Musical Birthdays & Deaths by Month
Boxcar Willie 1931 (d.1999) – was an American country music singer, who sang in the “old-time hobo” music style, complete with dirty face, overalls, and a floppy hat. “Boxcar Willie” was originally a character in a ballad he wrote, but he later adopted it as his own stage name. One of his first national appearances was a win on Chuck Barris’ The Gong Show. He entered American mainstream pop culture consciousness due to a series of television commercials for record compilations of artists who were obscure in the United States, yet had large international followings, such as Slim Whitman and Gheorghe Zamfir. He went on to become a star in country music, selling more than 100 million records, tapes and CDs worldwide. In 1981, he achieved a professional landmark by being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as its 60th member.
Marshall Lytle 1933 (d.2013) – was an American rock and roll bassist, best known for his work with the groups Bill Haley & His Comets and The Jodimars in the 1950’s. He played on all of Haley’s recordings between mid-1951 and the summer of 1955, including the epochal “Rock Around the Clock” in 1954 (saxophonist Joey Ambrose is now the only remaining player to have appeared on the original of the classic track). In September 1955, Lytle, along with drummer Dick Richards and Ambrose, quit The Comets in a salary dispute and formed their own musical group, The Jodimars. Before leaving, Lytle and his colleagues offered to train their replacements in the art of rock and roll playing, Comets style. Lytle was succeeded by Al Rex—ironically, the same musician he had originally been hired to replace.
Conway Twitty 1933 (d.1993) – Country singer/songwriter who held the record for the most number one singles of any act, with 40 No. 1 Billboard country hits, until George Strait broke the record in 2006. His first of nine top 40 hits came in 1958 while he was with MGM Records. An Ohio radio station did not play “I’ll Try”, an MGM single that went nowhere in terms of sales, radio play, and jukebox play; instead playing the B-side, “It’s Only Make Believe”. The record took nearly one year to reach and stay at the top spot on the Billboard pop music charts in the US, as well as No. 1 in 21 other countries. In 1970, Twitty recorded and released his biggest hit ever, “Hello Darlin’”. In 1971 he released his first hit duet with Loretta Lynn, “After the Fire Is Gone”. It was a success, and many more followed, including “Lead Me On” (1971), “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” (1973), “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone” (1974), “Feelins’” (1975), “I Still Believe in Waltzes”, “I Can’t Love You Enough”, and many others.
Barry Gibb 1946 – is a musician, singer, songwriter, and producer who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the Bee Gees. He is also the eldest and last surviving Gibb brother. With his younger brothers, twins Robin and Maurice, he formed the Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop groups in the history of music. Known for his high-pitched falsetto singing voice, Gibb shares the record with John Lennon and Paul McCartney for consecutive Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones as a writer with six. The book of Guinness World Records lists Barry Gibb as the second most successful songwriter in history behind Paul McCartney. Gibb’s career has spanned over fifty years. In 1994, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his brothers. In 1997, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Bee Gees. Some of the Bee Gee’s hits include, “To Love Somebody”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever”, “Massachusetts”, “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”, “I Started a Joke”, “Jive Talkin'” and “Nights on Broadway” just to name a few.
Greg Errico 1948 – musician and record producer, best known for being the drummer for the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band, Sly and the Family Stone. As a member of Sly and the Family Stone, Errico played at Woodstock, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Errico was the original drummer for the band, and the first to quit it in 1971 because of the band’s continuing turmoil. He toured with jazz-fusion group Weather Report in 1973, but never recorded with the group. His playing can be heard on tapes hosted at Wolfgang’s Vault. Joe Zawinul said that no one could play his tune “Boogie Woogie Waltz” better than Errico had. He later joined the David Bowie band for his Diamond Dogs 1974 tour of the U.S. during September 1974. He later collaborated with bands such as Santana, and the Grateful Dead. In the early 1980s, he was the drummer of the Jerry Garcia Band. He also worked with Larry Graham from Sly & The Family Stone, plus members of the Tower of Power horns, Journey and the Pointer Sisters on an album for Betty Davis.
Jerry Reed 2008 (b.1937) – was an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter, as well as an actor who appeared in more than a dozen films. His signature songs included “Guitar Man,” “U.S. Male”, “A Thing Called Love,” “Alabama Wild Man,” “Amos Moses”, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” (which garnered a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance), “Ko-Ko Joe”, “Lord, Mr. Ford”, “East Bound and Down” (the theme song for the 1977 blockbuster Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed co-starred), “The Bird,” and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”.
Hal David 2012 (b.1921) – 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”.
Billy Preston 1946 (d.2006) – was an American musician, songwriter and record producer whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk and gospel. Preston became famous first as a session musician with artists including Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and the Beatles, and was later successful as a solo artist with hit pop singles including “Outa-Space”, its sequel, “Space Race”, “Will It Go Round in Circles” and “Nothing from Nothing”, and a string of albums and guest appearances with Eric Clapton, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. In addition, Preston was co-author, with The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, of “You Are So Beautiful,” recorded by Preston and later a #5 hit for Joe Cocker. Alongside Tony Sheridan, Billy Preston was the only other musician to be credited on a Beatles recording: the artists on the number-one hit “Get Back” are given as “The Beatles with Billy Preston”. Stephen Stills asked Preston if he could use Preston’s phrase “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” and created the hit song.
Mik Kaminski 1951 – best known for playing violin in the rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) between 1973 and 1979. He was one of the three remaining string players for the group when Jeff Lynne decided to remove them. However, Kaminski appeared in the band again when he played a solo on the 1983 single “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King”. Later on he joined the ELO offshoot ELO Part II, playing as part of the live touring band. Apart from the hits he had with ELO, in early 1979 Kaminski made the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart as the frontman of a one-hit wonder group called Violinski, with the single “Clog Dance”. Kaminski has featured as violinist on a selection of tracks from the second studio album, Beauty In Chaos, by the Anglo-Irish acoustic duo Fay & Latta.
Steve Porcaro 1957 – is a keyboardist and composer, who was an original member of the rock/pop band Toto. Porcaro wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of Toto’s first six albums, with the exception of Isolation. He left Toto in 1986 after the Fahrenheit album in order to pursue a more full-time songwriting and composing career. Porcaro composed the music for the song “Human Nature” from Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, and also played with Gary Wright during his tour in 1977, supporting the latter’s The Dream Weaver album. He has also done session musician work for many other acts, including Yes (on Union) and Jefferson Airplane (on their self-titled 1989 reunion album). He was also a member of Chris Squire’s short lived band, The Chris Squire Experiment, in 1992.
Billy Davis 2004 (b.1932) – was an American songwriter, record producer, and singer. Davis is best known as a songwriter for a number of soul musicians label, and as a writer/producer of commercial jingles, mostly for Coca-Cola. He was also known as Tyran Carlo. Early in his career, Davis worked with an early version of the Four Tops called “The Four Aims”, which included his cousin Lawrence Payton. In the late-1950’s, he and collaborator Berry Gordy wrote a number of hit songs for Jackie Wilson. The most notable of these was “Lonely Teardrops”, written by Davis, Gordy, and Gordy’s sister Gwen, who was Davis’s girlfriend at the time. In the mid 1960’s he wrote and produced for many artists, including Etta James, The Dells, Billy Stewart, Jackie Ross, and Fontella Bass, whose 1965 single “Rescue Me” was Davis’ biggest hit. Davis’s success garnered him a position writing and producing jingles at the McCann Erickson advertising agency, where he eventually rose to Senior Vice-President and Music Director. While at McCann-Erickson, Davis’s primary client was The Coca-Cola Company, for which he produced the famous jingle “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)”, used in a 1971 Coca-Cola television advertisement. He also produced other jingles such as “It’s the Real Thing”, “Things Go Better With Coke” and “Country Sunshine” for Coca-Cola, and “If You’ve Got the Time” for Miller Beer.
Mark Abrahamian 2012 (b.1966) – was the lead guitarist for Starship who he had joined the band in 2001. He picked up the instrument at age 9 and from then on it was his constant companion. And they’d stay together until the very end. He’ll be remembered as a hardworking and generous musician, who split his time between playing on stage and during endless practice sessions and sharing his love for the instrument. He was a popular guitar instructor in the Bay Area for years, well before he finally got the call up to join Starship (a Jefferson Airplane/Starship spinoff officially known as Starship featuring Mickey Thomas).
Freddie King 1934 (d.1976) – was an influential American blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of “the Three Kings” of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King, as well as being the youngest of the three. He is best known for singles such as “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1960) and his Top 40 hit “Hide Away” (1961). He is also known for albums such as the early, instrumental-packed Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King (1961) and the later album Burglar (1974), which displayed King’s mature versatility as both player and singer in a range of blues and funk styles. King had a twenty-year recording career and became established as an influential guitarist with hits for Federal Records, in the early 1960’s. He inspired American musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his brother Jimmie Vaughan and others. His influence was also felt in UK, through recordings by blues revivalists such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Chicken Shack. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Al Jardine 1942 – is a founding member of the American music group The Beach Boys, a guitarist, composer and occasional lead vocalist. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group in 1988. Jardine is the band’s rhythm guitarist and middle-range harmony vocalist. He first sang lead on “Christmas Day”, on the 1964 Beach Boys Christmas Album, and followed shortly after with the Number 1 hit “Help Me, Rhonda”. Thereafter he regularly sang leads on tracks including “Then I Kissed Her”, “Cotton Fields”, “TM Song”, “Take a Load Off Your Feet”, “Lookin’ at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)”, “Peggy Sue”, “Lady Lynda”, “Come Go with Me”, “Honkin’ Down the Highway”, and “Crack at Your Love”. He is the co-lead singer on other tracks, including “Break Away”, “Winds of Change”, “California Calling”, “Isn’t it Time”, “Somewhere Near Japan” and “I Know There’s an Answer”. Of this last track, producer-writer Brian Wilson has stated that he preferred Jardine’s vocal to his own. During the Pet Sounds sessions, Jardine suggested to Wilson that Wilson should work on his altered arrangement of “Sloop John B”.
Mike Harrison 1942 – is an English musician, most notable as a principal lead singer of Spooky Tooth and as a solo artist. He has also been the lead singer in The V.I.P.’s, Art and the Hamburg Blues Band, among others.
George Biondo 1945 – was the bass guitarist of the American rock band, Steppenwolf, from April 1970 to October 1976. Though born in New York, he has been based in Southern California throughout his ongoing career as a session musician and songwriter. He joined Steppenwolf for the recording of Steppenwolf 7, contributing lead vocals on “Fat Jack” and co-lead vocals on “Foggy Mental Breakdown” and the chart-hit, “Who Needs Ya'”. In 1971, the band released their last new album for Dunhill, For Ladies Only for which Biondo wrote “Sparkle Eyes” with John Kay and “In Hopes of a Garden”. He sang lead on the latter, as well as “Jaded Strumpet”.
Eric Bell 1947 – is a Northern Irish rock musician and guitarist, best known as a founder member and the original guitarist of the rock group Thin Lizzy. After his time in the band, he had a brief period of fronting his own group. As lead guitarist, Bell played on Thin Lizzy’s first three albums Thin Lizzy, Shades of a Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds of the Western World, as well as their hit single “Whiskey in the Jar”. He co-wrote a number of songs with Lynott and Downey, including “The Rocker” which became a live favourite throughout the band’s career. He also composed one song on his own, “Ray Gun”, from their first album, Thin Lizzy. In 2005, he joined Gary Moore onstage to perform “Whiskey in the Jar” at the Phil Lynott tribute concert “The Boy Is Back in Town” in the Point Theatre, Dublin. This was released on a DVD called One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott.
Don Brewer 1948 – is the drummer and co-lead singer for American rock band Grand Funk Railroad. In 1964, Brewer joined former DJ Terry Knight as well as bassist Herm Jackson, guitarist Curt Johnson, and keyboardist Bobby Caldwell and formed the band Terry Knight and the Pack. In 1967, Brewer met new guitarist Mark Farner after Johnson left the band. In 1968, Brewer left Terry Knight and the Pack along with bandmate Mark Farner and recruited Mel Schacher, the bassist for the hit band ? and the Mysterians, and formed Grand Funk Railroad. They hired Terry Knight as their manager. In 1973, Grand Funk released the album “We’re An American Band,” featuring the hit song “We’re An American Band”. This track, written and sung by Brewer, was the band’s first #1 single. Still popular, the song has since been recorded by other artists. In addition to playing drums for Grand Funk, Brewer also provided lead vocals for a number of songs. This is evidenced by the first and third verses of the song “Some Kind Of Wonderful”. Brewer was the baritone lead singer for the group, in contrast to the tenor vocals of Mark Farner.
Steve Jones 1955 – is an English rock guitarist, singer and actor, best known as guitarist and founding member of punk rock band the Sex Pistols. Bill Price, the engineer on Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols called Jones one of the tightest guitar players he has ever worked with, this is due to his “chuggy” playing in the studio as Price had described it with very little sustain and echo, which required overdubs to hide. After the Sex Pistols broke up in 1978, Jones and drummer Paul Cook co-founded The Professionals. They released one album, I Didn’t See It Coming but disbanded after a serious car crash while on tour in the US in 1981.
Alan Wilson 1970 (b.1943) – was the leader, singer, and primary composer in the American blues band Canned Heat. He played guitar and harmonica, and wrote several songs for the band. With Canned Heat, Wilson performed at two prominent concerts of the 1960’s era, the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969. Canned Heat appeared in the film Woodstock, and the band’s “Going Up the Country,” which Wilson sang, has been referred to as the festival’s unofficial theme song. Wilson also wrote “On the Road Again,” arguably Canned Heat’s second-most familiar song. Stephen Stills’ song “Blues Man” from the album Manassas is dedicated to Wilson, along with Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman.
Merald “Bubba” Knight 1942 – R&B/soul singer, best known as a member of Gladys Knight & the Pips. The older brother of lead singer Gladys Knight, Bubba Knight served as the unofficial leader of the group, and was instrumental in handling the Pips’ business matters. Gladys Knight & The Pips evolved out of The Pips. The original Pips formed in Atlanta in 1952, with Gladys, Bubba, sister Brenda, plus cousins Elenor and William Guest singing supper club material during the week, and gospel music on Sundays. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Danny Gatton 1945 (d.1994) – was an American guitarist who fused rockabilly, jazz, and country styles to create his own distinctive style of playing. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. When Rolling Stone magazine selected the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003, senior editor David Fricke ranked Gatton 63rd on his ballot. On May 26, 2010, Gibson.com ranked Gatton as the 27th best guitarist of all time. Among his admirers are Les Paul, James Burton, Lenny Breau, Joe Bonamassa (whom Danny mentored when Joe was eleven years old), Vince Gill, Evan Johns (of Evan Johns and His H-Bombs), Chris Cheney, Bill Kirchen, Albert Lee, Steve Vai, Buckethead, Arlen Roth, Johnny Hiland, Ricky Skaggs, Slash (Guns N’ Roses), and Richie Sambora.
Blackie Lawless 1956 – songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist (formerly bassist) for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. The band has undergone numerous lineup changes since its inception, and Lawless is the only remaining original member and chief songwriter. Many of his songs tend to deal with religious or apocalyptic themes, due to his fundamentalist Christian upbringing. Lawless cites influences which include AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Kiss, and Alice Cooper. His stage theatrics were influenced by Alice Cooper and Kiss.
Kim Thayil 1960 – guitarist best known as the lead guitarist of the Seattle-based rock band Soundgarden, which he co-founded with singer Chris Cornell and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984. Thayil was named 100th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. Soundgarden became the first of Seattle’s grunge bands to sign with a major label (A&M Records). They went on to release five albums, including three which went platinum at least once, and won two Grammy’s. Originally one of Soundgarden’s main songwriters, Thayil’s contributions as a writer eventually dwindled to just one song on Down on the Upside, “Never the Machine Forever”, although he contributed to details in every song, as did every band member.
David Brown 2000 (b.1950) – was the primary bass guitar player for the band Santana from 1966 until 1971, then again from 1973 until 1976. He played on Boz Scaggs’ debut 1971 Columbia album Moments, for which he also authored two of its sadder songs, and on the two subsequent Scaggs albums Boz Scaggs & Band (1971) and My Time (1972). Brown played with Carlos Santana at Woodstock in 1969 and on several other dates and albums. In 1998, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Santana.
John Stewart 1939 (d.2008) – was an American songwriter and singer. He is known for his contributions to the American folk music movement of the 1960’s while with The Kingston Trio (1961–1967) and as popular music songwriter of The Monkees’ #1 hit “Daydream Believer” and his own #5 hit “Gold”, among several hundred original songs composed over a career of more than 40 years. The Kingston Trio had emerged from the relatively crowded San Francisco folk music culture in 1957, using a mixture of calypso, pop, and folk styles, along with several forms of comedy, in their act. They earned their first gold record with “Tom Dooley”, and thereby launched a major revival in folk music that would lead to and influence the careers of Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul, & Mary, and John Denver, among others.
Al Stewart 1945 – singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history. Stewart is best known for his 1976 hit single “Year of the Cat”, the title song from the platinum album of the same name. Though Year of the Cat and its 1978 platinum follow-up Time Passages brought him his biggest worldwide commercial successes, earlier albums such as Past, Present and Future from 1973 are often seen as better examples of his intimate brand of historical folk-rock – a style to which he has returned in recent albums. Stewart has worked with Peter White, Alan Parsons, Jimmy Page, Richard Thompson, Rick Wakeman, Tori Amos, and Tim Renwick, and more recently has played with Dave Nachmanoff and former Wings lead-guitarist Laurence Juber.
Freddie Mercury 1946 (d.1991) – was a British musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. As a songwriter, Mercury composed many hits for Queen, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and “We Are the Champions”. In addition to his work with Queen, he led a solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. In 2008, Rolling Stone editors ranked him number 18 on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. In 2009, a Classic Rock poll saw him voted the greatest rock singer of all time. Allmusic has characterized Mercury as “one of rock’s greatest all-time entertainers”, who possessed “one of the greatest voices in all of music”.
Loudon Wainwright III 1946 – is a Grammy Award-winning American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor. He is the father of musicians Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche, brother of Sloan Wainwright, and the former husband of the late folk singer Kate McGarrigle. To date, Wainwright has released 22 studio albums. He is perhaps best known for the 1972 novelty song “Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)” and for playing Captain Calvin Spalding (the “singing surgeon”) on the American television show, M*A*S*H. His appearances spanned three episodes in its third season (1974–1975), including the episode “Rainbow Bridge”. Three of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards: I’m Alright (1985) and More Love Songs (1986). In January 2010, he won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.
Buddy Miles 1947 (d.2008) – was an American rock and funk drummer, most known as a founding member of The Electric Flag along with Mike Bloomfield in 1967, then as a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys from 1969 through to January 1970. The Electric Flag made their live debut at the Monterey Pop Festival in mid 1967 and released their debut Columbia album, A Long Time Comin’, early the next year (1968). Miles sometimes sang lead vocals for the group in addition to playing drums. The group broke up after their second album An American Music Band (late 1968) and Miles formed the Buddy Miles Express, with Jim McCarty, later the guitarist for Cactus. On the recordings for Electric Ladyland Hendrix used some guest artists, one of them being Buddy Miles who played on the songs “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”, which are actually the same long jammed song cut in half with “1983 a Merman I Should Turn To Be” edited in between. Between late September and mid October 1969, according to Buddy Miles: “Jimi was not happy. He felt powerless. He couldn’t do what he wanted to do.”. Hendrix’s solution to the problem, in mid October 1969, was to found a short-lived band called Band of Gypsys and Miles was brought in to join him.
Clem Clempson 1949 – is an English rock guitarist who has played as a member in a number of bands including Colosseum and Humble Pie. In 1969, he joined Colosseum, until they disbanded in 1971, but re-joined to form a reunion version of the band in 1994, and has continued to perform with them since that time. After Colosseum’s split he went on to join Humble Pie in 1971, replacing Peter Frampton. When the band split in 1975 he and Greg Ridley joined drummer Cozy Powell to form Strange Brew. He has appeared as a guest musician with Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham and Dave Sancious, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Bob Dylan, Chris de Burgh and Jon Anderson.
Dweezil Zappa 1969 – rock guitarist and occasional actor who is the son of musician Frank Zappa. In the 1980’s, Zappa worked as an MTV VJ and was promptly fired after badmouthing MTV on The Howard Stern Show. He also recorded some solo albums, as well as playing for other artists. Zappa can be heard playing lead guitar on The Fat Boys’ “Wipe Out” (1987) and can be seen in the music video for Don Johnson’s top 40 song, “Heartbeat”. He also played co-lead guitar (along with Reb Beach) on Winger’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”. Since the early 1990’s, Zappa has been working on a piece of music named “What the Hell Was I Thinking?”, a 75-minute piece featuring guitar solos by dozens of famous guitar players. The project has suffered from numerous difficulties and has been reworked several times since the ’90’s. Dweezil said in September 2004:”I started recording it on analog tape almost 13 years ago… There are probably about 35 guest guitar players on it, everybody from Brian May to Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, Angus and Malcolm Young — it’s quite a crazy project. I’m still waiting and hoping to record Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page as some of my final guests on there.”
Joe South 2012 (b.1940) – was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Best known for his songwriting, South won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1970 for “Games People Play” and was again nominated for the award in 1972 for “Rose Garden”. In 1959, South wrote two songs which were recorded by Gene Vincent: “I Might Have Known”, which was on the album Sounds Like Gene Vincent (Capitol Records, 1959) and “Gone Gone Gone” which was included on the album The Crazy Beat of Gene Vincent (Capitol Records, 1963). South was also a prominent sideman, playing guitar on Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”, Tommy Roe’s “Sheila”, and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album. Some list South on the electric guitar part that was added to Simon & Garfunkel’s first hit, “The Sounds of Silence”, although others credit Al Gorgoni and/or Vinnie Bell instead. Billy Joe Royal recorded four South songs: “Down in the Boondocks”, “I Knew You When”, “Yo-Yo” (later a hit for The Osmonds), and “Hush” (later a hit for Deep Purple, Somebody’s Image with Russell Morris and Kula Shaker).
Roger Waters 1943 – musician, singer, songwriter and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, serving as bassist and co-lead vocalist. Following the departure of bandmate Syd Barrett in 1968, Waters became the band’s lyricist, principal songwriter and conceptual leader. The band subsequently achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut. Although Waters’ primary instrument in Pink Floyd was the bass guitar, he also experimented with synthesisers and tape loops and played rhythm guitar on recordings and in concerts. Waters’ solo career has included three studio albums: The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984), Radio K.A.O.S. (1987) and Amused to Death (1992). In 1986, he contributed songs and a score to the soundtrack of the animated film When the Wind Blows based on the Raymond Briggs’ book of the same name. In 1990, he staged one of the largest and most extravagant rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, with an official attendance of 200,000. He has toured extensively as a solo act since 1999 and played The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for his world tour of 2006–2008. On 2 July 2005, he reunited with Pink Floyd bandmates Nick Mason, Richard Wright and David Gilmour for the Live 8 global awareness event; it was the group’s first appearance with Waters in 24 years.
Ernest Tubb 1984 (b.1914) – nicknamed the Texas Troubadour, was an American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music. His biggest career hit song, “Walking the Floor Over You” (1941), marked the rise of the honky tonk style of music. In 1948, he was the first singer to record a hit version of “Blue Christmas”, a song more commonly associated with Elvis Presley and his mid-1950’s version. Another well-known Tubb hit was “Waltz Across Texas” (1965), which became one of his most requested songs and is often used in dance halls throughout Texas during waltz lessons. Tubb recorded duets with the then up-and-coming Loretta Lynn in the early 1960s, including their hit “Sweet Thang”. Tubb is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tom Fogerty 1990 (b.1941) – was an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist in Creedence Clearwater Revival and the older brother of John Fogerty, lead singer and lead guitarist in that band. During the few years of the life of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom sang backing vocals and wrote songs, but only one of his songs (“Walking on the Water”) was recorded. This lack of opportunity, along with festering, long-standing animosity with his brother, led him to leave the band in 1971. After leaving the band, Fogerty began performing and recording as a solo artist. He had minor hits like “Goodbye Media Man” and “Joyful Resurrection”. He remained with Fantasy Records and his 1971 solo debut album, Tom Fogerty, reached #78 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. On the follow-up, Excalibur, Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders played on the sessions. Stu Cook and Doug Clifford (CCR’s former bass guitarist and drummer) and John Fogerty performed on the 1974 follow-up album, Zephyr National. The song “Joyful Resurrection” features a complete reunion of CCR though John Fogerty recorded his parts separately. Cook and Clifford also backed Tom on his second LP release of 1974 titled Myopia.
Nicky Hopkins 1994 (b.1944) – was an English pianist and organist who recorded and performed on many notable British and American pop and rock music releases from the 1960’s through the 1990’s including many Rolling Stones songs. He was one of London’s most in-demand session pianists and performed on many hit recordings from this period. He worked extensively for leading UK independent producers Shel Talmy and Andrew Loog Oldham and performed on albums and singles by The Easybeats, The Kinks, The Pretty Things, The Move and The Who. In 1967 he joined The Jeff Beck Group, formed by former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck with vocalist Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood and drummer Micky Waller, playing on the LPs Truth and Beck-Ola. He also recorded for several San Franciscan groups, playing on albums by Jefferson Airplane (with whom he performed at the Woodstock Festival), The New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Steve Miller Band. He briefly joined Quicksilver Messenger Service and also appeared with the Jerry Garcia Band. At this point he was one of Britain’s best-known session players, recording with British acts of the Sixties, including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and on the solo albums of all four members, on several Nilsson albums in the early 70s, including Nilsson Schmilsson and Son of Schmilsson, and with Donovan. Hopkins played with the Rolling Stones on their studio albums from Between the Buttons in 1967 through Emotional Rescue in 1980 and Tattoo You in 1981, including the prominent piano parts in “She’s a Rainbow” (1967), “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968), “Monkey Man” (1969), “Loving Cup” (1972) and “Waiting on a Friend” (1981). During this period, Hopkins tended to be employed on the Stones’ slower, ballad-type songs, with longtime Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart playing on traditional rock numbers and Billy Preston used on soul and funk-influenced tunes.
Luciano Pavarotti 2007 (b.1935) – was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the brilliance and beauty of his tone—especially into the upper register—and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. As one of The Three Tenors, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Luciano Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly.
James Milton Campbell, Jr. 1934 (d.2005) – better known as Little Milton, was an American electric blues, rhythm and blues, and soul singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records “Grits Ain’t Groceries” and “We’re Gonna Make It.”
Charles Hardin Holley 1936 (d.1959) – known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.” His works and innovations inspired and influenced contemporary and later musicians, notably the Beatles, Elvis Costello, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Holly number 13 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Christine Ellen “Chrissie” Hynde 1951 – is a musician best known as the leader of the rock/new wave band The Pretenders. She is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history.
Keith John Moon 1978 (b.1946) – best known as the drummer of the English rock group The Who. He was noted for his unique drumming style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behavior. In 2011, Moon was voted the second-greatest drummer in history by a Rolling Stone readers’ poll. His drumming continues to be praised by critics and musicians.
Warren William Zevon 2003 (b.1947) – singer-songwriter and musician who was known for the dark and somewhat outlandish sense of humor in his lyrics. Zevon’s work has often been praised by well-known musicians, including Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. His best-known compositions include “Werewolves of London”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money”, “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” and “Johnny Strikes Up the Band”, all of which are featured on his third album, Excitable Boy (1978).
Virginia Patterson Hensley 1932 (d.1963) – known professionally as Patsy Cline, was an American singer. Part of the early 1960’s Nashville sound, Cline successfully “crossed over” to pop music and was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. She was best known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice and her role as a country music industry pioneer. Along with Kitty Wells,she helped pave the way for women as headline performers in the genre. Her hits began in 1957 with Donn Hecht’s and Alan Block’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”, Hank Cochran’s and Harlan Howard’s “I Fall to Pieces”, Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You”, Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” and ended in 1963 with Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams”.
Brian Cole 1942 (d.1972) – was the bass guitar player and one of the founding members of the 1960’s folk rock band The Association. He had three sons, Jordan, Chandler, and Brant. Jordan Cole is now a member of The Association, providing keyboards, guitar, vocals and drums. During the 1960’s, The Association had numerous hits at or near the top of the Billboard charts (including “Windy”, “Cherish”, and “Along Comes Mary”) and were the lead-off band at 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival.
Kelly Groucutt 1945 (d.2009) – born Michael William Groucutt, was an English musician who was best known for being the bassist and co-lead vocalist for the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), between 1974 and 1983. His distinctive voice can also be best heard on later ELO songs such as “Nightrider” (1975), “Poker” (1975), “Above the Clouds” (1976), “Sweet Is the Night” (1977), “Across the Border” (1977) and “The Diary of Horace Wimp” (1979). While he did not perform the operatic vocals in the studio, Groucutt often displayed his vocal talents by replicating them during live performances of “Rockaria!” (1976).
Benjamin “Ben” Orr 1947 (d.2000) – was an American musician best known as a singer and bassist with the rock band The Cars. He sang several of their best known songs, including “Just What I Needed”, “Bye Bye Love”, “Moving In Stereo”, “Let’s Go”, “It’s All I Can Do”, and “Drive”. He also scored a moderate solo hit with “Stay the Night.”
Ronald Charles McKernan 1945 (d.1973) – was an American singer and musician nicknamed “Pigpen”. He was a founding member of the San Francisco band the Grateful Dead, which he performed in from its inception in 1965 to 1972. Unlike the other members of the Grateful Dead, McKernan avoided psychedelics, preferring to drink whiskey and wine. By 1971, a combination of increasing alcoholism and liver damage had begun to adversely affect his health, and he was advised to cease touring by doctors. He continued to perform live with the Grateful Dead as often as possible, but was forced to retire from touring in mid-1972.
Alecia Beth Moore 1979 – better known by her stage name P!nk, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Originally a member of the girl group Choice, she rose to fame as an R&B artist with her debut solo album, Can’t Take Me Home (2000). The album was certified double platinum in the United States and spawned two Billboard Hot 100 top-ten hits, “There You Go” and “Most Girls”. She gained further recognition with the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack “Lady Marmalade”, which gave Pink her first Grammy Award as well as her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Check her out doing, “Me & Bobby McGee”.
Joe Negroni 1940 (d.1978) – was an American singer of Puerto Rican descent. He was a rock and roll pioneer and founding member of the rock and roll group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers who were presented to international audiences by DJ Alan Freed, they were also noted for being rock’s first all-teenaged act.. “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” was The Teenagers first and biggest hit. The group, known for both their harmony and choreography, also had hits with “I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent” and “The ABCs of Love”.
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. 1941 (d.1967) – was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960’s and helped exemplify the Stax sound. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, “These Arms of Mine,” in 1962. Stax released Redding’s debut album Pain in My Heart two years later. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific nickname King of Soul. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his best-known songs.
Douglas Lloyd “Doug” Ingle 1945 – is a founding member and, formerly, organist, vocalist, primary composer and lead vocalist for the band Iron Butterfly. He also had a short stint with the pop group Stark Naked and the Car Thieves in the early 1970’s after he left Iron Butterfly. His work is featured on Iron Butterfly albums Heavy, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Ball and Metamorphosis. Most famously, he authored the band’s biggest hit, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. He co-authored their remaining three hits (“Soul Experience”, “In the Time of Our Lives”, and “Easy Rider”) with other members of the group. When he originally wrote “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, he had not intended it to run seventeen minutes long. The album and subsequent single release of the title track vaulted Ingle and the band to national prominence. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” received the first Platinum Record sales Award in the history of the Recording Industry and became a landmark record in psychedelic rock.
Bruce Palmer 1946 (d.2004) – was a Canadian musician notable for playing bass guitar in the folk rock band Buffalo Springfield. He started out playing in a high school band, which evolved into the successful Robbie Lane & The Disciples, then graduated to a local, otherwise all-black group, fronted by Billy Clarkson. Next came British invasion-inspired Jack London & The Sparrows (which, after Palmer left, evolved into Steppenwolf). In early 1965 he left to join The Mynah Birds and met Neil Young. The group, fronted by future funk legend Rick James, was signed to Motown Records and did some preliminary recordings before it was discovered that James had been AWOL from the Navy for a year. Young and Palmer ran into Stills while stuck in traffic in Los Angeles, Stills having recognized Young’s distinctive hearse. It was not long before the trio, along with Richie Furay on rhythm guitar and Dewey Martin on drums, formed Buffalo Springfield. The band only had one major national hit, “For What It’s Worth” (written and sung by Stills), but locally their popularity was rivaled only by The Byrds and The Doors.
Wilton Frederick “Freddy” Weller 1947 – is an American country music artist. He recorded for Columbia Records between 1969 and 1980. His recording career started in 1969, while he was playing guitar in the band Paul Revere & The Raiders. He recorded many country songs like Joe South’s “‘Games People Play”, Chuck Berry’s “The Promised Land” and “Too Much Monkey Business”, “She Loves Me Right Out Of My Mind”, “Indian Lake”, “Down In The Boondocks”, and many others. Weller also played guitar for South and Billy Joe Royal. Weller’s biggest solo hit as a country music artist was “Games People Play,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1969; “Promised Land” and “Indian Lake,” both 1971, peaked at No. 3. He co-wrote “Jam Up and Jelly Tight” which was a hit for Tommy Roe in 1970.
David Allan “Dave” Stewart 1952 – is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for Eurythmics, his successful professional partnership with Annie Lennox. Stewart and Lennox were both previously in the band The Tourists (originally known as The Catch), who split up in 1980; Eurythmics were formed that year. The duo released their first album, In the Garden, in 1981 to little fanfare, but went on to achieve global success with their second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), released in 1983. The title track was a worldwide hit, topping the chart in various countries including the US. The duo went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they split up in 1990. By this time Stewart was a sought-after record producer, while Lennox began a solo recording career in 1992 with her debut album Diva. After almost a decade apart, Eurythmics reunited to record their ninth album, Peace, released in late 1999.
John McFee 1950 – is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist, and long-time principal member of The Doobie Brothers. Some of his other early and non-Doobie Brothers work includes playing pedal steel guitar on Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey and Saint Dominic’s Preview albums, and recording with many other artists, including Steve Miller on his Fly Like An Eagle album, the Grateful Dead on their From the Mars Hotel album, and recordings with Boz Scaggs, Emmylou Harris, Link Wray, Rick James, Janis Ian, Ricky Scaggs, The Brothers Four, Nick Lowe, Wanda Jackson, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Mike Bloomfield, John Michael Montgomery, the Beach Boys, Norton Buffalo, Twiggy, Eikichi Yazawa, Chicago, and The Kendalls. He played for a number of years with Huey Lewis in the group Clover and also played on Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports and Hard at Play albums. McFee also played with Glen Campbell, for his Meet Glen Campbell live video performance. McFee has played on a number of Elvis Costello’s albums, beginning with all the lead and pedal steel guitar work on My Aim is True, where his lead guitar work on “Alison” was perhaps most notable. He has also continued to perform live with Costello periodically through the years.
Waldo Semon 1898 (d.1999) – is best known for inventing vinyl in 1926, the world’s second most used plastic. He found the formula for vinyl by mixing a few synthetic polymers, and the result was a substance that was elastic, but wasn’t adhesive. Semon worked on methods of improving rubber, and eventually developed a synthetic substitute. He was awarded the Charles Goodyear Medal in 1944 and the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1964.
Danny Hutton 1942 – best known as one of the three lead vocalists along with Chuck Negron and Cory Wells in the band Three Dog Night. In 1967, Hutton conceived the idea of a three-vocalist group, and he and Wells enlisted mutual friend Negron. Their first Top Ten hit was “One”, in 1969, while, “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”, reached #1 a year later. “Joy to the World” became the group’s biggest hit in 1971, and their final #1, “Black and White,” was in 1972; and, their final Top Ten song was in 1974, “The Show Must Go On”. They had 21 hit singles, including 11 Top Ten hits, also 12 consecutive gold albums, from 1969 to 1975. Hutton was a songwriter and singer for Hanna Barbera Records from 1965-1966 where he had a modest national hit, “Roses and Rainbows,” during his tenure there.
José Montserrate Feliciano García 1945 – better known simply as José Feliciano is a Puerto Rican virtuoso guitarist, singer, and composer known for many international hits, including his rendition of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” and the best-selling Christmas single “Feliz Navidad.” His music is known for having a mix of styles, for example including both Flamenco music and mellow easy listening influences in many songs.
Barrie “Barriemore” Barlow 1949 – is an English musician, best known as the drummer and percussionist for the rock band Jethro Tull, from May 1971 to June 1980. Upset by the death of bassist John Glascock, with whom he had become very close, Barlow left Jethro Tull in 1980 after completing the final leg of the Stormwatch tour. He went on to do various session projects, including work with Robert Plant, John Miles, and Jimmy Page, and he also started his own band for a spell called Storm. He played on the Yngwie Malmsteen album Rising Force. He played on the Kerry Livgren album, Seeds of Change.
Anthony Joseph “Joe” Perry 1950 – is the lead guitarist, backing and occasional lead vocalist, and contributing songwriter for the rock band Aerosmith. He was ranked 84th in Rolling Stone‘s list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Aerosmith. A substantial early influence on Perry’s music was The Beatles. “The night The Beatles first played The Ed Sullivan Show, boy, that was something. Seeing them on TV was akin to a national holiday. Talk about an event. I never saw guys looking so cool. I had already heard some of their songs on the radio, but I wasn’t prepared by how powerful and totally mesmerizing they were to watch. It changed me completely. I knew something was different in the world that night.”
Johnnie Fingers (born John Peter Moylett) 1956 – is a pop pianist, and was a founding member of the new wave band, The Boomtown Rats. He was notable for his stage costume of striped pyjamas as well as his melodic piano style. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan where he continues to work in the music industry. Apart from producing and writing music for Japanese stars such as UA, and theme songs such as for the hit anime B’t X, Fingers is the “point man” with the concert music production company Smash Japan, producers of Fuji Rock Festival, the largest music festival in Japan.
Mickey Hart (born Michael Steven Hartman) 1943 – is an American percussionist and musicologist. He is best known as one of the two drummers of the rock band Grateful Dead. He and fellow Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann earned the nickname “the rhythm devils”. He was a member of the Grateful Dead from September 1967 to February 1971 and from October 1974 to August 1995 their official dissolution. Collaboration with the remaining members of the Grateful Dead continued under the name “The Dead”, but the group has since stopped performing.
Jack Brown Ely 1943 (d.2015) – was an American guitarist and singer, best known for singing the Kingsmen’s version of “Louie Louie”. Classically trained in piano, he began playing guitar after seeing Elvis Presley on television. At his first guitar lesson, he was required to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, an experience that Ely found so demeaning that he quit after that lesson and began picking out his favorite guitar riffs by ear. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen and with them recorded “Louie Louie” in 1963; Ely’s famously incoherent vocals were partly the result of his braces and the rudimentary recording method. Before the record became a hit Ely was forced out of the group and began playing with his new band, the Courtmen.
Dennis Stanley Joseph Tufano 1946 – is the original lead singer of the 1960’s rock group The Buckinghams, and has been a solo performer since the early 1980’s. The Buckinghams had many hits, including the chart-topping “Kind of a Drag” in 1967, as well as “Don’t You Care?” “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song),” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” and “Susan.” Following his success in the Buckinghams, Tufano was part of the singer/songwriting duo Tufano and Giammarese, who recorded three albums with Lou Adler’s custom label, Ode Records. The duo toured in support of the albums, including a rather rambunctious tour with Cheech & Chong. Appearing as guest vocalist, Tufano went on to co-write with renowned composer and musician Tom Scott. With Scott as composer, Tufano and singer Mindy Sterling performed the original title/theme song (first season) for the long running Family Ties television show. Back on the road, Tufano joined Olivia Newton-John on one of her hugely successful tours, and was noted for his duets with her, including “Suddenly,” and “You’re the One that I Want.” The duets were also featured on Newton-John’s HBO Special, which aired in January 1983.
John Martyn 1948 (d.2009) born as Iain David McGeachy – was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Over a 40-year career, he released 21 studio albums, working with artists such as Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Phil Collins. He was described by The Times as “an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues”.
Tommy Roland Shaw 1953 – is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and performer best known for his work with the rock band Styx. In between his stints with Styx, he has played with other groups including Damn Yankees, Shaw Blades as well as released several solo albums. Shaw got the call to audition for Styx in Chicago. Shaw said: “I got on the plane and went up there the next day, and they didn’t ask me to play the guitar at all. The guitar never came out of the case.” Once Styx had listened to Shaw’s demo tape and Shaw had proven he could sing high notes in “Lady”, he was hired. He joined Styx in December 1975. His first album with Styx, Crystal Ball (1976), was titled after his own composition and also includes his songs “Mademoiselle” and “Shooz”. Its follow-up, The Grand Illusion (1977), became the group’s breakthrough album, which went platinum due in part to a lot of Shaw’s doing, Shaw personally went from studio to studio, coast to coast and pleaded with the stations to play the band’s Dennis DeYoung-written and -sung single “Come Sail Away” and also featured a radio hit by Shaw, “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”.
Richard Paul Ashcroft 1971 – is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was the lead singer and occasional guitarist of the alternative rock band The Verve from their formation in 1990 until their split in 1999, and continues as a lead vocalist working with guitars and keyboards. He became a successful solo artist in his own right, releasing three UK top three solo albums. The Verve reformed in 2007 but again broke up by summer 2009. Ashcroft then founded a new band, RPA & The United Nations of Sound, and released a new album on 19 July 2010. Chris Martin of Coldplay has described Ashcroft as “the best singer in the world”. Controversy exists over The Verve’s biggest hit, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, on which Ashcroft is the sole band member to share a co-writing credit. The song uses a sample of Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s recording of The Rolling Stones’ 1965 song “The Last Time”. The Verve had negotiated this legally; however, The Rolling Stones’ record company successfully sued and argued that they had used “too much.” The Verve was subsequently forced to give ABKCO 100 percent of the royalties from “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were given songwriting credits along with Ashcroft.
Peter Tosh 1987 (b.1944) born Winston Hubert McIntosh – was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer he was one of the core members of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), after which he established himself as a successful solo artist and a promoter of Rastafari. He was murdered in 1987 during a home invasion. Tosh began recording and released his solo debut, Legalize It, in 1976 with CBS Records company. The title track soon became popular among endorsers of marijuana legalization, reggae music lovers and Rastafari all over the world, and was a favourite at Tosh’s concerts. His second album Equal Rights followed in 1977. In 1978 the Rolling Stones record label Rolling Stones Records contracted with Tosh, on which the album Bush Doctor was released, introducing Tosh to a larger audience. The album featured Rolling Stones frontmen Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and the lead single – a cover version of The Temptations song “Don’t Look Back” – was performed as a duet with Jagger. It made Tosh one of the best-known reggae artists.
James Dennis “Jim” Carroll 2009 (b.1949) – was an American author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which inspired the 1995 film of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll. In 1978, after he moved to California to get a fresh start since overcoming his heroin addiction, Carroll formed The Jim Carroll Band, a new wave/punk rock group, with encouragement from Patti Smith, with whom he once shared an apartment in New York City, along with Robert Mapplethorpe. The musicians were Steve Linsley (bass), Wayne Woods (drums), Brian Linsley and Terrell Winn (guitars). They released a single “People Who Died”, from their 1980 debut album, Catholic Boy. The album featured contributions from Allen Lanier and Bobby Keys. In 1982 the song appeared in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, from which Carroll received royalties until his death in 2009. Carroll also collaborated with musicians Lou Reed, Blue Öyster Cult, Boz Scaggs, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra and Rancid.
Stanley Robert “Bob” Crewe 2014 (b.1930) – was an American songwriter, dancer, singer, manager, and record producer. He was known for producing, and co-writing with Bob Gaudio, a string of Top 10 singles for the Four Seasons. As a songwriter, his most successful songs included “Silhouettes” (co-written with Frank Slay); “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “Silence Is Golden”, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Bye, Bye, Baby” (all co-written with Gaudio); “Let’s Hang On!” (written with Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell); and “My Eyes Adored You” and “Lady Marmalade” (both co-written with Kenny Nolan). He also had hit recordings with the Rays, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, Barry Manilow, and his own Bob Crewe Generation.