This Day In Music: April 7
April 6 ~ Birthdays/All ~ April 8
April 7, 2024 ~ Clarence Henry II, commonly known as R&B singer Clarence Frogman Henry passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Started learning piano as a child, with Fats Domino and Professor Longhair as main influences. Known for his trademark croak, earning him the nickname “frogman”. Scored several late 1950s, early 1960s R&B hits, notably Ain't Got No Home, You Always Hurt The One You Love and perhaps his best-known (I Don't Know Why I Love You) But I Do, the latter reaching top 10 on both the Billboard R&B and all-genre Billboard Hot 100 charts ~ Henry was born in 1937
April 7, 2023 ~ John Bairnson, commonly known as bassist, guitarist Ian Bairnson, passed away ~ Member of 1970s outfit Pilot, known for their 1974 Magic single. Also closely associated with the Alan Parsons Project, working with Alan Parsons for over two decades starting in the mid-1970s and noted for his guitar solo on I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You. Appeared on Kate Bush's first four albums including the guitar solo on Wuthering Heights of Bush's The Kick Inside debut album. Co-wrote If You Can't Stand The Heat and Run For Your Life both recorded by Bucks Fizz. Has also worked with Yvonne Keeley, Joe Cocker, Jon Anderson, Chris De Burgh, Mick Fleetwood, Neil Diamond, and others ~ Bairnson was born in 1953
April 7, 2023 ~ Bassist John Regan passed away ~ Perhaps best known for his association with Ace Frehley, notably on the 1987 Frehley's Comet album, and for backing Peter Frampton from 1979 through 2011. Also present on albums by the likes of Chip Taylor, Billy Idol (Whiplash Smile), John Waite, David Bowie, Robin Trower, and Jamie Oldaker ~ Regan was born in 1951
April 7, 2023 ~ Edward Jordan, commonly known as jazz saxophonist, clarinetist Kidd Jordan, passed away ~ Active since the mid-1950s, backing blues and R&B artists such as Guitar Slim, Ray Charles, Big Maybelle, and Choker Campbell. Would go on to work with a wide array of artists in genres ranging from avant-garde to pop and rock, including William Parker, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Stevie Wonder, and Cecil Taylor. Later on in his career has also recorded as a leader or co-leader, noted for his 2006 Palm Of Soul album. To rock audiences perhaps best known for appearing on the REM-album Out Of Time released in 1991 ~ Jordan was born in 1935
April 7, 2023 ~ Lars-Ove Wellander, commonly known as pop rock guitarist Lasse Wellander, passed away in Overgrans, Sweden ~ In-demand session and touring musician active since the late 1960s. Internationally best known for his longtime association with ABBA, present on over half a dozen of the band's albums. Especially noted for his guitar play on the Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit Does Your Mother Know of their 1979 Voulez-Vous album. Wellander has also recorded as a solo artist and worked with the likes of Nature, Pugh Rogefeldt, Zkiffz, the Stockholm All-Stars, the Low Budget Blues Band, and others ~ Wellander was born in 1952
April 7, 2022 ~ Conductor, clarinetist, arranger, composer Christopher Ball passed away in Denville Hall, UK ~ Started his career as clarinetist for the Hallé Orchestra. As a conductor associated with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Ballet. Founded and directed the early music ensemble the Praetorius Consort, known for Medieval Paris (Music Of The City). Ball is also known for forming the London Baroque Trio with harpsichordist Mary Verney and bass violist Peter Vell ~ Ball was born in 1936
April 7, 2020 ~ Traditional jazz banjoist, bandleader Eddy Davis, full name Eddy Ray Davis, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with filmmaker, comedian, clarinetist Woody Allen, who played in Davis's the New Orleans Jazz Band starting in the 1960s. Davis has also appeared in several of Allen's movies. Admired by peers Davis appears on dozens of albums starting in the late 1950s, including recordings by Leon Redbone, Turk Murphy, Doc Cheatham, Frank Vignola, and others ~ Davis was born in 1940
April 7, 2020 ~ Country-folk, progressive country singer, guitarist, songwriter John Prine, full name John Edward Prine, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Discovered by Kris Kristofferson. Prine became an important figure in the Chicago folk revival, with well over a dozen album to his name, and is generally regarded as one of the most influentual songwriters of his generation, known for his dry wit and social commentary. . Well-known songs include Illegal Smile, The Great Compromise, Dear Abby, Saigon, and The 20th Century Is Almost Over. Prine is held in the highest regards by artists such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Kacey Musgraves, and Bonnie Raitt, the latter notably covering his Angel From Montgomery ~ Prine was born in 1946
April 7, 2018 ~ Singer Ruti Olajugbagbe wins The Voice UK ~ Olajugbagbe wins the 7th season of talent show The Voice UK aired on ITV, beating fellow finalists Donel Mangena, Belle Voci and Lauren Bannon. Following her success on the show, Olajubagbe released her Dreams debut single which reached top 20 in the UK. Several singles and EP's followed, yet despite some encouraging critical reception she would be unable to repeat her earlier success
April 7, 2016 ~ Country singer Trent Harmon wins the 15th season of American Idol, the last season aired on Fox ~ Country singer Trent Harmon beats singer, songwriter La'Porsha Renae in the finale of talent show American Idol. Harmon's eponymous Trent Harmon debut EP released later the same year, spawned the Billboard Country top 30 singles Falling and There's A Girl. A full-length album, You Got 'Em All, followed in 2018 and reached top 40 Billboard Country
April 7, 2014 ~ Pop, folk pop, soft rock singer, guitarist Ed Sheeran releases Sing, lifted off his × (Multiply) sophomore album ~ Written by Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, the latter also serving as producer. The single would reach No.1 in Ireland and his native UK, a first in both countries. Upon its release the song received universal acclaim, several noting a shift in style fitting in with the times, while The Guardian stated that “while Pharrell's influence is writ large, there's enough of Sheeran to prevent it coming across as horrible pastiche”
April 7, 2014 ~ Operatic bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk, full name John Stanton Shirley-Quirk, passed away in Bath, UK ~ Member of the Purcell Singers. Closely associated with composer Benjamin Britten, who wrote several roles especially for him. Notable performances include roles in Britten's Curlew River, Canticle IV (Journey Of The Magi), and Death In Venice. Has worked with the English Opera Group, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Scottish Opera ~ Shirley-Quirk was born in 1931
April 7, 2002 ~ Jacoba Adriana Hollestelle, commonly known as pop singer Conny Vandenbos, passed away in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Best known for songs such as Ik Ben Gelukkig Zonder Jou, Paleis Met De Gouden Muren, Sjakie Van De Hoek and perhaps her best-known Een Roosje Mijn Roosje ~ Hollestelle was born in 1937
April 7, 2000 ~ Alexander Woods, commonly known as rapper Big Scarr, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Influenced by Kodak Black and Boosie Badazz. Best known for Solcy Boyz and its follow-up Solcy Boyz 2, both songs featuring Pooh Shiesty and Foogiano with the latter also featuring Tay Keith. Released his Big Grim Reaper debut mixtape in 2021 ~ Woods passed away in 2022
April 7, 2000 ~ Heinz Burt, mononymously known as bassist, singer Heinz, passed away in Eastleigh, UK ~ Protégé of producer, engineer Joe Meek who would style his image. Member of the Tornados, known for their instrumental hit Telstar. As a solo artist best known for Just Like Eddie, a tribute to Heinz's biggest influence Eddie Cochran produced by Meek ~ Burt was born in 1942
April 7, 1994 ~ Lee John Collinson, commonly known as rock, pub rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Lee Brilleaux passed away in London, UK ~ Helped found Stiff Records in 1976 with a loan of £500. Co-founded Dr Feelgood with Wilko Johnson in 1971, known best for their 1979 UK top 10 hit Milk And Alcohol, serving as the band's lead singer, occasional guitarist and sole constant member, his last performance just months before his death ~ Collinson was born in 1952
April 7, 1992 ~ Singer, actress Alexis Jordan born in Columbia, South Carolina, USA ~ Contestant on the 1st season of talent show America's Got Talent in 2006 at age 14. Even though she was eliminated from the show subsequent Youtube uploads would garner enough views to draw attention form the production team Stargate and rapper Jay-Z who would sign her to their StarRoc label. Jordan's 2010 debut single Happiness would reach top 10 across Europe, including No.1 positions in the Netherlands and Norway. A full-length eponymous Alexis Jordan debut album would be released the next year
April 7, 1991 ~ Singer Anne-Marie Nicholson, mononymously known simply as Anne-Marie, born in Essex, UK ~ First gained attention appearing as featured vocalist on songs such as Clean Bandit's 2016 hit Rockabye. Released her full-length Speak Your Mind in 2018, spawning the UK top 20 hits Alarm and Ciao Adios. Also known for subsequent hit recordings such as Friends featuring Marshmello, 2002, Rewrite The Stars featuring James Arthur, and Don't Play featuring KSI and Digital Farm Animals
April 7, 1991 ~ Label executive Henry Glover, full name Henry Bernard Glover, passed away in St ALbans, New York, USA ~ Gained eminence in the late-1940s to become one of the music industry's most successful black executives. Producer, arranger, songwriter, engineer, trumpeter, talen scout, A&R executive. Closely associated with the King label, playing a pivotal role in its development. Also worked for Roulette and RCO Productions labels. Worked with a host of artists from country, R&B, pop, rock and jazz, including the Delmore Brothers (co-wrote Blues Stay Away From Me), Ronnie Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican, Grandpa Jones, the York Brothers, Bull Moose Jackson, Tiny Bradshaw, Bill Doggett, Wynonie Harris, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Little Willie John, James Brown, Swallows, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Sonny Stitt, Ronnie Hawkins, Joey Dee & the Starliters (including co-writing their No.1 hit The Peppermint Twist (Part I)), Larry Dale, Titus Turner, Paul Butterfield, Garth Hudson, and others ~ Glover was born in 1921
April 7, 1989 ~ String player, singer Clyde Moody passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Dubbed “the Hillbilly Waltz King” and generally regarded as one of the pioneers of Bluegrass. Active since the late 1930s, starting out as a member of JE Mainer's Mountaineers. Has also worked with Bill Monroe's the Blue Grass Boys, notably present on songs such as Cryin' Holy Unto My Lord, Mule Skinner Blues and Dog House Blues. Has also worked with Brown's Ferry Four and sang with Elvis Presley on a 1955 six-week tour ~ Moody was born in 1915
April 7, 1985 ~ British pop group Wham become the first Western pop group to play in China when they perform at the Worker's Gymnasium, Beijing, China ~ In 1981, Jean-Michel Jarre had already played in China. Four years later, the pop duo Wham become the first Western pop group to play the country, embarking on a 10-day tour starting in Beijing. Footage from the trip would be used for their video to Freedom. It would be nearly a decade before the next Western pop act visited the country, Roxette playing in Beijing in early 1995 during the country's New Year's celebrations
April 7, 1984 ~ R&B, pop singer Yonah Higgins, full name Yonah Mawusi Higgins, born in Birmingham, UK ~ Formed the sibling outfit Cleopatra with Zainam Higgins and lead singer Cleo Higgins. The band's 1998 debut album Comin' Atcha would include the UK top 10 singles Cleopatra's Theme, Life Ain't Easy, and the the Jackson 5-cover I Want You Back. They would release their follow-up album, Steppin' Out, in 2000 but fail to repeat their earlier succes
April 7, 1982 ~ Pop, R&B singer Kelli Young born in Derby, UK ~ Lead singer of pop group Liberty X from 2001 until its disbandement in 2007. The band was comprised of the five finalists of ITV talent show Popstars and scored the UK top 10 hits Thinking It Over, Just A Little, Got To Have Your Love, Holding On For You, Being Nobody featuring Richard X, Song 4 Lovers, and A Night To Remember
April 7, 1981 ~ Zydeco accordionist, singer Chris Ardoin born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA ~ Helped shape nouveau zydeco, injecting elements of hip-hop, reggae and R&B into traditional zydeco. Formed Double Clutchin' with his elder brother drummer Sean Ardoin, debuting with the That's Da Lick album in 1994. The band was renamed to NuStep in the early 2000s and is still fronted by Chris
April 7, 1978 ~ Singer, songwriter Duncan James ~ Member of boy band Blue, known best for a string of early 2000s hits. The band's first three albums all topped the UK albums charts. Well known songs include Too Close, If You Come Back and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word featuring Elton John. The band disbanded in 2005 but has reunited since and represented England at the 2011 Eurovision Songfestival with the song I Can which reached 11th place
April 7, 1976 ~ James Emory Garrison, commonly known as jazz bassist Jimmy Garrison, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Perhaps best known for backing John Coltrane from the early 1960s until Coltrane's death in 1967, including on seminal albums such as My Favorite Things, Impressions, Live At Birdland, and A Love Supreme. Has also appeared on albums by the likes of Kenny Dorham, Philly Joe Jones, Tony Scott (Golden Moments), Lee Konitz (Live At The Half Note), JR Monterose, Eric Dolphy (Outward Bound), Cal Massey, Ted Curson, Ornette Coleman (The Art Of The Improvisers), Sonny Rollins, Alice Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Archie Shepp (Attica Blues), and Beaver Harris ~ Garrison was born in 1934
April 7, 1975 ~ Electropop, ambient, trip hop singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Karin Dreijer born in Gothenburg, Sweden ~ Formed the duo the Knife with her brother Olof Dreijer, best known for Heartbeats of their sophomore Deep Cuts album released in 2003. Recorded as a solo artist, going by the moniker Fever Ray, noted for her 2008 If I Had A Heart single which was used in TV series such as Person Of Interest, Breaking Bad and Wentworth. Dreijer also guested on Röyksopp's What Else Is There of their 2005 The Understanding album
April 7, 1972 ~ Nelson Diaz Martinez, commonly known as reggaeton DJ, producer DJ Nelson, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Member of loose club-centered collective the Noise. Helpful in developing and popularizing reggaeton. Has worked with Don Chezina, Ivy Queen, Francisco Saldaña, Victor Cabrera, Noriega. Released his solo debut album, The Flow, in 2007. Perhaps best known for producing Pasarela featuring Dálmata, released in 2007
April 7, 1971 ~ Pop rock sibling outfit the Bee Gees record Don't Wanna Live Inside Myself at IBC Studios, London, UK ~ Written by Barry Gibb. Produced by the band and manager Robert Stigwood. Included on the Trafalgar album. Released as a single in October 1971, b/w Walking Back To Waterloo. Despite a warm critical reception the single would chart poorly, especially compared to their previous single How Can You Mend A Broken Heart which was a smash hit in several countries
April 7, 1965 ~ Gypsy jazz, swing, jazz fusion guitarist Sylvain Luc born in Bayonne, France ~ Praised for his fingerstyle playing technique. About a dozen albums to his name as a leader or solo artist since the early 1990s, especially noted for the 2002 album Trio Sud featuring regular collaborators bassist Jean-Marc Jafet and drummer André Ceccarelli, and Solo Ambre released in 2005. An in-demand sideman, Luc has guested on albums by Patrick Bruel, Françoise Hardy, Charles Aznavour, Lokua Kanza, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Richard Bona, Vincent Peirani, and Juan Carmona ~ Luc passed away in 2024
April 7, 1965 ~ Guitarist, bassist Victor Krummenacher born in Riverside, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of Camper Van Beethoven, as well as offshoots Monks of Doom and Third Mind. Has recorded close to a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with Out In The Heat released in 1995. Recorded half a dozen albums with Eugene Chadbourne and appears on recordings by the Wrestling Worms, Jonathan Segel, Dent, and Greg Lisher
April 7, 1964 ~ Singer Mark Kibble born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of a capella gospel quartet Take 6, known for integrating jazz with spiritual and inspirational music. The band has collaborated with Ray Charles, Gordon Goodwin, Don Henley, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifah, the Manhattan Transfer, Johnny Mathis, CeCe Winans, Stevie Wonder, and numerous others
April 7, 1962 ~ Pedal steel guitarist Robby Turner born ~ Best known for his close association with Waylon Jennings. Also worked with George Jones, Chet Atkins, Loretta Lynn, BB King, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, the Highwaymen, Toy Caldwell, Gin Blossoms, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jeff Foxworthy, Jim Lauderdale, Travis Tritt, Kieran McGee, John Prine, Tanya Tucker, Chely Wright, David Ball, Matt King, Deryl Dodd, Sara Evans, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Robison, Mark Chesnutt, Pam Tillis, the Dixie Chicks, Gary Allan, Rodney Carrington, Claudia Church, Shooter Jennings, Tony Joe White, Steve Forbert, the Wrights, the Oak Ridge Boys, Whiskey Myers, the Burns Sisters, Colter Wall, and others
April 7, 1960 ~ Violinist, electric violinist Tracy Silverman born in Peekskill, New York, USA ~ First gained attention in the mid-1990s as a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet. As a leader or co-leader recorded over half a dozen albums, notably Trip To The Sun released in 1999. Has appeared on albums by Tony Trischka, Sunita Staneslow, Marc Puricelli, Bobby Vega, David Tanenbaum, Jim Brickman, Darol Anger, Garrison Keillor, and Eclectica
April 7, 1958 ~ Singer Wanda Jackson records Let's Have A Party in Hollywood, California ~ Written by Jessie Mae Robinson. Produced by Ken Nelson. Released as a single, paired with Cool Love on the flip side, in June 1960. Previously recorded by Elvis Presley for the movie Loving You. Later performed by Led Zeppelin and T.Rex during their live sets, and included on their albums by glam rockers Mud and rock & rollers Dr Feelgood
April 7, 1951 ~ Jazz, hard bop saxophonist Bob Berg, full name Robert Berg, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Closely associated with Horace Silver and Cedar Walton in the 1970s, and Miles Davis for most of the 1980s. Recorded about a dozen albums as a leader, notably New Birth released in 1978. An in-demand sideman, valued for his expressive style, Berg has guested on albums by Idris Muhammad (House Of The Rising Sun), Tom Harrell, Sam Jones (Something In Common), Kenny Drew, Billy Higgins (Soweto), the Players Association (We Got The Groove), Mike Wofford, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker (Live At Sweet Basil), Doug Munro, Chroma, Barbara Dennerlein, Joe Chambers (Phantom Of The City), Chick Corea, Marc Copland (Stompin' With Savoy), and Larry Coryell ~ Berg passed away in 2002
April 7, 1951 ~ Drummer Bruce Gary born in Burbank, California, USA ~ Perhaps best known as member of the Knack, including on the hit My Sharona. Has also workled with Albert Collins, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Bang, Harry Nilsson, Sheryl Crow, Albert King, John Lee Hooker, and others ~ Gary passed away in 2006
April 7, 1951 ~ Janis Eddy Fink, commonly known as folk-pop, soft rock singer, songwriter Janis Ian born in New York, New York, USA ~ Influenced by folk pioneers such as Joan Baez and Odetta. Wrote and first recorded her debut single, Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking), at age 14. It became a Billboard top 20 hit in 1967 upon its second re-release in 1967. Best known for her single At Seventeen, a Billboard top 10 hit in 1975
April 7, 1951 ~ Country drummer, singer John Dittrich born in Union, New Jersey, USA ~ Co-founding, longtime member of Restless Heart, best known for a string of 1980s country hits That Rock Won't Roll, I'll Still Be Loving You, Why Does It Have To Be (Wrong Or Right), The Bluest Eyes In Texas and A Tender Lie
April 7, 1949 ~ Eddie Wilbur Rich, commonly known as rock, blues, R&B bassist, guitarist, singer Billy Rich, born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA ~ Best known for backing Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and especially Taj Mahal. Also worked with 7 Wonders Combo, the Whispers, John McLaughlin, Paul Butterfield's 1970s band Better Days, and with Geoff Muldaur
April 7, 1949 ~ Tyrone Garfield Kersey, commonly known as keyboardist, arranger, producer, songwriter Ron Kersey, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Member of the Trammps, co-wrote their smash hit Disco Inferno. Also worked with MFSB, the Salsoul Orchestra, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, the O'Jays, and others. Produced Stephanie Mills's I Have Learned To Respect The Power Of Love. Co-wrote Stacy Lattisaw's Every Drop Of Your Love, co-wrote Evelyn Champagne King's Send For Me ~ Kersey passed away in 2005
April 7, 1948 ~ Carol Strickland, commonly known as disco singer Carol Douglas, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known for her recording Doctor's Orders, a pioneering disco hit which reached the Billboard top 20 in 1974. Subsequent singles throughout the 1970s, such as Midnight Love Affair, Night Fever and Burnin', would reach the higher echelons of the dance charts
April 7, 1948 ~ Drummer Dallas Taylor, full name Dallas Woodrow Taylor Jr, born in Denver, Colorado, USA ~ Member of late 1960s psychedelic rock band Clear Light. Best known for appearing on Crosby Stills & Nash's 1969 eponymous Crosby Stills & Nash debut album and its follow-up acclaimed 1970 landmark Déjà Vu album. Has also worked with Stephen Stills, including in Manassas, guested on the Byrds' 1973 The Byrds reunion album, played with Van Morrison at the 1974 Montreux Festival, and toured with Paul Butterfield ~ Taylor passed away in 2015
April 7, 1948 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter John Oates born in New York, New York, USA ~ Half of Hall & Oates, the other half being Daryl Hall, known for hits such as Rich Girl, Kiss On My List, Private Eyes, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do), Maneater, Out Of Touch, Adult Education, and others. Released a number of solo albums, starting with Phunk Shui in 2002. Guested on Handsome Boy Modeling School's Greatest Mistake alongside Jamie Cullum
April 7, 1948 ~ R&B, soul, disco singer, trumpeter, keyboardist, percussionist, songwriter Ronnie Wilson born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Gap Band, with whom he recorded over a dozen albums. The band, formed in 1967, is centered around brothers Ronnie, Charlie Wilson and Robert Wilson, and known for their infectuous bass-heavy sound. Even though their earlier efforts did not catch on, they would be pivotal to developing the funk sound of the 1970s and 1980s with Billboard R&B top 10 hits such as Shake, Oops Upside Your Head, Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me), Yearning For Your Love, Early In The Morning, You Dropped A Bomb On Me and Beep-a-freak. Nirvana-drummer Dave Grohl credits the band for inspiring the drum intro on Smells Like Teen Spirit ~ Wilson passed away in 2021
April 7, 1947 ~ Florian Schneider-Esleben, commonly known as krautrock, synth-pop, electropop, art pop keyboardist, guitarist, percussionist, saxophonist, singer Florian Schneider, born in Badem-Württemberg, Germany ~ Co-founded pivotal electronic outfit Kraftwerk in 1970 with Ralf Hutter. The band is widely considered innovators and pioneers of electronic music and among the first successful acts to popularize the genre. Key albums include Autobahn, Trans-Europe Express, Man Machine, and Computer World. Schneider departed the band in 2008 ~ Schneider passed away in 2020
April 7, 1947 ~ Michele Cléberte Tort, commonly known as pop singer Michèle Torr, born ~ Internationally best known for representing Luxembourg in the 1966 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 10th place with Ce Soir J T'Attendais, and representing Monaco in the 1977 edition, reaching 4th place with Une Petite Française. Has recorded well over two dozen albums, starting with Dans Mes Bras Oublie Ta Peine released in 1964
April 7, 1946 ~ Drummer Bill Kreutzmann born in Palo Alto, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Grateful Dead, remaining with the pivotal jam band throughout its entire three decade existence. The band is best known for a string of acclaimed albums throughout the mid-1970s, including Anthem Of The Sun, Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty, earning them a devoted following dubbed “Deadheads”
April 7, 1944 ~ Jazz saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, full name Pascel Emmanuel LaBarbera born in Mount Morris, New York, USA ~ Brother of trumpeter John LaBarbera and drummer Joe LaBarbera. Leader and sideman. Closely asociated with drummer Buddy Rich, backing Rich from 1967 to 1973. Has also worked with Woody Herman, Louie Bellson, Santana, Elvin Jones, and others
April 7, 1943 ~ Guitarist, singer Mick Abrahams, full name Michael Timothy Abrahams, born in Luton, UK ~ Original guitarist for Jethro Tull, artistic differences with Ian Anderson prompting his departure shortly after the release of their 1968 This Was debut album. Subsequently founded and fronted Blodwyn Pig, their 1969 Ahead Rings Out debut album widely regarded as an important contribution to the late 1960s boom of UK blues rock. Has also recorded over a dozen albums as a solo artist
April 7, 1938 ~ Bebop, hard bop, post-bop trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, full name Frederick Dwayne Hubbard, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA ~ Closely associated with Art Blakey, backing Blakey in the Jazz Messengers for most of the 1960s including on albums such as Mosaic, Caravan and Free For All. Over 50 albums as leader or co-leader, especially acclaimed for Open Sesame, Ready For Freddie and Backlash. In-demand sideman appearing on some of most important jazz albums from the late 1950s onwards including by JJ Johnson, Eric Dolphy (Outward Bound), Tina Brooks, Jackie McLean (Bluesnik), Dexter Gordon, Ornette Coleman (Free Jazz), John Coltrane, Oliver Nelson (The Blues And The Abstract Truth), Herbie Hancock (Takin' Off), Willie Bobo, Wayne Shorter (The All Seeing Eye), Max Roach, Quincy Jones (Walking In Space), George Benson, Don Sebesky, and Milt Jackson (Sunflower). To pop audiences perhaps best known for his trumpet playing on Zanzibar of Billy Joel's 1978 52nd Street album ~ Hubbard passed away in 2008
April 7, 1938 ~ Bassist Spencer Dryden, full name Spencer Charles Dryden, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with psychedelic rock outfit the Jefferson Airplane, remaining with the band from 1966 through 1970 including on the band's masterpiece Surrealistic Pillow which spawned the hits Somebody To Love and White Rabbit. Member of country rock band the New Riders Of The Purple Sage from 1971 through 1977, after which he became the band's manager. Has also worked with the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and rock supergroup Dinosaurs ~ Dryden passed away in 2005
April 7, 1937 ~ R&B singer Charlie Thomas born in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA ~ When music manager George Treadwell fired his group in 1958, the entire line-up of the the Five Crowns including Thomas would be hired to constitute the new line-up of the Drifters. Sang lead on Sweets For My Sweet and When My Little Girl Is Smiling ~ Thomas passed away in 2023
April 7, 1936 ~ Mary Ellen Reynolds, commonly known as dancer, actress, singer Marilyn Miller, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ One of the most popular Broadway musical stars of the 1920s and 1930s. Rose to fame with her appearances in the 1918 Ziegfeld Follies and headlining the next year's edition playing the role of producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr's wife. Rumored to be Ziegfeld's mistress, though this was never proven. Also known for roles in stage productions of Peter Pan, Sunny and Rosalie, becoming the highest-paid Broadway star by the late 1920s ~ Reynolds was born in 1898
April 7, 1935 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Bobby Bare, full name Robert Joseph Bare Sr, born in Ironton, Ohio, USA ~ Active since the early 1960s. Known best for his signature song 500 Miles Away From Home, which crossed over to the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 peaking at No.10 in 1963. Father of singer Bobby Bare Jr. Member of late 1990s country supergroup Old Dogs which also included Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings
April 7, 1932 ~ Calvin Grant Shofner, commonly known as country singer, guitarist Cal Smith born in Gans, Oklahoma, USA ~ Member of Ernest Tubb's backing unit the Texas Troubadours from 1960 through 1969. As a solo artist known best for Country Bumpkin and It's Time To Pay The Fiddler, both hits in 1974. Other well known recordings of his include She Talked A Lot About Texas, I Just Came Home To Count The Memories and Come See About Me ~ Shofner passed away in 2013
April 7, 1927 ~ Drummer, social activist Babatunde Olatunji born in Alido, British Nigeria ~ Leader and sideman. Admired by peers, especially John Coltrane who wrote and recorded the song Tunji as a tribute to Olatunji. Referenced by Bob Dylan in I Shall Be Free. Covered by Carlos Santana (Jing-go-la-ba). Worked with Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Pee Wee Ellis, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Mickey Hart, Airto Moreira, Muruga Booker, Sikiru Adepoju, Halim El-Dabh, Randy Weston, Max Roach, Kai Winding, Herbie Mann, Serge Gainsbourg, Richie Havens, Taj Mahal, and Tupac Shakur ~ Olatunji passed away in 2003
April 7, 1919 ~ Jump blues, R&B blues shouter Jimmy Nelson, also known as Jimmy T99 Nelson, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Mentored by Big Joe Turner, whose shouting style he emulated. Recorded a number of singles during the 1950s, most notably T-99 Blues which would top the Billboard R&B charts, Meet Me With Your Black Dress On, and Free And Easy Mind. Nelson would work day jobs through the 1970s, performing and sitting in with bands on occassion. As a singer would reemerge after Ace issued a compilation album of previously unreleased Nelson songs in the 1980s ~ Nelson passed away in 2007
April 7, 1918 ~ Michael Andrew Hucko, commonly known as big band clarinetist Peanuts Hucko, born in Syracuse, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Noted for his clarinet solo on Cole Porter's What Is This Thing Called Love. Worked with Charlie Spivak, Benny Goodman, Ray McKinley, Eddie Condon, Jack Teagarden, Louis Armstrong, Al Cohn, Warren Covington, the Lawson-Haggart Band, and others. Led the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the 1970s ~ Hucko passed away in 2003
April 7, 1917 ~ Robert David Mirsky, commonly known as arranger, producer Robert Mersey, born ~ Got his start in music in the 1950s, working as arranger with songwriter duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Would go on to work as arranger and producer at Columbia Records starting in the early 1960s, working with artists such as Andy Williams (Can't Get Used To Losing You), Barbra Streisand, Bobby Vinton, Dion (You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)), Aretha Franklin, Mel Tormé, Julie Andrews, and Patti Page (You Can't Be True Dear) ~ Mirsky passed away in 1994
April 7, 1915 ~ Eleanora Fagan, commonly known as jazz, swing singer Billie Holiday, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Iconic singer pioneered jazz singing. Active from the mid-1930s until her death at age 44. Known for her emotive voice, tragic lifestory and struggles with men and substance abuse. Well known songs include What A Little Moonlight Can Do, A Fine Romance, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Carelessly, Mean To Me, I'm Gonna Lock My Heart, Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) and perhaps her best-known Strange Fruit ~ Fagan passed away in 1959
April 7, 1912 ~ Jacob Louis Schwartz, commonly known as songwriter Jack Lawrence, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Wrote All Or Nothing At All, Frank Sinatra's first solo hit. Co-wrote Tenderly, Sarah Vaughan's first hit. Others songs written or co-written by Lawrence include Music From Beyond The Moon (Vic Damone, Tony Martin), If I Didn't Care (the Ink Spots, Bob Crosby, the Platters, Brenda Lee), With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair (Kay Kyser, Georgie Auld, Frances Langford), Yes My Darling Daughter (Dinah Shore, Eydie Gormé, Sandie Shaw), Tenderly (Dick Farney, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole), and Foolin' Myself (Chick Bullock, Teddy Wilson) ~ Schwartz passed away in 2009
April 7, 1908 ~ Bandleader, conductor, composer Percy Faith born in Toronto, Canada ~ Popularized easy listening. Rose to fame in the 1950s. Closely associated with Mitch Miller. In-demand arranger for pop singers such as Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Guy Mitchell. As a bandleader best known for Delicado, The Song From Moulin Rouge and Theme From A Summer Place ~ Faith passed away in 1976