This Week’s Birthdays (February 7 – 13)

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Three Dog Night ca. 1973 (Jimmy Greenspoon, back row center)

Happy Birthday this week to:

February 07
1887 ● Eubie Blake / (James Hubert Blake) → Composer, lyricist and pianist whose career spanned from the ragtime era of the late 19th century to contemporary Broadway theater in the 1980s, brought the first black musical comedy to the stage in 1921 with Shuffle Along, wrote or co-wrote now-standard songs, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (1921) and “Memories Of You” (1930), unofficial leader of the ragtime revival of the 1970s, died from pneumonia on 2/12/1983, age 96
1920 ● Oscar Brand → Canadian-American folk balladeer, playwright, author, university professor, musician and host of Folksong Festival on WNYC-am in New York since it debuted in 1945, now the longest running radio program with the same host, composed over 300 songs (including “A Guy Is A Guy,” #1, 1952 for Doris Day) and released nearly 100 albums covering novelty music and social commentary in nearly every genre, including the patriotic “Something To Sing About” (1963), one of Canada’s unofficial national anthems, died from pneumonia on 9/30/2016, age 96
1924 ● Dora Bryan / (Dora Mae Broadbent) → Brit stage, film and TV actress, occasional novelty pop singer, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle” (#20, 1963)
1924 ● Mario Maglieri / (Mario Mikael Maglieri) → Co-owner and proprietor of Whisky A Go Go and The Rainbow Bar & Grill, the legendary Los Angeles nightclubs wherein he provided fatherly guidance and tough love to many up-and-coming acts as well as established stars, hosted hundreds of rock artists over the decades, including The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Guns N’ Roses and Linkin Park, died from natural causes on 5/4/2017, age 93
1930 ● Ikutaro Kakehashi → Electronics engineer, entrepreneur and inventor of the Roland TR-808 electronic drum machine well-known among generations of rock percussionists, collaborator in the development of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) software that allows connection and communication between musical instruments, and founder of Ace Tone, the manufacturer of electronic organs, analog drum machines and effects pedals, died from unspecified causes on 4/1/2017
1934 ● King Curtis / (Curtis Ousley) → Virtuoso R&B/pop and soul saxophonist, first in sessions (including The Coasters‘ “Yakety Yak” and Boots Randolph‘s “Yakety Sax”), then as a solo artist, “Memphis Soul Stew” (#33, R&B #6, 1967), died on 8/14/1971 at the peak of his career after being fatally stabbed late at night outside his New York City home by a vagrant, buried in the same Long Island cemetery as Count Basie and John Coltrane
1934 ● Earl King / (Earl Silas Johnson IV) → New Orleans R&B/blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights” (R&B #7, 1955) under the nom de plume Pearl King co-wrote “I Hear You Knockin'” (1955) and wrote “Come On (Let The Good Time Roll)” (1960), died from complications of diabetes on 4/17/2003, age 69
1940 ● Bob Burnett → Founding member of influential, straight-laced collegiate folk-pop vocal quintet The Highwaymen (“Michael,” #1, AC #1, 1961 and “Cotton Fields,” #13, AC #3, 1962), left in 1964 for a career in business law but reunited in 1987 and performed occasionally into the 00s, died from brain cancer on 12/7/2011, age 71
1943 ● Harvey Hersh / (Harvey Hershkowitz) → Baritone vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1943 ● Walter Scott / (Walter Notheis, Jr.) → Lead singer for one hit wonder horn-rock Bob Kuban & The Hit-Men (“The Cheater,” #12, 1966), left the band for an unsuccessful solo career, disappeared on 12/27/1983 and was later declared murdered by his wife and her lover in a tangled case, age 40
1946 ● Sammy Johns / (Sammy Reginald Johns) → One hit wonder country-pop singer/songwriter, “Chevy Van” (#5, 1975), wrote “America” for Waylon Jennings (Country #6, 1984) and “Common Man” for John Conlee (Country #1, 1983), among other minor hits, died from unspecified causes on 1/4/2013, age 66
1947 ● Pugwash Weathers / (John Patrick “Pugwash” Weathers) → Drummer for Brit progressive/art rock and jazz fusion band The Eyes of Blue, then prog rock Gentle Giant
1948 ● Jimmy Greenspoon / (James Boyd Greenspoon) → Keyboardist in several rock and surf bands in Los Angeles before co-founding pop-rock Three Dog Night in 1968, the band posted 21 Top 40 hits in six years through 1975, including “Mama Told Me Not To Come” (#1, 1970), “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971), “Black & White (#1, 1972) and and eight other Top 10 hits, recorded and toured with the band for nearly five decades and composed original music for films Die Hard (1988), Field Of Dreams (1989), United 93 (2006) and others, contracted metastatic melanoma and retired from Three Dog Night in 2014, died from the disease on 3/11/2015, age 67.
1949 ● Alan Lancaster → Original bassist for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968) plus 50 other UK Top 75 singles, left in 1984
1949 ● Stony Browder, Jr. → With half-brother August Darnell Browder (aka “King Creole”), formed pop-rock The In-Laws, then big band and swing-influenced R&B/disco group Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “Cherchez La Femme” (Dance/Club #1, 1976)
1959 ● Brian Travers → Saxophonist for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Steve Bronski → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1962 ● David Bryan / (David Bryan Rashbaum) → Keyboardist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), has released two solo prog rock albums
1962 ● Deborah Bonham → English rock and blues vocalist, released two UK and one US albums, sister of John Bonham, the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin
1962 ● Garth Brooks / (Troyal Garth Brooks) → Unparalleled country music superstar, second highest selling US solo albums artist (after Elvis Presley), credited with merging country and honky tonk with rock and pop and delivering a mass audience, scored eight double-double albums (#1 on both Billboard pop and country album charts), top singles include “Friends In Low Places” (Country #1, 1990) and “Lost In You” (#5, 1999)
1968 ● Sully Erna / (Salvatore Paul Erna) → Guitar and vocals for hard rock Godsmack, “Straight Out Of Line” (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1974 ● Danny Goffey / (Daniel Robert Goffey) → Drummer for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1974 ● J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) / (James Dewitt Yancey) → Influential hip hop producer and MC, worked with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes, died on 2/10/2006 of a rare blood disease at his home in L.A.
1975 ● Wesley Borland → Guitarist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)

February 08
1899 ● Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson → New Orleans blues and jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter, recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos, “Tomorrow Night” (#19, R&B #7, 1948), hit by a car on a Toronto sidewalk in Match 1969 and suffered a stroke in August 1969, died from complications of the two on 6/16/1970, age 71
1931 ● James Dean / (James Byron Dean) → Actor, teen idol and cultural icon, signature films were Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), killed in a car crash at age 25 on a Salinas, CA highway on 9/30/1955, age 24
1932 ● John Williams → Composer, conductor, pianist, 5-time Academy Award and 22-time Grammy winner, composed some of the most well-known and enduring film scores in the history of American cinema, including Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and others, plus theme music for four Olympic Games, sports and news programs, TV series, and classical and orchestral works, former principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, released nearly 400 albums and placed four tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including “Star Wars Theme” (#10, 1977)
1936 ● Larry Verne / (Larry Vern Erickson) → One hit wonder novelty song singer, “Mr. Custer” (#1, R&B #9, 1960), left the music industry and became a Hollywood set designer, died from heart failure on 10/8/2013, age 77
1938 ● Ray Sharpe → Country-western, blues and rockabilly singer, guitarist and songwriter with multiple singles but only one minor hit, “Linda Lu” (#46, 1959) which was covered by The Rolling Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, Tom Jones and others, later released singles recorded with King Curtis and Jimi Hendrix as a session guitarist, continues to perform in the Fort Worth,, TX area
1941 ● Tom Rush → Early and influential, genre-defining singer/songwriter of folk, blues and light pop mix, his “No Regrets” (1968) is a folk-rock standard
1942 ● Terry Melcher / (Terrence P. Jorden) → Son of actress Doris Day, vocalist with 60s surf rock the Rip Chords (“Hey Little Cobra,” #4, 1964) and then record producer best known for The Byrds‘ two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (both #1, 1965), plus songs and albums by The Beach Boys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Mamas & The Papas, Glen Campbell and others, producer of two of his mother’s TV shows, died from melanoma on 11/19/2004, age 62
1943 ● Creed Bratton / (William Charles Schneider) → Guitarist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968) plus thirteen other Top 40 hits, solo pop-rock artist, film and TV actor, including The Office
1943 ● Howard Wales / (Howard David Wales) → Rock keyboardist and session musician for James Brown, Muddy Waters and others, best known for his contribution to The Grateful Dead album American Beauty and work with Jerry Garcia on Hooterroll? (1972), released eight solo albums over 40 years, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in late November 2020 and died on 12/7/20, age 77.
1946 ● Fito de la Parra / (Adolpho de la Parra) → Drummer for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968)
1946 ● Paul Wheatbread → Drummer for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Ron Tyson → Journeyman R&B vocalist and songwriter credited with composing over 200 songs in the Philly-soul style, worked with various R&B groups through the 70s, joined The Temptations in 1983 as vocalist and sang lead on a number of hits, including “Sail Away” (#54, R&B #13, 1983), continues with the group in he 10s and has issued several solo albums
1948 ● Dan Seals / (Danny Wayland Seals) → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” (#2, 1976), then solo country star with eleven #1 country hits, brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts, died of complications of mantle cell lymphoma on 3/25/2009, age 61
1961 ● Sam Llanas → Founder, guitar and vocals for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Vince Neil / (Vincent Neil Wharton) → Vocals for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989) and solo, “Sister Of Pain” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1993)
1962 ● Ken McCluskey / (Kenneth McCluskey) → Harmonica and vocals for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983)
1968 ● Tjinder Singh → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, “Brimful Of Asha” (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1971 ● Will Turpin / (William Ross Turpin) → Bass and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, “Shine” (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1974 ● Guy-Manuel / (Guillaume Emmanuel de Homem-Christo) → DJ for French progressive dance-pop duo Daft Punk, “Face To Face” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), remixed for Gabrielle and Chemical Brothers
1977 ● Phoenix Farrell / (David Michael Farrell) → Bassist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (#2, Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1980 ● Cameron Muncey → Guitarist for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1983 ● Jim Verraros / (James Conrad Verraros) → Pop-rock singer and entertainer, Top 10 finalist in first season of American Idol, solo singing career, “You Turn It On” (Dance/Club #21, 2005)
1985 ● Jeremy Davis → Bassist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)
1994 ● Nikki Yanofsky / (Nicole Yanofsky) → Canadian jazz-pop singer, festival and TV entertainer, recorded “Gotta Go My Own Way” for High School Musical 2, has multiple hits including “I Believe” (Canada #1, 2010), sang the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

February 09
1909 ● Carmen Miranda → The “Brazilian Bombshell,” samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress and film star whose trademark fruit-basket headdress and exotic outfits belied her considerable talents, first Brazilian to achieve international stardom and first to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, generally credited with exposing Latin culture to a broader audience worldwide, died in her prime from a heart attack on 8/5/1955, age 46
1914 ● Ernest Tubb → Legendary singer, songwriter and pioneer of modern country music, first of the honky tonk singers and first to achieve national recognition, scored 91 country chart hits over a 50-year career, including “Soldier’s Last Laugh” (#16, Country #1, 1944) and “Walking The Floor Over You” (#18, Country #31, 1979), died from emphysema on 9/6/1984, age 70
1918 ● George Goldner → Jewish-American record producer and label executive who contributed to the development of rock ‘n’ roll in the 50s by recording and promoting R&B acts, primarily doo wop, through his record labels Rama, Roulette, Gee and End Records, brought The Crows, The Wrens, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers and dozens of other groups to the national stage, in the 60s through his Red Bird Records produced hits for the Shangri-Las, the Dixie Cups and the Ad-Libs, among others, died from a heart attack on 4/15/1970, age 52
1925 ● Bobby Lewis / (Robert Alan Lewis) → R&B and rock ‘n’ roll singer known for his signature hit “Tossin’ And Turnin'” (#1, R&B #1, 1961) and a second Top 10 hit in “One Track Mind” (#9, 1961) but faded from the limelight thereafter, continued to perform over the next 40-plus years despite failing eyesight, died on 4/28/2020, age 95.
1939 ● Barry Mann / (Barry Iberman) → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with his wife, Cynthia Weil, issued novelty pop solo “Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (#7, 1961), wrote “On Broadway”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “Somewhere Out There” among other hits for varied rock and pop artists
1940 ● Brian Bennett → Composer, arranger and producer best known as the drummer for multiple early Brit rock ‘n’ roll bands including instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (worldwide #1, 1960) and pop-rock Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “Foot Tapper” (UK #1, 1963)
1942 ● Carole King / (Carol Klein) → Brill Building composer with husband Gerry Goffin, pianist and solo Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “I Feel The Earth Move” (#1, 1971), wrote or co-wrote nearly 120 pop hits recorded by herself and other artists, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “One Fine Day”
1942 ● Mark Mathis / (Marcus Felton Mathis) → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, “Bread And Butter” (#2, 1964)
1943 ● Barbara Lewis → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, “Baby I’m Yours” (#11, R&B #5, 1965)
1947 ● Joe Ely / (Earle R. Ely) → Country, honky tonk and rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter, first with The Flatlanders, then solo, “Musta Notta Gotta Lotta” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1981), plus session and tour work with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Uncle Tupelo
1947 ● Major Harris → “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul guitarist and singer with numerous groups including The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), then solo, “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” (#5, R&B #1, 1975), died from lung and heart failure on 11/8/2012, age 66
1951 ● Dee Tee Thomas / (Dennis Thomas) → Saxophonist for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973)
1952 ● Sharon Paige / (Sharon G. McCord) → Philly-soul female vocalist recruited to all-male, suave R&B Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, sang duets with groupmate and regular lead singer Teddy Pendergrass (“Hope That We Can Be Together Soon,” #42, R&B #1, 1975) until he left the group in 1976, departed herself in the early 80s for a moderately successful solo career, became a mother and later contracted diabetes but joined several Blue Note reunions and acted in small movie roles before dying from unspecified causes on 7/22/2020, age 68.
1955 ● Jimmy Pursey / (James Timothy Pursey) → Founder, frontman and lead vocals for Brit punk rock Sham 69 (“Hersham Boys,” UK #6, 1979), continues to record and perform in the 10s with a new lineup of the band
1960 ● Holly Johnson / (William Johnson) → Lead vocals and founding member of Brit New Wave pop-rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1963 ● Dave Rotheray → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Travis Tritt → Grammy-winning, hatless country and Southern rock singer/songwriter with forty country chart hits and five #1s, including “Foolish Pride” (Country #1, 1994)
1964 ● Rachel Bolan / (James Richard Southworth) → Founder, bassist and chief songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), also worked with Ace Frehley (of Kiss), Mötley Crüe and stoner metal Godspeed
1981 ● The Rev / (James Owen Sullivan) → Founding member, drummer, vocalist and songwriter for heavy metal Avenged Sevenfold, wrote “Almost Easy” (Mainstream #3, 2007) and other hits prior to the band’s peak years in the 10s, died from an overdose of pain killers an alcohol on 12/28/2009, age 28

February 10
1914 ● Larry Adler / (Lawrence Cecil Adler) → Harmonica virtuoso, soloist with major symphony orchestras worldwide, session work varied artists from Fred Astaire to George Gershwin to Elton John, Kate Bush and Sting, fronted the 1994 all-star tribute album Glory Of Gershwin, died of natural causes on 8/7/2001, age 87
1929 ● Jerry Goldsmith / (Jerrald King Goldsmith) → Highly-regarded, prolific film score composer/conductor for movies and TV, including Dr. Kildare, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., died from cancer on 7/21/2004, age 75
1933 ● Don Wilson → Co-founder and guitarist for long-lived, unique-sound rock ‘n’ roll instrumental surf-rock The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960)
1936 ● Billy Goldenberg / (William Leon Goldenberg) → Emmy-winning composer and songwriter with a long career writing TV themes songs, Broadway musicals and film scores, including Steven Spielberg‘s Night Gallery series, Rhoda and Kojak pn TV, and Woody Allen‘s Play It Again, Sam on stage, most noted for being musical director of Elvis Presley‘s 1968 televised concert “Elvis: The Comeback Special,” which led to Elvis‘s penchant for big band orchestration in his last years, died from suspected heart failure on 8/3/2020, age 84.
1939 ● Roberta Flack / (Roberta Cleopatra Flack) → Sweet-voiced, Grammy-winning R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter with multiple hits including, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (#1, 1973), plus duets with Donny Hathaway including “Where Is The Love” (#5, 1972)
1940 ● Jimmy Merchant → Founding member and second tenor vocals for influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” (R&B #1,1956)
1941 ● Manny Charlton / (Manuel Charlton) → Founding member and lead guitarist for Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976)
1943 ● Ral Donner / (Ralph Stuart Donner) → Elvis Presley sound-alike early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)” (#4, 1961), died of cancer on 4/6/1984, age 41
1944 ● Rick Price → Bassist for Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), briefly with pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, then eccentric jazz-pop Wizzard, “See My Baby Jive” (UK #1, 1973), now tours with wife Dianne Lee
1944 ● Peter Allen / (Peter Richard Woolnough) → Aussie singer, cabaret dancer, film and stage actor, and songwriter, wrote or co-wrote several hits for others, including “I Honestly Love You” for Olivia Newton-John (#1, 1974)”I Go To Rio” for Pablo Cruise (#46, 1979) and the Academy Award-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do” for Christopher Cross (#1, 1981), issued eight studio albums and was the subject of the posthumous documentary The Boy From Oz (1998), died from AIDS-relegated illnesses on 6/18/1992, age 48
1944 ● Nathaniel Mayer → Teenaged one hit wonder R&B/soul-pop singer, “Village Of Love” (#22, R&B #10, 1962), disappeared but resurfaced in 2004 with a new album, continued to perform in the Detroit area until his death following a series of stokes on 11/1/2008, age 64
1946 ● Cliff Ward / (Clifford Thomas Ward) → Brit folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Gaye” (UK #8, 1973), died from pneumonia on 12/18/2001, age 55
1949 ● Nigel Olsson → Drummer for Brit psych-pop Plastic Penny, “Everything I Am” (UK #6, 1968), then original drummer in the Elton John Band, sessions
1957 ● Gary Stewart / (Gary Lee Stewart) → Rhino Records in-store salesman, rose to senior vice president for A&R at the label, championed the creation of the box set, reissue and anthology business for which Rhino is known, including the quirky but definitive Have A Nice Day compilation of 70s pop-rock and the Nuggets series of obscure garage rock and psychedelic bands, lured by Steve Jobs to Apple iTunes in 2004 as chief music officer to oversee curation of download playlists, left in 2011 but returned in 2016 to lead streaming music, left again in 2018 and, becoming depressed over his career direction, committed suicide on 4/11/2019, age 62.
1962 ● Robbie Neville → Next generation member (son and nephew) in New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989)
1962 ● Cliff Burton → First bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), was killed when the band’s tour bus crashed in Sweden on 9/27/1986, age 24
1963 ● Tony Reno (Niemistö) → Original drummer for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, “The Final Countdown” (#8, 1986), solo, now a computer technician
1977 ● Rosanna Tavarez → Vocals for pre-fab, all-girl, teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group

February 11
1882 ● John Mills, Sr. / (John Hutchinson Mills) → Patriarch of the four sons who formed groundbreaking, six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, AC #3, 1968), the first African-American artists to have their own national network radio show (1930) and the first to have a #1 hit on the Billboard singles chart (“Paper Doll,” 1943), replaced his deceased son, John Jr., after he died in 1936 and performed with the group until just prior to his own death on 12/8/1967, age 85.
1914 ● Josh White → Influential folk revival and Piedmont blues guitarist and songwriter, recorded under pseudonyms “Pinewood Tom” and “Tippy Barton” in 30s, became a social activist for Afro-American musicians, hosted US and UK music TV shows, died during open heart surgery on 9/6/1969, age 55
1914 ● Matt Dennis → Big Band-era songwriter, pianist and singer with a string of albums and radio and TV appearances in his later career, started in Hollywood night clubs in the 20s and 30s, composed and arranged for Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller‘s orchestras in the 40s, fronted his own bands in the 50s, wrote the now-standard “Angel Eyes” (1946) and other songs covered by Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Roberta Flack and others, died of natural causes on 6/21/2002, age 88
1928 ● Raoul Cita → Pianist, songwriter and arranger for critically recognized but commercially little known R&B/doo wop The Harptones (“Life Is But A Dream,” 1955), performed with the group for over 60 years until his death from liver and stomach cancer on 12/13/2014, age 86
1935 ● Gene Vincent / (Vincent Eugene Craddock) → Early and legendary rock ‘n’ roll/rockabilly singer and bandleader with His Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (#7, 1956), died from a ruptured stomach ulcer on 10/12/1971, age 36
1939 ● Gerry Goffin → Brill Building songwriter and lyricist, with wife Carole King co-wrote over 20 classic pop-rock hits and six chart toppers, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (Bobby Vee) and “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva), died on 6/19/2014, age 75
1940 ● Boris Pickett / (Robert George Pickett) → One hit wonder novelty pop bandleader, singer and songwriter, “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962), died from complications of leukemia on 4/25/2007, age 67
1941 ● Earl Lewis → Bass vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), then The Five Echoes
1941 ● Sergio Mendes → Brazilian bossa nova, jazz and funk keyboardist and bandleader for Brasil ’66, “The Foot Of The Hill” (#6, 1968)
1942 ● Leon Haywood → R&B/funk and soul singer with several singles and stints with various bands in the 60s with little commercial success, scored several R&B hits on the 70s, including “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” (#15, R&B #7, 1975) but stopped recording and turned to record production in the 80s for Edge Records and his own Evejim label
1942 ● Otis Clay → Gospel, soul and Chicago blues singer with numerous minor hits, including “Trying To Live My Life Without You” (#102, R&B #24, 1972) but little resounding success, was a 2013 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame and continued to perform and record until his death from a heart attack on 1/8/2016, age 73
1943 ● Little Johnny Taylor (Merrett) / (Johnny Taylor Merrett) → Gospel turned R&B/soul and blues singer with one big hit (“Part Time Love,” #19, R&B #1, 1963) and eight other minor chart singles in the 60s and 70s, continued to tour and perform until his death on 5/17/2002, age 59
1946 ● Ray Lake → Guitarist for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1947 ● Derek Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member with brothers Ray and Phil of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant, senior executive positions with PolyGram, Atco and Roadrunner record companies
1948 ● Al Johnson → R&B/soul singer and music producer, co-founder of smooth harmony soul quintet The Unifics and lead singer on their two Top 40 hits, “Court Of Love” (#25, R&B #3, 1968) and “The Beginning Of My End” (#36, R&B #9, 1969), turned to a mildly successful solo career and record production in the 80s, reformed The Unifics in 2004, died on 10/26/2013, age 65
1950 ● Rochelle Fleming → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1953 ● Neil Henderson → Joined Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971) in 1974, wrote “Rockin’ Soul” (Germany #31, 1974)
1953 ● Mr. Fabulous / (Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin) → Trumpet and flugelhorn for the Saturday Night Live house band, the Blues Brothers Band, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979) and hundreds of studio sessions with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Aerosmith and many others, died from lung cancer on 6/8/2011 , age 58
1962 ● Sheryl Crow → Former backing vocalist for Michael Jackson‘s “Bad” tour turned nine-time Grammy-winning roots rock singer/songwriter, “All I Wanna Do” (#2, 1994) and eight other Top 40 hits
1966 ● Tenor Saw / (Clive Bright) → Early ragga and dancehall reggae singer, “Ring The Alarm” (1985), killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 1988
1967 ● Clay Crosse / (Walter Clayton Crossnoe) → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and multiple Dove Award winner, “I Will Follow Christ” (2000)
1969 ● Shovell / (Andrew Lovell) → Jamaican-born percussionist for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1972 ● Craig Jones → Sampler and keyboardist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1974 ● D’Angelo / (Michael Eugene Archer) → Early and influential 90s R&B/neo-soul singer, “Lady” (#10, 1996), Grammy-winner for “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” (#25, R&B #2, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Shinoda → Guitar and vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Brandy / (Brandy Rayana Norwood) → Teen pop then R&B/neo-soul-pop star, “Sittin’ Up In My Room” (#2, 1996), songwriter, TV actress, record and film producer
1981 ● Kelly Rowland / (Kelendria Trene Rowland) → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), solo artist and actress
1984 ● Aubrey O’Day → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)
1991 ● Never Shout Never / (Christofer Drew Ingle) → Multi-instrumentalist one man band acoustic pop singer/songwriter, “Trouble” (Singles Sales #1, 2009)

February 12
1867 ● Len Spencer / (Leonard Garfield Spencer) → Early American phonograph recording star during the transition from cylinders to vinyl discs, two of his more popular songs were the vaudevillian “A Hot Time In The Old Town” (ca. 1897) and the comedy/satire “Arkansas Traveler” (1902), left the industry around 1910 to open a talent booking agency and died from a heart attack on 12/15/1914, age 47.
1904 ● Ted Mack / (William Edward Maguiness) → Host of the TV variety show Ted Mack And The Original Amateur Hour from 1948 to 1970, featured early-career performances by Gladys Knight, Ann-Margret, Pat Boone and others, influenced future musical talent-seeking shows including The Gong Show, American Idol and America’s Got Talent, died from cancer on 7/12/1976, age 72
1914 ● Tex Beneke / (Gordon Lee Beneke) → Big Band-era saxophonist, singer and bandleader who played and snag with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on their hits “In The Mood” (#1, 1940) and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (#1, 1941), took over leadership of the band in 1946 after Miller‘s death during World War II and later formed his own bands during a forty-year second career that lasted until his death from reparatory failure on 5/30/2000, age 86
1915 ● Lorne Greene / (Lyon Himan Green) → Canadian-born CBC radio newscaster, stage, film and TV actor, and country-pop singer with several albums and a lone hit, the spoken-word ballad “Ringo” (#1, 1964), the second Canadian to have a US #1 single in the U.S., best known for starring in the NBC TV western Bonanza (1959-73), died from prostate cancer on 9/11/1987, age 72
1935 ● Gene McDaniels → R&B singer during the late 50s and early 60s development of classic soul music, “Tower of Strength” (#5, 1961) and five other Top 40 hits, wrote “Feel Like Makin’ Love” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1974), died at home of natural causes on 7/29/2011, age 76
1939 ● Ray Manzarek → Keyboards and backing vocals for influential/controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), member of supergroup Nite City and collaborations with Doors bandmate Robby Krieger, died of cancer on 5/20/2013, age 74
1942 ● Rick Frank → Founding member and drummer for jazz-psych-rock Elephant’s Memory, “Mongoose” (Top 100, 1969), which became the backing band for John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 70s, worked with Lennon on his 1972 album Some Time In New York City
1946 ● Pete Gage / (Peter Gage) → Blues-rock guitarist, vocalist, keyboards and harmonica player, played in Jet Harris‘s backing band in the 60s and various soul-blues-rock bands in the 70s, formed his own Pete Gage Expression in the 80s, frontman for the 90s lineup of Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979), continues to perform with various rock acts into the 10s
1946 ● Joe Schermie → Original bassist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971), left in 1973 to start pop-rock S. S. Fools and session work, died following a heart attack on 3/25/2002, age 56
1947 ● Shelbra Bennett Deane → Original member in R&B/soul vocal quartet The Soul Children, “I’ll Be The Other Woman” (#36, R&B #3, 1973), the group did not meet the expectations of Isaac Hayes and other Stax Records executives who created the group to offset the loss of departed duo Sam & Dave, died on 5/31/2013, age 66
1949 ● Goober Grin / (Stanley Knight) → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974), died from cancer on 2/16/2013, age 64
1950 ● Steve Hackett → Joined prog-rock Genesis, “Your Own Special Way” (#62, 1977) in 1971, left in 1977 for solo career and eventually prog rock supergroup GTR, “When The Heart Rules The Mind” (#14, 1986) with Steve Howe of Yes
1951 ● G.L. Moore / (Gilbert Moore) → Drummer and vocals for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), owner of Metalworks Studios, Canada’s largest facility
1951 ● Vincent James → Vocals for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (#14, UK #1, 1975).
1952 ● Michael McDonald → Blue-eyed soul/pop backing singer with Steely Dan, lead vocals for California pop-rock The Doobie Brothers, “Listen To The Music” (#11, 1972), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Sweet Freedom” (#7, 1986)
1958 ● Grant McLennan → Bass, vocals and songwriter for Aussie alt pop-rock The Go-Betweens, “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (Modern Rock #16, 1988), then solo, died in his sleep at home in Brisbane, Australia on 5/6/2006, age 48
1959 ● Neil Conti → Percussion for Brit indie pop-rock Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1959 ● Omar Hakim → Session and touring drummer for Carly Simon, then joined jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, then sessions for Sting, Dire Straits, Madonna, Miles Davis and others, plus two solo albums
1966 ● Gary Whelan → Drummer for Manchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1966 ● Paul Crook → Session and tour guitarist, now with Meat Loaf, formerly with Anthrax and Sebastian Bach
1968 ● Chynna Phillips → Vocals for pop-rock all-girl offspring trio Wilson Phillips, “Release Me” (#1, 1990), daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas
1970 ● Jim Creeggan / (James Raymond Creeggan) → Bassist for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1971 ● Kei Lewis → Keyboards and guitar for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1978 ● Brian Chase → Drummer in New York indie rock/punk revival trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs (“Maps,” #87, Alt. Rock #9, 2004)
1979 ● Jade Jones → Lead singer for Brit R&B/dance-pop boy band Damage, “Wonderful Tonight” (UK #3, 1997)
1981 ● Lisa Hannigan / (Lisa Margaret Hannigan) → Irish vocalist with folk-rock the Damien Rice Band, “Cannonball” (UK #32, 2002), then singer/songwriter solo career, “Lille” (2008)
1987 ● O’Ryan / (O’Ryan Omir Browner) → Urban teen R&B/dance-pop singer, “Take It Slow” (R&B #122, 2004), younger brother of Omarion

February 13
1919 ● Tennessee Ernest Jennings Ford / (Ernest Jennings Ford) → Country-pop singer and TV host who recorded over 100 albums from traditional country to gospel to early rock ‘n’ roll, “Sixteen Tons” (#1, 1955), died from alcoholic liver failure on 10/17/1991, age 72
1920 ● Boudleaux Bryant → Prolific country and pop songwriter, with his wife Felice wrote “Rocky Top,” “Love Hurts,” “Bye Bye Love” (#2, 1957) and “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#1, 1958) for The Everly Brothers, as well as “Raining In My Heart” for Buddy Holly, died on 6/25/1987, age 67
1923 ● Gene Ames / (Gene Ames (Urick)) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of cancer on 4/4/1997, age 74
1928 ● Dottie McGuire / (Dorothy McGuire) → Middle 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, retired in 1968 to raise a family, reunited with her sisters in 1986 and performed on Las Vegas, New York and Atlantic City stages for two more decades, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 9/7/2012, age 84.
1942 ● Peter Tork / (Peter Halsten Thorkelson) → Struggling Greenwich Village folkie who found nearly instant fame after answering a casting call seeking actor/musicians for a new TV sitcom modeled on The Beatles‘ “A Hard Day’s Night ” and “Help!” movies, the show begat 60s bad-rap, pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees and six Top 10 hits, including “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), continued to perform and record as a solo artist and bandleader for Shoe Suede Blues, as well as in Monkees reunion tours, until his death from cancer on 2/21/2019, age 77
1943 ● Bill Szymczyk → Technical engineer and rock and blues music producer, worked with J. Geils Band, James Gang, The Outlaws, Bob Seger, The Who and Edgar Winter Group among many others, including a long association with the Eagles, for whom he produced the album Long Road Out Of Eden in 2007
1944 ● Bettye Swann / (Betty Jean Champion) → One hit wonder R&B/Southern soul singer, “Make Me Yours” (#21, R&B #1, 1967), now a retired teacher
1944 ● Stockard Channing / (Susan Antonia Williams Stockard) → Stage, film and TV actress who portrayed Betty Rizzo in the film adaptation of the Broadway show Grease (1977) and sang lead vocals on “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee” on the film’s soundtrack album, the highest selling movie soundtrack of all time.
1944 ● Reebop / (Anthony Kwaku Baah) → Ghanaian percussionist and singer with Traffic, Can and Zahara, plus sessions for Steve Winwood and The Rolling Stones, and four solo LPs mixing traditional African sounds with dance-pop contemporary music, died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 1/12/1983, age 38
1945 ● Roy Dyke → Drummer in 60s Brit pop-rock The Remo Four, then art rock Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (#40, UK #3, 1971)
1945 ● King Floyd / (King Floyd III) → New Orleans R&B/soul singer and songwriter with several minor chart singles and one big hit, “Groove Me” (#6 R&B #1, UK $#41, 1970), died from complications of a stroke on 3/6/2006 , age 61
1949 ● Judy Dyble / (Judith Aileen Dyble) → British singer-songwriter and founding member of influential progressive folk-rock ensemble Fairport Convention, left the band following release of their eponymous first album and before a subsequent charting single “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), joined a short-lived precursor to prog rock King Crimson but left to raise a family and perform in various folk-rock groups and Fairport reunions over the next 40 years, died from apparent lung cancer on 7/12/2020, age 71.
1950 ● Peter Gabriel → Founding member and leader of prog rock Genesis, left in 1976 to start art rock then successful mainstream pop solo career, “Sledgehammer” (#1, 1986)
1950 ● Roger Christian → Keyboards and vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988), left in 1987, died from a brain tumor on 3/8/1998, age 48
1951 ● David Naughton → Actor and singer, starred in the TV sitcom Makin’ It and became a one hit wonder pop singer with the release of the show’s theme song, “Makin’ It” (#5, 1979), later starred in the film American Werewolf In London (1981) and appeared in several 80s and 90s TV sitcoms
1951 ● Rod Dees → Bassist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Paul Jeffreys → Bassist for glam-rock Cockney Rebel and later Be-Bop Deluxe, died with his new wife on the way to their honeymoon in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on 12/21/1988, age 36
1952 ● Ed Gagliardi / (Edward John Gagliardi) → Original bassist for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), left to form The Spys with Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood in 1978, died from cancer on 5/11/2014, age 62
1955 ● Scott Smith / (Donald Scott Smith) → Founding member and bassist for Canadian hard pop-rock Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose” (#35, Main #6, AUS #3, CAN #7, 1981) and eight other Top 40 hits, presumed drowned at sea when swept overboard from his 11-metre sailboat near the Golden Gate Bridge while from Vancouver to Baja California on 10/30/2000, age 45
1956 ● Peter Hook → Bassist for post-punk Joy Division, then New Wave synth-dance-pop New Order, “Blue Monday” (Dance #5, 1983)
1957 ● Tony Butler / (Anthony Earle Peter Butler) → Bassist for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), sessions for The Pretenders, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and others
1958 ● Marc Fox → Percussion and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1961 ● cEvin Key / (Kevin William Crompton) → Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of Canadian avant-industrial rock Skinny Puppy, “Testure” (Dance/Club #19, 1989), after disbandment in 1995 founded industrial noise group Download and issued several solo albums
1961 ● Henry Rollins / (Henry Lawrence Garfield) → Singer, songwriter, MTV host, record producer and frontman for hardcore L.A. punk Black Flag and the Rollins Band
1961 ● Les Warner → Former drummer with hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989), now with a Vegas hotel house band
1962 ● Rob Ellis → Producer, arranger and drummer for singer/songwriter P. J. Harvey, “50 ft Queenie” (UK #27, 1993) including her alt rock/punk-revival trio PJ Harvey
1966 ● Freedom Williams / (Frederick Brandon Williams) → Lead vocals for dance-pop C+C Music Factory, “Gonna Make You Sweat” (#1, 1991), left for an unsuccessful solo career
1971 ● Sonia / (Sonia Evans) → Brit pop singer, “You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You” (UK #1, 1989) and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1992)
1972 ● Todd Harrell → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1973 ● David Draiman → Lead vocals/songwriter for Chicago-based heavy metal Disturbed, “Another Way To Die” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2010)
1974 ● Robbie Williams → Vocals for Brit teen dance-pop boy-band Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), then solo, “Millennium” (Adult Top 40 #22, 1999)
1976 ● Leslie Feist → Award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist with Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), solo
1988 ● Aston Merrygold → Vocals for Brit teen pop boy-band JLS (Jack The Lad Swing), “Everybody In Love” (Mainstream Top 40 #38, 2010)

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