This Day In Music: February 17
February 16 ~ Birthdays/All ~ February 18
February 17, 2023 ~ Conductor, oboist, TV, film composer Gerald Fried passed away in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA ~ Well known for composing music for a number of 1960s, 1970s TV shows such as Gilligan's Island, The Man From UNCLE, Shotgun Slade, Star Trek, and notably Roots, receiving an Emmy Award for the latter. Composed for over a dozen feature films, among them several of Stanley Kubrick's early movies including Fear And Desire, Killer's Kiss, and Paths Of Glory ~ Fried was born in 1928
February 17, 2023 ~ Bruce Gordon Poulsen, commonly known as singer, mandolinist, autoharpist, songwriter Hans Poulsen passed away ~ Best known for songs such as Boom Sha-la-la-lo and Light Across The Valley. Also wrote and co-wrote for others including Rose Coloured Glasses for John Farnham and Monty And Me for Zoot ~ Poulsen was born in 1945
February 17, 2023 ~ Jazz saxophonist, flutist Jerry Dodgion passed away in Queens, New York, USA ~ Worked with Rudy Salvini, Gerald Wilson, Vernon Alley, Billie Holiday, Benny Carter, Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, Oliver Nelson, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Duke Pearson, Blue Mitchell, Count Basie, Marian McPartland, Sonny Clark, Charlie Mariano, Randy Brecker, Lou Donaldson, Bobby Hackett, JJ Johnson, Etta Jones, Yusef Lateef, Blue Mitchell, Quincy Jones, Wes Montgomery, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, and others ~ Dodgion was born in 1932
February 17, 2023 ~ Country songwriter, singer, guitarist, keyboardist Kyle Jacobs, full name Kyle Christopher Jacobs, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Staff songwriter for Curb Music. Perhaps best remembered for co-writing More Than A Memory, a Billboard Country No.1 hit for Garth Brooks. Others who have recorded songs written or co-written by Jacobs include Trace Adkins (I Can't Outrun You), Jo Dee Messina, Craig Morgan, Tim McGraw, Kimberley Locke (8th World Wonder), Clay Walker, Kelly Clarkson (The Sun Will Rise), Scotty McCreery, Lee Brice, and his wife Kellie Pickler ~ Jacobs was born ca.1973
February 17, 2023 ~ Songwriter, drummer Tom Whitlock, full name Thomas Ross Whitlock, passed away in Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for co-writing several songs for the 1986 Top Gun soundtrack with Giorgio Moroder, including Take My Breath Away performed by Berlin and Danger Zone performed by Kenny Loggins. Whitlock also collaborated with Moroder on several other projects, such as the soundtracks for American Anthem, Over The Top, and Rambo III, on Koreana's Hand In Hand official theme song for the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, and on Edoardo Bennato & Gianna Nannina's Un'estate Italiana official theme song for the 1990 FIFA World Cup held in Italy ~ Whitlock was born ca.1954
February 17, 2022 ~ Rock, alt-country singer, guitarist Dallas Good passed away ~ Son of bluegrass autoharpist Bruce Good. Founded the Sadies in 1994 with his brother Travis Good, Sean Dean and Mike Bellitsky. The band is known for their blend of punk, country, Americana, surf and garage rock and acclaimed for their 1998 Precious Moments debut album and their 2006 In Concert (Volume One) live album. The band has served as Neko Case's backing band and collaborated with the likes of Neil Young, the Mekons, Kurt Vile, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and others ~ Good was born ca.1974
February 17, 2021 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Andrea Lo Vecchio passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Active as a solo artist since the early 1960s, scoring a record deal with CBS after winning a talent contest in 1963. In-demand songwriter and collaborator. Closely associated with Roberto Vecchioni and Mina. Internationally perhaps best known for co-penning If I Only Had Time, a 1969 hit for John Rowles. Has also worked with Adriano Celentano, Shirley Bassey, Gigliola Cinquetti, Mireille Mathieu, Demis Roussos, Claude François, Ivan Graziani, Manuel De Peppe, and I Nuovi Angeli ~ Lo Vecchio was born in 1942
February 17, 2021 ~ Rock & roll, rockabilly singer, guitarist, songwriter Gene Summer passed away in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ As a solo artist known for recordings such as School Of Rock & Roll, Straight Skirt, Nervous, Gotta Lotta That, Twixteen, Alabama Shake, Fancy Dan, and Big Blue Diamonds. Has also worked with the Rebels, the Tom Toms, Bill Smith Combo, the Platinum Fog, and others ~ Summers was born in 1939
February 17, 2021 ~ Ewart Beckford, commonly known as reggae, dancehall, dub singer, toaster U-Roy, passed away in 2021 ~ Pioneer toaster. Influenced by Louis Prima, James Brown, Ruth Brown, Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and especially Louis Jordan. Known for songs such as Wake The Town, Wear You To The Ball, and Runaway Girl. Worked with producers such as Lee Scratch Perry, Bunny Lee, Phil Pratt, Sonia Pottinger, Ruple Edwards, Alvin Ranglin, and Lloyd Daley ~ Beckford was born in 1942
February 17, 2020 ~ Blues pianist, singer Henry Gray, passed away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA ~ Helped create the sound of Chicago blues piano. Backed Howlin' Wolf for about a dozen years, starting in 1956. Also worked with Big Maceo Merriweather, Hudson Showes, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, Billy Boy Arnold, Morris Pejoe, Abb Lock, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Homesick James, Robert Lockwood Junior, Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines, Hubert Sumlin, Lazy Lester, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Little Milton, Jimmy Rogers, Koko Taylor, JD Miller, Elmore James, and others ~ Gray was born in 1925
February 17, 2020 ~ Jazz drummer Jon Christensen, full name Jon Ivar Christensen, passed away in Oslo, Norway ~ Father of singer Emilie Stoesen Christensen. Key figure in Norwegian jazz. Active since the late 1960s, starting with the likes of George Russell and Jan Garbarek. Key member of 1980s jazz unit Masqualero. Present on albums by Karin Krog, Lee Konitz, Steve Kuhn, Terje Rypdal, Keith Jarrett (Belonging), Ralph Towner (Solstice), Enrico Rava, Blow Out, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, and Tomasz Stańko ~ Christensen was born in 1943
February 17, 2019 ~ Jazz singer Ethel Ennis, full name Ethel Llewellyn Ennis, passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Prior to her seven-decade career as a jazz singer, played piano in church from a young age. Has recorded about a dozen albums, most warmly received, starting with Lullabies For Losers released in 1955. Toured Europe with Benny Goodman. Lovingly dubbed “the First Lady of Jazz” in her homestate of Maryland ~ Ennis was born in 1932
February 17, 2018 ~ Beatrice Pauline Botty, commonly known as pianist, organist Beebe Freitas, passed away in Aina Haina, Hawaii, USA ~ Best known as music director of the Hawaii Opera Theatre. Also worked with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Collegiate Chorale, the Camerata Singers, the New York Philharmonic, David Shifrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Sasha Cooke, and Frederica von Stade ~ Freitas was born in 1938
February 17, 2018 ~ Producer, singer, keyboardist Boyd Jarvis, full name Boyd Henry Jarvis, passed away in East Orange, New Jersey, USA ~ As a solo artist best known for his 1983 song The Music Got Me. Sued Robert Clivilles and David Cole of C+C Music Factory over copyright infringement, claiming Get Dumb incorporated parts of Music, and was awarded some $95,000 in damages. Session musician, remixer, producer, worked with Herbie Hancock, La Toya Jackson, Johnny Kemp, Jellybean, Timmy Regisford, Wally Jump Jr & the Criminal Elements, Colonel Abrams, Club Nouveau, Pretty Poison, François Kevorkian, Johnny Gill, Karyn White, Rick James, Evelyn King, Loose Ends, Chaka Khan, Levert, Ronny Jordan, Milk & Honey, and others ~ Jarvis was born in 1958
February 17, 2016 ~ Conga player Ray Barretto passed away in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Sampled by Urban Dance Squad. Worked with Charlie Parker, Jose Curbelo, Tito Puente, Adalberto Santiago, the Fania All-Stars, Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz, the New World Spirit, Gene Ammons, the Bee Gees, Kenny Burrell, Arnett Cobb, Ray Bryant, Billy Cobham, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Eumir Deodato, Jimmy Forrest, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Bill Doggett, Art Farmer, Eddie Harris, Willis Jackson, Yusef Lateef, Junior Mance, Clifford Jordan, Herbie Mann, Wes Montgomery, Michel Sardaby, Sonny Stitt, Jack McDuff, the Weather Report, Charles Williams, Julius Watkins, Frank Wess, and others ~ Barretto was born in 1929
February 17, 2015 ~ Keyboardist Kenny Wally Kelly, full name Kenneth Bernard Kelly, passed away ~ Co-founding member of the Manhattans remaining with the group from 1964 through 1990, best known for their 1976 Kiss And Say Goodbye hit single which reached top 10 across the globe including the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 ~ Kelly was born in 1941
February 17, 2014 ~ Guitarist, keyboardist Bob Casale, full name Robert Edward Casale Jr, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Best known as a member of Devo, alongside brother Gerals Casale. Also worked with the Martini Ranch, Visiting Kids, Mutato Muzika, and with the Police guitarist Andy Summers, engineering the latter's debut solo album ~ Casale was born in 1952
February 17, 2014 ~ Ian Fleming Smith, commonly known as reggae, dancehall singer Wayne Smith, passed away in Kingston, Jamaica ~ Best known for his 1985 hit single Under Mi Sleng Teng, generally regarded as the beginning of ragga. Its rhythm is based on a riff from Eddie Cochran's Somethin' Else, its lyrics inspired by Barrington Levy's Under Mi Sensi. Smith is also know for songs such as Come Along and Ain't No Meaning In Saying Goodbye. ~ Smith was born in 1965
February 17, 2013 ~ Malinda Gayle McCready, commonly known as country singer Mindy McCready, passed away in Heber Springs, Arkansas, USA ~ Sometimes referred to as “the Amy Winehouse of Country” for the turmoil and struggles she encountered in her personal life. Recorded five well-received albums, before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound a month after her former boyfriend, father of her younger son, had done the same on the exact same porch just one month earlier. Best known for the Billboard Country No.1 hit Guys Do It All The Time off her 1996 Ten Thousand Angels debut album. Other well-known songs include Ten Thousand Angels, Maybe He'll Notice Her Now with Richie McDonald, A Girl's Gotta Do What A Girl's Gotta Do, and You'll Never Know ~ McCready was born in 1975
February 17, 2012 ~ Bassist Michael Davis passed away in Chico, California, USA ~ Best known as member of MC5, joining the band in 1964 as replacement for original bassist Pat Burrows. Appears on the band's original three albums, including their acclaimed and hugely influential Kick Out The Jams debut album. Member of Destroy All Monsters, for whom he wrote underground punk classics Meet The Creeper, Rocking The Cradle, and Fast City. Davis also worked with Blood Orange, and the Luminarios, and served as producer for Mother's Anger and Dollhouse ~ Davis was born in 1943
February 17, 2010 ~ Folk, blues, roots singer, guitarist, songwriter Ruby Hunter, full name Ruby Charlotte Margaret Hunter, passed away ~ Musical and life partner of Archie Roach, with whom she had two sons and three foster children. As a solo artist became the first Aboriginal female artist to release a full-length album, namely Thought Within. Also noted for writing and performing the autobiographical Ruby's Story with Roach, Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra, which premiered in 2004 at the Sydney Opera House to critical acclaim ~ Hunter was born in 1955
February 17, 1997 ~ Kenny Thomas Skingle, commonly known as jazz, bebop saxophonist, arranger, composer Kenny Graham, passed away in London, UK ~ By some regarded as an overlooked pioneer of modern British jazz. Worked with Nat Temple, Nat Gonella, Bert Ambrose, Jiver Hutchinson, Eric Winstone, Victor Feldman, Jack Parnell, Stan Tracey, Ted Heath, Harry Carney, Ray Nance, Sam Woodyard, Humphrey Lyttelton, and others ~ Skingle was born in 1924
February 17, 1995 ~ R&B, hip hop, new jack swing trio TLC release Red Light Special, lifted off their CrazySexyCool sophomore album ~ Released to near-universal critical acclaim, Cash Box calling it “one of the sultriest, sexiest singles to come along in years”, this Kenneth Babyface Edmonds-penned and produced headboard bonker would be the second of four singles off its parent album CrazySexyCool to reach top 10 Billboard Hot 100 top 10. Fueled by the success of its singles, the album would become one of the best-selling 1990s albums, and eventually the all-time best-selling album by any American girl group with over 15 million copies sold. Regarding Red Light Special, lead singer Tionne T-Boz Watkins would later comment: “The first thing I pictured was a red strobe light flashing, and somebody doing stripper moves. Whatever tricks there are, that's my red light special.”
February 17, 1991 ~ Pop, folk-pop singer, songwriter Ed Sheeran born in Halifax, UK ~ Influenced by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Elton John, the Beatles, Damien Rice. Emerged in the early 2010s on the strength of his Youtube videos to dominate the charts throughout the remainder of the decade both as a singer and as an in-demand collaborator and songwriter for other artists. Has sold over 150 million records, making him one of the world's best-selling artists. Known for songs such as Sing, Thinking Out Loud, Castle On The Hill, The Shape Of You, Perfect, Take Me Back To London featuring Stormzy, Afterglow, and others
February 17, 1988 ~ Alexander Vargas Blay, commonly known as aAlternative rock, soul singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter, producer Alex Vargas, born in Horsholm, Denmark ~ Founding member of Vagabond, disbanding the band in 2010 to pursue a solo career. As a solo artist best known for songs such as More and Shackled Up. Has collaborated with Above & Beyond, co-writing a number of songs of their We Are All We Need album. Also co-wrote Kristian Kostov's Beautiful Mess, Bulgaria's entry for the 2017 Eurovision Songfestival which reached 2nd place
February 17, 1984 ~ Blues bassist, singer, songwriter Andrew McMahon, also known as Andrew Blueblood McMahon, passed away in Monroe, Louisiana, USA ~ Closely associated with Howlin' Wolf, backing the Wolf for over a decade starting in 1960. As a solo artist known for songs such as Lost In The Jungle, Special Agent, Potato Diggin' Man and Worried All The Time ~ McMahon was born in 1926
February 17, 1983 ~ Digby George Richards, commonly known as rock & roll singer, songwriter, TV personality Dig Richards, passed away in Sydney, Australia ~ Fronted the R'Jays during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Arguably the first Australian rock & roll artists to record a full-length album, namely his eponymous Dig Richards solo debut album in 1959. Would venture into country later on. Best known for songs such as My Little Lover, A Little Piece Of Peace, People Call Me Country and Do The Spunky Monkey ~ Richards was born in 1940
February 17, 1982 ~ Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, commonly known as rapper Lupe Fiasco, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Released his full-length Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor debut album in 2006. Known for songs such as Superstar featuring Matthew Santos and The Show Goes On. Has worked with Japanese Cartoon, Da Pak, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Joy Denalane, Dan the Automator, Guy Sebastian, and others
February 17, 1982 ~ Jazz, cool jazz, bebop, hard bop pianist, composer Thelonious Monk, full name Thelonious Sphere Monk, passed away in Englewood, New Jersey, USA ~ Second-most-recorded jazz composer, after Duke Ellington, known for standards such as Round Midnight, Blue Monk, Straight No Chaser, Ruby My Dear, In Walked Bud and Well You Needn't ~ Monk was born in 1917
February 17, 1979 ~ Albert Irving Silverman, commonly known as songwriter, lyricist Al Stillman, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Perhaps best known for co-writing I Believe, recorded by Jane Froman, Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley, the Rascals, and Loretta Lynn, and for co-writing Home For The Holidays, recorded by Perry Como, Lorne Greene, Johnny Tillotson, and the Carpenters. Others who recorded his songs include Ray Kinney, Tommy Dorsey, the Four Lads, Pat Boone, and Cher ~ Silverman was born in 1901
February 17, 1975 ~ Charles Scruggs Jr, commonly known as Wish Bone, born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA ~ Founding member of hip-hop group Bone-Thugz-n-Harmony, which also included Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone and Flesh-n-Bone. The group would be discovered by NWA's Eazy E and release a debut EP in 1994 which spawned the hit Thuggish Ruggish Bone featuring Shatasha Williams. Subsequent hits included 1st Of Da Month, Tha Crossroads, Look Into My Eyes and I Tried featuring Akon
February 17, 1974 ~ Country singer, songwrier Bryan White, full name Bryan Shelton White, born in Lawton, Oklahoma, USA ~ Debuted in 1994 with the eponymous Bryan White album. Both his debut and the 1996 follow-up Between Now And Forever would reach Platinum status. Known for songs such as Someone Else's Star, Rebecca Lynn, So Much For Pretending and Sittin' On Go
February 17, 1972 ~ Pop, rock band the Beach Boys record Marcella ~ Written by Brian Wilson, Tandyn Almer, Jack Rieley. Reportedly the lyrics were inspired by Wilson's fixation with a a local massage therapist. Included on the 1972 Carl & The Passions album. Alse released as a single featuring Hold On Dear Brother on the flip side
February 17, 1972 ~ Singer, guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong born in Berkeley, California, USA ~ Lead singer, lead guitarist of punk rock outfit Green Day, co-founded with Mike Dirnt, known for songs such as American Idiot, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends
February 17, 1972 ~ Death metal, groove metal singer Lars-Göran Petrov born in Sweden ~ Influenced by Iron Maiden, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Voivod. First gained attention as drummer in extreme metal band Morbid, then fronted by singer the Dead. Would go on to work with Nihilist, from which he was fired for making a pass at the girlfriend of bandmate drummer Nicke Andersson. Rejoined the band in 1992, now renamed to Entombed. Also served as lead singer of metal supergroup Firespawn from 2012 until his death ~ Petrov passed away in 2021
February 17, 1972 ~ Alternative rock, punk rock, post-grunge drummer Taylor Hawkins, full name Oliver Taylor Hawkins born in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ Influenced by Phil Collins, Stewart Copeland, Stephen Perkins, Jim Gordon, Neil Peart. Best known as member of the Foo Fighters. Touring drummer for Alanis Morissette. Also worked with Birds Of Satan, Coheed & Cambria, Vasco Rossi, Chevy Metal, and others ~ Hawkins passed away in 2022
February 17, 1972 ~ Yuki Kuramochi, mononymously known as singer, songwriter Yuki, born in Hakodate, Japan ~ Lead singer of Judy And Mary, formed in the early 1990s. Active as a solo artist since the 2000s, scoring numerous top 10 hits in her native Japan including Nagia Yume, Dramatic, Hoshikuzu Sunset, Wonder Line, and Futari No Story. Kuramochi also was a member of all-female rock outfit Mean Machine, known for their sole Cream album released in 2001
February 17, 1971 ~ John McKeown, commonly known as indie rock singer, guitarist Jackie McKeown, born in Belshill, UK ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of Yummy Fur, remaining with the band throughout its entire existence from 1992 through 1999. Has since worked with the short-lived electronic pop band Girls which also included Yummy-bandmate and Franz Ferdinand-frontman Alex Kapranos as well as with Mars Hotel, the 1990s and Trans
February 17, 1970 ~ Film composer, arranger, conductor Alfred Newman passed away in Hollywood, California, USA ~ Has scored the music for over 200 feature films from the 1930s until his death four decades later. Nominated for an Academy Award over 40 times, winning nine times including with 1943's The Song Of Bernadette and 1955's Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing. Other notable scores include The Diary Of Anne Frank, How The West Was Won, and The Greatest Story Ever Told ~ Newman was born in 1900
February 17, 1969 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Bob Dylan records I'll Be Staying Here With You ~ Self-penned. Produced by Bob Johnston. Included on the 1969 Nashville Skyline album. Released as a single, b/w Country Pie, the following October. Generally regarded as one of Dylan's greatest love songs, its lyrics marking a change from earlier love songs which often expressed restlessness or had a bitter undertone
February 17, 1969 ~ Jon Randall Stewart, commonly known as country producer, songwriter, singer, guitarist Jon Randall, born in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ First gained attention as backing guitarist for Emmylou Harris, notably present on the 1992 Live At The Ryman album. Has recorded a number of solo albums, starting with What You Don't Know released in 1995. Co-wrote Whiskey Lullabye, recorded by Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss. Co-wrote Tin Man, recorded by Miranda Lambert. Has served as producer for the likes of Dierks Bentley, Darden Smith, Dwight Yoakam, Jack Ingram, Parker McCollum, Chase Bryant, and others
February 17, 1969 ~ Jazz drummer, songwriter Paul Barbarin, full name Adolphe Paul Barbarin, passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Founded the Onward Brass Band. Also worked with the Silver Leaf Orchestra, the Young Olympia Band, Freddie Keppard, King Oliver, Luis Russell, Red Allen, Sidney Bechet, Art Hodes. Died while playing snare drums during a Mardi Grass parade ~ Barbarin was born in 1899
February 17, 1967 ~ Singer, actress, songwriter Chanté Moore, full name Chanté Torrane Moore, born in San Francisco, California, USA ~ Known for a number of hits on the R&B charts starting in the early 1990s, including Love's Taken Over, It's Alright, Old School Lovin', and Chante's Got A Man, the latter also reaching the top 10 of the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 in 1999. Has sessioned or guested on recordings by El DeBarge, Damion Hall, Boyz II Men, Will Downing, the Isley Brothers (notably on the 2001 top 20 hit Contagious), Kenny G, Everette Harp, Bobby Brown, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, and others
February 17, 1962 ~ Bruno Schlesinger, commonly known as conductor, pianist, composer Bruno Walter, passed away in Beverly Hills, California, USA ~ Widely considered one of the great conductors of the 20th century. Fled Germany in 1933, naturalized French citizen in 1938, settled in America the next year. Has worked closely with Gustav Mahler. Held positions at prestigious orchestras including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Salzberg Festival, the Vienna State Oper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and others ~ Schlesinger was born in 1876
February 17, 1962 ~ Rock singer, guitarist, songwriter David McComb, full name David Richard McComb, born in Perth, Australia ~ Fronted the Triffids from 1976 through 1989, known for songs such as Wide Open Road and Bury Me Deep In Love. Subsequently worked with the Blackeyed Susans in the late 1980s and early 1990s. McComb struggled with bouts of alcoholism and substance abuse throughout his career which greatly affected his health, eventually needing a heart transplant in 1996. McComb passed away just two weeks shy of his 37th birthday ~ McComb passed away in 1999
February 17, 1959 ~ Singer, guitarist Chuck Berry records Almost Grown in Chicago, Illinois ~ Written by Berry. Produced by Leonard Chess and Phil Chess. Released as a double A-side paired with Little Queenie later the same year. Aside from Berry's usual line-up consisting of pianist Johnnie Johnson, bassist Willie Dixon and drummer Fred Below, the song features backing vocals from Etta James and a young, then-unknown Marvin Gaye. The song would also be used in the 1973 coming-of-age comedy-drama American Graffiti directed by George Lucas
February 17, 1956 ~ Pop rock, power pop singer, guitarist, mandolinist, keyboardist Jeffrey Foskett born ~ Member of 1970s outfit the Pranks. Best known for his association with Brian Wilson, serving as touring and session musician for Wilson solo and the Beach Boys since the 1980s. Has also recorded over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with the 1996 Thru My Window album regarded by some as “the best Beach Boys album they never recorded”, and has toured or recorded with Jeff Larson, John Blakeley, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Nancy Sinatra, and Harry Shearer ~ Foskett passed away in 2023
February 17, 1955 ~ Singer Frank Sinatra records In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning at KHJ Studios, Hollywood, USA ~ Written by David Mann and Bob Hilliard. Reportedly actually written during a post-midnight session at Hilliar's New Jersey home. Included on the 1955 In The Wee Small Hours it would become one of Sinatra's best-known. Over the years the song would be recorded by numerous artists including Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Gerry Mulligan, Astrud Gilberto, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Keith Jarrett, Jamie Cullum, and others
February 17, 1952 ~ Rocksteady, reggae singer, songwriter Bruce Ruffin born in St Catherine, Jamaica ~ Worked with Byron Lee, the Dragonaires, the Techniques (wrote Love Is Not A Gamble), Pat Kelly, Winston Riley, Junior Menns, Leslie Kong, Herman Chin Loy, Lloyd Charmers, and others. As a solo artist best known for his 1972 crossover hit Mad About You, a top 10 hit in the UK
February 17, 1952 ~ Jazz, rock bassist Vladimir Padrunek born in Prague, Czechoslovakia ~ Rose to fame in the early 1970s as member of Jazz Q, with whom he recorded the albums Pozorovateina and Symbiosis. Was forbidden to travel to non-communist countries due to his father's previous involvement in the political upheaval of 1968, and would be replaced on tours to the West. Co-founded Energit with Vladimir Misik, known for their eponymous 1976 Energit debut album. Has also worked with Exit, Ota Petrina, Abraxas, and Moby Dick ~ Padrunek passed away in 1991
February 17, 1949 ~ Singer, drummer, songwriter Doyle Bramhall born in Texas, USA ~ Father of singer, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II. Member of the Chessmen who once opened for Jimi Hendrix. Formed Texas Storm with Jimmie Vaughan. Formed the Nightcrawlers, teaming up with Jimmie's younger brother Stevie Ray Vaughan and Marc Benno. As a solo artist especially noted for his 1994 Bird Nest On The Ground debut album, his gravelly voice critically compared to Bob Seger ~ Bramhall passed away in 2011
February 17, 1949 ~ Guitarist Fred Frith in Heathfield, UK ~ Founding member of avant-rock group Henry Cow. Also known for his associations with Art Bears, Massacre, and the Skeleton Crew. Appears on over an estimated 400 recordings. As a leader, solo artist especially acclaimed for the 1987 Nous Autres album. Has worked with artists such as Robert Wyatt, Derek Bailey, the Residents, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Jad Fair, the ARTE Quartett, and Bob Ostertag. Served as producer for the likes of Curlew, the Muffins, Etron Fou Leloublan, and the Orthotonics
February 17, 1949 ~ Harvey Jett, commonly known as guitarist, banjoist, pianist, singer Harvey Burley Jett, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA ~ Original member of Black Oak Arkansas. Jett was present on most of the band's best known, including their most acclaimed album High On The Hog released in 1973, and was replaced by Jimmy Soybean Henderson in 1974 ~ Jett passed away in 2022
February 17, 1948 ~ Rock, blues, country rock singer, guitarist, banjoist Broderick Smith born in Melbourne, Australia ~ Appeared in a 1973 Australian production of rock opera Tommy, portraying the role of Mr Walker. Member of the Adderley Smith Blues Band, the Dingoes, Carson, and others. Perhaps best known for his 1981 hit Faded Roses with Broderick Smith's Big Combo ~ Smith passed away in 2023
February 17, 1948 ~ José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, commonly known as singer, guitarist, bassist José José, born in Mexico City, Mexico ~ Jazz, bossa nova, Latin pop, bolero, mariachi balladeer with stunning tenor vocal ability. Rose to international fame, including non-Spanish-speaking countries in the 1980s. Dubbed “the Prince of Song”. Worked with Armando Manzanero, Camilo Sesto, Juan Gabriel, Lani Hall, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Raúl Di Blasio, Alejandra Avalos, and others ~ Sosa passed away in 2019
February 17, 1947 ~ Geraldine Ann Pasquale, commonly known as pop, rock & roll singer Dodie Stevens, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Best known for Pink Shoe Laces, recorded at age 12. The song would reach the Billboard top 10 in 1959. Dodie would follow up with several charting singles throughout the early 1960s, notably Yes I'm Lonesome Tonight and Merry Merry Christmas Baby, but would be unable to replicate the succes of Pink Shoe Laces
February 17, 1947 ~ Jazz drummer Jimmy Madison born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Has played drums in public since age 12. Has backed, recorded and toured with artists such as Don Goldie, Lionel Hampton, Marian McPartland, James Brown, Bobby Hackett, Joe Farrell, David Matthews, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Carmen McRae, Harold Danko, Chet Baker, Urbie Green, Michel Legrand, Don Sebesky, George Benson, Nina Simone, Lee Konitz, Hod O'Brien, Art Farmer, Mark Murphy. Has led ensembles which included sidemen such as Tom Harrell, Harold Danko, Phil Markowitz, Larry Schneider, Andy Laverne, Dan Wall, Mike Richmond, Bill Evans, Kenny Barron, Dennis Irwin, Gene Perla, Jon Burr, Ron McClure, Janet Lawson, Chip Jackson, Ricky Ford, Jack Walrath, David Schnitter, Paul Nash, Stanley Turrentine, Maceo Parker, Red Rodney, and Steve Gilmore
February 17, 1944 ~ Singer Bing Crosby records Amor ~ Originally a Spanish song, music by Gabriel Ruiz with lyrics by Ricardo López Méndez. Translated to English, lyricist Sunny Skylar. Recorded by numerous artists, the Crosby single featuring Long Ago And Far Away on the flip side would reach top 10 on the pop charts
February 17, 1944 ~ Jazz, rock, classical, new age oboeist, saxophonist, keyboardist Karl Jenkins, full name Karl William Pamp Jenkins, born in Swansea, UK ~ Co-founding member of Nucleus. Member of new age act Adiemus, known for the new age albums Palladio, Armed Man and Requiem. Also a member of jazz-rock band Soft Machine from 1972 through 1984
February 17, 1944 ~ Producer, songwriter Larry Mizell born ~ Co-founding member of vocal jazz quartet the Vanlords, which also included his brother Fonce Mizell. Best known as a producer and songwriter, again in tandem with his brother, producing numerous albums for Blue Note Records setting the tone for 1970s jazz fusion sound and scoring pivotal R&B hits including Taste Of Honey's Boogie Oogie Oogie, LTD's Love Ballad and Mary Wells' Gigolo
February 17, 1943 ~ Armand John Piron, commonly known as jazz violinist, bandleader AJ Piron, passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Popular dancebandleader. Best known for I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate and The Purple Rose Of Cairo. Employed sidemen such as Lorenzo Tio, John Lindsay, and Peter Bocage ~ Piron was born in 1888
February 17, 1941 ~ Charles Everett Paxton, commonly known as saxophonist, songwriter Charles Packy Axton, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Son of Stax/Volt co-founder Estelle Axton. Active since the late 1950s. Member of the Royal Spades, which also included Steve Cropper and Donald Duck Dunn. The band would eventually rename themselves the Mar-keys, known for the 1961 Last Night Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit. Member of the Packers, known for the 1965 single Hole In The Wall which reached top 10 Billboard R&B ~ Axton passed away in 1974
February 17, 1941 ~ Jazz double bassist Herbie Lewis, full name Herbert Prince Lewis, born in Pasadena, California, USA ~ Among the top bassists of the bop era, closely associated with McCoy Tyner, Les McCann, and Jackie McLean. Lewis has also appeared on albums by Harold Land, Shirley Scott (Hip Soul), Richard Groove Holmes, Stanley Turrentine (That's Where It's At), Gerald Wilson, Bobby Hutcherson, Sam Rivers, Freddie Hubbard, the Jazz Crusaders, Cedar Walton, Tete Montoliu (Lunch In LA), Sonny Stitt, Sonny Simmons, and Eddie Harris ~ Lewis passed away in 2007
February 17, 1940 ~ Singer, songwriter Gene Pitney, full name Gene Francis Alan Pitney, born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA ~ Known for songs such as Town Without Pity, The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance, Only Love Can Break A Heart, 24 Hours From Tulsa, I'm Gonna Be Strong, Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart, and others. Scored a UK top 10 hit with the That Girl Belongs To Yesters, the first Mick Jagger/ Keith Richards-penned song to reach the UK top ten. Wrote or co-wrote several classic pop, rock & roll songs for artists including Bobby Vee (Rubber Ball), Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson (Hello Mary Lou), the Crystals (He's A Rebel), and others ~ Pitney passed away in 2006
February 17, 1940 ~ Ranchera singer, songwriter, actor Vicente Fernández, full name Vicente Fernández Gómez, born in Guadalajara, Mexico ~ Cultural icon with over 30 films to his name, over 50 albums with a total sales of an estimated 50 million copies. Best known for Volver Volver, notably covered by both Nana Moskouri and Ry Cooder. Other well known songs include El Rey, Dos Corazones, Aunque Mal Paguen Ellas, Que Sepan Todos, Yo Quiero, Aca Entre Nos, Miseria, and No Te Vayas. His son, Alejandro Fernández, would also become a popular singer ~ Fernández passed away in 2021
February 17, 1938 ~ Charles Wilburn Trent, commonly known as bluegrass, country banjoist, dobroist, mandolinist, bassist, guitarist, songwriter Buck Trent, born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA ~ Most revered for his work as a banjo player. Invented the electric banjo. Plays lead guitar on both Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You and Jolene. Other notable collaborations include Bill Monroe during the early 1960s, backing Porter Wagoner for about a decade, and as a regular on Roy Clark's musical variety TV shows The Roy Clark Show and Hee Haw. Trent also toured the Soviet Union with Clark in 1976, the first Soviet tour of any American country music act. As a solo artist Trent is perhaps most acclaimed for the album The Sound Of Bluegrass Banjo released in 1962 ~ Trent passed away in 2023
February 17, 1938 ~ Jazz pianist, composer, arranger John Coates Jr born in Trenton, New Jersey, USA ~ Worked with Wendell Marshall, Kenny Clarke, Rudy van Gelder, Charlie Ventura, Barry Miles, Eddie Gomez, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, Harry Leahey, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Kai Winding, Urbie Green, Pepper Adams, Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, and others ~ Coates passed away in 2017
February 17, 1936 ~ Actor, singer John Leyton, full name John Dudley Leyton, born in Frinton-on-Sea, UK ~ As a singer best known for the 1961 Joe Meek-produced Johnny Remember Me which would reach the top of the UK charts despite being banned by BBC for its death references. His follow up single, Wild Wind, reached No.2. As an actor known for roles in The Great Escape, East Of Java and Telstar, the latter a biopic on Meek in which Leyton himself was portrayed by Callum Dixon
February 17, 1935 ~ John Bush Shinn III, commonly known as country, honky-tonk, western swing singer, guitarist, drummer, fiddler, songwriter Johnny Bush, born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Nicknamed “the Country Caruso”, after singer Enrico Caruso. Wrote and first recorded Whiskey River, later successfuly covered by Willie Nelson. First gained attention when he joined Ray Price's backing unit the Cherokee Cowboys in 1963. Debuted as a solo artist with the album The Sound Of A Heartache in 1967 and has been recording to critical acclaim and commercial succes since ~ Shinn passed away in 2020
February 17, 1934 ~ Gunnar Olof Björksten, commonly known as jazz bandleader, saxophonist Hacke Björksten, born in Helsinki, Finland ~ Served under Kenneth Fagerland in his teens. Would go on to lead a popular 1950s ensemble featuring sidemen such as Ake Persson, Rune Ofwerman and Kurt Weil. Has also worked with Mel Lewis and Ulf Johansson ~ Björksten passed away in 2020
February 17, 1933 ~ Brian John Heatley, commonly known as jazz double bassist Spike Heatley, born in Muswell Hill, UK ~ Leader and sideman with a career spanning four decades. To rock, blues-rock audiences best known for his association with Alexis Korner, having played with both Blues Incorporated and with CCS. Has also worked with Vic Ash, Tubby Hayes, Eddie Thompson, Johnny Dankworth, Tony Coe, Kenny Baker, Bill Le Sage, Ronnie Ross, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Barney Kessel, Malcolm Mortimore, and others ~ Heatley passed away in 2021
February 17, 1932 ~ Composer Doru Popovici, full name Ionel Doru Popovici, born in Resita, Romania ~ Revered contemporary classical composer known for three distinct phases in his career; pot-impressionism, dodecaphonic and post-byzantine. Known for works such as Wires Quartet, Prometheus, Homage To Tuculescu, The Byzantine Hymns and The Wedding ~ Popovici passed away in 2019
February 17, 1930 ~ Guitar and fidle group the Mississippi Sheiks record Sitting On Top Of The World ~ Written by Sheiks core members Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon. The song would become the Sheiks best known single, become a standard, used as the theme music in the 1957 film Face In The Crowd, and later be covered in various styles by an array of artists including Doc Watson, Bob Wills, Howlin' Wolf, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Jerry Reed, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Cream, the Grateful Dead, Jeff Healey, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, and others. The original record was released in 1930 on the Okeh blues label, paired with Lovely One In This Town on the flip side
February 17, 1928 ~ Lyricist, librettist Tom Jones born in Littlefield, Texas, USA ~ Best known for co-writing The Fantasticks with regular collaborator composer Harvey Schmidt, a musical that ran off-Broadway for about four decades starting in the early 1960s. Well-known songs from the musical include Try To Remember, Soon It's Gonna Rain, Much More, and I Can See It. Other musicals written by the duo include 110 In The Shade, I Do I Do, and Philemon. Jones also authored the book Making Musicals (An Informal Introduction To The World Of Music Theatre), published in 1998
February 17, 1926 ~ Conductor, composer Friedrich Cerha born in Vienna, Austria ~ Renowned interpreter of the works of Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg, especially credited for completing the latter's unfinished Lulu three-act opera. During World War II Cerha was conscripted yet deserted the nazi armed forces twice, and actually participated in a number of acts of resistance against the fascist regime ~ Cerha passed away in 2023
February 17, 1926 ~ Noble Watts, commonly known as blues, jump blues, R&B saxophonist Noble Thin Man Watts, born in Deland, Florida, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with the Griffin Brothers, Nat Adderley, Lionel Hampton, Paul Williams, Dinah Washington, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Rufus Thomas, Lucky Peterson, Raful Neal, Floyd Miles, and others ~ Watts passed away in 2004
February 17, 1923 ~ Boniface Ferdinand Leonard DeFranco, commonly known as clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, born in Camden, New Jersey, USA ~ One of the few bebop clarinetists DeFranco was a revered bandleader in his own right who also led the the Glenn Miller Orchestra for almost a decade in the 1960s and 1970s. DeFranco worked with Count Basie, Tommy Gumina, Gene Krupa, Art Blakey, Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Lennie Tristano, Dodo Marmarosa, Terry Gibbs, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Eddie Daniels, Putte Wickman, Billie Holiday, and others ~ DeFranco passed away in 2014
February 17, 1920 ~ Guitarist Billy Byrd born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Key guitarist in early country, studio musician. Helped popularize the electric lead guitar in country. Influenced by jazz players such as Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Tutored artists such as Hank Garland and Shot Jackson. Member of Ernest Tubb's backing unit the Texas Troubadours. Also worked with artists such as the Oak Ridge Quartet, Tex Ritter, George Hamilton IV, and Jimmy Dickens ~ Byrd passed away in 2001
February 17, 1913 ~ Composer, conductor René Leibowitz born in Warsaw, Poland ~ Known as an avid promoter of the Second Viennese School style after World War II. Renowned conductor acclaimed for his performances of works by composers as diverse as Ludwig van Beethoven, Jacques Offenbach, Maurice Ravel, George Gershwin, Giacomo Puccini, and Arthur Sullivan ~ Leibowitz passed away in 1972
February 17, 1906 ~ Jazz drummer Wallace Bishop born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Art Sims, Jelly Roll Morton, Bernie Young, Hughie Swift, Richard M Jones, Tommy Dorsey, Erskine Tate, Earl Hines, Jimmie Noone, Coleman Hawkins, Don Redman, Phil Moore, Walter Foots Thomas, John Kirby, Sy Oliver, Sammy Price, Billy Kyle, Buck Clayton, Bill Coleman, Don Byas, Ben Webster, Kid Ory, Milt Buckner, Buddy Tate, T-Bone Walker, and others ~ Bishop passed away in 1986
February 17, 1905 ~ Orville Jones, commonly known as singer, cellist Hoppy Jones, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Member of the Ink Spots until his death at age 39. Present on hits such as If I Didn't Care, Address Unknown, My Prayer, When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano, Maybe, We Three (My Echo My Shadow & Me), and Don't Get Around Much Anymore. Jones would be succeeded by Herb Kenny, brother of the band's frontman Bill Kenny ~ Jones passed away in 1944
February 17, 1899 ~ Jazz pianist Harvey Brooks born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Wrote the score for the Mae West film I'm No Angel released in 1933, making him the first African-American to have written a complete score for a major motion picture. Has toured and recorded with Mamie Smith in the 1920s. Musical director for Les Hite during the early 1930s. Has also worked with Kid Ory, Teddy Buckner, Joe Darensbourg, and others ~ Brooks passed away in 1968