This Week’s Birthdays (February 20 – 26)

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Kurt Cobain

Happy Birthday this week to:

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)

February 21
1891 ● Karl L. King → Marching music bandmaster and composer best known for composing the music to the march music standard “Barnum And Bailey’s Favorite” (1913) and many other pieces, died from diverticulitis on 3/31/1971, age 80
1930 ● Allan Williams / (Allan Richard Williams) → Liverpool night club owner, impresario and first manager of the young and raw but talented band that would become The Beatles during the 14-week stint in Hamburg he arranged in 1960, lost his job when the band returned to Germany in 1961, later co-founded a Beatles festival in Liverpool and appeared at Beatles conventions worldwide until his death from natural causes on 12/30/2016, age 86
1933 ● Nina Simone / (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) → Jazz-pop-soul and Broadway singer, “I Loves You Porgy” (#18, R&B #2, 1959), died of cancer on 4/21/2003, age 70
1938 ● Bobby Charles (Guidry) / (Robert Charles Guidry) → Cajun-American singer, songwriter and pioneer of the South Louisiana sound known as “swamp pop,” wrote “See You Later, Alligator” for Bill Haley & His Comets (#6, 1956) and “Walking To New Orleans” for Fats Domino (#6, R&B #2, 1960), appeared with The Band on The Last Waltz album (1978) but not in the subsequent film, played with Paul Butterfield’s Better Days and other roots-rock acts in the 70s but largely disappeared from view in the 80s, died from diabetes on 1/14/2010, age 71
1942 ● Bob Allison / (Bernard Colin Day) → Vocals in pop-rock duo and Eurovision contestants The Allisons, “Are You Sure” (UK #2, 1961)
1943 ● David Geffen → Founder of Asylum Records in 1971, signed Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Tom Waits, among others, founded Geffen Records in 1980 (Donna Summer, John Lennon, Aerosmith and others), co-founded Dreamworks Studios in 1994 with Stephen Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
1946 ● Paul Newton → Original bassist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972)
1949 ● Jerry Harrison / (Jeremiah Griffin Harrison) → Guitar and keyboards for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), since 1991 producer for Violent Femmes, General Public, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many others.
1951 ● Vince Welnick → Co-founder and keyboardist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), then Grateful Dead, Missing Man Show and sessions, committed suicide on 6/2/2006 following many years of depression, age 55
1952 ● Jean-Jacques Burel → Bass and vocals for punk-rock The Stranglers, “Strange Little Girl” (UK #7, 1982), plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hits
1954 ● Billy Earheart → Founding member and keyboardist for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), left the Aces in 1985 to join Hank Williams Jr.‘s Bama Band for 21 years and work sessions for other top artists on nearly 200 albums, reunited with the Aces in 1994 and continues to tour and record into the 10s
1954 ● Mike Pickering → DJ, producer and record company recruiter, then founder and frontman for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1956 ● Lester Hunt → Guitar and backing vocals for re-formed Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1958 ● Mary Chapin Carpenter → Grammy-winning country-folk singer/songwriter, “Shut Up And Kiss Me” (Country #4, 1994)
1962 ● Mark Arm → Founder, vocals and rhythm guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1963 ● Ranking Roger / (Roger Charlery) → “Toaster” (Jamaican slang for rapper) in pioneering mixed-race British ska/pop/soul/punk rock fusion band The Beat (known as the English Beat in the US) and eight UK Top 40 hits in the early 80s, including “Mirror In The Bathroom” (Dance/Club #22, UK #4, 1980), formed pop-soul General Public with Beat-mate Dave Wakeling in 1983 and scored a half dozen US Dance Top 25 hits, among them a remake of “I’ll Take You There” (#22, Dance #1, UK #73, 1994), later issued several solo albums and collaborated with The Specials, The Police, Big Audio Dynamite and in Beat reunions, wrote his autobiography I Just Can’t Stop It before dying from lung cancer on 3/26/2019, age 56.
1967 ● Michael Ward → Guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), sessions
1969 ● James Dean Bradfield → Guitar and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● Eric Wilson → Bassist for California ska-punk revivalist trio Sublime, “What I Got” (#29, 1997)
1973 ● Justin Sane / (Justin Geever) → Irish-American lead guitarist, singer and songwriter in punk rock Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse” (Alt Rock #37, 2006)
1975 ● Wish Bone / (Charles C. Scruggs) → Rapper and former member of Grammy-winning hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Crossroad” (#1, 1996), Thugline Records co-founder
1979 ● Jennifer Love Hewitt → Film and TV actress, producer, director and one hit wonder pop singer, “How Do I Deal” (#59, 1999)
1986 ● Charlotte Church / (Charlotte Maria Reed) → Welsh actress, TV presenter and classical-turned-pop crossover singer/songwriter, “Crazy Chick” (UK #2, 2005)
1989 ● Corbin Bleu / (Corbin Bleu Reivers) → Actor and singer in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movie ever) and charting pop singer, “Push It To The Limit” (#17, 2006)

February 22
1896 ● Nacio Brown / (Ignacio Herb “Nacio” Brown) → Film score composer in the earliest years of sound, worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and frequently with lyricist Arthur Freed, wrote or co-wrote the music to hundreds of songs, including well-known movies soundtrack tunes such as “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” (1940) and “Singin’ In The Rain” (1952), died on 9/28/1964, age 68.
1923 ● Hurricane Smith / (Norman Smith) → World War II glider pilot and unsuccessful jazz musician, joined EMI as a sound engineer in 1959 and, among other bands, engineered almost 100 Beatles songs and all early albums through to Rubber Soul, when promoted to producer, worked with Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, Barclay James Harvest and others, switched to songwriting and recording as Hurricane Smith and had a UK #2 hit in 1971 (“Don’t Let it Die”), continued to record until his death from natural causes on 3/3/2008, age 85.
1927 ● Guy Mitchell / (Albert Cernick) → Croatian-American pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop singer and TV show host with nine Top 10 and 21 other chart hits, the last being “Heartaches By The Number” (#1, 1959), died from complications of cancer surgery on 7/1/1999, age 72
1936 ● Ernie K-Doe / (Ernest Kador, Jr.) → One hit wonder New Orleans R&B singer, “Mother-In-Law” (#1, 1961), died from kidney and liver failure on 7/5/2001, age 65
1938 ● Bobby Hendricks → R&B/doo wop solo singer with two minor chart singles, also with the Five Crowns, Swallows, The Drifters, “Save The Last Dance For Me” (#1, 1960)
1943 ● Louise Lopez → Vocals for R&B/disco-dance-funk trio Odyssey, “Inside Out” (#12, 1982) and “Use It Up And Wear It Out” (UK #1, 1980)
1944 ● Mick Green / (Michael Robert Green) → Renowned rock guitarist for pre-Beatles top Brit rock ‘n roll Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (UK #1, 1960), then Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964), died from heart failure on 1/11/2010, age 65
1945 ● Oliver / (William Oliver Swofford) → Broadway actor and singer in the musical Hair, “Good Morning Starshine” (#3, 1969), died of cancer 2/12/2000, age 55
1950 ● Genesis Breyer P-Orridge / (Neil Andrew Megson) → Controversial, anti-establishment, contrarian, gender-neutral English performing artist and songwriter, co-founder and lead signer of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle from 1975-1981 and frontperson for experimental band Psychic TV from 1981-1991, relocated to New York City in the early 90s following false accusations of child sexual abuse, married and began an attempt to unite as a “pandrogyne”, or single entity, with he/r wife, Jacqueline “Lady Jaye” Breyer, through surgery so as to physically resemble one another, retired from music in 2009 to focus on he/r avant-garde painting and sculpting but continued to record and tour in Psychic TV reunions, with whom s/he ultimately released over 100 albums, died from leukemia on 3/14/2020, age 70.
1953 ● Graham Lewis → Bassist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1953 ● Nigel Planer → Brit stage, TV and film actor, charted with a cover of Traffic‘s “Hole In My Shoe” (UK #2, 1984)
1953 ● Sparko Sparks / (John B. Sparks) → Founding member and first bassist for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1954 ● Steve Holland → Co-founder and co-lead guitarist for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1980), co-wrote “Bounty Hunter,” “Whiskey Man” and other songs, left the band in 1984, formed hard rock Gator Country with other former Molly Hatchet bandmates in 2005, died from undisclosed causes on 8/2/2020, age 66.
1955 ● Jon Brant → Bassist from 1981-88 for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988), sessions
1963 ● Rob Lambert → Saxophone for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1973 ● Scott Phillips → Drummer for Grammy-winning post-grunge Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” (#1, 2000)
1974 ● James Blunt / (James Hiller Blount) → Acoustic folk-pop singer, songwriter and former Army captain, “You’re Beautiful” (#1, 2006), first Brit atop the US charts since Elton John‘s “Candle In The Wind” in 1997
1978 ● Jennifer Frost → Vocals in Brit girl group pop quartet Precious, “Say It Again” (UK #6, 1999), replaced Kerry Katona in 2001 in pop trio Atomic Kitten, “The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)” (UK #1, 2002), now a TV host
1979 ● Tom Higgenson → Vocals for pop-rock Plain White T’s, “Hey There Delilah” (#1, 2007)

February 23
1934 ● Arnold Gosewich → Ottawa-area chain record store owner who joined Capitol Records of Canada, rising to president (1969-1976) and then Chairman & CEO of CBS Records of Canada (1977-1982), left the music business in 1982 to become COO of book publisher Macmillan Canada, stepping down in 1989 to establish a book publishing consulting and literary agency, during his career also serving as president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, now known as Music Canada, and a director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, died on 10/20/2019, age 85.
1940 ● Rick Stevens / (Donald Charles Stevenson) → Nephew of bluesman Ivory Joe Hunter and lead singer for R&B soul/funk horn band Tower Of Power on their Bump City album and the hit “You’re Still A Young Man” (#29, R&B #24, 1972), convicted of the drug-hazed murder of three men in 1976 and served 36 years in prison, paroled in 2012 and recorded several unremarkable solo albums, died from liver cancer on 9/8/2017, age 77 1943 ● Gordon Nugent / (Gordon Geoffrey Nugent) → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Merseybeat pop-rock The Undertakers, one of the strongest Britbeat groups of the 60s that never charted in the Top 40 in the U.S. or U.K. 1944 ● Mike Maxfield → Guitarist and songwriter for British Invasion pop-rock Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, “Little Children” (#7, 1964) 1944 ● Johnny Winter / (John Dawson Winter III) → Respected blues-rock guitarist (Rolling Stone magazine #74), first in the Rick Derringer band, then his brother’s Edgar Winter Blues Band and solo, “Johnny B. Goode” (#92, 1970), produced three Grammy-winning blues albums for Muddy Waters in the late 70s, died from emphysema-related pneumonia in a Swiss hotel room while on tour on 7/16/2014, age 70
1946 ● Rusty Young / (Norman Russell Young) → Virtuoso pedal steel guitarist credited with bringing the instrument to the forefront in the merger of country and rock sounds in Southern California in the late 60s, co-founded and later fronted country- and roots-rock Poco, wrote the band’s biggest hit, “Crazy Love” (#17, AC #1, 1979) and led various Poco incarnations as the only continuous member of the band over five decades, issued a lone solo album, Waitin’ For The Sun, in 2017 and died following a heart attack on 2/14/2021, age 75.
1948 ● Steve Priest / (Stephen Norman Priest) → Founding member, bass guitarist and later lead vocalist for campy glam pop-rock The Sweet, scored a hit with “Ballroom Blitz” (#5, 1975) and three other mid-70s Top 10 singles before leaving in 1982 for an on-again-off-again solo career, several reunions and other projects, died from undisclosed causes on 6/4/2020, age 72.
1949 ● Tex Comer / (Terry Comer) → Bassist for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, “How Long” (#3, 1975)
1952 ● Brad Whitford → Rhythm guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for Grammy-winning, venerable hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1954 ● Jimmy Nail / (James Bradford) → Brit TV actor (Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Spender), novelist and pop singer/songwriter, “Ain’t No Doubt” (UK #1, 1992)
1955 ● Howard Jones → Synth-pop-dance singer, songwriter and keyboardist, “No One Is To Blame” (#4, 1986)
1955 ● Zeke Manyika → Vocalist for Scottish post-punk/neo-pop dance-funk Orange Juice, “Rip It Up” (UK #8, 1983)
1956 ● Paul O’Neill → Music promoter, band manager and guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns”, Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), later founded and led progressive metal/art rock Trans-Siberian Orchestra (“Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, 12/24,” Mainstream #29, 1998), a band best known for its extravagant metal-rock takes on holiday music, found dead in a Florida motel room while on tour on 4/5/2017, age 61
1958 ● David Sylvian / (David Alan Batt) → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1962 ● Michael Wilton → Guitarist for progressive pop-metal Queensrÿche, “Silent Lucidity” (#9, 1991)
1963 ● Rob Collins → Keyboards for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991), died in a car crash on 7/23/1996, age 33
1964 ● John Norum → Norwegian-born co-founder and rhythm guitarist for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986)
1967 ● Chris Vrenna → Drummer for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999), then Grammy-winning sound engineer and producer for Rammstein, U2, Weezer, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson and others
1971 ● Jett Beres → Bass and harmony vocals for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Lasse Johansson / (Lars Olaf Johansson) → Keyboards for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1977 ● Stuart Black → Bassist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)

February 24
1932 ● Michel Legrand / (Michel Jean Legrand) → French jazz pianist and award-winning composer with over 150 film scores and dozens of timeless songs to his credit, including an Oscar for “The Windmills of Your Mind” from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Song of the Year in 1972 for “The Summer Knows” from Summer of ’42, and a Grammy for best TV instrumental composition, “Brian’s Song” (#56, 1972), issued 24 albums as a solo artist (I Love Paris, Holiday In Rome and Castles In Spain were all US Top 10 albums) and collaborated with Stan Getz, Lena Horne and others on six more, remained active writing concertos, performing on stage and conducting major orchestras in Washington, D.C., Boston and Minnesota into his 80s, died from an immune system failure (sepsis) on 1/26/2019, age 86.
1941 ● Joanie Sommers / (Joan Drost) → One hit wonder 60s teen pop vocalist, “Johnny Get Angry” (#7, 1962), then Pepsi commercial jingles
1942 ● Paul Jones / (Paul Pond) → Harmonica and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964) and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo, actor and BBC radio presenter
1944 ● Nicky Hopkins / (Nicholas Christian Hopkins) → Session pianist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Steve Miller, Small Faces, The Who and others, died from complications following intestinal surgery on 9/6/1994, age 50
1946 ● Butch McDade / (David Hugh McDade) → Founding member and drummer for Grammy-winning 70s roots rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1, 1975), after break-up in the 80s performed session work and toured with others until the Aces reunited in 1994, died of cancer just four years later on 11/29/1998, age 52
1947 ● Rupert Holmes → Pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (#1, 1979), wrote the 1985 Tony Award-winning musical Drood
1947 ● Lonnie Turner / (Leonard Lewis Turner) → Co-founding member and bassist from 1966-1969 and 1975-1979 in blues-rock then psych-rock then pop-rock Steve Miller Band, “The Joker” (#1, 1973), also played with Dave Mason, Eddie Money, Tommy Tutone and others, died from lung cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on 4/28/2013, age 66.
1948 ● Dennis Waterman → Brit TV and film actor and singer with the theme from UK TV show Minder, “I Could Be So Good For You” (UK #3, 1980)
1949 ● Howie Blauvelt / (Howie Arthur Blauvelt) → Bass guitarist with Billy Joel in three obscure 60s bands, The Echoes, The Lost Souls and The Hassles before joining hard rock Ram Jam (“Black Betty,” #18, 1977), died from a heart attack on 10/25/1993, age 44
1950 ● George Thorogood → Frontman for long-time boogie-blues-rock group The (Delaware) Destroyers, “Bad To The Bone” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1982)
1955 ● Steve Jobs / (Steven Paul Jobs) → Immeasurably influential technology entrepreneur and industry visionary whose company, Apple, Inc. changed the music business through products such as the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, died from complications of pancreatic cancer on 10/5/2011, age 56
1959 ● Colin Farley → Bassist for New Wave pop-rock Cutting Crew, “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1962 ● Michelle Shocked / (Karen Michelle Johnston) → Urban/indie folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “If Love Was A Train” (Modern Rock #20, 1988).
1974 ● Chad Hugo / (Charles Edward Hugo) → Multi-instrumentalist and one half of the funk-dance-rock hip hop band N.E.R.D., “She Wants To Move” (Dance #6, 2004) and hip hop production and writing duo The Neptunes, produced numerous #1 hits for Mystikal, Jay-Z, NSYNC, Britney Spears and Nelly
1974 ● Wuv Bernardo / (Noah Bernardo, Jr.) → Founding member and drummer of Grammy-nominated Christian metal band P.O.D., “Alive” (Modern Rock #2, 2001)
1978 ● John Nolan → Lead vocals and guitar for punk-pop Taking Back Sunday, “Makedamnsure” (#48, 2006), left to form emo-pop quartet Straylight Run
1983 ● Matt McGinley → Co-founder and drummer for alt hip hop/rap rock Gym Class Heroes, “Intramurals: Cupid’s Chokehold” (#4, 2007), solo

February 25
1932 ● Faron Young → The “Hillbilly Heartthrob”, country music singer, songwriter and movie actor with twenty-two Country Top 5 hits, including “Hello Walls” (#12, Country #1, 1961), died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on 12/10/1996, age 64
1941 ● Sandy Bull / (Alexander Bull) → Multi-instrumental folk, rock and world music composer whose eclectic blends of folk and pop with Eastern influences presaged psychedelic music of the late 60s, left the industry for a time in the 70s due to drug problems, returned in the 80s and continued to record until his death from lung cancer on 4/11/2001, age 60
1942 ● Loy Bones / (Roy Michaels) → With Stephen Stills and Richie Furay in the Au Go Go Singers, then co-founded alt country rock Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, “Good Old Rock ‘N’ Roll” (#21, 1969)
1943 ● George Harrison → Lead guitarist (Rolling Stone #21), singer and songwriter for The Beatles, wrote their hit “Something” (#1, 1969), then solo, “My Sweet Lord” (#1, 1970), died of cancer on 11/29/2001
1943 ● Elliott Roberts / (Elliott Rabinowitz) → Hugely influential rock music manager for a variety of prominent 60s and 70s folk-rock acts, including Joni Mitchell, David Crosby and Jackson Browne, most importantly in a five-decade relationship with Neil Young as manager, confidant, advocate and friend, partnered with David Geffen in the 60s to develop the Los Angeles singer-songwriter scene, co-founded Asylum Records with Geffen in 1970, managed the affairs of Tom Petty, Eagles and others, launched the careers of Tracey Chapman and The Cars, died from undisclosed causes on 6/21/2019, age 76.
1945 ● Elkie Brooks / (Elaine Bookbinder) → Pop-rock singer in Vinegar Joe with Robert Palmer, then solo, “Pearl’s A Singer” (UK #8, 1977)
1947 ● David Stensen → Original bassist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968)
1950 ● Emitt Rhodes / (Emitt Lynn Rhodes) → Two-time one hit wonder pop-rock musician, first as a member of L.A. garage/psych-rock The Merry Go-Round (“Live,” #63, 1967) and later as a solo, folky-power pop singer-songwriter (“Fresh As A Daisy,” #54, 1970) and four albums in the early 70s, developing a cult following before ceasing recording and becoming an engineer and producer for Elektra Records for over 30 years, subject of the 2009 documentary film The One Man Beatles about his life and music, recorded his fifth and final album, Rainbow Ends in 2016, 43 years after its predecessor, died in his sleep on 7/19/2020, age 70.
1953 ● Reggie Lucas / (Reginald Grant Lucas) → Musician, songwriter and record producer, first as guitarist with Miles Davis‘s early 70s electric jazz fusion band and later with jazz-funk Mtume and in a songwriting and production partnership with bandleader James Mtume, with whom he co-wrote several hits, including Stephanie Mill‘s disco “Never Knew Love Like This Before” (#6, AC #12, R&B #5, UK #4, 1980), produced most of Madonna‘s 1983 debut album, Madonna (#8) and the hit “Borderline” (#10, Dance #4, UK #2, 1983), suffered a heart attack in 1991 and dropped out of the music industry, died of heart disease on 5/19/2018, age 65.
1957 ● Dennis Diken → Drummer for alt pop-rock The Smithereens, “Only A Memory” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988)
1957 ● Woody Wood / (Stuart Wood) → Bass guitar for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1959 ● Mike Peters / (Michael Leslie Peters) → Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk anthem rockers The Alarm, “Sold Me Down The River” (Mainstream #2, 1989), then solo and Dead Men Walking
1962 ● Pia Maiocco → Founding member and original bassist for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989), wife of influential guitar virtuoso Steve Vai
1965 ● Brian Baker → Bassist and sometime rhythm guitar for punk rock Minor Threat, then hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1973 ● Justin Jeffre → Vocals for American adult contemporary pop-rock boy band 98 Degrees, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (#2, 2000)
1976 ● Daniel Powter → Canadian folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bad Day” (#1, 2005)
1982 ● Robert Edward “Bert” McCracken → Lead vocals and songwriter for indie rock/screamo punk quartet The Used, “Under Pressure” (#41, 2005)

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1928 ● Fats Domino / (Antoine Dominique Domino, Jr.) → Early rock ‘n’ roll star and top rival to Elvis Presley in the 50s, combined rhythm and blues, boogie woogie and dance hall piano chops to create “Ain’t That A Shame” (#10, R&B #1, 1955) and 33 other Top 40 hits through 1962, lost his New Orleans home and memorabilia, including a National Medal of Arts, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, died from natural causes on 10/24/2017, age 89
1930 ● Chic Hetti / (Carl Cicchetti) → Vocals and piano for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1930 ● Doug Sandom / (Douglas Sandom) → Bricklayer by day, rock ‘n’ roller by night, drummer for The Who in the early 60s when they were The Detours, married with children and at least 15 years older (and maybe wiser) than his teenaged bandmates, let go by Pete Townshend after the band failed an audition with Fontana Records in April 1964 and was replaced within weeks by Keith Moon, dropped from the music business into obscurity in the construction trades but published an autobiography The Who Before The Who (2014), which included a foreword by Townshend, died (40 years after Moon) from natural causes on 2/27/2019, age 89.
1932 ● Johnny Cash / (J. R. Cash) → The “Man in Black,” one if the most influential musicians of the 20th century, super-legendary traditional and outlaw country singer, songwriter and guitarist with over 100 charting country singles plus two dozens crossover hits including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “A Boy Named Sue” (#2, Adult #1, Country #1, 1969), died from respiratory failure 9/12/2003, age 71
1943 ● Paul Cotton / (Norman Paul Cotton) → Stalwart member, guitarist, songwriter and vocals for premier country-rock Poco, joined the band in 1970 (replacing founding member Loggins & Messina) and stayed for nearly 40 years (except for a few short breaks), wrote Poco‘s second biggest hit “Heart Of The Night” (#20, Easy #5, 1979) and other memorable tracks, issued four studio albums in the 00s and 10s, died unexpectedly from undisclosed causes on 8/1/2021, age 78.
1945 ● Mitch Ryder / (William Levise, Jr.) → Frontman and vocals for classic rock ‘n’ roll garage band The Detroit Wheels, “Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” (#4, 1966) and 25 albums as a solo artist since 1967
1945 ● Bob “The Bear” Bear / (Robert Ernest Hite) → Harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died from a heroin-induced heart attack on 4/6/1981, age 36
1947 ● Sandie Shaw / (Sandra Goodrich) → Brit girl-group style pop singer, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#52, UK #1, 1967)
1950 ● Jonathan Cain → Keyboards for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989)
1953 ● Michael Bolton / (Michael Bolotin) → Solo pop-rock singer, then lead vocals for heavy metal Blackjack, then Grammy-winning solo soft pop-rock balladeer, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” (#1, 1990) and five Top 10 albums
1958 ● Steve Grant → Stage dancer, male model and session singer recruited to front pre-fab Brit synth-dance-pop trio Tight Fit to support the cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (UK #1, 1982) and several other UK hits for a brief period of stardom, after disbandment in 1984 returned to appearing in theater productions
1960 ● Jaz Coleman / (Jeremy Coleman) → Vocals and keyboards for post-punk/gloom-industrial metal Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (#25, 1981)
1961 ● John Jon / (Jonathan Hellyer) → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1968 ● Tim Commerford → Bassist for Grammy-winning punk/hip hop/thrash metal Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” (Modern Rock #6, 1999), then alt metal Audioslave, “Doesn’t Remind Me” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1969 ● Timothy Brown → Bassist for 90s Brit guitar-pop The Boo Radleys, “Barney (…And Me)” (Alt Rock #30, 1994)
1971 ● Erykah Badu → Smooth R&B/neo-soul songwriter and vocalist, “On & On” (#12, Hot Dance #3, 1997)
1971 ● Max Martin / (Martin Karl Sandberg) → Swedish music songwriter and producer for Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson,
NSYNC and Pink
1979 ● Corinne Bailey Rae → Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul songstress, “Your Love Is Mine” (Dance/Club #4, 2007)
1982 ● Nate Ruess → Lead vocalist for indie pop-rock Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2011), recorded with Pink (“Just Give Me A Reason,” #1, 2013) then started solo career in 2015 (“Nothing Without Love,” Rock #6, 2015)

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