This Day In Music: March 20
March 19 ~ Birthdays/All ~ March 21
March 20, 2024 ~ Elsa Mazzetti, commonly known as pop singer Cocky Mazzetti, passed away in Milan, Italy ~ Took her stage name after her poodle named “Cocky”. Member of the Minstrels Of Jazz during the 1950s. As a solo artist, Mazzetti enjoyed popularity through the mid-1960s. Well-known songs include an Italian translation of the Los Machucambos track Pepito, Giovane Giovane, and Nuttata 'E Luna. Later on in her career, Mazzetti gained renewed attention on the oldies circuit including as a member of the group the Oldies and as a recurring guest on several nostalgia-themed music TV shows on RAI ~ Mazzetti was born in 1937
March 20, 2023 ~ Actress, singer Anita Thallaug passed away ~ Best known as an actress for stage including musicals, film and TV. Sister of opera singer Edith Thallaug. Performing since the age of 7 and frequently featured in children's TV shows during the 1950s. Represented her native Norway in the 1963 Eurovision Songfestival, finishing thirteenth with the song Solhverv ~ Thallaug was born in 1938
March 20, 2022 ~ Classical, contemporary classical composer Lyell Creswell, full name Lyell Richard Creswell, passed away in Edinburgh, UK ~ Composed for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choir, voice, and solo instruments. Well known pieces include Salm, Dragspil, Shadows Without Sun, and the song cycle The Clock Stops inspired by the Christchurch 2010 and 2011 earthquakes ~ Creswell was born in 1944
March 20, 2021 ~ William Henry Deppenschmidt, commonly known as jazz drummer Buddy Deppenschmidt, passed away ~ Worked with territory and local bands, prior to joining Charlie Byrd's trio by the late 1950s, a role he would become best known for. Played with Byrd through 1963, including on the acclaimed Jazz Samba album which started a bossa nova craze fueled by the album's hit single Desafinado. Following his tenure with Byrd, Deppenschmidt has worked with Herb Ellis, John Coates Jr, Bernard Peiffer, Jim Kweskin (Jump For Joy), Mose Allison, Chet Baker, Lionel Hampton, Milt Hinton, Maxine Sullivan, and Joe Venuti, and led his own band Jazz Renaissance with a rotating cast of sidemen ~ Deppenschmidt was born in 1936
March 20, 2021 ~ Operatic soprano Taryn Fiebig passed away in Sydney, Australia ~ Principal soprano with the Opera Australia since 2005, known for roles in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's La Clemenzia Di Tito, The Marriage Of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute, Henry Purcell's Didi And Aeneas, Gioachino Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème. Married baritone Jud Arthur in 2015, previously Fiebig had been married to composer Iain Grandage ~ Fiebig was born in 1972
March 20, 2020 ~ Trumpeter, conductor, director, composer, arranger Johnny Harris, full name John Stanley Livingstone, passed away in Palm Springs, California, USA ~ Turned down an offer from Elvis Presley, twice. Trumpeter in bands led by Vic Lewis, Ken Mackintosh, and Cyril Stapleton. Member of beat group the Shubdubs. As a conductor, arranger, director, or producer Harris has worked with artists such as Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lynda Carter, Jackie Trent, Roy Budd, Lulu, Ginette Reno, Paul Anka, and Odia Coates ~ Harris was born in 1932
March 20, 2020 ~ Singer, actor Kenny Rogers, full name Kenneth Donald Rogers, passed away in Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA ~ Hugely successful cross-over singer, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. Sold over 100 million records during his lifetime. Known for songs such as Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In, Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town, Love Lifted Me, The Gambler, Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got), and Lucille. Worked with the Scholars, Bobby Doyle, Mickey Gilley, Eddy Arnold, the New Christy Minstrels, Larry Butler, extensively with Dottie West, with Kim Carnes (Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer), Lynda Carter, Dolly Parton (You Can't Make Old Friends, Islands In The Stream), Sheena Easton, Lionel Richie (who wrote Rogers' Lady), David Foster, Barry Gibb, Ronnie Milsap, Whitney Duncan, and Bloodline Rogers ~ Rogers was born in 1938
March 20, 2017 ~ Conductor Louis Frémaux, full name Louis Joseph Felix Frémaux, passed away ~ Member of the French Resistance during World War II. As a conductor and director worked with the Monte Carlo Orchestre, the Orchestre National De Lyon, the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and others ~ Frémaux was born in 1921
March 20, 2017 ~ Trumpeter Tony Terran passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Member of highly revered collective of first call session musicians the Wrecking Crew. Has backed artists such as the Jackson 5, the Mamas & the Papas, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Ray Charles, Chicago, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, Eartha Kitt, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Madonna, Dean Martin, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, the Baja Marimba Band, the Tijuana Brass, the Carpenters, and Tom Waits. Also known for his many recordings for TV series, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, Star Trek, The Love Boat, and films such as An Officer And A Gentleman, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and The Exorcist ~ Terran was born in 1926
March 20, 2015 ~ Jazz saxophonist, arranger Paul Jeffrey passed away in Durham, North Carolina, USA ~ Over half a dozen albums as a leader or co-leader. Closely associated with Thelonious Monk, backing the pianist from 1970 through 1975. Has toured with Illinois Jacquet, Elmo Hope, Big Maybelle, Wynonie Harris, and BB King, and appeared on albums by the likes of Charles Moffett (The Gift), Sam Rivers, Ricky Ford, Duke Jordan, Charles Mingus (Cumbia & Jazz Fusion), Lionel Hampton, Gerry Mulligan, and Curtis Fuller ~ Jeffrey was born in 1933
March 20, 2013 ~ Jazz saxophonist George Barrow passed away ~ Active since the 1950s, notably backing Charles Mingus on the quintessential albums The Moods Of Mingus, Mingus At The Bohemia, and Jazz Composers Workshop. An in-demand sideman, Barrow would go on to appear on albums by the likes of Kenny Clarke, Teddy Charles (The Teddy Charles Tentet), Mary Ann McCall, Big Maybelle, Eddie Lockjaw Davis (Trane Whistle), Oliver Nelson (The Blues And The Abstract Truth), Jimmy Forrest, Gene Ammons, Frank Wess, Clark Terry (Mellow Moods), Etta Jones, Sam Cooke (Sam Cooke At The Copa), Clifford Thornton, and David Amram ~ Barrow was born in 1921
March 20, 2013 ~ Risë Gus Steenberg, commonly known as operatic mezzo-soprano singer Risë Stevens, passed away in Manhattan, New York, USA ~ Closely associated with the Metropolitan Opera, starring in numerous operas for over two decades starting in 1938. Would go on to serve as director of the Metropolitan Opera National Company from 1963 through 1968 ~ Steenberg was born in 1913
March 20, 2011 ~ Steel guitarist, songwriter Ralph Mooney, full name Ralph Eugene Mooney, passed away in Kennedale, Texas, USA ~ Key player on the Bakersfield country scene. Has worked with Wynn Stewart, Buck Owens, and with Merle Haggard. Member of Waylon Jennings' backing band for two decades. Co-wrote Crazy Arms, Ray Price's first major hit topping the country chart in 1956. Especially known for his instrumental work, notably showcased on Corn Pickin' & Slick Slidin', a 1968 collaborative album with guitarist James Burton ~ Mooney was born in 1928
March 20, 2009 ~ Blues guitarist, singer Mel Brown passed away in Kitchener, Canada ~ Best known for his association with Bobby Blue Bland. Also a solo artist with over a dozen albums to his name starting with Chicken Fat in 1967. Has worked with Clifford Coultier, BB King, Albert Collins, James Cotton, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy McGriff, Doug Sahm, Earl Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and others ~ Brown was born in 1939
March 20, 2001 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist Jay Cameron passed away in San Diego, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Fronted the International Sax Band and the Third Herdsmen. Spent most of the 1940s backing Ike Carpenter. Would go on to work with Rex Stewart, Bill Coleman, Roy Haynes, Henri Renaud, Bobby Jaspar, Barney Wilen, Jean-Louis Chautemps, Woody Herman, Slide Hampton, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Freddie Hubbard, Candido Camero, Bill Barron, André Hodeir, Hal McKusick, Les Elgart, Larry Elgart, Paul Winter, and others ~ Cameron was born in 1928
March 20, 2000 ~ Gene Andrusco, commonly known as rock, alternative rock, funk rock singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Gene Eugene, passed away in Huntington Beach, California, USA ~ Best known for fronting alternative rock band Adam Again. Member of the Swirling Eddies. Co-founding member of supergroup the Lost Dogs. Notable credits as a producer and engineer include 441, Randy Stonehill, the 77's, Daniel Amos, Aunt Bettys, the Kosmos Express and Starflyer '59 ~ Andrusco was born in 1961
March 20, 2000 ~ Journalist, author, columnist, critic, radio and TV personality Johan Anthierens passed away in Dilbeek, Belgium ~ Hosted Charme Van Het Chanson on Belgian public radio, showcasing his knowledge of and love for chansons, especially the anarchic lyrics of Leo Ferré, Georges Brassens, and Jacques Brel. Regularly irritated the censors. Fired for reading the lyrics of Evviva Il Papa on-air, a banned song protesting the Pope. Fired as co-host of TV show Noord-Zuid after angering singer Vader Abraham to the point of the latter walking out. The other host, Mies Bouwman, was offered a new co-host but declined and the show would be canceled altogether ~ Anthierens was born in 1937
March 20, 1990 ~ Singer Madonna releases Vogue, the lead single off her I'm Breathless album ~ Written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone. Inspired by voguing, a dance which was part of the underground gay scene in New York. Vogue is a house song with influences of disco, which contains escapist lyrics describing the dance floor as “a place where no boundaries exist”. At the time of its release, it became her biggest selling single, and topped the charts in over a dozen countries including Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. The song would later be covered by several artists, including notably Kylie Minogue, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande
March 20, 1989 ~ Country, country-pop singer, guitarist Lindsay Ell, full name Lindsay Elizabeth Ell, born in Calgary, Canada ~ Discovered by Randy Bachman. Draws from rock, blues, pop. Influenced by John Mayer, Keith Urban, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton. Released her Consider This debut album in 2008. Best known for songs such as All Alright, Waiting On You, Criminal, What Happens In A Small Town with Brantley Gilbert and Want Me Back
March 20, 1988 ~ Ian Ernest Gilmore Green, commonly known as jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer Gil Evans, passed away in Cuernavaca, Mexico ~ Helped develop cool jazz, modal jazz, free jazz. Closely associated with Miles Davis, arranging the pivotal Davis albums Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess and Sketches Of Spain. Has also worked with Kenny Burrell, Claude Thornhill, Glen Hall, Astrud Gilberto, Kimiko Kasai, Masabumi Kikuchi, Lee Konitz, Lucy Reed, Ray Russell, James Senese, Lew Soloff, and others ~ Green was born in 1912
March 20, 1987 ~ Guitarist, producer, arranger Norman Harris, full name Norman Ray Harris, passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Co-founded MFSB. Session guitarist and arranger for Philadelphia International Records. Member of the Salsoul Orchestra. Arranger, producer, songwriter for the likes of Blue Magic, the Trammps (Hold Back The Night), First Choice (Armed And Extremely Dangerous), the Dells, the Four Tops, the Temptations, the Whispers, Eddie Kendricks, Barbara Mason, Curtis Mayfield, Bunny Sigler, Joe Simon, Major Harris, Loleatta Holloway (Catch Me On The Rebound), and Eddie Holman. ~ Harris was born in 1947
March 20, 1986 ~ Rachel Marie Williams, commonly known as singer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, drummer, songwriter Rachel Fannan, born in Thousand Oaks, California, USA ~ Co-lead singer for psychedelic rock outfit Sleepy Sun. Lead singer for Only You. Recorded as a solo artist, starting with Deeper Lurking released in 2008 going by the moniker Birds Fled From Me. Has also worked with UNKLE, Anywhere, Black Mountain, and drummed for Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot
March 20, 1984 ~ Evgeniya Dmitrievna Lubich, commonly known as pop, pop rock, lounge singer, songwriter Jenia Lubich, born in Leningrad, Russia ~ Primarily a solo artist active since the mid-2000s. To French audiences best known for her collaboration with Nouvelle Vague, notably present on the songs Marooned and Aussi Belle Qu'une Balle of the band's 2009 NV3 album. Has also worked with Nicolas Comment, Malik Alary, Stephane Pompougnac, Naiv, and others
March 20, 1982 ~ Christopher August Megert, commonly known as singer, songwriter Chris August, born in Garland, Texas, USA ~ Active as a secular artist before switching to Christian music at the turn of the 2010s. Perhaps best known for Starry Night of his 2010 No Far Away album. Other well known songs include Come Now Our King, 7 x 70 and Center Of It
March 20, 1981 ~ Pop singer, songwriter Declan Bennett, full name Declan William Bennett, born in Coventry, UK ~ Member of Point Break, enjoying brief success during the late 1990s. The boy band released five singles including the UK top 10 hit Stand Tough and a sole album, Apocadelic
March 20, 1981 ~ Jazz saxophonist, composer Sonny Red passed away in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Wynton Kelly, Billy Higgins, Cedar Walton, Curtis Fuller, Yusef Lateef, Pony Poindexter, Paul Quinichette, Frank Wess, and others ~ Red was born in 1932
March 20, 1972 ~ Alexander Paul Kaparanaos Huntley, commonly known as indie rock, dance-punk, art rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Alex Kapranos, born in Almondsbury, UK ~ Lead singer of Franz Ferdinand, known for a string of 2000s singles including the UK top 10 hits Take Me Out, The Dark Of The Matinee and Do You Want To. Also a member of supergroups FFS and BNQT. Has worked with Yummy Fur, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Girls and served as producer for the Cribs, Citizens and RM Hubbert
March 20, 1972 ~ Jason Charles Beck, commonly known as pianist, singer Chilly Gonzales, born in Montreal, Canada ~ Fronted 1990s alternative pop band Son, which also included Mocky and Dave Szigeti. As a solo artist known for a series of rap and hip-hop-influenced albums, starting with 1999's Gonzales Uber Alles, and a series of classical-tinted instrumental albums from the mid-2000s forward
March 20, 1970 ~ Pop singer, pianist Elton John releases Border Song, lead single off his eponymous Elton John sophomore album ~ With only a handful of releases, the British singer had yet to reach the charts, anywhere. Your Song, his first single produced by Gus Dudgeon, would be the first, reaching top 40 in Canada and subsequently the bottom end of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No.92. As the song's melody and structure strongly resembled a spiritual, singer Aretha Franklin covered the song later the same year, retitled to Border Song (Holy Moses). Franklin's cover reached top 40 Billboard Hot 100, and would be included on her Young Gifted & Black album released the following year. John would get his break after a few more non-charters, when Your Song reached top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. John and Dudgeon would go on to form a longtime and fruitful relationship, with Dudgeon producing about half a dozen Billboard Hot 200 No.1 albums for John
March 20, 1970 ~ Rahem Brown, commonly known as rapper Tame One, born in New Jersey, USA ~ Member of 1990s rap group the Artifacts, which also included El da Sensei and DJ Kaos, known for songs such as Easter, C'mon Wit Da Git Down, The Ultimate (You Know The Time) and perhaps their best-known Wrong Side Of Da Tracks. Has also worked with Leak Bros, the Weathermen, the Boom Skwad, and others ~ Brown passed away in 2022
March 20, 1969 ~ Byron Otto Thomas, commonly known as hip-hop, Southern hip-hop producer, rapper Mannie Fresh born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Formed the hip-hop duo Big Tymers with rapper Birdman. Staff producer for Cash Money. Worked with artists such as Lil' Wayne, BG, TI, Mos Def, Juvenile, T-Pain, Noreaga, Notorious BIG, Mack 10, Toni Braxton, Chamillionaire, Chingy, Tyreese, Drake, and others
March 20, 1968 ~ Anthony Best, commonly known as hip-hop producer Buckwild, born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Member of collective the Digging In The Crates Crew alongside Lord Finesse, Showbiz & AG, Diamond D, Fat Joe, Big L, and OC. Debuted as as a recording artist with the full-length album Nineteen Ninety Now in 2010, a collaboration with Celph Titled. Renowned hip-hop producer, produced or co-produced songs such as I Got A Story To Tell (Notorious BIG), Whoa (Black Rob), How You Been (Mic Geronimo), Mrs International (Method Man & Redman), and numerous others
March 20, 1968 ~ Singer, DJ, producer, songwriter Ultra Naté born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, USA ~ Known for a number of dance hits starting in the 1990s, well through the 2010s, including Joy, Show Me, How Long, Free, Found A Cure, Pressure, Desire, Get It Up (The Feeling), Love's The Only Drug, Automatic, Turn It Up, Unconditional, and others
March 20, 1965 ~ Singer France Gall wins the 10th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Naples, Italy ~ Representing Luxembourg Gall wins with the song Poupée De Cire (Poupée De Son) written by Serge Gainsbourg. Runner-ups would be the UK's Kathy Kirby with I Belong in second place, and France's Guy Mardel with N'Avoue Jamais in third
March 20, 1964 ~ Singer Natacha Atlas born in Brussels, Belgium ~ First gained attention as singer of world fusion group Trans-Global Underground, fusing Arabic and Western music. Debuted as a solo artist with the album Diaspora in 1995. Best known for her 1999 single Mon Amie La Rose, a surprise hit in France and Belgium
March 20, 1960 ~ Singer Elvis Presley records A Mess Of Blues ~ Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Released the following July as the B-side to It's Now Or Never. Presley is accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer DJ Fontana as well as by Hank Garland bass, Bob Moore double bass, Floyd Cramer piano, Buddy Harman aadditional drums and the Jordanaires backing vocals
March 20, 1956 ~ Actor, comedian, director, singer Naoto Takenaka born in Yokohama, Japan ~ Best known as an actor appearing in over 50 films, and as director with over half a dozen films to his credit. Has also recorded about half a dozen albums as a singer, starting with Kawarra Katachi No Ishi released in 1984. Married to singer, actress Midori Kinouchi since 1990
March 20, 1955 ~ Singer, songwriter Mariya Takeuchi born in Taishi, Japan ~ Active since the late 1970s. Influential in city pop genre, among the best-selling artists in Japan with over 16 million records sold. Married to singer, producer, songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita. Known for songs such as Fushigi Na Peach Pie, Plastic Love, Single Again, Kokuhaku, Junai Rhapsody, Camouflage, and Inochi No Uta
March 20, 1954 ~ Reubern David Egan, commonly known as pianist, singer, songwriter David Egan born ~ As a songwriter had his songs recorded by the likes of Irma Thomas (Theys Honey Do's), Etta James (Please No More), Johnny Adams (Even Now), Jimmy Witherspoon (Wake Up Call), Solomon Burke (Fading Footsteps), Percy Sledge (First You Cry), Tab Benoit (Good To You Baby), and others ~ Egan passed away in 2016
March 20, 1954 ~ Guitarist, singer Jim Seales born in Hamilton, Alabama, USA ~ Lead guitarist of Shenandoah from 1984 through 2014. Present on most of the band's best-known including the albums The Road Not Taken released in 1989 and its follow-up Extra Mile released the following year. Well known songs include The Church On Cumberland Road, Sunday In The South, Two Dozen Roses, Next To You Next To Me and If Bubba Can Dance I Can Too, all of which would top the Billboard Country charts. The band is also known for the 1994 single Somewhere In The Vicinity Of My Heart, a collaboration with Alison Krauss giving the latter her first Billboard Country top 40 hit
March 20, 1950 ~ Drummer, percusionnist Carl Palmer, full name Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer, born in Birmingham, UK ~ One of the most revered progressive rock drummers influenced by jazz artists such as Art Blakey, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. Best known as co-founding member of supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer along with keyboardist Keith Emerson and guitarist, bassist Greg Lake, and as member of Asia. Previously a touring drummer for Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and co-founding member of Atomic Rooster. Other notable credits include producing Back Door's 1976 Activate and appearring on Mount Teidi of the 1982 Five Miles Out Mike Oldfield album
March 20, 1949 ~ Country singer Hank Williams records Wedding Bells at Castle Studio, Nashville, Tennessee ~ Written by Claude Boone. Produced by Fred Rose. Backed by Dale Potter on fiddle, Don Davis steel guitar, Zeb Turner electric guitar, Jack Shook rhythm guitar, Velma Williams bass. Paired with I've Just Told Mama Goodbye on the B-side released as a single the following May
March 20, 1949 ~ Jazz clarinetist Irving Fazola passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Influenced by Leon Roppolo, Jimmie Noone, and others. Topped the 1940 and 1941 Down Beat polls for clarinettists, beating Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Edmond Hall. Worked with Louis Prima, Candy Candido, Sharkey Bonano, Armand Hug, Ellis Stratakos, Ben Pollack, Gus Arnheim, Glenn Miller (including on Doing The Jive), Bob Crosby, George Brunies, Tony Almerico, and others ~ Fazola was born in 1912
March 20, 1948 ~ Marva Maria Williams, commonly known as blues singer Marva Wright, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Sang backup for Allen Toussaint, Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Lou Rawls and Marcia Ball. As a solo artist recording steadily since her 1991 Heartbreaking Woman debut album ~ Williams passed away in 2010
March 20, 1943 ~ Jazz drummer Jon Christensen, full name Jon Ivar Christensen, born in Oslo, Norway ~ Father of singer Emilie Stoesen Christensen. Key figure in Norwegian jazz. Active since the late 1960s, starting with the likes of George Russell and Jan Garbarek. Key member of 1980s jazz unit Masqualero. Present on albums by Karin Krog, Lee Konitz, Steve Kuhn, Terje Rypdal, Keith Jarrett (Belonging), Ralph Towner (Solstice), Enrico Rava, Blow Out, Miroslav Vitous, John Abercrombie, and Tomasz Stańko ~ Christensen passed away in 2020
March 20, 1942 ~ Country singer Al Dexter records Pistol Packin' Mama at CBS Columbia Square Studio, Los Angeles, California ~ Self-penned. Released later the same month, Rosalita featured on the flip side. Backing musicians included Johnny Bond and Dick Reinhart. The single would become a nationwide sensation, eventually selling over 3 million records. It would notably be covered by Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters the same year. Over time numerous would record the song, including Gene Vincent, Lloyd Price, Hank Thompson and Boxcar Willie
March 20, 1941 ~ Pianist, guitarist, singer Mike Settle, fulll name Michael Ward Settle, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA ~ Member of the New Christy Minstrels. As a solo artist best known for his 1961 debut album Folk Sing Hallelujah and especially the track Sing Hallelujah notably covered by Judy Collins. Also worked with Kenny Rogers' backing unit the First Edition from 1967 to 1970, also writing a number of the band's best-known such as But You Know I Love You and The Last Few Threads Of Love
March 20, 1940 ~ Trombonist, conductor, composer Frode Thingnæs born in Nore-og-Uvdal, Norway ~ Classical, jazz, pop conductor, composer. Composed the music for Norway's 1974 and 1976 Eurovision Songfestival entries, respectively Hvor Er Du and Mata Hari. Worked with Egil Kapstad, Terje Rypdal, Laila Dalseth, Espen Rud, Bjørn Alterhaug, Per Husby, Popol Ace, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Anne-Karine Strøm, Kampen Janitsjarorkester, Wenche Myhre, Lill Lindfors, Svante Thuresson, Einar Schanke, Alfred Naess, Yngvar Numme, the Bodega Band, and others ~ Thingnaes passed away in 2012
March 20, 1939 ~ Lawrence Ira Kahn, commonly known as salsa keyboardist, bandleader, producer, composer Larry Harlow born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Son of opera singer Rose Sherman and bandleader Buddy Kahn. Larry Harlow led Orchestra Harlow, the second orchestra to be signed to Fania. Harlow has recorded numerous albums with his own ensembles and produced over a 100 albums for various artist, mostly. Founded the Fania All-Stars, regarded as the seminal and most-important salsa group to date ~ Harlow passed away in 2021
March 20, 1937 ~ Saxophonist Eddie Shaw born in Stringtown, Mississippi, USA ~ Best known for his association with Howlin' Wolf, leading Wolf's backing unit the Wolf Gang from 1972 onwards. Wrote or co-wrote half the songs on Wolf's 1973 album Back Door Wolf. In his teens worked with Little Milton, Willie Love and an ocassional jam session with Ike Turner at age 14. Joined Muddy Waters backing unit at age 20. Also worked with Hound Dog Taylor, Freddie King, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and others. Released nine albums as a solo artist, starting with 1982's Moving & Grooving through 2012's Still Riding High ~ Shaw passed away in 2018
March 20, 1937 ~ Jerry Reed Hubbard, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Jerry Reed, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Known for songs such as Guitar Man, US Male, A Thing Called Love, Alabama Wild Man, Amos Moses, When You're Hot You're Hot, Lord Mr Ford, East Bound And Down, and others. Member of country supergroup Old Dogs, which also included Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare and Waylon Jennings ~ Reed passed away in 2008
March 20, 1937 ~ R&B singer Joe Rivers born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA ~ Formed the duo Johnnie & Joe with Johnnie Louise Richardson, known for late 1950s songs such as Over The Mountain (Across The Sea), I'll Be Spinning and My Baby's Gone On On, all of which reached top 20 Billboard R&B ~ Rivers passed away in 2016
March 20, 1937 ~ Country singer, guitarist Tommy Hunter, full name Thomas James Hunter, born ~ Best known for his work in radio and TV from the 1950s through the early 1990s, notably hosting The Tommy Hunter Show TV show on the Canadian network CBC during the 1980s. Artists who made appearances on the show early on in their careers include Gordon Lightfoot, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Yvonne Murray. After Hunter's show was cancelled in the early 1990s he would tour with his band the Travelling Men, retiring from performing in 2012
March 20, 1936 ~ Hard bop, post-bop, soul jazz pianist, composer Harold Mabern born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Described as one of the great post-bop pianists, Mabern has recorded over 20 albums as a leader, starting with A Few Miles From Memphis released in 1968. Initially started on drums. Self-taught on piano by emulating Charles Thomas and Phineas Newborn Jr. In the mid 1950s Mabern played in Chicago with artists such as Walter Baby Sweet Perkins and others. Moved to New York in 1959 and replaced Tommy Flanagan in trumpeter Harry Sweets Edison's backing band. Backed Jimmy Forrest for a recording that resulted in the albums All The Gin Is Gone and Black Forrest. Mabern continued to perform, tour and record as a sideman with artists such as Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet, Betty Carter, Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock, Donald Byrd, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, JJ Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Blue Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, and Joe Williams ~ Mabern passed away in 2019
March 20, 1927 ~ Classical composer John Joubert, full name John Pierre Herman Joubert, born in Cape Town, South Africa ~ Music academic associated with the universities of Hull and Birmingham. Composed over 160 works including symphonies, concertos, and operas. Best known for the carols Torches and There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue and the anthem O Lorde The Maker Of All Thing ~ Joubert passed away in 2019
March 20, 1927 ~ Trombonist, trumpeter, saxophonist John RT Davies, full name John Ross Twiston Davies, born in Wivelsfield, UK ~ As a musician has played with Ken Colyer in the Crane River Jazz Band during the 1950s and with the jazz revival band the Temperance Seven during the 1960s, including on the latter's You're Driving Me Crazy 1961 hit single. Best known though as a sound enigeer, specialized in restoring classic jazz records. Founded his own Ristic label, reissuing early jazz recordings ~ Davies passed away in 2004
March 20, 1921 ~ Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Coe born in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, USA ~ Active since the late 1930s. Has worked with Erroll Groundhog Grandy, Buddy Bryat, Jay McShann, Charlie Parker, Al Hibbler, Tiny Bradshaw, Aretha Franklin, Roy Hamilton, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Slide Hampton, David Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Carl Perkins, Larry Ridley, Leroy Vinnegar, and others ~ Coe passed away in 2004
March 20, 1918 ~ Margaret Marian Tuner, commonly known as jazz pianist, composer Marian McPartland, born in Slough, UK ~ Met her husband cornetist Jimmy McPartland when both served in the USO, playing for the Allied troops during World War II. After the war Marian played with Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Terry Gibbs, Joe Morello, Vinnie Burke, Bill Crow, and others ~ Turner passed away in 2013
March 20, 1917 ~ Singer, songwriter, actress Vera Lynn, full name Vera Margaret Lynn, born in East Ham, UK ~ Widely known for her concerts for the troops during World War II. Best known for songs such as We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs Of Dover, A Nightingale Sang In Berkely Square, There'll Always Be An England, Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart, and My Son My Son. Became the oldest person, at age 97, to top the English album charts, with the compilation album We'll Meet Again (The Very Best Of Vera Lynn) in 2014 ~ Lynn passed away in 2020
March 20, 1915 ~ Blues singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, USA ~ Gospel, blues singer popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Influenced early rock & roll musicians such as Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Also a major influence on later British stars, such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Keith Richards. Pioneered use of deliberate distortion on the electric guitar. Pushed pop-gospel, gospel-influenced pop into the mainstream. Known for songs such as Rock Me, Down By The Riverside, and Strange Things Happening Every Day ~ Tharpe passed away in 1973
March 20, 1915 ~ Pianist Sviatoslav Richter, full name Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter, born in Zhytomyr, Volhynian Governate ~ Praised for the depth of his interpretations and virtuoso technique and generally regarded as one of the all-time greatest pianists. Frequent accompaniest of soprano singer Nina Dorliak. As a conductor premiered Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony Concerto For Cello And Orchestra in 1952. Critically acclaimed for his 1960 performance of Johannes Brahms' 2nd Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ~ Richter passed away in 1997
March 20, 1908 ~ Jazz, pop bandleader, saxophonist Bob Chester born ~ Known for songs such as Wait Till The Sun Shines Nelie, Madellaine, Not A Care In The World and With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair. Employed sidemen such as Alec Fila, Nick Travis, Lou Mucci, Conrad Gozzo, Herbie Steward, Peanuts Hucko, Irv Kluger, Dolores O'Neill, Kathleen Lane, Betty Bradley, Gene Howard, Bill Darnell, Stu Brayton, Bob Haymes, and others ~ Chester passed away in 1977