This Day In Music: December 8
December 7 ~ Birthdays/All ~ December 9
December 8, 2022 ~ Rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Yitzhak Klepter passed away in Tel Aviv, Israel ~ Earned the nickname “Churchill” after giving a presentation in elementary school about the life of Winston Churchill. Would name his first band, formed at age 15, the Churchills. Best known as member of Kaveret in the mid-1970s. The band is widely considered a breakthrough band in Israeli pop and rock history. Internationally they are known for representing Israel in the 1974 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 7th place with the song Natati La Khayay. Subsequently an English-language version, She Looked Me In The Eye, would be released ~ Klepter was born in 1950
December 8, 2021 ~ Jazz, bebop pianist, composer, arranger Barry Harris, full name Barry Doyle Harris, passed away ~ Influenced by Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. Worked with Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, Thad Jones, Junior Mance, Gene Ammons, Max Roach, Cannonball Adderley, Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef, Hank Mobley, Coleman Hawkins, Donald Byrd, Al Cohn, Sonny Criss, Clifford Jordan, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Don Wilkerson, and others ~ Harris was born in 1929
December 8, 2021 ~ Saxophonist, flutist, singer Gil Bridges passed away ~ Original and longtime lead singer of Rare Earth, the first successful all-white act to be signed to Motown known for a string of early 1970s hits including Get Ready, I Know I'm Losing You, Born To Wander, I Just Want To Celebrate, and Hey Big Brother ~ Bridges was born ca.1941
December 8, 2021 ~ Singer Ralph Tavares, full name Ralph Edward Vierra Tavares, passed away ~ Member of sibling R&B, disco outfit Tavares, known best for She's Gone, It Only Takes A Minute, Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Don't Take Away The Music and More Than A Woman, the latter notably featured on 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack ~ Tavares was born in 1941
December 8, 2021 ~ Reggae, dub bassist, singer Robbie Shakespeare, full name Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare, passed away in Florida, USA ~ Regarded as one of the most influential dub, reggae bassists. Closely associated with Sly Dunbar, forming the duo Sly & Robbie. Has worked with artists such as the Revolutionaries, the Aggrovators, U-Roy, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Augustus Pablo, Yellowman, Black Uhuru, the GG All-Stars, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, and others ~ Shakespeare was born in 1953
December 8, 2020 ~ Avant-garde, minimalist composer, pianist, guitarist, drummer, poet Harold Budd, full name Harold Montgomery Budd, passed away in Arcadia, California, USA ~ Influenced by John Cage and Morton Feldman. Emerged from the 1960s California avant-garde community. Known for works such as The Oak Of The Golden Dream, Madrigals Of The Rose and Pavillion Of Dreams, the latter released as his 1978 debut album produced by Brian Eno. Has also worked with Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and others ~ Budd was born in 1936
December 8, 2019 ~ Jarad Anthony Higgins, commonly known a rapper, singer, songwriter Juice WRLD, passed away in Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA ~ Best known for songs such as All Girls Are The Same, Lean Wit Me, Wasted, Armed And Dangerous, and Lucid Dreams. Has collaborated with Benny Blanco, BTS, Ellie Goulding, Halsey, Marshmello, the Weeknd, Eminem, Kodak Black, and others ~ Higgins was born in 1998
December 8, 2017 ~ R&B, soul, funk singer Gloria Taylor, full name Gloria Ann Taylor, passed away in Toledo, Ohio, USA ~ Discovered by producer, promoter Walter Whisenhunt, whom she would later marry. Best known for her 1969 You Got To Pay The Price hit single ~ Taylor was born in 1944
December 8, 2015 ~ Mary Joan Kath, commonly known as Bonnie Lou, passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Generally recognized as one of the first female rock and roll singers ~ Kath passed was born in 1924
December 8, 2015 ~ Bassist Gary Marker passed away ~ Member of Rising Sons, alongside Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. Also worked with Captain Beefheart, John Locke, the Jazz Folk, the New World Jazz Company, Randy California, Juicy Groove, and others ~ Marker was born in 1943
December 8, 2015 ~ Colarature soprano Mattowilde Dobbs passed away in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ One of the first African-American singers to enjoy international fame in opera, paving the way for artists such as Leontyne Price, Shirley Verrett, Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle. Closely associated with the Metropolitan Opera. Has also sung with the San Francisco Opera, La Scala, the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, and others ~ Dobbs was born in 1925
December 8, 2009 ~ Hard rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist Dean Fasano passed away in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA ~ Lead singer of the short-lived early 1980s rock band Message, which also included Richie Sambora and Alec John Such. The band disbanded in 1983 with Sambora and Such recruited by Jon Bon Jovi. Fasano would go on to found and front Prophet ~ Fasano was born in 1955
December 8, 2006 ~ Pop singer Céline Dion records Immensité at Studio Piccolo, Montreal, Canada ~ Written by Nina Bouraoui and Jacques Veneruso. Produced by Veneruso and Patrick Hampartzoumian. Included on Dion's 2007 D'Elles album. Also included as a bonus track on some pressings of the 2008 Taking Chances album
December 8, 2006 ~ Swing, jazz, traditional pop singer Martha Tilton, full name Martha Ellen Tilton, passed away in Brentwood, California, USA ~ Best remembered for her 1939 recording of And The Angels Sing with Benny Goodman ~ Tilton was born in 1915
December 8, 2005 ~ Composer Donald Martino, full name Donald James Martino, passed away in Antigua, Antigua & Barbados ~ Composed orchestral works, chamber music, concertos, works for solo instruments, and vocal works. Perhaps best known for Notturno, published in 1974, which would earn him a Pullitzer Prize. Commissioned by pianist Easley Blackwood Jr to write the sonata Pianississimo, explicitly requesting that it would be one of the most difficult pieces ever written. Blackwood would never perform the piece in a live setting ~ Martino was born in 1931
December 8, 2004 ~ Daarrell Lance Abbot, commonly known as groove metal, southern metal, thrash metal, heavy metal guitarist, singer Dimebag Darrell, passed away in Columbus, Ohio, USA ~ Son of country producer Jerry Abbott, brother of drummer Vinnie Paul. Influenced by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, ZZ Top, and especially Kiss and Van Halen. Best known as guitarist, and alongside his brother co-founder of quintessential metal bands Pantera and Damageplan. Noted for his guitar solos on the former's Walk, Cemetery Gates and Floods. Abbott never received any formal guitar training. Shot and killed by a deranged fan at age 38 during a nightclub performance in Columbus. Abbott was buried in a Kiss casket donated by Gene Simmons with a 1979 Bumblebee guitar donated by Eddie Van Halen ~ Abbott was born in 1966
December 8, 2003 ~ Rubén González Fontanills, commonly known as Afro-Cuban jazz, son, danzo, mambo pianist Rubén González, passed away in Havana, Cuba ~ Active since the 1940s. Alongside Lilí Martínez and Peruchín defined modern Cuban piano playing. Has worked with artists such as Paulina Álvarez, Arsenio Rodriguez, the Orquesta Riverside, Enrique Jorrin. Resurged in the 1990s playing with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and gaining international exposure with the Buena Vista Social Club ~ González was born in 1919
December 8, 1994 ~ Pianist, singer, composer, arranger Antônio Carlos Jobim passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Widely regarded as “the Father of Bossa Nova” merging Brazilian music with jazz in the 1960s. Jobim has collaborated with artists such as Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Byrd, Luiz Bonfá, and others. A prolific songwriter many of Jobim's compositions are now considered jazz and pop standards. Artists who have recorded his songs include Ella Fitzgerald, Chico Buarque, Dizzy Gillespie, George Michael, Elis Regina, Sérgio Mendes, Flora Purim, Eumir Deodato, Kenny G, Eliane Elias, and others ~ Jobim was born in 1927
December 8, 1992 ~ Indie pop, alternative folk singer Maelyn Jarmon born in Frisco, USA ~ Winner of 16th season of NBC's talent show The Voice, aired in 2019
December 8, 1991 ~ William Dorsey Clayton, commonly known as trumpeter Buck Clayton, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Influenced by Louis Armstrong. Pivotal member of the Count Basie Orchestra. Also worked with artists such as Duke Ellington, Mutt Carey, Billie Holiday, Soong Mei Ling, Willie Bryant, Lester Young, Sy Oliver, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Jimmy Rushing, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, Buddy Tate, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Condon, Big Joe Turner, and others ~ Clayton was born in 1911
December 8, 1989 ~ Alternative metal, Christian metal drummer, singer Jen Ledger, full name Jennifer Carole Ledger, born in Coventry, UK ~ Best known as member of Skillet, joining the band in 2008 taking over for Lori Peters. Has also recorded as a solo artist, noted for the singles Not Dead Yet and Warrior featuring John Cooper both taken of her 2018 Ledger EP
December 8, 1988 ~ Jazz alto saxophonist Gene Quill, full name Daniel Eugene Quill, passed away in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Half of Phill & Quill, the other half being Phil Woods. Also worked with Buddy DeFranco, Manny Albam, Bob Brookmeyer, Al Cohn, Michel Legrand, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Newman, Johnny Richards, Gil Evans, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Knepper, Pony Poindexter, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Rushing, and others ~ Quill was born in 1927
December 8, 1988 ~ Jazz pianist, vibraphonist, arranger, conductor, composer Thore Swanerud passed away in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Sideman and leader. Starting in the 1940s, played with Simon Brehm, Miff Gorling, Stan Hasselgard, Ernestine Anderson, James Moody ~ Swanerud was born in 1919
December 8, 1986 ~ Michael Leonard Mann, commonly known as blues guitarist, singer Hollywood Fats, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Given his nickname by Junior Wells. Has worked with James Harman, Jimmy Witherspoon, JB Hutto, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, and others. Briefly a member of the Blasters, replacing Dave Alvin in 1986. Mann would die later the same year of a drug-induced heart attack ~ Mann was born in 1954
December 8, 1986 ~ Singer, songwriter Kate Voegele, full name Kate Elizabeth Voegele born in Bay Village, Ohio, USA ~ Released two EP's, 2002's The Other Side and 2004's Louder Than Words, before releasing her full-length Don't Look Away in 2007. Known for songs such as Hallelujah, Lift Me Up and Angel
December 8, 1984 ~ Jazz double bassist Gene Ramey passed away in Austin, Texas, USA ~ Worked with the Royal Acers, the Moonlight Serenaders, Terrence Holder, the Birdlanders, Lester Young, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Hot Lips Page, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Buck Clayton, Muggsy Spanier, Teddy Wilson, Dick Wellstood, Jimmy Rushing, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan), Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Witherspoon, and others ~ Ramey was born in 1913
December 8, 1984 ~ Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, commonly known as singer, rapper, actress, model, songwriter Nicki Minaj, born in Port Of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago ~ First gained attention with a number of mixtapes, starting with 2007's Playtime Is Over, before releasing her full-length Pink Friday in 2010. Best known for songs such as Your Love, Moment For Life featuring Drake, Super Bass, Fly featuring Rihanna, Starships, Bang Bang with Jessie J and Ariana Grande, Anaconda, MotorSport with Migos and Cardi B, Trollz featuring 6ix9ine. Has also collaborated with Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Usher, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole, David Guetta, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, French Montana, Carly Rae Jepsen, Wale, Bebe Rexha, Robin Thicke, and others
December 8, 1984 ~ Country, country pop, R&B singer, guitarist, songwriter Sam Hunt, full name Sam Lowry Hunt born in Cedartown, Georgia, USA ~ In-demand songwriter for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Billy Currington, Reba McEntire, and others, before setting out on a solo recording career starting with the 2014 Montevallo album. Known for songs such as Leave The Night On, Take Your Time, Body Like A Back Road, Kinfolks and Hard To Forget
December 8, 1982 ~ Martin David Robinson, commonly known as country singer Marty Robbins, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Popular country singer with some 50 albums to his name over a four decade career. Especially acclaimed for his 1959 Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs, considered one of the first if not the first concept album in country. Known for songs such as A White Sport Coat, El Paso, Big Iron, Don't Worry, Devil Woman, and others. Held strong conservative views, with some of his songs (Ain't I Right, My Own Native Land) even rejected by Columbia Records as too political. Campaigned for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 USA presidential election ~ Robinson was born in 1925
December 8, 1982 ~ Folk rock, indie rock, pop rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Serena Ryder born in Toronto, Canada ~ Released a number of promising albums, starting with 1999's Falling Out, before making her major-label debut with If Your Memory Serves You Well in 2006. It contained the singles Good Morning Starshine and the ballad Weak In The Knees, especially the latter warmly received by critics. To mainstream audiences best known for the singles Stompa and What I Wouldn't Do both taken of her 2012 Harmony album and both reaching the top 10 in her native Canada
December 8, 1981 ~ Blues harpist Big Walter Horton passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ One of the premier modern blues harpists, alongside Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Among the first to be recorded by Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. Has worked with the Memphis Jug Band, Little Buddy Doyle, Phineas Newborn Jr, Eddie Taylor, Johnny Shines, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Dixon, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Winter, Homesick James, Muddy Waters, and others ~ Horton was born ca.1921
December 8, 1980 ~ Singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter John Lennon, full name John Winston Lennon, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Quarrymen which eventually evolved into the Beatles, generally regarded as one of the most important acts in the history of pop-rock music. Active as a solo artist since 1968, most notably collaborating with his second wife Yoko Ono using the moniker the Plastic Ono Band. Well-known for songs such as Give Peace A Chance, Instant Karma, Imagine and Happy Xmas (War Is Over). Shot and killed by Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan, at age 40 ~ Lennon was born in 1940
December 8, 1979 ~ Justin Cross, commonly known as hip-hop producer Bronze Nazareth, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA ~ Best known for his associations with the Wu-Tang Clan and Wisemen. Has produced recording for RZA, Masta Killa, Immortal Technique, Vinnie Paz, Raekwon, and others
December 8, 1979 ~ Folk-pop, indie pop, indie folk singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, full name Ingird Ellen Michaelson, born in Staten Island, New York, USA ~ Debuted in 2005 with the Slow The Rain album. Best known for the singles The Way That I Am and Girls Chase Boys
December 8, 1976 ~ Singer, songwriter Naimee Coleman born in Dundrum, Ireland ~ Extensively toured Europe, the USA and Japan, enjoying popularity especially in Japan for her 1996 Silver Wrists and its 2001 follow-up Bring Down The Moon. In the UK best known for appearing on Aurora's 2001 Duran Duran-cover Ordinary World, and 2003's Tasmin Archer-cover Sleeping Satellite, the former a UK top 10 hit
December 8, 1975 ~ Bassist Gary Thain passed away in London, UK ~ Best known for his association with Uriah Heep, first appearing on the band's 1972 Demons & Wizards album and remaining with the band until his death. Has also worked with Martha Veléz, the Keef Hartley Band, Miller Anderson, and others ~ Thain was born in 1948
December 8, 1974 ~ Pop singer Cristian Castro, full name Christian Sáinz Valdés Castro, born in Mexico City, Mexico ~ Son of actress, singer Verónica Castro. Well over a dozen albums to his name, starting with 1992's Agua Nueva. Has gone on to become one of the best-selling Latin artists. Best known for songs such as Nunca Voy A Olvidarte, Manana, Con Tu Amor, Azul Gris, Amor, Lo Mejor De Mi and Te Buscaria. Collaborated with José Alfredo Jiménez, Olga Tañón, Grupo Limite, José Feliciano, Vicente Fernández, Tamara, Yanni, José José, Leonel Garcia, Aleks Syntek, Rocio Dúrcal, and others
December 8, 1974 ~ Jazz critic, producer, impresario Hugues Panassié passed away in Montauban, France ~ Influential yet controversial figure. Founded the Hot Club De France in the early 1930s, an organization to promote jazz, swing and blues. Produced sessions by Mezz Mezzrow and Tommy Ladnier. During World War II managed to keep broadcasting jazz standards fooling the occupying Nazis by submitting obtuse French translations of the titles to censors and relabeling records although many of them were American jazz ~ Pannassié was born in 1912
December 8, 1974 ~ Power metal bassist, guitarist Johan Larsson born in Gothenburg, Sweden ~ First gained attention as bassist of In Flames, remaining with the band from 1993 through 1997. Briefly played with Hammerfall in 1993 and 1994, quitting before the band released any material. Has also worked with Seance, Purgamentum, Powerpig, Carnal Grief, Witchery, Carrion Carnage, and others
December 8, 1974 ~ Indie rock, garage rock guitarist Nick Zinner, full name Nicholas Joseph Zinner, born ~ While in college member of the Boba Fett Experience, named after the Star Wars character. The band would eventually change their name to the Challenge Of The Future, concerned about being sued by George Lucas. Rose to fame in the early 2000s as one third of acclaimed outfit the Yeah Yeah Yeahs alongside drummer Brian Chase and keyboardist, lead singer, frontwoman Karen O. Despite critical acclaim and several Grammy Award nominations the band would hardly make an impact on the American charts, yet reach commercial success in the UK and Europe. Well-known songs include Date With The Night, Pin, Maps and Gold Lion. Zinner is also an accomplished photographer and as a musician an in-demand collaborator, having worked with acts such as Bloc Party, Scarlett Johansson, James Iha, Santigold, Head Wound City, the Rentals, and others
December 8, 1973 ~ J-pop singer, actor Goro Inagaki born in Itabashi, Japan ~ Member of SMAP, by far the most popular J-pop boy band to emerge from the 1990s. Over the course of their career, along the way breaking records for boy band longevity and disbanding as late as 2016, the band released over 50 singles, all of which reached top 10 with 22 of them making it to No.1. Well-known songs include Beyond The Night Sky, Lion Heart, Aoi Inazuma and probably their best-known The One And Only Flower In The World. Inagaki also enjoyed popularity as an actor, appearing in numerous films and TV shows
December 8, 1972 ~ Priest Joseph Brooks, commonly known as rapper, producer Soopafly, born in Long Beach, California, USA ~ First gained attention playing on the tracks Natural Born Killaz performed by Dr Dre & Ice Cube, and Come Up To My Room performed by Jodeci, both taken of the 1994 Murder Was The Case soundtrack. Would co-produce and appear on Tha Dogg Pound's Dogg Food debut album the following year. Has also recorded as a solo artist, starting with Dat Whoopy Woop released in 2001, and has collaborated with DPGC, Westurn Union, Daz Dillinger, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Kurupt, Warren G, Bad Azz, Crooked I, and others
December 8, 1971 ~ Rock, jazz drummer Pete Wilhoit born in Bloomington, Indiana, USA ~ Best known as co-founding member of Fiction Plane. Has also worked with the Cutters, Mike Doughty, Sharon Corr, Declan O'Rourke, Carrie Newcomer, Laura Critchley, Michael McDonald, Bob Dorough, Michael Brunnock, I Blame Coco, and others
December 8, 1970 ~ Saxophonist, composer Seamus Blake born in London, UK ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Dave Kikoski, Lage Lund, Bill Stewart, Matt Clohesy, the Mingus Big Band, the Sangha Quartet, Franco Ambrosetti, Olegario Diaz, Dave Douglas, Wycliffe Gordon, Opus 5, Antonio Sánchez, Kendrick Scott, Jesse van Ruller, Dan Costa, and others
December 8, 1968 ~ Songwriter Morgan Lewis, full name William Morgan Lewis Jr, passed away in New York, New York, 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 was born in 1906
December 8, 1968 ~ Philippe Blanchard, commonly known as singer, actor, songwriter Philippe Katerine, born in Thouars, France ~ Active since the early 1990s. Known for songs such as Mon Coeur Balance, Je Vous Emmerde, and Louxour J'Adore. Performed the role of singer Boris Vian in the 1988 bio-pic Gainsbourg (A Heroic Life), a film on the life of Serge Gainsbourg. Married to singer, actress Helena Noguerra from 1999 through 2008
December 8, 1967 ~ House, R&B, pop singer, songwriter Janice Robinson born ~ First gained attention as lead singer with Italian house group Livin' Joy from 1994 through 1996, notably on Dreamer. Robinson co-wrote the track, which was a big mid-1990s hit in the clubs and on the charts across Europe. Robinson would leave the group by the end of the decade to pursue a solo career. Opened for Tina Turner on the American leg of Turner's 2000 hit. Would continue to record from time. Also known as a songwriter, artists who recorded her songs include Ashley Tisdale, Kristine W, Lucas Prata, Taylor Dayne, Tevin Campbell, and others
December 8, 1967 ~ Singer John Mills Sr passed away ~ Member of sibling jazz, swing vocal group the Mills Brothers, taking over for his son John Mills Jr after the latter's death, present on songs such as Dedicated To You with Ella Fitzgerald, Sixty Seconds Got Together, Sweet Adeline, Paper Doll, and others ~ Mills was born in 1882
December 8, 1967 ~ Jazz trumpeter, singer Louis Bacon passed away ~ Worked with Zinky Cohn, Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Bingie Madison, Bessie Smith, Chick Webb, Willie Lewis, Freddy Johnson, Garvin Bushell, Cootie Williams, Jesse Stone, Wilbur de Paris, and others ~ Bacon was born in 1904
December 8, 1966 ~ Pop singer Bobby Vinton records Please Love Me Forever ~ Written by John Malone and Ollie Blanchard. Though previously recorded by Tommy Edwards in 1958 and by doo-wop pop outfit Cathy Jean & the Roommates in 1960, Vinton's single, produced by Billy Sherrill and paired with Miss America on the flipside, would become the most successful, reaching top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100
December 8, 1966 ~ Richard Stephen Straw, commonly known as rapper Bushwick Bill, was born in Kingston, Jamaica ~ Best known as key member of Texan hip-hop pioneers Geto Boys, alongside Willie D and Scarface, a band he had originally joined as a dancer ~ Shaw passed away in 2019
December 8, 1966 ~ Heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, songwriter Ralph Santolla born ~ Cited Phil Lynott as major influence. Worked with Millenium, Iced Earth, Deicide, Obituary, Gary Hughes, Sebastian Bach, Memorain, and others. Also recorded as a solo artist, notably the Shaolin Monks In The Temple album released in 2002 ~ Santolla passed away in 2018
December 8, 1966 ~ Alternative rock, pop rock singer Sinéad O'Connor, full name Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor, born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion And The Cobra and its follow-up I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. Rose to worldwide fame with the Prince-penned Nothing Compares 2 U, reaching the top of the charts in numerous countries including America, the UK and the Netherlands. Has collaborated with U2's the Edge, Jah Wobble, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Manu Dibango, Shane MacGowan, Zucchero, Massive Attack, Elaine Page, Danny O'Reilly, and others
December 8, 1964 ~ Athena Bass, commonly known as drummer, actress Athena Lee born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Sister of Mötley Crüe-drummer Tommy Lee. Has worked with Hardly Dangerous, Butt Trumpet, Femme Fatale, Kottak, and others
December 8, 1962 ~ Martin Adam Friedman, commonly known as metal guitarist Marty Friedman, born in Washington DC, USA ~ Best known as lead guitarist of Megadeth from 1990, first appearing on the album Rust In Peace, through early 2000. Has also worked with Cacocphony, Tourniquet, Emma Gelotte, Tinna Karlsdotter, Daniel Tompkins, and recorded as a solo artist
December 8, 1962 ~ Jazz bassist, composer Olaf Kamfjord born in Tønsberg, Norway ~ Double bassist, bass guitarist. Worked with Ab Und Zu, Herrene I Haven, Out To Lunch, Roy Nikolaisen, Anne Marie Giørtz, Rune Klakegg, Odd Børretzen, Vigleik Storaas, Halvdan Sivertsen, Lars Martin Myhre, Kjersti Stubø, Cecilie Authen, and others
December 8, 1959 ~ Guitarist, singer, songwriter Marty Raybon born in Greenville, Alabama, USA ~ Lead singer of Shenandoah from 1984 until its disbandement in 1997, known for singles such as The Church On Cumberland Road, Sunday In The South, Two Dozen Roses, Next To You Next To Me and If Bubba Can Dance I Can Too, all of which topped the Billboard Country charts. Brother of Tim Raybon, with whom he formed the Raybon Brothers scoring a hit in 1997 with Butterfly Kisses. Has also released a number of solo albums, starting with the eponymous Marty Raybon album in 1995
December 8, 1958 ~ Folk, indie, alternative, dream pop singer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter Heidi Berry born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Acclaimed for a number of late 1980s, early 1990s albums, starting with Firefly released in 1987. Drew comparisons to Marianne Faithfull, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Sarah McLachlan, and Beth Orton
December 8, 1958 ~ Blues, R&B singer, pianist Julia Lee passed away in Kansas City, Missouri, USA ~ Known for a string of 1940's R&B hits including Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got, Snatch It And Grab It, King-Size Papa, I Didn't Like It The First Time and My Man Stands Out. Her recordings regulary featured backing musicians such as Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, Red Norvo, Nappy Lamare, Red Nichols and Jack Marshall ~ Lee was born in 1902
December 8, 1957 ~ Bryan David Vig, commonly known as alternative rock, grunge, noise rock, power pop producer, drummer, bassist Butch Vig born in Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA ~ Best known as producer of Nirvana's quintessential Nevermind album released in 1991. Has served as member of Wisconsin-based bands Spooner and Fire Town. Drummed with Garbage. Notable production credits include Urge Overkill, Jimmy Eat World, the Smashing Pumpkins (Gish), Against Me, Green Day, the Foo Fighters, Muse, Silversun Pickups, and others
December 8, 1957 ~ Guitarist, singer Phil Collen, full name Philip Kenneth Collen, born in Hackney, UK ~ Best known as co-lead guitarist of Def Leppard, alongside Steve Clark, joining the band in 1982 during the recording of the Pyromania album. Has also worked with Lucy, Tush, the Dumb Blondes, Girl, Man Raze and with Delta Deep
December 8, 1955 ~ Donald J Bonebrake, commonly known as rock, punk rock drummer, percussionist DJ Bonebrake, born in USA ~ First gained attention as drummer of the Eyes, which also included Charlotte Caffey of later fame as member of all-female outfit the Go-Go's. Co-founding member of pivotal California punk outfit X, known best for their acclaimed Los Angeles debut album and its follow-up Wild Gift. Bonebrake was also involved with the side project the Knitters and guested with acts such as the Germs, the Flesh Eaters, the Devil's Brigade, Meat Puppets, and others
December 8, 1955 ~ Earl Anthony Robinson, commonly known as reggae DJ General Echo, born in Kingston, Jamaica ~ One of the first reggae DJ's to introduce risqué lyrics. Best known for songs such as Drunken Master and Arleen. Shot to death by police in Kingston. The incident has never been satisfactory explained ~ Robinson passed away in 1980
December 8, 1955 ~ Bassist, keyboardist, singer Kasim Sulton, full name Kasim Anthony Sulton, born in Staten Island, New York, USA ~ Best known as member of Todd Rundgren's Utopia, singing lead on the band's sole top 40 hit Set Me Free released in 1980. Has participated in various of Rundgren's bands and solo projects. As a solo artist known for his 1982 single Don't Break My Heart, a modest hit in Canada. Guested on Meat Loaf's pivotal 1977 Bat Out Of Hell debut album. Member of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, present on the 1988 Up Your Alley album. Has also worked with Cherry Vanilla, the Shondells, the Blue Öyster Cult, Hall & Oates, Scandal, Rubinoos, the New Cars, and others-
December 8, 1955 ~ Jazz, R&B, rock bassist, singer Nathan East, full name Nathan Harrell East, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Co-founding member of 4play. Co-wrote Easy Lover, a hit for Phil Collins & Philip Bailey. In-demand collaborator and sideman. Worked with Bobby Womack, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Joe Satriani, Peter Gabriel, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Kenny Loggins, Daft Punk, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Babyface, Anita Baker, the Bee Gees, Steve Winwood, Bryan Ferry, Al Jarreau, Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire, BB King, Kenny Loggins, Barry White, Love Unlimited Orchestra, Joyride, the TCB Band, the Manhattan Transfer, Ed O'Brien, Laura Pausini, Savage Garden, Sting, and others
December 8, 1954 ~ Mark John Hough, commonly known as guitarist, drummer Buster Stiggs, born in Harold Wood, UK ~ Member of After Hours, the first band of a teenage Neil Finn. Would subsequently follow Finn joining Split Enz. Member of Swingers, known for the early 1980s hits One Good Reason and Counting The Beat. Has also worked with Fang, the Suburban Reptiles, the Models, and others ~ Hough passed away in 2018
December 8, 1952 ~ Jazz composer, bandleader Mathias Rüegg born in Zurich, Switzerland ~ Best known as founder of the Vienna Art Orchestra, serving as its director from 1977 to 2010
December 8, 1952 ~ Richard Sanders, commonly known as folk rock, progressive rock, jazz, jazz fusion violinist Ric Sanders, born in Birmingham, UK ~ Best known for his associations with Soft Machine and Fairport Convention. Has also worked with Stomu Yamashta, the Albion Band, Rick Wakeman, Dave Cousins, Jethro Tull, Robert Plant, Gary Brooker, Pentangle, Gordon Giltrap, June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Charlie Landsborough, All About Eve, the Mission, Catherine Howe, John Ethridge, and others
December 8, 1951 ~ Pop, rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Jan Eggum born in Bergen, Norway ~ Actively recording since the mid-1970s. At times described as “the voice of melancholy”. Rose to national fame with his third album, 1977's Heksedans, which also contained the classic Mor Jeg Vil Tilbake. Member of Gitarkamaratene alongside fellow guitarists Lillebjorn Nilsen, Øystein Sunde and Halvdan Sivertsen.
December 8, 1950 ~ Singer Dan Hartman born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Best known as a solo artist scoring hist such as Relight My Fire, Instant Replay, I Can Dream About You, We Are The Young, and Second Nature. Member of the Edgar Winter Group, wrote Free Ride which reached Billboard Hot 100 top 20 in 1973. Wrote and produced Loleatta Holloway's Love Sensation of her 1980 album of the same name. Co-wrote James Brown's Living In America, which reached Billboard Hot 100 top 10 in 1986 ~ Hartman passed away in 1994
December 8, 1950 ~ Southern rock, blues rock, folk-rock, Christian rock singer, songwriter Jimmy Farrar born in La Grange, Georgia, USA ~ Fronted Raw Energy. Fronted Molly Hatchet from 1980 through 1982, present on the albums Beatin' The Odds and Take No Prisoners. Subsequently founded Gator Country with several Hatchet bandmates. Has also worked with the Southern Rock Allstars ~ Farrar passed away in 2018
December 8, 1950 ~ Melvin Ragin, commonly known as guitarist Wah Wah Watson, born in Richmond, Virginia, USA ~ Member of Motown house band the Funk Brothers. Played on key recordings including for the Temptations (Papa Was A Rolling Stone), the Jackson 5, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and the Supremes. Would go on to work with the Undisputed Truth, Love Unlimited Orchestra, Quincy Jones, John Lee Hooker, Labelle, Rose Royce, Dizzy Gillespie, Gloria Gaynor, the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Thelma Houston, Blondie, Brian McKnight, Meshell Ndegeocello, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, the Pointer Sisters, Maxwell, Angie Stone, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Tyrese, and others ~ Ragin passed away in 2018
December 8, 1949 ~ Raymond Shulman, commonly known as progressive rock bassist, producer Ray Shulman born ~ Member of progressive rock outfit Gentle Giant, known for the complexity and sophistication of their music. Also played violin, viola, guitar, trumpet, keyboards and percussion but most praised for his virtuoso bass playing, drawing comparisons to Yes's Chris Squire. Would go on to work as a producer after the band broke up in the early 1980s, working with artists such as the Sugarcubes, the Sundays, the Trash Can Sinatras, Ian McCulloch, the Defects, and others
December 8, 1948 ~ Rock, progressive rock guitarist Andy Dalby, full name Andrew Kenneth Dalby, born in Lincolnshire, UK ~ Best known as a member of Kingdom Come from 1971 though 1973. Also worked with Arthur Brown, Kiki Dee, the Vapour Trails, Jack Green, Camel, Spirits Burning, Michel Moorcock, and others
December 8, 1948 ~ Rock, folk rock, afro-prog, free jazz, jazz fusion drummer, percussionist Liam Genockey born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Member of Steeleye Span from 1989 through 1997, present on the albums Tempted And Tried and Time, rejoining in 2001. Has also worked with John Martyn, Zzebra, Trevor Watts, Amalgam, Mike Heron, Gillan, Gerry Rafferty, Kevin Ayers, Bonnie Tyler, Alain Bashung, Cornelius Cardew, Linda Thompson, Lol Coxhill, Buick 6, Maddy Prior, Paul Brady, Annie Whitehead, Moke, Elton Dean, Tom McRae, Mandyleigh Storm, and others
December 8, 1947 ~ Keyboardist, guitarist, singer Gregg Allman, full name Gregory LeNoir Allman, born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Member of the Allman Brothers Band, writing or co-writing several of the band's best-known including Whipping Post, Melissa, Midnight Rider. Has released about a dozen solo albums, starting with Laid Back in 1973. Has also worked with Delaney & Bonnie and Hour Glass. Married seven times, including to singer Cher from 1975 to 1979 ~ Allman passed away in 2017
December 8, 1946 ~ Beat, pop, rock singer, bassist Graham Knight born ~ Co-founding and last remaining original member of Marmalade, remaining with the band from 1966 until 2010 with a brief pause in the 1970s. The band is known for a string of late 1960s, early 1970s singles including Lovin' Things, the Beatles-cover Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, Baby Make It Soon, Reflections Of My Life, Rainbow, Cousin Norman and Radancer, all of which reached top 10 in their native UK
December 8, 1946 ~ Singer, songwriter Sergio Esquivel, full name Sergio Iva Esquivel Cortes, born ~ Over 20 albums to his name as a solo artist. Had his songs covered by José José, Cristian Castro, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Lupita D'Alessio, and others ~ Esquivel passed away in 2021
December 8, 1945 ~ Singer, guitarist, actress Maryla Rodowicz born in Zielona, Poland ~ Active since 1967 with well over two dozen albums to her name in Polish, German, Czech and Russian. Known for songs such as Mowily Mu (Love Doesn't Grow On Trees), Futbol, To Juz Bylo, Wielka Woda, Tozmowa Przez Ocean, Bossanova Do Posuszki, and Wszyscy Chca Kochac. Released her Niech Zyje Bal autobiography in 1992
December 8, 1945 ~ Jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, producer Richard M Jones, full name Richard Marigny Jones, passed away ~ Perhaps best known for penning Trouble In Mind, first recorded by Thelma La Vizzo with Jones on piano, quickly becoming a standard recorded by Georgia White, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and others. Jones has worked with Joe Oliver, John Robichaux, AJ Piron, Papa Celestin, and others. Produced Louis Armstrong's famed the Hot Five and the Hot Seven recordings ~ Jones was born in 1892
December 8, 1944 ~ Elbert Joseph Higgins, country, pop, soft rock singer, songwriter, commonly known as Bertie Higgins, born in Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA ~ Best known for his single Key Largo, a Billboard top 10 hit in 1981
December 8, 1944 ~ Bassist, vibraphonist Don Elliot born ~ Co-founding member of the Rogues, who changed their name to Mandala just prior to scoring their first Canadian hit with Opportunity in 1967. The band is best known for also including guitarist Domenic Troiano who would later join the James Gang and subsequently the Guess Who
December 8, 1944 ~ Johannes Bouwens, commonly known as rock, pop rock singer George Baker, born in Hoorn, the Netherlands ~ Fronted the George Baker Selection, known for songs such as Paloma Blanca and Little Green Bag. The latter, a hit in the Netherlands in 1969, would be used in the 1992 Quentin Tarantino-film Reservoir Dogs
December 8, 1943 ~ James Douglas Morrison, commonly known as singer, songwriter Jim Morrison, born in Melbourne, Florida, USA ~ Lead singer of the Doors. Wrote or co-wrote vast amount of the band's best known songs including Light My Fire, Break On Through To The Other Side, The End, Moonlight Drive, People Are Strange, Hello I Love You, Roadhouse Blues, LA Woman, and Riders On The Storm ~ Morrison passed away in 1971
December 8, 1942 ~ Drummer Bobby Elliott, full name Robert Hartley Elliott born in Burnley, UK ~ Original, longtime member of the Hollies, known for 1960s hits such as Just One Look, We're Through, I'm Alive, Look Through Any Window, I Can't Let Go, Carrie Anne, Jennifer Eccles, Sorry Suzanne, and others. Elliott has been named as an influence by later drummers such as Gilson Lavis, Ric Lee, Cozy Powell, and Ian Paice
December 8, 1942 ~ Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, commonly known as ska, rockteady, reggae singer, guitarist, songwriter Toots Hibbert, born in May Pen, Jamaica ~ Influenced by Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, James Brown. Pioneering reggae singer. Fronted Toots & the Maytals. Known for songs such as Do The Reggay, reportedly the song that named the genre, Bam-bam, Sweet & Dandy, Romp & Pride, and 54-46 That's My Number. Worked with producers such as Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Ronnie Nasralla, Leslie Kong, and others ~ Hibbert passed away in 2020
December 8, 1939 ~ Classical, pop flutist James Galway born in Belfast, Northern Ireland ~ Internationally renowned flutist dubbed “the Man with the Golden Flute”. Has worked with the Sadler's Wells Opera, the Covent Garden Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and others
December 8, 1939 ~ Singer, guitarist, bassist, pianist, saxophonist, drummer, songwriter Jerry Butler born in Sunflower, Mississippi, USA ~ Original lead singer of the Impressions, which at the time also included a then-unknown Curtis Mayfield. Present on the acclaimed For Your Precious Love, later covered by numerous artists including Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Count Basie and Aaron Neville. After his departure from the band in 1960 Butler would reach chart succes with songs such as He Will Break Your Heart, Moon Rover, Make It Easy On Yourself and the Betty Everett-duet Let It Be Me. Butler co-penned his highest-charting hit, 1969's Only The Strong Survive reaching No.4 Billboard Hot 100, with future Philly soul architects Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The song would notably be covered by Elvis Presley, Skeeter Davis and Billy Paul
December 8, 1939 ~ Eulis Richardson, commonly known as R&B drummer, percussionist, arranger Soko Richardson, born in New Iberia, Louisiana, USA ~ Most noted for his associations with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, and the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, especially remembered for arrangements on Proud Mary. Has also worked with Ike Turner's the Kings Of Rhythm, Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Womack, Terry Reid, Albert Collins, and others ~ Richardson passed away in 2004
December 8, 1938 ~ Guitarist, keyboardist, producer Bernie Krause born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Member of the Weavers from 1963 until the group disbanded the following year. Subsequently formed the duo Beaver & Krause with Paul Beaver, helpful in popularizing the Moog synthesizer in pop music. The duo appeared on Star Collector a track by the Monkees recorded in 1967
December 8, 1938 ~ Singer Ken Delo, full name Kenneth Edward Delo, born ~ Best known for his tenure with The Lawrence Welk Show. Previously half of Delo & Daly, the other half being Jonathan Daly ~ Delo passed away in 2016
December 8, 1936 ~ John Askew, commonly known as rock, pop singer, songwriter Johnny Gentle, born in Liverpool, UK ~ Has gone by several monikers including his given name Askew, Darren Young and mostly Gentle. Recorded a handful of songs in the late 1950s and early 1960s, most of which did not chart, starting with Wendy in 1959, followed up with Milk From The Coconut, Darling Won't You Wait, This Friendly World, . Perhaps best remembered for briefly touring Scotland with the Silver Beetles, later known as the Beatles, as his backing band. Gentle's I've Just Fallen For Someone, released in 1962, is reportedly written with some help from John Lennon. Gentle would later co-author the book Johnny Gentle & the Beatles, First Ever Tour, published in 1998
December 8, 1936 ~ Jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich born in Kotor, Yugoslavia ~ Worked with John Handy, Brew Moore, Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Irene Kral, Mel Tormé, Jon Hendricks, Dusko Gojkovic, Philly Joe Jones, Dexter Gordon, Arnett Cobb, Buddy Tate, Charles McPherson, Leon Thomas, Scott Hamilton, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Al Cohn, Curtis Fuller, Tom Harrell, Billy Higgins, Milt Hinton, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Michael Moore, Cecil Payne, Walter Booker, Joshua Breakstone, Dennis Irwin, Victor Lewis, Harvie S, and others
December 8, 1932 ~ Singer Val Rosing, backed by Ray Noble and his Orchestra, record Try A Little Tenderness ~ Written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry M Woods. The song would immediately become a standard, covered by numerous artists. Notable recordings include Ruth Etting, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, the latter including it on his 1946 The Voice Of Frank Sinatra solo debut album. To pop audiences best known as the genre-defining soul classic by Otis Redding, recorded in 1966 with arrangements by Isaac Hayes and instrumental backing from Booker T & the MG's
December 8, 1925 ~ James Oscar Smith, commonly known as organist, keyboardist Jimmy Smith, born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Helped popularize the Hammond organ in jazz. Influenced Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Richard Groove Holmes, Tony Monaco and Larry Goldings. Worked wih Oliver Nelson, Kenny Burrell, George Benson, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Joey DeFrancesco, BB King, Dr John, Etta James, and others ~ Smith passed away in 2005
December 8, 1925 ~ Singer, pianist, percussionist, dancer, actor, comedian Sammy Davis Jr, full name Samuel George Davis Jr, born in Harlem, New York, USA ~ Active since age three, performing in vaudeville shows with his father Sammy Davis Sr and the Will Mastin Trio. Starred in the 1956 Broadway production Mr Wonderful. Member of the Rat Pack, known among others for the 1960 film Oceans 11. As a solo artist best known for songs such as Hey There, Something's Gotta Give, Love Me Or Leave Me, What Kind Of Fool Am I, Me And My Shadow with Frank Sinatra, I've Gotta Be Me, and perhaps his best-known Candy Man, the latter topping the American charts in 1972 ~ Davis passed away in 1990
December 8, 1922 ~ Singer, songwriter, dulcimer player Jean Ritchie, full name Jean Ruth Ritchie, born in Viper, Kentucky, USA ~ Sometimes referred to as “the Mother of Folk” ~ Ritchie passed away in 2015
December 8, 1922 ~ Clarinetist Sol Yaged born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Influenced by Benny Goodman. Worked with Phil Napoleon, Coleman Hawkins, Red Allen, Jack Teagarden, Felix Endico, Charlie Shavers, and others ~ Yaged passed away in 2019
December 8, 1918 ~ Gérard Marcel Tisserand, commonly known as baritone singer Gérard Souzay, born ~ Active since the mid-1940s. Recitalist, opera singer, considered one of the finest mélodie singers. Frequent collaborator of pianist Dalton Baldwin. Sang in over a dozen languages. Noted for his interpretations of Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. Had works written especially for him and his sister, soprano Geneviève Touraine, by Jacques Leguerney ~ Tisserand passed away in 2004
December 8, 1914 ~ Western swing, honky tonk singer, guitarist, songwriter Floyd Tillman born in Ryan, Oklahoma, USA ~ Instrumental in the development of Western swing and honky tonk. Influenced Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Ray Price, Frankie Miller, Connie Smith, Lawton Williams, Mel Tillis, Darrell McCall, George Jones. Worked with Adolph Hofner, Mack Clark, Leon Selph, the Blue Ridge Playboys, Cliff Bruner, Ted Daffan, Moon Mullican, and others. Wrote It Makes No Difference Now, recorded by Jimmie Davis. As a solo artist known for songs such as I Love You So Much It Hurts, I'm Gonna Change All My Ways, Each Night At Nine, Slippin' Around, and perhaps his best-known They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven ~ Tillman passed away in 2003
December 8, 1912 ~ Jazz critic, producer, impresario Hugues Panassié born in Paris, France ~ Influential yet controversial figure. Founded the Hot Club De France in the early 1930s, an organization to promote jazz, swing and blues. Produced sessions by Mezz Mezzrow and Tommy Ladnier. During World War II managed to keep broadcasting jazz standards fooling the occupying Nazis by submitting obtuse French translations of the titles to censors and relabeling records although many of them were American jazz ~ Pannassié passed away n 1974
December 8, 1865 ~ Composer, violinist Jean Sibelius, full name Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, born in Hameenlinna, Finland ~ Often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia ~ Sibelius passed away in 1957