This Week’s Birthdays (September 19 – 25)

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The Mamas and The Papas, Cass Elliott second from right

Happy Birthday this week to:

September 19
1921 ● Billy Ward / (Robert L. Williams) → Child prodigy pianist and frontman, vocals and arranger for early R&B/doo wop Billy Ward & The Dominoes, (“Sixty Minute Man,” #17, R&B #1, 1951), the group spawned the careers of soul giants Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson, died in a long-term care hospital on 2/16/2002, age 80
1931 ● Brook Benton / (Benjamin Franklin Peay) → R&B/soul and early rock ‘n’ roll singer, “The Boll Weevil Song” (#2, 1961), plus comeback track “Rainy Night In Georgia” (#4, 1979) and 21 other Top 40 hits, died from complications of spiral meningitis on 4/9/1998, age 56
1934 ● Brian Epstein → Music entrepreneur, record store owner, manager of The Beatles from 1962 until his death, managed other Liverpool acts including Gerry & The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and The Cyrkle, died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates and alcohol on 8/27/1967, age 32
1935 ● Nick Massi / (Nicholas Macioci) → Bass guitarist, arranger and vocalist for Top 40 pop vocal quartet The Four Seasons, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (#1, 1962), died of cancer on 12/24/2000, age 65
1937 ● Paul Siebel → Greenwich Village folk scene singer/songwriter and guitarist known solely for other artist’s cover versions of his songs, including “Louise” and “Any Day Woman,” dropped out of sight in the 70s after issuing two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums
1940 ● Bill Medley → Blue-eyed soul singer and, with Bobby Hatfield, one half of hugely successful pop-rock duo The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody” (#4, 1965), solo career including the Grammy-winning “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” (#1, 1987)
1940 ● Paul Williams → Grammy-winning pop songwriter, wrote “An Old Fashioned Love Song” (#4, 1971) for Three Dog Night, “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, and “We’ve Only Just Begun” (#2, 1970) and “Rainy Days And Mondays” (#2, 1971) for the Carpenters, solo act pop singer (“Waking Up Alone,” #60, 1972) and actor
1940 ● Sylvia Tyson / (Sylvia Fricker) → Canadian singer in influential male/female folk harmony vocal duo Ian & Sylvia, wrote “You Were On My Mind” for folk-pop We Five (#32, 1965)
1941 ● Mama Cass Elliot / (Ellen Naomi Cohen) → Vocals and percussion for folk-pop quarter The Mamas & The Papas (“Monday Monday,” #1, 1966), enjoyed a brief solo singing (“Dream A Little Dream Of Me,” #12, UK #11, 1968) and early 70s TV acting career before dying of a heart attack in Harry Nilsson‘s London apartment on 7/29/1974, age 32
1942 ● Danny Kalb → Folk- and blues-rock guitarist, composer and songwriter, co-founded jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, “Flute Thing” (1966), solo career with numerous albums and collaborations
1942 ● Freda Payne → R&B/soul-pop singer, “Band of Gold” (#3, 1970), TV and film actress
1943 ● Mike Arnone → Vocals for Italian-American doo wop The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” (#7, 1962)
1945 ● David Bromberg → Multi-string instrumentalist and blues-folk and roots rock singer/songwriter, “The Holdup” (1971), now owns a violin sales and repair shop
1946 ● John Coghlan → Drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1949 ● Twiggy / (Lesley Hornby) → Iconic 60s model and later stage, screen and TV actress, one hit wonder pop singer, “Here I Go Again” (UK #17, 1976)
1951 ● Daniel Lanois → Grammy-winning Canadian record producer, guitarist and composer, best known producing Peter Gabriel‘s So (1986), U2‘s The Joshua Tree (1987) and Achtung Baby (1991), plus albums by Brian Eno, Bob Dylan and others, recorded nearly 20 solo albums beginning with Acadie (1989)
1952 ● Nile Rodgers / (Nile Gregory Rodgers) → Guitarist, co-founder and co-writer for R&B/disco band Chic, “Le Freak” (#1, 1978), influential record producer, composer and arranger, produced albums for David Bowie (Let’s Dance, 1983), Madonna (Like A Virgin, 1984), Mick Jagger (She’s The Boss, 1985) and others, continues to record, perform, write soundtracks and produce albums for others into the 10s
1955 ● Rex Smith → Stage and film actor and brief pop singer, debuted on Broadway in the lead role as Danny Zuko in ,em>Grease (1978), followed with a three-year recording career and the lone hit “You Take My Breath Away” (#10, 1979), returned to screen acting from the 80s through the 00s
1957 ● Rusty Egan → Drummer for New Wave power pop The Rich Kids, “Rich Kids” (UK #24, 1978) and New Romantic synth-pop Visage, “Fade To Grey”(UK #8, 1981), London nightclub DJ
1958 ● Lita Ford / (Carmelita Rosanna Ford) → Guitar, vocals and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), pop-metal solo career, “Close My Eyes Forever” (#8, 1988)
1964 ● Trisha Yearwood / (Patricia Lynn Yearwood) → Grammy-winning country singer, “How Do I Live” (#23, Country #2, 1996) and 28 other Country Top 40 hits, TV and occasional film actress, cookbook editor

September 20
1911 ● Frank De Vol → Music arranger, theme song composer and actor, arranged music for numerous 40s and 50s hits, including “Nature Boy” (#1, 1948) by Nat King Cole, produced “The Happening” (#1, 1967) for The Supremes from the soundtrack to the movie of the same name he wrote, issued a series of “mood music” albums and led his own radio orchestra, composed the theme songs to dozens of movies and TV shows, including My Three Sons and The Brady Bunch, appeared as a deadpan comic actor on numerous TV sitcoms, died from congestive heart failure on 10/27/1999, age 88
1911 ● Frank De Vol / (Frank Denny De Vol) → Composer and music arranger, wrote arrangements for pop stars Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole (“Nature Boy,” #1, 1948) and others in the 40s, composed and recorded several “mood music” albums in the 50s and TV theme songs in the 60s, including Gidget, The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons, executive with Columbia Records, bandleader on stage and TV, wrote movie scores to Cat Ballou (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Frisco Kid (1979) and dozens more, played house bandleader Happy Kyne on the TV satire/sitcom Fernwood 2 Night (1977), died from congestive heart failure on 10/26/1999, age 88.
1917 ● Johnny Allen → Grammy-winning arranger, pianist, bandleader and producer, worked with both Motown and Stax Records for artists including The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and The Staple Singers, co-wrote the “Theme From Shaft” (#1, 1971) with Isaac Hayes and shared the Best Instrumental Arrangement award at the 14th Grammy Awards in 1972, continued to perform in various jazz bands into his 90s, died from pneumonia on 1/29/2014, age 96
1924 ● Gogi Grant / (Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg) → Mid-50s pop singer with five albums in two years and two Top 10 hits, “Suddenly There’s A Valley” (#9, 1955) and “The Wayward Wind” (#1, UK #9, 1956), the latter knocking Elvis Presley‘s “Heartbreak Hotel” from the #1 spot, faded from view during Beatlemania, died on 3/10/2016, age 91
1925 ● Bobby Nunn / (Ulyssess B. Nunn, Sr.) → R&B/doo wop singer with The Robins, “Smokey Joe’s Café” (#79, R&B #10, 1955), then as bass vocals for offshoot soul-pop The Coasters, but left before their big hits “Yakety Yak” (#1, 1958) and “Charlie Brown” (#2, 1959) and founded The Dukes in 1959, rejoined a new lineup of The Coasters in the mid-60s and toured and recorded with various versions of group through to his death from a heart attack on 11/5/1986, age 61
1930 ● Eddie Bo / (Edwin Joseph Bocage) → New Orleans-style jazz, blues and funk pianist, singer and prolific songwriter, released over 50 singles, including “Hook And Sling” (R&B #13, 1969) and the seminal funk song “Check Your Bucket,” wrote for and recorded with Art Tatum, Etta James and The Neville Brothers, among others, his “I’m Wise” was covered by Little Richard as “Slippin’ And Slidin'” (#33, R&B #2, 1956), May 22 is “Eddie Bo Day” in New Orleans, died following a heart attack on 3/18/2009, age 78
1930 ● Harry Harrison / (Harry Harrison, Jr.) → Affable, mildly corny but venerable New York City radio personality known as the “Morning Mayor” and the only one to broadcast on three of the market’s top music stations, WMCA-AM (1959-1968 as one of the “Good Guys” on-air team), WABC-AM, WABC-AM (1968-1979 as a member of its “All-American” team) and WCBS-FM (1980-2005), inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2019, died from undisclosed causes on 1/28/2020, age 89.
1938 ● Eric Gale → Jazz and session guitarist with a dozen of his own albums as frontman for various bands, plus appearances on over 500 other albums by Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Grover Washington, Jr. and many others over a 35 year career, died from lung cancer on 5/25/1994, age 55
1945 ● Sweet Pea Atkinson / (Hillard Atkinson) → Co-lead vocalist in soul-funk-pop Was (Not Was) on all of their 80s albums (plus the 2008 reunion LP, Boo!) and their signature hit, “Walk The Dinosaur” (#7, 1987), later participated in other Don (Weiss) Was and David (Fagenson) Was projects, issued a solo album, toured with Lyle Lovett for 10 years, and sang vocals for Elton John, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, A.J. Croce and many others, died following a heart attack on 5/5/2020, age 74.
1946 ● Mick Rogers / (Michael Oldroyd) → Guitarist and songwriter with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded By The Light” (#1, 1977)
1948 ● Chuck Panozzo / (Charles Salvatore Panozzo) → With fraternal twin brother John and neighborhood pal Dennis De Young, co-founding member and drummer in the teenage rock band that eventually became prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981) and seven other Top 10 singles plus five Top 10 albums, continues to tour with the band and advocate for gay rights in the 20s.
1948 ● John Panozzo / (John Anthony Panozzo) → With fraternal twin brother Chuck and neighborhood pal Dennis De Young, co-founding member and drummer in the teenage rock band that eventually became prototypical arena rockers Styx, “Too Much Time On My Hands” (#9, 1981) and seven other Top 10 singles plus five Top 10 albums, died from a gastrointestinal hemorrhage and cirrhosis of the liver after years of alcohol abuse on 7/16/1996, age 47.
1953 ● Ricci Martin / (Ricci James Martin) → Youngest son of actor and singer Dean Martin, collaborated with Beach Boy Carl Wilson (his future brother-in-law) on the 1977 album Beached, replaced his deceased brother, Dino Martin, in the 90s revival of the 60s teen bubblegum pop trio Dino, Desi & Billy with Desi Arnez, Jr. and Billy Hinsche (“I’m A Fool,” #17, 1965), sang his father’s hits and told stories in a long-running Vegas-style tribute show, died at home from unspecified causes on 8/3/2016, age 62
1954 ● Tony Destra → Original drummer for Philly glam-rock Cinderella, “Shelter Me” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1990), left in 1985 to join glam-metal Britny Fox, “Long Way To Love” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1988), died in car accident on 2/8/1987, age 32
1957 ● Alannah Currie → Vocals for New Wave synth-pop Thompson Twins, “Hold Me Now” (#3, 1983), now a sculptural art-furniture artist
1960 ● David Hemingway → Lead vocals for Brit jangle-guitar pop-rock The Housemartins, “Caravan Of Love” (UK #1, 1986), then co-founded alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, “A Little Time” (UK #1, 1990)
1960 ● Cowboy Wiggins / (Robert Wiggins) → MC and vocals for hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five (“The Message,” R&B #4, 1982), the first hip hop group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died from complications of cocaine addiction on 9/8/1989, age 28
1966 ● Nuno Bettencourt → Portuguese guitarist and songwriter for funk metal/hard rock Extreme, “More Than Words” (#1, 1991), solo, various collaborations and frontman for several hard rock bands
1967 ● Gunnar Nelson → With twin brother Matthew, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1967 ● Matthew Nelson → With twin brother Gunnar, one half of the pop-metal sibling act Nelson, “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” (#1, 1990), son of deceased pop-rocker Ricky Nelson
1968 ● Ben Shepherd → Bassist in seminal grunge-rock group Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1979 ● Rick Woolstenhulme → Drummer for post-grunge pop-rock Lifehouse, “Hanging On A Moment” (Billboard Song of the Year 2001) and “You And Me” (#5, 2005)
1981 ● Keith Semple → Vocals in teen pop boy band One True Voice, “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone” (UK #2, 2002)

September 21
1913 ● Janet Ertel / (Janet Ertel Bleyer) → Founding member and vocalist in close-harmony pop music girl group The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” #1, 1954 and “Lollipop,” #2, 1958)), later married Cadence Records (the group’s label) founder and owner Archie Bleyer, with whom she had a daughter who went on to marry Cadence artist Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers, died of cancer on 11/22/1988, age 75
1923 ● Jimmy Young / (Leslie Ronald Young) → Pop singer, “Unchained Melody” (UK #1, 1955) and BBC Radio 2 DJ from 1973 to 2002
1932 ● Don Preston → Keyboards for Frank Zappa-led satirical rock group Mothers of Invention, “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (1967), sessions
1932 ● Graeme Goodall → Australian recording engineer, studio designer, record producer, co-founder of Island Records and prominent figure in the development of Jamaican music and its recording industry, worked with dozens of ska, reggae and pop acts, including The Wailers, The Skatalites and Desmond Decker, died from natural causes on 12/3/2014, age 82
1934 ● Leonard Cohen / (Leonard Norman Cohen) → Influential and oft-covered Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter, “Bird On The Wire” (1969), Grammy-winning Album of the Year River: The Joni Letters (2007)
1936 ● Dickey Lee / (Royden Dickey Lipscomb) → Country-pop singer/songwriter, “Patches” (#6, 1962), then migrated to country music in the 70s and had 16 Country Top 40 hits, including “Rocky” (Country #1, 1975)
1942 ● U-Roy / (Ewart Beckford) → Reggae DJ and key figure in Jamaican “toasting,” the precursor to rap music which combined rhythmic spoken or chanted words over previously recorded songs, issued dozens of singles in the US and UK in the 70s, as well as three Top 10 hits in Jamaica and a DJ version of the John Holt-penned “The Tide Is High” (a worldwide #1 hit for New Wave pop-rock Blondie in 1980), collaborated with reggae artists and DJs through his career and influenced countless current hip hop DJs, issued toasting covers of reggae and popular music hits through the 10s, suffered from multiple health issues in his later years and died in a hospital on @/17/2021, age 78.
1943 ● David Hood → Bassist, session musician and founding member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as The Swampers), the renowned studio musician ensemble that recorded hundreds of songs and albums at Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, including hits byAretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others, also toured with Traffic in the 70s and produced songs by Cher and Willie Nelson, among others
1944 ● Jesse Davis / (Jesse Ed Davis III) → Native American guitarist with a lone blues-rock solo album (Jesse Davis, 1971) featuring Eric Clapton, Gram Parsons and Leon Russell, performed with George Harrison‘s Concert For Bangladesh (1971) and became a highly-regarded session musician and producer, worked with Gene Clark, John Lennon, Jackson Browne (solo on “Doctor My Eyes,” #8, 1972), Taj Mahal and many others, died from a heroin overdose on 6/22/1988, age 43
1947 ● Don Felder → Lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for country-rock and pop Eagles, composed music to “Hotel California” (#1, 1976), solo and collaborations with former bandmates
1947 ● Rupert Hine / (Rupert Neville Hine) → English musician with eleven albums as a solo artist and as frontman for mid-70s pop-rock Quantum Jump, whose ”The Lone Ranger” did not chart in 1976 but reached UK #5 on re-release in 1979, best known as a producer and songwriter for synth-pop The Fixx (“One Thing Leads To Another.” #4, 1983), R&B diva Tina Turner (“Better Be Good To Me,” #5, R&B #6, 1984), and numerous tracks and albums for Bob Geldof, Howard Jones, Stevie Nicks and many others, along with a variety of politically- and environmentally-conscious projects over the years, suffered from renal cancer in the early 10s and died from undisclosed causes on 6/4/2020, age 72.
1949 ● Colin Gibson → Brit bassist and composer, started with psych-pop band Skip Bifferty in the 60s, later joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force and did session work for Stefan Grossman, Alvin Lee, Steve Howe and others, co-wrote a UK TV sitcom and film soundtracks, collaborates and produces various projects into the 10s
1952 ● David Gregory → Lead guitarist for quirky New Wave synth-pop XTC, “Making Plans For Nigel” (UK #17, 1979) and side project for the band under the pseudonym The Dukes Of Stratosphear
1954 ● Philthy Animal Taylor / (Philip John Taylor) → Drummer for punk-metal Motörhead, “Ace Of Spades” (UK #15, 1980), during periods away from the band did session work and collaborations with thrash metal artists, died from abusive lifestyle liver failure on 11/11/2015, age 61
1959 ● Corinne Drewerey → Vocals for Brit sophisti-pop Swing Out Sister, “Breakout” (#6, 1987)
1967 ● Faith Hill / (Audrey Faith Perry) → Five time Grammy-winning country-pop crossover star, “Breathe” (#2, 1999) and eight Country #1 hits, Billboard magazine’s #1 Adult Contemporary artist for 2009
1967 ● Timmy T / (Timothy Torres) → Rap-dance “freestyle” performer, “One More Try” (#1, 1991)
1967 ● Tyler Stewart → Drummer for Canadian alt-rock Barenaked Ladies, “One Week” (#1, 1998)
1968 ● Jon Brooks → Drummer for “Madchester” alt rock The Charlatans UK, “The Only One I Know” (Mainstream Rock #37, 1991)
1968 ● Trugoy the Dove / (David Jude Jolicoeur) → MC and vocals for jazz rap and alt hip hop trio De La Soul, “Me Myself And I” (R&B #1, 1989)
1972 ● David Silveria → Drummer for nu metal Korn, “Here To Stay” (Mainstream #4, 2002)
1972 ● Liam Gallagher → Frontman and vocals for Grammy-nominated Brit pop Oasis, “Wonderwall” (#8, 1996), the band had 22 consecutive UK Top 10 hits, now fronts Beady Eye
1973 ● Jimmy Constable → Vocals and co-founding member of Brit teen-dance-pop boy band 911, covered The Bee Gees‘ “More Than A Woman” (UK #2, 1998) and Bobby Gosh‘s “A Little Bit More” (UK #1, 1999), a US #11 hit for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show in 1976
1977 ● Sam Rivers → Bassist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, “My Way” (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)
1977 ● The-Dream / (Terius Youngdell Nash) → Grammy-winning rapper, songwriter and record producer, “Shawty Is A 10” (#17, 2007), co-wrote “Baby” for Justin Bieber (#5, 2010), “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” for Beyoncé (#1, 2008) and other hit songs
1984 ● Wale / (Olubowale Victor Akintimehin) → Rapper with multiple collaborative singles and albums, including the BET Award-winning “Lotus Flower Bomb” (#38, R&B #1, Rap #3, 2011) featuring Miguel
1989 ● Jason Derülo / (Jason Desrouleaux) → R&B/urban soul singer/songwriter, actor and dancer, “Watcha Say” (#1, 2009)

September 22
1905 ● Pop Lewis / (Roy Lewis Sr.) → With his wife and four of their children in the “First Family of Bluegrass Gospel,” the Dove Award-winning singing and cornball comedy skit group The Lewis Family, toured nationally and issued over 60 albums of gospel music before his death on 3/23/2004, age 98
1913 ● Alvin LeRoy Holmes → Pop instrumental bandleader, film score composer and arranger, Smile (1975) and other films, died on 7/27/1986, age 72
1930 ● Joni James / (Giovanna Carmella Babbo) → Traditional pop vocalist, “You Are My Love” (#6, 1954) and sixteen other Top 40 hits in the 50s
1942 ● Mike Patto → Lead vocals and keyboards for blues-rock Spooky Tooth, “Feelin’ Bad” (#132, 1969), later co-founded hard rock Boxer but died of cancer before the band gained momentum on 3/4/1979, age 36
1943 ● Toni Basil / (Antonia Christina Basilotta) → New Wave one hit wonder singer, “Mickey” (#1, 1982), dancer, choreographer, actress and filmmaker
1944 ● Roger Nichols / (Roger Scott Nichols) → Nuclear power plant physicist turned eight-time Grammy-winning rock and pop music recording engineer for Steely Dan, John Denver, Frank Zappa, Rickie Lee Jones, Gloria Estefan, Bela Fleck and many other major acts, pioneered the now-commonplace technique of “digital drum replacement” by inventing the Wendel sampling computer, died from pancreatic cancer on 4/9/2011, age 66
1944 ● Sam Pace → Tenor vocals in R&B soul vocal group The Esquires (“Get On Up,” #11, 1967), died following a long illness on 1/7/2013, age 68
1951 ● David Coverdale → Songwriter and lead vocals for Deep Purple in 1974-76, recorded two solo albums and formed hard rock/hair metal Whitesnake in 1977, “Here I Go Again” (#1, 1987) and six other Mainstream Rock Top 40 hits
1952 ● Mark Panker → Guitarist for critically acclaimed but light selling alt pop-rock American Music Club (1991 album Everclear)
1953 ● Richard Fairbrass → Vocals for dance-pop Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy” (#1, 1991)
1956 ● Debby Boone → Grammy-winning Christian and inspirational pop music singer, “You Light Up My Life” (#1, 1977), daughter of 50s pop crooner Pat Boone
1956 ● Doug Wimbish → Bassist for prog-funk-metal Living Colour, “Cult Of Personality” (#13, 1988) and Sugarhill Records studio session musician
1957 ● Johnette Napolitano → Singer/songwriter, bassist and founder of post-punk alt rock Concrete Blonde, “Joey” (Modern Rock #1, 1990), toured with Talking Heads as lead singer in 1996, solo
1957 ● Nick Cave → Aussie singer, songwriter and bandleader for goth-rock pioneers The Birthday Party, then alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995), formed garage rock Grinderman in 2007
1957 ● Peter Jones → Bassist for punk rock Public Image Ltd., “This Is Not A Love Song” (UK #5, 1983), currently owns a ceramic art studio
1958 ● Joan Jett / (Joan Marie Larkin) → Guitar, vocals and founding member of teenage all-girl hard rock group The Runaways, “Cherry Bomb” (1976), then founded and fronted Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, “I Love Rock N’ Roll (#1, 1981)
1958 ● Peter Nelson → Bassist for post-punk/alt rock New Model Army, “No Rest” (UK #28, 1985)
1965 ● Adam Cairns → Guitar and vocals for Irish grunge rock/alt metal Therapy?, “Screamager” (, 1993)
1966 ● Rhett Forrester → Lead vocals for 80s New York-based heavy metal Riot plus solo albums and collaborations with blues-metal guitarist Jack Starr and several second-tier metal bands, murdered in an apparent carjacking/shooting in Atlanta on 1/22/1994, age 27
1975 ● Mystikal / (Michael Tyler) → Dirty South rapper, “Danger (Been So Long)” (#14, Rap #3, 2001) with five solo albums and multiple collaborations as featured artist
1982 ● Billie / (Lianne Piper) → Singer and TV actress, “Because We Want To” (UK #1, 1998), the youngest (age 16) artist to debut at #1 on the UK charts

September 23
1926 ● John Coltrane → Highly influential jazz saxophonist, composer and pioneer of the free jazz movement of jazz without limits, played in others’ bands before forming his own quartet in the 60s and creating innovative and expressive albums such as Giant Steps (1960), My Favorite Things (1961) and A Love Supreme (1965), won a posthumous Grammy Award in 1981 for the 1962 album recording Bye Bye Blackbird, died from liver disease on 1/17/1967, age 40
1930 ● Ray Charles / (Ray Charles Robinson) → Soul music pioneer who fused R&B, gospel and blues in the 50s and country, R&B and pop in the 60s, won twelve Grammy Awards and scored over thirty Top 40 hits, including “Hit The Road Jack” (#1, 1961), his posthumous album Genius Loves Company (#1, 2004) became Grammy “Album of the Year” for 2004 voted #10 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” died from lung cancer on 6/10/2004, age 73
1935 ● Les McCann / (Leslie Coleman McCann) → Jazz pianist and singer known for his cool piano jazz in the early 60s, easily crossed over to R&B, soul, funk and jazz-rock fusion in the late 60s and 70s with “Compared To What” (#85, 1970) and several multi-chart albums, including Swiss Movement (#29, R&B #2, Jazz #1, 1970), suffered a stroke in the 90s but continued to record into the 00s
1939 ● Roy Buchanan → The “best unknown guitarist in the world,” influential but commercially underappreciated blues-rock guitarist, session musician and solo artist with two gold records among over 15 studio and live albums, pioneered the “Telecaster sound” on the iconic electric guitar, one of Guitar Player magazine’s “50 Greatest Tones of All-Time,” hanged himself in a Virginia jail cell after being arrested for public drunkenness on 8/14/1988, age 48
1940 ● Tim Rose → Influential folk-rock singer and songwriter who found greater commercial success in the UK than in his native US, best known for his version of the post-apocalyptic folk-rock standard “Morning Dew” (1967), died from a heart attack during intestinal surgery on 9/24/2002, age 62
1942 ● Jeremy Steig → Acclaimed jazz flutist, artist, graphic designer and early force in jazz-rock fusion as frontman for Jeremy & The Satyrs and on dozens of solo albums featuring Jan Hammer, Eddie Gomez and others,, his “Howlin’ For Judy” (1970) was sampled by the Beastie Boys on “Sure Shot” (Dance #48, 1994), died from cancer on 4/13/2016, age 73
1943 ● Julio Iglesias → Grammy-winning Spanish smooth romantic crooner, “Begin The Beguine” (#1, 1981), one of the top 10 best selling artists in history
1943 ● Steve Boone → Bassist for folk-pop-rock The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer In The City” (#1, 1965), record producer and studio owner
1943 ● Wallace Scott → With twin brother Walter, leaders of R&B/soul-dance quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● Walter Scott → With twin brother Wallace, leaders of R&B/soul-dance quintet The Whispers, “And The Beat Goes On” (#19, R&B #1, 1980)
1943 ● John Banks → Drummer for Britbeat pop-rock The Merseybeats, “Mr. Moonlight'” (UK #5, 1964) and seven other UK Top 40 hits but no chart presence in the US, died on 4/20/1988
1945 ● Paul Petersen → TV actor (mouseketeer on The Mickey Mouse Club and Jeff Stone on The Donna Reed Show) and moonlighting pop singer, “My Dad” (#6, 1962)
1946 ● Duster Bennett / (Anthony Bennett) → British blues-rock harmonica player and one man band, “Jumping At Shadows” (1968), session musician and early 70s member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, died in a car crash on 3/26/1976, age 29
1947 ● Jerry Corbetta → Co-founder, guitar and vocals for one hit wonder pop-rock Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” (#3, 1970)
1947 ● Dan Grolnick → Jazz and pop pianist, member of jazz-rock fusion bands Steps Ahead and Dreams in the 70s and 80s, as a session musician played on numerous albums by top 80s artists, including The Brecker Brothers, Steely Dan and Linda Ronstadt, continued to record and perform with his own bands and as a sessionman until his death from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on 6/1/1996, age 48
1948 ● Dangerous Dan Toler / (Dan Toler) → Rhythm and lead guitarist as a member of his own bands and with Dickie Betts & Great Southern in the 70s, the Gregg Allman Band and The Allman Brothers Band in the 80s, joined supergroup The Renegades of Southern Rock in the 90s and collaborated with John Townsend in several projects in the 90s and 00s, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on 2/25/2013, age 64
1949 ● Bruce Springsteen / (Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen) → Grammy-winning folk, pop and heartland rock singer/songwriter and guitarist both as a solo act and as bandleader for The E Street Band, known to his fans as “The Boss,” survived critically-acclaimed but commercially disastrous debut and sophomore albums to issue 17 straight Top 15 studio albums and 16 Top 20 singles through 2019, including “Dancing In The Dark” (#2, 1984) and “Streets Of Philadelphia (#9, 1994), voted #23 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, following a slow period in the 90s, toured extensively in the 00s and 10s and published an autobiography, appeared in a Tony-winning Broadway production in 2017-2018.
1970 ● Ani DeFranco → Vocals for teen bubblegum-pop sibling act The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat-It’s A Lovebeat” (#3, 1973)
1972 ● Jermaine Dupri / (Jermaine Dupri Mauldin) → Producer, songwriter and rapper, “The Party Continues” (#29, Rap #6, 1998), discovered and managed teen hip hop duo Kris Kross, founder of So So Def Recordings, producer for Xscape, Da Brat, Mariah Carey and others
1979 ● Erik-Michael Estrada → Vocals for pre-fab teen idol boy-band O-Town, “All Or Nothing” (#3, 2001)
1985 ● Diana Ortiz → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop all-girl quartet Dream, “He Loves U Not” (#2, 2000).

September 24
1893 ● “Blind Lemon” Jefferson / (Henry Jefferson) → The “Father of Texas Blues,” pioneering blues singer, guitarist and composer, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (1927) has been covered by Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, B. B. King, Peter, Paul & Mary and others, died from a heart attack on 12/15/1929
1909 ● Carl Sigman → Songwriter best known for penning the English lyrics and title to “What Now My Love” (Sonny & Cher, #4, UK #13, 1966), for adding the lyrics to the theme music to the movie Love Story (1970) to create the hit “Where Do I Begin?’ (Andy Williams, #9, AC #1, UK #4, 1971) and for co-writing the swing jazz and pop standard “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (Glenn Miller Orchestra, #4, 1940), died at home from natural causes on 9/26/2000, age 91
1919 ● Jack Costanzo / (Jack James Costanzo) → Chicago-born Italian-American drummer, composer and bandleader known as “Mr. Bongo” for his decades-long contributions to Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz-pop, played and toured with Stan Kenton, Nat King Cole, Perez Prado and other Big Band and jazz-pop bands in the 40 and 50s, formed his own band in the 50s and recorded multiple albums through to 2005, appeared in the Elvis Presley movie Harum Scarum (1965), died from an aortic aneurysm on 8/18/2018, age 98
1931 ● Anthony Newley → Stage, screen and TV actor, singer, pop songwriter, “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” (Grammy Award Song of the Year 1963), co-wrote the lyrics to “Goldfinger” from the James Bond movie, co-wrote and starred in the stage musical Stop The World – I Want To Get Off, died from renal cancer on 4/14/1999, age 67
1933 ● Mel Taylor → Longtime drummer for rock ‘n roll instrumental combo The Ventures, “Walk – Don’t Run” (#2, 1960), died of lung cancer on 8/11/1996, age 62
1935 ● Shep Sheppard / (James Sheppard) → Founder and frontman for early 60s R&B doo wop, one hit wonder trio Shep And The Limelites (“Daddy’s Home,” #2, 1961), died from gunshot wounds during a possible carjacking on the Long Island Expressway on 1/24/1970, age 34
1938 ● Steve Douglas / (Steve Kreisman) → Reed instrument session musician for Phil Spector, member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of L.A. studio musicians and best known for his saxophone on albums by Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Ramones and others, produced Mink DeVille‘s Le Chat Bleu (1980) album, died from a heart attack on 4/19/1993, age 54
1940 ● Bibbs Allbut / (Barbara Allbut) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1941 ● Linda McCartney / (Linda Louise Eastman) → Photographer, animal rights activist, vegetarian food company founder, keyboardist for pop-rock Wings and solo albums with her husband Paul McCartney, died from breast cancer on 4/17/1998, age 56
1942 ● Gerry Marsden / (Gerard Marsden) → Younger brother of bandmate Freddie and frontman for British Invasion pop-rock Gerry & The Pacemakers, the band briefly rivaled The Beatles in the mid-60s when their first three singles topped the UK charts, after break-up in 1966 went on to a low-key TV and stage career, issued two #1 remakes of Pacemakers‘ hits in the 80s, toured on the oldies circuit until retiring in 2018, died from heart infection on 1/3/2021, age 78.
1942 ● Jiggs Allbut / (Phyllis Allbut) → Singer with pop girl group The Angels, “My Boyfriend’s Back” (#1, 1963), the first all-white girl group with a #1 hit
1944 ● Rosa Lee Hawkins → Vocals for 60s R&B/pop girl-group The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love” (#1, 1964)
1946 ● Carson Osten → Co-founder and bassist in psych/garage rock band The Nazz, “Hello It’s Me” (#66, 1970), left to become a writer, artist, product and character design manager for The Walt Disney Company
1946 ● Jerry Donahue → Guitarist for Brit folk-rock quintet Fotheringay, then renowned folk-rock Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969), sessions and tours with Robert Plant, Elton John, George Harrison, Warren Zevon, The Beach Boys and others, solo albums
1946 ● Kjell Asperud → Drummer for Anglo-Norwegian one hit wonder rock band Titanic, instrumental “Sultana” (UK #5, 1971)
1962 ● Cedric Dent → Vocals in a cappella gospel Take 6, “I L-O-V-E U” (R&B #19, 1990)
1969 ● Clown Crahan / (Shawn Crahan) → Co-founder, DJ, turntablist and backing vocals for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1971 ● Marty Cintron → Vocals in dance-pop trio No Mercy, “Where Do You Go” (#5, 1996)
1971 ● Peter Salisbury → Drummer for neo-psych-pop The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony” (#12, 1998)

September 25
1925 ● Russ Solomon / (Russell Malcolm Solomon) → High school drop-out and founder of Tower Records, which grew from a neighborhood storefront in Sacramento, CA to a $1 billion-plus, 200 store, industry-dominant global empire selling music, books and videos with a club-like buying “experience,” the chain succumbed to Internet piracy, discounters and a crushing debt load and liquidated in 2006, died while reportedly drinking whisky and watching the Academy Awards program on TV on 3/4/2018, age 92
1930 ● Shel Silverstein / (Sheldon Allan Silverstein) → Novelty songwriter, comedian, film and TV actor, cartoonist and prolific author of children’s books, penned several hits for others, including “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash (#2, 1969) and “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook (#6, 1972), plus songs covered by outlaw country star Tompall Glaser, former Go-Go Belinda Carlisle, roots rock My Morning Jacket and others, died of a heart attack on 5/10/1999, age 68
1933 ● Ian Tyson / (Ian Dawson Tyson) → Canadian singer and guitarist in influential male/female folk harmony vocal duo Ian & Sylvia, solo with several acclaimed albums, now a rancher in Alberta
1933 ● Erik Darling → Folk-pop multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and influential figure on the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the late 50s and early 60s, member of folk-pop The Tarriers (“The Banana Boat Song,” #4, R&B #14, 1957), The Weavers and The Rooftop Singers (“Walk Right In,” #1, AC #1, Country #23, R&B #4, 1963), continued to record and perform in various folk-related projects until his death from complications due to lymphoma on 8/3/2008, age 74
1939 ● Sweet Joe / (Jesse Russell) → Vocals in a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), backing vocals for Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Don McLean and others
1942 ● Dee Dee Warwick / (Delia Mae Warwick) → Sister of Dionne Warwick, cousin of Whitney Houston and two-time Grammy nominee R&B/soul singer with a dozen minor pop hits and two R&B Top 10 from 1963 to 1975, including “I Want to Be with You” (#41, R&B #9, 1966) and “She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking)” (#70, R&B #9, 1970), performed sporadically with her sister after the 80s, died following a long illness on 10/18/2008, age 66
1943 ● Jules Alexander / (Gary Alexander) → Guitar and vocals for light pop-rock vocal group The Association, “Along Comes Mary” (#7, 1966)
1943 ● John Locke / (John Tilden Locke) → Keyboards for jazz-rock Spirit, “I Got A Line On You” (#25, 1969), left to join hard rock Nazareth, “Love Hurts” (#8, 1976), died from cancer on 8/4/2006, age 62
1945 ● Onnie McIntyre → Rhythm guitar and vocals for Scottish blue-eyed soul Average White Band, “Pick Up The Pieces” (#1, 1974)
1946 ● The Bear / (Jerry Penrod) → Early bassist for psych rock Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (#30, 1970), left to join overpublicized, underperforming pre fab hard rock supergroup Rhinoceros, “Apricot Brandy” (#46, 1969)
1946 ● Bryan MacLean → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for folk/psych-rock Love, “7 And 7 Is” (#33, 1966), wrote “Alone Again Or” (#99, 1967), solo, died of a heart attack on 12/25/1998, age 62
1947 ● John Fiddler → Vocals and multiple instruments for Brit folk-rock duo Medicine Head, “One And One Is One” (UK #3, 1973)
1947 ● Cecil Womack → R&B/soul and gospel singer, songwriter and record producer, scored a R&B Top Ten hit with his brothers as soul/pop The Valentinos, “Lookin’ For A Love” (#72, R&B #8, 1962) on Sam Cooke‘s SAR Records, later recorded duets with second wife Linda Womack (daughter of Sam Cooke) as Womack & Womack (“Baby I’m Scared Of You,” R&B #25, 1984) and co-wrote songs for others, including “Love T.K.O.” for Teddy Pendergrass (#44, R&B #2, 1980) and “I Just Want To Satisfy” for The O’Jays (#101, R&B #15, 1982), died from unknown causes on 2/1/2013, age 65.
1949 ● Eric Taylor → Americana, folk and blues singer and evocative, literary songwriter whose works were covered by Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett and others, issued nine well-received albums and garnered accolades from critics and peers such as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt but never achieved mainstream success, died from liver disease on 3/9/2020, age 70.
1955 ● Steve Severin → Bassist for punk then dance-rock Siouxsie & The Banshees, “Kiss Them For Me”, (#23, 1991), solo
1955 ● Zucchero / (Adelmo Fornaciari) → Italian boogie-blues-rocker, “Donne” (1985) and “Senza Una Donna (Without A Woman)” with Paul Young (Italy #1, UK #4, 1991), has performed collaborations with Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, Bono and others
1968 ● The Fresh Prince / (William Carroll Smith) → Rapper in PG-rated pop-rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, Rap #1, 1991), then Grammy-winning solo career, “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” (#1, 1998), TV and film star
1974 ● Wamma Edwards / (Richie Edwards) → Guitar technician turned full-time bassist for glam-rock The Darkness, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” (#35, UK #2, 2003) and successor band Stone Gods
1975 ● Dec Donnelly / (Declan Donnelly) → 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
1980 ● T.I. / (Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.) → Grammy-winning MC, rapper, songwriter, “Live Your Life” (#1, 2008), co-CEO of Grand Hustle Records, producer, film actor, convicted felon

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