This Day In Music: April 17
April 16 ~ Birthdays/All ~ April 18
April 17, 2023 ~ Caroline Vincinetti LoTempio, commonly known as singer April Stevens, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, USA ~ Known for the early 1950s hits I'm In Love Again and Gimme Me A Little Kiss (Will Ya Huh), as well as for her 1959 recording Teach Me Tiger which was banned from radio for its sexual innuendo. Perhaps best known for her collaborations with her brother Nino Tempo, including the 1963 recording Deep Purple which reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts ~ LoTempio was born in 1936
April 17, 2022 ~ Actress, singer Catherine Spaak passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Actress, starring in a dozen films as lead actress before age 18. Notable film credits include Circle Of Love directed by Roger Vadim and The Man The Woman & The Money alongside Marcello Mastroianni. As a singer critically compared to French chanteuse Françoise Hardy and best known for a number of early 1960s recordings including some of Hardy's songs under the direction of Ezio Leoni ~ Spaak was born in 1945
April 17, 2022 ~ Keith Grayson, commonly known as hip-hop DJ, rapper DJ Kay Slay, passed away ~ Dubbed “Hip-hop's One-man Ministry of Insults” by The New York Times. Debuted in 2003 with the album Streetsweeper Vol.1 and has recorded consistently since. Collaborated with Nas, Foxxy Brown, Fat Joe, Joe Budden, Joe, Three 6 Mafia, Papoose, Busta Rhymes, Layzie Bone, Twista, Fabolous, T-Pain, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and others ~ Grayson was born in 1966
April 17, 2022 ~ Musical actress, singer Hollis Resnik passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Appeared in productions of stage musicals such as Wings, Les Miserables, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Man Of La Mancha. Released her Make Someone Happy album in 2002, consisting of show tunes, pop, jazz and original songs ~ Resnik was born ca.1955
April 17, 2022 ~ Warwick Lancelot Armstrong Turner III, commonly known as luthier Rick Turner, passed away ~ As a guitarist worked with Ian & Sylvia including on the duo's 1966 Play One More album. Founded psychedelic band Autosalvage. Following the band's disbandement in 1968 turned to guitar design and building, starting with the company Alembic Inc co-founded by Turner. Has run his own guitar shops and worked for the renowned Gibson company. Designed and build guitars for players such as Lindsey Buckingham, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and others ~ Turner was born in 1943
April 17, 2022 ~ R&B singer Roderick Clark passed away ~ Member of Hi-Five best known for their 1990 eponymous Hi-Five debut album produced by Teddy Riley, which reached Platinum status and spawned the Billboard R&B top 10 hits I Just Can't Handle It, I Can't Wait Another Minute and I Like The Way (The Kissing Game). The latter would also top the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 ~ Clark was born ca.1973
April 17, 2020 ~ Jazz, free jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, pianist Giuseppi Logan passed away in Queens, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Earl Bostic, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Bill Dixon, Don Pullen, Eddie Gomez, Milford Graves, Dave Burrell, Byard Lancaster, Patty Waters, Roswell Rudd, and others ~ Logan was born in 1935
April 17, 2020 ~ Bassist Matthew Seligman passed away in London, UK ~ Influenced by Paul McCartney, Andy Fraser, Tina Weymouth, and others. Worked with the Soft Boys, Thompson Twins, Thomas Dolby, Fallout Club, Local Heroes SW9, the Dolphin Brothers, the Stereo MC's, the Waterboys, Sinéad O'Connor, Transvision Vamp, Van Morrison, Nan Vernon, Tori Amos, Kimberley Rew, Alex Chilton, David Bowie (including on Absolute Beginners), the Fire Escapes, and others ~ Seligman was born in 1955
April 17, 2015 ~ Producer, songwriter, music manager Jack Rieley, full name John Frank Rieley III, passed away in Berlin, Germany ~ Managed the Beach Boys from 1970 through 1973, guiding them back to popular acclaim. Co-wrote a number of the band's best known songs from this period, including Sail On Sailor. Subsequently worked with artists such as Kool & the Gang, Ride, and Jaye Muller ~ Rieley was born in 1942
April 17, 2014 ~ Jose Luis Feliciano Vega, commonly known as percussionist, singer Cheo Feliciano, passed away in San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Salsa pioneer. Influenced Gilberto Santo Rosa, Rubén Blades, Alex d'Castro, and Jerry Rivas. Known for songs such as Anacaona, Mi Trista Problema, Canta, Amada Mia, and Sobre Una Tumba Humilde. Worked with Tito Rodriguez, Luis Cruz, the Kako y Su Trabaco Orchestre, Joe Cuba, Eddie Palmieri, the Fania All-Stars, and others ~ Feliciano was born in 1935
April 17, 2013 ~ Bassist [artist-yngve-moe passed away in Bergen, Norway ~ Member of Erter Kjøtt & Flesk until its disbandement in 1975. Touring member of Nøkken. Co-founding member of Dance With A Stranger, remaining with the band until his death. Has also worked with Oofotr, Marius Müller, Terje Nilsen, Nathalie Nordnes, and with Øivind Elgenes ~ Moe was born in 1957
April 17, 2012 ~ Laiko singer Dimitris Mitropanos passed away in Athens, Greece ~ Active since the late 1960s. Mentored by Giorgos Zampetas. Has worked with some of the most renowned Greek composers including Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis, and Thanos Mikroutsikos. Known for songs such as Thessaloniki, Agios Fevrouarios, The Road To Kythera, Ta Sinaxaria, Roza, Ta Ladadika, and Alimono ~ Mitropanos was born in 1948
April 17, 2009 ~ Jazz saxophonist Carmen Leggio passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Worked with Bucky Pizzarelli, Bill Crow, Benny Goodman, Maynard Ferguson, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severinsen, Terry Gibbs, Marty Napoleon, Sol Yaged, Donnie O'Brien, and others ~ Leggio was born ca.1927
April 17, 2008 ~ Singer, songwriter Chris Gaffney passed away ~ Debuted as a solo artist in 1986 with the album Road To Indio. Continued releasing solo albums through 2000 working with producers such as Wyman Reese and Dave Alvin and guest musicians including Lucinda Williams and Jim Lauderdale. Formed the Hacienda Brothers in the early 2000s, teaming up with guitarist, songwriter Dave Gonzalez. In addition to his solo and band work Gaffney has collaborated, toured and recorded with artists such as Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men, the Iguanas, Tom Russell, Christy McWilson, Lonesome Strangers, Billy Bacon, and others ~ Gaffney was born in 1950
April 17, 2008 ~ Rock, pop rock keyboardist, organist, accordionist Danny Federici, full name Daniel Paul Federici, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Founding member of Bruce Springsteen's backing unit the E Street Band. Also worked with Steel Mill, Joan Armatrading, Graham Parker, Gary US Bonds, Garland Jeffreys, and others ~ Federici was born in 1950
April 17, 2007 ~ Heavy metal unit Arcturus officially announce they're breaking up, the band would reform in the early 2010s ~ The band had recorded some half dozen albums since the mid-1990s, and is especially acclaimed for their 2002 The Sham Mirrors album. Following rumours after the band's last concert of their Australian tour, a concert opened with the words “Welcome to the last Arcturus show, ever”, the band issued an official statement on their website officially announcing their split because of ongoing “things” in the band members' careers and lives, before thanking the fans. The band would later reform, playing their first reunion show in 2011 at the KICK Nattklubb & Scene, Kristiansand, Norway, and issued a full-length album, Arcturian, in 2015
April 17, 2007 ~ Singer, songwriter, producer Glenn Sutton, full name Royce Glenn Sutton, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Probably best remembered for co-writing Almost Persuaded with Billy Sherrill, a song first recorded by David Houston in 1966 and covered by numerous artists including Conway Twitty, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Etta James and perhaps most notably Freddy Fender. Produced I Never Promised You A Rose Garden for then-wife Lynn Anderson. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Sutton include Faron Young, Jerry Lee Lewis (What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)), Bob Luman, Patti Page, Red Steagall, Ronnie Milsap, and Ricky Skaggs ~ Sutton was born in 1937
April 17, 2006 ~ Flutist Felix Skowronek passed away ~ Student of William Kincaid. Leading figure in the revival of wooden Boehm-style flutes. Expert in the use of various hardwoods in flute manufacturing. . Founding member of the Soni Ventorum Wind Quintet. Skowronek has also played with the Seattle Symphony, the Seventh Army Symphony, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and the St Louis Symphony ~ Skowronek wsa born in 1935
April 17, 2005 ~ Trombonist, bandleader, arranger, producer Juan Pablo Torres, full name Juan Pablo Torres Morell, passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Regarded as one of the finest trombonists in Afro-Cuban jazz. Director of Algo Nuevo. Member of seminal Cuban outfit Irakere since the mid-1980s, led by Chucho Valdes ~ Torres was born in 1946
April 17, 2003 ~ Earl Silas Johnson IV, commonly known as blues, New Orleans R&B singer, guitarist, songwriter Earl King, passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Best remembered for penning blues classics such as Big Chief (covered by Professor Longhair), Trick Bag (covered by the Meters, and by Robert Palmer), and for Come On (covered by Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan). ~ King was born in 1934
April 17, 1993 ~ Singer, guitarist Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles marries screenwriter Jay Roach in Los Angeles, California ~ Hoffs, who rose to fame as a member of all-female outfit the Bangles, known for Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits such as Manic Monday, Walk Like An Egyptian, Hazy Shade Of Winter, and Eternal Flame, marries screenwriter Roach. Roach converted to Judaism when they married. The couple have two sons
April 17, 1992 ~ Lyricist, songwriter John DeVries passed away ~ Frequent songwriting partner of pianist Joe Bushkin. The pair is perhaps best known for writing Oh Look At Me Now, a 1941 hit for Tommy Dorsey featuring Frank Sinatra. The song has been covered by numerous artists including Benny Goodman, Sam Cooke, Jo Stafford, and Nancy Wilson ~ DeVries was born in 1915
April 17, 1992 ~ Arthur Reismond Herfurt, commonly known as jazz saxophonist, clarinetist Skeets Herfurt passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Active since the mid-1930s. Has worked with Smith Ballew, the Dorsey Brothers, Ray Noble, Alvino Rey, Benny Goodman, Earle Spencer, Billy May, Louis Armstrong, Georgie Auld, Jack Teagarden, Stan Kenton, Glen Gray, Ray Anthony, Joe Fingers Carr, Ray Conniff, the Four Freshmen, Pete Rugolo, and others ~ Herfurt was born in 1911
April 17, 1991 ~ Songwriter, lyricist, screenwriter Jack Yellen, full name Jack Selig Yellen, passed away in Springville, New York, New York ~ Perhaps best remembered for co-writing Happy Days Are Here Again, first recorded by Charles King in 1929 and covered by numerous artists including Leo Reisman, Ben Selvin, Bert Ambrose, Adriano Celentano. The song would be used for Franklin Roosevelt's 1932 presidential campaign. Other well known songs co-written by Yellen include Ain't She Sweet (Lou Gold, Pearl Bailey, Gene Vincent, Frank Sinatra), Happy Feet (Paul Whiteman, Leo Reisman, Jack Hylton), Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp Of Savannah) (Ukulele Ike, Ray McKinley, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles), and My Yiddishe Momme (Willie Howard, Patti Page, Connie Francis) ~ Yellen was born in 1892
April 17, 1988 ~ Christian hip-hop singer, producer Andy Mineo born in Syracuse, New York, USA ~ Member of rap group Fat Camp, known for their 2006 The Food album. After rededicating his life to Christ would focus on Christian hip-hop, perhaps most notably as a member of hip-hop collective 116 Clique
April 17, 1988 ~ Songwriter, arranger George Williams, full name George Dale Williams, passed away ~ Wrote or co-wrote songs such as Whamboogie and It Must Be Jelly Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That for Glenn Miller, Hamp's Boogie for Lionel Hampton, Gene's Boogie for Gene Krupa, and Lackawanna Local, The Fox and Bunny Hop for Ray Anthony ~ Williams was born in 1917
April 17, 1987 ~ Reggae, ska, rocksteady drummer, percussionist Carlton Barrett passed away in Kingston, Jamaica ~ Popularized the one drop rhythm drumming style. Brother of bassist, guitarist Aston Barrett, bandmate in Lee Scratch Perry's houseband the Upsetters as well as in Bob Marley's backing unit the Wailers. Barrett remained with Marley from the late 1960s until Marley's death in 1981, co-writing songs such as Talkin' Blues and Them Belly Full. Also worked with the Impact All-Stars ~ Barrett was born in 1950
April 17, 1986 ~ Jazz bassist Teddy Kotick passed away ~ Sidemen to many of the leading names in jazz during the 1940s and 1950s. Present on albums by Charlie Parker, Jimmy Raney, Jon Eardley (From Hollywood To New York), Stan Getz (West Coast Jazz), Al Cohn, Herbie Nichols, George Russell (The Jazz Workshop), and Martial Solal ~ Kotick was born in 1928
April 17, 1983 ~ Bassist, producer Felix Pappalardi passed away in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Bassist of Mountain, known for their 1970 hit Mississippi Queen. Closely associated with Cream, producing and arranging the band's sophomore Disraeli Gears album. As a producer also worked with Bo Grumpus, Kensington Market, Leslie West, Jack Bruce, Mylon LeFevre, the Flock, Gasolin, and Jesse Colin Young. Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife, who was charged with second-degree murder and found guilty of the lesser charge criminally negligent homicide ~ Pappalardi was born in 1939
April 17, 1982 ~ DJ, rapper Afrika Bambaataa and hip hop unit the Soulsonic Force release their Planet Rock single, the first hip hop hit with electronic elements, its rhythm powered by a Roland TR-808 drum machine ~ Producer Arthur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa bonded over their love of electronic music, using the beats from the Kraftwerk song Numbers and Captain Sky's Super Sporm as the basis for Planet Rock. The song is especially noted for the GLOBE's off time rapping, an unusual style at the time. Peaking at No.48, the single would be only the third rap song to chart on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 after Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight and Kurtis Blow's The Breaks, the latter two previously having peaked respectively at No.36 and No.87
April 17, 1980 ~ Pop rock, rock singer, guitarist, songwriter David Otero, full name David Otero Martin, born in Madrid, Spain ~ Member of El Canto De Loco. The band recorded half a dozen studio albums, starting with the eponymous El Canto Del Loco released in 2000 and is best known for their 2005 Zapatillas which included the charity single Despiértame. The proceeds of the single and a portion of the album's revenues would go to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Following the band's disbandement in 2010 Otero has recorded as a solo artist, initially going by the moniker El Pescao and dropping the alias in 2017
April 17, 1979 ~ Giuseppa Gaetana Ferreri, commonly known as singer, songwriter Giusy Ferreri, born in Palermo, Italy ~ First gained attention in 2008, coming in second in the Italian edition of the talent show The X-Factor. Released her Non Ti Scordar Di Me debut album later the same year and has recorded consistently since. Well known songs include Non Ti Scordar Di Me, Novembre, Ma Il Cielo E Sempre Piu Blu, and Il Mare Immenso. Has collaborated with a wide array of Italian singers including Ornella Vanoni, Claudio Baglioni, Tiziano Ferro, J-Ax, and Giuliano Sangiorgi
April 17, 1979 ~ Pop, art rock, indie rock, jazz, free jazz singer, songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg born in Kongsberg, Norway ~ Actively singing from a young age. Member of influential doom metal band Funeral while still in high school, featured on the band's In Fields Of Pestilent Grief sophomore album. Following her studies at the the Norwegian Academy Of Music released her Little Things debut album in 2004 and has recorded to critical acclaim since
April 17, 1979 ~ Clarinetist, saxophonist, composer Sam Sadigursky born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Brad Mehldau, Milt Hinton, Charlie Byrd, Bob Florence, the Spirals, the Mingus Orchestra, Gabriel Kahane, Fred Hersch, Tom Jones, Darcy James Argue, Linda Oh, Anat Fort, Joe Phillips, Red Baraat, Nico Muhly, Judd Greenstein, Jamie Baum, Eiji Kitamura, Bill Berry, Jake Hanna, Edmar Castaneda, Luia Pulido, Toto la Momposina, Sofia Rei, Emilio Teubal, Sebastian Cruz, Becca Stevens, Wendy Gilles, Christine Correa, Michel Leonhart, Gary Wang, Sunny Jain, Richie Barshay, Jacob Sacks, Andrea Tierra, Gene Segal, Jeremy Flower, Alejandro Florez, Marvin Diz, Jean Chaumont, and others
April 17, 1976 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Gord Bamford born in Traralgon, Australia ~ One of the most decorated country singers to emerge from Canada's music scene in the 2000s. Over half a dozen albums to his name, starting with God's Green Earth released in 2001. Well known songs include Blame It On That Red Dress, Little Guy, Leaning On A Lonesome Song, When Your Lips Are So Close, Don't Let Her Be Gone, Livin' On Summertime, and Dive Bar
April 17, 1976 ~ Miguel Orlando Collins, commonly known as reggae, dancehall singer Sizzla, born in Kingston, Jamaica ~ One of the most popular and certainly most prolific contemporary reggae artists with over 50 solo albums to his name. Has collaborated with Big Lean, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, and others
April 17, 1974 ~ Minnie Guyer, commonly known as singer, dancer, actress Blossom Seeley, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Known as “the Queen of Syncopation” helped bring jazz and ragtime into the mainstream. Best known for a number of 1920s recordings including Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, Rose Room, Lazy, Yes Sir That's My Baby, and her best-known Toddling The Todalo ~ Guyer was born in 1886
April 17, 1974 ~ Singer, fashion designer, TV personality Victoria Beckham, full name Victoria Caroline Beckham, born in Goff's Oak, UK ~ Member of the Spice Girls, dubbed Posh Spice, and remaining with the band throughout its entire existence. Present on hits such as Wannabe, Say You Will Be There and 2 Become 1. Released a sole solo album, the eponymous Victoria Beckham, in 2001 and has gone on to become a fashion designer and TV personality. Married to soccer player David Beckham since 1999
April 17, 1971 ~ Singer, songwriter Carmen Lombardo passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Brother of Guy Lombardo, his bandmate in the Royal Canadians. Sang lead on the Canadians' hit Charmaine. In-demand songwriter. Songs written or co-written by Lombardo include Ridin' Around In The Rain recorded by Gene Austin, Return To Me recorded by Dean Martin, Powder Your Face With Sunshine for Evelyn Knight, and Coquette recorded by his brother Guy ~ Lombardo was born in 1903
April 17, 1971 ~ Joy To The World by Three Dog Night hits No.1 Billboard Hot 100, where it would remain for six consecutive weeks ~ Replacing Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) by the Temptations, the band's second single off their Naturally album reaches the top of the American charts. It would be the band's second Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit, after their Randy Newman-cover Mama Told Me (Not To Come) the previous year. When Hoyt Axton, the sole songwriter, first performed Joy To The World for his bandmates, two of the three main singers, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells, rejected the song. The third, however, Chuck Negron felt the band needed a “silly song” to help bring them back together as a working unit. Joy To The World would hold the top position for six consecutive weeks, after which it was knocked off the top spot by Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones
April 17, 1970 ~ Reginald Noble, commonly known as rapper Redman born in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Closely associated with Method Man. Known for songs such as Put It Down, Funkorama, and Whateve Man. Also worked with Def Squad, Christina Aguilera, K Solo, Erick Sermon, Busta Rhymes, Toni Braxton, EPMD, Jodeci, Shaquille O'Neal, Lords Of The Underground, DJ Honda, Notorious BIG, Kris Kross, Tupac Shakur, KRS One, A Tribe Called Quest, Montell Jordan, the Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, Chico DeBarge, Cee Lo Green, the Wu-Tang Clan, Lil' Kim, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Naughty By Nature, Joe Budden, Dr Dre, Raekwon, Sheek Louch, Tony Touch, Bun B, E-40, and others
April 17, 1967 ~ Indie rock singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter Liz Phair born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA ~ Rose to fame with her 1993 Exile In Guyville debut album, dubbed by some critics as the female version of the Rolling Stones 1971 Exile On Main St. Has recorded to critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase since
April 17, 1967 ~ Drummer Matt Chamberlain born in San Pedro, California, USA ~ Toured with Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians and appeared on the band's 1990 Ghost Of A Dog sophomore album. Served as touring drummer for Pearl Jam for about three weeks in 1991, replacing original drummer Dave Krusen. Co-founded jazz fusion outfit Critters Buggin with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums starting with 1994's Guest. Closely associated with Tori Amos, appearing on over half a dozen of the singer's albums including the acclaimed From The Choirgirl Hotel released in 1998. Has also appeared on albums by the Wallflowers, Chris Isaak, Fiona Apple (Tidal), Chris Isaak, Macy Gray, the Wallflowers (Bringing Down The Horse), Stevie Nicks, Shelby Lynne, David Bowie, Brad Mehldau, Brandi Carlisle, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen (Wrecking Ball), Of Montreal, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, Rufus Wainwright, and others
April 17, 1967 ~ Henry James Allen Jr, commonly known as trumpeter Red Allen, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Son of bandleader Henry Allen. Active since the mid-1920s. Has worked with Sidney Desvigne, the Excelsior Brass Band, Sam Morgan, John Casimir, King Oliver, Fate Marable, Fats Pichon, Luis Russell, Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, Kid Ory, the Kentucky Jazz Band, and others ~ Allen was born in 1908
April 17, 1967 ~ Reggae, ska, dub bassist, producer, engineer Victor Rice born in Syosett, New York, USA ~ Bassist with about half a dozen albums as a solo artist, acclaimed for his 1999 Victor Rice At Version City, and several notable session credits including with Scofflaws, Glenn Branca, Sloan Wainwright, Everlast (Eat At Whitey's), and the Toasters. Relocating to São Paulo in the early 2000s, Rice would become best known as leading dub and reggae technician, engineering, mixing and producing artists such as Mephiskapheles, the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, the Bluebeats, One Groovy Coconut, the SKAndalous All-Stars, Corey Harris, and Elza Soares
April 17, 1961 ~ Actress, soprano singer Rebecca Luker born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA ~ Best known as a Broadway singer, actress starting in the late 1980s performing in productions of The Secret Garden, Show Boat, The Sound Of Music and Mary Poppins. Has also made solo recordings starting in the late 1990s, notably 1996's Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter album, and has acted in film and TV productions ~ Luker passed away in 2020
April 17, 1960 ~ Singer, songwriter Eddie Cochran, full name Ray Edward Cochran, passed away in Bath, UK ~ Pivotal rock & roll singer known for mid-1950s songs such as Twenty Flight Rock, Somethin' Else, C'mon Everybody, and naturally Summertime Blues. Died in a car crash on tour at age 21. Cochran's songs would later be covered by an array of artists including Joan Jett, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Tom Petty, Rod Stewart, T.Rex, Cliff Richard, the Who, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes, the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious, Rush, the Simple Minds, George Thorogood, Guitar Wolf, Paul McCartney, Alan Jackson, the Move, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Hallyday, and U2 ~ Cochran was born in 1938
April 17, 1958 ~ Guitarist Chieli Minucci born in Huntington, New York, USA ~ Best known as frontman of Special EFX. Has also collaborated with a wide array of artists including Céline Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastacia, Roseanna Vitro, Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown, Bennie Willias, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torres, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Jeff Andrews, Nick Collone, Omar Hakim, Bob Baldwin, Heather Mullen, the Backstreet Boys, Donna Summer, Linda Clofalo, Peter Primamore, True Vbe, Jewel, Chaka Khan, Angela Bofill, Ginette Reno, SOLA, Nicole Renee, Noel Pointer, Belle Stars, Roberta Flack, Cheryl Lynn, BB&Q Band, High Fashion, and others
April 17, 1958 ~ Rhumba, zarzuela singer, pianist, actress Rita Montaner, full name Rita Aurelia Fulcida Montaner y Facenda, passed away in Havana, Cuba ~ Classically trained. One of Cuba's most beloved artists from the 1920s through the 1950s, also enjoying popularity in Europe and America. Best known for Afro-Cuban salon songs including The Peanut Vendor and Siboney ~ Montaner was born in 1900
April 17, 1957 ~ Vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, producer Mark Sherman born in New York, New York, USA ~ A multi-instrumentalist revered in various circles including classical, jazz, pop. Sherman worked with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, and Herbert von Karajan. Appeared on numerous film and Broadway soundtracks. In-demand sideman and collaborator Sherman has worked with artists such as Kenny Barron, Peggy Lee, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Michael McDonald, Joe Beck, Maureen McGovern, Larry Coryell, Rodney Jones, Gloria Lynne, Jennifer Holliday, Tony Bennett, Ann Hampton Callaway, Laverne Butler, Ruth Brown, Liza Minnelli, and others
April 17, 1956 ~ Label executive, producer Louil Silas Jr born ~ Founded and headed the Silas Records label, known for advancing the careers of Jesse Powell, Keke Wyatt, London Jones, Tricky Stewart, Aaron Hall, Keith Washington, and perhaps most notably Chanté Moore ~ Silas passed away in 2001
April 17, 1956 ~ Singer Valorie Jones born ~ One third of sibling outfit the Jones Girls, alongside Shirley Jones and Brenda Jones. Served as backup singers for Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, Linda Clifford, and Tower Of Power. On their own they would score a number of modest hits on Billboard's R&B charts from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s including You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else, Dance Turned Into Romance and I Just Love The Man ~ Jones passed away in 2001
April 17, 1955 ~ Peter Campbell McNeish, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Pete Shelley, born in Leigh, UK ~ Formed punk, punk rock outfit the Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto, best known for their 1978 Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn't've hit single. As a solo artist best known for Homosapien, title track of his 1981 Homosapien album ~ Shelley passed away in 2018
April 17, 1954 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion, jazz funk guitarist Dewayne McKnight, full name Dewayne Stephen McKnight, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Member of Herbie Hancock's backing unit the Headhunters from 1975 through 1978. Also closely associated with funk icon George Clinton as a member of Clinton's loose collectives Parliament, Funkadelic and the P-Funk All-Stars from 1978 through 2008. Briefly played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers after original guitarist Hillel Slovak's death in 1988, quickly replaced by John Frusciante
April 17, 1954 ~ Frank LaRocca, commonly known as rock drummer, producer Frankie LaRocka, born ~ Briefly a member of Scandal, appearing on the band's eponymous Scandal debut EP released in 1982. Has also drummed for Bon Jovi, David Johanson, Bryan Adams, and John Waite. Would go on to serve as A&R executive and producer, noted for signing the Spin Doctors and producing the band's 1991 Pocketful Of Kryptonite album ~ LaRocca passed away in 2005
April 17, 1954 ~ Singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Michael Sembello, full name Michael Andrew Sembello, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Best known for his 1983 hit song Maniac taken of his solo debut album Bossa Nova Hotel and featured in Flashdance soundtrack. Previously a studio musician, featured on the Stevie Wonder albums Fulfillingness' First Finale and Songs In The Key Of Life, notably playing the guitar lead on Contusion and co-writing Saturn. Wrote Carousel, intended for Michael Jackson's Thriller (replaced by Human Nature). Produced Jennifer Batten's 1992 Above Below & Beyond solo debut album as well as Valeria Lynch's 1994 Caravana de Sueños album
April 17, 1953 ~ Drummer, singer Noel Crombie born in Wellington, New Zealand ~ Constant member of Split Enz, known for songs such as My Mistake, I Got You, One Step Ahead, History Never Repeats, Six Months In A Leaky Boat, and Message To My Girl. Following the group's disbandement, Crombie formed Schnell Fenster but would depart the band before their debut album was released
April 17, 1952 ~ Singer, bassist Jerry Knight born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Founding member of Raydio, which also included Ray Parker Jr, best known for Jack And Jill, You Can't Change That and perhaps their best-known A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do). Also half of Ollie & Jerry, the other half being drummer Ollie E Brown, known for Breaking (There Is No Stopping Us) which was used as the theme song to the 1984 Breakin' feature film and would reach the Billboard top 10. Knight has also written and produced for artists such as the Whispers, Patrice Rushen, DeBarge, Howard Hewett, Elkie Brooks, and others ~ Knight passed away in 1996
April 17, 1950 ~ Jazz drummer Robert Jospé born in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Co-led jazz fusion outfit Cosmology which also included Dawn Thompson and John d'Earth, known for their eponymous Cosmology album released in 1977. Recorded about half a dozen albums as a leader, notably Blue Blaze released in 1999. Formed the Robert Jospé Express in 2012, which also included the Dave Matthews Band-keyboardist Butch Taylor. Jospé has also collaborated with Barbara Martin, John McCutcheon, Peter Kater, and Kim Rosen
April 17, 1949 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Michael J Stull born in USA ~ Co-founding member of the Wackers, teaming up with Bob Segarini, Randy Bishop, Ernie Earshaw and Bill Trochim. Rumored to be considered Jim Morrison's replacement in the Doors when Morrison left for Paris in 1971. Perhaps just a rumor and the Doors would record without either Morrison or Stull. Still, four years later Stull would actually work on the Butts Band album Hear & Now, which also featured Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger ~ Stull passed away in 2002
April 17, 1949 ~ Producer, arranger, saxophonist Steve Singleton, full name Stephen Barry Singleton, born in Sheffield, UK ~ Co-founding member of 1980s new wave, pop outfit ABC, remaining with the band through 1983 and present on the UK top 10 hits Poison Arrow, The Look Of Love and All Of My Heart
April 17, 1948 ~ Keyboardist, songwriter Jan Hammer born in Prague, Czech Republic ~ To pop audiences best known for his TV and film scores, notably Miami Vice's Miami Vice Theme and Crockett's Theme, yet enjoyed a long career as in-demand session musician, collaborator and leader starting in the late 1960s. Member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, present on the critically acclaimed albums The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds Of Fire and Between Nothingness And Eternity. Present on about half a dozen Jeff Beck albums, starting with Wired released in 1976. Also frequently collaborated with Al di Meola, including on Elegant Gypsy. Also present on albums by Jeremy Steig, Elvin Jones, Frank Foster, James Brown, Billy Cobham, the Fania All-Stars, Horacee Arnold, Tommy Bolin (Teaser), John Abercrombie (Timeless), Jack DeJohnette, Mick Jagger (She's The Boss), and Richard Clayderman
April 17, 1945 ~ Anthony Crane, commonly known as singer, guitarist Tony Crane, born in Liverpool, UK ~ Co-founded the Merseybeats, best known for their 1963 UK top 10 hit I Think Of You. The follow-up singles Don't Turn Around and Wishin' & Hopin' would reach top 20. After the band folded in 1966 Crane and bandmate Billy Kinsley would record as the vocal duo the Merseys, scoring a UK top 10 hit with the McCoys-cover Sorrow
April 17, 1943 ~ Singer Bobby Curtola, full name Robert Allen Curtola, born in Port Arthur, Canada ~ Bobby of Bobby & the Bobcats. As a solo singer known for a string of 1960s Canadian hits, occasionally crossing the border into American charts, including Hitchhiker, The Fortuneteller, Aladdin, Indian Giver, As Long As I'm Sure Of You, Walking With My Angel, and others ~ Curtola passed away in 2016
April 17, 1942 ~ Charles Anthony Williams, commonly known as jazz bassist Buster Williams, born in Camden, New Jersey, USA ~ Worked with Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Sphere, Nancy Wilson, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Betty Carter, Sphere, the Mary Lou Williams Collective, Sarah Vaughan, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae, Roseanna Vitro, Helen Merrill, Nnenna Freelon, Jon Lucien, Champian Fulton, the Jazz Crusaders, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordon, Roy Ayers, Stanley Turrentine, Frank Foster, Illinois Jacquet, Mary Lou Williams, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Rowles, Steve Turre, Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Cecil Payne, Houston Person, Emily Remler, Red Rodney, Chet Baker, Woody Shaw, and others
April 17, 1940 ~ Ronald Wycherley, commonly known as singer, songwriter Billy Fury, was born in Liverpool, UK ~ Popular 1960s singer known for songs such as Colette, Halfway To Paradise, Jealousy, Last Night Was Made For Love, Once Upon A Dream, Like I've Never Been Gone, When Will You Say I Love You, In Summer and In Thoughts Of You, all of which reached the British top 10 ~ Wycherley passed away in 1983
April 17, 1938 ~ Claus Herwig, commonly known as singer Teddy Parker, born in Brno, Czechoslovakia ~ Enjoyed popularity in his adopted homeland Germany in the 1960s. Best known for songs such Musikanten Der Liebe and Abends In Madrid both duets with Leonie Brückner, and as a solo artist known for Nachtexpress Nach St Tropez which topped the German charts for three weeks ~ Herwig passed away in 2021
April 17, 1936 ~ Anthony J Belluci, commonly known as singer, accordionist Tony Bellus, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Best known for his 1959 self-penned Robbin' The Cradle. Bellus would continue to perform at nightclubs and restaurants well into the 1980s but would not repeat the chart succes of Robbin' The Cradle
April 17, 1934 ~ Producer, label executive Don Kirshner, full name Donald Clark Kirshner, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known for managing songwriting talent as well as a number of popular pop acts including the Monkees, Kansas, and the Archies. Along with partner Al Nevins co-owner of Aldon Music music publishers, which employed staff songwriters such as Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Phil Spector, Howard Greenfield, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Jack Keller, and others ~ Kirshner passed away in 2011
April 17, 1932 ~ Blues guitarist, singer Byther Smith, full name Byther Claude Earl John Smith, born in Monticello, Mississippi, USA ~ As a solo artist best known for a string of well-received 1980s albums. Active since the mid-1950s as a session and club performer, often besides his non-music day job. Has worked with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells and perhaps most notably with Otis Rush, regularly playing rhythm guitar in Rush's backing bands during the 1960s ~ Smith passed away in 2021
April 17, 1930 ~ Engineer, producer Al Schmitt, full name Albert Harry Schmitt, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Multiple Grammy Awards to his name over a career starting in the 1960s as an apprentice of Tom Dowd. Has engineered and or produced albums by Henry Mancini, Cal Tjader, Sam Cooke, Hot Tuna, the Jefferson Airplane (Volunteers), Glenn Yarbrough, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne (Late For The Sky), Neil Young (On The Beach), George Benson, Dr John, Frank Sinatra, Thelonious Monk, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Madonna, and Michael Jackson ~ Schmitt passed away in 2021
April 17, 1930 ~ Singer Alexander Graves born in Ohio, USA ~ Member of Harvey Fuqua's doo-wop outfit the Moonglows, best known for a string of 1950s Billboard R&B hits including Most Of All, We Go Together, See Saw, Please Send Me Someone To Love, and The Ten Commandments Of Love. Their best known, the original Sincerely co-written by Fuqua, would reach No.1 Billboard R&B and top 20 on the pop charts. It would notably be covered by the McGuire Sisters ~ Graves passed away in 2006
April 17, 1930 ~ Skiffle, ragtime, swing, blues, jazz bandleader, trombonist, double bassist Chris Barber, full name Donald Christopher Barber, born in Welwyn Garden, UK ~ Backed Lonnie Donegan on 1954's Rock Island Line, the single that launched Donegan's career. Best known for his 1956 recording of Sidney Bechet's Petite Fleur, which would sell over a million copies and reach top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. Arranged the first UK tours for American blues artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters. Pivotal to the development of 1960s British blues working with young talent such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall early on in their careers ~ Barber passed away in 2021
April 17, 1926 ~ Samuel Lee McCollum, commonly known as blues drummer Sam Carr, born in Marvell, Arkansas, USA ~ Best known as member of the Jelly Roll Kings. Also worked with T-Model Ford, Asie Payton, Robert Walker, Paul Wine Jones, Lonnie Shields, Sonny Boy Williamson II, David Honeyboy Edwards, Buddy Guy, the Delta Jukes, Dave Riley, and others ~ McCollum passed away in 2009
April 17, 1922 ~ Paul Thatcher Smith, commonly known as jazz, bebop pianist Paul Smith, born in San Diego, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Best known as accompanist, especially with Ella Fitzgerald. Has worked with Johnny Richards, Les Paul, Tommy Dorsey, Dizzy Gillespie, Anita O'Day, Buddy DeFranco, Louie Bellson, Steve Allen, Stan Kenton, Mel Tormé, and others ~ Smith passed away in 2013
April 17, 1917 ~ Ramó Santamaria Rodriguez, commonly known as percussionist, bandleader Mongo Santamaria, born in Havana, Cuba ~ Leading figure in the pachanga and boogaloo dance crazes of the 1960s. Would focus primarily on salsa and Latin jazz from the 1970s forward. Known for songs such as Para Ti and Watermelon Man, the latter written and originally recorded by Herbie Hancock ~ Santamaria passed away in 2003
April 17, 1882 ~ Classical pianist, composer Artur Schnabel born in Lipnik, Austria ~ Considered one of the most important pianists of the early 20th century. As a performer especially acclaimed as an interpreter of Ludwig van Beethoven and a champion of Franz Schubert. Founded the Schnabel Trio which also included Alfred Wittenberg and Anton Hekking ~ Schnabel passed away in 1951