This Day In Music: December 21
December 20 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 22
December 21, 2022 ~ Harvey Jett, commonly known as guitarist, banjoist, pianist, singer Harvey Burley Jett, passed away in Madisonville, Kentucky, USA ~ Original member of Black Oak Arkansas. Jett was present on most of the band's best known, including their most acclaimed album High On The Hog released in 1973, and was replaced by Jimmy Soybean Henderson in 1974 ~ Jett was born in 1949
December 21, 2021 ~ Percussionist Anthony Williams passed away ~ Pioneer of the steel pan. Best known as founding member of Sun Valley and subsequently the Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra. Has also worked with Five Graves To Cairo, the Harlem Nightingale Steelband, the Pan Am North Stars, and others ~ Williams was born in 1931
December 21, 2020 ~ Kay Toinette Oslin, commonly known as country singer, keyboardist KT Oslin, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Known for a number of mid to late-1980s country hits, including 80's Ladies, Do Ya, I'll Always Come Back, Hold Me, and Come Next Monday ~ Oslin was born in 1942
December 21, 2018 ~ Kalman Felberbaum, commonly known as operatic bass singer Carlos Feller passed away in Kempten, Germany ~ Closely associated with the Cologne Opera. Best known for comedic supporting roles, notably his signature role as Don Alfonso in the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-penned Cosi Fan Tutte. Has also worked with the Teatro Colón, the Frankfurt Opera, the Opernhaus Klei, the Bavarian State Opera, and others ~ Felberbaum was born in 1923
December 21, 2017 ~ Jazz guitarist Halvard Kausland, full name Halvaard Magne Kausland, passed away in Oslo, Norway ~ Married to singer Grethe Kausland from 1966 to 1979. Has worked with Hans Mathisen, Helle Brunvol, Øystein Sunde, Ole Paus, and others ~ Kausland was born in 1945
December 21, 2017 ~ Trombonist Roswell Rudd passed away in Kerhonkson, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Eli's Chosen Six, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, Steve Lacy, the New York Art Quartet, the Jazz Composers Orchestra, Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Sanders, Gato Barbieri, Robin Kenyatta, Carla Bley, Beaver Harris, Enrico Rava, Elton Dean, Michael Mantler, Keith Tippett, Giorgio Gaslini, and others ~ Rudd was born in 1935
December 21, 2016 ~ Jazz pianist Betty Loo Taylor passed away in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ~ Dubbed Hawaii's “First Lady of Jazz” best known for her regular performances at the Trappers club alongside longtime musical partner Jimmy Borges in the 1970s and 1980s and the Kahala Hotel & Resort during the 1990s and 2000s ~ Taylor was born in 1929
December 21, 2015 ~ Flavio Basso, commonly known as singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, percussionist, songwriter Jupiter Apple, passed away in Porto Alegre, Brazil ~ Influenced by Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger. Founding member of rock, rockabilly band TNT, present on songs such Entra Nessa and Estou Na Mão. Co-founding member of Os Cascavelletes, known for Nega Bombom and Oce Me Deixa Insano. Released his A Setima Efervescenia solo debut album 1997 ~ Basso was born in 1968
December 21, 2015 ~ Hard bop pianist Sam Dockery passed away ~ Worked with Betty Carter, Clifford Brown, Butch Ballard, Dylan Taylor, and perhaps most notably with Art Blakey including on the albums Hard Bop (1956) and A Night In Tunisia (1957) ~ Dockery was born ca.1929
December 21, 2014 ~ Jürgen Udo Bockelmann, commonly known as pop, schlager singer, songwriter Udo Jürgens, passed away in Münsterlingen, Switzerland ~ Composed some 1,000 songs. Sold over 100 million records. Won the 1966 Eurovision Songfestival representing Austria with the song Merci Chérie ~ Bockelmann was born in 1934
December 21, 2013 ~ Herman Alpert, commonly known as jazz bassist Trigger Alpert, passed away in Jacksonville, Florida, USA ~ Worked with Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Bud Freeman, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Jerry Jerome, Bernie Leighton, Ray McKinley, Frank Sinatra, Muggsy Spanier, Don Elliott, Coleman Hawkins, Gene Krupa, Mundell Lowe, Buddy Rich, Artie Shaw, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Al Cohn, Urbie Green, Tony Scott, Ed Shaughnessy, Zoot Sims, Joe Wilder, Hank Jones, Sonny Igoe, Chuck Wayne, and others ~ Alpert was born in 1916
December 21, 2012 ~ Bassist Lee Dorman passed away in Laguna Niguel, California, USA ~ Best known as bassist of Iron Butterfly. Also played in Captain Beyond ~ Dorman was born in 1942
December 21, 2003 ~ Jazz saxophonist, bandleader Hans Koller passed away in Vienna, Austria ~ Worked with Freddie Brocksieper, Albert Mangelsdorff, Jutta Hipp, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Russo, Lee Konitz, Stan Kenton, Eddie Sauter, Benny Goodman, Attila Zoller, Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, Wes Montgomery, Martial Solal, Jimmy Pratt, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, the International Brass Company, and others ~ Koller was born in 1921
December 21, 1997 ~ Jazz, R&B trumpeter Johnny Coles passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Active from the late 1940s well into the 1990s. Recorded a handful of albums as a leader, noted most for Little Johnny C released in 1963. Most closely associated with Gil Evans, James Moody, and Charles Mingus. Also present on albums by the likes of Clifford Brown, Dinah Washington, Miles Davis (Porgy & Bess), Ray Crawford, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Horace Parlan (Happy Frame Of Mind), Kenny Burrell, Astrud Gilberto, Booker Ervin (Back From The Gig), Herbie Hancock, and the Manhattan Transfer (Vocaleese) ~ Coles was born in 1926
December 21, 1995 ~ Progressive rock, reggae bassist, singer, songwriter Charlie Tumahai passed away ~ Best known as member of Be-Bop Deluxe. Has also worked with Chain, Healing Force, Friends, Mississippi, Tandoori Cassette, Herbs, the Dukes, the Hollywood Killers, and others ~ Tumahai was born in 1949
December 21, 1995 ~ Pop, rock, country drummer Sammy Creason passed away ~ Session musician worked with Jimmy Buffett's backing unit the Coral Reefer Band, Tony Joe White (including on Rainy Night In Georgia), Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, the Dixie Flyers, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, BJ Thomas, Brook Benton, Sam the Sham, Dr John, Sam & Dave, Ronnie Hawkins, Charlie Rich, Dottie West, Rita Coolidge, Carmen McRae, the Memphis Horns, Barbra Streisand, Delbert McClinton, Dan Penn, Esther Phillips, Delaney & Bonnie, Geoff Muldaur, Billy Swan, Tom Pacheco, Hoyt Axton, Gene Clark, Bob Neuwirth, Duane Allman, Donnie Fritts, Petula Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lulu, and others. Through his association with Kristofferson Creason had small parts in the films Convoy and A Star Is Born ~ Creason was born in 1944
December 21, 1992 ~ Albert Nelson, commonly known as guitarist Albert King, passed away in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Considered one of the three “Kings of the Blues”, the other two being BB King and Freddie King. Lovingly dubbed “the Velvet Bulldozer” for his smooth singing and posture. Best known for his critically acclaimed and highly influential 1967 album Born Under A Bad Sign ~ Nelson was born in 1923
December 21, 1990 ~ Pop, R&B singer Alexa Goddard born in Yateley, UK ~ Toured extensively with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra starting in her teens, also notably featured on Child Of The Night of the band's 2009 Night Castle. As a solo artist known for a number of notable covers, the 2010 Soulja Boy-cover Turn My Swag On single reaching the UK top 20
December 21, 1988 ~ Bassist Paul Jeffreys, full name Paul Avon Jeffreys, passed away in Lockerbie, UK ~ Member of Cockney Rebel from 1972 through 1974. Subsequently played with Be-Bop Deluxe, the Warm Jets and the Electric Eels. Died, along with his wife Rachel Jeffreys, in the Lockerbie plane bombing while starting their honeymoon ~ Jeffreys was born in 1952
December 21, 1987 ~ Drummer Lander Gyselinck born in Gent, Belgium ~ Member of STUFF, the Ragini Trio, LABtrio. Has also worked with Kris Defoort, Esther Venrooy, Mount Meru, Michel Hatzigeorgiou, Fulco Ottervanger, and others
December 21, 1983 ~ Singer Nikki Kerkhof, full name Nicole Kerkhof, born in Sint Oedenrode, the Netherlands ~ Best known as winner of the 4th season of Dutch talentshow Idols in 2008, scoring a No.1 hit with the single Hello World. Its follow-up, Bring Me Down, did reasonably well but her career stalled after that. She tried out for another talentshow, The Voice Of Holland, in 2016 but to no avail
December 21, 1981 ~ Jazz singer Sara Leib born in USA ~ Worked with Christian McBride, Allan Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Aaron Parks, and others
December 21, 1978 ~ Rock, emo, punk rock, pop punk guitarist, singer Heath Saraceno born ~ Member of Midtown from 1998 through 2005. Member of Senses Fall from 2005 through 2009
December 21, 1978 ~ Progressive metal, neoclassical metal singer Monika Pedersen born in Skanderborg, Denmark ~ Member of Sinphonia, Sirenia, and of the World State. Has also guested on recordings by Mercenary, Evil Masquerade, Manticora, and Ad Noctum
December 21, 1974 ~ Jazz drummer, percussionist Knut Aalefjaer born in Bærum, Norway ~ Worked with Vidar Saether, Moment's Notice, Musikkfiekken Workshop Big Band, Improvice Versa, Geir Lysne, Helge Lien, Frode Berg, Christine Sandtorv, Rune Brondbo, Lars Horntveth, Anders Mjos, Rob Waring, Lars Andreas Haug, Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer, Elfi Sverdrup, the Oslo Sinfonieta, and others
December 21, 1971 ~ Singer, guitarist Charlie Fuqua passed away in New Haven, Connecticut, USA ~ Co-founded the Ink Spots with Jerry Daniels and Deek Watson, remaining with the band through 1952. From 1943 through 1945 friend Bernie Mackey replaced Fuqua who served in the US Army. The band is best known for If I Didn't Care, Maybe, We Three (My Echo My Shadow & Me), Don't Get Around Much Anymore, The Gypsy, and others ~ Fuqua was born in 1910
December 21, 1971 ~ James Patrick Yorkston Wright, commonly known as folk singer, guitarist, banjoist, songwriter James Yorkston, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK ~ Released his Moving Up Country debut album in 2002 and has been recording to critical acclaim since. Closely associated with Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan, releasing several albums as a trio starting with 2016's Everything Sacred. Also known as an author, his 2011 debut book It's Lovely To Be Here (The Touring Diaries Of A Scottish Gent giving readers a behind-the-scenes account of the music industry through the eyes of a singer-songwriter
December 21, 1971 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Matthieu Chedid born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France ~ Son of singer Louis Chedid. Worked with Tam Tam, Mathiey Boogaerts, Suprême NTM, Sinclair, Billy Ze Kick, Brigitte Fontaine, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, Johnny Hallyday, and others
December 21, 1971 ~ Singer, songwriter Natalie Grant, full name Natalie Diane Grant, born in Seattle, Washington, USA ~ Acclaimed contemporary Christian singer. Won the GMA's Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year four consecutive years in a row starting in 2006. Known for songs such as Held, I Will Not Be Moved, Perfect People and Your Great Name. Has worked with Truth, Fred Hammond, John Tesh, Dennis Jernigan, Travis Cottrell, and others
December 21, 1971 ~ Ramón Enrique Acevedo Kerkadó, commonly known as pop singer, actor Raymond Acevedo, born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico ~ Member of Menudo from 1985 taking over for Ray Reyes through 1988, present on songs such as En San Juan Me Enamore, Pañuelo Blanco Americano and the international hit It's You And Me All The Way
December 21, 1967 ~ Heavy metal, thrash metal guitarist, bassist, banjoist Jim Adams born ~ Best known as member of Defiance, joining the band in 1986 and present on key albums such as Product Of Society, Void Terra Firma and Beyond Recognition. Also worked with Inner Threshold, Fat Freddie's Cat, Freeload, Severed Fifth, and others
December 21, 1966 ~ Pop singer Marco Borsato, full name Marco Roberto Borsato, born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands ~ Active since the early 1990s, initially solely in Italian, broke through after switching to Dutch. Became one of the most popular Dutch singers from the mid-1990s through the 2000s. Best known for songs such as De Meeste Dromen Zijn Bedrog, Je Hoeft Niet Naar Huis Vannacht, Vrij Zijn, De Waarheid, De Bestemming, Binnen and Rood. Has collaborated with Trijntje Oosterhuis, Sita Vermeulen, Do, Ali B, Andrea Bocelli, and others
December 21, 1964 ~ Pop rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Jussi Hakulinen, full name Jussi Pekka Hakulinen, born in Pori, Finland ~ Original member of , one of the best selling bands in Finland. Present on the band's first two albums Varietee and Nuoalia Tanssija. Departed the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career though in later years from time to time guested with the band and wrote material for them. Five albums as a solo artist, starting with Vaaleanpunaien Majatolo released in 1985 ~ Hakulinen passed away in 2022
December 21, 1964 ~ Pop guitarist, keyboardist, singer Kris Wauters, full name Kris Cecilia Jaak Wauters, born in Halle, Belgium ~ Member of Clouseau, known for songs such as Anne, Daar Gaat Ze and Domino
December 21, 1959 ~ Percussionist, drummer, keyboardist, bassist, producer Tim Powles, full name Timothy Guy Gerard Powles, born in Wellington, New Zealand ~ Started in the Venetians. Member of the Church, first appearing on the 1994 Sometime Anywhere album. Sang lead on the band's Take Your Place. Released Tyg's In Space, his solo album, in 1999. Has also worked with the Divinyls, Rose Tattoo, Dragon, the Maybe Dolls, and others
December 21, 1958 ~ Rock, pop guitarist, songwriter Kevin Archer born in Birmingham, UK ~ Member of punk rock group the Killjoys alongside Kevin Rowland. The duo would found Dexys Midnight Runners in 1978, present on the band's 1980 Searching For The Young Soul Rebels debut album. Archer wrote or co-wrote the tracks The Teams That Meet In Caffs, Geno, Keep It, and There There My Dear. Following his departure from the band in 1981 Archer formed the Blue Ox Babes
December 21, 1958 ~ Jazz guitarist, bandleader Ray Norris pssed away in Toronto, Canada ~ Led the Ray Norris Quintet, which at times included Fraser MacPherson and Phil Nimmons early on in their careers. Also known for Serenade In Rhythm, a radio show on CBC which ran until 1950. Founded the Rhythm Pals shortly before his death ~ Norris was born ca.1916
December 21, 1957 ~ Pop, rock singer, bassist, songwriter Tony Lewis born in London, UK ~ Lead singer, bassist of the Outfield, best known for their 1985 hit single Your Love ~ Lewis passed away in 2020
December 21, 1956 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Lee Roy Parnell born in Abilene, Texas, USA ~ Known for a string of 1990s country hits such as What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am, Love Without Mercy, Tender Moment, On The Road, I'm Holding My Own, A Little Bit Of You and Heart's Desire, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Country
December 21, 1955 ~ Contemporary classical composer, conductor, teacher David Hamilton, full name David Blair Hamilton, born in Napier, New Zealand ~ Best known as a choral composer with over an estimated choral pieces to his name. Also wrote chamber music and orchestral works. Known for compositions such as Lux Aeterna, Double Percussion Concerto, ERebus and Elysian Fields
December 21, 1955 ~ Noise, ambient, electro-acoustic, drone composer Kim Cascone born in Albion, Michigan, USA ~ Assistent music director on the Twin Peaks TV series. Actively recording since the late 1990s with over 50 albums to his name, using several monikers including Khem One, PGR, the Heavenly Music Corporation. Has collaborated with the Thessalonians, the KGB Trio, Spice Barons, and others
December 21, 1953 ~ Bessie Regina Norris, commonly known as soul, R&B singer, songwriter Betty Wright, born in Miami, Florida ~ Member of the Echoes of Joy. Sang background for Latimore, Bill Wyman, Gwen McCrae, Beverly Johnson, Stevie Wonder, Rachel Sweet, Peter Tosh, and others. Rose to fame in the 1970s as a solo artist known for hits such as Clean Up Woman, Where is The Love, Tonight's The Night and Dance With Me ~ Norris passed away in 2020
December 21, 1951 ~ Blues harpist, guitarist Alan Glen born ~ Fronts the Barcodes and the Incredible Blues Puppies. Also worked with the Yardbirds, Nine Below Zero, Little Axe, Alannah Myles, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Slash, John Mayall, Steve Lukather, Jeff Baxter, Lee Scratch Perry, Horace Andy, Junior Delgado, Bernie Marsden, Papa Lightfoot, Geoff Everett, Gary Fletcher, Mick Moody, Dr Feelgood, Art Themen, Pee Wee Ellis, Dub Syndicate, Paul Cox, Gypie Mayo, Dave Peabody, and others
December 21, 1951 ~ Alejandro Blake Fearon Jr, commonly known as post-bop bassist Alex Blake, born in Panama ~ Leader and sideman. First gained attention as member of Sun Ra's the Arkestra. Debuted as a leader in the late 1970s with the Especially For You album. Has worked with Billy Cobham, Randy Weston, Pharoah Sanders, John Hicks, the Manhattan Transfer, Kazumi Watanabe, Jimmy Buffett, Jonathan Butler, Chico Freeman, Carlos Garnett, Stan Getz, Weldon Irvine, Oran Juice Jones, Earl Klugh, the Last Poets, Carmen Lundy, Brownie McGhee, Airto Moreira, Janis Siegel, Charles Sullivan, Arif Mardin, Lenny White, and others
December 21, 1951 ~ Singer, songwriter Nick Gilder, full name Nicholas George Gilder, born in London, UK ~ First gained attention as frontman of glam rockers Sweeney Todd. As a solo artist best known for Here Comes The Night, You Really Rock Me and his best-known Hot Child In The City, a massive hit in 1978
December 21, 1950 ~ Blues singer, pianist Charles Brown records Black Night at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, California ~ Written by Jessie Mae Robinson. Paired with Once There Live A Fool on the B-side it would be released the next January and earn Brown his second No.1 hit on Billboard's R&B charts. It would later be covered by James Booker on the album The King Of The New Orleans Keyboard, Dr John on his In A Sentimental Mood, Buddy Guy on his Damn Right I've Got The Blues, and Joe Bonamassa on Sloe Gin
December 21, 1950 ~ Bjorn Falk Nilsen, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Lillebjorn Nilsen, born in Oslo, Norway ~ Member of the Young Norwegians. Member of supergroup Gitarkamaratene alongside Jan Eggum, Halvdan Sivertsen and Øystein Sunde
December 21, 1949 ~ Jazz, pop, R&B singer Marilyn Scott born in Arcadia, California, USA ~ Discovered by Emilio Castillo. Worked with Tower Of Power, Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets, Hiroshima, Etta James, Bobby Womack, Bobby Caldwell, Dori Caymmi, George Duke, Russell Ferrante, Ricardo Silveira, Boney James, Bob James, Jimmy Haslip, and others. As a solo artist best known for her 1977 single God Only Knows, a cover of the Beach Boys tune, and her 1979 debut Dreams Of Tomorrow album
December 21, 1948 ~ Rock, pub rock, country, new wave guitarist Martin Belmont born in Bromley, UK ~ Got his start in the music business working as a roadie for Brinsley Schwarz. Would go on to co-found Ducks Deluxe. In-demand session and touring guitarist for the likes of Graham Parker, Carlene Carter, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, Carl Perkins, John Hiatt, Desmond Dekker, Johnny Cash, and others. Released his Big Guitar debut album in 1995
December 21, 1947 ~ Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomez, commonly known as flamenco guitarist, composer, producer Paco de Lucia, born in Algeciras, Spain ~ Leading figure of the new flamenco style, updating the genre branching into classical and jazz while staying true to its roots. Admired by artists such as Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton. Known for songs such as Mediterranean, Entre Dos Aguas, La Barrosa, Emeptu, Cepa Andaluza, Gloria Al Nino Ricardo. Has collaborated with John McLaughlin, Al di Meola, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Ramón de Algeciras, and others ~ Sánchez passed away in 2014
December 21, 1946 ~ Rock, pop singer, guitarist Carl Wilson born in Hawthorne, California, USA ~ Influenced by Chuck Berry. Co-founded the Beach Boys, which also included his brothers Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson. Initially served as the band's lead guitarist and backing vocals. Sang lead on God Only Knows, Good Vibrations and Kokomo. Would become the band's de facto leader by the early 1970s. Released a number of solo albums, starting with the eponymous Carl Wilson album in 1981 ~ Wilson passed away in 1998
December 21, 1946 ~ Alan White, commonly known as jazz drummer Chip White, born in New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Has worked with Carmen McRae, Jaki Byard, the Jazzmobile CETA Big Band, Candido, John Abercrombie, Frank Wess, Etta Jones, Houston Person, Enrico Rava, and with Tom Waits on the Blue Valentine album released in 1978 ~ White passed away in 2020
December 21, 1946 ~ Violinist Etienne Péclard born in Les Deux-Sevres, France ~ Best known for his associations with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio Frabce, the Orchestre De Paris, and the Sartory Trio. Known for his recordings of Johannes Brahms' Double Concerto, Sergei Prokofiev's Symphonie Concerto Op.125 and specifically for his 1999 recordong of Henri Dutilleux's Tout Un Monde Lointain under the direction of Hans Graf
December 21, 1946 ~ Guitarist Kevin Peek born in Adelaide, Australia ~ Co-founded short-lived psychedelic pop band the James Taylor Move. Member of the Quartet, known for the single Now. Sessioned for the New Seekers, Mary Hopkin, Cliff Richard, Manfred Mann, Lulu, Tom Jones, Jeff Wayne, Shirley Bassey, the Twilights, and others. Best known as a member of progressive rock outfit Sky, remaining with the band from 1979 through 1991 ~ Peek passed away in 2013
December 21, 1945 ~ Jazz double bassist Cameron Brown born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Best known for his association with Don Pullen and George Adams. Has also worked with George Russell, Don Cherry, Aldo Romano, Booker Ervin, Donald Byrd, Sheila Jordan, Roswell Rudd, Beaver Harris, Archie Shepp, 360 Degree Music Experience, Ted Curson, Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Joe Lovano, Mal Waldron, Ricky Ford, Steve Grossman, Betty Carter, Etta Jones, Jane Ira Bloom, Dewey Redman, Connie Crothers, Houston Person, Salvatore Bonafede, Grover Washington Jr, Massimo Urbani, Tom Varner, Dave Ballou, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Musillami, and others
December 21, 1945 ~ Opera singer, director Ian Campbell, full name Ian David Campbell, born in Brisbane, Australia ~ Renowned opera singer during the 1960s and 1970s. Retired from singing in 1974 to pursue a career in management. Sang with the Australian Opera, the State Opera Of South Australia, the Sydney Opera House, the Santa Barbara Grand Opera, and others. Past chairman of Opera America. General and artistic director of the San Diego Opera from 1983 through 2014
December 21, 1945 ~ Guitarist Mick Wilsher born in Sutton, UK ~ Member of the New Vaudeville Band, known for the mid-1960s UK hits Winchester Cathedral, Peek-a-boo and Finchley Central
December 21, 1943 ~ Multi-instrumentalist Albert Lee born in Leominster, UK ~ Noted for his fingerstul technique. Worked with a host of rock's finest including Chris Farlowe, Heads Hands & Feet, Emmylou Harris, Bill Wyman, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Herbie Mann, Eric Clapton, John Prine, Rosanne Cash, Earl Scruggs, Joe Cocker, Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers, Dave Edmunds, Bert Jansch, Jerry Scheff, and others
December 21, 1943 ~ Gwen Mosley, commonly known as R&B, soul, disco, funk singer Gwen McCrae, born in Pensacola, Florida, Florida, USA ~ Best known for Rockin' Chair, a hit in 1975
December 21, 1942 ~ R&B, soul, Southern soul singer Carla Thomas, full name Carla Venita Thomas, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Daughter of Rufus Thomas. Dubbed ”the Queen of Memhis Soul”. Critically acclaimed for the 1961 Gee Whiz album and its follow-up 1965's Comfort Me. Known for songs such as Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes), B-A-B-Y and Tramp with Otis Redding
December 21, 1941 ~ Jazz pianist, composer, arranger John Hicks born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Started in blues, moved on to jazz. Influenced by pianists Fats Waller and Thelonious Monk. Has backed artists such as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Woody Herman, Charles Tolliver, Lester Bowie, Arthur Blythe, David Murray, Pharoah Sanders, David Fathead Newman, Della Reese, Joe Farrell, Al Grey, Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Kenny Dorham, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Henderson, Eric Alexander, Paquito d'Rivera, Sonny Fortune, Chico Freeman, and others ~ Hicks passed away in 2006
December 21, 1941 ~ William Bunch, commonly known as blues singer, pianist, guitarist Peetie Wheatstraw, passed away in East St Louis, Illinois, USA ~ One of the most popular and most recorded pre-war blues singers. Primarily a pianist. Influenced Robert Johnson who drew heavily on Wheatstraw's repertoire and on pianists such as Champion Jack Dupree, Moon Mullican and Jerry Lee Lewis. Known for songs songs as Tennessee Peaches Blues, Don't Feel Welcome Blues, Strange Man Blues, School Days and So Soon ~ Bunch was born in 1902
December 21, 1940 ~ Composer, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist Frank Zappa, full name Frank Vincent Zappa, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Debuted in 1966 with the Freak Out album and has recorded extensively since, producing over sixty albums as a solo artist and with his backing unit the Mothers Of Invention ~ Zappa passed away in 1993
December 21, 1940 ~ Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader Hal Kemp, full name James Hal Kemp, passed away in Madera, California, USA ~ Active since the late 1920s. Best known for songs such as Shuffle Of To Buffalo, There's A Small Hotel, Got A Date With Angel, Lamplight, You're The Top, Where Or When, and others. Worked with Skinnay Ennis, Bunny Berigan, John Scott Trotter, Art Jarrett. Kemp passed away two days after a car crash. His orchestra would continue to perform for a while but disbanded in the early 1940s ~ Kemp was born in 1904
December 21, 1940 ~ Pop singer Ray Hildebrand born in Joshua, Texas, USA ~ Formed the duo Paul & Paula, the other half being Jill Jackson, best known for their 1963 Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit Hey Paula. Given their stagename by label executive Shelby Singleton, arguing that it wouldn't make much sense for “Ray & Jill“ to sing “Hey hey Paul, hey hey Paula.”
December 21, 1939 ~ Carlos Manuel de Ascencao do Carmo de Almeida, commonly known as fado singer Carlos do Carmo, born in Lisbon, Portugal ~ Internationally acclaimed. Credited with updating the fado genre, incorporating elements of jazz and adding larger orchestras. To pop audiences perhaps best known for representing Portugal at the 1976 Eurovision Songfestival, his Uma Flor De Verde Pinho reaching 12th place ~ Do Carmo passed away in 2021
December 21, 1938 ~ Keyboardist Ken Chaney born ~ Member of Young-Holt Unlimited from 1968, replacing Don Walker, through the band's disbandement in 1974. Present on the band's best-known including the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Soulful Strut ~ Chaney passed away in 2012
December 21, 1937 ~ Saxophonist, composer Georges Boeuf born in Marseille, France ~ Composed operas, film scores, orchestral works and chamber music. Notable film scores include Transit, Le Matelot 512 and Retour A Marseille. Also well known for the opera Verlaine Paul based on the work of poet Franck Venaille, which premiered in 1996 ~ Boeuf passed away in 2020
December 21, 1934 ~ Bennie Ross Crawford Jr, commonly known as saxophonist, arranger, songwriter Hank Crawford, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Member of the CTI All-Stars. Served as saxophonist and musical director for Ray Charles, including on the pivotal albums What'd I Say (1959) and Modern Sounds In Country & Western (1962), before embarking on a solo career. As a solo artist known for 1960s songs as Misty, The Peeper, Whispering Grass, and Shake A Plenty, and for working as arranger for artists such as Etta James, Lou Rawls, and Dr John. Has also guested on albums by Eric Clapton, Grant Green, BB King, Johnny Hammond, Shirley Scott, and others ~ Crawford passed away in 2009
December 21, 1931 ~ Trombonist, composer David Baker, full name David Nathaniel Baker Jr, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA ~ Worked with Jimmy Coe, Slide Hampton, JJ Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, George Russell, Charles Tyler, John Lewis, and others ~ Baker was born in 2016
December 21, 1926 ~ Frederick Segrest, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Freddie Hart, born in Loachapoka, Alabama, USA ~ Country singer, best known for his 1971 crossover pop hit Easy Loving. Also known for songs such as The Key's In The Mailbox, Hank Williams' Guitar, Born A Fool, My Hang Up Is You, Got The All Overs For You All Over Me, Trip To Heaven, and I'd Like To Sleep Till I Get Over You. Would regularly hit the country charts from the early-1950s through the late-1980s. Later in life Hart would turn to gospel, performing untill he died. Artists who have covered Hart's songs include Carl Smith (Loose Talk), Patsy Cline (Loving In Vain), George Jones (My Tears Are Overdue), Porter Wagoner (Skid Row Joe), and others ~ Segrest passed away in 2018
December 21, 1925 ~ William Robert Emerson, commonly known as rock & roll, R&B singer, pianist Billy The Kid Emerson, born in Tarpon, Florida, USA ~ Best known for penning and first recording Red Hot, covered numerous times including by Bob Luman, Ronnie Hawkins, Brian Setzer and most notably in 1957 by Billy Lee Riley. Also known for first recording Every Woman I Know (Crazy About Automobiles), notably covered by Ry Cooder on the 1980 Borderline album. Emerson has worked with artists such as Earl Hooker, Lonnie Brooks, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and others. Songs written or co-written by Emerson have been recorded by Junior Wells, Willie Mabon, Wynonie Harris and by Buddy Guy ~ Emerson passed away in 2023
December 21, 1925 ~ Pop, country double bassist Floyd Chance, full name Floyd Taylor Chance, born in Como, Mississippi, USA ~ Session musician. Worked with Hank Williams (Your Cheatin' Heart), the Louvin Brothers, Jimmy Martin, the Everly Brothers (Bye Bye Love), Marvin Rainwater, Faron Young (Hello Walls), Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty (It's Only Make Believe), Willie Nelson, and others ~ Chance passed away in 2005
December 21, 1924 ~ Maria Everdina Reijs, commonly known as jazz singer Rita Reys, born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands ~ Dubbed “Europe's first lady of jazz.” Recorded and performed with Lars Gullin, Ove Lind, Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Herbie Mann, Oscar Pettiford, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Mat Mathews, Pim Jacobs, and others ~ Reijs passed away in 2013
December 21, 1921 ~ Producer, songwriter Luigi Creatore born in New York, New York, USA ~ Son of bandleader Giuseppe Creatore. Half of producer, songwriter team Hugo & Luigi, the other half being Hugo Peretti. Worked with artists such as Valerie Carr, Jimmie Rodgers, Perry Como, Sam Cooke, Ray Peterson, the Tokens, Elvis Presley (Can't Help Falling In Love), the Stylistics, the Softones, and others ~ Creatore passed away in 2015
December 21, 1921 ~ Actor, singer, pianist, songwriter, TV personality Steve Allen, full name Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Rose to fame in 1954 as original host and co-creator of The Tonight Show, America's first late-night show. Hosted a number of other game and variety shows, perhaps most notably his own The Steve Allen Show starting in 1956. Prolific composer, by his own estimate having written over 8,500 songs including Cool Yule (Louis Armstrong, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Bette Midler), Pretend You Don't See Her (Jerry Vale, Bobby Vee, Al Caiola), Meet Me Where They Play The Blues (Jack Teagarden, Andy Williams, Maria Muldaur), They've Got A Lot To Learn (Art Lund, Jennie Smith, Michael Dees) ~ Allen passed away in 2000
December 21, 1920 ~ Jacques Dieval, commonly known as jazz pianist, bandleader, composer Jack Dieval, born in Douai, France ~ Worked with Don Byas, Noel Chiboust, Bill Coleman, Stéphane Grappelli, James Moody, Hubert Rostaing, Bill Tamper, Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, Roger Guerin, Michel Gaudry, and others
December 21, 1919 ~ Banjoist, fiddler Matokie Slaughter, full name Matokie Worrell Slaughter, born in Pulaski, Virginia, USA ~ Enjoyed local popularity from the 1940s forward. Gained a wider audience among old-time aficionados during the 1960s, some of her recordings appearing on compilation albums and performing regularly at folk festivals with the Back Creek Buddies which included her sister Virgie Worrell and revivalist Alice Gerrard. The San Francisco-based graffiti artist Margaret Kilgallen began using Slaughter's name in the 1990s as an hommage ~ Slaughter passed away in 1999
December 21, 1918 ~ Jazz trumpeter George Treadwell, full name George McKinley Treadwell, born in New Rochelle, New York, USA ~ Active as a trumpeter through the late 1940s, working with acts such as Benny Carter, Ace Harris, Cootie Williams, and JC Heard. As a member of Heard's orchestra has accompanied Sarah Vaughan, with whom he was married from 1946 through 1958. Best known as a music manager, including managing Vaughan's career, and A&R executive. Notable acts managed by Treadwell include the Drifters and singer Ruth Brown ~ Treadwell passed away in 1967
December 21, 1918 ~ David Albert Francis, commonly known as drummer Panama Francis, born in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Worked with Tab Smith, Roy Eldridge, Lucky Millinder, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Ray Conniff, the Savoy Sultans, Sy Oliver, John Lee Hooker, Eubie Blake, Ella Fitzgerald, Illinois Jacquet, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Big Joe Turner, the Four Seasons, the Platters, Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, Dion, the Chevrons, James Brown, Dinah Washington, Pérez Prado, Lavern Baker, Eddie Barefield, Wilson Pickett, Milt Buckner, Ray Bryant, Sam Cooke, Cab Calloway, Arnett Cobb, Big Joe Turner, Emmett Berry, Big Maybelle, Oscar Brown Jr, Roy Gaines, Woody Herman, Eddie Heywood, Doc Bagby, Tiny Grimes, Odetta, Charlie Shavers, and others ~ Francis passed away in 2001
December 21, 1905 ~ Babe Kyro Lemon Turner, commonly known as blues slide guitarist Black Ace, born in Hughes Springs, Texas, USA ~ Best known as influence on and collaborator of Smokey Hogg, with whom he toured and recorded the 1937 single Family Trouble Blues ~ Turner passed away in 1972
December 21, 1905 ~ Harry Glaser, commonly known as composer Harry Revel, born in London, UK ~ Composer for stage and film. Collaborated with Mack Gordon, Mort Greene, Paul Francis Webster, Buddy Feyne, Arnold Horwitt, and others. Worked on Broadway shows including Ziegfeld Follies Of 1931, Meet My Sister, and Are You With It ~ Glaser passed away in 1958
December 21, 1902 ~ William Bunch, commonly known as blues singer, pianist, guitarist Peetie Wheatstraw, born in Ripley, Tennessee, USA ~ One of the most popular and most recorded pre-war blues singers. Primarily a pianist. Influenced Robert Johnson who drew heavily on Wheatstraw's repertoire and on pianists such as Champion Jack Dupree, Moon Mullican and Jerry Lee Lewis. Known for songs songs as Tennessee Peaches Blues, Don't Feel Welcome Blues, Strange Man Blues, School Days and So Soon ~ Bunch passed away in 1941