This Week’s Birthday (October 23 – 29)

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Ellie Greenwich

Happy Birthday this week to:

October 23
1919 ● Katie Lee / (Kathryn Louise Lee) → Folk singer with a dozen albums, mostly about Western U.S. cowboys and rivers, author of several books on similar subjects, and environmental activist best known for her decades-long opposition to the construction and ongoing presence of the Glen Canyon Dam in Northern Arizona, her music and narration were featured on a Smithsonian Institute Folkways compilation album, Songs And Stories From Grand Canyon (2005), died from undisclosed causes on 11/1/2017, age 98
1930 ● Boozoo Chavis / (Wilson Chavis) → Accordion maestro and one of the principal architects of the modern Zydeco sound, the music created by French-speaking Louisiana Creoles, refused to play publicly following his single, the first Zydeco hit “Paper In My Shoe” (1954) but returned in 1984 to tour and record until just prior to his death from complications of a heart attack on 5/5/2001, age 70
1937 ● Yvonne Staples → Backing singer and business manager for father-daughters family gospel then mainstream R&B vocal group The Staple Singers (“I’ll Take You There,” #1, 1972 and two other Top 5 hits), eschewed the limelight but was a recognized stalwart behind the scenes for the group and various solo acts, including her sister, Mavis, for nearly 40 years, retired in the 10s and died from colon cancer on 4/10/2018, age 80
1939 ● Charlie Foxx → With sister Inez, one half of the one hit wonder R&B/soul duo Inez & Charlie Foxx, “Mockingbird” (#7, 1963), died from leukemia on 9/18/1998, age 58
1940 ● Ellie Greenwich / (Eleanor Louise Greenwich) → Brill Building pop music songwriter, singer and producer, wrote or co-wrote multiple hit songs (often with Phil Spector or husband Jeff Barry), including “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Chapel Of Love” for The Dixie Cups (#1, 1964) and “Hanky Panky” for Tommy James & The Shondells (#1, 1966), died of a heart attack on 8/26/2009, age 68
1942. ● Jan Savage / (Buck Jan Reeder) → Guitarist in psychedelic rock/proto-garage punk The Seeds, “Pushin’ Too Hard” (#36, 1966), left the band in 1968 and fell into obscurity outside the music industry except for reunions in 1989 and 2003, died from undisclosed causes on 8/5/2020, age 77.
1943 ● Barbara Ann Hawkins → With sister Rosa Lee Hawkins and cousin Joan Marie Johnson, vocals in 60s R&B/pop girl-group The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love” (#1, 1964)
1947 ● Greg Ridley → Co-founder and bassist for blues-rock Spooky Tooth, left in 1969 to co-found Humble Pie, “30 Days In The Hole” (1972) and “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), left music in 1975 but returned for Humble Pie reunions after 2001, died of pneumonia on 11/19/2003, age 56
1949 ● Würzel Burston / (Michael Burston) → Guitarist for early punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980), left the band for solo career, died from heart disease on 7/9/2011, age 61
1949 ● Nick Tosches / (Nicholas P. Tosches) → Music journalist, biographer and poet labelled as one of the “Noise Boys” in the 70s for his brash, unconventional “gonzo” style, wrote for Creem, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and others magazines but best known for his biographies of Jerry Lee Lewis (Hellfire, 1982), Dean Martin and boxer Sonny Liston, also issued four novels and many other works of fiction and journalism, his Autobiography was released in 2018, died from undisclosed causes on 10/20/2019, age 69.
1953 ● Pauline Black → Vocals in New Wave 2 Tone ska revival The Selecter, “On My Radio” (UK #8, 1979)
1956 ● Dwight Yoakam → Grammy-winning, pioneering roots-country singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Streets Of Bakersfield” (Country #1, 1988) and 13 other Country Top 10 hits
1957 ● Kelly Marie / (Jacqueline McKinnon) → Scottish R&B/disco-pop vocalist, “Feels Like I’m In Love” (UK #1, 1980)
1959 ● Weird Al Yankovic / (Alfred Matthew Yankovic) → Grammy-winning comedian, multi-instrumentalist and song parodist, “Eat It” (#12, 1984) parodying Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” and “White & Nerdy” (#9, 2006) parodying “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire
1964 ● Roberto Trujillo → Bassist in thrash metal Suicidal Tendencies, “I’ll Hate You Better” (Mainstream Rock #34, 1993) and side project funk-metal Infectious Grooves, joined Ozzy Osbournes band in 1994 and Metallica in 2003
1966 ● David Thomas → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1972 ● Richard McNamara → Guitarist in Brit-pop rockers Embrace, “Gravity” (Modern Rock #36, UK #7, 2004)
1986 ● Miguel / (Miguel Jontel Pimentel) → R&B/pop soul singer and guitarist with seven R&B Top 10 hits as a solo or featured artist, including “Adorn” (#17, R&B #1, 2012)

October 24
1911 ● Sonny Terry / (Saunders Terrell) → Blues and folk harmonica player, developed the “whoopin'” style, session man for Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and others, Broadway and TV actor, died of natural causes on 3/11/1986, age 74
1930 ● The Big Bopper / (Jiles Perry “J.P.” Richardson, Jr.) → Booming-voiced, early rock ‘n’ roll radio DJ, songwriter, singer and bandleader, best known for his one hit wonder single “Chantilly Lace” (#6, 1958) but also wrote “White Lightning” for George Jones (#73, Country #1, 1959) and “Running Bear” for Johnny Preston (#1, UK #1, 1959), died along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens in an Iowa plane crash on the night of 2/3/1959, age 28.
1935 ● Sanford Clark → Country and rockabilly one hit wonder vocalist whose 50s US Army side group led to a meeting with radio DJ and future music producer Lee Hazlewood and a recording of Hazlewood‘s “The Fool” (#7, Country #14, R&B #5, 1956), left the music business and worked in construction but occasionally recorded in later decades on his own label, Desert Sun Records, died from complications of COVID-19 while receiving cancer treatments in a Missouri hospital on 7/4/2021, age 85.
1936 ● Bill Wyman / (William George Perks) → Three-decade bassist for megastar hard rock The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), issued solo albums in the 70s, co-founded supergroup Willie And The Poor Boys in the 80s, quit The Stones and now fronts The Rhythm Kings featuring Albert Lee and Peter Frampton
1936 ● Fast Fingers Dawkins / (Jimmy Dawkins) → Blues guitarist and mellow-voiced singer known as a pioneer of the aggressive, percussive “West Side” Chicago blues style, recorded and toured with Otis Rush, Andrew “Big Voice” Odom and others, his debut album Fast Fingers (1969) won the Grand Prix du Disque de Jazz from the Hot Club of France in 1971 as the year’s top album, died of undisclosed causes on 4/10/2013, age 76
1937 ● Santo Farina → Steel guitarist in Italian-American one hit wonder brother duo Santo & Johnny, pop-rock guitar instrumental “Sleepwalk” (#1, 1959)
1942 ● Donald W. Gant → Singer, songwriter and record producer, one half of pop-rock duo The Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” (#17, 1969), produced albums for Jimmy Buffett, Lefty Frizzell and others, died following a serious boating accident on 3/15/1987, age 44
1944 ● Ted Templeman → Singer, guitarist and vocal arranger in folk-sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967), then record producer for Van Morrison, Little Feat, The Doobie Brothers, Van Halen and others
1946 ● Jerry Edmonton / (Gerald McCrohan) → Drummer in Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), died in a car accident on 11/29/1993, age 47
1947 ● Edgar Broughton / (Robert Edgar Broughton) → Singer, guitarist and frontman for Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1948 ● Barry Ryan / (Barry Sapherson) → Singer with his identical twin brother in pop duo Paul & Barry Ryan, scored eight UK Top 50 hits in two years in the mid-60s, including “Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches” (UK #13, 1965), when his brother quit to avoid the stress and concentrate on songwriting, started a solo career and released his biggest hit, “Eloise” (#86, UK #2, 1968) along with another five UK Top 40 singles, left the music business in the 70s for a successful career as a fashion photographer and has six portraits in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, occasionally performed on the oldies circuit and died from complications of a lung disorder on 9/28/2021, age 72.
1948 ● Buffin Griffin / (Terence Dale Griffin) → Drummer in early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), producer for The Cult, Hanoi Rocks, Nirvana and others, including BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel
1948 ● Paul Ryan / (Paul Sapherson) → Singer and songwriter with identical twin brother in pop vocal duo Paul & Barry Ryan, “Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches” (1965), wrote his brother’s solo hit, “Eloise” (UK #1, 1968), left the industry and managed a chain of hairdressing salons until his death from lung cancer on 11/29/1992, age 44
1949 ● Tiny Tavares / (Perry Lee Tavares) → Cape Verdean-American singer with his four brothers in R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976), continued to tour into the 10s
1962 ● Debbie Googe → Bassist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1969 ● Rob Green → Drummer in blue-eyed soul revival and trad rock Toploader, “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK #7, 2000)
1970 ● Alonza Bevan → Bassist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997)
1970 ● Eds Chesters / (Edward Daniel Chesters) → Drummer for indie rock The Bluetones, “Slight Return” (UK #2, 1996)
1978 ● Sabrina Washington → Lead vocals in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), solo and TV actress
1979 ● Ben Gillies → Co-founder and drummer for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1980 ● Monica / (Monica Arnold) → R&B/urban contemporary singer, “Before You Walk Out Of My Life” (#7, R&B #1, 1995) and seven other Top 10 hits
1983 ● Adrienne Bailon → Hip hop soul and R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001) and Disney pre-fab dance-pop Cheetah Girls, “Strut” (#53, 2006), TV host and film actress
1986 ● Drake / (Aubrey Drake Graham) → Canadian R&B/hip hop vocalist, “Find Your Love” (#5, 2010) and six other Top 40 hits, TV actor

October 25
1912 ● Minnie Pearl / (Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon) → Country music singer and comedian with more than 50 years at the Grand Ole Opry and 22 years on the seminal country music TV variety program Hee Haw, known for her signature price-tagged straw hat and folksy mountain demeanor, scored one Country Top 10 hit (“Giddyup Go – Answer,” Country #10, 1966) but influenced countless younger female artists, died following a massive stroke on 3/4/1996, age 83
1924 ● Earl Palmer → R&B, rock and pop session drummer who played on thousands of songs by Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Monkees and others, on scores of albums by Duane Eddy, Taj Mahal, Tim Buckley and others, and on dozens of film scores (Hud, How To Stuff A Wild Bikini and others) and TV theme songs (77 Sunset Strip, Green Acres, The Partridge Family and others), one of the first session musicians elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2000), died following a long illness on 9/19/2008, age 78
1937 ● Jeanne Black → Country music TV variety show singer and Las Vegas nightclub act, brushed fame as a one hit wonder country-pop singer, “He’ll Have To Stay” (#4, Country #6, R&B #11, 1960), the answer song to Jim Reeve‘s “He’ll Have To Go” (#2, Country #1, 1960), died peacefully on 10/23/2014, age 76
1941 ● Helen Reddy / (Helen Maxine Lamond Reddy) → The “Queen of 70s Pop,” Australian light pop/adult contemporary singer with eleven Top 20 hits in the 70s including the Grammy-winning, feminist anthem “I Am Woman” (#1, Adult #1, 1971), enjoyed a long and diverse second career in films – Airport 1975 (1974), Pete’s Dragon (1977) and others – plus on stage and in TV programs through the 90s, suffered from Addison’s disease and dementia in later years and died on 9/29/2020, age 78.
1943 ● Roy Lynes → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968), continues to perform with tribute bands Quo Vadis and Statoz Quo
1944 ● Jon Anderson / (John Roy Anderson) → Keyboards, songwriter, lead vocals and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971) and various off-shoots and side projects through the 00s, plus solo work (“Cage Of Freedom,” Mainstream Rock #17, 1984) and collaborations
1944 ● Taffy Nivert Danoff → Vocals in one hit wonder light pop-rock Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976)
1946 ● John Hall → Drummer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968)
1947 ● Glenn Tipton → Lead guitarist for popular and influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” (#67, Mainstream Rock #4, 1982) plus the 2009 Grammy-winning album Dissident Aggressor
1950 ● Chris Norman → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for glam-pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977), left in 1982 for solo career, “Midnight Lady” (Germany #1, 1986)
1951 ● Richard Lloyd → Guitar and vocals for early and influential punk-rock Television, “Marquee Moon” (1977), solo, producer and guitar teacher
1955 ● Matthias Jabs → Guitarist in German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984), still with the band in 2010
1957 ● Robbie McIntosh → Session guitarist and bandleader, played in The Pretenders (“Back On The Chain Gang,” #5, 1983) from 1982 to 1987 and Paul McCartney‘s Wings in the 90s
1960 ● Chrissy Amphlett / (Christinae Amphlett) → Vocals for Aussie power pop Divinyls, “I Touch Myself” (#4, 1991), co-wrote “Science Fiction” (AUS #13, 1982), included in 2001 as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time by the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA), died after a long fight with breast cancer on 4/21/2013, age 52
1961 ● Chad Smith → Drummer in funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1961 ● Pat Sharp / (Patrick Sharpin) → Brit TV host and radio DJ (BBC Radio 1, Capital FM, Radio Mercury)
1963 ● John Leven → Bassist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1965 ● Nick Thorpe → Bassist for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Speech / (Todd Thomas) → Vocals and MC for African-centric, progressive hip hop/funk-soul-blues Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992), solo
1970 ● Ed Robertson / (Lloyd Edward Robertson) → Guitarist for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1981 ● “Romeo” then “Young Rome” / (Jerome Isaac Jones) → Rapper, singer for L.A. pre-teen R&B/pop-rap Immature, “Never Lie” (#5, 1994), then name change to Imx, “Stay The Night” (#23, 1999), actor
1984 ● Katy Perry / (Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) → Contemporary dance-club/pop-rock singer and songwriter, “I Kissed A Girl” (#1, 2008), TV and voice actress
1985 ● Ciara Princess Harris → The “First Lady of Crunk & B,” contemporary R&B/soul-pop dancer and vocalist, “Goodies” (#1, 2004), actress and fashion model

October 26
1911 ● Mahalia Jackson → The “Queen of Gospel,” vastly influential gospel superstar singer, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (#69, 1958), three-time Grammy winner, civil rights activist and philanthropist, died from heart failure on 1/27/1972, age 60
1913 ● Charlie Barnet → Jazz saxophonist, composer and leader of a early racially-integrated band, noted for penning more than twenty-five Billboard chart hits in the Swing era between 1939 and 1946, including “Cherokee,” “Redskin Rhumba” and “Skyliner,” married 11 times, the final one lasting 33 years, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia on 9/4/1991, age 77
1929 ● Neal Matthews → Vocals in country-gospel-pop backing quartet The Jordanaires, recorded with Elvis Presley (1957-1972), Patsy Cline, Tom Jones, Merle Haggard and others, died of a heart attack on 4/21/2000, age 70
1930 ● Mickey Kapp / (Michael Ivan Kapp) → Hollywood music executive with his father’s Kapp Records and, among other song credits, producer of Louis Armstrong‘s version of “Hello, Dolly!” from the musical of the same name, the song knocked The Beatles‘ “Can’t Buy Me Love” off the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop charts in 1964, best known for producing the one hit wonder novelty hit “The Astronaut” (#19, 1961) recorded by comedian Bill Dana as the dim-witted, space-suited character José Jiménez, which eventually led to a side career providing SONY TC-50 cassette player mixtapes to multiple NASA space missions, including the 1969 Apollo moon shot when his music playlist was often heard in the background of radio transmissions, consulted for NASA into the 70s, during his career worked in various capacities at Elektra Records, Capitol Records and later Warner Music, died from congestive heart failure on 6/11/2019, age 88.
1934 ● Jacques Loussier → French pianist, composer and frontman for the Jacques Loussier Trio from 1959 to the late 70s, specialized in jazzed-up versions of classical masterpieces, a good many by Johann Sebastian Bach, sold over 7 million copies of nearly 40 albums, performed in over 3,000 concerts worldwide and, following the Trio‘s disbandment, composed film scores, concertos and ballet pieces, performed with Pink Floyd and Elton John, among other rock acts, and recorded portions of Pink Floyd‘s The Wall (1979) in his private studio, reformed the Trio on the tricentenary of Bach‘s birth in 1985, toured and recorded until releasing his last album on his 80th birthday in 2014, suffered an on-stage stroke in 2011, retired from touring and died from an undisclosed degenerative disease on 3/5/2019, age 84.
1936 ● Al Casey / (Alvin Wayne Casey) → Piano and guitar with early rocker Duane Eddy‘s Rebels, wrote Eddy‘s early hit “Ramrod” (#27, R&B #17, 1958) and co-wrote “Forty Miles Of Bad Road” (#9, 1959), issued several mostly instrumental solo albums in the 60s and scored three minor chart singles, including ” Surfin’ Hootenanny” (#48, 1963), turned to session work as a member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians and recorded with numerous top artists, owned a Los Angeles music store for 20 years, retired in 1993 and died on 9/17/2006, age 69
1938 ● Jabo Starks / (John Henry Starks) → Blues, funk and soul drummer who grew up playing with blues artists in clubs on the Deep South “chitlin’ curcuit” then joined Bobby Bland‘s band in 1959 and played on numerous soul/gospel hits, including “Turn On Your Lovelight” (#28, R&B #2, 1961, left in 1965 to join James Brown‘s band (“Sex Machine,” #2, R&B #15, 1970) for whom he toured and recorded as the lone drummer or in tandem with Clyde Stubblefield for a decade, later joined B. B. King‘s touring band and reunited with Stubblefield as The Funkmasters in the 90s and played with him on two albums and multiple James Brown tribute shows, died from complications of leukemia and other blood disorders on 5/1/2018, age 79
1940 ● Stephen Swid / (Stephen Claar Swid) → Wall Street analyst, financial advisor and private equity partner, purchased CBS Songs, the music publishing division of CBS Inc., for $125 million in 1986 and sold it less than 3 years later to Thorn-EMI for $335 million, later paid $25 million to acquire SESAC (the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers), a small player in the music copyright and royalty collection business, and grew the company to rival industry giants ASCAP and BMI, also co-owner of The “21” Club in New York City and CEO of Spin magazine, retired in 2013 after selling SESAC to an investment firm for $1.2 billion and died from complications of frontotemporal degeneration on 10/06/2019, age 78.
1944 ● Alan Henderson → Bassist for Irish garage-rock, proto-punk Them, “Gloria” (#71, 1966)
1944 ● Michael Piano → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1946 ● Keith Hopwood → Guitarist in British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1. 1965)
1951 ● Bootsy Collins / (William Earl Collins) → R&B/funk bassist, singer and songwriter, with James Brown band in the 60s and Parliament-Funkadelic in the 70s, frontman for Bootsy’s Rubber Band, “Bootzilla” (R&B #1, 1978)
1951 ● Maggie Roche / (Margaret A. Roche) → Eldest of the three singer/songwriter sisters who performed and recorded in pairs or as a trio in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal folk-pop close-harmony The Roches, the group issued 17 albums over 30 years, along the way backing Paul Simon on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (#2, 1973), playing various venues on the Greenwich Village folk scene, appearing on several TV variety shows, touring occasionally and collaborating with others, died from breast cancer on 1/21/2017, age 65.
1952 ● David Was / (David Weiss) → Lyricist, keyboardist and co-frontman for eclectic R&B and rock fusion Was (Not Was), “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1989), producer, music journalist and theme song composer.
1953 ● Keith Strickland → Guitars, keyboards and occasional drums for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1962 ● Steve Wren → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Natalie Merchant → Lead vocals and songwriting for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992), left in 1993 for solo career, “Carnival” (#10, 1995)
1965 ● Judge Jules / (Julius O’Riordan) → UK dance music remixer, producer and radio DJ, first with pirate radio Kiss FM and since 1987 with BBC Radio 1 in various time slots
1967 ● Keith Urban → New Zealand-born Nashville contemporary country-pop crossover guitarist, songwriter and three-time Grammy winner, “Sweet Thing” (#30, Country #1, 2008)
1978 ● Mark Barry → Vocals for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000), now a personal fitness trainer
1981 ● Guy Sebastian → Australian adult contemporary/soul-pop singer/songwriter, winner of the first Australian Idol series, “Angels Brought Me Here” (Australian #1, 2003)
1986 ● Schoolboy Q / (Quincy Matthew Hanley) → Hip hop singer and recording artist, originally with self-anointed supergroup Black Hippy, since 2009 solo singer with the debut hit album Oxymoron (#1, Rap #1, R&B #1, CAN #1, 2014) and the single “Studio” (#38, Rap #5, R&B #10, 2014)

October 27
1924 ● Gary Chester / (Cesario Gurciullo) → Top-rated session drummer from doo wop to rock and pop, co-author of two instruction books on drumming, worked with the Coasters, The Monkees, Dionne Warwick, Country Joe McDonald, Van Morrison and many others on hundreds of albums and thousands of songs, died 8/17/1987, age 62
1924 ● Bonnie Lou / (Mary Joan Okum) → Pioneering country-pop, rockabilly and early rock ‘n’ roll singer and later TV show host with several crossover hits and the early rocker “Daddy O” (#14, 1955), dubbed “Queen” of the country music Midwestern Hayride program on NBC-TV through the early 70s, died in her sleep on 12/8/2015, age 91
1933 ● Floyd Cramer → Country-pop/easy listening “Nashville sound” pianist with the unique “slip-note” style, issued several hit singles (including “Last Date,” #2, Country #11, 1960) and albums of instrumental covers, worked as a session musician with Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and others, most widely known as the composer to theme song for 1980s mega-hit TV soap Dallas, died of lung cancer on 12/31/1997, age 64.
1939 ● Dallas Frazier / (Dallas June Frazier) → Country-pop musician and prolific songwriter, penned and recorded his first single, “Space Command” (no charts, 1954) at age 14 and followed with 10 charting singles between 1966 and 1973, best known for writing country-pop “Elvira” for himself (no charts, 1966) and the Oak Ridge Boys (#5, Country #1, 1981), novelty-pop “Alley Oop” (#1, R&B #3, 1960) for the Hollywood Argyles, “There Goes My Everything” (#65, Country #1, 1966) for Jack Greene, and “Beneath Still Waters” (Country #1, 1980) for Emmylou Harris, left the music industry for the ministry in the Nashville area in 1988, suffered two strokes in mid-2021 and died on 1/14,2022, age 82.
1942 ● Melvin Lee Greenwood → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “God Bless The USA” (Country #7, 1984) re-released in October 2001 (#16, Country #16, 2001) and 18 other Country Top 10 singles plus a Grammy Award
1945 ● Mark Ryan → Bass guitarist for early 70s lineup of psych-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service (“Fresh Air,” #49, 1970), later in funk-rock Bodacious D.F. with ex-Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin.
1945 ● Dick Dodd / (Joseph Richard Dodd, Jr.) → Original cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club beginning in 1955, formed instrumental surf rock The Bel-Airs and played drums on the regional hit “Mr. Moto” (1961), joined garage/proto-punk The Standells in 1964 as drummer and sang lead vocals on “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured with the group occasionally until dying of cancer on 11/29/2013, age 68
1948 ● Byron Allred → Keyboards in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973)
1949 ● Gary Tallent → Bassist in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, producer, sessions, record company executive
1949 ● Clifford Antone → Club owner, record label executive and one of the architects of the Austin, TX blues music scene, founded Antone’s blues club in 1975 and featured blues artists such as B. B. King, Fats Domino, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others, chief executive of independent label Antone’s Records and university lecturer, died from unspecified causes on 5/23/2006, age 56
1951 ● K.K. Downing / (Kenneth Downing, Jr.) → Lead guitarist for popular and influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” (#67, Mainstream Rock #4, 1982) plus the 2009 Grammy-winning album Dissident Aggressor
1953 ● Peter Dodd → Guitarist with New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983)
1956 ● Hazell Dean / (Hazell Dean Poole) → Brit dance-pop singer and H-NRG artist, “Searchin’ (I Gotta Find A Man)” (Dance/Club #8, 1983) and two other Dance/Club Top 20 hits
1958 ● Simon LeBon → Lead singer and lyricist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982), still recording in 2011
1967 ● Scott Weiland Kline / (Scott Richard Kline) → Founding member and lead vocals for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994), died in his sleep after years of drug abuse on 12/3/2015, age 48
1984 ● Kelly Osbourne → Reality TV actress, socialite and teen-pop-rock singer, “Papa Don’t Preach” (Mainstream Rock #25, UK #3, 2002), daughter of metal superstar Ozzy and manager-wife Sharon Osbourne, fashion designer, TV judge and host

October 28
1927 ● Cleo Laine / (Clementine Dinah Campbell) → Grammy-winning, highly-regarded jazz-pop scat vocalist in husband Johnny Dankworth‘s Big Band and as a solo performer, “You’ll Answer To Me” (UK #5, 1961), stage actress
1933 ● Gershon Kingsley / (Götz Gustav Ksinski) → German-American composer and pioneer of popular electronic music and the Moog synthesizer, on which he recorded film scores, Broadway musicals, TV commercials, a rock versions of Jewish services, and three dozen albums as a solo artist or in collaboration with others, his signature song “Pop Corn” has been recorded by hundreds of artists, including synth-pop Hot Butter (#9, 1973), Latin jazz Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, dance-pop Crazy Frog and techno/ambient Aphex Twin, later switched to digital electronics and new age music, and composed theatrical concerts and operas into the 00s, died from undisclosed causes on 12/10/2019, age 97.
1936 ● Charlie Daniels / (Charles Edward Daniels) → Country and Southern rock legend known for his high-speed fiddling and a long list of accomplishments over 60 years, first as a Nashville session musician on albums by Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr and others, later as leader of the four-decade Charlie Daniels Band (“The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” #3, 1979 and four other Top 40 crossover hits), as founder and organizer of the Volunteer Jam concerts (1974-1996) and tours (1999-2015) showcasing fellow Southern rockers, as a mostly cameo actor in two dozen movies and TV shows, as an inductee to the Grand Ole Opry (2008) and the Country Music Hall of Fame (2016), and for his unapologetic right-wing stance on social and political issues, died from a hemorrhagic stroke on 7/6/2020, age 83.
1937 ● Graham Bond → Early and important but underappreciated Brit R&B/blues-rock musician, first with Blues Incorporated, fronted the Graham Bond Organization with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a London tube train on 5/8/1974, age 36
1939 ● Jim Post / (Jimmie David Post) → Singer and songwriter with then-wife Cathy Conn Post in one hit wonder folk-pop duo Friend & Lover and their inspirational pop hit “Reach Out Of The Darkness” (#10, 1968), disbanded and divorced after failing to find a follow-up hit, continued to write and perform folk music as a solo act in the Chicago area into the 10s, wrote children’s books with another of his wives from five marriages, died in hospice care from congestive heart failure on 9/14/2022, age 82.
1940 ● Jay Proctor → Founder and frontman for integrated Philly soul-pop Jay & The Techniques, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” (#6, R&B #8, 1967), plus two other Top 40 hits in the 60s and two disco singles in the 70s
1941 ● Curtis Lee → Early pop-rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder singer, “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (#7, 1961)
1941 ● Hank Marvin / (Brian Robson Rankin) → Guitarist with instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960)
1942 ● Raymond Steinberg → Baritone for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1945 ● Wayne Fontana / (Glyn Geoffrey Ellis) → Frontman for British Invasion pop-rock band The Mindbenders (“Game Of Love,” #1, 1965), then solo (“Pamela Pamela,” UK #11, 1967), took his stage name from D. J. Fontana, Elvis Presley‘s longtime drummer, dropped out of the music scene in the 80s, suffered from alcoholism and financial troubles in the 90s and 00s but returned to perform on the oldies circuit until just prior to his death from cancer on 8/6/2020, age 74.
1947 ● George Glover → Keyboards and backing vocals for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1948 ● Telma Louise Hopkins → TV sitcom actress and former light-pop backing vocalist in Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 20 hits
1953 ● Desmond Child / (John Charles Barrett) → Grammy-winning songwriter and producer with 70 Top 40 singles, frontman for Desmond Child & Rouge, “Our Love Is Insane” (#50, 1979), then wrote and produced for Kiss, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Cher, Michael Bolton, Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson and others
1957 ● Stephen Morris → Drummer for post-punk Joy Division, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (Dance/Club #42, UK #13, 1980), then New Wave electro-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance/Club #5, 1983) and The Other Two, “Selfish” (Dance/Club #6, 1993)
1958 ● William Reid → Guitarist, composer and lead singer for Scottish alt-pop-rock Jesus And Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always” (Modern Rock #4, 1994)
1959 ● Neville Henry → Saxophone in New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1963 ● Eros Ramazzotti  / (Eros Luciano Walter Ramazzotti ) → Hugely-successful Italian pop singer and songwriter with over 70 million albums sold worldwide in a 30-year career but few in the US, recorded duets with Cher, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Ricky Martin and others
1965 ● Shawn Smith → Seattle-area grunge and indie rock singer, songwriter and musician, member of alternative rock bands Brad (with Stone Gossard), Pigeonhed, Satchel and The Twilight Singers, and served as frontman for a reunion of Mother Love Bone, released ten albums as a solo artist before dying from a torn aorta caused by high blood pressure on 4/3/2016, age 53. (His body was discovered in his home on 4/5/2019, the same date on which fellow Seattle musicians Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) died in 1994 and 2002, respectively.)
1969 ● Ben Harper / (Benjamin Chase Harper) → Multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter with an unusual and effective mix of blues, folk-rock, funky soul and pop that garnered three Grammys, including Best Traditional Soul Gospel album in 2005, and several charting singles (“Steal My Kisses,” #15, 2000)
1972 ● Brad Paisley → Country and Southern rock crossover singer, songwriter and guitarist, charted 18 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 25 on the Hot Country Songs list, 16 of which reached Country #1 with a record 10 consecutive singles in the top spot, including “Remind Me” (#17, Country #1, 2011)

October 29
1922 ● Neal Hefti → Jazz composer/arranger who wrote charts for Earl Hines, Count Basie and others and played trumpet with Woody Herman‘s First Herd, but best known for penning TV’s “Batman Theme” (#35, 1966) and the title song and soundtrack to The Odd Couple (1968), died of throat cancer on 10/11/2008, age 85
1937 ● Sonny Osborne → With his older brother, Bobby, 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 the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1944 ● Denny Laine / (Brian F. A. Hines) → First lead guitarist and vocals for The Moody Blues, “Go Now” (#10, 1965), left to join Ginger Baker’s Air Force and then Paul McCartney‘s Wings, “Band On The Run” (#1, 1974), solo since the early 80s
1944 ● Robbie Van Leeuwen → Guitar and backing vocals in Dutch one hit wonder pop-rock Shocking Blue, “Venus” (#1, 1970)
1945 ● Melba Moore / (Beatrice Melba Smith) → R&B/soul-disco singer, “Love’s Comin’ At Ya” (Dance/Club #2, 1982), Tony Award-winning Broadway stage actress
1945 ● Mick Gallagher → Brit organist, bandmember and session musician, with blues-rock The Animals and psych-pop Skip Bifferty in the 60s, proto-punk Ian Dury And The Blockheads and punk-rock The Clashh in the 70s and 80s, worked with Paul McCartney, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, currently tours with The Blockheads and John Steele‘s The Animals And Friends
1946 ● Peter Green / (Peter Allen Greenbaum) → Respected British blues-rock guitarist and songwriter, replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in 1966, co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 as a blues-rock band, wrote “Albatrosss” (UK #1, 1969) and other early hits, left the band in 1970 and suffered psychiatric problems for decades while participating in various, limited collaborations and sessions through the 90s, ranked #38 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, died in his sleep from undisclosed causes on 7/25/2020, age 73.
1948 ● Ricochet Reynolds / (Rickie Lee Reynolds) → Original guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas with a lone Top 40 hit, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, CAN #12, 1973), but three gold-certified albums in 1971-1973, left in 1977 but returned in 1984 to record and perform with the band into the 10s, hospitalized with COVID-19 and died from heart and kidney failure on 9/5/2021, age 72.
1949 ● David Paton → Scottish bassist, singer and songwriter with soft pop-rock Pilot, wrote “Magic” (#1, 1974), solo and session work
1954 ● Stephen Luscombe → Multi-instrumentalist in New Wave synth-pop duo Blancmange, “Don’t Tell Me” (UK #8, 1984)
1955 ● Roger O’Donnell → Session keyboardist with New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twin, Berlin and The Psychedelic Furs, in 1987 joined post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, solo
1955 ● Kevin Dubrow → Co-founder and lead singer in heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot (“Bang Your Head (Metal Health),” #31, 1984), died from a cocaine overdose on 11/25/2007, age 52
1961 ● Steven Randall “Little Randy” Jackson / (Douglas Martinez) → Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and youngest member of R&B/pop-soul brother act The Jackson 5, co-wrote “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” (#6, 1979)
1962 ● Einar Orn Benediktsson → Vocals for Icelandic alt pop-rock The Sugarcubes, “Hit” (Modern Rock #1, 1991)
1965 ● Peter Timmins → Drummer in Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1969 ● Doug “S.A.” Martinez / (Douglas Vincent Martinez) → Lead vocals and turntables for hip hop/reggae/punk rock fusion band 311, “Love Song” (#59, Modern Rock #1, 200$)
1969 ● Roni Size / (Ryan Owen Granville Williams) → Brit record producer and DJ, founder and frontman for hip hop drum and bass act Reprazent, Mercury Music Prize-winning album New Forms (1997)
1970 ● Toby Smith → Keyboards in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999), currently manager and producer for indie pop The Hoosiers, “Worried About Ray” (UK #5, 2007)
1984 ● Chris Baio → Bassist for indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)

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