This Week's Birthdays (January 20 – 26)

This Week's Birthdays (January 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

January 20
1888 ● Lead Belly / (Huddie William Ledbetter) → Multi-instrumentalist, oft-covered country-blues-folk singer and songwriter, “Goodnight Irene” (1934), died of AMS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on 12/6/1949, age 61
1922 ● Ray Anthony → Trumpeter, bandleader relentless self-promoter and songwriter (“Dragnet” theme song, “The Bunny Hop,” and “Dancing In The Dark”) with a long and prosperous career in 40s and 50s big bands and various 60s-80s music enterprises, recorded the highest selling cover of the theme song from the TV series Peter Gunn (#8, 1959), continues into the 10s as a music label executive
1922 ● Piney Brown / (Perry Columbus) → Legendary but unheralded early R&B/blue, ages shouter, songwriter, bandleader and life-long devotee to the blues, issued several albums from the 50s to the 00s but never achieved commercial success or notoriety, died in a nursing home of natural causes on 2/5/2009, age 87
1924 ● Lee Pockriss / (Lee Julian Pockriss) → Songwriter with hit songs in multiple genres, best known for co-writing “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” for Brian Hyland (#1, 1960) and “Johnny Angel” for Shelley Fabares (#1, 1962), worked on Broadway musicals and wrote children’s songs for Sesame Street, died after a long illness on 11/14/2011, age 87
1924 ● Slim Whitman / (Otis Dewey Whitman, Jr.) → Country and gospel singer/songwriter with multiple US Country Top 10 hits, “Rose Marie” (UK #1, 1955), died of heart failure on 6/19/2013, age 89
1929 ● Jean-Jacques Perrey / (Jean Leroy) → French electronic music pioneer, early composer of electronic pop albums and user of the Moog synthesizer, his compositions were adapted for use in Disney theme parks, in episodes of The Simpsons and other TV programs, and as an aid to insomniacs which led to ambient music in the 80s, the last of his more than 30 albums, Destination Space (2007) was released when he was nearly 80 years old, died from lung cancer on 11/4/2016, age 87
1931 ● Earl Grant → Pianist, organist and pop and R&B singer with six albums and seven charting hits in the 50s and 60s, including “The End” (#7, 1957), died in a car accident at the peak of his popularity on 6/10/1970, age 31
1933 ● Ron Townson / (Ronald Townson) → Original member and tenor vocalist for R&B/soul-pop The 5th Dimension, “Up, Up And Away” (1967), stayed with the group until poor health forced his retirement in 1997, died at home of kidney failure on 8/2/2001, age 68
1942 ● William Powell → Vocals for R&B/Philly soul giants The O’Jays, “Love Train” (#1, 1973), died of cancer on 5/26/1977, age 35
1943 ● Rick Evans → Vocals and lyricist in folk-pop-rock one hit wonder duo Zager & Evans, “In The Year 2525” (#1, 1969)
1945 ● Eric Stewart → Guitar, keyboards and vocals for British Invasion pop-rock The Mindbenders, “A Groovy Kind Of Love” (#2, 1965), contemporary pop Hotlegs, “Neanderthal Man” (#22, 1970) and soft pop-rock 10cc, “I’m Not In Love” (#2, 1975)
1946 ● Jimmy Chambers → Singer with Brit-American R&B/dance-pop Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (#1, 1991)
1947 ● George Grantham → Drummer with country-rock Poco, “Crazy Love” (#17, 1979)
1948 ● Melvin Pritchard → Drummer for Brit prog-folk-rock Barclay James Harvest, album Octoberon (#174, 1977), died of a heart attack on 1/28/2004, age 56
1952 ● Ian Hill → Bassist with influential “New Wave” heavy metal band Judas Priest, “Breaking The Law” (1980)
1952 ● Paul Stanley / (Stanley Harvey Eisen) → Guitarist, vocals and songwriter for campy hard/glam-rock Kiss, “Detroit Rock City” (#7, 1976) plus three solo albums
1960 ● Scott Thunes → Bassist with Frank Zappa‘s band from 1981 through 1988, also worked with Steve Vai and The Waterboys and currently plays with The Mother Hips
1965 ● Greg Kriesel → Bassist for punk/metal The Offspring, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” (Mainstream Rock #5, 1998)
1965 ● Heather Small → Lead singer for Brit dance-pop/house music M People, “Moving On Up” (#34, Dance #1, 1993)
1966 ● Tracii Guns / (Tracy Richard Ulrich) → Founder and guitarist for glam-metal L. A. Guns, “The Ballad Of Jayne” (#33, 1990) then hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988) and Motörhead, Contraband and Brides Of Destruction
1969 ● Nicky Wire / (Nicholas Allen Jones) → Bassist, lyricist and vocals for Brit alt rock/neo-punk Manic Street Preachers, “The Masses Against The Classes” (UK #1, 2000)
1969 ● Tina O’Neill → Drummer for all-girl New Wave pop-punk quartet Fuzzbox (originally We’ve Got A Fuzz Box And We’re Gonna Use It), “International Rescue” (UK #11, 1989)
1971 ● Gary Barlow → Frontman, vocals, piano and chief songwriter for Brit teen new jack R&B/soul-pop Take That, “Back For Good” (#7, 1995), wrote sixteen UK Top 5 hits, eleven UK #1 singles and seven UK #1 albums for Take That, plus two UK #1 solo singles and a UK #1 solo album,
1978 ● Ratboy Wilson / (Sidney Wilson) → DJ and turntablist for Grammy-winning alt metal/rap-metal Slipknot, “Duality” (Mainstream Rock #5, 2004)
1979 ● Rob Bourdon → Drummer for alt rock/rap-rock/space-rock Linkin Park, “In The End” (Alt Rock #1, 2001)
1979 ● Will Young → Pop singer and inaugural winner of UK TV’s Pop Idol show, “Anything Is Possible/Evergreen” (UK #1, 2002)
1981 ● Nathan Connolly → Lead guitar and backing vocals for Irish alt rock Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars” (#5, 2006)

January 21
1923 ● Frank Virtue → Founder, frontman and guitarist for one hit wonder instrumental pop-rock The Virtues (“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” #5, R&B #27, 1959), later career as a record producer and recording engineer, died on 6/11/1994, age 71
1924 ● Benny Hill / (Alfred Hawthorne Hill) → English singer and comedian with a long-running slapstick comedy TV show and several charting comedy songs, including “Transistor Radio” (UK Top 30, 1961) and “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” (UK #1, 1971), died from kidney failure on 4/20/1992, age 68
1924 ● Telly Savalas / (Aristotle Savalas) → Greek-American film star, TV actor (Kojak) and pop singer with two UK #1 songs and a non-charting take-off on his signature line “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, died of cancer on 1/22/1994, age 70
1938 ● Wolfman Jack / (Robert Weston Smith) → Legendary gravel-voiced rock ‘n roll radio DJ and TV host, died of heart attack on 7/1/1995, age 57
1941 ● Placido Domingo / (Jose Placido Domingo Embil) → Grammy-winning opera tenor and conductor, member of The Three Tenors with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, 1994 Billboard #4 Album, In Concert
1941 ● Richie Havens / (Richard Pierce Havens) → Low-screen folk and R&B guitarist and songwriter, known primarily for his appearance at Woodstock ’69 and his cover of George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” (#16, 1971), died of a heart attack on 4/22/2013, age 72
1942 ● Mac Davis / (Morris Mac Davis) → 60s session guitarist turned 70s countrypolitan pop-rock crossover star, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” (#1, 1972), wrote “In The Ghetto” (#3, 1969) and “Don’t Cry Daddy” (#6, 1970) for Elvis Presley
1942 ● Edwin Starr / (Charles Edwin Hatcher) → Rough, tough and re-inventive R&B/soul-pop-disco singer, “25 Miles” (#6, 1969), then anthemic protest song “War” (#1, 1970), then disco hit “(Eye-To-Eye) Contact” (Disco #1, 1979), died from a heart attack on 4/2/2003, age 61
1945 ● Chris Britton → Guitarist, backing vocals and occasional songwriter for 60s garage/proto-punk/”caveman rock” The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (#1, 1966)
1947 ● Jim Ibbotson → Guitar and vocals for country-folk-bluegrass-rock pioneers The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Mr. Bojangles” (#9, 1971)
1947 ● Pye Hastings / (Julian Frederick Hastings) → Scot guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and 40-year frontman for venerable psych-jazz-rock Caravan, “Nine Feet Underground” (1971)
1948 ● Peter Kircher → Mid-80s drummer for Brit psych-boogie rock Status Quo, “Pictures Of Matchstick Men” (#12, 1968)
1950 ● Billy Ocean / (Leslie Sebastian Charles) → Trinidad-born, UK-based R&B/dance-pop singer and songwriter, “Caribbean Queen” (#1, 1984)
1954 ● Nigel Glockler → Drummer for early and influential New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) band Saxonn, “Power And The Glory” (#32, 1983)
1956 ● Rob Brill → Drummer for New Wave synth-pop Berlin, “Take My Breath Away” (#1, 1986)
1959 ● Vic Reeves / (James Roderick Moir) → With Bob Mortimer, one half of Brit comedy/satire act Vic And Bob, then pop-rock The Wonder Stuff, covered Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy” (UK #1, 1991)
1965 ● 3D / (Robert Del Naja) → Founding member, MC and singer for electro-dance/trip hop progenitor duo Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy” (UK #13, 1991)
1965 ● Jam Master Jay / (Jason William Mizell) → Founding member of premier hardcore rap trio Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way” (#4, 1986), murdered by an assassin on 10/30/2002, age 37
1966 ● Wendy James → Lead singer and Madonna-wannabe frontgal for punk-pop-dance Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care” (, 1983), left for a solo career that included an mildly successful LP of songs written for her by Elvis Costello, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears (UK #43, 1993)
1972 ● Cat Power / (Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall) → Indie folk- and blues-rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor and model, album Moon Pix (1998)
1972 ● Tweet / (Charlene Keys) → R&B/soul singer, songwriter and guitarist, “Oops (Oh My)” featuring Missy Elliott (#7, R&B #1, 2002)
1973 ● Chris Kilmore → Turntables and keyboards for alt-metal Incubus, “Drive” (#9, 2001)
1976 ● Emma Lee Bunton → Vocals and “Baby Spice” in pop-rock girl-group Spice Girls, “Wannabe” (#1, 1997)
1978 ● Nokio / (Tamir Ruffin) → Founder, songwriter, producer and frontman for R&B/urban soul-dance Dru Hill, “How Deep Is Your Love” (#3, 1998), producer for DMX, Torrey Carter and others
1980 ● Benjamin Moody → Guitarist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)

January 22
1931 ● Sam Cooke → Pioneering R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record executive and civil rights activist, “You Send Me” (#1, 1957), shot and killed during an altercation with his landlord on 12/11/1964, age 33
1938 ● Eugene Church → Singer and collaborator with Jesse Belvin as doo-wop The Cliques, solo as Eugene Church & The Fellows (“Pretty Girls Everywhere,” #36, R&B #6, 1958), later moved to gospel music, died from cancer on 4/3/1993 , age 55
1938 ● Joe Esposito / (Joseph Carmine Esposito) → Army-years buddy of Elvis Presley, became his right-hand man, road manager and key member of Elvis‘s entourage, the “Memphis Mafia,” played bit parts in several Elvis films in the 60s, later worked as road manager for Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, John Denver and others, co-authored six books about Elvis and attended Elvis look-alike conventions, died after a long period of failing health on 11/23/2016, age 78
1940 ● Mickie Harris / (Addie Harris) → Vocals for Brill Building pop, girl-group-defining The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (#1, 1961), died of a heart attack on stage during an oldies circuit performance on 6/10/1982, age 42
1946 ● Malcolm McLaren → Brit performer, impresario and solo artist, “Double Dutch” (UK #3, 1983), manager of the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, died of cancer 4/8/2010, age 64
1949 ● Nigel Pegrum → Drummer for Brit raunch/psych-pop-rock The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park” (#16, 1968), then prog-rock Uriah Heep, art-rock Gnidrolog and folk-rock Steeleye Span, producer and session drummer
1949 ● Steve Perry / (Stephen Ray Pereira) → Lead singer for arena rock Journey beginning in 1977, “Who’s Crying Now” (#4, 1981), then solo, “Oh, Sherrie” (#3, 1986), then re-formed Journey 1996, “When You Love A Woman” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1996)
1952 ● Teddy Gentry → Founding member, bass and background vocals for country-pop-rock Alabama, “Love In The First Degree” (#15, 1982)
1960 ● Michael Hutchence → Founding member, lead singer, songwriter and 20-year frontman for Aussie New Wave dance-groove-pop INXS, “Need You Tonight” (#1, 1987), found dead in a Sydney hotel room after an apparent suicide on 11/22/1997, age 37
1965 ● Andrew Roachford → Frontman, vocals and keyboards for Brit urban contemporary R&B Roachford, “Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)” (# 25, UK #4, 1989)
1965 ● D.J. Jazzy Jeff / (Jeffrey Allen Townes) → R&B/hip hop artist, record producer, turntablist and actor, with Will Smith in duo D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (#4, 1991)
1965 ● Steven Adler / (Michael Coletti) → Songwriter and drummer (1985-90) for hard rock Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1, 1988), then Road Crew and started Adler’s Appetite and Adler
1969 ● Marc Gay → Vocals for R&B/urban contemporary soul quartet Shai, “If I Ever Fall In Love” (#2, 1992)
1981 ● Ben Robert Moody → Founder, vocals, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for Grammy-winning goth-pop-metal Evanescence, “Bring Me To Life” (#5, 2003)
1981 ● Willa Ford / (Amanda Lee Williford Modano) → Dance-pop singer, songwriter, model, TV and film actress, “I Wanna Be Bad” (Top 40 Mainstream #11, 2001)
1985 ● Orianthi Panagaris → Aussie singer, songwriter and guitarist, “According To You” (#17, 2009), played for Prince and was Michael Jackson‘s lead guitarist for the ill-fated This Is It tour

January 23
1910 ● Django Reinhardt / (Jean Baptiste Reinhardt) → Belgian-born gypsy-blooded influential jazz guitar virtuoso, composer and bandleader (Quintette Du Hot Club De France with Stephane Grappelli), many of his popular works are jazz/swing standards, including “Minor Swing” and “Daphne,” died from a stroke on 5/16/1953, age 43
1932 ● Cyril Davies → One of the first harmonica players on the British blues scene, formed various skiffle and blues groups in the 50s and Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner and Long John Baldry in the 60s, club owner and R&B promoter, died from endocarditis on 1/7/1964, age 31
1940 ● Joe Dowell → Two hit wonder early 60s pop singer (“Wooden Heart,” #1, 1961 and “Little Red Rented Rowboat,” #23, 1962), later wrote and recorded his own songs without commercial success and launched a radio advertisement production company
1940 ● Jimmy Castor / (James Walter Castor) → Pop and funk saxophonist and singer, briefly replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers, then fronted novelty/disco-funk Jimmy Castor Bunch, “Troglodyte (Caveman)” (#4, 1972), died from heart failure on 1/16/2012, age 72
1941 ● Buddy Buie / (Perry Carlton Buie) → Music producer, publisher and songwriter with over 340 titles penned alone or in collaborations with others, including the oft-covered pop classic “Spooky” (#3, 1967) by The Classics IV, formed, managed and produced Southern rock Atlanta Rhythm Section (“Imaginary Lover,” #7, 1978) and co-wrote most of their songs, produced albums for Wynonna Judd and Garth Brooks, died following a heart attack on 7/18/2015, age 74
1944 ● Jerry Lawson → Lead vocals, arranger and producer for a cappella The Persuasions, “Chain Gang” (1971), then solo, now with a cappella Talk Of The Town
1948 ● Anita Pointer → R&B/soul-pop-disco-dance sister act The Pointer Sisters, “Slow Hand” (#2, 1981)
1950 ● Bill Cunningham → Bass, piano and backing vocals for short-lived blue-eyed soul The Box Tops, “The Letter” (#1, 1967)
1950 ● Danny Federici → Over 40 year friendship and professional association with Bruce Springsteen, played keyboards for Bruce‘s Steel Mill, Child and The E Street Band, died of melanoma (skin cancer) on 4/17/2008, age 58
1953 ● Robin Zander → Lead vocals and rhythm guitar for power pop Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” (#7, 1979) and “The Flame” (#1, 1988)
1954 ● Richard Finch → Co-founder, producer and bassist for R&B/soul-disco-funk kings KC & The Sunshine Band, “That’s The Way (I Like It)” (#1, 1975) and five other #1 hits
1955 ● Reggie Calloway → Multi-instrumental founder and leader (with brother Vincent) of synth-dance-funk Midnight Star, “Operator” (#18, R&B #1, 1990), left to form bro-duo Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich” (#2, 1990)
1956 ● Ralph Carney → Self-taught multi-instrumentalist, first with artsy New Wave “Akron Sound” Tin Huey (covered “I’m A Believer,” 1979) then as a sessionman with a long list of studio credits, including multiple albums with Tom Waits plus recordings with The B-52’s, Elvis Costello, the Black Keys and many others, fell in his Oregon home and died the following day from head injuries on 12/16/2017, age 61
1957 ● Earl Falconer → Bass and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1971 ● Marc K. Nelson → R&B/urban and jazz fusion singer and songwriter, original member of Boyz II Men, left for solo career, “I Want You” (R&B #26, 1991)
1974 ● Kita / (Sampsa Astala) → Drummer for Finnish heavy metal monster-masked Lordi, winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
1975 ● Nicholas Harmer → Bassist for indie pop/rock Death Cab For Cutie, “Soul Meets Body” (Modern Rock #5, 2005)

January 24
1933 ● Zeke Carey / (Ezekial Carey) → Founding member and second tenor for sophisticated group harmony R&B/doo wop The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, (#11, R&B #3, 1959), died on 12/24/1999, age 66
1936 ● Doug Kershaw / (Douglas James Kershaw) → Cajun country-rock singer/songwriter, bandleader and fiddler, “Louisiana Man” (Country #10, 1961)
1936 ● Jack Scott / (Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr.) → Canadian rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and country-pop singer with eight U.S. Top 40 singles in less than 3 years, including “Burning Bridges” (#3, 1960)
1939 ● Ray Stevens / (Harold Ray Ragsdale) → Grammy-winning country-pop and often novelty singer, songwriter and producer, “Everything Is Beautiful” (#1, 1970)
1941 ● Aaron Neville → New Orleans R&B/soul-funk singer, “Tell It Like It Is” (R&B #1, 1966), then formed The Neville Brothers, “Yellow Moon” (1989), then solo again, including duets with Linda Ronstadt, “Don’t Know Much” (Adult Contemporary #1, 1989)
1941 ● Michael Chapman → Critically acclaimed but commercially underrated Brit folk singer and songwriter best known for his “Postcards Of Scarborough” (1970) and an over 40 album catalog, continues to record and perform in the 10s
1941 ● Neil Diamond → Often called the “Jewish Elvis,” prolific songwriter, singer and guitarist “Cracklin’ Rose” (#1, 1970), plus dozens of Top 40 hits and those covered by others, from The Monkees (“I’m A Believer,” #1, 1966) to Deep Purple (“Kentucky Woman,” #38, 1968)
1947 ● Warren Zevon → Sardonic singer/songwriter with 15 solo albums and multiple Top 40 hits, including “Werewolves Of London” (#21, 1978), died from asbestos-related lung cancer on 9/7/2003, age 56
1949 ● John Belushi → TV and film actor, singer, portrayed “Joliet Jake” Blues in the Saturday Night Live skit and spin-off band The Blues Brothers, “Soul Man” (#14, 1979), died from drug overdose 3/5/1982, age 33
1953 ● Matthew Wilder (Weiner) → One hit wonder singer/songwriter, started in early 70s folk-pop duo Matthew & Peter, then pop-rock solo “Break My Stride” (#5, 1983), now record producer
1958 ● Julian Miles “Jools” Holland → Pianist, producer, singer, composer and bandleader, including keyboards for New Wave pop-rock Squeeze, “Tempted” (Mainstream Rock #8, 1981)
1963 ● Keech Rainwater → Drummer for cross-over country-rockers Lonestar, “Amazed” (#1, 1999)
1974 ● Christopher River Hesse → Drummer for post-grunge indie pop-rock Hoobastank, “The Reason” (#2, 2004)
1975 ● Paul Marazzi → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1989 ● Calvin Goldspink → Vocals in pre-fab teen pop S Club Juniors (a spin-off of S Club 7), “One Step Closer” (UK #2, 2002) and six other UK Top 15 hits in two years, actor

January 25
1915 ● Ewan MacColl → Influential Brit folk revival singer, songwriter, poet and producer, wrote Grammy-winning “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for Roberta Flack (#1, 1972), died from complications following heart surgery on 10/22/1989, age 74
1923 ● Rusty Draper / (Farrell H. “Rusty” Draper) → Pre-rock ‘n’ roll country and pop crossover star with five Top 20 hits in the 50s, including “The Shifting, Whispering Sands” (#3, 1955), continued with minor country hits in the 60s and dropped out of site by the 80s, died from pneumonia on 3/28/2003, age 80
1931 ● Stig Anderson → Songwriter, producer and manager for Swede superstar pop-rock ABBA, co-wrote several of their biggest hits, including “Dancing Queen” (#1, 1977), died of a heart attack on 9/12/1997, age 66
1938 ● Etta James (Jamesetta Hawkins) / (Jamesetta Hawkins) → Versatile Grammy-winning blues, gospel, R&B/soul and jazz singer, “Tell Mama” (#23, R&B #10, 1968) and the enduring ballad “At Last” (#47, R&B #2, 1961), died from complications of leukemia on 1/20/2012, age 73
1949 ● John Cooper Clarke → The “Bard of Salford”, performance poet laureate of the punk movement, “Gimmix” (UK #39, 1979), opened tours for the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello, continues to contribute to poetry journals
1950 ● Michael Cotten → Synthesizers for camp-rock pop-rock satirists The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty” (#10, 1978)
1953 ● Malcolm Green → Drummer for New Wave pop-rock Split Enz, “I Got You” (UK #12, 1980)
1956 ● Andy Cox → Guitarist and co-founder of ska revivalist mixed-race The English Beat in 1978, then moved with bandmates to form Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy” (#1, 1989)
1958 ● Gary Tibbs → Actor and journeyman bass guitarist for Roxy Music, The Vibrators, post-punk New Wave glam-pop Adam & The Ants, “Goody Two Shoes” (#12, 1982), Code Blue and The Fixx
1962 ● Peter Coyle → Vocals for New Wave/New Romantic pop-rock The Lotus Eaters, “The First Picture Of You” (UK #15, 1983), solo
1963 ● Carl Fysh → Vocalist for Brit soul/pop boy band Brother Beyond, “The Harder I Try” (UK #2, 1988)
1971 ● China Wing Kantner → Daughter of Jefferson AirplaneGrace Slick and Paul Kantner, TV and film actress, former MTV VJ
1973 ● Chris Wilkie → Guitarist and vocals for electro-dance-dream pop Dubstar, “Stars” (UK #15, 1996)
1977 ● Christian Ingebrigtsen → Vocals for Brit-Norwegian pop-rock boy band A1, “Same Old Brand New You” (UK #1, 2000)
1981 ● Alicia Keys / (Alicia Auguello Cook) → Nine-time Grammy-winning R&B/neo-soul singer, “Fallin'” (#1, 2001) and ten other Top 40 hits, TV and film actress, philanthropist

January 26
1913 ● Jimmy Van Heusen / (Edward Chester Babcock) → Four-time Academy Award winning popular music composer, wrote or co-wrote dozens of pop hits in the 40s through 60s for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, including “Swingin’ On A Star” for Crosby (1944) and “My Kind Of Town” for Sinatra (1964), died from complications following a stroke on 2/6/1990, age 77
1922 ● Page Cavanaugh → Jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, popular 40s and 50s bandleader on radio, TV and films with a number of Top 40 hits, early purveyor of the jazz-pop sound now known as “smooth jazz,” continued to perform as a night club and lounge act into the 00s, died from kidney failure on 12/19/2008, age 86
1926 ● Ronnie Hilton / ((Adrian Hill) → Brit 50s pop crooner, “No Other Love” (UK #1, 1956) plus 21 other Top 40 hits during the onslaught of rock ‘n’ doll, BBC radio host of the weekly show Sounds of the Fifties, died of a stroke on 2/21/2001, age 75
1932 ● The Tall Texan / (Claude Gray) → Country music singer, songwriter and guitarist known for his contribution to the “Nashville sound” and the Countrypolitan movement that created the crossover genre blending country and pop music, scored 12 Country Top 40 hits including “I’ll Have Another Cup Of Coffee” (Country #3, 1961), continues to tour and perform on TV into the 10s
1934 ● Piano Smith / (Huey Pierce Smith) → New Orleans “good time” R&B/rock ‘n roll pianist, “Rockin’ Pneumonia” (R&B #5, 1957), wrote and played on Frankie Ford‘s “Sea Cruise” (#14, 1959)
1937 ● Alison Steele / (Ceil Loman) → Pioneering DJ known as “The Night Bird” on archetypical progressive rock station WNEW-FM (New York) from 1967 to 1979, inspiration for Jimi Hendrix‘s “Night Bird Flying,” music writer, producer and CNN correspondent, died from stomach cancer on 9/27/1995, age 56
1939 ● Marshall Lieb → Original member of short-lived, one hit wonder pop vocal trio The Teddy Bears (“To Know Him Is To Love Him,” #1, 1958) with Phil Spector, died from a heart attack on 3/15/2002, age 63
1943 ● Jean Knight / (Jean Caliste) → One hit wonder R&B/soul and funk singer, “Mr. Big Stuff” (#2, 1971), toured on the oldies circuit through the 00s
1945 ● Tyger Hutchings / (Ashley Stephen Hutchings) → Bassist for renowned Brit folk-rock revival bands Fairport Convention, “Si Tu Dos Partir” (UK #21, 1969) and Steeleye Span, “All Around My Hat” (UK #5, 1975)
1946 ● Deon Jackson → One hit wonder 60s R&B/soul singer and songwriter, “Love Makes The World Go ‘Round” (#11, 1966), faded into the Chicago oldies circuit until his death from a brain hemorrhage on 4/18/2014, age 68
1948 ● Corky Laing / (Laurence Gordon Laing) → Drummer in pioneering hard rock/heavy metal band Mountain (“Mississippi Queen,” #21, 1970), then power trio West, Bruce & Laing, solo and collaborations
1949 ● Derek Holt → Guitar and keyboards for Brit blues-rock Climax Blues Band, “Couldn’t Get It Right” (#3, 1977)
1951 ● David Briggs → Guitarist and songwriter for Aussie pop/rockers Little River Band, wrote “Lonesome Loser” (#6, 1979), now recording engineer and producer
1951 ● Andy Hummell → Bassist in quintessential power pop cult band Big Star, “September Gurls” (1974, Rolling Stone #178), died from cancer on 7/19/2010, age 59
1952 ● Maurice Bacon → Drummer for London-based, teenage R&B/soul-pop Love Affair, “Everlasting Love” (UK #1, 1968) and four other UK Top 20 hits in the late 60s, fell into obscurity following the band’s break-up in the 70s
1953 ● Lucinda Williams → Underappreciated country-folk-roots rock singer and songwriter, “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” (1998) from the Grammy-winning album of the same name
1955 ● Eddie Van Halen / (Edward Lodewijk Van Halen) → Top rock guitarist, frontman, songwriter and vocals for hard rock megastars Van Halen, “Jump” (#1, 1984), solo, collaborations and film score compositions, uncredited guitar solo on Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” (#1, 1983)
1958 ● Anita Baker → Grammy-winning R&B/quiet storm singer, “Sweet Love” (#8, 1986)
1958 ● Norman Hassan → Percussion, trombone and vocals for multiracial reggae-pop UB40, “Red Red Wine” (#1, 1988) and over 30 other Top 40 hits
1960 ● Charlie Gillingham → Keyboards for alt-rock Counting Crows, “Mr. Jones” (Modern Rock #2, 1994)
1963 ● Andrew Ridgeley → Vocals for New Wave pop-rock boy band Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (#1, 1984) and 6 other US Top 10 hits
1963 ● Jazzie B. / (Trevor Beresford Romeo) → DJ, mixmaster, producer and founding member of R&B/dance-pop Soul II Soul, “Back To Life” (#4, 1989)
1964 ● Susannah Melvoin → Vocalist, songwriter and actress, backing singer for Prince, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Wendy & Lisa
1966 ● Pim Jones → Guitarist for Scottish contemporary pop-rock Hipsway, “The Honeythief” (#19, 1986)
1970 ● Kirk Franklin → Contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and bandleader, “Looking For You” (#61, 2005)
1972 ● Ya Kid K / (Manuela Barbara Kamosi Moaso Djogi) → Belgian studio-based electro-dance-pop “house” music Technotronic, wrote lyrics and sang vocals on “Pump Up The Jam” (#2, 1989), solo

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