Posts Tagged rock star birthdays this week

This Week’s Birthdays (June 2 – 8)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 02
1924 ● Maurice Kinn → Music promoter who launched The New Musical Express (NME) in 1952, started first UK singles chart, sold the weekly in 1963, died on 8/3/2000, age 76
1930 ● Vic Firth / (Everett Joseph Firth) → Principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002 and founder (in his garage workshop in the early 60s) and former CEO of the Vic Firth Company, the world’s largest maker of drumsticks and percussion mallets, died at home from natural causes on 7/26/2015, age 85
1932 ● Sammy Turner / (Samuel Black) → Smooth R&B/soul singer known for two remakes of classics, “Lavender-Blue” (#3, 1959) and “Always” (#19, R&B #2, 1959), recorded with Motown starting in the late 60s with limited success
1934 ● Johnny Carter / (John E. Carter) → First tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), in 1964 joined R&B/Chicago soul vocal group The Dells, “Oh, What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), died from lung cancer on 8/21/2009, age 75
1936 ● Otis Williams → Lead vocals and frontman for R&B/doo-wop The Charms, “Ivory Tower” (#11, R&B #5, 1956), left the industry after being drafted in 1960, returned in the 70s as a country music singer, reformed The Charms in the 90s
1937 ● Jimmy Jones → African American country and pop singer/songwriter best known for his one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll single “Handy Man” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Charles Miller → Saxophone and vocals for funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), murdered in L.A. on 6/14/1980, age 41
1941 ● Charlie Watts → Drummer for Blues Incorporated and since 1963 The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), also in boogie-woogie Rocket 88, frontman for various incarnations of the Charlie Watts Band, horse breeder
1941 ● William Guest → Backing vocals in R&B/soul-pop family quartet Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Marvin Hamlisch → Grammy-winning film, theater and pop music composer, arranger, “The Entertainer” (#3, 1973), co-wrote “The Way We Were” for Barbra Streisand (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Ian Hunter / (Ian Patterson) → Founding member, songwriter, keyboards and lead singer for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), then solo, “Cleveland Rocks” (1979), wrote the book Diary Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (1974)
1947 ● Steve Brookins → Founding member and original drummer for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Chubby Tavares / (Antone Lee Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1950 ● Florian Pilkington-Miksa → Original drummer for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974), played in Kiki Dee‘s band, rejoined Curved Air in 2008
1954 ● Michael Steele / (Susan Nancy Thomas) → Bass and vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Bangles, “Manic Monday” (#2, 1986)
1956 ● Danny Wilde → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for legendary power pop bands The Quick, Great Buildings and The Rembrandts, “I’ll Be There For You” (#17, 1995), the theme song from the TV show Friends
1957 ● Simon Phillips → Rock session and backing drummer for Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno,Toto, Judas Priest and others, toured with The Who, co-produced with Mike Oldfield, plus several solo albums
1960 ● Tony Hadley → Vocals for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983), solo
1962 ● Thor Eldon Jonsson → Guitarist for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1962 ● David Cole → Songwriter, vocals, producer and one half of the R&B/electro-dance-pop team C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (#1, 1990), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and others, died from complications of AIDS and spinal meningitis on 1/25/1995, age 32
1964 ● Kerry King → Rhythm guitar for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1965 ● Jeremy Cunningham → Bassist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Samantha Sprackling → Vocals for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1970 ● B Real / (Louis Freese) → Vocals and MC for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1970 ● Dominic Greensmith → Drummer for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1974 ● Kelly Jones → Vocalist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1976 ● Tim Rice-Oxley → Keyboards for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1980 ● Fabrizio Moretti → Drummer for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Irish Grinsted → Vocals with sister LeMisha in hip hop R&B/dance-pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999), American Music Awards “Best New Soul/R&B Artist” for 2000
1985 ● Tavion La’Corey Mathis → Singer for Miami-based R&B/hip-hop quartet Pretty Ricky, “Grind With Me” (#7, 2005)

June 03
1906 ● Josephine Baker / (Freda Josephine McDonald) → Legendary chanson-singing dancer and actress of the 20s and 30s, one of the most successful African American entertainers of her time, left the demeaning U.S. vaudeville circuit for the open-minded Parisian cabaret scene, became a French citizen, a star and a voice against prejudice while performing exotic dances in risqué costumes (or none at all), starred in movies alongside Bob Hope, Fanny Brice and others, became an outspoken figure in the American Civil Rights movement of the 60s, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 4/12/1975, age 68
1924 ● Jimmy Rogers / (James A. Lane) → Chicago-style blues guitarist, singer and harmonica player in Muddy Waters‘ band and with Little Walter Jacobs plus solo, “Walking By Myself” (R&B #14, 1957) and multiple albums including the posthumous Blues Blues Blues (1998) featuring Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Taj Mahal and others, died from colon cancer on 12/19/1997, age 73
1926 ● Allen Ginsburg / (Irwin Allen Ginsburg) → Poet, leading figure in the Beat Generation of the 50s and frequent participant in various hippie events in the 60s, author of the epic poem “Howl,” longtime friend of Bob Dylan with whom he often collaborated with poetry set to music, died from liver cancer on 4/5/1997, age 70
1927 ● Boots Randolph / (Homer Randolph III) → Tenor saxophonist and major contributor to the “Nashville Sound” of pop flavoring within country music in the 50s, 60s and 70s, as a solo artist scored 14 Billboard Top 200 albums and the Top 40 single “Yakety Sax” (#35, 1963), died following a brain hemorrhage a month after the release of his final studio album on 7/3/2007, age 80
1940 ● Charles Fizer → Tenor vocals for 50s/60s doo wop quartet The Olympics (“Western Movies,” #8, R&B #7, 1958), the band’s string of hits largely dried up after he was shot and killed by police during the Watts Riots in Los Angeles on 8/14/1965, age 25
1942 ● Curtis Mayfield → R&B/soul giant, singer, songwriter and composer, member of The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, R&B #1, 1963), solo, “Freddie’s Dead” (#4, R&B #2, 1972), wrote dozens of R&B and pop hits for others, died on 12/26/1999 after years of steadily declining health following an on-stage accident in 1980, age 57
1943 ● Mike Dennis → Second tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1946 ● Eddie Holman → Philly soul, pop and gospel tenor vocalist best known for “Hey There Lonely Girl” (#2, R&B #4, 1970), largely disappeared from the music business in the 80s, became an ordained Baptist minister and occasionally performed into the 00s
1946 ● Michael Clarke / (Michael Dick) → Drummer for seminal country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then Flying Burrito Bros. and light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976), died of liver failure on 12/19/1993, age 47
1947 ● Dave Alexander → Original bassist for influential proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), died from pulmonary edema on 2/10/1975, age 27
1947 ● Mickey Finn / (Michael Hearne) → Percussion for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), died from suspected liver and kidney failure on 1/11/2003, age 55
1950 ● Niecy Williams / (June Deniece Chandler) → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-funk singer and songwriter, worked as a backing singer with Stevie Wonder‘s group Wonderlove, then solo, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (#1, 1984)
1950 ● Suzi Quatro / (Susan Kay Quatrocchio) → Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, iconoclastic if not well-known female rocker, “Stumblin’ In” (#4, 1979)
1952 ● Billy Powell → Keyboards for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died after suffering a heart attack on 6/28/2009, age 56
1954 ● Dan Hill → Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Sometimes When We Touch” (#3, 1978)
1965 ● Mike Gordon → Bass, banjo, piano, harmonica and percussion for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo and award-winning filmmaker
1971 ● Ariel Hernandez → With twin brother Gabriel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Gabriel Hernandez → With twin brother Ariel, vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)

June 04
1937 ● Freddy Fender / (Baldemar Garza Huerta) → Grammy-winning Hispanic country, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll crossover singer and songwriter, his biggest hit “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” (#1, Country #1, 1975) came after a near career-ending stint in prison for marijuana possession, in the 90s joined supergroups The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, died from lung cancer on 10/14/2006, age 69
1940 ● Cliff Bennett → Early beat/rock ‘n’ roll singer and bandleader for The Rebel Rousers, lone hit was a cover of the Lennon/McCartney tune “Got To Get You Into My Life” (UK #6, 1966)
1944 ● Michelle Phillips / (Holly Michelle Gilliam) → Vocals for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1, 1966), wife of late bandmate John Phillips, film and TV actress, solo artist and backing vocals on various songs and albums by Belinda Carlisle, Cheech & Chong, the movie soundtrack to California Dreaming (1979), and others
1944 ● Roger Ball → Saxophonist for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1945 ● Anthony Braxton → Jazz and experimental jazz fusion multi-reedist, bandleader and composer with over 100 albums in a nearly 50 year career, currently a college music professor
1945 ● Gordon Waller → With Peter Asher, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, died of a heart attack on 7/17/2009, age 64
1953 ● Jimmy McCulloch → Scottish rock guitarist and backing vocalist for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), later gigged with John Mayall and Stone The Crows, sessions for John Entwhistle, Peter Frampton and others, played lead guitar for Paul McCartney‘s Wings 1974-77, died from heart failure due to a heroin overdose on 9/27/1979, age 26
1954 ● Raphael Ravenscroft → Welsh session saxophonist, composer and author, recorded the sax break on Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street” (#2, 1975), receiving only an hours’ union wages and no royalties, later worked with Pink Floyd, ABBA, Robert Plant, America and many other artists, and composed film scores and advertising jingles until his death from a heart attack on 10/19/2014, age 60
1956 ● Reeves Gabrels → Multi-genre American virtuoso guitarist, composer and songwriter, collaborated with David Bowie (1987-2000) in Tin Machine, film score musician/producer, multiple session and other collaborative works
1958 ● Gordon Russell → Lead guitar for the mid-80s lineup of Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1958 ● Selwyn Brown → Vocals and keyboards for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978)
1961 ● El Debarge / (Eldra Patrick Debarge) → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1962 ● Steve Grimes → Guitarist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1964 ● Chris Kavanagh → Drummer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1974 ● Stefan Lessard → Bassist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1976 ● Kasey Chambers → Australian country-rock crossover singer/songwriter with three successive Australian #1 albums and seven Aussie Top 10 hits, including “Not Pretty Enough” (Australia #1, 2002)
1987 ● Mollie King / (Mollie Elizabeth King) → Singer, songwriter and member of electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010), signed a solo contract with Island Records in 2015
1990 ● Zachary Farro → Drummer for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

June 05
1926 ● Bill Hayes → Country-pop singer, “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett” (#1, 1955), has played the character Doug Williams on the soap opera Days Of Our Lives continuously since 1970
1941 ● Floyd Lawrence Butler → Vocalist for pop-rock vocal group The Friends Of Distinction, “Grazing In The Grass” (#3, 1969), died after a heart attack on 4/29/1990, age 48
1942 ● Gary DeCarlo / (Gary Richard DeCarlo) → Lead singer on the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” (#1, 1969), a song attributed to the non-existent pop-rock band Steam, died from metastatic lung cancer on /28/2017, age 75
1943 ● Michael Davis → Punk rock and heavy metal bass guitarist best known as an original member of Detroit proto-punk rockers MC5 (“Kick Out The Jams,” 1969), spent time in the 70s in a federal corrections facility on drug charges, paroled and wrote and performed with art noise Destroy All Monsters and other bands, became a visual and design artist, died of liver failure on 2/17/2012, age 68
1945 ● Don Reid → Lead vocals in country-gospel-pop crossover harmonic quartet The Statler Brothers (“Flowers On The Wall,” #4, Country #2, 1965), he and his older brother, Harold were the only brothers in the group and no one was named Statler, following the band’s retirement in 2002 began writing fiction novels and autobiographies
1946 ● Freddie Stone → Guitarist with his brother Sly and sisters Rosie and Vet in funk-rock Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), now a California pastor
1946 ● John Du Cann → Progressive rock guitarist, played with several hard rock bands and founded psych-rock Andromeda in the 60s, joined Atomic Rooster (“The Devil’s Answer,” UK #4, 1971) in 1970, then tried a solo career (“Don’t Be A Dummy,” UK #33, 1979) in between stints for Thin Lizzy and a reformed Atomic Rooster, died from a heart attack on 9/21/2011, age 65
1947 ● Laurie Anderson → Multimedia avant-garde performance artist and one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “O Superman” (UK #2, 1981)
1947 ● Tom Evans → Bass, vocals and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger, “Day After Day” (#4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 11/9/1983, age 36
1948 ● Frank Eslersmith → Keyboards for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981), died on 3/1/1991, age 42
1950 ● Ronnie Dyson / (Ronald Dyson) → Lead actor/singer in the Broadway musical Hair, “Good Morning Starshine” (#3, 1969) and then Philly soul balladeer, “(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can’t I Touch You?” (#8, R&B #9, 1970), died from heart failure on 11/10/1990, age 40
1954 ● Nicko McBrain / (Michael Henry McBrain) → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1954 ● Pete Erskine / (Peter Erskine) → Session percussionist and journeyman jazz and jazz-rock fusion session drummer, worked with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Weather Report and the Brecker Brothers, among others
1956 ● Kenny G. / (Kenneth Bruce Gorelick) → Grammy-winning, hugely successful smooth jazz/adult contemporary saxophonist, composer and bandleader, “Songbird” (#4, 1987)
1956 ● Richard Butler → Vocals and frontman for Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981), then formed Love Spit Love, “Am I Wrong?” (#83, 1994)
1964 ● Maggie Dunne / (Margaret Dunne) → Guitar and vocals for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1965 ● Stefan Schönfeldt → Bassist for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1969 ● Brian McKnight → Multi-instrumentalist producer and R&B/smooth soul singer and songwriter, “Back At One” (#1, 1999), collaborator with Mariah Carey, Vanessa Williams, Rascal Flatts, Christina Aguilera and many others, former talk radio host
1970 ● Clause Noreen → Keyboardist for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content
1971 ● Marky Mark / (Mark Wahlberg) → Early member (with brother Donnie) of 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), left to front hip hop/pop-rap Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch, “Good Vibrations (#1, 1991), now an acclaimed film actor in Boogie Nights (1997), The Perfect Storm (2000), The Shooter (2007), The Fighter (2010) and others
1974 ● Dominic Chad → Lead guitar and backing vocals for post-Brit-pop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)
1974 ● P-Nut Wills / (Aaron “P-Nut” Wills) → Bassist for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996), solo, producer
1979 ● Pete Wentz → Bassist for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)
1981 ● Sebastien Lefebvre → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1990 ● Richard Sohl → Keyboardist, songwriter and arranger known for his long-time association with punk-rock Patti Smith Group (“Because The Night,” #13, 1978), also session work with Iggy Pop, Nina Hagen and others, composed the score to the punk-rock docudrama Final Reward (1978)

June 06
1936 ● Levi Stubbs / (Levi Stubbles) → Vocals for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), died in his sleep on 10/17/2008
1939 ● Gary “U.S.” Bonds (Gary Levone Anderson) / (Gary Levone Anderson) → R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961) and “This Little Girl” (#11, 1981), age 72
1942 ● Howard Kane / (Howard Kirschenbaum) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits
1943 ● Joe Stampley → Louisiana blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader turned country star, fronted swamp rock The Uniques in the late 60s and sang lead on two minor hits, “Not Too Long Ago” (#66, 1965) and “All These Things” (#97, 1966), converted to honky tonk country with a recut of “All These Things” (Country #1, 1976) and 28 other Country Top 10 hits between 1971 and 1989
1944 ● Edgar Froese → Founder, frontman, keyboards and guitarist of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream, solo
1944 ● Peter Albin → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968) and her solo albums
1951 ● Dwight Twilley → Power pop bandleader, singer and songwriter best known for his Top 20 hit “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975) and an otherwise unremarkable career leading the Dwight Tilley Band plus solo efforts
1955 ● Mikel Wallace → Keyboards for reggae/R&B-funk fusion band Third World, “Now That We’ve Found Love” (#47, R&B #9, 1979), shot dead on 7/6/1999, age 44
1959 ● Bobby Bluebell / (Robert Hodgens) → Guitar and frontman for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1993)
1960 ● Steve Vai → Grammy-winning virtuoso rock guitarist, first with Frank Zappa‘s band, then hard rock Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth‘s band, Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), plus numerous albums as solo and bandleader, “I Would Love To” (Mainstream Rock #38, 1990)
1961 ● Dee C. Lee / (Diane Catherine Sealy)) → Vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to join sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “See The Day” (UK #3, 1985)
1961 ● Tom Araya / (Tomas Enrique Araya) → Bass and vocals for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1964 ● Jay Dee Bentley → Co-founder, bassist and songwriter for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1965 ● David White → Guitar and vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1966 ● Gary Newby → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit alt rock/power pop The Railway Children, “Every Beat Of The Heart” (Alt Rock #1, 1990)
1970 ● Munky Shaffer / (James Shaffer) → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1974 ● Uncle Kracker / (Matthew Shafer) → Long time vocals and DJ in Kid Rock‘s band, then rock/hip hop fusion solo career, “Follow Me” (#5, 2001), now country-rock, “Smile” (#31, 2009)
1978 ● Carl Barât → Co-founder, vocals, lead guitar and songwriter for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), solo and pub owner
1978 ● Jeremy Gara → Drummer for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)
1984 ● Chris Tomson → Drummer for New York indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)
1987 ● Kyle Falconer → Lead guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

June 07
1917 ● Dean Martin / (Dino Paul Crocetti) → Film, TV and stage actor, singer, “Memories Are Made Of This” (#1, 1956) and 15 other Top 40 singles, cultural icon and member of the Rat Pack, died of lung cancer on 12/25/1995, age 78
1938 ● Michael Goldstein → Rock music publicist and artist PR agent who represented and promoted multiple top acts in the late 60s and early 70s, including Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead (and claimed to have 10 different acts as clients at the 1969 Woodstock festival), left PR to found The Soho Weekly News in New York City in 1973 as a competitor to The Village Voice, folded the paper in 1982 and tried numerous entrepreneurial ventures over the years until his death from pancreatic cancer on 5/19/2018, age 79
1940 ● Tom Jones / (Tom Woodward) → Grammy-winning, Welsh heartthrob vocalist “She’s A Lady” (#2, 1971) plus 15 other Top 40 singles and, in the 80s, nine Country Top 40 hits
1942 ● Gary Burger → With four other American G.I.’s stationed in Germany, lead guitar for 60s avant-garde garage rock/proto-punk The Monks (1966 LP Black Monk Time), the band broke up in 1968 but reformed in 1999 when their album became a cult classic, died of pancreatic cancer on 3/17/2014, age 71
1944 ● Clarence White / (Clarence LeBlanc) → Acadian guitarist for progressive bluegrass sibling group Kentucky Colonels, then seminal country-pop-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), session work for Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and others, killed by a drunken driver on 7/15/1973, age 29
1948 ● Dave Torbert → Bass guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Bay Area country-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, co-wrote “Contract” and many other NRPS songs, co-founded country-rock Kingfish with Matthew Kelly and Bob Weirr (Grateful Dead), died of a heart attack on 12/7/1982, age 34
1953 ● Johnny Clegg → The “White Zulu”, guitarist, songwriter, co-founder and frontman for multiracial Afro-Euro-dance pop World music band Juluka and Zulu-dance-pop Savuka
1955 ● Joey Scarbury → One hit wonder Canadian pop singer, “Theme From The Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)” (#2, 1981)
1957 ● Paddy McAloon / (Patrick Joseph McAloon) → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1958 ● Prince / (Prince Rogers Nelson) → Mega-talented, multi-instrumentalist songwriter, singer, actor, producer and pop-rock/soul-funk bandleader, “When Doves Cry” (#1, 1984) and 30 other Top 40 singles, seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Ward-winning movie, Purple Rain (1984) and multiple hits for others, including “Manic Monday” by The Bangles (#2, 1986), collapsed at home and died from a prescription painkiller overdose on 4/21/2016, age 57
1964 ● Ecstasy / (John Fletcher) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1966 ● Eric Kretz → Drummer for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994)
1967 ● Dave Navarro / (David Michael Navarro) → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), in mid-90s joined funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, released two solo albums with one Top 10 hit, “Rexall” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2001), in 2012 began as celebrity judge on the tattoo competition reality TV show Ink Master
1974 ● T-Low / (Terry Brown) → Vocals in contemporary R&B/smooth soul brother duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1985 ● Chaz Simo / (Charles Robert Simpson) → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003)
1990 ● Iggy Azalea / (Amethyst Amelia Kelly) → Australian rapper, songwriter and fashion model, “Fancy” (#1, 2014) and three other US Top 40 hits

June 08
1918 ● Robert Preston / (Robert Meservy) → Tony-winning Broadway stage and screen (mostly Westerns) actor who landed the role of a lifetime as the lead in The Music Man on stage in 1957 and film in 1962, died of lung cancer on 3/21/87, age 68
1936 ● James Darren / (James William Ercolani) → Early pop-rock teen idol singer, “Goodbye Cruel World” (#3, 1961), film actor (Gidget, 1959, Venus In Furs, 1969 and others), TV actor in The Time Tunnel (1966-67) and T. J. Hooker (1982-85)
1940 ● Nancy Sinatra → Sultry, sexy MOR pop singer, “These Boots Were Made for Walking” (#1, 1966), duet with father Frank “Somethin’ Stupid” (#1, 1967), the only father/daughter #1 hit ever
1940 ● Sherman Garnes → Bass vocals for R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (1956), died during open heart surgery on 2/26/1977, age 36
1941 ● Fuzzy Haskins / (Clarence Haskins) → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1942 ● Chuck Negron → Co-founder and one of three lead vocalists for top-tier pop-rock k Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and ten other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1974
1944 ● Boz Scaggs / (William Royce Scaggs) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, first with early Steve Miller Band, then a long solo career starting with “Lowdown” (#3, 1976) and “Lido Shuffle” (#11, 1977)
1944 ● Don Grady / (Don Louis Agrati) → TV actor, musician, singer and songwriter starting as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Show and then as Robbie Douglas, the teenage heart-throb and oldest of three brothers on the 60s wholesome sitcom My Three Sons (1960-1972), joined short-lived, one hit wonder sunshine pop band The Yellow Balloon (“Yellow Balloon,” #25, 1967) and later wrote TV themes and soundtracks, died of bone cancer on 06/27/2012, age 68
1947 ● Annie Haslam / (Anne Haslam) → Vocalist and songwriter best known for her 45 year tenure as lead singer for Brit folk/prog rock Renaissance (“Northern Lights,” UK #10, 1978), plus 18 solo albums and an annual Christmas concert in Sellersville near Philadelphia, PA
1947 ● Julie Driscoll → Brit pop diva with Brian Auger & The Trinity, “This Wheel’s On Fire” (UK #5, 1968), solo prog rock albums, now jazz-improv vocals
1949 ● Jimmie King → Guitarist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Reddingg’s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1951 ● Bonnie Tyler / (Gaynor Hopkins) → Welsh-born raspy-voiced pop-rock solo singer, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (#1, 1983), plus session backing vocals for Cher and others
1953 ● Jeff Rich → Drummer for blues-rock Climax Blues Band and psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1954 ● Greg Ginn → Founder, frontman, lead singer and principal songwriter for 80s nihilistic L.A. hardcore punk-rock Black Flag (“Thirty And Miserable,” 1981), ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 guitarists of all time
1956 ● Steve Walwyn / (Stephen Martin Walwyn) → Lead guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1960 ● Mick Hucknall / (Michael James Hucknall) → Frontman, singer and songwriter for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986), solo
1962 ● Nick Rhodes / (Nick Bates) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1965 ● Rob Pilatus → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy Award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, committed suicide on 4/2/1998, age 32
1966 ● Doris Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1967 ● Neil Mitchell → Keyboards for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Nicci Gilbert / (Nichole Gilbert) → Vocals in urban contemporary R&B girl trio Brownstone, “If You Love Me” (#8, 1994), solo
1971 ● Jef Streatfield → Guitarist for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1973 ● Gabe Ford / (Gabriel Ford) → Current drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988) replacing founding drummer Richie Hayward, who left in 2009 with liver cancer
1977 ● Kanye West → Hip hop producer for Jay-Z and others, then solo rap star, “Gold Digger” (#1, 2005), five-time Grammy winner in 2007
1979 ● Derek Trucks → Blues-rock and world music guitarist and songwriter, nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, frontman for Grammy-winning The Derek Trucks Band, member of The Allman Brothers Band since 1999, formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi
1981 ● Alex Band → Founder, vocals and leader of post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001), solo
1985 ● Jamie Shaw → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1989 ● Richard Fleeshman → English TV actor (Craig Harris on the long-running Coronation Street) and singer-songwriter, “Coming Down” (UK #78, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 21
1919 ● Don Cornell → Smooth baritone pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop and easy listening singer with over 30 Top 40 hits between 1942 and 1955, including “Hold My Hand” (#2, UK #1, 1954) , died from emphysema and diabetes on 2/23/2004, age 84
1939 ● Ernie Maresca / (Ernest Peter Maresca) → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose résumé includes several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), and a brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1943 ● Mars Bonfire / (Dennis Eugene McCrohan Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Warner → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), later wrote dozens of musical instrument instructions books
1947 ● Iggy Pop / (James Newell Osterberg) → Frontman and vocals for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, solo, Lust For Life (1977, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums #147)
1947 ● John Weider → Guitar and violin for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then bassist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), sessions and solo as a jazz-new age guitarist and singer/songwriter
1948 ● Paul Davis → Pop-rock and country-pop singer/songwriter (“I Go Crazy, #7, 1977), guest vocalist with Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker, wrote several country hits for others, died of a heart attack on 4/22/2008, age 60
1951 ● Nicky Barclay / (Nicole Barclay) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriter 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), left the band in 1974 for an unsuccessful solo career but eventually played on albums by Barbra Streisand and Keith Moon and recorded and performed in the U.K. with former members of prog rock Procol Harum and blues-rock Rory Gallagher‘s band.
1958 ● Mike Barson → Keyboards for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, continues to record and perform with the band into the 10s
1959 ● Michael Timmins → Guitarist and songwriter for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1959 ● Robert Smith → Founder, frontman, guitarist, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of gloomy post-punk-pop The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989), plus over 20 other Top 40 singles in his native UK
1960 ● John Maher → Drummer in early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), now sells and races Volkswagen cars
1963 ● Johnny McElhone / (John Francis McElhone) → Bassist for Scottish teen-aged post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), then joined Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Franti → Creator, frontman, chief poet, lead vocals and guitar for politically and socially active hip hop-funk-rock fusion Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” #18, R&B #1, 2009)
1978 ● Brandon Steineckert → Drummer in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005), left in 2006 to join punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)

April 22
1922 ● Charles Mingus → Universally-lauded jazz bassist, bandleader and composer, in his last months collaborated with Joni Mitchell on her tribute album Mingus, died from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 1/5/1979, age 56
1927 ● Laurel Aitken / (Lorenzo Aitken) → The “Godfather of Ska,” Cuban-Jamaican singer whose 1958 single “Boogie In My Bones” was the first Jamaican popular music record released in the UK, became one of ska music’s leading artists in the 70s and continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 7/17/2005, age 78
1931 ● Joe Cuba (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) / (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) → The “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” Puerto Rican-American conga drummer widely regarded as one of the creators of the Latin soul fusion of R&B and Cuban salsa instrumentation called “boogaloo,” which originated in New York City and became briefly popular in the late 60s, “Bang, Bang” (#63, 1966), died from a bacterial infection on 2/15/2009, age 77
1932 ● Isao Tomita → Analog synthesizer musician, composer and pioneer of space and electronic music, used electronic music sequencers to combine classical pieces with sci-fi themes, won four Grammy Awards for his 1974 album Snowflakes Are Dancing, died from cardiac failure on 5/5/2016, age 84
1936 ● Glen Campbell / (Glen Travis Campbell) → 60s session musician with the Wrecking Crew of top-notch musicians, recorded with The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, The Mamas & the Papas and others, member of the touring band for The Beach Boys in place of Brian Wilson in 1964-65, then Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist and singer/songwriter with dozens of Country Top 10 and Pop Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” (#1, 1975), occasional actor and TV host throughout his music career, died after a long and publicized battle with Alzheimer’s disease on 8/8/2017, age 81
1937 ● Jack Nitzsche / (Bernard Alfred “Jack” Nitzsche) → Producer, arranger, session musician, solo singer/songwriter, “The Lonely Surfer” (#39, 1963), worked with Phil Spector in the early 60s, with Buffy Sainte-Marie co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) from the film An Officer And A Gentleman (1982), produced albums for The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and others, died after a heart attack on 8/25/2000, age 63
1939 ● Mel Carter → Soul-pop and Easy Listening singer with several minor hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but with eight Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” (#8, AC #1, 1965)
1939 ● Simon Napier-Bell → Music industry journeyman bandmember, session musician, producer, songwriter, journalist and author, at one time or another served as manager for The Yardbirds, John’s Children, Marc Bolan, Japan, London, Asia, Ultravox, Boney M., Wham! and others
1944 ● Howard Wyeth → Session drummer for Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robert Gordon, Link Wray and others, grandson of painter Noel Wyeth, died of a heart attack 3/27/1996, age 51
1944 ● Alan Gordon → Songwriter and musician noted for co-writing “Happy Together” by The Turtles (#1, 1967) and “Celebrate” by Three Dog Night (#15, 1970), and writing “My Heart Belongs To Me” by Barbra Streisand (#4, 1977), died from cancer on 11/22/2008, age 64
1946 ● Frankie Cannibal / (Francisco “Frankie Cannibal” Garcia) → Lead vocals for pioneering L.A. “East Side Sound” Mexican-American one hit wonder brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from AIDS on 1/21/1996, age 49
1948 ● Larry Groce → Folk and children’s music singer/songwriter, radio DJ and voice-over artist remembered for his one hit wonder single “Junk Food Junkie” (#9, 1976), appeared on nine Disney albums between 1979 and 1990, founded and continues as host and music director of Mountain Stage, the live music program produced by West Virginia Public Radio and aired nationally on NPR
1950 ● Pete Carr / (Jesse Willard Carr) → Guitarist, session musician, producer and member of early Southern rock The Hour Glass with Gregg and Duane Allman, member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, recorded with Lenny LeBlanc in the soft rock duet LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), played lead guitar on many hits songs, including Bob Seger‘s “Mainstreet” and Paul Simon‘s “Kodachrome”
1950 ● Peter Frampton → Blues-rock and pop-rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and bandleader for The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), Humble Pie, “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), Frampton’s Camel, 70s-80s solo superstar, “Show Me The Way” (#6, 1976), toured in 90s with Bill Wyman & The Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band
1951 ● Paul Carrack → Journeyman keyboards, guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975), then New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981) and pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), plus a single solo hit, “Don’t Shed A Tear” (#9, 1987)
1955 ● Arthur Baker → Club DJ and early hip-hop producer, including New Edition‘s “Candy Girl” (Dance/Club #17, R&B #1, 1983) and New Order‘s “Confusion” (Dance/Club #5, 1983), then Afrika Bambaataa‘s “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), plus a solo hit, “Let There Be Love” (Dance/Club #14, 1991)
1956 ● Kenny Lyon → Guitarist and music producer, toured and recorded with multiple bands, most notably post-punk rock then teen-pop The Lemonheads (“Into Your Arms,” Modern Rock #1, 1993) and indie pop Brazzaville, produced albums for numerous indie groups, issued two solo albums and authored a novel, short stories and screenplays
1966 ● Kimberley Dahme → Current bassist (since 2002) for reunited 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), record producer
1969 ● Craig Logan → Bassist in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (UK #1, 1988), left in 1989 for a career as a producer, manager and EMI Records executive, worked with Tina Turner, Sade, Joe Cocker, Pink and others, founded Logan Media Entertainment in 2006
1974 ● Shavo Odadjian → Bassist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Jason Stollsteimer → Vocals, guitar, principle songwriter and producer for indie rock The Von Blondies, “C’mon C’mon” (Modern Rock #25, UK #21, 2004), since 2011 with The Hounds Below
1979 ● Daniel Johns → Frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1984 ● Amelle Berrabah → Vocalist who replaced co-founding member Mutya Buena in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

April 23
1936 ● Roy Orbison → Rockabilly-rooted, country-pop/rock ‘n’ roll quavering singer/songwriter, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (#1, 1964) plus 22 more Top 40 hits, joined supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in 1988 (“Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988), died of a heart attack at the height of a career revival on 1/25/2005, age 52
1939 ● Ray Peterson → Four-octave pop-rock singer, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (#7, 1960), became Baptist minister in the 70s, died from cancer on 1/25/2005, age 65
1940 ● Dale Houston → With performing partner Grace Broussard in two hit wonder Dale & Grace (“I’m Leaving It Up To You,” #1, 1963 and “Stop And Think It Over,” #6, 1964), died from heart failure on 9/27/2007, age 67
1944 ● Sandra Dee / (Alexandra Zuck) → Occasional singer best known as the ingénue-playing, Golden Globe-winning film actress, star of the teen beach film Gidget (1959) and former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005, age 60
1945 ● John Allen → Lead guitar for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1949 ● John Miles → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Slow Down” (Dance/Club #2, UK #10, 1977), managed Tina Turner‘s tours and did session work for Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Page and Joe Cocker
1951 ● Cliff Hugo / (Clifford Clyde Hugo) → Bass guitarist for Brit art/prog rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), also worked with Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and others
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden → Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and producer, performed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, session work for Jeff Beck, produced and/or wrote/co-wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Starship, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, solo career includes “I Shoulda Loved You” (R&B #4, 1980)
1953 ● Rob Dean → Guitarist for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1955 ● Captain Sensible / (Raymond Burns) → Co-founder, vocals, guitar and songwriting for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo
1960 ● David Gedge → Guitar and vocals 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
1960 ● Steve Clark → Guitarist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), died after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs on 1/8/1991, age 30
1964 ● Gen / (Simon Matthews) → Drummer for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy DeCarlo → Current lead singer for arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), joined the band to replace deceased lead singer Brad Delp at the invitation of bandleader Tom Scholz, to whom DeCarlo sent Myspace tapes of himself covering Boston singles
1968 ● Paul Clifford → Bassist for Britpop The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1969 ● Stan Frazier → Vocals and DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1983 ● Taio Cruz → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer, occasional rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, “Break Your Heart” (#1, 2010)

April 24
1923 ● Freddy Bienstock → Vienna-born music publishing executive whose Jewish family resettled in the U.S. in 1939, first worked in the 40s as a “song plugger” salesman for writers in the famous Bill Building in New York City, later as song screener for Elvis Presley and others, and beginning in the 60s as a publishing executive with several firms, including Carlin Music which continues and controls the rights to thousands of pop and rock songs, died on 9/20/2009, age 86
1933 ● Freddie Scott → R&B/soul singer, “Are You Lonely For Me” (1966), died 4/24/1933,, age 74
1937 ● Dick Kniss → Stand-up bass player and “fourth member” behind folk-pop trio Peter, Paul & Mary, also in John Denver‘s band in the 70s, co-wrote “Sunshine On My Shoulders” (#1, 1974), died from chronic pulmonary on 1/25/2012, age 74
1940 ● George Tomsco → Guitarist for Tex-Mex instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Fireballs, “Torquay” (#39, 1959)
1942 ● Barbra Streisand → Stage, film and TV actress, pop vocalist, “The Way We Were” (#1, 1974), “Woman In Love” (*#1, 1980) and 4 other US #1 pop hits
1943 ● Glen Dale / (Richard Garforth) → Guitars and vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony vocals The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1944 ● Bernard St. Clair Lee → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits, continued to perform with incarnations of the band until his death due to natural causes on 3/8/2011, age 66
1945 ● Doug Clifford → Drummer for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1945 ● Robert Knight → Founder and frontman for R&B/harmony soul The Paramounts, “Free Me” (R&B #15, 1961), then 60s one hit wonder solo career, “Everlasting Love” (#13, 1967)
1947 ● Glenn Cornick → First bassist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), then formed Wild Turkey and later Paris
1947 ● Hubert Ann Kelly → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits
1948 ● Steve York → Bassist for Brit beat pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964)
1951 ● Nigel Harrison → Bass player with New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979) from 1977-82, also a member of glam-rock quintet Silverhead
1954 ● Jack Blades → Bassist with hard rock Night Ranger, “Sister Christian” (#5, 1984), then joined Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw (Styx) in pop metal/arena rock supergroup Damn Yankees, “High Enough” (#3, 1990)
1955 ● Gary Cambra → Guitars and keyboards for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1957 ● David J. / (David J. Haskins) → Bass and vocals for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979), solo and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1958 ● Boris Williams → Drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1960 ● Paula Yates → UK TV host (music shows The Tube and The Big Breakfast), ex-wife of Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and girlfriend of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, died from a heroin overdose on 9/17/2000, age 40
1963 ● Billy Gould → Bassist for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Paul Ryder → Bassist for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Patty Schemel → Second drummer for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1967 ● Shannon Larkin → Drummer for hard rock/metal Ugly Kid Joe, then hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1968 ● Aaron Comess → Drummer for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1971 ● Jas Mann / (Jasbinder Singh Mann) → Brit record producer and one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Spaceman” (UK #1, 1996)
1974 ● Barry James Stock → Guitar and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1974 ● Brian Marshall → Bassist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1982 ● Kelly Clarkson → Pop singer and inaugural-season (2002) winner on American Idol, “Since U Been Gone” (#1, 2005)
1984 ● Tyson Ritter → Co-founder, lead vocals and bass guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Ben Howard → Folk-pop singer (“Only Love,” AAA #6, UK #9, 2012) and two-time 2013 BRIT Award winner (Breakthrough Act and Solo Male Artist)

April 25
1913 ● Earl Bostic → Underappreciated jazz and R&B alto saxophonist, “Temptation” (R&B Top 10, 1948), died of a heart attack while performing on stage on 10/28/1965, age 52
1917 ● Ella Fitzgerald → The “First Lady of Song”, Grammy-winning six-decade jazz/R&B/scat mega-diva, “Mack The Knife” (#27, R&B #6, 1960), died from diabetes on 6/15/1996, age 79
1923 ● Albert King / (Albert Nelson) → Highly influential blues guitarist, one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” with B. B. King and Freddie King, “Cold Feet” (#67, R&B #20, 1968), died from a heart attack on 12/21/1992, age 69
1928 ● Jinny Osborn / (Virginia A. Cole) → Original member and tenor vocals with long lasting, close-harmony girl group The Chordettes, missed the recording of the mega-hit “Mr. Sandman (#1, UK #11, 1954) while raising a new daughter but sang lead on their second big hit, “Lollipop” (#2, R&B #3, 1958), died from cancer on 5/19/2003, age 75
1928 ● Vassar Clements → Innovative, Grammy-winning jazz, swing and bluegrass fiddler with over 30 solo albums and years of session and touring work with a broad array of artists, including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman‘s Old & In The Way,The Monkees and Jimmy Buffett, continued to perform until just prior to his death from lung and brain cancer on 8/16/2005, age 77
1932 ● Gator Jackson / (Willis “Gator” Jackson) → Soul-jazz saxophonist and bandleader known best for his “honking” style and close collaborations and short marriage to R&B diva Ruth Brown (“(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (#23, R&B #1, 1953), died following heart surgery on 10/25/1987, age 55
1932 ● Gene Gene the Dancing Machine / (Eugene Patton) → NBC Studios stagehand turned TV personality as a regular dancing skit performer on the absurdist talent search program The Gong Show (1976-78), whereon he would shuffle and sway to Count Basie‘s “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” died from complications of diabetes on 3/9/2015, age 82
1933 ● Jerry Leiber → Lyricist, producer, record label owner and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller hit 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), died from cardio-pulmonary failure on 8/22/2011, age 78
1943 ● Tony Christie → Brit pop singer, “I Did What I Did For Maria” (UK #2, 1971), in 2005 re-released his 1971 UK #18 single “Is This The Way To Amarillo” in support of Comic Relief, the song went to #1 on the UK chart 33 years after its original release
1944 ● Charlie Harper → Founder, frontman and vocals for early punk rockers UK Subs, “Stranglehold” (UK #26, 1979)
1945 ● Bjorn Ulvaeus → Guitar and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1945 ● Mike Kogel → Lead singer for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1945 ● Stu Cook → Bassist for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● Ronnie Gilbert → Founding member and basis for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1949 ● Mike Brown / (Michael Lookofsky) → Keyboards and songwriter for “baroque pop” The Left Banke, composed “Walk Away Renee” (#5, 1967) and “Pretty Ballerina” (#15, 1967), then formed pop-rock quartet Stories but left before the band’s “Brother Louie” became a US #1 hit in 1973, died from heart failure on 3/19/2015, age 66
1950 ● Steve Ferrone → Drummer for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), sessions
1955 ● David Sikes → Second bassist (1987-98) for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), then joined hard rock/arena pop Giuffria
1958 ● Fish / (Derek William Dick) → Vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985), later solo and now radio DJ
1960 ● Paul Baloff → Heavy metal singer best known for his three stints as lead vocalist and songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), died after he was removed from life support following a stroke-induced coma on 2/2/2002, age 41
1964 ● Andy Bell → Flamboyant, openly gay vocalist for Brit synth-pop duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and 16 other UK Top 10 hits
1964 ● Maya Gilder → Keyboards for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1965 ● Eric Avery → Co-founding member and bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), toured with Garbage and Peter Murphy
1965 ● Simon Fowler → Vocals for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1980 ● Jacob Underwood → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

April 26
1886 ● Ma Rainey / (Gertrude Pridgett) → The “Mother of the Blues,” early female blues singer and first to record, including the earliest version of “See See Rider” (1924), died from a heart attack on 12/22/1939, age 53
1919 ● Johnny Shines / (John Ned Shines) → Top slide guitarist and Delta blues singer, performed with Robert Johnson, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood, Jr., died on 4/20/1992, age 72
1925 ● Jorgen Ingmann → Danish jazz guitarist turned one hit wonder instrumental pop Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitars, covered “Apache” (#2, 1961)
1938 ● Duane Eddy → Influential electric guitar pioneer, rockabilly star and “twangy” instrumental rocker with fifteen Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1963, including “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958), continues to perform into the 10s
1938 ● Maurice Williams → Frontman and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Zodiacs, “Stay” (#1, 1960), solo
1940 ● Giorgio Moroder / (Hansjörg Moroder) → Disco and synth-pop producer including Donna Summer, “Love To Love You Baby” (#1, 1976), film soundtrack composer for Midnight Express (1978), Flashdance (1983), Top Gun (1986) and others
1941 ● Claudine Clark → One hit wonder singer and composer who, unlike most 60s female pop stars, wrote her own hit song, “Party Lights” (#5, R&B #3, 1962)
1942 ● Bobby Rydell / (Robert Ridarelli) → Former teen idol pop singer, “Wild One” (#2, 1960), plus 17 other Top 40 hits, now successful nightclub and concert performer
1943 ● Gary Wright → Keyboards and vocals for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then synth-rock solo, “Dream Weaver” (#2, 1976)
1945 ● Tony Murray → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Bucky Wilkin / (John Wilkin) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriting for country-tinged surf rock Ronny & The Daytonas, “G.T.O.” (#4, 1964)
1946 ● Vito Balsamo → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1951 ● Nick Garvey → Bassist and songwriter for early pub rock Ducks Deluxe, then power pop/rock The Motors, “Airport” (UK #4, 1978)
1952 ● Neol Davies → Founder and guitarist for multi-racial 2 Tone ska revival The Selecter, “On My Radio” (UK #8, 1979)
1959 ● John Corabi → Journeyman heavy metal guitar and vocals, hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989), Ratt, others
1960 ● Roger Taylor → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1961 ● Chris Mars → Drummer for alt-rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1970 ● Ruth-Ann Boyle → Vocals for Brit breakbeat/trip-hop trio Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, 1997)
1970 ● T-Boz / (Tionne Tenese Watkins) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1971 ● Jay DeMarcus / (Stanley Wayne DeMarcus, Jr.) → Bassist and harmony vocals for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1975 ● Joey Jordison → Drummer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1976 ● Jose Antonio Pasillas II → Drummer for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Ms. Dynamite / (Niomi McLean Daley) → Brit R&B/hip hop/garage singer and rapper, “It Takes More” (UK #7, 2002)
1982 ● Jonathan Lee → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)

April 27
1904 ● Syd Nathan → Music executive who contributed to the development of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll music through his ownership of King Records and its subsidiaries, which he founded in 1943 and brought obscure young artists to the national stage, including Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie,” R&B #1, 1954) and James Brown (“Please, Please, Please,” R&B #6, 1956), who recorded on King through the 60s (“I Got You (I Feel Good),” #3, R&B #1, 1965), the label became the sixth largest record company in the US before the mid-60s payola scandal impacted sales, died from heart disease on 5/5/1968, age 63
1932 ● Maxine Brown → Vocals for 50s-60s country-folk harmony sibling vocal trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, 1959), solo
1932 ● Casey Kasem / (Kemil Amen Kasem) → Legendary and iconic radio DJ who confessed to not loving rock ‘n’ roll but built a long and lucrative career from it , creator and long-time host of one of the most popular syndicated music programs on radio, American Top 40, voice-over artist for TV commercials and shows (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons), died from a degenerative neurological and muscular disease on 6/15/2014, age 82
1944 ● Cuba Gooding, Sr. → Lead vocals for R&B/romantic soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972) and eight other R&B Top 40 hits, found dead in his car on a busy street in a Los Angeles neighborhood on 4/20/2017, age 72
1947 ● Anne Peebles → R&B/Southern soul singer, “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (#38, R&B #6, 1973)
1947 ● Gordon Haskell → Folk-pop singer/songwriter, briefly with King Crimson, then sessions and solo, resurfaced in 2001 with “How Wonderful You Are” (UK #2, 2001) and a UK #2 album, Harry’s Bar
1947 ● Peter Ham → Guitar, vocals, chief songwriter and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger (“Day After Day,” #4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 4/24/1975, age 27
1948 ● Kate Pierson → Bouffant-haired vocalist and frontwoman for campy alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1949 ● Clive Taylor → Bassist for Welsh pop-rock Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1949 ● Herb Murrell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Ace Frehley / (Paul “Ace” Frehley) → Influential hard rock guitarist and vocals for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo, “New York Groove” (#13, 1979)
1954 ● Wally Palmar / (Volodymyr Palamarchuk) → Ukrainian-American founding member and lead vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Romantics, “What I Like About You” (#49, 1980) and “Talking In Your Sleep” (#3, 1984), later played with Ringo Starr‘s All-Star Band and co-founded garage rock supergroup The Empty Hearts
1959 ● Marco Pirroni → Guitarist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1959 ● Sheena Easton / (Sheena Shirley Orr) → Grammy-winning pop singer, “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” (#1, 1980) and James Bond movie theme song “For Your Eyes Only” (#4, 1981) and 11 other Top 40 singles, stage and TV actress
1969 ● Mica Paris / (Michelle Wallen) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “My One Temptation” (#97, Adult Contemporary #8, 1989)
1972 ● Bob Coombes → Keyboards for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Will Boyd → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1984 ● Patrick Stump → Lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007), solo
1984 ● Yonah Higgins → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 07
1908 ● Percy Faith → Composer, bandleader, producer and easy listening/pop singer, “The Theme From A Summer Place” (#1, 1960), died of cancer on 2/9/1976, age 67
1912 ● Jack Lawrence → Hall of Fame songwriter and musical theater lyricist noted for songs that helped launch the careers of The Ink Spots (“If I Didn’t Care,” #2, 1939), Frank Sinatra (“All Or Nothing At All,” #2, 1943) and Bobby Darin (“By The Sea,” #6, 1959), wrote the song “Linda” for his friend Lee Eastman‘s daughter, who grew up to marry Paul McCartney, died from complications of a broken pelvis from a fall in his home on 3/16/2009, age 96
1915 ● Billie Holiday / (Eleanora Fagan Gough) → Known as “Lady Day”, hugely successful and revered jazz-blues singer, “Lady Sings The Blues” (1956), died from liver failure on 7/17/1959, age 44
1920 ● Ravi Shankar / (Rabindra Shankar Chowdery) → World-renowned Indian sitarist, mentor to George Harrison, music professor and university department head, member of Indian parliament, father of contemporary jazz-pop star Norah Jones, died from complications following heart valve replacement surgery on 12/11/2012, age 92
1922 ● Mongo Santamaria / (Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría Rodríguez) → Grammy-winning Cuban percussionist and Latin-jazz bandleader, “Watermelon Man” (#10, R&B #8, 1963), died following a stroke on 2/1/2003, age 80
1935 ● Bobby Bare → Country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All American Boy” (#2, 1959) and Grammy-winning “Detroit City” (#16, Adult Contemporary #4, 1963) plus over 50 Country Top 40 hits from 1964 to 1983
1937 ● Charlie Thomas → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Five Crowns, who changed their name in 1958 to The Drifters, “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964)
1938 ● Spencer Dryden → Drummer for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then country-folk-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, “Panama Red” (1973), died of cancer on 1/11/2005, age 66
1938 ● Freddie Hubbard / (Frederick Dewayne Hubbard) → Renowned jazz/be bop NEA Jazz Master trumpeter with a Grammy-winning album (First Light, 1972) which led to accusations of commercial sell-out, performed in numerous collaborations with George Benson, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine and many others, died from a heart attack on 11/26/2008, age 70
1943 ● Mick Abrahams / (Michael Timothy Abrahams) → Original lead guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left after a falling-out with bandleader Ian Anderson, formed blues-rock Blodwyn Pig that released two charting albums in the early 70s
1943 ● Alan Buck → Drummer for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the U.S., died from a heart attack on 3/15/1994, age 50
1947 ● Florian Schneider-Esleben → Drums and keyboards for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● Patricia Bennett → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963)
1947 ● Skip Pitts / (Charles Pitts) → Soul, funk and blues guitarist, “wah-wah” style innovator, session musician with Stax Records, performed with Isaac Hayes (soundtrack album Shaft, 1971), also worked with James Brown, Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper and others, died of cancer on 5/1/2012, age 65
1948 ● Carol Douglas → Disco diva with the early dance-pop/disco hit “Doctor’s Orders” (#11, Disco #2, 1975) and several other Dance/Club chart singles but little commercial success, continued to perform in clubs into the 90s
1948 ● Dallas Taylor, Jr. → Session drummer for John Sebastian and with Lowell George in pre-Little Feat folk-rock The Factory, founding member of 60s psych rock Clear Light (“Mr. Blue,” 1967), joined Crosby, Stills & Nash for their debut album (1969) and their follow-up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (1970), played with Stephen Stills on his solo albums and with his band Manassas, toured with Paul Butterfield‘s band in the late 70s, died from liver failure on 1/18/2015, age 66
1949 ● John Oates → Singer/songwriter and one half of Philly soul-pop-rock duo Hall & Oates, “Private Eyes” (#1, 1981), plus 20 other Top 20 hits
1949 ● Wells Kelly → Multi-instrumentalist musician, early member of pop-rock King Harvest (his brother Sherman wrote the hit “Dancing In The Moonlight” – #1, 1973) and co-founder of pop-rock Orleans (“Still The One,” #5, 1976), toured with Steve Forbert, Clarence Clemons and Meat Loaf in the early 80s, found dead on the front steps of a London flat after a night of partying during a tour on 10/29/1984, age 35
1950 ● Steve Ellis / (Stephen John Ellis) → Vocals for London-based R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, left in 1969 for a marginal solo career and stints with various Brit rock bands, still records and performs with The New Amen Corner into the 10s
1951 ● Janis Ian / (Janis Eddy Fink) → Grammy-winning, often controversial singer/songwriter, first hit was at age 16, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” (#14, 1967), then “At Seventeen” (#3, 1975)
1951 ● Bruce Gary → Drummer for power pop The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979), worked with Albert Collins, Jack Bruce, Dr. John in the 70s and Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yoko Ono, Bette Midler and others, and as a producer before dying of lymphoma on 8/22/2006, age 55
1960 ● Simon Climie → Songwriter and member of the Brit pop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988), lately collaborating with Eric Clapton
1962 ● Barbara Kessler → Folk-pop singer and songwriter (“Deep Country,” 1994)
1978 ● Duncan James / (Duncan Matthew James Inglis) → Actor, TV host and singer with Brit boy band Blue, “If You Come Back” (UK #1, 2002), solo

April 08
1896 ● Yip Harburg / (Edgar Yipsel Harburg) → One of the top Broadway and Hollywood lyricists of the 30s and 40s, wrote the lyrics to multiple pop standards, including “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” (1932), co-wrote the songs to The Wizard Of Oz and the Oscar-winning “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1939), died from a heart attack on 3/5/1981, age 84
1914 ● Irving Taylor / (Irving Goldberg) → Composer, lyricist and screenwriter known for his late 50s whimsical novelty and parody songs, and for co-writing “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Dean Martin, #1, 1964) which improbably knocked The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night” off Billboard’s top spot, also wrote for Bob Newhart and Jonathan Winters on their TV show scripts, died on 12/3/1983, age 69
1920 ● Carmen McRae → Pianist, songwriter and versatile jazz singer, worked with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie, recorded over 60 albums and was a seven-time Grammy nominee for Best Jazz Performance – Female, received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 1994, continued to tour and perform until just before her death following a stroke on 11/10/1994, age 74
1929 ● Jacques Brel → Internationally acclaimed Belgian singer and songwriter whose compositions have been interpreted by Marc Almond, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, sold over 25 million records worldwide, all in French, died of cancer 10/9/1978, age 49
1941 ● J.J. Jackson / (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul singer and organist, “But It’s Alright” (#22, R&B #4, 1966)
1941 ● Peggy Lennon / (Margaret Anne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 1999 and was replaced by her younger sister, Mimi
1942 ● Chappo Chapman / (Roger Chapman) → Co-frontman and lead vocals for Brit art/blues-rock Family, then hard blues-rock Streetwalkers, now solo
1942 ● Leon Huff → With partner Kenny Gamble in the famed Philadelphia songwriting and production team of Gamble & Huff, crafted the “Philly soul” sound as the founders and chief creative team for Motown-rival Philadelphia International Records, wrote and produced dozens of hits from “Expressway To Your Heart” (The Soul Survivors, #4, R&B #3, 1967) to “Love Train” (The O’Jays, #1, R&B #1, 1872) and “Close the Door” (Teddy Pendergrass, #25, R&B #1, 1978), after the disco era the shine on the label faded but the two continue to write into the 10s
1944 ● Keef Hartley → Drummer for Brit beat group Rory Storm & The Hurricanes (replaced Ringo Starr), then blues-rock John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then founded jazz-pop-rock fusion Keef Hartley Band and was the first British act to appear at Woodstock, died from unspecified causes on 11/26/2011, age 67
1944 ● Deke Richards / (Dennis Lussier) → Songwriter and record producer, part of the Motown songwriting team known as “The Clan” and later “The Corporation,” co-wrote multiple hits for several Motown bands, most importantly bubblegum-soul The Jackson 5 including “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), “ABC” (#1, 1970), retired to operate a vintage movie poster business and died from esophageal cancer on 3/24/2013, age 68
1947 ● Steve Howe → Lead guitarist in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971) and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), then pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), also Bodast, GTR, the Syndicats and Tomorrow
1947 ● Larry Norman → Musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner and pioneer of Christian rock music with a catalogue of over 100 albums despite an often contentious relationship with the Christian church and the Christian music industry, his long hair and radical social themes kept his records out of Bible stores for much of his career, died from complications of long-term heart ailments on 2/27/2008, age 60
1956 ● Justin Sullivan → Frontman, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1962 ● Adam Mole → Keyboards for “grebo” dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991)
1962 ● Izzy Stradlin / (Jeffrey Isbell) → Guitarist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), also fronted the Ju Ju Hounds
1962 ● Jem Kelly → Guitars for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983)
1963 ● Donita Sparks → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for all-girl post-punk/grunge band L7, “Pretend We’re Dead” (Alt Rock #8, 1992)
1963 ● Julian Lennon → Guitarist and singer/songwriter, pop-rock “Too Late For Goodbyes” (#11, 1984), son of John and only child of his first wife Cynthia
1964 ● Biz Markie / (Marcel Theo Hall) → Freestyle rhymer/rapper, “Just A Friend” (#9, Rap #5, 1989)
1971 ● Darren Jessee → Drummer for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (Modern Rock #6, 1998)
1972 ● The Pig / (Paul Dedrick Gray) → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), died from an accidental drug overdose on 5/24/2010, age 38
1975 ● Anouk Teeuwe → Dutch pop-rock singer, “Nobody’s Wife” (1997)
1984 ● Ezra Koenig → Lead singer and rhythm guitar for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

April 09
1932 ● Carl Perkins → The “King of Rockabilly,” singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2, 1955), died from throat cancer on 1/19/1998, age 65
1938 ● “Rockin'” Sidney Simien / (Sidney Simien) → Grammy-winning Cajun/swamp blues and zydeco singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, one hit wonder crossover phenomenon “My Toot Toot” (Country #19, 1985), zydeco’s first international hit, died of throat cancer on 2/25/1998, age 59
1943 ● Terry Knight / (Richard Terrance Knapp) → Producer, promote, radio DJ and later manager for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973) and Bloodrock, “D.O.A.” (#76, 1978), died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by his teenage daughter’s boyfriend during an argument on 11/1/2004, age 61
1944 ● Emil Stucchio → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● Les Gray / (Thomas Leslie Gray) → Vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), died from throat cancer on 2/21/2004, age 57
1948 ● Phillip Wright → Drummer and lead vocals for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1948 ● Chico Ryan / (David Allen Ryan) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), died on 7/26/1998, age 50
1950 ● Peter Wood → Keyboardist for folk-pop-rock Quiver and The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver (“Arms Of Mary,” #81, UK #5, 1976), later worked with Al Stewart, with whom he co-wrote “Year Of The Cat” (#8, 1977), and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in the backing band for The Wall concerts in 1980-81, died in December 1994, age 44
1961 ● Mark Kelly → Keyboards for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1969 ● Kevin Martin → Lead vocals for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1977 ● Gerard Way → Vocals for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)
1978 ● Rachel Stevens → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1980 ● Albert L. Hammond, Jr. → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1987 ● Jesse McCartney → Teen TV actor (All My Children), then dance-pop boy band Dream Street, solo, “Beautiful Soul” (#16, 2006)

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

April 11
1934 ● Cleotha Staples → Eldest sibling in influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 2/21/2013, age 78
1935 ● Richard Berry → R&B/ballad and novelty singer/songwriter and backing vocalist, wrote and recorded “Louie Louie” in 1956 (became a #2 hit and subsequent garage rock classic for The Kingsmen in 1962), died from heart failure on 1/23/1997, age 61
1939 ● Freddie Gorman / (Frederick Cortez Gorman) → Versatile Motown Records singer, songwriter and producer in the 60s and 70s, co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (#1, R&B #1, 1961) and a dozen others, member of session group The Originals which also had string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died of lung cancer on 6/13/2006, age 67
1943 ● Tony Victor → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering Bob” Harris / (Robert Brinley Joseph Harris) → Iconic BBC Radio 2 DJ and TV host, including the long running contemporary music show The Old Grey Whistle Test and current twice-weekly rock music program
1950 ● Tom Hill → Bassist for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Fox → Guitarist and lead singer for punk/dub reggae/club and Rock Against Racism-supporting quartet The Ruts, “Babylon’s Burning” (UK #7, 1979), continued with various post-punk and revival bands through to his death from lung cancer on 10/21/2007, age 56
1956 ● Neville Staples → Vocals for 2 Tone Records multiracial ska band The Specials, “Ghost Town” (#1, 1981), left to form New Wave pop Fun Boy 3, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982), frontman for The Neville Staple Band
1958 ● Stuart Adamson / (William Stuart Adamson) → Guitar and vocals for Scottish art-punk-rock The Skids, “Into The Valley,” UK #10, 1979), then for art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country,” #17, Mainstream Rock #3, UK #17, 1983), suffered from alcoholism and hanged himself in a Honolulu hotel room on 12/16/2001, age 43
1961 ● Doug Hopkins → Co-founder, lead guitarist and chief songwriter for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), committed suicide on 12/5/1993, age 32
1965 ● Nigel Pulsford → Founding member and original lead guitarist for alt-rock Bush, “Glycerine” (Mainstream #4, 1995), left in 2002 to spend time with his family
1966 ● Lisa Stansfield → English singer/songwriter, first as lead vocals for pop-rock Blue Zone UK, “Jackie” (#54, Dance/Club #37, 1988), then solo “All Around The World” (#3, 1989)
1969 ● Cerys Elizabeth Philip Matthews → Vocals for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1970 ● Delroy Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1970 ● Dylan Keefe → Bass and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1971 ● Ollie Riedel / (Oliver Riedel) → Bassist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1978 ● Tom Thacker → Guitar and vocals for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1979 ● Chris Gaylor → Drums and percussion for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Joss Stone / (Jocelyn Eve Stoker) → Blue-eyed Brit R&B/neo-soul singer, released first album at age 16, first hit at 17, “Fell In Love With A Boy” (, 2004), Grammy-winner in 2007 with John Legend and Van Hunt for cover of Sly & The Family Stone‘s “Family Affair”

April 12
1916 ● Russell Garcia → Composer and arranger for NBC Radio, MGM Studios, Warner Bros. and Disney on soundtracks from classic movies (The Time Machine, 1960) to TV shows (Rawhide, 1962), orchestra conductor for Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Judy Garland and others, bandleader with the acclaimed, spooky and innovative Fantastica: Music From Out Space (1959), relocated to New Zealand in the 60s and led the country’s national symphony orchestra, died following a fall on 11/19/2011, age 95
1917 ● Helen Forrest / (Helen Fogel) → Extremely popular jazz-swing-pop “girl singer” of the Big Band era, performed with Benny Goodman, Harry James, Nat King Cole, Artie Shaw and as a solo artist, charted dozens of Top 40 singles and seven #1 hits, including “Taking A Chance On Love” (#1, 1943), died from heart failure on 7/11/1999, age 82
1919 ● Billy Vaughn → Saxophonist, orchestra leader and arranger with more Top 40 hits during the early rock ‘n’ roll era than any other orchestra, including “Sail Along Silvery Moon” (#5, 1957), musical director for Dot Records and artists such as Pat Boone and the Fontane Sisters in the 60s and recorded over 30 albums of mainstream instrumental covers, retired in the 80s and died from mesothelioma on 9/26/1991, age 72
1925 ● Prentiss Barnes → Bass vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows (“Sincerely,” R&B #1, 1955), received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1995, died in a car accident on 10/1/2006, age 81
1925 ● Ned Miller / (Henry Ned Miller) → Shy, unassuming country crooner and songwriter whose stage fright caused him to stop touring and eventually quit songwriting, but not until he penned 11 charting Country hits for himself, including the huge crossover single “From A Jack To A King” (#6, Country #2, 1962) plus numerous hits for others, including Hank Snow, Gale Storm and Ricky Van Shelton, left the music business in the late 60s and faded into obscurity, died of natural causes on 3/18/2016, age 90
1930 ● Carole Lindsay Young → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956), died 8/20/2006, age 76
1933 ● Tiny Tim / (Herbert Khaury) → Warbling singer and ukulele-strumming, 60s flash-in-the-pan novelty act, “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” (#17, 1968), married Victoria Mae “Miss Vicki” Budinger on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show on 1217/1969, died of a heart attack on stage on 11/30/1996, age 63
1940 ● Herbie Hancock / (Herbert Jeffrey Hancock) → Renowned jazz fusion keyboardist with Miles Davis and Chick Corea, solo “Chameleon” (1973), composed film soundtracks
1944 ● John Kay / (Joachim Krauledat) → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Lois Reeves / (Sandra Delores Reeves) → Joined sister Martha’s Motown R&B/soul-pop group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in 1967 to replace Betty Kelly, “Jimmy Mack” (#11, R&B #1, 1967)
1949 ● Donald Ray Mitchell → Vocals for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989)
1950 ● David Cassidy / (David Bruce Cassidy) → TV, stage and screen actor and singer, portrayed Keith Partridge, the teen idol oldest son of real-life stepmother Shirley Jones, in the pre-fab TV show and sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970), followed with a 40-year career as an international adult pop music star (“How Can I Be Sure,” #25, AC #3, UK #1, 1972) and TV actor, died from liver failure on 11/21/2017, age 67
1951 ● Alexander Briley → Vocals (and the Army G. I. character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1954 ● Pat Travers → Canadian bluesy hard rock guitarist, singer and bandleader for the Pat Travers Band, “New Age Music” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1981) and solo
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer → German film actor (Das Boot, 1981) and film score composer, now successful pop-rocker, “Mensch” (German #1, 2002)
1957 ● Vince Gill / (Vincent Grant Gill) → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League (“Amie,” (#27, 1973) from 1978 to 1982, left for a successful solo career with 18 Country Music Assoc. awards, 21 Grammy awards, 16 Country Top 10 albums and 40 charting hits, including “I Still Believe In You” (AC #30, Country #1, 1993), married to singer Amy Grant since 2000
1958 ● Will Sergeant → Guitarist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Art Alexakis → Frontman, guitars, lead vocals and principal songwriter for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1964 ● Amy Ray → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1965 ● Sean Welch → Bassist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1967 ● Mellow Man Ace / (Ulpiano Sergio Reyes) → Cuban-born rapper and house music singer (“Mentirosa,” #14, 1990), brother of Sen Dog
1967 ● Sarah Cracknell → Frontwoman and lead vocals for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum → Vocals and rhythm guitar for alt-rock reggae-rap-metal 311, “All Mixed Up” (Modern Rock #4, 1996)
1974 ● Shakir Stewart → Record label executive noted for signing Beyoncé to Hitco Music, Ciara to LaFace Records and Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam Records, where he was Executive Vice President until his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on 11/1/2008, age 34
1978 ● Guy Berryman → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1980 ● Bryan McFadden → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits, now solo and judge on Australia’s Got Talent TV show
1987 ● Brendon Urie → Lead singer, guitar and piano for emo-pop Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

April 13
1926 ● Cosimo Matassa / (Cosimo Vincent Matassa) → Early rock ‘n’ roll recording engineer credited with creating the “New Orleans Sound” from his studio near the French Quarter through recordings for Fats Domino (“The Fat Man,” R&B #2, 1950) and Little Richard (“Tutti Frutti,” #17, 1956), and later albums by Ray Charles, Dr. John and others, including 21 gold records, retired in the 80s and died from natural causes on 9/11/2014, age 88
1934 ● Horace Kay → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1936 ● Rashad Feild / (Richard Timothy Feild) → Vocals and guitar with Dusty Springfield and her brother in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), now Sufi mystic and spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers → Lead vocals, harmonica and percussion for bi-racial psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Bill Conti → Prolific film and TV score composer, best known for the Rocky movie series, wrote and directed “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), theme song from Rocky, orchestra conductor for the Academy Awards
1943 ● Guy Stevens → Label executive, producer and band manager, early figure at Island Records and the Britbeat and blues scenes in the 60s, managed Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, UK #1, 1967) and mentored Mott The Hoople (“All the Young Dudes, #37, UK #3, 1972), produced albums for <strongFree
and Spooky Tooth plus the punk classic London Calling (1978) for The Clash, died from a prescription drug overdose on 8/29/1981, age 38
1944 ● Jack Casady / (John William Casady) → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
1944 ● Brian Pendleton → Original rhythm guitarist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964), died of lung cancer on 5/15/2001, age 57
1945 ● Lowell George → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, frontman for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), solo, died of an accidental drug overdose on 6/29/1979, age 34
1946 ● Al Green / (Albert Greene) → Southern R&B and gospel singer, “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, 1972), #65 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1946 ● Roy Loney → Founding member, wild frontman and lead vocals for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, left for mostly quiet solo career in 1971
1948 ● Peter Sweval / (Piet Sweval) → Co-founder and bassist for the band the eventually became one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass (“Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl),” #1, 1972), later joined pop/metal Starz (“Cherry Baby,” #33, 1977), died from cancer on 1/23/1990, age 41
1951 ● Max Weinberg → Drummer for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, frontman for Max Weinberg 7 (house band for TV’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien), author of 1991 book The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Greatest Drummers
1951 ● Peabo Bryson / (Robert Peabo Bryson) → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, duet with Roberta Flack “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (1983) plus solo, “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (#10, 1984)
1954 ● Jimmy Destri / (James Mollica) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Louis Johnson → Bass and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Brothers Johnson, “Strawberry Letter 23” (#, R&B #1, 1977), session musician for renowned producer Quincy Jones, played on Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous albums and recorded five solo LPs of gospel and funk music, died in his Las Vegas home on 5/21/2015
1957 ● Wayne Lewis → Lead singer and keyboards for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Butch Taylor / (Clarence Frederick Taylor) → Keyboards for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (#4, 1998)
1961 ● Hiro Yamamoto → Founding member and original bassist for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), left in 1991 to form three piece indie rock/neo psychedelia Truly
1962 ● Hillel Slovak → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000), died from a heroin overdose 6/25/1988, age 26
1966 ● Marc Ford → Lead guitarist for roots/raunch rock Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), solo
1972 ● Aaron Lewis → Vocals for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1975 ● Lou Bega / (David Lubega) → German-born, Italian and Ugandan-descended dance-pop Latino-tinged singer, “Mambo No. 5” (#3, 1999)
1979 ● Tony Lundon → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 03
1923 ● Doc Watson / (Arthel L. Watson) → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender / (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1943 ● Jay Traynor / (John Traynor) → Lead singer for first lineup of clean cut pop-rock vocal group Jay & The Americans, “She Cried” (#5, 1962), left for a little-noticed solo career, “Up And Over” (1966), died of liver cancer on 1/2/2014, age 70
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in movie-soundtrack duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1948 ● Snowy White / (Terence Charles White) → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1948 ● Byron MacGregor / (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1950 ● Re Style / (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick / (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc / (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1983 ● Katie White → Vocals, guitar and drums for girl group punk trio TKO, then with Jules De Martino in indie pop duo The Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go” (Dance/Pop #1, 2008)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04
1925 ● Paul Mauriat → French orchestra conductor and composer of pop/easy listening music, best known for his one hit wonder version of “Love Is Blue” (#1, 1968), died 11/3/1966, age 81
1932 ● Miriam Makeba → Grammy-winning, influential and beloved South African folk-pop singer, “Pata Pata” (#12, 1967), died on 11/9/2008, age 76
1934 ● Barbara McNair / (Barbara Jean McNair) → R&B/pop-soul singer with a dozen minor hits in the 60s, but better known as a Broadway and TV actress and host of her own musical variety show, The Barbara McNair Show (1969-1972), died from throat cancer on 3/4/2007, age 72
1936 ● Eric Allandale → Trombone in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), songwriter and jazz bandleader
1938 ● Angus MacLise → Experimental, avant-garde music percussionist, original drummer for proto-punk/art rock Velvet Underground , left in 1965 and continued to write and record in a variety of “spiritual” settings, eventually landing in Nepal,, died in Kathmandu from hypoglycemia and tuberculosis caused by general malnutrition and years of drug use on 6/21/1979, age 41
1944 ● Mick Wilson / (Michael Wilson) → Drummer for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1944 ● Bobby Womack → R&B/soul singer and musician, scored a R&B Top Ten hit with his brothers as soul/pop The Valentinos, “Lookin’ For A Love” (#72, R&B #8, 1962) on Sam Cooke‘s SAR Records, wrote and recorded as a solo artist and session musician, including “It’s All Over Now” (The Rolling Stoness, #26, UK #1, 1964) and “Across 110th Street” (#56, R&B #19, 1972), died after a long period of multiple ailments on 6/27/2014, age 70
1945 ● Dieter Meier → Manager, producer, vocalist and lyricist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1946 ● Red Stripe / (David Gittens) → Vocals for Brit a cappella Flying Pickets, “Only You” (#1, 1983)
1947 ● Robert Lewis → Founding member group that became quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980) but left before the band signed a multi-million dollar recording contract, sued his bandmates for intellectual property rights and settled out of court, produced videos and music for bands in the Akron, Ohio region, now a consultant to music industry litigation lawyers
1948 ● Shakin’ Stevens / (Michael Barrett) → Welsh rock ‘n’ roll revival singer and songwriter, “I Cry Just A Little Bit” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1984)
1948 ● Chris Squire → Influential bass guitarist and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971), co-wrote “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), only bandmember to have appeared on all of the band’s albums and participated in every tour, died from leukemia on 6/27/2015, age 67
1951 ● Chris Rea → Singer, songwriter and slide guitarist, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1978) and “Working On It” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1951 ● Peter Haycock → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977), played and toured as a solo artist and with various collaborations in the 80s and 90s, and contributed to multiple film score projects (Thelma & Louise, 1991), worked until his death from a heart attack on 10/30/2013, age 62
1953 ● Emilio Estefan, Jr. → Keyboards for Latin-funk-dance Miami Sound Machine, “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (#1, 1989), husband of Gloria
1954 ● St. Clair L. Palmer → St. Kitts-born vocalist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1955 ● Boon Gould / (Rowland Gould) → Founding member and guitarist for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1962 ● Jon Durno → Bass guitar for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1963 ● Jason Newsted → Bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), later Echobrain and Voivod
1965 ● Richard March → Bassist for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991), then founded Bentley Rhythm Ace in mid 90s
1966 ● Grand Puba / (Maxwell Dixon) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1966 ● Patch Hannan / (Patrick Hannan) → Drummer for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1967 ● Evan Dando → Guitar and vocals for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Patsy Kensit → Film and TV actress, singer and bandleader for Brit pop-rock Eighth Wonder, “Cross My Heart” (Dance/Club #10, 1988), appeared in Lethal Weapon II as Mel Gibson’s love interest, formerly married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and Oasis singer Liam Gallagher
1971 ● Fergal Lawlor → Drums for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Alison Wheeler → Vocals in alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Hawksley Workman (Ryan Corrigan) → Canadian cabaret-pop and glam-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, “Anger As Beauty” (Canada #29, 2003)

March 05
1933 ● Tommy Tucker / (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1946 ● Murray Head → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Bobby Debarge / (Robert L.Debarge, Jr.) → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie / (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith / (Mark Edward Smith) → Founder, frontman, lead singer, chief songwriter and only constant member of influential post-punk The Fall (“There’s A Ghost In My House,” UK #30, 1987), his grinding riffs and casustic lyrics filled 32 studio albums as The Fall and two albums as a solo artist over a 42-year career that ended on his death from throat and respiratory problems on 1/24/2018, age 60
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

March 06
1893 ● Furry Lewis / (Walter Lewis) → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1905 ● Bob Wills / (James Robert Wills) → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Doug Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1937 ● Sam Samudio / (Domingo Samudio) → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis
1939 ● Jerry Naylor / (Jerry Naylor Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1944 ● Mary Wilson → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1976 to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career
1945 ● Hugh Grundy → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee / (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy / (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo / (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel / (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx / (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07
1942 ● Hamilton Bohannon → Drummer, bandleader, producer and one of the leading figures in the rise of 70s disco/dance music, worked with Stevie Wonder in his early years, toured with major Motown artists in the late 60s and joined Dakar/Brunswick Records in 1972, perfected the thudding baseline and heavy rhythms of disco and went on to record and produce numerous dance-pop hits, including his own “Let’s Start The Dance” (R&B #9, 1978)
1943 ● Chris Taylor White → Bassist and one of two primary songwriters in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1944 ● Townes Van Zandt → Reclusive country-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet, wrote “If I Needed You” (Country #3, 1981 for Emmylou Harris) and “Pancho And Lefty” (Country #1, 1983 for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), issued several solo albums but remained a largely cult musician, died on 1/1/1997 from cardiac arrhythmia following years of substance abuse, age 52
1945 ● Arthur Lee / (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Founder, guitarist, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died from leukemia on 8/3/2006
1946 ● Matthew Fisher → Keyboardist, lead vocals and songwriter for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969 for solo career and record producer for Robin Trower and others
1946 ● Peter Wolf / (Peter Blankfield) → Radio DJ (WBCN-fm, Boston) before joining boogie-blues-rock ‘n’ roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982) as lead singer and songwriter, left in 1983 for a solo career, “Lights Out” (#12, 1984), former husband of actress Faye Dunaway
1952 ● Ernie Isley / (Ernest Isley) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1962 ● Taylor Dayne / (Leslie Wunderman) → Dance-pop diva with a career-igniting seven straight Top 10 singles between 1987 and 1990, including “Love Will Lead You Back” (#1, 1990) and a recharge with “Planet Love” (Dance/Pop #1, 2000)
1966 ● Paul Davis → Keyboards for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Randy Guss → Drummer for alt folk-pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992)
1973 ● Sébastien Izambard → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1977 ● Paul Cattermole → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1982 ● Kelli Young → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 08
1931 ● Lloyd Knibb → Jamaican ska music pioneer and drummer in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), played and toured with the band until his death from liver cancer on 3/12/2011, age 80
1937 ● Richard Fariña / (Richard George Fariña) → Author and folksinger, duets with wife Mimi (Baez) Fariña, wrote the 60s cult classic Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, died on 4/30/1966 in a motorcycle accident
1937 ● Raynoma Gordy Singleton / (Raynoma Mayberry) → Second wife and business partner of Motown Records founder and CEO Berry Gordy in the formative years of the hugely influential label, sang back-up on early hits and mentored artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, divorced Gordy and left Motown before the big run of hits in the mid-60s, later managed the careers of her two sons with Gordy and authored a tell-all biography, died from brain cancer on 11/11/2016, age 79
1942 ● Ralph Ellis → Guitarist and songwriter for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1943 ● Shel Macrae / (Andrew Semple) → Vocals and lead guitar Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1945 ● Micky Dolenz / (George Michael Dolenz, Jr.) → Drummer and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo, producer
1946 ● Carole Bayer Sager → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer and songwriter, co-wrote “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (The Mindbenders, #2, 1966 and Phil Collins, #1, 1988), co-wrote “Nobody Does It Better” (Carly Simon, #2, 1980), issued three solo albums, former wife of and musical collaborator with Burt Bacharach
1946 ● Randy Meisner / (Randy Herman Meisner) → Original bassist in country-rock Poco, left to join Rick Nelson‘s Stone Canyon Band, plus session work for Linda Ronstadt, whose backing band became country-rock Eagles, co-wrote and sang “Take It To The Limit” (#4, 1977), left in 1977 for solo career, “Hearts On Fire” (#19, 1981)
1947 ● Michael Allsup → Guitarist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1947 ● Tom Rapp / (Thomas Dale Rapp) → Founder, frontman and only constant member in eclectic 60s/70s underground psychedelic folk Pearls Before Swine (“Uncle John,” 1967), issued 10 albums as a band and three solo albums before retiring from music in the late 70s, studied law and became a civil rights lawyer, resurfaced with a fourth solo album in 1999, died from cancer on 2/11/2018, age 70
1948 ● Little Peggy March / (Margaret Battavio) → Girl group-era one hit wonder pop vocalist, “I Will Follow Him” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Mel Galley / (Melvin John Galley) → Guitarist for hard funk-rock Trapeze, “Keepin’ Time” (1972), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), died of esophageal cancer on 7/1/2008, age 60
1949 ● Dave Lambert → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), solo
1954 ● Cheryl Baker / (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1957 ● Clive Burr → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Gary Numan / (Gary Webb) → Composer, musician and bandleader for New Wave synth-pop Tubeway Army, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (UK #1, 1979), and seminal 80s New Wave hit “Cars” (#9, 1980)
1960 ● Richard Darbyshire → Lead vocals and guitar for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1962 ● Steve Grantley → Drummer for The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers, plus session work for Julian Lennon, Eighth Wonder and The Clash, author of a book about 70s metal band Slade and another covering The Who‘s discography
1964 ● Ped Gill / (Peter Gill) → Backing vocals and drummer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1968 ● Rob Dukes → Lead vocalist for thrash metal Exodus (Blood In, Blood Out, #38, 2014) from 2004 to 2014, currently vocalist for crossover thrash metal Generation Kill
1968 ● Shawn Mullins → Atlanta-based folk/pop male singer, “Lullaby” (#7, 1998)
1972 ● Angie Hart → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-pop Frente!, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (#49, 1994)
1976 ● Gareth Coombes → Vocals and guitar for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams → Vocals for teen R&B dance/pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999)
1979 ● Tom Chaplin → Vocals for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1988 ● Eleanor Jackson → Singer and namesake (“the red-haired one”) of electro-dance-pop duo La Roux, “Bulletproof” (#8, 2010)

March 09
1925 ● Billy Ford → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith / (Dorothy Jacqueline Keely) → Sultry-voiced singer and half of the 1950s Grammy-winning vocal and comedy duo with then-husband Louis Prima, their jazz and pop act headlined the Las Vegas strip and produced several hits, including “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958), divorced Prima and performed solo in the 60s with more success in the UK than in the US (“You’re Breaking My Heart,” UK #14, 1965), reprised “That Ol’ Black Magic” at the 2008 Grammy awards ceremony as a duet with Kid Rock, their performance dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 20 “weird and wild Grammy collaborations,” died from heart failure on 12/16/2017, age 85
1930 ● Ornette Coleman → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with several Top 40 hits, including “Stagger Lee” (#1, 1959), now manages a food service company using his name on various Southern-style packaged food products
1936 ● Mickey Gilley → Country-pop singer “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), owner of Gilley’s nightclubs
1942 ● John Davies Cale → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker / (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton / (Trevor Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robin Trower → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Robert Calvert → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Ron Wilson → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife
1948 ● Chris Thompson → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ / (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy / (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow / (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 30 – January 5)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 30
1917 ● Wesley Tuttle → Early and influential country-pop, hillbilly and smooth-Western singer and guitarist known for having only a thumb and pinky finger on his left hand but scoring the early hits “With Tears in My Eyes” (Country #1, 1945) and “Detour” (Country #4, 1946), and for yodeling to the “Silly Song” in Walt Disney‘s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, left the music industry in the 90s and died from heart failure on 9/29/2003, age 85
1928 ● Bo Diddley (Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel) / (Ellas Otha Bates McDanie) → Grammy-winning early R&B/rock ‘n roll guitarist, prolific singer and songwriter, “I’m A Man” (R&B #1, 1955) and nine other R&B Top 40 hits, originator of the oft-used “Diddley Beat” (bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp), died from heart failure on 6/2/2008, age 79
1931 ● Skeeter Davis / (Mary Frances Penick) → Unheralded early rockabilly and later country-crossover singer, “The End Of The World” (#2, 1963), died from breast cancer on 9/19/2004, age 72
1934 ● Del Shannon / (Charles Westover) → Early rock ‘n roll teen idol then heralded pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Runaway” (#1, 1961), rumored to be replacing Roy Orbison in pop-rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys but shot-gunned himself to death before any official announcement on 2/8/1990, age 55
1937 ● Paul Stookey / (Noel Paul Stookey) → Vocals and guitar for seminal folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” (#2, 1963), then solo, “Wedding Song (There Is Love)” (#24, 1971)
1937 ● John Hartford / (John Harford) → Grammy-winning folk-pop-country-rock and Newgrass singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote and recorded the oft-covered and hugely popular standard “Gentle On My Mind” (1967), died from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/4/2001, age 63
1939 ● Felix Pappalardi / (Felix A. Pappalardi, Jr.) → Producer for blues-rock Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) and later bassist for pioneering hard rock/heavy metal trio Mountain, “Mississippi Queen” (#21, 1970), shot dead by his wife in a supposed accident on 4/17/1983, age 43
1940 ● Mr. Popeye / (Kenny Pentifallo) → Drummer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1940 ● Perry Ford → Member of Brit pop vocal trio The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965) and backing vocals for The Who
1942 ● Mike Nesmith / (Robert Michael Nesmith) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), then Grammy-winning country-rock solo career (“Joanne” #21, 1970) and producer
1942 ● Robert Quine → Heralded punk-era guitarist with Richard Hell & The Voidoids, then collaborated with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Tom Waits and others, committed suicide on 5/31/2004, age 61
1945 ● Davy Jones / (David Thomas Jones) → Lead vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo and stage actor, died from a heart attack on 2/29/2012, age 66
1946 ● Clive Bunker / (Clive William Bunker) → Drummer for early line-up of Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1946 ● Patti Smith / (Patricia Lee Smith) → The “Godmother of Punk,” singer, poet, songwriter and bandleader, co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen “Because The Night” (#13, 1978)
1947 ● Jeff Lynne / (Jeffrey Lynne) → Top-level producer, keyboardist, songwriter and frontman for The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), Electric Light Orchestra, “Telephone Line” (#7, 1977), and the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, “Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988)
1951 ● Chris Jasper → Brother-in-law, keyboardist and key member of six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1956 ● Suzy Bogguss / (Susan Kay Bogguss) → Award-winning country singer and songwriter, “Drive South” (Country #2, 1992)
1959 ● Tracey Ullman / (Trace Ullman) → 80s “girl-group revival” pop-rock singer “They Don’t Know” (#8, 1984), then TV comedienne
1969 ● Jay Kay Cheetham / (Jason “Jay Kay” Cheetham) → Lead singer in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1970 ● Sister Bliss / (Ayalah Bentovim) → Former club DJ then founding member of techno-club-dance duo Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1973 ● Jon Theodore → Current drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age (“No One Knows,” #51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and in power duo One Day As A Lion with Zack de la Rocha of Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine (“Guerrilla Radio,” Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1978 ● Tyrese / (Tyrese Darnell Gibson) → R&B/hip hop singer, songwriter and rapper, “How You Gonna Act Like That” (#7, 2003), film actor, producer
1986 ● Ellie Goulding / (Elena Jane Goulding) → Brit indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with several charting hits in the U.S., including “Lights” (#2, UK #49, 2011) and “Love Me Like You Do” (#3, UK #1, 2015)
1988 ● Leon Jackson → Scottish pop singer and winner of the UK TV talent show The X Factor in 2007, “When You Believe” (#1, 2007)

December 31
1914 ● Cyril Stapleton → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974, age 59
1920 ● Rex Allen / (Rex Elvie Allen) → Actor, songwriter and “singing cowboy” with nearly 50 Western movie roles, over 150 narrations of Disney films, a dozen albums and five Top 30 country-pop crossover hits, including his cover of “Crying In The Chapel” (#8, Country #4, 1953), died after his caregiver accidentally ran over him with his car in his driveway on 12/17/1999, age 79
1928 ● Ross Barbour → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001, age 82
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died from heart disease on 12/2/2008, age 77
1942 ● Andy Summers / (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● John Denver / (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997, age 53
1943 ● Peter Quaife → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010, age 66
1947 ● Burton Cummings → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer / (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012, age 63
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton → Bassist for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1959 ● Paul Westerberg / (Paul Harold Westerberg) → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian / (Scott Ian Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara / (Daniel Anthony McNamara) → Founder and lead vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1972 ● Joey McIntyre / (Joseph Mulrey McIntyre) → Vocalist in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1977 ● PSY / (Park Jae-Sang) → South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper and “K-Pop” phenomenon known for his global hit “Gangnam Style” (#2, UK #1, 2012)
1979 ● Bob Bryar / (Robert Nathaniel Corey Bryar) → Drummer for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)

January 01
1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher / (Toni Fisher Monzello) → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and in synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999, age 68
1941 ● James West → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country Joe” McDonald / (Joseph Allen McDonald) → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1949 ● Phalon Jones / (Phalon R. Jones, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Morgan Fisher / (Stehphen Morgan Fisher) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1954 ● Billy Miller / (William Henry Miller, Jr.) → Rock music archivist, collector, publisher and record label executive, co-founded Kicks magazine in 1979 and Norton Records in 1986 with his wife and fellow arcane music enthusiast Miriam Linna (former drummer for punk/rockabilly The Cramps), focused on overlooked garage rock, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Link Wray, The Alarm Clocks and the Wailers, among many others, died from complications of multiple myeloma on 11/13/2016, age 62
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash / (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs / (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan / (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

January 02
1930 ● Julius La Rosa → Italian-American traditional pop singer with ten Top 25 hits in the 50s, including “Eh Cumpari” (#2, 1953), was fired on-air from the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1953, later guested on various TV variety shows and sitcoms and enjoyed a long career as a New York City radio DJ, continued to record and release pop CDs until a few years before his death from natural causes on 5/12/2016, age 86
1936 ● Roger Miller → Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “King Of The Road” (#4, 1965), TV star, died of lung cancer on 10/25/1992, age 56
1948 ● Kerry Minnear / (Kerry C. Minnear) → Classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger, keyboardist of Brit progressive rock Gentle Giant during the 70s, left to teach and perform in church assembles, continues to compose music for film and TV, manages the release of Gentle Giant anthologies
1949 ● Chick Churchill / (Michael George Churchill) → Keyboardist for British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (#40, 1971), later switched to ambient music and writing TV commercial jingles before becoming a professional photographer
1954 ● Glen Goins → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 7/29/1978, age 24
1963 ● Keith Gregory → Bassist for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1967 ● Robert Gregory → Drummer for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1975 ● Chris Cheney → Lead guitar, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie punk rock/psychobilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Rock #23, 1997)
1975 ● Douglas Robb → Vocalist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy / (Kelton Kessee) → Drummer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999)

January 03
1909 ● Victor Borge / (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Andrews / (Maxene Angelyn Andrews) → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995, age 79
1926 ● Sir George Martin / (George Henry Martin) → Highly-successful and influential record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums and becoming the “Fifth Beatle” for his creative arrangements and complement to the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others, overall produced 23 number one singles and 19 number one albums in the U.S., died in his sleep on 3/8/2016, age 90
1937 ● John Gorman → Brit comedian and vocalist with Paul McCartney‘s brother in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1937 ● Glen Larson → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Stills / (Stephen Arthur Stills) → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones / (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1948 ● Rex Braley / (Rex Charles Braley) → Guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1955 ● Clive Gregson → Founder, frontman, vocals and songwriter for New Wave punk-pop Any Trouble, then 90s Brit folk-rock revival duo Gregson & Collister, solo and producer for others
1958 ● Marcel King → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995, age 37
1964 ● Raymond McGinley → Lead guitar and vocals for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1975 ● Thomas Bangaltier → DJ for French progressive electronic dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1977 ● Timothy Wheeler → Founding member, songwriter and vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1978 ● Kimberly Locke → Adult contemporary pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (Dance #1, Adult Contemporary #9, 2007)

January 04
1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock / (Miriam Kahan Abramson) → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
1942 ● John McLaughlin → Jazz-fusion guitarist and composer, played with Miles Davis, founded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rolling Stone magazine #49 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1944 ● Volker Hombach → Flutist for first lineup of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1946 ● Arthur Conley → R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, co-wrote (with Otis Redding) and sang “Sweet Soul Music” (#2, R&B #2, UK #7, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003, age 57
1956 ● Bernard Sumner / (Bernard Edward Sumner) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless / (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1959 ● Vanity / (Denise Matthews) → Canadian singer, sometime actress, backing vocalist for Prince and lead singer of R&B/dance-funk Vanity 6 (“Nasty Girl,” #, 1982) plus a brief solo career (“Under The Influence,” #56, R&B #9, 1986), eschewed the celebrity lifestyle after a cocaine-induced near-death kidney failure and become a Christian evangelist, died from kidney disease on 2/15/2016, age 57
1960 ● Michael Stipe → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Martin McAloon → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Robin Guthrie → Guitar and drum machine for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1962 ● Till Lindemann → Poet, frontman and lead vocals for German industrial metal band Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1962 ● Peter Steele / (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010, age 48
1965 ● Beth Gibbons → Singer for avant-garde fusion of electronica and pop Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1965 ● Cait O’Riordan → Bassist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1965 ● David Glasper → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Deana Carter → Neo-traditional country-folk singer, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” (Country #25, 1997)
1967 ● Benjamin Darvill → Harmonica for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)

January 05
1922 ● Bob Keane / (Robert Verril Kuhn) → Producer and record label owner best known for discovering and managing Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba,” #22, 1958), also “discovered” Sam Cooke and marketed his first hit, “You Send Me” (#1, UK #29, 1957) on his Keen Records label, formed Del-Fi Records in 1957 and in addition to Valens jumpstarted the careers of Brenda Holloway, Frank Zappa and Barry White, signed The Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought The Law,” #1, 1965) and produced and sold music by surf band The Surfaris, among others, died from renal failure on 11/28/2009, age 87
1923 ● Sam Phillips / (Samuel Cornelius Phillips) → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary and pioneer, founder of Sun Records, discovered, nurtured and made Elvis Presley a star, as well as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003, age 80
1932 ● Johnny Adams / (Laten John Adams) → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1934 ● Phil Ramone → Innovative, Grammy-winning recording engineer, record producer, violin prodigy, composer and founder of A&R Recording, Inc. studios in New York, which engineered and produced records for dozens of top pop and rock artists from Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/30/2013, age 79
1940 ● Athol Guy → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1940 ● George Malone / (George Walter Malone) → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), reunited with the group for the oldies circuit in the 90s, died from a stroke on 10/5/2007, age 67
1941 ● Grady Thomas → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Funky Brown / (George Brown) → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford / (Peter Rodney Byford) → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 23
1923 ● Milt Okun / (Milton Theodore Okun) → Music producer and arranger, founder of Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, nurtured the careers of a diverse range of superstars, from folkies Peter, Paul & Mary and John Denver to jazz-pop Harry Belafonte and opera star Placido Domingo, produced Laura Nyro‘s debut album More Than A Discovery (1966) and Starland Vocal Band‘s hit “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976), died from unspecified causes on 11/15/2016, age 92
1926 ● Harold Dorman / (Harold Kenneth Dorman) → One hit wonder pre-Beatles rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter with the self-penned, oft-covered “Mountain Of Love” (#21, R&B #7, 1960), continued to write songs for other artists until his death following a stroke on 10/8/1988, age 61
1929 ● Chet Baker / (Chesney Henry Baker, Jr.) → West Coast “cool school” jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and vocalist, played with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan before forming his own quintet and recording several noteworthy albums in the 50s, in later years performed with Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and others, died after falling from a second story hotel room window in Amsterdam after a night of heroin and cocaine on 5/13/1988, age 58
1935 ● Johnny Kidd / (Frederick Heath) → Pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll singer and frontman for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), died in a car crash on 10/7/1966, age 30
1935 ● Little Esther / (Esther Mae Jones) → Versatile R&B/soul-pop-country-jazz-blues singer, “Release Me” (#8, R&B #1, 1962) and seven other R&B Top 40 hits, died from alcohol-related liver and kidney failure on 8/7/1984, age 48
1940 ● Jorma Kaukonen → Guitarist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna, still touring and recording in 2011
1940 ● Eugene Record → Founding member and vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died of cancer on 7/22/2005, age 64
1941 ● Tim Hardin → Folk singer-songwriter, wrote and recorded the oft-covered classic “Reason To Believe” (1965), died of a heroin overdose on 12/29/1980, age 39
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Actor who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1946 ● Ariel Bender / (Luther James Grosvenor) → Guitarist for Brit blues-rock Spooky Tooth, then early glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1946 ● Crazy Raymond / (Ray Tabano) → Original member of hard rock Aerosmith (“Dream On,” #6, 1976), replaced as rhythm guitarist by Brad Whitford and became the band’s assistant manager in 1971, was fired in 1979 and became a catering business manager
1946 ● Robbie Dupree / (Robert Dupuis) → Light pop-rock singer-songwriter with a handful of hits, including “Steal Away” (#6, R&B #85, 1980) and “Hot Rod Hearts” (#15, 1980), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Jim Pash → Vietnam veteran and original saxophonist for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), converted to classical harp music in later years, died from heart failure on 4/29/2005, age 56
1949 ● Adrian Belew / (Robert Steven Belew) → Session and touring guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, with whom he records and tours in the 00s, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1951 ● Doug Stegmeyer → Bass guitarist and backing vocals in Billy Joel‘s touring and studio band from 1974 through 1989, plus session work for Hall & Oates, The Carpenters and others, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 8/25/1995, age 43
1953 ● Martha Wash → One half of the plus-sized, late 70s R&B backing vocal duo Two Tons O’ Fun, which became one hit wonder disco-pop duo The Weather Girls and recorded the Hi-NRG, gay club anthem “It’s Raining Men” (#46, Dance #1, UK #2, 1982), transitioned to house music in the late 80s as a solo act and scored twelve #1 and 16 overall Top 10 hits on the Billboard Dance chart through 2016
1956 ● Dave Murray → One of the earliest members and stalwart guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), for which he and bassist Steve Harris are the only bandmembers to have played on all of the group’s albums
1958 ● Victoria Williams → Idiosyncratic country-folk singer and songwriter, “Crazy Mary” (1994), career limited by multiple sclerosis, subject of the tribute/benefit album Sweet Relief (1993) featuring Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, Vanessa Williams and others
1960 ● Will Sinnott → Bassist in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992), drowned while swimming in the Canary Islands on 5/23/1991, age 30
1964 ● Eddie Vedder / (Edward Louis Severson III) → Lead vocals and guitars for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), solo
1966 ● Bobby Schayer → Drummer for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995) from 1991 to 2001, resigned from the band after suffering a shoulder injury which left him unable to drum professionally
1974 ● Montsho Eshe → Vocals for Grammy-winning, progressive Afrocentric rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop group Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1975 ● Katie Underwood → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1985 ● Harry Judd → Drummer for Brit pop-rock boy band McFly, “All About You” (UK #1, 2005)

December 24
1920 ● Dave Bartholomew / (David Louis Bartholomew) → Prominent and expansive New Orleans R&B producer, arranger, composer, co-wrote “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, 1955) with Fats Domino
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Working In The Cole Mine” (#8, 1966), died from emphysema on 12/1/1986, age 61
1931 ● Ray Bryant → Blues- and gospel-flavored jazz pianist, composer and bandleader (The Ray Bryant Combo), scored a lone top 40 hit with “The Madison Time” (#30, R&B #5, 1960) and recorded into the mid-00s, died following a long illness on 6/2/2011, age 79
1944 ● Mike Curb → Musician, producer, record label executive with MGM, Bizarre and Curb records, former Lt. Governor of California, NASCAR racing team owner
1945 ● Lemmy / (Ian Frasier Kilmister) → Hard-playing, hard-living bass guitarist, first with space rock pioneers Hawkwind (“Silver Machine,” 1972), then founded and fronted punk-metal Motörhead (“Ace Of Spades,” UK #15, 1980) and performed with his group until his death from cancer on 12/28/2016, age 70
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Founding member and guitarist for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo, music journalist
1957 ● Ian Burden → Keyboards for late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1963 ● Mary Ramsey → Vocals in folk-pop John & Mary, then joined 10,000 Maniacs as lead vocalist in 1994 after Natalie Merchant‘s departure, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1968 ● Doyle Bramhall / (Doyle Bramhall II) → Guitarist and songwriter in Texas blues-rock The Arc Angels and Smokestack, played second guitar for Eric Clapton‘s band from 2004 to 2009, solo
1971 ● Ricky Martin / (Enrique Martin Morales) → Puerto Rican teen-pop and later adult-pop superstar singer, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (#1, 1999), TV actor in daytime soap opera General Hospital
1975 ● Joseph Washbourne → Keyboards and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1991 ● Louis Tomlinson → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

December 25
1907 ● Cab Calloway / (Cabell Calloway III) → Popular jazz and scat singer, pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Minnie The Moocher” (1931 and R&B #91, 1978), continued to perform up to his death following a stroke on 11/18/1994, age 86
1913 ● Tony Martin / (Alvin Morris) → Big Band and trad pop singer with a steady flow of hits in the 40s and 50s, including “It’s a Blue World” (#2, 1940), “Walk Hand In Hand” (#10, 1956) and 28 other Top 20 singles, was rolled under by the mid-50s rock ‘n’ roll onslaught but became a cabaret performer with his wife of 60 years, singer/actress Cyd Charisse, died from natural causes on 7/27/2012, age 98
1929 ● Billy Horton / (William Franklin Horton) → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1929 ● Chris Kenner → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n roll singer and songwriter, “I Like It Like That” (#2, 1961), his “Land Of A Thousand Dances” was covered by Wilson Pickett, Patti Smith and others, died from a heart attack on 1/25/1976, age 46
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley / (O’Kelly Isley, Jr.) → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973), died following as heart attack on 3/31/1986, age 48
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop crossover keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader, “Feel Like Making Love” (#88, 1974) and two Grammy-winning albums, One On One (1980) and Double Vision (1986)
1940 ● Pete Brown / (Peter Ronald Brown) → Poet and co-lyricist for blues-rock Cream, co-wrote “I Feel Free” (1966) and “White Room” (#6, 1968) with Jack Bruce and “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968) with Bruce and Eric Clapton
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Guitarist and vocalist with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Fotheringay, producer for Al Stewart, The Strawbs and others, died of a heart attack on 2/4/1989, age 45
1944 ● John Edwards / (Jonathan Edwards) → R&B/soul singer on regional circuits in the 60s and early 70s with one big hit, “Careful Man” (R&B #8, 1974), joined Grammy-winning Motown Records and later Atlantic soul group The Spinners in 1977 for their last two of twelve Top 20 hits in the 70s, the medley “Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl” (#2, 1980) and “Cupid” (#4, 1980), stayed with the group until a stroke sidelined him in 2000
1944 ● Kenny Everett / (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ, Thames Television host, comedian and musician, “Snot Rap” (1983), died from an AIDS-related illness on 4/4/1995, age 50
1944 ● The Sunflower / (Henry Charles Vestine) → Guitarist for folk-blues-rock Canned Heat, “”Let’s Work Together” (1970) and Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), died from heart failure in a Paris hotel at the end of a Canned Heat tour of Europe on 10/20/1997, age 52
1945 ● Steve Mancha / (Clyde Darnell Wilson) → Vocals in Motown funk/soul group 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” (#8, R&B #6, 1970) and little-known 8th Day, “She’s Not Just Another Woman” (#11, R&B #3, 1971), later tried gospel and an unsuccessful return to funk/soul but largely disappeared from the music business in the 00s
1945 ● Noel Redding / (David Noel Redding) → Bassist for psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze” (US #65, UK #3, 1967), solo, died from complications of cirrhosis of the liver on 5/11/2003, age 57
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → Country-folk-pop-rock singer, songwriter, perpetual beach bum and chief Parrothead, “Margaritaville” (#8, 1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Country singer, songwriter and three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed” (Country #1, 1977)
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Soul and gospel touring and session singer, recorded with Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Neil Young and others, duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ “Gimme Shelter”, solo
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock The Tourists, “I Only Want To Be With You” (#83, 1980), co-founder and one-half the synth-pop duo Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams” (#1, 1983), Grammy-winning solo career, “Walking On Broken Glass” (#14, 1992) and three other Top 40 hits
1954 ● Robin Campbell → Guitar and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Guitar and vocals for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Alannah Myles → Sultry, smoky and sensual Canadian pop singer and songwriter, “Black Velvet” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Bob Stanley → Guitars and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Jason Thirsk → Bass player with power punk trio Pennywise (“The Western World,” Alt Rock #22, 2008), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 7/29/1996, age 28
1971 ● Dido / (Dido Armstrong) → Electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Thank You” (#3, 2001)
1971 ● Noel Hogan → Guitarist for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Josh Freese → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), also with The Vandals, Devo and others
1984 ● Jessica Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Lisa, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)
1984 ● Lisa Origliasso → With her identical twin sister, Jessica, one half of the Aussie teen dance-pop duo The Veronicas (“Untouched,” #17, AUS #2, 2007)

December 26
1921 ● Steve Allen → TV personality, musician, composer, comedian and author, first host of The Tonight Show, hosted numerous game and variety shows including The Steve Allen Show and I’ve Got A Secret, penned thousands of songs including Grammy-winning “The Gravy Waltz” (1963) and pop/easy listening tunes covered by Perry Como, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and others, issued several albums of piano works, died from a heart attack following a car accident on 10/30/2000, age 78
1935 ● Duke Fakir / (Abdul Fakir) → Ethiopian-American tenor vocalist in six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), last surviving member of the group that performed together for over 40 years from 1953 without a change in lineup
1939 ● Phil Spector → Musician, songwriter, record producer and originator of the “Wall of Sound” recording technique, pioneer of 60s girl groups and former husband of Ronnie Bennett Spector of The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1946 ● Bob Carpenter → Pianist (from 1977) for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and simply The Dirt Band, backed Steve Martin on “King Tut” (#17, 1978)
1947 ● George J. Porter, Jr. → Founding member and bassist for influential New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing bassist for Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, Tori Amos and others, continues to perform and record with others and as a solo artist into the 10s
1951 ● Paul Anthony Quinn → Early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1953 ● Henning Schmitz → Sound engineer then keyboardist for German electro-rock Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1953 ● Steve Witherington → Drummer for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Kashif Saleem / (Michael Jones) → Singer, producer, songwriter and key figure on the development of R&B in the post-disco 80s, joined funk/disco B. T. Express (“Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied),” #2, R&B #1, 1974) in 1971 as a teenager, in the 80s did session work, went solo with numerous R&B hits, including “I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On),” #103, R&B #5, 1983) and produced hits for Whitney Houston, went behind the scenes in the 90s, wrote several books and was producing a documentary film about R&B music when he died from undisclosed causes on 9/25/2016, age 59
1963 ● Dana Baldinger → Bassist for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1963 ● Lars Ulrich → Drummer for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991)
1967 ● J. / (Jay Noel Yuenger) → Guitarist for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1969 ● Peter Klett → Founding member and guitarist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1971 ● Jared Leto / (Jared Joseph Leto) → Lead vocals, guitar and songwriter for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006), actor
1979 ● Chris Daughtry → Fifth season American Idol finalist, bandleader and guitarist for rock Daughtry “It’s Not Over” (#4, 2006)

December 27
1931 ● Scotty Moore / (Winfield Scott Moore III) → Sun Records sessionman, longtime Elvis Presley backing band guitarist and Rolling Stone magazine’s #29 Greatest Guitarist of All Time, established the guitar as a lead instrument in rock ‘n’ roll music and invented power chording, played on dozens of Elvis‘s early hits, including “Hound Dog” (#1, 1956), “Jailhouse Rock” (#1, 1957) and “Little Sister” (#5, 1961), left Sun Records in 1964 for a career as a freelance studio engineer, died on 6/28/2016, age 84
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Piano and saxophone for Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1941 ● Mike Pinder → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967), left in 1978 for a solo career
1942 ● Mike Heron → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in esoteric Scottish psych-Celtic-folk/early World music duo The Incredible String Band
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → Early member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then solo and songwriter
1944 ● Mick Jones / (Michael Leslie Jones) → Rock guitarist for Spooky Tooth and founding member of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978)
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Founder, frontwoman and lead vocals for underappreciated 60s psych-blues-rock Mother Earth, then solo
1946 ● Lenny Kaye → Musician, writer, record producer and lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group (“Because The Night,” #13, UK #5, 1978), compiled and produced Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (1972), the double album collection of garage rock and proto-punk recordings that influenced punk and college rock in the 70s, co-authored Waylon, The Life Story of Waylon Jennings, produced albums for R.E.M., Suzanne Vega, Soul Asylum and others, continues to write and record into the 10s
1948 ● Larry Byrom → Guitar for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), solo, sessions
1948 ● Ronnie Caldwell / (Ronald Louis Caldwell) → Founding member, keyboardist and lone white member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died three weeks shy of his 19th birthday in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Drummer for Frank Zappa‘s band, then founded New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream #12, 1982)
1952 ● David Knopfler → Rhythm guitar and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, songwriter, younger brother of Mark Knopfler
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → L.A. pop-rock singer and songwriter, backing vocalist in Linda Ronstadt‘s band, solo “Personally” (#19, 1982)
1957 ● Jerry Gaskill → Drummer for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1960 ● Youth Glover / (Martin Glover ) → Founding member and bassist for post-punk New Wave dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Lead guitar and principal songwriter for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1988 ● Hayley Nichole Williams → Lead vocals and keyboards for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 28
1903 ● Fatha Hines / (Earl Kenneth Hines) → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983, age 79
1910 ● Billy Williams → R&B/soul-blues singer with six Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” (#3, 1957), lost his voice due to diabetes in the 60s and became a social worker until his death on 10/17/1972, age 61
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000, age 89
1915 ● Pops Staples / (Roebuck Staples) → Patriarch and manager of influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died on 12/19/2000, age 84
1921 ● Johnny Otis / (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (#9, R&B #3, 1958), continued to perform and record with his band The Johnny Otis Show into the 80s and host an annual rock and R&B festival in Los Angeles into the 00s, died from natural causes on 1/17/2012, age 90
1929 ● Matt “Guitar” Murphy / (Matthew Tyler Murphy) → Highly-regarded electric blues guitarist best known as a member of The Blues Brothers band (“Soul Man,” #14, 1979) and appearances in both Blues Brothers movies as the fictional husband of diner-matron Aretha Franklin, over the years played with Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, James Cotton and other notable blues masters, issued four respectable solo albums, died from undisclosed causes on 6/15/2018, age 88
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979, age 46
1938 ● Charles Neville → Jazz-influenced saxophonist for blues great B. B. King, pop-rock Joey Dee & The Starliters (“Peppermint Twist,” #1, 1962) and several New York R&B bands, returned home in 1977 to co-found celebrated New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers (Grammy-winning “Healing Chant,” 1989), recorded and toured for over 30 years until declining health forced his retirement, died from pancreatic cancer on 4/27/2018, age 79
1941 ● Bob Seidenmann / (Robert Emett Seidenmann) → Photographer in the counterculture scene in 1960s San Francisco, where he created concert posters and iconic photographs of Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead and others, later moved to England where he worked with Eric Clapton and produced the infamous cover photograph for his supergroup’s eponymous debut (and only) album, Blind Faith (#1, UK #1, 1969), returned to the US and developed a second career photographing aviation stars like Chuck Yeager and Gen. James H. Doolittle, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 11/27/2017, age 75
1943 ● Chas Hodges / (Charles Hodges) → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde / (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1948 ● Ziggy Modeliste / (Joseph Modeliste) → Founding member and drummer for New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing drummer for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, formed funk band The Wild Tchoupitoulas in the 70s, continues to perform with both band and record as a solo artist into the 10s
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then influential but only cult-level power-pop band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from heart failure on 3/17/2010, age 59
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997, age 45
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1961 ● Christine Collister → Contemporary Brit folk-rock vocalist, backing singer with the Richard Thompson Band and five albums of duets with Clive Gregson in the late 80s, released solo albums in the 90s, toured with all-female vocal group Daphne’s Flight and collaborated in various projects and tours in the 00s and 10s
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend / (John Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)

December 29
1931 ● Buddy Bailey → Founding member, tenor and lead 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), stayed with the group and various splinters, and toured with other doo wop groups until his death on 2/3/1994, age 62
1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop The Velvets, “Tonight (Could Be The Night)” (#26, 1961)
1939 ● Ed Bruce / (William Edwin Bruce, Jr.) → Country music songwriter, singer and TV actor, co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” for himself (Country #15, 1976) and covered by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (Country #1, 1978) on the duet album Waylon & Willy (#12, Country #1, 1978), wrote and sang the theme song, and co-starred with James Garner in the TV series Bret Maverick (1981-82), scored six Country Top 10 hits in the 80s
1941 ● Ray Thomas → Founding member, harmonica, flute and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, his flute solo on “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) is widely considered to be a defining moment in rock music, and the development of the prog rock subgenre, recorded two solo albums in the 70s while the band was on hiatus, left in 2002 due to declining health and died from prostate cancer on 1/4/2018, age 76
1942 ● Jerry Summers / (Jerry Gross) → Lead and first tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1942 ● Rick Danko → Canadian-born bassist, vocalist and occasional songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, died at home in his sleep from heart failure on 12/10/1999, age 56
1943 ● Bill Aucion → Artist consultant and band manager credited with discovering campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) and developing their costumes, stage presence, record contracts and merchandise into a multi-million dollar enterprise, also managed other hard rock bands, including Billy Idol, Starz and Finnish heavy metal Lordi, died from complications following prostrate cancer surgery on 6/28/2010, age 66
1943 ● Barbara Alston / (Barbara Ann Alston) → Founding member in Phil Spector-produced 60s girl group The Crystals and lead singer on their first two hits, “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” (#20, 1962) and “Uptown” (#13, 1962), relinquished the front spot due to stage fright and sang back-up until leaving the group in 1965 to raise her first son (who was transgender and killed in an unsolved murder in 2010), died from complications of the flu on 2/16/2018, age 74
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, former paramour of Mick Jagger, co-wrote The Rolling Stones‘ “Sister Morphine,” solo vocalist, “As Tears Go By” (#22, 1964), continues to record and release albums into the 10s
1947 ● Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) → Journeyman but sought after and influential rock drummer with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and others, died in a one-car crash in the UK on 4/5/1998, age 50
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → Trumpeter in blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → Hawaii-born pop-rock singer and songwriter, acted in the Broadway stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), member of Eric Clapton‘s band and solo “If I Can’t Have You” (#1, 1977)
1955 ● Spyder Giraldo / (Neil Giraldo) → Lead guitarist for Pat Benatar‘s band, “Love Is A Battlefield” (#5, 1983)
1961 ● Cow Day / (Mark Day) → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1961 ● Jim Reid → Co-founder and lead singer in Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1963 ● Alex Gifford → Keyboards, bass and DJ for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998)
1965 ● Dexter Holland / (Bryan Keith Holland) → Aspiring molecular biology PhD candidate turned frontman, guitar and vocals for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997), returned to academia in the 10s
1968 ● Sadat X / (Derek Murphy) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Phillips → Founder, lead vocals and songwriter for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 16 – 22)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 16
1899 ● Noel Coward → Multi-talented author, poet, playwright, actor, stage, film and television producer and director, songwriter and pop/cabaret singer, “Mad About The Boy” (1932), died of a heart attack on 3/26/1973, age 73
1931 ● Karl Denver / (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → Scottish pop-rock singer with eleven UK Top 40 hits just before The Beatles hit big, including a cover of “Wimoweh” (UK #4, 1961), continued to perform and record sporadically into the 90s, died from a brain tumor on 12/21/1998, age 67
1944 ● John Abercrombie / (John Laird Abercrombie) → Prominent 70s jazz-rock fusion guitarist, sideman for Gato Barbieri, Billy Cobham and others, began to move away from fusion following release of his first solo album, Timeless (1974), became a respected improvisational jazz, post bop and avant-garde jazz guitarist with dozens of collaborations and over 30 solo albums, mostly with jazz-label ECM Records, continued to record and perform until his death from heart failure on 8/22/2017, age 72
1945 ● Tony Hicks → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966) and “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (#2, 1972)
1946 ● Benny Andersson → Keyboards and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Reverend Willie G. or Billy Gibbons / (William Frederick Gibbons) → Guitar and vocals for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1959 ● Steven Irvine → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1968 ● Christopher Thorn → Guitarist for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Lalah Hathaway / (Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway) → The “First Daughter of Soul,” contemporary R&B and jazz-pop singer, “Heaven Knows” (R&B/Hip Hop #3, 1990), daughter of R&B/soul legend Donny Hathaway, member of the Daughters Of Soul supergroup with Nona Hendryx and others
1971 ● Michael McCary → Former bass vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)

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

December 18
1917 ● Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson / (Edward L. Vinson, Jr.) → Jump blues, jazz bebop and R&B alto saxophonist, blues shouter and bandleader, “Old Maid Boogie” (R&B #1, 1947), toured and recorded regularly through four decades before dying of a heart attack on 7/2/1988. age 70
1927 ● Fred Tomlinson / (Frederick Tomlinson) → Singer, choral arranger and frontman for the nonsensical Fred Tomlinson Singers, backing vocalists for sketch comedy troupe Monty Python (“Spam Song,” 1970) and other British TV comedy programs, died from undisclosed causes on 7/17/2016, age 88
1931 ● Allen Klein → Businessman, talent agent, film producer, record label executive and manager for Sam Cooke, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 7/4/2009, age 77
1933 ● Lonnie Brooks / (Lee Baker, Jr.) → Influential and renowned if little known Chicago blues style guitarist and singer, recorded an early version of “Sweet Home Chicago,” appeared in the Blues Brothers 2000 movie (1998), died from natural causes on 4/1/2017 , age 83
1934 ● Dandy Dan / (Vergil Glynn Daniel) → “America’s most adequate swinging disc jockey,” New York City AM radio DJ at WMCA in the 60s, member of the Good Guys team of Top 40 broadcasters, later with WCBS-FM spinning classic hits, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 81
1938 ● Chas Chandler / (Bryan James Chandler) → Bassist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), producer and manager for Jimi Hendrix and Slade, died of heart failure on 7/17/1996, age 57
1941 ● Sam Andrew → Founding member, guitarist and singer for 60s psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), Janis Joplin‘s Kozmic Blues Band, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), film score composer, reunited Big Brother in 1987 and continued to tour and record in various projects until his death from complications of open-heart surgery on 2/12/2015, age 73
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Tenor vocal for R&B/doo wop The Del-Satins, which became The Brooklyn Bridge, “Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1968)
1943 ● Keith Richards → The “Human Guitar Riff,” founding member, lead guitarist, and co-songwriter for The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), solo, Rolling Stone magazine’s #10 Great Guitarist of All Time
1943 ● Bobby Keys / (Robert Henry Keys) → Hard-living, hard-playing, Texas-born session and touring saxophonist, most notably with The Rolling Stones with whom he toured and played for over 40 years, including the sax solo on “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), also played on hundreds of songs on albums for such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and others, died from cirrhosis on 12/2/2014, age 70
1948 ● Bill Nelson → Prog rock, electropop, experimental and ambient music composer, guitarist and songwriter, founded and fronted prog rock Be Bop Deluxe, “Modern Music” (1977), prolific solo career since the late 70s
1950 ● Martha Johnson → Vocals and leader of Canadian post-punk Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” (Juno Single of the Year, 1980)
1950 ● Randy Castillo → Rock drummer best known for 10-years with Ozzy Osbourne‘s band (“Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), joined heavy metal Mötley Crüe in 1999 and continued until his death from a stomach tumor on 3/26/2002, age 51
1953 ● Elliot Easton → Lead guitar for The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, 1978), The New Cars, power pop Click Five and roots rock Creedence Clearwater Revisited
1958 ● Kevin “Geordie” Walker → Guitarist in post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1959 ● Daddy G / (Grantley Evan Marshall) → Vocals and songwriter in pioneering trip-hop collaborative duo Massive Attack, “Teardrop” (UK #10, 1998), producer
1961 ● Angie Stone / (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/smooth soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, producer and film and TV actor, early career in hip hop girl trio The Sequence (“Funk You Up,” R&B #15, 1979) and other rap and soul groups in the 80s and 90s, then solo with seven R&B Top 20 albums, Including The Art Of Love & War (#11, R&B #1, 2007) plus 16 charting singles through 2016
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → Drummer for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1964 ● Robson Green → Brit singer, songwriter, TV host and actor, covered “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1995)
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Bassist for indie “blonde” pop-rockers The Primitives, co-wrote “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), died from a cannabis overdose on 2/4/2009, age 42
1968 ● Andy Miller → Guitarist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1970 ● DMX / (Earl Simmons) → Vocalist, songwriter and drum machine rap pioneer, “Party Up (Up In Here)” (#27, 1999), screen actor, Reality TV host
1972 ● DJ Lethal / (Leor Dimant) → Latvian-born producer and DJ/turntablist for House Of Pain and rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1975 ● Sia / (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) → Australian singer and songwriter whose sixth solo album, 1000 Forms Of Fear (#1, 2014) and the single “Chandelier” (#8, 2014) found the fame her first five could not
1980 ● Christina Aguilera → Dance-pop singer, “Genie In A Bottle” (#1, 1999), collaborated with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink on remake of “Lady Maramalade” (#1, 2001)
1980 ● Lyndsay Armaou → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)

December 19
1915 ● Edith Piaf / (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → Widely popular French-born opera and adult pop singer, “Milord” (#88, 1959, died from liver cancer on 10/11/1963, age 47
1915 ● Charlie Ryan / (CharlesRyan) → Singer and songwriter best known for co-writing and first recording in 1955 the rockabilly classic “Hot Rod Lincoln,” the remake of which he recorded as Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders (#33, Country #14, 1960), making him a one hit wonder, died on 2/16/2008, age 92
1918 ● Professor Longhair / (Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd)) → Influential and pioneering New Orleans R&B singer and pianist, switched to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and later jazz, won a posthumous Grammy for the collection House Party New Orleans Style (1987), died of a heart attack on 1/30/1980, age 61
1940 ● Phil Ochs / (Philip David Ochs) → 60s folk revival “topical” singer and songwriter known for his anti-Vietnam War and civil rights protest songs, the best known being “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), committed suicide by hanging himself at his sister’s home in Queens, NY on 4/9/1976, age 35
1941 ● Maurice White → Highly-regarded seven-time Grammy-winning drummer, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), producer for Deniece Williams, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Emotions and others, died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 2/4/2016, age 74
1944 ● Stuart Colman / (Ian Stuart Colman) → Brit radio broadcaster, musician and record producer, founding member and bassist for one hit wonder pop-easy listening The Flying Machine (“Smile A Little Smile For Me,” Top 5, 1969), later acclaimed BBC Radio disc jockey
1944 ● Zal Yanovsky / (Zalman Yanovsky) → The “Zany One,” guitarist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), restaurateur in Kingston, Ontario, died after a heart attack on 12/13/2002, age 57
1944 ● Alvin Lee / (Graham Barnes) → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist, founding member, lead vocals and lead guitar for Ten Years After, achieved instant if fleeting fame with his rendition of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969 but other than “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971) never had significant commercial success, died from “complications of a routine surgical procedure” to correct atrial arrhythmia on 3/6/2013, age 68
1945 ● John McEuen → Singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971), solo and Grammy-winning producer
1947 ● Jimmy Bain / (James Stewart Bain) → Bass guitarist with hard rock Rainbow (“Stone Cold,” #40, Mainstream #1, 1982) and heavy metal Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark,” #14, 1983), co-wrote songs for Phil Lynott‘s solo albums in the 80s, toured with various metal groups and solo projects in the 90s and 00s, died from undiagnosed lung cancer while touring with his band Last In Line on board Def Leppard‘s Hysteria On The High Seas cruise on 1/23/2016, age 68
1957 ● Doug Johnson → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl / (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “Never Ending Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1961 ● John Eascott → Trumpet for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard → Original drummer for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1985 ● Lady Sovereign / (Louise Harman) → Brit rapper and US one hit wonder singer, “Love Me Or Hate Me” (#45, Dance #1, UK #26, 2006)

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

December 21
1913 ● Luise King / (Louise Driggs Rey) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/4/1997, age 83
1921 ● Luigi Creatore → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, teamed with cousin Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died from pneumonia on 11/13/2015, age 93
1926 ● Freddie Hart / (Frederick Segrest) → Country-pop crossover singer with charting singles in four decades, including 19 straight Country Top 20 hits in the early 70s starting with “Easy Loving” (#17, Country #1, 1971), migrated to gospel in the 90s and continues to perform into the 10s
1939 ● Wes Farrell → Musician, prolific songwriter and 60s/70s record producer, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, including “Boys” for The Shirelles (1960) and The Beatles (1963), “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys (#1, 1965) and the theme song (“C’mon On, Get Happy”) to the Partridge Family TV series, founded Chelsea Records in 1972, died from cancer on 2/29/1996
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1940 ● Frank Zappa / (Frank Vincent Zappa) → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, , long solo career with a handful of charting singles, including “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993, age 52
1942 ● Carla Thomas → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1943 ● Gwen McCrae → Southern R&B diva known best for “Rockin’ Chair” (#9, R&B #1, 1975) but scored a dozen other disco and soul hits in the 70s and 80s, often in collaboration with her husband, George McCrae, later found success in the UK and Europe where she performed and recorded into the 00s
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998, age 51
1951 ● Nick Gilder / (Nicholas George Gilder) → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul and quiet storm vocalist, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Murph Murphy / (Emmett J. Murphy III) → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
1965 ● Gabby Glaser / (Gabrielle Glaser) → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions / (Brett Allen Scallions) → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

December 22
1939 ● James Gurley → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), performed with the band into the 00s, died from a heart attack on 12/20/2009, age 69
1944 ● Barrie Jenkins / (Colin ErnestJenkins) → Founding member and drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964) and hard/blues-rock The Animals, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#12, 1966), now manages a music store
1946 ● Rick Nielsen → Vocals and guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1946 ● Pamela Susan Courson → Long-time companion of Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), inherited his estate over the objection of his family following a California court decision that theirs was a “common law marriage,” died from a heroin overdose on 4/25/1974, age 27
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), solo and producer, younger twin of Robin Gibb, died from a twisted intestine on 1/12/2003, age 53
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Singer, songwriter, producer in pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), older twin of Maurice Gibb, died from colon and liver cancer on 5/20/2012, age 62
1950 ● Alan Williams → Vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1955 ● Barry Sless → Six-string and peddle steel guitarist for country-rock David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh & Friends and others
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Lead singer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), solo, now a DJ on BBC Radio Scotland
1966 ● Danny Saber → Producer, remixer, trip-hop DJ and former bassist with alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996)
1968 ● Richey Edwards / (Richard James Edwards) → Rhythm guitar, songwriter and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000), officially presumed dead in a November 2008 court ruling, thirteen years after he disappeared on 2/1/1995, age 26
1972 ● Vanessa Paradis → French teen-pop singer and actress, “Joe Le Taxi” (UK #3, France #1, 1998)
1984 ● Basshunter / (Jonas Erik Altberg) → Swedish musician, DJ and dance-pop singer, “Now You’re Gone” (Dance Airplay #1, UK #1, 2008)
1989 ● Jordin Sparks / (Jordin Briana Sparks) → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, American Idol 2007 winner and youngest to date, “No Air” (#3, 2008) and four other Top 20 hits
1993 ● Meghan Trainor → Retro R&B and pop singer and songwriter, produced and released three independent albums as a teenager before hitting big with her major label debut Title (#1, 2015) and worldwide hit “All About That Bass” (#1, CAN #1, UK #1, 2014)

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