Posts Tagged rock musician birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (February 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 05

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

February 06

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

February 07

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

February 08

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

February 09

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

February 10

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

February 11

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 22

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

January 23

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

January 24

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

January 25

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

January 26

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

January 27

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

January 28

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 1 – 7)

BEST WISHES TO ALL FOR 2017!

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 01

1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and in synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999, age 68
1941 ● James West → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country” Joe McDonald → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1949 ● Phalon Jones → Saxophonist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Morgan Fisher → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1954 ● William Henry “Billy” Miller, Jr. → Rock music archivist, collector, publisher and record label executive, co-founded Kicks magazine in 1979 and Norton Records in 1986 with his wife and fellow arcane music enthusiast Miriam Linna (former drummer for punk/rockabilly The Cramps), focused on overlooked garage rock, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Link Wray, The Alarm Clocks and the Wailers, among many others, died from complications of multiple myeloma on 11/13/2016, age 62
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

January 02

1930 ● Julius La Rosa → Italian-American traditional pop singer with ten Top 25 hits in the 50s, including “Eh Cumpari” (#2, 1953), was fired on-air from the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1953, later guested on various TV variety shows and sitcoms and enjoyed a long career as a New York City radio DJ, continued to record and release pop CDs until a few years before his death from natural causes on 5/12/2016, age 86
1936 ● Roger Miller → Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “King Of The Road” (#4, 1965), TV star, died of lung cancer on 10/25/1992, age 56
1948 ● Kerry C. Minnear → Classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger, keyboardist of Brit progressive rock Gentle Giant during the 70s, left to teach and perform in church assembles, continues to compose music for film and TV, manages the release of Gentle Giant anthologies
1949 ● Michael George “Chick” Churchill → Keyboardist for British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (#40, 1971), later switched to ambient music and writing TV commercial jingles before becoming a professional photographer
1954 ● Glen Goins → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 7/29/1978, age 24
1963 ● Keith Gregory → Bassist for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1967 ● Robert Gregory → Drummer for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1975 ● Chris Cheney → Lead guitar, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie punk rock/psychobilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Rock #23, 1997)
1975 ● Douglas Robb → Vocalist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy (Kelton Kessee) → Drummer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999)

January 03

1909 ● Victor Borge (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Angelyn Andrews → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995, age 79
1926 ● Sir George Martin → Highly-successful and influential record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums and becoming the “Fifth Beatle” for his creative arrangements and complement to the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others, overall produced 23 number one singles and 19 number one albums in the U.S., died in his sleep on 3/8/2016, age 90
1937 ● Glen Larson → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Arthur Stills → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1948 ● Rex Charles Braley → Guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70’s
1964 ● Raymond McGinley → Lead guitar and vocals for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1975 ● Thomas Bangaltier → DJ for French progressive electronic dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1978 ● Kimberly Locke → Adult contemporary pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (Dance #1, Adult Contemporary #9, 2007)

January 04

1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
1937 ● John Gorman → Brit comedian and vocalist with Paul McCartney‘s brother in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1942 ● John McLaughlin → Jazz-fusion guitarist and composer, played with Miles Davis, founded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rolling Stone magazine #49 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1944 ● Volker Hombach → Flutist for first lineup of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1946 ● Arthur Conley → R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, co-wrote (with Otis Redding) and sang “Sweet Soul Music” (#2, R&B #2, UK #7, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003, age 57
1955 ● Clive Gregson → Founder, frontman, vocals and songwriter for New Wave punk-pop Any Trouble, then 90s Brit folk-rock revival duo Gregson & Collister, solo and producer for others
1956 ● Bernard Sumner (Albrecht, aka Dicken) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1958 ● Marcel King → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995, age 37
1959 ● Vanity (Denise Matthews) → Canadian singer, sometime actress, backing vocalist for Prince and lead singer of R&B/dance-funk Vanity 6 (“Nasty Girl,” #, 1982) plus a brief solo career (“Under The Influence,” #56, R&B #9, 1986), eschewed the celebrity lifestyle after a cocaine-induced near-death kidney failure and become a Christian evangelist, died from kidney disease on 2/15/2016, age 57
1960 ● Michael Stipe → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Martin Macaloon → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Peter Steele (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010, age 48
1962 ● Robin Guthrie → Guitar and drum machine for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1962 ● Till Lindemann → Poet, frontman and lead vocals for German industrial metal band Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1965 ● Beth Gibbons → Singer for avant-garde fusion of electronica and pop Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1965 ● Cait O’Riordan → Bassist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1965 ● David Glasper → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Deana Carter → Neo-traditional country-folk singer, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” (Country #25, 1997)
1967 ● Benjamin Darvill → Harmonica for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1977 ● Timothy Wheeler → Founding member, songwriter and vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)

January 05

1922 ● Bob Keane (Robert Verril Kuhn) → Producer and record label owner best known for discovering and managing Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba,” #22, 1958), also “discovered” Sam Cooke and marketed his first hit, “You Send Me” (#1, UK #29, 1957) on his Keen Records label, formed Del-Fi Records in 1957 and in addition to Valens jumpstarted the careers of Brenda Holloway, Frank Zappa and Barry White, signed The Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought The Law,” #1, 1965) and produced and sold music by surf band The Surfaris, among others, died from renal failure on 11/28/2009, age 87
1923 ● Sam Phillips → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary and pioneer, founder of Sun Records, discovered, nurtured and made Elvis Presley a star, as well as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003, age 80
1932 ● Laten John “Johnny” Adams → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1940 ● Athol Guy → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1940 ● George Malone → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), reunited with the group for the oldies circuit in the 90s, died from a stroke on 10/5/2007, age 67
1941 ● Grady Thomas → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● George “Funky” Brown → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

January 06

1924 ● Earl Scruggs → Five-string, three-finger banjo virtuoso, co-bandleader (with Lester Flatt) of renowned bluegrass band the Foggy Mountain Boys and Flatt & Scruggs, “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” (#44, Country #1, 1963), frontman for the Earl Scruggs Revue
1929 ● Wilbert Harrison → Boogie-pop-rock singer, pianist and songwriter, “Kansas City” (#1, 1959) and “Let’s Work Together” (#32, 1969), the latter covered by blues-rock Canned Heat (#26, 1970) and Bryan Ferry, died of a stroke on 10/26/1994, age 65
1934 ● Bobby Lord → Country and rockabilly music artist popular in the 50s and 60s, “Without Your Love” (#10, 1956) and five other Country Top 40 hits, also hosted TV shows, died after a long illness on 2/16/2008, age 74
1935 ● Nino Tempo (Antonio LoTempio) → Session saxophonist and singer, recorded (with his sister Carol LoTempio) the duet “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963), then jazz musician
1937 ● Doris Troy (Higginsen) → R&B/soul, gospel and rock singer, backing vocalist for The Drifters, Solomon Burke and others before recording her lone US hit, “Just One Look” (#10, R&B #3, 1963), wrote or co-wrote songs for Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston and others, moved to England and sang back-up for The Rolling Stones (wailer on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” 1969) and Pink Floyd (vocals on Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973), subject of the long-running Broadway show Mama, I Want To Sing (1983), died from emphysema on 2/16/2004, age 67
1944 ● Van McCoy → R&B/soul producer, songwriter, conductor and bandleader best known for the disco hit “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died after a heart attack on 7/6/1979, age 35
1946 ● Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett → Original member, singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of psych/space rock Pink Floyd, left in 1968 for a brief solo career, subject of “Wish You Were Here” (1975), died from complications of diabetes on 7/7/2006, age 60
1947 ● Alexandra Elene “Sandy” Denny → Singer and songwriter for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), then solo, died from brain trauma following a fall on 4/21/1978, age 31
1951 ● Kim Wilson → Harmonica, lead vocals and songwriting for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1953 ● Malcolm Young → Rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriter for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982)
1959 ● Kathy Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” (#2, 1979)
1959 ● Neil Simpson → Bassist for present-day incarnation of Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1960 ● Muzz Skillings → Original bassist and singer for Grammy-winning prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), then Medicine Stick
1964 ● Mark O’Toole → Founding member, bassist and co-songwriter for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Tim Garbutt → Former club DJ, then partner and producer in Brit dance-pop duo Utah Saints, “Something Good” (UK #4, 1992)
1982 ● Morgan Lee Lander → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alternative metal girl group Kittie, “Funeral For Yesterday” (Mainstream Rock #40, 2006)
1986 ● Alex Turner → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

January 07

1922 ● Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal → French virtuoso classical flautist credited with returning the flute to the forefront of recorded music, collaborated with Claude Bolling (Grammy-nominated Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano, 1975), Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern and many others in multiple genres, died of heart failure on 5/20/2000, age 78
1930 ● Jack Greene → The “Jolly Green Giant” due to his height and deep voice, Grammy-nominated country music singer and songwriter best known for “There Goes My Everything” (Country #1, 1966), Country Music Association Song of the Year, one of five Country #1 hits among eight Country Top 10s, continued to record and perform until shortly before his death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 3/14/2013, age 83
1936 ● Eldee Young → Premier jazz bassist in the 50s and 60s, worked with Ramsey Lewis Trio, then formed one hit wonder jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, “Soulful Strut” (#3, 1969), died from a heart attack on 2/12/2007, age 71
1938 ● Paul Revere (Dick) → Keyboards and frontman for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) plus 13 other Top 40 hit singles, continued to front new lineups of the band until his death from cancer on 10/4/2014, age 76
1938 ● Rory Storm (Alan Caldwell) → Frontman for Liverpool-based, Beatles-competitor (and Ringo Starr employer) The Hurricanes, “America” (1964), died from an apparent suicide on 9/28/1972, age 34
1939 ● Lefty Baker (Eustace Britchforth) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died on 8/11/1971, age 32
1941 ● Jim West → Lead vocals for pop-harmony trio The Innocents, “Gee Whiz” (#28, 1961) and backing vocals for Kathy Young, “A Thousand Stars” (#3, 1960), solo
1942 ● Danny Williams → Britain’s Johnny Mathis, R&B/smooth-pop singer, “White On White” (#9, 1964) and the Oscar-winning “Moon River” from the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), died from lung cancer on 12/6/2005, age 63
1943 ● Jerry Corbitt → Founding member, guitar and vocals in light country-rock The Youngbloods, “Get Together” (#5, 1969), later produced Don McLean‘s album Tapestry (1970) and other country-rock recordings for a variety of artists, composed movie and TV soundtracks and served as Vanguard Records A&R executive, died from lung cancer on 3/8/2014, age 71
1943 ● Leona Williams (Leona Belle Helton) → Country bassist and vocalist in Loretta Lynn‘s band and her then-husband Merle Haggard‘s band, “The Bull And The Beaver” (Country #8, 1978), solo
1944 ● Mike McGrear (Michael McCartney) → Brother of Paul McCartney, comedian and vocalist in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1945 ● Dave Cousins (David Joseph Hindson) → Founder and lead guitarist for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973)
1945 ● Warren “Bugs” Pemberton → Drums for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups of the 60s that never charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K., died on 10/13/2013, age 68
1946 ● Andy Brown → Drummer for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1946 ● Jann Wenner → Co-founder and publisher of the music and social/political biweekly Rolling Stone magazine
1948 ● Kenny Loggins → One half of the light country rock duo Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1973), then solo pop-rock, “Footloose” (#1, 1984)
1959 ● Kathy Valentine → Bassist 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
1962 ● Taja Sevelle (Nancy Richardson) → Pop/crossover singer and songwriter signed by Prince to Paisley Park Records, “Love Is Contagious” (#62, 1987), novelist and founder of Urban Farming, a not-for-profit group that plants food crops on vacant urban land to feed the poor
1967 ● Mark Lamarr (Jones) → Brit comedian, TV music show host and radio DJ for the BBC known for shows featuring obscure rock ‘n’ roll gems
1974 ● John Rich → Lead vocals and bass for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 18

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

December 19

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

December 20

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

December 21

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

December 22

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

December 23

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

December 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, age 61
1931 ● Ray Bryant → Blues- and gospel-flavored jazz pianist, composer and bandleader (The Ray Bryant Combo), scored a lone top 40 hit with “The Madison Time” (#30, R&B #5, 1960) and recorded into the mid-00s, died following a long illness on 6/2/2011, age 79
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 Kilmister) → Hard-playing, hard-living bass guitarist, first with space rock pioneers Hawkwind (“Silver Machine,” 1972), then founded and fronted punk-metal Motörhead (“Ace Of Spades,” UK #15, 1980) and performed with his group until his death from cancer on 12/28/2016, age 70
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)
1991 ● ‘Louis Tomlinson → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

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This Week’s Birthdays (November 27 – December 3)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 27
1935 ● Al Jackson, Jr. → Drummer, songwriter, producer, highly regarded session player, member of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1962), murdered by intruders in his home on 10/1/1975, age 39
1941 ● Edward Thomas “Eddie” Rabbitt → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “I Love a Rainy Night” (#1, 1980), Elvis Presley, Dr. Hook, Tom Jones and others covered his songs, died of lung cancer on 5/7/1998, age 56
1942 ● James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix → Electric blues, rock and R&B guitar innovator and virtuoso, songwriter and bandleader, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), died from a drug overdose in his London hotel room on 9/18/70, age 27
1944 ● Trevor “Dozy” Ward-Davies → Bass guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1945 ● Randy Brecker → Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked with jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, plus Horace Silver, Larry Coryell and other sessions, solo
1948 ● Dave Winthrop → Flute, saxophone and occasional lead vocals for Brit prog-art-then pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), briefly with blues-rock Chicken Shack and mod revival Secret Affair, session work
1959 ● Charlie Burchill → Guitar for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1960 ● Ashley Ingram → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1961 ● Princess (Desiree Heslop) → Vocalist in Afro-pop/worldbeat Osibisa, “The Warrior” (Dance/Club #32, 1977) and solo “Say I’m Your Number One” (UK #7, 1985)
1962 ● Charlie Benante → Drummer for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993) and punk/metal side project Stormtroopers Of Death
1962 ● Mike Bordin → Drummer for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1965 ● Fiachna Ó Braonáin → Vocals and guitar for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988), duet with Belinda Carlisle on her 2007 album Voila
1970 ● Skoob (aka “Books”) (William “Willie” Hines) → Vocals in rapid-fire, nonsensical rap duo Das EFX, “Straight From The Sewer” (Rap #3, 1992)
1971 ● Terry Corso → Guitarist for alt rock Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal” (#23, 2001)
1973 ● Twista (Carl Terrell Mitchell) → Chicago rapper known at one time as the world’s fastest, “Slow Jamz” (#1, 2004) from the #1 album Kamikaze
1978 ● Mike Skinner → Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, rapper, songwriter and leader of the rap/garage “grime” project The Streets, “Dry Your Eyes” (UK #1, 2004)

November 28
1929 ● Berry Gordy, Jr. → Professional boxer turned record producer and talent agent, founded Motown Records and brought black music into tens of millions of white homes, composer and co-writer of several hits, including “Lonely Teardrops” for Jackie Wilson (#7, R&B #1, 1958)
1932 ● Ray Perkins → Bass vocals for Canadian harmony pop/rock quartet The Crew Cuts, covered “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954)
1936 ● Roy McCurdy → Mid-70s drummer in jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), session work and now music professor
1939 ● Dave White → Singer, songwriter and founding member of doo-wop Danny & The Juniors, co-wrote “At The Hop” (#1, R&B #1, 1958), “Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay” (#19, R&B #16, 1958) and other hits for the band, left in the early 60s to concentrate on songwriting, co-wrote “You Don’t Own Me” for Leslie Gore (#2, 1963) and “1-2-3” for Len Barry (#2, R&B #1, 1965), continues to write and produce pop music into the 10s
1939 ● Gary Troxel → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1940 ● Bruce Channel (McMeans) → One hit wonder country-pop and pop/rock singer, “Hey Baby” (#1, 1962)
1940 ● Glen Curtis → Vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1943 ● Randall Stuart “Randy” Newman → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and pianist, “Sail Away” (1972) and “Short People” (#2, 1978), wrote “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1970), composed the film soundtrack to Ragtime (1981)
1944 ● Ronald Betram “R.B.” Greaves, III → One hit wonder soul-pop singer, “Take a Letter Maria” (#2, 1969)
1946 ● Billy Kinsley → Founding member, lead guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1947 ● Gary Taylor → Bassist for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968)
1948 ● Beeb Birtles (Gerard Bertelkamp) → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), solo
1949 ● Hugh McKenna → Scottish keyboardist for rock ‘n roll The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1949 ● Paul Shaffer → Pianist, composer, music director, actor, and frontman for the Saturday Night Live and David Letterman house bands
1953 ● Alan Murphy → Brit session guitarist for Kate Bush, Go West, Mike + The Mechanics, Joan Armatrading and others, joined jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987) in 1988, died from AIDS-related pneumonia on 10/19/1989, age 35
1954 ● David Jaymes → Bassist for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● David Van Day → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with Thereza Bazar, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo and lately with pop-dance Bucks Fizz
1962 ● Matt Cameron → Drummer for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1968 ● Dawn Robinson → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance quartet En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1970 ● Matt Cheslin → Bassist for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1973 ● Jade Errol Puget → Guitarist for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and keyboards for electronica Blaqk Audio, “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)
1974 ● Apl.de.Ap (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr.) → Filipino-American hip hop singer, producer, rapper with Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005)
1979 ● Chamillionaire (Hakeem Seriki) → Rapper called the “Mixtape Messiah”, producer, record executive, “Ridin'” (#1, 2006)
1983 ● Rostam Batmanglij → Multi-instrumentalist and producer for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)
1983 ● Tyler Glenn → Vocals and keyboards for pop dance-punk Neon Trees, “Everybody Talks” (#6, 2012)
1984 ● Trey Songz (Tremaine Aldon Neverson) → R&B/hip hop tenor singer and songwriter with multiple R&B and Hip Hop Chart Top 10 hits, including “Bottoms Up” (#6, Hip Hop #2, 2010) and

November 29
1917 ● Merle Travis → Country singer and songwriter, legendary guitarist (“Travis picking” style) and inventor of the first solid body electric guitar, wrote “Sixteen Tons for Ernie Ford (Country #1, 1955), died on 10/20/1983, age 65
1932 ● John Gary (Strader) → Radio announcer, 30-time The Tonight Show guest, voice actor and three-and-a-half octave singer with five Top 20 albums, a single minor pop hit, “Soon I’ll Wed My Love” (#89, 1964) and an Adult Contemporary chart-topper, “Cold” (AC #1, 1967), died from prostate cancer on 1/4/1998, age 65
1933 ● John Mayall → The “Father of British Blues”, bandleader for The Bluesbreakers and mentor to Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jimmy McCulloch and many others
1939 ● Domenico “Meco” Monardo → Trombonist, session musician, composer, record producer and one hit wonder bandleader with the disco hit “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” (#1, 1977)
1939 ● Peter Bergman → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, which formed as a result of his show Radio Free Oz on KPFK in Los Angeles in 1966, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from complications of leukemia on 3/9/2012, age 72
1940 ● Charles Frank “Chuck” Mangione → Grammy-winning bebop and light jazz-pop instrumental trumpeter and flugelhorn player, “Feels So Good” (#4, 1978)
1941 ● Denny Doherty → Canadian folk-pop singer and songwriter, founding member of The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), died from an abdominal aneurysm on 1/19/2007, age 65
1941 ● Jody Miller (Myrna Joy Brooks) → Country-pop guitarist, singer and songwriter, “Queen Of The House” (#12, Country #5, 1965), now a Christian and gospel artist
1944 ● Felix Cavaliere → Keyboards for early rock ‘n’ roll Joey Dee & The Starlighters, “The Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962), then organ and vocals for blue-eyed soul-pop The Rascals, “Groovin”” (#1, 1967), solo
1944 ● Twink (John Charles Edward Alder) → Psych-rock drummer, singer, songwriter and sometime actor who was a central character in the London-based 60s and 70s psychedelic movement, formed and fronted numerous psychedelic pop and rock bands, including The In Crowd, The Pink Fairies and The Rings, issued fifteen solo albums, converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah and continues to record in the 10s
1947 ● Ronnie Montrose → Session guitarist for Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and the Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), then founder and frontman of hard rock Montrose, solo and hard rock Gamma, “Right The First Time” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1982), died of prostate cancer on 3/3/2012, age 64
1951 ● Barry Goudreau → Guitarist on first two albums for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), left for solo plus Orion The Hunter and RTZ
1951 ● Roger Troutman → Co-founder and innovative “talk box” lead singer for underrated but influential funk group Zapp, “More Bounce To The Ounce” (R&B #2, 1980), co-wrote and sang chorus for Tupac Shakur on “California Love” (#1, 1996), shot and killed by his brother and bandmate Larry Troutman in a murder/suicide on 4/25/1999, age 47
1958 ● Michael Dempsey → Bassist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992) and Scottish punk rock The Associates
1959 ● Wendy Wu (Cruise) → Lead vocals and frontgal for New Wave post-punk Blondie-style The Photos, “Irene” (UK #56, 1980)
1965 ● Wallis Buchanan → Vibraphonist for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1968 ● Jonathan Knight → Vocals in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1968 ● Martin Carr → Guitarist, songwriter and founding member of 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1970 ● Frank Delgado → Turntablist, keyboardist and sampler for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1979 ● The Game (Jayceon Terrell Taylor) → Grammy-nominated West Coast gangsta rapper, “Hate It Or Love It” (#2, 2005)


November 30

1915 ● Walter “Brownie” McGhee → Influential Piedmont-style electric blues guitarist, long-time collaborator with blind harpist Sonny Terry, “Robbie Doby Boogie” (1948), Broadway, film and TV actor, died of stomach cancer on 2/16/1996, age 80
1924 ● Allan Sherman (Copelon) → Comedian, musical satirist, singer and songwriter, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” (#2, 1963), died from emphysema on 11/20/1973, age 48
1929 ● Dick Clark → Formerly “America’s oldest living teenager,” clean-cut and venerable radio DJ/commentator, longtime TV host for American Bandstand, astute music impresario and executive producer for TV entertainment programs, died following a heart attack on 4/18/2012, age 82
1932 ● Bob Moore → Bass guitarist and member of the Nashville A-Team of top session musicians in the 50s and 60s, backed dozens of hits by Elvis Presley,Bob Dylan,Jerry Lee Lewis and many others, directed backing bands for country star Red Foley, Connie Francis and Brenda Lee, issued several country-pop albums in the 60s and scored the Top 10 hit “Mexico” (#7, 1961), largely disappeared from the music business after the mid-60s
1937 ● Frank Ifield → London-born, Australian-raised country-pop and easy listening US one hit wonder singer with six UK Top 10 singles during Beatlemania, including “I Remember You” (#5, UK #1, 1962), continues to perform in the 10s
1937 ● James Albert “Jimmy” Bowen → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“I’m Sticking With You,” #14, 1957), pivoted to the other side of the microphone and enjoyed a long career as a songwriter and producer, co-wrote “Party Doll” with Buddy Knox (#1, 1957) and produced “Strangers In The Night” for Frank Sinatra (#1, 1966), worked with Glen Campbell, Garth Brooks and others, oversaw movie productions in the 70s, 80s and 90s
1943 ● David William “Leo” Lyons → Bassist in British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971)
1944 ● Luther Ingram → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” (#3, 1972), co-wrote The Staple Singers‘ “Respect Yourself” (#12, 1971), died from heart failure on 3/19/2007, age 62
1944 ● Robert Frank “Rob” Grill → Bassist, lead singer and songwriter for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968), fronted and toured with the band until his death following a stroke on 7/11/2011, age 66
1945 ● Roger Glover → Bassist in hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), left in 1973 for solo career, sessions, tours with Nazareth, Ian Gillian and others, joined Rainbow in 1979 and rejoined Deep Purple in 1984
1953 ● David Sancious → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist, early work with Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, solo, sessions and collaborator with Stanley Clark, Peter Gabriel, Sting and others
1953 ● Johnny “Shuggie” Otis, Jr. → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Inspiration Information” (R&B #56, 1975), The Brothers Johnson covered his “Strawberry Letter 23” (#5, 1977)
1953 ● June Pointer Whitmore → Youngest of the R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981), died following a stroke on 4/11/2006, age 52
1954 ● George McArdle → Bassist for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), left in 1978 to pursue a career in ministry
1955 ● Billy Idol (William Michael Albert Broad) → Co-founder and lead singer for punk rock Generation X, then post-punk pop-rock MTV superstar, “White Wedding” (#4, 1982)
1957 ● John Ashton → Guitar for Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1957 ● Richard Barbieri → Keyboards for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982), Porcupine Tree
1958 ● Stacey Q (Stacey Lynn Swain) → Madonna-wanna-be dance/pop diva, “Two Of Hearts” (#3, 1986)
1963 ● Jalil Hutchins → Vocalist and lyricist for R&B/new jack swing trio Whodini, “Funky Beat” (R&B #19, 1986)
1965 ● Paul Wheeler → Drums and percussion for Aussie New Wave synth-pop/pub rock Icehouse, “Electric Blue” (#7, 1987)
1968 ● Des’ree (Desiree Annette Weeks) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “You Gotta Be” (#5, 1995)
1973 ● John Moyer → Bassist for Chicago-based heavy metal band Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1975 ● Malinda Gayle “Mindy” McCready → Country-pop singer, “Guys Do It All The Time” (#72, Country #1, 1996) and five other Country Top 40 hits, died from a self-inflicted gunshot on 2/17/2013, age 37
1978 ● Clay Aiken (Clayton Grissom) → Singer, actor, producer and author, 2003 American Idol runner-up, “This Is The Night” (#1, 2003)
1987 ● Dougie Lee Poynter → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005), Broadway actor in Monty Python’s Spamalot (2008)
1989 ● Daisy Rebecca Evans → Vocals for dance-pop pre-fab band S Club 8 (previously S Club Juniors), “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003)

December 01
1930 ● Matt Munro (Terrence Parons) → Multi-hit international cabaret/swing vocalist, theme song “From Russia With Love” (#23, UK #4, 1963), died from liver cancer on 2/7/1985, age 54
1933 ● Lou Rawls → Smooth jazz-blues-soul and easy listening singer, “You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine” (#2, 1976), died of lung cancer on 1/6/2006, age 72
1934 ● Billy Paul (Paul Williams) → Jazz singer and bandleader turned 70s Grammy-winning Philly R&B/soul-pop singer with 14 R&B charting hits, the biggest being “Me & Mrs. Jones” (#1, 1972), retired in 1989 and died from pancreatic cancer on 4/24/2016, age 81
1938 ● Sander L. “Sandy” Nelson → Rock ‘n roll session drummer for The Teddy Bears, The Hollywood Argyles and others, then solo, “Teen Beat” (#4, 1959) and two other instrumental hits, lost his right foot in a 1963 motorcycle accident but continues to drum with modified equipment
1939 ● Dianne “DeeDee” Lennon → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 2001 and left the group to continue as a trio
1944 ● Charlie Grima → Drummer for eccentric jazz-pop Wizzard, “See My Baby Jive” (UK #1, 1973)
1944 ● Eric Bloom → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1944 ● John Densmore → Drummer for influential and controversial hard rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), author, producer and jazz combo leader
1945 ● Bette Midler → The “Divine Miss M”, actress, comedienne, Grammy-winning singer, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (#1, 1989) and seven other Top 40 hits, starred in the Janis Joplin bio movie The Rose (1979)
1946 ● Raymond “Gilbert” O’Sullivan → Irish singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Alone Again Naturally” (#1, 1972) and three other Top 20 hits in 1972-73
1951 ● John Fancis “Jaco” Pastorius → Fretless bass player for jazz-rock fusion group Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo and sessions for Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny Group, Blood, Sweat & Tears and others, died after being beaten into a coma during an altercation outside a Florida nightclub on 9/21/1987, age 35
1956 ● Julee Cruise → Grammy-winning pop/rock singer, theme song to Twin Peaks TV show, “Falling” (Modern Rock #11, 1989)
1959 ● Steve Jansen (Stephen Batt) → Drummer, songwriter and singer for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1963 ● Sam Reid → Keyboards for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1971 ● Greg Upchurch → Current drummer for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1977 ● Brad Delson → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1981 ● Mika Fineo → Current drummer for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999)
1896 ● Ray Henderson (Raymond Brost) → Popular music songwriter in the Tin Pan Alley group of American songwriters and publishers, composed the music for multiple pop standards, including “Bye Bye Blackbird” (1925), “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and “The Birth Of The Blues” (1926), died from a heart attack on 12/31/1970, age 74


December 02

1905 ● Mose “Moe” Asch → Polish-American recording engineer and music executive, as founder and owner of Folkways Records became a major figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s and 60s, oversaw the recording of hundreds folk-pop songs, including “Goodnight Irene” by Lead Belly (1933) and “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (1945), his immense catalog was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution just prior to his death on 10/19/1986, age 80
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, age 71
1916 ● Howard Finster → Baptist minister in Georgia and eccentric artist with 46,000 pieces of art in his outdoor sculpture garden, also known as the designer of album covers for R.E.M. (Reckoning, #27, 1984) and Talking Heads (Little Creatures, #20 , 1985), died on 10/22/2001, age 84
1918 ● Milton Delugg → Talented accordionist, musical director on the forerunner to NBC’s The Tonight Show, producer of Buddy Holly‘s hit “Rave On” (#37, 1958) and bandleader for the infamous TV game show spoof The Gong Show, directed the music for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 2013, died from natural causes on 4/6/2015, age 96
1941 ● Dick St. John (Richard St. John Gosting) → Singer, songwriter and half of the teen/R&B/soul-pop duo Dick & Dee Dee with partner and high school classmate Mary “Dee Dee” Sperling, their hit “The Mountain’s High” (#2, 1961) was one of five Top 30 hits just prior to Beatlemania, died following a fall from a ladder at home on 12/27/2003, age 62
1941 ● Tom McGuinness → Bass and later lead guitar plus songwriting and vocals for Britbeat Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), in 1969 formed duo McGuiness Flint with Hubie Flint and thereafter The Blues Band, authored So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star in 1986 and tours with splinter group The Manfreds into the 10s
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, age 24
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 ● 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
1986 ● Tal Wilkenfeld → Australian jazz and rock bass guitarist, bandleader and session player for Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Jackson Browne, Toto and other well-known rock artists, fronted several of her own bands and was named by Bass Player magazine 2008’s “Most Exciting New Bass Player”
1991 ● Charles Otto “Charlie” Puth Jr. → Pop singer and songwriter whose YouTube uploads caught the eye (and ear) of TV host Ellen DeGeneres for her ElevenEleven record label, later signed with Atlantic Records and released several major solo and collaborative hits, including “See You Again” (Worldwide #1, 2015) with Wiz Khalifa

December 03
1925 ● Ferlin Husky → Radio comic under the name Simon Crum and honky tonk singer with the stage name Terry Preston, then country-pop crossover star under his legal name with a string of hits in the 50s and 60s, including “Gone” (#4, Country #1, 1958), “Wings Of A Dove” (#12, Country #1, 1960) and three dozen other minor chart singles through 1975, died from coronary failure on 3/17/2011, age 85
1927 ● 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, died from bladder cancer on 9/25/2012, age 84
1931 ● Jaye P. Morgan (Mary Margaret Morgan) → Popular 50s and 60s traditional pop vocalist (“That’ All I Want From You,” #3, 1954), TV show character actress (General Electric Theater, The Joey Bishop Show, The Odd Couple, etc.), nightclub singer, and game show panelist (The Gong Show, Match Game, Hollywood Squares, etc.), continued with occasional TV appearances in the 90s
1936 ● Nick Venet (Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis) → Record producer and A&R executive, first with World Jazz and later with Capitol Records, where he signed The Beach Boys and produced hits for them and dozens of other artists, including The Lettermen, Jim Croce, The Kingston Trio, Linda Ronstadt and Frank Zappa, died from Burkitt’s lymphoma on 1/2/1998, age 61
1938 ● Jody Reynolds → One hit wonder rockabilly singer with the original teenage death song, “Endless Sleep” (#5, R&B #5, 1958), his follow-up single, “Fire Of Love” (#66, 1958) fizzled but became a punk rock classic when covered by the MC5 (1969) and The Gun Club (1982), left the industry in the late 60s and sold real estate in California until his death from liver cancer on 11/7/2008, age 69
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 ● Paul Nicholas (Paul Oscar Beuselinck) → Brit pop singer and stage, screen and TV actor, released numerous singles in the 60s and 70s, including “Heaven On The 7th Floor” (#6, UK #40, 1977) while concurrently performing in film and stage musicals, formed several production and direction businesses in the 90s, continues to act into the 10s and oversees the franchise company Paul Nicholas School of Acting & Performing Arts
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)
1947 ● Joe Lala → Pop and rock drummer, actor and voice actor, appeared on 32 gold records and 28 platinum records during his career, beginning as a founding member of pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride,” #4, 1970) and continuing with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, and others, plus multiple movie soundtracks including Saturday Night Fever (1977), Airplane! (1980) and All The Right Moves (1983), appeared on TV and in movies after carpal tunnel syndrome ended his drumming career, died from lung cancer on 3/18/2014, age 66
1947 ● John Wilson → Drummer for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966), joined blues-rock Taste in 1968, Stud in 1971 and Sid Row in 1975, reformed Them in the 90s
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
1948 ● Paul “Buffalo” Bruce Barlow → Bass guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
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 ● Kimberley Rew → Brit pop-rock and 80s New Wave singer, songwriter, and guitarist starting with Robyn Hitchcock‘s punk/power pop Soft Boys in 1978, co-founded mainstream pop Katrina And The Waves in 1981, wrote “Walking On Sunshine” (#9, 1985) and “Love Shine A Light” (UK #3, 1997), the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1997
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 of “natural causes” on 6/19/2006, age 55
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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (November 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 20

1930 ● Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr. → Nashville-based country-pop songwriter who wrote “Green, Green Grass Of Home,” covered by Porter Wagoner (Country #4, 1965), Tom Jones (#11, Easy #12, UK #1, 1966), Elvis Presley, Grateful Dead and many others, Paul McCartney‘s “Junior’s Farm” (#3, UK #16, 1974) was inspired by a visit to Putman’s Tennessee farm, died from congestive heart and kidney failures on 10/30/2016, age 85
1940 ● Anthony Francis “Tony” Butala → Lead vocals and only constant member of close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961), still performing in the 10s
1942 ● Norman GreenbaumOne hit wonder Jewish (not Christian) pop/rocker, “Spirit In The Sky” (#3, 1970), retired from music in late 70s and took up dairy farming
1943 ● Susan “Suze” Rotolo → Greenwich Village artist and Bob Dylan girlfriend who appeared with him on the iconic cover of album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963), died of lung cancer on 2/25/2011, age 67
1944 ● Mike Vernon → Founder and CEO of Blue Horizon record label, blues-rock album producer with credits on dozens of albums for David Bowie, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After and others
1944 ● Paul Griggs → Pop-rock musician, songwriter, bandmember and producer, formed mid-60s Brit pop-psych Octopus with his brother, Nigel (later of Split Enz), joined pre-fab pop band Guys ‘N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), since the mid-80s has written and produced various award-winning songs and several albums of his work
1945 ● “Dirty Dan McBride” (Daniel Hatton) → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” parody group Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died in his sleep on 7/23/2009, age 63
1946 ● Howard Duane Allman → Slide guitar virtuoso and co-founder of Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, did session work with Wilson Pickett, Derek And The Dominos (guitar solo on “Layla,” #10, 1972) and others, died in a motorcycle accident on 10/29/1971, age 24
1946 ● J. Blackfoot (John Colbert) → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children (“I’ll Be The Other Woman, #36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave, died from pancreatic cancer on 11/30/2011, age 65
1946 ● Ray Stiles → Bassist in for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), joined pop-rock The Hollies in 1989 and continues with the band
1947 ● Joe Walsh → Songwriter and guitarist for underrated hard rock The James Gang, “Walk Away” (#51, 1971), left for an off-and-on solo career, “Life’s Been Good” (#12, 1978), joined the Eagles in 1975 and co-wrote “Life In The Fast Lane” (#11, 1976)
1950 ● Gary Green → Guitarist for innovative prog rock Gentle Giant from 1970 to 1980
1954 ● Frank Marino → Founder, frontman and lead guitarist for 70s Canadian power rock trio Mahogany Rush and various incarnations through the 00s
1956 ● Robert Poss → Guitar and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1957 ● Jim Brown → Drummer in multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1961 ● Jim Brickman → Former advertising jingle writer and classical-trained pianist turned adult pop and light new age singer and songwriter, “Simple Things” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2001) plus six gold and platinum, longtime host for his own radio music variety show and PBS TV music specials
1961 ● Paul King → Irish-born New Wave pop-soul singer and frontman for King, “Love & Pride” (US #55, UK #2, 1985), solo album, since 1989 a VJ and producer on MTV and VH1
1962 ● Gail Ann Dorsey → Top alt rock session bassist and backing vocalist, worked with Tears For Fears, Bryan Ferry, The The, Gwen Stefani and others, member of David Bowie‘s band since 1995
1962 ● Steve Alexander → Vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1965 ● Mike D (Michael Louis Diamond) → Drummer, singer and rapper for hardcore punk then hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1965 ● Sen Dog (Senen Reyes) → Vocals and rapper in Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, Rap #1, 1994) and The Reyes Brothers
1966 ● Kevin Gilbert → Multi-instrumental composer and producer, member of prog rock Giraffe and Toy Matinee, co-wrote “All I Wanna Do” (#2, 1995) with then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow,, died from apparent autoerotic asphyxiation on 5/17/1996, age 29
1970 ● Phife Dawg (Malik Isaac Taylor) → Trinidadian-American rapper and member of acclaimed artistic hip hop jazz-rap fusion trio A Tribe Called Quest, “Check The Rhime” (Rap #1, 1991), then solo, “Flawless” (Rap #4, 2000), died from complications of diabetes on 3/22/2016, age 45
1975 ● Davey Havok (David Paden Passaro) → Lead vocals for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and electronica Blaqk Audio “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)
1975 ● Dierks Bentley → Country-rock crossover singer, songwriter and guitarist with 14 Country Top 10 hits, ten of which went #1, including “What Was I Thinkin’ (#22, Country #1, 2003)
1975 ● Jeffrey Lewis → Anti-folk singer, songwriter and guitarist with over 20 solo and collaborative albums, underground comic book artist and frequent collaborator with the Moldy Peaches and other anti-folk acts
1975 ● Tamika Scott → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)
1981 ● Kimberly Walsh → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)
1986 ● Michael Jared Followill → Bassist in Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)

November 21

1907 ● Samuel “Buck” Ram → R&B/soul composer, arranger and producer from the 1930s on, managed hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, wrote and produced for The Coasters, The Drifters, Ike & Tina Turner and others, died on 1/1/1991, age 83
1933 ● Jean Shepard (Ollie Imogene Shepard) → Pioneering female honky tonk and country music singer with 24 studio albums and 21 Country Top 20 hits, including the crossover singles “Slippin’ Away” (#81, Country #4, 1973) and, in collaboration with Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter” (#4, Country #1, 1953), continued to perform into her 80s and became the first female to be a Grand Old Opry member for over 60 years, died from complications of Parkinson’s and heart disease on 9/25/2016, age 82
1940 ● Dr. John (Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr.) → Four-time Grammy-winning New Orleans boogie-blues-folk-rock pianist, guitarist and singer of “voodoo” music, “Right Place, Wrong Time” (#9, 1973)
1941 ● Andrew Love → Saxophonist for legendary Stax Records‘ house band The Memphis Horns, played sessions for Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Sam And Dave, Elvis Presley, The Doobie Brothers, The Rascals and countless other top rock and soul acts, continued to do session work until retiring in 2002 due to Alzheimer’s disease, died on 4/12/2012, age 70
1941 ● David Porter → Songwriting partner with Isaac Hayes at Stax Records, co-wrote “Soul Man” (#2, 1967) for Sam & Dave and other hits, released two solo R&B/piano albums and several singles
1942 ● Andy “Thunderclap” Newman → Keyboards for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969)
1948 ● John “Rabbit” Bundrick → Touring keyboardist for The Who since the late 70s, session musician for Bob Marley, Roger Waters, Eric Burdon and others, briefly a member of Free, principal musician for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, solo
1948 ● LeRoy “Lonnie” Jordan → Singer and keyboardist for laid-back R&B/soul-funk War, “Spill The Wine” (#3, 1970), solo
1948 ● Mark Tulin → Bassist for psych/garage rock icons The Electric Prunes (“I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night),” #11, 1967), joined psych/goth/prog rock Smashing Pumpkins in 2008, returned to recording with new versions of The Electric Prunes and other psych/garage rock oldies groups, collapsed after a SCUBA dive at a volunteer underwater cleanup event and died on 2/26/2011, age 62
1949 ● Randy Zehringer → With his brother Rick Derringer, drummer in garage-rock legends The McCoys and their classic “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965) plus two other clunky 60s rock hits, played with various versions of Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter‘s blues-rock groups in the 70s and retired from music due to health reasons in the mid-70s
1950 ● Gary Pihl → Guitarist for hard rock Sammy Hagar‘s band, left in 1986 to join arena rock Boston, “Amanda” (#1, 1986)
1950 ● Livingston Taylor → Light folk-pop singer and songwriter, “I Will Be In Love With You” (#13, 1978), brother of James Taylor
1952 ● Lorna Luft → TV and film actress with multiple small part credits, stage perfumer and unremarkable pop singer, daughter of Judy Garland and half-sister of Liza Minelli, issued several non-charting singles in the 70s and 80s, sang backing vocals on Blondie‘s album Eat To The Beat (1979)
1955 ● Peter Koppes → Guitarist and backing vocals for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1962 ● Steven Curtis Chapman → Hugely successful contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter and guitarist fusing light 70s rock and pop sounds with religious themes, five-time Grammy winner and holder of 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and seven Artist of the Year awards from the GMA, “Cinderella” (Adult Contemporary #23, Christian #4, 2003), his songs have been recorded by Glen Campbell, Roger Whittaker and others
1965 ● Bjork Gundmundsdottir → Vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991), solo and actress
1967 ● Margret Ornolfsdottir → Keyboards and vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1968 ● Alex James → Bassist for alt rock then Britpop quartet Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), journalist, TV actor and host, radio personality and cheese maker
1970 ● Francis McDonald → Drummer in Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1974 ● Kelsi Marie Osborn → Vocals and guitar in country-pop sister trio SHeDAISY, “I Will…But” (#43, Country #2, 1999)

November 22

1899 ● Howard Hoagland “Hoagy” Carmichael → Composer, actor, singer, pianist and bandleader, wrote or co-wrote several classic American pop tunes including “Stardust” (1927), “Georgia On My Mind” (1930) and “Heart And Soul” (1938), died of heart failure on 12/27/1981, age 82
1941 ● Jesse Colin Young (Perry Miller) → Mid-60s Greenwich Village folk singer and songwriter, co-founded folk-rock The Youngbloods (“Get Together, #5, 1969), left in 1972 for a 40-year solo career, including LPs Song For Juli (#51, 1973) and Songbird (#26, 1975) plus several charting singles
1941 ● Terry Stafford → One hit wonder country and pop-rock singer and songwriter with the Elvis sound-alike “Suspicion” (#4, 1961), died from liver ailments on 3/17/1996, age 54
1942 ● Floyd Sneed → Drummer for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1942 ● Steve Caldwell → Vocals in mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in 1964 for a career in trade union management and 29 years on the Philadelphia Board of Education, reformed the group in 1988 for the oldies circuit
1946 ● Aston Francis “Family Man” Barrett → Rastafarian and bassist for reggae bands The Upsetters and Bob Marley & The Wailers, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Rod Price → Slide guitar for Brit boogie/blues-rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), solo, died following a heart attack on 3/22/2005, age 57
1947 ● Sonny Geraci → Lead singer for Cleveland garage rock quintet The Outsiders (“Time Won’t Let Me,” #5, 1966) and L.A. light AM pop Climax (“Precious And Few,” #3, 1972), one of only a very few artists who have scored Top 10 its fronting two different acts, continued to perform on the oldies circuit into the 10s
1948 ● Dennis Larden → With brother Larry, guitar and vocals for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1950 ● “Miami” Steven (aka “Little Steve”) Van Zandt → Guitarist and songwriter, founding member of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1975, solo and frontman for Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, social activist and founder of Artists United Against Apartheid, record producer and TV actor (“Silvio Dante” on The Sopranos)
1950 ● Tina Weymouth → Bassist for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978) and co-founder of synth-pop Tom Tom Club, “Genius Of Love” (#31, R&B #2, 1982)
1954 ● Craig Huxley) (Hundley → Child actor turned Emmy-winning film producer and Grammy-nominated musician and soundtrack producer over a wide range of projects, including concert collaborations with Deep Purple, session work with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and others, soundtrack composer for the Star Trek movie series, music director for actor/singer William Shatner, founder of The Enterprise Interactive recording studios and producer of hits by Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Paul McCartney and dozens more, music arranger for Broadway shows, IMAX films and extreme expedition Blue-ray videos
1957 ● Sharon Bailey → Percussion for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1958 ● Jason Ringenberg → Founder, frontman for alt country-rock “cowpunk” Jason & The Scorchers, “Golden Ball And Chain” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1986), now records and performs children’s music as Farmer Jason
1960 ● Jim Bob (James Morrison) → One half of the alt dance-pop sampling duo Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, “The Only Living Boy In New Cross” (Modern Rock #26, UK #7, 1992)
1962 ● Daniel Schmid → Co-founder and bassist for jazz-rock-ska-swing revival Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, “Zoot Suit Riot” (Modern Rock #15, 1998)
1962 ● Neil Fraser → Guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1966 ● Francis Anthony “Eg” White → Vocals in Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988), now a successful songwriter with hits by Will Young, Natalie Imbruglia, Joss Stone, Kylie Minogue and others
1968 ● Rasa Don Donald Norris → Rapper in Grammy-winning, progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1970 ● Chris Fryar → Drummer for Grammy-winning alt-country-rock Zac Brown Band (“Knee Deep,” #18, Country #1,, 2012)
1976 ● Alex Grossi → Journeyman rock guitarist best known for his work with heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot (“Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” #31, 1984)
1978 ● Karen O (Karen Lee Orzolek) → Vocals and keyboards for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1979 ● Scott Robinson → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1981 ● Ben Adams → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)

November 23

1939 ● Betty Everett → R&B/soul-pop vocalist and pianist, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” (#6, R&B #1, 1964), died at home on 8/19/2001, age 61
1940 ● Frederick John “Freddie” Marsden → With brother Gerry Marsden, co-founder and drummer in 50s Brit skiffle band Mars Bars, which shortly became Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers(“How Do You Do It?, #9, AUS #3, UK #1, 1964), the second most popular Liverpool, England band of all time, left the music industry in the late 60s to open a driving school, died from cancer on 12/9/2006, age 66
1945 ● Bobby Bloom (Conquistador Blomqvist) → One hit wonder calypso-pop singer and songwriter, “Montego Bay” (#1, 1974), died in an accidental gun shooting on 2/28/74, age 28
1949 ● Alan Paul → Singer in Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1949 ● Marcia Llyneth Griffiths → Jamaican pop singer and the “Queen of Reggae,” solo artist in the 60s and later in the I Threes as backing vocalist for Bob Marley & The Wailers, went solo and scored the minor hit “Electric Boogie” (#51, 1982) which became the basis for Ric Silver‘s dance-craze, copyright-infested “Electric Slide” (1976)
1949 ● Sandra Stevens → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1954 ● Bruce Hornsby → Grammy-winning rock-pop-jazz-classical-bluegrass keyboardist, singer and songwriter, bandleader for The Range “The Way It Is” (#1, 1986), solo, producer for Leon Russell and others, filled in on keyboards for the Grateful Dead, now fronts separate bluegrass and jazz bands
1962 ● Calvin Hayes → Keyboards and drums for underappreciated, one hit wonder (in the U.S.) New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988)
1962 ● Chris Bostock → Bassist in dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1964 ● Conny Bloom (Conquistador Blomqvist) → Guitarist and songwriter for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1966 ● Charlie Grover → Drummer in post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain” (Modern Rock #3, 1995)
1966 ● Ken Block → Lead singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997), solo
1978 ● Alison Mosshart → Singer, songwriter and occasional model, lead singer for indie rock The Kills (“The Good Ones,” UK #23, 2005) and blues-rock supergroup The Dead Weather (“Die By The Drop,” Alt Rock #20, 2010)
1978 ● Thomas Christian “Tommy” Marth, Jr. → Freelance journalist, Las Vegas nightclub manager,Hard Rock Café marketing director and session saxophonist in alt hard rock The Killers (“Mr. Brightside,” #10, Alt. Rock #3, 2003), committed suicide by gunshot on 4/23/2012, age 33
1984 ● Lucas Stephen Grabeel → Pop singer and actor, played “Ryan Evans” in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever)
1992 ● Destiney Hope “Miley” Cyrus → Teen idol actress and star of the Disney Hannah Montana series, then pop vocalist, “Party In The U.S.A.” (#2, 2009), daughter of country-pop singer Billy Ray Cyrus

November 24

1868 ● Scott Joplin → The “King of Ragtime,” pianist and prolific jazz and ragtime composer best known for his signature piece, “Maple Leaf Rag” (copyright 1899), died from dementia caused by syphilis on 4/1/1917, age 49
1924 ● Eileen Barton → Child vaudeville performer, teenage radio program vocalist, 20-something pop singer with ten Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the perky “If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked You A Cake” (#1, 1950), continued as a night club and stage entertainer in her 30s and 40s, died from ovarian cancer on 6/27/2006, age 81
1931 ● Tommy Allsup → Guitarist with Buddy Holly & The Crickets, lost a coin toss with Ritchie Valens for the last seat on the fateful flight on February 3, 1959 that killed Holly, Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, later worked as a session musician for Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson and others, and as a restaurateur in Dallas
1938 ● Charles Laquidara → Radio DJ on early “free format” WBCN/Boston, his morning drive time show The Big Mattress ran for nearly 30 years and set the bar for FM radio morning shows
1939 ● Carl Bunch → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer recruited for Buddy Holly‘s band in the “Winter Dance Party” tour of 1959, suffered frostbite due to a malfunctioning tour bus heater and was hospitalized while the rest of the band took the ill-fated plane flight that killed Holly and others, did session work in Nashville following a stint in the Army, died from diabetes on 3/26/2011, age 71
1939 ● Jim Yester → Guitar and vocals for light pop-rock vocal group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1940 ● Johnny Carver → Country-pop crossover singer with fifteen Country Top 40 hits in the late 60s through the late 70s, including counterfeits of Tony Orlando & Dawn‘s “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Old Oak Tree” (Country #5, 1973) and Starland Vocal Band‘s “Afternoon Delight” (Country #9, 1976), performed in Branson, MO venues into the 90s
1941 ● Donald “Duck” Dunn → Bassist, songwriter, highly regarded session player, member of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1962) and The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died in his sleep while on tour in Tokyo on 5/13/2012, age 70
1941 ● Pete Best (Randolph Peter Best) → The “5th The Beatle“, drummer for The Beatles from August 1960 until fired and replaced by Ringo Starr in August 1962, went into civil service and continued to perform as frontman to his own bands
1941 ● Wayne Lamar Jackson → Trumpet player for various studio session bands at Stax Records, first as The Mar-Keys (“Last Night,” #3, 1961) and later as Booker T. & The M.G.’s, joined with tenor saxophonist Andrew Love to form The Memphis Horns in 1969 and played on scores of albums by Elvis Presley, Rod Stewart, U2, among others, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 74
1942 ● Billy Connolly → Scottish comedian, film and TV actor and singer, member of folk trio The Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty in 70s, then briefly a folk-novelty-pop solo artist, covered “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.” (UK #1, 1975)
1943 ● Richard Tee (Ten Ryk) → R&B and funk keyboardist, session musician, arranger and singer who played on hundreds of studio albums by top-tier artists in rock, pop and soul as well as in band’s led by George Benson, Grover Washington, Jr., Steve Gadd and others, issued seven solo albums, two of which reached into the Jazz Top 25, died in his prime from prostate cancer on 7/21/1993, age 49
1943 ● Robin Williamson → Guitarist and principal in Scottish psych-folk and early world music duo The Incredible String Band, 1968 album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter reached #161 in the US
1945 ● Lee Michaels (Michael Olsen) → One hit wonder psych-rock/blue eyed soul singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Do You Know What I Mean” (#6, 1971)
1948 ● Tony Bourge → Guitarist for early and influential heavy metal Budgie, “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” (1971)
1949 ● Anita Louis → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children, “I’ll Be The Other Woman” (#36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave
1950 ● Robert Burns, Jr. → Original drummer and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), left in 1974 after the band’s first two albums due to road fatigue, died in a single-car accident on 4/3/2015, age 64
1955 ● Clement Burke (Clement Bozewski) → Original drummer for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979), later with The Romantics, occasional tours with The Ramones (as “Elvis Ramone”), session work for Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, The Gog-Go’s, The Sex Pistols and others
1957 ● Chris Hayes → Guitar and backing vocals for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Carmel McCourt → Brit jazz-pop-rock vocalist and bandleader for Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Stonadge → Bassist for funk-punk Big Audio Dynamite, “V. Thirteen” (Dance/Club #15, 1987) and The Rotten Hill Gang
1962 ● John Squire → Guitarist for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997), painter
1964 ● Tony Rombola → Guitarist for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1970 ● Chad Taylor → Guitarist for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995) and The Gracious Few, “Appetite” (Mainstream Rock #29, 2010)

November 25

1931 ● Nathaniel “Nat” Adderley → Hard bebop and soul jazz cornet and trumpeteer player, wrote and recorded the now-standard “Work Song” in 1960, played with his brother Julian “Cannonball” Adderley in various jazz-pop bands, died from complications of diabetes on 1/2/2012, age 68
1941 ● Percy Sledge → Pleading R&B/Southern soul balladeer, “When A Man Loves A Woman” (#1, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits, died from liver cancer on 4/14/2015, age 73
1942 ● Bob Lind → One hit wonder folk-pop singer and songwriter, his “Elusive Butterfly” (#5, 1966) is sometimes credited with being in the vanguard of folk-rock music and his songs have been recorded by scores of other artists, continues to perform into the 10s
1944 ● Beverly “Bev” Bevan → Drummer and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits and Black Sabbath, now a UK radio host on Saga FM
1947 ● Val Fuentes → Drummer for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1950 ● Jocelyn Brown → R&B/dance-pop session vocalist and solo artist, “Somebody Else’s Guy” (R&B #2, 1984), worked with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others
1959 ● Steve Rothery → Original member and lead guitar for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1960 ● Amy Grant → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music (CCM) then pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Every Heartbeat” (#1, 1991) and six other Top 40 hits
1964 ● Mark Lanegan → Vocals and songwriting for garage/psych/grunge rock Screaming Trees, “All I Know” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1996), stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1966 ● Stacey Lattishaw → R&B/dance-pop vocalist, “Let Me Be Your Angel” (#21, R&B #8, 1980), retired from music in 1990 to raise her family
1966 ● Tim Armstrong → Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter poet, producer and independent record label owner, frontman for 90s punk revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)
1967 ● Rodney Sheppard → Guitarist for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1968 ● Tunde (Babatunde Emanuel Baiyewu) → Nigerian-descent singer in Brit R&B/Northern soul duo Lighthouse Family, “Lifted” (UK #4, 1996) and 9 other UK Top 40 hits, solo
1972 ● Mark Duane Morton → Lead guitar for groove metal Lamb God, album Wrath reached #2 in 2009

November 26

1917 ● Nesuhi Ertegun → Record producer and music company executive, joined his younger brother, Ahmet at Atlantic Records in 1956 and focused on the label’s jazz catalog and artists, worked with John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and others, later branched into R&B and rock with Ray Charles, The Drifters and Roberta Flack, founded WEA International and served as its CEO until just before his death from cancer on 7/15/1989, age 71
1924 ● Michael Holliday (Norman Milne) → Late 50s, pre-Beatles adult contemporary/pop crooner, “The Story of My Life” (UK #1, 1957), died from an apparent suicidal drug overdose on 10/29/1963, age 38
1933 ● Roberrt Goulet → Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning, French-Canadian-American stage and screen entertainer and resonant baritone singer with several charting hits, including “My Love, Forgive Me (Amore, Scusami)” (#16, AC #3, 1964) and dozens of jazz-pop/easy listening albums, plus 30-years worth of Broadway, TV, film and Las Vegas show performances until his death from pulmonary fibrosis on 10/30/2007. age 73
1939 ● Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bullock) → R&B/soul-pop diva, first as a member of The Ikettes, husband Ike Turner‘s backing vocal group, then soul-pop duo Ike & Tina Turner, “Proud Mary” (#4, 1971) and Grammy-winning solo career, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (#1, 1984) and 12 other Top 40 singles
1940 ● David Michael Gordon “Davey” Graham → Folk guitarist, songwriter and highly influential figure in the Brit folk revival of the early 60s known for blending folk, blues, jazz and Middle Eastern sounds and inspiring Joni Mitchell, Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page and others, his oft-covered acoustic instrumental “Anji” (1962) is a standard among acoustic guitarists, died from lung cancer on 12/15/2008, age 68
1944 ● Jean Terrell → R&B/soul singer, replaced Diana Ross in The Supremes in 1969, “Up The Ladder To The Roof” (#10, 1970), left in 1973 for a solo career and backing vocalist for various jazz acts
1945 ● John McVie → Founding member, part namesake and bassist for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock group Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1946 ● Burt Ruiter → Bassist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971)
1946 ● Graham Foote → Guitarist in British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “The Game Of Love” (#1, 1965)
1948 ● John Rossall → Saxophone, trombone and music director for Gary Glitter‘s backing group The Glitter Band, “Angel Face” (UK #4, 1974) and later incarnations of the group
1949 ● Gayle McCormick → Little-known pop-rock singer with several minor albums and singles as a solo artist, plus lead vocals for pop-rock cover vocal group Smith and their grittier version of The Shirelles‘ “Baby It’s You” (#5, 1969), which charted higher than the original version from 1962, and on the group’s cover of “The Weight” from the soundtrack to the film Easy Rider (1969)
1949 ● Martin Lee → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man, “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1963 ● Adam Gaynor → Rhythm guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000), solo
1967 ● John Stirratt → Bassist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1970 ● Ron Jones → Guitarist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1981 ● Natasha Bedingfield → New Zealand-born dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Unwritten” (#5, 2006) plus three other Top 40 hits
1984 ● Ben Wysocki → Drummer for mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)
1985 ● Lil Fizz (Dreux Frederic) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)
1990 ● Rita Ora → Kosovo-born UK dance/pop singer and dancer with three consecutive UK #1 singles, including “How We Do (Party)” (#62, Dance/Pop #1, UK #1, 2012)

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This Week’s Birthdays (November 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 13

1940 ● Carol Connors (Annette Kleinbard) → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, co-wrote “Hey Little Cobra” for the Rip Chords (#4, 1964) and earned an Academy Award for co-writing “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), the theme song from the film Rocky (1977)
1940 ● Justine “Baby” Washington → R&B/sultry soul vocalist with sixteen R&B hits in four decades through the early 80s, including her biggest, the crossover “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” (#40, R&B #10, 1963), continued to perform into the 10s on cruises and oldies specials
1941 ● Odia Coates → R&B/soul singer known for several light pop duet recordings in the 70s with crooner Paul Anka, including (“You’re) Having My Baby” (#1, 1974), died from breast cancer on 5/19/1991, age 49
1942 ● John P. Hammond → Grammy-winning, underappreciated white blues-folk guitarist, songwriter, producer
1944 ● Timmy ThomasOne hit wonder R&B/soul singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Why Can’t We Live Together” (#3, 1973), record producer
1946 ● Ray Wylie Hubbard → Texas Hill Country folk and blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother” but had little commercial success with 15 studio albums, currently hosts a music radio program featuring Americana artists and is considered an elder statesman of Texas music
1947 ● Toy Tallmadge Caldwell → Founding member, chief songwriter and lead guitarist for Southern rock pioneers The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), fronted Toy Caldwell Band, died from respiratory failure on 2/25/1993, age 45
1949 ● Roger Steen → Guitarist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1949 ● Terry Reid → British hard rock guitarist, bandleader, supporting act, session player and sideman
1951 ● Bill Gibson → Percussion for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1953 ● Andrew Ranken → Drummer for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1956 ● Aldo Nova (Aldo Caporuscio) → Canadian pop-rock guitarist, vocalist and producer, “Fantasy” (#23, Mainstream Rock #3, 1982), wrote or co-wrote and produced songs by multiple artists, including the title track to Celine Dion‘s album, A New Day Has Come (#1, CAN #1, UK #1, 2002)
1960 ● Wayne Parker → Bassist for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1964 ● “Dirty” Walter A. Kibby II → Vocals and trumpet for alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1979 ● Nikolai Fraiture → Bassist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Monique Coleman → Pop singer and actress, played “Taylor” in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever)

November 14

1900 ● Aaron Copland → Award-winning and influential composer, teacher, writer, critic and conductor known for his “populist” compositions archetypical of the sound of American music, wrote chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores, including “Fanfare For The Common Man” and “Hoedown” in the 1940s, both of which were interpreted by prog-rock Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the 1970s, died from Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory failure on 12/2/1990, age 89
1915 ● Martha Tilton → Top-level swing and traditional pop vocalist with 24 Top 40 hits with Benny Goodman in the late 30s and another nine as a solo artist in the 40s, including “And The Angels Sing,” (#1, 1939), survived the onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll by acting in movies (The Benny Goodman Story, 1955) and making appearances on radio and TV variety shows, died on 12/8/2006, age 91
1936 ● Freddie Garrity → Eccentric frontman and vocalist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), appeared in children’s TV shows, died from pulmonary hypertension on 5/19/2006, age 69
1937 ● Joe Billingslea, Jr. → Founder and lead singer for early Motown R&B/soul quartet The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (#3, R&B #1, 1962), left Motown and the band in 1964 to work in an auto plant and later a career in law enforcement, reformed the band in the 70s and still tours as The Contours in the 10s
1938 ● Cornell Gunter → Founding member of R&B/doo wop The Platters, “The Great Pretender” (#1, 1956), left the group in 1954 to join The Flairs and The Coasters (“Yakety Yak,” #1, 1959), enjoyed a mildly successful solo career in the 60s and a resurgence in the late 80s before being murdered in his car in Las Vegas by an unknown assassin on 2/26/1990, age 51
1944 ● Scherrie Payne → Lead singer for R&B/soul The Glass House, “Crumbs Off The Table” (#59, R&B #7, 1969), replaced Diana Ross and Jean Terrell in The Supremes in 1973, “You’re My Driving Wheel” (#85, Dance/Club #5, 1977), still performs with other former Supremes, younger sister of soul singer Freda Payne
1947 ● Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural → Grammy-winning frontman and accordionist for contemporary zydeco band Buckwheat Zydeco (“I Need Your Lovin’,” 1983) mixing Louisiana Creole culture with R&B and rock, toured with Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and others, died from lung cancer on 9/24/2016, age 68
1949 ● James “J.Y.” Young → Guitarist for prototypical arena rock band Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981)
1951 ● Alec Jon Such → Bassist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), dismissed in 1994 and owned a motorcycle shop in New York City in the 00s
1951 ● Frankie Banali → Drummer and manager for heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot, “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” (#31, 1983)
1951 ● Stephen Bishop → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “On And On” (#11, 1976) and the theme song from the film Tootsie (1977)
1954 ● Yanni (Yiannis Chryssomalis) → Grammy-winning New Age composer and pianist with seven Top 40 albums, including Live At The Acropolis (#5, 1994)
1964 ● Andrew Banfield → Vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1964 ● Joseph “Run” Simmons → Founding member and vocalist in premier hardcore rap group Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), now an ordained and practicing Pentecostal minister under the name Reverend Run
1964 ● Nic Dalton → Bassist for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1965 ● Stuart Stapels → Vocals and guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1968 ● Brian Yale → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1972 ● Douglas Payne → Bassist for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (#36, UK #10, 2000) plus 11 other UK Top 40 hits
1974 ● Adina Howard → One hit wonder urban contemporary R&B/soul-pop singer, “Freak Like Me” (#2, 1995)
1974 ● Brendon Benson → Multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter with six solo albums, a number of production credits and a member of power pop The Raconteurs (“Steady, As She Goes,” #54, Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1975 ● Faye Louise Tozer → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997), film and theater actress
1975 ● Travis Barker → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1982 ● Joy Elizabeth Williams → Contemporary Christian singer and songwriter with an eponymous debut album at age 17 and eight others by 2009, recorded and performed with John Paul White as four-time Grammy winning folk-pop duo The Civil Wars (“Barton Hollow,” #101, AAA #15, 2011), resumed a solo career in 2014

November 15

1905 ● Mantovani (Annunzio Paolo Mantovani) → Italian composer, light-orchestra conductor and hugely popular easy listening star (“Around The World,” #12, 1957) with 25 albums in the U.S. Top 40 (six simultaneously in 1959), known for his signature cascading strings music structure and mastery of stereo recording techniques, became the most successful British album artist before The Beatles, continued to compose music until his death on 3/30/1980
1928 ● C. W. McCall (William D. Fries, Jr.) → Advertising executive turned one hit wonder outlaw country singer and lyricist during the 70s truck driving/CB radio craze, “Convoy” (#1, 1976)
1929 ● Joe Hinton → Journeyman gospel singer with several Memphis vocal groups, then one hit wonder deep R&B/soul balladeer with Willie Nelson‘s “Funny (How Time Slips Away)” (#13, 1964), died from skin cancer at the peak of his career on 8/13/1968, age 38
1932 ● Clyde McPhatter → Founder and frontman for influential R&B doo wop The Drifters, “Honey Love” (R&B #1, 1954), left in 1956 for solo career, “A Lover’s Question” (#6, R&B #1, 1958) plus six other Top 40 and 11 other R&B Top 20 hits, died after a heart attack on 6/13/1972, age 39
1932 ● Petula Clark → Hugely popular 50s Brit film actress then Grammy-winning pop singer, “Downtown” (#1, 1965), the first US #1 single by a British female singer, plus 14 other Top 40 hits
1937 ● William Edward “Little Willie” John → Influential but little known R&B/soul singer and songwriter with 17 charting hits, including “Fever” (#24, R&B #1, 1956) and “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” (#20, R&B #5, 1958), convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for stabbing another man in 1966, died in Washington State Penitentiary from a heart attack on 5/26/1968, age 30
1941 ● Jim Dickinson → Rock and blues musician, singer, record producer and frontman, started in the mid-60s as a session musician for The Rolling Stones (piano on “Wild Horses”), Ry Cooder and others, as a member of backing band The Dixie Flyers worked for Hank Ballard, Aretha Franklin, Dion and more, went solo in the mid-70s and began producing records for others, died following triple-bypass heart surgery on 8/15/2009, age 67
1941 ● Rick Kemp → Bassist for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1945 ● Anni-frid “Frida” Lyngstad Andersson → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Steve Fossen → Founding member and bassist for hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1982 and in 1988 co-founded Canadian power ballad rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1952 ● Michael Cooper → Singer and guitarist for R&B/soul-funk group Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, 1978)
1953 ● Alexander O’Neal → R&B/smooth soul singer, started with dance-funk The Time, “Get It Up” (R&B #6, 1981), left for solo career, “Fake” (#25, R&B #1, 1987)
1954 ● Tony Thompson → Drummer for top disco/funk band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978), session work for Madonna, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and others, drummer for the reunited Led Zeppelin in 1985-86, died from renal cell cancer on 11/12/2003, age 49
1955 ● Joe Leeway → Percussion for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983)
1960 ● Keith Washington → Grammy-nominated R&B/smooth soul one hit wonder balladeer, “Kissing You” (#40, R&B/Hip Hop #1, 1991)
1968 ● Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Russell Tyrone Jones) → Founding member and bad boy of influential East Coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), collapsed and died during a studio recording session on 11/13/2004, age 35
1974 ● Chad Kroeger (Turton) → Lead guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1988 ● B.o.B. (Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.) → R&B/alt Dirty South hip hop singer and songwriter, “Nothin’ On You” (#1, 2010) and two other Top 10 hits in debut

November 16

1901 ● Jesse Stone → Songwriter and key figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B music in the 50s, wrote or co-wrote several rock ‘n’ roll standards, including “Shake Rattle And Roll” (1954), “Flip Flop And Fly” (1955) and “Don’t Let Go” (1958), died from natural causes on 4/1/1999, age 97
1873 ● William Christopher “W.C.” Handy → Highly-influential cornetist, bandleader, songwriter, teacher and music publisher known as the “Father of the Blues,” credited with mainstreaming rural Southern roots music to its contemporary form, published hundreds of new and re-written songs, including the widely popular “The St. Louis Blues” (1914), led a variety of groups from string quartets to minstrels to brass bands, died from bronchial pneumonia on 3/28/1958, age 85
1916 ● Herb Abramson → Atlantic Records co-founder and co-owner, president of subsidiary Atco Records, A-1 Studios owner and chief executive, died on 11/9/1999, age 82
1931 ● Bob Gibson → 50s folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and banjoist whose influence on 60s folk revivalists Joan Baez, Harry Chapin, Peter, Paul & Mary and others exceed his success as a recording artist, his career was cut short by drug and alcohol problems, died from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) on 9/28/1996, age 64
1931 ● Hubert Sumlin → Celebrated electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his multi-decade collaborations with Howlin’ Wolf, inspiration to Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), Robbie Robertson (The Band), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and others, #43 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarist of All-Time list, died on 12/4/2011 of heart failure
1933 ● Garnett Mimms → R&B/gospel-soul singer and bandleader, “Cry Baby” (#4, R&B #1 1963) and three other Top 30 hits, left the industry by 1980, became a born-again Christian and ordained minister focused on helping lost souls in prisons
1938 ● Toni Brown → Co-founder, vocals and pianist for hippy folk-rock Joy of Cooking, “Brownsville” (#66, 1981), solo
1938 ● Troy Seals → Country-pop singer, songwriter, guitarist and session musician, brother of Jim (Seals & Crofts, “Summer Breeze,” #6, 1972) and Dan (England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” #2, 1976)
1940 ● John Ryanes → Second bass singer for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), died 5/30/1972, age 31
1941 ● Dan Penn → Blue-eyed soul singer, songwriter and producer known more for his creations for others than his own recordings, including “I’m Your Puppet” for James & Bobby Purify (#6, 1966), “The Dark End Of The Street” for James Carr (#77, R&B #10, 1966), “The Letter” (#1, 1967) and “Cry Like A Baby” (#2, 1968) for The Box Tops and other artists connected withFAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
1943 ● Winfred “Blue” Lovett → Founding member and bass vocals in R&B/doo wop then sweet soul quintet The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, 1976), remained with versions of the group until his death on 12/9/2014, age 71
1945 ● Mabon Lewis “Teenie” Hodges → Memphis soul session guitarist and songwriter, worked at Hi Records in the 70s and recorded with multiple acts, best known for working with Al Greenn and co-writing “Take Me To The River” (#117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Songs of All Time list) and “Love And Happiness” (#98 on the list), died from emphysema on 6/22/2014, age 68
1948 ● Chi Coltrane → Teen prodigy pianist and one hit wonder blue-eyed soul, funk and jazz-pop singer with great promise and expectations but a lone charting single, “Thunder And Lightning” (#17, 1972)
1949 ● Patti Santos → Lead vocals for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969), died in a car accident on 12/14/1989, age 40
1958 ● Harry Rushakoff → Drummer with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1962 ● Mani (Gary Mounfield) → Bassist for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “One Love” (Alt Rock #9, 1990), then jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1964 ● Diana Krall → Two-time Grammy-winning Canadian jazz-pop singer, songwriter and pianist, “Jingle Bells” (Adult Contemporary #5, 2005), the best-selling female jazz artist of the 90s and 00s, married to Elvis Costello
1966 ● Christian “Flake” Lorenz → Keyboardist for heavy metal/Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1966 ● Dave Kushner → Rhythm guitar for punk-metal Wasted Youth and hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, “Slither” (#56, Mainstream Rock #1, 2004), sessions, solo, film and TV scores
1969 ● Byran Abrams → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1974 ● Eric Judy → Founding member, bassist and backing vocalist for alt rock Modest Mouse (Lampshades On Fire,” Alt #1, Rock #12, CAN #40), left in 2012 to join indie rock Ugly Casanova
1979 ● Trevor Penick → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

November 17

1937 ● Gerry McGee → Lead guitar for pioneering and venerable rock ‘n’ roll instrumental combo The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960)
1937 ● Peter Cook → Writer, satirist, stage and film actor, modern British comedian, collaborator with Dudley Moore in the comedy duo Derek & Clive, “Goodbye-ee” (UK #18, 1965), host of UK TV music show Revolver, died from intestinal bleeding caused by alcoholism on 1/9/1995, age 57
1938 ● Gordon Lightfoot → Canadian folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Sundown” (#1, 1974) and “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” (#2, 1976)
1942 ● Bob Gaudio → Co-founder, co-songwriter and lead singer in early rock ‘n’ roll The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” (#3, 1958), co-founder, constant member, songwriter and producer of Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), producer and songwriter for many others, co-producer (with Frankie Valli) of the Tony-winning Broadway show Jersey Boys (2005)
1944 ● Harold Eugene “Gene” Clark → Early country-rock singer and songwriter with The New Christy Minstrels, seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), Dillard & Clark, co-wrote “Eight Miles High” (Top 20, 1966), died of a heart attack on 5/24/1991, age 46
1946 ● Martin Barre → Founding member and guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1947 ● Robert “Stewkey” Antoni → Vocals for psych-rock/garage rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#66, 1970) and hard rock Fuse (with Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos of the future Cheap Trick)
1947 ● Rod Clements → Folk-rock bassist for Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (, 1971) and Jack The Lad, session work and solo albums
1948 ● Iain Sutherland → Vocals, guitars and keyboards for folk-rock sibling duo The Sutherland Brothers, “(I Don’t Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway” (#48, 1973), then joined with an obscure rock band to form The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, “The Arms Of Mary” (#81, UK #5, 1975)
1951 ● Dean Paul “Dino” Martin, Jr. → Actor and singer, son of trad pop/MOR singer Dean Martin, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Desi Arnaz Jr. and classmate Billy Hinsche, “”I’m A Fool” (#17, 1965), officer with the California Air National Guard, died when his CANG F-4 Phantom crashed in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles on 3/21/1987, age 35
1955 ● Peter Cox → New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990), now with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
1957 ● Jim Babjak → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt pop-rock The Smithereens, “Only A Memory” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), songwriter with multiple film and TV credits
1960 ● RuPaul (RuPaul Andre Charles) → Cross-dressing drag queen, dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Back To My Roots” (Dance #1, 1993), TV and radio host
1966 ● Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Buckley → Alt folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Last Goodbye” (Modern Rock #19, 1995), son of folk singer Tim Buckley, drowned in a Memphis river during a fully-clothed, spontaneous swim on 5/29/1997, age 30
1967 ● Ben Wilson → Keyboardist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1967 ● Ronald Boyd “Ronnie” DeVoe Jr. → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), then Bell Biv Devoe, “Poison” (#3, 1990)
1972 ● Kimya Dawson → Singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist, has several solo albums and co-fronted the anti-folk duo Moldy Peaches, “Anyone Else But You” (2007) was featured in the hit film Juno
1980 ● Clarke Isaac Hanson → Guitar, vocals and keyboards for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1981 ● Sarah Nicole Harding (Hardman) → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)

November 18

1909 ● John Herndon “Johnny” Mercer → Popular music lyricist, composer, singer and pianist, wrote or co-wrote over 1,500 songs, many of which are pop standards, won Grammy Awards for “Moon River” (1961) and “Days Of Wine And Roses,” died from an inoperable brain tumor on 6/25/1976, age 66
1922 ● Albert Dvorin → Music promoter and talent agent, planned and managed Elvis Presley‘s tours for 22 years from the mid-50s and coined the phrase “Elvis has left the building,,” died in a car accident returning from an Elvis impersonator performance on 8/22/2004, age 81
1926 ● Dorothy Collins (Marjorie Chandler) → Canadian-American girl-next-door pre-rock ‘n’ roll traditional pop singer and TV entertainer, scored several minor hits in the 50s (“My Boy – Flat Top,” #16, 1955), featured vocalist on 50s top music variety show Your Hit Parade and spokeswoman for sponsor The American Tobacco Co., left to co-host TV’s immortal Candid Camera and perform in theater and on Broadway, died from asthma(!) and heart disease on 7/21/1994, age 67
1927 ● Hank Ballard (John Henry Kendricks) → Vocals and frontman for R&B doo wop The Midnighters, raunchy proto-rock ‘n’ roll “Work With Me, Annie” (banned/no charts, 1954), solo, “Finger Poppin’ Time” (R&B #2, 1960), co-wrote “The Twist” for Chubby Checker (#1, 1960), died from throat cancer on 3/2/2003, age 75
1936 ● Don Cherry → Innovative “free” jazz cornetist and trumpeter, father of alternative singer Eagle-Eye and stepfather of hip hop dance-pop Neneh, died on 10/19/1995, age 58
1941 ● Conleth “Con” Cluskey → Guitarist for Irish pop-rock trio The Bachelors, “Diane” (#10, UK #1, 1964)
1945 ● Mark Weitz → Keyboards for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Mike Carbello → Congas and percussion for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), session work on over two dozen albums for The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton and many others
1949 ● Herman “Ze German” Rarebell (Erbel) → Drummer for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1950 ● Graham Parker → Author, singer, songwriter, guitarist, frontman for Brit pub-rock The Rumour and solo, “Wake Up (Next To You)” (#39, Mainstream Rock #19, 1985)
1950 ● Rudy Sarzo → Cuban-American bassist for heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot, “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” (#31, 1983)
1954 ● Charles Williams → Keyboardist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1954 ● John Parr → One hit wonder pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Laura Lynch → Founding member, bassist, co-lead singer and occasional songwriter for country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, pushed out of the band in 1996 prior to their rise to stardom, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006), now sells real estate in Texas
1958 ● Michael Ramos → Keyboards for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Kim Wilde (Smith) → New Wave synth-pop singer, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#1, 1987) plus 20 other Top 50 UK singles, author, Brit TV host and professional landscape gardener
1961 ● Janice Kuehnemund → Founding member, lead guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Jeff Ward → Journeyman drummer in the Chicago industrial music scene, including a brief stint with Nine Inch Nails (1990-1991) as their tour drummer and gigs with Ministry, Skafish and others, died by suicide brought on by heroin addiction on 3/19/1993, age 30
1962 ● Kirk Hammett → Lead guitar and vocals for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), #11 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1969 ● Duncan Sheik → Alternative pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Barely Breathing” (#16, 1997), Grammy-winning stage and film score composer
1972 ● Matt Knight → Bassist and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1975 ● Anthony David “Ant” McPartlin → Actor, singer and one half the pop music duo PJ & Duncan (later renamed Ant & Dec), “Lets Get Ready To Rhumble” (UK #9, 1994), TV host
1977 ● Fabolous (John David Jackson) → East coast rapper, “Can’t Let You Go” (#4, 2003)
1984 ● Johnny Christ (Joanthan Lewis Seward) → Starting in 2003, bass guitar and backing vocals for pop/metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)

November 19

1905 ● Tommy Dorsey → Noted Swing Era bandleader, trombonist and songwriter, “Tea For Two” (#7, 1958), brother of jazz reed player Jimmy Dorsey
1927 ● Joe Hunter → R&B pianist for Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go,” #6, R&B #1, 1960), then early 60s in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, left in 1963 to become a freelance session player and arranger, died in Detroit on 2/2/2007
1927 ● The Singing Postman (Allan Smethurst) → Brit folk singer and actual postal service employee who hummed tunes while delivering the mail and eventually released several novelty-pop albums and the hit “Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy,” which won the Novello Award in 1966 for best novelty song, died penniless in a Salvation Army hostel on 12/24/2000, age 73
1936 ● Ray Collins → Founding member and vocals in L.A. blue-eyed soul The Soul Giants, recruited Frank Zappa as guitarist who transformed the band into satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967) and eventually Zappa’s backing band, left in 1968 and became a taxi driver and drifter until his death following a heart attack on 12/24/2012, age 73
1936 ● Robert Willie White → Session guitarist in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, played the guitar riff in The Temptations‘ classic “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and performed on multiple other Motown hits, died from complications following open heart surgery on 10/27/1994
1937 ● Geoff Goddard → Songwriter and session keyboardist, wrote “Johnny Remember Me” for John Leyton (UK #1, 1961) and dozens of other 60s rock ‘n’ roll tunes, played on Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados‘ “Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, retired from the music industry in the mid-60s, died on 5/15/2000
1938 ● Hank Medress → Vocals in white R&B/doo wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), producer for Tony Orlando & Dawn, Melissa Manchester, Dan Hill, Rick Springfield and others, record label executive with EMI Canada and Bottom Line Records, died from lung cancer on 6/25/2007, age 68
1939 ● Warren “Pete” Moore → Bass vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, co-wrote “Going To A Go-Go” (#11, 1965)
1943 ● Fred Lipsius → Piano and saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1946 ● Joe Correro, Jr. → Drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) plus 14 other US Top 30 hit singles
1952 ● Bill Sharpe → Founding member and keyboardist for Brit jazz fusion Shakatak, “Night Birds” (UK #9, 1982)
1952 ● Eddie Rayner → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), producer and music director for New Zealand Idol
1954 ● Annette Guest → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1960 ● Matt Sorum → Anglo-Norwegian hard rock drummer and percussion, toured with The Cult, joined hard rock Guns N’ Roses in 1989, “November Rain” (#3, 1992), then co-founded hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, “Fall To Pieces” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1965 ● Jason “J Spaceman” Pierce → Leader of Brit psych-space-rock bands Spacemen 3, “Revolution” (UK Ind. #1, 1989) and Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992), solo
1965 ● Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember → Founding member, guitar and organ for Brit psych-space-rock Spacemen 3, “Revolution” (UK Ind. #1, 1989)
1969 ● Travis McNabb → Drummer and percussionist with alt pop-rock Better Than Ezra, “Good” (#30, Modern Rock #1, 1995), since 2007 in backing band for country-pop duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008)
1971 ● Justin Chancellor → Bassist for prog-metal bands Peach and Grammy-winning Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006)
1971 ● Tony Rich (Antonion Jeffries) → Grammy-winning contemporary R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Nobody Knows” (#2, 1996)

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