This Day In Music: December 26
December 25 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 27
December 26, 2023 ~ Comedian, pop, folk guitarist, singer Tom Smothers, full name Thomas Bolyn Smothers, passed away in Santa Rosa, California, USA ~ Formed the musical comedy duo the Smother Brothers with his brother Dick Smothers. Initially the siblings aimed to become folk musicians, but as Tom felt he was not good enough to be a professional musician yet funny enough to do comedy, the brothers added comedy bits to their routine. They are best known for a series of own TV shows, notably The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour aired on CBS. To pop and rock audiences Smothers is perhaps best known for playing guitar alongside John Lennon on the latter's 1969 single Give Peace A Chance, one of Lennon's most enduring songs ~ Smothers was born in 1937
December 26, 2023 ~ Jazz, avant-garde jazz, fusion drummer Tony Oxley passed away ~ One of the most prominent figures of British free improvisation. Well over two dozen albums to his name as leader or co-leader. Co-founded the Incus Records label. Closely associated with the Joseph Holbrooke Trio, the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and Cecil Taylor. Especially noted for the 1988 collaborative Leaf Palm Hand album with the latter. In-demand sideman, present on albums by Gordon Beck, John McLaughlin (Extrapolation), Howard Riley, Kenny Wheeler (Song For Someone), Vangelis, Peter Brötzmann, Norma Winstone, Paul Bley, and Bill Dixon ~ Oxley was born in 1938
December 26, 2022 ~ Singer, actor Lars Lönndahl, full name Lars Gunnar Lönndahl, passed away ~ Dubbed “the Swedish Frank Sinatra” scoring well over a dozen No.1 hits in his native country through the late 1960s including Tangokavaljeren, That's Amore, Cindy Mon Cindy, Tulpaner Från Amsterdam, Volare (I Det Blå), Midnattstango, and Tusen Och En Natt ~ Lönndahl was born in 1928
December 26, 2022 ~ Songwriter Stephen Allen Davis passed away ~ Has written over 400 songs. Well known songs include Take Time To Know Her (Percy Sledge), The Fool Strikes Again (David Houston), Don't Girls Get Lonely (Glenn Shorrock), Love Has A Mind Of Its Own (BJ Thomas), Radio Heart (Charly McClain), The Best Years Of My Life (Diana Ross), Stand Beside Me (Jo Dee Messina), and No Ordinary World (Joe Cocker). Others who recorded his songs include Tammy Wynette, Alabama, Little Texas, Reba McEntire, Charlie Rich, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Rodriguez, Meat Loaf, Johnny Duncan, and Joe Stampley ~ Davis was born in 1949
December 26, 2020 ~ Julio Cesar Rojhas Lopez, commonly known as salsa singer, songwriter Tito Rojas, passed away in Humucao, Puerto Rico ~ One of Puerto Rico's most beloved salsa singers with a career spanning over four decades. Especially acclaimed for his Alegrias Y Penas album, released in 1999. Well known Rojas hits include Esperandote, Humildemente, Pal' Pueblo, Como Tú, and Ella Se Hizo Deseo, the latter notably re-recorded in 2015 as a duet with Ivy Queen ~ Lopez passed away in 1955
December 26, 2019 ~ Gerald Sheldon Herman, commonly known as composer, lyricist Jerry Herman, passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ One of the most successful Broadway composers of his day perhaps best known for Hello Dolly, which produced the hit title song for Louis Armstrong, and La Cage Aux Follies, the first hit musical about a gay couple ~ Herman was born in 1931
December 26, 2019 ~ Bassist Les Chadwick. full name John Leslie Chadwick, passed away in Sydney, Australia ~ Original member of Gerry & the Pacemakers, alongside Arthur McMahon, Freddie Marsden and Gerry Marsden, known for a string of 1960s UK hits such as How Do You Do It, I Like It, You'll Never Walk Alone, I'm The One, Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying and Ferry Cross The Mersey ~ Chadwick was born in 1943
December 26, 2019 ~ Thomas Paulsley LaBeff, commonly known as rockabilly, rock & roll, blues, gospel, country singer, guitarist Sleepy LaBeef, passed away in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA ~ Influenced by George Jones, Bill Monroe, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elvis Presley. Earned the nickname “Sleepy” for his lazy eye. Actively recording since the mid-1950s, initially focusing on rockabilly with songs such as I'm Through. Best known for a number of late 1960s, early 1970s singles notably Every Day and Blackland Farmer. Would continue to record and tour extensively, at times playing up to 300 sets per year, well throughout the 2010s ~ LaBeff was born in 1935
December 26, 2018 ~ Composer, conductor Theodore Antoniou passed away in Athens, Greece ~ Worked with the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, the Torhalle Orchestra, the National Opera Of Greece, and others. As a composer influenced by Jani Christou, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Krzysztof Penderecki, and others. Wrote operas, choral works, chamber music, film and theater music ~ Antoniou was born in 1935
December 26, 2014 ~ Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist Al Belletto passed away in Metairie, Louisiana, USA ~ Able to transition from traditional jazz to swing to bop. As a leader best known for The Al Belletto Sextette released in 1955. Belletto's ensemble would be absorbed into Woody Herman's in the late 1950s. Belletto has also worked with Sharkey Bonano, Louis Prima, Wingy Manone, and the Dukes Of Dixieland ~ Belletto was born in 1928
December 26, 2014 ~ Roberta Louise Osborn, commonly known as singer Alberta Adams, passed away in Dearborn, Michigan, USA ~ Half of Bluezettes, the other half being Chubby Newsom. Also worked with artists such as Duke Ellington, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, T-Bone Walker, Tiny Bradshaw, and Johnnie Bassett ~ Osborn was born in 1917
December 26, 2012 ~ Singer, songwriter Fontella Bass, full name Fontella Marie Bass, passed away in St Louis, Missouri, USA ~ Daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass. Best known for a string of mid-1960s hits including Rescue Me and the Bobby McClure duets Don't Mess Up A Good Thing and You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone. Worked with Leon Claxton, Little Milton, Oliver Sain, Maurice White, Louis Satterfield, Gene Barge, Minnie Riperton, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, the World Saxophone Quartet, and others ~ Bass was born in 1940
December 26, 2011 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, pianist, songwriter Sam Rivers, full name Samuel Carthorne Rivers, passed away in Orlando, Florida, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Inluential and prominent, especially in the idiom of avant-garde and free jazz. Worked with Miles Davis, Jaki Byard, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Andrew Hill, Larry Young, Lester Young, Dave Holland, Mario Schiano, Noël Akchoté, Anthony Braxton, Quincy Jones, Cecil Taylor, Julian Priester, Barry Altschul, Bobby Hutcherson, Franklin Kiermeyer, Jason Moran, the Music Revelation Ensemble, and others ~ Rivers was born in 1923
December 26, 2010 ~ Mary Christine Brockert, commonly known as singer Teena Marie, passed away in Pasadena, California, USA ~ Protégé of Rick James. Impressed Motown boss Berry Gordy Jr but failed to hit the charts until James took her under his wing and produced Teena's debut album, 1979's Wild & Peaceful. Immediately a favorite of black radiostations. Surprised the Soul Train audience upon her first appearance, everyone having assumed she was black, not white. Known for songs such as I'm A Sucker For Your Love, Square Biz, Lovergirl and Ooo La La. Godmother to Nona Gaye, Marvin Gaye's daughter, as well as to Maya Rudolph, daughter of singer Minnie Riperton and songwriter Richard Rudolph ~ Brockert was born in 1956
December 26, 2008 ~ Keyboardist, accordionist Lars Hollmer, full name Lars Gustav Gabriel Hollmer, passed away in Uppsala, Sweden ~ Active in numerous genres, ranging from traditional folk to progressive rock and jazz. Noted for his irregular time signatures, complex polyrhytms and vocal improvisation including the use of non-sensical lyrics. Best known for his 1999 Andetag album. Has worked with Samla Mammas Manna, Ramlösa Kvällar, Fem Söker & Skatt, the Looping Home Orchestra, the Accordion Tribe, SOLA, Fanfare Pourpour, Lindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, Gianni Gebbia, and others ~ Hollmer was born in 1948
December 26, 2007 ~ Singer Joe Dolan, full name Joseph Francis Robert Dolan, passed away in Dublin, Ireland ~ The only Irish singer to score a No.1 in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Known for songs such as Pretty Brown Eyes, Teresa, Sister Mary, More And More, Good Looking Woman, and others. Worked with Sweeney's Men, the Drifters Showband, Kelly Marie, and others ~ Dolan was born in 1939
December 26, 2007 ~ John Leslie Humphreys, commonly known as singer Les Humphries, passed away ~ Founded and led the Les Humphries Singers, with whom he enjoyed popularity across Europe in the 1970s merging popular music with gospel covers. Well-known songs include We Are Going Down Jordan, Mexico, Mama Loo, and Kansas City. The band would disband shortly after their 1976 Eurovision Songfestival performance, reaching 15th place with Sing Sang Song representing Germany ~ Humphries was born in 1940
December 26, 1999 ~ R&B, soul singer, songwriter Curtis Mayfield, full name Curtis Lee Mayfield, passed away in Roswell, Georgia, USA ~ Started as a member of the Impressions. Would rise to stardom as a solo artist starting with the 1970 Curtis album. Driving force in the early 1970s Blaxploitation genre, especially acclaimed for the 1972 Superfly soundtrack. Regarded as civil rights icon and musically as one of the icons of soul. Known for songs such as Don't Worry If There's A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go, Move On Up, Future Shock, Sweet Exorcist, So In Love, She Don't Let Nobody But Me, and others. As a songwriter had his songs covered by Major Lance, Gene Chandler, the Righteous Brothers, Main Ingredient, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Deniece Williams, Bob Marley, the Isley Brothers, and others ~ Mayfield was born in 1942
December 26, 1996 ~ Jazz trumpeter, hornist Oscar Valdambrini passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Central figure in the development of Italian jazz. Worked with Rex Stewart, Gianni Basso, Armando Trovaioli, Gil Cuppini, Duke Ellington, Giorgio Gaslini, Maynard Ferguson, Franco Ambrosetti, Conte Candoli, Dusko Gojkovic, Freddie Hubbard, Mel Lewis, Frank Rosolino, Ernie Wilkins, Kai Winding, and others ~ Valdambrini was born in 1924
December 26, 1990 ~ Andrew Dennis Biersack, commonly known as singer, pianist, actor Andy Biersack, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Lead singer, founding and sole constant member of rock outfit the Black Veil Brides, best known for their 20212 single In The End. Debuted as a solo artist in 2016 with the album The Shadow Side, released under the moniker Andy Black
December 26, 1990 ~ Nicholas D Miller, commonly known as future bass, trap, dubstep producer, DJ Illenium, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Released his full-length debut album, Ashes, in 2016. Best known for songs such as Feel Good with Griffin featuring Daya, Gold (Stupid Love) with Excision featuring Shallows, Good Things Fall Apart with Jon Bellion, Takeaway with the Chainsmokers featuring Lennon Stella, Nightlight, and others
December 26, 1990 ~ Rapper, singer, songwriter Jon Bellion, full name Jonathan David Bellion, born in Long Island, New York, USA ~ Debuted in 2016 with the album The Human Condition, which would debut at No.5 Hot 200. Co-wrote The Monster, a 2012 hit for Eminem and Rihanna. Co-wrote and produced Trumpets. Has also collaborated with Zedd, BoB, and opened for twenty one pilots. As a solo artist best known for the single All-Time Low
December 26, 1982 ~ Country songwriter Roger Bowling passed away in Wiley, Georgia, USA ~ Perhaps best known for co-writing Lucille, a Billboard Country No.1 hit, Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit and the first UK charttopper for Kenny Rogers in 1977. Rogers had previously recorded The Coward Of The County and The Ghost Of Another Man, both co-written by Bowling. Bowling also wrote or co-wrote several songs for Billie Jo Spears including There's More To A Tear Than Meets The Eye, '57 Chevrolet and her biggest hit Blanket On The Ground. Others who recorded his songs include the Oak Ridge Boys (Dig A Little Deeper In The Well), Hank Thompson, Dottie West (The Lovin' Kind), Del Reeves, Freddie Hart, George Jones & Tammy Wynette (Southern California), Charlie Rich, and others. Sadly Bowling committed suicide at age 38, being diagnosed with terminal cancer a year earlier ~ Bowling was born in 1944
December 26, 1980 ~ John Dickson Kelley, commonly known as jazz pianist, bandleader Peck Kelley, passed away in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Best known for leading the 1920s band Peck's Bad Boys, which at times also included Jack Teagarden, Louis Prima, Terry Shand, Wingy Manone, Leon Roppolo and Pee Wee Russell ~ Kelley was born in 1898
December 26, 1980 ~ Blues guitarist, singer, songwriter Willie James Lyons passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Influenced by BB King, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson. Accompanied artists such as Fenton Robinson, Hubert Sumlin, Eddy Clearwater, Carey Bell, John Littlejohn, Mighty Joe Young, Johnny Big Moose Walker, Lefty Dizz, Luther Allison, Jimmy Dawkins, and Bobby Rush. Regularly performed as a solo artist yet recorded only one album, the 1979 album Chicago Woman, which contained blues standards and the self-penned I've Got Trouble In Mind, Groovin' In Paris and the title track Chicago Woman ~ Lyons was born in 1938
December 26, 1979 ~ Guitarist, singer Chris Daughtry born in McLeansville, North Carolina, USA ~ Influenced by Creed, Live, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, the Stone Temple Pilots, Bon Jovi. First gained serious attention as a contestant on the 5th season of American Idol in 2006, reaching 4th place. Offered the frontman spot for Fuel, at the time lacking a lead singer, but declined. Lead singer, eponym of Daughtry, releasing their eponymous Daughtry debut album in 2006. Has previously worked with Cadence and with Absent Element
December 26, 1979 ~ Marco Bruno, commonly known as hip-hop producer Marco Polo, born in Toronto, Canada ~ Released his solo debut Port Authority album in 2007. Has collaborated with or produced artists such as Torae, Ruste Juxx, Masta Ace, Sadat X, Pumpkinhead, Heltah Skeltah, Braille, KRS One, Verbal Kent, Talib Kweli, Vinnie Paz, Snak The Ripper, Phonte, and others
December 26, 1979 ~ Christine Clements, commonly known as dubstep, ambient, IDM singer, keyboardist, programmer, producer Vaccine, born ~ One of the first women to be signed to a dubstep related label, Hotflush Recordings, a genre dominated by males. Influenced by Nine Inch Nails, Akira Yamaoke, Portishead, Massive Attack, and Tricky. Has been releasing 12" recordings since the mid-2000s, starting with Wishful Thinking b/w Signal To Noise, leading up to her Decryption EP in 2014 ~ Clements passed away in 2023
December 26, 1974 ~ Benjamin Kubelsky, commonly known as vaudeville violinist, actor, comedian Jack Benny, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Started out as a modestly successful vaudeville entertainer and violinist. Best known as an actor, comedian, radio and TV personality, becoming a household name with his weekly radio show The Jack Benny Program which artist from 1932 through 1955 and its TV equivalent of the same name initially intended as a limited series of specials, yet remaining on air from 1950 through 1960 ~ Kubalsky was born in 1894
December 26, 1971 ~ Singer, actor, songwriter Jared Leto, full name Jared Joseph Leto, born in Bossier City, Louisiana, USA ~ Started as an actor for TV in the mid-1990s. Also known as lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and primary songwriter of Thirty Seconds To Mars, which he co-founded in 1998, scoring hits from the mid-2000s onwards including From Yesterday, Kings And Queens, This Is War, Walk On Water and Dangerous Night
December 26, 1970 ~ Electronic, trip hop, pop drummer Dave Westlake born ~ First gained attention as member of Sneaker Pimps, remaining with the band from 1997 through 2002. Subsequently formed Trash Money with bandmate Joe Wilson. Has also worked with Ultrafox and musical comedy act the Mighty Boosh. Also known as composer for film and TV
December 26, 1970 ~ Indie rock, indie pop singer, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, songwriter James Mercer, full name James Russell Mercer, born in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ~ Influenced by the Smiths, the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Beatles, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Co-founded Flake Music, known for their acclaimed 1999 When You Land Here It's Time To Return album. Co-founding and sole constant member, lead singer, guitarist, primary songwriter of the Shins. Collaborated with Danger Mouse under the group moniker Broken Bells, releasing their eponymous Broken Bells debut album in 2010
December 26, 1969 ~ Engineer, producer Caleb Southern, full name Caleb August Southern, born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA ~ Best known for his association with Ben Folds Five, serving as producer for the albums Ben Folds Five, Whatever And Ever Amen, and The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner. Has also worked, either as engineer or producer, with acts such as Metal Flake Mother, Antiseen, Dillon Fence, Flat Duo Jets, Jennyandkind, the Archers of Loaf (Icky Mette), Geezer Lake, Superchunk, Capsize 7, Zen Frisbee, Tom Freund, and Shark Quest ~ Southern passed away in 2023
December 26, 1968 ~ Rock band Led Zeppelin kick off their North American tour at the Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado ~ The band play some 30-odd dates across the USA and Canada through mid-February. Early on in the tour they would play as support act for labelmates Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly. However, as the tour progressed, they were outshining the headline acts. By the time the tour reached San Francisco, the other acts simply didn't show up, making Led Zeppelin the headliners
December 26, 1967 ~ Singer Audrey Wiggins born in Asheville, North Carolina, USA ~ Formed the sibling duo John & Audrey Wiggins with her brother John Wiggins. The duo recorded two albums, spawning a string of modest country hits in the mid-1990s including Falling Out Of Love, She's In The Bedroom Crying, Somewhere In Love and their best known Has Anybody Seen My Amy
December 26, 1966 ~ Alternative rock, alternative country singer, guitarist, songwriter Jay Farrar, full name Jay Stuart Farrar, born in Belleville, Illinois, USA ~ Co-founded Uncle Tupelo. Shortly after recording their 1993 Anodyne album, the band's fourth album, Farrar announced his departure from the band over artistic differences with co-leader Jeff Tweedy. Despite never achieving mainstream succes the band was hugely influential in 1990s alternative country, setting the bar for future artists merging elements of punk, folk, rock, and country. Farrar and Mike Heidorn would go on to form Son Volt, while the other Tupelo members formed Wilco. Farrar also recorded as a solo artist, noted for his 2001 Sebastopol album, and guested on recordings by Michelle Shocked (Arkansas Traveler), the Bottle Rockets, and Anders Parker
December 26, 1965 ~ Pierre Paquet, commonly known as jazz trumpeter, arranger, composer Peter Packay, passed away in Westende, Belgium ~ Despite an accident leaving him crippled in one arm decided to learn to play the trumpet. As a composer known for songs such as Alabama Mamma, The Blue Duke, Dixie Melody and Lullaby For A Mexican Alligator. Worked with the Varsity Ramblers, the Red Beans, David Bee, Packay's Swing Academy, and Billy Arnold ~ Paquet was born in 1904
December 26, 1963 ~ Drummer Lars Ulrich born in Genlofte, Denmark ~ Co-founding member, drummer for Metallica, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums starting with Kill 'Em All released in 1983. The band is considered one of “the Big Four” of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer, and known for songs such as Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman, Until It Sleeps, The Memory Remains, and Turn The Page
December 26, 1960 ~ Composer, conductor, flutist Caroline Charrière born in Fribourg, Switzerland ~ Founded all-female choir Choeur De Jade. Composed chamber music, choral music and orchestral pieces. Best known for the oratorio Le Livre De Job and Awakening, a composition for wind quintet ~ Charrière passed away in 2018
December 26, 1959 ~ Charles Henry Mosley III, commonly known as singer, guitarist Chuck Mosley, born in Hollywood, California, USA ~ Best known as frontman of Faith No More from 1984 to 1988, appearing on the albums We Care A Lot and Introduce Yourself. Formed Bad Brains. Formed Cement. Released solo albums backed by guests such as Jonathan Davis, John 5, Michael Carellone, Roddy Bottum, Imperial Teen, and Leah Lou. Joined industrial collective Primitive Race in 2017 ~ Mosley passed away in 2017
December 26, 1957 ~ Jazz trumpeter, composer Guy Barker born in Chiswick, UK ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Wally Fawkes, Bob Nadkarni, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Johnny Dankworth, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bobby Watson, Clark Tracey, Ornette Coleman, Carla Bley, Georgie Fame, James Carter, Mike Westbrook, Frank Sinatra, Colin Towns, Natalie Merchant, ABC, The The, Haircut 100, Erasure, Chris Botti, Wham, Kajagoogoo, the Housemartins, Matt Bianco, Alphaville, the Style Council, the Moody Blues, Sting, Bucks Fizz, Mike Oldfield, Cleo Laine, Acoustic Alchemy, XTC, Stan Tracey, Perico Sambeat, Bernardo Sassetti, Geoff Gascoyne, Gene Calderazzo, and others
December 26, 1957 ~ Keyboardist, percussionist Jean-Marc Vivenza born in Marigot, Martinique ~ Member of pop unit La Compagnie Créole, founded in 1975. The band originally sang in Creole but quickly adopted French as their main language. Known for their feel-good, happy-go-lucky vibe they have recorded about two dozen albums and would enjoy popularity in the Francophone world and beyond especially in the 1980s, reportedly selling over 60 million records over the course of their career. Well-known songs include Vive Le Douanier Rousseau, C'est Bon Pour Le Moral, Le Bal Masqué, Ça Fait Rire Les Oiseaux, and Ma Première Biguine-Partie
December 26, 1956 ~ Michael Jones, commonly known as singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter Kashif, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Member of BT Express through 1978, including on the hits Express and Do It (Till You're Satisfied). As a solo artist known for songs such as I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On), Stone Love, Help Yourself To My Love, Edgartown Groove, and The Mood. As a producer, songwriter and/or musician worked with Stephanie Mills, George Benson (wrote and produced Inside Love), Evelyn Champagne King (wrote and produced I'm In Love), Johnny Kemp, Melba Moore, Dionne Warwick, Howard Johnson (produced So Fine), Giorge Pettus, Stacy Lattisaw, Melisa Morgan, Exposé, the Wootens, Freda Payne, then-newcomer Whitney Houston (produced You Give Good Love), Al Jarreau, and others ~ Jones passed away in 2016
December 26, 1954 ~ Jazz violinist, producer Noel Pointer born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ In-demand session musician in R&B, jazz, disco. Debuted as a solo artist with the Phantazia, which reached Platinum status. Notable guest appearance include Milira's Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) and Dianne Reeves' The Tracks Of My Tears, both covers of classics respectively Marvin Gaye and the Miracles. Has also worked with the Apollo Theater Orchestra, Love Unlimited Orchestra, and the orchestra of several Broadway productions. One of the youngest ever to serve as music advisory panelist for the National Endowment For The Arts ~ Pointer passed away in 1994
December 26, 1954 ~ Paloma Romero, commonly known as punk rock, post-punk drummer Palmolive, born in Melilla, Spain ~ Co-founding member of the Slits, remaining with the band through 1978. Subsequently worked with the Raincoats, appearing on their eponymous 1979 The Raincoats debut album. Has also worked with the Flowers Of Romance, fired from the band after rejecting frontman Sid Vicious' avances.
December 26, 1951 ~ Guitarist, songwriter David Briggs born in Melbourne, Australia ~ Lead guitarist of the Little River Band from 1976 through 1981, wrote the hit single Lonesome Loser and co-wrote Happy Anniversary. Would go on to produce recordings for the Australian Crawl, Russell Morris and others
December 26, 1951 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion, acid jazz guitarist, composer John Scofield born in Dayton, Ohio, USA ~ Over 40 albums to his name as a leader, starting with the eponymous John Scofield Live released in 1977. Draws from bebop, jazz fusion, funk, blues, R&B, rock. In-demand sideman. Notable collaborations include Charles Mingus (Three Or Four Shades Of Blues), Hal Galper (Ivory Forest), Miles Davis (Star People, Decoy, You're Under Arrest). Has also worked with artists such as Gerry Mulligan, Billy Cobham, Chet Baker, Urbie Green, Terumasa Hino, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, Miroslav Vitous, Zbigniew Seifert, Joe Beck, George Adams, Tal Farlow, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Gov't Mule, Roy Haynes, Scolohofo, Trio Beyond, and others
December 26, 1951 ~ Victor Cohen, commonly known as jazz drummer Vic Berton, passed away in Hollywood, California, USA ~ Playing professionally since age 16. Has worked with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, John Philip Sousa, Art Kahn, Paul Beise, Bix Beiderbecke, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Donald Voorhees, Red Nichols, Paul Whiteman, Abe Lyman, and others ~ Cohen was born in 1896
December 26, 1949 ~ Stride, R&B, folk pianist, guitarist George Winston born in Hart, Michigan, USA ~ Known for playing three distinctive styles, a melodic approach Winston dubs rural folk piano, stride piano influenced by Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson, and New Orleans R&B influenced by Professor Longhair and Henry Butler. Has released well over a dozen albums, starting with his overlooked Piano Solos debut album in 1972, later re-released as Ballads And Blues 1972. Primarily known as a pianist Winston also plays guitar and harmonica ~ Winston passed away in 2023
December 26, 1949 ~ Film composer, conductor, orchestrator Ira Newborn born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known as a film composer, scoring the soundtracks for films such as Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the entire The Naked Gun series and Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Musical director for That Girl Belongs To Yesterday]. Has also worked on Broadway and with artists such as the Manhattan Transfer, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, and others
December 26, 1949 ~ Salsa trumpeter Luis Perico Ortiz born in San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Worked with Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, the Fania All-Stars, Blondie, David Bowie, Ann-Margret, Dionne Warwick, Diahann Carroll, Trini López, Engelbert Humperdinck, the Puerto Rican Symphony Orchestra, Sammy Davis Jr, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, the Supremes, and others
December 26, 1948 ~ Dolores de la Colina Flores, commonly known as singer, songwriter Lolita de la Colina, born in Tampico, Mexico ~ Artists who have recorded her songs include Manoella Torres, Lupita D'Alessio, José José, Daniela Romo, Stephanie Salas, Manolo Muñoz, Ana Gabriel, Maria Dolores Pradera, Gloria Lasso, María Jiménez, Verónica Castro, Manuel Mijares, Roberto Blades, Pepe Aguilar, Chavela Vargas, Marco Antonio Muñiz, and others
December 26, 1947 ~ R&B, funk bassist, singer George Porter Jr born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Co-founded the Meters with Art Neville, known best for their first two albums, eponymous The Meters and its Look-Kay Py Py follow-up, both released in 1969 and influential on funk artists such as George Clinton, Cameo, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone. Has also worked with the 7 Walkers, Porter Batiste Stoltz, Wild Tchoupitoulas. In-demand collaborator and session musician, present on recordings by the Soul Rebels Brass Band, Dr John, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, Willy DeVille, Patti Labelle, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Earl King, Warren Haynes, Tori Amos, Snooks Eaglin, Solomon Burke, and others
December 26, 1947 ~ Salsa singer Marvin Santiago born in San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Active since the late 1960s. Sang with Rafael Cortijo, starting on the Ahi Na Ma (Put It There) album singing lead vocals on the tracks Vasos En Colores and La Sonora De Felipe Rodriguez. Would go on to sing with Roberto Angleró, Bobby Valentín and with the Fania All-Stars before debuting as a solo artist in 1977 with the album De Los Soneros ~ Santiago passed away in 2004
December 26, 1947 ~ Folk singer, songwriter Penny Nichols born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Formed the duo the Greasy Mountain Butterballs with Kathy Smith, the duo toured Vietnam in 1966. Debuted as a solo artist with the Penny's Arcade album in 1967. Also worked with John McEuen, sang backup with Jimmy Buffett's the Coral Reefer Band, and was a member of jazzy outfit Black Imp. Married to actor, musician Harry Shearer from 1974 to 1977 ~ Nichols passed away in 2017
December 26, 1942 ~ Free funk, avant-garde jazz drummer Doug Hammond born ~ Worked with Earl Hooker, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Sammy Price, Donald Byrd, Wolfgang Dauner, Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman, Nina Simone, Betty Carter, Marion Williams, Paquito d'Rivera, Arnett Cobb, James Blood Ulmer, Arthur Blythe, Kirk Lightsey, and others
December 26, 1942 ~ Singer Rob de Nijs born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Known for songs such as Ritme Van De Regen, Jan Klaassen De Trompetter, Malle Babbe, en Zondag
December 26, 1939 ~ Songwriter, lyricist, author Ken Howard, full name Kenneth Charles Howard, born in Worthing, UK ~ Frequent songwriting partner of Alan Blaikley. Well known songs include the UK No.1 hits Have I The Right for the Honeycombs and The Legend Of Xanadu for Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Howard include the Herd, Lulu, Engelbert Humperdinck, Rolf Harris, Elvis Presley (I've Lost You), the Bay City Rollers, Fiver, and Phil Collins. The duo also wrote for TV and musicals, notably the West End productions Mardi Gras and The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole
December 26, 1939 ~ Producer Phil Spector, full name Harvey Philip Spector, born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ One of the most influential producers in pop music history, known for his Wagnerian approach to rock & roll. Active since the late 1950s, co-founding member, guitarist of the Teddy Bears and writing their 1958 Billboard No.1 hit To Know Is To Love Him. Founded Phillies Records in 1960, at the time becoming the youngest label owner to date at age 21. Scored numerous hits throughout the 1960s as writer, co-writer, producer of acts such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, the Righteous Brothers and Ike & Tina Turner. Produced the Beatles final album, Let It Be. Continued his chart succes in the 1970s with artists such as Leonard Cohen, Dion and the Ramones. Sentenced in 2009 to 19 years to life for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson ~ Spector passed away in 2021
December 26, 1934 ~ Cantastorie, folk singer, guitarist, songwriter Otello Profazio, full name Otello Ermanno Profazio, born in Rende, Italy ~ Draws heavily from traditional folk of South Italy, especially Sicily and Calabria. Acclaimed for his 1964 Il Treno Del Sole album. Also known for the 1970s albums Il Brigante Musolino and Qua Si Campa D'Aria. Host of several TV music programs, notably Quando La Gente Canta aired on Secondo Canala ~ Profazio passed away in 2023
December 26, 1933 ~ Jazz guitarist Billy Bean, full name William Frederick Bean, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Charlie Ventura, Red Callender, Buddy Collette, Paul Horn, John Pisano, Bud Shank, Milt Bernhart, Les Elgart, Herb Geller, Lorraine Geller, Calvin Jackson, Zoot Sims, Tony Bennett, Hal Gaylor, Walter Norris, Stan Getz, Herbie Mann, John Lewis, Dennis Budimir, Buddy DeFranco, and Fred Katz ~ Bean passed away in 2012
December 26, 1929 ~ Rachelle Zylberberg, commonly known as singer, nightclub manager Régine, born in Anderlecht, Belgium ~ Dubbed “the Queen of the Night” Zylberberg is best known as nightclub manager and owner, notably Chez Régine in 1950s Paris. Darling of the international jet set. Credited for inventing the modern day discotheque, growing weary of people always requesting the same songs and the silence between records, she replaced the jukebox by a disc jockey using two turntables. Has also recorded a number of albums as a torch singer and occasionally ventured into acting ~ Zylberberg passed away in 2022
December 26, 1926 ~ Composer Earle Brown born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, USA ~ Established his own formal and notational systems. Creator of “open form” a style of musical construction that has influenced numerous composers including John Zorn. Among his best known compositions are December 1952, Available Forms I & II (Centering), and Cross Sections And Color Fields ~ Brown passed away in 2002
December 26, 1926 ~ Monte Rex Budwig, commonly known as jazz double bassist Monty Budwig, born in Pender, Nebraska, USA ~ In-demand sideman and collaborator, especially associated with Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne, and Vince Guaraldi. Budwig has also appeared on albums by Lennie Niehaus, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, Tal Farlow, Art Pepper, Frank Rosolino (Frank Rosolino Quintet), June Christy, Henry Mancini (The Music From Peter Gunn), Zoot Sims (Choice), Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk (At The Blackhawk), Junior Mance, Sonny Criss (Rockin' In Rhythm), Jimmy Rowles, Mundell Lowe, Soprano Summit, Herb Ellis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Al Cohn, and Lew Tabackin. Budwig recorded one album as a leader, the highly acclaimed Dig released in 1978 ~ Budwig passed away in 1992
December 26, 1915 ~ Jazz singer, pianist, songwriter Una Mae Carlisle was born in Zanesville, Ohio, USA ~ Has been performing publicly since age 3. Discovered by Fats Waller, a major influence and future collaborator of hers, while stil in her teens. Toured Europe in the 1930s. Has recorded with sidemen such as Lester Young, Benny Carter and John Kirby in the 1940s. As a songwriter perhaps best known for Walkin' By The River, originally recorded by Hal Kemp in 1940 and notably covered by Mitchell Ayres, Ella Fitzgerald and Della Reese. Married to John Bradford, owner of 1940s Harlem jazz club Gee-Haw Stables ~ Carlisle passed away in 1956
December 26, 1911 ~ Beecher Ray Kirby, commonly known as country guitarist, steel guitarist, dobroist, banjoist, singer Bashful Brother Oswald, born in Sevier County, Tennessee, USA ~ Popularized the resonator guitar and dobro. Original and sole constant member of Roy Acuff's backing unit the Smoky Mountain Boys, notably present on songs such as Precious Jewel, Wreck On The Highway, and Old Age Pension Check. In-demand session musician and collaborator, including with the all-star the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on the 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album, and solo artist, recording about half a dozen albums starting with the eponymous Bashful Brother Oswald album released in 1962 ~ Kirby passed away in 2002
December 26, 1906 ~ Songwriter Morgan Lewis, full name William Morgan Lewis Jr, born in Rockville, Connecticut, USA ~ Perhaps best remembered for co-writing How High The Moon with lyricist Nancy Hamilton, first featured in the 1940 Broadway revue Two For The Show by Alfred Drake and Frances Comstock. The song would become a jazz standard recorded by Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Gloria Gaynor, Stéphane Grappelli, and numerous others ~ Lewis passed away in 1968
December 26, 1902 ~ Delta blues, country blues, acoustic blues harpist, singer, guitarist JD Short born in Fort Gibson, Mississippi, USA ~ Cousin of Big Joe Williams and David Honeyboy Edwards. Plays a number of instruments including guitar, harmonica, piano, saxophone, drums. As a solo artist best known for songs such as Lonesome Swamp Rattlesnake and You're Tempting Me. Worked with the Neckbones, Henry Spaulding, Douglas Williams, Son House, and others. Re-emerged in the early 1960s blues revival ~ Short passed away in 1962