → Lead vocal for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964), continues to perform with the group into the 10s
1943 ● Michael Arthur “Mick” Burt → Drummer backing Brit novelty pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1945 ● Pete Fornatale → Award-winning early progressive FM radio DJ, first at WFUV-FM (Fordham University, New York) and, beginning in 1969, on trendsetting WNEW-FM, returned to WFUV in 2001, hosted Sirius XM satellite program, authored several books on rock culture, died from a stroke on 4/26/2012, age 66
1946 ● Jim Sohns → Founding member and vocals for Chicago blues-pop-rock Shadows of Knight, “Gloria” (#10, 1965), continues to front incarnations of the band on the oldies circuit
1946 ● Keith Moon → Legendary, exuberant and innovative drummer for hard rock The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967), recorded one solo album which was issued posthumously, voted #2 in a 2001 readers’ poll by Rolling Stone magazine for the Best Drummers of All Time, died after ingesting an overdose of alcohol withdrawal pills on 9/7/1978, age 32
1947 ● Linda Pettifer Thompson → Folk-rock singer/songwriter and recognized figure in the British folk-rock scene in the 70s and 80s, recorded with Paul McNeill and later with Sandy Denny and others as The Bunch, teamed with ex-Fairport Convention (“Si Tu Dos Partir,” UK #21, 1969) guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson and released six critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums in 10 years as a husband-and-wife duo, after breaking up continued to record and write music sporadically, issued her second solo LP, Won’t Be Long Now in 2013
1947 ● George McCorkle → Founding member and guitarist for Southern rock The Marshall Tucker Band, wrote “Fire On The Mountain” (#38, 1975), left the band in 1984 for a songwriting career, issued a solo album in 1999, died of cancer on 6/29/2007, age 59
1949 ● Rick Springfield (Richard Springthorpe) → Australian-born singer/songwriter, “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981) plus 14 other Top 40 hits, TV soap opera actor (Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital), author
1951 ● Mark Hudson (Salerno) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), producer/writer for Aerosmith, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, others
1951 ● Jimmy Wayne “Jimi” Jamison → Vocalist for pop-rock Target, joined hard AOR/arena rock Survivor in 1984, “Burning Heart” (#2, 1985), co-wrote and sang “I’m Always Here”, the theme from the TV show Baywatch, solo, charity organizer and fundraiser
1953 ● Bobby G. (Robert Alan Gubby) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1954 ● Mark Avsec → Keyboardist, songwriter and producer, toured with funk-rock Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), co-founded, managed, produced and wrote or co-wrote all the music for pop-rock Donnie Iris & The Cruisers, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1980), played with the James Gang, became an intellectual property attorney specializing in music copyrights
1959 ● Edwyn Collins → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, frontman for Scottish neo-pop revival Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1984), then power pop solo career, “A Girl Like You” (#32, UK #4, 1994), TV actor and producer
1961 ● Dean DeLeo → Guitarist for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994), during STP breaks co-founded spin-off bands Talk Show and Army Of Anyone
1962 ● Shaun Ryder → Vocals for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), co-founded alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996), TV actor
1964 ● Pebbles (Perri Alette McKissack Nixon) → Backing vocals for R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), then dance-pop solo, “Mercedes Boy” (#2, 1988), discovered and managed R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), one of the most successful female groups of all time
1967 ● Cedella Marley → With her two brothers and sister, vocals for five time Grammy-winning reggae-pop Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), executive with Tuff Gong International records, fashion designer
1970 ● River Jude Phoenix → Teen icon, film and TV actor, starred in Stand By Me (1986) and 14 other films plus numerous TV movies and programs, singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for alt folk-rock Aleka’s Attic, “Too Many Colors” (1990), died of a drug overdose on 10/31/1993, age 23
1974 ● Shifty Shellshock (Seth Brooks Binzer) → Frontman for rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001)
1978 ● Julian Casablancas → Guitar and vocals for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1979 ● Richard Neville Dobson → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1981 ● Natalie Horler → Vocals in German Euro-dance trio Cascada, “Everytime We Touch” (#10, 2005) and “Evacuate the Dancefloor” (#25, UK #1, 2009)
1986 ● Skyblu (Skyler Austen Gordy) → With his uncle, Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy), one half the electropop, hip house duo LMFAO, “Party Rock Anthem” (worldwide #1, 2011), grandson of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr.

Aug 24

1897 ● Fred Rose → Country music songwriter and co-founder of Acuff-Rose Publishing, the first Nashville music publishing company and a giant in the industry, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs for others, including Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Sophie Tucker, died from a heart attack on 12/1/1954, age 57
1905 ● Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup → Delta blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote numerous blues songs covered by others, including “That’s Alright (Mama)”, Elvis Presley‘s first Sun Records single in 1954, died nearly penniless from a heart attack on 3/28/1974, age 68
1915 ● Wynonie Harris → Blues shouter and humorous, ribald R&B singer in the 40s and 50s, covered “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1948) and is considered a forerunner of rock ‘n’ roll, died from throat cancer on 6/14/1969, age 53
1924 ● Louis Teicher → Julliard-trained pianist and, with Arthur Ferrante, one half of the easy listening piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, known for their instrumental renditions of classical pieces, movie themes and show tunes, including “Tonight” (#10, AC #2, 1961) and “Midnight Cowboy” (#8, AC #2, 1969), died from a heart attack on 8/3/2008, age 83
1929 ● William Winfield → Lead singer for critically recognized but commercially little known R&B/doo wop The Harptones, “Life Is But A Dream” (1955), continues to sing with the group on the oldies circuit
1938 ● Mason Williams → Singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist, won a Grammy Award for his instrumental classical/folk-rock “Classical Gas” (#2, 1968), comedy writer for Saturday Night Live and other TV programs, poet and author of several books
1938 ● David Freiberg → Vocals and guitar for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), sessions for David Crosby, Mickey Hart and others, toured with and joined Jefferson Airplane and stayed with the group went it morphed into Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), left in 1984
1939 ● Ernest Wright, Jr. → Founding member and vocals for R&B/doo wop Little Anthony And The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958), still touring with two other remaining members of the group
1940 ● Anthony Michael “Tony” Secunda → Businessman, promoter and manager for The Moody Blues (“Go Now!”, #1, 1965), The Move, Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, 1967) and T. Rex (“Bang A Gong (Get It On),” #10, 1971), also discovered Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, died of a heart attack on 2/12/1995, age 54
1942 ● Marshall Thompson → Founding member of Chicago R&B/smooth soul vocal quartet the Chi-Lites (“Oh Girl,” #1, R&B #1, 1972), continued to record and perform with the group through the 90s, jailed for selling stolen police badges in 2001, returned to the group with his wife, Tara and continues into the 10s
1942 ● Jimmy Soul (James McCleese) → Teenaged gospel singer turned two hit wonder R&B/soul vocalist with a calypso-tinged, “Twistin’ Mathilda” (#2, 1962) and the rollicking “If You Wanna Be Happy” (#1, 1963), died from a heart attack on 6/25/1988, age 45
1943 ● John Cipollina → Founder and trendsetting lead guitarist for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), formed hard rock Copperhead and played with numerous other rock bands, #32 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, died from emphysema on 5/29/1989, age 45
1944 ● James Brady → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1945 ● Ken Hensley → Keyboards and guitar for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, wrote or co-wrote many of their songs, including “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), fronted or played with numerous hard rock bands over the past 30 years, composed the rock opera Blood On The Highway (2006) and wrote two books, one about Uriah Heep and the other an autobiography
1945 ● Malcolm “Molly” Duncan → Tenor saxophonist and founding member of Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), sessions and tours with Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Tom Petty and others
1945 ● Randy Silverman → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1947 ● Jim Fox → Co-founder, drummer and only constant member of underrated hard rock The James Gang, “Funk #49” (#59, 1970) and “Walk Away” (#51, 1971), also played with oldies revival lineups of 60s garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966)
1948 ● Jean-Michel Jarre → Pioneering French electronic synth-pop and ambient music composer, “Oxygene Part IV” (UK #4, 1979) and album Chronologie (#10, UK #9, 1993)
1951 ● Danny Joe Brown → Lead vocals for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), died from effects of diabetes and a stroke on 3/10/2005, age 53
1951 ● Michael DeRosier → Session drummer and later full-time member of hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1982 to join Boston-offshoot AOR/arena rock Orion The Hunter, “So You Ran” (#58, 1984), joined former Heart bandmates in 1988 to co-found AOR/hard rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1955 ● Jeffrey Daniel → Dancer on Soul Train music TV show, tapped to replace session singers and dancers in pre-fab disco/pop Shalamar, “The Second Time Around” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 1980), now a British TV host
1961 ● Mark Bedford → Bassist for punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1961 ● Colin Angus → Founding member, bassist and vocals for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● John Bush → Lead vocals for L.A. heavy metal Armored Saint, left in 1990 for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1964 ● Oteil Burbridge → Classical-trained, Grammy-winning jazz and rock bassist for The Allman Brothers Band, his own Oteil & The Pacemakers, Dead & Company, Phish and various permutations of Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers spin-offs
1968 ● Andreas Kisser → Guitarist for Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996), sessions and film soundtracks
1970 ● Krystyn Robyn Osborn → Vocalist and chief songwriter for country-pop sister trio SHeDAISY, “I Will…But” (#43, Country #2, 1999)

Aug 25

1918 ● Leonard Bernstein → Talented composer, conductor, pianist, director of the New York Philharmonic, wrote the music to many Broadway shows, including West Side Story (1957), died from pneumonia on 10/14/1990, age 72
1933 ● Wayne Shorter → Leading jazz and fusion saxophonist and composer, played with the Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers, joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1964, co-founded jazz/rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo
1941 ● Christopher Augustine → Drummer for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1942 ● Walter Williams → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Alan Parker → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1947 ● Pete Arnesen → Piano for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (, US #37, 1974)
1949 ● Gene “The Demon” Simmons (Chaim Witz) → Bass, vocals and frontman for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), released two solo albums, producer, talent scout, entrepreneur, author and film and TV actor
1949 ● Henry Paul → Founding member, lead singer and guitarist for Southern hard rock Outlaws (“Hurry Sundown,” #34, 1975), left in 1977 to form and front country-rock Henry Paul Band, in 1991 founded Nashville-based Blackhawk (“I’m Not Strong Enough To Say No,” #2, 1995), reformed Outlaws in 2005 and continues to record and tour
1950 ● Willy De Ville (William Boray) → Guitar, vocals and frontman for blue-eyed soul/roots rock/punk rock Mink De Ville, “Storybook Love” (1987), solo and collaborations with notable blues and R&B stars, died of pancreatic cancer on 8/7/2009, age 58
1951 ● James Warren → Co-founder, bassist and vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Korgis, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” (#18, 1980)
1951 ● Rob Halford → Vocals for influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Geoff Downes → Founding member and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40, 1979), joined prog rock Yes for one album (Drama, 1980), left to form prog/pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), solo
1954 ● Elvis Costello (Declan Patrick McManus) → Innovative, eclectic, multi-genre songwriter, singer and pub rock/punk/New Wave guitarist, frontman for The Attractions, “Veronica” (#19, 1989), 17 US Top 40 albums, has recorded classical-, jazz- and adult pop-based albums
1956 ● Matt Aitken → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1961 ● Billy Ray Cyrus → Once touted as the “Next Elvis,” country-pop one hit wonder crossover singer, debut single “Achy Breaky Heart” (#4, 1992) spawned the worldwide “line dance” craze, debut album Some Gave All spent 17 weeks on the US album chart, father of actress Miley Cyrus
1962 ● Vivian Patrick Campbell → Guitarist with hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), Dio and Whitesnake
1963 ● Candida Doyle → Keyboard and backing vocals for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1965 ● Erik Dahlgren → Drummer for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1966 ● Terminator X (Norman Rogers) → Rapper and DJ for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989), solo, producer, retired to his South Carolina ostrich stud farm in 2003
1967 ● Jeff Tweedy → Co-founder, singer, songwriter and guitars for seminal roots rock trio Uncle Tupelo, after its breakup founded alt country-rock Wilco, “Outasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1969 ● Luke Scott → Guitarist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1970 ● Jo Dee Messina → Country-pop crossover singer with 12 Country Top 10 hits, six of them #1’s, including “That’s The Way” (#25, Country #1, 2000)
1985 ● Diana “Wynter” Gordon → Dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Dirty Talk” (Dance #1, 2010), co-wrote “Sugar” for Flo Rida (#5, 2009)
1987 ● Amy MacDonald → Scottish soft folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over” (UK #48, 2010)
1988 ● Alexandra Burke → Brit R&B/neo-soul and electro-pop singer, won the 2008 UK talent show The X Factor, debut single “Hallelujah” (UK #1, 2008) plus four other UK Top 10 hits in two years
1988 ● Ray Quinn → English TV soap opera actor, dancer and singer, runner-up in the 2006 UK talent show The X Factor, “Doing It My Way” (UK #1, 2007)

Aug 26

1903 ● Jimmy “Mr Five by Five” Rushing → Short and stout blues/jazz “shouter” and singer, lead vocals for the Count Basie band, died of leukemia on 6/8/1972, age 68
1936 ● René Ornelas → Mexican-American singer and, with René Herrera, one half of the Tejano-pop duo René y René with two minor 60s hits, “Angelito” (“Little Angel”) (#43, 1964) and “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You)” (AC #14, 1969), one of the first Chicano acts on American Bandstand in 1964, continues to perform into the 10s as René René
1938 ● Jet Black (Brian Duffy) → Drummer in punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1939 ● Fred Milano → Founding member and tenor vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “A Teenager In Love” (#5, 1959), continued after frontman Dion DiMucci left in 1960 as The Belmonts, “Tell Me Why” (#18, 1961), performed with the group until just before his death from lung cancer on 1/1/2012, age 72
1940 ● Nik Turner → Founding member, saxophonist, flautist and composer for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), Sphynx and Space Ritual
1941 ● Chris Curtis → Drummer and vocals for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), died following a long illness on 2/28/2005, age 63
1942 ● Vic Dana → Tap dancer turned vocalist in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959), then solo, “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” (#10, 1965)
1944 ● Maureen Ann “Moe” Tucker → Drummer for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968)
1948 ● Valerie Simpson → With husband Nickolas Ashford, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others
1949 ● Leon Redbone (Dickran Gobalian) → Cyprus-born, baritone jazz/blues/ragtime singer and interpreter of early 20th century popular songs and Tin Pan Alley songwriters, “Seduced” (#72, 1981) and album Double Time (#38, 1977)
1949 ● Richard “Dick” Cowsill → Road manager for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, twin brother of bandmember Bob Cowsill
1949 ● Bob Cowsill → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, his twin brother Richard “Dick” Cowsill was the road manager for the group
1952 ● Billy Rush → Songwriter and producer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1954 ● Steve Wright → BBC Radio 2 disc jockey in the weekday afternoon time slot since 1999
1954 ● Michael Chetwood → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1957 ● John O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1960 ● Branford Marsalis → Jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, played with Art Blakely, Herbie Hancock, his brother Wynton, and Sting, led Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band, formed his own record label in 2002 for his own albums and those of others
1965 ● Annie Holland → Bassist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1966 ● Shirley Manson → Scottish lead vocalist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1966 ● Dan Vickrey → Guitarist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1969 ● Adrian Young → Drummer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)

Aug 27

1937 ● Phil Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist (sax, flute, clarinet, piano and percussion) for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1937 ● Tommy Sands → Late 50s teen idol singer with one big hit among a half dozen charting singles, “Teen Age Crush” (#2, 1956), appeared on multiple TV shows and in several top films before his career waned in the late-60s, performed on the oldies circuit into the 90s
1942 ● Daryl “The Captain” Dragon → With wife Toni Tennille, keyboards and vocals in 70s MOR/light pop-rock duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975), previously toured with and played on early 70s albums by The Beach Boys
1944 ● John Voorhis “Tim” Bogert III → Bassist and vocals for hard psych rock/proto-metal Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6, 1968), formed boogie-rock Cactus in 1972 and “super” trio Beck, Bogert & Appice, “Superstition” (1973), sessions and tours, solo albums, teaching, Vanilla Fudge reunions
1945 ● Malcolm “Duke” Allured → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1949 ● Jeff Cook → Co-founder, vocals, lead guitar, keyboards and fiddle for country-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, Country #1, 1981) and 31 other Country #1 hits
1950 ● John Turnbull → Brit pop-rock guitarist and singer, started with the psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the mid-60s, since played with Nick Lowe, Dave Stewart, Eurythmics, Ian Dury And The Blockheads and others, also contributed to film soundtracks including Get Carter (1971)
1951 ● Kevin Kavanaugh → Keyboards for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1953 ● Alex Lifeson (Zivojinovich) → Guitarist, backing vocals and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles
1956 ● Glen Matlock → Bassist and songwriter for the original lineup of punk rock Sex Pistols, “Anarchy In The U.K.” (1976), left in 1977 and replaced by Sid Vicious, formed New Wave power pop The Rich Kids and other bands with limited success, joined the reformed Sex Pistols in 1996
1961 ● Yolanda Adams → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/gospel singer, “Open My Heart” (#57, Gospel #1, 1999), Billboard magazine’s #1 gospel artist of the 00s, radio host
1970 ● Tony Kanal → Bassist for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1972 ● Jimmy Pop (James Moyer Franks) → Lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and chief songwriter for alt rock/comedy/satire Bloodhound Gang, “The Bad Touch” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1975 ● Mase (Mason Durell Betha) → Hip hop entertainer, songwriter and rapper, duet with Kelly Price, “Feel So Good” (#5, Rap #1, 1997), also worked with Puff Daddy, Blackstreet and others, leads an international ministry
1979 ● Jonathan Siebels → Co-founder and guitarist for teen punk-pop trio Eve 6, “Inside Out” (#28, Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1979 ● Sarah Neufeld → Violinist for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007), side project is six-piece instrumental rock group Bell Orchestre
1986 ● Mario (Dewar Bennett) → R&B/pop singer and songwriter, “Let Me Love You” (#1, 2004), film actor, fashion model and philanthropist

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 10 – 16)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 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 ● Shelby F. “Sheb” 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 ● Nathaniel “Nate” 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 → 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) → 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, born 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 ● 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
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
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 ● Warren “Torch” DeMartini → Lead guitarist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1964 ● Alan “Reni” 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 ● Elizabeth Margaret “Liz” 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

Apr 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
1943 ● Tony Victor → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering” Bob 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, 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 → 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” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983)
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 ● Oliver “Ollie” 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”

Apr 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 (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 → Country music songwriter and one hit wonder country-pop crossover singer, “From A Jack To A King” (#6, Country #2, 1962), scored ten other Country hits but declined to tour due to stage fright, left the music business and faded into obscurity in the late 60s
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 → 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 ● Sandra Delores “Lois” 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 → TV/screen actor and singer, played the teen idol oldest son (with real-life stepmother Shirley Jones) in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970), solo “How Can I Be Sure” (1972)
1951 ● Alexander Briley → Vocals (and the Army G. I. character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1954 ● Pat Travers → Canadian bluesy hard rock guitarist, singer and bandleader for the Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981) and solo
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer → German film actor (Das Boot, 1981) and film score composer, now successful pop-rocker, “Mensch” (German #1, 2002)
1957 ● Vince Gill → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League, “Amie” (#27, 1973), then successful solo career with 17 Country Music Awards and 14 Grammys, married to singer Amy Grant
1958 ● Will Sergeant → Guitarist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Art Alexakis → Frontman, guitars, lead vocals and principal songwriter for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1964 ● Amy Ray → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1965 ● Sean Welch → Bassist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1967 ● Mellow Man Ace (Ulpiano Sergio Reyes) → Cuban-born rapper and house music singer (“Mentirosa,” #14, 1990), brother of Sen Dog
1967 ● Sarah Cracknell → Frontwoman and lead vocals for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum → Vocals and rhythm guitar for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996)
1974 ● Shakir Stewart → Record label executive noted for signing Beyoncé to Hitco Music, Ciara to LaFace Records and Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records, where he was Executive Vice President until his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on 11/1/2008, age 34
1978 ● Guy Berryman → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1980 ● Bryan McFadden → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits, now solo and judge on Australia’s Got Talent TV show
1987 ● Brendon Urie → Lead singer, guitar and piano for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

Apr 13

1926 ● Cosimo 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 ● Richard Timothy “Rashad” Feild → Vocals and guitar with Dusty Springfield and her brother in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), now Sufi mystic and spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers → Lead vocals, harmonica and percussion for bi-racial psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Bill Conti → Prolific film and TV score composer, best known for the Rocky movie series, wrote and directed “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), theme song from Rocky, orchestra conductor for the Academy Awards
1943 ● Guy Stevens → Label executive, producer and band manager, early figure at Island Records and the Britbeat and blues scenes in the 60s, managed Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, UK #1, 1967) and mentored Mott The Hoople (“All the Young Dudes, #37, UK #3, 1972), produced albums for <strongFree and Spooky Tooth plus the punk classic London Calling (1978) for The Clash, died from a prescription drug overdose on 8/29/1981, age 38
1944 ● Brian Pendleton → Original rhythm guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964), died of lung cancer on 5/15/2001, age 57
1944 ● John William “Jack” Casady → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1945 ● Lowell George → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, frontman for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), solo, died of an accidental drug overdose on 6/29/1979, age 34
1946 ● Al Green (Albert Greene) → Southern R&B and gospel singer, “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, 1972), #65 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1946 ● Roy Loney → Founding member, wild frontman and lead vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, left for mostly quiet solo career in 1971
1948 ● Piet Sweval → Co-founder and bassist for one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass, “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” (#1, 1972)
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 ● 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 → 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 ● Clarence Frederick “Butch” 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)

Apr 14

1925 ● Willie 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
1935 ● Loretta Lynn (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 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 (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 ● Vincent “Vinnie” 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)

Apr 15

1894 ● Bessie Smith → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and an inspiration to many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937, age 43
1933 ● Roy Clark → Affable country superstar singer/songwriter, guitar and banjo player, “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, Country #9, 1969), 23-year host of TV show Hee Haw
1937 ● Bob Luman → Country, rockabilly and one hit wonder pop crossover singer, “Let’s Think About Livin'” (#7, Country #9, 1960) plus 20 other Country Top 40 hits, died from pneumonia on 12/27/1978, age 41
1939 ● Marty Wilde (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1940 ● Clarence “Satch” 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 ● Stuart “Wooly” Wolstenholme → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died on 12/13/2010, age 63
1947 ● Michael 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
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 ● Ivor Neville “Nick” 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

Apr 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 → 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 ● Stanley Robert “Bobby” 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 → 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
1947 ● Gerry 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 1/4/2011, age 63
1947 ● Lee “The Bear” Kerslake → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1953 ● Peter Garrett → Towering Australian musician, politician and activist, frontman and lead vocals from 1975 to 2002 for politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988) , the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 best albums of the 80s, served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little” Jimmy Osmond → 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

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This Week’s Birthdays (September 14 – 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Sep 14

1914 ● Mae Boren Axton → Country songwriter, the “Queen Mother of Nashville,” wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs including Elvis Presley‘s hit “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956), died on 4/9/1997 from drowning in her bath at home after a suspected heart attack
1946 ● Pete Agnew → Bassist, co-founder and constant member of Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976)
1947 ● Jon “Bowzer” Bauman → Vocals for rock ‘n’ roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
1949 ● Edward C. King → Guitarist for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), replaced Leon Wilkeson on bass in raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), switched to guitar when Wilkeson returned to the band and created the signature triple-guitar attack sound, left in 1976 but returned to the reunited band in 1987, left for good due to health problems in 1996
1949 ● Fred “Sonic” Smith → Lead guitarist for Detroit proto-punk rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (1969), married punk singer and poet Patti Smith in 1980, died 11/4/1994 from heart failure
1949 ● Steve Gaines → Guitar for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), wrote “I Know A Little” (1977), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977
1950 ● Paul Kossoff → Guitarist for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), formed Back Street Crawler, died on 3/19/1976 from a heart attack resulting from drug abuse on a New York/L.A. commercial flight
1954 ● Barry Cowsill → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family
1955 ● Steve Berlin → Saxophonist and keyboardist for all-American roots rock The Blasters, in 1984 joined Tex-Mex roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987), sessions and collaborations
1959 ● Morten Harket → Lead vocals in Norwegian synth-poppers A-ha, “Take On Me” (#1, 1985), solo
1967 ● John Power → Bass and vocals for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1970 ● Craig Montoya → Bassist for Pacific Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1970 ● Mark Webber → Joined alt rock/Britpop Pulp as second guitarist in 1995, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), now produces avant-garde films
1972 ● Nas (Nasir Jones) → Self-appointed “King of New York,” acclaimed and influential hip hop performer and East Coast rapper, “If I Ruled The World” (#53, Rhythmic Top 40 #8, 1996), US #1 album Hip Hop Is Dead (2006)
1981 ● Ashley Roberts → Vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1983 ● Amy Winehouse → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop and jazz-pop singer and songwriter, “Rehab” (#9, 2007), died from unknown causes at her London home on 7/23/2011

Sep 15

1903 ● Roy Acuff → The “King of Country Music,” singer, fiddler and country music promoter credited with “mainstreaming” early country music, co-founder of Acuff-Rose Music, which signed Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and others, died of heart failure on 11/23/1992
1928 ● Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley → High school band director turned renowned, Grammy-winning alto jazz saxophonist, bandleader and solo artist, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (#11, R&B #2, 1967), died of a stroke on 8/8/1975
1931 ● Jac Holzman → Music business executive, founded Elektra Records in 1950 and started other important music labels, signed fledging acts such as The Doors, Carly Simon, Bread and others, went on to various music industry executive positions, including stints with Time-Warner, Sony and Panavision
1933 ● Pat Barrett → High tenor for Canadian pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1940 ● Jimmy Gilmer → Frontman and vocals for early rock & roll/surf pioneers The Fireballs, “Sugar Shack” (#1, 1963)
1941 ● Les Braid → Bassist for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1942 ● Lee Dorman → Bassist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), later hard rock Captain Beyond, died of unknown causes at home on 12/21/2012
1946 ● Ola Brunkert → Swedish drummer in the backing band for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976), died 3/17/2008 after hitting his head on a glass door and suffering a slit throat from a shard of broken glass
1956 ● Jaki Graham → UK star but US one hit wonder R&B/dance-pop singer, “Ain’t Nobody” (Dance/Club #1,1994)
1958 ● Tim Whelan → Guitar for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1960 ● Michel “Mitch” Dorge → Drummer, songwriter and producer for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1976 ● Ivette Sosa → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1976 ● Kingsley “KG” Goldsmith → Lead vocals for Brit R&B/swingbeat soul boy band MN8, “I’ve Got A Little Something For You” (UK #2, 1995)
1977 ● Paul Thomson → Drummer for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)

Sep 16

1913 ● Florence Greenberg → New Jersey housewife who parlayed an unlikely hit record by an unknown teen group, The Shirelles (“I Met Him On A Sunday” #49, 1958) into an improbable career as a music executive and owner of Scepter Records, the leading independent label of the 60s and home to Dionne Warwick, The Isley Brothers, B.J. Thomas and many others, sold out and retired in 1976, died from complications of a stoke on 11/2/1995
1925 ● Riley B. “B.B.” King → The reigning “King of the Blues” and important electric guitarist, “The Thrill Is Gone” (#15, R&B #1,1970), influenced countless electric blues and rock guitarists, #3 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list
1941 ● Joe Butler → Drummer for 60s hit making folk-rock quartet The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966)
1942 ● Bernard Calvert → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Betty Kelly → Vocals for Motown R&B/soul girl group The Velvelettes, “Needle In A Haystack” (#45, 1964), left to join R&B/pop-soul girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Street”” (#2, 1964)
1944 ● Winston Grennan → The “Master Drummer of Jamaica,” session drummer and bandleader credited with creating the “One Drop” ska and rocksteady-based beat that underlies reggae music and the “Flyers” beat that precursed reggae, worked with Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and many other top reggae, ska, soul and pop acts, died from cancer on 10/27/2000
1948 ● Kenney Jones → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), hard-rockers The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), replaced deceased Keith Moon in 1979 in The Who, “You Better You Bet” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1981)
1948 ● Ron Blair → Original bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (#3, 1981), left in 1982 for session career and rejoined in 2002
1950 ● David Bellamy → With brother Homer, one half of country-pop The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (#1, 1976) and 35 other Country Top 40 hits
1953 ● Alan Leslie Barton → Guitarist for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Agadoo” (UK #2, 1984), joined pop-rock Smokie in 1986 as guitarist and lead vocalist, died 3/23/1995 when the band’s tour bus crashed in Germany
1954 ● Colin Newman → Vocals, guitar and songwriting for art/punk then post-punk then electronic Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989), solo artist, producer and co-founder of the Swim Records label
1961 ● Bilinda Butcher → Guitar and vocals for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1962 ● Stephen Jones → Founder, guitarist, vocals and frontman of Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996), solo, novelist
1963 ● Richard Marx → Pop/rock singer and songwriter, “Right Here Waiting” (#1, 1987) turned Grammy-winning adult contemporary balladeer, “Dance With My Father” (Song of the Year 2003)
1968 ● Marc Anthony (Marco Antonio Muñiz) → Multi-talented, Grammy-winning Latin dance-pop (“tropical salsa”) singer, “I Need To Know” (#3, 1991), film actor
1969 ● Justine Frischmann → Co-founder guitar and vocals for alt rock/Britpop Suede, left for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), now an abstract painter
1976 ● Shannon Noll → Australian pop-rock singer, runner-up of the first series of Australian Idol (2003), ten consecutive Aussie Top 10 singles, including “What About Me?” (Aus #1, 2004)
1976 ● Tina Barrett → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1977 ● Musiq Soulchild (Talib Johnson) → R&B/neo-soul, funk, blues and gospel fusion hip hop artist, “Halfcrazy” (#16, 2002)
1981 ● Christopher Cester → Drummer and backing vocals for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1984 ● Ketevan “Katie” Melua → Jazz-pop/adult contemporary singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Nine Million Bicycles” (UK #5, 2005), album Piece By Piece (Jazz Albums #3, 2006)
1992 ● Nick Jonas → Singer and songwriter in teen-pop ballad trio the Jonas Brothers, “Burnin’ Up” (#5, 2008), actor

Sep 17

1923 ● Hiram King “Hank” Williams → The “Father of Contemporary Country Music” with 35 oft-covered Country Top 10 hits, including “Hey, Good Lookin'” (Country #1, 1951), died in his limo en route to a show on 1/1/1953
1926 ● Bill Black → Early rock ‘n roll bassist in Elvis Presley‘s backing band and his own Bill Black Combo, “Smokie” (1959), died 10/21/1965
1937 ● Phil Cracolici → Lead vocals for one hit wonder blue-eyed doo wop quintet The Mystics, “Hushabye” (#20, 1959)
1939 ● LaMonte McLemore → Founding member and vocals for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), professional photographer for Playboy, Jet, Ebony, Harper’s Bizarre and others
1947 ● Jim HodderSteely Dan backing band drummer 1972-74, session drummer for Sammy Hagar and David Soul, drowned in his backyard swimming pool on 6/5/1990
1950 ● John Waldo “Fee” Waybill → Lead singer and songwriter for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), producer for Bryan Adams, Richard Marx and others
1953 ● Steve Williams → Drummer for early and influential Welsh heavy metal band Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1959 ● Will Gregory → Vocals and synthesizer with Alison Goldfrapp in Brit electro-dance-pop due Goldfrapp, “Number 1” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1961 ● Ty Tabor → Lead guitar, songwriting and vocals for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1962 ● Benjamin “BeBe” Winans → Grammy-winning R&B/soul and gospel crossover singer in duets with sister CeCe (Priscilla), “Close To You” (R&B/Hip Hop #21, 2009) or solo, “Thank You” (Dance/Club #6, 1998)
1962 ● Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann → Australian screenwriter, film director and one hit wonder novelty-pop/spoken word artist, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” (#45, Adult Top 40 #10, 1999), directed Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Australia (2008)
1966 ● Doug E. Fresh (Douglas E. Davis) → Rapper, producer and pioneering beat boxer known as “The Human Beat Box” for his near-perfect imitations of drum machines and effects using his mouth, lips, gums and throat, frontman for hip hop Get Fresh Crew, “The Show” (Hip Hop #3, 1985) and solo, “Freaks/I-ight (Alright)” (Dance #3, 1994)
1968 ● Anastacia Lyn Newkirk → R&B/dance-pop singer, “One Day In Your Life” (Dance/Club #1, 2002)
1968 ● John Penney → Vocals for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1968 ● Lord Jamar (Lorenzo Dechalus) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1969 ● Adam Devlin (Gorecki) → Guitarist and songwriter for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996)
1969 ● Keith Flint → Vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1970 ● Vinnie (Vincent Brown) → Vocals and sampling for pop-rap crossover trio Naughty By Nature, “O.P.P.” (#6, 1991) and Grammy-winning Poverty’s Property, Best Rap Album for 1995
1976 ● Maile Misajon → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1979 ● Chuck Comeau → Drummer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1979 ● Flo Rida (Tramar Dillard) → Southern rapper, singer/songwriter and MC, “Low” feat. T-Pain (#1, 2007)
1985 ● Jonathan Jacob Walker → Bassist for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

Sep 18

1933 ● James Frederick “Jimmie” Rodgers → Pop and easy listening singer, “Honeycomb” (#1, 1957) and 13 other Top 40 hits in the late 50s and 1960s
1940 ● Frankie Avalon (Francis Thomas Avallone) → Pretty-boy teen idol pop singer, “Venus” (#1, 1959) and 11 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1962, then film actor, Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
1945 ● Alan King → Guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1949 ● Kerry Livgren → Founding member, guitarist and songwriter for prog/heartland rock Kansas, wrote “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977) and “Dust In The Wind” (#6, 1978), converted to Christianity and formed religious-tinged hard rock AD with other Kansas bandmates, solo
1950 ● Mike Hossack → Drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), died from cancer on 3/12/2012
1951 ● Dee Dee Ramone (Doug Colvin) → Bassist for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died of a drug overdose on 6/5/2002
1961 ● Martin “Frosty” Beedle → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Joanne Catherall → Vocals for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1962 ● Richard Walmsley → Writer and producer with electro-dance-pop The Beatmasters, “Warm Love” (Dance #16, 1990), the trio also produced hits for Cookie Crew, Yazz and P.P. Arnold, and albums for Erasure, Pet Shop Boys and others
1966 ● Ian “Spike” Spice → Co-founder and drummer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Nigel Clarke → Lead singer and bassist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1967 ● Mike Heaton → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1967 ● Ricky Bell → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), then Bell Biv Devoe, “Poison” (#3, 1990)

Sep 19

1921 ● Billy Ward (Robert L. Williams) → Child prodigy pianist and frontman, vocals and arranger for The Dominoes, “Sixty Minute Man” (#1, 1951), died 2/16/2002
1931 ● Brook Benton (Benjamin Franklin Peay) → R&B/soul and early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “The Boll Weevil Song” (#2, 1961), plus comeback track “Rainy Night In Georgia” (#4, 1979) and 21 other Top 40 hits, died from complications of spiral meningitis on 4/9/1998
1934 ● Brian Epstein → Music entrepreneur, record store owner, manager of The Beatles from 1962 until his death, managed other Liverpool acts including Gerry & The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and The Cyrkle, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates and alcohol on 8/27/1967
1935 ● Nick Massi (Nicholas Macioci) → Bass guitarist, arranger and vocalist for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), died of cancer on 12/24/2000
1937 ● Paul Siebel → Greenwich Village folk scene singer/songwriter and guitarist known solely for other artist’s cover versions of his songs, including “Louise” and “Any Day Woman,” dropped out of sight in the 70s after issuing two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums
1940 ● Bill Medley → Blue-eyed soul singer and, with Bobby Hatfield, one half of hugely successful pop-rock duo The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody” (#4, 1965), solo career including the Grammy-winning “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1940 ● Paul Williams → Grammy-winning pop songwriter, wrote “An Old Fashioned Love Song” (#4, 1971) for Three Dog Night, “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, and “We’ve Only Just Begun” (#2, 1970) and “Rainy Days And Mondays” (#2, 1971) for the Carpenters, solo act pop singer (“Waking Up Alone,” #60, 1972) and actor
1940 ● Sylvia Tyson (Fricker) → Canadian singer in influential male/female folk harmony vocal duo Ian & Sylvia, wrote “You Were On My Mind” for folk-pop We Five (#32, 1965)
1941 ● “Mama” Cass Elliot (Ellen Naomi Cohen) → Vocals and percussion for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), died of a heart attack in Harry Nilsson‘s London apartment on 7/29/1974
1942 ● Danny Kalb → Folk- and blues-rock guitarist, composer and songwriter, co-founded jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “Flute Thing” (1966), solo career with numerous albums and collaborations
1942 ● Freda Payne → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Band of Gold” (#3, 1970), TV and film actress
1943 ● Mike Arnone → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962)
1945 ● David Bromberg → Multi-string instrumentalist and blues-folk and roots rock singer/songwriter, “The Holdup” (1971), now owns a violin sales and repair shop
1946 ● John Coghlan → Drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1947 ● Laurence Neill “Lol” Crème → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), co-founded pop duo Godley & Crème, “Cry” (#16, 1985) and joined art-rock/synth-pop Art Of Noise in 1998, now a music video producer.
1949 ● Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) → Iconic 60s model and later stage, screen and TV actress, one hit wonder pop singer, “Here I Go Again” (UK #17, 1976)
1951 ● Daniel Lanois → Canadian record producer, guitarist and composer, produced Peter Gabriel‘s So and U2‘s The Joshua Tree, also albums by Brian Eno, Bob Dylan and others, solo album Acadie (1990)
1952 ● Nile Rodgers → Guitarist, co-founder and co-writer for R&B/disco band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978), influential record producer, composer and arranger, produced albums for David Bowie (Let’s Dance), Madonna (Like A Virgin), Mick Jagger (She’s The Boss) and others, died from pneumonia after and all-star “tribute” show in Japan on 4/18/1996
1957 ● Rusty Egan → Drummer for New Wave power pop The Rich Kids, “Rich Kids” (UK #24, 1978) and New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey”(UK #8, 1981), London nightclub DJ
1958 ● Carmelita Rosanna “Lita” Ford → Guitar, vocals and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), pop-metal solo career, “Close My Eyes Forever” (#8, 1988)
1963 ● Jarvis Crocker → Singer for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1964 ● Patricia Lynn “Trisha” Yearwood → Grammy-winning country singer, “How Do I Live” (#23, Country #2, 1996) and 28 other Country Top 40 hits, TV and occasional film actress, cookbook editor
1969 ● Candy Dulfer → Dutch alto saxophonist, “On & On” (Smooth Jazz #13, 2009), sessions and backing bands for Van Morrison, Prince and others, collaborated with Dave Stewart, “Lily Was Here” (UK #6, 1990)
1971 ● Paul Winterhart → Drummer for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1973 ● Alan Jay “A. Jay” Popoff → Frontman and vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Lit, “My Own Worst Enemy” (#51, Mainstream Rock #6, 1999)
1974 ● Jimmy Fallon → Stand-up comedian, film and TV actor, awards show host, former Saturday Night Live cast member and comedy/satire music singer/songwriter with the Grammy-nominated album The Bathroom Wall (#47, 2002)
1977 ● Ryan Dusick → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)

Sep 20

1930 ● Eddie Bo (Edwin Joseph Bocage) → New Orleans-style jazz, blues and funk pianist, singer and prolific songwriter, released over 50 singles, including “Hook And Sling” (R&B #13, 1969) and the seminal funk song “Check Your Bucket,” wrote for and recorded with Art Tatum, Etta James and The Neville Brothers, among others, his “I’m Wise” was covered by Little Richard as “Slippin’ And Slidin'” (#33, R&B #2, 1956), May 22 is “Eddie Bo Day” in New Orleans, died following a heart attack on 3/18/2009
1945 ● “Sweet Pea” Atkinson → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989), solo
1946 ● Mick Rogers (Michael Oldroyd) → Guitarist and songwriter with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977)
1946 ● Sylvia Peterson → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), retired from the group in the mid-90s
1948 ● Chuck Panozzo → Bassist for prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981)
1948 ● John Panozzo → Drummer for prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), died on 7/16/1996 from cirrhosis of the liver
1954 ● Tony Destra → Original drummer for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990), left in 1985 to join glam-metal Britny Fox, “Long Way To Love” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1988), died in car accident on 2/8/1987
1957 ● Alannah Currie → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), now a sculptural art-furniture artist
1960 ● David Hemingway → Lead vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then co-founded alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1960 ● Robert “Cowboy” Wiggins → MC and vocals for hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982), the first hip hop group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died from complications of cocaine addiction on 9/8/1989
1966 ● Nuno Bettencourt → Portuguese guitarist and songwriter for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), solo, various collaborations and frontman for several hard rock bands
1967 ● Gunnar Nelson → With twin brother Matthew, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1967 ● Matthew Nelson → With twin brother Gunnar, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1968 ● Ben Shepherd → Bassist in seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1979 ● Rick Woolstenhulme → Drummer for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1981 ● Keith Semple → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

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This Week’s Birthdays (July 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jul 13

1935 ● Pete Escovedo → Mexican-American jazz and fusion percussionist with Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), solo and leader of Latin big band Azteca
1942 ● James Joseph “Roger” McGuinn → Twelve-string Rickenbacker jingle-jangle guitarist, songwriter, singer and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), McGuinn-Clark & Hillman, “Don’t You Write Her Off” (#33, 1979), solo
1942 ● Jay Uzzell → With brothers James and Moses and cousin George Wooten, vocals for R&B/doo wop The Corsairs, “Smoky Places” (#12, 1962)
1942 ● Mark “The Animal” Mendoza → Bassist for proto-punk The Dictators, joined heavy metal Twisted Sister in 1978, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983)
1942 ● Stephen Bladd → Drummer for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1942 ● Thomas R. “Tom” King → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead guitarist for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), producer and manager, died from heart failure on 4/23/2011
1954 ● Thelma Louise Mandrell → Country-pop bassist and singer, played in sister Barbara Mandrell‘s band, The D-Rights, then solo, “Save Me” (Country #5, 1985)
1958 ● Rafael “Danny” Gayol → Drummer for roots rock and adult pop BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Lawrence Donegan → Bassist for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983), then Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985), author and golf journalist
1966 ● Gerald Levert → Vocals and frontman for R&B/smooth soul trio LeVert, “Taking Everything” (#11, 1999), son of O’Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died of a heart attack on 11/10/2006
1969 ● Mark “Barney” Greenway → Extreme metal singer for punk/grindcore Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and Benediction
1974 ● Deborah Cox → Canadian R&B singer/songwriter, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” (#2, 1998)

Jul 14

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

Jul 15

1905 ● Dorothy Fields → Prolific, Oscar-winning stage and screen librettist/lyricist, wrote over 400 Broadway tunes, first woman elected to Songwriters Hall of Fame, long-time collaborator with Jimmy McHugh, died of a stroke on 3/28/1974
1939 ● Tommy Dee → With collaborator Carol Kay, wrote and performed the pop-rock tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, “Three Stars” (#11, 1959)
1944 ● Mildred “Millie” Jackson → R&B/soul singer “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right” (1975)
1945 ● Peter Lewis → Lead guitar for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967)
1946 ● Linda Ronstadt → Lead vocals for folk-pop Stone Poneys, “Different Drum” (#13, 1967), then prolific and multi-genre, Grammy-winning country-pop-rock solo career, “You’re No Good” (#1, 1975), duet with Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much” (#2, 1989) and 17 other Top 40 hits
1947 ● Ian McCredie → Guitarist for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1947 ● Peter Banks (Peter William Brockbanks) → Original lead guitarist for prog rock pioneers Yes (1968-70), pushed out and co-founded prog-rock Flash, “Small Beginnings” (#29, 1972), solo
1948 ● Thomas Delmar “Artimus” Pyle → Drummer for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), solo and sessions
1949 ● Trevor Horn → Bassist, songwriter and co-founder of New Wave synth-pop The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40, 1979), producer, lead vocals and bassist for Yes, then full producer for such diverse acts as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and others
1952 ● Jeff Carlisli → Founding member and guitarist for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1952 ● Johnny Thunders (John Genzale, Jr.) → Guitarist and vocals for influential glam-proto-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), solo, died of heroin overdose on 4/23/1991
1953 ● Alicia Bridges → One hit wonder disco diva, “I Love The Night Life (Disco ‘Round)” (#5, 1978)
1956 ● Ian Curtis → Singer, lyricist, guitarist and often frontman for post-punk/synth-pop Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), committed suicide on 5/18/1980
1956 ● Joe “Satch” Satriani → Guitar virtuoso, instructor and mentor, solo artist, brief bandmember of Mick Jagger‘s band (1988) and Deep Purple (1984), sessions, currently lead guitarist with blues-funk-rock supergroup Chickenfoot
1956 ● Marky Ramone (Marc Bell) → Drummer for seminal punk-rockers The Ramones, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” (#81, 1977)
1966 ● Jason John Bonham → Rock drummer and son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, performed with Zeppelin members individually and as a band on numerous occasions following his father death in 1980, toured and recorded with Paul Rodgers, UFO, Joe Bonamassa, Foreigner and others
1970 ● Chi Ling Dai Cheng → Bassist for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1973 ● John Dolmayan → Drummer for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1977 ● Ray Toro → Lead guitar for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1983 ● Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie) → Jamaican dancehall reggae singer and Rastafarian, “Champion” (Dance #15, 1995)

Jul 16

1940 ● Tony Jackson → Bass and vocals for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), died 8/18/2003
1942 ● Desmond Dekker (Dacres) → Influential and first Jamaican ska/reggae star, singer and frontman for The Aces, “The Israelites” (#8, 1968), died of a heart attack on 5/25/2006
1944 ● Thomas Boggs → Drummer for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), died of cancer on 5/5/2008
1949 ● Ray Major → Guitarist for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), which became Mott in 1974 and British Lions in 1976
1952 ● Stewart Copeland → Drummer for Brit prog/avant garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), then co-founded post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police, “Every Breath You Take” (#1, 1983), solo under the pseudonym Klark Kent, collaborations and session work, classical music and film score composer
1961 ● Mark McEntee → Founder, co-frontman and guitarist for Aussie power pop Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (#4, 1991)
1964 ● Polly Hancock → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1971 ● Edward Joel Kowalczyk → Lead vocals for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995), solo
1978 ● TJ (Tito Joseph Jackson) → With brothers Tariano Adaryll “Taj” and Taryll Adren Jackson, vocals in R&B/urban soul trio 3T, “Anything” (#15, 1995), sons of Tito and nephews of Michael Jackson

Jul 17

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

Jul 18

1909 ● Ivory “Deek” Watson → Founding member, tenor vocals, trumpet and guitar for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), continued with various incarnations of the group through the 50s, died on 11/4/1969
1924 ● Earl Beal → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1929 ● Jelacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins → Outrageously flamboyant early rock ‘n’ roll singer, pianist and stage performer, “I Put A Spell On You” (1956), died on 2/12/2000 following surgery for an aneurysm
1931 ● Thomas Sylvester “Papa Dee” Allen → Percussion and vocals for laid-back R&B/soul-funk War, “Spill The Wine” (#3, 1970), died from a heart attack during a performance on 8/30/1988
1935 ● Johnny Funches → First tenor and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop, soul-funk and disco The Dells, “Stay In My Corner” (#10, R&B #1, 1968), died 1/23/1998
1938 ● Ian Stewart → Founding member and first keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, dismissed from the band in 1963 but continued as road manager and session pianist, died of a heart attack in his doctor’s waiting room on 12/12/1985
1939 ● Brian Auger → Underappreciated jazz-rock keyboardist, composer and bandleader The Trinity, Oblivion Express, solo
1939 ● Dion DiMucci → Doo wop, pop and rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, songwriter and bandleader, Dion & The Belmonts, solo, “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961) and 19 other Top 40 in the 60s
1941 ● Lonnie Mack (McIntosh) → Pioneering blues-rock guitarist and vocalist, early user of the tremolo arm (“whammy bar”) on electric guitars, “Wham!” (#24, 1963), sessions
1941 ● Martha Reeves → Vocals and frontwoman for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), solo, Detroit city councilwoman
1943 ● Robin MacDonald → Guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1945 ● Danny McCullock → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Tim Lynch → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1948 ● Cesar Zuiderwijk → Drummer for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1948 ● Phil Harris → Guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1949 ● Craig Fuller → Singer/songwriter, guitarist and co-founding member of country-rock Pure Prairie League, “Amie” (#27, 1973), left to serve a six month jail sentence for draft evasion, formed California light country-rock American Flyer (“Let Me Down Easy,” #80, 1976) in the late 70s with Eric Kaz from Blues Magoos and Steve Katz from Blood, Sweat & Tears, joined Little Feat (“Let It Roll,” Rock #3, 1988) in 1987 and reformed PPL in 1996, continues to perform with variations of both bands
1949 ● Wally Bryson → Guitarist for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir“It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972) and power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978)
1950 ● Glenn Hughes → Biker character in campy concept disco group The Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1979), died of lung cancer on 3/4/2001
1950 ● Sir Richard Branson → Business magnate, founder and CEO of Virgin Group, which includes the Virgin Records label, Virgin Megastores and Virgin Atlantic Airways
1954 ● Richard Lee “Ricky” Scaggs → Country-bluegrass megastar singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Highway 40 Blues” (Country #1, 1983), eleven time Grammy winner and 1982 Country Music Association singer of the year
1955 ● Terry Chambers → Co-founder and drummer for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1957 ● Julian Keith Levene → Roadie for prog rock Yes, then guitarist for an early lineup of influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982) and later lead guitar and songwriter for post-punk Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983)
1958 ● Nigel Twist → Drummer for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream #2, 1989)
1962 ● Jack Irons → Journeyman drummer for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), hard rock Eleven, “Reach Out” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1994) and post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), sessions and tours for Neil Young, Joe Strummer and others
1975 ● Daron Malakian → Guitarist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Tony Fagenson → Drummer for teen punk-pop trio Eve 6, “Inside Out” (#28, Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1982 ● Ryan Cabrera → Acoustic pop-rock guitarist and songwriter, “On The Way Down” (#15, 2004)

Jul 19

1926 ● Sue Thompson (Eva Sue McKee) → Youthful-voiced, teen-audience novelty pop singer, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” (#5, 1961), then mature country-pop duet and solo artist, “Big Mable Murphy” (Country #50, 1975)
1937 ● George Hamilton IV → Teen idol pop singer, A Rose And A Baby Ruth” (#6, 1956), then pop-country-folk, “Abilene” (#15, Country #1, 1963) and 21 other Country Top 40 hits
1941 ● Vikki Carr (Florencia Cardona) → Pop vocalist, “It Must Be Him” (#3, 1966), then successful Latin-pop singer, including Grammy-winning album Cosas Del Amor (1991)
1944 ● Commander Cody (George Frayne IV) → Vocals, keyboards and frontman for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
1946 ● Alan Gorrie → Base and vocals for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Bernie Leadon → Guitar, banjo, mandolin and vocals for country rock Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, which became country rock/L.A. rock Eagles, “One Of These Nights” (#1, 1975), quit in 1976 to pursue a solo career
1947 ● Brian May → Founding member and guitarist for camp rock/mock-opera/hard pop Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (#9, 1976) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (#1, 1980), solo, “Driven By You” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1993), film score composer and astronomy author, #39 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
1948 ● Keith Godchaux → Keyboards and backing vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973), duo with wife Donna, died following a car crash on 7/23/1980
1952 ● Allen Collins → Guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), survived the October 20, 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers and crew, then co-founded Rossington-Collins Band, “Welcome Me Home” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988), paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 1986 that killed his girlfriend, died from pneumonia on 1/23/1990
1960 ● Kevin Haskins (Dompe) → Drummer for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979) and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1968 ● Ged Lynch → Drummer for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1971 ● Urs Bühler → Tenor for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1976 ● Eric Prydz → Swedish DJ and dance-pop producer using a variety of project names, including Pryda, Sheridan, Dirty Funker and Moo, “Call on Me” (Dance/Club #29, 2004)
1979 ● Michelle Heaton → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

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