This Week’s Birthdays (December 15 – 21)

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Happy Birthday this week to:

December 15
1911 ● Stan Kenton / (Stanley Newcomb Kenton) → Innovative, atypical swing music pianist, composer and bandleader through various stages of development from 40s traditional swing to “progressive” jazz and later experimental music in the 60s, issued dozens of albums with three making the Billboard Top 20, scored several chart hits including “My Love” (#47, R&B #12, 1960), continued to tour and teach up to his death from a stroke on 8/25/1979, age 67
1919 ● Max Yasgur / (Max B. Yasgur) → Bethel, NY dairy farmer on whose property the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was held, died of a heart attack on 2/8/1973, age 53
1919 ● Tommy Durden / (Thomas Russell Durden) → Session steel guitarist and member of backing bands for country stars Johnny Cash and Tex Ritter, but best known as a one hit wonder songwriter for co-writing “Heartbreak Hotel” (#, 1957), Elvis Presley‘s first national-level hit and a rock ‘n’ roll classic, worked as a commercial dishwasher repairman prior to his death on 10/17/1999, age 79
1921 ● Moondog Freed / (Albert James Freed) → Superstar radio DJ, coined term “rock & roll”, TV and film cameo actor, died from liver failure 1/20/1965, age 43
1928 ● Mr. Smooth / (Jerry Wallace) → Mildly successful pop crooner, “Primrose Lane” (#8, 1959), switched to country in the late 60s and scored four Country Top 25 hits and over 30 other minor hits, died of heart failure on 5/5/2008, age 79
1932 ● Jesse Belvin → Early and underappreciated R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Goodnight My Love” (R&B #7, 1956), co-wrote “Earth Angel” for The Penguins (#8, R&B #1, 1955), killed in a car crash during a career upswing on 2/6/1960, age 27
1939 ● Cindy Birdsong / (Cynthia Ann Birdsong) → R&B/soul vocals for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, “I Sold My Heart To The Junkman” (#15, 1962), replaced Flo Ballard in The Supremes in 1967, “River Deep, Mountain High” (#14, 1971), participates in reunions of both bands
1942 ● Dave Clark → Frontman and drummer for Brit Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1946 ● Carmine Appice → Drummer for hard psych rock/proto-metal Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6, 1968), formed boogie-rock Cactus in 1972, then “super” trio Beck, Bogert & Appice, “Superstition” (1973) and the Rod Stewart band
1946 ● Harry Ray → Vocals in R&B/smooth soul trio The Moments, “Sexy Mama” (#17, R&B #3, 1973) and 26 other R&B chart hits, changed their name to Ray, Goodman & Brown in 1979 due to a contract dispute and scored 10 more R&B hits, including “Special Lady” (#5, 1979), continued to perform with the group until his death from a stroke on 10/1/1992, age 45
1949 ● Don Johnson → Star of the 80s cop show Miami Vice and one hit wonder pop singer, “Heartbeat” (#5, 1986)
1955 ● Paul Simonon → Bassist for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982)
1957 ● Tim Reynolds → Multi-instrumental musician and songwriter, sessions and tours with the Dave Matthews Band (“Space Between” #22, 2002) and permanent lead guitarist since 2008
1960 ● Tich Critchlow / (Anthony Critchlow) → Drummer in Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1961 ● Nick Beggs → Bassist for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983)
1979 ● Edele Lynch → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)
1979 ● Keavy Lynch → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)
1980 ● Sergio Pizzorno → Guitar and vocals for Brit alt rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)

December 16
1899 ● Noel Coward → Multi-talented author, poet, playwright, actor, stage, film and television producer and director, songwriter and pop/cabaret singer, “Mad About The Boy” (1932), died of a heart attack on 3/26/1973, age 73
1931 ● Karl Denver / (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → Scottish pop-rock singer with eleven UK Top 40 hits just before The Beatles hit big, including a cover of “Wimoweh” (UK #4, 1961), continued to perform and record sporadically into the 90s, died from a brain tumor on 12/21/1998, age 67
1944 ● John Abercrombie / (John Laird Abercrombie) → Prominent 70s jazz-rock fusion guitarist, sideman for Gato Barbieri, Billy Cobham and others, began to move away from fusion following release of his first solo album, Timeless (1974), became a respected improvisational jazz, post bop and avant-garde jazz guitarist with dozens of collaborations and over 30 solo albums, mostly with jazz-label ECM Records, continued to record and perform until his death from heart failure on 8/22/2017, age 72
1945 ● Tony Hicks → Guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966) and “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (#2, 1972)
1946 ● Benny Andersson → Keyboards and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Reverend Willie G. or Billy Gibbons / (William Frederick Gibbons) → Guitar and vocals for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1959 ● Steven Irvine → Drummer for Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985)
1968 ● Christopher Thorn → Guitarist for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Lalah Hathaway / (Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway) → The “First Daughter of Soul,” contemporary R&B and jazz-pop singer, “Heaven Knows” (R&B/Hip Hop #3, 1990), daughter of R&B/soul legend Donny Hathaway, member of the Daughters Of Soul supergroup with Nona Hendryx and others
1971 ● Michael McCary → Former bass vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)

December 17
1936 ● Tommy Steele / (Thomas William Hicks) → Early Brit rock ‘n roll teen idol vocalist, “Rock With The Caveman” (UK #13, 1956) and more than 20 other UK Top 40 hits, actor
1937 ● Art Neville / (Arthur Lonan Neville) → Vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist and fixture on the New Orleans music scene for over six decades, first as lead singer for the Hawketts (“Mardi Gras Mambo,” 1954) and as a solo R&B artist in local clubs, later co-founded soul-funk The Meters (“Cisy Strut,” #23, R&B #4, 1969) and joined his three siblings in The Neville Brothers (“Yellow Moon,” 1989), reunited The Meters in 1989 and performed in various Meters spinoffs through to his retirement in 2018, died after years of declining health on 7/22/2019, age 82.
1938 ● Carlo Little / (Carl O’Neil Little) → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer in the 60s Britbeat scene in London, played with The Rolling Stones until replaced by Charlie Watts in 1963, did session work for multiple bands including The Flower Pot Men (“Let’s Go To San Francisco,” UK #1, 1967), auditioned Deep Purple and influenced Keith Moon of The Who, worked as a bread salesman and performed in various pub bands as well as his own The All Stars, died from lung cancer on 8/6/2005, age 66
1939 ● Eddie Kendricks → Founding member and lead vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965), left in 1971 for solo career, “Keep On Truckin” (#1, 1973) plus 18 other R&B Top 40 hits, died from lung cancer on 10/5/1992, age 52
1942 ● Paul Butterfield → Blues-rock singer, harmonica player and bandleader with the legendary and biracial Butterfield Blues Band, later fronted Better Days and issued solo albums, died from a drug-related heart attack on 5/4/1987, age 44
1943 ● David Dee / (David Dee (David John Harman)) → Lead vocals for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), died of cancer on 1/9/2009, age 65
1946 ● Martin Smith → Jazz and blues rock drummer for Brit prog-rockers Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Gentle Giant, died from internal hemorrhaging on 3/2/1997, age 50
1947 ● Simon Bates → Brit radio DJ and music show host for the BBC Radio 1, Classic FM and The Breakfast Show on Smooth Radio
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti → Drummer for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir, “It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972), reunited in the 00s
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Guitar and vocals for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970), hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), supergroup The Firm and rock duo The Law with Kenney Jones of The Who, solo
1950 ● Carly Barrett / (Carlton Barrett) → Jamaican drummer for early reggae band The Upsetters and later roots reggae Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Buffalo Soldier” (1983),, murdered outside his home by a hit man hired by his wife and her lover on 4/17/1987, age 36
1951 ● Wanda Hutchinson → Vocals in R&B/soul-gospel and disco sister trio The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” (#1, 1977)
1958 ● Mike Mills / (Michael Edward Mills) → Bassist for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1959 ● Bob Stinson / (Robert Neil Stinson) → Guitarist for garage punk then alt rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989), died from organ failure after years of drug and alcohol abuse on 2/18/1995, age 35
1961 ● Sarah Dallin → Singer for pop-rock Bananarama, “Venus” (#1, 1986) and 11 Dance/Club Top 40 hits
1964 ● Ginger Walls / (David Walls) → Founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter for Brit hard rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1969 ● Micky Quinn → Bassist for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1970 ● DJ Homicide / (Craig Bullock) → DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997), solo
1973 ● Eddie Fisher → Drums and percussion for self-proclaimed “genreless” pop-rock OneRepublic, “Apologize” (#1, 2006), most popular digital download/highest airplay song ever to-date
1978 ● Neil Sanderson / (Neil Christopher Sanderson) → Co-founder, drummer and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1989 ● Taylor York → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

December 18
1917 ● Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson / (Edward L. Vinson, Jr.) → Jump blues, jazz bebop and R&B alto saxophonist, blues shouter and bandleader, “Old Maid Boogie” (R&B #1, 1947), toured and recorded regularly through four decades before dying of a heart attack on 7/2/1988. age 70
1927 ● Fred Tomlinson / (Frederick Tomlinson) → Singer, choral arranger and frontman for the nonsensical Fred Tomlinson Singers, backing vocalists for sketch comedy troupe Monty Python (“Spam Song,” 1970) and other British TV comedy programs, died from undisclosed causes on 7/17/2016, age 88
1928 ● Galt MacDermot / (Arthur Terence Galt MacDermot) → Grammy-winning Canadian-American pianist, music composer (“African Waltz,” Cannonball Adderly, UK #9, 1960) and writer of film soundtracks and musical theater productions, best known as the creative force behind the 60s rock musical Hair and the Top 10 hits it spawned, including “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine,” “Easy To Be Hard,” “Frank Mills” and “Hair,” continued to compose scores until his death from undisclosed causes on 12/17/2018, age 89.
1931 ● Allen Klein → Businessman, talent agent, film producer, record label executive and manager for Sam Cooke, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others, died from Alzheimer’s disease on 7/4/2009, age 77
1933 ● Lonnie Brooks / (Lee Baker, Jr.) → Influential and renowned if little known Chicago blues style guitarist and singer, recorded an early version of “Sweet Home Chicago,” appeared in the Blues Brothers 2000 movie (1998), died from natural causes on 4/1/2017 , age 83
1934 ● Dandy Dan / (Vergil Glynn Daniel) → “America’s most adequate swinging disc jockey,” New York City AM radio DJ at WMCA in the 60s, member of the Good Guys team of Top 40 broadcasters, later with WCBS-FM spinning classic hits, died from congestive heart failure on 6/21/2016, age 81
1938 ● Chas Chandler / (Bryan James Chandler) → Bassist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), producer and manager for Jimi Hendrix and Slade, died of heart failure on 7/17/1996, age 57
1941 ● Sam Andrew → Founding member, guitarist and singer for 60s psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968), Janis Joplin‘s Kozmic Blues Band, “Me And Bobby McGee” (#1, 1971), film score composer, reunited Big Brother in 1987 and continued to tour and record in various projects until his death from complications of open-heart surgery on 2/12/2015, age 73
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Tenor vocal for R&B/doo wop The Del-Satins, which became The Brooklyn Bridge, “Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1968)
1943 ● Keith Richards → The “Human Guitar Riff,” founding member, lead guitarist, and co-songwriter for The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Woman” (#1, 1969), solo, Rolling Stone magazine’s #10 Great Guitarist of All Time
1943 ● Bobby Keys / (Robert Henry Keys) → Hard-living, hard-playing, Texas-born session and touring saxophonist, most notably with The Rolling Stones with whom he toured and played for over 40 years, including the sax solo on “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), also played on hundreds of songs on albums for such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and others, died from cirrhosis on 12/2/2014, age 70
1948 ● Bill Nelson → Prog rock, electropop, experimental and ambient music composer, guitarist and songwriter, founded and fronted prog rock Be Bop Deluxe, “Modern Music” (1977), prolific solo career since the late 70s
1950 ● Martha Johnson → Vocals and leader of Canadian post-punk Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” (Juno Single of the Year, 1980)
1950 ● Randy Castillo → Rock drummer best known for 10-years with Ozzy Osbourne‘s band (“Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1992), joined heavy metal Mötley Crüe in 1999 and continued until his death from a stomach tumor on 3/26/2002, age 51
1953 ● Elliot Easton → Lead guitar for The Cars, “My Best Friend’s Girl” (#35, 1978), The New Cars, power pop Click Five and roots rock Creedence Clearwater Revisited
1958 ● Kevin “Geordie” Walker → Guitarist in post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1959 ● Daddy G / (Grantley Evan Marshall) → Vocals and songwriter in pioneering trip-hop collaborative duo Massive Attack, “Teardrop” (UK #10, 1998), producer
1961 ● Angie Stone / (Angela Laverne Brown) → R&B/smooth soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, producer and film and TV actor, early career in hip hop girl trio The Sequence (“Funk You Up,” R&B #15, 1979) and other rap and soul groups in the 80s and 90s, then solo with seven R&B Top 20 albums, Including The Art Of Love & War (#11, R&B #1, 2007) plus 16 charting singles through 2016
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → Drummer for Danish-American heavy/hair metal White Lion, “When The Children Cry” (#3, 1987)
1964 ● Robson Green → Brit singer, songwriter, TV host and actor, covered “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1995)
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Bassist for indie “blonde” pop-rockers The Primitives, co-wrote “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), died from a cannabis overdose on 2/4/2009, age 42
1968 ● Andy Miller → Guitarist for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1970 ● DMX / (Earl Simmons) → Vocalist, songwriter and drum machine rap pioneer, “Party Up (Up In Here)” (#27, 1999), screen actor, Reality TV host
1972 ● DJ Lethal / (Leor Dimant) → Latvian-born producer and DJ/turntablist for House Of Pain and rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1975 ● Sia / (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) → Australian singer and songwriter whose sixth solo album, 1000 Forms Of Fear (#1, 2014) and the single “Chandelier” (#8, 2014) found the fame her first five could not
1980 ● Christina Aguilera → Dance-pop singer, “Genie In A Bottle” (#1, 1999), collaborated with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink on remake of “Lady Maramalade” (#1, 2001)
1980 ● Lyndsay Armaou → Vocals in Irish one hit wonder girl-group B*Witched, “C’est La Vie” (#9, 1999)

December 19
1915 ● Edith Piaf / (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → Widely popular French-born opera and adult pop singer, “Milord” (#88, 1959, died from liver cancer on 10/11/1963, age 47
1915 ● Charlie Ryan / (CharlesRyan) → Singer and songwriter best known for co-writing and first recording in 1955 the rockabilly classic “Hot Rod Lincoln,” the remake of which he recorded as Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders (#33, Country #14, 1960), making him a one hit wonder, died on 2/16/2008, age 92
1918 ● Professor Longhair / (Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd)) → Influential and pioneering New Orleans R&B singer and pianist, switched to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and later jazz, won a posthumous Grammy for the collection House Party New Orleans Style (1987), died of a heart attack on 1/30/1980, age 61
1940 ● Phil Ochs / (Philip David Ochs) → 60s folk revival “topical” singer and songwriter known for his anti-Vietnam War and civil rights protest songs, the best known being “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), committed suicide by hanging himself at his sister’s home in Queens, NY on 4/9/1976, age 35
1941 ● Maurice White → Highly-regarded seven-time Grammy-winning drummer, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman of R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire (“Shining Star,” #1, 1975), producer for Deniece Williams, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Emotions and others, died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 2/4/2016, age 74
1944 ● Stuart Colman / (Ian Stuart Colman) → Brit radio broadcaster, musician and record producer, founding member and bassist for one hit wonder pop-easy listening The Flying Machine (“Smile A Little Smile For Me,” Top 5, 1969), later acclaimed BBC Radio disc jockey
1944 ● Zal Yanovsky / (Zalman Yanovsky) → The “Zany One,” guitarist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), restaurateur in Kingston, Ontario, died after a heart attack on 12/13/2002, age 57
1944 ● Alvin Lee / (Graham Barnes) → Underrated British blues-rock guitarist, founding member, lead vocals and lead guitar for Ten Years After, achieved instant if fleeting fame with his rendition of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969 but other than “I’d Love To Change The World” (Top 40, 1971) never had significant commercial success, died from “complications of a routine surgical procedure” to correct atrial arrhythmia on 3/6/2013, age 68
1945 ● John McEuen → Singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo and mandolin for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971), solo and Grammy-winning producer
1947 ● Jimmy Bain / (James Stewart Bain) → Bass guitarist with hard rock Rainbow (“Stone Cold,” #40, Mainstream #1, 1982) and heavy metal Dio (“Rainbow In The Dark,” #14, 1983), co-wrote songs for Phil Lynott‘s solo albums in the 80s, toured with various metal groups and solo projects in the 90s and 00s, died from undiagnosed lung cancer while touring with his band Last In Line on board Def Leppard‘s Hysteria On The High Seas cruise on 1/23/2016, age 68
1957 ● Doug Johnson → Keyboards for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1958 ● Limahl / (Christopher Hamill) → Lead singer for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), solo, “Never Ending Story” (Adult Contemporary #6, 1984)
1961 ● John Eascott → Trumpet for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1968 ● Kevin Shepard → Original drummer for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1985 ● Lady Sovereign / (Louise Harman) → Brit rapper and US one hit wonder singer, “Love Me Or Hate Me” (#45, Dance #1, UK #26, 2006)

December 20
1936 ● Judy Henske → The “Queen of the Beatniks,” late 50s and 60s Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon folk singer, songwriter and one-time TV actress, worked with Lenny Bruce and the Whiskey Hill Singers with ex-Kingston Triomember Dave Guard, recorded two solo albums on Elektra Records in the early 60s, married and recorded with Jerry Yester, including the cult album Farewell Aldebaran (1969), continues to record and perform into the 10s
1939 ● Kim Weston / (Agatha Natalia Weston) → Motown soul singer known for her solo hit “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)” (#50, R&B #4, 1965) and her duet with Marvin Gaye, “It Takes Two” (#14, R&B #4, 1966), left Motown in 1967 for a mildly successful career with MGM, Stax/Volt and Motorcity Records
1940 ● Larry Willis / (Lawrence Elliott Willis) → Five-decade session and touring pianist fluent in jazz, jazz-rock fusion, Afro-Cuban, bepop and R&B/pop sounds as an accompanist to jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean and jazz-pop Hugh Masekela in the 60s, on six albums in the mid-70s as a member of brass rock Blood, Sweat & Tears, on hundreds of albums by numerous artists and groups through the 80s, 90s and 00s, including over 20 of his own, died from a pulmonary hemorrhage on 9/29/2019, age 78.
1944 ● Bobby Colomby → Drummer for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Peter Criss / (Peter Criss (Criscoula)) → Drummer and “Catman” character in campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo
1948 ● Alan Parsons → Brit studio engineer, part-producer for The BeatlesAbbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970), plus Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), songwriter, musician and bandleader for prog-pop-rock The Alan Parsons Project, “Games People Play” (#16, 1981)
1948 ● Little Stevie Wright / (Stephen Wright) → Lead vocals for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967), then solo
1956 ● Guy Babylon / (Guy Graham Babylon) → Grammy-winning keyboardist and 20-year member of Elton John‘s band, also did session work for B. B. King, Iron Butterfly, Blues Image and others, stricken with arrhythmia while swimming in his L.A. home pool and died in the hospital on 9/2/2009, age 52
1957 ● Anita Ward → One hit wonder R&B/soul-disco singer, “Ring My Bell” (#1, 1979)
1957 ● Billy Bragg / (Stephen William Bragg) → Brit alt rock singer, songwriter and left-wing activist, “Sexuality” (Modern Rock #2, 1991) and “She’s Leaving Home” (UK #1, 1988), wrote “A New England” for Kirsty MacColl (UK #7, 1985)
1957 ● Michael Watt → Seminal post-punk bassist and founder of Minutemen, dos, FireHouse, also with The Stooges and Banyan
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1971 ● Roger J. Beaujard → Guitarist and drum machine programmer for death metal/deathgrind duo Mortician, “Chainsaw Dismemberment” (1999)
1975 ● Graham Hopkins → Former drummer for Irish grunge rock Therapy?, then solo, now sessions and touring bands
1980 ● Dibs Edwards / (Christopher “Dibs” Edwards) → Bassist for Brit indie rock Kasabian, “Club Foot” (Modern Rock #27, 2004)
1982 ● David Cook → Multi-instrumentalist post-grunge pop-rock singer and songwriter, “The Time Of My Life” (#3, 2008), winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008)
1990 ● JoJo / (Joanna Noelle Levesque) → R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Too Little Too Late” (#3, 2006), actress

December 21
1913 ● Luise King / (Louise Driggs Rey) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from cancer on 8/4/1997, age 83
1921 ● Luigi Creatore → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and record label executive, teamed with cousin Hugo Peretti to write dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and Van McCoy‘s “The Hustle” (#1, 1975), died from pneumonia on 11/13/2015, age 93
1926 ● Freddie Hart / (Frederick Segrest) → Country-pop crossover singer with charting singles in four decades, including 19 straight Country Top 20 hits in the early 70s starting with “Easy Loving” (#17, Country #1, 1971), migrated to gospel in the 90s and continues to perform into the 10s
1939 ● Wes Farrell → Musician, prolific songwriter and 60s/70s record producer, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs, including “Boys” for The Shirelles (1960) and The Beatles (1963), “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys (#1, 1965) and the theme song (“C’mon On, Get Happy”) to the Partridge Family TV series, founded Chelsea Records in 1972, died from cancer on 2/29/1996
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → With Jill Jackson, vocals in early pop-rock two hit wonder duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963) and “Young Lovers” (#6, 1963), left the music industry in the late 60s but returned in the 80s as a Christian music artist
1940 ● Frank Zappa / (Frank Vincent Zappa) → Multi-instrumentalist, musical satirist, rock/classical fusion composer, film score writer and producer, bandleader, frontman for The Mothers Of Invention, , long solo career with a handful of charting singles, including “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), died from prostate cancer on 12/4/1993, age 52
1942 ● Carla Thomas → The “Queen of Memphis Soul,” Stax Records R&B/Southern soul belter, “B-A-B-Y” (#14, R&B #3, 1966) and 14 other R&B Top 40 hits, daughter of soul-funker Rufus Thomas
1943 ● Albert Lee → Brit country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, co-founded Head Hands & Feat, session work with Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and others, solo
1943 ● Gwen McCrae → Southern R&B diva known best for “Rockin’ Chair” (#9, R&B #1, 1975) but scored a dozen other disco and soul hits in the 70s and 80s, often in collaboration with her husband, George McCrae, later found success in the UK and Europe where she performed and recorded into the 00s
1946 ● Carl Wilson → Guitars and vocals for sunny-pop/surf-rockers The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), died from brain cancer 2/6/1998, age 51
1951 ● Nick Gilder / (Nicholas George Gilder) → Brit-born frontman for Canadian glam-rock Sweeney Todd, then solo, “Hot Child In The City” (#1, 1978)
1953 ● Betty Wright → Grammy-winning R&B/Miami soul and quiet storm vocalist, “Clean Up Woman” (#6, 1972)
1964 ● Murph Murphy / (Emmett J. Murphy III) → Drummer for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993), left in 1993 to join The Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), rejoined Dinosaur Jr. in 2005
1965 ● Gabby Glaser / (Gabrielle Glaser) → Guitarist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1971 ● Brett Scallions / (Brett Allen Scallions) → Guitar, bass and vocals for post-grunge/alt rock Fuel, “Falls On Me” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2004)

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