Musical Birthdays & Deaths by Month

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

May 1
Birthdays :
Kate Smith 1907 (d.1986) – Alto singer who is best known for her version of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”
Big Matbelle 1924 (d.1972) – R & B singer/pianist who was best known for her hit “Candy” which received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999
Sonny James 1929 – Country singer/songwriter/guitar best known for his 1957 hit, “Young Love”, was nicknamed the “Southern Gentleman”
Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) 1930 (d.1968) – Blues singer/harmonica player whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix,for innovation and impact on succeeding generations.
Judy Collins 1939 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist known for her eclectic tastes in the material she records which has included folk, show tunes, pop, rock and roll and standards and for her social activism.Her best known song is “Both Sides Now” andshe was the inspiration for Stills’s CSN classic “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”
Rita Coolidge 1945 – Singer who during the 1970’s and 1980’s, charted hits on Billboard’s pop, country, adult contemporary and jazz charts with covers of Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”, Boz Scaggs’ “We’re All Alone”, and The Temptations’ “The Way You Do The Things You Do”. She became known as “The Delta Lady” and inspired Leon Russell to write a song of the same name for her
Jerry Weiss 1946 – Trumpet/flugelhorn player who is best known as a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears
Nick Fortuna 1946 – Best known as the bass player for The Buckinghams who had their biggest hit in 1967 with “Kind of a Drag”
Johnny Colt 1966 – Original bassist for The Black Crowes who later went on to form Brand New Immortals
Tim McGraw 1967 – Country singer/songwriter/actor

Deaths :
Nigel Preston 1992 (b.1959) – Drummer and founding member of The Cult and also played and recorded with Sex Gang Children, Theatre of Hate, The Gun Club, The Baby Snakes and Deluca.

May 2
Birthdays :
John ‘Bunk’ Gardner 1933 –
Tenor sax/woodwinds most notably for Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Link Wray 1929 (d.2005) –
Guitarist/singer/songwriter best known for his distorted electric guitar sound of early electric blues records, his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble” by Link Wray and his Ray Men introduced “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists,”making possible “punk and heavy rock”
Engelbert Humperdinck 1936 – Pop singer best known for his number one hits “Release Me” and “The Last Waltz”, as well as “After the Lovin'” and “A Man Without Love”
Bob Henrit 1944 – Drummer best know for his work with Argent & The Kinks
canada_16Goldy McJohn 1945 – Best known as the original keyboardist with Steppenwolf. He was also a pioneer in the early use of the electronic organ (Hammond B3) in heavy metal
Lesley Gore 1946 – Singer best known for her 1963 pop hit “It’s My Party”, which she recorded at the age of 16
Larry Gatlin 1948 – Country music singer/songwriter best known for becoming one of country music’s most successful acts of the 1970’s and 1980’s when with his 2 brothers Steve and Rudy they formed The Gatlin Brothers
Lou Gramm 1950 – Singer/songwriter with Foreigner and then a solo career
John Glascock 1951 (d.1979) – Bass guitarist/backing singer for prog band Carmen, and then the same role with Jethro Tull
Todd Sucherman 1969 – Drummer with the band Styx, has also played with Brian Wilson, Tommy Shaw, Peter Cetera, Brian Culbertson and others. In 2009 the Modern Drummer Magazine voted him number one Rock Drummer in the world
Prescott Niles 1954 – Best known as the bassist for The Knack who had a #1 hit with “My Sharona”

Deaths :
Jeff Hanneman 2013 (b.1964) – Guitarist/songwriter who was one of the founding members of the thrash metal band Slayer. He wrote the songs “Raining Blood”, “War Ensemble”, “South of Heaven”, “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Angel of Death”, which are played at almost every live Slayer show

May 3
Birthdays :
Bing Crosby 1903 (d.1977) –
Singer/actor with his trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation. The biggest song of his career was Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” from 1941 which to this day remains the best-selling single of all time
Pete Seeger 1919 – Folk singer/songwriter/musician/activist who was a member of The Weavers who were best known for their #1 recording of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight Irene. He was the co-writer of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)”, and “Turn, Turn, Turn” made most famous by The Byrds
James Brown 1933 (d.2006) – R&B/Soul singer/songwriter known as “The Godfather of Soul”, who had hits with “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, “Cold Sweat”, and probably his best known “I Got You (I Feel Good)”. He is ranked seventh on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
Frankie Valli 1934 – Pop singer who is most famous as frontman of The Four Seasons beginning in 1960 and they had hits that included “Sherry” (1962), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (1962), “Walk Like a Man” (1963), “Rag Doll” (1964) and “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” (1975). He is also well known for his unusually powerful falsetto voice
Pete Staples 1944 – Bass guitarist with 1960’s band The Troggs, who ere best known for their hit “Wild Thing”, as well as “With a Girl Like You”, and “Love Is All Around”
Mary Hopkin 1950 – Singer/songwriter best known for her 1968 UK number one single “Those Were The Days”. She was one of the first musicians to sign to The Beatles’ Apple label
Bruce Hall 1953 – The current bass player for REO Speedwagon
Joe Gooch 1977 – Songwriter/current lead guitarist for Ten Years After

Deaths :
Les Harvey 1972 (b.1944) – Co-founder and guitarist of the band Stone The Crows, and was also the younger brother of Alex Harvey
Helmut Köllen 1970 (b.1950) – Singer and bass player for prog band Triumvirat
Patsy Montana 1996 (b.1908) – Country music singer/songwriter who was the first female country performer to have a million-selling single (“I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart”)
Odell Brown 2011 (b.1940) – Jazz & funk organist who worked with Minnie Ripperton, Curtis Mayfield, Johnny Nash & Marvin Gaye (both live & in the studio). Brown also co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s hit single “Sexual Healing”

May 4
Birthdays :
Ed Cassidy 1923 (d.2012) – Jazz/rock drummer, who was a founding member of the rock band Spirit in 1967
canada_16Maynard Ferguson 1928 (d.2006) – Jazz trumpeter/band leader who came to prominence playing in Stan Kenton’s orchestra, before forming his own band in 1957. He was noted for being able to play accurately in a remarkably high range
Dick Dale 1937 – Surf rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered the surf music style, drawing on Eastern musical scales and experimenting with reverberation.
Ronnie Bond 1940 (d.1992) – Drummer/backing vocalist with the 1960’s hit band, The Troggs, whose hits included “Wild Thing”,  “With a Girl Like You”. He also had a solo hit single called “It’s Written On Your Body”, released on Mercury Records
Zal Cleminson 1949 – Guitarist best known for his prominent role in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band during 1972-78
Mick Mars (Robert Alan Deal) 1951 – Lead guitarist for heavy metal band Mötley Crüe
Jackie Jackson 1951 – Singer/songwriter/musician with The Jackson 5
Bruce Day 1951 (d.1999) – Bass guitarist and vocalist for the California smooth rock band Pablo Cruise and previously with Santana
Randy Travis 1959 – Country music singer/songwriter/actor
Gary Holt 1964 – Lead guitarist of Exodus, and has also been performing live with Slayer in lieu of Jeff Hanneman who is on medical leave
Michael Dirnt 1972 – Bassist, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American rock band Green Day

Deaths :
Paul Butterfield 1987 (b.1942) – Singer/harmonica player/Founder of oddly enough the Paul Butterfield Blues Band who performed at the original Woodstock Festival
Adam Yauch 2012 (b.1964) – Musician/rapper/film director who was a founding member of the Beastie Boys

May 5
Birthdays :
Blind Willie McTell 1898 (d.1959) – Piedmont and ragtime blues singer and guitarist who used 12 string guitars exclusively. Famous for his song “Statesboro Blues”, which has been covered by many artists, most notably The Allman Brothers
Marshall Grant 1928 (d.2011) – Upright and electric bassist of singer Johnny Cash’s original backing duo, the Tennessee Two, in which Grant and electric guitarist Luther Perkins played. The group became known as The Tennessee Three in 1960, with the addition of drummer W. S. Holland
Tammy Wynette 1942 (d.1998) – Country music singer/songwriter, known as “First Lady of Country Music”, and her best-known song, “Stand by Your Man”, (along with many other hits) was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of the country music genre which she helped to define
Bill Ward 1948 – Original drummer and one of the founding members of Black Sabbath
Steve Stevens 1959 – Guitarist/songwriters best known for his work with Billy Idol, Michael Jackson and Vince Neil
Ian McCulloch 1959 – Singer/songwriter who is best known as the frontman for Echo & The Bunnymen
CanadianJames LaBrie 1963 – Lead singer of prog-metal band Dream Theater

Deaths :
Jerry Wallace 2008 (b.1928) – Country & pop  singer best known for his hit “Primrose Lane” and his only #1 song  “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry,” a song which gained popularity after it was used in an episode of the 1970’s TV series Night Gallery

May 6
Birthdays :
Colin Earl 1942 – Original piano player and member of Mungo Jerry who had a #1 hit in 1970 with “In The Summertime”
Bob Seger 1945 – Singer/songwriter/guitar with a career spanning 5 decades, with a number of hits, including “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Against the Wind,” and Shakedown that was written for Beverly Hills Cop II and “Like a Rock,” and also co-wrote the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight.” His iconic recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001
Robbie McIntosh 1950 (d.1974) – Drummer and founding member of the Average White Band
Davey Johnstone 1951 – Guitarist who is best known for his work with Elton John
Mark Bryan 1967 – Lead guitarist for Hootie & The Blowfish
Chris Shiflett 1971 – Lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters since 1999, and the punk rock band No Use for a Name, as well as the punk rock cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Deaths :
Donald “Ean” Evans 2009 (b.1960) – Was the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 2001 until his death, he replaced Leon Wilkeson
Otis Blackwell 2002 (b.1931) – Singer/songwriter/pianist who influenced Rock & Roll with his compositions, Little Willie John’s “Fever”, Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” and “Breathless”, Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel”, “All Shook Up” and “Return to Sender”
Barney Kessell 2004 (b.1923) – Was considered to be one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century and a member of many prominent jazz groups as well as a “first call” guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions. Kessel was a member of the group of session musicians informally known as The Wrecking Crew

May 7
Birthdays :
Jimmy Ruffin 1939 – Soul singer who had several hit records between the 1960’s and 1980’s, the most successful being “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”
Bill Kreutzmann 1946 – Drummer who has played with the Grateful Dead for their entire 30 year career
Jerry Nolan 1946 (d.1992) – Drummer who was best known for his work with The New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers
Prairie Prince 1950 – Drummer who was was a member of The Tubes and a founding member of Journey. He has also worked with Chris Isaak (on his first four albums), Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, David Byrne, XTC, Tom Waits, Paul Kantner, George Harrison, Dick Dale, Glenn Frey, John Fogerty, Nicky Hopkins & others
Bernie Marsden 1951 – Rock guitarist who has played with Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey in 1974, he then played with Babe Ruth, from 1975–76, before becoming an original member of Paice, Ashton & Lord in 1977 and then formed Whitesnake with David Coverdale. Also played with many others as well as solo
Phil “Wizzo” Campbell 1961 – Has been the lead guitarist of the British heavy metal band Motörhead since 1983

Deaths :
Lee Brilleaux 1994 (b.1952) – R & B singer with the British band Dr Feelgood
John Walker 2011 (b.1943) – Singer/songwriter/guitarist best known as the founder of The Walker Brothers, who had their greatest success in the 1960’s, particularly in the UK

May 8
Birthdays :
Robert Johnson 1911 (d.1938) – Delta blues singer/songwriter/guitar that has influenced later generations of musicians; Eric Clapton has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived.” Legend is that he sold his soul at a crossroads to achieve success
Ricky Nelson 1940 (d.1985) – Singer/songwriter/actor in the TV series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66) as well as co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in the movie Rio Bravo (1959). His hit song “Poor Little Fool,” holds the distinction of being the first number one song on Billboard magazine’s then newly created Hot 100 chart
Toni Tennille 1940 – Singer who is is one-half of the 1970’s Grammy Award-winning duo Captain & Tennille whose hits included “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Do That to Me One More Time and “Muskrat Love.” She also sang backup vocals on Pink Floyd’s The Wall as well as Art Garfunkel’s Breakaway and some work with Elton John including “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.
John Fred 1941 (d.2005) – Singer/songwriter with his Playboys best known for “Judy In Disguise”
Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood 1942 (d.2011) – Sax player/vocal sound effects in Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention on all the albums of the original Mothers line-up and the ‘posthumous’ releases “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” and “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”
Paul Samwell-Smith 1943 – Bassist and founding member of The Yardbirds, that gave us such noteworthy musicians as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. He provided background vocals on many songs like “Good Morning Little School Girl”, “For Your Love”, “Heart Full of Soul”, “Evil Hearted You”, and more.
Danny Whitten 1943 (d.1972) – Guitarist/singer/songwriter best known for his work with Neil Young & Crazy Horse. He sang on “Cinammon Girl”, and his guitar with Neil on played guitar on “Down by the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand.” which would be counted as some of Young’s most memorable work
Gary Glitter 1944 – Glam rock singer/songwriter who first came to prominence in the glam rock era of the early 1970’s with several hits including “Rock and Roll, Parts One and Two”, “I Love You Love Me Love”, “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am)” and “Hello, Hello, I’m Back Again”.
Billy Legend 1944 – Drummer for the glam rock band T.Rex during their most successful period on the albums “Electric Warrior”, “The Slider”, “Tanx” and “Zinc Alloy”
Chris Frantz 1951 – Drummer for both Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club
Philip Bailey 1951 – R & B,soul singer/songwriter/percussionist best known for his 4 octave voice as a longtime member of Earth, Wind & Fire where he sang on “Devotion”, “Head to the Sky”, “Reasons”, “Fantasy ” and “I’ve Had Enough”, also had a solo career and a hit with Phil Collins on “Easy Lover”
Alex Van Halen 1953 – Drummer & Co-founder with his brother Eddie in Van Halen formed in 1974
Billy Burnette 1953 – Guitarist/singer/songwriter who was a part of Fleetwood Mac from 1987-1995
Candice Night 1971 – Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist with folk-rock band Blackmore’s Night along with her husband Ritchie Blackmore
CanadianMartha Wainwright 1976 – Folk-rock singer/songwriter who is the daughter of folk singer/actor Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer/songwriter Kate McGarrigle.
Joe Bonamassa 1977 – Blues-rock guitarist/singer/songwriter who began his career playing guitar in the band Bloodline, which also featured the offspring of Miles Davis, Robby Krieger of The Doors, and Berry Oakley of The Allman Brothers Band. Also did three albums with the band Black Country Communion, as well as 10 solo albums

Deaths :
LaVerne Sophia Andrews 1967 (b.1911) – Soprano singer who along with her sisters formed The Andrew Sisters whose harmonies and songs are still influential today. Their 1941 hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues
Graham Bond 1974 (b.1937) – Keyboardist/sax/singer is considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960’s. He was an early user of the Hammond organ/Leslie speaker combination and was a major influence upon later rock keyboardists; Deep Purple’s Jon Lord said “He taught me, hands on, most of what I know about the Hammond organ”
Neil Bogart 1982 (b.1943) – Record executive and founder of Casablanca Records in 1973 and the first band signed was KISS
Eddy Arnold 2008 (b.1918) – Country music singer/songwriter/guitar who was a so-called Nashville Sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950’s, and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones
Cornell Dupree 2011 (b.1942) – R & B/jazz guitarist who has worked with  Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd to name a few

May 9
Birthdays :
CanadianHank Snow 1914 (d.1999) – Country music singer/songwriter/guitar who in nearly 50 years recorded 140 albums with 85 singles on the charts. That includes the number one hits “I’m Moving On”, “The Golden Rocket”, “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”, “Let Me Go, Lover!”, “I’ve Been Everywhere”, and “Hello Love” as well as other top 10 hits
Nokie Edwards 1935 – Guitarist best known for his work with The Ventures, who had hits with “Walk Don’t Run” and “Hawaii Five-0”
Dave Prater 1937 (b.1988) – R & B singer of Sam & Dave (the original Blues Brothers) who was the deeper, baritone and second tenor vocalist
Sonny Curtis 1937 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who sang and played lead guitar in Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets after Holly died in 1959. He wrote the songs “I Fought the Law” and “More Than I Can Say” and wrote the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Love is All Around”, which he also recorded.
Danny Rapp 1941 (d.1983) – Best known as the frontman for Danny & The Juniors who had their biggest hit in 1957 with “At The Hop”
Tommy Roe 1942 – Pop singer/songwriter best remembered for his hits “Sheila” (1962) and “Dizzy” (1969)
Richie Furay 1944 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who is best known for forming the bands Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Bruce Palmer, and Dewey Martin, and Poco with Jim Messina, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Randy Meisner. His best known song is “Kind Woman” by Poco which he wrote for his wife
Steve Katz 1945 – Guitar/record producer who is best known as a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Was also an original member of The Blues Project and American Flyer. As a producer, his credits include the 1979 album “Short Stories Tall Tales” for the Irish band Horslips, and the Lou Reed albums “Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal” and “Sally Can’t Dance”
Bob “Steady Rollin” Margolin 1949 – Blues guitarist with Muddy Waters from 1973-80 and performed with him and The Band in The Last Waltz
Billy Joel 1949 – Pianist/singer/songwriter who had his first hit in 1973 with “Piano Man”, and later with “Just the Way You Are”, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”, “Only the Good Die Young”, and “She’s Always a Woman” and many others. He is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 150 million records worldwide
Tom Petersson 1950 – Bassist and sometimes guitarist for Cheap Trick
John “Rhino” Edwards 1953 – Bass guitarist in the rock band Status Quo, who has also played with Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac fame, Climax Blues Band, and also Dexys Midnight Runners
David Gahan 1962 – Singer/songwriter who is best known as the lead singer for electronic band Depeche Mode since 1980, as well as having a solo career

Deaths :
Stephen Bruton 2009 (b.1948) – Guitarist/singe/songwriter best known for his years of work with Kris Kristofferson during 40 years of friendship. He also worked with NRBQ, T Bone Burnett, Bonnie Raitt, Rita Coolidge, Christine McVie, Elvis Costello, Delbert McClinton, Sonny Landreth and Carly Simon
Shel Silverstein 1999 (b.1930) – Singer/songwriter/cartoonist/author, who wrote the lyrics and music for most of the Dr. Hook songs, including “The Cover of the Rolling Stone”, “Freakin’ at the Freakers’ Ball,” “Sylvia’s Mother”, “The Things I Didn’t Say” and a cautionary song about venereal disease, “Don’t Give a Dose to the One You Love Most”. Also wrote the songs, “Put Another Log on the Fire”, “One’s on the Way” (a hit for Loretta Lynn), “The Unicorn” (which became the signature piece for the Irish Rovers in 1968) and “25 Minutes to Go” and “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash and many, many more. He also had a popular following on Dr. Demento’s radio show. Among his best-known comedy songs were “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (Would Not Take The Garbage Out)”, “The Smoke-Off” (a tale of a contest to determine who could roll—or smoke—marijuana joints faster), “I Got Stoned and I Missed It” and “Bury Me in My Shades”

May 10
Birthdays :
Bert Weedon 1920 (d.2012) – Guitarist whose style of playing was popular and influential during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was the first British guitarist to have a hit record in the UK Singles Chart, in 1959, and his best-selling tutorial guides, Play in a Day, were a major influence on many leading British musicians, such as Eric Clapton, Brian May, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Dave Davies, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page
Joe Moretti 1938 (d.2012) – Guitarist renowned for his work on seminal UK rock and roll records such as Vince Taylor’s “Brand New Cadillac” and Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over”. He also worked with Gene Vincent, Vince Eager, Lesley Duncan, Nero and the Gladiators, Ronnie Jones and The Nightimers, Eddie Calvert and many others
Graham Gouldman 1946 – Singer/songwriter/musician who is a long time member of the band 10cc
Dave Mason 1946 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist who first found fame with the band Traffic with whom he was a founding member. He has played and recorded with Jimi Hendrix, Delaney Bramlett, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac and Cass Elliot. Mason’s best known song is “Feelin’ Alright”, recorded by Traffic in 1968 and later by many other performers, including Joe Cocker, who had a major hit with the song in 1969
Donovan 1946 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music (notably calypso). Best known for his hit songs “Catch The Wind”, “Sunshine Superman”, “Mellow Yellow” and more during his solo career
Jay Ferguson 1947 – Singer/keyboardist who was best known for his work with Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, and his 1978 solo hit “Thunder Island”. His later career has been as a composer of music for television programs and films
Lee Brilleaux 1952 (d.1994) – R & B singer/musician with the British band Dr Feelgood. In 1976, Brilleaux helped found Stiff Records, one of the driving forces of the “New Wave” of the mid- to late-1970s, with a loan from singer-songwriter John Hiatt
Sid Vicious 1952 (d.1979) – Singer and bass guitarist of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols who were best known for their album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
Bono (Paul Hewson) 1960 – Singer/songwriter/activist/philanthropist who is best known as the lead singer of the Irish band U2

May 11
Birthdays :
Irving Berlin 1888 (d.1989) – Songwriter/composer/lyricist who was considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He published his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy”, in 1907 and had his first major international hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” in 1911. He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him “a legend” before he turned thirty. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including “Easter Parade”, “White Christmas”, “Happy Holiday”, “This is the Army, Mr. Jones”, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. His Broadway musical and 1942 film, This is the Army, with Ronald Reagan, had Kate Smith singing Berlin’s “God Bless America” which was first performed in 1938
Kit Lambert 1935 (d.1981) – Record producer/manager of The Who and he also founded Track Records along with Chris Stamp. Their most successful artists were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap Newman and Golden Earring
CanadianR Dean Taylor 1939 – Singer/songwriter/record producer for Motown Records in the 1960’s – 70’s. He was best for his 1970 Billboard Top 5 hit, “Indiana Wants Me”
Eric Burdon 1941 – Singer/songwriter best known as a member and vocalist of rock band The Animals, and the funk band War. Burdon’s powerful voice can be heard in the Animals’ singles “The House of the Rising Sun”, “Sky Pilot”, “Monterey”, “I’m Crying”, “Boom Boom”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “Bring It On Home to Me”, “Baby Let Me Take You Home”, “It’s My Life”, “We Gotta Get out of This Place”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, and “See See Rider”, with War who had hits with “Spill the Wine” and “Tobacco Road”
Les Chadwick 1943 – Bass guitarist whose work can be heard on all of the 1960’s recordings by Gerry & The Pacemakers. On 19 October 1961, The Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers merged to become the ‘Beatmakers’, for a one-off performance in Litherland Town Hall. The line-up comprised Gerry Marsden, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Les Maguire, Pete Best, Freddy Marsden, plus vocalist Karl Terry from The Cruisers with Chadwick on bass guitar
Butch Trucks 1947 – Drummer and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band with whom he still tours and records with today along with his nephew guitarist Derek Trucks
Neil Carter 1958 – Guitarist/keyboards with UFO, Gary Moore and Wild Horses. He is credited for co-writing a number of Gary Moore’s songs including the worldwide hit, “Empty Rooms”

Deaths :
Lester Flatt 1979 (b.1914) –
Bluegrass musician/guitar/mandolin, best known for being in the duo The Foggy Mountain Boys, also known as “Flatt and Scruggs,” with banjo picker Earl Scruggs. He was also a member of Bill Monroe’s band during the 1940’s
Bob Marley 1981 (b.1945) –
Reggae singer/songwriter/musician who was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the bands The Wailers (1963-1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981). His best-known hits include “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Duppy Conqueror”, “Stir It Up”, “Get Up Stand Up”, “Jamming”, “Redemption Song”, “One Love”, and “Three Little Birds
Noel Redding 2003 (b.1945) –
Bass guitarist who was best known for his work as bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience
CanadianJohn Rutsey 2008 (b.1952) –
Drummer, most recognized for being a co-founding member of Rush along with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, and performing on the band’s debut album. He left the band in 1974, due to musical differences and health problems, and was replaced by Neil Peart

May 12
Birthdays :
Burt Bacharach 1928 – Composer/producer/pianist, who is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the mid-1950s through the 1980s, with lyrics written by Hal David, as part of the duo Bacharach and David. Some of his songs include Bobby Vinton (“Blue on Blue”); Dusty Springfield (“The Look of Love” from Casino Royale), (a cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Wishin’ and Hopin'”); Cilla Black (a cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart”), Cher (“Alfie” – originally recorded by Cilla Black); The Shirelles, The Beatles (“Baby, It’s You”); The Carpenters “(They Long to Be) Close to You”) and many more
Norman Whitfield 1940 (d.2008) –
Singer/songwriter/producer, best known for his work with Berry Gordy’s Motown label during the 1960s.[1] He has been credited as one of the creators of the Motown Sound. He co-wrote and produced the songs, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, “Cloud Nine”, “I Can’t Get Next to You”, “War”, “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” amongst many others
Ian Dury 1942 (d.2000) –
Singer/songwriter/actor who rose to fame during the late 1970’s, during the punk and New Wave era of rock music. He is best known as founder and lead singer of the British band Ian Dury and the Blockheads whose best known songs were, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”, and “Hit Me (With Your Rhythm Stick)”
Billy Swan 1942 –
Singer/songwriter best known for his 1974 single, “I Can Help”, also wrote hit country songs for numerous artists, including Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Mel Tillis. Has also played bass guitar for Kris Kristofferson and and has recorded two albums with Randy Meisner of The Eagles
Ian McLagan 1945 –
Keyboardist who was best known as a member of the English rock bands Small Faces and Faces.He has also collaborated with The Rolling Stones and has been leading his own band since the late 1970’s
Steve Winwood 1948 – Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who in addition to his solo career was also a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He co-wrote and recorded the hits “Gimme Some Lovin'” and “I’m a Man” with Spencer Davis, “Paper Sun” and “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” with Traffic, “While You See a Chance”, “Higher Love”, “Back In The High Life” and many others during his solo career
Billy Squier 1950 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who is best known for his solo hits, “The Stroke”,  “In the Dark”, “Rock Me Tonite”, “Lonely Is the Night”, “My Kinda Lover”, “Everybody Wants You”, “All Night Long” and “Emotions in Motion”
John “Jocko” Marcellino 1950 – Best known as the original drummer and backing vocalist and still with the band Sha Na Na who were known for their the doo-wop hit song “Get a Job”, which was originally recorded in 1957 by the Silhouettes
Eric Singer 1958 – Drummer for the rock band KISS, and formerly with Alice Cooper
Ray Gillen 1959 (d.1993) – Singer/songwriter, best known for his work with Badlands, in addition to his stint with Black Sabbath in the mid-1980’s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena’s classic “Dreamrunner” album
Billy Duffy 1961 – Songwriter and guitarist best known for his work with The Cult

Deaths :
Perry Como 2001 (b.1912) – Singer/TV personality whose career spanned more then 50 years. He he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943 and sold millions of records for them. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, then continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program on a monthly basis until 1967

May 13
Birthdays :
Fred Hellerman 1927 – Folk singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer, primarily known as one of the members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert. He is also known for producing the record album Alice’s Restaurant (1967) for Arlo Guthrie
Mike Stoller 1933 – Songwriter/record producer best known along with his partner Jerry Leiber. Stoller was the composer and Leiber the lyricist. Their most famous songs include “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Don’t”, “Kansas City”, “Stand By Me” (with Ben E. King), and man others.
Ritchie Valens 1941 (d.1959) – Singer/songwriter/guitarist, who was a rock and roll pioneer whose recording career lasted only eight months. During this time, he had several hits, most notably “La Bamba”, which was originally a Mexican folk song which he transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat. On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as “The Day the Music Died“, Valens died in a small-plane crash in Iowa, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson
Mary Wells 1943 (d.1992) – R & B-soul singer who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960’s with her hits “Two Lovers” (1962), the Grammy-nominated “You Beat Me to the Punch” (1962) and her signature hit, “My Guy” (1964), she became recognized as “The Queen of Motown” until she left in 1964. She was one of Motown’s first singing superstars
Magic Dick (Richard Salwitz) 1945 – Harmonica player for the J. Geils Band whose work on the six-minute jam “Detroit Breakdown” is a highlight of the J. Geils Band 1974 album “Nightmares…and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle”, one of my favorites of his is “Whammer Jammer” off the Live Full House album from 1972
Peter Watts 1947 – Bass player and founding member of the 1970’s band Mott The Hoople. He later became a record producer, producing albums for artists such as Hanoi Rocks, Dumb Blondes, Lenny Kravitz, The Scientists, Department S, John Martyn, Melanie, Kirsty MacColl, The Cult and Lloyd Cole
Stevie Wonder 1950 – Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who was a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Some of his best known hits are, “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”, amongst many others
Danny Kirwan 1950 – Guitarist/singer/songwriter who is best known for his work with Fleetwood Mac between 1968-72.
Paul Thompson 1951 – Drummer for Roxy Music from 1971 to 1980 and from 2001 onwards and when not with them he played in the Oi! band, Angelic Upstarts and alternative rock band Concrete Blonde
Darius Rucker 1966 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who first achieved fame with Hootie & The Blowfish which he founded in 1986 and they had hits with “Hold My Hand”, “Let Her Cry”, “Only Wanna Be with You”. He started in 2008 as a solo Country singer and had hits with “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, which made him the first African American to chart a number one on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride in 1983, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” and “Alright” and the number three “History in the Making”

Deaths :
Donald “Duck” Dunn 2012 (b.1941) – Bassist/songwriter/record producer who is best known for his work with Booker T & The MG’s and as a session bassist with Stax Records where he played on thousands of records including hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and many others. Dunn played himself in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers,(one of the best movies ever IMO) where he famously uttered the line, “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!”

May 14
Birthdays :
Bob Johnston 1932 – Record Producer best known for his work with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, many Nashville recording artists, and Simon and Garfunkel
Bobby Darin 1936 (d.1973) – Singer/songwriter/actor who performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk, and country. He started as a songwriter for Connie Francis, and recorded his own first million-seller “Splish Splash” in 1958. This was followed by “Dream Lover”, “Mack the Knife”, and “Beyond the Sea”, which brought him world fame
Vic Flick 1937 – Guitarist who is most famous for playing the guitar riff in the “James Bond Theme”, he also played the guitar riff in the theme tune of the popular early 1960s TV show Juke Box Jury. Flick was a member of the George Martin Orchestra, playing on the soundtrack of the film A Hard Day’s Night. He has worked with many notable artists, including Tom Jones, Cliff Richard,Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page
Jack Bruce 1943 – Bassist/singer/songwriter best known as a founding member of rock power trio, Cream along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. Was also a member of the bands, Blues Incorporated, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann in 1966, as well as a few others and a solo career. He co-wrote most of Cream’s single releases with lyricist Pete Brown, including the hits, “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room”, and “I Feel Free”
Derek Leckenby 1943 (d.1994) – Lead guitarist most famous for his work with English pop group Herman’s Hermits. He provided the solo on “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am”, and is credited with arranging the band’s first big hit, “I’m into Something Good”. His skills on guitar and dobro are heard on releases such as the LP “A Whale of a Tale” and the later singles, such as “Ginny Go Softly” and “Heart Get Ready for Love”
Gene Cornish 1944 – Guitarist/harmonica/singer who was a founding member of the band The Rascals who had the #1 hits “Good Lovin'” (1966), “Groovin'” (1967), and “People Got to Be Free” (1968), as well as “A Beautiful Morning” (#3 1968) and the lesser-known “A Girl Like You”
David Byrne 1952 – Singer/songwriter/producer who was a founding member of the band Talking Heads who had hits with “Burning Down the House”, “Once in a Lifetime”, “Life During Wartime”, “And She Was” along with others. Also has a successful solo career along with collaborations with Brian Eno and other artists
Steve Hogarth 1959 – Lead singer and occasional keyboardist/guitarist with the British rock band Marillion. Hogarth was formerly a keyboard player and co-lead vocalist with The Europeans and vocalist with How We Live
C.C. DeVille 1962 – Guitarist of the American glam metal band Poison and also played lead guitar on Warrant’s hit song “Cherry Pie”
Ian Astbury 1962 – Singer/songwriter best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band The Cult. He became lead singer of The Doors of the 21st Century in 2002 and does actually look a bit like former Doors singer Jim Morrison

Deaths :
Keith Relf 1976 (b.1943) – Singer/songwriter/harmonica/producer, best known as the lead singer and harmonica player of The Yardbirds. Relf also produced tracks for artists such as folk-rock band Hunter Muskett, the acoustic world music group Amber, psychedelic band Saturnalia and blues-rock band Medicine Head, with whom he played bass guitar
Frank Sinatra 1998 (b.1915) – Singer/actor, had his first hit in 1940, working in the Swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey and would later have hits with  “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way”, and “New York, New York” to name a few. Won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1953 film “From Here to Eternity”. He was known as “The Chairman of The Board”, and  was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy

May 15
Birthdays :
Eddy Arnold 1918 (d.2008) – Country music singer who performed for six decades. He was a so-called Nashville sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950s, and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones. He sold more than 85 million records. Best known for his hit song “Make The World Go Away”
Trini Lopez 1937 – Singer/guitar/actor who was best known for the 1963 hit song “If I Had a Hammer”, other hits included “Michael” (1964), “Lemon Tree” (1965), “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy” (1966), “Gonna Get Along Without Ya’ Now” (1967) and “Sally Was a Good Old Girl” (1968)
Brian Eno 1948 – musician/composer/singer/record producer who is known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music and is credited with coining the term “Ambient Music”. he began his career as a member of Roxy Music. He produced U2, Talking Heads, David Bowie, John Cale and released several solo albums.
Gary Thain 1948 (d.1975) – Bassist who was best known for his work with Uriah Heep, but had performed with the Keef Hartley Band before that
Mike Oldfield 1953 – Multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/composer whose music is often very elaborate and complex in a style that blends progressive rock with such genres as folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age. He is best known for his 1973 hit album Tubular Bells, which launched Virgin Records, and for his 1983 hit single “Moonlight Shadow”

Deaths :
Barbara Lee 1992 (b.1947) –
Was a member of the 1960’s all girl group who were best know for the song “He’s So Fine” (which was “supposedly” plagiarized by George Harrison on his song “My Sweet Lord”).
June Carter Cash 2003 (b.1929) –
Singer/songwriter/atress/comedian who was a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. She played the guitar, banjo, harmonica and autoharp, and acted in several films and television shows.
Clint Warwick 2004 (b.1940) –
Original bassist for The Moody Blues who released one album with him on bass, Go Now – The Moody Blues #1 (USA release on London Records) a.k.a. The Magnificent Moodies on Decca in the UK. Warwick took one co-lead vocal on that album with Denny Laine on the track; ‘I’ve Got A Dream’ (which notably featured Ray Thomas on Flute)

May 16
Birthdays :
Liberace 1919 (d.1987) – Pianist/vocalist/TV who during the 1950s–1970s he was the highest-paid entertainer in the worldand embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off the stage.
Billy Cobham 1944 – Jazz drummer/songwriter/bandleader who came to prominence in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with trumpeter Miles Davis and then with Mahavishnu Orchestra. He has also performed with George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Larry Coryell, James Brown, Peter Gabriel and many others.
Robert Fripp 1946 – Guitarist/songwriter/record producer who is best known as the guitarist and founding member of progressive rock band King Crimson. He also has a very extensive list of other artists that he has played with as his complete discography lists more than seven hundred releases over four decades, a few of which include David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Talking Heads, Porcupine Tree just to name a few. For a more complete list if his appearances click HERE
Roger Earl 1946 – Drummer and founding member of the band Foghat, and is the only band member to have performed with the band throughout all of its various incarnations. Before founding Foghat, Earl was a member of Savoy Brown from 1968 to 1970 and auditioned (unsuccessfully) for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Darrell Sweet 1947 (d.1999) – Drummer and co-founder of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth that formed in 1968
Barbara Lee 1947 (d.1992) – Was a member of the 1960’s all girl group who were best know for the song “He’s So Fine” (which was “supposedly” plagiarized by George Harrison on his song “My Sweet Lord”).
Jonathan Richman 1951 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist who founded The Modern Lovers, an influential proto-punk band. Since the mid-1970’s, Richman has worked either solo or with low-key, generally acoustic, backing. He is known for his wide-eyed,unaffected and childlike outlook, and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, often draws on influences from around the world.
Krist Novoselic 1965 – Bassist and co-founder of the grunge band Nirvana. After Nirvana ended, Novoselic formed Sweet 75 and then Eyes Adrift, releasing one album with each band. From 2006 to 2009 he played in punk band Flipper, also recording an album, and in 2011 contributed bass and accordion to the song “I Should Have Known”, from the Foo Fighters’ record Wasting Light.
Janet Jackson 1966 – Singer/songwriter/actress who is best known as the youngest child of the Jackson Family. Her debut album, Janet (1993), saw her develop a public image as a sex symbol as she began to explore sexuality in her work. She has amassed an extensive catalog of hits, with singles such as “Nasty”, “Rhythm Nation”, “That’s the Way Love Goes”, “Together Again”, and “All for You” her most iconic.

Deaths :
Django Reinhardt 1953 (b.1910) – Jazz guitarist/composer who is often referred to as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Using only the index and middle fingers of his left hand on his solos (his third and fourth fingers were paralyzed after an injury in a fire), Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called ‘hot’ jazz guitar). Reinhardt’s most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including “Minor Swing”, “Daphne”, “Belleville”, “Djangology”, “Swing ’42”, and “Nuages”
Sammy Davis Jr. 1990 (b.1925) – Singer/dancer/actor who started as a child vaudevillian who became known for his performances on Broadway and Las Vegas, Nevada. He went on to become a world famous recording artist, television and film star. Davis was also a member of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack“. Davis’ career slowed in the late sixties, but he had a hit record with “The Candy Man”, in 1972, and became a star in Las Vegas earning him the nickname Mister Show Business
James Dewar 2002 (b.1942) – Bassist and vocalist for the Robin Trower Band and Stone The Crows, he had a rich, powerful voice, with a soulful timbre, and has been regarded by critics as one of the most under-rated rock vocalists. His vocal sound was deep, gritty, and resonating, his style shows the influence of Ray Charles and Otis Redding. Like Paul Rodgers and Frankie Miller, his voice evoked a bluesy, soul-inspired sound.
Ronnie James Dio 2010 (b.1942) – Singer/songwriter who performed with, among others, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band Dio. He was widely hailed as one of/if not the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice, and is credited with popularizing the “metal horns” (\m/) hand gesture in metal culture.

May 17
Birthdays :
Malcolm Hale 1941 (d.1968) – Lead guitarist/trombone/vocals with 1960’s folk-rock band Spank and Our Gang who had a hit in 1967 with “Sunday Will Never Be The Same Again”
Taj Mahal 1942 – Guitarist/singer/songwriter who has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50 year solo career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific. In 1964 he formed Rising Sons with fellow blues musician Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid, landing a record deal with Columbia Records soon after. He has also worked with Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Muddy Waters
Jesse Winchester 1944 – Singer/songwriter/keyboardist who moved to Canada in 1967 (to avoid the Vietnam Draft), which is where and when he began his career as a solo artist. His highest charting recordings were of his own tunes, “Yankee Lady” in 1970 and “Say What” in 1981
Bill Bruford 1949 – Drummer/composer/producer/record label owner who was the original drummer for progressive rock band Yes, and also toured with Genesis and played with King Crimson as well as UK. Bruford moved away from progressive rock to concentrate on jazz, leading his own jazz group, Earthworks, for several years.
Roy Adams 1952 – Drummer with The Climax Blues Band whose biggest hit song was “Couldn’t Get It Right”
Paul Di’Anno 1958 – Singer/songwriter best known as the first vocalist to record with the iconic band Iron Maiden, from 1978 to 1981. In his post-Maiden career, Di’Anno has issued numerous albums over the years, as both a solo artist and as a member of such bands as Gogmagog, Di’Anno’s Battlezone, Praying Mantis, and Killers.
Enya 1961 – Irish Singer/songwriter who achieved a breakthrough in her career in 1988 with the album Watermark, which featured the hit song “Orinoco Flow” (sometimes incorrectly known as “Sail Away”).
Trent Reznor 1965 – Singer/songwriter/producer who led the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails since 1988; he left Interscope Records in 2007 and is now an independent recording artist
Dave Abbruzzese 1968 – Drummer for the band Pearl Jam from 1991 to 1994. He replaced drummer Matt Chamberlain in 1991, shortly before the release of the band’s debut album, Ten. Abbruzzese played on the band’s next two records, Vs. and Vitalogy.
Josh Homme 1973 – Singer/songwriter/musician who is the founding and only continuous member of the hard rock band Queens of the Stone Age, in which he sings, plays guitar, and serves as the band’s primary songwriter, and was the guitarist and a former member of the stoner rock band Kyuss

Deaths :
Lawrence Welk 1992 (b.1903) – Accordionist/bandleader/TV impressario, who hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1982. His style came to be known to his large number of radio, television, and live-performance fans (and critics) as “champagne music”. Welk had a number of instrumental hits, including a cover of the song “Yellow Bird.” His highest charting record was “Calcutta”, which achieved hit status in 1961. Despite the emergence of rock and roll, “Calcutta” reached number 1 on the U.S. pop charts between 13 and 26 February 1961; it was recorded in only one take
Johnny “Guitar” Watson 1996 (b.1935) – Blues-funk guitarist/singer who recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His creative reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with “Ain’t That a Bitch”, “I Need It” and “Superman Lover”. His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his biggest hit being the 1977 “A Real Mother For Ya”
Donna Summer 2012 (b.1948) – Singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970’s. She co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. Music producer, Giorgio Moroder, convinced her to sing it herself, and it was released in 1975 to mass commercial success, particularly on the disco scene. She went on to have a string of other disco hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”. Becoming known as the “Queen of Disco”, she regularly appeared at the Studio 54 club in New York City

May 18
Birthdays :
Big Joe Turner 1911 (d.1985) – Blues singer who was known as a “Blues shouter” (a blues-music singer capable of singing unamplified with a band). Although he had his greatest fame during the 1950s with his rock and roll recordings, particularly “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, Turner’s career as a performer endured from the 1920’s into the 1980’s. He also recorded a number of blues standards including, “Chains of Love” and “Sweet Sixteen”, “Boogie Woogie Country Girl” (“That’s a good rockin’ band!”, “Go ahead, man! Ow! That’s just what I need!” ) and “Honey Hush”
Perry Como 1912 (d.2001) – Singer/TV personality whose career spanned more then 50 years. He he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943 and sold millions of records for them. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, then continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program on a monthly basis until 1967
Albert Hammond 1944 – Singer/songwriter/record producer who is known for singing and/or writing some of these songs, “Down by the River”, “It Never Rains in Southern California”, “The Free Electric Band” (his only single to chart in the UK), “Half a Million Miles from Home”, with Carole Bayer Sager, “When I Need You” was first recorded by Hammond on his 1976 album When I Need You. He also co-wrote “One Moment in Time”, the theme song to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, as performed by Whitney Houston, and many others.
Rick Wakeman 1949 – Keyboardist/songwriter who is best known for being the former keyboardist in the progressive rock band Yes. He is also known for his solo albums, contributing to the BBC comedy series Grumpy Old Men and for Rick’s Place, his former radio show on Planet Rock that aired until December 2010. His best known solo records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974) and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975). He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies.
Bill Wallace 1949 – Bassist who replaced Jim Kale in The Guess Who shortly after the release of “Live at the Paramount”, and he co-wrote the eventual Guess Who hits “Bus Rider” and “Hand Me Down World” but has never received writing credit. Wallace (nicknamed Wee Willy by Burton Cummings) wrote and co-wrote many Guess Who hits including “Clap for the Wolfman”, “Road Food”, “Follow Your Daughter Home”, and sang lead on “Bye Bye Babe”.
Mark Mothersbaugh 1950 – Singer/songwriter/musician who was also a co-founder of the new wave band Devo and has been its lead singer since 1972. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games.
George Strait 1952 – Country singer/songwriter/guitar/actor who rocketed to success after his first single “Unwound” was a hit in 1981 and he amassed seven number one albums in the decade with his most popular hits including “Fool Hearted Memory” and “Ocean Front Property”.
Michael Cretu 1957 – New age musician/composer who is best known for his work with the electronic musical project founded in Germany known as Enigma. Enigma’s debut album, MCMXC a.D., which received over 60 platinum-level sales awards worldwide, and topped the charts in 41 countries, and it’s first commercial success through the single “Sadeness (Part I),” which juxtaposed Gregorian chants and sexual overtones over a dance beat that was very peculiar to the ears of the public at that time. Cretu explained that the album was about unsolved crimes and philosophical themes such as life after death, hence the name Enigma.

Deaths :
Ian Curtis 1980 (b.1956) – Singer/songwriter who was best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980

May 19
Birthdays :
Herbie Flowers 1938 – Bassist who is noted as a member of Blue Mink, T. Rex and Sky and as one of Britain’s best-known session bass-players, having contributed to recordings by Elton John (Tumbleweed Connection), David Bowie (Space Oddity), Lou Reed (Transformer) including the prominent bass line of “Walk on the Wild Side”), Roy Harper, David Essex, Allan Clarke, Al Kooper, Harry N ilsson (including bass on “Jump into the Fire”), Cat Stevens, Serge Gainsbourg and George Harrison: he also played bass on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. By the end of the 1970’s Flowers had played bass on an estimated 500 hit recordings
Pete Townshend 1945 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist/author known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years. Townshend is the primary songwriter for The Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band’s 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock and roll radio staples such as Who’s Next
Jerry Hyman 1947 – Trombone player who played on the second and third albums of Blood, Sweat & Tears
Steve Currie 1947 (d.1981) – Bassist and long term member of the English glam rock band T.Rex and he appeared on all of Bolan’s most memorable hit singles from “Ride a White Swan” (1970) to “Laser Love” (1976), as well as the albums Electric Warrior (1971) to Dandy in the Underworld (1977). His innovative and, for the time, sophisticated bass playing can be seen to good effect in the movie Born to Boogie. After leaving T.Rex he went into session work, working for the likes of Chris “Motorbikin'” Spedding.
Grace Jones 1948 – Singer/songwriter/actress/model, her most notable albums are Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and Slave to the Rhythm, while her biggest hits are “Pull Up to the Bumper”, “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”, “Private Life”, “Slave to the Rhythm” and “I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You)”
Dusty Hill 1949 – Bassist/vocalist who along with Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons formed the blues-rock band ZZ Top in 1969
Joey Ramone 1951 (d.2001) – Singer/songwriter who was best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band the Ramones. Joey Ramone’s image, voice and tenure as front man of the Ramones made him a countercultural icon
Phil Rudd 1954 – Drummer best known for his membership in Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1975 until 1983, and again from 1994 to the present. Upon the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans from AC/DC, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of the band

Deaths :
Freddie Garrity 2006 (b.1936) –
Singer/actor who was frontman and comical element in the 1960s pop band, Freddie and the Dreamers.
Odia Coates 1991 (1941) –
Singer who was best known for her high-profile hits with Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka especially “(You’re) Having My Baby” that went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1974. They recorded several more duets that produced Top 10 & Top 20 hits such as 1974’s “One Man Woman/One Woman Man” plus in 1975 “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” and “(I Believe) There’s Nothing Stronger Than Our Love”. Coates also recorded “Make It Up To Me in Love”, a sequel to “One Man Woman/One Woman Man”, with Anka in 1977.
Frank Guida 2007 (b.1922) –
Songwriter/producer who is credited with discovering Gary U.S. Bonds, whose hits, including “New Orleans” and “Quarter to Three”, he produced. Other performers discovered by Guida include Jimmy Soul, Tommy Facenda (who gave Guida his first hit with “High School U.S.A.”), Lenis Guess and Pamala Stanley. The distinct sound he helped to create has been credited as influencing such major songwriters and producers as Bruce Springsteen and Phil Spector.

May 20
Birthdays :
Joe Cocker 1944 – Singer who came to popularity in the 1960s, and is known for his gritty voice, his idiosyncratic arm movements while performing, and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of the Beatles. A few of his chart successes incluse “Cry Me a River” and “Feelin’ Alright” by Dave Mason, the Box Tops’ hit “The Letter”, a cover of Dennis Wilson and Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful”, “Up Where We Belong” with Jennifer Warnes for the soundtrack of the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, and “You Can Leave Your Hat On” was featured in the 1986 film 9½ Weeks just to name a few
Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) 1946 – Singer/songwriter/actress whose career has now spanned 5 decades starting back in the 60’s as one-half of the folk rock husband–wife duo Sonny & Cher best know for their hit song “I Got You Babe”. She then established a solo career with the hit songs, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”, “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”, “Half-Breed”, and “Dark Lady”, “I Found Someone” and “If I Could Turn Back Time” to name a few. All of this as well as a very successful career as an actress in many hit movies.
Jane Wiedlin 1958 – Singer/songwriter/guitar best known as the rhythm guitarist of the all-female New Wave band The Go-Go’s who were best known for the hit songs. “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed”
Nick Heyward 1961 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist best known for being the frontman of the early 1980’s band Haircut One Hundred, and also had a briefly successful solo career after he left the band in 1983.

Deaths :
Robin Gibb 2012 (b.1949) – Singer/songwriter who is best known as a co-founder along with his brothers Barry & Maurice of the Bee Gees. Robin sang lead vocals on tracks such as “New York Mining Disaster 1941”, “Massachusetts”, “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” and “I Started a Joke”. However, the rivalry with Barry eventually prompted Robin to leave the group and begin a solo career, after his song “Lamplight” was relegated to the B-side of Barry’s song “First of May”.
Ray Manzarek 2013 (b.1939) – Keyboardist/singer/songwriter best known as a founding member and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973. He was a co-founding member of Nite City from 1977 to 1978, and of Manzarek-Krieger (aka, The Doors of the 21st Century) from 2001 to his death.

May 21
Birthdays :
Fats Waller 1904 (d.1943) – Jazz pianist/singer/songwriter who was a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Squeeze Me”.
Tony Sheridan 1940 (d.2013) – Singer/songwriter/musician who was best known as an early collaborator of The Beatles, (though the record was labelled as being with “The Beat Brothers”), one of two non-Beatles (the other being Billy Preston) to receive label performance credit on a record with the group, and the only non-Beatle to appear as lead singer on a Beatles recording (“My Bonnie”) which charted as a single.
Ronald Isley 1941 – Singer/songwriter/record producer who is known as the lead singer and founding member of the family music group the Isley Brothers whose best known and biggest hit was the song “Shout”. After that song the group recorded modestly successful works for a variety of labels, including the top 20 single, “Twist & Shout” and the Motown single, “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” before recording and issuing the Grammy Award-winning hit, “It’s Your Thing” on their own label, T-Neck Records.
John Dalton 1943 – Bass guitar player, best known as a member of The Kinks’ from 1969 to 1976, replacing original member Pete Quaife. He appeared playing bass on such notable songs as “Victoria”, “Lola”, “Apeman”, “Celluloid Hereos”, and “Supersonic Rocketship”.
Vincent Crane 1943 (d.1989) – Self taught pianist who was best known as the organist for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown whose eponymous debut album, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1968) contained the song “Fire”, a chart-topping hit single with Crane’s organ on the leads. He left the band along with drummer Carl Palmer (later of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) to form Atomic Rooster in late 1969 and they enjoyed success in 1971 with two hit singles, “Tomorrow Night”, and “Devil’s Answer”.
Hilton Valentine 1943 – Guitarist/songwriter who was the original guitarist for The Animals. While the Animals are often remembered most for Burdon’s vocals and Price’s organ, Valentine is credited with the instantly recognizable electric guitar arpeggio introduction to the Animals’ 1964 signature song “The House of the Rising Sun”, which inspired countless beginning guitarists
Bill Champlin 1947 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist whose performance work is principally associated with the bands Chicago and the Sons of Champlin. He sang on “Colour My World”, “Bad Advice” and “Follow Me”, he wrote (“Please Hold On” and “Remember the Feeling”), and sang (with Cetera) the hit single “Hard Habit to Break” and many others
Leo Sayer 1948 – Singer/songwriter/musician whose singing career has spanned four decades. He is best remembered for his hit singles “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (1977), “When I Need You” (1977) and “More Than I Can Say” (1980) which were all certified gold
Stan Lynch 1955 – Songwriter/record producer and was the original drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for 18 years until his departure in 1994. Even though he was still in the band in 1989, Lynch did not perform on any of the songs on Petty’s solo album Full Moon Fever, and stated that when performing songs such as “Free Fallin'” and “I Won’t Back Down” on stage between 1989 and 1994, Lynch voiced his opinion strongly, saying he “felt as if he was in a cover band.”

Deaths :
Trevor Bolder 2013 (b.1950) – Bassist who was best known for his long association with Uriah Heep and his tenure with The Spiders From Mars, the one-time backing band for David Bowie, although he also played alongside a variety of musicians from the early 1970’s. His work with Bowie appeared on the studio albums Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), and Pin Ups (1973)

May 22
Birthdays :
Bruce Rowland 1941 –
Drummer/songwriter who is best known for his memberships of The Grease Band (who were Joe Cocker’s backing band) and folk rock band Fairport Convention. He played for Joe Cocker’s performance at the Woodstock Festival, on Cocker’s second album, Joe Cocker!, and on the UK top ten hit single “Delta Lady”. He has also played session for Shawn Phillips, Andy Mackay, Jackie Lomax, Gallagher and Lyle, and others, also contributing drums to the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Dallas Taylor 1948 –
Drummer who is best known for his work on Crosby, Stills and Nash’s debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) and their follow-up with Neil Young, Déjà Vu (1970) and was given a front-sleeve credit along with Motown bassist Greg Reeves. He also played with Van Morrison at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival in a quartet along with keyboardist Pete Wingfield and bassist Jerome Rimson, a performance issued on the 2006 DVD, “Live at Montreux 1980/1974
Bernie Taupin 1950 –
Lyricist.singer/songwriter best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John, writing the lyrics for the majority of the star’s songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock’s history.
Morrissey 1959 –
Singer/songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1980’s as the lyricist and vocalist of the band The Smiths. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on ten occasions. His first solo album, 1988’s Viva Hate, entered the UK albums chart at number one.
Jesse Valenzuela 1962 –
Was the original vocalist of the alternative rock band Gin Blossoms when it was formed in 1987.[1] In 1988, he switched roles with the band’s new guitarist, Robin Wilson. He continued to be a member until the band’s breakup in 1997, and reunited with the rest of the group in 2002. In 2002, he released a solo album, “Tunes Young People Will Enjoy.”
Dan Roberts 1967 –
Bassist for the Canadian rock band, Crash Test Dummies, and brother of their lead singer, Brad Roberts. He joined Crash Test Dummies just before they began putting together their first album, “The Ghosts That Haunt Me“.

Deaths :
Joseph Brooks 2011 (b.1938) –
Composer/director/screenwriter who composed the song “You Light Up My Life” for the film of the same name that he also wrote, directed, and produced. In the 1960s, Brooks composed advertising jingles for clients including Pepsi (“You’ve Got a Lot to Live”) and Maxwell House (“Good to the Last Drop Feeling”). Brooks also composed music for the film The Lords of Flatbush and co-produced Eddie and the Cruisers.

May 23
Birthdays :
Rosemary Clooney 1928 (d.2002) – Singer/actress who came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House” written by William Saroyan and his cousin Ross Bagdasarian (better known as David Seville, the father figure of Alvin and the Chipmunks), which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Botch-a-Me” (a cover version of the Italian song Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina by Alberto Rabagliati), “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House”, although she had success as a jazz vocalist.
Robert Moog 1934 (d.2005) – Pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. Moog’s innovative electronic design is employed in numerous synthesizers including the Minimoog Model D, Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Moog Minitaur, and the Moogerfooger line of effects pedals. Through his involvement in electronic music, Moog developed close professional relationships with artists such as Don Buchla, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, John Cage, Gershon Kingsley, Clara Rockmore, Jean Jacques Perrey, and Pamelia Kurstin. In a 2000 interview, Moog said, “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers. They use my tools.”
General Johnson 1941 (d.2010) – Singer/songwriter/record producer who was the frontman of Chairmen of the Board whose debut single, “Give Me Just a Little More Time”, rose to #3 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1970. Further hits included “(You’ve Got Me) Dangling on a String” and “Everything’s Tuesday.”
Danny Klein 1946 – Bassist with the J. Geils Band aka Dr. Funk
James Mankey 1952 – Has been the longtime guitarist in Concrete Blonde and also played with Sparks and also released J.A.M. – a solo work of instrumental music in 2003
Rick Fenn 1953 – Guitarist/singer best known for being a member of the band 10cc since 1976.He has also collaborated with Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman, Hollies singer Peter Howarth and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
Doyle Dykes 1954 – Guitarist/songwriter who is influenced by a wide variety of musical styles and musicians such as Chet Atkins, the Allman Brothers, to the Beatles and U2. Cited along with guitarists such as Tommy Emmanuel as one of the best finger-style guitarists in the world,he is also known for his capability of playing proficiently with a wide range of different guitar tunings. Some of his best-known works and interpretations are “Wabash Canonball”, “Country Fried Pickin”, “Tricky Pickin”, “Chet Stuff”, “Be Still”, “Amazing Grace” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Phil Selway 1967 – Drummer/singer/songwriter who is best known as the drummer of English rock group Radiohead. In addition to drums, he provides backing vocals, along with occasional guitar and lead vocals, for 7 Worlds Collide

Deaths :
Clifford Antone 2006 (b.1949) – Was the founder of a well-known Austin blues club named “Antone’s” and record label, as well as a mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan and numerous other musicians. Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, Delbert McClinton, Pinetop Perkins, Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, B.B. King and many other famous blues musicians have performed at Antone’s in its more than 30-year history.

May 24
Birthdays :
Bob Dylan 1941 – Singer/songwriter/guitar/producer, has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. A number of Dylan’s early songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-warmovements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan’s six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965.  His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.
Derek Quinn 1942 – Guitar/harmonica with the 1960’s band Freddie & The Dreamers who had hits with “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, “I’m Telling You Now”, “You Were Made For Me” and “I Understand”
Patti Labelle 1944 – Singer/songwriter/actress who has been in the music business for over 50 years. She spent 16 years as lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, who changed their name to Labelle in the early 1970’s and released the iconic disco song “Lady Marmalade”. LaBelle started her solo career shortly after the group disbanded in 1977 and crossed over to pop music with “On My Own”, “If Only You Knew”, “If You Asked Me To”, “Stir It Up”, and “New Attitude”. She has also recorded R&B ballads such as “You Are My Friend” and “Love, Need and Want You”
Dave Peacock 1945 – Bassist/singer who is is best known as having been one half of the English musical duo, Chas & Dave from 1975. Earlier in his career, Peacock played guitar as part of Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.
Steve Upton 1946 – Was the former drummer for the British rock band Wishbone Ash. He was with the band for two decades (1969–1990). His tight, precise drumming would be a key element of the band’s sound, and Upton was one of the first drummers to sport the open-handed drumming
Albert Bouchard 1947 – Drummer/singer/songwriter and founding member of  hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult and a driving force through the band’s first decade along with his brother bassist Joe Bouchard. In the late 1980’s, Albert performed with The Mamas & the Papas, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone and the Spencer Davis Group with his brother Joe.
Cynthia “Plaster” Caster 1947 – Artist and self-described “recovering groupie” who creates plaster casts of famous persons’ penises and breasts. Cynthia began her career in 1968 by casting penises of rock musicians, and she found a dental moldmaking substance called alginate to be sufficient, she found her first client in Jimi Hendrix who was the first of many to submit to the idea. A film documentary, Plaster Caster (2001), has been made about her, and she has inspired at least two songs: “Plaster Caster” by Kiss and “Five Short Minutes” by Jim Croce. She is also mentioned in the Le Tigre song “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo”
Rosanne Cash 1955 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who is the eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin. Her album, Right or Wrong, produced three Top 25 singles. The first, “No Memories Hangin’ Around”, a duet with country singer Bobby Bare, reached 17 on the Country Singles chart in 1979. It was followed by “Couldn’t Do Nothin’ Right” and “Take Me, Take Me”. Her career picked up considerable momentum with the release of her second album, Seven Year Ache, in 1981. The title track was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Country Chart, and crossed over to the Billboard Pop Chart, peaking at No. 22. The album yielded two additional No. 1 country hits, “My Baby Thinks He’s a Train” and “Blue Moon with Heartache”
Guy Fletcher 1960 – Multi-instrumentalist best known for his position as the keyboardist in the British rock band Dire Straitsfrom 1984 until the group’s dissolution, and his involvement in many parts of Mark Knopfler’s solo work to date. Also joined Roxy Music for their 1981 “Avalon” Tour.
Rich Robinson 1969 – Singer/songwriter/guitar who was a founding member of the rock and roll band The Black Crowes in 1984  with his older brother Chris. At age 15, Rich wrote the music to what would become one of the band’s first singles; “She Talks to Angels” which was released on their “$hake Your Money Maker” album released in 1990.

Deaths :
Elmore James 1963 (b.1918) – Blues guitarist/singer/songwriter who was was known as “the King of the Slide Guitar” and had a unique guitar style, noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice. There is a dispute as to whether Robert Johnson or Elmore wrote James’ trademark song, “Dust My Broom” which was a surprise R&B hit in 1952 and turned James into a star. In 1959 he began recording for Bobby Robinson’s Fire Records label. These include “The Sky Is Crying” (credited to Elmo James and His Broomdusters), “My Bleeding Heart”, “Stranger Blues”, “Look on Yonder Wall”, “Done Somebody Wrong”, and “Shake Your Moneymaker”, all of which are among the most famous of blues recordings.
Jay Bennett 2009 (b.1963) – Guitarist/singer/songwriter best known for his work with the band Wilco.
Gene Clark 1991 (b.1944) – Singer/songwriter and one of the founding members of the folk-rock group The Byrds. Clark is generally viewed as having contributed background vocals to the songs “Goin’ Back” and “Space Odyssey” from the then forthcoming Byrds’ album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, as well as being an uncredited co-author, with Roger McGuinn, of “Get to You” from that album
Duke Ellington 1975 (b.1899) – Jazz composer/pianist/big band leader who wrote over 1,000 compositions and called his music “American Music” rather than jazz

May 25
Birthdays :
Hal David 1921 (d.2012) – Lyricist who was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick. In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit “The Story of My Life”, recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957. Subsequently, in the 1960’s and early 1970’s Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music including, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, “This Guy’s in Love with You”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, “Walk On By”, “What the World Needs Now Is Love”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me”, “One Less Bell to Answer”, and “Anyone Who Had a Heart”.
Norman Petty 1927 (d.1984) – Musician/record producer who is mostly known for his association with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who recorded in his studio. He produced successful singles for his own musical group and for Texas musicians Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, Sonny West, Carolyn Hester, Terry Noland and Buddy Holly. “Sugar Shack” and “Bottle Of Wine” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and “Wheels” by the String-A-Longs were recorded at Petty’s studio. Petty and his wife Vi founded the Norman Petty Trio, along with guitarist Jack Vaughn. They landed a recording contract and were voted Most Promising Group of 1954 by Cashbox Magazine. In 1956, their major hit “Mood Indigo” had sold a half million copies and enabled Norman to expand his recording studio, considerably.
Tom T. Hall 1936 – Retired Country singer/songwriter who has written 11 No. 1 hit songs, with 26 more that reached the Top 10, including the No. 1 international pop crossover smash “Harper Valley PTA” and the hit “I Love”, which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He became known to fans as “The Storyteller,” thanks to his storytelling skills in his songwriting.
Brian “Blinky” Davison 1942 (d.2008) – Drummer who rose to prominence drumming in the 1960’s in progressive rock group Shinn with keyboard player Don Shinn and bassist Paul Newton (later with Uriah Heep) and then The Nice with keyboardist Keith Emerson and bassist Lee Jackson.
Jessi Colter 1943 – Country music singer/songwriter who is best known for her collaboration with her husband, country singer and songwriter Waylon Jennings, and for her 1975 country-pop crossover hit “I’m Not Lisa”.
Mitch Margo 1947 – Singer/songwriter who was a professional recording artist by the age of 14. He (along with brother Phil Margo) was, and still is a member of The Tokens, best known for their hit recording of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which rose to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for 3 weeks in 1961. Other hits by The Tokens include “Tonight I Fell In Love” (which he co-wrote), “I hear Trumpets Blow” (written by Mitch Margo), “He’s In Town” and “Portrait Of My Love”.
Klaus Meine 1948 – Singer/songwriter who is best known as the lead vocalist of the Heavy metal band Scorpions. Besides guitarist Rudolf Schenker, he is the only member of the group to appear on every album, despite the fact that he did not join until 1970. He writes most of the lyrics to Scorpions’ songs and also shares the authorship of some lyrics with Herman Rarebell (former drummer of Scorpions) on some songs like the major hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, among others. Meine also composed some songs alone like “Wind of Change” and “A Moment in a Million Years”.
Robby Steinhardt 1950 – Violinist/singer best known for his work with the group Kansas, for which he was co-lead singer / “frontman” and emcee along with keyboardist Steve Walsh, from 1973–1982 and 1997–2006.  He and Steve Walsh are the only original members of the band who are not from Topeka, Kansas. He has said that unless he has a writing credit on a song—his credits include about a half dozen songs—the violin (and occasional viola) part was written out for him, usually by Kerry Livgren.
Chuck Ruff 1951 (d.2011) – Drummer who played in the rock group Sawbuck with Ronnie Montrose and Bill Church from 1968–1970. Ruff and Montrose later joined Edgar Winter with Dan Hartman to form The Edgar Winter Group in 1972. It was with this band that he had his biggest successes: first with the album They Only Come Out at Night (1973), featuring “Frankenstein” which reached No. 1 in the U.S. in May 1973, and the top 15 single “Free Ride”, which reached No. 14 that same year.
John Grimaldi 1955 (d.1983) – Guitarist/songwriter who replaced Russ Ballard in the band Argent, and he recorded the last 2 albums (“Circus” & “Counterpoints”) with them before they disbanded in 1976.
Paul Weller 1958 – Singer/songwriter who started out with the band The Jam (1976–1982), Weller went on to branch out musically to a more soulful style with The Style Council (1983–1989). In 1991 he established himself as a successful solo artist,and remains a respected singer, lyricist and guitarist.

Deaths :
Gustav Holst 1934 (b.1874) – Composer who was best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, including the English folksong revival of the early 20th century.
Eric Gale 1994 (b.1938) – Jazz guitarist who first became known first as a session musician in the 1960s, eventually appearing on an estimated 500 albums. Among the many artists he recorded with were Aretha Franklin, Bob James, Paul Simon, Lena Horne, Quincy Jones, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Peter Tosh, Grover Washington, Jr., Herbie Mann, Esther Phillips, Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Van Morrison, Al Jarreau and Billy Joel.He also had a spell in Aretha Franklin’s stage band.
CanadianDomenic Troiano 2005 (b.1946) – Guitarist who was best known for his work with Mandala, Ronnie Hawkins, James Gang, The Guess Who and Bush, among others. Songs composed by Troiano, such as “I Can Hear You Calling”, have been performed by other artists including Three Dog Night. His guitar work can be heard on recordings by Moe Koffman, Joe Cocker, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also had a Canadian release with the band “Black Market” with the original Independent label El Mocambo Records. For nearly twenty-five years, beginning in the early 1980’s, Troiano concentrated on contributing to the work of others, as a musician and as a producer, rather than enhancing his own solo career.

May 26
Birthdays :
Al Jolson 1886 (d.1950) – Singer/comedian/actor who in his heyday was dubbed “The World’s Greatest Entertainer”. Numerous well-known singers were influenced by his music, including Bing Crosby Judy Garland, rock and country entertainer Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bob Dylan, who once referred to him as “somebody whose life I can feel”. Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he’s best remembered today as the star of the first (full-length) talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930’s. He enjoyed performing in blackface makeup, a theatrical convention since the mid 19th century. With his unique and dynamic style of singing black music, such as jazz and blues, he was later credited with single-handedly introducing African-American music to white audiences
Miles Davis 1926 (d.1991) – Jazz trumpeter/composer/bandleader who was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century,Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion. On October 7, 2008, his 1959 album “Kind of Blue” received its fourth platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least four million copies in the United States. On December 15, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution recognizing and commemorating the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary, “honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure.”
Levon Helm 1940 (d.2012) – Drummer/singer/songwriter/multi-intrumentalist for The Band. Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, multi-instrumental ability, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of the Band’s recordings, such as “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. He also had a successful career as an actor, appearing in such films as Coal Miner’s Daughter and The Right Stuff.
Verden Allen 1944 – Organ player and founding member of 1970’s rock band, Mott the Hoople. Before that band formed, he had in the middle 1960’s been in a rhythm and blues cover band called The Inmates and recorded with Jimmy Cliff. He left Mott after their breakthrough 1972 album, All the Young Dudes, because Hunter was reluctant to record most of the songs he had written (“Second Love” on Brain Capers and “Soft Ground” on Dudes are the only songs in the Mott the Hoople canon written entirely by Allen). He is featured singing on a few Mott songs, including the demo version of “Nightmare”, released on the album Mott, as well as “Soft Ground”.
CanadianGarry Peterson 1945 – Drummer who has been a long-term member of the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. Along with Randy Bachman, he has also recorded and toured with Bachman-Turner Overdrive from 1984-1986.
Mick Ronson 1946 (d.1993) – Guitarist/singer/songwriter/arranger/producer who was best known for working with David Bowie as one of the “Spiders From Mars”, solo work and sideman work with Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter & others
Stevie Nicks 1948 – Singer/songwriter who in the course of her work with Fleetwood Mac and her extensive solo career, has produced over forty Top 50 hits and sold over 140 million albums. She began her solo career in 1981 with the album Bella Donna, which reached Platinum status less than three months after its release, and has since been certified quadruple-platinum. She has produced seven more solo studio albums to date, with her most recent entitled In Your Dreams, and released on May 3, 2011. Nicks is known for her distinctive voice, mystical visual style, and symbolic lyrics, as well as the famous (sometimes tense) chemistry between her and Lindsey Buckingham.
Hank Williams Jr. 1949 – Country singer/songwriter/guitarist also known as Bocephus and is the son of country music singer Hank Williams. His musical style is often considered a blend of Southern rock, blues, and traditional country. From 1989 until October 2011, a version of his song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” was used as the opening for broadcasts of Monday Night Football. He was prolific throughout the 1980s, sometimes recording and releasing two albums a year. “Family Tradition”, “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound”, “Habits Old and New”, “Rowdy”, “The Pressure Is On”, “High Notes”, “Strong Stuff”, “Man of Steel”, “Major Moves”, “Five-O”, “Montana Cafe”, and many others resulted in a long string of hits.
Lenny Kravitz 1964 – Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads. He released his debut album “Let Love Rule” on September 6, 1989, a combination of rock and funk with a general 1960’s vibe. In 1993, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” was released, reaching number 12 on the Billboard 200 and Kravitz earned a BRIT Award for best international male artist in 1994. His cover version of The Guess Who’s hit “American Woman” won him another Grammy at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and helped The Guess Who’s song reach a new audience. Kravitz’s version of the song originally came from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Deaths :
Jimmie Rodgers 1933 (b.1897) – Country singer/songwriter/musician who was known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as “The Singing Brakeman”, “The Blue Yodeler”, and “The Father of Country Music”.
Little Willie John 1968 (b.1937) – R & B singer/songwriter who performed in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. He is best known for his popular music chart successes with songs such as, “All Around the World” (1955), “Need Your Love So Bad” (1956) and “Fever” the same year, the latter covered in 1958 by Peggy Lee.

May 27
Birthdays :
Cilla Black 1943 – Singer who is most famous in the UK for her singles “Anyone Who Had a Heart” (1964) and “You’re My World” (1964), both of which reached number one. Black had eleven Top Ten hits on the British charts between 1964 and 1971. In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 claimed that her version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” was the UK’s biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960’s.
Lenny Davidson 1944 – Guitarist who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008, as part of the Dave Clark Five
CanadianBruce Cockburn 1945 – Folk-rock singer/songwriter/guitar who has had hits with “Wondering Where the Lions Are”,  “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”, and many others during his long career.
Peter Knight 1947 – Violinist/mandolin best known for his work with the electric folk band Steeleye Span
Pete Sears 1948 – Bassist/keyboards best known for his work with Jefferson Starship from 1974 to 1987. He also played on played on the classic Rod Stewart albums “Gasoline Alley”, “Every Picture Tells A Story” which was listed high in Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 500 best albums of all time, “Never a Dull Moment”,and “Smiler”. He also played on the hit singles “Maggie May”, and “Reason To Believe”.
Eddie Harsch 1957 – Keyboardist and current member of Detroit-based jam band Bulldog. Previously, he was The Black Crowes’ keyboardist from 1991 to 2006. He was also a member of James Cotton’s band in the 1980’s
Siouxsie Sioux 1957 – Singer/songwriter who is best known as the lead singer of rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees (1976–1996) and of its splinter group The Creatures (1981–2005). The Banshees produced eleven studio albums and a string of hit singles including “Hong Kong Garden”, “Happy House”, “Peek-a-Boo” and “Kiss Them for Me”. With The Creatures, Siouxsie recorded four studio albums and the hit single “Right Now”.
Neil Finn 1958 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist who was the co-frontman (with his brother Tim) for Split Enz and is now frontman for Crowded House. He has also recorded several successful solo albums and assembled diverse musicians for the 7 Worlds Collide projects. With Split Enz he wrote the hits “One Step Ahead”, “History Never Repeats”, “I Got You” and “Message to My Girl”, among others.
Sean Kinney 1966 – Drummer of the rock band Alice in Chains.

May 28
Birthdays :
T-Bone Walker 1919 (d.1975) – Blues guitarist/singer who was one of the most influential pioneers and innovators of the jump blues and electric blues sound. In 1929, Walker made his recording debut with a single for Columbia Records, “Wichita Falls Blues”/”Trinity River Blues,” billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone. His most famous song, 1947’s “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)”.Other notable songs he recorded during this period were “Bobby Sox Blues” (a #3 R&B hit in 1946), and “West Side Baby” (#8 on the R&B singles charts in 1948). Walker was admired by Jimi Hendrix who imitated Walker’s trick of playing the guitar with his teeth.
Papa John Creach 1917 (d.1994) – Blues violinist who played for Jefferson Airplane (1970–1975), Hot Tuna, Jefferson Starship, Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation, the San Francisco All-Stars (1979–1984), The Dinosaurs (1982–1989), and Steve Taylor. Creach was also a frequent guest at Grateful Dead concerts.
Gladys Knight 1944 – Singer/songwriter best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960’s and 1970’s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips. Some of the hits were “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, (recorded first by Marvin Gaye), “Friendship Train” (1969), “If I Were Your Woman” (1970), “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong” (1971), the Grammy Award winning “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” (1972), and “Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)”, “Midnight Train to Georgia” (#1 on the pop and R&B chart), “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”.
CanadianRita MacNeil 1944 (d.2013) – Country-folk singer whose biggest hit, “Flying On Your Own”, was a crossover Top 40 hit in 1987 and was covered by Anne Murray the following year, although she had hits on the country charts throughout her career. In the United Kingdom, MacNeil’s song “Working Man” was a No. 11 hit in 1990.
John Fogerty 1945 – Singer/songwriter/musician who came to prominence with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival and then as a solo artist. His CCR songs “Proud Mary” and “Born on the Bayou” also rank amongst the Greatest Pop songs of all time. They also had hits with “Susie Q”, “Sweet Hitch-Hiker”, and “Someday Never Comes” and many othes. As a solo artist he had hits with “Rockin’ All Over the World”, “The Old Man Down The Road”, “Rock and Roll Girls” and “Centerfield” amongst others.
Leland Sklar 1947 – Bassist/singer/songwriter who has appeared on dozens of albums as a session musician including playing for Phil Collins, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn, Reba McEntire, Linda Ronstadt and many, many others
Wendy O. Williams 1949 (d.1998) – Singer who was best known as the lead singer for the American punk band the Plasmatics, as well as a solo artist. Her stage theatrics included blowing up equipment, near nudity and chain-sawing guitars. Dubbed “The Queen of Shock Rock,” Williams was widely considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her day who often sported a Mohawk haircut. Williams was nominated in 1985 for a Grammy in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance category during the height of her popularity as a solo artist.
Steve Strange 1959 – Pop singer, best known as the lead singer and frontman of the 1980’s pop group Visage.  Since the late 1970’s he has also been a prominent nightclub host and promoter. They released their first single “Tar” in 1979 which was not a success, but the following year, Strange appeared in the video for David Bowie’s no.1 hit “Ashes to Ashes”, a song which helped to propel the burgeoning New Romantic fashion movement into the mainstream. Later that year, Visage signed a new record deal with the major label Polydor and released their second single, “Fade to Grey”. The single became a top 10 hit in the UK and topped the charts in several other countries.

Deaths :
Vaughan De Leath 1943 (b.1894) – Singer who gained popularity in the 1920’s, earning the sobriquets “The Original Radio Girl” and “First Lady of Radio.” Although popular in the 1920’s, De Leath is little known today. She was an early exponent of a style of vocalizing known as crooning. One of her hit songs, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” recorded in 1927, achieved fame when it became a hit for Elvis Presley in 1960.

May 29
Birthdays :
Gary Brooker 1945 – Singer/songwriter/pianist and founder along with his friend Keith Reid of the rock band Procol Harum who were best known for the hit song “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Brooker’s melancholic vocals and emotive, eclectic piano playing were a key part of Procol’s musical mix for the entire course of the band’s career. In the early years Brooker, Hammond organist Matthew Fisher, and guitarist Robin Trower were the guiding musical forces behind the band, but after disparities in style became too much and Fisher and Trower left, Brooker was the clear leader until the band broke up in 1977. Brooker started a solo career and released the album No More Fear of Flying in 1979.
Francis Rossi 1949 – Lead vocalist, guitarist and co-founder of the English rock band Status Quo. In 1985 when Status Quo were on hold, he recorded two singles and a (so far unreleased) album – which was provisionally titled Flying Debris – with his longtime writing partner Bernie Frost. The single releases were “Modern Romance (I Want to Fall in Love Again)” (UK No. 54, and “Jealousy”.
Danny Elfman 1953 – Best known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo, from 1976 to 1995 and later for scoring music for television and film and creating The Simpsons main title theme as well as the 1989 Batman movie theme. He has scored the majority of the films for his long-time friend Tim Burton.
Mike Porcaro 1955 – Retired bass player, best noted for his work with the Grammy Award-winning band Toto. He is the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro. Their father is jazz drummer-percussionist Joe Porcaro.
Mel Gaynor 1960 – Best known as the longtime drummer for the rock band, Simple Minds. In addition to Simple Minds, he has played alongside other acts such as: Sir Elton John, Lou Reed, Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Peter Gabriel, The Pretenders, Gary Moore, Jackson Browne, Little Steven, Brian May, The Nolans,  Robert Palmer and Joan Armatrading.
Blaze Bayley 1963 – Singer/songwriter who was the lead singer of Wolfsbane from 1984 to 1994, and again during a more recent reunion. Blaze is best known for being the lead singer of British metal band Iron Maiden from 1994-1999. Since 1999, he has embarked on a solo career.
Noel Gallagher 1967 – Singer and songwriter, formerly the lead guitarist, occasional lead singer and principal songwriter of Oasis. He is currently fronting his solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe (1994), marked the beginning of the band’s rise to fame as head of the Britpop movement. Oasis’ second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995), reached the top of the album charts in many countries and their third studio album, Be Here Now (1997), became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history. The band’s final two albums, Don’t Believe the Truth (2005) and Dig Out Your Soul (2008), were hailed as its best efforts in over a decade and found renewed success.
Chan Kinchla 1969 – Guitarist for jam band Blues Traveler. Chan along with Brendan Hill are the only members of Blues Traveler that do not participate in a side project, although Chan and John Popper do acoustic shows together.

Deaths :
Goddard Lieberson 1977 (b.1911) – Was the president of Columbia Records from 1956 to 1971, and again from 1973 to 1975.He became president of the Recording Industry Association of America in 1964.
John Cipollina 1989 (b.1943) – Guitarist who was best known for his role as a founder and the lead guitarist of the prominent San Francisco rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service. After leaving Quicksilver he formed the band Copperhead and then later played with numerous other bands.
Ollie Halsall 1992 (b.1949) – Guitarist and vibraphone player, and is best known for his role in The Rutles, the bands Timebox, Patto and Boxer, and for his contribution to the music of Kevin Ayers. He is also notable as one of the few players of the vibraphone in rock music. Halsall has been described as an influence by Alvin Lee, Allan Holdsworth and Cheap Trick’s guitarist Rick Nielsen. XTC’s Andy Partridge cites Halsall as one of his top three influences, saying “He made the guitar sound more like Albert Ayler or John Coltrane, more like a sort of fluid piano player.”
Doc Watson 2012 (b.1923) – Guitarist/songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. Watson won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson’s flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded.

May 30
Birthdays :
Benny Goodman 1909 (d.1986) – Jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; known as the “King of Swing”. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.”
Lenny Davidson 1944 – Guitarist for the 1960’s band the Dave Clark Five and was one of three members of the group who wrote songs. He wrote their 1965 hit “Catch Us If You Can” and was also the composer of “Everybody Knows (I Still Love You).”
Gladys Horton 1945 (d.2011) – R&B and pop singer, famous for being the founder and lead singer of the popular Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes. They had Motown’s first No. 1 Pop hit with “Please Mr. Postman”. Horton would later sing lead on Marvelettes’ classics such as “Playboy”, “Beechwood 4-5789” and “Too Many Fish in the Sea”.
Topper Headon 1955 – Known as “Topper” due to his resemblance to Mickey the Monkey from the Topper comic, is a British rock and roll drummer, best known for his membership in the punk rock band The Clash. He is regarded as one of the most inspirational and technically inventive punk rock drummers of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Headon appeared on the albums Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978), The Clash (1979 US version), London Calling (1979), Sandinista! (1980) and Combat Rock (1982), as well as several landmark singles the Clash recorded during their early period.
Tom Morello 1964 – Guitarist best known for his tenure with the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, his acoustic solo act The Nightwatchman, and his newest group, Street Sweeper Social Club.
Wynonna Judd 1964 – Country singer/guitar who first rose to fame in the 1980’s alongside her mother, Naomi, in the country music duo The Judds. The duo released seven albums on Curb Records in addition to charting 26 singles, of which 14 were number one hits. In her solo career as just “Wynonna”, she has released eight studio albums, a live album, and a compilation album in addition to charting more than 20 singles of her own. Her first three singles—”She Is His Only Need”, “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else on Earth”—all reached number one on the U.S. country singles charts, as did 1996’s “To Be Loved by You.”

Deaths :
Carl Radle 1980 (b.1942) – Bass guitarist who toured and recorded with many of the most influential recording artists of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Ultimately, Radle was best known for his lifetime association with Eric Clapton, starting in 1969 with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and 1970 with Derek and the Dominos, recording alongside drummer Jim Gordon, guitarist Duane Allman, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock. In 1970 he took part in Joe Cocker’s famous Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. He worked on all of Clapton’s solo projects from 1970 until 1979 and was a member of Clapton’s touring band Eric Clapton & His Band from 1974 through 1979.
John Kahn 1996 (b.1947) – Bass player who for or a period of about twenty five years Kahn was Jerry Garcia’s principal collaborator outside of the Grateful Dead.
Mickie Most 2003 (b.1938) – Record producer with a string of hit singles with acts such as The Animals, Arrows, Herman’s Hermits, Donovan, Lulu, Suzi Quatro, Hot Chocolate and the Jeff Beck Group, often issued on his own RAK Records label.

May 31
Birthdays :
Peter Yarrow 1938 – Singer/songwriter/guitarist who found fame with the 1960’s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary.Yarrow’s songwriting helped to create some of Peter, Paul & Mary’s most famous songs, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, “Day is Done”, “Light One Candle” and “The Great Mandala.”
Johnny Paycheck 1938 (d.2003) – Country music singer and Grand Ole Opry member most famous for recording the David Allan Coe song “Take This Job and Shove It”. He achieved his greatest success in the 1970’s as a major force in country music’s “Outlaw Movement” popularized by artists such as David Allan Coe, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, and Merle Haggard.
Mick Ralphs 1944 – Guitarist/songwriter who was a founding member of rock bands Mott the Hoople and Bad Company.
John Bonham 1948 (d.1980) – Drummer/songwriter best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Bonham was esteemed for his speed, power, fast right foot, distinctive sound, and “feel” for the groove.  He is widely considered to be one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock music.  Rolling Stone readers named him the “best drummer of all time” in 2011. Bonham used the longest and heaviest sticks available, which he referred to as “trees.” His hard hitting style was displayed to great effect on many Led Zeppelin songs, including “Immigrant Song”, “When the Levee Breaks”, “Kashmir”, “The Ocean”, and “Achilles Last Stand”
Mike Edwards 1948 (d.2010) – Cellist whose wide-ranging career was most widely notable for his membership of the Electric Light Orchestra. He contributed to the studio albums ELO 2, On the Third Day, and Eldorado, and the live album, The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach.
Karl Bartos 1952 – Musician and composer. He was, between 1975 and 1990, along with Wolfgang Flür, an electronic percussionist in the electronic-music group Kraftwerk. He was originally recruited to play on its US “Autobahn” tour. In addition to his percussion playing, Bartos was credited with songwriting on the Man-Machine, Computer World, and Electric Café albums and sang one lead vocal on the latter.
Tommy Emmanuel 1955 – Guitarist and occasional singer, best known for his complex fingerstyle technique, energetic performances and the use of percussive effects on the guitar. In the May 2008 and 2010 issues of Guitar Player Magazine, he was named as “Best Acoustic Guitarist” in their readers’ poll. While Emmanuel has never had formal music training, his playing ability has won him fans from all over the world. He is known to play percussion parts on the body of his guitar. As a solo performer he never plays to a set list and uses a minimum of effects.He usually completes recordings in one take.
CanadianCorey Hart 1962 – Singer/songwriter best known for such hit singles “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender”. He has sold over 16 million records worldwide and scored nine consecutive US Billboard Top 40 hits. In Canada Hart has amassed 30 Top 40 hits, including 11 in the Top 10, over the course of his nearly 30 years in the music industry.

Deaths :
Johnnie Taylor 2000 (b.1934) – Was an American vocalist in a wide variety of genres, from rhythm and blues, soul, blues and gospel to pop, doo-wop and disco. In 1966, Taylor moved to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was dubbed “The Philosopher of Soul”. Whilst there he recorded with the label’s house band, Booker T. & the MGs. His hits included “I Had a Dream”, “I’ve Got to Love Somebody’s Baby” (both written by the team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter) and most notably “Who’s Making Love”, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1968. “Who’s Making Love” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

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