This Day In Music: April 25
April 24 ~ Birthdays/All ~ April 26
April 25, 2023 ~ William Robert Emerson, commonly known as rock & roll, R&B singer, pianist Billy The Kid Emerson, passed away in Clearwater, Florida, USA ~ Best known for penning and first recording Red Hot, covered numerous times including by Bob Luman, Ronnie Hawkins, Brian Setzer and most notably in 1957 by Billy Lee Riley. Also known for first recording Every Woman I Know (Crazy About Automobiles), notably covered by Ry Cooder on the 1980 Borderline album. Emerson has worked with artists such as Earl Hooker, Lonnie Brooks, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and others. Songs written or co-written by Emerson have been recorded by Junior Wells, Willie Mabon, Wynonie Harris and by Buddy Guy ~ Emerson was born in 1925
April 25, 2023 ~ Harold George Bellanfanti Jr, commonly known as singer Harry Belafonte, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Influenced by Paul Robeson. Close friend and confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. Though he also sang blues, folk, pop, gospel and show tunes, Belafonte is dubbed “the King of Calypso” for his role in popularizing calypso. Critically acclaimed for the 1956 million-seller album Calypso, which spawned his biggest hit and signature song Day-O (Banana Boat Song), and his 1959 Belafonte At Carnegie Hall live album. Advocate for several political and humanitarian causes, including serving as the ACLU celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues. Starred in over two dozen films, notably Carmen Jones, Island In The Sun, and Odds Against Tomorrow ~ Bellanfanti was born in 1927
April 25, 2022 ~ Saxophonist, flutist Andrew Woolfolk, full name Andrew Paul Woolfolk II, passed away ~ Best known as longtime member of Earth Wind & Fire. Also guested on albums by Deniece Williams (Song Bird), Stanley Turrentine (Tender Togetherness), Phil Collins (Dance Into The Light), Twennynine (Best Of Friends), Philip Bailey (The Wonders Of Love), Level 42 (Standing In The Light), Valerie Carter (Just A Stones Throw Away), and Tracie Spencer (Tracie Spencer) ~ Woolfolk was born in 1950
April 25, 2022 ~ Singer, bassist, songwriter, film composer Henny Vrienten passed away ~ Rose to fame as co-lead singer of Doe Maar, joining the band in 1980. The band spearheaded a resurgence of Dutch pop music and is best known for songs such as Nederwiet, 32 Jaar (Sinds 1 Dag Of 2), Is Dit Alles, De Bom, Pa and 1 Nacht Alleen. After the band folded in 1984 Vrienten has recorded as a solo artist, duetted with Herman Brood (Als Je Wint), and composed for dozens of films (Left Luggage, Abeltje), as well as for TV (het Klokhuis, Sesamstraat) ~ Vrienten was born in 1948
April 25, 2022 ~ Country singer, songwriter Shane Yellowbird passed away in Calgary, Canada ~ Began singing while in speech therapy to treat his severe stuttering. Has released two albums before dying at age 42. His 2006 Life Is Calling My Name debut album would spawn the hits Pickup Truck and I Remember The Music, both of which would reach top 10 country in his native Canada. Bare Feet On The Blacktop, the lead single of his 2009 It's About Time sophomore album would also reach the top 10 ~ Yellowbird was born in 1979
April 25, 2022 ~ Susan Pesklevits, commonly known as pop, easy listening, country pop singer, songwriter Susan Jacks, passed away in Surrey, Canada ~ Rose to fame with the Poppy Family, a pop trio which also included Terry Jacks with whom she would be married from 1967 through 1973. The band is best known for their 1969 single Which Way You Going Billy, a top 10 hit across the globe including America and the UK. Following the band's disbandement in 1972, both Pesklevits and Jacks would record as solo artists, the pair on occasion guesting on eachother's solo outings. As a solo artist Pesklevits is best known for the singles You Don't Know What Love Is and I Thought Of You Again, both reaching the top 10 in her native Canada ~ Pesklevits was born in 1948
April 25, 2011 ~ Marion Elliott. commonly known as punk rock, downtempo singer, songwriter Poly Styrene, passed away in Sussex, UK ~ Fronted 1970s punk outfit X-Ray Spex, known for singles such as The Day The World Turned Day-glo, Identity and Germfree Adolescents. After the band disbanded she released a pop-jazzy solo debut album, 1980's Translucence, moving away from the loud punk guitars ~ Elliot was born in 1957
April 25, 2008 ~ Trumpeter, clarinetist Humphrey Lyttelton, full name Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton, passed away in London, UK ~ Pivotal figure in British jazz, first gaining attention in the mid-1950s with the crossover pop hit Bad Penny Blues. Would go on to become one of Britain's best known bandleaders, leading a variety of ensembles and helping launch the careers of numerous sidemen, notably Tony Coe and Alan Barnes. Lyttelton also recorded with visiting American jazz musicians including Al Casey, Buddy Tate, and Kenny Davern, and toured with Jimmy Rushing, Vic Dickenson, and Big Joe Turner. Lyttelton is also well known as a radio host, presenting the BBC Radio show The Best Of Jazz for some four decades, and as a cartoonist co-writing the Flook series in The Daily Mail ~ Lyttelton was born in 1921
April 25, 2002 ~ Singer Lisa Left-Eye Lopes passed away in La Ceiba, Honduras ~ Best known as one third of R&B girl group TLC, alongside Tionne T-Boz Watkins and Rozonda Chilli Thomas, producing landmark albums Ooooooohh On The TLC Tip, CrazySexyCool and FanMail and hit singles such as Baby Baby Baby, Waterfalls, Diggin' On You, No Scrubs, and Unpretty. Lopes also worked as a producer for girl group Blaque and as a solo artist scored a number of hits including Not Tonight, U Know What's Up and Never Be The Same Again, the latter a collaboration with the Spice Girls' Melanie C. ~ Lopes was born in 1971
April 25, 1999 ~ R&B, funk percussionist Larry Troutman and singer Roger Troutman pass away in an apparent murder-suicide ~ Members of Zapp, fronted by younger brother Roger, known for 1980s funk, R&B hits such as More Bounce To The Ounce, Dance Floor, I Can Make You Dance and Computer Love. Larry shot and killed his younger brother Roger in an apparent murder-suicide. The band would disband after the death of the two brothers ~ Larry was born in 1944, Roger in 1951
April 25, 1995 ~ Rapper Method Man releases I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By notably featuring Mary J Blige, lifted off his Tical debut album ~ The song is a remix of Method Man's own All I Need interpolated with You're All I Need To Get By, the latter originally a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit in 1968 for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. Prominently featuring Mary J Blige, Method Man's track would win the duo a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and reach top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic
April 25, 1993 ~ Harold Manfred Kirchstein, commonly known as classical, opera, jazz, traditional pop, pop composer, arranger, conductor, producer Henri René, passed away in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Perhaps best remembered for a string of mid-1950s albums, Music For Bachelors, For The Weaker Sex, Compulsion To Swing and Riot In Rhythm, regarded as forerunners of the space-age pop aesthetic ~ René was born in 1906
April 25, 1990 ~ Jazz, swing, bebop, hard bop saxophonist Dexter Gordon passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Considered one of the most influential early bebop artists, particularly influential on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Known for his humurous and communicative stage presence. Standing at 6 feet 6 inches tall, Gordon was sometimes referred to as “Long Tall Dexter” or “the Sophisticated Giant”. Early on in his career, played with the likes of Lionel Hampton, Billy Eckstine, and Dizzy Gillespie, prior to establishing himself as one of the premier leaders. As a leader or co-leader, Gordon has recorded well over 50 albums since the late 1940s, especially noted for albums such as Go, Body And Soul, and The Apartment. Gordon was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead role in the 1986 Round Midnight film, a fictionalized tale loosely inspired by the lives and careers of saxophonist Lester Young and pianist Bud Powell ~ Gordon was born in 1923
April 25, 1987 ~ Country singer, guitarist Ida Jenshus, full name Ida Gjølga Jenshus, born in Steinkjer, Norway ~ Recorded about half a dozen albums, starting with Color Of The Sun released in 2008. Its follow-up No Guarantees released as 2010, as well as her third studio album Someone To Love released in 2012 would both reach top 10 on the album charts in her native Norway
April 25, 1979 ~ Pop rock outfit the Doobie Brothers release their Minute By Minute single ~ Released as the second single off the band's Minute By Minute album, it would reach top 20 Billboard Hot 100. Critically well received, the general consent being that it is one of the songs that reflects the band's transformation to a pop-soul outfit with more emphasis for piano and keyboards than in earlier recordings. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award, but lost out to their own What A Fool Believes from the same album
April 25, 1977 ~ Pop singer, pianist, guitarist Constantinos Christoforou born in Limassol, Cyprus ~ Internationally best known for representing Cyprus three times at the Eurovision Songfestival. As a solo artist in 1996, reaching 9th place with Mon Yia Mas, and again in 2005, reaching 18th place with Ela Ela (Come Baby). And in 2002 as a member of boy band ONE, reaching 6th place with Gimme
April 25, 1977 ~ Thomas Elisabeth MacDonald, commonly known as rock, punk rock bassist Tommy Mac, born in Lahr, West Germany ~ Member of Hedley, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums since the mid-2000s, all of which reached top 10 in the band's native Canada. The band is best known for songs such as On My Own, For The Nights I Can't Remember, Never Too Late, and Cha-ching. MacDonald had previously worked with Jar, Flybanger, Everything After, and Loco
April 25, 1975 ~ Drummer, songwriter, film composer Alec Puro born in Santa Monica, California, USA ~ Formed industrial rock band Deadsy with guitarist Elijah Blue Allman and keyboardist Renn Hawkey in 1996. The band has opened for the likes of Linkin Park and the Stone Temple Pilots. Puro is perhaps best known as a composer for film and TV with over 40 film scores to his name including The Art Of Getting By, All-Nighter, and A Happening Of Monumental Proportions
April 25, 1974 ~ Mandolinist, singer Jeff Austin born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA ~ Member of the Bluegrassholes. Best known as co-founding member of progressive bluegrass outfit the Yonder Mountain String Band from 1998 through 2013. Austin has also recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with the likes of Chris Castino, Keller Williams, Keith Moseley, Brendan Bayliss, and others ~ Austin passed away in 2019
April 25, 1973 ~ Hard rock, heavy metal drummer Nicholas Barker born in Chesterfield, UK ~ Influenced by Rush's Neil Peart, Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, Slayer's Dave Lombardo, and Morbid Angel's Pete Sandoval. Original member of Cradle Of Filth, appearing on the band's first four albums. Member of Dimmu Borgir from 1999 through 2004. Barker has also worked with Brujeria, Atrocity, Leaves' Eyes, Gorgoroth, and God Seed
April 25, 1971 ~ Jazz saxophonist Trygve Seim born in Oslo, Norway ~ Co-founded Airamero, teaming up with pianist Christian Wallumrød and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen. Also worked with Jon Blake, Morten Halle, Torbjørn Sunde, 1300 Oslo, Anne-Lise Berntsen, Tore Augestad, Atle Sponberg, Trio Mediaeval, Mats Eilertsen, Jacob Young, Sinikka Langeland, Iro Haarlo, Arild Andersen, Manu Katché, and others
April 25, 1970 ~ Singer, songwriter Kjersti Stubø born in Narvik, Norway ~ Daughter of jazz guitarist Thorgeir Stubø. Mother of DJ, producer Mathias Stubø. Sister of guitarist Håvard Stubø and theater director Eirik Stubø. Member of Oofotr. Member of Kvitretten. Also worked with Vigleik Storsaas, Tore Brunborg, Odd Magne Gridseth, Ernst-Wiggo Sandbakk, Olaf Kamfjord, Per Oddvar Johansen, Jørn Øien, Magne Thormodsæter, Håkon Mjåset Johansen, Herbie Hancock, Minensemblet, Doug Raney, Bernt Rosengren, Ira Coleman, Doug Raney, Jesper Lundgaard, Palle Mikkelborg, Svein Olav Herstad, Daniel Franck, Jan Gunnar Hoff, Olga Konkova, Hallgeir Pedersen, Mimmi Hammar, Alex Acuña, Frode Nymo, and others
April 25, 1966 ~ Jazz pianist, singer, composer Karen Mantler born in New York, New York, USA ~ Daughter of pianist, singer Carla Bley and trumpeter Michael Mantler. Made her recording debut backing her mother on 1971's Escalator Over The Hill. Karen has since worked as leader and sidewoman working with artists such as Robert Wyatt, Steve Swallow, Motohiko Hino, Terry Adams, Robbie Dupree, Artie Traum, Peter Blegvad, John Greaves, Chris Cutler, Dagmar Krause, Annie Whitehead, Anton Fier (in Fier's the Golden Palominos), and with Tony Scherr
April 25, 1966 ~ Rock & roll, folk, Americana singer, guitarist, songwriter Tim Easton born in Lewiston, New York, USA ~ Member of the Haynes Boys, known for their sole album, 1996's The Haynes Boys. Released his solo debut, Special 20, in 1998 and has recorded consistently since backed by artists such as Jay Bennett, Mike Campbell, Jim Keltner, Jai Winding, Greg Leisz, Lucinda Williams, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and others
April 25, 1965 ~ Bassist Eric Avery, full name Eric Adam Avery, born in Santa Monica, California, USA ~ Best known as bassist, co-founding member of alternative rock band Jane's Addiction, remaining with the band through 1991 and rejoining on later occassions. Present on the band's pivotal first two albums, 1988's Nothing's Shocking and 1990's Ritual De Lo Habitual
April 25, 1965 ~ Singer, songwriter Rory Feek, full name Rory Lee Feek, born in Atchison, Kansas, USA ~ Half of country, bluegrass duo Joey & Rory, the other half being his wife Joey Feek, known for songs such as 2008's Cheater Cheater and 2012's When I'm Gone. The couple were married from 2002 until Joey's death in 2016. Feek is also an accomplished songwriter who wrote or co-wrote songs recorded by Collin Raye (Someone You Used To Know), Clay Walker (The Chain Of Love), Mark Wills, Kenny Chesney, Terri Clark, Randy Travis, Lorrie Morgan, Tracy Byrd (The Truth About Men), Blake Shelton (Some Beach), and others
April 25, 1964 ~ Andrew Ivan Bell, commonly known as singer Andy Bell, born in Peterborough, UK ~ Formed synth-pop duo Erasure with Vince Clarke. The band has sold over 20 million records, enjoying popularity especially from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, with openly gay lead singer Bell, known for his energetic and brazen performance, revered as an icon of the gay community. The band scored over two dozen top 20 hits in their native UK, with Sometimes, Victim Of Love, The Circus, Ship Of Fools, Stop, Drama, Blue Savannah, Chorus, Love To Hate You, and Breath Of Life all reaching the top 10. The singles Chains Of Love, A Little Respect, and Always would also do well in America, reaching top 20 Billboard Hot 100
April 25, 1962 ~ Producer, DJ Christian Falk born in Sweden ~ Member of Madhouse, founding member of post-punk outfit Imperiet. Best known as DJ, producer emerging in the early 1990s Swedish hip-hop, soul and club scene. Worked with Papa Dee, the Stonefunkers, Petter, Timbuktu, the Teddybears, Kayo. Internationally known for the 2008 hit Dream On featuring Robyn. his 2000 single Make It Right featuring Demetreus, and for producing the Neneh Cherry/Youssou n'Dour collaborative single 7 Seconds which topped the charts in several countries in 1994
April 25, 1962 ~ Jazz violinist, bandleader Eddie South, full name Edward Otha South, passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ South is considered one of the top pre-bop violinists. Child prodigy, studied classical music but turned to jazz as the classical world offered little career opportunities for African-American musicians. Toured Europe as early as the late 1920s, leading Eddie South's Alabamians. Employed sidemen such as Milt Hinton and Everett Barksdale, and recorded with the likes of Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, and Michel Warlop through the 1930s. In later years South would work for radio and TV, and perform around New York, New York, though he never became a household name. As a recording artist perhaps best remembered for The Distinguished Violin Of Eddie South, released in 1959 ~ South was born in 1904
April 25, 1962 ~ Trumpeter, conductor Ole Edvard Antonsen born in Norway ~ Actively recording since the late 1980s in various genres including classical music, chamber music, baroque, jazz and pop. Acclaimed for his 1992 Tour De Force album. As a conductor best known for his association with the Norwegian Air Force Band. Has worked with the English Chamber Orchestra, Wayne Marshall, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Solveig Kringlebotn, Willem Breuker, and others
April 25, 1961 ~ Drummer Carl Allen born ~ Worked with a wide array of artists including Freddie Green, Jackie McLean, George Coleman, Phil Woods, the Benny Green Trio, Rickie Lee Jones, Christian McBride, Rodney Whitaker, the Manhattan Project, the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars, Don Braden, Donald Brown, Donald Byrd, Cyrus Chestnut, Art Farmer, Dan Faulk, Ricky Ford, Benny Golson, Vincent Herring, Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Redman, Woody Shaw, Eliane Elias, and others. Formed his own group, the Art Of Elvin, in 2014 to pay tribute to master drummers and huge influences Art Blakey and Elvin Jones
April 25, 1954 ~ Bass singer Jabulani Dubazana born in Ladysmith, South Africa ~ Member of Sout African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, remaining with the band from 1976 through 2005. The group is internationally best known for backing Paul Simon on his acclaimed 1986 Graceland album
April 25, 1954 ~ Robert Crosby Hoar, commonly known as country singer, guitarist, songwriter Rob Crosby born in Sumter, South Carolina, USA ~ As a singer known for the singles Love Will Bring Her Around, She's A Natural and Still Burnin' For You, all of which reached top 20 Billboard Country and all taken of his 1990 Solid Ground debut album. Also known as an in-demand songwriter, writing or co-writing songs for Luke Combs, Eric Paslay (Friday Night), Lady Antebellum, Paul Simon, the Common Linnets (Calm After The Storm), Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride (Concrete Angel), Restless Heart, Blackhawk, Darryl Worley, Andy Griggs (She's More), Boy Howdy, Ty Herndon, Don Williams, Lee Greenwood (Holdin' A Good Hand), Ilse de Lange, Trace Adkins, Lee Brice, and others
April 25, 1952 ~ Singer, arranger Cory Daye born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Member of Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, lead vocalist on the band's Cherchez La Femme Billboard Hot 100 top 30 hit taken of their 1976 eponymous Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band debut album. Day has also worked with Kid Creole & the Coconuts
April 25, 1952 ~ Pianist, composer Ketil Bjørnstad born in Oslo, Norway ~ Classically trained, ventured into third stream, chamber jazz, folk jazz and new age. Drew comparisons to Leonard Cohen. Recorded prolifically since the earl 1970s with over 50 albums to his name. Best known for his 1978 Leve Patagonia album featuring Cornelis Vreeswijk and Lill Lindfors. Has also collaborated with artists such as Randi Stene, Frøydis Armand, Svante Henryson, David Darling, Jon Christensen, Terje Rypdal, Anneli Drecker, Ole Paus, Palle Danielsson, and others. Also known as an author with numerous poems and novels published
April 25, 1951 ~ Alejandro Zuker, commonly known as bassist, songwriter Alex Zuker, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina ~ Honed his skills working with the likes of Pedro y Pablo and Mahatma before finishing college. Best known for co-founding tango fusion band ALAS with Gustavo Moretto and Carlos Riganti, with whom he toured extensively throughout Latin America. Has also worked with the likes of Edgar Winter, Steve Katz, Miguel Cantilo, Nito Mestre, and Los Iracundos
April 25, 1950 ~ Drummer, percussionist, songwriter Steve Ferrone born in Brigton, UK ~ Member of funk, pop, R&B outfit the Average White Band from 1974 to 1983, including on the acclaimed 1975 album Cut The Cake. Member of Tom Petty's backing unit the Heartbreakers from 1994 to 2017, replacing original drummer Stan Lynch. Has also worked with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Duran Duran, Stevie Nicks, Laura Pausini, Christine McVie, Rick James, Slash, Chaka Khan, the Bee Gees, Scritti Politti, Aerosmith, Al Jarreau, Johnny Cash, and others
April 25, 1949 ~ Rock, jazz bassist John Mole born in Stratford, UK ~ Member of Colosseum II. Member of jazz-funk outfit Morrissey-Mullen, known for the call-and-response interaction between saxophonist Dick Morrisey and guitarist Jim Mullen. Has also worked with Gary Moore, Don Airey, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Dankworth, and was first-call bassist for Andrew Lloyd Webber, the latter employing him for musicals such as Cats and Starlight Express during the 1980s and 1990s ~ Mole passed away in 2006
April 25, 1946 ~ Richard John Charles Fairweather, commonly known as jazz cornetist, author Digby Fairweather, born in Essex, UK ~ Leader and sideman. Influenced by Louis Armstrong, Ruby Braff, Billy Butterfield, Red Nichols and particularly Nat Gonella. Led 1970s ensemble Dig's Half Dozen. Has subsequently worked with Alex Welsh, Velvet, the Midnite Follies Orchestra, the Pizza Express All-Stars, George Chisholm, Tiny Winters, Brian Priestley, the Jazz Superkings, and others
April 25, 1945 ~ Guitarist, singer, songwriter Björn Ulvaeus, full name Björn Kristian Ulvaeus, born in Gothenburg, Sweden ~ Key member and along with Benny Anderson primary songwriter of ABBA, known for Ring Ring, the 1974 Eurovision Songfestival-winner Waterloo, SOS, Mamma Mia, Fernando, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me Knowing You, Take A Chance On Me, and others
April 25, 1945 ~ Rock, progressive rock singer, keyboardist Dave Lawson born in Alton, UK ~ Member of Greenslade during the 1970s, known for their dual keyboards line-up and acclaimed for their eponymous 1973 Greenslade album. Following the band's disbandement in 1976 Lawson went on to join Stackridge, present on the Mr Mick, and worked as a session and touring musician. Also well known for his contributions to numerous soundtracks, including working with composers such as John Williams, George Fenton, Trevor Jones. Soundtrack credits include Star Wars, Superman, and The Fury
April 25, 1945 ~ Stuart Alden Cook, commonly known as rock bassist Stu Cook, born in Oakland, California, USA ~ Member of pivotal 1960s rock, roots rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, best known for songs such as Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son and Tombstone Shadow. Post-Creedence Cook would work with Roky Erickson, country-rock band Southern Pacific, Tom Fogerty, Doug Sahm, Sir Douglas Quintet, and others
April 25, 1943 ~ Anthony Fitzgerald, commonly known as singer, actor Tony Christie, born in Conisbrough, UK ~ Best known for a number of early 1970s UK hits including Las Vegas, I Did What I Did For Maria and perhaps his best-known Is This The Way To Amarillo. A 2005 remake of the latter, now featuring Peter Kay, would top the charts in both the UK and Ireland
April 25, 1942 ~ Composer Martin Dalby born in Aberdeen, UK ~ Organist of St Machar's Cathedral in Aberdeen. Best known for his roles with BBC Radio, initially serving as producer for BBC's Music Programme from 1965 forward and promoted to Head of Music at BBC Scotland in 1972. As a composer wrote for orchestra, chamber music, choral music, choir music, brass and wind ensembles, and for film, radio and TV. Well known compositions include his Viola Concerto, The Mary Bean commissioned by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and The White Maa written for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra ~ Dalby passed away in 2018
April 25, 1941 ~ Drummer Christopher Augustine born in New York, New York, USA ~ Member of sunshine pop band Every Mothers Son, known for their sole hit Come On Down To My Boat which reached Billboard top 10 in 1967. The band would subsequently release a handful of follow-ups including Put Your Mind At Ease and The Pony With The Golden Mane, but would prove unable to replicate the success of their debut single
April 25, 1933 ~ Songwriter Jerry Leiber born ~ Noted songwriter, producer, often collaborating with Mike Stoller. Together the pair wrote hits for Big Mama Thornton (Hound Dog), the Coasters (Young Blood, Yakety Yak), Wilbert Harrison (Kansas City), the Drifters (There Goes My Baby), and Elvis Presley (Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Loving You). Other artists who recorded Leiber's songs include Peggy Lee, Charles Brown, the Robins, Ben E King, Jay & the Americans, the Exciters, the Clovers, the Dixie Cups, the Shangri-Las, Stealers Wheel, Elkie Brooks, Little Willie Littlefield, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Perry Como, the Clovers, Lavern Baker, Damita Jo, Chuck Jackson, Hank Snow, Brook Benton, and others ~ Leiber passed away in 2011
April 25, 1928 ~ Fiddler Vassar Clements, full name Vassar Carlton Clements, born in Kinard, Florida, USA ~ Dubbed “the Father of Hillbilly Jazz,” drawing from swing, jazz, bluegrass, and country. Besides fiddle also masters the cello, double bass, mandolin, banjo, and guitar. Backed Bill Monroe from the late 1940s through the mid-1950s. Would go on to work with the likes of Jim & Jesse, Flatt & Scruggs, and Faron Young. Notably present on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's seminal 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album. Has also worked with the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Old & In The Way, Linda Ronstadt, and Paul McCartney. In total Clements has appeared on over an estimated 200 albums ~ Clements passed away in 2005
April 25, 1928 ~ Jazz tenor saxophonist Willis Jackson born in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Cites Lester Young and Illinois Jacquet as main influences. Joined Cootie Williams's band in 1949 after being discovered by Eddie Cleanhead Vinson. Worked as a session musician during the 1950s, mostly R&B and jazz. Toured as leader of backing band of Ruth Brown, whom he married. In 1959 signed to Prestige Records where he put out a string of jazz albums which proved to be highly influential on the soul jazz movement. Served as a mentor for Jack McDuff and Pat Martino early in their careers. Ska innovator Prince Buster named Later For The Gator as one of the first ska songs. Jackson continued to record into the 1980s ~ Jackson passed away in 1987
April 25, 1923 ~ Albert Nelson, commonly known as guitarist Albert King, born in Indianola, Mississippi, USA ~ Considered one of the three “Kings of the Blues”, the other two being BB King and Freddie King. Lovingly dubbed “the Velvet Bulldozer” for his smooth singing and posture. Best known for his critically acclaimed and highly influential 1967 album Born Under A Bad Sign ~ Nelson passed away in 1992
April 25, 1920 ~ Label executive Esther Gordy Edwards born ~ Sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. Served as staff member and associate of her younger brother. Dubbed “the Mother of Motown” for taking on a motherly role towards some of the label's younger acts. Founder and director of the Motown Historical Museum, ~ Gordy passed away in 2011
April 25, 1919 ~ Musical director, composer, arranger Brian Fahey born in Margate, UK ~ Best known for composing At The Sign Of The Swinging Cymbal, the signature tune of Alan Freeman's Pick Of The Pops radion show on BBC Radio 1. Composed for film. Principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra from 1972 to its disbandement in 1981. Served as musical director for Shirley Bassey ~ Fahey passed away in 2007
April 25, 1917 ~ Jazz, swing, bebop, blues singer Ella Fitzgerald, full name Ella Jane Fitzgerald born in Newport News, Virginia, USA ~ Often referred to as “the First Lady of Song” and praised for her vocal abilities, particularly in her scat singing. Rose to fame in the 1930s working with bandleader Chick Webb and his orchestra. After Webb's death in 1939 Fitzgerald initially took over the band to set out on a hugely successful solo career soon afterwards. Noted for her collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, the Ink Spots. Known for songs such as My Melancholy Baby, Goodnight My Love, A-Tisket A-Tasket, I Want The Waiter (With The Water), I'm Making Believe, Baby It's Cold Outside, and others ~ Fitzgerald passed away in 1996
April 25, 1915 ~ Fiddler, bandleader Cliff Bruner, full name Clifton Lafayette Bruner, born in Texas City, Texas, USA ~ Popular Western swing bandleader of the 1930s and 1940s, merging elements of traditional music, blues, folk, jazz and country. Best known for songs such as It Makes No Difference Now, Sorry, Kelly Swing, I'll Keep On Loving You, When You're Smiling and perhaps his best-known Truck Driver's Blues. Many of Bruner's recordings would feature a then-unknown and future piano star Moon Mullican on vocals ~ Bruner passed away in 2000
April 25, 1914 ~ Sidney Keith Rosenthal, commonly known as songwriter, lyricist Bob Russell, born in Passaic, New Jersey, USA ~ Perhaps best known for co-writing I Didn't Know About You first recorded by Woody Herman, and Crazy He Calls Me first recorded by Billie Holiday. Others who recorded his songs include Jimmy Dorsey, Ray McKinley, Nat King Cole (Blue Gardenia), Kay Starr, and June Christy ~ Rosenthal passed away in 1970
April 25, 1913 ~ Jazz, R&B saxophonist Earl Bostic, full name Eugene Earl Bostic, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA ~ Pioneer of post-war R&B. Major influence on John Coltrane. Known for songs such as Flamingo, Harlem Nocturne, Temptation, Sleep, You Go To My Head, Cherokee, Special Delivery Stomp and Where Or When. Bostic has worked with sidemen such as Keter Betts, Jaki Byard, Benny Carter, Teddy Edwards, Benny Golson, Blue Mitchell, Tony Scott, Cliff Smalls, Stanley Turrentine, and others ~ Bostic passed away in 1965
April 25, 1904 ~ Jazz, swing, dixieland singer, banjoist, guitarist Huey Long born in Sealy, Texas, USA ~ Active since the mid-1920s. Worked with the Louisiana Jazz Band Houston, Texas Guinan, Lil' Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson. Briefly a member of renowned vocal group the Ink Spots, replacing Bernie Mackey and remaining with the band for about 9 months in 1945. Long would later be involved with several Spots tribute bands during the 1960s before retiring from music ~ Long passed away in 2009