Posts Tagged rock star birthdays by date

This Week’s Birthdays (May 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 19
1894 ● Moms Mabley / (Loretta Mary Aitken) → Hugely successful stand-up comedienne from the vaudeville era with 17 charting albums in the 60s and one hit, a cover of “Abraham, Martin And John” (#35, R&B #18, 1969), for a time making her the oldest living person to have a Billboard Top 40 hit, died from heart failure on 5/23/1975, age 82
1932 ● Alma Cogan / (Alma Cohen) → 50s and early 60s rising star Brit traditional pop female vocalist, “Dreamboat” (UK #1, 1955) plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits, died of stomach cancer on 10/26/1966, age 34
1940 ● Mickey Newbury / (Milton Sims Newbury, Jr.) → Prolific country music songwriter with dozens of hit songs performed by others, including Top 20 songs on four charts simultaneously, “Here Comes the Rain, Baby” (Eddy Arnold, Country #4, 1968), “Sweet Memories” (Andy Williams, Easy Listening #4, 1968), “Time Is A Thief” (Solomon Burke, R&B #15, 1968) and “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Pop #5, 1968), plus a solo hit single “An American Trilogy” (#26, 1972), died 9/29/2002, age 62
1945 ● Pete Townshend / (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) → Guitarist, songwriter, rock opera composer and vocalist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967) and 14 other US Top 40 singles, rock opera albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973), Grammy-winning solo career, “Face The Face” (#26, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1947 ● Jerry Hyman → Trombonist for jazz-rock/pop-rock horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1947 ● Paul Brady → Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with The Johnstons and Planxty, then long solo career, “Nobody Knows” (1990)
1947 ● Gregory Herbert → Alto saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), died of a drug overdose on 1/31/1978, age 30
1947 ● Steve Currie → Bassist for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), sessions, died in a car crash on 4/28/1981, age 33
1948 ● Tom Scott → Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock multi-reedist, composer, session musician and bandleader, co-founder of the Blues Brothers Band and jazz-rock The L. A. Express, which backed Joni Mitchell, Carole King, George Harrison and others, solo “Tom Cat” (R&B #93, 1975), composer of film soundtracks and TV shows, including the theme song for Starsky And Hutch
1948 ● Paul Williams → Music journalist and writer, founder and editor of college-rag turned national publication Crawdaddy, the first journal to be entirely devoted to in-depth commentary about rock music and which started the careers of a generation of rock writers and critics, died from complications of a brain injury suffered in a 1995 bicycle accident on 3/27/2013 , age 64
1949 ● Dusty Hill / (Joe Michael Hill) → Bass, vocals and keyboards for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1950 ● Mike Wedgewood → Bassist for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1950 ● Romeo Challenger → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 ● Joey Ramone / (Jeffrey Hyman) → Cultural icon, lead vocals and songwriter for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died from lymphatic cancer on 4/15/2001, age 49
1952 ● Barbara Joyce Lomas → Vocals for 70s R&B/soul-funk-disco B.T. Express, “Do It (‘Til Your Satisfied)” (#2, R&B #1, 1974)
1952 ● Grace Jones / (Grace Mendoza) → Severely androgynous “Queen of the Gay Discos” and R&B/dance-pop-disco diva, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (R&B #5, Dance/Club #2, 1981), actress
1954 ● Phil Rudd / (Phillip Rudd) → Drummer for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982), left in 1983
1956 ● Teddy Bear Ware / (Martyn Ware) → Founding member of late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981), left to form 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1962 ● Iain Harvie → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for pop and country-rock Del Amitri, “Roll To Me” (#10, 1995)
1963 ● Yazz / (Yasmin Evans) → Brit dance-pop singer often credited as Yazz And The Plastic Population, “The Only Way Is Up” (#96, Dance/Club #2, 1988)
1965 ● Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot → Vocals for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Paul Hartnoll → With brother Phil, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1970 ● Stuart Cable → Original drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), left in 2003 and hosted cable TV show in Wales and BBC Radio Wales, choked to death on 6/7/2010
1972 ● Jenny Berggren → Singer and songwriter for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1992 ● Sam Smith / (Samuel Frederick Smith) → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer with the 2014 Song of the Year, “Stay With Me” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

May 20
1901 ● Jimmy Blythe / (James Louis Blythe) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1925 ● Vic Ames / (Victor Urick) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1940 ● Shorty Long / (Frederick Earl Long) → Overlooked Motown R&B/pop singer, “Here Comes The Judge” (#8, R&B #4, 1968), producer and song craftsman, drowned in a Detroit River boating accident on 6/29/1969
1942 ● Jill Jackson → Vocals in pop duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1944 ● Joe Cocker / (John Robert Cocker) → Gravelly-voiced, blue-eyed soul pub-rock/blues-pop-rock vocalist and hard partying rock star, “A Little Help From My Friends” (#68, UK #1, 1968), “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982), died from lung cancer on 12/22/14, age 70
1946 ● Cher / (Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) → Singer and TV and film actress, first with husband Sonny Bono in pop-rock duo Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965) and later as a five-decade solo act with 33 charting singles (22 in the Top 4), including “Believe” (#1, 1999)
1950 ● Stephen Alex Broughton → Drummer for Brit blues-rock then prog rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1950 ● Andy Johns → Brit sound engineer and record producer, worked on albums by Free (Highway, 1970), The Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street, 1972), Television (Marquee Moon, 1977) and many others, died from complications of a stomach ulcer on 4/7/2013, age 62
1952 ● Warren Cann → Drummer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Guy Hoffman / (Guy Edward Hoffman) → Drummer for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1954 ● Jimmy Henderson → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1955 ● Steve George → Keyboardist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jane Wiedlin → Guitar, songwriting and vocals for top New Wave pop-rock all-girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat (#2, 1982) and solo, “Rush Hour” (#9, 1988)
1959 ● Susan Cowsill → Sub-teen vocalist for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, backing vocalist for various artists in the 80s, then formed alt country-rock supergroup Continental Drifters in 1991, solo
1961 ● Dan Wilson → Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, wrote “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), producer
1961 ● Nick Heyward → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1963 ● Nasher / (Brian Nash) → Backing vocals and guitarist for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Patti Russo / (Patricia Russo) → Singer/songwriter and actress best known as the female lead vocalist with Meat Loaf‘s touring band, Neverland Express from 1993 to 2013
1966 ● Tom Gorman → Guitarist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1967 ● Kit Clark → With brother Gary Clark, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1972 ● Busta Rhymes / (Trevor Smith, Jr.) → Grammy-nominated, idiosyncratic speed rapper, first with Leaders Of The New School, “What’s Next” (Rap #1, 1993), then solo, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check ” (#8, Rap #1, 1996)
1981 ● Sean Conlon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1984 ● Naturi Naughton → Vocals for R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

May 21
1904 ● Fats Waller / (Thomas Wright Waller) → Jazz and ragtime pianist, co-wrote “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929), the oft-covered classic now included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, died 12/15/1943 from pneumonia, age 39
1926 ● Al Grossman / (Albert Bernard Grossman) → Chicago folk club owner and later promoter and manager for Bob Dylan (1962-70), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Band, Paul Butterfield, Janis Joplin and others, built Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, NY and founded Bearsville Records, died of a heart attack while flying to London on the Concorde to sign unknown British rock singer on 1/25/1986, age 59
1928 ● Tom Donahue → Rock Hall of Fame-inducted pioneering “free format” FM rock DJ on KSAN (San Francisco) and other stations, night club owner, concert producer/promoter, record label executive, died of a heart attack on 4/28/1975
1940 ● Tony Sheridan / (Anthony McGinnity) → Britbeat pop-rock bandleader, frontman for The Beat Brothers and collaborator with The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 60s, recorded several tracks with the Fab Four, including “My Bonnie” in June 1961, which reached #5 in West Germany, retired from the music business in the mid-70s, died following heart surgery on 2/16/2013, age 72
1941 ● Ronald Isley → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1943 ● Hilton Valentine → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1943 ● John Dalton → Bass guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), replaced Pete Quaiffe in 1969, left the band in 1976 and periodically appears with the Kast Off Kinks
1943 ● Vincent Crane / (Vincent Cheesman) → Keyboards and songwriter for Brit psych-rock The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#12, 1987), left with bandmate Carl Palmer to form prog/art rock Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (UK #4, 1971), died from an overdose of painkillers on 2/14/1989, age 45
1944 ● Marcie Blaine / (Marcia Blank) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Bobby’s Girl” (#3, 1962)
1947 ● Bill Champlin → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman for psych-rock Sons Of Champlin, joined pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “You’re The Inspiration” (#3, 1984) in 1981 and has played and toured with the band since, also solo and side projects
1948 ● Leo Sayer / (Gerard Hugh Sayer) → Grammy-winning blue-eyed R&B/pop-disco singer, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Marc Ribot → Multi-genre guitarist and composer, session work for dozens of artists from Norah Jones to Elvis Costello to Tom Waits, member of New York City avant-garde The Lounge Lizards
1955 ● Stan Lynch → Drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
1963 ● Kevin Shields → Founding member and guitarist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1963 ● Tim Lever → Keyboards for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Martin Blunt → Bass for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1972 ● The Notorious B.I.G. / (Christopher Wallace) → Street hustler turned East Coast hip hop star, “Mo Money Mo Problems” (#1, 1997), murdered in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on 3/9/1997, age 24
1975 ● Lee Gaze → Lead guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1978 ● Adam Wade Gontier → Lead singer and guitarist in Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1985 ● Mutya Buena → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), quit the group in 2005 for solo, “Real Girl” (UK #2, 2006)

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

May 23
1910 ● Artie Shaw / (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) → Big Band-era bandleader, composer and one of the most-renowned clarinetists of all time, his version of Cole Porter‘s “Begin The Beguine” (#3, 1938) is one of the most popular and enduring songs of the Swing Era, retired from touring in the early 50s, returned briefly in the mid-80s and died of natural causes on 12/30/2004, age 94
1918 ● Bumps Blackwell / (Robert Blackwell) → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985, age 66
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008, age 86
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002, age 74
1933 ● Gary Burden → Grammy-winning designer of music album covers for many rock and pop luminaries, including The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, as well as 40 covers for Neil Young beginning with After The Gold Rush (1970) and continuing for over 35 years, died from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2018, age 84
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and inventor of the synthesizer, built his first electronic instrument – the Theremin – at age 14 and in 1970 produced the MiniMoog “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” died on 8/21/2005 four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, age 71
1941 ● General Norman Johnson → Frontman and lead singer for R&B/soul-pop Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970), left for a successful songwriting career, including the Grammy-winning “Patches” for Clarence Carter (#4, R&B #2, 1971) and “Want Ads” for Honey Cone (#1, R&B #1, 1971), died from lung cancer on 10/13/2010, age 69
1944 ● Tiki Fulwood / (Raymond Fulwood) → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979, age 35
1945 ● Misty Morgan → With husband Jack Blanchard, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1946 ● Ruth Underwood / (Ruth Komanoff) → Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and general percussionist for Frank Zappa and his backing band, The Mothers Of Invention (“Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” 1967) in the 60s and 70s, also did session work for pop-rock Ambrosia, jazz-fusion George Duke and others, retired from music in the 80s
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1955 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995, age 37
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Junior Waite / (Frederick Waite, Jr.) → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1970 ● Matt Flynn → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004) since 2006, previously played with The B-52’s, Chicago and others
1973 ● Maxwell / (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel / (Jewel Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Mad Dog / (Scott Raynor) → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

May 24
1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1938 ● Tommy Chong → Canadian-American comedian, TV and film actor, voice artist, director and one-half the groundbreaking stoner duo Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus And His Old Lady” (#3, 1972), performed in various venues with and without his comedic partner through to their reunion in the 00s, became the oldest contestant to make the semi-finals on Dancing With The Stars in September 2014
1938 ● Prince Buster / (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → One of the most important figures in the development of ska and rocksteady music in Jamaica and beyond, hugely influential reggae/ska perfumer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, scored UK (“Al Capone,” UK #18, 1967) and US hits (“Ten Commandments Of Man,” #81, R&B #17, 1967), dropped out of the industry in the late 70s and recorded and performed only sporadically up to his death following a stroke on 9/8/2016, age 78
1941 ● Bob Dylan / (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino / (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) / (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Plaster Caster / (Cynthia Caster) → Rock groupie known for making plaster casts of rock star’s penises and breasts, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars
1947 ● Waddy Wachtel / (Robert Wachtel) → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls‘ video of “It’s Raining Men,” died from a stroke related to HIV on 11/14/2003, age 41
1967 ● Heavy D / (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died after collapsing outside his L.A. condo on 11/8/2011, age 44
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

May 25
1921 ● Hal David → Pop/MOR lyricist, co-wrote dozens of hits, often in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969), died from a stroke on 9/1/2012, age 91
1922 ● Kitty Kallen / (Katherine Kalinsky) → Pop vocalist with 21 Top 40 hits in the 40s and 50s, including “Little Things Mean A Lot” (#1, 1954), retired from singing in 1955 to nurse paralyzed vocal cords but returned in 1959 to score two additional hits before Beatlemania sank her career
1927 ● Norman Petty → Musician and record producer best known for his work in the 50s with Buddy Holly and his backing band, The Crickets, as coach, recording engineer, producer, band manager and occasional co-writer of numerous hit songs, including “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), also fronted his own band and produced albums for Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs and others, died from leukemia on 8/15/1984, age 57
1927 ● Paul Oliver / (Paul Hereford Oliver) → Brit architectural historian whose sideline interest in blues music led him to author several early and authoirtative books on the subject, including “The Story Of The Blues” (1969), wrote multiple biographies and narratives about indigenous American music over 40 years, left an unfinished 1,400 page manuscript on Texas blues when he died from natural causes on 8/15/2017, age 90
1936 ● Tom T. Hall → Grammy-winning country storytelling songwriter and singer, wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” for Jeannie C. Riley (#1, 1968) and as a solo artist recorded 21 Country Top 10 hits, including “I Love” (#12, Country #1, 1973)
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer with a lone 50s minor hit, “What Can I Do?” (#61, R&B #12, 1957), left for the UK and recorded there with some success in the 60s, returned to the US in 1970 and had eight charting singles in eight years, including “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989, age 52
1942 ● Blinky Davison / (Brian Davison) → Drummer for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968), prog rock Refugee and space-rock Gong, died 4/15/2008, age 65
1943 ● Jessi Colter / (Miriam Johnson) → Singer/songwriter and lone female star from the “outlaw country” genre, “I’m Not Lisa” (#4, Country #1, 1975), wife of Waylon Jennings, teamed with Waylon, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country music album to sell over a million copies
1943 ● Poli Palmer / (John Michael Palmer) → Piano and vibraphone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1945 ● Dave Lee Travis / (David Patrick Griffin) → BBC Radio 1 and TV host, with fellow DJ Paul Burnette released “Convoy GB” (UK #4, 1976) as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, a parody of . McCall‘s “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1975)
1947 ● Mitch Margo / (Mitchell Stuart Margo) → Tenor vocals and piano for blue-eyed R&B/doo-wop group The Tokens, was just 14 years old when the band released it’s biggest hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961), later helped produce albums for the Chiffons and Tony Orlando & Dawn, wrote songs for others, including “Laugh ” (1967) for The Monkees and “Slow Dance” (1989) for The Carpenters, performed with various Tokens lineups, composed TV scores and painted for album covers and children’s books until his death from natural causes on 11/24/2017, age 70
1948 ● Klaus Meine → Lead vocals and frontman for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1949 ● Clarence Burke Jr. → With his four siblings, lead singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison‘s Dark Horse label, reformed the Stairsteps with two brothers as R&B/disco The Invisible Man’s Band (“All Night Thing,” Dance/Club #10, 1980), continued to perform until just before his death from undisclosed causes on 5/26/2013, age 64
1950 ● Jean Millington → Vocals and guitar with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny (“Butter Boy,” #29, 1975), one of the earliest women-only rock bands and the first to release an album on a major record label (Fanny, Reprise, 1970), broke up in 1975 but continued to record and perform with her sister as a duet and in various Fanny reunions, including as Fanny Walks The Earth with an eponymous album in 2018.
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt / (Robert Eugene Steinhardt) → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1951 ● Chuck Ruff / (Charles Frederick Carson Ruff) → Rock drummer best known as a founding member of hard rock Edgar Winter Group (“Frankenstein,” #1, 1973 and “Free Ride,” #14, 1973), later played on albums by Sammy Hagar (“Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (#13, 1983) and worked in various solo and collaboration bands, died after a long illness on 10/14/2011, age 60
1955 ● John Grimaldi → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972)
1958 ● Paul Weller / (John William Weller) → Co-founder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for punk rock/modcon trio The Jam, “Going Underground” (UK #1, 1980), then co-founded sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “Peacock Suit” (UK #5, 1996) and 28 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Rick Smith / (Richard Smith) → Keyboards for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1975 ● Lauryn Hill → Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Doo Wop (That Thing” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Joe King → Co-founder, guitar, backing vocals and songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 05
1901 ● Blind Willie McTell / (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● Ace Cannon / (John Cannon) → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor / (Johnnie Harrison Taylor) → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
1942 ● Jim King / (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele / (Adele Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan / (Brooke Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam / (Skye Alexandra Sweetnam) → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

May 06
1939 ● Herbie Cox → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Mike Ratledge → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
1943 ● Sandra Tilley → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981, age 38
1945 ● Bob Seger → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and bandleader, “Night Moves” (#4, 1976) and “Shakedown” (#1, 1986) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986)
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a heroin overdose on 9/23/1974, age 24
1951 ● Davey Johnstone / (David William Logan Johnstone) → Scottish guitarist in folk-prog rock Magna Carta from 1970-1971, then joined The Elton John Band and has performed on dozens of albums and in over 2,000 live shows with EJ, currently serves as music director for the band
1960 ● John Flansburgh → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

May 07
1923 ● Jim Lowe / (James Elsworth Lowe) → Country-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in the mid-50s among seven total Billboard 100 charting songs, including “The Green Door” (#1, R&B #5, 1956), then became a beloved and respected New York City radio personality for over 50 years at WNEW-AM and WNBC-AM and nationally, retired in 1977 and died from natural causes on 12/12/2016, age 93
1931 ● Teresa Brewer / (Teresa Breuer) → Novelty pop singer with hundreds of 50s recordings, including “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others, died from progressive supranuclear palsy on 10/17/2007, age 76
1931 ● Jerry Chesnut / (Jerry Donald Chesnut) → Nashville-based country music songwriter with a deep oeuvre of songs recorded by many dozens of others, including George Jones (“If Not For You,” Country #6, 1969), Elvis Presley (“T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” #35, Country #11, 1975), Elvis Costello (“Good Year For The Roses,” UK #6, 1981), Loretta Lynn, Del Reeves and many others, retired from songwriting in 1980 and died from respiratory failure on 12/15/2018, age 87.
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997, age 65
1939 ● Johnny Maestro / (John Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010, age 70
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The TemptationsDavid Ruffin, died in a Las Vegas intensive care unit on 11/17/2014, age 75
1940 ● JC Connors / (Jim “JC” Connors) → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987, age 46
1942 ● Lorrie Collins / (Lawrencine May Collins) → Brassy rockabilly singer and guitarist, one of the first female rock ‘n’ roll singers, with her younger brother, Larry, one half of the teen rockabilly duo The Collins Kids, their flashy Western wear and stage antics were well-suited to early TV variety shows in the 50s and earned them a spot on Tex Ritter‘s weekly Town Hall Party, in the late 50s briefly dated teen idol Ricky Nelson and twice appeared with him on his parents’ sitcom The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet (1958), recorded multiple rockabilly and country-pop songs that did not chart but are nonetheless appreciated by enthusiasts and still available, reunited in 1992 and performed with Larry at rockabilly festivals until her death from complications of a fall on 8/4/2018, age 76
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West / (Richard Westwood) → Original member, guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock quintet The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), left the band in 2012 after more than 50 years
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1945 ● Cornelius Bumpus → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004, age 58
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992, age 45
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith / (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Prairie Prince / (Charles L’Empereur Prince) → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1955 ● Steve Diggle → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
1956 ● Anne Dudley / (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson / (Marty Willson-Piper) → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye / (Eagle-Eye Cherry) → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1974 ● Lynden David Hall → Award-winning, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer in the Brit neo-soul movement of the 90s with six UK Top 50 singles, including his debut “Sexy Cinderella” (UK #45, 1997), died from complications of a stem cell transplant he received to combat lymphoma on 2/14/2006, age 31
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08
1911 ● Robert Johnson → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died from unknown causes on 8/16/1938, age 27
1940 ● Ricky Nelson / (Eric Hillard Nelson) → Teen idol and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Travellin’ Man” (#1, 1961) plus 18 other Top 10 singles, played himself on his parent’s TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, died in a plane crash on 12/31/1985, age 45
1941 ● John Fred / (John Fred Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died after a long battle with kidney disease on 4/15/2005, age 63
1942 ● Jack Blanchard → With wife Misty Morgan, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s
1943 ● Jon Mark / (Jon Michael Biurchell) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, one half of jazz-pop/prog rock duo Mark-Almond with Johnny Almond, prior founding member of Influential but short-lived Brit pop-rock Sweet Thursday, also played with Marianne Faithfull, John Mayall and others
1943 ● Paul Samwell / (Paul Samwell-Smith) → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1943 ● Toni Tennille / (Cathyrn Antoinette Tennille) → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972, age 29
1944 ● Bill Legend / (William Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter / (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2” (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1951 ● Chris Frantz → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1955 ● Henry Priestman → Founding member, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave power pop The Yachts, “Suffice To Say” (1977), then blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988) and alt rock It’s Immaterial
1964 ● Dave Rowntree → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H / (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay / (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

May 09
1914 ● Hank Snow / (Clarence Eugene Snow) → Canadian-born country singer, “The Singing Ranger”, released over 100 albums and had 35 Country Top 40 singles between 1955 and 1980, including “Ninety Miles An Hour (Down A Dead-End Street)” (Country #2, 1963), died from heart failure on 12/20/1999, age 86
1935 ● Nokie Edwards / (Nole Floyd Edwards) → Founding member and first bassist for seminal surf rock instrumental combo The Ventures (“Walk – Don’t Run,” #2, 1960 and remake “Walk – Don’t Run ’64,” #8, 1964), switched to lead guitar and perfected the twangy,, staccato riffs that characterized the surf rock genre in the mid-60s, left the band in the 80s but continued to perform and record with his own bands – including occasional gigs with reconstituted versions of The Ventures – until his death from complications of hip reconstruction surgery on 3/12/2018, age 82
1937 ● Sonny Curtis → Country-pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and guitarist, played in an early version of Buddy Holly & The Crickets, wrote “I Fought The Law” and “Love Is All Around” (the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show)
1937 ● David Prater / (David Prater, Jr.) → One half of top R&B/soul duo Sam & Dave, “Soul Man” (#2, 1967), died in a single-car accident on 4/9/1988, age 50
1940 ● John Hawken → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1941 ● Peter Birrell → Bassist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), became a taxi driver and sometime bit-part TV actor
1941 ● Danny Rapp / (Daniel Earl Rapp) → Frontman and singer for early rock ‘n’ rollers Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958), committed suicide on 4/5/1983, age 41
1942 ● Tommy Roe → Rockabilly singer and songwriter turned archetypal bubblegum popster, “Dizzy” (#1, 1969)
1942 ● Mike Millward → Rhythm guitar for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964), died from complications of leukemia on 3/7/1966, age 23
1943 ● Bruce Milner → Piano and organ for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1944 ● Don Dannemann → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for two hit wonder folk-pop The Cyrkle, “Red Rubber Ball” (#2, 1966) and “Turn Down Day” (#16, 1966), signed by Brian Epstein and supported The Beatles on their 1966 US tour, became a successful commercial “jingle” writer, including the “Uncola” song for 7Up
1944 ● Richie Furay / (Paul Richard Furay) → Guitar and vocals, founding member of folk-rock Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and country-rock Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970), left in 1974 to co-found country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band with Chris Hillman of The Byrds and J. D. Souther (“Fallin’ In Love”, #27, 1974), solo bandleader, became a Christian minister, reunited with Buffalo Springfield in 2010
1945 ● Steve Katz → Guitarist and vocalist, founding member of jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), producer
1946 ● Clint Holmes → One hit wonder novelty pop singer, “Playground In My Mind” (#2, 1973), briefly a TV personality with Joan Rivers’ The Late Show and on Entertainment Tonight, performed in Las Vegas and Atlantic City night clubs since the 70s
1949 ● Billy Joel → Superstar pop-rock singer/songwriter and keyboardist with 17 US #1 albums and 35 Top 40 singles, including “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” (#1, 1980)
1950 ● Tom Petersson → Bass and vocals for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1953 ● John Edwards → Bassist since 1986 for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 58 UK Top 40 singles including “Come On You Reds” (UK #1, 1994)
1960 ● Marc Duncan → Bassist for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1962 ● David Gahan → Lead vocals for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), went solo after 22 years, “Kingdom” (Dance/Pop #1, 2007)
1962 ● P.D. Heaton / (Paul Heaton) → Vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Peter Wilkinson → Co-founder, backing vocals and bass guitar for 90s alt rock Brit-pop Cast, “Flying” (UK #4, 1996), left in 2002 for sessions work, rejoined Cast in 2010
1971 ● Guigsy McGuigan / (Paul McGuigan) → Bassist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1975 ● Nik Vikedal / (Ryan Vikedal) → Drummer for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001), left the band in 1995
1979 ● Pierre Bouvier → Lead singer for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)

May 10
1888 ● Max Steiner → Austrian-American child-prodigy musician turned three-time Oscar-winning film score composer for over 300 films from the 30s through the 60s, including King Kong (1933), Gone With The Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and The Caine Mutiny (1954), died from heart failure on 12/28/1971, age 83
1899 ● Fred Astaire / (Frederick Austerlitz) → Grammy-winning, renowned film and Broadway stage dancer, actor, vocalist and choreographer, appeared in 31 musical movies, often with dance partner Ginger Rogers, sang multiple, enduring popular songs without a charting single, died of pneumonia on 6/22/1987, age 88
1920 ● Bert Weedon → Virtuoso Brit pop-instrumental guitarist, “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” (UK #10, 1959), published the Play In A Day guitar manual, session work for Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others
1930 ● Scott Muni / (Donald Allen Munoz) → Deep, gravel-voiced AM Top 40, then FM rock DJ and program director for WNEW-fm (New York) during the heyday of free-format, progressive rock radio in the 70s and 80s, died from complications following a stroke on 9/28/2004, age 74
1934 ● Gary Owens / (Gary Altman) → Los Angeles radio DJ, TV announcer and film voice actor best known for his droll, deadpan narration and announcements on the sketch-comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In from 1968 to 1973 , later issued several comedy albums, hosted The Gong Show and various radio programs, died from complications of diabetes on 2/12/2015, age 80
1935 ● Larry Williams → Early R&B/rock & roll guitarist, singer and songwriter, “High School Dance” (#5, R&B #1, 1957), his classic songs have been covered by The Beatles “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” (1965), The Jam and others, died from gunshot wounds in a suspected but unproven suicide on 1/2/1980, age 44
1938 ● Henry Fambrough → Original member, lead and baritone vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, continues to front the band on tours into the 10s
1940 ● Arthur Alexander → Country and soul genre-melding songwriter and singer, “Anna (Go To Him),” #68, R&B #10, 1962) and other songs covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and others, wrote and recorded sporadically through the 80s, continued to perform with his own band until his death from a heart attack on 6/9/1993, age 53
1944 ● Jacki” Lomax / (John Richard Lomax) → Star-crossed Liverpudlian blue-eyed soul singer and guitarist, friend of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, co-founded and sang lead vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups that never charted on any Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K., first act to be signed to The Beatles‘ Apple Records, received support from Paul McCartney and George Harrison, who wrote his single “Sour Milk Sea” (1970), but he never achieved the expected stardom, played with various bands, toured intermittently and did session work until his death from cancer of 9/15/2013, age 69
1946 ● Dave Mason / (David Thomas Mason) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then solo, “We Just Disagree” (#12, 1977), session work Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, George Harrison and others
1946 ● Donovan / (Donovan Phillip Leitch) → Brit psych-folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Mellow Yellow” (#2, 1966), once labeled Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan
1946 ● Graham Gouldman → Bubblegum-pop songwriter, wrote hits for Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies and others, then co-founder, guitar and vocals for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975) and 10 UK Top 30 hits, later formed pop-rock Wax, “Bridge To Your Heart” (UK #12, 1987)
1947 ● Jay Ferguson / (John Arden Ferguson) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriting for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left and co-founded hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), went solo, “Thunder Island” (#9, 1978), now composes film scores
1951 ● Ronald Banks → Vocals for R&B/soul The Dramatics, “In The Rain” (#5, R&B #1, 1972), died of a heart attack on 3/4/2010, age 58
1952 ● Sly Dunbar / (Lowell Fillmore Dunbar) → Reggae drummer, with session partner Robbie Shakespeare as The Riddim Twins and later Sly & Robbie worked with Peter Tosh, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Grace Jones, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones and others
1952 ● Lee Brilleaux / (Lee Collinson) → Founding member, lead vocals and harmonica for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), died of cancer on 4/7/1994, age 41
1957 ● Karl Hyde → Vocals and guitar for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1957 ● Sid Vicious / (John Simon Ritchie) → Vocals and bass guitar for renowned and reviled punk-rock The Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), died of a heroin overdose on 2/2/1979, age 21
1960 ● Bono / (Paul Hewson) → Vocalist and guitarist for Irish mega-star rockers U2, “With Or Without You” (#1, 1987) plus five consecutive US #1 albums between 1987 and 1997, poet, peace activist
1962 ● Gary Daley → Vocals and keyboards for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Young M.C. / (Marvin Young)) → Pop-rap rhymer and singer, “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989)
1968 ● Richard Patrick → Guitarist for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999), then alt rock/post-grunge supergroup Army of Anyone, “Goodbye” (Mainstream Rock #3, 2006), also worked with Nine Inch Nails
1980 ● Jason Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1985 ● Ashley Poole → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)
1991 ● Ray Dalton → Gospel and R&B singer and songwriter best known for his lead vocal contribution to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ 2011 hit song “Can’t Hold Us” (Worldwide #1, 2013)

May 11
1888 ● Irving Berlin / (Israel Isidore Baline) → Siberian-born lyricist, pianist and composer of dozens of enduring pop, stage show and film hits including “White Christmas” (1940), the best selling single of all time, died in his sleep on 9/22/1989, age 91
1905 ● “Kansas” Joe McCoy / (Joseph McCoy) → Delta and Chicago blues slide guitarist and songwriter, recorded often with his younger brother, Charlie, wrote the now-standard jazz-pop “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1941), his songs have been covered by Led Zeppelin, John Mellencamp and others, died from heart disease on 1/28/1950, age 44
1931 ● Marilyn King → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/7/2013, age 82
1934 ● Bobby Black / (Robert Lee Black) → Pedal steel guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), later played with New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Dolly Parton, the Texas Tornados and many others, released two albums of steel guitar Hawaiian music in the 00s
1935 ● Kit Lambert / (Christopher Lambert) → Assistant film director (The Guns of Navarone and From Russia With Love), record producer, record executive (Track Records, which signed Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon), band manager for The Who until 1971, eccentric but drug-abusing impresario, died from a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a set of stairs at his mother’s house on 4/7/1981, age 45
1936 ● Tony Barrow / (Anthony F. J. Barrow) → Brit journalist and record company publicist, represented The Beatles for Decca Records in 1962 and, until 1968 with Brian Epstein‘s NEMS Enterprises, coining the term “Fab Four”, later formed his own firm and was chief PR man in Europe during the 70s for The Kinks, Bay City Rollers, The Monkees and others, returned to journalism in the punk era, died from natural causes on 5/14/2016, age 80
1938 ● Carla Bley / (Carla Borg) → 60s Free Jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader
1938 ● Bruce LanghorneGreenwich Village folk revival guitarist and songwriter, session musician for multiple 60s folk acts but best known for playing with Bob Dylan on several mid-60s albums central to the emergence of electric folk-rock, and as the inspiration for the title character on Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965), later became a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii and creator of Brother Bru-Bru’s Hot Sauce, a salsa-style condiment, died of kidney failure on 2/14/2017, age 78
1941 ● Eric Burdon → Vocals and eventual frontman for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973)
1943 ● Arnie Silver / (Arnie Satin (Silver)) → Baritone vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1943 ● Les Chadwick → Bassist for British Invasion/Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1947 ● Butch Trucks / (Claude Hudson Trucks) → Founding member and drummer for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973), died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on 1/24/2017, age 69
1955 ● J.J. Jeczalik / (Jonathan Jeczalik) → Record producer, sessionman and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1955 ● Mark Herndon → Drummer for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1955 ● Susan Stenger → Bass and vocals for guitar-centric, “noise” rock quartet Band Of Susans, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1988)
1965 ● Avtar Singh → Founding member and bassist for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1966 ● Doom Schneider / (Christoph Schneider) → Drummer for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1983 ● Holly Rachel Vukadinovi?) / (Holly Rachel Vukadinovi?) → Yugoslavian-Australian TV actress and pop singer, “Kiss Kiss” (UK #1, 2002)
1986 ● Kieren Webster → Bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 28 – May 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 28
1941 ● Ann-Margret / (Ann-Margret Olsson) → Swedish-American pop singer and stage, film and TV actress known more for her performances in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964) with Elvis Presley, Tommy (1975) as “Mrs. Walker” and over 60 other roles, also charted seven songs, including “I Just Don’t Understand” (#17, 1961) and “Love Rush” (Dance #8, 1979), continues to appear in movies and on TV into her late 70s
1941 ● Peter Anders / (Peter Andreoli) → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. / (John Corley) → Gospel turned R&B/soul one hit wonder singer, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” (#7, R&B #5, 1968)
1945 ● John Wolters → Drummer for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits, died of liver cancer on 6/16/1997, age 52
1946 ● Beverly Ann Bivens → Co-founder and lead singer for folk-pop harmony group We Five (“You Were On My Mind,” #3, AC #1, 1965), left the music industry when the group broke up in 1967
1947 ● Peaches Barker / (Francine Hurd “Peaches” Barker) → One half of R&B/soul-pop vocal duo Peaches & Herb, “Let’s Fall In Love” (R&B #11, 1966), died on 8/13/2005, age 58
1949 ● Steve Gilpin → Co-founder and lead vocalist for Mi-Sex, one of the most popular New Wave bands in Australia and New Zealand from the 70s to the late 90s, “Computer Games (AUS #1, 1979), died following a car accident on 1/6/1992, age 42
1952 ● Chuck Leavell / (Charles Alfred Leavell) → Piano and keyboards for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), session musician and keyboardist for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and others
1953 ● Kim Gordon → Bassist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1955 ● Eddie Jobson → Violin for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974) and prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976)
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes → Lead vocals for hugely popular Aussie pub rock/blues-rock Cold Chisel, “My Baby” (Mainstream Rock #32, 1981), then successful solo career with seven Australia #1 albums
1958 ● Enid Williams → Founding member, vocals and bass guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1966 ● Too Short / (Todd Shaw) → Successful solo 80-90s West Coast rap star, “The Ghetto” (Rap #3, 1990), came out of “early retirement” with “More Freaky Tales” (Rap #3, 1999) and subsequent solo and collaboration hits
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz / (Scott Mitchell Putesky) → Guitarist and co-founder of industrial-pop-metal Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later collaborated with alt rock Jack Off Jill
1968 ● Howard Donald → Drummer, pianist, singer and dancer for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), solo work, then reformed Take That, “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1973 ● Big Gipp / (Cameron Gipp) → Southern rapper, member of Goodie Mob, solo album plus collaborative work with Ali, Nelly, Outkast and others

April 29
1899 ● Duke Ellington / (Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington) → Jazz composer, 50-year bandleader, film score and stage musical writer/producer, unquestioned giant of American popular music, “Take The ‘A’ Train” (1941), died from lung cancer and pneumonia on 5/24/1974, age 75
1915 ● Donald Mills → Lead tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, continued to perform until he was the last remaining brother, then toured with his son until his death on 11/13/1999, age 84
1927 ● Big Jay McNeely / (Cecil James McNeely) → Early and influential tenor saxophonist whose “honking” style and flamboyant stage presence helped place the saxophone front and center in the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll before the electric guitar took over in the mid-50s, issued two dozen albums and several charting singles, including the instrumental “Deacon’s Hop” (R&B #1, 1949) and the ballad “There Is Something On Your Mind” (R&B Top 10, 1959), continued to record and tour, mostly in Europe, into the 10s, died from prostate cancer on 9/16/2018, age 91
1928 ● Carl Gardner → Lead tenor and 50-year soul vocalist, first for R&B/soul-doo wop The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then with offshoot soul-pop The Coasters as lead singer, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959), fronted the group until his death from a heart attack on 6/12/2011, age 83
1931 ● Lonnie Donegan / (Anthony James Donegan) → English rock ‘n’ roll pioneer singer who launched the skiffle craze, “Rock Island Line” (#8, 1956), plus over 30 UK Top 40 singles, died from a heart attack shortly before a scheduled appearance with The Rolling Stones in a memorial to George Harrison on 11/3/2002, age 71
1933 ● Willie Nelson / (Willie Hugh Nelson) → Country-pop songwriter turned Grammy-winning “outlaw” country superstar, “On The Road Again” (#20, Country #1, 1980)
1933 ● Rod McKuen / (Rodney Marvin McKuen) → The “unofficial poet laureate of America,” poet, lyricist, songwriter and bridge between the 50s Beat generation and the 70s New Age movement, released dozens of books of poetry and over 100 albums of vocal and spoken-word music, most of which was commercially successful if not critically-acclaimed, his over 1,500 songs were covered by Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand and many others, died from respiratory failure caused by pneumonia on 1/29/2015, age 81
1935 ● Otis Rush / (Otis Rush, Jr.) → Innovative and influential “West Side” Chicago blues guitarist, tenor singer and songwriter (“I Can’t Quit You Baby,” R&B #6, 1956), penned the oft-covered masterpiece “Double Trouble” (1958), from which Stevie Ray Vaughan derived his band’s name, inducted into the Blue Hall of Fame in 1984, won a Grammy Award in 1999 and named #53 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists in 2015, died from complications of a 2003 stroke on 9/29/2018, age 83
1936 ● Albee Cracolici → Baritone vocals for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Mystics, “Hushabye” (1959)
1936 ● April Stevens / (Carol LoTempio) → Grammy-winning pop singer, duet with Nino Tempo (her brother Antonio), “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963)
1942 ● Emma Pought / (Emma Pought Patron) → With her teenage sister, Jannie and three other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s
1942 ● Klaus Voorman → Grammy-winning German musician, producer and artist, bassist for Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), session musician for the Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, Harry Nilsson and others, designed album covers for The Beatles (Revolver) and others
1942 ● Vincent Poncia, Jr. → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Duane Allen → Vocals for long-running country/gospel/folk harmony quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981)
1944 ● June LeBell / (June Wendie LeBell) → Professional concert soprano who became one of the first women to be hired as an on-air announcer and interviewer in the male-dominated commercial classical music radio industry, over a 30-year career became a revered and respected personality on WQXR in New York, died from ovarian cancer on 4/30/2017, age 73
1945 ● Tammi Terrell / (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → R&B/soul vocalist for Motown, performed solo and frequently in duets with Marvin Gaye, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), died from a brain tumor on 3/16/1970, age 24
1945 ● Hugh Hopper → Founding member and bass guitarist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine and other related bands in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, issued two obscure solo albums, died from leukemia on 6/7/2009, age 64
1947 ● Joel Larson → Session drummer with The Turtles, Lee Michaels and others, played with AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1947 ● Tommy James / (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → Frontman and lead vocals for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Michael Karoli → Founding member, guitarist and violinist for influential experimental/kraut rock Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from cancer on 11/17/2001, age 53
1953 ● King Boy D / (Bill Drummond) → South African-born, Scottish-raised experimental/ambient music composer and producer, record company executive and A&R man, writer, musician with punk-rock Big In Japan, formed art rock KLF, “3 A.M. Eternal” (#5, 1990)
1958 ● Simon Edwards → Guitarrón player for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1960 ● Phil King → Bass guitar and backing vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1968 ● Carnie Wilson → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach BoysBrian Wilson
1969 ● Master P / (Percy Miller) → New Orleans-based hip hop/gangsta rap star, No Limit record company founder, “I Got The Hook Up” (#16, Rap #1, 1998)
1973 ● Mike Hogan → Bass and rhythm guitars for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1979 ● Joanne Velda O’Meara → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1979 ● Matt Tong → Drums and backing vocals for Brit indie rock Bloc Party, “The Prayer” (UK #4, 2007)
1980 ● Kian Egan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1981 ● Tom Smith → Bass guitar for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

April 30
1896 ● Rev. Gary Davis → Highly-regarded ragtime, folk, gospel and blues guitarist with a unique thumb-and-index-finger style, influenced Bob Dylan, Donovan and Taj Mahal, mentor to David Bromberg, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen, died following a heart attack on 5/5/1972, age 76
1917 ● Bea Wain / (Beatrice Ruth Wain) → Big Band-era singer with The Larry Clinton Orchestra, recorded four Number 1 hits, including “Heart And Soul” (1939) and “Deep Purple” (1939), left for a solo career after being voted most popular female vocalist in a Billboard college poll, hosted radio talk and music show “Mr. And Mrs. Music” with her husband, radio announcer André Baruch, in New York and Florida from the 40s to the 70s, died from congestive heart failure on 8/19/2017, age 100
1925 ● Johnny Horton → Country/honky tonk historical singer and songwriter, “The Battle of New Orleans” (#1, 1958), died in a car crash while returning home from a concert performance on 11/4/1960, age 35
1929 ● Will Holt → Singer, songwriter, lyricist and librettist, best known for a variety of Broadway shows, including Over Here!, Me And Bessie and Music Is, and for penning the Latin-tinged folk-pop song “Lemon Tree,” which was recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary (#35, AC #12, 1962), among others, and use as an advertising jingle by aerosol furniture polish Lemon Pledge, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 5/31/2015, age 86
1930 ● Bill Buchanan → With partner Dickie Goodman, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), songwriter and producer, died from cancer on 8/1/1996, age 34
1931 ● Peter La Farge / (Oliver Albee La Farge) → Native American-descendant 50s and 60s Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, contemporary of Bob Dylan, wrote or co-wrote numerous songs with Johnny Cash, including “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes” (Country #3, 1964), died of a Thorazine overdose on 10/27/1965, age 34
1936 ● Bobby Gregg / (Robert J. Grego) → Frontman for one hit wonder instrumental rock group Bobby Gregg And His Friends (“The Jam – Part I,” #29, R&B #14, 1962) and session drummer best known for playing on multiple Bob Dylan hits, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/3/2014, age 78
1941 ● Johnny Farina → Electric guitar for pop-rock brother duo Santo & Johnny, best known for the guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1943 ● Bobby Vee / (Robert Thomas Velline) → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with thirty-eight charting singles, ten of which reached the Top 20, including “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (#1, 1961), his career started when his garage band filled-in at a Fargo, ND dance for the deceased Buddy Holly the night after the Iowa plane crash that killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.R. “The Big Bopper’ Richardson in February 1959, continued to perform until contracting Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, died from complications of the disease on 10/24/2016, age 73
1944 ● Richard Shoff → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1945 ● Mimi Fariña / (Margarita Baez) → Folk singer/songwriter, duets with husband Richard Fariña in the early 60s, then solo after his death in a motorcycle accident, social activist, younger sister of Joan Baez, died of cancer on 7/18/2001, age 56
1947 ● Colonel Bruce Hampton / (Bruce Hampton) → Energetic guitarist, singer and frontman for several eclectic rock bands, widely recognized as an innovator in the creation of improvisational, genre-crossing jam-band music while fronting the Hampton Grease Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Code Talkers and others, over the decades his bands opened for jam band leaders The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews Band and many others, collapsed on stage toward the end of a 70th birthday concert in Atlanta and was pronounced dead on 5/1/2017, age 70
1948 ● Wayne Kramer → Guitarist for Detroit proto-punk/garage rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (#82, 1969), solo
1951 ● Des Tong → Bassist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Cafe, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979)
1953 ● Merrill Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1958 ● Wonder Mike / (Michael Anthony Wright) → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40
1962 ● Robert Reynolds → Founding member and bassist for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1967 ● Turbo B / (Durron Maurice Bulter) → Frontman and rapper for electronic/beatbox Snap!, “The Power” (#2, Rap #1, 1990), then solo and co-founder of Centory
1968 ● Ben Ayres → Guitar and vocals for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1969 ● Paulo “Destructor”, Jr. / (Paulo Xisto Pinto, Jr.) → Bassist and only remaining original member of Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Choc Dalyrimple / (Christopher Dalyrimple) → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1971 ● Christopher Henderson → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1971 ● Darren Emerson → DJ, keyboards and tranceman for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1972 ● J.R. Richards → Songwriter and lead singer for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996), solo
1973 ● Jeff Timmons → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1981 ● Justin Vernon → Singer, songwriter and founding member of Grammy-winning indie folk-pop Bon Iver, the 2012 Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album Bon Iver, Bon Iver
1982 ● Cleopatra Madonna Higgins → Vocals and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Lloyd Banks / (Christopher Lloyd) → Rapper and vocals with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo in rap trio G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003), later solo, “On Fire” (#8, Rap #3, 2004)
1987 ● Nikki Webster → Aussie pop singer and model, “Strawberry Kisses” (Australian #2, 2001), sang at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics opening ceremony
1989 ● Baauer / (Harry Bauer Rodrigues) → Emo, dance and trap and bass music one hit wonder producer, “Harlem Shake” (#1, 2013)

May 01
1891 ● Charley Patton → The “Father of Delta Blues,” influential Mississippi Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, his “Pony Blues” (1929) is included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, died on 4/28/1934, age 43
1907 ● Kate Smith / (Kathryn Elizabeth Smith) → The “First Lady of Radio,” a contrello singer and media star in the 40s and 50s, best known for her booming renditions of “God Bless America”, died from diabetes-related respiratory arrest on 6/17/1986, age 79
1924 ● Big Maybelle / (Mabel Louise Smith) → R&B singer known for her early version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1955) and the hit “Candy” (R&B #11, 1956), died in a diabetic coma on 1/23/1972, age 47
1929 ● Sonny James / (James Hugh Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop crooner/songwriter, “Young Love” (#1, Country #1, 1957), scored a five-year run of 16 back-to-back #1 country hits (among 23 total #1’s and 72 country chart hits from the late 50s through the early 80s), died of natural causes on 2/22/2016, age 87
1930 ● Little Walter / (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist (“My Babe,” R&B #1, 1955) and the first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound and became the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died from a coronary blood clot on 2/15/1968, age 37
1939 ● Judy Collins / (Judith Marjorie Collins) → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter best known for her version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → Versatile Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (#2, 1977), backing vocals for Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie and others, married to singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (1973 – 1980)
1945 ● Carson Whitsett → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, Stax and Malaco Records session musician, worked with or wrote songs for Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Etta James and many others, including the adult Contemporary hit “Why Not Me” for Fred Knobloch (#18, AC #1, 1980), died from brain cancer on 5/8/2007, age 62
1945 ● Reather Dixon / (Reather Dixon Turner) → With four other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s, died from cardiac arrest on 1/7/2014, age 69
1946 ● Jerry Weiss → Trumpet and flugelhorn player and founding member of jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), left by 1970 for an unsuccessful solo career
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → Bassist for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → Guitarist, songwriter, producer and bandleader, sessions with The Spinners, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and others, formed Raydio in 1977, “Jack And Jill” (#8, 1978), wrote and performed the movie theme song “Ghostbusters” (#1, 1984)
1957 ● Rick Driscoll → Guitar and vocals for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1957 ● Steve Farris → Guitarist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Phillip Smith → Saxophone for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Owen Paul / (Owen Paul McGee) → Scottish pop-rock singer, “My Favourite Waste Of Time” (UK #3, 1986), sessions and touring with Mike + The Mechanics
1966 ● Johnny Colt → Original bassist for raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), left to form rock trio Brand New Immortals, then modern rock Train, “Drops Of Jupiter” (#5, 2001)
1967 ● Tim McGraw / (Samuel Timothy Smith) → Hugely popular Grammy-winning neo-traditional country star with 22 country #1 hits, including “It’s Your Love” (Country #1, 1997), husband of Faith Hill and son of former baseball pitcher Tug McGraw
1968 ● D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Bass guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1970 ● Bernard Butler → Guitar and vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996), solo, duet with David McAlmont, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1977 ● Dan Regan → Trombone and vocals for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), currently in hip hop side project under the pseudonym Black Casper
1978 ● Nick Traina / (Nicholas John Steel Toth) → Son of author Danielle Steel and lead singer for punk band Link 80, died from a self-administered morphine overdose on 9/20/1997, age 19
1978 ● Chris Kelly → Vocals for teenage rap sensation Kris Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), partner Chris Smith and he were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song, died from a suspected drug overdose on 5/1/2013, age 35

May 02
1924 ● Theodore Bikel → Austrian-American actor and respected folk singer/songwriter, appeared in numerous West End London and Broadway shows, feature films and TV shows, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and issued multiple albums of mostly Jewish folk songs, current president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and former president of the Actor’s Equity
1929 ● Link Wray / (Frederick Lincoln Wray) → Rock and rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, “fuzz” and power chord guitar pioneer, “Rumble” (#16, 1958), Rolling Stone magazine’s 67th greatest guitarist of all time, died of heart failure on 11/5/2005, age 76
1933 ● Bunk Gardner / (John Gardner) → Reeds and woodwinds for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), backing band for Zappa‘s solo albums, reformed as Grandmothers in 80s
1936 ● Engelbert Humperdinck / (Arnold George Dorsey) → The “King of Romance”, MOR crooner and balladeer with 13 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, “After The Lovin'” (#8, 1977)
1944 ● Bob Henrit → Journeyman Brit drummer for art/hard rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1984, “Do It Again” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1984), session work for Dave Davies, Leo Sayer and others
1945 ● Bianca Jagger / (Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger) → Wife of Mick Jagger, social activist, actress, fashion icon
1945 ● Goldy McJohn / (John Raymond Goadsby) → Keyboards for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Judge Dread / (Alexander Minto Hughes) → Blue-eyed ska and reggae singer with six UK Top 15 singles, including “Big Six” (UK #1, 1972) and a record 11 songs banned from the BBC, collapsed and died from a heart attack while leaving the stage following a performance in Canterbury, England on 3/13/1998, age 52
1945 ● Randy Cain → Vocals for “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), formed pop-soul Blue Magic, “Sideshow” (#8, R&B #1, 1974), died at home from undisclosed causes on 4/9/2009, age 63
1946 ● Lesley Gore / (Lesley Goldstein) → Girl Group-era solo teenage pop singer/songwriter who had four Top 10 hits when she was 17 years old, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963), “Judy’s Turn To Cry” (#5, 1963), “She’s A Fool” (#5, 1963) and “You Don’t Own Me” (#2, 1964), continued to record and write songs into the 00s, hosted the PBS television series In The Life promoting LGBT issues, died from lung cancer on 2/16/2015, age 68
1948 ● Larry Gatlin / (Larry Wayne Gatlin) → Country-pop solo star in the 70s with 10 Country Top 40 hits, then frontman for Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured and performed as a trio into the 00s, continues to tour as a solo acoustic act in the 10s
1950 ● Lou Gramm / (Louis Grammatico) → Vocals for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), then formed Christian-rock Lou Gramm Band
1951 ● John Glascock → Bassist in prog rock quintet Carmen, left in 1975 to join Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), died from complications of a genetic heart valve condition on 11/17/1979, age 28
1954 ● Prescott Niles → Bassist for pop-rock The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Jo Callis / (John William Callis) → Synthesizer, keyboards and guitar for punk rock Rezillos, wrote “Top Of The Pops” (UK #17, 1978), then joined New Wave synth-pop Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1961 ● Dr. Robert / (Bruce Robert Howard) → Lead singer, guitar, piano and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1962 ● Alain Johannes / (Alain Johannes Moschulski) → Multi-instrumentalist musician and founding member of 90s alt rock Eleven (“Rainbows End,” 1991), later producer for hard rock Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and others
1967 ● David McAlmont → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, duet with Bernard Butler, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Ben Leach → Keyboards and synthesizer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), then joined electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1984 ● Rose Falcon → Singer and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by Faith Hill, country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” #2, Country #1, 2009) and others, her songs have been used in films, TV show and advertising commercials
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Smile” (#49, UK #1, 2006)

May 03
1903 ● Bing Crosby / (Harry Lillis Crosby) → Vastly popular multi-media megastar singer and actor with thousands of recorded songs, hundreds of albums and dozens of stage and screen roles, “White Christmas” (#1, 1942), died of a heart attack while golfing in Spain on 10/14/1977, age 74
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer and prolific songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, social and environmental activist, beloved American popular music icon and champion of traditional folk music, mentor to younger topical folkies Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie and others, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), issued dozens of solo albums, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” (The Byrds, #1, 1965), “If I Had A Hammer” (Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962) and other folk-pop and folk-rock hits, recorded and toured until the early 10s including with Bruce Springsteen and a Grammy winning album (Pete, 1996), died from natural causes on 12/27/2013, age 94
1921 ● Joe Ames / (Joseph Uric) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2007, age 86
1928 ● Dave Dudlley / (David Pedruska) → The “Father of Truck Driving Music”, honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Six Days On The Road” (#32, Country #2, 1963), died from a heart attack on 12/22/2003, age 75
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died from pneumonia on 12/25/2006, age 73
1934 ● Frankie Valli / (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), solo, “Grease” (#1, 1978)
1944 ● Peter Staples → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● John Richardson → Drums and vocals for glam-pop-rock The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (#37, UK #1, 1974)
1950 ● Mary Hopkin → Welsh folk-pop singer and early Apple Records artist, “Those Were The Days” (#2, 1968)
1951 ● Christopher Cross / (Christopher Geppert) → Grammy-winning, flash-in-the-pan pop-rock sing and songwriter with 6 Top 10 hits in three years, including “Arthur’s Theme” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Bruce Hall → Second bassist for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1959 ● David Ball → Multi-instrumentalist for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982)
1964 ● Sterling Campbell → Drummer and session/touring musician, worked with numerous acts, including Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum and David Bowiee, with whom he toured for 14 years
1965 ● Simon Smith → Drummer for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1969 ● Jay Darlington → Keyboardist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), toured with Oasis
1972 ● Josey Scott → Lead singer for rap-metal Saliva, “Always” (#51, Mainstream Rock #2, 2002), sang “Hero” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, the theme song to the film Spider-Man (2002)
1977 ● Eric Church / (Kenneth Eric Church) → Country music singer, songwriter and avid advocate for marijuana legalization (“Smoke a Little Smoke”) with 18 Country Top 20 hits, including “Springsteen” (#19, Country #1, 2012)
1977 ● Joe Gooch → Blues-rock guitarist, joined Ten Years After (“I’d Love To Change The World,” Top 40, 1971) in 2003
1978 ● Paul Banks → English-American lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk revival Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (Alternative Rock #11, 2007)
1979 ● Danny Foster → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Farrah Franklin → Singer, actress and model with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), fired after 5 months, now solo
1981 ● Father John Misty / (Joshua Tillman) → Folk and roots rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer, founding member of indie shoegaze band Saxon Shore in 2001, drummed for Grammy-nominated indie folk Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012, has released 15 LPs and Eps, thirteen as J. Tillman and four under the current moniker Father John Misty

May 04
1922 ● Glenn Snoddy / (Glenn Thomas Snoddy) → Nashville studio recording engineer who inadvertently created the distorted guitar amplification in 1961 that became known as the “fuzz tone” effect in all genres of electric music, but particularly in 60s rock music, including the early and familiar riff on The Rolling Stones‘ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (#1, AUS #1, UK #1, 1965), later opened famed recording studio Woodland Sound in East Nashville and presided over recordings by Neil Young, Kansas, Tammy Wynette and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band until his retirement in 1990, died from undisclosed causes on 5/21/2018, age 96
1923 ● Mr. Skin / (Ed Cassidy) → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeter in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006, age 78
1937 ● Dick Dale / (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The “King of the Surf Guitar”, pioneer of the single-note staccato picking technique, developed reverberation, frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones, “Let’s Go Trippin'” (#60, 1962)
1938 ● Tyrone Davis / (Tyrone Fettson) → Chicago-style smooth soul R&B singer with multiple hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Can I Change My Mind’ (#5, R&B #1, 1968) and “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (#3, R&B #1) but continued to record into the 00s until he suffered a stroke and died five months later on 2/9/2005, age 66
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Tammy Wynette / (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others, died from complications of throat cancer on 8/22/2011, age 69
1943 ● Ronnie Bond / (Ronald Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992, age 49
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia / (Margaret Santiglia) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1945 ● Jojjie Wadenius / (Georg Wadenius) → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Zal Cleminson / (Alistair Cleminson) → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazareth in 1979
1951 ● Jackie Jackson / (Sigmund Esco Jackson) → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1951 ● Mick Mars / (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died on 6/30/1999, age 48
1952 ● Jacob Miller → Up-and-coming Jamaican reggae singer and lead vocalist for the reggae band Inner Circle until his death in a car accident on 3/23/1980, age 27
1956 ● Sharon Jones / (Sharon Lafaye Jones) → R&B/soul and funk singer, lead vocalist and frontwoman for revivalist funk band The Dap-Kings and eight albums starting in 1996, including the Grammy-nominated Give The People What They Want (2014), continued to perform (opened for two Hall & Oates tours in 2015) and record (issued two albums in 2016-16) until shortly before her death from pancreatic cancer on 11/18/2016, age 60
1959 ● Randy Travis / (Randy Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1964 ● Gary Holt → Guitarist and chief songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), since 2011 lead guitarist for thrash metal Slayer (“Hate Worldwide,” #2, 2009)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch
1972 ● Chris Tomlin / (Christopher Dwayne Tomlin) → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music star with multiple CCM hits, including “Our God” (#9, Christian #1, 2010)
1972 ● Mike Dirnt / (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 14 -20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 14
1925 ● Bill Harris / (William Harris) → Guitarist and vocals in pioneering, genre-defining R&B/doo wop The Clovers, “Ting-A-Ling” (R&B #1, 1952) and 18 other R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s plus the crossover “Love Potion No. 9” (#23, R&B #23, 1959), left in 1958 and, following several decades of business successes and failures, died from pancreatic cancer nearly penniless on 12/6/1988, age 63
1932 ● D. L. Menard / (Doris Leon Menard) → The “Cajun Hank Williams,” contemporary Cajun music guitarist, singer, songwriter and frontman for the several bands, including The Louisiana Aces and most recently Jambalaya for over two decades, wrote the oft-covered Cajun standard “The Back Door” (“La Porte En Arrière”), died from multiple cancer and heart-related ailments on 7/27/2017, age 85
1935 ● Loretta Lynn / (Loretta Webb) → Iconic country music star singer/songwriter, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (#83, Country #1, 1970), first female to be named Country Music Entertainer of the Year
1942 ● Tony Burrows → Session singer who, in the spring of 1970, set the record for the most UK Top 10 singles at one time, all with different groups: Edison Lighthouse “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” (#5, UK #10, 1970), White Plains “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, UK #9, 1970), The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding” (#9, UK #6, 1970) and the Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970), also sang lead vocals for The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965), psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), and pop-rock The First Class, “Beach Baby” (#4, UK #13, 1974)
1945 ● Ritchie Blackmore → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple (“Smoke On The Water,” #4, 1973), founded and fronted hard rock Rainbow (“Since You’ve Been Gone,” #57, 1979, and “Stone Cold, “Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) then renaissance-folk-rock Blackmore’s Night
1946 ● Patrick Fairley / (Patrick Fairlie) → Founding member and rhythm guitar for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● June Millington → Guitar and vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1948 ● Larry Ferguson → Keyboardist for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Dennis Byron → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), worked with The Bee Gees during the 70s and ’80s
1949 ● Sonja Kristina → Vocals for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1962 ● Joey Pesce → Keyboardist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985)
1964 ● Vinnie Moore / (Vincent Moore) → Influential shred guitarist and member of Brit hard rock UFO, “Doctor Doctor” (UK #35, 1979) and “The Writer” (Rock #23, 1982), solo
1965 ● Carl Hunter → Bassist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), film producer and academic media professor
1965 ● Sheila Chandra → Vocals for Brit prog rock trio Monsoon, “Ever So Lonely” (UK #12, 1982), then solo
1969 ● Martyn Le Noble → Dutch bassist and founding member of hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), later worked with Jane’s Addiction, The Cult, Scott Welland, Dave Navarro and others
1973 ● David Miller → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1974 ● DaBrat / (Shawta Harris) → Hard-edged MC/urban rapper, “Funkdafied” (#6, Rap #1, 1994), first female hip hop artist with a platinum selling record (Funkdafied, 1994)
1980 ● Win Butler → Lead vocalist and songwriter for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

April 15
1894 ● Bessie Smith → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and an inspiration to many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937, age 43
1933 ● Roy Clark / (Roy Linwood Clark) → Accomplished, multi-instrumentalist country superstar singer/songwriter with nine Country Top 10 albums and nine Country Top 10 hits, including “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, AC #6, Country #9, 1969), but best known as the affable, 23-year host of variety TV show Hee Haw, country music’s answer to the comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, Hee Haw brought him into millions of American homes each week, after 1990 toured lightly and collaborated occasionally until his death from complications of pneumonia on 11/15/2018, age 85
1935 ● Eliot Tiber / (Eliyahu Teichberg) → Abstract artist, interior designer and Catskill Mountains hotel owner credited with saving the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival by issuing a permit to hold the event in Bethel, NY after the nearby town of Wallkill revoked an earlier permit in July 1969, just weeks before the festival kick-off, became the subject of several books and the Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock (2009), died from complications of a stroke on 8/10/2016, age 81
1937 ● Bob Luman → Country, rockabilly and one hit wonder pop crossover singer, “Let’s Think About Livin'” (#7, Country #9, 1960) plus 20 other Country Top 40 hits, died from pneumonia on 12/27/1978, age 41
1939 ● Marty Wilde / (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1939 ● Ronald Dunbar → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, first at Motown Records with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting and production team and later with their spin-off labels, co-wrote “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970) for the Chairmen Of The Board and “Band Of Gold (#3, 1970) for Freda Payne, co-wrote Grammy-winning “Patches” (#4, 1970) for Clarence Carter, moved to George Clinton‘s stable of funk artist and labels and managed artist development off and on for 20 years, then rejoined Eddie Holland in 1998 in his new R%B production company and worked with artists and groups until dying in a doctor’s office from undisclosed causes on 4/8/2018, age 78
1940 ● Satch Satchell / (Clarence Satchell) → Saxophone and guitar for R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975), died from a brain aneurysm on 12/30/1995, age 55
1944 ● Dave Edmunds → Roots-rock guitarist, vocals, songwriter, producer and bandleader for Love Sculpture, solo “I Hear You Knocking'” (#4, 1970), member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe
1947 ● Mike Chapman / (Michael Donald Chapman) → Australian-born songwriter and producer, created the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team with co-writer Nicky Chinn, wrote and produced UK Top 10 hits for Mud, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet, produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1947 ● Wooly Wolstenholme / (Stuart Wolstenholme) → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died on 12/13/2010, age 63
1948 ● Michael Kamen → American composer, arranger and orchestral arranger, collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Lethal Weapon (1987), co-scored Die Hard (1988) plus sequels and multiple other films, worked with Roger Waters, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and others, co-wrote Bryan Adams‘ ballad “(Everything I Do), I Do It for You” (#1, 1991), died from a heart attack on 11/18/2003, age 55
1962 ● Nick Kamen / (Ivor Neville Kamen) → Brit pop-rock model and pop-rock singer, “Each Time You Break My Heart” (UK #5, 1986)
1965 ● Linda Perry → Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocals for indie hard rock 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up?” (#11, 1993), went solo in 1995, wrote “Beautiful” (#2, 2002) for Christina Aguilera, plus other songs for Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Gavin Rossdale
1965 ● Oscar Harrison → Drummer for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1966 ● Graeme Clark → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox → Former pinup tart and teen Page 3 topless model turned pop singer, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” (#3, Dance #1, 1987)
1967 ● Frankie Poullian → Bassist for Brit hard/glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream #35, 2004)
1968 ● Edward John O’Brien → Guitarist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1980 ● Patrick Carney → Founding member and drummer for blues-rock The Black Keys, “Tighten Up” (Alt Rock #1, 2010), produced records for up-and-coming bands and founded independent label Eagle Rock Records

April 16
1924 ● Rudy Pompilli → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died of lung cancer on 2/5/1976, age 51
1924 ● Henry Mancini → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994, age 70
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969, age 40
1929 ● Ed Townsend → Award-winning soul singer and songwriter, wrote and produced the autobiographical Impressions hit “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” (#17, R&B #1, 1974), co-wrote with Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (#2, R&B #1, 1973), had his own hit with “For Your Love” (#13, R&B #7, 1958) and wrote songs for many other soul and pop artists through the 70s, died of a heart attack on 8/13/2003, age 74
1930 ● Herbie Mann / (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died from prostate cancer on 7/1/2003, age 73
1934 ● Robert Stigwood / (Robert Colin Stigwood) → Australian-born music executive and producer, founder of Robert Stigwood Organization and the RSO Records label, manager for supergroup Cream and disco-pop The Bee Gees, producer of stage shows Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and the hit films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978) and Evita (1996) starring Madonna, died of natural causes on 1/4/2016, age 81
1935 ● Bobby Vinton / (Stanley Robert Vinton) → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield / (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999, age 59
1943 ● “Lonesome Dave” Peverett / (David Jack Peverett) → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000, age 56
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1945 ● Johnny Sandlin / (John Everett Sandlin) → Bandmate with brothers Duane and Gregg Allman in 60s rock Hour Glass, then joined Capricorn Records as a session musician, later engineered and produced albums for The Allman Brothers Band, including At Fillmore East (#13, 1971) and Eat A Peach (#4, 1972), also worked with Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, Dixie Dregs and Widespread Panic, died from cancer on 9/19/2017, age 72
1947 ● “The Bear” Kerslake / (Lee Kerslake) → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty / (Gerald Rafferty) → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure caused by acute alcoholism on 1/4/2011, age 63
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1953 ● Peter Garrett → Towering Australian musician, politician and activist, frontman and lead vocals from 1975 to 2002 for politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988) , the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 best albums of the 80s, served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little Jimmy” Osmond / (James Arthur Osmond) → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle / (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez, murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, age 23
1973 ● Akon / (Aliaune Thiam) → Senegalese-American R&B/hip hop artist, “I Wanna Love You” (#1, 2006) plus 10 other Top 40 hits, first artist of any genre to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 on two separate occasions, recorded as a guest on over 300 other Top 40 singles

April 17
1926 ● Sam Carr / (Samuel Lee McCollum) → Drummer in electric Mississippi Delta blues trio The Jelly Roll Kings known for his minimalist drum kit, died from congestive heart failure on 9/21/2009, age 83
1931 ● David Axelrod → Top-level 60s and 70s music producer, worked with jazz and R&B artists from Cannonball Adderly to Lou Rawls and varied pop acts as David McCallum and The Electric Prunes, enjoyed a resurgence of sorts when hip hop acts sampled his work in the 90s, died of lung cancer on 2/5/2017, age 85
1934 ● Don Kirshner → Entertainment mogul, led Brill Building songwriting teams, formed The Monkees, owned Kirshner Records (“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, #1, 1969), major concert promoter, TV music show host, died of heart failure 1/17/2011, age 76
1936 ● Pete Graves / (Alexander Graves) → Vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955)
1937 ● Don Buchla / (Donald Buchla) → Berkeley-trained NASA engineer, musician, business entrepreneur and unheralded electronic music pioneer, his many creations were mostly outside of contemporary bounds but included precursors to 80s synthesizers and computer-based keyboard controllers, his “Buchla Box” supplied the sound for Ken Kesey‘s “Acid Tests” and Grateful Dead sounds systems in the 60s, died of cancer on 9/14/2016, age 79
1940 ● Billy Fury / (Ronald Wycherley) → Early British rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Halfway To Paradise”” (UK #3, 1961) and 25 other UK Top 40 singles between 1959 and 1966, starred as rock ‘n’ roller “Stormy Tempest” in the film That’ll Be The Day (1973) with David Essex and Ringo Starr, died of a heart attack on 1/28/1983, age 42
1942 ● Shelly Buchansky → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Roy Estrada → Bassist for experimental art rock Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), co-founded Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), left after their first two albums to rejoin various Zappa projects, currently serving 25 years without parole for sexually abusing a child on several occasions
1945 ● Tony Crane → Founding member, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1948 ● Jan Hammer → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck Group, composed and performed TV’s “Miami Vice Theme” (#1, 1985)
1948 ● Graham Bell → Brit pop-rock vocalist as a solo act and bandmember, started with psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the 60s, recorded the rock opera Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra, joined jazzy prog rock Every Which Way and formed pop-rock Bell & Arc in the 70s, toured with and did session work for Long John Baldry, Jackie Lomax and others, died of cancer on 5/2/2008, age 60
1954 ● Michael Sembello → Producer, composer, session guitarist for many pop-rock acts, solo one hit wonder singer, “Maniac” (#1, 1983) from the film Flashdance (1983)
1955 ● Pete Shelley / (Peter McNeish) → Founder, lead guitar, principal songwriter and vocals for early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, went solo in 1981, “On Your Own” (Dance/Club #10, 1986)
1957 ● Afrika Bambaataa / (Kevin Donovan) → Proto-rap hip-hop DJ and electro-funk artist, “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), Zulu Nation spiritual leader
1964 ● Maynard James Keenan → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead vocalist for Grammy-winning prog-metal band Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006) plus side project alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003)
1967 ● Liz Phair → Lo-fi indie pop-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Why Can’t I?” (#32, Top 40 #10, 2004)
1967 ● Matt Chamberlain → Widely-heard session drummer, played on over 200 albums with rock and pop bands such as Christina Aguilera, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, David Bowie, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Morrissey, Pearl Jam, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, John Mayer, William Shatner and many others
1970 ● Redman / (Reginald Noble) → Actor, producer and funk/reggae-tinged rapper, “How High” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), worked with Method Man on the 1999 album Blackout!, featured on Christina Aguilera‘s “Dirrty” (#48, UK #1, 2002)
1974 ● Victoria Beckham / (Victoria Adams Beckham) → Vocals and “Posh Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997), married soccer star David Beckham in June 1999

April 18
1918 ● Tony Mottola → Session guitarist for Perry Como, Burl Ives and others, member of Frank Sinatra‘s backing band and Doc Severinsen‘s The Tonight Show house band, one hit wonder easy listening soloist (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” Easy Listening #22, 1968) with dozens of light pop guitar-based albums, died from complications of pneumonia on 8/9/2004, age 86
1924 ● Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown → Grammy-winning electric Texas blues, country, Cajun and R&B guitarist, “Okie Dokie Stomp” (1954), died of emphysema on 9/10/2005, age 81
1935 ● Paul Rothchild / (Paul A. Rothchild) → Boston-area folk album producer, discovered The Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s, moved to Southern California and became central to the development of the L.A. Sound in the 60s and 70s, produced five albums by The Doors, plus various recordings for Janis Joplin, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Love, Bonnie Raitt, The Outlaws and others, died from lung cancer on 3/30/1995, age 59
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, first with post-Buddy Holly & The Crickets, then in the TV show Shindig house band and Elvis Presley‘s backing band, session work for Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others
1941 ● Mike Vickers / (Michael Vickers) → Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, flute and sax) for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then film score composer and session man, played synthesizer on The BeatlesAbbey Road album
1943 ● Clyde Stubblefield / (Clyde Austin Stubblefield) → R&B and funk drummer with Eddie Kirkland and Otis Redding in the early 60s, then joined James Brown‘s band in 1965 and created memorable funk rhythm patterns, including the drum break on “Funky Drummer” (#51, R&B #20, 1970), the most sampled music segment ever, continued to record on his own and with others through the 10s and performed in central Wisconsin until his death from kidney failure on 2/18/2017, age 68
1945 ● Charles Love → Guitarist and founding member of a cappella doo wop group turned early and influential funk and black rock Bloodstone, “Natural High” (#10, R&B #4, 1973) and eleven other charting singles, died from emphysema on 3/6/2014, age 68
1946 ● Skip Spence / (Alexander Lee Spence) → Early guitarist for psych-folk Quicksilver Messenger Service, left to become original drummer for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), left to form eclectic psych-rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), went solo in 1969, died from lung cancer on 4/16/1999, age 52
1946 ● Lennie Baker / (Leonard J. Baker) → Saxophonist in a later lineup of 50s rock ‘n’ roll Danny & The Juniors, joined “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975) in 1970 and played saxophone and sang with the group for 30 years on stage, film and TV, died from an unspecified infection on 2/24/2016, age 69
1958 ● Andy Kyriacou → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● Les Pattinson → Bassist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1959 ● Richard Lyons / (Richard Duaine Lyons) → Founding member of avant-garde, sonic experimentation and collage sound cult band Negativland, since 1980 the band has released nearly two dozen LPs and EPs and hosted a weekly live radio program, Over The Edge, on KPFA in Berkeley, CA, all featuring sound bites, music sampling, distortion, dubbing and random noises, died from complications of nodular melanoma on 4/18/2016, age 57
1962 ● Shirlie Holliman → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1963 ● Michael Mangini → Drummer for Canadian thrash metal Annihilator, left to join heavy metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), sessions and Steve Vai backing band
1964 ● Bez Berry / (Mark Berry) → On stage dancer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), left to form and dance for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1970 ● Greg Eklund → Drummer for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1974 ● Mark Tremonti → Guitarist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000), founding member of hard rock Alter Bridge, “Open Your Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Marie-Élaine Thibert → Canadian adult contemporary and teen pop singer, runner-up in the first season of the Quebec singing idol reality show Star Académie, two-time Felix award winner for best female artist in Quebec and one-time Juno award winner for best Francophone album in Canada, her first four albums reached the Top 10 in Canada

April 19
1928 ● Alexis Korner → Major force in early British blues-rock, formed Blues Incorporated with Charlie Watts, then blues-rock ensemble CCS which covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” (#58, 1971), writer and radio DJ, died from lung cancer on 1/1/1984, age 55
1934 ● Dickie Goodman / (Richard Dorian Goodman) → With partner Bill Buchanan, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), plus solo work, “Mr. Jaws” (#4, 1975), died from self-inflicted gun shot wounds on 11/6/1989, age 55
1940 ● Bobby Russell → Country-pop crossover singer with several minor singles, including “Saturday Morning Confusion” (#28, Country #24, 1971), best known for penning several country and pop hits, from Grammy-winning “Little Green Apples” for O. C. Smith (#2, 1968) to “Honey” for Bobby Goldsboro (#1, 1968) and “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1972) for his then-wife Vicki Lawrence, died from coronary artery disease on 11/19/1992, age 52
1942 ● Alan Price → Organist for early line-up of Brit blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left for one hit solo career, “‘Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear” (UK #4, 1967)
1942 ● Larry Ramos / (Hilario Ramos) → Filipino-American guitarist, banjo player and singer with 60s folk-pop vocal ensemble The Association, co-sang two of the group’s hits, “Windy” (#1, 1967) and “Never My Love” (#2, 1967), left in 1975 over musical differences but returned in 1979 and performed with the group until just prior to his death from melanoma on 4/30/2014, age 72
1943 ● Eve Graham / (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1944 ● Bernie Worrell / (George Bernard Worrell, Jr.) → Founding member and keyboards for R&B/soul-funk Parliament-Funkadelic, co-wrote many P-Funk hits with bandleader George Clinton including synth-funk classic “Flash Light” (#16, R&B #1), worked with Talking Heads, Gov’t Mule and Black Jack Johnson among others and fronted the Bernie Worrell Orchestra until his death from lung cancer on 6/24/2016, age 72
1945 ● Michael Stewart → Co-founder and guitarist for folk-pop harmony group We Five “You Were On My Mind” (#3, AC #1, 1965), brother of John Stewart of The Kingston Trio and producer of Billy Joel‘s Piano Man album (#27, 1973), worked as a computer programmer until he committed suicide on 11/13/2002, age 57
1946 ● Tim Curry → Singer, stage and film actor, voice actor, came to prominence as “Dr. Frank N. Futer” in cult classic move The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), later in Annie (1982), Legend (1985), Clue (1985) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (2004)
1947 ● Mark Volman → With long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Kaylan, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Stuart McLean / (Andrew Stuart McLean) → Canadian humorist, author and host of the long-running weekly music and storytelling variety show The Vinyl Café on the CBC, the BBC and dozens of U.S. public radio stations, contracted melanoma in 2015 and suspended production of the show in 2016, died of the disease on 2/15/2017, age 68
1956 ● Gary Langan → Recording engineer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988), record producer
1956 ● Paul Mario Day → Original lead vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden (“Flight Of Icarus,” Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1976 for lack of stage charisma and went on to perform and record with various hard rock bands in New South Wales, Australia
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein → Drummer for jazz-Southern rock fusion Dixie Dregs, later with pop-metal Winger, “Miles Away” (#12, 1990)
1957 ● Tony Martin / (Anthony Harford) → Multi-instrumentalist heavy metal lead singer for Black Sabbathh (“TV Crimes,” UK #33, 1992) in two stints between 1987 and 1997, second longest tenured vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne, issued several solo albums and worked with other metal acts through the 00s
1965 ● Suge Knight / (Marion Knight, Jr.) → Strong-armed co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, served time for parole violation, suspected of involvement in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

April 20
1923 ● Tito Puente / (Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente, Jr.) → The “King of Latin Music,” five-time Grammy-winning virtuoso vibraphonist, bandleader, songwriter and arranger in a 50-year career that brought mamba, cha-cha-cha and “salsa” music to mainstream audiences through albums, nightclubs, radio and movies, appeared in the TV sitcom The Cosby Show in 1983 and the film The Mambo Kings (1992), Latin rock Santana covered his “Oye Como Va” (#13, 1970), died following heart valve surgery on 5/31/2000, age 77
1929 ● Bob Braun → Long-time radio DJ (WLWT-Cincinnati), TV music show host and one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Till Death Do Us Part” (#26, 1962), died from cancer on 1/15/2001, age 71
1932 ● Gerry Granahan → Philadelphia radio DJ, songwriter, Influential rock ‘n’ roll producer and pop-rock singer with the minor hit “No Chemise Please” (#23, 1958), co-wrote “Click Clack” (#28, 1958) and performed the song and others in the fictional band Dickey Doo & The Don’ts, produced “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963) for The Angels and songs for Patty Duke, Jay & The Americans and others, served as an executive with Dot and Paramount Records, continued to perform in the 90s
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson → Country, pop, R&B and adult crossover singer/songwriter, “Poetry In Motion” (#2, 1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston → Original organ player for British Invasion raunch/rock The Small Faces, left for obscurity in 1965 before the band hit notoriety
1947 ● Ken Scott → EMI Studios recording engineer whose first session was The Beatles‘ 1964 A Hard Days Night album, worked on multiple other Beatles albums and hit songs, plus recordings for Manfred Mann, Peter and Gordon, Jeff Beck Group, Procol Harum and others, left in 1969 for Trident Studios where he worked with Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp, America, Lou Reed and others, helped create the harder jazz rock sound typified by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clark and Jeff Beck, moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and produced albums by The Tubes, Devo, Kansas, Level 42 and L.A. punk and hard rock bands, continues to work in studios and talk about the profession
1947 ● Mark Fisher → Brit architect and stage designer known for his elaborate sets for The Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd (The Wall Tour, 1980), Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga and others, died after a long illness on 6/25/2013, age 66
1948 ● Craig Frost → Keyboardist, joined hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1972, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), joined Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band in the early 80s
1951 ● Luther Vandross → Eight-time Grammy-winning R&B/smooth soul singer/balladeer, “Power Of Love/Love Power” (#4, 1986) and duet with Janet Jackson, “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (#10, 1997), died following a stroke and heart attack caused by genetic diabetes and hypertension on 7/1/2005, age 54
1967 ● Mike Portnoy → Drummer for heavy metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992)
1971 ● Mikey Welsh → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005), died of an overdose-induced heart attack in a Chicago hotel on 10/8/2011, age 40
1972 ● Carmen Electra → Erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Baywatch beach tart and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1972 ● Ziggy Marley / (Stephen Robert Nesta Marley) → Grammy-winning roots reggae/ska singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), son of reggae superstar and icon Bob Marley
1974 ● Tina Cousins → Fashion model turned dance-pop diva with five UK Top 20 singles, including “Killin’ Time” (UK #15, 1999)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 31 – April 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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 ● Lefty Frizzell / (William Orville 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 ● 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)
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
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 ● Mick Ralphs / (Michael Geoffrey 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 ● Al Nichol / (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 ● Al Goodman / (Willie Albert 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 songwriter and 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 ● Debbie Reynolds / (Mary Frances 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 ● Phil Margo → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
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
1944 ● Frank Gari / (Frank Garofal)) → 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 ● Ronnie Lane / (Ronald Frederick 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 / (Ella McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

April 02
1912 ● Herbert Mills → Tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, performed with his last remaining brother, Donald until his death on 4/12/1989, age 77
1917 ● Lou Monte / (Louis Scaglione) → Novelty pop crooner and guitarist best known for his Italian-American dialect in parodies and children’s songs, including “Pepino The Italian Mouse” (#5, 1963) and the Christmas standard “Dominic The Donkey,” died on 6/12/1989, age 72
1928 ● Serge Gainsbourg / (Lucien Ginsburg) → French provocateur, ladies man and pop singer, duet with ingénue Jane Birkin, “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” (#69, UK #1, 1970), the first foreign language UK chart topper, died of a heart attack on 3/2/1991, age 62
1938 ● Warner Mack / (Warner MacPherson) → Country music singer with fourteen Country Top 20 hits and two crossover minor singles from 1957 to 1970, including the self-penned debut single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You)” (#61, Country #9, 1957)
1939 ● Marvin Gaye / (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → Grammy-winning, highly talented and revered R&B/soul pioneer, first with R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, then Motown solo vocalist, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1, 1968), transformed to beloved social commentator, “What’s Goin’ On” (#1, 1973), shot dead by his father in a domestic dispute on 4/1/1984, age 43
1942 ● Parrot Castrodale / (Phil Castrodale) → First tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Leon Russell / (Claude Russell Bridges) → Multi-instrumentalist, in-demand sessionman for multiple top-name rock artists on hundreds of albums in nearly every genre of pop and rock music, songwriter with dozens of hits recorded by others, including over 100 covers of Grammy-winning “A Song For You” (1970), bandleader for Joe Cocker‘s backing group, producer for albums by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and others, scratchy-voiced solo artist with two Top 20 hits (“Tight Rope,” #11, 1972 and “Lady Blue,” #14, 1975), recorded and performed until health issues forced his retirement, died in his sleep from heart failure on 11/13/2016, age 74
1943 ● Larry Coryell / (Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III) → Virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, started with Free Spirits and Gary Burton in the 60s, formed seminal fusion band The Eleventh House in the 70s, flipped between jazz and rock, electric and acoustic for the balance of his career and played alongside John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce and Charles Mingus, composed operas in his later years and died from heart failure in a New York City hotel while on tour on 2/19/2017, age 73
1944 ● Barry Pritchard → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died following a heart attack 1/11/1999, age 54
1946 ● Kurt Winter → Guitarist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), joined in 1970 to replace founder Randy Bachman, co-wrote “Hand Me Down World” (#17, 1970), left in 1974 to start a mattress business, died from kidney failure on 12/14/1997, age 51
1947 ● Emmylou Harris → Grammy-winning traditional- and neo-country singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, collaborator, solo artist , “Sweet Dreams” (Country #1, 1976)
1949 ● David Robinson → Drummer for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave synth-pop/guitar rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978)
1949 ● Richard Thompson → Folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, founding member of renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo, duo with wife Linda
1952 ● Dave Bronze → Session and touring bassist for Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies. Belinda Carlisle, Procol Harum and many others
1952 ● Leon Wilkeson → Bassist, backing vocals and occasional songwriting for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died from liver and lung failure on 7/27/2001, age 49
1956 ● Gregory Abbott → One hit wonder R&B/soul-urban pop-quiet storm singer/songwriter, “Shake You Down” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward → Founding member and vocals for hugely successful Brit synth-dance-pop girl group Bananarama, covered “Venus” (#1, 1986)
1966 ● Garnett Silk / (Garnett Damoin Smith) → Rising star Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer and Rastafarian, “Hey Mama Africa” (UK #1, 1992), died trying to save his mother in an accidental house fire on 12/16/1996, age 28
1967 ● Greg Camp → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1971 ● Chico / (Yousseph Slimani) → Welsh Latin pop singer, “It’s Chico Time” (UK #1, 2006), reached the semi-finals of the 2005 season of the UK series The X Factor
1979 ● Jesse Carmichael → Keyboards for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1981 ● Scott Cain → Australian singer and winner of the third Australian Popstars competition, “I’m Moving On” (Aus. #1, 2002)
1983 ● Yung Joc / (Jasiel A. Robinson) → Hardcore/gangsta rapper, “It’s Goin’ Down” (#3, 2006)

April 03
1922 ● Doris Day / (Doris Von Kappelhoff) → Award-winning, virginal film heroine and family TV hostess, pop singer, “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” (#2, 1956)
1928 ● Don Gibson / (Donald Eugene Gibson) → Traditional and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (#7, Country #1, 1958) plus over 40 other Country Top 25 hits between 1956 and 1978, died 11/17/2003, age 75
1931 ● Gil Robbins / (Gilbert Lee Robbins) → Folk guitarist and singer, Air Force band conductor and member of the Cumberland Three with future Kingston Trio member John Stewart, joined the Harry Belafonte Singers and recorded five albums with The Highwaymen in the early 60s, acted in off-Broadway plays, including Month of Sundays (1968), How to Steal an Election (1968) and Mississippi Moonshine (1975)., father of actor Tim Robbins, died from prostate cancer on 4/5/2011, age 80
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff / (James Harrell McGriff) → Soul-jazz organist and bandleader, “All About My Girl” (#50, R&B #12, 1963), died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 5/24/2008, age 72
1938 ● Jeff Barry / (Joel Adelberg) → Brill Building pop-rock songwriter, singer, record producer, husband of noted songwriter Ellie Greenwich, with whom he co-wrote “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Leader Of The Pack” for The Shangri-Las (#1, 1964) and “I Can Hear Music” for The Beach Boys (#24, 1969), among dozens of other 60s hits
1938 ● Philippé Wynne / (Philippé Walker) → Co-lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, left in 1977 for a largely unsuccessful solo career, died of a heart attack on a nightclub stage on 7/14/1984, age 46
1941 ● Jan Berry / (William Jan Berry) → Singer in seminal surf music duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), died on 3/26/2004 after years of poor health following a 1966 auto accident, age 63
1942 ● Wayne Newton / (Carson Wayne Newton) → Stage and screen star, pop music solo act, “Danke Schoen” (#13, Adult Contemporary #3, 1963), consummate Las Vegas showman and local real estate tycoon
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal → Light country-rock and pop singer, “Down In The Boondocks” (#9, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, then ten Country Top 20 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured regularly until he died in his sleep on 10/6/2015, age 73
1943 ● Joe Vann / (Joseph Canzano) → Lead vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died 2/28/1984, age 40
1943 ● Richard Manuel / (Richard George Manuel) → Canadian-born keyboardist, occasional drummer, songwriter and tenor vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970) (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), committed suicide in a Florida motel room following a performance on 3/4/1986, age 42
1943 ● Artie Traum / (Arthur Roy Traum) → Award-winning Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk and smooth jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with ten solo albums, another four with his brother, Happy Traum, and numerous appearances and production credits with The Bandd, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, James Taylor and many others, later career as a documentary filmmaker, died from liver cancer on 7/20/2008, age 65
1944 ● Lois Wilkinson → With partner Andrea Simpson, one half of the British Invasion pop-rock girl duo The Caravelles, “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry” (#3, 1963)
1944 ● Tony Orlando / (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM Pop star singer, leader of the vocal group Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971), Las Vegas showroom icon
1946 ● Dee Murray / (David Murray Oates) → Bassist for numerous rock and pop acts, most notably the Elton John band, died from a stroke after a long bout with cancer on 1/15/1992, age 45
1951 ● Mel Schacher → Bassist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966), then formed hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1956 ● Judie Tzuke / (Judith Myers) → UK pop singer/songwriter, “Stay With Me Till Dawn” (1979) ranks #39 of 50 top songs in the BBC Best of British – 50 Golden Years of Popular Music from 2002
1961 ● Eddie Murphy / (Edward Regan Murphy) → Stand-up comedian, comic screen actor (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Saturday Night Live cast member, sometime pop singer, “Party All The Time” (#2, 1985)
1962 ● Mike Ness / (Michael James Ness) → Co-founder, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996)
1962 ● Simon Raymonde → Bassist for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1963 ● Christopher Michael “Criss” Oliva → Co-founder with his brother Jon and lead guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns,” Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), died at the peak of the band’s popularity in a car collision caused by a drunk driver on 10/17/1993, age 30
1968 ● Sebastian Bach / (Sebastian Bierk) → Canadian-born frontman and lead vocals for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1996 for a moderately successful solo recording and Broadway and TV acting career
1970 ● Matthew Priest → Drummer for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1974 ● Drew Shirley → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1985 ● Leona Lewis → Contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “Bleeding Love” (#1, 2007), won the third series of Britain’s The X Factor in 2006, Billboard magazine’s “Top New Artist” for 2008

April 04
1913 ● Frances Langford → Hollywood actress and singer, introduced the since oft-covered “I’m In The Mood For Love” in 1935, veteran of Bob Hope‘s USO tours during World War II, starred in multiple pre- and post-war musicals, appeared on TV as a host or guest on numerous variety programs through the early 60s, died from congestive heart failure on 7/11/2005, age 92
1915 ● Muddy Waters / (McKinley Morganfield) → Grammy-winning Chicago blues giant, “Mannish Boy” (R&B #5, 1955), major inspiration for the British blues-rock explosion of the 60s, Rolling Stone magazine #17 Greatest Artist of All Time, died in his sleep from heart failure on 4/30/1983, age 68
1922 ● Elmer Bernstein → Golden Globe, Emmy and Academy Award-winning film score composer and music conductor with a 50-plus year career and over 200 film scores and TV themes, among them The Magnificent Seven (1960, also used in Marlboro cigarette ads), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Airplane! (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and various National Geographic specials, died of cancer on 8/18/2004, age 82
1928 ● Maya Angelou / (Marguerite Annie Johnson) → One of the most important African-American authors, artists, social activists and educators of all time, wrote the best-selling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) and seven autobiographies, three books of essays, numerous books of poetry, screenplays, and recorded a single album of calypso music, Miss Calypso (1957), died from natural causes on 5/28/2014, age 86
1932 ● Clive Davis → Hugely successful, Grammy-winning record company executive responsible for signing and promoting many of rock and pop music’s biggest names over a five-decade career, first with Columbia Records which he transformed into a rock music powerhouse in the 70s, then with upstart Arista Records and his own label, J Records, more recently as Chairman and CEO of RCA Music Group and chief creative officer for Sony Music Entertainment
1936 ● Margo Sylvia → Vocals and songwriter for R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957), died on 10/29/1991, age 55
1938 ● Declan Mulligan → Irish guitarist for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964)
1938 ● Michael Parks → One hit wonder pop singer and TV actor with various smaller roles in the 60s, best known as the star of the series Then Came Bronson (1969-1970) and for singing the theme song for the show, “Long Lonesome Highway” (#20, 1969), appeared in over two dozen films through 2015
1939 ● Major Lance → Chicago good-time R&B/soul singer, “The Monkey Time” (#8, R&B #2, 1963), died of heart failure on 3/9/1994, age 55
1939 ● Hugh Masekela / (Ramapolo Hugh Masekela) → The “father of South African jazz ,” trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and singer best known in the U.S. as a one hit wonder pop artist for his instrumental hit “Grazing In The Grass” (#1, R&B #1, CAN #6, 1968), issued over 50 albums during his career, many during a 30-year exile from his homeland for his anti-apartheid views and music, played with other African musicians on Paul Simon‘s Graceland tour in the mid-80s, continued to record and perform until his death from prostate cancer on 1/23/2018, age 78
1940 ● Sharon Sheeley → Successful early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter, wrote “Poor Little Fool” for Ricky Nelson (#1, 1958) and “Somethin’ Else” for Eddie Cochran (#58, 1959), was Cochran’s “unofficial fiancé” and survived the taxi crash that killed Cochran in 1960, died following a cerebral hemorrhage on 5/17/2002, age 62
1941 ● Michael Z. Gordon → Musician, composer, record producer and film screenwriter, frontman and songwriter for two contemporaneous surf-rock bands in the 60s, The Routers (“Let’s Go (Pony),” #19, 1962) and The Marketts (“Out Of Limits,” #3, 1964), later composed music for multiple TV shows and feature films, including the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction (1994)
1942 ● Kris Jensen / (Peter Kristian Jensen) → One hit wonder pop singer with J.D. Loudermilk‘s “Torture” (#1, 1962), a song The Everly Brothers turned down, recorded several dozen other songs without success and drifted into obscurity in the late 60s
1945 ● Knox Carnochan / (Ian Carnochan) → Founding member and vocals for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1946 ● Dave Hill → Lead guitarist and backing vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1948 ● Pick Withers / (David Withers) → Original drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983), left the band in 1982
1948 ● Berry Oakley / (Raymond Berry Oakley III) → First bassist for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” (#77, 1972), died in a motorcycle accident on 11/11/1973, age 24
1949 ● Junior Braithwaite / (Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite) → Co-founding member and vocals for roots reggae The Wailers, left Jamaica in 1964 to pursue a medical career in Chicago, returned in 1984 for a Wailers reunion album and tour, murdered on 6/2/1999, age 50
1950 ● Pip Pyle / (Phillip Pyle) → Journeyman drummer for several Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion bands over a 40 year career, including Gong, Hatfield And The North, In Cahoots and National Health in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, died on 8/28/2006, age 56
1951 ● Steve Gatlin → Elementary school teacher turned country music singer, first with Tammy Wynette‘s band and later with brothers Larry and Rudy in Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, issued two albums as a solo artist and currently tours as a motivational speaker
1951 ● Graeme Kelling → Guitarist in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), died from pancreatic cancer on 6/10/2004, age 53
1952 ● Gary Moore → Guitarist for Irish blues-rock band Skid Row, plus three short stints with hard rock Thin Lizzy, “Waiting For An Alibi” (UK #9, 1979), solo, “Still Got The Blues” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1990), found dead in his vacation hotel room in Spain on 2/6/2011. age 58
1962 ● Craig Adams → Bassist and songwriter for goth-rock The Sisters of Mercy, then hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989) and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990),
1963 ● David Gavurin → Guitarist for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1963 ● Nigel Preston → Founding member and drummer for post-punk/goth rock The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary” (UK #15, 1985), fired from the band for erratic behavior, worked with Nile Rodgers and DeLuca before a prison stint for armed robbery, died from a drug overdose on 4/1/1992, age 29
1966 ● Mike Starr → Original bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from an apparent methadone overdose on 3/8/2011, age 44
1968 ● Mark Yates → Guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1970 ● Mix Master Mike Schwartz / (Michael Schwartz) → DJ for hardcore punk then blue-eyed hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1972 ● Jill Scott → Actress (as Big Mama Thornton in Hounddog, 2007), poet, songwriter and R&B/soul singer, “A Long Walk” (#43, R&B #9, 2001)
1972 ● Magnus Sveningsson → Bassist for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Kelly Price → R&B/pop singer, backing vocals for Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans, Mase and Notorious B.I.G., and solo, “Friend Of Mine” (#12, 1998)
1974 ● Andre Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1975 ● Phil A. Jimenez → Vocals and percussion for post-grunge Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” (Modern Rock #7, 2001)
1978 ● Lemar Obika → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, appeared on BBC TV talent show Fame Academy, “Dance (With You)” (UK #3, 2002)
1980 ● Johnny Borrell → Guitar and vocals for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)

April 05
1906 ● Lord Buckley / (Richard Myril Buckley) → Sophisticated and influential Beat poet, comedian, stage performer, spoken word recording artist and proto-rapper, influenced Lenny Bruce, Wavy Gravy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett, died following a stroke on 11/12/1960, age 54
1911 ● Goddard LiebersonColumbia Records executive responsible for introducing the long-play record (LP) at the label in the early 50s, served as president of Columbia/CBS from 1956 to 1971 and from 1973 to 1975 and as president of the Recording Industry Association of America from 1964 to 1977, died from cancer on 5/29/1977, age 66
1922 ● Gale Storm / (Josephine Cottle) → TV star in early sitcom My Little Margie (1952-1955) and pop vocalist with three Top 10 hits, including a cover of early rock ‘n’ roller “I Hear You Knockin'” (#2, 1956), found bit parts on TV in he 80s and acted in regional theater, died from natural causes on 6/27/2009, age 87
1928 ● Tony Williams → Former parking lot attendant turned lead tenor for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, left the group in 1960 for a mildly successful solo career, died of emphysema on 8/14/1992, age 64
1929 ● Joe Meek / (Robert George Meek) → Brit 60s rock ‘n’ roll record producer, songwriter and film composer, produced The Tornados‘ hit “Telstar” (#1, 1961) among others, committed suicide after murdering his landlady on 2/3/1967, age 37
1931 ● “Cowboy Jack” Clement / (Jack Henderson Clement) → Country, pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and producer, “discovered” rockabilly Jerry Lee Lewis while working at Sun Records and produced Lewis‘s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (#3, Country #1, R&B #1, 1957), wrote “Guess Things Happen That Way” for Johnny Cash (#11, Country #1, 1958), from the 50s to the late 80s produced hundreds of albums for Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, U2 and many others, died from liver cancer on 8/8/2013, age 82
1932 ● Billy Bland → One hit wonder R&B singer and songwriter, “Let The Little Girl Dance” (#7, R&B #11, 1960), left the industry in 1963 and currently runs a soul food restaurant in Harlem
1933 ● Reggie Lavong / (Reginald Jerome Nelson) → Smooth-voiced R&B, soul and blues DJ best known as Dr. Jive on WWRL-AM in New York City in the 60s and later on WHAT in Philadelphia, became an executive promoting R&B artists for Capitol, Island and then MCA Records and a small business entrepreneur, moved to the financial world as a Wall Street stock broker before retiring, died from complications of an infection on 9/19/2017, age 84
1934 ● Stanley Turrentine / (Stanley William Turrentine) → The “Sugar Man,” tenor saxophone legend starting with blues and R&B bands in the 50s, played soul-jazz with Jimmy Smith and his own jam bands in the 60s, shifted to jazz fusion in the 70s and recorded albums for the CTI Records jazz label, continued to record and perform through the 90s despite nominal commercial success, died following a stroke on 9/12/2000, age 66
1935 ● “G” Grant / (Peter James Grant) → Brit movie actor turned rock band manager for The Nashville Teens, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and others, co-founder of Swan Song Records, died from a heart attack on 11/22/1995, age 60
1939 ● Ronnie White / (Ronald Anthony White) → Founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, who charted 18 Top 10 hits including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970), introduced Stevie Wonder to Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr., died of leukemia on 8/26/1995, age 56
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick → Important figure in the 60s British folk revival and in the development for electrified folk-rock, first with the Ian Campbell Folk Group and then on fiddle, mandolin, songwriting and vocals for renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), after disbandment in 1979 played in multiple acoustic groups and as a session musician, issued a dozen solo albums through 2010, died from emphysema on 6/3/2016, age 75
1942 ● Allan Clarke → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock harmony group The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters / (Robin Peter Smith) → Folk-pop two hit wonder singer/songwriter, “The Pied Piper” (#4, UK #5, 1966) and “You Were On My Mind” (UK #2, 1967), died following a long illness on 6/8/2010, age 66
1944 ● Nick Caldwell / (Nicholas Caldwell) → Original member of R&B/soul vocal quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980) and 33 other R&B Top 40 hits from 1969 to 1991, continued to perform with the group until his death from congestive heart failure on 1/5/2016, age 71
1946 ● Dave Holland → Drummer with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1948 ● Kent Henry / (Kent Henry Plischke) → Rock guitarist with pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride, #4, 1970) and hard rock Steppenwolf in the 70s, died during intestinal surgery on 3/18/2009, age 61
1950 ● Anna Fältskog / (Agnetha Åse Fältskog) → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop quartet ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Everett Morton → Drummer for multi-racial Brit ska revival band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), “Hand’s Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980)
1954 ● Stan Ridgeway → Frontman and distinctive baritone vocalist for alt indie rock Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (Mainstream Rock #41, 1982), then solo with “Goin’ Southbound” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1961 ● Jacob Slichter → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), authored book So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star (2004)
1964 ● Kid Reid / (Christopher Reid) → With Christopher “Play” Martin, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1966 ● Mike McCready → Lead guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1967 ● Troy Gentry → Country music singer and songwriter, one-half of the rough-hewed country/rock duo Montgomery Gentry (“Roll With Me,” #33, Country #1, CAN #66, 2003), died in a helicopter crash just before a performance near Trenton, NJ on 9/8/2017, age 50
1968 ● Paula Cole → Alt pop-rock dreamy 90s two hit singer/songwriter, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” (#8, 1997) and “I Don’t Want To Wait” (#11. 1997)
1973 ● Pharrell Williams → Grammy-winning rapper, fashion designer, and with Chad Hugo, one half of the hit songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, responsible for multiple pop, hip hop and R&B hits, including Britney Spears‘ “I’m A Slave 4 U” (Dance/Club #4, 2001), worked with Mase, Nelly and Kelis, solo US #1 album The Neptunes Present…Clones
1975 ● Juicy J / (Jordan Michael Houston) → Founding member, producer and MC for Memphis hip hop group Three 6 Mafia, “Stray Fly” (#18, R&B #9, 2005), later solo, “Bandz A Make Her Dance” (#29, Rap #5, 2012), produced tracks and albums for Ludacris, Lil Wayne and others

April 06
1918 ● Shakey Horton / (Walter Horton) → Influential blues harmonica player frequently referred to as “Big Walter,” session musician for Chess Records in Chicago in the 50s, played frequently with Muddy Waters, backed several notable blues musicians on their albums and issued four of his own, toured with Willie Dixon’s All-Stars and made guest appearances on albums by Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, died from heart failure and alcohol abuse on 12/8/1981, age 63
1926 ● Sergio Franchi / (Sergio Franci Galli) → Italian pop ballad crooner, signed to RCA and moved to the U.S. for his debut album (Romantic Italian Songs, #17, 1962), issued 35 albums and made 24 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before his death from a brain tumor on 5/1/1990, age 64
1929 ● André Previn / (André George Previn) → German-American jazz pianist, ten-time Grammy-winning film score composer and conductor for symphony orchestras in Houston, London, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, recorded hundreds of pieces in various genres and is considered one of the most versatile musicians of any era, charted one pop hit, “Like Young” (#46, 1959)
1937 ● Merle Haggard / (Merle Ronald Haggard) → Hugely successful and influential “Bakersfield Sound” traditional country guitarist, singer and songwriter with 38 Country #1 hits, including “Mama Tried” (Country #1, 1968) and “Workin’ Man Blues” (Country #1, 1969), plus 33 other Country Top 10 singles and ten crossover hits, inspired The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello and over 400 covers of “Today I Started Loving You Again,” died from pneumonia on 4/6/2016, his 79th birthday
1940 ● Don Myrick / (Donald Myrick) → Jazz-funk saxophonist, original member of Phoenix Horns Esq., the horn section for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), later session work for Phil Collins (sax solo on “One More Night,” #1 , 1985), Carlos Santana, Heaven 17 and others, died after being accidentally shot by a police officer during a narcotics investigation on 7/30/1993, age 53
1941 ● Phil Austin → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre and the voice of the group’s best-known character, private eye Nick Danger, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from an aneurysm on 6/18/2015, age 74
1942 ● Anita Pallenberg → Fashion model, sometime actress known for roles in cult movies, 60s and 70s counterculture “It Girl” and muse to rock legends The Rolling Stones, had romantic relations with Brian Jones and, as rumored, with The Rolling Stones before taking up with Keith Richards and bearing two sons and a daughter with him, was exonerated from murder charges when a 17-year old boy shot himself in 1979 with a pistol in her bed in the suburban New York estate she shared with Richards, died from complications of hepatitis C on 6/13/2017, age 75
1944 ● John Stax / (John Edward Lee Fullager) → Original bassist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1947 ● Tony Connor → Drummer for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1951 ● Ralph Cooper → Drummer for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Christopher Franke → German keyboardist and composer for atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1960 ● Warren Haynes → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, sideman and bandleader, founding member of power trio/jam band Gov’t Mule, “Drivin’ Rain” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2002), played with The Allman Brothers Band, David Allan Coe, the Dickie Betts Band, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead plus numerous session and special projects with Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, John Mayall and others
1961 ● Gene Eugene / (Eugene Andrusco) → Canadian-born child actor (TV shows Bewitched, Jake And The Fatman and others), record producer (owner and chief engineer at The Green Room recording studio in Los Angeles), founding member of Christian alt rock supergroup Lost Dogs and frontman for innovative Christian funk-rock Adam Again, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/20/2000, age 38
1962 ● Stan Cullimore / (Ian Peter Cullimore) → Guitarist for Brit jangle guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), author of children’s books
1965 ● Black Francis / (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) → Guitarist and singer with influential alt melodic rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), formed Frank Black and the Catholics in 1993, reunited Pixies in 2004, plus over 10 solo albums.
1968 ● Joe Gittleman → Bassist for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997) and other bands, assistant professor of music at a Vermont college
1978 ● Myleene Klass → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), now TV host and model

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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 ● Dean Mathis / (Louis Aldine Mathis) → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1937 ● 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 / (Zoletta Lynn 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 an 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 Kantner / (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 ● Patty Boyd / (Patricia Anne 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)
1953 ● Kenny Lyons / (Kenneth Leo Lyons) → Founding member and first bassist for Southern hard rock .38 Special (“Caught Up In You,” #10, 1982) on their debut album but left before its release and faded into relative obscurity, died from undisclosed causes in a North Carolina medical center on 5/20/2012, age 59
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 / (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 / (Charley Frank 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 → Nashville-based country and pop music singer and songwriter with over 200 songs recorded by others, 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 12/22/2006, age 63
1945 ● Eric Woolfson / (Eric Norman 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 ● B.J. Wilson / (Brian James 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 / (Robert Stanley 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 ● Grant Hart / (Grantzberg Vernon Hart) → Founding member, co-songwriter and drummer for early post-punk hardcore trio Hüsker Dü (“Makes No Sense At All,” UK Indie #2, 1985), after breakup formed hard rock Nova Mob in 1988 and released several solo al ums in the 90s and 00s, died from liver cancer on 9/13/2017, age 56
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 ● Devin Lima / (Harold 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)

March 19
1928 ● Tom Paley / (Allan Thomas Paley) → Guitarist, banjo and fiddle player who worked with Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly in the 50s, then co-founded and became the witty showman of folk revival stalwarts The New Lost City Ramblers, the band issued 11 albums, performed nationally and is widely credited with spearheading the old-time music craze of the late 50s and early 60s, his music influenced Bob Dylan and he later mentored Jerry Garcia and Ry Cooder on the acoustic guitar and collaborated with others in various folk music projects, died from failing health on 9/30/2017, age 89
1937 ● Frogman Henry / (Clarence 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 ● Ruth Pointer → Vocals for R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
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
1952 ● Derek Longmuir → With his older brother, Alan, founding member and drummer for Scottish tartan-clad, teen-pop 70s boy group Bay City Rollers, left the music industry in 1981 after appearing on all nine BCR albums, worked as a hospital nurse until convicted of possessing child pornography (a charged he and his family denied), later reinstated to the nursing registry
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 ● Phil Mitchell / (Philip Henry Mitchell) → Bass guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Ricky Wilson / (Ricky Helton 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 ● Ozzie Nelson / (Oswald George 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 / (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 / (Lawrence Joseph Elgart) → 40s-50s 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 later rode the disco wave with his own medley composition, “Hooked On Swing” (#31, AC #20, 1982), died from natural causes on 8/29/2017, age 95
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 ● 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
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
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 ● Robin Luke / (Robert 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 ● Phonso Martin / (Alphonso 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 ● Shutty Shuttleworth / (David 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 ● Shelly Poole / (Michelle Lena 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), found dead in his home from a suspected suicide on 7/20/2017, age 41
1982 ● Nick Wheeler → Lead guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

March 21
1902 ● Son House, / (Eddie James 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 ● Vivian Stanshall / (Victor Anthony 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 and sought-after session musician, co-founded 60s American eclectic folk-rock cult band Kaleidoscope, 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 ● Sister Rose (aka Rosie Stone) Stewart / (Rosemary 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 ● Butch Norton / (Jonathan 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 ● Share Ross / (Sharon 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 ● Joker Berggren / (Jonas 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 ● Bizzy D Whibley / (Deryck Whibley) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1989 ● Rochelle Humes / (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 ● Stick McGhee / (Granville Henry 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
1925 ● Herb Hardesty / (Herbest Hardesty) → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist noted for his work with Fats Domino and solos on nearly every hit song, including “I’m Walking” (#4, R&B #1, 1957), also recorded or toured with Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits and others over 50 years, performed with Dr. John in various New Orleans festivals until just a few years before his death from cancer on 12/3/2016, age 91
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)
1947 ● Ray Phiri / (Raymond Chikapa Enock Phiri) → South African jazz, fusion and mbaqanga guitarist and vocalist best known for his collaborations with Paul Simon on the Graceland (#3, 1986) and The Rhythm Of The Saints (#4, 1990) albums and on worldwide tours that included The Concert In Central Park (1991) and an appearance on Saturday Night Live, died from lung cancer on 7/12/2017, age 70
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 ● El Duce Hoke / (Eldon 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 ● Abe Laboriel / (Abraham 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 10 -16)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 10
1903 ● Bix Beiderbecke / (Leon Bismark 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 / (Peter 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 / (Tina Hoskins) → Brit R&B/disco dance-pop singer, “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)” (Disco #2, 1976)
1955 ● Bunny DeBarge / (Etterlene DeBarge) → With her four brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
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 ● Jeff Ament → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1963 ● Rick Rubin / (Frederick Jay 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
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 LeCompt → 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 “Joey” Brooks / (Joseph Kaplan) → 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) from the movie same name which he also wrote, directed and scored, and for which he won an Oscar and Grammy Award, was indicted in 2009 for drugging and sexually assaulting 13 women he lured to his apartment for movie auditions but escaped justice by committing suicide on 5/22/2011, age 73
1944 ● Ric Rothwell → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965)
1945 ● Harvey “The Snake” Mandel / (Harvey Mandel) → Blues-rock guitarist with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and others, plus solo
1947 ● Blue Weaver / (Derek 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 / (Robert Gaston McFerrin Jr.) → Grammy-winning virtuoso jazz, pop and classical vocalist, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (#1, 1988)
1950 ● Keith Diamond / (Keith 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 ● Flinto Chandia → Bassist in Brit pop one hit wonder Jimmy The Hoover, “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)” (UK #18, 1983)
1955 ● Nina Hagen / (Catherina Hagen) → German bandleader, songwriter and post-punk dance-pop singer, “New York New York” (Dance/Club #9, 1984), now Christian music singer
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
1964 ● Vinnie Paul / (Vincent Paul Abbott) → Heavy metal drummer and co-founder with brother Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott of thrash metal Pantera (“Planet Caravan,” Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and groove metal Damageplan (“Save Me,” Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), after Darrell died from gunshot wounds when a man stormed the stage and began firing shots at the band and crowd in 2004, formed metal supergroup Hellyeah (“Hell Of A Time,” Mainstream Rock #5, 2010), died in Las Vegas from undisclosed causes during recording sessions for the band’s sixth album on 6/22/2018, age 54
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 / (Paul 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)

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 / (Lejzor Czyz) → 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 / (Wardell Joseph 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 ● Larry 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
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
1946 ● Liza Minnelli / (Liza May Minnelli) → Award-winning stage, film and TV actress with dozens of credits, cabaret-style and jazz pop singer with a deep discography, best known for her non-charting soundtrack single “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 ● Michael 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)
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 ● Les Brown / (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
1914 ● Lee Hays / (Lee Elhardt Hays) → Singer, social activist, founding member and bass vocals for left-leaning, influential and successful folk-pop The Weavers, co-wrote their staples “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” (#19, 1951) and “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” (covered by Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962), collaborated on multiple albums and projects with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and other folk luminaries as well as mentoring younger folk musicians, his wish to have his ashes mixed into his backyard compost pile was fulfilled after his death from diabetic cardiovascular disease on 8/26/1981, age 67
1922 ● Les Baxter / (Leslie Thompson 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 ● “Sugarfoot” Bonner / (Leroy Roosevelt Bonner) → Founding member, frontman and lead guitarist for influential R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, R&B #1, 1975) and six other Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, issued a lone solo album (Sugar Kiss, 1985), died from cancer 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 ● Rick Dees / (Rigdon Osmond 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 Bush / (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 Hanson / (Jordan Taylor Hanson) → Keyboards and vocals for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1988 ● Colby O’Donis / (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 ● Lightnin’ Hopkins / (Sam John 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 / (Albert Edward 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 ● D. J. Fontana / (Dominic Joseph Fontana) → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer who played in Elvis Presley‘s backing band on over 450 songs from 1954 through the Elvis “comeback” TV special in 1968, left when Presley‘s new direction required larger bands and Las Vegas stints, became an in-demand, Hall of Fame session musician in Nashville for three decades, broke his hip in a fall and died from complications several months later on 6/13/2018, age 87
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 ● 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)
1944 ● Ralph MacDonald / (Ralph Anthony 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
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 ● Frank Lugo → Bassist for garage rock ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Ry Cooder / (Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder) → Country-folk-blues-rock session guitarist, member of supergroups Rising Sons and later Little Village, Grammy-winning solo artist
1948 ● Grizzly Nisbett / (Stephen 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 ● Dee Snider / (Daniel 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 ● 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)

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