This Weeks (December 4 – 10)

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Chris Hillman

Happy Birthday this week to:

December 04
1910 ● Alex North / (Isadore Soifer) → Hollywood film score composer with dozens of movie soundtracks over a 40-year career, first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award but never won a competitive Oscar despite fifteen nominations for films including A Streetcar Named Desire (1951; one of the first jazz-based film scores), Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), composed the music for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) but his work was rejected by director Stanley Kubrick, died from cancer on 9/8/1991, age 80.
1915 ● Eddie Heywood / (Edward “Eddie” Heywood, Jr.) → Popular 40s and 50s jazz and swing pianist, composer and bandleader, “Canadian Sunset” (#2, 1956), died after suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases on 1/2/1989, age 73
1932 ● Tommy Morgan / (Thomas Morgan Edwards) → Extraordinarily prolific session harmonicist estimated to have played on over 7,000 recordings, including over 500 soundtracks to feature films and thousands of individual songs across hundreds of albums, his harmonica can be heard on “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys (#1, 1966), “Rainy Days And Mondays” by The Carpenters (#2, 1971), on albums by Dolly Parton, James Taylor and many others, on TV theme songs for Family Guy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Waltons, among others, and on dozens of classic films including Oscar-winners Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Right Stuff (1983) and Dances With Wolves (1990), retired after a stroke in 2013 and died from unspecified causes on 6/23/2022, age 89.
1940 ● Freddy “Boom-Boom” Cannon / (Frederico Picariello) → Early and persistent pre-Beatles rock ‘n roller, “Palisades Park” (#3, 1962) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1965
1942 ● Bob Mosley / (James Robert Mosley) → Bass, vocals and songwriting for 60s San Francisco folk-roots-psych rock Moby Grape, “Omaha” (#88, 1967), continues to write and record music, occasionally with the band, despite being a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic
1944 ● Anna McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Kate in 70s-90s light folk duo The McGarrigle Sisters, wrote “Heart Like A Wheel” for Linda Ronstadt (1975)
1944 ● Chris Hillman → Bassist, singer, songwriter and founding member of seminal folk-country-rock The Byrds, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1, 1965), country-rock The Flying Burrito Brothers, light country-rock Souther Hillman Furay Band and country-pop Desert Rose Band, “I Still Believe In You” (Country #1, 1988) and nine other Country Top 15 singles
1944 ● Dennis Wilson → Drummer, vocalist and songwriter for surf-pop-rock The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (#1, 1966), solo, drowned in a swimming accident on 12/28/1983, age 39
1944 ● Hux Brown / (Lynford Brown) → Jamaican record producer and session guitarist on dozens of records by multiple rocksteady and reggae bands in the 60s and 70s, including “Bangarang” by Lester Sterling (1969, considered by many to be the first reggae single), “Rivers Of Babylon” by the Melodians (1970) and “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff (1972), also played lead guitar on Paul Simon’s “Mother And Child Reunion” (#4, 1972), joined groundbreaking reggae musical group Toots & The Maytals as their touring guitarist, appearing in hundreds of shows over 35 years, died in a shopping center parking lot from an apparent heart attack on 6/18/2020, age 75.
1945 ● Gary P. Nunn → Texas Hill Country folk, blues and progressive country singer, songwriter and guitarist, wrote “London Homesick Blues” (the theme song to the music TV show Austin City Limits) and numerous other songs covered by multiple artists, played with Jerry Jeff Walker and Michael Martin Murphey as a member of the Lost Gonzo Band, plus Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and many others, issued nearly 20 solo albums and received numerous music achievement awards
1947 ● Terry Woods → Mandolin and cittern for Irish folk-punk-rock The Pogues, “Tuesday Morning” (Rock #11, 1993), also played with Steeleye Span, Sweeney’s Men, The Bucks and, briefly, Dr. Strangely Strange
1948 ● Southside Johnny / (John Lyon) → Lead vocals and frontman for New Jersey rock ‘n roll bar band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, “Talk To Me” (1978)
1951 ● Gary Rossington → Guitarist and founding member of raunchy Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8, 1974), survived the October 1977 plane crash that killed several bandmembers, then founded Rossington-Collins Band with other Skynyrd alumni, “Welcome Me Home” (Mainstream Rock #9, 1988)
1959 ● Bob Griffin → Bassist for roots rock The BoDeans, “Closer To Free” (#16, 1993)
1960 ● Les Nemes → Bassist for New Wave funk-pop Haircut 100, “Love Plus One” (#37, 1982)
1962 ● Vinnie Dombroski / (Mark Dombroski) → Lead vocals and songwriter for post-grunge alt rock Sponge, “Molly (16 Candles Down The Drain)” (Modern Rock #3, 1995) and other Detroit rock bands
1965 ● John Rzeznick → Lead singer and guitarist for alt-rock Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” (#1, 1998)
1967 ● Adamski / (Adam Tinley) → Brit dance-pop producer, songwriter and singer, “Killer” (with Seal, UK #1, US Dance #23, 1990)
1969 ● Jay-Z / (Shawn Corey Carter) → Producer, Def Jam Records executive, New Jersey Nets part-owner, hugely successful hip hop artist and Grammy-winning rapper, “Empire State Of Mind” (#1, 2009)
1972 ● Justin Welch → Drummer for mixed-gender, post-punk alt rock Elastica, “Connection” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1973 ● Kate Rusby → The “First Lady of Young Folkies,” Brit contemporary acoustic folk singer and songwriter, “All Over Again” (UK #6, 2006)

December 05
1899 ● Sonny Boy Williamson / (Aleck “Rice” Miller) → Celebrated Chicago-style blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, played with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others, The Animals, Van Morrison, The Who, Yardbirds and many others covered his songs, died from a heart attack on 5/25/1965, age 65
1922 ● Don Robertson → Country and pop songwriter, wrote or co-wrote multiple hits for others, including “Born To Be With You” for The Chordettes (#5, 1956) and Dave Edmunds (UK #3, 1973), “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” for Hank Locklin (Country #1, 1960) and over 25 songs for Elvis Presley plus one for his own recording, the country-pop novelty “The Happy Whistler” (#6, 1956), died on 3/16/2015, age 82
1932 ● Little Richard / (Richard Wayne Penniman) → Permanent member of rock music’s pantheon, immeasurably important pianist, songwriter, bandleader and one of a very small handful of top artists who truly pioneered rock ‘n’ roll music in the 50s and pre-Beatles 60s, and by extension, multiple genres of popular music in the second half of the 20th Century, combined melodic R&B, blues and gospel with a frenetic, piano-pounding, shrill-voiced flamboyancy not heard elsewhere beyond the immortal “Tutti Frutti” (#21, R&B #2, 1956) and now-standard “Long Tall Sally” (#13, R&B #1, 1956), plus 15 other R&B Top 20 singles in the 50s, thereafter spent 50 years shifting between evangelism and reluctantly touring as a rock icon, died from bone cancer on 5/9/2020, age 87.
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → The “King of Gospel music”, Grammy-winning singer, arranger and modern soul/Gospel sound innovator who fused church Gospel with jazz and pop influences, died of heart failure on 2/9/1991, age 58
1936 ● Chad Mitchell → Singer-songwriter and frontman for collegiate folk-pop The Chad Mitchell Trio, the group charted eight albums and one Top 50 hit, “Lizzie Borden” (#44, 1962) but missed out on the success enjoyed by other folk revival groups of equal credibility such as The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary
1936 ● Robert Freeman / (Robert Grahame Freeman) → English graphic designer and newspaper photojournalist best known for his iconic cover images on five early Beatles albums, including Beatles For Sale (1964), Help! (1965) and Rubber Soul (1965), also shot the closing credit sequences for the movies A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965) plus various promotional images during his three year stint with the band, later enjoyed a long career as a film producer and glamour, celebrity and landscape photographer, died in a London hospital from pneumonia on 11/6/2019, age 82.
1938 ● J.J. Cale / (John Weldon Cale) → Roots-blues-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, one of the originators of the laid-back “Tulsa Sound” mixing country, blues, rockabilly and jazz, a lone Top 40 hit, “Crazy Mama” (#22, 1972) and “After Midnight” (#42, 1972) were his only chart appearances, best known for writing “Cocaine” (Eric Clapton, #30, 1980) and “Call Me The Breeze” (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974) among many others and for winning a Grammy Award for the album The Road To Escondido (2007) with Clapton, died following a heart attack on 7/26/2013, age 74
1945 ● Eduardo Delgado Serrato → Original drummer for garage rock legends ? And The Mysterians, “96 Tears” (#1, 1966)
1945 ● Sir Geoff Emerick / (Geoffrey Ernest Emerick) → New-hire, 20-year-old trainee technician at London’s EMI Studios who was selected to attend sessions for early recordings by The Beatles, later served as chief sound engineer for their biggest albums, including Grammy Awards for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (#1, UK #1, 1967) and Abbey Road (#1, UK #1, 1969), also engineered albums for Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Supertramp and many others, co-wrote the autobiographical memoir Here, There And Everywhere: My Life Recording The Music Of The Beatles (2006) for which he was criticized for dissing George Harrison and Sir George Martin, died following a heart attack on 10/2/2018, age 72.
1946 ● Andy Kim / (Andrew Youakim) → Canadian pop-rock singer and songwriter, wrote “Sugar Sugar” for bubblegum-pop The Archies (#1, 1969) and scored his own #1 hit with “Rock Me Gently” (#1, 1974), disappeared in the late 70s but resurfaced as “Baron Longfellow” in 1980, continues to record and perform into the 10s
1947 ● Jim Messina → Country-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter with Buffalo Springfield (“For What It’s Worth”, #17, 1967), Poco (“You Better Think Twice”, #72, 1970) and Loggins & Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” (#4, 1972).
1960 ● Jack Russell → Lead vocals for hard rock/metal Great White, “One Bitten, Twice Shy” (#5, 1989), survived Rhode Island night club fire in 2003 in which nearly 100 fans died
1968 ● Glen Graham → Drums and percussion for roots-psych-alt rock Blind Melon, “No Rain” (Modern Rock #1, 1993)
1971 ● Craig Gill → Drummer for Brit psych-alt rock Inspiral Carpets, “Two Worlds Collide” (Modern Rock #8, 1992)
1980 ● Shiian / (Christian Smith Pancorvo) → Drummer in Brit indie rock Razorlight, “Golden Touch” (UK #9, 2004) and currently Serafin, “Day By Day” (UK #49, 2003)
1980 ● Zainam Higgins → Singer and songwriter for Brit R&B/dance-pop teen sibling girl group Cleopatra, “Cleopatra’s Theme” (#26, 1998)
1982 ● Keri Lynn Hilson → R&B singer and songwriter, wrote hits as part of The Clutch five-person songwriting team, solo, “Knock You Down” (#3, 2009)

December 06
1896 ● Ira Gershwin / (Israel Gershowitz) → With his brother, George Gershwin, one of the greatest songwriters of the early 20th century, Tin Pan Alley stage, film and opera lyricist and librettist, best known their his jazz-influenced classical composition “Rhapsody In Blue” (1924) and the opera Porgy And Bess (1934), continued to write music for decades after his brother’s death in 1937, including “Long Ago (And Far Away)” (#2, 1944) with Jerome Kern from the film Cover Girl (1944), died from cardiovascular disease on 8/17/1983, age 86
1916 ● Hugo E. Peretti → Songwriter, producer, record label executive, teamed with cousin Luigi Creatore to produce dozens of hit songs for multiple artists, including Sam Cooke‘s “Twistin’ The Night Away” (#9, 1962) and The Isley Brothers‘ “Shout” (#49, 1959), died from undisclosed causes on 5/1/1986, age 69
1920 ● Dave Brubeck / (David Warren Brubeck) → Renowned jazz-pop pianist, bandleader and composer, best known for the enduring jazz-pop “Take Five” (Adult Contemporary #5, 1961) from the album Time Out, the first jazz album to sell upwards of a million copies,, died from heart failure while enroute to his cardiologist on 12/5/2012, age 91
1935 ● George Williams / (George Reginald Williams, Jr.) → Lead vocals in Philly soul The Tymes, one of the few acts to have their only #1 hits in both the U.S. and the U.K. with different songs – “So Much In Love” (#1, UK #21, 1963) and “Ms. Grace” (#91, UK #1, 1974), left the band in 1978 and relocated to the U.K., died on 7/28/2004, age 66
1936 ● David Ossman → Comedian, novelist, theater producer and member of 60s/70s eclectic, satiric, surrealistic radio-friendly comic quartet The Firesign Theatre, the group’s nearly 40 albums were cult hits, particluarly for college audiences, produced major audio theater broadcasts for National Public Radio during the 80s and live radio plays in the 00s
1939 ● Steve Alaimo → Early 60s teen idol pop singer with nine Billboard Top 100 singles without a Top 40 hit – the most low-enders by any artist anytime – later hosted and co-produced with Dick Clark the American Bandstand spinoff music variety show Where The Action Is (1965-67), became a mildly successful record producer and label owner
1942 ● Robb Royer / (Robert W. Royer) → Guitar, keyboards, bass and songwriting for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970), co-wrote “For All We Know,” the 1971 Academy Award Best Song of the Year by the Carpenters from the movie Lovers And Other Strangers, songwriting credits include songs written for The Remingtons, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Randy Travis and others
1943 ● Keith West (Hopkins) / (Keith Alan Hopkins) → Singer, songwriter and frontman for Brit early psych-rock group Tomorrow, then pop-psych solo career, “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” (UK #2, 1967), now a producer of music
1943 ● Mike Smith / (Michael George Smith) → Keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock Dave Clark Five, “Catch Us If You Can” (#4, 1965) and 13 other Top 25 hits in the US (but only nine in their home UK), suffered a spinal injury in a fall from a fence in 2003 and was paralyzed from the waist down, died from pneumonia on 2/28/2008, age 64
1944 ● Jonathan King / (Kenneth George King) → Brit singer and songwriter, “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (#17, 1965) plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under various names, record producer, early manager for prog rock Genesis, convicted and jailed (2001) sex offender
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Founder and guitarist for Brit blues-rock Savoy Brown, “Tell Mama” (#83, 1971)
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Czech-born bassist for jazz-rock fusion Weather Report, “Birdland” (1977), solo
1947 ● Fritz Fryer / (David Roderick Fryer) → Lead guitarist for early 60s Brit pop The Four Pennies, “Juliet” (UK #1, 1964), the most important British Invasion era act with no chart presence in the US, died of pancreatic cancer on 9/2/2007, age 59
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Up and coming heavy metal/pop-metal guitarist, founder of hard rock Quiet Riot, joined Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band for landmark albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981), died in a plane crash while on tour in Florida on 3/19/1982, age 29
1954 ● Robert Kane → Lead vocals since 1999 for Brit pub-rock Dr. Feelgood, “Milk And Alcohol” (UK #9, 1979)
1955 ● Edward Tudor-Pole → Leader of Brit punk-rock band Tenpole Tudor, “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, (UK #6, 1981), solo, “Who Killed Bambi?” (1978), TV actor and host
1955 ● Rick Buckler → Drummer for Brit punk-rock/mod revival The Jam, “Town Called Malice” (Mainstream Rock #31, 1982)
1956 ● Peter Buck → Guitarist and songwriter for influential post-punk R.E.M., “The One I Love” (#9, 1987)
1957 ● Adrian Borland → Brit singer, songwriter and guitarist for post-punk, critically successful The Sound from 1979 to 1987, issued five albums as a solo artist before committing suicide on 4/26/1999, age 41
1961 ● David Lovering → Drummer for melodic post-punk alternative rock The Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man” (Modern Rock #3, 1989)
1961 ● Jonathan Melvoin → Multi-instrumentalist session and touring musician for various 80s punk bands, contributed to projects for his sister Wendy Melvoin‘s funk-pop vocal duet Wendy & Lisa as well as for Prince & The Revolution, toured with The Smashing Pumpkins up to his death from a heroin overdose on 7/12/1996, age 34
1962 ● Ben Watt → Guitar, keyboards and vocals in Brit pop-dance-club duo Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (#2, 1995), solo
1964 ● Blando Bland / (Jeff Bland) → Guitarist in pop-glam metal Slaughter, “Fly To The Angels” (#19, 1990), died in a car crash on 2/5/1998
1969 ● Mark Gardener → Singer and guitarist for Brit neo-psych shoegazing band Ride, “Twisterella” (Modern Rock #12, 1992)
1969 ● Steven Drozd → Drummer and vocalist for neo-psych alt rock The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (#55, 1995)
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Keyboards and vocals for Swedish pop-rockers Ace Of Base, “All That She Wants” (#2, 1993)

December 07
1910 ● Louis Prima → New Orleans jazz band frontman in the 20s, swing combo member in 30s, Big Band leader in the 40s, Las Vegas lounge act with then wife Keely Smith in the 50s (Grammy-winning “That Ol’ Black Magic,” #18, 1958) and pop-rocker in the 60s and 70s, died from pneumonia while in a coma following unsuccessful brain tumor surgery on 8/24/1978, age 67.
1922 ● Don Maddox / (Kenneth Chalmer Maddox) → With brothers Cal, Fred, Henry and sister Rose, vocals and songwriting – and chief comedian – in pioneering hillbilly/”country boogie” band Maddox Brothers & Rose, “the most colorful hillbilly band in the land” in the 40s and 50s, their blend of slap-bass honky tonk and frantic R&B along with flamboyantly embroidered outfits and a raucous stage presence gave rise to both early rock ‘n’ roll and generations of sequined country artists, following dissolution in the late 60s started a successful cattle ranching career, returned to the stage in the 90s into the early 10s at rockabilly and bluegrass festivals as a representative founder of rock n roll, last performed in Las Vegas in 2014 at age 91 and was the only living Maddox sibling at his death from complications of dementia on 9/12/2021, age 98.
1924 ● Bent Fabric / (Bent Fabricius-Bjerre) → Danish pianist and composer with the Grammy-winning, worldwide instrumental pop hit “Alley Cat” (#7, AC #2, 1962), a simple but infectious earworm released in Denmark in 1961 as “Omkring et Flygel” (“Around a Piano”), also credited with scoring more than 70 films and TV shows, plus theater and ballet music, died following a short illness on 7/28/2020, age 96.
1924 ● Boyd Bennett → Rockabilly singer and songwriter with two Top 40 hits in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, “Seventeen” (#5, R&B #7, 1955) and “My Boy Flat-Top” (#39, R&B #13, 1955), when his teenage audience began ageing, retired from music in the early 60s and ventured into business ownership, died from a lung ailment on 6/2/2002, age 77
1931 ● Bobby Osborne → With his younger brother, Sonny, one half of the influential bluegrass act The Osborne Brothers, “Rocky Top” (Country #33, 1967), the song was voted the official state song of Tennessee and one of two official state songs the brothers recorded, the other being “My Old Kentucky Home” (Country #69, 1970)
1942 ● Harry Chapin / (Harry Foster Chapin) → Folk-pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, composed many narrative-based “story songs” including “Taxi” (#24, CAN #5, 1972) and “Cat’s In The Cradle” (#1, CAN #3, 1974), died in a car collision on the Long Island Expressway on 7/16/1981, age 38
1949 ● Tom Waits → Grammy-winning gravelly, growling blues-rock singer and songwriter, film actor, film score composer, voice-over contributor, wrote “Ol’ 55′” for the Eagles (1974)
1954 ● Mike Nolan → Vocals in Brit mixed-gender euro-pop/disco Bucks Fizz, “Making Your Mind Up” (UK #1, 1981) and 12 other UK Top 40 singles
1954 ● Thunderstick / (Barry Purkis) → Brit drummer briefly with early Iron Maiden and later with the cult band Samson, known for wearing various horror masks and performing in a cage, named by Classic Rock magazine as number 36 on the “50 Greatest Drummers of Rock” list
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Bassist and co-founder of Brit New Wave post-punk The Psychedelic Furs, “Pretty In Pink” (#41, 1981)
1961 ● Robert Downes → Guitarist in New Wave synth-pop-soul Then Jerico, “The Motive” (UK #18, 1987)
1963 ● Barbara Weathers → Lead vocals for 80s urban contemporary soul Atlantic Starr, “Always” (#1, 1987)
1963 ● Huw Chadbourne → Keyboardist for Brit lounge/melodramatic pop group Babybird, “You’re Gorgeous” (UK #3, 1996)
1965 ● Brian Futter → Guitarist for Brit indie rock/shoegazing band Catherine Wheel, “Black Metallic” (Modern Rock #9, 1991)
1973 ● Dodi Ma / (Damien Rice) → Multi-instrumentalist Irish indie folk-rock singer and songwriter, fronted folk-pop Juniper, then solo, “Cannonball” (UK #19, 2004)
1974 ● Nicole Appleton → Canadian singer in Brit dance-pop-rock all-girl quartet All Saints, “Never Ever” (#4, 1998), then dance-pop sister duo Appleton, “Never Ever” (UK #2, 2003)
1977 ● Dominic Howard → Drummer for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009).
1979 ● Sara Beth Bareilles → Grammy-nominated contemporary pop-rock pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter, “Love Song” (#4, 2007)
1986 ● Jonathan Benjamin “J.B.” Gill → Vocals in Brit R&B/soul-pop boy band JLS (aka Jack The Lad Swing), “She Makes Me Wanna” (Dance/Club #25, 2011), runners-up of the fifth season (2008) of The X Factor
1987 ● Aaron Carter → Teen idol hip hop/pop singer, “Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It)” (#35, 2002)
1988 ● Winston Marshall → Electric guitar, banjo and vocals for Grammy-winning Brit folk-rock Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” (#12, Alt Rock #1, 2012).

December 08
1922 ● Jean Ritchie → The “Mother of Folk,” singer, songwriter, dulcimer player, author and Appalachian music heritage stewardess whose influence on the commercial “folk revival” boom of the 60s was immeasurable, recorded nearly three dozen albums and wrote hundreds of original songs based on the traditions of Appalachia, explored the links between American and British folk music, toured extensively until her death from natural causes on 6/1/2015, age 92
1925 ● Sammy Davis, Jr. → Versatile TV and film actor, impersonator, dancer, “Rat Pack” contemporary pop singer and “member” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, solo artist, “Candy Man” (#1, 1972), died of lung cancer on 5/16/1990, age 64
1925 ● Jimmy Smith → Jazz organist, Hammond B-3 electronic organ innovator and recognized virtuoso, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master, bandleader and composer, “Walk On The Wild Side” (#4, 1962), found dead in his home on 2/8/2005, age 79.
1939 ● James Galway → The “Man with the Golden Flute,” Irish virtuoso flutist, “Annie’s Song” (UK #33, 1978), played with Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall in 1990
1939 ● Jerry Butler → The “Ice Man,” vocals in Chicago soul/doo wop The Impressions, “It’s All Right” (#4, 1963), then solo, “Only The Strong Survive” (#4, R&B #1, 1969) and 15 other Top 40 hits, now a member of the Chicago/Cook County Board of Commissioners since 1986
1942 ● Bobby Elliot → Drummer in British Invasion pop-rock The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (#5, 1966)
1942 ● Toots Hibbert / (Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert) → Six-decade performing artist, frontman for The Maytals and one of a select few who brought reggae music to a global stage, defining the fundamental blend of American jazz and soul with traditional Jamaican folk/mento music and socially-conscious lyrics over upbeat tempos, often labelled the “Father of Reggae” and first to use the term in a record on “Do The Reggay” (1968) but never achieved the recognition afforded to Bob Marley and other peers, continued to record and tour extensively until 2013 when a fan tossed a bottle on stage that caused a concussion, died from complications of the COVID-19 virus on 9/11/2020, age 77.
1943 ● Jim Morrison / (James Douglas Morrison) → Vocals and frontman for influential and controversial rock band The Doors, “Hello, I Love You” (#1, 1968), died from a drug overdose in Paris, France on 7/3/1971, age 27
1944 ● George Baker / (Johannes Bouwens) → Dutch singer and frontman for light pop-rock quintet George Baker Selection and two international hits, “Little Green Bag” (#21, 1969) and “Una Paloma Blanca” (#26, AC #1, Country #33, 1975), continued with a mildly successful solo career after disbanding the group in the late 70s
1944 ● Mike Botts / (Michael Gene Botts) → Drummer for soft MOR pop-rock Bread, “Make It With You” (#1, 1970) and session musician, died from colon cancer on 12/9/2005, age 61
1946 ● John Knight / (John Graham Knight) → Founding member and bassist for Scottish pop-rock The Marmalade, “Reflections Of My Life” (#10, 1970)
1947 ● Geoff Daking → Drummer for early psychedelic rock quintet Blues Magoos, “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (#5, 1967)
1947 ● Gregg Allman / (Gregory LeNoir Allman) → The “Greatest White Blues Singer,” co-founder, lead vocalist, keyboards and songwriter for Southern blues-rock The Allman Brothers Band (“Ramblin’ Man,” #2, 1973) plus nine solo albums and 15 singles (“I’m No Angel,” Mainstream Rock #1, 1987) and a duet album with then-wife Cher (Two The Hard Way, 1977), died from liver failure on 5/27/2017, age 69.
1949 ● Ray Shulman → Bass, violin and guitar in pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, “Kites” (UK #9, 1967), then founding member of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant
1950 ● Dan Hartman / (Daniel Earl Hartman) → Multi-instrumentalist member of the Edgar Winter Group, wrote “Free Ride” (#14, 1972), session musician, producer for multiple artists, solo R&B/soul-pop singer and songwriter, “I Can Dream About You” (#6, 1984), died from an AIDS-related brain tumor on 3/22/1994, age 43
1950 ● Wah Wah Watson / (Melvin Ragin) → Widely-admired R&B, soul and funk guitarist known for his mastery of the “wah-wah” pedal, the tone-altering filter on electric guitars, parlayed a connection at Motown Records into a position on house-band the Funk Brothers, with whom he played on dozens of hit songs and albums by Michael Jackson, the The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and others, later issued a solo album and did session work for Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand and Blondie, caught on with neo-solo and hip hop acts in the 90s and 00s and recorded with Alicia Keys, Maxwell and Me’shell Ndegeocello, among others, died from complications of a stroke on 10/24/2018, age 67
1953 ● Colin Gibb / (Colin Routh) → Bass and backing vocals for Brit pop/rock novelty-party quartet Black Lace, “Avado” (UK #2, 1984), continues with incarnations of the band in the 00s
1956 ● Warren Cuccurullo → Guitarist in New Wave pop-rock Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#3, 1982) and Missing Persons, “Walking In L.A.” (Mainstream Rock #12, 1983)
1957 ● Phil Collen → Lead guitar for hard rock/Brit New Wave of Heavy Metal (“NWOBHM”) band Def Leppard, “Love Bites” (#1, 1988)
1959 ● Paul Rutherford → Backing vocals, keyboards and dancer for Brit New Wave pop/rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Relax” (#10, 1984)
1962 ● Marty Friedman → Lead guitarist for trash metal Megadeth, “Trust” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1997)
1966 ● Bushwick Bill / (Richard Shaw) → Rapper and vocals for gangsta/horror-rap Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” (#23, 1991)
1966 ● Sinead O’Connor → Irish-born controversial folk-pop singer and songwriter, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (#1, 1990)
1972 ● Ryan Newell → Backing vocals, lead and slide guitar for Southern folk-rock Sister Hazel, “All For You” (#11, 1997)
1973 ● Corey Taylor / (Corey Todd Taylor) → Guitarist and singer for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004) and Stone Sour, “Bother” (Mainstream Rock #2, 2002)
1973 ● Judith Pronk / (Judith Anna Pronk) → Dutch-born lead vocalist for euro-pop-dance Alice Deejay, “Better Off Alone” (Dance/Club #3, 1999)
1974 ● Nick Zinner → Guitarist for New York alt/art-rock trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Gold Lion” (Alt Rock #14, 2006)
1982 ● Chrisette Michele / (Chrisette Michele Payne) → Contemporary R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Epiphany” (R&B #14, 2009)
1984 ● Sam Hunt → Country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, co-wrote Kenny Chesney‘s “Come Over” (#23, Country #1, 2012) and followed with his debut album Montevallo (#3, Country #1, 2014) and four Top 40 hits, including “Take Your Time” (#20, Country #1, 2014()

December 09
1932 ● Jessie Hill → New Orleans R&B and blues singer with the classic “Ooh Poo Pah Doo – Part II” (#28, R&B #3, 1960), sideman for Professor Longhair and Huey “Piano” Smith, frontman for his own band, The House Rockers, died from kidney and heart failure on 9/17/1996, age 63
1932 ● Donald Byrd → Influential jazz and R&B trumpeteer, early mentor to jazz fusion keyboardist Herbie Hancock and session musician known for pioneering soul and funk sounds within bebop jazz, later earned a PhD in music education and taught at Rutgers, Cornell and numerous other American colleges and universities, died on 2/4/2013, age 80
1934 ● Junior Wells / (Amos Wells Blakemore, Jr.) → Chicago blues harmonica player and singer, “Little By Little” (R&B #23, 1960), worked with Buddy Guy, toured in front of The Rolling Stones in the 70s, issued occasional albums in the 80s and 90s, appeared in the sequel movie Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), died from lymphoma on 1/15/1998, age 63
1935 ● David Houston → Country music star with 29 Country Top 20 hits, including the Grammy-winning crossover “Almost Persuaded” (#24, Country #1, 1966) which spent a record nine straight weeks at the top of Billboard‘s Country Singles chart, a feat unmatched until Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” went to 10 weeks in early 2013, died following a brain aneurysm on 11/30/1993, age 57
1941 ● Sammy Strain → Vocals for doo wop/novelty The Chips, “Rubber Biscuit” (1956), then doo wop Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” (#4, 1958) and R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), continued to record and perform with all three until retiring in 2004
1941 ● Dan Hicks / (Daniel Ivan Hicks) → Roots- and folk-rock songwriter and guitarist, original drummer for early San Francisco psych-rock The Charlatans, then founder and frontman for eccentric, acoustic pop (self-defined “folk-swing”) Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (“How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away,” 1969), disbanded the group in the mid-70s, recorded several solo albums in the 90s and reformed The Hot Licks in 2001, died from liver cancer on 12/6/2016, age 74.
1943 ● Kenny Vance / (Kenneth Rosenberg) → Original member of AM pop-rock vocals for Jay & The Americans, “Cara Mia” (#4, 1965), music supervisor for several films including Animal House (1978) and Eddie And The Cruisers (1983), music director for Saturday Night Live, producer and bandleader
1944 ● Neil Innes / (Neil James Innes) → Multi-instrumentalist British comedian, songwriter and early member of 60s art/comedy-rock Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, wrote their lone hit “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (UK #5, 1968) and many other satirical and nutty songs over 40 years, including several well-known pieces – “Knight Of The Round Table” (1975) for one – for comedy troupe Monty Python, with whom he collaborated during the 70s, and co-founded The Beatles parody band The Rutles with Python-mate Eric Idle in 1978 and wrote most of their deadpan sendups, appeared in children’s TV programs in the 80s, contributed to Rutles and Monty Python reunions over the years, formed the Idiot Bastard Band in the 10s and died from an unexpected heart attack on 12/29/2019, age 75.
1944 ● Shirley Brickley → Vocals in mixed gender R&B doo-wop quartet The Orlons, “The Wah-Watusi” (#2, R&B #5, 1962), shot to death by an intruder in her Philadelphia home on 10/13/1977, age 32
1946 ● Clyde Orange / (Walter Orange) → Drummer and backing vocals for Grammy-winning Motown R&B/soul-funk Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” (#1, 1978) and “Nightshift” (#3, 1985)
1946 ● Dennis Dunaway → Original bassist for hard/glam rock band Alice Cooper, co-wrote “I’m Eighteen” (#21, 1970) and “School’s Out” (#2, 1972), after disbandment in 1974 formed short-lived hard rock Billion Dollar Babies, continues to perform in various rock bands and Alice Cooper reunions into the 10s
1950 ● Joan Armatrading → St. Kitts-born Grammy-nominated soul-reggae-folk singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Drop The Pilot” (Mainstream Rock #33, 1983)
1954 ● Jack Sonni → Rhythm guitarist for Dire Straits in mid-80s, including “Money For Nothing” (#1, 1985)
1955 ● Randy Murray → Guitarist for latest line-up of Canadian pop-rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (#1, 1974)
1957 ● Donny Osmond → Teenybopper lead vocals and center of sibling pop vocal group The Osmonds, “One Bad Apple” (#1, 1971), then solo, “Soldier Of Love” (#2, 1989), TV actor and host
1957 ● Steve Askew → Former guitarist for one hit wonder New Wave light synth-bubblegum-pop Kajagoogoo, “Too Shy” (#5, 1983), now a stained glass artist
1958 ● Nick Seymour → Bassist for Aussie New Wave pop-rock Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (#2, 1987)
1964 ● Paul H. Landers → Rhythm guitar for heavy metal/Kraut rock Rammstein, “Sehnsucht” (Mainstream Rock #20, 1998)
1966 ● Michael Foster → Drummer for pop-metal FireHouse, “When I Look Into Your Eyes” (#8, 1992) and on albums by FireHouse bandmate and guitarist Bill Leverty
1968 ● Brian Bell → Rhythm guitarist and songwriter for post-grunge alt pop-rock Weezer, “Beverly Hills” (#10, 2005)
1969 ● Jakob Dylan → Singer, songwriter and guitarist for roots rock The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Mainstream Rock #1, 1996), solo, son of folk-rock icon Bob Dylan
1970 ● Kara DioGuardi → Grammy-nominated dance-pop and pop-rock songwriter, music video producer, American Idol judge and record company A&R executive, wrote or co-wrote nearly 50 charting singles, including “Ooh Ooh Baby” for Britney Spears
1970 ● Zachary Foley → Original bassist for Brit dance-rock quintet EMF (“Epsom Mad Funkers“), “Unbelievable” (#1, 1990), died of drug overdose on 1/3/2002, age 31
1971 ● Geoff Barrow → Remix producer and co-founder of avant-garde electronica and trip-hop group Portishead, “Sour Times” (#53, 1995)
1972 ● Tre Cool / (Frank Edwin Wright III) → Drummer for post-grunge alt rock/punk revival Green Day, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” (#2, 2004)
1974 ● Canibus / (Germaine Williams) → Jamaican-born rapper and actor, half of the hip hop duo T.H.E.M. (The Heralds of Extreme Metaphors) with Atlanta rapper Webb, left in 1996 for a solo career, including the debut single “Second Round K.O.” (#28, Rap #3, 1998), 13 studio albums and multiple collaborations into the 10s
1978 ● Chris Wolstenholme → Bassist for prog-glam-electronic rock Muse, “Uprising” (#37, 2009)

December 10
1906 ● Harold Adamson → Pop music lyricist known for writing or co-writing dozens of standards, including “Time On My Hands” (1930), “I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night” (1944) and “An Affair To Remember” (1957) as well as the theme song to the 60s sitcom I Love Lucy, died on 8/17/1980, age 73
1910 ● John Hammond / (John Henry Hammond II) → Influential Columbia Records executive and A&R scout, responsible for starting or furthering the careers of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others, died following a stroke on 7/10/1987, age 76
1924 ● Ken Albers / (John Kenneth Albers) → Vocals and trumpet in clean-cut, jazz/collegiate-pop harmony quartet The Four Freshmen (“Graduation Day,” #17, 1956), a major influence on Brain Wilson of The Beach Boys but lost relevance during the British Invasion, died after a long illness on 4/19/2007, age 82
1926 ● Guitar Slim / (Eddie Jones) → Flamboyant and oft-covered New Orleans blues guitarist, “The Things That I Used To Do” (R&B #1, 1954), included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll, died penniless from pneumonia on 2/7/1959, age 32
1941 ● Chad Stuart / (David Stuart Chadwick) → Vocals and guitar with Jeremy Clyde in 60s strings-backed, British Invasion light folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy, scored seven US Top 40 hits in less than four years, including “A Summer Song” (#7, 1964) before breaking up and fading into obscurity, resurfaced on the oldies circuit in the 80s and reunited again in the 00s to tour and record until his death from pneumonia on 12/20/2020, age 79.
1941 ● Ralph Tavares / (Ralph Edward Vierra Tavares) → Vocals and oldest of five brothers in R&B/funk-disco Tavares with ten R&B Top 10 hits in the mid-70s, including the crossover “It Only Takes A Minute” (#10, R&B #1, 1976), left the band in 1984 to become a Massachusetts municipal court officer, retired in 2015 and rejoined his brothers in Tavares until his death from undisclosed causes on 12/8/2021, age 79.
1941 ● Mike Irving / (Michael Herbert Lang) → Multi-keyboardist noted for playing on an estimated 2,500 film and TV scores starting in the mid-1960s, including music soundtracks by virtually every great late 20th Century film composer and covering jazz, classical, pop, and R&B sounds, including John WilliamsClose Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and John Barry‘s Body Heat (1981), plus TV theme songs for The Waltons and Kung Fu in the 1970s and The Simpsons and Frasier in the 90s, among hundreds of others, also did session work over five decades for Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, John Denver, NSYNC, John Lennon, Barbra Streisand, Frank Zappa and others, died from lung cancer on 8/5/2022, age 80.
1946 ● Ace Kefford / (Christopher John Kefford) → Bassist and founding member of Brit psych-rock The Move, “Blackberry Way” (UK #1, 1968), solo
1948 ● Jessica Cleaves → Lead singer for pop-rock vocal group The Friends Of Distinction, “Grazing In The Grass” (#3, 1969), backing vocals for Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament/Funkadelic, died following a stroke on 5/2/2014, age 65
1951 ● Johnny Rodriguez / (Juan Raul David Rodriguez) → Latin-American outlaw country singer and songwriter, “Ridin’ My Thumb To Mexico” (#70, Country #1, 1973) and five other Country #1 hits and 23 other Country Top 40 singles
1952 ● Susan Dey / (Susan Hallock Dey) → TV and film actress best known for her role as the older singing daughter in the pre-fab TV show sunshine pop group The Partridge Family (“I Think I Love You,” #1, 1970) and as the Assistant D.A. in the drama series L.A. Law (1986-92)
1954 ● Geoff Deane → Vocalist for Brit dance-pop band Modern Romance, “Can You Move” (Dance/Club #2, 1981) and “Best Years Of Our Lives” (UK #4, 1982)
1957 ● Paul Hardcastle → Session keyboard player in the 70s, then solo synth-dance-pop music composer and producer, “19” (#20, Dance #1, 1985), now produces TV soundtracks and remixes for others
1958 ● Pepsi DeMacque / (Helen DeMacque) → Backing vocals for New Wave dance-pop Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984), left to form pop duo Pepsi & Shirlie, “Heartache” (#78, Dance #2, 1987)
1965 ● Joseph Donald “J” Mascis → Singer, songwriter and lead guitar for influential indie/cult rock Dinosaur Jr., “Start Choppin'” (Modern Rock #3, 1993)
1966 ● Timothy Riley / (Timothy Christian Riley) → Drummer for R&B/new jack swing soul-funk Tony! Toni! Tone!, “If I Had No Loot” (#7, 1993)
1972 ● Brian Molko → Scottish-American singer, songwriter and guitarist for alt glam-rock/punk revival Placebo, “Pure Morning” (Mainstream Rock #40, 1999)
1972 ● Scot Alexander → Bassist for melodic hard rock Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars” (#15, 1996)
1974 ● Meg White → Drummer with husband Jack in alt rock duo The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army” (Mainstream Rock #12, 2004)

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