This Day In Music: December 24
December 23 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 25
December 24, 2023 ~ Vasilis Kesoglidis, commonly known as laiko singer Vasilis Karras, passed away in Thessaloniki, Greece ~ Started performing in 1969, at age 16, at a local club, quickly becoming a regional favorite due to his distinctive raspy voice. Would continue to perform thoughout Northern Greece throughout the 1970s building a steady reputation. Released his Alismonites Ores debut album in 1980 recording steadily over the next few years. Shot to national fame in the early 1990s. Known best for the 1990s albums Tilefonise Mou and Epistrefo. Has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Greek music including Michalis Rakintzis, Zafeiris Melas, Phoebus, Despina Vandi, and Tolis Voskopoulos ~ Kesoglidis was born in 1953
December 24, 2023 ~ Jazz hornist, bassist Willie Ruff, full name Willie Henry Ruff Jr, passed away in Killen, Alabama, USA ~ Half of longtime duo the Mitchell-Ruff Duo, the other half being pianist Dwike Mitchell. The duo has recorded well over a dozen albums and made history in 1959 when they became the first jazz act to play in the Soviet Union since World War II. Half of Pisano & Ruff, the other half being John Pisano. An in-demand sideman and collaborator, Ruff has appeared on albums by Clifford Coultier, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Benny Golson, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Lalo Schifrin, Leonard Cohen (Songs Of Leonard Cohen), Jimmy Smith, and Sonny Stitt. Ruff was also particularly known as a music scholar and teacher, graduating in 1954 from the Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut, and serving as a professor at his alma mater from 1971 through 2017 ~ Ruff was born in 1931
December 24, 2022 ~ Electric blues lap steel guitarist, singer Freddie Roulette, full name Frederick Martin Roulette, passed away ~ Member of Daphne Blue. Also worked with Earl Hooker, Charlie Musselwhite, Henry Kaiser, Harvey Mandel, Pinetop Perkins, Carey Bell, Andrew Odom, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Don Sugarcane Harris, Will Bernard, the Holmes Brothers, David Lindley, and others ~ Roulette was born in 1939
December 24, 2022 ~ Latozi Mpahleni, commonly known as traditional bow player Madosini, passed away ~ Played traditional South African instruments such as the uhadi and mhrubhe musical bows, considered a national treasure in her field. Achieved international fame through her performances at the WOMAD festivals and collaborations with a wide array of musicians including rock singer Patrick Duff, Afrosoul artist Thandiswa Mazwai, and MPB, samba singer Gilberto Gil, performing around the world until her death ~ Mpahleni was born in 1943
December 24, 2022 ~ Mandla Maphumulo, commonly known as kwaito singer Mampintsha, passed away ~ Member of Big Nuz, which he co-founded in 2002. The band is known best for songs such as Ubala of their sophomore 2nd Round Knockout breakout album, as well as later hits such as Umlilo, Newlands West, Sting Ray, and Inazo ~ Maphumulo was born ca.1982
December 24, 2021 ~ James Dee Crowe, commonly known as bluegrass, progressive bluegrass banjoist, guitarist, singer JD Crowe, passed away ~ Got his start in music while still in his teens playing with Raymond Curly Parker and notably with Jimmy Martin from 1956 through 1960. Formed the Kentucky Mountain Boys in 1961, enjoying regional succes in the Lexington area. The band would be renamed to JD Crowe & the New South by the early 1970s and become one of the most popular, influential and longest-running bluegrass, progressive bluegrass acts drawing from both rock and country. Served as mentor to numerous sidemen, many later becoming stars in their own right including Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, and Keith Whitley ~ Crowe was born in 1937
December 24, 2021 ~ Punk, hardcore punk bassist Marco Mathieu passed away ~ Member of Negazione, along with Raw Power and Wretched considered one of the premier hardcore punk bands in Italy during the 1980s and early 1990s. Mathieu had been in a coma since 2017 after suffering a stroke ~ Mathieu was born ca.1964
December 24, 2020 ~ Producer, songwriter Geoff Stephens passed away ~ Discovered and managed Donovan and co-produced his 1965 What's Bin Did And What's Bin Hid debut album. As a songwriter known for writing or co-writing a number of 1960s, 1970s classics including Tell Me When for the Applejacks, Crying Game for Dave Berry, Winchester Cathedral and There's A Kind Of Hush for the New Vaudeville Band, Sorry Suzanne for the Hollies, Daughter Of Darkness for Tom Jones, Silver Lady for David Soul and You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me for the New Seekers ~ Stephens was born in 1934
December 24, 2019 ~ Alta Sherral Willis, commonly known as singer, songwriter Allee Willis, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ As a singer released her sole album, Childstar, in 1974. As the album did not sell well and she did not enjoy performing would focus on songwriting since. Perhaps best known for co-writing Earth Wind & Fire's September and Boogie Wonderland. Others who have recorded songs written or co-written by Willis include Bonnie Raitt, Rita Coolidge, Herbie Hancock, Patti Labelle (Come What May), Debby Boone, Valerie Carter, Pablo Cruise, Narada Michael Walden, Maxine Nightingale, Lani Hall, LTD, Leo Sayer, the Pointer Sisters (Neutron Dance), Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Pet Shop Boys (What Have I Done To Deserve This), Cyndi Lauper, the Rembrandts (I'll Be There For You), and LaChanze ~ Willis was born in 1947
December 24, 2019 ~ Bassist Dave Riley, full name David Michael Riley, passed away in Arivaca, Arizona, USA ~ Bassist of punk rock band Big Black from 1985 until the band's disbandement in 1987, present on both studio albums, 1986's Atomizer and 1987's Songs About Fucking ~ Riley was born in 1960
December 24, 2018 ~ Bassist, guitarist James Calvin Wilsey passed away ~ Bassist for San Francisco punk band the Avengers. Better known as lead guitarist in Chris Isaak's backing band, playing on Isaak's albums Silvertone (1985), Chris Isaak (1986), Heart Shaped World (1989), and San Francisco Days (1993). Wilsey recorded one solo album, 2008's El Dorado, paying homage to influences such as Duane Eddy, Billy Strange, James Burton and Link Wray ~ Wilsey was born in 1957
December 24, 2018 ~ Singer, songwriter Jerry Riopelle passed away ~ Mixed rock, country, jazz, R&B and hard rock. Played drums for the Hollywood Argyles. Staff writer, producer at Phil Spector's Philles Records label. Also worked at A&M Records and at Irving Music. As a songwriter had his work recorded by artists such as Brewer & Shipley, We Five, Shango, Leon Russell, Herb Alpert, Kenny Loggins, Rita Coolidge, Meat Loaf, and others ~ Riopelle was born ca.1941
December 24, 2016 ~ Singer, guitarist Rick Parfitt, full name Richard john Parfitt, passed away in Marbella, Spain ~ Rhythm guitarist of Status Quo from 1967 until his death 49 years later. Parfitt co-wrote a vast amount of the band's songs, notably Whatever You Want, Again And Again and Rain ~ Parfitt was born in 1948
December 24, 2015 ~ Singer Takeharu Kunimoto passed away ~ Performs rokyoky, a genre of traditional Japanese singing, and plays the shamisen, a three-stringed instrument. Besides traditional Japanese music, Kunimoto has also played bluegrass music, notably on the 2007 Appalachian Shamisen album, inspired by a Bill Monroe concert in Tokyo, Japan, he attended at age 14 ~ Kunimoto was born in 1960
December 24, 2014 ~ Boniface Ferdinand Leonard DeFranco, commonly known as clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, passed away in Panama City, Florida, USA ~ One of the few bebop clarinetists DeFranco was a revered bandleader in his own right who also led the the Glenn Miller Orchestra for almost a decade in the 1960s and 1970s. DeFranco worked with Count Basie, Tommy Gumina, Gene Krupa, Art Blakey, Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Lennie Tristano, Dodo Marmarosa, Terry Gibbs, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Eddie Daniels, Putte Wickman, Billie Holiday, and others ~ DeFranco was born in 1923
December 24, 2012 ~ Courtney Everald Dewar Junior, commonly known as rapper Capital Steez, passed away in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Worked with CJ Fly, Chuck Strangers, Joey Badass, Dirty Sanchez, Jakk The Rhyner, Madlib, MF Doom, Free The Robots, DJ Premier, Knxwledge, Ant, J Rawls, Tommy Mas, the Entreproducers, Kirk Knight, Bruce Leekiz, Pro-Era, and others ~ Dewar was born in 1993
December 24, 2006 ~ Charles Edward Springall, commonly known as comedian, singer Charlie Drake, passed away in Twickenham, UK ~ Best known as a comedian. As a singer known for a number of covers and novelty hits starting in the late 1950s including singles such as the Bobby Darin cover Splish Splash, My Boomerang Won't Come Back and the Peter Gabriel-produced You Never Know ~ Springall was born in 1925
December 24, 2002 ~ John Philip Thackray, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Jake Thackray passed away in Monmouth, UK ~ Hard to categorise storyteller known for a number of late 1960s, early 1970s recordings. Drew comparisons to Noël Coward, a comparison he resisted but acknowledged. Influenced by chansoniers such as Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel and Charles Trenet, and songwriters such as Randy Newman. Admired by later singers such as Jarvis Cocker, Morrissey and Alex Turner ~ Thackray was born in 1938
December 24, 2001 ~ Bassist, keyboardist, songwriter Gareth Williams, full name Gareth John Williams, passed away ~ Best known as member of experimental rock, punk outfit This Heat, present on the band's eponymous This Heat debut album. Has subsequently played with the Flaming Tunes and Mind The Gap ~ Williams was born in 1953
December 24, 2000 ~ Nicholas Macioci, commonly known as singer Nick Massi, passed away in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Joined the Four Lovers in 1958, which would evolve into the Four Seasons best known for their association with Frankie Valli. Massi remained with the group through 1965, appearing on some of the band's best-known hits including Sherry, Dawn Go Away, Rag Doll ~ Macioci was born in 1927
December 24, 1999 ~ Blues, jazz drummer Billy Davenport passed away ~ Best known for his association with Paul Butterfield, appearing on the 1966 East-West album. Has also worked with Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Otis Rush ~ Davenport was born in 1931
December 24, 1999 ~ Singer Zeke Carey passed away ~ Member of doo-wop, R&B outfit the Flamingos, known for songs such as A Kiss From Your Lips, I'll Be Home, and their best known I Only Have Eyes For You. The latter would reach top 20 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 and remains a radio staple to this day ~ Carey was born in 1933
December 24, 1998 ~ Indie rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Declan McKenna, full name Declan Benedict McKenna, born in Enfield, UK ~ First gained attention at age 16 with his self-released critically acclaimed single Brazil, protesting the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. Would release a full-length debut album What Do You Think About The Car, in 2017
December 24, 1992 ~ Percussionist, conga player, songwriter Bobby Lakind, full name Robert Jay Lakind, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Started as lightning roadie for the Doobie Brothers. Sessioned on albums and stage from 1976 onwards, full band member from 1979 up to the band's break-up in 1982 ~ Lakind was born in 1945
December 24, 1991 ~ Pop singer Louis Tomlinson, full name Louis William Tomlinson, born in Doncaster, UK ~ Rose to fame as member of boy band One Direction. Following the band's hiatus released his solo debut single, Just Hold On with Steve Aoki, in 2016. As a solo artist also known for songs such as Back To You featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals, Miss You, The Two Of Us, and others
December 24, 1990 ~ Swing singer Ronnie Deauville passed away in Vero Beach, Florida, USA ~ Influenced by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. Enjoyed a brief career through the mid-1950s, notably with Glen Gray's orchestra, cut short by a car accident and subsequently contracting polio leaving him paralyzed from the neck down ~ Deauville was born in 1925
December 24, 1989 ~ House, deep house Chris Malinchak born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known for So Good To Me, a 2013 top 10 hit in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands
December 24, 1982 ~ Indie pop, synth-pop, electronic keyboardist, guitarist, singer Martin Doherty, full name Martin Clifford Doherty, born in Clydebank, UK ~ Forms the trio Chvrches with Iain Cook and Lauren Mayberry, perhaps best known for their collaboration with Marshmello on the 2019 UK top 10 hit Here With Me. Doherty previously served as touring member of indie rock bands Twilight Sad and Aerogramme
December 24, 1982 ~ Gregory Skyler Taylo, commonly known as rapper, actor Skyzoo, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Has worked with Jill Scott, Wale, Lloyd Banks, Tyrese, Dr Dre, Raheem DeVaughn, Black Thought, Jadakiss, Talib Kweli, Spike Lee, John Legend, Justus League, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier, Torae, Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, Wale, Maino, the Reks, Young Chris, Best Kept Secret, Just Blaze, Illmind, Needlz, Black Milk, and numerous others
December 24, 1980 ~ Composer, songwriter Alec Wilder, full name Alexander Lafayette Chew Wilder, passed away in Gainesville, Florida, USA ~ Known for writing or co-writing songs such as Give Me Time (Mildred Bailey), Who Can I Turn To (Gene Krupa), Moon And Sand (Xavier Cugat), I'll Be Around (Cab Calloway), While We're Young (Fred Waring), Trouble Is A Man (Peggy Lee), and The Lady Sings The Blues (Cleo Laine) ~ Wilder was born in 1907
December 24, 1980 ~ Nneka Egbuna, mononymously known as R&B, hip-hop, afrobeat, reggae singer, guitarist, drummer, pianist, songwriter, actress Nneka, born in Warri, Nigeria ~ Influenced by Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill. Has been critically compared to Erykah Badu, Neneh Cherry, Floetry. First gained attention opening for dancehall reggae singer Sean Paul in 2004. Would release her acclaimed Victim Of Truth debut album the following year. Broke through with her No Longer At Ease sophomore album, which included her biggest hit Heartbreak
December 24, 1980 ~ Ska punk, punk rock, world music, folk singer, guitarist Tomas Kalnoky, also known as Toh Kay, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia ~ Lead singer, guitarist, sole constant member for ska punk outfit Streetlight Manifesto, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums including the acclaimed Everything Goes Numb 2003 debut album and its 2006 follow-up KEasbey Nights. Also fronts the musical collective Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, drawing from ska, punk, classical, and eastern European music in an entirely acoustic setting. Kalnoky has also recorded as a solo artist, going by the moniker Toh Kay, and has worked with Gimp and Catch 22
December 24, 1977 ~ Pedri Nolasco Justix Nolasco, commonly known as son, bolero, mambo, descarga, jazz pianist, conductor, bandleader, arranger, composer Peruchín, passed away in Havana, Cuba ~ Studied piano and saxophone but had to give up the latter due to his asthma. Considered one of the most important figures in 1950s descarga music and one of the most influential 20th-century Cuban pianists. Alongside Lilí Martínez, Noro Morales and Rubén González defined modern Cuban piano playing. Remained at the forefront of Cuban jazz through the 1960s. Influenced Charlie Palmieri, George Shearing, Papo Lucca, Chucho Valdes. Mentored Bebo Valdes. Father of guitarist Peruchín Jr ~ Justiz was born in 1913
December 24, 1975 ~ Dewayne Battle, commonly known as hip-hop rapper, MC, producer, songwriter Young Zee, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Debuted as a solo artist in 1996 with the Musical Meltdown album. First gained attention as member of Outsidaz, known for the 2000 Night Life album and its 2001 follow-up The Bricks album. Has worked with the Fugees, Rah Digga, Casual, Saurus & Bones, D12, Jedi Mind Tricks, Mr Green, and others
December 24, 1974 ~ Jazz, free jazz drummer Paal Nilssen-Love born in Molde, Norway ~ Closely associated with Frode Gjerstad. Founded ELEMENT. Has collaborated with Ingebrigt Håker Flatan, Havard Wilk, Iain Ballamy, Chris Potter, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark, Ab Baars, School Days, Thing, the Scorch Trio, the Territory Band, FME, Peter Brötzmann, Lasse Marhaug, Atomic, Fireroom, and others
December 24, 1974 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist Sophie Alour born in Quimper, France ~ Co-founded the Vintage Orchestra, teaming up with Fabien Maria, Thomas Savy, Jerry Edwards, and Yoann Loustalot. Also worked with Manita, Jean Daniel Botta, Christophe dal Sasso, Lionel Belmondo, Aldo Romano, Wynton Marsalis, Hugo Lipp, Emmanuel Bex, Stephane Belmondo, Eletro Big, Benjamin Roy, Frederic Nardin, Alexandre Saada, Laurent Coq, Nicolas Moreux, Frederic Pasqua, and others
December 24, 1973 ~ Progressive black metal bassist, guitarist, singer Grutle Kjellson, full name Kjetil Tvedte Grutle, born in Norway ~ Best known as bassist, singer and along with guitarist Ivar Bjørnson one of only two remaining original members of the Enslaved. Has also worked with Desekrator, Darkthrone, V 28, Vreid, Trinacria, and others
December 24, 1972 ~ Jazz trombonist, arranger Eli Robinson passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Worked with Speed Webb, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, Teddy Hill, Willie Bryant, the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Roy Eldridge, Lucky Millinder, Count Basie, Buddy Tate, Blanche Calloway, Buster Bailey, Earl Warren, Johnny Otis, Lester Young, and others ~ Robinson was born in 1908
December 24, 1971 ~ Heavy metal guitarist Mike Chlasciak born in Warsaw, Poland ~ Best known as original and longtime guitarist of Halford, led by Rob Halford. Has also recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with Isolation Chamber, John West, Joacim Cans, Painmuseum, Sebastian Bach, Testament, Primal Fear, and others
December 24, 1971 ~ Enrique Martin Morales, singer, commonly known as Ricky Martin, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. ~ Member of Menudo, leaving the band in 1989 to pursue a solo career. Has sold over 70 milllions albums. Widely regarded as “the King of Latin pop” best known for songs such as Vuelva, Me Ameres, Perdido Sin Te, Living La Vida Loca, and She Bangs. Has collaborated with artists such as Christina Aguilera (Nobody Wants To Be Lonely), Janet Jackson (Ask For More), Pitbull, Joss Stone (The Best Thing About Me Is You), Loleatta Holloway (Relight My Fire), Eros Ramazzotti, Claude Leitte, Daddy Yankee, Maluma, Draco Rosa, and others
December 24, 1969 ~ Experimental, avant-garde, ska punk, pop saxophonist, keyboardist, singer Clinton McKinnon born in Crescent City, California, USA ~ Best known as saxophonist for Mr Bungle from 1989 until its disbandement in 2000. Has also worked with Secret Chiefs 3, Dieselhed, Lakota. Guested on recordings by Melt Banana, Carl Hancock Rux, Eyvind Kang, Baarefoot Hockey Goalie, and others
December 24, 1969 ~ Producer, engineer, songwriter Dan Carey, full name Daniel de Mussenden Carey, born in Islington, UK ~ Worked with Sexwitch, Bat For Lashes, Nick Mulvey, Azusena, Little Daylight, Bloc Party, Steve Mason, Yeasayer, TOY, Tame Impala, Alice Gold, Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Fatboy Slim, Emiliana Torrini, Franz Ferdinand, Sia, Sophie Hunger, Fontaines DC, and other
December 24, 1969 ~ Bassist Kevin Chown born ~ Best known for his associations with Tarja Turunen, Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats, Edwin Dare, and Artension. Also worked with Paul Gilbert, Sebastian Bach, Uncle Kracker, Chuck Berry, Ted Nugent, Tony Macalpine, Jeff Kollman, Tiles, Cosmosquad, Der Elefant, Bleeding Harp, Original Moon, George Bellas, and others
December 24, 1968 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Doyle Bramhall II born in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ Son of drummer Doyle Bramhall. Co-founding member of blues rock outfit the Arc Angels. Debuted as a solo artist with the eponymous Doyle Bramhall II album in 1996. Has also worked with Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Charlie Sexton, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, T-Bone Burnett, Elton John, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Gary Clark Jr, Gregg Allman, Dr John, Allen Toussaint, Billy Preston, Erykah Badu, Questlove, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sheryl Crow, Sharon Jones, N'dea Davenport, BB King, Double Trouble, Jennifer Warnes, Lisa Marie Presley, Boyd Tinsley, Marty Grebb, Bettye LaVette, Rodney Crowell, John Legend, Jerry Lee Lewis, Robbie Robertson, and others
December 24, 1968 ~ Singer Wolter Kroes born in Wormerveer, the Netherlands ~ At age 6 received drum lessons from BZN's Jan Keizer. Got his first break in 1988, winning a local talent contest in a Wormerveer discotheque, singing Al Martino's Spanish Eyes. Released his Ik Mis Je Elke Dag Een Beetje Meer debut single the following year. It would be a few more years though before his big break, reaching the Dutch top 40 with the single Laat Me Los off his 1995 album of the same name. Has recorded consistently since, known best for songs such as Ik Heb De Hele Nacht Liggen Dromen, Niet Normaal, and perhaps his best known Viva Hollandia
December 24, 1965 ~ Alternative rock singer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter Carla Bozulich born in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of alt-country outfit the Geraldine Fibbers, known for their acclaimed 1994 Lost Somewhere Between The Earth And My Home debut album. Also co-founded Evangelista, Ethyl Meatplow, Scarnella. Also known as a writer, publishing articles, short fiction, poetry, criticism for Alternative Press, LA Weekly, Wire Magazine, and others
December 24, 1964 ~ Kenny Earl Edwards, commonly known as heavy metal drummer, guitarist, singer Kenny Earl, born ~ Best known as member of Manowar from 1991 through 1994 and again, briefly, in 2008 and 2009. Following his initial departure from the band has gone on to work with Holyhell, Forgotten Realm, the Angels Of Babylon, Ango Tasso's Air Force, Tommy Vitaly, Holy Force, Jack Starr, Death Dealer, Stonecast, Zix, and others
December 24, 1964 ~ Christophe Miossec, mononymously known as indie rock, acoustic rock singer, songwriter Miossec, born in Brest, France ~ Released his Boire debut album in 1995. Broke through with the 1998 A Prendre and has recorded to commercial succes since
December 24, 1962 ~ Gospel singer, music director, minister Hezekiah Walker born in New York, New York, USA ~ Pastor of Brooklyn church Love Fellowship Tabernacle. Over a dozen albums to his name starting in the 1980s, leading the Church choir. Best known for the 2001 Love Is Live album
December 24, 1962 ~ Upright-bassist, composer Renaud Garcia-Fons born in Paris, France ~ Leader and sideman. Sometimes referred to as “the Niccolò Paganini of double bass”. Influenced by François Rabbath. Worked with Roger Guerin, L'Orchestre De Contrabasses, Claude Barthélemy, Jean-Louis Matinier, Michael Riessler, Sylvain Luc, Nguyên Lê, Michel Godard, Gerardo Núñez, Dhafer Youssef, Cheb Mami, and others
December 24, 1961 ~ Jazz saxophonist Ralph Bowen born in Guelph, Canada ~ As a child learned to play piano, clarinet and saxophone. By age 13 performed in big bands and led his own quartet. Studied with Pat LaBarbera. Recorded four albums co-leading Out Of The Blue. Did three world tours with pianist Horace Silver. Has performed and recorded with a host of artists including Orrin Evans, Jim Trompeter, Renee Rosnes, Earl Macdonald, Ralph Peterson Jr, Charles Fambrough, Dr Anthony Branker, and others. Bowen continues to perform and record to this day
December 24, 1957 ~ Synth-pop, new wave keyboardist, bassist Ian Burden, full name Ian Charles Burden, born in Sheffield, UK ~ Member of Graph. Sessioned for Human League prior to joining the band as a full-time member in 1981 and remaining through 1987. Co-wrote a vast amount of the band's early 1980s work including Love Action (I Believe In Love), The Sound Of The Crowd, Mirror Man, I Love You Too Much. Released his Loot solo debut album in 1990
December 24, 1956 ~ Singer, flutist Maggie Boyle born in London, UK ~ Worked with John Renbourn, Ship Of Fools, Grace Note, Steve Tilston, Incantation, the Sergeant Early Band, Ralph McTell, Jez Lowe, Pete Coe, Paul Downes, Jon Boden, Peter Bellamy, Bert Jansch, John McCormick, John Drury, Gordon Tyrrall, Mike Deavin, Pauline Cato, Damien Barber, Mick Ryan, and others ~ Boyle passed away in 2014
December 24, 1956 ~ Jazz saxophonist Ralph Moore born in London, UK ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Darrell Grant, Freddie Hubbard, Gene Harris, Kevin Eubanks, Kenny Barron, Billy Hart, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Knepper, Oscar Peterson, Valery Ponomarev, Rob Schneiderman, Superblue, Cedar Walton, and others
December 24, 1956 ~ Reggae, jazz, house singer Zeitia Massiah, full name Zeitia Silveta Massiah, born in Saint John, Barbados ~ Lead singer of Arizona, best known for their 1993 transatlantic dance hit Slide On The Rhythm. Sang backup on record and tour for artists such as Barry Manilow, Kim Wilde, Michael Bolton, Climie Fisher, Paul Weller, Tom Jones, Eikichi Yazawa, Johnny Hallyday, and others
December 24, 1954 ~ Marimba player, recording manager Harry Yerkes passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Though largely forgotten today considered by to have predated jazz fusion. Provided a link between ragtime and early jazz, many of his work better classified as light classical. Enjoyed popularity with a number of ensembles bearing his name, often playing a behind the scene role as band managaer, organizer, producer. Best known for founding the Yerkes Jazarim Orchestra and the Yerkes Marimbaphone Band, peaking in the late 1910s and early 1920s ~ Yerkes was born in 1872
December 24, 1954 ~ Mezzo-soprano singer, actress Karla Burns born in Wichita, Kansas, USA ~ First gained serious attention starring as Queenie in a 1982 production of Show Boat, earning her a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award. Has worked in opera, musical theater and TV included with renowned orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera, the Teatro Real, the Cairo Opera House, the London Sinfonietta and the Royal Shakespeare Company ~ Burns passed away in 2021
December 24, 1952 ~ Jazz trumpeter Michael Ray born in Trenton, New Jersey, USA ~ Married to jazz singer Laranah Phipps. Worked with Patti Labelle, the Delfonics and the Stylistics prior to joining Sun Ra's backing unit in 1978, first appearing on the New Steps album. Following Ra's death in 1993 remained with the Arkestra under the guidance of Marshall Allen. Has also worked with Phish, Stanton Moore, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic, U2, Porno For Pyros, and others
December 24, 1950 ~ Elizabeth Brown Larsen, commonly known as contemporary classical composer Libby Larsen, born in Wilmington, Delaware, USA ~ Closely associated with the Minnesota Orchestra, appointed composer-in-residence in 1983 making her the first woman to serve as resident composer with a major orchestra
December 24, 1949 ~ Composer, keyboardist Ray Colcord born in New York, New York, USA ~ Film and TV composer. Known for series such as The Facts Of Life, My Two Dads, Dinosaurs, Boy Meets World, and for films such as Killer By Nature and Heartwood. Before turning to composing Colcord worked as a session musician and appears on Lou Reed 1974 live album Rock 'n Roll Animal as well as on Don McLean's 1971 acclaimed American Pie album ~ Colcord passed away in 2016
December 24, 1947 ~ Pub rock singer Paul Shuttleworth born in London, UK ~ Fronted 1970s pub rock outfit the Kursaal Flyers, best known for Little Does She Know which reached top 20 in the band's native UK in 1977. Shuttleworth co-wrote the song with bandmates guitarist Graeme Douglas and drummer Will Birch
December 24, 1946 ~ Rock keyboardist Ron Altbach, full name Ronald Steven Altbach, born ~ Member of King Harvest, noted for his Wurlitzer electric piano intro on Dancing In The Moonlight. The single would reach top 20 Billboard Hot 100. Altbach has also sessioned for the Beach Boys, for whom he co-wrote Belles Of Paris, She's Got Rhythm, and Alone On Christmas Day. Member of Celebration, led by Mike Love ~ Altbach passed away in 2023
December 24, 1945 ~ Guitarist John Till born in Stratford, Canada ~ Closely associated with Janis Joplin, serving as member of Joplin's backing unit the Full Tilt Boogie Band and present on the I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama album. Till also backed Joplin at the famed the Woodstock Music and Art Fair concert ~ Till passed away in 2022
December 24, 1945 ~ Ian Fraser Kilmister, commonly known as singer, bassist Lemmy Kilmister, born in Stoke-on-Trent, UK ~ Best known as founder, lead singer, bassist, primary songwriter of Motörhead known best for the hit single Ace Of Spades and the UK charttopping album No Sleep Till Hammersmith. Roadie for both Jimi Hendrix and the Nice in the 1960s. Member of Hawkwind from 1971 to 1975 singing lead vocals on their hit Silver Machine. Has also worked with the Rocking Vickers, Sam Gopal, Robert Calvert, Head Cat, Keli Rave, Wendy O Williams, and others ~ Kilmister passed 2015
December 24, 1944 ~ Jingle writer, film composer, singer, label founder, label executive Mike Curb, full name Michael David Curb, born in Davannah, Georgia, USA ~ Founded Curb Records, which merged with MGM Records by the late 1960s. Scored the music for films such as The Wild Angels, Savage Seven, The Sidehackers. Scored a number of hits including Burning Bridges co-written with Lalo Schifrin and used as the theme of the film Kelly's Heroes, and Sweet Gingerbread Man under the moniker the Mike Curb Congregation. Wrote and produced for Roy Orbison, Marie Osmond, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr, Solomon Burke, and others. Also known as a politician, serving as Lieutenant Governor of California from 1979 to 1983
December 24, 1944 ~ Trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, bandleader Woody Shaw born in Laurinburg, North Carolina, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Influenced by Louis Armstrong and Harry James. Played with Willie Bobo, Chick Corea, Joe Farrell, Eric Dolphy, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Art Taylor, John Bodwin, René Urtreger, Jacques Thollot, Jef Gilson, Larry Young, Billy Brooks, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Booker Ervin, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach, Bennie Maupin, Ron Carter, George Cables, Gary Bartz, Clint Houston, Lenny White, Anthony Braxton, Arthur Blythe, Muhal Richard Abrams, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Mulgrew Miller, Larry Willis, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Turre, and others ~ Shaw passed away in 1989
December 24, 1943 ~ Guitarist Volker Kriegel born in Darmstadt, Germany ~ Considered a key figure in European jazz-rock. Closely associated with the Dave Pike Set. As a leader especially acclaimed for his 1971 Spectrum album. Co-founding member of the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums. As a sideman has collaborated with Klaus Doldinger, Emil Mangelsdorff, Don Sugarcane Harris, Scott Hardkiss, and others ~ Kriegel passed away in 2003
December 24, 1940 ~ Songwriter, violinist, pianist Billy Hill, full name William Joseph Hill, passed away in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Best remembered for writing classic Western songs such as They Cut Down The Old Pine Tree, Wagon Wheels, Empty Saddles and perhaps most notably The Glory Of Love. The latter would be recorded by artists such as Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee, Otis Redding, Paul McCartney, and others ~ Hill was born in 1899
December 24, 1939 ~ Folk singer, bhodran player, guitarist, promoter, band manager, label founder, producer Robin Morton born in Armagh, Northern Ireland ~ Iconic figure in folk and Celtic folk. Co-founded the Boys Of The Lough in 1967 with Tommy Gunn and Cathal McConnell, remaining with the band through 1979. Manager of the Battlefield Band from 1980 until his death four decades later. Founded Temple US Records as well as Kinmor Publishing ~ Morton passed away in 2021
December 24, 1937 ~ Hard bop, post bop tenor saxophonist Bernt Rosengren born in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Leader and sideman. Actively recording since the 1960s, acclaimed for a number of quintessential Swedish jazz albums notably 1965's Stockholm Dues and 1974's Notes From Underground. Worked with George Russell, Don Cherry, Muvaffak Maffy Falay, Doug Raney, Horace Parlan, Lester Bowie, Arne Domnérus, Krzysztof Komeda, Tomasz Stańko, and Idrees Sulieman ~ Rosengren passed away in 2023
December 24, 1936 ~ Bandleader, pianist, singer Chris McGregor born in Somerset West, South Africa ~ Influenced by Béla Bartók, Arnold Schoenberg, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dollar Brand. Founded and led the Blue Notes, Brotherhood Of Breath, the Castle Lager Big Band, and others. Played the piano solo on Poor Boy of Nick Drake's 1970 Bryter Layter album ~ McGregor passed away in 1990
December 24, 1935 ~ Composer Alban Berg, full name Alban Maria Johannes Berg, passed away in Vienna, Austria ~ Despite a relatively small oeuvre remembered as one of the most important 20th century composers known for merging Romantic lyricism with the twelve-tone technique. Best known for his 1924 opera Wozzeck, his 1926 Lyric Suite for strings and his 1935 Violin Concerto ~ Berg was born in 1885
December 24, 1933 ~ Clarinetist Lorenzo Tio Jr passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Son of Lorenzo Tio Sr and nephew of Louis Papa Tio, both clarinetists with whom he worked as the Three Tios. Has also worked with Manuel Perez, AJ Piron, Jelly Roll Morton, Clarence Williams ~ Tio was born in 1893
December 24, 1929 ~ Frenchie Edwards, commonly known as country singer, guitarist Stoney Edwards, born ~ One of the few African-American singers of significance in country music, recording about half a dozen albums through the early 1980s. Best known for first recording She's My Rock, a Billboard Country top 20 hit in 1972. The song would later be notably covered by Olivia Newton-John, Brenda Lee, and George Jones, the latter two both reaching top 10 Billboard Country surpassing the original ~ Edwards passed away in 1997
December 24, 1925 ~ Claus Johannes Frank, commonly known as pianist Claude Frank, born in Nuremberg, Germany ~ Of Jewish descent as a child fled Germany with his family, first settling in Paris and by 1940 relocating to America. Married to pianist Lilian Kallir, with whom he regularly collaborated. Also worked extensively with their daughter violinist Pamela Frank, notably recording the complete Ludwig van Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano. Member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Has also worked with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and other renowned orchestras ~ Frank passed away in 2014
December 24, 1918 ~ Bandleader, songwriter, producer Dave Bartholomew born in Edgard, Louisiana, USA ~ Iconic New Orleans R&B all-hatter. Originally a trumpeter. Best known for his long and productive association with Fats Domino. Other artists who have collaborated with Bartholomew or recorded his songs include Papa Celestin, Jimmie Lunceford, Cosimo Matassa, Alvin Tyler, Herbert Hardesty, Clarence Hall, Frank Fields, Ernest McLean, Salvador Doucette, Earl Palmer, Lee Allen, Jewel King, Lloyd Price, Smiley Lewis, the Spiders, Chris Kenner, Earl King, Robert Parker, T-Bone Walker, Roy Brown, Frankie Ford, Shirley & Lee, Tommy Ridgley, Faye Adams, and others ~ Bartholomew passed away in 2019
December 24, 1918 ~ Piper, flutist Willie Clancy born in Miltown, Ireland ~ Influenced by Leo Rowsome, Séamus Ennis, John Potts, Andy Conroy. Best known for a number of mid-1950s recordings, perhaps most notably The Old Bush/The Ravelled Hank Of Yarn ~ Clancy passed away in 1973
December 24, 1914 ~ Big band bandleader Ralph Marterie born in Acerra, Italy ~ His first job as a bandleader was for the US Navy during World War II. Would go on to work as bandleader with ABC Radio and regularly reach the higher echelons of the charts during the early 1950s, including a number of covers of traditional pop and rock & roll songs such as Crazy Man Crazy, Pretend, Caravan. As a composer best known for Dancing Trumpet, Dry Marterie and Carla ~ Marterie passed away in 1978
December 24, 1913 ~ Myrtle Eleanor Cooper, commonly known as country singer Lulu Belle, born in Boone, North Carolina, USA ~ Formed the duo Lulu Belle & Scotty with her husband Scotty Wiseman, one of the most popular country acts of the 1930s and 1940s. The duo lovingly dubbed “the Sweethearts of Country Music” are best known for Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, written by Wiseman and recorded by well over 150 artists including Tex Ritter, Bing Crosby, Eddie Cochran, Jim Reeves, Elvis Presley, Patti Page, Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr, Roger Whittaker, and others ~ Cooper passed away in 1999
December 24, 1912 ~ Natale Codognotto, commonly known as swing singer Natalino Otto, born in Cogoleto, Italy ~ Active since the 1930s. Picked up swing and jazz influences while working the transatlantic liners. Boycotted by Italian radiostations as anything sounding foreign was banned by the fascist Italian regime, yet became one of the most popular singers of the day. Recorded over 2,000 songs over the course of his career. Best known for songs such as Ho Un Sassolino Nella Scarpa, Polvere Di Stelle, Op Op Trotta Cavallino and La Classe Deli Asini ~ Codognotto passed away in 1969
December 24, 1910 ~ Dixieland, bebop trumpeter Fumio Nanri born in Osaka City, Japan ~ Enjoyed popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with his ensemble the Hot Peppers. One of the first Japanese jazz musicians to become known outside Japan. Nicknamed “the Satchmo of Japan” by Louis Armstrong ~ Nanri passed away in 1975
December 24, 1909 ~ Mitchell Agress, commonly known as orchestra leader, violinist, composer, arranger Mitchel Ayress, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA ~ Best known for his association with Perry Como and as musical director for Hollywood Palace variety show aired on ABC ~ Agress passed away in 1969
December 24, 1905 ~ Henri Emile Mossel, commonly known as clarinetist, saxophonist Hans Mossel, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Son of cellist Isaac Mossel and pianist Jeanette Belinfante. Worked with de Larensche Jazz Band, the Indian Jazz Band, Marek Weber, and others. Targeted by the Nazis Mossel passed away of starvation and exhaustion in Monowitz concentration camp, a part of Auschwitz concentration camp ~ Mossel passed away in 1944
December 24, 1898 ~ Warren Dodds, commonly known as Baby Dodds, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Brother of clarinetist Johnny Dodds. Regarded as one of the premier pre-big band era drummers. Influenced by Louis Cottrell Sr, Harry Zeno, Henry Martin, Tubby Hall. Worked with Bunk Johnson, Buddy Bolden, John Robichaux, Jelly Roll Morton, the Kentucky Jazz Band, Frankie Duson, Papa Celestin, Fate Marable, Louis Armstrong, Joe Oliver, Johnny St Cyr, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Pete Briggs, and Kid Ory ~ Dodds passed away in 1959