This Week’s Birthdays (November 12 – 18)

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Neil Young

Happy Birthday this week to:

November 12
1917 ● Jo Stafford / (Jo Elizabeth Stafford) → Classical-trained singer who chose traditional, breezy pop and sultry jazz for a career that ran from the 30s to the 80s, “You Belong To Me” (#1, 1952) also the first song by a female artist to reach #1 in the UK, occasional film acting and parody records, died from congestive heart failure on 7/16/2008, age 90
1931 ● Bob Crewe / (Robert Stanley Crewe) → Producer and songwriter for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), also produced hits by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Roberta Flack and his own band, The Bob Crewe Connection, “Music To Watch Girls By” (#15, 1967), injured his brain in a fall and died from its effects four years later on 9/11/2014, age 82.
1934 ● Charles Manson / (Charles Milles Maddox) → Semi-illiterate, habitual petty criminal and aspiring folk musician who penned the original version of what became The Beach Boys “Never Learn Not To Love” (1968) and issued two unremarkable solo albums, later achieved infamy as the insidious ringleader of the Manson Gang of disaffected, mostly middle class young women who carried out multiple crimes including the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders in Los Angeles in 1969, used The Beatles “Helter Skelter” (1969) as his rallying cry for a racial conflict in the US, inspired the stage name of hard rock band and frontman Marilyn Manson, died from undisclosed causes but suspected intestinal cancer in a Federal prison while serving a life sentence without parole on 11/19/2017, age 83.
1936 ● Charlotte Davis → Vocals in R&B/doo wop The Tune Weavers, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” (#5, 1957)
1936 ● Mort Shuman / (Mortimer Shuman) → Singer, pianist and prolific pop-rock songwriter, often in collaboration with Doc Pomus, wrote or co-wrote “Viva Las Vegas,” “Teenager In Love,” “This Magic Moment” and many others, died from complications following liver surgery on 11/3/1991, age 54
1939 ● Ruby Nash Curtis → Lead singer in R&B/soul vocal group Ruby & The Romantics, “Our Day Will Come” (#1, 1963) and two additional Top 20 hits
1941 ● Jerry Scholl → Vocals in one hit wonder blue-eyed R&B/doo wop quintet The Mello-Kings, “Tonite, Tonite” (#77, 1957), continued to tour on the rock ‘n’ roll oldies circuit into the 90s
1943 ● Brian Hyland → Pre-Beatles bubblegum-pop teen idol singer, “Sealed With A Kiss” (#3, 1962)
1943 ● Jimmy Hayes → Vocals in a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971) and “I Really Got It Bad For You” (#56, 1974)
1943 ● Pooch Tavares / (Arthur Paul Tavares) → Vocals in five brother R&B/funk-disco Tavares, “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” (#15, 1976)
1943 ● John Walker / (John J. Maus) → Guitar and vocals in pop-rock trio The Walker Brothers, “Make It Easy On Yourself” (US #16, UK #1, 1965), died from liver cancer on 5/7/2011, age 67
1944 ● Booker T. Jones → Organist and frontman for Stax Records house band Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” (#3, 1966), solo
1945 ● Neil Young → Juno- and Grammy-winning, venerable Canadian country-folk-rock singer/songwriter, started in the early 60s with instrumental rock band The Squires in Manitoba and Ontario, moved to Los Angeles and co-founded seminal folk-rock Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth,” #7, 1967), started a solo career in 1968 and issued two albums before joining folk-rock superquartet Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (“Ohio,” #11, 1970) in 1969, over the next 40 years appeared as the fourth member of the group on seven albums, simultaneously advancing a highly successful solo career with nine US Top 10 albums and three US Top 10 singles, including “Heart Of Gold” (#1, 1972) and “Rockin’ In The Free World” (Mainstream Rock #2, 1989), his lyrical commentary on social and political issues – and anti-war songs – influenced his peers and new generation musicians equally, continues to record, perform and produce film documentaries into the 10s and issued his 39th studio album, Colorado, in October 2019.
1947 ● Buck Dharma / (Donald Roeser) → Guitar and vocals for hard rock/pop metal Blue Öyster Cult, wrote “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (#12, 1976)
1948 ● Errol Brown → Jamaican vocalist and frontman for Brit interracial R&B/soul-disco Hot Chocolate, “You Sexy Thing” (#3, 1976) and 27 other UK Top 40 hits, including one in every year from 1970 to 1984, died from liver cancer on 5/6/2015, age 66
1952 ● Laurence Juber → Grammy-winning guitarist, played lead for Paul McCartney‘s Wings (1978-81), sessions, solo
1953 ● Calum Macdonald / (Malcolm Macdonald) → Percussion for Scottish Celtic folk-rock Runrig, “An Ubhal As Airde (The Highest Apple)” (UK #18, 1995)
1955 ● Les McKeown / (Leslie Richard McKeown) → Lead vocals for Scottish teen-pop, tartan-clad boy band Bay City Rollers, joined in 1973 and helped the obscure local band achieve worldwide popularity in 1974 with two UK number ones (“Bye Bye Baby” and “Give a Little Love”) and a re-recorded, McKeown-led, US #1 version of “Saturday Night” (#1, 1975), left for a solo career as the band’s fortunes descended and issued nine solo albums through 2016, was scheduled to tour in July 2021 with a post-COVID Rollers incarnation but died at home from unspecified causes on 4/20/2021, age 65.
1964 ● David Ellefson → Bassist for hard rock/metal Metallica, then thrash-metal Megadeth, “Symphony Of Destruction” (Mainstream #29, 1992)
1964 ● Vic Chestnutt / (James Victor Chestnutt) → Quadriplegic singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his dark, haunting but comic roots rock style and 17 albums, two produced by Michael Stipe of R.E.M., and songs performed by Madonna, the Indigo Girls, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M. and others on the charity album Sweet Relief II: The Gravity Of The Situation (1993), died while in a muscle relaxant overdose-induced coma on 12/25/2009, age 45
1968 ● Jo Dunne → Bass guitar in all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1976 ● Tevin Campbell → Teenaged hip hop and R&B/soul singer, “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do” (#6, 1991) and four other Top 40 hits between 1990 and 1994

November 13
1940 ● Baby Washington / (Justine Washington) → R&B/sultry soul vocalist with sixteen R&B hits in four decades through the early 80s, including her biggest, the crossover “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” (#40, R&B #10, 1963), continued to perform into the 10s on cruises and oldies specials
1940 ● Carol Connors / (Annette Kleinbard) → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, co-wrote “Hey Little Cobra” for the Rip Chords (#4, 1964) and earned an Academy Award for co-writing “Gonna Fly Now” (#1, 1977), the theme song from the film Rocky (1977)
1941 ● Odia Coates → R&B/soul singer known for several light pop duet recordings in the 70s with crooner Paul Anka, including (“You’re) Having My Baby” (#1, 1974), died from breast cancer on 5/19/1991, age 49.
1941 ● Raymond “Froggy” Froggatt / (Raymond William Froggatt) → English musician and songwriter who achieved minimal commercial acclaim on his own over seven decades of work but provided hits for 60s Britbeat bands Dave Clark Five with “The Red Balloon” (UK #7, 1968) and Cliff Richard’s “The Ship” (UK #8, 1969), released nearly 40 albums of solo work and as frontman for his own country-rock bands through 2018, died following a short, unspecified illness on 7/23/2023, age 81.
1942 ● John P. Hammond → Grammy-winning, underappreciated white blues-folk guitarist, songwriter, producer
1944 ● Timmy Thomas / (Timothy Earle Thomas) → One hit wonder R&B/soul singer, songwriter and keyboardist, his anti-war “Why Can’t We Live Together” (#3, R&B #1, 1973) ranks as a key protest song in the Vietnam War era, continued to record with only a few minor hits and produce records for other artists for several decades until his death from cancer on 3/11/2022, age 77.
1946 ● Ray Wylie Hubbard → Texas Hill Country folk and blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother” but had little commercial success with 15 studio albums, currently hosts a music radio program featuring Americana artists and is considered an elder statesman of Texas music
1947 ● Toy Caldwell / (Toy Tallmadge Caldwell) → Founding member, chief songwriter and lead guitarist for Southern rock pioneers The Marshall Tucker Band, “Heard It In A Love Song” (#14, 1977), fronted Toy Caldwell Band, died from respiratory failure on 2/25/1993, age 45
1949 ● Roger Steen → Guitarist for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1949 ● Terry Reid → British hard rock guitarist, bandleader, supporting act, session player and sideman
1951 ● Bill Gibson → Percussion for pop-rock bar band Huey Lewis & The News, “The Power Of Love” (#1, 1985)
1953 ● Andrew Ranken → Drummer for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993)
1956 ● Aldo Nova / (Aldo Caporuscio) → Canadian pop-rock guitarist, vocalist and producer, “Fantasy” (#23, Mainstream Rock #3, 1982), wrote or co-wrote and produced songs by multiple artists, including the title track to Celine Dion‘s album, A New Day Has Come (#1, CAN #1, UK #1, 2002)
1960 ● Wayne Parker → Bassist for Canadian pop-rock Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” (#2, 1986)
1964 ● Dirty Walter Kibby / (Walter A. Kibby II) → Vocals and trumpet for alt rock ska-punk-funk fusion Fishbone, “Sunless Saturday” (Modern Rock #7, 1991)
1979 ● Nikolai Fraiture → Bassist for early 00s garage rock revival The Strokes, “Juicebox” (Modern Rock #9, 2005)
1980 ● Monique Coleman / (Adrienne Monique Coleman) → Pop singer and actress, played “Taylor” in High School Musical movies (most watched cable TV movies ever)

November 14
1900 ● Aaron Copland → Award-winning and influential composer, teacher, writer, critic and conductor known for his “populist” compositions archetypical of the sound of American music, wrote chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores, including “Fanfare For The Common Man” and “Hoedown” in the 1940s, both of which were interpreted by prog-rock Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the 1970s, died from Alzheimer’s disease and respiratory failure on 12/2/1990, age 89
1915 ● Martha Tilton → Top-level swing and traditional pop vocalist with 24 Top 40 hits with Benny Goodman in the late 30s and another nine as a solo artist in the 40s, including “And The Angels Sing,” (#1, 1939), survived the onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll by acting in movies (The Benny Goodman Story, 1955) and making appearances on radio and TV variety shows, died on 12/8/2006, age 91
1934 ● Ellis Marsalis / (Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr.) → Famed New Orleans jazz pianist and patriarch of the Marsalis family of jazz musicians, which includes nationally-recognized sons Branford (saxophone) and Wynton (trumpet), performed and recorded for decades and inspired others in the revival of traditional jazz in the late 20th century, along the way earned a master’s degree in music education, mentored high school students through the jazz studies program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and won a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master Award, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 4/1/2020, age 85.
1936 ● Freddie Garrity / (Frederick Garrity) → Eccentric frontman and vocalist for British Invasion novelty/comedy pop-rock ‘n’ roll Freddie & The Dreamers, “I’m Telling You Now” (#1, 1965), appeared in children’s TV shows, died from pulmonary hypertension on 5/19/2006, age 69
1937 ● Joe Billingslea, Jr. → Founder and lead singer for early Motown R&B/soul quartet The Contours, “Do You Love Me” (#3, R&B #1, 1962), left Motown and the band in 1964 to work in an auto plant and later a career in law enforcement, reformed the band in the 70s and still tours as The Contours in the 10s
1938 ● Cornell Gunter / (Cornelius Gunter) → Founding member of R&B/doo wop The Platters, “The Great Pretender” (#1, 1956), left the group in 1954 to join The Flairs and The Coasters (“Yakety Yak,” #1, 1959), enjoyed a mildly successful solo career in the 60s and a resurgence in the late 80s before being murdered in his car in Las Vegas by an unknown assassin on 2/26/1990, age 51
1944 ● Scherrie Payne → Lead singer for R&B/soul The Glass House, “Crumbs Off The Table” (#59, R&B #7, 1969), replaced Diana Ross and Jean Terrell in The Supremes in 1973, “You’re My Driving Wheel” (#85, Dance/Club #5, 1977), still performs with other former Supremes, younger sister of soul singer Freda Payne
1945 ● John Gary Williams → Lead singer for Memphis R&B vocal quartet The Mad Lads, a 60s Stax Records group instrumental in developing a more refined, Northern soul sound to complement Stax‘s grittier Southern soul with hits such as “Don’t Have to Shop Around” (#93, R&B #11, 1965) and “I Want Someone” (#74, R&B #10, 1966), charged with the gunshot wounding of a Memphis police officer in 1968 but received a lighter sentence for lack of direct involvement, released a lone solo album in 1973 at the depths of the label’s financial crisis, died after a long fight against throat cancer on 5/28/2019, age 73.
1947 ● Buckwheat / (Stanley Joseph Dural, Jr.) → Grammy-winning frontman and accordionist for contemporary zydeco band Buckwheat Zydeco (“I Need Your Lovin’,” 1983) mixing Louisiana Creole culture with R&B and rock, toured with Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and others, died from lung cancer on 9/24/2016, age 68
1949 ● J.Y. Young / (James V. Young) → Guitarist for prototypical arena rock band Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981)
1951 ● Alec Jon Such → Bassist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, “Living On A Prayer” (#1, 1987), dismissed in 1994 and owned a motorcycle shop in New York City in the 00s
1951 ● Frankie Banali → Drummer and manager for multi-platinum heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot and the Top 10 hit, “Cum On Feel The Noize” (#5, 1983) from the band’s LP, Metal Health (#1, 1983), the first heavy metal album to top the Billboard 200 chart, following the band’s dissolution in 1989 toured and recorded with several heavy metal acts and with his own bands, rejoined Quiet Riot for three stints, the last of which included the band’s fourteenth studio album, Hollywood Cowboys (2019), died from pancreatic cancer on 8/20/2020, age 68.
1951 ● Stephen Bishop → Pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “On And On” (#11, 1976) and the theme song from the film Tootsie (1977)
1951 ● Alec John Such / (Alexander John Such) → New Jersey bar manager responsible for booking late-teenage Jon Bon Jovi & The Wild Ones onto his stage, then became a founding member and bassist in hard rock Bon Jovi for five albums and nine Top 10 hits, including “Livin’ On A Prayer” (#1, UK #4, 1986), left the band in 1994 due to a ten-year age difference over his bandmates and burnout from touring, retired from music but briefly rejoined for the band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, died at home in his sleep from natural causes on 6/4/2022, age 70.
1954 ● Yanni / (Yiannis Chryssomalis) → Grammy-winning New Age composer and pianist with seven Top 40 albums, including Live At The Acropolis (#5, 1994)
1964 ● Andrew Banfield → Vocals in Brit R&B/neo-soul-funk The Pasadenas, “Tribute (Right On)” (Dance/Club #27, UK #5, 1988)
1964 ● DJ Run / (Joseph Ward Simmons) → Founding member and vocalist in premier hardcore rap group Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), now an ordained and practicing Pentecostal minister under the name Reverend Run
1964 ● Nic Dalton → Bassist for post-punk rock then teen-pop Lemonheads, “Into Your Arms” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1965 ● Stuart Stapels → Vocals and guitar for Brit folk-pop-soul Tindersticks, “Bathtime” (UK #38, 1997)
1968 ● Brian Yale → Bassist for post-grunge alt rock Matchbox Twenty, “Bent” (#1, 2000)
1972 ● Douglas Payne → Bassist for Scottish trad rock Travis, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” (#36, UK #10, 2000) plus 11 other UK Top 40 hits
1974 ● Adina Howard → One hit wonder urban contemporary R&B/soul-pop singer, “Freak Like Me” (#2, 1995)
1974 ● Brendon Benson → Multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter with six solo albums, a number of production credits and a member of power pop The Raconteurs (“Steady, As She Goes,” #54, Alt Rock #1, 2006)
1975 ● Faye Louise Tozer → Vocals and dance routines for pre-fab Brit dance-pop group The Steps, “5, 6, 7, 8” (UK #14, 1997), film and theater actress
1975 ● Travis Barker → Drummer for pop-punk Blink-182, “All The Small Things” (#6, 2000)
1982 ● Joy Williams / (Joy Elizabeth Williams) → Contemporary Christian singer and songwriter with an eponymous debut album at age 17 and eight others by 2009, recorded and performed with John Paul White as four-time Grammy winning folk-pop duo The Civil Wars (“Barton Hollow,” #101, AAA #15, 2011), resumed a solo career in 2014

November 15
1905 ● Mantovani / (Annunzio Paolo Mantovani) → Italian composer, light-orchestra conductor and hugely popular easy listening star (“Around The World,” #12, 1957) with 25 albums in the U.S. Top 40 (six simultaneously in 1959), known for his signature cascading strings music structure and mastery of stereo recording techniques, became the most successful British album artist before The Beatles, continued to compose music until his death on 3/30/1980
1916 ● Herb Abramson / (Herbert C. Abramson) → Atlantic Records co-founder and co-owner, president of subsidiary Atco Records, A-1 Studios owner and chief executive, died on 11/9/1999, age 82
1928 ● C. W. McCall / (William D. Fries, Jr.) → Advertising executive turned one hit wonder outlaw country singer and lyricist during the 70s truck driving/CB radio craze, “Convoy” (#1, 1976).
1928 ● C. W. McCall / (William Dale Fries Jr.) → Omaha-based advertising executive who turned a campaign for a regional bread company into a multi-platinum country music career as deep-voiced, alter-ego, semi-truck driver C. W. McCall and the improbable hit “Convoy” (#1, Country #1, 1972), the song fueled the Citizens Band (CB) radio craze in the 70s, adding “10-4” and “smokie” to the vernacular alongside eight studio albums and several other Country Top 40 hits, retired from ads and music in the 80s, served as mayor of his Colorado community and died from cancer on 4/1/2022, age 93.
1929 ● Joe Hinton → Journeyman gospel singer with several Memphis vocal groups, then one hit wonder deep R&B/soul balladeer with Willie Nelson‘s “Funny (How Time Slips Away)” (#13, 1964), died from skin cancer at the peak of his career on 8/13/1968, age 38
1932 ● Petula Clark → Hugely popular 50s Brit film actress then Grammy-winning pop singer, “Downtown” (#1, 1965), the first US #1 single by a British female singer, plus 14 other Top 40 hits
1932 ● Clyde McPhatter → Founder and frontman for influential R&B doo wop The Drifters, “Honey Love” (R&B #1, 1954), left in 1956 for solo career, “A Lover’s Question” (#6, R&B #1, 1958) plus six other Top 40 and 11 other R&B Top 20 hits, died after a heart attack on 6/13/1972, age 39
1937 ● Little Willie John / (William Edward John) → Influential but little known R&B/soul singer and songwriter with 17 charting hits, including “Fever” (#24, R&B #1, 1956) and “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” (#20, R&B #5, 1958), convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for stabbing another man in 1966, died in Washington State Penitentiary from a heart attack on 5/26/1968, age 30
1941 ● Rick Kemp → Bassist for Brit electric folk-rock revival band Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1941 ● Jim Dickinson → Rock and blues musician, singer, record producer and frontman, started in the mid-60s as a session musician for The Rolling Stones (piano on “Wild Horses”), Ry Cooder and others, as a member of backing band The Dixie Flyers worked for Hank Ballard, Aretha Franklin, Dion and more, went solo in the mid-70s and began producing records for others, died following triple-bypass heart surgery on 8/15/2009, age 67
1944 ● Mick Moloney / (Michael Moloney) → Irish-born American musician, folklore historian, cultural scholar and educator with a deep resume of work related to Irish culture and history, including over 125 recorded albums, numerous books, several public television documentaries, and concerts promoting women in Irish music, in 1978 co-founded Irish touring ensemble Green Fields of America, progenitor of Riverdance, the theatrical show featuring Irish music and dance, amassed a collection of material now housed at New York University in its Archives of Irish America, where he was professor of music and Irish studies until his retirement, received a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, played at the Maine Celtic Festival a week before dying from undisclosed causes on 7/27/2022, age 77.
1945 ● Frida Andersson / (Anni-frid Lyngstad Andersson) → Vocals for internationally successful Scandinavian pop group ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1976)
1949 ● Steve Fossen → Founding member and bassist for hard rock Heart, “Magic Man” (#9, 1976), left in 1982 and in 1988 co-founded Canadian power ballad rock Alias, “More Than Words Can Say” (#2, 1990)
1952 ● Michael Cooper → Singer and guitarist for R&B/soul-funk group Con Funk Shun, “Ffun” (#23, 1978)
1953 ● Alexander O’Neal → R&B/smooth soul singer, started with dance-funk The Time, “Get It Up” (R&B #6, 1981), left for solo career, “Fake” (#25, R&B #1, 1987)
1954 ● Tony Thompson → Drummer for top disco/funk band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978), session work for Madonna, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and others, drummer for the reunited Led Zeppelin in 1985-86, died from renal cell cancer on 11/12/2003, age 49
1955 ● Joe Leeway → Percussion for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983)
1960 ● Keith Washington → Grammy-nominated R&B/smooth soul one hit wonder balladeer, “Kissing You” (#40, R&B/Hip Hop #1, 1991)
1968 ● Ol’ Dirty Bastard / (Russell Tyrone Jones) → Founding member and bad boy of influential East Coast rap group Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (Hot Rap #8, 1994), collapsed and died during a studio recording session on 11/13/2004, age 35
1974 ● Chad Kroeger / (Chad Robert Thurton) → Lead guitar and vocals for Canadian post-grunge hard rock Nickelback, “How You Remind Me” (#1, 2001)
1988 ● B.o.B. / (Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr.) → R&B/alt Dirty South hip hop singer and songwriter, “Nothin’ On You” (#1, 2010) and two other Top 10 hits in debut

November 16
1873 ● W.C. Handy / (William Christopher Handy) → Highly-influential cornetist, bandleader, songwriter, teacher and music publisher known as the “Father of the Blues,” credited with mainstreaming rural Southern roots music to its contemporary form, published hundreds of new and re-written songs, including the widely popular “The St. Louis Blues” (1914), led a variety of groups from string quartets to minstrels to brass bands, died from bronchial pneumonia on 3/28/1958, age 85
1901 ● Jesse Stone → Songwriter and key figure in the development of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B music in the 50s, wrote or co-wrote several rock ‘n’ roll standards, including “Shake Rattle And Roll” (1954), “Flip Flop And Fly” (1955) and “Don’t Let Go” (1958), died from natural causes on 4/1/1999, age 97
1921 ● Ethel Gabriel / (Ethel Nagy Gabriel) → Record plant worker who rose to become a highly-regarded producer and label executive at a time when very few women were in the field, over a 40-year career with RCA Victor produced more than 2,500 albums and oversaw the recordings of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Paul Anka and dozens of others, in 1959 created the successful “Living Strings” series of easy listening albums of instrumental versions of popular songs and later the “Pure Gold” series of repackaged archival material, became the first woman Vice President at RCA in 1982, retired in the late-80s and slipped into obscurity before being rediscovered and made the subject of a documentary film Living Sound in 2020, died from unspecified causes on 3/23/2021, age 99.
1927 ● Norman Gimbel → Multiple-genre popular music lyricist and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee (1984), co-winner of the song-of-the-year Grammy Award for “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (Roberta Flack, #1, UK #6, 1973), won best-original-song Oscar Award for “It Goes Like It Goes” by Jennifer Warnes from the film Norma Rae (1979), wrote the theme songs to many TV programs, including Happy Days (1974-84) and the spin-off Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983), scored music and wrote songs for movies well into his 80s, died from undisclosed causes on 12/19/2018, age 91.
1931 ● Bob Gibson / (Samuel Robert Gibson) → 50s folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and banjoist whose influence on 60s folk revivalists Joan Baez, Harry Chapin, Peter, Paul & Mary and others exceed his success as a recording artist, his career was cut short by drug and alcohol problems, died from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) on 9/28/1996, age 64
1931 ● Hubert Sumlin → Celebrated electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known for his multi-decade collaborations with Howlin’ Wolf, inspiration to Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), Robbie Robertson (The Band), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and others, #43 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarist of All-Time list, died from heart falure on 12/4/2011, age 80.
1933 ● Garnett Mimms → R&B/gospel-soul singer and bandleader, “Cry Baby” (#4, R&B #1 1963) and three other Top 30 hits, left the industry by 1980, became a born-again Christian and ordained minister focused on helping lost souls in prisons
1938 ● Toni Brown → Co-founder, vocals and pianist for hippy folk-rock Joy of Cooking, “Brownsville” (#66, 1981), solo
1938 ● Troy Seals → Country-pop singer, songwriter, guitarist and session musician, brother of Jim (Seals & Crofts, “Summer Breeze,” #6, 1972) and Dan (England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” #2, 1976)
1940 ● John Ryanes → Second bass singer for one hit wonder R&B/doo wop sextet The Monotones, “(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love” (#5, 1958), died 5/30/1972, age 31
1941 ● Dan Penn / (Wallace Daniel Pennington) → Blue-eyed soul singer, songwriter and producer known more for his creations for others than his own recordings, including “I’m Your Puppet” for James & Bobby Purify (#6, 1966), “The Dark End Of The Street” for James Carr (#77, R&B #10, 1966), “The Letter” (#1, 1967) and “Cry Like A Baby” (#2, 1968) for The Box Tops and other artists connected withFAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, continues to write and produce mostly country music into the 10s.
1941 ● Derek Lawrence / (Derek John Lawrence) → Rock music record producer with a 20-year career overseeing content and production for major acts, including Jethro Tull‘s first single “Sunshine Day” (1968) and Deep Purple‘s first three albums in the 60s, four albums for Wishbone Ash and two each for Flash and Kiss in the 70s , and heavy metal bands Fist and Quartz, plus Brit soul group Hot Chocolate in the 80s, died from unspecified causes on 5/13/2020, age 78.
1943 ● Blue Lovett / (Winfred “Blue” Lovett) → Founding member and bass vocals in R&B/doo wop then sweet soul quintet The Manhattans, “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (#1, 1976), remained with versions of the group until his death on 12/9/2014, age 71
1945 ● Teenie Hodges / (Mabon Lewis Hodges) → Memphis soul session guitarist and songwriter, worked at Hi Records in the 70s and recorded with multiple acts, best known for working with Al Greenn and co-writing “Take Me To The River” (#117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Songs of All Time list) and “Love And Happiness” (#98 on the list), died from emphysema on 6/22/2014, age 68
1945 ● Paul Raymond / (Paul Martin Raymond) → English keyboardist and guitarist, and long-time member of progressive/space rock then hard rock/metal UFO (“Doctor, Doctor,” UK #35, 1979), trained early as a jazz musician but in 1967 joined pop-rock Plastic Penny (“Everything I Am, ” UK #6, 1967) then replaced Fleetwood Mac-bound Christine Perfect (later McVie) on keyboards and backing vocals in blues-rock Chicken Shack (“I’d Rather Go Blind,” UK #14, 1969) and its successor band Savoy Brown (“Tell Mama,” #83, 1971), recruited to UFO in 1976 and spent nearly 45 years in four separate stints with the band, during breaks played in side projects with UFO bandmates guitarist Michael Schenker in MSG and bassist Pete Way in Waysted, rejoined UFO in 2003 and played on the band’s last six studio albums, died from a heart attack one week after UFO‘s final UK show as part of a farewell world tour on 4/13/2019, age 73.
1948 ● Chi Coltrane → Teen prodigy pianist and one hit wonder blue-eyed soul, funk and jazz-pop singer with great promise and expectations but a lone charting single, “Thunder And Lightning” (#17, 1972)
1949 ● Patti Santos → Lead vocals for San Francisco psych-folk-rock It’s A Beautiful Day, “White Bird” (1969), died in a car accident on 12/14/1989, age 40
1958 ● Harry Rushakoff → Drummer with post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990)
1962 ● Mani (Gary Mounfield) → Bassist for Brit guitar pop-rock The Stone Roses, “One Love” (Alt Rock #9, 1990), then jangle pop/dance fusion Primal Scream, “Movin’ On Up” (Modern Rock #2, 1992)
1963 ● Nard Wright / (Bernard Wright) → Godson of soul diva Roberta Flack and child prodigy jazz and funk keyboardist, joined jazz fusion Lenny White‘s touring band at age 13 and released his debut solo album ‘Nard (Jazz #7, 1981) at age 18, followed with another three solo albums and the oft-sampled hit “Who Do You Love” (R&B #6, 1985, co-written with White) through the 90s, played in various R&B/funk bands and mentored young musicians in North Texas in the 00s and 10s, died after being hit by a passing car while crossing a Dallas street on 5/19/2022, age 58.
1964 ● Diana Krall → Two-time Grammy-winning Canadian jazz-pop singer, songwriter and pianist, “Jingle Bells” (Adult Contemporary #5, 2005), the best-selling female jazz artist of the 90s and 00s, married to Elvis Costello
1966 ● Christian “Flake” Lorenz → Keyboardist for heavy metal/Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1966 ● Dave Kushner → Rhythm guitar for punk-metal Wasted Youth and hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, “Slither” (#56, Mainstream Rock #1, 2004), sessions, solo, film and TV scores
1969 ● Byran Abrams → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1974 ● Eric Judy → Founding member, bassist and backing vocalist for alt rock Modest Mouse (Lampshades On Fire,” Alt #1, Rock #12, CAN #40), left in 2012 to join indie rock Ugly Casanova
1979 ● Trevor Penick → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)

November 17
1937 ● Gerry McGee → Lead guitar for pioneering and venerable rock ‘n’ roll instrumental combo The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960)
1937 ● Peter Cook → Writer, satirist, stage and film actor, modern British comedian, collaborator with Dudley Moore in the comedy duo Derek & Clive, “Goodbye-ee” (UK #18, 1965), host of UK TV music show Revolver, died from intestinal bleeding caused by alcoholism on 1/9/1995, age 57
1938 ● Gordon Lightfoot / (Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr.) → Globally-revered, nationally-beloved Canadian folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist with twenty Top 40 hits at home and eight in the US, including “Sundown” (#1, CAN #1, 1974) and his signature song, the improbable Top 40 hit “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” (#2, CAN #1, 1976), performed in concert worldwide and in Canadian national celebrations over a decades long career, issued his 21st and final studio album, Solo, in 2020, two months and 54 years after his debut album, and performed live for a final time in October 2022, died from natural causes on 5/1/2023, age 84.
1942 ● Bob Gaudio → Co-founder, co-songwriter and lead singer in early rock ‘n’ roll The Royal Teens, “Short Shorts” (#3, 1958), co-founder, constant member, songwriter and producer of Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), producer and songwriter for many others, co-producer (with Frankie Valli) of the Tony-winning Broadway show Jersey Boys (2005)
1944 ● Gene Clark / (Harold Eugene Clark) → Early country-rock singer and songwriter with The New Christy Minstrels, seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), Dillard & Clark, co-wrote “Eight Miles High” (Top 20, 1966), died of a heart attack on 5/24/1991, age 46.
1946 ● Martin Barre / (Martin Lancelot Barre) → Guitarist and songwriter best known for his 43 years with progressive folk-rock Jethro Tull (“Living In The Past,” #11, UK #3, 1973) from their second album, Stand Up (#20, UK #3, 1969) to the band’s dissolution in 2012, along the way shared a Grammy Award for his guitar work on Crest Of A Knave (#32, UK #19, 1987) and appeared on several “best of” lists for his solo on “Aqualung” (1971), continues to tour and play Jethro Tull music as the Martin Barre Band in the 10s
1947 ● Rod Clements → Folk-rock bassist for Lindisfarne, “Lady Eleanor” (, 1971) and Jack The Lad, session work and solo albums
1947 ● Stewkey Antoni / (Robert Antoni) → Vocals for psych-rock/garage rock The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#66, 1970) and hard rock Fuse (with Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos of the future Cheap Trick)
1948 ● Iain Sutherland → Vocals, guitars and keyboards with his brother, Gavin in Scottish folk-rock sibling duo The Sutherland Brothers (“(I Don’t Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway,” #48, 1973), then joined with an obscure rock group (and former backing band for Al Stewart) to form The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, releasing nine UK singles including “Arms Of Mary” (#81, UK #5, 1975), earlier co-wrote “Sailing,” which became a hit when covered by Rod Stewart (#58, UK #1, 1975), retired from performing in the 80s but continued to write songs covered by Paul Young, Boyzone and others, died from undisclosed causes on 11/25/2019, age 71.
1951 ● Dino Martin / (Dean Paul Martin, Jr.) → Actor and singer, son of trad pop/MOR singer Dean Martin, member of the Hollywood-pedigree, teenage bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Desi Arnaz Jr. and classmate Billy Hinsche, “”I’m A Fool” (#17, 1965), officer with the California Air National Guard, died when his CANG F-4 Phantom crashed in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles on 3/21/1987, age 35
1951 ● Johnny Fean → Joined Irish band Horslips in 1972 as guitarist and played with the Celtic rock pioneers for nearly 50 years through various dissolutions, reformations, and spin-offs, in 2008 played with horn rock The Miami Showband and later formed The Johnny Fean Band with Miami bandmate Stephen Travers, rejoined Horslips for occasional live performances in the 10s and died at home from unspecified causes on 4/28/2023, age 71.
1955 ● Peter Cox → New Wave synth-pop duo Go West, “King Of Wishful Thinking” (#8, 1990), now with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
1957 ● Jim Babjak → Founding member and lead guitarist for alt pop-rock The Smithereens, “Only A Memory” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1988), songwriter with multiple film and TV credits
1960 ● RuPaul / (RuPaul Andre Charles) → Cross-dressing drag queen, dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Back To My Roots” (Dance #1, 1993), TV and radio host
1966 ● Jeff Buckley / (Jeffrey Scott Buckley) → Alt folk-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Last Goodbye” (Modern Rock #19, 1995), son of folk singer Tim Buckley, drowned in a Memphis river during a fully-clothed, spontaneous swim on 5/29/1997, age 30
1967 ● Ben Wilson → Keyboardist for blues-rock jam band Blues Traveler, “Run-Around” (#8, 1995)
1967 ● Ronnie DeVoe / (Ronald Boyd DeVoe Jr.) → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, “If It Isn’t Love” (#7, 1988), then Bell Biv Devoe, “Poison” (#3, 1990)
1972 ● Kimya Dawson → Singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist, has several solo albums and co-fronted the anti-folk duo Moldy Peaches, “Anyone Else But You” (2007) was featured in the hit film Juno
1980 ● Clarke Hanson / (Clarke Isaac Hanson) → Guitar, vocals and keyboards for teen pop-rock brother trio Hanson, “MMMBop” (Worldwide #1, 1997)
1981 ● Sarah Harding / (Sarah Nicole Hardman) → Singer in English-Irish pre-fab Euro-pop girl group Girls Aloud with twenty consecutive UK Top 10 hits (and four Number Ones) beginning with their debut single “Sound Of The Underground” (UK #1, 2002) and continuing for eight years into 2009, during the group’s hiatus to 2012 acted on BBC TV and contributed vocals to a one-off project, issued a solo EP in 2017 and a solo single (“Wear It Like a Crown”) in March 2021 that reached the #1 on iTunes, died from breast cancer on 9/5/2021, age 39.

November 18
1909 ● Johnny Mercer / (John Herndon Mercer) → Popular music lyricist, composer, singer and pianist, wrote or co-wrote over 1,500 songs, many of which are pop standards, won Grammy Awards for “Moon River” (1961) and “Days Of Wine And Roses,” died from an inoperable brain tumor on 6/25/1976, age 66
1922 ● Albert Dvorin → Music promoter and talent agent, planned and managed Elvis Presley‘s tours for 22 years from the mid-50s and coined the phrase “Elvis has left the building,,” died in a car accident returning from an Elvis impersonator performance on 8/22/2004, age 81
1926 ● Dorothy Collins / (Marjorie Chandler) → Canadian-American girl-next-door pre-rock ‘n’ roll traditional pop singer and TV entertainer, scored several minor hits in the 50s (“My Boy – Flat Top,” #16, 1955), featured vocalist on 50s top music variety show Your Hit Parade and spokeswoman for sponsor The American Tobacco Co., left to co-host TV’s immortal Candid Camera and perform in theater and on Broadway, died from asthma(!) and heart disease on 7/21/1994, age 67
1927 ● Hank Ballard / (John Henry Kendricks) → Vocals and frontman for R&B doo wop The Midnighters, raunchy proto-rock ‘n’ roll “Work With Me, Annie” (banned/no charts, 1954), solo, “Finger Poppin’ Time” (R&B #2, 1960), co-wrote “The Twist” for Chubby Checker (#1, 1960), died from throat cancer on 3/2/2003, age 75
1935 ● Pervis Staples → Grade school, street corner singing pals with Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls, toured the gospel circuit in the late 50s and early 60s with his father, Roebuck “Pops” and sisters Mavis and Cleotha as The Staple Singers, left before the group transitioned to soul-funk music with non-religious lyrics and a string of Top 40 hits, including “I’ll Take You There” (#1, 1972), became an agent for R&B girl-group The Emotions (“Best Of My Love,” #1, R&B #1, Dance #11, 1977) and operated a Chicago night club, died from unspecified causes on 5/6/2021, age 85.
1936 ● Don Cherry → Innovative “free” jazz cornetist and trumpeter, father of alternative singer Eagle-Eye and stepfather of hip hop dance-pop Neneh, died on 10/19/1995, age 58
1941 ● Con Cluskey / (Conleth “Con” Cluskey) → With his brother, Dec and John Stokes, founding member, vocals and multiple instruments in Irish beat pop-rock trio The Bachelors, “Diane” (#10, UK #1, 1964) and seven other UK Top 10 hits in 1964-66, continued to perform with various lineups of the band through the 00s
1945 ● Mark Weitz → Keyboards for 60s psych-pop-rock Strawberry Alarm Clock, “Incense And Peppermints” (#1, 1967)
1947 ● Mike Carbello → Congas and percussion for Latin-rock Santana, “Black Magic Woman” (#4, 1970), session work on over two dozen albums for The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton and many others
1949 ● Herman “Ze German” Rarebell / (Hermann Erbel) → Drummer for German hard rock/metal Scorpions, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” (#25, 1984)
1950 ● Graham Parker → Author, singer, songwriter, guitarist, frontman for Brit pub-rock The Rumour and solo, “Wake Up (Next To You)” (#39, Mainstream Rock #19, 1985)
1950 ● Rudy Sarzo / (Rodolfo Maximiliano Sarzo Lavieille Grande Ruiz Payret y Chaumont) → Cuban-American bassist for heavy metal/pop-metal Quiet Riot, “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” (#31, 1983)
1954 ● Charles Williams → Keyboardist for R&B/soul-funk-disco KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1954 ● John Parr → One hit wonder pop-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)” (#1, 1985)
1958 ● Laura Lynch → Founding member, bassist, co-lead singer and occasional songwriter for country-rock girl group Dixie Chicks, pushed out of the band in 1996 prior to their rise to stardom, “Not Ready To Make Nice” (#4, 2006), now sells real estate in Texas
1958 ● Michael Ramos → Keyboards for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Kim Wilde / (Kim Smith) → New Wave synth-pop singer, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#1, 1987) plus 20 other Top 50 UK singles, author, Brit TV host and professional landscape gardener
1961 ● Janice Kuehnemund → Founding member, lead guitar and vocals for critically-panned but huge selling 80s all-female glam metal quartet Vixen, “Cryin'” (#22, 1989)
1962 ● Kirk Hammett → Lead guitar and vocals for heavy metal Metallica, “Enter Sandman” (#10, 1991), #11 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time
1962 ● Jeff Ward → Journeyman drummer in the Chicago industrial music scene, including a brief stint with Nine Inch Nails (1990-1991) as their tour drummer and gigs with Ministry, Skafish and others, died by suicide brought on by heroin addiction on 3/19/1993, age 30
1969 ● Duncan Sheik → Alternative pop-rock singer and songwriter, “Barely Breathing” (#16, 1997), Grammy-winning stage and film score composer
1972 ● Matt Knight → Bassist and vocals for alt pub rock/white soul Toploader, covered “Dancing In The Moonlight” (UK Top 10, 2000)
1975 ● Ant McPartlin / (Anthony David McPartlin) → Actor, singer and one half the pop music duo PJ & Duncan (later renamed Ant & Dec), “Lets Get Ready To Rhumble” (UK #9, 1994), TV host
1977 ● Fabolous / (John David Jackson) → East coast rapper, “Can’t Let You Go” (#4, 2003)
1984 ● Johnny Christ / (Joanthan Lewis Seward) → Starting in 2003, bass guitar and backing vocals for pop/metal Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country” (#60, Mainstream Rock #2, 2005)

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