This Week’s Birthdays (March 3 – 9)

0
599
Willie Chambers

Happy Birthday this week to:

March 03
1923 ● Doc Watson / (Arthel L. Watson) → Highly influential, blinded at an early age, eight-time Grammy-winning folk, country, bluegrass and gospel singer/songwriter and flatpicking guitarist, frontman for various bands and dozens of solo albums, died after colon surgery and a subsequent fall on 5/29/2012, age 89
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Guitarist for psychedelic soul-rock sibling group The Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” (#11, 1968), sessions
1942 ● Mike Pender / (Michael John Prendergast) → Founder and lead vocalist for Merseybeat band The Searchers, “Needles And Pins” (#13, 1963)
1943 ● Jay Traynor / (John Traynor) → Lead singer for first lineup of clean cut pop-rock vocal group Jay & The Americans, “She Cried” (#5, 1962), left for a little-noticed solo career, “Up And Over” (1966), died of liver cancer on 1/2/2014, age 70
1943 ● Buzzy Linhart / (William Charles Linhart) → Folk-rock musician and songwriter, initially on the early-60s Greenwich Village folk scene alongside John Sebastian, Fred Neil and others, played vibraphone on albums for Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix (Electric Ladyland, 1969) and others, co-wrote Bette Midler‘s signature song, “(You Got To Have) Friends” (#40, AC #9, 1973), directed the soundtrack and appeared briefly in the cult film The Groove Tube (1974) and was a regular on Bill Cosby‘s short-lived TV show Cos (1976), issued a dozen studio albums, the last in 2015, suffered a debilitating heart attack in May 2018 and died on 2/13/2020, age 76.
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Bassist for pop-rock Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, “Sylvia’s Mother” (#5, 1972) and nine other US Top 40 singles, died in a motorcycle accident on 11/6/2006, age 62
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a solo artist, “Right Time Of The Night” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1977) and in movie-soundtrack duets with Joe Cocker, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982) and Bill Medley, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1947 ● Dave Mount → Drums and vocals for Brit “good time” glam-rock ‘n’ roll Mud, “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), “Tiger Feet” (UK #1, 1974), became an insurance salesman, committed suicide on 12/2/2006, age 59
1948 ● Snowy White / (Terence Charles White) → Blues-rock guitarist, sessions for Pink Floyd and Peter Green, then full-time with Thin Lizzy (1979-82), then solo, “Bird Of Paradise” (UK #3, 1982), in late 80s with Roger Waters‘ touring band, including performing “Comfortably Numb” atop the Berlin Wall in 1990
1948 ● Byron MacGregor / (Gary Lachlan Mack) → Canadian news radio anchorman in Windsor, ON and one hit wonder pop singer (“The Americans,” #1, 1974), later held dual citizenships and worked for Detroit, MI radio and TV, died from pneumonia on 1/3/1995, age 47
1950 ● Re Style / (Shirley Marie MacLeod) → Backing vocals for satirical camp-rock The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty (#10, 1983)
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriter for early punk rock The Soft Boys, then extended solo career, “Balloon Man” (1988)
1954 ● Merrick / (Chris Hughes) → Drummer for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Adam & The Ants, “Stand And Deliver” (Dance #38, UK #1, 1981), co-wrote Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (#1, 1985), produced Peter Gabriel‘s “Red Rain” (Modern Rock #3, 1987)
1966 ● Tone-Loc / (Anthony T. Smith) → Gravel-voiced hip hop entertainer, actor and rapper, “Wild Thing” (#2, 1989), cartoon character voices
1969 ● John Bigham → Alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Vocals for Irish teen-pop boy band Boyzone, “No Matter What” (Adult Contemporary #12, 1999)
1986 ● Stacie Orrico → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and songwriter, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” (#30, Hot Dance #2, 2004)

March 04
1925 ● Paul Mauriat → French orchestra conductor and composer of pop/easy listening music, best known for his one hit wonder version of “Love Is Blue” (#1, 1968), died 11/3/1966, age 81
1932 ● Miriam Makeba → Grammy-winning, influential and beloved South African folk-pop singer, “Pata Pata” (#12, 1967), died on 11/9/2008, age 76
1934 ● Barbara McNair / (Barbara Jean McNair) → R&B/pop-soul singer with a dozen minor hits in the 60s, but better known as a Broadway and TV actress and host of her own musical variety show, The Barbara McNair Show (1969-1972), died from throat cancer on 3/4/2007, age 72
1936 ● Eric Allandale → Trombone in Brit R&B/soul-pop The Foundations, “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” (#11, 1967), songwriter and jazz bandleader
1938 ● Angus MacLise → Experimental, avant-garde music percussionist, original drummer for proto-punk/art rock Velvet Underground , left in 1965 and continued to write and record in a variety of “spiritual” settings, eventually landing in Nepal,, died in Kathmandu from hypoglycemia and tuberculosis caused by general malnutrition and years of drug use on 6/21/1979, age 41
1944 ● Mick Wilson / (Michael Wilson) → Drummer for Brit 60s pop-rock two hit wonder quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, “The Legend Of Xanadu” (UK #1, 1968)
1944 ● Bobby Womack → R&B/soul singer and musician, scored a R&B Top Ten hit with his brothers as soul/pop The Valentinos, “Lookin’ For A Love” (#72, R&B #8, 1962) on Sam Cooke‘s SAR Records, wrote and recorded as a solo artist and session musician, including “It’s All Over Now” (The Rolling Stoness, #26, UK #1, 1964) and “Across 110th Street” (#56, R&B #19, 1972), died after a long period of multiple ailments on 6/27/2014, age 70
1945 ● Dieter Meier → Manager, producer, vocalist and lyricist for Swiss electronic dance-pop Yello, “Oh Yeah” (#51, 1987).
1946 ● Red Stripe / (David Gittens) → Vocals for Brit a cappella Flying Pickets, “Only You” (#1, 1983)
1947 ● Robert Lewis → Founding member group that became quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980) but left before the band signed a multi-million dollar recording contract, sued his bandmates for intellectual property rights and settled out of court, produced videos and music for bands in the Akron, Ohio region, now a consultant to music industry litigation lawyers
1948 ● Shakin’ Stevens / (Michael Barrett) → Welsh rock ‘n’ roll revival singer and songwriter, “I Cry Just A Little Bit” (Adult Contemporary #13, 1984)
1948 ● Chris Squire → Influential bass guitarist and founding member of archetypal, pioneer progressive rock band Yes (“Roundabout,” #13, 1971), co-wrote “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (#1, 1983), only bandmember to have appeared on all of the band’s albums and participated in every tour, died from leukemia on 6/27/2015, age 67
1951 ● Chris Rea → Singer, songwriter and slide guitarist, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1978) and “Working On It” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1989)
1951 ● Peter Haycock → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977), played and toured as a solo artist and with various collaborations in the 80s and 90s, and contributed to multiple film score projects (Thelma & Louise, 1991), worked until his death from a heart attack on 10/30/2013, age 62
1953 ● Emilio Estefan, Jr. → Keyboards for Latin-funk-dance Miami Sound Machine, “Don’t Wanna Lose You” (#1, 1989), husband of Gloria
1954 ● St. Clair L. Palmer → St. Kitts-born vocalist for Philly-style Brit R&B/soul Sweet Sensation, “Sad Sweet Dreamer” (#14, UK #1, 1975).
1955 ● Boon Gould / (Rowland Charles Gould) → With his younger brother, Phil and two others, founding member and guitarist in jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42 (“Lessons In Love,” #12, UK #3, 1987), left the band in 1987 due to nervous exhaustion but continued to write new songs and attend occasional reunion performances, died from an apparent suicide on 4/30/21019, age 64.
1962 ● Jon Durno → Bass guitar for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1963 ● Jason Newsted → Bassist for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), later Echobrain and Voivod
1965 ● Richard March → Bassist for dance-rock Pop Will Eat Itself, “X, Y & Zee” (Modern Rock #11, 1991), then founded Bentley Rhythm Ace in mid 90s
1966 ● Grand Puba / (Maxwell Dixon) → DJ and MC for alt hip hop trio Brand Nubian, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” (#54, Rap #3, 1998)
1966 ● Patch Hannan / (Patrick Hannan) → Drummer for Brit alt-indie-rock The Sundays, “Here’s Where The Story Ends” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1967 ● Evan Dando → Guitar and vocals for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1968 ● Patsy Kensit → Film and TV actress, singer and bandleader for Brit pop-rock Eighth Wonder, “Cross My Heart” (Dance/Club #10, 1988), appeared in Lethal Weapon II as Mel Gibson’s love interest, formerly married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and Oasis singer Liam Gallagher
1971 ● Fergal Lawlor → Drums for Irish jangle/dream pop-rock The Cranberries, “Linger” (#8, 1993)
1972 ● Alison Wheeler → Vocals in alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1975 ● Hawksley Workman (Ryan Corrigan) → Canadian cabaret-pop and glam-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, “Anger As Beauty” (Canada #29, 2003)

March 05
1933 ● Tommy Tucker / (Robert Higginbotham) → Blues singer, songwriter and pianist, “High-Heeled Sneakers” (#11, 1964), died from carbon tetrachloride poisoning after inhaling the chemical while refinishing floors in his home on 1/17/1982, age 48
1938 ● Paul Evans → One hit wonder teen-pop singer (“Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat,” #9, 1959) and talented songwriter with multiple hits written for others, including “Roses Are Red (My Love)” (#1, 1962 for Bobby Vinton) plus TV jingles and the CBS Morning News theme song
1944 ● Lillian Walker / (Lilian Walker-Moss) → Co-founding member and soprano vocals in 60s one hit wonder doo wop quartet The Exciters and the debut single “Tell Him” (#4, R&B #5, 1963), left the group in 1970 to attend college and earn a Masters of Education, served as a guidance counselor in New York City schools for several decade, died from a rare form of skin cancer, angiosarcoma, on 2/5/2023, age 78.
1946 ● Murray Head → Brit film actor, starred in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Chess (1984), sang lead on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, plus solo, “One Night In Bangkok” (#3, 1984)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → Child stage actor (The Music Man, 1957), screen actor (A Hole In The Head with Frank Sinatra, 1959) and teen pop singer, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (#12, 1961), left the entertainment industry in the early 70s
1948 ● Eddy Grant → Singer for Brit reggae-pop The Equals, “Baby Come Back” (#32, 1968), then solo, “Electric Avenue” (#2, 1983)
1951 ● Elaine Page → The “First Lady of British Musical Theater”, stage actress and singer with the biggest-selling record by a Brit female duo, “I Know Him So Well” with Barbara Dickinson (UK #1, 1985)
1952 ● Alan Clark → Keyboards for post-punk New Wave pop-rock Dire Straits, “Sultans Of Swing” (#4, 1983)
1956 ● Bobby Debarge / (Robert L.Debarge, Jr.) → Lead singer and keyboards with brother Tommy Debarge in Motown R&B/funk band Switch, “There’ll Never Be” (#36, R&B #6, 1978), mentor and producer for his other siblings R&B/soul band DeBarge, died of AIDS complications on 8/16/1995
1956 ● Teena Marie / (Mary Christine Brockert) → The “Ivory Queen of Soul”, blue-eyed R&B/soul singer, “Lovergirl” (#4, 1984), guitarist, keyboardist, arranger and producer, died on 12/26/2010 from natural causes
1957 ● Mark E. Smith / (Mark Edward Smith) → Founder, frontman, lead singer, chief songwriter and only constant member of influential post-punk The Fall (“There’s A Ghost In My House,” UK #30, 1987), his grinding riffs and casustic lyrics filled 32 studio albums as The Fall and two albums as a solo artist over a 42-year career that ended on his death from throat and respiratory problems on 1/24/2018, age 60
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Youngest Bee Gees brother and pop/teen idol solo singer, “Shadow Dancing” (#1, 1978), died on 3/10/1988 from heart virus due to cocaine addiction
1962 ● Charlie Reid → With identical twin brother Craig, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1962 ● Craig Reid → With identical twin brother Charlie, vocals and guitar in Irish post-punk folk-pop-rock The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (#3, 1993)
1970 ● John Frusciante → Guitarist for funk-rock Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” (Modern Rock #1, 2000)
1982 ● Russell Leetch → Bass guitarist for 00s punk revival/indie rock Editors, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” (UK #7, 2007)

March 06
1893 ● Furry Lewis / (Walter Lewis) → Blues guitarist, singer and originator of the bottleneck slide guitar method, subject of Joni Mitchell‘s “Furry Sings The Blues,” died of heart failure on 9/14/1981, age 88
1905 ● Bob Wills / (James Robert Wills) → The “King of Western Swing,” influential musician, songwriter and bandleader, frontman for the popular and genre-crossing Texas Playboys (“Heart To Heart Talk,” Country #5, 1960), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1999), suffered a stroke in 1973 and was comatose thereafter until his death on 5/13/1975, age 70
1936 ● Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson → R&B/pop-soul singer turned music executive and the “Mother of Hip-Hop,” 50s to 70s vocalist for one hit wonder R&B/rock ‘n’ roll mix duo Mickey & Sylvia (“Love Is Strange,” #11, 1957) and as a solo artist (“Pillow Talk,” #3, 1973), founded pioneering Sugar Hill Records with her husband in 1979 and introduced rap music to the world, died from congestive heart failure on 9/29/2011, age 75
1937 ● Doug Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass banjo player with brother Rodney in duo The Dillards, then with Gene Clark in early country-rock Dillard & Clark, then solo and various collaborations
1937 ● Sam Samudio / (Domingo Samudio) → Mexican-American rock ‘n’ roll/garage rock vocalist, songwriter and frontman for novelty pop Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (#2, 1965), then largely unsuccessful solo career, now a preacher in Memphis
1939 ● Jerry Naylor / (Jerry Naylor Jackson) → Radio broadcaster turned country and rock ‘n’ roll singer, took over lead vocals for The Crickets after Buddy Holly‘s death in February 1959, recorded a number of singles with the group from 1961 to 1964, none of which charted in the U.S.
1940 ● Billy Adams / (Willie Murray Adams) → Rockabilly Hall of Fame guitarist and singer/songwriter, wrote and recorded the rockabilly classic “Rock, Pretty Mama” (1957) and multiple other 50s staples of the genre, turned to the ministry in 1965 after rockabilly fell out of style, wrote gospel songs and toured with his family until 2002 when a resurgence of rockabilly gave him a late career boost, released a collection of 27 of songs and appeared at music festivals in U.S. and Britain, died from undisclosed causes on 3/30/2019, age 79.
1944 ● Mary Wilson → Founding member and singer with R&B/soul-pop megastar trio The Supremes, the best-charting female group in U.S. chart history with 12 Number 1 pop hits, including “Where Did Our Love Go” (#1, 1964), was the only original member still with The Supremes when the group broke up in 1977, left to pursue a largely unsuccessful solo career but authored two New York Times best-selling autobiographies, Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme (1986) and Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together (1990), declined to participate in a 2000 Supremes reunion but remained active on stage and record, including an appearance on Dancing with the Stars in 2019, died from high blood pressure-caused heart disease on 2/8/2021, age 76.
1945 ● Hugh Grundy → Drummer in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1946 ● David Gilmour → Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist (replacing longtime friend Syd Barrett) for psych/space rock Pink Floyd, “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” (#1, 1979), plus solo career and collaborations as sessionman and/or producer with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bryan Ferry and many others
1947 ● Kiki Dee / (Pauline Matthews) → Brit pop singer and bandleader, “I’ve Got The Music In Me” (UK #19, 1974) and duet with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (#1, 1976)
1948 ● Peter McCann / (Peter James McCann) → One hit wonder singer (“Do You Wanna Make Love,” #5, AC #22, 1977), prolific songwriter with multiple hits recorded by others, and music rights activist supporting other songwriters, formed folk-rock sextet The Repairs and recorded two albums for Motown in the mid-70s, took a staff writer position with ABC Records in 1975, moved to Nashville in 1978 and wrote or co-wrote scores of songs for others, most notably “Right Time Of The Night” (#5, EZ #1, 1977) for Jennifer Warnes and “Nobody Falls Like A Fool” (Country #1, 1985) for Earl Thomas Conley, spent over 25 years lobbying for songwriters’ rights and lecturing on copyright law in law schools across the U.S. until just prior to dying from undisclosed causes on 1/26/2023, age 74.
1954 ● Jim Henke / (James D. Henke) → Rock music critic and editor at Rolling Stone magazine from 1977 to 1993, wrote hundreds of articles about Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, the Smiths and others, including U2: The Next Big Thing shortly before the U.S. release of their debut album, Boy in 1981, left Rolling Stone for a short stint at Elektra Records and in 1994 signed on with the nascent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as its first Chief Curator, for 18 years led RRHOF collections acquisitions and exhibits, among others curating Roots, Rhymes and Rage: The Hip-Hop Story, the first major museum exhibit devoted to hip-hop, retired in 2012 and died after a long battle with dementia on 7/8/2019, age 65.
1964 ● Madonna Wayne Gacy / (Stephen Bier) → Keyboards for shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998), sued bandleader Manson and its business managers for unpaid share of royalties
1970 ● Betty Boo / (Alison Moira Clarkson) → Scottish/Malaysian pop-rap singer, “Doin’ The Do” (UK #7, 1990) and songwriter, wrote “Pure and Simple” (UK #1, 2001) for pre-fab pop Hear’Say
1972 ● Jaret Reddick → Lead vocals and guitar for pop-punk Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” (#64, UK #8, 2002)
1974 ● Beanie Sigel / (Dwight Grant) → Founder of Philadelphia-centered rap group and record label State Property, as well as the clothing company of the same name, solo rapper , “Beanie (Mac B****)” (Rap #11, 2001), convicted felon, did time for weapons and drug charges
1974 ● Guy Garvey → Singer and guitarist with Manchester-based prog/indie rock Elbow, “Grounds For Divorce” (UK #19, 2008), won Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 album The Seldom Seen Kid.
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx / (Warren Mathis) → Blue-eyed Southern rapper, “Ms. New Booty” (#7, 2001) featuring Ying Yang Twins

March 07
1942 ● Hamilton Bohannon / (Hamilton Frederick Bohannon) → Drummer, bandleader, producer and one of the leading figures in the rise of 70s disco/dance music, worked and toured with Stevie Wonder and other Motown acts in his early years, joined Dakar/Brunswick Records in 1972 and began releasing his own funk and R&B albums, perfected the thudding baseline and heavy rhythms of disco and went on to record and produce numerous dance-pop hits, including his own “Let’s Start The Dance” (R&B #9, 1978), issued a final album 1990 and spent the next decades producing for others, writing books and hearing modern hip hop acts sample his work, died from unrevealed causes on 4/24/2020, age 78.
1943 ● Chris Taylor White → Bassist and one of two primary songwriters in underappreciated art-pop rock The Zombies, “Time Of The Season” (#3, 1969)
1944 ● Townes Van Zandt → Reclusive country-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet, wrote “If I Needed You” (Country #3, 1981 for Emmylou Harris) and “Pancho And Lefty” (Country #1, 1983 for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), issued several solo albums but remained a largely cult musician, died on 1/1/1997 from cardiac arrhythmia following years of substance abuse, age 52
1945 ● Arthur Lee / (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Founder, guitarist, vocals and songwriter for folk-psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), died from leukemia on 8/3/2006
1946 ● Matthew Fisher → Keyboardist, lead vocals and songwriter for prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967), left in 1969 for solo career and record producer for Robin Trower and others
1946 ● Peter Wolf / (Peter Blankfield) → Radio DJ (WBCN-fm, Boston) before joining boogie-blues-rock ‘n’ roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982) as lead singer and songwriter, left in 1983 for a solo career, “Lights Out” (#12, 1984), former husband of actress Faye Dunaway
1951 ● Rocco Prestia / (Francis Rocco Prestia Jr.) → Electric bass guitarist and master of the “fingerstyle funk” technique that suited him well for nearly 30 years as the bassist for R&B/funk Tower of Power (“What Is Hip,” #91, R&B #39, 1978) and on all of their albums except for a break in the 80s, fell ill and underwent a successful liver transplant in 2007, died from degenerative liver disease on 9/29/2020, age 70.
1952 ● Ernie Isley / (Ernest Isley) → Guitarist, songwriter and vocals for six-decade R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1962 ● Taylor Dayne / (Leslie Wunderman) → Dance-pop diva with a career-igniting seven straight Top 10 singles between 1987 and 1990, including “Love Will Lead You Back” (#1, 1990) and a recharge with “Planet Love” (Dance/Pop #1, 2000)
1966 ● Paul Davis → Keyboards for Madchester electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1967 ● Randy Guss → Drummer for alt folk-pop-rock Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want” (#15, 1992)
1973 ● Sébastien Izambard → Baritone for pre-fab Euro-pop vocal quartet Il Divo, “Unbreak My Heart” (Adult Contemporary #33, 2005)
1977 ● Paul Cattermole → Vocals for pre-fab teen pop S Club 7, “Never Had A Dream Come True” (#10, 2001)
1982 ● Kelli Young → Singer for teen dance-pop Liberty X, “Just A Little” (UK #1, 2002)

March 08
1931 ● Lloyd Knibb → Jamaican ska music pioneer and drummer in local jazz ensembles in the 50s before co-founding 60s ska legends The Skatalites (“Guns Of Navarone,” UK #6, 1967), played and toured with the band until his death from liver cancer on 3/12/2011, age 80
1937 ● Richard Fariña / (Richard George Fariña) → Singer-songwriter in the early 60s Greenwich Village folk revival scene, married and recorded with Mimi Baez (younger sister of Joan), wrote the 60s cult classic novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, died in a motorcycle accident on 4/30/1966, age 29.
1937 ● Raynoma Gordy Singleton / (Raynoma Mayberry) → Second wife and business partner of Motown Records founder and CEO Berry Gordy in the formative years of the hugely influential label, sang back-up on early hits and mentored artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, divorced Gordy and left Motown before the big run of hits in the mid-60s, later managed the careers of her two sons with Gordy and authored a tell-all biography, died from brain cancer on 11/11/2016, age 79
1940 ● Patsy Bruce / (Patsy Ann Smithson Bruce) → Country-western and country-pop songwriter best known for co-writing with her then-husband, Ed Bruce, the country standard “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” which he recorded (Country #15, 1975) and Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson covered (#42, AC #33, Country #1, 1978), partnered with Ed in a Nashville talent agency and co-wrote other songs with him, following divorce in 1987 started an event management company, served on the the Tennessee State Board of Probation and Parole for 10 years, and launched a songwriting-focus tour business in Nashville in 2017, died from unspecified causes on 5/16/2021,age 81.
1940 ● Johnny Ventura / (Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano ) → Mayor of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic from 1998 to 2002 after a legendary career as as a singer, songwriter, bandleader and “the Elvis of Merengue,” generally credited with crafting the modern merengue sound in the 60s by fusing its traditional Caribbean beat with rock ‘n’ roll and later disco in the 70s, issued over 100 albums and won six Latin Grammy awards plus a lifetime achievement Grammy from the Latin Recording Academy, later in life earned a law degree and entered the world of business and Dominican politics, died following a heart attack on 7/28/2021, age 81.
1942 ● Ralph Ellis → Guitarist and songwriter for Brit pop-rock The Swinging Blue Jeans, “Hippy Hippy Shake” (#21, 1964).
1943 ● Shel Macrae / (Andrew Raeburn Semple) → Lead vocals and rhythm guitarist for Scottish harmony group The Fortunes from 1966 through 1977, joined the band just after their biggest Brit-beat hit , “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (#7, UK #2, 1965) at the peak of the 60s British Invasion and just as the advent of psychedelic rock rendered clean-cut Brit boy bands irrelevant, played on the band’s recording of the Coca-Cola jingle “Things Go Better With Coke” (1967}, performed solo on the UK oldies circuit over the decades, retired in 2012 and died following a short illness on 11/22/2023, age 77.
1945 ● Micky Dolenz / (George Michael Dolenz, Jr.) → Drummer and vocals for 60s bad-rap pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1, 1966), solo, producer
1946 ● Carole Bayer Sager → Grammy-winning folk-pop singer and songwriter, co-wrote “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (The Mindbenders, #2, 1966 and Phil Collins, #1, 1988), co-wrote “Nobody Does It Better” (Carly Simon, #2, 1980), issued three solo albums, former wife of and musical collaborator with Burt Bacharach
1946 ● Randy Meisner / (Randall Herman Meisner) → Original bassist and backing vocalist in country-rock Poco in 1968, left to join Rick Nelson‘s Stone Canyon Band in 1969 and did session work in the early 70s for Linda Ronstadt and backed her on tour until 1972 when his bandmates formed hugely successful country-rock Eagles, co-wrote and sang their early hit “Take It To The Limit” (#4, 1977), left in 1977 for solo career with five studio albums and the single “Hearts On Fire” (#19, 1981), participated in several Poco and Eagles reunions and gigged with others bands for 40 years, died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on 7/26/2023, age 77.
1947 ● Michael Allsup → Guitarist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1947 ● Tom Rapp / (Thomas Dale Rapp) → Founder, frontman and only constant member in eclectic 60s/70s underground psychedelic folk Pearls Before Swine (“Uncle John,” 1967), issued 10 albums as a band and three solo albums before retiring from music in the late 70s, studied law and became a civil rights lawyer, resurfaced with a fourth solo album in 1999, died from cancer on 2/11/2018, age 70
1948 ● Little Peggy March / (Margaret Battavio) → Girl group-era one hit wonder pop vocalist, “I Will Follow Him” (#1, 1963)
1948 ● Mel Galley / (Melvin John Galley) → Guitarist for hard funk-rock Trapeze, “Keepin’ Time” (1972), then hard rock Whitesnake, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987), died of esophageal cancer on 7/1/2008, age 60
1948 ● “Sweet” Charles Sherrell / (Charles Emanuel Sherrell) → Nashville-born bass guitarist in an early 60s garage band with Jimi Hendrix and later with Aretha Franklin’s touring band, in 1968 joined soul/funk legend James Brown’s backing band, The JB’s, on tour and in the studio from then through 1996, played on all of JB’s albums and hits during the time, including “My Thang” (#21, R&B #4, 1974), played bass in several collaborative groups in the 90s and issued two solo albums, the last in 2017, suffered from emphysema and died from heart failure at home in the Netherlands on 3/29/2023, age 80.
1949 ● Dave Lambert → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for folk-prog-rock The Strawbs, “Part Of The Union” (UK #2, 1973), solo
1954 ● Cheryl Baker / (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Vocals for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1957 ● Clive Burr → Drummer for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983)
1958 ● Gary Numan / (Gary Webb) → Composer, musician and bandleader for New Wave synth-pop Tubeway Army, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (UK #1, 1979), and seminal 80s New Wave hit “Cars” (#9, 1980)
1960 ● Richard Darbyshire → Lead vocals and guitar for Brit dance-pop-funk Living In A Box, “Living In A Box” (#17, 1987)
1962 ● Steve Grantley → Drummer for The Alarm and Stiff Little Fingers, plus session work for Julian Lennon, Eighth Wonder and The Clash, author of a book about 70s metal band Slade and another covering The Who‘s discography
1964 ● Ped Gill / (Peter Gill) → Backing vocals and drummer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1968 ● Rob Dukes → Lead vocalist for thrash metal Exodus (Blood In, Blood Out, #38, 2014) from 2004 to 2014, currently vocalist for crossover thrash metal Generation Kill
1968 ● Shawn Mullins → Atlanta-based folk/pop male singer, “Lullaby” (#7, 1998)
1971 ● Jason Slater → Founding member, first bass guitarist and backing vocalist for alt rock Third Eye Blind, left in 1994 after one year and before the band’s megahit debut album, founded several other rock bands including Snake River Conspiracy and produced four albums for heavy metal Queensrÿch in the 00s and 10s, died from liver failure on 12/9/2020, age 49.
1972 ● Angie Hart → Co-founder, lead vocals and songwriting for Aussie folk-pop Frente!, “Bizarre Love Triangle” (#49, 1994)
1976 ● Gareth Coombes → Vocals and guitar for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, “Alright/Time” (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams → Vocals for teen R&B dance/pop trio 702, “Where My Girls At?” (#4, 1999)
1979 ● Tom Chaplin → Vocals for piano-driven pop/rock Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know” (Adult Top 40 #11, 2004)
1988 ● Eleanor Jackson → Singer and namesake (“the red-haired one”) of electro-dance-pop duo La Roux, “Bulletproof” (#8, 2010)

March 09
1925 ● Billy Ford → One half of the pop vocal duo Billy & Lillie, “La Dee Dah” (#9, 1958) and two other Top 100 hits in the late 50s, later fronted and played trumpet for his own group, The Thunderbirds, died in 1985, age 60
1928 ● Keely Smith / (Dorothy Jacqueline Keely) → Sultry-voiced singer and half of the 1950s Grammy-winning vocal and comedy duo with then-husband Louis Prima, their jazz and pop act headlined the Las Vegas strip and produced several hits, including “That Ol’ Black Magic” (#18, 1958), divorced Prima and performed solo in the 60s with more success in the UK than in the US (“You’re Breaking My Heart,” UK #14, 1965), reprised “That Ol’ Black Magic” at the 2008 Grammy awards ceremony as a duet with Kid Rock, their performance dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 20 “weird and wild Grammy collaborations,” died from heart failure on 12/16/2017, age 85
1930 ● Ornette Coleman → Award-winning jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and major innovator of the free jazz movement of the 60s, which diversified traditional jazz and opened doors to numerous new sub-genres, including fusion with rock and blues, issued nearly 60 albums of his own music and played sideman for others on another 15, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music with Sound Grammar (2007), died of cardiac arrest on 6/11/2015, age 85
1933 ● Lloyd Price → New Orleans R&B/soul vocalist with five R&B Top 10 hits in the early 50s, including the rock ‘n’ roll precursor “Lawdy Miss Clady” (R&B #1, 1952), returned from a stint in the Army in 1954 to find Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and others had outpaced him in bringing white kids to R&B in the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll, formed his own record label and released “Stagger Lee” (#1, R&B #1, 1958) and “Personality” (#2, R&B #1, 1959), followed his recording career with successful turns as a real estate manager, pro boxing promoter (with Don King and the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” match between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in 1974), businessman (Southern-style food products company under the Lawdy Miss Clawdy brand) and oldies tour organizer, died from complications of diabetes on 5/3/2021, age 88.
1936 ● Mickey Gilley / (Mickey Leroy Gilley) → Traditional country and western singer with 15 Country Top 10 hits in the 70s, including “Window Up Above” (Country #1, 1975), shifted to a country-pop sound after issuing the crossover single “Stand By Me” (#22, Country #1, 1980) from the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy (1980), the film inspired by his honky-tonk Texas nightclub he started in 1971 as a dive bar that grew into an iconic, 48,000 square foot warehouse with multiple stages, a mechanical bull, mud-wrestling and impromptu brawls, closed the club in 1989 and opened music theaters in the 90s in soon-to-be country boomtown Branson, Missouri and two other locations, acted in TV roles and recorded sporadically, including a final solo album, Kickin’ It Down The Road, in 2016, died from undisclosed causes on 5/7/2022, age 86.
1940 ● Gary “Chicken” Hirsh / (Gary Hirsh) → Drummer on the first four albums by legendary psych-rock Country Joe and The Fish and at their immortal appearance at Woodstock ’69, played on their lone charting single “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” (#98, 1967) and the anthemic Vietnam protest song “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” (1967), left the band in late-1969 for a Bohemian lifestyle as a painter, art shop owner/manager, t-shirt printer and collaborator in jazz and folk/skiffle bands as well as occasional stints with a reformed Country Joe Band, died from unstated causes on 8/17/2021, age 81.
1942 ● John Davies Cale → Welsh multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, founding member and bassist of proto-punk The Velvet Underground, solo albums, producer for The Stooges, Squeeze and the Modern Lovers, among others
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Lead singer and guitarist for hard-edged rock ‘n roll Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Just Like Me” (#11, 1965) and 14 other Top 30 hits
1944 ● Gary Walker / (Gary Leeds) → Drummer for pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965)
1944 ● Trevor Burton / (Trevor Ireson) → Guitarist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo, Steve Gibbons Band, reunited with The Move in 2007
1945 ● Robin Trower → Blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire with R&B The Paramounts, then prog/psych rock Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (#5, 1967) plus long and underrated solo career, “Tear It Up” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988) from the Top 10 album Bridge Of Sighs
1945 ● Robert Calvert → Singer and poet/lyricist for space rock pioneers Hawkwind, “Silver Machine” (UK #3, 1972), recorded several solo albums and published books of poetry, died from a heart attack on 8/14/1988
1945 ● Ron Wilson → Drummer for early surf/garage rock The Surfaris, “Wipe Out” (#2, 1963), died of a brain aneurysm on 5/17/1989
1946 ● Jim Cregan → Rhythm, lead and bass guitar for folk-rock Family, then glam rock Cockney Rebel, “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” (UK #1, 1975), worked with Rod Stewart and collaborated/produced for pop singer Linda Lewis, his wife.
1947 ● Robert Gordon / (Robert Ira Gordon) → Punk rock guitarist and lead singer in 70s New York punk band Tuff Darts for their appearance on the legendary punk compilation album Live At CBGB’s (1976), shortly after shifted to retro-rockabilly and tirelessly supported the 70s/80s renaissance of early rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly music, recorded several well-received albums with guitarists Link Wray and Chris Spedding, covered songs by idols Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and other early rockers (and friend Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” in 1978), continued to record and perform into the 10s and issued a final studio album, Rockabilly For Life in 2020, died from acute myeloid leukemia on 10/18/2022, age 75.
1948 ● Chris Thompson → Vocals and guitar for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977), solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → Drums and vocals for long-running R&B/funk group L.T.D., “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again” (#4, R&B #1, 1977), then solo, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25, R&B #3, 1983)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Guitar, harmonica, vocals and continuous member for five decade country-folk-bluegrass-rock The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → Organist for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1958 ● Martin Fry → Frontman and lead vocals for New Wave synth-pop ABC, “Be Near Me” (#9, 1982)
1962 ● Peter Wishart → Keyboards for Scottish art-folk-rock Big Country, “In A Big Country” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1983), then Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995), left to become a Member of Parliament in 2001
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Bassist for piano-based indie pop-rock Ben Folds Five, “Brick” (1998)
1969 ● Adam Siegel → Guitarist and producer, founding member of the Los Angeles punk band Excel, then lead guitarist for skatepunk Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves
1970 ● Shannon Leto → Drummer for indie pop-rock 30 Seconds To Mars, “From Yesterday” (Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1972 ● AZ / (Anthony Cruz) → Underrated Dominican-American gangsta rapper, “Sugar Hill” (Rap #3, 1995), rhyme partner of Nas, member of the hip hop supergroup The Firm
1980 ● Chingy / (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Good-time rapper, “Right Thurr” (#2, 2003), TV and movie actor
1981 ● Chad Gilbert → Founding member and guitarist for pop-punk New Found Glory, “My Friends Over You” (Alt Rock #5, 2002)
1987 ● Bow Wow / (Shad Gregory Moss) → Teen rapper, “Bounce With Me” (#20, Rap #1, 2000) and film actor

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here