Posts Tagged soul music birthdays

This Week’s Birthdays (April 1 – 7)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 01

1897 ● Lucille Bogan / → Under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson, early blues songwriter and recording artist known for her sexually charged lyrics including “Shave ‘Em Dry” (1935) and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (1937), considered one of the “big three” of the blues with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, died from coronary sclerosis on 8/10/1948, age 51
1921 ● Arthur Smith / → Country music instrumentalist and pioneer of electric guitar music in the late 40s, charted the oft-covered “Guitar Boogie” (#25, 1948), an early rock ‘n’ roller, wrote hundreds of songs, including “Dueling Banjos” from the film Deliverance (1972), hosted country music’s first syndicated TV show beginning in 1951, died at home on 4/3/2014, age 93
1927 ● Amos Milburn / → Boogie-blues piano master, singer and rock ‘n’ roll roots pioneer, “Chicken Shack Boogie” (R&B #1, 1948) and eight other R&B Top 10 hits, died following a stroke on 1/3/1980, age 52
1932 ● Debbie Reynolds / (Mary Frances Reynolds) → Popular film, stage and TV actress and adult-pop singer “Tammy” (#1, 1957), starred numerous films including the genre-defining Hollywood musical Singing In The Rain (1952), one of the top films in American cinema history, continues to be active in business and charitable organizations into the 10s
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown / → Country and country-pop singer and radio and TV host, found early fame with his two sisters in 50-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), followed with a solo career and 13 Country Top 25 hits, including “Morning” (Country #1, 1970), recorded seven Country Top 10 duets with Helen Cornelius in the late 70s, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” (Country #1, 1976), hosted various country music radio and TV entertainment shows until shortly before his death from lung cancer on 6/3/2015, age 81
1939 ● Rudolph Isley / → Vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Alan Blakely / → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), died of cancer on 6/1/1996, age 54
1942 ● Phil Margo / → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1944 ● Frank Gari / (Frank Garofal)) → Pop music singer and songwriter with three Top 40 hits in 1961, including “Lullaby Of Love” (#23, 1961), transitioned to an Emmy and Clio award-winning career composing theme and advertising jingles for TV and radio, worked for McDonald’s, Smuckers, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and many advertisers and TV programs worldwide
1945 ● John Barbata / → Drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972 and remained through 1978 with Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), later sessions work
1946 ● Ronnie Lane / (Ronald Frederick Lane) → Bass player, songwriter and vocals for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), formed rock ‘n’ roll Slim Chance, “How Come” (UK #5, 1974), collaborated with Pete Townshend (Rough Mix, 1977) and issued several solo albums, died of multiple sclerosis on 6/4/1997, age 51
1947 ● M / (Robin Scott) → New Wave synth-pop one hit wonder electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Pop Muzik” (#1, 1979), producer and collaborator
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff / (James Chambers) → Pioneering ska and reggae singer, songwriter, bandleader, actor in the film The Harder They Come (1972) and singer of the title track, also “I Can See Clearly Now” (#18, 1993)
1948 ● Simon Cowe / → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Gil Scott-Heron / → Spoken-word, soul and jazz poet known for his critiques of politics, racism and the mass media society, highly influential progenitor of hip hop music and countless rappers, issued fifteen Top 25 Jazz Albums and seven Top 40 R&B albums along with multiple charting singles including “Angel Dust” (R&B #15, 1978) but never achieved fame beyond cult popularity, died after a brief illness related to HIV on 3/27/2011, age 62
1951 ● Henry Gross / → Guitar and vocals in “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), at age 18 was the youngest performer at Woodstock, left the band in 1970 for a one hit wonder singer/songwriter solo career (“Shannon,” #6, 1976), continues to record and perform in the 10s
1952 ● Billy Currie / → Keyboards for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Rob Wasserman / → Grammy-winning stand up bass guitarist and composer with three acclaimed solo albums Solo (1983), Duets (1988) and Trios (1994) and session work with Neil Young, Elvis Costello and many others, co-founded RatDog with Bob Weir and toured extensively with Lou Reed, died from cancer on 6/29/2016, age 64
1954 ● Jeff Porcaro / → Drummer for jazz-pop-rock Steely Dan in the mid-70s, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4, 1974), then sessions for Boz Scaggs, Warren Zevon, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and many others, formed arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1983), died of a heart attack from suspected cocaine use on 8/5/1992, age 38
1958 ● D. Boon / (Dennes Dale Boon) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for influential hardcore/punk rock trio The Minutemen, died in a car accident at the peak of the band’s underground popularity on 12/22/1985, age 27
1961 ● Mark White / → Guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-dance-pop ABC, “The Look Of Love” (#18, 1982)
1961 ● Susan Boyle / → Amateur Scottish singer, “I Dreamed A Dream” (2009), whose out-of-nowhere rise to fame (and fortune) resulted from her appearance on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent
1964 ● Leslie Langston / → Bassist for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1965 ● Peter O’Toole / → Bassist for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1977 ● Simon White / → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1981 ● Hannah Louise Spearitt / → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1986 ● Hillary Scott / → Vocals and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009), solo
1994 ● Ella Eyre / (Ella McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

April 02

1912 ● Herbert Mills / → Tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, performed with his last remaining brother, Donald until his death on 4/12/1989, age 77
1917 ● Lou Monte / (Louis Scaglione) → Novelty pop crooner and guitarist best known for his Italian-American dialect in parodies and children’s songs, including “Pepino The Italian Mouse” (#5, 1963) and the Christmas standard “Dominic The Donkey,” died on 6/12/1989, age 72
1928 ● Serge Gainsbourg / (Lucien Ginsburg) → French provocateur, ladies man and pop singer, duet with ingénue Jane Birkin, “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” (#69, UK #1, 1970), the first foreign language UK chart topper, died of a heart attack on 3/2/1991, age 62
1938 ● Warner Mack / (Warner MacPherson) → Country music singer with fourteen Country Top 20 hits and two crossover minor singles from 1957 to 1970, including the self-penned debut single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You)” (#61, Country #9, 1957)
1939 ● Marvin Gaye / (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → Grammy-winning, highly talented and revered R&B/soul pioneer, first with R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, then Motown solo vocalist, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1, 1968), transformed to beloved social commentator, “What’s Goin’ On” (#1, 1973), shot dead by his father in a domestic dispute on 4/1/1984, age 43
1942 ● Leon Russell / (Claude Russell Bridges) → Multi-instrumentalist, in-demand sessionman for multiple top-name rock artists on hundreds of albums in nearly every genre of pop and rock music, songwriter with dozens of hits recorded by others, including over 100 covers of Grammy-winning “A Song For You” (1970), bandleader for Joe Cocker‘s backing group, producer for albums by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and others, scratchy-voiced solo artist with two Top 20 hits (“Tight Rope,” #11, 1972 and “Lady Blue,” #14, 1975), recorded and performed until health issues forced his retirement, died in his sleep from heart failure on 11/13/2016, age 74
1942 ● Parrot Castrodale / (Phil Castrodale) → First tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1943 ● Larry Coryell / (Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III) → Virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, started with Free Spirits and Gary Burton in the 60s, formed seminal fusion band The Eleventh House in the 70s, flipped between jazz and rock, electric and acoustic for the balance of his career and played alongside John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce and Charles Mingus, composed operas in his later years and died from heart failure in a New York City hotel while on tour on 2/19/2017, age 73
1946 ● Kurt Winter / → Guitarist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), joined in 1970 to replace founder Randy Bachman, co-wrote “Hand Me Down World” (#17, 1970), left in 1974 to start a mattress business, died from kidney failure on 12/14/1997, age 51
1947 ● Emmylou Harris / → Grammy-winning traditional- and neo-country singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, collaborator, solo artist , “Sweet Dreams” (Country #1, 1976)
1949 ● David Robinson / → Drummer for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave synth-pop/guitar rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978)
1952 ● Dave Bronze / → Session and touring bassist for Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies. Belinda Carlisle, Procol Harum and many others
1952 ● Leon Wilkeson / → Bassist, backing vocals and occasional songwriting for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died from liver and lung failure on 7/27/2001, age 49
1956 ● Gregory Abbott / → One hit wonder R&B/soul-urban pop-quiet storm singer/songwriter, “Shake You Down” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward / → Founding member and vocals for hugely successful Brit synth-dance-pop girl group Bananarama, covered “Venus” (#1, 1986)
1966 ● Garnett Silk / (Garnett Damoin Smith) → Rising star Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer and Rastafarian, “Hey Mama Africa” (UK #1, 1992), died trying to save his mother in an accidental house fire on 12/16/1996, age 28
1967 ● Greg Camp / → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1971 ● Chico / (Yousseph Slimani) → Welsh Latin pop singer, “It’s Chico Time” (UK #1, 2006), reached the semi-finals of the 2005 season of the UK series The X Factor
1979 ● Jesse Carmichael / → Keyboards for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1981 ● Scott Cain / → Australian singer and winner of the third Australian Popstars competition, “I’m Moving On” (Aus. #1, 2002)
1983 ● Yung Joc / (Jasiel A. Robinson) → Hardcore/gangsta rapper, “It’s Goin’ Down” (#3, 2006)

April 03

1922 ● Doris Day / (Doris Von Kappelhoff) → Award-winning, virginal film heroine and family TV hostess, pop singer, “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” (#2, 1956)
1928 ● Don Gibson / (Donald Eugene Gibson) → Traditional and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (#7, Country #1, 1958) plus over 40 other Country Top 25 hits between 1956 and 1978, died 11/17/2003, age 75
1931 ● Gil Robbins / (Gilbert Lee Robbins) → Folk guitarist and singer, Air Force band conductor and member of the Cumberland Three with future Kingston Trio member John Stewart, joined the Harry Belafonte Singers and recorded five albums with The Highwaymen in the early 60s, acted in off-Broadway plays, including Month of Sundays (1968), How to Steal an Election (1968) and Mississippi Moonshine (1975)., father of actor Tim Robbins, died from prostate cancer on 4/5/2011, age 80
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff / (James Harrell McGriff) → Soul-jazz organist and bandleader, “All About My Girl” (#50, R&B #12, 1963), died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 5/24/2008, age 72
1938 ● Jeff Barry / (Joel Adelberg) → Brill Building pop-rock songwriter, singer, record producer, husband of noted songwriter Ellie Greenwich, with whom he co-wrote “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Leader Of The Pack” for The Shangri-Las (#1, 1964) and “I Can Hear Music” for The Beach Boys (#24, 1969), among dozens of other 60s hits
1938 ● Philippé Wynne / (Philippé Walker) → Co-lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, left in 1977 for a largely unsuccessful solo career, died of a heart attack on a nightclub stage on 7/14/1984, age 46
1941 ● Jan Berry / (William Jan Berry) → Singer in seminal surf music duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), died on 3/26/2004 after years of poor health following a 1966 auto accident, age 63
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal / → Light country-rock and pop singer, “Down In The Boondocks” (#9, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, then ten Country Top 20 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured regularly until he died in his sleep on 10/6/2015, age 73
1942 ● Wayne Newton / (Carson Wayne Newton) → Stage and screen star, pop music solo act, “Danke Schoen” (#13, Adult Contemporary #3, 1963), consummate Las Vegas showman and local real estate tycoon
1943 ● Artie Traum / (Arthur Roy Traum) → Award-winning Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk and smooth jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with ten solo albums, another four with his brother, Happy Traum, and numerous appearances and production credits with The Bandd, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, James Taylor and many others, later career as a documentary filmmaker, died from liver cancer on 7/20/2008, age 65
1943 ● Joe Vann / (Joseph Canzano) → Lead vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died 2/28/1984, age 40
1943 ● Richard Manuel / (Richard George Manuel) → Canadian-born keyboardist, occasional drummer, songwriter and tenor vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970) (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), committed suicide in a Florida motel room following a performance on 3/4/1986, age 42
1944 ● Barry Pritchard / → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died following a heart attack 1/11/1999, age 54
1944 ● Lois Wilkinson / → With partner Andrea Simpson, one half of the British Invasion pop-rock girl duo The Caravelles, “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry” (#3, 1963)
1944 ● Tony Orlando / (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM Pop star singer, leader of the vocal group Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971), Las Vegas showroom icon
1946 ● Dee Murray / (David Murray Oates) → Bassist for numerous rock and pop acts, most notably the Elton John band, died from a stroke after a long bout with cancer on 1/15/1992, age 45
1949 ● Richard Thompson / → Folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, founding member of renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo, duo with wife Linda
1951 ● Mel Schacher / → Bassist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966), then formed hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1956 ● Judie Tzuke / (Judith Myers) → UK pop singer/songwriter, “Stay With Me Till Dawn” (1979) ranks #39 of 50 top songs in the BBC Best of British – 50 Golden Years of Popular Music from 2002
1961 ● Eddie Murphy / (Edward Regan Murphy) → Stand-up comedian, comic screen actor (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Saturday Night Live cast member, sometime pop singer, “Party All The Time” (#2, 1985)
1962 ● Mike Ness / (Michael James Ness) → Co-founder, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996)
1962 ● Simon Raymonde / → Bassist for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1963 ● Christopher Michael “Criss” Oliva / → Co-founder with his brother Jon and lead guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns,” Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), died at the peak of the band’s popularity in a car collision caused by a drunk driver on 10/17/1993, age 30
1968 ● Sebastian Bach / (Sebastian Bierk) → Canadian-born frontman and lead vocals for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1996 for a moderately successful solo recording and Broadway and TV acting career
1970 ● Matthew Priest / → Drummer for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1974 ● Drew Shirley / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1985 ● Leona Lewis / → Contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “Bleeding Love” (#1, 2007), won the third series of Britain’s The X Factor in 2006, Billboard magazine’s “Top New Artist” for 2008

April 04

1913 ● Frances Langford / → Hollywood actress and singer, introduced the since oft-covered “I’m In The Mood For Love” in 1935, veteran of Bob Hope‘s USO tours during World War II, starred in multiple pre- and post-war musicals, appeared on TV as a host or guest on numerous variety programs through the early 60s, died from congestive heart failure on 7/11/2005, age 92
1915 ● Muddy Waters / (McKinley Morganfield) → Grammy-winning Chicago blues giant, “Mannish Boy” (R&B #5, 1955), major inspiration for the British blues-rock explosion of the 60s, Rolling Stone magazine #17 Greatest Artist of All Time, died in his sleep from heart failure on 4/30/1983, age 68
1922 ● Elmer Bernstein / → Golden Globe, Emmy and Academy Award-winning film score composer and music conductor with a 50-plus year career and over 200 film scores and TV themes, among them The Magnificent Seven (1960, also used in Marlboro cigarette ads), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Airplane! (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and various National Geographic specials, died of cancer on 8/18/2004, age 82
1928 ● Maya Angelou / (Marguerite Annie Johnson) → One of the most important African-American authors, artists, social activists and educators of all time, wrote the best-selling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) and seven autobiographies, three books of essays, numerous books of poetry, screenplays, and recorded a single album of calypso music, Miss Calypso (1957), died from natural causes on 5/28/2014, age 86
1932 ● Clive Davis / → Hugely successful, Grammy-winning record company executive responsible for signing and promoting many of rock and pop music’s biggest names over a five-decade career, first with Columbia Records which he transformed into a rock music powerhouse in the 70s, then with upstart Arista Records and his own label, J Records, more recently as Chairman and CEO of RCA Music Group and chief creative officer for Sony Music Entertainment
1936 ● Margo Sylvia / → Vocals and songwriter for R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957), died on 10/29/1991, age 55
1938 ● Declan Mulligan / → Irish guitarist for pop-rock The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh” (#15, 1964)
1938 ● Michael Parks / → One hit wonder pop singer and TV actor with various smaller roles in the 60s, best known as the star of the series Then Came Bronson (1969-1970) and for singing the theme song for the show, “Long Lonesome Highway” (#20, 1969), appeared in over two dozen films through 2015
1939 ● Major Lance / → Chicago good-time R&B/soul singer, “The Monkey Time” (#8, R&B #2, 1963), died of heart failure on 3/9/1994, age 55
1939 ● Hugh Masekela / (Ramapolo Hugh Masekela) → The “father of South African jazz ,” trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and singer best known in the U.S. as a one hit wonder pop artist for his instrumental hit “Grazing In The Grass” (#1, R&B #1, CAN #6, 1968), issued over 50 albums during his career, many during a 30-year exile from his homeland for his anti-apartheid views and music, played with other African musicians on Paul Simon‘s Graceland tour in the mid-80s, continued to record and perform until his death from prostate cancer on 1/23/2018, age 78
1940 ● Sharon Sheeley / → Successful early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter, wrote “Poor Little Fool” for Ricky Nelson (#1, 1958) and “Somethin’ Else” for Eddie Cochran (#58, 1959), was Cochran’s “unofficial fiancé” and survived the taxi crash that killed Cochran in 1960, died following a cerebral hemorrhage on 5/17/2002, age 62
1941 ● Michael Z. Gordon / → Musician, composer, record producer and film screenwriter, frontman and songwriter for two contemporaneous surf-rock bands in the 60s, The Routers (“Let’s Go (Pony),” #19, 1962) and The Marketts (“Out Of Limits,” #3, 1964), later composed music for multiple TV shows and feature films, including the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction (1994)
1942 ● Kris Jensen / (Peter Kristian Jensen) → One hit wonder pop singer with J.D. Loudermilk‘s “Torture” (#1, 1962), a song The Everly Brothers turned down, recorded several dozen other songs without success and drifted into obscurity in the late 60s
1945 ● Knox Carnochan / (Ian Carnochan) → Founding member and vocals for punk-rock The Vibrators, “Automatic Lover” (UK #35, 1978)
1946 ● Dave Hill / → Lead guitarist and backing vocals for Brit glam-metal Slade, “Run Runaway” (#20, 1984)
1948 ● Pick Withers / (David Withers) → Original drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983), left the band in 1982
1948 ● Berry Oakley / (Raymond Berry Oakley III) → First bassist for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” (#77, 1972), died in a motorcycle accident on 11/11/1973, age 24
1949 ● Junior Braithwaite / (Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite) → Co-founding member and vocals for roots reggae The Wailers, left Jamaica in 1964 to pursue a medical career in Chicago, returned in 1984 for a Wailers reunion album and tour, murdered on 6/2/1999, age 50
1950 ● Pip Pyle / (Phillip Pyle) → Journeyman drummer for several Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion bands over a 40 year career, including Gong, Hatfield And The North, In Cahoots and National Health in the 60s and 70s, collaborated with multiple artists in various progressive and experimental music projects, died on 8/28/2006, age 56
1951 ● Graeme Kelling / → Guitarist in Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), died from pancreatic cancer on 6/10/2004, age 53
1951 ● Steve Gatlin / → Elementary school teacher turned country music singer, first with Tammy Wynette‘s band and later with brothers Larry and Rudy in Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, issued two albums as a solo artist and currently tours as a motivational speaker
1952 ● Gary Moore / → Guitarist for Irish blues-rock band Skid Row, plus three short stints with hard rock Thin Lizzy, “Waiting For An Alibi” (UK #9, 1979), solo, “Still Got The Blues” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1990), found dead in his vacation hotel room in Spain on 2/6/2011. age 58
1962 ● Craig Adams / → Bassist and songwriter for goth-rock The Sisters of Mercy, then hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989) and The Mission, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990),
1963 ● David Gavurin / → Guitarist for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1963 ● Nigel Preston / → Founding member and drummer for post-punk/goth rock The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary” (UK #15, 1985), fired from the band for erratic behavior, worked with Nile Rodgers and DeLuca before a prison stint for armed robbery, died from a drug overdose on 4/1/1992, age 29
1966 ● Mike Starr / → Original bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from an apparent methadone overdose on 3/8/2011, age 44
1968 ● Mark Yates / → Guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1970 ● Mix Master Mike Schwartz / (Michael Schwartz) → DJ for hardcore punk then blue-eyed hip hop masters the Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right” (#7, 1987)
1972 ● Jill Scott / → Actress (as Big Mama Thornton in Hounddog, 2007), poet, songwriter and R&B/soul singer, “A Long Walk” (#43, R&B #9, 2001)
1972 ● Magnus Sveningsson / → Bassist for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Kelly Price / → R&B/pop singer, backing vocals for Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans, Mase and Notorious B.I.G., and solo, “Friend Of Mine” (#12, 1998)
1974 ● Andre Dalyrimple / → Vocals for urban R&B/dance-club brother quartet Soul For Real, “Candy Rain” (#2, 1995)
1975 ● Phil A. Jimenez / → Vocals and percussion for post-grunge Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” (Modern Rock #7, 2001)
1978 ● Lemar Obika / → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, appeared on BBC TV talent show Fame Academy, “Dance (With You)” (UK #3, 2002)
1980 ● Johnny Borrell / → Guitar and vocals for Brit-Swede indie pop-rock Razorlight, “America” (UK #1, 2006)

April 05

1906 ● Lord Buckley / (Richard Myril Buckley) → Sophisticated and influential Beat poet, comedian, stage performer, spoken word recording artist and proto-rapper, influenced Lenny Bruce, Wavy Gravy, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Buffett, died following a stroke on 11/12/1960, age 54
1911 ● Goddard Lieberson / → Columbia Records executive responsible for introducing the long-play record (LP) at the label in the early 50s, served as president of Columbia/CBS from 1956 to 1971 and from 1973 to 1975 and as president of the Recording Industry Association of America from 1964 to 1977, died from cancer on 5/29/1977, age 66
1922 ● Gale Storm / (Josephine Cottle) → TV star in early sitcom My Little Margie (1952-1955) and pop vocalist with three Top 10 hits, including a cover of early rock ‘n’ roller “I Hear You Knockin'” (#2, 1956), found bit parts on TV in he 80s and acted in regional theater, died from natural causes on 6/27/2009, age 87
1928 ● Tony Williams / → Former parking lot attendant turned lead tenor for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, left the group in 1960 for a mildly successful solo career, died of emphysema on 8/14/1992, age 64
1929 ● Joe Meek / (Robert George Meek) → Brit 60s rock ‘n’ roll record producer, songwriter and film composer, produced The Tornados‘ hit “Telstar” (#1, 1961) among others, committed suicide after murdering his landlady on 2/3/1967, age 37
1931 ● “Cowboy Jack” Clement / (Jack Henderson Clement) → Country, pop and rock ‘n’ roll singer, songwriter and producer, “discovered” rockabilly Jerry Lee Lewis while working at Sun Records and produced Lewis‘s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (#3, Country #1, R&B #1, 1957), wrote “Guess Things Happen That Way” for Johnny Cash (#11, Country #1, 1958), from the 50s to the late 80s produced hundreds of albums for Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, U2 and many others, died from liver cancer on 8/8/2013, age 82
1932 ● Billy Bland / → One hit wonder R&B singer and songwriter, “Let The Little Girl Dance” (#7, R&B #11, 1960), left the industry in 1963 and currently runs a soul food restaurant in Harlem
1933 ● Reggie Lavong / (Reginald Jerome Nelson) → Smooth-voiced R&B, soul and blues DJ best known as Dr. Jive on WWRL-AM in New York City in the 60s and later on WHAT in Philadelphia, became an executive promoting R&B artists for Capitol, Island and then MCA Records and a small business entrepreneur, moved to the financial world as a Wall Street stock broker before retiring, died from complications of an infection on 9/19/2017, age 84
1934 ● Stanley Turrentine / (Stanley William Turrentine) → The “Sugar Man,” tenor saxophone legend starting with blues and R&B bands in the 50s, played soul-jazz with Jimmy Smith and his own jam bands in the 60s, shifted to jazz fusion in the 70s and recorded albums for the CTI Records jazz label, continued to record and perform through the 90s despite nominal commercial success, died following a stroke on 9/12/2000, age 66
1935 ● “G” Grant / (Peter James Grant) → Brit movie actor turned rock band manager for The Nashville Teens, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and others, co-founder of Swan Song Records, died from a heart attack on 11/22/1995, age 60
1939 ● Ronnie White / (Ronald Anthony White) → Founding member and vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The Miracles, who charted 18 Top 10 hits including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970), introduced Stevie Wonder to Motown chief Berry Gordy Jr., died of leukemia on 8/26/1995, age 56
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick / → Important figure in the 60s British folk revival and in the development for electrified folk-rock, first with the Ian Campbell Folk Group and then on fiddle, mandolin, songwriting and vocals for renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), after disbandment in 1979 played in multiple acoustic groups and as a session musician, issued a dozen solo albums through 2010, died from emphysema on 6/3/2016, age 75
1942 ● Allan Clarke / → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock harmony group The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters / (Robin Peter Smith) → Folk-pop two hit wonder singer/songwriter, “The Pied Piper” (#4, UK #5, 1966) and “You Were On My Mind” (UK #2, 1967), died following a long illness on 6/8/2010, age 66
1944 ● Nick Caldwell / (Nicholas Caldwell) → Original member of R&B/soul vocal quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980) and 33 other R&B Top 40 hits from 1969 to 1991, continued to perform with the group until his death from congestive heart failure on 1/5/2016, age 71
1946 ● Dave Holland / → Drummer with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1948 ● Kent Henry / (Kent Henry Plischke) → Rock guitarist with pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride, #4, 1970) and hard rock Steppenwolf in the 70s, died during intestinal surgery on 3/18/2009, age 61
1950 ● Anna Fältskog / (Agnetha Åse Fältskog) → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop quartet ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1951 ● Everett Morton / → Drummer for multi-racial Brit ska revival band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US), “Hand’s Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980)
1954 ● Stan Ridgeway / → Frontman and distinctive baritone vocalist for alt indie rock Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (Mainstream Rock #41, 1982), then solo with “Goin’ Southbound” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1961 ● Jacob Slichter / → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), authored book So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star (2004)
1964 ● Kid Reid / (Christopher Reid) → With Christopher “Play” Martin, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1966 ● Mike McCready / → Lead guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1967 ● Troy Gentry / → Country music singer and songwriter, one-half of the rough-hewed country/rock duo Montgomery Gentry (“Roll With Me,” #33, Country #1, CAN #66, 2003), died in a helicopter crash just before a performance near Trenton, NJ on 9/8/2017, age 50
1968 ● Paula Cole / → Alt pop-rock dreamy 90s two hit singer/songwriter, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” (#8, 1997) and “I Don’t Want To Wait” (#11. 1997)
1973 ● Pharrell Williams / → Grammy-winning rapper, fashion designer, and with Chad Hugo, one half of the hit songwriting/production duo The Neptunes, responsible for multiple pop, hip hop and R&B hits, including Britney Spears‘ “I’m A Slave 4 U” (Dance/Club #4, 2001), worked with Mase, Nelly and Kelis, solo US #1 album The Neptunes Present…Clones
1975 ● Juicy J / (Jordan Michael Houston) → Founding member, producer and MC for Memphis hip hop group Three 6 Mafia, “Stray Fly” (#18, R&B #9, 2005), later solo, “Bandz A Make Her Dance” (#29, Rap #5, 2012), produced tracks and albums for Ludacris, Lil Wayne and others

April 06

1918 ● Shakey Horton / (Walter Horton) → Influential blues harmonica player frequently referred to as “Big Walter,” session musician for Chess Records in Chicago in the 50s, played frequently with Muddy Waters, backed several notable blues musicians on their albums and issued four of his own, toured with Willie Dixon’s All-Stars and made guest appearances on albums by Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, died from heart failure and alcohol abuse on 12/8/1981, age 63
1926 ● Sergio Franchi / (Sergio Franci Galli) → Italian pop ballad crooner, signed to RCA and moved to the U.S. for his debut album (Romantic Italian Songs, #17, 1962), issued 35 albums and made 24 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before his death from a brain tumor on 5/1/1990, age 64
1929 ● André Previn / (André George Previn) → German-American jazz pianist, ten-time Grammy-winning film score composer and conductor for symphony orchestras in Houston, London, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, recorded hundreds of pieces in various genres and is considered one of the most versatile musicians of any era, charted one pop hit, “Like Young” (#46, 1959)
1937 ● Merle Haggard / (Merle Ronald Haggard) → Hugely successful and influential “Bakersfield Sound” traditional country guitarist, singer and songwriter with 38 Country #1 hits, including “Mama Tried” (Country #1, 1968) and “Workin’ Man Blues” (Country #1, 1969), plus 33 other Country Top 10 singles and ten crossover hits, inspired The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello and over 400 covers of “Today I Started Loving You Again,” died from pneumonia on 4/6/2016, his 79th birthday
1940 ● Don Myric / → Jazz-funk saxophonist, original member of Phoenix Horns Esq., the horn section for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), later session work for Phil Collins (sax solo on “One More Night,” #1 , 1985), Carlos Santana, Heaven 17 and others, died after being accidentally shot by a police officer during a narcotics investigation on 7/30/1993, age 53
1941 ● Phil Austin / → Comedian, writer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre and the voice of the group’s best-known character, private eye Nick Danger, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, died from an aneurysm on 6/18/2015, age 74
1942 ● Anita Pallenberg / → Fashion model, sometime actress known for roles in cult movies, 60s and 70s counterculture “It Girl” and muse to rock legends The Rolling Stones, had romantic relations with Brian Jones and, as rumored, with The Rolling Stones before taking up with Keith Richards and bearing two sons and a daughter with him, was exonerated from murder charges when a 17-year old boy shot himself in 1979 with a pistol in her bed in the suburban New York estate she shared with Richards, died from complications of hepatitis C on 6/13/2017, age 75
1944 ● John Stax / (John Edward Lee Fullager) → Original bassist for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1947 ● Tony Connor / → Drummer for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco-funk Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984
1951 ● Ralph Cooper / → Drummer for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Christopher Franke / → German keyboardist and composer for atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream
1960 ● Warren Haynes / → Blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, solo artist, sideman and bandleader, founding member of power trio/jam band Gov’t Mule, “Drivin’ Rain” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2002), played with The Allman Brothers Band, David Allan Coe, the Dickie Betts Band, Phil Lesh & Friends and The Dead plus numerous session and special projects with Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, John Mayall and others
1961 ● Gene Eugene / (Eugene Andrusco) → Canadian-born child actor (TV shows Bewitched, Jake And The Fatman and others), record producer (owner and chief engineer at The Green Room recording studio in Los Angeles), founding member of Christian alt rock supergroup Lost Dogs and frontman for innovative Christian funk-rock Adam Again, died from a brain aneurysm on 3/20/2000, age 38
1962 ● Stan Cullimore / (Ian Peter Cullimore) → Guitarist for Brit jangle guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), author of children’s books
1965 ● Black Francis / (Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) → Guitarist and singer with influential alt melodic rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), formed Frank Black and the Catholics in 1993, reunited Pixies in 2004, plus over 10 solo albums.
1968 ● Joe Gittleman / → Bassist for ska punk The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get” (Top 40 #17, Modern Rock #1, 1997) and other bands, assistant professor of music at a Vermont college
1978 ● Myleene Klass / → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), now TV host and model

April 07

1908 ● Percy Faith / → Composer, bandleader, producer and easy listening/pop singer, “The Theme From A Summer Place” (#1, 1960), died of cancer on 2/9/1976, age 67
1912 ● Jack Lawrence / → Hall of Fame songwriter and musical theater lyricist noted for songs that helped launch the careers of The Ink Spots (“If I Didn’t Care,” #2, 1939), Frank Sinatra (“All Or Nothing At All,” #2, 1943) and Bobby Darin (“By The Sea,” #6, 1959), wrote the song “Linda” for his friend Lee Eastman‘s daughter, who grew up to marry Paul McCartney, died from complications of a broken pelvis from a fall in his home on 3/16/2009, age 96
1915 ● Billie Holiday / (Eleanora Fagan Gough) → Known as “Lady Day”, hugely successful and revered jazz-blues singer, “Lady Sings The Blues” (1956), died from liver failure on 7/17/1959, age 44
1920 ● Ravi Shankar / (Rabindra Shankar Chowdery) → World-renowned Indian sitarist, mentor to George Harrison, music professor and university department head, member of Indian parliament, father of contemporary jazz-pop star Norah Jones, died from complications following heart valve replacement surgery on 12/11/2012, age 92
1922 ● Mongo Santamaria / (Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría Rodríguez) → Grammy-winning Cuban percussionist and Latin-jazz bandleader, “Watermelon Man” (#10, R&B #8, 1963), died following a stroke on 2/1/2003, age 80
1935 ● Bobby Bare / → Country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “All American Boy” (#2, 1959) and Grammy-winning “Detroit City” (#16, Adult Contemporary #4, 1963) plus over 50 Country Top 40 hits from 1964 to 1983
1937 ● Charlie Thomas / → Vocals for R&B/doo wop The Five Crowns, who changed their name in 1958 to The Drifters, “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964)
1938 ● Freddie Hubbard / (Frederick Dewayne Hubbard) → Renowned jazz/be bop NEA Jazz Master trumpeter with a Grammy-winning album (First Light, 1972) which led to accusations of commercial sell-out, performed in numerous collaborations with George Benson, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine and many others, died from a heart attack on 11/26/2008, age 70
1938 ● Spencer Dryden / → Drummer for 60s psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), then country-folk-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, “Panama Red” (1973), died of cancer on 1/11/2005, age 66
1943 ● Alan Buck / → Drummer for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the U.S., died from a heart attack on 3/15/1994, age 50
1943 ● Mick Abrahams / (Michael Timothy Abrahams) → Original lead guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left after a falling-out with bandleader Ian Anderson, formed blues-rock Blodwyn Pig that released two charting albums in the early 70s
1947 ● Skip Pitts / (Charles Pitts) → Soul, funk and blues guitarist, “wah-wah” style innovator, session musician with Stax Records, performed with Isaac Hayes (soundtrack album Shaft, 1971), also worked with James Brown, Otis Redding, The Isley Brothers, Cyndi Lauper and others, died of cancer on 5/1/2012, age 65
1947 ● Florian Schneider-Esleben / → Drums and keyboards for German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● Patricia Bennett / → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Carol Douglas / → Disco diva with the early dance-pop/disco hit “Doctor’s Orders” (#11, Disco #2, 1975) and several other Dance/Club chart singles but little commercial success, continued to perform in clubs into the 90s
1948 ● Dallas Taylor, Jr. / → Session drummer for John Sebastian and with Lowell George in pre-Little Feat folk-rock The Factory, founding member of 60s psych rock Clear Light (“Mr. Blue,” 1967), joined Crosby, Stills & Nash for their debut album (1969) and their follow-up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Déjà Vu (1970), played with Stephen Stills on his solo albums and with his band Manassas, toured with Paul Butterfield‘s band in the late 70s, died from liver failure on 1/18/2015, age 66
1949 ● John Oates / → Singer/songwriter and one half of Philly soul-pop-rock duo Hall & Oates, “Private Eyes” (#1, 1981), plus 20 other Top 20 hits
1949 ● Wells Kelly / → Multi-instrumentalist musician, early member of pop-rock King Harvest (his brother Sherman wrote the hit “Dancing In The Moonlight” – #1, 1973) and co-founder of pop-rock Orleans (“Still The One,” #5, 1976), toured with Steve Forbert, Clarence Clemons and Meat Loaf in the early 80s, found dead on the front steps of a London flat after a night of partying during a tour on 10/29/1984, age 35
1950 ● Steve Ellis / (Stephen John Ellis) → Vocals for London-based R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, left in 1969 for a marginal solo career and stints with various Brit rock bands, still records and performs with The New Amen Corner into the 10s
1951 ● Bruce Gary / → Drummer for power pop The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979), worked with Albert Collins, Jack Bruce, Dr. John in the 70s and Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yoko Ono, Bette Midler and others, and as a producer before dying of lymphoma on 8/22/2006, age 55
1951 ● Janis Ian / (Janis Eddy Fink) → Grammy-winning, often controversial singer/songwriter, first hit was at age 16, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)” (#14, 1967), then “At Seventeen” (#3, 1975)
1960 ● Simon Climie / → Songwriter and member of the Brit pop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988), lately collaborating with Eric Clapton
1962 ● Barbara Kessler / → Folk-pop singer and songwriter (“Deep Country,” 1994)
1978 ● Duncan James / (Duncan Matthew James Inglis) → Actor, TV host and singer with Brit boy band Blue, “If You Come Back” (UK #1, 2002), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (March 4 – 10)

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 04

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

March 05

1933 ● Tommy Tucker / (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans / → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1946 ● Murray Head / → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges / → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant / → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page / → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark / → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Bobby Debarge / (Robert L.Debarge, Jr.) → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie / (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith / (Mark Edward Smith) → Founder, frontman, lead singer, chief songwriter and only constant member of influential post-punk The Fall (“There’s A Ghost In My House,” UK #30, 1987), his grinding riffs and caustic lyrics filled 32 studio albums as The Fall and two albums as a solo artist over a 42-year career that ended on his death from throat and respiratory problems on 1/24/2018, age 60
1958 ● Andy Gibb / → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid / → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid / → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante / → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch / → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

March 06

1905 ● Bob Wills / (James Robert Wills) → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1893 ● Furry Lewis / (Walter Lewis) → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson / → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Sam Samudio / (Domingo Samudio) → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis
1937 ● Doug Dillard / → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1939 ● Jerry Naylor / (Jerry Naylor Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1944 ● Mary Wilson / → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop trio The Supremes, “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), left in 1976 to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career
1945 ● Hugh Grundy / → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour / → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee / (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy / (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo / (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick / → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel / (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey / → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx / (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07

1942 ● Hamilton Bohannon / → Drummer, bandleader, producer and one of the leading figures in the rise of 70s disco/dance music, worked with Stevie Wonder in his early years, toured with major Motown artists in the late 60s and joined Dakar/Brunswick Records in 1972, perfected the thudding baseline and heavy rhythms of disco and went on to record and produce numerous dance-pop hits, including his own “Let’s Start The Dance” (R&B #9, 1978)
1943 ● Chris Taylor White / → Bassist and one of two primary songwriters in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1944 ● Townes Van Zandt / → Reclusive country-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet, wrote “If I Needed You” (Country #3, 1981 for Emmylou Harris) and “Pancho And Lefty” (Country #1, 1983 for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), issued several solo albums but remained a largely cult musician, died on 1/1/1997 from cardiac arrhythmia following years of substance abuse, age 52
1945 ● Arthur Lee / (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Founder, guitarist, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died from leukemia on 8/3/2006
1946 ● Matthew Fisher / → Keyboardist, lead vocals and songwriter for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969 for solo career and record producer for Robin Trower and others
1946 ● Peter Wolf / (Peter Blankfield) → Radio DJ (WBCN-fm, Boston) before joining boogie-blues-rock ‘n’ roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982) as lead singer and songwriter, left in 1983 for a solo career, “Lights Out” (#12, 1984), former husband of actress Faye Dunaway
1952 ● Ernie Isley / (Ernest Isley) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1962 ● Taylor Dayne / (Leslie Wunderman) → Dance-pop diva with a career-igniting seven straight Top 10 singles between 1987 and 1990, including “Love Will Lead You Back” (#1, 1990) and a recharge with “Planet Love” (Dance/Pop #1, 2000)
1966 ● Paul Davis / → Keyboards for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Randy Guss / → Drummer for alt folk-pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992)
1973 ● Sébastien Izambard / → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1977 ● Paul Cattermole / → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1982 ● Kelli Young / → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 08

1931 ● Lloyd Knibb / → Jamaican ska music pioneer and drummer in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), played and toured with the band until his death from liver cancer on 3/12/2011, age 80
1937 ● Raynoma Gordy Singleton / (Raynoma Mayberry) → Second wife and business partner of Motown Records founder and CEO Berry Gordy in the formative years of the hugely influential label, sang back-up on early hits and mentored artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, divorced Gordy and left Motown before the big run of hits in the mid-60s, later managed the careers of her two sons with Gordy and authored a tell-all biography, died from brain cancer on 11/11/2016, age 79
1937 ● Richard Fariña / (Richard George Fariña) → Author and folksinger, duets with wife Mimi (Baez) Fariña, wrote the 60s cult classic Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, died on 4/30/1966 in a motorcycle accident
1949 ● Dave Lambert / → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), solo
1954 ● Cheryl Baker / (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1957 ● Clive Burr / → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Gary Numan / (Gary Webb) → Composer, musician and bandleader for New Wave synth-pop Tubeway Army, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (UK #1, 1979), and seminal 80s New Wave hit “Cars” (#9, 1980)
1960 ● Richard Darbyshire / → Lead vocals and guitar for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1962 ● Steve Grantley / → Drummer for The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers, plus session work for Julian Lennon, Eighth Wonder and The Clash, author of a book about 70s metal band Slade and another covering The Who‘s discography
1964 ● Ped Gill / (Peter Gill) → Backing vocals and drummer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1968 ● Rob Dukes / → Lead vocalist for thrash metal Exodus (Blood In, Blood Out, #38, 2014) from 2004 to 2014, currently vocalist for crossover thrash metal Generation Kill
1968 ● Shawn Mullins / → Atlanta-based folk/pop male singer, “Lullaby” (#7, 1998)
1972 ● Angie Hart / → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-pop Frente!, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (#49, 1994)
1976 ● Gareth Coombes / → Vocals and guitar for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams / → Vocals for teen R&B dance/pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999)
1979 ● Tom Chaplin / → Vocals for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1988 ● Eleanor Jackson / → Singer and namesake (“the red-haired one”) of electro-dance-pop duo La Roux, “Bulletproof” (#8, 2010)

March 09

1925 ● Billy Ford / → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith / (Dorothy Jacqueline Keely) → Sultry-voiced singer and half of the 1950s Grammy-winning vocal and comedy duo with then-husband Louis Prima, their jazz and pop act headlined the Las Vegas strip and produced several hits, including “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958), divorced Prima and performed solo in the 60s with more success in the UK than in the US (“You’re Breaking My Heart,” UK #14, 1965), reprised “That Ol’ Black Magic” at the 2008 Grammy awards ceremony as a duet with Kid Rock, their performance dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 20 “weird and wild Grammy collaborations,” died from heart failure on 12/16/2017, age 85
1930 ● Ornette Coleman / → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price / → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with several Top 40 hits, including “Stagger Lee” (#1, 1959), now manages a food service company using his name on various Southern-style packaged food products
1936 ● Mickey Gilley / → Country-pop singer “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), owner of Gilley’s nightclubs
1942 ● John Davies Cale / → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay / → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker / (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton / (Trevor Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robert Calvert / → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Robin Trower / → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Ron Wilson / → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan / → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife
1948 ● Chris Thompson / → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne / → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden / → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez / → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry / → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart / → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge / → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel / → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto / → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ / (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy / (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert / → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow / (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

March 10

1903 ● Bix Beiderbecke / (Leon Bismark Beiderbecke) → Influential jazz pianist, cornetist and composer, proto-“cool jazz” soloist, “Singin’ The Blues” (1927), died of complications of alcoholism on 8/6/1931, age 28
1920 ● Jethro / (Kenneth C. Burns) → With partner Henry D. Haynes, one half the satirical country-pop radio and TV comedy/music duo Homer & Jethro, parodied country and pop hits and won a Grammy Award for “The Battle Of Kookamonga” (#14, 1959) , their take on Johnny Horton‘s #1 hit “The Battle Of New Orleans,” continued to perform and teach mandolin and was considered a virtuoso on the instrument, died from prostate cancer on 2/4/1989, age 68
1935 ● Dexter Tisby / → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits
1938 ● Omar Shariff / (Dave Alexander) → Award-winning but obscure Texas blues singer and pianist with eight or more blues and jazz fusion albums between 1972 and 1998, found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on 1/8/2012, age 73
1940 ● Dean Torrence / → One-half of the legendary surf-rock duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), the pair had 16 Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1966
1943 ● Ritchie Cordell / (Richard Rosenblatt) → Songwriter and record producer, wrote and produced “I Think We’re Alone Now” (#4, 1967) and “Mony Mony” (#3, 1968) for Tommy James & The Shondells, remakes of the two songs by Tiffany and Billy Idol traded the #1 spot 20 years later in 1987, also produced Joan Jett & The Blackhearts‘ debut album I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll (#2, 1982) and albums by The Ramones and Bow Wow Wow, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/13/2004, age 61
1945 ● Pete Nelson / (Peter Lipscomb) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1947 ● Tom Scholz / → Founder, guitarist and tape wizard for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1950 ● Ted McKenna / → Scottish drummer for Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975)
1954 ● Tina Charles / (Tina Hoskins) → Brit R&B/disco dance-pop singer, “I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)” (Disco #2, 1976)
1960 ● Gail Greenwood / → Bassist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1962 ● Gary Clark / → With brother Kit, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1963 ● Rick Rubin / (Frederick Jay Rubin) → Record producer, former co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of legendary Def Jam Records and a key player in the rise of hip-hop music, produced two of the landmark rap albums, the Beastie Boys‘ Licensed To Ill (1986) and Run-D.M.C.‘s Raising Hell (1986), renamed Def Jam American Recordings in 1993 and produced multiple albums by Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus individual albums by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty and others
1963 ● Jeff Ament / → Bassist and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1964 ● Neneh Cherry / (Neneh Mariann Karlsson) → Hip hop/dance-pop singer “Buffalo Stance” (#3, 1989), stepdaughter of jazz musician Don Cherry
1964 ● Patrick Kane / → With brother Greg, vocals for Scottish contemporary dance-pop/electronica Hue And Cry, “Labour Of Love” (UK #6, 1987)
1966 ● Dave Krusen / → Drummer and backing vocals for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999)
1966 ● Edie Brickell / → Vocals and frontwoman for folk-pop Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, “What I Am” (# , 1989), married Paul Simon in 1992
1967 ● Susie Q / (Susan Banfield) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1971 ● Doug Ardito / → Bass and guitars for post-grunge hard rock Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1971 ● Timbaland / (Timothy Zachery Moseley) → Rapper, “Up Jumps Da Boogie” (#12, Rap #1, 1997) and producer, with partner Magoo member of hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo, produced hits for Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, The Pussycat Dolls and others
1973 ● John Charles LeCompt / → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1975 ● Jerry Horton / → Lead guitar for hard rock/heavy metal Papa Roach, “Scars” (#15, Mainstream Rock #4, 2005)
1977 ● Matthew Rubano / → Bassist for melodic hardcore metal Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006)
1977 ● Robin Thicke / → Pop R&B and hip hop singer/songwriter, musician and sometime actor, “Lost Without U” (#14, 2007), son of actor and composer Alan Thicke
1978 ● Benjamin Burnley / → Lead vocals, rhythm guitar and chief songwriter for post-grunge hard rock Breaking Benjamin, “So Cold” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Jonathan Ansell / → Tenor for Brit pop vocal quartet G4, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (UK #8, 2005), went solo when the troupe disbanded
1983 ● Carrie Underwood / → Grammy-winning country-pop singer, songwriter and actress, “Inside Your Heaven” (#1, 2005), her album Some Hearts is the best selling solo female debut album in country music history

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This Week’s Birthdays (February 18 – 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 18

1914 ● Pee Wee King / (Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski) → Early country-pop crossover singer and songwriter known for co-writing the country music standard “The Tennessee Waltz” (Country #3, 1948) and for three crossover hits in the early 50s, including “Slow Poke” (#1, Country #1, 1951), died following a heart attack on 3/7/2000, age 86
1933 ● Yoko Ono / → Artist, poet, singer, bandleader of The Plastic Ono Band, widowed wife of Beatle John Lennon and mother of Sean Ono Lennon
1934 ● Skip Battin / (Clyde Raybould Battin) → Bassist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros., New Riders Of The Purple Sage, plus session work for several other country-rock bands into the 90s, a solo album Topanga Skyline, recorded in 1973, was issued in 2012 after his death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 7/6/2003, age 69
1934 ● Bobby Taylor / (Robert Edward Taylor) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and frontman for doo wop Little Daddy & The Bachelors and later Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, with whom he recorded a lone Top 30 hit, “Does Your Mama Know About Me? (#29, R&B #5, 1968), his Vancouver bandmate, Tommy Chong, went on to become a well-known comedian, also known as the producer who discovered and nurtured The Jackson 5 for Motown Records, died from cancer on 7/22/2017, age 78
1939 ● Bobby Hart / (Robert Luke Harshman) → In collaboration with Tommy Boyce, pop singer, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (#8, 1968) and the prolific Boyce & Hart hit songwriting team, “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees, #1, 1966) plus dozens more Top 40 hits and over 300 songs
1941 ● David Blue / ((David Stuart Cohen) → Greenwich Village folk revival singer, songwriter and record producer with seven solo albums in the 60s and 70s, participated in Bob Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid-70s, and appeared in several movies and stage shows before dying from a heart attack while jogging in New York City on 12/2/1982, age 41
1941 ● Herman Santiago / → Original lead vocals for The Premiers, which became influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956), a song Santiago claimed to have written but lost his law suit (and millions of potential royalties)
1941 ● Irma Thomas / (Irma Lee) → The “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” acclaimed and Grammy-winning R&B/soul diva, “Wish Someone Would Care” (#17, 1964), never achieved the commercial success of her artistic peers, Aretha Franklin and Etta James, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1945 ● Jimmy Jewell / → Backing band bassist for folk/pop duo Gallagher & Lyle, “I Wanna Stay With You” (#49, UK #6, 1976)
1947 ● Dennis De Young / → Vocals and keyboards for prototypical arena rock band Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), solo
1948 ● Keith Knudsen / → Drummer and vocals for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “What A Fool Believes” (#1, 1979), co-founded country-rock Southern Pacific in 1982, reunited with the Doobies in 1993, died from complications of pneumonia on 2/8/2005, age 56
1952 ● Juice Newton / (Judy Kay Newton) → Country-pop and roots-rock singer/songwriter, “Angel Of The Morning” (#4, 1981) and “Queen Of Hearts” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Randy Crawford / (Veronica Crawford) → R&B/soul-jazz singer with jazz-funk-rock The Crusaders, “Street Life” (#35, R&B #17, 1979), plus solo “”Give Me The Night” (Dance/Club #21, 1996)
1953 ● Derek Pellicci / → Drummer for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979)
1953 ● Robbie Bachman / → With his brothers Randy and Tim, drummer for Canadian hard rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (#1, 1974), kept on as BTO after brother Randy left, was sued by Randy for rights to the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and BTO names/logos
1954 ● John Travolta / → Actor and singer, Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978), duet with Olivia Newton-John, “You’re The One That I Want” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Brian James / → Guitarist for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), then goth-punk Lords Of The New Church, “Open You Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982) and Iggy Pop‘s touring band
1961 ● Jasper Stainthorpe / → Bassist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1965 ● Dr. Dre / (Andre Romell Young) → Grammy-winning pioneer gangsta rap and G-funk hip hop artist, “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” (#2, 1993), MTV rap show host
1966 ● Tommy Scott / → Vocals for electronic/ambient house group Space, “Female Of The Species” (Modern Rock #15, 1996)
1970 ● Andy Williams / → With twin brother Jez, drums and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Jez Williams / → With twin brother Andy, guitar and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1977 ● Sean Watkins / → Guitarist for Grammy-winning contemporary folk/progressive bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, “This Side” (Country #56, 2002), duo Fiction Family, supergroup Works Progress Administration and solo
1980 ● Regina Spektor / → Russian-American anti-folk/alt-rock singer, songwriter and pianist, “Fidelity” (#51, 2006) and the #3 album Far (2006)

February 19

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

February 20

1898 ● Jimmy Yancey / → Boogie-woogie pianist (Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, 1986), composer, lyricist, Chicago White Sox groundskeeper, died from a stroke on 9/17/1951, age 53
1925 ● Robert Altman / → Award-winning satirical comedy film producer/director, MASH (1970) and Nashville (1975), his 14-year-old son penned the lyrics to “Suicide Is Painless”, the instrumental version of which became the “Theme From M.A.S.H.” for the TV show, died of complications from leukemia on 11/20/2006, age 81
1937 ● David Ackles / → Unheralded but influential folk-rock singer and songwriter, noted for his album American Gothic (1970) and the minor hit “Candy Man” (1970), fans include Elvis Costello, Elton John and Phil Collins, died from lung cancer on 3/2/1999, age 62
1937 ● Nancy Wilson / → Grammy-winning jazz, R&B, blues, cabaret and adult contemporary pop “song stylist” diva, “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” (#11, 1964)
1940 ● Barbara Ellis / → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1941 ● Buffy Sainte-Marie / → Canadian folk singer/songwriter “Universal Soldier” (1964), wrote “Up Where We Belong” for Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker (#1, 1982)
1943 ● Paul Leka / → Songwriter, producer, composer and arranger, co-wrote “Green Tambourine” for The Lemon Pipers (#1, 1968) and the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” for pop-rock Steam (#1, 1969), died in a hospice on 10/12/2011, age 68
1944 ● Lew Soloff / → Jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader and sometime actor best known for his years with jazz/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Spinning Wheel,” #2, 1969), recorded with George Benson, Maynard Ferguson and multiple jazz bands and ensembles over a 50+ year career, died from a heart attack on 3/8/2015, age 71
1945 ● Alan Hull / → Founding member, vocals, guitar and principal songwriter for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971), solo, died of a heart thrombosis on 11/17/1995, age 50
1946 ● J. Geils / (John Warren Geils, Jr.) → Frontman and lead guitarist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982), died at home from natural causes on 4/11/2017, age 71
1950 ● Walter Becker / → Bass guitar, vocals and co-songwriter for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits, died from undisclosed causes on 9/3/20917, age 67
1951 ● Randy California / (Randolph Craig Wolfe) → Guitar and vocals for jazz-psych-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), drowned in Hawaii while trying to rescue his 12-year old son from a riptide on 1/2/1997, age 45
1953 ● Poison Ivy / (Kristy Wallace) → Guitarist for punk-rock The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” (Modern Rock #10, 1989), married to Cramps singer Lux Interior who died on 2/4/2009
1960 ● Kee Marcello / (Kjell Hilding Lövbom) → Original guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo
1960 ● Mark Riley / → Frontman and singer for Latin-tinged jazz-dance-pop Matt Bianco, “Don’t Blame It On That Girl’ (UK #11, 1988)
1960 ● Robert Boustead / → Bassist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1963 ● Ian Brown / → Frontman and vocals for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and solo, “Dolphins Were Monkeys” (UK #5, 2000)
1967 ● Kurt Cobain / → Frontman, vocals, guitarist and chief songwriter for premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), committed suicide on 4/5/1994, age 27
1972 ● Neil Primrose / → Drummer for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1975 ● Brian Littrell / → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1977 ● Edwin Graham / → Drummer for Brit hard rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #35, 2004)
1981 ● Edward Lay / → Drummer for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1985 ● Yulia Olegovna Volkova / → Singer for Russian teen-dance-pop duo t.A.T.u., “All The Things She Said” (Worldwide #1, 2002)
1988 ● Rihanna / (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) → Grammy-winning Barbadian dance-pop singer and songwriter, “SOS” (#1, 2006)

February 21

1891 ● Karl L. King / → Marching music bandmaster and composer best known for composing the music to the march music standard “Barnum And Bailey’s Favorite” (1913) and many other pieces, died from diverticulitis on 3/31/1971, age 80
1930 ● Allan Williams / (Allan Richard Williams) → Liverpool night club owner, impresario and first manager of the young and raw but talented band that would become The Beatles during the 14-week stint in Hamburg he arranged in 1960, lost his job when the band returned to Germany in 1961, later co-founded a Beatles festival in Liverpool and appeared at Beatles conventions worldwide until his death from natural causes on 12/30/2016, age 86
1933 ● Nina Simone / (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) → Jazz-pop-soul and Broadway singer, “I Loves You Porgy” (#18, R&B #2, 1959), died of cancer on 4/21/2003, age 70
1938 ● Bobby Charles (Guidry) / (Robert Charles Guidry) → Cajun-American singer, songwriter and pioneer of the South Louisiana sound known as “swamp pop,” wrote “See You Later, Alligator” for Bill Haley & His Comets (#6, 1956) and “Walking To New Orleans” for Fats Domino (#6, R&B #2, 1960), appeared with The Band on The Last Waltz album (1978) but not in the subsequent film, played with Paul Butterfield’s Better Days and other roots-rock acts in the 70s but largely disappeared from view in the 80s, died from diabetes on 1/14/2010, age 71
1942 ● Bob Allison / (Bernard Colin Day) → Vocals in pop-rock duo and Eurovision contestants The Allisons, “Are You Sure” (UK #2, 1961)
1943 ● David Geffen / → Founder of Asylum Records in 1971, signed Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Tom Waits, among others, founded Geffen Records in 1980 (Donna Summer, John Lennon, Aerosmith and others), co-founded Dreamworks Studios in 1994 with Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
1946 ● Paul Newton / → Original bassist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1949 ● Jerry Harrison / → Guitar and keyboards for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), since 1991 producer for Violent Femmes, General Public, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many others
1951 ● Vince Welnick / → Co-founder and keyboardist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), then Grateful Dead, Missing Man Show and sessions, committed suicide on 6/2/2006 following many years of depression, age 55
1952 ● Jean-Jacques Burel / → Bass and vocals for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1954 ● Billy Earheart / → Founding member and keyboardist for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), left the Aces in 1985 to join Hank Williams Jr.‘s Bama Band for 21 years and work sessions for other top artists on nearly 200 albums, reunited with the Aces in 1994 and continues to tour and record into the 10s
1954 ● Mike Pickering / → DJ, producer and record company recruiter, then founder and frontman for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1956 ● Lester Hunt / → Guitar and backing vocals for re-formed Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1958 ● Mary Chapin Carpenter / → Grammy-winning country-folk singer/songwriter, “Shut Up And Kiss Me” (Country #4, 1994)
1961 ● Ranking Roger / (Roger Charlery) → Co-founder and vocalist for ska revival The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then Special Beat, solo and sessions
1962 ● Mark Arm / → Founder, vocals and rhythm guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● Michael Ward / → Guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), sessions
1969 ● James Dean Bradfield / → Guitar and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● Eric Wilson / → Bassist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997)
1973 ● Justin Sane / (Justin Geever) → Irish-American lead guitarist, singer and songwriter in punk rock Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse” (Alt Rock #37, 2006)
1975 ● Wish Bone / (Charles C. Scruggs) → Rapper and former member of Grammy-winning hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Crossroad” (#1, 1996), Thugline Records co-founder
1979 ● Jennifer Love Hewitt / → Film and TV actress, producer, director and one hit wonder pop singer, “How Do I Deal” (#59, 1999)
1986 ● Charlotte Churh / (Charlotte Maria Reed) → Welsh actress, TV presenter and classical-turned-pop crossover singer/songwriter, “Crazy Chick” (UK #2, 2005)
1989 ● Corbin Bleu / (Corbin Bleu Reivers) → Actor and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movie ever) and charting pop singer, “Push It To The Limit” (#17, 2006)

February 22

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

February 23

1940 ● Rick Stevens / (Donald Charles Stevenson) → Nephew of bluesman Ivory Joe Hunter and lead singer for R&B soul/funk horn band Tower Of Power on their Bump City album and the hit “You’re Still A Young Man” (#29, R&B #24, 1972), convicted of the drug-hazed murder of three men in 1976 and served 36 years in prison, paroled in 2012 and recorded several unremarkable solo albums, died from liver cancer on 9/8/2017, age 77
1943 ● Gordon Nugent / (Gordon Geoffrey Nugent) → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups of the 60s that never charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K.
1944 ● Johnny Winter / (John Dawson Winter III) → Respected blues-rock guitarist (Rolling Stone magazine #74), first in the Rick Derringer band, then his brother’s Edgar Winter Blues Band and solo, “Johnny B. Goode” (#92, 1970), produced three Grammy-winning blues albums for Muddy Waters in the late 70s, died from emphysema-related pneumonia in a Swiss hotel room while on tour on 7/16/2014, age 70
1944 ● Mike Maxfield / → Guitarist and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964)
1946 ● Rusty Young / → Vocals and pedal steel guitar for country-rock Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth” (#17, 1967), then mainstay member with Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1949 ● Tex Comer / (Terry Comer) → Bassist for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1950 ● Steve Priest / → Guitarist for glam pop-rock Sweet, “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1975) and three other mid-70s Top 10 hits
1952 ● Brad Whitford / → Rhythm guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1955 ● Howard Jones / → Synth-pop-dance singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “No One Is To Blame” (#4, 1986)
1955 ● Zeke Manyika / → Vocalist for Scottish post-punk/neo-pop dance-funk Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1983)
1956 ● Paul O’Neill / → Music promoter, band manager and guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns”, Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), later founded and led progressive metal/art rock Trans-Siberian Orchestra (“Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, 12/24,” Mainstream #29, 1998), a band best known for its extravagant metal-rock takes on holiday music, found dead in a Florida motel room while on tour on 4/5/2017, age 61
1958 ● David Sylvian / (David Alan Batt) → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1962 ● Michael Wilton / → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1963 ● Rob Collins / → Keyboards for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), died in a car crash on 7/23/1996, age 33
1964 ● John Norum / → Norwegian-born co-founder and rhythm guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1967 ● Chris Vrenna / → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), then Grammy-winning sound engineer and producer for Rammstein, U2, Weezer, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson and others
1971 ● Jett Beres / → Bass and harmony vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Lasse Johansson / (Lars Olaf Johansson) → Keyboards for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1977 ● Stuart Black / → Bassist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)

February 24

1941 ● Joanie Sommers / (Joan Drost) → One hit wonder 60s teen pop vocalist, “Johnny Get Angry” (#7, 1962), then Pepsi commercial jingles
1942 ● Paul Jones / (Paul Pond) → Harmonica and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964) and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo, actor and BBC radio presenter
1944 ● Nicky Hopkins / (Nicholas Christian Hopkins) → Session pianist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Steve Miller, Small Faces, The Who and others, died from complications following intestinal surgery on 9/6/1994, age 50
1946 ● Butch McDade / (David McDade) → Founding member and drummer for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), performed session work and toured with others until Aces reformed in 1994, died of cancer just four years later on 11/29/1998, age 52
1947 ● Lonnie Turner / (Leonard Lewis Turner) → Co-founding member and bassist from 1966-1969 and 1975-1979 in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973), also played with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone and others, died from lung cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on 4/28/2013, age 66
1947 ● Rupert Holmes / → Pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (#1, 1979), wrote the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical Drood
1948 ● Dennis Waterman / → Brit TV and film actor and singer with the theme from UK TV show Minder, “I Could Be So Good For You” (UK #3, 1980)
1949 ● Howie Blauvelt / (Howie Arthur Blauvelt) → Bass guitarist with Billy Joel in three obscure 60s bands, The Echoes, The Lost Souls and The Hassles before joining hard rock Ram Jam (“Black Betty,” #18, 1977), died from a heart attack on 10/25/1993, age 44
1950 ● George Thorogood / → Frontman for long-time boogie-blues-rock group The (Delaware) Destroyers, “Bad To The Bone” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982)
1955 ● Steve Jobs / (Steven Paul Jobs) → Immeasurably influential technology entrepreneur and industry visionary whose company, Apple, Inc. changed the music business through products such as the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, died from complications of pancreatic cancer on 10/5/2011, age 56
1959 ● Colin Farley / → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Michelle Shocked (Karen Michelle Johnston) / → Urban/indie folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If Love Was A Train” (Modern Rock #20, 1988)
1973 ● 3 / (Christopher Michael Fehn) → Percussionist and backing vocals for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004), now bassist with noise metal Will Haven
1974 ● Chad Hugo / (Charles Edward Hugo) → Multi-instrumentalist and one half of the funk-dance-rock hip hop band N.E.R.D., “She Wants To Move” (Dance #6, 2004) and hip hop production and writing duo The Neptunes, produced numerous #1 hits for Mystikal, Jay-Z, *NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly
1974 ● Wuv Bernardo / (Noah Bernardo, Jr.) → Founding member and drummer of Grammy-nominated Christian metal band P.O.D., “Alive” (Modern Rock #2, 2001)
1978 ● John Nolan / → Lead vocals and guitar for punk-pop Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006), left to form emo-pop quartet Straylight Run
1983 ● Matt McGinley / → Co-founder and drummer for alt hip hop/rap rock Gym Class Heroes, “Intramurals: Cupid’s Chokehold” (#4, 2007), solo

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 21 – 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 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 ● Benny Hill / (Alfred Hawthorne Hill) → English singer and comedian with a long-running slapstick comedy TV show and several charting comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961) and “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (UK #1, 1971), died from kidney failure on 4/20/1992, age 68
1924 ● Telly Savalas / (Aristotle 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, age 70
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, age 57
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
1941 ● Richie Havens / (Richard Pierce 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, age 72
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, age 61
1942 ● Mac Davis / (Morris 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 ● Pye Hastings / (Julian Frederick 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, age 37
1965 ● 3D / (Robert Del Naja) → 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), left for a solo career that included an mildly successful LP of songs written for her by Elvis Costello, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears (UK #43, 1993)
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)

January 22

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

January 23

1910 ● Django Reinhardt / (Jean Baptiste Reinhardt) → Belgian-born gypsy-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953, age 43
1932 ● Cyril Davies / → One of the first harmonica players on the British blues scene, formed various skiffle and blues groups in the 50s and Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry in the 60s, club owner and R&B promoter, died from endocarditis on 1/7/1964, age 31
1940 ● Joe Dowell / → Two hit wonder early 60s pop singer (“Wooden Heart,” #1, 1961 and “Little Red Rented Rowboat,” #23, 1962), later wrote and recorded his own songs without commercial success and launched a radio advertisement production company
1941 ● Buddy Buie / (Perry Carlton Buie) → Music producer, publisher and songwriter with over 340 titles penned alone or in collaborations with others, including the oft-covered pop classic “Spooky” (#3, 1967) by The Classics IV, formed, managed and produced Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover,” #7, 1978) and co-wrote most of their songs, produced albums for Wynonna Judd and Garth Brooks, died following a heart attack on 7/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● Jerry Lawson / → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer / → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham / → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici / → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008, age 58
1953 ● Robin Zander / → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch / → Co-founder, producer and bassist for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1955 ● Reggie Calloway / → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1956 ● Ralph Carney / → Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, first with artsy New Wave “Akron Sound” Tin Huey (covered “I’m A Believer,” 1979) then as a sessionman with a long list of studio credits, including multiple albums with Tom Waits plus recordings with The B-52’s, Elvis Costello, the Black Keys and many others, fell in his Oregon home and died the following day from head injuries on 12/16/2017, age 61
1957 ● Earl Falconer / → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson / → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita / (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer / → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

January 24

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

January 25

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

January 26

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

January 27

1885 ● Jerome Kern / → Prolific and important theater, film and popular music composer who wrote more than 700 songs, including such American classics as “Ol’ Man River” (1927), “”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1933, and a #1 hit for The Platters in 1958) and “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (1944), died following cerebral hemorrhage on 11/11/1945, age 60
1918 ● Elmore James / → The “King of the Slide Guitar,” highly influential blues slide guitarist, singer and songwriter, “It Hurts Me Too” (R&B #15, 1960), covered by Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers Band and many others, died from heart failure on 5/24/1963, age 45
1919 ● David Seville / (Rosdom Sipan “Ross” Bagdasarian) → Armenian-American actor, pianist, singer and songwriter, “Witch Doctor” (#1, 1958), creator of novelty pop Alvin & The Chipmunks, “The Chipmunk Song” (#1, 1958), died of a heart attack on 1/16/1972, age 52
1930 ● Bobby “Blue” Bland / (Robert Calvin Bland) → R&B/soul-blues-gospel singer, product of the Memphis “street blues” scene and Lifetime Grammy winner, “That’s The Way Love Is” (#33, R&B #1, 1963) and 43 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from an undisclosed illness on 6/23/2013, age 83
1931 ● Rudy Maugeri / → Baritone for Canadian R&B-to-pop cover vocal quartet The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom” (#1, 1954), died on 5/7/2004, age 73
1937 ● Bruce Tate / → Founding member and tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits, died on 6/20/1973, age 36
1944 ● Kevin Coyne / → Underappreciated Brit blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, first with alt/art rock Siren and then solo, “Marlene” (1973), later focused on poetry, prose and painting, died of lung failure on 12/2/2004, age 60
1944 ● Nick Mason / → Drummer and only constant member of space rock Pink Floyd since it formed in 1965, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), auto racing driver
1946 ● Nedra Talley / → Backing vocals for pop-rock girl group The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963)
1948 ● Kim Gardner / → Bassist in British Invasion pop-rock The Thunderbirds (with future Rolling Stone Ron Wood), then formed art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971), then sessions and L.A. pub owner, died of cancer on 10/24/2001, age 53
1950 ● Mick Jackson / (Michael “Mick” Jackson) → Bass guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1951 ● Brian Downey / → Drummer for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976)
1951 ● Seth Justman / → Keyboards and vocals for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1952 ● G.E. Smith / (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 ● Migi Drummond / (Miguel John 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 Jon / (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

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 14 – 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 14

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

January 15

1975 ● Belinda Chapple / → Singer in pre-fab Aussie all-girl pop vocal quintet Bardot, “Poison” (Aus. #1, 2000)
1893 ● Ivor Novello / (David Ivor Davies) → Welsh composer, singer, stage and screen actor and popular entertainer, namesake for annual British music awards, died on 3/6/51, age 58
1909 ● Gene Krupa / (Eugene Bertram Krupa) → Renowned jazz and big band drummer, composer, bandleader, drum kit developer, mentor and influencer, died from leukemia and heart failure on 10/16/1973, age 64
1920 ● 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 on 12/13/2009, age 89
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, age 41
1941 ● Captain Beefheart / (Don Van Vliet (nee Don Glen 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 of complications from multiple sclerosis on 12/17/2010, age 69
1942 ● Sonny Bivins / (Edward J. 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
1944 ● Joan Marie Johnson / → With her cousins, Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins, founding member of pop musical trio The Dixie Cups, their hit “Chapel Of Love” (#1, UK #22, 1964) knocked The Beatles‘ “Love Me Do” off the U.S. top spot in June 1964, left the group to become a Jehovah’s witness but returned for occasional reunions on the oldies circuit, died from congestive heart failure on 10/2/2016, age 72
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, age 29
1951 ● Charo / (María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza) → Curvy, zesty and 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 ● Duke Erickson / (Douglas Elwin Erickson) → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish-American alt rock Garbage, “Stupid Girl” (Dance/Club #5, 1996)
1959 ● Peter Trevaras / (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

January 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 / (Robert Lenard Bogle) → Founding member and lead guitarist for seminal surfer rock ‘n roll instrumental group The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 6/14/2009, age 75
1939 ● Ray Phillips / (Ramon “Ray” Phillips) → Lead vocals and bass for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1942 ● Barbara Lynn / (Barbara Lynn Ozen) → Southern R&B guitarist, bandleader, singer and solo artist, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” (#8, 1962)
1942 ● René Angélil / → French-Canadian music producer who discovered 12-year old Céline Dion, nurtured her to superstardom (“My Heart Will Go On,” #1, 1997 and fifteen other US Top 40 hits) and then married her, died from throat cancer on 1/14/2016, age 74
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 / (Ronnie Lee 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 / (James Wayne 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 ● Damo Suzuki / (Kenji 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, age 22
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 / (Nicholas 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)

January 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, age 54
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 ● Poogie Hart / (William 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 ● Mick Taylor / (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 ● Jez Strode / (Jeremy 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

January 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, age 80
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 ● Bobby Goldsboro / → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Honey” (#1, 1968), children’s TV producer, The Swamp Critters of the Lost Lagoon (1995)
1941 ● David Ruffin / (Davis Eli Ruffin) → Tenor vocals for the mid-60s lineup of R&B giants The Temptations, sang lead om “My Girl” (#1, 1965), “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (#13, R&B #1, 1968) and eight other Top 20 hits from 1964-68, left the group for a mildly successful solo career, died from drug overdose 6/1/1991, age 50
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 / (Larry Smith) → Drummer for Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1953 ● Brett Hudson (Salerno) / (Brett Stuart Hudson) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), TV producer and script writer
1954 ● Tom Bailey / (Thomas Alexander 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)


January 19


1926 ● Bob Wooler / (Frederick James 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, age 76
1935 ● Johnny “The Wild One” O’Keefe / (John Michael 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, age 43
1936 ● Big Eyes Smith / (Willie 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 / (Philip 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, age 74
1942 ● Michael Crawford / (Michael Patrick 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 Joplin / (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, age 27
1944 ● Laurie London / (Lawrence London) → Brit folk-pop 13-year-old one hit wonder, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#1, 1958)
1944 ● Shelley Fabares / (Michelle Ann Marie 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)
1945 ● Trevor Williams / → Bass guitarist in Brit cult art rock Audience (“Indian Summer,” #74, 1971), later with pop-rock The Nashville Teens and Irish folk-rock Jonathan Kelly’s Outside, reformed Audience in 2004
1946 ● Dolly Parton / (Dolly Rebecca 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 / (Roderic 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, age 54
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 / (Michael 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)

January 20

1981 ● Nathan Connolly / → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)
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, age 61
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, age 87
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 ● Lee Pockriss / (Lee Julian 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
1924 ● Slim Whitman / (Otis Dewey 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, age 89
1929 ● Jean-Jacques Perrey / (Jean Leroy) → French electronic music pioneer, early composer of electronic pop albums and user of the Moog synthesizer, his compositions were adapted for use in Disney theme parks, in episodes of The Simpsons and other TV programs, and as an aid to insomniacs which led to ambient music in the 80s, the last of his more than 30 albums, Destination Space (2007) was released when he was nearly 80 years old, died from lung cancer on 11/4/2016, 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, 1957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson / (Ronald Townson) → Original member and tenor vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), stayed with the group until poor health forced his retirement in 1997, died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001, age 68
1942 ● William Powell / → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977, age 35
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, age 56
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 ● Ratboy Wilson / (Sidney 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)

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This Week’s Birthdays (January 7 – 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 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 of heart failure on 5/20/2000, age 78
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, age 71
1938 ● Paul Revere / (Paul 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, age 76
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, age 34
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), died on 8/11/1971, age 32
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, age 63
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 ● Dave Cousins / (David Joseph Hindson) → Founder and lead guitarist for Brit folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973)
1945 ● Bugs Pemberton / (Warren 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., died on 10/13/2013, age 68
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 / (Mark 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)

January 08

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

January 09

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

January 10

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

January 11

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

January 12

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

January 13

1887 ● Sophie 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 ● Liz Anderson / (Elizabeth Jane Haaby 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 / (Robert Lester) → Lead vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955), left in the 60s to front and tour with his own groups, died from lung cancer-caused pneumonia on 10/15/1980, age 50
1938 ● C. P. Spencer / (Crathman Plato Spencer ) → Original member of Grammy-winning R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, left to join heralded Motownn session vocalists The Voice Masters and The Originals, the latter having a string of 70s charting singles, including “The Bells” (#12, R&B #4, 1970) and “Down To Love Town” (#47, Dance/Club #1, 1976), died from a heart attack on 10/20/2004, age 66
1938 ● Daevid Allen / (Christopher David Allen) → Australian guitarist, poet, composer, performance artist and founding member of psychedelic rock Soft Machine in 1966 and progressive rock Gong in 1967, founded and performed with various Gong spin-offs and reunions over the years until his death from lung cancer on 3/13/2015, age 77
1948 ● John Lees / → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for underappreciated Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, “Mockingbird” (1971), solo, continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1954 ● Trevor Rabin / → South African born guitarist and frontman for power pop Rabbitt, then with seminal prog-rock band Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), left in 1995 to score movie soundtracks for over three dozen mainstream films
1955 ● Fred White / → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1956 ● Malcolm Foster / → Bass guitarist with brother Graham in pop-rock The Foster Brothers, replaced Pete Farndon in The Pretenders (“Don’t Get Me Wrong,” #10, 1986), session bass player for Simple Minds (“Let There Be Love,” UK #6, 1991) from 1989-95, continues with both groups plus session work
1957 ● Don Snow / → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1957 ● Jim Parris / → Founding member and bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Carmel, “Bad Day” (UK #15, 1983)
1959 ● JLo / (James 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 ● Suggs McPherson / (Graham McPherson) → Vocals for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo, “I’m Only Sleeping” (UK #7, 1995)
1961 ● Wayne Coyne / → Guitar and vocals for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1962 ● Tony Rebel / (Patrick Barrett) → Jamaican roots reggae/dancehall singer, songwriter and DJ with over 10 solo albums and several singles, founder and CEO of Flames Records and organizer of the annual Rebel Salute music festival
1963 ● Tim Kelly / → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/, age 355/1998
1964 ● David McCluskey / → Drummer for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1971 ● Lee Agnew / → Scottish drummer and son of Pete Agnew, co-founder and bassist for hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), joined the band in 1999 to replace deceased drummer Darrell Sweet

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

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 31

1914 ● Cyril Stapleton / → Brit jazz-pop bandleader in the 40s and 50s, “Children’s Marching Song (Nick, Nack Paddywack)” (#13, 1959), producer and record company A&R executive, died on 2/25/1974, age 59
1920 ● Rex Allen / (Rex Elvie Allen) → Actor, songwriter and “singing cowboy” with nearly 50 Western movie roles, over 150 narrations of Disney films, a dozen albums and five Top 30 country-pop crossover hits, including his cover of “Crying In The Chapel” (#8, Country #4, 1953), died after his caregiver accidentally ran over him with his car in his driveway on 12/17/1999, age 79
1928 ● Ross Barbour / → Founding member of clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, retired in 1977 and died of lung cancer on 8/20/2001, age 82
1930 ● Odetta Holmes / → “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” folk-blues and folk revival protest singer, songwriter and guitarist, National Endowment of the Arts award-winner, died from heart disease on 12/2/2008, age 77
1942 ● Andy Summers / (Andrew James Somers) → Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter best known as the guitarist for post-punk New Wave pop-rock The Police (“Every Breath You Take,” #1, 1983), briefly with psych rock Soft Machine and The Animals in the 60s, joined short-lived rock band Strontium 90 with Sting and Stewart Copeland in 1977 before the trio left to form The Police late that year, issued a dozen solo albums, composed several film scores, toured and recorded with other artists, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 85th greatest guitarist of all-time
1943 ● John Denver / (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) → Light folk-country-pop singer/songwriter, “Rocky Mountain High” (#9, 1973) plus 14 other Top 40 singles, Grammy-winning children’s music album All Aboard! (1997), died when his experimental airplane crashed on 10/12/1997, age 53
1943 ● Peter Quaife / → Founding member and first bassist for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, left before “Lola” (#9, 1970) for a brief solo career, then cartoonist and graphic artist, died from kidney failure on 6/24/2010, age 66
1947 ● Burton Cummings / → Founder and frontman for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo
1948 ● Donna Summer / (LaDonna Adriene Gaines) → The unparalleled “Queen of Disco”, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, “Bad Girls” (#1, 1975) plus 19 other Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 5/17/2012, age 63
1951 ● Fermin Goytisolo / → Percussionist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1951 ● Tom Hamilton / → Bassist for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1959 ● Paul Westerberg / (Paul Harold Westerberg) → Founder, frontman and songwriter for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1961 ● Scott Taylor / → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Scott Ian / (Scott Ian Rosenfeld) → Guitarist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1970 ● Danny McNamara / → 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)

January 01

1931 ● Miss Toni Fisher / (Toni Fisher Monzello) → Teen pop one hit wonder nightclub circuit singer, “The Big Hurt” (#3, 1959), which utilized innovative electronic phasing techniques that would become commonplace in the 60s and in synth-pop music of the 80s, died from a heart attack on 2/12/1999, age 68
1941 ● James West / → Tenor vocals and lead singer for smooth pop trio The Innocents (“Honest I Do,” #32, 1960) and as the backing vocalists for teenage pop singer Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars, #3, 1961), continued to record and perform as a solo act and in various reunions for the oldies circuit into the 00s
1942 ● “Country Joe” McDonald / (Joseph Allen McDonald) → Co-founder, frontman and lead vocals for 60s psych-folk-rock protest band Country Joe & The Fish, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” (1967)
1949 ● Phalon Jones / (Phalon R. Jones, Jr.) → Saxophonist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1950 ● Morgan Fisher / (Stehphen Morgan Fisher) → Keyboards for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972)
1954 ● Billy Miller / (William Henry Miller, Jr.) → Rock music archivist, collector, publisher and record label executive, co-founded Kicks magazine in 1979 and Norton Records in 1986 with his wife and fellow arcane music enthusiast Miriam Linna (former drummer for punk/rockabilly The Cramps), focused on overlooked garage rock, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Link Wray, The Alarm Clocks and the Wailers, among many others, died from complications of multiple myeloma on 11/13/2016, age 62
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash / (Joseph Saddler) → Early rapper, lightning fast DJ and mixmaster and leader of The Furious Five, “The Message” (R&B #4, 1982)
1960 ● Iain Bayne / → Drummer for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Michael Hanson / → Drummer for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1966 ● Amelia Fletcher / → Twee pop bandleader, singer and guitarist turned university professor and OBE-winning economist for the British government, formed power pop/twee pop/indie bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap and The Catenary Wires from the 80s to the 10s, all the while studying for and earning her Ph.D. then pursuing a career in economic policy and teaching
1966 ● Crazy Legs / (Richard Colón) → Early and pioneering hip hop entertainer and “b-boy” breakdancer
1968 ● Rick J. Jordan / (Hendrik Stedler) → Keyboardist for huge Euro-German techno-dance-pop Scooter, “Fire” (Dance/Club #30, 1998)
1972 ● Tom Barman / → Vocals and guitar for Belgian avante-grunge indie rock dEUS, “Little Arithmethics” (UK #44, 1996)
1975 ● Steve Ripley / → Frontman and lead guitar for 90s country-rockers The Tractors, “Baby Likes To Rock It” (#11, 1994)

January 02

1930 ● Julius La Rosa / → Italian-American traditional pop singer with ten Top 25 hits in the 50s, including “Eh Cumpari” (#2, 1953), was fired on-air from the Arthur Godfrey Show in 1953, later guested on various TV variety shows and sitcoms and enjoyed a long career as a New York City radio DJ, continued to record and release pop CDs until a few years before his death from natural causes on 5/12/2016, age 86
1936 ● Roger Miller / → Grammy-winning country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “King Of The Road” (#4, 1965), TV star, died of lung cancer on 10/25/1992, age 56
1948 ● Kerry Minnear / (Kerry C. Minnear) → Classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist composer and arranger, keyboardist of Brit progressive rock Gentle Giant during the 70s, left to teach and perform in church assembles, continues to compose music for film and TV, manages the release of Gentle Giant anthologies
1949 ● Chick Churchill / (Michael George Churchill) → Keyboardist for British blues-rock Ten Years After, “I’d Love To Change The World” (#40, 1971), later switched to ambient music and writing TV commercial jingles before becoming a professional photographer
1954 ● Glen Goins / → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 7/29/1978, age 24
1963 ● Keith Gregory / → Bassist for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1967 ● Robert Gregory / → Drummer for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1975 ● Chris Cheney / → Lead guitar, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie punk rock/psychobilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Rock #23, 1997)
1975 ● Douglas Robb / → Vocalist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy / (Kelton Kessee) → Drummer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999)

January 03

1909 ● Victor Borge / (Borge Rosenbaum) → The “Clown Prince of Denmark,” Danish teenage piano prodigy and film star, escaped the Nazi invasion in 1940 and became a popular radio, stage and film star in the U.S. with a unique blend of classical music and comedy routines, died in his sleep on 12/23/2000, age 91
1916 ● Maxene Andrews / (Maxene Angelyn Andrews) → Soprano vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop harmony trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 10/21/1995, age 79
1926 ● Sir George Martin / (George Henry Martin) → Highly-successful and influential record producer, most notable for producing all but one of The Beatles‘ albums and becoming the “Fifth Beatle” for his creative arrangements and complement to the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, also worked with Peter Sellers, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion and others, overall produced 23 number one singles and 19 number one albums in the U.S., died in his sleep on 3/8/2016, age 90
1937 ● Glen Larson / → Founding member and baritone singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps, “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” (#2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later became a TV producer and creator of Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and other drama series, died from esophageal cancer on 11/14/2014, age 77
1941 ● Van Dyke Parks / → Singer, sessionman, composer, lyricist (co-wrote The Beach Boys‘ “Heroes And Villains” and other songs), producer for Ry Cooder, Ringo Starr, The Byrds and others
1945 ● Philip Goodhand-Tait / → UK singer, producer and songwriter, wrote “Oceans Away” (1975) for Roger Daltrey, “You Are” for Gene Pitney, others
1945 ● Stephen Stills / (Stephen Arthur Stills) → Folk-rock and country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, founding member of Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967) and folk-pop Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Just A Song Before I Go” (#7, 1977), frontman for Manassas and solo, “Love The One You’re With” (#14, 1971)
1946 ● John Paul Jones / (John Baldwin) → 60s session musician for The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and others, then founding member, bass and keyboards for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1970), now with Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Mainstream Rock #13, 2009)
1948 ● Rex Braley / (Rex Charles Braley) → Guitarist for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
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)

January 04

1923 ● Miriam Kahan Abramson Bienstock / (Miriam Kahan Abramson) → With Ahmet Ertegun and then-husband Herb Abramson, co-founder in 1947 of Atlantic Records, financial manager for the company n the 50s and vice president for publishing in the 60s, sold her stock and left for a career in theater work, died from natural causes on 3/21/2015, age 92
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, R&B #2, UK #7, 1967), died from cancer on 11/16/2003, age 57
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 / (Bernard Edward Sumner) → Guitar and keyboards for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, 1980), then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983) and Electronic, “Get The Message” (UK #8, 1991)
1956 ● Nels Cline / → Guitarist and songwriter for alt country-rock Wilco, “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1957 ● Patty Loveless / (Patricia Lee Ramey) → Grammy-winning neo-traditional country-rock and honky tonk singer, “Chains” (Country #1, 1989) and 34 other Country Top 40 singles
1958 ● Marcel King / → Lead vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (, , 1975), died on a brain hemorrhage on 10/5/1995, age 37
1959 ● Vanity / (Denise Matthews) → Canadian singer, sometime actress, backing vocalist for Prince and lead singer of R&B/dance-funk Vanity 6 (“Nasty Girl,” #, 1982) plus a brief solo career (“Under The Influence,” #56, R&B #9, 1986), eschewed the celebrity lifestyle after a cocaine-induced near-death kidney failure and become a Christian evangelist, died from kidney disease on 2/15/2016, age 57
1960 ● Michael Stipe / → Frontman, lead vocals and lyricist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987), now independent film producer
1962 ● Martin McAloon / → Bassist for Brit pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1962 ● Peter Steele / (Peter Thomas Ratajczyk) → Bassist, lead vocals and songwriting for goth metal Type O Negative, “Everything Dies” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1999), posed as the nude centerfold in Playgirl magazine in 1995, died from heart failure on 4/14/2010, age 48
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)

January 05

1922 ● Bob Keane / (Robert Verril Kuhn) → Producer and record label owner best known for discovering and managing Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba,” #22, 1958), also “discovered” Sam Cooke and marketed his first hit, “You Send Me” (#1, UK #29, 1957) on his Keen Records label, formed Del-Fi Records in 1957 and in addition to Valens jumpstarted the careers of Brenda Holloway, Frank Zappa and Barry White, signed The Bobby Fuller Four (“I Fought The Law,” #1, 1965) and produced and sold music by surf band The Surfaris, among others, died from renal failure on 11/28/2009, age 87
1923 ● Sam Phillips / (Samuel Cornelius Phillips) → Rock ‘n’ roll visionary and pioneer, founder of Sun Records, discovered, nurtured and made Elvis Presley a star, as well as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and many others, DJ and radio station owner, died from respiratory failure on 7/30/2003, age 80
1932 ● Johnny Adams / (Laten John Adams) → R&B/blues, soul and gospel singer called the “Tan Canary” for his wide-ranging voice and styles, scored several hits minor hits in the 60s and 70s and a lone Top 10 charter, “Reconsider Me” (#28, R&B #8, 1969), continued to record until his death from prostate cancer on 9/14/1998, age 66
1940 ● Athol Guy / → Bass and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), later elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1940 ● George Malone / (George Walter Malone) → Second tenor for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), reunited with the group for the oldies circuit in the 90s, died from a stroke on 10/5/2007, age 67
1941 ● Grady Thomas / → Vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1949 ● Funky Brown / (George Brown) → Drummer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1950 ● Chris Stein / → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979)
1951 ● Biff Byford / (Peter Rodney Byford) → Lead vocals for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1957 ● Vincent Calloway / → Multi-instrumentalist founder and leader (with brother Reggie Calloway) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1964 ● Grant Young / → Drummer for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Phil Thornalley / → Vocals, guitar, songwriter and producer, briefly as bassist for post-punk The Cure, “Let’s Go To Bed” (Dance/Club #32, 1983) then fronted one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), co-wrote “Torn” (covered by Natalie Imbruglia, #13, 1998)
1966 ● Kate Schellenbach / → Drummer for the Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984 and all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996) through 2000, producer for TV talk The Ellen DeGeneres Show
1969 ● Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) / → Self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” and frontman for eponymous shock-rock band, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1970 ● Jeffrey Jay / → Singer for Italian pop-rock Eiffel 65, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (#6, 1999), a #1 hit across Europe
1970 ● Troy Van Leeuwen / → Six-string and pedal steel guitar for alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003), then stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002) and solo
1976 ● Matthew Walter Wachter / → Bassist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006) then punk-pop Angels & Airwaves, “The Adventure” (#55, 2006)

January 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, age 65
1934 ● Bobby Lord / (Robert L. 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 / (Doris Elaine Higginsen) → R&B/soul, gospel and rock singer, backing vocalist for The Drifters, Solomon Burke and others before recording her lone US hit, “Just One Look” (#10, R&B #3, 1963), wrote or co-wrote songs for Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston and others, moved to England and sang back-up for The Rolling Stones (wailer on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” 1969) and Pink Floyd (vocals on Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973), subject of the long-running Broadway show Mama, I Want To Sing (1983), died from emphysema on 2/16/2004, age 67
1944 ● Van McCoy / (Van Allen Clinton 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, age 35
1946 ● Syd Barrett / (Roger Keith 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, age 60
1947 ● Sandy Denny / (Alexandra Elene Denny) → Singer and songwriter for renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), then solo, died from brain trauma following a fall on 4/21/1978, age 31
1951 ● Kim Wilson / → Harmonica, lead vocals and songwriting for blues-boogie-rock Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Tuff Enuff” (#10, 1986)
1953 ● Malcolm Young / (Malcolm Mitchell 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 and the disco anthem “We Are Family” (#2, 1979) plus ten other R&B Top 10 hits
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 / (Manuel 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)

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