This Week’s Birthdays (August 16 – 22)

167

Happy Birthday this week to:

August 16
1915 ● Al Hibbler → Baritone jazz-pop-R&B singer, first with Duke Ellington‘s orchestra in the 40s, “Do Nothin’ Til You Here From Me” (#6, 1944), then solo, “Unchained Melody” (#3, 1955), died 4/24/2001, age 85
1922 ● Ernie Freeman / (Ernest Aaron Freeman) → Pop and early rock ‘n’ roll bandleader, pianist and session musician, worked on hits by The Platters (“The Great Pretender,” #1, 1956), Dean Martin (“Everybody Loves Somebody,” #1, 1964), Frank Sinatra (“That’s Life,” #4, 1966) and others, wrote film scores and served as musical director at Reprise Records, died at home from a heart attack on 5/16/1981, age 58
1923 ● Johnny Reed → Founding member, bass vocals and double bass for doo wop and “bird group” trendsetting R&B vocal group The Orioles (“Crying In The Chapel,” #11, R&B #1, 1953) last surviving original member of the group when he died on 6/18/2005, age 81
1923 ● Eddie Kirkland → Electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter known as the “Gypsy of the Blues” for his rigorous touring schedule, released over 30 albums on various labels and toured with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, English blues-rock band Foghat and others, continued to record, write and tour until his death in a car accident on 2/27/2011, age 87
1931 ● Eydie Gormé / (Edith Gormezano) → Broadway and TV actress, nightclub and Vegas showroom entertainer, Grammy-winning traditional pop singer, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova” (#7, 1963), wife and singing partner of crooner Steve Lawrence, died from undisclosed causes on 8/10/2013, age 82
1934 ● Ketty Lester / (Revoyda Frierson) → One hit wonder pop singer and actress with the crossover cover of “Love Letters” (#5, R&B #2, UK #5, 1962), shifted to a more-R&B style in the late 60s with little commercial success, turned to acting in the 70s and appeared in movies and on TV in various roles
1939 ● Eric Weissberg → Multi-instrumentalist bluegrass musician as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers (“The Banana Boat Song,” #4, 1956) in the 50s and as a sessionman in the 60s, recorded with Judy Collins, John Denver, Bob Dylan and others, famously arranged and played the banjo solo on a version of Arthur Smith‘s “Dueling Banjos” in the film Deliverance (1972) and on the follow-on single (#2, Country #5, 1973) in his own name, toured as a bandleader and recorded as a session player through the 00s, died in a nursing home from Alzheimer’s disease on 3/22/2020, age 80.
1942 ● Barbara George → One hit wonder New Orleans R&B singer with her self-penned crossover hit, “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” (#3, 1961), died from a lung infection on 8/10/2006, age 63
1942 ● Squirrel Lester / (Robert Lester) → Tenor vocals for smooth R&B/Chicago soul The Chi-Lites, “Have You Seen Her?” (#3, 1971), died from liver cancer 1/21/2010, age 67
1945 ● Gary Loizzo → Guitar/vocals and founder, pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968)
1945 ● Kevin Ayers → Eccentric singer/songwriter and original bassist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, switched to guitar and solo in 1969, has issued more than a dozen albums over 40 years
1946 ● Snowy Fleet / (Gordon Fleet) → Drummer for Aussie-based 60s pop-rock The Easybeats, “Friday On My Mind” (#16, 1967)
1948 ● Barry Hay → Lead vocals and frontman for Dutch hard rock Golden Earring, “Radar Love” (#13, 1974), over 40 hits and 30 gold and platinum albums in the Netherlands
1949 ● Sputnik Spooner / (William Spooner) → Guitarist and founder of camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), solo
1949 ● Rock Action Asheton / (Scott Asheton) → Drummer for hard rock/proto-punk The Stooges, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969), sessions, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2014, age 64
1953 ● J. T. Taylor / (James Taylor) → Lead singer for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Celebration” (#1, 1981), left in 1988 for a largely unsuccessful solo career
1957 ● Tim Farriss → Guitarist for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1958 ● Madonna / (Madonna Louise Victoria Ciccone) → Film actress, record producer, entrepreneur and dance-pop megastar, “Like A Virgin” (#1, 1984), best selling female rock artist of the 20th century and second (behind Barbra Streisand) top selling US female artist of all time
1960 ● Chris Pedersen → Drummer for eclectic alt rock pop-ska-punk-folk fusion Camper Van Beethoven, “Take The Skinheads Bowling” (1985)
1964 ● Matt Lukin → Bassist for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● MC Remedee / (Debbie Pryce) → Vocals in female rap/house music duo Cookie Crew, “Rok Da House” (UK #5, 1988)
1972 ● Emily Burns Strayer / (Emily Burns Erwin Robison Strayer) → Multi-instrumentalist singer, songwriter and founding member of country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006), formed Court Yard Hounds in 2010 with sister and former Dixie Chicks bandmate Martie Erwin Maguire
1980 ● Bob Hardy → Bassist for Scottish art-pop-rock Franz Ferdinand, “Take Me Out” (Alt Rock #3, 2004)
1980 ● Vanessa Lee Carlton → One hit wonder “new era” female pop-rock singer/songwriter, “A Thousand Miles” (#5, 2002)

August 17
1919 ● Georgia Gibbs / (Frieda Lipschitz) → Jazz-pop and R&B vocalist, first as a radio show singer and later as a widely popular 50s novelty pop artist, covered and bested LaVern Baker‘s “Tweedlee Dee” (#2, 1955), died of leukemia on 12/9/2006, age 87
1933 ● Mark Dinning / (Max Dinning) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Teen Angel” (#1, 1959), died from an alcoholism-related heart attack on 3/22/1986, age 52
1939 ● Ed Saunders → Poet, social activist, environmentalist and bandleader for 60s underground rock The Fugs, author of numerous books including The Family (1971) about Charles Manson and the Tate-LaBianca murders and a nine-volume collection America: A History In Verse (started in 1998)
1939 ● Luther Allison → Distinctive Chicago electric blues guitarist and songwriter with a remarkable career upsurge after signing with Alligator Records in 1994 and returning to the U.S. from France after a 20-year trip abroad, issued two Top 20 Blues albums before being diagnosed with a malignant lung tumor and dying a month later on 8/12/1997, age 57
1942 ● Tommy West / (Thomas Picardo) → Singer/songwriter, producer, and one half of the pop rock songwriting duo and folk-pop group Cashman & West, “American City Suite” (#27, 1972), produced albums for Jim Croce, Mary Travers, Henry Gross and others
1944 ● The Chief Seiter / (John Seiter) → Drums and vocals for folk-sunshine-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Someday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967)
1944 ● Baby Huey / (James Ramey) → Corpulent rock and soul singer, songwriter and frontman for Baby Huey & The Babysitters whose lone album for Curtis Mayfield‘s Custom label, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (1971) was released posthumously and is considered an early forerunner of hip hop music and a period classic, died from a weight and drug-induced heart attack on 10/28/1970, age 26
1946 ● Drake Levin / (Drake Levinshefski) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits, joined the band at age 16 for their prime hit-making years, left in 1967 in a dispute with bandleader Paul Revere (Dick) and formed power trio Brotherhood with two former Raiders, did session work and performed in Raiderss reunion tours until his death from cancer on 7/4/2009, age 62
1947 ● Gary Talley → Guitar for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967), then session work in Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta
1949 ● Sib Hashian / (John Hashian) → Drummer for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), after leaving the band sued leader Tom Scholz for back royalties and settled out of court
1950 ● Greg Arama → Bassist for Chicago-area garage rock The Gang, which became one hit wonder for psych-rock Amboy Dukes, “Journey To The Centre Of The Mind” (#16, 1968), died in a motorcycle accident on 9/18/1979, age 29
1953 ● Kevin Rowland → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock Dexys Midnight Runners, “Come On Eileen” (#1, 1983), solo career after the band broke up in 1987, reformed in 2003
1955 ● Colin Moulding → Bassist for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1958 ● Belinda Carlisle → Co-founder and lead vocals for New Wave pop-punk girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat”, (#2, 1982), the most successful all-female pop and rock band of all time and the only one to play their own instruments and write their own songs, started a solo career following The Go-Go’s breakup, “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” (#1, 1987), wrote autobiography Lips Unsealed (2010) which reached #27 on the New York Times bestseller list
1962 ● Gilby Clarke / (Gilbert Clarke) → Rhythm guitarist, replaced Izzy Stradlin in 1991 as lead guitar for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “November Rain” (#3, 1992), left in 1994 for solo career and sessions with Slash’s Snakepit, Heart, MC5 and others
1964 ● Maria McKee → Co-founder and lead vocals for roots rock Lone Justice, “Shelter” (#47, Mainstream Rock #26, 1986), dissolved the band in favor of a solo career, “Show Me Heaven” (Adult Contemporary #28, UK #1, 1990) plus sessions
1965 ● Deen Castronovo → Journeyman rock drummer and session musician, worked with Bad English, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Social Distortion and many others before joining arena rock Journey as the band’s current drummer and backing vocalist (thru 2013)
1965 ● Steve Gorman → Drummer for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1966 ● Jill Cunniff → Bassist and vocals for all-girl alt rock/hip hop Luscious Jackson, “Naked Eye” (#36, 1996)
1969 ● Donnie Wahlberg → Vocals for early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), TV and film actor, brother of NKOTB bandmate and fellow actor Mark Wahlberg
1969 ● Posdnuos / (Kelvin Mercer) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1977 ● Claire Richards → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1979 ● Mike Lewis → Guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)

August 18
1918 ● Cisco Houston / (Gilbert Vandine Houston) → Traditional folk singer and guitarist, Woody Guthrie‘s traveling companion and harmony vocalist, died of cancer on 4/29/1961 shortly after career-boosting TV performances and appearance at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival, age 42
1925 ● Sonny Til / (Earlington Carl Tilghman) → Lead singer and frontman for doo wop and “bird group” trendsetting R&B vocal group The Orioles (“Crying In The Chapel,” #11, R&B #1, 1953), died of heart failure complicated by diabetes on 12/9/1981, age 56
1939 ● Maxine Brown → Underrated R&B/soul vocalist, “All In My Mind” (#19, 1960) and several other charting singles in the 60s<
1939 ● Johnny Preston / (John Preston Courville) → Two hit wonder pop-rock singer discovered by J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, “Running Bear” (#1, 1960) and “Cradle Of Love” (#7, 1960), died of heart failure on 3/4/2011, age 71
1944 ● Carl Wayne / (Colin David Tooley) → Founding member and lead singer for Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), left for a pop music, cabaret and TV theme song career, joined The Hollies in 2003, died of cancer on 8/31/2004, age 60
1945 ● Barbara Ann Harris → Singer for pop girl trio The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2, 1965)
1945 ● Sara Dash → Founding member of 60s doo wop girl group The Bluebelles, which morphed into disco-funk Labelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), released four solo albums and the disco hit, “Sinner Man” (#71, Dance/Club #9, 1978), session singer for Laura Nyro, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Rolling Stones and others, toured with Keith Richards
1945 ● Vince Melouney → Australian musician, original guitarist for pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) and one of three official bandmembers who were not Gibb family members, left the band in 1968 to pursue other interests
1949 ● Nigel Griggs → Bassist for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (#53, UK #12, 1980)
1950 ● Dennis Elliott → Original drummer for Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left in 1992 to pursue a career in wood sculpting
1951 ● John Rees → Bass and backing vocals for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1952 ● Patrick Swayze → TV and film actor, Dirty Dancing (1987) and Ghost (1990), one hit wonder pop singer, “She’s Like The Wind” (#3, 1987), died from pancreatic cancer on 9/14/2009, age 57
1953 ● Marvin Isley → Bass guitar for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973), died from complications of diabetes on 6/6/2010, age 56
1956 ● Tony Garnier → Bass guitarist with Asleep At The Wheel and other bands, since 1989 toured and recorded in Bob Dylan‘s backing band as Dylan‘s longest-serving sideman, also recorded with Tom Waits, Paul Simon and Michelle Branch
1957 ● Ron Strykert → Co-founder, vocals and guitar for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once
1967 ● Blas Elias → Drummer in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990) and the Las Vegas production of Blue Man Group
1967 ● Dan Peters → Founding member and drummer for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1967 ● Tracy Tracy / (Tracy Catell) → Peroxide-blonde lead vocals for indie pop-rockers The Primitives, “Crash” (Modern Rock #3, 1988)
1969 ● Everlast / (Erik Francis Schrody) → Irish-American rapper and singer-songwriter, founding member of one hit wonder hip hop trio House Of Pain, “Jump Around” (#3, Rap #5, 1992), left for blues-rock/hip hop solo career, “What It’s Like” (#13, Mainstream Rock #1, 1998), then hip hop supergroup La Coka Nostra
1971 ● Richard D. James → Influential acid/ambient electronic music composer and performer under the pseudonym Aphex Twin, “Windowlicker” (Dance #15, 1999)
1976 ● Dirk Lance / (George Alex Katunich) → Original bassist for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), left in 2003 to pursue video game development, joined jam/funk Willie’s Nerve Clinic in 2006
1983 ● Mika / (Michael Penniman) → Lebanese-American pop singer and musician popular everywhere but North America, “Grace Kelly” (UK #1, 2007) and six other UK Top 20 singles

August 19
1935 ● Earl Gaines → Hard-luck soul-blues and electric blues singer, his top charting song, “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)” (R&B #2, 1955) was credited to the backing band Louis Brooks & The Hi-Toppers, two decades worth of follow-ups were less than successful, left the industry in the late 70s to work as a truck driver, returned in the 90s and recorded several further albums, died from cancer on 12/31/2009, age 74
1939 ● Ginger Baker / (Peter Edward Baker) → One of the first superstar rock drummers, known equally for his jazz-influenced artistry as for his difficult personality, played in jazz ensembles in London during the 50s, joined early Brit blues-rock Blues Incorporated in 1962 and R&B/blues Graham Bond Organisation in 1963, co-founded blues-rock super-trio Cream (“Sunshine Of Your Love,” #5, 1968) and supergroup Blind Faith (US #1 album Blind Faith, 1969), went solo in 1970 and fronted jazz-rock fusion Ginger Baker’s Air Force for a brief period before dropping out of the mainstream to open a recording studio in Lagos, Nigeria, played with various other artists and in Cream spin-offs and reunions until his death from heart failure on 10/6/2019, age 80.
1940 ● Don Fardon / (Donald Arthur Maughn) → Lead singer for 60s Brit mod scene freakbeat The Sorrows (“Take A Heart,” UK #21, 1965), then one hit wonder pop singer with his cover of “(The Lament Of The Cherokee) Indian Reservation” (#20, 1968), continued to perform into the 00s
1940 ● Johnny Nash → Reggae-pop vocalist who was a major force in the mainstreaming of reggae music in the early 70s, “I Can See Clearly Now” (#1, 1972)
1940 ● Roger Cook → British pop music songwriter and performer, as Jonathan was one half the pop vocal duo David & Jonathan, “Michelle” (#18, Adult Contemporary #3, 1966), collaborated with Roger Greenaway (aka David) to pen dozens of pop-rock hit singles, including “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress” (The Hollies, #2, 1972) and “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (The New Seekers, #7, 1971)
1942 ● Bob Kuban → Drummer and frontman for St. Louis-based one hit wonder horn-rock Bob Kuban & The In-Men (“The Cheater,” #12, 1966), continues to perform with various incarnations the band into the 10s
1943 ● Billy J. Kramer / (William Howard Ashton) → Frontman for British Invasion pop-rock The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964) and four other Top 40 singles in 1964
1943 ● Edwin Hawkins / (Edwin Reuben Hawkins) → Multiple Grammy-winning contemporary gospel and R&B singer, composer, keyboardist and leader of the gospel-pop Edwin Hawkins Singers, best known for the catchy, unplanned worldwide hit “Oh Happy Day” (#4, R&B #2, CAN #2, UK #2, 1969) but racked up 19 other Grammy gospel nominations and three other wins over a 30-year music career, inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2007, died from pancreatic cancer on 1/15/2018, age 74
1945 ● Ian Gillan → Heavy metal vocalist, joined hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973) in 1969 but left in 1973, sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar (1971) concept album and Broadway show soundtrack, solo and frontman for the Ian Gillan Band and Gillan, joined Black Sabbath in 1984, reunited with Deep Purple in late-1984
1947 ● George Newsome → Drums and vocals for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1948 ● Elliott Lurie → Co-founder, guitarist and singer/songwriter for one hit wonder pop-rock Looking Glass, “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” (#1, 1972), now a movie music composer and arranger
1948 ● Susan Jacks / (Susan Pesklevits) → Canadian pop singer/songwriter with former husband Terry Jacks in pop-rock duo The Poppy Family, “Which Way You Goin’, Billy? (#2, 1969), then solo and songwriting
1951 ● John Deacon → Bassist and songwriter for camp rock/mock-opera/hard pop Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (#9, 1976), wrote or co-wrote “Stone Cold Crazy,” “You’re My Best Fiend,” “Another One Bites The Dust” (#1, 1980) and others, retired from the music business in the 90s
1963 ● Joey Tempest / (Joakim Larsson) → Vocals for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1966 ● Lee Ann Womack → Grammy-winning traditional country and pop crossover singer/songwriter, “I Hope You Dance” (#14, Country #1, 2000), actress
1970 ● Fat Joe / (Joseph Cartagena) → Hip hop entertainer and entrepreneur, East Coast/gangsta/Latino rapper, “What’s Luv” (#2, 2002), founder and CEO of hip hop record label Terror Squad Entertainment
1970 ● MC Eric / (Eric Martin) → Vocals for Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo, producer, teacher
1976 ● Régine Chassagne → Singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and co-founding member, with her husband Win Butler, of Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)
1980 ● Darius Campbell-Danesh → Scottish stage actor, UK TV Popstars contestant in 2001 and folk-pop singer, “Colourblind” (UK #1, 2002)
1983 ● Missy Higgins / (Melissa Higgins) → Australian pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Where I Stood” (Adult Top 40 #6, Aussie #10, 2006)
1989 ● Lil’ Romeo / (Percy Miller, Jr.) → Pre-teen rapper, “My Baby” (#3, Rap #1, 2001), actor and host of his own Nickelodeon TV show Romeo, son of hardcore rapper Master P (Percy Miller)

August 20
1923 ● “Gentleman” Jim Reeves / (James Travis Reeves) → Country guitarist and singer, early purveyor of the “Nashville sound” combining country with pop sounds, first country-pop crossover hit, “He’ll Have to Go” (#2, Country #1, 1960) and over 70 other Country Top 20 hits, died in a single-engine plane crash on 7/31/1964, age 40
1931 ● Paul Robi → Early member and vocals for hugely successful R&B/doo wop The Platters, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (#1, 1958) and 13 other Top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967, continued with several splinter groups using variations on The Platters name into the 80s, died of pancreatic cancer on 2/1/1989, age 57
1933 ● Roland Janes → Rockabilly session guitarist at Sun Records (1956-1963) and important behind-the-scenes figure in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, played on the most of the Sun recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis (“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” #3, R&B #1, 1957), Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Rich and other lesser stars, left to form his own record company but returned to Sun in the 80s and appears on grunge rock Mudhoney‘s album Tomorrow Hit Today (1998), died following a heart attack on 10/18/2013, age 80.
1934 ● Sneaky Pete Kleinow / (Peter E. Kleinow) → Peddle steel guitarist, songwriter and session musician, original member of Flying Burrito Brothers, worked with Joan Baez, Eagles, Steve Miller Band, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt and many others, solo, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 1/6/2007, age 72
1937 ● Sky “Sunlight” Saxon / (Richard Elvern Marsh) → Frontman and lead singer for L.A. psychedelic flower power/garage rock The Seeds, “Pushin’ Too Hard” (#36, 1967), continued to record and perform with various bands and eclectic projects through the 00s, died from renal failure caused by an untreated infection on 6/25/2000, age 71
1939 ● Pee Wee Middlebrooks / (Ralph Middlebrooks) → Trumpet and trombone for influential R&B/funk The Ohio Players, “Love Rollercoaster” (#1, 1975) and six other Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, died of cancer on 11/15/1997, age 58
1940 ● John Lantree → Bassist for one hit wonder English beat/pop-rock The Honeycombs, “Have I The Right?” (#5, 1964)
1941 ● David Brock → Co-founder, guitarist, bassist, songwriter and musical focus for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), solo
1941 ● Tom Coster → Keyboards and piano for San Francisco psych-jazz-rock “cosmic R&B” The Loading Zone, joined Latin-tinged rock Santana in 1972, “She’s Not There” (#27, 1977), since 1978 has fronted various jazz fusion combos
1941 ● Gilbert Moorer, Jr. → With his brother, Alvis, lead singer in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (“Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died from throat cancer on 8/28/2008, age 67
1942 ● Isaac Hayes → Hugely influential R&B/soul artist, producer, composer, first as an in-house session musician, songwriter and record producer for Memphis-based Stax Records, later as a Grammy-winning solo artist and soundtrack composer, “Theme From Shaft” (#1, 1972), early rapper, “Ike’s Rap” (R&B Top 10, 1986), film actor, TV voice-over star as the character “Chef” on South Park, died following a stroke on 8/10/2008, age 65
1944 ● John Povey → Rhythm guitar for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1944 ● “Uncle John” Turner / (John Turner) → Drums and percussion for electric Texas blues-rock Johnny Winter Band, “Illustrated Man” (Mainstream Rock #36, 1991), later in Krackerjack with Stevie Ray Vaughan, sessions and tours with B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins and others, died on 7/26/1997, age 62
1946 ● Ralf Hütter → Co-founder, lead singer, keyboardist and de facto leader of German electro-rock pioneers Kraftwerk, “Autobahn” (#25, 1975)
1947 ● James Pankow → Trombonist, brass instrument arranger, songwriter and constant member of for pop-rock/horn band Chicago, wrote “Make Me Smile” (#9, 1970), “Colour My World” (#7, 1970), “Just You “N” Me” (#4, 1973) and others
1948 ● Robert Plant → Renowned and venerable rock vocalist and lyricist for hard rock Led Zeppelin, “Whole Lotta Love” (#4, 1969), solo, “Big Log” (#20, Mainstream Rock #6, 1983), formed The Honeydrippers with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers, “Sea Of Love” (#3, 1984), Grammy-winning collaboration album with country singer Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (#2, 2007), #1 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2011 readers’ poll of the Best Lead Singers of All Time
1949 ● Phil Lynott → Irish singer, songwriter, bassist and bandleader for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976), solo, founded and fronted hard rock Grand Slam, fell into a coma following a drug overdose and died on 1/4/2006, age 56
1952 ● John Hiatt → Respected but commercially-neglected folk-rock singer/songwriter, guitarist and pianist, “Slow Turning” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1988), wrote songs covered by Paula Abdul, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, B. B. King, Aaron Neville, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt and many others
1952 ● Rudy Gatlin → Country-pop music singer with brothers Larry and Rudy in Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, composed music for TV specials and operated two theme restaurants in the 90s
1952 ● Doug Fieger → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979), died of cancer on 2/14/2010, age 57
1954 ● Barry Johnson → Bassist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (#14, UK #1, 1975).
1954 ● Nick Kane → Lead guitar for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1961 ● David Morales → DJ, Grammy-winning remixer, producer and post-disco house music pioneer, “Needin’ U” (Dance/Club #1, 1998)
1966 ● Dimebag Abbott / (Darrell Abbott) → With brother Vincent Paul Abbott, co-founder and guitarist in thrash metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994) and supergroup Damageplan, “Save Me” (Mainstream Rock #16, 2004), died from gunshot wounds when a man stormed the stage and began firing shots at the band and crowd on 12/8/2004, age 38
1967 ● Serj Tankian → Vocals for Grammy-winning, Armenian-American hard rock/alt metal System Of A Down, “Aerials” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2002)
1968 ● Dina Carroll / (Geraldine Carroll) → Successful late-80s and 90s Brit soul-pop and dance-pop singer of Scottish and African American descent, “Don’t Be A Stranger” (UK #3, 1993) and “Special Kind Of Love” (Dance/Club #4, 1993)
1970 ● Fred Durst → Co-founder, lead vocals and frontman for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “Nookie” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1999), producer, music video director, solo
1979 ● Jamie Cullum → Brit jazz-pop and easy listening singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “These Are The Days” (UK #12, 2004)
1985 ● Mikey Shoes / (Michael Shuman) → Bassist for stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), also co-fronted L.A. area rock bands Wires On Fire and Jubilee
1992 ● Demi Lovato / (Demetria Lovato) → Singer, songwriter, musician and actress, played “Mitchie Torres” in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock (2008), pop solo singer, “Here We Go Again” (#15, 2009)

August 21
1904 ● Count Basie / (William Allen Basie) → Renowned nine-time Grammy-winning swing era jazz, blues and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “April In Paris” (#28, R&B #8, 1956), led his Count Basie Orchestra for nearly 50 years, died of pancreatic cancer on 4/26/1984 , age 79
1907 ● Hy Zaret / (Hyram Harry Zaritsky) → Tin Pan Alley lyricist and composer with multiple hits in the 40s and 50s, best known as the co-author of the Academy Award-winning 1955 hit “Unchained Melody,” one of the 25 most recorded songs of the 20th Century with over 300 versions released by The Righteous Brothers (#4, 1965), Elvis Presley (Country #6, 1978), U2 and many others, also wrote children’s songs, including “Why Does The Sun Shine?” (1959, covered by alt-rock They Might Be Giants in 1993), died from natural causes on 7/2/207, age 99.
1938 ● Kenny Rogers / (Kenneth Ray Rogers) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and hugely successful country-pop crossover star with dozens of pop and country Top 10 hits, including a pair of double-#1s, “Lady” (#1, Country #1, 1980) and “Islands In The Stream” (#1, Country #1, 1983), started as a solo artist in the 50s, joined folk-revival The New Christy Minstrels (“Green, Green,” #14, 1963) in the mid-60s, co-founded and fronted country-pop The First Edition (“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” #6, 1969) from 1967-1976, resumed his solo career and scored nine Top 10 pop and 17 #1 country hits, starred in films (Six Pack, 1982) and the 1980-1994 TV series based on his signature song, “The Gambler” (#16, Country #1, 1978), co-founded a chain of fast-food restaurants, recorded and performed until retiring for health reasons in 2017, died from complications related to the COVID-19 virus on 3/20/2020, age 81.
1939 ● Harold Reid / (Harold Wilson Reid) → Bass vocals, songwriter and de facto leader of country-gospel-pop crossover harmony quartet The Statler Brothers (Grammy-winning “Flowers On The Wall,” #4, Country #2, 1965), the group was a force on the country charts for 25 years with 32 Country Top 10 singles between 1965 and 1989 – he and his younger brother, Don, were the only brothers in the group and no one was named Statler – retired after the band’s 38th studio album and farewell tour in 2002, died of kidney failure on 4/24/2020, age 80.
1943 ● Clydie King / (Clydie Mae King) → R&B/pop singer with over 30 singles as a solo artist, the lead singer in various groups and under the pseudonym Brown Sugar, scored a lone pop hit “Loneliness (Will Bring Us Together Again)” (#44, 1973), best known as a backing singer for dozens of major artists such as Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd, joined Bob Dylan‘s band in 1980 and had a romantic relationship with him through the late 80s, dropped out of the music business for health reasons and died from complications of a blood infection acquired during dialysis treatment on 1/7/2019, age 75.
1944 ● Jackie DeShannon / (Sharon Lee Myers) → Early female rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, toured with The Beatles in 1964, co-wrote songs with Jimmy Page and Randy Newman, moved to folk-pop sounds in the late-60s, wrote and sang “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” (#4, 1969), co-wrote Grammy-winning “Bette Davis Eyes” for Kim Carnes (#1, 1981)
1947 ● Carl Giammarese → Guitarist and co-founder of Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), continues to front the band on the oldies circuit
1952 ● Glenn Hughes → Bass and vocals for Brit hard rock Trapeze, left in 1973 to join Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), sang for Black Sabbath on the Seventh Star album (1986), various solo and collaboration albums, currently fronts hard rock supergroup Black Country Communion
1952 ● Joe Strummer / (John Graham Mellor) → Frontman and principal songwriter of influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982), actor, film score composer, radio host, solo and frontman for The Mescaleros, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2002, age 50
1954 ● Steve Smith → Drummer for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981) during the band’s peak years in the late-70s and early 80s, founded fusion group Vital Information in 1983, joined fusion group Steps Ahead in 1986, in 2001 voted into the Top 25 Drummers of All Time list in Modern Drummer magazine
1957 ● Budgie / (Peter Edward Clarke) → Drummer for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), side project The Creatures, “Right Now” (UK #14, 1983), toured with John Cale, sessions
1957 ● Kim Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge and the disco anthem “We Are Family” (#2, 1979) plus ten other R&B Top 10 hits
1971 ● Master H. / (Liam Howlett) → MC and vocals for “big beat” electronic dance/rap The Prodigy, “Firestarter” (#30, 1996), producer and music DJ
1979 ● Kelis / (Kelis Rogers) → Urban contemporary R&B vocalist, “Milkshake” (#3, Dance/Club #1, 2003), former spouse of rapper Nas
1984 ● Melissa Schuman → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000), solo, actress
1986 ● Conor Clapton → Son of rock superstar Eric Clapton and subject of his father’s lamenting, Grammy-winning song “Tears In Heaven” (#1, 1992) about the toddler’s tragic death from a fall out of a 53rd floor apartment window in New York City on 3/20/1991, age 4

August 22
1917 ● John Lee Hooker → Boogie-blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Boogie Chillen” (R&B #1, 1948) and “Boom Boom” (#60, R&B #16, 1962), develop the “talking blues” style, recorded over 100 albums, won four Grammys between 1989 and 1997, died of natural causes on 6/21/2001, age 83
1926 ● Bob Flanigan / (Robert Lee Flanigan) → Founding member, bassist, trombonist and tenor in clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brian Wilson of The Beach Boyss but lost relevance during the British Invasion, died of congestive heart failure on 5/15/2011, age 84
1936 ● Dale Hawkins / (Delmar Allen Hawkins) → Louisiana “swamp rock” and rockabilly pioneer, “Susie Q” (#27, R&B #7, 1957), AM pop record producer including John Fred & His Playboy Band‘s “Judy In Disguise (#1, 1968), died of colon cancer on 2/13/2010, age 73
1936 ● Chuck Brown / (Charles Louis Brown) → Guitarist, singer, songwriter, bandleader and the “Grandfather of Go-Go” music, the sub-genre of funk he helped develop in the 70s in metro Washington, DC, fronted Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers (“Bustin’ Loose,” #34, R&B #1, 1979), died from multiple organ failure on 5/16/2012, age 75
1942 ● Joseph Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1945 ● Ron Dante / (Carmine Granito) → Singer, songwriter, session musician and vocals for “virtual” bubblegum-pop studio bands The Detergents (“Leader Of The Laundromat,” #19, 1965), TV cartoon show-based The Archies (“Sugar Sugar,” #1, 1967) and one hit wonder The Cuff Links (“Tracy,” #9, 1969), commercial jingle vocalist (McDonalds’ “You deserve a break today”), producer for Barry Manilow (“I Write The Songs,” #1, 1976), Cher, John Denver and others, Broadway show producer
1946 ● Mutha Withem / (Gary Withem) → Keyboards for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968), teaches high school music near San Diego
1947 ● Donna Jean Godchaux / (Donna Jean Thatcher Godchaux) → Session backing vocalist, sang with the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979 (only woman ever officially billed as a Grateful Dead bandmember), also vocals for Robert Hunter and the Jerry Garcia Band, released a self-titled album with her husband and former Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux
1948 ● David Marks → Pop singer, songwriter, session guitarist and original member of The Beach Boys (“Surfin’ Safari,” #3, 1963) from 1962-63, left the band but returned for two reunions in 1997 and 2012, worked as a session musician in the intervals
1949 ● Sam Neely → Talented country-pop singer and songwriter with star potential but minimal success, his highest charting tune was “You Can Have Her” (#34, Country #49, 1974), faded into obscurity in the late 80s and died from a heart attack while mowing the lawn on 7/19/2006, age 56
1952 ● Peter Laughner → Early and important figure in the development of punk and New Wave through his work with several Cleveland-area alt rock bands in the early 70s, his co-founding of eclectic underground/art rock Pere Ubu (“Waiting For Mary,” Modern Rock #6, 1989) and his solo efforts prior to his untimely death from acute pancreatitis on 6/22/1977, age 24
1956 ● Chris Biondo → Backing band guitarist, bassist and producer for Eva Cassidy, mixed-genre vocal interpreter of American classics and pop tunes including “Over The Rainbow” (1992), he produced all three of her posthumous UK #1 albums
1958 ● Ian Mitchell → Nine-month stint as bassist and vocals for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976), then co-founded pop-rock Rosetta Stone, the Ian Mitchell Band and La Rox, none of which were successful except outside the US and UK
1958 ● Vernon Reid → Guitarist and songwriter for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), sessions
1961 ● Debbi Peterson → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock girl-group The Bangles, “Walk Like An Egyptian” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Roland Orzabal → Vocals, guitar and songwriting for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1963 ● James DeBarge → With his sister and three brothers, vocals in R&B/urban contemporary dance-pop sibling quintet Debarge, “All This Love” (#17, 1983)
1963 ● Tori Amos / (Myra Ellen Amos) → Alternative rock keyboardist and forefront of the 90s singer/songwriter revival, reestablished the piano as a rock instrument, “Cornflake Girl” (Modern Rock #1, UK #4, 1994)
1966 ● The Genius (also GZA) / (Gary Grice) → Highly literate rapper, songwriter and founding member of influential East Coast rap collective Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), left for a part-time solo career (“Liquid Swords,” #48, Rap #3, 1995) and various collaboration projects
1967 ● Layne Staley → Lead singer and co-lyricist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), died from a “speedball” injection of heroin and cocaine on 4/5/2002, age 34
1969 ● Steve Cradock → Guitarist for mod revival Britpop/trad rock Ocean Colour Scene, “The Day We Caught The Train” (UK #4, 1996) plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles, concurrently a member of Paul Weller‘s backing band
1972 ● Paul Douchette → Former drummer and later rhythm guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1973 ● Howie D. / (Howie Dorough) → Vocals, guitar and percussion for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997), solo, occasional TV actor
1978 ● Jeff Stinco / (Jean-Francoise Stinco) → Lead guitar for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)