Posts Tagged rock star birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (May 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 24

1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1941 ● Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Cynthia “Plaster” Caster → Rock groupie known for making plaster casts of rock star’s penises and breasts, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars
1947 ● Robert “Waddy” Wachtel → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls’ video of “It’s Raining Men”, died on 11/14/2003 from a stroke related to HIV
1967 ● Heavy D (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died 11/8/2011 after collapsing outside his L.A. condo
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

May 25

1921 ● Hal David → Pop/MOR lyricist, co-wrote dozens of hits, often in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” for the Carpenters (#1, 1970), “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969)
1936 ● Donnie Elbert → R&B/Northern soul singer, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#15, R&B #6, 1971), died of a stroke on 1/26/1989
1936 ● Tom T. Hall → Grammy-winning country storytelling songwriter and singer, wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.” for Jeannie C. Riley (#1, 1968) and as a solo artist recorded 21 Country Top 10 hits, including “I Love” (#12, Country #1, 1973)
1942 ● Brian “Blinky” Davison → Drummer for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968), prog rock Refugee and space-rock Gong, died 4/15/2008
1943 ● Jessi Colter (Miriam Johnson) → Singer/songwriter and lone female star from the “outlaw country” genre, “I’m Not Lisa” (#4, Country #1, 1975), wife of Waylon Jennings, teamed with Waylon, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser on the 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country music album to sell over a million copies
1943 ● John Michael “Poli” Palmer → Piano and vibraphone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1945 ● Dave Lee Travis (David Patrick Griffin) → BBC Radio 1 and TV host, with fellow DJ Paul Burnette released “Convoy GB” (UK #4, 1976) as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, a parody of C.W. McCall‘s “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1975)
1947 ● Mitch Margo → Vocals for white doo-wop group The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1948 ● Klaus Meine → Lead vocals and frontman for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1950 ● Jean Millington → Vocals and bassist with sister June in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label, still playing as Slammin’ Babes
1950 ● Robby Steinhardt → Co-lead singer and violinist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), solo
1955 ● John Grimaldi → Guitarist for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972)
1958 ● John William “Paul” Weller → Co-founder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for punk rock/modcon trio The Jam, “Going Underground” (UK #1, 1980), then co-founded sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “Peacock Suit” (UK #5, 1996) and 28 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Rick Smith → Keyboards for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1975 ● Lauryn Hill → Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter with R&B/jazz-rap The Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” (#1, 1996), solo, “Doo Wop (That Thing” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Joe King → Co-founder, guitar, backing vocals and songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 26

1904 ● George Formby (Booth) → Widely popular Brit stage/screen actor, singing comedian and ukulele player, recorded more than 200 albums and appeared in 20 films, best-known song is “Leaning On A Lamp Post”, died on 3/6/1961 after a heart attack
1920 ● Peggy Lee (Norma Deloris Egstrom) → Sultry, distinctive singer, pop-jazz-big band songwriter and actress, “Fever” (#8, 1958), Grammy-winner, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and others, died from complications of diabetes and a heart attack on 1/21/2002
1926 ● Miles Dewey Davis III → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter and composer, major influence on jazz and fusion music, 8-time Grammy winner, including his 1970 album Bitches Brew, died on 9/28/1991
1939 ● Jaki Liebezeit → German rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976)
1940 ● Levon Helm → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, producer, bandleader, hosts weekly Midnight Ramble revue near Woodstock, NY, died on 4/19/2012 from cancer
1941 ● Art Sharp → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Ray Ennis → Vocals and guitar for British Invasionn pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#24, 1964)
1944 ● Terence “Verden” Allen → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1945 ● Garry Peterson → Long-time drummer for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Michael “Mick” Ronson → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, session work for Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey and others, Rolling Stone magazine’s 64th greatest guitarist of all time, died of liver cancer on 4/29/1993
1946 ● Ronnie Harkai → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1948 ● Stephanie Lynn (“Stevie”) Nicks → Hugely successful female rock/pop vocalist, achieved fame with blues-rock turned mega-star band Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), successful solo career, “Talk To Me” (#4, 1985)
1949 ● Randall Hank Williams, Jr. → Country-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Honky Tonkin'” (1982), son of country music legend Hank Williams, Sr.
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence (Vicki Ann Axelrod) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1958 ● Wayne Hussey (Jerry Lovelock) → Guitarist for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985), then goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990)
1962 ● Colin Vearncombe → Frontman and singer/songwriter for Brit pop-rock Black, “Wonderful Life” (UK #8, 1987), solo
1964 ● Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz → Grammy-winning multi-instrumental singer, songwriter, “Fly Away” (#12, 199), session musician and singer with Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie and others
1966 ● Tommy Stewart → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), also with Everclear, Fuel, Halloween and other bands
1967 ● Kristen Pfaff → Bass guitarist for Minneapolis post-hardcore Janitor Joe, recruited to Seattle grunge rock Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joe but died from an opium overdose on 6/16/1994
1968 ● Phillip Rhodes → Drummer for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1971 ● Joey Kibble → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Alan White → Drummer (1994-2005, replacing Tony McCarroll) in Grammy-nominated Britpop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1978 ● Jaheim Hoagland → R&B/dance-pop singer, “My Place” with Nelly (#4, Rap #4, 1992)
1981 ● Isaac Slade → Co-founder, lead singer, pianist and chief songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 27

1932 ● Junior Parker (Hermon Parker, Jr.) → Memphis blues/soul vocalist, “Driving Wheel” (R&B #5, 1961), co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “Mystery Train” (Country #11, 1956), died during surgery to remove a brain tumor on 11/18/1971
1935 ● Ramsey Lewis → Grammy-winning jazz/pop pianist, bandleader and composer, “The In Crowd” (#5, 1965)
1943 ● Cilla Black (Priscilla White) → Light pop singer, actress and TV/radio personality with a nearly 50 year career in music and entertainment, “You’re My World” (#26, 1964), hosted various BBC TV programs
1945 ● Bruce Cockburn → Canadian folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Wondering Where The Lions Are” (#21, 1980)
1947 ● Marty Kristian → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1947 ● Peter Knight → Violin for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1948 ● Pete Sears → Journeyman bassist and keyboardist, session work for Rod Stewart in 70s, 1974-1987 with Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987), then Hot Tuna, David Nelson Band, Moonalice and session work
1949 ● James Mitchell → Vocals for R&B/soul quartet The Detroit Emeralds, “Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)” (#24, R&B #4, 1972), left to co-found R&B/quiet storm The Floaters, “Float On” (#2, 1977)
1957 ● Eddie Harsch → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1957 ● Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion) → Vocals and frontwoman for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983)
1958 ● Neil Finn → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), solo and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1966 ● Sean Kinney → Drummer in alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1971 ● Lisa Nicole “Left Eye” Lopes → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), died in a car accident on 4/25/2002
1975 ● Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin) → Half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004), solo

May 28

1910 ● Aaron Thibeaux “T. Bone” Walker → Electric blues pioneer, “Stormy Monday” (1947), influenced Albert Collins, B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and many others, #47 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists list, died of bronchial pneumonia following a stoke on 3/16/1975
1917 ● John Henry “Papa John” Creach → Fiddler for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna and mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), died on 2/22/1994 after suffering a heart attack during the Northridge earthquake
1930 ● Prince Buster (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → Hugely influential reggae/ska singer, producer and solo artist, “Ten Commandments Of Man” (#81, R&B #17, 1967)
1943 ● Tony Mansfield → Drummer for 60s British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1944 ● Billy Vera (William McCord, Jr.) → Rock historian, songwriter and singer, duet with Judy Clay, “Storybook Children” (#20, 1968) and solo as frontman for pop-rock The Beaters, “At This Moment” (#1, 1986), featured on the TV show Family Ties
1944 ● Gladys Knight → The “Empress of Soul”, Grammy-winning R&B vocals and frontwoman for The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973), solo
1945 ● John Fogerty → Frontman, songwriter, guitar and vocals for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969), Grammy-winning solo career (album Centerfield, #1, 1985) and bandleader for The Blue Ridge Rangers
1948 ● Ray Laidlaw → Drummer for Brit folk-rock Brethren, which became Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Wendy O. Williams → Mohawk hairdo-sporting, controversial singer and frontwoman for outrageous punk/heavy metal Plasmatics, “Butcher Baby” (UK #55, 1980), solo, actress in sexploitation film Reform School Girls (1986), committed suicide on 4/6/1998
1955 ● Edwin “Eddie” Jobson → Respected journeyman violinist and synthesizer player with Frank Zappa‘s band, long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), Roxy Music, U.K., Yes, solo
1955 ● John McGeoch → Scottish guitarist, singer and co-founder of post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978), then with punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd., died in his sleep ion 3/4/2004
1959 ● Steve Strange (Stephen Harrington) → Frontman and vocals for New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey” (UK #8, 1980), nightclub host and promoter
1961 ● Roland Gift → Lead singer for Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1964 ● Wes Burt-Martin → Guitarist for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989)
1965 ● Chris Ballew → Co-founder, bass and vocals for post-grunge alt rock The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Lump” (Mainstream Rock #7, 1995), currently performs children’s music under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants
1968 ● Kylie Minogue → Grammy-winning, widely-popular Aussie pop singer, songwriter and actress, “The Loco-Motion” (#3, 1988)
1970 ● Jimi Goodwin → Vocals, bass and guitar for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Mark Richardson → Drummer for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Mark Feehily → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1985 ● Colbie Caillat → Pop singer and guitarist, “Bubbly” (2007), daughter of Ken Caillat who co-produced Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Tusk albums

May 29

1941 ● Roy Crewsdon → Guitarist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), now operates a bar in Tenerife
1945 ● Gary Brooker → Chief songwriter, keyboardist and vocals for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), solo plus session work for Eric Clapton
1949 ● Francis Rossi → Co-founder and lead guitarist for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), solo
1950 ● Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson → Eldest of the Jackson family of musicians, performed with her brothers beginning in 1974, solo, “Centipede” (#24, R&B #4, 1984)
1953 ● Danny Elfman → Grammy-winning TV and film score composer, frequently in collaboration with Tim Burton (Batman, 1989), singer/songwriter and leader of New Wave ska-pop/alt rock Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (#45, Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1955 ● Mike Porcaro → Bassist for pop/arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1982), middle brother of bandmates Jeff and Steve Porcaro
1956 ● La Toya Jackson → Background vocals for her brothers’ band The Jackson 5, then largely unsuccessful and unnoticed solo singing career
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1959 ● Mel Gaynor → Drummer for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” (#1, 1985)
1960 ● Jesse Johnson → Guitarist for R&B/soul-funk The Time, wrote “Jungle Love” (#20, Dance/Club #9, 1984), then solo, “Crazay” (Dance/Club #12, 1986)
1961 ● David Palmer → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1961 ● Melissa Etheridge → Grammy-winning alt-heartland rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I’m The Only One” (#8, 1993), gay activist
1962 ● John Pedder → Bassist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1963 ● Blaze Bayley (Bayley Alexander Cooke) → Lead vocalist for heavy metal Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, Iron Maiden (“The Angel And The Gambler”, Mainstream Rock #24, 1998) from 1994 to 1999, solo and frontman for Blaze
1967 ● Noel Gallagher → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1969 ● Chandler “Chad” Kinchla → Guitarist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1975 ● Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown → Vocals and “Scary Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Daniel Pearce → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

May 30

1909 ● Benny Goodman → The “King of Swing” and most popular figure of the early Swing Era bandleaders, clarinetist, film actor (playing himself), died from a heart attack on 7/13/1986
1915 ● Maxine Powell → African American child actress turned finishing school owner who became the etiquette and style coach for Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records in the 60s, the only such training program offered at any record label at any time, died after a long period of declining health on 10/14/2013
1926 ● Johnny Gimble → Grammy-winning virtuoso country and Western swing fiddler, played with Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys in the 50s, as a session musician appeared on numerous albums by Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and others in the 60s, toured with Willie Nelson, worked with Asleep At The Wheel and acted in films and on TV in the 70s and 80s, died following a stroke on 5/9/2015
1944 ● Gladys Horton → Founder and lead vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died following a stroke on 1/26/2011
1944 ● Lenny Davidson → Guitarist and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1955 ● Nicholas Bowen “Topper” Headon → Drummer and occasional vocals for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, wrote “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982)
1958 ● Marie Fredriksson → Vocals for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1960 ● Stephen Duffy → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1964 ● Tom Morello → Guitarist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1964 ● Wynonna Judd (Christina Ciminella) → Country singer/songwriter in duo The Judds (with mother Naomi), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) and 17 other Top 10 country hits, solo, “To Be Loved By You” (Adult Contemporary #25, Country #1, 1996)
1967 ● Sven Pipien → Bassist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1968 ● Tim Burgess → Vocals for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), solo
1971 ● Patrick Dalheimer → Bassist for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995) and The Gracious Few
1974 ● Cee Lo Green (Thomas Callaway) → Singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer, member of pioneering Dirty South rap group Goodie Mob, “Cell Therapy” (#13, Rap #1, 1995), then Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (#2, 2006) and solo, “F**k You” (#2, 2010)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 17

1921 ● Bob Merrrill (Henry Merrill Levan) → Pop and Broadway songwriter, wrote multiple hits, including “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window” for Patti Page (#1, 1953) and “People” for Barbra Streisand (Adult Contemporary #1, 1964), died 2/17/1998 after a long illness
1938 ● Pervis Jackson → Original member and bass vocals for Motown R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974), plus eleven other Top 20 hits, continued touring with the group until his death from cancer on 8/18/2008
1941 ● Malcolm Hale → Guitar, horns and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from carbon monoxide poisoning on 10/30/1968 due to a faulty home furnace
1942 ● Taj Mahal (Henry St. Clair Fredericks) → Prominent multi-instrumentalist acoustic and electric folk-blues-country-reggae guitarist and songwriter, founded roots folk-rock Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, prolific solo career with over 30 studio and live albums, composer of film soundtracks, Grammy-winning best contemporary blues album Señor Blues (1997)
1944 ● James Ridout “Jesse” Winchester → Draft-dodging American folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Say What” (#2, 1981), moved to Canada in 1967 and received citizenship in 1973, continued to record and perform until his death from bladder cancer on 4/11/2014
1944 ● Richard Schwartz → Vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1949 ● Bill Bruford → Inimitable rock drummer, composer, bandleader, producer and record company executive, founding member of prog/art rock Yes, briefly with prog rock Genesis in early 70s, then prog/space-rock King Crimson, “Heartbeat” (Mainstream Rock #57, 1982) for 25 years, solo albums and side projects including UK, ABWH and Earthworks
1950 ● Howard Ashman → With songwriting team partner/composer Alan Menken, Academy Award-winning lyricist and producer for stage and screen, co-wrote “Under The Sea” from Disney‘s The Little Mermaid (1989), the title song to Beauty And The Beast (1991) and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992), died of AIDS on 3/14/1991
1952 ● Roy Adams → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1953 ● George “Lightnin’ Licks” Johnson → Vocals and guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk sibling group The Brothers Johnson, “Stomp!” (#7, R&B #1, 1980), solo
1958 ● Alan Rankine → Guitarist for post-punk New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), now college music lecturer
1959 ● Paul Di’Anno (Andrews) → Vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1981 and pursued a moderately successful solo career and as a member of several hard rock project groups, including Gogmagog, Battlezone, Praying Mantis and Killers
1960 ● Simon Fuller → Record and TV producer, manager for the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Will Young, Emma Bunton and others, creator of the Idol TV variety/contest series, first in the U.K. as Pop Idol and now with over 50 other versions including American Idol, Canadian Idol, and World Idol
1961 ● Enya → Vocals for Celtic folk-pop sibling group Clannad, then solo new age dreamy synth-pop, “Orinoco Flow” (#24, 1989) and “Only Time” (#10, 2001)
1962 ● Tracey Bryn → With sister Melissa Belland, frontgal and vocals in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1963 ● Page McConnell → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996) plus solo and side projects
1965 ● Homer O’Dell → Guitarist for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1965 ● Trent Reznor → Founder, leader and songwriter for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1966 ● Jan Kincaid → Founding member, drums and keyboards for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1967 ● Simon Friend → Guitarist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Dave Abbruzzese → Drummer (1991-94) for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Even Flow” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1992), solo
1970 ● Darnell Van Rensalier → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1970 ● Jordan Knight → Singer in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1971 ● Vernette “Vernie” Bennett → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1973 ● Joshua Homme → Founding member, vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter for stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), later with supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Alt Rock #10, 2009)
1974 ● Andrea Corr → With two sisters and brother, lead vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000), solo and actress
1976 ● Kandi Burruss → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)

May 18

1911 ● Joseph Vernon “Big Joe” Turner → Premier blues “shouter” and boogie-woogie, jump blues and early rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” (#22, R&B #1, 1954), died 11/24/1985 from a heart attack
1912 ● Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll crooner, then Grammy-winning smooth easy listening/pop singer, “Catch A Falling Star” (#1, 1958) and 19 other Pop Top 25 singles plus nine Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died in his sleep on 5/12/2001
1942 ● Rodney Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass guitar and dobro player with brother Doug in duo country-rock The Dillards
1944 ● Albert Hammond → Brit-Gibraltarian pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “It Never Rains In Southern California” (#5, 1973)
1946 ● Bruce Gilbert → Guitarist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1946 ● George Alexander → Bassist for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1949 ● Bill Wallace → Bassist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), now college music instructor
1949 ● Rick Wakeman → Renowned keyboardist and composer, started as sessionman for Black Sabbath, David Bowie and others in the 60s, joined folk-prog-rock The Strawbs in 1970, moved to archetypal prog rock Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), successful solo career and film score composing
1950 ● Mark Mothersbaugh → Multi-instrumental musician, composer, singer and founding member of quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), also wrote musical scores for dozens of films and television shows in the 90s and 00s in music production company Mutato Muzika with his former Devo bandmates
1952 ● George Strait → The “King of Country,” traditionalist country, honky tonk and Western swing singer, songwriter and guitarist with more (57) Country #1 hits than any other artist, including “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” (Country #1, 1987)
1953 ● Feliciano “Butch” Tavares → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Wreckless Eric (Goulden) → Singer, songwriter and Stiff Records artist, had the punk classic UK airplay hit “I’d Go The Whole Wide World” (1978)
1957 ● Michael Cretu → Romanian-born founder, frontman, composer and creative genius behind new age electronic/world music Enigma, “Return To Innocence” (#4, 1994)
1958 ● Toyah Ann Wilcox → Brit actress and singer, appeared in the punk film Jubilee (1977) and in The Who‘s mod film Quadrophenia (1979), fronted punk-rock Toyah, “It’s A Mystery” (1981)
1961 ● Hugh Whittaker → Drummer for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1961 ● Russell Senior → Guitar and violin for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), left in 1997 to pursue other projects and sell antique glassware
1969 ● Martika (Marta Marrero) → Cuban-American teen-pop/bubblegum singer, “Toy Soldiers” (#1, 1989)
1970 ● Billy Howerdel → Guitar technician for alt rock Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), then founded alt-metal-fused-with-art rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1975 ● Jack Johnson → Hawaii born professional surfer turned acoustic soft beach rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Upside Down” (#38, Adult Top 40 #11, 2006)

May 19

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

May 20

1925 ● Vic Ames (Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died in a car accident 1/23/1978
1940 ● Frederick Earl “Shorty” Long → Overlooked Motown R&B/pop singer, “Here Comes The Judge” (#8, R&B #4, 1968), producer and song craftsman, drowned in a Detroit River boating accident on 6/29/1969
1942 ● Jill Jackson → Vocals in pop duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1944 ● John Robert “Joe” Cocker → Gravelly-voiced, blue-eyed soul pub-rock/blues-pop-rock vocalist and hard partying rock star, “A Little Help From My Friends” (#68, UK #1, 1968), “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982), died on 12/22/14 from lung cancer
1946 ● Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) → Vocals with husband Sonny Bono in pop-rock duo Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965), solo, “Believe” (#1, 1999)
1950 ● Stephen Alex Broughton → Drummer for Brit blues-rock then prog rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1952 ● Warren Cann → Drummer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Guy Edward Hoffman → Drummer for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1954 ● Jimmy Henderson → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1955 ● Steve George → Keyboardist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jane Wiedlin → Guitar, songwriting and vocals for top New Wave pop-rock all-girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat (#2, 1982) and solo, “Rush Hour” (#9, 1988)
1959 ● Susan Cowsill → Sub-teen vocalist for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, backing vocalist for various artists in the 80s, then formed alt country-rock supergroup Continental Drifters in 1991, solo
1961 ● Dan Wilson → Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, wrote “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), producer
1961 ● Nick Heyward → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1963 ● Brian “Nasher” Nash → Backing vocals and guitarist for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Patti Russo → Singer/songwriter and actress best known as the female lead vocalist with Meat Loaf‘s touring band, Neverland Express
1966 ● Tom Gorman → Guitarist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1967 ● Kit Clark → With brother Gary Clark, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1972 ● Busta Rhymes (Trevor Smith, Jr.) → Grammy-nominated, idiosyncratic speed rapper, first with Leaders Of The New School, “What’s Next” (Rap #1, 1993), then solo, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check ” (#8, Rap #1, 1996)
1981 ● Sean Conlon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1984 ● Naturi Naughton → Vocals for R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

May 21

1904 ● Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller → Jazz and ragtime pianist, co-wrote “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929), the oft-covered classic now included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, died 12/15/1943 from pneumonia
1926 ● Albert Bernard Grossman → Chicago folk club owner and later promoter and manager for Bob Dylan (1962-70), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Band, Paul Butterfield, Janis Joplin and others, built Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, NY and founded Bearsville Records, died of a heart attack on 1/25/86 while flying to London on the Concorde to sign unknown British rock singer
1928 ● Tom Donahue → Rock Hall of Fame-inducted pioneering “free format” FM rock DJ on KSAN (San Francisco) and other stations, night club owner, concert producer/promoter, record label executive, died of a heart attack on 4/28/1975
1941 ● Ronald Isley → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2″ (#6, 1973)
1943 ● Hilton Valentine → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1943 ● John Dalton → Bass guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), replaced Pete Quaiffe in 1969, left the band in 1976 and periodically appears with the Kast Off Kinks
1943 ● Vincent Crane (Cheesman) → Keyboards and songwriter for Brit psych-rock The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#12, 1987), left with bandmate Carl Palmer to form prog/art rock Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (UK #4, 1971), died from an overdose of painkillers on 2/14/1989
1944 ● Marcie Blaine (Marcia Blank) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Bobby’s Girl” (#3, 1962)
1947 ● Bill Champlin → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman for psych-rock Sons Of Champlin, joined pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “You’re The Inspiration” (#3, 1984) in 1981 and has played and toured with the band since, also solo and side projects
1948 ● Gerard Hugh “Leo” Sayer → Grammy-winning blue-eyed R&B/pop-disco singer, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Marc Ribot → Multi-genre guitarist and composer, session work for dozens of artists from Norah Jones to Elvis Costello to Tom Waits, member of New York City avant-garde The Lounge Lizards
1955 ● Stan Lynch → Drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
1958 ● Mike Barson → Keyboards for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1963 ● Kevin Shields → Founding member and guitarist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1963 ● Tim Lever → Keyboards for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Martin Blunt → Bass for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1972 ● The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) → Street hustler turned East Coast hip hop star, “Mo Money Mo Problems” (#1, 1997), murdered in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on 3/9/1997
1975 ● Lee Gaze → Lead guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1978 ● Adam Wade Gontier → Lead singer and guitarist in Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1985 ● Mutya Buena → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), quit the group in 2005 for solo, “Real Girl” (UK #2, 2006)

May 22

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

May 23

1918 ● Robert “Bumps” Blackwell → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and inventor of the synthesizer, built his first electronic instrument – the Theremin – at age 14 and in 1970 produced the MiniMoog “the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” died on 8/21/2005 four months after being diagnosed with brain cancer
1943 ● “General” Norman Johnson → R&B/soul-pop songwriter, producer, frontman for Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970)
1944 ● Raymon “Tiki” Fulwood → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995
1957 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Frederick “Junior” Waite → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1973 ● Maxwell (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel (Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Scott “Mad Dog” Raynor → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 03

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

May 04

1923 ● Ed “Mr. Skin” Cassidy → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeter in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006
1937 ● Dick Dale (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The “King of the Surf Guitar”, pioneer of the single-note staccato picking technique, developed reverberation, frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones, “Let’s Go Trippin'” (#60, 1962)
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others
1943 ● Ronnie Bond (Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1945 ● Georg “Jojjie” Wadenius → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Alistair “Zal” Cleminson → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazareth in 1979
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died 6/30/1999
1951 ● Mick Mars (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
1951 ● Sigmund Esco “Jackie” Jackson → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1959 ● Randy Travis (Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch
1972 ● Mike Dirnt (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

May 05

1937 ● Johnnie Taylor → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died 5/31/2000 after a heart attack
1942 ● Tammy Wynette (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998
1942 ● Jim King (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1954 ● Pete 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
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele (Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan (Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

May 06

1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia, “Love Is Strange” (#11, 1957)
1939 ● Herbie Cox → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Mike Ratledge → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
1943 ● Sandra Tilley → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981
1945 ● Bob Seger → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and bandleader, “Night Moves” (#4, 1976) and “Shakedown” (#1, 1986) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986)
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a heroin overdose on 9/23/1974
1960 ● John Flansburgh → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

May 07

1931 ● Teresa Brewer (Breuer) → 50s novelty pop singer, “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The Temptations‘s David Ruffin
1939 ● Johnny Maestro (Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010
1940 ● Jim “JC” Connors → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West (Richard Westwood) → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967)
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1945 ● Cornelius Bumpus → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Charles L’Empereur “Prairie” Prince → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1955 ● Steve Diggle → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
1956 ● Anne Dudley (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson-Piper → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye Cherry → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08

1911 ● Robert Johnson → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died 8/16/1938
1940 ● Eric Hillard “Ricky” Nelson → Teen idol and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Travellin’ Man” (#1, 1961) plus 18 other Top 10 singles, played himself on his parent’s TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, died in a plane crash on 12/31/1985
1941 ● John Fred (Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died on 4/15/2005 after a long battle with kidney disease
1943 ● Cathyrn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972
1943 ● Paul Samwell-Smith → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1944 ● Bill Legend (Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2″ (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1951 ● Chris Frantz → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1964 ● Dave Rowntree → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8″ (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

May 09

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 26 – May 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 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
1919 ● John Ned “Johnny” Shines → Top slide guitarist and Delta blues singer, performed with Robert Johnson, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood, Jr., died 4/20/1992
1925 ● Jorgen Ingmann → Danish jazz guitarist turned one hit wonder instrumental pop Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitars, covered “Apache” (#2, 1961)
1938 ● Duane Eddy → Influential rockabilly star, electric guitar pioneer and “twangy” instrumental rocker, “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958)
1938 ● Maurice Williams → Frontman and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Zodiacs, “Stay” (#1, 1960), solo
1940 ● Hansjörg “Giorgio” 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
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 ● John “Bucky” 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 ● Stanley Wayne “Jay” 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)

Apr 27

1932 ● Kemil Amen “Casey” Kasem → Legendary and iconic radio DJ, creator and long-time host of American Top 40, voice-over artist (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons)
1932 ● Maxine Brown → Vocals for 50s-60s country-folk harmony sibling vocal trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, 1959), solo
1944 ● Cuba Gooding, Sr. → Lead vocals for R&B/romantic soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972)
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 on 4/24/1975 amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles
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 ● 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)
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)

Apr 28

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

Apr 29

1899 ● Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington → Jazz composer, 50-year bandleader, film score and stage musical writer/producer, unquestioned giant of American popular music, “Take The ‘A’ Train” (1941), died from lung cancer and pneumonia on 5/24/1974
1928 ● Carl Gardner → Lead tenor and 50-year soul vocalist, first for R&B/soul-doo wop The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), moved to offshoot soul-pop The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and has fronted the group ever since
1931 ● Anthony James “Lonnie” Donegan → English rock ‘n’ roll pioneer singer who launched the skiffle craze, “Rock Island Line” (#8, 1956), plus over 30 UK Top 40 singles, died on 11/3/2002 from a heart attack shortly before a scheduled appearance with The Rolling Stones in a memorial to George Harrison
1933 ● Willie Nelson → Country-pop songwriter turned Grammy-winning “outlaw” country superstar, “On The Road Again” (#20, Country #1, 1980)
1933 ● Rodney Marvin “Rod” McKuen → The “unofficial poet laureate of America,” poet, lyricist, songwriter and bridge between the 50s Beat generation and the 70s New Age movement, released dozens of books of poetry and over 100 albums of vocal and spoken-word music, most of which was commercially successful if not critically-acclaimed, his over 1,500 songs were covered by Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand and many others, died from respiratory failure caused by pneumonia on 1/29/2015
1935 ● Otis Rush → “West Side” Chicago blues guitarist, tenor singer and songwriter, “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (R&B #6, 1956) and the oft-covered masterpiece “Double Trouble” (1958), from which Stevie Ray Vaughan derived his band’s name
1936 ● Albee Cracolici → Baritone vocals for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Mystics, “Hushabye” (1959)
1936 ● April Stevens (Carol LoTempio) → Grammy-winning pop singer, duet with Nino Tempo (her brother Antonio), “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963)
1942 ● Klaus Voorman → Grammy-winning German musician, producer and artist, bassist for Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), session musician for the Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, Harry Nilsson and others, designed album covers for The Beatles (Revolver) and others
1942 ● Vincent Poncia, Jr. → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1943 ● Duane Allen → Vocals for long-running country/gospel/folk harmony quartet The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, 1981)
1945 ● Hugh Hopper → Founding member and bass guitarist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine and other related bands in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, issued two obscure solo albums, died from leukemia on 6/7/2009
1945 ● Tammi Terrell (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → R&B/soul vocalist for Motown, performed solo and frequently in duets with Marvin Gaye, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), died from a brain tumor on 3/16/1970
1947 ● Joel Larson → Session drummer with The Turtles, Lee Michaels and others, played with AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1947 ● Tommy James (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → Frontman and lead vocals for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Michael Karoli → Founding member, guitarist and violinist for influential experimental/kraut rock Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), producer
1953 ● Bill “King Boy D” Drummond → South African-born, Scottish-raised experimental/ambient music composer and producer, record company executive and A&R man, writer, musician with punk-rock Big In Japan, formed art rock KLF, “3 A.M. Eternal” (#5, 1990)
1958 ● Simon Edwards → Guitaron player for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1960 ● Phil King → Bass guitar and backing vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1968 ● Carnie Wilson → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach BoysBrian Wilson
1969 ● Master P (Percy Miller) → New Orleans-based hip hop/gangsta rap star, No Limit record company founder, “I Got The Hook Up” (#16, Rap #1, 1998)
1973 ● Mike Hogan → Bass and rhythm guitars for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1979 ● Joanne Velda O’Meara → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1979 ● Matt Tong → Drums and backing vocals for Brit indie rock Bloc Party, “The Prayer” (UK #4, 2007)
1980 ● Kian Egan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1981 ● Tom Smith → Bass guitar for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

Apr 30

1896 ● Rev. Gary Davis → Ragtime, folk, gospel and blues guitarist, influenced Bob Dylan, Donovan and Taj Mahal, mentor to David Bromberg, Ry Cooder and Jorma Kaukonen
1925 ● Johnny Horton → Country/honky tonk historical singer and songwriter, “The Battle of New Orleans” (#1, 1958), died on 11/4/1960 after a car crash while returning home from a concert performance
1930 ● Bill Buchanan → With partner Dickie Goodman, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2″ (#3, 1956), songwriter and producer, died 8/1/1996 from cancer
1931 ● Peter La Farge (Oliver Albee La Farge) → Native American-descendant 50s and 60s Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, contemporary of Bob Dylan, wrote or co-wrote numerous songs with Johnny Cash, including “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes” (Country #3, 1964), died of a Thorazine overdose on 10/27/1965
1941 ● Johnny Farina → Electric guitar for pop-rock brother duo Santo & Johnny, best known for the guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1943 ● Bobby Vee (Robert Thomas Velline) → Early 60s pop singer, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 20 hits
1944 ● Richard Shoff → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1948 ● Wayne Kramer → Guitarist for Detroit proto-punk/garage rockers MC5, “Kick Out The Jams” (#82, 1969), solo
1951 ● Des Tong → Bassist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Cafe, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979)
1953 ● Merrill Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1962 ● Robert Reynolds → Founding member and bassist for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1967 ● Turbo B (Durron Maurice Bulter) → Frontman and rapper for electronic/beatbox Snap!, “The Power” (#2, Rap #1, 1990), then solo and co-founder of Centory
1968 ● Ben Ayres → Guitar and vocals for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1969 ● Paulo “Destructor”, Jr. (Paulo Xisto Pinto, Jr.) → Bassist and only remaining original member of Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1971 ● Christopher Henderson → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1971 ● Darren Emerson → DJ, keyboards and tranceman for electro/trance/dance-pop Underworld, “Two Months Off” (Dance/Club #2, 2002)
1972 ● J.R. Richards → Songwriter and lead singer for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996), solo
1973 ● Jeff Timmons → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1982 ● Cleopatra Madonna Higgins → Vocals and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Lloyd Banks (Christopher Lloyd) → Rapper and vocals with 50 Cent and Tony Yayo in rap trio G-Unit, “Stunt 101″ (#13, Rap #5, 2003), later solo, “On Fire” (#8, Rap #3, 2004)
1987 ● Nikki Webster → Aussie pop singer and model, “Strawberry Kisses” (Australian #2, 2001), sang at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics opening ceremony

May 01

1929 ● Sonny James (James Loden) → The “Southern Gentleman”, country-pop singer/songwriter, “Young Love” (#1, Country #1, 1957), scored a five-year run of 16 back-to-back #1 country hits (among 23 total #1’s and 72 country chart hits from the late 50s through the early 80s)
1930 ● Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Innovative blues harpist, “My Babe” (R&B #1, 1955), first to amplify the harmonica, developed the distorted echoing sound, only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee specifically for work with the harmonica, died on 2/15/1968 from a coronary blood clot
1939 ● Judy Collins → Interpretative folk singer and occasional songwriter, “Both Sides Now” (#8, 1968)
1945 ● Mimi Fariña (Margarita Baez) → Folk singer/songwriter, duets with husband Richard Fariña in the early 60s, then solo after his death in a motorcycle accident, social activist, younger sister of Joan Baez, died of cancer on 7/18/2001
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → Versatile Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (#2, 1977), backing vocals for Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie and others, married to singer/actor Kris Kristofferson (1973 – 1980)
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → Bassist for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → Guitarist, songwriter, producer and bandleader, sessions with The Spinners, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and others, formed Raydio in 1977, “Jack And Jill” (#8, 1978), wrote and performed the movie theme song “Ghostbusters” (#1, 1984)
1957 ● Rick Driscoll → Guitar and vocals for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1957 ● Steve Farris → Guitarist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1959 ● Phillip Smith → Saxophone for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Owen Paul (McGee) → Scottish pop-rock singer, “My Favourite Waste Of Time” (UK #3, 1986), sessions and touring with Mike + The Mechanics
1966 ● Johnny Colt → Original bassist for raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), left to form rock trio Brand New Immortals, then modern rock Train, “Drops Of Jupiter” (#5, 2001)
1967 ● Tim McGraw (Samuel Timothy Smith) → Hugely popular Grammy-winning neo-traditional country star with 22 country #1 hits, including “It’s Your Love” (Country #1, 1997), husband of Faith Hill and son of former baseball pitcher Tug McGraw
1968 ● D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Bass guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1970 ● Bernard Butler → Guitar and vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996), solo, duet with David McAlmont, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1977 ● Dan Regan → Trombone and vocals for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), currently in hip hop side project under the pseudonym Black Casper
1978 ● Chris Kelly → Vocals for teenage rap sensation Kris Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992), partner Chris Smith and he were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song, died on 5/1/2013 from a suspected drug overdose

May 02

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 19

1928 ● Alexis Korner → Major force in early British blues-rock, formed Blues Incorporated with Charlie Watts, then blues-rock ensemble CCS which covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” (#58, 1971), writer and radio DJ, died from lung cancer on 1/1/1984.
1934 ● Richard Dorian “Dickie” Goodman → With partner Bill Buchanan, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2″ (#3, 1956), plus solo work, “Mr. Jaws” (#4, 1975), died from self-inflicted gun shot wounds on 11/6/1989
1942 ● Alan Price → Organist for early line-up of Brit blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left for one hit solo career, “‘Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear” (UK #4, 1967)
1943 ● Eve Graham (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1944 ● Bernie Worrell → Keyboards for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1946 ● Tim Curry → Singer, stage and film actor, voice actor, came to prominence as “Dr. Frank N. Futer” in cult classic move The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), later in Annie (1982), Legend (1985), Clue (1985) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (2004)
1947 ● Mark Volman → With long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Kaylan, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1956 ● Gary Langan → Recording engineer and founding member of avant garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988), record producer
1956 ● Paul Mario Day → Original lead vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden (“Flight Of Icarus,” Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1976 for lack of stage charisma and went on to perform and record with various hard rock bands in New South Wales, Australia
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein → Drummer for jazz-Southern rock fusion Dixie Dregs, later with pop-metal Winger, “Miles Away” (#12, 1990)
1965 ● Marion “Suge” Knight, Jr. → Strong-armed co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, served time for parole violation, suspected of involvement in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

Apr 20

1929 ● Bob Braun → Long-time radio DJ (WLWT-Cincinnati) and TV music show host, one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Till Death Do Us Part” (#26, 1962)
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson → Country, pop, R&B and adult crossover singer/songwriter, “Poetry In Motion” (#2, 1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston → Original organ player for British Invasion raunch/rock The Small Faces, left for obscurity in 1965 before the band hit notoriety
1947 ● Ken Scott → EMI Studios recording engineer whose first session was The Beatles‘ 1964 A Hard Days Night album, worked on multiple other Beatles albums and hit songs, plus recordings for Manfred Mann, Peter and Gordon, Jeff Beck Group, Procol Harum and others, left in 1969 for Trident Studios where he worked with Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp, America, Lou Reed and others, helped create the harder jazz rock sound typified by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clark and Jeff Beck, moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and produced albums by The Tubes, Devo, Kansas, Level 42 and L.A. punk and hard rock bands, continues to work in studios and talk about the profession
1947 ● Mark Fisher → Brit architect and stage designer known for his elaborate sets for The Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd (The Wall Tour, 1980), Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga and others, died on 6/25/2013 after a long illness
1948 ● Craig Frost → Keyboardist, joined hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1972, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), joined Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band in the early 80s
1951 ● Luther Vandross → Eight-time Grammy-winning R&B/smooth soul singer/balladeer, “Power Of Love/Love Power” (#4, 1986) and duet with Janet Jackson, “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (#10, 1997), died on 7/1/2005 following a stroke and heart attack caused by genetic diabetes and hypertension
1967 ● Mike Portnoy → Drummer for heavy metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992)
1971 ● Mikey Welsh → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1972 ● Carmen Electra → Erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Baywatch beach tart and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1972 ● Stephen Robert Nesta “Ziggy” Marley → Grammy-winning roots reggae/ska singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), son of reggae superstar and icon Bob Marley
1974 ● Tina Cousins → Fashion model turned dance-pop diva with five UK Top 20 singles, including “Killin’ Time” (UK #15, 1999)

Apr 21

1939 ● Ernie Maresca → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose credits include several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1943 ● Mars Bonfire (Dennis Eugene McCrohan aka Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Wagner → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
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
1951 ● Nicole Barclay → Vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
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 → 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)
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)

Apr 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 1/5/1979 from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
1936 ● Glen Campbell → 60s session musician for 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, “Rhinestone Cowboy” (#1, 1975), actor and TV host with dozens of Country Top 10 and Pop Top 40 hits
1937 ● 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 1/25/2000
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
1950 ● Jesse Willard “Pete” 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 Lyons → Bassist for Southern hard rock .38 Special, then post-punk rock then teen-pop The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
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)

Apr 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
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
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
1944 ● Sandra Dee (Alexandra Zuck) → Ingénue-playing, Golden-winning film actress, singer, former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005
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
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 on 1/8/1991 after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs
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)

Apr 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
1933 ● Freddie Scott → R&B/soul singer, “Are You Lonely For Me” (1966), died 4/24/1933
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 on 1/25/2012 from chronic pulmonary
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)
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 → 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. (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
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 ● Jasbinder Singh “Jas” 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)

Apr 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
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
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
1928 ● Virginia “Jinny” Osborn Lockard → Tenor vocals with close-harmony girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954), died on 5/19/2003
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,” “Yakety Yak” and “Love Potion #9″
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
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
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 → 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 12 – 18)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 12

1925 ● Prentiss Barnes → Bass vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955)
1930 ● Carole Lindsay Young → Vocals for English pop trio The Kaye Sisters, “Ivory Tower” (UK #20, 1956), died 8/20/2006
1933 ● Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) → Warbling singer and ukulele strumming 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
1940 ● Herbie 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 ● Sandra Delores “Lois” 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 → TV/screen actor and singer, played the teen idol oldest son (with real-life stepmother Shirley Jones) in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970), solo “How Can I Be Sure” (1972)
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 → Neo-traditionalist country-pop singer/songwriting and guitarist, fronted light country-rock Pure Prairie League, “Amie” (#27, 1973), then successful solo career with 17 Country Music Awards and 14 Grammys, married to singer Amy Grant
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)
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)

Apr 13

1934 ● Horace Kay → Vocals for R&B/soul The Tams, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” (#9, 1963)
1936 ● Richard Timothy “Rashad” 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
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
1944 ● John William “Jack” Casady → Bassist for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then folk-rock Hot Tuna
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
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 ● Piet Sweval → Co-founder and bassist for one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass, “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” (#1, 1972)
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 ● 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 → 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), played on Michael Jackson‘s Off the Wall, Thriller and Dangerous albums and issued a solo gospel LP
1957 ● Wayne Lewis → Lead singer and keyboards for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Clarence Frederick “Butch” 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 6/27/1988
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)

Apr 14

1935 ● Loretta Lynn (Webb) → Iconic country music star singer/songwriter, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (#83, Country #1, 1970), first female to be named Country Music Entertainer of the Year
1942 ● Tony Burrows → Session singer who, in the spring of 1970, set the record for the most UK Top 10 singles at one time, all with different groups: Edison Lighthouse “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” (#5, UK #10, 1970), White Plains “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, UK #9, 1970), The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding” (#9, UK #6, 1970) and the Brotherhood of Man “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970), also sang lead vocals for The Ivy League, “Tossing And Turning” (#83, UK #3, 1965), psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), and pop-rock The First Class, “Beach Baby” (#4, UK #13, 1974)
1945 ● Ritchie Blackmore → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), founded and fronted Rainbow, “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#57, 1979) and “Stone Cold” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982), then Renaissance-folk-rock Blackmore’s Night
1946 ● Patrick Fairley (Fairlie) → Founding member and rhythm guitar for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1948 ● June Millington → Guitar and vocals for pioneering all girl rock group Fanny, “Butter Boy” (#29, 1975), early women-only rock band and first to sign with a major record label
1948 ● Larry Ferguson → Keyboardist for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Dennis Byron → Welsh keyboardist with early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969), worked with The Bee Gees during the 70s and ’80s
1949 ● Sonja Kristina → Vocals for Brit prog/avant garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1962 ● Joey Pesce → Keyboardist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985)
1964 ● Vincent “Vinnie” Moore → Influential shred guitarist and member of Brit hard rock UFO, “Doctor Doctor” (UK #35, 1979) and “The Writer” (Rock #23, 1982), solo
1965 ● Carl Hunter → Bassist for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), film producer and academic media professor
1965 ● Sheila Chandra → Vocals for Brit prog rock trio Monsoon, “Ever So Lonely” (UK #12, 1982), then solo
1969 ● Martyn Le Noble → Dutch bassist and founding member of hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), later worked with Jane’s Addiction, The Cult, Scott Welland, Dave Navarro and others
1973 ● David Miller → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1974 ● DaBrat (Shawta Harris) → Hard-edged MC/urban rapper, “Funkdafied” (#6, Rap #1, 1994), first female hip hop artist with a platinum selling record (Funkdafied, 1994)
1980 ● Win Butler → Lead vocalist and songwriter for alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)

Apr 15

1894 ● Bessie Smith → The “Empress of the Blues” and first significant female blues recording artist, a major influence on all jazz singers to follow and many pop-rock performers, died following a car accident on 9/26/1937
1933 ● Roy Clark → Affable country superstar singer/songwriter, guitar and banjo player, “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (#19, Country #9, 1969), 23-year host of TV show Hee Haw
1939 ● Marty Wilde (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer, “Bad Boy” (#45, UK #7, 1959), plus over 10 other UK Top 40 hits, father of 80s pop-rock singer Kim Wilde
1940 ● Clarence “Satch” Satchell → Saxophone and guitar for R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975), died from a brain aneurysm on 12/30/1995
1944 ● Dave Edmunds → Roots-rock guitarist, vocals, songwriter, producer and bandleader for Love Sculpture, solo “I Hear You Knocking'” (#4, 1970), member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe
1947 ● Michael Chapman → Australian born songwriter and producer with co-writer Nicky Chinn, created the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team, worked with Mud, Suzi Quatro, Smokie and Sweet, produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1947 ● Stuart “Wooly” Wolstenholme → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died 12/13/2010
1948 ● Michael Kamen → American composer, arranger and orchestral arranger, collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Lethal Weapon (1987), co-scored Die Hard (1988) plus sequels and multiple other films, worked with Roger Waters, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and others, co-wrote Bryan Adams‘ ballad “(Everything I Do), I Do It for You” (#1, 1991), died on 11/18/2003 from a heart attack
1962 ● Ivor Neville “Nick” Kamen → Brit pop-rock model and pop-rock singer, “Each Time You Break My Heart” (UK #5, 1986)
1965 ● Linda Perry → Songwriter, guitarist and lead vocals for indie hard rock 4 Non Blondes, “What’s Up?” (#11, 1993), went solo in 1995, wrote “Beautiful” (#2, 2002) for Christina Aguilera, plus other songs for Jewel, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Sugababes, Robbie Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Gavin Rossdale
1965 ● Oscar Harrison → Drummer for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1966 ● Graeme Clark → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox → Former pinup tart and teen Page 3 topless model turned pop singer, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)” (#3, Dance #1, 1987)
1967 ● Frankie Poullian → Bassist for Brit hard/glam rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream #35, 2004)
1968 ● Edward John O’Brien → Guitarist for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)

Apr 16

1924 ● Henry Mancini → Grammy-winning composer, conductor and arranger for stage, film and TV, wrote “Moon River” (#11, 1961) and the themes to The Pink Panther movies and Peter Gunn TV show, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/14/1994
1924 ● Rudy Pompilli → Saxophonist with early and important rock ‘n’ roll group Bill Haley & His Comets, “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died on 2/5/1976 of lung cancer
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → Classical-trained 50s R&B/gospel-pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (#6, R&B #1,1955), died after a stroke on 7/20/1969
1930 ● Herbie Mann (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Pre-eminent 60s jazz-pop flautist, composer and bandleader most known for his big hit “Hijack” (#14, Disco #1, 1975), died on 7/1/2003 from prostate cancer
1935 ● Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton → Early 60s pop-rock crooner, “Blue Velvet” (#1, 1963) and over 25 other Top 40 hits
1939 ● Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel O’Brien) → Vocalist with her brother Tom Springfield in light folk-pop trio The Springfields, “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” (#20, 1962), then blue-eyed soul-pop diva, “Son Of A Preacher Man” (#10, 1969), died from breast cancer on 3/2/1999
1943 ● “Lonesome” Dave Peverett → Guitar and vocals for blues-rock Savoy Brown “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971), then founded and led blues/boogie rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), died of cancer on 2/7/2000
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk and acoustic blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, worked in The Even Dozen Jug Band and political folk The Fugs, solo recordings, co-founder of Kicking Mule Records
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty → Scot singer, songwriter and frontman for Stealers Wheel, “Stuck In The Middle” (#6, 1973), then solo, “Baker Street” (#2, 1978), died of liver failure 1/4/2011
1947 ● Lee “The Bear” Kerslake → Drummer and backing vocals for prog/hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), played on Ozzy Osbourne‘s Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman LPs, for which he received no credit and no royalties and lost a lawsuit against Osbourne for recovery
1951 ● John Bentley → Bassist for New Wave traditional guitar pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1956 ● Paul Buchanan → Singer/songwriter and guitarist in ambient folk-pop The Blue Nile, “Saturday Night” (UK #50, 1991), has songs covered by Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart
1959 ● Stephen Singleton → Saxophonist for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982), left in 1984 for brief film career
1962 ● Ian MacKaye → Singer, songwriter, musician, producer and record label executive, frontman for hardcore punk Minor Threat and The Teen Idles, post-hardcore Embrace and Fugazi, co-founder of Dischord Records
1963 ● “Little” Jimmy Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit TV actor and pop singer, “Every Loser Wins” (UK #1, 1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Vocals and guitar for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), solo
1969 ● Sean Cook → Bassist for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1970 ● Gabrielle (Louisa Gabrielle Bobb) → Brit house/R&B singer, “Dreams” (#26, Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1993) and 15 other UK Top 30 hits through 2004
1971 ● Selena Quintanilla-Pérez → The “Queen of Tejano Music”, Grammy-winning, beloved Mexican-American pop singer, “Dreaming Of You” (#22, 1995), murdered by the embezzling president of her fan club on 3/31/1995, subject of a film (Selena, 1997) based on her life and starring Jennifer Lopez

Apr 17

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

Apr 18

1924 ● Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown → Grammy-winning electric Texas blues, country, Cajun and R&B guitarist, “Okie Dokie Stomp” (1954), died of emphysema on 9/10/2005
1935 ● Paul A. Rothchild → Boston-area folk album producer, discovered The Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s, moved to Southern California and became central to the development of the L.A. Sound in the 60s and 70s, produced five albums by The Doors, plus various recordings for Janis Joplin, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Love, Bonnie Raitt, The Outlaws and others, died from lung cancer on 3/30/1995
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, first with post-Buddy Holly & The Crickets, then in the TV show Shindig house band and Elvis Presley‘s backing band, session work for Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others
1941 ● Mike Vickers → Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, flute and sax) for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then film score composer and session man, played synthesizer on The BeatlesAbbey Road album
1946 ● Alexander Lee “Skip” Spence → Early guitarist for psych-folk Quicksilver Messenger Service, left to become original drummer for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), left to form eclectic psych-rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), went solo in 1969, died from lung cancer on 4/16/1999
1946 ● Lonnie Baker → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
1958 ● Andy Kyriacou → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● Les Pattinson → Bassist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1962 ● Shirlie Holliman → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1963 ● Michael Mangini → Drummer for Canadian thrash metal Annihilator, left to join heavy metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), sessions and Steve Vai backing band
1964 ● Mark “Bez” Berry → On stage dancer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), left to form and dance for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1970 ● Greg Eklund → Drummer for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1974 ● Mark Tremonti → Guitarist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000), founding member of hard rock Alter Bridge, “Open Your Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Marie-Élaine Thibert → Canadian adult contemporary and teen pop singer, runner-up in the first season of the Quebec singing idol reality show Star Académie, two-time Felix award winner for best female artist in Quebec and one-time Juno award winner for best Francophone album in Canada, her first four albums reached the Top 10 in Canada

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This Week’s Birthdays (April 5 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 05

1928 ● Tony Williams → Lead tenor for R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958), died 8/14/1992 of emphysema
1929 ● Robert George “Joe” Meek → Brit 60s rock ‘n’ roll record producer, songwriter and film composer, produced The Tornados‘ hit “Telstar” (#1, 1961) among others, committed suicide after murdering his landlady on 2/3/1967
1935 ● Peter “G” Grant → Brit movie actor turned rock band manager for The Nashville Teens, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and others, co-founder of Swan Song Records, died on 11/22/1995 from a heart attack
1939 ● Ronnie White → Founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, who charted 18 Top 10 hits including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970), introduced Stevie Wonder to Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr., died of leukemia on 8/26/1995
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick → Violin, mandolin and vocals for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo
1942 ● Allan Clarke → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock harmony group The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters (Robin Peter Smith) → Folk-pop two hit wonder singer/songwriter, “The Pied Piper” (#4, UK #5, 1966) and “You Were On My Mind” (UK #2, 1967)
1944 ● Nicholas Caldwell → Vocals for R&B/soul quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1946 ● Dave Holland → Drummer with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1948 ● Kent Henry (Plischke) → Rock guitarist with pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride, #4, 1970) and hard rock Steppenwolf in the 70s, died during intestinal surgery on 3/18/2009
1950 ● Agnetha “Anna” Faltskog-Ulvaeus → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop quartet ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Everett Morton → Drummer for multi-racial Brit ska revival band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), “Hand’s Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980)
1954 ● Stan Ridgeway → Frontman and distinctive baritone vocalist for alt indie rock Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (Mainstream Rock #41, 1982), then solo with “Goin’ Southbound” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1961 ● Jacob Slichter → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), authored book So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star (2004)
1966 ● Mike McCready → Lead guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1968 ● Paula Cole → Alt pop-rock dreamy 90s two hit singer/songwriter, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” (#8, 1997) and “I Don’t Want To Wait” (#11. 1997)
1973 ● Pharrell Williams → Grammy-winning rapper, fashion designer, and with Chad Hugo, one half of the hit songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, responsible for multiple pop, hip hop and R&B hits, including Britney Spears‘ “I’m A Slave 4 U” (Dance/Club #4, 2001), worked with Mase, Nelly and Kelis, solo US #1 album The Neptunes Present…Clones

Apr 06

1927 ● Merle Haggard → Traditional country guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Mama Tried” (Country #1, 1968) and over 40 other Country #1 hits
1944 ● John Stax (John Edward Lee Fullager) → Original bassist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1947 ● Tony Connor → Drummer for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1951 ● Ralph Cooper → Drummer for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Christopher Franke → German keyboardist and composer for atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1960 ● Warren Haynes → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, sideman and bandleader, founding member of power trio/jam band Gov’t Mule, “Drivin’ Rain” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2002), played with The Allman Brothers Band, David Allan Coe, the Dickie Betts Band, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead plus numerous session and special projects with Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, John Mayall and others
1962 ● Ian Peter “Stan” Cullimore → Guitarist for Brit jangle guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), author of children’s books
1965 ● Black Francis (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) → Guitarist and singer with influential alt melodic rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), formed Frank Black and the Catholics in 1993, reunited Pixies in 2004, plus over 10 solo albums.
1968 ● Joe Gittleman → Bassist for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997) and other bands, assistant professor of music at a Vermont college
1978 ● Myleene Klass → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), now TV host and model

Apr 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
1915 ● Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan Gough) → Known as “Lady Day”, hugely successful and revered jazz-blues singer, “Lady Sings The Blues” (1956), died on 7/17/1959 from liver failure
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 12/11/2012 from complications following heart valve replacement surgery
1922 ● Ramon “Mongo” Santamaria → Grammy-winning Cuban percussionist and Latin-jazz bandleader, “Watermelon Man” (#10, R&B #8, 1963)
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 ● Frederick Dewayne “Freddie” 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
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
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 US, died 3/15/1994 from a heart attack
1943 ● Mick 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
1947 ● Charles “Skip” 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
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)
1948 ● Carol Douglas → Vocals for early R&B/pop girl group trio The Chantels, “Maybe” (#15, R&B #2, 1958), one of the definitive songs of the genre
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
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
1950 ● Steve Ellis → Vocals for London-based R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968), solo and The New Amen Corner
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
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)
1960 ● Simon Climie → Songwriter and member of the Brit pop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988), lately collaborating with Eric Clapton
1978 ● Duncan James (Inglis) → Actor, TV host and singer with Brit boy band Blue, “If You Come Back” (UK #1, 2002), solo

Apr 08

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
1941 ● J.J. Jackson (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul singer and organist, “But It’s Alright” (#22, R&B #4, 1966)
1942 ● Roger “Chappo” Chapman → Co-frontman and lead vocals for Brit art/blues-rock Family, then hard blues-rock Streetwalkers, now solo
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
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
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 ● Paul “The Pig” 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
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)

Apr 09

1932 ● Carl Perkins → The “King of Rockabilly,” singer, songwriter and guitarist, , “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2, 1955), died 1/19/1998 from throat cancer
1938 ● “Rockin’ 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
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 11/1/2004
1944 ● Emil Stucchio → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1944 ● Gene Parsons → Drummer for seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then country-rock Flying Burrito Brothers, solo
1946 ● Les Gray → Vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), died from throat cancer 2/21/2004
1948 ● David Allen “Chico” Ryan → Vocals for rock ‘n roll revival “greaser” group Sha Na Na
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
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)

Apr 10

1921 ● Shelby F. “Sheb” 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
1932 ● Nathaniel “Nate” Nelson → Tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), died on 6/1/1984
1936 ● Bobby Smith → Principal lead vocals for Motown R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974), plus eleven other Top 20 hits, died from pneumonia caused by lung cancer on 3/16/2013
1940 ● Ricky Valance (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, born 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
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
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 ● Warren “Torch” DeMartini → Lead guitarist for hard rock/glam and hair metal Ratt, “Round And Round” (#12, 1984)
1964 ● Alan “Reni” 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 ● Elizabeth Margaret “Liz” McClarnon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000)
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

Apr 11

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 1/23/1997 from heart failure
1943 ● Tony Victor → Vocals for white harmony group The Classics, “Till Then” (#20, Adult Contemporary #7, 1963)
1946 ● “Whispering” Bob 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)
1956 ● Neville Staples → Vocals for 2 Tone, 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 → 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” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983)
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
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 post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1971 ● Oliver “Ollie” 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”

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