This Week’s Birthdays (July 19 – 25)

144

Happy Birthday this week to:

July 19
1925 ● Sue Thompson / (Eva Sue McKee) → Youthful-voiced, teen-audience novelty pop singer, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” (#5, 1961), then mature country-pop duet and solo artist, “Big Mable Murphy” (Country #50, 1975)
1930 ● Preston Epps / (Preston Eugene Epps) → Percussionist and one hit wonder bongo player who taught himself to play the bongos while stationed on Okinawa during the Korean Conflict, credited with introducing bongos and congas to mainstream rock and pop music through his Top 20 hit “Bongo Rock” (#14, 1959), follow-on formulaic singles “Bongo in the Congo,” “Bongo Boogie,” “Flamenco Bongo” and others failed to attract attention, played as a session musician in the 60s and 70s and on the club circuit into the 90s, died of natural causes on 5/9/2019, age 88.
1937 ● Karen J. Dalton / (Karen J. Cariker) → Relatively unknown but influential early 60s Greenwich Village singer/songwriter who interpreted country, pop, Motown, blues and traditional folk songs in a style that was often compared to jazz singer Billie Holiday, contemporary of and occasional collaborator with Fred Neil, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin and the Holy Modal Rounders, died in obscurity from AIDS on 3/19/1993, age 55.
1937 ● George Hamilton IV → Late 50s teen idol pop singer with 10 chart hits in four years, including “A Rose And A Baby Ruth” (#6, 1956), switched to country-pop and rockabilly in the 60s and charted 40 country hits through the 70s, including “Abilene” (#15, Country #1, 1963), toured and performed into the 00s, died following a heart attack on 9/17/2014, age 77
1941 ● Vikki Carr / (Florencia Cardona) → Pop vocalist, “It Must Be Him” (#3, 1966), then successful Latin-pop singer, including Grammy-winning album Cosas Del Amor (1991)
1944 ● Commander Cody / (George Frayne IV) → Vocals, keyboards and frontman for country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972)
1946 ● Alan Gorrie → Base and vocals for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1947 ● Bernie Leadon → Guitar, banjo, mandolin and vocals for country rock Flying Burrito Brothers and Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, which became country rock/L.A. rock Eagles, “One Of These Nights” (#1, 1975), quit in 1976 to pursue a solo career
1947 ● Brian May → Founding member and guitarist for camp rock/mock-opera/hard pop Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (#9, 1976) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (#1, 1980), solo, “Driven By You” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1993), film score composer and astronomy author, #39 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
1948 ● Keith Godchaux → Keyboards and backing vocals for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973), duo with wife Donna, died following a car crash on 7/23/1980, age 32
1952 ● Allen Collins / (Larkin Allen Collins, Jr.) → Hard luck guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama,” #8, 1974), survived the October 20, 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers and crew, then co-founded Rossington-Collins Band (“Welcome Me Home,” Mainstream Rock #9, 1988), lost his first wife during pregnancy in 1980, became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident in 1986 that killed his then-girlfriend, died from complications of pneumonia on 1/23/1990, age 37
1956 ● Nikki Sudden / (Adrian Godfrey) → Underrated post-punk songwriter and guitarist, journeyman lead singer for his own bands and side projects, including 80s post-punk Swell Maps and the Jacobites, died from a heart attack on 3/26/22006, age 49
1960 ● Kevin Haskins / (Kevin Michael Dompe) → Drummer for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979) and goth-pop Love And Rockets, “So Alive” (#3, 1989)
1968 ● Ged Lynch → Drummer for dance-pop Black Grape, “In The Name Of The Father” (UK #8, 1995)
1971 ● Urs Bühler → Tenor for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1976 ● Eric Prydz → Swedish DJ and dance-pop producer using a variety of project names, including Pryda, Sheridan, Dirty Funker and Moo, “Call on Me” (Dance/Club #29, 2004)
1979 ● Michelle Heaton → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

July 20
1933 ● Buddy Wayne Knox → Early rockabilly and “Tex-Mex” sound pioneer, wrote and performed “Party Doll” (#1, 1957), becoming the first artist to pen his own #1 hit in the rock ‘n’ roll era, died of lung cancer on 2/14/11999, age 65
1934 ● Bob Krasnow / (Robert Alan Krasnow) → Music industry executive with a long career at several key labels, started at King Records in the 50s, founded Blue Thumb in the 60s, expanded Warner Brothers into R&B in the 70s, revived Elektra Records in the 80s and 90s at one time or another worked with artists as varied as Captain Beefheart, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Björk and Metallica, died from organ failure on 12/11/2016, age 82
1935 ● Sleepy La Beef / (Thomas Paulsley LaBeff (nee LaBoeuf)) → Early rockabilly guitarist and singer with droopy eyelids whose 60-year career, deep repertoire, 30 solo albums and tireless touring made him a legend despite not having a hit record per se, his highest charting single was “Blackland Farmer” (Country #67, 1971), appeared in the B-movie Swamp Thing (1968) and developed a cult status, including Europe, touring into the mid-10s, died from natural causes on 12/26/2019, age 84.
1943 ● Tony Joe White → Country-pop and swamp rock singer/songwriter known as the “Swamp Fox” for his growling singing and mix of country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll music, recorded a lone Top 10 hit, “Polk Salad Annie” (#8, 1969) but wrote the hits “Rainy Night In Georgia” (#4, 1970) for Brook Benton and “Steamy Windows” (#39, Dance #33, 1989) for Tina Turner plus songs covered by many rock and pop stars, including Elvis Presley and Dusty Springfield, issued a final album, Bad Mouthin’ in September 2018 and died from a heart attack on 10/24/2018, age 74
1943 ● Dennis Yost → Founding member, drummer and lead singer for soft Southern rock The Classics IV (“Spooky,” #3, 1967 and “Stormy,” #5, 1968), kept the band going through the 70s after several band members left to eventually form Atlanta Rhythm Section, continued on the oldies circuit until he suffered a brain injury in a fall and died two years later from respiratory failure on 12/7/2008, age 65
1944 ● T.G. Sheppard / (Billy Neal Browder) → Urban country crossover singer, “I’ve Loved ‘Em Every One” (#37, Country #1, 1981)
1945 ● John Lodge → Bass and vocals for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1967) and “Your Wildest Dreams” (#9, 1986)
1945 ● Kim Carnes → Throaty-voiced singer, Grammy-winning “Bette Davis Eyes” (#1, 1981), later country music songwriter
1946 ● Wendy Richard → One hit wonder pop singer, duet with Mike Sarne “Come Outside” (UK #1, 1962), longtime cast member of Brit TV soap opera Eastenders
1947 ● Carlos Santana → Guitarist, vocals, songwriter and frontman for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), solo, “Smooth” (#1, 1999), awarded eight Grammys for his Supernatural album (2000)
1947 ● Tony Thorpe → Lead guitar and vocals for glam rock/rock ‘n roll revival The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (UK #1, US #37, 1974)
1948 ● James Hooker / (James Hooker Brown, Jr.) → Founding member and pianist for Grammy-winning Southern rock Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third Rate Romance,” #14, Country #11, CAN #1), after breakup in the early 80s joined Steve Winwood‘s touring band as keyboardist and co-wrote “Freedom Overspill” (#20, Main #4, UK #69, 1986), later led country/folk Nanci Griffith‘s backing band for 20 years and self-released several solo albums
1952 ● Jay Jay French / (John French Segall) → Guitarist for heavy metal Twisted Sister, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983)
1955 ● Jem Finer / (Jemremy Max Finer) → Banjo for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1956 ● Paul Cook → Drummer for premier punk rockers the Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” (UK #2, 1977) and punk rock supergroup Greedy Bastards
1957 ● Merlina DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1958 ● Michael McNeil → Keyboards for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1959 ● James Irvin → Vocals for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, “Brilliant Mind” (UK #21, 1986)
1961 ● Martin Gore → Keyboards for electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990)
1962 ● Dig Wayne / (Timothy Wayne Ball) → Lead vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1964 ● Tim Kellett → Keyboards and trumpet for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986), then trip-hop/electronica trio Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, 1997)
1964 ● Chris Cornell / (Christopher John Boyle) → Frontman, lead vocals and guitar for seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun,” Mainstream Rock #1, 1994), Audioslave (“Be Yourself,” #32, Mainstream Rock #1, 2005) plus five solo albums and numerous soundtrack contributions, hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room following a performance by a reformed Soundgarden on 5/17/2017, age 52
1966 ● Andrew Levy → Founding member, bassist, keyboards and songwriter for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1966 ● Craig Gannon → Rhythm guitarist for 80s Scottish New Wave pop-rock Aztec Camera, jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983) and indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984), now a television and film composer/producer and session guitarist for multiple artists
1966 ● Stone Gossard → Founding member and rhythm guitarist for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Last Kiss” (#2, 1999), previously with grunge rock Green River and Mother Love Bone, solo
1969 ● Vitamin C / (Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick) → Co-founder, frontwoman and vocalist for punk-pop Eve’s Plum, “I Want It All” (Modern Rock #30, 1993), solo, “Smile” (#7, 1999), actress
1970 ● Sam Watters → Vocals for a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1971 ● Alison Krauss → Folk-bluegrass singer, songwriter and fiddler, “When You Say Nothing At All” (#53, Country #3, 1995), frontwoman for Union Station, winner of 1996 Rolling Stone‘s critic’s choice Best Country Artist, Grammy-winning collaboration album with Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant, Raising Sand (#2, 2007)
1971 ● DJ Screw / (Robert Earl Davis, Jr.) → Legendary Houston hip hop DJ who created the now-famous “chopped and screwed” mixing and DJ technique involving slowed down music, died of a prescription codeine overdose on 11/12/2000, age 29
1974 ● Andrew Tierney → With his younger brother, Mike, and two schoolmates, co-founder, vocals and keyboards in Motown-inspired Aussie teen-pop boyband Human Nature (“Everytime You Cry,” AUS #3, 1997), currently in residence on the Las Vegas Strip performing in a Motown-themed show
1978 ● Elliott Yamin → One hit wonder R&B/pop-neo-soul singer, “Wait For You” (#13, 2007), fifth season American Idol finalist
1980 ● Mike Kennerty → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for alt rock/power pop The All-American Rejects, “Swing, Swing” (Modern Rock #8, 2003)

July 21
1922 ● Kay Starr / (Katherine LaVerne Starks) → Successful 30s and 40s Big Band jazz-pop singer who migrated to country-pop and early rock ‘n’ roll during the 50s with even more success, including two #1 hits, “Wheel Of Fortune” (#1, 1952) and “The Rock And Roll Waltz” (#1, UK #1, 1956), continued to record and perform to a loyal following well after her style went out and well into her 80s, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 11/3/2016, age 94
1940 ● Tom Draper / (Thomas R. Draper) → Appliance salesman with a college degree in marketing who became a respected record label executive credited with the development of black music in the 70s and 80s, first as a early 70s sales and promotion agent for RCA Records in its newly-established black music department, subsequently promoted to VP of A&R but left in 1975 to join Warner Bros. Records as VP of marketing and promotion, over 12 years built Warner into a leading force in black music with a roster that included Ashford & Simpson, Chaka Khan, Prince, and the Staple Singers, among many others, moved to Time Warner as a VP in 1987 and retired in the 90s, died following a brief illness on 10/25/2019, age 79.
1942 ● Kim Vincent Fowley → Singer-songwriter, producer, disc jockey and band manager, best known for putting together the all-girl punk/hard rock The Runaways (“Cherry Bomb,” 1976), died from bladder cancer on 1/15/2015, age 72
1943 ● Henry McCullough → Irish guitarist in early folk-rock Sweeney’s Men and with Joe Cocker in the 60s, best known for his work with Paul McCartney‘s Wings in the 70s and his guitar solo on “My Love” (#1, 1973), continued to record and perform into the 10s, suffered a heart attack in 2012 and died four years later on 7/14/2016, age 72
1945 ● Mike Wilsh / (Michael Wilshaw) → Bass, keyboards and backing vocals for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US
1945 ● Rosie Hamlin / (Rosalie Hamlin) → 15-year old lead singer and principal songwriter in one hit wonder light pop/rock Rosie And The Originals, “Angel Baby” (#5, 1960), left the industry for motherhood in the early 60s but had her song covered by John Lennon and included on his posthumous 1986 album Menlove Avenue, died from “ill health” on 3/30/2017, age 71
1946 ● Bean Whitwam / (Barry “Bean” Whitwam) → Drummer for British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (#1. 1965)
1948 ● Cat Stevens / (Stephen Demitri Georgiou, now Yusuf Islam) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Peace Train” (#7, 1971) and 10 other US Top 40 hits, converted to Muslim in 1977
1953 ● Eric Bazilian → Co-founder, guitarist and vocals for 80s MTV pop-rock The Hooters, “And We Danced” (#21, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1955 ● Taco / (Taco Ockerse) → Pop-rock one hit wonder singer, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (#4, 1983)
1955 ● Howie Epstein → Bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989), died of a drug overdose on 2/23/2003, age 47
1961 ● Jim Martin / (James Blanco Martin) → Guitarist for influential metal/funk/hip hop/punk fusion band Faith No More, “Epic” (#9, 1990)
1962 ● Lee Aaron / (Karen Lynn Greening) → Award-winning Canadian pop, rock, jazz and singer/songwriter and guitarist with Broken Social Scene, “1 2 3 4” (UK #4, 2007), solo
1969 ● Emerson Hart → Founder, guitar and vocals for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1974 ● Terry Caldwell → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Blake Lewis → Beatboxer and American Idol runner-up, “How Many Words” (Dance/Club #8, 2008)

July 22
1924 ● Margaret Whiting → Adult Contemporary, traditional popular and country music singer (“Only Love Can Break A Heart,” #96, AC #4, 1967), TV actress on variety shows, sitcoms and music history documentaries, daughter of Richard Whiting, composer of pop music standards, including “Hooray For Hollywood” and “The Good Ship Lollipop,” died from natural causes on 1/10/2011, age 86
1937 ● Chuck Jackson → R&B/pop-soul singer with doo wop The Del-Vikings, “Come Go With Me” (#4, 1957) and solo, “Any Day Now” (#23, R&B #2, 1962)
1940 ● Thomas Wayne / (Thomas Wayne Perkins) → One hit wonder R&B/doo wop balladeer, “Tragedy” (#5, 1959), brother of Elvis Presley‘s guitarist, Luther Perkins, died in a Memphis car accident on 8/15/1971, age 31
1941 ● George Clinton → Principal architect and frontman of “P-Funk”, the R&B/soul-funk sound of the interchangeable bands Parliament and Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1941 ● Estelle Bennett → With her sister, Ronnie Bennett Spector and cousin Nedra Talley, vocals for Phil Spector-produced pop girl group The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (#2, 1963), suffered from mental and physical problems for many years until her death from colon cancer on 2/11/2009, age 67
1942 ● Gerry Stickells / (Gerald Richard Stickells) → Car mechanic turned roadie and later manager for Jimi Hendrix at the peak of his short career, later went on to run Jimi Hendrix‘s Electric Lady recording studios in New York City and form a partnership with fellow entrepreneur Chris Lamb to manage multiple rock acts, most notably Queen but also Paul McCartney, Elton John, Abba and other superstars, died from a brain tumor on 3/6/2019, age 76.
1943 ● Bobby Sherman → 60s and 70s pop-rock teen idol singer, “Little Woman” (#3, 1969), regular on TV music variety show Shindig!, TV actor on sit com Here Come The Brides
1944 ● Rick Davies / (Richard Davies) → Founder, keyboardist, songwriter and vocalist – and only original and still active member – of Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, composed or co-wrote many of the band’s hits, including “The Logical Song” (#6, UK #7, 1979), worked as a solo artist during periods when Supertramp was on hiatus, including in the 10s
1947 ● Don Henley / (Donald Hugh Henley) → Drummer, vocalist and songwriter, member of Linda Ronstadt‘s early 70s backing band, with his bandmates formed L.A. sound/country rock Eagles, “One Of These Nights” (#1, 1975), co-wrote and/or sang lead vocals on ten Top 10 hits before embarking in 1980 on a Grammy-winning solo career with five Top 25 albums and four Top 10 hits, including “The Boys Of Summer” (#5, Mainstream Rock #1, 1984), continues to tour and record with the Eagles and as a solo act, and contributes to social and political causes into the 10s
1949 ● Alan Menken → With songwriting team partner/lyricist Howard Ashman, Academy Award-winning and 8-time Oscar composer and producer for stage and screen, co-wrote “Under The Sea” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989), the title song to Beauty And The Beast (1991) and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992)
1953 ● Brian Howe / (Brian Anthony Howe) → Lead vocalist for various London rock bands in the early 80s, then auditioned for and was awarded the lead vocalist spot in hard rock Ted Nugent‘s band, stayed until 1986 when he joined Bad Company as songwriter and vocalist for a four-album run during the band’s resurgence through the early 90s, left the band in 1994 and released three solo albums and toured until his death following a heart attack on 5/6/2020, age 66.
1956 ● Mick Pointer → Founding member and original drummer for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985), left to form prog rock Arena
1957 ● Dennis Greaves → Guitar and lead vocals for Brit blues-rock/”mod revival” quartet Nine Below Zero, Don’t Point Your Finger album reached #56 on the UK album chart
1961 ● Keith Sweat → R&B/soul-New Jack swing singer, “Nobody” (#3, 1996), radio DJ, producer
1963 ● Emily Saliers → Guitar and vocals in indie-folk-pop duo Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine” (#52, Modern Rock #26, 1989)
1964 ● Will Calhoun → Drummer for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988), sessions
1967 ● Pat Badger → Bassist for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991)
1971 ● Chris Helme → Vocals for Britpop/indie rock The Seahorses, “Love Is The Law” (UK #3, 1997)
1973 ● Daniel Jones → Vocals, keyboards and sequencer, one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), now producer for Aussie pop-rock acts
1973 ● Rufus Wainwright → Canadian-American folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, Rolling Stone magazine’s 1998 Best New Artist, son of folk musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, brother of Martha Wainwright, album Release The Stars was US #23 in 2007

July 23
1929 ● Jack Richardson → Canadian record producer and Juno Award winner, produced all of The Guess Who‘s big albums and hits, including “American Woman” (#9, 1970), plus Alice Cooper‘s album Muscle Of Love (#10, 1973), Bob Seger‘s Night Moves (#8, 1977) and albums by Badfinger, Poco, Rough Trade, Starz and others, later became a college professor in music industry arts, died on 5/13/2011, age 81
1933 ● Bert Convy / (Bernard Whalen Convy) → Vocals in early rock ‘n’ roll The Cheers, their hit “(Bazoom) I Need Your Lovin'” (#3, 1954) was the first chart hit for the songwriting team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and one of the first hits by a white rock ‘n’ roll group, later became a Broadway stage performer (Fiddler On The Roof, 1964), a 60s and 70s television game show panelist (To Tell The Truth, Match Game, Password and others) and TV series guest star (Bewitched, Hawaii Five-O and others), died from a heart attack on 7/15/1991, age 58
1935 ● Cleve Duncan / (Cleveland Duncan) → Founding member and lead vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop quartet The Penguins, their enduring “Earth Angel” (#8, R&B #1, 1954) was one of the earliest R&B-to-pop crossover hits, fronted and snag with various incarnations of the group through the 90s, died on 11/7/2012, age 77.
1942 ● Madeline Bell → R&B and pop-rock singer, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” (#26, 1968), joined Brit pop-rock Blue Mink, “Melting Pot” (UK #3, 1970), also session backing vocals for Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Kiki Dee and others
1943 ● Joe Santollo → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died from a heart attack as the band was preparing for a reunion tour on 6/3/1981, age 37
1944 ● Dino Danelli → Drums and vocals for blue-eyed soul The Rascals, “Groovin”” (#1, 1967), then pop-rock Bulldog, power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978), Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul and The New Rascals
1946 ● Andy Mackay → Saxophone and woodwinds for prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), sessions and teaching
1947 ● David Essex / (David Albert Cook) → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, one hit wonder in the U.S., “Rock On” (#5, 1973), but with 19 UK Top 40 singles (including two #1s)
1948 ● John Hall → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for pop-rock Orleans, “Still The One” (#5, 1976), sessions and touring, solo, “Power” (1979), now a member of the U.S. Congress (NY-D-19th)
1950 ● Blair Thornton → Guitarist for Canadian hard pop-rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1952 ● Janis Siegel → Vocals for Grammy-winning jazz-pop fusion vocal group Manhattan Transfer, “Boy From New York City” (#7, 1981)
1954 ● Marisa DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1964 ● Nick Menza → Drummer for thrash-metal Megadeth, “Symphony Of Destruction” (Mainstream #29, 1992)
1965 ● Rob Dickinson → Vocals for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1965 ● Slash / (Saul Hudson) → Lead guitar for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), side project Slash’s Snakepit caused him to leave the band for good in 1997, formed Velvet Revolver in 2002 with ex-GNR bandmates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, “Fall To Pieces” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1971 ● Chad Gracey → Drummer for alt rock Live, “Lightning Crashes” (Modern Rock #5, 1995), co-founded post-grunge The Gracious Few in 2009
1971 ● Dalvin DeGrate → Vocals in R&B/electro-dance “bad boy” quartet Jodeci, “Lately” (#4, 1993)
1973 ● Fran Healy → Guitar and vocals for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (#36, UK #10, 2000) plus 11 other UK Top 40 hits
1980 ● Steve Jocz → Drummer for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004)
1980 ● Tenitra Michelle Williams → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), solo , “The Greatest” (Dance/Club #1, 2008)

July 24
1935 ● Les Reed / (Leslie David Reed, OBE) → Novello Award-winning English songwriter, musician and light-orchestra leader, wrote or co-wrote over 60 charting, mostly MOR pop songs, including “It’s Not Unusual” with Gordon Mills (Tom Jones, #10, UK #1, 1965), “The Last Waltz” with Barry Mason (Engelbert Humperdinck, #25, AC #6, UK #1, 1967) and “Kiss Me Goodbye” with Mason (Petula Clark, #15, UK #50, 1968), another Reed/Mason composition became “Marching On Together,” the anthem for English football club Leeds United, since sung by LUFC fans at every match for nearly 50 years, in his later career scored motion picture soundtracks and stage musicals, died from undisclosed causes on 4/15/2019, age 83.
1941 ● Barbara Jean Love → Vocals for pop-rock vocal group The Friends Of Distinction, “Grazing In The Grass” (#3, 1969)
1942 ● Heinz Burt → Bassist for Brit instrumental rock ‘n’ roll The Tornados,”Telstar” (#1, 1962), the first major US hit by a British group, solo, died from complication of a neural disease on 4/7/2000, age 57
1944 ● Jim Armstrong → Guitarist for Northern Irish R&B/garage rock Them, Here Comes The Night” (#24, UK #2, 1965), since then in multiple Irish rock bands, including Truth, Light, The Belfast Blues Band and Jim Armstrong Band
1944 ● Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin / (Lawrance Padilla) → Solo artist and core member of 60s spoken-word, proto-rap group The Last Poets, credited with establishing the foundation for hip hop music and often called the “Grandfather of Rap,” influential works include The Lost Poets eponymous debut album (#29, Soul #3, 1970) and his solo album, Hustler’s Convention (1973), both combining spoken poetry and “toasting” – rhythmic chanting and talking over a simple beat – with jazz and funk music, died after a long battle with lung cancer on 6/4/2018, age 73
1947 ● Alan Whitehead → Founding member and drummer for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Chris Townson → Drummer and founding member of Brit pop art/mod rock John’s Children, “Desdemona” (1967), the band occasionally recognized as a punk and glam-rock precursor, died of cancer on 2/10/2008, age 60
1948 ● Kim Berly / (Kimball Meyer) → Founding member and drummer in Canadian pop-rock trio The Stampeders (“Sweet City Woman,” #8, CAN #1 , 1971), left in 1978 but reformed the band in the 90s and continues to tour and perform into the 10s
1951 ● Lynval Golding → Rhythm guitar and vocals for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), left to co-found New Wave pop Fun Boy Three, “Really Saying Something” (Club #16, UK #5, 1982)
1951 ● Gypie Mayo / (John Philip Cawhra) → Guitarist and songwriter for the mid-70s lineup of Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, co-wrote the hit single “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979) with Nick Lowe, played in the reborn Yardbirds from 1996 to 2004, died from undisclosed causes on 10/23/2013, age 62
1953 ● Diaper Man / (Garry Shider) → Guitarist, backing vocals, co-songwriter and musical director for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978) and the P-Funk All-Stars, solo and collaborations, died of cancer on 6/16/2010, age 56
1957 ● Larry Gott → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock James, “Sit Down” (UK #2, 1991) and “Laid” (#61, Modern Rock #3, 1994)
1958 ● Mick Karn / (Anthony Michaelides) → Bassist and saxophone for Brit New Wave art-rock Japan, “Ghosts” (UK #5, 1982)
1961 ● Paul Geary → Drummer for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), manager for Smashing Pumpkins, Godsmack, Creed and others
1969 ● J.Lo / (Jennifer Lynn Lopez) → Dancer, TV and film actress (Selena, 1997), R&B/dance-pop singer, “If You Had My Love”( #1, 1999), record producer and fashion designer, #1 on People magazine’s 2007 list of 100 Most Influential Hispanics
1986 ● Pete Reilly → Lead guitarist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

July 25
1894 ● Walter Brennan / (Walter Andrew Brennan) → World War I veteran and country-pop singer with four charting singles in the early 60s, including “Old Rivers” (#5, AC #2, Country #3, 1962), but best known as three-time Grammy-winning actor on stage and film, and as Grampa Amos on TV’s The McCoys in the late 50s, died from emphysema on 9/21/1974, age 80
1925 ● Benny Benjamin / (William Benjamin) → Session drummer in Motown house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a stroke on 4/20/1969, age 43
1942 ● Bruce Woodley → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-sunshine pop The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” (#2, 1967), penned the unofficial national anthem “I Am Australian” (1987)
1943 ● Jim McCarty → Drummer and vocals for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left and co-founded prog-folk-rock Renaissance in 1969, then played acoustic guitar for prog rock Illusion, solo albums and reformed Yardbirds
1943 ● Tom Dawes → Bass guitar and vocals for upbeat folk-pop, two hit wonder The Cyrkle, “Red Rubber Ball” (#2, 1966) and “Turn Down Day” (#16, 1966), later headed his own advertising agency and wrote jingles for 7Up, Coca-Cola and Alka-Seltzer (“plop, plop, fizz, fizz”), died from complications of heart surgery on 10/13/2007, age 64
1946 ● José Chepitó Areas → Nicaraguan original member and percussionist for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970)
1948 ● Steve Goodman → Grammy-winning folk and folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “The City Of New Orleans” (covered by Arlo Guthrie, #18, 1972) and issued 12 solo albums, died of leukemia on 9/20/1984, age 36
1950 ● Mark Clarke → Journeyman bassist, sessions and/or touring with prog rock Colosseum, hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), Natural Gas, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Billy Squier, The (reformed) Monkees, Mountain, Ian Hunter and others
1951 ● Verdine White → Bass and vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1953 ● Gary Shaugnessy → Guitarist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation (“Sad Sweet Dreamer,” #14, UK #1, 1975)
1955 ● Randy Bewley → Co-founding member and guitarist for Athens, GA-based seminal post-punk college rock Pylon (“Gyrate, “Dance/Club #41, 1981), later in several other local bands and music teacher, died following a heart attack on 2/25/2009, age 53
1958 ● Thurston Moore → Guitar and vocals for alt rock/avant-garde Sonic Youth, “100%” (Modern Rock #4, 1992)
1973 ● Ladybug Mecca / (Mary Ann Vieira) → Vocals and producer for hip hop rap-jazz fusion trio Digable Planets, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)” (#15, R&B #5, 1993), solo