This Week’s Birthdays (May 12 – 19)

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James (left) & Bobby Purify

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 12
1928 ● Burt Bacharach / (Burt Freeman Bacharach) → Jazz-pop-easy-listening pianist, arranger, producer and master songwriter widely considered in the pantheon of late 20th century popular music, wrote over 70 Top 40 hits, often in collaboration with lyricist Hal David, including “(They Long To Be) Close To You” by the Carpenters (#1, 1970) and “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick (#6, 1964), won two Oscars for film score to Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) and for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the soundtrack (B. J. Thomas, #1, 1969), with then-second wife Carol Bayer Sager wrote “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” with Christopher Cross (#1, 1981) and Peter Allen, among other 80s hits, occasionally appeared on TV programs in the 70s and had cameo roles in all three Austin Powers movies (1997-2002), toured as a solo act and with others over the decades and until 2015, continued to write and record new material until 2020, died of natural causes at home on 2/8/2023, age 94.
1935 ● Steve Knight → Keyboards in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), after the band broke up in 1972 he returned to traditional jazz, songwriting and miscellaneous projects until his death from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 1/19/2013, age 77
1936 ● Klaus Doldinger → German jazz-rock fusion saxophonist, composer and bandleader (Passport)
1937 ● George Carlin → Five-time Grammy-winning counterculture stand-up comedian, film and TV actor, sociopolitical commentator and author, his landmark “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” routine was central to the 1978 Supreme Court case upholding the FCC’s right to regulate indecent material on public airwaves, appeared in films and on TV, and issued albums of new material until his death from heart failure on 6/22/2008, age 71
1939 ● Larry Josephson / (Norman Lawrence Josephson) → “Grumpy” morning-shift radio personality on noncommercial WBAI-FM in New York, his show and the station became pioneers of free format radio in the 60s and 70s and spawned countless imitators and successors around North America, left WBAI in 1972 for a similar gig in California but returned to New York in 1974 with new programs on different stations over the next 40 years, including producing the revival of the classic radio comedy team of Bob and Ray on the syndicated “Bob and Ray Public Radio Show” (1981-1986) and other eclectic subjects, most of which were generated from the spare-bedroom studio of his Manhattan apartment, died from a Parkinson’s disease-related cardiac arrest in a nursing home on 7/27/2022, age 82.
1940 ● Norman Whitfield → Songwriter and producer, best known for his work with Motown Records, collaborated with Barrett Strong on “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”, “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, “Cloud Nine”, “War”, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and “Car Wash,” died from complications of diabetes on 9/16/2008, age 68
1942 ● Billy Swan / (William Lance Swan) → Country-pop singer/songwriter, touring band member for Kris Kristofferson, producer, solo artist, “I Can Help” (#1, 1974), joined ex-Eagles Randy Meisner in country-rock Black Tie
1942 ● Ian Dury → Cult-favorite singer, songwriter, poet, actor, bandleader (The Blockheads), solo, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (1977) and “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (UK #1, 1978), died of colorectal cancer on 3/27/2000, age 57
1943 ● David Walker → Guitarist with pop-rock Gary Lewis & The Playboys “This Diamond Ring” (#1, 1965) plus 11 other US Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1968
1944 ● James Purify / (James Lee Purify) → With cousin Robert Lee Dickey in R&B/Southern soul duo James & Bobby Purify, their debut single “I’m Your Puppet” (#6, R&B #5, 1966) mixed doo wop and Stax-style horns and sold over a million copies, issued nine other charting singles before Robert retired in 1970, attempted a solo career then restarted the duo in 1974 with Ben Moore and toured on the oldies circuit into the 80s, re-recorded “I’m Your Puppet” (UK #12, 1976), and released an album, Purify Bros. (1977), retired from music in the late 80s and died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 1/22/2021, age 76.
1945 ● Jayotis Washington → Vocalist with a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), session work for Don McLean, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder and others
1945 ● Ian McLagan → Keyboardist for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), after Steve Marriott departed and Rod Stewart and Rod Wood joined, renamed The Faces, “Stay With Me” (#17, 1971), session work for Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and others, died after a stroke on 12/3/2014, age 69
1945 ● Keith Olsen / (Keith Alan Olsen) → Bass guitarist for one hit wonder garage rock quintet The Music Machine (“Talk Talk,” #15, 1966), turned to production and sound engineering in the 70s, produced the album Buckingham Nicks (#28, 1973) for Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, later introduced them to Mick Fleetwood and produced the eponymous Fleetwood Mac (#1, 1975), followed by more than 100 albums and dozens of awards for records by Jethro Tull, Grateful Dead, Eddie Money, Whitesnake and many others over a 20 year career, in the 90s moved into sound equipment product development and manufacturing and served on industry trade groups, died from cardiac arrest on 3/9/2020, age 74.
1946 ● Bob MacVittie → Rhythm guitar for one hit wonder pop-rock Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” (#3, 1970)
1948 ● Steve Winwood → Keyboards, vocals and songwriter, teenaged lead singer for Brit pop-rock Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin”” (#7, 1967), then folk-psych-rock Traffic, “Paper Sun” (#94, UK #5, 1967), then super-trio Blind Faith (US #1 album Blind Faith, 1969), solo, “Higher Love” (#1, 1986)
1948 ● Ivan Král → Guitarist, composer and leader for teenage rock bands in Czechoslovakia before emigrating to New York City with his exiled parents ahead of the 1968 Soviet invasion, joined an early incarnation of glam rock Blondie, played bass and co-wrote songs from 1975 to 1979 for punk rock Patti Smith Group on her first four albums, chronicled the emergent New York punk scene in the mid-70s via Super 8 and 16mm cameras filming then-little known acts at rehearsals and live concert venues such as The Bottom Line and CBGB nightclub, the spliced tapes became the film The Blank Generation (1976) and a source for countless documentaries worldwide since, in the 80s did session work and contributed to songwriting for John Cale, Iggy Pop, John Waite and others, returned to his native Czech Republic in the 90s to mentor a new and thriving rock music scene in Prague, recorded his 12th studio album just prior to dying from cancer on 2/2/2020, age 71.
1950 ● Billy Squier → 80s hard pop-rock anthem and balladeer guitarist and singer, “The Stroke” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1981)
1950 ● Jocko Marcellino / (John Marcellino) → Vocals for “greaser” revival parody rock-and-doo-wop Sha Na Na (“(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet,” #55, 1975)
1953 ● Donald Kinsey → Guitarist, singer, and one of three sons of the Chicago blues great Big Daddy Kinsey, joined Bob Marley & The Wailers in 1975 and performed and recorded with the band off-and-on over 40 years, in between formed The Kinsey Report in 1984 with his brothers and Ron Prince, played in Peter Tosh’s Word Sound And Power band, and toured and recorded with Albert King, Roy Buchanan and others, rejoined The Wailers Band for their first album in 25 years, One World (2020), died from complications of the respiratory disease COPD on 2/6/2024, age 70.
1954 ● Barry Borden → Brief stint in the 80s as drummer for Southern rock power-guitar band Molly Hatchet, “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (#42, 1979)
1955 ● Kix Brooks / (Leon Eric Brooks) → Singer and songwriter, one-half of astronomically successful country-pop vocal duo Brooks & Dunn, “Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You” (#25, Country #1, 2001), solo
1958 ● Eric Singer / (Eric Mesinger) → Hard rock journeyman drummer for Lita Ford, Black Sabbath, Badlands, Paul Stanley‘s touring band, Kiss and Alice Cooper
1958 ● Jimmy Spicer / (James Bromley Spicer) → Early and influential hip hop artist with a number of old-school rap songs in the 70s and 80s, including the ground-breaking, 15-minute epic “Adventures Of Super Rhyme (Rap)” (1980) and electro-rap “Money (Dollar Bill Y’All)” (1983), turned to producing and operating a recording studio when his career stalled in the mid-80s, died from a brain tumor and lung cancer on 9/27/2019, age 61.
1961 ● Billy Duffy → Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for punk-rock Theater Of Hate, then co-founded hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989)
1962 ● Brett W. Gurewitz → Co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for hardcore punk Bad Religion, “Infected” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1995), owner of Epitaph Records
1972 ● Mark Morrison → German-born electro-dance-pop singer, “Moan And Groan” (#2, 1997)

May 13
1912 ● Gil Evans → Grammy-winning Canadian jazz pianist, innovator, arranger and bandleader best known for his extensive work with Miles Davis and the development of free jazz and jazz-rock fusion, died while recovering from peritonitis surgery on 3/20/1988, age 75
1926 ● Daddy-O Phillips / (Dewey Phillips) → The “King of Memphis Radio” and one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll DJ’s on par with Cleveland’s Alan Freed, played black and white music, R&B, pop and jazz punctuated with frenetic, demented-hillbilly delivery that kept him on top for a decade, could not make the transition to Top 40 in the 60s, died from years of drug and alcohol abuse on 9/28/1968, age 42
1927 ● Fred Hellerman → Folk singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer, suspected McCarthy-era Communist sympathizer, founding member of left-leaning, influential, successful folk-pop The Weavers (“Goodnight Irene,” #1, 1950) and key figure in the folk revival movement of the 50s, produced several albums for others, including Arlo Guthrie‘s Alice’s Restaurant (1967), issued his only solo album, Caught In The Act in 2005, died from natural causes on 9/1/2016, age 89
1929 ● Creed Taylor / (Creed Bane Taylor V) → Acclaimed jazz music record label entrepreneur, first with Bethlehem Records in the early 50s, founded Impulse! records in 1960, later the home of jazz legend John Coltrane and other stars, moved to Verve Records in the early 60s and produced the massively influential, Grammy-winning bossa nova LP Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz and guitarist João Gilberto that included “The Girl From Ipanema” (#5, AC #1, 1964), formed CTI Records (Creed Taylor Inc.) in 1967 and issued top-end, high-quality albums by George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr. and many others in the 70s, kept the label alive through financial difficulties in the 80s, created and toured as manager of the CTI All-Stars through the 10s, suffered a stroke and died several weeks later on 8/22/2022, age 93.
1934 ● Barney Ales / (Baldassare Ales) → Rising-star sales manager in 1950s Detroit for Warner Bros. Records, left to join fledgling, black-owned Motown Records and was instrumental in bringing white teenagers to the label in the 60s, when Motown left for L.A. in 1972, stayed and formed his own label but sold it to Motown and rejoined in 1975, serving as President in the late 70s, later worked with Elton John‘s Rocket Records and other jazz and R&B labels, died from undisclosed causes on 4/17/2020, age 85.
1935 ● Teddy Randazzo / (Theodore Alexander Randazzo) → Singer, songwriter and pop music arranger best known for co-writing “Going Out Of My Head” for Little Anthony & The Imperials (#6, 1964) and “Hurts So Bad” (#8 , 1980) for Linda Ronstadt, died of natural causes on 11/21/2003, age 68
1938 ● John Smith → Bass vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958).
1941 ● Joe Brown → Stage and TV actor, BBC radio host, early Brit rock ‘n’ roll singer and guitarist, “A Picture Of You” (UK #2, 1962), still performs after nearly 60 years of rocking
1941 ● Ritchie Valens / (Ricardo Valenzuela Reyes) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, promising early rock ‘n’ roller and the first Latino pop star, released the Top 5 hit “Donna” (#2, 1958) and the enduring “La Bamba” (#22, 1959) just months before he died along with Buddy Holly and J. R. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in an Iowa plane crash on the night of 2/3/1959, age 17
1943 ● Mary Wells / (Mary Esther Wells) → R&B/soul-pop singer, early and influential Motown solo artist with 12 R&B Top 10 singles during the label’s formative years, including five that crossed over the Top 10 on the pop charts, her signature “My Guy” (#1, R&B #1, 1964) is the embodiment of early 60s Motown soul-pop, left the label in 1964 over a contract dispute, and with the exception of “Dear Lover” (#51, R&B #22, 1968) never had another meaningful hit over the next 25 years at a succession of different labels, toured on the oldies circuit until dying of throat cancer on 7/26/1992, age 49.
1945 ● Blue Lou Mairini / (Louis Marini, Jr. ) → Jazz, blues and rock saxophonist with Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Saturday Night Live house band, The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), solo
1945 ● Magic Dick / (Richard Salwitz) → Harmonica and organ for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1947 ● Peter Watts / (Peter Overend Watts) → Bassist for early Brit glam-rockers Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes” (#37, 1972), producer
1950 ● Danny Kirwan / (Daniel David Kirwan) → Guitarist and songwriter with early lineups of Fleetwood Mac (1968-72) and during the band’s transition from blues-rock stalwarts to pop-rock megastars, left before the band achieved superstardom and enjoyed a moderately successful solo career before fading into obscurity outside the music industry, died from undisclosed causes on 06/10/2018, age 68
1950 ● Johnny Logan / (Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard) → Aussie-born Irish singer, songwriter, three-time Eurovision winner and guitarist, “What’s Another Year” (UK #1, 1980)
1950 ● Stevie Wonder / (Stevland Hardaway Judkins) → Teenaged Motown R&B/soul singer (“Fingertips,” #1, 1963) turned Grammy-winning soul-pop singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with 15 #1 albums and over 30 Top 40 singles (nine #1 hits) including “Superstition” (#1, 1973)
1951 ● Paul Thompson → Drummer for prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976) and post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1959 ● Kim McAuliffe → Founding member, vocals and rhythm guitar for early all-girl heavy metal group Painted Lady, which became Girlschool, “Hit And Run” (UK #32, 1981)
1963 ● Julian Brookhouse → Guitarist for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1964 ● Lorraine McIntosh → Vocalist for Scottish indie pop-rock Deacon Blue, “Real Gone Kid” (UK #8, 1988), married to lead singer Ricky Ross
1966 ● Alison Goldfrapp → Vocals and synthesizer with Will Gregory in Brit electro-dance-pop due Goldfrapp, “Number 1” (Dance/Club #1, 2005)
1966 ● Darius Rucker → Vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995), solo
1967 ● Melanie Thornton → African American R&B/gospel and dance-pop singer with very little attention in the U.S. but with a moderately successful and growing career in Europe, particularly in Germany, died in a commercial plane crash in Switzerland on 11/24/2001, age 34
1979 ● Michael Madden → Bassist for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004)

May 14
1916 ● Skip Martin / (Lloyd Martin) → Jazz and Big Band saxophonist, music arranger and orchestrator, played in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other big band’s and became a studio musician and arranger for Hollywood films in the 50s, including Judy Garland‘s comeback movie A Star Is Born (1954), died on 2/12/1976, age 59
1932 ● Bob Johnston → Rockabilly and pop-rock songwriter, co-wrote numerous songs for Elvis Presley in the mid-60s, then produced a string of classic albums in the late 60s and 70s, including Bob Dylan‘s Blonde On Blonde and Johnny Cash‘s At Folsom Prison, fell into relative obscurity in the 80s and 90s but continued to produce independent albums, died from heart failure on 8/14/2015, age 83.
1934 ● Grady Gaines → Blues, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz tenor saxophonist with a six-decade career as a session musician, bandleader and solo artist, starting with Peacock Records in the early 50 and as frontman for The Upsetters, Little Richard‘s first backing that also played behind Jackie Wilson, James Brown and others in the 60s, did session work and toured with Curtis Mayfield and others through the 70s, quit music in 1980 and became a hotel transportation manager, reformed the Texas Upsetters in 1986, issuing three albums and playing in Houston-area clubs and festivals into the 10s, died in his sleep on 1/29/2021, age 86.
1936 ● Charlie Gracie / (Charles Anthony Graci) → Rockabilly and pop-rock guitarist and songwriter, Philadelphia’s first rock ‘n roll star and an American Bandstand regular with several charting singles in the late 50s, including the megahit “Butterfly” (#1, 1957), influenced younger rockers Paul McCartney, Van Morrison and Graham Nash in the 60s, performed in nightclubs, on the oldies circuit, and on occasional tours over the decades, including over 40 trips to a devoted following in the UK, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 12/16/2022, age 86.
1936 ● Bobby Darin / (Walden Robert Cassotto) → Film actor (Come September, 1961), musician, adult pop vocalist, “Mack The Knife” (#1, 1959) and 20 other Top 40 singles, husband of actress/singer Sandra Dee,, died after open heat surgery to repair damaged valves on 12/20/1973, age 37
1938 ● Mike Preston / (Jack Davies) → Boxer turned pop singer, “Mr. Blue” (UK #12, 1959) turned Aussie and US TV/film actor, The A-Team and The Ghost And Mrs. Muir
1940 ● Troy Shondell / (Gary Shelton) → Transatlantic one hit wonder rock ‘n’ roll/pop singer, “This Time” (#6, 1961), his stage name was the inspiration for Tommy James & The Shondells, later with Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville and ASCAP as a regional music publishing executive
1943 ● Jack Bruce / (John Symon Asher Bruce) → Renowned Scottish bass guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, “Pretty Flamingo” (#29, UK #1, 1966) and Cream, co-wrote “Sunshine Of Your Love” (#5, 1968), “White Room” (#6, 1968) and “I Feel Free”, later with supertrio West Bruce & Laing and 14 solo albums through 2014, died from liver failure on 10/25/2014, age 71
1943 ● Clive Palmer / (Clive Harold Palmer) → Founding member and principal in Scottish psych-folk and early world music duo The Incredible String Band, 1968 album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter reached #161 in the US, died after a long illness on 11/23/2014, age 71
1945 ● Gene Cornish → Guitar and vocals for blue-eyed soul-pop The Rascals, “Groovin'”, (#1, 1967), then power pop Fotomaker, “Miles Away” (#63, 1978), solo
1945 ● Lek Leckenby / (Derek Leckenby) → Guitar, banjo and songwriting for British Invasion pop-rock British Invasion pop-rock Herman’s Hermits (“Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” #1, 1965), continued with various incarnation sof the band until his death lymphoma on 6/4/1994, age 49
1947 ● Al Ciner → Guitarist for pop-rock one hit wonder American Breed, “Bend Me Shape Me” (Top 10, 1968), Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (#1, 1971) and R&B/funk-dance Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” (#3, 1974)
1950 ● Arthur James Grant → Drummer for Brit blues then prog-rock Edgar Broughton Band, “Apache Dropout” (UK #33, 1970)
1952 ● David Byrne → Guitar, vocals, songwriting and de facto frontman for art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), Grammy-winning solo artist and composer
1953 ● John Rutsey → Drummer and founding member of Canadian arena rock/power trio Rush, “New World Man” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1982) and 24 other Mainstream Rock Top 20 singles, died from complications of diabetes on 5/11/2008, age 54
1956 ● H / (Steve Hogarth) → Lead vocals for Brit prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985)
1962 ● C.C. DeVille / (Bruce Johannesson)) → Guitarist for hair metal/power ballad Poison, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Ian Astbury → Singer and guitarist for punk-rock Southern Death Cult, which evolved into hard rock/metal revival The Cult, “Fire Woman” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1989)
1964 ● Shelley Preston → Joined Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz as lead vocalist in 1985, “New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)” (UK #8, 1986), left in 1990 for a modeling and backing vocals career
1966 ● Fabrice Morvan → Singer and one half of the scandalous, lip-synching dance-pop vocal duo Milli Vanilli, the pair were stripped of their 1989 Grammy award when in 1990 it was revealed that they never actually sang on their albums or in concert, resurrected a solo career in the early 00s
1966 ● Mike Inez → Bassist for alterna-metal/hard rock Alice In Chains, “No Excuses” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1966 ● Raphael Saddiq / (Charles Ray Wiggins) → Old school R&B/soul singer, songwriter and bass guitarist, with brother Dwayne and cousin Timothy Christian in R&B/dance Tony! Toni! Toné! (“Feels Good,” #9, R&B #1, 1990), then solo (“Ask Of You,” #19, R&B #2) and the critically-acclaimed album Stone Rollin (#14, 2011)
1969 ● Danny Wood → Singer, songwriter and choreographer for early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990), solo
1969 ● Steve Hellier → Keyboards and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1971 ● Freaky Tah / (Raymond Rogers) → MC, hype man and vocals for 90s rap quartet The Lost Boyz, “Music Makes Me High” (#51, Rap #5, 1996) plus three R&B Top 10 albums, murdered by gun fire in a hotel lobby on 3/28/1999, age 27
1973 ● Natalie Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1973 ● Shanice / (Shanice Wilson) → Motown R&B/dance-pop singer/songwriter, “I Love Your Smile” (#2, 1991)
1976 ● Hunter Burgan → Multi-instrumentalist and current bass guitarist for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), “Miss Murder” (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006)
1976 ● Martine McCutcheon / (Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting) → Brit actress who gained stardom after playing Tiffany Mitchell on BBC TV’s EastEnders (1995-1998), then pop singer, “Perfect Moment” (UK #1, 1999)
1979 ● Dan Auerbach / (Daniel Quine Auerbach) → Grammy-winning blues-rock songwriter, producer and songwriter, frontman for 00s neo-blues-rock The Black Keys (“Lonely Boy,” #64, Alt Rock #1, 2010) along with other side projects and collaborations
1984 ● Olly Murs / (Oliver Stanley Murs) → Brit singer, songwriter, TV actor and program host with multiple UK hits, including “Troublemaker” (#25, UK #1, 2016)

May 15
1918 ● Eddy Arnold / (Richard Edward Arnold) → Most popular country music entertainer of the 20th century with 14 Country Top 10 albums, 147 charting singles and 28 Country #1 hits, including “Make The World Go Away” (#6, Country #1, 1965), died of natural causes on 5/8/2008, age 89
1931 ● James Mitchell → Saxophone for Stax Records’ house band The Memphis Horns, played sessions for The Doobie Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Sam And Dave and many other notables, died from heart failure on 12/18/2000, age 69
1932 ● Baba Oje → Spiritual leader for progressive rap, funk-soul-blues-hip-hop Arrested Development, “Mr. Wendal” (#6, 1992)
1932 ● Henry Goldrich / (Henry Jerome Goldrich) → Music instrument salesman and long-time store owner who “played the cash register” with top rock artists in his Midtown Manhattan shop, Manny’s Music, selling wah-wah pedals to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, a Gibson guitar to John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Fenders to Sting and Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, among many others, even though he played no instruments himself, the store originally opened by his father closed in 2009 after 74 years in business as one of the largest and best known of the “Music Row” shops on West 48th Street, died from unspecified causes on 2/16/2021, age 88.
1937 ● Trini Lopez / (Trinidad López III) → Chicano singer and guitarist with a unique blend of American folk, rockabilly and Latino music that produced 15 adult contemporary Top 40 hits and his million-selling signature song, a danceable version of “If I Had A Hammer” (#3, UK #4, 1963) through the 60s, performed on Vegas stages and world tours in the 70s and 80s, issuing more than 60 albums, including an ill-fated disco record in 1978, occasionally acted on screen several smaller roles, the most notable being as one of The Dirty Dozen (1967), continued to record and perform through the early 10s, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 8/11/2020, age 83.
1938 ● Lenny Welch / (Leon Welch) → MOR/pop balladeer, “Since I Fell For You” (#4, 1963)
1940 ● Jackie Shane → Black, transgender child in the Jim Crow South in the 40s and 50s, moved to Canada and became a superstar in the Toronto R&B/soul and blues music scene in the 60s with a minor hit “Any Other Way” (CAN #67, 1968) plus five other singles and five albums, disappeared from music after turning down an offer to join George Clinton‘s Funkadelic band to care for her elderly mother, never lost her cult following, reappeared in Nashville in the 10s and authorized an anthology album Any Other Way in 2017, died in her sleep on 2/21/2019, age 78.
1942 ● K.T. Oslin / (Kay Toinette Oslin) → Bit-part Broadway theater actress and advertising jingle singer who enjoyed a later career as a Grammy-winning country singer and songwriter with a repertoire sung mostly to baby boomer women entering their mid-lives, released seven Country Top 10 hits among 25 charting singles, including the neo-feminist, anthemic “80s Ladies” (Country #7, 1987), the first written by a women to earn song of the year honors from the Country Music Association, following quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1995 recorded only sporadically into the 10s with her last album, Simply (2015) coming before the onset of Parkinson’s disease which, along with a positive COVID-19 test, caused her death on 12/21/202, age 78.
1944 ● Ian “Tich” Amey / (Ian Frederick Stephen Amey) → Lead guitar for 60s “freakbeat” Brit pop-rock quintet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, the group had eight UK Top 10 hits from 1966-1968, including “The Legend Of Xanadu” (#123, UK #1, 1968) but limited success in the US, played in the group in three stints over five decades, in between gigging with other bands and for a short period with The Troggs in the late 70s, retired in 2014 and died from undisclosed causes on 2/14/2024, age 79.
1946 ● Bob Garner → Bass guitar for underappreciated and little known (except in Germany) Britbeat/power pop The Creation, “Painter Man” (GER #8, UK #36, 1967), left the band in 1968 but participated in various reunion performances through the early 00s, died on 6/16/2016, age 70.
1947 ● Graham Goble → Guitar and vocals for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979) and 12 other Top 40 singles
1947 ● Jimy Rogers / (James Rogers) → Vocals for Chicago blue-eyed soul/garage rockers Mauds, “Hold On” (1967), sessions, most recently fronted Blue Road, died 12/4/2010, age 63
1948 ● Brian Eno → Synthesizers and keyboards with glam/prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), then pub-rock The Winkies and solo, producer for David Bowie, U2, Talking Heads, John Cale and others, ambient and world music pioneer, multimedia artist
1948 ● Gary Thain → Bassist for Brit jazz-pop-rock Keef Hartley Band, then hard rock Uriah Heep, “Easy Livin'” (1972) , died of a drug overdose 12/8/1975, age 27
1951 ● Fergie / (Dennis Fredericksen) → Lead vocals for pomp-rock MSFunk and Trillion, hard pop-rock Survivor, “American Heartbeat” (#17, 1982), AOR pop-rock Le Roux, “Carrie’s Gone” (#79, 1982), then replaced Bobby Kimball in arena rock Toto, “Stranger In Town” (#30, Mainstream Rock #7, 1984), solo, sessions
1952 ● Phil Seymour → Power pop drummer, singer, guitarist, songwriter and partner in pop/rock Dwight Twilley Band, “I’m On Fire” (#16, 1975), session work including backing vocals for Tom Petty, released three solo albums and several singles, including “Precious To Me” (#22, 1981), died from lymphoma on 8/17/1993, age 41
1953 ● Mike Oldfield → Multi-instrumentalist, new age electronic prog rock composer and bandleader, “Tubular Bells” (#7, 1974), the title track from the first album issued by Virgin Records
1955 ● Kevin John Morris → Drummer since 1983 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1959 ● Andrew Eldritch → Vocals for goth-metal The Sisters of Mercy, “Temple Of Love” (UK #3, 1992)
1965 ● Jon Sevink → Violin for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1965 ● Mark Colwill → Bass guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1966 ● Peter Wiggs → Keyboardist and songwriter for indie dance-pop Saint Etienne, “Nothing Can Stop Us” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1970 ● Prince Be / (Attrell Cordes) → Vocals in innovative brother hip hop duo P.M. Dawn melding smooth soul, urban R&B and prog rap, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” (#3, Dance/Club #6, 1991), stepson of George Brown, founding member of soul/funk Kool & The Gang, died from renal failure on 6/17/2016, age 46
1982 ● Jessica Sutta → Dancer, singer, model, actress and vocalist for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005), then solo, “Show Me” (Dance #1, 2011)
1983 ● Devin Bronson → Lead guitarist with Avril Lavigne band, Kelly Osbourne band, Black List Club and Canadian rock band Treble Charger

May 16
1919 ● Liberace / (Wladziu Valentino Liberace) → Campy, sequin-suited easy listening/pop pianist, Vegas showman and TV host (with a candelabra on his piano), died from complications of AIDS and emphysema on 2/4/1987, age 67
1932 ● Redd Holt / (Isaac Holt) → Drummer in 50s and 60s jazz ensemble Ramsey Lewis Trio and the Grammy-winning crossover hit “The ‘In’ Crowd” (#5, R&B #1, 1965), split from the trio with bandmate Eldee Young and formed jazz-pop Young-Holt Unlimited, which continued the run of pop-friendly jazz instrumentals with “Wack-Wack” (#40, CAN #44, 1967) and the enduring “Soulful Strut” (#3, R&B #3, 1969), split with Young in 1974, formed his own Holt Unlimited and played clubs in the Chicago area, and in occasional reunions with Lewis and Young, for four decades, died from lung cancer on 5/23/2023, age 91.
1936 ● Kripp Johnson / (Corinthian Johnson) → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Del-Vikings, “Come Go With Me” (#4, 1957), died on 6/22/1990
1939 ● John Morris / (John Hanna Morris, Jr.) → Theater lighting designer in New York and London in the 60s, assisted impresario Bill Graham in opening the vaunted Fillmore East concert venue in New York in 1968, then served as production manager for the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair, during which he famously issued an on-stage warning about “brown acid,” later opened the Rainbow Theater in London and produced live shows by Pink Floyd, The Who and David Bowie, among many others, in later years produced antique shows and dealt in North American artifacts, suffered from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease following treatment for lung cancer and died on 11/10/2023, age 84.
1944 ● Billy Cobham → Jazz-rock fusion drummer for Miles Davis, founded Mahavishnu Orchestra, backed James Brown and Santana, played with Grateful Dead and offshoot Bobby & The Midnights, solo and bandleader as Spectrum
1945 ● Nicky Chinn / (Nicholas Barry Chinn) → Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer, co-wrote with Michael Chapman as the “Chinnichap” songwriting and production team over fifty Top 40 hits, worked with Sweet (“The Ballroom Blitz,” #5, UK #2, 1973), Suzi Quatro (“Devil Gate Drive,” UK #1, 1974) and Smokie (“Living Next Door Too Alice,” #25, UK #5, 1976), produced albums for Blondie and The Knack
1946 ● Robert Fripp → Avant-garde and experimental pop-rock composer, guitarist and bandleader, only constant member of prog/space-rock King Crimson, “The Court Of The Crimson King” (#80, 1970), solo albums and multiple side and collaboration projects
1946 ● Roger Earl → Drummer for blues-rock Savoy Brown, then co-founded blues-rock Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975) and constant bandmember in the 40-plus year history of the band
1947 ● Barbara Lee Jones → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), died from a heart attack on 5/15/1992, age 44
1947 ● Darrell Sweet → Co-founder and drummer for Scottish hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), died from a fatal heart attack before a show in Indiana on 4/30/1999, age 52
1948 ● Alto Reed / (Thomas Neal Cartmell) → Rock saxophonist and 42-year member of Bob Seger‘s Silver Bullet Band, recognized for the intro to “Turn The Page” (non-charting, 1972) and the solo in “Old Time Rock And Roll” (#28, 1979), also performed and recorded with The Blues Brothers, Little Feat, Dave Mason, The Ventures and dozens of other top acts worldwide over a 50-year career, died from colon cancer on 12/30/2020, age 72.
1951 ● Jonathan Richman → Guitarist, singer and songwriter, founded and fronted proto-punk The Modern Lovers, “Roadrunner” (, 1977), solo and collaborations, appeared in the film There’s Something About Mary (1998)
1953 ● Richard Page → Bass guitarist and vocals for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1955 ● Hazel O’Connor → Brit singer/songwriter and actress, starred in the film Breaking Glass (1980) which launched her pop singing career, “Will You” (UK #8, 1981),
1958 ● Glenn Gregory → Vocals for 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1960 ● Lovebug Starski / (Kevin Smith) → Teenage gang member turned rapper, MC, record producer and self-styled creator of the term “hip-hop” for which he was widely-recognized as a key player in the development of hip-hop music in the South Bronx in the mid-70s, issued a single album and a dozen singles in the 80s, was attempting a career reboot in Las Vegas but died following a heart attack on 2/8/2018, age 57
1964 ● Boyd Tinsley → Violinist for pop-funk-rock jam band Dave Matthews Band, “Don’t Drink The Water” (Modern Rock #4, 1998)
1965 ● Chris Novoselic / (Krist Anthony Novoselic) → Croatian-American bass guitarist and co-founder of premier grunge rock Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6, 1992), played in variety of bands since Nirvana broke up in 1994, music columnist and founder of JAMPAC
1966 ● Janet Jackson → Youngest of the ten Jackson children, R&B/soul-pop superstar, “Miss You Much” (#1, 1989), TV and film actress
1968 ● Ralph Tresvant → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988)
1971 ● Simon Katz → Percussion in Grammy-winning Brit acid jazz-funk-pop Jamiroquai, “Canned Heat” (Dance #1, 1999)
1973 ● Will White → DJ, vocals and mixmaster for techno-dance Propellerheads, “History Repeating” (Dance/Club #10, 1998), remixed 808 State, Luscious Jackson

May 17
1921 ● Bob Merrill / (Henry Merrill Levan) → Pop and Broadway songwriter, wrote multiple hits, including “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window” for Patti Page (#1, 1953) and “People” for Barbra Streisand (Adult Contemporary #1, 1964), died after a long illness on 2/17/1998, age 76
1934 ● Sonny Knight / (Joseph Coleman Smith) → R&B singer (“Confidential,” #17, R&B #8, 1956) and author of the novel The Day The Music Died (1981) about racism in the music industry, suffered a massive stroke in 1996 and died two years later on 9/5/1998, age 64
1938 ● Pervis Jackson → Original member and bass vocals for Grammy-winning Motown and later Atlantic R&B/soul The Spinners, “Then Came You” (#1, 1974) plus eleven other Top 20 hits in the 70s, continued touring with the group until his death from cancer on 8/18/2008, age 70
1941 ● Malcolm Hale → Guitar, horns and vocals for sunny folk-pop Spanky & Our Gang, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same” (#9, 1967), died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty home furnace on 10/30/1968, age 27
1942 ● Taj Mahal / (Henry St. Clair Fredericks) → Prominent multi-instrumentalist acoustic and electric folk-blues-country-reggae guitarist and songwriter, founded roots folk-rock Rising Sons with Ry Cooder, prolific solo career with over 30 studio and live albums, composer of film soundtracks, Grammy-winning best contemporary blues album Señor Blues (1997)
1944 ● Richard Schwartz → Vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, “Imagination” (Top 40, 1961)
1944 ● Jesse Winchester / (James Ridout Winchester) → Draft-dodging American folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Say What” (#2, 1981), moved to Canada in 1967 and received citizenship in 1973, continued to record and perform until his death from bladder cancer on 4/11/2014, age 69
1949 ● Bill Bruford → Inimitable rock drummer, composer, bandleader, producer and record company executive, founding member of prog/art rock Yes, briefly with prog rock Genesis in early 70s, then prog/space-rock King Crimson, “Heartbeat” (Mainstream Rock #57, 1982) for 25 years, solo albums and side projects including UK, ABWH and Earthworks
1950 ● Howard Ashman → With songwriting team partner/composer Alan Menken, Academy Award-winning lyricist and producer for stage and screen, co-wrote “Under The Sea” from Disney‘s The Little Mermaid (1989), the title song to Beauty And The Beast (1991) and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1992), died of AIDS on 3/14/1991, age 40
1952 ● Roy Adams → Drummer for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1953 ● Lightnin’ Licks Johnson / (George Johnson) → Vocals and guitar for R&B/soul-disco-funk sibling group The Brothers Johnson, “Stomp!” (#7, R&B #1, 1980), solo
1955 ● David Townsend → EMI staff songwriter turned smooth soul singer and guitarist in the “quiet storm” trio Surface, “The First Time” (#1, R&B #1, 1990), found dead in his home on 10/26/2005, age 50
1958 ● Alan Rankine → Guitarist for Scottish post-punk New Romantic art-glam-dance-pop The Associates (“Party Fears Two,” UK #9, 1982), left in 1982 for a career as a producer for Cocteau Twins and others, as a solo artist with four late 80s albums, and as a college music lecturer through 2010, died in his home from undisclosed causes on 1/3/2023, age 64.
1958 ● Amp Fiddler / (Joseph Anthony Fiddler) → Detroit soul, funk and electronic music keyboardist, first with the local band Enchantment and later with George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic groups from 1985 to 1996, credited with introducing young rappers J Dilla and Q-Tip to the sampling drum machine and changing the course of rap music in the 90s, issued a dozen solo and collaborative albums over years, including a final solo album, Basementality, in 2021, died after a long battle with cancer on 12/18/2023, age 65.
1959 ● Paul Di’Anno / (Paul Andrews) → Vocalist for Brit heavy metal Iron Maiden, “Flight Of Icarus” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1983), was fired in 1981 and pursued a moderately successful solo career and as a member of several hard rock project groups, including Gogmagog, Battlezone, Praying Mantis and Killers
1960 ● Simon Fuller → Record and TV producer, manager for the Spice Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Will Young, Emma Bunton and others, creator of the Idol TV variety/contest series, first in the U.K. as Pop Idol and now with over 50 other versions including American Idol, Canadian Idol, and World Idol
1961 ● Enya / (Eithne Ni Bhraonain) → Vocals for Celtic folk-pop sibling group Clannad, then solo new age dreamy synth-pop, “Orinoco Flow” (#24, 1989) and “Only Time” (#10, 2001)
1962 ● Tracey Bryn → With sister Melissa Belland, frontgal and vocals in college rock/indie pop-rock Voice Of The Beehive, “Scary Kisses” (Mainstream Top 40 #32, 1996), daughter of Bruce Belland of 50s pop vocal quartet The Four Preps
1963 ● Page McConnell → Keyboards, vocals and songwriting for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996) plus solo and side projects
1965 ● Homer O’Dell → Guitarist for new jack swing R&B/soul-pop sextet Mint Condition, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” (#17, 1996)
1965 ● Trent Reznor → Founder, leader and songwriter for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1966 ● Jan Kincaid → Founding member, drums and keyboards for acid-jazz/funk The Brand New Heavies, “Sometimes” (UK #11, 1997)
1967 ● Simon Friend → Guitarist for alt folk-Celtic rock The Levellers, “Just The One” (UK #12, 1995)
1968 ● Dave Abbruzzese → Drummer (1991-94) for post-grunge/alt rock kings Pearl Jam, “Even Flow” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1992), solo
1970 ● Darnell Van Rensalier → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1970 ● Jordan Knight → Singer in early 90s teen-pop boy band New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” (#1, 1990)
1971 ● Vernie Bennett / (Vernette Bennett) → Vocals for Brit R&B/dance-pop singer for girl-group Eternal, “Stay” (#19, UK #3, 1993)
1973 ● Joshua Homme → Founding member, vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter for stoner metal Queens Of The Stone Age, “No One Knows” (#51, Mainstream Rock #5, 2002), later with supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, “New Fang” (Alt Rock #10, 2009)
1974 ● Andrea Corr → With two sisters and brother, lead vocals in Irish folk-pop-rock sibling act The Corrs, “Breathless” (Adult Top 40 #7, 2000), solo and actress
1976 ● Kandi Burruss → Vocals for female R&B/dance-pop quartet Xscape, “Understanding” (#8, 1993)

May 18
1911 ● Big Joe Turner / (Joseph Vernon Turner) → Premier blues “shouter” and boogie-woogie, jump blues and early rock ‘n’ roll vocalist, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” (#22, R&B #1, 1954), died from a kidney failure on 11/24/1985, age 74
1912 ● Perry Como / (Pierino Ronald Como) → Small town barber turned pre-rock ‘n’ roll crooner, then Grammy-winning smooth easy listening/pop singer, “Catch A Falling Star” (#1, 1958) and 19 other Pop Top 25 singles plus nine Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, died in his sleep on 5/12/2001, age 88
1922 ● Kai Winding / (Kai Chresten Winding) → Danish-American jazz trombonist who played with every major jazz and be bop artist in small and large groups over a 40-year career, from Benny Goodman and Stan Kenton in the 40s to Quincy Jones and Chuck Mangione in the 70s, founded several of his own groups and collaborated with J. J. Johnson in the 50s, was the first to record “Time Is On My Side,” which later became the first US Top 10 hit for The Rolling Stones (#6, 1964), died following a heart attack during surgery for a brain tumor on 5/6/1983, age 60.
1933 ● Fred Smith / (Fred Sledge Smith) → R&B songwriter and record producer, co-wrote several 50-60s hits for doo wop The Olympics, including novelty song “Western Movies” (#8, R&B #7, 1958) and dance-craze “(Baby) Hully Bully” (#72, 1960), produced hits for Bob & Earl (“Harlem Shuffle,” #44, 1964) and Jackie Lee (“The Duck,” #14, 1965), formed his own label, MoSoul, in 1967 and produced two albums for Bill Cosby, worked briefly for Stax Records until it closed in 1975, left the music industry thereafter and died from undisclosed causes on 7/29/2005, age 72
1939 ● Gary Paxton / (Larry Wayne Stevens) → Grammy-winning, eccentric gospel musician whose career opened as a teenage pop singer with Clyde “Skip” Battin (later in The Byrds) in the duo Skip & Flip (“It Was I,” #11, 1959), later recorded with the Hollywood Argyles (“Alley-Oop,” #1, 1960) and produced “Monster Mash” (#1, 1962) for Bobby “Boris” Pickett, converted to Christianity in the 70s, won Best Inspirational Album award in 1975, survived an assassination attempt by hitmen in 1980, retired in 1999 and died at home on 7/16/2016, age 77
1940 ● Lenny Lipton / (Leonard Lipschitz) → Author, filmmaker, lyricist and inventor best known as a pioneer in projected three-dimensional imagery, produced 16mm films in the 60s and authored books on filmmaking in the 70s, the royalties from his books and from “Puff The Magic Dragon,” a poem he wrote as a 19-year old college student which classmate Peter Yarrow later turned into the instant and enduring folk hit with Peter, Paul & Mary (#2, MOR #1, 1963), provided funding for research and development of concepts that led to 70 patents and groundbreaking 3-D technology in 80s, and eventually to the modern stereoscopic filmmaking equipment in use in tens of thousands of movie theaters worldwide, died from brain cancer on 10/5/2022, age 85.
1942 ● Rodney Dillard → Progressive and influential bluegrass guitar and dobro player with brother Doug in duo country-rock The Dillards
1944 ● Albert Hammond → Brit-Gibraltarian pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “It Never Rains In Southern California” (#5, 1973)
1945 ● Scar Lopez / (Richard Lopez) → Founding member and vocals for pioneering “East Side Sound” of L.A., Mexican-American one hit wonder, brown-eyed-soul/garage rock quartet Cannibal And The Headhunters (“Land Of A Thousand Dances,” #30, 1965), died from lung cancer on 7/30/2010, age 65
1946 ● Bruce Gilbert → Guitarist for long-lived post-punk Wire, “Eardrum Buzz” (Modern Rock #2, 1989)
1946 ● George Alexander → Bassist for eclectic rock ‘n’ roll/proto-punk cult band The Flamin’ Groovies, album Shake Some Action reached #142 on the Billboard 200 chart
1949 ● Bill Wallace → Bassist for Canadian rockers The Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), now college music instructor
1949 ● Rick Wakeman → Renowned keyboardist and composer, started as sessionman for Black Sabbath, David Bowie and others in the 60s, joined folk-prog-rock The Strawbs in 1970, moved to archetypal prog rock Yes, “Roundabout” (#13, 1971), successful solo career and film score composing
1950 ● Mark Mothersbaugh → Multi-instrumental musician, composer, singer and founding member of quirky 80s pop-rock Devo, “Whip It” (#14, 1980), also wrote musical scores for dozens of films and television shows in the 90s and 00s in music production company Mutato Muzika with his former Devo bandmates
1952 ● George Strait → The “King of Country,” traditionalist country, honky tonk and Western swing singer, songwriter and guitarist with more (57) Country #1 hits than any other artist, including “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” (Country #1, 1987)
1953 ● Butch Tavares / (Feliciano Tavares) → Vocals for five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1954 ● Wreckless Eric / (Eric Goulden) → Singer, songwriter and Stiff Records artist, had the punk classic UK airplay hit “I’d Go The Whole Wide World” (1978)
1956 ● Jim Moginie / (James Moginie) → Australian singer and musician best known for founding politically-outspoken Aussie rock Midnight Oil (“Beds Are Burning,” #17, Mainstream Rock #6, 1988), the band’s album Diesel And Dust (1987) ranked #13 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Best Albums of the 80s
1957 ● Michael Cretu → Romanian-born founder, frontman, composer and creative genius behind new age electronic/world music Enigma, “Return To Innocence” (#4, 1994)
1958 ● Toyah Ann Wilcox → Brit actress and singer, appeared in the punk film Jubilee (1977) and in The Who‘s mod film Quadrophenia (1979), fronted punk-rock Toyah, “It’s A Mystery” (1981)
1961 ● Hugh Whittaker → Drummer for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986)
1961 ● Russell Senior → Guitar and violin for alt rock/Britpop Pulp, “Common People” (UK #2, 1995), left in 1997 to pursue other projects and sell antique glassware
1967 ● Martin Duffy / (Martin Bernard Duffy) → Teenaged keyboard player with Brit jangle rock Felt for seven albums and six UK Top 20 singles in the late 80s, including “Primitive Painters” (UK #1, 1985), moonlighted on two Primal Scream albums before joining the group full-time during the sessions for the LP Screamadelica (US #131, UK #8, 1991), played with Primal Scream for the ensuing 30 years and eight albums, gigged with indie rock The Charlatans when keyboardist Robert Collins died suddenly in 1996, performed with other bands and appeared on several other artists’ albums, fell at hom and suffered a brain injury which caused his death on 12/18/2022, age 55.
1969 ● Martika / (Martika Marta Marrero) → Cuban-American teen-pop/bubblegum singer, “Toy Soldiers” (#1, 1989)
1970 ● Billy Howerdel → Guitar technician for alt rock Tool, “Schism” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2001), then founded alt-metal-fused-with-art rock A Perfect Circle, “Weak And Powerless” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1975 ● Jack Johnson → Hawaii born professional surfer turned acoustic soft beach rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Upside Down” (#38, Adult Top 40 #11, 2006)
1982 ● Eric West → 90s hip hop singer turned model and actor, returned to music with a 2010 solo album and the single “Gone” featuring Kanye West

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