This Week’s Birthdays (August 20 – 26)

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Isaac Hayes

Happy Birthday this week to:

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 / (Roland E. 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
1942 ● Jon Povey → Drummer in 60s Brit beat band Bern Elliott & The Fenmen (“Money,” UK #14, 1963) before joining blues-rock The Pretty Things in 1967 as keyboardist, added flourish to the band’s musical drift to psychedelic rock during the recording of the album S. F. Sorrow, released in 1968 as the first rock opera, participated in several PT reunions and collaborations with bandmates through the 10s, acted in several films in the 10s and was working on a solo album and autobiography when he died from cancer on 5/9/2023, age 80.
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
1947 ● David Lasley / (David Eldon Lasley) → Four-octave pop vocalist, musician and songwriter best known for his 40-year membership in James Taylor‘s backing band and session vocals for a host of top artists, among them Ringo Starr, Boz Scaggs and Bette Midler, at one point in the late 70s sang on 13 of the Top 25 singles on the Billboard Hiot 100 chart, also co-wrote dozens of songs recorded by Patti LaBelle, Bonnie Raitt, Sheena Easton and others, issued eight solo albums through 2006 and charted four singles, including “If I Had My Wish Tonight” (#40, 1982), died of cancer on 12/9/2021, age 74.
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 / (Philip Parris Lynott) → Irish singer, songwriter, bassist and bandleader,, started in blues-rock Skid Row with guitarist Gary Moore, left in 1969 to co-found and front underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, UK #8, 1976), following disbandment in 1983 issued two solo albums and founded hard rock Grand Slam, but struggled with heroin addiction which led to an overdose and coma, died ten days later on 1/4/1986, age 36.
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
1949 ● Dominic Grant / (Keith Purdie) → Singer with Brit pop sextet then quartet vocal group Guys ‘n’ Dolls with several hits in the UK and Europe in the 70s and 80s, including “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, NL #9, 1975) and “You’re My World” (NL #1, 1977) but little recognition in North America, following breakup in 1985 continued to perform with his wife and former GnD bandmate Julie Forsyth as country/western duo Grant & Forsyth, scored six Top 40 hits in the Netherlands before retiring from music in the 90s to concentrate on sculpting bronze figures, died suddenly from a ruptured artery (abdominal aortic aneurysm) on 11/18/2020, age 71.
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
1965 ● Mike Howe → Founding member and lead singer in Detroit- then LA-based metal band Heretic, left in 1988 after the band’s first LP and fronted early thrash metal act Metal Church until 1994, when he left to become a carpenter and start a family, rejoined Metal Church as lead singer in 2015 and issued four albums with the band before dying from suicide by hanging on 7/26/2021, age 55.
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
1941 ● Howard “Bulldog” Grimes / (Howard Lee Grimes) → Tenacious, long-time Memphis session and touring drummer with Stax Records, at Royal Studios and as a member of the Hi Rhythm Section, the in-house band for Hi Records, in all played on dozens of pop and R&B hits, including Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” (#1, R&B #1, 1972) and as such became a key figure in the development of Southern soul and the “Memphis Sound” in the 60s and 70s, continued to perform with former Hi Rhythm Section members and with other Memphis blues bands into the 00s, died of kidney failure on 2/12/2022, age 80.
1942 ● Joseph Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968)
1942 ● Carl Mann → Child prodigy rockabilly singer and pianist, issued several non-charting singles as a young teen, then became “The Last Son of Sun” when signed to a contract at the legendary Sun Records in the waning years of the label’s influence on rock ‘n’ roll’s development, released a rockabilly cover of Nat King Cole‘s “Mona Lisa” (#25, R&B #24, 1959) at age sixteen but never had another hit in the Top 40, disappeared from the music industry in the 60s but occasionally reappeared over the decades, touring Europe during the 70s rockabilly revival, accepting induction into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2006 and performed sporadically in Las Vegas and Nashville until his death from unspecified causes on 12/16/2020, age 78.
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
1952 ● Michael Gudinski / (Michael Solomon Gudincki) → Legendary music entrepreneur and record label executive often called the “father of Australian pop music” for his relentless promotion of Down Under acts around the world, started as a teenage dancehall promoter, then founded Mushroom Records at age 20 in 1972, signed and promoted countless artists including Split Enz, Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes, Mushroom eventually became the largest independent record label in Australia and spawned music publishing, touring and production conglomerate Mushroom Group after the record label sold in 1998, died in his sleep on 3/1/2021, age 68.
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 → Seventeen-year-old bass guitarist for tartan-clad Scottish pre-punk, teen-pop Bay City Rollers, replaced founding member Alan Longmuir in 1976 as the first bandmember not born in Scotland, left after a nine-month stint and several hits at the end of the band’s peak, including the cover of “I Only Want To Be With You” (#12, UK #4, 1976), returned to his native Northern Ireland and co-founded pop-rock Rosetta Stone, the Ian Mitchell Band and La Rox, none of which were successful beyond Ireland, announced he had throat cancer and died from undisclosed causes less than two months later on 9/2/2020, age 62.
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)

August 23
1900 ● Malvina Reynolds → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and political activist, wrote “Little Boxes” for Pete Seeger (#70, 1964), “What Have They Done To The Rain?” for The Searchers (#29, 1965), songs covered by Joan Baez, Judy Collins and others, and children’s songs and material for the TV show Sesame Street, died on 3/17/1978, age 77
1912 ● Gene Kelly → Broadway and film actor, dancer and adult pop singer, a dominant force in Hollywood musical films of the 40s and 50s, best known for his lead role in the highly-regarded Singin’ In The Rain (1952), died in his sleep on 2/2/1996, age 83
1913 ● Bob Crosby → Swing-era vocalist and Dixieland bandleader, younger brother of crooner Bing Crosby, fronted authentic New Orleans swing band The Bob-Cats in the 30s, turned to radio in the 40s and became a popular variety program host, scored a hit duet single with Patty Andrews and “The Pussycat Song (Nyot! Nyow! Nyot!)” (#12, 1953), reunited The Bob-Cats for occasional performances until his death from cancer on 3/9/1993, age 79.
1917 ● Tex Williams / (Sollie Paul Williams) → “Talking blues” style Western swing singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader with ten Country Top 10 hits over a 35 year career, including “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” (Country #1, 1947), died from pancreatic cancer on 10/11/1985, age 68
1932 ● Mark Russell / (Joseph Marcus Ruslander) → Stand-up comedian and political satirist known for his red, white and blue pianos and songs employing well-known pop melodies with new lyrics skewering politicians and current affairs in Washington, hosted bimonthly comedy specials on PBS-TV from 1975 to 2004 and appeared on other network TV variety shows over the years, retired from performing in 2016 but continued to write humor for various publications until his death from prostate cancer on 3/30/2023, age 90.
1936 ● Rudy Lewis / (Charles Rudolph Harrell) → Lead vocals from 1960-1964 for R&B/soul-doo wop The Drifters, “Up On The Roof” (#5, 1963), died in his sleep on 5/20/1964, the night before the group recorded “Under The Boardwalk” (#4, 1964) without him, age 27
1941 ● Pete Shannon / (Peter Shannon Harris) → Bassist for British Invasion pop-rock The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (#16, 1964)
1941 ● Bunny Lee / (Edward O’Sullivan Lee) → Jamaican record “plugger” (promoter) turned producer and integral figure in the development of rocksteady music in Jamaica in the 60s, his creative efforts led to international popularity for mainstream or “roots” reggae and later sub-genres dub music and dancehall in the 70s, picked and promoted numerous acts that ultimately became early stars in the genre, including Delroy Wilson, King Tubby, Eric Donaldson (“Cherry, Oh Baby,” 1971) and dozens of others, died from respiratory failure on 10/6/2020, age 79.
1942 ● Roger Greenaway → British pop music songwriter and performer, as David was one half the pop vocal duo David & Jonathan, “Michelle” (#18, Adult Contemporary #3, 1966), collaborated with Roger Cook (aka Jonathan) 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 ● Spaghetti Micale / (Anthony Micale) → Lead vocal for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964), continues to perform with the group into the 10s
1943 ● Mick Burt / (Michael Arthur Burt) → Drummer backing Brit novelty pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1945 ● Pete Fornatale → Award-winning early progressive FM radio DJ, first at WFUV-FM (Fordham University, New York) and, beginning in 1969, on trendsetting WNEW-FM, returned to WFUV in 2001, hosted Sirius XM satellite program, authored several books on rock culture, died from a stroke on 4/26/2012, age 66
1946 ● Jimy Sohns / (James Alan Sohns) → Founding member and lead vocals for 60s Chicago blues-pop-rock, one hit wonder Shadows of Knight and their cover of Van Morrison‘s “Gloria” (#10, 1965), remained a constant on the Chicago garage- and punk-rock scene for decades following the band’s dissolution in 1968, managing other rock bands and fronting incarnations of the Shadows of Knight on the oldies circuit, suffered a stroke and died several days later on 7/29/2022, age 75.
1946 ● Keith Moon → Legendary, exuberant and innovative drummer for hard rock The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967), recorded one solo album which was issued posthumously, voted #2 in a 2001 readers’ poll by Rolling Stone magazine for the Best Drummers of All Time, died after ingesting an overdose of alcohol withdrawal pills on 9/7/1978, age 32
1947 ● Linda Pettifer Thompson → Folk-rock singer/songwriter and recognized figure in the British folk-rock scene in the 70s and 80s, recorded with Paul McNeill and later with Sandy Denny and others as The Bunch, teamed with ex-Fairport Convention (“Si Tu Dos Partir,” UK #21, 1969) guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson and released six critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums in 10 years as a husband-and-wife duo, after breaking up continued to record and write music sporadically, issued her second solo LP, Won’t Be Long Now in 2013
1947 ● George McCorkle → Founding member and guitarist for Southern rock The Marshall Tucker Band, wrote “Fire On The Mountain” (#38, 1975), left the band in 1984 for a songwriting career, issued a solo album in 1999, died of cancer on 6/29/2007, age 59
1949 ● Rick Springfield / (Richard Springthorpe) → Australian-born singer/songwriter, “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981) plus 14 other Top 40 hits, TV soap opera actor (Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital), author
1951 ● Jimi Jamison / (Jimmy Wayne Jamison) → Vocalist for pop-rock Target, joined hard AOR/arena rock Survivor in 1984, “Burning Heart” (#2, 1985), co-wrote and sang “I’m Always Here”, the theme from the TV show Baywatch, solo, charity organizer and fundraiser
1951 ● Mark Hudson / (Mark Jeffrey Hudson) → Member of sibling musical trio The Hudson Brothers, “So You Are A Star” (#21, 1974), producer/writer for Aerosmith, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, others
1953 ● Bobby G. / (Robert Alan Gubby) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1954 ● Mark Avsec → Keyboardist, songwriter and producer, toured with funk-rock Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), co-founded, managed, produced and wrote or co-wrote all the music for pop-rock Donnie Iris & The Cruisers, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1980), played with the James Gang, became an intellectual property attorney specializing in music copyrights
1959 ● Edwyn Collins → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, frontman for Scottish neo-pop revival Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1984), then power pop solo career, “A Girl Like You” (#32, UK #4, 1994), TV actor and producer
1961 ● Dean DeLeo → Guitarist for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994), during STP breaks co-founded spin-off bands Talk Show and Army Of Anyone
1962 ● Shaun Ryder → Vocals for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992), co-founded alt Brit-pop Black Grape, “England’s Irie” (UK #6, 1996), TV actor
1964 ● Pebbles / (Perri Alette McKissack Nixon) → Backing vocals for R&B/soul-funk Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, R&B #1, 1978), then dance-pop solo, “Mercedes Boy” (#2, 1988), discovered and managed R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994), one of the most successful female groups of all time
1967 ● Cedella Marley → With her two brothers and sister, vocals for five time Grammy-winning reggae-pop Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, “Tomorrow People” (Mainstream Rock #16, 1988), executive with Tuff Gong International records, fashion designer
1970 ● River Jude Phoenix → Teen icon, film and TV actor, starred in Stand By Me (1986) and 14 other films plus numerous TV movies and programs, singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for alt folk-rock Aleka’s Attic, “Too Many Colors” (1990), died of a drug overdose on 10/31/1993, age 23
1974 ● Shifty Shellshock / (Seth Brooks Binzer) → Frontman for rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001)
1978 ● Julian Casablancas → Guitar and vocals for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1979 ● Richard Neville Dobson → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1981 ● Natalie Horler → Vocals in German Euro-dance trio Cascada, “Everytime We Touch” (#10, 2005) and “Evacuate the Dancefloor” (#25, UK #1, 2009)
1986 ● Skyblu / (Skyler Austen Gordy) → With his uncle, Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy), one half the electropop, hip house duo LMFAO, “Party Rock Anthem” (worldwide #1, 2011), grandson of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr.

August 24
1897 ● Fred Rose / (Knowles Fred Rose) → Country music songwriter and co-founder of Acuff-Rose Publishing, the first Nashville music publishing company and a giant in the industry, wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs for others, including Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Sophie Tucker, died from a heart attack on 12/1/1954, age 57.
1905 ● Big Boy Crudup / (Arthur Crudup) → Delta blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote numerous blues songs covered by others, including “That’s Alright (Mama)”, Elvis Presley‘s first Sun Records single in 1954, died nearly penniless from a heart attack on 3/28/1974, age 68
1915 ● Wynonie Harris / (Raoul J. Cita) → Blues shouter and humorous, ribald R&B singer in the 40s and 50s, covered “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1948) and is considered a forerunner of rock ‘n’ roll, died from throat cancer on 6/14/1969, age 53
1924 ● Louis Teicher → Julliard-trained pianist and, with Arthur Ferrante, one half of the easy listening piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, known for their instrumental renditions of classical pieces, movie themes and show tunes, including “Tonight” (#10, AC #2, 1961) and “Midnight Cowboy” (#8, AC #2, 1969), died from a heart attack on 8/3/2008, age 83
1929 ● Willie Winfield / (Willie Lee Elijah Winfield) → Lead singer for critically recognized but commercially little known New York R&B/doo wop The Harptones, the group recorded several late 50s songs that eventually re-surfaced on R&B retrospective albums, including the oft-covered classic “Life Is But A Dream” (1955), sang with the group on the oldies circuit for nearly 65 years until his death from cardiac arrest on 7/27/2021, age 91.
1933 ● “Rupie The Groupie” Loewenstein / (Rupert Louis Ferdinand Frederick Constantine Lofredo Leopold Herbert Maximilian Hubert John Henry zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, Count of Loewenstein-Scharffeneck) → Bavarian aristocrat and investment advisor turned financial and tax manager to The Rolling Stones from 1968-2007, credited with a behind-the-scenes transformation of the band from cash-poor wannabes into a globally-recognized brand and music powerhouse while managing their financial excesses and expanding egos, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease on 5/20/2014, age 87
1938 ● David Freiberg → Vocals and guitar for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), sessions for David Crosby, Mickey Hart and others, toured with and joined Jefferson Airplane and stayed with the group went it morphed into Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), left in 1984
1938 ● Mason Williams → Singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist, won a Grammy Award for his instrumental classical/folk-rock “Classical Gas” (#2, 1968), comedy writer for Saturday Night Live and other TV programs, poet and author of several books
1939 ● Ernest Wright, Jr. → Early member and backing vocals for R&B/doo wop Little Anthony And The ImperialsThe Platters, returned in 1992 and still tours with two other remaining members of the group into the 10s
1940 ● Tony Secunda / (Anthony Michael Secunda) → Businessman, promoter and manager for The Moody Blues (“Go Now!”, #1, 1965), The Move, Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” #5, 1967) and T. Rex (“Bang A Gong (Get It On),” #10, 1971), also discovered Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, died of a heart attack on 2/12/1995, age 54
1942 ● Marshall Thompson → Founding member of Chicago R&B/smooth soul vocal quartet the Chi-Lites (“Oh Girl,” #1, R&B #1, 1972), continued to record and perform with the group through the 90s, jailed for selling stolen police badges in 2001, returned to the group with his wife, Tara and continues into the 10s
1942 ● Jimmy Soul / (James McCleese) → Teenaged gospel singer turned two hit wonder R&B/soul vocalist with a calypso-tinged, “Twistin’ Mathilda” (#2, 1962) and the rollicking “If You Wanna Be Happy” (#1, 1963), died from a heart attack on 6/25/1988, age 45
1943 ● John Cipollina → Founder and trendsetting lead guitarist for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), formed hard rock Copperhead and played with numerous other rock bands, #32 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, died from emphysema on 5/29/1989, age 45
1944 ● James Brady → Singer in light folk sunshine-pop, two hit wonder vocal trio The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera” (#9, 1966) and “Come Saturday Morning” (#17, 1970)
1944 ● Jim Capaldi / (Nicola James Capaldi) → Drummer, songwriter and founding member of folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), began solo career in 1972 and released “Love Hurts” (UK #4, 1975) and “That’s Love” (#28, 1982), session work and songwriting collaborations, died from stomach cancer on 1/28/2005, age 60
1945 ● Ken Hensley / (Kenneth William David Hensley) → Original keyboardist in hard/prog rock Uriah Heep, wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s songs, including “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), “Lady In Black (GER #5, 1971) and Stealin'” (#91, 1973) before relocating to the US in 1980, fronted or played with numerous US hard rock and metal bands over 30 years, operated a St. Louis recording studio, composed the rock opera Blood On The Highway (2006) and wrote two books, one about Uriah Heep and the other an autobiography, died following an unspecified, “short illness” on 11/04/2020, age 75.
1945 ● Molly Duncan / (Malcolm Duncan) → Tenor saxophonist and founding member of Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band (“Pick Up The Pieces,” #1, 1974), left the band in the 80s for session work and tours with Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Tom Petty and others, reunited and toured with AWB bandmates in 2015 as The 360 Band, diagnosed with terminal cancer and died on 10/8/2019, age 74.
1945 ● Randy Silverman → Vocals for New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1947 ● Jim Fox → Co-founder, drummer and only constant member of underrated hard rock The James Gang, “Funk #49” (#59, 1970) and “Walk Away” (#51, 1971), also played with oldies revival lineups of 60s garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966)
1948 ● Jean-Michel Jarre → Pioneering French electronic synth-pop and ambient music composer, “Oxygene Part IV” (UK #4, 1979) and album Chronologie (#10, UK #9, 1993)
1951 ● Michael DeRosier → Session drummer and later full-time member of hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1982 to join Boston-offshoot AOR/arena rock Orion The Hunter, “So You Ran” (#58, 1984), joined former Heart bandmates in 1988 to co-found AOR/hard rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1951 ● Danny Joe Brown → Lead vocals for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979), died from effects of diabetes and a stroke on 3/10/2005, age 53
1955 ● Jeffrey Daniel → Dancer on Soul Train music TV show, tapped to replace session singers and dancers in pre-fab disco/pop Shalamar, “The Second Time Around” (#8, Dance/Club #1, 1980), now a British TV host
1961 ● Colin Angus → Founding member, bassist and vocals for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1961 ● Mark Bedford → Bassist for punk/ska revival Madness, “Our House” (#7, 1982) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1963 ● John Bush → Lead vocals for L.A. heavy metal Armored Saint, left in 1990 for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1964 ● Oteil Burbridge → Classical-trained, Grammy-winning jazz and rock bassist for The Allman Brothers Band, his own Oteil & The Pacemakers, Dead & Company, Phish and various permutations of Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers spin-offs
1968 ● Andreas Kisser → Guitarist for Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996), sessions and film soundtracks
1970 ● Krystyn Robyn Osborn → Vocalist and chief songwriter for country-pop sister trio SHeDAISY, “I Will…But” (#43, Country #2, 1999)

August 25
1918 ● Leonard Bernstein → Talented composer, conductor, pianist, director of the New York Philharmonic, wrote the music to many Broadway shows, including West Side Story (1957), died from pneumonia on 10/14/1990, age 72
1933 ● Wayne Shorter → Twelve-time Grammy-winning jazz/fusion saxophonist and composer, played in influential Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers in the 50s and the Miles Davis Quintet in the 60s, co-founded jazz/rock fusion Weather Report (“Birdland,” 1977) and played in the group through 1985, participated in marquee collaborations with singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, guitarist Carlos Santana and jazz-pop Steely Dan, including his tenor sax solo on “Aja” (1977), issued nearly 30 albums as bandleader or co-leader from 1959 through 2016 and appeared on several dozen more as a sideman or group member, awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and a Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2018, died from unspecified causes on 3/2/2023, age 89.
1941 ● Christopher Augustine → Drummer for one hit wonder pop-folk Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (#6, 1967)
1942 ● Walter Williams → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Alan Parker → Lead guitar and vocals for Brit Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 11 other Top 25 hits in the US
1947 ● Pete Arnesen → Piano for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (, US #37, 1974)
1947 ● Keith Tippett / (Keith Graham Tippett) → British modern jazz, jazz-rock and progressive rock pianist on over 50 albums as a solo artist or bandleader and on dozens of albums as a session musician for free improv group Company, prog rock King Crimson and many others, in duets with Stan Tracey and with his wife, Julie Driscoll, and as the keyboardist in progressive jazz quartet Mujician in the 90s and 00s, continued to record and release his own material, including a final album just months before his death from undisclosed causes on 6/14/2020, age 72.
1949 ● Gene “The Demon” Simmons / (Chaim Witz) → Bass, vocals and frontman for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), released two solo albums, producer, talent scout, entrepreneur, author and film and TV actor
1949 ● Henry Paul → Founding member, lead singer and guitarist for Southern hard rock Outlaws (“Hurry Sundown,” #34, 1975), left in 1977 to form and front country-rock Henry Paul Band, in 1991 founded Nashville-based Blackhawk (“I’m Not Strong Enough To Say No,” #2, 1995), reformed Outlaws in 2005 and continues to record and tour
1950 ● Willy De Ville / (William Boray) → Guitar, vocals and frontman for blue-eyed soul/roots rock/punk rock Mink De Ville, “Storybook Love” (1987), solo and collaborations with notable blues and R&B stars, died of pancreatic cancer on 8/7/2009, age 58
1951 ● James Warren → Co-founder, bassist and vocalist for New Wave pop-rock The Korgis, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” (#18, 1980)
1951 ● Rob Halford → Vocals for influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Geoff Downes → Founding member and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40, 1979), joined prog rock Yes for one album (Drama, 1980), left to form prog/pop-rock Asia, “Heat Of The Moment” (#4, 1982), solo
1954 ● Elvis Costello / (Declan Patrick McManus) → Innovative, eclectic, multi-genre songwriter, singer and pub rock/punk/New Wave guitarist, frontman for The Attractions, “Veronica” (#19, 1989), 17 US Top 40 albums, has recorded classical-, jazz- and adult pop-based albums
1956 ● Matt Aitken → Member of the multi-hit UK songwriting/production trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman (SAW), “Respectable” (#1 for Rick Astley, 1987)
1961 ● Billy Ray Cyrus → Once touted as the “Next Elvis,” country-pop one hit wonder crossover singer, debut single “Achy Breaky Heart” (#4, 1992) spawned the worldwide “line dance” craze, debut album Some Gave All spent 17 weeks on the US album chart, father of actress Miley Cyrus
1962 ● Vivian Patrick Campbell → Guitarist with hard rock/metal Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988), Dio and Whitesnake
1963 ● Candida Doyle → Keyboard and backing vocals for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1965 ● Erik Dahlgren → Drummer for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1966 ● Terminator X / (Norman Rogers) → Rapper and DJ for influential early hip hop group Public Enemy, “Fight The Power” (Rap #1, 1989), solo, producer, retired to his South Carolina ostrich stud farm in 2003
1967 ● Jeff Tweedy → Co-founder, singer, songwriter and guitars for seminal roots rock trio Uncle Tupelo, after its breakup founded alt country-rock Wilco, “Outasite (Outta Mind)” (Mainstream Rock #22, 1997)
1969 ● Luke Scott → Guitarist in Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1970 ● Jo Dee Messina → Country-pop crossover singer with 12 Country Top 10 hits, six of them #1’s, including “That’s The Way” (#25, Country #1, 2000)
1985 ● Wynter Gordon / (Diana Gordon) → Dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Dirty Talk” (Dance #1, 2010), co-wrote “Sugar” for Flo Rida (#5, 2009)
1987 ● Amy MacDonald → Scottish soft folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over” (UK #48, 2010)
1988 ● Alexandra Burke → Brit R&B/neo-soul and electro-pop singer, won the 2008 UK talent show The X Factor, debut single “Hallelujah” (UK #1, 2008) plus four other UK Top 10 hits in two years
1988 ● Ray Quinn → English TV soap opera actor, dancer and singer, runner-up in the 2006 UK talent show The X Factor, “Doing It My Way” (UK #1, 2007)

August 26
1903 ● Mr. Five by Five / (Jimmy Rushing) → Short and stout blues/jazz “shouter” and singer, lead vocals for the Count Basie band, died of leukemia on 6/8/1972, age 68
1936 ● René Ornelas → Mexican-American singer and, with René Herrera, one half of the Tejano-pop duo René y René with two minor 60s hits, “Angelito” (“Little Angel”) (#43, 1964) and “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You)” (AC #14, 1969), one of the first Chicano acts on American Bandstand in 1964, continues to perform into the 10s as René René
1938 ● Jet Black / (Brian John Duffy) → Liquor store and home brewing equipment supply company owner who switched to punk-rock as co-founder and long-time drummer in influential The Stranglers, the band issued 23 UK Top 40 singles and 19 UK Top 40 albums over 45 years from 1977, including “Golden Brown” (UK #2, 1982) from the album La Folie (UK #11, 1981), suffered ill health for years and retired from the band in 2018, died at home on 12/6/2022, age 84.
1939 ● Fred Milano → Founding member and tenor vocals for R&B doo wop Dion & The Belmonts, “A Teenager In Love” (#5, 1959), continued after frontman Dion DiMucci left in 1960 as The Belmonts, “Tell Me Why” (#18, 1961), performed with the group until just before his death from lung cancer on 1/1/2012, age 72.
1940 ● Nik Turner / (Nicholas Robert Turner) → Saxophone-playing roadie for start-up band Group X, which within a few weeks re-formed and became the first line-up of legendary space rock pioneers Hawkwind, hired as founding member, multi-instrumentalist and occasional composer, played reed instruments with the band in two stints, first from 1969 to 1976, their most commercially successful and critically acclaimed period (“Silver Machine,” UK #3, 1972), left due to artistic differences but returned in 1982 for recording sessions for the LP Choose Your Masques (1982) on which he was credited as a “guest musician,” from 1977 on fronted his own bands Sphynx (one single featuring lead vocals by Sting of The Police), Inner City Unit, then Nik Turner’s Fantastic All Stars in the late 80s, then Hawkwind offshoot Space Ritual and Nik Turner’s Hawkwind in the 2000s, performed with multiple bands and gigs with other musicians through the 10s until just before his death from natural causes on 11/10/2022, age 82.
1941 ● Chris Curtis → Drummer and vocals for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963), died following a long illness on 2/28/2005, age 63
1942 ● Vic Dana → Tap dancer turned vocalist in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959), then solo, “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” (#10, 1965)
1942 ● Keith Allison / (Sydney Keith Allison) → Singer, actor, songwriter and bass guitarist for pop/garage rock Paul Revere & The Raiders from 1968 to 1975 and the last big hit for the group, “Indian Reservation” (#1, CAN #1, 1971), previously managed pop singer Ray Peterson‘s backing band and did session work for The Monkees, Sonny & Cher and others, returned to session work in 1976 and recorded with Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson, among others, over the years co-wrote several songs used in films and acted in small roles on TV and in films, died of natural causes on 11/17/2021, age 79.
1944 ● Moe Tucker / (Maureen Ann Tucker) → Drummer for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968)
1948 ● Valerie Simpson → With husband Nickolas Ashford, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others
1949 ● Bob Cowsill / (Robert Cowsill) → Vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, his twin brother Richard “Dick” Cowsill was the road manager for the group
1949 ● Dick Cowsill / (Richard Cowsill) → Road manager for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, twin brother of bandmember Bob Cowsill.
1949 ● Leon Redbone / (Dickran Gobalian) → Cyprus-born, baritone jazz/blues/ragtime singer and interpreter of early 20th century popular songs and Tin Pan Alley songwriters, “discovered” by Bob Dylan in a Toronto-area folk festival in 1972, his wry, savvy and skillful updates of ragtime to blues to jazz standards garnered critical acclaim and a cult following over a four-decade career, released thirteen studio albums, including Double Time (#38, 1977) plus “Seduced” (#72, 1981) and multiple other singles, sang the theme song to the TV sitcom Mr. Belvedere (1985-1990), retired from performing due to ill health and died from complications of dementia on 5/30/2019, age 69.
1952 ● Billy Rush → Songwriter and producer for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1954 ● Michael Chetwood → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock T’Pau, “Heart And Soul” (#4, 1987)
1954 ● Steve Wright → BBC Radio 2 disc jockey in the weekday afternoon time slot since 1999
1957 ● John O’Neill → Guitarist for Irish punk/New Wave pop-rock The Undertones, “My Perfect Cousin” (UK #9, 1980), co-founded hard/alt rock That Petrol Emotion, “Groove Check” (Dance/Club #12, 1989)
1960 ● Branford Marsalis → Jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, played with Art Blakely, Herbie Hancock, his brother Wynton, and Sting, led Jay Leno’s Tonight Show band, formed his own record label in 2002 for his own albums and those of others
1965 ● Annie Holland → Bassist for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1966 ● Dan Vickrey → Guitarist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1969 ● Adrian Young → Drummer for “Third Wave” ska-rock No Doubt, “Don’t Speak” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)

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