This Week’s Birthdays (May 18 – 24)

0
534
Rick Wakeman

Happy Birthday this week to:

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

May 19
1894 ● Moms Mabley / (Loretta Mary Aitken) → Hugely successful stand-up comedienne from the vaudeville era with 17 charting albums in the 60s and one hit, a cover of “Abraham, Martin And John” (#35, R&B #18, 1969), for a time making her the oldest living person to have a Billboard Top 40 hit, died from heart failure on 5/23/1975, age 82
1932 ● Alma Cogan / (Alma Cohen) → 50s and early 60s rising star Brit traditional pop female vocalist, “Dreamboat” (UK #1, 1955) plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits, died of stomach cancer on 10/26/1966, age 34
1940 ● Mickey Newbury / (Milton Sims Newbury, Jr.) → Prolific country music songwriter with dozens of hit songs performed by others, including Top 20 songs on four charts simultaneously, “Here Comes the Rain, Baby” (Eddy Arnold, Country #4, 1968), “Sweet Memories” (Andy Williams, Easy Listening #4, 1968), “Time Is A Thief” (Solomon Burke, R&B #15, 1968) and “Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Pop #5, 1968), plus a solo hit single “An American Trilogy” (#26, 1972), died 9/29/2002, age 62
1945 ● Pete Townshend / (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend) → Guitarist, songwriter, rock opera composer and vocalist for Brit rock ‘n’ roll The Who, “I Can See For Miles” (#9, 1967) and 14 other US Top 40 singles, rock opera albums Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973), Grammy-winning solo career, “Face The Face” (#26, Mainstream Rock #3, 1985)
1947 ● Jerry Hyman → Trombonist for jazz-rock/pop-rock horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969)
1947 ● Paul Brady → Irish folk-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist with The Johnstons and Planxty, then long solo career, “Nobody Knows” (1990)
1947 ● Gregory Herbert → Alto saxophone for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), died of a drug overdose on 1/31/1978, age 30
1947 ● Steve Currie → Bassist for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), sessions, died in a car crash on 4/28/1981, age 33
1948 ● Tom Scott → Grammy-winning jazz-pop-rock multi-reedist, composer, session musician and bandleader, co-founder of the Blues Brothers Band and jazz-rock The L. A. Express, which backed Joni Mitchell, Carole King, George Harrison and others, solo “Tom Cat” (R&B #93, 1975), composer of film soundtracks and TV shows, including the theme song for Starsky And Hutch
1948 ● Paul Williams / (Paul S. Williams) → Music journalist and writer, founder and editor of college-rag turned national publication Crawdaddy, the first journal entirely devoted to in-depth commentary about rock music and the career-starter for a generation of rock writers and critics, also wrote articles for Rolling Stone and other rock publications and some two dozen books on a variety of subjects, including three about Bob Dylan, suffered brain trauma in a 1995 bicycle accident and died from complications of resulting dementia on 3/27/2013, age 64.
1949 ● Dusty Hill / (Joseph Michael Hill) → Founding member and five-decade bassist, vocalist and occasional keyboardist for venerable Texas blues/boogie rock trio ZZ Top, sang lead on the band’s first Top 20 hit, “Tush” (#20, 1975) and played in the band for every live show from 1970 through July 2021 when multiple, decades-long health issues forced an early retirement from touring, died at home from undisclosed causes on 7/28/2021, age 72.
1949 ● Larry Wallis → English hard rock guitarist and songwriter with a long resume, including co-founder of late-60s pop-rock The Entire Sioux Nation and original member of heavy metal trio Motörhead during 1975, in between played with ex-T. Rex percussionist Steve Took‘s Shagrat, Blodwyn Pig, briefly with start-up UFO and the first incarnation of power pop/proto-punk Pink Fairies, after Motörhead wrote and recorded the punk classic “Police Car” in 1977 and became an in-house writer and producer for Stiff Records into the 80s, played in various collaborations before rejoining the Pink Fairies in 1987, released three albums with The Deviants and wrote for Dr. Feelgood in the 90s, continued working alongside other top names in British rock through to the 10s and in 2017 issued The Sound Of Speed, a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, died from undisclosed causes on 9/19/2019, age 70.
1950 ● Mike Wedgewood → Bassist for Brit prog/avant-garde rock Curved Air, “Back Street Luv” (UK #4, 1974)
1950 ● Romeo Challenger → Drummer for Brit rock ‘n’ roll revival Showaddywaddy, “Under The Moon Of Love” (UK #1, 1976) and over 20 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 ● Joey Ramone / (Jeffrey Hyman) → Cultural icon, lead vocals and songwriter for seminal punk rock band The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (#66, 1978), died from lymphatic cancer on 4/15/2001, age 49
1952 ● Barbara Joyce Lomas → Vocals for 70s R&B/soul-funk-disco B.T. Express, “Do It (‘Til Your Satisfied)” (#2, R&B #1, 1974)
1952 ● Grace Jones / (Grace Mendoza) → Severely androgynous “Queen of the Gay Discos” and R&B/dance-pop-disco diva, “Pull Up To The Bumper” (R&B #5, Dance/Club #2, 1981), actress
1954 ● Phil Rudd / (Phillip Rudd) → Drummer for Aussie power chord hard rockers AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1982), left in 1983
1956 ● Teddy Bear Ware / (Martyn Ware) → Founding member of late-70s synth-pop pioneers The Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981), left to form 80s synth-pop Heaven 17, “Temptation” (UK #2, 1983) and “Contenders” (Dance/Club #6, 1987)
1962 ● Iain Harvie → Founder, guitarist and songwriter for pop and country-rock Del Amitri, “Roll To Me” (#10, 1995)
1963 ● Yazz / (Yasmin Evans) → Brit dance-pop singer often credited as Yazz And The Plastic Population, “The Only Way Is Up” (#96, Dance/Club #2, 1988)
1965 ● Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot → Vocals for Brit teen-pop blue-eyed soul Curiosity Killed The Cat, “Down To Earth” (UK #3, 1986)
1968 ● Paul Hartnoll → With brother Phil, Brit electronic dance music duo Orbital, “The Box” (UK #11, 1996)
1970 ● Stuart Cable → Original drummer for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001), left in 2003 and hosted cable TV show in Wales and BBC Radio Wales, choked to death on 6/7/2010
1972 ● Jenny Berggren → Singer and songwriter for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)
1992 ● Sam Smith / (Samuel Frederick Smith) → Four-time Grammy-winning R&B/pop singer with the 2014 Song of the Year, “Stay With Me” (#2, UK #1, 2014)

May 20
1901 ● Jimmy Blythe / (James Louis Blythe) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1925 ● Vic Ames / (Victor Urick) → Chicago R&B/blues and boogie woogie piano player credited with over 200 piano roll tunes and for recording one of the first full-length boogie-woogie songs (“Chicago Stomp,” 1924), died from meningitis on 6/14/1931, age 30
1938 ● Astrid Kirchherr → German artist who befriended and photographed The Beatles in Hamburg in 1960 when they were a youthful bar band playing seedy nightclubs, widely credited for transforming them from the late-50s greaser look to the mod, iconic suits and “mop-top” hairstyle in their early years of superstardom, became engaged to “Fifth Beatle” Stu Sutcliffe until his death in 1962 and continued to shoot images of the band and other groups until the late 60s, her photos hung in art galleries internationally and sold at music conventions for decades, died from a brief bout with cancer on 5/16/2020, age 81.
1940 ● Shorty Long / (Frederick Earl Long) → Overlooked Motown R&B/pop singer, “Here Comes The Judge” (#8, R&B #4, 1968), producer and song craftsman, drowned in a Detroit River boating accident on 6/29/1969
1942 ● Jill Jackson → Vocals in pop duo Paul & Paula, “Hey Paula” (#1, 1963)
1944 ● Joe Cocker / (John Robert Cocker) → Gravelly-voiced, blue-eyed soul pub-rock/blues-pop-rock vocalist and hard partying rock star, “A Little Help From My Friends” (#68, UK #1, 1968), “The Letter” (#7, 1970) and duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” (#1, 1982), died from lung cancer on 12/22/14, age 70
1946 ● Cher / (Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre) → Singer and TV and film actress, first with husband Sonny Bono in pop-rock duo Sonny & Cher, “I Got You Babe” (#1, 1965) and later as a five-decade solo act with 33 charting singles (22 in the Top 4), including “Believe” (#1, 1999)
1950 ● Steve Broughton / (Stephen Alex Broughton) → Multi-instrumentalist but primarily lead percussionist in his older brother’s British 60s blues then 70s prog rock Edgar Broughton Band, co-wrote one of the band’s two hit singles in the UK, “Out Demons Out” (UK #39, 1970) and drummed for the band thorough every one of four incarnations from 1968 through the final dissolution in 2010, died from undisclosed but rumored natural causes on 5/29/2022, age 72.
1950 ● Andy Johns → Brit sound engineer and record producer, worked on albums by Free (Highway, 1970), The Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street, 1972), Television (Marquee Moon, 1977) and many others, died from complications of a stomach ulcer on 4/7/2013, age 62
1952 ● Warren Cann → Drummer for New Wave electro-synth-pop pioneers Ultravox, “Vienna” (UK #2, 1980) and 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Guy Hoffman / (Guy Edward Hoffman) → Drummer for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1954 ● Jimmy Henderson → Guitarist for Southern raunch-rock Black Oak Arkansas, “Jim Dandy To The Rescue” (Top 30, 1973)
1955 ● Steve George → Keyboardist for 80s atmospheric pop-rock quartet Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” (#1, 1985)
1956 ● Tyrone Downie → Jamaican pianist and backing vocalist for reggae superstars Bob Marley & The Wailers in the 70s, appeared on the group’s final seven studio albums and left after Marley’s death in 1981, did studio work and toured with Grace Jones, Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Tom Tom Club, Ian Drury and many others over the decades, his last recording session took place just months before dying from unspecified causes on 11/5/2022, age 66.
1958 ● Jane Wiedlin → Guitar, songwriting and vocals for top New Wave pop-rock all-girl group The Go-Go’s, “We Got The Beat (#2, 1982) and solo, “Rush Hour” (#9, 1988)
1959 ● Susan Cowsill → Sub-teen vocalist for family pop band The Cowsills, “The Rain, The Park And Other Things” (#2, 1967) and theme song from Broadway musical Hair, (#2, 1969), inspiration for the TV show The Partridge Family, backing vocalist for various artists in the 80s, then formed alt country-rock supergroup Continental Drifters in 1991, solo
1961 ● Dan Wilson → Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Semisonic, wrote “Closing Time” (Modern Rock #4, 1998), producer
1961 ● Nick Heyward → Guitar and vocals for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Ralph Peterson, Jr. → Renowned jazz drummer and bandleader, starting as the second drummer for The Jazz Messengers in 1983 and continuing through a long list of collaborations with Stanley Clark, the Marsalis brothers (Wynton and Branford) and David Murray, among many others, issued 22 albums as a leader of various ensembles and taught new generations of musicians at Berklee College of Music in Boston and at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, died from complications of cancer on 3/1/2021, age 58.
1963 ● Nasher / (Brian Nash) → Backing vocals and guitarist for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1964 ● Patti Russo / (Patricia Russo) → Singer/songwriter and actress best known as the female lead vocalist with Meat Loaf‘s touring band, Neverland Express from 1993 to 2013
1966 ● Tom Gorman → Guitarist for alt pop-rock Belly, “Feed The Tree” (#1, Modern Rock, 1993)
1967 ● Kit Clark → With brother Gary Clark, founding member and vocals for Scottish pop-rock Danny Wilson, “Mary’s Prayer” (#23, Adult Contemporary #6, 1987)
1972 ● Busta Rhymes / (Trevor Smith, Jr.) → Grammy-nominated, idiosyncratic speed rapper, first with Leaders Of The New School, “What’s Next” (Rap #1, 1993), then solo, “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check ” (#8, Rap #1, 1996)
1981 ● Sean Conlon → Vocals for Brit dance-pop boy band 5ive (aka Five), “When The Lights Go Out” (#10, 1998)
1984 ● Naturi Naughton → Vocals for R&B/dance-teen-pop 3LW (aka 3 Little Women), “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” (#23, 2001)

May 21
1904 ● Fats Waller / (Thomas Wright Waller) → Jazz and ragtime pianist, co-wrote “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929), the oft-covered classic now included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, died 12/15/1943 from pneumonia, age 39
1926 ● Al Grossman / (Albert Bernard Grossman) → Chicago folk club owner and later promoter and manager for Bob Dylan (1962-70), Peter, Paul & Mary, The Band, Paul Butterfield, Janis Joplin and others, built Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, NY and founded Bearsville Records, died of a heart attack while flying to London on the Concorde to sign unknown British rock singer on 1/25/1986, age 59
1928 ● Tom Donahue → Rock Hall of Fame-inducted pioneering “free format” FM rock DJ on KSAN (San Francisco) and other stations, night club owner, concert producer/promoter, record label executive, died of a heart attack on 4/28/1975
1940 ● Tony Sheridan / (Anthony McGinnity) → Britbeat pop-rock bandleader, frontman for The Beat Brothers and collaborator with The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 60s, recorded several tracks with the Fab Four, including “My Bonnie” in June 1961, which reached #5 in West Germany, retired from the music business in the mid-70s, died following heart surgery on 2/16/2013, age 72
1941 ● Ronald Isley → Vocals for six-decade, multi-generation R&B/soul family group The Isley Brothers, “That Lady, Pts. 1-2” (#6, 1973)
1943 ● Hilton Valentine / (Hilton Stewart Paterson Valentine) → Guitarist for British Invasion hard/blues-rock The Animals, created the memorable opening riff on “House Of The Rising Sun” (#1, UK #1, 1964) and played guitar on a total of ten Top 20 hits in both the US and UK before the banded dissolved in 1966, left for California and produced his own solo albums in 1969 and 2004, participated in reunion tours with various incarnations of The Animals over the years and fronted his own Skiffledog band into the 10s, died from undisclosed causes on 1/29/2021, age 77.
1943 ● John Dalton → Bass guitarist for British Invasion pop-rock The Kinks, “Lola” (#9, 1970), replaced Pete Quaiffe in 1969, left the band in 1976 and periodically appears with the Kast Off Kinks
1943 ● Vincent Crane / (Vincent Cheesman) → Keyboards and songwriter for Brit psych-rock The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” (#12, 1987), left with bandmate Carl Palmer to form prog/art rock Atomic Rooster, “The Devil’s Answer” (UK #4, 1971), died from an overdose of painkillers on 2/14/1989, age 45
1944 ● Marcie Blaine / (Marcia Blank) → One hit wonder pop singer, “Bobby’s Girl” (#3, 1962)
1947 ● Bill Champlin → Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman for psych-rock Sons Of Champlin, joined pop-rock/horn band Chicago, “You’re The Inspiration” (#3, 1984) in 1981 and has played and toured with the band since, also solo and side projects
1948 ● Leo Sayer / (Gerard Hugh Sayer) → Grammy-winning blue-eyed R&B/pop-disco singer, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (#1, 1977)
1954 ● Marc Ribot → Multi-genre guitarist and composer, session work for dozens of artists from Norah Jones to Elvis Costello to Tom Waits, member of New York City avant-garde The Lounge Lizards
1955 ● Stan Lynch → Drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
1963 ● Kevin Shields → Founding member and guitarist for art-prog-rock, “shoe-gazing” pioneers My Bloody Valentine, “Only Shallow” (Modern Rock #27, 1992)
1963 ● Tim Lever → Keyboards for New Wave dance-pop Hi-NRG group Dead Or Alive, “You Spin Me ‘Round (Like A Record)” (#11, 1985)
1964 ● Martin Blunt → Bass for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1972 ● The Notorious B.I.G. / (Christopher George Latore Wallace) → Street hustling drug dealer turned East Coast hip hop superstar, “Mo Money Mo Problems” (#1, 1997), murdered in a drive-by shooting in L.A. on 3/9/1997, age 24.
1975 ● Lee Gaze → Lead guitarist for Welsh alt hard rock Lostprophets, “Last Train Home” (Mainstream Rock #10, 2004)
1978 ● Adam Wade Gontier → Lead singer and guitarist in Canadian punk/metal Three Days Grace, “Just Like You” (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1985 ● Mutya Buena → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004), quit the group in 2005 for solo, “Real Girl” (UK #2, 2006)

May 22
1924 ● Charles Aznavour / (Shahnour Aznavourian) → The “French Frank Sinatra”, world-known French-Armenian music hall singer, songwriter, actor and diplomat, “She” (UK #1, 1974)
1930 ● Jimmy Keyes → Founding member and first tenor vocals for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop The Chords, one of the earliest black groups to cross over to the pop charts with “Sh-Boom” (#9, R&B #3, 1954), died on 7/22/1995, age 65
1937 ● Kenny Ball → Brit traditional jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Kenny Ball & His Jazzman, “Midnight In Moscow” (#2, 1962)
1941 ● Bruce Rowlands → Drummer in Joe Cocker‘s backing group The Grease Band, then joined renowned Brit folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969)
1941 ● Jackie Jackson / (Jackie Landry Jackson) → Vocals for early R&B/pop girl group trio The Chantels, “Maybe” (#15, R&B #2, 1958), one of the definitive songs of the genre, became a stenographer in the Bronx (NY) court system following her music career, died from breast cancer on 12/23/1997, age 56
1942 ● Calvin Simon / (Calvin Eugene Simon) → Founding member and vocals for R&B/doo wop The Parliaments (“(I Wanna) Testify,” #20, R&B #3, 1967) which morphed into the Parliament-Funkadelic (“P-Funk”) collective of several dozen musicians in the two influential soul/funk bands and their flamboyant costumes, the two entities released 41 charting singles between 1969 and 1981, including “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, R&B #1, 1978), left the act by 1980, fought through a bout with cancer, recorded several Gospel albums as a solo artist, inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 as one of the 16 key members of the collective, toured with various P-Funk lineups and with the P-Funk All-Stars, died from unspecified causes on 1/6/2022, age 79.
1949 ● Chris Butler → Lead guitarist and chief songwriter for New Wave pop-rock The Waitresses, “I Know What Boys Like” (Mainstream Rock #23, 1982), solo and record producer/executive
1950 ● Bernie Taupin → Lyricist and renowned songwriting partner of Elton John with dozens of collaborative hits, also co-wrote Jefferson Starship‘s “We Built This City” (#1, 1985), Heart‘s “These Dreams” ( #1, 1986), and songs for Rod Stewart, Cher, The Motels, John Waite, Alice Cooper and multiple others
1954 ● Jerry Dammers → Founding member and keyboard play for ska revival/punk rock The Specials, “Ghost Town” (UK #1, 1981), producer and co-founder of 2 Tone Records
1955 ● Iva Davies → Welsh singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer and film score composer, frontman for Aussie New Wave synth-pop/pub rock Icehouse, “Electric Blue” (#7, 1987)
1955 ● Mary Black → Irish folk and contemporary pop-rock-blues singer and songwriter, “Columbus” (1989)
1959 ● Morrissey / (Steven Patrick Morrissey) → Vocalist and lyricist, frontman for definitive Brit indie rock The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (UK #10, 1984), solo, “Suedehead” (UK #5, 1988) and over 15 other UK Top 40 singles
1962 ● Jesse Valenzuela → Vocals and guitar for power-pop Gin Blossoms, “Found Out About You” (Modern Rock #1, 1994), solo
1966 ● Johnny Gill → R&B/hip hop “new jack swing” singer, “Super Love” (#29, 1983), joined New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), returned to solo recording, “Rub You The Right Way” (#3, 1990)
1967 ● Dan Roberts → Bassist for Canadian alt pop-rock Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” (#4, 1993)
1979 ● Russell Pritchard → Bass guitarist for Brit indie rock The Zutons, “Valerie” (UK #9, 2006)
1981 ● Su-Elise Nash → Vocals in “UK urban” R&B/dance-pop trio Mis-Teeq, “One Night Stand” (Dance/Club #4, 2004), now a performing arts school director

May 23
1910 ● Artie Shaw / (Arthur Jacob Arshawsky) → Big Band-era bandleader, composer and one of the most-renowned clarinetists of all time, his version of Cole Porter‘s “Begin The Beguine” (#3, 1938) is one of the most popular and enduring songs of the Swing Era, retired from touring in the early 50s, returned briefly in the mid-80s and died of natural causes on 12/30/2004, age 94
1918 ● Bumps Blackwell / (Robert Blackwell) → Early rock ‘n’ roll and soul music producer, Specialty Records executive, managed Little Richard and co-wrote several hits, including “Long Tall Sally” (#6, R&B #1, 1956), guided multiple other R&B/soul acts including Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Sly & The Family Stone, died of pneumonia on 1/27/1985, age 66
1921 ● Humphrey Lyttleton → Jazz bandleader, trumpeter, composer and BBC Radio 4 host, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died of an aortic aneurysm on 4/25/2008, age 86
1925 ● Mac Wiseman / (Malcolm Bell Wiseman) → Known as “The Voice with a Heart,” former radio DJ and guitarist for Bill Monroe‘s Foggy Mountain Boys, started a solo career in 1951 and became a legend in bluegrass and country music with over 60 albums and a knack for pulling from other genres through his versions of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” (Country #10, 1955), the R&B standard “I Hear You Knockin’,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again” and others, also recorded with jazz great Woody Herman and folkie John Prine, co-founded the Country Music Association (CMA) in 1958 to save country music from the rise of rock ‘n’ roll, received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowship in 1993 honoring his contributions to traditional American music and arts, died from kidney failure on 2/24/2019, age 93.
1928 ● Rosemary Clooney → Immensely popular 40s-50s adult pop singer, “Mangos” (#10, 1957), stage and film actress, died of lung cancer on 7/29/2002, age 74
1933 ● Gary Burden → Grammy-winning designer of music album covers for many rock and pop luminaries, including The Doors, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, as well as 40 covers for Neil Young beginning with After The Gold Rush (1970) and continuing for over 35 years, died from undisclosed causes on 3/7/2018, age 84
1934 ● Robert Moog → Keyboard musician and electronics inventor who built his first electronic music instrument, the Theremin (Thereminophone) at age 14 and followed with the first synthesizer in 1974 and the MiniMoog in 1970, the “first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,” becoming a key figure in the development of synthesized electronic music in the 60s and 70s, diagnosed with brain cancer and died four months later on 8/21/2005, age 71.
1941 ● General Norman Johnson → Frontman and lead singer for R&B/soul-pop Chairmen Of The Board, “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (#3, 1970), left for a successful songwriting career, including the Grammy-winning “Patches” for Clarence Carter (#4, R&B #2, 1971) and “Want Ads” for Honey Cone (#1, R&B #1, 1971), died from lung cancer on 10/13/2010, age 69.
1944 ● Tiki Fulwood / (Raymond Fulwood) → Drummer for R&B/soul-funk (“P-Funk”) giants Parliament-Funkadelic, “One Nation Under A Groove” (#31, 1978), died from stomach cancer on 10/29/1979, age 35
1945 ● Misty Morgan / (Mary Donahue) → With husband Jack Blanchard, one-half of the country-pop vocal duo Jack & Misty, scored two crossover hits, including the Grammy-nominated “Tennessee Bird Walk” (#23, Country #1, 1970) among 15 country chart hits, continued to record and perform without chart success into the 00s, diagnosed with cancer in late 2020 and died on New Year’s Day, 1/1/2021, age 75.
1946 ● Danny Klein → Bassist for boogie-blues-rock ‘n roll bar band J. Geils Band, wrote “Centerfold” (#1, 1982)
1946 ● Ruth Underwood / (Ruth Komanoff) → Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and general percussionist for Frank Zappa and his backing band, The Mothers Of Invention (“Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” 1967) in the 60s and 70s, also did session work for pop-rock Ambrosia, jazz-fusion George Duke and others, retired from music in the 80s
1947 ● Bill Hunt → Horns and keyboards for pop-rock Electric Light Orchestra, “Don’t Bring Me Down” (#4, 1979) and 26 other Top 40 hits
1953 ● Rick Fenn → Guitarist and vocals for soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), session work with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman and others
1955 ● Jim Mankey → Guitarist with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1955 ● Thereza Bazar → Singer for Brit cabaret-pop Guys N’ Dolls, “There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving” (UK #2, 1975), then formed pop duo Dollar with David Van Day, “Mirror, Mirror” (UK #4, 1981), solo
1957 ● Jimmy McShane → Irish-born frontman and lead singer for Italian New Wave synth-pop Baltimora, “Tarzan Boy” (#13, UK #6, 1985), died from AIDS-related causes on 3/29/1995, age 37
1965 ● Simon Gilbert → Drummer in Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1967 ● Junior Waite / (Frederick Waite, Jr.) → Vocals for ska/reggae band Musical Youth, “Pass The Dutchie” (#10, 1982)
1967 ● Phil Selway → Drummer for alt/indie rock Radiohead, “There There” (Modern Rock #14, 2003)
1970 ● Matt Flynn → Drummer for alt funk-rock Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved” (#5, 2004) since 2006, previously played with The B-52’s, Chicago and others
1973 ● Maxwell / (Gerald Maxwell Rivera) → Leading R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fortunate” (#4, R&B #1, 1999)
1974 ● Jewel / (Jewel Kilcher) → Singer/songwriter and guitarist, “You Were Meant For Me” (#3, 1997)
1974 ● Richard Jones → Bassist for Welsh alt rock/trad rock Stereophonics, “Have A Nice Day” (Modern Rock #26, UK #5, 2001)
1978 ● Mad Dog / (Scott Raynor) → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1983 ● Heidi Range → Original member and vocalist for Brit dance-pop vocal trio Atomic Kitten, “Whole Again” (UK #1, 2000), then multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)

May 24
1928 ● Max Bennett → Jazz and rock bass guitarist, session musician and bandleader, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians, played on numerous albums by The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Frank Zappa and many others, co-founded the jazz-rock L.A. Express in the 70s and currently fronts Private Label
1938 ● Tommy Chong → Canadian-American comedian, TV and film actor, voice artist, director and one-half the groundbreaking stoner duo Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus And His Old Lady” (#3, 1972), performed in various venues with and without his comedic partner through to their reunion in the 00s, became the oldest contestant to make the semi-finals on Dancing With The Stars in September 2014
1938 ● Prince Buster / (Cecil Bustamonte Campbell) → One of the most important figures in the development of ska and rocksteady music in Jamaica and beyond, hugely influential reggae/ska perfumer, producer and solo artist over a nearly 40 year career, scored UK (“Al Capone,” UK #18, 1967) and US hits (“Ten Commandments Of Man,” #81, R&B #17, 1967), dropped out of the industry in the late 70s and recorded and performed only sporadically up to his death following a stroke on 9/8/2016, age 78.
1941 ● Bob Dylan / (Robert Allen Zimmerman) → Vastly influential and popular folk-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist with 29 Top 20 albums and five Top 20 singles, including “Like A Rolling Stone” (#2, 1965)
1941 ● Tony Valentino / (Emilio Bellissimo) → Co-founding member, vocals and guitar for garage/proto-punk The Standells, “Dirty Water” (#11, 1966), toured and performed with the band into the 80s, now an L.A.-area restaurateur
1942 ● Derek Quinn → Guitar and harmonica for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965)
1944 ● Patti LaBelle (Patricia Holt) / (Patricia Holt) → Soul diva and the “Queen of Rock and Soul”, first with R&B/gospel-doo wop The Blue Belles, “Down The Aisle (The Wedding Song)” (#37, R&B #14, 1963), then as frontwoman for LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” (#1, 1975), then a long solo career, including a duet with Michael McDonald, “On My Own” (#1, 1986) and a comeback single “New Day” (Dance/Club #11, 2004)
1945 ● Dave Peacock → Bass and vocals for Brit pop-“rockney” duo Chas & Dave, “Gertcha” (UK #20, 1979)
1946 ● Steve Upton → Drummer (1970-1989) for Brit prog-rock Wishbone Ash, “Time Was” (1972)
1947 ● Albert Bouchard → Drummer, guitarist and songwriter for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1947 ● Cynthia Plaster Caster / (Cynthia Dorothy Albritton) → Rock groupie and self-proclaimed “visual artist” known for making plaster casts of male rock stars’ erect genitalia, including Jimi Hendrix and members of MC5, Television, The Kinks, various road managers and other rock stars, continued to promote her collections until her death from a stroke (cerebrovascular disease) on 4/21/2022, age 71.
1947 ● Waddy Wachtel / (Robert Wachtel) → High-profile L.A. session musician, composer and record producer, worked in the studio and on tour with Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne and many others, composed scores for multiple films, wrote or co-wrote dozens of songs and produced dozens of records by artists from Bryan Ferry to Warren Zevon
1955 ● Rosanne Cash → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Seven Year Ache” (#22, Country #1, 1981), daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash
1956 ● Larry Blackmon → Leader, drummer, producer and principal songwriter for R&B/funk Cameo, “Word Up” (#6, 1986)
1960 ● Guy Fletcher → Multi-instrumentalist with prog rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1976), session work for Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler and others
1962 ● Gene Anthony Ray → Actor, dancer and choreographer, played “Leroy’ in the movie and TV series Fame, danced on The Weather Girls‘ video of “It’s Raining Men,” died from a stroke related to HIV on 11/14/2003, age 41
1967 ● Heavy D / (Dwight Myers) → Rapper, singer and MC for R&B/hip hop The Boyz, “Now That We Found Love” (#11, 1991), moved to reggae-rap fusion, died after collapsing outside his L.A. condo on 11/8/2011, age 44
1969 ● Rich Robinson → Guitarist for roots/raunch rock The Black Crowes, “Hard To Handle” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1991)
1969 ● Tommy Page → Twelve-album, one hit wonder dance-teen-pop singer, “I’ll Be Your Everything” (#1, 1990), producer
1976 ● Alessandro Cortini → Keyboards for industrial rock Nine Inch Nails, “The Day The World Went Away” (#17, 1999)
1988 ● Billy Gilman → Country-pop singer and youngest Country Top 20 artist in history, “One Voice” (#38, Country #20, 2000)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here