Posts Tagged rock star birthdays this week

This Week’s Birthdays (October 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:

October 13
1937 ● Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow / (Bruce Meyerowitz) → Beloved 60s and 70s pop-rock Top 40 radio DJ (WABC-am New York), then media businessman and currently Sirius XM satellite radio host
1940 ● Chris Farlowe / (John Henry Deighton) → Rock, blues and blue-eyed soul singer, covered the Jagger/Richards song, “Out of Time” (UK #1, 1966), session work for Colosseum, Atomic Rooster, Jimmy Page and others
1941 ● Paul Simon → Highly acclaimed and ten-time Grammy-winning folk-pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, one half the 60 folk-pop duo Simon & Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Trouble Water” (#1, 1970), solo, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” (#1, 1975) and 12 other Top 40 hits plus the 1986 Grammy Album of the Year, Graceland (#3, 1987)
1944 ● Robert Lamm → Founding member, vocals, keyboards and songwriter for horn-pop-rock Chicago, wrote “25 Or 6 To 4” (#4, 1970) and “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972), solo with seven albums plus a 2000 collaboration album with Gerry Beckley (America) and Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys)
1947 ● Sammy Hagar → Hard rock guitarist and lead singer with early heavy metal band Montrose, “Bad Motor Scooter” (1973), solo, “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” (#13, 1983), replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen, “When It’s Love” (#5, 1988), resumed solo career in 1995
1948 ● John Ford Coley / (John Edward Colley) → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” (#2, 1976)
1948 ● Peter David Spencer → Drums and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, 1977)
1950 ● Simon Nicol → Guitarist for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969)
1959 ● Gerry Darby → Founding member and drummer for Brit jazz-pop-rock Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1959 ● Marie Osmond → Youngest sibling of family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971), country-pop solo career, “Paper Roses” (#5, Country #1, 1973) and seven other Country Top 40 hits, TV host
1962 ● Rob Marche → Guitarist for dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1968 ● Carlos Marin → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1970 ● Paul Potts → Welsh crossover opera singer and winner of the first series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, debut album One Chance (#21, UK #1, 2007)
1977 ● Justin Peroff / (Justin Papadimitriou) → Canadian drummer for jazz/pop/rock Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), TV and film actor
1980 ● Ashanti / (Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas) → R&B/contemporary urban singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, “Foolish” (#1, 2002)
1981 ● Kele / (Kelechukwu Rowland Okereke) → Lead singer and rhythm guitarist for indie pop-punk revival Bloc Party, “Helicopter” (Dance #5, 2006), solo

October 14
1926 ● Bill Justis / (William Everett Justis, Jr.) → Record company music director, arranger and film score composer (Smokey And The Bandit, 1977), co-wrote and played saxophone on his one hit wonder pioneer instrumental rock n’ roll song “Raunchy” (#2, 1957), died of cancer on 7/15/1982, age 55
1930 ● Robert Parker → New Orleans R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and saxophonist, sessions for Fats Domino, Ernie K-Doe and others, then one hit wonder solo career, “Barefootin'” (#7, 1966)
1940 ● Cliff Richard / (Harry Rodger Webb) → The “Brit Elvis” and biggest selling artist of all time in the UK, early rock n’ roll star, “Move It” (UK #2, 1958) credited as the first rock ‘n’ roll song from outside the U.S., then migrated to MOR pop and light rock, “Devil Woman” (#6, UK #9, 1976) plus over 100 UK Top 40 hits, TV actor
1942 ● Billy Harrison → Backing vocals and guitar for the early lineups of Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1945 ● Bomber Hodgkinson / (Colin Hodgkinson) → Jazz-rock bassist, co-founded 70s bass-centric fusion trio Back Door, session work for Jan Hammer, Alexis Korner, the Spencer Davis Group, Whitesnake and others
1946 ● Dan McCafferty → Founding member and lead singer of Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), has appeared on all Nazareth albums plus two solo LPs
1946 ● Justin Hayward / (David Justin Hayward) → Guitar and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, wrote “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) and “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986), still touring in 2011
1947 ● Norman Harris → R&B/Philly soul guitarist, founding member of MFSB, producer for multiple R&B/soul groups including The Delfonics and The Trammps, co-wrote hits for Gloria Gaynor, Wilson Pickett, the Spinners and others as part of the Baker-Harris-Young songwriting team, died of a heart attack on 3/20/1987, age 39
1948 ● Ivory Tilmon → Vocals in R&B/soul brother act The Detroit Emeralds, “Feel The Need In Me” (R&B #22, 1973)
1948 ● Marcia Barrett → West Indian vocalist in R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978)
1952 ● Chris Amoo → Vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk quartet The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (#64, UK #1, 1976)
1958 ● Thomas Dolby / (Thomas Morgan Robertson) → Multi-instrumentalist New Wave synth-pop singer and composer, “She Blinded Me With Science” (#5, 1982), also member of Camera Club and the Lene Lovich band, producer for Joni Mitchell, Prefab Sprout and others, developed the RMF downloadable file format and Beatnik mobile phone software
1959 ● Antimo Rivetti → Manager for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1959 ● A.J. Pero / (Anthony Jude Pero) → Drummer for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983), continued to perform with the band until his death from a heart attack on 3/20/2015, age 55
1965 ● Karyn White → Contemporary R&B/pop singer, “Superwoman” (#8, 1988), now an interior design and real estate consultant
1974 ● Natalie Maines / (Natalie Maines Pasdar) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006) plus Grammy Album of the Year Taking The Long Way (2006)
1975 ● Shaznay Lewis → Singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998)
1978 ● Usher Raymond → The reigning “King of R&B,” Grammy-winning pop-soul singer, songwriter, dancer and actor, “Nice & Slow” (#1, 1998) plus 13 other Top 10 singles and three #1 albums

October 15
1925 ● Mickey “Guitar” Baker / (McHouston Baker) → Highly influential but little known 50s session guitarist at Atlantic Records, bridged R&B and rock ‘n’ roll as a backing guitarist, plus solo and duo Mickey & Sylvia, “Love Is Strange” (#11, 1957)
1935 ● Barry McGuire → One hit wonder folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Eve Of Destruction” (#1, 1965), switched to Christian/gospel in the 70s
1938 ● Marv Johnson → Early Motown R&B/soul vocalist, “You Got What It Takes” (#10, 1959) and three other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1961, moved into sales and promotion with Motown and sister labels, died from a stroke on 5/16/1993, age 54
1938 ● Fela Kuti / (Olufela Ransome-Kuti) → Nigerian multi-instrumentalist singer, arranger, political activist and pioneer World music artist as inventor of the Afro-beat, used his influence and music to criticize his homeland’s authoritarian regimes while introducing a blend of James Brown funk with jazz and traditional African rhythms, sold millions of records in Africa and elsewhere despite near-constant government repression, died from complications of AIDS on 8/3/1997, age 58
1939 ● Tommy Gough / (Talmadge Gough) → Vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), quit the group about 1970 and faded into obscurity, died of throat cancer on 8/24/2014. age 74
1942 ● Chris Andrews / (Christopher Frederick Andrews) → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Yesterday Man” (UK #3, 1965), wrote six UK Top 10 hits for Adam Faith and Sandie Shaw in the mid-60s,
1942 ● Don Stevenson → Drummer, singer and songwriter for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), continues to appear with the band, issued his first solo album (King Of The Fools) in 2010
1946 ● Richard Carpenter → Keyboards and vocals with sister Karen in AM pop/adult contemporary duo The Carpenters, “Close To You” (#1, 1970)
1948 ● Chris De Burgh / (Christopher John Davison) → Light pop-rock/adult contemporary singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Lady in Red” (#3, 1986)
1948 ● Yo Yo Jaramillo / (Joe Jaramillo) → Founding member and vocals for pioneering “East Side Sound” of L.A. Mexican-American one hit wonder brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from liver disease on 5/24/2000, age 51
1948 ● Lance Dickerson → Drummer for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), worked with various incarnations of the band through the 90s, died on 11/10/2003, age 55
1951 ● Frank DiMino → Lead vocals for flamboyant, mostly-image glam-rock Angel, a Kiss-wannabe band with eight studio and live albums and a cult following but little commercial success, left in 1981, reunited with several original members in the 90s and currently plays in classic rock cover bands in Las Vegas
1953 ● Tito Jackson / (Toriano Jackson) → Vocals and lead guitarist in R&B/pop-soul sibling act The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970)
1955 ● Vanessa Briscoe Hay → Co-founding member and lead vocalist for Athens, GA-based seminal post-punk college rock Pylon, “Gyrate” (Dance/Club #41, 1981), later with other local groups
1956 ● Chris Lacklison → Keyboards for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1962 ● David Stead → Drummer in alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1962 ● Mark Reznicek → Drummer in post-grunge alt rock Toadies, “Possum Kingdom” (Modern Rock #4, 1995)
1963 ● Jay Bennett → Guitarist, songwriter and producer for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997), solo, sessions and collaborations, died from an accidental overdose of painkillers on 5/24/2009, age 45
1966 ● Douglas Vipond → Drummer in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988)
1970 ● Ginuwine / (Elgin Baylor Lumpkin) → Hip-hop soul crooner, “Differences” (#4, 2001) and five other Top 40 singles
1984 ● Shayne Ward → Contemporary pop singer and winner of the 2005 UK TV series The X Factor, “That’s My Goal” (UK #1, 2005)

October 16
1903 ● Big Joe Williams / (Joe Williams) → Delta blues guitarist and songwriter best known for being the first to adapt and record “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (1935), which has since become a blues standard with recordings by The Orioles (R&B #8, 1952), Themm (UK #10, 1964), Paul Revere & The Raiders (1966), Amboy Dukes (#106, 1968), AC/DC (AUS #10, 1973) and Aerosmith (2004), among others, died on 12/17/1982, age 79
1922 ● Max Bygraves / (Walter William Bygraves) → Brit comedian, actor, variety show performer and pop singer with 12 UK Top 10 hits in the 50s, including “Meet Me On The Corner” (UK #2, 1955), but couldn’t withstand the onslaught of Beatlemania in the 60s and turned to hosting TV programs though the 80s, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 8/31/2012, age 89
1923 ● Bert Kaempfert / (Berthold Kämpfert) → German easy listening/adult pop orchestra leader and composer, “Wonderful By Night” (#1, 1961), wrote songs covered by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and many others, produced the first Beatles recording session with Tony Sheridan,, died after a stroke on 6/21/1980, age 56
1937 ● Emile Ford / (Emile Sweetman) → West Indian-born singer, musician and frontman for pre-Beatles pop-rock The Checkmates, “What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?” (UK #1 ,1959), short solo career and then record producer
1938 ● Nico / (Christa Päffgen) → German singer, model and vocals for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “Femme Fatale” (1967), then proto-goth/folk-rock solo career, suffered a brain hemorrhage in a bicycling accident and died on 7/18/1988, age 49
1942 ● Dave Lovelady → Drummer and singer for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964)
1943 ● C.F. Turner / (Charles Frederick Turner) → Bass and vocals for Canadian pop-rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974), the only member to play on every album the band released over 25 years
1945 ● Roger Hawkins → Drummer, session musician and founding 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 The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilson Pickett and countless others
1947 ● Bob Weir / (Robert Hall Oparber) → Founding member, rhythm guitarist, singer and songwriter for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), solo, bandleader for Kingfish, Ratdog and Bobby & The Midnites, member of Grateful Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1952 ● Boogie Mosson / (Cordell Mosson) → Bassist for the Parliament-Funkadelic (“P-Funk”) collective of soul/funk bands and their flamboyant costumes, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), toured with P-Funk variations through 2011, died from liver failure on 4/18/2013, age 60
1953 ● Tony Carey → Keyboardist in early lineup of hard rock Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, founder and frontman for space rock Planet P Project, “Why Me?” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1983) and solo, “A Fine, Fine Day” (#22, 1984), producer for Jennifer Rush, Joe Cocker, Mark Knopfler and others
1955 ● Mimi Lennon / (Miriam Theresa Lennon) → Joined her older sisters in 1999 to replace a retiring Peggy in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), continues to record and perform as a trio in the 10s
1956 ● “Chaka B” / (Brinsley Forde) → Child TV actor (Here Come The Double Deckers and Please Sir! in the early 70s) turned founding member, guitarist and vocalist in long-lived roots reggae Aswad (Arabic for “black”), “Don’t Turn Around” (UK #1, 1988), one of the most popular and successful Brit reggae bands, left the band in 1996 but continued to perform with other accts and on BBC television
1959 ● Gary Kemp → Guitar and keyboards for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983) plus 16 other UK top 40 singles
1960 ● Bob Mould → Frontman, guitarist and songwriter for post-punk alt rock trio Hüsker Dü, “Makes No Sense At All” (1985), light rock solo career, “See A Little Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1989), founded and fronted alt rock Sugar, “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” (UK #30, 1992)
1962 ● Flea / (Michael Peter Balzary) → Bass and vocals for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1965 ● Simon Bartholomew → Founding member, guitar and vocals for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1967 ● Jason Everman → Rock guitarist and vocalist with brief stints in 1989 as second guitarist for premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992) and 1990 as interim bassist in seminal grunge rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994) before both groups became superstars, left to join other marginally successful grunge bands, eventually joined the U.S. Army Special Forces and became a decorated Afghan and Iraqi war hero, now a G.I. Bill graduate of Columbia University with a B.A. in Philosophy
1969 ● Wendy Wilson → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson
1977 ● John Mayer → Light pop-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, won 2003 Grammy Award for “Your Body Is A Wonderland” (#18, Adult Top 40 #3, 2002)

October 17
1909 ● Cozy Cole / (William Randolph Cole) → Journeyman but highly regarded jazz-pop and swing drummer from 1930 through the 70s, his instrumental “Topsy, Pt. 2” (#3, R&B #1, 1958) was the first drum solo recording to chart, died from cancer on 1/29/1981, age 71
1923 ● Barney Kessel → Highly accomplished, in-demand jazz-pop-rock guitarist and sessionman over a 50 year career, first as a member of several Big Bands, later as a touring guitarist with several big-name ensembles, and as a member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of first call L.A. studio musicians, played behind The Beach Boyss, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Natalie Cole and many others, sidelined by a stroke in 1992 and died from an inoperable brain tumor on 5/6/2004, age 80
1933 ● Soeur Sourie / (Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers) → Belgian-born one hit wonder folk-pop singer and guitarist, as the “Singing Nun” recorded “Dominique” (#1, 1963), died after ingesting an overdose of sleeping pills in a suicide pact with a girlfriend on 3/29/1985, age 51
1934 ● Rico Rodriguez / (Emmanuel Rodriguez) → Jamaican trombonist with ska revival The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), solo and sessions
1935 ● Michael Eavis → English dairy farmer who founded the Glastonbury Festival in 1970 and on whose land the music festival has occurred annually for over 40 years
1941 ● Alan Howard → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (#11, UK #1, 1967)
1941 ● Jim Seals → Guitar, violin, vocals and songwriting in 70s light pop-rock duo Seals & Crofts, “Summer Breeze” (#6, 1972) and “Diamond Girl” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Gary Puckett → Lead vocals and frontman for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968), followed with a modest solo career and now tours with a new lineup of the band
1944 ● Carole Cookie Cole / (Carole “Cookie” Cole) → Music producer, stage, film and TV actress, adopted daughter of jazz-pop singer Nat King Cole and adopted sister of soul-pop diva Natalie Cole, starred in multiple motion pictures including The Silencers (1967) and The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974), co-starred on TV sitcoms Sanford And Son and Grady, as CEO of King Cole Productions oversaw the use and licensing of her father’s catalogue, name and likeness, died of lung cancer on 5/19/2009, age 64
1946 ● James Tucker → First rhythm guitarist for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), left in 1967 following a European tour
1946 ● Mike Hossack → Drummer for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers during their heyday in the early 70s (“Listen To The Music,” #11, 1972), played in other rock bands and co-owned a recording studio, rejoined the Doobies in 1985 and performed with the band until prior to his death from cancer on 3/12/2012, age 65
1947 ● Michael McKean → Actor and comedian, portrayed David St. Hubbins in the “mock-rock” parody band Spinal Tap from the movie This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
1949 ● Bill Hudson / (William Hudson) → Vocals for sibling trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), ex-spouse of Goldie Hawn, father of actress Kate Hudson
1958 ● Alan Jackson → Honky tonk/new traditionalist country star singer and songwriter with 17 Country Top 10 albums and 24 Country #1 hits, including the Grammy-winning “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” (#38, Country #1, 2001)
1962 ● Anne Rogers → Bassist for Brit indie-folk-pop Popinjays, “Vote Elvis” (Modern Rock #17, 1988)
1967 ● René Dif → Vocals for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content
1968 ● Ziggy Marley / (David Nesta Marley) → Five-time Grammy-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter, solo and as frontman for reggae-pop sibling group The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (#39, 1988), son of reggae legend Bob Marley
1969 ● Wyclef Jean → Haitian musician, member of R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Gone Till November” (#7, 1998), record producer, announced plans to run in the 2010 Haitian presidential election but withdrew when his bid for candidacy was rejected over residency requirements
1971 ● Christopher Kirkpatrick → Founding member and counter tenor vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000)
1971 ● Derrick Plourde → Drummer for mainstream pop-punk The Ataris, “The Boys Of Summer” (#20, Modern Rock #2, 2003) and other bands, died from a suicide gunshot on 3/30/2005, age 38
1972 ● Eminem / (Marshall Bruce Mathers III) → Grammy-winning blue-eyed rapper, worldwide #1 album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and worldwide hit “Lose Yourself” (#1, 2002), producer for Jay-Z, Nas, 50 Cent, DMX, 2Pac and others, award-winning film actor

October 18
1926 ● Chuck Berry / (Charles Edward Berry) → Early breakthrough rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, enduring and immortal guitarist, singer and songwriter, “Johnny B. Goode” (#8, 1958) and 13 other Top 40 hits, major influence on The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and countless other rock and pop artists, found unresponsive in his home and pronounced dead on 3/18/2017, age 90
1938 ● Ronnie Bright → R&B/doo wop bass singer with The Valentines, The Cadillacs and the Deep River Boys, plus session work including a duo with Johnny Cymbal, “Mr. Bass Man” (#16, 1963), now with The Coasters
1940 ● Cynthia Weil → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with her husband, Barry Mann, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for varied artists, including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (#1, 1965) for The Righteous Brothers and “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” (#13, UK #2, 1965) for The Animals
1943 ● Russ Giguere → Vocals, percussion and guitar in light pop-rock vocal group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966), left briefly for solo career but returned and still tours with the band in 2011
1947 ● Laura Nyro / (Laura Nigro) → Light folk-jazz-pop singer, guitarist and composer with several acclaimed solo albums, wrote “Eli’s Coming” for Three Dog Night (#10, 1969), “Wedding Bell Blues” for The 5th Dimension (#1, 1969), “And When I Die” for Blood, Sweat & Tears (#2, 1969) and “Stoney End” for Barbra Streisand (#6, 1971), died of ovarian cancer on 4/8/1997, age 49
1949 ● Joe Egan → Co-founder, keyboards and vocals in Scottish folk-pop-rock Stealers Wheel, co-wrote “Stuck In The Middle With You” (#6, 1973), left the music industry in the early 80s for a career in book publishing
1949 ● Gary Richrath → Guitarist and principal songwriter for arena rock REO Speedwagon, wrote “Take It On The Run” (#5, 1981) and others songs, left in 1989 for an unsuccessful solo career, rejoined the band for a single benefit concert in 2013, died from unspecified causes on 9/13/2015, age 65
1956 ● Dick Crippen → Bassist in oddball Brit punk-rock Tenpole Tudor, “Who Killed Bambi” (UK #6, 1979)
1958 ● Denise Dufort → Founding member, vocals and drums for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1961 ● Wynton Marsalis → Virtuoso jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader, one of the “Young Lions” and a major figure in jazz since the 1980s, his album Standard Time, Vol. 1 (1987) is one of five Grammy-winning albums
1966 ● Tim Cross → Bassist in post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain)” (Modern Rock #3, 1995)
1971 ● Mark Morriss → Lead singer for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996), solo
1974 ● Peter Svensson → Guitarist for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1975 ● Baby Bash / (Ronald Ray Bryant) → Mexican-American smooth rapper, “Suga Suga” (#7, 2003)
1977 ● Simon Rix → Bassist for indie rock Kaiser Chiefs, “Ruby” (UK #1, 2007)
1982 ● Ne-Yo / (Shaffer Smith) → Urban contemporary R&B/pop singer, “So Sick” (#1, 2005) and “Miss Independent” (#7, 2008), the 2009 Grammy Award for Best R&B song
1984 ● Esperanza Spalding / (Esperanza Emily Spalding) → Child-prodigy violinist, 15-year-old concertmaster for the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, Berklee College of Music graduate and four-time Grammy-wining jazz bassist and singer with a growing catalogue of solo albums, including Radio Music Society (#10, Jazz #1, 2012) and collaborations with others
1987 ● Zachary Efron → Actor and singer, “Troy Bolton” in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever)

October 19
1910 ● John C. Mills, Jr. → Bass vocals and guitar in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, died while on tour in England on 1/23/1936, age 25
1911 ● George Cates → Big band and easy listening orchestrator, composer and record producer with the instrumental medley hit “Moonglow And Theme From Picnic” (#31, 1956) but known best as the musical director for The Lawrence Welk Show and his successful 50s and 60s TV program, composed Welk‘s theme song “Champagne Fanfare” and led the on air orchestra through 1982, died from heart failure on 5/10/2002, age 90
1934 ● Dave Guard / (Donald David Guard) → Founding member, guitar, banjo, vocals, songwriter and arranger for influential folk-pop The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” (#1, 1958) plus nine other Top 40 hits, left the band in acrimony in 1961, issued solo albums, authored books and participated in occasional reunions until his death from lymphoma on 3/22/1991, age 56
1937 ● Jerry Jaye / (Gerald Hatley) → Singer and guitarist with the rockabilly-tinged Top 30 hit “My Girl Josephine” (#29, 1967) and the country “Honky Tonk Women Love Redneck Men” (Country #32, 1976), continued to record and perform with little impact into the 00s
1940 ● Larry Chance / (Larry Figueiredo) → Lead vocals and frontman for white R&B/doo wop The Earls, “Remember Then” (#24, 1963), still performing on the oldies circuit
1944 ● George McCrae → R&B/soul-disco singer and songwriter, “Rock Your Baby” (#1, 1974), Rolling Stone magazine’s #1 song for 1974
1944 ● Peter Tosh / (Winston Hubert McIntosh) → Guitar and vocals in legendary reggae group The Wailers, left in 1974 for solo career, “(You Gotta Walk) Don’t Look Back” (1978), murdered by intruders in his home on 9/11/1987, age 42
1945 ● Jeannie C. Riley / (Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson) → Grammy-winning country-pop singer, “Harper Valley PTA” (#1, 1968) and six Country Top 10 hits, switched to gospel music in the late 70s
1945 ● Divine / (Harris Glenn Milstead) → Drag queen, cult-movie star (Pink Flamingos, 1972, and others) and campy disco/dance singer, “Native Love (Step By Step)” (Dance #21, 1982), died from obesity-related cardiomegaly on 3/7/1988, age 42
1946 ● Keith Reid → Chief lyricist with prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), theater management executive
1947 ● Wilbert Hart → Vocals in pioneering “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), still tours and records with various lineups
1948 ● Patrick Simmons → Guitar and vocals for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), only consistent member during the band’s 40-plus year history
1955 ● Nino DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop sibling act The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1957 ● Karl Wallinger → Keyboardist for pop-rock The Waterboys, then guitar and vocals for World Party, “Way Down Now” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), wrote “She’s The One” for Robbie Williams (UK #1, 1999)
1960 ● Jennifer-Yvette Holliday → R&B/pop singer and Tony-winning actress in the stage version of Dreamgirls (1981), won Grammy Award for “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” (#22, R&B #1, 1982)
1960 ● Woody Woodgate / (Daniel Woodgate) → Drummer for punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1965 ● Todd Park Mohr → Namesake, frontman, lead singer, guitarist and chief lyricist for 90s pop/rock Big Head Todd & The Monsters, “Bittersweet” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1993)
1966 ● Sinitta Renay Malone → Anglo-American R&B/dance-pop singer, “Toy Boy” (Dance/Club #19, UK #4, 2005), sometime stage actress
1972 ● Pras Michel / (Prakazrel Michel) → Rapper with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mýa (#15, 1998)
1976 ● Pete Loeffler → Lead guitarist and lead singer in alt metal sibling trio Chevelle, “The Clincher” (Mainstream Rock #3, 2005)

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

This Week’s Birthdays (September 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

September 22
1905 ● Pop Lewis / (Roy Lewis Sr.) → With his wife and four of their children in the “First Family of Bluegrass Gospel,” the Dove Award-winning singing and cornball comedy skit group The Lewis Family, toured nationally and issued over 60 albums of gospel music before his death on 3/23/2004, age 98
1913 ● Alvin LeRoy Holmes → Pop instrumental bandleader, film score composer and arranger, Smile (1975) and other films, died on 7/27/1986, age 72
1930 ● Joni James / (Giovanna Carmella Babbo) → Traditional pop vocalist, “You Are My Love” (#6, 1954) and sixteen other Top 40 hits in the 50s
1942 ● Mike Patto → Lead vocals and keyboards for blues-rock Spooky Tooth, “Feelin’ Bad” (#132, 1969), later co-founded hard rock Boxer but died of cancer before the band gained momentum on 3/4/1979, age 36
1943 ● Toni Basil / (Antonia Christina Basilotta) → New Wave one hit wonder singer, “Mickey” (#1, 1982), dancer, choreographer, actress and filmmaker
1944 ● Roger Nichols / (Roger Scott Nichols) → Nuclear power plant physicist turned eight-time Grammy-winning rock and pop music recording engineer for Steely Dan, John Denver, Frank Zappa, Rickie Lee Jones, Gloria Estefan, Bela Fleck and many other major acts, pioneered the now-commonplace technique of “digital drum replacement” by inventing the Wendel sampling computer, died from pancreatic cancer on 4/9/2011, age 66
1944 ● Sam Pace → Tenor vocals in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (“Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died following a long illness on 1/7/2013, age 68
1951 ● David Coverdale → Songwriter and lead vocals for Deep Purple in 1974-76, recorded two solo albums and formed hard rock/hair metal Whitesnake in 1977, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987) and six other Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits
1952 ● Mark Panker → Guitarist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
1953 ● Richard Fairbrass → Vocals for dance-pop Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy” (#1, 1991)
1956 ● Debby Boone → Grammy-winning Christian and inspirational pop music singer, “You Light Up My Life” (#1, 1977), daughter of 50s pop crooner Pat Boone
1956 ● Doug Wimbish → Bassist for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988) and Sugarhill Records studio session musician
1957 ● Johnette Napolitano → Singer/songwriter, bassist and founder of post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), toured with Talking Heads as lead singer in 1996, solo
1957 ● Nick Cave → Aussie singer, songwriter and bandleader for goth-rock pioneers The Birthday Party, then alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995), formed garage rock Grinderman in 2007
1957 ● Peter Jones → Bassist for punk rock Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983), currently owns a ceramic art studio
1958 ● Joan Jett / (Joan Marie Larkin) → Guitar, vocals and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), then founded and fronted Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, “I Love Rock N’ Roll (#1, 1981)
1958 ● Peter Nelson → Bassist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1965 ● Adam Cairns → Guitar and vocals for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1966 ● Rhett Forrester → Lead vocals for 80s New York-based heavy metal Riot plus solo albums and collaborations with blues-metal guitarist Jack Starr and several second-tier metal bands, murdered in an apparent carjacking/shooting in Atlanta on 1/22/1994, age 27
1975 ● Mystikal / (Michael Tyler) → Dirty South rapper, “Danger (Been So Long)” (#14, Rap #3, 2001) with five solo albums and multiple collaborations as featured artist
1982 ● Billie / (Lianne Piper) → Singer and TV actress, “Because We Want To” (UK #1, 1998), the youngest (age 16) artist to debut at #1 on the UK charts

September 23
1926 ● John Coltrane → Highly influential jazz saxophonist, composer and pioneer of the free jazz movement of jazz without limits, played in others’ bands before forming his own quartet in the 60s and creating innovative and expressive albums such as Giant Steps (1960), My Favorite Things (1961) and A Love Supreme (1965), won a posthumous Grammy Award in 1981 for the 1962 album recording Bye Bye Blackbird, died from liver disease on 1/17/1967, age 40
1930 ● Ray Charles / (Ray Charles Robinson) → Soul music pioneer who fused R&B, gospel and blues in the 50s and country, R&B and pop in the 60s, won twelve Grammy Awards and scored over thirty Top 40 hits, including “Hit The Road Jack” (#1, 1961), his posthumous album Genius Loves Company (#1, 2004) became Grammy “Album of the Year” for 2004 voted #10 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” died from lung cancer on 6/10/2004, age 73
1935 ● Les McCann / (Leslie Coleman McCann) → Jazz pianist and singer known for his cool piano jazz in the early 60s, easily crossed over to R&B, soul, funk and jazz-rock fusion in the late 60s and 70s with “Compared To What” (#85, 1970) and several multi-chart albums, including Swiss Movement (#29, R&B #2, Jazz #1, 1970), suffered a stroke in the 90s but continued to record into the 00s
1939 ● Roy Buchanan → The “best unknown guitarist in the world,” influential but commercially underappreciated blues-rock guitarist, session musician and solo artist with two gold records among over 15 studio and live albums, pioneered the “Telecaster sound” on the iconic electric guitar, one of Guitar Player magazine’s “50 Greatest Tones of All-Time,” hanged himself in a Virginia jail cell after being arrested for public drunkenness on 8/14/1988, age 48
1940 ● Tim Rose → Influential folk-rock singer and songwriter who found greater commercial success in the UK than in his native US, best known for his version of the post-apocalyptic folk-rock standard “Morning Dew” (1967), died from a heart attack during intestinal surgery on 9/24/2002, age 62
1942 ● Jeremy Steig → Acclaimed jazz flutist, artist, graphic designer and early force in jazz-rock fusion as frontman for Jeremy & The Satyrs and on dozens of solo albums featuring Jan Hammer, Eddie Gomez and others,, his “Howlin’ For Judy” (1970) was sampled by the Beastie Boys on “Sure Shot” (Dance #48, 1994), died from cancer on 4/13/2016, age 73
1943 ● Julio Iglesias → Grammy-winning Spanish smooth romantic crooner, “Begin The Beguine” (#1, 1981), one of the top 10 best selling artists in history
1943 ● Steve Boone → Bassist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), record producer and studio owner
1943 ● Wallace Scott → With twin brother Walter, leaders of R&B/soul-dance quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Walter Scott → With twin brother Wallace, leaders of R&B/soul-dance quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● John Banks → Drummer for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, died on 4/20/1988
1945 ● Paul Petersen → TV actor (mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club and Jeff Stone on The Donna Reed Show) and moonlighting pop singer, “My Dad” (#6, 1962)
1945 ● Ron Bushy → Drummer for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970)
1946 ● Duster Bennett / (Anthony Bennett) → British blues-rock harmonica player and one man band, “Jumping At Shadows” (1968), session musician and early 70s member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, died in a car crash on 3/26/1976, age 29
1947 ● Jerry Corbetta → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for one hit wonder pop-rock Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” (#3, 1970)
1947 ● Dan Grolnick → Jazz and pop pianist, member of jazz-rock fusion bands Steps Ahead and Dreams in the 70s and 80s, as a session musician played on numerous albums by top 80s artists, including The Brecker Brothers, Steely Dan and Linda Ronstadt, continued to record and perform with his own bands and as a sessionman until his death from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on 6/1/1996, age 48
1948 ● Dangerous Dan Toler / (Dan Toler) → Rhythm and lead guitarist as a member of his own bands and with Dickie Betts & Great Southern in the 70s, the Gregg Allman Band and The Allman Brothers Band in the 80s, joined supergroup The Renegades of Southern Rock in the 90s and collaborated with John Townsend in several projects in the 90s and 00s, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 2/25/2013, age 64
1949 ● Bruce Springsteen → The Boss, Grammy-winning heartland rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for The E Street Band, “Glory Days” (#5, 1985), #23 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
1970 ● Ani DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop sibling act The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1972 ● Jermaine Dupri / (Jermaine Dupri Mauldin) → Producer, songwriter and rapper, “The Party Continues” (#29, Rap #6, 1998), discovered and managed teen hip hop duo Kris Kross, founder of So So Def Recordings, producer for Xscape, Da Brat, Mariah Carey and others
1979 ● Erik-Michael Estrada → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)
1985 ● Diana Ortiz → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000)

September 24
1893 ● “Blind Lemon” Jefferson / (Henry Jefferson) → The “Father of Texas Blues,” pioneering blues singer, guitarist and composer, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (1927) has been covered by Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, B. B. King, Peter, Paul & Mary and others, died from a heart attack on 12/15/1929
1909 ● Carl Sigman → Songwriter best known for penning the English lyrics and title to “What Now My Love” (Sonny & Cher, #4, UK #13, 1966), for adding the lyrics to the theme music to the movie Love Story (1970) to create the hit “Where Do I Begin?’ (Andy Williams, #9, AC #1, UK #4, 1971) and for co-writing the swing jazz and pop standard “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Glenn Miller Orchestra, #4, 1940), died at home from natural causes on 9/26/2000, age 91
1919 ● Jack Costanzo / (Jack James Costanzo) → Chicago-born Italian-American drummer, composer and bandleader known as “Mr. Bongo” for his decades-long contributions to Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz-pop, played and toured with Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, Perez Prado and other Big Band and jazz-pop bands in the 40 and 50s, formed his own band in the 50s and recorded multiple albums through to 2005, appeared in the Elvis Presley movie Harum Scarum (1965), died from an aortic aneurysm on 8/18/2018, age 98
1931 ● Anthony Newley → Stage, screen and TV actor, singer, pop songwriter, “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” (Grammy Award Song of the Year 1963), co-wrote the lyrics to “Goldfinger” from the James Bond movie, co-wrote and starred in the stage musical Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, died from renal cancer on 4/14/1999, age 67
1933 ● Mel Taylor → Longtime drummer for rock ‘n roll instrumental combo The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died of lung cancer on 8/11/1996, age 62
1935 ● Shep Sheppard / (James Sheppard) → Founder and frontman for early 60s R&B doo wop, one hit wonder trio Shep And The Limelites (“Daddy’s Home,” #2, 1961), died from gunshot wounds during a possible carjacking on the Long Island Expressway on 1/24/1970, age 34
1938 ● Steve Douglas / (Steve Kreisman) → Reed instrument session musician for Phil Spector, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians and best known for his saxophone on albums by Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Ramones and others, produced Mink DeVille‘s Le Chat Bleu (1980) album, died from a heart attack on 4/19/1993, age 54
1940 ● Bibbs Allbut / (Barbara Allbut) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1941 ● Linda McCartney / (Linda Louise Eastman) → Photographer, animal rights activist, vegetarian food company founder, keyboardist for pop-rock Wings and solo albums with her husband Paul McCartney, died from breast cancer on 4/17/1998, age 56
1942 ● Gerry Marsden → Frontman and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Jiggs Allbut / (Phyllis Allbut) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1944 ● Rosa Lee Hawkins → Vocals for 60s R&B/pop girl-group The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Carson Osten → Co-founder and bassist in psych/garage rock band The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#66, 1970), left to become a writer, artist, product and character design manager for The Walt Disney Company
1946 ● Jerry Donahue → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock quintet Fotheringay, then renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), sessions and tours with Robert Plant, Elton John, George Harrison, Warren Zevon, The Beach Boys and others, solo albums
1946 ● Kjell Asperud → Drummer for Anglo-Norwegian one hit wonder rock band Titanic, instrumental “Sultana” (UK #5, 1971)
1962 ● Cedric Dent → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1969 ● Clown Crahan / (Shawn Crahan) → Co-founder, DJ, turntablist and backing vocals for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1971 ● Marty Cintron → Vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Peter Salisbury → Drummer for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998)

September 25
1925 ● Russ Solomon / (Russell Malcolm Solomon) → High school drop-out and founder of Tower Records, which grew from a neighborhood storefront in Sacramento, CA to a $1 billion-plus, 200 store, industry-dominant global empire selling music, books and videos with a club-like buying “experience,” the chain succumbed to Internet piracy, discounters and a crushing debt load and liquidated in 2006, died while reportedly drinking whisky and watching the Academy Awards program on TV on 3/4/2018, age 92
1930 ● Shel Silverstein / (Sheldon Allan Silverstein) → Novelty songwriter, comedian, film and TV actor, cartoonist and prolific author of children’s books, penned several hits for others, including “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash (#2, 1969) and “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook (#6, 1972), plus songs covered by outlaw country star Tompall Glaser, former Go-Go Belinda Carlisle, roots rock My Morning Jacket and others, died of a heart attack on 5/10/1999, age 68
1933 ● Ian Tyson / (Ian Dawson Tyson) → Canadian singer and guitarist in influential male/female folk harmony vocal duo Ian & Sylvia, solo with several acclaimed albums, now a rancher in Alberta
1933 ● Erik Darling → Folk-pop multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and influential figure on the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the late 50s and early 60s, member of folk-pop The Tarriers (“The Banana Boat Song,” #4, R&B #14, 1957), The Weavers and The Rooftop Singers (“Walk Right In,” #1, AC #1, Country #23, R&B #4, 1963), continued to record and perform in various folk-related projects until his death from complications due to lymphoma on 8/3/2008, age 74
1939 ● Sweet Joe / (Jesse Russell) → Vocals in a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), backing vocals for Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Don McLean and others
1942 ● Dee Dee Warwick / (Delia Mae Warwick) → Sister of Dionne Warwick, cousin of Whitney Houston and two-time Grammy nominee R&B/soul singer with a dozen minor pop hits and two R&B Top 10 from 1963 to 1975, including “I Want to Be with You” (#41, R&B #9, 1966) and “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)” (#70, R&B #9, 1970), performed sporadically with her sister after the 80s, died following a long illness on 10/18/2008, age 66
1943 ● Jules Alexander / (Gary Alexander) → Guitar and vocals for light pop-rock vocal group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1943 ● John Locke / (John Tilden Locke) → Keyboards for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left to join hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), died from cancer on 8/4/2006, age 62
1945 ● Onnie McIntyre → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● The Bear / (Jerry Penrod) → Early bassist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), left to join overpublicized, underperforming pre fab hard rock supergroup Rhinoceros, “Apricot Brandy” (#46, 1969)
1946 ● Bryan MacLean → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for folk/psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), wrote “Alone Again Or” (#99, 1967), solo, died of a heart attack on 12/25/1998, age 62
1947 ● John Fiddler → Vocals and multiple instruments for Brit folk-rock duo Medicine Head, “One And One Is One” (UK #3, 1973)
1947 ● Cecil Womack → R&B/soul and gospel singer, songwriter and record producer, 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, later recorded duets with second wife Linda Womack (daughter of Sam Cooke) as Womack & Womack (“Baby I’m Scared Of You,” R&B #25, 1984) and co-wrote songs for others, including “Love T.K.O.” for Teddy Pendergrass (#44, R&B #2, 1980) and “I Just Want To Satisfy” for The O’Jays (#101, R&B #15, 1982), died from unknown causes on 2/1/2013, age 65
1955 ● Steve Severin → Bassist for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), solo
1955 ● Zucchero / (Adelmo Fornaciari) → Italian boogie-blues-rocker, “Donne” (1985) and “Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman)” with Paul Young (Italy #1, UK #4, 1991), has performed collaborations with Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, Bono and others
1968 ● The Fresh Prince / (William Carroll Smith) → Rapper in PG-rated pop-rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, Rap #1, 1991), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” (#1, 1998), TV and film star
1974 ● Wamma Edwards / (Richie Edwards) → Guitar technician turned full-time bassist for glam-rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (#35, UK #2, 2003) and successor band Stone Gods
1975 ● Dec Donnelly / (Declan Donnelly) → Actor, singer and one half the pop music duo PJ & Duncan (later renamed Ant & Dec), “Lets Get Ready To Rhumble” (UK #9, 1994), TV host
1980 ● T.I. / (Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.) → Grammy-winning MC, rapper, songwriter, “Live Your Life” (#1, 2008), co-CEO of Grand Hustle Records, producer, film actor, convicted felon

September 26
1898 ● George Gershwin / (Jacob Gershvin) → One of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera composer and lyricist, best known for his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), died from a brain tumor on 7/11/1937, age 38
1918 ● The Cool Ghoul / (John Zacherle) → TV and radio host for shows broadcasting horror movies, voice actor and one hit wonder pop-rock novelty singer, “Dinner With Drac” (Top Ten, 1958)
1925 ● Marty Robbins / (Martin David Robertson) → Country music legend and crossover phenomenon, “El Paso” (#1, Country #1, 1960) plus 11 other Top 40 pop singles and 39 other Country Top 10 hits, died following a heart attack on 12/8/1982, age 57
1926 ● Julie London / (Nancy Peck) → Film and TV actress and sultry jazz-pop vocalist, “Cry Me A River” (#9, 1956), released 32 albums of pop and jazz covers but is better known as an actress and co-star of TV drama Emergency! (1972-77), suffered a stroke in the late 90s, lived in declining health for several years before dying on 10/18/2000, age 74
1931 ● George Chambers → Bassist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1940 ● Red Jones / (Creadel Jones) → Original member and bass vocals in Chicago R&B/smooth soul The Chi-Lites (“Have You Seen Her?,” #, R&B #1, 1972), left the group in 1982 and died on 8/25/1994, age 53
1941 ● Joseph Bauer → Drummer in light country-rock The Youngbloods, “Get Together” (#5, 1969), died from a heart attack in September 1982, age 40
1945 ● Bryan Ferry → Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, first as frontman with art rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1975), then solo, “Kiss And Tell” (#31, 1988) and 13 UK Top 20 albums through 2010
1947 ● Lynn Anderson / (Lynn Rene Anderson) → Country-pop vocalist best known for the Grammy-winning “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (#3, Country #1, 1970), plus 17 other Country Top 10 hits among over 50 overall Top 40 singles, died from cardiac arrest on 7/30/2015, age 67
1948 ● Olivia Newton-John → Grammy-winning country-pop then soft rock singer, “You’re The One That I Want” with John Travolta (#1, 1978) and “Physical” (#1, 1981), film actress
1951 ● Stuart Tosh / (Stuart MacIntosh) → Drummer for Scottish soft pop-rock Pilot, “Magic” (#5, 1974), also recorded and toured with 10cc, The Alan Parsons Project, and Camel
1954 ● César Rosas → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and de facto frontman for Grammy-winning Chicano/roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987) and Los Super Seven, sessions and side projects
1954 ● Craig Chaquico → Teenage lead guitarist in the last incarnations of Jefferson Airplane, stayed on with pop-rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles (#3, 1975), co-wrote “Jane” (#14, 1980), now performs and records New Age world music
1955 ● Carlene Carter / (Rebecca Carlene Smith) → Country and roots-rock singer and songwriter, “Every Little Thing” (Country #3, 1993), daughter of Johnny Cash‘s wife June Carter Cash
1958 ● Darby Crash / (Jan Paul Beahm) → Lead singer for early L.A. punk rock The Germs, “Lexicon Devil” (1979), died from a suicidal heroin overdose on 12/7/1980, age 22
1961 ● Cindy Herron / (Cynthia Ann Herron) → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance group En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1962 ● Tracey Thorn → Lead singer and guitarist in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Nikki French / (Nicola French) → Brit pop and adult contemporary one hit wonder singer and dancer, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (#2, UK #5, 1995)
1967 ● Shannon Hoon → Frontman and lead vocals for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), died from a heroin overdose on 10/21/1995, age 28
1972 ● Paul Draper → Lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for post-Brit-pop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)
1972 ● Shawn Stockman → Singer and songwriter in hugely successful R&B/urban soul a cappella quartet Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1981 ● Christina Milian / (Christina Flores) → Cuban-American R&B dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Dip It Low” (#5, 2004)

September 27
1898 ● Vincent Millie Youmans → Broadway and film composer who worked with every major lyricist of his day and composed the music to dozens of enduring hit songs, including “Tea For Two” (1925) and “Carioca” (1933), retired after contracting tuberculosis in 1934 and died from the disease on 4/5/1946, age 48
1922 ● Raymond Edwards → Bass vocals in R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958), continued to tour with the group until his death on 3/4/1997, age 74
1936 ● Don Cornelius / (Donald Cortez Cornelius) → R&B/soul music promoter and producer, created and hosted the highly influential dance/music TV show Soul Train from 1971 to 1993, the first and most successful TV show featuring African-American musicians, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 2/1/2012, age 75
1937 ● Buddy Emmons / (Buddy Gene Emmons) → Influential, virtuoso peddle steel guitarist, popularized the instrument for jazz, swing, folk and country-rock genres, recorded with a diverse number of top artists, including Linda Ronstadt, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bob Dylan, performed on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” broadcasts, fronted the Redneck Jazz Explosion in the 70s and issued several solo albums, died on 7/21/2015, age 77
1941 ● Don Nix → Songwriter, musician, arranger and author, saxophonist in Stax Records first house band The Mar-Keys (later Booker T. & The MG’s), wrote blues-rock standard “Going Down”, producer for Leon Russell, George Harrison, John Mayall, Eric Clapton and others
1942 ● Alvin Stardust / (Bernard William Jewry) → Assumed the name of deceased frontman Shane Fenton (born John Theakstone) and led early 60s Britpop Shane Fenton And The Fentones, “Cindy’s Birthday” (UK #19, 1962), changed his name and reemerged as glam rock Alvin Stardust in the early 70s, “Jealous Mind” (UK #1, 1974) and 10 other UK Top 40 hits, continued to perform until just before his death from prostate cancer on 10/23/2014
1943 ● Randy Bachman → Founding member, songwriter and lead guitarist for Canadian hard rock Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), then formed Bachman-Turner Overdrive with his brothers Robbie and Tim, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (#1, 1974), then Ironhorse, “Sweet Lui-Louise” (#36, 1979) and Union, solo plus CBC radio host
1947 ● Barbara Dickson → Scottish folk-pop singer, “Answer Me” (UK Top 10, 1976) and a duet with Elaine Paige, “I Know Him So Well” (UK #1, 1985), TV and stage actress
1947 ● Meat Loaf / (Marvin Lee “Michael” Aday) → Hard-edged iconic pop-rock singer and occasional actor, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” (#11, 1978) and Grammy-winning “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” (#1, 1993), released the phenomenally successful Bat Out Of Hell album trilogy
1953 ● Robbie Shakespeare / (Robert Shakespeare) → Reggae bassist and, with Sly Dunbar, one half of the studio duo Riddim Twins, produced albums for Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer and others, recorded with Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones and others
1953 ● Greg Ham → Saxophone, flute and keyboards for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once, found dead in his Melbourne home on 4/19/2012, age 58
1958 ● Shaun Cassidy → TV actor, 70s teen idol singer, “Hey Deanie” (#7, 1978), half brother of TV actor and Partridge Family character David Cassidy
1966 ● Stephan Jenkins → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for post-grunge indie pop Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life” (#4, 1997)
1970 ● Mark Calderon → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1975 ● Bradley Kirk Arnold → Vocals for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1975 ● Lee Brennan → Vocals and co-founding member of Brit teen-dance-pop boy band 911, covered The Bee Gees‘ “More Than A Woman” (UK #2, 1998) and Bobby Gosh‘s “A Little Bit More” (UK #1, 1999), a US #11 hit for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show in 1976
1982 ● Lil Wayne / (Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) → Self-proclaimed “best rapper alive,” teenaged member of hip hop groups The B.G.’z and Hot Boys, Grammy-winning solo career, “Lollipop” (#1, 2008)
1984 ● Avril Lavigne → Canadian teen-pop singer and “skatepunk” icon , “Complicated” (#2, 2002) and “Girlfriend” (#1, 2007), fashion designer, actress

September 28
1901 ● Ed Sullivan / (Edward Vincent Sullivan) → Bandleader, entertainment writer and host of his own TV variety show for 23 years, introduced The Beatles to over 70 million American viewers on 2/9/1964, died from esophageal cancer on 10/13/1974, age 73
1923 ● Tuli Kupferberg → Counterculture author, poet, cartoonist, pacifist and co-founder of satirical underground rock The Fugs, solo, died from kidney failure on 7/12/2010, age 86
1925 ● Billy Grammer → Country guitarist, “Gotta Travel On” (#4, 1959), fronted The Travel On Boys, led businesses which produced guitars under his name, member of the Grand Ole Opry, died after a long illness on 8/10/2011, age 85
1935 ● Koko Talor / (Cora Walton) → The “Queen of Chicago Blues”, large-framed and -voiced R&B/blues belter, “Wang Dang Doodle” (#58, R&B #4, 1966), won Grammy Award as part of the compilation album Blues Explosion (1984), died following gastrointestinal surgery on 6/3/2009, age 73
1937 ● Guitar Hughes / (Joe Hughes) → Texas blues, R&B and shuffle guitarist, played with Little Richard‘s group The Upsetters, Johnny Copeland, T-Bone Walker, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Big Joe Turner and others, solo, died after a heart attack on 5/20/2003, age 65
1938 ● Ben E. King / (Benjamin Earl Nelson) → R&B/smooth soul singer with doo wop The Drifters, “Save The Last Dance For Me” (#1, 1960) and solo, “Stand By Me” (#1, 1961), toured and performed until shortly before his death from coronary problems on 4/30/2015, age 76
1939 ● Tommy Boyce / (Sidney Thomas Boyce) → In collaboration with Bobby Hart, pop singer, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (#8, 1968) and the prolific Boyce & Hart hit songwriting team, “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees, #1, 1966) plus dozens more Top 40 hits and over 300 songs, struggled with depression for years before committing suicide on 11/23/1994, age 55
1942 ● Jean-Luc Ponty → French virtuoso jazz and prog rock fusion electric violinist, album Enigmatic Ocean reached #35 in 1977, switched to synthesizers in the mid-80s and to world music in the 90s
1943 ● Nick St. Nicholas / (Klaus Karl Kassbaum) → German-born Canadian bass guitarist, co-founded hard rock The Sparrow, which became Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), currently leader of supergroup World Classic Rockers
1943 ● Manuel Fernandez → Founding member and electric organ for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black”(#4, UK #2, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band, at the peak of the band’s popularity and after his new bride’s death in a car accident, committed suicide on 5/20/1967, age 23
1944 ● Mike Post / (Leland Michael Postil) → Prolific, well-known and highly regarded TV and film theme composer, wrote cop show theme song “Hill Street Blues” (#10, 1981) and other popular shows, five-time Grammy Award winner
1944 ● Tommy Tate → Southern R&B/soul singer with the Imperial Show Band and Stax RecordsThe Nightingales in the 60s, thereafter a modest solo career, his lone hit being “School Of Life” (R&B #22, 1972) but continued to record and perform in cult status through the 00s
1946 ● Helen Shapiro → Early 60s beehive-hair Brit teen-pop singer, “Walking Back to Happiness” (UK #1, 1961), moved to cabaret and stage musicals in the 70s
1947 ● Peter Hope-Evans → Harmonica and Jew’s harp in Brit folk-rock duo Medicine Head, “One And One Is One” (UK #3, 1973)
1950 ● Paul Burgess → Journeyman Brit drummer for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), The Invisible Girls, Magna Carta, Jethro Tull, Camel, The Icicle Works, Joan Armatrading and others, with Katy Lied as of 2010
1951 ● Norton Buffalo / (Phillip Jackson) → Blues and country-rock harmonica player, songwriter, singer and bandleader, toured with ‘Commander Cody, sessions for Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, Elvin Bishop and others, member of the Steve Miller Band, “Fly Like An Eagle” (#2, 1977), frontman for The Stampede and later The Knockouts, died from cancer on 10/30/2009, age 58
1952 ● Andy Ward / (Andrew John Ward) → Drummer and founding member of 70s prog rock Camel, later with prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985) and 90s supergroup Mirage
1953 ● Jim Diamond → Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist with Gully Foyle, The Alexis Korner Band, Bandit and PhD, “I Won’t Let You Down” (UK #3, 1982), then solo, “I Should Have Know Better” (UK #1, 1984)
1953 ● Kenie Burke / (Kenneth Burke) → With his four siblings, backing singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps, “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), after disbandment in 1977 session work for Dark Horse Records and worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison, issued several solo albums and R&B/disco singles in the 80s, continued to record into the 90s
1954 ● George Lynch → Guitarist for pop-metal Dokken, “Alone Again” (1984), solo, fronted Lynch Mob, “Tangled In The Web” (Modern Rock #13, 1992) and Souls Of We
1957 ● Mari Wilson / (Mari Macmillan Ramsay Wilson) → Retro-60s beehive-hairdo R&B-pop-quiet storm singer, “Just What I Always Wanted” (, 1982)
1958 ● Mick Harvey → Multi-instrumentalist, long association with alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1960 ● Jennifer Rush / (Heidi Stern) → German-American superstar dance-pop singer, “The Power Of Love” (#57, UK #1, 1985) and multiple other Top 40 hits in various European countries, virtually unknown in the US
1962 ● Peter Hooton → Founder and lead vocals for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1966 ● Doggen / (Tony “Doggen” Foster) → Guitarist in Julian Cope‘s backing band, with trip hop Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, UK #1, 1996), power trio Brain Donor and space rock Spiritualized
1966 ● Ginger Fish / (Kenneth Robert Wilson) → Drummer for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1967 ● Moon Unit Zappa → Film and TV actress, MTV and VH-1 VJ, artist, monologue vocals on “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), daughter of Frank Zappa and spouse of Matchbox Twenty drummer Paul Doucette
1968 ● Brad Smith → Bass, flute and backing vocals for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), solo, later alt rock Unified Theory, rejoined Blind Melon in 2006
1968 ● Luke Goss → With twin brother Matt, drummer in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (, 1988), solo and film acting credits
1968 ● Matthew Goss → With twin brother Luke, lead singer in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (, 1988), solo and currently performing in Las Vegas
1968 ● Sean Levert → Vocals for R&B/smooth soul trio LeVert, “Casanova” (#5, R&B #1, 1987), son of O’Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died from sarcoidosis while in jail on child support charges on 3/30/2008, age 39
1969 ● DeVante Swing / (Donald DeGrate, Jr.) → Vocals and songwriter in R&B/electro-dance “bad boy” quartet Jodeci, “Lately” (#4, 1993), founded Swing Mob Records, producer
1969 ● Jonathan Auer → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for power pop The Posies, “Dream All Day” (Mainstream Rock #17, 1993), toured and recorded with power pop Big Star and The Squirrels, solo
1977 ● Young Jeezy / (Jay Wayne Jenkins) → Hip hop business entrepreneur turned Southern/gangsta rapper, founded Corporate Thugz Entertainment , solo artist, “Soul Survivor” (#4, 2005), member of Boyz ‘N Da Hood and U.S.D.A.
1981 ● Suzanne Shaw → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), stage actress and TV host
1984 ● Melody Thorton → Vocals for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005)
1987 ● Hilary Duff → TV actress and star of Lizzie McGuire show, then teen dance-pop, “With Love” (#24, Dance/Club #1, 2007), movie actress, apparel designer and author
1987 ● Joshua Farro → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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)

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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)

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

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

, , , , ,

2 Comments

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)

, , , , ,

Leave a comment