This Week’s Birthdays (March 28 – April 3)

0
370
The Commodores (Milan B. Williams, back row right)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
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 → Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer, won Grammy Award for 1965 Record of the Year “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, AC #1, 1964), issued over 30 albums and a dozen singles in several languages through the 80s
1942 ● Eden Kane / (Richard Graham Sarstedt) → Pre-Beatles teen pop Brit singer, “Well I Ask You” (UK #1, 1961)
1943 ● Chad Allan / (Allan Kowbel) → Founding member, early frontman, lead vocals, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), solo artist, TV host
1943 ● Vangelis / (Evangelos O. Papathanassiou) → Greek keyboardist and electronic music composer, “Chariots Of Fire” (#1, 1982), started with 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 scores
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 → Drummer and songwriter for Brit prog rock then pop-rock The Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” (#2, 1972), solo with the Graeme Edge Band
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

March 31
1921 ● Lowell Fulson → West Coast blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with “Tramp” (#52, R&B #5, 1967) and three other R&B Top 20 hits plus one pop Top 10 smash, “Lonesome Christmas (Part 1)” (#6, 1966) in a five decade career, died from complications of diabetes and heart disease on 3/7/1999, age 77
1928 ● Lefty Frizzell / (William Orville Frizzell) → Country and honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist with a distinctive and enduring vocal style that smoothed the rough edges of honky tonk and led to mainstream acceptance for the many that followed him over the decades, charted nine Country Top 40 hits between 1955 and 1965, including “Saginaw, Michigan” (#85, Country #1, 1964) but never achieved the fame of several Country contemporaries, continued to record until his death from a stroke on 7/19/1975, age 47
1929 ● Eugene Puerling → Influential, acclaimed and Grammy-winning vocalist and vocal arranger, formed and fronted a cappella The Hi-Lo’s and The Singers Unlimited, wrote, arranged and/or produced the music on dozens of albums by his groups and others, his influence is heard in the harmonies of The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, died from complications of diabetes on 3/25/2008, age 78
1933 ● Ina Anita Carter → Youngest daughter of country music legend “Mother” Maybelle Carter and member of country singing trio and Nashville regulars The Carter Sisters, opened for Elvis Presley tours in the mid-50s, backed Johnny Cash (whom sister June married in 1968) and appeared on TV variety shows including Hee Haw, died on 6/29/1999, age 66
1934 ● Shirley Jones → TV/screen actress and singer, played the tambourine-shaking mother (with real-life stepson David Cassidy) in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (#1, 1970).
1934 ● John D. Loudermilk → Nashville-based country and pop singer/songwriter with a handful of minor hits as a solo artist in the 50s and 60s, but best known for writing dozens of hits for others in the 60s and 70s, including “Ebony Eyes” by The Everly Brothers (#8, 1961), “Tobacco Road” by The Nashville Teens (#14, UK #6, 1960) and “Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere & The Raiders (#1, 1971), died from as heart attack on 9/21/2016, age 82
1935 ● Richard Chamberlain → Brief but successful MOR/pop singer, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (#14, Adult #6, 1963) while starring in the fresh-faced lead role in the TV series Dr. Kildare, continued to appear in various TV series as a guest star and on Broadway through the 00s
1942 ● Hugh McCracken → High-demand session guitarist and harmonica player on hundreds of albums for numerous top artists from The Left Banke in 1967 to Steely Dan in 2003, plus Roberta Flack, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, James Taylor and others, co-produced two albums for Dr. John in 1978, died from leukemia on 3/28/2013, age 70.
1944 ● Mick Ralphs / (Michael Geoffrey Ralphs) → Guitarist and founding member of glam-rock Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972) and hard rock Bad Company, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5, 1974), solo
1944 ● Rod Allen / (Rodney Bainbridge) → Lead vocals and bassist in Brit pop-rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died from liver cancer on 1/10/2008, age 63
1946 ● Al Nichol / (G. Allan Nichol) → Rhythm guitar and backing vocals for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Jon Poulos → Drummer for pop-horn-rock The Buckinghams, “Kind Of A Drag” (#1, 1967), died from a suspected drug overdose on 3/26/1980, age 33
1947 ● Al Goodman / (Willie Albert Goodman) → Vocals in R&B/smooth soul trio The Moments, “Sexy Mama” (#17, R&B #3, 1973) and 26 other R&B chart hits, changed their name to Ray, Goodman & Brown in 1979 due to a contract dispute and scored 10 more R&B hits, including “Special Lady” (#5, 1979), continued to perform with the group until his death from heart failure on 7/27/2010, age 63
1948 ● Thijs Van Leer → Founding member, organ and flute for Dutch prog rock band Focus, “Hocus Pocus” (#9, 1971), solo classical and jazz-rock albums
1953 ● Sean Hopper → Keyboards and vocals for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1954 ● Tony Brock → Drummer for mainstream pop-rock The Babys, “Everytime I Think Of You” (#13, 1979), sessions for Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Elton John and others
1955 ● Angus Young → Schoolboy-uniformed co-founder, lead guitarist and songwriter for power chord rock AC/DC, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1981)
1958 ● Pat McGlynn → Bassist for Scottish teen-pop Bay City Rollers, “Saturday Night” (#1, 1976)
1958 ● Paul Ferguson → Founding member and drummer for post-punk New Wave industrial-dance-rock Killing Joke, “Follow The Leaders” (Club-Dance #25, 1981)
1959 ● Robert Holmes → Guitarist for New Wave synth-pop-rock ‘Til Tuesday, “Voices Carry” (1985), then blues-rock Ultra Blue and a cappella doo wop quintet Street Magic, now freelance rock guitarist
1971 ● Julian Deane → Guitarist for alt pub rock/blue-eyed soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1974 ● Stefan Olsdal → Swedish bassist for alt glam-rock/punk revival Placebo, “Pure Morning” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1999)
1978 ● Tony Yayo / (Marvin Bernard) → Haitian-American rapper with G-Unit, “Stunt 101” (#13, Rap #5, 2003) and solo, “So Seductive'” feat. 50 Cent (#48, Rap #12, 2005), convicted felon
1984 ● Jack Antonoff → Singer/songwriter and lead guitarist in Grammy-winning indie pop Fun (“We Are Young,” #1, 2012), currently guitar, piano and vocals in indie pop-rock Bleachers (“I Wanna Get Better,” Alt Rock #1, 2014)

April 01
1897 ● Lucille Bogan → Under the pseudonym Bessie Jackson, early blues songwriter and recording artist known for her sexually charged lyrics including “Shave ‘Em Dry” (1935) and “B.D. Woman’s Blues” (1937), considered one of the “big three” of the blues with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, died from coronary sclerosis on 8/10/1948, age 51
1921 ● Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith / (Arthur Smith) → Country music instrumentalist and pioneer of electric guitar music in the late 40s, wrote hundreds of songs including the oft-covered “Guitar Boogie” (#25, Country #8, 1948), an early rock ‘n’ roller and one of the first crossover hits, and “Dueling Banjos,” adapted for the film Deliverance (1972), hosted country music’s first syndicated TV show beginning in 1951, died at home on 4/3/2014, age 93.
1927 ● Amos Milburn → Boogie-blues piano master, singer and rock ‘n’ roll roots pioneer, “Chicken Shack Boogie” (R&B #1, 1948) and eight other R&B Top 10 hits, died following a stroke on 1/3/1980, age 52
1932 ● Debbie Reynolds / (Mary Frances Reynolds) → Popular film, stage and TV actress and adult-pop singer “Tammy” (#1, 1957), starred numerous films including the genre-defining Hollywood musical Singing In The Rain (1952), one of the top films in American cinema history, continues to be active in business and charitable organizations into the 10s
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown → Country and country-pop singer and radio and TV host, found early fame with his two sisters in 50-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), followed with a solo career and 13 Country Top 25 hits, including “Morning” (Country #1, 1970), recorded seven Country Top 10 duets with Helen Cornelius in the late 70s, including “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” (Country #1, 1976), hosted various country music radio and TV entertainment shows until shortly before his death from lung cancer on 6/3/2015, age 81
1939 ● Rudolph Isley → Vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1942 ● Phil Margo → Drummer and vocalist for white doo-wop The Tokens, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (#1, 1961)
1942 ● Alan Blakely → Keyboards for British Invasion pop-rock Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), died of cancer on 6/1/1996, age 54
1944 ● Frank Gari / (Frank Garofal)) → Pop music singer and songwriter with three Top 40 hits in 1961, including “Lullaby Of Love” (#23, 1961), transitioned to an Emmy and Clio award-winning career composing theme and advertising jingles for TV and radio, worked for McDonald’s, Smuckers, Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and many advertisers and TV programs worldwide
1945 ● John Barbata → Drummer for pop-rock The Turtles, “Happy Together” (#1, 1967), joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972 and remained through 1978 with Jefferson Starship, “Miracles” (#3, 1975), later sessions work
1946 ● Ronnie Lane / (Ronald Frederick Lane) → Bass player, songwriter and vocals for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), formed rock ‘n’ roll Slim Chance, “How Come” (UK #5, 1974), collaborated with Pete Townshend (Rough Mix, 1977) and issued several solo albums, died of multiple sclerosis on 6/4/1997, age 51
1947 ● M / (Robin Scott) → New Wave synth-pop one hit wonder electro-dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Pop Muzik” (#1, 1979), producer and collaborator
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff / (James Chambers) → Pioneering ska and reggae singer, songwriter, bandleader, actor in the film The Harder They Come (1972) and singer of the title track, also “I Can See Clearly Now” (#18, 1993)
1948 ● Simon Cowe → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (UK #3, 1971)
1949 ● Gil Scott-Heron → Spoken-word, soul and jazz poet known for his critiques of politics, racism and the mass media society, highly influential progenitor of hip hop music and countless rappers, issued fifteen Top 25 Jazz Albums and seven Top 40 R&B albums along with multiple charting singles including “Angel Dust” (R&B #15, 1978) but never achieved fame beyond cult popularity, died after a brief illness related to HIV on 3/27/2011, age 62
1951 ● Henry Gross → Guitar and vocals in “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975), at age 18 was the youngest performer at Woodstock, left the band in 1970 for a one hit wonder singer/songwriter solo career (“Shannon,” #6, 1976), continues to record and perform in the 10s
1952 ● Billy Currie → Keyboards for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1952 ● Rob Wasserman → Grammy-winning stand up bass guitarist and composer with three acclaimed solo albums Solo (1983), Duets (1988) and Trios (1994) and session work with Neil Young, Elvis Costello and many others, co-founded RatDog with Bob Weir and toured extensively with Lou Reed, died from cancer on 6/29/2016, age 64
1954 ● Jeff Porcaro / (Jeffrey Thomas Porcaro) → Drummer for jazz-pop-rock Steely Dan in the mid-70s, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (#4, 1974), then sessions for Boz Scaggs, Warren Zevon, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and many others, formed arena rock Toto, “Africa” (#1, 1983), died of a heart attack from suspected cocaine use on 8/5/1992, age 38.
1958 ● D. Boon / (Dennes Dale Boon) → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for influential hardcore/punk rock trio The Minutemen, died in a car accident at the peak of the band’s underground popularity on 12/22/1985, age 27
1961 ● Mark White → Guitar and keyboards for New Wave synth-dance-pop ABC, “The Look Of Love” (#18, 1982)
1961 ● Susan Boyle → Amateur Scottish singer, “I Dreamed A Dream” (2009), whose out-of-nowhere rise to fame (and fortune) resulted from her appearance on the UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent
1964 ● Leslie Langston → Bassist for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1965 ● Peter O’Toole → Bassist for Irish rockers Hothouse Flowers, “Don’t Go” (Modern Rock #7, 1988)
1977 ● Simon White → Guitarist for short-lived, super-hyped 90s Britpop Menswear, “Being Brave” (UK #10, 1996)
1981 ● Hannah Louise Spearitt → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1986 ● Hillary Scott → Vocals and songwriter for country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (#2, Country #1, 2009), solo
1994 ● Ella Eyre / (Ella McMahon) → Singer/songwriter and collaborator wish Rudimental on Brit Award 2014 Single of the Year “Waiting All Night’ (UK #1, 2013)

April 02
1912 ● Herbert Mills → Tenor vocals in six-decade jazz and pop quartet The Mills Brothers (“Cab Driver,” #23, Adult #3, 1968), best known for approximating instrument sounds with vocals, first as a novelty act in the vaudeville era of the 20s and later as the music behind their singing, performed with his last remaining brother, Donald until his death on 4/12/1989, age 77
1917 ● Lou Monte / (Louis Scaglione) → Novelty pop crooner and guitarist best known for his Italian-American dialect in parodies and children’s songs, including “Pepino The Italian Mouse” (#5, 1963) and the Christmas standard “Dominic The Donkey,” died on 6/12/1989, age 72
1928 ● Serge Gainsbourg / (Lucien Ginsburg) → French provocateur, ladies man and pop singer, duet with ingénue Jane Birkin, “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” (#69, UK #1, 1970), the first foreign language UK chart topper, died of a heart attack on 3/2/1991, age 62
1938 ● Warner Mack / (Warner MacPherson) → Country music singer with fourteen Country Top 20 hits and two crossover minor singles from 1957 to 1970, including the self-penned debut single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You)” (#61, Country #9, 1957)
1939 ● Marvin Gaye / (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → Grammy-winning, highly talented and revered R&B/soul pioneer, first with R&B/doo wop The Moonglows, then Motown solo vocalist, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (#1, 1968), transformed to beloved social commentator, “What’s Goin’ On” (#1, 1973), shot dead by his father in a domestic dispute on 4/1/1984, age 43
1942 ● Parrot Castrodale / (Phil Castrodale) → First tenor for blue-eyed soul/doo wop The Reflections (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #6, 1964)
1942 ● Leon Russell / (Claude Russell Bridges) → Multi-instrumentalist, in-demand sessionman for multiple top-name rock artists on hundreds of albums in nearly every genre of pop and rock music, songwriter with dozens of hits recorded by others, including over 100 covers of Grammy-winning “A Song For You” (1970), bandleader for Joe Cocker‘s backing group, producer for albums by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and others, scratchy-voiced solo artist with two Top 20 hits (“Tight Rope,” #11, 1972 and “Lady Blue,” #14, 1975), recorded and performed until health issues forced his retirement, died in his sleep from heart failure on 11/13/2016, age 74
1943 ● Larry Coryell / (Lorenz Albert Van DeLinder III) → Virtuoso guitarist and pioneer of jazz-rock fusion, started with Free Spirits and Gary Burton in the 60s, formed seminal fusion band The Eleventh House in the 70s, flipped between jazz and rock, electric and acoustic for the balance of his career and played alongside John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce and Charles Mingus, composed operas in his later years and died from heart failure in a New York City hotel while on tour on 2/19/2017, age 73
1943 ● Lynn Kellogg / (Lynn Jean Kellogg Simpers) → 60s folk singer and occasional TV actress best known for playing the character Sheila in the counter-cultural Broadway musical Hair (1968) and singing lead on “Easy to Be Hard” and the show’s finale, “Let the Sun Shine In,” also appeared on screen with Elvis Presley in Charro! (1969) and later produced award-winning children’s television and performed contemporary Christian music, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on non-terminal leukemia on 11/12/2020, age 77.
1944 ● Barry Pritchard → Vocals and guitar for Brit pop/rock harmony beat group The Fortunes, “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, 1965), died following a heart attack 1/11/1999, age 54
1946 ● Kurt Winter → Guitarist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), joined in 1970 to replace founder Randy Bachman, co-wrote “Hand Me Down World” (#17, 1970), left in 1974 to start a mattress business, died from kidney failure on 12/14/1997, age 51
1947 ● Emmylou Harris → Grammy-winning traditional- and neo-country singer/songwriter, guitarist, bandleader, collaborator, solo artist , “Sweet Dreams” (Country #1, 1976)
1949 ● David Robinson → Drummer for pop/rock ‘n’ roll Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, then New Wave synth-pop/guitar rock The Cars, “Just What I Needed” (#27, 1978)
1949 ● Richard Thompson → Folk-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, founding member of renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (1969), solo, duo with wife Linda
1952 ● Dave Bronze → Session and touring bassist for Robin Trower, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies. Belinda Carlisle, Procol Harum and many others
1952 ● Leon Wilkeson → Bassist, backing vocals and occasional songwriting for raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), died from liver and lung failure on 7/27/2001, age 49
1956 ● Gregory Abbott → One hit wonder R&B/soul-urban pop-quiet storm singer/songwriter, “Shake You Down” (#1, 1986)
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward → Founding member and vocals for hugely successful Brit synth-dance-pop girl group Bananarama, covered “Venus” (#1, 1986)
1966 ● Garnett Silk / (Garnett Damoin Smith) → Rising star Jamaican reggae/dancehall singer and Rastafarian, “Hey Mama Africa” (UK #1, 1992), died trying to save his mother in an accidental house fire on 12/16/1996, age 28
1967 ● Greg Camp → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for neo-garage/quirky Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ On The Sun” (Adult Top 40 #1, 1997)
1971 ● Chico / (Yousseph Slimani) → Welsh Latin pop singer, “It’s Chico Time” (UK #1, 2006), reached the semi-finals of the 2005 season of the UK series The X Factor
1979 ● Jesse Carmichael → Keyboards for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)
1981 ● Scott Cain → Australian singer and winner of the third Australian Popstars competition, “I’m Moving On” (Aus. #1, 2002)
1983 ● Yung Joc / (Jasiel A. Robinson) → Hardcore/gangsta rapper, “It’s Goin’ Down” (#3, 2006)

April 03
1922 ● Doris Day / (Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff) → Award-winning, wholesome film heroine in nearly 40 feature films from the Golden Age of 1940s Hollywood through the advance of TV culture in the 60s, scored 42 Top 20 pop hits first as a Big Band singer and later as a solo artist until rock ‘n’ roll ended her relevance, her signature song “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” (#2, 1956) won an Academy Award, dropped out of film acting and hosted her own TV program from 1968-1973, thereafter became an animal rights activist and reluctant, retired film star honoree, issued a first-in-two-decades album of new material in 2011, died from pneumonia on 5/13/2019, age 97.
1928 ● Don Gibson / (Donald Eugene Gibson) → Traditional and country-pop singer/songwriter, “Oh, Lonesome Me” (#7, Country #1, 1958) plus over 40 other Country Top 25 hits between 1956 and 1978, died 11/17/2003, age 75
1931 ● Gil Robbins / (Gilbert Lee Robbins) → Folk guitarist and singer, Air Force band conductor and member of the Cumberland Three with future Kingston Trio member John Stewart, joined the Harry Belafonte Singers and recorded five albums with The Highwaymen in the early 60s, acted in off-Broadway plays, including Month of Sundays (1968), How to Steal an Election (1968) and Mississippi Moonshine (1975)., father of actor Tim Robbins, died from prostate cancer on 4/5/2011, age 80
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff / (James Harrell McGriff) → Soul-jazz organist and bandleader, “All About My Girl” (#50, R&B #12, 1963), died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 5/24/2008, age 72
1938 ● Jeff Barry / (Joel Adelberg) → Brill Building pop-rock songwriter, singer, record producer, husband of noted songwriter Ellie Greenwich, with whom he co-wrote “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes (#2, 1963), “Leader Of The Pack” for The Shangri-Las (#1, 1964) and “I Can Hear Music” for The Beach Boys (#24, 1969), among dozens of other 60s hits
1938 ● Philippé Wynne / (Philippé Walker) → Co-lead vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul quintet The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, left in 1977 for a largely unsuccessful solo career, died of a heart attack on a nightclub stage on 7/14/1984, age 46
1941 ● Jan Berry / (William Jan Berry) → Singer in seminal surf music duo Jan & Dean, “Surf City” (#1, 1963), died on 3/26/2004 after years of poor health following a 1966 auto accident, age 63
1942 ● Wayne Newton / (Carson Wayne Newton) → Stage and screen star, pop music solo act, “Danke Schoen” (#13, Adult Contemporary #3, 1963), consummate Las Vegas showman and local real estate tycoon
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal → Light country-rock and pop singer, “Down In The Boondocks” (#9, 1965) and three other Top 40 hits in the 60s and 70s, then ten Country Top 20 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured regularly until he died in his sleep on 10/6/2015, age 73
1943 ● Joe Vann / (Joseph Canzano) → Lead vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962), died 2/28/1984, age 40
1943 ● Richard Manuel / (Richard George Manuel) → Canadian-born keyboardist, occasional drummer, songwriter and tenor vocals for seminal roots rock The Band, “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25, 1970) (“Up On Cripple Creek,” #25, 1970), committed suicide in a Florida motel room following a performance on 3/4/1986, age 42
1943 ● Artie Traum / (Arthur Roy Traum) → Award-winning Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk and smooth jazz singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer with ten solo albums, another four with his brother, Happy Traum, and numerous appearances and production credits with The Bandd, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, James Taylor and many others, later career as a documentary filmmaker, died from liver cancer on 7/20/2008, age 65
1944 ● Lois Wilkinson → With partner Andrea Simpson, one half of the British Invasion pop-rock girl duo The Caravelles, “You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry” (#3, 1963)
1944 ● Tony Orlando / (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM Pop star singer, leader of the vocal group Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (#1, 1971), Las Vegas showroom icon
1946 ● Dee Murray / (David Murray Oates) → Bassist for numerous rock and pop acts, most notably the Elton John band, died from a stroke after a long bout with cancer on 1/15/1992, age 45
1951 ● Mel Schacher → Bassist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966), then formed hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973)
1956 ● Judie Tzuke / (Judith Myers) → UK pop singer/songwriter, “Stay With Me Till Dawn” (1979) ranks #39 of 50 top songs in the BBC Best of British – 50 Golden Years of Popular Music from 2002
1961 ● Eddie Murphy / (Edward Regan Murphy) → Stand-up comedian, comic screen actor (Beverly Hills Cop, 1984), Saturday Night Live cast member, sometime pop singer, “Party All The Time” (#2, 1985)
1962 ● Mike Ness / (Michael James Ness) → Co-founder, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for Southern California punk revival band Social Distortion, “I Was Wrong” (#54, Alt Rock #4, 1996)
1962 ● Simon Raymonde → Bassist for Scottish alt rock/dream-pop Cocteau Twins, “Heaven Or Las Vegas” (Modern Rock #9, 1990)
1963 ● Christopher Michael “Criss” Oliva → Co-founder with his brother Jon and lead guitarist for heavy metal Savatage (“Edge Of Thorns,” Mainstream Rock #26, 1993), died at the peak of the band’s popularity in a car collision caused by a drunk driver on 10/17/1993, age 30
1968 ● Sebastian Bach / (Sebastian Bierk) → Canadian-born frontman and lead vocals for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1996 for a moderately successful solo recording and Broadway and TV acting career
1970 ● Matthew Priest → Drummer for goofball Brit power pop trio Dodgy, “Good Enough” (UK #4, 1996)
1974 ● Drew Shirley → Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Grammy-winning alt rock/Christian rock Switchfoot, “Meant To Live” (#18, Modern Rock #5, 2004)
1985 ● Leona Lewis → Contemporary R&B singer/songwriter, “Bleeding Love” (#1, 2007), won the third series of Britain’s The X Factor in 2006, Billboard magazine’s “Top New Artist” for 2008

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here