This Week’s Birthdays (February 14-20)

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Pink Floyd (Nick Mason, right)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 14
1922 ● Murray The K / (Murray Kaufman) → Legendary rock ‘n’ roll impresario and radio DJ (WINS-am, WOR-FM, New York), self-appointed “Fifth Beatle” in the mid 60s, died of cancer on 2/21/1982, age 60
1926 ● Al Brodax / (Albert Philip Brodax) → TV producer with King Features Syndicate in the 60s, produced hundreds of “Popeye” cartoons and created the ABC-TV cartoon series The Beatles (1965-1969), then (over the Beatles‘ objections) convinced band manager Brian Epstein to back the now-classic, psychedelic “head trip” animated motion picture Yellow Submarine (1968), died from natural causes on 10/24/2016, age 90
1931 ● Phyllis McGuire / (Phyllis Jean McGuire) → Youngest and last surviving of the immensely popular sibling close-harmony trio the McGuire Sisters, their 50s wholesome act produced nineteen Top 40 singles, including “Sincerely” (#1, 1955) and “Sugartime” (#1, 1958) during the early rock ‘n’ roll years, appeared on “Your Hit Parade” and other national TV variety programs, disbanded in 1968 when the group was reportedly blacklisted for her romantic ties to mobster Sam Giancana, reunited with her sisters in 1986 and performed on Las Vegas, New York and Atlantic City stages for two more decades, lived in a lavish Las Vegas mansion until her death from natural causes on 12/29/2020, age 89.
1934 ● Merl Saunders → Multi-genre keyboardist, early bandmate with Johnny Mathis, collaborated with Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman and many other San Francisco artists in various bands, tours and recording projects, fronted his own bands and issued several albums of rock, blues-rock and New Age music, directed his own music label and worked with environmental charities, died from complications of a stroke on 10/24/2008, age 78
1934 ● Florence Henderson → Actress and singer with a six-decade career on stage, film and TV, appeared in multiple Broadway shows and as the lead in the musical Fanny (1954-1956), hosted her own variety and cooking TV programs and guested on game shows, issued two albums of Broadway songs, appeared on Dancing With The Stars at age 76, best known as the upbeat mom Carol Brady on the hit sitcom The Brady Brunch (1969-1974), died of sudden heart failure on 11/24/2016, age 82
1937 ● Magic Sam / (Samuel Gene Maghett) → Chicago blues guitarist and singer, “Feelin’ Good (We’re Gonna Boogie)” (1963), died from a heart attack on 12/1/1969, age 32
1939 ● Blowfly / (Clarence Reid) → Mildly successful R&B/soul singer (“Nobody But You Babe,” #40, R&B #7, 1969) and songwriter for himself and others, but best known for his alternate stage persona, the X-rated, proto-rapper Blowfly, under which he continued to perform and record until dying from liver cancer on 1/17/2016, age 76
1940 ● Lillie Bryant → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s
1943 ● Eric Andersen → Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter, “Thirsty Boots” (1966), continues to tour and release occasional albums
1943 ● Maceo Parker → R&B/soul, funk and jazz saxophonist, played with James Brown in the 60s and George Clinton‘s Parliament/Funkadelic bands in the 70s, started a solo career in the 90s and issued eleven albums of soul/funk music, handled session work for Prince, Jane’s Addiction and others
1944 ● Nick Mason → Drummer and only constant member of space rock Pink Floyd since it formed in 1965, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), auto racing driver
1944 ● Alan Parker / (Sir Alan William Parker) → Highly-decorated British filmmaker and producer known for directing some of the the most successful musical films of the late 20th Century, including Fame (1980), Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), The Commitments (1991) and the Madonna vehicle Evita (1996), plus other films with more controversial subjects, Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988), The Life of David Gale (2003) among them, died following a lengthy but undisclosed illness on 7/31/2020, age 75.
1945 ● Vic Briggs → Lead guitar for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Doug Simril → Piano and guitar for blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1974) and Boz Scaggs‘ backing band
1947 ● Tim Buckley / (Timothy Charles Buckley III) → Innovative, genre-blurring folk-psych-prog-rock singer and songwriter with little commercial success but plenty of influences, including his folk-rock and blues singer/songwriter son Jeff Buckley, died from a drug overdose on 6/29/1975, age 28
1950 ● Roger Fisher → Guitarist and founding member of hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1980 and in 1988 co-founded Canadian power ballad rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1951 ● Kenny Hyslop → Scottish journeyman drummer with glam-rock Slik, punk rock The Skids, synth-pop Simple Minds, “Don’t You, Forget About Me” (#1, 1985) and others
1951 ● Sylvain Sylvain / (Sylvain Sylvain Mizrahi) → Egypt-born, Syrian-descent Jewish guitarist and co-founder of early and short-lived, but highly influential proto-punk New York Dolls (“Personality Crisis,” 1973), one of the earliest bands in the nascent New York punk scene who mostly invented the loud, brash, campy-glam sound perfected by others in coming years, including The Ramones, Television and the Sex Pistols, after the Dolls dissolved in 1977 fronted his own groups before joining former bandmate David Johansen for Dolls reunion tours, three albums and a documentary film between 2004 and 2011, continued to perform until contracting cancer in 2019, died from the disease on 1/13/2021, age 69.
1963 ● D’wayne Wiggins → R&B and blues guitarist, producer, composer and community activist, with his brother, Raphael Saadiq and cousin, Timothy Christian, founded R&B/dance Tony! Toni! Toné! (“Feels Good,” #9, R&B #1, 1990), developed and signed Destiny’s Child – the most successful girl group of all time – to his Grass Roots Entertainment label, worked with Alicia Keys, India Arie, Jamie Foxx and others, continues to tour with a reformed Tony! Toni! Toné!
1967 ● Jason Rainey → Co-founder and rhythm guitarist for heavy metal Sacred Reich, one of the leading bands in the second wave of thrash metal music during the late 80s, played and toured as a key member of the group from 1985 to their 2000 break-up, rejoined in 2006 but replaced for medical reasons before their 2019 comeback album Awakening was recorded, died from a heart attack on 3/16/2020, age 53.
1972 ● Rob Thomas → Lead singer and principal songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000), solo, vocals for Santana on pop-rock “Smooth” (#1, 1999)
1975 ● Scott Owen → Stand-up bassist, singer and occasional songwriter for Aussie rockabilly The Living End, “Prisoner Of Society” (Modern Rock #23, 1997)
1977 ● Sean Watkins → Guitarist for Grammy-winning contemporary folk/progressive bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, “This Side” (Country #56, 2002), duo Fiction Family, supergroup Works Progress Administration and solo
1978 ● Ryan Griffiths → Lead guitarist for Aussie garage rock revival The Vines, “Get Free” (Mainstream Rock #27, 2002)
1980 ● Regina Spektor → Russian-American anti-folk/alt-rock singer, songwriter and pianist, “Fidelity” (#51, 2006) and the #3 album Far (2006)

February 15
1888 ● Lawrence Wright → Brit record shop owner and music publisher who founded Melody Maker magazine in 1926 and wrote or co-wrote over 600 songs between World War I and the early 60s, including “Among My Souvenirs” for Paul Whiteman (#1, 1928) and Connie Francis (#7, 1959), Melody Maker failed to report his death on 5/19/1964, age 76
1905 ● Harold Arlen → Composer and songsmith with over 500 song credits, co-wrote the Oscar-winning “Over The Rainbow” and other songs in the movie The Wizard Of Oz (1939), other credits include “That Old Black Magic” (Glenn Miller, #1, 1942) and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” (The Pied Pipers, #2, 1945) and several other songs now included in the Great American Songbook, died from cancer on 4/23/1986, age 81.
1918 ● Hank Locklin / (Lawrence Hankins Locklin) → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter with 70 chart singles, including six Country #1’s and the crossover hit “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” (#8, Country #1, 1960), died from unreported causes on 3/8/2009, age 91
1939 ● Alvin Cash / (Alvin Welch) → St. Louis high schoolmate of Luther Ingram and Tina Turner, then fronted song-and-dance troupe The Crawlers with two brothers, their chanting, funky R&B/dance “Twine Time” (#14, R&B #4, 1965) was one of five hits he recorded with the group or as a solo act, died from ulcer problems on 11/21/1999, age 60
1941 ● Brian HollandMotown musical arranger and producer with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, co-wrote dozens of hits for The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and others, issued solo albums.
1942 ● Glyn Johns → Recording engineer and producer, mixed The Who‘s Who’s Next album, worked with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The BeatlesLet It Be sessions, Joan Armatrading, Steve Miller, Eagles, The Faces and Led Zeppelin
1944 ● Denny Zager → Vocals in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1944 ● John Parry → Session musician and early member of Brit comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968)
1944 ● Mick Avory / (Michael Charles Avory) → Drummer for Brit folk-pop-rock The Kinks, “You Really Got Me” (#7, 1964) from 1964 to 1984, played in various 60s revival and Kinks spin-off bands through the 00s
1945 ● John Helliwell → Saxophonist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1947 ● David Brown → Bassist for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970) and the Boz Scaggs band, died from liver and kidney failure on 9/4/2000, age 53
1951 ● Melissa Manchester → Folk-pop/adult contemporary singer and songwriter, “Midnight Blue” (#6, 1975), TV, film and stage actress
1951 ● Alan Rogan → Freelance guitar technician with dozens of superstar and guitar-god clients, including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne, but closest and longest relationship with The Who and Pete Townshend, for whom he repaired scores of guitars smashed onstage as part of his act, played bass and fronted his own band, BluesClub, died of cancer on 7/3/2019, age 68.
1954 ● David Ricketts → Vocals, guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-pop duo David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”(Top Rock #8, 1986), collaborated with Sheryl Crow
1959 ● Ali Campbell / (Alistair Ian Campbell) → Vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Mikey Craig / (Michael Emile Craig) → Bassist for new romantic synth-pop Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon” (#12, 1984)
1962 ● David Milner → With twin brother Mike, vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1962 ● Mike Milner / (Michael Milner) → With twin brother David, vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1974 ● Mr. Lordi / (Tomi Petteri Putaansuu) → Founder and lead vocalist for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners if 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1974 ● Stuart Richardson → Bassist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1976 ● Brandon Boyd → Co-founder and lead vocals for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001), solo albums and author
1976 ● Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. → Drummer for pop-alt hard rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1977 ● Brooks Wackerman → Drummer for funk-metal Infectious Grooves, in 2001 joined hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995), plus numerous side projects and sessions
1980 ● Conor Oberst → Frontman, guitarist, lead vocals and songwriter for indie rock Bright Eyes, “Lua” (Hot Singles #1, 2004)
1981 ● Olivia Theresa Longott → R&B/hip hop soul singer, member of G-Unit Records house band, vocalist on 50 Cent‘s “Candy Shop” (#1, 2005) plus two solo albums
1984 ● Gary Clark, Jr. → Acclaimed Texas blues, blues-rock and R&B guitarist and actor whom Jambase.com called “the future of Texas Blues,” his 2012 major-label debut LP Blak And Blu reached #6 in the U.S., the Netherlands and New Zealand, recorded with Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys and Foo Fighters, among others

February 16
1916 ● Bill Doggett → Piano jazz and organ-based R&B/honky tonk composer, arranger and performer of mostly instrumentals, his biggest and lasting hit being “Honky Tonk” (#2, R&B #1, 1956), died of a heart attack on 11/13/1996, age 80
1918 ● Patty Andrews / (Patricia Marie Andrews) → Vocals in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop vocal trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died from natural causes on 1/30/2013, age 94
1924 ● Jo Walker-Meador / (Edith Jospehine Denning) → First paid employee of the start-up Country Music Association, rose from secretary to a three-decade tenure as executive director, oversaw the growth of the organization from 200 to over 7,000 members, opened the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, started the CMA Awards and CMA Fest, retired in 1991 and elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995, died from natural causes on 8/15/2017, age 93
1932 ● Otis Blackwell → Prolific early rock ‘n’ roll songwriter and producer, wrote “All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Great Balls Of Fire” and “Fever”, among many other hits recorded by a multitude of artists, died from a heart attack on 5/6/2002, age 70
1934 ● Hal Kalin / (Harold Kalin) → With twin brother Herbie, pop/rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder duo The Kalin Twins, “When” (#5, 1958), the first twins to score a #1 hit, died from injuries in an auto accident on 8/24/2005, age 71
1934 ● Herbie Kalin / (Herbert Kalin) → With twin brother Hal, pop/rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonder duo The Kalin Twins, “When” (#5, 1958), the first twins to score a #1 hit, died from a heart attack on 7/21/2006, age 72
1935 ● Sonny Bono / (Salvatore Phillip Bono) → TV actor, musician, producer and singer with partner/wife in pop-rock Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965), elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 and to the US Congress in 1994 (R-Cal.), died in a skiing accident on 1/5/1998, age 62
1940 ● Leon Ware → Jazz and R&B songwriter and producer, helped define the silky-smooth sound of “quiet storm” R&B, collaborated with The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, Minnie Riperton, Michael Jackson and others but is best known for co-writing and producing Marvin Gaye‘s 1976 album I Want You (#4, R&B #1, 1976), died from complications of prostate cancer on 2/23/2017, age 77
1944 ● Betty Thatcher / (Betty Mary Newsinger) → Chief lyricist for Brit folk/prog rock Renaissance (“Northern Lights,” UK #10, 1978) from the late 60s through the mid-80s then for various reformed variants, spinoffs and unrelated artists until her death from cancer on 8/15/2011, age 67
1946 ● Marvin Sease → Novelty R&B singer and songwriter known for his explicit lyrics and ladies’ man persona, his single “Ghetto Man” (1986) and the 10-minute “Candy Licker” (1987) became favorites in clubs and on jukeboxes across the Deep South and produced a cult following despite little radio airplay, his 15 studio albums had little commercial success except for Marvin Sease (#114, R&B #14, 1987), died from pneumonia on 2/8/2011, age 64
1949 ● Lyn Paul / (Lynda Susan Belcher) → Vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1953 ● Brad Bradbury / (John Bradbury) → Drummer in multiracial English ska revival band The Specials (“Ghost Town,” UK #1, 1981) and follow-on The Specials AKA, dropped out of music in the mid-80s but resurfaced for The Specials reunion in 2010, died from undisclosed causes on 1/28/2015, age 62
1956 ● James Ingram → Grammy-winning R&B/soul-pop singer, songwriter, musician and producer with eight Top 40 hits to his credit, including the duet with Patti Austin, “Baby, Come to Me” (#1, 1982), his solo “I Don’t Have The Heart” (#1, 1990) and a duet with Linda Ronstadt, “Somewhere Out There” (#2, 1987), collaborated with Quincy Jones on multiple projects: the all-star charity single “We Are the World” (worldwide #1, 1985); the soundtrack to the Steven Spielberg film The Color Purple (1985); singing on Jones’s 1989 album, Back On The Block; and co-writing Michael Jackson’s hit “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” (#10, 1983), died from brain cancer on 1/29/2019, age 66.
1958 ● Ice-T / (Tracy Morrow) → Grammy-winning R&B/hip hop producer and rapper, “New Jack Hustler” (Hot Rap Singles #3, 1991), founded rap metal Body Count and wrote lyrics to controversial song “Cop Killer” (1992), TV actor and host
1961 ● Andy Taylor → Guitarist for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982), left in 1985 to form Power Station, “Some Like It Hot” (#6, 1985), later joined hard rock Thunder, “Dirty Love” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1991)
1962 ● Tony Kiley → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1963 ● Chris Duarte → Texas blues-rock and jazz fusion singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cleopatra” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1997)
1965 ● Dave Lombardo → Co-founder and drummer for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1967 ● Damon Reece → Drummer for gloomy post-punk Echo & The Bunnymen, then space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1971 ● Steven Houghton → Brit stage and TV actor, singer and songwriter, “Wind Beneath My Wings” (UK #3, 1997)
1977 ● Brad Walst → Bassist for Canadian alt rock/punk metal band Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1990 ● The Weeknd / (Abel Testaye) → Juno-winning Canadian rapper whose career took off after he anonymously uploaded several tracks to YouTube under his stage name, later released multiple mixtapes, albums and single, including “Can’t Feel My Face” (#1, 2015),

February 17
1902 ● Hoppy Jones / (Orville Jones) → Founding member, bass, vocals and string instruments for pioneering black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), de facto leader due to his seniority and ability to control egos of younger members, died from a cerebral hemorrhage at the height of the band’s popularity after collapsing on stage in New York City during a performance on 10/18/1944, age 42.
1922 ● Tommy Edwards / (Thomas J. Edwards) → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “It’s All In The Game” (#1, 1958), died after suffering a brain aneurysm on 10/22/1969, age 47
1935 ● Johnny Bush / (John Bush Shinn III) → Texas honky tonk and hardcore country singer and songwriter nicknamed the “Country Caruso” for his smooth, full-range vocals, played with Willie Nelson in Ray Price‘s early 60s backing band and in Nelson‘s band The Record Men, issued several solo albums in the 70s and charted four Country Top 20 hits including the classic he co-wrote, “Whiskey River” (Country #14, 1972, which later became Nelson‘s signature song and Country #12, 1978), suffered a rare neurological disorder in the mid-70s and lost most of his voice, recovered by 1986 and resumed his performing and recording careers, including appearances at Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic, died from pneumonia on 10/16/2020, age 85.
1939 ● John Leyton → Brit teen idol pop singer and actor, “Johnny Remember Me” (UK #1, 1961)
1940 ● Gene Pitney → Stalwart pop/rock singer, musician and sound engineer with multiple hits prior to and during the 60s British Invasion, including “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (#4, 1962), also wrote hits for others, including “Rubber Ball”, “He’s A Rebel” and “Hello Mary Lou”, died in his sleep on 4/5/2006 while on tour in the UK
1947 ● Dodie Stevens / (Geraldine Ann Pasquale) → Girl-group era teenage pop one hit wonder singer, “Pink Shoe Laces” (#3, 1959)
1949 ● Doyle Bramhall → Austin, Texas blues-rock drummer, played with Jimmie Vaughan in several bands in the 60s, formed The Nightcrawlers with Texas rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and wrote or co-wrote several songs for SRV, played with both Vaughans on their 1990 album Family Style, died from a heat attack on 11/12/2011, age 62
1950 ● Rickey Medlocke → Founder and guitarist for Southern rock turned hard rock Blackfoot, “Highway Song” (#26, 1979), joined cross-town Jacksonville, FL rivals Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996
1966 ● Melissa Brooke-Belland → With sister Tracey Bryn, frontgal, vocals and guitar in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1967 ● Chanté Moore → Award-winning adult contemporary R&B singer, “Chante’s Got a Man” (#10, 1999), occasional stage actress and TV host
1970 ● Tim Mahoney → Lead guitarist for hip hop/reggae/punk rock fusion band 311, “Love Song” (#59, Modern Rock #1, 200$)
1972 ● Billie Joe Armstrong → Guitars, vocals and songwriting for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1972 ● Taylor Hawkins → Drummer for Alanis Morissette‘s touring band, in 1997 joined post-grunge Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1999)
1974 ● Bryan White → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter with eight Country Top 10 and four Country #1 hits, seven of which crossed-over to the lower pop charts, including “I’m Not Supposed To Love You Anymore” (#101, Country #4, 1996), currently crowd-funding a new independent album through Kickstarter
1977 ● Chris Gentry → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1978 ● Svein Berge → Norwegian electronic musician and one half of the duo Royksopp (“Do It Again,” Dance #1, 2014), worked on several remixes for Coldplay, Depeche Mode and others
1981 ● John Hassall → Bassist for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), now fronting indie psych-rock Yeti
1981 ● Paris Hilton → Socialite, heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, reality TV actress, fashion model, tabloid fodder, Internet sex tape star and sometime dance-pop singer, “Stars Are Blind” (#18, Dance/Club #1, 2006)
1982 ● Lupe Fiasco / (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco) → Record producer, music entrepreneur, MC and Grammy-winning rapper, “Superstar” (#10, 2007), CEO of 1st and 15th Entertainment
1988 ● Arin Ilejay / (Richard Arin Ilejay) → Former drummer for metalcore Confide and heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1989 ● Stacey McClean → Vocals in pre-fab teen pop S Club Juniors (a spin-off of S Club 7), “One Step Closer” (UK #2, 2002) and six other UK Top 15 hits in two years
1991 ● Ed Sheeran → Indie folk-pop and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist, started with self-issued releases in 2005 before signing with Atlantic Records in 2011, since then has charted eight UK Top 10 singles, including “Thinking Out Loud” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

February 18
1914 ● Pee Wee King / (Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski) → Early country-pop crossover singer and songwriter known for co-writing the country music standard “The Tennessee Waltz” (Country #3, 1948) and for three crossover hits in the early 50s, including “Slow Poke” (#1, Country #1, 1951), died following a heart attack on 3/7/2000, age 86
1933 ● Yoko Ono → Artist, poet, singer, bandleader of The Plastic Ono Band, widowed wife of Beatle John Lennon and mother of Sean Ono Lennon
1934 ● Skip Battin / (Clyde Raybould Battin) → Bassist, backing vocalist and occasional songwriter for The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros., New Riders Of The Purple Sage, plus session work for several other country-rock bands into the 90s, a solo album Topanga Skyline, recorded in 1973, was issued in 2012 after his death from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 7/6/2003, age 69
1939 ● Bobby Hart / (Robert Luke Harshman) → In collaboration with Tommy Boyce, pop singer, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (#8, 1968) and the prolific Boyce & Hart hit songwriting team, “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees, #1, 1966) plus dozens more Top 40 hits and over 300 songs
1939 ● Bobby Taylor / (Robert Edward Taylor) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and frontman for doo wop Little Daddy & The Bachelors and later Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, with whom he recorded a lone Top 30 hit, “Does Your Mama Know About Me? (#29, R&B #5, 1968), his Vancouver bandmate, Tommy Chong, went on to become a well-known comedian, also known as the producer who discovered and nurtured The Jackson 5 for Motown Records, died from cancer on 7/22/2017, age 78
1941 ● Herman Santiago → Original lead vocals for The Premiers, which became influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956), a song Santiago claimed to have written but lost his law suit (and millions of potential royalties)
1941 ● Irma Thomas / (Irma Lee) → The “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” acclaimed and Grammy-winning R&B/soul diva, “Wish Someone Would Care” (#17, 1964), never achieved the commercial success of her artistic peers, Aretha Franklin and Etta James, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1941 ● David Blue / ((David Stuart Cohen) → Greenwich Village folk revival singer, songwriter and record producer with seven solo albums in the 60s and 70s, participated in Bob Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid-70s, and appeared in several movies and stage shows before dying from a heart attack while jogging in New York City on 12/2/1982, age 41
1945 ● Jimmy Jewell → Backing band bassist for folk/pop duo Gallagher & Lyle, “I Wanna Stay With You” (#49, UK #6, 1976)
1946 ● Buddy Cage → Longtime pedal steel guitarist for pioneering psychedelic country rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage (“Panama Red,” 1973), also toured and did session work for The Band, David Bromberg, Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and many others, played on four Anne Murray and three Bob Dylan albums, including Blood On The Tracks (#1, 1975), founded hard-rock group The San Francisco All-Stars in 1978, continued to tour and record with NRPS until dying after an eight-year struggle with multiple myeloma (blood cancer) on 2/4/2020, age 73.
1947 ● Dennis De Young → Vocals and keyboards for prototypical arena rock band Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981), solo
1948 ● Keith Knudsen → Drummer and vocals for California soul-pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “What A Fool Believes” (#1, 1979), co-founded country-rock Southern Pacific in 1982, reunited with the Doobies in 1993, died from complications of pneumonia on 2/8/2005, age 56
1952 ● Juice Newton / (Judy Kay Newton) → Country-pop and roots-rock singer/songwriter, “Angel Of The Morning” (#4, 1981) and “Queen Of Hearts” (#2, 1981)
1952 ● Randy Crawford / (Veronica Crawford) → R&B/soul-jazz singer with jazz-funk-rock The Crusaders, “Street Life” (#35, R&B #17, 1979), plus solo “”Give Me The Night” (Dance/Club #21, 1996)
1953 ● Derek Pellicci → Drummer for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979)
1953 ● Robbie Bachman → With his brothers Randy and Tim, drummer for Canadian hard rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (#1, 1974), kept on as BTO after brother Randy left, was sued by Randy for rights to the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and BTO names/logos
1954 ● John Travolta → Actor and singer, Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978), duet with Olivia Newton-John, “You’re The One That I Want” (#1, 1978)
1955 ● Brian James → Guitarist for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), then goth-punk Lords Of The New Church, “Open You Eyes” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982) and Iggy Pop‘s touring band
1961 ● Jasper Stainthorpe → Bassist for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1965 ● Dr. Dre / (Andre Romell Young) → Grammy-winning pioneer gangsta rap and G-funk hip hop artist, “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” (#2, 1993), MTV rap show host
1966 ● Tommy Scott → Vocals for electronic/ambient house group Space, “Female Of The Species” (Modern Rock #15, 1996)
1970 ● Andy Williams → With twin brother Jez, drums and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)
1970 ● Jez Williams → With twin brother Andy, guitar and vocals for dance-pop/house music Sub Sub, “Ain’t No Love, (Ain’t No Use)” (UK #3, 1993), disbanded and reformed as alt rock Doves, “There Goes The Fear” (UK #3, 2002)

February 19
1924 ● Lee Marvin → Tough-guy TV and film actor in Cat Ballou (1965) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), scored a 1970 UK #1 single with “Wand’rin Star” from the soundtrack to Paint Your Wagon (1969), died of a heart attack on 8/29/1987, age 63
1936 ● Bob Engemann → Vocals in close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, “When I Fall In Love” (#1, 1961)
1940 ● Smokey Robinson / (William Robinson) → Motown singer, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, “The Tears Of A Clown” (#1, 1970), went solo in 70s and may be the top romantic soul/quiet storm singer of all time with more than a dozen R&B Top 10 hits, including “Being With You” (#2, R&B #1, 1981)
1940 ● Bobby Rogers / (Robert Edward Rogers) → Tenor vocals in R&B/smooth soul The Miracles, scored over 40 R&B Top 40 hits, including “Tears of a Clown” (#1, 1970) as Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, died on 3/3/2013, age 73
1942 ● Lenny Citrin → Vocals in New York R&B/doo wop one hit wonder Vito & The Salutations, “Unchained Melody” (1963)
1943 ● Lou Christie / (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) → Three-octave pop solo singer and songwriter with four Top 10 hits in the 60s, including “Lightnin’ Strikes” (#1, 1966)
1946 ● Paul Dean → Lead guitar for Canadian hard/pop-rockers Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (Mainstream Rock #6, 1981)
1946 ● Pierre Van Den Linden → Original drummer for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), left in 1973 but returned for sessions and tours through the 00s
1947 ● Schuyler Larsen → Bassist with one hit wonder folk-sunshine pop Every Mother’s Son, “Come On Down To My Boat” (1967)
1948 ● Mark Andes → Journeyman bassist for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), hard rock Jo Jo Gunne, “Run Run Run” (#27, 1972), light country rock Firefall, “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976) and pop-rock Heart, “These Dreams” (#1, 1986), then solo and sessions
1948 ● Tony Iommi → Pioneering and highly influential heavy metal guitarist and songwriter, founder and only constant member of hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998) plus solo work, “Goodbye Lament” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2000)
1949 ● Eddie Hardin → Replaced Steve Winwood on keyboards when the latter left British Invasion pop/rock The Spencer Davis Group for Traffic in 1967
1950 ● Andy Powell → Guitarist for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1951 ● Alan Merrill / (Allan Preston Sachs) → American musician, singer and actor best known for co-writing and recording the first version of “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (1975), his career starting as a teen pop idol in Japan with a hit single (“Namida (Teardrops),” 1971), as a model in commercials and as a Tokyo TV host, formed Japanese-American glam-rock Vodka Collins (“Sands Of Time,” 1972) but relocated to London during a contract dispute and founded pop-rock Arrows, who recorded “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (not promoted by the RAK record label and thus did not chart) plus “Touch Too Much” (UK #8, 1974) and two other UK Top 40 singles, after Arrows disbanded in 1977 returned to recording and performing in Japan with Vodka Collins reunions and in the US and UK with Arrows, issued fifteen solo albums from 1985 through 2019, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 3/29/2020, age 69.
1954 ● Francis Buchholz → Bassist for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1956 ● Dave Wakeling → Co-founder, lead vocals and guitar for ska-pop The English Beat, “Hands Off She’s Mine” (Dance/Club #22, 1980), left to form pop-soul General Public, “I’ll Take You There” (Dance/Club #1, 1994), then solo
1957 ● Falco / (Johann Hölzel) → Austrian pop-rock singer, “Rock Me Amadeus” (#1, 1986), the first US #1 for an Austrian pop artist, died in a car crash on 2/6/1998, age 39
1960 ● Prince Markie Dee / (Mark Morales) → Corpulent singer in novelty rap trio The Fat Boys, “Wipe Out” (#12, 1987), then solo “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)” (#64, Rap #1, 1993), producer for Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Lisa Stansfield and others
1963 ● Seal / (Seal Henry Samuel) → Award-winning Brit house music veteran turned soul-pop singer, “Kiss From A Rose” (#1, 1995)
1965 ● Jonathan Fishman → Drummer and songwriter for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), side project with funk-blues-rock Pork Tornado
1965 ● Kate Radley → Keyboards for space rock/trance rock Spiritualized, “Lazer Guided Melodies” (UK #27, 1992)
1969 ● Maniac / (Sven Erik Kristiansen) → Lead vocals and songwriter for leading Norwegian black metal band Mayhem from 1986-1988 and 1994-2005, fired for alcohol-induced misbehavior and formed extreme metal Skitliv
1975 ● Daniel Adair → Former drummer for post grunge/alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000), now with Nickelback, “Gotta Be Somebody” (#10, 2008)
1986 ● Maria Mena → Norwegian pop/rock singer and songwriter, “You’re The Only One” (Top 40 Mainstream #25, 2004)

February 20
1898 ● Jimmy Yancey / (James Edward Yancey) → Legendary boogie-woogie pianist and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1986), wrote and performed on the club circuit in Chicago for 25 years before his first recordings in 1939, thereafter released over 30 singles, often as a duet with his wife, “Mama” (Estelle), maintained a second career as a Chicago White Sox groundskeeper from 1925 until just before his death from a stroke on 9/17/1951, age 53.
1925 ● Robert Altman → Award-winning satirical comedy film producer/director, MASH (1970) and Nashville (1975), his 14-year-old son penned the lyrics to “Suicide Is Painless”, the instrumental version of which became the “Theme From M.A.S.H.” for the TV show, died of complications from leukemia on 11/20/2006, age 81
1937 ● Nancy Wilson / (Nancy Sue Wilson) → Three-time Grammy-winning jazz, R&B, blues, cabaret and adult contemporary/pop “song stylist” with over 70 albums and nearly 30 charting singles during a 5-decade career, her most well-known hit, “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” (#11, AC #2, R&B #45, 1964), led to an eponymous TV series and roles on multiple TV dramas, sitcoms and music variety shows, died from undisclosed causes on 12/13/2018, age 81.
1937 ● David Ackles → Unheralded but influential folk-rock singer and songwriter, noted for his album American Gothic (1970) and the minor hit “Candy Man” (1970), fans include Elvis Costello, Elton John and Phil Collins, died from lung cancer on 3/2/1999, age 62
1940 ● Barbara Ellis → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1941 ● Buffy Sainte-Marie → Canadian folk singer/songwriter “Universal Soldier” (1964), wrote “Up Where We Belong” for Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker (#1, 1982)
1943 ● Paul Leka → Songwriter, producer, composer and arranger, co-wrote “Green Tambourine” for The Lemon Pipers (#1, 1968) and the one hit wonder but enduring sports anthem “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” for pop-rock Steam (#1, 1969), died in a hospice on 10/12/2011, age 68
1943 ● Nancy Lewis / (Nancy Carol Lewis Jones) → College campus correspondent for Billboard magazine in the early 60s, after graduating moved to New York and London for music magazine Fabulous, in 1965 became public relations manager for Track Records and publicist for The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, as head of publicity for Buddah Records launched Genesis in the U.S. in 1971 and brought Monty Python’s Flying Circus to American TV in 1974, led the troupe’s successful lawsuit against ABC-TV for severely editing episodes of the program, a case considered a landmark in protecting the copyrights of writers/performers, her story became the subject of No Naughty Bits, the 2011 theater show in London, died from leukemia on 12/20/2019, age 76.
1944 ● Lew Soloff → Jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader and sometime actor best known for his years with jazz/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Spinning Wheel,” #2, 1969), recorded with George Benson, Maynard Ferguson and multiple jazz bands and ensembles over a 50+ year career, died from a heart attack on 3/8/2015, age 71
1945 ● Alan Hull → Founding member, vocals, guitar and principal songwriter for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971), solo, died of a heart thrombosis on 11/17/1995, age 50
1946 ● J. Geils / (John Warren Geils, Jr.) → Frontman and lead guitarist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982), died at home from natural causes on 4/11/2017, age 71
1950 ● Walter Becker → Bass guitar, vocals and co-songwriter for Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock duo Steely Dan, “Reelin’ In The Years” (#11, 1973) and nine other Top 30 hits, died from undisclosed causes on 9/3/20917, age 67
1951 ● Randy California / (Randolph Craig Wolfe) → Guitar and vocals for jazz-psych-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), drowned in Hawaii while trying to rescue his 12-year old son from a riptide on 1/2/1997, age 45
1953 ● Poison Ivy / (Kristy Wallace) → Guitarist for punk-rock The Cramps, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” (Modern Rock #10, 1989), married to Cramps singer Lux Interior who died on 2/4/2009
1960 ● Kee Marcello / (Kjell Hilding Lövbom) → Original guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo
1960 ● Mark Riley → Frontman and singer for Latin-tinged jazz-dance-pop Matt Bianco, “Don’t Blame It On That Girl’ (UK #11, 1988)
1960 ● Robert Boustead → Bassist for rockabilly revival (“psychobilly”) King Kurt, “Destination Zululand” (UK #38, 1983)
1963 ● Ian Brown → Frontman and vocals for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “She Bangs The Drums” (Alt Rock #9, 1989) and solo, “Dolphins Were Monkeys” (UK #5, 2000)
1967 ● Kurt Cobain → Frontman, vocals, guitarist and chief songwriter for premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), committed suicide on 4/5/1994, age 27
1972 ● Neil Primrose → Drummer for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (Adult Top 40 #36, 2000)
1975 ● Brian Littrell → Vocals for pop-dance-hip hop Backstreet Boys, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (#2, 1997)
1977 ● Edwin Graham → Drummer for Brit hard rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #35, 2004)
1981 ● Edward Lay → Drummer for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)
1985 ● Yulia Olegovna Volkova → Singer for Russian teen-dance-pop duo t.A.T.u., “All The Things She Said” (Worldwide #1, 2002)
1988 ● Rihanna / (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) → Grammy-winning Barbadian dance-pop singer and songwriter, “SOS” (#1, 2006)

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