This Day In Music: January 31
January 30 ~ Birthdays/All ~ February 1
January 31, 2023 ~ Singer Charlie Thomas passed away ~ When music manager George Treadwell fired his group in 1958, the entire line-up of the the Five Crowns including Thomas would be hired to constitute the new line-up of the Drifters. Sang lead on Sweets For My Sweet and When My Little Girl Is Smiling ~ Thomas was born in 1937
January 31, 2021 ~ Greenwood Mkandawire, commonly known as jazz, gospel, soul, world music singer, guitarist Wambali Mkandawire, passed away in Lilongwe, Malawi ~ Influenced by Congolese rhythms, South African music and Western pop. Lead singer of Sounds Pentagon, merging Malawian music with Western influences. Sang gospel with New Song in the mid-1980s. Active as a solo artist since the late 1980s. Best known for the album Zani Muwone, released in 2002 ~ Mkandawire was born in 1952
January 31, 2018 ~ Leah Labelle Vladowski, commonly known as singer Leah Labelle, passed away in Studio City, California, USA ~ Sang in the Total Experience Gospel Choir during childhood. Finalist in third season of American Idol in 2004. Backup singer for Keri Hilson. Robin Thicke, Jordin Sparks, the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Eric Benét, and others. Released a sole solo album, Pharrel Williams & Jermain Dupri Present Leah Labelle, in 2012 ~ Vladowski was born in 1986
January 31, 2017 ~ Roger Arnold Leonard, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Deke Leonard, passed away ~ Took his stage name from Deke Rivers, the character played by Elvis Presley in his 1957 Loving You film. Member of the Bystanders. Joined and left progressive rock group Man several times. Formed, fronted, disbanded, reformed his own Iceberg several times ~ Leonard was born in 1944
January 31, 2017 ~ Rock, progressive rock, hard rock, pop rock singer, bassist, guitarist, songwriter John Wetton, full name John Kenneth Wetton, passed away in Bournemouth, UK ~ Best known for his work with King Crimson, UK, and especially Asia, serving as one of the latter's main songwriters often in partnership with Geoff Downes. In-demand sideman and collaborator. Has worked with the Family, Roxy Music (Viva), Uriah Heep, Brian Eno (Here Come The Warm Jets), Wishbone Ash, Phil Manzanera, Bryan Ferry, Mogul Thrash, Gordon Haskell, Peter Sinfield, Steve Hackett, Phenomena, Icon, Ayreon, Renaissance, and others ~ Wetton was born in 1949
January 31, 2016 ~ Hardcore punk, post-hardcore, emo, indie rock, rock singer, songwriter Jon Bunch, full name Jonathan James Esbern Bunch, passed away in Long Beach, California, USA ~ Best known for fronting post-hardcore outfit Sense Field and rock band Further Seems Forever. Has also worked with War Generation, Lucky Scars, Reason To Believe (Save Yourself), and Fields Forever ~ Bunch was born in 1970
January 31, 2015 ~ Donald James Randolph, commonly known as R&B, rock & roll, soul, pop singer, songwriter Don Covay, passed away in Franklin Square, New York, USA ~ Songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Chubby Checker, the Rolling Stones (Mercy Mercy), Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Etta James, Otis Redding, Little Richard (I Don't Known What You Got But It's Got Me), Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Solomon Burke (I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You), Connie Francis, Steppenwolf, Bobby Womack, Gladys Knight (Letter Full Of Tears), Wilson Pickett, the Small Faces, Grant Green, Aretha Franklin (Chain Of Fools), and Peter Wolf ~ Covay was born in 1936
January 31, 2010 ~ At the 52nd Grammy Awards singer Taylor Swift, then aged 20, becomes the youngest person to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her Fearless album ~ Swift had received eight nominations, and won four awards. Besides Album of the Year, Fearless also won Best Country Album. Swift's other two wins were Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song, both for White Horse. Other major winners of the night included Beyoncé, with ten nominations and six awards, breaking the record for most wins by a female artist in one night, and Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, and the Kings Of Leon, who each won three Grammy Awards
January 31, 2009 ~ Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff, commonly known as pop, rock, country drummer Dewey Martin, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of Buffalo Springfield, known best for their Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit For What It's Worth. Has previously sessioned for artists such as Carl Perkins, the Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich, Faron Young, Roy Orbison. Also worked with Sir Raleigh & the Coupons, Holy Mackerel, the Standells, the Modern Folk Quartet, the Dillards, and others ~ Midkiff was born in 1940
January 31, 2007 ~ Kirill Babitzin, commonly known as rock, hard rock, pop singer Kirka, passed away in Helsinki, Finland ~ One of the most popular Finnish rock, pop singers with a career spanning four decades starting in the late 1960s. Has worked with the Creatures, the Islanders (Hetki Iyo), the Blues Section, Mosaic, Sarcofagus, and others. His 1988 Surun Pyyhit Silmistani solo album would become one of the best-selling albums in Finnish pop, rock history. Outside Scandinavia perhaps best known for representing Finland at the 1984 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 9th place with the song Henaillaan ~ Babitzin was born in 1950
January 31, 2006 ~ Punk rock, hardcore punk, skate punk singer Jason Sears, full name Jason Kemper Sears, passed away ~ Best known as co-founding member of Rich Kids On LSD, a band initially associated with the nardcore scene yet over time expanding to West Coast hardcore drawing from rock and heavy metal. The band is well known for their 1987 Rock 'n Roll Nightmare album ~ Sears was born in 1968
January 31, 1981 ~ Singer, songwriter Justin Timberlake born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Most successful singer to emerge from boy band NSYNC's line-up. Released his Justified solo debut album in 2002 and has consistently reached the higher echelons of the charts since. Known for songs such as Cry Me A River, Rock Your Body, SexyBack featuring Timbaland, My Love featuring TI, What Goes Around Comes Around, Suit And Tie featuring Jay-Z, Mirrors, Can't Stop The Feeling and Say Something featuring Chris Stapleton. Has also collaborated with Reba McEntire (The Only Promise That Remains), Beyoncé, Esmée Denters, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent (Ayo Technology), Madonna, Ciara, Black Eyed Peas, Meek Mill, and others
January 31, 1981 ~ Country singer, songwriter Scotty Wiseman, full name Scott Greene Wiseman, passed away in Gainesville, Florida, USA ~ Formed the duo Lulu Belle & Scotty with his wife Lulu Belle, one of the most popular country acts of the 1930s and 1940s. The duo lovingly dubbed “the Sweethearts of Country Music” are best known for Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, written by Wiseman and recorded by well over 150 artists including Tex Ritter, Bing Crosby, Eddie Cochran, Jim Reeves, Elvis Presley, Patti Page, Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr, Roger Whittaker, and others ~ Wiseman was born in 1909
January 31, 1981 ~ Singer, actress, TV presenter Yulia Nachalova, full name Yulia Viktorivna Nachalova, born in Voronezh, Russia ~ About half a dozen albums to her name since the mid-1990s. Married to singer Dmitry Lanskoy from 2001 to 2004, with whom she collaborated on the Russian hit Lyubov Raketa. Best known for her signature song Geroy Moego Romano ~ Nachalova passed away in 2019
January 31, 1979 ~ Jazz guitarist, composer Grant Green passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Father of Grant Green Jr. Green Senior was influenced by Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Jimmy Raney. Has recorded extensively, both as a leader and as a sideman. Made his first recordings in 1959 backing Jimmy Forrest with Elvin Jones on drums (the LPs All The Gin Is Gone and Black Forrest). Has also backed artists such as Sam Lazar, Willie Dixon, Brother Jack McDuff, Baby Face Willette, Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Lou Donaldson, Ike Quebec, Horace Parlan, Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Wild Bill Davis, Reuben Wilson, Houston Person, and others. As a leader Green has recorded since the early 1960s, mostly for Blue Note Records, up to his death ~ Green was born in 1935
January 31, 1977 ~ Jazz bassist, composer Per Zanussi born in Oslo, Norway ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with the Zanussi Five, Hamid Drake, Louis Moholo, Paal Nilssen-Love, Bobby Bradford, Sabir Mateen, Franklin Kiermeyer, Stephen O'Malley, Axel Dörner, Peter Wettre, Fred Lonberg Holm, Bugge Wesseltoft, Mats Gustafsson, Kjetil Moster, Kevin Norton, Ivar Grydeland, Ernesto Rodriguez, Tetuzi Akiyama, Havard Wilk, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Frode Gjerstad, the Jazzmob, Jon Eberson, Marilyn Crispell, Mette Henriette, and others
January 31, 1976 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter, author Evert Taube, full name Axel Evert Taube, passed away in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Considered Sweden's premier troubadour carrying the torch of the Swedish ballad tradition in the 20th century. Known for songs such as Calle Schewens Vals, Brevet Från Lillan, Änglamark, Sjösala Vals and Så Långe Skutan Kan Gå. Artists such as Roger Whittaker, Sven-Bertil Taube, Martin Best and Emily Melcher have recorded English versions of his songs ~ Taube was born in 1890
January 31, 1970 ~ Amelia Fiona Driver, commonly known as actress, singer, songwriter Minnie Driver, born in Marylebone, UK ~ Best known as an actress for film and TV. As a singer was a member of the Milo Roth Band, sang backup on Bomb The Bass's 1994 Clear album, and has released a number of solo recordings, most notably 2007's Seastones album featuring guests such as Ryan Adams, the Cardinals and Liz Phair
January 31, 1970 ~ James Isaac More, commonly known as blues harpist, singer Slim Harpo, passed away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA ~ Leading exponent of the swamp blues. Influenced by Jimmy Reed. Best known for songs such as I'm A King Bee, Raining In My Heart, Scratch My Back, Shake Your Hips, and I Got Love If You Want It. Much covered by many of the British Invasion acts early in their career, including the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, Pink Floyd, and Them ~ Moore was born in 1924
January 31, 1967 ~ Victor Macoggi, commonly known as roots rock, alternative rock, blues harpist, guitarist, singer Little Victor, born in Rome, Italy ~ Best known for his association with Louisiana Red, collaborating on the albums Back To The Black Bayou and Memphis Mojo. Also worked with Alex Chilton, Hubert Sumlin, Harpdog Brown, Charlie White, Rusty Zinn, Carl Sonny Leyland, Kim Wilson, the Panther Burns, the Mighty Lo-Fi Kings, and others. As a solo artist best known for his acclaimed Deluxe Lo-Fi album, released in 2018
January 31, 1964 ~ Heavy metal guitarist, singer Jeff Hanneman, full name Jeffrey John Hanneman, born in Oakland, California, USA ~ Influenced by Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Minor Threat and the Dead Kennedys. Hanneman would rise to fame as co-lead guitarist of Slayer, the band considered one of “the Big Four” of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Hanneman has recorded about a dozen albums with the band since its inception in the early 1980s, and wrote songs for every Slayer album until his death at age 49 of liver failure ~ Hanneman passed away in 2013
January 31, 1963 ~ R&B singer Marvin Gaye releases his That Stubborn Kinda Fellow sophomore album ~ Although the album itself did not chart, it gave Gaye his first chart success with three out of four of the album's singles becoming hits. Hitch Hike reached top 20 Billboard R&B. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow and Pride & Joy both reached top 10 on the same chart, with the latter also hitting top 10 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. Like the majority of the album, all three hit singles were co-written by Gaye. All three also featured Martha & the Vandellas as backing singers, singer Martha Reeves later recalled that upon first meeting Gaye of how shy he was, but as he he took off his hat and glasses and started singing she immediately had a crush on him
January 31, 1961 ~ Jazz, funk, soul, pop trumpeter, composer, arranger Rüdiger Baldauf born in Bensberg, Germany ~ Classically trained. In-demand session, touring musician and collaborator. Member of the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble from 1999 through 2002. Has also worked with James Brown, Liza Minnelli, Seal, Shirley Bassey, Michael Bublé, Maceo Parker, Joe Zawinul, Udo Jürgens, Bernard Pretty Purdie. Released his Own Style solo debut album in 2010
January 31, 1959 ~ Rock, jazz fusion drummer Jeff Sipe, full name Jeffery Lee Sipe, born in Berlin, West Germany ~ Founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit. Also closely associated with Leftover Salmon and the Zambiland Orchestra. Has collaborated with Trey Anastasio, Jeff Coffin, Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes, Keller Williams, Jonas Hellborg, Susan Tedeschi, Bruce Hampton, Drew Emmitt, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Jazz Is Dead, and others
January 31, 1959 ~ Progressive rock keyboardist Mickey Simmonds, full name Michael John Simmonds, born in Chesterfield, UK ~ Session musician, arranger, composer best known for his association with Mike Oldfield, Renaissance, Camel, Fish. Has also worked with Joan Armatrading, Paul Young, the Rutles, Art Garfunkel, Kiki Dee, Mastermind, Elkie Brooks, Judie Tzuke, Bucks Fizz, Jennifer Rush, the Bonzo Dog Band, and others
January 31, 1956 ~ John Lydon, commonly known as singer, songwriter Johnny Rotten born in Finsbury, UK ~ Lead singer of pivotal punk group the Sex Pistols, known for their landmark Never Mind The Bollocks (Here's The Sex Pistols) album. Subsequently fronted Public Image Ltd, scoring the UK top 20 hits Public Image, Death Disco, This Is Not A Love Song and Rise. Guested on Time Zone's 1984 single World Destruction, an early example of rap rock also featuring Afrika Bambaataa and Bill Laswell
January 31, 1955 ~ Ford Lee Washington, commonly known as vaudevillian, pianist, singer Buck Washington, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Formed the duo Buck & Bubbles with John W Bubbles, reportedly becoming the first black artists to appear on TV anywhere in the world performing at the Alexandra Palace in November 1936 aired by the BBC. Washington is also known for backng artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Coleman Hawkins ~ Washington was born in 1903
January 31, 1955 ~ Vocal group Somethin' Smith & the Redheads release their It's A Sin To Tell A Lie single, paired with My Baby Just Cares For Me on the B-side ~ Originally written by Billy Mayhew and first recorded by Freddy Ellis in 1936. Popularized by pianist Fats Waller who recorded the song the same year. The vocal trio would make it their biggest hit, reaching top 10 on the pop charts in 1955. Over the years, the song has been recorded by about an estimated hundred artists including Billie Holiday, Patti Page, Big Maybelle, Pat Boone, Tony Bennett, Bobby Vinton, Steve Goodman, and John Denver
January 31, 1954 ~ Adriaan van den Berg, commonly known as rock, hard rock, glam metal, blues rock guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Adrian Vandenberg, born in The Hague, the Netherlands ~ Member of Dutch outfit Teaser, known for their eponymous Teaser album released in 1978. Rose to national fame in the early 1980s as leader, eponym of Vandenberg, known for the hits Burning Heart and Friday Night. Internationally best known as a member of Whitesnake during their most successful period. Noted for his guitar solo on the 1987 re-recorded version of Here I Go Again, which reached No.1 Billboard Hot 100. Co-wrote all of the band's music for the 1989 Slip Of The Tongue album. Vandenberg has also worked with Manic Eden, fronted Vandenberg's Moonkings, and designed the cover art for several albums
January 31, 1953 ~ Sarah Streeter, commonly known as blues singer Big Time Sarah, born in Coldwater, Mississippi, USA ~ Worked with Magic Slim, Buddy Guy, the Aces, Junior Wells, Johnny Bernard, Erwin Helfer, and Sunnyland Slim. Also closey associated with Zora Young and Bonnie Lee, touring under the moniker Blues With The Girls. Ventured out on her own in the early 1980s, releasing her Undecided debut album in 1985 ~ Streeter passed away in 2015
January 31, 1951 ~ Charles Blake Cochran, commonly known as theatrical manager, impresario Charles B Cochran, passed away in London, UK ~ Manager, agent, producer responsible for some of the most successful revues and musicals of the 1920s and 1930s, manager of the renowned the Royal Albert Hall. Introduced or promoted talents such as Beatrice Lillie, Gertrude Lawrence, Noël Coward, Jessie Matthews, Yvonne Printemps, Lizbeth Webb, Anna Neagle, Florence Desmond, and the Dolly Sisters ~ Cochran was born in 1872
January 31, 1951 ~ Efren Eugene Benita, commonly known as singer, songwriter, producer Dave Benton, born in Oranjestad, Aruba ~ Internationally best known for winning the 2001 Eurovision Songfestival representing his adopted homeland of Estonia together with Tanel Padar and 2XL with the song Everybody
January 31, 1951 ~ Keyboardist, singer, songwriter Harry Wayne Casey born in Hialeah, Florida, USA ~ Pioneered the disco genre in the 1970s as founder and frontman of KC & the Sunshine Band, known for hits such as Get Down Tonight, That's The Way I Like It, Shake Shake Shake Shake Your Booty, I'm Your Boogie Man and Please Don't Go, all of which would top the Billboard Hot 100
January 31, 1951 ~ Phillip Geoffrey Target-Adams, commonly known as art-rock, experiment rock, jazz fusion, art pop, pop rock guitarist, songwriter Phil Manzanera born in London, UK ~ Well known as lead guitarist for Roxy Music, 801, and Quiet Sun. As a solo artist well over a dozen albums to his name since the mid-1970s, including collaborations with John Wetton, Andy Mackay, Sérgio Dias and Tania Libertad. In-demand session musician, present on recording by Nico, Godley & Creme, Yukihiro Takahashi, David Gilmour. Has also served as producer for the likes of John Cale, Split Enz, Nina Hagen (Revolution Ballroom), Fito Paez, Monica Naranjo, Enrique Bunbury, and others
January 31, 1950 ~ Rock, blues, folk guitarist Jimmy Faulkner born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Active since the 1960s. Member of the Jangle Dangle Band. Member of the Freak Show. Member of the Fleadh Cowboys. Has also worked with the Floating Dublin Blues Band, Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Mary Coughlan, Paul Brady, Luka Bloom, and others ~ Faulkner passed away in 2008
January 31, 1946 ~ Guitarist, singer Terry Kath, full name Terry Alan Kath, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Influenced by the Ventures, Dick Dale, Howard Robert, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix. Founding member of Chicago, considered integral to the band's early sound. Wrote songs such as Introduction, Free Form Guitar, Beginnings, Once Or Twice and Mississippi Delta Blues. Sang lead on I'm A Man, Make Me Smile, Free, Wishing You Were Here and Brand New Love Affair ~ Kath passed away in 1978
January 31, 1944 ~ Blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite, full name Charles Douglas Musselwhite, born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA ~ Came to prominence in the 1960s as one of the pioneering “white bluesmen” alongside artists such as Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. Reportedly served as inspiration for Elwood Blues, the character from the Blues Brothers film. Has over 20 albums to his name, starting with 1967's Stand Back (Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Soutside Band), and is an in-demand collaborator for guests such as Bonnie Raitt, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Tom Waits, Hot Tuna, Ben Harper, John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, and others
January 31, 1940 ~ Sandy Deanne, commonly known as keyboardist, producer Sandy Yaguda, born ~ Co-founded Jay & the Americans, remaining with the band until their initial disbandement in 1973. The band is known best for 1960s Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits such as She Cried, Come A Little Bit Closer and Cara Mia
January 31, 1937 ~ Composer, pianist Philip Glass born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Written operas, concertos, string quartets, chamber music and film scores. Glass describes himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures”, yet a classicist rooted in harmony and counterpoint. To pop and rock audiences best known for his collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno. Has also worked with Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, Mick Jagger, Leonard Cohen, David Byrne, Natalie Merchant, and others
January 31, 1937 ~ Pianist, songwriter Pierre Papadiamandis born in Nogent-sur-Marne, France ~ Best known for his association with Eddy Mitchell starting in the mid-1960s, initially as backing pianist and starting with 1966 J'Ai Oublié De L'Oublier serving as Mitchell's primary songwriter. Papadiamandis has written or co-written over 200 songs for Mitchell. Others who have recorded his songs include Ray Charles, Céline Dion, Grace Jones (I Need A Man), Michel Delpech, Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, and others ~ Papadiamandis passed away in 2022
January 31, 1936 ~ Jazz trombonist Garnett Brown born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Worked with the Crusaders, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Hampton, Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Art Blakey, Duke Pearson, Booker Ervin, Hubert Laws, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine, Frank Foster, Eddie Harris, George Benson, Ray Bryant, Houston Person, Charles Tolliver, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Gil Evans, Muddy Waters, Joe Thomas, Bernard Pretty Purdie, Airto Moreira, Ronnie Foster, Dakota Staton, Reuben Wilson, Richard Groove Holmes, Yusef Lateef, Charles Earland, Don Sebesky, Jack McDuff, Bo Diddley, Les McCann, Billy Cobham, Arif Mardin, Horace Silver, Ahmad Jamal, and others
January 31, 1936 ~ Ska, reggae trumpeter, saxophonist Lester Sterling born ~ Brother of keyboardist Keith Sterling. Co-founding member of seminal ska outfit the Skatalites, remaining with the band through its initial disbandement in 1965 and involved in several its later reunions. The band is known for a number of early to mid-1960s recordings, notably Guns Of Navarone, and was an in-demand studio band for a wide array of Jamaican artists including Bob Marley. Following the band's disbandement Sterling has recorded as a solo artist, and worked with Byron Lee's unit the Dragonaires, and the Third World All-Stars ~ Sterling passed away in 2023
January 31, 1936 ~ Baritone singer Marvin Junior, full name Marvin Curtis Junior, born in Harrell, Arkansas, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Dells, known best for their 1956 single Oh What A Night which became a staple of R&B, a signature tune and would be rerecorded several times during the band's lengthy career ~ Junior passed away in 2013
January 31, 1932 ~ Peter Mooney, commonly known as folk singer, songwriter Pete St John, born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Best known for penning The Fields Of Athenry, first recorded by Danny Doyle in 1979 and notably covered by Paddy Reilly. Other songs penned by Mooney include Rare Ould Times and The Ferryman, both originally recorded by the Dublin City Ramblers and covered by a number of artists, the former by Flogging Molly and Ciarán Sheehan, the latter by Johnny McEvoy and the Dubliners ~ Mooney passed away in 2022
January 31, 1930 ~ Pop, rock, country keyboardist, producer Al De Lory, full name Alfred V De Lory, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Best known as producer and arranger for a string of 1960s hits by Glen Campbell, including Gentle On My Mind, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, and Galveston. As a session musician De Lory had played keyboards for various Phil Spector-productions, including He's A Rebel by the Crystals, and notably guested on the Beach Boys landmark 1966 Pet Sounds album ~ De Lory passed away in 2012
January 31, 1929 ~ Actress, singer Jean Simmons, full name Jean Merilyn Simmons, born in London, UK ~ Rose to fame in Britain after being cast in the 1946 Great Expectations. Would work in Hollywood from the 1950s onwards. Played both dramatic roles and in musical comedies such as a 1955 production of Guys And Dolls. Also a stage actress and singer, notably touring the USA and England with a production of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music during the 1970s ~ Simmons passed away in 2010
January 31, 1928 ~ Harold Willis, commonly known as R&B, rock & roll singer, songwriter Chuck Willis, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Dubbed “the King of the Stroll” for his performance of the 1950s dance the stroll. Known best for his late 1950s hits CC Rider and What Am I Living For. Other well known songs include It's Too Late, Juanita, Love Me Cherry, My Story, Don't Deceive Me, and others. Had his songs covered by Ruth Brown, Little Richard, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, James Brown, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Freddie King, Elvis Presley, Delaney & Bonnie, Conway Twitty, and others ~ Willis passed away in 1958
January 31, 1928 ~ Tabla player Keshav Sathe born in Bombay, India ~ Pivotal to Indo-jazz fusion. Collaborated with the Asian Music Circle, Joe Harriott, John Mayer, Irene Schweizer, Barney Wilen, Manfred Schoof, John Renbourn, Danny Thompson, Julie Felix, Bhaskar Chandavarkar, Larry Adler, Tony Roberts, Alisha Sufit, Suns Of Arqa, and others ~ Sathe passed away in 2012
January 31, 1921 ~ Actress, singer, dancer, comedian Carol Channing was born in Seattle, Washington, USA ~ Best known as an actress in Broadway and film musicals, also making appearances in feature films and TV series. Received numourous awards and nominations, notably a number of Tony's (including for the lead role of Dolly in 1949's Broadway performance of Hello Dolly) and a 1968 Oscar-nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Thoroughly Modern Millie ~ Channing passed away in 2019
January 31, 1913 ~ Pedri Nolasco Justix Nolasco, commonly known as son, bolero, mambo, descarga, jazz pianist, conductor, bandleader, arranger, composer Peruchín, born in Banes, Cuba ~ Studied piano and saxophone but had to give up the latter due to his asthma. Considered one of the most important figures in 1950s descarga music and one of the most influential 20th-century Cuban pianists. Alongside Lilí Martínez, Noro Morales and Rubén González defined modern Cuban piano playing. Remained at the forefront of Cuban jazz through the 1960s. Influenced Charlie Palmieri, George Shearing, Papo Lucca, Chucho Valdes. Mentored Bebo Valdes. Father of guitarist Peruchín Jr ~ Justiz passed away in 1977
January 31, 1908 ~ Hector Roberto Chavero Aramburu, commonly known as payada, trova singer, guitarist, songwriter Atahualpa Yupanqui, born in Pergamino Partido, Argentina ~ Regarded by some as one of the most influential Argentine folk musicians. Married to pianist, songwriter Paula Nenette Pepin. Found widespread acclaim in the 1960s, his songs recorded by Facundo Cabral, Mercedes Sosa, Jorge Cafrune. Known for songs such as El Arriero, Los Hermanos, La Pobrecita ~ Aramburu passed away in 1992
January 31, 1907 ~ Swing trombonist Benny Morton born in New York, New York, USA ~ Worked with Teddy Wilson, Wild Bill Davison, Herb Hall, Claude Hopkins, Arvell Shaw, Buzzy Drootin, Herman Autrey, Sonny Drootin, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Billie Holiday, Ray Bryant, Buck Clayton, Rex Stewart, and Dicky Wells ~ Morton passed away in 1985
January 31, 1907 ~ Jazz banjoist Emanuel Sayles born ~ Worked with William Ridgely, Fate Marable, AJ Piron, Sidney Desvigne, Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight, Roosevelt Sykes, George Lewis, Sweet Emma Barrett, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Peter Bocage, Kid Thomas Valentine, Earl Hines, Louis Cottrell Jr and others ~ Sayles passed away in 1986
January 31, 1906 ~ Blues, boogie-woogie pianist, singer, songwriter Roosevelt Sykes born in Elmar, Kansas, USA ~ Known best for Driving Wheel, Night Time Is The Right Time and perhaps his best-known 44 Blues, the latter becoming a signature song and a blues standard. Worked with Big Joe Williams, St Louis Jimmy Oden, Homesick James, Charlie Specks McFadden, and others ~ Sykes passed away in 1983
January 31, 1898 ~ Bandleader Fred Rich, full name Frederic Efrem Rich, born in Warsaw, Poland ~ Active from the 1920s through the 1950s. Known for songs such as I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, So Beats My Heart For You, A Peach Of A Pair, Cheerful Little Earful, and I'm Tickled Pink With A Blue Eyed Baby. Rich has employed sidemen and vocalists such as Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman, Elmer Feldkamp, and Eddie Lang ~ Rich passed away in 1956
January 31, 1894 ~ Bandleader, songwriter Isham Jones, full name Isham Edgar Jones, was born in Coalton, Ohio, USA ~ One of the most popular dance bandleaders of the 1920 and 1930s. Known for songs such as Wabash Blues, It Had To Be You, and I'll See You In My Dreams. Employed sidemen such as Louis Panico, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Walt Yoder, Roy Bargy, Al Gallodoro, and others ~ Jones passed away in 1956