Sunday, February 5, 2012

 

This Week's Birthdays (February 5 - 11)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Feb 05
1919 ● Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) → Broadway and Catskill "Borscht Belt" stage actor, comedian, TV host, Academy Award-winning screen actor, singer, "Strange Things Are Happening" (1953), died 7/13/2006 at home near L.A.
1923 ● Claude King → Trad-country-pop crossover singer and songwriter, "Wolverton Mountain" (Adult Contemporary #3, 1962)
1929 ● Hal Blaine (Harold Simon Belsky) → Session drummer and founding member of the acclaimed Wrecking Crew group of studio musicians, played behind The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Natalie Cole and many others, credited with drumming on six consecutive Grammy Album of the Year winners between 1966 and 1971
1935 ● Alex Harvey → Scottish rock 'n roll guitarist and bandleader, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, "Delilah" (UK #7, 1975), died 2/4/1982
1941 ● Barrett StrongMotown R&B/soul singer and songwriter, "Money (That's What I Want)" (1962), co-wrote multiple hits with Norman Whitfield, including "War" for Edwin Starr (#1, 1970) and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" for The Temptations (#1, 1972)
1942 ● Corey Wells → Vocals for pop-rock Three Dog Night, "Joy To The World" (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1943 ● Charles "Chuck" Winfield → Trumpet for jazz-rock-pop fusion band Blood, Sweat & Tears, "Spinning Wheel" (#2, 1969)
1944 ● Al Kooper → Influential but underrated rock contributor, from 60s blues-rock guitarist and bandleader for The Royal Teens, "Short Shorts" (#3, 1958), then jazz/-blues-rock fusion The Blues Project, "The Flute Thing" (1968), then founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, "Spinning Wheel" (#2, 1969), sessions with Bob Dylan, producer for The Zombies, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others
1944 ● James B. "J.R." Cobb, Jr. → Guitars for soft rock Classics IV, "Spooky" (#3, 1968), morphed into Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section, "So Into You" (#7, 1977)
1948 ● Christopher Guest → Screenwriter and composer, wrote screenplay and portrayed the fictional lead guitarist Nigel Tufnell in the mock-rock band Spinal Tap (1984 film This Is Spinal Tap)
1948 ● David Denny → Founding member and guitarist for psych-rock Frumious Bandersnatch, played with Steve Miller Band on several albums and hits, including "Swingtown" (#17, 1977)
1960 ● Paul Jones → Bassist for Welsh post-Brit-pop jangle rock Catatonia, "Mulder And Scully" (UK #3, 1998)
1964 ● Michael "Duff" McKagan → Bassist for hard rock Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine" (#1, 1987), then for supergroup Velvet Revolver and Duff McKagan's Loaded, now a newspaper columnist
1964 ● Sally Still → Bassist for Brit New Wave synth-pop Furniture, "Brilliant Mind" (UK #21, 1986)
1968 ● Chris Barron → Vocals for alt blues-rock jam band Spin Doctors, "Two Princes" (#7, 1993)
1969 ● Bobby Brown → Vocals for R&B/teen pop then hip hop/new jack swing vocal quartet New Edition, "If It Isn't Love" (#7, 1988), solo, "My Perogative" (#1, 1988)
1975 ● Adam Carson → Drummer for alt-punk-rock AFI (A Fire Inside), "Miss Murder" (#24, Modern Rock #1, 2006) and electronica Blaqk Audio, "Stiff Kittens" (Dance/Club #38, 2007)

Feb 06
1941 ● Dave Berry (David Holgate Grundy) → 60s era Brit pop-rock and R&B/teen idol singer, "The Crying Game" (UK #5, 1964), became a superstar on the Continent but not in the UK or US
1942 ● John London (Kuehne) → Songwriter and session bass player with The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, formed country-rock First National Band with friend Mike Nesmith, died on 2/12/2000
1943 ● Fabian (Fabiano Forte Bonaparte) → Teen idol pop/light rock singer, "Tiger" (#3, 1964) and seven other Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1960, actor in more than two dozen films, including The Longest Day (1962) and Ten Little Indians (1965)
1943 ● Georgeanna Marie Tillman Gordon → Vocals for Motown pop-soul girl group The Marvelettes, "Please Mr. Postman" (#1, 1961) and nine other Top 40 singles, died from complications of blood disorders on 1/6/1980
1945 ● Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley → Reggae music and cultural giant, bandleader (The Wailers), singer, songwriter and guitarist, "I Shot The Sheriff" (#1, 1974), died of cancer on 5/11/1981, his birthday is commemorated in Jamaica by a national holiday, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994
1946 ● Kate McGarrigle → Canadian singer/songwriter with sister Anna in 70s-90s light folk duo, former wife of folk singer Loudon Wainwright lll, mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright, died of cancer on 1/18/2010
1947 ● Alan Jones → Saxophonist for Welsh early prog rock septet Amen Corner, "(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice" (UK #1, 1969)
1950 ● Mike Batt → Brit composer, producer, singer and songwriter for film, TV theater and pop music, solo hit with "Summertime City" (UK #4, 1975), wrote "Bright Eyes" (UK #1, 1979) for the film Watership Down and Art Garfunkel, created the novelty pop group The Wombles and four UK Top 10 hits
1950 ● Stephanie Natalie Maria Cole → R&B/urban contemporary jazz-based pop singer, "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" (#6, R&B #1, 1975), daughter of jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole
1953 ● Steve Kirby → Lead guitar for Brit pub rock/blue-eyed soul Ace, "How Long" (#3, 1975)
1962 ● Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose Bailey) → Lead vocals, multi-instrumentalist, frontman and only constant member of hard rock Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine" (#1, 1988)
1962 ● Richard Vance "Richie" McDonald → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, "Amazed" (#1, 1999)
1966 ● Rick Astley → Award-winning Brit musician, radio host and dance-pop singer and songwriter, "Never Gonna Give You Up" (US and worldwide #1, 1987)

Feb 07
1924 ● Dora Bryan (Dora Mae Broadbent) → Brit stage, film and TV actress, occasional novelty pop singer, "All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle" (#20, 1963)
1934 ● Earl King (Earl Silas Johnson) → New Orleans R&B/blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter, "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" (R&B #7, 1955), also co-wrote "I Hear You Knockin'" (1955) and wrote "Come On (Let The Good Time Roll)" (1960), died on 4/17/2003 from complications of diabetes
1934 ● King Curtis (Curtis Ousley) → Virtuoso R&B/pop and soul saxophonist, first in sessions (including The Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax"), then as a solo artist, "Memphis Soul Stew" (#33, R&B #6, 1967), died on 8/14/1971 at the peak of his career after being fatally stabbed late at night outside his New York City home by a vagrant, buried in the same Long Island cemetery as Count Basie and John Coltrane
1943 ● Harvey Hersh (Hershkowitz) → Baritone vocals for white R&B/doo wop quartet The Quotations, "Imagination" (Top 40, 1961)
1946 ● Sammy Johns → One hit wonder country-pop singer/songwriter, "Chevy Van" (#5, 1975)
1947 ● John Patrick "Pugwash" Weathers → Drummer for Brit progressive/art rock and jazz fusion band The Eyes of Blue, then prog rock Gentle Giant
1948 ● Jimmy Greenspoon → Organist for pop-rock Three Dog Night, "Joy To The World" (#1, 1971) and nine other Top 10 hits between 1969 and 1973
1949 ● Alan Lancaster → Original bassist for long-lived Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" (#12, 1968) plus 50 other UK Top 75 singles, left in 1984
1949 ● Stony Browder, Jr. → With half-brother August Darnell Browder (aka "King Creole"), formed pop-rock The In-Laws, then big band and swing-influenced R&B/disco group Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, "Cherchez La Femme" (Dance/Club #1, 1976)
1959 ● Brian Travers → Saxophonist for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, "Red Red Wine" (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Steve Bronski → Founding member and keyboards for early-out gay synth-pop Bronski Beat, "Smalltown Boy" (#48, Dance/Pop #1, 1984)
1962 ● David Bryan (Rashbaum) → Keyboardist for pop-metal superstars Bon Jovi, "Living On A Prayer" (#1, 1987), has released two solo prog rock albums
1962 ● Deborah Bonham → English rock and blues vocalist, released two UK and one US albums, sister of John Bonham, the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin
1962 ● Troyal Garth Brooks → Unparalleled country music superstar, second highest selling US solo albums artist (after Elvis Presley), credited with merging country and honky tonk with rock and pop and delivering a mass audience, scored eight double-double albums (#1 on both Billboard pop and country album charts), top singles include "Friends In Low Places" (Country #1, 1990) and "Lost In You" (#5, 1999)
1968 ● Sully Erna → Guitar and vocals for hard rock Godsmack, "Straight Out Of Line" (Mainstream #1, 2003)
1974 ● Danny Goffey → Drummer for Brit punk-pop trio Supergrass, "Alright/Time" (Modern Rock #1, 1995)
1974 ● J Dilla (James Dewitt Yancey, aka Jay Dee) → Influential hip hop producer and MC, worked with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes, died on 2/10/2006 of a rare blood disease at his home in L.A.
1975 ● Wesley Borland → Guitarist for rap-metal Limp Bizkit, "My Way" (Mainstream Rock #4, 2001)

Feb 08
1899 ● Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson → New Orleans blues and jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter, recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos, "Tomorrow Night" (#19, R&B #7, 1948), died on 6/16/1970, sixteen months after being hit by a car and later suffering a stroke in the summer of 1969
1931 ● James Dean (Byron) → Actor, teen idol and cultural icon, signature films were Rebel Without A Cause (1955), East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), killed in a car crash at age 25 on a Salinas, CA highway on 9/30/1955
1941 ● Tom Rush → Early and influential, genre-defining singer/songwriter of folk, blues and light pop mix, his "No Regrets" (1968) is a folk-rock standard
1943 ● Creed Bratton (William Charles Schneider) → Guitarist for AM Top 40 pop-rockers The Grass Roots, "Midnight Confessions" (#5, 1968) plus thirteen other Top 40 hits, solo pop-rock artist, film and TV actor, including The Office
1946 ● Adolpho "Fito" de la Parra → Drummer for blues-rock/boogie-rock Canned Heat, "Going Up The Country" (#11, 1968)
1946 ● Paul Wheatbread → Drummer for pop-rock Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, "Young Girl" (#2, 1968)
1948 ● Danny Wayland "Dan" Seals → Guitar and vocals in folk-pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" (#2, 1976), then solo country star with eleven #1 country hits, brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts, died on 3/25/2009 of complications of mantle cell lymphoma
1961 ● Sam Llanas → Founder, guitar and vocals for roots rock The BoDeans, "Closer To Free" (#16, 1993)
1961 ● Vince Neil (Wharton) → Vocals for hair-metal Mötley Crüe, "Dr. Feelgood" (#6, 1989) and solo, "Sister Of Pain" (Mainstream Rock #12, 1993)
1962 ● Ken McCluskey → Harmonica and vocals for Scottish jangle-pop-rock The Bluebells, "Young At Heart" (UK #1, 1983)
1968 ● Tjinder Singh → Founding member, guitarist, vocals and songwriting for mixed-race, Indian/Brit dance-pop Cornershop, "Brimful Of Asha" (Dance #35, UK #1, 1998)
1971 ● Will Turpin → Bass and backing vocals for post-grunge alt rock Collective Soul, "Shine" (#11, Mainstream Rock #1, 1994)
1974 ● Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo → DJ for French progressive dance-pop duo Daft Punk, "Face To Face" (Dance/Club #1, 2004), remixed for Gabrielle and Chemical Brothers
1977 ● David Michael "Phoenix" Farrell → Bassist for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, "In The End" (#2, Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1980 ● Cameron Muncey → Guitarist for Aussie hard rock/garage punk Jet, "Cold Hard Bitch" (Mainstream Rock #1, 2004)
1983 ● Jim Verraros → Pop-rock singer and entertainer, Top 10 finalist in first season of American Idol, solo singing career, "You Turn It On" (Dance/Club #21, 2005)
1985 ● Jeremy Davis → Bassist for alt rock/pop-punk Paramore, "Misery Business" (#27, 2007)
1994 ● Nicole "Nikki" Yanofsky → Canadian jazz-pop singer, festival and TV entertainer, recorded "Gotta Go My Own Way" for High School Musical 2, has multiple hits including "I Believe" (Canada #1, 2010), sang the Canadian national anthem at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Feb 09
1939 ● Barry Mann (Iberman) → Grammy-winning Brill Building songwriter, often as collaborator with his wife, Cynthia Weil, issued novelty pop solo "Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" (#7, 1961), wrote "On Broadway", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Somewhere Out There" among other hits for varied rock and pop artists
1940 ● Brian Bennett → Composer, arranger and producer best known as the drummer for multiple early Brit rock 'n' roll bands including instrumental pop-rock The Shadows, "Apache" (worldwide #1, 1960) and pop-rock Cliff Richard & The Shadows, "Foot Tapper" (UK #1, 1963)
1942 ● Carole King (Carol Klein) → Brill Building composer with husband Gerry Goffin, pianist and solo Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, "I Feel The Earth Move" (#1, 1971), wrote or co-wrote nearly 120 pop hits recorded by herself and other artists, including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "One Fine Day"
1942 ● Marcus Felton "Mark" Mathis → Multi-instrumentalist and vocals for pop-rock trio The Newbeats, "Bread And Butter" (#2, 1964)
1943 ● Barbara Lewis → R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter, "Baby I'm Yours" (#11, R&B #5, 1965)
1947 ● Earle R. "Joe" Ely → Country, honky tonk and rock 'n' roll singer/songwriter, first with The Flatlanders, then solo, "Musta Notta Gotta Lotta" (Mainstream Rock #40, 1981), plus session and tour work with artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Uncle Tupelo
1947 ● Major Harris → "Philadelphia Sound" smooth R&B/soul guitar and vocals with numerous groups including The Delfonics, then solo, "Love Won't Let Me Wait" (#5, R&B #1, 1975)
1951 ● Dennis "Dee Tee" Thomas → Saxophonist for jazz-fusion then R&B/funk Kool & The Gang, "Jungle Boogie" (#4, 1973)
1955 ● Jimmy Pursey → Founder, frontman and lead vocals for Brit punk rock Sham 69, "Hersham Boys" (UK #6, 1979)
1960 ● William "Holly" Johnson → Lead vocals and founding member of Brit New Wave pop-rock Frankie Goes To Hollywood, "Relax" (#10, 1984)
1963 ● Dave Rotheray → Guitarist for Brit alt pop-rock The Beautiful South, "A Little Time" (UK #1, 1990)
1963 ● Travis Tritt → Grammy-winning, hatless country and Southern rock singer/songwriter with forty country chart hits and five #1s, including "Foolish Pride" (Country #1, 1994)
1964 ● Rachel Bolan → Founder, bassist and chief songwriter for New Jersey-based hair metal/pop-metal Skid Row, "I Remember You" (#6, 1989)

Feb 10
1914 ● Larry Adler → Harmonica virtuoso, soloist with major symphony orchestras worldwide, session work varied artists from Fred Astaire to George Gershwin to Elton John, Kate Bush and Sting, fronted the 1994 all-star tribute album Glory Of Gershwin, died on 8/7/2001 of natural causes
1929 ● Jerry Goldsmith → Highly-regarded, prolific film score composer/conductor for movies and TV, including Dr. Kildare, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., died from cancer on 7/21/2004
1933 ● Don Wilson → Co-founder and guitarist for long-lived, unique-sound rock 'n' roll instrumental group The Ventures, "Walk - Don't Run" (#2, 1960)
1939 ● Roberta Flack → Sweet-voiced, Grammy-winning R&B/pop-soul singer and songwriter with multiple hits including, "Killing Me Softly With His Song" (#1, 1973), plus duets with Donny Hathaway including "Where Is The Love" (#5, 1972)
1940 ● Jimmy Merchant → Tenor vocals for influential R&B/doo wop Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" (R&B #1,1956)
1943 ● Ralph Stuart "Ral" DonnerElvis Presley sound-alike early rock 'n' roll singer, "You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)" (#4, 1961), died of cancer on 4/6/1984
1946 ● Clifford T. Ward → Brit folk-pop singer/songwriter, "Gaye" (UK #8, 1973), died from pneumonia on 12/18/2001
1949 ● Nigel Olsson → Drummer for Brit psych-pop Plastic Penny, "Everything I Am" (UK #6, 1968), then Elton John Band, solo
1962 ● Cliff Burton → First bassist for heavy metal Metallica, "Enter Sandman" (#10, 1991), was killed on 9/27/1986 when the band’s tour bus crashed in Sweden
1962 ● Robbie Neville → Next generation member (son and nephew) in New Orleans soul-funk sibling group The Neville Brothers, "Yellow Moon" (1989)
1963 ● Tony Reno (Niemistö) → Original drummer for Swedish hard rock/glam-metal Europe, "The Final Countdown" (#8, 1986), solo, now a computer technician
1977 ● Rosanna Tavarez → Vocals for pre-fab, all-girl, teen dance-pop quintet Eden’s Crush, "Get Over Yourself" (#1, 2001), the first #1 debut single by an all-female group

Feb 11
1914 ● Josh White → Influential folk revival and Piedmont blues guitarist and songwriter, recorded under pseudonyms "Pinewood Tom" and "Tippy Barton" in 30s, became a social activist for Afro-American musicians, hosted US and UK music TV shows, died during open heart surgery on 9/6/1969
1935 ● Gene Vincent (Vincent Eugene Craddock) → Early and legendary rock 'n' roll/rockabilly singer and bandleader with His Blue Caps, "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (#7, 1956), died from a ruptured stomach ulcer on 10/12/1971
1939 ● Gerry Goffin → Brill Building songwriter and lyricist, with wife Carole King co-wrote over 20 classic pop-rock hits and six chart toppers, including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (The Shirelles), "Take Good Care Of My Baby" (Bobby Vee) and "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva)
1940 ● Bobby "Boris" Pickett → One hit wonder novelty pop bandleader, singer and songwriter, "Monster Mash" (#1, 1962), died from complications of leukemia on 4/25/2007
1941 ● Earl Lewis → Bass vocals for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, "I Only Have Eyes For You", (#11, R&B #3, 1959), then The Five Echoes
1941 ● Sergio Mendes → Brazilian bossa nova, jazz and funk keyboardist and bandleader for Brasil '66, "The Foot Of The Hill" (#6, 1968)
1946 ● Ray Lake → Guitarist for Brit Northern soul/funk The Real Thing, "You To Me Are Everything" (R&B #28, UK #1, 1976)
1947 ● Derek Shulman → Multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist for pop/rock Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, "Kites" (UK #9, 1967), then founding member with brothers Ray and Phil of innovative prog rock Gentle Giant, senior executive positions with PolyGram, Atco and Roadrunner record companies
1950 ● Rochelle Fleming → Vocals in Philly R&B/disco female group First Choice, "The Player, Part 1" (R&B #7, 1974)
1953 ● Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin → Trumpet and flugelhorn for the Saturday Night Live house band, the Blues Brothers Band, "Soul Man" (#14, 1979) and hundreds of studio sessions with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Aerosmith and many others, died 6/8/2011 from lung cancer
1953 ● Neil Henderson → Joined Scot bubblegum pop-rock Middle Of The Road, "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" (UK #1, 1971) in 1974, wrote "Rockin' Soul" (Germany #31, 1974)
1962 ● Sheryl Crow → Former backing vocalist for Michael Jackson's "Bad" tour turned nine-time Grammy-winning roots rock singer/songwriter, "All I Wanna Do" (#2, 1994) and eight other Top 40 hits
1966 ● Tenor Saw (Clive Bright) → Early ragga and dancehall reggae singer, "Ring The Alarm" (1985), killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 1988
1967 ● Clay Crosse (Walter Clayton Crossnoe) → Contemporary Christian Music vocalist and multiple Dove Award winner, "I Will Follow Christ" (2000)
1969 ● Shovell (Andrew Lovell) → Jamaican-born percussionist for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, "Moving On Up" (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1972 ● Craig Jones → Sampler and keyboardist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, "Duality" (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1974 ● D'Angelo (Michael Archer) → Early and influential 90s R&B/neo-soul singer, "Lady" (#10, 1996), Grammy-winner for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" (#25, R&B #2, 2000)
1977 ● Mike Shinoda → Guitar and vocals for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, "In The End" (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Brandy (Norwood) → Teen pop then R&B/neo-soul-pop star, "Sittin' Up In My Room" (#2, 1996), songwriter, TV actress, record and film producer
1981 ● Kelendria Trene "Kelly" Rowland → Vocals for R&B/dance-pop Destiny's Child, "Say My Name" (#1, 2000), solo artist and actress
1984 ● Aubrey O'Day → Singer for MTV Making the Band program winner and pre-fab, all-girl dance-pop quintet Danity Kane, "Show Stopper" (#8, 2006)
1991 ● Never Shout Never (Christofer Drew Ingle) → Multi-instrumentalist one man band acoustic pop singer/songwriter, "Trouble" (Singles Sales #1, 2009)

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