Posts Tagged rock star birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (Februry 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Feb 07

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

Feb 08

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

Feb 09

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

Feb 10

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

Feb 11

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

Feb 12

1867 ● Leonard Garfield Spencer → Early American phonograph recording star singer, “A Hot Time In The Old Town” (ca. 1897) and “Arkansas Traveler” (1902), died on 12/15/1914
1904 ● Ted Mack (William Edward Maguiness) → Host of the TV variety show Ted Mack And The Original Amateur Hour from 1948 to 1970, featured early-career performances by Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Pat Boone and others, influenced future musical talent-seeking shows including The Gong Show, American Idol and America’s Got Talent, died from cancer on 7/12/1976, age 72
1915 ● Lorne Greene (Lyon Himan Green) → Canadian-born CBC radio newscaster, actor (star of the NBC TV’s Bonanza), singer with the spoken-word ballad “Ringo” (#1, 1964), the second Canadian to have a US #1 single, died on 9/11/1987 from prostate cancer
1935 ● Gene McDaniels → R&B singer during the late 50s and early 60s development of classic soul music, “Tower of Strength” (#5, 1961) and five other Top 40 hits, wrote “Feel Like Makin’ Love” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1974), died at home of natural causes on 7/29/2011
1939 ● Ray Manzarek → Keyboards and backing vocals for influential/controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), member of supergroup Nite City and collaborations with Doors bandmate Robby Krieger, died of cancer on 5/20/2013
1942 ● Rick Frank → Founding member and drummer for jazz-psych-rock Elephant’s Memory, “Mongoose” (Top 100, 1969), which became the backing band for John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 70s, worked with Lennon on his 1972 album Some Time In New York City
1914 ● Gordon Lee “Tex” Beneke → Big Band-era saxophonist, singer and bandleader who played and snag with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on their hits “In The Mood” (#1, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), took over leadership of the band in 1946 after Miller‘s death during World War II and later formed his own bands during a forty-year second career that lasted until his death from reparatory failure on 5/30/2000, age 86
1946 ● Joe Schermie → Original bassist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971), left in 1973 to start pop-rock S. S. Fools and session work, died following a heart attack on 3/25/2002
1947 ● Shelbra Bennett Deane → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children, “I’ll Be The Other Woman” (#36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave, died on 5/31/2013, age 66
1949 ● Stanley “Goober” Knight → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974), died from cancer on 2/16/2013
1950 ● Steve Hackett → Joined prog-rock Genesis, “Your Own Special Way” (#62, 1977) in 1971, left in 1977 for solo career and eventually prog rock supergroup GTR, “When The Heart Rules The Mind” (#14, 1986) with Steve Howe of Yes
1951 ● Gilbert “G.L.” Moore → Drummer and vocals for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), owner of Metalworks Studios, Canada’s largest facility
1951 ● Vincent James → Vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975)
1952 ● Michael McDonald → Blue-eyed soul/pop backing singer with Steely Dan, lead vocals for California pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Sweet Freedom” (#7, 1986)
1958 ● Grant McLennan → Bass, vocals and songwriter for Aussie alt pop-rock The Go-Betweens, “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (Modern Rock #16, 1988), then solo, died in his sleep at home in Brisbane, Australia on 5/6/2006
1959 ● Neil Conti → Percussion for Brit indie pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1959 ● Omar Hakim → Session and touring drummer for Carly Simon, then joined jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, then sessions for Sting, Dire Straits, Madonna, Miles Davis and others, plus two solo albums
1966 ● Gary Whelan → Drummer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1966 ● Paul Crook → Session and tour guitarist, now with Meat Loaf, formerly with Anthrax and Sebastian Bach
1968 ● Chynna Phillips → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas
1970 ● Jim Creeggan → Bassist for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1971 ● Kei Lewis → Keyboards and guitar for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1978 ● Brian Chase → Drummer in New York indie rock/punk revival trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs (“Maps,” #87, Alt. Rock #9, 2004)
1979 ● Jade Jones → Lead singer for Brit R&B/dance-pop boy band Damage, “Wonderful Tonight” (UK #3, 1997)
1981 ● Lisa Haniigan → Irish vocalist with folk-rock the Damien Rice Band, “Cannonball” (UK #32, 2002), then singer/songwriter solo career, “Lille” (2008)
1987 ● O’Ryan (O’Ryan Omir Browner) → Urban teen R&B/dance-pop singer, “Take It Slow” (R&B #122, 2004), younger brother of Omarion

Feb 13

1919 ● Ernest Jennings “Tennessee Ernie” Ford → Country-pop singer and TV host who recorded over 100 albums from traditional country to gospel to early rock ‘n’ roll, “Sixteen Tons” (#1, 1955), died from alcoholic liver failure on 10/17/1991
1920 ● Boudleaux Bryant → Prolific country and pop songwriter, with his wife Felice wrote “Rocky Top,” “Love Hurts,” “Bye Bye Love” (#2, 1957) and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) for The Everly Brothers, as well as “Raining In My Heart” for Buddy Holly, died on 6/25/1987
1923 ● Gene Ames (Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of cancer on 4/4/1997
1928 ● Dorothy McGuire → Vocals for immensely popular sibling singing trio the McGuire Sisters, “Sugartime” (#1, 1958)
1942 ● Peter Tork (Thorkelston) → Bass, rhythm guitar and occasional songwriter for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966)
1943 ● Bill Szymczyk → Technical engineer and rock and blues music producer, worked with J. Geils Band, James Gang, The Outlaws, Bob Seger, The Who and Edgar Winter Group among many others, including a long association with the Eagles, for whom he produced the album Long Road Out Of Eden in 2007
1944 ● Anthony “Reebop” Kwaku Baah → Nigerian percussionist and singer with Traffic, Can and Zahara, plus sessions for Steve Winwood and The Rolling Stones, and four solo LPs mixing traditional African sounds with dance-pop contemporary music, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 1/12/1983
1944 ● Stockard Channing (Susan Antonia Williams Stockard) → Stage, film and TV actress who portrayed Betty Rizzo in the film adaptation of the Broadway show Grease (1977) and sang lead vocals on “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee” on the film’s soundtrack album, the highest selling movie soundtrack of all time
1945 ● King Floyd → New Orleans R&B/soul singer/songwriter, “Groove Me” (#6, 1970), died from complications of a stroke on 3/6/2006
1945 ● Roy Dyke → Drummer in 60s Brit pop-rock The Remo Four, then art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971)
1950 ● Roger Christian → Keyboards and vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988), left in 1987, died 3/8/1998 from a brain tumor
1950 ● Peter Gabriel → Founding member and leader of prog rock Genesis, left in 1976 to start art rock then successful mainstream pop solo career, “Sledgehammer” (#1, 1986)
1951 ● David Naughton → Actor and singer, starred in the TV sitcom Makin’ It and became a one hit wonder pop singer with the release of the show’s theme song, “Makin’ It” (#5, 1979), later starred in the film American Werewolf In London (1981) and appeared in several 80s and 90s TV sitcoms
1951 ● Rod Dees → Bassist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Edward John Gagliardi → Original bassist for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left to form The Spys with Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood in 1978, died from cancer on 5/11/2014
1952 ● Paul Jeffreys → Bassist for glam-rock Cockney Rebel and later Be-Bop Deluxe, died with his new wife on the way to their honeymoon in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on 12/21/1988
1955 ● Donald Scott Smith → Original bassist for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981), drowned when swept overboard from his 11-metre sailboat near the Golden Gate Bridge on 10/30/2000
1956 ● Peter Hook → Bassist for post-punk Joy Division, then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983)
1957 ● Tony Butler → Bassist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), sessions for The Pretenders, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and others
1958 ● Marc Fox → Percussion and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1961 ● cEvin Key (Kevin William Crompton) → Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Canadian avant-industrial rock Skinny Puppy, “Testure” (Dance/Club #19, 1989)
1961 ● Henry Rollins (Henry Lawrence Garfield) → Singer, songwriter, MTV host, record producer and frontman for hardcore L.A. punk Black Flag and the Rollins Band
1961 ● Les Warner → Former drummer with hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989), now with a Vegas hotel house band
1962 ● Rob Ellis → Producer, arranger and drummer for singer/songwriter P. J. Harvey, “50ft Queenie” (UK #27, 1993) including her alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey
1966 ● Frederick Brandon “Freedom” Williams → Lead vocals for dance-pop C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat” (#1, 1991), left for an unsuccessful solo career
1971 ● Sonia (Evans) → Brit pop singer, “You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You” (UK #1, 1989) and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1992)
1972 ● Todd Harrell → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1974 ● Robbie Williams → Vocals for Brit teen dance-pop boy-band Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), then solo, “Millennium” (Adult Top 40 #22, 1999)
1976 ● Leslie Feist → Award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist with Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), solo
1988 ● Aston Merrygold → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (Jack The Lad Swing), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 31 – February 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 31

1906 ● Roosevelt “The Honeydripper” Sykes → Boogie-blues piano player, known for pounding 8-bar rhythms and risqué lyrics, wrote several blues standards, including “Night Time Is The Right Time” (1937), died from a heart attack on 7/17/1983
1921 ● Mario Lanza (Alfredo Arnold Cocozza) → 1940s opera tenor, post-WW II film actor and 50s pop singer, “Be My Love” (1950), died of pulmonary embolism on 10/7/1959
1928 ● Harold “Chuck” Willis → The “King of the Stroll”, R&B/blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his cover of “C.C. Rider” (#12, R&B #1, 1957), also wrote and recorded his own compositions, died from peritonitis on 4/10/1958
1936 ● Marvin Junior → Lead baritone and lead vocals for 60-year R&B/doo wop, soul-funk and disco The Dells, “Oh What A Nite” (R&B #4, 1956) and the re-recording “Oh What A Night” (#10, R&B #1, 1969), continued to record and perform with the group through the early 10s, died in his sleep on 1/23/1998, age 77
1944 ● Charlie Musselwhite → Electric blues harmonica player and bandleader who came to prominence among other non-black blues artists in the Chicago blues movement of the 60s, over the decades released more than 20 albums and achieved recognition as “one of the top blues harp players of all time,” won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album in 2014 for his collaboration LP with Ben Harper, Get Up! (2013)
1946 ● Terry Kath → Founder and guitarist for pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “Saturday In The Park” (#3, 1972), accidentally shot himself dead in game of Russian Roulette on 1/23/1978
1948 ● Paul Jabara → Lebanese-American stage and film actor and pop music singer and songwriter, wrote the Academy Award-winning “Last Dance” for Donna Summer (#3, 1978) and co-wrote “It’s Raining Men” for The Weather Girls (#46, Disco #1, 1982) among other hits, died from complications of AIDS on 9/29/1992, age 44
1951 ● Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey → Founder and frontman 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
1951 ● Phil Manzanera (Targett-Adams) → Lead guitarist from 1972-83 for prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), then solo and collaborative work with Steve Winwood, David Gilmour and others, wrote 14-part radio program The A-Z Of Great Guitarists
1952 ● William “Curly” Smith → Drummer for hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), then sessions, played with reunited psych-rock Spirit and arena rock Boston between 1994 and 2000
1954 ● Adrian Vandenburg (Adje Van Den Berg) → Dutch guitarist and co-writer for hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), painter
1956 ● Johnny Rotten (John Joseph Lydon) → Lead singer for premier punk rockers the Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), then founded post-punk Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983)
1961 ● Lloyd Cole → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985), solo
1964 ● Jeff Hanneman → Co-founder, lead guitar and songwriter for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009), died from alcohol-induced liver failure on 5/2/2013
1966 ● Al Doughty (Alan Jaworski) → Bassist for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1967 ● Chad Channing → First drummer for grunge rock Nirvana, played on debut indie label album Bleach, left the band in 1990, worked with The Methodists, East Of The Equator and Redband, now with Before Cars
1967 ● Jason Cooper → Joined post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “The 13th” (Hot Dance #11, 1996) in 1995
1967 ● Michael John “Fat Mike” Burkett → Founder and bassist for punk-pop NOFX and punk cover band Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, founded independent record label Fat Wreck Chords and the 2004 anti-George W. Bush crusade Rock Against Bush
1970 ● Amelia Fiona “Minnie” Driver → Grammy- and Emmy-nominated film and TV actress, singer and songwriter, light pop 2004 album Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket
1981 ● Justin Timberlake → Vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band *NSYNC, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), multi-platinum solo vocalist, “Cry Me A River” (#3, 2003), TV actor, tabloid star
1987 ● Marcus Mumford → Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

Feb 01

1934 ● Bob Shane → Vocals and guitar for folk-pop The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” (#1, 1958) and nine other Top 40 hits
1937 ● Don Everly → Singer with younger brother Phil in folk-rock The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits
1937 ● Ray “Dr. Hook” Sawyer → Frontman and vocals for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1938 ● Jimmy Carl Black (James Inkanish, Jr.) → Drummer and vocals for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), toured with Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, died from lung cancer on 11/1/2008
1939 ● Joe Sample → Jazz-fusion keyboardist and composer with The Jazz Crusaders (The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979), solo, died from mesothelioma on 9/12/2014
1939 ● Delano Floyd “Del” McCroury → Influential, Grammy-winning bluegrass musician and bandleader, winner of a National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts and over 30 awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, worked with such varied acts as Phish, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Earle and others
1947 ● Normie Rowe → Top Australian pop singer of the early 60s, “Que Sera Sera” (Aus #1, 1965), drafted into military service and failed to regain his popularity following discharge
1948 ● Rick James (James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.) → R&B/disco vocalist, dancer and bandleader, “Super Freak” (#16, 1981), plus 3 other R&B #1 hits in the 70s and 80s, found dead at home of cardiac failure on 8/6/2004
1950 ● Mike Campbell → Guitarist and long-time key collaborator with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989), co-songwriter with Don Henley and others, producer, member of Mudcrutch
1951 ● Fran Christina → Drummer for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1951 ● Rich Williams → One-eyed lead guitarist and occasional co-writer for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1976)
1957 ● Dennis Brown → The “Crown Prince of Reggae”, prolific reggae/lovers rock singer, “Money In My Pocket” (UK #14, 1977), died on 7/1/1999 from complications of a heart attack and cocaine abuse
1964 ● Dwyane Goettel → Classically-trained keyboardist for Canadian avant-industrial rock Skinny Puppy (“Testure,” Dance/Club #19, 1989) and multiple spin-off/side projects, died from a heroin overdose on 8/23/1995, age 31
1964 ● Jani Lane (John Kennedy Oswald) → Lead singer for glam-rock/pop-metal Warrant, “Heaven” (#2, 1989), solo
1968 ● Lisa Marie Presley → The “Princess of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” only child of Elvis, occasional TV actor and pop singer, “Lights Out” (Adult Top 40 #18, 2003), married Michael Jackson in 1994, divorced on 12/10/1995
1969 ● Patrick Wilson → Drummer for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005), now fronts The Special Goodness and has toured with Elton John since 1994
1971 ● Ron Welty → Drummer for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997), left to form alt rock Steady Ground in 2003
1975 ● Big Boi (Antwan Andre Patton) → Rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor, half of hip hop duo OutKast, “Ms. Jackson” (#1, 2001) and “Hey Ya” (#1, 2004)
1978 ● Jeff Conrad → Drummer for pop-rock Big City Rock then power pop/indie rock Phantom Planet, “California” (Modern Rock #35, 2002)
1990 ● Laura Marling → Brit neo-folk singer and songwriter, solo and collaboration with indie folk Noah And The Whale, “5 Years Time” (UK #7, 2007)
1994 ● Harry Styles → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

Feb 02

1927 ● Stan Getz → Renowned jazz saxophonist know as “The Sound” for his warm and lyrical tone, “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, 1964)
1932 ● Arthur Lyman → The “King of Lounge Music,” jazz-pop and easy listening vibraphonist considered instrumental in crafting the sound of exotica, popularizing the relaxing faux-Polynesian music during the 50s and 60s with tunes like “Taboo” (#6, 1959) and “Yellow Bird” (#10, 1961), continued to perform until his death from throat cancer on 2/24/2002, age 70
1940 ● Odell Brown → Soul, jazz and funk keyboardist, bandleader and session musician at Chess Records and other labels, played with Minnie Ripperton, Curtis Mayfield and others, co-wrote and won two Grammy Awards with Marvin Gayee for “Sexual Healing” (#3, R&B #1, 1982), died on 5/3/2011, age 71
1940 ● Alan Caddy → Guitarist for Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados, “Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, then solo and sessions for Kiki Dee, The Pretty Things, Spencer Davis Group, Dusty Springfield and others, died from the effects of long-term alcoholism on 8/16/2000
1941 ● Corey Wells (Emil Lewandowski) → Co-founder and one of three lead vocalists for top-tier pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and ten other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1974, performed with various incarnations of the band until just before his death on 10/20/2015
1942 ● Graham Nash → Guitarist, singer and songwriter with pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966), left in 1968 to found Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), duets with David Crosby, solo
1943 ● Peter Macbeth (McGrath) → Bass guitar for Brit blue-eyed R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967)
1945 ● Ronald Goodson → Trumpets for blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968), died 11/4/1980
1946 ● Homer Howard Bellamy → Guitar, mandolin and vocals for country-pop sibling duo The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (#1, 1976)
1947 ● Peter P. Lucia, Jr. → Drummer for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later co-wrote psych-pop “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Alan McKay → Guitarist for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1949 ● Ross Valory → Bassist in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1974), then Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981)
1963 ● Eva Cassidy → Mixed-genre vocal interpreter of American classics and pop tunes including “Over The Rainbow” (1992), had three UK #1 albums posthumously, died from cancer on 11/2/1996
1964 ● Charlie Heather → Drummer for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1966 ● Robert DeLeo → Bassist for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994)
1966 ● Steve Firth → Bassist for post-Brit-pop Embrace, “Natures Law” (Download #2, 2006)
1969 ● John Spence → Original vocalist for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997), committed suicide on 12/21/1987 before the band’s first audition with a record company
1971 ● Ben Mize → Drummer for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1975 ● Billy Mohler → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001)
1977 ● Shakira Isabell Mebarak Ripoll → Colombian-born R&B/contemporary pop singer, “Hips Don’t Lie” (worldwide #1, 2006)

Feb 03

1920 ● Russell Lee Arms → One hit wonder pop singer (“Cinco Robles (Five Oaks),” #22, 1957) and sometime 60s TV actor best known as a house vocalist on Your Hit Parade, the 50s weekly NBC radio and TV musical variety show where a cast of regulars performed the popular hits of the day, died from natural causes on 2/13/2012, age 92
1928 ● Frankie Vaughan (Frank Abelson) → Brit film actor and popular singer known as “Mr. Moonlight”, recorded over 80 singles, including “Green Door” (UK #2, 1956), died 9/17/1999 of heart failure
1928 ● Michael Valentine “Val” Doonican → Irish folk-pop/easy listening singer and TV host, “Walk Tall” (UK #3, 1964)
1935 ● Johnny “Guitar” Watson → Electric blues guitarist and songwriter, “Space Guitar” (1954) turned R&B/funk-rocker, “A Real Mother For Ya” (#41, R&B #5, 1977), collapsed and died on stage in Japan on 5/17/1996
1936 ● James J. Marshall → Grammy-winning rock music photographer famous for shooting Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire and iconic scenes at Woodstock among hundreds of photos on album covers and in music magazines, received a posthumous Grammy Award in 2014, the only photographer ever so honored, died in his sleep on 3/24/2010, age 74
1939 ● Johnny Bristol → R&B/soul singer (“Hang On In There Baby,” #8, R&B #2, 1974), songwriter and producer for Motown Records, co-produced “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#19, R&B #3, 1967) for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell plus tracks for Edwin Starr, The Velvelettes, Jermaine Jackson and others, continued to record into the 90s, died from natural causes on 3/21//2001, age 65
1940 ● Angelo d’Aleo → Vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961)
1943 ● Neil Bogart → Record company executive with Cameo-Parkway and Buddha Records, key player in the rise of 60s/70s bubblegum pop, co-founded Casablanca Records in 1973, signed Kiss, T. Rex and others, but the label became associated with the disco craze with acts like Donna Summer and The Village People, died of lymphoma on 5/8/1982
1943 ● Dennis Edwards → Three-stint member (1968-77, 1979-83, 1992-present) and frequent lead vocalist of R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972)
1943 ● Eric Haydock → Original bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966), fired in 1966 after questioning the manager’s honesty, started unsuccessful solo career
1943 ● Shawn Phillips → 60s folk-rock pioneer singer/songwriter, collaborated with Donovan, sang on The Beatles‘ “Lovely Rita (Meter Maid)”, issued light space rock albums and singles in the 70s, including “Lost Horizon” (#63, 1973)
1945 ● Johnny Cymbal (John Hendry Blair) → Scottish-born pop singer, songwriter and producer, sang “Mr. Bass Man” (#16, 1963) as himself and “Cinnamon” (#11, 1968) using his brother’s name, Derek, later a country songwriter based in Nashville, died of a heart attack on 3/16/1993
1946 ● Stan Webb → Guitar, vocals and frontman for Brit blues-rock Chicken Shack (featured keyboard player and future Fleetwood Mac member Christine Perfect), “I’d Rather Go Blind” (UK #14, 1969)
1947 ● Dave Davies → Founder (with brother Ray), lead guitarist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), #88 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists list
1947 ● Melanie Safka → 60s folk-pop “flower power” singer, songwriter and Woodstock veteran, “Brand New Key” (#1, 1971) and five other early 70s Top 40 hits
1949 ● Arthur “Killer” Kane → Bass guitar for proto-glam-rock New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), died 7/13/2004 from complications from leukemia
1951 ● Jeanette Hutchinson → Vocals for R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1956 ● Lee Ranaldo → Co-founder and guitarist for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1959 ● Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst → Founding member and former drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992), left in 1989, currently with wife Cindy Levinson in alt rock Levinhurst
1960 ● Tim Chandler → Bassist in alternative Christian rock bands Daniel Amos, The Swirling Eddies and The Choir
1965 ● Nick Hawkins → Guitarist for Big Audio Dynamite II, “Rush” (Modern Rock #1, 1991), left in 1997 for solo writing and production career, died of heart attack on 10/10/2005
1970 ● Richie Kotzen → Guitarist for glam-metal Poison, “Stand” (Mainstream Rock #15, 1993), then joined pop-metal “shredder” band Mr. Big and jazz-rock fusion Vertu with former Return To Forever rhythm section Stanley Clarke and Lenny White
1982 ● Jessica Harp → With Michelle Branch, one half of the country-pop duo The Wreckers, “Leave The Pieces” (#34, Country #1, 2006), briefly solo then retired in 2010 to concentrate on songwriting for other artists
1990 ● Sean Kingston (Kisean Jamal Anderson) → Jamaican-born dancehall/reggae-pop rapper, “Beautiful Girls” (#1, 2007)

Feb 04

1929 ● Paul Burlison → Pioneer rockabilly guitarist and founding member of The Rock And Roll Trio with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, left the music business to become an electrical contractor when their several singles met with little success, stayed out of the business until the rockabilly revival of the 90s, continued with parallel careers until his death from colon caner on 9/27/2003, age 74
1941 ● John Steel → Original drummer for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left in 1966
1943 ● Barry Edward Beckett → Keyboardist, session musician, record producer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also toured with Traffic and produced albums by ‘Bob Dylan and others, died from natural causes on 6/10/2009
1943 ● Jimmy Johnson → Guitarist, session musician, recording engineer and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also engineered The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album, among others
1944 ● Florence LaRue → Vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Aquarius” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Mary Ann Ganser → With twin sister Margie, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of a drug overdose on 3/14/1970
1947 ● Marguerite “Margie” Ganser → With twin sister Mary Ann, vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), died of breast cancer on 7/28/1996
1948 ● Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) → Singer and frontman for campy glam-rock the Earwigs and Alice Cooper Band, “School’s Out” (#7, 1972)
1950 ● James Dunn → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Phil Ehart → Co-founder, continuous member and drummer for prog/heartland rock Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Son” (#11, 1977), now manages the group’s affairs
1952 ● Jerry Shirley → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972), sessions and collaborations, re-formed Humble Pie in 80s
1960 ● Matthieu Hartley → Original keyboardist for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1960 ● Tim Booth → Founding member and lead singer for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (Modern Rock #3, 1994), left in 2001 solo career, rejoined in 2007
1962 ● Clint Black → Trad-country-pop crossover guitarist and singer/songwriter, “When I Said I Do” (#31, Country #1, 1999)
1963 ● Kevin Samuel “Noodles” Wasserman → Lead guitar and backing vocals for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1968 ● Steve Queralt → Bassist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1975 ● Natalie Imbruglia → Aussie-born actress, model and alt pop-rock singer, “Torn” (#1, 1997)
1975 ● Rick Burch → Bassist for alt rock/neo-punk Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle” (#5, Adult Top 40 #2, 2002)
1976 ● Cam’ron (Cameron Giles, aka “Killa Cam”) → Grammy-nominated rapper and actor, founded The Diplomats and The U.N., solo, “Oh Boy” (#4, 2002)
1977 ● Gavin DeGraw → Blue-eyed soul and pop-rock singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist, “I Don’t Want To Be” (#10, 2004)
1982 ● Kimberly Wyatt → Singer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress and choreographer best known as a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, left in 2010 and continues to perform fronting Her Majesty & The Wolves

Feb 05

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

Feb 06

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 24 – 30)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 24

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

Jan 25

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

Jan 26

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

Jan 27

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

Jan 28

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


Jan 29


1923 ● Ivo Robić → Croatian film actor and pop music singer with domestic and international presence for over 50 years, best known for his collaboration with Bert Kaempfert, “Morgen” (“Tomorrow”) the German-language version of which became a hit #13 pop hit in the U.S. in 1959, an English version was a minor hit for Leslie Uggams and an instrumental version opened surf-rock The Ventures‘ first album, Walk, Don’t Run (1960), died from cancer on 3/9/2000, age 77
1933 ● Alexandre “Sacha” Distel → French jazz-pop singer, guitarist, TV actor and songwriter, wrote Tony Bennett‘s “The Good Life” (#18, 1965), died on 7/22/2004 following years of failing health
1934 ● Noel Harrison → Actor, 50s Olympic skier, son of Brit actor Rex Harrison and pop singer with the Academy Award-winning “The Windmills Of Your Mind” (1968) and several other, minor U.S. hits, acted in films and on stage, produced movies and shows, and continued to record and perform until his career was ended by heart attack on 10/19/2013, age 74
1934 ● Ann Cole (Cynthia Coleman) → Early R&B, jump jazz and gospel singer voted Most Promising Female R&B Vocals in 1956 but had the misfortune of being ahead of her time, cut numerous songs on different labels in the 50s and 60s but had only one Pop chart hit, “Don’t Stop The Wedding” (#98, 1962) and three R&B chart Top 25 hits, including “In The Chapel” (R&B #14, 1957), confined to a wheelchair following a 1966 car accident and died on 11/30/1986, age 52
1936 ● James Jamerson → Bassist in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 8/2/1983
1942 ● Claudine Longet → French singer, actress and socialite with several minor US singles, including “Hello, Hello” (#91, AC #8, 1967) but best known as the former wife of crooner Andy Williams and for her conviction in the misdemeanor negligent homicide of her boyfriend, Olympic skier Spider Sabich in 1976
1943 ● Kenneth “Tony” Blackburn → Brit light pop singer, “So Much Love” (UK Top 40, 1969), then pirate radio and first BBC Radio 1 disc jockey
1943 ● Mark Wynter (Terry Lewis) → Early 60s, pre-Beatles Brit pop-rock singer, “Venus In Blue Jeans” (UK #4, 1962)
1944 ● Andrew Loog OldhamThe Rolling Stones‘ first manager, producer and promoter, 1964-68, launched the Immediate Records label in 1965 which enjoyed 24 UK Top 50 hits with artists like Jimmy Page, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, The Nice, Rod Stewart and others
1947 ● David Byron (David Garrick) → Lead singer for hard/prog rock Spice, renamed Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), fired for erratic behavior in 1976, went solo but died of alcohol-induced liver failure on 2/28/1985
1949 ● Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyl or Erdélyi Tamás) → Hungarian-born record producer and musician, co-wrote songs and played drums for seminal punk rock band The Ramones (“Rockaway Beach,” #66, 1978) and later produced several of their albums plus those by other artists, died from bile duct cancer on 7/11/2014
1953 ● Louie Perez → Guitar and vocals for Grammy-winning Chicano/roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987), then Latin Playboys and Seguida
1954 ● Rob Manzoli → Vocals and guitar for Euro-dance-pop trio Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy” (#1, 1992)
1961 ● David Baynton-Power → Drummer for Brit folk-pop alt rock James, “Laid” (Modern Rock #3, 1993)
1961 ● Eddie Jackson → Bassist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1961 ● Pauline Henry → Lead vocals for dance-pop trio The Chimes, “1-2-3” (Dance/Club #1, 1990)
1962 ● Marcus Charles Vere → Synthesizer and keyboards for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1964 ● Roddy Frame → Founder, leader, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Scot New Wave pop-rock Aztec Camera, “The Crying Scene” (Modern Rock #3, 1990)
1968 ● Richard Battersby → Drummer for hard rock/raunchy The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1996)
1981 ● Jonny Lang (Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr.) → Teenage prodigy blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Still Rainin'” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1998)
1982 ● Adam Lambert → Flamboyant, androgynous stage actor, American Idol runner-up (2009) and neo-goth pop singer, “Whataya Want From Me” (#10, 2010)
1987 ● Ashley Grace Pérez Mosa → Mexican-American singer and songwriter, with sister Hanna in contemporary Latin pop-rock duo Ha*Ash, “No Te Quiero Nada” (Latin Pop #6, 2008)

Jan 30

1928 ● Mitch Leigh (Irwin Michnick) → Pop music composer who transitioned from advertising jingles to Broadway musical composition and production, best known as part of the three-man team that wrote and produced the long-running (2,328 performances) show Man Of La Mancha (1965) and the now-standard song “The Impossible Dream,” died from natural causes on 3/16/2014
1936 ● Horst Jankowski → German pianist and composer of easy listening and light space rock pop pieces, “A Walk In The Black Forest” (#12, 1965), died of cancer on 6/29/1998
1941 ● Joe Terranova → Baritone and bass vocalist for rock ‘n roll Danny & The Juniors, “At The Hop” (#1, 1958)
1942 ● Marty Balin (Martyn Jere Buchwald) → Vocals and guitar for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit” (#8, 1967), then mainstream arena rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), then light pop-rock solo career, “Hearts” (# 8, 1981)
1943 ● Sandy Deane (Yaguda) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits
1947 ● Steve Marriott → Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, founder and leader of Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then blues-rock Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972) and solo, died in a house fire on 4/20/1991
1949 ● William King → Trumpet, guitar and synthesizers for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978) and “Nightshift” (#3, 1985)
1951 ● Clifford Leon “Andy” Anderson → Session drummer briefly as a full member of post-punk goth rock The Curee, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983), worked with Hawkwind, Iggy Pop, the Steve Hillage Band, Peter Gabriel, Mike Oldfield and others
1951 ● Marv Ross → Guitarist for sax pop-rock Quarterflash, “Harden My Heart” (#3, 1981)
1951 ● Phil Collins → Drums, piano, vocals and songwriter for prog-rock Genesis, “Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), then pop-adult contemporary solo career, “A Groovy Kind Of Love ” (#1, 1988), TV and stage actor
1952 ● Steve Bartek → At age 16 played flute and percussion on first album by Strawberry Alarm Clock but couldn’t join the band (too young), joined 80s New Wave ska-revival quirky synth-pop Oingo Boingo, “Weird Science” (Dance/Club #21, 1985)
1959 ● Jody Watley → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer, first as lead vocals for disco trio Shalamar, “The Second Time Around” (#8, 1979), then solo “Real Love” (#1, 1987), wrote “Sweet Sixteen” for Destiny’s Child, record producer, founder of Avitone Records, fashion designer and fitness DVD host
1959 ● Mark Eitzel → Guitarist, singer, chief songwriter and frontman for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear), disbanded AMC for a jazz-pop solo career
1959 ● Steve Augeri → Rock ballad and arena rock singer with multiple bands in the 80s, joined arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981) in 1998, resumed a solo career in 2010
1964 ● Marcel Karl Jacob → Swedish bass guitarist in hard rock/melodic metal Talisman and Last Autumn’s Dream, committed suicide on 7/21/2009
1964 ● Angie Stone (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/neo-soul singer, songwriter, keyboardist with urban soul-pop Vertical Hold, “Seems You’re Much Too Busy” (Top 40, 1993) then solo, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” (Dance/Club #1, 2002), has written hits for Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 17 – 23)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 17

1927 ● Eartha Kitt → Slinky actress, 40s/50s cabaret star and multi-decade throaty-purr singer, “Where Is My Man” (Dance/Club #7, 1983), died from colon cancer on 12/25/2008, age 81
1933 ● Dalida (Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti) → Egyptian-born French pop singer and one of the most successful female pop artists of all time despite having virtually no presence in the U.S., recorded more than 1000 songs in 10 languages and over 75 albums in a 30 year career, died from an intentional prescription drug overdose on 5/3/1987
1943 ● Chris Montez (Ezekiel Christopher Montanez) → One hit wonder rock ‘n roll singer, “Let’s Dance” (#4, 1962), then MOR-pop balladeer, “Call Me” (Easy Listening #2, 1966)
1944 ● Francoise Hardy → French MOR-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “All Over The World” (UK #16, 1965)
1945 ● William “Poogie” Hart → Vocals in R&B/Philly soul The Delfonics, “La-La Means I Love You” (#4, 1968), formed The Three Tenors of Soul in mid-00s
1946 ● Domenic Troiano → Canadian rock guitarist, played lead guitar for Ronnie Hawkins‘ backing band and pop-rock Mandala in the 60s, James Gang (“Walk Away,” #51, 1971) and The Guess Who (“Clap For The Wolfman,” #6, 1974) in the early 70s, and fronted his own band in the late 70s, performed session work and composed film scores in the 80s and 90s, died from prostate cancer on 5/25/2005, age 59
1948 ● Michael Kevin “Mick” Taylor → Guitarist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, joined The Rolling Stones (“Brown Sugar”, #1, 1971) in 1969, left in 1974, session work with Jack Bruce, Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield and Ron Wood
1953 ● Sheila Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Cheryl Bentyne → Vocals in Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1955 ● Steve Earle → Oft-covered, rough-edged country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Guitar Town” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1989)
1956 ● Paul Young → Manchesterian R&B/blue-eyed soul-pop interpretive singer, “Everytime You Go Away” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Jeremy “Jez” Strode → Drummer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), independent music equipment lessor
1959 ● Susanna Hoffs → Guitar and vocals for New Wave girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1960 ● John Crawford → Bass and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Dave Collard → Keyboards for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1963 ● Kai Michael Hansen → The “Godfather of Power Metal,” German heavy metal guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, founding member of three seminal German power metal bands, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Unisonic, plus multiple guest appearance with other thrash and power metal bands
1964 ● Andy Rourke → Bassist for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984)
1966 ● Shabba Ranks (Rexton Gordon) → Grammy-winning R&B/dance hall reggae and hip hop singer, “Mr. Loverman” (Dance #2, Hot 100 #40, 1992)
1967 ● Richard Hawley → Guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer, founding member of 90s Britpop Longpigs (“On And On,” Modern Rock #17, UK #16, 1996), later with 00s lineup of alt rock Pulp, released nine solo studio albums through 2012
1971 ● Jon Wysocki → Drummer for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1971 ● Kid Rock (Robert James Ritchie) → White-trash rap-rock superstar, “Picture” (#4, 2003) and ten other Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits
1972 ● Aqualung (Matt Hales) → Contemporary/indie pop singer and songwriter, “Brighter Than Sunshine” (Adult Top 40 #32, UK #37, 2006)
1978 ● Ricky Wilson → Vocals for Britpop/indie rock Kaiser Chiefs, “Ruby” (UK #1, 2007)
1982 ● Alex Varkatzas → Vocals and lyrics for rap-metal Atreyu, “Ex’s And Oh’s” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2006)
1984 ● Calvin Harris (Adam Richard Wiles) → Scottish electropop singer and songwriter, “The Girls” (UK ##, 2007), producer for Kylie Minogue and Dizzee Rascal

Jan 18

1933 ● Ray Milton Dolby → Billionaire engineer and inventor who helped develop the first audio tape recorder in the late 1940s and prototype video tape recorders in the 1950s for Ampex, invented and marketed the electronic noise reduction system known as Dolby NR for reducing tape hiss in the 60s, died from leukemia on 9/12/2013
1940 ● Alvis Moorer → With his brother, Gilbert, lead singer in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died on 8/21/2011, age 71
1941 ● David Ruffin → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), died from drug overdose 6/1/1991
1941 ● Bobby Goldsboro → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Honey” (#1, 1968), children’s TV producer, The Swamp Critters of the Lost Lagoon (1995)
1943 ● Dave Greenslade → Keyboards and vocals for jazz-blues-rock fusion Colosseum, (album Valentyne Suite, 1969), then founded prog-rock Greenslade, solo
1944 ● “Legs” Larry Smith → Drummer for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1953 ● Brett Hudson (Salerno) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), TV producer and script writer
1954 ● Tom Bailey → Frontman, songwriter, vocals and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), then Babble
1959 ● Bob Rosenberg → Founder and leader of dance-pop/mix music Will To Power, “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Jeremy Healey → Guitar for quirky Brit New Wave synth-pop Haysi Fantayzee, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (UK #11, 1982)
1970 ● DJ Quik (David Martin Blake) → Premier West Coast DJ and rapper, “Tonite” (Hot Rap #3, Hot 100 #49, 1991), producer for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Snoop Dogg and many others
1971 ● Jonathan Davis → Vocals for hard rock/”nu metal” Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1973 ● Crispian “Dodge” Mills (Crispian Boulting) → Frontman, guitar and vocals for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1973 ● Luther Dickinson → Founder (with brother Cody Dickinson), lead vocals and guitar for Grammy-winning Southern blues/rock North Mississippi Allstars, now lead guitar for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Good Morning Captain” (Mainstream Rock #30, 2009)
1974 ● Christian Burns → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen pop-rock BBMak, “Back Here” (#8, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Tierney → With his older brother, Andrew, and two schoolmates, co-founder and vocals in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1977 ● Richard Archer → Singer and guitarist for indie rock Hard-Fi, “Cash Machine” (Modern Rock #15, 2005)
1980 ● Estelle Swaray → Grammy-winning Brit R&B/hip-hop singer, songwriter and producer, “American Boy” featuring Kanye West (#9, 2008)
1982 ● Quinn Allman → Guitarist in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005)
1983 ● Samantha Mumba → Irish singer, songwriter and actress, “Gotta Tell You” (#4, 2000)

Jan 19

1926 ● Frederick James “Bob” Wooler → Resident DJ, booking agent and later compère at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, booked The Beatles there in 1961, declined to manage them but introduced them to Brian Epstein, died after a long illness on 2/8/2002
1935 ● Johnny “The Wild One” O’Keefe → Canadian-born singer, became “Australia’s King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with dozens of Top 10 hits, including “She’s My Baby” (Australia #1, 1960), died of prescription drug overdose and subsequent heart attack on 10/6/1978
1936 ● Willie “Big Eyes” Smith → Grammy-winning blues harmonica player, drummer, vocalist and bandleader, member of Muddy Waters, backing band and co-founder of supergroup The Legendary Blues Band, toured with John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and others, died from a stroke on 9/16/2011, age 75
1939 ● Phil Everly → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with older brother Don in hugely influential folk-rock duo The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) plus more than 25 other Top 40 hits, several co-written with Don, penned “When Will I Be Loved (Linda Ronstadt, #2, 1975), died of pulmonary disease on 1/3/2014
1942 ● Michael Crawford (Dumble-Smith) → Actor and singer best known for lead roll in The Phantom Of The Opera, “The Music Of The Night” (Brit Top 10, 1987)
1943 ● Janis Lynn Joplin → Vocals and frontwoman for psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, then solo, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), died form accidental heroin overdose on 10/4/1970
1944 ● Lawrence “Laurie” London → Brit folk-pop 13-year-old one hit wonder, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#1, 1958)
1944 ● Michelle Ann Marie “Shelley” Fabares → TV actress (The Donna Reed Show, 1958-63, Coach, 1989-97), film star (Girl Happy with Elvis Presley, 1965) and one hit wonder pop singer, “Johnny Angel” (#1, 1962)
1946 ● Dolly Parton → Five-time Grammy-winning country-pop superstar singer, songwriter, actress, TV host and business entrepreneur, “Nine To Five” (#1, 1981), wrote “I Will Always Love You” for herself (Country #1, 1974) and Whitney Houston (#1, 1992)
1947 ● Rod Evans → Early lead vocals for hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, sang “Hush” (#4, 1968)
1948 ● Harvey Hinsley → Guitarist for Brit mixed race R&B/soul-funk-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1949 ● Robert Palmer → Underrated rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with country-blues-rock Vinegar Joe, then supergroup Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985) and solo, “Addicted to Love” (#1, 1986), died from cardiac arrest on 9/26/2003
1952 ● Dewey Bunnell → Brit-born guitarist and backing singer for folk-pop trio America, “A Horse With No Name” (#1, 1972), continues to tour and release albums with America bandmate Gerry Beckley in the 10s
1952 ● Eric Leeds → Jazz/funk session saxophonist and flutist, worked with Prince on nine albums as a member of his backing band The Family (now fDeluxe), solo
1953 ● Clive Edwards → Session or full member drummer for numerous hard rock bands, including Medicine Head, UFO, Pat Travers, Wirehead and others
1953 ● Desi Arnaz, Jr. → TV actor and singer, son of comedy team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Dean Paul Martin and classmate Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), owns and operates a ballet company theater in Boulder, CO
1953 ● Michael Boddicker → Film score composer and electronic music sessionman, played synthesizer on Michael Jackson albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous
1955 ● Tony Mansfield → Founding member, singer and guitarist for underrated New Wave electronic synth-pop New Musik, “Living By Numbers” (UK #13, 1980), then producer for Naked Eyes, A-Ha, The B-52’s, others
1957 ● Mickey Virtue → Keyboards for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1963 ● Caron Wheeler → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-disco-hip hop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989 )
1969 ● Trey Lorenz (Lloyd Lorenz Smith) → Back-up singer for Mariah Carey, duet “I’ll Be There” (#1, 1992), then solo, “Someone To Hold” (#19, 1992)
1971 ● John Wozniak → Guitar and vocals for one hit wonder post-grunge/indie rock Marcy Playground, “Sex And Candy” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1997)
1978 ● John Parker → Double bass, human beatbox and vocals for Brit folk-rock-hip hop one hit wonder Nizlopi, “JCB Song” (UK #1, 2005)

Jan 20

1888 ● Lead Belly (Huddie William Ledbetter) → Multi-instrumentalist, oft-covered country-blues-folk singer and songwriter, “Goodnight Irene” (1934), died of AMS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on 12/6/1949
1922 ● Piney Brown (Perry Columbus) → Legendary but unheralded early R&B/blue, ages shouter, songwriter, bandleader and life-long devotee to the blues, issued several albums from the 50s to the 00s but never achieved commercial success or notoriety, died in a nursing home of natural causes on 2/5/2009
1922 ● Ray Anthony → Trumpeter, bandleader relentless self-promoter and songwriter (“Dragnet” theme song, “The Bunny Hop,” and “Dancing In The Dark”) with a long and prosperous career in 40s and 50s big bands and various 60s-80s music enterprises, recorded the highest selling cover of the theme song from the TV series Peter Gunn (#8, 1959), continues into the 10s as a music label executive
1924 ● Otis Dewey “Slim” Whitman, Jr. → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955), died of heart failure on 6/19/2013
1924 ● Lee Pockriss → Songwriter with hit songs in multiple genres, best known for co-writing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” for Brian Hyland (#1, 1960) and “Johnny Angel” for Shelley Fabares (#1, 1962), worked on Broadway musicals and wrote children’s songs for Sesame Street, died after a long illness on 11/14/2011, age 87
1931 ● Earl Grant → Pianist, organist and pop and R&B singer with six albums and seven charting hits in the 50s and 60s, including “The End” (#7, 19957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson → Original member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977
1943 ● Rick Evans → Vocals and lyricist in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1945 ● Eric Stewart → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965), contemporary pop Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” (#22, 1970) and soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975)
1946 ● Jimmy Chambers → Singer with Brit-American R&B/dance-pop Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (#1, 1991)
1947 ● George Grantham → Drummer with country-rock Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1948 ● Melvin Pritchard → Drummer for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died of a heart attack on 1/28/2004
1952 ● Ian Hill → Bassist with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Paul Stanley (Stanley Harvey Eisen) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) plus three solo albums
1960 ● Scott Thunes → Bassist with Frank Zappa‘s band from 1981 through 1988, also worked with Steve Vai and The Waterboys and currently plays with The Mother Hips
1965 ● Greg Kriesel → Bassist for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1965 ● Heather Small → Lead singer for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1966 ● Tracii Guns (Tracy Richard Ulrich) → Founder and guitarist for glam-metal L. A. Guns, “The Ballad Of Jayne” (#33, 1990) then hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988) and Motörhead, Contraband and Brides Of Destruction
1969 ● Nicky Wire (Nicholas Allen Jones) → Bassist, lyricist and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1969 ● Tina O’Neill → Drummer for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1971 ● Gary Barlow → Frontman, vocals, piano and chief songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), wrote sixteen UK Top 5 hits, eleven UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums for Take That, plus two UK #1 solo singles and a UK #1 solo album,
1978 ● Sidney “Ratboy” Wilson → DJ and turntablist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1979 ● Rob Bourdon → Drummer for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Will Young → Pop singer and inaugural winner of UK TV’s Pop Idol show, “Anything Is Possible/Evergreen” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Nathan Connolly → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)

Jan 21

1923 ● Frank Virtue → Founder, frontman and guitarist for one hit wonder instrumental pop-rock The Virtues (“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” #5, R&B #27, 1959), later career as a record producer and recording engineer, died on 6/11/1994, age 71
1924 ● Aristotle “Telly” Savalas → Greek-American film star, TV actor (Kojak) and pop singer with two UK #1 songs and a non-charting take-off on his signature line “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, died of cancer on 1/22/1994
1924 ● Alfred Hawthorne “Benny” Hill → English singer/comedian with a long-running TV show and several comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961)
1938 ● Wolfman Jack (Robert Weston Smith) → Legendary gravel-voiced rock ‘n roll radio DJ and TV host, died of heart attack on 7/1/1995
1941 ● Richard Pierce “Richie” Havens → Low-screen folk and R&B guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for his appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971), died of a heart attack on 4/22/2013
1941 ● Placido Domingo (Jose Placido Domingo Embil) → Grammy-winning opera tenor and conductor, member of The Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, 1994 Billboard #4 Album, In Concert
1942 ● Edwin Starr (Charles Edwin Hatcher) → Rough, tough and re-inventive R&B/soul-pop-disco singer, “25 Miles” (#6, 1969), then anthemic protest song “War” (#1, 1970), then disco hit “(Eye-To-Eye) Contact” (Disco #1, 1979), died from a heart attack on 4/2/2003
1942 ● Scott “Mac” Davis → 60s session guitarist turned 70s countrypolitan pop-rock crossover star, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (#1, 1972), wrote “In The Ghetto” (#3, 1969) and “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6, 1970) for Elvis Presley
1945 ● Chris Britton → Guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Ibbotson → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock pioneers The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● Julian Frederick “Pye” Hastings → Scot guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and 40-year frontman for venerable psych-jazz-rock Caravan, “Nine Feet Underground” (1971)
1948 ● Peter Kircher → Mid-80s drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1950 ● Billy Ocean (Leslie Sebastian Charles) → Trinidad-born, UK-based R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984)
1954 ● Nigel Glockler → Drummer for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxonn, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1956 ● Rob Brill → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Vic Reeves (James Roderick Moir) → With Bob Mortimer, one half of Brit comedy/satire act Vic And Bob, then pop-rock The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1965 ● Jam Master Jay (Jason William Mizell) → Founding member of premier hardcore rap trio Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), murdered by an assassin on 10/30/2002
1965 ● Robert Del Naja (aka “3D” or “D”) → Founding member, MC and singer for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1966 ● Wendy James → Lead singer and Madonna-wannabe frontgal for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), solo
1972 ● Cat Power (Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall) → Indie folk- and blues-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor and model, album Moon Pix (1998)
1972 ● Tweet (Charlene Keys) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Oops (Oh My)” featuring Missy Elliott (#7, R&B #1, 2002)
1973 ● Chris Kilmore → Turntables and keyboards for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1976 ● Emma Lee Bunton → Vocals and “Baby Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Nokio (Tamir Ruffin) → Founder, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/urban soul-dance Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), producer for DMX, Torrey Carter and others
1980 ● Benjamin Moody → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)

Jan 22

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

Jan 23

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 10 – 16)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 10

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

Jan 11

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


Jan 12


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

Jan 13

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

Jan 14

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

Jan 15

1893 ● Ivor Novello (David Ivor Davies) → Welsh composer, singer, stage and screen actor and popular entertainer, namesake for annual British music awards, died 3/6/51
1909 ● Gene Krupa → Renowned jazz and big band drummer, composer, bandleader, drum kit developer, mentor and influencer, died from leukemia and heart failure 10/16/1973
1920 ● Yvonne “Vonnie” King (Cornelia Yvonne Driggs Burch) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died following a fall at home at age 89 on 12/13/2009
1929 ● Earl Hooker → Non-singing, commercially less successful but heralded blues slide guitar virtuoso, both as a sideman and on numerous instrumental albums under his own name, died from tuberculosis on 4/21/1970
1941 ● Captain Beefheart (Don Glen Vliet, later Don van Vliet) → Innovative, offbeat, satirical, visionary and influential art rock multi-instrumentalist, composer, frontman for The Magic Band and solo, album Trout Mask Replica (1969), died 12/17/2010 of complications from multiple sclerosis
1942 ● Edward J. “Sonny” Bivins, Jr. → Founding member and songwriter in R&B/doo wop then sweet soul vocal quintet The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, 1976), the only member to sing on every hit and appear on every one of the band’s albums, remained with the group and was its de facto leader at the time of his death on 12/3/2014, age 72
1945 ● Joan Marie Johnson → Vocals for 60s R&B/pop girl-group The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love” (#1, 1964)
1947 ● Pete Waterman → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting and production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1948 ● Ronnie Van Zant → Lead singer and primary lyricist for raunchy Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died in a plane crash along with other bandmembers on 10/20/1977
1951 ● Charo (María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza) → Curvy, provocative Spanish-American singer, comedienne, dancer and flamenco guitarist with a number of dance-pop hits including “Dance A Little Bit Closer” (Dance #18, 1977) and “España Cañi” (Dance #14, 2008), a long list of film credits and TV appearances and the signature phrase “cuchi-cuchi”
1951 ● Martha Davis → Vocalist and frontwoman for L.A.-based New Wave smooth pop-rock The Motels, “Only The Lonely” (#9, 1982)
1952 ● Melvyn Gale → Strings for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Boris Blank → Founding member, composer and multi-instrumentalist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987)
1953 ● Douglas Elwin “Duke” Erickson → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1959 ● Peter Trewavas → Bassist and backing vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1961 ● Stephen Damian O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1965 ● Adam Jones → Grammy-winning Welsh-American songwriter and guitarist (Rolling Stone #75) for Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), visual artist
1967 ● Lisa Velez → Vocals and frontwoman for 80s dance-pop/proto-hip hop Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, “Head To Toe” (#1, 1987)
1974 ● Edith Bowman → Scottish music critic, TV hostess and BBC 1 weekend morning radio DJ
1975 ● Belinda Chapple → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)

Jan 16

1908 ● Ethel Merman (Ethel Agnes Zimmerman) → Award-winning theater, film and TV actress, brassy comedienne and belting singer known as the “undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage” and for her many contributions to pop music, including renditions of “I Got Rhythm” and “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” died from a brain tumor on 2/15/1984, age 76
1934 ● Bob Bogle → Founding member and lead guitarist for seminal rock ‘n roll instrumental group The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/14/2009
1939 ● Ramon “Ray” Phillips → Lead vocals and bass for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Barbara Lynn (Ozen) → Southern R&B guitarist, bandleader, singer and solo artist, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” (#8, 1962)
1942 ● William Francis → Keyboards for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1943 ● Ronnie Milsap → Six-time Grammy-winning blind country-pop 70s/80s superstar singer and pianist, “Any Day Now” (#14, Country #1, 1982) plus 35 other Country #1 hits
1944 ● Jim Stafford → Country-pop comic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Spiders & Snakes” (#3, 1974) and five other Top 40 hits, also a TV and radio entertainer
1944 ● Katherine Anderson Schaffner → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles
1948 ● John Carpenter → Film score composer, producer, director and screenwriter, including the soundtrack to his film Halloween (1978)
1950 ● Kenji “Damo” Suzuki → Japanese lead vocalist for pioneer Kraut rock group Can, now avant garde/improv group Damo Suzuki’s Network
1957 ● Yan Style (Ian Stile) → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Kenny, “The Bump” (UK #3, 1975)
1959 ● Sade (Helen Folasade Adu) → Silky-smooth R&B/quiet storm singer, “Smooth Operator” (#5, 1984)
1962 ● Paul Webb → Bassist for Brit New Romantic synth-pop Talk Talk, “It’s My Life” (#31, 1984)
1965 ● Jill Sobule → One hit wonder 90s indie folk-pop singer and songwriter with the novelty MTV hit “I Kissed A Girl” (#67, Modern Rock #20, 1995)
1966 ● Maxine Jones → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance group En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1970 ● Brendan O’Hare → Drummer for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991), now solo
1976 ● Stuart Fletcher → Bassist for Britpop/indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997)
1979 ● Aaliyah Dana Haughton → Actress, model and teen R&B/club-dance star, “Try Again” (#1, 2000), killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas on 8/25/2001
1980 ● Luke Alex Broughton → Nephew and current bandmate of Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1981 ● Nick Valensi → Guitarist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1982 ● Samuel Dylan Murray Preston → Lead singer and guitarist in post-punk/indie pop-rock The Ordinary Boys, “Boys Will Be Boys” (UK ##, 2006)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 3 – 9)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Jan 03

1909 ● Victor Borge (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Angelyn Andrews → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995
1926 ● Sir George Martin → Highly-successful record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others
1937 ● Glen Larson → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Arthur Stills → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1964 ● Raymond McGinley → Lead guitar and vocals for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1975 ● Thomas Bangaltier → DJ for French progressive electronic dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1978 ● Kimberly Locke → Adult contemporary pop singer, “Band Of Gold” (Dance #1, Adult Contemporary #9, 2007)

Jan 04

1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
1937 ● John Gorman → Brit comedian and vocalist with Paul McCartney‘s brother in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1942 ● John McLaughlin → Jazz-fusion guitarist and composer, played with Miles Davis, founded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rolling Stone magazine #49 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1944 ● Volker Hombach → Flutist for first lineup of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1946 ● Arthur Conley → R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, co-wrote (with Otis Redding) and sang “Sweet Soul Music” (#2, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003
1955 ● Clive Gregson → Founder, frontman, vocals and songwriter for New Wave punk-pop Any Trouble, then 90s Brit folk-rock revival duo Gregson & Collister, solo and producer for others
1956 ● Bernard Sumner (Albrecht, aka Dicken) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1958 ● Marcel King → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995
1960 ● Michael Stipe → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Peter Steele (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010
1962 ● Martin Macaloon → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Robin Guthrie → Guitar and drum machine for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1962 ● Till Lindemann → Poet, frontman and lead vocals for German industrial metal band Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1965 ● Beth Gibbons → Singer for avant-garde fusion of electronica and pop Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1965 ● Cait O’Riordan → Bassist for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1965 ● David Glasper → Lead singer for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1966 ● Deana Carter → Neo-traditional country-folk singer, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” (Country #25, 1997)
1967 ● Benjamin Darvill → Harmonica for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1977 ● Timothy Wheeler → Founding member, songwriter and vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)

Jan 05

1923 ● Sam Phillips → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary pioneer, founder of Sun Records, producer for Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003
1932 ● Laten John “Johnny” Adams → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1940 ● George Malone → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1940 ● Athol Guy → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1941 ● Grady Thomas → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● George “Funky” Brown → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

Jan 06

1924 ● Earl Scruggs → Five-string, three-finger banjo virtuoso, co-bandleader (with Lester Flatt) of renowned bluegrass band the Foggy Mountain Boys and Flatt & Scruggs, “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” (#44, Country #1, 1963), frontman for the Earl Scruggs Revue
1929 ● Wilbert Harrison → Boogie-pop-rock singer, pianist and songwriter, “Kansas City” (#1, 1959) and “Let’s Work Together” (#32, 1969), the latter covered by blues-rock Canned Heat (#26, 1970) and Bryan Ferry, died of a stroke on 10/26/1994
1934 ● Bobby Lord → Country and rockabilly music artist popular in the 50s and 60s, “Without Your Love” (#10, 1956) and five other Country Top 40 hits, also hosted TV shows, died after a long illness on 2/16/2008, age 74
1935 ● Nino Tempo (Antonio LoTempio) → Session saxophonist and singer, recorded (with his sister Carol LoTempio) the duet “Deep Purple” (#1, 1963), then jazz musician
1937 ● Doris Troy (Higginson) → Back-up R&B/soul singer, as a solo artist co-wrote and recorded “Just One Look” (#10, 1963), died from emphysema on 2/16/2004
1944 ● Van McCoy → R&B/soul producer, songwriter, conductor and bandleader best known for the disco hit “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died after a heart attack on 7/6/1979
1946 ● Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett → Original member, singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of psych/space rock Pink Floyd, left in 1968 for a brief solo career, subject of “Wish You Were Here” (1975), died from complications of diabetes on 7/7/2006
1947 ● Alexandra Elene “Sandy” Denny → Singer and songwriter for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), then solo, died on 4/21/1978 from brain trauma following a fall
1951 ● Kim Wilson → Harmonica, lead vocals and songwriting for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1953 ● Malcolm Young → Rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriter for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982)
1959 ● Kathy Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge, “We Are Family” (#2, 1979)
1959 ● Neil Simpson → Bassist for present-day incarnation of Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1960 ● Muzz Skillings → Original bassist and singer for Grammy-winning prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), then Medicine Stick
1964 ● Mark O’Toole → Founding member, bassist and co-songwriter for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Tim Garbutt → Former club DJ, then partner and producer in Brit dance-pop duo Utah Saints, “Something Good” (UK #4, 1992)
1982 ● Morgan Lee Lander → Guitar and vocals for Canadian alternative metal girl group Kittie, “Funeral For Yesterday” (Mainstream Rock #40, 2006)
1986 ● Alex Turner → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

Jan 07

1922 ● Jean-Pierre Louis Rampal → French virtuoso classical flautist credited with returning the flute to the forefront of recorded music, collaborated with Claude Bolling (Grammy-nominated Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano, 1975), Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern and many others in multiple genres, died on 5/20/2000 of heart failure
1930 ● Jack Greene → The “Jolly Green Giant” due to his height and deep voice, Grammy-nominated country music singer and songwriter best known for “There Goes My Everything” (Country #1, 1966), Country Music Association Song of the Year, one of five Country #1 hits among eight Country Top 10s, continued to record and perform until shortly before his death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 3/14/2013, age 83
1936 ● Eldee Young → Premier jazz bassist in the 50s and 60s, worked with Ramsey Lewis Trio, then formed one hit wonder jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, “Soulful Strut” (#3, 1969), died from a heart attack on 2/12/2007
1938 ● Rory Storm (Alan Caldwell) → Frontman for Liverpool-based, Beatles-competitor (and Ringo Starr employer) The Hurricanes, “America” (1964), died from an apparent suicide on 9/28/1972
1938 ● Paul Revere (Dick) → Keyboards and frontman for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) plus 13 other Top 40 hit singles, continued to front new lineups of the band until his death from cancer on 10/4/2014
1939 ● Lefty Baker (Eustace Britchforth) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967)
1941 ● Jim West → Lead vocals for pop-harmony trio The Innocents, “Gee Whiz” (#28, 1961) and backing vocals for Kathy Young, “A Thousand Stars” (#3, 1960), solo
1942 ● Danny Williams → Britain’s Johnny Mathis, R&B/smooth-pop singer, “White On White” (#9, 1964) and the Oscar-winning “Moon River” from the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), died from lung cancer on 12/6/2005
1943 ● Jerry Corbitt → Founding member, guitar and vocals in light country-rock The Youngbloods, “Get Together” (#5, 1969), later produced Don McLean‘s album Tapestry (1970) and other country-rock recordings for a variety of artists, composed movie and TV soundtracks and served as Vanguard Records A&R executive, died from lung cancer on 3/8/2014, age 71
1943 ● Leona Williams (Leona Belle Helton) → Country bassist and vocalist in Loretta Lynn‘s band and her then-husband Merle Haggard‘s band, “The Bull And The Beaver” (Country #8, 1978), solo
1944 ● Mike McGrear (Michael McCartney) → Brother of Paul McCartney, comedian and vocalist in pop-rock trio The Scaffold, “Thank U Very Much” (#69, UK #4, 1968)
1945 ● Warren “Bugs” Pemberton → Drums 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.
1945 ● Dave Cousins (David Joseph Hindson) → Founder and lead guitarist for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973)
1946 ● Andy Brown → Drummer for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1946 ● Jann Wenner → Co-founder and publisher of the music and social/political biweekly Rolling Stone magazine
1948 ● Kenny Loggins → One half of the light country rock duo Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1973), then solo pop-rock, “Footloose” (#1, 1984)
1959 ● Kathy Valentine → Bassist for New Wave pop-punk girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”, (#2, 1982), the most successful all-female pop and rock band of all time and the only one to play their own instruments and write their own songs
1962 ● Taja Sevelle (Nancy Richardson) → Pop/crossover singer and songwriter signed by Prince to Paisley Park Records, “Love Is Contagious” (#62, 1987), novelist and founder of Urban Farming, a not-for-profit group that plants food crops on vacant urban land to feed the poor
1967 ● Mark Lamarr (Jones) → Brit comedian, TV music show host and radio DJ for the BBC known for shows featuring obscure rock ‘n’ roll gems
1974 ● John Rich → Lead vocals and bass for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)

Jan 08

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

Jan 09

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

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 27 – January 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 27

1931 ● William “Scotty” Moore → Sun Records sessionman and longtime Elvis Presley backing band guitarist, Rolling Stone magazine #29 Greatest Guitarist of All Time
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Piano and saxophone for Merseybeat pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, “How Do You Do It?” (#9, 1964)
1941 ● Mike Pinder → Keyboards and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967), left in 1978 for a solo career
1942 ● Mike Heron → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in esoteric Scottish psych-Celtic-folk/early World music duo The Incredible String Band
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → Early member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), then solo and songwriter
1944 ● Michael Leslie “Mick” Jones → Rock guitarist for Spooky Tooth and founding member of hard/arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978)
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Founder, frontwoman and lead vocals for underappreciated 60s psych-blues-rock Mother Earth, then solo
1948 ● Larry Byrom → Guitar for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), solo, sessions
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Drummer for Frank Zappa‘s band, then founded New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream #12, 1982)
1952 ● David Knopfler → Rhythm guitar and vocals for post-punk New Wave rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1979), solo, songwriter, younger brother of Mark Knopfler
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → L.A. pop-rock singer and songwriter, backing vocalist in Linda Ronstadt‘s band, solo “Personally” (#19, 1982)
1957 ● Jerry Gaskill → Drummer for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1960 ● Martin “Youth” Glover → Founding member and bassist for post-punk New Wave dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Lead guitar and principal songwriter for Christian pop-rock Sixpence None The Richer, “Kiss Me” (#2, 1998)
1988 ● Hayley Nichole Williams → Lead vocals and keyboards for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

Dec 28

1903 ● Earl Kenneth “Fatha” Hines → Early and influential modern jazz pianist and orchestra leader, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan played in his band, died 4/22/1983
1910 ● Billy Williams → R&B/soul-blues singer with six Top 40 hits in the 50s, including the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” (#3, 1957), lost his voice due to diabetes in the 60s and became a social worker until his death on 10/17/1972
1910 ● Harold Rhodes → Inventor of the Rhodes electric piano, which became the most successful piano of its kind and dominated rock, pop, soul and jazz music in the 60s and 70s until succumbing to Japanese competition and digital synthesizers in the 80s but enjoys a resurgence of use in the 00s, died from complications of pneumonia on 12/17/2000
1915 ● Roebuck “Pops” Staples → Patriarch and manager of influential R&B/soul-gospel father-daughters quartet The Staple Singers, whose gospel roots and early focus shifted to soul music and non-religious lyrics in the 70s and produced a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), died on 12/19/2000
1921 ● Johnny Otis (Ioannis Veliotes) → Swing-era bandleader, R&B record producer, record company A&R executive, rock band manager, songwriter and 50s and 60s R&B/soul singer, “Willie And The Hand Jive” (#9, R&B #3, 1958), continued to perform and record with his band The Johnny Otis Show into the 80s and host an annual rock and R&B festival in Los Angeles into the 00s, died from natural causes on 1/17/2012
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Country-pop and rockabilly singer with his brother in the Johnny Burnette Trio, solo, “(There Was A) Tall Oak Tree” (#23, 1962), prolific songwriter with over 350 titles covered by Glen Campbell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson, Stevie Wonder and others, died of a coronary arrest on 8/19/1979
1938 ● Charles Neville → Saxophonist for Joey Dee & The Starlighters, “Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and New Orleans R&B/soul sibling act The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1943 ● Charles “Chas” Hodges → Guitar, banjo, piano and vocals for Brit country-rock Head Hands & Feet, then pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Straight blues and blues-rock keyboardist and saxophonist, songwriter and bandleader, The Edgar Winter Group, “Frankenstein” (#1, 1973), younger brother of Johnny Winter
1947 ● Dick Diamonde (Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs) → Bassist in Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Joseph “Ziggy” Modeliste → Founding member and drummer for New Orleans soul-funk The Meters, “Chicken Strut” (1970), backing drummer for Robert Palmer, Dr. John and others, formed funk band The Wild Tchoupitoulas in the 70s, continues to perform with both band and record as a solo artist into the 10s
1948 ● Mary Weiss → Lead vocals for quintessential girl group quartet The Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), resurfaced with a solo album in 2007
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Frontman for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then power-pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died on 3/17/2010 from heart failure
1951 ● Louis A. McCall, Sr. → Drummer, songwriter, singer and co-founder of R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), murdered in a home invasion robbery on 6/25/1997
1953 ● Richard Clayderman (Philipe Pages) → The Guinness Book of World Records‘ “most successful pianist in the world,” French easy listening/instrumental pop composer and pianist with over 400 albums and 70 million in unit sales, compositions include original works, covered materials, film scores and easy listening renditions of classical works
1954 ● Rosie Vela → Model, actress, pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Magic Smile” (Adult #29, 1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Drummer for neo-trad country Shenandoah, “The Church On Cumberland Road” (Country #1, 1989)
1960 ● Marty Roe → Founder, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for country-pop-bluegrass Diamond Rio, “One More Day” (Country #1, 2000)
1964 ● Paul Wagstaff → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club septet Paris Angels, “Perfume” (UK #55, 1990), then Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992) and Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Joey Shuffield → Drummer for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1971 ● Anita Dels → Vocals for Euro dance-pop 2 Unlimited, “Tribal Dance” (Dance/Club #7, 1993)
1978 ● John Legend (Stephens) → Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriter, “Ordinary People” (#24, 2005)

Dec 29

1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Lead singer for R&B/doo wop The Velvets, “Tonight (Could Be The Night)” (#26, 1961)
1941 ● Ray Thomas → Founding member, harmonica and vocals for prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967)
1942 ● Rick Danko → Canadian-born bassist, vocalist and occasional songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, died at home in his sleep from heart failure on 12/10/1999
1942 ● Jerry Summers (Gross) → Lead and first tenor for doo wop a cappella harmony turned early garage-rock/dance craze The Dovells, “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961)
1943 ● Bill Aucion → Artist consultant and band manager credited with discovering campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) and developing their costumes, stage presence, record contracts and merchandise into a multi-million dollar enterprise, also managed other hard rock bands, including Billy Idol, Starz and Finnish heavy metal Lordi, died from complications following prostrate cancer surgery on 6/28/2010
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, former paramour of Mick Jagger, co-wrote The Rolling Stones‘ “Sister Morphine,” solo vocalist, “As Tears Go By” (#22, 1964), continues to record and release albums into the 10s
1947 ● Cozy Powell (Colin Flooks) → Journeyman but sought after and influential rock drummer with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and others, died in a one-car crash in the UK on 4/5/1998
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → Trumpeter in blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → Hawaii-born pop-rock singer and songwriter, acted in the Broadway stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), member of Eric Clapton‘s band and solo “If I Can’t Have You” (#1, 1977)
1955 ● Neil “Spyder” Giraldo → Lead guitarist for Pat Benatar‘s band, “Love Is A Battlefield” (#5, 1983)
1961 ● Jim Reid → Co-founder and lead singer in Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1961 ● Mark “Cow” Day → Guitarist for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1963 ● Alex Gifford → Keyboards, bass and DJ for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998)
1966 ● Bryan Keith “Dexter” Holland → Frontman, guitar and vocals for 90s punk revival The Offspring, “Gone Away” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1968 ● Sadat X (Derek Murphy) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1970 ● Glen Phillips → Founder, lead vocals and songwriter for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), solo

Dec 30

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

Dec 31

1914 ● Cyril Stapleton → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974
1928 ● Ross Barbour → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement, folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died on 12/2/2008 from heart disease
1942 ● Andy Summers (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● Peter Quaife → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010
1943 ● John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997
1947 ● Burton Cummings → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton → Bassist for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1960 ● Paul Westerberg → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian (Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara → Founder and lead vocals for Brit pop-rock Embrace, “Gravity” (Mainstream Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1972 ● Joey McIntyre → Vocalist in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1977 ● PSY (Park Jae-Sang) → South Korean singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, rapper and “K-Pop” phenomenon known for his global hit “Gangnam Style” (#2, UK #1, 2012)
1979 ● Bob Bryar → Drummer for 00s alt rock/emo band My Chemical Romance, “Welcome To The Black Parade” (#9, 2006)

Jan 01

1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999
1941 ● James West → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country” Joe McDonald → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1950 ● Morgan Fisher → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

Jan 02

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

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