Posts Tagged rock birthdays by date

This Week’s Birthdays (March 26 – April 1)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 26

1917 ● Rufus Thomas → Memphis R&B/funk-soul singer and comedian, “Do The Funky Chicken” (#28, R&B #5, 1970), father of R&B/soul singer Carla Thomas, died from heart failure on 12/15/2001, age 84
1921 ● Julie Harris → Oscar- and BAFTA-winning British costume designer whose work included James Bond films and The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night and Help!, for which she later quipped “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked,” died following a brief illness on 5/30/2015, age 94
1934 ● Alan Arkin → American actor, director, musician and singer, scored a Top Ten hit as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers, “Cindy, Oh Cindy” (#9, 1956), starred in dozens of films and TV movies and series, including Catch 22 (1970) and Edward Scissorhands (1990)
1936 ● Fred Parris → Leader and vocals for long-running R&B/doo wop The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1944 ● Diana Ross (Diane Earle) → Motown R&B/soul-pop diva, lead vocals and eventual frontwoman for The Supremes, “Baby Love” (#1, 1964), then highly successful solo career, “Endless Love” (#1, 1981) and 22 other Top 40 hits
1946 ● Johnny Crawford → Child actor, original Mouseketeer on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club, co-star of Western series The Rifleman, short-lived teen-pop singer with three Top 20 hits in 1962, including “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8, 1962), continued to act on TV through the 90s in various bit parts
1948 ● Ned Doheny → West Coast singer/songwriter, first artist signed to David Geffen‘s Asylum Records label, solo albums featured guests such as Glen Frey, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadtt, limited commercial success in the U.S. but significant popularity in Japan, wrote or co-wrote several minor chart hits plus songs covered by Chaka Khan, Average White Band and Dave Mason
1948 ● Richard Tandy → Keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1948 ● Steven Tyler (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Frontman and lead vocals for long-lived, Grammy-winning hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1949 ● Fran Sheehan → Bassist for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence (Vicki Ann Axelrad) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Lead singer for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), then successful solo career, “Love T.K.O.” (R&B #2, 1980), died on 1/13/2010 after colon cancer surgery
1953 ● Billy Lyall → Scottish keyboardist, vocalist and early member of teen pop boy band Bay City Rollers, then co-founded pop-rock Pilot, “Magic” (#1, 1974), worked with Alan Parsons Project, died of AIDS-related causes on 12/1/1989
1955 ● Martin Price → Record shop owner and founding member of electro-dance/acid house 808 State, “Bombadin” (Dance/Club #3, 1994)
1957 ● Paul Morley → Music journalist, former New Music Express writer, band manager, producer and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● James Jonas Iha → Vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Contemporary country star singer and songwriter, “Never Wanted Nothing More” (#22, Country #1, 2007), and 19 other Country #1 hits, married to Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Chicago (2002) film actress Renée Zellweger
1971 ● John Hendy → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Jay Sean (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Anglo-Indian singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer and Bhangra-R&B fusion pioneer with Rishi Rich Project, “Dance With You” (UK #12, 2003), then solo, “Down” (#1, 2009) with Lil’ Wayne

March 27

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

March 28

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

March 29

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

March 30

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

March 31

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

April 01

1897 ● Lucille Bogan → Under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson, early blues recording artist known for her sexually charged lyrics including “Shave ‘Em Dry” (1935) and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (1937), considered one of the “big three” of the blues with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, died from coronary sclerosis on 8/10/1948, age 51
1921 ● Arthur Smith → Country music instrumentalist and pioneer of electric guitar music in the late 40s, charted the oft-covered “Guitar Boogie” (#25, 1948), an early rock ‘n’ roller, wrote hundreds of songs, including “Dueling Banjos” from the film Deliverance (1972), hosted country music’s first syndicated TV show beginning in 1951, died at home on 4/3/2014, age 93
1927 ● Amos Milburn → Boogie-blues piano master, singer and rock ‘n’ roll roots pioneer, “Chicken Shack Boogie” (R&B #1, 1948) and eight other R&B Top 10 hits, died following a stroke on 1/3/1980, age 52
1932 ● Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds → Popular film, stage and TV actress and adult-pop singer “Tammy” (#1, 1957), starred numerous films including the genre-defining Hollywood musical Singing In The Rain (1952), one of the top films in American cinema history, continues to be active in business and charitable organizations into the 10s
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown → Country and country-pop singer and radio and TV host, found early fame with his two sisters in 50-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), followed with a solo career and 13 Country Top 25 hits, including “Morning” (Country #1, 1970), recorded seven Country Top 10 duets with Helen Cornelius in the late 70s, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” (Country #1, 1976), hosted various country music radio and TV entertainment shows until shortly before his death from lung cancer on 6/3/2015, age 81
1939 ● Rudolph Isley → Vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Alan Blakely → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), died of cancer on 6/1/1996, age 54
1942 ● Phil Margo → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1944 ● Frank Gari (Garofalo) → Pop music singer and songwriter with three Top 40 hits in 1961, including “Lullaby Of Love” (#23, 1961), transitioned to an Emmy and Clio award-winning career composing theme and advertising jingles for TV and radio, worked for McDonald’s, Smuckers, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and many advertisers and TV programs worldwide
1945 ● John Barbata → Drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972 and remained through 1978 with Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), later sessions work
1946 ● Ronald Frederick “Ronnie” Lane → Bass player, songwriter and vocals for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), formed rock ‘n’ roll Slim Chance, “How Come” (UK #5, 1974), collaborated with Pete Townshend (Rough Mix, 1977) and issued several solo albums, died of multiple sclerosis on 6/4/1997, age 51
1947 ● M (Robin Scott) → New Wave synth-pop one hit wonder electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Pop Muzik” (#1, 1979), producer and collaborator
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff (James Chambers) → Pioneering ska and reggae singer, songwriter, bandleader, actor in the film The Harder They Come (1972) and singer of the title track, also “I Can See Clearly Now” (#18, 1993)
1948 ● Simon Cowe → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Gil Scott-Heron → Spoken-word, soul and jazz poet known for his critiques of politics, racism and the mass media society, highly influential progenitor of hip hop music and countless rappers, issued fifteen Top 25 Jazz Albums and seven Top 40 R&B albums along with multiple charting singles including “Angel Dust” (R&B #15, 1978) but never achieved fame beyond cult popularity, died after a brief illness related to HIV on 3/27/2011, age 62
1951 ● Henry Gross → Guitar and vocals in “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), at age 18 was the youngest performer at Woodstock, left the band in 1970 for a one hit wonder singer/songwriter solo career (“Shannon,” #6, 1976), continues to record and perform in the 10s
1952 ● Billy Currie → Keyboards for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Rob Wasserman → Grammy-winning stand up bass guitarist and composer with three acclaimed solo albums Solo (1983), Duets (1988) and Trios (1994) and session work with Neil Young, Elvis Costello and many others, co-founded RatDog with Bob Weir and toured extensively with Lou Reed, died from cancer on 6/29/2016, age 64
1954 ● Jeff Porcaro → Drummer for jazz-pop-rock Steely Dan in the mid-70s, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4, 1974), then sessions for Boz Scaggs, Warren Zevon, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and many others, formed arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1983), died of a heart attack from suspected cocaine use on 8/5/1992, age 38
1958 ● D. Boon (Dennes Dale Boon) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for influential hardcore/punk rock trio The Minutemen, died in a car accident at the peak of the band’s underground popularity on 12/22/1985, age 27
1961 ● Mark White → Guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-dance-pop ABC, “The Look Of Love” (#18, 1982)
1961 ● Susan Boyle → Amateur Scottish singer, “I Dreamed A Dream” (2009), whose out-of-nowhere rise to fame (and fortune) resulted from her appearance on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent
1964 ● Leslie Langston → Bassist for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1965 ● Peter O’Toole → Bassist for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1977 ● Simon White → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1981 ● Hannah Louise Spearitt → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1986 ● Hillary Scott → Vocals and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009), solo
1994 ● Ella Eyre (McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 05

1933 ● Tommy Tucker (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1946 ● Murray Head → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Robert L.”Bobby” Debarge, Jr. → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith → Founder, frontman, singer, songwriter, vocalist and only constant member of 35+ year punk and post-punk The Fall, “There’s A Ghost In My House” (UK #30, 1987)
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1905 ● James Robert “Bob” Wills → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1893 ● Walter “Furry” Lewis → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinso → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Domingo “Sam” Samudio → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis

March 06

1937 ● Doug Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1939 ● Jerry Naylor (Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1944 ● Mary Wilson → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1976 to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career
1945 ● Hugh Grundy → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07

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

March 08

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

March 09

1925 ● Billy Ford → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith (Dorothy Jackson Keely) → Jazz and pop singer with husband Louis Prima in 50s Vegas-lounge and recording duo with the Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958) , later divorced and had a successful solo career, including the single “You’re Breaking My Heart” (#14, 1965), continued to record through the 00s
1930 ● Ornette Coleman → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with several Top 40 hits, including “Stagger Lee” (#1, 1959), now manages a food service company using his name on various Southern-style packaged food products
1936 ● Mickey Gilley → Country-pop singer “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), owner of Gilley’s nightclubs
1942 ● John Davies Cale → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton (Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robert Calvert → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Robin Trower → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Ron Wilson → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife
1948 ● Chris Thompson → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

March 10

1903 ● Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke → Influential jazz pianist, cornetist and composer, proto-“cool jazz” soloist, “Singin’ The Blues” (1927), died of complications of alcoholism on 8/6/1931, age 28
1920 ● Jethro (Kenneth C. Burns) → With partner Henry D. Haynes, one half the satirical country-pop radio and TV comedy/music duo Homer & Jethro, parodied country and pop hits and won a Grammy Award for “The Battle Of Kookamonga” (#14, 1959) , their take on Johnny Horton‘s #1 hit “The Battle Of New Orleans,” continued to perform and teach mandolin and was considered a virtuoso on the instrument, died from prostate cancer on 2/4/1989, age 68
1935 ● Dexter Tisby → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits
1938 ● Omar Shariff (Dave Alexander) → Award-winning but obscure Texas blues singer and pianist with eight or more blues and jazz fusion albums between 1972 and 1998, found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on 1/8/2012, age 73
1940 ● Dean Torrence → One-half of the legendary surf-rock duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), the pair had 16 Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1966
1943 ● Ritchie Cordell (Richard Rosenblatt) → Songwriter and record producer, wrote and produced “I Think We’re Alone Now” (#4, 1967) and “Mony Mony” (#3, 1968) for Tommy James & The Shondells, remakes of the two songs by Tiffany and Billy Idol traded the #1 spot 20 years later in 1987, also produced Joan Jett & The Blackhearts‘ debut album I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (#2, 1982) and albums by The Ramones and Bow Wow Wow, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/13/2004, age 61
1945 ● Pete Nelson (Lipscomb) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1947 ● Tom Scholz → Founder, guitarist and tape wizard for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1950 ● Ted McKenna → Scottish drummer for Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1954 ● Tina Charles (Hoskins) → Brit R&B/disco dance-pop singer, “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)” (Disco #2, 1976)
1960 ● Gail Greenwood → Bassist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1962 ● Gary Clark → With brother Kit, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1963 ● Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin → Record producer, former co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of legendary Def Jam Records and a key player in the rise of hip-hop music, produced two of the landmark rap albums, the Beastie Boys‘ Licensed To Ill (1986) and Run-D.M.C.‘s Raising Hell (1986), renamed Def Jam American Recordings in 1993 and produced multiple albums by Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus individual albums by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty and others
1963 ● Jeff Ament → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1964 ● Neneh Cherry (Neneh Mariann Karlsson) → Hip hop/dance-pop singer “Buffalo Stance” (#3, 1989), stepdaughter of jazz musician Don Cherry
1964 ● Patrick Kane → With brother Greg, vocals for Scottish contemporary dance-pop/electronica Hue And Cry, “Labour Of Love” (UK #6, 1987)
1966 ● Dave Krusen → Drummer and backing vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1966 ● Edie Brickell → Vocals and frontwoman for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989), married Paul Simon in 1992
1967 ● Susie Q (Susan Banfield) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1971 ● Doug Ardito → Bass and guitars for post-grunge hard rock Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1971 ● Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Moseley) → Rapper, “Up Jumps Da Boogie” (#12, Rap #1, 1997) and producer, with partner Magoo member of hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo, produced hits for Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, The Pussycat Dolls and others
1973 ● John Charles LcCompt → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1975 ● Jerry Horton → Lead guitar for hard rock/heavy metal Papa Roach, “Scars” (#15, Mainstream Rock #4, 2005)
1977 ● Matthew Rubano → Bassist for melodic hardcore metal Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006)
1977 ● Robin Thicke → Pop R&B and hip hop singer/songwriter, musician and sometime actor, “Lost Without U” (#14, 2007), son of actor and composer Alan Thicke
1978 ● Benjamin Burnley → Lead vocals, rhythm guitar and chief songwriter for post-grunge hard rock Breaking Benjamin, “So Cold” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Jonathan Ansell → Tenor for Brit pop vocal quartet G4, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (UK #8, 2005), went solo when the troupe disbanded
1983 ● Carrie Underwood → Grammy-winning country-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Inside Your Heaven” (#1, 2005), her album Some Hearts is the best selling solo female debut album in country music history

March 11

1903 ● Lawrence Welk → Iconic and beloved MOR easy listening/pop accordionist, bandleader, television host and impresario noted for his “champagne music” style, “Calcutta” (#1, 1961), died of pneumonia on 5/17/1992, age 89
1908 ● Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck Ford “Rice” Miller) → Legendary blues singer/songwriter/harmonica player, recorded with Robert Johnson in the 1930s and Eric Clapton in the 1960s
1938 ● Joseph Brooks → Screenwriter, film score composer and prolific author of advertising jingles (Geritol, Dial soap, Maxwell House coffee, and others), wrote “You Light Up My Life” for Debby Boone (#1, 1977) and the movie of the same name he wrote, directed and scored, and for which he won an Oscar and Grammy Award, committed suicide on 5/22/2011, age 73, just before the start of his trial for drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women he lured to his apartment for movie auditions
1944 ● Ric Rothwell → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965)
1945 ● Harvey “The Snake” Mandel → Blues-rock guitarist with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and others, plus solo
1947 ● Derek “Blue” Weaver → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), replaced Rick Wakeman in folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), then pop-disco The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1978), the with the reformed Strawbs and session work for Stevie Wonder, Pet Shop Boys, Chicago, The Damned and others
1947 ● Mark Stein → Vocals, guitars and keyboards for psych-rock Vanilla Fudge, the Tommy Bolin band and Alice Cooper‘s band
1948 ● George Kooymans → Founder, vocals and guitar for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1950 ● Bobby McFerrin → Grammy-winning virtuoso jazz, pop and classical vocalist, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (#1, 1988)
1950 ● Keith Diamond (Alexander) → Songwriter and record producer, worked with Michael Bolton, Mick Jagger, Sheena Easton, Donna Summer and others, wrote “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984) and other songs for Billy Ocean, died from a heart attack on 1/18/1997
1951 ● Katie Kissoon (Katherine Farthing) → Vocals with her brother, Gerald Farthing, in one hit wonder easy listening/bubblegum pop duo Mac & Katie Kissoon (“Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep,” #20, 1971), then backing vocals/sessions for Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Pet Shop Boys and others
1955 ● Catherina “Nina” Hagen → German bandleader, songwriter and post-punk dance-pop singer, “New York New York” (Dance/Club #9, 1984), now Christian music singer
1955 ● Flinto Chandia → Bassist in Brit pop one hit wonder Jimmy The Hoover, “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)” (UK #18, 1983)
1957 ● Cheryl Lynn → R&B/disco multi-hit diva and former Gong Show winner, “Got To Be Real” (#12, R&B #1, 1978)
1961 ● Bruce Watson → Guitarist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983)
1961 ● Mike Percy → Bassist and songwriter for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Paul Abbott → With brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, co-founder and drummer in thrash metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and metal supergroup Damageplan, “Save Me” (Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), Darrell was murdered on stage by a deranged fan at a show in Columbus, OH on 12/8/2004 and Damageplan broke up, joined supergroup Hellyeah in 2006
1968 ● Lisa Loeb → Contemporary folk-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Stay, I Missed You” (#1, 1994) from the soundtrack to Reality Bites (1994), voice-overs and children’s recordings
1969 ● Pete Droge → Post-grunge roots rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself)” (Mainstream Rock #28, 1995)
1969 ● Rami Jaffee → Keyboardist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996)
1979 ● Benji Madden (Benjamin Levi Combs) → With twin brother Joel, guitar and backing vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1979 ● Joel Madden (Joel Reuben Combs) → With twin brother Benji, lead vocals for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1981 ● LeToya Nicole Luckett → Singer with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), quit in 1999 and eventually started a solo career, “Torn” (#31, 2006)
1981 ● Paul Wall (Slayton) → Texas rapper with two Top 10 crossover albums, The Peoples Champ (#1, 2005) and Get Money, Stay True (#8, 2007) and one major crossover hit, “Grillz” (#1, 2005) with Nelly and Ali & Gipp
1981 ● Russell Lissack → Lead guitar for indie pop-punk revival Bloc Party, “Helicopter” (Dance #5, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 26 – March 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 26

1926 ● Nancy Swain Overton (Anne Swain) → Popular music singer in Tommy Tucker‘s Two Timers and Mel Tormé‘s The Meltones, joined pop girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954) in the 60s, married to jazz pianist/composer/arranger Hall Overton until his death in 1972, died from esophageal cancer on 4/5/2009, age 83
1928 ● Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. → Rock ‘n’ roll singer, pianist, bandleader and songwriter, best-selling black artist of the 50s starting with “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, R&B #1, 1955) and 33 Top 40 hits through 1962
1930 ● Chic Hetti (Carl Cicchetti) → Vocals and piano for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Johnny Cash → The “Man in Black,” super-legendary traditional and outlaw country singer, songwriter and guitarist with dozens of top country hits plus “A Boy Named Sue” (#2, 1969), died from respiratory failure 9/12/2003, age 71
1943 ● Paul Cotton → Stalwart member, guitarist, songwriter and vocals for country-rock Poco, wrote “The Heart Of The Night” (#20, Adult Contemporary #5, 1979)
1945 ● Bob “The Bear” Hite → Harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died from a heroin-induced heart attack on 4/6/1981, age 36
1945 ● Mitch Ryder (William Levise, Jr.) → Frontman and vocals for classic rock ‘n’ roll garage band The Detroit Wheels, “Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” (#4, 1966) and 25 albums as a solo artist since 1967
1947 ● Sandie Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) → Brit girl-group style pop singer, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#52, UK #1, 1967)
1950 ● Jonathan Cain → Keyboards for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989)
1953 ● Michael Bolton (Bolotin) → Solo pop-rock singer, then lead vocals for heavy metal Blackjack, then Grammy-winning solo soft pop-rock balladeer, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” (#1, 1990) and five Top 10 albums
1958 ● Steve Grant → Stage dancer, male model and session singer recruited to front pre-fab Brit synth-dance-pop trio Tight Fit to support the cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (UK #1, 1982) and several other UK hits for a brief period of stardom, after disbandment in 1984 returned to appearing in theater productions
1960 ● Jeremy “Jaz” Coleman → Vocals and keyboards for post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1961 ● John Jon (Jonathan Hellyer) → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1968 ● Tim Commerford → Bassist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999), then alt metal Audioslave, “Doesn’t Remind Me” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1969 ● Timothy Brown → Bassist for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Erykah Badu → Smooth R&B/neo-soul songwriter and vocalist, “On & On” (#12, Hot Dance #3, 1997)
1971 ● Martin Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg → Swedish music songwriter and producer for Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, *NSYNC and Pink
1979 ● Corinne Bailey Rae → Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul songstress, “Your Love Is Mine” (Dance/Club #4, 2007)
1982 ● Nate Ruess → Lead vocalist for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), recorded with Pink (“Just Give Me A Reason,” #1, 2013) then started solo career in 2015 (“Nothing Without Love,” Rock #6, 2015)

February 27

1948 ● Eddie Gray → Guitarist for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1950 ● Robert Balderrama → Guitarist for garage rock ? and the Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1951 ● Steve Harley (Stephen Nice) → Frontman and lead singer for glam-rock Cockney Rebel, then solo, “Ballerina (Prima Donna)” (UK #51, 1983)
1954 ● Neil Schon → Guitarist for Latin-tinged rock Santana, “Everybody’s Everything” (#12, 1971), then lead guitar and frontman for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), sessions and stints with Bad English and Hardline
1955 ● Garry Christian → Lead vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1957 ● Adrian Smith → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1959 ● Johnny Van Zant → Lead vocals and frontman for his own band, then replaced his older, deceased brother Ronnie in the reformed Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, issued solo “Brickyard Road” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), plays with older brother Donnie (formerly .38 Special) in hard Rock Van Zant
1960 ● Paul Humphreys → Keyboards and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1963 ● Nasty Suicide (Jan Stenfors) → Guitarist for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1964 ● Derek McKenzie → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1964 ● Ewen Vernal → Bassist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), now with folk-rock Capercaillie
1965 ● David Boulter → Keyboards for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1971 ● Chilli (Rozonda Ocelean Thomas) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1972 ● Jeremy Dean → Keyboards for indie power pop band Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” (#6, 2000)
1973 ● Peter Andre (Andrea) → Greek Cypriot, Australia-raised blue-eyed R&B/soul revivalist singer and former actor, “Gimme Little Sign” (Aussie #3, 1992), then urban dance-pop “I Feel You” (UK #1, 1995)
1981 ● Josh Groban → Adult-oriented pop and classical singer, “Believe” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2004), top selling US artist in 2007

February 28

1934 ● Giorgio Gomelsky → Georgian-born rock impresario, band manager, songwriter and producer, owned The Crawdaddy Club in London and hired The Rolling Stones as house band, managed The Yardbirds and other 60s Brit rock bands, guided early prog rock bands like The Soft Machine, 10cc and their 70s musical cousins, Gong and John McLaughlin, died from colon cancer on 1/13/2016, age 81
1938 ● Ed Cobb → Founding member and bass singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps (“26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” #2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later wrote and/or produced Grammy-wining and gold record songs for others, including the Standells‘ “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966) and Soft Cell‘s “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), toured with incarnations of The Four Preps into the 90s, died from leukemia on 9/19/1999, age 61
1939 ● John Fahey → Steel string acoustic folk and roots music guitarist (Rolling Stone #35), Takoma Records owner, died after undergoing sextuple bypass heart surgery on 2/22/2001, age 61
1940 ● Joe South (Souter) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Games People Play” (#12, 1969), session guitarist for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, wrote Deep Purple‘s “Hush” (#4, 1968) and Lynn Anderson’s “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1970), age 72
1941 ● Marty Sanders → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), plus nine other Top 30 hits
1942 ● Brian Jones → Founding member, first band leader and original guitarist for The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” (#1, 1966), was fired from the band he started and drowned in his swimming pool while under the influence of drugs and alcohol less than a month later on 7/3/1969, age 27
1943 ● Barbara Acklin → R&B/Chicago soul vocalist and songwriter, “Love Makes A Woman” (#15, R&B #3, 1968), co-wrote “Have You Seen Her” for The Chi-Lites (#3, R&B #1, 1971) and MC Hammer (#4, 1990), died from pneumonia on 11/27/1998, age 55
1943 ● Donnie Iris (Dominic Ierace) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for pop-rock The Jaggerz, “The Rapper” (#2, 1970), then briefly with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), then solo, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1981)
1944 ● Storm Thorgerson → Commercial graphic designer and childhood friend of Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters, Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, his firm designed the cover for the band’s The Dark Side Of The Moon album (1973) and covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Al Stewart, The Cranberries and many others, worked in graphic design until his death from an unspecified cancer on 4/18/2013, age 69
1945 ● Ronnie Rosman → Keyboards for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966) and psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Don Ciccone → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for 60s pop-rock The Critters, wrote their biggest hit, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” (#17, 1966), later sang with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and managed and played bass for Tommy James & The Shondels, died from unspecified causes on 10/8/2016, age 70
1952 ● Eddie “Kingfish” Manion → Saxophonist for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978), then with Bruce Springsteen‘s Seeger Sessions Band
1957 ● Cindy Wilson → Frontgal and vocals for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1957 ● Ian Stanley → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1957 ● Phil Gould → Drummer for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1967 ● Marcus Lillington → Guitarist for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1969 ● Pat Monahan → Lead vocals for Grammy-winning roots rock/folk-pop Train, “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, (#5, 2001), solo and songwriting with Guy Chambers
1971 ● Nigel Godrich → Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer for Radiohead, Beck, U2, R.E.M. and others, plus lead singer with Thom Yorke‘s Atoms For Peace
1972 ● Danny McCormack → Bass and vocals for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)

February 29

1904 ● Jimmy Dorsey → Reed player and Swing era Big Band leader with brother Tommy and on his own with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, multiple Top 40 hits including his last, “So Rare” (#2, 1957), died from throat cancer on 6/12/1957, age 53
1916 ● Dinah Shore (Francis Rose Shore) → Popular 1940s big band then 50s pop singer with 80 consecutive charting hits, including “Whatever Lola Wants” (#12, 1955), film actress and four decade TV music variety and talk show host, died from ovarian cancer on 2/24/1994, age 77
1940 ● Gretchen Christopher → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1944 ● David Briggs → Rock album producer known primarily for his work with Neil Young and Young‘s backing band Crazy Horse from the 60s to the 90s, produced many of Young‘s albums, including Tonight’s The Night (1975), also worked with Spirit, Nils Lofgren and others,, died from lung cancer on 11/26/1995, age 51
1948 ● Ruby Wilson → The “Queen of Beale Street,” Memphis blues, soul and gospel singer with 10 solo albums and multiple recordings with Ray Charles, Isaac Hayes and The Four Tops, among others, performed in B. B. King‘s nightclub, on cruises and in several movies and TV commercials, suffered a heart attack and died four weeks later on 8/12/2016, age 68
1972 ● Saul Williams → Spoken-word rapper known for his blend of poetry and hip-hop, “NiggyTardust” (2007)
1976 ● Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) → Murder, Inc. label rapper, “Always On Time” (#1, 2002), actor and convicted felon

March 01

1904 ● Alton Glenn Miller → Immensely popular Big Band-era swing and jazz composer, bandleader, trombonist and movie actor, wrote dozens of popular swing hits, including “In The Mood” (#1, 1940), “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Top 5, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), died during a tour of Western Europe to entertain U.S. troops when the transport plane in which he was flying disappeared over the English Channel during bad weather on 12/15/1944, age 40
1927 ● Harold George “Harry” Bellanfanti, Jr. (Bellanfanti) → The “King of Calypso,” entertainer, social activist, humanitarian and 50s pop and adult contemporary singer, “Banana Boat Song” (#5, 1956) plus five other Top 20 hits
1939 ● Warren Davis → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1942 ● Jerry Fisher → Vocals for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1944 ● Michael David “Mike” d’Abo → Singer, songwriter and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), wrote The Foundations‘ “Build Me Up Buttercup” (#3, 1969) and Rod Stewart‘s “Handbags & Gladrags” (#42, 1972)
1944 ● Roger Daltrey → Lead singer for venerable hard rock The Who, “Who Are You” (#14, 1978) and solo, “After The Fire” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1946 ● Edward Anthony “Tony” Ashton → Vocals and keyboards in 60s Merseybeat quintet The Remo Four, backed George Harrison on his Wonderwall Music soundtrack album (1968), co-founded early 70s art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke (“Resurrection Shuffle,” #40, UK #3, 1971), briefly joined prog rock Family and collaborated with Deep Purple‘sJon Lord on a number of projects, turned to art and writing in the 90s and died from cancer on 5/28/2001, age 55
1947 ● Alan Willis Jeffrey Thicke → Canadian songwriter, stage and screen actor with multiple credits, producer and TV show host, co-wrote Bill Champlin‘s minor hit “Sara” (1978), composed TV theme songs, including Diff’rent Strokes (1978) and The Facts Of Life (1979), hosted The Thicke Of The Night talk show (1983-84) and starred in the sitcom Growing Pains (1985-1992), died from an aortic dissection on 12/13/2016, age 69
1947 ● Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) → Two-time Grammy-winning roots-reggae singer, songwriter, Rastafarian preacher and bandleader with eleven Top 20 charting world and reggae music albums
1950 ● Dave Marsh → Rock music critic, magazine editor, author and radio talk show host, founding editor of music magazine Creem, wrote for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone and other music magazines, credited with coining the term “punk rock” in 1971, serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selection committee
1957 ● Jon Carroll → Singer in one hit wonder folk-pop Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (1976)
1958 ● Nik Kershaw → Singer, songwriter, jazz-funk guitarist and 80s teen idol, “Wouldn’t It Be Good” (#46, UK #4, 1984), producer
1962 ● Bill Leen → Bassist and co-founder of power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1962 ● Peter Stephenson → Founding member and keyboards in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Christina Bergmark → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1963 ● Rob Affuso → Drummer for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1969 ● Davydd Leuan → Drummer for Welsh electro-psych rock Super Furry Animals, “Northern Lites” (UK #11, 1999)
1973 ● Ryan Peake → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1987 ● Kesha Rose Sebert → Dance-pop rapper with Flo Rida, “Right Round”, (#1, 2009) and solo, “Tik Tok” (#1, 2010)
1994 ● Justin Bieber → Canadian teen idol pop singer and the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Baby” (#5, 2010)

March 02

1900 ● Kurt Weill → German stage producer and composer, frequently in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, co-wrote the stage production The Threepenny Opera and the now-standard “Mack The Knife” which was covered by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin (#1, 1959), Frank Sinatra, The Psychedelic Furs and several others, died after suffering a heart attack on 4/3/1950, age 50
1917 ● Desi Arnaz, Sr. → Musician and bandleader who helped popularize conga music in the US by adding Latin-Cuban themes to Big Band pop in the 40s, then became the beloved character Ricky Ricardo opposite his wife, Lucille Ball on the enduring 50s-60s I Love Lucy series, died from lung cancer on 12/2/1986, age 69
1938 ● Lawrence Payton → Tenor vocals and songwriter for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), on died 6/20/1997, age 59
1941 ● Keith Potger → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967) and The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1942 ● Lou Reed (Lewis Allan Reed) → Founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968), then renowned four decade solo career, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#16, 1973), died from liver failure on 10/27/2013, age 71
1943 ● Daniel Joseph Anthony “Tony” Meehan → Drummer for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), died after an accidental fall at home in London on 11/28/2005, age 62
1948 ● Larry Carlton → Grammy-winning jazz-rock fusion guitarist with The Crusaders (1971-76), session work for Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and others, composed the theme to the TV show Hill Street Blues and recorded several acclaimed solo albums
1948 ● Rory Gallagher → Hugely underrated Irish blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and vocalist with eleven solo studio albums plus sessions work, died from complications of a liver transplant on 6/14/1995, age 47
1950 ● Helmut Köllen → Bassist with cousin Jürgen Fritz in German prog rock trio Triumvirat, a lone and posthumous solo album was released in late 1977 after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a car in his garage with the engine running listening to cassette tapes of the work-in-progress on 5/3/1977, age 27
1950 ● Karen Carpenter → Vocals and drums for pop sibling act The Carpenters, three US #1 hits including “Close To You” (#1, 1970), died from anorexia nervosa on 2/4/1983, age 32
1955 ● Dale Bozzio (Consalvi) → Former Playboy bunny and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1955 ● Jay Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1956 ● John Cowsill → Drums and vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, member of 80s one hit wonder pop-rock Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny,” #4, 1982), currently touring with The Beach Boys
1956 ● Mark Evans → Original bassist for power rock AC/DC, “Let There Be Rock” (#154, 1977), quit in 1977 after becoming tired of tour schedule
1956 ● Steve “Lips” Kudlow → Canadian guitarist, vocalist and founding member of heavy metal Anvil with friend Robb Reiner in 1978
1962 ● Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.) → Vocals and frontman for pop metal/hard rock Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), then solo, “Blaze Of Glory” (#1, 1990), then reformed Bon Jovi, “Always” (#4, 1994) and moved into country-Heartland rock, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Adult Top 40 #6, 2006)
1967 ● Dennis Seaton → Lead vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1971 ● Method Man (Clifford Smith) → Founding member and MC for 9-man hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then first and biggest solo star to emerge from the Clan, “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By” (#3, Rap #1, 1995)
1977 ● Chris Martin → Guitar, vocals and piano for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1985 ● Luke Pritchard → Lead vocalist and guitarist with Brit-pop-rock The Kooks, “Always Where I Need To Be” (Alt Rock #22, 2008)

March 03

1923 ● Arthel L. “Doc” Watson → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1925 ● Herb Hardesty → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist noted for his work with Fats Domino and solos on nearly every hit song, including “I’m Walking” (#4, R&B #1, 1957), also recorded or toured with Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits and others over 50 years, performed with Dr. John in various New Orleans festivals until just a few years before his death from cancer on 12/3/2016, age 91
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1948 ● Byron MacGregor (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1948 ● Terence Charles “Snowy” White → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1950 ● Re Styles (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1983 ● Katie White → Vocals, guitar and drums for girl group punk trio TKO, then with Jules De Martino in indie pop duo The Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go” (Dance/Pop #1, 2008)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 22

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

January 23

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

January 24

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

January 25

1915 ● Ewan MacColl → Influential Brit folk revival singer, songwriter, poet and producer, wrote Grammy-winning “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1972), died from complications following heart surgery on 10/22/1989, age 74
1923 ● Farrell H. “Rusty” Draper → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll country and pop crossover star with five Top 20 hits in the 50s, including “The Shifting, Whispering Sands” (#3, 1955), continued with minor country hits in the 60s and dropped out of site by the 80s, died from pneumonia on 3/28/2003, age 80
1931 ● Stig Anderson → Songwriter, producer and manager for Swede superstar pop-rock ABBA, co-wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1977), died of a heart attack on 9/12/1997, age 66
1934 ● Phil Ramone → Innovative, Grammy-winning recording engineer, record producer, violin prodigy, composer and founder of A&R Recording, Inc. studios in New York, which engineered and produced records for dozens of top pop and rock artists from Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/30/2013, age 79
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) → Versatile Grammy-winning blues, gospel, R&B/soul and jazz singer, “Tell Mama” (#23, R&B #10, 1968) and the enduring ballad “At Last” (#47, R&B #2, 1961), died from complications of leukemia on 1/20/2012, age 73
1949 ● John Cooper Clarke → The “Bard of Salford”, performance poet laureate of the punk movement, “Gimmix” (UK #39, 1979), opened tours for the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello, continues to contribute to poetry journals
1950 ● Michael Cotten → Synthesizers for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1953 ● Malcolm Green → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (UK #12, 1980)
1956 ● Andy Cox → Guitarist and co-founder of ska revivalist mixed-race The English Beat in 1978, then moved with bandmates to form Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Actor and journeyman bass guitarist for Roxy Music, The Vibrators, post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982), Code Blue and The Fixx
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Vocals for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983), solo
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Vocalist for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1971 ● China Wing Kantner → Daughter of Jefferson AirplaneGrace Slick and Paul Kantner, TV and film actress, former MTV VJ
1973 ● Chris Wilkie → Guitarist and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1977 ● Christian Ingebrigtsen → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1981 ● Alicia Keys (Alicia Auguello Cook) → Nine-time Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fallin'” (#1, 2001) and ten other Top 40 hits, TV and film actress, philanthropist

January 26

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

January 27

1885 ● Jerome Kern → Prolific and important theater, film and popular music composer who wrote more than 700 songs, including such American classics as “Ol’ Man River” (1927), “”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1933, and a #1 hit for The Platters in 1958) and “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (1944), died following cerebral hemorrhage on 11/11/1945, age 60
1918 ● Elmore James → The “King of the Slide Guitar,” highly influential blues slide guitarist, singer and songwriter, “It Hurts Me Too” (R&B #15, 1960), covered by Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band and many others, died from heart failure on 5/24/1963, age 45
1919 ● David Seville (Rosdom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian) → Armenian-American actor, pianist, singer and songwriter, “Witch Doctor” (#1, 1958), creator of novelty pop Alvin & The Chipmunks, “The Chipmunk Song” (#1, 1958), died of a heart attack on 1/16/1972, age 52
1930 ● Bobby “Blue” Bland (Robert Calvin Bland) → R&B/soul-blues-gospel singer, product of the Memphis “street blues” scene and Lifetime Grammy winner, “That’s The Way Love Is” (#33, R&B #1, 1963) and 43 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from an undisclosed illness on 6/23/2013, age 83
1931 ● Rudy Maugeri → Baritone for Canadian R&B-to-pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954), died on 5/7/2004, age 73
1937 ● Bruce Tate → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits, died on 6/20/1973, age 36
1944 ● Kevin Coyne → Underappreciated Brit blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, first with alt/art rock Siren and then solo, “Marlene” (1973), later focused on poetry, prose and painting, died of lung failure on 12/2/2004, age 60
1944 ● Nick Mason → Drummer and only constant member of space rock Pink Floyd since it formed in 1965, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), auto racing driver
1946 ● Nedra Talley → Backing vocals for pop-rock girl group The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1948 ● Kim Gardner → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Thunderbirds (with future Rolling Stone Ron Wood), then formed art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971), then sessions and L.A. pub owner, died of cancer on 10/24/2001, age 53
1950 ● Michael “Mick” Jackson → Bass guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1951 ● Brian Downey → Drummer for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1951 ● Seth Justman → Keyboards and vocals for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1952 ● George Edward “G.E.” Smith → Guitarist, bandleader, performance director and session musician, lead guitar for Hall & Oates and musical director for Saturday Night Live, toured with Bob Dylan and Rogers Water’s The Wall Live band, did session work with David Bowie, Hot Tuna and many others
1955 ● Richard Young → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Southern honky tonk-blues-country rock Kentucky Headhunters, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (Country #8, 1990)
1957 ● Janick Robert Gers → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Wasting Love” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1992)
1961 ● Gillian Gilbert → Keyboards, guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983), formed The Other Two with husband Stephen Morris, “Selfish” (Dance/Club #6, 1993)
1961 ● Margo Timmins → Lead vocalist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Martin Degville → Lead singer and co-writer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1964 ● Miguel John “Migi” Drummond → Drummer for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Mike Patton → Vocals for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1968 ● Tricky (Adrian Nicholas Matthews-Thaws) → Rap singer with innovative trip hop Massive Attack, “Safe From Harm” (Dance #32, 1991), then solo, “Milk” (UK #10, 1996)
1970 ● Mark Trojanowski → Drummer for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1971 ● Lil John (Jonathan Smith) → Dirty South crunk movement rapper, producer and bandleader, “Lovers And Friends” (#3, 2004)
1972 ● Mark Owen → Lead vocals and primary songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, UK #1, 1995), plus ten other UK #1 hits, solo, “Child” (UK #3, 1996) and five other UK Top 30 hits

January 28

1927 ● Ronnie Scott (Ronald Schatt) → Influential Brit postwar jazz tenor saxophonist and night club owner/operator, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates on 12/23/1996, age 69
1929 ● Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk → Brit easy listening clarinetist with highest selling instrumental single of all time, “Stranger On The Shore” (#1, UK #2, 1962), the first #1 single by a British artist on the modern Billboard Hot 100 music chart, died from natural causes on 11/2/2014, age 85
1941 ● King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock) → Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, pioneer in developing the “dub” subgenre of reggae music and remixes, shot dead in an apparent robbery outside his home on 2/6/1989, age 48
1943 ● Dick Taylor → Guitarist for The Rolling Stones until 1962, then moved to British Invasion raunchy rock ‘n roll The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1944 ● Brian “Chambers” Keenan → Drummer for early Brit pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), died of heart attack on 10/5/1985, age 41
1945 ● Robert Wyatt → Original drummer for psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left to form Matching Mole, then solo career as a singer/songwriter, “Shipbuilding” (UK #36, 1983)
1946 ● Rick Allen → Bassist for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1951 ● William “Billy Bass” Nelson → Original bassist for R&B/funk giants Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#28, 1978), left for solo and session work
1959 ● Dave Sharp (David Kitchingman) → Guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1989), solo
1962 ● Leslie Ann “Sam” Phillips → Backing vocalist turned Christian pop then alt rock singer/songwriter, “Holding On To The Earth” (Modern Rock #22, 1989), wife of T. Bone Burnett
1963 ● Dan Spitz → Lead guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993), brother of Black Sabbath bassist Dave Spitz
1968 ● DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) → DJ for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1968 ● Rakim (William Michael Griffin, Jr.) → Rapper, hip hop duo with Eric B., “Move The Crowd” (Dance #3, 1988), author, poet, MC, solo, “When I B On The Mic” (Rap #20, 1999)
1968 ● Sarah McLachlan → Grammy-winning Canadian singer/songwriter, “Adia” (#3, 1998), organized the Lilith Fair music festival/tour for female musicians and groups
1971 ● Anthony Hamilton → Contemporary R&B/neo-soul singer, “You’ve Got The Love I Need,” the 2008 Grammy Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
1975 ● Lee Latchford-Evans → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II) → American rapper (“Aston Martin Music,” #30, Rap #1, 2010), founded Maybach Music Group to release his own recordings, multiple collaborations with other artists and numerous legal issues for alleged copyright infringement, weapons charges and as a target in a drive-by shooting incident
1977 ● Joey Fatone → Baritone for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000)
1977 ● Raphael “Tweety” Brown → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Nick Carter → Singer, songwriter, actor, lead vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997), older brother of Aaron Carter

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 8 – 14)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 08

1928 ● Luther Perkins → Guitarist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), toured and recorded with Cash up to his death from injuries sustained in a house fire on 8/5/1968, age 40
1931 ● Bill Graham (Wulf Wolodia Grajonca) → German-born, legendary rock impresario, producer, promoter and venue manager at the Fillmore East in New York and the Fillmore West and Winterland Arena in San Francisco, introduced many Bay-area bands to a wider audience, including Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company and Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane, continued to produce concerts and promote various rock acts until his death in a helicopter crash on 10/25/1991, ager 60
1935 ● Elvis Presley → The “King of Rock ‘N Roll” with over 100 Top 40 and 18 US #1 singles, including “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956) and “Moody Blue” (#31, Country #1, 1977) plus ten US #1 albums and sales exceeding any other popular artist, died from drug abuse on 8/16/1977, age 42
1937 ● Shirley Bassey, DBE → “Bassey the Belter,” Welsh-born cabaret and pop vocalist best known in the U.S. for singing the theme songs to James Bond movies, including “Goldfinger” (#8, 1965), “Diamonds Are Forever” (#57, 1972) and “Moonraker” (1979)
1940 ● Jimmy O’Neill → Radio disc jockey and TV host, just 19 years old when he became the top-rated DJ in Los Angeles and was the first on the air when KRLA switched from country-western to rock ‘n’ roll in 1959, rose to national celebrity as emcee of Shindig!, one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll shows on prime-time television, died from complications of diabetes on 1/11/2013, age 73
1940 ● Little Anthony (Jerome Anthony Gourdine) → Frontman for premier and long-lived R&B/doo-wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1942 ● John Petersen → Drummer for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964) and Harpers Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), died on 1/11/2013, age 73
1943 ● Lee Jackson → Bass and vocals for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968)
1943 ● Marcus Hutson → Vocals in R&B/soul-dance harmony quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1944 ● William Joel “Taz” DiGregorio → Longtime keyboardist for Southern rock The Charlie Daniels Band, co-wrote the signature song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (#3, 1979), died in a single car accident while driving to a CDB performance on 10/12/2011, age 67
1946 ● Robbie Krieger → Guitarist for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● David Bowie (David Robert Jones) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer known as the “Chameleon” for his ability to adapt his music to changing times, from vaudeville to mod to glam to Philly soul to pop-rock, “Fame” (#1, 1977) and “Let’s Dance” (#1, 1983) plus nine other Top 40 hits, released his 27th studio album just two days before he died from cancer on 1/10/2016, age 69
1947 ● Terry Sylvester → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964), left in 1968 to replace Graham Nash in The Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe” (#6, 1974)
1955 ● Mike Reno (Joseph Michael Rynoski) → Drums and vocals for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1957 ● Dr. Rock → Erstwhile FM radio DJ, rock and pop music aficionado and current Chief Musicologist for DrRock.com, coined the slogan “the BEST music ever made”
1959 ● Paul Hester → Drummer for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980) then Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), committed suicide by hanging on 3/26/2005, age 46
1962 ● Chris Marion → Co-founder of country rock band Western Flyer, studio musician and touring keyboardist, producer for Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys and others, vocalist and keyboardist for the current touring lineup of Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band (“Lonesome Loser,” #6, 1979), founder of TourPRO personal resource service for touring artists
1966 ● Andrew Wood → Founding member, frontman and lead singer for seminal grunge rock Malfunkshun, then joined nascent glam/punk supergroup Mother Love Bone, died from a drug overdose just as the band was beginning to gel on 3/19/1990, age 24
1968 ● R. Kelly (Robert Sylvester Kelly) → Contemporary urban R&B vocalist, producer and songwriter, frontman for Public Announcement, “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)” (#5, 1998) then solo, “Bump N’ Grind” (#1, 1994)
1969 ● Jeff Abercrombie → Bassist for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1971 ● Karen Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1975 ● Sean Paul (Henriques) → Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall vocalist, “Get Busy” (#1, 2003)
1975 ● Steven William “Stove” King → Former bassist for post-Britpop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)

January 09

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

January 10

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

January 11

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

January 12

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

January 13

1927 ● Elizabeth Jane Haaby “Liz” Anderson → Early female country singer and songwriter with several minor hits for herself but wrote songs for others, including “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” for Merle Haggard (Country #1, 1966), mother of country-pop singer Lynn Anderson (“(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” #3, Country #1, 1970), died from complications of heart and lung disease on 10/31/2011, age 84
1930 ● Bobby Lester → Lead vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955), left in the 60s to front and tour with his own groups, died from lung cancer-caused pneumonia on 10/15/1980, age 50
1938 ● Crathman Plato “C. P.” Spencer → Original member of Grammy-winning R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, left to join heralded Motownn session vocalists The Voice Masters and The Originals, the latter having a string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died from a heart attack on 10/20/2004, age 66
1938 ● Daevid Allen (Christopher David Allen) → Australian guitarist, poet, composer, performance artist and founding member of psychedelic rock Soft Machine in 1966 and progressive rock Gong in 1967, founded and performed with various Gong spin-offs and reunions over the years until his death from lung cancer on 3/13/2015, age 77
1948 ● John Lees → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for underappreciated Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, “Mockingbird” (1971), solo, continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1954 ● Trevor Rabin → South African born guitarist and frontman for power pop Rabbitt, then with seminal prog-rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), left in 1995 to score movie soundtracks for over three dozen mainstream films
1955 ● Fred White → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1956 ● Malcolm Foster → Bass guitarist with brother Graham in pop-rock The Foster Brothers, replaced Pete Farndon in The Pretenders (“Don’t Get Me Wrong,” #10, 1986), session bass player for Simple Minds (“Let There Be Love,” UK #6, 1991) from 1989-95, continues with both groups plus session work
1957 ● Don Snow → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1957 ● Jim Parris → Founding member and bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1959 ● James “Jlo” LoMenzo → Heavy metal session and touring bassist with White Lion, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, David Lee Roth, Megadeth (“Trust,” Mainstream Rock #5, 1997), Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society and others
1961 ● Graham “Suggs” McPherson → Vocals for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo, “I’m Only Sleeping” (UK #7, 1995)
1961 ● Wayne Coyne → Guitar and vocals for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1962 ● Tony Rebel (Patrick Barrett) → Jamaican roots reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter and DJ with over 10 solo albums and several singles, founder and CEO of Flames Records and organizer of the annual Rebel Salute music festival
1963 ● Tim Kelly → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/, age 355/1998
1964 ● David McCluskey → Drummer for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1971 ● Lee Agnew → Scottish drummer and son of Pete Agnew, co-founder and bassist for hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), joined the band in 1999 to replace deceased drummer Darrell Sweet
1887 ● Siophie Tucker (Sonya Kaalish) → Ukrainian-born singer, comedienne, actress, radio personality and a widely popular recording artist in the early 20th century, best known for her of comedic and risqué deliveries of popular songs, known as the “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” died of kidney failure on 2/9/1966, age 79

January 14

1908 ● Russ Colombo (Ruggiero Eugenio Colombo) → Italian-American pop singer, prototypical ballad crooner, romantic idol and sometime actor best known for his signature tune, “You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love” (1931), also co-wrote the now-standard pop tune “Prisoner Of Love” (1931) which has been covered by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, James Brown (#18, R&B #6, 1963) and many others, died under mysterious circumstances from an accidental gunshot wound on 9/2/1934, age 26
1929 ● William Marvin “Billy” Walker → The “Tall Texan,” country and country-pop music singer and songwriter with over 50 charting songs and 13 Country Top 10 hits in a nearly sixty-year career, but only one Number 1, “(I’d Like To Be In) Charlie’s Shoes” (Country #1, 1962), died in a car accident returning to his Nashville home from an Alabama concert on 5/21/2006, age 77
1936 ● Clarence Carter → Blind from birth, gritty Muscle Shoals R&B/soul singer and guitarist, “Slip Away” (#6, 1968) and the Grammy-winning “Patches” (#4, 1970) plus five other R&B Top 10 hits
1937 ● Billie Jo Spears → Female bluesy-voiced trad-country balladeer with two minor crossover hits in the U.S., “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over” (#80, Country #4, 1969) and “Blanket On The Ground” (#78, Country #1, 1975) along with 19 other Country Top 40 hits and two Top 10 pop hits in the UK, where she had a considerable fan base, died from cancer on 12/14/2011, age 74
1938 ● Allen Toussaint → Highly influential New Orleans R&B songwriter, performer and producer, worked with numerous artists, among them Joe Cocker, The Band, Neville Brothers and Paul Simon, wrote several hit songs covered by others, including “Southern Nights” (Glen Campbell, #1, 1977), died from a heart attack following a performance in Spain on 11/10/2015, age 77
1938 ● John Allan “Jack” Jones → Grammy-winning jazz and contemporary-pop singer, “Wives And Lovers” (#14, 1963)
1941 ● Hubert Johnson → Cousin of R&B/soul legend Jackie Wilson and original member of early Motown R&B/soul quartet The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (#3, R&B #1, 1962), left Motown and the band in 1964, disappeared from the music business and suffered from depression until his death from suicide on 7/11/1981, age 40
1948 ● Joseph Henry “T-Bone” Burnett → Rootsy singer, songwriter, session guitarist, and Grammy-winning soundtrack and record producer, worked with dozens of top artists, including Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, BoDeans, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
1948 ● Tim Harris → Drummer in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1949 ● Lamar Williams → Bassist for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, joining after the death of original bassist Berry Oakley in 1972, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), died of lung cancer on 1/21/1983, age 33
1956 ● Bob Bradbury → Vocals for Brit teenage glam rockers Hello, “Tell Him” (UK #6, 1975)
1959 ● Chas Smash (Cathal Smyth aka Carl Smyth) → Horns for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Geoff Tate → Vocals for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1961 ● Mike Tramp → Vocals for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1962 ● Patricia Morrison → Heavy metal bassist for The Gun Club, goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992) and reformed punk-rock The Damned
1965 ● Slick Rick (Richard Walters) → British-American “Golden Age” rapper, “Children’s Story” (Rap #2, 1989)
1967 ● Steve Bowman → Founding member and first drummer for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), left in 1994 to join Third Eye Blind and later John Wesley Harding and Luce
1967 ● Zakk Wylde (Jeffrey Phillip Wiedlant) → Long-time friend of and guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, left in 1994 to form power trio Pride & Glory, then Black Label Society, “Stillborn” (Mainstream Rock #20, 2003)
1968 ● LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) → Prolific and long-lived East Coast rap-pop artist, “Hey Lover” (#3, 1995) and 12 other Top 40 and nine Rap Top 10 hits
1969 ● Dave Grohl → Vocals and drummer for grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), then founded hard rock Foo Fighters, “All My Life” (#5, 1995)
1974 ● Denise Van Outen → TV host, stage actress and adult contemporary pop singer, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (UK #23, 2002), a duet with Andy Williams who was 45 years her senior
1981 ● Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez) → Cuban-American Southern rap (crunk) artist, “I Know You Want Me” (#2, 2009)
1982 ● Anthony Caleb Followill → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)
1989 ● Frankie Sandford → Brit R&B and pop singer, songwriter, occasional actress and member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 25 – 31)

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 25

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

December 26

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

December 27

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

December 28

1903 ● Earl Kenneth “Fatha” Hines → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983, age 79
1910 ● Billy Williams → R&B/soul-blues singer with six Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” (#3, 1957), lost his voice due to diabetes in the 60s and became a social worker until his death on 10/17/1972, age 61
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000, age 89
1915 ● Roebuck “Pops” Staples → Patriarch and manager of influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died on 12/19/2000, age 84
1921 ● Johnny Otis (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (#9, R&B #3, 1958), continued to perform and record with his band The Johnny Otis Show into the 80s and host an annual rock and R&B festival in Los Angeles into the 00s, died from natural causes on 1/17/2012, age 90
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979, age 46
1938 ● Charles Neville → Saxophonist for Joey Dee & The Starlighters, “Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1943 ● Charles “Chas” Hodges → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Joseph “Ziggy” Modeliste → Founding member and drummer for New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing drummer for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, formed funk band The Wild Tchoupitoulas in the 70s, continues to perform with both band and record as a solo artist into the 10s
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then influential but only cult-level power-pop band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from heart failure on 3/17/2010, age 59
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997, age 45
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1961 ● Christine Collister → Contemporary Brit folk-rock vocalist, backing singer with the Richard Thompson Band and five albums of duets with Clive Gregson in the late 80s, released solo albums in the 90s, toured with all-female vocal group Daphne’s Flight and collaborated in various projects and tours in the 00s and 10s
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend (Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)

December 29

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

December 30

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

December 31

1914 ● Cyril Stapleton → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974, age 59
1920 ● Rex Allen → Actor, songwriter and “singing cowboy” with nearly 50 Western movie roles, over 150 narrations of Disney films, a dozen albums and five Top 30 country-pop crossover hits, including his cover of “Crying In The Chapel” (#8, Country #4, 1953), died after his caregiver accidentally ran over him with his car in his driveway on 12/17/1999, age 79
1928 ● Ross Barbour → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001, age 82
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died from heart disease on 12/2/2008, age 77
1942 ● Andy Summers (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997, age 53
1943 ● Peter Quaife → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010, age 66
1947 ● Burton Cummings → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012, age 63
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton → Bassist for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1959 ● Paul Westerberg → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian (Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara → Founder and lead vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1972 ● Joey McIntyre → Vocalist in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1977 ● PSY (Park Jae-Sang) → South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper and “K-Pop” phenomenon known for his global hit “Gangnam Style” (#2, UK #1, 2012)
1979 ● Bob Bryar → Drummer for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 4 – 10)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 04

1915 ● Edward “Eddie” Heywood, Jr. → Popular 40s and 50s jazz and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “Canadian Sunset” (#2, 1956), died after suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases on 1/2/1989, age 73
1940 ● Freddy “Boom-Boom” Cannon (Frederico Picariello) → Early and persistent pre-The Beatles rock ‘n roller, “Palisades Park” (#3, 1962) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1965
1942 ● James Robert “Bob” Mosley → Bass, vocals and songwriting for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), continues to write and record music, occasionally with the band, despite being a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic
1944 ● Anna McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Kate in 70s-90s light folk duo The McGarrigle Sisters, wrote “Heart Like A Wheel” for Linda Ronstadt (1975)
1944 ● Chris Hillman → Bassist, singer, songwriter and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), country-rock The Flying Burrito Brothers, light country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band and country-pop Desert Rose Band, “I Still Believe In You” (Country #1, 1988) and nine other Country Top 15 singles
1944 ● Dennis Wilson → Drummer, vocalist and songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo, drowned in a swimming accident on 12/28/1983, age 39
1945 ● Gary P. Nunn → Texas Hill Country folk, blues and progressive country singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “London Homesick Blues” (the theme song to the music TV show Austin City Limits) and numerous other songs covered by multiple artists, played with Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphey as a member of the Lost Gonzo Band, plus Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and many others, issued nearly 20 solo albums and received numerous music achievement awards
1947 ● Terry Woods → Mandolin and cittern for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993), also played with Steeleye Span, Sweeney’s Men, The Bucks and, briefly, Dr. Strangely Strange
1948 ● Southside Johnny (John Lyon) → Lead vocals and frontman for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1951 ● Gary Rossington → Guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), survived the October 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers, then founded Rossington-Collins Band with other Skynyrd alumni, “Welcome Me Home” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988)
1959 ● Bob Griffin → Bassist for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1962 ● Vinnie Dombroski → Lead vocals and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain)” (Modern Rock #3, 1995) and other Detroit rock bands
1967 ● Adamski (Adam Tinley) → Brit dance-pop producer, songwriter and singer, “Killer” (with Seal, UK #1, US Dance #23, 1990)
1969 ● Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter) → Producer, Def Jam Records executive, New Jersey Nets part-owner, hugely successful hip hop artist and Grammy-winning rapper, “Empire State Of Mind” (#1, 2009)
1972 ● Justin Welch → Drummer for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1973 ● Kate Rusby → The “First Lady of Young Folkies,” Brit contemporary acoustic folk singer and songwriter, “All Over Again” (UK #6, 2006)

December 05

1922 ● Don Robertson → Country and pop songwriter, wrote or co-wrote multiple hits for others, including “Born To Be With You” for The Chordettes (#5, 1956) and Dave Edmunds (UK #3, 1973), “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” for Hank Locklin (Country #1, 1960) and over 25 songs for Elvis Presley plus one for his own recording, the country-pop novelty “The Happy Whistler” (#6, 1956), died on 3/16/2015, age 82
1932 ● Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) → Pianist, songwriter, legendary musical wildman and key figure in the transformation of R&B to rock ‘n roll, “Long Tall Sally” (#6, 1956) plus ten other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → The “King of Gospel music”, Grammy-winning singer, arranger and modern soul/Gospel sound innovator who fused church Gospel with jazz and pop influences, died of heart failure on 2/9/1991, age 58
1936 ● Chad Mitchell → Singer-songwriter and frontman for collegiate folk-pop The Chad Mitchell Trio, the group charted eight albums and one Top 50 hit, “Lizzie Borden” (#44, 1962) but missed out on the success enjoyed by other folk revival groups of equal credibility such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary
1938 ● John Weldon “J.J.” Cale → Roots-blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, one of the originators of the laid-back “Tulsa Sound” mixing country, blues, rockabilly and jazz, a lone Top 40 hit, “Crazy Mama” (#22, 1972) and “After Midnight” (#42, 1972) were his only chart appearances, best known for writing “Cocaine” (Eric Clapton, #30, 1980) and “Call Me The Breeze” (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974) among many others and for winning a Grammy Award for the album The Road To Escondido (2007) with Clapton, died following a heart attack on 7/26/2013, age 74
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → Original drummer for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Andy Kim (Andrew Youakim) → Canadian pop-rock singer and songwriter, wrote “Sugar Sugar” for bubblegum-pop The Archies (#1, 1969) and scored his own #1 hit with “Rock Me Gently” (#1, 1974), disappeared in the late 70s but resurfaced as “Baron Longfellow” in 1980, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1947 ● Jim Messina → Country-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967), Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970) and Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1972)
1960 ● Les Nemes → Bassist for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1960 ● Jack Russell → Lead vocals for hard rock/metal Great White, “One Bitten, Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), survived Rhode Island night club fire in 2003 in which nearly 100 fans died
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Lead singer and guitarist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1968 ● Glen Graham → Drums and percussion for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1971 ● Craig Gill → Drummer for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1980 ● Christian Smith Pancorvo → Drummer in Brit indie rock Razorlight, “Golden Touch” (UK #9, 2004) and currently Serafin, “Day By Day” (UK #49, 2003)
1980 ● Zainam Higgins → Singer and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Keri Lynn Hilson → R&B singer and songwriter, wrote hits as part of The Clutch five-person songwriting team, solo, “Knock You Down” (#3, 2009)
1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck “Rice” Miller) → Celebrated Chicago-style blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, played with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others, The Animals, Van Morrison, The Who, Yardbirds and many others covered his songs, died from a heart attack on 5/25/1965, age 65

December 06

1916 ● Hugo E. Peretti → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with cousin Luigi Creatore to produce dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), died from undisclosed causes on 5/1/1986, age 69
1920 ● David Warren “Dave” Brubeck → Renowned jazz-pop pianist, bandleader and composer, best known for the enduring jazz-pop “Take Five” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1961) from the album Time Out, the first jazz album to sell upwards of a million copies,, died from heart failure while en route to his cardiologist on 12/5/2012, age 91
1935 ● George Williams → Lead vocals in Philly soul The Tymes, one of the few acts to have their only #1 hits in both the U.S. and the U.K. with different songs – “So Much In Love” (#1, UK #21, 1963) and “Ms. Grace” (#91, UK #1, 1974), left the band in 1978 and relocated to the U.K., died on 7/28/2004, age 66
1936 ● David Ossman → Comedian, novelist, theater producer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, produced major audio theater broadcasts for National Public Radio during the 80s and live radio plays in the 00s
1939 ● Steve Alaimo → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with nine Billboard Top 100 singles without a Top 40 hit – the most low-enders by any artist anytime – later hosted and co-produced with Dick Clark the American Bandstand spinoff music variety show Where The Action Is (1965-67), became a mildly successful record producer and label owner
1942 ● Robert W. “Robb” Royer → Guitar, keyboards, bass and songwriting for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), co-wrote “For All We Know,” the 1971 Academy Award Best Song of the Year by the Carpenters from the movie Lovers And Other Strangers, songwriting credits include songs written for The Remingtons, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Randy Travis and others
1943 ● Keith West (Keith Alan Hopkins) → Singer, songwriter and frontman for Brit early psych-rock group Tomorrow, then pop-psych solo career, “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” (UK #2, 1967), now a producer of music
1943 ● Michael George “Mike” Smith → Keyboards 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, died from pneumonia on 2/28/2008, age 64
1944 ● Kenneth George “Jonathan” King → Brit singer and songwriter, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (#17, 1965) plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under various names, record producer, early manager for prog rock Genesis, convicted and jailed (2001) sex offender
1947 ● David Roderick “Fritz” Fryer → Lead guitarist for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US, died of pancreatic cancer on 9/2/2007, age 59
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Founder and guitarist for Brit blues-rock Savoy Brown, “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971)
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Czech-born bassist for jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1977), solo
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Up and coming heavy metal/pop-metal guitarist, founder of hard rock Quiet Riot, joined Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band for landmark albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981), died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida on 3/19/1982, age 29
1954 ● Robert Kane → Lead vocals since 1999 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1955 ● Edward Tudor-Pole → Leader of Brit punk-rock band Tenpole Tudor, “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, (UK #6, 1981), solo, “Who Killed Bambi?” (1978), TV actor and host
1955 ● Rick Buckler → Drummer for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982)
1956 ● Peter Buck → Guitarist and songwriter for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1957 ● Adrian Borland → Brit singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk, critically successful The Sound from 1979 to 1987, issued five albums as a solo artist before committing suicide on 4/26/1999, age 41
1961 ● David Lovering → Drummer for melodic post-punk alternative rock The Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man” (Modern Rock #3, 1989)
1961 ● Jonathan Melvoin → Multi-instrumentalist session and touring musician for various 80s punk bands, contributed to projects for his sister Wendy Melvoin‘s funk-pop vocal duet Wendy & Lisa as well as for Prince & The Revolution, toured with The Smashing Pumpkins up to his death from a heroin overdose on 7/12/1996, age 34
1962 ● Ben Watt → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Jeff “Blando” Bland → Guitarist in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/5/1998
1969 ● Mark Gardener → Singer and guitarist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1969 ● Steven Drozd → Drummer and vocalist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1896 ● Ira Gershwin (Israel Gershowitz) → With his brother, George Gershwin, one of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera lyricist and librettist, best known their his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), continued to write music for decades after his brother’s death in 1937, including “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (#2, 1944) with Jerome Kern from the film Cover Girl (1944), died from cardiovascular disease on 8/17/1983, age 86

December 07

1910 ● Louis Prima → New Orleans jazz band frontman in the 20s, swing combo member in 30s, Big Band leader in the 40s, Las Vegas lounge act with then wife Keely Smith in the 50s (Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic,” #18, 1958) and pop-rocker in the 60s and 70s, died from pneumonia while in a coma following unsuccessful brain tumor surgery on 8/24/1978, age 67
1924 ● Bent Fabric (Bent Fabricius-Bjerre) → One hit wonder Danish pianist and composer with the Grammy-winning, worldwide instrumental pop hit “Alley Cat” (#7, AC #2, 1962)
1924 ● Boyd Bennett → Rockabilly singer and songwriter with two Top 40 hits in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, “Seventeen” (#5, R&B #7, 1955) and “My Boy Flat-Top” (#39, R&B #13, 1955), when his teenage audience began ageing, retired from music in the early 60s and ventured into business ownership, died from a lung ailment on 6/2/2002, age 77
1931 ● Bobby Osborne → With his younger brother, Sonny, one half of the influential bluegrass act The Osborne Brothers, “Rocky Top” (Country #33, 1967), the song was voted the official state song of Tennessee and one of two official state songs the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1942 ● Harry Chapin → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed many narrative-based “story songs” including “Taxi” (#24, CAN #5, 1972) and “Cat’s In The Cradle” (#1, CAN #3, 1974), died in a car collision on the Long Island Expressway on 7/16/1981, age 38
1949 ● Tom Waits → Grammy-winning gravelly, growling blues-rock singer and songwriter, film actor, film score composer, voice-over contributor, wrote “Ol’ 55′” for the Eagles (1974)
1954 ● Mike Nolan → Vocals in Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981) and 12 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Thunderstick (Barry Purkis) → Brit drummer briefly with early Iron Maiden and later with the cult band Samson, known for wearing various horror masks and performing in a cage, named by Classic Rock magazine as number 36 on the “50 Greatest Drummers of Rock” list
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Bassist and co-founder of Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1961 ● Robert Downes → Guitarist in New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Barbara Weathers → Lead vocals for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Huw Chadbourne → Keyboardist for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1965 ● Brian Futter → Guitarist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1973 ● Dodi Ma (Damien Rice) → Multi-instrumentalist Irish indie folk-rock singer and songwriter, fronted folk-pop Juniper, then solo, “Cannonball” (UK #19, 2004)
1974 ● Nicole 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)
1977 ● Dominic Howard → Drummer for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1979 ● Sara Beth Bareilles → Grammy-nominated contemporary pop-rock pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Love Song” (#4, 2007)
1986 ● Jonathan Benjamin “J.B.” Gill → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-pop boy band JLS (aka Jack The Lad Swing), “She Makes Me Wanna” (Dance/Club #25, 2011), runners-up of the fifth season (2008) of The X Factor
1987 ● Aaron Carter → Teen idol hip hop/pop singer, “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” (#35, 2002)
1988 ● Winston Marshall → Electric guitar, banjo and vocals for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

December 08

1922 ● Jean Ritchie → The “Mother of Folk,” singer, songwriter, dulcimer player, author and Appalachian music heritage stewardess whose influence on the commercial “folk revival” boom of the 60s was immeasurable, recorded nearly three dozen albums and wrote hundreds of original songs based on the traditions of Appalachia, explored the links between American and British folk music, toured extensively until her death from natural causes on 6/1/2015, age 92
1925 ● Jimmy Smith → Jazz organist, Hammond B-3 electronic organ innovator and recognized virtuoso, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master, bandleader and composer, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#4, 1962), found dead in his home on 2/8/2005, age 79
1925 ● Sammy Davis, Jr. → Versatile TV and film actor, impersonator, dancer, “Rat Pack” contemporary pop singer and “member” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, solo artist, “Candy Man” (#1, 1972), died of lung cancer on 5/16/1990, age 64
1939 ● James Galway → The “Man with the Golden Flute,” Irish virtuoso flutist, “Annie’s Song” (UK #33, 1978), played with Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall in 1990
1939 ● Jerry Butler → The “Ice Man,” vocals in Chicago soul/doo wop The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, 1963), then solo, “Only The Strong Survive” (#4, R&B #1, 1969) and 15 other Top 40 hits, now a member of the Chicago/Cook County Board of Commissioners since 1986
1942 ● Bobby Elliot → Drummer in British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1943 ● James Douglas “Jim” Morrison → Vocals and frontman for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), died from a drug overdose in Paris, France on 7/3/1971, age 27
1944 ● George Baker (Johannes Bouwens) → Dutch singer and frontman for light pop-rock quintet George Baker Selection and two international hits, “Little Green Bag” (#21, 1969) and “Una Paloma Blanca” (#26, AC #1, Country #33, 1975), continued with a mildly successful solo career after disbanding the group in the late 70s
1944 ● Michael Gene “Mike” Botts → Drummer for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970) and session musician, died from colon cancer on 12/9/2005, age 61
1946 ● John Graham Knight → Founding member and bassist for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Geoff Daking → Drummer for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1947 ● Gregory Lenoir Allman → The “Greatest White Blues Singer,” blues-rock vocals, keyboards and songwriter for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band plus solo, “I’m No Angel” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1987)
1949 ● Ray Shulman → Bass, violin and guitar in pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1950 ● Daniel Earl “Dan” Hartman → Multi-instrumentalist member of the Edgar Winter Group, wrote “Free Ride” (#14, 1972), session musician, producer for multiple artists, solo R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter, “I Can Dream About You” (#6, 1984), died from an AIDS-related brain tumor on 3/22/1994, age 43
1953 ● Colin Gibb (Routh) → Bass and backing vocals for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Avado” (UK #2, 1984), continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1956 ● Warren Cuccurullo → Guitarist in New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1957 ● Phil Collen → Lead guitar for hard rock/Brit New Wave of Heavy Metal (“NWOBHM”) band Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1959 ● Paul Rutherford → Backing vocals, keyboards and dancer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1962 ● Marty Friedman → Lead guitarist for trash metal Megadeth, “Trust” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1997)
1966 ● Bushwick Bill (Richard Shaw) → Rapper and vocals for gangsta/horror-rap Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” (#23, 1991)
1966 ● Sinead O’Connor → Irish-born controversial folk-pop singer and songwriter, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (#1, 1990)
1972 ● Ryan Newell → Backing vocals, lead and slide guitar for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Corey Todd “8” Taylor → Guitarist and singer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004) and Stone Sour, “Bother” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2002)
1973 ● Judith Anna Pronk → Dutch-born lead vocalist for euro-pop-dance Alice Deejay, “Better Off Alone” (Dance/Club #3, 1999)
1974 ● Nick Zinner → Guitarist for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1982 ● Chrisette Michele (Payne) → Contemporary R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Epiphany” (R&B #14, 2009)
1984 ● Sam Hunt → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, co-wrote Kenny Chesney‘s “Come Over” (#23, Country #1, 2012) and followed with his debut album Montevallo (#3, Country #1, 2014) and four Top 40 hits, including “Take Your Time” (#20, Country #1, 2014()

December 09

1932 ● Donald Byrd → Influential jazz and R&B trumpeteer, early mentor to jazz fusion keyboardist Herbie Hancock and session musician known for pioneering soul and funk sounds within bebop jazz, later earned a PhD in music education and taught at Rutgers, Cornell and numerous other American colleges and universities, died on 2/4/2013, age 80
1932 ● Jessie Hill → New Orleans R&B and blues singer with the classic “Ooh Poo Pah Doo – Part II” (#28, R&B #3, 1960), sideman for Professor Longhair and Huey “Piano” Smith, frontman for his own band, The House Rockers, died from kidney and heart failure on 9/17/1996, age 63
1934 ● Junior Wells (Amos Wells Blakemore, Jr.) → Chicago blues harmonica player and singer, “Little By Little” (R&B #23, 1960), worked with Buddy Guy, toured in front of The Rolling Stones in the 70s, issued occasional albums in the 80s and 90s, appeared in the sequel movie Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), died from lymphoma on 1/15/1998, age 63
1935 ● David Houston → Country music star with 29 Country Top 20 hits, including the Grammy-winning crossover “Almost Persuaded” (#24, Country #1, 1966) which spent a record nine straight weeks at the top of Billboard‘s Country Singles chart, a feat unmatched until Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” went to 10 weeks in early 2013, died following a brain aneurysm on 11/30/1993, age 57
1941 ● Dan Hicks → Roots- and folk-rock songwriter and guitarist, original drummer for early San Francisco psych-rock The Charlatans, then founder and frontman for eccentric, acoustic pop (self-defined “folk-swing”) Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (“How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away,” 1969), disbanded the group in the mid-70s, recorded several solo albums in the 90s and reformed The Hot Licks in 2001, died from liver cancer on 12/6/2016, age 74
1941 ● Sam Strain → Vocals for doo wop/novelty The Chips, “Rubber Biscuit” (1956), then doo wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958) and R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), continued to record and perform with all three until retiring in 2004
1943 ● Kenny Vance (Kenneth Rosenberg) → Original member of AM pop-rock vocals for Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), music supervisor for several films including Animal House (1978) and Eddie And The Cruisers (1983), music director for Saturday Night Live, producer and bandleader
1944 ● Neil Innes → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1944 ● Shirley Brickley → Vocals in mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), shot to death by an intruder in her Philadelphia home on 10/13/1977, age 32
1946 ● Dennis Dunaway → Original bassist for hard/glam rock band Alice Cooper, co-wrote “I’m Eighteen” (#21, 1970) and “School’s Out” (#2, 1972), after disbandment in 1974 formed short-lived hard rock Billion Dollar Babies, continues to perform in various rock bands and Alice Cooper reunions into the 10s
1946 ● Walter “Clyde” Orange → Drummer and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978) and “Nightshift” (#3, 1985)
1950 ● Joan Armatrading → St. Kitts-born Grammy-nominated soul-reggae-folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Drop The Pilot” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1983)
1954 ● Jack Sonni → Rhythm guitarist for Dire Straits in mid-80s, including “Money For Nothing” (#1, 1985)
1955 ● Randy Murray → Guitarist for latest line-up of Canadian pop-rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1957 ● Donny Osmond → Teenybopper lead vocals and center of sibling pop vocal group The Osmonds, “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971), then solo, “Soldier Of Love” (#2, 1989), TV actor and host
1957 ● Steve Askew → Former guitarist for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), now a stained glass artist
1958 ● Nick Seymour → Bassist for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987)
1964 ● Paul H. Landers → Rhythm guitar for heavy metal/Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1966 ● Michael Foster → Drummer for pop-metal FireHouse, “When I Look Into Your Eyes” (#8, 1992) and on albums by FireHouse bandmate and guitarist Bill Leverty
1968 ● Brian Bell → Rhythm guitarist and songwriter for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1969 ● Jakob Dylan → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), solo, son of folk-rock icon Bob Dylan
1970 ● Kara DioGuardi → Grammy-nominated dance-pop and pop-rock songwriter, music video producer, American Idol judge and record company A&R executive, wrote or co-wrote nearly 50 charting singles, including “Ooh Ooh Baby” for Britney Spears
1970 ● Zachary Foley → Original bassist for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers“), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990), died of drug overdose on 1/3/2002, age 31
1971 ● Geoff Barrow → Remix producer and co-founder of avant-garde electronica and trip-hop group Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1972 ● Tre Cool (Frank Edwin Wright III) → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock/punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1974 ● Canibus (Germaine Williams) → Jamaican-born rapper and actor, half of the hip hop duo T.H.E.M. (The Heralds of Extreme Metaphors) with Atlanta rapper Webb, left in 1996 for a solo career, including the debut single “Second Round K.O.” (#28, Rap #3, 1998), 13 studio albums and multiple collaborations into the 10s

December 10

1906 ● Harold Adamson → Pop music lyricist known for writing or co-writing dozens of standards, including “Time On My Hands” (1930), “I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night” (1944) and “An Affair To Remember” (1957) as well as the theme song to the 60s sitcom I Love Lucy, died on 8/17/1980, age 73
1910 ● John Henry Hammond II → Influential Columbia Records executive and A&R scout, responsible for starting or furthering the careers of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others, died following a stroke on 7/10/1987, age 76
1924 ● John Kenneth “Ken” Albers → Vocals and trumpet in clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brain Wilson of The Beach Boys but lost relevance during the British Invasion, died after a long illness on 4/19/2007, age 82
1926 ● Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones → Flamboyant and oft-covered New Orleans blues guitarist, “The Things That I Used To Do” (R&B #1, 1954), included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll, died penniless from pneumonia on 2/7/1959, age 32
1941 ● Chad Stewart (David Stuart Chadwick) → Vocals and guitar in strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964)
1941 ● Ralph Vierra Tavares → Vocals in five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “It Only Takes A Minute” (#10, R&B #1, 1976) and nine other R&B Top 10 hits in the mid-70s, left the band to become a municipal court officer in 1984 and occasionally performs with the group into the 10s
1946 ● Christopher John “Ace” Kefford → Bassist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo
1948 ● Jessica Cleaves → Lead singer for pop-rock vocal group The Friends Of Distinction, “Grazing In The Grass” (#3, 1969), backing vocals for Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament/Funkadelic, died following a stroke on 5/2/2014, age 65
1951 ● Juan Raul David “Johnny” Rodriguez → Latin-American outlaw country singer and songwriter, “Ridin’ My Thumb To Mexico” (#70, Country #1, 1973) and five other Country #1 hits and 23 other Country Top 40 singles
1952 ● Susan Dey → TV and film actress best known for her role as the older singing daughter in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970) and as the Assistant D.A. in the drama series L.A. Law (1986-92)
1954 ● Geoff Deane → Vocalist for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1957 ● Paul Hardcastle → Session keyboard player in the 70s, then solo synth-dance-pop music composer and producer, “19” (#20, Dance #1, 1985), now produces TV soundtracks and remixes for others
1958 ● Helen “Pepsi” DeMacque → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1965 ● Joseph Donald “J” Mascis → Singer, songwriter and lead guitar for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993)
1966 ● Timothy Christian Riley → Drummer for R&B/new jack swing soul-funk Tony! Toni! Tone!, “If I Had No Loot” (#7, 1993)
1972 ● Brian Molko → Scottish-American singer, songwriter and guitarist for alt glam-rock/punk revival Placebo, “Pure Morning” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1999)
1972 ● Scot Alexander → Bassist for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996)
1974 ● Meg White → Drummer with husband Jack in alt rock duo The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army” (Mainstream Rock #12, 2004)

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