This Day In Music: January 1
December 31 ~ Birthdays/All ~ January 2
January 1, 2023 ~ Frederick Eugene Adams, commonly known as drummer Fred White, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Best known for his association with R&B, funk, disco outfit Earth Wind & Fire, serving as the band's drummer from 1974 through 1984 including on acclaimed albums such as That's The Way Of The World, Spirit, All 'n All and Powerlight. Also notably present on Donny Hathaway's pivotal Live album released in 1972. Other credits include Albertina Walker, Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt, Deniece Williams, the Emotions, and Ramsey Lewis ~ Adams was born in 1955
January 1, 2023 ~ Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, commonly known as rapper Gangsta Boo, passed away ~ Second female member of hip-hop collective Three 6 Mafia, remaining with the group through 2002. Recorded three albums as a solo artist, starting with Enquiring Minds released in 1998. Has also worked with the Prophet Posse, the Hypnotize Camp Posse, Gangsta Blac, Lil' Jon, Gucci Mane, Lord Infamous, Frayser Boy, Lil Wyte, Clipping, and others ~ Mitchell was born in 1979
January 1, 2023 ~ Son, jazz pianist, composer Lázaro Valdés, full name Lázaro Valdés Espinosa, passed away in Havana, Cuba ~ Leading figure in Cuban jazz. Son of percussionist Oscar Valdés. Pianist for Benny Moré's big band the Banda Giganta, taking over leadership of the band after Morés death in 1963 ~ Valdés was born in 1940
January 1, 2021 ~ Carlos Manuel de Ascencao do Carmo de Almeida, commonly known as fado singer Carlos do Carmo, passed away in Lisbon, Portugal ~ Internationally acclaimed. Credited with updating the fado genre, incorporating elements of jazz and adding larger orchestras. To pop audiences perhaps best known for representing Portugal at the 1976 Eurovision Songfestival, his Uma Flor De Verde Pinho reaching 12th place ~ Do Carmo was born in 1939
January 1, 2021 ~ Singer, songwriter George Gerdes passed away in Glendale, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Alumicron Fab Tabs, which also included Loudon Wainwright III. As a solo artist known for two 1970s albums, namely Obituary and its follow-up Son Of Obituary, praised by artists such as Joni Mitchell. Ventured into acting by the 1980s ~ Gerdes was born in 1948
January 1, 2021 ~ Singer, keyboardist, songwriter Liam Reilly passed away ~ Best known as lead singer of rockers Bagatelle, enjoying popularity in their native Ireland with songs such as Leeson Street Lady, Summer In Dublin and Second Violin, the latter an unexpected hit in Uruguay. Has also recorded as a solo artist, releasing his Savannah Souvenirs debut album in 1989 ~ Reilly was born in 1955
January 1, 2021 ~ Country keyboardist, singer Misty Morgan passed away ~ Formed a husband-wife country duo with her husband Jack Blanchard, actively recording since the late 1960s. The duo is best known for their 1970 Billboard Country No.1 hit Tennessee Bird Walk. Other well known songs include Humphrey The Camel, Somewhere In Virginia In The Rain and Just One More Song ~ Morgan was born in 1945
January 1, 2016 ~ Composer Gilberto Mendes passed away ~ Pioneer of aleatoric and concrete music, using new musical notations and theatrical elements. Composed cantates, motets, orchestral music, chamber music and avant-garde works. Founded the Santos New Music Festival in the mid-1960s ~ Mendes was born in 1922
January 1, 2015 ~ Jazz, pop, rock guitarist Jeff Golub passed away in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Over a dozen albums to his name as a solo artist, drawing from jazz, R&B, and pop. Especially noted for the 1990s albums Naked City and Out Of The Blue. In-demand sideman from the 1980s onward, appearing on albums by the likes of the Chieftains, Rod Stewart (Tonight I'm Yours), Billy Squier, Peter Wolf (Come As You Are), David Broza, Palace, Tina Turner, Kane Roberts (Saints & Sinners), Willie & Lobo, Cheryl Wheeler, Bryan Savage (Cat Food), Rick Braun (Body And Soul), Ashford & Simpson, John Waite, and Gato Barbieri ~ Golub was born in 1955
January 1, 2013 ~ Clara Ann Fowler, commonly known as pop, country pop singer Patti Page, passed away in Encinitas, California, USA ~ Best-selling female singer of the 1950s. Scored over a dozen million-sellers. Best known for songs such as Confess, With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming, All My Love (Bolero), I Went To Your Wedding, Changing Partners, Allegheny Moon, and perhaps her best known The Tennessee Waltz ~ Fowler was born in 1927
January 1, 2012 ~ Singer Fred Milano passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Longtime member of doo-wop outfit Dion & the Belmonts, known for songs such as A Teenager In Love, Where Or When, and Tell Me Why. Upon hearing of his death, lead singer Dion commented: “He and the Belmonts, they were the best. Freddie was almost like a genius with vocal harmony. I was humbled to sing with them.” ~ Milano was born in 1939
January 1, 2011 ~ Jazz bassist Charles Fambrough passed away ~ Leader and sideman. Member of Art Blakey's backing unit the Jazz Messengers during the early 1980s. Has worked with Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, Joe Ford, Steve Turre, Grover Washington Jr, Lenny White, McCoy Tyner, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and others ~ Fambrough was born in 1950
January 1, 2010 ~ Drummer, songwriter Gregory Slay, full name Gregory Scott Slay, passed away in Bodega Bay, California, USA ~ Formed Loppybogymi with bassist James Orr and Tim Ramenofsky in 1988, the trio earning a regional cult following with their merger of jazz-influenced funk and heavy metal. Slay departed the band after the release of their 1993 TUP album. Also well known as co-founding and constant member of alternative rock band Remy Zero. The band first gained attention opening for Radiohead on the American leg of the The Bends tour. Commercially best known for their 1998 Villa Elaine sophomore album and for Save Me of their third and final album Golden Hum. Slay has also worked with Sleepwell, Isidore, and Horsethief Beats. Also noted for recording A Perfect Lie with Remy bandmates Jeffrey Cain and Cedric Lemoyne under the moniker the Engine Room, the track would be used as the theme song for the TV drama Nip/Tuck and earn them an Emmy Award nomination ~ Slay was born in 1969
January 1, 2006 ~ Rock singer, guitarist Bryan Harvey, full name Bryan Taber Harvey, passed away in Richmond, Virginia, USA ~ Formed House Of Freaks with percussionist Johnny Holt, the duo recording four albums through the early 1990s including the acclaimed Tantilla released in 1989. Harvey has subsequently worked with indie supergroup Gutterball, which also included Steve Wynn. Harvey, his wife, and their two daughters were killed in a home invasion ~ Harvey was born in 1956
January 1, 2005 ~ R&B singer Mario hits No.1 Billboard Hot 100 with Let Me Love You, penned by Ne-Yo, Kameron Houff, and Scott Storch ~ Taken off the singer's 2004 Turning Point sophomore album, the R&B ballad would be his sole No.1 hit. Written by Ne-Yo, Kameron Houff, and Scott Storch, the latter also serving as producer. It would also be the first No.1 hit for songwriter Shaffer Smith, more commonly known as Ne-Yo, who would later regret giving the song to Mario, wishing he had kept the song for himself. Nevertheless, besides his success as a songwriter and producer, Ne-Yo would go on to score about half a dozen Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits himself, including the No.1 So Sick taken off his 2006 In My Own Words debut album
January 1, 2003 ~ Giorgio Gaberscik, commonly known as singer, actor, songwriter Giorgio Gaber, passed away in Camaiore, Italy ~ Began playing guitar at age 15 to prevent paralysis, a recommendation made by a doctor. Pioneered the genre Teatro Canzone. Recorded over two dozen albums. Well-known songs include Benzina E Cerini, Mai Mai Mai (Valentina), E Allora Dai, and Non Arrosire. Internationally perhaps best known for writing and first recording Far Finta Di Essere Sani, covered in English as Tomorrow's Got To Be Sunny by Tony Orlando & Dawn in 1975 ~ Gaberscik was born in 1939
January 1, 2002 ~ Guitarist, singer Eric Clapton marries Melia McEnery, some three decades his junior, at a surprise wedding in Ripley, UK ~ After dating for four years, the then 56-year-old guitarist marries McEnery, aged 25, at a surprise wedding. The couple would have three daughters. It would be Clapton's second marriage, having previously been married to Patty Boyd from 1979 through 1989
January 1, 1998 ~ Saxophonist Dave Schildkraut passed away ~ Active since the 1940s. Recorded one album as a leader, Last Date released posthumously in 2000. In-demand sideman, present on albums by Stan Getz (West Coast Jazz), Tony Aless, Tony Bennett (Cloud 7), Tito Puente, Miles Davis (Walkin'), and Eddie Bert (Like Cool) ~ Schildkraut was born in 1925
January 1, 1997 ~ Singer, songwriter Townes Van Zandt, full name John Townes Van Zandt, passed away in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, USA ~ Penned and recorded songs widely considered to be classics such as Pancho & Lefty, For The Sake Of The Song, Tecumsah Valley, and To Live Is To Fly. Influenced a wide array of artists including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, the Counting Crows, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Wade Bowen, Gillian Welch, Pat Green, Colter Wall, Jason Isbell, Calvin Russell, Natalie Maines, and others ~ Van Zandt was born in 1944
January 1, 1996 ~ Folk singer, songwriter Hamish Imlach passed away in Motherwell, UK ~ Perhaps best known for his late 1960s recording Cod Liver Oil And The Orange Juice. Though his commercial succes was limited Imlach has had a profound influence on fellow Scots such as John Martyn, Billy Connolly, and Christy Moore ~ Imlach was born in 1940
January 1, 1995 ~ Pianist Jess Stacy, full name Jesse Alexandria Stacy, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Influenced by Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines. Best known for his association with Benny Goodman during the late 1930s, including performing at Goodman's famed 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. Also worked with Nelson Riddle, Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman, George Gershwin, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden, Horace Heidt, and others ~ Stacy was born in 1904
January 1, 1995 ~ Soul blues singer, songwriter Ted Hawkins passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Drifted in and out of obscurity, dividing his time between stints in prison, performing as a street performer in America, and touring Europe where his music was well-received. Repeatedly “discovered” by various producers. Best known for his 1982 album, the Bruce Bromberg-produced Watch Your Step which failed commercially but was hailed by critics ~ Hawkins was born in 1936
January 1, 1994 ~ Jazz trumpeter, cornetist Dewey Jackson passed away ~ Fixture on the St Louis jazz scene in the 1920s. An in-demand sideman, Jackson has worked with artists such as Tommy Evans, Charlie Creath, Fate Marable, Singleton Palmer, and Don Ewell. Though regarded as a legend for decades, Jackson only recorded sporadically as a leader, his Live At The Barrel 1952 album released posthumously in 2006 ~ Jackson was born in 1900
January 1, 1991 ~ Producer, manager, songwriter Samuel Ram, commonly known as Buck Ram, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ~ Produced all of the Platters recordingsm wrote or co-wrote many of their biggest hits including Only You (And You Alone), The Great Pretender, (You've Got) The Magic Touch, Twilight Time, and Enchanted. Ram also produced, wrote and arranged for artists including the Penguins, the Coasters, the Drifters, Ike & Tina Turner, Ike Cole, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Ella Fitzgerald ~ Ram was born in 1907
January 1, 1984 ~ Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner, commonly known as singer, guitarist, pianist Alexis Korner, passed away in London, UK ~ Founding father of British blues. Founded Blues Incorporated, a loose-knit group which at times included Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson, Dick Heckstall-Smith, and Cyril Davies. Formed the trio Free At Last, playing with Hughie Flint and Binky McKenzie. Formed CCS, employing both blues, blues-rock musicians and jazz players including Art Themen, Mel Collins, Lol Coxhill, Dick Morrisey, John Surman, and Mike Zwerin ~ Koerner was born in 1928
January 1, 1979 ~ Bree Joanna Alice Robinson, commonly known as punk rock, alternative rock, garage rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Brody Dalle, born in Melbourne, Australia ~ Co-founding member of the Distillers, recording three albums with the band before disbanding in 2006. Subsequently co-founded Spinnerette. Dalle has released her solo debut album, Diploid Love, in 2014
January 1, 1979 ~ Saxophonist, singer Zane Musa born in Arleta, California, USA ~ As a solo artist known for his 2005 Introducing Zane Musa album. As a sideman present on recordings by Jon Bare, Joe Firstman (The War Of Women), Phil Ranelin (Inspiration), Chris Pierce, Dave Tough, Austin Peralta, Oya, Arturo Sandoval, Natasha Agrama, and Gueorgui Linev (Moving On). Musa passed away at age 36, following a fall from a parking structure ~ Musa passed away in 2015
January 1, 1977 ~ Folk rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Patrick Park born in Morrison, Colorado, USA ~ Recorded his first demo collection in 2000, later released as The Basement Tapes, in the back of a friend's store lacking the money to use a studio. Would released a full-length Loneliness Knows My Name in 2004, aided by producer Dave Trumfio with whom he has continued to work since. Has recorded steadily to moderate commercial succes
January 1, 1975 ~ Arthur Reid, commonly known as producer, label executive Duke Reid, passed away ~ Active as a producer since the 1950s, dominated the Jamaican music scene of the 1960s specialising in ska and rocksteady. Influenced by American jazz, blues and soul and in particular by Fats Domino. Founded the Treasure Isle record label. Has worked with artists such as Stranger Cole, the Techniques, Justin Hinds, Alton Ellis, the Paragons, the Jamaicans, the Melodians, U-Roy, Dennis Alcapon, and others ~ Reid was born in 1915
January 1, 1973 ~ Walter E Rollins, commonly known as songwriter Jack Rollins, passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Best known for co-writing the Christmas classic Frosty The Snowman with Steve Nelson, first recorded by Gene Autry in 1950, and covered by hundreds of artists including Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, the Ronettes, Brenda Lee, the Jackson 5, and Lynn Anderson. Other songs co-written by Rollins include Peter Cottontail (Mervin Shiner, Jimmy Wakely, Rosemary Clooney), A Prison Without Walls (Eddy Arnold, Little Roy Wiggins), Heart Of A Clown (Wade Ray, Sammi Smith, Willie Nelson), and I Don't Hurt Anymore (Hank Snow, Dinah Washington, Janis Martin) ~ Rollins was born in 1906
January 1, 1971 ~ Saxophonist Chris Potter born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ First gained attention backing trumpeter Red Rodney. Would go on to appear on over 150 records, both as a leader and sideman, workgin with artists such as Pat Metheny, Marian McPartland, Patricia Barber, Kenny Werner, the Mingus Big Band, Paul Motian, Ray Brown, Jim Hall, James Moody, Joe Lovano, Wayne Krantz, Mike Mainieri, Steve Swallow, Steely Dan, Joanne Brackeen, David Binney, Aziza, Susannah McCorkle, John Patitucci, Renee Rosnes, Nguyên Lê, Larry Carlton, Walter Becker, and others
January 1, 1971 ~ Orchestrator, composer, songwriter Joseph J Lilley passed away in North Hollywood, California, USA ~ Best known for his work in various roles in Hollywood musicals, notably for Paramount Studios, since the early 1940s. Notable credits include Variety Girl, Mr Music, The Stooge and serving as musical director for a number of Elvis Presley films notably GI Blues, Blue Hawaii, Girls Girls Girls, and Fun In Acapulco ~ Lilley was born in 1913
January 1, 1971 ~ Evangelos-Phoebus Tassopoulos, mononymously known as laika, pop, dance, rock songwriter Phoebus, born in Athens, Greece ~ In-demand songwriter, especially during the 1990s and 2000s. Closely associated with Despina Vandi and Katy Garbi. Others who recorded his songs include Angela Dimitriou, Elli Kokkinou, Giorgos Mazonakis, Dimitris Kokotas, Thanos Petrelis, Helena Paparizou, Pashalis Terzis, Vasilis Karras, and others
January 1, 1970 ~ Floyd Holmes, commonly known as country guitarist, harmonica player Salty Holmes, passed away ~ Virtuoso on the harmonica, specializing in the style known as “talking harp” which imitated the human voice. Formed the Kentucky Ramblers in 1930, who changed their name to the Prairie Ramblers. The band is best known for their featured vocalist Patsy Montana, whom they also backed on songs such as I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart. Through a friendship with Gene Autry Holmes also appeared in several Western movies, including Arizona Days and Saddle Leather Law. Holmes was married to singer Jean Chapel from 1947 through 1956, the couple also regulars on the Grand Ole Opry as Mattie & Salty ~ Holmes was born in 1910
January 1, 1969 ~ Punk rock, alternative rock guitarist, bassist, singer John Reis born in San Diego, California, USA ~ One of the most influential figures on the San Diego punk and indie scene. Co-founding member of Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, the Hot Snakes, and PLOVSIS. Has also worked with the Sultans and the Night Marchers. Founded Swami Records, and served as producer for the likes of Superchunk, the Swingin' Neckbreakers, and the Selby Tiger
January 1, 1968 ~ Swamp-rockers the Golliwogs change their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and would go on to score over half a dozen Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits ~ The band had recorded close to two dozen singles since the mid-1960s, to little success. After changing their name the band, fronted by John Fogerty, would rise to fame with a number of critically acclaimed albums through the early 1970s, and score over half a dozen Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits including Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, and Who'll Stop The Rain
January 1, 1967 ~ Aubrey Wilson Mullican, commonly known as singer, pianist Moon Mullican, passed away in Beaumont, Texas, USA ~ Influenced by blues artists such as Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leroy Carr, and by country musicians such as Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. Dubbed “the King of the Hillbilly piano players” and hugely influential on rockabilly and country artists including Jim Reeves, Hank Williams, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and especially Jerry Lee Lewis. Worked with Leon Selph, the Blue Ridge Playboys (Ain't You Kind Of Sorry), the Texas Wanderers (Truck Driver's Blues, I'll Keep On Loving You), the Sunshine Boys, Jimmie Davis, Black Boy Shine, Floyd Tillman, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley. As a solo artist best known for late 1940s, early 1950s recordings such as The Leaves Mustn't Fall, Hey Shah, You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry, Nine Tenths Of The Tennessee River and I Was Sorta Wonderin' ~ Mullican was born in 1909
January 1, 1966 ~ Indie pop singer, guitarist, songwriter Amelia Fletcher born ~ Fronted acts such as Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap, and Catenary Wires. Keyboardist for Sportique. Sang backing vocals on early Wedding Present recordings as well as on Hefner's 2000 We Love The City album. Guested on recordings by the Pooh Sticks, the 6ths, and the Briliant Corners. Enjoys a parallel career as an economist
January 1, 1964 ~ Pop, rock band the Beach Boys record Why Do Fools Fall In Love ~ Written by Frankie Lymon and Morris Levy, originally recorded by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers in 1955. Produced by Brian Wilson. Used as the flip side of Fun Fun Fun, released the following month. Brian on lead vocals and piano, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson on harmony vocals. Session musicians would include Leon Russell, Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine, Plas Johnson, and others
January 1, 1963 ~ Drummer, guitarist, singer Michael Hanson born ~ Member of Glass Tiger from 1983 through 1988. Present on the band's first two albums, 1986's The Thin Red Line and 1988's Diamond Sun. The albums would contain the band's best known, including the singles Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone, I'm Still Searching and Diamond Sun, all of which reached top 10 in the band's native Canada
January 1, 1962 ~ Pop, rock bands the Beatles and the Tremeloes both audition for Decca Records, the label signing the latter but passing on the former ~ Though the Tremeloes did have some chart success, notably the 1963 UK No.1 Do You Love Me, in hindsight they would pale in comparison to the Beatles, who would go on to become one of the all-time most influential bands. The latter would record over a dozen songs for their audition, but the label rejected them as executives felt “guitar groups are on the way out” and “the Beatles have no future in show business”
January 1, 1962 ~ Trumpeter, producer, engineer Bob Brockmann born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Trumpeter of Brooklyn Funk Essentials. Would go on to work as a producer, engineer for artists such as the Fugees, Notorious BIG, Craig Mack, Toni Braxton, Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, Cee Lo Green, Soulive, Brian McKnight, Christina Aguilera (Mi Reflejo), Brandy, Mary J Blige, Faith Hill, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Kirk Franklin (The Nu Nation Project), and others
January 1, 1961 ~ Allan Mark Whalley, commonly known as guitarist, singer Boff Whalley, born in Bumley, UK ~ Co-founding member, lead guitarist of anarcho-punk, folk band Chumbawamba, best known for their 1997 Tubthumping UK top 10 hit. Following his departure in 2012 Whalley has worked with the Commoners Choir
January 1, 1961 ~ Singer Brenda Lee records You Can Depend On Me ~ Written by Charles Carpenter, Louis Dunlap, Earl Hines. Previously recorded by Count Basie, Lester Young, Nat King Cole. Produced by Owen Bradley. Released as a single the following March, paired with It's Never Too Late on the B-side
January 1, 1960 ~ Rock, hard rock, glam metal, progressive rock bassist Allen McKenzie born in Columbus, Ohio, USA ~ Member of Foxx, with whom he recorded the albums Foxx and Stick It Out. Member of Quest, expanding his role to singing, keyboards, and songwriting. Member of Peacetree, with whom he recorded three albums. McKenzie has also toured with Warrant-singer Jani Lane, prior to joining Firehouse in 2003
January 1, 1960 ~ Post-punk guitarist, bassist John Waddington born ~ Founded short-lived punk band the Boyfriends at age 17, serving as the band's singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter. Rose to fame as a member of the Pop Group, known for the albums Y and For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder. Following the band's initial disbandement joined post-punk outfit Maximum Joy, appearing on the 1982 Station MXJY album. Waddington has also worked with the New Age Steppers, Playgroup, Judy Nylon, Perfume, and Lily Allen ~ Waddington passed away in 2023
January 1, 1959 ~ Singer Vernessa Mitchell, full name Vernessa Ann Mitchell, born in Columbus, Georgia, USA ~ Discovered at age 16 by Berry Gordy Jr. Lead singer of R&B outfit High Inergy, present on the band's first two albums including the hit single You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On) which reached top 20 Billboard Hot 100 and top 10 Billboard R&B. As a solo artist Mitchell would become known as a gospel and dance singer, releasing her well-received This Is My Story debut album in 1985 and its follow-up Higher Ground two years later. Well known solo songs included Rise And Shine, Trust In The Lord, Stand Up And Be Counted, You Took My Life, and others
January 1, 1958 ~ David Wayne Carnell, commonly known as hard rock, heavy metal singer, songwriter David Wayne, born in Renton, Washington, USA ~ Influenced by Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford. Lead singer for speed metal, thrash metal outfit the Metal Church from 1982 through 1988, best known for their eponymous 1984 Metal Church debut album. Also formed and fronted Reverend, especially acclaimed for their 1991 Play God album ~ Carnell passed away in 2005
January 1, 1958 ~ Hip-hop, breakbeat, funk, electro DJ Grandmaster Flash born in Bridgetown, Barbados ~ Pioneering hip DJ, credited with inventing the cross-fader. Best known for his work with Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, especially Superrappin', The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel, Scorpio and their best-known 1982's The Message, all widely considered hugely influential classics defining the genre
January 1, 1956 ~ Martin Edward Murphy, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Martin Plaza, born in Sydney, Australia ~ Co-founding member, lead singer, guitarist of new wave outfit Mental As Anything, known for hits such as If You Leave Me Can I Come Too, Too Many Times and Live It Up. As a solo artist scored a mid-1980s hit with his Unit 4+2-cover Concrete And Clay. Has also worked with acts such as the Rock Party, the Stetsons, Beatfish, Moondog, and others
January 1, 1956 ~ Soul, funk, R&B singer Michael Wycoff born in Torrance, California, USA ~ Sang backup on Stevie Wonder's landmark album Songs In The Key Of Life released in 1976. As a solo artist scored a handful of moderate early 1980s hits on the Billboard R&B charts, his best-known being Tell Me Love taken of his third and final album On The Line released in 1983. Also known for the Evelyn Champagne King-duet Can We Be Friends. Although his albums were critically acclaimed sales remained low. Wycoff would struggle with alcohol and drugs addiction, eventually ending up homeless, but found his way back through his faith and ultimately became a Minister of Music working with several Los Angeles area churches ~ Wycoff passed away in 2019
January 1, 1954 ~ Drummer Richard Edson born in New Rochelle, New York, USA ~ Founding member of art rock band the Alterboys. Original drummer of Sonic Youth, present only on the band's 1982 eponymous Sonic Youth debut EP. Member of Konk. Also known as actor, appearing in over 30 films
January 1, 1953 ~ Seydou Koné, commonly known as reggae singer Alpha Blondy, born in Dimbokro, Ivory Coast ~ Debuted in 1982 with the album Jah Glory. Sings in Dioula, French and English. Known for his politcally and socially motivated songs, often with a spiritual or positive feel. Sometimes referred to as “the Bob Marley of Africa”
January 1, 1953 ~ Jazz guitarist Greg Carmichael born ~ Best known as member of jazz group Acoustic Alchemy, which he co-founded with steel guitarist Nick Webb. The band has recorded over a dozen albums since their inception in 1987, and is especially acclaimed for the albums Red Dust And Spanish Lace, The New Edge, and Arcanum, the latter recorded with the string section of the London Metropolitan Orchestra
January 1, 1953 ~ Singer, songwriter Hank Williams passed away in Oak Hill, West Virginia, USA ~ Despite a relatively short career, ended abruptly by his untimely death, one of the most important and influential singers and songwriters of the 20th century. Known for classics such as Hey Good Looking, Your Cheatin' Heart, and I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Williams never learned to read music ~ Williams was born in 1923
January 1, 1953 ~ Bassist Roscoe Beck, full name Charles Roscoe Beck, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Formed the 1970s R&B fusion outfit Passenger. Has also worked with artists such as Robben Ford as well as with Robben Ford & the Blue Line, with Eric Johnson, Leonard Cohen (Recent Songs), the Dixie Chicks, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, and others. Produced Jennifer Warnes' 1987 album Famous Blue Raincoat, a collection of Cohen covers
January 1, 1952 ~ Folk singer, songwriter David Rodriguez, full name David Roland Rodriguez, born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Influenced by Lightnin' Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt, Lydia Mendoza, Jerry Jeff Walker. Actively recording since the early 1990s. Best known for his 1992 release The True Cross. His composition The Ballad Of The Snow Leopard And The Tanqueray Cowboy would be covered by both Lyle Lovett and Melissa Greener ~ Rodriguez passed away in 2015
January 1, 1951 ~ Double bassist Andy Gonz├ílez born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Brother of trumpeter, percussionist Jerry González, with whom he regularly worked including in Conjuncto Libre co-founded by the siblings. An in-demand sideman from the 1970s onward, González has also appeared on albums by Chico O'Farrill, Ray Barretto (Together), George Benson, Eddie Palmieri (Superimposition), Harlem River Drive, Charlie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria (Ubane), David Amram, Ismael Miranda, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Patato Valdés, Daniel Ponce, David Byrne (Rei Momo), Kenny Kirkland, Hilton Ruiz, Justo Betancourt, Charlie Sepulveda (Algo Nuestro (Our Thing)), Steve Turre, Conrad Herwig, Tom Harrell, Ronny Jordan (A Brighter Day), Jack Bruce, and Of Montreal ~ Gonzalez passed away in 2020
January 1, 1951 ~ Jazz drummer Shuihi Murakami born in Nishinomiya, Japan ~ Leader and sideman. Founded Ponta Box also featuring Masahiro Sayama and Masatoshi Mizuno. Worked extensively as s session musician in the 1970s and 1980s. Has collaborated with a host of jazz artists including Sadao Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Kazumi Watanabe, Akira Sakata, Takashi Kako, and others
January 1, 1950 ~ Keyboardist Morgan Fisher, full name Stephen Morgan Fisher, born in London, UK ~ Best known as a member of Mott The Hoople from 1973 through 1976. Present on the albums Mott and The Hoople, released respectively in 1973 and 1974. Has also recorded prolifically as a solo artist since the early 1970s and has worked with Love Affair, Morgan, Hybrid Kids, the Third Ear Band, the British Lions, Lol Coxhill, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Portmanteau, Tom Guerra, and others
January 1, 1950 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter,producer Steve Ripley was born in Boise, Idaho, USA ~ Active since the mid-1970s. Best known as co-founding member and frontman of mid-1990s country outfit the Tractors. Has also worked as a producer, recording engineer and studio musician with artists such as Bob Dylan (Shot Of Love), JJ Cale (Shades, 8, Roll On), Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Roy Clark. Founded Ripley Guitars in 1982, building guitars for Steve Lukather, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Buffett, Eddie Van Halen, and others ~ Ripley passed away in 2019
January 1, 1949 ~ Progressive rock keyboardist Joe Vescovi born in Savona, Italy ~ One of the most valued artists in Italian progressive rock known for his energetic stage presence, eccentric clothing and virtuoso keyboard playing. Active since his mid-teens. Best known for his work with the Trip, replacing Ritchie Blackmore who departed the band to join Deep Purple, and with Dik-Dik, one of the all-time favorite Italian rock bands ~ Vescovi passed away in 2014
January 1, 1948 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Louis Chédid born in Ismailia, Egypt ~ Father of rock singer Matthieu Chedid. Influenced by Django Reinhardt. Best known for songs such as La Belle, T'As Beau Pas être Beau, Ainsi Soit-il, Anne Ma Soeur Anne. As a songwriter also worked on the 2006 fairytale musical Le Soldat Rose, its songs covered by a wide array of artists including Vanessa Paradis, Jeanne Cherhal, Francis Cabrel, Alain Souchon and Bénabar
January 1, 1947 ~ Singer, keyboardist, songwriter Leon Patillo, full name Leon Norman Patillo, born in San Francisco, California, USA ~ Best known as solo artist, focusing on Contemporary Christian music, and as frontman of funk outfit Leon's Creation. Has occasionally worked with Funkadelic, Martha & the Vandellas, and with Santana, appearing on the latter's Borboletta and Festival albums
January 1, 1945 ~ Georgette Adjoavi Bellow, commonly known as singer Bella Bellow, born in Tsévié, Togo ~ Released her sole album, Rockya, in 1969 consisting of a live set recorded in Paris. Has also worked with Manu Dibango, Angélique Kidjo, and Afia Mala. Bellow passed away at age 28 in a car crash ~ Bellow passed away in 1973
January 1, 1945 ~ Robert Nathan Sheff, commonly known as avant-garde pianist, composer Gene Tyranny or Blue Gene Tyranny, born in San Antonio, Texas, USA ~ Well over a dozen albums to his name, especially acclaimed for Country Boy Country Dog (How To Discover Music In The Sounds Of Your Daily Life album. Closely associated with Robert Ashley, appearing on over half a dozen of Ashley's albums. Toured with Carla Bley and with Iggy Pop. Has also guested on albums by Peter Laurence Gordon (Star Jaws), David van Tieghem, Laurie Anderson, and Philip Krumm (Formations) ~ Sheff passed away in 2020
January 1, 1943 ~ Blues, blues-rock singer Chris Youlden, full name Christopher Thomas Youlden, born in Dagenham, UK ~ Best known as a member of Savoy Brown from 1967 through 1970. Has since released a number of solo albums, starting with Nowhere Road released in 1973
January 1, 1943 ~ Singer, guitarist Soledad Bravo born in Logroño, Spain ~ Considered one of the finest voices in Latin America, enjoying popularity especially in her adopted homeland Venezuela. Released her Soledad Bravo Canta debut album in 1968. Best known for her rendition of Hasta Siempre. Has collaborated with Atahualpa Yupanqui, Gilberto Gil, ad others
January 1, 1942 ~ Joseph Allen McDonald, commonly known as rock singer Country Joe McDonald born in El Monte, California, USA ~ Lead singer, frontman of psychedelic rock band Country Joe & the Fish, known best for songs such as I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag, The Fish Cheer and Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, and especially for the 1967 Electric Music For The Mind And Body album which stands as one of the most enduring works of the counterculture era
January 1, 1941 ~ Amar Ait Zal, commonly known as singer, mandole player Amar Ezzahi, born in Ain-el-Hammam, Algeria ~ Despite shunning the media and having given only one concert during his entire career, preferring to perform in open spaces like cafes and terraces, Ezzahi would become a figurehead of Chaabi, the traditional music of Algiers. His stature was such that upon his death Azzedine Mihoubi, then-Minister of Culture, would visit the family house to console the next of kin and pay hommage to Ezzahi. Ezzahi is known for songs such as Zinouba, Yal Adra, Aadrouni Yahli, and Ghada Kasek ~ Ezzahi passed away in 2016
January 1, 1941 ~ Marshall Eugene Jones, commonly known as R&B, funk bassist Marshall Rock Jones, born in Dayton, Ohio, USA ~ Original member of the Ohio Untouchables, eventually renamed to the Ohio Players. Jones remained with the band through 1984 and is present on the band's Fire and Love Rollercoaster Billboard Hot 100 charttoppers ~ Jones passed away in 2016
January 1, 1933 ~ Drummer, bandleader Hideo Shiraki born in Tokyo, Japan ~ Famed for his hard bop beginnings in the 1950s venturing into fusing world music with jazz. Employed sidemen such as Hidehiko Matsumoto, Terumasa Hino, Yuzura Sera. Especially acclaimed for his 1961 album In Fiesta and his 1965 album Sakura Sakura. Has guested on Toshiko Akiyoshi's 1961 album Toshiko Meets Her Old Pals and accompanied John Coltrane on his 1996 Japanese tour ~ Shiraki passed away in 1972
January 1, 1932 ~ Opera conductor Giuseppe Patanè born in Naples, Italy ~ Son of conductor Franco Patanè. Best known as chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1985 to 1989. Suffered a heart attack while conducting The Barber Of Seville at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and passed away the same day at the hospital ~ Patanè passed away in 1989
January 1, 1932 ~ Jazz, classical pianist Jack Reilly, full name Jack Aloysius Reilly, born in Staten Island, New York, USA ~ A musician's musician, higly admired by peers but never earning much public recognition. About a dozen albums to his name, particularly noted for November and Masks. Has collaborated with the likes of John LaPorta, Lennie Tristano, George Russell, Carol Lian, and Bill Charlap ~ Reilly passed away in 2018
January 1, 1931 ~ Country pianist, singer Bobbie Nelson, full name Bobbie Lee Nelson, born in Abbott, Texas, USA ~ Married to singer, comedian Bud Fletcher, with whom she also worked, until the mid-1950s after which the band dissolved. Best known as member of her brother Willie Nelson's backing unit on tour and record, including on pivotal albums such as Shotgun Willie, Red Headed Stranger and The Willie Nelson Family. Released her first solo album, Audiobiography, in 2008 at age 76 mainly consisting of ragtime standards alongside her brother's Crazy reimagined as a lounge number ~ Nelson passed away in 2022
January 1, 1931 ~ Percussionist Manny Oquendo born ~ Worked with Eddie Palmieri, Carlos Valero, Luis del Campo, Juan El Boy Torres, Chano Pozo, Jose Budet, Juanito Sanabria, Marcelino Guerra, Jose Curbelo, Pupi Campo, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Vicentico Valldes, Conjunto Liber, Andy González, Eddie Palmieri, Paul Quinichette, and others ~ Oquendo passed away in 2009
January 1, 1930 ~ Jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist Ack van Rooyen ~ Brother of trumpeter Jerry van Rooyen with whom he also worked. Has also played with Ernst van 't Hoff, Aimé Barelli, Kenny Clarke, Lucky Thompson, the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, Hans Koller, Bert Kaempfert, Ake Persson, Volker Kriegel, Charly Antolini, Friedrich Gulda, Slide Hampton, and Eberhard Weber ~ Van Rooyen passed away in 2021
January 1, 1926 ~ Composer, flutist Claire Pollin born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Her teachers included Vincent Persichetti, Lukas Foss, Roger Sessions, and Peter Mennin. Her works were performed by the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Bach Society, London Pro-Musica Antiqua, and others. ~ Polin passed away in 1995
January 1, 1923 ~ Ray Cline, commonly known as bluegrass fiddler Curly Ray Cline, born in Mingo County, West Virginia, USA ~ Formed the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers with his cousin Ezra Cline and brother Ned Cline. Also worked with Jimmy Martin, the Sunny Mountain Boys, Bobby Osborne, the Stanley Brothers, Hobo Jack Adkins and extensively with Ralph Stanley as a member of Stanley's backing unit the Clinch Mountain Boys. Has released over a dozen solo albums, starting with Fiddle in 1969 ~ Cline passed away in 1997
January 1, 1923 ~ Vibraphonist Milt Jackson born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Revolutionized the vibraphone. Long-time member of the Modern Jazz Quartet. As a leader or co-leader especially acclaimed for albums such as Jackson's Ville, Bags & Trane with John Coltrane, Bags' Opus, and Sunflower. Also present on albums by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk (The Genius Of Modern Music Vol.1), Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Hank Mobley, Quincy Jones (This Is How I Feel About Jazz), Charlie Parker, Miles Davis (Porgy & Bess), and Ray Charles ~ Jackson passed away in 1999
January 1, 1923 ~ Pablo Rodriguez Lozada, commonly known as singer, bandleader Tito Rodriguez, born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, USA ~ Lovingly dubbed “El Involvidable” (The Unforgettable One) by his fans, a moniker based on his most popular song. Sang under the tutelage of his brother, Johnny Rodriguez, before embarking on a solo career. In the 1940s the brothers moved to New York where Tito worked as a percussionist and singer for Eric Madriguerea, and later Xavier Cugat. In the 1950s, to great success Tito directed his own groups, recording mambos, cha-cha-cha, boleros, sones, guaraches and pachangas ~ Rodríguez passed away in 1973
January 1, 1922 ~ Felix Manuel Rodriguez, commonly known as singer, songwriter Bobby Capó, born in Coama, Puerto Rico ~ Merged ballads with classical music also drawing from folk and world music. Best known for songs such as El Negro Bembon, Capo Sin Fe and perhaps his best-known Piel Canela ~ Capó passed away in 1989
January 1, 1919 ~ Jazz double bassist Al McKibbon born ~ Worked with Lucky Millinder, Tab Smith, JC Heard, and Coleman Hawkins before taking over for Ray Brown in Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra in 1947, remaining for three years. In the 1950s McKibbon played with Miles Davis, Earl Hines, Count Basie, Johnny Hodges, Thelonious Monk, George Shearing, Cal Tjader, Nat Adderley, and with Herbie Nichols. During the 1960s he appeared as sideman on albums by Lorez Alexandria, Sonny Criss, Charles Kynard, Jack Wilson, the Jazz Crusaders, and Shuggie Otis (Here Comes Shuggie). He also played on Randy Newman's 1970 critically acclaimed sophomore LP 12 Songs. McKibbon would continue to perform until 2004 ~ McKibbon passed away in 2004
January 1, 1913 ~ Big bandleader, pianist, accordionist, conductor, composer Eric Winstone born in London, UK ~ Best known for entertaining the British troups during World War II. Once ordered by a judge to stop playing the piano each day at 6pm in his home in order not to disturb his wife and young daughter. Four months later his wife filed for judicial separation ~ Winstone passed away in 1974
January 1, 1912 ~ Saxophonist, percussionist Svein Overgaard, full name Svein Arne Overgaard, born in Kristiana, Norway ~ Member of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. As a musician worked with Fred Lange-Nielsen, Per Gregersen, Finn Westbye, Arvid Gram Paulsen, Pete Brown, Einar Gustavsen, Robert Normann, and others ~ Øvergaard passed away in 1986
January 1, 1908 ~ Pianist Eileen Joyce, full name Eileen Alannah Joyce, born in Zeehan, Australia ~ Popular in the 1930s and 1940s and at her peak compared in popular esteem to Gracie Fields and Vera Lynn. Drew comparisons to Clara Schumann, Sophie Menter and Teresa Carreño ~ Joyce passed away in 1991
January 1, 1908 ~ Howard William Johnson, commonly known as swing alto saxophonist Howard Johnson, born ~ Member of the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band. Member of the Savoy Sultans. Also worked with Billy Cato, James P Johnson, Fess Williams, Benny Carter, Teddy Hill, Claude Hopkins, Maxine Sullivan, Dizzy Gillespie, Red Norvo, Bessie Smith, Panama Francis, and others ~ Johnson passed away in 1991
January 1, 1906 ~ Songwriter Giovanni D'Anzi born in Milan, Italy ~ Frequent collaborator of Alfredo Bracchi, working prolifically for radio, film and stage from the 1930s through the 1950s. The pair is responsible for songs such as Lina Termini's Ma L'Amore No, Tony Dallara's Bambina Innamorata and Carlo Buti's Ti Diro. Other artists who recorded their songs include Caterina Valente, Ornella Vanoni, Gigliola Cinquetti, Nicola Arigliano, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, and others ~ D'Anzi passed away in 1974
January 1, 1904 ~ Dance bandleader, saxophonist Orville Knapp born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA ~ As a sideman worked with Vincent Lopez, Leo Reisman, the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra. As a bandleader enjoyed popularity in the 1930s employing vocalists such as Edith Caldwell, Ray Hendricks, Don Raymond, Norman Ruvell, Virginia Verrill, and Leighton Noble. Married Broadway actress, singer Gloria Grafton in 1935. Knapp died the following year at age 32 in a plane crash ~ Knapp passed away in 1936
January 1, 1900 ~ Bandleader, violinist, arranger Xavier Cugat born in Girona, Spain ~ Leading figure in Latin music. Led the resident orchestra at the the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, and owned and operated a restaurant in West Hollywood, California, shuttling between the two for some 30 years. His orchestra included musicians such as Desi Arnaz, Abbe Lane, Tito Rodriguez, Yma Sumac, and Miguelito Valdes, many of whom going on to become stars in their own right ~ Cugat passed away in 1990
January 1, 1896 ~ Estelle Harris, commonly known as blues, boogie-woogie singer Estelle Yancey, born in Cairo, Illinois, USA ~ Began singing in church choirs in her youth. Married to boogie-woogie pianist Jimmy Yancey from 1925 until his death in 1951, the couple recording several notable blues songs including Make Me A Pallet On The Floor, Four O'Clock Blues, Monkey Woman Blues, Santa Fe Blues, and How Long Blues. After Jimmy's death Estelle would continue to perform and record, working with pianists such as Don Ewell, Art Hodes, and Erwin Helfer ~ Harris passed away in 1986
January 1, 1895 ~ Singer, pianist, songwriter Art Gillham born in St Louis, Missouri, USA ~ Considered one of the very first crooners, known for songs such as Angry, I'm Confessing, Shine On Harvest Moon, I'd Climb The Highest Mountain, Cecilia, I'm Waiting For Ships That Never Come In, Thinking and Tenderly ~ Gillham passed away in 1961
January 1, 1894 ~ Jazz drummer, percussionist Jasper Taylor born in Texarkana, Arkansas, USA ~ Perhaps best known for Don't Eat At Jasper's and Stockyard Strut, both self-penned. After working the minstrel shows and theaters in Mexico and the Southern USA, including stints with WC Handy on whom he would be influential, and Jelly Roll Morton, relocated to Chicago by the late 1910s where he would become a fixture on the local jazz scene. Led the the Chicago Novelty Orchesta, formed a trio with Dave Peyton and Fess Williams, and has notably collaborated with Will Marion Cook, Clarence Williams, and Natty Dominique ~ Taylor passed away in 1964
January 1, 1891 ~ Jazz pianist, songwriter Henry Ragas born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Best known as founder of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, often considered to be the first jazz ensemble. Present on recordings such as Bluin' The Blues, Clarinet Marmalade, At The Jazz Band Ball, Sensation Rag, and perhaps their best-known Tiger Rag. Died in the 1919 flu epidemic. The band would continue with J Russell Robinson taking Ragas' place ~ Ragas passed away in 1919
January 1, 1888 ~ Guitarist, singer, songwriter Frank Stokes born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, USA ~ Generally considered to be the father of the Memphis blues guitar style. Influenced Memphis Minnie. Known for songs such as Chicken You Can't Roost Too High For Me, Mr Crump Don't Like It, You Shall Be Free, and Hey Mourner, often teaming up with either Dan Sane or Will Batts ~ Stokes passed away in 1955