This Day In Music: December 14
December 13 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 15
December 14, 2021 ~ Music manager Ken Kragen, full name Kenneth Allan Kragen, passed away in Brentwood, California, USA ~ Personal manager to artists such as Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt, Dottie West, Kenny Rogers. To pop audiences perhaps best known for his pivotal role in the mid-1980s charity project, album and single We Are The World, bringing together a group of pop musicians under the moniker USA For Africa ~ Kragen was born in 1936
December 14, 2021 ~ Rock, reggae guitarist, bassist Phil Chen, full name Phillip David Chen, passed away ~ Member of the Vagabonds. Would go on to become an in-demand session musician, present on albums such as Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow, Donovan's Cosmic Wheels, Joan Armatrading's Back To The Night. Has also worked with the Butts Band, Rod Stewart, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Desmond Dekker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Jackson Browne, Dave Edmunds, Ray Manzarek, and Robby Krieger ~ Chen was born in 1946
December 14, 2021 ~ Clarence Edward Mauldin, commonly known as blues singer, guitarist, bassist Sonny Rhodes, passed away ~ Influenced by T-Bone Walker, LC Robinson, Pee Wee Crayton, BB King, Percy Mayfield. Active since the late 1950s. Backed artists such as Freddie King and Albert Collins. As a solo artist especially acclaimed for a number of 1990s albums, notably 1991's Disciple Of The Blues, 1992's Livin' Too Close To The Edge and 1996's Out Of Control ~ Mauldin was born in 1940
December 14, 2020 ~ Singer, percussionist Paulo César dos Santos, also known by the moniker Paulinho, passed away in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ Member of Roupa Nova, which he co-founded in 1970. Sang lead on some of band's best known including Cançao De Verao, Pra Mim, Linda Demais, Meu Universo É Você, Maria Maria, and Retrato Rasgados. In 2009 the band's Roupa Nova Em Londres, recorded at EMI Studios, was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album. One track, the Beatles-cover She's Leaving Home, was recorded a cappella accompanied by a string octet inside a London cathedral ~ Dos Santos was born in 1952
December 14, 2019 ~ Jazz, swing, blues saxophonist, composer Irv Williams passed away in St Paul, Minnesota, USA ~ Backed artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Eckstine. Turned down offers to tour with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, preferring to play locally in the Twin Cities area and teach in public schools. Would continue to play at every local venue, backing visiting artists including Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Hodges. Would release a string of albums in his eighties, notably 2006's Duo with regular collaborator pianist Peter Schimke ~ Williams was born in 1919
December 14, 2018 ~ Bassist Joe Osborn passed away in Greenwood, Louisiana, USA ~ Session bassist best known as member of both the Wrecking Crew and the Nashville A-Team. Over the course of his career Osborn worked with Dale Hawkins, Bob Luman, Roy Buchanan, James Burton, Ricky Nelson (Traveling Man), Lou Adler, Bones Howe, the Mamas & the Papas (California Dreamin'), the Association, the Grass Roots (Midnight Confession), the 5th Dimension, Simon & Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water), America (Ventura Highway), Neil Diamond, the Carpenters, Nancy Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, Hank Williams Jr, Johnny Rivers (Memphis), Richard Harris (Macarthur Park), and others ~ Osborn was born in 1937
December 14, 2016 ~ Pop singer Bunny Walters, full name Bunny Te Kokiri Miha Waahi Walters, passed away in Hamilton, New Zealand ~ Scored a number of hits in New Zealand during the 1970s, often covers of international hits. Well known releases include Just Out Of Reach, Brandy, Take The Money And Run, Home Isn't Home Anymore, and Quando Quando ~ Walters was born in 1953
December 14, 2015 ~ Musical actor, singer Edmund Lyndeck passed away in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Performed in regional theater for over a decade before making his Broadway debut in 1969, starring in the original production of 1776. Other notable credits include Into The Woods, Mrs Warren's Profession, A Doll's Life, Merlin and perhaps his best-known role as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd ~ Lyndeck was born in 1925
December 14, 2014 ~ Singer Ben Haenow wins the 11th season of the talent contest The X-Factor UK, aired on ITV ~ Leaving rapper, singer, songwriter Fleur East in 2nd place, and singer Andrea Faustini in 3rd, Haenow takes the win. Haenow's Something I Need debut single, a cover of the One Direction hit, would be released the same day and debuted at No.1 in the UK. Its follow-up, Second Hand Heart featuring Kelly Clarkson, reached top 30. Haenow's 2015 eponymous full-length Ben Haenow debut made the top 10. Haenow would prove unable to sustain his success, his 2018 Alive sophomore album failing to chart
December 14, 2014 ~ Joseph Allen Carr, commonly known as guitarist, mandolinist, songwriter Joe Carr, passed away in Levelland, Texas, USA ~ Worked with local Texas bands such as Roanoke in the 1970s and Country Gazette in the 1980s. Formed and fronted his own the Texas Lone Star Band from 1987 onwards. Penned a number of instructional books for mandoliin, western swing and flat-picking guitar, banjo and ukelele. Regular contributor to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Mandolin Magazine ~ Carr was born in 1951
December 14, 2011 ~ Billie Jean Moore, commonly known as singer Billie Jo Spears, passed away in Vido, Texas, USA ~ Recorded well over a dozen albums from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Scored her first hit in 1969 with Mr Walker It's All Over, a tale of a secretary standing up against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Best known for her 1975 Billboard Country No.1 hit Blanket On The Ground. Other well known songs include What I've Got In Mind, Misty Blue, If You Want Me, and '57 Chevrolet ~ Spears was born in 1938
December 14, 2009 ~ Guitarist, banjoist, mandolinist Tim Hart passed away in La Gomera, Spain ~ Co-founding member of Steeleye Span. Along with singer Maddy Prior Hart formed the backbone of the band, recording close to a dozen albums with them, before departing in 1982. Present on most of the band's best known, including the acclaimed albums Parcel Of Rogues, Commoner's Crown, and Rocket Cottage. Though the band only charted a few singles, notably 1972's Gaudete and 1975's All Around My Hat both reaching the UK top 20, they are considered extremely influential in bringing traditional-influenced folk-rock to mainstream audiences ~ Hart was born in 1948
December 14, 2007 ~ Jazz saxophonist Frank Morgan passed away in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA ~ A leading figure in the jazz revival of the 1980s who over a five decades spanning career recorded with wide array of seminal artists including Milt Jackson, Kenny Clarke, Lyle Murphy, Wardell Gray, Mark Murphy, Terry Gibbs, Art Farmer, Ben Sidran, Abbey Lincoln, and others ~ Morgan passed away in 1933
December 14, 2006 ~ Producer, songwriter, label executive Ahmet Ertegun passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founded, along with Herb Abramson, of Atlantic Records in the late 1940s. The label would prove pivotal in the developement of R&B and soul. Helped advance the careers of artists including Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, the Clovers, the Drifters, the Coasters, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Ben E King. By the late 1960s, early 1970s the label would expand into rock and pop, including artists such as Crosby Stills & Nash, Led Zeppelin, and Yes in its stable ~ Ertegun was born in 1923
December 14, 2005 ~ Diana Geraldine Whitburn, commonly known as jazz, cabaret singer Gery Scott, passed away in Canberra, Australia ~ First Western jazz singer to tour the then Soviet Union in 1961. Married her musical director Igo Fischer in Moscow the same year. Known for songs such as This Is Life, The Dum De De Dum Song, Summer Love and Stay With Me ~ Scott was born in 1923
December 14, 2005 ~ Bagpiper, whistler, songwriter Gordon Duncan passed away in Pitlochry, UK ~ Son of bothy singer Jock Duncan. Influential piper best known for his associations with the Tannahill Weavers, Wolfstone, Ceolbeg, and Dougie MacLean. Recorded three solo albums, starting with Just For Seumas released in 1994, and composed over a 100 songs, including Andy Renwick's Ferret ~ Duncan was born in 1964
December 14, 2003 ~ Pianist, conductor, composer François Rauber passed away ~ Best known for his association with Jacques Brel, serving as arranger, songwriter, and conductor from the late 1950s until Brel's death in 1978. Songs co-written by Rauber include Litanies Pour Un Retour, Dors Ma Mie, Les Paumés Du Petit Matin, and J'Aimais. Rauber would also serve as musical director for the 1975 musical film Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris ~ Rauber was born in 1933
December 14, 1994 ~ Robert David Mirsky, commonly known as arranger, producer Robert Mersey, passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ 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 was born in 1917
December 14, 1987 ~ Pop punk, emo, power pop singer, guitarist, songwriter Alex Gaskarth, full name Alexander William Gaskarth, born in Essex, Maryland, USA ~ Lead singer, primary songwriter of All-Time Low, which he co-founded in 2003 with Jack Barakat, known for songs such as Good Times and Monsters featuring Blackbear. Formed Simple Creatures in 2019, teaming up with Blink-182's singer, bassist Mark Hoppus. Has also written or co-written songs recorded by Simple Plan, 5 Seconds Of Summer, and State Champs
December 14, 1987 ~ Lyricist, playwright, poet Bixio Cherubini passed away in Milan, Italy ~ Active since the late 1920s. Perhaps best remembered for co-writing Mamma with frequent collaborator Cesare Andrea Bixio, first recorded by Beniamino Gigli in 1940 and covered by numerous artists including Connie Francis, Toni Arden, and Sergio Franchi. His songs have also been recorded by the likes of Ines Talamo (Cuore Vagabondo), Gigi Beccaria, Bruno Pallesi, Claudio Villa (Il Torrente), Carla Boni, Claudio Villa, and Narciso Parigi ~ Cherubini was born in 1899
December 14, 1985 ~ Rock, electro, pop punk keyboardist, singer Alex Pennie, full name Alexander Gregor Pennie, born ~ Keyboardist for the Automatic from 2004 through 2007. Sang lead vocals on the band's Gold Digger and Epic, covers of respectively Kanye West and Faith No More. Briefly lead singer of the Decimals in 2008 and 2009. Lead singer of the Goodtime Boys from 2009 through 2015, releasing their What's Left To Let Me Go debut album in 2012
December 14, 1984 ~ Post-hardcore, pop punk, emo, hip-hop drummer, rapper Mike Fuentes, full name Michael Christopher Fuentes, born in San Diego, California, USA ~ Best known as drummer of Pierce The Veil, which also included his brother singer Vic Fuentes. Member of supergroup Isles & Glaciers. Has also worked with Before Today, Underminded, and others. Was voted “Most Likely To Become Famous” in high school
December 14, 1980 ~ Francisco Javier Bautiste Jr, commonly known as Latin pop, R&B, pop singer, songwriter Frankie J born ~ Freestyled under the moniker Frankie Boy in the late 1990s. Joined Kumbia Kings in 1999, a group known for merging cumbia, hip-hop and R&B. Would leave the group in 2003, choosing to pursue a solo career settling on the moniker Frankie J starting with his What's A Man To Do album. Has recorded both in Spanish and English. Best known for his 2003 single I Don't Wanna Try and his 2005 single Obsession (No Es Amor) featuring Baby Bash, respectively reaching top 20 and top 10 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100
December 14, 1975 ~ Jazz, pop, world music singer, songwriter, producer Joe Barbieri born in Naples, Italy ~ Released his Gli Amori Della Vita Mia debut album, produced by Pino Daniele, in 1993. Started as pop singer yet over time transgressed to a more sophisticated style drawing from world music, jazz and cantautori. Dedicated two albums to his heroes, 2013's Chet Lives as a tribute to singer, trumpeter Chet Baker and 2019's Dear Billie in honor of Billie Holiday. Has duetted with artists such as Jaques Morelenbaum, Paolo Fresu, Luz Casal, Hamilton de Holanda, Stacey Kent, Jorge Drexler, Gianmaria Testa, Fabrizio Bosso, Chiara Civello and Omara Portuondo
December 14, 1974 ~ Jazz drummer Nate Smith born in Chesapeake, Virginia, USA ~ Initially influenced by rock and funk, took a shining to jazz after discovering Art Blakey. Leader and sideman. First gained attention backing Dave Holland. Also closely associated with Chris Potter, starting on Potter's 2006 Underground album. Has also worked with Robin Eubanks, José James, Patricia Barber, Randy Brecker, Scott Colley, Takuya Kuroda, Karel Ruzicka, Paul Simon, Fearless Flyers, Brittany Howard, and others
December 14, 1973 ~ Easy listening, pop singer Barbra Streisand records All In Love Is Fair at United Records Studios, Los Angeles, California ~ Written and first recorded by Stevie Wonder on the 1973 Innervisions earlier the same year. The Streisand cover would be critically compared to Wonder's original, some even stating her version was “more interesting” than the original, yet the single would stall in the 60s on the Billboard Hot 100
December 14, 1970 ~ Singer, keyboardist, bassist, arranger, director, songwriter Albin de la Simone born in Amiens, France ~ Session musician and music director for a wide array of artists since the 1990s, has worked with Miossec, Vanessa Paradis, Keren Ann, Alain Souchon, Raphael Haroche, Mathiey Boogaerts, Jean-Louis Aubert, and Salif Kreita. Has recorded a number of solo albums, starting with his eponymous Albin de la Simone released in 2003. Acclaimed for the albums Révélation Scène and Meilleur Album De Chansons, released respectively in 2014 and 2018
December 14, 1970 ~ Classical pianist Nicholas Angelich, full name Nicholas Michael Angelich, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Started learning the piano from his mother, a piano teacher, at age 5. Gave his first public performance, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No.21 K-467, two years later. Noted for his recordings of Johannes Brahms trios with violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellist Gautier Capuçon. Has also worked with conducturs such as Myung-whun Chung and David Robertson, and with renowned orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic ~ Angelich passed away in 2022
December 14, 1968 ~ Roger McBride, commonly known as rapper, MC, producer King T, born in Compton, California, USA ~ One of Compton's earliest rappers. Debuted in 1988 with the Act A Fool album, containing the title track, Payback's A Mutha and The Coolest, all considered classics. Worked with DJ Pooh, the Alkoholiks, Xzibit, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Ant Banks, Kurupt, Cypress Hill, and others
December 14, 1965 ~ Alex Shumway, commonly known as punk, hard rock, grunge drummer, guitarist, singer Alex Vincent, born in Sacramento, California, USA ~ Member of Green River, though commercially unsuccessful considered a pioneer of grunge. Vincent co-founded the band with Mark Arm, Steve Turner and notably Jeff Ament of future Pearl Jam-fame. After the band's disbandement Vincent has worked with Ex's With Benefits and Thee Deception
December 14, 1965 ~ Vocal duo Simon & Garfunkel record Homeward Bound ~ Written by Paul Simon. Produced by Bob Johnston. Released as a single in early 1966, featuring Leaves That Are Green on the flip side. Included on the UK edition of the The Sounds Of Silence album and on the US edition of the Parsley Sage Rosemary And Thyme album
December 14, 1965 ~ Singer, songwriter, poet, novelist Vinicio Capossela born in Hannover, West Germany ~ Protégé of Francesco Guccini. Drew critical comparison to Tom Waits. Draws from tango, gypsy music and traditional Italian folk music, especially from his family's native Campania region. Known for his poetic lyrics inspired on world themes, mythical tales and literature. Transcribed several non-Italian songs to Italian, for instance songs orignally by Bob Dylan, Soviet poet, singer Vladimir Vysotsky, and Greek rebetiko singer Markós Vamvakaris. Perhaps best known for his 2006 Ovunque Proteggi album
December 14, 1964 ~ Rock, pop, synth-pop, power pop singer, guitarist, pianist Hiroshi Takano born in Mishima, Japan ~ Actively recording since the late 1980s. Best known for the albums Cue released in 1990 and its follow-up Awakening the following year, both produced by Todd Rundgren. Has also guested on recordings by Deee-lite-keyboardist Towa Tei and the Yellow Magic Orchestra-co-founder Ryuichi Sakamoto
December 14, 1963 ~ Jazz singer, guitarist, composer Dalia Faitelson born in Negev Desert, Israel ~ Active since the mid-1990s. Draws from jazz, Balkan and Middle East influences. Best known for her 2001 Diamond Of The Day. Has collaborated with Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Lelo Nika, Adam Nussbaum, Chris Cheek, Marilyn Mazur, Manolo Badrena, and others
December 14, 1963 ~ Ruth Lee Jones, commonly known as singer, pianist Dinah Washington, passed away in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Popular 1950s jazz singer, drew from blues, R&B, traditional pop. Debuted in 1944 with Evil Gal Blues. Also known for hits such as Ain't Misbehavin', Am I Asking Too Much, Baby Get Lost, I Wanna Be Loved, Cold Cold Heart, What A Difference A Day Makes, the Brook Benton duet Baby You've Got What It Takes, September In The Rain, and others. Worked with Lionel Hampton, Clifford Brown, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderley, Ben Webster, and others ~ Jones was born in 1924
December 14, 1962 ~ Dirk Felsenheimer, commonly known as rock, punk rock singer, drummer, guitarist Bela B, born in West Berlin, West Germany ~ Member of Die Ärzte, known for German top 10 hits such as Schrei Nach Liebe, Ein Song Namens Schunder, Schwein Namens Manner, Wie Es Geht, Manchmal Haben Frauen, Unrockbar, Junge, and True Romance. Has also recorded several albums as a solo artist starting with Bingo in 2006
December 14, 1959 ~ Carl Jeffrey Snare, commonly known as hard rock, glam metal, pop rock singer CJ Snare, born in Washington DC, USA ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of Firehouse, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums starting with their eponymous Firehouse debut album released in 1990. The band is best known for the singles Don't Treat Me Bad, Love Of A Lifetime, and When I Look Into Your Eyes, the latter two both reaching top 10 Billboard Hot 100. Snare had been diagnosed with cancer and had taken a hiatus from the band in 2023, but was expected to make a full recovery and return to the band for a series of shows in 2024. Upon his death, the band issued a statement describing Snare as “arguably one of the best vocal talents of a generation, touring the world with Firehouse non stop the past 34 years“, also adding “Reach for the sky, CJ!” referencing their 1992 song Reach For The Sky ~ Snare passed away in 2024
December 14, 1958 ~ Rock, folk rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, songwriter Mike Scott born in Edinburgh, UK ~ Co-founding and sole constant member, lead singer of the Waterboys, known for songs such as The Whole Of The Moon, Fisherman's Blues, The Return Of Pan and Glastonbury Song. Has released two solo albums, 1995's Bring 'Em All In and 1997's Still Burning, which despite critical acclaim and backing from renowned musicians such as Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino and Icicle Works-singer Ian McNabb sold rather poorly
December 14, 1958 ~ Peter Richard Stacy, commonly known as Celtic rock, folk, punk singer, tin whistler, songwriter Spider Stacy, born in Eastbourne, UK ~ Co-founding member of the Pogues, credited with coming up with the bandname. The band is best known for their first three albums, Red Roses For Me, Rum Sodomy & The Lash and If I Should Fall From Grace With God. The singles The Irish Rover with the Dubliners and Fairytale Of New York featuring Kirsty Maccoll both reached the UK top 10
December 14, 1955 ~ Trombonist, cornetist, arranger Dan Barrett born in Pasadena, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Active since the early 1970s. Reportedly played Ory's Creole Trombone at Kid Ory's funeral in 1973. Co-led a quintet with Howard Alden. Frequently collaborated with Randy Sandke. Has also worked with Benny Goodman, Leon Redbone, the Widespread Depression Jazz Orchestra, Graeme Bell, Buck Clayton, Jim Cullum Jr, Kenny Davern, Peter Ecklund, Rebecca Kilgore, John Sheridan, Terry Waldo, Bob Wilber, and others
December 14, 1952 ~ Saxophonist, songwriter, actor John Lurie born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA ~ Co-founded the jazz ensemble the Lounge Lizards with his brother pianist Evan Lurie, the brothers being the only constant members throughout the band's existence. Acted in well over a dozen films including the Jim Jarmusch-directed Stranger Than Paradise and Down By Law, also composing the soundtracks for both films as well as for other feature films
December 14, 1949 ~ Progressive rock, rock, hard rock, heavy metal bassist, singer Cliff Williams, full name Clifford Williams, born in Romford, UK ~ Not to be confused with his namesake bassist Cliff Williams of Christian rock band 7eventh Time Down. Best known as longtime member of iconic hard rock outfit AC/DC, first appearing on the 1978 Powerage album. Prior to joining the band has worked with progressive rock band Home and with rockers Bandit. In 2016 Williams announced his retirement from the band yet returned for the 2020 Power Up comeback album
December 14, 1946 ~ Keyboardist, guitarist, mandolinist, songwriter Jackie McAuley born in Derry, Northern Ireland ~ Member of Them, backing Van Morrison on tracks such as Baby Please Don't Go, Gloria and Here Comes The Night. Member of the Kult alongside Paul Brady. Member of the Belfast Gypsies, known for their sole yet highly acclaimed Them Belfast Gypsies album released in 1967. Formed the psychedelic folk duo Trader Horne with Fairport Convention-singer Judy Dyble. Has subsequently worked with Vivian Stanshall, the Heptones, Rick Wakeman, Lonnie Donegan, and recorded as a solo artist. McAuley also co-wrote Status Quo's Dear John with John Gustafson, a top 10 hit in the UK and Ireland
December 14, 1946 ~ Actress, singer, songwriter, model Jane Birkin, full name Jane Mallory Birkin, born in London, UK ~ Best known as an actress emerging from the mid-1960s London counterculture scene with roles in Blowup and Kaleidoscope. To pop audiences best known for the 1969 duet Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus) with Serge Gainsbourg. The song would be banned from radio for its sexual innuendo, including in the UK, yet would make it to the No.1 spot on the British charts. Known for a number of longterm high-profile romances, married to film composer John Barry and later romantically involved with singer, actor Gainsbourg and subsequently with film director Jacques Doillon. Two of her three daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, have followed in their mother's footsteps acting and singing ~ Birkin passed away in 2023
December 14, 1946 ~ Free jazz drummer, percussionist Jerome Cooper born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Active since the late 1960s. In addition to drums Cooper played balafon, chirimia and various electronic instruments referring to himself as a “multi-dimensional drummer.” Has worked with artists such as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Steve Lacy, Lou Bennett, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Alan Silva, Noah Howard, Revolutionary Ensemble, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Karl Berger, Andrew Hill, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and others ~ Cooper passed away in 2015
December 14, 1946 ~ Trevor Jones, commonly known as trumpeter, conductor, composer John du Prez, born in Sheffield, UK ~ Member of 1980s salsa-influenced pop band Modern Romance, known for songs such as Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey, The Best Years Of Our Lives, High Life and Walking In The Rain. Also known as an in-demand film composer, with scores for films such as Oxford Blues, Once Bitten, A Fish Called Wanda, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Carry On Columbus and The Wild to his name
December 14, 1946 ~ Anna Marie Duke, commonly known as singer, actress Patty Duke, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known as an actress, notably in the 1962 film The Miracle Worker for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and for playing the role of “identical cousins” in her own The Patty Duke Show TV show which aired from 1963 through 1966. As a singer recorded occasionally, noted for the 1965 Billboard top 10 hit Don't Just Stand There ~ Duke passed away in 2016
December 14, 1944 ~ Singer, songwriter Richard Kerr, full name Richard Buchanan Kerr, born ~ Though a fine singer in his own right, recording some half dozen albums starting in the early 1970s, best known as a songwriter, notably co-writing several of Barry Manilow's most endearing tracks including Mandy, Looks Like We Made It, and Where Are They Now. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Kerr include Millie Jackson (A Fool's Affair), Natalie Cole, Don Partridge, the Glass Bottle (Follow Me), Jennifer Warnes, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick (I'll Never Love This Way Again), Helen Reddy, Bonnie Raitt, John Denver (Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight), and Tyrone Davis ~ Kerr passed away in 2023
December 14, 1943 ~ Robert Livingstone Thompson, commonly kown as reggae, rocksteady singer, songwriter Dandy Livingstone, born in St Andrews, Jamaica ~ Recorded under the moniker Dandy & Sugar early on in his career, double-tracking his own voice as the Carnival Records was looking for a duo. It would give Livingstone his first hit with What A Life in 1964. Would go on to score two quintessential ska, reggae hits, namely Suzanne Beware Of The Devil and Rudy A Message To You. The former would reach the UK top 20, the latter would be notably covered by the Specials in 1979
December 14, 1943 ~ Pop, pop rock bassist, singer Frank Allen born in Hayes, UK ~ Member of Cliff Bennett's beat group the Rebel Rousers from 1961 through 1964. Joined the Searchers in 1964, replacing original bassis Tony Jackson, and remained with the band through 2019. First appeared on the Jackie DeShannon-cover When You Walk In The Room, singing co-lead alongside Mike Pinder, which reached top 10 in the UK and Ireland
December 14, 1942 ~ Rock, hard rock, acid rock, shock rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Dick Wagner, full name Richard Allen Wagner, born in Oelwein, Iowa, USA ~ Fronted the Frost. Fronted the Bossmen. Closely associated with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss. Co-wrote a number of Cooper's best-known including Only Women Bleed, You And Me and How You Gonna See Me Now. Also co-wrote Shine Silently with Nils Lofgren, recorded by the latter on his 1979 Nils album ~ Wagner passed away in 2014
December 14, 1941 ~ Operatic soprano Karan Armstrong born in Havre, Montana, USA ~ Active since the mid-1960s, performing minor roles with the Metropolitan Opera and leading roles with the New York City Opera including in La Traviata and La Fanciualla Del Est. Relocated to Europe by the mid-1970s. Acclaimed for her 1975 performance in Salomé with the Opera Du Rhin. Perhaps most closely associated with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, performing in two dozen roles over four decades. Married to opera, theater director Götz Friedrich from 1979 until his death in 2000 ~ Armstrong passed away in 2021
December 14, 1938 ~ Pop singer, songwriter Dick Addrisi passed away ~ Formed the sibling duo the Addrisi Brothers with Don Addrisi. Both brothers auditioned for Mickey Mouse Club, but were rejected. As a duo the brothers scored hits with songs such as Cherrystone, We've Got To Get It On Again and Slow Dancin' Don't Turn Me On. The pair also wrote Never My Love, a 1967 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit for the Association
December 14, 1938 ~ Pop singer, songwriter Don Addrisi passed away ~ Formed the sibling duo the Addrisi Brothers with Dick Addrisi. Both brothers auditioned for Mickey Mouse Club, but were rejected. As a duo the brothers scored hits with songs such as Cherrystone, We've Got To Get It On Again and Slow Dancin' Don't Turn Me On. The pair also wrote Never My Love, a 1967 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit for the Association ~ Addrisi passed away in 1984
December 14, 1938 ~ Producer, songwriter Gary Usher, full name Gary Lee Usher, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Best known for his 1960s work with a number of mostly Californian rock & roll and surf acts including with fictitious groups consisting of session musicians such as the Super Stocks and the Kickstands. Notable production credits include Go Little Honda (the Hondells), Hit City '65 (the Surfaris), and My World Fell Down (Sagittarius). Songs written or co-written by Usher include 409, Lonely Sea and In My Room recorded by the Beach Boys, Frankie Avalon's Beach Party, Dick Dale's Mag Wheels, Wayne Newton's Comin' On Too Strong, and Gary Puckett & the Union Gap's Don't Give In To Him ~ Usher passed away in 1990
December 14, 1934 ~ Singer, guitarist, pianist Charlie Hodge, full name Charles Franklin Hodge, born in Decatur, Alabama, USA ~ Member of 1950s gospel group the Foggy River Boys. Best known as confidante, advisor, stage manager and friend of Elvis Presley, whom he befriended during the latter's Army service. Hodge lived at Presley's Graceland home for over 15 years, starting in the early 1960s and play an important role in Presley's career, advising him on which songs to record and who to hire for his backing band ~ Hodge passed away in 2006
December 14, 1933 ~ Alto saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist Leo Wright born in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA ~ Sideman and leader. Active from late-1950s through late-1970s. Worked with Charles Mingus, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Coles, Blue Mitchell, Dizzy Gillespie. Also aided artists such as Kenny Burrell, Gloria Coleman, Tadd Dameron, Red Garland, Gildo Mahones, Jack McDuff, Blue Mitchell, Oliver Nelson, David Pike, Lalo Schifrin, Richard Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Antônio Carlos Jobim ~ Wright passed away in 1991
December 14, 1932 ~ Singer, pianist Charlie Rich born in Colt, Arkansas, USA ~ Prolific singer, songwriter capable in rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, soul and gospel. Best known for songs such as Behind Closed Doors, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, There Won't Be Anymore, She Called Me Baby, and others. Session musician for Sun Records backing artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Bill Justis, Warren Smith, Billy Lee Riley, Carl Mann, Ray Smith, and others ~ Rich passed away in 1995
December 14, 1931 ~ Jazz pianist Phineas Newborn Jr born in Whiteville, Tennessee, USA ~ Revered pianist influenced by Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and by Bud Powell. Studied piano as well as trumpet and saxophone. First played R&B in the family band consisting of Phineas Newborn Sr, Calvin Newborn, Tuff Green, Ben Branch and future Hi-Records label executive Willie Mitchell. The band served as the house band at Plantation Inn Club, backed BB King on King's first recordings and toured with Jackie Brenston in support of Rocket '88 in 1951. Phineas would go on to back musicians such as Big Walter Horton, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus. Phineas released his debut as a leader, Here Is Phineas, on Atlantic Records in 1956. He would continue to lead several piano trios and quartets, including sidemen such as Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, Jamil Nasser, Philly Joe Jones, Ernie Royal, Sahib Shihab, Les Spann, George Duvivier, Denzil Best, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, and others. Throughout his career he would at times be underrated and underrecorded and later be plagued by mental and physical illness, hindering his career. Despite setbacks he would eventually be seen as one of the most brilliant pianists in jazz, especially by peers and critics, and perform and record until his untimely death at 57 ~ Newborn passed away in 1989
December 14, 1930 ~ Operatic soprano Rosanna Carteri born in Verona, Italy ~ Enjoyed popularity from the 1950s through the mid 1960s. Debuted as Elsa in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin in Rome at age 19. Would go on to portray leading roles with renowned orchestras including La Scala, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House, and others ~ Carteri passed away in 2020
December 14, 1922 ~ Jazz baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Sideman and leader. Played with Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston, JJ Johnson, Roy Eldridge, Tadd Dameron, Illinois Jacquet, Cannonball Adderley, Count Basie, Nick Brignola, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Cleveland, Ray Charles, Kenny Clarke, Ernie Wilkins, John Coltrane, Kenny Dorham, Matthew Ge, Benny Golson, Al Grey, Gigi Gryce, Johnny Hammond Smith, Ernie Henry, Quincy Jones, Duke Jordan, James Moody, Archie Shepp, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Stitt, Idrees Sulieman, Clark Terry, Randy Weston, and with Ernie Wilkins ~ Payne passed away in 2007
December 14, 1920 ~ Swing, bebop trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer Clark Terry, full name Clark Virgil Terry Jr, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA ~ Pioneered flugelhorn in jazz. Appeared on over an estimated 900 recordings, over 50 as leader or co-leader. Especially acclaimed for the albums In Orbit, Color Changes and Tread Ye Lightly. Has backed artists such as Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Charlie Barnet, Quincy Jones (The Birth Of A Band), Ray Charles (The Genius of Ray Charles), Charles Mingus, Buddy Tate, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Tubby Hayes, Art Farmer, Gene Roland, Willie Bobo, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader (Soul Sauce), Wilson Pickett (In The Midnight Hour), the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Oliver Nelson, Jimmy Rushing, Sarah Vaughan, George Benson (Blue Benson), Bunky Green, and Freddie Hubbard ~ Terry passed away in 2015
December 14, 1917 ~ R&B singer, pianist Martha Davis born in Wichita, Kansas, USA ~ Enjoyed popularity throughout the 1950s. Influenced by Fats Waller. Married to bassist Calvin Ponder, with whom she regularly worked. Known for Little White Lies, originally recorded by Dick Haymes, and for the Louis Jordan-duet Daddy-O, the latter a Billboard R&B top 10 hit in 1948 ~ Davis passed away in 1960
December 14, 1911 ~ Lindsey Armstrong Jones, commonly known as bandleader Spike Jones, born in Long Beach, California, USA ~ Known for spoof arrangements of popular songs and classical music, using a variety of odd instruments and sound effects including gunshots, whistles and comedic vocals. Influenced artists such as the Marx Brothers, Stan Freberg, Joe Raposo, Mr Bungle, Frank Zappa, Weird Al Yankovic, and others. Known for songs such as Der Fuehrer's Face, Cocktails For Two and All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth ~ Jones passed away in 1965
December 14, 1910 ~ Albert J Johnson, commonly known as saophonist, arranger Budd Johnson, born in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Ben Webster, Benny Goodman, Big Joe Turner, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Earl Hines, Cannonball Adderley, Ruth Brown, Roy Eldridge, Quincy Jones, Carmen McRae, Etta Jones, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Witherspoon, and others ~ Johnson passed away in 1984
December 14, 1891 ~ Producer, songwriter, talent scout Lester Melrose, full name Lester Frank Melrose, born in Sumner, Illinois, USA ~ One of the first Chicago blues producers. Brother of music publisher Walter Melrose and jazz pianist Franklyn Melrose. Worked with artists such as King Oliver, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Memphis Minnie, Roosevelt Sykes, Lonnie Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Bukka White, Washboard Sam, Champion Jack Dupree, Jazz Gillum, Arthur Crudup, Victoria Spivey, Leroy Carr, and others ~ Melrose passed away in 1968