Posts Tagged rock star birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (June 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 18

1913 ● Sammy Cahn / (Samuel Cohen) → LA-based musician, songwriter and Tin Pan Alley-style lyricist for romantic films and Broadway shows, wrote or co-wrote dozens of popular songs, including the enduring and oft-covered “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (Vaughan Moore, #1, 1946), collaborated on multiple hits by Frank Sinatra, including “All The Way” (#1, 1957), died from congestive heart failure on 1/15/1993, age 79
1938 ● Sugarcane Harris / (Don Francis Bowman Harris) → Guitarist, pianist and half the 50s rock ‘n’ roll duo Don & Dewey, switched to electric violin and did session work for Little Richard, John Mayall, Frank Zappa and others, died from pulmonary disease on 11/30/1999, age 61
1942 ● Carl Radle / → Bass guitarist for Derek & The Dominos, Eric Clapton band, Delaney & Bonnie, sessions for George Harrison, died of kidney failure on 5/30/1980, age 37
1942 ● Paul McCartney / → The most successful rock composer of all time, with John Lennon co-wrote 21 US #1 and has over 30 US #1 singles as a solo artist and frontman for his band Wings
1942 ● Richard Perry / → Highly successful and popular record producer with twelve gold discs, label owner (Planet Records, 1978-83), worked with Captain Beefheart, The Pointer Sisters, Diana Ross, Leo Sayer, Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand and others
1944 ● RickGriffin / (Richard Alden Griffin) → Cartoonist, graphic artist and pioneering designer of psychedelic posters and album covers, including work for the Grateful Dead, the Fillmore West, Jimi Hendrix and others, frequent contributor to Zap Comix magazine, died in a motorcycle accident on 8/18/1991, age 47
1944 ● Sandy Posey / → Session vocalist for Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge (backing vocals on “When A Man Loves A Woman,” #1, 1966) and others, then pop singer, “Born A Woman” (#12, 1966) and three more Top 40 hits in the 60s, turned to countrypolitan pop in the 70s and scored six Country Top 40 hits, continued to record and perform into the 00s
1952 ● Ricky Gazda / → Trumpets for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (“Talk To Me,” 1978) and later as a member of The Miami Horns, the touring and session recording horn section that backed Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven, <, Sheryl Crow and many others
1953 ● Jerome Smith / → Rhythm guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits, died in a construction site accident on 7/28/2000, age 47
1961 ● Alison Moyet / → Bluesy-voiced Brit pop-rock singer in synth-pop duo Yazoo, “Nobody’s Diary” (Dance/Club #1, 1983), solo, “Invisible” (#31, 1985)
1963 ● Dizzy Reed / (Darren Arthur Reed) → Keyboards for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988)
1969 ● Sice / (Simon Rowbottom) → Guitarist and vocals for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Nathan Morris / → Baritone for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1973 ● Gary Stringer / → Vocals for hard-edged Brit pop Reef, “Place Your Hands” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1997) from the UK #1 album Glow
1973 ● Ray LaMontagne / → Folk, folk-rock and folk-blues singer, songwriter and guitarist with five studio LPs, including Gossip In The Grain (#3, 2008), and multiple singles (“Beg, Steal Or Borrow,” AAA #1, 2010)
1975 ● Sikk The Shocker / (Vyshonne King Miller) → Vocals for gangsta rap trio The Real Untouchables (TRU), “I Always Feel Like” (#71, Rap #11, 1997), solo, “It Ain’t My Fault” (#18, R&B #5, Rap #1, 1998)
1976 ● Blake Shelton / → Country-pop crossover singer, songwriter and TV show star, “Austin” #18, Country #1, 2001) and 19 other Country #1 hits plus 13 other Pop Top 40 hits, judge of music competition shows Nashville Star, Clash Of The Choirs and The Voice

June 19

1902 ● Guy Lombardo / (Gaetano Alberto Lombardo) → Canadian-American easy listening violinist and bandleader, formed big band The Royal Canadians with three brothers and several other musicians in the 20s and became known for nearly 50 years of New Years Eve radio and then TV broadcasts, moonlighted as a hydroplane speedboat racer, won the Gold Cup and every other trophy in the field, died from a heart attack on 11/5/1977, age 75
1914 ● Lester Flatt / → Legendary and musically prodigious bluegrass guitarist, cohort of Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys and in duo Flatt & Scruggs, died of heart failure on 5/11/1979, age 64
1925 ● Charlie Drake / (Charles Edward Spungall) → Brit comedian, children’s songwriter, TV actor and BBC program host, and (in the U.S.) one hit wonder novelty song singer, “My Boomerang Won’t Come Back” (#21, UK #14, 1962), died in his sleep on 12/23/2006, age 81
1936 ● Shirley Goodman / → One half of 50s teen R&B/pop male-female contrasting duet-style Shirley & Lee, “Let The Good Times Roll” (#20, R&B #1, 1956), resurfaced as lead singer for one hit wonder, pre-disco dance-pop Shirley & Company, “Shame Shame Shame” (#12, 1974), died on 7/5/2005, age 69
1936 ● Tommy DeVito / → Founding member, guitarist and singer for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), left in 1971 and sold his stake in the group to cover gambling and tax debts
1939 ● Al Wilson / → R&B/smooth soul vocalist, “Show and Tell” (#1, 1973), died of kidney failure on 4/21/2008, age 68
1942 ● Spanky McFarlane / (Elaine McFarlane) → Frontwoman and lead vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), joined the reformed The Mamas & The Papas in 1982
1944 ● Robin Box / → Lead guitar for Brit pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1945 ● Robert Palmer, Jr. / (Robert Franklon Palmer, Jr.) → Musician, journalist, author and rock music critic, played clarinet in 60s jazz-rock The Insect Trust, covered rock music for the New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s and 80s, produced blues albums and published books in the 80s and 90s, died from liver disease on 11/20/1997, age 52
1948 ● Nick Drake / → Dark-themed, multi-instrumentalist Brit folk-rock singer/songwriter, notable album Pink Moon (1972), committed suicide on 11/25/1974, age 26
1950 ● Ann Wilson / → With younger sister Nancy, co-frontwoman for hard AOR rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1953 ● Larry Dunn / (Larry Dunn (Lawrence Dunhill)) → Keyboards, synthesizer and musical director for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1954 ● Lou Pearlman / (Louis Jay Pearlman) → Record producer, band manager and fraudster known first as the manager of 90s boy bands Backstreet Boys (“Quit Playing Games )With My Heart),” #2, UK #2, 1996) and NSYNC (“Bye Bye Bye,” $1, UK #3, 2000), later achieved infamy as the perpetrator of a $300 million Ponzi scheme, tried and convicted in 2008, sentenced to 25 years in prison, where he died from a heart attack on 8/19/2016, age 62
1957 ● Maxi Jazz / (Maxwell Fraser) → Rapper in electronic house-pop club quartet Faithless, “Insomnia” (Dance/Club #1, 1997)
1959 ● Marty DeBarge / (Mark DeBarge) → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1960 ● Dennis Fuller / → With Edem Ephraim, one half of Brit/Austrian dance-europop London Boys, “London Nights” (UK #2, 1989), died with Ephraim in a car collision on 1/21/1996, age 36
1962 ● Paula Abdul / → Former L. A. Laker cheerleader and rock/pop stage and video dance choreographer turned hugely successful dance-pop diva, “Opposites Attract” (#1, 1989) and five other US #1 hits, producer and judge on the TV show American Idol
1963 ● Simon Wright / → Drummer for hard rock AC/DC starting in 1983, left in 1989 to join heavy metal Dio
1964 ● Brian Vander Ark / → Frontman, guitar and vocals for alt/indie pop-rock The Verve Pipe, “The Freshmen” (#5, 1997)
1970 ● Brian “Head” Welch / (Brian Welch) → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002), solo
1976 ● Scott Avett / (Scott Yancey Avett) → With brother Seth, frontman and guitarist in progressive folk-rock quartet The Avett Brothers (Ain’t No Man,” AAA #1, Alt Rock #28, 2016), also paints and runs an art gallery in North Carolina
1983 ● Macklemore / (Ben Haggerty) → Rapper and songwriter, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with Ryan Lewis as the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the pair had back-to-back debut singles, “Can’t Hold Us” (#1, 2011) and “Thrift Shop” (#1, 2013), and four Grammy Awards in 2014

June 20

1907 ● Jimmy Driftwood / (James Corbitt Morris) → Legendary and prolific country, folk-pop and roots rock songwriter, wrote thousands of songs (of which some 300 were recorded), often with American history themes such as the oft-covered “The Battle Of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton, #1, 1959), died of a heart attack on 7/12/1998, age 91
1920 ● Danny Cedrone / (Donato Joseph Cedrone) → Rock ‘n’ roll guitarist with Bill Haley & His Comets, played lead on all their hits including “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), died instantly from a broken neck after falling down a staircase on 6/7/1954 at age 34 and never knew his role in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll
1924 ● Chet Atkins / (Chester Burton Atkins) → Eleven-time Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist, songwriter, sessionman, producer and solo artist, “Yakety Axe” (Country #4, 1965), created the smoother “Nashville Sound” blending country and pop, died from a brain tumor on 6/30/2001, age 77
1928 ● Eric Dolphy / → Avant garde “free jazz” flute, alto sax and clarinet musician, influenced jazz-rock fusionists, died suddenly from a diabetic coma on 6/29/1964, age 36
1936 ● Billy Guy / → Bass singer for R&B/doo wop/soul-pop The Coasters, “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958), solo comedy album plus producer, died in his sleep of a probable heart attack on 11/5/2002, age 66
1936 ● Mickie Most / (Michael Peter Hayes) → Producer for The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, The Nashville Teens, Lulu and Jeff Beck, formed RAK Records in 1969 and issued hits for Hot Chocolate, Mud and Suzi Quatro, died of cancer on 5/30/2003, age 66
1937 ● Jerry Keller / → One hit wonder pop singer/songwriter, “Here Comes Summer” (#14, UK #1, 1959), wrote several minors hit for others and soundtracks, TV commercial jingle vocalist
1942 ● Brian Wilson / → Leader, keyboards, bass guitar, lead and backing harmony vocals and chief songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), referred by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “one of the few undisputed geniuses in popular music”
1945 ● Anne Murray / → Grammy-winning, Nova Scotia-born country-pop and adult contemporary singer, “You Needed Me” (#1, 1978)
1948 ● Alan Longmuir / → Bassist for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1948 ● Don Airey / → Long and varied journeyman career as keyboard sessionman and bandmember for Hammer, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Jethro Tull, Colosseum II, Whitesnake, Judas Priest and others, with Deep Purple since 2002
1949 ● Lionel Richie / → Saxophone and vocals for R&B/soul-funk The Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978), then hugely successful R&B-pop/adult contemporary solo career beginning with “Endless Love” (#1, 1981), the first of 13 straight Top 10 hits, five of which were #1
1954 ● Michael Anthony / (Michael Anthony Sobolewski) → Founding member and only bassist for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), co-founded blues-funk-rock supergroup Chickenfoot in 2008, markets a line of hot sauces and related products named Mad Anthony
1958 ● Kelly Johnson / → Founding member, vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981), died of spinal cancer on 7/15/2007, age 49
1958 ● Simon Underwood / → Bassist for post-punk Pigbag, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” (Dance/Club #56, UK #3, 1981)
1960 ● Chris Gibson / → Percussion and vocals with brothers Patrick and Alex in R&B/disco-salsa The Gibson Brothers, “Cuba” (Dance/Club #9, 1979)
1960 ● John Taylor / → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001), co-founded The Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and mid-90s supergroup Neurotic Outsiders, “Jerk” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1996), plus solo, ” I Do What I Do” (Theme from 9-1/2 Weeks) (#23, 1986)
1967 ● Jerome Fontamillas / → Guitars, keyboards and vocals with several industrial and alt rock bands in the 90s, in 2000 joined Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1968 ● Murphy Karges / → Bassist for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1971 ● Twiggy Ramirez / (Jeordie Osbourne White) → Bassist for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), later Nine Inch Nails touring band, A Perfect Circle and Goon Moon
1972 ● Chino Moreno / → Vocals for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000), ranked #51 in Hit Parader magazine’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time
1979 ● Charlotte Hatherly / → Founding member, guitar and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)

June 21

1926 ● Nick Noble / (Nicholas Valkan) → Pop and easy listening singer with several Top 40 hits in the 50s and 60s, including “A Fallen Star” (#22, 1957) and a minor but near-career reviving country-pop crossover hit, “Stay With Me” (AC #38, Country #40, 1978), died on 3/24/2012, age 85
1932 ● Carl White / → Lead vocals and songwriter for 60s R&B/doo wop two hit wonder quartet The Rivingtons, co-wrote their novelty pop classics “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” (#48, 1962) and “The Bird’s The Word” (#52, 1963), died from acute tonsillitis on 1/7/1980, age 47
1932 ● Lalo Schifrin / → Argentinean-born, Grammy-winning pianist, conductor, composer and arranger of TV and film soundtracks, including “Mission: Impossible” (Adult Contemporary #7, 1968), “Jaws” (Disco #5, 1976) and the theme song to Mannix (1967-1975), also worked with Clint Eastwood to compose the scores to several films in the Dirty Harry series
1942 ● O.C. Smith / (Ocie Lee Smith) → Jazz vocalist in Count Basie‘s band, then country-R&B-pop solo singer, “Little Green Apples” (#2, 1968), later became a pastor and church leader, died on 11/23/2001, age 59
1944 ● Jon Hiseman / → Brit jazz-rock drummer with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, left to form prog rock Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), recording engineer, producer and music publisher
1944 ● Miquel Vicens Danus / → Bassist for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1944 ● Ray Davies / → Founding member, frontman, guitar, vocals and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970) and “Come Dancing” (#6, 1983)
1946 ● Brenda Holloway / → Second-tier Motown Records R&B/soul singer, “Every Little Bit Hurts” (#13, 1964), left the label in the late 60s for “religious reasons” and to raise a family, released a one-off gospel album in 1980, returned to recording and performing on the revival circuit and continues as of 2015
1947 ● Joey Molland / (Joseph Charles Molland) → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for Brit power pop Badfinger, “Come And Get It” (#7, 1970), has performed in various incarnations of the band for four decades
1949 ● Greg Munford / → Lead vocals for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Joey Kramer / (Joseph Michael Kramer) → Long-time drummer 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)
1951 ● Alan Silson / → Lead guitar and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1951 ● Nils Lofgren / → Rock guitarist, pianist, songwriter and vocals, joined Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse in 1968, from 1971 to 1974 recorded four albums with his own band, Grin, solo, “Valentine”, (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), joined Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band in 1984 and is a two-time member with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band
1957 ● Mark Brzezicki / → Drummer for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), also stints with The Cult, Ultravox and Procol Harum, plus session work for The Pretenders, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and others
1959 ● Kathy Mattea / → Grammy-winning bluegrass and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Goin’ Gone” (Country #1, 1987) and 13 other Country Top 10 singles
1959 ● Marcella Detroit / (Marcella Levy) → Back-up singer for Eric Clapton, then vocalist and songwriter in R&B/synth-pop duo Shakespear’s Sister, “Stay” (#4, 1992), sessions, solo
1967 ● Tim Simenon / → Hip hop producer, co-produced for Neneh Cherry and Seal, composer and frontman for one man electronic/sampladelic Bomb The Bass, “Beat Dis” (Dance/Club #1, 1988)
1968 ● Sonique / (Sonia Clarke) → Brit dance-pop diva and DJ, first with dance-pop acid house S’Express, “Theme From S’Express” (Dance/Club #1, 1988), then solo, “Feels So Good” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 2000)
1969 ● Pat Sansone / → Multi-instrumentalist for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1975 ● Justin Cary / → Bassist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1976 ● Michael Aaron Einziger / → Guitarist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Brandon Flowers / → Vocals and keyboards for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1985 ● Lana Del Ray / (Elizabeth Grant) → Model, guitarist and trip hop/house singer, “Summertime Sadness” (#6, 2012)

June 22

1913 ● Dotty Todd / (Doris Dabb) → With her husband in one hit wonder pop singing duo Art & Dotty Todd, “Chanson D’Amour” (“Love Song”) (#6, 1958), continued to perform on radio and in Las Vegas cabarets until retiring in 1980, died from natural causes on 10/10/2007, age 87
1927 ● Remo Delmo Belli / → Creator of the less expensive, more durable synthetic drumhead cover in the late 50s, which launched thousands of 60s garage bands and fueled the rock ‘n’ roll boom, died from pneumonia on 4/25/2016, age 88
1930 ● Roy Drusky / → Countrypolitan music singer and songwriter with twelve Country Top 10 hits in the 60s and 70s but only one crossover single, “Three Hearts In A Triangle” (#35, Country #2, 1961), died from lung cancer on 9/23/2004, age 74
1936 ● Kris Kristofferson / → Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter, wrote “Me & Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin, #1, 1971), solo artist, “Why Me” (#16, Country #1, 1973), film actor in many top films and roles, including A Star Is Born (1976) opposite Barbra Streisand, husband of folkie Rita Coolidge from 1973 to 1980
1937 ● Chris Blackwell / → Highly-influential Brit music executive and producer, founder of fiercely independent Island Records, which forged the early careers of Traffic, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and countless other rock acts, founded Mango Records and Palm Records, currently oversees Jamaican resort properties and philanthropic organizations
1942 ● Deodato / (Eumir Deodato de Almeida) → Brazilian multi-instrumentalist producer and arranger known for mixing rock, R&B/funk and heavy Latin influences in a crossover orchestral jazz sound, scored several instrumental pop and disco dance-pop hits in the 70s and 80s, including a rendition of “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” (#2, 1973), also arranged and produced hundreds of albums for multiple artists over three decades through the 00s
1944 ● Bill Thompson / → Manager for psychedelic rock Jefferson Airplane (“Somebody To Love,” #5, 1967) through successful but turbulent times from 1968 to 1972, stayed with the band members for various solo projects, including folk-rock Hot Tuna (LP Burgers, 1972) and reformation as electric folk/pop-rock Jefferson Starship (“Miracles,” #3, 1975) and spinoff pop-rock Starship (“We Built This City,” #1, 1985), died of a heart attack on 1/12/2015, age 70
1944 ● Peter Asher / → With Gordon Waller, one half of the acclaimed British Invasion pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love” (#1, 1964) and nine other Top 30 hits in the mid-60s, manager, record producer and one-time head of Apple Records
1947 ● Howard Kaylan / → With long-time collaborator Mark Vollman, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Vollman, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Todd Rundgren / → Guitarist, singer/songwriter, bandleader for pop-rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#71, 1969) and Utopia, “Set Me Free” (#27, 1980), solo, “I Saw The Light” (#16, 1972), member of The New Cars, “Not Tonight” (2006) and producer of albums by Meat Loaf, The Band, Badfinger and Grand Funk Railroad, among others
1949 ● Alan Osmond / → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1953 ● Cyndi Lauper / → Nasally-voiced, rag-tag early MTV star pop-rock girl solo singer, “Time After Time” (#1, 1983)
1956 ● Derek Forbes / → Bassist for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1956 ● Green Gartside / (Paul Julian Strohmeyer) → Wales-born founding member, frontman, songwriter, vocals and only constant member of left-wing post-punk then pop-punk Scritti Politti, “Perfect Way” (#11, Dance/Club #6, 1985)
1957 ● Gary Beers / → Bassist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Ruby Turner / → Jamaican-born R&B/soul singer, backing vocals for R&B/reggae UB40 and Culture Club, then solo, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” (R&B #1, Dance/Club #5, 1989)
1959 ● Alan Anton / (Alan Alizojvodic) → Bassist for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1961 ● Jimmy Somerville / → Lead vocals and songwriter for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984), then vocals for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986)
1962 ● Stephen Vaughan / → Bassist for alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey, “Sheela-Na-Gig” (Alt Rock #9, 1991)
1964 ● Bobby Gillespie / → Drummer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994), then founding member, guitar and vocals for jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1964 ● Mike Edwards / → Vocals for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1964 ● Dicky Barrett / (Richard Michael Barrett) → Frontman and lead vocals for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997), radio DJ, TV voice-over artist and announcer for the Jimmy Kimmel Show
1965 ● Tommy Cunningham / → Drummer for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Steven Page / → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1973 ● Chris Traynor / → Guitarist and co-founder of post-hardcore Orange 9mm, then joined alt heavy metal Helmet, “Exactly What You Wanted” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), worked with alt-rock Bush, “The People That We love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2001), studio soundtrack sessions for Blue Man Group, touring and sessions with Blur, Rival Schools, Katy Perry and others
1976 ● Sally Polihronas / → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1981 ● Chris Urbanowicz / → Guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

June 23

1907 ● Eddie Pola / (Sydney Edward Pollacsek) → Radio and TV program producer, actor and songwriter best known for co-writing several enduring pop tunes with George Wyle, including “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” (1963), retired from the industry and taught elementary school music, died on 111/3/1995, age 88
1929 ● June Carter Cash / (Valerie June Carter) → Singer, songwriter, actress and country music matriarch, The Carter Family, solo, “Jackson” (Country #2, 1967), duets with her husband Johnny, the “Man in Black”, died on 5/15/2003, age 73
1937 ● Niki Sullivan / → Original member, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for Buddy Holly‘s backing group, The Crickets, co-wrote and/or sang on many of Holly‘s hit songs before leaving the band in 1957, died of a heart attack on 4/6/2004, age 66
1938 ● Alan Vega / (Boruch Alan Bermowitz) → Singer and guitarist with Martin Rev in highly influential, confrontational, proto-punk/minimalist duo Suicide, their eponymous debut album (1977) is considered a landmark of electronic music and a precursor to post-punk industrial rock, died in his sleep on 7/16/2016, age 78
1940 ● Jimmy Castor / (James Walter Castor) → Pop and funk saxophonist and singer, briefly replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers, then fronted novelty/disco-funk Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Caveman)” (#4, 1972), died from heart failure on 1/16/2012, age 72
1940 ● Adam Faith / (Terence Nelhams-Wright) → Brit teen-idol pop singer, “What Do You Want” (UK #1, 1959) and 10 other UK Top 10 hits, successful TV, film and stage actor with multiple roles, later became a largely unsuccessful financial advisor, died of a heart attack on 3/8/2003
1940 ● Stuart Sutcliffe / (Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe) → First Beatles bassist for 18 months in 1960-61, left the band when the others returned to England in July 1961 and remained in Hamburg, Germany where he died from a brain hemorrhage on 4/10/1962, age 21
1941 ● Robert Hunter / → Folk-bluegrass musician, singer, songwriter and poet best known as the Grateful Dead‘s lyricist, solo folk-country-rock artist
1944 ● Rosetta Hightower / (Rosetta Jeanette Hightower) → Lead vocals for mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), left the group in the late 60s for session work in England with Joe Cocker, John Lennon and others, died from a brain hemorrhage on 8/2/2014, age 70
1955 ● Glenn Danzig / (Glenn Allen Anzalone) → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founder/bandleader for hardcore “horror” punk The Misfits, “Dig Up Her Bones” (1997), left in 1983 to form heavy/death metal Samhain and later blues-metal Danzig, now runs an adult-entertainment comics magazine
1956 ● Randall Darius Jackson / → Session bass guitarist, bandmember for Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia, record producer, label executive, solo artist and now judge on popular TV show American Idol
1957 ● Lee John / (John Leslie McGregor) → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1960 ● Brendan O’Brien / → Former Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist and sessionman turned highly regarded and successful record producer and music company executive, worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others, won a Grammy Award for Bruce Springsteen‘s The Rising (2002) and produced thirteen other Billboard #1 albums
1962 ● Richard Coles / → Multi-instrumentalist for outwardly gay dance-pop The Communards, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#40, Dance/Club #1, 1986), now an ordained priest and BBC radio host
1962 ● Steve Shelley / → Drummer for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1965 ● Bonehead Arthurs / (Paul Arthurs) → Guitar for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, left the band in 1999
1966 ● James MacPherson / → Drummer for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, 1993)
1966 ● Mark Chadwick / → Guitar and vocals for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1975 ● KT Tunstall / (Kate Victoria Tunstall) → Scottish singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” (#20, Adult Top 40 #9, 2006)
1977 ● Jason Mraz / → Grammy-winning contemporary pop-rock singer/songwriter, “I’m Yours” (#6, 2008)
1980 ● Jessica Taylor / → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Antony Costa / → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1984 ● Duffy / (Aimée Ann Duffy) → Grammy-winning Welsh singer-songwriter, “Mercy” (Adult Top 40 #9, 2008)

June 24

1921 ● Peggy DeCastro / → Eldest of three sisters who formed the 50s Cuban-American pop singing trio The DeCastro Sisters (“Teach Me Tonight,” #2, 1954), left for a mediocre solo career but continued to perform with her sisters and various other members until her death from lung cancer on 3/6/2004, age 82
1933 ● Rosalie Sorrels / (Rosalie Ann Stringfellow) → Influential folk singer-songwriter and social activist who performed at the Newport Folk Festival in 1966, at Woodstock in 1969 and at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1972 but never achieved commercial success despite inspiring younger artists in the 70s and 80s, appearing on National Public Radio (NPR) on numerous occasions and recorded over 20 folk albums, including the Grammy-nominated My Last Go ‘Round (2005), died from colon cancer and complications of dementia on 6/11/2017, age 83
1939 ● Oz Bach / (Paul Bach) → Founding member, bass guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), session work for Fred Neil, Tom Paxton, Linda Ronstadt and Steve Miller, among others, died of cancer on 9/21/1998, age 59
1944 ● Arthur Brown / → Outlandish, theatrical, hellfire-bearing frontman for one hit wonder, psychedelic pop The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#2, 1968), played the Priest in the rock film Tommy (1975)
1944 ● Charlie Whitney / → Guitarist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1944 ● Chris Wood / → Founding member, saxophone and flute for folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and later reformed Traffic, sessions, died of pneumonia on 7/12/1983, age 39
1944 ● Jeff Beck / → Highly influential, five-time Grammy-winning lead guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, replaced Eric Clapton in blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, multiple solo albums and singles, “People Get Ready” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1985), formed The Honeydrippers with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Nile Rodgers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984), #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Great Guitarists of All-Time
1945 ● Colin Blunstone / → Founding member and lead vocals in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), then solo, “Say You Don’t Mind” (UK #15, 1972), contributed lead vocals for several Alan Parsons Project tracks
1947 ● Mick Fleetwood / → Founding member, part namesake and drummer for Brit blues-rock then huge pop-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977)
1948 ● Patrick Moraz / → Prog and jazz-rock keyboardist, replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes 1974-76, then 1978-1991 with The Moody Blues, “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986), solo
1949 ● John Illsley / → Bass and vocals for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1950 ● Duckie Simpson / (Derrick Simpson) → Co-founder and only constant member of Grammy-winning, second generation reggae band Black Uhuru, album Anthem was the Best Reggae Album of 1984
1957 ● Astro / (Terence Wilson) → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1959 ● Andy McCluskey / → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1961 ● Curt Smith / → Bass and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1961 ● Dennis Danell / → Founding guitarist in Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996), died from a brain aneurysm on 2/29/2000, age 38
1967 ● Jeff Cease / → Lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991), left in 1991
1967 ● Richard Zven Kruspe / → Lead guitarist for heavy metal/industrial Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Medeiros / → Teen idol poster-boy singer, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and duet with Bobby Brown, “She Ain’t Worth It” (#1, 1990)

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This Week’s Birthdays (June 11 – 17)

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 11

1934 ● “Pookie” Hudson / (James Hudson) → Frontman and lead vocals for pioneer R&B/doo wop The Spaniels, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” (R&B #5, 1954), died of cancer on 1/16/2007, age 72
1936 ● Jud Strunk / (Justin Strunk, Jr.) → One hit wonder country-pop singer, comedian and humorous songwriter with the novelty hit “Daisy A Day” (#14, AC #4, 1973), semi-regular on TV comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the 70s, died when he suffered a heart attack while piloting a small plane which crashed on takeoff on 10/15/1981, age 45
1940 ● Joey Dee / (Joseph DiNicola) → Frontman and lead vocals for early rock ‘n’ roll Joey Dee & The Starlighters, the house band at New York’s Peppermint Lounge, “The Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and “Shout” (#6, 1962)
1947 ● Glenn Leonard / → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), solo
1947 ● Richard Palmer-James / → Lyricist for prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), lyricist and guitar for prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1948 ● Skip Alan / (Alan Ernest Skipper) → Drummer for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1949 ● Frank Beard / → Drummer for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1951 ● Lynsey De Paul / (Lyndsey Monkton Rubin) → Brit R&B/disco singer and songwriter, “Sugar Me” (UK #5, 1972), first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting, “Won’t Somebody Dance With Me?” (Best Ballad, 1974)
1952 ● Donnie Van Zant / (Donald Newton Van Zant) → Lead vocals and frontman for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981), then Van Zant, brother of deceased Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant
1960 ● David Baerwald / → One-half of New wave synth-pop duo David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”(Top Rock #8, 1986)
1960 ● Nick “The Head” Hallam / (Nick Hallam) → Producer, co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader of Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1961 ● Rob B. / (Robert Charles Birch) → Co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader/vocals for Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1976 ● Tai Anderson / → Bassist in Grammy-winning Christian rock quartet Third Day, “Born Again” (Hot Christian Songs #3, 2009)

June 12

1909 ● Archie Bleyer / → Bandleader, pop recording artist (“The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane”, #26, 1954), producer (The Everly Brothers), Cadence Records owner (Andy Williams, The Chordettes, Johnny Tillotson, Lenny Welch and others), died from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 3/20/1989, age 79
1914 ● Bill Kenny / → The “Godfather of Doo-Wop,” guitarist and tenor vocals for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), continued with various incarnations of the group through the 50s and followed with a successful solo career and host of his own musical variety show, died from respiratory illness on 3/23/1978, age 63
1928 ● Vic Damone / (Victor Rocco Farinola) → Prototypical Italian/American crooner, “On The Street Where You Live” (#4, 1958), TV variety-show host and film actor
1932 ● Charlie Feathers / (Charles Arthur Feathers) → Influential but unheralded blues, country and rockabilly singer and songwriter, early fixture at Sun Records where he recorded several singles and co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” (Country #1, 1955), left for rivals Meteor and King Records in the late 50s and cut several now-classic rockabilly singles, died following a stroke on 8/29/1998, age 66
1937 ● Chips Moman / (Lincoln Wayne Moman) → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and music executive, left Stax Records in 1964 to found American Sound Studios, produced over 100 hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Keep On Dancing” by The Gentrys (#4, 1965), “The Letter” by The Box Tops (#1, 1967) and “In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley (#3, 1969), co-wrote the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” for B.J. Thomas (#1, 1975), moved to Nashville and country music and recorded hits for many top artists, including “You Were Always On My Mind” for Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from emphysema on 6/13/2016, age 79
1941 ● Chick Corea / (Armando Anthony Corea) → Grammy-winning jazz and electric jazz fusion pianist/synthesizer musician, composer, bandleader, played with Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Bobby McFerrin and others, solo
1941 ● Roy Harper / → Brit songwriter and folk-psych-rock singer, lead vocals on Pink Floyd‘s “Have A Cigar” (1975), Led Zeppelin‘s “Hat’s Of To Roy Harper” is a tribute to him
1942 ● Len Barry / (Leonard Borisoff) → Lead and tenor vocals for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961), then blue-eyed Philly soul singer, “1-2-3” (#2, R&B #11, 1965)
1943 ● Reg Presley / (Reginald Maurice Ball) → Lead singer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), used royalties from his composition “Love Is All Around” (Wet Wet Wet, Adult Contemporary #8, 1994) to fund research into crop circles and other paranormalities and publish a book, Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us, in 2002, died from lung cancer on 2/4/2013, a age 69
1944 ● Howard Cowart / → Blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Barry Bailey / → Lead guitarist for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978)
1949 ● John Wetton / (John Kenneth Wetton) → Bassist, songwriter and vocals for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), then joined a revamped prog rock King Crimson in 1972 and appeared on three albums, played with Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash before co-founding mainstream pop-rock Asia (“Heat Of The Moment,” #4, UK #46, 1982), collaborated with others and issued 20-odd solo albums in the 90s and 00s, died from colon cancer on 1/31/2017, age 67
1951 ● Brad Delp / → Lead vocals for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in at his home in New Hampshire on 3/9/2007, age 55
1951 ● Bun E. Carlos / (Brad Carlson) → Drummer for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1952 ● Junior Brown / (Jamieson Brown) → Country-rock bandleader and guitarist known for playing a “gut-steel” hybrid of electric and lap steel guitars, played with Asleep At The Wheel, solo albums since 1990
1952 ● Peter Farndon / → Bassist for post-punk New Wave hard pop-rock The Pretenders, “Back On The Chain Gang” (#5, 1982), fired from the band in late 1982, died from a drug overdose on 4/14/1983, age 30
1953 ● Rocky Burnette / (Jonathan Burnette) → Rowdy, high energy rockabilly revival singer and songwriter, “Tired Of Toein’ The Line” (#8, 1980), son of legendary Johnny
1959 ● John Linnell / (John Sidney Linnell) → Keyboards, accordion and saxophone for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Meredith Ann Brooks / → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bitch” (#2, 1997)
1960 ● Michael Hausman / → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985), artist manager
1962 ● Grandmaster Dee / (Drew Carter) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1965 ● Robin Wilson / → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1968 ● Bobby Sheehan / (Robert Vaughan Sheehan) → Bassist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995), died of a drug overdose on 8/20/1999, age 31
1969 ● Bardi Martin / → Bassist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1972 ● Bounty Killer / (Rodney Basil Price) → Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer, “Deadly Zone” (#79, Rap #8, 1998)
1977 ● Kenny Wayne Shepherd / (Kenny Wayne Brobst) → Self-taught blues-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Blue On Black” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1979 ● Robyn / (Robin Miriam Carlsson) → Swedish dance/pop singer, “Do You Know (What It Takes)” (#7, 1997)

June 13

1934 ● Uriel Jones / → Drummer in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 3/24/2009, age 74
1940 ● Bobby Freeman / (Robert Thomas Freeman) → Dance craze R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter who wrote and recorded the enduring hit, “Do You Want To Dance” (#5, 1958) while still a teenager, the song has been covered in multiple variations by TThe Beach Boys, John Lennon, The Ramones, Bette Midler and others, died following a heart attack on 1/23/2017, age 76
1941 ● Marv Tarplin / (Marvin Tarplin) → Session guitarist and songwriter for Motown Records, collaborated with Smokey Robinson, co-wrote and played on many R&B hits, including “Tracks Of My Tears” (#16, R&B #2, 1965) for The Miracless, left Motown in 1973 to work with Robinson in his solo career for the next 35 years, died from unspecified causes on 9/30/2011 , age 70
1942 ● James Carr / → Underappreciated R&B/Southern soul singer, “Dark End Of The Street” (#77, R&B #10, 1967), died of lung cancer on 1/17/2001, age 58
1943 ● Dyke Christian / (Arlester Christian) → Bassist, singer and frontman for 60s R&B/funk Dyke And The Blazers, the early backing band for The O’Jays, wrote “Funky Broadway” for Wilson Pickett (#8, Soul #1, 1967), had several minor hits with his band until he was shot to death on a Phoenix, AZ street on 3/13/1971, age 27
1943 ● Esther Ofarim / → One half of Israeli folk-pop-rock vocal duo Esther & Abi, “Cinderella Rockafeller” (UK #1, 1968)
1947 ● John Kahn / → Bass guitarist and session musician in the 60s and 70s for Mike Bloomfield, Brewer & Shipley, Maria Muldaur and others, best known for his 25 year collaboration with the Grateful Dead‘s Jerry Garcia in multiple projects, including The Jerry Garcia Band, bluegrass Old & In The Way, acoustic duo Garcia & Kahn plus other efforts with Merle Saunders and Howard Wales, died in his sleep on 5/30/1996, age 48
1949 ● Dennis Locorriere / → Guitarist for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1951 ● Howard Leese / → Guitar and keyboards for hard rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986)
1954 ● Jorge Santana / → Bandleader and guitarist for Latino rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1954 ● Bo Donaldson / (Robert Donaldson) → Pop-rock singer, keyboardist, trumpeter and frontman for The Heywoods, “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” (#1, 1974)
1957 ● Rolf Brendel / → Drummer for German pop-rock band Nena, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984)
1963 ● Paul DeLisle / → Bassist for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1963 ● Robbie Merrill / → Bassist for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1968 ● David Gray / → Brit singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Babylon” (Adult Top 40 #8, 2000)
1968 ● Deneice Pearson / → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1969 ● Søren Rasted / → Co-founder, keyboards and drum machine for Danish dance-pop Aqua, “Barbie Girl” (#7, 1997), which drew a lawsuit from Mattel for its sexual content, solo, producer, actor
1970 ● Rivers Cuomo / → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1978 ● J Brown / (Jason Paul Brown) → Vocals for pre-fabricated hip hop dance-pop boy band quintet Five, “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, UK #4, 1998)
1981 ● Kymberley Marsh / → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), quit the group in 2002 to pursue an acting career
1985 ● Raz-B / (De’Mario Monte Thornton) → Vocals for R&B/hip hop urban boy band B2K, “Bump, Bump, Bump” (#1, 2002)

June 14

1909 ● Burl Ives / → Grammy-winning, grandfatherly folk singer, “A Little Bitty Tear” (#9, 1962), stage and screen actor, writer, radio personality, died from mouth cancer on 4/14/1995, age 85
1929 ● Cy Coleman / (Seymour Kaufman) → Child-prodigy classical pianist turned jazz-pop artist and Tony Award-winning composer for Broadway and films, wrote music for multiple stage hits, including “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Big Spender” for Sweet Charity (1966), and the latter for Shirley Bassey (UK #21, 1967), scored music for the films Father Goose (1964), Power (1986) and others, periodically recorded solo albums and charted a lone hit, “Chloe” (Disco #8, 1975), died from a heart attack on 11/18/2004, age 75
1931 ● Junior Walker / (Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founder/frontman for R&/pop-soul Junior Walker & The All Stars, “Shotgun” (#4, 1965), solo and sessions, died of cancer on 11/23/1995, age 64
1936 ● Obie Benson / (Renaldo Benson) → Vocals for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), co-wrote Marvin Gaye‘s hit “What’s Goin’ On” (#2, 1971), died of lung cancer on 7/1/2005, age 69
1937 ● Chuck Berghofer / (Charles Curtis Berghofer) → Jazz and pop bassist, as a member of several 60s jazz ensembles played with Jack Shelton, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and other luminaries, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played the bass solo on Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” (#1, 1966), appeared on numerous film soundtracks, recently worked with Christine Aguilera, Michael Feinstein and others
1943 ● Spooner Oldham / (Dewey Lindon Oldham) → Keyboardist, songwriter and session musician, worked at FAME and Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama and appears on hundreds of songs and albums, including hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and countless others, co-wrote “Cry Like A Baby” for The Box Tops (#2, 1968), moved to Los Angeles in the 80s and continues to record and tour with artists including Neil Young and Drive-By Truckers
1945 ● Rod Argent / → Founding member, songwriter and keyboardist for underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969), frontman for hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), now a TV and film composer
1947 ● The Fish / (Barry Melton) → Co-founder and original guitarist for psych-country-protest-rock Country Joe & The Fish, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” (1967), later co-founded San Francisco neo-psych-rock supergroup The Dinosaurs, retired public defender in California
1949 ● Alan White / → Drummer for Plastic Ono Band and John Lennon, “Instant Karma!” (#3, 1970), played with George Harrison and joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force, replaced Bill Bruford in 1972 in archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983) and has played on every Yes album since
1949 ● Jim Lea / → Bass, piano, violin, vocals and songwriting for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1958 ● Nick Van Ede / → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, wrote “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1961 ● Boy George / (George O’Dowd) → Androgynous frontman and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#1, 1984), solo, “The Crying Game” (#15, 1993)
1963 ● Chris DeGarmo / → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1966 ● Matt Freeman / → Bassist in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)
1969 ● MC Ren / (Lorenzo Patterson) → Member of controversial/influential gangsta rap quintet N.W.A., “Express Yourself” (Hot Dance #38, 1989), solo, “Same Old Shit” (Rap #11, 1993)
1970 ● Chris Chaney / → Bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990)
1971 ● Billie Myers / → Pop, jazz and world music singer/songwriter, “Kiss The Rain” (#15, 1998)
1983 ● Siobhan Donaghy / → Vocals in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

June 15

1910 ● David Rose / → Emmy-winning composer, pianist and orchestra leader whose best known compositions include the jazzy instrumental “The Stripper” (#1, 1962), wrote film scores for Hollywood and many TV shows, including Bonanza and Little House On The Prairie, led the house band for The Red Skelton Show for 21 years, died of natural causes on 8/23/1990, age 80
1921 ● Errol Garner / → Virtuoso jazz and swing pianist, wrote the jazz standard, oft-covered and Grammy Hall of Fame song “Misty” (1954) and issued multiple jazz and jazz-pop albums, died of lung cancer on 1/2/1977, age 55
1929 ● Nigel Pickering / → Founding member, songwriter, rhythm guitarist and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from liver cancer on 5/5/2011, age 81
1937 ● Waylon Jennings / → Grammy-winning “outlaw” country guitarist, singer and songwriter, started in the Buddy Holly Band, solo, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” (#42, Country #1, 1978), formed mythic country supergroup The Highwaymen, “Highwayman” (Country #1, 1985), died from complications of diabetes on 2/13/2002, age 64
1941 ● Harry Nilsson / (Harry E. Nilsson, III) → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Everybody’s Talkin” (#6, 1969) from the movie Midnight Cowboy, and “Without You” (#1, 1972), died of heart failure on 1/15/1994, age 52
1943 ● Johnny Hallyday / (Jean-Phillipe Smet) → The “French Elvis”, major European pop star, “Mon Plus Beau Noel” (French #1, 2005), Jimmy Page, Peter Frampton and Foreigner‘s Mick Jones have played on his records
1943 ● Muff Winwood / (Mervyn Winwood) → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin”” (#7, 1967), producer, record executive, older brother of Steve Winwood
1944 ● Eddie Hinton / → Songwriter, session guitarist and member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, wrote the Dusty Springfield hit “Breakfast in Bed” (#91, 1969) and other songs, died from a heart attack on 7/28/1995, age 51
1946 ● Demis Roussos / (Artemios Roussos) → Operatic-voiced Greek singer and bassist with prog-rock Aphrodite’s Child, solo, “L.O.V.E. Got A Hold On Me” (Dance/Club #26, 1978)
1946 ● Janet Lennon / → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, continues to record and perform as a trio in the 10s
1946 ● Leo Nocentelli / → Guitarist in New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing guitarist for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, continues to perform with the band and as solo artist through the 10s
1946 ● Noddy Holder / (Neville Holder) → Guitar and vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984), TV actor, radio and TV presenter
1949 ● Meri Wilson (Edgmon) / (Meri Wilson Edgmon) → Model, sometime actress and one hit wonder singer/songwriter known for her double entendre smash “Telephone Man” (#18, UK #6, 1977), recorded one album of additional novelty-pop songs with mixed reviews and returned to singing jingles and modeling, died in a one car accident on an icy Georgia road on 12/28/2002, age 53
1949 ● Michael Lutz / → Guitarist for Detroit rock ‘n’ roll band Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” (#3, 1973)
1949 ● Russell Hitchcock / → Vocals for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1951 ● Steve Walsh / → Co-lead singer and keyboardist for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), then Streets
1954 ● Terri Gibbs / (Teresa Fay Gibbs) → Blind-from-birth child prodigy keyboardist and country-pop-gospel singer, “Somebody’s Knockin'” (#13, Country #8, 1980)
1956 ● Bernie Shaw / → Canadian vocalist for Brit hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1956 ● David Hinds / → Rhythm guitar and lead vocals for roots reggae Steel Pulse, “Prodigal Son” (UK #35, 1978)
1957 ● Brad Gillis / → Guitarist in one hit wonder pop-rock Rubicon, “I’m Gonna Take Care Of Everything” (#28, 1978), then Night Ranger, “Sister Christian” (#5, 1984) and Ozzy Osbourne‘s band
1958 ● Neil Arthur / → Singer for New Wave synth-pop duo Blancmange, “Don’t Tell Me” (UK #8, 1984)
1963 ● Scott Rockenfield / → Drummer for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Britt / → Lead guitar and backing vocals for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1966 ● Rob Mitchell / → Principal songwriter and lead guitarist for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1969 ● Ice Cube / (O’Shea Jackson) → Founding member of controversial/influential gangsta rap quintet N.W.A., “Express Yourself” (Hot Dance #38, 1989), solo rapper, “Check Yo Self” (#20, Rap #1, 1993)
1970 ● Chi Cheng / → Chinese-American bassist for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1976 ● Dryden Vera Mitchell / → Vocals for alt rock Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal” (#23, 2001)
1976 ● Gary Lightbody / → Guitar and vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)
1981 ● Billy Martin / → Guitar and keyboards for post-grunge punk-pop Good Charlotte, “The Anthem” (Alt Rock #10, 2003)
1985 ● Nadine Coyle / → Singer in pre-fab all-girl Euro-pop vocal group Girls Aloud, “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002)

June 16

1913 ● Ben Raleigh / → Prolific pop lyricist, wrote “Tell Laura I Love Her” for Ray Peterson (#7, 1960) and the theme song “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, died in a home fire on 2/26/1997, age 83
1934 ● Carl “Little Caesar”Burnett / (Carl Burnett) → Frontman and lead vocals for late doo wop era one hit wonder Little Caesar & The Romans, “Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)” (#9, 1961)
1939 ● Crash Craddock / (Billy Wayne Craddock) → 50s teen-pop turned country-pop singer, “Rub It In” (#16, Country #1, 1974) and 18 other Country Top 20 singles in the 70s
1941 ● Lamont Dozier / → Motown Records‘ musical arranger and producer with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, co-wrote many hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and others
1942 ● Edward Levert / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1942 ● John Rostill / → Composer and bassist, early career in backing bands for touring artists including The Everly Brothers and Tommy Roe plus a stint in the Zoot Money Quartet (with future Police guitarist Andy Summers), joined instrumental pop-rock The Shadows (“Foot Tapper,” UK #1, 1963) in the early 60s, wrote or co-wrote a number of hits for The Shadows and other artists, including “Let Me Be There” for Olivia Newton-John (#6, 1973), died from electrocution in his home recording studio on 11/26/1973, age 31
1945 ● Ivan Lins / → Latin Grammy-winning Brazilian jazz-pop vocalist with a 40-year recording history and multiple covers of his compositions by a diverse and growing group of artists, including Elle Fitzgerald, Sting, Dave Grusin, Michael Bublé and many others
1945 ● Rudolph Damiani / → Founding member and drummer for 60s Boston-based garage rock The Remains (“Don’t Look Back,” 1966), the band received critical acclaim, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hullabaloo, and opened for The Beatless’ 1966 tour but gained little commercial success and disbanded in 1966, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 2/23/2014, age 68
1946 ● Ian Matthews / (Iain Matthew McDonald) → Irish guitarist and songwriter with renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), formed light pop-folk-rock Southern Comfort, “Woodstock” (#23, 1970), solo, “Shake It” (#13, 1979)
1949 ● Peppy Castro / (Emil Thielheim) → Guitar and vocals for early psychedelic rock Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967), later formed pop-rock Balance, “Breaking Away” (#22, 1981)
1950 ● James Smith / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1952 ● Gino Vannelli / → Canadian soft rock singer/songwriter, “People Gotta Move” (#22, 1974) and “Living Inside Myself” (#6, 1981)
1953 ● Ian Mosley / → Drummer for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1953 ● Malcolm Paul Mortimer / → Drummer for Gentle Giant, Mick Jagger band, Ian Dury and others, session work
1954 ● Garry Roberts / (Garrick “Garry” Roberts) → Guitarist for Irish pop-punk Boomtown Rats, “I Don’t Like Mondays” (#73, 1979) and “Rat Trap” (UK #1, 1979), the first rock song by an Irish band to reach #1 in the UK
1958 ● Patrick Waite / → With brother Junior, bass guitar and vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982), died from hereditary heart failure while in police custody for drug charges on 2/13/1993, age 34
1971 ● Tupac Shakur / (Lesane Parish Crooks) → Dancer and rapper for Digital Underground, then solo gangsta rapper, “California Love” (#31, 1996), died following a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip on 9/13/1996, age 25
1987 ● Diana DeGarmo / → American Idol runner-up, Broadway actress, solo teen-pop singer, “Dreams” (#14, 2004)

June 17

1902 ● Sammy Fain / (Samuel E. Feinberg) → Broadway show songwriter and film score composer, penned the music for endearing popular songs, including “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” (1937) and “Tender Is The Night” (1962), won Oscars for “Secret Love” (1953) and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” (1955), scored film soundtracks for Alice In Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), April Love (1957) and the Broadway shows Hellzapoppin’ (1938), Christine (1960) and others, died from a heart attack on 12/6/1989, age 87
1910 ● Red Foley / (Clyde Julian Foley) → Pioneer country-pop crossover star in the post-WWII era with 56 Country Top 10 hits and 13 Pop Top 40 hits from 1944 to 1956, including “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” (#1, Country #1, 1950), continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack after a show in Indiana on 9/19/1968, age 58
1916 ● Terry Gilkyson / (Hamilton H. Gilkyson III) → Folk-pop singer and songwriter, wrote “The Cry Of The Wild Goose” (#1, 1950) for Frankie Lane and songs used by other artists, sang with The Weavers on “On Top Of Old Smokey” (#2, 1953), formed influential but unheralded folk trio The Easy Riders in the mid-50s and co-wrote their big hit, the oft-covered “Marianne” (#3, 1957), wrote songs that were used in Disney films, died from complications of an aneurysm on 10/15/1999 , age 83
1918 ● Billy Garland / (William Jefferson Garland) → Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter in the 40s, “Got Nothing On Me” (1945), died in a car accident on 3/16/1960, age 41
1930 ● Cliff Gallup / → Guitarist for rockabilly Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (#7, 1956), died of a heart attack on 10/9/1988, age 58
1937 ● Edward Farran / → With his identical twin brother, Fred and brothers Tom and Scott Herrick, singer in pop cover quartet The Arbors (“The Letter,” #20, 1969), coached rock and pop singers with voice lessons and wrote and sang commercial jingles for three decades thereafter, died of kidney failure on 1/2/2003, age 65
1937 ● Fred Farran / → With his identical twin brother, Ed and brothers Tom and Scott Herrick, singer in pop cover quartet The Arbors (“The Letter,” #20, 1969), stayed as a group after their fame ran out and wrote and recorded commercial jingles for three decades thereafter, died of pneumonia on 8/29/2011, age 74
1939 ● Dave Alldred / → Drummer in 50s Tex-Mex rockabilly The Rhythm Orchids with Buddy Knox, “Party Doll” (#1, 1957), co-wrote “Click Clack” (#28, 1958) and performed the song and others in the pop band Dickey Doo & The Don’ts, continued to perform in the 90s
1940 ● Chuck Rainey / → Jazz and R&B/soul-funk bassist for King Curtis‘ band, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, 1967), session work with Aretha Franklin and many others
1942 ● Norman Kuhlke / → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964)
1943 ● Barry Manilow / (Barry Alan Pincus) → Highly successful adult contemporary/MOR singer, “I Write The Songs” (#1, 1976), songwriter, producer, conductor and stage performer
1944 ● Chris Spedding / (Peter Robinson) → Brit rock and jazz guitarist with several solo albums and a lone single, “Motorbikin'” (UK Top 20, 1975), but mainly known for sessions and touring with Harry Nilsson, John Cale, Roxy Music, Elton John and others, Greedy Bastards
1947 ● Gregg Rolie / → Keyboardist and founding member of Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970) , then original lead singing for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), currently frontman for the Gregg Rolie Band
1947 ● Paul Young / → Singer and percussionist for Brit soft pop-rock Sad Café, “Every Day Hurts” (UK #3, 1979), then pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), died of a heart attack on 7/15/2000, age 53
1951 ● Lenny LeBlanc / → Guitarist, session musician, songwriter and one half of the light pop-rock duo LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), as part of the Muscle Shoals Studios (Alabama) house band recorded with numerous top artists, including The Supremes, Ricky Scaggs, Roy Orbison, Amy Grant and others, switched to Christian music in the 80s and continues to record and produce music
1957 ● Philip Chevron / → Guitarist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1958 ● Jello Biafra / (Eric Boucher) → Lead singer and songwriter for controversial hard core punk rock Dead Kennedys, “Too Drunk To F**k” (UK #31, 1980), leading figure of the Green Party in the US
1960 ● Michael Monroe / (Matti Fagerholm) → Vocals for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, “Up Around The Bend” (1984)
1965 ● Richard Hynd / → Drummer for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1969 ● Kevin Thornton / → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1972 ● Rikrok / (Ricardo George Ducent) → London-born, Jamaican descent reggae singer and songwriter, “It Wasn’t Me” (#1, 2000)
1981 ● Ben Kweiler / → Former teenage frontman for 90s post-grunge Radish, then solo, “Wasted & Ready” (Modern Rock #29, 2002) and two acclaimed Indie Top 10 albums, Ben Kweiler (#1, 2006 and Changing Horses (#8, 2009)
1983 ● Lee Ryan / → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1987 ● Kendrick Lamar Duckworth / → Grammy-winning hip hop solo artist (“Swimming Pools (Drank),” #17, Rap #1, 2012) and member of West Coast rap collaborative supergroup Black Hippy
1989 ● Simone Battle / (Simone Sherise Battle) → Actress and singer, The X Factor finalist in 2011 and member of pop girl group G.R.L. (“Ugly Heart,” #107, UK #11, 2014), committed suicide by hanging on 9/5/2014, age 25

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 21

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

May 22

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

May 23

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

May 24

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

May 25

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

May 26

1886 ● Al Jolson / (Asa Yoelson) → Pre-eminent traditional and Tin Pan Alley pop singer, Broadway actor, radio host, comedian, early sound-era movie star and self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” recorded dozens of still-popular songs, including “Swanee” (1921), “April Showers” (1924) and “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1927), starred in he first “talkie” film, The Jazz Singer (1927), continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 10/23/1950, age 64
1908 ● George Formby / (George Hoy Booth) → Widely popular Brit stage/screen actor, singing comedian and ukulele player, recorded more than 200 albums and appeared in 20 films, best known for the song “Leaning On A Lamp Post,” died after a heart attack on 3/6/1961, age 56
1909 ● Papa Charlie McCoy / (Charles McCoy) → Delta blues guitarist and songwriter, frontman for The Mississippi Hot Footers and partner is several bands with his older brother, Kansas Joe McCoy, with whom he recorded the earliest version of the now-standard “Sweet Home Chicago,” died from paralytic brain disease on 7/26/1950, age 41
1920 ● Peggy Lee / (Norma Deloris Egstrom) → Sultry, distinctive singer, pop-jazz-big band songwriter and actress, “Fever” (#8, 1958), Grammy-winner, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and others, died from complications of diabetes and a heart attack on 1/21/2002, age 81
1922 ● Frank Guida / → Sicilian-American record store owner turned songwriter and record producer credited with crafting the 60s lo-fi, dance-party “Norfolk Sound,” discovered and produced hits for doo-wop/soul Gary U.S. Bonds, including “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961), also co-wrote and produced “If You Wanna Be Happy” for Jimmy Soul (#1, 1963), died on 5/19/2007, age 85
1926 ● Miles Davis / (Miles Dewey Davis III) → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter and composer, major influence on jazz and fusion music, 8-time Grammy winner, including his 1970 album Bitches Brew, died on 9/28/1991, age 65
1938 ● Jaki Liebezeit / (Hans Liebezeit) → Quietly influential, minimalist rock drummer and core member of early Kraut rock, experi-pop/avant-garde Can, “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), died from pneumonia on 1/22/2017, age 78
1940 ● Leon Helm / (Mark Lavon Helm) → Arkansas farm boy, drummer and vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, producer, bandleader, hosts weekly Midnight Ramble revue near Woodstock, NY, died from cancer on 4/19/2012
1941 ● Art Sharp / → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Ray Ennis / → Vocals and guitar for British Invasionn pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#24, 1964)
1944 ● Verden Allen / (Terence Allen) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1945 ● Garry Peterson / → Long-time drummer for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● Mick Ronson / (Michael Ronson) → Guitarist, songwriter and producer, worked with David Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars, session work for Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Morrissey and others, Rolling Stone magazine’s 64th greatest guitarist of all time, died of liver cancer on 4/29/1993, age 46
1946 ● Ronnie Harkai / → Drummer for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), now a recording engineer, producer and music consultant
1948 ● Stevie Nicks / (Stephanie Lynn Nicks) → Hugely successful female rock/pop vocalist, achieved fame with blues-rock turned mega-star band Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (#10, 1977), successful solo career, “Talk To Me” (#4, 1985)
1949 ● Hank Williams, Jr. / (Randall Hank Williams, Jr.) → Country-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Honky Tonkin'” (1982), son of country music legend Hank Williams, Sr.
1958 ● Wayne Hussey / (Jerry Lovelock) → Guitarist for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985), then goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990)
1962 ● Colin Vearncombe / → Frontman and singer/songwriter for Brit pop-rock Black, “Wonderful Life” (UK #8, 1987), solo
1964 ● Lenny Kravitz / (Leonard Albert Kravitz) → Grammy-winning multi-instrumental singer, songwriter, “Fly Away” (#12, 199), session musician and singer with Mick Jagger, Madonna, David Bowie and others
1966 ● Tommy Stewart / → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), also with Everclear, Fuel, Halloween and other bands
1967 ● Kristen Pfaff / → Bass guitarist for Minneapolis post-hardcore Janitor Joe, recruited to Seattle grunge rock Hole in 1993, planned to return to Janitor Joe but died from an opium overdose on 6/16/1994, age 27
1968 ● Phillip Rhodes / → Drummer for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1971 ● Joey Kibble / → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Alan White / → Drummer (1994-2005, replacing Tony McCarroll) in Grammy-nominated Britpop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits
1978 ● Jaheim Hoagland / → R&B/dance-pop singer, “My Place” with Nelly (#4, Rap #4, 1992)
1981 ● Isaac Slade / → Co-founder, lead singer, pianist and chief songwriter of mainstream/piano rock The Fray, “How To Save A Life” (#3, 2006)

May 27

1922 ● Christopher Lee / → Decorated World War II RAF veteran, 70-year film actor (mostly villainous roles or in horror films) and singer with a late-in-life career as a heavy metal vocalist, often interpreting classical pieces in a hard rock mode, issued several “symphonic metal” albums and, at age 91, became the oldest living performer to score a chart hit with his seasonal “Jingle Hell” (#18, 2013) from the album A Very Metal Christmas (2013), continued to record until just before his death on 6/7/2015, age 93
1932 ● Junior Parker / (Hermon Parker, Jr.) → Memphis blues/soul vocalist, “Driving Wheel” (R&B #5, 1961), co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “Mystery Train” (Country #11, 1956), died during surgery to remove a brain tumor on 11/18/1971
1935 ● Ramsey Lewis / → Grammy-winning jazz/pop pianist, bandleader and composer, “The In Crowd” (#5, 1965)
1939 ● Don Williams / → Country’s “Gentle Giant,” mild-mannered, deep baritone mainstream countrypolitan singer and songwriter with 17 Country #1 hits, including “I Believe In You” (#24, Country #1, 1980), his songs have been covered by Eric Clapton (“Tulsa Time,” #30, 1980), Bonnie Raitt, Pete Townshend and multiple others
1943 ● Cilla Black / (Priscilla White) → Working-girl-made-good Swinging Sixties light pop Brit singer, actress and TV/radio personality with a 50-year career in music and entertainment, recorded 11 UK Top 10 singles, including “You’re My World” (#26, UK #1, 1964), hosted or guested on various BBC TV programs through the early 10s, died following a fall and stroke on 8/1/2015, age 72
1944 ● Billy Adamson / → Drummer for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), retired from the band in 1998 and died from undisclosed causes on 11/11/2013, age 69
1945 ● Bruce Cockburn / → Canadian folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Wondering Where The Lions Are” (#21, 1980)
1947 ● Marty Kristian / → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1947 ● Peter Knight / → Violin for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1948 ● Pete Sears / → Journeyman bassist and keyboardist, session work for Rod Stewart in 70s, 1974-1987 with Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987), then Hot Tuna, David Nelson Band, Moonalice and session work
1949 ● James Mitchell / → Vocals for R&B/soul quartet The Detroit Emeralds, “Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)” (#24, R&B #4, 1972), left to co-found R&B/quiet storm The Floaters, “Float On” (#2, 1977)
1957 ● Eddie Harsch / → Keyboards for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1957 ● Siouxsie Sioux / (Susan Dallion) → Vocals and frontwoman for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983)
1958 ● Neil Finn / → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980), left to form Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987), solo and Finn Brothers, “Won’t Give In” (UK #6, 2004)
1966 ● Sean Kinney / → Drummer in alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1971 ● Left Eye Lopes / (Lisa Nicole Lopes) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), died in a car accident on 4/25/2002, age 30
1975 ● André 3000 / (André Benjamin) → Half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (May 14 – 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 14

1916 ● Skip Martin / (Lloyd Martin) → Jazz and Big Band saxophonist, music arranger and orchestrator, played in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other big band’s and became a studio musician and arranger for Hollywood films in the 50s, including Judy Garland‘s comeback movie A Star Is Born (1954), died on 2/12/1976, age 59
1932 ● Bob Johnston / → Rockabilly and pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote numerous songs for Elvis Presley in the mid-60s, then produced a string of classic albums in the late 60s and 70s, including Bob Dylan‘s Blonde On Blonde and Johnny Cash‘s At Folsom Prison, fell into relative obscurity in the 80s and 90s but continued to produce independent albums, died from heart failure on 8/14/2015 , age 83
1936 ● Bobby Darin / (Walden Robert Cassotto) → Film actor (Come September, 1961), musician, adult pop vocalist, “Mack The Knife” (#1, 1959) and 20 other Top 40 singles, husband of actress/singer Sandra Dee,, died after open heat surgery to repair damaged valves on 12/20/1973, age 37
1936 ● Charlie Gracie / (Charles Graci) → Rockabilly and pop-rock guitarist and songwriter, Philadelphia’s first rock ‘n roll star and an American Bandstand regular, “Butterfly” (#1, 1957)
1938 ● Mike Preston / (Jack Davies) → Boxer turned pop singer, “Mr. Blue” (UK #12, 1959) turned Aussie and US TV/film actor, The A-Team and The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
1940 ● Troy Shondell / (Gary Shelton) → Transatlantic one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll/pop singer, “This Time” (#6, 1961), his stage name was the inspiration for Tommy James & The Shondells, later with Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville and ASCAP as a regional music publishing executive
1943 ● Clive Palmer / (Clive Harold Palmer) → Founding member and principal in Scottish psych-folk and early world music duo The Incredible String Band, 1968 album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter reached #161 in the US, died after a long illness on 11/23/2014, age 71
1943 ● Jack Bruce / (John Symon Asher Bruce) → Renowned Scottish bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, “Pretty Flamingo” (#29, UK #1, 1966) and Cream, co-wrote “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), “White Room” (#6, 1968) and “I Feel Free”, later with supertrio West Bruce & Laing and 14 solo albums through 2014, died from liver failure on 10/25/2014, age 71
1945 ● Lek Leckenby / (Derek Leckenby) → Guitar, banjo and songwriting for British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1, 1965), died from lymphoma on 6/4/1994, age 49
1945 ● Gene Cornish / → Guitar and vocals for blue-eyed soul-pop The Rascals, “Groovin'”, (#1, 1967), then power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978), solo
1947 ● Al Ciner / → Guitarist for pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968), Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974)
1950 ● Arthur James Grant / → Drummer for Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1952 ● David Byrne / → Guitar, vocals, songwriting and de facto frontman for art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), Grammy-winning solo artist and composer
1953 ● John Rutsey / → Drummer and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles, died from complications of diabetes on 5/11/2008, age 54
1956 ● H / (Steve Hogarth) → Lead vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1962 ● C.C. DeVille / (Bruce Johannesson)) → Guitarist for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Ian Astbury / → Singer and guitarist for punk-rock Southern Death Cult, which evolved into hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989)
1964 ● Shelley Preston / → Joined Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz as lead vocalist in 1985, “New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)” (UK #8, 1986), left in 1990 for a modeling and backing vocals career
1966 ● Fabrice Morvan / → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, resurrected a solo career in the early 00s
1966 ● Mike Inez / → Bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1966 ● Raphael Saddiq / (Charles Ray Wiggins) → Old school R&B/soul singer, songwriter and bass guitarist, with brother Dwayne and cousin Timothy Christian in R&B/dance Tony! Toni! Toné! (“Feels Good,” #9, R&B #1, 1990), then solo (“Ask Of You,” #19, R&B #2) and the critically-acclaimed album Stone Rollin (#14, 2011)
1969 ● Danny Wood / → Singer, songwriter and choreographer for early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Steve Hellier / → Keyboards and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1971 ● Freaky Tah / (Raymond Rogers) → MC, hype man and vocals for 90s rap quartet The Lost Boyz, “Music Makes Me High” (#51, Rap #5, 1996) plus three R&B Top 10 albums, murdered by gun fire in a hotel lobby on 3/28/1999, age 27
1973 ● Natalie Appleton / → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1973 ● Shanice / (Shanice Wilson) → Motown R&B/dance-pop singer/songwriter, “I Love Your Smile” (#2, 1991)
1976 ● Hunter Burgan / → Multi-instrumentalist and current bass guitarist for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006)
1976 ● Martine McCutcheon / (Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting) → Brit actress who gained stardom after playing Tiffany Mitchell on BBC TV’s EastEnders (1995-1998), then pop singer, “Perfect Moment” (UK #1, 1999)
1979 ● Dan Auerbach / (Daniel Quine Auerbach) → Grammy-winning blues-rock songwriter, producer and songwriter, frontman for 00s neo-blues-rock The Black Keys (“Lonely Boy,” #64, Alt Rock #1, 2010) along with other side projects and collaborations
1984 ● Olly Murs / (Oliver Stanley Murs) → Brit singer, songwriter, TV actor and program host with multiple UK hits, including “Troublemaker” (#25, UK #1, 2016)

May 15

1918 ● Eddy Arnold / (Richard Edward Arnold) → Most popular country music entertainer of the 20th century with 14 Country Top 10 albums, 147 charting singles and 28 Country #1 hits, including “Make The World Go Away” (#6, Country #1, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/8/2008, age 89
1931 ● James Mitchell / → Saxophone for Stax Records’ house band The Memphis Horns, played sessions for The Doobie Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Sam And Dave and many other notables, died from heart failure on 12/18/2000, age 69
1932 ● Baba Oje / → Spiritual leader for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1937 ● Trini Lopez / (Trinidad Lopez) → Chicano folk-pop singer and guitarist, “If I Had A Hammer” (#3, 1963)
1938 ● Lenny Welch / (Leon Welch) → MOR/pop balladeer, “Since I Fell For You” (#4, 1963)
1942 ● K.T. Oslin / (Kay Toinette Oslin) → Grammy-winning country singer and songwriter with anthemic “80s Ladies” (#7, 1987) plus 6 other Country Top 10 hits
1944 ● Tich Amey / (Iam Frederick Amey) → Lead guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1946 ● Bob Garner / → Bass guitar for underappreciated and little known (except in Germany) Britbeat/power pop The Creation, “Painter Man” (GER #8, UK #36, 1967), left the band in 1968 but participated in various reunion performances through the early 00s, died on 6/16/2016, age 70
1947 ● Graham Goble / → Guitar and vocals for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979) and 12 other Top 40 singles
1947 ● Jimy Rogers / (James Rogers) → Vocals for Chicago blue-eyed soul/garage rockers Mauds, “Hold On” (1967), sessions, most recently fronted Blue Road, died 12/4/2010, age 63
1948 ● Brian Eno / → Synthesizers and keyboards with glam/prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), then pub-rock The Winkies and solo, producer for David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, John Cale and others, ambient and world music pioneer, multimedia artist
1948 ● Gary Thain / → Bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Keef Hartley Band, then hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (1972) , died of a drug overdose 12/8/1975, age 27
1951 ● Fergie / (Dennis Fredericksen) → Lead vocals for pomp-rock MSFunk and Trillion, hard pop-rock Survivor, “American Heartbeat” (#17, 1982), AOR pop-rock Le Roux, “Carrie’s Gone” (#79, 1982), then replaced Bobby Kimball in arena rock Toto, “Stranger In Town” (#30, Mainstream Rock #7, 1984), solo, sessions
1952 ● Phil Seymour / → Power pop drummer, singer, guitarist, songwriter and partner in pop/rock Dwight Twilley Band, “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975), session work including backing vocals for Tom Petty, released three solo albums and several singles, including “Precious To Me” (#22, 1981), died from lymphoma on 8/17/1993, age 41
1953 ● Mike Oldfield / → Multi-instrumentalist, new age electronic prog rock composer and bandleader, “Tubular Bells” (#7, 1974), the title track from the first album issued by Virgin Records
1955 ● Kevin John Morris / → Drummer since 1983 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1959 ● Andrew Eldritch / → Vocals for goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992)
1965 ● Jon Sevink / → Violin for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1965 ● Mark Colwill / → Bass guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1966 ● Peter Wiggs / → Keyboardist and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Prince Be / (Attrell Cordes) → Vocals in innovative brother hip hop duo P.M. Dawn melding smooth soul, urban R&B and prog rap, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” (#3, Dance/Club #6, 1991), stepson of George Brown, founding member of soul/funk Kool & The Gang, died from renal failure on 6/17/2016, age 46
1982 ● Jessica Sutta / → Dancer, singer, model, actress and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005), then solo, “Show Me” (Dance #1, 2011)
1983 ● Devin Bronson / → Lead guitarist with Avril Lavigne band, Kelly Osbourne band, Black List Club and Canadian rock band Treble Charger

May 16

1919 ● Liberace / (Wladziu Valentino Liberace) → Campy, sequin-suited easy listening/pop pianist, Vegas showman and TV host (with a candelabra on his piano), died from complications of AIDS and emphysema on 2/4/1987, age 67
1932 ● Red Holt / (Isaac Holt) → Drummer in 50s and 60s jazz ensemble Ramsey Lewis Trio, then formed one hit wonder jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, “Soulful Strut” (#3, 1969)
1936 ● Kripp Johnson / (Corinthian Johnson) → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Del-Vikings, “Come Go With Me” (#4, 1957), died on 6/22/1990
1944 ● Billy Cobham / → Jazz-rock fusion drummer for Miles Davis, founded Mahavishnu Orchestra, backed James Brown and Santana, played with Grateful Dead and offshoot Bobby & The Midnights, solo and bandleader as Spectrum
1945 ● Nicky Chinn / (Nicholas Barry Chinn) → Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer, co-wrote with Michael Chapman as the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team over fifty Top 40 hits, worked with Sweet (“The Ballroom Blitz,” #5, UK #2, 1973), Suzi Quatro (“Devil Gate Drive,” UK #1, 1974) and Smokie (“Living Next Door Too Alice,” #25, UK #5, 1976), produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1946 ● Robert Fripp / → Avant-garde and experimental pop-rock composer, guitarist and bandleader, only constant member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), solo albums and multiple side and collaboration projects
1946 ● Roger Earl / → Drummer for blues-rock Savoy Brown, then co-founded blues-rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975) and constant bandmember in the 40-plus year history of the band
1947 ● Barbara Lee Jones / → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), died from a heart attack on 5/15/1992, age 44
1947 ● Darrell Sweet / → Co-founder and drummer for Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), died from a fatal heart attack before a show in Indiana on 4/30/1999, age 52
1951 ● Jonathan Richman / → Guitarist, singer and songwriter, founded and fronted proto-punk The Modern Lovers, “Roadrunner” (, 1977), solo and collaborations, appeared in the film There’s Something About Mary (1998)
1953 ● Richard Page / → Bass guitarist and vocals for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1955 ● Hazel O’Connor / → Brit singer/songwriter and actress, starred in the film Breaking Glass (1980) which launched her pop singing career, “Will You” (UK #8, 1981),
1958 ● Glenn Gregory / → Vocals for 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1964 ● Boyd Tinsley / → Violinist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998)
1965 ● Chris Novoselic / (Krist Anthony Novoselic) → Croatian-American bass guitarist and co-founder of premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), played in variety of bands since Nirvana broke up in 1994, music columnist and founder of JAMPAC
1966 ● Janet Jackson / → Youngest of the ten Jackson children, R&B/soul-pop superstar, “Miss You Much” (#1, 1989), TV and film actress
1968 ● Ralph Tresvant / → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988)
1971 ● Simon Katz / → Percussion in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1973 ● Will White / → DJ, vocals and mixmaster for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998), remixed 808 State, Luscious Jackson

May 17

1921 ● Bob Merrill / (Henry Merrill Levan) → Pop and Broadway songwriter, wrote multiple hits, including “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window” for Patti Page (#1, 1953) and “People” for Barbra Streisand (Adult Contemporary #1, 1964), died after a long illness on 2/17/1998, age 76
1934 ● Sonny Knight / (Joseph Coleman Smith) → R&B singer (“Confidential,” #17, R&B #8, 1956) and author of the novel The Day The Music Died (1981) about racism in the music industry, suffered a massive stroke in 1996 and died two years later on 9/5/1998, age 64
1938 ● Pervis Jackson / → Original member and bass vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, continued touring with the group until his death from cancer on 8/18/2008, age 70
1941 ● Malcolm Hale / → Guitar, horns and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty home furnace on 10/30/1968, age 27
1942 ● Taj Mahal / (Henry St. Clair Fredericks) → Prominent multi-instrumentalist acoustic and electric folk-blues-country-reggae guitarist and songwriter, founded roots folk-rock Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, prolific solo career with over 30 studio and live albums, composer of film soundtracks, Grammy-winning best contemporary blues album Señor Blues (1997)
1944 ● Jesse Winchester / (James Ridout Winchester) → Draft-dodging American folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Say What” (#2, 1981), moved to Canada in 1967 and received citizenship in 1973, continued to record and perform until his death from bladder cancer on 4/11/2014, age 69
1944 ● Richard Schwartz / → Vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1949 ● Bill Bruford / → Inimitable rock drummer, composer, bandleader, producer and record company executive, founding member of prog/art rock Yes, briefly with prog rock Genesis in early 70s, then prog/space-rock King Crimson, “Heartbeat” (Mainstream Rock #57, 1982) for 25 years, solo albums and side projects including UK, ABWH and Earthworks
1950 ● Howard Ashman / → With songwriting team partner/composer Alan Menken, Academy Award-winning lyricist and producer for stage and screen, co-wrote “Under The Sea” from Disney‘s The Little Mermaid (1989), the title song to Beauty And The Beast (1991) and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992), died of AIDS on 3/14/1991, age 40
1952 ● Roy Adams / → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1953 ● Lightnin’ Licks Johnson / (George Johnson) → Vocals and guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk sibling group The Brothers Johnson, “Stomp!” (#7, R&B #1, 1980), solo
1955 ● David Townsend / → EMI staff songwriter turned smooth soul singer and guitarist in the “quiet storm” trio Surface, “The First Time” (#1, R&B #1, 1990), found dead in his home on 10/26/2005, age 50
1958 ● Alan Rankine / → Guitarist for post-punk New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), now college music lecturer
1959 ● Paul Di’Anno / (Paul Andrews) → Vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1981 and pursued a moderately successful solo career and as a member of several hard rock project groups, including Gogmagog, Battlezone, Praying Mantis and Killers
1960 ● Simon Fuller / → Record and TV producer, manager for the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Will Young, Emma Bunton and others, creator of the Idol TV variety/contest series, first in the U.K. as Pop Idol and now with over 50 other versions including American Idol, Canadian Idol, and World Idol
1961 ● Enya / (Eithne Ni Bhraonain) → Vocals for Celtic folk-pop sibling group Clannad, then solo new age dreamy synth-pop, “Orinoco Flow” (#24, 1989) and “Only Time” (#10, 2001)
1962 ● Tracey Bryn / → With sister Melissa Belland, frontgal and vocals in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1963 ● Page McConnell / → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996) plus solo and side projects
1965 ● Homer O’Dell / → Guitarist for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1965 ● Trent Reznor / → Founder, leader and songwriter for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1966 ● Jan Kincaid / → Founding member, drums and keyboards for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1967 ● Simon Friend / → Guitarist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Dave Abbruzzese / → Drummer (1991-94) for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Even Flow” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1992), solo
1970 ● Darnell Van Rensalier / → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1970 ● Jordan Knight / → Singer in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1971 ● Vernie Bennett / (Vernette Bennett) → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1973 ● Joshua Homme / → Founding member, vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter for stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), later with supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Alt Rock #10, 2009)
1974 ● Andrea Corr / → With two sisters and brother, lead vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000), solo and actress
1976 ● Kandi Burruss / → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)

May 18

1911 ● Big Joe Turner / (Joseph Vernon Turner) → Premier blues “shouter” and boogie-woogie, jump blues and early rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” (#22, R&B #1, 1954), died from a kidney failure on 11/24/1985, age 74
1912 ● Perry Como / (Pierino Ronald Como) → Small town barber turned pre-rock ‘n’ roll crooner, then Grammy-winning smooth easy listening/pop singer, “Catch A Falling Star” (#1, 1958) and 19 other Pop Top 25 singles plus nine Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died in his sleep on 5/12/2001, age 88
1939 ● Gary Paxton / (Larry Wayne Stevens) → Grammy-winning, eccentric gospel musician whose career opened as a teenage pop singer with Clyde “Skip” Battin (later in The Byrds) in the duo Skip & Flip (“It Was I,” #11, 1959), later recorded with the Hollywood Argyles (“Alley-Oop,” #1, 1960) and produced “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962) for
Bobby “Boris” Pickett
, converted to Christianity in the 70s, won Best Inspirational Album award in 1975, survived an assassination attempt by hitmen in 1980, retired in 1999 and died at home on 7/16/2016, age 77
1942 ● Rodney Dillard / → Progressive and influential bluegrass guitar and dobro player with brother Doug in duo country-rock The Dillards
1944 ● Albert Hammond / → Brit-Gibraltarian pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “It Never Rains In Southern California” (#5, 1973)
1945 ● Scar Lopez / (Richard Lopez) → Founding member and vocals for pioneering “East Side Sound” of L.A., Mexican-American one hit wonder, brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from lung cancer on 7/30/2010, age 65
1946 ● Bruce Gilbert / → Guitarist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1946 ● George Alexander / → Bassist for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1949 ● Bill Wallace / → Bassist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), now college music instructor
1949 ● Rick Wakeman / → Renowned keyboardist and composer, started as sessionman for Black Sabbath, David Bowie and others in the 60s, joined folk-prog-rock The Strawbs in 1970, moved to archetypal prog rock Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), successful solo career and film score composing
1950 ● Mark Mothersbaugh / → Multi-instrumental musician, composer, singer and founding member of quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), also wrote musical scores for dozens of films and television shows in the 90s and 00s in music production company Mutato Muzika with his former Devo bandmates
1952 ● George Strait / → The “King of Country,” traditionalist country, honky tonk and Western swing singer, songwriter and guitarist with more (57) Country #1 hits than any other artist, including “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” (Country #1, 1987)
1953 ● Butch Tavares / (Feliciano Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Wreckless Eric / (Eric Goulden) → Singer, songwriter and Stiff Records artist, had the punk classic UK airplay hit “I’d Go The Whole Wide World” (1978)
1956 ● Jim Moginie / (James Moginie) → Australian singer and musician best known for founding politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988), the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Best Albums of the 80s
1957 ● Michael Cretu / → Romanian-born founder, frontman, composer and creative genius behind new age electronic/world music Enigma, “Return To Innocence” (#4, 1994)
1958 ● Toyah Ann Wilcox / → Brit actress and singer, appeared in the punk film Jubilee (1977) and in The Who‘s mod film Quadrophenia (1979), fronted punk-rock Toyah, “It’s A Mystery” (1981)
1961 ● Hugh Whittaker / → Drummer for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1961 ● Russell Senior / → Guitar and violin for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), left in 1997 to pursue other projects and sell antique glassware
1969 ● Martika / (Martika Marta Marrero) → Cuban-American teen-pop/bubblegum singer, “Toy Soldiers” (#1, 1989)
1970 ● Billy Howerdel / → Guitar technician for alt rock Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), then founded alt-metal-fused-with-art rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1975 ● Jack Johnson / → Hawaii born professional surfer turned acoustic soft beach rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Upside Down” (#38, Adult Top 40 #11, 2006)
1982 ● Eric West / → 90s hip hop singer turned model and actor, returned to music with a 2010 solo album and the single “Gone” featuring Kanye West

May 19

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

May 20

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

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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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