This Week’s Birthdays (March 24 – 30)

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Carol Kaye

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 24
1912 ● Nervous Norvus / (Jimmy Drake) → Two hit wonder pop singer/songwriter whose song “Transfusion” (#6, 1956) about blood loss following car crashes is perhaps the strangest Top 40 hit of all time, fell back into obscurity after his second hit “Ape Call” (#24, 1956) and died from cirrhosis of the liver on 7/24/1968, age 56.
1922 ● Dave Appell / (David Appell) → Pioneer music business executive, session band frontman, producer, publisher and arranger, worked with Cameo/Parkway records in the 50s and early 60s as a writer and frontman for the label’s house band, The Applejacks (“Mexican Hat Rock,” #16, 1958), co-wrote “Let’s Twist Again” (#8, 1961) for Chubby Checker and “Bristol Stomp” (#2, 1961) for The Dovells, among other hits, co-produced “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971) and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” (#1, 1973) for Tony Orlando And Dawn, died from natural causes on 11/18/2014, age 92.
1935 ● Carol Kaye / (Carol Smith Kaye) → Hugely prolific session bassist and member of The Wrecking Crew collective of L.A.-based session musicians, played in over 10,000 recording sessions for Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, Simon & Garfunkel, Quincy Jones, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and many others, performed on TV theme songs for Kojak, MAS*H, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza and others, wrote bass guitar instruction books and recorded instructional videos, toured and appeared on various albums into the 00s.
1936 ● Don Covay / (Donald James Randolph) → R&B, rock and soul singer and songwriter, scored a Top 10 R&B hit with “See Saw” (#44, R&B #5, 1965) and charted twelve other minor hits but is best known for penning “Chain Of Fools” (#2, R&B #1, 1968) for Aretha Franklin, plus dozens of other songs for Gene Vincent, Connie Francis, Steppenwolf, Bobbie Womack, Wilson Pickett, The Rolling Stones and others, died from a stoke on 1/31/2015, age 78.
1937 ● Billy Stewart → Scat-style R&B/jazz singer, “Summertime” (#10, R&B #7, 1966), died along with three bandmembers when his car went off a bridge in North Carolina on 1/17/1970, age 32
1938 ● Holger Czukay / (Holger Schüring) → German musician and co-founder of early krautrock/avant-garde pop-rock Can, “Spoon” (GER #6, 1971) and “I Want More” (UK #26, 1976), noted for pioneering ambient and “world music” genres and developing sampling as a recording technique, recorded and performed for decades until his death from undisclosed causes on 9/5/23017, age 79.
1941 ● Michel Masser / (Michael William Masser) → Stockbroker-turned-composer, songwriter and producer of pop music, wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits for Diana Ross (“Touch Me In The Morning,” #1, 1973), Whitney Houston (“Greatest Love Of All,” #1, 1986), Natalie Cole (“Miss You Like Crazy,” #7, 1989) and others, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, died three years following a major stroke on 7/9/2015, age 74
1946 ● Colin Petersen → Australian drummer, record producer and erstwhile child actor, grade school classmate of Barry Gibb and acquaintance of Maurice Gibb, joined pop-rock The Bee Gees (“I Started A Joke,” #6, 1968) in 1967 as drummer and first non-Gibb family bandmember, fired in August 1969 over partnership dispute and lost his rights to royalties in a court case, produced several albums for various artists in the 70s and disappeared from the music industry
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Drummer for hard rock/blues rock Spooky Tooth, later The Only Ones and Peter Frampton, sessions
1948 ● Lee Oskar → Danish harmonica player for R&B cover band The Creators, which became funk-blues-jazz-rock War, “Cisco Kid” (#2, 1973), solo, heads a high-end harmonica manufacturing concern
1948 ● David Olney / (David Charles Olney) → Folk and roots-rock songwriter, fronted the band The X-Rays in Nashville in the 70s and 80s as a vehicle for his songs, after dissolution in 1985 released nearly 35 LPs as a solo singer and guitarist, his songs were covered by Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris, Steve Earle and many others, died onstage from a heart attack while performing at a Florida festival on 1/18/2020, age 71.
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Songwriter, guitarist, producer, solo artist (“Cruel To Be Kind,” #12, 1979) with 14 albums, bandleader for pub rock/proto-punk Brinsley Schwarz and trad rock ‘n’ roll Rockpile (“Teacher Teacher,” #51, 1981), produced albums for Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders and others
1951 ● Dougie Thomson / (Douglas Campbell Thomson) → Bassist for Brit prog-art-pop-rock Supertramp, “The Logical Song” (#6, 1979)
1960 ● Nena / (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → One hit wonder (in the US) German singer and actress, “99 Luftballons” (#2, 1984) and seven Top 10 hits in Germany, now a school principal
1964 ● Zetro / (Steve Souza) → Vocalist for thrash metal bands Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), Dublin Death Patrol, Tenet and, more recently, Hatriot with his two sons
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase / (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1970 ● Sharon Corr → With two sisters and brother, violinist in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000)
1974 ● Chad Butler / (Chad Matthew Butler) → Co-founding member and drummer for alt rock/CCM Switchfoot (“Dare you To Move,” #17, 2004).

March 25
1923 ● Bonnie Guitar / (Bonnie Buckingham) → One of the earliest female country-pop crossover singers with “Dark Moon” (#6, Country #14, 1957) plus eight other Country Top 40 hits, co-founded Dolton Records to energize her own music but instead brought R&B/doo wop The Fleetwoods (“Come Softly To Me,” #1, 1959) and instrumental/surf-rock The Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run,” #2, 1960) to national prominence, as an audio engineer, record producer and label executive in the 60s was an extremely rare female in the top echelons of a vastly male-dominated music industry, largely retired in the 70s but performed occasionally until shortly before her death from natural causes on 1/12/2019, age 95.
1933 ● Wee Wee Harris / (Charles William Harris) → “Britain’s wild man of rock ‘n’ roll,” diminutive (5’2”) stage and TV singer and actor known for frenetic performances and brightly colored hair and clothing, a 1957 airing of his performance on BBC caused concern in the media that the network was promoting teenage decadence, issued eight non-charting singles in the 60s and played the nostalgia circuit through the 90s, stayed largely out of the limelight in the 00s and 10s except for a 30-track compilation CD and biography in 2018, died from undisclosed causes on 4/27/2023, age 90.
1934 ● Johnny Burnette / (John Joseph Burnette) → Rockabilly pioneer bandleader and singer, “You’re Sixteen” (#8, 1960), brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky, killed in a California lake boating accident on 8/14/1964, age 30.
1935 ● Johnny Pacheco / (Juan Azarías Pacheco Knipping) → Dominican-born composer and bandleader known as the “godfather of salsa” for his work producing and promoting the uniquely American blend of Cuban mambo, Puerto Rican bomba, Caribbean merengue, jazz and funk, principally through his Fania Records label, which grew from humble beginnings in 1964 selling LP’s out of a car trunk in Spanish Harlem, New York City, over time hailed as the Latin Motown and home to salsa superstars Rubén Blades, Willie Colón and Celia Cruz, among others, the label folded amid legal trouble in the 80s but was revitalized in 2005 and continued to reissue energetic dance music into the 20s, died from complications of pneumonia on 2/15/2021, age 85.
1938 ● Hoyt Axton / (Hoyt Wayne Axton) → Country singer and songwriter, “Boney Fingers” (Country #8, 1974), wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and others, including “The Pusher” for Steppenwolf (1968) and “Joy To The World” for Three Dog Night (#1, 1971), TV actor (Bionic Woman and McCloud), died of a heart attack on 10/26/1999, age 61
1942 ● Aretha Franklin / (Aretha Louise Franklin) → The undisputed “Queen of Soul,” Hall of Fame and Grammy-winning R&B/soul super-diva whose bold and influential style was rooted in gospel but blended jazz, rock, pop and later classical, charted more than 100 Billboard singles, 17 Top 10 pop hits and 20 R&B #1 hits, including her signature “Respect” (#1, R&B #1, 1967), which became an anthem for the civil rights, feminist and counterculture movements, performed for three presidential inaugural programs and topped Rolling Stones’ “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” (2010), died from pancreatic cancer on 8/16/2018, age 76
1946 ● Peter Daltrey / (Peter James Daltrey) → Co-founder, chief lyricist, lead vocals and keyboards for 60s Brit psych-rock cult band Kaleidoscope (“Flight From Ashiya,” 1967) and its successor band, Fairfield Parlour (“Bordeaux Rose,” 1970), following the band’s dissolution released several modest solo albums and collaborated with Ayreon, Clifford T. Ward and Damien Youth, contributed to Kaleidoscope archival releases and is currently working on a pictorial book and TV documentary of the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
1947 ● Brinsley Schwarz → Guitarist, frontman and namesake for early 70s pub-rock Brinsley Schwarz, briefly with roots rock Ducks Deluxe and later co-founded proto-punk The Rumour (which would become Graham Parker‘s backing band), continues to perform with Ducks Deluxe into the 10s
1947 ● Elton John / (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → Grammy-winning pop-rock and rock ‘n’ roll mega-star with over 40 Top 25 hits, from “Crocodile Rock” (#1, 1973) to “Candle In The Wind 1997” (#1, 1997)
1947 ● Jack Hall → Bassist for soulful Southern rock Wet Willie, “Keep On Smilin'” (#10, 1974), brother of frontman and lead vocalist Jimmy Hall, died on 5/17/1989, age 42
1947 ● Duncan Browne → Pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Journey” (UK #23, 1972), died of cancer on 5/28/1993, age 46
1948 ● Michael Stanley / (Michael Stanley Gee) → Pop-rock singer and songwriter for 70s folk-rock Silk, then solo and frontman for the underrated heartland rock Michael Stanley Band (“He Can’t Love You, #33, 1981), his early mentors and collaborators included Joe Walsh and Todd Rundgren but those influences never led to a larger base outside of Ohio and the Midwest, died in his sleep while suffering from lung cancer on 3/5/2021, age 72.
1949 ● Neil Jones → Guitarist for Welsh prog rock septet Amen Corner, “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” (UK #1, 1969)
1951 ● Maizie Williams → West Indian vocalist for R&B/disco Euro-dance Boney M, “Rivers Of Babylon” (#30, UK #1, 1978), solo
1952 ● Jack Lee → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and co-frontman for influential L.A. power-pop trio The Nerves, the band enjoyed cult status in their home state but limited commercial success elsewhere, best known for penning “Hanging On The Telephone” for punk-pop Blondie (UK #5, 1978) and “Come Back And Stay” (#22, UK #4,1983) for blue-eyed soul Paul Young, among others, continued to write music over the next 40 years without another hit, died from colon cancer on 5/26/2023, age 71.
1960 ● Steve Norman → Guitar and saxophone for New Romantic pop-rock Spandau Ballet, “True” (#4, 1983)
1966 ● Jeff Healey → Blind Canadian blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Angel Eyes” (#5, 1989), lost his sight to a rare cancer when he was eight months old, died of cancer on 3/2/2008, age 41
1969 ● Cathy Dennis → R&B/dance-pop vocalist turned successful songwriter, “Touch Me All Night Long” (#2, 1991), co-wrote “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” for Kylie Minogue (#7, 2002) and wrote other songs for Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and others
1971 ● Michael McKeegan → Bassist for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1974 ● Finley Quaye → Scottish reggae/hip hop singer, “Dice” (Dance #18, 2004), winner of the 1998 BRIT award winner for best male solo artist
1975 ● Juvenile / (Terius Gray) → New Orleans-based Southern/gangsta rapper, member of the hip hop group Hot Boys, “I Need A Hot Girl” (R&B #23, 1999), then solo, “Slow Motion” (#1, 2004) featuring Soulja Slim
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → Vocals for Brit dance-pop-rock All Saints, “Never Ever” (UK #1, 1998)
1988 ● Ryan Lewis → DJ, musician, producer and professional photographer/videographer, one half of the Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Lewis, “Thrift Shop” (Best Rap Song Grammy, #1, R&B #1, 2012) and oft-partner with rapper Macklemore in other projects

March 26
1917 ● Rufus Thomas → Memphis R&B/funk-soul singer and comedian, “Do The Funky Chicken” (#28, R&B #5, 1970), father of R&B/soul singer Carla Thomas, died from heart failure on 12/15/2001, age 84
1921 ● Julie Harris → Oscar- and BAFTA-winning British costume designer whose work included James Bond films and The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night and Help!, for which she later quipped “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked,” died following a brief illness on 5/30/2015, age 94
1928 ● Izzy Young / (Israel Goodman Young) → Mentor to young musicians, concert promoter and proprietor of the Folklore Center, the hub of the folk-revival scene in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early 60s, his customers included Joni Mitchell, Dave Van Ronk, John Sebastian and Bob Dylan, who later remembered the small book store, record emporium and folkie hang-out as the “citadel of Americana folk music,” relocated his life and store to Stockholm in 1973 and continued his calling in Sweden until his death from natural causes on 2/5/2019, age 90.
1934 ● Alan Arkin / (Alan Wolf Arkin) → American actor, director, musician and singer, scored a Top Ten hit as a member of folk-pop The Tarriers, “Cindy, Oh Cindy” (#9, 1956), starred in dozens of films and TV movies and series, including Catch 22 (1970) and Edward Scissorhands (1990).
1936 ● Fred Parris / (Frederick Lee Parris) → Founder, frontman and vocals for long-running R&B/doo wop The Five Satins, wrote the classic 50s ballad “In The Still Of The Night” (#24, R&B #3, 1956), the now-signature song of the doo wop era and #90 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, recorded into the 80s and had a final charting single with “Memories Of Days Gone By” (#71, 1982), a retro-medley of doo wop hits, thereafter appeared on the oldies circuit with various Five Satins lineups for the next three decades, died after a short illness on 1/13/2022, age 85.
1941 ● Don Lewis / (Donald Richard Lewis Jr. ) → Electronics engineer, multi-instrumentalist session and touring musician for Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and others, university music professor, mentor to youthful musicians, and inventor of pioneering electronic music devices, best known for the 1977 creation of the Live Electronic Orchestra (LEO) integrated sound controller for analog synthesizers, which merged multiple instruments into a one-man electronic symphony and predated the ubiquitous MIDI controller by ten years, later worked on the widely popular Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and Roland TR808 drum machine projects as a consulting engineer, died from cancer on 11/06/2022, age 81.
1944 ● Diana Ross / (Diane Ernestine Earle Ross) → Motown R&B/soul-pop diva, lead vocals and eventual frontwoman for The Supremes, “Baby Love” (#1, 1964), then highly successful solo career, “Endless Love” (#1, 1981) and 22 other Top 40 hits
1946 ● Johnny Crawford / (John Ernest Crawford) → Child character actor, original Mouseketeer on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club, co-star of Western series The Rifleman, short-lived teen-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in 1962-63, including “Cindy’s Birthday” (#8, 1962), continued to act on TV through the 90s in various bit parts
1948 ● Ned Doheny → West Coast singer/songwriter, first artist signed to David Geffen‘s Asylum Records label, solo albums featured guests such as Glen Frey, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadtt, limited commercial success in the U.S. but significant popularity in Japan, wrote or co-wrote several minor chart hits plus songs covered by Chaka Khan, Average White Band and Dave Mason
1948 ● Richard Tandy → Keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1948 ● Steven Tyler / (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Frontman and lead vocals for long-lived, Grammy-winning hard rockers Aerosmith, “Dream On” (#6, 1976), “Angel” (#3, 1988), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (#1, 1998), “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (Mainstream Rock #7, 2004)
1949 ● Fran Sheehan → Bassist for 70s-80s arena rock Boston, “More Than A Feeling” (#5, 1976)
1949 ● Vicki Lawrence / (Vicki Ann Axelrad) → Actress, comedienne, TV game show panelist and one hit wonder singer, “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” (#1, 1973)
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Lead singer for R&B/Philly soul Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (#3, 1972), then successful solo career, “Love T.K.O.” (R&B #2, 1980), died on 1/13/2010 after colon cancer surgery
1953 ● Billy Lyall / (William Lyall) → Scottish keyboardist, vocalist and early member of tartan-clad, teen-pop boy band Bay City Rollers, then co-founded pop-rock Pilot (“Magic,” #1, 1974) and worked with the Alan Parsons Project before dying from AIDS-related causes on 12/1/1989, age 36
1955 ● Martin Price → Record shop owner and founding member of electro-dance/acid house 808 State, “Bombadin” (Dance/Club #3, 1994)
1957 ● Paul Morley → Music journalist, former New Music Express writer, band manager, producer and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1968 ● James Jonas Iha → Vocals and guitar for alt/prog rock/metal band Smashing Pumpkins, “1979” (#12, 1996)
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Contemporary country star singer and songwriter, “Never Wanted Nothing More” (#22, Country #1, 2007), and 19 other Country #1 hits, married to Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Chicago (2002) film actress Renée Zellweger
1971 ● John Hendy → Vocalist and rapper for Brit teen dance-pop/hip hop boy band East 17, “Stay Another Day” (UK #1, 1994), plus over 15 other UK Top 40 hits
1981 ● Jay Sean / (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Anglo-Indian singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, beatboxer and Bhangra-R&B fusion pioneer with Rishi Rich Project, “Dance With You” (UK #12, 2003), then solo, “Down” (#1, 2009) with Lil’ Wayne

March 27
1921 ● Philip Chess / (Fiszel Czyz) → Polish-born radio and music entrepreneur, Chess Records co-founder with brother Leonard, influential figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll, electric blues and blues-rock, signed John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and others, died at home on 10/18/2016, age 95
1924 ● Sarah Vaughan / (Sarah Lois Vaughan) → The “Divine One,” Grammy-winning jazz-pop singer with twenty Top 40 hits in the late 40s and 50s, including “Make Yourself Comfortable” (#6, 1955) in a 46-year career as a solo artist, lead singer in multiple Big Bands and revivals, and in duets with numerous artists from Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald, died from lung cancer on 4/3/1990, age 66.
1927 ● Mo Ostin / (Morris Meyer Ostrofsky) → Record company executive and leading architect of the modern music business, worked for Verve and Frank Sinatra‘s Reprise Records before joining Warner Bros. in 1963 for a 31-year career, the last twenty-two as CEO, along the way signing The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix and overseeing contracts with Talking Heads, Prince, Madonna and scores of other top acts, his artist-friendly style and hands-off creative policy won accolades across the industry and huge successes for Warner, left the company to join DreamWorks in 1994, later donated $10 million to his alma-mater UCLA to establish the state-of-the-art Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, died in his sleep from natural causes on 07/31/2022, age 95.
1940 ● Derrick Morgan → The “King of Ska,” Jamaican singer and pre-reggae, first-wave ska artist, held the top seven spots on the Jamaican pop music chart for one week in 1965, recorded the first song in the rocksteady genre, “Tougher Than Tough,” in 1966 and the first reggae song, “Seven Letters,” in 1967, produced albums for up-and-coming reggae artists Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and others, continues to perform in ska/reggae oldies shows into the 10s
1941 ● Bunny Sigler / (Walter Sigler) → Pop, R&B and soul songwriter and producer whose work with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff made him instrumental in creating the Philly Sound of the 70s soul music, fronted the house band Instant Funk and had several chart hits of his own, including “Let Me Party With You (Part 1)” (#43, R&B #8, 1978) while producing music for The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle and others, died following a heart attack on 10/6/2017, age 76
1942 ● Smitty Smith / (Michael Smith) → Early lineup drummer for hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965), left in 1967 due to creative differences with frontman Paul Revere Dick and the band’s management, returned for the band’s hit “Indian Reservation” (#1, 1971) and moved to Hawaii following their final dissolution in 1975, died from internal bleeding on 3/5/2001, age 58
1947 ● Andy Bown / (Andrew Steven Bown) → Guitar and keyboards for Brit psych-rock band The Herd, “I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die” (UK #5, 1968), sessions and gigs with Status Quo and Pink Floyd
1950 ● Tony Banks / (Anthony George Banks) → Founding member and keyboards for prog-rock turned pop-rock Genesis,”Invisible Touch” (#1, 1986), mildly successful solo career
1953 ● Wally Stocker / (Walter Frederick Stocker) → Lead guitarist for pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), toured with Rod Stewart and Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1956 ● Wix Wickens / (Paul Wickens) → Brit multi-instrumentalist singer, composer, session and touring musician, worked with ‘Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Damned, Boy George, David Gilmour and others, member of Paul McCartney‘s touring band since 1989
1957 ● Billy Mackenzie → Vocals for New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates, “Party Fears Two” (UK #9, 1982), committed suicide on 1/23/1997, age 39
1959 ● Andrew Farris → Keyboards with his two brothers in Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987)
1960 ● Jackie Chambers → Vocals and lead guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1962 ● Derrick McKenzie → Drummer for Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1964 ● Clark Datchler → Vocals and songwriter for underappreciated, one hit wonder New Wave sophisti-pop Johnny Hates Jazz, “Shattered Dreams” (#2, 1988), solo
1965 ● Johnny April → Bassist for post-grunge/alt metal Staind, “It’s Been A While” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2001)
1970 ● Brendan Hill → Drummer for blues-rock jam quartet Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1970 ● Mariah Carey → Grammy-winning vocalist, songwriter and top selling 90s pop diva with five straight US #1 career-starting singles, plus Billboard Song of the Decade, “Fantasy” (#1, 2005)
1975 ● Fergie / (Stacy Ann Ferguson) → R&B/dance-pop vocalist and songwriter, former teen TV actress (Kids Incorporated) and teen pop Wild Orchid, now with hip-hop Black Eyed Peas, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” (#3, 2005) and solo, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 2007)
1988 ● Jessie J / (Jessica Ellen Cornish) → Blue-eyed soul, pop and hip hop genre-blending Brit singer and songwriter, “Domino” (#6, UK #1, 2012)
1990 ● Kimbra Lee Johnson → Grammy-winning New Zealand electropop and R&B singer, “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Gotye (Worldwide #1, 2011)

March 28
1890 ● Paul Whiteman → Early Big Band jazz-pop ensemble leader whose star-studded outfits influenced future performers, his versatile dance bands were immensely popular in the 20s and 30s and performed various genres in each show, the slower version of his hit “Ol’ Man River” (#1, 1928) won a posthumousGrammy Award in 2006, died from a heart attack on 12/29/1967, age 77.
1915 ● Jay Livingston → Prolific stage and screen songwriter, in collaboration with lyricist Ray Evans wrote songs for over 100 films and stage productions, including three Academy Award winners, “Buttons and Bows” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950) and “Que Será, Será” (“Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) (1956), also co-wrote the theme music to the TV shows Bonanza and Mr. Ed, among others, died from natural causes on 10/17/2001, age 86
1937 ● Dean Webb → Mandolin for influential, progressive bluegrass and country-rock pioneers The Dillards, “It’s About Time” (#92, 1971)
1941 ● Charlie McCoy → Harmonica player and top Nashville sessionman, founding member of supergroup Area Code 615, solo career, “Boogie Woogie” (Country #22, 1974) plus member of country-rock Barefoot Jerry
1945 ● Chuck Portz / (Charles Portz) → Bassist for pop-rock The Turtles, “It Ain’t Me Babe” (#8, 1965), left in 1966 before the band reeled off 7 other Top 10 hits
1947 ● Paul Jackson / (Paul Jerome Jackson, Jr.) → Electric jazz bass guitarist and long-time member of Herbie Hancock‘s bands, including as co-founder of jazz-fusion/funk The Headhunters and debut LP Head Hunters (#13, 1973), which crossed over to rock and funk fans and became the first million-selling jazz album, released his first solo album, Black Octopus, in 1978 and moved to Japan in 1985, performing with local artists, teaching music to teenagers, writing music for TV ads and issuing three further solo albums, retired in 2016 due to health issues and died from sepsis and complications of diabetes on 3/18/2021, age 74.
1948 ● John Evan / (John Evans) → Keyboards for long-lived Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973)
1948 ● Milan B. Williams → Founding member, keyboards and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk The Commodores (“Three Times A Lady,” #1, 1978 and “Nightshift,” #3, 1985), left the band in 1989 after allegedly refusing to appear on stage in South Africa, died from cancer on 7/9/2006, age 58
1949 ● Sally Carr / (Sarah Cecilia Carr) → Vocals for Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (UK #1, 1971)
1955 ● Reba McEntire → Hugely successful traditional and contemporary country singer, songwriter and bandleader, scored 22 Country #1 hits including “Somebody” (#35, 2004), TV actress
1962 ● Geo Grimes → Bassist for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987), later with Deacon Blue and currently Simple Minds
1963 ● Andy Cousin → Bassist for goth-rock All About Eve, “Martha’s Harbour” (UK #10, 1988), also played for The Mission UK, “Deliverance” (Mainstream Rock #27, 1990) and The Lucy Nation, “Alright” (1999) from the Austin Powers movie soundtrack.
1965 ● Steve Turner → Founder, vocals and lead guitar for grunge rock Mudhoney, “Suck You Dry” (Modern Rock #23, 1992)
1966 ● Salt / (Cheryl James) → Vocals for female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, “Let’s Talk About Sex” (#13, 1991)
1969 ● James Atkin → Vocals and guitar for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers”), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990)
1976 ● Dave Keuning → Guitar and backing vocals for synth-pop-rock The Killers, “Mr. Brightside” (#10, 2005)
1986 ● Lady Gaga / (Stefani Germanotta) → Electronic dance-pop singer, songwriter and fashion bug, “Just Dance” (#1, 2008) and “Poker Face” (Worldwide #1, 2008)

March 29
1918 ● Pearl Bailey → Well-known and respected but modest-selling Broadway, TV and Hollywood actress and blues-jazz-pop singer, scored a hit with “Takes Two To Tango” (#7, 1952), issued the Grammy-wining soundtrack album Porgy And Bess (#8, 1959), won a Tony Award for the title role in Hello, Dolly! (1967) and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988, died from coronary artery disease on 8/17/1990, age 72
1930 ● Donny Conn / (Donald Claps) → Vocals and drummer for novelty pop/rock ‘n’ roll The Playmates, “Beep Beep” (#4, 1958) plus 4 other Top 40 hits
1940 ● Astrud Gilberto / (Astrud Evangelina Weinert) → Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer who rocketed to global acclaim with the Grammy Record of the Year in 1965, “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, AC #1, 1964), fueling the 60s bossa nova craze in the U.S. and leading to over 30 albums and a dozen singles in multiple languages through the 80s, composed her own recordings in the 90s and 00s, retired following the album Jungle (2002), died at home from undisclosed causes on 6/5/2-023, age 83.
1942 ● Eden Kane / (Richard Graham Sarstedt) → Pre-Beatles teen pop Brit singer, “Well I Ask You” (UK #1, 1961)
1943 ● Chad Allan / (Allan Peter Stanley Kowbel) → Lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Canadian garage rock Chad Allan & The Expressions and the cover hit “Shakin’ All Over” (#22, CAN #1, 1965), left in 1966 as the band was transforming into pop-rock The Guess Who (“American Woman” (#1, 1970), in 1971 joined former bandmate Randy Bachman in country-rock Brave Belt but left in 1972 before Brave Belt became Bachman-Turner Overdrive (“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” #1, CAN #1, 1974), over the ensuing years issued seven non-charting albums as a bandleader or solo artist, hosted a CBC-TV music program, and taught songwriting at the university level, suffered a stroke in 2017 and died from unspecified causes on 11/21/2023, age 80.
1943 ● Vangelis / (Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou) → Greek keyboardist, electronic and progressive rock music composer best known for writing and recording the synth-driven, Oscar-winning “Chariots Of Fire” (#1, 1982) and other movie theme songs, started with seminal prog rock Aphrodite’s Child (“Rain And Tears,” UK #29, 1968), auditioned with Yes and collaborated with Jon Anderson in pop-rock Jon & Vangelis (“I’ll Find My Way Home,” #51, 1982) before turning to film and a 40-year career composing scores to Blade Runner (1982), Missing (1982) and other films, plus music for major sporting events and NASA space missions, died of COVID-related heart failure on 5/17/2022, age 79.
1944 ● Terry Jacks → Canadian pop singer/songwriter with former wife Susan Pesklevits in pop-rock duo the Poppy Family, “Which Way You Goin’, Billy? (#2, 1969), then solo, “Seasons In The Sun” (#1, 1974), now environmental activist
1945 ● Speedy Keen / (John Keen) → Drums, vocals and songwriter for one hit wonder Brit psych-pop, Pete Townshend-produced Thunderclap Newman, “Something In The Air” (#37, UK #1, 1969), died unexpectedly on 3/12/2002, age 56
1945 ● Hardy Fox / (Hardy Winfred Fox Jr.) → Frontman, chief composer and creative wizard in avant-garde, non-conformist collective The Residents, over 45 years and more than 70 albums developed a deep cult following for the group’s deconstruction of popular songs and surreal, experimental music, all the while maintaining members’ anonymity through full masks, outrageous costumes, public denials and ever-changing pseudonyms, continued to record and provide creative direction until just before his death from brain cancer on 10/30/2018, age 73
1947 ● Bobby Kimball / (Robert Toteaux) → Lead vocals and namesake for arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1982)
1949 ● Dave Greenfield / (David Paul Greenfield) → Keyboardist for 45 years for venerable punk rockers The Stranglers, played on 23 UK Top 40 singles from 1977 to 2006, including “Golden Brown” (UK #2, 1982) and “All Day And All Of The Night” (UK #7, 1988), and on all 33 of the band’s albums, his underlying progressive rock sensibilities on the organ played a large role in elevating the band above their punk rivals for nearly five decades, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 5/7/2020, age 71.
1949 ● Michael Brecker → Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer, collaborator with brother Randy in jazz-rock fusion The Brecker Brothers, “Sneakin’ Up Behind You” (#58, Disco #3, 1975), worked on over 700 albums with appearances for James Taylor, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and countless others, member of the Saturday Night Live house band, died from complications of leukemia on 1/13/2007, age 57
1956 ● Patty Donahue → Lead singer for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), died of lung cancer 12/6/1996, age 40
1959 ● Perry Farrell / (Perry Bernstein) → Founder, frontman and vocals for alt rock/post-punk Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing” (Mainstream Rock #29, 1990), then formed hard art-rock Porno For Pyros, “Pets” (Mainstream Rock #25, 1993), created the Lollapalooza concert tour program
1967 ● John Popper → Frontman, singer and harpist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1981 ● PJ Morton / (Paul Morton) → Singer and keyboardist in idiosyncratic soul-pop Maroon 5 (“Makes Me Wonder,” #1, 2007) and ten other Top 10 hits, also solo work and side projects

March 30
1913 ● Frankie Laine / (Francesco LoVecchio) → “Mr. Rhythm,” American jazz-pop singer, his “I Believe”, (UK #1, 1953) spent 18 weeks at the top of the UK chart, plus “Moonlight Gambler” (#3, 1957) and six other US Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died of heart failure on 2/6/2007, age 93
1914 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (John Lee Curtis Williamson) → The “Father of the Modern Blues Harp,” virtuoso blues harmonica player “Shake The Boogie” (Race Records chart #4, 1947), murdered while walking home from a nightclub performance in Chicago on 6/1/1948, age 34
1930 ● Rolf Harris → Aussie-born singer, artist, TV presenter and musician, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” (#3, 1963)
1941 ● Graeme Edge / (Graeme Charles Edge) → English band manager turned drummer, songwriter, poet and sole constant member of prog rock pioneers The Moody Blues, contributed spoken-word poetry to several of the band’s songs, including the poem at the close of their biggest hit, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, UK #9, 1972), drummed on every recording and tour from 1964 through 2018, in between leading his own eponymous band for two albums and participating in several side projects, died from metastatic cancer on 11/22/2021.
1943 ● Kenny Forssi → Original bassist for underground cult folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died of a brain tumor on 1/10/1998, age 54
1944 ● Ronnie Rice → Lead vocals and keyboards in Chicago-based, British Invasion-styled soft rock The New Colony Six, “Things I’d Like To Say” (#16, 1969), continues to perform in the Chicago area into the 10s
1945 ● Eric Clapton / (Eric Patrick Clapton) → Top-level blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with the Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, then long and acclaimed solo career, “I Shot The Sheriff” (#1, 1974) and “Tears In Heaven” (#2, 1992), various collaborations
1948 ● Jim “Dandy” Mangrum / (James Mangrum) → Frontman and vocals for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (#25, 1974)
1950 ● Dave Ball → Guitarist for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, joining in 1971 to replace Robin Trower, played lead on the acclaimed Procol Harum Live With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra album, then formed hard rock Bedlam and played with Long John Baldry
1951 ● Matthew Kelly → Valet and tour assistant for soul/funk The Bar-Kays, “Soul Finger” (#17, R&B #3, 1967), which also served as Stax Records‘ in-house session group and Otis Redding‘s backing band, died in the Wisconsin plane crash that killed Redding and four Bar-Kays bandmembers on 12/10/1967, age 16
1954 ● Lene Lovich / (Lili-Marlene Premilovich) → New Wave quirky dance-pop singer, “Lucky Number” (, 1979) and “New Toy” (Dance/Club #19, 1981)
1955 ● Randy VanWarmer → One hit wonder singer and songwriter for others, “Just When I Needed You Most” (#4, 1979), died of leukemia on 1/12/2004. age 48
1962 ● MC Hammer / (Stanley Kirk Burrell) → First mass audience rap star, “U Can’t Touch This” (#8, 1990), hip hop cultural icon, dancer, actor
1964 ● Tracy Chapman → Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Fast Car” (#6, 1988) and “Give Me One Reason” (#3, 1996)
1965 ● Tim Dorney → Keyboardist for Brit techno-pop Republica, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (Modern Rock #39, 1997)
1966 ● Joey Castillo → Drummer for hard rock/stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), left in 2012 and replaced Jason Bonham in California Breed in 2013
1967 ● Ace Kent / (Martin Kent) → Guitarist for Brit alt rock/metal Skunk Anansie, “All I Want” (UK #14, 1996)
1968 ● Céline Dion → French-Canadian pop singer, “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996) and 12 other Top 25 hits
1973 ● DJ AM / (Adam Goldstein) → Club DJ and member of rap rock Crazy Town, “Butterfly” (#1, 2001), worked on albums with Blink 182, Madonna and Will Smith, died of an accidental drug overdose on 1/28/2009, age 36
1976 ● Mark McClelland → Bass guitar and co-founder of Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006), later with Little Doses
1979 ● Norah Jones / (Geethali N. J. Shankar) → Grammy-winning acoustic jazz-pop singer/songwriter and pianist, “Come Away With Me” (2002), daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar
1979 ● Simon Webbe → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-dance boy band Blue, “Too Close” (UK #1, 2001)
1980 ● Paul Wall / (Paul Slayton) → Hip hop MC and DJ, hardcore rapper, “Girl” (Rhythmic Top 40 #3, 2006), also featured on “Grillz” (#1, 2005) by Nelly

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