Posts Tagged rock birthday history

This Week’s Birthdays (June 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (June 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 03

1906 ● Josephine Baker / (Freda Josephine McDonald) → Legendary chanson-singing dancer and actress of the 20s and 30s, one of the most successful African American entertainers of her time, left the demeaning U.S. vaudeville circuit for the open-minded Parisian cabaret scene, became a French citizen, a star and a voice against prejudice while performing exotic dances in risqué costumes (or none at all), starred in movies alongside Bob Hope, Fanny Brice and others, became an outspoken figure in the American Civil Rights movement of the 60s, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 4/12/1975, age 68
1924 ● Jimmy Rogers / (James A. Lane) → Chicago-style blues guitarist, singer and harmonica player in Muddy Waters‘ band and with Little Walter Jacobs plus solo, “Walking By Myself” (R&B #14, 1957) and multiple albums including the posthumous Blues Blues Blues (1998) featuring Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Taj Mahal and others, died from colon cancer on 12/19/1997, age 73
1926 ● Allen Ginsburg / (Irwin Allen Ginsburg) → Poet, leading figure in the Beat Generation of the 50s and frequent participant in various hippie events in the 60s, author of the epic poem “Howl,” longtime friend of Bob Dylan with whom he often collaborated with poetry set to music, died from liver cancer on 4/5/1997, age 70
1927 ● Boots Randolph / (Homer Randolph III) → Tenor saxophonist and major contributor to the “Nashville Sound” of pop flavoring within country music in the 50s, 60s and 70s, as a solo artist scored 14 Billboard Top 200 albums and the Top 40 single “Yakety Sax” (#35, 1963), died following a brain hemorrhage a month after the release of his final studio album on 7/3/2007, age 80
1940 ● Charles Fizer / → Tenor vocals for 50s/60s doo wop quartet The Olympics (“Western Movies,” #8, R&B #7, 1958), the band’s string of hits largely dried up after he was shot and killed by police during the Watts Riots in Los Angeles on 8/14/1965, age 25
1942 ● Curtis Mayfield / → R&B/soul giant, singer, songwriter and composer, member of The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, R&B #1, 1963), solo, “Freddie’s Dead” (#4, R&B #2, 1972), wrote dozens of R&B and pop hits for others, died on 12/26/1999 after years of steadily declining health following an on-stage accident in 1980, age 57
1943 ● Mike Dennis / → Second tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
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)
1946 ● Eddie Holman / → Philly soul, pop and gospel tenor vocalist best known for “Hey There Lonely Girl” (#2, R&B #4, 1970), largely disappeared from the music business in the 80s, became an ordained Baptist minister and occasionally performed into the 00s
1946 ● Michael Clarke / (Michael Dick) → Drummer for seminal country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then Flying Burrito Bros. and light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976), died of liver failure on 12/19/1993, age 47
1947 ● Dave Alexander / → Original bassist for influential proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), died from pulmonary edema on 2/10/1975, age 27
1947 ● Mickey Finn / (Michael Hearne) → Percussion for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), died from suspected liver and kidney failure on 1/11/2003, age 55
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
1950 ● Niecy Williams / (June Deniece Chandler) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-funk singer and songwriter, worked as a backing singer with Stevie Wonder‘s group Wonderlove, then solo, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (#1, 1984)
1950 ● Suzi Quatro / (Susan Kay Quatrocchio) → Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, iconoclastic if not well-known female rocker, “Stumblin’ In” (#4, 1979)
1952 ● Billy Powell / → Keyboards for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died after suffering a heart attack on 6/28/2009, age 56
1954 ● Dan Hill / → Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Sometimes When We Touch” (#3, 1978)
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
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 ● Mike Gordon / → Bass, banjo, piano, harmonica and percussion for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo and award-winning filmmaker
1968 ● Samantha Sprackling / → Vocals for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1971 ● Ariel Hernandez / → With twin brother Gabriel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Gabriel Hernandez / → With twin brother Ariel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1974 ● Kelly Jones / → Vocalist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1985 ● Tavion La’Corey Mathis / → Singer for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)

June 04

1937 ● Freddy Fender / (Baldemar Garza Huerta) → Grammy-winning Hispanic country, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll crossover singer and songwriter, his biggest hit “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” (#1, Country #1, 1975) came after a near career-ending stint in prison for marijuana possession, in the 90s joined supergroups The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, died from lung cancer on 10/14/2006, age 69
1940 ● Cliff Bennett / → Early beat/rock ‘n’ roll singer and bandleader for The Rebel Rousers, lone hit was a cover of the Lennon/McCartney tune “Got To Get You Into My Life” (UK #6, 1966)
1944 ● Michelle Phillips / (Holly Michelle Gilliam) → Vocals for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), wife of late bandmate John Phillips, film and TV actress, solo artist and backing vocals on various songs and albums by Belinda Carlisle, Cheech & Chong, the movie soundtrack to California Dreaming (1979), and others
1944 ● Roger Ball / → Saxophonist for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1945 ● Anthony Braxton / → Jazz and experimental jazz fusion multi-reedist, bandleader and composer with over 100 albums in a nearly 50 year career, currently a college music professor
1945 ● Gordon Waller / → With Peter Asher, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, died of a heart attack on 7/17/2009, age 64
1953 ● Jimmy McCulloch / → Scottish rock guitarist and backing vocalist for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), later gigged with John Mayall and Stone The Crows, sessions for John Entwhistle, Peter Frampton and others, played lead guitar for Paul McCartney‘s Wings 1974-77, died from heart failure due to a heroin overdose on 9/27/1979, age 26
1954 ● Raphael Ravenscroft / → Welsh session saxophonist, composer and author, recorded the sax break on Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street” (#2, 1975), receiving only an hours’ union wages and no royalties, later worked with Pink Floyd, ABBA, Robert Plant, America and many other artists, and composed film scores and advertising jingles until his death from a heart attack on 10/19/2014, age 60
1956 ● Reeves Gabrels / → Multi-genre American virtuoso guitarist, composer and songwriter, collaborated with David Bowie (1987-2000) in Tin Machine, film score musician/producer, multiple session and other collaborative works
1958 ● Gordon Russell / → Lead guitar for the mid-80s lineup of Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1958 ● Selwyn Brown / → Vocals and keyboards for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978)
1961 ● El Debarge / (Eldra Patrick Debarge) → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1962 ● Steve Grimes / → Guitarist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1964 ● Chris Kavanagh / → Drummer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1974 ● Stefan Lessard / → Bassist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1976 ● Kasey Chambers / → Australian country-rock crossover singer/songwriter with three successive Australian #1 albums and seven Aussie Top 10 hits, including “Not Pretty Enough” (Australia #1, 2002)
1987 ● Mollie King / (Mollie Elizabeth King) → Singer, songwriter and member of electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010), signed a solo contract with Island Records in 2015
1990 ● Zachary Farro / → Drummer for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

June 05

1926 ● Bill Hayes / → Country-pop singer, “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett” (#1, 1955), has played the character Doug Williams on the soap opera Days Of Our Lives continuously since 1970
1941 ● Floyd Lawrence Butler / → Vocalist for pop-rock vocal group The Friends Of Distinction, “Grazing In The Grass” (#3, 1969), died after a heart attack on 4/29/1990, age 48
1942 ● Gary DeCarlo / (Gary Richard DeCarlo) → Lead singer on the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” (#1, 1969), a song attributed to the non-existent pop-rock band Steam, died from metastatic lung cancer on /28/2017, age 75
1943 ● Michael Davis / → Punk rock and heavy metal bass guitarist best known as an original member of Detroit proto-punk rockers MC5 (“Kick Out The Jams,” 1969), spent time in the 70s in a federal corrections facility on drug charges, paroled and wrote and performed with art noise Destroy All Monsters and other bands, became a visual and design artist, died of liver failure on 2/17/2012, age 68
1945 ● Don Reid / → Lead vocals in country-gospel-pop crossover harmonic quartet The Statler Brothers (“Flowers On The Wall,” #4, Country #2, 1965), he and his older brother, Harold were the only brothers in the group and no one was named Statler, following the band’s retirement in 2002 began writing fiction novels and autobiographies
1946 ● Freddie Stone / → Guitarist with his brother Sly and sisters Rosie and Vet in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), now a California pastor
1946 ● John Du Cann / → Progressive rock guitarist, played with several hard rock bands and founded psych-rock Andromeda in the 60s, joined Atomic Rooster (“The Devil’s Answer,” UK #4, 1971) in 1970, then tried a solo career (“Don’t Be A Dummy,” UK #33, 1979) in between stints for Thin Lizzy and a reformed Atomic Rooster, died from a heart attack on 9/21/2011, age 65
1947 ● Laurie Anderson / → Multimedia avant-garde performance artist and one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “O Superman” (UK #2, 1981)
1947 ● Tom Evans / → Bass, vocals and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger, “Day After Day” (#4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 11/9/1983, age 36
1948 ● Frank Eslersmith / → Keyboards for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981), died on 3/1/1991, age 42
1950 ● Ronnie Dyson / (Ronald Dyson) → Lead actor/singer in the Broadway musical Hair, “Good Morning Starshine” (#3, 1969) and then Philly soul balladeer, “(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You?” (#8, R&B #9, 1970), died from heart failure on 11/10/1990, age 40
1954 ● Nicko McBrain / (Michael Henry McBrain) → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1954 ● Pete Erskine / (Peter Erskine) → Session percussionist and journeyman jazz and jazz-rock fusion session drummer, worked with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Weather Report and the Brecker Brothers, among others
1956 ● Kenny G. / (Kenneth Bruce Gorelick) → Grammy-winning, hugely successful smooth jazz/adult contemporary saxophonist, composer and bandleader, “Songbird” (#4, 1987)
1956 ● Richard Butler / → Vocals and frontman for Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981), then formed Love Spit Love, “Am I Wrong?” (#83, 1994)
1964 ● Maggie Dunne / (Margaret Dunne) → Guitar and vocals for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1965 ● Stefan Schönfeldt / → Bassist for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1969 ● Brian McKnight / → Multi-instrumentalist producer and R&B/smooth soul singer and songwriter, “Back At One” (#1, 1999), collaborator with Mariah Carey, Vanessa Williams, Rascal Flatts, Christina Aguilera and many others, former talk radio host
1970 ● Clause Noreen / → Keyboardist for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content
1971 ● Marky Mark / (Mark Wahlberg) → Early member (with brother Donnie) of 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), left to front hip hop/pop-rap Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch, “Good Vibrations (#1, 1991), now an acclaimed film actor in Boogie Nights (1997), The Perfect Storm (2000), The Shooter (2007), The Fighter (2010) and others
1974 ● P-Nut Wills / (Aaron “P-Nut” Wills) → Bassist for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996), solo, producer
1974 ● Dominic Chad / → Lead guitar and backing vocals for post-Brit-pop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)
1979 ● Pete Wentz / → Bassist for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)
1981 ● Sebastien Lefebvre / → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1990 ● Richard Sohl / → Keyboardist, songwriter and arranger known for his long-time association with punk-rock Patti Smith Group (“Because The Night,” #13, 1978), also session work with Iggy Pop, Nina Hagen and others, composed the score to the punk-rock docudrama Final Reward (1978)

June 06

1936 ● Levi Stubbs / (Levi Stubbles) → Vocals for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), died in his sleep on 10/17/2008
1939 ● Gary “U.S.” Bonds (Gary Levone Anderson) / (Gary Levone Anderson) → R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961) and “This Little Girl” (#11, 1981), age 72
1942 ● Howard Kane / (Howard Kirschenbaum) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits
1943 ● Joe Stampley / → Louisiana blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader turned country star, fronted swamp rock The Uniques in the late 60s and sang lead on two minor hits, “Not Too Long Ago” (#66, 1965) and “All These Things” (#97, 1966), converted to honky tonk country with a recut of “All These Things” (Country #1, 1976) and 28 other Country Top 10 hits between 1971 and 1989
1944 ● Edgar Froese / → Founder, frontman, keyboards and guitarist of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream, solo
1944 ● Peter Albin / → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968) and her solo albums
1951 ● Dwight Twilley / → Power pop bandleader, singer and songwriter best known for his Top 20 hit “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975) and an otherwise unremarkable career leading the Dwight Tilley Band plus solo efforts
1955 ● Mikel Wallace / → Keyboards for reggae/R&B-funk fusion band Third World, “Now That We’ve Found Love” (#47, R&B #9, 1979), shot dead on 7/6/1999, age 44
1959 ● Bobby Bluebell / (Robert Hodgens) → Guitar and frontman for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1993)
1960 ● Steve Vai / → Grammy-winning virtuoso rock guitarist, first with Frank Zappa‘s band, then hard rock Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth‘s band, Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), plus numerous albums as solo and bandleader, “I Would Love To” (Mainstream Rock #38, 1990)
1961 ● Dee C. Lee / (Diane Catherine Sealy)) → Vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to join sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “See The Day” (UK #3, 1985)
1961 ● Tom Araya / (Tomas Enrique Araya) → Bass and vocals for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1964 ● Jay Dee Bentley / → Co-founder, bassist and songwriter for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1965 ● David White / → Guitar and vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1966 ● Gary Newby / → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit alt rock/power pop The Railway Children, “Every Beat Of The Heart” (Alt Rock #1, 1990)
1970 ● Munky Shaffer / (James Shaffer) → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1974 ● Uncle Kracker / (Matthew Shafer) → Long time vocals and DJ in Kid Rock‘s band, then rock/hip hop fusion solo career, “Follow Me” (#5, 2001), now country-rock, “Smile” (#31, 2009)
1978 ● Carl Barât / → Co-founder, vocals, lead guitar and songwriter for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), solo and pub owner
1978 ● Jeremy Gara / → Drummer for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)
1984 ● Chris Tomson / → Drummer for New York indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)
1987 ● Kyle Falconer / → Lead guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

June 07

1917 ● Dean Martin / (Dino Paul Crocetti) → Film, TV and stage actor, singer, “Memories Are Made Of This” (#1, 1956) and 15 other Top 40 singles, cultural icon and member of the Rat Pack, died of lung cancer on 12/25/1995, age 78
1940 ● Tom Jones / (Tom Woodward) → Grammy-winning, Welsh heartthrob vocalist “She’s A Lady” (#2, 1971) plus 15 other Top 40 singles and, in the 80s, nine Country Top 40 hits
1942 ● Gary Burger / → With four other American G.I.’s stationed in Germany, lead guitar for 60s avant-garde garage rock/proto-punk The Monks (1966 LP Black Monk Time), the band broke up in 1968 but reformed in 1999 when their album became a cult classic, died of pancreatic cancer on 3/17/2014, age 71
1944 ● Clarence White / (Clarence LeBlanc) → Acadian guitarist for progressive bluegrass sibling group Kentucky Colonels, then seminal country-pop-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), session work for Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and others, killed by a drunken driver on 7/15/1973, age 29
1948 ● Dave Torbert / → Bass guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Bay Area country-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, co-wrote “Contract” and many other NRPS songs, co-founded country-rock Kingfish with Matthew Kelly and Bob Weirr (Grateful Dead), died of a heart attack on 12/7/1982, age 34
1953 ● Johnny Clegg / → The “White Zulu”, guitarist, songwriter, co-founder and frontman for multiracial Afro-Euro-dance pop World music band Juluka and Zulu-dance-pop Savuka
1955 ● Joey Scarbury / → One hit wonder Canadian pop singer, “Theme From The Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)” (#2, 1981)
1957 ● Paddy McAloon / (Patrick Joseph McAloon) → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1958 ● Prince / (Prince Rogers Nelson) → Mega-talented, multi-instrumentalist songwriter, singer, actor, producer and pop-rock/soul-funk bandleader, “When Doves Cry” (#1, 1984) and 30 other Top 40 singles, seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Ward-winning movie, Purple Rain (1984) and multiple hits for others, including “Manic Monday” by The Bangles (#2, 1986), collapsed at home and died from a prescription painkiller overdose on 4/21/2016, age 57
1964 ● Ecstasy / (John Fletcher) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1966 ● Eric Kretz / → Drummer for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994)
1967 ● Dave Navarro / (David Michael Navarro) → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), in mid-90s joined funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, released two solo albums with one Top 10 hit, “Rexall” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2001), in 2012 began as celebrity judge on the tattoo competition reality TV show Ink Master
1969 ● Skin Tyson / (Liam Sean Tyson) → Lead guitar for 90s alt rock Brit-pop Cast, “Flying” (UK #4, 1996), collaboration with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
1974 ● T-Low / (Terry Brown) → Vocals in contemporary R&B/smooth soul brother duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1985 ● Chaz Simo / (Charles Robert Simpson) → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003)
1990 ● Iggy Azalea / (Amethyst Amelia Kelly) → Australian rapper, songwriter and fashion model, “Fancy” (#1, 2014) and three other US Top 40 hits

June 08

1918 ● Robert Preston / (Robert Meservy) → Tony-winning Broadway stage and screen (mostly Westerns) actor who landed the role of a lifetime as the lead in The Music Man on stage in 1957 and film in 1962, died of lung cancer on 3/21/87, age 68
1936 ● James Darren / (James William Ercolani) → Early pop-rock teen idol singer, “Goodbye Cruel World” (#3, 1961), film actor (Gidget, 1959, Venus In Furs, 1969 and others), TV actor in The Time Tunnel (1966-67) and T. J. Hooker (1982-85)
1940 ● Nancy Sinatra / → Sultry, sexy MOR pop singer, “These Boots Were Made for Walking” (#1, 1966), duet with father Frank “Somethin’ Stupid” (#1, 1967), the only father/daughter #1 hit ever
1940 ● Sherman Garnes / → Bass vocals for R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (1956), died during open heart surgery on 2/26/1977, age 36
1941 ● Fuzzy Haskins / (Clarence Haskins) → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1942 ● Chuck Negron / → Co-founder and one of three lead vocalists for top-tier pop-rock k Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and ten other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1974
1944 ● Don Grady / (Don Louis Agrati) → TV actor, musician, singer and songwriter starting as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Show and then as Robbie Douglas, the teenage heart-throb and oldest of three brothers on the 60s wholesome sitcom My Three Sons (1960-1972), joined short-lived, one hit wonder sunshine pop band The Yellow Balloon (“Yellow Balloon,” #25, 1967) and later wrote TV themes and soundtracks, died of bone cancer on 06/27/2012, age 68
1944 ● Boz Scaggs / (William Royce “Boz” Scaggs) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, first with early Steve Miller Band, then a long solo career starting with “Lowdown” (#3, 1976) and “Lido Shuffle” (#11, 1977)
1947 ● Annie Haslam / (Anne Haslam) → Vocalist and songwriter best known for her 45 year tenure as lead singer for Brit folk/prog rock Renaissance (“Northern Lights,” UK #10, 1978), plus 18 solo albums and an annual Christmas concert in Sellersville near Philadelphia, PA
1947 ● Julie Driscoll / → Brit pop diva with Brian Auger & The Trinity, “This Wheel’s On Fire” (UK #5, 1968), solo prog rock albums, now jazz-improv vocals
1949 ● Jimmie King / → Guitarist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Reddingg’s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1951 ● Bonnie Tyler / (Gaynor Hopkins) → Welsh-born raspy-voiced pop-rock solo singer, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (#1, 1983), plus session backing vocals for Cher and others
1953 ● Jeff Rich / → Drummer for blues-rock Climax Blues Band and psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1954 ● Greg Ginn / → Founder, frontman, lead singer and principal songwriter for 80s nihilistic L.A. hardcore punk-rock Black Flag (“Thirty And Miserable,” 1981), ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 guitarists of all time
1956 ● Steve Walwyn / (Stephen Martin Walwyn) → Lead guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1960 ● Mick Hucknall / (Michael James Hucknall) → Frontman, singer and songwriter for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986), solo
1962 ● Nick Rhodes / (Nick Bates) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1965 ● Rob Pilatus / → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy Award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, committed suicide on 4/2/1998, age 32
1966 ● Doris 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
1967 ● Neil Mitchell / → Keyboards for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Nicci Gilbert / (Nichole Gilbert) → Vocals in urban contemporary R&B girl trio Brownstone, “If You Love Me” (#8, 1994), solo
1971 ● Jef Streatfield / → Guitarist for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1973 ● Gabe Ford / (Gabriel Ford) → Current drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988) replacing founding drummer Richie Hayward, who left in 2009 with liver cancer
1977 ● Kanye West / → Hip hop producer for Jay-Z and others, then solo rap star, “Gold Digger” (#1, 2005), five-time Grammy winner in 2007
1979 ● Derek Trucks / → Blues-rock and world music guitarist and songwriter, nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, frontman for Grammy-winning The Derek Trucks Band, member of The Allman Brothers Band since 1999, formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi
1981 ● Alex Band / → Founder, vocals and leader of post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001), solo
1985 ● Jamie Shaw / → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1989 ● Richard Fleeshman / → English TV actor (Craig Harris on the long-running Coronation Street) and singer-songwriter, “Coming Down” (UK #78, 2007)

June 09

1891 ● Cole Porter / → Grammy-winning singer and composer, one of America’s greatest songwriters, wrote countless classic songs, including “Night And Day” (1932), “I Get A Kick Out Of You” (1934) and “Begin The Beguine” (1935), died of kidney failure on 10/15/1964, age 73
1915 ● Les Paul / (Lester William Polsfuss) → Immensely influential jazz and country-pop guitarist, singer and songwriter, recorded solo and with wife Mary Ford, “Hummingbird” (#7, 1955), inventor of the Gibson Les Paul solid-body electric guitar and developer of various playing and recording techniques, including “close miking,” overdubbing, echo delay and multitrack recording, died from severe pneumonia on 8/12/2009, age 94
1921 ● Dick Rowe / (Richard Paul Rowe) → Brit music producer and talent scout for Decca Records in the 50s and 60s, signed The Rolling Stones, The Moody Bluess, The Zombies, Tom Jones and many other top artists but famously declined to sign The Beatles following an audition in January 1962, produced multiple hits in the 60s before bowing out at the peak of his career, died from diabetes on 6/6/1986, age 65
1926 ● CeDell Davis / (Ellis CeDell Davis) → Delta blues guitarist who overcame childhood polio and constricted hands to play slide guitar with a butter knife, spent decades on the juke joint circuit in the South before being “discovered” by music writer Robert Palmer in the 80s, toured nationally and recorded several albums with his unique style and gritty singing, including a final album, Even The Devil Gets The Blues (2016) featuring Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, suffered a heart attack and died three days later on 9/27/2017, age 91
1929 ● Johnny Ace / (John Marshall Alexander, Jr.) → Young, gifted and promising R&B/blues balladeer with a posthumous hit (“Pledging My Love,” #17, R&B #1, 1955) and epitaph (Billboard magazine’s “most played artist of 1955”) after he shot himself to death playing Russian roulette backstage after a show in Houston on Christmas night, 12/25/1954, age 25
1934 ● Jackie Wilson / (Jack Leroy Wilson) → Prolific and important R&B-to-soul singer with 13 R&B Top 10 singles from 1957-75, including “Lonely Teardrops” (#7, 1959), suffered a massive heart attack on 9/29/1975 during a Dick Clark nightclub show, fell from the stage and lived 8 years in a coma until he died on 1/21/1984, age 49
1941 ● Billy Hatton / → Drummer and singer for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964)
1941 ● Jon Lord / → Classically-trained keyboardist and session player, co-founded hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), solo and Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), age 71
1946 ● Stuart Edwards / → Lead guitar for studio-only pop-rock Edison Lighthouse, “(Love Grows) Where My Rosemary Goes” (#5, 1970)
1947 ● Mick Box / → Guitarist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), the only original member still active with the band
1947 ● Mitch Mitchell / (John Graham Mitchell) → Child actor and accomplished teenage jazz drummer turned rock stickman for pop-rock Georgie Fame (“The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde,” #7, CAN #1, UK #1, 1967) and then psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience (“Purple Haze,” US #65, UK #3, 1967), later in ITV’s Ready Steady Go! house band and various one-off projects, drummed in Hendrix Experience tribute tours and died in his sleep in a hotel room following one such show on 11/12/2008, age 61
1949 ● Billy C. Farlow / → Rockabilly, Western swing and country rock guitarist, singer, harmonica player and songwriter, formed Billy C. & The Sunshine in the 60s, joined country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), left in 1976 to front his own bands and collaborate with others through to the 00s, including The Butterfield Blues Band drummer Sam Lay, continues to tour and record regularly
1949 ● Francis Monkman / → Multi-instrumental rock and classical composer, film score writer and co-founder of Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1949 ● George Bunnell / → Bassist for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Trevor Bolder / → Bassist for David Bowie‘s early 70s glam-rock backing band, which became hard rock The Spiders From Mars, replaced John Wetton in Uriah Heep (1976-81), then replaced Wetton in Wishbone Ash, returned to Uriah Heep in 1983
1951 ● Peter Gill / → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Son Of A Bitch which became Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983) and punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1951 ● Terry Uttley / → Bass and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1953 ● Errol Kennedy / → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1954 ● Peter Byrne / → Songwriter and co-founder of New Wave synth-pop Naked Eyes, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#10, 1983), then formed Britpop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988)
1962 ● Eddie Lundon / → Guitar and vocals for New Romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Dean Dinning / → Bassist for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), nephew of 50s pop-rocker Mark Dinning, “Teen Angel” (#1, 1960)
1967 ● Dean Felber / → Bass and vocals for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995), solo
1970 ● Ed Simons / → DJ and keyboards for dance-rock-rap fusion duo The Chemical Brothers, “It Began In Afrika” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1972 ● Wesley Reid Scantlin / → Co-founder, singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-grunge Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1978 ● Matthew Bellamy / → Guitar, vocals and keyboards for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1980 ● James Walsh / → Singer, guitarist, pianist and frontman for post-Britpop Starsailor, “Silence Is Easy” (UK #9, 2003)
1983 ● Frankee / (Nicole Francine Aiello) → Hip hop/R&B urban contemporary singer, “F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)” (#63, Top 40 #29, 2004), a response to ex-boyfriend Eamon‘s single “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” (#16, 2004)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (May 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 19
1894 ● Moms Mabley / (Loretta Mary Aitken) → Hugely successful stand-up comedienne from the vaudeville era with 17 charting albums in the 60s and one hit, a cover of “Abraham, Martin And John” (#35, R&B #18, 1969), for a time making her the oldest living person to have a Billboard Top 40 hit, died from heart failure on 5/23/1975, age 82
1932 ● Alma Cogan / (Alma Cohen) → 50s and early 60s rising star Brit traditional pop female vocalist, “Dreamboat” (UK #1, 1955) plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits, died of stomach cancer on 10/26/1966, age 34
1940 ● Mickey Newbury / (Milton Sims Newbury, Jr.) → Prolific country music songwriter with dozens of hit songs performed by others, including Top 20 songs on four charts simultaneously, “Here Comes the Rain, Baby” (Eddy Arnold, Country #4, 1968), “Sweet Memories” (Andy Williams, Easy Listening #4, 1968), “Time Is A Thief” (Solomon Burke, R&B #15, 1968) and “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Pop #5, 1968), plus a solo hit single “An American Trilogy” (#26, 1972), died 9/29/2002, age 62
1945 ● Pete Townshend / (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) → Guitarist, songwriter, rock opera composer and vocalist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967) and 14 other US Top 40 singles, rock opera albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973), Grammy-winning solo career, “Face The Face” (#26, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1947 ● Jerry Hyman → Trombonist for jazz-rock/pop-rock horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1947 ● Paul Brady → Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with The Johnstons and Planxty, then long solo career, “Nobody Knows” (1990)
1947 ● Gregory Herbert → Alto saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), died of a drug overdose on 1/31/1978, age 30
1947 ● Steve Currie → Bassist for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), sessions, died in a car crash on 4/28/1981, age 33
1948 ● Tom Scott → Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock multi-reedist, composer, session musician and bandleader, co-founder of the Blues Brothers Band and jazz-rock The L. A. Express, which backed Joni Mitchell, Carole King, George Harrison and others, solo “Tom Cat” (R&B #93, 1975), composer of film soundtracks and TV shows, including the theme song for Starsky And Hutch
1948 ● Paul Williams → Music journalist and writer, founder and editor of college-rag turned national publication Crawdaddy, the first journal to be entirely devoted to in-depth commentary about rock music and which started the careers of a generation of rock writers and critics, died from complications of a brain injury suffered in a 1995 bicycle accident on 3/27/2013 , age 64
1949 ● Dusty Hill / (Joe Michael Hill) → Bass, vocals and keyboards for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1950 ● Mike Wedgewood → Bassist for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1950 ● Romeo Challenger → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 ● Joey Ramone / (Jeffrey Hyman) → Cultural icon, lead vocals and songwriter for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died from lymphatic cancer on 4/15/2001, age 49
1952 ● Barbara Joyce Lomas → Vocals for 70s R&B/soul-funk-disco B.T. Express, “Do It (‘Til Your Satisfied)” (#2, R&B #1, 1974)
1952 ● Grace Jones / (Grace Mendoza) → Severely androgynous “Queen of the Gay Discos” and R&B/dance-pop-disco diva, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (R&B #5, Dance/Club #2, 1981), actress
1954 ● Phil Rudd / (Phillip Rudd) → Drummer for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982), left in 1983
1956 ● Teddy Bear Ware / (Martyn Ware) → Founding member of late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981), left to form 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1962 ● Iain Harvie → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for pop and country-rock Del Amitri, “Roll To Me” (#10, 1995)
1963 ● Yazz / (Yasmin Evans) → Brit dance-pop singer often credited as Yazz And The Plastic Population, “The Only Way Is Up” (#96, Dance/Club #2, 1988)
1965 ● Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot → Vocals for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Paul Hartnoll → With brother Phil, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1970 ● Stuart Cable → Original drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), left in 2003 and hosted cable TV show in Wales and BBC Radio Wales, choked to death on 6/7/2010
1972 ● Jenny Berggren → Singer and songwriter for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1992 ● Sam Smith / (Samuel Frederick Smith) → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer with the 2014 Song of the Year, “Stay With Me” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (April 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 22

1922 ● Charles Mingus / → Universally-lauded jazz bassist, bandleader and composer, in his last months collaborated with Joni Mitchell on her tribute album Mingus, died from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 1/5/1979, age 56
1927 ● Laurel Aitken / (Lorenzo Aitken) → The “Godfather of Ska,” Cuban-Jamaican singer whose 1958 single “Boogie In My Bones” was the first Jamaican popular music record released in the UK, became one of ska music’s leading artists in the 70s and continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 7/17/2005, age 78
1931 ● Joe Cuba (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) / (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) → The “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” Puerto Rican-American conga drummer widely regarded as one of the creators of the Latin soul fusion of R&B and Cuban salsa instrumentation called “boogaloo,” which originated in New York City and became briefly popular in the late 60s, “Bang, Bang” (#63, 1966), died from a bacterial infection on 2/15/2009, age 77
1932 ● Isao Tomita / → Analog synthesizer musician, composer and pioneer of space and electronic music, used electronic music sequencers to combine classical pieces with sci-fi themes, won four Grammy Awards for his 1974 album Snowflakes Are Dancing, died from cardiac failure on 5/5/2016, age 84
1936 ● Glen Campbell / (Glen Travis Campbell) → 60s session musician with the Wrecking Crew of top-notch musicians, recorded with The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, The Mamas & the Papas and others, member of the touring band for The Beach Boys in place of Brian Wilson in 1964-65, then Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist and singer/songwriter with dozens of Country Top 10 and Pop Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” (#1, 1975), actor and TV host died after a long and publicized battle with Alzheimer’s disease on 8/8/2017, age 81
1937 ● Jack Nitzsche / (Bernard Alfred “Jack” Nitzsche) → Producer, arranger, session musician, solo singer/songwriter, “The Lonely Surfer” (#39, 1963), worked with Phil Spector in the early 60s, with Buffy Sainte-Marie co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) from the film An Officer And A Gentleman (1982), produced albums for The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and others, died after a heart attack on 8/25/2000, age 63
1939 ● Mel Carter / → Soul-pop and Easy Listening singer with several minor hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but with eight Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” (#8, AC #1, 1965)
1939 ● Simon Napier-Bell / → Music industry journeyman bandmember, session musician, producer, songwriter, journalist and author, at one time or another served as manager for The Yardbirds, John’s Children, Marc Bolan, Japan, London, Asia, Ultravox, Boney M., Wham! and others
1944 ● Alan Gordon / → Songwriter and musician noted for co-writing “Happy Together” by The Turtles (#1, 1967) and “Celebrate” by Three Dog Night (#15, 1970), and writing “My Heart Belongs To Me” by Barbra Streisand (#4, 1977), died from cancer on 11/22/2008, age 64
1944 ● Howard Wyeth / → Session drummer for Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robert Gordon, Link Wray and others, grandson of painter Noel Wyeth, died of a heart attack 3/27/1996, age 51
1946 ● Frankie Cannibal / (Francisco “Frankie Cannibal” Garcia) → Lead vocals for pioneering L.A. “East Side Sound” Mexican-American one hit wonder brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from AIDS on 1/21/1996, age 49
1948 ● Larry Groce / → Folk and children’s music singer/songwriter, radio DJ and voice-over artist remembered for his one hit wonder single “Junk Food Junkie” (#9, 1976), appeared on nine Disney albums between 1979 and 1990, founded and continues as host and music director of Mountain Stage, the live music program produced by West Virginia Public Radio and aired nationally on NPR
1950 ● Pete Carr / (Jesse Willard Carr) → Guitarist, session musician, producer and member of early Southern rock The Hour Glass with Gregg and Duane Allman, member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, recorded with Lenny LeBlanc in the soft rock duet LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), played lead guitar on many hits songs, including Bob Seger‘s “Mainstreet” and Paul Simon‘s “Kodachrome”
1950 ● Peter Frampton / → Blues-rock and pop-rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and bandleader for The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), Humble Pie, “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), Frampton’s Camel, 70s-80s solo superstar, “Show Me The Way” (#6, 1976), toured in 90s with Bill Wyman & The Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band
1951 ● Paul Carrack / → Journeyman keyboards, guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975), then New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981) and pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), plus a single solo hit, “Don’t Shed A Tear” (#9, 1987)
1955 ● Arthur Baker / → Club DJ and early hip-hop producer, including New Edition‘s “Candy Girl” (Dance/Club #17, R&B #1, 1983) and New Order‘s “Confusion” (Dance/Club #5, 1983), then Afrika Bambaataa‘s “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), plus a solo hit, “Let There Be Love” (Dance/Club #14, 1991)
1956 ● Kenny Lyons / → Bassist for Southern hard rock .38 Special, then post-punk rock then teen-pop The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1966 ● Kimberley Dahme / → Current bassist (since 2002) for reunited 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), record producer
1969 ● Craig Logan / → Bassist in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (UK #1, 1988), left in 1989 for a career as a producer, manager and EMI Records executive, worked with Tina Turner, Sade, Joe Cocker, Pink and others, founded Logan Media Entertainment in 2006
1974 ● Shavo Odadjian / → Bassist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Jason Stollsteimer / → Vocals, guitar, principle songwriter and producer for indie rock The Von Blondies, “C’mon C’mon” (Modern Rock #25, UK #21, 2004), since 2011 with The Hounds Below
1979 ● Daniel Johns / → Frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1984 ● Amelle Berrabah / → Vocalist who replaced co-founding member Mutya Buena in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

April 23

1936 ● Roy Orbison / → Rockabilly-rooted, country-pop/rock ‘n’ roll quavering singer/songwriter, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (#1, 1964) plus 22 more Top 40 hits, joined supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in 1988 (“Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988), died of a heart attack at the height of a career revival on 1/25/2005, age 52
1939 ● Ray Peterson / → Four-octave pop-rock singer, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (#7, 1960), became Baptist minister in the 70s, died from cancer on 1/25/2005, age 65
1940 ● Dale Houston / → With performing partner Grace Broussard in two hit wonder Dale & Grace (“I’m Leaving It Up To You,” #1, 1963 and “Stop And Think It Over,” #6, 1964), died from heart failure on 9/27/2007, age 67
1944 ● Sandra Dee / (Alexandra Zuck) → Occasional singer best known as the ingénue-playing, Golden Globe-winning film actress, star of the teen beach film Gidget (1959) and former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005, age 60
1945 ● John Allen / → Lead guitar for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1949 ● John Miles / → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Slow Down” (Dance/Club #2, UK #10, 1977), managed Tina Turner‘s tours and did session work for Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Page and Joe Cocker
1951 ● Cliff Hugo / (Clifford Clyde Hugo) → Bass guitarist for Brit art/prog rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), also worked with Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and others
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden / → Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and producer, performed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, session work for Jeff Beck, produced and/or wrote/co-wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Starship, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, solo career includes “I Shoulda Loved You” (R&B #4, 1980)
1953 ● Rob Dean / → Guitarist for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1955 ● Captain Sensible / (Raymond Burns) → Co-founder, vocals, guitar and songwriting for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo
1960 ● David Gedge / → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1960 ● Steve Clark / → Guitarist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), died after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs on 1/8/1991, age 30
1964 ● Gen / (Simon Matthews) → Drummer for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy DeCarlo / → Current lead singer for arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), joined the band to replace deceased lead singer Brad Delp at the invitation of bandleader Tom Scholz, to whom DeCarlo sent Myspace tapes of himself covering Boston singles
1968 ● Paul Clifford / → Bassist for Britpop The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1969 ● Stan Frazier / → Vocals and DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1983 ● Taio Cruz / → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer, occasional rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, “Break Your Heart” (#1, 2010)

April 24

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

April 25

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

April 26

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

April 27

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

April 28

1941 ● Ann-Margret / (Ann-Margret Olsson) → Pop vocalist, “I Just Don’t Understand” (#17, 1961), film and TV actress, Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) with Elvis Presley, Tommy (1975) as “Mrs. Walker” and other roles
1941 ● Peter Anders / (Peter Andreoli) → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1942 ● Emma Pought / (Emma Pought Patron) → With her teenage sister, Jannie and three other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. / (John Corley) → Gospel turned R&B/soul one hit wonder singer, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” (#7, R&B #5, 1968)
1945 ● John Wolters / → Drummer for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits, died of liver cancer on 6/16/1997, age 52
1946 ● Beverly Ann Bivens / → Co-founder and lead singer for folk-pop harmony group We Five (“You Were On My Mind,” #3, AC #1, 1965), left the music industry when the group broke up in 1967
1947 ● Peaches Barker / (Francine Hurd “Peaches” Barker) → One half of R&B/soul-pop vocal duo Peaches & Herb, “Let’s Fall In Love” (R&B #11, 1966), died on 8/13/2005, age 58
1949 ● Steve Gilpin / → Co-founder and lead vocalist for Mi-Sex, one of the most popular New Wave bands in Australia and New Zealand from the 70s to the late 90s, “Computer Games (AUS #1, 1979), died following a car accident on 1/6/1992, age 42
1952 ● Chuck Leavell / (Charles Alfred Leavell) → Piano and keyboards for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), session musician and keyboardist for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and others
1953 ● Kim Gordon / → Bassist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1955 ● Eddie Jobson / → Violin for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974) and prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976)
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes / → Lead vocals for hugely popular Aussie pub rock/blues-rock Cold Chisel, “My Baby” (Mainstream Rock #32, 1981), then successful solo career with seven Australia #1 albums
1958 ● Enid Williams / → Founding member, vocals and bass guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1966 ● Too Short / (Todd Shaw) → Successful solo 80-90s West Coast rap star, “The Ghetto” (Rap #3, 1990), came out of “early retirement” with “More Freaky Tales” (Rap #3, 1999) and subsequent solo and collaboration hits
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz / (Scott Mitchell Putesky) → Guitarist and co-founder of industrial-pop-metal Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later collaborated with alt rock Jack Off Jill
1968 ● Howard Donald / → Drummer, pianist, singer and dancer for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), solo work, then reformed Take That, “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1973 ● Big Gipp / (Cameron Gipp) → Southern rapper, member of Goodie Mob, solo album plus collaborative work with Ali, Nelly, Outkast and others

, , , , , ,

2 Comments

This Week’s Birthdays (March 25 – 31)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 25

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

March 26

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

March 27

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

March 28

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

March 29

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

March 30

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

March 31

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

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (March 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 18
1911 ● Smiley Burnette / (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 / (Charley Frank 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 / (Eric Norman 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 ● B.J. Wilson / (Brian James 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 / (Robert Stanley 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 ● Grant Hart / (Grantzberg Vernon Hart) → Founding member, co-songwriter and drummer for early post-punk hardcore trio Hüsker Dü (“Makes No Sense At All,” UK Indie #2, 1985), after breakup formed hard rock Nova Mob in 1988 and released several solo al ums in the 90s and 00s, died from liver cancer on 9/13/2017, age 56
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 ● Devin Lima / (Harold 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)

March 19
1928 ● Tom Paley / (Allan Thomas Paley) → Guitarist, banjo and fiddle player who worked with Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly in the 50s, then co-founded and became the witty showman of folk revival stalwarts The New Lost City Ramblers, the band issued 11 albums, performed nationally and is widely credited with spearheading the old-time music craze of the late 50s and early 60s, his music influenced Bob Dylan and he later mentored Jerry Garcia and Ry Cooder on the acoustic guitar and collaborated with others in various folk music projects, died from failing health on 9/30/2017, age 89
1937 ● Frogman Henry / (Clarence Henry) → R&B/blues and soul singer with a trademark croak to his singing, best exemplified on “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20, R&B #3, 1956), scored two other Top 20 hits, including “But I Do” (#4, R&B #9, 1961), opened for 18 Beatles concerts in the U.S., continues to perform at various New Orleans conventions into the 10s
1944 ● Tom Constanten / → Classically-trained keyboardist and composer, member of the Grateful Dead from 1966-1970, remained in the Dead‘s periphery and has issued several collaborative albums with Robert Hunter and others
1946 ● Paul Atkinson / → Guitarist in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), later became a recorded company A&R executive for Columbia and RCA, discovered ABBA, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest and Michael Penn, died from liver and kidney failure on 4/1/2004, age 58
1946 ● Ruth Pointer / → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Derek Longmuir / → Drummer for Scottish teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1953 ● Billy Sheehan / → Bass guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992), also worked with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth
1953 ● Phil Mitchell / (Philip Henry Mitchell) → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson / (Ricky Helton Wilson) → Guitarist and founding member (with sister Cindy) of New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989), died from AIDS/HIV on 10/12/1985, age 32
1955 ● Bruce Willis / → Action film actor (Die Hard series) and occasional pop singer with two albums, two modest hits and a Top 5 single, “Respect Yourself” (#5, 1987)
1959 ● Terry Hall / → Frontman and lead vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), formed The Colourfield, “Thinking Of You’ (UK #12, 1985)
1971 ● Jack Bessant / → Bassist for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow

March 20
1906 ● Ozzie Nelson / (Oswald George Nelson) → Bandleader, radio host and TV actor, director and producer, fronted swing/easy listening The Ozzie Nelson Band in the 30s and 40s (“And Then Some,” #1, 1935) with his wife, Harriet on second vocal, developed and produced The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet (with their sons, David and Ricky) on radio in 1944 and moved to TV in 1952, appeared on TV for a final time in 1973 and died from liver cancer on 6/3/1975, age 69
1917 ● Dame Vera Lynn / (Vera Lynn Welch) → Enormously popular World War II-era touring singer and actress whose career continued after the war with hits in the 50s (“Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” #1, UK #10, 1952) and a UK #1 album in 2009 (We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn), making her the oldest living artist with a top-ranked album ever
1922 ● Larry Elgart / (Lawrence Joseph Elgart) → 40s-50s swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Les, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, and later rode the disco wave with his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982), died from natural causes on 8/29/2017, age 95
1935 ● Sam Lay / → Chicago blues, jazz and rock drummer and vocalist, performed and recorded with many blues greats, including Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, joined The Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-60s, recorded and toured with Bob Dylan and the Chess Records All-Stars and has issued several albums of his own since 1969, his home movies of fellow blues performers in various Chicago venues in the 50s and 60s were featured in the PBS special History Of The Blues (2003)
1936 ● Lee “Scratch” Perry / (Rainford Hugh Perry) → Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter and pioneer in the development of the “dub” subgenre of reggae music, worked with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Murvin, The Heptones and others
1937 ● Jerry Reed / (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → The “Guitar Man,” Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, “Amos Moses” (#8, 1971), sessionman, TV and screen actor (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), died from emphysema on 9/1/2008, age 71
1937 ● Joe Rivers / → One half of the R&B vocal duo Johnnie & Joe, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” (#8, R&B #3, 1957) and two other R&B Top 20 hits in 1957, played the oldies circuit and recorded a 1982 album
1940 ● Rod Lauren / (Rod Lawrence Strunk) → One hit wonder pop singer (“If I Had A Girl,” #31, 1960), nightclub entertainer, bit part TV actor and one role B-movie star (The Crawling Hand, 1963), husband and suspected murderer of Filipino TV actress Nida Blanca, left the Philippines in 2002 and fought extradition from the U.S., committed suicide by jumping from a second-story hotel balcony on 6/12/2007, age 67
1941 ● Vito Picone / → Frontman, lead singer and one of two remaining original members of teenage doo wop quintet The Elegants (“Little Star,” #1, R&B #1, 1958), bit-part TV and film actor (Goodfellas, The Sopranos and others, most recently hosts a New York City weekly nostalgia and music variety radio program
1942 ● Robin Luke / (Robert Luke) → One hit wonder teen pop/rockabilly singer and songwriter, “Susie Darlin'” (#5, 1958), later earned a Ph.D. in business administration and headed the Marketing Department at Missouri State University
1950 ● Carl Palmer / → Progressive rock drummer and percussionist, first with Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (, 1971), then supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, “From The Beginning” (#39, 1972), and later Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982)
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan / → Blues-rock guitarist and singer, founded Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986), solo, brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played occasionally and released one “duo album,” Family Style (1990), released just after Stevie Ray’s death on 8/27/1990
1956 ● Phonso Martin / (Alphonso Martin) → Percussion and vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), left in 1991 to pursue interests outside of music
1959 ● Owen If / (Ian Frederick Rossiter) → Drummer for Brit electronic dance/rap Stereo MC’s, “Connected” (#20, Modern Rock #5, 1992)
1959 ● Richard Drummie / → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom / (James McDonnell) → Drummer with rockabilly revival Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#3, 1983)
1967 ● Shutty Shuttleworth / (David Shuttleworth) → Drummer for hard rock/heavy metal Spoilt Bratz and Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1968 ● Fredrik Schönfeldt / → Guitars and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1972 ● Alexander Kapranos / → Vocals for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1972 ● Shelly Poole / (Michelle Lena Poole) → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1976 ● Chester Bennington / → Vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001), found dead in his home from a suspected suicide on 7/20/2017, age 41
1982 ● Nick Wheeler / → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21
1902 ● Son House, / (Eddie James House, Jr.) → Innovative and influential Delta blues and gospel slide guitarist and vocalist, recorded first in the 30s and for the Library of Congress in 1941 but drifted into obscurity until being “rediscovered” in 1964 during the folk-blues revival, toured and recorded thereafter extensively, influenced Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) and others, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/19/1988, age 86
1923 ● Mort Lindsey / (Morton Lippman) → Orchestra leader, TV and film soundtrack composer, pianist and musical director for Judy Garland‘s four-time Grammy-winning concert album Judy At Carnegie Hall (#1, 1961) and Barbra Streisand‘s 1967 TV concert A Happening In Central Park, won two Emmy’s as the 25-year musical director for The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986), died following a long illness on 5/4/2012, age 89
1930 ● Otis Spann / → Chicago blues keyboardist and guitarist, member of Muddy Waters‘ band from 1952 to 1968 while concurrently working as a session musician for Chess Records and on solo albums, worked with B. B. King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton and others, died from liver cancer on 4/24/1970, age 40
1940 ● Solomon Burke / → The “King of Rock & Soul,” early and influential Grammy-winning R&B/classic soul singer, “Got To Get You Off My Mind” (#22, R&B #1, 1965) and 14 other R&B Top 20 hits but never achieved the recognition afforded peers James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, died from a suspected pulmonary embolism onboard a commercial airliner while flying from Washington, DC to a sold-out show in The Netherlands on 10/10/2010, age 70
1941 ● John Boylan / → Songwriter and producer for Rick Nelson, The Association, The Dillards and others, managed Linda Ronstadt and handpicked her backing band in 1971, the session musicians who later became the Eagles
1943 ● Vivian Stanshall / (Victor Anthony Stanshall) → Eccentric 60s UK underground rock figure and founder of the comedy/satirical art rock outfit Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died in a fire at his home on 3/5/1995, age 52
1944 ● David Lindley / → Top-rated and sought-after session musician, co-founded 60s American eclectic folk-rock cult band Kaleidoscope, recorded with Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield, Dolly Parton, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others, key member of Jackson Browne‘s recording and touring band from 1971 to 1981, solo, “Mercury Blues” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1981)
1945 ● Sister Rose (aka Rosie Stone) Stewart / (Rosemary Stewart) → Platinum-wigged lead vocalist and keyboardist with her two brothers Sly and Freddie in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), solo and sessions for Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and others
1946 ● Ray Dorset / → Founder, guitarist, vocals and chief songwriter for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), solo
1949 ● Eddie Money / (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → Police trainee turned rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Two Tickets To Paradise” (#22, 1977) and “Walk On Water” (#9, 1988)
1950 ● Roger Hodgson / → Founding member, frontman, keyboards, vocals and chief hit songwriter for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), solo
1951 ● Conrad Lozano / → Bassist for Tex-Mex roots/blues/country-rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1953 ● Robert Johnson / → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1956 ● Guy Chadwick / → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie psych-rock The House Of Love, “Shine On” (, 1990)
1957 ● John Reddington / → Guitarist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1957 ● Sean Dickson / → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for Scottish alt rock/indie dance-pop The Soup Dragons, “I’m Free” (#79, Modern Rock #2, UK #5, 1990), after 1995 disbandment formed alt rock The High Fidelity
1958 ● Butch Norton / (Jonathan Norton) → Drums and vocals for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997), then sessions and/or touring bands for Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Rufus Wainwright and Lucinda Williams
1963 ● Share Ross / (Sharon Pedersen Ross) → Bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Shawn Lane / → Jazz-rock guitar virtuoso, joined Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, left for a solo career, sessions and collaborations including with outlaw country The Highwaymen, died from respiratory failure on 9/26/2003, age 40
1966 ● DJ Premier / (Christopher Martin) → East Coast rap DJ and record producer, one half the hip hop duo Gang Starr, “Take It Personal” (Rap #1, 1992), recorded with The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and others, founder and chief of Year Round Records
1967 ● Joker Berggren / (Jonas Berggren) → Guitar and keyboards for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1967 ● Maxim / (Keith Palmer) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1968 ● Andrew Copeland / → Guitar and vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1977 ● Mark Hamilton / → Founding member, bass, synthesizer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kevin Federline / → Dancer, fashion model, tabloid fodder ex-husband of Britney Spears and pop-rap singer, “Lose Control” (2006)
1980 ● Bizzy D Whibley / (Deryck Whibley) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Humes / (Rochelle Wiseman Humes) → Singer, actress and TV host, member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

March 22
1916 ● George Wyle / (Bernard Weissman) → Orchestra leader and composer, wrote the theme song to 60s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, musical director for 70s variety program The Flip Wilson Show, served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers from 1979-2003, died on 5/2/2003, age 87
1930 ● Steven Sondheim / → Eight-time Tony and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist best known for writing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and other music theater shows, wrote the lyrics to West Side Story, Gypsy and other films, wrote multiple hit songs, including “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” for Madonna (Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1991)
1932 ● Juke Boy Bonner / (Weldon Bonner) → Texas blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and poet who recorded numerous singles and several albums of mostly original material, including his best material on Arhoolie Records in the 60s, but never broke through to commercial success, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 6/29/1978, age 46
1936 ● Roger Whittaker / → Internationally-acclaimed baritone pop singer and songwriter, “The Last Farewell” (#19, 1975), TV actor
1937 ● Johnny Ferguson / → 50s Nashville disc jockey turned transatlantic one hit wonder country-pop singer with a cover version of John D. Loudermilk‘s “Angela Jones” (Top 30, 1960)
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde / → One half of strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964), TV actor
1943 ● George Benson / → Grammy-winning jazz and R&B/pop guitarist and scat singer, “Give Me The Night” (R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Keith Relf / → Guitars and vocals for hard rock Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), then prog rock Renaissance and hard rock Medicine Head, died from electrocution while playing his electric guitar in his basement on 5/14/1976, age 33
1944 ● Christopher Stainton / → Session keyboardist and songwriter, started with Joe Cocker, later worked with Eric Clapton, The Who, Bryan Ferry, Roger Waters and others
1947 ● Harry Vanda / → Dutch-born lead guitarist for pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), later with pop-rock Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive / → Percussionist and bassist for R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1948 ● Andrew Lloyd Webber / → Highly successful Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and composer of musicals, often as collaborator with Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976) and Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs / → Bassist for pop-rock The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965), then with blues-rock Johnny Winter band, died from heart failure caused by years of drug abuse on 8/5/1993, age 45
1957 ● Stephanie Mills / → Broadway star (The Wiz, 1975) turned Grammy-winning R&B/pop-disco diva, “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, 1980)
1958 ● Peter Wylie / → Singer and frontman for post-punk alt rock Wah!, “Story Of The Blues” (UK #3, 1982)
1963 ● Susanne Sulley / → Vocals for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1968 ● Mickey Dale / → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1970 ● Andreas Johnson / → Swedish pop-rock musician and songwriter, “Glorious” (UK #4, 1999)
1971 ● Steve Howell / → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994), now with Placebo
1979 ● Aaron Wright North / → Guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1980 ● Shannon Rae Bex / → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006), solo
1981 ● Shawn Mims / → Jamaican-descent rapper, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (#1, 2007)
1986 ● Amy Studt / → Brit contemporary pop singer, first hit at age 15 with “Just A Little Girl” (UK #14, 2002) and “Misfit” (UK #6, 2003)

March 23
1917 ● Stick McGhee / (Granville Henry McGhee) → Jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for the oft-covered blues and proto-typical rock ‘n’ roll song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (R&B #3, 1949), younger brother of electric blues guitarist Brownie McGhee, died of lung cancer on 8/15/1961, age 44
1932 ● Louisiana Red / (Iverson Minter) → Flamboyant Southern blues guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player, recorded over 50 albums plus guest appearances and collaborations, best known for “Sweet Blood Call” (1975), died following a stroke on 2/25/2012, age 79
1938 ● Irwin Jesse Levine / → Pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys plus “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando & Dawn and other top hits, died from renal failure on 1/21/1997, age 58
1940 ● Janis Martin / → The “Female Elvis,” early and pioneering country/rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist with the teenaged hit on Sun Records, “Will You Willyum” (#38, 1956) with the B-side, “Drugstore Rock And Roll” becoming a rockabilly classic, left the industry in the late 50s to raise her son and manage a country club until the rockabilly revival of the 80s, died from lung cancer on 9/3/2007, age 67
1942 ● Jimmy Miller / → Record producer and occasional session drummer on albums and songs he produced for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the lone Blind Faith album, the Plasmatics, Primal Scream and others, including key albums by The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973), died from liver failure on 10/22/1994, age 52
1944 ● Michael Nyman / → Composer, pianist, bandleader and librettist, wrote the soundtrack album to the Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993)
1944 ● Tony McPhee / → Lead guitar and vocals for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1947 ● Ray Phiri / (Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri) → South African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga guitarist and vocalist best known for his collaborations with Paul Simon on the Graceland (#3, 1986) and The Rhythm Of The Saints (#4, 1990) albums and on worldwide tours that included The Concert In Central Park (1991) and an appearance on Saturday Night Live, died from lung cancer on 7/12/2017, age 70
1948 ● Cindy Scott / (Sundray Kay Tucker) → Performed and recorded under both her stage (Scott) and birth (Tucker) names, early member of 60s doo wop girl group The Ordettes, released “What Are You Doin’ To Me” as Cindy Scott & The Cousins, sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, recorded as a solo artist on various indie labels through the 00s, sister of Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and cousin of Tammi Terrell and Bunny Sigler
1949 ● Ric Ocasek / (Richard Otcasek) → Guitar, frontman and songwriter for synth-pop/hard rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978), solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon / → Keyboardist for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), sessions and sideman for numerous rock acts
1952 ● David Bartram / → Vocals for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1953 ● Chaka Khan / (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Vocals for R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974), then solo, “I Feel For You” (#3, 1984)
1953 ● Phil Keaggy / → Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music guitarist and vocalist, co-founded psych-rock power trio Glass Harp in the 60s, converted to Christianity in the 70s and released over 50 albums of CCM and mainstream pop-rock music, continues to perform with Glass Harp in Ohio and the Northeast into the 10s
1958 ● El Duce Hoke / (Eldon Hoke) → Drummer and lead singer for pioneer 80s “shock-” and “rape rock” metal band The Mentors, known for their chauvinistic, filthy lyrics and crude production, died from coroner-termed “misadventure” (hit by a freight train) on 4/19/1997, age 39
1966 ● Marti Pellow / (Mark McLachlan) → Frontman and lead singer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994), solo
1967 ● John Strohm / → Drummer turned guitarist for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, then for several other groups, including teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) plus solo albums, now a lawyer
1968 ● Damon Albarn / → Singer, songwriter and producer, first as frontman for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), then in virtual pop-rock dub band Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (#14, 2005)
1971 ● Abe Laboriel / (Abraham Laboriel, Jr.) → Berklee College of Music graduate and session and tour drummer for Steve Vai, Seal, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and others, son of renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
1972 ● Beverly Knight / → Brit R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer, “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” (UK #10, 2002)

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

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment