This Week’s Birthdays (February 25 – March 2)

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George Harrison

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 25
1931 ● Clarence Avant / (Clarence Alexander Avant) → Dubbed “The Black Godfather” in a 2019 video documentary, music industry entrepreneur with a long and remarkable career as a deal-maker, power-broker, record label executive, film producer, FM radio station owner, sports talent agent, community betterment advocate, and tireless supporter of Black musicians from Quincy Jones to Whitney Houston and Black luminaries from Hank Aaron to Barack Obama, his contributions to the music industry earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, died at home from natural causes on 8/13/2023, age 92.
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
1932 ● Armand Morales / (Armando A. Morales) → Co-founder and bass vocals for mid-60s Southern gospel quartet The Imperials, the group became one of the most successful Contemporary Christian Music artists of all time, with 23 CMC singles and nearly 100 albums, including 11 with Elvis Presley in the 70s and 23 others as collaborations with multiple CMC and traditional gospel artists, managed the business affairs, toured and recorded with the group for 55 years and was the only original group member still active at his retirement in 2017, died from natural causes on 12/5/2022, age 90.
1937 ● Arnold Skolnick / (Arnold H. Skolnick) → Manhattan-based freelance graphic designer given the last-minute task to design a concert promotion poster over a weekend and returned on Monday with the now-hugely recognizable image of a white catbird perched on the neck of an acoustic guitar, the iconic pop-culture symbol of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, received a pittance in royalties for his creation but enjoyed a long career in graphic media, arts book publishing and painting, died from respiratory failure on 6/15/2022, age 85.
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)

February 26
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” Hite / (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)
1952 ● John Giblin → Scottish bass guitarist and versatile session musician in multiple genres, appeared on several dozens of albums in pop-rock (Phil Collins), jazz-rock fusion (Brand X), folk-rock (John Martyn), avant-garde (Scott Walker), soul (Al Green) and many others, toured with Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox and others, joined synth-pop Simple Minds for tours and three albums from 1985 to 1989, collaborated with Kate Bush on tour and for six albums at various times from 1980 to a final tour in 2014, joined the Afro-rock band Osibisa in the 10s and died after a short illness on 5/14/2023, age 71.
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)

February 27
1936 ● Chuck Glaser / (Charles Vernon Glaser) → Country music singer and songwriter, joined younger brothers Jim and Tompall 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,” a focal point for the “outlaw country” movement) and among many others, published “Gentle On My Mind” (Glen Campbell, #39, 1968), ran the brothers’ businesses and released a final solo album, That’s When I Love You the Most before dying (two months after Jim) from unspecified causes on 6/10/2019, age 83.
1940 ● Howard Hesseman / (George Howard Hesseman) → Improvisational comedian and TV/film actor best known for his portrayal of Dr. Johnny Fever, the boozy, pot-smoking, disco-loathing, rock-loving washed-out DJ on TV sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati (1978-1982) and later as history teacher Charlie Moore on Head Of The Class (1986-1991), also made several dozen small-role appearances on screen and on stage over five decades, including TV programs That 70s Show (2001), Boston Legal (2006-07) and Saturday Night Live (host in 1979, 1982 and 1983), died from complications of an earlier colon surgery on 1/29.2022, age 81.
1947 ● Louis Clark → English keyboardist, orchestra conductor and music arranger who met Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) in a recording studio and subsequently provided the orchestration for five top-selling ELO albums and eleven UK Top 10 hits, including “Telephone line” (#7, UK #8, 1977), thereafter worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1981 created the first album in the Hooked On Classics series that fused classical themes and rock beats, rejoined ELO and successor bands at various times into the 00s and became president of the in English Pops Orchestra in 2011, recording and performing the Hooked On Classics series to a new generation of fans, died after a long kidney-related illness on 2/13/2021, age 73.
1948 ● Eddie Gray → Guitarist for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966), later psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1950 ● Robert Balderrama → Guitarist for garage rock ? and the Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1951 ● Steve Harley / (Stephen Nice) → Frontman and lead singer for glam-rock Cockney Rebel, then solo, “Ballerina (Prima Donna)” (UK #51, 1983)
1954 ● Neil Schon → Guitarist for Latin-tinged rock Santana, “Everybody’s Everything” (#12, 1971), then lead guitar and frontman for arena rock Journey, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), sessions and stints with Bad English and Hardline
1955 ● Garry Christian → Lead vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1957 ● Adrian Smith → Guitarist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1959 ● Johnny Van Zant → Lead vocals and frontman for his own band, then replaced his older, deceased brother Ronnie in the reformed Southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, issued solo “Brickyard Road” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1990), plays with older brother Donnie (formerly .38 Special) in hard Rock Van Zant
1960 ● Paul Humphreys → Keyboards and vocals for New Wave synth-pop Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, “If You Leave” (#4, 1986)
1963 ● Nasty Suicide / (Jan Stenfors) → Guitarist for Finnish glam-punk-metal Hanoi Rocks, covered Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Up Around The Bend” (UK #61, 1984)
1964 ● Derek McKenzie → Founding member and guitarist for Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1964 ● Ewen Vernal → Bassist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), now with folk-rock Capercaillie
1965 ● David Boulter → Keyboards for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1971 ● Chilli / (Rozonda Ocelean Thomas) → Vocals for R&B/urban soul-dance-pop girl trio TLC, “Creep” (#1, 1994)
1972 ● Jeremy Dean → Keyboards for indie power pop band Nine Days, “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” (#6, 2000)
1973 ● Peter Andre / (Peter Andrea) → Greek Cypriot, Australia-raised blue-eyed R&B/soul revivalist singer and former actor, “Gimme Little Sign” (Aussie #3, 1992), then urban dance-pop “I Feel You” (UK #1, 1995)
1981 ● Josh Groban → Adult-oriented pop and classical singer, “Believe” (Adult Contemporary #1, 2004), top selling US artist in 2007

February 28
1934 ● Giorgio Gomelsky → Georgian-born rock impresario, band manager, songwriter and producer, owned The Crawdaddy Club in London and hired The Rolling Stones as house band, managed The Yardbirds and other 60s Brit rock bands, guided early prog rock bands like The Soft Machine, 10cc and their 70s musical cousins, Gong and John McLaughlin, died from colon cancer on 1/13/2016, age 81
1938 ● Ed Cobb / (Edward C. Cobb) → Founding member and bass singer for clean-cut light pop vocal quartet The Four Preps (“26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” #2, 1958) and 6 other Top 40 hits between 1958 and 1961, later wrote and/or produced Grammy-wining and gold record songs for others, including the Standells‘ “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966) and Soft Cell‘s “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), toured with incarnations of The Four Preps into the 90s, died from leukemia on 9/19/1999, age 61
1939 ● John Fahey → Steel string acoustic folk and roots music guitarist (Rolling Stone #35), Takoma Records owner, died after undergoing sextuple bypass heart surgery on 2/22/2001, age 61
1940 ● Joe South / (Joe Souter) → Country-pop singer and songwriter, “Games People Play” (#12, 1969), session guitarist for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, wrote Deep Purple‘s “Hush” (#4, 1968) and Lynn Anderson’s “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1970), age 72
1941 ● Marty Sanders / (Martin Kupersmith) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), plus nine other Top 30 hits
1942 ● Brian Jones / (Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones) → Founding member, first band leader and original guitarist for The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” (#1, 1966), was fired from the band he started and drowned in his swimming pool while under the influence of drugs and alcohol less than a month later on 7/3/1969, age 27
1943 ● Donnie Iris / (Dominic Ierace) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for pop-rock The Jaggerz, “The Rapper” (#2, 1970), then briefly with one hit wonder funk-pop Wild Cherry, “Play That Funky Music” (#1, 1976), then solo, “Ah! Leah!” (#29, 1981)
1943 ● Barbara Acklin → R&B/Chicago soul vocalist and songwriter, “Love Makes A Woman” (#15, R&B #3, 1968), co-wrote “Have You Seen Her” for The Chi-Lites (#3, R&B #1, 1971) and MC Hammer (#4, 1990), died from pneumonia on 11/27/1998, age 55
1944 ● Storm Thorgerson / (Storm Elvin Thorgerson) → Commercial graphic designer and childhood friend of Pink Floyd‘s Roger Waters, Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, his firm designed the cover for the band’s The Dark Side Of The Moon album (1973) and covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Al Stewart, The Cranberries and many others, worked in graphic design until his death from an unspecified cancer on 4/18/2013, age 69
1945 ● Ronnie Rosman → Keyboards for bubblegum-pop Tommy James & The Shondells, “Hanky Panky” (#1, 1966) and psych-pop, “Crimson And Clover” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Don Ciccone → Founding member, bassist and songwriter for 60s pop-rock The Critters, wrote their biggest hit, “Mr. Dieingly Sad” (#17, 1966), later sang with Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and managed and played bass for Tommy James & The Shondells, died from unspecified causes on 10/8/2016, age 70
1946 ● Dieter Horns → German bass guitarist, backing vocalist and founding member of hard rock/proto-metal Lucifer’s Friend in two stints, 1970-1982 and 2014-2020, the band had minimal commercial impact but became a major cult force in early progressive rock and doom metal, in between performed and recorded with multiple German and European rock acts, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 12/19/2020, age 76.
1952 ● Kingfish Manion / (Eddie “Kingfish” Manion) → Saxophonist for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978), then with Bruce Springsteen‘s Seeger Sessions Band
1952 ● Jerry Hludzik / (Jerry G. Hludzik) → Bass guitarist and singer in Northeast Pennsylvania pop-rock The Buoys, whose sole single was a cover of Rupert Holmes‘ “Timothy” (#17, 1970), left with his Buoys co-founder Bill Kelly to start melodic rock Dakota, despite opening for glam-rock Queen on tour in 1980-81 and studio backing by horn-rock Chicago‘s Bill Champlin and Robert Lamm, the band never took off and disbanded in 1987, thereafter spent the 90s and 00s as a staff writer for MCA Records in Nashville and recording three albums using the Dakota name, reunited with Kelly and other former bandmates to issue a new Dakota album, Long Road Home (2015), died from early-onset dementia on 4/12/2020, age 68.
1953 ● John Wicks / (John Richard Wicks) → British guitarist and record producer, founder, lead singer and principal songwriter for classic 80s power pop The Records (“Starry Eyes,” #56, 1979), started a solo career after dissolution of band in 1982, recorded and performed as John Wicks & The Records for over three decades, as well as side projects with Paul Collins, Debbi Peterson of The Bangles, and others, died from pancreatic cancer on 10/17/2018, age 56.
1957 ● Cindy Wilson → Frontgal and vocals for New Wave alt-dance-rock The B-52’s, “Love Shack” (#3, 1989)
1957 ● Ian Stanley → Keyboards for New Wave synth-pop Tears For Fears, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1085)
1957 ● Phil Gould → Drummer for jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42, “Lessons In Love” (#12, 1987)
1967 ● Marcus Lillington → Guitarist for Brit pop-rock Breathe, “Hands To Heaven” (#3, 1988)
1969 ● Pat Monahan → Lead vocals for Grammy-winning roots rock/folk-pop Train, “Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)”, (#5, 2001), solo and songwriting with Guy Chambers
1971 ● Nigel Godrich → Grammy-winning recording engineer and producer for Radiohead, Beck, U2, R.E.M. and others, plus lead singer with Thom Yorke‘s Atoms For Peace
1972 ● Danny McCormack → Bass and vocals for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)

February 29
1904 ● Jimmy Dorsey → Reed player and Swing era Big Band leader with brother Tommy and on his own with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, multiple Top 40 hits including his last, “So Rare” (#2, 1957), died from throat cancer on 6/12/1957, age 53
1916 ● Dinah Shore / (Francis Rose Shore) → Popular 1940s big band then 50s pop singer with 80 consecutive charting hits, including “Whatever Lola Wants” (#12, 1955), film actress and four decade TV music variety and talk show host, died from ovarian cancer on 2/24/1994, age 77
1940 ● Gretchen Christopher → Vocals in pop/blue-eyed soul/doo wop trio The Fleetwoods, “Come To Me Softly” (#1, 1959)
1944 ● David Briggs → Rock album producer known primarily for his work with Neil Young and Young‘s backing band Crazy Horse from the 60s to the 90s, produced many of Young‘s albums, including Tonight’s The Night (1975), also worked with Spirit, Nils Lofgren and others,, died from lung cancer on 11/26/1995, age 51
1948 ● Ruby Wilson → The “Queen of Beale Street,” Memphis blues, soul and gospel singer with 10 solo albums and multiple recordings with Ray Charles, Isaac Hayes and The Four Tops, among others, performed in B. B. King‘s nightclub, on cruises and in several movies and TV commercials, suffered a heart attack and died four weeks later on 8/12/2016, age 68
1972 ● Saul Williams → Spoken-word rapper known for his blend of poetry and hip-hop, “NiggyTardust” (2007)
1976 ● Ja Rule / (Jeffrey Atkins) → Murder, Inc. label rapper, “Always On Time” (#1, 2002), actor and convicted felon

March 01
1904 ● Glenn Miller / (Alton Glenn Miller) → Immensely popular Big Band-era swing and jazz composer, bandleader, trombonist and movie actor, wrote dozens of popular swing hits, including “In The Mood” (#1, 1940), “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Top 5, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), died during a tour of Western Europe to entertain U.S. troops when the transport plane in which he was flying disappeared over the English Channel during bad weather on 12/15/1944, age 40
1922 ● Stan Applebaum / (Stanley Seymour Applebaum) → Acclaimed composer, arranger and orchestral conductor credited with working on over 30 Top 10 hits and more than 1,500 radio and TV commercials – with four Clio Award winners – wrote his first arrangement at age 12 and spent nearly 75 years of his adult life composing and arranging pop, jazz, light rock and orchestra music, including the orchestration on the Drifters‘ “There Goes My Baby” (#2, R&B #1, 1959), the first R&B record to use strings, served as principal arranger and orchestrator for the New York Pops for almost 15 years and wrote for orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic, donated his archives to the New York Public Library a year before dying from unspecified causes on 2/23/2019, age 96.
1927 ● Harry Belafonte / (Harold George Bellanfanti Jr.) → Songwriter, actor, social activist and beloved 50s-60s pop and adult contemporary singer best known as the “King of Calypso” for popularizing Caribbean ethnic music globally through “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” (#5, UK #2, 1956) and five other Top 25 hits plus three successive Top 5 albums in the U.S. in 1956-57, switched to an MOR sound in the 60s, appeared in numerous films and recorded into the 70s, endorsed the Kennedy Presidency in 1960 and followed with a long, outspoken and respected career supporting various civil rights, humanitarian and liberal political issues worldwide from the 60s through the 10s, died at home in New York City from congestive heart failure on 4/25/2023, age 96.
1939 ● Warren Davis → Vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958)
1942 ● Jerry Fisher / (Jerry Donald Fisher) → Blue-eyed soul and blues vocalist as a solo artist on the club circuit in the Southwest US in the 60s, joined jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Spinning Wheel,” #2, 1969) as lead singer for 1971, left in 1976 and became a restaurateur on the Mississippi coast, sold his property five months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in 2005.
1944 ● Mike D’Abo / (Michael David d’Abo) → Singer, songwriter and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (#1, 1964), wrote The Foundations‘ “Build Me Up Buttercup” (#3, 1969) and Rod Stewart‘s “Handbags & Gladrags” (#42, 1972)
1944 ● Roger Daltrey → Lead singer for venerable hard rock The Who, “Who Are You” (#14, 1978) and solo, “After The Fire” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1946 ● Tony Ashton / (Edward Anthony Ashton) → Vocals and keyboards in 60s Merseybeat quintet The Remo Four, backed George Harrison on his Wonderwall Music soundtrack album (1968), co-founded early 70s art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke (“Resurrection Shuffle,” #40, UK #3, 1971), briefly joined prog rock Family and collaborated with Deep Purple‘sJon Lord on a number of projects, turned to art and writing in the 90s and died from cancer on 5/28/2001, age 55
1947 ● Burning Spear / (Winston Rodney) → Two-time Grammy-winning roots-reggae singer, songwriter, Rastafarian preacher and bandleader with eleven Top 20 charting world and reggae music albums
1947 ● Alan Thicke / (Alan Willis Jeffrey Thicke) → Canadian songwriter, stage and screen actor with multiple credits, producer and TV show host, co-wrote Bill Champlin‘s minor hit “Sara” (1978), composed TV theme songs, including Diff’rent Strokes (1978) and The Facts Of Life (1979), hosted The Thicke Of The Night talk show (1983-84) and starred in the sitcom Growing Pains (1985-1992), died from an aortic dissection on 12/13/2016, age 69
1950 ● Dave Marsh → Rock music critic, magazine editor, author and radio talk show host, founding editor of music magazine Creem, wrote for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone and other music magazines, credited with coining the term “punk rock” in 1971, serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selection committee
1957 ● Jon Carroll → Singer in AM Pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, UK #18, 1976).
1958 ● Nik Kershaw → Singer, songwriter, jazz-funk guitarist and 80s teen idol, “Wouldn’t It Be Good” (#46, UK #4, 1984), producer
1962 ● Bill Leen → Bassist and co-founder of power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994)
1962 ● Peter Stephenson → Founding member and keyboards in Scottish electronic psych/dance rock crossover band The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode” (UK #1, 1992)
1963 ● Christina Bergmark → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish alt rock The Wannadies, “You And Me Song” (UK #18, 1996)
1963 ● Rob Affuso → Drummer for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989)
1969 ● Davydd Leuan → Drummer for Welsh electro-psych rock Super Furry Animals, “Northern Lites” (UK #11, 1999)
1973 ● Ryan Peake → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1987 ● Ke$ha / (Kesha Rose Sebert) → Dance-pop rapper with Flo Rida, “Right Round”, (#1, 2009) and solo, “Tik Tok” (#1, 2010)
1994 ● Justin Bieber → Canadian teen idol pop singer and the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Baby” (#5, 2010)

March 02
1900 ● Kurt Weill → German stage producer and composer, frequently in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, co-wrote the stage production The Threepenny Opera and the now-standard “Mack The Knife” which was covered by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin (#1, 1959), Frank Sinatra, The Psychedelic Furs and several others, died after suffering a heart attack on 4/3/1950, age 50
1917 ● Desi Arnaz, Sr. → Musician and bandleader who helped popularize conga music in the US by adding Latin-Cuban themes to Big Band pop in the 40s, then became the beloved character Ricky Ricardo opposite his wife, Lucille Ball on the enduring 50s-60s I Love Lucy series, died from lung cancer on 12/2/1986, age 69
1938 ● Lawrence Payton → Tenor vocals and songwriter for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), on died 6/20/1997, age 59
1941 ● Keith Potger → Founding member, guitar and vocals for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967) and The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972)
1942 ● Lou Reed / (Lewis Allan Reed) → Founding member, singer, songwriter and guitarist for proto-punk The Velvet Underground, “White Light, White Heat” (1968), then renowned four decade solo career, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#16, 1973), died from liver failure on 10/27/2013, age 71
1943 ● Tony Meehan / (Daniel Joseph Anthony Meehan) → Drummer for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), died after an accidental fall at home in London on 11/28/2005, age 62
1946 ● Bobby Eli / (Eli Tatarsky) → Multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, record producer and key figure in the development if Philly soul music through his association with the Gamble & Huff songwriting team, as a session guitarist at Philadelphia International Records and Sigma Sound Studios, and as a member of the studio collective MFSB, or Mother Father Sister Brother, that released seven studio albums in the 70s and one mega-hit, “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” (#1, R&B #1, 1974), played on hundreds of songs and dozens of albums by soul and funk giants The Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass and many others, wrote several hits, including “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” (#5, R&B #1, 1975) for Major Harris, opened his own recording studio in 2006, produced and recorded music for others, and mentored young musicians until suffering a stroke in 2017, died in his sleep from natural causes on 8/17/2023, age 77.
1948 ● Larry Carlton / (Larry Eugene Carlton) → Grammy-winning jazz-rock fusion guitarist with The Crusaders (1971-76), session work for Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and others, composed the theme to the TV show Hill Street Blues and recorded several acclaimed solo albums
1948 ● Rory Gallagher → Hugely underrated Irish blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and vocalist with eleven solo studio albums plus sessions work, died from complications of a liver transplant on 6/14/1995, age 47
1948 ● Ralph Schuckett / (Ralph Dion Schuckett) → Composer, keyboard player and founding member of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, played on Carole King‘s first three albums, including the landmark Tapestry and did session work for James Taylor, The Monkees, Whitney Houston and dozens of others, co-wrote “Another World,” the 1987 country #4 hit by Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris as well as the theme song to the TV soap opera of the same name, produced albums for Belinda Carlisle, Clarence Clemons and others, since 1999 composed music for Pokémon and other animation projects plus hundreds of TV commercials, died from unspecified causes on 4/4/2021, age 73.

1950 ● Helmut Köllen → Bassist with cousin Jürgen Fritz in German prog rock trio Triumvirat, a lone and posthumous solo album was released in late 1977 after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a car in his garage with the engine running listening to cassette tapes of the work-in-progress on 5/3/1977, age 27
1950 ● Karen Carpenter → Vocals and drums for pop sibling act The Carpenters, three US #1 hits including “Close To You” (#1, 1970), died from anorexia nervosa on 2/4/1983, age 32
1955 ● Dale Bozzio / (Dale Consalvi) → Former Playboy bunny and lead singer for New Wave pop-rock Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1955 ● Jay Osmond → Vocals for family-oriented light pop-rock The Osmonds, ten US Top 40 singles including “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971)
1956 ● John Cowsill → Drums and vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, member of 80s one hit wonder pop-rock Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny,” #4, 1982), currently touring with The Beach Boys
1956 ● Lips / (Steve Kudlow) → Canadian guitarist, vocalist and founding member of heavy metal Anvil with friend Robb Reiner in 1978
1956 ● Mark Evans → Original bassist for power rock AC/DC, “Let There Be Rock” (#154, 1977), quit in 1977 after becoming tired of tour schedule
1962 ● Jon Bon Jovi / (John Fancis Bongiovi) → Vocals and frontman for pop metal/hard rock Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), then solo, “Blaze Of Glory” (#1, 1990), then reformed Bon Jovi, “Always” (#4, 1994) and moved into country-Heartland rock, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Adult Top 40 #6, 2006)
1967 ● Dennis Seaton → Lead vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1971 ● Method Man / (Clifford Smith) → Founding member and MC for 9-man hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), then first and biggest solo star to emerge from the Clan, “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By” (#3, Rap #1, 1995)
1977 ● Chris Martin → Guitar, vocals and piano for Brit-pop/anthem rock Coldplay, “Speed Of Sound” (#8, 2005)
1985 ● Luke Pritchard → Lead vocalist and guitarist with Brit-pop-rock The Kooks, “Always Where I Need To Be” (Alt Rock #22, 2008)

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