This Week’s Birthdays (July 7 – 13)

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Ringo Starr

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
1949 ● David Muse → Multi-instrumentalist and original member of 70s soft rock supergroup Firefall, played flute, sax and keyboards on the hits “You Are The Woman” (#9, 1976) and “Just Remember I Love You” (#11, 1977), left in 1981 for stints with numerous other national and regional acts, including ten years with The Marshall Tucker Band and three separate engagements with various incarnations of Firefall, released six solo albums, the last being Ninety Degree Phase Shift in 2021, died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma on 8/6/2022, age 73.
1951 ● Michael Henderson / (Michael Earl Henderson) → Teenaged bass guitarist hired away from the Detroit Emeralds by Stevie Wonder and Motown for touring and sessions, then worked with Miles Davis in the 1970s on his early funk-fusion albums Jack Johnson (1971), Live-Evil (1971), and Agharta (1975), sang lead on Norman Connors’s “You Are My Starship” (#27, R&B #3, 1976) and followed with eight solo R&B Top 40 singles over 10 years, including “Take Me I’m Yours” (#88, R&B #3, 1978), retired from music in 1986 but performed sporadically and in a Miles Davis bandmates’ reunion in 2002, died from cancer on 7/19/2022, age 71.
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) → Smooth baritone crooner with wife and singing partner Eydie Gormé in the pop/easy listening/adult contemporary duo Steve & Eydie from 1954 through 2009, simultaneously recorded as a solo act and scored eleven Top 40 hits, the biggest being “Go Away Little Girl” (#1, AC #1, 1962), acted on Broadway and in TV shows and feature films, including both Blues Brothers movies, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 3/7/2024, age 88.
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 / (Andrew John Fletcher) → Co-founder, constant member, business manager, chief keyboardist and subtle but de facto leader of influential 80s-90s electro-dance/synth-pop Depeche Mode, the band placed nearly 50 singles on the UK Top 40 charts (eight of which charted on the Top 40 in the US), including “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, UK #6, 1990), his quiet control kept the band in the spotlight for nearly 40 years and a 2020 election to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died from undisclosed causes on 5/26/2022, age 60.
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, producer and business tycoon with 21 studio albums and 65 charting singles, including the post-9/11 politically charged “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” (#25, Country #1, 2002), “I Love This Bar” (#26,Country #1, 2003) and “Made In America” (#40, Country #1, 2011) plus an extraordinary 37 other Country Top 10 hits, earnings from music, a franchised chain of restaurants, a line of clothing and other business ventures led to a Forbes Magazine article “Country Music’s $500 Million Man” in 2013, continued to record and perform despite battling stomach cancer until a final Las Vegas show in December 2023, died from the disease on 2/5/2024, age 62.
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 / (Edmund Dantes Urick) → Singer with his three siblings in hugely popular 50s vocal quartet The Ames Brothers, the group scored nine Top 10 hits and 42 other charting singles from 1947 to 1963, including “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), and starred in a weekly TV variety show The Ames Brothers Show in 1956, played half-Cherokee, half-white “Mingo” in the Daniel Boone TV series (1964-1969), started a short but successful Easy Listening solo singer career in the mid-60s (“My Cup Runneth Over,” #8, AC #1, 1967 among six consecutive AC Top 10 hits), performed in regional stage productions and occasional TV programs through the 90s before retiring and living out of the limelight, was the last surviving Ames Brother at his death from Alzheimer’s disease on 5/23/2023, age 95.
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
1959 ● D. H. Peligro / (Darren Eric Henley) → Longtime drummer for influential West Coast punk rockers The Dead Kennedys (“Police Truck,” UK Indie #1, 1980), kept the group’s beat in two stints, the first from 1981 to their break-up in 1986, then joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Under The Bridge,” #2, Alt #6, 1991) for a brief and acrimonious time in 1988, fronted his own band and played with others in the 90s until rejoining The Dead Kennedys when reformed in 2001 and, except for a brief hiatus in 2008 as a break from constant touring, stayed with the band until dying following an accidental fall in his L.A. home on 10/28/2022, age 63.
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)
1939 ● John Eastman / (John Lindner Eastman) → Entertainment industry attorney with a history of helping high-profile clients through difficult periods in their careers, most notably representing Paul McCartney (husband of sister Linda Eastman) during the dissolution of The Beatles in 1969 and 1970, also represented Billy Joel in lawsuits against his former manager and lawyer, as well as David Bowie, Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber and others, continued to work with McCartney and his various business ventures, including a 2017 lawsuit with Sony Music over the U.S. copyrights to songs McCartney wrote with John Lennon, died from pancreatic cancer on 8/10/2022, age 83.
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
1942 ● “Sixth Prince” Rodriguez / (Sixto Diaz Rodriguez) → Detroit-based Mexican-American R&B singer with two unnoticed albums in the U.S. in the 70s but with significant airplay and fan appreciation elsewhere, including Australia and South Africa, toured and issued a live album in Australia in the early 80s but largely lived a working class life out of the limelight in Detroit for 30 years until enjoying a double-resurgence of interest when re-discovered in the late 90s and featured in a 2012 documentary Searching For Sugar Man, died from unspecified causes on 8/8/2023, age 81.
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 60s “freakbeat” Brit pop-rock 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

July 11
1929 ● Danny Flores → Saxophonist, songwriter and frontman for one hit wonder Tex-Mex pop-rock The Champs, wrote the Latin-flavored instrumental classic “Tequila” (#1, R&B #1, 1958) under the pseudonym Chuck Rio to avoid legal trouble with another record label, his “dirty” sax and repeated growling of the single-word lyric “tequila” are the highlights of the song, left the band in the early 60s, toured extensively across the West and recorded sporadically until his death from pneumonia on 9/19/2006, age 77
1931 ● Tab Hunter / (Arthur Kelm Gelien) → Actor in more than 40 movies and one hit wonder teen idol singer, “Young Love” (#1, 1957)
1931 ● Thurston Harris → One hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll singer “Little Bitty Pretty One” (#6, R&B #2, 1957), the song also charted with versions by Frankie Lymon and The Jackson 5, died from a heart attack on 4/14/1990, age 58
1932 ● Billy Davis / (Roquel Billy Davis) → Detroit R&B singer in an early version of The Four Tops and songwriter with several hits recorded by others, including “Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson (#7, R&B #1, 1959), produced “Rescue Me” for Fontella Bass (#4, R&B #1, 1965) among other hits, turned to advertising and produced the jingles “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony),” “”Things Go Better With Coke” and other jingles for Coca-Cola, died of natural causes on 9/2/2004, age 72
1938 ● Terry Garthwaite → With collaborator Toni Brown, co-frontwoman, guitar and vocals in folk-rock Joy Of Cooking, “Brownsville” (#66, 1971), solo
1946 ● John Lawton / (John Cooper Lawton) → Rock vocalist for various 60s-70s English bands, then led German prog rock and early heavy metal cult band Lucifer’s Friend for seven albums through the mid-80s and again in the 00s, along the way fronted and sang lead for Brit prog rock Uriah Heep (“Free Me,” 1977) and participated in projects with other bands plus one-off supergroups until his sudden and unexpected death from undisclosed causes on 6/29/2021, age 74.
1947 ● Jeff Hanna → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● John Holt / (Winston Holt) → Jamaican singer and prolific songwriter with ska and rocksteady vocal quartet The Paragons, wrote “The Tide Is High” (1969), which became a US and UK #1 for Blondie in 1980, died from colon cancer on 10/19/2014, age 67
1950 ● Bonnie Pointer / (Patricia Eva Pointer) → With her co-founder/sister June in 1969 as a duo, and then with siblings Ruth and Anita, vocals in retro-40s R&B/skat-pop-swing-funk-disco-bebob The Pointer Sisters and several charting hits in the 70s (“Yes We Can Can,” #11, R&B #12, 1973), left the group in 1977 for Motown Records and a moderately successful solo career (“Heaven Must Have Sent You,” #11, Dance #8, 1979), the others continued on as a dance-pop trio with a string of huge hits in the 80s, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981) and “Neutron Dance” (#6, Dance #4, 1984), reunited with her sisters for two performances in the 90s and toured Europe in 2008, died from cardiac arrest on 6/8/2020, age 69.
1953 ● Benjamin DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop sibling act The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1953 ● Peter Brown → Electronic, disco, funk and dance-pop singer, songwriter and producer with seven charting hits between 1977 and 1982, including disco-funk “Dance With Me” (#88, R&B #5, 1977), co-wrote “Material Girl” for Madonna (#2, 1985), left the industry in the late 80s due to hearing loss
1957 ● Peter Murphy → Vocals for seminal goth-rock Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (1979), co-founded alt goth Dali’s Car, then solo, “Cuts You Up” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1990)
1959 ● Algy Ward / (Alasdair Mackie Ward) → Punk and heavy metal bassist and singer, beginning with Aussie rock The Saints in 1977 on their third single, “This Perfect Day” (UK #34, 1977) and lasting through the band’s first dissolution in late 1978, thereafter joined punk-rock The Damned for a brief stint and appearance on the LP Machine Gun Etiquette (1979), in 1980 formed New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Tank and fronted the band through six albums over 20 years, in the 2010s competed with a second Tank headed by former Tank bandmates and issued two more Tank albums by 2018, died in a hospital after a long illness on 5/17/2023, age 63.
1959 ● Richie Sambora / (Richard Stephen Sambora) → Guitarist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987)
1959 ● Suzanne Vega → Folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Luka” (#3, 1987)
1961 ● Adrian York → Piano for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1965 ● Scott Shriner → Bass and vocals for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1966 ● Melanie Susan Appleby → Singer and actress, with older sister Kim in R&B/dance-pop duo Mel & Kim, “Respectable” (Dance/Club #1, 1986), died from pneumonia during cancer treatments on 6/18/1990, age 23
1969 ● Al Sobrante / (John Kiffmeyer) → Drummer for California punk rock Sweet Children, left the band in 1990 during its transition to post-grunge alt rock/punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Lil’ Kim / (Kimberly Denise Jones) → Hip hop actress, model and rapper, member of rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A., “Player’s Anthem” (#13, Rap #2, 1995), solo, “Not Tonight” (#6, Rap #2, 1997)
1975 ● Rick McMurray → Founding member, drummer and backing vocals for Irish neo-punk/pop-rock Ash, “Goldfinger” (UK #5, 1996)
1975 ● Samer El Nahhal → Bassist for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1978 ● Kathleen Edwards → Critically-acclaimed Canadian-born light country and roots rock singer and songwriter, “The Cheapest Key” (2008), toured with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones

July 12
1895 ● Oscar Hammerstein II → Stage, film and TV music lyricist/librettist with over 800 titles, many of which are included in the Great American Songbook, collaborator with Richard Rogers on some of the best-known songs in popular music, died from stomach cancer on 8/23/1960, age 65
1928 ● Barbara Russell Cowsill → Matriarch and vocals for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, died from emphysema on 1/31/1985, age 56
1935 ● Barry Mason / (John Barry Mason) → Five-time Novello Award-winning English musician and songwriter, wrote or co-wrote thousands of songs, including over 60 charting, mostly MOR pop hits, many in collaboration with songwriter Les Reed, their best known include “The Last Waltz” for Engelbert Humperdinck (#25, AC #6, UK #1, 1967) and “Kiss Me Goodbye” for Petula Clark (#15, UK #50, 1968), also co-wrote “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” for Edison Lighthouse (#5, UK #1, 1971) with Tony Macaulay, 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, died from undisclosed causes on 4/16/2021, age 85.
1939 ● Kenny Dino / (Kenneth J. Diono) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night” (#24, 1961), died from a heart attack while driving on Interstate 95 in Florida on 12/10/2009, age 70
1942 ● Swamp Dogg / (Jerry Williams, Jr.) → Self-proclaimed “musical genius” rock & soul songwriter, producer, soul artist, “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe” (R&B #33, 1970)
1942 ● Steve Young → Influential but largely unknown singer, songwriter, pioneer of country-rock sounds and early contributor to the anti-establishment “outlaw country” movement in the 70s, wrote Waylon Jennings‘s anthemic “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” (1973) and other songs for Hank Williams Jr. and Willie Nelson, issued two dozen albums and a lone charting hit, “It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way” (Country #84, 1984), best known for penning “Seven Bridges Road” which became a hit for the Eagles (#21, 1981) and a staple of their lives shows, sustained head injuries in a fall in 2015 and died 18 months later on 3/17/2016, age 73
1943 ● Christine McVie / (Christine Anne Perfect) → Singer, songwriter and keyboardist, major contributor to the mega-success of pop-rock Fleetwood Mac in the 70s and 80s, wrote or co-wrote many of the group’s huge hits, including “Don’t Stop” (#3, UK #32, 1977) and “Little Lies” (#4, UK #5,, 1987), started in blues band Chicken Shack in the late 60s and sang lead on several unremarkable singles, married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and joined his blues-rock band in 1969, retired from music in 1998 but returned for one-off Fleetwood Mac reunions and a collaboration with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham in 2017, died following a brief illness on 11/30/2022, age 79.
1946 ● Jeff Christie → Frontman, lead vocals, bassist and chief songwriter for one hit wonder Brit light pop-rock Christie, “Yellow River” (#23, UK #1, 1970), continued to tour on the oldies circuit with various lineups through the 10s
1946 ● Peter Pye → Rhythm guitarist for one hit wonder English beat/pop-rock The Honeycombs, “Have I The Right?” (#5, 1964)
1947 ● Wilko Johnson / (John Andrew Wilkinson) → Founding member and first lead guitarist for pioneering Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood (“Milk And Alcohol,” UK #9, 1979), his hard-edged, staccato guitar take on R&B sounds drove the band to the front wave of punk music in the mid-70s, reached the top of the UK album charts with the LP Stupidity (UK #1, 1976) and provided a huge influence to coming punkers, over the ensuing years founded blues-rock Solid Senders, fronted his own bands, joined Ian Dury‘s The Blockheads for a time, and appeared in a small role in the 2010s TV series Game of Thrones, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had a large tumor removed in 2013, died from the disease on 11/21/2022, age 77.
1948 ● Walter Egan → One hit wonder singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Magnet And Steel” (#8, 1978), now a high school teacher
1949 ● Malcolm Jones → Bassist for one hit wonder pop-rock Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride” (#4, 1970), then Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1950 ● Eric “The Fox” Carr / (Paul Caravello) → Drummer for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976), died from cancer on 11/24/1991, age 41
1952 ● Liz Mitchell → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978)
1952 ● Philip Taylor Kramer → Bass guitar for Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), presumed a suicide when his body and wrecked car were discovered in a Malibu canyon four years after he disappeared on 2/12/1995, age 42
1953 ● Billy Alessi / (William Alessi) → With identical twin brother Bobby, vocals in one hit wonder pop-rock duo Alessi Brothers, “Oh, Lori” (UK #8, 1977)
1953 ● Bobby Alessi / (Robert Alessi) → With identical twin brother Billy, vocals in one hit wonder pop-rock duo Alessi Brothers, “Oh, Lori” (UK #8, 1977)
1956 ● Sandi Patty / (Sandra Faye Patty) → Often referred to as “The Voice”, Grammy-winning contemporary Christian music (CCM) and new age singer and pianist
1959 ● Ray Gillen → Journeyman rock vocalist for hard rock Black Sabbath, all-star project Phenomena II, blues-rock Badlands, “Dreams In The Dark” (Mainstream Rock #39, 1989), Tariff, and Sun Red Sun, died from AIDS on 12/1/1993, age 34
1962 ● Dan Murphy → Guitarist for garage rock superstar group Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” (#5, 1993)
1964 ● Tim Gane → Guitar and keyboards for experimental/electronic pop-rock Stereolab, “Ping Pong” (UK #45, 1994)
1967 ● John Petrucci → Virtuoso metal/”shredder” guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer, founding member and producer for progressive metal Dream Theater, “Pull Me Under” (Mainstream Rock #10, 1992), included in GuitarOne magazine’s Top 10 greatest guitar shredders of all time
1972 ● Brett A. Reed → Original drummer in punk rock revival Rancid, “Time Bomb” (Modern Rock #8, 1995), left in 2010 to concentrate on side project psychobilly Devils Brigade
1976 ● Tracie Spencer → Teen pop singer, “In This House” (#3, 1990) and “It’s All About You (Not About Me)” (#18, 1999)
1984 ● Gareth Gates → Brit teen pop singer, TV’s Pop Idol runner up in 2002, “Unchained Melody” (#1, 2002)

July 13
1915 ● Hucklebuck Williams / (Paul Williams) → Saxophonist, composer and 40s bandleader with the first big R&B hit, “The Hucklebuck” (R&B #1, 1949) among eight other R&B Top 20 singles, became a member of the Atlantic Records house band and music director of James Brown‘s backing band in the 60s, opened a music booking business in the late 60s, died of natural causes on 9/14/2002, age 87
1923 ● Norma Zimmer → The last and best-known “Champagne Lady” from the Lawrence Welk Show and a Christian music singer on radio and TV and in various groups from the 50s through the 70s, including with Billy Graham, died on 5/10/2011, age 87.
1928 ● Al Rex / (Albert Floyd Piccirilli) → Bassist in rockabilly Bill Haley & His Comets on nine Top 20 singles in the mid-50s, including the rock ‘n’ roll anthem “Rock Around The Clock” (#1, 1955) and “See You Later Alligator” (#6, 1956), left to form is own band in 1960 and found limited success, dropped out of music thereafter and died from undisclosed causes on 5/24/2020, age 91.
1935 ● Pete Escovedo → Mexican-American jazz and fusion percussionist with Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), solo and leader of Latin big band Azteca
1942 ● Jay Uzzell → With brothers James and Moses and cousin George Wooten, vocals for R&B/doo wop The Corsairs, “Smoky Places” (#12, 1962)
1942 ● Roger McGuinn / (James Joseph McGuinn III) → Twelve-string Rickenbacker jingle-jangle guitarist, songwriter, singer and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), McGuinn-Clark & Hillman, “Don’t You Write Her Off” (#33, 1979), solo
1942 ● Stephen Bladd → Drummer for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1942 ● Tom King / (Thomas R. King) → Founder, frontman, songwriter and lead guitarist for garage/horn rock The Outsiders, “Time Won’t Let Me” (#5, 1966), producer and manager, died from heart failure on 4/23/2011, age 68
1946 ● Cheech Marin / (Richard Anthony Marin) → Mexican-American comedian, TV actor (Nash Bridges, 1996-2001), Disney voice artist and one half the stoner comedy team Cheech & Chong (album Big Bambu, #2, 1972), released two albums of bilingual children’s music, My Name Is Cheech, The School Bus Driver (1992) and Coast To Coast (1997)
1954 ● Thelma Louise Mandrell → Country-pop bassist and singer, played in sister Barbara Mandrell‘s band, The D-Rights, then solo, “Save Me” (Country #5, 1985)
1955 ● Mark “The Animal” Mendoza / (Mark Glickman) → Bassist for proto-punk The Dictators, joined heavy metal Twisted Sister in 1978, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (#21, 1983)
1958 ● Danny Gayol / (Rafael Bernardo Gayol) → Drummer for roots rock and adult pop BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Lawrence Donegan → Bassist for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1983), then Brit pop-rock Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Lost Weekend” (UK #17, 1985), author and golf journalist
1966 ● Gerald Levert → Vocals and frontman for R&B/smooth soul trio LeVert, “Casanova” (#5, R&B #1, 1987), son of O’Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died of a heart attack on 11/10/2006, age 40
1969 ● Barney Greenway / (Mark Greenway) → Extreme metal singer for punk/grindcore Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and Benediction
1974 ● Deborah Cox → Canadian R&B singer/songwriter, “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” (#2, 1998)

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