This Weeks Birthdays (April 17 – 23)

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Afrika Bambaataa during Launch of "Hip-Hop Won't Stop: The Beat, The Rhymes, The Life" Collection Initiative for the Smithsonian Institution at Hilton New York in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)

Happy Birthday this week to:

April 17
1926 ● Sam Carr / (Samuel Lee McCollum) → Drummer in electric Mississippi Delta blues trio The Jelly Roll Kings known for his minimalist drum kit, died from congestive heart failure on 9/21/2009, age 83
1930 ● Chris Barber / (Donald Christopher Barber) → English jazz musician and bandleader known for helping launch the UK “skiffle” craze in the 50s and the subsequent Brit-beat scene by mentoring and promoting non-jazz pop acts such as Lonnie Donegan and, in the early 60s, by arranging UK tours of authentic American blues acts, including Muddy Waters, his efforts leading to the British blues-rock explosion of the mid-60s and the later success of The Yardbirds, John Mayall and The Rolling Stones and many others, continued to front traditional jazz and bop bands until suffering from dementia in his last years and dying on 3/2/2021, age 90.
1930 ● Al Schmitt / (Albert Harry Schmitt) → Apprentice in the 1950s for the legendary recording engineer Tom Dowd, rose to become a twenty-time Grammy-winning record producer and sound engineer with RCA, Capitol, United and East/West Studios, among others, along the way engineering over 150 gold and platinum albums and producing albums for Hot Tuna, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, Jackson Browne and dozens of other top artists, died from natural causes on 4/26/2021, age 91.
1931 ● David Axelrod → Top-level 60s and 70s music producer, worked with jazz and R&B artists from Cannonball Adderly to Lou Rawls and varied pop acts as David McCallum and The Electric Prunes, enjoyed a resurgence of sorts when hip hop acts sampled his work in the 90s, died of lung cancer on 2/5/2017, age 85
1934 ● Don Kirshner → Entertainment mogul, led Brill Building songwriting teams, formed The Monkees, owned Kirshner Records (“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, #1, 1969), major concert promoter, TV music show host, died of heart failure 1/17/2011, age 76
1936 ● Pete Graves / (Alexander Graves) → Vocals and founding member of important 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955)
1937 ● Don Buchla / (Donald Buchla) → Berkeley-trained NASA engineer, musician, business entrepreneur and unheralded electronic music pioneer, his many creations were mostly outside of contemporary bounds but included precursors to 80s synthesizers and computer-based keyboard controllers, his “Buchla Box” supplied the sound for Ken Kesey‘s “Acid Tests” and Grateful Dead sounds systems in the 60s, died of cancer on 9/14/2016, age 79
1940 ● Billy Fury / (Ronald Wycherley) → Early British rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Halfway To Paradise”” (UK #3, 1961) and 25 other UK Top 40 singles between 1959 and 1966, starred as rock ‘n’ roller “Stormy Tempest” in the film That’ll Be The Day (1973) with David Essex and Ringo Starr, died of a heart attack on 1/28/1983, age 42
1942 ● Shelly Buchansky → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Roy Estrada → Bassist for experimental art rock Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), co-founded Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973), left after their first two albums to rejoin various Zappa projects, currently serving 25 years without parole for sexually abusing a child on several occasions
1945 ● Tony Crane → Founding member, rhythm guitar and lead vocals for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, then folk-pop vocal duo The Merseys, “Sorrow” (UK #4, 1966), reformed The Merseybeats in 1993 and continues with the band
1948 ● Jan Hammer → Jazz-rock fusion keyboardist with Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck Group, composed and performed TV’s “Miami Vice Theme” (#1, 1985)
1948 ● Graham Bell → Brit pop-rock vocalist as a solo act and bandmember, started with psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the 60s, recorded the rock opera Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra, joined jazzy prog rock Every Which Way and formed pop-rock Bell & Arc in the 70s, toured with and did session work for Long John Baldry, Jackie Lomax and others, died of cancer on 5/2/2008, age 60
1954 ● Michael Sembello → Producer, composer, session guitarist for many pop-rock acts, solo one hit wonder singer, “Maniac” (#1, 1983) from the film Flashdance (1983)
1955 ● Pete Shelley / (Peter Campbell McNeish) → Co-founder, lead guitarist, principal songwriter and vocalist for early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, the band’s melodic punk and power pop in a sea of hard core punk created eight charting UK singles, including “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), after Buzzcocks broke up in 1981 balanced a 30-year solo career (“On Your Own,” Dance #10, 1986) with several reunions of the band and collaborative recordings, died from a heart attack on 12/6/2018, age 63.
1957 ● Afrika Bambaataa / (Lance Taylor) → Proto-rap hip-hop DJ and electro-funk artist, “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), Zulu Nation spiritual leader
1964 ● Maynard James Keenan → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead vocalist for Grammy-winning prog-metal band Tool, “Vicarious” (Modern Rock #2, 2006) plus side project alt rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2003)
1967 ● Liz Phair → Lo-fi indie pop-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Why Can’t I?” (#32, Top 40 #10, 2004)
1967 ● Matt Chamberlain → Widely-heard session drummer, played on over 200 albums with rock and pop bands such as Christina Aguilera, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, David Bowie, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Morrissey, Pearl Jam, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, John Mayer, William Shatner and many others
1970 ● Redman / (Reginald Noble) → Actor, producer and funk/reggae-tinged rapper, “How High” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), worked with Method Man on the 1999 album Blackout!, featured on Christina Aguilera‘s “Dirrty” (#48, UK #1, 2002)
1974 ● Victoria Beckham / (Victoria Adams Beckham) → Vocals and “Posh Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997), married soccer star David Beckham in June 1999

April 18
1918 ● Tony Mottola → Session guitarist for Perry Como, Burl Ives and others, member of Frank Sinatra‘s backing band and Doc Severinsen‘s The Tonight Show house band, one hit wonder easy listening soloist (“This Guy’s In Love With You,” Easy Listening #22, 1968) with dozens of light pop guitar-based albums, died from complications of pneumonia on 8/9/2004, age 86
1924 ● Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown → Grammy-winning electric Texas blues, country, Cajun and R&B guitarist, “Okie Dokie Stomp” (1954), died of emphysema on 9/10/2005, age 81
1935 ● Paul Rothchild / (Paul A. Rothchild) → Boston-area folk album producer, discovered The Butterfield Blues Band in the early 60s, moved to Southern California and became central to the development of the L.A. Sound in the 60s and 70s, produced five albums by The Doors, plus various recordings for Janis Joplin, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Love, Bonnie Raitt, The Outlaws and others, died from lung cancer on 3/30/1995, age 59
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin → Country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, first with post-Buddy Holly & The Crickets, then in the TV show Shindig house band and Elvis Presley‘s backing band, session work for Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others
1941 ● Mike Vickers / (Michael Vickers) → Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, flute and sax) for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), then film score composer and session man, played synthesizer on The BeatlesAbbey Road album
1943 ● Clyde Stubblefield / (Clyde Austin Stubblefield) → R&B and funk drummer with Eddie Kirkland and Otis Redding in the early 60s, then joined James Brown‘s band in 1965 and created memorable funk rhythm patterns, including the drum break on “Funky Drummer” (#51, R&B #20, 1970), the most sampled music segment ever, continued to record on his own and with others through the 10s and performed in central Wisconsin until his death from kidney failure on 2/18/2017, age 68
1945 ● Charles Love → Guitarist and founding member of a cappella doo wop group turned early and influential funk and black rock Bloodstone, “Natural High” (#10, R&B #4, 1973) and eleven other charting singles, died from emphysema on 3/6/2014, age 68
1946 ● Skip Spence / (Alexander Lee Spence) → Early guitarist for psych-folk Quicksilver Messenger Service, left to become original drummer for psych-rock Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody To Love” (#5, 1967), left to form eclectic psych-rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), went solo in 1969, died from lung cancer on 4/16/1999, age 52
1946 ● Lennie Baker / (Leonard J. Baker) → Saxophonist in a later lineup of 50s rock ‘n’ roll Danny & The Juniors, joined “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975) in 1970 and played saxophone and sang with the group for 30 years on stage, film and TV, died from an unspecified infection on 2/24/2016, age 69
1958 ● Andy Kyriacou → Drummer for New Wave dance-pop Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1958 ● Les Pattinson → Bassist for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “Enlighten Me” (Modern Rock #8, 1990)
1959 ● Richard Lyons / (Richard Duaine Lyons) → Founding member of avant-garde, sonic experimentation and collage sound cult band Negativland, since 1980 the band has released nearly two dozen LPs and EPs and hosted a weekly live radio program, Over The Edge, on KPFA in Berkeley, CA, all featuring sound bites, music sampling, distortion, dubbing and random noises, died from complications of nodular melanoma on 4/18/2016, age 57
1962 ● Shirlie Holliman → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1963 ● Michael Mangini → Drummer for Canadian thrash metal Annihilator, left to join heavy metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), sessions and Steve Vai backing band
1964 ● Bez Berry / (Mark Berry) → On stage dancer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), left to form and dance for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1970 ● Greg Eklund → Drummer for Northwest post-grunge/punk Everclear, “Wonderful” (#11, Alt Rock #3, 2000)
1974 ● Mark Tremonti → Guitarist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000), founding member of hard rock Alter Bridge, “Open Your Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2004)
1982 ● Marie-Élaine Thibert → Canadian adult contemporary and teen pop singer, runner-up in the first season of the Quebec singing idol reality show Star Académie, two-time Felix award winner for best female artist in Quebec and one-time Juno award winner for best Francophone album in Canada, her first four albums reached the Top 10 in Canada

April 19
1928 ● Alexis Korner → Major force in early British blues-rock, formed Blues Incorporated with Charlie Watts, then blues-rock ensemble CCS which covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love” (#58, 1971), writer and radio DJ, died from lung cancer on 1/1/1984, age 55
1934 ● Dickie Goodman / (Richard Dorian Goodman) → With partner Bill Buchanan, one half of the pioneering novelty “break in” song genre (prototype of later “sampling” technique) Buchanan & Goodman, “Flying Saucer, Pt. 1-2” (#3, 1956), plus solo work, “Mr. Jaws” (#4, 1975), died from self-inflicted gun shot wounds on 11/6/1989, age 55
1934 ● Bruce Swedien / (Bruce Frederick Swedien) → Five-time Grammy Award winning sound engineer and record producer in collaborations with Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones on Jackson‘s Thriller (Worldwide #1, 1983), Bad (Worldwide #1, 1988) and Dangerous (US #1, 1993) albums, and with Jones‘s on his Back On The Block (#9, 1991) and Q’s Jook Joint (Jazz #1, 1997) albums, also engineered albums and songs for Paul McCartney, Barbara Streisand, The Four Seasons (“Big Girls Don’t Cry,” #1, 1962) and many others, pioneered sound recording techniques and received numerous professional awards and honorary degrees, died from complications from surgery for a broken hip on 11/16/2020, age 86.
1940 ● Bobby Russell → Country-pop crossover singer with several minor singles, including “Saturday Morning Confusion” (#28, Country #24, 1971), best known for penning several country and pop hits, from Grammy-winning “Little Green Apples” for O. C. Smith (#2, 1968) to “Honey” for Bobby Goldsboro (#1, 1968) and “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1972) for his then-wife Vicki Lawrence, died from coronary artery disease on 11/19/1992, age 52
1942 ● Alan Price → Organist for early line-up of Brit blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), left for one hit solo career, “‘Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear” (UK #4, 1967)
1942 ● Larry Ramos / (Hilario Ramos) → Filipino-American guitarist, banjo player and singer with 60s folk-pop vocal ensemble The Association, co-sang two of the group’s hits, “Windy” (#1, 1967) and “Never My Love” (#2, 1967), left in 1975 over musical differences but returned in 1979 and performed with the group until just prior to his death from melanoma on 4/30/2014, age 72
1943 ● Eve Graham / (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1944 ● Bernie Worrell / (George Bernard Worrell, Jr.) → Founding member and keyboards for R&B/soul-funk Parliament-Funkadelic, co-wrote many P-Funk hits with bandleader George Clinton including synth-funk classic “Flash Light” (#16, R&B #1), worked with Talking Heads, Gov’t Mule and Black Jack Johnson among others and fronted the Bernie Worrell Orchestra until his death from lung cancer on 6/24/2016, age 72
1945 ● Michael Stewart → Co-founder and guitarist for folk-pop harmony group We Five “You Were On My Mind” (#3, AC #1, 1965), brother of John Stewart of The Kingston Trio and producer of Billy Joel‘s Piano Man album (#27, 1973), worked as a computer programmer until he committed suicide on 11/13/2002, age 57
1946 ● Tim Curry → Singer, stage and film actor, voice actor, came to prominence as “Dr. Frank N. Futer” in cult classic move The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), later in Annie (1982), Legend (1985), Clue (1985) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (2004)
1947 ● Mark Volman → With long-time collaborator Howard Kaylan, co-founder and vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), then Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), formed Flo & Eddie with Kaylan, continues with him in TV, film, radio and reconstituted Turtles projects
1948 ● Stuart McLean / (Andrew Stuart McLean) → Canadian humorist, author and host of the long-running weekly music and storytelling variety show The Vinyl Café on the CBC, the BBC and dozens of U.S. public radio stations, contracted melanoma in 2015 and suspended production of the show in 2016, died of the disease on 2/15/2017, age 68
1956 ● Gary Langan → Recording engineer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop The Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988), record producer
1956 ● Paul Mario Day → Original lead vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden (“Flight Of Icarus,” Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1976 for lack of stage charisma and went on to perform and record with various hard rock bands in New South Wales, Australia
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein → Drummer for jazz-Southern rock fusion Dixie Dregs, later with pop-metal Winger, “Miles Away” (#12, 1990)
1957 ● Tony Martin / (Anthony Harford) → Multi-instrumentalist heavy metal lead singer for Black Sabbathh (“TV Crimes,” UK #33, 1992) in two stints between 1987 and 1997, second longest tenured vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne, issued several solo albums and worked with other metal acts through the 00s
1965 ● Suge Knight / (Marion Knight, Jr.) → Strong-armed co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, served time for parole violation, suspected of involvement in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

April 20
1923 ● Tito Puente / (Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente, Jr.) → The “King of Latin Music,” five-time Grammy-winning virtuoso vibraphonist, bandleader, songwriter and arranger in a 50-year career that brought mamba, cha-cha-cha and “salsa” music to mainstream audiences through albums, nightclubs, radio and movies, appeared in the TV sitcom The Cosby Show in 1983 and the film The Mambo Kings (1992), Latin rock Santana covered his “Oye Como Va” (#13, 1970), died following heart valve surgery on 5/31/2000, age 77
1929 ● Bob Braun → Long-time radio DJ (WLWT-Cincinnati), TV music show host and one hit wonder pop-rock singer, “Till Death Do Us Part” (#26, 1962), died from cancer on 1/15/2001, age 71
1932 ● Gerry Granahan → Philadelphia radio DJ, songwriter, Influential rock ‘n’ roll producer and pop-rock singer with the minor hit “No Chemise Please” (#23, 1958), co-wrote “Click Clack” (#28, 1958) and performed the song and others in the fictional band Dickey Doo & The Don’ts, produced “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963) for The Angels and songs for Patty Duke, Jay & The Americans and others, served as an executive with Dot and Paramount Records, continued to perform in the 90s
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson → Country, pop, R&B and adult crossover singer/songwriter, “Poetry In Motion” (#2, 1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston / (James Edward Winston Langwith) → Original keyboard player for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces (“Whatcha Gonna Do About It,” CAN #20, UK #14, 1965), appeared on their first two albums and on tracks released after leaving in late 1965 for a brief and nominal solo career and roles on stage in the 1968 musical Hair and on TV on the 1972 Doctor Who serial Day of the Daleks, otherwise lived a life in obscurity outside the entertainment world and died from undisclosed causes on 9/26/2020, age 75.
1947 ● Ken Scott → EMI Studios recording engineer whose first session was The Beatles‘ 1964 A Hard Days Night album, worked on multiple other Beatles albums and hit songs, plus recordings for Manfred Mann, Peter and Gordon, Jeff Beck Group, Procol Harum and others, left in 1969 for Trident Studios where he worked with Elton John, David Bowie, Supertramp, America, Lou Reed and others, helped create the harder jazz rock sound typified by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clark and Jeff Beck, moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and produced albums by The Tubes, Devo, Kansas, Level 42 and L.A. punk and hard rock bands, continues to work in studios and talk about the profession
1947 ● Mark Fisher → Brit architect and stage designer known for his elaborate sets for The Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd (The Wall Tour, 1980), Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Lady Gaga and others, died after a long illness on 6/25/2013, age 66
1948 ● Craig Frost → Keyboardist, joined hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad in 1972, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), joined Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band in the early 80s
1951 ● Luther Vandross → Eight-time Grammy-winning R&B/smooth soul singer/balladeer, “Power Of Love/Love Power” (#4, 1986) and duet with Janet Jackson, “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (#10, 1997), died following a stroke and heart attack caused by genetic diabetes and hypertension on 7/1/2005, age 54
1967 ● Mike Portnoy → Drummer for heavy metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992)
1971 ● Mikey Welsh → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005), died of an overdose-induced heart attack in a Chicago hotel on 10/8/2011, age 40
1972 ● Carmen Electra → Erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Baywatch beach tart and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005) featuring Busta Rhymes
1972 ● Ziggy Marley / (Stephen Robert Nesta Marley) → Grammy-winning roots reggae/ska singer, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader for Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), son of reggae superstar and icon Bob Marley
1974 ● Tina Cousins → Fashion model turned dance-pop diva with five UK Top 20 singles, including “Killin’ Time” (UK #15, 1999)

April 21
1919 ● Don Cornell → Smooth baritone pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop and easy listening singer with over 30 Top 40 hits between 1942 and 1955, including “Hold My Hand” (#2, UK #1, 1954) , died from emphysema and diabetes on 2/23/2004, age 84
1939 ● Ernie Maresca / (Ernest Peter Maresca) → 60s doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll songwriter whose résumé includes several hits for Dion, including “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961), and a brief one hit wonder solo career, “Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)” (#6, 1962)
1941 ● Jim Owen → Country-pop singer and songwriter with multiple songs recorded by others, including “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” (Country #1, 1973) by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, most famous for turning an infatuation for his idol, Hank Williams Sr., into a career impersonating the legend on stage and screen through a variety of tribute concerts and broadcasts, including an Emmy for the 1980 film Hank Williams:The Man And His Music and a nationwide 10-hour radio show on New Year’s Day 1985, continued to write and perform in Branson, MO theaters until a few years before his death from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2020, age 78.
1941 ● Pee Wee Ellis / (Alfred James Ellis) → Jazz-rooted saxophonist, songwriter and music arranger, worked as musical director for R&B/funk master James Brown‘s backing band in the latter 60s and co-wrote more than 25 songs with Brown, including “Cold Sweat” (#7, R&B #1, 1967) and the anthemic “Say It Loud – I’m Black And I’m Proud” (#10, R&B #1, 1968), later hired on at jazz label CTI Records as arranger for the likes of George Benson, Shirley Scott and Sonny Stitt until joining Van Morrison‘s backing and recording a dozen albums with Morrison through 1999, over the years fronted his own bands blending jazz and R&B/funk and collaborated with others. including in the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion and Still Black Still Proud, a James Brown tribute tour, suffered from heart trouble in his later years and died from heart failure on 9/23/2021, age 80.
1943 ● Mars Bonfire / (Dennis Eugene McCrohan Edmonton) → Guitar and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, wrote “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1947 ● Alan Warner → Founding member, guitars and backing vocals for Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), later wrote dozens of musical instrument instructions books
1947 ● Iggy Pop / (James Newell Osterberg) → Frontman and vocals for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, solo, Lust For Life (1977, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums #147)
1947 ● John Weider → Guitar and violin for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), then bassist for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), sessions and solo as a jazz-new age guitarist and singer/songwriter
1948 ● Paul Davis → Pop-rock and country-pop singer/songwriter (“I Go Crazy, #7, 1977), guest vocalist with Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker, wrote several country hits for others, died of a heart attack on 4/22/2008, age 60
1951 ● Nicky Barclay / (Nicole Barclay) → Vocals, keyboards and songwriter in pioneering all-girl rock quartet Fanny (“Butter Boy,” #29, 1975), one of the earliest women-only rock bands and the first to release an album on a major record label (Fanny, Reprise, 1970), left the band in 1974 for an unsuccessful solo career but eventually played on albums by Barbra Streisand and Keith Moon and recorded and performed in the U.K. with former members of prog rock Procol Harum and blues-rock Rory Gallagher’s band. 1952 ● Marsha Zazula / (Marsha Jean Rutenberg) → With her husband Jonny, co-founder and co-partner of Megaforce Records, formed from a small New Jersey record shop at the outset of the 80s heavy metal boom and home to multiple metal bands in their early careers, launched Metallica (Kill ‘Em All, 1983) and worked with Raven (All For One, 1983) and Anthrax (Fistful Of Metal, 1984), along the way earning the moniker “The Metal Matriarch” for nurturing the bands and individual members, also released albums for rockers Ace Frehley, Warren Haynes, Johnny Winter and others, sold the label in 2001 and retired from the industry, died from cancer on 1/10/2021, age 68.
1958 ● Mike Barson → Keyboards for Brit punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles, continues to record and perform with the band into the 10s
1959 ● Michael Timmins → Guitarist and songwriter for Canadian alt-art-country-blues-rock Cowboy Junkies, “Sweet Jane” (Modern Rock #5, 1989)
1959 ● Robert Smith → Founder, frontman, guitarist, vocals, songwriter and only constant member of gloomy post-punk-pop The Cure, “Love Song” (#2, 1989), plus over 20 other Top 40 singles in his native UK
1960 ● John Maher → Drummer in early and seminal punk-pop Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” (UK #12, 1978), now sells and races Volkswagen cars
1963 ● Johnny McElhone / (John Francis McElhone) → Bassist for Scottish teen-aged post-punk alt rock Altered Images, “Happy Birthday” (UK #2, 1981), then joined Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1966 ● Michael Franti → Creator, frontman, chief poet, lead vocals and guitar for politically and socially active hip hop-funk-rock fusion Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” #18, R&B #1, 2009)
1978 ● Brandon Steineckert → Drummer in screamo-tinged, post-hardcore punk The Used, “Under Pressure” (#48, 2005), left in 2006 to join punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995)

April 22
1922 ● Charles Mingus → Universally-lauded jazz bassist, bandleader and composer, in his last months collaborated with Joni Mitchell on her tribute album Mingus, died from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 1/5/1979, age 56
1927 ● Laurel Aitken / (Lorenzo Aitken) → The “Godfather of Ska,” Cuban-Jamaican singer whose 1958 single “Boogie In My Bones” was the first Jamaican popular music record released in the UK, became one of ska music’s leading artists in the 70s and continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 7/17/2005, age 78
1931 ● Joe Cuba / (Gilberto Miguel Calderón) → The “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” Puerto Rican-American conga drummer widely regarded as one of the creators of the Latin soul fusion of R&B and Cuban salsa instrumentation called “boogaloo,” which originated in New York City and became briefly popular in the late 60s, “Bang, Bang” (#63, 1966), died from a bacterial infection on 2/15/2009, age 77.
1932 ● Isao Tomita → Analog synthesizer musician, composer and pioneer of space and electronic music, used electronic music sequencers to combine classical pieces with sci-fi themes, won four Grammy Awards for his 1974 album Snowflakes Are Dancing, died from cardiac failure on 5/5/2016, age 84
1935 ● “Fluke” Holland / (W.S. Holland) → Legendary country and rock ‘n’ roll drummer, joined Carl Perkins’ band in 1954 and played on the original recording of the rockabilly classic “Blue Suede Shoes” (#1, Country #2, R&B #3, 1956) and at the famous 1956 impromptu jam session at Sun Records studios with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Perkins dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet, moved to Cash‘s backing band in 1960, providing the backbeat on every Man in Black record for nearly 40 years, along the way appearing with Cash on Bob Dylan‘s LP, Nashville Skyline (1969), died at home from undisclosed causes on 9/23/2020, age 85.
1936 ● Glen Campbell / (Glen Travis Campbell) → 60s session musician with the Wrecking Crew of top-notch musicians, recorded with The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, The Velvet Underground, The Mamas & the Papas and others, member of the touring band for The Beach Boys in place of Brian Wilson in 1964-65, then Grammy-winning country-pop guitarist and singer/songwriter with dozens of Country Top 10 and Pop Top 40 hits, including “Rhinestone Cowboy” (#1, 1975), occasional actor and TV host throughout his music career, died after a long and publicized battle with Alzheimer’s disease on 8/8/2017, age 81
1937 ● Jack Nitzsche / (Bernard Alfred “Jack” Nitzsche) → Producer, arranger, session musician, solo singer/songwriter, “The Lonely Surfer” (#39, 1963), worked with Phil Spector in the early 60s, with Buffy Sainte-Marie co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) from the film An Officer And A Gentleman (1982), produced albums for The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and others, died after a heart attack on 8/25/2000, age 63
1939 ● Mel Carter → Soul-pop and Easy Listening singer with several minor hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but with eight Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” (#8, AC #1, 1965)
1939 ● Simon Napier-Bell → Music industry journeyman bandmember, session musician, producer, songwriter, journalist and author, at one time or another served as manager for The Yardbirds, John’s Children, Marc Bolan, Japan, London, Asia, Ultravox, Boney M., Wham! and others
1944 ● Howard Wyeth → Session drummer for Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Robert Gordon, Link Wray and others, grandson of painter Noel Wyeth, died of a heart attack 3/27/1996, age 51
1944 ● Alan Gordon → Songwriter and musician noted for co-writing “Happy Together” by The Turtles (#1, 1967) and “Celebrate” by Three Dog Night (#15, 1970), and writing “My Heart Belongs To Me” by Barbra Streisand (#4, 1977), died from cancer on 11/22/2008, age 64
1946 ● Frankie Cannibal / (Francisco “Frankie Cannibal” Garcia) → Lead vocals for pioneering L.A. “East Side Sound” Mexican-American one hit wonder brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from AIDS on 1/21/1996, age 49
1948 ● Larry Groce → Folk and children’s music singer/songwriter, radio DJ and voice-over artist remembered for his one hit wonder single “Junk Food Junkie” (#9, 1976), appeared on nine Disney albums between 1979 and 1990, founded and continues as host and music director of Mountain Stage, the live music program produced by West Virginia Public Radio and aired nationally on NPR
1949 ● Walter Lure → Second guitarist and co-songwriter in seminal New York punk rockers Johnny Thunder & the Heartbreakers (one studio LP, L.A.M.F., 1977 and several live albums), left the band in 1978 but returned for several stints in the 80s and 90s, formed his own punk bands and eventually became a Wall Street stockbroker, wrote an autobiography of his experieces, To Hell And Back in 2020, diagnosed with liver and lung cancer in July 2020 and died less than two months later on 8/21/2020, age 71.
1950 ● Pete Carr / (Jesse Willard Carr) → Guitarist in early Southern rock The Hour Glass with Gregg and Duane Allman, later became a standout session musician and member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, recorded with Lenny LeBlanc in the soft rock duet LeBlanc & Carr (“Falling,” #13, 1977), played lead guitar on and co-produced Grammy-nominated albums by Bob Seger (Against The Wind, #1, 1980) and Paul Simon (There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, #2, 1973), died from unspecified causes on 6/27/2020, age 70.
1950 ● Peter Frampton → Blues-rock and pop-rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and bandleader for The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), Humble Pie, “Hot ‘N’ Nasty” (#52, 1972), Frampton’s Camel, 70s-80s solo superstar, “Show Me The Way” (#6, 1976), toured in 90s with Bill Wyman & The Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band
1951 ● Paul Carrack → Journeyman keyboards, guitar and vocals for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975), then New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981) and pop-rock Mike + The Mechanics, “All I Need Is A Miracle” (#5, 1986), plus a single solo hit, “Don’t Shed A Tear” (#9, 1987)
1955 ● Arthur Baker → Club DJ and early hip-hop producer, including New Edition’s “Candy Girl” (Dance/Club #17, R&B #1, 1983) and New Order’s “Confusion” (Dance/Club #5, 1983), then Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” (#48, R&B #4, 1986), plus a solo hit, “Let There Be Love” (Dance/Club #14, 1991)
1956 ● Kenny Lyon → Guitarist and music producer, toured and recorded with multiple bands, most notably post-punk rock then teen-pop The Lemonheads (“Into Your Arms,” Modern Rock #1, 1993) and indie pop Brazzaville, produced albums for numerous indie groups, issued two solo albums and authored a novel, short stories and screenplays.
1966 ● Kimberley Dahme → Current bassist (since 2002) for reunited 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), record producer
1969 ● Craig Logan → Bassist in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (UK #1, 1988), left in 1989 for a career as a producer, manager and EMI Records executive, worked with Tina Turner, Sade, Joe Cocker, Pink and others, founded Logan Media Entertainment in 2006
1974 ● Shavo Odadjian → Bassist for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1978 ● Jason Stollsteimer → Vocals, guitar, principle songwriter and producer for indie rock The Von Blondies, “C’mon C’mon” (Modern Rock #25, UK #21, 2004), since 2011 with The Hounds Below
1979 ● Daniel Johns → Frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Aussie alt-grunge-rock Silverchair, “Tomorrow” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1984 ● Amelle Berrabah → Vocalist who replaced co-founding member Mutya Buena in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

April 23
1936 ● Roy Orbison → Rockabilly-rooted, country-pop/rock ‘n’ roll quavering singer/songwriter, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (#1, 1964) plus 22 more Top 40 hits, joined supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty in 1988 (“Handle With Care”, Mainstream Rock #2, 1988), died of a heart attack at the height of a career revival on 1/25/2005, age 52
1939 ● Ray Peterson → Four-octave pop-rock singer, “Tell Laura I Love Her” (#7, 1960), became Baptist minister in the 70s, died from cancer on 1/25/2005, age 65
1940 ● Dale Houston → With performing partner Grace Broussard in two hit wonder Dale & Grace (“I’m Leaving It Up To You,” #1, 1963 and “Stop And Think It Over,” #6, 1964), died from heart failure on 9/27/2007, age 67
1944 ● Sandra Dee / (Alexandra Zuck) → Occasional singer best known as the ingénue-playing, Golden Globe-winning film actress, star of the teen beach film Gidget (1959) and former wife of pop crooner Bobby Darin, died of renal failure on 2/20/2005, age 60
1945 ● John Allen → Lead guitar for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1949 ● John Miles / (John Errington) → British singer/songwriter and MOR balladeer with two major UK hits, “Music” (#88, UK #3, 1976) and “Slow Down” (#34, Dance/Club #2, UK #10, 1977), the former becoming the anthem to the annual, worldwide Night of the Proms concert series, later toured with and did session work for Tina Turner, Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Page, Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder and others, co-wrote scores to stage musicals in the 00s and 10s, died after a short illness on 12//5/2021, age 72.
1951 ● Cliff Hugo / (Clifford Clyde Hugo) → Bass guitarist for Brit art/prog rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979), also worked with Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Melissa Manchester and others
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden → Drummer, vocalist, songwriter and producer, performed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, session work for Jeff Beck, produced and/or wrote/co-wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Starship, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, solo career includes “I Shoulda Loved You” (R&B #4, 1980)
1953 ● Rob Dean → Guitarist for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1955 ● Captain Sensible / (Raymond Burns) → Co-founder, vocals, guitar and songwriting for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo
1960 ● David Gedge → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1960 ● Steve Clark → Guitarist for hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), died after a night of heavy boozing combined with prescription drugs on 1/8/1991, age 30
1964 ● Gen / (Simon Matthews) → Drummer for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1965 ● Tommy DeCarlo → Current lead singer for arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), joined the band to replace deceased lead singer Brad Delp at the invitation of bandleader Tom Scholz, to whom DeCarlo sent Myspace tapes of himself covering Boston singles
1968 ● Paul Clifford → Bassist for Britpop The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1969 ● Stan Frazier → Vocals and DJ for funk-pop-rock Sugar Ray, “Fly” (#1, 1997)
1983 ● Taio Cruz → Brit R&B/dance-pop singer, occasional rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur, “Break Your Heart” (#1, 2010)

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