Posts Tagged rock star birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (April 23 – 29)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 23

1936 ● Roy Orbison / → Rockabilly-rooted, country-pop/rock ‘n’ roll quavering singer/songwriter, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (#1, 1964) plus 22 more Top 40 hits, joined supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in 1988 (“Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988), died of a heart attack at the height of a career revival on 1/25/2005, age 52
1939 ● Ray Peterson / → Four-octave pop-rock singer, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (#7, 1960), became Baptist minister in the 70s, died from cancer on 1/25/2005, age 65
1940 ● Dale Houston / → With performing partner Grace Broussard in two hit wonder Dale & Grace (“I’m Leaving It Up To You,” #1, 1963 and “Stop And Think It Over,” #6, 1964), died from heart failure on 9/27/2007, age 67
1944 ● Sandra Dee / (Alexandra Zuck) → Occasional singer best known as the ingénue-playing, Golden Globe-winning film actress, star of the teen beach film Gidget (1959) and former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005, age 60
1945 ● John Allen / → Lead guitar for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1949 ● John Miles / → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Slow Down” (Dance/Club #2, UK #10, 1977), managed Tina Turner‘s tours and did session work for Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Page and Joe Cocker
1951 ● Cliff Hugo / (Clifford Clyde Hugo) → Bass guitarist for Brit art/prog rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), also worked with Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and others
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden / → Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and producer, performed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, session work for Jeff Beck, produced and/or wrote/co-wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Starship, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, solo career includes “I Shoulda Loved You” (R&B #4, 1980)
1953 ● Rob Dean / → Guitarist for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1955 ● Captain Sensible / (Raymond Burns) → Co-founder, vocals, guitar and songwriting for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo
1960 ● David Gedge / → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1960 ● Steve Clark / → Guitarist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), died after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs on 1/8/1991, age 30
1964 ● Gen / (Simon Matthews) → Drummer for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy DeCarlo / → Current lead singer for arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), joined the band to replace deceased lead singer Brad Delp at the invitation of bandleader Tom Scholz, to whom DeCarlo sent Myspace tapes of himself covering Boston singles
1968 ● Paul Clifford / → Bassist for Britpop The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1969 ● Stan Frazier / → Vocals and DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1983 ● Taio Cruz / → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer, occasional rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, “Break Your Heart” (#1, 2010)

April 24

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

April 25

1913 ● Earl Bostic / → Underappreciated jazz and R&B alto saxophonist, “Temptation” (R&B Top 10, 1948), died of a heart attack while performing on stage on 10/28/1965, age 52
1917 ● Ella Fitzgerald / → The “First Lady of Song”, Grammy-winning six-decade jazz/R&B/scat mega-diva, “Mack The Knife” (#27, R&B #6, 1960), died from diabetes on 6/15/1996, age 79
1923 ● Albert King / (Albert Nelson) → Highly influential blues guitarist, one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” with B. B. King and Freddie King, “Cold Feet” (#67, R&B #20, 1968), died from a heart attack on 12/21/1992, age 69
1928 ● Vassar Clements / → Innovative, Grammy-winning jazz, swing and bluegrass fiddler with over 30 solo albums and years of session and touring work with a broad array of artists, including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman‘s Old & In The Way,The Monkees and Jimmy Buffett, continued to perform until just prior to his death from lung and brain cancer on 8/16/2005, age 77
1928 ● Jinny Osborn / (Virginia A. Cole) → Tenor vocals with close-harmony girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954), died on 5/19/2003, age 75
1932 ● Gene Gene the Dancing Machine / (Eugene Patton) → NBC Studios stagehand turned TV personality as a regular dancing skit performer on the absurdist talent search program The Gong Show (1976-78), whereon he would shuffle and sway to Count Basie‘s “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” died from complications of diabetes on 3/9/2015, age 82
1932 ● Gator Jackson / (Willis “Gator” Jackson) → Soul-jazz saxophonist and bandleader known best for his “honking” style and close collaborations and short marriage to R&B diva Ruth Brown (“(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (#23, R&B #1, 1953), died following heart surgery on 10/25/1987, age 55
1933 ● Jerry Leiber / → Lyricist, producer, record label owner and one-half of the Lieber & Stoller hit songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965), died from cardio-pulmonary failure on 8/22/2011, age 78
1943 ● Tony Christie / → Brit pop singer, “I Did What I Did For Maria” (UK #2, 1971), in 2005 re-released his 1971 UK #18 single “Is This The Way To Amarillo” in support of Comic Relief, the song went to #1 on the UK chart 33 years after its original release
1944 ● Charlie Harper / → Founder, frontman and vocals for early punk rockers UK Subs, “Stranglehold” (UK #26, 1979)
1945 ● Bjorn Ulvaeus / → Guitar and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1945 ● Mike Kogel / → Lead singer for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1945 ● Stu Cook / → Bassist for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● Ronnie Gilbert / → Founding member and basis for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1949 ● Mike Brown / (Michael Lookofsky) → Keyboards and songwriter for “baroque pop” The Left Banke, composed “Walk Away Renee” (#5, 1967) and “Pretty Ballerina” (#15, 1967), then formed pop-rock quartet Stories but left before the band’s “Brother Louie” became a US #1 hit in 1973, died from heart failure on 3/19/2015, age 66
1950 ● Steve Ferrone / → Drummer for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), sessions
1955 ● David Sikes / → Second bassist (1987-98) for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), then joined hard rock/arena pop Giuffria
1958 ● Fish / (Derek William Dick) → Vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985), later solo and now radio DJ
1960 ● Paul Baloff / → Heavy metal singer best known for his three stints as lead vocalist and songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), died after he was removed from life support following a stroke-induced coma on 2/2/2002, age 41
1964 ● Andy Bell / → Flamboyant, openly gay vocalist for Brit synth-pop duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and 16 other UK Top 10 hits
1964 ● Maya Gilder / → Keyboards for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1965 ● Eric Avery / → Co-founding member and bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), toured with Garbage and Peter Murphy
1965 ● Simon Fowler / → Vocals for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1980 ● Jacob Underwood / → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

April 26

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

April 27

1904 ● Syd Nathan / → Music executive who contributed to the development of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll music through his ownership of King Records and its subsidiaries, which he founded in 1943 and brought obscure young artists to the national stage, including Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie,” R&B #1, 1954) and James Brown (“Please, Please, Please,” R&B #6, 1956), who recorded on King through the 60s (“I Got You (I Feel Good),” #3, R&B #1, 1965), the label became the sixth largest record company in the US before the mid-60s payola scandal impacted sales, died from heart disease on 5/5/1968, age 63
1932 ● Casey Kasem / (Kemil Amen Kasem) → Legendary and iconic radio DJ who confessed to not loving rock ‘n’ roll but built a long and lucrative career from it , creator and long-time host of one of the most popular syndicated music programs on radio, American Top 40, voice-over artist for TV commercials and shows (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons), died from a degenerative neurological and muscular disease on 6/15/2014, age 82
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 amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 4/24/1975, age 27
1948 ● Kate Pierson / → Bouffant-haired vocalist and frontwoman for campy alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1949 ● Clive Taylor / → Bassist for Welsh pop-rock Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1949 ● Herb Murrell / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Ace Frehley / (Paul “Ace” Frehley) → Influential hard rock guitarist and vocals for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo, “New York Groove” (#13, 1979)
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)

April 28

1941 ● Ann-Margret / (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 / (Peter Andreoli) → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock trio The Videls, “Mr. Lonely” (#73, 1960), changed name to surf-pop The Trade Winds, “New York’s A Lonely Town” (#32, 1965), then to pop-rock The Innocence, “There’s Got To Be A Word!” (#34, 1966), also wrote songs in collaboration with Phil Spector
1942 ● Emma Pought / (Emma Pought Patron) → With her teenage sister, Jannie and three other teens from her Spanish Harlem housing complex, founding member and lead/alto vocals in rare 50s R&B girl group The Bobbettes (“Mr. Lee,” #6, R&B #1, 1957), the first all-girl group to have a Top 10 hit (and an R&B #1), continued to record and perform into the 70s
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. / (John Corley) → Gospel turned R&B/soul one hit wonder singer, “Boogaloo Down Broadway” (#7, R&B #5, 1968)
1945 ● John Wolters / → Drummer for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits, died of liver cancer on 6/16/1997, age 52
1946 ● Beverly Ann Bivens / → Co-founder and lead singer for folk-pop harmony group We Five (“You Were On My Mind,” #3, AC #1, 1965), left the music industry when the group broke up in 1967
1947 ● Peaches Barker / (Francine Hurd “Peaches” Barker) → One half of R&B/soul-pop vocal duo Peaches & Herb, “Let’s Fall In Love” (R&B #11, 1966), died on 8/13/2005, age 58
1949 ● Steve Gilpin / → Co-founder and lead vocalist for Mi-Sex, one of the most popular New Wave bands in Australia and New Zealand from the 70s to the late 90s, “Computer Games (AUS #1, 1979), died following a car accident on 1/6/1992, age 42
1952 ● Chuck Leavell / (Charles Alfred Leavell) → Piano and keyboards for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), session musician and keyboardist for Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and others
1953 ● Kim Gordon / → Bassist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1955 ● Eddie Jobson / → Violin for Brit prog/avant garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974) and prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976)
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes / → Lead vocals for hugely popular Aussie pub rock/blues-rock Cold Chisel, “My Baby” (Mainstream Rock #32, 1981), then successful solo career with seven Australia #1 albums
1958 ● Enid Williams / → Founding member, vocals and bass guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1966 ● Too Short / (Todd Shaw) → Successful solo 80-90s West Coast rap star, “The Ghetto” (Rap #3, 1990), came out of “early retirement” with “More Freaky Tales” (Rap #3, 1999) and subsequent solo and collaboration hits
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz / (Scott Mitchell Putesky) → Guitarist and co-founder of industrial-pop-metal Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later collaborated with alt rock Jack Off Jill
1968 ● Howard Donald / → Drummer, pianist, singer and dancer for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), solo work, then reformed Take That, “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1973 ● Big Gipp / (Cameron Gipp) → Southern rapper, member of Goodie Mob, solo album plus collaborative work with Ali, Nelly, Outkast and others

April 29

1899 ● Duke Ellington / (Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington) → Jazz composer, 50-year bandleader, film score and stage musical writer/producer, unquestioned giant of American popular music, “Take The ‘A’ Train” (1941), died from lung cancer and pneumonia on 5/24/1974, age 75
1915 ● Donald Mills / → Lead tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, continued to perform until he was the last remaining brother, then toured with his son until his death on 11/13/1999, age 84
1928 ● Carl Gardner / → Lead tenor and 50-year soul vocalist, first for R&B/soul-doo wop The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then with offshoot soul-pop The Coasters as lead singer, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959), fronted the group until his death from a heart attack on 6/12/2011, age 83
1931 ● Lonnie Donegan / (Anthony James Donegan) → English rock ‘n’ roll pioneer singer who launched the skiffle craze, “Rock Island Line” (#8, 1956), plus over 30 UK Top 40 singles, died from a heart attack shortly before a scheduled appearance with The Rolling Stones in a memorial to George Harrison on 11/3/2002, age 71
1933 ● Rod McKuen / (Rodney Marvin McKuen) → The “unofficial poet laureate of America,” poet, lyricist, songwriter and bridge between the 50s Beat generation and the 70s New Age movement, released dozens of books of poetry and over 100 albums of vocal and spoken-word music, most of which was commercially successful if not critically-acclaimed, his over 1,500 songs were covered by Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand and many others, died from respiratory failure caused by pneumonia on 1/29/2015, age 81
1933 ● Willie Nelson / (Willie Hugh Nelson) → Country-pop songwriter turned Grammy-winning “outlaw” country superstar, “On The Road Again” (#20, Country #1, 1980)
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, Country #1, 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, age 64
1945 ● Tammi Terrell / (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → R&B/soul vocalist for Motown, performed solo and frequently in duets with Marvin Gaye, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967), died from a brain tumor on 3/16/1970, age 24
1947 ● Joel Larson / → Session drummer with The Turtles, Lee Michaels and others, played with AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1947 ● Tommy James / (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → Frontman and lead vocals for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Michael Karoli / → Founding member, guitarist and violinist for influential experimental/kraut rock Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from cancer on 11/17/2001, age 53
1953 ● King Boy D / (Bill Drummond) → South African-born, Scottish-raised experimental/ambient music composer and producer, record company executive and A&R man, writer, musician with punk-rock Big In Japan, formed art rock KLF, “3 A.M. Eternal” (#5, 1990)
1958 ● Simon Edwards / → Guitarrón player for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988)
1960 ● Phil King / → Bass guitar and backing vocals for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1968 ● Carnie Wilson / → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of The Beach BoysBrian Wilson
1969 ● Master P / (Percy Miller) → New Orleans-based hip hop/gangsta rap star, No Limit record company founder, “I Got The Hook Up” (#16, Rap #1, 1998)
1973 ● Mike Hogan / → Bass and rhythm guitars for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1979 ● Joanne Velda O’Meara / → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1979 ● Matt Tong / → Drums and backing vocals for Brit indie rock Bloc Party, “The Prayer” (UK #4, 2007)
1980 ● Kian Egan / → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1981 ● Tom Smith / → Bass guitar for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 26 – March 4)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 26

1926 ● Nancy Swain Overton (Anne Swain) → Popular music singer in Tommy Tucker‘s Two Timers and Mel Tormé‘s The Meltones, joined pop girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954) in the 60s, married to jazz pianist/composer/arranger Hall Overton until his death in 1972, died from esophageal cancer on 4/5/2009, age 83
1928 ● Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. → Rock ‘n’ roll singer, pianist, bandleader and songwriter, best-selling black artist of the 50s starting with “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, R&B #1, 1955) and 33 Top 40 hits through 1962
1930 ● Chic Hetti (Carl Cicchetti) → Vocals and piano for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Johnny Cash → The “Man in Black,” super-legendary traditional and outlaw country singer, songwriter and guitarist with dozens of top country hits plus “A Boy Named Sue” (#2, 1969), died from respiratory failure 9/12/2003, age 71
1943 ● Paul Cotton → Stalwart member, guitarist, songwriter and vocals for country-rock Poco, wrote “The Heart Of The Night” (#20, Adult Contemporary #5, 1979)
1945 ● Bob “The Bear” Hite → Harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died from a heroin-induced heart attack on 4/6/1981, age 36
1945 ● Mitch Ryder (William Levise, Jr.) → Frontman and vocals for classic rock ‘n’ roll garage band The Detroit Wheels, “Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” (#4, 1966) and 25 albums as a solo artist since 1967
1947 ● Sandie Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) → Brit girl-group style pop singer, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#52, UK #1, 1967)
1950 ● Jonathan Cain → Keyboards for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989)
1953 ● Michael Bolton (Bolotin) → Solo pop-rock singer, then lead vocals for heavy metal Blackjack, then Grammy-winning solo soft pop-rock balladeer, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” (#1, 1990) and five Top 10 albums
1958 ● Steve Grant → Stage dancer, male model and session singer recruited to front pre-fab Brit synth-dance-pop trio Tight Fit to support the cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (UK #1, 1982) and several other UK hits for a brief period of stardom, after disbandment in 1984 returned to appearing in theater productions
1960 ● Jeremy “Jaz” Coleman → Vocals and keyboards for post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1961 ● John Jon (Jonathan Hellyer) → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1968 ● Tim Commerford → Bassist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999), then alt metal Audioslave, “Doesn’t Remind Me” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1969 ● Timothy Brown → Bassist for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Erykah Badu → Smooth R&B/neo-soul songwriter and vocalist, “On & On” (#12, Hot Dance #3, 1997)
1971 ● Martin Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg → Swedish music songwriter and producer for Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, *NSYNC and Pink
1979 ● Corinne Bailey Rae → Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul songstress, “Your Love Is Mine” (Dance/Club #4, 2007)
1982 ● Nate Ruess → Lead vocalist for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), recorded with Pink (“Just Give Me A Reason,” #1, 2013) then started solo career in 2015 (“Nothing Without Love,” Rock #6, 2015)

February 27

1948 ● Eddie Gray → Guitarist for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1950 ● Robert Balderrama → Guitarist for garage rock ? and the Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1951 ● Steve Harley (Stephen Nice) → Frontman and lead singer for glam-rock Cockney Rebel, then solo, “Ballerina (Prima Donna)” (UK #51, 1983)
1954 ● Neil Schon → Guitarist for Latin-tinged rock Santana, “Everybody’s Everything” (#12, 1971), then lead guitar and frontman for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), sessions and stints with Bad English and Hardline
1955 ● Garry Christian → Lead vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1957 ● Adrian Smith → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1959 ● Johnny Van Zant → Lead vocals and frontman for his own band, then replaced his older, deceased brother Ronnie in the reformed Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, issued solo “Brickyard Road” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), plays with older brother Donnie (formerly .38 Special) in hard Rock Van Zant
1960 ● Paul Humphreys → Keyboards and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1963 ● Nasty Suicide (Jan Stenfors) → Guitarist for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1964 ● Derek McKenzie → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1964 ● Ewen Vernal → Bassist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), now with folk-rock Capercaillie
1965 ● David Boulter → Keyboards for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1971 ● Chilli (Rozonda Ocelean Thomas) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1972 ● Jeremy Dean → Keyboards for indie power pop band Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” (#6, 2000)
1973 ● Peter Andre (Andrea) → Greek Cypriot, Australia-raised blue-eyed R&B/soul revivalist singer and former actor, “Gimme Little Sign” (Aussie #3, 1992), then urban dance-pop “I Feel You” (UK #1, 1995)
1981 ● Josh Groban → Adult-oriented pop and classical singer, “Believe” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2004), top selling US artist in 2007

February 28

1934 ● Giorgio Gomelsky → Georgian-born rock impresario, band manager, songwriter and producer, owned The Crawdaddy Club in London and hired The Rolling Stones as house band, managed The Yardbirds and other 60s Brit rock bands, guided early prog rock bands like The Soft Machine, 10cc and their 70s musical cousins, Gong and John McLaughlin, died from colon cancer on 1/13/2016, age 81
1938 ● Ed Cobb → Founding member and bass singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps (“26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” #2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later wrote and/or produced Grammy-wining and gold record songs for others, including the Standells‘ “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966) and Soft Cell‘s “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), toured with incarnations of The Four Preps into the 90s, died from leukemia on 9/19/1999, age 61
1939 ● John Fahey → Steel string acoustic folk and roots music guitarist (Rolling Stone #35), Takoma Records owner, died after undergoing sextuple bypass heart surgery on 2/22/2001, age 61
1940 ● Joe South (Souter) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Games People Play” (#12, 1969), session guitarist for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, wrote Deep Purple‘s “Hush” (#4, 1968) and Lynn Anderson’s “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1970), age 72
1941 ● Marty Sanders → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), plus nine other Top 30 hits
1942 ● Brian Jones → Founding member, first band leader and original guitarist for The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” (#1, 1966), was fired from the band he started and drowned in his swimming pool while under the influence of drugs and alcohol less than a month later on 7/3/1969, age 27
1943 ● Barbara Acklin → R&B/Chicago soul vocalist and songwriter, “Love Makes A Woman” (#15, R&B #3, 1968), co-wrote “Have You Seen Her” for The Chi-Lites (#3, R&B #1, 1971) and MC Hammer (#4, 1990), died from pneumonia on 11/27/1998, age 55
1943 ● Donnie Iris (Dominic Ierace) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for pop-rock The Jaggerz, “The Rapper” (#2, 1970), then briefly with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), then solo, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1981)
1944 ● Storm Thorgerson → Commercial graphic designer and childhood friend of Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters, Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, his firm designed the cover for the band’s The Dark Side Of The Moon album (1973) and covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Al Stewart, The Cranberries and many others, worked in graphic design until his death from an unspecified cancer on 4/18/2013, age 69
1945 ● Ronnie Rosman → Keyboards for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966) and psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Don Ciccone → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for 60s pop-rock The Critters, wrote their biggest hit, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” (#17, 1966), later sang with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and managed and played bass for Tommy James & The Shondels, died from unspecified causes on 10/8/2016, age 70
1952 ● Eddie “Kingfish” Manion → Saxophonist for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978), then with Bruce Springsteen‘s Seeger Sessions Band
1957 ● Cindy Wilson → Frontgal and vocals for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1957 ● Ian Stanley → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1957 ● Phil Gould → Drummer for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1967 ● Marcus Lillington → Guitarist for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1969 ● Pat Monahan → Lead vocals for Grammy-winning roots rock/folk-pop Train, “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, (#5, 2001), solo and songwriting with Guy Chambers
1971 ● Nigel Godrich → Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer for Radiohead, Beck, U2, R.E.M. and others, plus lead singer with Thom Yorke‘s Atoms For Peace
1972 ● Danny McCormack → Bass and vocals for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)

February 29

1904 ● Jimmy Dorsey → Reed player and Swing era Big Band leader with brother Tommy and on his own with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, multiple Top 40 hits including his last, “So Rare” (#2, 1957), died from throat cancer on 6/12/1957, age 53
1916 ● Dinah Shore (Francis Rose Shore) → Popular 1940s big band then 50s pop singer with 80 consecutive charting hits, including “Whatever Lola Wants” (#12, 1955), film actress and four decade TV music variety and talk show host, died from ovarian cancer on 2/24/1994, age 77
1940 ● Gretchen Christopher → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1944 ● David Briggs → Rock album producer known primarily for his work with Neil Young and Young‘s backing band Crazy Horse from the 60s to the 90s, produced many of Young‘s albums, including Tonight’s The Night (1975), also worked with Spirit, Nils Lofgren and others,, died from lung cancer on 11/26/1995, age 51
1948 ● Ruby Wilson → The “Queen of Beale Street,” Memphis blues, soul and gospel singer with 10 solo albums and multiple recordings with Ray Charles, Isaac Hayes and The Four Tops, among others, performed in B. B. King‘s nightclub, on cruises and in several movies and TV commercials, suffered a heart attack and died four weeks later on 8/12/2016, age 68
1972 ● Saul Williams → Spoken-word rapper known for his blend of poetry and hip-hop, “NiggyTardust” (2007)
1976 ● Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) → Murder, Inc. label rapper, “Always On Time” (#1, 2002), actor and convicted felon

March 01

1904 ● Alton Glenn Miller → Immensely popular Big Band-era swing and jazz composer, bandleader, trombonist and movie actor, wrote dozens of popular swing hits, including “In The Mood” (#1, 1940), “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Top 5, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), died during a tour of Western Europe to entertain U.S. troops when the transport plane in which he was flying disappeared over the English Channel during bad weather on 12/15/1944, age 40
1927 ● Harold George “Harry” Bellanfanti, Jr. (Bellanfanti) → The “King of Calypso,” entertainer, social activist, humanitarian and 50s pop and adult contemporary singer, “Banana Boat Song” (#5, 1956) plus five other Top 20 hits
1939 ● Warren Davis → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1942 ● Jerry Fisher → Vocals for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1944 ● Michael David “Mike” d’Abo → Singer, songwriter and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), wrote The Foundations‘ “Build Me Up Buttercup” (#3, 1969) and Rod Stewart‘s “Handbags & Gladrags” (#42, 1972)
1944 ● Roger Daltrey → Lead singer for venerable hard rock The Who, “Who Are You” (#14, 1978) and solo, “After The Fire” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1946 ● Edward Anthony “Tony” Ashton → Vocals and keyboards in 60s Merseybeat quintet The Remo Four, backed George Harrison on his Wonderwall Music soundtrack album (1968), co-founded early 70s art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke (“Resurrection Shuffle,” #40, UK #3, 1971), briefly joined prog rock Family and collaborated with Deep Purple‘sJon Lord on a number of projects, turned to art and writing in the 90s and died from cancer on 5/28/2001, age 55
1947 ● Alan Willis Jeffrey Thicke → Canadian songwriter, stage and screen actor with multiple credits, producer and TV show host, co-wrote Bill Champlin‘s minor hit “Sara” (1978), composed TV theme songs, including Diff’rent Strokes (1978) and The Facts Of Life (1979), hosted The Thicke Of The Night talk show (1983-84) and starred in the sitcom Growing Pains (1985-1992), died from an aortic dissection on 12/13/2016, age 69
1947 ● Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) → Two-time Grammy-winning roots-reggae singer, songwriter, Rastafarian preacher and bandleader with eleven Top 20 charting world and reggae music albums
1950 ● Dave Marsh → Rock music critic, magazine editor, author and radio talk show host, founding editor of music magazine Creem, wrote for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone and other music magazines, credited with coining the term “punk rock” in 1971, serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selection committee
1957 ● Jon Carroll → Singer in one hit wonder folk-pop Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (1976)
1958 ● Nik Kershaw → Singer, songwriter, jazz-funk guitarist and 80s teen idol, “Wouldn’t It Be Good” (#46, UK #4, 1984), producer
1962 ● Bill Leen → Bassist and co-founder of power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1962 ● Peter Stephenson → Founding member and keyboards in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Christina Bergmark → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1963 ● Rob Affuso → Drummer for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1969 ● Davydd Leuan → Drummer for Welsh electro-psych rock Super Furry Animals, “Northern Lites” (UK #11, 1999)
1973 ● Ryan Peake → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1987 ● Kesha Rose Sebert → Dance-pop rapper with Flo Rida, “Right Round”, (#1, 2009) and solo, “Tik Tok” (#1, 2010)
1994 ● Justin Bieber → Canadian teen idol pop singer and the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Baby” (#5, 2010)

March 02

1900 ● Kurt Weill → German stage producer and composer, frequently in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, co-wrote the stage production The Threepenny Opera and the now-standard “Mack The Knife” which was covered by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin (#1, 1959), Frank Sinatra, The Psychedelic Furs and several others, died after suffering a heart attack on 4/3/1950, age 50
1917 ● Desi Arnaz, Sr. → Musician and bandleader who helped popularize conga music in the US by adding Latin-Cuban themes to Big Band pop in the 40s, then became the beloved character Ricky Ricardo opposite his wife, Lucille Ball on the enduring 50s-60s I Love Lucy series, died from lung cancer on 12/2/1986, age 69
1938 ● Lawrence Payton → Tenor vocals and songwriter for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), on died 6/20/1997, age 59
1941 ● Keith Potger → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967) and The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1942 ● Lou Reed (Lewis Allan Reed) → Founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968), then renowned four decade solo career, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#16, 1973), died from liver failure on 10/27/2013, age 71
1943 ● Daniel Joseph Anthony “Tony” Meehan → Drummer for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), died after an accidental fall at home in London on 11/28/2005, age 62
1948 ● Larry Carlton → Grammy-winning jazz-rock fusion guitarist with The Crusaders (1971-76), session work for Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and others, composed the theme to the TV show Hill Street Blues and recorded several acclaimed solo albums
1948 ● Rory Gallagher → Hugely underrated Irish blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and vocalist with eleven solo studio albums plus sessions work, died from complications of a liver transplant on 6/14/1995, age 47
1950 ● Helmut Köllen → Bassist with cousin Jürgen Fritz in German prog rock trio Triumvirat, a lone and posthumous solo album was released in late 1977 after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a car in his garage with the engine running listening to cassette tapes of the work-in-progress on 5/3/1977, age 27
1950 ● Karen Carpenter → Vocals and drums for pop sibling act The Carpenters, three US #1 hits including “Close To You” (#1, 1970), died from anorexia nervosa on 2/4/1983, age 32
1955 ● Dale Bozzio (Consalvi) → Former Playboy bunny and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1955 ● Jay Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1956 ● John Cowsill → Drums and vocals 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, member of 80s one hit wonder pop-rock Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny,” #4, 1982), currently touring with The Beach Boys
1956 ● Mark Evans → Original bassist for power rock AC/DC, “Let There Be Rock” (#154, 1977), quit in 1977 after becoming tired of tour schedule
1956 ● Steve “Lips” Kudlow → Canadian guitarist, vocalist and founding member of heavy metal Anvil with friend Robb Reiner in 1978
1962 ● Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.) → Vocals and frontman for pop metal/hard rock Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), then solo, “Blaze Of Glory” (#1, 1990), then reformed Bon Jovi, “Always” (#4, 1994) and moved into country-Heartland rock, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Adult Top 40 #6, 2006)
1967 ● Dennis Seaton → Lead vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1971 ● Method Man (Clifford Smith) → Founding member and MC for 9-man hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then first and biggest solo star to emerge from the Clan, “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By” (#3, Rap #1, 1995)
1977 ● Chris Martin → Guitar, vocals and piano for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1985 ● Luke Pritchard → Lead vocalist and guitarist with Brit-pop-rock The Kooks, “Always Where I Need To Be” (Alt Rock #22, 2008)

March 03

1923 ● Arthel L. “Doc” Watson → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1925 ● Herb Hardesty → New Orleans R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll tenor saxophonist noted for his work with Fats Domino and solos on nearly every hit song, including “I’m Walking” (#4, R&B #1, 1957), also recorded or toured with Lloyd Price, Tony Bennett, Tom Waits and others over 50 years, performed with Dr. John in various New Orleans festivals until just a few years before his death from cancer on 12/3/2016, age 91
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1948 ● Byron MacGregor (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1948 ● Terence Charles “Snowy” White → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1950 ● Re Styles (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1983 ● Katie White → Vocals, guitar and drums for girl group punk trio TKO, then with Jules De Martino in indie pop duo The Ting Tings, “Shut Up And Let Me Go” (Dance/Pop #1, 2008)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 19 – 25)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 19

1924 ● Lee Marvin → Tough-guy TV and film actor in Cat Ballou (1965) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), scored a 1970 UK #1 single with “Wand’rin Star” from the soundtrack to Paint Your Wagon (1969), died of a heart attack on 8/29/1987, age 63
1936 ● Bob Engemann → Vocals in close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961)
1940 ● Bobby Rogers → Tenor vocals in R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, scored over 40 R&B Top 40 hits, including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970) as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, died on 3/3/2013, age 73
1940 ● William “Smokey” RobinsonMotown singer, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, “The Tears Of A Clown” (#1, 1970), went solo in 70s and may be the top romantic soul/quiet storm singer of all time with more than a dozen R&B Top 10 hits, including “Being With You” (#2, R&B #1, 1981)
1942 ● Lenny Citrin → Vocals in New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) → Three-octave pop solo singer and songwriter with four Top 10 hits in the 60s, including “Lightnin’ Strikes” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Paul Dean → Lead guitar for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1946 ● Pierre Van Den Linden → Original drummer for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), left in 1973 but returned for sessions and tours through the 00s
1947 ● Schuyler Larsen → Bassist with one hit wonder folk-sunshine pop Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (1967)
1948 ● Mark Andes → Journeyman bassist for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976) and pop-rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986), then solo and sessions
1948 ● Tony Iommi → Pioneering and highly influential heavy metal guitarist and songwriter, founder and only constant member of hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998) plus solo work, “Goodbye Lament” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2000)
1949 ● Eddie Hardin → Replaced Steve Winwood on keyboards when the latter left British Invasion pop/rock The Spencer Davis Group for Traffic in 1967
1950 ● Andy Powell → Guitarist for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1954 ● Francis Buchholz → Bassist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1956 ● Dave Wakeling → Co-founder, lead vocals and guitar for ska-pop The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then solo
1957 ● Falco (Johann Hölzel) → Austrian pop-rock singer, “Rock Me Amadeus” (#1, 1986), the first US #1 for an Austrian pop artist, died in a car crash on 2/6/1998, age 39
1960 ● Prince Markie Dee (Mark Morales) → Corpulent singer in novelty rap trio The Fat Boys, “Wipe Out” (#12, 1987), then solo “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)” (#64, Rap #1, 1993), producer for Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Lisa Stansfield and others
1963 ● Seal (Seal Henry Samuel) → Award-winning Brit house music veteran turned soul-pop singer, “Kiss From A Rose” (#1, 1995)
1965 ● Jonathan Fishman → Drummer and songwriter for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), side project with funk-blues-rock Pork Tornado
1965 ● Kate Radley → Keyboards for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1969 ● Maniac (Sven Erik Kristiansen) → Lead vocals and songwriter for leading Norwegian black metal band Mayhem from 1986-1988 and 1994-2005, fired for alcohol-induced misbehavior and formed extreme metal Skitliv
1975 ● Daniel Adair → Former drummer for post grunge/alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000), now with Nickelback, “Gotta Be Somebody” (#10, 2008)
1986 ● Maria Mena → Norwegian pop/rock singer and songwriter, “You’re The Only One” (Top 40 Mainstream #25, 2004)

February 20

1898 ● Jimmy Yancey → Boogie-woogie pianist (Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, 1986), composer, lyricist, Chicago White Sox groundskeeper, died from a stroke on 9/17/1951, age 53
1925 ● Robert Altman → Award-winning satirical comedy film producer/director, MASH (1970) and Nashville (1975), his 14-year-old son penned the lyrics to “Suicide Is Painless”, the instrumental version of which became the “Theme From M.A.S.H.” for the TV show, died of complications from leukemia on 11/20/2006, age 81
1937 ● David Ackles → Unheralded but influential folk-rock singer and songwriter, noted for his album American Gothic (1970) and the minor hit “Candy Man” (1970), fans include Elvis Costello, Elton John and Phil Collins, died from lung cancer on 3/2/1999, age 62
1937 ● Nancy Wilson → Grammy-winning jazz, R&B, blues, cabaret and adult contemporary pop “song stylist” diva, “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” (#11, 1964)
1940 ● Barbara Ellis → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1941 ● Buffy Sainte-Marie → Canadian folk singer/songwriter “Universal Soldier” (1964), wrote “Up Where We Belong” for Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker (#1, 1982)
1943 ● Paul Leka → Songwriter, producer, composer and arranger, co-wrote “Green Tambourine” for The Lemon Pipers (#1, 1968) and the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” for pop-rock Steam (#1, 1969), died in a hospice on 10/12/2011, age 68
1944 ● Lew Soloff → Jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader and sometime actor best known for his years with jazz/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Spinning Wheel,” #2, 1969), recorded with George Benson, Maynard Ferguson and multiple jazz bands and ensembles over a 50+ year career, died from a heart attack on 3/8/2015, age 71
1945 ● Alan Hull → Founding member, vocals, guitar and principal songwriter for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971), solo, died of a heart thrombosis on 11/17/1995, age 50
1946 ● John Warren “J.” Geils, Jr. → Frontman and lead guitarist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1950 ● Walter Becker → Bass guitar, vocals and co-songwriter for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits
1951 ● Randy California (Randolph Craig Wolfe) → Guitar and vocals for jazz-psych-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), drowned in Hawaii while trying to rescue his 12-year old son from a riptide on 1/2/1997, age 45
1953 ● Poison Ivy (Kristy Wallace) → Guitarist for punk-rock The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” (Modern Rock #10, 1989), married to Cramps singer Lux Interior who died on 2/4/2009
1960 ● Kee Marcello (Kjell Hilding Lövbom) → Original guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo
1960 ● Mark Riley → Frontman and singer for Latin-tinged jazz-dance-pop Matt Bianco, “Don’t Blame It On That Girl’ (UK #11, 1988)
1960 ● Robert Boustead → Bassist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1963 ● Ian Brown → Frontman and vocals for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and solo, “Dolphins Were Monkeys” (UK #5, 2000)
1967 ● Kurt Cobain → Frontman, vocals, guitarist and chief songwriter for premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), committed suicide on 4/5/1994, age 27
1972 ● Neil Primrose → Drummer for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1975 ● Brian Littrell → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1977 ● Edwin Graham → Drummer for Brit hard rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #35, 2004)
1981 ● Edward Lay → Drummer for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1985 ● Yulia Olegovna Volkova → Singer for Russian teen-dance-pop duo t.A.T.u., “All The Things She Said” (Worldwide #1, 2002)
1988 ● Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) → Grammy-winning Barbadian dance-pop singer and songwriter, “SOS” (#1, 2006)

February 21

1891 ● Karl L. King → Marching music bandmaster and composer best known for composing the music to the march music standard “Barnum And Bailey’s Favorite” (1913) and many other pieces, died from diverticulitis on 3/31/1971, age 80
1930 ● Allan Richard Williams → Liverpool night club owner, impresario and first manager of the young and raw but talented band that would become The Beatles during the 14-week stint in Hamburg he arranged in 1960, lost his job when the band returned to Germany in 1961, later co-founded a Beatles festival in Liverpool and appeared at Beatles conventions worldwide until his death from natural causes on 12/30/2016, age 86
1933 ● Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) → Jazz-pop-soul and Broadway singer, “I Loves You Porgy” (#18, R&B #2, 1959), died of cancer on 4/21/2003, age 70
1938 ● Bobby Charles (Guidry) → Cajun-American singer, songwriter and pioneer of the South Louisiana sound known as “swamp pop,” wrote “See You Later, Alligator” for Bill Haley & His Comets (#6, 1956) and “Walking To New Orleans” for Fats Domino (#6, R&B #2, 1960), appeared with The Band on The Last Waltz album (1978) but not in the subsequent film, played with Paul Butterfield’s Better Days and other roots-rock acts in the 70s but largely disappeared from view in the 80s, died from diabetes on 1/14/2010, age 71
1942 ● Bob Allison (Bernard Colin Day) → Vocals in pop-rock duo and Eurovision contestants The Allisons, “Are You Sure” (UK #2, 1961)
1943 ● David Geffen → Founder of Asylum Records in 1971, signed Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Tom Waits, among others, founded Geffen Records in 1980 (Donna Summer, John Lennon, Aerosmith and others), co-founded Dreamworks Studios in 1994 with Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
1946 ● Paul Newton → Original bassist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1949 ● Jerry Harrison → Guitar and keyboards for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), since 1991 producer for Violent Femmes, General Public, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many others
1951 ● Vince Welnick → Co-founder and keyboardist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), then Grateful Dead, Missing Man Show and sessions, committed suicide on 6/2/2006 following many years of depression, age 55
1952 ● Jean-Jacques Burel → Bass and vocals for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1954 ● Mike Pickering → DJ, producer and record company recruiter, then founder and frontman for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1956 ● Lester Hunt → Guitar and backing vocals for re-formed Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1958 ● Mary Chapin Carpenter → Grammy-winning country-folk singer/songwriter, “Shut Up And Kiss Me” (Country #4, 1994)
1961 ● Rankin’ Roger (Charlery) → Co-founder and vocalist for ska revival The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then Special Beat, solo and sessions
1962 ● Mark Arm → Founder, vocals and rhythm guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● Michael Ward → Guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), sessions
1969 ● James Dean Bradfield → Guitar and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● Eric Wilson → Bassist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997)
1973 ● Justin Sane (Justin Geever) → Irish-American lead guitarist, singer and songwriter in punk rock Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse” (Alt Rock #37, 2006)
1975 ● Wish Bone (Charles C. Scruggs) → Rapper and former member of Grammy-winning hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Crossroad” (#1, 1996), Thugline Records co-founder
1979 ● Jennifer Love Hewitt → Film and TV actress, producer, director and one hit wonder pop singer, “How Do I Deal” (#59, 1999)
1986 ● Charlotte Church (Reed) → Welsh actress, TV presenter and classical-turned-pop crossover singer/songwriter, “Crazy Chick” (UK #2, 2005)
1989 ● Corbin Bleu (Reivers) → Actor and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movie ever) and charting pop singer, “Push It To The Limit” (#17, 2006)

February 22

1896 ● Ignacio Herb “Nacio” Brown → Film score composer in the earliest years of sound, worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and frequently with lyricist Arthur Freed, wrote or co-wrote the music to hundreds of songs, including well-known movies soundtrack tunes such as “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” (1940) and “Singin’ In The Rain” (1952), died on 9/28/1964, age 68
1923 ● Norman “Hurricane” Smith → World War II glider pilot and unsuccessful jazz musician, joined EMI as a sound engineer in 1959 and, among other bands, engineered almost 100 Beatles songs and all early albums through to Rubber Soul, when promoted to producer, worked with Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Barclay James Harvest and others, switched to songwriting and recording as Hurricane Smith and had a UK #2 hit in 1971 (“Don’t Let it Die”), continued to record until his death from natural causes on 3/3/2008, age 85
1927 ● Guy Mitchell (Albert Cernick) → Croatian-American pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop singer and TV show host with nine Top 10 and 21 other chart hits, the last being “Heartaches By The Number” (#1, 1959), died from complications of cancer surgery on 7/1/1999, age 72
1936 ● Ernie K-Doe (Ernest Kador, Jr.) → One hit wonder New Orleans R&B singer, “Mother-In-Law” (#1, 1961), died from kidney and liver failure on 7/5/2001, age 65
1938 ● Bobby Hendricks → R&B/doo wop solo singer with two minor chart singles, also with the Five Crowns, Swallows, The Drifters, “Save The Last Dance For Me” (#1, 1960)
1943 ● Louise Lopez → Vocals for R&B/disco-dance-funk trio Odyssey, “Inside Out” (#12, 1982) and “Use It Up And Wear It Out” (UK #1, 1980)
1944 ● Michael Robert “Mick” Green → Renowned rock guitarist for pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), then Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964), died from heart failure on 1/11/2010, age 65
1945 ● Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) → Broadway actor and singer in the musical Hair, “Good Morning Starshine” (#3, 1969), died of cancer 2/12/2000, age 55
1953 ● Graham Lewis → Bassist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1953 ● John B. “Sparko” Sparks → Founding member and first bassist for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1953 ● Nigel Planer → Brit stage, TV and film actor, charted with a cover of Traffic‘s “Hole In My Shoe” (UK #2, 1984)
1955 ● Jon Brant → Bassist from 1981-88 for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988), sessions
1963 ● Rob Lambert → Saxophone for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Bradley Nowell → Lead singer and guitarist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997), died from a heroin overdose on 5/25/1996, age 28
1973 ● Scott Phillips → Drummer for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1974 ● James Blunt (James Hiller Blount) → Acoustic folk-pop singer, songwriter and former Army captain, “You’re Beautiful” (#1, 2006), first Brit atop the US charts since Elton John‘s “Candle In The Wind” in 1997
1978 ● Jennifer Frost → Vocals in Brit girl group pop quartet Precious, “Say It Again” (UK #6, 1999), replaced Kerry Katona in 2001 in pop trio Atomic Kitten, “The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)” (UK #1, 2002), now a TV host
1979 ● Tom Higgenson → Vocals for pop-rock Plain White T’s, “Hey There Delilah” (#1, 2007)

February 23

1943 ● Gordon Geoffrey Nugent → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups of the 60s that never charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K.
1944 ● John Dawson “Johnny” Winter III → Respected blues-rock guitarist (Rolling Stone magazine #74), first in the Rick Derringer band, then his brother’s Edgar Winter Blues Band and solo, “Johnny B. Goode” (#92, 1970), produced three Grammy-winning blues albums for Muddy Waters in the late 70s, died from emphysema-related pneumonia in a Swiss hotel room while on tour on 7/16/2014, age 70
1944 ● Mike Maxfield → Guitarist and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1946 ● Rusty Young → Vocals and pedal steel guitar for country-rock Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth” (#17, 1967), then mainstay member with Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1949 ● Terry “Tex” Comer → Bassist for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1950 ● Steve Priest → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1975) and three other mid-70s Top 10 hits
1952 ● Brad Whitford → Rhythm guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1955 ● Howard Jones → Synth-pop-dance singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “No One Is To Blame” (#4, 1986)
1955 ● Zeke Manyika → Vocalist for Scottish post-punk/neo-pop dance-funk Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1983)
1958 ● David Sylvian (David Alan Batt) → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1962 ● Michael Wilton → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1963 ● Rob Collins → Keyboards for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), died in a car crash on 7/23/1996, age 33
1964 ● John Norum → Norwegian-born co-founder and rhythm guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1967 ● Chris Vrenna → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), then Grammy-winning sound engineer and producer for Rammstein, U2, Weezer, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson and others
1971 ● Jett Beres → Bass and harmony vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Lars Olaf “Lasse” Johansson → Keyboards for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1977 ● Stuart Black → Bassist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)

February 24

1941 ● Joanie Sommers (Drost) → One hit wonder 60s teen pop vocalist, “Johnny Get Angry” (#7, 1962), then Pepsi commercial jingles
1942 ● Paul Jones (Paul Pond) → Harmonica and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964) and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo, actor and BBC radio presenter
1944 ● Nicholas Christian “Nicky” Hopkins → Session pianist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Steve Miller, Small Faces, The Who and others, died from complications following intestinal surgery on 9/6/1994, age 50
1947 ● Leonard Lewis “Lonnie” Turner → Co-founding member and bassist from 1966-1969 and 1975-1979 in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973), also played with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone and others, died from lung cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on 4/28/2013, age 66
1947 ● Rupert Holmes → Pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (#1, 1979), wrote the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical Drood
1948 ● Dennis Waterman → Brit TV and film actor and singer with the theme from UK TV show Minder, “I Could Be So Good For You” (UK #3, 1980)
1949 ● Howie Blauvelt → Bass guitarist with Billy Joel in three obscure 60s bands, The Echoes, The Lost Souls and The Hassles before joining hard rock Ram Jam (“Black Betty,” #18, 1977), died from a heart attack on 10/25/1993, age 44
1950 ● George Thorogood → Frontman for long-time boogie-blues-rock group The (Delaware) Destroyers, “Bad To The Bone” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982)
1955 ● Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs → Immeasurably influential technology entrepreneur and industry visionary whose company, Apple, Inc. changed the music business through products such as the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, died from complications of pancreatic cancer on 10/5/2011, age 56
1959 ● Colin Farley → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Michelle Shocked (Karen Michelle Johnston) → Urban/indie folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If Love Was A Train” (Modern Rock #20, 1988)
1973 ● Christopher Michael “3” Fehn → Percussionist and backing vocals for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), now bassist with noise metal Will Haven
1974 ● Charles Edward “Chad” Hugo → Multi-instrumentalist and one half of the funk-dance-rock hip hop band N.E.R.D., “She Wants To Move” (Dance #6, 2004) and hip hop production and writing duo The Neptunes, produced numerous #1 hits for Mystikal, Jay-Z, *NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly
1974 ● Noah “Wuv” Bernardo, Jr. → Founding member and drummer of Grammy-nominated Christian metal band P.O.D., “Alive” (Modern Rock #2, 2001)
1978 ● John Nolan → Lead vocals and guitar for punk-pop Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006), left to form emo-pop quartet Straylight Run
1983 ● Matt McGinley → Co-founder and drummer for alt hip hop/rap rock Gym Class Heroes, “Intramurals: Cupid’s Chokehold” (#4, 2007), solo

February 25

1932 ● Faron Young → The “Hillbilly Heartthrob”, country music singer, songwriter and movie actor with twenty-two Country Top 5 hits, including “Hello Walls” (#12, Country #1, 1961), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 12/10/1996, age 64
1941 ● Sandy Bull → Multi-instrumental folk, rock and world music composer whose eclectic blends of folk and pop with Eastern influences presaged psychedelic music of the late 60s, left the industry for a time in the 70s due to drug problems, returned in the 80s and continued to record until his death from lung cancer on 4/11/2001, age 60
1942 ● Loy Bones (Roy Michaels) → With Stephen Stills and Richie Furay in the Au Go Go Singers, then co-founded alt country rock Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, “Good Old Rock ‘N’ Roll” (#21, 1969)
1943 ● George Harrison → Lead guitarist (Rolling Stone #21), singer and songwriter for The Beatles, wrote their hit “Something” (#1, 1969), then solo, “My Sweet Lord” (#1, 1970), died of cancer on 11/29/2001
1945 ● Elkie Brooks (Elaine Bookbinder) → Pop-rock singer in Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer, then solo, “Pearl’s A Singer” (UK #8, 1977)
1947 ● David Stensen → Original bassist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1957 ● Dennis Diken → Drummer for alt pop-rock The Smithereens, “Only A Memory” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1957 ● Stuart “Woody” Wood → Bass guitar for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1959 ● Michael Leslie “Mike” Peters → Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream #2, 1989), then solo and Dead Men Walking
1962 ● Pia Maiocco → Founding member and original bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989), wife of influential guitar virtuoso Steve Vai
1965 ● Brian Baker → Bassist and sometime rhythm guitar for punk rock Minor Threat, then hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1973 ● Justin Jeffre → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1976 ● Daniel Powter → Canadian folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bad Day” (#1, 2005)
1982 ● Robert Edward “Bert” McCracken → Lead vocals and songwriter for indie rock/screamo punk quartet The Used, “Under Pressure” (#41, 2005)

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 5 – 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 05

1919 ● Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) → Broadway and Catskill “Borscht Belt” stage actor, comedian, TV host, Academy Award-winning screen actor, singer, “Strange Things Are Happening” (1953), died 7/13/2006 at home near L.A.
1923 ● Claude King → Trad-country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, “Wolverton Mountain” (Adult Contemporary #3, 1962)
1929 ● Hal Blaine (Harold Simon Belsky) → Session drummer and founding member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played behind The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Natalie Cole and many others, credited with drumming on six consecutive Grammy Album of the Year winners between 1966 and 1971
1930 ● Don Goldie → Versatile and visible postwar jazz trumpet player and bandleader in the 60s, played with numerous jazz luminaries and fronted several jazz ensembles, incusing The Dangerous Jazz Band, committed suicide while suffering from declining health due to diabetes on 11/25/1995, age 65
1935 ● Alex Harvey → Scottish rock ‘n roll guitarist and bandleader, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), died 2/4/1982
1941 ● Barrett StrongMotown R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Money (That’s What I Want)” (#23, R&B #2, 1962), co-wrote multiple hits with Norman Whitfield, including “War” for Edwin Starr (#1, 1970) and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” for The Temptations (#1, 1972)
1941 ● Henson Cargill → One hit wonder country-pop singer with a single crossover hit, “Skip A Rope” (#25, Country #1, 1958), but with nine other Country Top 40 hits, played the Vegas/Reno circuit until his death following a surgical procedure on 3/24/2007, age 66
1943 ● Charles “Chuck” Winfield → Trumpet for jazz-rock-pop fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1943 ● Larry Tamblyn → Co-founding member, lead vocals and keyboards for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), appeared in several 60s feature films, continues to tour and perform with the band into the 10s
1944 ● Al Kooper → Influential but underrated rock contributor, from 60s blues-rock guitarist and bandleader for The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” (#3, 1958), then jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “The Flute Thing” (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), sessions with Bob Dylan, producer for The Zombies, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others
1944 ● James B. “J.R.” Cobb, Jr. → Guitars for soft rock Classics IV, “Spooky” (#3, 1968), morphed into Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “So Into You” (#7, 1977)
1948 ● Christopher Guest → Screenwriter and composer, wrote screenplay and portrayed the fictional lead guitarist Nigel Tufnell in the mock-rock band Spinal Tap (1984 film This Is Spinal Tap), also played Alan Barrows of the fictional folk trio The Folksmen on Saturday Night Live and the film A Mighty Wind (2003)
1948 ● David Denny → Founding member and guitarist for psych-rock Frumious Bandersnatch, played with Steve Miller Band on several albums and hits, including “Swingtown” (#17, 1977)
1960 ● Paul Jones → Bassist for Welsh post-Brit-pop jangle rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1964 ● Michael “Duff” McKagan → Bassist for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1987), then for supergroup Velvet Revolver and Duff McKagan’s Loaded, now a newspaper columnist
1964 ● Sally Still → Bassist for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1968 ● Chris Barron → Vocals for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1969 ● Bobby Brown → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), solo, “My Prerogative” (#1, 1988)
1971 ● Sara Evans → Award-winning neo-traditionalist country-pop singer and songwriter with nine Country Top 10 and seven Top 40 pop hits, including “Born To Fly” (#34, Country #1, 2000)
1975 ● Adam Carson → Drummer for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and electronica Blaqk Audio, “Stiff Kittens” (Dance/Club #38, 2007)

February 06

1936 ● Donnie Brooks (John Dee Abohosh) → Pop and rockabilly one hit wonder singer (“Mission Bell,” #7, 1960), toured on the oldies circuit until a 2003 car accident ended his career, died from heart failure on 2/23/2007, age 71
1941 ● Dave Berry (David Holgate Grundy) → 60s era Brit pop-rock and R&B/teen idol singer, “The Crying Game” (UK #5, 1964), became a superstar on the Continent but not in the UK or US
1942 ● John London (Kuehne) → Songwriter and session bass player with The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, formed innovative but commercially overlooked country-rock First National Band with friend Mike Nesmith, later enjoyed a second career as a key grip for TV and mainstream movies, died on 2/12/2000, age 58
1943 ● Fabian (Fabiano Forte Bonaparte) → Teen idol pop/light rock singer, “Tiger” (#3, 1964) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1960, actor in more than two dozen films, including The Longest Day (1962) and Ten Little Indians (1965)
1943 ● Georgeanna Marie Tillman Gordon → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died from complications of blood disorders on 1/6/1980, age 36
1944 ● Willie Tee (Wilson Turbinton) → New Orleans blues and jazz pianist with one national hit, “I’m Teasin’ You” (#97, R&B #12, 1960) but plenty of recognition in his native city where he is credited with helping shape the “New Orleans Sound” fusing blues, jazz and rock elements, died from complications of colon cancer on 9/11/2007, age 63
1945 ● Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley → Reggae music and cultural giant, bandleader (The Wailers), singer, songwriter and guitarist, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974), inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, his birthday is commemorated in Jamaica by a national holiday, died of cancer on 5/11/1981, age 36
1946 ● Kate McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Anna in 70s-90s light folk duo, former wife of folk singer Loudon Wainwright lll, mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died of cancer on 1/18/2010, age 63
1946 ● Richie Hayward → Founding member and drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), session work with Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Robert Palmer, Bob Seger, Warren Zevon and others, died from complications of liver cancer on 8/12/2010, age 64
1947 ● Alan Jones → Saxophonist for Welsh early prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1950 ● Mike Batt → Brit composer, producer, singer and songwriter for film, TV theater and pop music, solo hit with “Summertime City” (UK #4, 1975), wrote “Bright Eyes” (UK #1, 1979) for the film Watership Down and Art Garfunkel, created the novelty pop group The Wombles and four UK Top 10 hits
1950 ● Stephanie Natalie Maria Cole → R&B/urban contemporary jazz-based pop singer, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” (#6, R&B #1, 1975), reemerged from a career lull caused by drug addictions with Unforgettable (#1, 1991), the hit album of pop standard covers originally recorded by her father, jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, died from congestive heart failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 12/31/15, age 65
1953 ● Steve Kirby → Lead guitar for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1956 ● Jon Walmsley → Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, actor and producer, worked with many notable pop and rock artists, including The Doobie Brothers, Gregg Allman, Merle Haggard, Roger Daltrey, the Strawberry Alarm Clock and others, played Jason Walton for nine seasons on TV’s The Waltons and created the voice of Christopher Robin in Disney’s Winnie The Pooh cartoons
1962 ● Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose Bailey) → Lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist, frontman and only constant member of hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Richard Vance “Richie” McDonald → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1964 ● Gordon Downie → Lead singer and guitarist for Canadian alt rock The Tragically Hip, “Ahead By A Century” (Can #1, 1996).
1966 ● Rick Astley → Award-winning Brit musician, radio host and dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Never Gonna Give You Up” (US and worldwide #1, 1987)
1980 ● Yasutaka Nakata → Japanese multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music producer, DJ and bandleader, co-founded EDM/electronica group Capsule in 1997 with vocalist Toshiko Koshijima and has written scores of songs and produced dozens of albums for various artists, often with himself as a musician, including seven Japanese (Oricon) #1 albums

February 07

1887 ● James Hubert “Eubie” Blake → Composer, lyricist and pianist whose career spanned from the ragtime era of the late 19th century to contemporary Broadway theater in the 1980s, brought the first black musical comedy to the stage in 1921 with Shuffle Along, wrote or co-wrote now-standard songs, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (1921) and “Memories Of You” (1930), unofficial leader of the ragtime revival of the 1970s, died from pneumonia on 2/12/1983, age 96
1920 ● Oscar Brand → Canadian-American folk balladeer, playwright, author, university professor, musician and host of Folksong Festival on WNYC-am in New York since it debuted in 1945, now the longest running radio program with the same host, composed over 300 songs (including “A Guy Is A Guy,” #1, 1952 for Doris Day) and released nearly 100 albums covering novelty music and social commentary in nearly every genre, including the patriotic “Something To Sing About” (1963), one of Canada’s unofficial national anthems, died from pneumonia on 9/30/2016, age 96
1924 ● Dora Bryan (Dora Mae Broadbent) → Brit stage, film and TV actress, occasional novelty pop singer, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle” (#20, 1963)
1934 ● Earl King (Earl Silas Johnson) → New Orleans R&B/blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” (R&B #7, 1955), also co-wrote “I Hear You Knockin'” (1955) and wrote “Come On (Let The Good Time Roll)” (1960), died from complications of diabetes on 4/17/2003, age 69
1934 ● King Curtis (Curtis Ousley) → Virtuoso R&B/pop and soul saxophonist, first in sessions (including The Coasters‘ “Yakety Yak” and Boots Randolph‘s “Yakety Sax”), then as a solo artist, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, R&B #6, 1967), died on 8/14/1971 at the peak of his career after being fatally stabbed late at night outside his New York City home by a vagrant, buried in the same Long Island cemetery as Count Basie and John Coltrane
1940 ● Bob Burnett → Founding member of influential, straight-laced collegiate folk-pop vocal quintet The Highwaymen (“Michael,” #1, AC #1, 1961 and “Cotton Fields,” #13, AC #3, 1962), left in 1964 for a career in business law but reunited in 1987 and performed occasionally into the 00s, died from brain cancer on 12/7/2011, age 71
1943 ● Harvey Hersh (Hershkowitz) → Baritone vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1943 ● Walter Scott (Walter Notheis, Jr.) → Lead singer for one hit wonder horn-rock Bob Kuban & The Hit-Men (“The Cheater,” #12, 1966), left the band for an unsuccessful solo career, disappeared on 12/27/1983 and was later declared murdered by his wife and her lover in a tangled case, age 40
1946 ● Sammy Johns → One hit wonder country-pop singer/songwriter, “Chevy Van” (#5, 1975), wrote “America” for Waylon Jennings (Country #6, 1984) and “Common Man” for John Conlee (Country #1, 1983), among other minor hits, died from unspecified causes on 1/4/2013, age 66
1947 ● John Patrick “Pugwash” Weathers → Drummer for Brit progressive/art rock and jazz fusion band The Eyes of Blue, then prog rock Gentle Giant
1948 ● Jimmy Greenspoon → Organist for pop-rock Three Dog Night (“Joy To The World,” #1, 1971 and nine other Top 10 hits) between 1969 and 1973, rejoined the band in 1976 and continued to record and tour until his death from melanoma (cancer) on 3/11/2015, age 67
1949 ● Alan Lancaster → Original bassist for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 50 other UK Top 75 singles, left in 1984
1949 ● Stony Browder, Jr. → With half-brother August Darnell Browder (aka “King Creole”), formed pop-rock The In-Laws, then big band and swing-influenced R&B/disco group Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “Cherchez La Femme” (Dance/Club #1, 1976)
1959 ● Brian Travers → Saxophonist for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Steve Bronski → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1962 ● David Bryan (Rashbaum) → Keyboardist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), has released two solo prog rock albums
1962 ● Deborah Bonham → English rock and blues vocalist, released two UK and one US albums, sister of John Bonham, the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin
1962 ● Troyal Garth Brooks → Unparalleled country music superstar, second highest selling US solo albums artist (after Elvis Presley), credited with merging country and honky tonk with rock and pop and delivering a mass audience, scored eight double-double albums (#1 on both Billboard pop and country album charts), top singles include “Friends In Low Places” (Country #1, 1990) and “Lost In You” (#5, 1999)
1968 ● Sully Erna → Guitar and vocals for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1974 ● Danny Goffey → Drummer for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1974 ● J Dilla (James Dewitt Yancey, aka Jay Dee) → Influential hip hop producer and MC, worked with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes, died on 2/10/2006 of a rare blood disease at his home in L.A.
1975 ● Wesley Borland → Guitarist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)

February 08

1899 ● Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson → New Orleans blues and jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter, recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos, “Tomorrow Night” (#19, R&B #7, 1948), hit by a car on a Toronto sidewalk in Match 1969 and suffered a stroke in August 1969, died from complications of the two on 6/16/1970, age 71
1931 ● James Dean (Byron) → Actor, teen idol and cultural icon, signature films were Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), killed in a car crash at age 25 on a Salinas, CA highway on 9/30/1955, age 24
1932 ● John Williams → Composer, conductor, pianist, 5-time Academy Award and 22-time Grammy winner, composed some of the most well-known and enduring film scores in the history of American cinema, including Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and others, plus theme music for four Olympic Games, sports and news programs, TV series, and classical and orchestral works, former principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, released nearly 400 albums and placed four tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Star Wars Theme” (#10, 1977)
1936 ● Larry Verrne → One hit wonder novelty song singer, “Mr. Custer” (#1, R&B #9, 1960), left the music industry and became a Hollywood set designer, died from heart failure on 10/8/2013, age 77
1938 ● Ray Sharpe → Country-western, blues and rockabilly singer, guitarist and songwriter with multiple singles but only one minor hit, “Linda Lu” (#46, 1959) which was covered by The Rolling Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, Tom Jones and others, later released singles recorded with King Curtis and Jimi Hendrix as a session guitarist, continues to perform in the Fort Worth,, TX area
1941 ● Tom Rush → Early and influential, genre-defining singer/songwriter of folk, blues and light pop mix, his “No Regrets” (1968) is a folk-rock standard
1942 ● Terry Melcher (Jordan) → Son of actress Doris Day, vocalist with 60s surf rock the Rip Chords (“Hey Little Cobra,” #4, 1964) and then record producer best known for The Byrds‘ two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (both #1, 1965), plus songs and albums by The Beach Boys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Mamas & The Papas, Glen Campbell and others, producer of two of his mother’s TV shows, died from melanoma on 11/19/2004, age 62
1943 ● Creed Bratton (William Charles Schneider) → Guitarist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968) plus thirteen other Top 40 hits, solo pop-rock artist, film and TV actor, including The Office
1946 ● Adolpho “Fito” de la Parra → Drummer for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968)
1946 ● Paul Wheatbread → Drummer for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Danny Wayland “Dan” Seals → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” (#2, 1976), then solo country star with eleven #1 country hits, brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts, died of complications of mantle cell lymphoma on 3/25/2009, age 61
1948 ● Ron Tyson → Journeyman R&B vocalist and songwriter credited with composing over 200 songs in the Philly-soul style, worked with various R&B groups through the 70s, joined The Temptations in 1983 as vocalist and sang lead on a number of hits, including “Sail Away” (#54, R&B #13, 1983), continues with the group in he 10s and has issued several solo albums
1961 ● Sam Llanas → Founder, guitar and vocals for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Vince Neil (Wharton) → Vocals for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989) and solo, “Sister Of Pain” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1993)
1962 ● Ken McCluskey → Harmonica and vocals for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1968 ● Tjinder Singh → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1971 ● Will Turpin → Bass and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, “Shine” (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1974 ● Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo → DJ for French progressive dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), remixed for Gabrielle and Chemical Brothers
1977 ● David Michael “Phoenix” Farrell → Bassist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (#2, Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1980 ● Cameron Muncey → Guitarist for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1983 ● Jim Verraros → Pop-rock singer and entertainer, Top 10 finalist in first season of American Idol, solo singing career, “You Turn It On” (Dance/Club #21, 2005)
1985 ● Jeremy Davis → Bassist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)
1994 ● Nicole “Nikki” Yanofsky → Canadian jazz-pop singer, festival and TV entertainer, recorded “Gotta Go My Own Way” for High School Musical 2, has multiple hits including “I Believe” (Canada #1, 2010), sang the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

February 09

1909 ● Carmen Miranda → The “Brazilian Bombshell,” samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress and film star whose trademark fruit-basket headdress and exotic outfits belied her considerable talents, first Brazilian to achieve international stardom and first to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, generally credited with exposing Latin culture to a broader audience worldwide, died in her prime from a heart attack on 8/5/1955, age 46
1914 ● Ernest Tubb → Legendary singer, songwriter and pioneer of modern country music, first of the honky tonk singers and first to achieve national recognition, scored 91 country chart hits over a 50-year career, including “Soldier’s Last Laugh” (#16, Country #1, 1944) and “Walking The Floor Over You” (#18, Country #31, 1979), died from emphysema on 9/6/1984, age 70
1939 ● Barry Mann (Iberman) → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with his wife, Cynthia Weil, issued novelty pop solo “Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (#7, 1961), wrote “On Broadway”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “Somewhere Out There” among other hits for varied rock and pop artists
1940 ● Brian Bennett → Composer, arranger and producer best known as the drummer for multiple early Brit rock ‘n’ roll bands including instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (worldwide #1, 1960) and pop-rock Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “Foot Tapper” (UK #1, 1963)
1942 ● Carole King (Carol Klein) → Brill Building composer with husband Gerry Goffin, pianist and solo Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “I Feel The Earth Move” (#1, 1971), wrote or co-wrote nearly 120 pop hits recorded by herself and other artists, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “One Fine Day”
1942 ● Marcus Felton “Mark” Mathis → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1943 ● Barbara Lewis → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, “Baby I’m Yours” (#11, R&B #5, 1965)
1947 ● Earle R. “Joe” Ely → Country, honky tonk and rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, first with The Flatlanders, then solo, “Musta Notta Gotta Lotta” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1981), plus session and tour work with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Uncle Tupelo
1947 ● Major Harris → “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul guitarist and singer with numerous groups including The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), then solo, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” (#5, R&B #1, 1975), died from lung and heart failure on 11/8/2012, age 66
1951 ● Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas → Saxophonist for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1955 ● Jimmy Pursey → Founder, frontman and lead vocals for Brit punk rock Sham 69, “Hersham Boys” (UK #6, 1979)
1960 ● William “Holly” Johnson → Lead vocals and founding member of Brit New Wave pop-rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1963 ● Dave Rotheray → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Travis Tritt → Grammy-winning, hatless country and Southern rock singer/songwriter with forty country chart hits and five #1s, including “Foolish Pride” (Country #1, 1994)
1964 ● Rachel Bolan → Founder, bassist and chief songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), also worked with Ace Frehley (of Kiss), Mötley Crüe and stoner metal Godspeed
1981 ● Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan → Founding member, drummer, vocalist and songwriter for heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, wrote “Almost Easy” (Mainstream #3, 2007) and other hits prior to the band’s peak years in the 10s, died from an overdose of pain killers an alcohol on 12/28/2009, age 28

February 10

1914 ● Larry Adler → Harmonica virtuoso, soloist with major symphony orchestras worldwide, session work varied artists from Fred Astaire to George Gershwin to Elton John, Kate Bush and Sting, fronted the 1994 all-star tribute album Glory Of Gershwin, died of natural causes on 8/7/2001, age 87
1929 ● Jerry Goldsmith → Highly-regarded, prolific film score composer/conductor for movies and TV, including Dr. Kildare, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., died from cancer on 7/21/2004, age 75
1933 ● Don Wilson → Co-founder and guitarist for long-lived, unique-sound rock ‘n’ roll instrumental surf-rock The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Roberta Flack → Sweet-voiced, Grammy-winning R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter with multiple hits including, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (#1, 1973), plus duets with Donny Hathaway including “Where Is The Love” (#5, 1972)
1940 ● Jimmy Merchant → Founding member and second tenor vocals for influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956)
1943 ● Ralph Stuart “Ral” DonnerElvis Presley sound-alike early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)” (#4, 1961), died of cancer on 4/6/1984, age 41
1944 ● Nathaniel Mayer → Teenaged one hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “Village Of Love” (#22, R&B #10, 1962), disappeared but resurfaced in 2004 with a new album, continued to perform in the Detroit area until his death following a series of stokes on 11/1/2008, age 64
1944 ● Peter Allen (Woolnough) → Aussie singer, cabaret dancer, film and stage actor, and songwriter, wrote or co-wrote several hits for others, including “I Honestly Love You” for Olivia Newton-John (#1, 1974)”I Go To Rio” for Pablo Cruise (#46, 1979) and the Academy Award-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do” for Christopher Cross (#1, 1981), issued eight studio albums and was the subject of the posthumous documentary The Boy From Oz (1998), died from AIDS-relegated illnesses on 6/18/1992, age 48
1946 ● Clifford T. Ward → Brit folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Gaye” (UK #8, 1973), died from pneumonia on 12/18/2001, age 55
1949 ● Nigel Olsson → Drummer for Brit psych-pop Plastic Penny, “Everything I Am” (UK #6, 1968), then original drummer in the Elton John Band, sessions
1962 ● Cliff Burton → First bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), was killed when the band’s tour bus crashed in Sweden on 9/27/1986, age 24
1962 ● Robbie Neville → Next generation member (son and nephew) in New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1963 ● Tony Reno (Niemistö) → Original drummer for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo, now a computer technician
1977 ● Rosanna Tavarez → Vocals for pre-fab, all-girl, teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group

February 11

1882 ● John Mills, Sr. → Patriarch of the four sons who formed six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), took his deceased son, John Jr.‘s place after he died in 1936 and performed with the group until just prior to his death on 12/8/1957, age 85
1914 ● Josh White → Influential folk revival and Piedmont blues guitarist and songwriter, recorded under pseudonyms “Pinewood Tom” and “Tippy Barton” in 30s, became a social activist for Afro-American musicians, hosted US and UK music TV shows, died during open heart surgery on 9/6/1969, age 55
1914 ● Matt Dennis → Big Band-era songwriter, pianist and singer with a string of albums and radio and TV appearances in his later career, started in Hollywood night clubs in the 20s and 30s, composed and arranged for Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller‘s orchestras in the 40s, fronted his own bands in the 50s, wrote the now-standard “Angel Eyes” (1946) and other songs covered by Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Roberta Flack and others, died of natural causes on 6/21/2002, age 88
1928 ● Raoul Cita → Pianist, songwriter and arranger for critically recognized but commercially little known R&B/doo wop The Harptones (“Life Is But A Dream,” 1955), performed with the group for over 60 years until his death from liver and stomach cancer on 12/13/2014, age 86
1935 ● Gene Vincent (Vincent Eugene Craddock) → Early and legendary rock ‘n’ roll/rockabilly singer and bandleader with His Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (#7, 1956), died from a ruptured stomach ulcer on 10/12/1971, age 36
1939 ● Gerry Goffin → Brill Building songwriter and lyricist, with wife Carole King co-wrote over 20 classic pop-rock hits and six chart toppers, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (Bobby Vee) and “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva), died on 6/19/2014, age 75
1940 ● Bobby “Boris” Pickett → One hit wonder novelty pop bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962), died from complications of leukemia on 4/25/2007, age 67
1941 ● Earl Lewis → Bass vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), then The Five Echoes
1941 ● Sergio Mendes → Brazilian bossa nova, jazz and funk keyboardist and bandleader for Brasil ’66, “The Foot Of The Hill” (#6, 1968)
1942 ● Leon Haywood → R&B/funk and soul singer with several singles and stints with various bands in the 60s with little commercial success, scored several R&B hits on the 70s, including “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” (#15, R&B #7, 1975) but stopped recording and turned to record production in the 80s for Edge Records and his own Evejim label
1942 ● Otis Clay → Gospel, soul and Chicago blues singer with numerous minor hits, including “Trying To Live My Life Without You” (#102, R&B #24, 1972) but little resounding success, was a 2013 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame and continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 1/8/2016, age 73
1943 ● Little Johnny Taylor (Merrett) → Gospel turned R&B/soul and blues singer with one big hit (“Part Time Love,” #19, R&B #1, 1963) and eight other minor chart singles in the 60s and 70s, continued to tour and perform until his death on 5/17/2002, age 59
1946 ● Ray Lake → Guitarist for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1947 ● Derek Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member with brothers Ray and Phil of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant, senior executive positions with PolyGram, Atco and Roadrunner record companies
1948 ● Al Johnson → R&B/soul singer and music producer, co-founder of smooth harmony soul quintet The Unifics and lead singer on their two Top 40 hits, “Court Of Love” (#25, R&B #3, 1968) and “The Beginning Of My End” (#36, R&B #9, 1969), turned to a mildly successful solo career and record production in the 80s, reformed The Unifics in 2004, died on 10/26/2013, age 65
1950 ● Rochelle Fleming → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1953 ● Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin → Trumpet and flugelhorn for the Saturday Night Live house band, the Blues Brothers Band, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979) and hundreds of studio sessions with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Aerosmith and many others, died from lung cancer on 6/8/2011 , age 58
1953 ● Neil Henderson → Joined Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971) in 1974, wrote “Rockin’ Soul” (Germany #31, 1974)
1962 ● Sheryl Crow → Former backing vocalist for Michael Jackson‘s “Bad” tour turned nine-time Grammy-winning roots rock singer/songwriter, “All I Wanna Do” (#2, 1994) and eight other Top 40 hits
1966 ● Tenor Saw (Clive Bright) → Early ragga and dancehall reggae singer, “Ring The Alarm” (1985), killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 1988
1967 ● Clay Crosse (Walter Clayton Crossnoe) → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and multiple Dove Award winner, “I Will Follow Christ” (2000)
1969 ● Shovell (Andrew Lovell) → Jamaican-born percussionist for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1972 ● Craig Jones → Sampler and keyboardist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1974 ● D’Angelo (Michael Archer) → Early and influential 90s R&B/neo-soul singer, “Lady” (#10, 1996), Grammy-winner for “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” (#25, R&B #2, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Shinoda → Guitar and vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Brandy (Norwood) → Teen pop then R&B/neo-soul-pop star, “Sittin’ Up In My Room” (#2, 1996), songwriter, TV actress, record and film producer
1981 ● Kelendria Trene “Kelly” Rowland → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), solo artist and actress
1984 ● Aubrey O’Day → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)
1991 ● Never Shout Never (Christofer Drew Ingle) → Multi-instrumentalist one man band acoustic pop singer/songwriter, “Trouble” (Singles Sales #1, 2009)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 22 – 28)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 22

1931 ● Sam Cooke → Pioneering R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record executive and civil rights activist, “You Send Me” (#1, 1957), shot and killed during an altercation with his landlord on 12/11/1964, age 33
1938 ● Eugene Church → Singer and collaborator with Jesse Belvin as doo-wop The Cliques, solo as Eugene Church & The Fellows (“Pretty Girls Everywhere,” #36, R&B #6, 1958), later moved to gospel music, died from cancer on 4/3/1993 , age 55
1938 ● Joseph Carmine “Joe” Esposito → Army-years buddy of Elvis Presley, became his right-hand man, road manager and key member of Elvis‘s entourage, the “Memphis Mafia,” played bit parts in several Elvis films in the 60s, later worked as road manager for Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, John Denver and others, co-authored six books about Elvis and attended Elvis look-alike conventions, died after a long period of failing health on 11/23/2016, age 78
1940 ● Addie “Mickie” Harris → Vocals for Brill Building pop, girl-group-defining The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of a heart attack on stage during an oldies circuit performance on 6/10/1982, age 42
1946 ● Malcolm McLaren → Brit performer, impresario and solo artist, “Double Dutch” (UK #3, 1983), manager of the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, died of cancer 4/8/2010, age 64
1949 ● Nigel Pegrum → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then prog-rock Uriah Heep, art-rock Gnidrolog and folk-rock Steeleye Span, producer and session drummer
1949 ● Steve Perry (Stephen Ray Pereira) → Lead singer for arena rock Journey beginning in 1977, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), then solo, “Oh, Sherrie” (#3, 1986), then re-formed Journey 1996, “When You Love A Woman” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1996)
1952 ● Teddy Gentry → Founding member, bass and background vocals for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1960 ● Michael Hutchence → Founding member, lead singer, songwriter and 20-year frontman for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987), found dead in a Sydney hotel room after an apparent suicide on 11/22/1997, age 37
1965 ● Andrew Roachford → Frontman, vocals and keyboards for Brit urban contemporary R&B Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” (# 25, UK #4, 1989)
1965 ● D.J. Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Allen Townes) → R&B/hip hop artist, record producer, turntablist and actor, with Will Smith in duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, 1991)
1965 ● Steve Adler → Songwriter and drummer (1985-90) for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), then Road Crew and started Adler’s Appetite and Adler
1969 ● Marc Gay → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1981 ● Ben Robert Moody → Founder, vocals, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1981 ● Willa Ford (Amanda Lee Williford Modano) → Dance-pop singer, songwriter, model, TV and film actress, “I Wanna Be Bad” (Top 40 Mainstream #11, 2001)
1985 ● Orianthi Panagaris → Aussie singer, songwriter and guitarist, “According To You” (#17, 2009), played for Prince and was Michael Jackson‘s lead guitarist for the ill-fated This Is It tour

January 23

1910 ● Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt → Belgian-born gypsy-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953, age 43
1932 ● Cyril Davies → One of the first harmonica players on the British blues scene, formed various skiffle and blues groups in the 50s and Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry in the 60s, club owner and R&B promoter, died from endocarditis on 1/7/1964, age 31
1940 ● Joe Dowell → Two hit wonder early 60s pop singer (“Wooden Heart,” #1, 1961 and “Little Red Rented Rowboat,” #23, 1962), later wrote and recorded his own songs without commercial success and launched a radio advertisement production company
1941 ● Perry Carlton “Buddy” Buie → Music producer, publisher and songwriter with over 340 titles penned alone or in collaborations with others, including the oft-covered pop classic “Spooky” (#3, 1967) by The Classics IV, formed, managed and produced Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover,” #7, 1978) and co-wrote most of their songs, produced albums for Wynonna Judd and Garth Brooks, died following a heart attack on 7/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● Jerry Lawson → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008, age 58
1953 ● Robin Zander → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch → Co-founder, producer and bassist 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
1955 ● Reggie Calloway → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1957 ● Earl Falconer → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

January 24

1933 ● Ezekial “Zeke” Carey → Founding member and second tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), died on 12/24/1999, age 66
1936 ● Doug Kershaw → Cajun country-rock singer/songwriter, bandleader and fiddler, “Louisiana Man” (Country #10, 1961)
1936 ● Jack Scott (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → Canadian rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and country-pop singer with eight U.S. Top 40 singles in less than 3 years, including “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960)
1939 ● Ray Stevens (Harold Ray Ragsdale) → Grammy-winning country-pop and often novelty singer, songwriter and producer, “Everything Is Beautiful” (#1, 1970)
1941 ● Aaron Neville → New Orleans R&B/soul-funk singer, “Tell It Like It Is” (R&B #1, 1966), then formed The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989), then solo again, including duets with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know Much” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1989)
1941 ● Michael Chapman → Critically acclaimed but commercially underrated Brit folk singer and songwriter best known for his “Postcards Of Scarborough” (1970) and an over 40 album catalog, continues to record and perform in the 10s
1941 ● Neil Diamond → Often called the “Jewish Elvis,” prolific songwriter, singer and guitarist “Cracklin’ Rose” (#1, 1970), plus dozens of Top 40 hits and those covered by others, from The Monkees (“I’m A Believer,” #1, 1966) to Deep Purple (“Kentucky Woman,” #38, 1968)
1947 ● Warren Zevon → Sardonic singer/songwriter with 15 solo albums and multiple Top 40 hits, including “Werewolves Of London” (#21, 1978), died from asbestos-related lung cancer on 9/7/2003, age 56
1949 ● John Belushi → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Joliet Jake” Blues in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died from drug overdose 3/5/1982, age 33
1953 ● Matthew Wilder (Weiner) → One hit wonder singer/songwriter, started in early 70s folk-pop duo Matthew & Peter, then pop-rock solo “Break My Stride” (#5, 1983), now record producer
1958 ● Julian Miles “Jools” Holland → Pianist, producer, singer, composer and bandleader, including keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1963 ● Keech Rainwater → Drummer for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1974 ● Christopher River Hesse → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Paul Marazzi → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1989 ● Calvin Goldspink → Vocals in pre-fab teen pop S Club Juniors (a spin-off of S Club 7), “One Step Closer” (UK #2, 2002) and six other UK Top 15 hits in two years, actor

January 25

1915 ● Ewan MacColl → Influential Brit folk revival singer, songwriter, poet and producer, wrote Grammy-winning “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1972), died from complications following heart surgery on 10/22/1989, age 74
1923 ● Farrell H. “Rusty” Draper → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll country and pop crossover star with five Top 20 hits in the 50s, including “The Shifting, Whispering Sands” (#3, 1955), continued with minor country hits in the 60s and dropped out of site by the 80s, died from pneumonia on 3/28/2003, age 80
1931 ● Stig Anderson → Songwriter, producer and manager for Swede superstar pop-rock ABBA, co-wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1977), died of a heart attack on 9/12/1997, age 66
1934 ● Phil Ramone → Innovative, Grammy-winning recording engineer, record producer, violin prodigy, composer and founder of A&R Recording, Inc. studios in New York, which engineered and produced records for dozens of top pop and rock artists from Aretha Franklin to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/30/2013, age 79
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) → Versatile Grammy-winning blues, gospel, R&B/soul and jazz singer, “Tell Mama” (#23, R&B #10, 1968) and the enduring ballad “At Last” (#47, R&B #2, 1961), died from complications of leukemia on 1/20/2012, age 73
1949 ● John Cooper Clarke → The “Bard of Salford”, performance poet laureate of the punk movement, “Gimmix” (UK #39, 1979), opened tours for the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello, continues to contribute to poetry journals
1950 ● Michael Cotten → Synthesizers for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1953 ● Malcolm Green → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (UK #12, 1980)
1956 ● Andy Cox → Guitarist and co-founder of ska revivalist mixed-race The English Beat in 1978, then moved with bandmates to form Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Actor and journeyman bass guitarist for Roxy Music, The Vibrators, post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982), Code Blue and The Fixx
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Vocals for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983), solo
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Vocalist for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1971 ● China Wing Kantner → Daughter of Jefferson AirplaneGrace Slick and Paul Kantner, TV and film actress, former MTV VJ
1973 ● Chris Wilkie → Guitarist and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1977 ● Christian Ingebrigtsen → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1981 ● Alicia Keys (Alicia Auguello Cook) → Nine-time Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fallin'” (#1, 2001) and ten other Top 40 hits, TV and film actress, philanthropist

January 26

1913 ● Jimmy Van Heusen (Edward Chester Babcock) → Four-time Academy Award winning popular music composer, wrote or co-wrote dozens of pop hits in the 40s through 60s for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, including “Swingin’ On A Star” for Crosby (1944) and “My Kind Of Town” for Sinatra (1964), died from complications following a stroke on 2/6/1990, age 77
1922 ● Page Cavanaugh → Jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, popular 40s and 50s bandleader on radio, TV and films with a number of Top 40 hits, early purveyor of the jazz-pop sound now known as “smooth jazz,” continued to perform as a night club and lounge act into the 00s, died from kidney failure on 12/19/2008, age 86
1926 ● Ronnie Hilton (Adrian Hill) → Brit 50s pop crooner, “No Other Love” (UK #1, 1956) plus 21 other Top 40 hits during the onslaught of rock ‘n’ doll, BBC radio host of the weekly show Sounds of the Fifties, died of a stroke on 2/21/2001, age 75
1932 ● Claude “The Tall Texan” Gray → Country music singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his contribution to the “Nashville sound” and the Countrypolitan movement that created the crossover genre blending country and pop music, scored 12 Country Top 40 hits including “I’ll Have Another Cup Of Coffee” (Country #3, 1961), continues to tour and perform on TV into the 10s
1934 ● Huey “Piano” Smith → New Orleans “good time” R&B/rock ‘n roll pianist, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (R&B #5, 1957), wrote and played on Frankie Ford‘s “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959)
1937 ● Alison Steele (Ceil Loman) → Pioneering DJ known as “The Night Bird” on archetypical progressive rock station WNEW-FM (New York) from 1967 to 1979, inspiration for Jimi Hendrix‘s “Night Bird Flying,” music writer, producer and CNN correspondent, died from stomach cancer on 9/27/1995, age 56
1939 ● Marshall Lieb → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2002, age 63
1943 ● Jean Knight (Caliste) → One hit wonder R&B/soul and funk singer, “Mr. Big Stuff” (#2, 1971), toured on the oldies circuit through the 00s
1945 ● Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings → Bassist for renowned Brit folk-rock revival bands Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1946 ● Deon Jackson → One hit wonder 60s R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (#11, 1966), faded into the Chicago oldies circuit until his death from a brain hemorrhage on 4/18/2014, age 68
1948 ● Laurence Gordon “Corky” Laing → Drummer in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), then power trio West, Bruce & Laing, solo and collaborations
1949 ● Derek Holt → Guitar and keyboards for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Bassist in quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from cancer on 7/19/2010, age 59
1951 ● David Briggs → Guitarist and songwriter for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, wrote “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), now recording engineer and producer
1952 ● Maurice Bacon → Drummer for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → Underappreciated country-folk-roots rock singer and songwriter, “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998) from the Grammy-winning album of the same name
1955 ● Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen → Top rock guitarist, frontman, songwriter and vocals for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), solo, collaborations and film score compositions, uncredited guitar solo on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” (#1, 1983)
1958 ● Anita Baker → Grammy-winning R&B/quiet storm singer, “Sweet Love” (#8, 1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → Percussion, trombone and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Charlie Gillingham → Keyboards for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock boy band Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984) and 6 other US Top 10 hits
1963 ● Jazzie B. (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → DJ, mixmaster, producer and founding member of R&B/dance-pop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989)
1964 ● Susannah Melvoin → Vocalist, songwriter and actress, backing singer for Prince, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Wendy & Lisa
1966 ● Pim Jones → Guitarist for Scottish contemporary pop-rock Hipsway, “The Honeythief” (#19, 1986)
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Looking For You” (#61, 2005)
1972 ● Ya Kid K (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, wrote lyrics and sang vocals on “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo

January 27

1885 ● Jerome Kern → Prolific and important theater, film and popular music composer who wrote more than 700 songs, including such American classics as “Ol’ Man River” (1927), “”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1933, and a #1 hit for The Platters in 1958) and “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (1944), died following cerebral hemorrhage on 11/11/1945, age 60
1918 ● Elmore James → The “King of the Slide Guitar,” highly influential blues slide guitarist, singer and songwriter, “It Hurts Me Too” (R&B #15, 1960), covered by Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band and many others, died from heart failure on 5/24/1963, age 45
1919 ● David Seville (Rosdom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian) → Armenian-American actor, pianist, singer and songwriter, “Witch Doctor” (#1, 1958), creator of novelty pop Alvin & The Chipmunks, “The Chipmunk Song” (#1, 1958), died of a heart attack on 1/16/1972, age 52
1930 ● Bobby “Blue” Bland (Robert Calvin Bland) → R&B/soul-blues-gospel singer, product of the Memphis “street blues” scene and Lifetime Grammy winner, “That’s The Way Love Is” (#33, R&B #1, 1963) and 43 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from an undisclosed illness on 6/23/2013, age 83
1931 ● Rudy Maugeri → Baritone for Canadian R&B-to-pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954), died on 5/7/2004, age 73
1937 ● Bruce Tate → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits, died on 6/20/1973, age 36
1944 ● Kevin Coyne → Underappreciated Brit blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, first with alt/art rock Siren and then solo, “Marlene” (1973), later focused on poetry, prose and painting, died of lung failure on 12/2/2004, age 60
1944 ● Nick Mason → Drummer and only constant member of space rock Pink Floyd since it formed in 1965, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), auto racing driver
1946 ● Nedra Talley → Backing vocals for pop-rock girl group The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1948 ● Kim Gardner → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Thunderbirds (with future Rolling Stone Ron Wood), then formed art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971), then sessions and L.A. pub owner, died of cancer on 10/24/2001, age 53
1950 ● Michael “Mick” Jackson → Bass guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1951 ● Brian Downey → Drummer for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1951 ● Seth Justman → Keyboards and vocals for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1952 ● George Edward “G.E.” Smith → Guitarist, bandleader, performance director and session musician, lead guitar for Hall & Oates and musical director for Saturday Night Live, toured with Bob Dylan and Rogers Water’s The Wall Live band, did session work with David Bowie, Hot Tuna and many others
1955 ● Richard Young → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Southern honky tonk-blues-country rock Kentucky Headhunters, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (Country #8, 1990)
1957 ● Janick Robert Gers → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Wasting Love” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1992)
1961 ● Gillian Gilbert → Keyboards, guitar and vocals for New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983), formed The Other Two with husband Stephen Morris, “Selfish” (Dance/Club #6, 1993)
1961 ● Margo Timmins → Lead vocalist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Martin Degville → Lead singer and co-writer for New Wave glam-punk Sigue Sigue Sputnik, “Love Missile F1-11” (Dance/Club #50, UK #3, 1986)
1964 ● Miguel John “Migi” Drummond → Drummer for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Mike Patton → Vocals for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1968 ● Tricky (Adrian Nicholas Matthews-Thaws) → Rap singer with innovative trip hop Massive Attack, “Safe From Harm” (Dance #32, 1991), then solo, “Milk” (UK #10, 1996)
1970 ● Mark Trojanowski → Drummer for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1971 ● Lil John (Jonathan Smith) → Dirty South crunk movement rapper, producer and bandleader, “Lovers And Friends” (#3, 2004)
1972 ● Mark Owen → Lead vocals and primary songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, UK #1, 1995), plus ten other UK #1 hits, solo, “Child” (UK #3, 1996) and five other UK Top 30 hits

January 28

1927 ● Ronnie Scott (Ronald Schatt) → Influential Brit postwar jazz tenor saxophonist and night club owner/operator, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates on 12/23/1996, age 69
1929 ● Bernard Stanley “Acker” Bilk → Brit easy listening clarinetist with highest selling instrumental single of all time, “Stranger On The Shore” (#1, UK #2, 1962), the first #1 single by a British artist on the modern Billboard Hot 100 music chart, died from natural causes on 11/2/2014, age 85
1941 ● King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock) → Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, pioneer in developing the “dub” subgenre of reggae music and remixes, shot dead in an apparent robbery outside his home on 2/6/1989, age 48
1943 ● Dick Taylor → Guitarist for The Rolling Stones until 1962, then moved to British Invasion raunchy rock ‘n roll The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1944 ● Brian “Chambers” Keenan → Drummer for early Brit pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then psychedelic soul-rock The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), died of heart attack on 10/5/1985, age 41
1945 ● Robert Wyatt → Original drummer for psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left to form Matching Mole, then solo career as a singer/songwriter, “Shipbuilding” (UK #36, 1983)
1946 ● Rick Allen → Bassist for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1951 ● William “Billy Bass” Nelson → Original bassist for R&B/funk giants Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#28, 1978), left for solo and session work
1959 ● Dave Sharp (David Kitchingman) → Guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1989), solo
1962 ● Leslie Ann “Sam” Phillips → Backing vocalist turned Christian pop then alt rock singer/songwriter, “Holding On To The Earth” (Modern Rock #22, 1989), wife of T. Bone Burnett
1963 ● Dan Spitz → Lead guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993), brother of Black Sabbath bassist Dave Spitz
1968 ● DJ Muggs (Lawrence Muggerud) → DJ for Latino R&B/hip hop Cypress Hill, “Insane In The Brain” (#19, 1994)
1968 ● Rakim (William Michael Griffin, Jr.) → Rapper, hip hop duo with Eric B., “Move The Crowd” (Dance #3, 1988), author, poet, MC, solo, “When I B On The Mic” (Rap #20, 1999)
1968 ● Sarah McLachlan → Grammy-winning Canadian singer/songwriter, “Adia” (#3, 1998), organized the Lilith Fair music festival/tour for female musicians and groups
1971 ● Anthony Hamilton → Contemporary R&B/neo-soul singer, “You’ve Got The Love I Need,” the 2008 Grammy Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
1975 ● Lee Latchford-Evans → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II) → American rapper (“Aston Martin Music,” #30, Rap #1, 2010), founded Maybach Music Group to release his own recordings, multiple collaborations with other artists and numerous legal issues for alleged copyright infringement, weapons charges and as a target in a drive-by shooting incident
1977 ● Joey Fatone → Baritone for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000)
1977 ● Raphael “Tweety” Brown → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1980 ● Nick Carter → Singer, songwriter, actor, lead vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997), older brother of Aaron Carter

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 8 – 14)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 08

1928 ● Luther Perkins → Guitarist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), toured and recorded with Cash up to his death from injuries sustained in a house fire on 8/5/1968, age 40
1931 ● Bill Graham (Wulf Wolodia Grajonca) → German-born, legendary rock impresario, producer, promoter and venue manager at the Fillmore East in New York and the Fillmore West and Winterland Arena in San Francisco, introduced many Bay-area bands to a wider audience, including Grateful Dead, Big Brother & The Holding Company and Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane, continued to produce concerts and promote various rock acts until his death in a helicopter crash on 10/25/1991, ager 60
1935 ● Elvis Presley → The “King of Rock ‘N Roll” with over 100 Top 40 and 18 US #1 singles, including “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1, 1956) and “Moody Blue” (#31, Country #1, 1977) plus ten US #1 albums and sales exceeding any other popular artist, died from drug abuse on 8/16/1977, age 42
1937 ● Shirley Bassey, DBE → “Bassey the Belter,” Welsh-born cabaret and pop vocalist best known in the U.S. for singing the theme songs to James Bond movies, including “Goldfinger” (#8, 1965), “Diamonds Are Forever” (#57, 1972) and “Moonraker” (1979)
1940 ● Jimmy O’Neill → Radio disc jockey and TV host, just 19 years old when he became the top-rated DJ in Los Angeles and was the first on the air when KRLA switched from country-western to rock ‘n’ roll in 1959, rose to national celebrity as emcee of Shindig!, one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll shows on prime-time television, died from complications of diabetes on 1/11/2013, age 73
1940 ● Little Anthony (Jerome Anthony Gourdine) → Frontman for premier and long-lived R&B/doo-wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958)
1942 ● John Petersen → Drummer for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964) and Harpers Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), died on 1/11/2013, age 73
1943 ● Lee Jackson → Bass and vocals for 60s Brit prog rock The Nice, “America” (1968)
1943 ● Marcus Hutson → Vocals in R&B/soul-dance harmony quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1944 ● William Joel “Taz” DiGregorio → Longtime keyboardist for Southern rock The Charlie Daniels Band, co-wrote the signature song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” (#3, 1979), died in a single car accident while driving to a CDB performance on 10/12/2011, age 67
1946 ● Robbie Krieger → Guitarist for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968)
1947 ● David Bowie (David Robert Jones) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer known as the “Chameleon” for his ability to adapt his music to changing times, from vaudeville to mod to glam to Philly soul to pop-rock, “Fame” (#1, 1977) and “Let’s Dance” (#1, 1983) plus nine other Top 40 hits, released his 27th studio album just two days before he died from cancer on 1/10/2016, age 69
1947 ● Terry Sylvester → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964), left in 1968 to replace Graham Nash in The Hollies, “The Air That I Breathe” (#6, 1974)
1955 ● Mike Reno (Joseph Michael Rynoski) → Drums and vocals for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1957 ● Dr. Rock → Erstwhile FM radio DJ, rock and pop music aficionado and current Chief Musicologist for DrRock.com, coined the slogan “the BEST music ever made”
1959 ● Paul Hester → Drummer for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980) then Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), committed suicide by hanging on 3/26/2005, age 46
1962 ● Chris Marion → Co-founder of country rock band Western Flyer, studio musician and touring keyboardist, producer for Garth Brooks, the Oak Ridge Boys and others, vocalist and keyboardist for the current touring lineup of Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band (“Lonesome Loser,” #6, 1979), founder of TourPRO personal resource service for touring artists
1966 ● Andrew Wood → Founding member, frontman and lead singer for seminal grunge rock Malfunkshun, then joined nascent glam/punk supergroup Mother Love Bone, died from a drug overdose just as the band was beginning to gel on 3/19/1990, age 24
1968 ● R. Kelly (Robert Sylvester Kelly) → Contemporary urban R&B vocalist, producer and songwriter, frontman for Public Announcement, “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)” (#5, 1998) then solo, “Bump N’ Grind” (#1, 1994)
1969 ● Jeff Abercrombie → Bassist for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1971 ● Karen Poole → Vocals for Brit pop sister duo Alisha’s Attic, “Indestructible” (UK #12, 1997), daughter of 60s pop-rocker Brian Poole
1975 ● Sean Paul (Henriques) → Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall vocalist, “Get Busy” (#1, 2003)
1975 ● Steven William “Stove” King → Former bassist for post-Britpop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)

January 09

1901 ● Ishman Bracey → Early delta blues singer, guitarist and performer with a limited but valued catalog, best known for his “Trouble Hearted Blues” from the 1930s, became a preacher and gospel singer before dying on 2/12/1970, age 69
1915 ● Les Paul (Lester Williams Polfus) → Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso, songwriter and country-pop singer with his wife Mary Ford, “How High The Moon” (#1, 1951), designer of eponymous solid-body guitars, died from pneumonia on 8/13/2009, age 94
1916 ● Vic Mizzy → TV and movie theme song composer and pop music songwriter, co-wrote several hits in the 30s and 40s, including “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time” for Doris Day and The Les Brown Orchestra (#1, 1945), wrote the music for Green Acres, The Addams Family and other TV programs in the 60s and 70s as well as several movies, died at home from natural causes on 10/17/2009, age 93
1920 ● Clive Dunn → Brit film and TV actor, comedian and one hit wonder pop singer, “Grandad” (UK #1, 1971)
1940 ● Big Al Downing → Roots rock, R&B/blues and club/dance singer and songwriter with several minor pop hits in the 60s and 70s, “went country” in the 80s and scored five Country Top 40 hits, including “Bring It On Home” (Country #20, 1980), continued to perform until his death from leukemia on 7/4/2005, age 65
1940 ● Jimmy Boyd → Singer and TV actor with several chart singles while in his early teens, including the mega-hit “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (#1, 1952) at age 13, moved into acting and later stand-up comedy, died from cancer on 3/7/2009, age 69
1941 ● Joan Baez → Social activist, songwriter and folk-pop singer, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (#3, 1971) and the acclaimed album Diamonds & Rust (#11, 1975)
1943 ● Dick Yount → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967)
1943 ● Jerry Yester → Folk-rocker with New Christy Minstrels, Modern Folk Quartet, briefly with The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Do You Believe In Magic?” (#9, 1965), producer for The Association, The Turtles, Tim Buckley and others, reformed The Lovin’ Spoonful in the early 90s
1943 ● Kenneth “Wally” Kelly → Founding member and vocals for R&B/doo wop then sweet soul The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, R&B #1, 1976), left the group in the late 80s to complete a Ph.D. in biology and teach in public high schools in New Jersey and North Carolina, died from undisclosed causes on 2/17/2015, age 72
1943 ● Roy Head → Country and rock musician with the one hit wonder blue-eyed soul single “Treat Her Right” (#2, R&B #2, 1965)
1943 ● Scott Walker (Noel Scott Engel) → Guitar and vocals for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● James Patrick “Jimmy” Page → Superstar guitarist, songwriter, producer and backing vocalist with The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965) then co-founded hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1969) and roots-rock The Honeydrippers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984)
1946 ● Bill Albaugh → Drummer for bubblegum/psychedelic pop one hit wonder The Lemon Pipers, “Green Tambourine” (#1, UK #8, 1968), went into obscurity after the band broke up in 1969, died of natural causes on 1/20/1999, age 53
1948 ● Cassie LaRue Gaines → Backing vocals for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977, age 29
1948 ● Paul King → Guitar, kazoo and jug for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), then King Earl Boogie Band and later Skeleton Krew
1948 ● Tim Hart → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Brit folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat’ (, 1975), died from lung cancer on 12/24/2009, age 61
1948 ● Billy Cowsill → Lead singer and guitars 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, died at home from complications of multiple long-term ailments on 2/18/2006, age 58
1950 ● David Johansen → Frontman for glam-proto-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), solo, played Buster Poindexter in Saturday Night Live house band
1950 ● Steve McRay → Keyboards for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981) and session musician
1951 ● Crystal Gayle (Brenda Gail Webb) → Country singer and songwriter, “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” (#2, 1977), plus 20 Country #1 hits, younger sister of country star Loretta Lynn by 19 years
1963 ● Eric Erlandson → Co-founder (with Courtney Love) and guitarist for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1964 ● Phil Hartnoll → With brother Paul Hartnoll, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1964 ● Rocky George → Heavy metal guitarist for Suicidal Tendencies, “I’ll Hate You Better” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1993), 40 Cycle Hum, Cro-Mags and Fishbone
1965 ● Haddaway (Alexander Nestor Haddaway) → Electronic HI-NRG club-dance singer, “What Is Love” (#11, 1993)
1967 ● Carl Bell → Guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock quartet Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)
1967 ● Dave Matthews → Grammy-winning South African singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), solo and occasional actor
1967 ● Steve Harwell → Co-founding member, vocals and piano for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1968 ● Al Schnier → Guitars and vocals for prog rock/jam band Moe., album The Conch (Indie Albums #9, 2007), solo plus collaborations with wife, Diane Schnier and tours with Phil Lesh & Friends
1971 ● Mia X (Young) → First female rapper to sign with Master P on his No Limit Records, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (Rap #4, 1998)
1978 ● A.J. McLean → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1984 ● Drew Brown → Guitars and keyboards for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), the most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1987 ● Paolo Nutini → Scottish adult alternative singer and songwriter, “New Shoes” (Adult Top 40 #24, 2007)

January 10

1912 ● Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Johnson → R&B “jump blues” pianist, songwriter and bandleader, “Bring It Home To Me” (R&B #9, 1956), died from a brain tumor and sickle cell anemia on 2/9/1977, age 65
1917 ● Jerry Wexler → Coiner of the term “rhythm and blues,” Atlantic Records co-owner, Vice President at Warner Brothers records, producer for Ray Charles, Phil Spector, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan and many others, died from congestive heart failure on 8/15/2008, age 91
1927 ● Gisèle MacKenzie → Canadian pop singer and CBC radio hostess, relocated to Los Angeles and became a regular on TV variety shows in the 50s, including Your Hit Parade and scored a handful of pop hits (“Hard To Get,” #4, 1955), appeared in soap operas, sitcoms and theater performances until her death from colon cancer on 9/5/2003, age 76
1927 ● Johnnie Ray → Teen idol singer, songwriter and pianist with over 20 Top 40 hits in the 50s, including “Just Walking In The Rain” (#2, 1951), died from liver failure 2/21/90, age 63
1935 ● Ronnie “Mr. Dynamo” Hawkins → Arkansas-born, Canadian-transplant rockabilly singer and frontman for The Hawks (early members later became The Band), “Mary Lou” (#26, R&B #7, 1959)
1937 ● Bob Relf → R&B/soul and doo wop musician, with Earl Nelson one half of the soul duo Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (#44, 1963 and UK #7, 1969), left the duo in the early 70s and worked with Barry White before disappearing from view in the 80s, died on 11/20/2007, age 70
1939 ● Sal Mineo → Stage and screen actor (Rebel Without A Cause, 1955) turned rock ‘n’ roll singer with two charting singles including “Start Movin’ (In My Direction)” (#8, 1957), returned to movies and TV and was riding a career revival when stabbed to death in an attempted robbery on 2/12/1976, age 37
1939 ● Scott McKenzie (Philip Wallach Blondheim) → 60s one hit wonder hippy-folk-flower-power singer and songwriter with the improbable but still generation-defining “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” (#4, 1967), died from a nervous system disorder on 8/18/2012, age 73
1943 ● Jim Croce → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist with four Top 10 albums and nine Top 40 hits, including “Time in a Bottle” (#1, 1973), died in plane crash at the peak of his career on 9/20/1973, age 30
1944 ● Francis Wayne “Frank” Sinatra, Jr. → Singer, songwriter, TV guest actor and son of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra with a half-dozen mostly unremarkable pop albums and an equally unremarkable acting career, died after a heart attack on 3/16/2016, age 72
1945 ● Rod Stewart → Raspy singer and songwriter for the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971) and solo, “Maggie May” (#1, 1971) plus 49 other Top 40 and Adult Contemporary hits and 15 Top 10 albums through 2010
1945 ● Ronnie Light → Longtime Nashville music producer, recording engineer and songwriter, worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins and multiple other country stars
1946 ● Aynsley Dunbar → Journeyman and in-demand rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Jeff Beck Group, Jefferson Starship, Journey, Whitesnake, “Hear I Go Again” (#1, 1987) and others, Rolling Stone magazine 27th Greatest Drummer of All Time
1946 ● Bob Lang → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “The Game Of Love” (#1, 1965)
1946 ● Neal Smith → Founding member and drummer in the original Alice Cooper band (“School’s Out,” #2, 1972), left in 1974 to work in several Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult spin-off bands, sold real estate in New England since the early 80s and continues to record and perform into the 10s
1948 ● Donald Fagen → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits, plus solo, “I.G.Y.” (#26, 1983)
1948 ● Fayette Pinkney → Original member for Philly soul and disco trio The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again” (#2, 1974), left for a brief solo career and eventually a Masters degree in human services, died from acute respiratory failure on 6/27/2009, age 61
1953 ● Pat Benatar (Patricia Andrzejewski) → Hard rocking singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (#9, 1979) plus 18 other Top 40 hits
1955 ● Luci Martin → Vocals for top R&B/disco-funk band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Michael Schenker → Founder, frontman and guitarist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984), also with UFO and frontman for the Michael Schenker Band
1956 ● Shawn Colvin → New Folk Movement singer, songwriter and guitarist, then mainstream neo-folk, “Sunny Come Home” (#7, 1997)
1959 ● Curt Kirkwood → Guitarist for punk-psych-country-rock Meat Puppets, “Backwater” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Brad Roberts → Lead singer and guitar for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1965 ● Nathan Moore → Vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1973 ● Aerle Taree → Vocals for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1974 ● Jemaine Clement → New Zealand comedian, actor and musician, one half (along with Bret McKenzie) of the Grammy-winning musical comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords, eponymous debut album reached US #3 in 2008
1978 ● Matt Roberts → Rhythm guitar for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1979 ● Chris “Daddy Mack” Smith → One-half of the teen sensation pop-rap duo Kriss Kross, “Jump” (#1, 1992)

January 11

1901 ● Walter Henri Dyett → High school music teacher in predominantly African-American public schools in Chicago who improbably instructed dozens of now-famous youngsters in the art of music, including Nat King Cole, Bo Diddley, Eddie Harris, Dinah Washington and many others over a 30-year career, died from unspecified causes on 11/17/1968, age 68
1924 ● Don Cherry → Big band and traditional pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (#5, 1955), former professional golfer
1924 ● Slim Harpo (James Moore) → Blues harmonica master and singer, “Baby Scratch My Back” (#16, 1966), died from heart attack on 1/31/1970, age 46
1933 ● Argolda Voncie “Goldie” Hill → Pioneering country music singer, one of the first women to top the country music charts (“I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes,” Country #1, 1953), scored a total of five Country Top 20 hits in the 50s before “retiring” to raise a family, died from cancer on 2/24/2005, age 72
1938 ● Frankie Randall (Franklin Joseph Lisbona) → “Rat Pack” crooner, actor and sometime comedian, starred in the beach-party movie Wild On The Beach (1965), sidekick and guest host on The Dean Martin Show in the 60s, performed with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., issued three traditional pop albums, died of lung cancer on 12/28/2014, age 76
1942 ● Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons → Saxophone and vocals for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, then solo “You’re A Friend Of Mine” (#18, 1985), suffered a stroke and died a week later on 6/18/2011, age 69
1946 ● Naomi Judd → Country singer and songwriter in family vocal duo The Judds (with daughter Wynonna), “Girl’s Night Out” (Country #1, 1984) plus 17 other Top 10 country hits
1946 ● Tony Kaye (Anthony John Selridge) → Keyboards for archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), went solo in 1971, returned to Yes in 1983-95, recently with Neil Young tribute band The Neil Deal and producer
1948 ● Terry Williams → Journeyman rock drummer with Welsh prog rock Man, Dave EdmundsRockpile, Meat Loaf‘s backing band and Dire Straits
1949 ● Frederick “Denny” Greene → Founding member of “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), performed at Woodstock, in the band’s syndicated TV variety show and in the movie Grease (1978), left to earn a master’s degree at Harvard and a law degree at Yale University, served as a vice president at Columbia Records and later as a professor at several prominent law schools, died from esophageal cancer on 9/5/2015, age 66
1956 ● Henry Lee “Big Bank Hank” Johnson → Old school rapper and member of the hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” (#36, R&B #4, 1980) became the first hip hop song to reach the Billboard Top 40, died from complications of cancer on 11/11/2014 , age 58
1958 ● Vicki Peterson → Guitar and vocals for New Wave pop-rock girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1963 ● Simon Cohen → Drummer for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1966 ● Mary Hansen → Guitars and vocals for experimental/electronic pop-rock Stereolab, “Ping Pong” (UK #45, 1994) and backing vocals for others, died in traffic accident on 12/9/2002, age 36
1968 ● Tom Dumont → Guitarist and producer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1969 ● Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell → R&B/pop singer in smooth soul Brownstone (“If You Love Me,” #8, R&B #2, 1994), bled to death from a neck wound following an accidental fall onto a broken wine glass on 2/27/2015, age 46
1971 ● Mary Jane Blige → The “Queen of Hip Hop Soul”, singer, songwriter and actress. “Family Affair” (#1, 2001)
1971 ● Tom Rowlands → DJ for dance-rock-rap fusion duo The Chemical Brothers, “It Began In Afrika” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jamelia Niela Davis → Brit R&B/pop singer, songwriter, actress and TV host, “Thank You” (UK #2, 2004)
1981 ● Thomas Meighan → Lead singer for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1985 ● Newton Faulkner → Brit pop music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Dream Catch Me” (UK #7, 2007)
1895 ● Laurens Hammond → Engineer and inventor holding over 100 patents, including the tonewheel generator for the now ubiquitous Hammond organ, a staple for rock bands for over 50 years, died from unspecified causes on 7/3/1973, age 78

January 12

1904 ● “Mississippi” Fred McDowell → Original Delta blues bottle-neck guitarist, singer and songwriter, influenced Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones (“You Gotta Move,” 1971) and others, died from cancer on 7/3/1972, age 68
1905 ● Woodward Maurice “Tex” Ritter → Country Music Hall of Fame singing cowboy, “I Dreamed Of Hill-Billy Heaven” (#20, Country #5, 1961) plus fifteen other Country Top 15 hits, actor in more than 30 Western movies, father of actor John Ritter, died following a heart attack on 1/2/1974, age 68
1918 ● Maharishi Mahesh Yogi → Monk, business entrepreneur and developer of the Transcendental Meditation technique, leader and guru of the worldwide TM religious movement within the multibillion-dollar self-help industry, spiritual advisor to The Beatles, members of The Beach Boys and other rock and social luminaries in the 60s, died in his sleep from natural causes on 2/5/2008, age 97
1926 ● Ray Price → Grammy-winning country music baritone singer, songwriter and guitarist with Country Top 10 hits in four decades, including “For The Good Times” (#11, Country #1, 1970), continued to record and tour well into his 80s, died from pancreatic cancer on 12/16/2013, age 87
1928 ● Ruth Brown (Ruth Alston Weston) → R&B/soul singer, Atlantic Records‘ (the “House That Ruth Built”) top-selling 1950s artist, “Teardrops In My Eyes” (R&B #1, 1950), died following a stroke and heart attack on 11/17/2006 , ager 78
1930 ● Glenn Yarbrough → Tenor vocals and guitar for successful folk-pop The Limeliters, “A Dollar Down” (#60, 1961), then solo, “Baby, The Rain Must Fall” (#12, 1965), left the music industry in the 70s for a nomadic life of sailing the world’s oceans, died from complications of dementia on 8/10/2016, age 86
1931 ● Roland Alphonso → Jamaican ska tenor saxophonist, singer and songwriter, played in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), following their breakup in 1965 co-founded and performed with multiple Jamaican bands and as a session musician, died following a stroke on 11/20/1998, age 67
1932 ● Des O’Connor → Brit easy listening/pop singer, comedian and TV host, “I Pretend” (UK #1, 1968)
1932 ● John Berg → Graphic designer and album cover artist for Columbia Records from 1961 to 1985, designed hundreds of album covers and won Grammy Awards for The Barbra Streisand Album (1964), Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (1968), Underground (Thelonius Monk, 1969) and Chicago X (1977), died from pneumonia on 10/11/2015, age 83
1939 ● William Lee Golden → Baritone singer and forty-year member of country/gospel/folk The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira” (#5, Country #1, 1981), went solo after being fired from the band in 1987 but returned in 1995 and continues into the 10s
1941 ● John William “Long John” Baldry → UK blues singer and frontman for Bluesology (which featured his friend, Reginald Dwight – later Elton John – on keyboards) and other bands in the 60s, turned solo (“Let The Heartaches Begin,” #88, UK #1, 1968) and sang in duets and with various bands in the 70s, settled in Canada in the 80s and continued to tour, record and do voiceover work until his death from pneumonia on 7/21/2005, age 64
1945 ● Abe “Abrim” Tilmon → Vocals for R&B/soul harmony group The Detroit Emeralds, “Feel The Need In Me” (R&B #22, 1973), died of heart attack on 6/6/1982, age 37
1945 ● Maggie Bell → The “British Janis Joplin,” Scottish blues-soul-rock singer for The Power, Stone The Crows and solo, “After Midnight” (#97, 1974)
1946 ● Cynthia Robinson → Trumpet and backing vocals for R&B/soul-funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), died from cancer on 11/23/2015, age 69
1946 ● George Duke → Jazz fusion, R&B and smooth jazz/pop keyboardist, composer, bandleader and session musician with over 30 solo albums, worked with Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa and others, died from chronic leukemia on 8/5/2013, age 67
1951 ● Chris Bell → Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died in a car accident 12/27/1978, age 27
1952 ● Ricky Van Shelton → Country-pop singer and guitarist with 10 Country #1 hits, including a duet with Dolly Parton, “Rockin’ Years” (Country #1, 1991)
1954 ● Felipe Rose → Vocals (and the Native American character) for R&B/disco Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1955 ● Tom Ardolino → Drummer and occasional vocals for 40-year cult roots rock bar band NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quintet), died from complications of diabetes on 1/6/2012, age 56
1959 ● Blixa Bargeld (Hans Christian Emmerich) → Guitarist, composer and founder of industrial rock Einstürzende Neubauten, plus Aussie alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1959 ● Per Gessle → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette, “The Look” (#1, 1989), solo
1963 ● Guy Chambers → Keyboardist, songwriter and record producer, member of Celtic folk-rock The Waterboys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), World Party, “Way Down Now” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), co-founder of The Lemon Trees, collaborator with Brit dance-pop mega-star Robbie Williams, “Millennium” (UK #4, 1997)
1965 ● Mark Moore → Brit dance-pop producer and DJ, founder and frontman for S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1966 ● Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings) → Frontman for groove/alt metal White Zombie, “More Human Than Human” (#10, 1995)
1968 ● Raekwon (Corey Woods, aka “The Chef”) → Vocals for influential East Coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then solo, “Glaciers Of Ice” (Hot Rap #5, 1995)
1970 ● Zach de la Rocha → Vocals for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999)
1973 ● Matthew Wong → Founding member and bassist for “Third Wave” ska/punk revival Reel Big Fish, “Set Out” (Alternative Rock #10, 1997), retired from the band in 2007 to spend time with his young family
1974 ● Mel C. (Melanie Chisholm) → Vocals and “Sporty Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Jeremy Camp → Contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter and guitarist, “The Way” (CCM #1, 2011)
1978 ● Kristopher Roe → Founding member, songwriter, lead guitarist, vocalist and only constant member of mainstream pop-punk The Ataris, “The Boys Of Summer” (#20, Modern Rock #2, 2003)
1991 ● Victoria Louise “Pixie” Lott → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)” (UK #1, 2009)
1993 ● ‘Zayn Malik → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

January 13

1927 ● Elizabeth Jane Haaby “Liz” Anderson → Early female country singer and songwriter with several minor hits for herself but wrote songs for others, including “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” for Merle Haggard (Country #1, 1966), mother of country-pop singer Lynn Anderson (“(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” #3, Country #1, 1970), died from complications of heart and lung disease on 10/31/2011, age 84
1930 ● Bobby Lester → Lead vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955), left in the 60s to front and tour with his own groups, died from lung cancer-caused pneumonia on 10/15/1980, age 50
1938 ● Crathman Plato “C. P.” Spencer → Original member of Grammy-winning R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, left to join heralded Motownn session vocalists The Voice Masters and The Originals, the latter having a string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died from a heart attack on 10/20/2004, age 66
1938 ● Daevid Allen (Christopher David Allen) → Australian guitarist, poet, composer, performance artist and founding member of psychedelic rock Soft Machine in 1966 and progressive rock Gong in 1967, founded and performed with various Gong spin-offs and reunions over the years until his death from lung cancer on 3/13/2015, age 77
1948 ● John Lees → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for underappreciated Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, “Mockingbird” (1971), solo, continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1954 ● Trevor Rabin → South African born guitarist and frontman for power pop Rabbitt, then with seminal prog-rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), left in 1995 to score movie soundtracks for over three dozen mainstream films
1955 ● Fred White → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1956 ● Malcolm Foster → Bass guitarist with brother Graham in pop-rock The Foster Brothers, replaced Pete Farndon in The Pretenders (“Don’t Get Me Wrong,” #10, 1986), session bass player for Simple Minds (“Let There Be Love,” UK #6, 1991) from 1989-95, continues with both groups plus session work
1957 ● Don Snow → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1957 ● Jim Parris → Founding member and bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1959 ● James “Jlo” LoMenzo → Heavy metal session and touring bassist with White Lion, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, David Lee Roth, Megadeth (“Trust,” Mainstream Rock #5, 1997), Zakk Wylde, Black Label Society and others
1961 ● Graham “Suggs” McPherson → Vocals for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo, “I’m Only Sleeping” (UK #7, 1995)
1961 ● Wayne Coyne → Guitar and vocals for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1962 ● Tony Rebel (Patrick Barrett) → Jamaican roots reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter and DJ with over 10 solo albums and several singles, founder and CEO of Flames Records and organizer of the annual Rebel Salute music festival
1963 ● Tim Kelly → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/, age 355/1998
1964 ● David McCluskey → Drummer for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1971 ● Lee Agnew → Scottish drummer and son of Pete Agnew, co-founder and bassist for hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), joined the band in 1999 to replace deceased drummer Darrell Sweet
1887 ● Siophie Tucker (Sonya Kaalish) → Ukrainian-born singer, comedienne, actress, radio personality and a widely popular recording artist in the early 20th century, best known for her of comedic and risqué deliveries of popular songs, known as the “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” died of kidney failure on 2/9/1966, age 79

January 14

1908 ● Russ Colombo (Ruggiero Eugenio Colombo) → Italian-American pop singer, prototypical ballad crooner, romantic idol and sometime actor best known for his signature tune, “You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love” (1931), also co-wrote the now-standard pop tune “Prisoner Of Love” (1931) which has been covered by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, James Brown (#18, R&B #6, 1963) and many others, died under mysterious circumstances from an accidental gunshot wound on 9/2/1934, age 26
1929 ● William Marvin “Billy” Walker → The “Tall Texan,” country and country-pop music singer and songwriter with over 50 charting songs and 13 Country Top 10 hits in a nearly sixty-year career, but only one Number 1, “(I’d Like To Be In) Charlie’s Shoes” (Country #1, 1962), died in a car accident returning to his Nashville home from an Alabama concert on 5/21/2006, age 77
1936 ● Clarence Carter → Blind from birth, gritty Muscle Shoals R&B/soul singer and guitarist, “Slip Away” (#6, 1968) and the Grammy-winning “Patches” (#4, 1970) plus five other R&B Top 10 hits
1937 ● Billie Jo Spears → Female bluesy-voiced trad-country balladeer with two minor crossover hits in the U.S., “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over” (#80, Country #4, 1969) and “Blanket On The Ground” (#78, Country #1, 1975) along with 19 other Country Top 40 hits and two Top 10 pop hits in the UK, where she had a considerable fan base, died from cancer on 12/14/2011, age 74
1938 ● Allen Toussaint → Highly influential New Orleans R&B songwriter, performer and producer, worked with numerous artists, among them Joe Cocker, The Band, Neville Brothers and Paul Simon, wrote several hit songs covered by others, including “Southern Nights” (Glen Campbell, #1, 1977), died from a heart attack following a performance in Spain on 11/10/2015, age 77
1938 ● John Allan “Jack” Jones → Grammy-winning jazz and contemporary-pop singer, “Wives And Lovers” (#14, 1963)
1941 ● Hubert Johnson → Cousin of R&B/soul legend Jackie Wilson and original member of early Motown R&B/soul quartet The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (#3, R&B #1, 1962), left Motown and the band in 1964, disappeared from the music business and suffered from depression until his death from suicide on 7/11/1981, age 40
1948 ● Joseph Henry “T-Bone” Burnett → Rootsy singer, songwriter, session guitarist, and Grammy-winning soundtrack and record producer, worked with dozens of top artists, including Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, BoDeans, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
1948 ● Tim Harris → Drummer in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1949 ● Lamar Williams → Bassist for Southern rock giants The Allman Brothers Band, joining after the death of original bassist Berry Oakley in 1972, left in 1976 to co-found jazz-rock fusion Sea Level, “That’s Your Secret” (#50, 1978), died of lung cancer on 1/21/1983, age 33
1956 ● Bob Bradbury → Vocals for Brit teenage glam rockers Hello, “Tell Him” (UK #6, 1975)
1959 ● Chas Smash (Cathal Smyth aka Carl Smyth) → Horns for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1959 ● Geoff Tate → Vocals for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1961 ● Mike Tramp → Vocals for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1962 ● Patricia Morrison → Heavy metal bassist for The Gun Club, goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992) and reformed punk-rock The Damned
1965 ● Slick Rick (Richard Walters) → British-American “Golden Age” rapper, “Children’s Story” (Rap #2, 1989)
1967 ● Steve Bowman → Founding member and first drummer for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994), left in 1994 to join Third Eye Blind and later John Wesley Harding and Luce
1967 ● Zakk Wylde (Jeffrey Phillip Wiedlant) → Long-time friend of and guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, left in 1994 to form power trio Pride & Glory, then Black Label Society, “Stillborn” (Mainstream Rock #20, 2003)
1968 ● LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) → Prolific and long-lived East Coast rap-pop artist, “Hey Lover” (#3, 1995) and 12 other Top 40 and nine Rap Top 10 hits
1969 ● Dave Grohl → Vocals and drummer for grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), then founded hard rock Foo Fighters, “All My Life” (#5, 1995)
1974 ● Denise Van Outen → TV host, stage actress and adult contemporary pop singer, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (UK #23, 2002), a duet with Andy Williams who was 45 years her senior
1981 ● Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez) → Cuban-American Southern rap (crunk) artist, “I Know You Want Me” (#2, 2009)
1982 ● Anthony Caleb Followill → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern blues-indie rock Kings Of Leon, “Sex On Fire” (Modern Rock #1, 2008)
1989 ● Frankie Sandford → Brit R&B and pop singer, songwriter, occasional actress and member of pre-fab teen dance-pop S Club 8, “Fool No More” (UK #4, 2003), left in 2007 to join electro-pop girl-group The Saturdays, “Missing You” (UK #3, 2010)

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 18

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

December 19

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

December 20

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

December 21

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

December 22

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

December 23

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

December 24

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

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