Albums Released This Week (December 1 – 7)

1185

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 01
1896 ● Ray Henderson / (Raymond Brost) → Popular music songwriter in the Tin Pan Alley group of American songwriters and publishers, composed the music for multiple pop standards, including “Bye Bye Blackbird” (1925), “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and “The Birth Of The Blues” (1926), died from a heart attack on 12/31/1970, age 74
1930 ● Matt Munro / (Terrence Edward Parsons) → “The Man with the Golden Voice,” internationally acclaimed English cabaret/swing vocalist with multiple hit singles, among them “My Kind Of Girl” (#18, UK #5, 1961) and the theme song “From Russia With Love” (#23, UK #4, 1963), best known for his signature tune, the Oscar-winning title song to the film, Born Free (1966), toured and recorded until succumbing to liver cancer following decades of smoking and alcohol abuse on 2/7/1985, age 54.
1933 ● Lou Rawls → Smooth jazz-blues-soul and easy listening singer, “You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine” (#2, 1976), died of lung cancer on 1/6/2006, age 72
1934 ● Billy Paul / (Paul Williams) → Jazz singer and bandleader turned 70s Grammy-winning Philly R&B/soul-pop singer with 14 R&B charting hits, the biggest being “Me & Mrs. Jones” (#1, 1972), retired in 1989 and died from pancreatic cancer on 4/24/2016, age 81
1937 ● Bruce Brown / (Bruce Alan Brown) → Documentary film maker and early pioneer of the surf film genre, wrote, single-handedly produced and marketed the genre-defining, surprise hit The Endless Summer (1966) with a soundtrack mostly by surf-rock The Sandals, moved to motorcycle films in the 70s and produced the Grammy-nominated On Any Sunday (1971), came back to the surf for his last release, The Endless Summer II (1994), died from heart failure on 12/10/2017, age 80
1938 ● Sandy Nelson / (Sander L. Nelson) → Rock ‘n roll session drummer for The Teddy Bears, The Hollywood Argyles and others, then solo, “Teen Beat” (#4, 1959) and two other instrumental hits, lost his right foot in a 1963 motorcycle accident but continues to drum with modified equipment
1939 ● DeeDee Lennon / (Dianne Lennon) → With her sisters, vocals in semi-religious pop vocal quartet The Lennon Sisters (“Tonight You Belong To Me,” #15, 1956), performed regularly on TV variety shows, including The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1968, retired in 2001 and left the group to continue as a trio
1944 ● Charlie Grima → Drummer for eccentric jazz-pop Wizzard, “See My Baby Jive” (UK #1, 1973)
1944 ● Eric Bloom → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1944 ● John Densmore → Drummer for influential and controversial hard rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), author, producer and jazz combo leader
1945 ● Bette Midler → The “Divine Miss M”, actress, comedienne, Grammy-winning singer, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (#1, 1989) and seven other Top 40 hits, starred in the Janis Joplin bio movie The Rose (1979)
1946 ● Gilbert O’Sullivan / (Raymond O’Sullivan) → Irish singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “Alone Again Naturally” (#1, 1972) and three other Top 20 hits in 1972-73
1951 ● Jaco Pastorius / (John Fancis Pastorius) → Fretless bass player for jazz-rock fusion group Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo and sessions for Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny Group, Blood, Sweat & Tears and others, died after being beaten into a coma during an altercation outside a Florida nightclub on 9/21/1987, age 35
1952 ● Pegi Young / (Margaret Mary Morton Young) → Folk-rock singer, songwriter, activist, wife of folk-rock legend Neil Young, mother of two children with cerebral palsy and co-founder of The Bridge School for children suffering from speech and physical impairments, her annual charity benefit concert for the school featured top artists such as Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica and Sheryl Crow during its 30-year run, sang back-up in her husband’s bands and issued five solo albums before dying from cancer on 1/1/2019, age 66.
1956 ● Julee Cruise → Grammy-winning pop/rock singer, theme song to Twin Peaks TV show, “Falling” (Modern Rock #11, 1989)
1959 ● Steve Jansen / (Stephen Batt) → Drummer, songwriter and singer for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1963 ● Sam Reid → Keyboards for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1971 ● Greg Upchurch → Current drummer for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1977 ● Brad Delson → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1981 ● Mika Fineo → Current drummer for alt rock/industrial group Filter, “Take A Picture” (Alt Rock #3, 1999)

December 02
1905 ● Moe Asch / (Mose Asch) → Polish-American recording engineer and music executive, as founder and owner of Folkways Records became a major figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s and 60s, oversaw the recording of hundreds folk-pop songs, including “Goodnight Irene” by Lead Belly (1933) and “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (1945), his immense catalog was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution just prior to his death on 10/19/1986, age 80
1906 ● Dr. Peter Carl Goldmark → Hungarian-born engineer who developed the long-play (LP) microgroove 33-1/3 rpm vinyl phonograph disc, died in a car crash on 12/7/1977, age 71
1916 ● Howard Finster → Baptist minister in Georgia and eccentric artist with 46,000 pieces of art in his outdoor sculpture garden, also known as the designer of album covers for R.E.M. (Reckoning, #27, 1984) and Talking Heads (Little Creatures, #20 , 1985), died on 10/22/2001, age 84
1918 ● Milton Delugg → Talented accordionist, musical director on the forerunner to NBC’s The Tonight Show, producer of Buddy Holly‘s hit “Rave On” (#37, 1958) and bandleader for the infamous TV game show spoof The Gong Show, directed the music for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 2013, died from natural causes on 4/6/2015, age 96
1941 ● Tom McGuinness / (Thomas John Patrick “Tom” McGuinness) → Bass and later lead guitar plus songwriting and vocals for Britbeat Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), in 1969 formed duo McGuiness Flint with Hubie Flint and thereafter The Blues Band, authored So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star in 1986 and tours with splinter group The Manfreds into the 10s
1941 ● Dick St. John / (Richard St. John Gosting) → Singer, songwriter and half of the teen/R&B/soul-pop duo Dick & Dee Dee with partner and high school classmate Mary “Dee Dee” Sperling, their hit “The Mountain’s High” (#2, 1961) was one of five Top 30 hits just prior to Beatlemania, died following a fall from a ladder at home on 12/27/2003, age 62
1942 ● Ted Bluechell, Jr. → Drums and vocals for light pop-rock harmony group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1960 ● Rick Savage → Bassist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1960 ● Sydney Youngblood (Ford) → R&B/soul-dance-funk singer, “I’d Rather Go Blind” (#46, 1990)
1960 ● Razzle Dingley / (Nicholas Dingley) → Drummer for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984), died when a car driven by Mötley Crüe‘s Vince Neil crashed in L.A. on 12/8/1984, age 24
1961 ● Matt Dike / (Matthew William Dike) → Los Angeles night club owner, D.J. and co-founder of the hip hop record label Delicious Vinyl, whose early hits – including “Wild Thing” (#2, R&B #1, 1988) by Tone L?c and “Bust A Move” (#7, Rap #2, 1989) by Young M.C. – helped thrust hip hop music onto mainstream radio and popular music charts, later contributed sampling tracks and co-produced the Beastie Boys landmark hip hop album, Paul’s Boutique (#14, 1989), dropped out of sight in the early 90s and lived in seclusion in his L.A. mansion, where he died from salivary gland cancer on 1/16/2018, age 56
1968 ● Jimi Haha → Founder, vocals and guitar for alt rock funk-metal Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, “Do Right” (Modern Rock #12, 1999)
1968 ● Nate Mendel → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1970 ● Treach / (Anthony Criss) → Vocals in Grammy-winning hip hop trio Naughty By Nature, “Hip Hop Hooray” (#8, 1993)
1971 ● Donna Matthews → Guitarist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1978 ● Nelly Furtado / (Nelly Kim Furtado) → Portuguese-Canadian dance-pop actress, singer and songwriter, “Say It Right” (#1, 2006)
1981 ● Britney Spears → Teen-pop phenomenon, media icon and tabloid headlining singer and actress, “Baby One More Time” (#1, 2000) and 18 other Top 40 hits
1986 ● Tal Wilkenfeld → Australian jazz and rock bass guitarist, bandleader and session player for Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Jackson Browne, Toto and other well-known rock artists, fronted several of her own bands and was named by Bass Player magazine 2008’s “Most Exciting New Bass Player”
1991 ● Charlie Puth / (Charles Otto “Charlie” Puth Jr.) → Pop singer and songwriter whose YouTube uploads caught the eye (and ear) of TV host Ellen DeGeneres for her ElevenEleven record label, later signed with Atlantic Records and released several major solo and collaborative hits, including “See You Again” (Worldwide #1, 2015) with Wiz Khalifa

December 03
1925 ● Ferlin Husky → Radio comic under the name Simon Crum and honky tonk singer with the stage name Terry Preston, then country-pop crossover star under his legal name with a string of hits in the 50s and 60s, including “Gone” (#4, Country #1, 1958), “Wings Of A Dove” (#12, Country #1, 1960) and three dozen other minor chart singles through 1975, died from coronary failure on 3/17/2011, age 85
1927 ● Andy Williams / (Howard Andrew Williams) → Easy Listening/jazz-pop vocalist, “Butterfly” (#1, 1962) plus over 25 other US Top 40 singles, TV actor and variety show host, died from bladder cancer on 9/25/2012, age 84
1931 ● Jaye P. Morgan / (Mary Margaret Morgan) → Popular 50s and 60s traditional pop vocalist (“That’ All I Want From You,” #3, 1954), TV show character actress (General Electric Theater, The Joey Bishop Show, The Odd Couple, etc.), nightclub singer, and game show panelist (The Gong Show, Match Game, Hollywood Squares, etc.), continued with occasional TV appearances in the 90s
1936 ● Nick Venet / (Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis) → Record producer and A&R executive, first with World Jazz and later with Capitol Records, where he signed The Beach Boys and produced hits for them and dozens of other artists, including The Lettermen, Jim Croce, The Kingston Trio, Linda Ronstadt and Frank Zappa, died from Burkitt’s lymphoma on 1/2/1998, age 61
1938 ● Jody Reynolds → One hit wonder rockabilly singer with the original teenage death song, “Endless Sleep” (#5, R&B #5, 1958), his follow-up single, “Fire Of Love” (#66, 1958) fizzled but became a punk rock classic when covered by the MC5 (1969) and The Gun Club (1982), left the industry in the late 60s and sold real estate in California until his death from liver cancer on 11/7/2008, age 69
1940 ● Jim Freeman → Vocals in R&B/doo wop harmony group The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night” (R&B #3, 1956)
1942 ● Ken Lewis / (Kenneth James Hawker) → Brit songwriter and producer, collaborator with John Carter in The Ivy League, wrote “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” for Herman’s Hermits (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Paul Nicholas / (Paul Oscar Beuselinck) → Brit pop singer and stage, screen and TV actor, released numerous singles in the 60s and 70s, including “Heaven On The 7th Floor” (#6, UK #40, 1977) while concurrently performing in film and stage musicals, formed several production and direction businesses in the 90s, continues to act into the 10s and oversees the franchise company Paul Nicholas School of Acting & Performing Arts
1944 ● Ralph McTell / (Ralph May) → Brit folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Streets Of London” (UK #2, 1974), children’s TV host
1946 ● Vic Malcolm → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit hard rock/glam-rock Geordie, “All Because Of You” (UK #6, 1973)
1947 ● John Wilson → Drummer for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966), joined blues-rock Taste in 1968, Stud in 1971 and Sid Row in 1975, reformed Them in the 90s
1947 ● Joe Lala → Pop and rock drummer, actor and voice actor, appeared on 32 gold records and 28 platinum records during his career, beginning as a founding member of pop-rock Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride,” #4, 1970) and continuing with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, and others, plus multiple movie soundtracks including Saturday Night Fever (1977), Airplane! (1980) and All The Right Moves (1983), appeared on TV and in movies after carpal tunnel syndrome ended his drumming career, died from lung cancer on 3/18/2014, age 66
1948 ● Buffalo Bruce Barlow / (Paul Bruce Barlow) → Bass guitar for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
1948 ● Ozzy Osbourne / (John Michael Osbourne) → Hard rock icon, founder and frontman for gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970), solo goth-rock artist, “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (#28, Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), producer, TV actor and host
1949 ● Mickey Thomas → Lead vocals for Elvin Bishop Group, “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (#3, 1975), then Jefferson Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (#1, 1987)
1951 ● Kimberley Rew → Brit pop-rock and 80s New Wave singer, songwriter, and guitarist starting with Robyn Hitchcock‘s punk/power pop Soft Boys in 1978, co-founded mainstream pop Katrina And The Waves in 1981, wrote “Walking On Sunshine” (#9, 1985) and “Love Shine A Light” (UK #3, 1997), the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1997
1951 ● Mike Stock → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), co-wrote “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1951 ● Nicky Stevens → Vocals in Brit sunny folk-pop Brotherhood of Man, “United We Stand” (#13, UK #10, 1970)
1952 ● Don Barnes → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1952 ● Duane Roland → Co-founder and lead guitar for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), died of “natural causes” on 6/19/2006, age 55
1968 ● Montell Jordan → Contemporary R&B/soul-new jack swing singer and songwriter, “This Is How We Do It” (#1, 1995)
1979 ● Daniel Bedingfield → New Zealand-born Brit pop/rock vocalist, “Gotta Get Thru This” (#10, 2001)

December 04
1910 ● Alex North / (Isadore Soifer) → Hollywood film score composer with dozens of movie soundtracks over a 40-year career, first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award but never won a competitive Oscar despite fifteen nominations for films including A Streetcar Named Desire (1951; one of the first jazz-based film scores), Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), composed the music for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) but his work was rejected by director
Stanley Kubrick
, died from cancer on 9/8/1991, age 80.
1915 ● Eddie Heywood / (Edward “Eddie” Heywood, Jr.) → Popular 40s and 50s jazz and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “Canadian Sunset” (#2, 1956), died after suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases on 1/2/1989, age 73
1940 ● Freddy “Boom-Boom” Cannon / (Frederico Picariello) → Early and persistent pre-Beatles rock ‘n roller, “Palisades Park” (#3, 1962) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1965
1942 ● Bob Mosley / (James Robert Mosley) → Bass, vocals and songwriting for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), continues to write and record music, occasionally with the band, despite being a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic
1944 ● Anna McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Kate in 70s-90s light folk duo The McGarrigle Sisters, wrote “Heart Like A Wheel” for Linda Ronstadt (1975)
1944 ● Chris Hillman → Bassist, singer, songwriter and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), country-rock The Flying Burrito Brothers, light country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band and country-pop Desert Rose Band, “I Still Believe In You” (Country #1, 1988) and nine other Country Top 15 singles
1944 ● Dennis Wilson → Drummer, vocalist and songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo, drowned in a swimming accident on 12/28/1983, age 39
1945 ● Gary P. Nunn → Texas Hill Country folk, blues and progressive country singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “London Homesick Blues” (the theme song to the music TV show Austin City Limits) and numerous other songs covered by multiple artists, played with Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphey as a member of the Lost Gonzo Band, plus Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and many others, issued nearly 20 solo albums and received numerous music achievement awards
1947 ● Terry Woods → Mandolin and cittern for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993), also played with Steeleye Span, Sweeney’s Men, The Bucks and, briefly, Dr. Strangely Strange
1948 ● Southside Johnny / (John Lyon) → Lead vocals and frontman for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1951 ● Gary Rossington → Guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), survived the October 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers, then founded Rossington-Collins Band with other Skynyrd alumni, “Welcome Me Home” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988)
1959 ● Bob Griffin → Bassist for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Les Nemes → Bassist for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Vinnie Dombroski / (Mark Dombroski) → Lead vocals and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain)” (Modern Rock #3, 1995) and other Detroit rock bands
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Lead singer and guitarist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1967 ● Adamski / (Adam Tinley) → Brit dance-pop producer, songwriter and singer, “Killer” (with Seal, UK #1, US Dance #23, 1990)
1969 ● Jay-Z / (Shawn Corey Carter) → Producer, Def Jam Records executive, New Jersey Nets part-owner, hugely successful hip hop artist and Grammy-winning rapper, “Empire State Of Mind” (#1, 2009)
1972 ● Justin Welch → Drummer for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1973 ● Kate Rusby → The “First Lady of Young Folkies,” Brit contemporary acoustic folk singer and songwriter, “All Over Again” (UK #6, 2006)

December 05
1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (Aleck “Rice” Miller) → Celebrated Chicago-style blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, played with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others, The Animals, Van Morrison, The Who, Yardbirds and many others covered his songs, died from a heart attack on 5/25/1965, age 65
1922 ● Don Robertson → Country and pop songwriter, wrote or co-wrote multiple hits for others, including “Born To Be With You” for The Chordettes (#5, 1956) and Dave Edmunds (UK #3, 1973), “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” for Hank Locklin (Country #1, 1960) and over 25 songs for Elvis Presley plus one for his own recording, the country-pop novelty “The Happy Whistler” (#6, 1956), died on 3/16/2015, age 82
1932 ● Little Richard / (Richard Wayne Penniman) → Pianist, songwriter, legendary musical wildman and key figure in the transformation of R&B to rock ‘n roll, “Long Tall Sally” (#6, 1956) plus ten other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → The “King of Gospel music”, Grammy-winning singer, arranger and modern soul/Gospel sound innovator who fused church Gospel with jazz and pop influences, died of heart failure on 2/9/1991, age 58
1936 ● Chad Mitchell → Singer-songwriter and frontman for collegiate folk-pop The Chad Mitchell Trio, the group charted eight albums and one Top 50 hit, “Lizzie Borden” (#44, 1962) but missed out on the success enjoyed by other folk revival groups of equal credibility such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary
1936 ● Robert Freeman / (Robert Grahame Freeman) → English graphic designer and newspaper photojournalist best known for his iconic cover images on five early Beatles albums, including Beatles For Sale (1964), Help! (1965) and Rubber Soul (1965), also shot the closing credit sequences for the movies A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965) plus various promotional images during his three year stint with the band, later enjoyed a long career as a film producer and glamour, celebrity and landscape photographer, died in a London hospital from pneumonia on 11/6/2019, age 82.
1938 ● J.J. Cale / (John Weldon Cale) → Roots-blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, one of the originators of the laid-back “Tulsa Sound” mixing country, blues, rockabilly and jazz, a lone Top 40 hit, “Crazy Mama” (#22, 1972) and “After Midnight” (#42, 1972) were his only chart appearances, best known for writing “Cocaine” (Eric Clapton, #30, 1980) and “Call Me The Breeze” (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974) among many others and for winning a Grammy Award for the album The Road To Escondido (2007) with Clapton, died following a heart attack on 7/26/2013, age 74
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → Original drummer for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1945 ● Sir Geoff Emerick / (Geoffrey Ernest Emerick) → New-hire, 20-year-old trainee technician at London’s EMI Studios who was selected to attend sessions for early recordings by The Beatles, later served as chief sound engineer for their biggest albums, including Grammy Awards for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (#1, UK #1, 1967) and Abbey Road (#1, UK #1, 1969), also engineered albums for Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Supertramp and many others, co-wrote the autobiographical memoir Here, There And Everywhere: My Life Recording The Music Of The Beatles (2006) for which he was criticized for dissing George Harrison and Sir George Martin, died following a heart attack on 10/2/2018, age 72.
1946 ● Andy Kim / (Andrew Youakim) → Canadian pop-rock singer and songwriter, wrote “Sugar Sugar” for bubblegum-pop The Archies (#1, 1969) and scored his own #1 hit with “Rock Me Gently” (#1, 1974), disappeared in the late 70s but resurfaced as “Baron Longfellow” in 1980, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1947 ● Jim Messina → Country-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967), Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970) and Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1972)
1960 ● Jack Russell → Lead vocals for hard rock/metal Great White, “One Bitten, Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), survived Rhode Island night club fire in 2003 in which nearly 100 fans died
1968 ● Glen Graham → Drums and percussion for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1971 ● Craig Gill → Drummer for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1980 ● Shiian / (Christian Smith Pancorvo) → Drummer in Brit indie rock Razorlight, “Golden Touch” (UK #9, 2004) and currently Serafin, “Day By Day” (UK #49, 2003)
1980 ● Zainam Higgins → Singer and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Keri Lynn Hilson → R&B singer and songwriter, wrote hits as part of The Clutch five-person songwriting team, solo, “Knock You Down” (#3, 2009)

December 06
1896 ● Ira Gershwin / (Israel Gershowitz) → With his brother, George Gershwin, one of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera lyricist and librettist, best known their his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), continued to write music for decades after his brother’s death in 1937, including “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (#2, 1944) with Jerome Kern from the film Cover Girl (1944), died from cardiovascular disease on 8/17/1983, age 86
1916 ● Hugo E. Peretti → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with cousin Luigi Creatore to produce dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), died from undisclosed causes on 5/1/1986, age 69
1920 ● Dave Brubeck / (David Warren Brubeck) → Renowned jazz-pop pianist, bandleader and composer, best known for the enduring jazz-pop “Take Five” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1961) from the album Time Out, the first jazz album to sell upwards of a million copies,, died from heart failure while enroute to his cardiologist on 12/5/2012, age 91
1935 ● George Williams / (George Reginald Williams, Jr.) → Lead vocals in Philly soul The Tymes, one of the few acts to have their only #1 hits in both the U.S. and the U.K. with different songs – “So Much In Love” (#1, UK #21, 1963) and “Ms. Grace” (#91, UK #1, 1974), left the band in 1978 and relocated to the U.K., died on 7/28/2004, age 66
1936 ● David Ossman → Comedian, novelist, theater producer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, produced major audio theater broadcasts for National Public Radio during the 80s and live radio plays in the 00s
1939 ● Steve Alaimo → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with nine Billboard Top 100 singles without a Top 40 hit – the most low-enders by any artist anytime – later hosted and co-produced with Dick Clark the American Bandstand spinoff music variety show Where The Action Is (1965-67), became a mildly successful record producer and label owner
1942 ● Robb Royer / (Robert W. Royer) → Guitar, keyboards, bass and songwriting for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), co-wrote “For All We Know,” the 1971 Academy Award Best Song of the Year by the Carpenters from the movie Lovers And Other Strangers, songwriting credits include songs written for The Remingtons, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Randy Travis and others
1943 ● Keith West (Hopkins) / (Keith Alan Hopkins) → Singer, songwriter and frontman for Brit early psych-rock group Tomorrow, then pop-psych solo career, “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” (UK #2, 1967), now a producer of music
1943 ● Mike Smith / (Michael George Smith) → Keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 13 other Top 25 hits in the US (but only nine in their home UK), suffered a spinal injury in a fall from a fence in 2003 and was paralyzed from the waist down, died from pneumonia on 2/28/2008, age 64
1944 ● Jonathan King / (Kenneth George King) → Brit singer and songwriter, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (#17, 1965) plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under various names, record producer, early manager for prog rock Genesis, convicted and jailed (2001) sex offender
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Founder and guitarist for Brit blues-rock Savoy Brown, “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971)
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Czech-born bassist for jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1977), solo
1947 ● Fritz Fryer / (David Roderick Fryer) → Lead guitarist for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US, died of pancreatic cancer on 9/2/2007, age 59
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Up and coming heavy metal/pop-metal guitarist, founder of hard rock Quiet Riot, joined Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band for landmark albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981), died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida on 3/19/1982, age 29
1954 ● Robert Kane → Lead vocals since 1999 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1955 ● Edward Tudor-Pole → Leader of Brit punk-rock band Tenpole Tudor, “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, (UK #6, 1981), solo, “Who Killed Bambi?” (1978), TV actor and host
1955 ● Rick Buckler → Drummer for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982)
1956 ● Peter Buck → Guitarist and songwriter for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1957 ● Adrian Borland → Brit singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk, critically successful The Sound from 1979 to 1987, issued five albums as a solo artist before committing suicide on 4/26/1999, age 41
1961 ● David Lovering → Drummer for melodic post-punk alternative rock The Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man” (Modern Rock #3, 1989)
1961 ● Jonathan Melvoin → Multi-instrumentalist session and touring musician for various 80s punk bands, contributed to projects for his sister Wendy Melvoin‘s funk-pop vocal duet Wendy & Lisa as well as for Prince & The Revolution, toured with The Smashing Pumpkins up to his death from a heroin overdose on 7/12/1996, age 34
1962 ● Ben Watt → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Blando Bland / (Jeff Bland) → Guitarist in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/5/1998
1969 ● Mark Gardener → Singer and guitarist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1969 ● Steven Drozd → Drummer and vocalist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)

December 07
1910 ● Louis Prima → New Orleans jazz band frontman in the 20s, swing combo member in 30s, Big Band leader in the 40s, Las Vegas lounge act with then wife Keely Smith in the 50s (Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic,” #18, 1958) and pop-rocker in the 60s and 70s, died from pneumonia while in a coma following unsuccessful brain tumor surgery on 8/24/1978, age 67
1924 ● Bent Fabric / (Bent Fabricius-Bjerre) → One hit wonder Danish pianist and composer with the Grammy-winning, worldwide instrumental pop hit “Alley Cat” (#7, AC #2, 1962)
1924 ● Boyd Bennett → Rockabilly singer and songwriter with two Top 40 hits in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, “Seventeen” (#5, R&B #7, 1955) and “My Boy Flat-Top” (#39, R&B #13, 1955), when his teenage audience began ageing, retired from music in the early 60s and ventured into business ownership, died from a lung ailment on 6/2/2002, age 77
1931 ● Bobby Osborne → With his younger brother, Sonny, one half of the influential bluegrass act The Osborne Brothers, “Rocky Top” (Country #33, 1967), the song was voted the official state song of Tennessee and one of two official state songs the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1942 ● Harry Chapin / (Harry Foster Chapin) → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed many narrative-based “story songs” including “Taxi” (#24, CAN #5, 1972) and “Cat’s In The Cradle” (#1, CAN #3, 1974), died in a car collision on the Long Island Expressway on 7/16/1981, age 38
1949 ● Tom Waits → Grammy-winning gravelly, growling blues-rock singer and songwriter, film actor, film score composer, voice-over contributor, wrote “Ol’ 55′” for the Eagles (1974)
1954 ● Mike Nolan → Vocals in Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981) and 12 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Thunderstick / (Barry Purkis) → Brit drummer briefly with early Iron Maiden and later with the cult band Samson, known for wearing various horror masks and performing in a cage, named by Classic Rock magazine as number 36 on the “50 Greatest Drummers of Rock” list
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Bassist and co-founder of Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1961 ● Robert Downes → Guitarist in New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Barbara Weathers → Lead vocals for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Huw Chadbourne → Keyboardist for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1965 ● Brian Futter → Guitarist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1973 ● Dodi Ma / (Damien Rice) → Multi-instrumentalist Irish indie folk-rock singer and songwriter, fronted folk-pop Juniper, then solo, “Cannonball” (UK #19, 2004)
1974 ● Nicole Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1977 ● Dominic Howard → Drummer for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1979 ● Sara Beth Bareilles → Grammy-nominated contemporary pop-rock pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Love Song” (#4, 2007)
1986 ● Jonathan Benjamin “J.B.” Gill → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-pop boy band JLS (aka Jack The Lad Swing), “She Makes Me Wanna” (Dance/Club #25, 2011), runners-up of the fifth season (2008) of The X Factor
1987 ● Aaron Carter → Teen idol hip hop/pop singer, “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” (#35, 2002)
1988 ● Winston Marshall → Electric guitar, banjo and vocals for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)