This Week’s Birthdays (May 2 – 8)

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Lesley Gore

Happy Birthday this week to:

May 02
1924 ● Theodore Bikel → Austrian-American actor and respected folk singer/songwriter, appeared in numerous West End London and Broadway shows, feature films and TV shows, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and issued multiple albums of mostly Jewish folk songs, current president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and former president of the Actor’s Equity
1924 ● Lynn Evans / (Lynn Evans Maud) → Amateur barbershop harmony singer recruited to all-girl pop vocal The Chordettes in 1953, sang lead on their mega-hits “Mr. Sandman (#1, 1954) and “Lollipop” (#2, R&B #3, 1958) plus six other Top 20 songs, after the group dissolved in 1964 earned a master’s degree and taught special education for 25 years in the Long Island (NY) public schools, retired in 1989 and toured with a reformed Chordettes in the 90s, died following a stoke on 2/6/2020, age 95.
1929 ● Link Wray / (Frederick Lincoln Wray) → Rock and rockabilly guitarist and bandleader, “fuzz” and power chord guitar pioneer, “Rumble” (#16, 1958), Rolling Stone magazine’s 67th greatest guitarist of all time, died of heart failure on 11/5/2005, age 76
1933 ● Bunk Gardner / (John Gardner) → Reeds and woodwinds for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group The Mothers Of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), backing band for Zappa‘s solo albums, reformed as Grandmothers in 80s
1936 ● Engelbert Humperdinck / (Arnold George Dorsey) → The “King of Romance”, MOR crooner and balladeer with 13 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, “After The Lovin'” (#8, 1977)
1944 ● Bob Henrit → Journeyman Brit drummer for art/hard rock Argent, “Hold Your Head Up” (#5, 1972), joined The Kinks in 1984, “Do It Again” (Mainstream Rock #4, 1984), session work for Dave Davies, Leo Sayer and others
1945 ● Bianca Jagger / (Bianca Perez-Morena De Macias Jagger) → Wife of Mick Jagger, social activist, actress, fashion icon
1945 ● Goldy McJohn / (John Raymond Goadsby) → Keyboards for Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968)
1945 ● Judge Dread / (Alexander Minto Hughes) → Blue-eyed ska and reggae singer with six UK Top 15 singles, including “Big Six” (UK #1, 1972) and a record 11 songs banned from the BBC, collapsed and died from a heart attack while leaving the stage following a performance in Canterbury, England on 3/13/1998, age 52
1945 ● Randy Cain → Vocals for “Philadelphia Sound” smooth R&B/soul The Delfonics, “La-La (Means I Love You)” (#4, 1968), formed pop-soul Blue Magic, “Sideshow” (#8, R&B #1, 1974), died at home from undisclosed causes on 4/9/2009, age 63
1946 ● Lesley Gore / (Lesley Sue Goldstein) → Girl Group-era solo pop singer/songwriter who had four Top 10 hits of teenage romance by her 18th birthday, “It’s My Party” (#1, 1963), “Judy’s Turn To Cry” (#5, 1963), “She’s A Fool” (#5, 1963) and the feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me” (#2, 1964), continued to record and write songs into the 00s, hosted the 80s PBS television series In The Life promoting LGBT issues, died from lung cancer on 2/16/2015, age 68.
1948 ● Larry Gatlin / (Larry Wayne Gatlin) → Country-pop solo star in the 70s with 10 Country Top 40 hits, then frontman for Grammy-winning sibling trio The Gatlin Brothers, “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer To You)” (Country #1, 1983) and 16 other Country Top 10 hits in the 80s and 90s, toured and performed as a trio into the 00s, continues to tour as a solo acoustic act in the 10s
1950 ● Lou Gramm / (Louis Grammatico) → Vocals for arena rock Foreigner, “Double Vision” (#2, 1978), then formed Christian-rock Lou Gramm Band
1951 ● John Glascock → Bassist in prog rock quintet Carmen, left in 1975 to join Brit folk-rock Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” (#11, 1973), died from complications of a genetic heart valve condition on 11/17/1979, age 28
1954 ● Prescott Niles → Bassist for pop-rock The Knack, “My Sharona” (#1, 1979)
1955 ● Jo Callis / (John William Callis) → Synthesizer, keyboards and guitar for punk rock Rezillos, wrote “Top Of The Pops” (UK #17, 1978), then joined New Wave synth-pop Human League, “Don’t You Want Me” (#1, 1981)
1961 ● Dr. Robert / (Bruce Robert Howard) → Lead singer, guitar, piano and songwriter for New Wave pop-rock Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene” (#14, 1986)
1962 ● Alain Johannes / (Alain Johannes Moschulski) → Multi-instrumentalist musician and founding member of 90s alt rock Eleven (“Rainbows End,” 1991), later producer for hard rock Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Arctic Monkeys and others
1967 ● David McAlmont → Brit pop-rock singer/songwriter, duet with Bernard Butler, “Yes” (UK #8, 1995)
1969 ● Ben Leach → Keyboards and synthesizer for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991), then joined electro-dance club Happy Mondays, “Stinkin Thinkin” (Dance/Club #1, 1992)
1984 ● Rose Falcon → Singer and songwriter who wrote songs recorded by Faith Hill, country-rock harmony group Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” #2, Country #1, 2009) and others, her songs have been used in films, TV show and advertising commercials
1985 ● Lily Allen → Brit pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Smile” (#49, UK #1, 2006)

May 03
1903 ● Bing Crosby / (Harry Lillis Crosby) → Vastly popular multi-media megastar singer and actor with thousands of recorded songs, hundreds of albums and dozens of stage and screen roles, “White Christmas” (#1, 1942), died of a heart attack while golfing in Spain on 10/14/1977, age 74
1919 ● Pete Seeger → Folk singer and prolific songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, social and environmental activist, beloved American popular music icon and champion of traditional folk music, mentor to younger topical folkies Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie and others, played in folk-pop The Weavers, “Goodnight Irene” (#1, 1950), issued dozens of solo albums, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn” (The Byrds, #1, 1965), “If I Had A Hammer” (Peter, Paul & Mary, #10, 1962) and other folk-pop and folk-rock hits, recorded and toured until the early 10s including with Bruce Springsteen and a Grammy winning album (Pete, 1996), died from natural causes on 12/27/2013, age 94
1921 ● Joe Ames / (Joseph Uric) → Vocals for sibling quartet Ames Brothers, “Rag Mop” (#1, 1950), starred in The Ames Brothers Show on TV, died of a heart attack on 12/22/2007, age 86
1928 ● Dave Dudley / (David Darwin Pedruska) → The “Father of Truck Driving Music”, honky tonk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Six Days On The Road” (#32, Country #2, 1963), died from a heart attack on 12/22/2003, age 75.
1933 ● James Brown → The “Godfather of Soul”, flamboyant soul/funk singer, songwriter and bandleader, “It’s A Man’s World” (#8, 1968), died from pneumonia on 12/25/2006, age 73
1934 ● Frankie Valli / (Francis Castelluccio) → Lead vocals and frontman for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), solo, “Grease” (#1, 1978)
1944 ● Peter Staples → Bassist for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● John Richardson → Drums and vocals for glam-pop-rock The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” (#37, UK #1, 1974)
1950 ● Mary Hopkin → Welsh folk-pop singer and early Apple Records artist, “Those Were The Days” (#2, 1968)
1951 ● Christopher Cross / (Christopher Geppert) → Grammy-winning, flash-in-the-pan pop-rock sing and songwriter with 6 Top 10 hits in three years, including “Arthur’s Theme” (#1, 1981)
1953 ● Bruce Hall → Second bassist for arena rock REO Speedwagon, “Keep On Lovin’ You” (#1, 1980)
1959 ● David Ball → Multi-instrumentalist for New Wave synth-pop duo Soft Cell, “Tainted Love” (#8, 1982)
1964 ● Sterling Campbell → Drummer and session/touring musician, worked with numerous acts, including Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, Duran Duran, Soul Asylum and David Bowiee, with whom he toured for 14 years
1965 ● Simon Smith → Drummer for Brit indie pop-rock The Wedding Present, “Come Play With Me” (UK #10, 1992), the band released a single in every month of 1992 and earned 12 UK Top 30 hits, the only band with more than 10 new UK hits in one year
1969 ● Jay Darlington → Keyboardist for post-Britpop psych/mystic rock Kula Shaker, “Hush” (Mainstream Rock #19, 1997), toured with Oasis
1972 ● Josey Scott → Lead singer for rap-metal Saliva, “Always” (#51, Mainstream Rock #2, 2002), sang “Hero” with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, the theme song to the film Spider-Man (2002)
1977 ● Eric Church / (Kenneth Eric Church) → Country music singer, songwriter and avid advocate for marijuana legalization (“Smoke a Little Smoke”) with 18 Country Top 20 hits, including “Springsteen” (#19, Country #1, 2012)
1977 ● Joe Gooch → Blues-rock guitarist, joined Ten Years After (“I’d Love To Change The World,” Top 40, 1971) in 2003
1978 ● Paul Banks → English-American lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for post-punk revival Interpol, “The Heinrich Maneuver” (Alternative Rock #11, 2007)
1979 ● Danny Foster → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Farrah Franklin → Singer, actress and model with Grammy-winning R&B/dance-pop Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name” (#1, 2000), fired after 5 months, now solo
1981 ● Father John Misty / (Joshua Tillman) → Folk and roots rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer, founding member of indie shoegaze band Saxon Shore in 2001, drummed for Grammy-nominated indie folk Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012, has released 15 LPs and Eps, thirteen as J. Tillman and four under the current moniker Father John Misty.

May 04
1922 ● Glenn Snoddy / (Glenn Thomas Snoddy) → Nashville studio recording engineer who inadvertently created the distorted guitar amplification in 1961 that became known as the “fuzz tone” effect in all genres of electric music, but particularly in 60s rock music, including the early and familiar riff on The Rolling Stones‘ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (#1, AUS #1, UK #1, 1965), later opened famed recording studio Woodland Sound in East Nashville and presided over recordings by Neil Young, Kansas, Tammy Wynette and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band until his retirement in 1990, died from undisclosed causes on 5/21/2018, age 96
1923 ● Mr. Skin / (Ed Cassidy) → Drummer in languid blues-folk-rock Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, then in 1967 co-founded psych rock/prog rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1968) with whom he’s played for nearly 50 years.
1928 ● Maynard Ferguson → Canadian jazz trumpeter in Stan Kenton Orchestra and Morris Levy‘s Birdland Dream Band, formed his own band in 1969, “Gonna Fly Now” (#28, 1977), died from liver and kidney failure on 8/23/2006, age 78
1937 ● Dick Dale / (Richard Anthony Monsour) → The inarguable “King of the Surf Guitar” for his pioneering use of the single-note staccato picking technique and reverberation that underlay 1960s surfer music and influenced The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix and others, real-life surfer and frontman for surf rock The Del-Tones (“Let’s Go Trippin’,” #60, 1962), worked with Fender Guitars to develop new models and amplifiers, continued to tour and record to earn income to pay medical expenses until his death from heart and kidney failure on 3/16/2019, age 81.
1938 ● Tyrone Davis / (Tyrone Fettson) → Chicago-style smooth soul R&B singer with multiple hits in the 60s and 70s, including “Can I Change My Mind’ (#5, R&B #1, 1968) and “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” (#3, R&B #1) but continued to record into the 00s until he suffered a stroke and died five months later on 2/9/2005, age 66
1941 ● David LaFlamme → Violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, then founder/frontman for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969)
1941 ● Richard Burns → Guitarist for surf/hot-rod rock The Hondells, “Little Honda” (#9, 1964)
1942 ● Tammy Wynette / (Virginia W. Pugh) → The “First Lady of Country Music”, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, “Stand By Your Man” (Country #1, 1968) and 34 other Country #1 hits, paired with electro-pop cover/sampling band The KLF for “Justified and Ancient” (#11, Dance/Club #2, 1992), died of cardiac arrhythmia on 4/6/1998, age 55
1942 ● Nickolas Ashford → With wife Valerie Simpson, songwriting and R&B/pop duo Ashford & Simpson, “Solid” (#12, 1984), penned hits for Ray Charles, “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (R&B #1, 1966), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “You’re All I Need To Get By” (#7, 1968), Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (#1, 1970) and others, died from complications of throat cancer on 8/22/2011, age 69
1943 ● Ronnie Bond / (Ronald Bullis) → Drummer for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966), died on 11/13/1992, age 49
1944 ● Peggy Santiglia / (Margaret Santiglia) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1945 ● Jojjie Wadenius / (Georg Wadenius) → Swedish-born bassist for jazz-rock/pop-rock fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Spinning Wheel” (#2, 1969), later joined the Saturday Night Live house band, session work for Steely Dan, Diana Ross, Dr. John, David Sanborn and many others
1949 ● Zal Cleminson / (Alistair Cleminson) → Scottish guitarist for rock ‘n roll Sensational Alex Harvey Band, “Delilah” (UK #7, 1975), joined hard rock Nazareth in 1979
1951 ● Jackie Jackson / (Sigmund Esco Jackson) → With brother Michael, co-lead singer for R&B/pop-soul The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back” (#1, 1970), after Michael went solo stayed on with his other brothers as The Jacksons, “State Of Shock” (#3, 1984)
1951 ● Mick Mars / (Robert Alan Deal) → Lead guitarist for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, “Dr. Feelgood” (#6, 1989)
1951 ● Bruce Day → Bass guitar for Latino rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” (#4, 1970), joined pop-rock Pablo Cruise in 1977, “Love Will Find A Way” (#6, 1978), died on 6/30/1999, age 48
1952 ● Jacob Miller → Up-and-coming Jamaican reggae singer and lead vocalist for the reggae band Inner Circle until his death in a car accident on 3/23/1980, age 27
1956 ● Sharon Jones / (Sharon Lafaye Jones) → R&B/soul and funk singer, lead vocalist and frontwoman for revivalist funk band The Dap-Kings and eight albums starting in 1996, including the Grammy-nominated Give The People What They Want (2014), continued to perform (opened for two Hall & Oates tours in 2015) and record (issued two albums in 2016-16) until shortly before her death from pancreatic cancer on 11/18/2016, age 60
1956 ● Barrie Masters → Co-founder, high-energy lead singer and only constant member of long-lived British pub-rock/new wave Eddie & The Hot Rods (“Do Anything You Wanna Do,” UK #9, 1977), despite frequent line-up changes the band stayed mostly relevant for decades amidst changing times and audience tastes, released a dozen albums and EPs after 1980, including a rework of the their debut LP, 35 Years of Teenage Depression (2011), presided over a reunion of past and present bandmates in a one-off Done Everything We Wanna Do show near London in April 2019 before dying suddenly from undisclosed causes on 10/2/2019, age 63.
1959 ● Randy Travis / (Randy Traywick) → Neo-traditionalist country singer/songwriter with 16 Country #1 hits (among 29 Country Top 10s), including “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” (Country #1, 1990)
1961 ● Jay Hilda Aston → Singer and dancer for Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981)
1964 ● Gary Holt → Guitarist and chief songwriter for thrash metal Exodus (LP Fabulous Disaster, #39, 1989), since 2011 lead guitarist for thrash metal Slayer (“Hate Worldwide,” #2, 2009)
1970 ● Gregg Alexander → Singer, songwriter, solo artist, Grammy-winning producer and frontman for pop-rock The New Radicals, “You Get What You Give” (#36, Adult Top 40 #11, UK #5, 1998), wrote hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and “The Game Of Love” (#5, 2002) for Santana and Michelle Branch
1972 ● Chris Tomlin / (Christopher Dwayne Tomlin) → Grammy-winning Contemporary Christian music star with multiple CCM hits, including “Our God” (#9, Christian #1, 2010)
1972 ● Mike Dirnt / (Michael Ryan Pritchard) → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1979 ● Lance Bass → Bass vocals for teen dance-pop harmony boy band ‘N Sync, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (#1, 2000), film and TV actor, NASA-certified astronaut

May 05
1901 ● Blind Willie McTell / (William Samuel McTier) → Piedmont blues slide guitarist and ragtime singer of the 40s and 50s, wrote the oft-covered “Statesboro Blues” (1928) and influenced numerous 60s folk revival musicians including Bob Dylan, died from a stroke on 8/19/1959, age 58
1928 ● Marshall Grant → Bassist and original member of The Tennessee Two, Johnny Cash‘s backing band, helped define the “boom-chicka-boom” sound behind many of Cash‘s hits, including “Ring Of Fire” (#17, Country #1, 1963) and “The Man In Black” (#58, Country #1, 1971), served as road manager Cash‘s larger touring company until 1980 when they had a falling out and subsequent legal dispute, reconciled and rejoined Cash in 1999, died from natural causes on 8/7/2011, age 83
1934 ● Ace Cannon / (John Cannon) → Pop-rock saxophonist with a dozen charting singles, including the self-penned debut hit “Tuff” (#17, 1962) and several instrumental covers of other, then-current hits
1937 ● Johnnie Taylor / (Johnnie Harrison Taylor) → Gospel star, R&B/soul balladeer, funk-soul and disco man, “Disco Lady” (#1, 1968), died after a heart attack on 5/31/2000, age 63
1937 ● Delia Derbyshire → Early pioneer and composer of electric music and electroacoustic “musique concrète,” best known for creating the electronic sounds on the theme music to the Doctor Who TV program, died from renal failure on 7/3/2001, age 64
1942 ● Jim King / (Alec Woodburn) → Saxophone for blues/art rock Family, “In My Own Time” (UK #4, 1971)
1942 ● Georgia Dobbins / (Georgia Dobbins Davis) → Founding member and original lead singer for teenage R&B girl group The Marvelettes, reworked an obscure blues song for use in a Motown Records audition for the fledging group (then known as the Marvels), after additional flourishes by several other writers, the song became “Please Mr. Postman” (#1, 1961), the group’s signature song and the first Motown single to reach Number 1 on the Billboard pop chart, thus launching the label’s hugely successful run in the 60s, left the group after the audition to obey her father’s demand that she stay out the music industry, spent the remainder of her life playing down her contribution to pop culture until outed by the writer of a 2005 Marvelettes retrospective theater play, died from cardiac arrest on 9/18/2020, age 78.
1948 ● Bill Ward → Founding member and long-serving drummer for hard rock/gloom metal Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” (#61, 1970) and “Psycho Man” (Mainstream Rock #3, 1998)
1950 ● Doug Gray → Keyboards and lead vocals for long-lived Southern country-rock The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), still performs with the latest incarnation of the band after 40 years
1950 ● Eddy Amoo → Guitar and vocals for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, “You To Me Are Everything” (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1951 ● Rex Goh → Guitar for Aussie light pop-rock Air Supply, “The One That You Love” (#1, 1981)
1959 ● Ian McCulloch → Founding member, vocals and frontman for gloomy post-punk psych-rock Echo & The Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” (UK #4, 1984), left in 1988 for solo career, “Proud To Fall” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), rejoined Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997
1961 ● Sean McLuskey → Drummer for Brit dance-pop-rock Jo Boxers, “Boxer Beat” (UK #3, 1983)
1962 ● Gary Daly → Vocals for new romantic/dance-pop China Crisis, “Wishful Thinking” (UK #9, 1984) and “Working With Fire And Steel” (Dance/Club #27, 1984)
1962 ● Kevin Mooney → Bassist for post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982)
1981 ● Craig David → Brit neo-R&B/smooth pop singer/songwriter, “Fill Me In” (#15, UK #1, 2001)
1981 ● Jesse Colburn → Guitarist for Canadian punk rock Closet Monster and Avril Lavigne‘s backing band from 2002 to 2004
1988 ● Adele / (Adele Adkins) → Grammy-winning indie pop Brit singer/songwriter, “Chasing Pavements” (#2, 2010)
1988 ● Brooke Hogan / (Brooke Bollea) → Daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, TV reality show actress, socialite and one hit wonder pop singer, “About Us” (#33, 2006)
1988 ● Skye Sweetnam / (Skye Alexandra Sweetnam) → Canadian teen pop singer, “Split Personality” (Top 40 Mainstream #37, 2004) and “Billy S.” (Canada #15, 2003)
1989 ● Chris Brown → R&B/urban-pop singer whose debut single, “Run It” (#1, 2005) was the first Billboard #1 debut single in over a decade

May 06
1939 ● Herbie Cox → Lead vocals for R&B/doo wop The Cleftones, “Heart And Soul” (#18, R&B #10, 1961)
1942 ● Colin Earl → Pianist for novelty pop-rock one hit wonder Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” (#3, 1970), briefly played with Foghat, “Slow Ride” (#20, 1975), with Mungo Jerry bandmate Paul King formed the King Earl Band, brother of Foghat drummer Roger Earl
1943 ● Mike Ratledge → Founding member and keyboardist for Canterbury-scene psych-art-jazz-prog rock fusion Soft Machine, left in 1976 to pursue a solo career, wrote several film scores, composed and produced music for commercials and theater productions
1943 ● Sandra Tilley → Vocals for Motown pop girl group The Velvettes, left to join The Orlons and Martha & The Vandellas in 1969, “Bless You” (#53, R&B #29, 1971), died of a brain aneurysm on 9/9/1981, age 38
1945 ● Bob Seger / (Robert Clark Seger) → Roots rock guitarist, singer/songwriter and frontman for Bob Seger System and The Last Heard in the 60s, formed the Silver Bullet Band in the 70s and achieved national recognition with his breakout album Night Moves (#8, 1976) and its title track (#4, 1976), the first of 14 Top 20 hits through 1987, including his last, “Shakedown” (#1, 1987) from the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1986), continues to tour and record into the 10s.
1945 ● Jimmie Dale Gilmore → Founding member, guitarist, singer and chief songwriter for renowned but underrated Texan alt country-rock The Flatlanders, solo
1948 ● Mary MacGregor → Pop singer/songwriter, “Torn Between Two Lovers” (#1, 1976)
1950 ● Robbie McIntosh → Scottish drummer with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, then founding member of blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974), died from a heroin overdose on 9/23/1974, age 24
1951 ● Davey Johnstone / (David William Logan Johnstone) → Scottish guitarist in folk-prog rock Magna Carta from 1970-1971, then joined The Elton John Band and has performed on dozens of albums and in over 2,000 live shows with EJ, currently serves as music director for the band
1960 ● John Flansburgh → Guitar and vocals for alt pop-rock They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (#3, Modern Rock, 1990)
1960 ● Larry Steinbachel → Guitar and vocals for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy” (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1964 ● Tony Scalzo → Bass and vocals for alt rock/power pop Fastball, “Out Of My Head” (#20, Adult Top 40 #3, 1999)
1966 ● David Narcizo → Drummer for alt rock Throwing Muses, “Dizzy” (Modern Rock #8, 1989)
1967 ● Mark Bryan → Guitarist for 90s pop-rock quartet Hootie & The Blowfish, “Only Wanna Be With You” (#6, 1995)
1968 ● Tony Wright → Vocals and guitarist for hard rock/heavy metal Terrorvision, “Tequila” (UK #2, 1999)
1971 ● Chris Shiflett → Guitarist for post-grunge alt rock Foo Fighters, “Learn To Fly” (Modern Rock #1, 1999)
1971 ● Sarah Blackwood → Vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)

May 07
1923 ● Jim Lowe / (James Elsworth Lowe) → Country-pop singer with four Top 40 hits in the mid-50s among seven total Billboard 100 charting songs, including “The Green Door” (#1, R&B #5, 1956), then became a beloved and respected New York City radio personality for over 50 years at WNEW-AM and WNBC-AM and nationally, retired in 1977 and died from natural causes on 12/12/2016, age 93
1931 ● Teresa Brewer / (Teresa Breuer) → Novelty pop singer with hundreds of 50s recordings, including “A Tear Fell” (#5, 1956), reemerged in the 70s as jazz-pop singer, recorded with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others, died from progressive supranuclear palsy on 10/17/2007, age 76
1931 ● Jerry Chesnut / (Jerry Donald Chesnut) → Nashville-based country music songwriter with a deep oeuvre of songs recorded by many dozens of others, including George Jones (“If Not For You,” Country #6, 1969), Elvis Presley (“T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” #35, Country #11, 1975), Elvis Costello (“Good Year For The Roses,” UK #6, 1981), Loretta Lynn, Del Reeves and many others, retired from songwriting in 1980 and died from respiratory failure on 12/15/2018, age 87.
1932 ● Derek Taylor → Journalist and publicist, Beatles’ PR manager, worked for Apple Corps, record company executive with Warner Bros. Records, died from cancer on 9/8/1997, age 65
1939 ● Johnny Maestro / (John Mastrangelo) → Tenor vocals for biracial R&B/doo wop The Crests, “Sixteen Candles” (#2, 1959), went solo in 60s, then formed pop-rock The Brooklyn Bridge, “The Worst That Could Happen” (#3, 1969), died of cancer on 3/24/2010, age 70
1939 ● Jimmy Ruffin → R&B/soul singer for Motown, “What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted” (#7, 1966), older brother of The TemptationsDavid Ruffin, died in a Las Vegas intensive care unit on 11/17/2014, age 75
1940 ● JC Connors / (Jim “JC” Connors) → Renowned radio DJ with WMEX (Boston), among others, and inspiration for Harry Chapin‘s “W O L D” (#36, 1974), died in a car crash on 2/24/1987, age 46
1942 ● Lorrie Collins / (Lawrencine May Collins) → Brassy rockabilly singer and guitarist, one of the first female rock ‘n’ roll singers, with her younger brother, Larry, one half of the teen rockabilly duo The Collins Kids, their flashy Western wear and stage antics were well-suited to early TV variety shows in the 50s and earned them a spot on Tex Ritter‘s weekly Town Hall Party, in the late 50s briefly dated teen idol Ricky Nelson and twice appeared with him on his parents’ sitcom The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet (1958), recorded multiple rockabilly and country-pop songs that did not chart but are nonetheless appreciated by enthusiasts and still available, reunited in 1992 and performed with Larry at rockabilly festivals until her death from complications of a fall on 8/4/2018, age 76
1943 ● Rick Westfield → Keyboards for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, “Jungle Boogie” (#4, 1973), left in 1976 for solo career
1943 ● Ricky West / (Richard Westwood) → Original member, guitar and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock quintet The Tremeloes, sang lead on “Silence Is Golden” (US #11, UK #1, 1967), left the band in 2012 after more than 50 years
1943 ● Thelma Houston → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (#1, 1977), session vocals, TV and film appearances
1945 ● Christy Moore → Contemporary Irish roots-folk singer/songwriter, lead vocals and guitar for folk-pop Planxty, “Three Drunken Maidens” (1972), frontman for Moving Hearts, solo
1945 ● Cornelius Bumpus → Woodwind and keyboard player, played saxophone for Bobby Freeman in the 60s and Moby Grape in the 70s, joined The Doobie Brothers (“What A Fool Believes,” #1, 1979) for the late 70s and 80s and Steely Dan (“Cousin Dupree,” #30, 2000) from 1993 to 2004, died from a heart attack aboard a flight from New York to Los Angeles on 2/3/2004, age 58
1946 ● Arcelio Garcia → Guitarist for Latin funk-rock Malo, “Sauvecito” (#18, 1972)
1946 ● Bill Kreutzmann → Drummer for rock’s longest, strangest trip Grateful Dead, “Sugar Magnolia” (#91, 1973) and “Touch Of Grey” (#9, 1987), plus Dead spinoff The Other Ones
1946 ● Ray Monette → 40-year guitarist for Motown blue-eyed soul Rare Earth, “Get Ready” (#4, 1970)
1946 ● William Danoff → Singer and songwriter for AM pop one hit wonder Starland Vocal Band, “Afternoon Delight” (#1, 1976), co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with John Denver (#2, 1971)
1946 ● Jerry Nolan → Drummer for glam-punk New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” (1973), left to form The Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders and Richard Hell, died from a stroke on 1/14/1992, age 45
1948 ● Pete Wingfield → Singer and session pianist, backing bands, producer, solo one hit wonder faux-doo wop “Eighteen With A Bullet” (#15, 1971)
1949 ● Keith / (James Barry Keefer) → One hit wonder pop singer, “98.6” (#7, 1967)
1950 ● Prairie Prince / (Charles L’Empereur Prince) → Drummer for early 70s line up of Journey, then co-founded camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978), later with the New Cars
1955 ● Steve Diggle → Guitarist and vocalist with punk rock Buzzcocks, wrote numerous songs for the band, including “Harmony In My Head” (UK #32, 1979), formed post-punk Flag Of Convenience in 1982 and appeared in the film Vinyl as himself in 2013
1956 ● Anne Dudley / (Anne Jennifer Beckingham) → Academy-award winning film score composer (The Full Monty, 1998) and founding member of avant-garde synth-pop Art Of Noise, “Kiss” featuring Tom Jones (#31, Dance/Club #18, UK #5, 1988)
1958 ● Marty Willson / (Marty Willson-Piper) → Rhythm guitar for Aussie New Wave psych-pop then prog rock The Church, “Under The Milky Way” (#30, 1989)
1961 ● Phil Campbell → Lead guitarist for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980)
1971 ● Eagle-Eye / (Eagle-Eye Cherry) → One hit wonder alt pop-rock singer/songwriter, “Save Tonight” (#5, 1998), son of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and half-brother of alternative rap pioneer Neneh Cherry
1974 ● Lynden David Hall → Award-winning, up-and-coming singer, songwriter and producer in the Brit neo-soul movement of the 90s with six UK Top 50 singles, including his debut “Sexy Cinderella” (UK #45, 1997), died from complications of a stem cell transplant he received to combat lymphoma on 2/14/2006, age 31
1986 ● Matt Helders → Drums and vocals for Brit teen alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” (Modern Rock #7, 2005)

May 08
1911 ● Robert Johnson → Highly-influential, legendary and oft-covered blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Cross Road Blues” (1937), his songs were performed by many artists and groups, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Cream (“Crossroads”, 1968), Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones (“Love In Vain”, 1969), died from unknown causes on 8/16/1938, age 27
1940 ● Ricky Nelson / (Eric Hillard Nelson) → Teen idol and rockabilly/country-pop singer/songwriter and guitarist, “Travellin’ Man” (#1, 1961) plus 18 other Top 10 singles, played himself on his parent’s TV show The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, died in a plane crash on 12/31/1985, age 45
1941 ● John Fred / (John Fred Gourier) → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader for one hit wonder novelty pop-rock John Fred & His Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” (#1, 1968), died after a long battle with kidney disease on 4/15/2005, age 63
1942 ● Jack Blanchard → With wife Misty Morgan, 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.
1943 ● Jon Mark / (John Michael Burchell) → Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, mid-60s music arranger for neophyte Marianne Faithfull, founding member of influential but short-lived Brit pop-rock Sweet Thursday, played in John Mayall‘s post-Bluesbreakers band before splitting off with bandmate and flautist/saxophonist Johnny Almond to form prog rock/jazz-pop Mark-Almond and release four acclaimed albums in the 70s and early 80s, moved to New Zealand in the late 80s and focused on Celtic, ambient and new age sounds, won a Grammy in 2004 for an album of Tibetan monk chants, died from undisclosed causes on 2/10/2021, age 77.
1943 ● Paul Samwell / (Paul Samwell-Smith) → Bassist for blues-rock The Yardbirds, “For Your Love” (#6, 1965), left in the late 60s and became a producer for Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and others
1943 ● Toni Tennille / (Cathyrn Antoinette Tennille) → Singer with husband Daryl Dragon in Grammy-winning pop duo The Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together” (#1, 1975)
1943 ● Danny Whitten → Singer, guitarist and frequent songwriter, member of Neil Young‘s Crazy Horse, wrote “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” (covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl), Young‘s “The Needle and the Damage Done” (1972) is about Whitten’s heroin abuse, from which he died of an overdose on 11/18/1972, age 29
1944 ● Bill Legend / (William Fifield) → Drummer for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971)
1944 ● Gary Glitter / (Paul Francis Gadd) → Brit glam-rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known in US for “Rock & Roll, Pt. 2” (#7, 1972), had 17 UK Top 40 singles, convicted of child pornography in England in 1999
1945 ● Keith Jarrett → Jazz and classical pianist and composer, played with Miles Davis and Art Blakely, fronted several of his own bands
1951 ● Chris Frantz → Drummer for New Wave art-pop-rock Talking Heads, “Take Me To The River” (#26, 1978), co-founder Tom Tom Club (with wife/bassist Tina Weymouth)
1951 ● Philip Bailey → Vocals for R&B/soul-dance-pop Earth, Wind & Fire, “Shining Star” (#1, 1975), solo, including duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover” (#2, 1990)
1953 ● Alex Van Halen → Drummer for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), brother of Eddie, now a clean-and-sober ordained minister
1953 ● Billy Burnette → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist in sessions and tours, solo “Don’t Say Know” (#68, 1980), joined Fleetwood Mac in 1985 and left in 1995, still sessions, tours and occasional solo works
1955 ● Henry Priestman → Founding member, keyboards and vocals for Brit New Wave power pop The Yachts, “Suffice To Say” (1977), then blue-eyed soul sibling trio The Christians, “When Fingers Point” (Dance/Club #29, 1988) and alt rock It’s Immaterial
1964 ● Dave Rowntree → Drummer for alt rock then Britpop Blur, “Girls & Boys” (Alt Rock #4, 1994)
1972 ● Darren Hayes → Vocalist and one-half of Australian dance-pop duo Savage Garden, “Truly Madly Deeply” (#1, 1998), solo, “Insatiable” (#77, UK #8, 2002)
1975 ● Enrique Iglesias → Latin pop megastar singer, “Be With You” (#1, 2000), son of Julio
1976 ● H / (Ian Watkins) → Vocals for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997)
1976 ● Martha Wainwright → Canadian/American folk-rock singer/songwriter, daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, sister of Rufus Wainwright, backing vocals on recordings by her family members, released full length eponymous debut in 2006
1977 ● Joe Bonamassa → Virtuoso blues-rock guitarist, songwriter and bandleader, at age 14 formed Bloodline with Waylon Krieger (Robby Krieger‘s son), Erin Davis (Miles Davis‘ son) and Berry Oakley, Jr. (Allman Brothers bassist’s son) for one album, then solo career with 12 Top 10 Blues albums, some featuring guest spots by Eric Clapton, B. B. King and others, currently in Black Rock Communion
1978 ● Ana Maria Lombo → Vocals for all-girl teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, “Get Over Yourself” (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group
1985 ● Matt Jay / (Matthew James Willis) → Singer/songwriter and founding member of Brit pop-punk boyband Busted, “You Said No” (UK #1, 2003), solo, “Up All Night” (UK #7, 2006)

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