Posts Tagged rock birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (April 10 – 16)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 10

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

Apr 11

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

Apr 12

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

Apr 13

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

Apr 14

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

Apr 15

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

Apr 16

1924 ● Rudy Pompilli → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died of lung cancer on 2/5/1976, age 51
1924 ● Henry Mancini → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994, age 70
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969, age 40
1929 ● Ed Townsend → Award-winning soul singer and songwriter, wrote and produced the autobiographical Impressions hit “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” (#17, R&B #1, 1974), co-wrote with Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (#2, R&B #1, 1973), had his own hit with “For Your Love” (#13, R&B #7, 1958) and wrote songs for many other soul and pop artists through the 70s, died of a heart attack on 8/13/2003, age 74
1930 ● Herbie Mann (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died from prostate cancer on 7/1/2003, age 73
1934 ● Robert Stigwood → Australian-born music executive and producer, founder of Robert Stigwood Organization and the RSO Records label, manager for supergroup Cream and disco-pop The Bee Gees, producer of stage shows Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the hit films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978) and Evita (1996) starring Madonna, died of natural causes on 1/4/2016, age 81
1935 ● Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999, age 59
1943 ● “Lonesome” Dave Peverett → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000, age 56
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure 1/4/2011, age 63
1947 ● Lee “The Bear” Kerslake → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1953 ● Peter Garrett → Towering Australian musician, politician and activist, frontman and lead vocals from 1975 to 2002 for politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988) , the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 best albums of the 80s, served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little” Jimmy Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez, murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, age 23
1973 ● Akon (Aliaune Thiam) → Senegalese-American R&B/hip hop artist, “I Wanna Love You” (#1, 2006) plus 10 other Top 40 hits, first artist of any genre to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 on two separate occasions, recorded as a guest on over 300 other Top 40 singles

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This Week’s Birthdays (August 11 – 17)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Aug 11

1922 ● Ronald Erle Grainer → Australian-born, UK-based film and TV soundtrack composer, wrote score for To Sir, With Love (1967) and theme to BBC sci-fi TV show Doctor Who (1963-1986, 2005 to present) plus dozens of other films and programs, died from spinal cancer on 2/21/1981
1942 ● Guy Villari → Lead vocals for two hit wonder doo wop quartet The Regents, original “Barbara Ann” (#13, 1961) and “Run Around” (#28, 1961)
1942 ● Mike Hugg → Drums, percussion and second longest surviving member of British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), film and TV theme composer, advertising jingle writer, solo artist
1943 ● Dennis “Denis” Payton → Horns and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US, died 12/17/2006
1943 ● Michael James “Jim” Kale → Bassist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), has managed and toured with various reincarnations of the band through the 00s
1948 ● Bill Hurd → Keyboards for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK#1, US #37, 1974)
1949 ● Eric Carmen → Founding member, keyboards and vocals 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), started soft rock solo career in 1975, “All By Myself” (#2, 1976) and six other Top 40 hits
1950 ● Erik Keith Braunn → Guitarist for psych-rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), died 7/25/2003
1954 ● Bryan Bassett → Guitar and vocals for one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), started music producer career in the 80s, toured with hard rock Foghat and Southern hard rock Molly Hatchet in the 90s and 00s
1954 ● Joe Jackson (David Ian Jackson) → Punk-challenging British New Wave pop-rock singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Steppin’ Out” (#6, 1982), moved into eclectic pop-jazz-classical fusion in the 90s, won Grammy Award – Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2000 for Jackson: Symphony 1
1956 ● Alan Few → Vocals for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986), solo
1957 ● Richie Ramone (Richard Reinhardt) → Drummer and songwriter, joined punk rock The Ramones in 1983, wrote hit song “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” (1986)
1958 ● Jah Wobble (John Joseph Wardle) → Bassist, vocalist, songwriter and co-founder of punk rock Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983), solo
1960 ● Paul Gendler → Guitarist for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1962 ● Bragi Ólafsson → Bassist for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1964 ● Hamish Seelochan → Vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● Charlie Sexton → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader and solo artist, “Beat’s So Lonely” (#17, 1985) from his debut album at age 16, sessions for Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and others
1970 ● Ali Shaheed Muhammad → DJ/producer for artistic hip hop jazz-rap fusion trio A Tribe Called Quest, “Check The Rhime” (Rap #1, 1991), solo, producer
1970 ● Andy Bell → Guitar and vocals for Brit neo-psych “shoegazing” band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992), later Hurricane No.1, joined Oasis in 1999
1976 ● Ben Gibbard → Vocals for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)
1976 ● Brendan Bayliss → Founding member, lead guitarist and vocalist for neo-prog rock jam band Umphrey’s McGee, album Mantis (#62, Indie #6, 2009)
1978 ● Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly → Vocals for teen sensation pop-rap duo Kriss Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), died from an apparent drug overdose on 5/1/13
1981 ● Sandi Thom → Scottish neo-folk-rock singer/songwriter, “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)”, the first song to reach UK #1 based solely on the strength of downloads
1985 ● Asher Roth → White suburban rapper, “I Love College” (#12, 2009), built an early following through web sites Facebook and MySpace
1985 ● J-Boog (Jarell Houston) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)

Aug 12

1920 ● Percy Mayfield → R&B balladeer and songwriter, solo artist, “Please Send Me Someone To Love” (R&B #1, 1950), wrote “Hit The Road Jack” for Ray Charles (#1, 1961), died 8/11/1984 of a heart attack
1926 ● Joe Jones → New Orleans R&B singer, songwriter and arranger, pianist for B. B. King, solo artist, “You Talk To Much” (#3, 1960), record producer and manager for various R&B acts, including girl group The Dixie Cups, died 11/27/2005 following heart bypass surgery
1929 ● Alvis Edgar “Buck” Owens → Country music megastar singer, songwriter and guitarist, pioneer of the “Bakersfield sound” blending country and pop, “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” (#25, Country #1, 1965) and 19 other Country #1 hits, The Beatles covered his “Act Naturally” (#47, 1965), bandleader for The Buckaroos, TV host (Hee Haw), died 3/24/2006 after lengthy illnesses
1948 ● Ron Mael → With brother Russell Mael, keyboardist for quirky pop-rock Sparks, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us” (UK #2, 1974) and “Just Got Back From Heaven” (Dance/Club #7, 1989)
1949 ● Mark Knopfler → Frontman, lead guitar, songwriter and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, Notting Hillbillies
1950 ● Craig Douglas (Terence Perkins) → Early Brit pop-rock singer, “Only Sixteen” (UK #1, 1959) plus nine other UK Top 40 singles
1950 ● Kid Creole (Thomas August Darnell Browder) → Guitarist, songwriter and frontman for multi-genre, big band-style Latin-tinged pop-rock Kid Creole & The Coconuts, “It’s A Wonderful Thing, Baby” (Dance Club #18, UK #4, 1982)
1953 ● Jerry Speiser → Drummer for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1954 ● Pat Metheny → Seventeen-time Grammy-winning jazz-rock fusion guitarist, composer and bandleader, sessions and side projects with David Bowie, Gary Burton, Chick Corea and many others
1958 ● Jürgen Dehmel → Bassist for German pop-rock band Nena, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984)
1961 ● Roy Hay → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#1, 1984) plus seven other UK top 10 singles
1963 ● Sir Mix-A-Lot (Anthony Ray) → Hip hop MC, producer and rapper, “Baby Got Back” (#1, 1992) which one a Grammy for Best Rap Performance
1968 ● Paul Tucker → Keyboards for Brit R&B/Northern soul duo Lighthouse Family,”Lifted” (UK #4, 1996) and 9 other UK Top 40 hits
1969 ● Tanita Tikaram → Brit folk-pop singer and songwriter, “Twist In My Sobriety” (Modern Rock #25, UK #22, 1988)

Aug 13

1940 ● Sean James “John” Stokes → Vocals with Irish folk-pop-rock The Bachelors, “Diane” (#10, UK #1, 1964)
1947 ● David Ivor St. Hubbins → Fictional character (lead singer and rhythm guitarist) played by Michael McKean in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1948 ● Tony Santini (Scott Powell) → Vocals with rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na, TV actor, physician
1949 ● Cliff Fish → Original bassist for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1949 ● Jonathan Arendt → Bassist for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1951 ● Dan Fogelberg → Quintessential 70s-80s country-pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Part Of The Plan” (#31, 1975) and “Leader Of The Band” (#9, Adult Contemporary #1, 1982), political and environmental activist, died 12/16/2007 from prostate cancer
1958 ● Feargal Sharkey → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), solo, “A Good Heart” (#74, UK #1, 1985)
1959 ● Danny Bonaduce → Vocals and bass guitar in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970), producer, reality TV show host and panelist
1959 ● Mark Nevin → Vocals and songwriter for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1959 ● Michael Bradley → Bassist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980)
1964 ● Håkan Jan “Ian” Haugland → Drummer for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1984 ● Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith → Vocals for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)
1984 ● James Morrison (Catchpole) → Award-winning Brit soul-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Give Me Something” (UK #5, 2006) from his first album Undiscovered, which debuted at #1 on the UK albums chart

Aug 14

1915 ● Alyce King (Alice Golda Driggs Clarke) → 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 respiratory problems on 8/23/1996
1926 ● Armando “Buddy” Greco → Jazz-pop pianist and singer, member of Benny Goodman‘s band in the mid-40s, then solo career, covered “Mr. Lonely” (#64, 1962) and issued over 60 albums and 100 singles, still touring in the 00s
1940 ● Darrell “Dash” Crofts → Guitar, mandolin, vocals and songwriting for 70s light pop-rock duo Seals & Crofts, “Summer Breeze” (#6, 1972) and “Diamond Girl” (#6, 1973)
1941 ● David Crosby → Guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), collaborated with Graham Nash, “Immigration Man” (#36, 1972), then solo career with albums including Wind On The Water (#6, 1975) and singles including “Drive My Car” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1989)
1941 ● Lionel Morton → Vocals and rhythm guitar for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US
1946 ● Larry Graham → Bassist for R&B/soul-funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), then founder/frontman funk band Graham Central Station
1947 ● George Newsome → Vocals for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1947 ● Maddy Prior → Lead vocals for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1948 ● Bruce Thomas → Bassist for Elvis Costello‘s backing band The Attractions, “Pump It Up” (UK #24, 1978), session work and author
1951 ● Bob “Slim” Dunlap → Lead guitar for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), solo
1956 ● Sharon Bryant → Lead vocals for R&B/soul urban contemporary Atlantic Starr, “When Love Calls” (R&B #5, 1979), solo, sessions
1960 ● Sarah Brightman → Brit classical-pop-Broadway crossover singer and actress, dancer and vocals for disco Hot Gossip “I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper” (UK #6, 1978), played Jemima in Cats (1981) and Christine Daaé in Phantom Of The Opera (1986), solo, “Harem” (Dance/Club #1, 2003)
1963 ● Jez Willis → Partner/producer in Brit dance-pop duo Utah Saints, “Something Good” (UK #4, 1992)
1965 ● Mark Collins → Guitarist for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991) and three UK #1 albums
1970 ● Kevin Cadogan → Lead guitar for post-grunge indie pop Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life” (#4, 1997)
1974 ● Ana Matronic (Lynch) → Vocals and frontwoman for dance-glam-rock Scissor Sisters, “Filthy Gorgeous” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1974 ● Simon Dawbarn → Vocals and co-founding member of Brit teen-dance-pop boy band 911, covered The Bee Gee’s‘s “More Than A Woman” (UK #2, 1998) and Bobby Gosh‘s “A Little Bit More” (UK #1, 1999), a US #11 hit for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show in 1976
1977 ● Ed Harcourt → Multi-instrumentalist Brit chamber pop singer/songwriter, “All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed” (UK #35, 2003)

Aug 15

1896 ● Léon Theremin (Lev Sergeyevich Termen) → Russian inventor of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments and which he debuted with the New York Philharmonic in 1928, died 11/3/1993
1911 ● Buster Brown (Wayman Glasco) → One hit wonder R&B/blues singer and harmonica player, “Fanny Mae” (#38, R&B #1, 1960), died 1/31/1976
1925 ● Bill Pinkney → Co-founder and first tenor for R&B/soul-doo wop The Drifters, “Up On The Roof” (#5, 1963), died on 7/4/2007 after a heart attack and was the last surviving member of the group’s original lineup
1933 ● Bobby Helms → Country-pop singer and guitarist with the perennial “Jingle Bell Rock” (#6, 1958), died from emphysema on 6/19/1997
1933 ● Floyd Ashman → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1938 ● Nesbert “Stix” Hooper → Jazz-fusion drummer with The Jazz Crusaders (The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979), solo, sessions
1938 ● Sheila “Shan” Palmer → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956)
1942 ● Peter York → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin”” (#7, 1967), then Eric Clapton‘s short lived Powerhouse, solo, organized the “Superdrumming” series of shows with different bandmembers
1946 ● Jimmy Webb → Grammy-winning professional rock composer and lyricist, wrote “Up Up and Away” for The 5th Dimension (#7, 1967), “MacArthur Park” for Richard Harris (#2, 1968), “Galveston” for Glen Campbell (#4, 1969), producer and film score arranger
1948 ● Kate Taylor → Folk-rockabilly singer/songwriter and guitarist, covered “It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)” (#49, 1977), sister of folk-pop legend James Taylor
1950 ● Joey Spampinato → Founding member, bassist, vocals and songwriting for 40-year cult roots rock bar band NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quintet)
1950 ● Tom Aldrich → Journeyman rock drummer for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973), then bluesy hard rock The Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981), later with Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake and others
1961 ● Matt Johnson → Founder, frontman, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of eclectic alt pop-dance-rock The The, “Dogs Of Lust” (Modern Rock #2, 1993), solo
1962 ● Marcia Schofield → Keyboards from 1987-90 for 35+ year punk and post-punk The Fall, “There’s A Ghost In My House” (UK #30, 1987), left for a career as a palliative care doctor
1972 ● Michael “Mikey” Graham → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1984 ● David Welsh → Lead guitar for mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)
1989 ● Joe Jonas → Lead singer with brothers Nick and Kevin in pre-fab Disney Channel teen-pop ballad trio the Jonas Brothers, “Burnin’ Up” (#5, 2008)

Aug 16

1915 ● Al Hibbler → Baritone jazz-pop-R&B singer, first with Duke Ellington‘s orchestra in the 40s, “Do Nothin’ Til You Here From Me” (#6, 1944), then solo, “Unchained Melody” (#3, 1955), died 4/24/2001
1931 ● Eydie Gormé (Edith Gormezano) → Broadway and TV actress, nightclub and Vegas showroom entertainer, Grammy-winning traditional pop singer, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova” (#7, 1963), wife and singing partner of crooner Steve Lawrence
1942 ● Barbara George → One hit wonder New Orleans R&B singer with her self-penned crossover hit, “I Know (You Don’t Love Me Know More)” (#3, 1961), died 8/10/2006
1942 ● Robert “Squirrel” Lester → Tenor vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died 1/21/2010
1945 ● Gary Loizzo → Guitar/vocals and founder, pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968)
1945 ● Kevin Ayers → Eccentric singer/songwriter and original bassist for Brit psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, switched to guitar and solo in 1969, has issued more than a dozen albums over 40 years
1946 ● Gordon “Snowy” Fleet → Drummer for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Barry Hay → Lead vocals and frontman for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1949 ● Scott “Rock Action” Asheton → Drummer for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), sessions
1949 ● William “Sputnik” Spooner → Guitarist and founder of camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), solo
1953 ● James “J. T.” Taylor → Lead singer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Celebration” (#1, 1981), left in 1988 for a largely unsuccessful solo career
1957 ● Tim Farriss → Guitarist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Madonna (Madonna Louise Victoria Ciccone) → Film actress, record producer, entrepreneur and dance-pop megastar, “Like A Virgin” (#1, 1984), best selling female rock artist of the 20th century and second (behind Barbra Streisand) top selling US female artist of all time
1960 ● Chris Pedersen → Drummer for eclectic alt rock pop-ska-punk-folk fusion Camper Van Beethoven, “Take The Skinheads Bowling” (1985)
1964 ● Matt Lukin → Bassist for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● MC Remedee (Debbie Pryce) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1972 ● Emily Burns Erwin Robison → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founding member of country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006), formed Court Yard Hounds in 2010 with sister and former Dixie Chicks bandmate Martie Erwin Maguire
1980 ● Bob Hardy → Bassist for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1980 ● Vanessa Lee Carlton → One hit wonder “new era” female pop-rock singer/songwriter, “A Thousand Miles” (#5, 2002)

Aug 17

1919 ● Georgia Gibbs (Frieda Lipschitz) → Jazz-pop and R&B vocalist, first as a radio show singer and later as a widely popular 50s novelty pop artist, covered and bested LaVern Baker‘s “Tweedlee Dee” (#2, 1955), died of leukemia on 12/9/2006
1933 ● Max Dinning → One hit wonder pop singer, “Teen Angel” (#1, 1959), died from an alcoholism-related heart attack on 3/22/1986
1939 ● Ed Saunders → Poet, social activist, environmentalist and bandleader for 60s underground rock The Fugs, author of numerous books including The Family (1971) about Charles Manson and the Tate-LaBianca murders and a nine-volume collection America: A History In Verse (started in 1998)
1942 ● Tommy West (Picardo) → Singer/songwriter, producer, and one half of the pop rock songwriting duo and folk-pop group Cashman & West, “American City Suite” (#27, 1972), produced albums for Jim Croce, Mary Travers, Henry Gross and others
1944 ● Baby Huey (James Ramey) → Corpulent rock and soul singer, songwriter and frontman for Baby Huey & The Babysitters whose lone album for Curtis Mayfield‘s Custom label, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (1971) was released posthumously and is considered an early forerunner of hip hop music and a period classic, died from a weight and drug-induced heart attack on 10/28/1970
1944 ● John “The Chief” Seiter → Drums and vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967)
1947 ● Gary Talley → Guitar for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then session work in Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta
1949 ● John “Sib” Hashian → Drummer for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), after leaving the band sued leader Tom Scholz for back royalties and settled out of court
1953 ● Kevin Rowland → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock Dexys Midnight Runners, “Come On Eileen” (#1, 1983), solo career after the band broke up in 1987, reformed in 2003
1955 ● Colin Moulding → Bassist 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
1957 ● Ron Strykert → Co-founder, vocals and guitar for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1958 ● Belinda Carlisle → Co-founder and lead vocals for New Wave pop-punk girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”, (#2, 1982), the most successful all-female pop and rock band of all time and the only one to play their own instruments and write their own songs, started a solo career following The Go-Go’s breakup, “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” (#1, 1987), wrote autobiography Lips Unsealed (2010) which reached #27 on the New York Times bestseller list
1962 ● Gilbert “Gilby” Clarke → Rhythm guitarist, replaced Izzy Stradlin in 1991 as lead guitar for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “November Rain” (#3, 1992), left in 1994 for solo career and sessions with Slash’s Snakepit, Heart, MC5 and others
1964 ● Maria McKee → Co-founder and lead vocals for roots rock Lone Justice, “Shelter” (#47, Mainstream Rock #26, 1986), dissolved the band in favor of a solo career, “Show Me Heaven” (Adult Contemporary #28, UK #1, 1990) plus sessions
1965 ● Steve Gorman → Drummer for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1966 ● Jill Cunniff → Bassist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1969 ● Donnie Wahlberg → Vocals for early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), TV and film actor, brother of NKOTB bandmate and fellow actor Mark Wahlberg
1969 ● Posdnuos (Kelvin Mercer) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1977 ● Claire Richards → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1979 ● Mike Lewis → Guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 05

1937 ● Johnnie Taylor → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died 5/31/2000 after a heart attack
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 on 4/6/1998
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)
1954 ● Pete Erskine → Session percussionist and journeyman jazz and jazz-rock fusion session drummer, worked with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Weather Report and the Brecker Brothers, among others
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 (Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan (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 → 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

1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia, “Love Is Strange” (#11, 1957)
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 ● 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
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
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)

May 07

1931 ● Teresa Brewer (Breuer) → 50s novelty pop singer, “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The Temptations‘s David Ruffin
1939 ● Johnny Maestro (Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010
1940 ● Jim “JC” Connors → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West (Richard Westwood) → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967)
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Charles L’Empereur “Prairie” Prince → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1956 ● Anne Dudley (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson-Piper → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye Cherry → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08

1911 ● Robert Johnson → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died 8/16/1938
1940 ● Eric Hillard “Ricky” Nelson → Teen idol and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Travellin’ Man” (#1, 1961) plus 18 other Top 10 singles, played himself on his parent’s TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, died in a plane crash on 12/31/1985
1941 ● John Fred (Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died on 4/15/2005 after a long battle with kidney disease
1943 ● Cathyrn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972
1943 ● Paul Samwell-Smith → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1944 ● Bill Legend (Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2” (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1951 ● Chris Frantz → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1964 ● Dave Rowntree → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

May 09

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

May 10

1899 ● Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz) → Grammy-winning, renowned film and Broadway stage dancer, actor, vocalist and choreographer, appeared in 31 musical movies, often with dance partner Ginger Rogers, sang multiple, enduring popular songs without a charting single, died of pneumonia on 6/22/1987
1920 ● Bert Weedon → Virtuoso Brit pop-instrumental guitarist, “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” (UK #10, 1959), published the Play In A Day guitar manual, session work for Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others
1930 ● Scott Muni (Donald Allen Munoz) → Gravel-voiced AM Top 40, then FM rock DJ (WNEW-FM, New York), died on 9/28/2004
1935 ● Larry Williams → Early R&B/rock & roll guitarist, singer and songwriter, “High School Dance” (#5, R&B #1, 1957), his classic songs have been covered by The Beatles “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” (1965), The Jam and others, died from gunshot wounds on 1/2/1980
1938 ● Henry Fambrough → Vocals for Motown R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974), plus eleven other Top 20 hits
1941 ● Danny Rapp → Frontman and singer for early rock ‘n’ rollers Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958), committed suicide on 4/5/1983
1944 ● John Richard “Jackie” Lomax → Star-crossed Liverpudlian singer, first act to be signed to The Beatles‘ Apple Records, received support from Paul McCartney and George Harrison, who wrote his single “Sour Milk Sea” (1970), but he never achieved the expected stardom
1946 ● Dave Mason → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then solo, “We Just Disagree” (#12, 1977), session work Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, George Harrison and others
1946 ● Donovan (Phillip Leitch) → Brit psych-folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Mellow Yellow” (#2, 1966), once labeled Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan
1946 ● Graham Gouldman → Bubblegum-pop songwriter, wrote hits for Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies and others, then co-founder, guitar and vocals for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975) and 10 UK Top 30 hits, later formed pop-rock Wax, “Bridge To Your Heart” (UK #12, 1987)
1947 ● John Arden “Jay” Ferguson → Vocals, keyboards and songwriting for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left and co-founded hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), went solo, “Thunder Island” (#9, 1978), now composes film scores
1951 ● Ronald Banks → Vocals for R&B/soul The Dramatics, “In The Rain” (#5, R&B #1, 1972), died of a heart attack on 3/4/2010
1952 ● Lee Brilleaux (Collinson) → Lead vocals and harmonica for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), died of cancer on 4/7/1994
1952 ● Lowell Fillmore “Sly” Dunbar → Reggae drummer, with session partner Robbie Shakespeare as The Riddim Twins and later Sly & Robbie worked with Peter Tosh, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and others
1957 ● Karl Hyde → Vocals and guitar for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1957 ● Sid Vicious (John Simon Ritchie) → Vocals and bass guitar for renowned and reviled punk-rock The Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), died of a heroin overdose on 2/2/1979
1960 ● Bono (Paul Hewson) → Vocalist and guitarist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987) plus five consecutive US #1 albums between 1987 and 1997, poet, peace activist
1962 ● Gary Daley → Vocals and keyboards for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Young M.C. (Marvin Young) → Pop-rap rhymer and singer, “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989)
1968 ● Richard Patrick → Guitarist for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999), then alt rock/post-grunge supergroup Army of Anyone, “Goodbye” (Mainstream Rock #3, 2006), also worked with Nine Inch Nails
1980 ● Jason Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1985 ● Ashley Poole → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)

May 11

1888 ● Irving Berlin (Israel Isidore Baline) → Siberian-born lyricist, pianist and composer of dozens of enduring pop, stage show and film hits including “White Christmas” (1940), the best selling single of all time, died in his sleep on 9/22/1989
1935 ● Christopher “Kit” Lambert → Assistant film director (The Guns of Navarone and From Russia With Love), record producer, record executive (Track Records, which signed Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon), band manager for The Who until 1971, eccentric but drug-abusing impresario, died from a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a set of stairs at his mother’s house on 4/7/1981
1938 ● Carla Bley (Borg) → 60s Free Jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader
1941 ● Eric Burdon → Vocals and eventual frontman for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1943 ● Arnie Satin (Silver) → Baritone vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1943 ● Les Chadwick → Bassist for British Invasion/Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1947 ● Claude Hudson “Butch” Trucks → Drummer for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973)
1955 ● Jonathan “J.J.” Jeczalik → Record producer, sessionman and founding member of avant garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1955 ● Mark Herndon → Drummer for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1955 ● Susan Stenger → Bass and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1965 ● Avtar Singh → Founding member and bassist for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1966 ● Christoph “Doom” Schneider → Drummer for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1983 ● Holly Valance (Vukadinović) → Yugoslavian-Australian TV actress and pop singer, “Kiss Kiss” (UK#1, 2002)
1986 ● Kieren Webster → Bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 27 – February 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 27

1918 ● Elmore James → The “King of the Slide Guitar,” highly influential blues slide guitarist, singer and songwriter, “It Hurts Me Too” (R&B #15, 1960), covered by Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band and many others, died from heart failure on 5/24/1963
1919 ● David Seville (Rosdom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian) → Armenian-American actor, pianist, singer and songwriter, “Witch Doctor” (#1, 1958), creator of novelty pop Alvin & The Chipmunks, “The Chipmunk Song” (#1, 1958), died of a heart attack on 1/16/1972
1930 ● Bobby “Blue” Bland (Robert Calvin Bland) → R&B/soul-blues-gospel singer and Lifetime Grammy winner, “That’s The Way Love Is” (#33, R&B #1, 1963) and 43 other R&B Top 40 hits
1931 ● Rudy Maugeri → Baritone for Canadian pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954), died on 5/7/2004
1937 ● Bruce Tate → Baritone singer for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop vocals The Penguins, “Earth Angel” (#8, 1954), one of the earliest pop crossover hits, died on 6/20/1973
1944 ● Kevin Coyne → Underappreciated Brit blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Marlene” (1973), poet, author and painter, died of lung failure on 12/2/2004
1944 ● Nick Mason → Drummer and only constant member of space rock Pink Floyd since it formed in 1965, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), auto racing driver
1946 ● Nedra Talley → Backing vocals for pop-rock girl group The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1948 ● Kim Gardner → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Thunderbirds (with Ron Wood), then formed art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971), then sessions and L.A. pub owner, died of cancer on 10/24/2001
1951 ● Brian Downey → Drummer for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1951 ● Seth Justman → Keyboards and vocals for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1955 ● Richard Young → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Southern honky tonk-blues-country rock Kentucky Headhunters, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (Country #8, 1990)
1957 ● Janick Robert Gers → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Wasting Love” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1992)
1961 ● Gillian Gilbert → Keyboards, guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983), formed The Other Two with husband Stephen Morris, “Selfish” (Dance/Club #6, 1993)
1961 ● Margo Timmins → Lead vocalist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Martin Degville → Lead singer and co-writer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1964 ● Miguel John “Migi” Drummond → Drummer for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Mike Patton → Vocals for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1968 ● Tricky (Adrian Nicholas Matthews-Thaws) → Rap singer with innovative trip hop Massive Attack, “Safe From Harm” (Dance #32, 1991), then solo, “Milk” (UK #10, 1996)
1970 ● Mark Trojanowski → Drummer for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1971 ● Lil John (Jonathan Smith) → Dirty South crunk movement rapper, producer and bandleader, “Lovers And Friends” (#3, 2004)
1972 ● Mark Owen → Lead vocals and primary songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, UK #1, 1995), plus ten other UK #1 hits, solo, “Child” (UK #3, 1996) and five other UK Top 30 hits

Jan 28

1927 ● Ronnie Scott (Ronald Schatt) → Influential Brit postwar jazz tenor saxophonist and night club owner/operator, died on 12/23/1996 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates
1929 ● Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk → Brit easy listening clarinetist with highest selling instrumental single of all time, “Stranger On The Shore” (#1, 1962)
1936 ● Jack Scott (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → Canadian rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and country-pop singer with eight Top 40 singles in less than 3 years, including “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960)
1941 ● King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock) → Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, pioneer in developing the “dub” subgenre of reggae music and remixes, shot dead in an apparent robbery outside his home on 2/6/1989
1943 ● Dick Taylor → Guitarist for The Rolling Stones until 1962, then moved to British Invasion raunchy rock ‘n roll The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1944 ● Brian “Chambers” Keenan → Drummer for early Brit pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), died of heart attack on 10/5/1985
1945 ● Robert Wyatt → Original drummer for psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left to form Matching Mole, then solo career as a singer/songwriter, “Shipbuilding” (UK #36, 1983)
1946 ● Rick Allen → Bassist for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1951 ● William “Billy Bass” Nelson → Original bassist for R&B/funk giants Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#28, 1978), left for solo and session work
1959 ● Dave Sharp (David Kitchingman) → Guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1989), solo
1962 ● Leslie Ann “Sam” Phillips → Backing vocalist turned Christian pop then alt rock singer/songwriter, “Holding On To The Earth” (Modern Rock #22, 1989), wife of T. Bone Burnett
1963 ● Dan Spitz → Lead guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993), brother of Black Sabbath bassist Dave Spitz
1968 ● DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) → DJ for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1968 ● Rakim (William Michael Griffin, Jr.) → Rapper, hip hop duo with Eric B., “Move The Crowd” (Dance #3, 1988), author, poet, MC, solo, “When I B On The Mic” (Rap #20, 1999)
1968 ● Sarah McLachlan → Grammy-winning Canadian singer/songwriter, “Adia” (#3, 1998), organized the Lilith Fair music festival/tour for female musicians and groups
1971 ● Anthony Hamilton → Contemporary R&B/neo-soul singer, “You’ve Got The Love I Need,” the 2008 Grammy Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
1975 ● Lee Latchford-Evans → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1977 ● Joey Fatone → Baritone for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000)
1977 ● Raphael “Tweety” Brown → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Nick Carter → Singer, songwriter, actor, lead vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997), older brother of Aaron Carter

Jan 29

1933 ● Alexandre “Sacha” Distel → French jazz-pop singer, guitarist, TV actor and songwriter, wrote Tony Bennett‘s “The Good Life” (#18, 1965), died on 7/22/2004 following years of failing health
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
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
1952 ● Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyl) → Drummer for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978)
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)

Jan 30

1928 ● Ruth Brown (Ruth Alston Weston) → R&B/soul singer, Atlantic Records’ (the “House That Ruth Built”) top-selling 1950s artist, “Teardrops In My Eyes” (R&B #1, 1950), died 11/17/2006 following a stroke and heart attack
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
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) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits
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
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 ● 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
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

Jan 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
1921 ● Mario Lanza (Alfredo Arnold Cocozza) → 1940s opera tenor, post-WW II film actor and 50s pop singer, “Be My Love” (1950), died of pulmonary embolism on 10/7/1959
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
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
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 and lead guitar for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
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

Feb 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
1939 ● Joe Sample → Jazz-fusion keyboardist and composer with The Jazz Crusaders (The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979), solo
1947 ● 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
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 on 7/1/1999 from complications of a heart attack and cocaine abuse
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)

Feb 02

1927 ● Stan Getz → Renowned jazz saxophonist know as “The Sound” for his warm and lyrical tone, “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, 1964)
1934 ● Clyde “Skip” Battin → Bassist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros., New Riders Of The Purple Sage, plus session work for country rock bands, solo work, died on 7/6/2003 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease
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 on 8/16/2000
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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 20

1924 ● Otis Dewey “Slim” Whitman, Jr. → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955)
1933 ● Ron Townson → Original member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died on 5/26/1977 of cancer
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, “Neandrethal 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
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 Ballas 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)
1/20/1888 ● 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

Jan 21

1924 ● Alfred Hawthorne “Benny” Hill → English singer/comedian with a long-running TV show and several comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961)
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
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
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 ● Richie Havens → Low-screen folk guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971)
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
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
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” (UK#3, 1983), solo
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)
1977 ● Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II) → South Florida-based Southern-gangsta rap/hip-hop artist, “The Boss” (#17, 2008)
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)

Jan 22

1931 ● Sam Cooke → Pioneering R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record executive and civil rights activist, “You Send Me” (#1, 1957), shot and killed during an altercation with his landlord on 12/11/1964
1940 ● Addie “Mickie” Harris → Vocals for Brill Building pop, girl-group-defining The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of a heart attack on stage during an oldies circuit performance on 6/10/1982
1946 ● Malcolm McLaren → Brit performer, impresario and solo artist, “Double Dutch” (UK #3, 1983), manager of the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, died of cancer 4/8/2010
1949 ● Nigel Pegrum → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then prog-rock Uriah Heep, art-rock Gnidrolog and folk-rock Steeleye Span, producer and session drummer
1949 ● Steve Perry (Stephen Ray Pereira) → Lead singer for arena rock Journey beginning in 1977, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), then solo, “Oh, Sherrie” (#3, 1986), then re-formed Journey 1996, “When You Love A Woman” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1996)
1952 ● Teddy Gentry → Founding member, bass and background vocals for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1960 ● Michael Hutchence → Founding member, lead singer, songwriter and 20-year frontman for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987), found dead on 11/22/1997 in a Sydney hotel room after an apparent suicide
1965 ● Andrew Roachford → Frontman, vocals and keyboards for Brit urban contemporary R&B Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” (# 25, UK #4, 1989)
1965 ● D.J. Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Allen Townes) → R&B/hip hop artist, record producer, turntablist and actor, with Will Smith in duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, 1991)
1965 ● Steve Adler → Drummer (1985-90) for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), then Road Crew and Adler’s Appetite
1969 ● Marc Gay → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1981 ● Ben Robert Moody → Founder, vocals, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1981 ● Willa Ford (Amanda Lee Williford Modano) → Dance-pop singer, songwriter, model, TV and film actress, “I Wanna Be Bad” (Top 40 Mainstream #11, 2001)
1985 ● Orianthi Panagaris → Aussie singer, songwriter and guitarist, “According To You” (#17, 2009), played for Prince and was Michael Jackson‘s lead guitarist for the ill-fated This Is It tour

Jan 23

1910 ● Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt → Belgian-born gypsie-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953
1944 ● Jerry Lawson → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008
1953 ● Robin Zander → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch → Co-founder, producer and bassist for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1955 ● Reggie Calloway → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1957 ● Earl Falconer → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

Jan 24

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

Jan 25

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

Jan 26

1926 ● Ronnie Hilton (Adrian Hill) → Brit 50s pop crooner, “No Other Love” (UK #1, 1956) plus 21 other Top 40 hits during the onslaught of rock ‘n’ doll, BBC radio host of the weekly show Sounds of the Fifties, died of a stroke on 2/21/2001
1934 ● Huey “Piano” Smith → New Orleans “good time” R&B/rock ‘n roll pianist, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (R&B #5, 1957), wrote and played on Frankie Ford‘s “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959)
1937 ● Alison Steele (Ceil Loman) → Pioneering DJ known as “The Night Bird” on archetypical progressive rock station WNEW-fm (New York) from 1967 to 1979, inspiration for Jimi Hendrix‘s “Night Bird Flying,” music writer, producer and CNN correspondent, died from stomach cancer on 9/27/1995
1945 ● Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings → Bassist for renowned Brit folk-rock revival bands Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1946 ● Deon Jackson → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (#11, 1966)
1948 ● Laurence Gordon “Corky” Laing → Drummer for power rock trio Mountain, “Mississippi Queen” (#21, 1970), then West, Bruce & Laing, solo and collaborations
1949 ● Derek Holt → Guitar and keyboards for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Bassist in quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from cancer on 7/19/2010
1951 ● David Briggs → Guitarist and songwriter for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, wrote “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), now recording engineer and producer
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → Underappreciated country-folk-roots rock singer and songwriter, “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998) from the Grammy-winning album of the same name
1955 ● Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen → Top rock guitarist, frontman, songwriter and vocals for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), solo, collaborations and film score compositions, uncredited guitar solo on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” (#1, 1983)
1958 ● Anita Baker → Grammy-winning R&B/quiet storm singer, “Sweet Love” (#8, 1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → Percussion, trombone and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Charlie Gillingham → Keyboards for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock boy band Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984) and 6 other US Top 10 hits
1963 ● Jazzie B. (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → DJ, mixmaster, producer and founding member of R&B/dance-pop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989)
1964 ● Susannah Melvoin → Vocalist, songwriter and actress, backing singer for Prince, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Wendy & Lisa
1966 ● Pim Jones → Guitarist for Scottish contemporary pop-rock Hipsway, “The Honeythief” (#19, 1986)
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Looking For You” (#61, 2005)
1972 ● Ya Kid K (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, wrote lyrics and sang vocals on “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 23

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
1935 ● Little Esther Phillips (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
1940 ● Eugene Record → Vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005
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
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)
1945 ● Ron Bushy → Drummer for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970)
1946 ● Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Robbie Dupree (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock one hit wonder vocalist, “Steal Away” (#6, 1980)
1949 ● Robert Steven “Adrian” 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 ● Johnny Contardo → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
1958 ● Dave Murray → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
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 5/22/1991
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)

Dec 24

1920 ● Dave Bartholomew → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, with Fats Domino co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955)
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986
1944 ● Mike Curb → Musician, producer, record label executive with MGM, Bizarre and Curb records, former Lt. Governor of California, NASCAR racing team owner
1945 ● Lemmy (Ian Frasier Kilminster) → Bass and vocals for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (1972), founded punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Founding member and guitarist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo, music journalist
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Vocals in folk-pop John & Mary, then joined 10,000 Maniacs as lead vocalist in 1994 after Natalie Merchant‘s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1968 ● Doyle Bramhall II → Guitarist and songwriter in Texas blues-rock The Arc Angels and Smokestack, played second guitar for Eric Clapton‘s band from 2004 to 2009, solo
1971 ● Ricky Martin (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican teen-pop and later adult-pop superstar singer, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), TV actor in daytime soap opera General Hospital
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)

Dec 25

1907 ● Cabell “Cab” Calloway III → Popular jazz and scat singer, pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Minnie The Moocher” (1931 and R&B #91, 1978), continued to perform up to his death following a stroke on 11/18/1994
1929 ● Chris Kenner → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n roll singer and songwriter, “I Like It Like That” (#2, 1961), his “Land Of A Thousand Dances” was covered by Wilson Pickett, Patti Smith and others, died from a heart attack on 1/25/1976
1929 ● William Franklin “Billy” Horton → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley, Jr. → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973), died on 3/31/1986 following as heart attack
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop crossover keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader, “Feel Like Making Love” (#88, 1974) and two Grammy-winning albums, One On One (1980) and Double Vision (1986)
1940 ● Pete Brown → Poet and co-lyricist for blues-rock Cream, co-wrote “I Feel Free” (1966) and “White Room” (#6, 1968) with Jack Bruce and “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) with Bruce and Eric Clapton
1940 ● Phil Spector → Musician, songwriter, record producer and originator of the “Wall of Sound” recording technique, pioneer of 60s girl groups and former husband of Ronnie Bennett Spector of The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Guitarist and vocalist with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Fotheringay, producer for Al Stewart, The Strawbs and others, died of a heart attack on 2/4/1989
1944 ● Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine → Guitarist for folk-blues-rock Canned Heat, “”Let’s Work Together” (1970) and Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967)
1944 ● Kenny Everett (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ, Thames Television host, comedian and musician, “Snot Rap” (1983), died from an AIDS-related illness on 4/4/1995
1945 ● David Noel Redding → Bassist for psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), solo, died from complications of cirrhosis of the liver on 5/11/2003
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → Country-folk-pop-rock singer, songwriter, perpetual beach bum and chief Parrothead, “Margaritaville” (#8, 1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Country singer, songwriter and three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” (Country #1, 1977)
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Soul and gospel touring and session singer, recorded with Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and others, duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter”, solo
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Tourists, “I Only Want To Be With You” (#83, 1980), co-founder and one-half the synth-pop duo Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams” (#1, 1983), Grammy-winning solo career, “Walking On Broken Glass” (#14, 1992) and three other Top 40 hits
1954 ● Robin Campbell → Guitar and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Guitar and vocals for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Alannah Myles → Sultry, smoky and sensual Canadian pop singer and songwriter, “Black Velvet” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Bob Stanley → Guitars and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Dido (Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
1972 ● Josh Freese → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), also with The Vandals, Devo and others

Dec 26

1935 ● Abdul “Duke” Fakir → Ethiopian-American tenor vocalist in six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), last surviving member of the group that performed together for over 40 years from 1953 without a change in lineup
1946 ● Bob Carpenter → Pianist (from 1977) for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and simply The Dirt Band, backed Steve Martin on “King Tut” (#17, 1978)
1951 ● Paul Anthony Quinn → Early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1953 ● Henning Schmitz → Sound engineer then keyboardist for German electro-rock Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1953 ● Steve Witherington → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1963 ● Dana Baldinger → Bassist for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1963 ● Lars Ulrich → Drummer for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991)
1967 ● J. (Jay Noel Yuenger) → Guitarist for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1969 ● Peter Klett → Founding member and guitarist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1971 ● Jared Joseph Leto → Lead vocals, guitar and songwriter for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006), actor
1979 ● Chris Daughtry → Fifth season American Idol finalist, bandleader and guitarist for rock Daughtry “It’s Not Over” (#4, 2006)

Dec 27

1931 ● William “Scotty” Moore → Sun Records sessionman and longtime Elvis Presley backing band guitarist, Rolling Stone magazine #29 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Piano and saxophone for Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1941 ● Mike Pinder → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967), left in 1978 for a solo career
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → Early member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then solo and songwriter
1944 ● Michael Leslie “Mick” Jones → Rock guitarist for Spooky Tooth and founding member of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978)
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Founder, frontwoman and lead vocals for underappreciated 60s psych-blues-rock Mother Earth, then solo
1948 ● Larry Byrom → Guitar for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), solo, sessions
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Drummer for Frank Zappa‘s band, then founded New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream #12, 1982)
1952 ● David Knopfler → Rhythm guitar and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, songwriter, younger brother of Mark Knopfler
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → L.A. pop-rock singer and songwriter, backing vocalist in Linda Ronstadt‘s band, solo “Personally” (#19, 1982)
1957 ● Jerry Gaskill → Drummer for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1960 ● Martin “Youth” Glover → Founding member and bassist for post-punk New Wave dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Lead guitar and principal songwriter for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1988 ● Hayley Nichole Williams → Lead vocals and keyboards for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

Dec 28

1903 ● Earl Kenneth “Fatha” Hines → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000
1915 ● Roebuck “Pops” Staples → Patriarch and manager of four-sister R&B/soul-gospel act The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died on 12/19/2000
1921 ● Johnny Otis (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (R&B #3, 1958)
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979
1938 ● Charles Neville → Saxophonist for Joey Dee & The Starlighters, “Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1943 ● Charles “Chas” Hodges → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then power-pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died on 3/17/2010 from heart failure
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend (Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)
1979 ● Akon (Aliaune Thiam) → Senegalese-American R&B/hip hop artist, “I Wanna Love You” (#1, 2006) plus 10 other Top 40 hits, has recorded as a guest on over 300 other Top 40 singles

Dec 29

1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop The Velvets, “Tonight (Could Be The Night)” (#26, 1961)
1941 ● Ray Thomas → Founding member, harmonica and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967)
1942 ● Jerry Summers (Gross) → Lead and first tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1942 ● Rick Danko → Canadian-born bassist, vocalist and occasional songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, committed suicide on 12/10/1999
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, former paramour of Mick Jagger, co-wrote The Rolling Stones‘ “Sister Morphine,” solo vocalist, “As Tears Go By” (#22, 1964), continues to record and release albums into the 10s
1947 ● Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) → Journeyman but sought after and influential rock drummer with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and others, died in a one-car crash in the UK on 4/5/1998
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → Trumpeter in blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → Hawaii-born pop-rock singer and songwriter, acted in the Broadway stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), member of Eric Clapton‘s band and solo “If I Can’t Have You” (#1, 1977)
1955 ● Neil “Spyder” Giraldo → Lead guitarist for Pat Benatar‘s band, “Love Is A Battlefield” (#5, 1983)
1961 ● Jim Reid → Co-founder and lead singer in Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1961 ● Mark “Cow” Day → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1963 ● Alex Gifford → Keyboards, bass and DJ for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998)
1966 ● Bryan Keith “Dexter” Holland → Frontman, guitar and vocals for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1968 ● Sadat X (Derek Murphy) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Phillips → Founder, lead vocals and songwriter for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 2 – 8)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 02

1906 ● Dr. Peter Carl Goldmark → Hungarian-born engineer who developed the long-play (LP) microgroove 33-1/3 rpm vinyl phonograph disc, died in a car crash on 12/7/1977
1941 ● Tom McGuinness → Guitar and vocals for Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo, duo McGuiness Flint and The Blues Band, author and TV producer
1942 ● Ted Bluechell, Jr. → Drums and vocals for light pop-rock harmony group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1960 ● Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley → Drummer for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984), died when a car driven by Mötley Crüe‘s Vince Neil crashed in L.A. on 12/8/1984
1960 ● Rick Savage → Bassist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1960 ● Sydney Youngblood (Ford) → R&B/soul-dance-funk singer, “I’d Rather Go Blind” (#46, 1990)
1968 ● Jimi Haha → Founder, vocals and guitar for alt rock funk-metal Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, “Do Right” (Modern Rock #12, 1999)
1968 ● Nate Mendel → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1970 ● Treach (Anthony Criss) → Vocals in Grammy-winning hip hop trio Naughty By Nature, “Hip Hop Hooray” (#8, 1993)
1971 ● Donna Matthews → Guitarist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1978 ● Brian Chase → Drummer for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1978 ● Nelly Furtado → Portuguese-Canadian dance-pop actress, singer and songwriter, “Say It Right” (#1, 2006)
1978 ● Chris Wolstenholme → Bassist for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1981 ● Britney Spears → Teen-pop phenomenon, media icon and tabloid headlining singer and actress, “Baby One More Time” (#1, 2000) and 18 other Top 40 hits

Dec 03

1928 ● Howard Andrew “Andy” Williams → Easy Listening/jazz-pop vocalist, “Butterfly” (#1, 1962) plus over 25 other US Top 40 singles, TV actor and variety show host
1940 ● Jim Freeman → Vocals in R&B/doo wop harmony group The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1942 ● Ken Lewis (Kenneth James Hawker) → Brit songwriter and producer, collaborator with John Carter in The Ivy League, wrote “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” for Herman’s Hermits (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Ralph McTell (May) → Brit folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Streets Of London” (UK #2, 1974), children’s TV host
1946 ● Vic Malcolm → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1948 ● John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne → Hard rock icon, founder and frontman for gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970), solo goth-rock artist, “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (#28, Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), producer, TV actor and host
1949 ● Mickey Thomas → Lead vocals for Elvin Bishop Group, “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (#3, 1975), then Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Mike Stock → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), co-wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1951 ● Nicky Stevens → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man, “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1952 ● Don Barnes → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1952 ● Duane Roland → Co-founder and lead guitar for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), died on 6/19/2006 of “natural causes”
1968 ● Montell Jordan → Contemporary R&B/soul-new jack swing singer and songwriter, “This Is How We Do It” (#1, 1995)
1979 ● Daniel Bedingfield → New Zealand-born Brit pop/rock vocalist, “Gotta Get Thru This” (#10, 2001)

Dec 04

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

Dec 05

1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck “Rice” Miller) → Celebrated Chicago-style blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, played with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others, The Animals, Van Morrison, The Who, Yardbirds and many others covered his songs, died on 5/25/1965 from a heart attack
1932 ● Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) → Pianist, songwriter, legendary musical wildman and key figure in the transformation of R&B to rock ‘n roll, “Long Tall Sally” (#6, 1956) plus ten other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → The “King of Gospel music”, Grammy-winning singer, arranger and modern soul/Gospel sound innovator who fused church Gospel with jazz and pop influences, died of heart failure on 2/9/1991
1938 ● John Weldon “J.J.” Cale → Roots-blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “After Midnight” (#42, 1972), wrote “Cocaine” for Eric Clapton (#30, 1980), won a Grammy Award for his album The Road To Escondido (2007)
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → Original drummer for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Messina → Country-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967), Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970) and Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1972)
1952 ● Andy Kim (Andrew Youakim) → Canadian bubblegum pop-rock one hit wonder singer and songwriter, “Rock Me Gently” (#1, 1974)
1960 ● Les Nemes → Bassist for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1960 ● Jack Russell → Lead vocals for hard rock/metal Great White, “One Bitten, Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), survived Rhode Island night club fire in 2003 in which nearly 100 fans died
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Lead singer and guitarist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1968 ● Glen Graham → Drums and percussion for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1971 ● Craig Gill → Drummer for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1980 ● Christian Smith Pancorvo → Drummer in Brit indie rock Razorlight, “Golden Touch” (UK #9, 2004) and currently Serafin, “Day By Day” (UK #49, 2003)
1980 ● Zainam Higgins → Singer and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Keri Lynn Hilson → R&B singer and songwriter, wrote hits as part of The Clutch five-person songwriting team, solo, “Knock You Down” (#3, 2009)

Dec 06

1916 ● Hugo Peretti → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with Luigi Creatore to produce dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), died on 5/1/1986
1920 ● Dave Brubeck → Renowned jazz-pop pianist, bandleader and composer, “Take Five” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1961)
1943 ● Keith West (Hopkins) → Singer, songwriter and frontman for Brit early psych-rock group Tomorrow, then pop-psych solo career, “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” (UK #2, 1967), now a producer of music
1943 ● Michael George “Mike” Smith → Keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US, died 2/28/2008 from pneumonia
1944 ● Kenneth George “Jonathan” King → Brit singer and songwriter, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (#17, 1965) plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under various names, record producer, early manager for prog rock Genesis, convicted and jailed (2001) sex offender
1947 ● David Roderick “Fritz” Fryer → Lead guitarist for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US, died of pancreatic cancer on 9/2/2007
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Founder and guitarist for Brit blues-rock Savoy Brown, “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971)
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Czech-born bassist for jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1977), solo
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Up and coming heavy metal/pop-metal guitarist, founder of hard rock Quiet Riot, joined Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band for landmark albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981), died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida on 3/19/1982
1955 ● Edward Tudor-Pole → Leader of Brit punk-rock band Tenpole Tudor, “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, (UK #6, 1981), solo, “Who Killed Bambi?” (1978), TV actor and host
1955 ● Rick Buckler → Drummer for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982)
1956 ● Peter Buck → Guitarist and songwriter for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1961 ● David Lovering → Drummer for melodic post-punk alternative rock The Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man” (Modern Rock #3, 1989)
1962 ● Ben Watt → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Jeff “Blando” Bland → Guitarist in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/5/1998
1969 ● Mark Gardener → Singer and guitarist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1969 ● Steven Drozd → Drummer and vocalist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)

Dec 07

1942 ● Harry Chapin → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cat’s In The Cradle” (#1, 1974), died in a car accident on 7/16/1981
1949 ● Tom Waits → Grammy-winning gravelly, growling blues-rock singer and songwriter, film actor, film score composer, voice-over contributor, wrote “Ol’ 55′” for the Eagles (1974)
1954 ● Mike Nolan → Vocals in Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981) and 12 other UK Top 40 singles
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Bassist and co-founder of Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1961 ● Robert Downes → Guitarist in New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Barbara Weathers → Lead vocals for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Huw Chadbourne → Keyboardist for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1965 ● Brian Futter → Guitarist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1973 ● Dodi Ma (Damien Rice) → Multi-instrumentalist Irish indie folk-rock singer and songwriter, fronted folk-pop Juniper, then solo, “Cannonball” (UK #19, 2004)
1974 ● Nicole Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1977 ● Dominic Howard → Drummer for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1979 ● Sara Beth Bareilles → Grammy-nominated contemporary pop-rock pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Love Song” (#4, 2007)
1986 ● Jonathan Benjamin “J.B.” Gill → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-pop boy band JLS (aka Jack The Lad Swing), “She Makes Me Wanna” (Dance/Club #25, 2011), runners-up of the fifth season (2008) of The X Factor
1987 ● Aaron Carter → Teen idol hip hop/pop singer, “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” (#35, 2002)

Dec 08

1925 ● Jimmy Smith → Jazz organist, Hammond B-3 electronic organ innovator and recognized virtuoso, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master, bandleader and composer, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#4, 1962), found dead in his home on 2/8/2005
1925 ● Sammy Davis, Jr. → Versatile TV and film actor, impersonator, dancer, “Rat Pack” contemporary pop singer and “member” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, solo artist, “Candy Man” (#1, 1972), died of lung cancer on 5/16/1990
1939 ● James Galway → The “Man with the Golden Flute,” Irish virtuoso flutist, “Annie’s Song” (UK #33, 1978), played with Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall in 1990
1939 ● Jerry Butler → The “Ice Man,” vocals in Chicago soul/doo wop The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, 1963), then solo, “Only The Strong Survive” (#4, R&B #1, 1969) and 15 other Top 40 hits, now a member of the Chicago/Cook County Board of Commissioners since 1986
1942 ● Bobby Elliot → Drummer in British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1943 ● Jim Morrison (James Douglas Morrison) → Vocals and frontman for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), died from a drug overdose in Paris, France on 7/3/1971
1944 ● Mike Botts → Drummer for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), session musician
1946 ● John Graham Knight → Founding member and bassist for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Geoff Daking → Drummer for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1947 ● Gregory Lenoir Allman → The “Greatest White Blues Singer,” blues-rock vocals, keyboards and songwriter for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band plus solo, “I’m No Angel” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1987)
1949 ● Ray Shulman → Bass, violin and guitar in pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1950 ● Dan Hartman → Multi-instrumentalist member of the Edgar Winter Group, wrote “Free Ride” (#14, 1972), session musician, producer for multiple artists, solo R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter, “I Can Dream About You” (#6, 1984), died on 3/22/1994 from an AIDS-related brain tumor
1953 ● Colin Gibb (Routh) → Bass and backing vocals for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Avado” (UK #2, 1984), continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1956 ● Warren Cuccurullo → Guitarist in New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1957 ● Phil Collen → Lead guitar for hard rock/Brit New Wave of Heavy Metal (“NWOBHM”) band Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1959 ● Paul Rutherford → Backing vocals, keyboards and dancer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1962 ● Marty Friedman → Lead guitarist for trash metal Megadeth, “Trust” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1997)
1966 ● Bushwick Bill (Richard Shaw) → Rapper and vocals for gangsta/horror-rap Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” (#23, 1991)
1966 ● Sinead O’Connor → Irish-born controversial folk-pop singer and songwriter, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (#1, 1990)
1972 ● Ryan Newell → Backing vocals, lead and slide guitar for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Corey “8” Taylor → Guitarist and singer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004) and Stone Sour, “Bother” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2002)
1973 ● Judith Anna Pronk → Dutch-born lead vocalist for euro-pop-dance Alice Deejay, “Better Off Alone” (Dance/Club #3, 1999)
1974 ● Nick Zinner → Guitarist for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1982 ● Chrisette Michele (Payne) → Contemporary R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Epiphany” (R&B #14, 2009)

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