This Week’s Birthdays (July 24 – 30)

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The Friends Of Distinction (Barbara Jean Love, seocnd from right, with glasses)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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, R&B #5, 1969), left the group in 1970 to raise a baby and a family, never returned despite opportunities to do so before the group broke up in 1978 and again when it reformed in 1990, died from undisclosed causes on 10/25/2020, age 79.
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
1930 ● Annie Ross / (Annabelle Macauley Allan Short) → British jazz, pop and bebob singer-songwriter with “Twisted” (1952), one of the earliest and best known examples of “vocalese” where lyrics are added to previously recorded jazz instrumental solos to create a new song, later became one third of the highly-popular jazz-pop vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and recorded seven albums with many vocalese tracks, left in 1962 and opened a London night club in 1964 but suffered from heroin addiction and financial troubles, dropped out of sight in the 70s, re-appeared on stage and screen in the 80s and resumed her singing career as a cabaret singer/actor/comedienne until dying from emphysema and heart disease on 7/21/2020, age 89.
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 / (Steven Benjamin 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 albumsand wrote the Chicago Cubs’ anthem “Go, Cubs, Go” (1984), 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

July 26
1928 ● Joe Jackson / (Joseph Walter Jackson) → Former R&B guitarist, professional boxer and steelworker turned patriarch and manager of Motown pop-soul The Jackson 5 and later the solo careers of his son Michael Jackson and daughter Janet Jackson, known for his abusive treatment of his wife and children, who dismissed him as their manager in 1983 but publicly forgave him over the years, died from pancreatic cancer on 6/27/2018, age 89
1931 ● Fred Foster / (Fred Luther Foster) → Songwriter, record producer and music business executive, as a young and rising talent scout at Mercury Records in 1955 tried and failed to convince management to buy Elvis Presley‘s contract from Sun Records, left in 1958 to co-found Monument Records, the small label which nurtured the careers of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Dolly Parton, among other emergent and important country, pop and rock artists, produced Roy Orbison‘s early hits, including “Oh, Pretty Woman” (#1, UK #1, 1964), sold Monument in the 80s but continued to work as a producer, most notably on the 2007 Grammy-winning album Last Of The Breed by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Ray Price, died from complications of a stroke on 2/20/2019, age 87.
1937 ● Al Banks → Soaring falsetto lead vocals for Philly R&B/doo wop The Turbans, “When You Dance” (#33, R&B #3, 1955), joined the reconstituted Drifters in 1972, died 7/7/1977, age 39
1938 ● Bobby Hebb → R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter, “Sunny” (#2, 1966), died of lung cancer on 8/3/2010, age 72
1940 ● Dobie Gray (Lawrence Darrow Brown) → Versatile singer with Top 40 hits in four genres, R&B “The ‘In’ Crowd” (#13, R&B #11, 1965), pop “Drift Away” (#5, 1973), disco “You Can Do It” (#37, 1979) and country “That’s One To Grow On” (Country #35, 1986), died from complications following cancer surgery on 12/6/2011, age 71
1941 ● Brenton Wood / (Alfred Jesse Smith) → Two hit wonder R&B/soul-pop vocalist, “Gimme Little Sign” (#9, 1967) and “The Oogum Boogum Song” (#19, 1967)
1941 ● Darlene Love / (Darlene Wright) → Lead vocals for Phil Spector girl group The Blossoms, sang lead on “He’s A Rebel” (#1, 1962), which was credited to The Crystals, another Spector group, also sang backing vocals on “Monster Mash” (Bobby “Boris” Pickett, #1, 1962), “Johnny Angel” (Shelley Fabares, #1, 1962), and several hits credited to The Ronettes, including “Be My Baby” (#4, 1963), plus hits by Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys and many others
1941 ● Neil Landon / (Patrick Cahill) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit psych-pop one hit wonder The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #1, 1967), then moved over to pre-fab pop White Plains, “My Baby Loves Lovin'” (#13, 1970)
1943 ● Mick Jagger / (Michael Philip Jagger) → Frontman, lead singer and songwriter for megastar hard rock The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar” (#1, 1971), duet with David Bowie, “Dancing In The Street” (#7, 1985) and solo, “Don’t Tear Me Up” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1993)
1943 ● Andrea True / (Andrea Truden) → Adult film star in 70s and 80s who moonlighted as a disco-era dance-pop singer with two Top 40 hits, “More, More, More” (#4, 1976) and “N.Y., You Got Me Dancing” (#27, Dance/Club #4, 1977), died from heart failure on 11/7/2011, age 68
1944 ● Betty Davis / (Betty Gray Mabry) → Flamboyant 60s-70s R&B/funk singer with a sexually-charged delivery in lyrics and artistry, her provocative style achieved marginal commercial success but laid the groundwork for future funk and hip hop artists, among them Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Ice Cube, released four albums of self-penned songs, including They Say I’m Different (R&B #46, 1974) plus two minor R&B chart hits, married jazz legend Miles Davis in 1968 for one year, introduced him to rock and funk artists Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, thus opening his move into jazz fusion music, appeared on the cover of MilesFilles de Kilimanjaro album (1969) and in his tribute to her, “Mademoiselle Mabry,” dropped out of music in the 80s but enjoyed a resurgence of notoriety in the 2000s as her albums and unreleased material were re-issued, penned and released her first new song in over 40 years, “A Little Bit Hot Tonight” in 2019, diagnosed with cancer and died two weeks later on 2/9/2022, age 77.
1949 ● Roger Meddows Taylor → Founding member, drummer, songwriter and vocals for camp rock/mock-opera/hard pop Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (#9, 1976) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (#1, 1980), wrote and sang “Radio Ga Ga” (#16, 1984), solo
1961 ● Andy Connell → Founder and keyboards for Brit sophisti-pop Swing Out Sister, “Breakout” (#6, 1987), previously played with post-punk The Immediates and New Wave funk A Certain Radio, producer
1961 ● Gary Cherone → Co-founder and lead vocals for hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), joined hard rock Van Halen in 1996 as lead vocalist, “Humans Being” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), solo
1962 ● Miranda Joyce → Saxophone and vocals for Brit all female ska/pop-rock The Belle Stars, “Sign Of The Times” (UK #3, 1983) and “Iko Iko” (#14, 1989)
1963 ● Scott Francis Crago → Session drummer, worked with Eagles since 1994, plus appearances for Bryan Adams, Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow, Chris Isaak, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and others
1967 ● Headliner / (Timothy Barnwell) → DJ and rapper for progressive funk-soul-blues hip hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1980 ● Brown Sound / (Dave Baksh) → Guitarist for Canadian indie punk-pop Sum 41, “We’re All To Blame” (Mainstream Rock #36, 2004), quit in 2006 to form his own band Brown Brigade
1984 ● Alexandra Parks → Winner of the BBC talent contest show Fame Academy in 2003, “Maybe That’s What It Takes” (UK #3, 2003) from the UK #5 album Introduction (2003)

July 27
1920 ● Homer / (Henry D. Haynes) → With musical partner Kenneth C. Burns, one half the satirical country-pop radio and TV comedy/music duo Homer & Jethro, parodied country and pop hits and won a Grammy Award for “The Battle Of Kookamonga” (#14, 1959) , their take on Johnny Horton‘s #1 hit “The Battle Of New Orleans,” continued to perform with Burns until just prior to his death from a heart attack on 8/7/1971, age 51
1922 ● Bob Thiele → Jazz and jazz-pop record producer and record label executive, founded Signature and worked for Decca, Impulse, ABC/Bluesway, Flying Dutchman and others, co-wrote and produced “What A Wonderful World” for Louis Armstrong (#116, UK #1, 1967), worked with John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie and countless others, died from kidney failure on 1/30/1996, age 73
1927 ● Bob Morse → Baritone vocals in 50s a cappella jazz-pop quartet The Hi-Lo‘s, the group had three Top 20 albums in 1957 – Suddenly It’s The Hi-Lo’s (#13), Ring Around Rosie (#14) and Now Hear This (#19), continued touring until his death on 4/27/2001, age 73
1927 ● Guy Carawan → Folk musician and musicologist best known for introducing the black spiritual “We Shall Overcome” to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the American civil rights movement in 1960, the song has since become the standard for protests around the world, died from complications of dementia on 5/2/2015, age 87
1928 ● Harvey Fuqua → Founder and frontman for 50s R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, “Sincerely” (R&B #1, 1955), then Motown A&R director and producer, died of a heart attack on 7/6/2010, age 81
1930 ● Andy White → Scot session drummer with a long resume of 60s performances, among others Tom Jones‘ “It’s Not Unusual” (#10, UK #1, 1965) and Herman’s Hermit‘s “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” (#1, 1965), became a “5th Beatle” when he subbed for Ringo Starr on The Beatles‘ “Love Me Do” (#1, 1964 / UK #17, 1962), retired in 1975 to move to the U.S. to teach Scottish pipe drumming, died from a stroke on 11/9/2015, age 85
1933 ● Nick Reynolds → Founding member, vocals and guitar for definitive folk-pop The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” (#1, 1958) and nine other Top 40 hits, died from respiratory complications on 10/1/2008, age 75
1943 ● Allan Ramsey → Bassist for pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● Bobby Gentry / (Roberta Lee Streeter) → Grammy-winning country-pop and adult contemporary singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Ode to Billy Joe” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Andy McMaster → Keyboards for early pub rock Ducks Deluxe, then power pop/rock The Motors, “Airport” (UK #4, 1978)
1949 ● H-Bomb / (Henry Weck) → Drummer for one hit wonder rock band Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” (#3, 1973)
1949 ● Maureen McGovern → Adult contemporary pop singer, “The Morning After” (#1, 1973) from the movie The Poseidon Adventure and the Academy Award-winning “We May Never Love This Way Again” from The Towering Inferno (1974)
1949 ● Rory Macdonald / (Roderick Macdonald) → Bass and vocals for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995) and 13 albums
1950 ● Mick Vaughan / (Michael Vaughan) → Guitarist for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1953 ● Suzi Carr → Vocals for mellow adult pop-rock cover trio Will To Power, “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird” (#1, 1988)
1960 ● Conway Savage → Bassist for alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1963 ● Karl Mueller → Bassist for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993), died from throat cancer on 6/17/2005, age 41
1964 ● Rex Brown → Bassist in alt metal Pantera, “Planet Caravan” (Mainstream Rock #21, 1994)
1967 ● Juliana Hatfield → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontwoman for indie rock/power pop Blake Babies, solo, “My Sister” (Modern Rock #1, 1993) and “Spin The Bottle (#39, 1994)
1973 ● Abe Cunningham → Drummer for Grammy-winning alt heavy metal Deftones, “Change (In The House Of Flies)” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2000)
1974 ● Pete Yorn / (Peter Joseph Yorn) → Multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter, “For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)” (Modern Rock #28, 2001) from the critically-acclaimed debut album Musicforthemorningafter (2001)

July 28
1901 ● Rudy Vallée / (Hubert Prior Vallée ) → Hugely popular 1930s crooner and vaudeville entertainer, often singing through a megaphone, “Stein Song” (The University Of Maine)” (#1, 1930), became a film, radio stage and TV performer in the 50s, 60s and 70s, died from cancer on 7/3/1986, age 84
1915 ● Frankie Yankovic → The “King of Polka,” Grammy-winning and hugely popular Slovenian-American polka musician, composer, radio DJ, TV host and bandleader with over 200 albums in a five decade recording and performing career, died from heart failure on 10/14/1998, age 83
1924 ● Lord Burgess / (Irving Louis Burgie) → Second generation West Indian American musician and songwriter largely credited with starting the Caribbean music craze of the 1950s with the 34 songs composed for singer Harry Belafonte, including eight of 11 songs on the album Calypso (1956 – the first album of any kind to sell one million copies) and Belafonte‘s signature song, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” (#5, 1956), also wrote the lyrics of the National Anthem of Barbados, his oeuvre has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, died at home from heart failure on 11/29/2019, age 95.
1935 ● Simon Dee / (Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd) → British TV personality and radio DJ, twice-weekly BBC TV chat show Dee Time during the 60s with musical guests including Jimi Hendrix and Lulu, died of bone cancer on 8/29/2009, age 74
1938 ● George Cummings → Steel guitar for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1940 ● Philip Proctor → Comedian, small-role TV actor, voice actor and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, lent his voice to roles in multiple cartoons, video games and movies, including Toy Story, Rugrats and PlayStation games
1943 ● Michael Bloomfield → Celebrated blues-rock guitarist for urban electric blues The Butterfield Blues Band, formed blues/psych rock/jazz fusion Electric Flag in 1967, played with Al Kooper and Stephen Stills on the remarkable Super Session album, solo and multiple collaborations, #22 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, died of a heroin overdose on 2/15/1981, age 37.
1943 ● Richard Wright → Founding member, keyboards, vocals and songwriter for of space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), dismissed from the band by frontman Roger Waters in 1980 but returned after Waters left in 1987, solo, died of cancer on 9/15/2008, age 65
1946 ● Jonathan Edwards → Light folk-rock and country-pop one hit wonder singer/songwriter, “Sunshine” (#4, 1971)
1948 ● Jerry Casale / (Gerald Casale) → Founding member, bassist, synthesizer player, video director and “chief strategist” for quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), also produced videos for The Cars, Rush, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and others, directed TV commercials for Diet Coke, Miller Lite, Honda and others
1949 ● Simon Kirke → Drummer for proto-metal/hard rock Free, “All Right Now” (#4, 1970) and hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), session work for Jim Capaldi, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood and many others
1949 ● Steve Peregrine Took → Founding partner, bass and percussion for psych rock Tyrannosaurus Rex, was fired for drug abuse and bizarre behavior shortly before former partner Marc Bolan and the band hit it big as proto-glam rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), died after choking on a cocktail cherry on 10/27/1980, age 31
1949 ● Peter Doyle → Guitar and vocals for folk-sunshine pop The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” (#7, 1972), died 10/13/2001, age 52
1954 ● Steven J. Morse → Canadian rock and jazz-rock fusion guitarist, founder of acclaimed Southern instrumental rock fusion band Dixie Dregs, issued several solo albums, divided time between hard rock Kansas and hard rock Deep Purple from 1994-2009
1962 ● Rachel Sweet → Teenage rock ‘n’ roll singer who signed to Stiff Records at age 18, “Everlasting Love” (#32, 1981), issued several other singles and became a TV host
1965 ● Nick Banks → Drummer for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995)
1972 ● Dan Warton → Drummer for indie punk-rock Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, “Not Sleeping Around” (Modern Rock #1, 1992)
1980 ● Noel Sullivan → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), refocused on musical theater following the group’s disbandment in 2003
1986 ● Jaoby Dakota Shaddix → Lead singer for hard rock/heavy metal Papa Roach, “Scars” (#15, Mainstream Rock #4, 2005)
1990 ● Soulja Boy / (DeAndre Cortez Way) → Rapper, “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” (#1, 2007), record producer

July 29
1916 ● Charlie Christian / (Charles Henry Christian) → Swing, bebop and cool jazz guitarist in the 30s and 40s, early and very important guitarist who influenced the development of the electric guitar as a solo instrument, played with Benny Goodman, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and others, died from tuberculosis on 3/2/1942, age 25.
1918 ● Frank Miller → Guitar and vocals in influential but unheralded 50s folk trio The Easy Riders, co-wrote their big hit, the oft-covered “Marianne” (#3, 1957) and continued to write and record as a solo artist and in groups with other folk luminaires until retirement in the late 60s
1923 ● Jim Marshall / (James Charles Marshall) → The “Father of Loud” and pioneer of guitar amplification with iconic products used by Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and countless others from garage bands to superstars, often in a “Marshall stack” or wall of black, vinyl-clad cabinets mounted one atop the other, founded and led his company, Marshall Amplification well into his eighties, now considered one of the four major contributors to the development of rock music equipment along with Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover, died from cancer on 4/5/2012, age 88
1930 ● Jim Stewart → Part-time country music fiddler who co-founded Stax Records in Memphis with his sister, Estelle Axton, and recorded and published some of the top Southern soul and Memphis soul acts of the 60s and 70s, including house band Booker T. & The MG’s, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Staple Singers and many others
1933 ● Randy Sparks / (Lloyd A. Sparks) → Folk and pop musician and founder of iconic folk revival band The New Christy Minstrels (“Green, Green,” #14, AC #3, 1963), the group had 12 charting albums in the 60s, including the Grammy-winning Introducing The New Christy Minstrels (#19, 1962), still leads and performs with the band into the 10s
1938 ● Marvin Ingram / (Marvin Inabnett) → Founding member and high tenor 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, left the group in 1966 and died on 3/7/1999, age 60
1946 ● Neal Doughty → Co-founder, songwriter, keyboards and only constant member of arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1947 ● Carlo Santanna → Guitar for pop/rock one hit wonder Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” (#1, UK #3, 1974), a second single “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (#96, UK #1, 1974) qualifies them as a two hit wonder in the UK
1953 ● Geddy Lee / (Gary Lee Weinrib) → Bassist, lead vocals and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles
1953 ● Patty Scialfa / (Vivienne Patricia Scialfa) → Backing vocals for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, solo, wife of The Boss since 6/8/1991
1959 ● John Sykes → Guitarist for Irish hard rock Thin Lizzy (1982-83), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), then formed hard rock Blue Murder, solo
1962 ● Martin McCarrick → Guitar for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1966 ● Martina McBride / (Martina Mariea Schiff) → Grammy-winning country/country-pop singer and songwriter known as the “Celine Dion of Country Music, charted twenty Country Top 10, seven Top 40 and five Adult Contemporary hits through 2016, including “I Love You” (#24, Country #1, AC #1, 1999)
1966 ● Miles Hunt → Frontman, guitar and vocals for alt rock The Wonder Stuff, “Welcome To The Cheap Seats” (Modern Rock #28, UK #8, 1992), TV host
1967 ● Chris Gorman → Drummer for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993), now a commercial photographer
1972 ● Simon Jones → Bassist for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998)
1973 ● Wanya Jermaine Morris → Lead vocals for R&B/urban soul a cappella Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1977 ● Danger Mouse / (Brian Joseph Burton) → Multi-instrumentalist musician, Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, released the mashup album The Grey Album in 2004 combining The BeatlesWhite Album (1968) with rapper Jay-Z‘s The Black Album (2003), co-founded alt. neo-soul Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (#2, 2006), produced albums for Gorillaz, Beck, The Black Keys and U2

July 30
1926 ● Christine McGuire / (Ruby Christine McGuire) → Eldest 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 until retirement in 1968, married five times and mother to two sons, reunited with her sisters in 1986 and performed on Las Vegas, New York and Atlantic City stages for two more decades, died from undisclosed causes on 12/28/2018, age 92.
1936 ● Buddy Guy / (George Guy) → Pioneering and highly influential Chicago blues guitarist and singer, “Stone Crazy” (R&B #12, 1962), #30 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1938 ● Kookie Byrnes / (Edward Byrne Breitenberger) → TV actor (played the character Gerald Lloyd Kookson III on 77 Sunset Strip) and one hit wonder novelty-pop singer, “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb” (#4, 1959), a take-off from his character’s constant combing of his pompadour
1940 ● Big Jack Johnson / (Jack N. Johnson) → Contemporary Delta blues guitarist, songwriter and bandleader with a dozen critically acclaimed electric blues albums, many with social activism themes, died from an undisclosed illness on 3/14/2001, age 60
1941 ● Paul Anka → Canadian-born teen idol/contemporary pop/easy listening crooner and songwriter, “Lonely Boy” (#1, 1959), wrote the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Tom Jones‘ “She’s A Lady” (#2, 1971) and the lyrics to Frank Sinatra‘s “My Way” (#11, 1969)
1944 ● Chris Darrow / (Christopher Lloyd Darrow) → Highly-skilled and sought-after multi-instrumentalist L.A. session musician and country-rock pioneer, co-founded 60s American eclectic folk-rock cult band Kaleidoscope, replaced Jackson Browne in country-rock the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (“Mr. Bojangles,” #9, 1971), worked in Linda Ronstadt‘s backing band, recorded several solo albums and did studio work for James Taylor, Helen Reddy and many others, continued to record and produce folk- and country-rock music into the 10s, died from complications of a stroke on 1/15/2020, age 75.
1945 ● David Sanborn → Influential jazz-pop saxophonist with the blues-rock The Butterfield Blues Band, jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), Grammy-winning solo career, “Bang Bang” (#53, Adult Contemporary #23, 1992), session work for David Bowie, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and others
1946 ● Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond → Early bass guitarist for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), left the band in 1975 to return to his avocation, painting, but made several appearances with the band over the decades
1949 ● Hugh Nicholson → Guitarist and songwriter for Scottish freakbeat/psych-pop The Poets, “She Blew A Good Thing” (#45, R&B #2, 1966), then Scottish pop-rock Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970) and pop-rock Blue, “Gonna Capture Your Heart” (#88, UK #18, 1977)
1949 ● Joyce Jones → Singer for Philly R&B/disco female vocal group First Choice, “The Player, Part 1” (R&B #7, 1974)
1956 ● Phil Fearon → Jamaican-born guitarist and singer for R&B/funk-pop Galaxy, “Dancing Tight” (1983), independent label record company executive
1957 ● David Joseph → Keyboards and lead vocals for North London-based R&B/disco-funk boy band Hi-Tension, “British Hustle” (UK #8, 1978)
1957 ● Rat Scabies / (Chris Millar) → Founding member and drummer for first-wave punk rockers The Damned, “Eloise” (UK #3, 1986), solo and collaborations
1958 ● Kate Bush / (Catherine Bush) → Hugely successful Brit alt pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Wuthering Heights” (UK #1, 1978) and “Love And Anger” (Modern Rock #1, UK #38, 1990)
1959 ● Vaughn Toulouse / (Vaughn Cotillard) → Lead vocals for New Wave ska-pop Department S, “Is Vic There?” (#67, UK #22, 1981), died from AIDS related illness on 8/22/1991, age 32
1963 ● Tex Axile / (Anthony Doughty) → Keyboards for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983)
1966 ● Jyoti Mishra → India-born frontman, composer and multi-instrumentalist for one man band, one hit wonder alt dance-pop White Town, “Your Woman” (#23, UK #1, 1997)
1968 ● Louise Wener → Vocals for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1968 ● Sean Moore → Drummer for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1970 ● MC Trouble / (LaTasha Sheron Rogers) → First female rapper signed to Motown Records, issued one album and a minor hit (“(I Wanna) Make You Mine,” Rap #15, 1990), while recording her second album died in her sleep from heart failure during an epileptic seizure on 6/4/1991, age 20
1971 ● Brad Hargreaves → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life” (#4, 1997)
1977 ● Ian Watkins → Singer for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1980 ● Seth Avett → With brother Scott, frontman and guitarist in progressive folk-rock quartet The Avett Brothers (Ain’t No Man,” AAA #1, Alt Rock #28, 2016)

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