This Day In Music: August 31
August 30 ~ Birthdays/All ~ September 1
August 31, 2022 ~ Electronic music composer Mark Shreeve passed away ~ Well over a dozen albums to his name, starting with Embryo released in 1980. Has also composed for film and formed the 1990s group Redshift, which also included his brother Julian Shreeve. To pop audiences best known for co-writing Touch Me (I Want Your Body), a mid-1980s top 10 hit for Samantha Fox on both sides of the Atlantic ~ Shreeve was born in 1957
August 31, 2012 ~ Walter William Bygraves, commonly known as comedian, actor, singer Max Bygraves, passed away in Hope Island, Australia ~ Known for his catchphrase “I wanna tell you a story” which became an integral part of his act although it originated with comedian Mike Yarwood impersonating Bygraves. Opened for Abbott & Costello and for Judy Garland before scoring a string of UK top 10 hits starting in the early 1950s, including Heart Of My Heart, Meet Me On The Corner and You Need Hands ~ Bygraves was born in 1922
August 31, 2011 ~ Folk singer Ray Fisher, full name Ray Galbraith Fisher passed away in North Shields, UK ~ Critically acclaimed folk singer, hailed by the Scotsman as “perhaps the best-known Scots folksinger of her generation” and by the Guardian as “one of Britain's great interpreters of traditional song” ~ Fisher was born in 1940
August 31, 2009 ~ Jazz pianist, composer Eddie Higgins, full name Edward Haydn Higgins, passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Lewis, Harry Sweets Edison, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Jack Teagarden, Al Grey, Meredith D'Ambrosio, Warren Vaché Jr, Chuck Hedges, Cy Touff, Jack Teagarden, Betty Dickson, Wes Montgomery, and others ~ Higgins was born in 1932
August 31, 2004 ~ Colin David Tooley, commonly known as singer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist Carl Wayne passed away in UK ~ Influenced by Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. Best remembered as lead singer of the Move, known for 1960s hits such as Night Of Fear, I Can Hear The Grass Grow, Flowers In The Rain, The Fire Brigade and perhaps their best-known Blackberry Way. Has also worked with the Vikings, the Hollies, the Electric Light Orchestra, and others. As a solo artist known for the minor hit You're A Star and for rejecting Sugar Baby Love, which then served as breakout hit for the Rubettes ~ Wayne was born in 1943
August 31, 2002 ~ Vibraphonist, pianist, bandleader Lionel Hampton, full name Lionel Leo Hampton, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Renowned bandleader, known for employing a great deal of future jazz stars early on in their career including Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus and Quincy Jones. Especially noted for his 1942 recording of Flying Home, featuring Illinois Jacquet's saxophone solo often cited as the first R&B sax solo ~ Hampton was born in 1909
August 31, 2000 ~ R&B, blues guitarist, singer, songwriter Saunders King, full name Saunders Samuel King, passed away in San Rafael, California, USA ~ Sang with the Southern Harmony Four. Switched to blues by the early 1940s, releasing the self-penned SK Blues in 1942 which would become a nationwide hit and one of the first recordings prominently featuring the electric guitar. Other well known songs include Empty Bedroom Blues and Stay Gone Blues ~ King was born in 1909
August 31, 1996 ~ Jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer Milt Larkin passed away in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Got his start in the 1930s with minor territory bands backing Chester Boone and Giles Mitchell. Perhaps most acclaimed for leading his own band from the mid-1930s through the mid-1940s, with whom he toured the Midwest and Southwest as well as held a nine-month residency at the Rhumboogie Café, Chicago, Illinois, where on occasions they backed T-Bone Walker. Larkin was offered the opportunity to record but declined, in part of the low wages labels offered to black musicians, a decision that haunted later jazz fans because of the many young sidemen in the band who would later rise to fame in their own right, including saxophonists Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, and Tom Archia, pianists Cedric Haywood and Wild Bill Davis, and drummers Alvin Burroughs, Joe Marshall and Roy Porter. Larkin disbanded the group when he himself enlisted, but following his stint in the US Army would continue to lead several ensembles well into the 1990s, most notably the non-profit group Get Involved Now giving hundreds of performances for crippled and burned children, special needs children, mentally ill patients and elderly audiences, mostly around the Houston, Texas, area ~ Larkin was born in 1910
August 31, 1993 ~ Albert Joseph Feinberg, commonly known as orchestra, big band bandleader, songwriter Al Trace, passed away in Sun City West, Arizona, USA ~ Popular Big band era bandleader. Has worked with Toni Arden, Bob Vincent, the Hoosier Hot Shots, and the Korn Kobblers. Has composed over 300 songs, oft in collaboration with his brother Ben Trace, Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill or Abner Silver. Well known songs written or co-written by Trace include Eileen Barton's If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked A Cake and You Call Everybody Darlin', the latter in Trace's version a No.1 hit in 1948 and later successfuly covered by the Andrews Sisters, Smiley Wilson and by Art Lund ~ Feinberg was born in 1900
August 31, 1987 ~ Pop rock group U2 release Where The Streets Have No Name, lifted off their The Joshua Tree album ~ At the time of its release, some fans assumed the song was about Ethiopia, a country lead singer Bono had visited after performing at the Live Aid charity concert, where many streets actually don't have names. However, the lyrics actually referenced an imaginary location, as Bono later explained: “Half of it is an invocation, where you say to a crowd of people ‘Do you want to go to that place? That place of imagination, that place of soul? Do you want to go there, cos right now we can go there?’ To this day when I say those words you get hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you're going to that place.”
August 31, 1981 ~ Calvin Alan Byrd, commonly known as rapper 40 Cal, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Member of hip-hop group the Diplomats. As a solo artist debuted with Broken Safety in 2006. Its follow-up, 2007's Broken Safety 2, would reach top 30 on the Billboard R&B album charts. Byrd has collaborated with numerous artists, most successfuly through the early 2010s. Regular collaborators include Cam'ron, Jim Jones and JR Writer
August 31, 1977 ~ Derek Gruen, commonly known as disco, alternative pop, R&B guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, singer, songwriter Del Marquis, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Lead guitarist of the Scissor Sisters, drawing from pop rock, glam rock, nu-disco and electro-clash and best known for songs such as Comfortably Numb, Filthy/Gorgeous and their best-known I Don't Feel Like Dancin'. The latter was written by Jake Shears, Scott Hoffman and Elton John, who also play piano, and would top the UK charts. Gruen is also creator and producer of Slow Knights and has recorded as a solo artist
August 31, 1974 ~ Steel guitarist Noel Boggs, full name Noel Edwin Boggs, passed away in Granada Hills, California, USA ~ Considered a virtuoso on the electric steel guitar, Boggs helped popularize the instrument as a viable instrument in country music. Toured with Hank Penny in the mid-1930s, backed Jimmy Wakely from the late 1930s onwards, and was a member of pivotal Western swing outfit the Texas Playboys, the backing unit of Bob Wills, appearing on some of the band's most classic recordings including Roly Poly and Stay A Little Longer. Over the course of his career, Boggs is said to have appeared on well over 1,000 recordings, an in-demand sideman for the likes of by Moon Mullican, Flatt & Scruggs, Spade Cooley, Merle Travis, the Sons Of The Pioneers, the Maddox Brothers, Curtis Gordon, and Spade Cooley. Boggs has also released a handful of solo albums, and from time to time guested on albums outside his usual circles, perhaps most notably appearing on Eartha Kitt's That Bad Eartha album released in 1953 ~ Boggs was born in 1917
August 31, 1974 ~ Pop rock family outfit the Osmonds release Love Me For A Reason, lifted off the album of the same name ~ First recorded by former Motown producer Johnny Bristol for his 1974 Hang On In There Baby debut album. Bristol co-wrote the song with regular songwriting partners Wade Brown and David Jones Jr, with whom he had previously penned songs for the Supremes, Gladys Knight, and the Miracles. The best known version of Love Me For A Reason, however, would be by the Osmonds, who took the song to No.10 Billboard Hot 100, making it their fourth and final American top 10 hit. Two decades later, the song would be covered by boy band Boyzone, issued as the second single off their Said And Done debut album. It would be their breakthrough hit, reaching No.2 in the UK and No.1 in their native Ireland
August 31, 1972 ~ Drummer, bandleader Hideo Shiraki passed away ~ Famed for his hard bop beginnings in the 1950s venturing into fusing world music with jazz. Employed sidemen such as Hidehiko Matsumoto, Terumasa Hino, Yuzura Sera. Especially acclaimed for his 1961 album In Fiesta and his 1965 album Sakura Sakura. Has guested on Toshiko Akiyoshi's 1961 album Toshiko Meets Her Old Pals and accompanied John Coltrane on his 1996 Japanese tour ~ Shiraki was born in 1933
August 31, 1971 ~ Singer, songwriter Alicia Villarreal, full name Martha Alicia Villarreal Esparza, born in Mexico ~ Rose to fame as lead singer of Grupo Limite from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s. As a solo artist best known for her debut album Soy Lo Prohibido and its follow-up Cuando El Corazon Se Cruza, released respectively in 2001 and 2005 and both reaching top of the charts in her native Mexico
August 31, 1971 ~ Lars Erik Dapello, commonly known as singer, guitarist Lars Frederiksen, born in Campbell, California, USA ~ Best known as guitarist, singer for punk rockers Rancid. Also fronts Old Firm Casuals and has played with Oxley's Midnight Runners, Stomper 98, the Last Resort and briefly with the UK Subs. In-demand producer for artists such as the Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, the Business, the Swingin' Utters, Marky Ramone & the Intruders, the Anti-Heros, Pressure Point, the Forgotten, and others
August 31, 1970 ~ Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, full name Booker Telleferro Ervin II, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Hard bop player characterised by strong sound and blues phrasing. Over a dozen albums as leader or co-leader, especially acclaimed for the albums Cookin' and That's It. Closely associated with Charles Mingus, including on the highly acclaimed Mingus Ah Uhm. Has also appeared on albums by Horace Parlan, Pony Poindexter, Jaki Byard, Randy Weston, Don Patterson, Sonny Stitt (Soul People), Andrew Hill (Grass Roots), and Isaac Hayes (Black Moses). Ervin passed away of kidney disease at age 39 ~ Ervin was born in 1930
August 31, 1970 ~ Singer, actress, producer, songwriter Debbie Gibson born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known for Foolish Beat, the first Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit written, produced and performed by a female artist. Also known for songs such as Lost In Your Eyes, Say Goodbye, Shake Your Love, Out Of The Blue, and No More Rhyme. Has also starred in musicals, both on and off Broadway, performing in stage versions of Les Miserables, Beauty & The Beast, The King & I and Grease
August 31, 1970 ~ Experimental rock, post-rock, progressive rock guitarist, keyboardist Ian Williams born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Known for his one-handed guitar playing technique, frequently playing keyboards with the other hand simultaneously. Member of Don Caballero from 1992 through 2000. Member of Storm & Stress from 1997 through 2000. Williams would form Battles in 2002, the band would become critically acclaimed as one of the most innovative math rock bands praised for its unique sound
August 31, 1969 ~ Jazz clarinetist, composer Evan Christopher born in Long Beach, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with AJ Croce, Jim Cullum, Lars Edegran, Lionel Ferbos, Mark Isham, Tom McDermott, Irvin Mayfield, Arnold McCuller, Trevor Richards, Terry Waldo, and others
August 31, 1968 ~ Nicholas Barber, commonly known as psychedelic trance DJ, producer Doof, born ~ Released a number of singles and an EP before issuing his first full-length album, Let's Turn It On, in 1996. It would become a landmark album and help define early psy-trance. Barber continued to record into the 2010s, reverting to his given name by the late 2000s
August 31, 1967 ~ Singer, bassist, songwriter Gerard Love born ~ Co-founding member of Teenage Fanclub, remaining with the band from its inception in 1989 through 2018. The band is best known for the albums Grand Prix, Songs From Northern Britain and Here, all of which reached top 10 in their native UK. Love has also recorded as a solo artist, issuing the Electric Cables album in 2012 under the moniker Lightships
August 31, 1963 ~ DJ, singer, producer Greg Broussard, also known as the Egyptian Lover, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Part of Los Angeles dance and rap scene in the early 1980s. Worked with Uncle Jamm's Army and the Radio Crew. Best known for his his recording Egypt Egypt, a hit in 1984
August 31, 1961 ~ Eiko Kawashima, commonly known as J-pop, city pop singer, actress Anri, born in Yamato, Japan ~ Recorded well over two dozen albums, starting with Apricot Jam in 1978. Enjoyed popularity especially during the 1980s and 1990s, becoming one of the era's best-selling Japanese acts. Best known for Cat's Eye, theme song to the anime series of the same name, and Kanamishi Ga Tomaranai. Other well-known songs include Summer Candles and Dolphin Ring, both wedding reception staples.Has collaborated with jazz fusion guitarist Lee Ritenour, who appeared on and produced her 2002 Smooth Jam Quiet Storm album
August 31, 1961 ~ Singer Brenda Lee records Fool No.1 ~ Written by Kathryn R Fulton. Produced by Owen Bradley. Released as a single the following October, paired with Anybody But Me on the flip side, it would reach the Billboard top 10
August 31, 1961 ~ Folk, country, pop singer, guitarist, songwriter Bruce Guthro born in Cape Breton Island, Canada ~ Father of singers Dylan Guthro and Jodi Guthrie. Lead singer of celtic rock band Runrig from 1998, first appearing on the band's In Search Of Angels album, until the band's disbandement in 2018. Has also recorded as a solo artist, noted for his Of Your Son album released in 1998. Three of the album's singles, Walk This Road, Falling, and Ivey's Wall would reach top 20 on the Canadian country charts ~ Guthro passed away in 2023
August 31, 1960 ~ Blues-rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Chris Whitley, full name Christopher Becker Whitley, born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Recorded over a dozen albums starting in the early 1990s. Known best for songs such as Living With The Law and Big Sky Country. Counted Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Gavin Degraw, and Keith Richards among his fans. Following Whitley's passing at age 45 of lung cancer John Mayer would comment: “His somewhat prostrated place in pop culture earned him a sidebar of an obituary, but to those who knew his work, it registers as one of the most underappreciated losses in all of music.” ~ Whitley passed away in 2005
August 31, 1959 ~ Singer Tony DeFranco born in Canada ~ Lead singer of bubblegum pop sibling outfit the DeFranco Family, known for a string of 1970s hits including Abra-ca-dabra, Save The Last Dance For Me and their best-known Heartbeat (It's A Lovebeat), the latter reaching the Billboard top 10 in 1973
August 31, 1958 ~ Singer Hanne Boel born in Copenhagen, Denmark ~ Member of 1980's funk outfit Blast. As a solo artist active since the mid-1980s drawing from pop, soul, gospel, rock and jazz to commercial success in Scandinavia. Guested on Laid Back's Bakerman, an international hit in 1989
August 31, 1957 ~ Drummer Gina Schock, full name Regina Ann Schock, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Drummer of all-female pop-rock, new wave outfit the Go-Go's, known for songs such as Our Lips Are Sealed, We Got The Beat, Vacation, and Head Over Heels
August 31, 1957 ~ New wave, power pop singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Glenn Tilbrook, full name Glenn Martin Tilbrook, born in Dulwich, UK ~ Founding member, lead singer, guitarist of Squeeze, known for a number of European hits such as Take Me I'm Yours, Cool For Cats, Labelled With Love, Tempted and Hourglass, the latter also reaching the American Billboard Hot 100 top 20. During the band's 1983 to 1985 hiatus Tilbrook would continue the songwriting partnership with bandmate Chris Difford in Difford & Tilbrook
August 31, 1956 ~ Singer Elvis Presley releases I Got A Woman b/w I'm Counting On You as a stand-alone single ~ Penned by Charles and his regular trumpeter Renald Richard, and originally a 1955 hit for Charles, his first major hit, the original recording would retrospectively be acknowledged as one of the songs that defined R&B and soul. Presley recorded I Got A Woman in early 1956 for RCA-Victor and released it as a stand-alone single in August. Presley's version did not chart, yet the song remained a staple of his shows during the 1950s and again when he returned to perform live in 1969 all the way through 1977
August 31, 1956 ~ Pianist, composer Yves Nat, full name Yves Philippe Avit Nat, passed away in Paris, France ~ Encouraged to pursue his musical studies by Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns. Toured with Jacques Thibaud and George Enescu. Frequently appeared with Eugène Ysaÿe. Composed concertos, piano works, chamber music, and an oratorio. Included repertoire by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Also well-known for recording all of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas during the early 1950s ~ Nat was born in 1890
August 31, 1955 ~ Saxophonist, mandolinist, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, drummer Anthony Thistlethwaite born in Leicestershire, UK ~ Founded the Waterboys with Mike Scott. Also a member of the Saw Doctors. Released a number of solo albums starting with Aesop Wrote A Fable in 1993. In-demand collaborator and session musician, has worked with World Party, Fairground Attraction, the Psychedelic Furs, Sharon Shannon, Bob Dylan, China Crisis, Johnny Thunders, Donovan, the Vibrators, Chris De Burgh, Bruce Foxton, the Mission, Kirsty Maccoll, Mick Taylor, and Sonny Landreth
August 31, 1954 ~ Reggae singer Al Campbell, full name Alphonso Campbell, born in Kingston, Jamaica ~ As a solo artist best known for a number of 1970s, 1980s hits, most notably Gee Baby and Late Night Blues. Worked with the Thrillers, Freddie McGregor, Ernest Wilson, Lincoln Thompson, the Mighty Cloud Band, Phil Pratt, Bunny Lee, Joe Gibbs, King Jammy, Mafia & Fluxy, and the Uniques
August 31, 1949 ~ Rhythm guitarist Rick Roberts born in Clearwater, Florida, USA ~ Founder and lead singer of Firefall from 1974 to 1981. Also known for his work on the Flying Burrito Brothers 1971 eponymous Flying Burrito Brothers album as well as for his early 1970s solo albums, 1972's Windmills and 1973's She Is A Song
August 31, 1948 ~ Saxophonist, fiddler, violinist Andy Stein born in New York, New York, USA ~ Founding member of Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen. Also worked with the Guys All-Star Shoe Band, composed for several movies including Hollywood Boulevard and National Lampoon's Movie Madness, and arranged classical pieces by Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven
August 31, 1948 ~ Punk rock, rock guitarist Ricky Gardiner born in Edinburgh, UK ~ Active since the early 1960s. Formed Beggar's Opera. Best known for his work with Iggy Pop on the 1977 Lust For Life album, notably credited for coming up with the characteristic guitar riff on The Passenger, and with David Bowie on the Low album issued the same year ~ Gardiner passed away in 2022
August 31, 1947 ~ Rock guitarist, pianist, songwriter Pete Gage born in Lewisham, UK ~ Not to be confused with namesake pianist, singer Pete Gage. Best known for his association with Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band, a band praised for its energetic live performances and acclaimed especially for their live albums Hand Clappin' Foot Stompin' Funky Butt Live and Hipster Flipsters Finger Poppin' Daddies. Also co-founded Dada, which included Elkie Brooks whom he would later marry, which would evolve into Vinegar Joe. Following the band's disbandement Gage would primarily work as a producer and songwriter, notably producing Joan Armatrading's 1975 Back To The Night album
August 31, 1947 ~ Abraham John Bond Jr, commonly known as blues, country blues singer, guitarist, songwriter Son Bonds, passed away in Dyersburg, Tennessee, USA ~ Closely associated with Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon. Best known for his 1934 recording Back And Side Blues, which reportedly served as the basis for Sonny Boy Williamson I's Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. Other well known Bond songs include A Hard Pill To Swallow and Come Back Home ~ Bond was born in 1909
August 31, 1946 ~ Pianist, composer Cooper Moore born in Loudon County, Virginia, USA ~ Influenced by Ahmad Jamal, Charles Mingus, Jaki Byard. Leader and sideman. Frequent collaborator of artists such as David S Ware, Juma Santos, John Blum, Digital Primitives, In Order To Survive, Susie Ibarra, Darius Jones, the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, Planetary Unknown, and extensively with William Parker
August 31, 1945 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Bob Welch born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 through 1974, appearing on the albums Future Games, Bare Trees, The Penguin and Mystery To Me, and on Heroes Are Hard To Find. Helped steer Fleetwood Mac away from the blues, more towards general pop, rock sound. As a solo artist best known for a number of hits during the late-1970s including Hot Love Cold World, Ebony Eyes, Precious Love and Sentimental Lady. Has also worked with the Seven Souls, Head West and Paris ~ Welch passed away in 2012
August 31, 1945 ~ Violinist, conductor Itzhak Perlman born in Tel Aviv, British Mandate of Palestine ~ Internationally renowned. Has played at the White House honoring Queen Elizabeth II and at the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. Conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic, and others
August 31, 1945 ~ Singer, songwriter Van Morrison, full name George Ivan Morrison, born in Belfast, Ireland ~ First gained attention as lead singer of Them, known primarily for songs such Gloria and Get Your Kicks On Route 66. Debuted as a solo artist in 1967 with the single Brown Eyed Girl, to this date one of his best-known songs, followed by the albums Blowin' Your Mind in 1967 and Astral Weeks in 1968. Cemented his position as a major artist by 1970 with the album Moondance and has been recording to critical acclaim and commercial succes since
August 31, 1942 ~ Jazz drummer, composer Bengt Berger born in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Studied Indian music since the 1960s and besides regular drums and percussion also plays a variety of Indian instruments including tabla and mridangam. Has recorded about a dozen albums as a leader and is an in-demand sideman for artists such as Don Cherry, Rena Rama, Bernt Rosengren, Dag Vag, Lennart Åberg, Eagle Eye Cherry (Desireless), and Mecki Mark Men
August 31, 1940 ~ Bassist Wilton Felder born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, later renamed to the Crusaders. Also worked a house bassist for Motown, appearing on records by Grant Green, the Jackson 5 (I Want You Back), and Marvin Gaye. Sessioned for seventies pop-rock artist such as Seals & Crofts, John Cale, Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Michael Franks, and others ~ Felder passed away in 2015
August 31, 1939 ~ Jazz, swing, funk, R&B double bassist, composer, arranger, producer Cleveland Eaton, full name Cleveland Josephus Eaton II, born in Fairfields, Alabama, USA ~ Best known for his associations with Ramsey Lewis and Count Basie. Known by funk afficionados for his 1975 recording Plenty Good Eaton. Worked with wide array of artists including John Klemmer, Ike Cole, Bunky Green, the Dells, Bobby Rush, Minnie Riperton, Jerry Butler, Rotary Connection, George Benson, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Mimi Hines, Sammy Davis Jr, Julie London, Bobby Troup, Brook Benton, Lou Rawls, Nipsey Russell, Morgana King, Gloria Lynne, Herbie Hancock, the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, the Platters, the Temptations, the Miracles, and others ~ Eaton passed away in 2020
August 31, 1939 ~ Bossa nova, samba, choro, Latin jazz pianist, arranger, composer Francis Hime, full name Francis Victor Walter Hime, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ Perhaps best known for writing the jazz standard Minha (All Mine), recorded by Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Eliane Elias, and others
August 31, 1939 ~ Rock & roll, rockabilly drummer Jerry Allison, full name Jerry Ivan Allison, born in Hillsboro, Texas, USA ~ Best known for backing Buddy Holly as a member of the Crickets. Credited as a co-writer on the hits That'll Be The Day and Peggy Sue. The latter was originally titled Cindy Lou but renamed to charm Allison's girlfriend, and future wife, Peggy Sue ~ Allison passed away in 2022
August 31, 1939 ~ Saxophonist, bandleader, composer Paul Winter born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Formed and fronted various ensembles including the Paul Winter Sextet, the Paul Winter Consort and the Earth Band
August 31, 1938 ~ Blues singer, guitarist, songwriter John Koerner, also known as Spider John Koerner, born in Rochester, New York, USA ~ Closely associated with Dave Ray and Tony Glover, the trio recording and performing in various configurations, in solo turns and duets, but rarely as a trio. Ray suggested that it would be more accurate to refer to them not as Koerner Ray & Gloever, but rather Koerner and/or Ray and/or Glover. However, as a trio they did notably perform at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964, captured on the Newport Folk Festival 1964 (Evening Concerts III) album. In later years they would occasionally perform together, until Ray's death in the early 2000s. Koerner is also known for his 1965 Spider Blues album, and for teaming up with Willie Murphy for the 1969 collaborative Running Jumping Standing Still album. Koerner is considered an early influence on Bob Dylan, of whom Koerner has been quoted as saying: “We were all goofy, you know. We were thinkers and drinkers and artists and players, and Dylan was one of us. He was another guy.” ~ Koerner passed away in 2024
August 31, 1937 ~ Robert Lee Parker, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Bobby Parker, born in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA ~ Member of Otis Williams & his Charms. Played lead guitar with Bo Diddley. Toured with Paul Williams, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Lavern Baker, Clyde McPhatter, and with the Everly Brothers. As a solo artist best known for his 1961 single Watch Your Step which peaked at No.51 Billboard Hot 100. The song would later be covered by artists such as the Spencer Davis Group, Dr Feelgood, Steve Marriott, Adam Faith, and by Carlos Santana ~ Parker passed away in 2013
August 31, 1937 ~ Free jazz vibraphonist, clarinetist, saxophonist, flutist, pianist Gunter Hampel born in Göttingen, Germany ~ Over 50 albums to his name starting in the mid-1960s. Best known for leading the Galaxie Dream Band, founded in 1972. Has collaborated with John McLaughlin, Muruga Booker, Udo Lindenberg, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Perry Robinson, and others
August 31, 1935 ~ Rockabilly, pop rock pianist, singer Dean Beard born in Santa Anna, Texas, USA ~ Dubbed “the West Texas Wild Man” and known for a number of moderately successful 1950s recordings, notably Rakin' & Scrapin' released in 1957 featuring saxophonist Jim Seals and drummer Dash Crofts of later Seals & Crofts-fame. Has also worked with the Champs ~ Beard passed away in 1989
August 31, 1933 ~ Jazz saxophonist Herman Riley born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Tough-toned tenor saxophonist became a fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene. Riley recorded only one album as a leader, the jam album Herman released in 1986, but was an in-demand sideman for numerous artists for some four decades starting in the mid-1960s. Riley is perhaps known best for his work with Blue Mitchell in the 1970s, including the acclaimed The Last Tango Is Blues album. Other notable appearances include albums by Della Reese, Bobby Bryant, Roy Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Gene Ammons, Cal Tjader, Billy Brooks (Windows Of The Mind), Frank Capp (The Live At The Century Plaza), Dr John, Earth Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Stacy Rowles (Tell It Like It Is), Dave Grusin, Jimmy Smith, Sandy Graham (Sandy Graham), Lorez Alexandria (I'll Never Stop Loving You), Kenny Burrell, and Etta James ~ Riley passed away in 2007
August 31, 1931 ~ Singer Bing Crosby records Dancing In The Dark ~ Music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics Howard Dietz. Introduced by John Barker in the 1931 revue Band Wagon. First recorded by Crosby with studio orchestra directed by Victor Young, it would reach the top 5. Covered by numerous artists, including Artie Shaw, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington, Patti Page, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, and others
August 31, 1916 ~ Conductor, violinist Everett Lee born in Wheeling, Virginia, USA ~ Mentored by conductor Artur Rodzinski. First gained attention in 1943, playing violin and oboe in the pit orchestra for the Broadway opera Carmen Jones, an all-black retelling of Georges Bizet's Carmen. Would go on to conduct Leonard Bernstein's production of On The Town, making him the first African-American to regularly conduct a Broadway show. Also noted for guest conducting the Louisville Orchestra, making him the first African-American to conduct a white orchestra in the American South. Founded the interracial orchestra the Cosmopolitan Symphony Orchestra. Also closely associated with the New York City Opera, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, and others ~ Lee passed away in 2022
August 31, 1911 ~ Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull, commonly known as bandleader, composer Arsenío Rodriguez, born in Matanzas, Cuba ~ Contributed to the development of son montuno, the basic template of modern-day salsa. Worked with the Orquesta Casino de la Playa, Septeto Boston, Antonio Arcana, Chano Pozo, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, and Mario Bauzá ~ Scull passed away in 1970
August 31, 1910 ~ Guitarist Lauderic Caton, full name Lauderic Rex Caton, born in Arima, Trinidad ~ Influenced by Lonnie Johnson and Charlie Christian. Fleeing from the Nazis, Caton made his way to the UK by way of France and Belgium, where he worked with pianist Ram Ramirez. Although Caton also played the saxophone, double bass, and banjo, he is best remembered for pioneering the use of electric guitar in British jazz, cited by some as “Britain's first champion of the electric guitar”. Caton would become especially known for backing Don Marino Barreto and his gigs at the Jigs Club, London, where he would be discovered by Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Caton would also become known as a builder of guitar amplifiers and a tutor, including mentoring Hank Marvin of future fame with the Shadows. Caton remained active through the late 1950s ~ Caton passed away in 1999
August 31, 1907 ~ Jazz saxophonist, violinist Edgar Sampson, full name Edgar Melvin Sampson, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Active since the mid-1920s, working with the likes of Duke Ellington, Bingie Madison, Billy Fowler, Fletcher Henderson, and Rex Stewart. Best known for his brief tenure with Chick Webb's ensemble from 1933 through 1936, during which time Sampson also co-wrote several of Webb's best known, including If Dreams Come True, Don't Be That Way, and Stompin' At The Savoy. The latter would become a standard, covered by over an estimated 400 artists including Coleman Hawkins, Cozy Cole, Art Pepper, and Charlie Byrd. Other well known songs co-written by Sampson include Blue Lou, first recorded by Benny Carter, and Lullaby In Rhythm, first recorded by Benny Goodman. Following his tenure with Webb, Sampson has worked with Artie Shaw, Red Norvo, Teddy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald, and from the late 1940s onwards Latin jazz artists such as Marcelino Guerra, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodriguez ~ Sampson passed away in 1973
August 31, 1907 ~ Nelson Wilburn, commonly known as blues singer, guitarist Red Nelson, born in Sumner, Mississippi, USA ~ Best known for songs such as Crying Mother Blues and Streamline Train. Worked with Cripple Clarence Lofton, Blind John Davis, Black Bob, Kansas Joe McCoy, Papa Charlie McCoy, Big Bill Broonzy, Lonnie Johnson, and others ~ Wilborn passed away in 1970
August 31, 1899 ~ Pianist Todd Rhodes, full name Todd Washington Rhodes, born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA ~ Influential in early jazz and later R&B. Active from the 1920s through the late 1950s. Has worked with McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stewart, Doc Cheatham, Don Redman, Hank Ballard, Dave Bartholomew, Wynonie Harris, Connie Allen, Lavern Baker, and others. As a solo artist best remembered for songs such as Blues For The Red Boy, Pot Likker, Your Daddy's Doggin' Around, Your Mouth Got A Hole In It, and others ~ Rhodes passed away in 1965
August 31, 1886 ~ Songwriter L Wolfe Gilbert, full name Louis Wolfe Gilbert, born in Odessa, Russian Empire ~ Perhaps best remembered for writing Down Yonder, first recorded by the Peerless Quartet in 1921, and for co-writing Ramona, first recorded by Paul Whiteman in 1928. Both songs have become standards, covered by numerous artists. Other well-known songs written or co-written by Gilbert include Waitin' For The Robert E Lee (Al Jolson), If I Didn't Know Your Husband And You Didn't Know My Wife (Whispering Jack Smith), Lucky Lindy (Vernon Dalhart), and Jeannine I Dream Of Lilac Time (Gene Austin) ~ Gilbert passed away in 1970