This Week’s Birthdays (July 4 – 10)

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Happy Birthday this week to:

July 04
1826 ● Stephen Foster / (Stephen Collins Foster) → The “Father of American Music” and likely the country’s first widely-renowned music star and a now-enduring 19th century pop music composer whose works are at the core of the American Songbook, his hundreds of titles include lasting standards such as “Oh, Susanna” (1849), “Camptown Races” (1850) and “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864), died at a very young age following an accidental fall on 1/13/1864, age 37.
1889 ● Joe Young → Tin Pan Alley and popular music lyricist, co-wrote “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” (1925) and the oft-covered pop standard “I’m Going to Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” a #5 hit for Fats Waller in 1935 and a #3 hit for Billy Williams in 1957 in 1957, among several others, died from undisclosed causes on 4/21/1939, age 49.
1911 ● Mitch Miller / (William Mitchell Miller) → Classical musician, then pop bandleader, arranger and singer, “The Yellow Rose Of Texas” (#1, 1955), later head of A&R (artists and repertory) for Columbia Records pop division and host of his own TV program that featured the “Sing Along With Mitch” concept based on the success of 20 such albums he released in the early 60s, died after a short illness on 7/31/2010, age 99
1934 ● Gilbert Lopez → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1938 ● Bill Withers / (William Harrison Withers Jr.) → Son of a West Virginia coal miner, self-taught guitarist and three-time Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer/songwriter for “Ain’t No Sunshine” (#3, R&B #6, 1971), “Lean On Me” (#1, R&B #1, 1972) and “Just The Two Of Us” (#2, R&B #3, 1981), stopped recording and performing in 1985 out of frustration with the music business and, except for occasional appearances at induction ceremonies, stayed out of the spotlight until dying from heart disease on 3/30/2020, age 81.
1940 ● Dave Rowberry → Keyboards for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, 1964), died from a bleeding ulcer on 6/6/2003, age 62
1941 ● Dick Addrisi → With his older brother, Don, one-half the pop vocal duo The Addrisi Brothers, scored several minor hits in the 60s and 70s but found greater success as a songwriting team, including “Never My Love” for The Association (#2, 1967) which they recorded for themselves and reached #80 (AC #28) in 1977, continued to write and perform together until his brother’s death in 1984
1943 ● Annette Beard Sterling Helton → Original member and vocalist for Motown R&B/pop girl group Martha & The Vandellas, “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” (#4, 1963), left the group in 1964 for her family
1943 ● Fred Wesley → Jazz and funk trombonist, music director and bandleader for James Brown‘s backing band, The J.B.’s, “Doing It To Death” (#22, R&B #1, 1973), also recorded and toured with funk Parliament and Funkadelic, Count Basie, Maceo Parker, De La Soul and others, currently a visiting artist/adjunct professor at Berklee College of Music and other schools
1943 ● Blind Owl Wilson / (Alan Wilson) → Guitar, harmonica and vocals for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, “Going Up The Country” (#11, 1968), died of a drug overdose on 9/3/1970, age 27
1947 ● Jacques Morali → French producer and songwriter, produced over 65 albums, formed and managed gay disco troupe Village People, “YMCA” (#2, 1979), died of AIDS on 11/15/1991, age 44
1948 ● Jeremy Spencer → Early member and slide guitarist for blues-rock Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross” (UK #1, 1969), left the band abruptly during a 1971 tour to join the Children of God religious sect
1949 ● Gene Gunnels → Early drummer in 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967), but left before the song became a hit
1950 ● Kid Jensen / (David ‘Jensen) → Canadian-born, Danish descent radio DJ and TV personality, first for Radio Luxembourg in the late 60s and the BBC Radio 1 beginning in 1976, later Capital FM and other London stations
1951 ● Ralph Johnson → Drummer for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975)
1952 ● John Waite → Singer, songwriter and bassist for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), then arena rock Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (#1, 1989), then pop-rock balladeer solo, “Missing You” (#1, 1984)
1958 ● Kirk Pengilly → Guitar and vocals for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Matt Malley → Bassist for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1964 ● Mark Slaughter → Vocals, guitar, keyboards, songwriter and frontman for pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), currently a voice-over actor and TV music composer
1970 ● Andy McClure → Drummer for Britpop Sleeper, “Sale Of The Century” (UK #10, 1996)
1971 ● Andrew Creeggan → Piano for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1972 ● William Goldsmith → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999) quit the band in 1997
1978 ● Stephen McNally → Vocals and guitar for short-lived teen pop-rock trio BBMak, “Back Here” (#13, 2000)

July 05
1912 ● Mack David → Elder brother of composer Hal David, film and TV lyricist and songwriter with credits to over 1,000 songs, particularly those from the Disney films Cinderella (1950) and Alice In Wonderland (1951), plus Walk On The Wild Side (1963), Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) and Cat Ballou (1966) among others, co-wrote “Baby It’s You” (The Shirelles, #8, R&B #3, 1961), died from natural causes on 12/30/1993, age 81
1920 ● Smiley Lewis / (Overton Amos Lemons) → New Orleans R&B guitarist, songwriter and booming-voiced singer, “I Hear You Knocking” (R&B #2, 1955), wrote “One Night” covered by Elvis Presley (#4, 1958), died from stomach cancer on 10/7/1966, age 46
1930 ● Mitch Jayne / (Mitchell Franklin Jayne) → Bluegrass radio DJ, then founding member, bassist and lyricist for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1938 ● Snuff Garrett / (Thomas Lesslie Garrett) → Record label executive, DJ, TV host, producer and arranger, as A&R man for Liberty Records produced “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) for Gary Lewis & The Playboys and other hits in the 60s, left Liberty and started his own production company with acts including Sonny & Cher, Eddie Rabbitt, Vicki Lawrence, Tanya Tucker and others, died from cancer on 12/16/2015, age 76
1941 ● Terry Cashman / (Dennis Minoque) → The “Balladeer of Baseball,” one-time minor league player turned singer/songwriter with doo wop The Chevrons, “Lullabye” (1960) and pop duo Cashman & West, “American City Suite” (#27, 1972), co-produced several of Jim Croce‘s hits, then solo and best known for his minor hit “Talkin’ Baseball” (1981), which he has since recorded with custom lyrics for nearly every Major League Baseball franchise
1943 ● Robbie Robertson / (Jaime Royal Robertson) → Guitar, vocals and chief songwriter for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970), solo, “Showdown At Big Sky” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1987)
1945 ● Dick Scoppettone → Vocals for folk and sunshine-pop Harper’s Bizarre, “Feelin’ Groovy” (#13, 1967)
1949 ● Doug Grassel / (Douglas Martin Grassel) → Rhythm guitarist in the Jerry Kasenetz/Jeffrey Katz ever-changing team of session musicians whose recordings were marketed as Ohio Express (“Yummy Yummy Yummy,” #4, 1968) and other fictional pop acts, continued to perform in various oldies-circuit groups until he died from fibrosis of the lungs on 9/21/2013, age 64
1950 ● Andy Ellison → Guitar, vocals and frontman for Brit pop art/mod rock John’s Children, “Desdemona” (1967), the band occasionally recognized as a punk and glam-rock precursor
1950 ● Huey Lewis / (Hugh Anthony Craig III) → Leader and lead vocalist for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1950 ● Michael Monarch → Original guitarist for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1956 ● Terry Chimes → Original drummer for influential and acclaimed punk-ska-dance-rock The Clash, “Rock The Casbah” (#8, 1982), played with Hanoi Rocks and toured with Black Sabbath before becoming a chiropractor
1959 ● Marc Cohn → Folk-rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, “Walking In Memphis” (#13, 1991), Grammy winner for Best New Artist of 1991
1964 ● Toni Halliday / (Antoinette Halliday) → Vocalist, lyricist. occasional guitarist and one half of the alt pop-rock duo Curve, “Coast Is Clear” (Modern Rock #12, 1991)
1969 ● Aled Richards → Drummer for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (UK #3, 1998)
1973 ● Bengt Fredrik Lagerberg → Drummer for Swedish pop-rock The Cardigans, “Lovefool” (#1, 1996)
1973 ● Joe / (Joseph Lewis Thomas) → Gospel-based R&B/smooth soul singer, “Stutter” (#1, 2001), producer
1973 ● Roisin Murphy → Irish singer with dance/funk trip hop duo Moloko “Sing It Back” (Dance/Club #1, 1999), now solo, “Movie Star” (Dance #8, 2008)
1979 ● Shane Filan → Vocals for Irish pop boy band Westlife, “Swear It Again” (#20, 2000) and 17 UK Top 10 hits
1980 ● Jason Wade → Guitar and vocals for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1982 ● Dave Haywood → Guitar, mandolin and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009)
1985 ● Nick O’Malley → Bassist for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)
1986 ● Adam Young → Keyboards, vocals and founder/frontman for electronic emo-pop one man band Owl City, “Fireflies” (#1, 2009)

July 06
1892 ● Jack Yellen / (Jack Selig Yellen) → Lyricist and screenwriter best known for penning the lyrics to pop music standards “Ain’t She Sweet” (1927) and “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1929) plus several Hollywood musicals, board member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) from 1951 to 1969, died from natural causes on 4/17/1991, age 99
1911 ● LaVerne Sophia Andrews → Vocals and dance routines in hugely popular pre-60s all-girl sibling pop vocal trio The Andrews Sisters, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (#6, 1941), died on 5/8/1967, age 55
1924 ● Louie Bellson / (Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni) → Influential jazz drummer, composer, bandleader, industry executive and music educator credited with developing the use of two base drums, performed with Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others, fronted his own bands and recorded extensively through the 00s, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 2/14/2009, age 84
1925 ● Bill Haley / (William John Clifton Haley) → Early rock ‘n’ roll guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader (Bill Haley & The Comets) whose “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955) was the first rock ‘n’ roll song to reach #1 on the pop chart thus is considered the birth of the rock ‘n’ roll era, died from alcoholism and a brain tumor on 2/9/1981, age 55
1927 ● Fluff Freeman / (Alan Freeman, MBE) → Australian radio DJ, relocated to London in 1957 and became a popular on-air personality for the BBC and other stations over the next five decades, including as host of the Pick Of The Pops program from 1961 to 2000, died from pneumonia on 11/27/2006, age 79
1931 ● Della Reese / (Delloreese Patricia Early) → Gospel, jazz, blues and pop singer, “Don’t You Know?” (#2, 1959), TV game show panelist, talk-show host and ordained minister
1931 ● Della Reese / (Delloreese Patricia Early) → Ordained minister with California congregation, R&B/jazz-pop diva with several Top 40 hits, including “Don’t You Know?” #2, R&B #1, 1959), TV talk show host (Della, 1969-70), guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, guest appearances on dozens of TV sitcoms, film star in multiple films with Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and others, star of the TV religious supernatural drama Touched By An Angel (1994-2003), died from undisclosed causes (but likely complications of diabetes) on 11/19/2017, age 86
1932 ● Big Dee Irwin / (DiFosco T. Ervin Jr.) → Pop singer and songwriter with doo wop The Pastels (“Been So Long,” #24, R&B #4, 1958), then one hit wonder solo career and a duet version of “Swinging On A Star” with Little Eva (#38, UK #7, 1963), wrote songs for Ray Charles, Bobby Vinton, The Hollies and others, died from heart failure on 8/27/1995, age 63
1937 ● Gene Chandler / (Eugene Dixon) → R&B/doo wop and soul-pop singer with The Dukays, whose “Duke Of Earl” (#1, 1962) was credited to him as a solo artist, then solo, “Get Down” (R&B #3, 1979)
1939 ● Jet Harris / (Terence Harris) → Bassist for instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, “Apache” (Worldwide #1, 1960), then pop-rock duo with Tony Meehan, “Diamonds” (UK #1, 1963), died from throat cancer on 3/18/2011, age 71
1942 ● Izora Armstead / (Izora Rhodes Armstead) → One half of the plus-sized, late 70s R&B backing vocal duo Two Tons O’ Fun, which became one hit wonder disco-pop duo The Weather Girls and recorded the Hi-NRG, gay club anthem “It’s Raining Men” (#46, Dance #1, UK #2, 1982), continued to record and perform until her death from heart failure on 9/16/2004, age 62
1943 ● Jan BradleyChess Records one hit wonder R&B/soul singer with the Curtis Mayfield song “Mama Don’t Lie” (#14, R&B #8, 1963), wrote her own songs with marginal success and left the industry to raise a family and become a social worker
1945 ● Rik Elswit → Guitarist for AM pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) plus nine other Top 40 hits
1947 ● Libby Titus / (Elizabeth Jurist) → Singer/songwriter with two unnoticed solo albums but with multiple credits as a writer and co-writer of numerous pop hits, including the now-standard “Love Has No Pride” by Linda Ronstadt (Adult Contemporary #23, 1973), worked with Burt Bacharach in the 70s, provided backing vocals for Martin Mull, Bonnie Raitt and others, produced albums with and for Dr. John and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and had relationships with both, co-founded the New York Rock And Soul Review with Fagen and married him in 1993
1949 ● Michael Shrieve → Drummer and composer for Latin-rock Santana (“Black Magic Woman,” #4, 1970), known for his “electrifying” drum solo on “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock when he was age 20, contributed music and lyrics to four songs on the Caravanserai album (#8, 1972), left in 1974 for solo career and various jazz and fusion projects, plus session work, including The Rolling Stones‘ album Emotional Rescue (#1, 1980), later composed soundtracks for several movies, among them Apollo 13 (1995)
1949 ● Phylis Hyman → Silky voiced R&B/quiet storm ballad and light dance singer, “Can’t We Fall In Love Again” (R&B #9, 1981), committed suicide via a drug overdose hours before a scheduled performance at New York’s Apollo Theater on 6/30/1995, age 46
1952 ● David Smith → Singer for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (UK #1, 1976)
1952 ● Graham Oliver → Guitarist for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983), solo
1953 ● Nanci Griffith → Grammy-winning country-folk (“folkabilly”) singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Lone Star State Of Mind” (Country #36, 1987)
1959 ● John Keeble → Drummer for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1961 ● Robert Heaton → Drummer and songwriter for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985), died from pancreatic cancer on 11/4/2004, age 43
1963 ● Tim Bricheno → Guitarist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992), later XC-NN and The Mission
1965 ● Eddie Campbell → Keyboards for Scottish blues-rock Texas, “In My Heart” (Alt Rock #14, 1991)
1969 ● Michael Grant → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1975 ● 50 Cent / (Curtis J. Jackson III) → Controversial rapper, survived 2000 murder attempt to release “In Da Club” (#1, 2003) and 12 other Top 40 hits, Grammy-winning song “Crack A Bottle” with Eminem and others in 2009
1979 ● Nic Cester / (Nicholas John Cester) → Guitarist, lead vocals and songwriter for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, “Cold Hard Bitch” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1984 ● D. Woods / (Wanite Woodgett) → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, “Show Stopper” (#8, 2006)
1987 ● Kate Nash → Brit indie pop singer, songwriter and pianist, “Foundations” (UK #2, 2007)

July 07
1909 ● Eddie Dean / (Edgar Dean Golsup) → One hit wonder country-western swing singer, songwriter and B-movie cowboy actor, issued numerous country singles with only one hit, “I Dreamed Of A Hill-billy Heaven” (Country #10, 1955), wrote several hits for others, including “One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)” (Country #3, 1969) for Jerry Lee Lewis but starred in 19 Western-themed movies, died from emphysema on 3/4/1999, age 89
1913 ● Pinetop Perkins / (Joseph William Perkins) → Blues pianist and sideman on dozens of albums by blues music luminaries, issued his first solo album (After Hours) in 1988 at age 75, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album at age 97 years (oldest winner ever) for a collaboration with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Joined At The Hip, died of a heart attack on 3/21/2011, age 97
1924 ● Mary Ford / (Iris Colleen Summers) → Singing partner and spouse of guitar legend of Les Paul, with whom she had multiple Top 10 duet hits, including “Vaya Con Dios” (#1, 1953), divorced in 1964 and died from cancer on 9/30/1977, age 53
1932 ● Joe Zawinul / (Josef Erich “Joe” Zawinul) → Jazz and fusion keyboardist and composer, early with Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis bands, co-founded Weather Report, “Birdland” (1976), solo, died from a rare skin cancer on 9/11/2007, age 75
1933 ● J. J. Barrie → One hit wonder Canadian singer/songwriter, “No Charge” (UK #1, 1976)
1940 ● Ringo Starr / (Richard Starkey) → Drummer and occasional lead vocals for pop-rock The Beatles, replaced Pete Best in 1962, Rolling Stone magazine #5 best drummer of all-time, led his eponymous All-Star Band, solo albums, voice-over for children’s TV (Thomas The Tank Engine)
1941 ● Chan Romero / (Robert Lee Romero) → Rock ‘n’ roll musician and songwriter, penned his only hit, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (AUS #3, 1959) at age 17 but saw no chart action in the US, the song was later covered by The Swinging Blue Jeans (#21, UK #2, 1964), The Beatles and The Georgia Satellites (#45, Rock #13, 1988), among others
1941 ● Jim Rodford → Bassist for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964), helped form The Zombies and co-founded hard/art rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1978 and stayed with them until their final dissolution in 1996, plays with The Kast Off Kinks
1944 ● Warren Entner → Guitar, vocals and songwriter for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions” (#5, 1968), managed Quiet Riot, Faith No More and Rage Against The Machine
1947 ● Rob Townsend → Drummer for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), later Medicine Head, Blues Band and session work
1947 ● Scar Hodo / (David Hodo) → Construction worker character for campy, suggestive gay pop-rock vocal man band The Village People, “Y.M.C.A.” (#2, 1978)
1948 ● El Rhino / (Larry Reinhardt) → Guitarist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), later hard rock Captain Beyond, played in reunion performances of both bands and issued several solo albums until just before his death from cirrhosis of the liver on 1/2/2012, age 63
1961 ● The Doctor / (Clive Jackson) → Former London-based DJ and pancake-makeup frontman for psych rock Doctor And The Medics, covered Norman Greenbaum‘s “Spirit In The Sky” (#69, UK #1, 1986)
1962 ● Mark White → Bassist for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, “Two Princes” (#7, 1993)
1963 ● Vonda Shepherd → Alt folk-pop singer/songwriter and TV actress on the 90s TV show Ally McBeal, featured prominently with live performances on the program, including “Searchin’ My Soul” (Adult Top 40 #10, 1998)
1966 ● Rick Kinchen → Bassist for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1981 ● Synyster Gates / (Brian Elwin Hamer, Jr.) → Lead guitar and backing vocals for pop/metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)
1988 ● Ilan Rubin → Drummer for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1994 ● Ashton Irwin → Vocals in Aussie pop-punk boy band 5 Seconds Of Summer, “Amnesia” (#16, AUS #1, 2011) from their eponymous debut album (Worldwide #1, 2014)

July 08
1908 ● Louis Jordan → Premier jazz and early R&B saxophonist, bandleader and songwriter, the “King of the Jukebox” and the “Father of Rhythm and Blues,” had an influential run of 18 R&B #1 and nine cross-over-to-pop Top 10 hits between 1949 and ’59, including “G.I. Jive” (#1, R&B #1, 1944), died from a heart attack on 2/4/1975, age 66
1914 ● Billy Eckstine / (William Clarence Eckstine) → Swing bandleader and smooth baritone balladeer, formed the first be bop band in 1944, eventually featuring such future jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and others, duet with Sarah Vaughan, “Passing Strangers” (#82, 1957), suffered a heart attack and died two months later on 3/8/1993, age 78
1924 ● Johnnie Johnson → Legendary blues and rock ‘n’ roll piano player, sideman to Chuck Berry for over 25 years and co-arranger of many of Berry‘s hits, including “Johnny B. Goode” (#8, R&B #2, 1958), left the band in 1973 and drove a bus in St. Louis before returning to the music business in 1987 to work with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Bob Weir‘s Ratdog and others, continued to record and perform until his death from a heart attack on 4/18/2005, age 80
1930 ● Earl Van Dyke → Principal keyboardist in Motown Records‘ house band The Funk Brothers, which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motownn hit, died of prostate cancer on 9/18/1992, age 62
1930 ● Jerry Vale / (Genaro Louis Vitaliano) → High-tenor pop crooner with 31 Adult Contemporary Top 40 hits, including “Have You Looked Into Your Heart” (AC #1, 1964), died in his sleep from natural causes on 5/18/2014, age 83
1933 ● Stan Cornyn → The “King of Liner Notes,” long-time Warner Bros. music executive overseeing Frank Sinatra and multiple 50s popular artists, penned or edited the liner notes for countless albums, authored Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group (1980), produced several albums and mentored different rock acts, died from cancer on 5/11/2015, age 81
1935 ● Steve Lawrence / (Sidney Liebowitz) → Solo and with wife and singing partner Eydie Gormé in the pop/easy listening/adult contemporary duo Steve And Eydie, “Go Away Little Girl” (#1, 1963), Broadway, TV and film actor
1944 ● Jaimoe Johanson / (Johnny Lee Johnson) → Session and tour drummer with Otis Redding and Sam & Dave, then founding member, drums and percussion for Southern rock The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” (#2, 1973)
1944 ● Bill Deal → Frontman for blue-eyed soul/surf rock septet The Rhondels, an early “big band rock” outfit in the vein of Blood, Sweat & Tears but with only three significant singles, all in 1969, “What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am” (#23), “I’ve Been Hurt” (#35) and “May I” (#39), left the industry in 1983 after the murder of his band manager following a concert in Richmond, VA, died on 12/10/2003, age 59
1945 ● Ricky Wolf → Vocals for one hit wonder psychedelic pop The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go To San Francisco” (UK #4, 1967)
1956 ● Russell Christian → Saxophone and vocals for blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988)
1961 ● Andy Fletcher → Bass, synthesizer, co-founder, constant member and business manager of electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990)
1961 ● Graham Jones → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1961 ● Toby Keith / (Toby Keith Covel) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter, post-9/11 politically charged “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” (#25, Country #1, 2002) and 34 other Country Top 10 hits
1962 ● Joan Osborne → Roots and contemporary rock singer/songwriter and solo artist, “One Of Us” (#4, 1995), toured with Dixie Chicks, Grateful Dead and Motown house band The Funk Brothers and appeared in the film Standing In The Shadows Of Motown
1970 ● Beck Hansen / (Bek David Campbell) → Multi-instrumentalist singer and crossover songwriter fusing rock, hip hop, blues and soul, “Loser” (#10, 1994) and later “Where It’s At” (#64, 1996) from the critically-acclaimed and Grammy-winning album Odelay
1971 ● Neil Mavers → Drums for Brit jangle pop The La’s, “There She Goes” (#49, UK #13, 1991)
1985 ● Jamie Cook → Guitar and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

July 09
1916 ● Norman Pickering / (Norman Charles Pickering) → Engineer, musician and inventor credited with improving the “pickup” that translates the information in a record groove into an analog signal for sound reproduction via the Pickering cartridge, died from cancer on 11/18/2015, age 99
1925 ● Alan Dale / (Aldo Sigismondi) → Immensely popular traditional pop and light rock ‘n’ roll singer in the 50s, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (#14, 1955), hosted his own TV and radio shows, died on 4/20/2002, age 76
1927 ● Ed Ames / (Ed Urick) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, then as “Mingo” in the Daniel Boone TV series, then solo singer career, “My Cup Runneth Over” (#8, 1967)
1929 ● Lee Hazelwood → Country-pop singer, songwriter and producer, collaborated with rockabilly guitarist Duane Eddy on a number of hits, including “Rebel Rouser” (#6, 1958), wrote and produced the Nancy Sinatra hit, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” (#1, 1966), died of renal cancer on 8/4/2007, age 78
1940 ● John Salvato → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962)
1941 ● Donald McPherson → Founding member and lead singer for R&B/soul The Main Ingredient, “I’m So Proud” (#49, R&B #13, 1971), died of leukemia on 7/4/1971 before the band’s breakout hit, “Everybody Plays The Fool” (#3, 1972), age 30
1941 ● Mac MacLeod / (Keith MacLeod) → Guitarist and songwriter in the 60s folk scene in central England, played with John Renbourn and toured as bassist in Donovan Leitch‘s band, reputedly inspiring Donovan‘s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (#5, UK #4, 1968), toured and performed with a succession of acts in the late-60s and 70s, including The Other Side (with Boz Scaggs), post-The Zombies Argent, and his own power trio rock band Hurdy Gurdy, returned to the industry in 1999 after a decade-long hiatus and formed Silverlining with Kinks‘s bassist Jim Rodford, performed with Donovan in the 00s for the first time in 40 years, suffered from various illnesses for six years and died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 11/16/2020, age 79.

1946 ● Joe Micelli → Drums and percussion for blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1946 ● Bon Scott / (Ronald Belford Scott) → Scotland-born original frontman and lead vocals for Aussie power chord hard rock AC/DC, “Highway To Hell” (#47, 1979), drank himself to death on 2/19/1980, age 33
1947 ● Mitch Mitchell / (John Graham Mitchell) → Child actor and accomplished teenage jazz drummer turned rock stickman for pop-rock Georgie Fame (“The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde,” #7, CAN #1, UK #1, 1967) and then psych-rock Jimi Hendrix Experience (“Purple Haze,” US #65, UK #3, 1967), later in ITV’s Ready Steady Go! house band and various one-off projects, drummed in Hendrix Experience tribute tours and died in his sleep in a hotel room following one such show on 11/12/2008, age 61
1950 ● Gwen Guthrie → R&B/soul singer and songwriter, solo artist, “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent” (#42, Dance/Club #1, 1986), backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and others, died of uterine cancer on 2/3/1999, age 48
1952 ● Carlos Peron → Founding member and multi-instrumentalist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987), then solo
1953 ● Kate Garner → Vocals for quirky Brit New Wave synth-pop Haysi Fantayzee, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” (UK #11, 1982)
1954 ● Debbie Sledge → Lead vocals for family R&B/disco girl-group Sister Sledge and the disco anthem “We Are Family” (#2, 1979) plus ten other R&B Top 10 hits
1959 ● Jim Kerr → Vocals for Scottish New Wave pop-rock Simple Minds, “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” ($1, 1985)
1959 ● Marc Almond → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982), formed euro-disco Marc & The Mambas in 1983 and solo since 1984
1964 ● Courtney Love / (Courtney Michelle Harrison) → Guitar and vocals for post-punk Babes In Toyland, formed and fronted grunge rock Hole in 1989, “Celebrity Skin” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1998), solo, married Kurt Cobain from Nirvana on 2/24/1992, film actress in Sid And Nancy (1986) and The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1999)
1965 ● Frankie Bello / (Frank Joseph Bello) → Bassist for speed/thrash metal Anthrax, “Only” (Mainstream #26, 1993)
1965 ● Tom Hingley → Vocals for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1967 ● Dickon Hinchcliffe → Guitar and violin for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1967 ● Owen Paul → Guitar for Welsh indie-alt-rock Catatonia, “Mulder And Scully” (, 1998)
1971 ● Kelvin Grant → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1975 ● Isaac Brock / (Isaac Christopher Brock) → Founding member, singer, guitarist and lyricist for indie rock Modest Mouse, “Float On” (Top 40 #32, 2004) and the album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank (#1, 2007), also fronts a side project, indie rock Ugly Casanova
1975 ● Jack White / (John Anthony Gillis) → With wife Meg White, guitar and vocals in garage rock revival duo The White Stripes, 2007 Grammy-winning song “Icky Thump” (#26, 2007), side projects with power pop The Raconteurs and indie rock Dead Weather, produced country legend Loretta Lynn‘s comeback album Van Lear Rose (2004)
1976 ● Dan Estrin → Guitarist for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1986 ● Kiely Alexis Williams → Vocals in R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

July 10
1900 ● Mitchell Parish → Pop music lyricist and collaborator with Duke Ellington and numerous other top composers for multiple hits from the 20s to 50s, known best for penning the lyrics to Hoagy Carmichael‘s music for the American pop classic “Stardust,” one of the most recorded songs in history (originally “Star Dust,” 1927), died from natural causes on 3/31/1993, age 92
1931 ● Jerry Herman / (Gerald Sheldon Herman) → Award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist best known for three top theater scores – Hello, Dolly! (1964, won two Tony awards and Billboard #1 pop album), Mame (1966) and La Cage Aux Folles (1983, two Tony awards), the latter a groundbreaking exploration of homosexuality in mainstream American entertainment, his 17 Broadway shows spawned several pop standards, including Louis Armstrong‘s version of “Hello, Dolly!”, which ended The Beatles‘ 14-week reign at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late-1964, openly gay for most of his life and diagnosed HIV-positive in 1985, lived for nearly 35 years with the virus until dying from undisclosed causes on 12/26/2019, age 88.
1933 ● Jumpin’ Gene Simmons / (Morris Eugene Simmons) → One hit wonder rockabilly singer and songwriter with the novelty song “Haunted House” (#11, 1964), Kiss frontman Gene Simmons (born Chiam Witz) took the name as a tribute to the singer, died after a long illness on 8/29/2006, age 73
1936 ● Johnny Griffith → Piano and keyboard session musician, member of The Funk Brothers, Motown Record‘s house band which provided nearly all instrumentation behind every Motown hit, died from a heart attack on 11/10/2002, age 66
1939 ● Mavis Staples → Lead vocalist for four-sister R&B/soul-gospel act The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972)
1940 ● Richie Albright / (Richard Albright) → Legendary country music drummer credited for encouraging superstar Waylon Jennings to adopt elements of rock ‘n’ roll in his “outlaw country” songs, played behind Jennings in his backing and recording band The Waylors from the early 60s to Jennings‘ death in 2002, then with other former bandmates as Waymore’s Outlaws, occasionally joined by namesake Waylon Albright Jennings, the star’s son with wife Jesse Colter, died from undisclosed causes on 2/9/2021, age 80.
1941 ● Ian Whitcomb / (Ian Timothy Whitcomb) → One hit wonder Brit singer/songwriter with the vaudevillian, British Invasion “You Turn Me On” (#8, 1965), later authored After The Ball (1972) and other books on pop music history, wrote for magazines and newspapers, recorded soundtracks and albums of varying genres from ragtime to music hall, wrote and starred in documentaries for BBC-TV and other outlets, and performed on stage and as a radio DJ through to his death from complications of a 2012 stroke on 4/19/2020, age 78.
1942 ● Ronnie James Dio / (Ronald James Padavona)) → Heavy metal vocalist and songwriter, frontman for Rainbow, “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#57, 1979) and “Stone Cold” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982), Black Sabbath (1979-82), “Turn Up The Night” (Mainstream Rock #24, 1982), founded heavy metal quintet Dio, “Rainbow In The Dark” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1983), died from stomach cancer on 5/16/2010, age 67
1943 ● Jerry Miller → Guitarist for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967)
1944 ● Beaky Dymond / (John Dymond) → Rhythm guitar for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968), left in 1989 but rejoined the band on the oldies circuit in 2013
1947 ● Arlo Guthrie → Folk/rock singer/songwriter with three notable songs, the comic-monologue-song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (1967), “Coming Into Los Angeles” from the Woodstock festival and movie, and “The City Of New Orleans” (#18, 1972), son of folk legend Woody Guthrie
1948 ● John Whitehead → With Gene McFadden, one-half the soul music songwriting duo for Philadelphia International Records, co-wrote “Back Stabbers” for The O’Jays (#3, R&B #1, 1972) and other hits, including the disco smash “Ain’t’ No Stopping Us Now” (#13, R&B #1, 1979) for their own album McFadden & Whitehead (1979), died from in an unsolved but apparently mistaken-identity murder outside his home on 5/11/2004, age 55
1949 ● Dave Smalley → Founding member and lead vocals for Cleveland garage rock quartet The Choir, “It’s Cold Outside” (#68, 1967), then co-founded power pop The Raspberries, “Go All The Way” (#5, 1972)
1950 ● Greg Kihn → Pop/rock singer, songwriter and bandleader, Greg Kihn Band, “Jeopardy” (#2, 1983)
1953 ● Rik Emmett / (Richard Gordon Emmett) → Lead guitar and vocals for Canadian power rock trio Triumph (“All The Way,” Mainstream Rock #2, 1983), left the band in 1988 to pursue a moderately successful solo career, rejoined in 2008, contributes to Guitar Player magazine and teaches music business at Humber College in Toronto
1954 ● Neil Tennant → Vocals for synth-pop dance Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls” (#1, 1986)
1958 ● Béla Anton Leoš Fleck → Innovative jazz-bluegrass (“blu-bop”) banjo player, first with New Grass Revival, “Callin’ Baton Rouge” (Country #37, 1989) then as bandleader for Grammy-winning progressive folk-bluegrass Béla Fleck And The Flecktones, “The Sinister Minister” (Best Pop Instrumental, 1997), session work and tours with Asleep At The Wheel, Dave Matthews Band, Phish and others
1959 ● Sandy West / (Sandra Sue Pesavento) → Drummer, singer, songwriter and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), died from cancer on 10/21/2006, age 47
1960 ● Martyn P. Casey → Keyboards for alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1962 ● Play Martin / (Christopher Martin) → With Christopher “Kid” Reid, one half of the positive-attitude hip hop musical duo Kid ‘N Play, “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#51, Rap #1, 1991), the duo branched into acting with film appearances and their own short-lived TV program
1964 ● Graham Lambert → Guitarist for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1965 ● Peter DiStefano → Guitarist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then co-founded hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), solo
1970 ● Gary LeVox → Vocals for country-pop Rascal Flatts, “Here Come Goodbye” (#11, Country #1, 2009)
1970 ● Jason Orange → Vocals for teen pop quintet Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, UK #1, 1995) and seven other UK #1 hits including “Patience” (UK #1, 2006)
1974 ● Imelda May / (Imelda Clabby Higham) → Irish-born jazz-pop and neo-burlesque singer and guitarist, “Mayhem” (Ireland #24, 2010), plus sessions and backing vocals for Jeff Beck, Elvis Costello, Elton John and others
1976 ● Elijah Blue Allman → Guitarist, vocalist and songwriting for industrial/nu metal Deadsy, “The Elements” (1997), also worked with Orgy, Sugar Ray, Korn and others, son of Cher and Gregg Allman, currently a contemporary artist in L.A.
1980 ● Jessica Simpson → Tabloid-fodder film and reality TV actress, 90s dance-pop and 00s contemporary country-pop singer, “Irresistible” (#15, 2001), featured on MTV’s Newlyweds show with her husband and 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey

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