This Week’s Birthdays (April 21 – 27)

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Iggy Pop

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
1938 ● Roland White / (Roland Joseph LeBlanc) → Highly-influential, virtuoso bluegrass mandolin player and vocalist, first with three brothers (including future Byrd Clarence) in late 50s The Country Boys (later renamed The Kentucky Colonels), joined Bill Monroe‘s backing band Blue Grass Boys in 1967 and Lester Flatt‘s Nashville Grass in 1969, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a 1973 automobile accident that killed Clarence, later played with numerous country and bluegrass bands until forming his own eponymous act in 2000, over his career issued two solo albums and appeared on dozens of albums as a bandleader, sideman or collaborator, his influence extended from country-rock in the 70s to progressive bluegrass (“newgrass”) of the 80s, continued to record, tour and teach mandolin until suffering a heart attack and dying several days later on 4/1/2022, age 83.
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)
1948 ● Essra Mohawk / (Sandra Elayne Hurvitz) → Singer and prolific songwriter with 14 mostly unremarkable albums over a 50 year career starting in 1964, briefly played in Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention in 1966, missed her scheduled slot on stage at the 1969 Woodstock festival’s first night when her driver made a wrong turn, wrote “Change Of Heart” with Cyndi Lauper (#3, 1986) and penned songs for the Shangri-Las and Vanilla Fudge, worked as a session musician for John Mellencamp, Carole King, Jerry Garcia and Kool & The Gang, moved to Nashville in 1993 and advocated for peace and environmental causes, died from cancer on 12/11/223, age 75.
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)

April 24
1923 ● Freddy Bienstock → Vienna-born music publishing executive whose Jewish family resettled in the U.S. in 1939, first worked in the 40s as a “song plugger” salesman for writers in the famous Bill Building in New York City, later as song screener for Elvis Presley and others, and beginning in the 60s as a publishing executive with several firms, including Carlin Music which continues and controls the rights to thousands of pop and rock songs, died on 9/20/2009, age 86
1933 ● Freddie Scott → R&B/soul singer, “Are You Lonely For Me” (1966), died 4/24/1933,, age 74
1937 ● Dick Kniss → Stand-up bass player and “fourth member” behind folk-pop trio Peter, Paul & Mary, also in John Denver‘s band in the 70s, co-wrote “Sunshine On My Shoulders” (#1, 1974), died from chronic pulmonary on 1/25/2012, age 74
1940 ● George Tomsco → Guitarist for Tex-Mex instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Fireballs, “Torquay” (#39, 1959)
1942 ● Barbra Streisand → Stage, film and TV actress, pop vocalist, “The Way We Were” (#1, 1974), “Woman In Love” (*#1, 1980) and 4 other US #1 pop hits
1943 ● Glen Dale / (Richard Garforth) → Guitars and vocals for Brit pop/rock harmony vocals The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965)
1944 ● Bernard St. Clair Lee → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits, continued to perform with incarnations of the band until his death due to natural causes on 3/8/2011, age 66
1945 ● Doug Clifford → Drummer for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1945 ● Robert Knight → Founder and frontman for R&B/harmony soul The Paramounts, “Free Me” (R&B #15, 1961), then 60s one hit wonder solo career, “Everlasting Love” (#13, 1967)
1947 ● Glenn Cornick → First bassist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), then formed Wild Turkey and later Paris
1947 ● Hubert Ann Kelly → Vocals for R&B/soul-disco The Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” (#1, 1974), one of the earliest disco hits
1948 ● Steve York → Bassist for Brit beat pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964)
1951 ● Nigel Harrison → Bass player with New Wave pop-rock Blondie, “Heart Of Glass” (#1, 1979) from 1977-82, also a member of glam-rock quintet Silverhead
1954 ● Jack Blades → Bassist with hard rock Night Ranger, “Sister Christian” (#5, 1984), then joined Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw (Styx) in pop metal/arena rock supergroup Damn Yankees, “High Enough” (#3, 1990)
1955 ● Gary Cambra → Guitars and keyboards for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1957 ● David J. / (David J. Haskins) → Bass and vocals for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979), solo and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1958 ● Boris Williams → Drummer for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1959 ● Eric Wagner → Heavy metal lead vocalist and co-founder of doom metal pioneers Trouble, left in 1997 for a decade of solo work and collaborations, including an appearance in Dave Grohl‘s heavy metal side project Probot in 2004, rejoined Trouble for a seventh album in 2007 and left again shortly after, fronted metal bands The Skull and Blackfinger in the 00s, died of complications from COVID-19 on 8/22/2021, age 62.
1960 ● Paula Yates → UK TV host (music shows The Tube and The Big Breakfast), ex-wife of Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and girlfriend of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, died from a heroin overdose on 9/17/2000, age 40
1963 ● Billy Gould → Bassist for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1964 ● Paul “Horse” Ryder / (Paul Anthony Ryder) → With his vocalist brother Shaun, co-founding member and bassist for Manchester electro-dance pop Happy Mondays (“Kinky Afro,” MOD #9, UK #1, 1990), played with the band for 40 years with occasional breaks to collaborate with other musicians, write songs for others and appear on TV programs, died from a rare form of cancer on 7/15/2022, age 58.
1967 ● Patty Schemel → Second drummer for grunge rock Hole, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998)
1967 ● Shannon Larkin → Drummer for hard rock/metal Ugly Kid Joe, then hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1968 ● Aaron Comess → Drummer for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1971 ● Jas Mann / (Jasbinder Singh Mann) → Brit record producer and one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Spaceman” (UK #1, 1996)
1974 ● Barry James Stock → Guitar and backing vocals for Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1974 ● Brian Marshall → Bassist for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1982 ● Kelly Clarkson → Pop singer and inaugural-season (2002) winner on American Idol, “Since U Been Gone” (#1, 2005)
1984 ● Tyson Ritter → Co-founder, lead vocals and bass guitar for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)
1987 ● Ben Howard → Folk-pop singer (“Only Love,” AAA #6, UK #9, 2012) and two-time 2013 BRIT Award winner (Breakthrough Act and Solo Male Artist)

April 25
1913 ● Earl Bostic → Underappreciated jazz and R&B alto saxophonist, “Temptation” (R&B Top 10, 1948), died of a heart attack while performing on stage on 10/28/1965, age 52
1917 ● Ella Fitzgerald → The “First Lady of Song”, Grammy-winning six-decade jazz/R&B/scat mega-diva, “Mack The Knife” (#27, R&B #6, 1960), died from diabetes on 6/15/1996, age 79
1923 ● Albert King / (Albert Nelson) → Highly influential blues guitarist, one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” with B. B. King and Freddie King, “Cold Feet” (#67, R&B #20, 1968), died from a heart attack on 12/21/1992, age 69
1928 ● Jinny Osborn / (Virginia A. Cole) → Original member and tenor vocals with long lasting, close-harmony girl group The Chordettes, missed the recording of the mega-hit “Mr. Sandman (#1, UK #11, 1954) while raising a new daughter but sang lead on their second big hit, “Lollipop” (#2, R&B #3, 1958), died from cancer on 5/19/2003, age 75
1928 ● Vassar Clements → Innovative, Grammy-winning jazz, swing and bluegrass fiddler with over 30 solo albums and years of session and touring work with a broad array of artists, including Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman‘s Old & In The Way,The Monkees and Jimmy Buffett, continued to perform until just prior to his death from lung and brain cancer on 8/16/2005, age 77.
1932 ● Gator Jackson / (Willis “Gator” Jackson) → Soul-jazz saxophonist and bandleader known best for his “honking” style and close collaborations and short marriage to R&B diva Ruth Brown (“(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” (#23, R&B #1, 1953), died following heart surgery on 10/25/1987, age 55
1932 ● Gene Gene the Dancing Machine / (Eugene Patton) → NBC Studios stagehand turned TV personality as a regular dancing skit performer on the absurdist talent search program The Gong Show (1976-78), whereon he would shuffle and sway to Count Basie‘s “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” died from complications of diabetes on 3/9/2015, age 82
1933 ● Jerry Leiber / (Jerome Leiber) → Lyricist, producer, record label owner and one-half of the legendary Leiber & Stoller hit songwriting duo, co-wrote dozens of R&B, pop and rock classics, including “Hound Dog” (Elvis Presley, #1, 1956) “Yakety Yak” (The Coasters, #1, 1958) and “Love Potion #9” (The Searchers, #3, 1965), the pair’s collective output was immensely influential in the development of soul, pop and rock music of the 60s and 70s, died from cardio-pulmonary failure on 8/22/2011, age 78.
1943 ● Tony Christie → Brit pop singer, “I Did What I Did For Maria” (UK #2, 1971), in 2005 re-released his 1971 UK #18 single “Is This The Way To Amarillo” in support of Comic Relief, the song went to #1 on the UK chart 33 years after its original release
1945 ● Bjorn Ulvaeus → Guitar and vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1945 ● Mike Kogel → Lead singer for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black” (US #4, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band
1945 ● Stu Cook → Bassist for roots rock/”swamp” rock Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Down On The Corner” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● Ronnie Gilbert → Founding member and basis for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1949 ● Mike Brown / (Michael David Lookofsky) → Keyboards and songwriter for “baroque pop” The Left Banke, composed “Walk Away Renee” (#5, 1967) and “Pretty Ballerina” (#15, 1967), then formed pop-rock quartet Stories but left before the band’s “Brother Louie” became a US #1 hit in 1973, participated in various short-lived Left Banke reunions over the ensuing 40-plus years, died from heart failure on 3/19/2015, age 66.
1950 ● Steve Ferrone → Drummer for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), sessions
1955 ● David Sikes → Second bassist (1987-98) for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), then joined hard rock/arena pop Giuffria
1958 ● Fish / (Derek William Dick) → Vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985), later solo and now radio DJ
1960 ● Paul Baloff → Heavy metal singer best known for his three stints as lead vocalist and songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), died after he was removed from life support following a stroke-induced coma on 2/2/2002, age 41
1964 ● Andy Bell → Flamboyant, openly gay vocalist for Brit synth-pop duo Erasure, “Chains Of Love” (#12, UK #1, 1988) and 16 other UK Top 10 hits
1964 ● Maya Gilder → Keyboards for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1965 ● Eric Avery → Co-founding member and bassist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), toured with Garbage and Peter Murphy
1965 ● Simon Fowler → Vocals for Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles
1974 ● Jeff Austin → Mandolinist, singer, songwriter and co-founder of progressive bluegrass jam band (“jamgrass”) Yonder Mountain String Band, the influential and successful fusion of rock and modern bluegrass that he formed just a few years after picking up a mandoilin for the first time, left in 2014 due to “creative differences” and started a solo career concurrent with fronting the Jeff Austin Band, recorded and performed until cancelling a tour due to an unspecified health emergency, placed in a medically-induced coma a few days later and died on 6/24/2019, age 45.
1980 ● Jacob Underwood → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

April 26
1886 ● Ma Rainey / (Gertrude Pridgett) → The “Mother of the Blues,” early female blues singer known for risqué lyrics, often about her own bi-sexuality, issued over 100 songs in the 1920s, many of which were national hits, recorded several with Louis Armstrong, including the earliest version of the now-blues standard “See See Rider” (1924), toured with gospel legend Thomas Dorsey in the Wildcats Jazz Band in the late 20s, retired from music and spent her final years operating theaters in Columbus, Georgia, died from a heart attack on 12/22/1939, age 53.
1919 ● Johnny Shines / (John Ned Shines) → Top slide guitarist and Delta blues singer, performed with Robert Johnson, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood, Jr., died on 4/20/1992, age 72
1925 ● Jorgen Ingmann → Danish jazz guitarist turned one hit wonder instrumental pop Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitars, covered “Apache” (#2, 1961)
1938 ● Duane Eddy → Influential electric guitar pioneer, rockabilly star and “twangy” instrumental rocker with fifteen Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1963, including “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958), continues to perform into the 10s
1938 ● Maurice Williams → Frontman and lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Zodiacs, “Stay” (#1, 1960), solo
1940 ● Giorgio Moroder / (Hansjörg Moroder) → Disco and synth-pop producer including Donna Summer, “Love To Love You Baby” (#1, 1976), film soundtrack composer for Midnight Express (1978), Flashdance (1983), Top Gun (1986) and others
1941 ● Claudine Clark → One hit wonder singer and composer who, unlike most 60s female pop stars, wrote her own hit song, “Party Lights” (#5, R&B #3, 1962)
1942 ● Bobby Rydell / (Robert Louis Ridarelli) → Teen idol pop singer with nineteen Top 40 hits in the pre-Beatles years, including the signature “Wild One” (#2, R&B #10, 1960), starred in the hit musical film Bye Bye Birdie (1963), enjoyed decades of relevance on the oldies circuit with fellow Philadelphia teen charmers Frankie Avalon and Fabian Forte, performing in nightclubs and Vegas stages as The Golden Boys, died from complications of pneumonia on 4/5/2022, age 79.
1943 ● Gary Wright / (Gary Malcolm Wright) → New Jersey child actor turned singer, songwriter and keyboardist, moved to London in the 60s and in 1967 joined blues-rock Spooky Tooth (“Feelin’ Bad,” #132, 1969), left after three albums for a solo career, collaborated with buddy George Harrison on his All Things Must Pass (1970) triple album and shared Harrison’s interest in Indian religion and mysticism, which led to writing the keyboard-heavy, early synth-pop “Dream Weaver” (#2, 1976) and “Love Is Alive” (#2, 1976), plus five other charting hits, in the 80s through the 00s alternated between his family, penning music for films, issuing solo albums, touring on his own and with Spooky Tooth reunions, and gigging with others, including Ringo Starr, Dave Mason and Rick Derringer in the 10s, battled Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia for six years before dying at home from the diseases on 9/4/2023, age 80.
1945 ● Tony Murray → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1945 ● Mike Finnigan / (Michael Kelly Finnigan) → Top-shelf freelance studio and touring keyboardist, played on Jimi Hendrix‘s landmark album Electric Ladyland (#1, UK #5, 1969) and dozens of other albums over five decades, including those by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bonnie Raitt and Dave Mason, issued two solo albums and collaborated with Les Dudek and Jim Krueger in jazz-rock DFK in the late 70s, performed and won awards with Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band in the 00s, his 50-year marriage ended when he died from kidney cancer on 8/11/2021, age 76.
1946 ● Bucky Wilkin / (John Wilkin) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriting for country-tinged surf rock Ronny & The Daytonas, “G.T.O.” (#4, 1964)
1946 ● Vito Balsamo → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1946 ● Russ Hunter / (Barry Russell Hunter) → Brit drummer, percussionist and vocalist in a number of garage, psychedelic, shock, punk, glam and hard rock bands in the London underground music scene of the 60s and 70s, starting with schoolmates in beat cover band The Mob in 1964 and later in loud, anarchist the Deviants, joined a second incarnation of influential proto-punk Pink Fairies in 1970 to drum on their first three album and tour extensively, left in 1977 and found steady work beginning in the early 80s as a driver for London Transport but gigged with various rock bands, including three different Pink Fairies reformations, until retiring in 2017 due to ill health, entered a hospital with breathing problems and died the following day, 12/19/2023, age 77.
1951 ● Nick Garvey → Bassist and songwriter for early pub rock Ducks Deluxe, then power pop/rock The Motors, “Airport” (UK #4, 1978)
1952 ● Neol Davies → Founder and guitarist for multi-racial 2 Tone ska revival The Selecter, “On My Radio” (UK #8, 1979)
1959 ● John Corabi → Journeyman heavy metal guitar and vocals, hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989), Ratt, others
1960 ● Roger Taylor → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1961 ● Chris Mars → Drummer for alt-rock pioneers The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1970 ● Ruth-Ann Boyle → Vocals for Brit breakbeat/trip-hop trio Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, 1997)
1970 ● T-Boz / (Tionne Tenese Watkins) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1971 ● Jay DeMarcus / (Stanley Wayne DeMarcus, Jr.) → Bassist and harmony vocals for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1975 ● Joey Jordison / (Nathan Jonas Jordison) → Founding member and drummer for the ghoulish, Grammy-winning alt metal/rap metal Slipknot (“Snuff,” Mainstream Rock #2, 2009), the band often credited with re-defining rock music in the 00s based on three Billboard Top 5 albums and seven Mainstream Rock Top 20 hits during the decade, co-wrote several of the group’s best-known songs and often performed wearing a crown of thorns and a silver mask streaked with black paint, formed horror punk supergroup Murderdolls in 2002 and played guitar with the band through 2013, did session work and toured with many top metal acts during his career, died in his sleep. likely from acute alcohol abuse, on 7/26/2021, age 46.
1976 ● Jose Antonio Pasillas II → Drummer for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1981 ● Ms. Dynamite / (Niomi McLean Daley) → Brit R&B/hip hop/garage singer and rapper, “It Takes More” (UK #7, 2002)
1982 ● Jonathan Lee → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)

April 27
1904 ● Syd Nathan → Music executive who contributed to the development of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll music through his ownership of King Records and its subsidiaries, which he founded in 1943 and brought obscure young artists to the national stage, including Hank Ballard & The Midnighters (“Work With Me Annie,” R&B #1, 1954) and James Brown (“Please, Please, Please,” R&B #6, 1956), who recorded on King through the 60s (“I Got You (I Feel Good),” #3, R&B #1, 1965), the label became the sixth largest record company in the US before the mid-60s payola scandal impacted sales, died from heart disease on 5/5/1968, age 63.
1932 ● Maxine Brown / (Ella Maxine Brown Russell) → With her younger siblings, Jim Ed and Bonnie, vocals in 50s-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, the group started in 1954 and performed regularly on the Louisiana Hayride radio and TV show, toured with then 20-year-old Elvis Presley in 1955 and had the huge crossover hit “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), retired in 1967 to raise a family but returned for a brief solo career in 1969 and for Browns reunions over the years, published her autobiography, Looking Back to See in 2005, died from complications of heart and kidney disease on 1/21/2019, age 87.
1932 ● Casey Kasem / (Kemil Amen Kasem) → Legendary and iconic radio DJ who confessed to not loving rock ‘n’ roll but built a long and lucrative career from it , creator and long-time host of one of the most popular syndicated music programs on radio, American Top 40, voice-over artist for TV commercials and shows (“Shaggy” of Scooby-Do cartoons), died from a degenerative neurological and muscular disease on 6/15/2014, age 82
1944 ● Cuba Gooding, Sr. → Lead vocals for R&B/romantic soul The Main Ingredient, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972) and eight other R&B Top 40 hits, found dead in his car on a busy street in a Los Angeles neighborhood on 4/20/2017, age 72
1947 ● Anne Peebles → R&B/Southern soul singer, “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (#38, R&B #6, 1973)
1947 ● Gordon Haskell → Folk and jazz-pop singer/songwriter, starting with 60s Brit beat League Of Gentlemen and freakbeat The Fleur de Lys before a brief stint with prog rock King Crimson for two albums in 1970, then sessions and solo work through the 80s and 90s until the breakout single “How Wonderful You Are” (UK #2, 2001) and album, Harry’s Bar (UK #2, 2002) re-energized his career, issued four more acclaimed albums, including his final The Cat Who’s Got The Cream in January 2020 before dying of cancer on 10/15/2020, age 74.
1947 ● Peter Ham → Guitar, vocals, chief songwriter and founding member of Brit beat The Iveys, which evolved into power pop Badfinger (“Day After Day,” #4, 1972), committed suicide amidst the band’s legal and financial troubles on 4/24/1975, age 27
1947 ● Bob Esty / (Robert Malcolm Esty II) → Songwriter, producer and arranger best known for hit collaborations with Donna Summer, Cher and Barbra Streisand during the height of the disco era at disco-king Casablanca Records, produced and arranged Summer‘s Grammy-winning “Last Dance” (#3, 1978) and co-wrote most tracks and produced Cher‘s album Take Me Home (#25, 1979), died after a short battle with metastatic cancer on 9/27/2019, age 72.
1948 ● Kate Pierson → Bouffant-haired vocalist and frontwoman for campy alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1949 ● Clive Taylor → Bassist for Welsh pop-rock Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1949 ● Herb Murrell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul The Stylistics, “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (#2, 1974) plus 15 R&B Top 40 singles
1951 ● Ace Frehley / (Paul “Ace” Frehley) → Influential hard rock guitarist and vocals for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), solo, “New York Groove” (#13, 1979)
1954 ● Wally Palmar / (Volodymyr Palamarchuk) → Ukrainian-American founding member and lead vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Romantics, “What I Like About You” (#49, 1980) and “Talking In Your Sleep” (#3, 1984), later played with Ringo Starr‘s All-Star Band and co-founded garage rock supergroup The Empty Hearts
1959 ● Marco Pirroni → Guitarist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1959 ● Sheena Easton / (Sheena Shirley Orr) → Grammy-winning pop singer, “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” (#1, 1980) and James Bond movie theme song “For Your Eyes Only” (#4, 1981) and 11 other Top 40 singles, stage and TV actress
1960 ● Jake Black / (John Black) → Scottish musician with the pseudonym “The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love” in quirky, country-blues-acid-house fusion band Alabama 3, best known for co-writing “Woke Up This Morning” (UK #78, 1997), the memorable opening theme to the cutting-edge, hugely popular TV drama The Sopranos, hospitalized with an acute respiratory illness days after performing at a festival in Lancashire, England, and died on 5/21/2019, age 59.
1969 ● Mica Paris / (Michelle Wallen) → Brit R&B/soul-pop singer, “My One Temptation” (#97, Adult Contemporary #8, 1989)
1972 ● Bob Coombes → Keyboards for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1979 ● Will Boyd → Bassist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1984 ● Patrick Stump → Lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007), solo
1984 ● Yonah Higgins → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl-group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)

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