This Week’s Birthdays (June 6 – 12)

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Levi Stubbs

Happy Birthday this week to:

June 06
1936 ● Levi Stubbs / (Levi Stubbles) → Vocals for six decade R&B/soul vocal quartet The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (#1, 1966), died in his sleep on 10/17/2008
1939 ● Gary “U.S.” Bonds (Gary Levone Anderson) / (Gary Levone Anderson) → R&B/soul and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter, “Quarter To Three” (#1, 1961) and “This Little Girl” (#11, 1981), age 72
1942 ● Howard Kane / (Howard Kirschenbaum) → Vocals for clean cut pop-rock Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965) and nine other Top 30 hits
1943 ● Joe Stampley → Louisiana blues-rock singer, songwriter and bandleader turned country star, fronted swamp rock The Uniques in the late 60s and sang lead on two minor hits, “Not Too Long Ago” (#66, 1965) and “All These Things” (#97, 1966), converted to honky tonk country with a recut of “All These Things” (Country #1, 1976) and 28 other Country Top 10 hits between 1971 and 1989
1944 ● Edgar Froese → Founder, frontman, keyboards and guitarist of atmospheric space/new age electro-synth proto-Kraut rock Tangerine Dream, solo
1944 ● Peter Albin → Guitarist for 60s Janis Joplin-fronted, psych-rock Big Brother & The Holding Company, “Piece Of My Heart” (#12, 1968) and her solo albums
1951 ● Dwight Twilley → Power pop bandleader, singer and songwriter best known for his Top 20 hit “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975) and an otherwise unremarkable career leading the Dwight Tilley Band plus solo efforts
1955 ● Mikel Wallace → Keyboards for reggae/R&B-funk fusion band Third World, “Now That We’ve Found Love” (#47, R&B #9, 1979), shot dead on 7/6/1999, age 44
1959 ● Bobby Bluebell / (Robert Hodgens) → Guitar and frontman for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, “Young At Heart” (UK #1, 1993)
1960 ● Steve Vai → Grammy-winning virtuoso rock guitarist, first with Frank Zappa‘s band, then hard rock Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth‘s band, Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), plus numerous albums as solo and bandleader, “I Would Love To” (Mainstream Rock #38, 1990)
1960 ● Pelle Alsing → Drummer in Swedish pop duet Roxette‘s backing band from the group’s founding in 1986 through their first five albums and “It Must Have Been Love” (#1, SWE #6, 1990), one of several US Top 40 hits during his tenure, returned for recording stints and tours through 2019, during intervals performed with Lisa Nilsson, Niklas Strömstedt and Ulf Lundell, among others, died from unspecified causes on 12/19/2020, age 60.
1961 ● Dee C. Lee / (Diane Catherine Sealy)) → Vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to join sophisti-pop-soul The Style Council, “My Ever Changing Moods” (#29, UK #5, 1984), then solo “See The Day” (UK #3, 1985)
1961 ● Tom Araya / (Tomas Enrique Araya) → Bass and vocals for “Big Four” thrash metal Slayer, “Hate Worldwide” (#2, 2009)
1964 ● Jay Dee Bentley → Co-founder, bassist and songwriter for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995)
1965 ● David White → Guitar and vocals for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1966 ● Gary Newby → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit alt rock/power pop The Railway Children, “Every Beat Of The Heart” (Alt Rock #1, 1990)
1970 ● Munky Shaffer / (James Shaffer) → Guitarist for Nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1974 ● Uncle Kracker / (Matthew Shafer) → Long time vocals and DJ in Kid Rock‘s band, then rock/hip hop fusion solo career, “Follow Me” (#5, 2001), now country-rock, “Smile” (#31, 2009)
1978 ● Carl Barât → Co-founder, vocals, lead guitar and songwriter for indie/punk revival The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now” (UK #2, 2004), solo and pub owner
1978 ● Jeremy Gara → Drummer for Grammy-winning Canadian alt/indie rock Arcade Fire, “Keep The Car Running” (Alt #32, 2007)
1984 ● Chris Tomson → Drummer for New York indie Afro-pop/rock Vampire Weekend, “Cousins” (Alt Rock #18, 2009)
1987 ● Kyle Falconer → Lead guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist for Scottish retro-rock/ska punk The View, “Same Jeans” (UK #3, 2007)

June 07
1917 ● Dean Martin / (Dino Paul Crocetti) → Film, TV and stage actor, singer, “Memories Are Made Of This” (#1, 1956) and 15 other Top 40 singles, cultural icon and member of the Hollywood Rat Pack, died of lung cancer on 12/25/1995, age 78.
1925 ● Alan Pearlman / (Alan Robert Pearlman) → NASA sound engineer, inventor and founder of ARP Instruments, Inc. in 1969, the company became the leading producer of music synthesizers for the rock, pop, jazz, electronic and avant-garde genres, his full-sized ARP2600 and the smaller ARP Odyssey were preferred instruments in the progressive rock movement of the 70s and the synth-pop wave of the 80s, an earlier model was featured in the classic film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) and as the voice of R2D2 in the Star Wars film series, later founded a computer graphics company and consulted on various sound engineering projects, died from natural causes on 1/5/2019, age 93.
1938 ● Michael Goldstein → Rock music publicist and artist PR agent who represented and promoted multiple top acts in the late 60s and early 70s, including Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead (and claimed to have 10 different acts as clients at the 1969 Woodstock festival), left PR to found The Soho Weekly News in New York City in 1973 as a competitor to The Village Voice, folded the paper in 1982 and tried numerous entrepreneurial ventures over the years until his death from pancreatic cancer on 5/19/2018, age 79
1940 ● Tom Jones / (Tom Woodward) → Grammy-winning, Welsh heartthrob vocalist “She’s A Lady” (#2, 1971) plus 15 other Top 40 singles and, in the 80s, nine Country Top 40 hits.
1942 ● Gary Burger → With four other American G.I.’s stationed in Germany, lead guitar for 60s avant-garde garage rock/proto-punk The Monks (1966 LP Black Monk Time), the band broke up in 1968 but reformed in 1999 when their album became a cult classic, died of pancreatic cancer on 3/17/2014, age 71
1944 ● Clarence White / (Clarence LeBlanc) → Acadian guitarist for progressive bluegrass sibling group Kentucky Colonels, then seminal country-pop-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), session work for Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and others, killed by a drunken driver on 7/15/1973, age 29
1948 ● Dave Torbert → Bass guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Bay Area country-rock New Riders Of The Purple Sage, co-wrote “Contract” and many other NRPS songs, co-founded country-rock Kingfish with Matthew Kelly and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), died of a heart attack on 12/7/1982, age 34
1953 ● Johnny Clegg / (Jonathan Paul Clegg) → British-born, South African guitarist and songwriter known as the “White Zulu” for his writings against the white minority rule of apartheid, co-founder and frontman for multiracial Afro-Euro-dance pop band Juluka and Zulu-dance-pop Savuka, his song “Scatterlings Of Africa” was his only entry on the UK Singles Chart (UK #44, 1983 with Juluka and UK #75, 1987 as Johnny Clegg & Savuka) and was featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Rain Man (1988), continued to perform with his bands and release solo albums through 2018, died from pancreatic cancer on 7/16/2019, age 66.
1955 ● Joey Scarbury → One hit wonder Canadian pop singer, “Theme From The Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)” (#2, 1981)
1957 ● Paddy McAloon / (Patrick Joseph McAloon) → Guitar and vocals for Brit indie pop Prefab Sprout, “If You Don’t Love Me” (Dance/Club #3, 1992)
1958 ● Prince / (Prince Rogers Nelson) → Mega-talented, multi-instrumentalist songwriter, singer, actor, producer and pop-rock/soul-funk bandleader, “When Doves Cry” (#1, 1984) and 30 other Top 40 singles, seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Ward-winning movie, Purple Rain (1984) and multiple hits for others, including “Manic Monday” by The Bangles (#2, 1986), collapsed at home and died from a prescription painkiller overdose on 4/21/2016, age 57
1964 ● Ecstasy / (John Fletcher) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1966 ● Eric Kretz → Drummer for alt hard rock Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song” (#18, 1994)
1967 ● Dave Navarro / (David Michael Navarro) → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), in mid-90s joined funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, released two solo albums with one Top 10 hit, “Rexall” (Mainstream Rock #9, 2001), in 2012 began as celebrity judge on the tattoo competition reality TV show Ink Master
1974 ● T-Low / (Terry Brown) → Vocals in contemporary R&B/smooth soul brother duo Next, “Too Close” (#1, 1998)
1985 ● Chaz Simo / (Charles Robert Simpson) → Guitar and vocals for Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003)
1990 ● Iggy Azalea / (Amethyst Amelia Kelly) → Australian rapper, songwriter and fashion model, “Fancy” (#1, 2014) and three other US Top 40 hits

June 08
1918 ● Robert Preston / (Robert Meservy) → Tony-winning Broadway stage and screen (mostly Westerns) actor who landed the role of a lifetime as the lead in The Music Man on stage in 1957 and film in 1962, died of lung cancer on 3/21/87, age 68
1936 ● James Darren / (James William Ercolani) → Early pop-rock teen idol singer, “Goodbye Cruel World” (#3, 1961), film actor (Gidget, 1959, Venus In Furs, 1969 and others), TV actor in The Time Tunnel (1966-67) and T. J. Hooker (1982-85)
1940 ● Nancy Sinatra → Sultry, sexy MOR pop singer, “These Boots Were Made for Walking” (#1, 1966), duet with father Frank “Somethin’ Stupid” (#1, 1967), the only father/daughter #1 hit ever
1940 ● Sherman Garnes → Bass vocals for R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (1956), died during open heart surgery on 2/26/1977, age 36
1941 ● Fuzzy Haskins / (Clarence Haskins) → Guitar and vocals for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978)
1942 ● Chuck Negron → Co-founder and one of three lead vocalists for top-tier pop-rock k Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and ten other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1974
1944 ● Boz Scaggs / (William Royce Scaggs) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, first with early Steve Miller Band, then a long solo career starting with “Lowdown” (#3, 1976) and “Lido Shuffle” (#11, 1977)
1944 ● Don Grady / (Don Louis Agrati) → TV actor, musician, singer and songwriter starting as a Mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Show and then as Robbie Douglas, the teenage heart-throb and oldest of three brothers on the 60s wholesome sitcom My Three Sons (1960-1972), joined short-lived, one hit wonder sunshine pop band The Yellow Balloon (“Yellow Balloon,” #25, 1967) and later wrote TV themes and soundtracks, died of bone cancer on 06/27/2012, age 68
1947 ● Annie Haslam / (Anne Haslam) → Vocalist and songwriter best known for her 45 year tenure as lead singer for Brit folk/prog rock Renaissance (“Northern Lights,” UK #10, 1978), plus 18 solo albums and an annual Christmas concert in Sellersville near Philadelphia, PA
1947 ● Julie Driscoll → Brit pop diva with Brian Auger & The Trinity, “This Wheel’s On Fire” (UK #5, 1968), solo prog rock albums, now jazz-improv vocals
1949 ● Jimmie King → Guitarist and founding member of soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Reddingg’s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmates on 12/10/1967, age 18
1951 ● Bonnie Tyler / (Gaynor Hopkins) → Welsh-born raspy-voiced pop-rock solo singer, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (#1, 1983), plus session backing vocals for Cher and others
1951 ● Tony Rice / (David Anthony Rice) → Renowned and influential folk, bluegrass and progressive bluegrass acoustic “flatpicking” guitarist, especially in the modern “new grass” sound he is widely credited with forging, first with the band J. D. Crowe And The New South on their eponymous debut album (1975) and later through various collaborations with Ricky Scaggs, Béla Fleck, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Norman Blake, among others, and two albums with elder brother Larry and younger brothers Wyatt and Ronnie, also fronted his own bands and issued several solo albums of acoustic jazz, folk and bluegrass music, lost his singing voice in 1994 to a disorder known as muscle tension dysphonia and ceased playing guitars in 2013 after lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”) made playing painful, died from unspecified causes on Christmas Day, 12/25/2020, age 69.
1953 ● Jeff Rich → Drummer for blues-rock Climax Blues Band and psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1954 ● Greg Ginn → Founder, frontman, lead singer and principal songwriter for 80s nihilistic L.A. hardcore punk-rock Black Flag (“Thirty And Miserable,” 1981), ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 100 guitarists of all time
1956 ● Steve Walwyn / (Stephen Martin Walwyn) → Lead guitarist since 1989 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1960 ● Mick Hucknall / (Michael James Hucknall) → Frontman, singer and songwriter for Brit soul-pop Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years” (#1, 1986), solo
1962 ● Nick Rhodes / (Nick Bates) → Keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982)
1965 ● Rob Pilatus → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy Award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, committed suicide on 4/2/1998, age 32
1966 ● Doris Pearson → Vocals for Brit family R&B/dance-pop quintet 5 Star, “Can’t Wait Another Minute” (#41, Dance/Club #7, 1986) and fifteen Top 40 singles in native England
1967 ● Neil Mitchell → Keyboards for Scottish pop-rock Wet Wet Wet, “Love Is All Around” (#41, UK #1, 1994)
1970 ● Nicci Gilbert / (Nichole Gilbert) → Vocals in urban contemporary R&B girl trio Brownstone, “If You Love Me” (#8, 1994), solo
1971 ● Jef Streatfield → Guitarist for Brit hard/raunch rock The Wildhearts, “Sick Of Drugs” (UK #14, 1995)
1973 ● Gabe Ford / (Gabriel Ford) → Current drummer for Southern-fried blues-boogie rock Little Feat, “Dixie Chicken” (1973) and “Hate To Lose Your Lovin'” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988) replacing founding drummer Richie Hayward, who left in 2009 with liver cancer
1977 ● Kanye West → Hip hop producer for Jay-Z and others, then solo rap star, “Gold Digger” (#1, 2005), five-time Grammy winner in 2007
1979 ● Derek Trucks → Blues-rock and world music guitarist and songwriter, nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, frontman for Grammy-winning The Derek Trucks Band, member of The Allman Brothers Band since 1999, formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi
1981 ● Alex Band → Founder, vocals and leader of post-grunge alt rock The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” (#5, 2001), solo
1985 ● Jamie Shaw → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)
1989 ● Richard Fleeshman → English TV actor (Craig Harris on the long-running Coronation Street) and singer-songwriter, “Coming Down” (UK #78, 2007)

June 09
1891 ● Cole Porter → Grammy-winning singer and composer, one of America’s greatest songwriters, wrote countless classic songs, including “Night And Day” (1932), “I Get A Kick Out Of You” (1934) and “Begin The Beguine” (1935), died of kidney failure on 10/15/1964, age 73
1915 ● Les Paul / (Lester William Polsfuss) → Immensely influential jazz and country-pop guitarist, singer and songwriter, recorded solo and with wife Mary Ford, “Hummingbird” (#7, 1955), inventor of the Gibson Les Paul solid-body electric guitar and developer of various playing and recording techniques, including “close miking,” overdubbing, echo delay and multitrack recording, died from severe pneumonia on 8/12/2009, age 94
1921 ● Dick Rowe / (Richard Paul Rowe) → Brit music producer and talent scout for Decca Records in the 50s and 60s, signed The Rolling Stones, The Moody Bluess, The Zombies, Tom Jones and many other top artists but famously declined to sign The Beatles following an audition in January 1962, produced multiple hits in the 60s before bowing out at the peak of his career, died from diabetes on 6/6/1986, age 65.
1926 ● CeDell Davis / (Ellis CeDell Davis) → Delta blues guitarist who overcame childhood polio and constricted hands to play slide guitar with a butter knife, spent decades on the juke joint circuit in the South before being “discovered” by music writer Robert Palmer in the 80s, toured nationally and recorded several albums with his unique style and gritty singing, including a final album, Even The Devil Gets The Blues (2016) featuring Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, suffered a heart attack and died three days later on 9/27/2017, age 91
1926 ● Bill Pursell / (William Whitney Pursell) → Classically-trained pianist, composer and one hit wonder pop musician, served in the U.S. Air Force Band during World War II then performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, taught at Tennessee State and Vanderbilt universities and worked as a session pianist in Nashville studios in the 50s, released the surprise instrumental piano hit “Our Winter Love” (#9, Easy #4, R&B #20, 1962) but subsequent singles met with little success, continued in the 60s and 70s as a “countrypolitan” session musician and arranger for Patsy Cline, Johnny Paycheck and Willie Nelson, among others until returning to academia in 1980 and teaching at Belmont University in Nashville to 2017, contracted the COVID-19 virus and died from resulting pneumonia on 9/3/2020, age 94.
1929 ● Johnny Ace / (John Marshall Alexander, Jr.) → Young, gifted and promising R&B/blues balladeer with a posthumous hit (“Pledging My Love,” #17, R&B #1, 1955) and epitaph (Billboard magazine’s “most played artist of 1955”) after he shot himself to death playing Russian roulette backstage after a show in Houston on Christmas night, 12/25/1954, age 25
1934 ● Jackie Wilson / (Jack Leroy Wilson) → Prolific and important R&B-to-soul singer with 13 R&B Top 10 singles from 1957-75, including “Lonely Teardrops” (#7, 1959), suffered a massive heart attack on 9/29/1975 during a Dick Clark nightclub show, fell from the stage and lived 8 years in a coma until he died on 1/21/1984, age 49
1941 ● Billy Hatton → Drummer and singer for Merseybeat pop-rock The Fourmost, “A Little Loving” (UK #6, 1964)
1941 ● Jon Lord → Classically-trained keyboardist and session player, co-founded hard rock/prog rock Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” (#4, 1973), solo and Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), age 71
1946 ● Stuart Edwards → Lead guitar for studio-only pop-rock Edison Lighthouse, “(Love Grows) Where My Rosemary Goes” (#5, 1970)
1947 ● Mick Box → Guitarist for hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (#39, 1972), the only original member still active with the band
1949 ● Billy C. Farlow → Rockabilly, Western swing and country rock guitarist, singer, harmonica player and songwriter, formed Billy C. & The Sunshine in the 60s, joined country-rock/boogie/swing bar band Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” (#9, 1972), left in 1976 to front his own bands and collaborate with others through to the 00s, including The Butterfield Blues Band drummer Sam Lay, continues to tour and record regularly
1949 ● Francis Monkman → Multi-instrumental rock and classical composer, film score writer and co-founder of Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1949 ● George Bunnell → Bassist for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Trevor Bolder → Bassist for David Bowie‘s early 70s glam-rock backing band, which became hard rock The Spiders From Mars, replaced John Wetton in Uriah Heep (1976-81), then replaced Wetton in Wishbone Ash, returned to Uriah Heep in 1983
1951 ● Peter Gill → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Son Of A Bitch which became Saxon, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983) and punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1951 ● Terry Uttley → Bass and vocals for pop-rock Smokie, “Living Next Door To Alice” (#25, UK #3, 1977)
1953 ● Errol Kennedy → Vocals for R&B/electro-dance-soul Imagination, “Just An Illusion” (Dance/Club #15, 1982)
1954 ● Peter Byrne → Songwriter and co-founder of New Wave synth-pop Naked Eyes, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” (#10, 1983), then formed Britpop duo Climie Fisher, “Love Changes (Everything)” (#23, 1988)
1954 ● Paul “Tonka” Chapman / (Paul William Chapman) → Welsh rock guitarist best known for his stints with hard rock band UFO in the 70s and 80s (“Young Blood,” UK #36, 1980), in the interim forming hard rock Lone Star, after leaving UFO for a second time in 1983 co-founded hard rock Waysted with ex-UFO Pete Way and recorded two albums, from the early 90s toured or recorded with numerous bands, released several solo albums and taught music in his relocated home in Florida, died from unspecified causes on his birthday, 06/09/2020, age 66.
1962 ● Eddie Lundon → Guitar and vocals for New Romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1967 ● Dean Dinning → Bassist for alt pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992), nephew of 50s pop-rocker Mark Dinning, “Teen Angel” (#1, 1960)
1967 ● Dean Felber → Bass and vocals for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995), solo
1970 ● Ed Simons → DJ and keyboards for dance-rock-rap fusion duo The Chemical Brothers, “It Began In Afrika” (Dance/Club #1, 2001)
1972 ● Wesley Reid Scantlin → Co-founder, singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-grunge Puddle Of Mudd, “Blurry” (#5, 2001)
1978 ● Matthew Bellamy → Guitar, vocals and keyboards for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)
1980 ● James Walsh → Singer, guitarist, pianist and frontman for post-Britpop Starsailor, “Silence Is Easy” (UK #9, 2003)
1983 ● Frankee / (Nicole Francine Aiello) → Hip hop/R&B urban contemporary singer, “F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)” (#63, Top 40 #29, 2004), a response to ex-boyfriend Eamon‘s single “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” (#16, 2004)

June 10
1910 ● Howlin’ Wolf / (Chester Arthur Burnett) → Highly influential blues guitarist, harpist and songwriter, “Smokestack Lightning” (R&B #8, 1956), died from cancer on 1/10/1976, age 65
1922 ● Judy Garland / (Frances Ethel Gumm) → Grammy-winning singer and film actress, “(Somewhere) Over The Rainbow” (1939), played Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz (1939), released the comeback album Judy At Carnegie Hall (Billboard #1, 1961), died 7/22/1969 from a barbiturate overdose, age 47
1931 ● João Gilberto / (João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira) → The “Father of Bossa Nova,” Brazilian bandleader, songwriter, guitarist and pioneer of the “new thing” music blending Brazilian samba with American jazz and pop in the late 50s, his 78 rpm album Chega de Saudade (1959) is considered the first bossa nova record and its follow-on siblings in 1960-1961 launched the early 60s bossa nova dance craze in North America, in all his oeuvre is over 30 albums, including the widely-acclaimed, two-time Grammy-winning Getz/Gilberto (1964) with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz and featuring then-wife Astrud Gilberto on vocals and the hit “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, AC #1, 1964), continued to record and perform for decades until declining mental and physical health forced his retirement, died from undisclosed causes on 7/6/2019, age 88.
1941 ● Shirley Alston Reeves / (Shirley Owens) → Vocals for first rock-era girl group The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1960), solo
1941 ● Mickey Jones → Session and tour drummer for Kenny Rogers, Johnny Rivers, Trini Lopez and Bob Dylan‘s first electric band on the 1966 world tour, left music in the mid-70s and became a successful film and TV character actor, best known for his roles on ABC’s Home Improvement (1991-99) and FX’s Justified (2011-14), died following a long, unspecified illness on 2/7/2018, age 76
1942 ● Janet Vogel → Vocals in R&B/doo wop quintet The Skyliners, “Since I Don’t Have You” (#12, 1959), committed suicide on 2/21/1980, age 37
1961 ● Kelley Deal → Lead guitar and backing vocals for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, Modern Rock #2, 1993), solo, identical twin of bandmate Kim Deal
1961 ● Kimberly Anne Deal → Bass guitar and backing vocals for influential alt rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), then co-founder, rhythm guitar and vocals for alt rock The Breeders, “Cannonball” (#44, Modern Rock #2, 1993), identical twin of bandmate Kelley Deal
1961 ● Mark Shaw / (Mark Robert Tiplady) → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1961 ● Maxi Priest / (Max Alfred Elliott) → The “King of Lovers Rock”, Jamaican-born Brit contemporary R&B and reggae star, “Close To You” (#1, 1990)
1964 ● Emma Anderson → Guitarist for alt pop/shoegazing band Lush, “Sweetness & Light” (Modern Rock #4, 1990)
1964 ● Jimmy Chamberlain → Drummer for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1965 ● Joey Santiago → Filipino-American lead guitarist and songwriter for influential alt rock Pixies, “Velouria” (Modern Rock #4, 1990), following the band’s breakup formed alt rock The Martinis with his wife, Linda Mallari and composed film scores until the Pixies reformed in 2004
1967 ● Human Beat Box / (Darren Robinson) → Oversized vocalist in hip hop/beatbox pioneers The Fat Boys “Wipe Out” (#12, 1987), died of an obesity-induced heart attack on 12/10/1995, age 28
1968 ● The D.O.C. / (Tracy Lynn Curry) → Gangsta rapper with hip hop group Fila Fresh Crew, co-wrote songs for gangsta rap group N.W.A., then solo, “It’s Funky Enough” (Rap #1, 1988) from the #20 album No One Can Do It Better
1969 ● Dan Lavery → Bass and background vocals for Grammy-nominated alt/roots rock Tonic, “If You Could Only See” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1971 ● JoJo Hailey / (Joel Hailey) → With brother Cedric, vocals in R&B/electro-dance “bad boy” quartet Jodeci, “Lately” (#4, 1993), left with Cedric to form romantic soul duo K-Ci & JoJo, “All My Life” (#1, 1998).
1973 ● Faith Renée Evans → R&B/contemporary soul-pop singer with 11 singles in the R&B Top 10, including “Love Like This” (#7, 1998), widow of rapper Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, her tribute to him, “I’ll Be Missing You” (#1, 1997) with Puff Daddy and 112 won a 1997 Grammy Award
1973 ● LeMisha Grinsted → Vocals with sister Irish in hip hop R&B/dance-pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999), American Music Awards “Best New Soul/R&B Artist” for 2000
1987 ● Tinchy Stryder / (Kwasi Danquah) → Garage/grime rap singer, “Number 1” (UK #3, 2009)

June 11
1934 ● “Pookie” Hudson / (James Hudson) → Frontman and lead vocals for pioneer R&B/doo wop The Spaniels, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” (R&B #5, 1954), died of cancer on 1/16/2007, age 72
1936 ● Jud Strunk / (Justin Strunk, Jr.) → One hit wonder country-pop singer, comedian and humorous songwriter with the novelty hit “Daisy A Day” (#14, AC #4, 1973), semi-regular on TV comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the 70s, died when he suffered a heart attack while piloting a small plane which crashed on takeoff on 10/15/1981, age 45
1940 ● Joey Dee / (Joseph DiNicola) → Frontman and lead vocals for early rock ‘n’ roll Joey Dee & The Starlighters, the house band at New York’s Peppermint Lounge, “The Peppermint Twist” (#1, 1962) and “Shout” (#6, 1962)
1947 ● Glenn Leonard → Vocals for R&B giants The Temptations, “My Girl” (#1, 1965) and Grammy-winning “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” (#1, 1972), solo
1947 ● Richard Palmer-James → Lyricist for prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), lyricist and guitar for prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1948 ● Skip Alan / (Alan Ernest Skipper) → Drummer for raunchy R&B/blues-rock British Invasion band The Pretty Things, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (UK #10, 1964)
1949 ● Frank Beard → Drummer for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, “Legs” (#8, 1984)
1950 ● Pedro Bell → Graphic artist and musician known for his several dozen album cover illustrations for George Clinton‘s Funkadelic and its offshoot band, Parliament, the core bands in the musicians’ collective known as “P-Funk” that pioneered the unique blend of heavy funk and psychedelic rock also called P-Funk, wrote the liner notes to several P-Funk albums under the pseudonym “Sir Lleb” (Bell spelled backwards), participated in several production studio, comic book, e-magazine and start-up band projects before going legally blind in 1996, died following years of declining health on 8/27/2019, age 69.
1951 ● Lynsey De Paul / (Lyndsey Monkton Rubin) → Brit R&B/disco singer and songwriter, “Sugar Me” (UK #5, 1972), first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting, “Won’t Somebody Dance With Me?” (Best Ballad, 1974)
1952 ● Donnie Van Zant / (Donald Newton Van Zant) → Lead vocals and frontman for Southern arena rockers .38 Special, “Hold On Loosely” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981), then Van Zant, brother of deceased Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant
1960 ● David Baerwald → One-half of New Wave synth-pop duo David & David, “Welcome To The Boomtown”(Top Rock #8, 1986).
1960 ● Nick “The Head” Hallam / (Nick Hallam) → Producer, co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader of Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1961 ● Rob B. / (Robert Charles Birch) → Co-founder of Gee Street Records and co-leader/vocals for Brit hip hop/electro-dance Stereo MCs, “Step It Up” (#58, Dance/Club #25, 1992)
1976 ● Tai Anderson → Bassist in Grammy-winning Christian rock quartet Third Day, “Born Again” (Hot Christian Songs #3, 2009)

June 12
1909 ● Archie Bleyer / (Archibald Martin Bleyer) → Songwriter, bandleader, musical director for Arthur Godfrey‘s radio and TV programs from 1946 to 1953, pop recording artist (“The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane”, #26, 1954), producer (The Everly Brothers), Cadence Records owner (Andy Williams, The Chordettes, Johnny Tillotson, Lenny Welch and others), husband of Chordette Janet Ertel and father-in-law of Phil Everly, died from the effects of Parkinson’s disease on 3/20/1989, age 79
1914 ● Bill Kenny / (William Francis Kenny, Jr.) → The “Godfather of Doo-Wop,” guitarist and tenor vocals for pioneering early 30s black R&B/doo wop group The Ink Spots, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (#2, R&B #1, 1943), continued with various incarnations of the group through the 50s and followed with a successful solo career and host of his own musical variety show, died from respiratory illness on 3/23/1978, age 63
1928 ● Vic Damone / (Vito Rocco Farinola) → Prototypical Italian/American pop and Big Ban crooner with a smooth, resonant baritone and several Top 10 hits, including “You’re Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1949) and “On The Street Where You Live” (#4, 1958), made a highly successful transition to TV variety shows, movies and Las Vegas nightclubs when rock ‘n’ roll eclipsed pop balladeers, continued to perform until 2001, died from respiratory failure on 2/11/2018, age 89
1930 ● Jim Nabors / (James Thurston Nabors) → Opera, gospel and pop singer with a booming baritone voice and dozens of albums, including six gold or platinum awards and a lone minor hit, “Love Me With All Your Heart” (CB #111, 1966), better known as the lovable, bumbling bumpkin Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show (1962-1964) and Gomer Pyle M.C. (1964-1969), and for singing the unofficial state anthem “Back Home In Indiana” before the start of the Indianapolis 500 auto race in nearly every year from 1972 to 2014, died from auto-immune system complications on 11/30/2017, age 87
1932 ● Charlie Feathers / (Charles Arthur Feathers) → Influential but unheralded blues, country and rockabilly singer and songwriter, early fixture at Sun Records where he recorded several singles and co-wrote Elvis Presley‘s “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” (Country #1, 1955), left for rivals Meteor and King Records in the late 50s and cut several now-classic rockabilly singles, died following a stroke on 8/29/1998, age 66
1937 ● Chips Moman / (Lincoln Wayne Moman) → Grammy-winning songwriter, producer and music executive, left Stax Records in 1964 to found American Sound Studios, produced over 100 hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Keep On Dancing” by The Gentrys (#4, 1965), “The Letter” by The Box Tops (#1, 1967) and “In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley (#3, 1969), co-wrote the Grammy-winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” for B.J. Thomas (#1, 1975), moved to Nashville and country music and recorded hits for many top artists, including “You Were Always On My Mind” for Willie Nelson (#5, Country #1, 1982), died from emphysema on 6/13/2016, age 79
1941 ● Chick Corea / (Armando Anthony Corea) → 23-time Grammy-winning jazz and electric jazz fusion pianist, composer and bandleader, recorded over 90 albums with dozens of groups and collaborations, including as frontman for Return to Forever, pioneers in jazz-fusion in the 70s, and with Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin, John McLaughlin and others, later explored classical music and performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded and performed into his late 70s until forced to stop by a rare form of cancer, from which he died on 2/9/2021, age 79.
1941 ● Roy Harper → Brit songwriter and folk-psych-rock singer, lead vocals on Pink Floyd‘s “Have A Cigar” (1975), Led Zeppelin‘s “Hat’s Of To Roy Harper” is a tribute to him
1942 ● Len Barry / (Leonard Warren Borisoff) → Vocals for doo wop harmony turned garage-rock/dance band The Dovells, sang lead on their early 60s dance-craze hit “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) and backing tenor on others songs, left the band in a dispute over future direction and enjoyed a semi-successful solo career as a blue-eyed Philly soul singer with three Top 40 hits, including “1-2-3” (#2, R&B #11, 1965), toured and performed solo and occasionally with The Dovells during the 80s and 90s while writing songs for other Philadelphia soul artists such as Fat Larry’s Band, Brandi Wells and Sylvester, co-wrote with his son the book Black-Like-Me about two white boys growing up in a African-American neighborhood, died from bone marrow cancer (myelodysplasia) on 11/5/2020, age 78.
1943 ● Reg Presley / (Reginald Maurice Ball) → Lead singer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), used royalties from his composition “Love Is All Around” (Wet Wet Wet, Adult Contemporary #8, 1994) to fund research into crop circles and other paranormalities and publish a book, Wild Things They Don’t Tell Us, in 2002, died from lung cancer on 2/4/2013, a age 69
1944 ● Howard Cowart → Blue-eyed soul one hit wonder John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” (#1, 1968)
1948 ● Barry Bailey → Lead guitarist for Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Imaginary Lover” (#7, 1978)
1949 ● John Wetton / (John Kenneth Wetton) → Bassist, songwriter and vocals for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971), then joined a revamped prog rock King Crimson in 1972 and appeared on three albums, played with Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash before co-founding mainstream pop-rock Asia (“Heat Of The Moment,” #4, UK #46, 1982), collaborated with others and issued 20-odd solo albums in the 90s and 00s, died from colon cancer on 1/31/2017, age 67
1951 ● Bun E. Carlos / (Brad Carlson) → Drummer for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1951 ● Brad Delp → Lead vocals for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976), committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in at his home in New Hampshire on 3/9/2007, age 55
1952 ● Junior Brown / (Jamieson Brown) → Country-rock bandleader and guitarist known for playing a “gut-steel” hybrid of electric and lap steel guitars, played with Asleep At The Wheel, solo albums since 1990
1952 ● Peter Farndon → Bassist for post-punk New Wave hard pop-rock The Pretenders, “Back On The Chain Gang” (#5, 1982), fired from the band in late 1982, died from a drug overdose on 4/14/1983, age 30
1953 ● Rocky Burnette / (Jonathan Burnette) → Rowdy, high energy rockabilly revival singer and songwriter, “Tired Of Toein’ The Line” (#8, 1980), son of legendary Johnny
1959 ● John Linnell / (John Sidney Linnell) → Keyboards, accordion and saxophone for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Meredith Ann Brooks → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Bitch” (#2, 1997)
1960 ● Michael Hausman → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (#8, 1985), artist manager
1962 ● Grandmaster Dee / (Drew Carter) → Vocals for rap/R&B “new jack swing” Whodini, “Five Minutes Of Funk” (1984) from the acclaimed album Escape
1965 ● Robin Wilson → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1968 ● Bobby Sheehan / (Robert Vaughan Sheehan) → Bassist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995), died of a drug overdose on 8/20/1999, age 31
1969 ● Bardi Martin → Bassist for grunge-rock Candlebox, “Far Behind” (#18, 1994)
1972 ● Bounty Killer / (Rodney Basil Price) → Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer, “Deadly Zone” (#79, Rap #8, 1998)
1977 ● Kenny Wayne Shepherd / (Kenny Wayne Brobst) → Self-taught blues-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Blue On Black” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1997)
1979 ● Robyn / (Robin Miriam Carlsson) → Swedish dance/pop singer, “Do You Know (What It Takes)” (#7, 1997)

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