This Day In Music: December 31
December 30 ~ Birthdays/All ~ January 1
 
December 31, 2019 ~ Victor E Jurusz Jr, commonly known as jazz guitarist Vic Juris, passed away in Livingston, New Jersey, USA ~ Worked with Eric Kloss, Pat Martino, Richie Cole, Larry Coryell, Biréli Lagrène, Gary Peacock, David Liebman, Lee Konitz, Peggy Stern, Benny Waters, Jeanie Bryson, Steve Laspina, Judi Silvano, Ken Serio, Joe Locke, Barry Miles, Mel Tormé, Don Patterson, Brian Torff, Lenore Raphael, Stephanie Nakasian, David Amram, Marc Copland, Charlie Mariano, Roseanna Vitro, Giacomo Gates, James Moody, Tim Hagans, John Ethridge, Rufus Reid, and others ~ Jurusz was born in 1953
 
December 31, 2018 ~ Thomas McAleese, commonly known as singer Dean Ford, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Best known as frontman of Marmalade, known for Reflections Of My Life. Has also worked with the Gaylords, Alan Parsons, Hugh Nicolson, Joe Tanslin, and others ~ McAleese was born in 1946
December 31, 2018 ~ Violinist Kató Havas passed away ~ Child prodigy. Gave her first professional recital at age seven ~ Havas was born in 1920
December 31, 2018 ~ Singer Maya Casablanca passed away in Israel ~ Best known for songs such as Oui Devant Dieu and Garde Moi La Dernière Danse ~ Casabianca was born ca.1941
December 31, 2018 ~ Singer, percussionist, guitarist Ray Sawyer passed away in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA ~ Member of Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, known for songs such as Sylvia's Mother, The Cover Of The Rolling Stone, Only Sixteen, A Little Bit More, Sharing The Night Together, When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Better Love Next Time, Sexy Eyes and Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk ~ Sawyer was born in 1937
December 31, 2018 ~ Urban Clifford Green, commonly known as trombonist Urbie Green, passed away in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Appears on over 250 recordings. Two dozen albums to his own name. Influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Perry Como, and Louis Armstrong. Highly respected by fellow trombonists. Worked with Gene Krupa, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jack Jenney, Walter Wanderley, Herbie Mann, Manny Albam, Steve Allen, Count Basie, Ray Bryant, Trigger Alpert, Kenny Burrell, Buck Clayton, Ray Conniff, Paul Desmond, Gil Evans, Art Farmer, Aretha Franklin (Soul '69), Johnny Griffin, Billie Holiday (Lady In Satin), Milt Jackson, JJ Johnson, Quincy Jones, Blue Mitchell, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Wilder, Dinah Washington, Joe Newman, and others ~ Green was born in 1926
 
December 31, 2017 ~ Jacqueline Nash, commonly known as singer, actress Gale Sherwood, passed away ~ Performed with Nelson Eddy from 1953 until his death in 1967. Starred in a number of musical productions for stage, notably a 1967 production of Show Boat with the Los Angeles Light Civic Opera, and for screen including They Shall Have Music, Let's Make Music and the 1955 TV operetta The Desert Song ~ Nash was born in 1929
December 31, 2017 ~ Music journalist, author Richard Havers, full name Richard John Havers, passed away in Minehead, UK ~ Airline industry manager turned music promoter and author of books and articles on jazz, blues, pop music. Co-authored Bill Wyman's Blues Oddesey with Bill Wyman. Co-authored several books on the Rolling Stones, starting with Rolling With The Stones published in 2003. Wrote books about the famed Blue Note and Verve record labels, the Woodstock Festival, and the Beatles. His articles have been published by The Daily Telegraph, The Times and Record Collector ~ Havers was born in 1951
 
December 31, 2015 ~ Blues singer, songwriter Marion James passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Considered Nashville's “Queen of the Blues” ~ James was born in 1934
December 31, 2015 ~ Singer Natalie Cole passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Daughter of Nat King Cole ~ Cole was born in 1950
 
December 31, 2014 ~ Music critic Michael Kennedy, full name George Michael Sinclair Kennedy, passed away ~ Chief classical music critic for The Daily Telegraph from 1986 through 2005, and of The Sunday Telegraph from 1989 through 2005. Has written a number of biographies, including on composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar, John Barbirolli, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Benjamin Britten ~ Kennedy was born in 1926
 
December 31, 2009 ~ Soul blues, electric blues singer, drummer Earl Gaines passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Sang lead vocals on Louis Brooks & his Hi-toppers' It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day). As a solo artist less successfull, scoring only minor hits with songs such as The Best Of Luck To You and Hymn Number 5 ~ Gaines was born in 1935
 
December 31, 2002 ~ Bluegrass, country, gospel guitarist, singer Jim McReynolds, full name Jesse Lester McReynolds, passed away ~ Formed the duo Jim & Jesse with his brother Jesse McReynolds, recording and performing from the 1950s until Jim's death in 2002. The brothers were backed by the Virginia Boys, which at times included musicians such as Vassar Clements, Allen Shelton, Carl Jackson, Randall Franks, and others ~ McReynolds was born in 1927
December 31, 2002 ~ Pop, power pop guitarist, singer, songwriter Kevin MacMichael, full name Kevin Scott MacMichael, passed away in Halifax, Canada ~ Member of Cutting Crew from 1985 through 1993, present on songs such as I've Been In Love Before, One For The Mockingbird, Everything But My Pride and their best-known I Just Died In Your Arms, the latter a Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit in 1986. Also worked with Fast Forward, Robert Plant, Tribute, the Rankin Family, and with the Sons Of Maxwell ~ MacMichael was born in 1951
 
December 31, 2000 ~ Folk singer, guitarist Isaac Guillory passed away in England ~ Member of the Cryan Shames. Studied classical guitar and would incorporate quasi-classical playing into his folk songs. Released his eponymous solo debut album Isaac Guillory in 1974. Has worked with Al Stewart, Donovan, Mick Jagger, Elkie Brooks, Peter Sarstedt, Buggles, Barbara Dickson, Nick Heyward, and others ~ Guillory was born in 1947
 
December 31, 1999 ~ Banjoist, fiddler Matokie Slaughter, full name Matokie Worrell Slaughter, passed away 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 was born in 1919
 
December 31, 1998 ~ Bass singer Orlandus Wilson passed away in Paris, France ~ Best known as longtime member of the Golden Gate Quartet ~ Wilson was born ca.1917
 
December 31, 1997 ~ Pianist Floyd Cramer passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Considered one of the pioneers of the Nashville sound. Frequent collaborator of guitarist Don Gibson and saxophonist Boots Randolph. Dozens of albums to his own name. Renowned for his slip note technique. Known for instrumental renditions of classics, with Last Date, On The Rebound and San Antonio Rose all reaching the Billboard top 10. In-demand session musicians appearing on records by Elvis Presley (Heartbreak Hotel, Are You Lonesome Tonight), Brenda Lee, Hank Locklin (Please Help Me I'm Falling), Patsy Cline, the Browns, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, Don Gibson, the Everly Brothers, and others ~ Cramer was born in 1933
 
December 31, 1990 ~ William Moore, commonly known as hip-hop, trap DJ, producer DJ Esco, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Worked with Drake, Juicy J, Lil' Uzi Vert, Schoolboy Q, Rich the Kid, Future, Nas, and others
 
December 31, 1989 ~ Jazz, world music clarinetist, saxophonist Oran Etkin born in Israel ~ Worked with Fabian Almazan, Abdoulaye Diabaté, Makean Kouyate, Balla Kouyate, Camara, Sara Caswell, Lionel Loueke, and others
 
December 31, 1986 ~ Jazz trumpeter Don Sleet, full name Donald Clayborn Sleet, passed away in Hollywood, California, USA ~ Worked with the Lighthouse All-Stars, Terry Gibbs, the San Diego Symphony, Les McBrowne, the Four Soul, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Kelly, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Shelly Manne, and others ~ Sleet was born in 1938
 
December 31, 1985 ~ Eric Hilliard Nelson, commonly known as rock & roll, pop singer, actor, teen idol Ricky Nelson, passed away in De Kalb, Texas, USA ~ Stole America's hearts as child actor in the radio and TV series The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet. Would go on to score numerous hits, popularizing rock & roll. Best known for songs such as A Teenager's Romance, Be-bop Baby, Stood Up, Poor Little Fool, Lonesome Town, Sweeter Than You, Travelin' Man, Hello Mary Lou, Teen-age Idol, It's Up To You, For You, Garden Party, and others ~ Nelson was born in 1940
 
December 31, 1982 ~ Latin pop, pop pianist, guitarist Jesse Huerta, full name Jesse Eduardo Huerta Uecke, born in Mexico City, Mexico ~ Forms the sibling duo Jesse & Joy with drummer, guitarist, singer Joy Huerta, known for songs such as Corre, La De La Mala Suerte, Quien Se Queda El Perro, Llorar featuring Mario Domm, Ecos De Amor, No Soy Una De Esas featuring Alejandro Sanz, 3AM featuring Gente De Zona, Te Esperé, Mañana Es Too Late featuring J Balvin, all of which reached the No.1 spot in their native Mexico
 
December 31, 1981 ~ Songwriter, arranger, producer, label executive Dave Cavanaugh passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Started his career as a saxophonist sessioning for Eddie Miller, Bobby Sherwood, Benny Carter, Woody Herman, Sammy Davis Jr, Ella Mae Morse, and Peggy Lee. Became Capitol Records Director of A&R in the early 1950s signing artists such as Dakota Staton, Donna Hightower, Nancy Wilson, Plas Johnson, and Sandler & Young. Would become one of the label's main producers working with Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, Kay Starr, Billy May, and Frank Sinatra. Cavanaugh would eventually rise to the position of President of the label in the 1970s and continue to work until his death ~ Cavanaugh was born in 1919
 
December 31, 1980 ~ Singer Irmgard Osterwall passed away ~ Considered one of Sweden's first jazz singers. Retired from music in 1950. Sister of double-bassist Arthur Osterwal and bandleader Seymour Osterwall ~ Osterwall was born in 1914
December 31, 1980 ~ Miles Wheeler, commonly known as soul singer Masspike Miles, born in Sacramento, California, USA ~ Lead singer of Perfect Gentlemen. Released a full-length solo album, Power, in 2018. Has collaborated with Statik Selektah, Rick Ross, the Triple C's, TI, French Montana, Erick Sermon, and others
December 31, 1980 ~ Nadéah Miranda, mononymously known as singer, guitarist, songwriter, actress, model Nadéah, born in Melbourne, Australia ~ Co-founded the Lovegods. Sang with Nouvelle Vague. Has also recorded as a solo artist starting with Venus Gets Even released in 2011
December 31, 1980 ~ Blues singer, guitarist, songwriter Robert Pete Williams passed away in Rosedale, Louisiana, USA ~ Best known for penning and first recording I've Grown So Ugly, covered by Captain Beefheart in 1967 and by the Black Keys in 2004 ~ Williams was born in 1914
 
December 31, 1979 ~ Singer, drummer, hornist, vibraphonist, keyboardist Isolde Lasoen born in Brugge, Belgium ~ Best known as member of DAAN, joining the band in 2002. Has also worked with Absynthe Minded, Saint Marteau, the Happy, the Whodads, Billie King, Briskey, Guido Belcanto, Willy Lambregt, Flip Kowlier, Raymond van het Groenewoud, Novastar, Jack van Poll, Lady Linn, and others
 
December 31, 1978 ~ Country singer, songwriter Craig Wayne Boyd born in Mesquite, Texas, USA ~ Best known for winning season 7 of NBC's talent show The Voice, beating Matt McAndrew. Boyd would subsequently score a country hit with My Baby's Got A Smile On Her Face after which further success eluded him
 
December 31, 1977 ~ Park Jae-sang, commonly known as K-pop, dance-pop rapper PSY, born in Seoul, South Korea ~ Internationally best known for Gangnam Style, a global hit in 2014
 
December 31, 1973 ~ Power metal, grindcore, folk rock drummer Kai Hahto born in Vaasa, Finland ~ Best known as member of Rotten Sound. Has also worked with Cartilage, Max On The Rox, Wintersun, Swallow The Sun, Nightwish, Trees Of Eternity, Auri, Darkwoods My Betrothed, Arthemesia, and others
 
December 31, 1972 ~ Singer Joey McIntyre, full name Joseph Mulrey McTyre born in Needham, Massachusetts, USA ~ Best known as the youngest member of New Kids On The Block and as a member of the collaborative band NKOTBSB. As a solo artist known for his 1999 hit Stay The Same
 
December 31, 1970 ~ Raymond Brost, commonly known as pianist, songwriter Ray Henderson, passed away in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA ~ Frequent collaborator of Lew Brown and BG DeSylva. Songs written or co-written include Bye Bye Blackbird (Sam Lanin, Gene Austin, Leo Reisman), I'm Sitting On Top Of The World (Art Gillham, Al Jolson, Roger Wolfe Kahn), The Birth Of The Blues (Irving Abrams, the Revelers, Bing Crosby), Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries (Ethel Merman, Ben Bernie, Rudy Vallee), Animal Crackers In My Soup (Don Bestor, Shirley Temple), Sonny Boy (Ruth Etting, the Andrews Sisters, Jackie Wilson) ~ Brost was born in 1896
 
December 31, 1969 ~ Guitarist, singer Hans Magnus Ryan born in Trondheim, Norway ~ Guitarist, lead singer, frontman, founding member of Motorpsycho
 
December 31, 1963 ~ Pop, jazz keyboardist, producer, arranger Alain van Zeveren born in Belgium ~ Worked with Dave Pike, Toots Thielemans, and with the Radios
 
December 31, 1962 ~ Contemporary classical composer Jennifer Higdon, full name Jennifer Elaine Higdon, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Cites pop bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel as major influences rather than classical music. Served as composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, thew Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, and others
December 31, 1962 ~ Conductor Max Goberman passed away ~ Conducted ballets, Broadway musicals including the original productions of On The Town and West Side Story, and classical reportoire ~ Goberman was born ca.1911
 
December 31, 1961 ~ Electric blues, Americana, blues-rock, jazz-fusion Hank van Sickle born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Plays both bass guitar and upright bass. Member of John Mayall's the Bluesbreakers from 2000 to 2008. Has also worked with Jimmy Smith, Robben Ford, Rod Piazza, Taj Mahal, Candye Kane, Guitar Shorty, Smokey Wilson, Denny Freeman, Kirk Fletcher, Rosie Flores, Wanda Jackson, James Intveld, Billy Swan, Yma Sumac, Judy Tenuta, Ray Campi, Floyd Sneed, and others
December 31, 1961 ~ Jacinto Chabania, commonly known as jazz alto saxophonist Jerry Blake, passed away ~ Played violin before switching to reeds. Worked with the Sells Fioto Circus Band, Al Wynn, Bobby Lee, Charles Turner, Sam Wooding, Chick Webb, Zack Whyte, Don Redman, Willie Lewis, Claude Hopkins, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Lionel Hampton, and others ~ Chabania was born in 1908
 
December 31, 1960 ~ Anarcho-punk, pop singer Dunstan Bruce born in Billingham, UK ~ Best known as Chumbawamba lead singer from 1982 through 2004, including on their biggest hit Tubthumping. Previously a member of Men In A Suitcase. Formed Interrobang in 2012
 
December 31, 1959 ~ Guitarist, singer, songwriter Paul Westerberg, full name Paul Harold Westerberg, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA ~ Lead singer, guitarist of the Replacements, known for a number of critically acclaimed albums especially 1984's Let It Be Me and 1985's Tim
 
December 31, 1957 ~ Blues harpist, singer, songwriter Mikael Santana born in Lakeland, Florida, USA ~ Influenced by James Cotton, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II. Enjoyed local success in the Memphis area. Known best for his 1997 Point Of Departure album
 
December 31, 1953 ~ World, new age guitarist Michael Hedges, full name Michael Alden Hedges, born in Enid, Oklahoma, USA ~ Classically trained. Influenced by John Martyn, the Beatles, Igor Stravinsky, Edgard Varèse, Anton Webern. Briefly a member, playing guitar and flute, of the Lotus Band before venturing out on his own playing as a solo acoustic guitarist. Signed to Windham Hill, the preeminent New Age label, by William Ackerman in 1980. Would release his acclaimed 1981 Breakfast In The Field debut album, its 1984 follow-up Aerial Boundaries and the 1985 Watching My Life Go By album ~ Hedges passed away in 1997
 
December 31, 1951 ~ Jazz fusion, rock, R&B, world bassist, songwriter Jimmy Haslip, full name James Robert Haslip, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known as co-founding member of the Yellowjackets, remaining with the band through 2012. Has also worked with Street Punk, Harvey Mandel, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Bruce Hornsby, Rita Coolidge, Gino Vannelli, Tommy Bolin, Allan Holdsworth, Marilyn Scott, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Donald Fagen, Blackjack, the Paley Brothers, Jing Chi, Renegade Creation, and others
December 31, 1951 ~ Fiddler Mickey Finn born in Callan, Ireland ~ Fixture in traditional Irish music during the 1970s and 1980s. Best known for his associations with Mary Coughlan, Mick Lally, Christy Moore. Member of Dicklerfitz. Member of De Dannan ~ Finn passed away in 1987
December 31, 1951 ~ Bassist Tom Hamilton, full name Thomas William Hamilton born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA ~ Influenced by John Paul Jones, John Entwistle and Paul McCartney. Best known as member of Aerosmith. Co-wrote some of the band's best known songs including Sweet Emotion, Kings And Queens, Janie's Got A Gun, The Movie and Can't Stop Lovin' You
 
December 31, 1950 ~ Composer, arranger Naser Cheshmazar born in Irdabil, Iran ~ Revered Iranian songwriter. Drew from classical musical, blues, folk, jazz, popular music and show tunes ~ Azar passed away in 2018
 
December 31, 1949 ~ Gospel singer, songwriter Douglas Miller, full name Douglas Lee Miller, born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Debuted in 1984 with the I Still Love The Name Jesus album which reached top 10 on the Billboard Gospel album charts. Would continue to record through the early 1990s with three more albums reaching top 20 and one, his 1985 sophomore Unspeakable Joy effort, also making it to the top 10 ~ Miller passed away in 2021
 
December 31, 1948 ~ Ladonna Adrian Gaines, commonly known as singer Donna Summer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Dubbed “the Queen of Disco”, known for a string of hits, often produced by Giorgio Moroder, including Love To Love You baby, Last Dance, I Feel Love, Macarthur Park, Heaven Knows, Hot Stuff, Bad Girls, Dim All The Lights, and with Barbra Streisand, No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), On The Radio, and others ~ Gaines passed away in 2012
December 31, 1948 ~ Country, rock guitarist, singer Philip Donnelly born in Dublin, Ireland ~ in-demand session musician. Has worked with Elmer Fudd, Donovan, Clannad, the Fleadh Cowboys, the Hothouse Flowers, De Dannan, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Don Williams, Jim Rooney, Emmylou Harris, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, Crystal Gayle, and others ~ Donnelly passed away in 2019
 
December 31, 1947 ~ Rock, soft rock singer, guitarist, pianist, flutist Burton Cummings, full name Burton Lorne Cummings, born in Winnipeg, Canada ~ Fronted the Guess Who from 1966 through 1975, known for hits such as These Eyes, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, No Sugar Tonight, and Share The Land. Released his eponymous Burton Cummings solo debut album in 1976, spawning the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Stand Tall. Subsequent well-known singles include Timeless Love, I Will Play A Rhapsody, and You Saved My Soul
December 31, 1947 ~ Singers Dale Evans and Roy Rogers get married in Davis, Oklahoma ~ An on- and off-screen team the singers marry at the Flying L Ranch where they had earlier filmed the movie Home In Oklahoma. Evans' fourth marriage, Rogers' third, the marriage would prove to be lasting, the couple remaining together until Rogers death in 1998
December 31, 1947 ~ Folk singer June Tabor born in Warwick, UK ~ As a solo artist actively recording since the mid-1970s. Has collaborated with Maddy Pryor, Silly Sisters, Oysterhead, Iain Ballamy, Huw Warren, Fairport Convention, Savourna Stevenson, Peter Bellamy, and others
December 31, 1947 ~ Rita Lee Jones, commonly known as rock, pop, psychedelic rock singer, songwriter Rita Lee, born in São Paulo, Brazil ~ Founded Os Mutantes with Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias. As a solo artist has over 20 albums to her name, starting with Build Up released in 1970. Has sold over 60 million records. Collaborated with Tutti Frutti, Gilberto Gil, and with her husband guitarist Roberto de Carvalho
 
December 31, 1944 ~ Jazz pianist, organist, composer Bernie Senensky, full name Bernard Melvin Senensky, born in Winnipeg, Canada ~ Leader and sideman. Influenced by Larry Goldings, Mike Ledonne, Larry Young. Closely associated with Moe Koffman. Has worked with Michel Donate, Gary Bartz, Bob Moses, Eddie Henderson, and others
 
December 31, 1943 ~ Henry John Deutschendorf Jr, commonly known as singer, songwriter John Denver, born in Roswell, New Mexico, USA ~ One of the most popular singers of the 1970s, known for songs such as Take Me Home Country Roads, Annie's Song, Rocky Mountain High, Calypso, Thank God I'm A Country Boy, Leaving On A Jet Plane, Sunshine On My Shoulders, and others. Member of the Mitchell Trio, replacing founder Chad Mitchell. Member of the Alpine Trio. Political activist, especially concerned about the environment, but also engaged in charitable causes for the homeless, the poor, and the African AIDS crisis. Campaigned for Jimmy Carter, who became a close personal friend. Founded the Windstar Foundation, dedicated to promoting sustainable living ~ Denver passed away in 1997
December 31, 1943 ~ Bassist Peter Quaife born in UK ~ Founding member and original bassist for the Kinks, staying with the band from 1963 untill 1969. Formed the band Mpleoak which he left the next year to retire from music alltogether ~ Quaife passed away in 2010
 
December 31, 1942 ~ Andrew James Somers, commonly known as guitarist Andy Summers, born in Lancashire, UK ~ Member of Zoot Money's R&B outfit the Big Roll Band, which eventually evolved into Dantalian's Chariot. Briefly a member of Soft Machine. Briefly a member of the Animals, appearing on the 1968 Love Is album. Member of Strontium 90. Would rise to global fame as member of the Police from 1977 until its disbandement, scoring hits such as Message In A Bottle, Roxanne, Don't Stand So Close To Me, and Every Breath You Take, writing the distinctive guitar riff for the latter. Occassionaly took lead vocals, for instance on Be My Girl (Sally), Friends, Mother, and Someone To Talk To. Has also recorded as a solo artist, composed soundtracks, and worked with Circa Zero, Robert Fripp, John Ethridge, Fernanda Takai, and others
 
December 31, 1940 ~ Manfred Neumeier, commonly known as rock, free jazz, krautrock singer, drummer Mani Neumeier, born in Munich, Germany ~ Best known as frontman of krautrock group Guru Guru. Has collaborated with numerous artists including Dieter Moebius, Damo Suzuki, Harmonia, Hans-Karsten Raecke, Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Kawabata Makoto, Tatsuya Yoshida, Acid Mothers Temple, Hijokaidan, and others
December 31, 1940 ~ Fingerstyle guitarist Max Ochs, full name Maxwell David Ochs, born in Queens, New York, USA ~ Co-founded Takoma Records. Worked with Buzzy Linhart, Seventh Sons, Robbie Basho, John Fahey, Harry Taussig, and others
 
December 31, 1935 ~ Jazz trombonist, bandleader Peter Herbolzheimer, full name Peter Alexandru Herbolzheimer, born in Bucharest, Romania ~ Founded and led the Rhythm Combination And Brass big band which accompanied artists such as Esther Phillips, Stan Getz, Nat Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Toots Thielemans, Clark Terry, Albert Mangelsdorff, and others. Served as musical director of Germany's youth orchestra, the Bundes Jazz Orchester, from 1987 to 2006 ~ Herbolzheimer passed away in 2010
 
December 31, 1933 ~ Guitarist, mandolinist, bassist, singer Fred Carter Jr born in Winnsboro, Louisiana, USA ~ In-demand sideman. Member of the Wrecking Crew. Worked with Slim Whitman, Floyd Cramer, Sonny James, Hank Snow, Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison, Dale Hawkins, Ronnie Hawkins, Simon & Garfunkel (The Boxer), Bob Dylan, John Anderson (I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal), Levon Helm, Booker T Jones, Dr John, Waylon Jennings (I've Always Been Crazy), Donald Duck Dunn, Joan Baez, Ronnie Hawkins, Kenny Rogers, and others ~ Carter passed away in 2010
 
December 31, 1931 ~ Gilbert John Melle, commonly known as multi-instrumentalist, film composer Gil Melle born in New York, New York, USA ~ Painter, sculptor. Created cover art for albums by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins. Played baritone sax with George Wallington, Max Roach, Tal Farlow, Oscar Pettiford, Ed Thigpen, Kenny Dorham, Zoot Sims, and led a number of sessions for Blue Note Records and Prestige Records through mid to late 1950s. Composed for over 100 films, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. Is credited to be the first to compose a main theme for television series arranged entirely for electronic instruments (for Rod Serling's Night Gallery) ~ Mellé passed away in 2004
 
December 31, 1930 ~ Electric blues, jump blues, rock & roll singer, guitarist, drummer, songwriter Goree Carter born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Best known for his 1949 Rock Awhile single, one of the records regularly cited by critics and musicologists as the first rock & roll records. After serving in the military, including a deployment to Korea, would record throughout the mid-1950s yet mostly retire from music on account of discontement with the music industry. Carter would occasionally perform locally or sit in with visiting artists including BB King ~ Carter passed away in 1990
December 31, 1930 ~ Albert Gardner, commonly known as jazz, R&B drummer June Gardner, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Worked with Lil' Green, Edgar Blanchard, Roy Brown, Sam Cooke, Lee Dorsey (Working In The Coal Mine), Lionel Hampton, and others ~ Gardner passed away in 2010
December 31, 1930 ~ Odetta Holmes, mononymously known as gospel singer, guitarist, songwriter Odetta born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA ~ Often referred to as “the Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”. Best known for her 1957 Take This Hammer recording ~ Holmes passed away in 2008
 
December 31, 1928 ~ Jazz, barbershop, traditional pop singer Ross Barbour, full name Ross Edwin Barbour, born in Columbus, Indiana, USA ~ Co-founding member of vocal quartet the Four Freshmen, which also included his brother Don Barbour, known for 1950s hits such as It's A Blue World, Mood Indigo, Day By Day and Graduation Day ~ Barbour passed away in 2011
 
December 31, 1924 ~ Jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer Wilbur Harden born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA ~ One of the earliest trumpeters to double on flugelhorn. Has played with Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane, Curtis Fuller, Roy Brown, Ivory Joe Hunter ~ Harden passed away in 1969
 
December 31, 1921 ~ Double-bassist, producer Simon Brehm born in Sweden ~ Played with Quincy Jones. Manager of Lill Babs. Owner of Karusell Records ~ Brehm passed away in 1967
 
December 31, 1920 ~ Actor, singer, songwriter Rex Allen, full name Rex Elvie, born in Willcox, Arizona, USA ~ Popular actor starting in the late 1940s, early 1950s. Dubbed “the Arizona Cowboy”. As a recording artist known for songs such as Afraid, The Roving Kind, Crying In The Chapel and the 1961 Billboard top 20 hit Don't Go Near The Indians ~ Allen passed away in 1999
 
December 31, 1917 ~ Evelyn Davis, commonly known as singer Evelyn Knight, born in Reedville, Virginia, USA ~ 1940s, 1950s singer known for songs such as Dance With A Dolly With A Hole In Her Stockings, A Little Bird Told Me, and Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile Smile Smile) ~ Davis passed away in 2007
 
December 31, 1914 ~ Jazz pianist Cedric Haywood born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ As a teenager, still in high school, played with Arnett Cobb. His first professional gig was with Chester Boone's band in 1934. Went on to play with Milt Larkin, whose line-up at the time included Illinois Jacquet, Tom Archia and Eddie Cleanhead Vinson. Haywood also played with Floyd Ray, Lionel Hampton, Sidney Bechet, Saunders King, Cal Tjader, Kid Ory, Brew Moore, and with Lightnin' Hopkins ~ Haywood passed away in 1969
December 31, 1914 ~ Robbert Ellsworth Patrick Aloysius O'Brady, commonly known as guitarist, keyboardist Pat Brady, born in Toledo, Ohio, USA ~ Member of the Sons Of The Pioneers. Best known as comical sidekick of Roy Rogers in numerous films, radio and television shows ~ O'Brady passed away in 1972
 
December 31, 1910 ~ Bandleader, label executive Jerry Blaine born in Allenwood, New Jersey, USA ~ Co-founded Jubilee Records with Herb Abramson in 1946. Stayed with the company through 1970 ~ Blaine passed away in 1973
 
December 31, 1909 ~ Robert Elliott Jones, commonly known as jazz trumpeter Jonah Jones, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA ~ Worked with Stuff Smith, Horace Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, and others ~ Jones passed away in 2000
 
December 31, 1908 ~ John Kirk, commonly known as jazz bassist, trombonist, tuba player John Kirby, born in Winchester, Virginia, USA ~ Led a popular chamber jazz sextet in the late 1930s and early 1940s known for songs such as Loch Lomond and the first recorded version of Undecided, the latter becoming a jazz standard covered by Chick Webb, the Dandridge Sisters, Django Reinhardt's the Quintette du Hot Club, the Ames Brothers, and others. ~ Kirk passed away in 1952
 
December 31, 1905 ~ Julius Kerwin Stein, commonly known as songwriter, composer Jule Styne, born in London, UK ~ Best known for a series of Broadway musicals including Gypsy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Funny Girl. Well-known songs written or co-written by Styne include Let Me Entertain You (Sandra Church, Bob Crewe, Ann-Margret), I Don't Want To Walk Without You (Kate Smith, Guy Lombardo, Dinah Shore), It's You Or No One (Harry James, Doris Day, Sarah Vaughan), Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week (Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, Cootie Williams), Everything's Coming Up Roses (Ethel Merman, Diahann Carroll, Johnny Mathis), Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend (Carol Channing, Marilyn Monroe, Lena Horne), Don't Rain On My Parade (Barbra Streisand, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Darin), and Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (Vaughn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby) ~ Stein passed away in 1994
 
December 31, 1898 ~ Jazz banjoist Charlie Dixon, full name Charles Edward Dixon, born in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA ~ Worked with Johnny Dunn, Sam Wooding, Fletcher Henderson, the Dixie Stompers, Kaiser Marshall, Louis Armstrong, Ralph Escudero, Coleman Hawkins, Don Redman, Elmer Chambers, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Trixie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Chick Webb, and others ~ Dixon passed away in 1940
 
December 31, 1885 ~ Lyricist Edgar Leslie born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA ~ Founding member of ASCAP. Has co-written songs such as Among My Souvenirs (the Kit-Cat Band, Jack Hylton, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong), Getting Some Fun Out Of Life (Billie Holiday, Maxine Sullivan), For Me & My Gal (MJ O'Connell, Abe Lyman, Vera Lynn), By The River St Marie (Guy Lombardo, Jimmie Lunceford, the Platters), Moon Over Miami (Roy Smeck, Eddy Duchin, Connee Boswell), and A Little Bit Independent (Jimmy Carr, Fats Waller, Nat King Cole) ~ Leslie passed away in 1976