Musical Birthdays & Deaths by Month
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Country Joe McDonald 1942 – is an American musician who was the lead singer of the 1960’s psychedelic rock group Country Joe and the Fish. Their best known song is his “The “Fish” Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag” (1965), a black comedy novelty song about the Vietnam War, whose familiar chorus (“One, two, three, what are we fighting for?”) is well known to the Woodstock generation and Vietnam veterans of the 1960’s and ’70s. McDonald wrote the song in about 20 minutes for an anti-Vietnam War play.
Morgan Fisher 1950 – is an English keyboard player and composer, and is most known as a member of Mott the Hoople in the early 1970’s. Between 1972 and 1973 he formed the progressive rock band called Morgan, with singer Tim Staffell (the lead singer of the band Smile, who later became Queen). He also played on Kim Fowley’s “International Heroes”, Garland Jeffries’ “Wild in the Streets”, and Fiddler’s own “One More Chance to Run”. In addition he played with Queen on their 1982 tour of Europe, and Freddie Mercury can be seen humorously introducing him to the audience just before the band’s performance of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, on the band’s Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl album.
Hank Williams 1953 (b.1923) – was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously). After recording “Never Again” and “Honky Tonkin'” with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1947 he released “Move It on Over”, which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. One year later, he released a cover of “Lovesick Blues” recorded at Herzog Studio in Cincinnati, which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. mong the hits he wrote were “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Hey, Good Lookin'”, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists and have been hits in various genres, and he has been cited as a key musical influence on Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame(1987).
Alexis Korner 1984 (b.1928) – was a British blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as “a founding father of British blues”. A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960’s, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians. In 1961, Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Geoff Bradford, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.
Townes Van Zandt 1997 (b.1944) – American singer-songwriter whose songs included “If I Needed You” and “To Live Is to Fly”, which are considered standards of their genre. In 1983, six years after Emmylou Harris had first popularized it, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song “Pancho and Lefty”, scoring a number one hit on the Billboard country music charts.
Fred Milano 2012 (b.1939) – was an American doo-wop singer. Born in the Bronx, New York, he was a member (second tenor) of The Belmonts who became successful in the late 1950’s as Dion and the Belmonts, and in the early 1960’s. The Belmonts got their name from the street that Milano lived on, Belmont Avenue.
Patti Page 2013 (b.1927) – was an American singer of traditional pop music and country music. She was the top-charting female vocalist and best-selling female artist of the 1950’s, selling over 100 million records during a six-decade long career. In 1950, she had her first million-selling single “With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming”, and would eventually have 14 additional million-selling singles between 1950 and 1965. Page’s signature song, “Tennessee Waltz”, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the 20th century, and is recognized today as one of the official songs of the state of Tennessee. It spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard magazine’s Best-Sellers List in 1950. Page had three additional No. 1 hit singles between 1950 and 1953, “All My Love (Bolero)”, “I Went to Your Wedding”, and “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window”. With the rise of Rock and Roll in the second half of the 1950’s, traditional pop music began to wane. Page was among a small number of traditional pop music singers able to sustain success, continuing to have major hits into the mid-1960’s with “Old Cape Cod,” “Allegheny Moon,” “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold),” and “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.” In 1997, Patti Page was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. She was posthumously honored with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2013.
Frank Marocco 1931(d.2012) – was an American piano-accordionist, arranger and composer. He was recognized as one of the most recorded accordionists in the world. He worked together with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys and performed on the 1966 classic album Pet Sounds.