Posts Tagged rock star birthday history

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

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 26

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

March 27

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

March 28

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

March 29

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

March 30

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

March 31

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

April 01

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 19

1937 ● Clarence “Frogman” Henry → R&B/blues and soul singer with a trademark croak to his singing, best exemplified on “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20, R&B #3, 1956), scored two other Top 20 hits, including “But I Do” (#4, R&B #9, 1961), opened for 18 Beatles concerts in the U.S., continues to perform at various New Orleans conventions into the 10s
1944 ● Tom Constanten → Classically-trained keyboardist and composer, member of the Grateful Dead from 1966-1970, remained in the Dead‘s periphery and has issued several collaborative albums with Robert Hunter and others
1946 ● Paul Atkinson → Guitarist in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), later became a recorded company A&R executive for Columbia and RCA, discovered ABBA, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest and Michael Penn, died from liver and kidney failure on 4/1/2004, age 58
1946 ● Ruth Pointer → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Derek Longmuir → Drummer for Scottish teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1953 ● Billy Sheehan → Bass guitarist for pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big, “To Be With You” (#1, 1992), also worked with Steve Vai and David Lee Roth
1953 ● Philip Henry “Phil” Mitchell → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson → Guitarist and founding member (with sister Cindy) of New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989), died from AIDS/HIV on 10/12/1985, age 32
1955 ● Bruce Willis → Action film actor (Die Hard series) and occasional pop singer with two albums, two modest hits and a Top 5 single, “Respect Yourself” (#5, 1987)
1959 ● Terry Hall → Frontman and lead vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), formed The Colourfield, “Thinking Of You’ (UK #12, 1985)
1971 ● Jack Bessant → Bassist for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow

March 20

1906 ● Oswald George “Ozzie” Nelson → Bandleader, radio host and TV actor, director and producer, fronted swing/easy listening The Ozzie Nelson Band in the 30s and 40s (“And Then Some,” #1, 1935) with his wife, Harriet on second vocal, developed and produced The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet (with their sons, David and Ricky) on radio in 1944 and moved to TV in 1952, appeared on TV for a final time in 1973 and died from liver cancer on 6/3/1975, age 69
1917 ● Dame Vera Lynn (Welch) → Enormously popular World War II-era touring singer and actress whose career continued after the war with hits in the 50s (“Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” #1, UK #10, 1952) and a UK #1 album in 2009 (We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn), making her the oldest living artist with a top-ranked album ever
1922 ● Larry Elgart → Swing, dance and jazz-pop bandleader, with his brother, Les, recorded the original version of “Bandstand Boogie,” the theme song long-running teen dance show American Bandstand, and his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982)
1935 ● Sam Lay → Chicago blues, jazz and rock drummer and vocalist, performed and recorded with many blues greats, including Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters, joined The Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-60s, recorded and toured with Bob Dylan and the Chess Records All-Stars and has issued several albums of his own since 1969, his home movies of fellow blues performers in various Chicago venues in the 50s and 60s were featured in the PBS special History Of The Blues (2003)
1936 ● Lee “Scratch” Perry (Rainford Hugh Perry) → Grammy-winning producer, mixer, songwriter and pioneer in the development of the “dub” subgenre of reggae music, worked with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Junior Murvin, The Heptones and others
1937 ● Jerry Reed (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → The “Guitar Man,” Grammy-winning country singer and guitarist, “Amos Moses” (#8, 1971), sessionman, TV and screen actor (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), died from emphysema on 9/1/2008, age 71
1937 ● Joe Rivers → One half of the R&B vocal duo Johnnie & Joe, “Over The Mountain, Across The Sea” (#8, R&B #3, 1957) and two other R&B Top 20 hits in 1957, played the oldies circuit and recorded a 1982 album
1940 ● Rod Lauren (Rod Lawrence Strunk) → One hit wonder pop singer (“If I Had A Girl,” #31, 1960), nightclub entertainer, bit part TV actor and one role B-movie star (The Crawling Hand, 1963), husband and suspected murderer of Filipino TV actress Nida Blanca, left the Philippines in 2002 and fought extradition from the U.S., committed suicide by jumping from a second-story hotel balcony on 6/12/2007, age 67
1941 ● Vito Picone → Frontman, lead singer and one of two remaining original members of teenage doo wop quintet The Elegants (“Little Star,” #1, R&B #1, 1958), bit-part TV and film actor (Goodfellas, The Sopranos and others, most recently hosts a New York City weekly nostalgia and music variety radio program
1942 ● Robert “Robin” Luke → One hit wonder teen pop/rockabilly singer and songwriter, “Susie Darlin'” (#5, 1958), later earned a Ph.D. in business administration and headed the Marketing Department at Missouri State University
1950 ● Carl Palmer → Progressive rock drummer and percussionist, first with Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (, 1971), then supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, “From The Beginning” (#39, 1972), and later Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982)
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan → Blues-rock guitarist and singer, founded Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986), solo, brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played occasionally and released one “duo album,” Family Style (1990), released just after Stevie Ray’s death on 8/27/1990
1956 ● Alphonso “Phonso” Martin → Percussion and vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), left in 1991 to pursue interests outside of music
1959 ● Owen If (Ian Frederick Rossiter) → Drummer for Brit electronic dance/rap Stereo MC’s, “Connected” (#20, Modern Rock #5, 1992)
1959 ● Richard Drummie → Guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom (James McDonnell) → Drummer with rockabilly revival Stray Cats, “Stray Cat Strut” (#3, 1983)
1967 ● David “Shutty” Shuttleworth → Drummer for hard rock/heavy metal Spoilt Bratz and Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1968 ● Fredrik Schönfeldt → Guitars and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1972 ● Alexander Kapranos → Vocals for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1972 ● Michelle Lena “Shelly” Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1976 ● Chester Bennington → Vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1982 ● Nick Wheeler → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21

1902 ● Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. → Innovative and influential Delta blues and gospel slide guitarist and vocalist, recorded first in the 30s and for the Library of Congress in 1941 but drifted into obscurity until being “rediscovered” in 1964 during the folk-blues revival, toured and recorded thereafter extensively, influenced Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) and others, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/19/1988, age 86
1923 ● Mort Lindsey (Morton Lippman) → Orchestra leader, TV and film soundtrack composer, pianist and musical director for Judy Garland‘s four-time Grammy-winning concert album Judy At Carnegie Hall (#1, 1961) and Barbra Streisand‘s 1967 TV concert A Happening In Central Park, won two Emmy’s as the 25-year musical director for The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986), died following a long illness on 5/4/2012, age 89
1930 ● Otis Spann → Chicago blues keyboardist and guitarist, member of Muddy Waters‘ band from 1952 to 1968 while concurrently working as a session musician for Chess Records and on solo albums, worked with B. B. King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton and others, died from liver cancer on 4/24/1970, age 40
1940 ● Solomon Burke → The “King of Rock & Soul,” early and influential Grammy-winning R&B/classic soul singer, “Got To Get You Off My Mind” (#22, R&B #1, 1965) and 14 other R&B Top 20 hits but never achieved the recognition afforded peers James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, died from a suspected pulmonary embolism onboard a commercial airliner while flying from Washington, DC to a sold-out show in The Netherlands on 10/10/2010, age 70
1941 ● John Boylan → Songwriter and producer for Rick Nelson, The Association, The Dillards and others, managed Linda Ronstadt and handpicked her backing band in 1971, the session musicians who later became the Eagles
1943 ● Victor Anthony “Vivian” Stanshall → Eccentric 60s UK underground rock figure and founder of the comedy/satirical art rock outfit Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968), died in a fire at his home on 3/5/1995, age 52
1944 ● David Lindley → Top-rated session musician, recorded with Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield, Dolly Parton, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others, key member of Jackson Browne‘s recording and touring band from 1971 to 1981, solo, “Mercury Blues” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1981)
1945 ● Rosemary “Sister Rose” and “Rosie Stone” Stewart → Platinum-wigged lead vocalist and keyboardist with her two brothers Sly and Freddie in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), solo and sessions for Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and others
1946 ● Ray Dorset → Founder, guitarist, vocals and chief songwriter for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), solo
1949 ● Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → Police trainee turned rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Two Tickets To Paradise” (#22, 1977) and “Walk On Water” (#9, 1988)
1950 ● Roger Hodgson → Founding member, frontman, keyboards, vocals and chief hit songwriter for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), solo
1951 ● Conrad Lozano → Bassist for Tex-Mex roots/blues/country-rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1953 ● Robert Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1956 ● Guy Chadwick → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie psych-rock The House Of Love, “Shine On” (, 1990)
1957 ● John Reddington → Guitarist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1957 ● Sean Dickson → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for Scottish alt rock/indie dance-pop The Soup Dragons, “I’m Free” (#79, Modern Rock #2, UK #5, 1990), after 1995 disbandment formed alt rock The High Fidelity
1958 ● Jonathan “Butch” Norton → Drums and vocals for L.A. indie rock Eels, “Novocaine For The Soul” (Modern Rock #1, 1997), then sessions and/or touring bands for Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Rufus Wainwright and Lucinda Williams
1963 ● Sharon “Share” Pedersen Ross → Bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Shawn Lane → Jazz-rock guitar virtuoso, joined Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas as a teenager, left for a solo career, sessions and collaborations including with outlaw country The Highwaymen, died from respiratory failure on 9/26/2003, age 40
1966 ● DJ Premier (Christopher Martin) → East Coast rap DJ and record producer, one half the hip hop duo Gang Starr, “Take It Personal” (Rap #1, 1992), recorded with The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and others, founder and chief of Year Round Records
1967 ● Jonas “Joker” Berggren → Guitar and keyboards for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1967 ● Maxim (Keith Palmer) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996)
1968 ● Andrew Copeland → Guitar and vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1977 ● Mark Hamilton → Founding member, bass, synthesizer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kevin Federline → Dancer, fashion model, tabloid fodder ex-husband of Britney Spears and pop-rap singer, “Lose Control” (2006)
1980 ● Deryck “Bizzy D” Whibley → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Wiseman Humes → Singer, actress and TV host, member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

March 22

1916 ● George Wyle (Bernard Weissman) → Orchestra leader and composer, wrote the theme song to 60s TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, musical director for 70s variety program The Flip Wilson Show, served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers from 1979-2003, died on 5/2/2003, age 87
1930 ● Steven Sondheim → Eight-time Tony and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist best known for writing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and other music theater shows, wrote the lyrics to West Side Story, Gypsy and other films, wrote multiple hit songs, including “Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man)” for Madonna (Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1991)
1932 ● Juke Boy Bonner (Weldon Bonner) → Texas blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and poet who recorded numerous singles and several albums of mostly original material, including his best material on Arhoolie Records in the 60s, but never broke through to commercial success, died from cirrhosis of the liver on 6/29/1978, age 46
1936 ● Roger Whittaker → Internationally-acclaimed baritone pop singer and songwriter, “The Last Farewell” (#19, 1975), TV actor
1937 ● Johnny Ferguson → 50s Nashville disc jockey turned transatlantic one hit wonder country-pop singer with a cover version of John D. Loudermilk‘s “Angela Jones” (Top 30, 1960)
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde → One half of strings-backed British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964), TV actor
1943 ● George Benson → Grammy-winning jazz and R&B/pop guitarist and scat singer, “Give Me The Night” (R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Keith Relf → Guitars and vocals for hard rock Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), then prog rock Renaissance and hard rock Medicine Head, died from electrocution while playing his electric guitar in his basement on 5/14/1976, age 33
1944 ● Christopher Stainton → Session keyboardist and songwriter, started with Joe Cocker, later worked with Eric Clapton, The Who, Bryan Ferry, Roger Waters and others
1947 ● Harry Vanda → Dutch-born lead guitarist for pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), later with pop-rock Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive → Percussionist and bassist for R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1948 ● Andrew Lloyd Webber → Highly successful Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and composer of musicals, often as collaborator with Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Evita (1976) and Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs → Bassist for pop-rock The McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy” (#1, 1965), then with blues-rock Johnny Winter band, died from heart failure caused by years of drug abuse on 8/5/1993, age 45
1957 ● Stephanie Mills → Broadway star (The Wiz, 1975) turned Grammy-winning R&B/pop-disco diva, “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, 1980)
1958 ● Peter Wylie → Singer and frontman for post-punk alt rock Wah!, “Story Of The Blues” (UK #3, 1982)
1963 ● Susanne Sulley → Vocals for synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1968 ● Mickey Dale → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1970 ● Andreas Johnson → Swedish pop-rock musician and songwriter, “Glorious” (UK #4, 1999)
1971 ● Steve Howell → Drummer for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994), now with Placebo
1979 ● Aaron Wright North → Guitarist for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1980 ● Shannon Rae Bex → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006), solo
1981 ● Shawn Mims → Jamaican-descent rapper, “This Is Why I’m Hot” (#1, 2007)
1986 ● Amy Studt → Brit contemporary pop singer, first hit at age 15 with “Just A Little Girl” (UK #14, 2002) and “Misfit” (UK #6, 2003)

March 23

1917 ● Granville Henry “Stick” McGhee → Jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for the oft-covered blues and proto-typical rock ‘n’ roll song “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (R&B #3, 1949), younger brother of electric blues guitarist Brownie McGhee, died of lung cancer on 8/15/1961, age 44
1932 ● Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter) → Flamboyant Southern blues guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player, recorded over 50 albums plus guest appearances and collaborations, best known for “Sweet Blood Call” (1975), died following a stroke on 2/25/2012, age 79
1938 ● Irwin Jesse Levine → Pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys plus “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando & Dawn and other top hits, died from renal failure on 1/21/1997, age 58
1940 ● Janis Martin → The “Female Elvis,” early and pioneering country/rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist with the teenaged hit on Sun Records, “Will You Willyum” (#38, 1956) with the B-side, “Drugstore Rock And Roll” becoming a rockabilly classic, left the industry in the late 50s to raise her son and manage a country club until the rockabilly revival of the 80s, died from lung cancer on 9/3/2007, age 67
1942 ● Jimmy Miller → Record producer and occasional session drummer on albums and songs he produced for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the lone Blind Faith album, the Plasmatics, Primal Scream and others, including key albums by The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972) and Goats Head Soup (1973), died from liver failure on 10/22/1994, age 52
1944 ● Michael Nyman → Composer, pianist, bandleader and librettist, wrote the soundtrack album to the Oscar-winning film The Piano (1993)
1944 ● Tony McPhee → Lead guitar and vocals for blues-rock power trio The Groundhogs, which had three UK Top 10 albums in the early 70s, including Split (1971)
1948 ● Cindy Scott (Sundray Kay Tucker) → Performed and recorded under both her stage (Scott) and birth (Tucker) names, early member of 60s doo wop girl group The Ordettes, released “What Are You Doin’ To Me” as Cindy Scott & The Cousins, sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, recorded as a solo artist on various indie labels through the 00s, sister of Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and cousin of Tammi Terrell and Bunny Sigler
1949 ● Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek) → Guitar, frontman and songwriter for synth-pop/hard rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978), solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon → Keyboardist for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), sessions and sideman for numerous rock acts
1952 ● David Bartram → Vocals for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1953 ● Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Vocals for R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974), then solo, “I Feel For You” (#3, 1984)
1953 ● Phil Keaggy → Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian music guitarist and vocalist, co-founded psych-rock power trio Glass Harp in the 60s, converted to Christianity in the 70s and released over 50 albums of CCM and mainstream pop-rock music, continues to perform with Glass Harp in Ohio and the Northeast into the 10s
1958 ● Eldon “El Duce” Hoke → Drummer and lead singer for pioneer 80s “shock-” and “rape rock” metal band The Mentors, known for their chauvinistic, filthy lyrics and crude production, died from coroner-termed “misadventure” (hit by a freight train) on 4/19/1997, age 39
1966 ● Marti Pellow (Mark McLachlan) → Frontman and lead singer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994), solo
1967 ● John Strohm → Drummer turned guitarist for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, then for several other groups, including teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) plus solo albums, now a lawyer
1968 ● Damon Albarn → Singer, songwriter and producer, first as frontman for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), then in virtual pop-rock dub band Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (#14, 2005)
1971 ● Abraham “Abe” Laboriel, Jr. → Berklee College of Music graduate and session and tour drummer for Steve Vai, Seal, k.d. lang, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and others, son of renowned bassist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
1972 ● Beverly Knight → Brit R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer, “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” (UK #10, 2002)

March 24

1912 ● Nervous Norvus (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1958, age 56
1922 ● Dave Appell → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92
1935 ● Carol Kaye (Everett) → Hugely prolific session bassist, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, M*A*S*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, music instruction author and teacher
1936 ● Don Covay (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolff, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickettt, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay (Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique
1941 ● Michel Masser → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Steve “Zetro” Souza → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004)

March 25

1923 ● Bonnie Guitar (Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers, “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight others Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rockThe Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, returned to recording in the mid-60s and continues into the 10s
1934 ● Johnny Burnette → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30
1938 ● Hoyt Axton → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin → The “Queen of Soul,” Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop super-diva, “Respect” (#1, 1967) and over 25 other Top 20 hits
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1947 ● Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1948 ● Michael Stanley (Gee) → Bassist for folk-rock Silk, then solo, then frontman for the underrated hard rock Michael Stanley Band, “In The Heartland” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile (Terius Grey) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 12

1910 ● Arthur Todd → With his wife in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from congestive heart failure on 10/10/2007, age 97
1917 ● Leonard Chess → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Philip, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died of a heart attack a few months after selling Chess to General Recorded Tape (GRT) on 10/16/1969, age 52
1921 ● Gordon MacRae → Pop music recording artist, stage and film actor, and TV and radio personality best known for starring in the film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956) and for a string of 28 straight Top 40 hits from 1947 to 1954, including a duet with Jo Stafford, “My Darling, My Darling” (#1, 1948), died from pneumonia on 1/24/1986
1930 ● Wardell Quezergue → Unheralded but influential New Orleans R&B bandleader, producer and music arranger known as the “Creole Beethoven,” worked with multiple artists, including The Dixie Cups (“Chapel Of Love,” #1, 1964), Robert Parker (“Barefootin’,” #7, R&B #2, 1966), King Floyd (“Groove Me,” #6, R&B #1, 1970), Jean Knight (“Mr. Big Stuff,” #2, R&B #1, 1971), Paul Simon (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, #2, 1973) and Dr. John (Grammy-winning Goin’ Back To New Orleans, Jazz #1, 1992), died from congestive heart failure on 9/6/2011, age 81
1932 ● Don Drummond → Jamaican ska trombonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967) and writing many of their local hits, convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1965, died from disputed causes while serving a life sentence on 5/6/1969, age 37
1940 ● Al Jarreau → Seven-time, three-category (jazz, pop and R&B), four-decade Grammy-winning singer, “We’re In This Love Together” (#15, R&B #6, 1981), cancelled a tour schedule due to exhaustion and died shortly afterwards on 2/12/2017, age 76
1942 ● Brian O’Hara → Guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), committed suicide by hanging himself on 6/27/1999, age 57
1942 ● Larry Kaye (Kassman) → Lead vocals for Brooklyn-based white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961), performed occasionally in various reunion lineups of the group through the 00s
1946 ● Liza Minnelli → Stage and film actress, dancer and pop singer, “Cabaret” (1972), daughter of actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli
1948 ● James Taylor → Quintessential “sensitive” folk-pop/light rock singer/songwriter, “You’ve Got A Friend” (#1, 1971)
1948 ● Les Holyrod → Bassist for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977)
1949 ● Bill Payne → Keyboardist and songwriter for Southern-fired blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Rod Stewart and others, released debut solo album in 2005
1949 ● Mike Gibbins → Drummer with Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), left in 1974 for session work, started solo career in 1998, died of natural causes on 10/4/2005, age 56
1951 ● Jack Green → Guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1957 ● Marlon Jackson → Vocals for R&B/pop-soul brother group The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), pursued a largely unsuccessful, one hit solo career, “Don’t Go” (R&B #2, 1987), now sells real estate in Southern California and produces for the Black Family Channel on TV, twin brother Brandon died 24 hours after their premature birth
1957 ● Steve Harris → Founder, principal songwriter, backing vocalist and bassist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and guitarist Dave Murray are the only two bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1965 ● Coleen Nolan → Vocals for Irish girl group all-sibling pop group The Nolan Sisters, “I’m In The Mood For Dancing” (UK #3, 1980), TV host and author
1969 ● Graham Coxon → Guitarist for alt rock then Brit pop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994), solo
1975 ● Kelle Bryan → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1977 ● Ben Kenney → Bassist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), session work and Ghetto Crush Industries record executive
1978 ● Claudio Sanchez → Lead singer and guitarist for alt prog rock Coheed And Cambria, “A Favor House Atlantic” (Modern Rock #13, 2004), creator of comic book series The Amory Wars, author
1979 ● Pete Doherty → Co-founder and vocals for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Babyshambles, former paramour of model Kate Moss
1986 ● Danny Jones → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

March 13

1913 ● Lightnin’ Slim (Otis V. Hicks) → Important Louisiana electric blues guitarist and singer, bridged country, blues and mainstream pop, “Rooster Blues” (R&B #23, 1959), stopped recording in the 1960s and worked in a Detroit foundry, rediscovered and resumed touring the U.S. and Europe in the early 70s before dying of stomach cancer on 7/27/1974, age 61
1933 ● Mike Stoller → Pianist, producer, record label owner, lyricist and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965)
1939 ● Neil Sedaka → Pop singer, pianist and songwriter, “Calendar Girl” (#4, 1961), plus over 30 other Top 40 hits, co-wrote the film theme song “Where The Boys Are” for Connie Francis (#4, 1961)
1940 ● Daniel Bennie → Second tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Marshall Chess → Music industry entrepreneur, son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess and CEO following his father’s death in 1969, became founding CEO of Rolling Stones Records in the 70s and worked closely with the band and other artists, produced blues and rock documentary films, founded several independent labels and hosted satellite radio programs into the 10s
1942 ● Scatman John (John Larkin) → Stuttering jazz and R&B/dance-pop singer and pianist who combined scat singing with dance rhythms and turned his affliction into the international Top 10 hit “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)” (#60, Dance/Club #10, 1995), died from lung cancer on 12/3/1999, age 57
1944 ● Bobby Patterson → Dallas-based record producer and label executive, music promoter, radio DJ, songwriter and journeyman R&B/soul-blues singer, following a mildly successful 60s-70s solo career with several regional hits, produced records for Fontella Bass, Chuck Jackson, Little Johnny Taylor and others, wrote songs recorded by Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and others, issued a comeback album in 2014 (I Got More Soul!)
1949 ● Donald York → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1959 ● Greg Norton → Bassist for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), solo
1959 ● Ronnie Rogers → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1960 ● Adam Clayton → Bassist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987)
1972 ● Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) → Sophisticated underground jazz-rap artist, “Take It Ez” (Rap #5, 1992) and “One Nine Nine Nine” (Rap #4, 1999)
1973 ● David Draiman → Lead vocals/songwriter for Chicago-based heavy metal Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1974 ● Phil Burton → With brothers Andrew and Mike Tierney and another schoolmate, co-founder, guitar and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Ed Sloan → Lead guitar and vocals for hard rock/power metal trio Crossfade, wrote the band’s first hit, “Cold” (#81, Alt Rock #2, 2004) which spent 65 weeks on the rock chart
1979 ● Toni Lundow → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 14

1912 ● Lester Raymond “Les” Brown, Sr. → Big Band musician, composer and bandleader, fronted Les Brown And His Band of Renown for 70 years, issued two dozens albums and appeared on stage, film and numerous TV variety programs, including USO gigs with Bob Hope and on Hope’s Christmas specials, the highest rated U.S. TV programs prior to the Super Bowl era, died from lung cancer on 1/4/2001, age 88
1922 ● Leslie Thompson “Les” Baxter → Pianist, easy listening/pop music composer, pioneer of “exotica” incorporating Polynesian and African sounds, “Poor People Of Paris” (#1, 1956), wrote the “Whistle” theme song to the TV show Lassie, died on 1/15/1996, age 73
1931 ● Phil Phillips (John Phillip Baptiste) → Louisiana R&B/blues and swamp pop one hit wonder singer, “Sea Of Love” (#2, 1959)
1933 ● Quincy Jones → Six decade music industry giant, bandleader, producer, songwriter, film score composer and record label executive, solo artist, “Stuff Like That” (#21, R&B #1, 1978), worked with Michael Jackson for Thriller and Off The Wall
1934 ● Shirley Scott → The “Queen of the Organ,” hard bop and soul-jazz organist with over 30 albums as a solo artist and bandleader, also collaborated with husband Stanley Turrentine and Eddie “Lockjaw” David on numerous albums and projects, successfully sued the manufacturer of diet drug fen-phen in 2000 but died from heart failure caused by the drug on 3/10/2002, age 67
1943 ● Jim Pons → Bassist for The Leaves, then pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then with Frank Zappa‘s Mothers Of Invention
1943 ● Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner → Frontman and bassist for influential R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975) and six other Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, died on 1/26/2013, age 69
1945 ● Michael Martin Murphey → Grammy-winning Western swing. light country-rock, pop ballad and cowboy song singer and songwriter, “Wildfire” (#3, 1975) and “Carolina In The Pines” (Country #9, 1985), wrote the New Mexico state song, “The Land Of Enchantment,” concentrated on cowboy themes and Western music in the 90s and early 00s, shifted to bluegrass in the later 00s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1945 ● Walter Parazaider → Saxophonist for pop-rock Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972) and five #1 albums during the 1970s
1947 ● Jimmy O’Rourke → Guitarist and singer with blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● Jona Lewie (John Lewis) → Brit indie/pub rock keyboards, vocals and songwriter, Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs, “Seaside Shuffle” (UK #2, 1972), then solo, “Stop The Cavalry” (UK #3, 1980)
1947 ● Peter Skellern → Brit pianist and pop/easy listening singer and songwriter, “Your A Lady” (#50, UK #3, 1972)
1950 ● Rigdon Osmond “Rick” Dees III → Comedian, songwriter, musician, Los Angeles radio DJ (KIIS-FM) and host of the syndicated Weekly Top 40 Countdown, also known for the novelty-pop single “Disco Duck” (#1, 1976)
1957 ● Chris Redburn → Bassist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1963 ● Mike Muir → Vocals for hardcore punk/thrash metal Suicidal Tendencies, “Institutionalized” (1994)
1963 ● Steve Lambert → Vocals for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1969 ● Michael Bland → Session drummer for Prince (1989-96), Soul Asylum, Paul Westerberg, Nick Jonas & The Administration
1970 ● Kristian Merrill Bush → Vocals and guitars for country-pop duo Sugarland, “All I Want To Do” (#18, Country #1, 2008)
1979 ● Jacques Brautbar → Guitarist for power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002), professional photographer and collaborator in various music projects
1983 ● Jordan Taylor Hanson → Keyboards and vocals for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1988 ● Colby O’Donis (Colón) → Grammy-winning R&B/hip hop singer and songwriter, “What You Got” (#14, 2008) and “Just Dance” with Lady GaGa (#1, 2009), actor

March 15

1912 ● Sam John “Lightnin'” Hopkins → Texas country blues singer, songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #71), “Mojo Hand” (1960), influenced many blues-rock guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, died of esophageal cancer on 1/30/1982, age 69
1919 ● George Avalian → Russian-American jazz critic, record producer and music executive, produced jazz and popular music albums for Columbia Records and other labels with Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and others, co-founded the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (presenters of the Grammy Awards)
1921 ● Les Cooper → Doo wop singer, band manager and frontman for one hit wonder The Soul Rockets and the pounding pop instrumental “Wiggle Wobble” (#12, 1962), died 8/3/2013, age 92
1922 ● Eddie Calvert → British solo trumpeter and instrumental composer, his biggest hit was “Oh, Mein Papa” (UK #1, 1954), died of a heart attack on 8/7/1978, age 56
1931 ● Dominic Joseph “D. J.” Fontana → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer who played in Elvis Presley‘s backing band on over 450 songs from 1954 through 1968
1932 ● Arif MardinAtlantic Records producer and arranger, worked with Al Green, Aretha Franklin, The Doobie Brothers, Bette Midler, Average White Band, Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones and others, died on 6/25/2006, age 74
1936 ● Howard Greenfield → Lyricist and songwriter, worked in the Brill Building in the 1960s, co-wrote dozens of hits, including “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” for Neil Sedaka (#1, 1962) and “Love Will Keep Us Together” for The Captain & Tennille, #1, 1970), co-wrote TV theme songs, including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel, died from complications due to AIDS on 3/4/1986, age 49
1940 ● Phil Lesh → Bassist and occasional lead vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), the Dead spinoffs The Other Ones and Phil Lesh & Friends
1941 ● Mike Love → Lead vocals and, since 1961, the only consistent member of surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966) and “Kokomo” (#1, 1988), lone solo album in 1981
1942 ● Hughie Flint → Drummer for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then blues-rock McGuinness Flint, “When I’m Dead And Gone” (#47, 1971)
1944 ● David Costell → Guitarist for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● Ralph MacDonald → Trinbagonian-American percussionist, producer and songwriter, played with scores of acts including as charter member of Jimmy Buffett‘s Coral Reefer Band, best known for co-penning the Grammy winners “Where Is The Love” for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (#5, R&B #1, 1972), as well as “Just The Two Of Us” for Bill Withers and Grover Washington, Jr. (#2, 1981), among others, died from lung cancer on 12/18/2011, age 67
1944 ● Ron Stone → Music industry manager and artist advocate, handled career-development for Joni Mitchell, Eagles, Bob Dylan, America and others, currently represents the music industry in intellectual property and content rights litigation
1944 ● Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) → Founder, frontman, vocals, guitar and keyboards for R&B/funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Everyday People” (#1, 1969)
1946 ● Howard Scott → Co-founder and guitarist for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1947 ● Hernandez Lugo → Bassist for garage rock ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder → Country-folk-blues-rock session guitarist, member of supergroups Rising Sons and later Little Village, Grammy-winning solo artist
1948 ● Stephen “Grizzly” Nisbett → Drums for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978), retired in 2001
1953 ● Preston Hubbard → Bassist for blues/swing revival Roomful Of Blues, then blues-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1955 ● Etterlene “Bunny” DeBarge → With her four brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1955 ● Daniel “Dee” Snider → Frontman and vocals for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983), solo, radio DJ, VH1 DJ, TV reality show star
1962 ● Steve Coy → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1962 ● Terence Trent D’Arby (Howard) → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Wishing Well” (#1, 1988)
1963 ● Brett Michaels → Frontman, songwriter and vocals for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1964 ● Rockwell (Kenneth Gordy) → One hit wonder R&B/pop singer, “Somebody’s Watching Me” (#2, 1984), son of Motown Records founder and executive Berry Gordy
1968 ● Jon Schaffer → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for heavy metal Iced Earth, “I Walk Among You” (Sales #3, 2008), nominated for “Riff Lord” at the 2008 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards
1968 ● Mark McGrath → Lead singer for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), TV host on tabloid show Extra and Don’t Forget the Lyrics
1972 ● Mark Hoppus → Bassist for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1975 ● will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.) → Rapper, songwriter, lead vocals and producer for hip hop Black Eyed Peas, “Where Is The Love” (#1, 2003), producer for Michael Jackson, U2, Britney Spears and others
1977 ● Mr. Hahn (Joseph Hahn) → Korean-American DJ and sampler for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)

March 16

1936 ● Fred Neil → Important Greenwich Village folk scene singer and songwriter who achieved little critical acclaim but wrote several hits for others, including the Grammy-winning “Everybody’s Talkin'” for Harry Nilsson (#6, 1968), and influenced a young Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian and many others, died from natural causes on 7/7/2001, age 65
1942 ● Jerry Jeff Walker (Ronald Clyde Crosby) → Progressive, “outlaw” country singer, wrote and recorded “Mr. Bojangles” (#77, 1968), a #9 hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1971
1948 ● Michael Bruce → Guitarist for glam/hard rock Alice Cooper band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972), solo
1954 ● Jimmy Nail (James Bradford) → Brit TV actor (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Spender), novelist and pop singer/songwriter, “Ain’t No Doubt” (UK #1, 1992)
1954 ● Nancy Wilson → Co-frontwoman, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist for hard rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Flavor Flav (William Jonathan Drayton, Jr.) → Court jester and rap vocals for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989)
1963 ● Stuart Kerr → Drummer for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● H. P. Baxxter (Hans-Peter Geerdes) → Co-founder, frontman and vocals for German techno/dance/hardcore group Scooter, “Ramp! (The Logical Song)” (UK #2, 2001), the band is one of the most successful German pop-rock bands ever
1970 ● Alex Lee → Session guitarist and sideman in various alt rock, pop-rock and electronica groups, including Goldfrapp, Suede, Placebo and The Blues Aeroplanes, arranged music for Florence & The Machine, Marina & The Diamonds and the Royal Shakespeare Company, composed soundtracks for TV and film
1972 ● Andrew Dunlop → Guitarist for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1976 ● Blu Cantrell (Tiffany Cobb) → R&B/contemporary soul singer and songwriter, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (oops!)” (#2, 2001)
1979 ● Leena Peisa → Keyboards for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1991 ● Wolfgang Van Halen → Son of Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli and current bassist for hard rock Van Halen (replaced Mark Anthony in 2006)

March 17

1919 ● Nat King Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles) → Jazz pianist and bandleader turned pop singer, “Ramblin’ Rose” (#2, 1962) and 18 other Top 25 hits, TV host, father of soul-pop singer Natalie Cole and actress/producer Carole “Cookie” Cole, died from lung cancer on 2/15/1965, age 55
1937 ● Adam Wade → R&B/pop vocalist, “Take Good Care Of Her” (#7, 1961), TV and film actor, voice-overs
1937 ● Louis Aldine “Dean” Mathis → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1937 ● Vince Martin (Vincent Marcellino) → Folk singer/songwriter and guitarist who scored a Top Ten hit fronting The Tarriers (“Cindy, Oh Cindy,” #9, 1956) with bandmate and future actor Alan Arkin, later sang with relatively unknown folksinger Fred Neil for an album of duets, Tear Down The Walls (1964) which launched Neil‘s career, issued several obscure solo albums, continues to perform and record
1938 ● Zola Mae Taylor → R&B, blues and soul singer and original female member of hugely successful doo wop quintet The Platters (“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” #1, 1958), left the band before legal infighting began in the mid-60s but became entangled in the 80s public soap opera as one of three women claiming to be 50s teen idol Frankie Lymon‘s widow, died from pneumonia following several strokes on 4/30/2007, age 69
1939 ● Clarence Collins → Co-founder and baritone for long-lived R&B/doo wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1941 ● Paul Lorin Kantner → Founding member, vocals and guitar for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane (“White Rabbit,” #8, 1967) and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975), which he fronted in various incarnations for 40 years, died from complications following a heart attack on 1/28/2016, age 74
1944 ● Bob Johnson → Guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975)
1944 ● John B. Sebastian → Frontman, guitarist and singer/songwriter for folk-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1966), then solo, “Welcome Back” (#1, 1976)
1944 ● Pat McAuley → Drummer and keyboards for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Patricia Anne “Patty” Boyd → Model, photographer and former wife of George Harrison (1966-77) and Eric Clapton (1979-89), possible inspiration for “I Need You” and “Layla,” among other Harrison and Eric Clapton love songs
1946 ● Harold Brown → Co-founder and drummer for R&B/funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), now Lowrider
1948 ● Fran Byrne → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1948 ● Patrick Lloyd → Bassist for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, UK #1, 1968)
1951 ● Scott Gorham → Guitarist for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1959 ● Mike Lindup → Keyboards for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Clare Grogan → Frontwoman and vocals for Scottish post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), TV and film actress (Gregory’s Girl), VH1 presenter
1962 ● Janet Gardner → Founding member, rhythm guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Roxy Petrucci → Founding member and original drummer for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1963 ● Michael Ivins → Bassist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1967 ● Billy Corgan → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996), then Zwan and producer for Hole and others
1970 ● Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) → Founding member, vocals, guitar and songwriter for experimental alternative rock duo Ween, “Mutilated Lips” (1997)
1972 ● Melissa Auf der Maur → Second bassist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998), toured with Smashing Pumpkins in 2000, solo and various collaborations
1973 ● Caroline Corr → With two sisters and brother, drummer and vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1975 ● Justin Hawkins → Flamboyant frontman, vocals, guitars and keyboards for glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Top 40 #35, 2004)
1976 ● Stephen Gately → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999), died from a pulmonary edema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition on 10/9/2009, age 33
1990 ● Hozier (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) → Irish indie-rock, soul and blues singer/songwriter, wrote and performed Grammy Song Of The Year nominee “Take Me To Church” (#2, 2013)

March 18

1911 ● Smiley Burnette (Lester Alvin Burnett) → Comedian, TV actor (Petticoat Junction, 1960s), singer, multi-instrumentalist, country-pop songwriter and movie soundtrack composer, wrote over 400 songs and performed many of them on stage and screen, often as sidekick to Gene Autry, including “Ridin’ Down the Canyon (To Watch the Sun Go Down),” died from leukemia on 2/16/1967, age 55
1929 ● George Scott → Blind from birth original member and vocals for spiritually-uplifting, five-time Grammy-winning gospel group Blind Boys Of Alabama, recorded more than 50 albums with the group over 70-plus years, retired from touring a year before his death from heart failure on 3/9/2005, age 76
1936 ● Robert Lee Smith → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1938 ● Carl Gottlieb → Screen and TV scriptwriter with credits including Jaws (1977) and episodes of All In The Family (1971-79), sometime actor, Writers Guild of America board member and co-author of two David Crosby autobiographies, Long Time Gone (1989) and Since Then (2006)
1938 ● Charley Pride → Grammy-winning country singer with 36 number one hits, including “I’d Rather Love You” (Country #1, 1971), the most successful African-American country star ever
1941 ● Wilson Pickett → Legendary R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “In The Midnight Hour” (#21, 1968), died of a heart attack on 1/19/2006, age 64
1942 ● Helen Gathers → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and baritone vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), left the group in the late 60s and disappeared from the music industry, died from cancer on 2/13/2011, age 68
1943 ● Dennis Linde
→ Country and pop music singer and songwriter best known for penning Elvis Presley‘s hit, “Burning Love” (#2, 1972) and Dixie Chicks‘ “Goodbye Earl” (#19, Country #13, 2000), wrote or co-wrote songs for Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and many others, died from pulmonary fibrosis on 12/22/22006, age 63
1945 ● Eric Woolfson → Scottish songwriter, lyricist pianist, producer and co-creator of prog rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981), wrote musicals and released a solo album, died from kidney cancer on 12/2/2009
1947 ● Brian James “B.J.” Wilson → Drummer in R&B/blues The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), fell into a coma following a car accident and died several months later on 10/8/1990, age 43
1948 ● Bobby Whitlock → Session musician for Stax Records then R&B/blue-eyed soul singer, member of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Derek And The Dominos and George Harrison‘s backing band, session work on The Rolling StonesExile On Main Street album, retired to farm in Mississippi
1950 ● John Hartman → Co-founder and drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), left in 1979 but returned for 1987-1992
1959 ● Irene Cara (Irene T. Escalera) → R&B/disco-pop singer, “Flashdance…What A Feelin'” (#1, 1983), actress who played Coco Hernandez in the movie Fame (1983)
1960 ● James McMurtry → Texas rock, folk-rock and Americana singer, songwriter, occasional actor, guitarist and bandleader with twelve solo albums including Complicated Game (US Indie Rock #39, 2015) and a single hit, “Painting By Numbers” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1989), appeared in the film Daisy Miller (1974) and the TV miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), member of country-rock supergroup Buzzin’ Cousins with John Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely and Dwight Yoakam
1961 ● Grantzberg Vernon “Grant” Hart → Drummer and songwriter for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), solo
1963 ● Jeff LeBar → Guitarist for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990)
1963 ● Vanessa L. Williams → Model and disgraced Miss America winner turned successful actress and R&B/pop vocalist, “Save The Best For Last” (#1, 1992)
1964 ● Courtney Pine → Multi-instrumentalist jazz musician and composer of TV and film music, “Children Of The Ghetto” (UK Top 10, 1986), also worked with Charlie Watts, Mica Paris, Trevor Jones and Jazz Warriors
1966 ● Jerry Cantrell → Guitars, vocals and songwriting for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), solo, “My Song” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1998)
1967 ● Miki Berenyi → Guitar and lead vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1967 ● Robert Harrison → Singer and guitarist for unheralded power pop Cotton Mather, “My Before And After” (1998), now fronts indie pop-rock Future Clouds & Radar
1970 ● Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens) → First bona fide female rap star (with first gold LP by a female MC), “U.N.I.T.Y.” (#23, Hot Rap #2, 1993), Emmy and Golden Globe-winning TV and film actress, talk show host, eponymous cosmetics product line
1974 ● Stuart Zender → Bassist in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1977 ● Harold “Devin” Lima → Vocals for pop/rap trio LFO (“Lyte Funkie Ones” or “Low Frequency Oscillator”), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999), formed The Cadbury Diesel in 2007
1979 ● Adam Levine → Guitar and lead vocals for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1979 ● Shola Ama (Mathurian Campbell) → Brit soul-pop singer, “You’re The One I Love” (UK #3, 1997)
1985 ● Marvin Humes → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (“Jack The Lad Swing”), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 05

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

March 06

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

March 07

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

March 08

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

March 09

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

March 10

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

March 11

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 12

1904 ● Ted Mack (William Edward Maguiness) → Host of the TV variety show Ted Mack And The Original Amateur Hour from 1948 to 1970, featured early-career performances by Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Pat Boone and others, influenced future musical talent-seeking shows including The Gong Show, American Idol and America’s Got Talent, died from cancer on 7/12/1976, age 72
1867 ● Leonard Garfield Spencer → Early American phonograph recording star singer, “A Hot Time In The Old Town” (ca. 1897) and “Arkansas Traveler” (1902), died on 12/15/1914, age 47
1914 ● Gordon Lee “Tex” Beneke → Big Band-era saxophonist, singer and bandleader who played and snag with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on their hits “In The Mood” (#1, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), took over leadership of the band in 1946 after Miller‘s death during World War II and later formed his own bands during a forty-year second career that lasted until his death from reparatory failure on 5/30/2000, age 86
1915 ● Lorne Greene (Lyon Himan Green) → Canadian-born CBC radio newscaster, stage, film and TV actor, and country-pop singer with several albums and a lone hit, the spoken-word ballad “Ringo” (#1, 1964), the second Canadian to have a US #1 single in the U.S., best known for starring in the NBC TV western Bonanza (1959-73), died from prostate cancer on 9/11/1987, age 72
1935 ● Gene McDaniels → R&B singer during the late 50s and early 60s development of classic soul music, “Tower of Strength” (#5, 1961) and five other Top 40 hits, wrote “Feel Like Makin’ Love” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1974), died at home of natural causes on 7/29/2011, age 76
1939 ● Ray Manzarek → Keyboards and backing vocals for influential/controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), member of supergroup Nite City and collaborations with Doors bandmate Robby Krieger, died of cancer on 5/20/2013, age 74
1942 ● Rick Frank → Founding member and drummer for jazz-psych-rock Elephant’s Memory, “Mongoose” (Top 100, 1969), which became the backing band for John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 70s, worked with Lennon on his 1972 album Some Time In New York City
1946 ● Joe Schermie → Original bassist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971), left in 1973 to start pop-rock S. S. Fools and session work, died following a heart attack on 3/25/2002, age 56
1946 ● Pete Gage → Blues-rock guitarist, vocalist, keyboards and harmonica player, played in Jet Harris‘s backing band in the 60s and various soul-blues-rock bands in the 70s, formed his own Pete Gage Expression in the 80s, frontman for the 90s lineup of Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), continues to perform with various rock acts into the 10s
1947 ● Shelbra Bennett Deane → 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 on 5/31/2013, age 66
1949 ● Stanley “Goober” Knight → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974), died from cancer on 2/16/2013, age 64
1950 ● Steve Hackett → Joined prog-rock Genesis, “Your Own Special Way” (#62, 1977) in 1971, left in 1977 for solo career and eventually prog rock supergroup GTR, “When The Heart Rules The Mind” (#14, 1986) with Steve Howe of Yes
1951 ● Gilbert “G.L.” Moore → Drummer and vocals for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), owner of Metalworks Studios, Canada’s largest facility
1951 ● Vincent James → Vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1952 ● Michael McDonald → Blue-eyed soul/pop backing singer with Steely Dan, lead vocals for California pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Sweet Freedom” (#7, 1986)
1958 ● Grant McLennan → Bass, vocals and songwriter for Aussie alt pop-rock The Go-Betweens, “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (Modern Rock #16, 1988), then solo, died in his sleep at home in Brisbane, Australia on 5/6/2006, age 48
1959 ● Neil Conti → Percussion for Brit indie pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1959 ● Omar Hakim → Session and touring drummer for Carly Simon, then joined jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, then sessions for Sting, Dire Straits, Madonna, Miles Davis and others, plus two solo albums
1966 ● Gary Whelan → Drummer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1966 ● Paul Crook → Session and tour guitarist, now with Meat Loaf, formerly with Anthrax and Sebastian Bach
1968 ● Chynna Phillips → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas
1970 ● Jim Creeggan → Bassist for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1971 ● Kei Lewis → Keyboards and guitar for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1978 ● Brian Chase → Drummer in New York indie rock/punk revival trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs (“Maps,” #87, Alt. Rock #9, 2004)
1979 ● Jade Jones → Lead singer for Brit R&B/dance-pop boy band Damage, “Wonderful Tonight” (UK #3, 1997)
1981 ● Lisa Haniigan → Irish vocalist with folk-rock the Damien Rice Band, “Cannonball” (UK #32, 2002), then singer/songwriter solo career, “Lille” (2008)
1987 ● O’Ryan (O’Ryan Omir Browner) → Urban teen R&B/dance-pop singer, “Take It Slow” (R&B #122, 2004), younger brother of Omarion

February 13

1919 ● Ernest Jennings “Tennessee Ernie” Ford → Country-pop singer and TV host who recorded over 100 albums from traditional country to gospel to early rock ‘n’ roll, “Sixteen Tons” (#1, 1955), died from alcoholic liver failure on 10/17/1991, age 72
1920 ● Boudleaux Bryant → Prolific country and pop songwriter, with his wife Felice wrote “Rocky Top,” “Love Hurts,” “Bye Bye Love” (#2, 1957) and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) for The Everly Brothers, as well as “Raining In My Heart” for Buddy Holly, died on 6/25/1987, age 67
1923 ● Gene Ames (Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of cancer on 4/4/1997, age 74
1928 ● Dorothy McGuire → Vocals for immensely popular sibling singing trio the McGuire Sisters, “Sugartime” (#1, 1958)
1942 ● Peter Tork (Thorkelston) → Bass, rhythm guitar and occasional songwriter for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966)
1943 ● Bill Szymczyk → Technical engineer and rock and blues music producer, worked with J. Geils Band, James Gang, The Outlaws, Bob Seger, The Who and Edgar Winter Group among many others, including a long association with the Eagles, for whom he produced the album Long Road Out Of Eden in 2007
1944 ● Anthony “Reebop” Kwaku Baah → Ghanaian percussionist and singer with Traffic, Can and Zahara, plus sessions for Steve Winwood and The Rolling Stones, and four solo LPs mixing traditional African sounds with dance-pop contemporary music, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 1/12/1983, age 38
1944 ● Stockard Channing (Susan Antonia Williams Stockard) → Stage, film and TV actress who portrayed Betty Rizzo in the film adaptation of the Broadway show Grease (1977) and sang lead vocals on “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee” on the film’s soundtrack album, the highest selling movie soundtrack of all time
1945 ● King Floyd III → New Orleans R&B/soul singer and songwriter with several minor chart singles and one big hit, “Groove Me” (#6 R&B #1, UK $#41, 1970), died from complications of a stroke on 3/6/2006 , age 61
1945 ● Roy Dyke → Drummer in 60s Brit pop-rock The Remo Four, then art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971)
1950 ● Peter Gabriel → Founding member and leader of prog rock Genesis, left in 1976 to start art rock then successful mainstream pop solo career, “Sledgehammer” (#1, 1986)
1950 ● Roger Christian → Keyboards and vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988), left in 1987, died from a brain tumor on 3/8/1998, age 48
1951 ● David Naughton → Actor and singer, starred in the TV sitcom Makin’ It and became a one hit wonder pop singer with the release of the show’s theme song, “Makin’ It” (#5, 1979), later starred in the film American Werewolf In London (1981) and appeared in several 80s and 90s TV sitcoms
1951 ● Rod Dees → Bassist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Edward John “Ed” Gagliardi → Original bassist for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left to form The Spys with Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood in 1978, died from cancer on 5/11/2014, age 62
1952 ● Paul Jeffreys → Bassist for glam-rock Cockney Rebel and later Be-Bop Deluxe, died with his new wife on the way to their honeymoon in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on 12/21/1988, age 36
1955 ● Donald Scott Smith → Founding member and bassist for Canadian hard pop-rock Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (#35, Main #6, AUS #3, CAN #7, 1981) and eight other Top 40 hits, presumed drowned at sea when swept overboard from his 11-metre sailboat near the Golden Gate Bridge while enroute from Vancouver to Baja California on 10/30/2000, age 45
1956 ● Peter Hook → Bassist for post-punk Joy Division, then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983)
1957 ● Tony Butler → Bassist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), sessions for The Pretenders, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and others
1958 ● Marc Fox → Percussion and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1961 ● cEvin Key (Kevin William Crompton) → Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Canadian avant-industrial rock Skinny Puppy, “Testure” (Dance/Club #19, 1989), after disbandment in 1995 founded industrial noise group Download and issued several solo albums
1961 ● Henry Rollins (Henry Lawrence Garfield) → Singer, songwriter, MTV host, record producer and frontman for hardcore L.A. punk Black Flag and the Rollins Band
1961 ● Les Warner → Former drummer with hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989), now with a Vegas hotel house band
1962 ● Rob Ellis → Producer, arranger and drummer for singer/songwriter P. J. Harvey, “50ft Queenie” (UK #27, 1993) including her alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey
1966 ● Frederick Brandon “Freedom” Williams → Lead vocals for dance-pop C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat” (#1, 1991), left for an unsuccessful solo career
1971 ● Sonia (Evans) → Brit pop singer, “You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You” (UK #1, 1989) and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1992)
1972 ● Todd Harrell → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1974 ● Robbie Williams → Vocals for Brit teen dance-pop boy-band Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), then solo, “Millennium” (Adult Top 40 #22, 1999)
1976 ● Leslie Feist → Award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist with Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), solo
1988 ● Aston Merrygold → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (Jack The Lad Swing), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

February 14

1922 ● Murray The K (Murray Kaufman) → Legendary rock ‘n’ roll impresario and radio DJ (WINS-am, WOR-FM, New York), self-appointed “Fifth Beatle” in the mid 60s, died of cancer on 2/21/1982, age 60
1926 ● Albert Philip “Al” Brodax → TV producer with King Features Syndicate in the 60s, produced hundreds of “Popeye” cartoons and created the ABC-TV cartoon series The Beatles (1965-1969), then (over the Beatles‘ objections) convinced band manager Brian Epstein to back the now-classic, psychedelic “head trip” animated motion picture Yellow Submarine (1968), died from natural causes on 10/24/2016, age 90
1931 ● Phyllis McGuire → Vocals for immensely popular sibling singing trio the McGuire Sisters, “Sugartime” (#1, 1958)
1934 ● Merl Saunders → Multi-genre keyboardist, early bandmate with Johnny Mathis, collaborated with Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman and many other San Francisco artists in various bands, tours and recording projects, fronted his own bands and issued several albums of rock, blues-rock and New Age music, directed his own music label and worked with environmental charities, died from complications of a stroke on 10/24/2008, age 78
1937 ● Samuel Gene “Magic Sam” Maghett → Chicago blues guitarist and singer, “Feelin’ Good (We’re Gonna Boogie)” (1963), died from a heart attack on 12/1/1969, age 32
1939 ● Clarence “Blowfly” Reid → Mildly successful R&B/soul singer (“Nobody But You Babe,” #40, R&B #7, 1969) and songwriter for himself and others, but best known for his alternate stage persona, the X-rated, proto-rapper Blowfly, under which he continued to perform and record until dying from liver cancer on 1/17/2016, age 76
1940 ● Lillie Bryant → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s
1943 ● Eric Andersen → Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, “Thirsty Boots” (1966), continues to tour and release occasional albums
1943 ● Maceo Parker → R&B/soul, funk and jazz saxophonist, played with James Brown in the 60s and George Clinton‘s Parliament/Funkadelic bands in the 70s, started a solo career in the 90s and issued eleven albums of soul/funk music, handled session work for Prince, Jane’s Addiction and others
1945 ● Vic Briggs → Lead guitar for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Doug Simril → Piano and guitar for blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1974) and Boz Scaggs‘ backing band
1947 ● Tim Buckley → Innovative, genre-blurring folk-psych-prog-rock singer and songwriter with little commercial success but plenty of influences, including his folk-rock and blues singer/songwriter son Jeff Buckley, died from a drug overdose on 6/29/1975, age 28
1950 ● Roger Fisher → Guitarist and founding member of hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1980 and in 1988 co-founded Canadian power ballad rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1951 ● Kenny Hyslop → Scottish journeyman drummer with glam-rock Slik, punk rock The Skids, synth-pop Simple Minds, “Don’t You, Forget About Me” (#1, 1985) and others
1963 ● D’wayne Wiggins → R&B and blues guitarist, producer, composer and community activist, with his brother, Raphael Saadiq and cousin, Timothy Christian, founded R&B/dance Tony! Toni! Toné! (“Feels Good,” #9, R&B #1, 1990), developed and signed Destiny’s Child – the most successful girl group of all time – to his Grass Roots Entertainment label, worked with Alicia Keys, India Arie, Jamie Foxx and others, continues to tour with a reformed Tony! Toni! Toné!
1972 ● Rob Thomas → Lead singer and principal songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000), solo, vocals for Santana on pop-rock “Smooth” (#1, 1999)
1975 ● Scott Owen → Stand-up bassist, singer and occasional songwriter for Aussie rockabilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Modern Rock #23, 1997)
1978 ● Ryan Griffiths → Lead guitarist for Aussie garage rock revival The Vines, “Get Free” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2002)

February 15

1888 ● Lawrence Wright → Brit record shop owner and music publisher who founded Melody Maker magazine in 1926 and wrote or co-wrote over 600 songs between World War I and the early 60s, including “Among My Souvenirs” for Paul Whiteman (#1, 1928) and Connie Francis (#7, 1959), Melody Maker failed to report his death on 5/19/1964, age 76
1905 ● Harold Arlen</strong → Composer and songsmith with over 500 song credits, co-wrote the Oscar-winning "Over The Rainbow" and other songs in the movie The Wizard Of Oz (1939), other credits include “That Old Black Magic” (Glenn Miller, #1, 1942) and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” (The Pied Pipers, #2, 1945) and several other songs now included in the Great American Songbook, died from cancer on 4/23/1986, age 81
1918 ● Lawrence Hankins “Hank” Locklin → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter with 70 chart singles, including six Country #1’s and the crossover hit “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” (#8, Country #1, 1960), died from unreported causes on 3/8/2009, age 91
1939 ● Alvin Cash → St. Louis high schoolmate of Luther Ingram and Tina Turner, then fronted song-and-dance troupe The Crawlers with two brothers, their chanting, funky R&B/dance “Twine Time” (#14, R&B #4, 1965) was one of five hits he recorded with the group or as a solo act, died from ulcer problems on 11/21/1999, age 60
1941 ● Brian HollandMotown musical arranger and producer with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, co-wrote dozens of hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and others, issued solo albums
1942 ● Glyn Johns → Recording engineer and producer, mixed The Who‘s Who’s Next album, worked with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The BeatlesLet It Be sessions, Joan Armatrading, Steve Miller, Eagles, The Faces and Led Zeppelin
1944 ● Denny Zager → Vocals in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1944 ● Michael Charles “Mick” Avory → Drummer for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, “You Really Got Me” (#7, 1964) from 1964 to 1984, played in various 60s revival and Kinks spin-off bands through the 00s
1945 ● John Helliwell → Saxophonist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1947 ● David Brown → Bassist for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970) and the Boz Scaggs band, died from liver and kidney failure on 9/4/2000, age 53
1951 ● Melissa Manchester → Folk-pop/adult contemporary singer and songwriter, “Midnight Blue” (#6, 1975), TV, film and stage actress
1954 ● David Ricketts → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop duo David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”(Top Rock #8, 1986), collaborated with Sheryl Crow
1959 ● Alistair “Ali” Campbell → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Mikey Craig → Bassist for new romantic synth-pop Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#12, 1984)
1962 ● David Milner → With twin brother Mike, vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1962 ● Mike Milner → With twin brother David, vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1974 ● Mr. Lordi (Tomi Petteri Putaansuu) → Founder and lead vocalist for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1974 ● Stuart Richardson → Bassist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1976 ● Brandon Boyd → Co-founder and lead vocals for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), solo albums and author
1976 ● Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. → Drummer for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1977 ● Brooks Wackerman → Drummer for funk-metal Infectious Grooves, in 2001 joined hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995), plus numerous side projects and sessions
1980 ● Conor Oberst → Frontman, guitarist, lead vocals and songwriter for indie rock Bright Eyes, “Lua” (Hot Singles #1, 2004)
1981 ● Olivia Theresa Longott → R&B/hip hop soul singer, member of G-Unit Records house band, vocalist on 50 Cent‘s “Candy Shop” (#1, 2005) plus two solo albums
1984 ● Gary Clark, Jr. → Acclaimed Texas blues, blues-rock and R&B guitarist and actor whom Jambase.com called “the future of Texas Blues,” his 2012 major-label debut LP Blak And Blu reached #6 in the U.S., the Netherlands and New Zealand, recorded with Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys and Foo Fighters, among others

February 16

1916 ● Bill Doggett → Piano jazz and organ-based R&B/honky tonk composer, arranger and performer of mostly instrumentals, his biggest and lasting hit being “Honky Tonk” (#2, R&B #1, 1956), died of a heart attack on 11/13/1996, age 80
1918 ● Patricia Marie “Patty” Andrews → Vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop vocal trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died from natural causes on 1/30/2013, age 94
1925 ● Bobby Lewis → R&B/rock ‘n’ roll singer known for his signature hit “Tossin’ And Turnin'” (#1, 1961), had a second Top 10 hit in “One Track Mind” (#9, 1961) but faded thereafter, continues to perform in the 10s
1932 ● Otis Blackwell → Prolific early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter and producer, wrote “All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Great Balls Of Fire” and “Fever”, among many other hits recorded by a multitude of artists, died from a heart attack on 5/6/2002, age 70
1934 ● Harold “Hal” Kalin → With twin brother Herbie, pop/rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder duo The Kalin Twins, “When” (#5, 1958), first twins to score a #1 hit, died from injuries in an auto accident on 8/24/2005, age 71
1934 ● Herbert “Herbie” Kalin → With twin brother Hal, pop/rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder duo The Kalin Twins, “When” (#5, 1958), first twins to score a #1 hit, died from a heart attack on 7/21/2006, age 72
1935 ● Sonny Bono (Salvatore Phillip Bono) → TV actor, musician, producer and singer with partner/wife in pop-rock Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965), elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 and to the US Congress in 1994 (R-Cal.), died in a skiing accident on 1/5/1998, age 62
1944 ● Betty Thatcher → Chief lyricist for Brit folk/prog rock Renaissance (“Northern Lights,” UK #10, 1978) from the late 60s through the mid-80s then for various reformed variants, spinoffs and unrelated artists until her death from cancer on 8/15/2011, age 67
1946 ● Marvin Sease → Novelty R&B singer and songwriter known for his explicit lyrics and ladies’ man persona, his single “Ghetto Man” (1986) and the 10-minute “Candy Licker” (1987) became favorites in clubs and on jukeboxes across the Deep South and produced a cult following despite little radio airplay, his 15 studio albums had little commercial success except for Marvin Sease (#114, R&B #14, 1987), died from pneumonia on 2/8/2011, age 64
1949 ● Lyn Paul (Lynda Susan Belcher) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1956 ● James Ingram → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop singer, songwriter, musician and producer with multiple hits, including the duet with Linda Ronstadt “Somewhere Out There” (#2, 1987) and solo “I Don’t Have The Heart” (#1, 1990)
1958 ● Ice-T (Tracy Morrow) → Grammy-winning R&B/hip hop producer and rapper, “New Jack Hustler” (Hot Rap Singles #3, 1991), founded rap metal Body Count and wrote lyrics to controversial song “Cop Killer” (1992), TV actor and host
1961 ● Andy Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982), left in 1985 to form Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985), later joined hard rock Thunder, “Dirty Love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1991)
1962 ● Tony Kiley → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1963 ● Chris Duarte → Texas blues-rock and jazz fusion singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cleopatra” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1997)
1965 ● Dave Lombardo → Co-founder and drummer for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1967 ● Damon Reece → Drummer for gloomy post-punk Echo & The Bunnymen, then space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1971 ● Steven Houghton → Brit stage and TV actor, singer and songwriter, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (UK #3, 1997)
1977 ● Brad Walst → Bassist for Canadian alt rock/punk metal band Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1990 ● The Weeknd (Abel Testaye) → Juno-winning Canadian rapper whose career took off after he anonymously uploaded several tracks to YouTube under his stage name, later released multiple mixtapes, albums and single, including “Can’t Feel My Face” (#1, 2015),

February 17

1902 ● Orville “Hoppy” Jones → Founding member, bass, vocals and string instruments for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), de facto leader due to his seniority and ability to control egos of younger members, died from a cerebral hemorrhage at the height of the band’s popularity after collapsing on stage in New York City during a performance on 10/18/1944, age 42
1922 ● Tommy Edwards → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “It’s All In The Game” (#1, 1958), died after suffering a brain aneurysm on 10/22/1969, age 47
1939 ● John Leyton → Brit teen idol pop singer and actor, “Johnny Remember Me” (UK #1, 1961)
1940 ● Gene Pitney → Stalwart pop/rock singer, musician and sound engineer with multiple hits prior to and during the 60s British Invasion, including “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (#4, 1962), wrote hits for others, including “Rubber Ball”, “He’s A Rebel” and “Hello Mary Lou”, died in his sleep on 4/5/2006 while on tour in the UK
1947 ● Dodie Stevens (Geraldine Ann Pasquale) → Girl-group era teenage pop one hit wonder singer, “Pink Shoe Laces” (#3, 1959)
1949 ● Doyle Bramhall → Austin, Texas blues-rock drummer, played with Jimmie Vaughan in several bands in the 60s, formed The Nightcrawlers with Texas rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and wrote or co-wrote several songs for SRV, played with both Vaughans on their 1990 album Family Style, died from a heat attack on 11/12/2011, age 62
1950 ● Rickey Medlocke → Founder and guitarist for Southern rock turned hard rock Blackfoot, “Highway Song” (#26, 1979), joined cross-town Jacksonville, FL rivals Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996
1966 ● Melissa Brooke-Belland → With sister Tracey Bryn, frontgal, vocals and guitar in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1967 ● Chanté Moore → Award-winning adult contemporary R&B singer, “Chante’s Got a Man” (#10, 1999), occasional stage actress and TV host
1970 ● Tim Mahoney → Lead guitarist for hip hop/reggae/punk rock fusion band 311, “Love Song” (#59, Modern Rock #1, 200$)
1972 ● Billie Joe Armstrong → Guitars, vocals and songwriting for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1972 ● Taylor Hawkins → Drummer for Alanis Morissette‘s touring band, in 1997 joined post-grunge Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1999)
1974 ● Bryan White → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter with eight Country Top 10 and four Country #1 hits, seven of which crossed-over to the lower pop charts, including “I’m Not Supposed To Love You Anymore” (#101, Country #4, 1996), currently crowd-funding a new independent album through Kickstarter
1977 ● Chris Gentry → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1978 ● Svein Berge → Norwegian electronic musician and one half of the duo Royksopp (“Do It Again,” Dance #1, 2014), worked on several remixes for Coldplay, Depeche Mode and others
1981 ● John Hassall → Bassist for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Yeti
1981 ● Paris Hilton → Socialite, heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, reality TV actress, fashion model, tabloid fodder, Internet sex tape star and sometime dance-pop singer, “Stars Are Blind” (#18, Dance/Club #1, 2006)
1982 ● Lupe Fiasco (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco) → Record producer, music entrepreneur, MC and Grammy-winning rapper, “Superstar” (#10, 2007), CEO of 1st and 15th Entertainment
1988 ● Arin Ilejay (Richard Arin Ilejay) → Former drummer for metalcore Confide and heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1989 ● Stacey McClean → 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
1991 ● Ed Sheeran → Indie folk-pop and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist, started with self-issued releases in 2005 before signing with Atlantic Records in 2011, since then has charted eight UK Top 10 singles, including “Thinking Out Loud” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

February 18

1914 ● Pee Wee King (Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski) → Early country-pop crossover singer and songwriter known for co-writing the country music standard “The Tennessee Waltz” (Country #3, 1948) and for three crossover hits in the early 50s, including “Slow Poke” (#1, Country #1, 1951), died following a heart attack on 3/7/2000, age 86
1933 ● Yoko Ono (Lennon) → Artist, poet, singer, bandleader of The Plastic Ono Band, widowed wife of Beatle John Lennon and mother of Sean Ono Lennon
1934 ● Clyde “Skip” Battin → Bassist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros., New Riders Of The Purple Sage, plus session work for several other country-rock bands and solo work, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 7/6/2003, age 69
1939 ● Bobby Hart (Robert Luke Harshman) → In collaboration with Tommy Boyce, pop singer, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (#8, 1968) and the prolific Boyce & Hart hit songwriting team, “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees, #1, 1966) plus dozens more Top 40 hits and over 300 songs
1941 ● David Blue (David Stuart Cohen) → Greenwich Village folk revival singer, songwriter and record producer with seven solo albums in the 60s and 70s, participated in Bob Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid-70s, and appeared in several movies and stage shows before dying from a heart attack while jogging in New York City on 12/2/1982, age 41
1941 ● Herman Santiago → Original lead vocals for The Premiers, which became influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956), a song Santiago claimed to have written but lost his law suit (and millions of potential royalties)
1941 ● Irma Thomas (Lee) → The “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” acclaimed and Grammy-winning R&B/soul diva, “Wish Someone Would Care” (#17, 1964), never achieved the commercial success of her artistic peers, Aretha Franklin and Etta James, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1945 ● Jimmy Jewell → Backing band bassist for folk/pop duo Gallagher & Lyle, “I Wanna Stay With You” (#49, UK #6, 1976)
1947 ● Dennis De Young → Vocals and keyboards for prototypical arena rock band Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), solo
1948 ● Keith Knudsen → Drummer and vocals for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “What A Fool Believes” (#1, 1979), co-founded country-rock Southern Pacific in 1982, reunited with the Doobies in 1993, died from complications of pneumonia on 2/8/2005, age 56
1952 ● Judy Kay “Juice” Newton → Country-pop and roots-rock singer/songwriter, “Angel Of The Morning” (#4, 1981) and “Queen Of Hearts” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Veronica “Randy” Crawford → R&B/soul-jazz singer with jazz-funk-rock The Crusaders, “Street Life” (#35, R&B #17, 1979), plus solo “”Give Me The Night” (Dance/Club #21, 1996)
1953 ● Derek Pellicci → Drummer for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979)
1953 ● Robbie Bachman → With his brothers Randy and Tim, drummer for Canadian hard rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (#1, 1974), kept on as BTO after brother Randy left, was sued by Randy for rights to the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and BTO names/logos
1954 ● John Travolta → Actor and singer, Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978), duet with Olivia Newton-John, “You’re The One That I Want” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Brian James → Guitarist for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), then goth-punk Lords Of The New Church, “Open You Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982) and Iggy Pop‘s touring band
1961 ● Jasper Stainthorpe → Bassist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1965 ● Dr. Dre (Andre Romell Young) → Grammy-winning pioneer gangsta rap and G-funk hip hop artist, “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” (#2, 1993), MTV rap show host
1966 ● Tommy Scott → Vocals for electronic/ambient house group Space, “Female Of The Species” (Modern Rock #15, 1996)
1970 ● Andy Williams → With twin brother Jez, drums and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Jez Williams → With twin brother Andy, guitar and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1977 ● Sean Watkins → Guitarist for Grammy-winning contemporary folk/progressive bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, “This Side” (Country #56, 2002), duo Fiction Family, supergroup Works Progress Administration and solo
1980 ● Regina Spektor → Russian-American anti-folk/alt-rock singer, songwriter and pianist, “Fidelity” (#51, 2006) and the #3 album Far (2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 15 – 21)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 15

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

January 16

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

January 17

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

January 18

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

January 19

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

January 20

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

January 21

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

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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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