Posts Tagged rock birthday history

This Week’s Birthdays (June 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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 ● 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
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
1944 ● RickGriffin / (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
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
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 ● 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
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
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 ● 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
1958 ● Simon Underwood / → Bassist for post-punk Pigbag, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” (Dance/Club #56, UK #3, 1981)
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
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 ● 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
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
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 ● Jon Hiseman / → Brit jazz-rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, left to form prog rock Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), recording engineer, producer and music publisher
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 ● 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
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
1947 ● Howard Kaylan / → 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 ● Mike Edwards / → Vocals for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
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
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 ● Jimmy Castor / (James Walter Castor) → Pop and funk saxophonist and singer, briefly replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers, then fronted novelty/disco-funk Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Caveman)” (#4, 1972), died from heart failure on 1/16/2012, age 72
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
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
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
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)

June 24

1921 ● Peggy DeCastro / → Eldest of three sisters who formed the 50s Cuban-American pop singing trio The DeCastro Sisters (“Teach Me Tonight,” #2, 1954), left for a mediocre solo career but continued to perform with her sisters and various other members until her death from lung cancer on 3/6/2004, age 82
1933 ● Rosalie Sorrels / (Rosalie Ann Stringfellow) → Influential folk singer-songwriter and social activist who performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 1966, at Woodstock in 1969 and at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1972 but never achieved commercial success despite inspiring younger artists in the 70s and 80s, appearing on National Public Radio (NPR) on numerous occasions and recorded over 20 folk albums, including the Grammy-nominated My Last Go ‘Round (2005), died from colon cancer and complications of dementia on 6/11/2017, age 83
1939 ● Oz Bach / (Paul Bach) → Founding member, bass guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), session work for Fred Neil, Tom Paxton, Linda Ronstadt and Steve Miller, among others, died of cancer on 9/21/1998, age 59
1944 ● Arthur Brown / → Outlandish, theatrical, hellfire-bearing frontman for one hit wonder, psychedelic pop The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#2, 1968), played the Priest in the rock film Tommy (1975)
1944 ● Charlie Whitney / → Guitarist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1944 ● Chris Wood / → Founding member, saxophone and flute for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and later reformed Traffic, sessions, died of pneumonia on 7/12/1983, age 39
1944 ● Jeff Beck / → Highly influential, five-time Grammy-winning lead guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, replaced Eric Clapton in blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, multiple solo albums and singles, “People Get Ready” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1985), formed The Honeydrippers with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Nile Rodgers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984), #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Great Guitarists of All-Time
1945 ● Colin Blunstone / → Founding member and lead vocals in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), then solo, “Say You Don’t Mind” (UK #15, 1972), contributed lead vocals for several Alan Parsons Project tracks
1947 ● Mick Fleetwood / → Founding member, part namesake and drummer for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1948 ● Patrick Moraz / → Prog and jazz-rock keyboardist, replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes 1974-76, then 1978-1991 with The Moody Blues, “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986), solo
1949 ● John Illsley / → Bass and vocals for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1950 ● Duckie Simpson / (Derrick Simpson) → Co-founder and only constant member of Grammy-winning, second generation reggae band Black Uhuru, album Anthem was the Best Reggae Album of 1984
1957 ● Astro / (Terence Wilson) → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1959 ● Andy McCluskey / → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1961 ● Curt Smith / → Bass and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1961 ● Dennis Danell / → Founding guitarist in Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996), died from a brain aneurysm on 2/29/2000, age 38
1967 ● Jeff Cease / → Lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), left in 1991
1967 ● Richard Zven Kruspe / → Lead guitarist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Medeiros / → Teen idol poster-boy singer, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and duet with Bobby Brown, “She Ain’t Worth It” (#1, 1990)

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 11 – 17)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 11

1934 ● “Pookie” Hudson / (James Hudson) → Frontman and lead vocals for pioneer R&B/doo wop The Spaniels, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” (R&B #5, 1954), died of cancer on 1/16/2007, age 72
1936 ● Jud Strunk / (Justin Strunk, Jr.) → One hit wonder country-pop singer, comedian and humorous songwriter with the novelty hit “Daisy A Day” (#14, AC #4, 1973), semi-regular on TV comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the 70s, died when he suffered a heart attack while piloting a small plane which crashed on takeoff on 10/15/1981, age 45
1940 ● Joey Dee / (Joseph DiNicola) → Frontman and lead vocals for early rock ‘n’ roll Joey Dee & The Starlighters, the house band at New York’s Peppermint Lounge, “The Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and “Shout” (#6, 1962)
1947 ● Glenn Leonard / → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), solo
1947 ● Richard Palmer-James / → Lyricist for prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), lyricist and guitar for prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1948 ● Skip Alan / (Alan Ernest Skipper) → Drummer for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1949 ● Frank Beard / → Drummer for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1951 ● Lynsey De Paul / (Lyndsey Monkton Rubin) → Brit R&B/disco singer and songwriter, “Sugar Me” (UK #5, 1972), first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting, “Won’t Somebody Dance With Me?” (Best Ballad, 1974)
1952 ● Donnie Van Zant / (Donald Newton Van Zant) → Lead vocals and frontman for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981), then Van Zant, brother of deceased Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant
1960 ● David Baerwald / → One-half of New wave synth-pop duo David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”(Top Rock #8, 1986)
1960 ● Nick “The Head” Hallam / (Nick Hallam) → Producer, co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader of Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1961 ● Rob B. / (Robert Charles Birch) → Co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader/vocals for Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1976 ● Tai Anderson / → Bassist in Grammy-winning Christian rock quartet Third Day, “Born Again” (Hot Christian Songs #3, 2009)

June 12

1909 ● Archie Bleyer / → Bandleader, pop recording artist (“The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane”, #26, 1954), producer (The Everly Brothers), Cadence Records owner (Andy Williams, The Chordettes, Johnny Tillotson, Lenny Welch and others), died from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 3/20/1989, age 79
1914 ● Bill Kenny / → The “Godfather of Doo-Wop,” guitarist and tenor vocals for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), continued with various incarnations of the group through the 50s and followed with a successful solo career and host of his own musical variety show, died from respiratory illness on 3/23/1978, age 63
1928 ● Vic Damone / (Victor Rocco Farinola) → Prototypical Italian/American crooner, “On The Street Where You Live” (#4, 1958), TV variety-show host and film actor
1932 ● Charlie Feathers / (Charles Arthur Feathers) → Influential but unheralded blues, country and rockabilly singer and songwriter, early fixture at Sun Records where he recorded several singles and co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” (Country #1, 1955), left for rivals Meteor and King Records in the late 50s and cut several now-classic rockabilly singles, died following a stroke on 8/29/1998, age 66
1937 ● Chips Moman / (Lincoln Wayne Moman) → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and music executive, left Stax Records in 1964 to found American Sound Studios, produced over 100 hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Keep On Dancing” by The Gentrys (#4, 1965), “The Letter” by The Box Tops (#1, 1967) and “In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley (#3, 1969), co-wrote the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” for B.J. Thomas (#1, 1975), moved to Nashville and country music and recorded hits for many top artists, including “You Were Always On My Mind” for Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from emphysema on 6/13/2016, age 79
1941 ● Chick Corea / (Armando Anthony Corea) → Grammy-winning jazz and electric jazz fusion pianist/synthesizer musician, composer, bandleader, played with Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Bobby McFerrin and others, solo
1941 ● Roy Harper / → Brit songwriter and folk-psych-rock singer, lead vocals on Pink Floyd‘s “Have A Cigar” (1975), Led Zeppelin‘s “Hat’s Of To Roy Harper” is a tribute to him
1942 ● Len Barry / (Leonard Borisoff) → Lead and tenor vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961), then blue-eyed Philly soul singer, “1-2-3” (#2, R&B #11, 1965)
1943 ● Reg Presley / (Reginald Maurice Ball) → Lead singer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), used royalties from his composition “Love Is All Around” (Wet Wet Wet, Adult Contemporary #8, 1994) to fund research into crop circles and other paranormalities and publish a book, Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us, in 2002, died from lung cancer on 2/4/2013, a age 69
1944 ● Howard Cowart / → Blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Barry Bailey / → Lead guitarist for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978)
1949 ● John Wetton / (John Kenneth Wetton) → Bassist, songwriter and vocals for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), then joined a revamped prog rock King Crimson in 1972 and appeared on three albums, played with Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash before co-founding mainstream pop-rock Asia (“Heat Of The Moment,” #4, UK #46, 1982), collaborated with others and issued 20-odd solo albums in the 90s and 00s, died from colon cancer on 1/31/2017, age 67
1951 ● Brad Delp / → Lead vocals for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in at his home in New Hampshire on 3/9/2007, age 55
1951 ● Bun E. Carlos / (Brad Carlson) → Drummer for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1952 ● Junior Brown / (Jamieson Brown) → Country-rock bandleader and guitarist known for playing a “gut-steel” hybrid of electric and lap steel guitars, played with Asleep At The Wheel, solo albums since 1990
1952 ● Peter Farndon / → Bassist for post-punk New Wave hard pop-rock The Pretenders, “Back On The Chain Gang” (#5, 1982), fired from the band in late 1982, died from a drug overdose on 4/14/1983, age 30
1953 ● Rocky Burnette / (Jonathan Burnette) → Rowdy, high energy rockabilly revival singer and songwriter, “Tired Of Toein’ The Line” (#8, 1980), son of legendary Johnny
1959 ● John Linnell / (John Sidney Linnell) → Keyboards, accordion and saxophone for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Meredith Ann Brooks / → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bitch” (#2, 1997)
1960 ● Michael Hausman / → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985), artist manager
1962 ● Grandmaster Dee / (Drew Carter) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1965 ● Robin Wilson / → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1968 ● Bobby Sheehan / (Robert Vaughan Sheehan) → Bassist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995), died of a drug overdose on 8/20/1999, age 31
1969 ● Bardi Martin / → Bassist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1972 ● Bounty Killer / (Rodney Basil Price) → Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer, “Deadly Zone” (#79, Rap #8, 1998)
1977 ● Kenny Wayne Shepherd / (Kenny Wayne Brobst) → Self-taught blues-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Blue On Black” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1979 ● Robyn / (Robin Miriam Carlsson) → Swedish dance/pop singer, “Do You Know (What It Takes)” (#7, 1997)

June 13

1934 ● Uriel Jones / → Drummer in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 3/24/2009, age 74
1940 ● Bobby Freeman / (Robert Thomas Freeman) → Dance craze R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter who wrote and recorded the enduring hit, “Do You Want To Dance” (#5, 1958) while still a teenager, the song has been covered in multiple variations by TThe Beach Boys, John Lennon, The Ramones, Bette Midler and others, died following a heart attack on 1/23/2017, age 76
1941 ● Marv Tarplin / (Marvin Tarplin) → Session guitarist and songwriter for Motown Records, collaborated with Smokey Robinson, co-wrote and played on many R&B hits, including “Tracks Of My Tears” (#16, R&B #2, 1965) for The Miracless, left Motown in 1973 to work with Robinson in his solo career for the next 35 years, died from unspecified causes on 9/30/2011 , age 70
1942 ● James Carr / → Underappreciated R&B/Southern soul singer, “Dark End Of The Street” (#77, R&B #10, 1967), died of lung cancer on 1/17/2001, age 58
1943 ● Dyke Christian / (Arlester Christian) → Bassist, singer and frontman for 60s R&B/funk Dyke And The Blazers, the early backing band for The O’Jays, wrote “Funky Broadway” for Wilson Pickett (#8, Soul #1, 1967), had several minor hits with his band until he was shot to death on a Phoenix, AZ street on 3/13/1971, age 27
1943 ● Esther Ofarim / → One half of Israeli folk-pop-rock vocal duo Esther & Abi, “Cinderella Rockafeller” (UK #1, 1968)
1947 ● John Kahn / → Bass guitarist and session musician in the 60s and 70s for Mike Bloomfield, Brewer & Shipley, Maria Muldaur and others, best known for his 25 year collaboration with the Grateful Dead‘s Jerry Garcia in multiple projects, including The Jerry Garcia Band, bluegrass Old & In The Way, acoustic duo Garcia & Kahn plus other efforts with Merle Saunders and Howard Wales, died in his sleep on 5/30/1996, age 48
1949 ● Dennis Locorriere / → Guitarist for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1951 ● Howard Leese / → Guitar and keyboards for hard rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1954 ● Jorge Santana / → Bandleader and guitarist for Latino rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1954 ● Bo Donaldson / (Robert Donaldson) → Pop-rock singer, keyboardist, trumpeter and frontman for The Heywoods, “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” (#1, 1974)
1957 ● Rolf Brendel / → Drummer for German pop-rock band Nena, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984)
1963 ● Paul DeLisle / → Bassist for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1963 ● Robbie Merrill / → Bassist for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1968 ● David Gray / → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Babylon” (Adult Top 40 #8, 2000)
1968 ● Deneice 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
1969 ● Søren Rasted / → Co-founder, keyboards and drum machine for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content, solo, producer, actor
1970 ● Rivers Cuomo / → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1978 ● J Brown / (Jason Paul Brown) → Vocals for pre-fabricated hip hop dance-pop boy band quintet Five, “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, UK #4, 1998)
1981 ● Kymberley Marsh / → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), quit the group in 2002 to pursue an acting career
1985 ● Raz-B / (De’Mario Monte Thornton) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)

June 14

1909 ● Burl Ives / → Grammy-winning, grandfatherly folk singer, “A Little Bitty Tear” (#9, 1962), stage and screen actor, writer, radio personality, died from mouth cancer on 4/14/1995, age 85
1929 ● Cy Coleman / (Seymour Kaufman) → Child-prodigy classical pianist turned jazz-pop artist and Tony Award-winning composer for Broadway and films, wrote music for multiple stage hits, including “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Big Spender” for Sweet Charity (1966), and the latter for Shirley Bassey (UK #21, 1967), scored music for the films Father Goose (1964), Power (1986) and others, periodically recorded solo albums and charted a lone hit, “Chloe” (Disco #8, 1975), died from a heart attack on 11/18/2004, age 75
1931 ● Junior Walker / (Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founder/frontman for R&/pop-soul Junior Walker & The All Stars, “Shotgun” (#4, 1965), solo and sessions, died of cancer on 11/23/1995, age 64
1936 ● Obie Benson / (Renaldo Benson) → Vocals for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), co-wrote Marvin Gaye‘s hit “What’s Goin’ On” (#2, 1971), died of lung cancer on 7/1/2005, age 69
1937 ● Chuck Berghofer / (Charles Curtis Berghofer) → Jazz and pop bassist, as a member of several 60s jazz ensembles played with Jack Shelton, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and other luminaries, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played the bass solo on Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (#1, 1966), appeared on numerous film soundtracks, recently worked with Christine Aguilera, Michael Feinstein and others
1943 ● Spooner Oldham / (Dewey Lindon Oldham) → Keyboardist, songwriter and session musician, worked at FAME and Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama and appears on hundreds of songs and albums, including hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and countless others, co-wrote “Cry Like A Baby” for The Box Tops (#2, 1968), moved to Los Angeles in the 80s and continues to record and tour with artists including Neil Young and Drive-By Truckers
1945 ● Rod Argent / → Founding member, songwriter and keyboardist for underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), frontman for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), now a TV and film composer
1947 ● The Fish / (Barry Melton) → Co-founder and original guitarist for psych-country-protest-rock Country Joe & The Fish, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” (1967), later co-founded San Francisco neo-psych-rock supergroup The Dinosaurs, retired public defender in California
1949 ● Alan White / → Drummer for Plastic Ono Band and John Lennon, “Instant Karma!” (#3, 1970), played with George Harrison and joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force, replaced Bill Bruford in 1972 in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983) and has played on every Yes album since
1949 ● Jim Lea / → Bass, piano, violin, vocals and songwriting for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1958 ● Nick Van Ede / → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, wrote “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Boy George / (George O’Dowd) → Androgynous frontman and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#1, 1984), solo, “The Crying Game” (#15, 1993)
1963 ● Chris DeGarmo / → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1966 ● Matt Freeman / → Bassist in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)
1969 ● MC Ren / (Lorenzo Patterson) → Member of controversial/influential gangsta rap quintet N.W.A., “Express Yourself” (Hot Dance #38, 1989), solo, “Same Old Shit” (Rap #11, 1993)
1970 ● Chris Chaney / → Bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990)
1971 ● Billie Myers / → Pop, jazz and world music singer/songwriter, “Kiss The Rain” (#15, 1998)
1983 ● Siobhan Donaghy / → Vocals in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

June 15

1910 ● David Rose / → Emmy-winning composer, pianist and orchestra leader whose best known compositions include the jazzy instrumental “The Stripper” (#1, 1962), wrote film scores for Hollywood and many TV shows, including Bonanza and Little House On The Prairie, led the house band for The Red Skelton Show for 21 years, died of natural causes on 8/23/1990, age 80
1921 ● Errol Garner / → Virtuoso jazz and swing pianist, wrote the jazz standard, oft-covered and Grammy Hall of Fame song “Misty” (1954) and issued multiple jazz and jazz-pop albums, died of lung cancer on 1/2/1977, age 55
1929 ● Nigel Pickering / → Founding member, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from liver cancer on 5/5/2011, age 81
1937 ● Waylon Jennings / → Grammy-winning “outlaw” country guitarist, singer and songwriter, started in the Buddy Holly Band, solo, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” (#42, Country #1, 1978), formed mythic country supergroup The Highwaymen, “Highwayman” (Country #1, 1985), died from complications of diabetes on 2/13/2002, age 64
1941 ● Harry Nilsson / (Harry E. Nilsson, III) → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Everybody’s Talkin” (#6, 1969) from the movie Midnight Cowboy, and “Without You” (#1, 1972), died of heart failure on 1/15/1994, age 52
1943 ● Johnny Hallyday / (Jean-Phillipe Smet) → The “French Elvis”, major European pop star, “Mon Plus Beau Noel” (French #1, 2005), Jimmy Page, Peter Frampton and Foreigner‘s Mick Jones have played on his records
1943 ● Muff Winwood / (Mervyn Winwood) → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin”” (#7, 1967), producer, record executive, older brother of Steve Winwood
1944 ● Eddie Hinton / → Songwriter, session guitarist and 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, wrote the Dusty Springfield hit “Breakfast in Bed” (#91, 1969) and other songs, died from a heart attack on 7/28/1995, age 51
1946 ● Demis Roussos / (Artemios Roussos) → Operatic-voiced Greek singer and bassist with prog-rock Aphrodite’s Child, solo, “L.O.V.E. Got A Hold On Me” (Dance/Club #26, 1978)
1946 ● Janet Lennon / → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, continues to record and perform as a trio in the 10s
1946 ● Leo Nocentelli / → Guitarist in New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing guitarist for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, continues to perform with the band and as solo artist through the 10s
1946 ● Noddy Holder / (Neville Holder) → Guitar and vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984), TV actor, radio and TV presenter
1949 ● Meri Wilson (Edgmon) / (Meri Wilson Edgmon) → Model, sometime actress and one hit wonder singer/songwriter known for her double entendre smash “Telephone Man” (#18, UK #6, 1977), recorded one album of additional novelty-pop songs with mixed reviews and returned to singing jingles and modeling, died in a one car accident on an icy Georgia road on 12/28/2002, age 53
1949 ● Michael Lutz / → Guitarist for Detroit rock ‘n’ roll band Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” (#3, 1973)
1949 ● Russell Hitchcock / → Vocals for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1951 ● Steve Walsh / → Co-lead singer and keyboardist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), then Streets
1954 ● Terri Gibbs / (Teresa Fay Gibbs) → Blind-from-birth child prodigy keyboardist and country-pop-gospel singer, “Somebody’s Knockin'” (#13, Country #8, 1980)
1956 ● Bernie Shaw / → Canadian vocalist for Brit hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1956 ● David Hinds / → Rhythm guitar and lead vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978)
1957 ● Brad Gillis / → Guitarist in one hit wonder pop-rock Rubicon, “I’m Gonna Take Care Of Everything” (#28, 1978), then Night Ranger, “Sister Christian” (#5, 1984) and Ozzy Osbourne‘s band
1958 ● Neil Arthur / → Singer for New Wave synth-pop duo Blancmange, “Don’t Tell Me” (UK #8, 1984)
1963 ● Scott Rockenfield / → Drummer for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Britt / → Lead guitar and backing vocals for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1966 ● Rob Mitchell / → Principal songwriter and lead guitarist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1969 ● Ice Cube / (O’Shea Jackson) → Founding member of controversial/influential gangsta rap quintet N.W.A., “Express Yourself” (Hot Dance #38, 1989), solo rapper, “Check Yo Self” (#20, Rap #1, 1993)
1970 ● Chi Cheng / → Chinese-American bassist for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1976 ● Dryden Vera Mitchell / → Vocals for alt rock Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal” (#23, 2001)
1976 ● Gary Lightbody / → Guitar and vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)
1981 ● Billy Martin / → Guitar and keyboards for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1985 ● Nadine Coyle / → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)

June 16

1913 ● Ben Raleigh / → Prolific pop lyricist, wrote “Tell Laura I Love Her” for Ray Peterson (#7, 1960) and the theme song “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, died in a home fire on 2/26/1997, age 83
1934 ● Carl “Little Caesar”Burnett / (Carl Burnett) → Frontman and lead vocals for late doo wop era one hit wonder Little Caesar & The Romans, “Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)” (#9, 1961)
1939 ● Crash Craddock / (Billy Wayne Craddock) → 50s teen-pop turned country-pop singer, “Rub It In” (#16, Country #1, 1974) and 18 other Country Top 20 singles in the 70s
1941 ● Lamont Dozier / → Motown Records‘ musical arranger and producer with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, co-wrote many hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and others
1942 ● Edward Levert / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1942 ● John Rostill / → Composer and bassist, early career in backing bands for touring artists including The Everly Brothers and Tommy Roe plus a stint in the Zoot Money Quartet (with future Police guitarist Andy Summers), joined instrumental pop-rock The Shadows (“Foot Tapper,” UK #1, 1963) in the early 60s, wrote or co-wrote a number of hits for The Shadows and other artists, including “Let Me Be There” for Olivia Newton-John (#6, 1973), died from electrocution in his home recording studio on 11/26/1973, age 31
1945 ● Ivan Lins / → Latin Grammy-winning Brazilian jazz-pop vocalist with a 40-year recording history and multiple covers of his compositions by a diverse and growing group of artists, including Elle Fitzgerald, Sting, Dave Grusin, Michael Bublé and many others
1945 ● Rudolph Damiani / → Founding member and drummer for 60s Boston-based garage rock The Remains (“Don’t Look Back,” 1966), the band received critical acclaim, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hullabaloo, and opened for The Beatless’ 1966 tour but gained little commercial success and disbanded in 1966, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 2/23/2014, age 68
1946 ● Ian Matthews / (Iain Matthew McDonald) → Irish guitarist and songwriter with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), formed light pop-folk-rock Southern Comfort, “Woodstock” (#23, 1970), solo, “Shake It” (#13, 1979)
1949 ● Peppy Castro / (Emil Thielheim) → Guitar and vocals for early psychedelic rock Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967), later formed pop-rock Balance, “Breaking Away” (#22, 1981)
1950 ● James Smith / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1952 ● Gino Vannelli / → Canadian soft rock singer/songwriter, “People Gotta Move” (#22, 1974) and “Living Inside Myself” (#6, 1981)
1953 ● Ian Mosley / → Drummer for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1953 ● Malcolm Paul Mortimer / → Drummer for Gentle Giant, Mick Jagger band, Ian Dury and others, session work
1954 ● Garry Roberts / (Garrick “Garry” Roberts) → Guitarist for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1958 ● Patrick Waite / → With brother Junior, bass guitar and vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982), died from hereditary heart failure while in police custody for drug charges on 2/13/1993, age 34
1971 ● Tupac Shakur / (Lesane Parish Crooks) → Dancer and rapper for Digital Underground, then solo gangsta rapper, “California Love” (#31, 1996), died following a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip on 9/13/1996, age 25
1987 ● Diana DeGarmo / → American Idol runner-up, Broadway actress, solo teen-pop singer, “Dreams” (#14, 2004)

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
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

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 28 – June 3)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 28

1910 ● T. Bone Walker / (Aaron Thibeaux Walker) → Electric blues pioneer, “Stormy Monday” (1947), influenced Albert Collins, B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and many others, #47 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists list, died of bronchial pneumonia following a stoke on 3/16/1975, age 64
1917 ● Papa John Creach / (John Henry Creach) → Fiddler for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), died after suffering a heart attack during the Northridge earthquake on 2/22/1994, age 76
1931 ● Sonny Burgess / → Sun Records artist, boogie woogie and rockabilly singer, guitarist and frontman for The Pacers (“Red Headed Woman,” 1956), performed and toured for four decades, currently retired and hosting a rockabilly nostalgia radio show in Arkansas
1943 ● Tony Mansfield / → Drummer for 60s British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1944 ● Billy Vera / (William McCord, Jr.) → Rock historian, songwriter and singer, duet with Judy Clay, “Storybook Children” (#20, 1968) and solo as frontman for pop-rock The Beaters, “At This Moment” (#1, 1986), featured on the TV show Family Ties
1944 ● Gary Stewart / → Outlaw country singer and songwriter mixing honky tonk and Southern rock sounds for nine Country Top 20 among nearly 30 charting songs, including “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” (Country #1, 1975), collaborated with Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts on Cactus And A Rose (1980), committed suicide a month after the death of his wife of 43 years on 12/16/2003, age 59
1944 ● Gladys Knight / → The “Empress of Soul”, Grammy-winning R&B vocals and frontwoman for The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973), solo
1945 ● John Fogerty / → Frontman, songwriter, guitar and vocals for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969), Grammy-winning solo career (album Centerfield, #1, 1985) and bandleader for The Blue Ridge Rangers
1948 ● Ray Laidlaw / → Drummer for Brit folk-rock Brethren, which became Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Wendy O. Williams / → Mohawk hairdo-sporting, controversial singer and frontwoman for outrageous punk/heavy metal Plasmatics, “Butcher Baby” (UK #55, 1980), solo, actress in sexploitation film Reform School Girls (1986), committed suicide on 4/6/1998, age 48
1952 ● JoJo Billingsley / (Deborah Jo Billingsley White) → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), only bandmember not aboard the fatal flight on 10/20/1977, claimed to have been born again by the event and turned to Christian music, died from cancer on 6/24/2010, age 58
1955 ● Eddie Jobson / (Edwin Jobson) → Respected journeyman violinist and synthesizer player with Frank Zappa‘s band, long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), Roxy Music, U.K., Yes, solo
1955 ● John McGeoch / → Scottish guitarist, singer and co-founder of post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), then with punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd., died in his sleep ion 3/4/2004, age 48
1959 ● Steve Strange / (Stephen Harrington) → Frontman and vocals for New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), nightclub host and promoter
1961 ● Roland Gift / → Lead singer for Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1964 ● Wes Burt-Martin / → Guitarist for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989)
1965 ● Chris Ballew / → Co-founder, bass and vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Lump” (Mainstream Rock #7, 1995), currently performs children’s music under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants
1968 ● Kylie Minogue / → Grammy-winning, widely-popular Aussie pop singer, songwriter and actress, “The Loco-Motion” (#3, 1988)
1970 ● Jimi Goodwin / → Vocals, bass and guitar for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Mark Richardson / → Drummer for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Mark Feehily / → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1985 ● Colbie Caillat / → Pop singer and guitarist, “Bubbly” (2007), daughter of Ken Caillat who co-produced Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Tusk albums

May 29

1939 ● Sir Monti Rock III / (Joseph Montanez Jr.) → Flamboyant Puerto Rican-American performer, musician and 60s TV entertainment show guest, opened the disco era with the LP Disco Tex And His Sex-O-Lettes (1975) with producer Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons), scored the hit “Get Dancin'” (#10, 1975) and several others, performed on the Vegas club circuit through the 00s
1941 ● Roy Crewsdon / → Guitarist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), now operates a bar in Tenerife
1945 ● Gary Brooker / → Chief songwriter, keyboardist and vocals for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), solo plus session work for Eric Clapton
1947 ● Joey Levine / → Unabashed bubblegum pop music songwriter, record producer and vocalist, as part of the Jerry Kasenetz/Jeffrey Katz team sang lead vocals for studio group Ohio Express (“Yummy Yummy Yummy,” #4, 1968) and other groups comprised of studio musicians, wrote and produced multiple pop hits by The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Music Explosion and others, formed his own branding company and wrote jingles for national or global brands including Pepsi, Chevrolet and Anheuser-Busch
1949 ● Francis Rossi / → Co-founder and lead guitarist for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), solo
1950 ● Rebbie Jackson / (Maureen Jackson) → Eldest of the Jackson family of musicians, performed with her brothers beginning in 1974, solo, “Centipede” (#24, R&B #4, 1984)
1953 ● Danny Elfman / → Grammy-winning TV and film score composer, frequently in collaboration with Tim Burton (Batman, 1989), singer/songwriter and leader of New Wave ska-pop/alt rock Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (#45, Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1955 ● Mike Porcaro / → Session musician who joined his brothers Jeff and Steve Porcaro in 1982 as bassist in pop/arena rock Toto (“Africa,” #1, 1982), retired from the band in 2007 and died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on 3/15/2015, age 59
1956 ● La Toya Jackson / → Background vocals for her brothers’ band The Jackson 5, then largely unsuccessful and unnoticed solo singing career
1959 ● Mel Gaynor / → Drummer for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” (#1, 1985)
1960 ● Jesse Johnson / → Guitarist for R&B/soul-funk The Time, wrote “Jungle Love” (#20, Dance/Club #9, 1984), then solo, “Crazay” (Dance/Club #12, 1986)
1961 ● David Palmer / → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1961 ● Melissa Etheridge / → Grammy-winning alt-heartland rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I’m The Only One” (#8, 1993), gay activist
1962 ● John Pedder / → Bassist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1963 ● Blaze Bayley / (Bayley Alexander Cooke) → Lead vocalist for heavy metal Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, Iron Maiden (“The Angel And The Gambler”, Mainstream Rock #24, 1998) from 1994 to 1999, solo and frontman for Blaze
1967 ● Noel Gallagher / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1969 ● Chad Kinchla / (Chandler Kinchla) → Guitarist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1975 ● Melanie Brown / → Vocals and “Scary Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1976 ● Dave Buckner / → Founding member and original drummer for alt metal/rap metal Papa Roach (“Scars, #15, Alt Rock #2, 2004), left the band in 2007 for rehabilitation
1978 ● Daniel Pearce / → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

May 30

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

May 31

1930 ● Clint Eastwood / (Clinton Eastwood, Jr.) → Wannabe jazz pianist turned globally-acclaimed actor, film director, politician and film score composer, wrote the music to Mystic River (2003), Flags Of Our Fathers (2006) and J. Edgar (2011), among other films, co-wrote “Why Should I Care” (1999) for Diana Krall, nominated for or won numerous awards for other music compositions
1935 ● Herb Alpert / (Herbert Alpert) → Nine time Grammy-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader for The Tijuana Brass, the only artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with a vocal single (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” #1, 1968) and an instrumental song (“Rise,” #1, 1979), founder and former executive of A&M Records with partner Jerry Moss
1938 ● Johnny Paycheck / (Donald Eugene Lytle) → Gruff-voiced “outlaw” country music singer with 21 Country Top 20 hits, mostly in the 70s, best known for rendition of “Take This Job And Shove It” (Country #1, 1978), his career was cut short by drug, alcohol and prison troubles, died in Nashville from emphysema on 2/19/2003, age 64
1938 ● Peter Yarrow / → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963)
1940 ● Augie Meyers / (August Meyers) → Founding member of early country-rock Sir Douglas Quintet (“She’s About A Mover,” #13, 1965) and later the Tejano (fusion of rock, country and various Mexican styles) supergroupTexas Tornados with Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez
1943 ● Wayne Carson / (Wayne Head) → Grammy-winning country and pop songwriter, musician and record producer, wrote “Somebody Like Me” (#53, Country #1, 1966) for Eddy Arnold and “The Letter” (#11, 1967) for The Box Tops, co-wrote “Always On My Mind” which has been recorded over 300 times, most notably by Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from congestive heart failure on 7/20/2015, age 72
1947 ● Junior Campbell / (William Campbell, Jr.) → Lead guitar for pop/rock the Gaylords, then Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● Bonzo Bonham / (John Henry Bonham) → Original drummer for influential hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), #1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s readers’ poll of the “best drummers of all time”, died after choking on his own vomit on 9/25/1980, age 32
1952 ● Karl Bartos / → Percussionist for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975), left in 1990 for solo career and collaborations
1954 ● Vicki Sue Robinson / → Theater and film actress turned one hit wonder R&B/disco singer, “Turn The Beat Around” (#10, 1976), died of cancer on 4/27/2000, age 45
1959 ● Danny Pearson / (Daniel Pearson) → Bassist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
1962 ● Corey Hart / → Canadian singer/songwriter with 27 Canada Top 40 hits, including “Never Surrender” (#3, Canada #1, 1985)
1963 ● Wendy Smith / → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1964 ● D.M.C. / (Darryl McDaniels) → MC and rapper for premier hardcore rap group Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986)
1964 ● Scotti Hill / (Scott Lawrence Mulvehill) → Longtime guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1965 ● Steve White / → Drummer for sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then sessions, The Players, Trio Valore and stand-in for drummer/brother Alan White of Oasis for several shows
1980 ● Andrew John Hurley / → Drummer for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)

June 01

1921 ● Nelson Riddle / → Jazz, blues, swing and pop composer, orchestrator, bandleader, producer and arranger for Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt and others, died from liver failure on 10/6/1985, age 64
1925 ● Hazel Dickens / → Bluegrass singer, songwriter and guitarist known for her pro-union and feminist songs and activism in support of coal miners, one of the first women to release a bluegrass album, appeared in the documentary film Harlan County, USA and contributed four songs to the film’s soundtrack, died from complications of pneumonia on 4/22/2011, age 85
1934 ● Pat Boone / → Adult contemporary pop and later gospel singer, TV host, author, Billboard magazine’s second biggest charting artist of the 1950s behind Elvis Presley, “Love Letters In The Sand (#1, 1957)
1945 ● James William McCarty / → Blues-rock and rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Jenny Take A Ride” (#10, 1966), funk-rock Buddy Miles Express, hard/boogie rock supergroup Cactus, blues-rock The Rockets, formed Mystery Train
1945 ● Linda Scott / (Linda Joy Sampson) → Brill Building early 60s pop singer, “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star” (#3, 1961)
1947 ● Ron Wood / → Guitarist for Jeff Beck Group, then raunch-rock The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), in 1975 joined The Rolling Stones, “Miss You” (#1, 1978)
1949 ● Michael Stephen Levine / → Bassist and keyboardist for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), left the band to pursue other interests in 1993, returned in 2008 and still tours
1950 ● Charlene Marilyn D’Angelo / → One hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “I’ve Never Been To Me” (#3, 1982)
1950 ● Graham Russell / → Guitar and vocals for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1950 ● Tom Robinson / → Bassist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, first acoustic folk-rock Café Society, then fronting the punk/hard politicized rock Tom Robinson Band, “2-4-6-8 Motorway” (UK #5, 1977) and “Glad To Be Gay” (1978), then Sector 27 and solo, “War Baby” (UK #6, 1983)
1952 ● John Ellis / → Guitarist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1953 ● Ronnie Dunn / → Singer and songwriter, one-half of astronomically successful country-pop vocal duo Brooks & Dunn, “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” (#25, Country #1, 2001), solo
1958 ● Barry Adamson / → Bassist for post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995), solo
1959 ● Alan Wilder / → Vocals and keyboards for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), then founder and frontman for experimental electro-synth art rock Recoil, producer
1960 ● Simon Gallup / → Bassist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1963 ● Mike Joyce / → Drummer for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1967 ● Roger Sanchez / → Grammy-winning House music DJ, “Lost” (Dance/Club #1, 2006), producer
1968 ● Jason Donovan / → Aussie TV soap opera actor and teen idol singer, “Especially For You” (Australia #2, UK #1, 1988)
1968 ● Stefani Sargent / → Founding member and guitarist for Seattle grunge/punk girl group 7 Year Bitch (“Antidisestablishmentarianism,” 1992), died at the onset of the band’s peak potential after asphyxiating on her own vomit while passed out from alcohol and heroin on 6/27/1992, age 24
1969 ● Damon Minchella / → Bassist for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1974 ● Alanis Morissette / → Canadian-American teenage dance-pop singer turned Grammy-winning alt rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Ironic” (#4, Mainstream Rock #1, 1996) from the album Jagged Little Pill, the #1 selling album of the 90s

June 02

1924 ● Maurice Kinn / → Music promoter who launched The New Musical Express (NME) in 1952, started first UK singles chart, sold the weekly in 1963, died on 8/3/2000, age 76
1930 ● Vic Firth / (Everett Joseph Firth) → Principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002 and founder (in his garage workshop in the early 60s) and former CEO of the Vic Firth Company, the world’s largest maker of drumsticks and percussion mallets, died at home from natural causes on 7/26/2015, age 85
1932 ● Sammy Turner / (Samuel Black) → Smooth R&B/soul singer known for two remakes of classics, “Lavender-Blue” (#3, 1959) and “Always” (#19, R&B #2, 1959), recorded with Motown starting in the late 60s with limited success
1934 ● Johnny Carter / (John E. Carter) → First tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), in 1964 joined R&B/Chicago soul vocal group The Dells, “Oh, What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), died from lung cancer on 8/21/2009, age 75
1936 ● Otis Williams / → Lead vocals and frontman for R&B/doo-wop The Charms, “Ivory Tower” (#11, R&B #5, 1956), left the industry after being drafted in 1960, returned in the 70s as a country music singer, reformed The Charms in the 90s
1937 ● Jimmy Jones / → African American country and pop singer/songwriter best known for his one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll single “Handy Man” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Charles Miller / → Saxophone and vocals for funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), murdered in L.A. on 6/14/1980, age 41
1941 ● Charlie Watts / → Drummer for Blues Incorporated and since 1963 The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), also in boogie-woogie Rocket 88, frontman for various incarnations of the Charlie Watts Band, horse breeder
1941 ● William Guest / → Backing vocals in R&B/soul-pop family quartet Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Marvin Hamlisch / → Grammy-winning film, theater and pop music composer, arranger, “The Entertainer” (#3, 1973), co-wrote “The Way We Were” for Barbra Streisand (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Steve Brookins / → Founding member and original drummer for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Chubby Tavares / (Antone Lee Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Michael Steele / (Susan Nancy Thomas) → Bass and vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Bangles, “Manic Monday” (#2, 1986)
1957 ● Simon Phillips / → Rock session and backing drummer for Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno,Toto, Judas Priest and others, toured with The Who, co-produced with Mike Oldfield, plus several solo albums
1960 ● Tony Hadley / → Vocals for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983), solo
1962 ● Thor Eldon Jonsson / → Guitarist for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1965 ● Jeremy Cunningham / → Bassist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1970 ● B Real / (Louis Freese) → Vocals and MC for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1970 ● Dominic Greensmith / → Drummer for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1976 ● Tim Rice-Oxley / → Keyboards for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1980 ● Fabrizio Moretti / → Drummer for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Irish Grinsted / → Vocals with sister LeMisha in hip hop R&B/dance-pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999), American Music Awards “Best New Soul/R&B Artist” for 2000

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
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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 21

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

May 22

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

May 23

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

May 24

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

May 25

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

May 26

1886 ● Al Jolson / (Asa Yoelson) → Pre-eminent traditional and Tin Pan Alley pop singer, Broadway actor, radio host, comedian, early sound-era movie star and self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” recorded dozens of still-popular songs, including “Swanee” (1921), “April Showers” (1924) and “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1927), starred in he first “talkie” film, The Jazz Singer (1927), continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 10/23/1950, age 64
1908 ● George Formby / (George Hoy Booth) → Widely popular Brit stage/screen actor, singing comedian and ukulele player, recorded more than 200 albums and appeared in 20 films, best known for the song “Leaning On A Lamp Post,” died after a heart attack on 3/6/1961, age 56
1909 ● Papa Charlie McCoy / (Charles McCoy) → Delta blues guitarist and songwriter, frontman for The Mississippi Hot Footers and partner is several bands with his older brother, Kansas Joe McCoy, with whom he recorded the earliest version of the now-standard “Sweet Home Chicago,” died from paralytic brain disease on 7/26/1950, age 41
1920 ● Peggy Lee / (Norma Deloris Egstrom) → Sultry, distinctive singer, pop-jazz-big band songwriter and actress, “Fever” (#8, 1958), Grammy-winner, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and others, died from complications of diabetes and a heart attack on 1/21/2002, age 81
1922 ● Frank Guida / → Sicilian-American record store owner turned songwriter and record producer credited with crafting the 60s lo-fi, dance-party “Norfolk Sound,” discovered and produced hits for doo-wop/soul Gary U.S. Bonds, including “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961), also co-wrote and produced “If You Wanna Be Happy” for Jimmy Soul (#1, 1963), died on 5/19/2007, age 85
1926 ● Miles Davis / (Miles Dewey Davis III) → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter and composer, major influence on jazz and fusion music, 8-time Grammy winner, including his 1970 album Bitches Brew, died on 9/28/1991, age 65
1938 ● Jaki Liebezeit / (Hans Liebezeit) → Quietly influential, minimalist rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from pneumonia on 1/22/2017, age 78
1940 ● Leon Helm / (Mark Lavon Helm) → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, producer, bandleader, hosts weekly Midnight Ramble revue near Woodstock, NY, died from cancer on 4/19/2012
1941 ● Art Sharp / → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Ray Ennis / → Vocals and guitar for British Invasionn pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#24, 1964)
1944 ● Verden Allen / (Terence Allen) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1945 ● Garry Peterson / → Long-time drummer for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Mick Ronson / (Michael Ronson) → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, session work for Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey and others, Rolling Stone magazine’s 64th greatest guitarist of all time, died of liver cancer on 4/29/1993, age 46
1946 ● Ronnie Harkai / → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1948 ● Stevie Nicks / (Stephanie Lynn Nicks) → Hugely successful female rock/pop vocalist, achieved fame with blues-rock turned mega-star band Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), successful solo career, “Talk To Me” (#4, 1985)
1949 ● Hank Williams, Jr. / (Randall Hank Williams, Jr.) → Country-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Honky Tonkin'” (1982), son of country music legend Hank Williams, Sr.
1958 ● Wayne Hussey / (Jerry Lovelock) → Guitarist for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985), then goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990)
1962 ● Colin Vearncombe / → Frontman and singer/songwriter for Brit pop-rock Black, “Wonderful Life” (UK #8, 1987), solo
1964 ● Lenny Kravitz / (Leonard Albert Kravitz) → Grammy-winning multi-instrumental singer, songwriter, “Fly Away” (#12, 199), session musician and singer with Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie and others
1966 ● Tommy Stewart / → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), also with Everclear, Fuel, Halloween and other bands
1967 ● Kristen Pfaff / → Bass guitarist for Minneapolis post-hardcore Janitor Joe, recruited to Seattle grunge rock Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joe but died from an opium overdose on 6/16/1994, age 27
1968 ● Phillip Rhodes / → Drummer for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1971 ● Joey Kibble / → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Alan White / → Drummer (1994-2005, replacing Tony McCarroll) in Grammy-nominated Britpop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1978 ● Jaheim Hoagland / → R&B/dance-pop singer, “My Place” with Nelly (#4, Rap #4, 1992)
1981 ● Isaac Slade / → Co-founder, lead singer, pianist and chief songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 27

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 14 – 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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 ● 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
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)
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 ● 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
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
1945 ● Lek Leckenby / (Derek Leckenby) → Guitar, banjo and songwriting for British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1, 1965), died from lymphoma on 6/4/1994, age 49
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
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)
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 ● 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
1944 ● Richard Schwartz / → Vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
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
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 ● 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 ● 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 ● 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 ● 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
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
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)

May 20

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 07

1923 ● Jim Lowe / (James Elsworth Lowe) → Country-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in the mid-50s among seven total Billboard 100 charting songs, including “The Green Door” (#1, R&B #5, 1956), then became a beloved and respected New York City radio personality for over 50 years at WNEW-AM and WNBC-AM and nationally, retired in 1977 and died from natural causes on 12/12/2016, age 93
1931 ● Teresa Brewer / (Teresa Breuer) → Novelty pop singer with hundreds of 50s recordings, including “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others, died from progressive supranuclear palsy on 10/17/2007, age 76
1932 ● Derek Taylor / → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997, age 65
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin / → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The TemptationsDavid Ruffin, died in a Las Vegas intensive care unit on 11/17/2014, age 75
1939 ● Johnny Maestro / (John Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010, age 70
1940 ● JC Connors / (Jim “JC” Connors) → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987, age 46
1943 ● Rick Westfield / → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West / (Richard Westwood) → Original member, guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock quintet The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), left the band in 2012 after more than 50 years
1943 ● Thelma Houston / → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore / → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1945 ● Cornelius Bumpus / → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004, age 58
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia / → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann / → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Jerry Nolan / → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992, age 45
1946 ● Ray Monette / → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff / → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1948 ● Pete Wingfield / → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith / (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Prairie Prince / (Charles L’Empereur Prince) → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1955 ● Steve Diggle / → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
1956 ● Anne Dudley / (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson / (Marty Willson-Piper) → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell / → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye / (Eagle-Eye Cherry) → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1974 ● Lynden David Hall / → Award-winning, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer in the Brit neo-soul movement of the 90s with six UK Top 50 singles, including his debut “Sexy Cinderella” (UK #45, 1997), died from complications of a stem cell transplant he received to combat lymphoma on 2/14/2006, age 31
1986 ● Matt Helders / → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08

1911 ● Robert Johnson / → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died from unknown causes on 8/16/1938, age 27
1940 ● Ricky Nelson / (Eric Hillard Nelson) → Teen idol and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Travellin’ Man” (#1, 1961) plus 18 other Top 10 singles, played himself on his parent’s TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, died in a plane crash on 12/31/1985, age 45
1941 ● John Fred / (John Fred Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died after a long battle with kidney disease on 4/15/2005, age 63
1942 ● Jack Blanchard / → With wife Misty Morgan, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1943 ● Toni Tennille / (Cathyrn Antoinette Tennille) → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten / → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972, age 29
1943 ● Jon Mark / (Jon Michael Biurchell) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, one half of jazz-pop/prog rock duo Mark-Almond with Johnny Almond, prior founding member of Influential but short-lived Brit pop-rock Sweet Thursday, also played with Marianne Faithfull, John Mayall and others
1943 ● Paul Samwell / (Paul Samwell-Smith) → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1944 ● Bill Legend / (William Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter / (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2” (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett / → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1951 ● Chris Frantz / → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey / → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen / → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette / → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1964 ● Dave Rowntree / → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes / → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias / → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H / (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright / → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa / → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo / → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay / (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

May 09

1914 ● Hank Snow / (Clarence Eugene Snow) → Canadian-born country singer, “The Singing Ranger”, released over 100 albums and had 35 Country Top 40 singles between 1955 and 1980, including “Ninety Miles An Hour (Down A Dead-End Street)” (Country #2, 1963), died from heart failure on 12/20/1999, age 86
1935 ● Nokie Edwards / (Nole Floyd Edwards) → Bassist for seminal surf rock ‘n roll instrumental group The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), solo
1937 ● David Prater / (David Prater, Jr.) → One half of top R&B/soul duo Sam & Dave, “Soul Man” (#2, 1967), died in a single-car accident on 4/9/1988, age 50
1937 ● Sonny Curtis / → Country-pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and guitarist, played in an early version of Buddy Holly & The Crickets, wrote “I Fought The Law” and “Love Is All Around” (the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show)
1940 ● John Hawken / → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1941 ● Peter Birrell / → Bassist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), became a taxi driver and sometime bit-part TV actor
1942 ● Mike Millward / → Rhythm guitar for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), died from complications of leukemia on 3/7/1966, age 23
1942 ● Tommy Roe / → Rockabilly singer and songwriter turned archetypal bubblegum popster, “Dizzy” (#1, 1969)
1943 ● Bruce Milner / → Piano and organ for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1944 ● Don Dannemann / → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for two hit wonder folk-pop The Cyrkle, “Red Rubber Ball” (#2, 1966) and “Turn Down Day” (#16, 1966), signed by Brian Epstein and supported The Beatles on their 1966 US tour, became a successful commercial “jingle” writer, including the “Uncola” song for 7Up
1944 ● Richie Furay / (Paul Richard Furay) → Guitar and vocals, founding member of folk-rock Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and country-rock Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970), left in 1974 to co-found country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band with Chris Hillman of The Byrds and J. D. Souther (“Fallin’ In Love”, #27, 1974), solo bandleader, became a Christian minister, reunited with Buffalo Springfield in 2010
1945 ● Steve Katz / → Guitarist and vocalist, founding member of jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), producer
1946 ● Clint Holmes / → One hit wonder novelty pop singer, “Playground In My Mind” (#2, 1973), briefly a TV personality with Joan Rivers’ The Late Show and on Entertainment Tonight, performed in Las Vegas and Atlantic City night clubs since the 70s
1949 ● Billy Joel / → Superstar pop-rock singer/songwriter and keyboardist with 17 US #1 albums and 35 Top 40 singles, including “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” (#1, 1980)
1950 ● Tom Petersson / → Bass and vocals for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1953 ● John Edwards / → Bassist since 1986 for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 58 UK Top 40 singles including “Come On You Reds” (UK #1, 1994)
1960 ● Marc Duncan / → Bassist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1962 ● David Gahan / → Lead vocals for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), went solo after 22 years, “Kingdom” (Dance/Pop #1, 2007)
1962 ● P.D. Heaton / (Paul Heaton) → Vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Peter Wilkinson / → Co-founder, backing vocals and bass guitar for 90s alt rock Brit-pop Cast, “Flying” (UK #4, 1996), left in 2002 for sessions work, rejoined Cast in 2010
1971 ● Guigsy McGuigan / (Paul McGuigan) → Bassist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1975 ● Nik Vikedal / (Ryan Vikedal) → Drummer for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001), left the band in 1995
1979 ● Pierre Bouvier / → Lead singer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)

May 10

1888 ● Max Steiner / → Austrian-American child-prodigy musician turned three-time Oscar-winning film score composer for over 300 films from the 30s through the 60s, including King Kong (1933), Gone With The Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and The Caine Mutiny (1954), died from heart failure on 12/28/1971, age 83
1899 ● Fred Astaire / (Frederick Austerlitz) → Grammy-winning, renowned film and Broadway stage dancer, actor, vocalist and choreographer, appeared in 31 musical movies, often with dance partner Ginger Rogers, sang multiple, enduring popular songs without a charting single, died of pneumonia on 6/22/1987, age 88
1920 ● Bert Weedon / → Virtuoso Brit pop-instrumental guitarist, “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” (UK #10, 1959), published the Play In A Day guitar manual, session work for Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others
1930 ● Scott Muni / (Donald Allen Munoz) → Deep, gravel-voiced AM Top 40, then FM rock DJ and program director for WNEW-fm (New York) during the heyday of free-format, progressive rock radio in the 70s and 80s, died from complications following a stroke on 9/28/2004, age 74
1934 ● Gary Owens / (Gary Altman) → Los Angeles radio DJ, TV announcer and film voice actor best known for his droll, deadpan narration and announcements on the sketch-comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In from 1968 to 1973 , later issued several comedy albums, hosted The Gong Show and various radio programs, died from complications of diabetes on 2/12/2015, age 80
1935 ● Larry Williams / → Early R&B/rock & roll guitarist, singer and songwriter, “High School Dance” (#5, R&B #1, 1957), his classic songs have been covered by The Beatles “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” (1965), The Jam and others, died from gunshot wounds in a suspected but unproven suicide on 1/2/1980, age 44
1938 ● Henry Fambrough / → Original member, lead and baritone vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, continues to front the band on tours into the 10s
1940 ● Arthur Alexander / → Country and soul genre-melding songwriter and singer, “Anna (Go To Him),” #68, R&B #10, 1962) and other songs covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and others, wrote and recorded sporadically through the 80s, continued to perform with his own band until his death from a heart attack on 6/9/1993, age 53
1941 ● Danny Rapp / (Daniel Earl Rapp) → Frontman and singer for early rock ‘n’ rollers Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958), committed suicide on 4/5/1983, age 41
1944 ● Jacki” Lomax / (John Richard Lomax) → Star-crossed Liverpudlian blue-eyed soul singer and guitarist, friend of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, co-founded and sang lead vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups that never charted on any Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K., first act to be signed to The Beatles‘ Apple Records, received support from Paul McCartney and George Harrison, who wrote his single “Sour Milk Sea” (1970), but he never achieved the expected stardom, played with various bands, toured intermittently and did session work until his death from cancer of 9/15/2013, age 69
1946 ● Dave Mason / (David Thomas Mason) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then solo, “We Just Disagree” (#12, 1977), session work Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, George Harrison and others
1946 ● Donovan / (Donovan Phillip Leitch) → Brit psych-folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Mellow Yellow” (#2, 1966), once labeled Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan
1946 ● Graham Gouldman / → Bubblegum-pop songwriter, wrote hits for Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies and others, then co-founder, guitar and vocals for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975) and 10 UK Top 30 hits, later formed pop-rock Wax, “Bridge To Your Heart” (UK #12, 1987)
1947 ● Jay Ferguson / (John Arden Ferguson) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriting for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left and co-founded hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), went solo, “Thunder Island” (#9, 1978), now composes film scores
1951 ● Ronald Banks / → Vocals for R&B/soul The Dramatics, “In The Rain” (#5, R&B #1, 1972), died of a heart attack on 3/4/2010, age 58
1952 ● Lee Brilleaux / (Lee Collinson) → Founding member, lead vocals and harmonica for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), died of cancer on 4/7/1994, age 41
1952 ● Sly Dunbar / (Lowell Fillmore Dunbar) → Reggae drummer, with session partner Robbie Shakespeare as The Riddim Twins and later Sly & Robbie worked with Peter Tosh, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and others
1957 ● Karl Hyde / → Vocals and guitar for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1957 ● Sid Vicious / (John Simon Ritchie) → Vocals and bass guitar for renowned and reviled punk-rock The Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), died of a heroin overdose on 2/2/1979, age 21
1960 ● Bono / (Paul Hewson) → Vocalist and guitarist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987) plus five consecutive US #1 albums between 1987 and 1997, poet, peace activist
1962 ● Gary Daley / → Vocals and keyboards for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Young M.C. / (Marvin Young)) → Pop-rap rhymer and singer, “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989)
1968 ● Richard Patrick / → Guitarist for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999), then alt rock/post-grunge supergroup Army of Anyone, “Goodbye” (Mainstream Rock #3, 2006), also worked with Nine Inch Nails
1980 ● Jason Dalyrimple / → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1985 ● Ashley Poole / → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)
1991 ● Ray Dalton / → Gospel and R&B singer and songwriter best known for his lead vocal contribution to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ 2011 hit song “Can’t Hold Us” (Worldwide #1, 2013)

May 11

1888 ● Irving Berlin / (Israel Isidore Baline) → Siberian-born lyricist, pianist and composer of dozens of enduring pop, stage show and film hits including “White Christmas” (1940), the best selling single of all time, died in his sleep on 9/22/1989, age 91
1905 ● “Kansas” Joe McCoy / (Joseph McCoy) → Delta and Chicago blues slide guitarist and songwriter, recorded often with his younger brother, Charlie, wrote the now-standard jazz-pop “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1941), his songs have been covered by Led Zeppelin, John Mellencamp and others, died from heart disease on 1/28/1950, age 44
1931 ● Marilyn King / → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/7/2013, age 82
1934 ● Bobby Black / (Robert Lee Black) → Pedal steel guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), later played with New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Dolly Parton, the Texas Tornados and many others, released two albums of steel guitar Hawaiian music in the 00s
1935 ● Kit Lambert / (Christopher Lambert) → Assistant film director (The Guns of Navarone and From Russia With Love), record producer, record executive (Track Records, which signed Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon), band manager for The Who until 1971, eccentric but drug-abusing impresario, died from a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a set of stairs at his mother’s house on 4/7/1981, age 45
1935 ● Tony Barrow / (Anthony F. J. Barrow) → Brit journalist and record company publicist, represented The Beatles for Decca Records in 1962 and, until 1968 with Brian Epstein‘s NEMS Enterprises, coining the term “Fab Four”, later formed his own firm and was chief PR man in Europe during the 70s for The Kinks, Bay City Rollers, The Monkees and others, returned to journalism in the punk era, died from natural causes on 5/14/2016, age 80
1938 ● Bruce Langhorne / → Greenwich Village folk revival guitarist and songwriter, session musician for multiple 60s folk acts but best known for playing with Bob Dylan on several mid-60s albums central to the emergence of electric folk-rock, and as the inspiration for the title character on Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965), later became a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii and creator of Brother Bru-Bru’s Hot Sauce, a salsa-style condiment, died of kidney failure on 2/14/2017, age 78
1938 ● Carla Bley / (Carla Borg) → 60s Free Jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader
1941 ● Eric Burdon / → Vocals and eventual frontman for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1943 ● Arnie Silver / (Arnie Satin (Silver)) → Baritone vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1943 ● Les Chadwick / → Bassist for British Invasion/Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1947 ● Butch Trucks / (Claude Hudson Trucks) → Founding member and drummer for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973), died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on 1/24/2017, age 69
1955 ● J.J. Jeczalik / (Jonathan Jeczalik) → Record producer, sessionman and founding member of avant garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1955 ● Mark Herndon / → Drummer for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1955 ● Susan Stenger / → Bass and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1965 ● Avtar Singh / → Founding member and bassist for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1966 ● Doom Schneider / (Christoph Schneider) → Drummer for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1983 ● Holly Rachel Vukadinović) / (Holly Rachel Vukadinović) → Yugoslavian-Australian TV actress and pop singer, “Kiss Kiss” (UK #1, 2002)
1986 ● Kieren Webster / → Bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

May 12

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

May 13

1912 ● Gil Evans / → Grammy-winning Canadian jazz pianist, innovator, arranger and bandleader best known for his extensive work with Miles Davis and the development of free jazz and jazz-rock fusion, died while recovering from peritonitis surgery on 3/20/1988, age 75
1926 ● Daddy-O Phillips / (Dewey Phillips) → The “King of Memphis Radio” and one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll DJ’s on par with Cleveland’s Alan Freed, played black and white music, R&B, pop and jazz punctuated with frenetic, demented-hillbilly delivery that kept him on top for a decade, could not make the transition to Top 40 in the 60s, died from years of drug and alcohol abuse on 9/28/1968, age 42
1927 ● Fred Hellerman / → Folk singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer, suspected McCarthy-era Communist sympathizer, founding member of left-leaning, influential, successful folk-pop The Weavers (“Goodnight Irene,” #1, 1950) and key figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s, produced several albums for others, including Arlo Guthrie‘s Alice’s Restaurant (1967), issued his only solo album, Caught In The Act in 2005, died from natural causes on 9/1/2016, age 89
1935 ● Teddy Randazzo / (Theodore Alexander Randazzo) → Singer, songwriter and pop music arranger best known for co-writing “Going Out Of My Head” for Little Anthony & The Imperials (#6, 1964) and “Hurts So Bad” (#8 , 1980) for Linda Ronstadt, died of natural causes on 11/21/2003, age 68
1938 ● John Smith / → Bass vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1941 ● Joe Brown / → Stage and TV actor, BBC radio host, early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist, “A Picture Of You” (UK #2, 1962), still performs after nearly 60 years of rocking
1941 ● Ritchie Valens / (Ricardo Valenzuela Reyes) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, promising early rock ‘n’ roller and the first Latino pop star, released the Top 5 hit “Donna” (#2, 1958) and the enduring “La Bamba” (#22, 1959) just months before he died along with Buddy Holly and J. R. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in an Iowa plane crash on the night of 2/3/1959, age 17
1943 ● Mary Wells / → Motown 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 30 – May 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
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
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 ● 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
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)
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 ● 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
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

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 ● 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 ● 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
1951 ● Mick Mars / (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
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)
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 ● 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
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
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 ● 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


May 06


1939 ● Herbie Cox / → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl / → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Mike Ratledge / → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
1943 ● Sandra Tilley / → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981, age 38
1945 ● Bob Seger / → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and bandleader, “Night Moves” (#4, 1976) and “Shakedown” (#1, 1986) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986)
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore / → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor / → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh / → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a heroin overdose on 9/23/1974, age 24
1951 ● Davey Johnstone / (David William Logan Johnstone) → Scottish guitarist in folk-prog rock Magna Carta from 1970-1971, then joined The Elton John Band and has performed on dozens of albums and in over 2,000 live shows with EJ, currently serves as music director for the band
1960 ● John Flansburgh / → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel / → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo / → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo / → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan / → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright / → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett / → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood / → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

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