Posts Tagged rock birthdays this week

This Week’s Birthdays (December 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 17

1936 ● Tommy Steele / (Thomas William Hicks) → Early Brit rock ‘n roll teen idol vocalist, “Rock With The Caveman” (UK #13, 1956) and more than 20 other UK Top 40 hits, actor
1937 ● Art Neville / → Vocalist and pianist with New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1938 ● Carlo Little / (Carl O’Neil Little) → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer in the 60s Britbeat scene in London, played with The Rolling Stones until replaced by Charlie Watts in 1963, did session work for multiple bands including The Flower Pot Men (“Let’s Go To San Francisco,” UK #1, 1967), auditioned Deep Purple and influenced Keith Moon of The Who, worked as a bread salesman and performed in various pub bands as well as his own The All Stars, died from lung cancer on 8/6/2005, age 66
1939 ● Eddie Kendricks / → Founding member and lead vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965), left in 1971 for solo career, “Keep On Truckin” (#1, 1973) plus 18 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 10/5/1992, age 52
1942 ● Paul Butterfield / → Blues-rock singer, harmonica player and bandleader with the legendary and biracial Butterfield Blues Band, later fronted Better Days and issued solo albums, died from a drug-related heart attack on 5/4/1987, age 44
1943 ● David Dee / (David Dee (David John Harman)) → Lead vocals for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), died of cancer on 1/9/2009, age 65
1946 ● Martin Smith / → Jazz and blues rock drummer for Brit prog-rockers Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Gentle Giant, died from internal hemorrhaging on 3/2/1997, age 50
1947 ● Simon Bates / → Brit radio DJ and music show host for the BBC Radio 1, Classic FM and The Breakfast Show on Smooth Radio
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti / → Drummer for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir, “It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972), reunited in the 00s
1949 ● Paul Rodgers / → Guitar and vocals for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), supergroup The Firm and rock duo The Law with Kenney Jones of The Who, solo
1950 ● Carly Barrett / (Carlton Barrett) → Jamaican drummer for early reggae band The Upsetters and later roots reggae Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Buffalo Soldier” (1983),, murdered outside his home by a hit man hired by his wife and her lover on 4/17/1987, age 36
1951 ● Wanda Hutchinson / → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel and disco sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1958 ● Mike Mills / (Michael Edward Mills) → Bassist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1959 ● Bob Stinson / (Robert Neil Stinson) → Guitarist for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), died from organ failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 2/18/1995, age 35
1961 ● Sarah Dallin / → Singer for pop-rock Bananarama, “Venus” (#1, 1986) and 11 Dance/Club Top 40 hits
1964 ● Ginger Walls / (David Walls) → Founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Brit hard rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1969 ● Micky Quinn / → Bassist for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1970 ● DJ Homicide / (Craig Bullock) → DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), solo
1973 ● Eddie Fisher / → Drums and percussion for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1978 ● Neil Sanderson / (Neil Christopher Sanderson) → Co-founder, drummer and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1989 ● Taylor York / → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 18

1917 ● Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson / (Edward L. Vinson, Jr.) → Jump blues, jazz bebop and R&B alto saxophonist, blues shouter and bandleader, “Old Maid Boogie” (R&B #1, 1947), toured and recorded regularly through four decades before dying of a heart attack on 7/2/1988. age 70
1927 ● Fred Tomlinson / (Frederick Tomlinson) → Singer, choral arranger and frontman for the nonsensical Fred Tomlinson Singers, backing vocalists for sketch comedy troupe Monty Python (“Spam Song,” 1970) and other British TV comedy programs, died from undisclosed causes on 7/17/2016, age 88
1931 ● Allen Klein / → Businessman, talent agent, film producer, record label executive and manager for Sam Cooke, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 7/4/2009, age 77
1933 ● Lonnie Brooks / (Lee Baker, Jr.) → Influential and renowned if little known Chicago blues style guitarist and singer, recorded an early version of “Sweet Home Chicago,” appeared in the Blues Brothers 2000 movie (1998), died from natural causes on 4/1/2017 , age 83
1934 ● Dandy Dan / (Vergil Glynn Daniel) → “America’s most adequate swinging disc jockey,” New York City AM radio DJ at WMCA in the 60s, member of the Good Guys team of Top 40 broadcasters, later with WCBS-FM spinning classic hits, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 81
1938 ● Chas Chandler / (Bryan James Chandler) → Bassist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), producer and manager for Jimi Hendrix and Slade, died of heart failure on 7/17/1996, age 57
1941 ● Sam Andrew / → Founding member, guitarist and singer for 60s psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), Janis Joplin‘s Kozmic Blues Band, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), film score composer, reunited Big Brother in 1987 and continued to tour and record in various projects until his death from complications of open-heart surgery on 2/12/2015, age 73
1942 ● Les Cauchi / → Tenor vocal for R&B/doo wop The Del-Satins, which became The Brooklyn Bridge, “Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1968)
1943 ● Keith Richards / → The “Human Guitar Riff,” founding member, lead guitarist, and co-songwriter for The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), solo, Rolling Stone magazine’s #10 Great Guitarist of All Time
1943 ● Bobby Keys / (Robert Henry Keys) → Texas-born session and touring saxophonist, most notably with The Rolling Stones with whom he toured and played for over 40 years, including the sax solo on “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), also played on hundreds of songs on albums for such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and others, died from cirrhosis on 12/2/2014, age 70
1948 ● Bill Nelson / → Prog rock, electropop, experimental and ambient music composer, guitarist and songwriter, founded and fronted prog rock Be Bop Deluxe, “Modern Music” (1977), prolific solo career since the late 70s
1950 ● Martha Johnson / → Vocals and leader of Canadian post-punk Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” (Juno Single of the Year, 1980)
1950 ● Randy Castillo / → Rock drummer best known for 10-years with Ozzy Osbourne‘s band (“Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), joined heavy metal Mötley Crüe in 1999 and continued until his death from a stomach tumor on 3/26/2002, age 51
1953 ● Elliot Easton / → Lead guitar for The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, 1978), The New Cars, power pop Click Five and roots rock Creedence Clearwater Revisited
1958 ● Kevin “Geordie” Walker / → Guitarist in post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1959 ● Daddy G / (Grantley Evan Marshall) → Vocals and songwriter in pioneering trip-hop collaborative duo Massive Attack, “Teardrop” (UK #10, 1998), producer
1961 ● Angie Stone / (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/smooth soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, producer and film and TV actor, early career in hip hop girl trio The Sequence (“Funk You Up,” R&B #15, 1979) and other rap and soul groups in the 80s and 90s, then solo with seven R&B Top 20 albums, Including The Art Of Love & War (#11, R&B #1, 2007) plus 16 charting singles through 2016
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo / → Drummer for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1964 ● Robson Green / → Brit singer, songwriter, TV host and actor, covered “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1995)
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan / → Bassist for indie “blonde” pop-rockers The Primitives, co-wrote “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), died from a cannabis overdose on 2/4/2009, age 42
1968 ● Andy Miller / → Guitarist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1970 ● DMX / (Earl Simmons) → Vocalist, songwriter and drum machine rap pioneer, “Party Up (Up In Here)” (#27, 1999), screen actor, Reality TV host
1972 ● DJ Lethal / (Leor Dimant) → Latvian-born producer and DJ/turntablist for House Of Pain and rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1975 ● Sia / (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) → Australian singer and songwriter whose sixth solo album, 1000 Forms Of Fear (#1, 2014) and the single “Chandelier” (#8, 2014) found the fame her first five could not
1980 ● Christina Aguilera / → Dance-pop singer, “Genie In A Bottle” (#1, 1999), collaborated with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink on remake of “Lady Maramalade” (#1, 2001)
1980 ● Lyndsay Armaou / → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)

December 19

1915 ● Charlie Ryan / (CharlesRyan) → Singer and songwriter best known for co-writing and first recording in 1955 the rockabilly classic “Hot Rod Lincoln,” the remake of which he recorded as Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders (#33, Country #14, 1960), making him a one hit wonder, died on 2/16/2008, age 92
1915 ● Edith Piaf / (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → Widely popular French-born opera and adult pop singer, “Milord” (#88, 1959, died from liver cancer on 10/11/1963, age 47
1918 ● Professor Longhair / (Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd)) → Influential and pioneering New Orleans R&B singer and pianist, switched to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and later jazz, won a posthumous Grammy for the collection House Party New Orleans Style (1987), died of a heart attack on 1/30/1980, age 61
1940 ● Phil Ochs / (Philip David Ochs) → 60s folk revival “topical” singer and songwriter known for his anti-Vietnam War and civil rights protest songs, the best known being “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), committed suicide by hanging himself at his sister’s home in Queens, NY on 4/9/1976, age 35
1941 ● Maurice White / → Highly-regarded seven-time Grammy-winning drummer, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), producer for Deniece Williams, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Emotions and others, died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 2/4/2016, age 74
1944 ● Alvin Lee / (Graham Barnes) → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist, founding member, lead vocals and lead guitar for Ten Years After, achieved instant if fleeting fame with his rendition of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969 but other than “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971) never had significant commercial success, died from “complications of a routine surgical procedure” to correct atrial arrhythmia on 3/6/2013, age 68
1944 ● Stuart Colman / (Ian Stuart Colman) → Brit radio broadcaster, musician and record producer, founding member and bassist for one hit wonder pop-easy listening The Flying Machine (“Smile A Little Smile For Me,” Top 5, 1969), later acclaimed BBC Radio disc jockey
1944 ● Zal Yanovsky / (Zalman Yanovsky) → The “Zany One,” guitarist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), restaurateur in Kingston, Ontario, died after a heart attack on 12/13/2002, age 57
1945 ● John McEuen / → Singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971), solo and Grammy-winning producer
1947 ● Jimmy Bain / (James Stewart Bain) → Bass guitarist with hard rock Rainbow (“Stone Cold,” #40, Mainstream #1, 1982) and heavy metal Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark,” #14, 1983), co-wrote songs for Phil Lynott‘s solo albums in the 80s, toured with various metal groups and solo projects in the 90s and 00s, died from undiagnosed lung cancer while touring with his band Last In Line on board Def Leppard‘s Hysteria On The High Seas cruise on 1/23/2016, age 68
1957 ● Doug Johnson / → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl / (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “Never Ending Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1961 ● John Eascott / → Trumpet for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard / → Original drummer for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1985 ● Lady Sovereign / (Louise Harman) → Brit rapper and US one hit wonder singer, “Love Me Or Hate Me” (#45, Dance #1, UK #26, 2006)

December 20

1936 ● Judy Henske / → The “Queen of the Beatniks,” late 50s and 60s Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon folk singer, songwriter and one-time TV actress, worked with Lenny Bruce and the Whiskey Hill Singers with ex-Kingston Triomember Dave Guard, recorded two solo albums on Elektra Records in the early 60s, married and recorded with Jerry Yester, including the cult album Farewell Aldebaran (1969), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1939 ● Kim Weston / (Agatha Natalia Weston) → Motown soul singer known for her solo hit “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)” (#50, R&B #4, 1965) and her duet with Marvin Gaye, “It Takes Two” (#14, R&B #4, 1966), left Motown in 1967 for a mildly successful career with MGM, Stax/Volt and Motorcity Records
1944 ● Bobby Colomby / → Drummer for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Peter Criss / (Peter Criss (Criscoula)) → Drummer and “Catman” character in campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo
1948 ● Alan Parsons / → Brit studio engineer, part-producer for The BeatlesAbbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970), plus Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), songwriter, musician and bandleader for prog-pop-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1948 ● Little Stevie Wright / (Stephen Wright) → Lead vocals for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), then solo
1956 ● Guy Babylon / (Guy Graham Babylon) → Grammy-winning keyboardist and 20-year member of Elton John‘s band, also did session work for B. B. King, Iron Butterfly, Blues Image and others, stricken with arrhythmia while swimming in his L.A. home pool and died in the hospital on 9/2/2009, age 52
1957 ● Anita Ward / → One hit wonder R&B/soul-disco singer, “Ring My Bell” (#1, 1979)
1957 ● Michael Watt / → Seminal post-punk bassist and founder of Minutemen, dos, FireHouse, also with The Stooges and Banyan
1957 ● Billy Bragg / (Stephen William Bragg) → Brit alt rock singer, songwriter and left-wing activist, “Sexuality” (Modern Rock #2, 1991) and “She’s Leaving Home” (UK #1, 1988), wrote “A New England” for Kirsty MacColl (UK #7, 1985)
1966 ● Chris Robinson / → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Roger J. Beaujard / → Guitarist and drum machine programmer for death metal/deathgrind duo Mortician, “Chainsaw Dismemberment” (1999)
1975 ● Graham Hopkins / → Former drummer for Irish grunge rock Therapy?, then solo, now sessions and touring bands
1980 ● Dibs Edwards / (Christopher “Dibs” Edwards) → Bassist for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1982 ● David Cook / → Multi-instrumentalist post-grunge pop-rock singer and songwriter, “The Time Of My Life” (#3, 2008), winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008)
1990 ● JoJo / (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Too Little Too Late” (#3, 2006), actress

December 21

1913 ● Luise King / (Louise Driggs Rey) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/4/1997, age 83
1921 ● Luigi Creatore / → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, teamed with cousin Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died from pneumonia on 11/13/2015, age 93
1926 ● Freddie Hart / (Frederick Segrest) → Country-pop crossover singer with charting singles in four decades, including 19 straight Country Top 20 hits in the early 70s starting with “Easy Loving” (#17, Country #1, 1971), migrated to gospel in the 90s and continues to perform into the 10s
1939 ● Wes Farrell / → Musician, prolific songwriter and 60s/70s record producer, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, including “Boys” for The Shirelles (1960) and The Beatles (1963), “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys (#1, 1965) and the theme song (“C’mon On, Get Happy”) to the Partridge Family TV series, founded Chelsea Records in 1972, died from cancer on 2/29/1996
1940 ● Frank Zappa / (Frank Vincent Zappa) → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, , long solo career with a handful of charting singles, including “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993, age 52
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand / → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1942 ● Carla Thomas / → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee / → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1943 ● Gwen McCrae / → Southern R&B diva known best for “Rockin’ Chair” (#9, R&B #1, 1975) but scored a dozen other disco and soul hits in the 70s and 80s, often in collaboration with her husband, George McCrae, later found success in the UK and Europe where she performed and recorded into the 00s
1946 ● Carl Wilson / → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998, age 51
1951 ● Nick Gilder / (Nicholas George Gilder) → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright / → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul and quiet storm vocalist, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Murph Murphy / (Emmett J. Murphy III) → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
1965 ● Gabby Glaser / (Gabrielle Glaser) → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions / (Brett Allen Scallions) → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

December 22

1939 ● James Gurley / → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), performed with the band into the 00s, died from a heart attack on 12/20/2009, age 69
1944 ● Barrie Jenkins / (Colin ErnestJenkins) → Founding member and drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964) and hard/blues-rock The Animals, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#12, 1966), now manages a music store
1946 ● Pamela Susan Courson / → Long-time companion of Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), inherited his estate over the objection of his family following a California court decision that theirs was a “common law marriage,” died from a heroin overdose on 4/25/1974, age 27
1946 ● Rick Nielsen / → Vocals and guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1949 ● Maurice Gibb / → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), solo and producer, younger twin of Robin Gibb, died from a twisted intestine on 1/12/2003, age 53
1949 ● Robin Gibb / → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice Gibb, died from colon and liver cancer on 5/20/2012, age 62
1950 ● Alan Williams / → Vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1955 ● Barry Sless / → Six-string and peddle steel guitarist for country-rock David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh & Friends and others
1957 ● Ricky Ross / → Lead singer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), solo, now a DJ on BBC Radio Scotland
1966 ● Danny Saber / → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ and former bassist with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1968 ● Richey Edwards / (Richard James Edwards) → Rhythm guitar, songwriter and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000), officially presumed dead in a November 2008 court ruling, thirteen years after he disappeared on 2/1/1995, age 26
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis / → French teen-pop singer and actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (UK #3, France #1, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter / (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician, DJ and dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #1, UK #1, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Sparks / (Jordin Briana Sparks) → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, American Idol 2007 winner and youngest to date, “No Air” (#3, 2008) and four other Top 20 hits
1993 ● Meghan Trainor / → Retro R&B and pop singer and songwriter, produced and released three independent albums as a teenager before hitting big with her major label debut Title (#1, 2015) and worldwide hit “All About That Bass” (#1, CAN #1, UK #1, 2014)

December 23

1923 ● Milt Okun / (Milton Theodore Okun) → Music producer and arranger, founder of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, nurtured the careers of a diverse range of superstars, from folkies Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver to jazz-pop Harry Belafonte and opera star Placido Domingo, produced Laura Nyro‘s debut album More Than A Discovery (1966) and Starland Vocal Band‘s hit “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976), died from unspecified causes on 11/15/2016, age 92
1926 ● Harold Dorman / (Harold Kenneth Dorman) → One hit wonder pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter with the self-penned, oft-covered “Mountain Of Love” (#21, R&B #7, 1960), continued to write songs for other artists until his death following a stroke on 10/8/1988, age 61
1929 ● Chet Baker / (Chesney Henry Baker, Jr.) → West Coast “cool school” jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist, played with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan before forming his own quintet and recording several noteworthy albums in the 50s, in later years performed with Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and others, died after falling from a second story hotel room window in Amsterdam after a night of heroin and cocaine on 5/13/1988, age 58
1935 ● Johnny Kidd / (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll singer and frontman for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), died in a car crash on 10/7/1966, age 30
1935 ● Little Esther / (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, R&B #1, 1962) and seven other R&B Top 40 hits, died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure on 8/7/1984, age 48
1940 ● Eugene Record / → Founding member and vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005, age 64
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen / → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna, still touring and recording in 2011
1941 ● Tim Hardin / → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965), died of a heroin overdose on 12/29/1980, age 39
1943 ● Harry Shearer / → Actor who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1946 ● Ariel Bender / (Luther James Grosvenor) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Crazy Raymond / (Ray Tabano) → Original member of hard rock Aerosmith (“Dream On,” #6, 1976), replaced as rhythm guitarist by Brad Whitford and became the band’s assistant manager in 1971, was fired in 1979 and became a catering business manager
1946 ● Robbie Dupree / (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock singer-songwriter with a handful of hits, including “Steal Away” (#6, R&B #85, 1980) and “Hot Rod Hearts” (#15, 1980), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Jim Pash / → Vietnam veteran and original saxophonist for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), converted to classical harp music in later years, died from heart failure on 4/29/2005, age 56
1949 ● Adrian Belew / (Robert Steven Belew) → Session and touring guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, with whom he records and tours in the 00s, solo
1951 ● Doug Stegmeyer / → Bass guitarist and backing vocals in Billy Joel‘s touring and studio band from 1974 through 1989, plus session work for Hall & Oates, The Carpenters and others, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 8/25/1995, age 43
1951 ● Johnny Contardo / → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1956 ● Dave Murray / → One of the earliest members and stalwart guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and bassist Steve Harris are the only bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1958 ● Victoria Williams / → Idiosyncratic country-folk singer and songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994), career limited by multiple sclerosis, subject of the tribute/benefit album Sweet Relief (1993) featuring Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, Vanessa Williams and others
1960 ● Will Sinnott / → Bassist in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992), drowned while swimming in the Canary Islands on 5/23/1991, age 30
1964 ● Eddie Vedder / (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), solo
1966 ● Bobby Schayer / → Drummer for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995) from 1991 to 2001, resigned from the band after suffering a shoulder injury which left him unable to drum professionally
1974 ● Montsho Eshe / → Vocals for Grammy-winning, progressive Afrocentric rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop group Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood / → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Harry Judd / → Drummer for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

Advertisements

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 30

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

May 01

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

May 02

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

May 03

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

May 04

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


May 05


1901 ● Blind Willie McTell / (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant / → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● Ace Cannon / (John Cannon) → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire / → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor / (Johnnie Harrison Taylor) → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1942 ● Tammy Wynette / (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
1942 ● Jim King / (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1948 ● Bill Ward / → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray / → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo / → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh / → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1959 ● Ian McCulloch / → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey / → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly / → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney / → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David / → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn / → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele / (Adele Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan / (Brooke Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam / (Skye Alexandra Sweetnam) → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown / → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade


May 06


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

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (February 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 05

1919 ● Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) → Broadway and Catskill “Borscht Belt” stage actor, comedian, TV host, Academy Award-winning screen actor, singer, “Strange Things Are Happening” (1953), died 7/13/2006 at home near L.A.
1923 ● Claude King → Trad-country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, “Wolverton Mountain” (Adult Contemporary #3, 1962)
1929 ● Hal Blaine (Harold Simon Belsky) → Session drummer and founding member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played behind The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Natalie Cole and many others, credited with drumming on six consecutive Grammy Album of the Year winners between 1966 and 1971
1930 ● Don Goldie → Versatile and visible postwar jazz trumpet player and bandleader in the 60s, played with numerous jazz luminaries and fronted several jazz ensembles, incusing The Dangerous Jazz Band, committed suicide while suffering from declining health due to diabetes on 11/25/1995, age 65
1935 ● Alex Harvey → Scottish rock ‘n roll guitarist and bandleader, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), died 2/4/1982
1941 ● Barrett StrongMotown R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Money (That’s What I Want)” (#23, R&B #2, 1962), co-wrote multiple hits with Norman Whitfield, including “War” for Edwin Starr (#1, 1970) and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” for The Temptations (#1, 1972)
1941 ● Henson Cargill → One hit wonder country-pop singer with a single crossover hit, “Skip A Rope” (#25, Country #1, 1958), but with nine other Country Top 40 hits, played the Vegas/Reno circuit until his death following a surgical procedure on 3/24/2007, age 66
1943 ● Charles “Chuck” Winfield → Trumpet for jazz-rock-pop fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1943 ● Larry Tamblyn → Co-founding member, lead vocals and keyboards for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), appeared in several 60s feature films, continues to tour and perform with the band into the 10s
1944 ● Al Kooper → Influential but underrated rock contributor, from 60s blues-rock guitarist and bandleader for The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” (#3, 1958), then jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), sessions with Bob Dylan, producer for The Zombies, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others
1944 ● James B. “J.R.” Cobb, Jr. → Guitars for soft rock Classics IV, “Spooky” (#3, 1968), morphed into Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “So Into You” (#7, 1977)
1948 ● Christopher Guest → Screenwriter and composer, wrote screenplay and portrayed the fictional lead guitarist Nigel Tufnell in the mock-rock band Spinal Tap (1984 film This Is Spinal Tap), also played Alan Barrows of the fictional folk trio The Folksmen on Saturday Night Live and the film A Mighty Wind (2003)
1948 ● David Denny → Founding member and guitarist for psych-rock Frumious Bandersnatch, played with Steve Miller Band on several albums and hits, including “Swingtown” (#17, 1977)
1960 ● Paul Jones → Bassist for Welsh post-Brit-pop jangle rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1964 ● Michael “Duff” McKagan → Bassist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1987), then for supergroup Velvet Revolver and Duff McKagan’s Loaded, now a newspaper columnist
1964 ● Sally Still → Bassist for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1968 ● Chris Barron → Vocals for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1969 ● Bobby Brown → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), solo, “My Prerogative” (#1, 1988)
1971 ● Sara Evans → Award-winning neo-traditionalist country-pop singer and songwriter with nine Country Top 10 and seven Top 40 pop hits, including “Born To Fly” (#34, Country #1, 2000)
1975 ● Adam Carson → Drummer for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and electronica Blaqk Audio, “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)

February 06

1936 ● Donnie Brooks (John Dee Abohosh) → Pop and rockabilly one hit wonder singer (“Mission Bell,” #7, 1960), toured on the oldies circuit until a 2003 car accident ended his career, died from heart failure on 2/23/2007, age 71
1941 ● Dave Berry (David Holgate Grundy) → 60s era Brit pop-rock and R&B/teen idol singer, “The Crying Game” (UK #5, 1964), became a superstar on the Continent but not in the UK or US
1942 ● John London (Kuehne) → Songwriter and session bass player with The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, formed innovative but commercially overlooked country-rock First National Band with friend Mike Nesmith, later enjoyed a second career as a key grip for TV and mainstream movies, died on 2/12/2000, age 58
1943 ● Fabian (Fabiano Forte Bonaparte) → Teen idol pop/light rock singer, “Tiger” (#3, 1964) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1960, actor in more than two dozen films, including The Longest Day (1962) and Ten Little Indians (1965)
1943 ● Georgeanna Marie Tillman Gordon → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died from complications of blood disorders on 1/6/1980, age 36
1944 ● Willie Tee (Wilson Turbinton) → New Orleans blues and jazz pianist with one national hit, “I’m Teasin’ You” (#97, R&B #12, 1960) but plenty of recognition in his native city where he is credited with helping shape the “New Orleans Sound” fusing blues, jazz and rock elements, died from complications of colon cancer on 9/11/2007, age 63
1945 ● Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley → Reggae music and cultural giant, bandleader (The Wailers), singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974), inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, his birthday is commemorated in Jamaica by a national holiday, died of cancer on 5/11/1981, age 36
1946 ● Kate McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Anna in 70s-90s light folk duo, former wife of folk singer Loudon Wainwright lll, mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died of cancer on 1/18/2010, age 63
1946 ● Richie Hayward → Founding member and drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Robert Palmer, Bob Seger, Warren Zevon and others, died from complications of liver cancer on 8/12/2010, age 64
1947 ● Alan Jones → Saxophonist for Welsh early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1950 ● Mike Batt → Brit composer, producer, singer and songwriter for film, TV theater and pop music, solo hit with “Summertime City” (UK #4, 1975), wrote “Bright Eyes” (UK #1, 1979) for the film Watership Down and Art Garfunkel, created the novelty pop group The Wombles and four UK Top 10 hits
1950 ● Stephanie Natalie Maria Cole → R&B/urban contemporary jazz-based pop singer, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” (#6, R&B #1, 1975), reemerged from a career lull caused by drug addictions with Unforgettable (#1, 1991), the hit album of pop standard covers originally recorded by her father, jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, died from congestive heart failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 12/31/15, age 65
1953 ● Steve Kirby → Lead guitar for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Jon Walmsley → Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, actor and producer, worked with many notable pop and rock artists, including The Doobie Brothers, Gregg Allman, Merle Haggard, Roger Daltrey, the Strawberry Alarm Clock and others, played Jason Walton for nine seasons on TV’s The Waltons and created the voice of Christopher Robin in Disney’s Winnie The Pooh cartoons
1962 ● Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose Bailey) → Lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist, frontman and only constant member of hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Richard Vance “Richie” McDonald → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1964 ● Gordon Downie → Lead singer and guitarist for Canadian alt rock The Tragically Hip, “Ahead By A Century” (Can #1, 1996).
1966 ● Rick Astley → Award-winning Brit musician, radio host and dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Never Gonna Give You Up” (US and worldwide #1, 1987)
1980 ● Yasutaka Nakata → Japanese multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music producer, DJ and bandleader, co-founded EDM/electronica group Capsule in 1997 with vocalist Toshiko Koshijima and has written scores of songs and produced dozens of albums for various artists, often with himself as a musician, including seven Japanese (Oricon) #1 albums

February 07

1887 ● James Hubert “Eubie” Blake → Composer, lyricist and pianist whose career spanned from the ragtime era of the late 19th century to contemporary Broadway theater in the 1980s, brought the first black musical comedy to the stage in 1921 with Shuffle Along, wrote or co-wrote now-standard songs, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (1921) and “Memories Of You” (1930), unofficial leader of the ragtime revival of the 1970s, died from pneumonia on 2/12/1983, age 96
1920 ● Oscar Brand → Canadian-American folk balladeer, playwright, author, university professor, musician and host of Folksong Festival on WNYC-am in New York since it debuted in 1945, now the longest running radio program with the same host, composed over 300 songs (including “A Guy Is A Guy,” #1, 1952 for Doris Day) and released nearly 100 albums covering novelty music and social commentary in nearly every genre, including the patriotic “Something To Sing About” (1963), one of Canada’s unofficial national anthems, died from pneumonia on 9/30/2016, age 96
1924 ● Dora Bryan (Dora Mae Broadbent) → Brit stage, film and TV actress, occasional novelty pop singer, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle” (#20, 1963)
1934 ● Earl King (Earl Silas Johnson) → New Orleans R&B/blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” (R&B #7, 1955), also co-wrote “I Hear You Knockin'” (1955) and wrote “Come On (Let The Good Time Roll)” (1960), died from complications of diabetes on 4/17/2003, age 69
1934 ● King Curtis (Curtis Ousley) → Virtuoso R&B/pop and soul saxophonist, first in sessions (including The Coasters‘ “Yakety Yak” and Boots Randolph‘s “Yakety Sax”), then as a solo artist, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, R&B #6, 1967), died on 8/14/1971 at the peak of his career after being fatally stabbed late at night outside his New York City home by a vagrant, buried in the same Long Island cemetery as Count Basie and John Coltrane
1940 ● Bob Burnett → Founding member of influential, straight-laced collegiate folk-pop vocal quintet The Highwaymen (“Michael,” #1, AC #1, 1961 and “Cotton Fields,” #13, AC #3, 1962), left in 1964 for a career in business law but reunited in 1987 and performed occasionally into the 00s, died from brain cancer on 12/7/2011, age 71
1943 ● Harvey Hersh (Hershkowitz) → Baritone vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1943 ● Walter Scott (Walter Notheis, Jr.) → Lead singer for one hit wonder horn-rock Bob Kuban & The Hit-Men (“The Cheater,” #12, 1966), left the band for an unsuccessful solo career, disappeared on 12/27/1983 and was later declared murdered by his wife and her lover in a tangled case, age 40
1946 ● Sammy Johns → One hit wonder country-pop singer/songwriter, “Chevy Van” (#5, 1975), wrote “America” for Waylon Jennings (Country #6, 1984) and “Common Man” for John Conlee (Country #1, 1983), among other minor hits, died from unspecified causes on 1/4/2013, age 66
1947 ● John Patrick “Pugwash” Weathers → Drummer for Brit progressive/art rock and jazz fusion band The Eyes of Blue, then prog rock Gentle Giant
1948 ● Jimmy Greenspoon → Organist for pop-rock Three Dog Night (“Joy To The World,” #1, 1971 and nine other Top 10 hits) between 1969 and 1973, rejoined the band in 1976 and continued to record and tour until his death from melanoma (cancer) on 3/11/2015, age 67
1949 ● Alan Lancaster → Original bassist for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 50 other UK Top 75 singles, left in 1984
1949 ● Stony Browder, Jr. → With half-brother August Darnell Browder (aka “King Creole”), formed pop-rock The In-Laws, then big band and swing-influenced R&B/disco group Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “Cherchez La Femme” (Dance/Club #1, 1976)
1959 ● Brian Travers → Saxophonist for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Steve Bronski → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1962 ● David Bryan (Rashbaum) → Keyboardist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), has released two solo prog rock albums
1962 ● Deborah Bonham → English rock and blues vocalist, released two UK and one US albums, sister of John Bonham, the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin
1962 ● Troyal Garth Brooks → Unparalleled country music superstar, second highest selling US solo albums artist (after Elvis Presley), credited with merging country and honky tonk with rock and pop and delivering a mass audience, scored eight double-double albums (#1 on both Billboard pop and country album charts), top singles include “Friends In Low Places” (Country #1, 1990) and “Lost In You” (#5, 1999)
1968 ● Sully Erna → Guitar and vocals for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1974 ● Danny Goffey → Drummer for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1974 ● J Dilla (James Dewitt Yancey, aka Jay Dee) → Influential hip hop producer and MC, worked with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes, died on 2/10/2006 of a rare blood disease at his home in L.A.
1975 ● Wesley Borland → Guitarist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)

February 08

1899 ● Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson → New Orleans blues and jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter, recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos, “Tomorrow Night” (#19, R&B #7, 1948), hit by a car on a Toronto sidewalk in Match 1969 and suffered a stroke in August 1969, died from complications of the two on 6/16/1970, age 71
1931 ● James Dean (Byron) → Actor, teen idol and cultural icon, signature films were Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), killed in a car crash at age 25 on a Salinas, CA highway on 9/30/1955, age 24
1932 ● John Williams → Composer, conductor, pianist, 5-time Academy Award and 22-time Grammy winner, composed some of the most well-known and enduring film scores in the history of American cinema, including Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and others, plus theme music for four Olympic Games, sports and news programs, TV series, and classical and orchestral works, former principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, released nearly 400 albums and placed four tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Star Wars Theme” (#10, 1977)
1936 ● Larry Verrne → One hit wonder novelty song singer, “Mr. Custer” (#1, R&B #9, 1960), left the music industry and became a Hollywood set designer, died from heart failure on 10/8/2013, age 77
1938 ● Ray Sharpe → Country-western, blues and rockabilly singer, guitarist and songwriter with multiple singles but only one minor hit, “Linda Lu” (#46, 1959) which was covered by The Rolling Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, Tom Jones and others, later released singles recorded with King Curtis and Jimi Hendrix as a session guitarist, continues to perform in the Fort Worth,, TX area
1941 ● Tom Rush → Early and influential, genre-defining singer/songwriter of folk, blues and light pop mix, his “No Regrets” (1968) is a folk-rock standard
1942 ● Terry Melcher (Jordan) → Son of actress Doris Day, vocalist with 60s surf rock the Rip Chords (“Hey Little Cobra,” #4, 1964) and then record producer best known for The Byrds‘ two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (both #1, 1965), plus songs and albums by The Beach Boys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Mamas & The Papas, Glen Campbell and others, producer of two of his mother’s TV shows, died from melanoma on 11/19/2004, age 62
1943 ● Creed Bratton (William Charles Schneider) → Guitarist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968) plus thirteen other Top 40 hits, solo pop-rock artist, film and TV actor, including The Office
1946 ● Adolpho “Fito” de la Parra → Drummer for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968)
1946 ● Paul Wheatbread → Drummer for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Danny Wayland “Dan” Seals → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” (#2, 1976), then solo country star with eleven #1 country hits, brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts, died of complications of mantle cell lymphoma on 3/25/2009, age 61
1948 ● Ron Tyson → Journeyman R&B vocalist and songwriter credited with composing over 200 songs in the Philly-soul style, worked with various R&B groups through the 70s, joined The Temptations in 1983 as vocalist and sang lead on a number of hits, including “Sail Away” (#54, R&B #13, 1983), continues with the group in he 10s and has issued several solo albums
1961 ● Sam Llanas → Founder, guitar and vocals for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Vince Neil (Wharton) → Vocals for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989) and solo, “Sister Of Pain” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1993)
1962 ● Ken McCluskey → Harmonica and vocals for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1968 ● Tjinder Singh → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1971 ● Will Turpin → Bass and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, “Shine” (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1974 ● Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo → DJ for French progressive dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), remixed for Gabrielle and Chemical Brothers
1977 ● David Michael “Phoenix” Farrell → Bassist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (#2, Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1980 ● Cameron Muncey → Guitarist for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1983 ● Jim Verraros → Pop-rock singer and entertainer, Top 10 finalist in first season of American Idol, solo singing career, “You Turn It On” (Dance/Club #21, 2005)
1985 ● Jeremy Davis → Bassist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)
1994 ● Nicole “Nikki” Yanofsky → Canadian jazz-pop singer, festival and TV entertainer, recorded “Gotta Go My Own Way” for High School Musical 2, has multiple hits including “I Believe” (Canada #1, 2010), sang the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

February 09

1909 ● Carmen Miranda → The “Brazilian Bombshell,” samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress and film star whose trademark fruit-basket headdress and exotic outfits belied her considerable talents, first Brazilian to achieve international stardom and first to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, generally credited with exposing Latin culture to a broader audience worldwide, died in her prime from a heart attack on 8/5/1955, age 46
1914 ● Ernest Tubb → Legendary singer, songwriter and pioneer of modern country music, first of the honky tonk singers and first to achieve national recognition, scored 91 country chart hits over a 50-year career, including “Soldier’s Last Laugh” (#16, Country #1, 1944) and “Walking The Floor Over You” (#18, Country #31, 1979), died from emphysema on 9/6/1984, age 70
1939 ● Barry Mann (Iberman) → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with his wife, Cynthia Weil, issued novelty pop solo “Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (#7, 1961), wrote “On Broadway”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “Somewhere Out There” among other hits for varied rock and pop artists
1940 ● Brian Bennett → Composer, arranger and producer best known as the drummer for multiple early Brit rock ‘n’ roll bands including instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (worldwide #1, 1960) and pop-rock Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “Foot Tapper” (UK #1, 1963)
1942 ● Carole King (Carol Klein) → Brill Building composer with husband Gerry Goffin, pianist and solo Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “I Feel The Earth Move” (#1, 1971), wrote or co-wrote nearly 120 pop hits recorded by herself and other artists, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “One Fine Day”
1942 ● Marcus Felton “Mark” Mathis → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1943 ● Barbara Lewis → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, “Baby I’m Yours” (#11, R&B #5, 1965)
1947 ● Earle R. “Joe” Ely → Country, honky tonk and rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, first with The Flatlanders, then solo, “Musta Notta Gotta Lotta” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1981), plus session and tour work with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Uncle Tupelo
1947 ● Major Harris → “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul guitarist and singer with numerous groups including The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), then solo, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” (#5, R&B #1, 1975), died from lung and heart failure on 11/8/2012, age 66
1951 ● Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas → Saxophonist for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1955 ● Jimmy Pursey → Founder, frontman and lead vocals for Brit punk rock Sham 69, “Hersham Boys” (UK #6, 1979)
1960 ● William “Holly” Johnson → Lead vocals and founding member of Brit New Wave pop-rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1963 ● Dave Rotheray → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Travis Tritt → Grammy-winning, hatless country and Southern rock singer/songwriter with forty country chart hits and five #1s, including “Foolish Pride” (Country #1, 1994)
1964 ● Rachel Bolan → Founder, bassist and chief songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), also worked with Ace Frehley (of Kiss), Mötley Crüe and stoner metal Godspeed
1981 ● Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan → Founding member, drummer, vocalist and songwriter for heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, wrote “Almost Easy” (Mainstream #3, 2007) and other hits prior to the band’s peak years in the 10s, died from an overdose of pain killers an alcohol on 12/28/2009, age 28

February 10

1914 ● Larry Adler → Harmonica virtuoso, soloist with major symphony orchestras worldwide, session work varied artists from Fred Astaire to George Gershwin to Elton John, Kate Bush and Sting, fronted the 1994 all-star tribute album Glory Of Gershwin, died of natural causes on 8/7/2001, age 87
1929 ● Jerry Goldsmith → Highly-regarded, prolific film score composer/conductor for movies and TV, including Dr. Kildare, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., died from cancer on 7/21/2004, age 75
1933 ● Don Wilson → Co-founder and guitarist for long-lived, unique-sound rock ‘n’ roll instrumental surf-rock The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Roberta Flack → Sweet-voiced, Grammy-winning R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter with multiple hits including, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (#1, 1973), plus duets with Donny Hathaway including “Where Is The Love” (#5, 1972)
1940 ● Jimmy Merchant → Founding member and second tenor vocals for influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956)
1943 ● Ralph Stuart “Ral” DonnerElvis Presley sound-alike early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)” (#4, 1961), died of cancer on 4/6/1984, age 41
1944 ● Nathaniel Mayer → Teenaged one hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “Village Of Love” (#22, R&B #10, 1962), disappeared but resurfaced in 2004 with a new album, continued to perform in the Detroit area until his death following a series of stokes on 11/1/2008, age 64
1944 ● Peter Allen (Woolnough) → Aussie singer, cabaret dancer, film and stage actor, and songwriter, wrote or co-wrote several hits for others, including “I Honestly Love You” for Olivia Newton-John (#1, 1974)”I Go To Rio” for Pablo Cruise (#46, 1979) and the Academy Award-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do” for Christopher Cross (#1, 1981), issued eight studio albums and was the subject of the posthumous documentary The Boy From Oz (1998), died from AIDS-relegated illnesses on 6/18/1992, age 48
1946 ● Clifford T. Ward → Brit folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Gaye” (UK #8, 1973), died from pneumonia on 12/18/2001, age 55
1949 ● Nigel Olsson → Drummer for Brit psych-pop Plastic Penny, “Everything I Am” (UK #6, 1968), then original drummer in the Elton John Band, sessions
1962 ● Cliff Burton → First bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), was killed when the band’s tour bus crashed in Sweden on 9/27/1986, age 24
1962 ● Robbie Neville → Next generation member (son and nephew) in New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1963 ● Tony Reno (Niemistö) → Original drummer for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo, now a computer technician
1977 ● Rosanna Tavarez → Vocals for pre-fab, all-girl, teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group

February 11

1882 ● John Mills, Sr. → Patriarch of the four sons who formed six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), took his deceased son, John Jr.‘s place after he died in 1936 and performed with the group until just prior to his death on 12/8/1957, age 85
1914 ● Josh White → Influential folk revival and Piedmont blues guitarist and songwriter, recorded under pseudonyms “Pinewood Tom” and “Tippy Barton” in 30s, became a social activist for Afro-American musicians, hosted US and UK music TV shows, died during open heart surgery on 9/6/1969, age 55
1914 ● Matt Dennis → Big Band-era songwriter, pianist and singer with a string of albums and radio and TV appearances in his later career, started in Hollywood night clubs in the 20s and 30s, composed and arranged for Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller‘s orchestras in the 40s, fronted his own bands in the 50s, wrote the now-standard “Angel Eyes” (1946) and other songs covered by Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Roberta Flack and others, died of natural causes on 6/21/2002, age 88
1928 ● Raoul Cita → Pianist, songwriter and arranger for critically recognized but commercially little known R&B/doo wop The Harptones (“Life Is But A Dream,” 1955), performed with the group for over 60 years until his death from liver and stomach cancer on 12/13/2014, age 86
1935 ● Gene Vincent (Vincent Eugene Craddock) → Early and legendary rock ‘n’ roll/rockabilly singer and bandleader with His Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (#7, 1956), died from a ruptured stomach ulcer on 10/12/1971, age 36
1939 ● Gerry Goffin → Brill Building songwriter and lyricist, with wife Carole King co-wrote over 20 classic pop-rock hits and six chart toppers, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (Bobby Vee) and “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva), died on 6/19/2014, age 75
1940 ● Bobby “Boris” Pickett → One hit wonder novelty pop bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962), died from complications of leukemia on 4/25/2007, age 67
1941 ● Earl Lewis → Bass vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), then The Five Echoes
1941 ● Sergio Mendes → Brazilian bossa nova, jazz and funk keyboardist and bandleader for Brasil ’66, “The Foot Of The Hill” (#6, 1968)
1942 ● Leon Haywood → R&B/funk and soul singer with several singles and stints with various bands in the 60s with little commercial success, scored several R&B hits on the 70s, including “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” (#15, R&B #7, 1975) but stopped recording and turned to record production in the 80s for Edge Records and his own Evejim label
1942 ● Otis Clay → Gospel, soul and Chicago blues singer with numerous minor hits, including “Trying To Live My Life Without You” (#102, R&B #24, 1972) but little resounding success, was a 2013 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame and continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 1/8/2016, age 73
1943 ● Little Johnny Taylor (Merrett) → Gospel turned R&B/soul and blues singer with one big hit (“Part Time Love,” #19, R&B #1, 1963) and eight other minor chart singles in the 60s and 70s, continued to tour and perform until his death on 5/17/2002, age 59
1946 ● Ray Lake → Guitarist for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1947 ● Derek Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member with brothers Ray and Phil of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant, senior executive positions with PolyGram, Atco and Roadrunner record companies
1948 ● Al Johnson → R&B/soul singer and music producer, co-founder of smooth harmony soul quintet The Unifics and lead singer on their two Top 40 hits, “Court Of Love” (#25, R&B #3, 1968) and “The Beginning Of My End” (#36, R&B #9, 1969), turned to a mildly successful solo career and record production in the 80s, reformed The Unifics in 2004, died on 10/26/2013, age 65
1950 ● Rochelle Fleming → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1953 ● Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin → Trumpet and flugelhorn for the Saturday Night Live house band, the Blues Brothers Band, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979) and hundreds of studio sessions with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Aerosmith and many others, died from lung cancer on 6/8/2011 , age 58
1953 ● Neil Henderson → Joined Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971) in 1974, wrote “Rockin’ Soul” (Germany #31, 1974)
1962 ● Sheryl Crow → Former backing vocalist for Michael Jackson‘s “Bad” tour turned nine-time Grammy-winning roots rock singer/songwriter, “All I Wanna Do” (#2, 1994) and eight other Top 40 hits
1966 ● Tenor Saw (Clive Bright) → Early ragga and dancehall reggae singer, “Ring The Alarm” (1985), killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 1988
1967 ● Clay Crosse (Walter Clayton Crossnoe) → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and multiple Dove Award winner, “I Will Follow Christ” (2000)
1969 ● Shovell (Andrew Lovell) → Jamaican-born percussionist for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1972 ● Craig Jones → Sampler and keyboardist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1974 ● D’Angelo (Michael Archer) → Early and influential 90s R&B/neo-soul singer, “Lady” (#10, 1996), Grammy-winner for “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” (#25, R&B #2, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Shinoda → Guitar and vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Brandy (Norwood) → Teen pop then R&B/neo-soul-pop star, “Sittin’ Up In My Room” (#2, 1996), songwriter, TV actress, record and film producer
1981 ● Kelendria Trene “Kelly” Rowland → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), solo artist and actress
1984 ● Aubrey O’Day → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)
1991 ● Never Shout Never (Christofer Drew Ingle) → Multi-instrumentalist one man band acoustic pop singer/songwriter, “Trouble” (Singles Sales #1, 2009)

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (January 29 – February 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 29

1923 ● Ivo Robić → Croatian film actor and pop music singer with domestic and international presence for over 50 years, best known for his collaboration with Bert Kaempfert, “Morgen” (“Tomorrow”) the German-language version of which became a hit #13 pop hit in the U.S. in 1959, an English version was a minor hit for Leslie Uggams and an instrumental version opened surf-rock The Ventures‘ first album, Walk, Don’t Run (1960), died from cancer on 3/9/2000, age 77
1933 ● Alexandre “Sacha” Distel → French jazz-pop singer, guitarist, TV actor and songwriter, wrote Tony Bennett‘s “The Good Life” (#18, 1965), died following years of failing health on 7/22/2004, age 71
1934 ● Ann Cole (Cynthia Coleman) → Early R&B, jump jazz and gospel singer voted Most Promising Female R&B Vocals in 1956 but had the misfortune of being ahead of her time, cut numerous songs on different labels in the 50s and 60s but had only one Pop chart hit, “Don’t Stop The Wedding” (#98, 1962) and three R&B chart Top 25 hits, including “In The Chapel” (R&B #14, 1957), confined to a wheelchair following a 1966 car accident and died on 11/30/1986, age 52
1934 ● Noel Harrison → Actor, 50s Olympic skier, son of Brit actor Rex Harrison and pop singer with the Academy Award-winning “The Windmills Of Your Mind” (1968) and several other, minor U.S. hits, acted in films and on stage, produced movies and shows, and continued to record and perform until his career was ended by heart attack on 10/19/2013, age 79
1936 ● James Jamerson → Bassist in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 8/2/1983, age 47
1942 ● Claudine Longet → French singer, actress and socialite with several minor US singles, including “Hello, Hello” (#91, AC #8, 1967) but best known as the former wife of crooner Andy Williams and for her conviction in the misdemeanor negligent homicide of her boyfriend, Olympic skier Spider Sabich in 1976
1943 ● Kenneth “Tony” Blackburn → Brit light pop singer, “So Much Love” (UK Top 40, 1969), then pirate radio and first BBC Radio 1 disc jockey
1943 ● Mark Wynter (Terry Lewis) → Early 60s, pre-Beatles Brit pop-rock singer, “Venus In Blue Jeans” (UK #4, 1962)
1944 ● Andrew Loog OldhamThe Rolling Stones‘ first manager, producer and promoter, 1964-68, launched the Immediate Records label in 1965 which enjoyed 24 UK Top 50 hits with artists like Jimmy Page, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, The Nice, Rod Stewart and others
1947 ● David Byron (David Garrick) → Lead singer for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), fired for erratic behavior in 1976, went solo but died of alcohol-induced liver failure on 2/28/1985, age 38
1949 ● Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyl or Erdélyi Tamás) → Hungarian-born record producer and musician, co-wrote songs and played drums for seminal punk rock band The Ramones (“Rockaway Beach,” #66, 1978) and later produced several of their albums plus those by other artists, died from bile duct cancer on 7/11/2014, age 65
1953 ● Louie Perez → Guitar and vocals for Grammy-winning Chicano/roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987), then Latin Playboys and Seguida
1954 ● Rob Manzoli → Vocals and guitar for Euro-dance-pop trio Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy” (#1, 1992)
1961 ● David Baynton-Power → Drummer for Brit folk-pop alt rock James, “Laid” (Modern Rock #3, 1993)
1961 ● Eddie Jackson → Bassist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1961 ● Pauline Henry → Lead vocals for dance-pop trio The Chimes, “1-2-3” (Dance/Club #1, 1990)
1962 ● Marcus Charles Vere → Synthesizer and keyboards for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1964 ● Roddy Frame → Founder, leader, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Scot New Wave pop-rock Aztec Camera, “The Crying Scene” (Modern Rock #3, 1990)
1968 ● Richard Battersby → Drummer for hard rock/raunchy The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Jonny Lang (Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr.) → Teenage prodigy blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Still Rainin'” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1998)
1982 ● Adam Lambert → Flamboyant, androgynous stage actor, American Idol runner-up (2009) and neo-goth pop singer, “Whataya Want From Me” (#10, 2010)
1987 ● Ashley Grace Pérez Mosa → Mexican-American singer and songwriter, with sister Hanna in contemporary Latin pop-rock duo Ha*Ash, “No Te Quiero Nada” (Latin Pop #6, 2008)

January 30

1928 ● Mitch Leigh (Irwin Michnick) → Pop music composer who transitioned from advertising jingles to Broadway musical composition and production, best known as part of the three-man team that wrote and produced the long-running (2,328 performances) show Man Of La Mancha (1965) and the now-standard song “The Impossible Dream,” died from natural causes on 3/16/2014, age 86
1936 ● Horst Jankowski → German pianist and composer of easy listening and light space rock pop pieces, “A Walk In The Black Forest” (#12, 1965), died of cancer on 6/29/1998, age 62
1941 ● Joe Terranova → Baritone and bass vocalist for rock ‘n roll Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958)
1942 ● Marty Balin (Martyn Jere Buchwald) → Vocals and guitar for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit” (#8, 1967), then mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), then light pop-rock solo career, “Hearts” (# 8, 1981)
1943 ● Sandy Deane (Yaguda) → Founding member and vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits, continues to tour with the group on the oldies circuit into the 10s
1947 ● Steve Marriott → Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, founder and leader of Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then blues-rock Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972) and solo, died in a house fire on 4/20/1991, age 44
1949 ● William King → Trumpet, guitar and synthesizers for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978) and “Nightshift” (#3, 1985)
1951 ● Clifford Leon “Andy” Anderson → Session drummer briefly as a full member of post-punk goth rock The Curee, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983), worked with Hawkwind, Iggy Pop, the Steve Hillage Band, Peter Gabriel, Mike Oldfield and others
1951 ● Marv Ross → Guitarist for sax pop-rock Quarterflash, “Harden My Heart” (#3, 1981)
1951 ● Phil Collins → Drums, piano, vocals and songwriter for prog-rock Genesis, “Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), then pop-adult contemporary solo career, “A Groovy Kind Of Love ” (#1, 1988), TV and stage actor
1952 ● Steve Bartek → At age 16 played flute and percussion on first album by Strawberry Alarm Clock but couldn’t join the band (too young), joined 80s New Wave ska-revival quirky synth-pop Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1959 ● Jody Watley → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer, first as lead vocals for disco trio Shalamar, “The Second Time Around” (#8, 1979), then solo “Real Love” (#1, 1987), wrote “Sweet Sixteen” for Destiny’s Child, record producer, founder of Avitone Records, fashion designer and fitness DVD host
1959 ● Mark Eitzel → Guitarist, singer, chief songwriter and frontman for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear), disbanded AMC for a jazz-pop solo career
1959 ● Steve Augeri → Rock ballad and arena rock singer with multiple bands in the 80s, joined arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981) in 1998, resumed a solo career in 2010
1964 ● Angie Stone (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/neo-soul singer, songwriter, keyboardist with urban soul-pop Vertical Hold, “Seems You’re Much Too Busy” (Top 40, 1993) then solo, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” (Dance/Club #1, 2002), has written hits for Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo
1964 ● Marcel Karl Jacob → Swedish bass guitarist in hard rock/melodic metal Talisman and Last Autumn’s Dream, committed suicide on 7/21/2009, age 45

January 31

1906 ● Roosevelt “The Honeydripper” Sykes → Boogie-blues piano player, known for pounding 8-bar rhythms and risqué lyrics, wrote several blues standards, including “Night Time Is The Right Time” (1937), died from a heart attack on 7/17/1983, age 77
1921 ● Mario Lanza (Alfredo Arnold Cocozza) → Critically-acclaimed 1940s opera tenor, post-WW II film actor and 50s pop singer with “Drinking Song” (#1, 1955), the million-selling hit from his movie The Student Prince (1954), moved to Italy in 1956 and died of a pulmonary embolism on 10/7/1959, age 38
1928 ● Harold “Chuck” Willis → The “King of the Stroll”, R&B/blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his cover of “C.C. Rider” (#12, R&B #1, 1957), also wrote and recorded his own compositions, died from peritonitis on 4/10/1958, age 30
1936 ● Marvin Junior → Lead baritone and lead vocals for 60-year R&B/doo wop, soul-funk and disco The Dells, “Oh What A Nite” (R&B #4, 1956) and the re-recording “Oh What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), continued to record and perform with the group through the early 10s, died in his sleep on 1/23/1998, age 77
1944 ● Charlie Musselwhite → Electric blues harmonica player and bandleader who came to prominence among other non-black blues artists in the Chicago blues movement of the 60s, over the decades released more than 20 albums and achieved recognition as “one of the top blues harp players of all time,” won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album in 2014 for his collaboration LP with Ben Harper, Get Up! (2013)
1946 ● Terry Kath → Founder and guitarist for pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972), accidentally shot himself dead in game of Russian Roulette on 1/23/1978, age 31
1948 ● Paul Jabara → Lebanese-American stage and film actor and pop music singer and songwriter, wrote the Academy Award-winning “Last Dance” for Donna Summer (#3, 1978) and co-wrote “It’s Raining Men” for The Weather Girls (#46, Disco #1, 1982) among other hits, died from complications of AIDS on 9/29/1992, age 44
1951 ● Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey → Founder and frontman 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
1951 ● Phil Manzanera (Targett-Adams) → Lead guitarist from 1972-83 for prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), then solo and collaborative work with Steve Winwood, David Gilmour and others, wrote 14-part radio program The A-Z Of Great Guitarists
1952 ● William “Curly” Smith → Drummer for hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), then sessions, played with reunited psych-rock Spirit and arena rock Boston between 1994 and 2000
1954 ● Adrian Vandenburg (Adje Van Den Berg) → Dutch guitarist and co-writer for hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), painter
1956 ● Johnny Rotten (John Joseph Lydon) → Lead singer for premier punk rockers the Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), then founded post-punk Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983)
1961 ● Lloyd Cole → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985), solo
1964 ● Jeff Hanneman → Co-founder, lead guitar and songwriter for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009), died from alcohol-induced liver failure on 5/2/2013, age 49
1966 ● Al Doughty (Alan Jaworski) → Bassist for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1967 ● Chad Channing → First drummer for grunge rock Nirvana, played on debut indie label album Bleach, left the band in 1990, worked with The Methodists, East Of The Equator and Redband, now with Before Cars
1967 ● Jason Cooper → Joined post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “The 13th” (Hot Dance #11, 1996) in 1995
1967 ● Michael John “Fat Mike” Burkett → Founder and bassist for punk-pop NOFX and punk cover band Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, founded independent record label Fat Wreck Chords and the 2004 anti-George W. Bush crusade Rock Against Bush
1970 ● Amelia Fiona “Minnie” Driver → Grammy- and Emmy-nominated film and TV actress, singer and songwriter, light pop 2004 album Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket
1981 ● Justin Timberlake → Vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), multi-platinum solo vocalist, “Cry Me A River” (#3, 2003), TV actor, tabloid star
1987 ● Marcus Mumford → Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

February 01

1934 ● Bob Shane → Vocals and guitar for folk-pop The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” (#1, 1958) and nine other Top 40 hits
1937 ● Don Everly → Singer with younger brother Phil in folk-rock The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits
1937 ● Ray “Dr. Hook” Sawyer → Frontman and vocals for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1938 ● Jimmy Carl Black (James Inkanish, Jr.) → Drummer and vocals for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), toured with Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, died from lung cancer on 11/1/2008, age 70
1939 ● Delano Floyd “Del” McCroury → Influential, Grammy-winning bluegrass musician and bandleader, winner of a National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts and over 30 awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, worked with such varied acts as Phish, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Earle and others
1939 ● Joe Sample → Jazz-fusion keyboardist and composer with The Jazz Crusaders (The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979),then solo, died from mesothelioma on 9/12/2014, age 75
1947 ● Norman John “Normie” Rowe → Top Australian pop singer of the early 60s, “Que Sera Sera” (AUS #1, 1965), drafted into military service and failed to regain his popularity following discharge
1948 ● Rick James (James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.) → R&B/disco vocalist, dancer and bandleader, “Super Freak” (#16, 1981), plus 3 other R&B #1 hits in the 70s and 80s, found dead at home of cardiac failure on 8/6/2004, age 56
1950 ● Mike Campbell → Guitarist and long-time key collaborator with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989), co-songwriter with Don Henley and others, producer, member of Mudcrutch
1951 ● Fran Christina → Drummer for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1951 ● Rich Williams → One-eyed lead guitarist and occasional co-writer for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1976)
1957 ● Dennis Brown → The “Crown Prince of Reggae”, prolific reggae/lovers rock singer, “Money In My Pocket” (UK #14, 1977), died from complications of a heart attack and cocaine abuse on 7/1/1999, age 42
1964 ● Dwyane Goettel → Classically-trained keyboardist for Canadian avant-industrial rock Skinny Puppy (“Testure,” Dance/Club #19, 1989) and multiple spin-off/side projects, died from a heroin overdose on 8/23/1995, age 31
1964 ● Jani Lane (John Kennedy Oswald) → Lead singer for glam-rock/pop-metal Warrant, “Heaven” (#2, 1989), solo
1968 ● Lisa Marie Presley → The “Princess of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” only child of Elvis, occasional TV actor and pop singer, “Lights Out” (Adult Top 40 #18, 2003), married Michael Jackson in 1994, divorced on 12/10/1995
1969 ● Patrick Wilson → Drummer for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005), now fronts The Special Goodness and has toured with Elton John since 1994
1971 ● Ron Welty → Drummer for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997), left to form alt rock Steady Ground in 2003
1975 ● Big Boi (Antwan Andre Patton) → Rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor, half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004)
1978 ● Jeff Conrad → Drummer for pop-rock Big City Rock then power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002)
1990 ● Laura Marling → Brit neo-folk singer and songwriter, solo and collaboration with indie folk Noah And The Whale, “5 Years Time” (UK #7, 2007)
1994 ● Harry Styles → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

February 02

1927 ● Stan Getz → Renowned jazz tenor saxophonist known as “The Sound” for his light and lyrical melodies and improvisations, won eleven Grammy Awards, including one for the worldwide bossa nova hit “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, 1964), died from liver cancer on 6/6/1991, age 64
1932 ● Arthur Lyman → The “King of Lounge Music,” jazz-pop and easy listening vibraphonist considered instrumental in crafting the sound of exotica, popularizing the relaxing faux-Polynesian music during the 50s and 60s with tunes like “Taboo” (#6, 1959) and “Yellow Bird” (#10, 1961), continued to perform until his death from throat cancer on 2/24/2002, age 70
1940 ● Alan Caddy → Guitarist for Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados, “Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, then solo and sessions for Kiki Dee, The Pretty Things, Spencer Davis Group, Dusty Springfield and others, died from the effects of long-term alcoholism on 8/16/2000, age 60
1940 ● Odell Brown → Soul, jazz and funk keyboardist, bandleader and session musician at Chess Records and other labels, played with Minnie Riperton, Curtis Mayfield and others, co-wrote and won two Grammy Awards with Marvin Gayee for “Sexual Healing” (#3, R&B #1, 1982), died on 5/3/2011, age 71
1941 ● Corey Wells (Emil Lewandowski) → Co-founder and one of three lead vocalists for top-tier pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and ten other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1974, performed with various incarnations of the band until just before his death on 10/20/2015, age 74
1942 ● Graham Nash → Guitarist, singer and songwriter with pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966), left in 1968 to found Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), duets with David Crosby, solo
1943 ● Peter Macbeth (McGrath) → Bass guitar for Brit blue-eyed R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1945 ● Ronald Goodson → Trumpets for blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968), died 11/4/1980
1946 ● Homer Howard Bellamy → Guitar, mandolin and vocals for country-pop sibling duo The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (#1, 1976)
1947 ● Peter P. Lucia, Jr. → Drummer for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later co-wrote psych-pop “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Alan McKay → Guitarist for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1949 ● Ross Valory → Bassist in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1974), then Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981)
1963 ● Eva Cassidy → Mixed-genre vocal interpreter of American classics and pop tunes including “Over The Rainbow” (1992), had three UK #1 albums posthumously, died from cancer on 11/2/1996
1964 ● Charlie Heather → Drummer for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1966 ● Robert DeLeo → Bassist for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994)
1966 ● Steve Firth → Bassist for post-Brit-pop Embrace, “Natures Law” (Download #2, 2006)
1969 ● John Spence → Original vocalist for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997), committed suicide on 12/21/1987 before the band’s first audition with a record company
1971 ● Ben Mize → Drummer for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1975 ● Billy Mohler → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001)
1977 ● Shakira Isabell Mebarak Ripoll → Colombian-born R&B/contemporary pop singer, “Hips Don’t Lie” (worldwide #1, 2006)

February 03

1920 ● Russell Lee Arms → One hit wonder pop singer (“Cinco Robles (Five Oaks),” #22, 1957) and sometime 60s TV actor best known as a house vocalist on Your Hit Parade, the 50s weekly NBC radio and TV musical variety show where a cast of regulars performed the popular hits of the day, died from natural causes on 2/13/2012, age 92
1928 ● Frankie Vaughan (Frank Abelson) → Brit film actor and popular singer known as “Mr. Moonlight”, recorded over 80 singles, including “Green Door” (UK #2, 1956), died 9/17/1999 of heart failure
1928 ● Michael Valentine “Val” Doonican → Irish folk-pop/easy listening singer and TV host, “Walk Tall” (UK #3, 1964)
1935 ● Johnny “Guitar” Watson → Electric blues guitarist and songwriter, “Space Guitar” (1954) turned R&B/funk-rocker, “A Real Mother For Ya” (#41, R&B #5, 1977), collapsed and died on stage in Japan on 5/17/1996
1936 ● James J. Marshall → Grammy-winning rock music photographer famous for shooting Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire and iconic scenes at Woodstock among hundreds of photos on album covers and in music magazines, received a posthumous Grammy Award in 2014, the only photographer ever so honored, died in his sleep on 3/24/2010, age 74
1939 ● Johnny Bristol → R&B/soul singer (“Hang On In There Baby,” #8, R&B #2, 1974), songwriter and producer for Motown Records, co-produced “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#19, R&B #3, 1967) for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell plus tracks for Edwin Starr, The Velvelettes, Jermaine Jackson and others, continued to record into the 90s, died from natural causes on 3/21//2001, age 65
1940 ● Angelo d’Aleo → Vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961)
1943 ● Dennis Edwards → Three-stint member (1968-77, 1979-83, 1992-present) and frequent lead vocalist of R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972)
1943 ● Eric Haydock → Original bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966), fired in 1966 after questioning the manager’s honesty, started unsuccessful solo career
1943 ● Neil Bogart → Record company executive with Cameo-Parkway and Buddha Records, key player in the rise of 60s/70s bubblegum pop, co-founded Casablanca Records in 1973, signed Kiss, T. Rex and others, but the label became associated with the disco craze with acts like Donna Summer and The Village People, died of lymphoma on 5/8/1982
1943 ● Shawn Phillips → 60s folk-rock pioneer singer/songwriter, collaborated with Donovan, sang on The Beatles‘ “Lovely Rita (Meter Maid)”, issued light space rock albums and singles in the 70s, including “Lost Horizon” (#63, 1973)
1945 ● Johnny Cymbal (John Hendry Blair) → Scottish-born pop singer, songwriter and producer, sang “Mr. Bass Man” (#16, 1963) as himself and “Cinnamon” (#11, 1968) using his brother’s name, Derek, later a country songwriter based in Nashville, died of a heart attack on 3/16/1993
1946 ● Stan Webb → Guitar, vocals and frontman for Brit blues-rock Chicken Shack (featured keyboard player and future Fleetwood Mac member Christine Perfect), “I’d Rather Go Blind” (UK #14, 1969)
1947 ● Dave Davies → Founder (with brother Ray), lead guitarist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), #88 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists list
1947 ● Melanie Safka → 60s folk-pop “flower power” singer, songwriter and Woodstock veteran, “Brand New Key” (#1, 1971) and five other early 70s Top 40 hits
1949 ● Arthur “Killer” Kane → Bass guitar for proto-glam-rock New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), died 7/13/2004 from complications from leukemia
1951 ● Jeanette Hutchinson → Vocals for R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1956 ● Lee Ranaldo → Co-founder and guitarist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1959 ● Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst → Founding member and former drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992), left in 1989, currently with wife Cindy Levinson in alt rock Levinhurst
1960 ● Tim Chandler → Bassist in alternative Christian rock bands Daniel Amos, The Swirling Eddies and The Choir
1965 ● Nick Hawkins → Guitarist for Big Audio Dynamite II, “Rush” (Modern Rock #1, 1991), left in 1997 for solo writing and production career, died of heart attack on 10/10/2005
1970 ● Richie Kotzen → Guitarist for glam-metal Poison, “Stand” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1993), then joined pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big and jazz-rock fusion Vert with former Return To Forever rhythm section Stanley Clarke and Lenny White
1982 ● Jessica Harp → With Michelle Branch, one half of the country-pop duo The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006), briefly solo then retired in 2010 to concentrate on songwriting for other artists
1990 ● Sean Kingston (Kisean Jamal Anderson) → Jamaican-born dancehall/reggae-pop rapper, “Beautiful Girls” (#1, 2007)

February 04

1929 ● Paul Burlison → Pioneer rockabilly guitarist and founding member of The Rock And Roll Trio with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, left the music business to become an electrical contractor when their several singles met with little success, stayed out of the business until the rockabilly revival of the 90s, continued with parallel careers until his death from colon caner on 9/27/2003, age 74
1941 ● John Steel → Original drummer for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left in 1966
1943 ● Barry Edward Beckett → Keyboardist, session musician, record producer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also toured with Traffic and produced albums by ‘Bob Dylan and others, died from natural causes on 6/10/2009
1943 ● Jimmy Johnson → Guitarist, session musician, recording engineer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also engineered The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album, among others
1944 ● Florence LaRue → Vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Marguerite “Margie” Ganser → With twin sister Mary Ann, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of breast cancer on 7/28/1996
1947 ● Mary Ann Ganser → With twin sister Margie, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of a drug overdose on 3/14/1970
1948 ● Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) → Singer and frontman for campy glam-rock the Earwigs and Alice Cooper Band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972)
1950 ● James Dunn → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Phil Ehart → Co-founder, continuous member and drummer for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), now manages the group’s affairs
1952 ● Jerry Shirley → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972), sessions and collaborations, re-formed Humble Pie in 80s
1960 ● Matthieu Hartley → Original keyboardist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1960 ● Tim Booth → Founding member and lead singer for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (Modern Rock #3, 1994), left in 2001 solo career, rejoined in 2007
1962 ● Clint Black → Trad-country-pop crossover guitarist and singer/songwriter, “When I Said I Do” (#31, Country #1, 1999)
1963 ● Kevin Samuel “Noodles” Wasserman → Lead guitar and backing vocals for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1968 ● Steve Queralt → Bassist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1975 ● Natalie Imbruglia → Aussie-born actress, model and alt pop-rock singer, “Torn” (#1, 1997)
1975 ● Rick Burch → Bassist for alt rock/neo-punk Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle” (#5, Adult Top 40 #2, 2002)
1976 ● Cam’ron (Cameron Giles, aka “Killa Cam”) → Grammy-nominated rapper and actor, founded The Diplomats and The U.N., solo, “Oh Boy” (#4, 2002)
1977 ● Gavin DeGraw → Blue-eyed soul and pop-rock singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist, “I Don’t Want To Be” (#10, 2004)
1982 ● Kimberly Wyatt → Singer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress and choreographer best known as a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, left in 2010 and continues to perform fronting Her Majesty & The Wolves

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (January 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 15

1909 ● Gene Krupa → Renowned jazz and big band drummer, composer, bandleader, drum kit developer, mentor and influencer, died from leukemia and heart failure on 10/16/1973, age 64
1920 ● Yvonne “Vonnie” King (Cornelia Yvonne Driggs Burch) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died following a fall at home on 12/13/2009, age 89
1929 ● Earl Hooker → Non-singing, commercially less successful but heralded blues slide guitar virtuoso, both as a sideman and on numerous instrumental albums under his own name, died from tuberculosis on 4/21/1970, age 41
1941 ● Captain Beefheart (Don Glen Vliet, later Don van Vliet) → Innovative, offbeat, satirical, visionary and influential art rock multi-instrumentalist, composer, frontman for The Magic Band and solo, album Trout Mask Replica (1969), died of complications from multiple sclerosis on 12/17/2010, age 69
1942 ● Edward J. “Sonny” Bivins, Jr. → Founding member and songwriter in R&B/doo wop then sweet soul vocal quintet The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, 1976), the only member to sing on every hit and appear on every one of the band’s albums, remained with the group and was its de facto leader at the time of his death on 12/3/2014, age 72
1944 ● Joan Marie Johnson → With her cousins, Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins, founding member of pop musical trio The Dixie Cups, their hit “Chapel Of Love” (#1, UK #22, 1964) knocked The Beatles‘ “Love Me Do” off the U.S. top spot in June 1964, left the group to become a Jehovah’s witness but returned for occasional reunions on the oldies circuit, died from congestive heart failure on 10/2/2016, age 72
1947 ● Pete Waterman → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting and production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1948 ● Ronnie Van Zant → Lead singer and primary lyricist for raunchy Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 29
1951 ● Charo (María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza) → Curvy, zesty and provocative Spanish-American singer, comedienne, dancer and flamenco guitarist with a number of dance-pop hits including “Dance A Little Bit Closer” (Dance #18, 1977) and “España Cañi” (Dance #14, 2008), a long list of film credits and TV appearances, and the signature phrase “cuchi-cuchi”
1951 ● Martha Davis → Vocalist and frontwoman for L.A.-based New Wave smooth pop-rock The Motels, “Only The Lonely” (#9, 1982)
1952 ● Melvyn Gale → Strings for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Boris Blank → Founding member, composer and multi-instrumentalist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1953 ● Douglas Elwin “Duke” Erickson → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1959 ● Peter Trewavas → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1961 ● Stephen Damian O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1965 ● Adam Jones → Grammy-winning Welsh-American songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #75) for Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), visual artist
1967 ● Lisa Velez → Vocals and frontwoman for 80s dance-pop/proto-hip hop Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, “Head To Toe” (#1, 1987)
1974 ● Edith Bowman → Scottish music critic, TV hostess and BBC 1 weekend morning radio DJ
1975 ● Belinda Chapple → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1893 ● Ivor Novello (David Ivor Davies) → Welsh composer, singer, stage and screen actor and popular entertainer, namesake for annual British music awards, died on 3/6/51, age 58

January 16

1908 ● Ethel Merman (Ethel Agnes Zimmerman) → Award-winning theater, film and TV actress, brassy comedienne and belting singer known as the “undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage” and for her many contributions to pop music, including renditions of “I Got Rhythm” and “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” died from a brain tumor on 2/15/1984, age 76
1934 ● Bob Bogle → Founding member and lead guitarist for seminal surfer rock ‘n roll instrumental group The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/14/2009, age 75
1939 ● Ramon “Ray” Phillips → Lead vocals and bass for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Barbara Lynn (Ozen) → Southern R&B guitarist, bandleader, singer and solo artist, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” (#8, 1962)
1942 ● René Angélil → French-Canadian music producer who discovered 12-year old Céline Dion, nurtured her to superstardom (“My Heart Will Go On,” #1, 1997 and fifteen other US Top 40 hits) and then married her, died from throat cancer on 1/14/2016, age 74
1942 ● William Francis → Keyboards for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1943 ● Ronnie Milsap → Six-time Grammy-winning blind country-pop 70s/80s superstar singer and pianist, “Any Day Now” (#14, Country #1, 1982) plus 35 other Country #1 hits
1944 ● Jim Stafford → Country-pop comic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Spiders & Snakes” (#3, 1974) and five other Top 40 hits, also a TV and radio entertainer
1944 ● Katherine Anderson Schaffner → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles
1948 ● John Carpenter → Film score composer, producer, director and screenwriter, including the soundtrack to his film Halloween (1978)
1950 ● Kenji “Damo” Suzuki → Japanese lead vocalist for pioneer Kraut rock group Can, now avant garde/improv group Damo Suzuki’s Network
1957 ● Yan Style (Ian Stile) → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1959 ● Sade (Helen Folasade Adu) → Silky-smooth R&B/quiet storm singer, “Smooth Operator” (#5, 1984)
1962 ● Paul Webb → Bassist for Brit New Romantic synth-pop Talk Talk, “It’s My Life” (#31, 1984)
1965 ● Jill Sobule → One hit wonder 90s indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with the novelty MTV hit “I Kissed A Girl” (#67, Modern Rock #20, 1995)
1966 ● Maxine Jones → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance group En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1970 ● Brendan O’Hare → Drummer for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991), now solo
1976 ● Stuart Fletcher → Bassist for Britpop/indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997)
1979 ● Aaliyah Dana Haughton → Actress, model and teen R&B/club-dance star, “Try Again” (#1, 2000), killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas on 8/25/2001, age 22
1980 ● Luke Alex Broughton → Nephew and current bandmate of Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1981 ● Nick Valensi → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1982 ● Samuel Dylan Murray Preston → Lead singer and guitarist in post-punk/indie pop-rock The Ordinary Boys, “Boys Will Be Boys” (UK ##, 2006)

January 17

1927 ● Eartha Kitt → Slinky actress, 40s/50s cabaret star and multi-decade throaty-purr singer, “Where Is My Man” (Dance/Club #7, 1983), died from colon cancer on 12/25/2008, age 81
1933 ● Dalida (Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti) → Egyptian-born French pop singer and one of the most successful female pop artists of all time despite having virtually no presence in the U.S., recorded more than 1000 songs in 10 languages and over 75 albums in a 30 year career, died from an intentional prescription drug overdose on 5/3/1987, age 54
1943 ● Chris Montez (Ezekiel Christopher Montanez) → One hit wonder rock ‘n roll singer, “Let’s Dance” (#4, 1962), then MOR-pop balladeer, “Call Me” (Easy Listening #2, 1966)
1944 ● Francoise Hardy → French MOR-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “All Over The World” (UK #16, 1965)
1945 ● William “Poogie” Hart → Vocals in R&B/Philly soul The Delfonics, “La-La Means I Love You” (#4, 1968), formed The Three Tenors of Soul in mid-00s
1946 ● Domenic Troiano → Canadian rock guitarist, played lead guitar for Ronnie Hawkins‘ backing band and pop-rock Mandala in the 60s, James Gang (“Walk Away,” #51, 1971) and The Guess Who (“Clap For The Wolfman,” #6, 1974) in the early 70s, and fronted his own band in the late 70s, performed session work and composed film scores in the 80s and 90s, died from prostate cancer on 5/25/2005, age 59
1948 ● Michael Kevin “Mick” Taylor → Guitarist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, joined The Rolling Stones (“Brown Sugar”, #1, 1971) in 1969, left in 1974, session work with Jack Bruce, Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield and Ron Wood
1953 ● Sheila Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Cheryl Bentyne → Vocals in Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1955 ● Steve Earle → Oft-covered, rough-edged country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Guitar Town” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1989)
1956 ● Paul Young → Manchesterian R&B/blue-eyed soul-pop interpretive singer, “Everytime You Go Away” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jeremy “Jez” Strode → Drummer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), independent music equipment lessor
1959 ● Susanna Hoffs → Guitar and vocals for New Wave girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1960 ● John Crawford → Bass and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Dave Collard → Keyboards for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1963 ● Kai Michael Hansen → The “Godfather of Power Metal,” German heavy metal guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, founding member of three seminal German power metal bands, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Unisonic, plus multiple guest appearance with other thrash and power metal bands
1964 ● Andy Rourke → Bassist for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1966 ● Shabba Ranks (Rexton Gordon) → Grammy-winning R&B/dance hall reggae and hip hop singer, “Mr. Loverman” (Dance #2, Hot 100 #40, 1992)
1967 ● Richard Hawley → Guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer, founding member of 90s Britpop Longpigs (“On And On,” Modern Rock #17, UK #16, 1996), later with 00s lineup of alt rock Pulp, released nine solo studio albums through 2012
1971 ● Jon Wysocki → Drummer for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1971 ● Kid Rock (Robert James Ritchie) → White-trash rap-rock superstar, “Picture” (#4, 2003) and ten other Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits
1972 ● Aqualung (Matt Hales) → Contemporary/indie pop singer and songwriter, “Brighter Than Sunshine” (Adult Top 40 #32, UK #37, 2006)
1978 ● Ricky Wilson → Vocals for Britpop/indie rock Kaiser Chiefs, “Ruby” (UK #1, 2007)
1982 ● Alex Varkatzas → Vocals and lyrics for rap-metal Atreyu, “Ex’s And Oh’s” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2006)
1984 ● Calvin Harris (Adam Richard Wiles) → Scottish electropop singer and songwriter, “The Girls” (UK ##, 2007), producer for Kylie Minogue and Dizzee Rascal

January 18

1933 ● Ray Milton Dolby → Billionaire engineer and inventor who helped develop the first audio tape recorder in the late 1940s and prototype video tape recorders in the 1950s for Ampex, invented and marketed the electronic noise reduction system known as Dolby NR for reducing tape hiss in the 60s, died from leukemia on 9/12/2013, age 80
1940 ● Alvis Moorer → With his brother, Gilbert, lead singer in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died on 8/21/2011, age 71
1941 ● Bobby Goldsboro → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Honey” (#1, 1968), children’s TV producer, The Swamp Critters of the Lost Lagoon (1995)
1941 ● David Ruffin → Tenor vocals for the mid-60s lineup of R&B giants The Temptations, sang lead om “My Girl” (#1, 1965), “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (#13, R&B #1, 1968) and eight other Top 20 hits from 1964-68, left the group for a mildly successful solo career, died from drug overdose 6/1/1991, age 50
1943 ● Dave Greenslade → Keyboards and vocals for jazz-blues-rock fusion Colosseum (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), then founded prog-rock Greenslade, solo
1944 ● “Legs” Larry Smith → Drummer for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1953 ● Brett Hudson (Salerno) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), TV producer and script writer
1954 ● Tom Bailey → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), then Babble
1959 ● Bob Rosenberg → Founder and leader of dance-pop/mix music Will To Power, “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Jeremy Healey → Guitar for quirky Brit New Wave synth-pop Haysi Fantayzee, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (UK #11, 1982)
1970 ● DJ Quik (David Martin Blake) → Premier West Coast DJ and rapper, “Tonite” (Hot Rap #3, Hot 100 #49, 1991), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Snoop Dogg and many others
1971 ● Jonathan Davis → Vocals for hard rock/”nu metal” Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1973 ● Crispian “Dodge” Mills (Crispian Boulting) → Frontman, guitar and vocals for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1973 ● Luther Dickinson → Founder (with brother Cody Dickinson), lead vocals and guitar for Grammy-winning Southern blues/rock North Mississippi Allstars, now lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Good Morning Captain” (Mainstream Rock #30, 2009)
1974 ● Christian Burns → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen pop-rock BBMak, “Back Here” (#8, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Tierney → With his older brother, Andrew, and two schoolmates, co-founder and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Richard Archer → Singer and guitarist for indie rock Hard-Fi, “Cash Machine” (Modern Rock #15, 2005)
1980 ● Estelle Swaray → Grammy-winning Brit R&B/hip-hop singer, songwriter and producer, “American Boy” featuring Kanye West (#9, 2008)
1982 ● Quinn Allman → Guitarist in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005)
1983 ● Samantha Mumba → Irish singer, songwriter and actress, “Gotta Tell You” (#4, 2000)

January 19

1926 ● Frederick James “Bob” Wooler → Resident DJ, booking agent and later compère at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, booked The Beatles there in 1961, declined to manage them but introduced them to Brian Epstein, died after a long illness on 2/8/2002, age 76
1935 ● Johnny “The Wild One” O’Keefe → Canadian-born singer, became “Australia’s King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with dozens of Top 10 hits, including “She’s My Baby” (Australia #1, 1960), died of prescription drug overdose and subsequent heart attack on 10/6/1978, age 43
1936 ● Willie “Big Eyes” Smith → Grammy-winning blues harmonica player, drummer, vocalist and bandleader, member of Muddy Waters, backing band and co-founder of supergroup The Legendary Blues Band, toured with John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and others, died from a stroke on 9/16/2011, age 75
1939 ● Phil Everly → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with older brother Don in hugely influential folk-rock duo The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits, several co-written with Don, penned “When Will I Be Loved (Linda Ronstadt, #2, 1975), died of pulmonary disease on 1/3/2014, age 74
1942 ● Michael Crawford (Dumble-Smith) → Actor and singer best known for lead roll in The Phantom Of The Opera, “The Music Of The Night” (Brit Top 10, 1987)
1943 ● Janis Lynn Joplin → Vocals and frontwoman for psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, then solo, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), died form accidental heroin overdose on 10/4/1970, age 27
1944 ● Lawrence “Laurie” London → Brit folk-pop 13-year-old one hit wonder, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#1, 1958)
1944 ● Michelle Ann Marie “Shelley” Fabares → TV actress (The Donna Reed Show, 1958-63, Coach, 1989-97), film star (Girl Happy with Elvis Presley, 1965) and one hit wonder pop singer, “Johnny Angel” (#1, 1962)
1900 ● Trevor Williams → Bass guitarist in Brit cult art rock Audience (“Indian Summer,” #74, 1971), later with pop-rock The Nashville Teens and Irish folk-rock Jonathan Kelly’s Outside, reformed Audience in 2004
1946 ● Dolly Parton → Five-time Grammy-winning country-pop superstar singer, songwriter, actress, TV host and business entrepreneur, “Nine To Five” (#1, 1981), wrote “I Will Always Love You” for herself (Country #1, 1974) and Whitney Houston (#1, 1992)
1947 ● Rod Evans → Early lead vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, sang “Hush” (#4, 1968)
1948 ● Harvey Hinsley → Guitarist for Brit mixed race R&B/soul-funk-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Robert Palmer → Underrated rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with country-blues-rock Vinegar Joe, then supergroup Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and solo, “Addicted to Love” (#1, 1986), died from cardiac arrest on 9/26/2003, age 54
1952 ● Dewey Bunnell → Brit-born guitarist and backing singer for folk-pop trio America, “A Horse With No Name” (#1, 1972), continues to tour and release albums with America bandmate Gerry Beckley in the 10s
1952 ● Eric Leeds → Jazz/funk session saxophonist and flutist, worked with Prince on nine albums as a member of his backing band The Family (now fDeluxe), solo
1953 ● Clive Edwards → Session or full member drummer for numerous hard rock bands, including Medicine Head, UFO, Pat Travers, Wirehead and others
1953 ● Desi Arnaz, Jr. → TV actor and singer, son of comedy team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Dean Paul Martin and classmate Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), owns and operates a ballet company theater in Boulder, CO
1953 ● Michael Boddicker → Film score composer and electronic music sessionman, played synthesizer on Michael Jackson albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous
1955 ● Tony Mansfield → Founding member, singer and guitarist for underrated New Wave electronic synth-pop New Musik, “Living By Numbers” (UK #13, 1980), then producer for Naked Eyes, A-Ha, The B-52’s, others
1957 ● Mickey Virtue → Keyboards for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1963 ● Caron Wheeler → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-disco-hip hop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989 )
1969 ● Trey Lorenz (Lloyd Lorenz Smith) → Back-up singer for Mariah Carey, duet “I’ll Be There” (#1, 1992), then solo, “Someone To Hold” (#19, 1992)
1971 ● John Wozniak → Guitar and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1978 ● John Parker → Double bass, human beatbox and vocals for Brit folk-rock-hip hop one hit wonder Nizlopi, “JCB Song” (UK #1, 2005)

January 20

1888 ● Lead Belly (Huddie William Ledbetter) → Multi-instrumentalist, oft-covered country-blues-folk singer and songwriter, “Goodnight Irene” (1934), died of AMS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on 12/6/1949, age 61
1922 ● Piney Brown (Perry Columbus) → Legendary but unheralded early R&B/blue, ages shouter, songwriter, bandleader and life-long devotee to the blues, issued several albums from the 50s to the 00s but never achieved commercial success or notoriety, died in a nursing home of natural causes on 2/5/2009, age 87
1922 ● Ray Anthony → Trumpeter, bandleader relentless self-promoter and songwriter (“Dragnet” theme song, “The Bunny Hop,” and “Dancing In The Dark”) with a long and prosperous career in 40s and 50s big bands and various 60s-80s music enterprises, recorded the highest selling cover of the theme song from the TV series Peter Gunn (#8, 1959), continues into the 10s as a music label executive
1924 ● Lee Pockriss → Songwriter with hit songs in multiple genres, best known for co-writing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” for Brian Hyland (#1, 1960) and “Johnny Angel” for Shelley Fabares (#1, 1962), worked on Broadway musicals and wrote children’s songs for Sesame Street, died after a long illness on 11/14/2011, age 87
1924 ● Otis Dewey “Slim” Whitman, Jr. → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955), died of heart failure on 6/19/2013, age 89
1929 ● Jean-Jacques Perrey (Jean Leroy) → French electronic music pioneer, early composer of electronic pop albums and user of the Moog synthesizer, his compositions were adapted for use in Disney theme parks, in episodes of The Simpsons and other TV programs, and as an aid to insomniacs which led to ambient music in the 80s, the last of his more than 30 albums, Destination Space (2007) was released when he was nearly 80 years old, died from lung cancer on 11/4/2016, age 87
1931 ● Earl Grant → Pianist, organist and pop and R&B singer with six albums and seven charting hits in the 50s and 60s, including “The End” (#7, 1957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson → Original member and tenor vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), stayed with the group until poor health forced his retirement in 1997, died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001, age 68
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977, age 35
1943 ● Rick Evans → Vocals and lyricist in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1945 ● Eric Stewart → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965), contemporary pop Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” (#22, 1970) and soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975)
1946 ● Jimmy Chambers → Singer with Brit-American R&B/dance-pop Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (#1, 1991)
1947 ● George Grantham → Drummer with country-rock Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1948 ● Melvin Pritchard → Drummer for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died of a heart attack on 1/28/2004, age 56
1952 ● Ian Hill → Bassist with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Paul Stanley (Stanley Harvey Eisen) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) plus three solo albums
1960 ● Scott Thunes → Bassist with Frank Zappa‘s band from 1981 through 1988, also worked with Steve Vai and The Waterboys and currently plays with The Mother Hips
1965 ● Greg Kriesel → Bassist for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1965 ● Heather Small → Lead singer for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1966 ● Tracii Guns (Tracy Richard Ulrich) → Founder and guitarist for glam-metal L. A. Guns, “The Ballad Of Jayne” (#33, 1990) then hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988) and Motörhead, Contraband and Brides Of Destruction
1969 ● Nicky Wire (Nicholas Allen Jones) → Bassist, lyricist and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1969 ● Tina O’Neill → Drummer for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1971 ● Gary Barlow → Frontman, vocals, piano and chief songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), wrote sixteen UK Top 5 hits, eleven UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums for Take That, plus two UK #1 solo singles and a UK #1 solo album,
1978 ● Sidney “Ratboy” Wilson → DJ and turntablist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1979 ● Rob Bourdon → Drummer for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Will Young → Pop singer and inaugural winner of UK TV’s Pop Idol show, “Anything Is Possible/Evergreen” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Nathan Connolly → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)

January 21

1923 ● Frank Virtue → Founder, frontman and guitarist for one hit wonder instrumental pop-rock The Virtues (“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” #5, R&B #27, 1959), later career as a record producer and recording engineer, died on 6/11/1994, age 71
1924 ● Alfred Hawthorne “Benny” Hill → English singer and comedian with a long-running slapstick comedy TV show and several charting comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961) and “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (UK #1, 1971), died from kidney failure on 4/20/1992, age 68
1924 ● Aristotle “Telly” Savalas → Greek-American film star, TV actor (Kojak) and pop singer with two UK #1 songs and a non-charting take-off on his signature line “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, died of cancer on 1/22/1994, age 70
1938 ● Wolfman Jack (Robert Weston Smith) → Legendary gravel-voiced rock ‘n roll radio DJ and TV host, died of heart attack on 7/1/1995, age 57
1941 ● Placido Domingo (Jose Placido Domingo Embil) → Grammy-winning opera tenor and conductor, member of The Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, 1994 Billboard #4 Album, In Concert
1941 ● Richard Pierce “Richie” Havens → Low-screen folk and R&B guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for his appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971), died of a heart attack on 4/22/2013, age 72
1942 ● Edwin Starr (Charles Edwin Hatcher) → Rough, tough and re-inventive R&B/soul-pop-disco singer, “25 Miles” (#6, 1969), then anthemic protest song “War” (#1, 1970), then disco hit “(Eye-To-Eye) Contact” (Disco #1, 1979), died from a heart attack on 4/2/2003, age 61
1942 ● Scott “Mac” Davis → 60s session guitarist turned 70s countrypolitan pop-rock crossover star, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (#1, 1972), wrote “In The Ghetto” (#3, 1969) and “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6, 1970) for Elvis Presley
1945 ● Chris Britton → Guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Ibbotson → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock pioneers The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● Julian Frederick “Pye” Hastings → Scot guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and 40-year frontman for venerable psych-jazz-rock Caravan, “Nine Feet Underground” (1971)
1948 ● Peter Kircher → Mid-80s drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1950 ● Billy Ocean (Leslie Sebastian Charles) → Trinidad-born, UK-based R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984)
1954 ● Nigel Glockler → Drummer for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxonn, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1956 ● Rob Brill → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Vic Reeves (James Roderick Moir) → With Bob Mortimer, one half of Brit comedy/satire act Vic And Bob, then pop-rock The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1965 ● Jam Master Jay (Jason William Mizell) → Founding member of premier hardcore rap trio Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), murdered by an assassin on 10/30/2002, age 37
1965 ● Robert Del Naja (aka “3D” or “D”) → Founding member, MC and singer for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1966 ● Wendy James → Lead singer and Madonna-wannabe frontgal for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), left for a solo career that included an mildly successful LP of songs written for her by Elvis Costello, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears (UK #43, 1993)
1972 ● Cat Power (Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall) → Indie folk- and blues-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor and model, album Moon Pix (1998)
1972 ● Tweet (Charlene Keys) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Oops (Oh My)” featuring Missy Elliott (#7, R&B #1, 2002)
1973 ● Chris Kilmore → Turntables and keyboards for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1976 ● Emma Lee Bunton → Vocals and “Baby Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Nokio (Tamir Ruffin) → Founder, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/urban soul-dance Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), producer for DMX, Torrey Carter and others
1980 ● Benjamin Moody → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (November 6 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 06

1814 ● Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax → Belgian musician and instrument designer, invented the saxophone in 1846, died in poverty from natural causes on 2/4/1894, age 79
1916 ● Ray Conniff → Grammy-winning composer and instrumental pop-easy listening bandleader, “Somewhere My Love (Lara’s Theme)” (#9, 1966), died in a slip-and-fall bathtub accident on 10/12/2002, age 85
1932 ● Stonewall Jackson → Country singer and musician with 22 Country Top 20 hits from 1958 to 1971 and four crossover country-pop singles, including “Waterloo” (#4, Country #1, 1959), successfully sued The Grand Old Opry in Nashville for age discrimination and performed there through the 00s
1933 ● Joseph Pope → With brother Charles and others, vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963) and “There Ain’t Nothing Like Shaggin'” (UK #21, 1987), died on 3/16/1996, age 62
1937 ● Eugene Pitt → Founding member of R&B/doo wop vocal quintet The Jive Five, “My True Story” (#3, 1961)
1938 ● Jim Pike → Vocalist in close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961) and 15 other Top 10 hits
1938 ● P.J. Proby (James Marcus Smith) → Texas-born rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter with a more success in England than at home, “Hold Me” (#70, UK #3, 1964), cabaret actor
1941 ● Doug Sahm → Tex-Mex rock ‘n roll and country-rock bandleader for The Sir Douglas Quintet, “She’s About A Mover” (#13, 1965), also played with The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, died from a heart attack on 11/18/1999, age 58
1941 ● Guy Clark → Grammy-winning Texas “outlaw” country and folk-rock guitarist and songwriter, wrote “L.A. Freeway” (Jerry Jeff Walker, #98, 1973) and “Desperados Waiting For A Train” (The Highwaymen, Country #15, 1985) plus dozens of songs for other artists, including Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson and Emmylou Harris, issued over 30 charting albums and won a 2014 Grammy Award for My Favorite Picture Of You (2013), died after a long illness concurrent with lymphoma on 5/17/2016, age 74
1947 ● George Young → Scottish rhythm guitarist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), producer for AC/DC and older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young
1948 ● Glenn Frey → Grammy-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter, member of Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, which became country rock/L.A. rock Eagles, “One Of These Nights” (#1, 1975), solo, “You Belong To The City” (#2, 1985), TV and film actor, died from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia following intestinal surgery on 1/18/2016, age 67
1948 ● Rushton Moreve (John Rushton Morey) → Early bassist for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, co-wrote “Magic Carpet Ride” (#3, 1968), left the band in 1968, died in a car accident on 7/1/1981, age 32
1950 ● Chris Glen → Scottish bassist in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975) and The Michael Schenker Group, solo
1961 ● Craig Goldie → Heavy metal guitarist in Rough Cutt, Giuffria (“Call To The Heart, ##15, 1984) and Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark,” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1983)
1963 ● Paul Brindley → Bassist for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1964 ● Corey Glover → Lead singer for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), solo, actor
1964 ● Greg Graffin, Ph.D. → Co-founder, lead singer, songwriter and only constant member of L.A. punk rock Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995), received his doctorate from Cornell University and has lectured in life sciences and paleontology
1966 ● Paul Gilbert → Guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992)

November 07

1922 ● Al Hirt → Nicknamed “Jumbo” and “The Round Mound of Sound,” portly New Orleans-based Dixieland jazz and pop virtuoso trumpeter and bandleader with the Grammy-winning “Java” (#4, 1964), wrote the theme song to the TV crime show The Green Hornet, died of liver failure on 4/27/1999, age 76
1938 ● Delectus “Dee” Clark → Falsetto R&B/soul vocalist, “Raindrops” (#2, 1961) and five other Top 40 hits, died of a heart attack on 12/7/1990, age 52
1942 ● Johnny Rivers (John Henry Ramistella) → Early rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Secret Agent Man” (#3, 1966) and 15 other Top 40 hits, founded Soul City Records and produced The 5th Dimension (“Wedding Bell Blues,” #1, 1969), continues to perform in the 00s
1943 ● Dino Valenti (Chester W. Powers, Jr.) → Vocals and songwriter for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), solo, wrote “Get Together” for The Youngbloods (#5, 1969), died on 11/16/1994, age 51
1943 ● Joni Mitchell (Roberta Joan Anderson) → Canadian pop-rock-jazz-fusion singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Help Me” (#7, 1974), wrote “Both Sides Now” for Judy Collins (#8, 1968) and “Woodstock” for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (#11, 1970)
1951 ● Kevin Scott MacMichael → Canadian guitarist and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987), died of lung cancer on 12/31/2002, age 51
1954 ● Robin Beck → Pop-rock vocalist, sang the Coca-Cola jingle “The First Time” (UK #1, 1988), back-up singer for Melissa Manchester, Leo Sayer and others
1957 ● Jellybean (John Benitez) → Puerto Rican drummer, guitarist, producer (Madonna, Michael Jackson, the Pointer Sisters and others), club DJ and remixer, solo artist, “Who Found Who?” (#16, Dance/Club #3, 1987)
1960 ● Tommy Thayer → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with Kiss as a session player and back-up on tours and is now the lead guitarist and “Spaceman” character for the group
1963 ● Clint Mansell → Guitarist for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1964 ● Liam O Maonlai → Co-founder, vocals and keyboards for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1967 ● Sharleen Spiteri → Vocals for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1970 ● Neil Hannon → Founder, singer and frontman for Irish orchestral-pop group The Divine Comedy, “National Express” (UK #8, 1999)
1971 ● Robin Finck → Lead guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), joined reincarnated hard rock Guns N’ Roses in 1998 as a side project
1978 ● Mark Daniel Read → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (, 2000)
1983 ● Forrest Kline → Lead singer, chief songwriter and guitarist in emo-rock/power pop Hellogoodbye, “Here (In Your Arms)” (#14, 2006)
1988 ● Tinie Tempah (Patrick Chukwuemake Okogwu) → Brit rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer with multiple UK Top 10 hits as a lead solo or guest artist, including “Written In The Stars” (#12, UK #1, 2010)
1996 ● Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) → New Zealand pop singer with the debut, world-wide hit single “Royals” (#1, AUS #2, UK #1, 2013), the first New Zealander with a #1 hit in the US

November 08

1913 ● Arnold “Gatemouth” Moore → Booming-voiced ordained minister, gospel and Chicago blues singer and songwriter, wrote “Did You Ever Love A Women?” for B. B. King and “Somebody’s Got To Go” for Rufus Thomas, died of natural causes on 5/19/2004, age 90
1927 ● Ken Dodd → Brit music hall traditional stand-up comedian, songwriter and adult pop singer, “Tears” (UK #1, 1965) and 18 other UK Top 40 hits, TV and film actor
1927 ● Patti Page (Clara Ann Fowler) → Grammy-winning traditional adult pop singer, “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window?” (#1, 1953) and 13 other Top 40 hits, the best-selling female artist of the 50s, died from heart and lung failure on 1/1/2013, age 85
1929 ● Bertrand Russell “Bert” Berns → Pioneer and prolific rock ‘n’ roll songwriter and producer, wrote or co-wrote “Twist And Shout”, “Hang On Sloopy”, “Here Comes The Night” and many others, co-founded Bang! Records, died from a heart attack on 12/31/1967, age 38
1942 ● Johnny Perez → Original member and percussion for roots/psych-rock The Sir Douglas Quintet, “She’s About A Mover” (#13, UK #15, 1965), later owned Topanga Skyline Studios, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 9/11/2012, age 69
1944 ● Bonnie Bramlett (Bonnie Lynn O’Farrell) → Blue-eyed soul and blues-rock singer, first Caucasian in Ike and Tina Turner‘s backing vocal group The Ikettes, one half of the husband-and-wife duo Delaney & Bonnie, “Never Ending Song Of Love” (#13, 1971), solo, TV actress
1944 ● Jack Jones → Drummer for underappreciated and little known (except in Germany) Britbeat/power pop The Creation, “Painter Man” (UK #36, GER #8, 1967)
1944 ● Robert Nix → Original drummer and songwriter for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978)
1944 ● Rodney Slater → Founding member and sax player for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1945 ● Donald Murray → Founding member and drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), died from complications from ulcer surgery on 3/22/1996, age 50
1946 ● John “The Big Figure” Martin → Founding member and first drummer for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1946 ● John Farrar → Guitarist for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), then backing musician, songwriter and producer for Olivia Newton-John, wrote or co-wrote several of her hits, including “You’re The One That I Want” (#1, 1978)
1946 ● Roy Wood → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968) and Electric Light Orchestra, “Telephone Line” (#7, 1977)
1947 ● Minnie Riperton → Sweet chirping pop singer and songwriter, “Loving You” (#1, 1974), died of cancer on 7/12/1979, age 31
1949 ● Alan Berger → Bassist for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1949 ● Bonnie Raitt → Eight-time Grammy-winning roots and blues-rock singer, songwriter and slide guitarist, “Something To Talk About” (#5, 1991)
1949 ● Lee Freeman → Rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriting for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), died from cancer on 2/14/2010, age 60
1951 ● Gerald Alston → Joined R&B/doo wop then sweet soul quintet The Manhattans (“Kiss And Say Goodbye,” #1, 1976) in 1970 on lead vocals to replace the deceased George Smith, left for a solo career from 1988 to 1995 (“Slow Motion,” R&B #3, 1990), rejoined and continues into the 10s
1954 ● Rickie Lee Jones → Jazz, R&B/soul and pop-rock singer and songwriter “Chuck E’s In Love” (#4, 1979)
1957 ● Porl Thompson → Guitar, saxophone and keyboards for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1958 ● Terry Lee Miall → Drummer for post-punk/New Wave pop-rock Adam And The Ants, “Goody Two-Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1961 ● Leif Garrett (Leif Per Nervik) → Pop-rock teen idol singer, “I Was Made For Dancin'” (#10, 1978), film and TV actor
1964 ● Cubie Burke → Briefly joined his five siblings in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps (“O-o-h Child,” #7, R&B #14, 1970) but left to become a professional dancer with Alvin Ailey and other troupes, died from a brain injury on 5/14/2014, age 49
1969 ● Jimmy Chaney → Drummer for alt rock/funk-metal Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, “Do Right” (Modern Rock #12, 1999)
1970 ● Diana King → Jamaican-born reggae dancehall singer and songwriter, “Shy Guy” (#13, 1994)
1970 ● Gareth “Rat” Pring → Guitarist for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1971 ● Tech N9ne (Aaron Dontez Yates) → Hardcore rapper known for his dynamic rhymes schemes and speed rapping, released over a dozen official albums including The Gates Mixed Plate (#13, 2010), co-founder of Strange Music record label
1977 ● Tiffani Wood → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Jack Osbourne → Record label talent scout, TV actor, star of The Osbournes and Adrenaline Junkie, son of Ozzy Osbourne

November 09

1936 ● Mary Allin Travers → Perhaps the most important female figure in the folk-revival movement and anti-war protest songs of the 60s, vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary “Blowin’ In The Wind” (#2, AC #1, 1963), died from complications of leukemia on 9/16/2009, age 72
1937 ● Roger McGough → Poet, lyricist and vocalist in comedy-pop The Scaffold, “Lily The Pink” (UK #1, 1968) and “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968), BBC Radio host and voice-overs for commercials
1941 ● John Dean → Bass vocals for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964), continues to perform with the group into the 10s
1941 ● Tom Fogerty → Rhythm guitar in the shadow of his brother and band frontman John Fogerty in roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Down On The Corner,” #3, 1969), left in 1971 for a middling solo career, contracted AIDS from blood transfusions during back surgery and died several years later on 9/6/1990, age 48
1943 ● Lee Graziano → Drums for one hit wonder pop-rock American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968)
1944 ● Phil May (Philip Arthur Dennis Kattner) → Vocals for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1946 ● Ruben Armand “Benny” Mardones → One hit wonder blue-eyed soul singer, “Into The Night” (# 11, 1980 and #20, 1989), one of only 10 artists to have charted the same song in the Top 20 on two separate occasions
1948 ● Alan Gratzer → Drums and percussion for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1948 ● Joe Bouchard → Bassist in hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1949 ● Tommy Caldwell → Founding member and bassist for Southern rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), died in a car crash on 4/28/1980, age 30
1950 ● Dennis Provisor → Keyboardist, vocals and songwriter for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968), continued to tour into the 00s with the band and with his own The Hits on the oldies circuit
1953 ● Michael J. Mullins → Vocals for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1954 ● Dennis Stratton → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1960 ● Demetra Plakas → Drummer for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1962 ● Steve “Silk” Hurley → Club DJ, pioneering Chicago house-music producer, songwriter, and four time Grammy Award-nominee, “Work It Out” (Dance #3, 1989), two time Remixer of the Year (1999 and 2000) and Best Remixed Recording (2002 and 2003),
1969 ● Sandy “Pepa” Denton → Vocals in female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1970 ● Scarface (Brad Jordan) → Rapper and songwriter in gangsta/horror-rap trio Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” (#23, 1991), then Dirty South solo rap career, “Smile” (#12, Rap #2, 1997)
1970 ● Susan Tedeschi → Electric blues and soul guitarist with roots in gospel, singer, songwriter and bandleader with multiple Grammy nominations, frontwoman for the Susan Tedeschi Band and, in collaboration with her husband Derek Trucks, Soul Stew Revival and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, solo with multiple albums, including Back To The River (Blues Albums #1, 2008)
1973 ● Nick Lachey → Lead vocals in adult contemporary/sweet soul boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1974 ● Joe C. (Joseph Callaja) → Diminutive rapper, musician, touring band member and comic sidekick for rapper Kid Rock (“Only God Knows Why,” #19, Mainstream, Rock #5, 1999), died in his sleep from complications of lifelong coeliac disease on 11/16/2000, age 26
1977 ● Sisqó (Mark Andrews) → R&B/urban soul and hip hop bad boy with Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), then solo, “Thong Song” (#3, 2000)
1984 ● Delta Goodrem → Australian TV actress (Nina Tucker in soap opera Neighbours) and pop singer, “Lost Without You” (Adult Contemporary #18, Australia #1, 2005) plus six other Australian #1 singles

November 10

1916 ● Edward William “Billy” May, Jr. → Highly acclaimed Big Band leader, composer, arranger and trumpeter, fronted Billy May & His Orchestra, and charted a version of “Charmine” (#17, 1952), arranged Frank Sinatra‘s acclaimed concept albums Come Fly With Me (1958), Come Dance With Me! (1959) and Come Swing with Me! (1961). wrote the theme songs to TV’s The Green Hornet (1966) , Batman (1967) and The Mod Squad (1968), among others, died of a heart attack on 1/22/2004, age 87
1933 ● Bonny “Mack” Rice → R&B songwriter and singer best known for writing the classic and enduring “Mustang Sally” for himself (R&B #15) and Wilson Pickett (#23, R&B #6, 1966), also co-wrote “Respect Yourself” for The Staple Singers (#12, R&B #2, 19761) and songs covered by many others, died at home in Detroit from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 6/27/2016, age 82
1939 ● Tommy “Bubba” Facenda → Back-up singer for Gene Vincent in his band, the Blue Caps in the late 50s, left the group and became a one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll singer with the anthemic “High School U.S.A.” (#28, 1959) and its 40 different versions mentioning different schools by region, later became a firefighter in Virginia, toured with a reunited Blue Caps in the 80s
1940 ● David Edward “Screaming Lord” Sutch → Brit comedy-rock bandleader and solo artist, “Jack The Ripper” (1963), wannabe politician and leader of The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, fought in numerous parliamentary elections without winning, committed suicide on 6/16/1999, age 58
1941 ● Kyu Sakamoto (Hisashi Oshima) → Japanese pop star with the one hit wonder “Sukiyaki” (#1, 1963), the first US #1 by a Japanese artist, died in a commercial airliner crash on 8/12/1985, age 43
1944 ● Tim Rice → Multiple award-winning film, theater and Broadway lyricist and producer, collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) and with Elton John on The Lion King (1994), among many other shows
1945 ● Donna Fargo (Yvonne Vaughn) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A.” (#11, 1972)
1946 ● Leonard “Chip” Hawkes → Bassist for 60s Britbeat Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, co-wrote “(Call Me) Number One” (#27, UK #2, 1969), moved to Nashville in the 70s to write and record with Waylon Jennings and others, reformed The Tremeloes in 1979, managed his son, pop star Chesney Hawkes and formed his own band in the 90s, continues to tour and perform into the 10s on the European oldies circuit with various retro bands
1947 ● Dave Loggins → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer and songwriter, “Please Come To Boston” (#5, 1974), cousin of Kenny Loggins
1947 ● Glen Buxton → Founder and guitarist for glam-rock/metal Alice Cooper band, co-wrote “School’s Out” (#7, 1972), died of pneumonia on 10/19/1997, age 49
1948 ● Greg Lake → Prog-rock guitarist and songwriter, founding member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Lucky Man” (#48, 1971), solo
1950 ● Bram Tchaikovsky (Peter Bramall) → Guitar and vocals for power pop/rock The Motors, “Airport” (UK #4, 1978), solo, “Girl Of My Dreams” (#37, 1979)
1950 ● Ronnie Hammond → Lead singer for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978), solo, died of a heart attack on 3/14/2011, age 60
1954 ● Mario Cipollina → Bassist for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Frank Maudsley → Bassist for bizarrely-teased hair New Wave pop-rock A Flock of Seagulls, “I Ran (So Far Away)” (#9, 1982)
1959 ● Laura MacKenzie Phillips → Film and TV actress, singer and songwriter in The New Mamas & The Papas, daughter of “Papa” John Phillips
1961 ● Norman “Junior” Giscombe → Brit R&B singer and songwriter, “Mama Used To Say” (#30, R&B #2, 1982) and duet with Kim Wilde, “Another Step (Closer To You)” (UK #8, 1987)
1965 ● David Hawes → Bassist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1966 ● Steve Mackey → Bassist for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1967 ● Andrew Vowles → Co-founder and vocals for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1968 ● Steve Brookstein → Blue-eyed soul singer and winner of the first series of UK TV show The X Factor in 2004, “Against All Odds” (UK #1, 2004)
1969 ● Paul “Kermit” Leveridge → Rapper and vocals with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1970 ● Derry Brownson → Keyboards and samples for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (Epsom Mad Funkers), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1970 ● Warren G (Warren Griffin III) → Hip hop producer and West Coast rapper, “Regulate” (#2, 1994)
1971 ● Big Punisher (Christopher Rios) → Corpulent Latino rapper “Still Not A Player” (#24, Dance/Club #3, 1998), died from obesity-related heart failure on 2/7/2000, age 28
1973 ● Jacqueline Abbott → Lead vocals for alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Jim Adkins → Lead singer and guitarist for alt rock/neo-punk Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle” (#5, Adult Top 40 #2, 2002)
1978 ● Drew McConnell → Bassist for indie psych-rock Babyshambles, “Delivery” (#6, 2007)
1978 ● Eve Jihan Jeffers → Hip hop singer and MC, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” (#2, 2001)
1979 ● Christopher Joannou → Co-founder and bassist in Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1983 ● Miranda Lambert → Country-pop singer and songwriter, as a solo artist scored fifteen Country Top 20 hits and several crossover singles, including “The House That Built Me” (#28, Country #1, 2010), performed numerous charting duets with others, including “We Were Us” (#26, Country #1, 2013) with Keith Urban, fronts the girl group Pistol Annies

November 11

1927 ● Mose Allison → Jazz and blues pianist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, his songs have been covered by The Who, John Mayall, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and others
1929 ● LaVern Baker (Delores Williams) → R&B and jazz-pop singer, “Jim Dandy” (#17, 1956) plus 7 other Top 40 and 12 other R&B Top 10 hits, died from coronary disease on 3/10/1997, age 67
1930 ● Walter Louis “Hank” Garland → Highly-regarded rockabilly, country and jazz studio musician, recorded with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and others, issued an improbable but well-received jazz album, Jazz Winds From A New Direction (1961), stopped recording following a near fatal 1966 car accident, died from an infection on 12/27/2004, age 74
1936 ● Jack Keller → Composer, songwriter and record producer, wrote or co-wrote several teen pop and pop-rock hits in the 50s and 60s, including “Just Between You And Me” (The Chordettes, #8, 1957) and “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” (Connie Francis, #1, 1960), composed TV theme songs for Bewitched, Gidget and other programs, produced The Monkees‘ first album and for artists in Nashville in the 80s, died from leukemia on 4/1/2005, age 68
1936 ● Opal Courtney, Jr. → Vocals for pioneer R&B/doo wop The Spaniels, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” (R&B #5, 1954), died after a heart attack on 9/18/2008, age 71
1938 ● Roger Lavern (Roger Keith Jackson) → Keyboards for Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados, “Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, died from prostate cancer on 6/15/2013, age 74
1939 ● Albie Galione → Vocals in white R&B/doo wop quartet The Passions, “Gloria” (1958)
1940 ● Dennis Coffey → R&B, soul and funk guitarist, sessionman and solo artist, member of The Funk Brothers, Motownn’s house band which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, first white artist to perform on Soul Train when he played his instrumental “Scorpio” (#6, 1971) in January 1972, issued 14 solo albums from 1969 to 2011 and continues to perform in his hometown of Detroit into the 10s
1941 ● Peter Meaden → The “Mod God,” publicist and manager for numerous rock bands, especially during the Mod subculture period in the 60s U.K., briefly managed The Who and later Captain Beefheart, died from a barbiturate overdose on 7/29/1978. age 36
1943 ● Mac Kissoon (Gerald Farthing) → Vocals with his sister, Katherine Farthing, in one hit wonder easy listening/bubblegum pop duo Mac & Katie Kissoon (“Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep,” #20, 1971), she went on to decades of session backing vocals work while his career stalled as a member of James Last‘s ensemble
1945 ● Chris Dreja → Rhythm guitar and songwriter for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965)
1945 ● Vince Martell (Vincent Martemucci) → Lead guitar and vocals for psych-rock Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6, 1968)
1947 ● Pat Daugherty → Bassist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1950 ● Jim Peterick → Founder, guitarist and lead writer for blue-eyed soul The Ides of March, “Vehicle” (#2, 1970) and Survivor, “Eye Of The Tiger” (#1, 1982)
1952 ● Paul Cowsill → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family
1953 ● Andy Partridge → Co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1953 ● Marshall Crenshaw → Power pop singer and songwriter, “Someday, Someway” (#36, 1982), movie actor, portrayed John Lennon in the road version of Beatlemania
1956 ● Ian Craig Marsh → Guitarist and 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)
1957 ● Tony “Gad” Robinson → Bass, vocals and 40-year member of long-lived roots reggae Aswad (Arabic for “black”), “Don’t Turn Around” (, 1988), one of the most popular and successful Brit reggae bands
1962 ● Gunnar Mathias “Mic” Michaeli → Keyboardist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1966 ● Peaches (Merrill Beth Nisker) → Canadian electronic groovebox rapper known for her vulgar lyrics, sexual themes and flamboyant stage presence, “Wild Thing” (Dance #4, 2007)
1969 ● Gary Powell → Drummer for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), played with the New York Dolls on their 2004 reunion tour, then indie rock Dirty Pretty Things, “Bang Bang You’re Dead” (UK #5, 2006)
1973 ● Jason White → Touring guitarist for 12 years in post-grunge alt rock/punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004), joined the band as a full member in 2012, also with punk/garage rock, no touring, fun only supergroup Pinhead Gunpowder
1974 ● Static Major (Stephen Garrett) → Grammy-winning R&B singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer, member of the R&B trio Playa, “Cheers 2 U” (#38, 1998), died during a surgical procedure to treat a rare blood disorder on 2/25/2008, age 33

November 12

1906 ● Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White → Delta blues guitarist, singer and performer, “Parchman Farm Blues” (1940), other artists have covered his work, including Bob Dylan, Fixin’ To Die Blues” (1962), died of cancer on 2/26/1977, age 70
1917 ● Jo Elizabeth Stafford → Classical-trained singer who chose traditional, breezy pop and sultry jazz for a career that ran from the 30s to the 80s, “You Belong To Me” (#1, 1952) also the first song by a female artist to reach #1 in the UK, occasional film acting and parody records, died from congestive heart failure on 7/16/2008, age 90
1931 ● Bob Crewe → Producer and songwriter for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), also produced hits by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Roberta Flack and his own band, The Bob Crewe Connection, “Music To Watch Girls By” (#15, 1967), injured his brain in a fall and died from its effects four years later on 9/11/2014, age 82
1936 ● Charlotte Davis → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1936 ● Mort Shuman → Singer, pianist and prolific pop-rock songwriter, often in collaboration with Doc Pomus, wrote or co-wrote “Viva Las Vegas,” “Teenager In Love,” “This Magic Moment” and many others, died from complications following liver surgery on 11/3/1991, age 54
1939 ● Ruby Nash Curtis → Lead singer in R&B/soul vocal group Ruby & The Romantics, “Our Day Will Come” (#1, 1963) and two additional Top 20 hits
1941 ● Jerry Scholl → Vocals in one hit wonder blue-eyed R&B/doo wop quintet The Mello-Kings, “Tonite, Tonite” (#77, 1957)
1943 ● Arthur Paul “Pooch” Tavares → Vocals in five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1943 ● Brian Hyland → Pre-Beatles bubblegum-pop teen idol singer, “Sealed With A Kiss” (#3, 1962)
1943 ● Jimmy Hayes → Vocals in a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971) and “I Really Got It Bad For You” (#56, 1974)
1943 ● John Walker (John J. Maus) → Guitar and vocals in pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965), died from liver cancer on 5/7/2011, age 67
1944 ● Booker T. Jones → Organist and frontman for Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1966), solo
1945 ● Neil Young → Grammy-winning, venerable Canadian-born country-folk-rock singer/songwriter, “Heart Of Gold” (#1, 1972) and “Downtown” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1995), member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
1947 ● Buck Dharma (Donald Roeser) → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, wrote “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1948 ● Errol Brown → Jamaican vocalist and frontman for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984, died from liver cancer on 5/6/2015, age 66
1952 ● Laurence Juber → Grammy-winning guitarist, played lead for Paul McCartney‘s Wings (1978-81), sessions, solo
1953 ● Malcolm “Calum” Macdonald → Percussion for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1955 ● Leslie McKeown → Vocals for Scottish teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● David Ellefson → Bassist for hard rock/metal Metallica, then thrash-metal Megadeth, “Symphony Of Destruction” (Mainstream #29, 1992)
1964 ● James Victor “Vic” Chestnutt → Quadriplegic singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his dark, haunting but comic roots rock style and 17 albums, two produced by Michael Stipe of R.E.M., and songs performed by Madonna, the Indigo Girls, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M. and others on the charity album Sweet Relief II: The Gravity Of The Situation (1993), died while in a muscle relaxant overdose-induced coma on 12/25/2009, age 45
1968 ● Jo Dunne → Bass guitar in all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1976 ● Tevin Campbell → Teenaged hip hop and R&B/soul singer, “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do” (#6, 1991) and four other Top 40 hits between 1990 and 1994
1984 ● Omarion (Omari Ishmael Grandberry) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)

, , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (October 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

October 23

1930 ● Wilson “Boozoo” Chavis → Accordion maestro and one of the principal architects of the modern Zydeco sound, the music created by French-speaking Louisiana Creoles, refused to play publicly following his single, the first Zydeco hit “Paper In My Shoe” (1954) but returned in 1984 to tour and record until just prior to his death from complications of a heart attack on 5/5/2001, age 70
1939 ● Charlie Foxx → With sister Inez, one half of the one hit wonder R&B/soul duo Inez & Charlie Foxx, “Mockingbird” (#7, 1963), died from leukemia on 9/18/1998, age 58
1940 ● Eleanor Louise “Ellie” GreenwichBrill Building pop music songwriter, singer and producer, wrote or co-wrote multiple hit songs (often with Phil Spector or husband Jeff Barry), including “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Chapel Of Love” for The Dixie Cups (#1, 1964) and “Hanky Panky” for Tommy James & The Shondells (#1, 1966), died of a heart attack on 8/26/2009, age 68
1943 ● Barbara Ann Hawkins → With sister Rosa Lee Hawkins and cousin Joan Marie Johnson, vocals in 60s R&B/pop girl-group The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love” (#1, 1964)
1947 ● Greg Ridley → Co-founder and bassist for blues-rock Spooky Tooth, left in 1969 to co-found Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972) and “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), left music in 1975 but returned for Humble Pie reunions after 2001, died of pneumonia on 11/19/2003, age 56
1949 ● Michael “Würzel” Burston → Guitarist for early punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980), left the band for solo career, died from heart disease on 7/9/2011, age 61
1953 ● Pauline Black → Vocals in New Wave 2 Tone ska revival The Selecter, “On My Radio” (UK #8, 1979)
1956 ● Dwight Yoakam → Grammy-winning, pioneering roots-country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Streets Of Bakersfield” (Country #1, 1988) and 13 other Country Top 10 hits
1957 ● Kelly Marie (Jacqueline McKinnon) → Scottish R&B/disco-pop vocalist, “Feels Like I’m In Love” (UK #1, 1980)
1959 ● Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic → Grammy-winning comedian, multi-instrumentalist and song parodist, “Eat It” (#12, 1984) parodying Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” and “White & Nerdy” (#9, 2006) parodying “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire
1964 ● Roberto Trujillo → Bassist in thrash metal Suicidal Tendencies, “I’ll Hate You Better” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1993) and side project funk-metal Infectious Grooves, joined Ozzy Osbournes band in 1994 and Metallica in 2003
1966 ● David Thomas → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Richard McNamara → Guitarist in Brit-pop rockers Embrace, “Gravity” (Modern Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1986 ● Miguel (Miguel Jontel Pimentel) → R&B/pop soul singer and guitarist with seven R&B Top 10 hits as a solo or featured artist, including “Adorn” (#17, R&B #1, 2012)

October 24

1911 ● Sonny Terry (Saunders Terrell) → Blues and folk harmonica player, developed the “whoopin'” style, session man for Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and others, Broadway and TV actor, died of natural causes on 3/11/1986, age 74
1930 ● The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry “J.P.” Richardson, Jr.) → Booming-voiced early rock ‘n’ roll DJ, singer and bandleader, “Chantilly Lace” (#6, 1958), died along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in an Iowa plane crash on the night of 2/3/1959, age 28
1936 ● Bill Wyman (William George Perks) → Three-decade bassist for megastar hard rock The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), issued solo albums in the 70s, co-founded supergroup Willie And The Poor Boys in the 80s, quit The Stones and now fronts The Rhythm Kings featuring Albert Lee and Peter Frampton
1936 ● Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins → Blues guitarist and mellow-voiced singer known as a pioneer of the aggressive, percussive “West Side” Chicago blues style, recorded and toured with Otis Rush, Andrew “Big Voice” Odom and others, his debut album Fast Fingers (1969) won the Grand Prix du Disque de Jazz from the Hot Club of France in 1971 as the year’s top album, died of undisclosed causes on 4/10/2013, age 76
1937 ● Santo Farina → Steel guitarist in Italian-American one hit wonder brother duo Santo & Johnny, pop-rock guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1942 ● Donald W. Gant → Singer, songwriter and record producer, one half of pop-rock duo The Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” (#17, 1969), produced albums for Jimmy Buffett, Lefty Frizzell and others, died following a serious boating accident on 3/15/1987, age 44
1944 ● Bettye Swann (Betty Jean Champion) → One hit wonder R&B/Southern soul singer, “Make Me Yours” (#21, R&B #1, 1967), now a retired teacher
1944 ● Ted Templeman → Singer, guitarist and vocal arranger in folk-sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), then record producer for Van Morrison, Little Feat, The Doobie Brothers, Van Halen and others
1946 ● Jerry Edmonton (Gerald McCrohan) → Drummer in Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), died in a car accident on 11/29/1993, age 47
1947 ● Robert Edgar Broughton → Singer, guitarist and frontman for Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1948 ● Barry Ryan (Sapherson) → Singer with identical twin brother in pop Paul & Barry Ryan, “Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches” (1965), solo, “Eloise” (UK #1, 1968), currently a professional photographer
1948 ● Paul Ryan (Sapherson) → Singer and songwriter with identical twin brother in pop vocal duo Paul & Barry Ryan, “Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches” (1965), wrote his brother’s solo hit, “Eloise” (UK #1, 1968), left the industry and managed a chain of hairdressing salons until his death from lung cancer on 11/29/1992, age 44
1948 ● Terence Dale “Buffin” Griffin → Drummer in early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), producer for The Cult, Hanoi Rocks, Nirvana and others, including BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel
1949 ● Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares → Cape Verdean-American singer with his four brothers in R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976), continued to tour into the 10s
1962 ● Debbie Googe → Bassist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1969 ● Rob Green → Drummer in blue-eyed soul revival and trad rock Toploader, “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK #7, 2000)
1970 ● Alonza Bevan → Bassist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1970 ● Edward Daniel “Eds” Chesters → Drummer for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996)
1978 ● Sabrina Washington → Lead vocals in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), solo and TV actress
1979 ● Ben Gillies → Co-founder and drummer for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1980 ● Monica (Arnold) → R&B/urban contemporary singer, “Before You Walk Out Of My Life” (#7, R&B #1, 1995) and seven other Top 10 hits
1983 ● Adrienne Bailon → Hip hop soul and R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001) and Disney pre-fab dance-pop Cheetah Girls, “Strut” (#53, 2006), TV host and film actress
1986 ● Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) → Canadian R&B/hip hop vocalist, “Find Your Love” (#5, 2010) and six other Top 40 hits, TV actor

October 25

1912 ● Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon) → Country music singer and comedian with more than 50 years at the Grand Ole Opry and 22 years on the seminal country music TV variety program Hee Haw, known for her signature price-tagged straw hat and folksy mountain demeanor, scored one Country Top 10 hit (“Giddyup Go – Answer,” Country #10, 1966) but influenced countless younger female artists, died following a massive stroke on 3/4/1996, age 83
1924 ● Earl Palmer → R&B, rock and pop session drummer who played on thousands of songs by Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Monkees and others, on scores of albums by Duane Eddy, Taj Mahal, Tim Buckley and others, and on dozens of film scores (Hud, How To Stuff A Wild Bikini and others) and TV theme songs (77 Sunset Strip, Green Acres, The Partridge Family and others), one of the first session musicians elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2000), died following a long illness on 9/19/2008, age 78
1937 ● Jeanne Black → Country music TV variety show singer and Las Vegas nightclub act, brushed fame as a one hit wonder country-pop singer, “He’ll Have To Stay” (#4, Country #6, R&B #11, 1960), the answer song to Jim Reeve‘s “He’ll Have To Go” (#2, Country #1, 1960), died peacefully on 10/23/2014, age 76
1941 ● Helen Reddy → Aussie TV actress and light pop/adult contemporary singer with eleven Top 20 hits in the 70s including the Grammy-winning “I Am Woman” (#1, 1971)
1943 ● Roy Lynes → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), continues to perform with tribute bands Quo Vadis and Statoz Quo
1944 ● Jon Anderson (John Roy Anderson) → Keyboards, songwriter, lead vocals and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971) and various off-shoots and side projects through the 00s, plus solo work (“Cage Of Freedom,” Mainstream Rock #17, 1984) and collaborations
1944 ● Taffy Nivert Danoff → Vocals in one hit wonder light pop-rock Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976)
1946 ● John Hall → Drummer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1947 ● Glenn Tipton → Lead guitarist for popular and influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” (#67, Mainstream Rock #4, 1982) plus the 2009 Grammy-winning album Dissident Aggressor
1950 ● Chris Norman → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for glam-pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977), left in 1982 for solo career, “Midnight Lady” (Germany #1, 1986)
1951 ● Richard Lloyd → Guitar and vocals for early and influential punk-rock Television, “Marquee Moon” (1977), solo, producer and guitar teacher
1955 ● Matthias Jabs → Guitarist in German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984), still with the band in 2010
1957 ● Robbie McIntosh → Session guitarist and bandleader, played in The Pretenders (“Back On The Chain Gang,” #5, 1983) from 1982 to 1987 and Paul McCartney‘s Wings in the 90s
1960 ● Christina Amphlett → Vocals for Aussie power pop Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (#4, 1991), co-wrote “Science Fiction” (AUS #13, 1982), included in 2001 as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time by the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA), died after a long fight with breast cancer on 4/21/2013, age 52
1961 ● Chad Smith → Drummer in funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1961 ● Pat Sharp (Patrick Sharpin) → Brit TV host and radio DJ (BBC Radio 1, Capital FM, Radio Mercury)
1963 ● John Leven → Bassist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1965 ● Nick Thorpe → Bassist for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Speech (Todd Thomas) → Vocals and MC for African-centric, progressive hip hop/funk-soul-blues Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992), solo
1970 ● Lloyd Edward “Ed” Robertson → Guitarist for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1981 ● Jerome Isaac “Romeo” then “Young Rome” Jones → Rapper, singer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999), actor
1984 ● Katy Perry (Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) → Contemporary dance-club/pop-rock singer and songwriter, “I Kissed A Girl” (#1, 2008), TV and voice actress
1985 ● Ciara Princess Harris → The “First Lady of Crunk & B,” contemporary R&B/soul-pop dancer and vocalist, “Goodies” (#1, 2004), actress and fashion model

October 26

1911 ● Mahalia Jackson → The “Queen of Gospel,” vastly influential gospel superstar singer, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#69, 1958), three-time Grammy winner, civil rights activist and philanthropist, died from heart failure on 1/27/1972, age 60
1913 ● Charlie Barnet → Jazz saxophonist, composer and leader of a early racially-integrated band, noted for penning more than twenty-five Billboard chart hits in the Swing era between 1939 and 1946, including “Cherokee,” “Redskin Rhumba” and “Skyliner,” married 11 times, the final one lasting 33 years, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia on 9/4/1991, age 77
1929 ● Neal Matthews → Vocals in country-gospel-pop backing quartet The Jordanaires, recorded with Elvis Presley (1957-1972), Patsy Cline, Tom Jones, Merle Haggard and others, died of a heart attack on 4/21/2000, age 70
1936 ● Alvin Wayne “Al” Casey → Piano and guitar with early rocker Duane Eddy‘s Rebels, wrote Eddy‘s early hit “Ramrod” (#27, R&B #17, 1958) and co-wrote “Forty Miles Of Bad Road” (#9, 1959), issued several mostly instrumental solo albums in the 60s and scored three minor chart singles, including ” Surfin’ Hootenanny” (#48, 1963), turned to session work as a member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians and recorded with numerous top artists, owned a Los Angeles music store for 20 years, retired in 1993 and died on 9/17/2006, age 69
1944 ● Alan Henderson → Bassist for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Michael Piano → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1946 ● Keith Hopwood → Guitarist in British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1. 1965)
1951 ● Maggie Roche → Singer/songwriter in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal female folk-pop harmony vocal sister trio The Roches, backed Paul Simon, solo
1951 ● William “Bootsy” Collins → R&B/funk bassist, singer and songwriter, with James Brown band in the 60s and Parliament-Funkadelic in the 70s, frontman for Bootsy’s Rubber Band, “Bootzilla” (R&B #1, 1978)
1952 ● David Was (David Weiss) → Lyricist, keyboardist and co-frontman for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989), producer, music journalist and theme song composer
1953 ● Keith Strickland → Guitars, keyboards and occasional drums for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1962 ● Steve Wren → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Natalie Merchant → Lead vocals and songwriting for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992), left in 1993 for solo career, “Carnival” (#10, 1995)
1965 ● Judge Jules (Julius O’Riordan) → UK dance music remixer, producer and radio DJ, first with pirate radio Kiss FM and since 1987 with BBC Radio 1 in various time slots
1967 ● Keith Urban → New Zealand-born Nashville contemporary country-pop crossover guitarist, songwriter and three-time Grammy winner, “Sweet Thing” (#30, Country #1, 2008)
1978 ● Mark Barry → Vocals for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000), now a personal fitness trainer
1981 ● Guy Sebastian → Australian adult contemporary/soul-pop singer/songwriter, winner of the first Australian Idol series, “Angels Brought Me Here” (Australian #1, 2003)
1986 ● Schoolboy Q (Quincy Matthew Hanley) → Hip hop singer and recording artist, originally with self-anointed supergroup Black Hippy, since 2009 solo singer with the debut hit album Oxymoron (#1, Rap #1, R&B #1, CAN #1, 2014) and the single “Studio” (#38, Rap #5, R&B #10, 2014)

October 27

1924 ● Bonnie Lou (Mary Joan Okum) → Pioneering country-pop, rockabilly and early rock ‘n’ roll singer and later TV show host with several crossover hits and the early rocker “Daddy O” (#14, 1955), dubbed “Queen” of the country music Midwestern Hayride program on NBC-TV through the early 70s, died in her sleep on 12/8/2015, age 91
1924 ● Gary Chester (Cesario Gurciullo) → Top-rated session drummer from doo wop to rock and pop, co-author of two instruction books on drumming, worked with the Coasters, The Monkees, Dionne Warwick, Country Joe McDonald, Van Morrison and many others on hundreds of albums and thousands of songs, died 8/17/1987, age 62
1933 ● Floyd Cramer → Country-pop/easy listening “Nashville sound” pianist with the unique “slip-note” style, issued several hit singles (including “Last Date,” #2, 1960) and albums of instrumental covers, worked as a session musician with Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and others, died of lung cancer on 12/31/1997, age 64
1942 ● Melvin Lee Greenwood → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “God Bless The USA” (Country #7, 1984) re-released in October 2001 (#16, Country #16, 2001) and 18 other Country Top 10 singles plus a Grammy Award
1945 ● Dick Dodd (Joseph Richard Dodd, Jr.) → Original cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club beginning in 1955, formed instrumental surf rock The Bel-Airs and played drums on the regional hit “Mr. Moto” (1961), joined garage/proto-punk The Standells in 1964 as drummer and sang lead vocals on “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured with the group occasionally until dying of cancer on 11/29/2013, age 68
1945 ● Mark Ryan → Bass guitarist for early 70s lineup of psych-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service (“Fresh Air,” #49, 1970), later in funk-rock Bodacious D.F. with ex-Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin
1948 ● Byron Allred → Keyboards in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973)
1949 ● Clifford Antone → Club owner, record label executive and one of the architects of the Austin, TX blues music scene, founded Antone’s blues club in 1975 and featured blues artists such as B. B. King, Fats Domino, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others, chief executive of independent label Antone’s Records and university lecturer, died from unspecified causes on 5/23/2006, age 56
1949 ● Gary Tallent → Bassist in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, producer, sessions, record company executive
1951 ● Kenneth “K.K.” Downing, Jr. → Lead guitarist for popular and influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” (#67, Mainstream Rock #4, 1982) plus the 2009 Grammy-winning album Dissident Aggressor
1953 ● Peter Dodd → Guitarist with New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983)
1956 ● Hazell Dean (Poole) → Brit dance-pop singer and H-NRG artist, “Searchin’ (I Gotta Find A Man)” (Dance/Club #8, 1983) and two other Dance/Club Top 20 hits
1958 ● Simon LeBon → Lead singer and lyricist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982), still recording in 2011
1967 ● Scott Weiland → Founding member and lead vocals for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994), died in his sleep after years of drug abuse on 12/3/2015, age 48
1984 ● Kelly Osbourne → Reality TV actress, socialite and teen-pop-rock singer, “Papa Don’t Preach” (Mainstream Rock #25, UK #3, 2002), daughter of metal superstar Ozzy and manager-wife Sharon Osbourne, fashion designer, TV judge and host

October 28

1927 ● Cleo Laine (Clementine Dinah Campbell) → Grammy-winning, highly-regarded jazz-pop scat vocalist in husband Johnny Dankworth‘s Big Band and as a solo performer, “You’ll Answer To Me” (UK #5, 1961), stage actress
1936 ● Charlie Daniels → Country and Southern rock legend, bandleader, guitarist and fiddler, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (#3, 1979) with albums and singles in six decades from 1961
1937 ● Graham Bond → Early and important but underappreciated Brit R&B/blues-rock musician, first with Blues Incorporated, fronted the Graham Bond Organization with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a London tube train on 5/8/1974, age 36
1939 ● Jim Post → Singer and songwriter with his wife Cathy Conn in one hit wonder folk-pop duo Friend & Lover with the inspirational pop hit “Reach Out Of The Darkness” (#10, 1968), they disbanded and divorced after failing to find a follow-up hit, continued to write and perform folk music in the Chicago area into the 10s
1940 ● Jay Proctor → Founder and frontman for integrated Philly soul-pop Jay & The Techniques, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” (#6, R&B #8, 1967), plus two other Top 40 hits in the 60s and two disco singles in the 70s
1941 ● Curtis Lee → Early pop-rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder singer, “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (#7, 1961)
1941 ● Hank Marvin (Brian Robson Rankin) → Guitarist with instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960)
1942 ● Raymond Steinberg → Baritone for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1945 ● Wayne Fontana (Glyn Geoffrey Ellis) → Frontman for British Invasion pop-rock band The Mindbenders, “Game Of Love” (#1, 1965), then solo, “Pamela Pamela” (UK #11, 1967), still performing on the oldies circuit
1947 ● George Glover → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1948 ● Telma Louise Hopkins → TV sitcom actress and former light-pop backing vocalist in Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 20 hits
1953 ● Desmond Child (John Charles Barrett) → Grammy-winning songwriter and producer with 70 Top 40 singles, frontman for Desmond Child & Rouge, “Our Love Is Insane” (#50, 1979), then wrote and produced for Kiss, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Cher, Michael Bolton, Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson and others
1957 ● Stephen Morris → Drummer for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, UK #13, 1980), then New Wave electro-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance/Club #5, 1983) and The Other Two, “Selfish” (Dance/Club #6, 1993)
1958 ● William Reid → Guitarist, composer and lead singer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1959 ● Neville Henry → Saxophone in New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1963 ● Eros Ramazzotti → Hugely-successful Italian pop singer and songwriter with over 70 million albums sold worldwide in a 30-year career but few in the US, recorded duets with Cher, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Ricky Martin and others
1969 ● Benjamin Chase “Ben” Harper → Multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter with an unusual and effective mix of blues, folk-rock, funky soul and pop that garnered three Grammys, including Best Traditional Soul Gospel album in 2005, and several charting singles (“Steal My Kisses,” #15, 2000)
1972 ● Brad Paisley → Country and Southern rock crossover singer, songwriter and guitarist, charted 18 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 25 on the Hot Country Songs list, 16 of which reached Country #1 with a record 10 consecutive singles in the top spot, including “Remind Me” (#17, Country #1, 2011)

October 29

1922 ● Neal Hefti → Jazz composer/arranger who wrote charts for Earl Hines, Count Basie and others and played trumpet with Woody Herman‘s First Herd, but best known for penning TV’s “Batman Theme” (#35, 1966) and the title song and soundtrack to The Odd Couple (1968), died of throat cancer on 10/11/2008, age 85
1937 ● Sonny Osborne → With his older brother, Bobby, one half of the influential bluegrass act The Osborne Brothers, “Rocky Top” (Country #33, 1967), the song was voted the official state song of Tennessee and one of two the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1944 ● Denny Laine (Brian F. A. Hines) → First lead guitarist and vocals for The Moody Blues, “Go Now” (#10, 1965), left to join Ginger Baker’s Air Force and then Paul McCartney‘s Wings, “Band On The Run” (#1, 1974), solo since the early 80s
1944 ● Robbie Van Leeuwen → Guitar and backing vocals in Dutch one hit wonder pop-rock Shocking Blue, “Venus” (#1, 1970)
1945 ● Melba Moore (Beatrice Melba Smith) → R&B/soul-disco singer, “Love’s Comin’ At Ya” (Dance/Club #2, 1982), Tony Award-winning Broadway stage actress
1945 ● Mick Gallagher → Brit organist, bandmember and session musician, with blues-rock The Animals and psych-pop Skip Bifferty in the 60s, proto-punk Ian Dury And The Blockheads and punk-rock The Clashh in the 70s and 80s, worked with Paul McCartney, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, currently tours with The Blockheads and John Steele‘s The Animals And Friends
1946 ● Peter Green (Greenbaum) → Blues-rock guitarist and songwriter, replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1966, co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 as a blues-rock band, wrote “Oh Well” (#55, UK #2, 1969) and other early hits, left in 1970 and suffered psychiatric problems through the 70s, returned to limited collaborations and sessions in the 80s , ranked #38 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1948 ● Ricky Lee “Ricochet” Reynolds → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973), continued with the band into the 00s
1949 ● David Paton → Scottish bassist, singer and songwriter with soft pop-rock Pilot, wrote “Magic” (#1, 1974), solo and session work
1954 ● Stephen Luscombe → Multi-instrumentalist in New Wave synth-pop duo Blancmange, “Don’t Tell Me” (UK #8, 1984)
1955 ● Kevin Dubrow → Co-founder and lead singer in heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot (“Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” #31, 1984), died from a cocaine overdose on 11/25/2007, age 52
1955 ● Roger O’Donnell → Session keyboardist with New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twin, Berlin and The Psychedelic Furs, in 1987 joined post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo
1961 ● Steven Randall “Little Randy” Jackson → Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and youngest member of R&B/pop-soul brother act The Jackson 5, co-wrote “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” (#6, 1979)
1962 ● Einar Orn Benediktsson → Vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1965 ● Peter Timmins → Drummer in Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1969 ● Doug “S.A.” Martinez → Lead vocals and turntables for hip hop/reggae/punk rock fusion band 311, “Love Song” (#59, Modern Rock #1, 200$)
1969 ● Roni Size (Ryan Owen Granville Williams) → Brit record producer and DJ, founder and frontman for hip hop drum and bass act Reprazent, Mercury Music Prize-winning album New Forms (1997)
1970 ● Toby Smith → Keyboards in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999), currently manager and producer for indie pop The Hoosiers, “Worried About Ray” (UK #5, 2007)
1984 ● Chris Baio → Bassist for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment