This Week’s Birthdays (August 29 – September 4)

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Happy Birthday this week to:

August 29
1920 ● Charlie “Bird” Parker / (Charles Parker, Jr.) → Virtuoso, pioneering and influential jazz/bebop saxophonist and composer with a brief but prolific career and several entries in the Grammy Hall of Fame, tributes include Weather Report‘s “Birdland” (1977), Steely Dan‘s “Parker’s Band” (1974), the chirping bird guitar sound created by Duane Allmann at the end of Derek & The Dominoes‘ “Layla” (1974) and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts‘ children’s book Ode To A High Flying Bird (1964), died of a heart attack brought on by cirrhosis and pneumonia on 3/12/1955, age 34
1924 ● Dinah Washington / (Ruth Lee Jones) → Often called the “Queen of the Blues,” widely popular 40s-50s blues, jazz, and R&B singer, “What A Difference A Day Made” (#8, 1959), died from a barbiturate overdose on 12/14/1963, age 39.
1927 ● Jimmy C. Newman → Country and Cajun music singer, songwriter and bandleader with 30 hits in the Country Top 40 in the 50s and 60s and a lone crossover hit, “A Fallen Star” (#23, Country #2, 1957), died from cancer on 6/21/2014, age 86
1937 ● Marshall Sewell → Bass vocals for doo-wop The Edsels, “Rama Lama Ding Dong” (#21, 1961), later joined the Cleveland, OH police force and retired as a sergeant in 2001, died from esophageal cancer on 6/5/2013, age 75
1940 ● Johnny Paris / (Johnny Pocisk) → Frontman and saxophonist for instrumental rock ‘n’ roll Johnny & The Hurricanes, “Red River Rock” (#5, UK #3, 1959) and three other charting hits in 1959 and 1960, formed a new Hurricanes following disbandment of the first in 1965 and toured until 2005, just before his death from post-surgery infections on 5/1/2006, age 65
1942 ● Holmes Sterling Morrison, Jr. → Founding member and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat” (1968), died of cancer on 8/30/1995, age 53
1943 ● Dick Halligan → Keyboards, flute and vocals for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1945 ● Chris Copping → Bassist and organist for English beat The Paramounts, “Poison Ivy” (#35, 1964), joined prog/psych rock Procol Harum in 1969, “Conquistador” (#16, 1972), later with Astrid Monday and art-rock Gnidrolog
1953 ● Rick Downey → Tour drummer for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, played on the tour that resulted in the Extraterrestrial Live album (#29, 1982) and the subsequent The Revölution By Night (#93, 1983)
1958 ● Elizabeth Fraser → Vocals for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1958 ● Michael Jackson / (Michael Joseph Jackson) → The “King of Pop,” singer, songwriter, cultural icon and pre-teen front for R&B/pop-soul sibling band The Jackson Five, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), went solo in 1971 and recorded “Billie Jean” (#1, 1983) and 11 other US #1 hits and 9 US Top 10 albums, the most successful pop entertainer of all time, died from heart failure induced by a doctor-administered mix of anxiety-relieving drugs and sedatives on 6/25/2009, age 50
1959 ● Eddi Reader / (Sadenia Reader) → Singer and songwriter for Brit neo-skiffle pop Fairground Attraction, “Perfect” (#80, UK #1, 1988), solo
1963 ● Jerry Fehily → Drummer for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1967 ● Anton Newcombe → Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, founder and frontman for eclectic indie rock/neo-psychedelic The Brian Jonestown Massacre, with over a dozen albums to date, including Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request (1996), an homage to The Rolling Stones psych-rock album (1967)
1969 ● Me’Shell NdegeOcello / (Mary Johnson) → Singer/songwriter, rapper, bassist and R&B/neo-soul and jazz-pop vocalist, duet with John (Cougar) Mellencamp, “Wild Night” (#3, 1994) plus solo, “Who Is He And What Is He To You? (Dance/Club #1, 1996)
1970 ● Groove Martin / (Carl Martin) → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1971 ● Alex Griffin → Bassist for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1975 ● Kyle Cook → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1980 ● David Desrosiers → Bassist and backing vocals for French-Canadian pop-punk Simple Plan, “Perfect” (#24, Canada #5, 2003)
1993 ● Liam Payne → Vocals in Brit-Irish boy band quintet One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful” (#4, UK #1, 2011)

August 30
1919 ● Kitty Wells / (Ellen Muriel Deason) → Pioneering country music singer and the first female country star for her barrier-breaking hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (#27, Country #1, 1952), recorded 27 other Country Top 10 hits and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award for her 30 year recording career, died from complications of a stroke on 7/16/2012, age 92
1928 ● Johnny Mann → Composer of film scores and advertising jingles in the 50s, voice of Theodore on the original TV series Alvin & The Chipmunks (1961), music director for the NBC Comedy Hour and The Joey Bishop Show, and frontman for Grammy-winning clean-cut 60s and 70s easy listening Johnny Mann Singers, died of heart failure on 6/18/2014, age 85
1930 ● Ernie Ball / (Ronald Sherwood Ball) → Musician and business entrepreneur in guitar-related products through his Ernie Ball and Music Man companies, developed and sold the “Slinky” set of guitar strings used by Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and many current guitarists, continued to be involved with the business until his death after a long illness on 9/9/2004, age 74
1935 ● John Phillips → Known as “Papa John,” singer, songwriter, guitarist, founder and frontman for folk-pop The Mamas & The Papas, “Monday Monday” (#1,1966), died of heart failure on 3/18/2001, age 65
1939 ● John Peel / (John Robert Parker Ravenscroft) → Offshore pirate station Radio London DJ, then from 1967 to 2004 the longest serving BBC Radio 1 and most influential British DJ ever, died in Peru of a heart attack on 10/25/2004, age 65
1941 ● John McNally → Founder, guitarist and singer for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1943 ● Robert Crumb → Artist, comic book and album cover illustrator, founder of the satirical and subversive underground comix movement, developed the “Keep on truckin'” and “Fritz the Cat” characters
1944 ● Chuck Colbert / (Charles Colbert) → Bassist for pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968)
1945 ● Fred Tackett → Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, first as a session player for and since 1988 as a full-time member of Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1950 ● Micky Moody → Guitarist in Brit blues-rock Juicy Lucy, covered Bo Diddley‘s classic “Who Do You Love” (UK #14, 1970), left in 1973 for session work, in 1978 joined Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987) but left for solo career and sessions
1951 ● Dana / (Rosemary Brown Scallon) → Irish folk-pop singer, won the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest with the worldwide hit “All Kinds Of Everything” (UK #1, 1970), in the 90s shifted to Christian pop music, “As We Lay” (#59, 1997)
1952 ● Kenny Andrews → Singer in Brit doo wop/rock ‘n’ roll revival vocal group Darts, “Don’t Let It Fade Away” (UK #18, 1978)
1953 ● Horace Panter / (Stephen Graham Panter) → Bassist for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), then pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994) and The Specials reunion concert, author and special needs teacher
1954 ● Ron Beitle → Drummer with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976)
1958 ● Martin Jackson → Drummer with post-punk Magazine, “Shot By Both Sides” (UK #41, 1978) and for Brit sophisti-pop Swing Out Sister, “Breakout” (#6, 1987) plus other Manchester New Wave bands
1961 ● Keith McKenzie → Founding member and drummer for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebenezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Paul Oakenfold → Dance-pop “house” music pioneer and DJ, toured with U2, Perfecto Records founder, producer and remixer for Happy Mondays, Simply Red, M People, New Order, Stone Roses and U2
1964 ● Robert Clivillés → Songwriter, vocals, producer and one half of the R&B/electro-dance-pop team C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (#1, 1990)
1966 ● Peter Cunnah → Lead singer for 90s techno-dance-pop D:Ream, “U R The Best Thing” (Dance #1, 1993), solo
1971 ● Lars Frederiksen → Danish-American guitarist and vocalist in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995), producer
1974 ● Rich Cronin → Lead singer and chief songwriter for pop/rap trio LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones or Low Frequency Oscillator), “Summer Girls” (#3, 1999), left the band and attempted a solo career until dying from complications of leukemia on 9/8/2007, age 35
1986 ● George Ross / (George Ryan Ross III) → Lead guitarist and singer for alt rock/pop punk quartet Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

August 31
1918 ● Alan Jay Lerner → Grammy-winning stage, screen and pop music lyricist and librettist, songwriting partner of Frederick Loewe, co-wrote dozens of Broadway shows and movies including Brigadoon (1947), My Fair Lady (1956) and Camelot (1960), died from lung cancer on 6/14/1986, age 67
1937 ● Bobby Parker / (Robert Lee Parker) → Electric blues and blues-rock guitarist and songwriter, his lone charting single, “Watch Your Step” (#51, 1961) was covered by The Beatles, Spencer Davis Group, Carlos Santana and others, continued to record and perform regionally until his death from a heart attack on 10/31/2013, age 76
1939 ● Jerry Allison / (Jerry Ivan Allison) → Drummer in rock ‘n’ roll Buddy Holly & The Crickets, co-wrote “That’ll Be The Day” (#1, 1957) and “Peggy Sue” (#3, 1957), after splitting with Holly became de factor leader of The Crickets, but their success was limited
1940 ● Wilton Felder → Founding member and saxophonist with hard bop The Jazz Crusaders (jazz-funk The Crusaders after 1971), “Street Life” (#36, 1979), plus side work as a solo artist and session musician on electric bass for Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Randy Newman and others, died from myeloma on 9/27/2015, age 75
1944 ● Roger Dean → English artist and album cover designer for Asia, Atomic Rooster, Greenslade, Steve Howe, Uriah Heep, Yes and others
1945 ● Van Morrison / (George Ivan Morrison) → Northern Irish singer, songwriter, musician and poet, started as lead singer for Irish garage rock Them, “Here Comes The Night” (#24, UK #2, 1965), then a long and prolific blue eyed soul/rock solo career, “Brown Eyed Girl” (#10, UK #8, 1967) and over 40 albums plus six Grammy Awards
1945 ● Bob Welch → Pop/rock guitarist for pre-superstardom Fleetwood Mac, “Hypnotized” (1973), left in 1974 for largely unsuccessful solo career, “Sentimental Lady” (#8, 1978), committed suicide with a shotgun on 6/7/2012, age 66
1947 ● Peter Gage → Guitarist, pianist, composer and producer, founding member of blue-eyed soul Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, “Michael (The Lover)” (UK #39, 1966), later co-founded jazz-rock fusion Dada and R&B/horn band Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks (his future wife), produced songs for Brooks and albums for Joan Armatrading and The Meteors, among others
1948 ● Andy Stein → Classically trained violinist, saxophonist, arranger and composer, started with country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), thereafter in sessions or show bands and recordings with classical greats Itzhak Perlman and Placido Domingo, with pop artists Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and many others, with jazz artists Wynton Marsalis, Manhattan Transfer and multiple others, played with the Prairie Home Companion (PBS-TV) house band for 22 years.
1948 ● Rudolf Schenker → Founder (at age 16), rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1954 ● John Davis → Pop singer best known for actually singing the vocals for Milli Vanilli, the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo whose frontmen Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan were stripped of their 1989 Grammy award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, formed The Real Milli Vanilli in 1991 with other former Milli Vanilli singers to issue the duo’s second album, which had been recorded in 1990 but not released after the scandal hit, performed occasionally with Fab Morvan in Europe over the ensuing years and died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 5/24/2021, age 66.
1955 ● Anthony Thistlethwaite → Multi-instrumentalist for Celtic folk-rock The Waterboys, “Fisherman’s Blues” (Modern Rock #3, 1988), sessions, solo
1957 ● Gina Schock → Drummer 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
1957 ● Glenn Tilbrook → Songwriter, guitar and vocals for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (#49, 1981)
1959 ● Tony DeFranco → Lead singer for teen bubblegum-pop sibling quintet The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1960 ● Chris Whitley / (Christopher Becker Whitley) → Roots and blues-rock guitarist and songwriter with two charting singles in the 90s, “Big Sky Country” (Mainstream Rock #36, 1991) and “Living With The Law” (Mainstream Rock #28, 1991), died from lung cancer on 11/20/2005, age 45
1961 ● Bruce Guthro → Lead vocals and guitar for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1963 ● Larry Waddell → Keyboards for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1963 ● Reb Beach / (Richard Earl Beach, Jr.) → Berklee College of Music graduate, session guitarist for Chaka Khan, Roger Daltrey and The Bee Gees in the mid-80s, co-founded glam/prog metal Winger (“Headed For A Heartbreak,” #19, Mainstream #8, 1989) in the late 80s, played with several prominent hard rock and metal bands in the 90s, including Alice Cooper, Dokken and Sega, joined reformed Whitesnake in 2002 and currently tours and records with Winger and Whitesnake
1967 ● Gerard Love → Bassist for Scot pre-grunge, then power pop Teenage Fanclub, “Star Sign” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1991)
1969 ● Jeff Russo → Guitarist for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1970 ● Debbie Gibson / (Deborah Ann Gibson) → Teen pop singer-songwriter, “Foolish Beat” (#1, 1988) and seven other Top 25 hits in the late 80s, actress
1977 ● Craig Nicholls → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman for Aussie garage rock revival The Vines, “Get Free” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2002)
1977 ● Del Marquis / (Derek Gruen) → Guitarist for dance-glam-rock Scissor Sisters, “Filthy Gorgeous” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)

September 01
1927 ● Tommy Evans → Bass vocals for R&B/doo wop The Drifters, “Fools Fall In Love” (#69, R&B #10, 1957)
1931 ● Boxcar Willie / (Lecil Travis Martin) → Popular country singer and hobo-garbed persona, regular guest on TV show Hee Haw, charted eight minor Country Top 100 hits, including “Bad News” (Country #36, 1982), perfumed on stage into the 90s and died from leukemia on 4/12/1999, age 67
1932 ● Cherie DeCastro / (Cherie Dawn DeCastro) → Middle of three sisters who formed the 50s Cuban-American pop singing trio The DeCastro Sisters (“Teach Me Tonight,” #2, 1954) and the only one to appear on every recording, TV appearance and stage performance made by the group over several decades, died from pneumonia on 3/14/2010, age 87
1933 ● Conway Twitty / (Harold Lloyd Jenkins) → Early rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and pop singer, “It’s Only Make Believe” (#1, 1958), then 70s and 80s country superstar, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” (Country #1, 1981) and over 50 other Country #1 hits, died suddenly from an abdominal aneurysm on 6/5/1993, age 59
1933 ● Marshall Lytle → Rock ‘n’ roll bass guitarist and member of Bill Haley & His Comets, played bass on all their hits including “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955), left to form Las Vegas lounge act The Jodimars, died from lung cancer on 5/25/2013, age 79
1944 ● Archie Bell → Frontman for R&B/Philly soul and funk Archie Bell & The Drells, “Tighten Up” (#1, 1968) and twelve additional R&B Top 40 singles
1945 ● Diane Ray → One hit wonder teenaged pop singer, “Please Don’t Talk To The Lifeguard” (#31, 1963)
1945 ● Peter Hewson → Vocals for Brit pop-rock Chicory Tip, “Son Of My Father” (UK #1, 1972), one of the first hit singles to prominently feature a Moog synthesizer
1946 ● Barry Gibb → Vocals and guitar for pop-rock then disco sibling trio The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (#1, 1977), as a songwriter wrote or co-wrote dozens of Top 40 hits, including a Number 1 song in each decades from the 60s to the 00s
1946 ● Greg Errico → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” (#1, 1971), toured Weather Report in 1973, played with David Bowie‘s band in 1974, has toured or played with numerous other rock and funk acts, including Santana, the Jerry Garcia Band, Tower of Power, and Journey
1949 ● Russell Field → Guitarist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1955 ● Bruce Foxton → Bass, vocals and songwriter for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982) and the reformed late 80s version of Irish punk rock Stiff Little Fingers
1957 ● Gloria Estefan / (Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García) → Seven-time Grammy-winning Cuban/American singer and songwriter, lead vocals for Latin dance-pop Miami Sound Machine, “Anything For You” (#1, 1988), solo with multiple Top 10 hits, including salsa/disco revival “Oye!” (Dance/Club #1, 1998)
1960 ● Cass / (Cass Lewis) → Bassist for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1965 ● Craig McLachlan → Aussie TV actor and pop singer, covered Bo Diddley‘s “Mona” (UK #2, 1990)
1970 ● Spigg Nice / (Ronald Blackwell) → DJ and rapper for influential 90s gangsta rap The Lost Boyz, “Music Makes Me High” (#51, Dance/Club #3, Rap #5, 1996), tried and sentenced in 2004 to 37 years in prison for multiple bank robberies in New Jersey
1973 ● J.D. Fortune / (Jason Dean Bennison) → Canadian singer and winner of the 2005 CBS reality TV series Rock Star: INXS, since then has fronted Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Pretty Vegas” (#37, Hot Digital #9, 2005)
1976 ● Babydaddy / (Scot Hofman) → Bassist for dance-glam-rock Scissor Sisters, “Filthy Gorgeous” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1976 ● Peter Brown → Drummer for post-grunge Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag” (Modern Rock #7, 2001)
1984 ● Joseph Mark Trohman → Guitarist for alt rock/punk-pop Fall Out Boy, “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” (#2, 2007)

September 02
1914 ● Booker T. Laury / (Lawrence Laury) → Overlooked Memphis blues, gospel and boogie-woogie piano player in the barrelhouse style with a performing and recording career that spanned nearly 60 years, but only got to recorded his own solo album in 1990 at the age of 76 and never achieved fame nor fortune, died of cancer on 9/23/1995, age 81
1925 ● Hugo Montenegro → Composer, arranger and orchestra conductor primarily for film soundtracks, including “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” (#2, 1968), died from emphysema on 2/6/1981, age 55
1925 ● Russ Conway / (Trevor Herbert Stanford) → Pop music pianist and composer, instrumental “Side Saddle” (UK #1, 1959) plus 17 other UK Top 40 singles, died on 11/16/2000, age 75
1932 ● Emil Richards / (Emilio Joseph Radocchia) → Veteran vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and session musician whose finger-snapping kept time on The Addams Family TV theme song, whose bongo playing underscored the Mission Impossible theme, and who performed as part of the Wrecking Crew team of L.A. studio musicians, appearing on thousands of recordings by George Harrison, Quincy Jones, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa and scores of others, issued nine LPs as frontman for the Microtonal Blues Band and other groups, collected over 350 world music instruments and eventually donated or sold the collection before dying from undisclosed causes on 12/13/2019, age 87.
1933 ● Richard Lewis → Tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958)
1938 ● Judy Clay / (Judith Grace Guions) → R&B/soul and gospel singer best known for her duets with Billy Vera as The Sweet Inspirations, the first interracial singing duo, “Storybook Children” (#54, R&B #20, 1968), recorded several other minor hits as a solo artist and turned to session work for Ray Charles, Van Morrison and others, died from injuries in a car accident on 7/19/2001, age 62
1939 ● Bobby Purify / (Robert Lee Dickey) → With cousin James Purify, R&B/Southern soul duo James & Bobby Purify, their debut single “I’m Your Puppet” (#6, R&B #5, 1966) mixed doo wop and Stax-style horns and sold over a million copies, issued nine other charting singles before retiring in 1970, became a city maintenance supervisor in Florida and occasionally performed at gospel music events, died from undisclosed causes on 12/29/2011, age 72.
1939 ● Sam Gooden → Vocals for Chicago soul/doo wop The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, 1963)
1940 ● Jimmy Clanton → Swamp pop teen idol singer and songwriter, “Just A Dream” (#4, 1958), continues today on the oldies circuit
1943 ● Joe Simon → R&B and country-pop crossover baritone singer, “The Chokin’ Kind” (#13, R&B #1, 1969) and 33 other R&B Top 40 singles
1943 ● Roz Ashford-Holmes / (Rosalind Ashford-Holmes) → Founding member and alto vocalist for Motown R&B/gospel-soul girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963)
1945 ● Marty Grebb / (Martin Joseph Grebb) → Multi-instrumentalist musician, played keyboard for Chicago-based pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams (“Kind Of A Drag,” #1, 1967) in 1966-1968, later toured with Leon Russell, Elton John, Chicago, and most notably Bonnie Raitt as a member of her band for 25 years, appeared on over 30 albums as a sessionman and issued two of his own in the 90s, most recently played in The Weight Band, a collection of former members of The Band, with whom he cut two albums in the 90s, developed cancer in ca. 2015 and died from an apparent suicide on 1/1/2020, age 74.
1946 ● Billy Preston / (William Everett Preston) → Child prodigy pianist and Grammy-winning gospel-rooted R&B/soul-funk keyboardist, singer and songwriter, “Will It Go Round In Circles” (#1, 1972) and nine other Top 40 hits, in-demand session musician for Little Richard, Ray Charles and others, the only musician to be credited on a Beatles recording other than the band’s four members (“Let It Be” is listed as Beatles with Billy Preston), fell into a coma following a pericarditis attack at a drug rehabilitation center and died seven months later on 6/6/2006, age 59
1951 ● Mik Kaminski / (Michael Kaminski) → Violinist for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits, later co-founded one hit wonder pop Violinski, “Clog Dance” (UK #17, 1979)
1952 ● Fritz McIntyre → Keyboards for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986)
1953 ● John Zorn → Avant-garde and experimental music composer, arranger and producer, performed on scores of albums as a solo artist or with multiple musicians in a broad range of genres, composed film scores and TV jingles and produced the Filmworks 25-volume collection of movie soundtracks
1957 ● Steve Porcaro / (Steven Maxwell Porcaro) → Founding member, keyboards and songwriter for pop/arena rock Toto (“Africa,” #1, 1982), younger brother of bandmates Jeff and Mike Porcaro, son of jazz/pop drummer Joe, left the band in 1987 for a solo career, songwriting and film score composing, session work for Yes, Michael Jackson and Jefferson Airplane, and producing for and collaborating with his daughter Heather and others, rejoined Toto for tours in 2010 and 2015.
1958 ● Jerry Augustyniak / (Jerome Stanley Augustyniak) → Drummer for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, “These Are Days” (Alt-Rock #1, 1992)
1959 ● Paul Deakin → Drummer for Grammy-winning country-rock The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” (Country #13, 1996)
1966 ● Dino Cazares → Co-founder and guitarist for industrial metal Fear Factory (“Shock,” Mainstream Rock #16, 1998) as well as metal bands Nailbomb, Asesino, Brujeria and Divine Heresy, perfected the technique of using digital modeling processors in his guitar work
1969 ● K-Ci Hailey / (Cedric Hailey) → With brother Joel, vocals in R&B/electro-dance “bad boy” quartet Jodeci, “Lately” (#4, 1993), left with Joel to form romantic soul duo K-Ci & JoJo, “All My Life” (#1, 1998)
1975 ● Tony Thompson → Lead vocalist for R&B/New Jack Swing quintet Hi-Five, “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” (#1, 1991), died after accidentally inhaling Freon from an air conditioning unit on 6/1/2007, age 31
1987 ● Spencer James Smith → Drummer for alt rock/pop punk quartet Panic! At The Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (#7, 2006)

September 03
1915 ● Memphis Slim / (John Peter Chatman) → Jump blues pianist, singer, composer and bandleader, his blues standard “Everyday I Have The Blues ” (1949) has been a Billboard R&B Chart Top 10 single for four other artists, including B. B. King, died from renal failure on 2/24/1988, age 72
1918 ● Donna King / (Donna Olivia Driggs Conkling) → Vocalist for complex and sophisticated four-part harmony 30s, 40s and 50s Big Band/pop sibling singing group The King Sisters, “The Hut-Sut Song” (Top 30, 1944), recorded with her sisters on hundreds of albums and numerous radio specials over three decades and in the musical-variety TV program The King Family Show (1966-1969) and holiday specials thereafter, died from natural causes on 6/20/2007, age 88
1925 ● Hank Thompson / (Henry William Thompson) → Plaintive-singing country-pop, honky tonk and Western swing singer, songwriter and bandleader with 29 Country Top 10 hits and five crossover hits in a 50-year recording career, including “The Wild Side Of Life” (#27, Country #1, 1952), inspiration for the lead character in the 2009 film Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges, performed until a month before he died from lung cancer on 11/6/2007, age 82
1933 ● Tompall Glaser / (Thomas Paul Glaser) → “Outlaw country” singer, guitarist, songwriter and key figure in the 1970s counter-culture movement of country musicians who eschewed mainstream Nashville principles for greater artist control and freedom, co-wrote “The Streets Of Baltimore” (Country #1, 1966) for Bobby Bare, joined with brothers Chuck and Jim in sibling trio The Glaser Brothers for 16 albums and 24 charting singles between 1960 and 1982 (“Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” Country #2, 1981), the trio also operated Glaser Sound Studios in Nashville (aka “Hillbilly Central” and a focal point for the movement), best known for teaming with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Jessi Colter on the groundbreaking 1976 album Wanted! The Outlaws, the first country album to sell over a million copies, his highest charting solo single was a cover of Shel Silverstein‘s “Put Another Log on the Fire (Male Chauvinist National Anthem)” (Country #21, 1973), died after a long illness on 8/13/2013, age 79.
1934 ● Freddie King (Freddy Christian) / (Fred Christian) → Nicknamed the “Texas Cannonball”, legendary electric blues guitarist and singer, “Hide Away” (#29, 1961), died from heart failure on 12/28/1976, age 42
1939 ● Joe Frank Carollo → Bass guitarist in studio instrumental pop-rock The T-Bones (“No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In),” #3, 1966), which morphed into pop-rock trio Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds with the pop-rock hits “Don’t Pull Your Love” (#4, 1971) and “Fallin’ In Love” (#1, 1975)
1940 ● Shadow Morton / (George Francis Morton) → Record producer, songwriter and manager loosely credited with creating the “girl group” sound in the 60s for his pioneering work with then-unknown the Shangri-Las, “Leader Of The Pack” (#1, 1964), also worked with Janis Ian (“Society’s Child,” #14, 1967) and produced several albums for psych-rock Vanilla Fudge (“You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” #1, 1966) and The New York Dolls, among others, died from cancer on 2/14/2013, age 35
1942 ● Al Jardine / (Alan Charles Jardine) → Founding member, guitarist and occasional lead vocals for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo
1942 ● Kenny Pickett → Pop music songwriter and original lead vocalist for underappreciated and little known (except in Germany) Britbeat/power pop The Creation, “Painter Man” (UK #36, GER #8, 1967), after the band’s dissolution continued as a songwriter and became Jimmy Page‘s guitar technician, issued several solo albums and enjoyed a career resurgence in the 90s, died on 1/10/1997, age 54
1943 ● Mick Farren / (Michael Anthony Farren) → Anti-establishment singer, songwriter, journalist, rock music critic and historian, bandleader for proto-punk/acid rock The Deviants and three albums, issued two solo albums, including Vampires Stole My Lunch Money (1978) and several singles, including “Broken Statue” (1978), died following a heart attack on 7/27/2013, age 69
1945 ● George Biondo → Bass and vocals for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Mike Harrison → Lead singer for British Invasion blues-rock The V.I.P.’s, then hard rock/blues rock Art and later Spooky Tooth, solo
1946 ● “Skinny Dennis” Sanchez / (Dennis Sanchez) → Tall and thin journeyman L.A.-area country-rock upright bass session guitarist who played with numerous country-rock and “outlaw” country artists, including Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, wrote “Bus Stop Coffee” (covered by Richard Dobson in 1975) and was referenced in Clark‘s venerable “L.A. Freeway” (Jerry Jeff Walker, #98, 1972), suffered from Marfan syndrome (genetic disease affecting the body’s connective tissue) and died onstage from heart failure on 3/20/1975, age 28.
1947 ● Eric Bell → Founding member and original guitarist for underrated Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy, “The Boys Are Back In Town” (#12, 1976), frontman for the Eric Bell Band
1948 ● Don Brewer → Founding member and drummer for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● dUg Pinnick / (Doug Pinnick) → Bass guitar, songwriting and vocals for progressive metal/Christian rock King’s X, “It’s Love” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1990)
1952 ● Leroy Smith → Founding member and keyboardist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (#14, UK #1, 1975), found dead in his apartment from bronchopneumonia on 1/15/2009, age 56.
1955 ● Steve Jones → Guitarist for premier punk rockers the Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977), later The Professionals and Neurotic Outsiders, solo plus collaborations and sessions for Thin Lizzy, Joan Jett, Megadeath and others
1957 ● Suzanne Freitag → Keyboards for German synth-pop Propaganda, “p.Machinery” (Dance/Club #10, 1986)
1960 ● Perry Bamonte → Former keyboardist and songwriter for post-punk art-glam-goth rock The Cure, “Friday I’m In Love” (Modern Rock #1, 1992), left in 2005 after being fired inexplicably and now plays bass in London-based rock band Love Amongst Ruin
1962 ● Lester Noel → Vocals for Brit electronic dance-pop Beats International, “Dub Be Good To Me” (Dance/Club #1, UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Jonathan Segel → French-born multi-instrumentalist and composer for eclectic alt rock pop-ska-punk-folk fusion Camper Van Beethoven, “Take The Skinheads Bowling” (1985) and others
1965 ● Vaden Todd Lewis → Vocals and guitar for post-grunge alt rock Toadies, “Possum Kingdom” (Modern Rock #4, 1995) and Burden Brothers, “Beautiful Night” (Mainstream Rock #33, 2004)
1971 ● Mike Wengren → Drummer for Chicago-based heavy metal Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1973 ● David Mead → Light pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Girl On The Roof” (2001)
1973 ● Jennifer Paige → One hit wonder dance-pop diva, “Crush” (#3, 1998)
1975 ● Redfoo / (Stefan Kendal Gordy) → With his nephew, Skyblu (Skyler Austen Gordy), one half the electropop, hip house duo LMFAO, “Party Rock Anthem” (worldwide #1, 2011), youngest son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr.
1979 ● Tomo Mili?evi? / (Tomislav Milichevich Sarajevo) → Lead guitarist for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1980 ● Cone McCaslin / (Jay McCaslin) → Bassist for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1984 ● Robert Curry → Singer with pre-fab contemporary R&B quintet Day26, “Got Me Going” (#79, 2008), the group was formed at the conclusion of the TV show Making the Band 4 on August 26, 2007

September 04
1930 ● Jerry Ragovoy / (Jordan Ragovoy) → Songwriter and record producer, sometimes under the pseudonym Norman Meade, co-wrote “Time Is On My Side” (The Rolling Stones, #6, 1964), “Piece Of My Heart” (Big Brother & The Holding Company, #12, 1968) and dozens of other songs for various artists in different genres, mostly in the 60s and 70s, died following a stroke on 7/13/2011, age 80
1940 ● Sonny Charles / (Charles Hemphill) → R&B/soul singer and frontman for 60s-70s blue-eyed soul Checkmates Ltd. (“Black Pearl,” #13, R&B #8, 1969), left in 1973 for a solo career (“Put It In A Magazine,” #40, R&B #2, 1983), joined the Steve Miller Band (“Abracadabra,” #1, 1982) in 2008
1942 ● Bubba Knight / (Merald Knight, Jr.) → Brother of Gladys Knight, vocals and de facto leader and manager of R&B/soul-pop Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1944 ● Gene Parsons → Drummer for seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), then country-rock Flying Burrito Brothers, solo
1945 ● Danny Gatton → Grammy-nominated virtuoso rockabilly-rooted session guitarist who blended country, jazz, pop and rock to create a distinctive style, frontman for country-rock the Fat Boys, Rolling Stone magazine’s #63 greatest guitarist of all time, died from an unexplained, self-inflicted gunshot wound in his garage on 10/4/1994, age 49
1946 ● Gary Duncan / (Eugene Duncan, Jr. (Gary Ray Grubb)) → Lead and rhythm guitarist for San Francisco-based psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970), formed and fronted his own Quicksilver in the 80s and rejoined QMS in the 00s, suffered a seizure and multiple cardiac arrests after a fall and was in a coma for 10 days before dying on 6/29/2019, age 72.
1946 ● Greg Elmore → Drummer for psychedelic folk-rock Quicksilver Messenger Service, “Fresh Air” (#49, 1970)
1950 ● Ronald LaPread → Bass and vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978)
1951 ● Martin Chambers → Drummer for post-punk New Wave hard pop-rock The Pretenders, “Back On The Chain Gang” (#5, 1982)
1960 ● Kim Thayil → Guitarist for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1,1994)
1969 ● Sasha / (Alexander Coe) → Welsh electronic dance-pop/house music producer and DJ, “Be As One” (UK #17, 1996), remixed tracks for Madonna and The Chemical Brothers, among others
1970 ● Igor Cavalera → Original drummer in Brazilian heavy metal/thrash metal Sepultura, “Roots Bloody Roots” (UK #19, 1996)
1971 ● Ty Longley → Guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/heavy metal Great White, “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), died along with 100 fans in a Rhode Island night club fire in 2/20/2003, age 31
1972 ● Guto Pryce → Bassist for Welsh electro-psych rock Super Furry Animals, “Northern Lites” (UK #11, 1999)
1974 ● Carmit Bachar → Vocals for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005)
1975 ● Mark Ronson → Brit music producer, DJ, guitarist, co-founder of Allido Records and frontman for Business Intl., “International Affair” (Rhythmic Top 40 #21, 2003), produced albums for Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse and others
1977 ● Ian Grushka → Founding member and bassist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1980 ● Dan Miller → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)
1981 ● Beyoncé / (Beyoncé Giselle Knowles) → Lead vocals for R&B/dance-pop girl group Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), then 14 Grammy-winning solo career, “Crazy In Love” (#1, 2003), actress and fashion designer

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