Posts Tagged rock birthdays by date

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

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 28

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

May 29

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

May 30

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

May 31

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

June 01

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

June 02

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

June 03

1906 ● Josephine Baker / (Freda Josephine McDonald) → Legendary chanson-singing dancer and actress of the 20s and 30s, one of the most successful African American entertainers of her time, left the demeaning U.S. vaudeville circuit for the open-minded Parisian cabaret scene, became a French citizen, a star and a voice against prejudice while performing exotic dances in risqué costumes (or none at all), starred in movies alongside Bob Hope, Fanny Brice and others, became an outspoken figure in the American Civil Rights movement of the 60s, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 4/12/1975, age 68
1924 ● Jimmy Rogers / (James A. Lane) → Chicago-style blues guitarist, singer and harmonica player in Muddy Waters‘ band and with Little Walter Jacobs plus solo, “Walking By Myself” (R&B #14, 1957) and multiple albums including the posthumous Blues Blues Blues (1998) featuring Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Taj Mahal and others, died from colon cancer on 12/19/1997, age 73
1926 ● Allen Ginsburg / (Irwin Allen Ginsburg) → Poet, leading figure in the Beat Generation of the 50s and frequent participant in various hippie events in the 60s, author of the epic poem “Howl,” longtime friend of Bob Dylan with whom he often collaborated with poetry set to music, died from liver cancer on 4/5/1997, age 70
1927 ● Boots Randolph / (Homer Randolph III) → Tenor saxophonist and major contributor to the “Nashville Sound” of pop flavoring within country music in the 50s, 60s and 70s, as a solo artist scored 14 Billboard Top 200 albums and the Top 40 single “Yakety Sax” (#35, 1963), died following a brain hemorrhage a month after the release of his final studio album on 7/3/2007, age 80
1942 ● Curtis Mayfield / → R&B/soul giant, singer, songwriter and composer, member of The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, R&B #1, 1963), solo, “Freddie’s Dead” (#4, R&B #2, 1972), wrote dozens of R&B and pop hits for others, died on 12/26/1999 after years of steadily declining health following an on-stage accident in 1980, age 57
1943 ● Mike Dennis / → Second tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1946 ● Ian Hunter / (Ian Patterson) → Founding member, songwriter, keyboards and lead singer for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), then solo, “Cleveland Rocks” (1979), wrote the book Diary Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (1974)
1946 ● Eddie Holman / → Philly soul, pop and gospel tenor vocalist best known for “Hey There Lonely Girl” (#2, R&B #4, 1970), largely disappeared from the music business in the 80s, became an ordained Baptist minister and occasionally performed into the 00s
1946 ● Michael Clarke / (Michael Dick) → Drummer for seminal country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then Flying Burrito Bros. and light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976), died of liver failure on 12/19/1993, age 47
1947 ● Dave Alexander / → Original bassist for influential proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), died from pulmonary edema on 2/10/1975, age 27
1947 ● Mickey Finn / (Michael Hearne) → Percussion for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), died from suspected liver and kidney failure on 1/11/2003, age 55
1950 ● Florian Pilkington-Miksa / → Original drummer for Brit prog/avant garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), played in Kiki Dee‘s band, rejoined Curved Air in 2008
1950 ● Niecy Williams / (June Deniece Chandler) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-funk singer and songwriter, worked as a backing singer with Stevie Wonder‘s group Wonderlove, then solo, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (#1, 1984)
1950 ● Suzi Quatro / (Susan Kay Quatrocchio) → Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, iconoclastic if not well-known female rocker, “Stumblin’ In” (#4, 1979)
1952 ● Billy Powell / → Keyboards for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died after suffering a heart attack on 6/28/2009, age 56
1954 ● Dan Hill / → Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Sometimes When We Touch” (#3, 1978)
1956 ● Danny Wilde / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for legendary power pop bands The Quick, Great Buildings and The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song from the TV show Friends
1962 ● David Cole / → Songwriter, vocals, producer and one half of the R&B/electro-dance-pop team C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (#1, 1990), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and others, died from complications of AIDS and spinal meningitis on 1/25/1995, age 32
1964 ● Kerry King / → Rhythm guitar for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1965 ● Mike Gordon / → Bass, banjo, piano, harmonica and percussion for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo and award-winning filmmaker
1968 ● Samantha Sprackling / → Vocals for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1971 ● Ariel Hernandez / → With twin brother Gabriel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Gabriel Hernandez / → With twin brother Ariel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1974 ● Kelly Jones / → Vocalist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1985 ● Tavion La’Corey Mathis / → Singer for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 21

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

May 22

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

May 23

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

May 24

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

May 25

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

May 26

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

May 27

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 14 – 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 14

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

May 15

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

May 16

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

May 17

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

May 18

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

May 19

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

May 20

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 23

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

April 24

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

April 25

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

April 26

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

April 27

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

April 28

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

April 29

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 9 – 16)

Happy Birthday this week to:


April 09


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

April 10

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

April 11

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

April 12

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

April 13

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

April 14

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

April 15

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 2 – 8)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 02

1912 ● Herbert Mills / → Tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, performed with his last remaining brother, Donald until his death on 4/12/1989, age 77
1917 ● Lou Monte / (Louis Scaglione) → Novelty pop crooner and guitarist best known for his Italian-American dialect in parodies and children’s songs, including “Pepino The Italian Mouse” (#5, 1963) and the Christmas standard “Dominic The Donkey,” died on 6/12/1989, age 72
1928 ● Serge Gainsbourg / (Lucien Ginsburg) → French provocateur, ladies man and pop singer, duet with ingénue Jane Birkin, “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” (#69, UK #1, 1970), the first foreign language UK chart topper, died of a heart attack on 3/2/1991, age 62
1938 ● Warner Mack / (Warner MacPherson) → Country music singer with fourteen Country Top 20 hits and two crossover minor singles from 1957 to 1970, including the self-penned debut single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You)” (#61, Country #9, 1957)
1939 ● Marvin Gaye / (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → Grammy-winning, highly talented and revered R&B/soul pioneer, first with R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, then Motown solo vocalist, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1, 1968), transformed to beloved social commentator, “What’s Goin’ On” (#1, 1973), shot dead by his father in a domestic dispute on 4/1/1984, age 43
1942 ● Leon Russell / (Claude Russell Bridges) → Multi-instrumentalist, in-demand sessionman for multiple top-name rock artists on hundreds of albums in nearly every genre of pop and rock music, songwriter with dozens of hits recorded by others, including over 100 covers of Grammy-winning “A Song For You” (1970), bandleader for Joe Cocker‘s backing group, producer for albums by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and others, scratchy-voiced solo artist with two Top 20 hits (“Tight Rope,” #11, 1972 and “Lady Blue,” #14, 1975), recorded and performed until health issues forced his retirement, died in his sleep from heart failure on 11/13/2016, age 74
1942 ● Parrot Castrodale / (Phil Castrodale) → First tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1943 ● Larry Coryell / (Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III) → Virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, started with Free Spirits and Gary Burton in the 60s, formed seminal fusion band The Eleventh House in the 70s, flipped between jazz and rock, electric and acoustic for the balance of his career and played alongside John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce and Charles Mingus, composed operas in his later years and died from heart failure in a New York City hotel while on tour on 2/19/2017, age 73
1946 ● Kurt Winter / → Guitarist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), joined in 1970 to replace founder Randy Bachman, co-wrote “Hand Me Down World” (#17, 1970), left in 1974 to start a mattress business, died from kidney failure on 12/14/1997, age 51
1947 ● Emmylou Harris / → Grammy-winning traditional- and neo-country singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, collaborator, solo artist , “Sweet Dreams” (Country #1, 1976)
1949 ● David Robinson / → Drummer for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave synth-pop/guitar rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978)
1952 ● Dave Bronze / → Session and touring bassist for Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies. Belinda Carlisle, Procol Harum and many others
1952 ● Leon Wilkeson / → Bassist, backing vocals and occasional songwriting for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died from liver and lung failure on 7/27/2001, age 49
1956 ● Gregory Abbott / → One hit wonder R&B/soul-urban pop-quiet storm singer/songwriter, “Shake You Down” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward / → Founding member and vocals for hugely successful Brit synth-dance-pop girl group Bananarama, covered “Venus” (#1, 1986)
1966 ● Garnett Silk / (Garnett Damoin Smith) → Rising star Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer and Rastafarian, “Hey Mama Africa” (UK #1, 1992), died trying to save his mother in an accidental house fire on 12/16/1996, age 28
1967 ● Greg Camp / → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1971 ● Chico / (Yousseph Slimani) → Welsh Latin pop singer, “It’s Chico Time” (UK #1, 2006), reached the semi-finals of the 2005 season of the UK series The X Factor
1979 ● Jesse Carmichael / → Keyboards for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1981 ● Scott Cain / → Australian singer and winner of the third Australian Popstars competition, “I’m Moving On” (Aus. #1, 2002)
1983 ● Yung Joc / (Jasiel A. Robinson) → Hardcore/gangsta rapper, “It’s Goin’ Down” (#3, 2006)

April 03

1922 ● Doris Day / (Doris Von Kappelhoff) → Award-winning, virginal film heroine and family TV hostess, pop singer, “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” (#2, 1956)
1928 ● Don Gibson / → Traditional and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (#7, Country #1, 1958) plus over 40 other Country Top 25 hits between 1956 and 1978, died 11/17/2003, age 75
1931 ● Gil Robbins / → Folk guitarist and singer, Air Force band conductor and member of the Cumberland Three with future Kingston Trio member John Stewart, joined the Harry Belafonte Singers and recorded five albums with The Highwaymen in the early 60s, acted in off-Broadway plays, including Month of Sundays (1968), How to Steal an Election (1968) and Mississippi Moonshine (1975)., father of actor Tim Robbins, died from prostate cancer on 4/5/2011, age 80
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff / → Soul-jazz organist and bandleader, “All About My Girl” (#50, R&B #12, 1963), died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 5/24/2008, age 72
1938 ● Jeff Barry / (Joel Adelberg) → Brill Building pop-rock songwriter, singer, record producer, husband of noted songwriter Ellie Greenwich, with whom he co-wrote “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Leader Of The Pack” for The Shangri-Las (#1, 1964) and “I Can Hear Music” for The Beach Boys (#24, 1969), among dozens of other 60s hits
1938 ● Philippé Wynne / (Philippé Walker) → Co-lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, left in 1977 for a largely unsuccessful solo career, died of a heart attack on a nightclub stage on 7/14/1984, age 46
1941 ● Jan Berry / (William Jan Berry) → Singer in seminal surf music duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), died on 3/26/2004 after years of poor health following a 1966 auto accident, age 63
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal / → Light country-rock and pop singer, “Down In The Boondocks” (#9, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, then ten Country Top 20 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured regularly until he died in his sleep on 10/6/2015, age 73
1942 ● Wayne Newton / → Stage and screen star, pop music solo act, “Danke Schoen” (#13, Adult Contemporary #3, 1963), consummate Las Vegas showman and local real estate tycoon
1943 ● Artie Traum / (Arthur Roy Traum) → Award-winning Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk and smooth jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with ten solo albums, another four with his brother, Happy Traum, and numerous appearances and production credits with The Bandd, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, James Taylor and many others, later career as a documentary filmmaker, died from liver cancer on 7/20/2008, age 65
1943 ● Joe Vann / (Joseph Canzano) → Lead vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died 2/28/1984, age 40
1943 ● Richard Manuel / (Richard George Manuel) → Canadian-born keyboardist, occasional drummer, songwriter and tenor vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970) (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), committed suicide in a Florida motel room following a performance on 3/4/1986, age 42
1944 ● Barry Pritchard / → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died following a heart attack 1/11/1999, age 54
1944 ● Lois Wilkinson / → With partner Andrea Simpson, one half of the British Invasion pop-rock girl duo The Caravelles, “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry” (#3, 1963)
1944 ● Tony Orlando / (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM Pop star singer, leader of the vocal group Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971), Las Vegas showroom icon
1946 ● Dee Murray / (David Murray Oates) → Bassist for numerous rock and pop acts, most notably the Elton John band, died from a stroke after a long bout with cancer on 1/15/1992, age 45
1949 ● Richard Thompson / → Folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, founding member of renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo, duo with wife Linda
1951 ● Mel Schacher / → Bassist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966), then formed hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1956 ● Judie Tzuke / (Judith Myers) → UK pop singer/songwriter, “Stay With Me Till Dawn” (1979) ranks #39 of 50 top songs in the BBC Best of British – 50 Golden Years of Popular Music from 2002
1961 ● Eddie Murphy / (Edward Regan Murphy) → Stand-up comedian, comic screen actor (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Saturday Night Live cast member, sometime pop singer, “Party All The Time” (#2, 1985)
1962 ● Mike Ness / (Michael James Ness) → Co-founder, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996)
1962 ● Simon Raymonde / → Bassist for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1963 ● Christopher Michael “Criss” Oliva / → Co-founder with his brother Jon and lead guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns,” Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), died at the peak of the band’s popularity in a car collision caused by a drunk driver on 10/17/1993, age 30
1968 ● Sebastian Bach / (Sebastian Bierk) → Canadian-born frontman and lead vocals for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1996 for a moderately successful solo recording and Broadway and TV acting career
1970 ● Matthew Priest / → Drummer for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1974 ● Drew Shirley / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1985 ● Leona Lewis / → Contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “Bleeding Love” (#1, 2007), won the third series of Britain’s The X Factor in 2006, Billboard magazine’s “Top New Artist” for 2008

April 04

1913 ● Frances Langford / → Hollywood actress and singer, introduced the since oft-covered “I’m In The Mood For Love” in 1935, veteran of Bob Hope‘s USO tours during World War II, starred in multiple pre- and post-war musicals, appeared on TV as a host or guest on numerous variety programs through the early 60s, died from congestive heart failure on 7/11/2005, age 92
1915 ● Muddy Waters / (McKinley Morganfield) → Grammy-winning Chicago blues giant, “Mannish Boy” (R&B #5, 1955), major inspiration for the British blues-rock explosion of the 60s, Rolling Stone magazine #17 Greatest Artist of All Time, died in his sleep from heart failure on 4/30/1983, age 68
1922 ● Elmer Bernstein / → Golden Globe, Emmy and Academy Award-winning film score composer and music conductor with a 50-plus year career and over 200 film scores and TV themes, among them The Magnificent Seven (1960, also used in Marlboro cigarette ads), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Airplane! (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and various National Geographic specials, died of cancer on 8/18/2004, age 82
1928 ● Maya Angelou / (Marguerite Annie Johnson) → One of the most important African-American authors, artists, social activists and educators of all time, wrote the best-selling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) and seven autobiographies, three books of essays, numerous books of poetry, screenplays, and recorded a single album of calypso music, Miss Calypso (1957), died from natural causes on 5/28/2014, age 86
1932 ● Clive Davis / → Hugely successful, Grammy-winning record company executive responsible for signing and promoting many of rock and pop music’s biggest names over a five-decade career, first with Columbia Records which he transformed into a rock music powerhouse in the 70s, then with upstart Arista Records and his own label, J Records, more recently as Chairman and CEO of RCA Music Group and chief creative officer for Sony Music Entertainment
1936 ● Margo Sylvia / → Vocals and songwriter for R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957), died on 10/29/1991, age 55
1938 ● Declan Mulligan / → Irish guitarist for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964)
1938 ● Michael Parks / → One hit wonder pop singer and TV actor with various smaller roles in the 60s, best known as the star of the series Then Came Bronson (1969-1970) and for singing the theme song for the show, “Long Lonesome Highway” (#20, 1969), appeared in over two dozen films through 2015
1939 ● Hugh Masekela / → South African jazz and pop trumpeter, composer and singer, best know for his instrumental hit “Grazing In The Grass” (#1, 1968)
1939 ● Major Lance / → Chicago good-time R&B/soul singer, “The Monkey Time” (#8, R&B #2, 1963), died of heart failure on 3/9/1994, age 55
1940 ● Sharon Sheeley / → Successful early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter, wrote “Poor Little Fool” for Ricky Nelson (#1, 1958) and “Somethin’ Else” for Eddie Cochran (#58, 1959), was Cochran’s “unofficial fiancé” and survived the taxi crash that killed Cochran in 1960, died following a cerebral hemorrhage on 5/17/2002, age 62
1941 ● Michael Z. Gordon / → Musician, composer, record producer and film screenwriter, frontman and songwriter for two contemporaneous surf-rock bands in the 60s, The Routers (“Let’s Go (Pony),” #19, 1962) and The Marketts (“Out Of Limits,” #3, 1964), later composed music for multiple TV shows and feature films, including the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction (1994)
1942 ● Kris Jensen / (Peter Kristian Jensen) → One hit wonder pop singer with J.D. Loudermilk‘s “Torture” (#1, 1962), a song The Everly Brothers turned down, recorded several dozen other songs without success and drifted into obscurity in the late 60s
1945 ● Knox Carnochan / (Ian Carnochan) → Founding member and vocals for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1946 ● Dave Hill / → Lead guitarist and backing vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1948 ● Pick Withers / (David Withers) → Original drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983), left the band in 1982
1948 ● Berry Oakley / (Raymond Berry Oakley III) → First bassist for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” (#77, 1972), died in a motorcycle accident on 11/11/1973, age 24
1949 ● Junior Braithwaite / (Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite) → Co-founding member and vocals for roots reggae The Wailers, left Jamaica in 1964 to pursue a medical career in Chicago, returned in 1984 for a Wailers reunion album and tour, murdered on 6/2/1999, age 50
1950 ● Pip Pyle / (Phillip Pyle) → Journeyman drummer for several Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion bands over a 40 year career, including Gong, Hatfield And The North, In Cahoots and National Health in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, died on 8/28/2006, age 56
1951 ● Graeme Kelling / → Guitarist in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), died from pancreatic cancer on 6/10/2004, age 53
1951 ● Steve Gatlin / → Elementary school teacher turned country music singer, first with Tammy Wynette‘s band and later with brothers Larry and Rudy in Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, issued two albums as a solo artist and currently tours as a motivational speaker
1952 ● Gary Moore / → Guitarist for Irish blues-rock band Skid Row, plus three short stints with hard rock Thin Lizzy, “Waiting For An Alibi” (UK #9, 1979), solo, “Still Got The Blues” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1990), found dead in his vacation hotel room in Spain on 2/6/2011. age 58
1962 ● Craig Adams / → Bassist and songwriter for goth-rock The Sisters of Mercy, then hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989) and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990),
1963 ● David Gavurin / → Guitarist for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1963 ● Nigel Preston / → Founding member and drummer for post-punk/goth rock The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary” (UK #15, 1985), fired from the band for erratic behavior, worked with Nile Rodgers and DeLuca before a prison stint for armed robbery, died from a drug overdose on 4/1/1992, age 29
1966 ● Mike Starr / → Original bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from an apparent methadone overdose on 3/8/2011, age 44
1968 ● Mark Yates / → Guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1970 ● Mix Master Mike Schwartz / (Michael Schwartz) → DJ for hardcore punk then blue-eyed hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1972 ● Jill Scott / → Actress (as Big Mama Thornton in Hounddog, 2007), poet, songwriter and R&B/soul singer, “A Long Walk” (#43, R&B #9, 2001)
1972 ● Magnus Sveningsson / → Bassist for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Kelly Price / → R&B/pop singer, backing vocals for Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans, Mase and Notorious B.I.G., and solo, “Friend Of Mine” (#12, 1998)
1974 ● Andre Dalyrimple / → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1975 ● Phil A. Jimenez / → Vocals and percussion for post-grunge Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” (Modern Rock #7, 2001)
1978 ● Lemar Obika / → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, appeared on BBC TV talent show Fame Academy, “Dance (With You)” (UK #3, 2002)
1980 ● Johnny Borrell / → Guitar and vocals for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)

April 05

1906 ● Lord Buckley / (Richard Myril Buckley) → Sophisticated and influential Beat poet, comedian, stage performer, spoken word recording artist and proto-rapper, influenced Lenny Bruce, Wavy Gravy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett, died following a stroke on 11/12/1960, age 54
1911 ● Goddard Lieberson / → Columbia Records executive responsible for introducing the long-play record (LP) at the label in the early 50s, served as president of Columbia/CBS from 1956 to 1971 and from 1973 to 1975 and as president of the Recording Industry Association of America from 1964 to 1977, died from cancer on 5/29/1977, age 66
1922 ● Gale Storm / (Josephine Cottle) → TV star in early sitcom My Little Margie (1952-1955) and pop vocalist with three Top 10 hits, including a cover of early rock ‘n’ roller “I Hear You Knockin'” (#2, 1956), found bit parts on TV in he 80s and acted in regional theater, died from natural causes on 6/27/2009, age 87
1928 ● Tony Williams / → Former parking lot attendant turned lead tenor for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, left the group in 1960 for a mildly successful solo career, died of emphysema on 8/14/1992, age 64
1929 ● Joe Meek / (Robert George Meek) → Brit 60s rock ‘n’ roll record producer, songwriter and film composer, produced The Tornados‘ hit “Telstar” (#1, 1961) among others, committed suicide after murdering his landlady on 2/3/1967, age 37
1931 ● “Cowboy Jack” Clement / (Jack Henderson Clement) → Country, pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and producer, “discovered” rockabilly Jerry Lee Lewis while working at Sun Records and produced Lewis‘s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (#3, Country #1, R&B #1, 1957), wrote “Guess Things Happen That Way” for Johnny Cash (#11, Country #1, 1958), from the 50s to the late 80s produced hundreds of albums for Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, U2 and many others, died from liver cancer on 8/8/2013, age 82
1932 ● Billy Bland / → One hit wonder R&B singer and songwriter, “Let The Little Girl Dance” (#7, R&B #11, 1960), left the industry in 1963 and currently runs a soul food restaurant in Harlem
1934 ● Stanley Turrentine / → The “Sugar Man,” tenor saxophone legend starting with blues and R&B bands in the 50s, played soul-jazz with Jimmy Smith and his own jam bands in the 60s, shifted to jazz fusion in the 70s and recorded albums for the CTI Records jazz label, continued to record and perform through the 90s despite nominal commercial success, died following a stroke on 9/12/2000, age 66
1935 ● “G” Grant / (Peter James Grant) → Brit movie actor turned rock band manager for The Nashville Teens, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and others, co-founder of Swan Song Records, died from a heart attack on 11/22/1995, age 60
1939 ● Ronnie White / (Ronald Anthony White) → Founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, who charted 18 Top 10 hits including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970), introduced Stevie Wonder to Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr., died of leukemia on 8/26/1995, age 56
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick / → Important figure in the 60s British folk revival and in the development for electrified folk-rock, first with the Ian Campbell Folk Group and then on fiddle, mandolin, songwriting and vocals for renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), after disbandment in 1979 played in multiple acoustic groups and as a session musician, issued a dozen solo albums through 2010, died from emphysema on 6/3/2016, age 75
1942 ● Allan Clarke / → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock harmony group The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters / (Robin Peter Smith) → Folk-pop two hit wonder singer/songwriter, “The Pied Piper” (#4, UK #5, 1966) and “You Were On My Mind” (UK #2, 1967), died following a long illness on 6/8/2010, age 66
1944 ● Nick Caldwell / (Nicholas Caldwell) → Original member of R&B/soul vocal quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980) and 33 other R&B Top 40 hits from 1969 to 1991, continued to perform with the group until his death from congestive heart failure on 1/5/2016, age 71
1946 ● Dave Holland / → Drummer with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1948 ● Kent Henry / (Kent Henry Plischke) → Rock guitarist with pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride, #4, 1970) and hard rock Steppenwolf in the 70s, died during intestinal surgery on 3/18/2009, age 61
1950 ● Anna Fältskog / (Agnetha Åse Fältskog) → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop quartet ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Everett Morton / → Drummer for multi-racial Brit ska revival band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), “Hand’s Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980)
1954 ● Stan Ridgeway / → Frontman and distinctive baritone vocalist for alt indie rock Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (Mainstream Rock #41, 1982), then solo with “Goin’ Southbound” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1961 ● Jacob Slichter / → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), authored book So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star (2004)
1964 ● Kid Reid / (Christopher Reid) → With Christopher “Play” Martin, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1966 ● Mike McCready / → Lead guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1968 ● Paula Cole / → Alt pop-rock dreamy 90s two hit singer/songwriter, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” (#8, 1997) and “I Don’t Want To Wait” (#11. 1997)
1973 ● Pharrell Williams / → Grammy-winning rapper, fashion designer, and with Chad Hugo, one half of the hit songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, responsible for multiple pop, hip hop and R&B hits, including Britney Spears‘ “I’m A Slave 4 U” (Dance/Club #4, 2001), worked with Mase, Nelly and Kelis, solo US #1 album The Neptunes Present…Clones
1975 ● Juicy J / (Jordan Michael Houston) → Founding member, producer and MC for Memphis hip hop group Three 6 Mafia, “Stray Fly” (#18, R&B #9, 2005), later solo, “Bandz A Make Her Dance” (#29, Rap #5, 2012), produced tracks and albums for Ludacris, Lil Wayne and others

April 06

1918 ● Shakey Horton / (Walter Horton) → Influential blues harmonica player frequently referred to as “Big Walter,” session musician for Chess Records in Chicago in the 50s, played frequently with Muddy Waters, backed several notable blues musicians on their albums and issued four of his own, toured with Willie Dixon’s All-Stars and made guest appearances on albums by Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, died from heart failure and alcohol abuse on 12/8/1981, age 63
1926 ● Sergio Franchi / (Sergio Franci Galli) → Italian pop ballad crooner, signed to RCA and moved to the U.S. for his debut album (Romantic Italian Songs, #17, 1962), issued 35 albums and made 24 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before his death from a brain tumor on 5/1/1990, age 64
1929 ● André Previn / (André George Previn) → German-American jazz pianist, ten-time Grammy-winning film score composer and conductor for symphony orchestras in Houston, London, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, recorded hundreds of pieces in various genres and is considered one of the most versatile musicians of any era, charted one pop hit, “Like Young” (#46, 1959)
1937 ● Merle Haggard / (Merle Ronald Haggard) → Hugely successful and influential “Bakersfield Sound” traditional country guitarist, singer and songwriter with 38 Country #1 hits, including “Mama Tried” (Country #1, 1968) and “Workin’ Man Blues” (Country #1, 1969), plus 33 other Country Top 10 singles and ten crossover hits, inspired The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello and over 400 covers of “Today I Started Loving You Again,” died from pneumonia on 4/6/2016, his 79th birthday
1940 ● Don Myric / → Jazz-funk saxophonist, original member of Phoenix Horns Esq., the horn section for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), later session work for Phil Collins (sax solo on “One More Night,” #1 , 1985), Carlos Santana, Heaven 17 and others, died after being accidentally shot by a police officer during a narcotics investigation on 7/30/1993, age 53
1941 ● Phil Austin / → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre and the voice of the group’s best-known character, private eye Nick Danger, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from an aneurysm on 6/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● John Stax / (John Edward Lee Fullager) → Original bassist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1947 ● Tony Connor / → Drummer for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1951 ● Ralph Cooper / → Drummer for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Christopher Franke / → German keyboardist and composer for atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1960 ● Warren Haynes / → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, sideman and bandleader, founding member of power trio/jam band Gov’t Mule, “Drivin’ Rain” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2002), played with The Allman Brothers Band, David Allan Coe, the Dickie Betts Band, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead plus numerous session and special projects with Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, John Mayall and others
1961 ● Gene Eugene / (Eugene Andrusco) → Canadian-born child actor (TV shows Bewitched, Jake And The Fatman and others), record producer (owner and chief engineer at The Green Room recording studio in Los Angeles), founding member of Christian alt rock supergroup Lost Dogs and frontman for innovative Christian funk-rock Adam Again, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/20/2000, age 38
1962 ● Stan Cullimore / (Ian Peter Cullimore) → Guitarist for Brit jangle guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), author of children’s books
1965 ● Black Francis / (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) → Guitarist and singer with influential alt melodic rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), formed Frank Black and the Catholics in 1993, reunited Pixies in 2004, plus over 10 solo albums.
1968 ● Joe Gittleman / → Bassist for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997) and other bands, assistant professor of music at a Vermont college
1978 ● Myleene Klass / → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), now TV host and model

April 07

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

April 08

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

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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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