This Day In Music: December 20
December 19 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 21
December 20, 2022 ~ Pop drummer Randy Begg passed away ~ Member of Canadian pop outfit Wednesday, best known for a number of covers including Last Kiss, Teen Angel, and Loving You Baby ~ Begg was born ca.1951
December 20, 2021 ~ Blues rock, jazz rock, rock guitarist Lubos Andrst passed away ~ Influential guitarist best known as key figure in the 1990s, 2000s Czech blues, electric blues and blues-rock scenes. Has also played jazz, acoustic jazz, jazz fusion dating back to the 1960s as a member of acts such as Framus Five, Jazz Q and Energit. Also collaborated with Emil Viklický, Marta Kubisová, Collegium Musicum (Divergencie), Jan Hruby, Michal Prokop, and others ~ Andrst was born in 1948
December 20, 2020 ~ David Stuart Chadwick, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Chad Stuart passed away ~ Half of Chad & Jeremy, the other half being Jeremy Clyde, known for a string of early 1960s folk-infected pop hits including Yesterday's Gone, Willow Weep For Me, Before And After, and perhaps their best-known 1964's Summer Song ~ Chadwick was born in 1941
December 20, 2017 ~ Reginald Joseph Ossé, commonly known as hip-hop music attorney, executive, journalist, author Combat Jack, passed away in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Legal intern for Def Jam Recordings. Would go on to become a music attorney, representing artists such as Jay-Z, Damon Dash, Clark Kent, Nice & Smooth, Ski Beatz, and others. Authored Bling (The Hip-Hop Jewellry Book), published in 2006, about hip-hop's fascination with jewellry. Turned podcast pioneer hosting the Combat Jack Show from the early 2010s forward ~ Ossé was born in 1964
December 20, 2014 ~ Jerry Marvin Stembridge, commonly known as Nashville-based guitarist, producer Chip Young, passed away ~ Session guitarist turned producer. Appeared on recordings by Neon Philharmonic, Eddy Arnold, Bobby Bare, JJ Cale, Guy Clark, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Louvin, Charlie McCoy, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton (Jolene), Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Charley Pride, Leon Russell, Earl Scruggs, Nancy Sinatra, Tanya Tucker, Tony Joe White, Reba McEntire, Moe Bandy, and others. As a producer worked with Billy Swan, Mickey Newbury (I Came To Hear The Music), Joe Ely (Honky Tonk Masquerade), Gene Summer, Michael Martin Murphey, and others ~ Young was born in 1938
December 20, 2014 ~ Jazz drummer Ronnie Bedford passed away in Powell, Wyoming, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Benny Carter, Arnett Cobb, Chris Connor, Buddy DeFranco, Don Friedman, Hank Jones, Rod Levitt, Pee Wee Russell, Derek Smith, Chuck Wayne, and others ~ Bedford was born in 1931
December 20, 2012 ~ James David Walker Jr, commonly known as pianist, singer, songwriter Jimmy McCracklin, passed away in San Pablo, California, USA ~ Became a household name with the 1957 US top 10 hit The Walk. Wrote numerous songs recorded by others including Tramp, a hit duet for Otis Redding and Carla Thomas in 1967 ~ Walker was born in 1921
December 20, 2011 ~ Thomas Harvey Bonniwell, commonly known as singer, songwriter Sean Bonniwell passed away in Visalia, California, USA ~ Frontman and thriving creative force of 1960s garage rockers the Music Machine, known for Talk Talk, a Billboard top 20 hit in 1966 ~ Bonniwell was born in 1940
December 20, 2009 ~ Guitarist James Gurley, full name James Martin Gurley, passed away in Palm Desert, California, USA ~ Lead guitarist of Big Brother & the Holding Company, known for their association with Janis Joplin from 1966 to 1968 ~ Gurley was born in 1939
December 20, 2009 ~ Jazz saxophonist, jazz club manager Pete King, full name Peter Stephen George King, passed away ~ Managed Ronnie Scott's noted Soho, London jazz club for fifty years. Played wih Jiver Hutchinson, George Evans, Oscar Rabin, Dill Jones, Lennie Bush, Tony Crombie, Jack Parnell, Victor Feldman, Philly Joe Jones, and others ~ King was born in 1929
December 20, 2007 ~ Tejano, conjunto singer, guitarist Lydia Mendoza passed away in San Antonio, Texas, USA ~ Regarded as “the Mother of Tejano Music” by critics. Has recorded over an estimated 200 songs during a career spanning five decades. Known for songs such as Mal Hombre, Delgadina, Medalla De Dios, Aunque Me Odies, No Es Culpa Mia, Amor Bonito, and Flores Negras ~ Mendoza was born in 1916
December 20, 2006 ~ Peter Sidney Mulligan, commonly known as jazz trumpeter, bandleader Mick Mulligan, passed away in West Sussex, UK ~ Worked with George Melly, Roy Crimmins, Ian Christie, Archie Semple, and others ~ Mulligan was born in 1928
December 20, 2006 ~ Singer René Herrera passed away ~ Half of René & René, the other half being René Ornelas, known for 1964's Angelito and 1969's Lo Mucho Que To Quiero, the latter reaching the Billboard top 20 ~ Herrera was born in 1935
December 20, 2004 ~ Frank Seals, commonly known as electric blues guitarist Son Seals passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Started performing professionally at age 13, serving as drummer with Robert Nighthawk. Later switched to guitar. Has worked with Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Junior Parker, Rosco Gordon. Debuted in 1973 with his solo album, The Son Seals Blues Band, after being spotted by Alligator Records' Bruce Iglauer. Has recorded steadily to crtical acclaim and a dedicated fan base since. The jam band Phish would cover his Funky Bitch and on occasion would have Seals join them on-stage ~ Seals was born in 1942
December 20, 2000 ~ Bassist, songwriter Adrian Henri passed away in Liverpool, UK ~ Best known as founding member of poetry-rock group the Liverpool Scene ~ Henri was born in 1932
December 20, 2000 ~ Composer, conductor, orchestrator, songwriter Dick Hazard, full name Richard Hazard, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Film and TV composer known for scoring the music for TV series such as Mission Impossible, Mannix, The Partners and films such as Some Call It Loving and With This Ring ~ Hazard was born in 1921
December 20, 1999 ~ Clarence Eugene Snow, commonly known as country, honky-tonk singer, guitarist, songwriter Hank Snow passed away in Madison, Tennessee, USA ~ Recorded some 140 albums, charting over 80 singles on the Billboard Country charts from the 1950s through the 1980s. Best known for self-penned songs such I'm Moving On, Golden Rocket, Rhumba Boogie, as well as covers such as I Don't Hurt Anymore, Let Me Go Lover, I've Been Everywhere, Hello Love ~ Snow was born in 1914
December 20, 1995 ~ Derek William Ley, commonly known as jazz saxophonist, singer Eggy Ley, passed away in Delta, Canada ~ Worked with Mick Colliers, Eric Silk, Benny Waters, Cy Laurie, Hot Shots, and others ~ Ley was born in 1928
December 20, 1990 ~ Singer, whistler, bandleader Elmo Tanner, full name William Elmo Tanner, passed away in St Petersburg, Florida, USA ~ Dubbed “the Whistling Troubadour” and best known for his association with Ted Weems, notably on the Heartaches single ~ Tanner was born in 1904
December 20, 1990 ~ Singer, actress Joanne Novelle Levesque, commonly known as JoJo, born in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA ~ First gained attention in 2003 as a contender on the TV show America's Most Talented Kids. Would release her eponymous debut album, Jojo, the next year which included the hit single Leave (Get Out). Has been recording to critical acclaim and commercial succes since. Has also ventured into acting
December 20, 1985 ~ Heavy metal, hard rock, gunge drummer, guitarist, singer, songwriter Paul Wandtke born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Best known as member of heavy metal outfit Bedlem. Lead singer, guitarist of grunge band the Dead Original. Has also worked with Trivium, Kill Hannah, and the Nirvana-tribute band Smells Like Nirvana
December 20, 1984 ~ Christel Alsos Monsen, commonly known as singer Christel Alsos, born in Fauske, Norway ~ Broke with her debut single Come On in 2006. A full-length debut album, Closing The Distance, would follow the next year
December 20, 1982 ~ Pianist Arthur Rubinstein passed away in Geneva, Switzerland ~ Child prodigy. Widely regardes as one of the all-time greatest pianist, especially known as an interpreter of the works of Frédéric Chopin. ~ Rubinstein was born in 1887
December 20, 1982 ~ Singer David Cook born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Won the seventh edition of American Idol
December 20, 1981 ~ Indie rock, indie pop, indie folk singer, keyboardist, bassist, guitarist, songwriter, producer Patrick Damphier, full name Patrick Kane Damphier, born in Amsterdam, New York, USA ~ Has worked in a variety of roles, session and studio musician, producer, with artists such as the Mynabirds, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Thayer Sarrano, Tim Easton, the Arcs, Paper Rival, Photo Ops, Houndmouth, Fences, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Mikaela Davis, Night Beds, Ruby Boots, Oh Mercy, the Sun Seeker, and others
December 20, 1979 ~ Vaudeville entertainer, songwriter Benny Davis passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Remembered for co-penning songs such as Margie (the Rega Dance Orchestra, the Modernaires, Tommy Dorsey, Fats Domino), I'm Nobodys Child (Aileen Stanley, Ruth Etting, Judy Garland, Mildred Bailey, Connie Francis), Oh How I Miss You tonight (the California Melodie Syncopators, Perry Como, Kay Starr, Frank Sinatra), Lonesome And Sorry (Jean Goldkette, Joni James, Nat King Cole), Baby Face (Jan Garber, Ben Selvin, Roberta Sherwood, Little Richard, the Kinks), Carolina Moon (Gene Austin, Guy Lombardo, the Chordettes, Jim Reeves), and With These Hands (Dick Brown, Shirley Bassey, Sarah Vaughan, the Temptations) ~ Davis was born in 1895
December 20, 1977 ~ Jazz, bossa nova pianist, keyboardist, arranger, composer David Feldman born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ Leader and sideman. Has worked with Joca Perpignan, Paulo Levi, Paula Morelenbaum, Scott Feiner, Noa, Adam Dunning, Yotam Silberstein, the Ensemble PHOENIX, and others
December 20, 1977 ~ Rock, alternative rock drummer Kerem Kabadayi born in Ankara, Turkey ~ Member of Decision. Co-founded Mor Ve Otesi, releasing their Sehir debut album in 2008. Internationally the band is best known for representing their native Turkey at the 2008 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 7th place with the song Deli
December 20, 1977 ~ James Burke Oden, commonly known as blues singer, pianist, songwriter St Louis Jimmy Oden, passed away in Alsip, Illinois, USA ~ Best known for his 1941 single Goin' Down Slow. His friend and frequent collaborator Muddy Waters would record Oden's Take The Bitter With The Sweet and Soon Forgotten. Has also worked with Roosevelt Sykes, Guitar Pete Franklin, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Spann, and others ~ Oden was born in 1903
December 20, 1976 ~ Ambient, electronica bassist James Elliott, full name James Lanier Elliott, born in Kentucky, USA ~ Member of the School of Seven Bells and Bear In Heaven. As a solo artist usually goes by the moniker Atelia. Noted for his 2007 Formal Sleep featuring contributions from David Grubbs, David Daniell, John Philpot and Sadek Bazaraa
December 20, 1976 ~ Lyricist, songwriter Ned Washington, full name Edward Michael Washington, passed away in Beverly Hills, California, USA ~ Nominated for eleven Academy Awards from 1940 to 1962. Won the award twice, in 1940 for Ukulele Ike' s When You Wish Upon A Star co-written with Leigh Harline and included in the film Pinocchio, and in 1952 for Tex Ritter's High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) co-written with Dimitri Tiomkin and featured in the film High Noon ~ Washington was born in 1901
December 20, 1975 ~ Drummer Graham Hopkins born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Best known as member of the Swell Season, the Frames, Therapy. Has also worked with Gemma Hayes, Halite, Boss Valenti, Snow Patrol, Dolores O'Riordan, David Kitt, Mundy, the Reindeer Section, Josh Ritter, and others
December 20, 1974 ~ Composer André Jolivet passed away in Paris, France ~ Founder of the La Jeune France movement along with composers Olivier Messiaen, Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur and Yves Baudrier ~ Jolivet was born in 1905
December 20, 1973 ~ Pop rock sibling outfit the Bee Gees record Charade at IBC Studios, London, UK ~ Written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb. Arranged and produced by Arif Mardin. Though praised by Billboard as the band's “strongest release” in years the single, released August 1974 paired with Heavy Breathing on the flipside, would only be a modest hit. Included on the 1974 Mr Natural
December 20, 1973 ~ Walden Robert Cassotto, commonly known as singer Bobby Darin passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Started as a struggling Brill building songwriter including for Connie Francis, with whom Darin developed a brief romantic interest. Debuted as a solo artist in 1958 with Splish Splash, an immediate hit selling over a million copies. Also known for songs such as Early In The Morning under the moniker the Rinky-dinks, The Queen Of The Hop, Dream Lover, Mack The Knife, Beyond The Sea, Lazy River, You Must've Been A Beautiful Baby, and others ~ Darin was born in 1936
December 20, 1972 ~ Heavy metal, black metal bassist, guitarist Anders Odden born in Stavanger, Norway ~ Co-founding member of Cadaver, ORDER, Magenta, Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult. Member of Satyricon since 2009. Guested with Celtic Frost, the Young Gods, Ministry, Apoptygma Berzerk, Pigface, and others
December 20, 1972 ~ Indie rock, folk singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Emma Pollock born ~ Co-founding member of the Delgados, the Burns Unit, the Fruit Tree Foundation. Has also recorded as a solo artist, starting with Watch The Fireworks released in 2007
December 20, 1969 ~ Big band, jazz singer, saxophonist Kenny Sargent, full name Laurel Kenneth Sargent, passed away in Dallas County, Texas, USA ~ Best known as lead vocalist, saxophonist for the Casa Loma Orchestra, enjoying popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. Present on some of the band's best-known including The Talk Of The Town, Blue Moon, City Called Heaven, and When I Grow Too Old To Dream. Sargent retired from the band in 1943 to pursue a career as a radio host starting with Memphis-based WHHM, remaining active in radio with Tennessee and Texas stations throughout the 1960s ~ Sargent was born in 1906
December 20, 1968 ~ Songwriter, producer Billy Mann born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ As a songwriter or producer Mann has worked with artists such as P!nk, John Legend, Céline Dion, Take That, the Backstreet Boys, Cher, David Guetta, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Simpson, Ricky Martin, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Joss Stone, Robyn, Grover Washington Jr, Chaka Khan, Michael Bolton, Josh Groban, Boyzone, Paula Abdul, Helene Fischer, Cher Lloyd, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Brown, and others
December 20, 1966 ~ Singer Chris Robinson, full name Christopher Mark Robinson born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Founding member, lead singer of the Black Crowes, known for songs such as Jealous Again, the Otis Redding-cover Hard To Handle, She Talks To Angels, Remedy and Thorn In My Pride
December 20, 1965 ~ R&B singer Wilson Pickett records 634-5789 (Soulsville USA) ~ Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper. The phone number in the title is a reference to the Marvelettes 1962 hit Beechwood 4-5789. Pickett singlle would reach top 20 Billboard Hot 100 and top the Billboard R&B. Singer Patti Labelle and her group the Blue-belles provided backing vocals. In later years the song would be covered by acts such as Otis Redding, Ry Cooder, Tower Of Power, and Tina Turner
December 20, 1963 ~ Easy listening, pop singer Barbra Streisand records People at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, New York ~ Written by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill for the 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl starring Streisand. Released as a Mike Berniker-produced single the following January it would reach top 10 Billboard Hot 100 and become a signature song for Streisand. Featured on the flipside was I Am Woman recorded during the same session, a solo version of the Streisand-Sydney Chaplin duet You Are Woman (I Am Man) from the same musical
December 20, 1963 ~ Glam metal guitarist Marshall Rohner, full name Marshall Lambert Rohner, born in Iowa, USA ~ Member of the Cruzados, including on Live At The Ritz. Also worked with TSOL, Jimmy & the Mustangs, Kenny Brown, and with Dino's Revenge ~ Rohner passed away in 2006
December 20, 1963 ~ Ian Garfield Hoxley, commonly known as rock singer, DJ, producer Mary Byker born in Leicester, UK ~ Lead singer of Gaye Bykers On Acid, Pigface, Hyperhead, Apollo 440, Hoodlum Priest, Pop Will Eat Itself, Am I Dead Yet, Eye To Eye, and Maximum Roach
December 20, 1961 ~ Guitarist, keyboardist, singer, songwriter Mike Keneally, full name Michael Joseph Keneally, born in Long Island, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with Frank Zappa, starting on the 1988 tour and remaining until Zappa's death in 1993. Has recorded as a solo artist starting with the 1992 hat album. Has also worked with Steve Vai, Wadada Leo Smith, Ulver, Henry Kaiser, Prairie Prince, Andy West, Chris Opperman, and others
December 20, 1959 ~ R&B, soul singer Yvonne Gage born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ In-demand session singer for the likes of Captain Sky, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, the Doobie Brothers, Céline Dion, R Kelly, Kem, Janelle Monáe, Kindred The Family Soul, and others. As a solo artist best known for her 1984 Don Burnside-produced Virginity album
December 20, 1957 ~ Singer, songwriter, actress, TV personality Anna Vissi born in Pyla, Cyprus ~ Active since the mid-1970s. Represented Greece at the 1980 Eurovision Songfestival with Autostop, reaching 13th place. Bercame a leading figure in 1990s rise of laika-pop. Known for songs such as Methismeni Politia, Oso Exo Foni, Pragmata, Stin Pira, and perhaps her best known Dodeka
December 20, 1957 ~ Bassist Mike Watt born in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA ~ Seminal post-punk bassist. Co-founding member of the Minutemen through 1985. Co-founding member of Firehose through 1994. Co-founding member of Dos. Released his Ball-Hog Or Tugboat solo debut album in 1994. Has also worked with art rock group Banyan, supergroup Big Walnuts Yonder, Black Gang, the Stooges, the Unknown Instructors, Wylde Ratttz, Floored By Four, Steve Mackay, the Hand To Man Band, Anywhere, CUZ, Sonic Youth, Porno For Pyros, and others
December 20, 1957 ~ Bassist Walter Page, full name Walter Sylvester Page, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Led the Blue Devils. Also worked with the Count Basie Orchestra, Jimmy Rushing, Buster Smith, Lester Young, Hot Lips Page, Jo Jones, Freddie Green, Jimmy McPartland, Eddie Condon, Ruby Braff, Roy Eldridge, Vic Dickenson, Buck Clayton, and others ~ Page was born in 1900
December 20, 1956 ~ Pop, pop rock keyboardist Åke Danielson born in Luleå, Sweden ~ Member of Time Bandits from 1981 through its disbandement in 1988, present on their best-known I'm Specialized In You. Has also worked with JP den Tex, Hein Offermans, Ernst Jansz, Boudewijn de Groot, and others
December 20, 1956 ~ Disco, R&B singer Anita Ward born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for Ring My Bell, a hit in 1979. Ward initially did not like the song but label owner Frederick Knight insisted on adding a dance track to her debut album Songs Of Love to capitalize on the disco trend. The single would top charts across the globe and remains a disco classic to this day. Ward continued to record, scoring a minor hit with Don't Drop My Love but was never able to repeat the succes of Ring My Bell
December 20, 1955 ~ Singer, guitarist Chuck Berry records You Can't Catch Me at Universal Recording Studio, Illinois, USA ~ Previously recorded in a May 1955 session alongside Maybellene and Wee Wee Hours. The December 1955 version however would be the one released, paired with Havana Moon on the flipside. Produced by Leonard Chess and Phil Chess. Music publisher Morris Levy, holding the song's rights, would later sue John Lennon for copyright infringement, the Beatles song Come Together alleged to plagiarize Berry. The suit was settled out of court. Lennon would record a rendition on his 1975 Rock 'n Roll cover album as part of the settlement
December 20, 1955 ~ Rock, punk, alternative rock guitarist, singer, songwriter Ed Kuepper, full name Edmund Kuepper, born in Bremen, West Germany ~ Co-founding member of punk band the Saints, post-punk group Laughing Clowns, grunge-infused rockers the Aints. As a solo artist best known for a string of acclaimed 1990s albums, notably Honey Steel's Gold released in 1991
December 20, 1951 ~ Pianist Brynjulf Blix born ~ Worked with Terje Rypdal, Alex Naumik, Anita Skorgan, Terje Wilk, Guttorm Guttormsen, and others
December 20, 1950 ~ Rock, country, country rock drummer, songwriter Don Heffington born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of Lone Justice, best known for the singles Ways To Be Wicked and Shelter. Member of bluegrass outfit Watkins Family Hour. Has also recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with acts such as Lowell George, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Victoria Williams, the Wallflowers, the Jayhawks, Joanna Newsom, and others ~ Heffington passed away in 2021
December 20, 1950 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, violinist Ferus Mustafov, also known as King Ferus Mustafov, born in Stip, Yugoslavia ~ Active since the late 1960s. Considered a leading figure in Balkan folk, gypsy, and Rom music, enjoying popularity especially in his native Macedonia. Credited as one of the artists to have brought international attention to Balkan music. Internationally perhaps best known for his 1995 King Ferus album ~ Mustafov passed away in 2023
December 20, 1948 ~ Engineer, producer Alan Parsons born in London, UK ~ Studio engineer and producer honed his skills on pivotal albums such as Abbey Road by the Beatles and The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd. As a musician and recording artist became a household name with the Alan Parsons Project from the mid-1970s forward, working with a revolving set of studio musicians. Best known for songs such as Games People Play, Time, Eye In The Sky and Don't Answer Me, all of which reached the Billboard top 20
December 20, 1948 ~ Ohannes Tuncboyaci, commonly known as pop bassist, keyboardist, guitarist, producer, songwriter Onno Tunç, born in Istanbul, Turkey ~ Brother of singer Arto Tuncboyaciyan. Active since the 1960s. Known for songs such as Suc Bende, O Hep Bana, Iki Tas Çorba, Bize Gidelim, and Aya Benzer. Has collaborated with Emin Findikoglu, Özdemir Erdogan, Nilüfer, Bülent Ortaçgil, Ajda Pekkan, Nükhet Duru, Askin Nur Yengi, Zuhal Olcay, and with Sezen Aksu ~ Tunçboyaci passed away in 1996
December 20, 1947 ~ Psychedelic rock, rock, jazz fusion bassist Doug Lubahn born ~ Co-founding member of Clear Light, known for their sole eponymous Clear Light released in 1967. Lubahn is perhaps best known for his session work for the Doors, starting on the Strange Days. The band offered Lubahn a permanent spot in the band but he declined for multiple reasons. Would go on to found jazz-rock band Dreams with Jeff Kent. Bassist and co-lead vocalist for Pierce Arrow for whom Lubahn wrote Treat Me Right, later a Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit for Pat Benatar. Also worked with Riff Raff, Billy Squier, and Ted Nugent ~ Lubahn passed away in 2019
December 20, 1947 ~ Singer Gigliola Cinquetti born in Verona, Italy ~ Internationally best known for representing Italy in the Eurovision Songfestival twice, winning in 1964 with Non Ho L'Eta, and reaching 2nd place in 1974 with Si behind Sweden's ABBA with Waterloo
December 20, 1947 ~ Drummer Lloyd Courtenay born in Walsey, UK ~ Member of late 1960s, early 1970s outfit Arrival, known for Friends and I Will Survive
December 20, 1947 ~ Stephen Carlton Wright, commonly known as singer, songwriter Stevie Wright, born in Leeds, UK ~ Best known as the Easybeats lead singer from 1964 through 1969, known for hits such as She's So Fine, Women Make You Feel Alright, I'll Make You Happy, and Friday On My Mind ~ Wright passed away in 2015
December 20, 1946 ~ Per-Åke Tommy Persson, commonly known as blues, reggae singer, guitarist, songwriter Peps Persson born in Klippan, Sweden ~ Early on in his career played mostly blues-tinted songs, would gravitate more towards reggae from the mid-1970s on. Known for having reworked many famous blues and reggae hits, including originals from Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Bob Marley, into Swedish
December 20, 1945 ~ Peter George John Criscuola, commonly known as rock, hard rock drummer, singer, actor Peter Criss born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of Kiss, remaining with the band through 1980 playing only one song, his own composition Dirty Livin', on the 1979 Dynasty album. Present on the band's best-known including Rock & Roll All Nite, Calling Dr Love, I Was Made For Lovin' You and Sure Know Something. Released his eponymous Peter Criss debut album in 1978. Has also worked with the Barracudas, the Keep, Balls Of Fire, Criss-Penridge Alliance, Chelsea, Criss, and others
December 20, 1944 ~ Drummer, percussionist, producer Bobby Colomby born in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of jazz-rock fusion outfit Blood Sweat & Tears, present on hits such as And When I Die, You've Made Me So Very Happy and Spinning Wheel. Has also worked with John Cale, Terry Riley, Jaco Pastorius, the Jacksons (producing the 1978 Destiny album), Eddie Palmieri, Richard Marx, Paula Cole, Jeff Lorber, and others
December 20, 1943 ~ Walter Washington, commonly known as blues, funk, R&B singer, guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Backed Lee Dorsey while stil in his teens. Formed the All Fools Band in the 1960s. Probably best known for his association with Johnny Adams, backing Adams for about two decades starting in the 1970s. Released his Rainin' In My Life solo debut album in 1981 and has recorded consistently since, about a dozen albums to his name heavily drawing on blues yet incorporating funk and R&B ~ Washington passed away in 2022
December 20, 1942 ~ Pianist, keyboardist, arranger, producer Larry Willis, full name Lawrence Elliott Willis, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Perhaps best known as a member of Blood Sweat & Tears from 1972 through 1977, first appearing on the New Blood album. Has also worked with Jackie McLean, Nat Adderley, Gary Bartz, Cindy Blackman, Carla Bley, Jerry Gonzalez, Roy Hargrove, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Richard Groove Holmes, Clifford Jordan, Robin Kenyatta, Hugh Masekela, Carmen McRae, Lee Morgan, Alphonse Mouzon, David Fathead Newman, Woody Shaw, and others ~ Willis passed away in 2019
December 20, 1942 ~ Jazz keyboardist, composer, producer Pete Levin born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Best known for his association with Gil Evans and with Jimmy Giuffre. Has also worked with Carla Bley, the Burbeck Brothers, Hiram Bullock, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Cobham, Willie Colón, Kal David, Miles Davis, Rachelle Ferrell, Bryan Ferry, Gregory Hines, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Annie Lennox, Chuck Mangione, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Jaco Pastorius, Genya Ravan, Robbie Robertson, David Sanborn, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, Paul Simon, Lew Soloff, John Tropea, Joe Louis Walker, Vanessa Williams, Lenny White, and others
December 20, 1939 ~ Banjoist, steel guitarist Bill Keith, full name William Bradford Keith, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Joined Bill Monroe's quintessential bluegrass outfit the Blue Grass Boys in 1963. Has collaborated with Ian & Sylvia, Clarence White, David Grisman, Tony Trischka, Red Allen, Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band, Muleskinner, Jim Rooney, Peter Rowan, the Great Speckled Bird, the Bee Gees, Judy Collins, Marcel Dadi, the Woodstock Mountain Revue, and others ~ Keith passed away in 2015
December 20, 1939 ~ Banjoist Courtney Johnson born in Glasgow, Kentucky, USA ~ Influenced by Ralph Stanley. Influenced Béla Fleck, Alison Brown, Scott Vestal, Jens Kruger. Member of the Bluegrass Alliance. Original member of the New Grass Revival ~ Johnson passed away in 1996
December 20, 1939 ~ Agathie Natalie Weston, commonly known as R&B, soul singer Kim Weston, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Known for a string of late 1960s hits both as a solo artist, Love Me All The Way and Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While), as well as for her duets with Marvin Gaye, notably It Takes Two
December 20, 1938 ~ Composer John Harbison, full name John Harris Harbison, born in Orange, New Jersey, USA ~ Composed opera, ballet, orchestral, choral, chamber and vocal works. Perhaps best known for his Pullitzer Prize-winning 1987 The Flight Into Egypt composition. Also known for the opera The Great Gatsby which the Metropolitan Opera premiered in 1999. Married to violinist Rose Mary Harbison
December 20, 1936 ~ Singer Judy Henske, full name Judith Anne Henske, born in Chippawa Falls, Wisconsin, USA ~ Dubbed “the Queen of the Beatniks” by producer Jack Nitzsche. Joined the Whiskeyhill Singers in 1961, noted for their 1962 Dave Guard & The Whiskeyhill Singers album. Member of Rosebud. As a solo artist best known for her 1969 Farewell Aldebaran album drawing from folk, psychedelia and arty pop, with her then-husband Jerry Yester ~ Henske passed away in 2022
December 20, 1930 ~ Auburn Hare, commonly known as electric blues guitarist, singer Pat Hare, born in Chrry Valley, Arkansas, USA ~ Influential on rockabilly, on British invasion stars including the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, and through distorted power chord-driven usage of the electric guitar as early as the 1950s even seen as a precursor to heavy metal music. Served as sideman for Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton (notably the guitar solo on 1954's Cotton Crop Blues, with its use of heavily distorted power chords according to some a precursor to heavy metal), Muddy Waters, Bobby Blue Bland, Junior Parker, and others ~ Hare passed away in 1980
December 20, 1924 ~ Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist Arne Domnerus born in Sweden ~ Leader and sideman. Active since the 1940s. Played with Charlie Parker, James Moody, Art Farmer, Clifford Brown, Bengt Hallberg, Lars Gullin, Rolf Ericson, Ake Persson, Quincy Jones, Harry Arnold, Benny Golson, Herbie Mann, and with Jimmy Witherspoon ~ Domnérus passed away in 2008
December 20, 1912 ~ Kermit Lane, commonly known as pianist Ken Lane, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Co-wrote Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes, first recorded by Peggy Lee in 1947 and covered by well over 100 artists inlcuding Dinah Washington, Brenda Lee, Sarah Vaughan, and Frank Sinatra, probably most closely associated with the latter. Also well known as Dean Martin's accompaniest during the late 1960s and early 1970s on The Dean Martin Show aired on NBC. Composed the music for Lucy Gets Lucky, a 1975 TV movie starring Lucille Ball. Lane's daughter, Robin Lane is a rock singer ~ Lane passed away in 1996
December 20, 1907 ~ Singer, songwriter Al Rinker born in Tekoa, Washington, USA ~ Began in the early 1920s as a teen performing with Bing Crosby. By the mid-1920s the pair moved to LA, eventually forming the Rhythm Boys with Harry Barris. The vocal threesome sang with Paul Whiteman's big band for three years and on their own for about a year until Crosby went solo, effectively disbanding the group ~ Rinker passed away in 1982
December 20, 1907 ~ Pleasant Joseph, commonly known as blues, jazz singer, pianist Cousin Joe, born in Wallace, Louisiana, USA ~ Best known for his association with Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow ~ Joesph passed away in 1989
December 20, 1900 ~ Theodore Salvatore Fiorito, commonly known as leader, keyboardist, composer Ted Fio Rito, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Best known for a number of mid-1930s hits including My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua and I'll String Along With You. Composed over a hundred songs collaborating with lyricists such as Ernie Erdman, Gus Kahn, Sam Lewis, Cecil Mack, Albert von Tilzer, and Joe Young ~ Fiorito passed away in 1971
December 20, 1898 ~ Irene Marie Dunn, commonly known as actress, singer Irene Dunne, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA ~ Best known as a popular actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Aspired to become an opera singer but rejected by the Metropolitan Opera reverted to singing in musicals, including Broadway productions until scouted by RKO. Made her screen debut in the 1930 musical film Leathernecking. To this day considered one of the finest actresses to have never been awarded an Academy Award ~ Dunn passed away in 1990
December 20, 1887 ~ Abraham Olshewitz, commonly known as songwriter, music publisher Abe Olman, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Wrote or co-wrote songs such as Down Among The Sheltering Palms (the Lyric Quartet, Sammy Kaye, the Chordettes), I'm Waiting For Ships That Never Come In (Nick Lucas, Bing Crosby, Ernest Tubb), Oh Johnny Oh Johnny (the Premier Quartet, the Andrews Sisters, Dottie Dillard), and Noah's Wife (Lived A Wonderful Life) (Eddie Cantor, the Hoosier Hot Shots, Tiny Hill) ~ Olshewitz passed away in 1984
December 20, 1873 ~ Conductor, pianist, composer Frank Welsman, full name Frank Squire Welsman, born in Toronto, Canada ~ Founded the Toronto Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in 1906 ~ Welsman passed away in 1952
December 20, 1871 ~ Composer, conductor Henry Kimball Hadley born in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA ~ As a composer best known for his overture In Bohemia and the symphonic poem Salome. As a conductor held positions at renowned orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, and others. ~ Hadley passed away in 1937