This Day In Music: March 1
February 29 ~ Birthdays/All ~ March 2
March 1, 2024 ~ Saxophonist Don Wise, full name Donald Grover Wise, passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA ~ Recorded a handful of albums as a leader, noted particularly for Swingin' Up A Storm released in 2005. Best known for his association with Delbert McClinton, backing the singer for over two decades including on albums such as One Of The Fortunate Few, Room To Breathe, and Cost Of Living. Other notable associations include Jodi Benson, Bugs Henderson, Kevin McKendree, the Delta Riders, Todd Sharp, Teresa James, and Rob Roy Parnell ~ Wise was born in 1942
March 1, 2023 ~ Ranchera, corrido singer, actress Irma Serrano, full name Irma Consuelo Cielo Serrano Castro, passed away ~ Began her career as a dancer, to become one of the most popular folk singers of the 1960s. Dubbed “la Tigressa” for her tantalizing, untamed spitfire voice. Well known for La Martina, considered a contemporary classic song of Mexican folk. Ventured into acting for film, appearing in over a dozen films, and stage, often causing controversy. Served as senator for her home state of Chiapas during the late 1990s ~ Serrano was born in 1933
March 1, 2023 ~ Jazz clarinetist Wally Fawkes, full name Walter Ernest Fawkes, passed away in London, UK ~ Influenced by Sidney Bechet. Self-taught jazz clarinetist. First gained attention working with jazz revivalist George Webb in the 1940s. Would go on to work with Humphrey Lyttelton, who became a life-long friend. Has also collaborated with George Melly and John Chilton through the early 1970s. Also known as a political satirical cartoonist, noted for the comic Flook which ran in The Daily Mail for over three decades ~ Fawkes was born in 1924
March 1, 2022 ~ Trombonist, actor Conrad Janis passed away ~ Best known for playing the role of Frederick McConnell, Mindy's father on the sitcom Mork & Mindy. As a musician known for keeping traditional jazz alive working with James P Johnson, Henry Goodwin, Edmond Hall, Baby Dodds, and others ~ Janis was born in 1928
March 1, 2022 ~ Warner McPherson, commonly known as country, country blues, gospel singer Warner Mack, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Active from the 1950 through the 1970s, enjoying his biggest successes in the 1960s. Well known songs include Is It Wrong For Loving You, Sittin' In An All-nite Cafe, The Bridge Washed Out, Sittin' On A Rock (Cryin' In A River), Talkin' To The Wall, It Takes A Lot Of Money, How Long Will It Take and Leave My Dream Alone ~ McPherson was born in 1935
March 1, 2021 ~ Jazz drummer Ralph Peterson Jr passed away in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA ~ Started drumming at age 3, later also taking up the trumpet inspired by his father's record collection, specifically players such as Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. Early on in his career, Peterson sat in with Art Blakey and toured with the likes of Jon Faddis, Stanley Turrentine, and Dianne Reeves. Peterson would go on to record some two dozen albums as a leader or co-leader, starting in the late 1980s, and is specifically acclaimed for the albums Ralph Peterson Presents The Fo'tet and Ornettology. As a sideman, Peterson has regularly recorded with David Murray, Uri Caine, Orrin Evans, and Wayne Escoffery ~ Peterson was born in 1962
March 1, 2019 ~ Paul Nigel Vincent Yarlett, commonly known as singer Paul Williams, passed away ~ Member of Zoot Money. Subsequently worked with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, taking over for John McVie and present on the albums Looking Back and Thru The Years. Member of Juicy Lucy. Member of Tempest, appearing on the band's 1973 eponymous Tempest album. Has also worked with Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, and Allan Holdsworth ~ Yarlett was born in 1940
March 1, 2017 ~ Singer, guitarist Hiroshi Kamayatsu passed away ~ Co-founded 1960s rock band the Spiders, best known for their Yuhiganaiteiru hit single. Co-founded Vodka Collins, one of the first Japanese glamrock outfits known best for Sands Of Time released in 1973. Also recorded as a solo artist, notably RTB for the anime series Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, and worked with Sans Filtre ~ Kamayatsu was born in 1939
March 1, 2015 ~ Producer, label executive Orrin Keepnews passed away in El Cerrito, California, USA ~ One of the most respected jazz producers. The Bill Evans composition Re: Person I Knew is a tribute to Keepnews, the title an anagram of his name. Keepnews has produced numerous albums, including for Kenny Drew, Randy Weston (Jazz A La Bohemia), Mundell Lowe, Sonny Rollins (The Sound Of Sonny), Coleman Hawkins, Joe Albany (Right Combination), Wilbur Ware, Thelonious Monk (Brilliant Corners), Phineas Newborn Jr, Benny Golson, Abbey Lincoln (It's Magic), Max Roach, Charlie Byrd, Johnny Griffin, Blue Mitchell (Out Of The Blue), Nat Adderley, Sam Jones (The Soul Society), Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Heath, Wes Montgomery (Movin' Along), Julian Priester, René Thomas, Barry Harris, Teri Thornton, Odetta (Odetta And The Blues), Junior Mance, Art Blakey (Caravan), Lee Konitz, and Joe Henderson ~ Keepnews was born in 1923
March 1, 2013 ~ Rock, blues rock guitarist, harmonica player Jim Murray passed away ~ Original member of psychedelic blues rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service, leaving the band in late 1967 shortly before they recorded their eponymous Quicksilver Messenger Service debut album. In the early 1970s, Murray would briefly team up again with his former bandmate John Cipollina in Copperhead, and thereafter regularly sit in with them live ~ Murray was born in 1942
March 1, 1995 ~ Alternative rock, indie rock, noise rock act the Flaming Lips guest star on the TV show Beverly Hills 90210, performing their song She Don't Use Jelly at the Peach Pit ~ She Don't Use Jelly, taken off the band's 1993 Transmissions From The Satellite Heart album, had previously gained momentum after being used on the popular MTV animated show Beavis & Butthead. The song's popularity would also earn the band a guest spot on the Love Hurts episode of Beverly Hills 90210, where they perform the song at the Peach Pit, a regular hangout for the show's characters. In the show, supporting character Steve Sanders remarks on their performance: “You know, I've never been a big fan of alternative music, but these guys rocked the house.”
March 1, 1994 ~ Singer Justin Bieber, full name Justin Drew Bieber, born in Stratford, Canada ~ Signed at age 13, Bieber was initially marketed as a teen idol yet has managed to grow with his audience and established himself as a solid songwriter and hitmaker drawing from pop, dance-pop, R&B, hip hop, rap and other idioms to consistent commercial success, selling over 150 million records. Issued his My World debut EP in 2009, and its full-length follow-up My World 2.0 album the following year. The latter would debut at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 200, making the then aged 16 Bieber the youngest artist to achieve this feat. Bieber has co-written a vast amount of his songs, and has sought out a wide array of mentors, notably Ludacris, and collaborators including Chris Brown, Big Sean,, Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, Benny Blanco, Shawn Mendes, and Ed Sheeran. Songs such as Boyfriend, What Do You Mean, Sorry, Love Yourself, and Stuck With U, the latter a collaborative effort with Ariana Grande, have all reached No.1 Billboard Hot 100. Over half a dozen of Bieber's albums have topped the Billboard Hot 200 album charts
March 1, 1993 ~ R&B, acid jazz, funk outfit Jamiroquai release their Too Young To Die sophomore single ~ The single would earn critical acclaim, frontman, lead singer Jay Kay drawing comparisons to a young Stevie Wonder, while NME described him as having “one of the most powerful and impressive soul voices across the dance spectrum in a long while”, and Record Mirror praised the record as “pure soul jazz with the funky bassline”. The single would reach top 10 in the Netherlands and the UK
March 1, 1993 ~ Pop singer, songwriter Michele Merlo, also known as Mike Bird, born in Rosa, Italy ~ First gained attention in 2017 as contestant on the Italian talent show Amici. Would release his debut album, Cinemaboy, in 2019 and a sophomore album, Cuori Stupidi, in 2020. Merlo's career was cut short by his death at age 28 following complications related to leukemia ~ Merlo passed away in 2021
March 1, 1990 ~ Singer, keyboardist Melissa Reese born in Seattle, Washington, USA ~ Released her Lissa debut EP in 2007. Best known as member of Guns 'n Roses, joining the band in 2016 replacing Chris Pitman first performing on the Not In This Lifetime tour. Has also collaborated with Bootsy Collins, Chuck D, Vanessa Carlton, Goapele, and Taylor Swift
March 1, 1989 ~ Chicago blues drummer Odie Payne passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Notably backed Chuck Berry on classic rock & roll recordings such as Nadine, You Never Can Tell, and on No Particular Place To Go. Payne is perhaps most closely associated with Tampa Red, and with Elmore James, appearing on over two dozen of the latter's 1950s singles. Payne was held in the highest regards by fellow drummers, admired for his use of the cowbell, lightning-fast bass drum pedal, and drum rolls, serving as a role model for many of his contemporaries. An in-demand sideman, Payne has worked with Sleepy John Estes, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Albert King ~ Payne was born in 1926
March 1, 1988 ~ Double bassist Tommy Potter, full name Charlie Thomas Potter, passed away ~ Member of Charlie Parker's classic quintet, alongside Miles Davis, Duke Jordan, and Max Roach, from 1947 to 1950. Potter rarely recorded as a leader, though Tommy Potter's Hard Funk album released in 1956 was well-received, and has worked as a sideman through the mid-1960s before semi-retiring from music. Other than Parker, notable collaborations include Gene Ammons, Al Cohn (Cohn's Tones), Bennie Green, Bud Powell (The Amazing Bud Powell Vol.1), Wardell Gray, Sonny Criss, JJ Johnson, Sonny Stitt (Kaleidoscope), Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, Al Haig, Tommy Flanagan, Willis Jackson, Jimmy Forrest (Out Of The Forrest), and Zoot Sims ~ Potter was born in 1918
March 1, 1987 ~ Swing jazz guitarist Freddie Green, full name Frederick William Green, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ~ Best known for his longtime association with Count Basie, backing Basie from 1937 until his death five decades later. Green recorded two albums as a leader or co-leader, Mr Rhythm in 1955 and Rhythm Willie with Herb Ellis in 1975. Green has also regularly guested on albums by Sarah Vaughan, Buck Clayton, Joe Newman, Al Cohn, Paul Quinichette, and Harry Sweets Edison. Green, a superb accompanist, has been quoted as saying: “You should never hear the guitar by itself. It should be part of the drums so it sounds like the drummer is playing chords, like the snare is in A or the hi-hat in D-minor” ~ Green was born in 1911
March 1, 1987 ~ Kesha Rose Sebert, mononymously known as dance-pop, pop singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Ke$ha born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Savvy pop singer known for her vibrant dance anthems, scoring about half a dozen Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Prior to her rise to fame in her own right, Ke$ha penned This Love for the Veronicas, and provided backing vocals for Britney Spears and Flo Rida. Her 2010 Animal debut album included the Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit Tik Tok, the album itself would reach No.1 Billboard Hot 200. Subsequent hits included Your Love Is My Drug, We R Who We R, and Die Young. Kesha also notably featured on Pitbull' s Timber, a top 10 hit in over half a dozen countries including the UK and America
March 1, 1982 ~ Trumpeter, bandleader Charlie Spivak passed away ~ Served as sideman in bands led by Paul Specht, Ben Pollack, the Dorsey Brothers, Ray Noble, Glenn Miller, Raymond Scott, Bob Crosby, Jack Teagarden. Started his own band by the end of the 1930s, remaining one of the most popular bandleader through the late 1950s, employing sidemen such as Dave Tough, Jimmy Middleton, Les Elgart, Paul Fredricks, Don Raffell, Jimmy Knepper, June Hutton, and Irene Daye, marrying the latter in 1950 ~ Spivak was born ca.1907
March 1, 1981 ~ Guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme born in Gilbert, Arizona, USA ~ Member of the Calling from 1996 through 2002, present on the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Wherever You Will Go taken of the band's Camino Palmero debut album. After departing the band in 2002 Woolstenhulme has worked with Lifehouse, which also included his brother drummer Rick Woolstenhulme
March 1, 1976 ~ Folk rock, indie rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Jonathan Meiburg born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Lead singer, songwriter of Shearwater, best known for their 2006 acclaimed Palo Santa album. Has also worked with Okkervil River, Bill Callahan, Blue Water White Death, Sharon van Etten, Wye Oak, Thor Harris, Hospital Ships, Whu Gnu, Loma, and others
March 1, 1974 ~ Jazz pianist, composer Bobby Timmons passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Undervalued pianist and composer. Helped developed the soul jazz style. Well-known for his tenure with Art Blakey, for whom he wrote or co-wrote several classics including Moanin' and Dat Dere. As a sideman, Timmons has also worked with jazz greats such as Pepper Adams, Arnett Cobb, Maynard Ferguson, Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon, Gloria Lynne, Hank Mobley, Anthony Ortega, Dizzy Reece, and Cannonball Adderley, including on the latter's 1959 live LP The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco, arguably one of the finest jazz live albums of the era. Timmons also recorded extensively as a leader from late 1950s to late 1960s, backed by musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Albert Tootie Heath, and Butch Warren ~ Timmons was born in 1935
March 1, 1970 ~ Lucille Nelson, commonly known as singer Lucille Hegamin, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Married to pianist, composer Bill Hegamin, with whom she also worked. In 1920 became the second African-American blues singer to record, after Mamie Smith. Known for songs such as Arkansas Blues, Easy Going Mamma (Don't Play Hard To Get With Me), and Jazz Me Blues. Worked with the Leonard Harper Minstrel Stock Company, Tony Jackson, Jelly Roll Morton, the Blue Syncapotors, Jimmy Wade, Clarence Williams, Willie The Lion Smith, and others ~ Nelson was born in 1894
March 1, 1964 ~ British pop, rock group the Beatles record I'm Happy Just To Dance With You at EMI Studios, London, UK ~ Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Produced by George Martin. Written for use in their feature film A Hard Day's Night, and written specifically to be sung by George Harrison who also plays lead guitar. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You was also used as the B-side to I'll Cry Instead, which reached top 30 Billboard Hot 100
March 1, 1963 ~ Andrew Jacob Hiebert, commonly known as neo-swing singer Big Rude Jake, born in St Catharines, Canada ~ Toronto scene cult hero. Primarily categorized as a neo-swing irony-laden troubadour, drawing from blues, rock, rockabilly, jazz, and other idioms. Some 10 albums to his name, starting with Butane Fumes & Bad Cologne released in 1993. Noteworthy is also 2002's Live Faust Die Jung which was never officially released. Semi-retired from music for a while in the 2000s. Has briefly used the moniker Chet Valiant aiming to keep a low profile ~ Hiebert passed away in 2022
March 1, 1958 ~ Singer, songwriter Nik Kershaw, full name Nicholas David Kershaw, born in Bristol, UK ~ Best known for his first two albums, Human Racing and its follow-up The Riddle both released in 1984 and spawning a string of UK top 10 hits including Wouldn't It Be Good, I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, The Riddle and Wide Boy. Kershaw has also written or co-written for other artists, notably the UK No.1 hit The One And Only for Chesney Hawkes
March 1, 1957 ~ Siblings the Everly Brothers record Bye Bye Love at RCA Studios, Nashville, Tennessee ~ Written by husband and wife team Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant. Released later the same month as the Everly's debut single, b/w I Wonder If I Care As Much, and included on the eponymous The Everly Brothers album. Backing musicians: Chet Atkins, Floyd Chance, and Buddy Harman. The song would become a classic of the era and be covered by numerous artists, perhaps most notably by George Harrison on his 1974 Dark Horse album with some changes to the melody and additional lyrics, lashing out at his wife Patty Boyd who would eventually divorce him and marry Eric Clapton
March 1, 1956 ~ Jazz drummer Kenwood Dennard ~ Learned piano as a child, took up drumming at age nine. Early on in his career worked with Dizzy Gillespie, and notably with Pat Martino including on the 1976 Joyous Lake album. Would go on work with the likes of Brand X, Davitt Sigerson, Lew Soloff, Jaco Pastorius, Bob Moses, Sting (Nothing Like The Sun), Toninho Horta, Miles Davis, Stanley Jordan, Maceo Parker (Life On Planet Groove), Vanessa Williams, and Dave Bargeron, and led several ensembles including Just Advance, the Meta Funk All-Stars, and Quintessence. Dennard has also served as professor at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, his alma mater
March 1, 1956 ~ Singer Ray Price records Crazy Arms ~ Though the song's origins are disputed, the song is usually credited to Ralph Mooney and Charles Seals who published it in 1949. Price's version, paired with You Done Me Wrong on the flip side, would reach the top of the Billboard Country charts giving Price his first No.1 hit and is regarded as one of a select few that defined honky-tonk. It would later be recorded by a wide array of artists including Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, the Andrews Sisters, Gram Parsons, Patsy Cline, Trini López, Patty Loveless, Marie Osmond, and as a duet by Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis
March 1, 1955 ~ Jazz bassist Harrison Bankhead, full name Harrison Napoleon Bankhead III, born in Waukegan, Illinois, USA ~ Avant-garde leaning bassist. As a leader known for his acclaimed Morning Sun Harvest Moon album released in 2011. Closely associated with Malachi Thompson, backing the trumpeter on over half a dozen albums starting in the early 1990s. Has also frequently worked with 8 Bold Souls, including on the ensemble's 2000 Last Option masterpiece, and guested on albums by Edward Wilkerson Jr, Michael Mason, Don Bennett, Joel Brandon, and Fred Anderson ~ Bankhead passed away in 2023
March 1, 1954 ~ Flamenco, jazz bassist Carles Benavent born in Barcelona, Spain ~ Founded Musica Urbana. Known for creating a new form of playing the electric bass flamenco style and for popularizing the use of the fretless bass in flamenco music. Benavent has also collaborated with Paco de Lucia, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Camarón de la Isla, Diego Carrasco, Nguyên Lê, and Inaki Sandoval
March 1, 1951 ~ Producer, guitarist, saxophonist, clarinetist, composer Elliott Sharp born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA ~ Leading figure in New York's avant-garde and experimental scene since the 1970s. Over 80 albums to his name, drawing from classical, jazz, experimental, noise, no wave and electronic music. Pioneered the use of computers in live sets. Sharp has also collaborated with the likes of Orchestra Carbon, Art Baron, Olu Dara, the Boodlers, Hoosegow, Slan, the Soldier String Quartet, Terraplane, Hubert Sumlin, Zeena Parkins, Bobby Previte, Nels Cline, and Mofungo
March 1, 1949 ~ Country singer Hank Williams records Mind Your Own Business at Herzog, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Written by Hank Williams. Produced by Fred Rose. Paired with There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight on the B-side released the next July. Recorded You're Gonna Change Or I'm Gonna Leave You, My Son Calls Another Man Daddy and Honky Tonk Blues during the same session
March 1, 1949 ~ Samba, pagode singer, guitarist, banjoist, songwriter Jorge Aragão born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ Active since the early 1970s. Founding member of Fundo de Quintal. Released his eponymous Jorge Aragão solo debut album in 1982. Known for songs such as Amigos Amantes, Do Fundo Do Nossa Quintal, Enredo De Meu Samba and Coisinho Do Pai
March 1, 1949 ~ Rock, hard rock drummer Ray Phillips, full name Raymond Anthony Phillips, born in Ely, UK ~ Best known as the original drummer for Budgie, remaining with the band through 1973 and present on the band's first three albums. Subsequently worked with Woman, Tredegar, Six Ton Budgie. Phillips released his sole solo album, Judgement Day, in 2011
March 1, 1946 ~ Joseph Gaétan Robert Gérald Boulet, commonly known as rock singer, keyboardist, guitarist, trumpeter Gerry Boulet, born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of Quebec-based progressive rock band Offenbach, with whom he recorded about a dozen albums including the acclaimed Never Too Tender and Caricatures. Boulet has also recorded two albums as a solo artist, Preque 40 Ans De Blues released in 1985 and its follow-up Rendez-Vous Doux released a year before his death ~ Boulet passed away in 1990
March 1, 1946 ~ Keyboardist, singer Tony Ashton, full name Edward Anthony Ashton, born in Blackburn, UK ~ Rooted in soul, jazz, blues. Formed Ashton Gardner & Dyke with drummer Roy Dyke and bassist Kim Gardner, known for the 1971 UK top 10 hit Resurrection Shuffle. Briefly a member of the Family, notably present on the band's last album It's Only A Movie released in 1973. Ashton has also worked with Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice ~ Ashton passed away in 2001
March 1, 1946 ~ Jazz, avant-garde gazz, free jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, hornist, bassoonist, composer Vinny Golia born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Over a dozen albums to his name, especially noted for Spirits In Fellowship, Slice Of Life, and Out For Blood. Golia has also guested on albums by Tim Berne, John Rapson, Richard Grossman, George Gruntz, Mark Harvey, and Kaoru, and served as producer for several artists, including notably producing Nels Cline's 1988 Angelica album
March 1, 1945 ~ Country singer Arlene Harden born in England, Arkansas, USA ~ Member of sibling trio the Harden Trio, alongside her brother Bobby Harden and sister Robbie Harden. As a solo artist known for a string of mid-1960s to 1970s singles, most notably a 1970 cover of Roy Orbison's Oh Pretty Woman reworked to Lovin' Man (Oh Pretty Woman)
March 1, 1945 ~ Sven Ove Hedlund, commonly known as pop singer Svenne Hedlund, born in Solna, Sweden ~ Member of the Clifftones and perhaps most notably the Hep Stars, the latter propelling Hedlund to national fame. The band is known for 1960s hits such as Farmer John, Cadillac, Bald Headed Woman, Sunny Girl, Wedding, Consolation, and Malaika. Hedlund was married to bandmate Lotta Hedlund from 1969 through 2014, the couple also forming the musical duo Svenne & Lotta ~ Hedlund passed away in 2022
March 1, 1944 ~ Singer Michael d'Abo, full name Michael David d'Abo, born in Betchworth, UK ~ Lead singer of Manfred Mann from 1966 through 1969, present on UK top 10 hits such as Semi-detached Suburban Mr James, Ha Ha Said The Clown, and The Mighty Quinn. Wrote Handbags And Gladrags, first recorded by Chris Farlowe and notably covered by Rod Stewart. Co-wrote Build Me Up Buttercup, a hit for the Foundations. Has also recorded as a solo artist, starting with his eponymous d'Abo album released in 1970
March 1, 1943 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Piet Veerman born in Volendam, the Netherlands ~ Member of the Cats, known for songs such as Times Were When, Be My Day, The End Of The Show, and perhaps their best-known Sure He's A Cat. Sang lead on al the band's singles since 1968. As a solo artist known for Walking Together and his biggest hit Sailing Home released in 1987
March 1, 1943 ~ Rock singer, guitarist Roger Daltrey, full name Roger Harry Daltrey, born in Hammersmith, UK ~ Lead singer of the Who, noted for songs such as My Generation, Pinball Wizard, Won't Get Fooled Again, and Baba O'Riley. Has enjoyed a parallel solo career, starting with the eponymous Daltrey released in 1973
March 1, 1941 ~ Jazz, blues drummer Michel Dennis born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France ~ Started in swing and Dixieland, backing artists such as Don Byas, Bill Coleman, Michel de Villers, Earl Hines, and Stuff Smith. After Memphis Slim relocated to Paris, Denis joined Slim's backing unit and remained with the pianist for nearly two decades including on the acclaimed Boogie Woogie album. Concurrently, Denis has served as sideman for the likes of Johnny Griffin, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Claude Guilhot, John Lee Hooker, Michel Sardaby, T-Bone Walker, and Big Joe Williams
March 1, 1940 ~ Guitarist, pianist Ralph Towner born in Chehalis, Washington, USA ~ Classically trained. Served as pianist with world music pioneer Paul Winter, prior to moving towards jazz, eventually establishing himself as one of the few jazz guitarists to focus primarily on the acoustic guitar. Recorded over two dozen albums as a leader or co-leader, noted specifically for his 1975 Solstice album, demonstrating his versatility. Recorded over two dozen albums with Oregon, which he founded. An in-demand collaborator, Towner has guested on albums by Duke Pearson, Cyrus Faryar, Tim Hardin (Bird On A Wire), the Weather Report (I Sing The Body Electric), Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie, Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Norma Winstone (Somewhere Called Home), Gary Burton, Nick Brignola (Raincheck), Vince Mendoza, Gary Peacock, Pino Daniele, Robben Ford, Bill Bruford, and Trilok Gurtu
March 1, 1930 ~ Trombonist Benny Powell, full name Benjamin Gordon Powell Jr, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Bridged swing and bebop. Playing professionally since age 14, moving on to back Lionel Hampton four years later. Well-known for his nearly decade-long stint backing Count Basie, including on albums such as April In Paris, The Atomic Mr Basie, and Chairman Of The Board. Powell, an in-demand sideman, has also appeared on albums by Randy Weston, Thad Jones (The Magnificent Thad Jones), JC Heard, Sarah Vaughan, Melba Liston, Ernestine Anderson, Ray Charles (Genius+Soul=Jazz), Al Grey, Nat Adderley, Johnny Hodges, Sammy Davis Jr, Eddie Harris, Duke Pearson (Now Hear This), Stanley Turrentine, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Aretha Franklin (Soul '69), Roberta Flack, Quincy Jones, Maria Muldaur, Ry Cooder (Chicken Skin Music), Earth Wind & Fire, Zoot Sims, and Webster Lewis ~ Powell passed away in 2010
March 1, 1929 ~ Jazz double bassist Eddie Jones born in Greenwood, Mississippi, USA ~ Best known for his association with Count Basie, joining the Count Basie Orchestra in 1953 and backing Basie in several ensembles through 1962. Has also worked with Dorothy Ashby, Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Clarke, Jimmy Cleveland, Al Grey, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Joe Newman, Paul Quinichette, Buddy Tate, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, and with the Jones Boys, the latter a one-off put together by Quincy Jones of musicians named Jones but all unrelated ~ Jones passed away in 1997
March 1, 1929 ~ Clifton Howard Vandevender, commonly known as country singer, guitarist, songwriter Van Howard, born in Grady, New Mexico, USA ~ Best known for fronting Ray Price's backing unit the Cherokee Cowboys from 1954 through 1958. Also worked with Jim Reeves, Johnny & Jack, Slim Whitman, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Red Sovine, Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and others ~ Vandevender passed away in 2012
March 1, 1928 ~ Singer Paul Robeson, backed by Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra, record Ol' Man River at Liederkranz Hall, New York, New York ~ Written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1927 musical Show Boat, introduced by Jules Bledsoe. The song would become the most famous song of the musical and remain popular to this day. Whiteman had recorded a previous version in early 1928 featuring Bing Crosby and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. The second version, featuring Paul Robeson, sung in a dance tempo would also be a hit, and eventually be inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006
March 1, 1928 ~ Singer, producer, label exective Willie Mitchell, full name William Lawrence Mitchell, born in Ashland, Mississippi, USA ~ A popular bandleader Mitchell signed to Hi-Records as both a producer and as a recording artist best known for he 1968 single Soul Serenade. His greatest claim to fame came however by taking over the reins at the label in 1970 and establishing the “Hi Sound”. As a label executive and producer Mitchell was pivotal to the careers of OV Wright, Syl Johnson, Ann Peebles, Quiet Elegance and especially Al Green. Mitchell produced or co-produced albums such as Peebles' 1974 I Can't Stand The Rain album, noted for the title track I Can't Stand The Rain and I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, as well as just about every single one of Green's 1970s albums containing hits such as Tired Of Being Alone, Let's Stay Together, I'm Still In Love With You and Call Me (Come Back Home), and numerous others ~ Mitchell passed away in 2010
March 1, 1927 ~ Harold George Bellanfanti Jr, commonly known as singer Harry Belafonte, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Influenced by Paul Robeson. Close friend and confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. Though he also sang blues, folk, pop, gospel and show tunes, Belafonte is dubbed “the King of Calypso” for his role in popularizing calypso. Critically acclaimed for the 1956 million-seller album Calypso, which spawned his biggest hit and signature song Day-O (Banana Boat Song), and his 1959 Belafonte At Carnegie Hall live album. Advocate for several political and humanitarian causes, including serving as the ACLU celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues. Starred in over two dozen films, notably Carmen Jones, Island In The Sun, and Odds Against Tomorrow ~ Bellanfanti passed away in 2023
March 1, 1917 ~ Jazz trumpeter, singer, bandleader Aimé Barelli born in Lantosque, France ~ Leader and sideman. Fixture on the French jazz scene from the 1940s onward, initially backing the likes of Django Reinhardt, Fred Adison, Alix Combelle, André Ekyan, Maceo Jefferson, Raymond Legrand, Hubert Rostaing, and Raymond Wraskoff. Would go to play with visiting American musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sidney Bechet, and Charlie Parker. Starting in the mid-1960s, he would lead his own ensemble in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Barelli's daughter, singer Minouche Barelli, would follow in her father's footsteps ~ Barelli passed away in 1995
March 1, 1917 ~ Clifford Gilpin Snyder, commonly known as country singer, producer, publisher, radio and TV personality Cliffie Stone, born in Stockton, California, USA ~ A&R executive for Capitol Records in the 1940s. Discovered and managed Tennessee Ernie Ford. Host several radio and TV shows. As a singer, Stone recorded about half a dozen albums and is best known for the 1955 hit The Popcorn Song ~ Snyder passed away in 1998
March 1, 1917 ~ Western swing guitarist, steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe, full name William Leon McAuliffe, born in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Best known as a member of Bob Wills' pivotal the Texas Playboys backing unit during the 1930s. Co-wrote San Antonio Rose. Also wrote Steel Guitar Rag, a hit for Robert Lee Dunn. Also worked with the Light Crust Doughboys and the Cimarron Boys ~ McAuliffe passed away in 1988
March 1, 1907 ~ Boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Influenced by Chicago pianists Hershal Thomas and Jimmy Yancey. Ammons, along with other high-energy boogie-woogie, blues, jazz, and jump-blues musicians, helped create a hybrid which predated and paved the way for rock & roll. Ammons worked with artists such as Meade Lux Lewis, Guy Kelly, Dalbert Bright, Jimmy Hoskins, Israel Crosby, Pete Johnson, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Lena Horne, and Lionel Hampton. Ammons would be a major influence on generations of piano players to come including Jerry Lee Lewis, Dr John, Erroll Garner, Ray Bryant, Johnnie Johnson, and Axel Zwingenberger ~ Ammons passed away in 1949
March 1, 1904 ~ Swing, big band trombonist, bandleader Glenn Miller, full name Alton Glenn Miller, born in Clarinda, Iowa, USA ~ One of the best-selling artists of the swing era, known for songs such as In The Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Chattanooga Choo Choo, A String Of Pearls, At Last, I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo, American Patrol, Tuxedo Junction, Elmer's Tune and Little Brown Jug. While at the time one of the best-earning entertainers, Miller had volunteered for the US Army during World War II. He would be rejected for active duty on account of his eye sight, yet Miller persisted and eventually was allowed to entertain the troops as a musician. His plane would go missing on a December night over the English Channel ~ Miller passed away in 1944
March 1, 1880 ~ Organist, composer Albert Alain, full name Albert Paul Alain, born in St-Germain-en-Laye, France ~ Prolific composer of religious music, having composed over 450 pieces for organ, harmonium and voices. Father of Jehan Alain, Olivier Alain, and Marie-Claire Alain, all renowned organists in their own right ~ Alain passed away in 1971