This week’s Birthdays (September 24 – 30)

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British singer-songwriter Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, at Middlesex Magistrates Court, Uxbridge, after they appeared on charges of customs evasion of cannabis at Heathrow Airport on their return from Barbados, 24th January 1984. The couple were fined seventy-five pounds after pleading guilty. (Photo by Bryn Colton/Getty Images)

Happy Birthday this week to:

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
1939 ● Sonny Turner → Frontman for Ohio-based 50s R&B vocal group The Metrotones, successfully auditioned in 1959 against 100 others and replaced departing Tony Williams in the lead vocal spot in 50s doo wop The Platters (“The Great Pretender,” #1, 1955), led a resurgence of the group in the 60s with three hit singles, “I Love You 1000 Times” (#31, 1966), “With This Ring” (#14, 1967) and “Washed Ashore” (#56, 1968), left the group in 1970 amidst internal disputes and toured for decades as a solo act and with his own incarnations of The Platters, often competing with other splinter groups using the Platters name, died from throat cancer on 1/13/2022, age 83.
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 → With her older sister Barbara Ann and cousin Joan Marie Johnson, youngest member of quintessential teen girl group The Dixie Cups and five charting hits in the early 60s, including the sweetly memorable “Chapel Of Love” (#1, CAN #1, 1964) and a hit recording of the New Orleans R&B classic “Iko Iko” (#20, R&B #20, 1965), after Joan Marie left for a gospel career in the 70s, continued to perform with her sister and revolving third singers on the oldies circuit for over 50 years until her death following an unspecified surgical procedure on 1/11/2022, age 77.
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)
1959 ● Drummie Zeb / (Angus Gaye) → Founding member, drummer and vocalist in long-lived, Grammy-winning Brit roots-reggae trio Aswad (Arabic for “black”) and their several hits, including “Don’t Turn Around” (R&B #45, UK #1, 1988), one of the most popular and successful British reggae bands with charting UK singles over 40 years, died from undisclosed causes on 9/2/2022, age 62.
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 with then-wife Sylvia Fricker from 1961 to 1974, their minor but enduring folk hits “Four Strong Winds” (CAN Top 10, 1965). “Early Morning Rain” (CAN #1, 1965) and the Flicker-composition “You Were On My Mind” (CAN #4, 1972) led to thirteen albums, seven of which charted in the US, and his hosting a nationally broadcast music variety program on CTV, divorced in 1975 but continued in a hugely successful country-rock solo career in Canada with nearly 30 charting singles and several acclaimed albums while ranching in southern Alberta, suffered a heart attack and had open heart surgery in 2015, then died on the ranch from undisclosed causes on 12/29/2022, age 89.
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

September 26
1898 ● George Gershwin / (Jacob Gershvin) → One of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera composer and lyricist, best known for his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), died from a brain tumor on 7/11/1937, age 38
1918 ● The Cool Ghoul / (John Zacherle) → TV and radio host for shows broadcasting horror movies, voice actor and one hit wonder pop-rock novelty singer, “Dinner With Drac” (Top Ten, 1958)
1925 ● Marty Robbins / (Martin David Robertson) → Country music legend and crossover phenomenon, “El Paso” (#1, Country #1, 1960) plus 11 other Top 40 pop singles and 39 other Country Top 10 hits, died following a heart attack on 12/8/1982, age 57
1926 ● Julie London / (Nancy Peck) → Film and TV actress and sultry jazz-pop vocalist, “Cry Me A River” (#9, 1956), released 32 albums of pop and jazz covers but is better known as an actress and co-star of TV drama Emergency! (1972-77), suffered a stroke in the late 90s, lived in declining health for several years before dying on 10/18/2000, age 74
1931 ● George “Pops” Chambers / (George Chambers) → Bass, vocals and oldest of four brothers in pioneering, interracial psychedelic-soul The Chambers Brothers (“Time Has Come Today,” #11, 1968), the band at the forefront of the late-60s blending of traditional blues and gospel with funk and psychedelic rock, left after a string of successful albums in the 70s and performed occasionally as a gospel singer over the next four decades, died from undisclosed causes on 10/12/2019, age 88.
1940 ● Red Jones / (Creadel Jones) → Original member and bass vocals in Chicago R&B/smooth soul The Chi-Lites (“Have You Seen Her?,” #3, R&B #1, 1972), left the group in the late 70s but returned in 1980, left again in 1990 and fell into financial difficulties before dying in poverty 8/25/1994, age 53.
1941 ● Joseph Bauer → Drummer in light country-rock The Youngbloods, “Get Together” (#5, 1969), died from a heart attack in September 1982, age 40
1945 ● Bryan Ferry → Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, first as frontman with art rock Roxy Music, “Love Is The Drug” (#30, 1975), then solo, “Kiss And Tell” (#31, 1988) and 13 UK Top 20 albums through 2010
1947 ● Lynn Anderson / (Lynn Rene Anderson) → Country-pop vocalist best known for the Grammy-winning “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (#3, Country #1, 1970), plus 17 other Country Top 10 hits among over 50 overall Top 40 singles, died from cardiac arrest on 7/30/2015, age 67
1948 ● Olivia Newton-John → English-born, Australian Grammy-winning pop singer known for five Billboard #1 hits, six Top 10 albums, and the starring role in the hit movie Grease (1977) and the commercial flop Xanadu (1980), one of the top-selling artist of the late 20th century, her music and persona transformed from a soft country-pop style in the 70s (“Have You Never Been Mellow,” #1, 1975) to a harder-edged pop-rock in the 80s (“Physical,” #1, 1981), much the same way as her virginal, girl-next-door sweetness early in Grease became the leather-clad, vixen at the end of the movie, diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, became an activist for research and plant-based cures but suffered a recurrence in 2017 and died from the disease on 8/8/2022, age 73.
1951 ● Stuart Tosh / (Stuart MacIntosh) → Drummer for Scottish soft pop-rock Pilot, “Magic” (#5, 1974), also recorded and toured with 10cc, The Alan Parsons Project, and Camel
1954 ● César Rosas → Singer, songwriter, guitarist and de facto frontman for Grammy-winning Chicano/roots rock Los Lobos, “La Bamba” (#1, 1987) and Los Super Seven, sessions and side projects
1954 ● Craig Chaquico → Teenage lead guitarist in the last incarnations of Jefferson Airplane, stayed on with pop-rock Jefferson Starship, “Miracles (#3, 1975), co-wrote “Jane” (#14, 1980), now performs and records New Age world music
1955 ● Carlene Carter / (Rebecca Carlene Smith) → Country and roots-rock singer and songwriter, “Every Little Thing” (Country #3, 1993), daughter of Johnny Cash‘s wife June Carter Cash
1958 ● Darby Crash / (Jan Paul Beahm) → Lead singer for early L.A. punk rock Germs, “Lexicon Devil” (1979), died from a suicidal heroin overdose on 12/7/1980, age 22.
1960 ● Andre Harrell / (Andre O’Neal Harrell) → Early rapper turned highly-influential music label executive, generally credited with creating the bridge between street-tough hip hop and smooth R&B, first with Def Jam Records and from 1986 as founder and CEO of Uptown Records, signed and launched the careers of Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige and others, served as CEO for Motown Records for two year in the 90s and as Vice Chairman of Combs‘s Revolt music enterprise from 2013 until his death from complications of unspecified heart problems on 5/7/2020, age 59.
1961 ● Cindy Herron / (Cynthia Ann Herron) → Vocals in Grammy-winning female club-dance group En Vogue, “Hold On” (#2, 1990)
1962 ● Tracey Thorn → Lead singer and guitarist in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Nikki French / (Nicola French) → Brit pop and adult contemporary one hit wonder singer and dancer, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (#2, UK #5, 1995)
1967 ● Shannon Hoon → Frontman and lead vocals for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), died from a heroin overdose on 10/21/1995, age 28
1972 ● Paul Draper → Lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for post-Brit-pop hard rock Mansun, “Wide Open Space” (Modern Rock #25, 1997)
1972 ● Shawn Stockman → Singer and songwriter in hugely successful R&B/urban soul a cappella quartet Boyz II Men, “End Of The Road” (#1, 1992)
1981 ● Christina Milian / (Christina Flores) → Cuban-American R&B dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Dip It Low” (#5, 2004)

September 27
1898 ● Vincent Millie Youmans → Broadway and film composer who worked with every major lyricist of his day and composed the music to dozens of enduring hit songs, including “Tea For Two” (1925) and “Carioca” (1933), retired after contracting tuberculosis in 1934 and died from the disease on 4/5/1946, age 48
1922 ● Raymond Edwards → Bass vocals in R&B/doo wop vocal quartet The Silhouettes, “Get A Job” (#1, 1958), continued to tour with the group until his death on 3/4/1997, age 74
1936 ● Don Cornelius / (Donald Cortez Cornelius) → R&B/soul music promoter and producer, created and hosted the highly influential dance/music TV show Soul Train from 1971 to 1993, the first and most successful TV show featuring African-American musicians, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 2/1/2012, age 75
1937 ● Buddy Emmons / (Buddy Gene Emmons) → Influential, virtuoso peddle steel guitarist, popularized the instrument for jazz, swing, folk and country-rock genres, recorded with a diverse number of top artists, including Linda Ronstadt, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bob Dylan, performed on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” broadcasts, fronted the Redneck Jazz Explosion in the 70s and issued several solo albums, died on 7/21/2015, age 77.
1941 ● Don Nix → Songwriter, musician, arranger and author, saxophonist in Stax Records first house band The Mar-Keys (later Booker T. & The MG’s), wrote blues-rock standard “Going Down”, producer for Leon Russell, George Harrison, John Mayall, Eric Clapton and others
1942 ● Alvin Stardust / (Bernard William Jewry) → Assumed the name of deceased frontman Shane Fenton (born John Theakstone) and led early 60s Britpop Shane Fenton And The Fentones, “Cindy’s Birthday” (UK #19, 1962), changed his name and reemerged as glam rock Alvin Stardust in the early 70s, “Jealous Mind” (UK #1, 1974) and 10 other UK Top 40 hits, continued to perform until just before his death from prostate cancer on 10/23/2014
1943 ● Randy Bachman → Founding member, songwriter and lead guitarist for Canadian hard rock Guess Who, “American Woman” (#1, 1970), then formed Bachman-Turner Overdrive with his brothers Robbie and Tim, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (#1, 1974), then Ironhorse, “Sweet Lui-Louise” (#36, 1979) and Union, solo plus CBC radio host
1947 ● Barbara Dickson → Scottish folk-pop singer, “Answer Me” (UK Top 10, 1976) and a duet with Elaine Paige, “I Know Him So Well” (UK #1, 1985), TV and stage actress
1947 ● Meat Loaf / (Michael (nee Marvin) Lee Aday) → Hard-edged, iconic actor and pop-rock singer best known for the phenomenally successful Bat Out Of Hell trilogy of albums and the operatic rock hit “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” (#11, 1978) and Grammy-winning ballad “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” (#1, 1993), cast member in the theater and film versions of cult-classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starred in the film Fright Night (1999) and had varying roles in dozens of other films, died from a reported COVID-19 illness on 1/20/2022, age 74.
1950 ● Linda Lewis / (Linda Ann Fredericks) → English soul singer with a five-octave voice and 10 charting singles in the UK, including the disco version of “It’s In His Kiss” (#107, UK #6, 1975), issued 10 solo studio albums from 1971 to 1999, best known for her work as a backing vocalist for David Bowie, Cat Stevens and others in the 70s and for Oasis and Jamiroquai in the 00s, performed sporadically through to her death at home from undisclosed causes on 5/3/2023, age 72.
1953 ● Robbie Shakespeare / (Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare) → Record producer, reggae bassist and, with creative partner Sly Dunbar, one half of the innovative studio duo Riddim Twins, produced albums for Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer and others, recorded with multiple top acts, including Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Grace Jones, in all estimated to have had a part in over 200,000 recordings in a 45-plus year professional partnership, either on their own as a musical duo or as backing musicians or producers for other artists, died from complications following a kidney transplant on 12/8/2021, age 68.
1953 ● Greg Ham → Saxophone, flute and keyboards for Scottish-Australian Men At Work, “Down Under” (#1, UK #1, 1983), their Grammy-winning debut album, Business As Usual, was simultaneously the #1 US and UK album in January 1983, gaining them the distinction of being the only Aussie band to hold all four top spots at once, found dead in his Melbourne home on 4/19/2012, age 58
1958 ● Shaun Cassidy → TV actor, 70s teen idol singer, “Hey Deanie” (#7, 1978), half brother of TV actor and Partridge Family character David Cassidy
1966 ● Stephan Jenkins → Guitar, vocals and songwriting for post-grunge indie pop Third Eye Blind, “Semi-Charmed Life” (#4, 1997)
1970 ● Mark Calderon → Vocals in a cappella hip hop harmony group Color Me Badd, “I Wanna Sex You Up” (#2, 1991)
1975 ● Bradley Kirk Arnold → Vocals for post-grunge alt rock 3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite” (#3, 2000)
1975 ● Lee Brennan → 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
1982 ● Lil Wayne / (Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) → Self-proclaimed “best rapper alive,” teenaged member of hip hop groups The B.G.’z and Hot Boys, Grammy-winning solo career, “Lollipop” (#1, 2008)
1984 ● Avril Lavigne → Canadian teen-pop singer and “skatepunk” icon , “Complicated” (#2, 2002) and “Girlfriend” (#1, 2007), fashion designer, actress

September 28
1901 ● Ed Sullivan / (Edward Vincent Sullivan) → Bandleader, entertainment writer and host of his own TV variety show for 23 years, introduced The Beatles to over 70 million American viewers on 2/9/1964, died from esophageal cancer on 10/13/1974, age 73
1923 ● Tuli Kupferberg → Counterculture author, poet, cartoonist, pacifist and co-founder of satirical underground rock The Fugs, solo, died from kidney failure on 7/12/2010, age 86
1925 ● Billy Grammer → Country guitarist, “Gotta Travel On” (#4, 1959), fronted The Travel On Boys, led businesses which produced guitars under his name, member of the Grand Ole Opry, died after a long illness on 8/10/2011, age 85
1935 ● Koko Talor / (Cora Walton) → The “Queen of Chicago Blues”, large-framed and -voiced R&B/blues belter, “Wang Dang Doodle” (#58, R&B #4, 1966), won Grammy Award as part of the compilation album Blues Explosion (1984), died following gastrointestinal surgery on 6/3/2009, age 73
1935 ● Bill Owens / (Billy Earl Owens) → Country music songwriter and mentor to his niece, superstar Dolly Parton, from her pre-teens through her entire career, arranged for her first radio performance at age 10, encouraged her to practice her guitar, co-wrote with Parton her first single “Puppy Love” (1959) and the Country Top 10 hit “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” (1966) for Bill Phillips, penned over 800 other songs recorded by Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many more and performed as a session musician in Nashville over the years, died from undisclosed causes on 4/7/2021, age 85.
1937 ● Guitar Hughes / (Joe Hughes) → Texas blues, R&B and shuffle guitarist, played with Little Richard‘s group The Upsetters, Johnny Copeland, T-Bone Walker, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Big Joe Turner and others, solo, died after a heart attack on 5/20/2003, age 65
1938 ● Ben E. King / (Benjamin Earl Nelson) → R&B/smooth soul singer with doo wop The Drifters, “Save The Last Dance For Me” (#1, 1960) and solo, “Stand By Me” (#1, 1961), toured and performed until shortly before his death from coronary problems on 4/30/2015, age 76
1939 ● Tommy Boyce / (Sidney Thomas Boyce) → In collaboration with Bobby Hart, pop singer, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” (#8, 1968) and the prolific Boyce & Hart hit songwriting team, “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees, #1, 1966) plus dozens more Top 40 hits and over 300 songs, struggled with depression for years before committing suicide on 11/23/1994, age 55
1942 ● Jean-Luc Ponty → French virtuoso jazz and prog rock fusion electric violinist, album Enigmatic Ocean reached #35 in 1977, switched to synthesizers in the mid-80s and to world music in the 90s
1943 ● Nick St. Nicholas / (Klaus Karl Kassbaum) → German-born Canadian bass guitarist, co-founded hard rock The Sparrow, which became Canadian-American hard rock, proto-metal Steppenwolf, “Born To Be Wild” (#2, 1968), currently leader of supergroup World Classic Rockers
1943 ● Manuel Fernandez → Founding member and electric organ for Spanish rock ‘n roll band Los Bravos, “Black Is Black”(#4, UK #2, 1966), the first US Top 10 hit by a Spanish band, at the peak of the band’s popularity and after his new bride’s death in a car accident, committed suicide on 5/20/1967, age 23
1944 ● Mike Post / (Leland Michael Postil) → Prolific, well-known and highly regarded TV and film theme composer, wrote cop show theme song “Hill Street Blues” (#10, 1981) and other popular shows, five-time Grammy Award winner
1944 ● Tommy Tate → Southern R&B/soul singer with the Imperial Show Band and Stax RecordsThe Nightingales in the 60s, thereafter a modest solo career, his lone hit being “School Of Life” (R&B #22, 1972) but continued to record and perform in cult status through the 00s
1946 ● Helen Shapiro → Early 60s beehive-hair Brit teen-pop singer, “Walking Back to Happiness” (UK #1, 1961), moved to cabaret and stage musicals in the 70s
1947 ● Peter Hope-Evans → Harmonica and Jew’s harp in Brit folk-rock duo Medicine Head, “One And One Is One” (UK #3, 1973)
1950 ● Paul Burgess → Journeyman Brit drummer for soft pop/art-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975), The Invisible Girls, Magna Carta, Jethro Tull, Camel, The Icicle Works, Joan Armatrading and others, with Katy Lied as of 2010
1951 ● Norton Buffalo / (Phillip Jackson) → Blues and country-rock harmonica player, songwriter, singer and bandleader, toured with ‘Commander Cody, sessions for Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, Elvin Bishop and others, member of the Steve Miller Band, “Fly Like An Eagle” (#2, 1977), frontman for The Stampede and later The Knockouts, died from cancer on 10/30/2009, age 58
1952 ● Andy Ward / (Andrew John Ward) → Drummer and founding member of 70s prog rock Camel, later with prog-rock revival group Marillion, “Kayleigh” (Mainstream Rock #14, 1985) and 90s supergroup Mirage
1953 ● Jim Diamond → Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist with Gully Foyle, The Alexis Korner Band, Bandit and PhD, “I Won’t Let You Down” (UK #3, 1982), then solo, “I Should Have Know Better” (UK #1, 1984)
1953 ● Kenie Burke / (Kenneth Burke) → With his four siblings, backing singer in the “First Family of Soul,” Chicago R&B/soul The Five Stairsteps, “O-o-h Child” (#7, R&B #14, 1970), after disbandment in 1977 session work for Dark Horse Records and worked with Billy Preston and George Harrison, issued several solo albums and R&B/disco singles in the 80s, continued to record into the 90s
1954 ● George Lynch → Guitarist for pop-metal Dokken, “Alone Again” (1984), solo, fronted Lynch Mob, “Tangled In The Web” (Modern Rock #13, 1992) and Souls Of We
1957 ● Mari Wilson / (Mari Macmillan Ramsay Wilson) → Retro-60s beehive-hairdo R&B-pop-quiet storm singer, “Just What I Always Wanted” (, 1982)
1958 ● Mick Harvey → Multi-instrumentalist, long association with alt rock Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, “Where The Wild Roses Grow” (Australia #2, UK #11, 1995)
1960 ● Jennifer Rush / (Heidi Stern) → German-American superstar dance-pop singer, “The Power Of Love” (#57, UK #1, 1985) and multiple other Top 40 hits in various European countries, virtually unknown in the US
1962 ● Peter Hooton → Founder and lead vocals for Brit synth-pop The Farm, “Groovy Train” (#41, Dance/Club #4, 1991)
1966 ● Doggen / (Tony Foster) → Guitarist in Julian Cope‘s backing band, with trip hop Olive, “You’re Not Alone” (Dance/Club #5, UK #1, 1996), power trio Brain Donor and space rock Spiritualized.
1966 ● Ginger Fish / (Kenneth Robert Wilson) → Drummer for industrial-pop-metal/shock rock Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1998)
1967 ● Moon Unit Zappa → Film and TV actress, MTV and VH-1 VJ, artist, monologue vocals on “Valley Girl” (#32, 1982), daughter of Frank Zappa and spouse of Matchbox Twenty drummer Paul Doucette
1968 ● Brad Smith → Bass, flute and backing vocals for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993), solo, later alt rock Unified Theory, rejoined Blind Melon in 2006
1968 ● Luke Goss → With twin brother Matt, drummer in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (, 1988), solo and film acting credits
1968 ● Matthew Goss → With twin brother Luke, lead singer in Brit teen idol pop boy band Bros, “I Owe You Nothing” (, 1988), solo and currently performing in Las Vegas
1968 ● Sean Levert → Vocals for R&B/smooth soul trio LeVert, “Casanova” (#5, R&B #1, 1987), son of O’Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died from sarcoidosis while in jail on child support charges on 3/30/2008, age 39
1969 ● DeVante Swing / (Donald DeGrate, Jr.) → Vocals and songwriter in R&B/electro-dance “bad boy” quartet Jodeci, “Lately” (#4, 1993), founded Swing Mob Records, producer
1969 ● Jonathan Auer → Guitarist, singer and songwriter for power pop The Posies, “Dream All Day” (Mainstream Rock #17, 1993), toured and recorded with power pop Big Star and The Squirrels, solo
1977 ● Young Jeezy / (Jay Wayne Jenkins) → Hip hop business entrepreneur turned Southern/gangsta rapper, founded Corporate Thugz Entertainment , solo artist, “Soul Survivor” (#4, 2005), member of Boyz ‘N Da Hood and U.S.D.A.
1981 ● Suzanne Shaw → Singer for pre-fab mockstar dance-pop Hear’Say, “Pure And Simple” (UK #1, 2001), stage actress and TV host
1984 ● Melody Thorton → Vocals for burlesque dance-pop girl troupe The Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha” (#2, 2005)
1987 ● Hilary Duff → TV actress and star of Lizzie McGuire show, then teen dance-pop, “With Love” (#24, Dance/Club #1, 2007), movie actress, apparel designer and author
1987 ● Joshua Farro → Guitarist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, “Misery Business” (#27, 2007)

September 29
1907 ● Gene Autry / (Orvon Grover Autry) → The “Singing Cowboy” on radio, TV and in 93 films, cut over 600 records, scored 25 consecutive Top 10 Country hits between 1944 and 1952, including “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (#1, Country #1, 1949), owned hotels, broadcasting stations, oil wells and a major league baseball team, died of lymphoma on 10/2/1998, age 91
1935 ● Jerry Lee Lewis → Iconic and scandalous rock ‘n roll keyboardist, singer and songwriter known as “The Killer” for his piano-pounding music, raucous lyrics and wild stage persona, his place in the pantheon of early rock stars followed big hits like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” (#3, Country #1, 1957), “Great Balls Of Fire” (#2, Country #1, 1957) and “Breathless” (#7, Country #4, 1958), ironically his lone Top 10 hits but just three of 30 singles in the Country Top 10, in 1986 became one the earliest inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and later #24 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, despite a six decade career punctuated by seven marriages, including one to his 13-year-old cousin, drug and alcohol abuse, an arrest for trespassing at Elvis Presley’s Graceland with a loaded gun, and tax troubles with the IRS, toured and recorded into the 2010s and died from pneumonia on 10/28/2022,age 87.
1944 ● Anne Briggs / (Anne Patricia Briggs) → Influential but commercially unremarkable and reclusive Brit folk revival singer and songwriter, her style influenced a generation of British female folkies including Sandy Denny, Linda Thompson and Norma Waterson, and her songs were covered or interpreted by Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention and Led Zeppelin (“Black Mountain Side,” 1968), among others, left the industry for obscurity in the early 70s because she didn’t like the sound of her recorded voice
1948 ● Mike Pinera / (Carlos Michael Pinera) → Guitarist and singer with pop-rock Blues Image, “Ride Captain Ride” (#4, 1970), later solo and with Iron Butterfly, Cactus and Classic Rock All Stars
1948 ● Mark Farner → Lead singer and guitarist for hard rock/early heavy metal power trio Grand Funk Railroad, “We’re An American Band” (#1, 1973), toured with Ringo Starr’s Allstars in mid-90s
1956 ● Suzzy Roche → Singer/songwriter in critically-acclaimed but commercially-marginal female folk-pop harmony vocal sister trio The Roches, backed Paul Simon, solo
1960 ● Bill Rieflin / (William Frederick Rieflin) → Multi-instrumentalist, primarily drums and percussion, in a range of bands over a 40-year career, including local Seattle rock bands in the 70s, industrial/metal Ministry in the 80s, the Pigface artists collective and German industrial/techno KMFDM in the 90s, indie rock R.E.M. in the 00s and prog rock King Crimson for several stints in the 10s, along the way recording his own solo albums and participating in various music side projects, died after a nine-year bout with unspecified cancer on 3/24/2020, age 59.
1962 ● R. J. Vealey / (Robert Jason Vealey) → Drummer for the 90s lineup of Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, “So Into You” (#7, 1977), died from a heart attack moments after finishing a free midday performance with the band in Florida on his daughter’s first birthday, 11/13/1999, age 37
1963 ● Les Claypool → Bassist with funk-metal Primus, “N.I.B.” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2000), solo, film producer
1965 ● Ian Baker → Keyboards for techno-electronic pop-dance Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (#2, 1991)
1967 ● Brett Anderson → Vocals for Britpop indie rock Suede, “Trash” (UK #3, 1996)
1970 ● Bruce Williamson / (Bruce Alan Williamson, Jr.) → Child gospel vocal prodigy, journeyman R&B and soul singer on the Las Vegas nightclub circuit in the 80s and 90s joined soul giants The Temptations in 2007, sang lead vocals on two albums and on the oldies circuit until leaving in 2015, contracted the COVID-19 virus and died from complications of pneumonia on 9/2/2020, age 79.

September 30
1913 ● Cholly Atkins / (Charles Atkinson) → Vaudeville performer, legendary Cotton Club and Apollo Theater choreographer and Swing-era tap dancer with Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and others, parlayed freelance work as dance instructor for 50s R&B groups into the full-time, in-house choreographer position for Motown Records, designed trademark moves and gestures for The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5 and others, continued to teach dance until his death from pancreatic cancer on 4/19/2003, age 89
1917 ● Buddy Rich / (Bernard Rich) → Virtuoso jazz drummer known as the “King of the Drum Solo” over a seven decade career in big band, bop, swing and straight jazz, highly influential to dozens of jazz and rock drummers, scored eleven Jazz Top 20 albums between 1967 and 1981, died from heart failure following surgery for a malignant brain tumor on 4/2/1987, age 69
1933 ● Cissy Houston / (Emily Drinkard) → R&B/soul singer in gospel-soul family group The Drinkard Singers, then vocal team The Group backed Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross and others, fronted soul-pop The Sweet Inspirations, solo, “Think It Over” (Dance/Club #5, 1978), mother of Whitney Houston
1935 ● Johnny Mathis / (John Royce Mathis) → Jazz-pop adult contemporary vocalist, “Chances Are” (#1, 1957) and “Too Much Too Little Too Late (#1, 1978) plus 18 other Top 40 hits, Greatest Hits album remained on the US chart for over nine years
1940 ● Dewey Martin / (Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff) → Canadian drummer with country-rock The Dillards, then co-founded folk-rock Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth” (#7, 1967) and stayed with the band through various incarnations into the 90s, died from unknown causes on 2/1/2009, age 68
1942 ● Frankie Lymon / (Franklin Joseph Lymon) → Teenage lead singer and frontman for The Teenagers, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (#6, 1956), died from a drug overdose on 2/28/1968, age 25
1942 ● Gus Dudgeon → Record producer, primarily for The Beach Boys, Elton John, David Bowie, The Zombies, Kiki Dee, Strawbs, XTC and Joan Armatrading, died with his wife in a car accident on 7/21/2002, age 59
1943 ● Marilyn McCoo → Lead vocals for mainstream R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Wedding Bell Blues” (#1, 1969), then Grammy-winning solo career, including duet with spouse Billy Davis Jr., “You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)” (R&B #6, 1976), now TV host and stage actress
1946 ● Sylvia Peterson → Vocals for top-tier 60s New York girl group The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” (#1, 1963), retired from the group in the mid-90s
1947 ● Marc Bolan / (Mark Field) → Guitarist, songwriter and frontman for proto-glam-rock T. Rex, “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#10, 1971), released several solo albums, died in a car accident on 9/16/1977, age 29
1952 ● John Lombardo → Co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for folk-pop 10,000 Maniacs, left to form duo John & Mary, returned with partner Mary Ramsey in 1994, “More Than This” (#25, 1997)
1953 ● Deborah Allen / (Deborah Lynn Thurmond) → Country-pop backing singer for Roy Orbison and Tennessee Ernie Ford, then three Country Top 10 duet singles with Jim Reeves (including “Oh, How I Miss You Tonight,” Country #6, 1979) and an 80s solo stint with 11 charting Country singles and a lone crossover hit, “Baby I Lied” (#26, Country #4, 1983), continued to record and write songs for others into the 10s
1954 ● Lesley Beach → Saxophone for Brit reggae-pop-ska band Amazulu, “Too Good To Be Forgotten” (UK #5, 1986)
1954 ● Patrice Rushen → Grammy-winning R&B/jazz-pop pianist, producer, composer and vocalist, “Forget Me Nots” (#23, R&B #4, 1982), music professor, sessions and touring bands
1956 ● Basia Trzetrzelewska → Polish jazz-pop female vocalist in the Latin dance-pop jazz trio Matt Bianco, then solo, “Time And Tide” (#26, 1988) and “Drunk On Love” (Dance/Club #1, 1994)
1958 ● Biggie Tembo / (Tembo Marasha) → Zimbabwean singer and frontman for influential The Bhundu Boys, the band created “jit” music mixing rock ‘n’ roll and traditional chimurenga music into a dance-pop World beat that gained international recognition in the 80s and one charting U.S. album, Pamberi! (World Music Albums #15, 1990), fired from the band in 1990, tried unsuccessfully to launch a solo career, committed suicide by hanging on 7/30/1995, age 36
1962 ● Brian Bonhomme → Guitar and vocals for New Wave swing/pop Roman Holliday, “Don’t Try To Stop It” (#68, UK #14, 1983)
1964 ● Robby Takac → Bassist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1964 ● Trey Anastasio / (Ernest Joseph Anastasio III) → Guitarist, songwriter and de facto frontman for improv-rock jam band Phish, “Free” (Mainstream Rock #11, 1996), solo
1965 ● Matt Fallon / (Matthew Frankel) → Original lead vocalist for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row (“I Remember You,” #6, 1989), left in 1987 to pursue an unsuccessful solo career
1984 ● Keisha Buchanan → Singer in Brit multi-racial pop girl group Sugababes, “Hole In The Head” (Dance/Club #1, 2004)
1986 ● Ben Lovett → Welsh multi-instrumentalist and member of Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012)

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