This Day In Music: March 23
March 22 ~ Birthdays/All ~ March 24
March 23, 2023 ~ Songwriter, lyricist Keith Reid, full name Keith Stuart Brian Reid, passed away ~ Best known as lyricist of most of the Procol Harum songs, including Conquistador, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Salty Dog, and Grand Hotel. Others who recorded songs co-written by Reid include Michel Polnareff (Time Will Tell), Gary Brooker, Peter Frampton, John Farnham (You're The Voice), and the Jeff Healey Band ~ Reid was born in 1946
March 23, 2023 ~ Pop singer, songwriter, producer, label executive Peter Shelley, full name Peter Alexander Southworth, passed away in Victoria, Canada ~ Active as plugger and talent scout since the mid-1960s. Responsible for signing Amen Corner, Ten Years After, and Giles Giles & Fripp to Decca Records, the latter later evolving into King Crimson. Co-founded Magnet Records in the early 1970s, for whom he developed the persona of Alvin Stardust and signed acts such as Guys & Dolls and Chris Rea. As a singer Shelley is best known for the mid-1970 UK hits Gee Baby and Love Me Love My Dog ~ Southworth was born in 1943
March 23, 2022 ~ Composer, conductor Andrzej Cwojdzinski passed away ~ Served as director for the Koszalin Philharmonic from 1964 through 1979. Taught at the Academy of Music, Gdansk from 1991 through 1999 ~ Cwojdzinski was born in 1928
March 23, 2021 ~ Violinist Corinne Chapelle passed away ~ Child prodigy. Took up violin lessons at age 2 and gave her first public performance one year later. Studied with Yehudi Menuhin who called her “one of the most promising talents of her generation.” Received numerous awards. Has worked with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Kölner Symphonie, and others ~ Chapelle was born in 1976
March 23, 2021 ~ Blues rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock drummer, singer Noel Bridgeman passed away in Dublin, Ireland ~ Best known as co-founding member of Skid Row. Has also worked with Jackson Browne, Sharon Shannon, Steve Earle, Dónal Lunny, Paul Brady, the Chieftains, the Waterboys, the Corrs, Mary Black, and others ~ Bridgeman was born in 1946
March 23, 2019 ~ Shahnaz Begum, commonly known as singer Shahnaz Rahmatullah, passed away in Dhaka, Bangladesh ~ Best known for songs such as Ekbar Jete De Na Amar Chotto Sonar Gaye, Je Chilo Drishtir Shimanay and Ek Tara Tui Desher Kotha ~ Begum was born in 1952
March 23, 2016 ~ Operatic tenor Gegham Grigoyan passed away in Yerevan, Armenia ~ Closely associated with the National Theater Of Opera And Ballet Of Armenia. Has also worked with the Lithuanian National Opera And Ballet Theatre, the Kirov Opera, the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Teatro Colón, and others ~ Grigoryan was born in 1951
March 23, 2016 ~ Martin James Norman Riley, commonly known as ska, reggae, rocksteady singer Jimmy Reilly, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Father of singer Tarrus Riley. Co-founded the Sensations with Cornell Campbell, Buster Riley and Aaron Dego Davis, and present on mid-1960s hits such as Everyday Is Just A Holiday and Those Guys. Left the band in 1967 to join the Uniques, known for songs such as Watch This Sound and My Conversation. Would go on to record as a solo artist throughout the 1970s and 1980s, well known songs include Tell The Youths The Truth, Clean Up The Streets and perhaps his best-known Sexual Healing, the latter a reggae-cover of the Marvin Gaye hit ~ Riley was born in 1947
March 23, 2015 ~ Pianist, author, lecturer Joseph Smith, full name Joseph Robert Smith, passed away ~ About a dozen albums to his name. Known best for bringing public attention to piano works that had fallen into obscurity, including George Gershwin's unpublished composition Novelette In Fourths and Rubato ~ Smith was born in 1948
March 23, 2013 ~ Jazz trumpeter, bandleader Barbara Donald, full name Barbara Kay Donald, passed away in Olympia, Washington, USA ~ Worked with John Coltrane, Stanley Cowell, Richard Davis, Dexter Gordon, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons, Rahn Burton, and others ~ Donald was born in 1942
March 23, 2010 ~ Marva Maria Williams, commonly known as blues singer Marva Wright, passed away in 1948 ~ 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 was born in 1948
March 23, 2006 ~ Songwriter Cindy Walker passed away in Mexia, Texas, USA ~ Wrote or co-wrote songs recorded by artists such as Bob Wills (Cherokee Maiden, Bubbles In My Beer), Al Dexter, Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold (Take Me In Your Arms Again), Hank Snow, Gene Autry, Jerry Vale, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley (You Don't Know Me), Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison, Jerry Wallace, and others ~ Walker was born in 1918
March 23, 2002 ~ Soprano singer Eileen Farrell passed away in Park Ridge, New Jersey, USA ~ Active on the opera stage, in the musical theatre, as a concert singer with a career spanning six decades. Arguably credited for releasing the first successful opera crossover album in 1960, namely I Got A Right To Sing The Blues. Has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Frank Sinatra, and others ~ Farrell was born in 1920
March 23, 1993 ~ Singer, songwriter JP Saxe, full name Jonathan Percy Starker Saxe, born in Toronto, Canada ~ First gained serious attention with his 2019 Grammy Award-nominated single If The World Was Ending featuring Julia Michaels, reaching top 30 in numerous countries including his native Canada, America and across Europe
March 23, 1990 ~ Jazz tenor saxophonist Al Sears, full name Albert Omega Sears, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Worked with Chick Webb, Elmer Snowden, Andy Kirk, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Mildred Anderson, Al Hibbler, Budd Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, and others ~ Sears was born in 1910
March 23, 1989 ~ Michael Len Williams II, commonly known as hip-hop, R&B, pop, trap producer, songwriter, DJ, rapper Mike Will Made It, born in Marietta, Georgia, USA ~ Best known as producer. Songs produced or co-produced by Williams include Black Beatles and Powerglide for Rae Sremmurd, Pour It Up for Rihanna, Love Me for Lil' Wayne, Formation for Beyoncé and Humble for Kendrick Lamar
March 23, 1988 ~ Blues guitarist, bassist, singer Moody Jones passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Helped develop postwar Chicago blues. Best known for his 1948 recording Snooky & Moody's Boogie, said to be the inspiration for Little Walter 1952's hit Juke. Worked with Snooky Pryor, Johnny Shines, and his cousin Floyd Jones ~ Jones was born in 1908
March 23, 1986 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Brett Eldredge born in Paris, Illinois, USA ~ Debuted in 2013 with the album Bring You Back, which spawned the country No.1 hits Don't Ya, Beat Of The Music and Mean To me. Has recorded consistently since
March 23, 1985 ~ Pop-rock, alternative rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Stevie McCrorie born in Sterling, UK ~ Won the 4th series of the talent show The Voice UK aired on BBC One in 2015
March 23, 1985 ~ John Haley Sims, commonly known as jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Learned to play drums and clarinet at an early age. Brother of trombonist Ray Sims. Worked with Kenny Baker, Bobby Sherwood, Benny Goodman, Sid Catlett, Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Jaki Byard, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Louie Bellson, Clifford Brown, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Booker Ervin, Coleman Hawkins, Quincy Jones, the Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae, the Metronome All-Stars, Anita O'Day, Jimmy Rushing, Joe Venuti, and others. A saxophone-playing character on the Muppet Show would later also be named Zoot ~ Sims was born in 1925
March 23, 1982 ~ William Alexander Greer, commonly known as jazz drummer Sonny Greer, passed away ~ Best known for backing Duke Ellington. Also worked with Johnny Hodges, Bernard Addison, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Lionel Hampton, Lonnie Johnson, Brooks Kerr, Oscar Pettiford, Rex Stewart, Cootie Williams, Victoria Spivey, Josh White, and others ~ Greer was born ca.1895
March 23, 1981 ~ Singer, songwriter Brett Young, full name Brett Charles Young, born in Anaheim, California, USA ~ Released his major-label debut album, the eeponymous Brett Young, in 2017. Best known for songs such as Sleep Without You, Like I Loved You, Mercy and Here Tonight, all of which would reach Billboard Country top 10
March 23, 1980 ~ Indie pop singer, songwriter Asaf Avidan born in Jerusalem, Israel ~ Rose to fame as frontman of Asaf Avidan & the Mojos, co-founded with Ran Nir, known for their 2008 The Reckoning debut album which spawned the hits Reckoning Song and Weak
March 23, 1980 ~ Singer Jacob Miller passed away in Kingston, Jamaica ~ Fronted reggae outfit Inner Circle until his death in a car crash in 1980. Present on recordings such as You Make Me Feel Brand New and Everything Is Good. The band would initially split up following Miller's death but reform in later years and achieve top 10 success in UK and across Europe in the mid-1990s ~ Miller was born in 1952
March 23, 1978 ~ Singer Bill Kenny, full name William Francis Kenny Jr, passed away in Westminster, Canada ~ Best known as lead tenor of the Ink Spots. Considered of the most influential high-tenor singers, sometimes referred to as “the Godfather of R&B tenor singers“ ~ Kenny was born in 1914
March 23, 1977 ~ Indie pop singer, guitarist, banjoist Ben Salter born in Townsville, Australia ~ As a solo artist especially acclaimed for the albums The Cat released in 2012 and The Stars My Destination released in 2015. Has also collaborated with acts such as the Giants Of Science, the Gin Club, the Wilson Pickers, and the Young Liberals
March 23, 1977 ~ Swing, soul, jazz trombonist Bennie Green passed away in San Diego, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Earl Hines, Charlie Ventura, Count Basie, George Benson, Booker Ervin, Buck Clayton, Sonny Criss, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Slim Gaillard, Jo Jones, Howard McGhee, Cecil Payne, Ike Quebec, Sarah Vaughan, Randy Weston, and others ~ Green was born in 1923
March 23, 1976 ~ Alternative rock bassist James Stelfox, full name James Paul Stelfox, born in Warrington, UK ~ Influenced by Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Massive Attack. Member of Starsailor, known for a string of 2000s UK top 20 hits including Good Souls, Alcoholic and perhaps their best-known Silence Is Easy
March 23, 1973 ~ Vibraphonist, percussionist Stefon Harris born in Albany, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Best known as member of the Classical Jazz Quartet. Active since the early 1990s, recording as a leader since his 1998 A Cloud Of Red Dust debut album. Has worked with Charlie Hunter, Steve Turre, Jacky Terrasson, David Sánchez, Christian Scott, Joe Henderson, Jason Moran, Greg Osby, Kurt Elling, Janis Siegel, Diana Krall, Raul Midón, Ry Cooder (My Name Is Buddy), Courtney Pine, and others
March 23, 1972 ~ Singer, songwriter Guus Meeuwis, full name Gustaad Stephanus Modestus Meeuwis, born in Mariahout, the Netherlands ~ Rose to fame with his 1995 Het Is Een Nacht debut single. Has recorded to commercial succes since, both as a solo artist and with his backing unit Vagant. Other well known songs include Brabant, the André Hazes-cover Geef Mij Je Angst, Per Spoor (Kedeng Kedeng) and Tranen Gelachen
March 23, 1971 ~ Rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher born in Rochester, New York, USA ~ Best known as founding member of Mastodon, sharing guitar duties with Brent Hinds. Noted for his solo on Sleeping Giant. Also worked with Lethargy and Today Is The Day
March 23, 1971 ~ Jazz pianist, producer, film composer Leszek Mozdzer born in Gdansk, Poland ~ As a film composer collaborated with Jan AP Kaczmarek and Zbigniew Preisner. As a jazz pianist closely associated with Lars Danielsson and Zohar Fresco. Has also worked with Marcus Miller, David Gilmour, Lester Bowie, Archie Shepp, Arthur Blythe, Tomasz Stańko, Pat Metheny, Phil Manzanera, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Michal Urbaniak, Cæcilie Norby, and others
March 23, 1968 ~ Alternative rock, Britpop, art pop singer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter Damon Albarn born in London, UK ~ Lead singer of Blur, known for merging Madchester and shoegazing. The band rose to fame in the 1990s scoring UK top 10 hits such as Girls & Boys, Parklife, Country House, The Universal, Stereotypes, Charmless Man, Beetlebum, On Your Own, Tender and Out Of Time. Also known as primary force, along with Jamie Hewlett, behind the virtual band Gorillaz, known for the 2005 Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit Feel Good Inc featuring De La Soul. Member of supergroups the Good The Bad & The Queen and Rocket Juice & the Moon
March 23, 1967 ~ Pop rock sibling outfit the Bee Gees record Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You ~ Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb. Produced by Robert Stigwood and Ossie Byrne. In the USA, Australia and Canada, the song would be used as the B-side of Holiday released the following September, which reached Billboard Hot 100 top 20. As with several of the band's earliest releases rumors kept floating around and the brothers Gibb felt compelled to deny the Beatles played on the record. Recorded during the same session were the tracks Please Read Me, In My Own Time and the unreleased Life
March 23, 1967 ~ Guitarist, drummer, singer John Strohm born in Bloomington, Indiana, USA ~ Co-founded the Blake Babies in 1986 with Juliana Hatfield and Freda Love. Fronted Velo-Deluxe, known for their sole Superelastic album released in 1994. Member of the Lemonheads from 1987 through 1997. Fronted indie rock band Antenna. Released a solo album, Everyday Life, in 2007. Practiced law from 2011 through 2017, focusing on the music industry. President of Rounder Records since 2017
March 23, 1967 ~ Kermit H Johnson, commonly known as boogie-woogie, jazz pianist Pete Johnson, passed away in Buffalo, New York, USA ~ Helped make boogie-woogie popular in the late 1930s. Played with Big Joe Turner (including on Roll 'Em Pete, generally seen as one of the first rock & roll records), Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, JC Higginbotham, JC Heard, Chuck Berry, and Big Maybelle. Johnson also wrote and recorded Rocket '88 Boogie, the inspiration for Ike Turner's Rocket '88 two years later in 1951 ~ Johnson was born in 1904
March 23, 1966 ~ Violinist Max Strub, full name Karl Johannes Max Strub, passed away ~ Aacclaimed violin virtuoso and long-time leader and eponym of the Strub Quartet, specialised in classical and Romantic repertoire. The group has also premiered more modern music by composers such as Max Reger, Paul Hindemith, and Anton Bruckner ~ Strub was born in 1900
March 23, 1965 ~ Pop singer Jackie DeShannon records What The World Needs Now Is Love at Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York ~ Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the former also credited as producer. Originally offered to Dionne Warwick, who rejected the song for being “too country” and “too preachy” for her. DeShannon's single, paired with I Remember The Boy on the B-side, would reach top 10 Billboard Hot 100. The song would be covered numerous times, including twice by Warwick, the first time as early as on her 1966 Here Where There Is Love album
March 23, 1965 ~ Singer Marti Pellow born in Clydebank, UK ~ Lead singer of Wet Wet Wet from its inception in 1982 until its disbandement in 1997, scoring several UK top 10 hits including Sweet Little Mystery, Angel Eyes (Home And Away) and Sweet Surrender
March 23, 1963 ~ The husband-wife duo singer Grethe Ingmann and guitarist Jørgen Ingmann win the 8th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in London, UK ~ Representing Denmark the duo win with the song Dansevise written by Otto Francker and Sejr Volmer-Sørensen
March 23, 1961 ~ Guitarist Eivind Sarset born in Kolbotn, Norway ~ Worked with Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ute Lemper, Ketil Bjørnstad, Andy Sheppard, Mike Mainieri, Arild Andersen, Abraham Laboriel, Dhafer Youssef, Django Bates, Nils Petter Molvær, Bill Laswell, Jon Hassell, Jan Garbarek, David Sylvian, Marilyn Mazur, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Arve Henriksen, Ingar Zach, Audun Erlien, Wetle Holte, Erland Dahlen, Ketil Bjørnstad, Anneli Drecker, Food, Anne Marie Giørtz, Andy Sheppard, Hans Ulrik, and others
March 23, 1959 ~ Country, bluegrass, zydeco, jazz, rock banjoist, guitarist, fiddler, mandolinist Billy Constable, full name William Tarcisius Constable III, born in Avery County, North Carolina, USA ~ Known for his distinctive three-finger-picking banjo technique. Has backed bluegrass and country greats such as Josh Graves, Doug Dillard, Kenny Baker, and Vassar Clements, and worked with jam bands such as Leftover Salmon, and the String Cheese Incident ~ Constable passed away in 2015
March 23, 1959 ~ Kevin Paul Godfrey, commonly known as post-punk, indie rock, alternative rock singer, percussionist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter Epic Soundtracks, born in Croydon, UK ~ Brother of Nikki Sudden, his bandmate in post-punk outfit Swell Maps. Member of Crime & the City Solution and These Immortal Souls. Would focus on his solo career from the early 1990s onwards, especially acclaimed for the 1992 Rise Above album ~ Godfrey passed away in 1997
March 23, 1958 ~ Rock bassist, guitarist, singer Peter O'Doherty born in Auckland, New Zealand ~ Brother of Reg Mombassa, with whom he worked in Dog Trumpet and Mental As Anything. Has also worked with the Stetsons, the Bejesus Burgers and the Happening Thang
March 23, 1956 ~ Songwriter, lyricist Mort Dixon passed away in Bronxville, New York, USA ~ Co-wrote songs such as The Lady In Red (Xavier Cugat, Louis Prima), Nagasaki (the Ipana Troubadours, Fletcher Henderson, Nat Gonella), I Wish I Was In Peoria (the Olympic Dance Orchestra, Ed Smalle), I Found A Million Dollar Baby (Waring's Pennsylvanians, Bing Crosby, Victor Young), Bye Bye Blackbird (Sam Lanin, Gene Austin, Irving Kaufman) ~ Dixon was born in 1892
March 23, 1953 ~ Yvette Marie Stevens, commonly known as singer Chaka Khan born in Great Lakes, Illinois, USA ~ Rose to fame as lead singer of funk outfit Rufus, known for hits such as Tell Me Something Good, Sweet Thing, Do You Love What You Feel and Ain't Nobody. Would go on to enjoy a hugely successful solo career, starting with the Chaka released in 1978. Known for songs such as I'm Every Woman, I Feel For You and Love You All My Lifetime. Has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Steve Winwood, Ray Charles, Siedah Garrett, Guru, Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight, Prince, De La Soul, Herbie Hancock, and others
March 23, 1953 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Phil Judd born in Hastings, New Zealand ~ Co-founding member of Split Enz, remaining with the band through 1977 and present on the band's first two albums. Succeeded by frontman Tim Finn's younger brother Neil Finn. Founded Swingers. Has recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with the Suburban Reptiles, the Enemy, the Unthinkables, Schnell Fenster, and others
March 23, 1951 ~ Rock drummer Billy Rankin, full name William Hector Rankin III, born ~ Best known as a constant member of Brinsley Schwarz. Following the band's disbandement in 1974 briefly joined Ducks Deluxe, present on the band's final album Last Night Of A Pub Rock Band recorded live in London. Has also worked with Dave Edmunds, appearing on the albums Subtle As A Flying Mallet and its follow-up Get It, Nick Lowe, Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers, Ernie Graham, Frankie Miller, Terraplane, and Tiger
March 23, 1951 ~ Electric blues harpist, singer Lee McBee born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA ~ Worked with Bob Wire, Used Parts, Bonnie Raitt, Doug Sahm, Johnny Winter, and extensively with Mike Morgan ~ McBee passed away in 2014
March 23, 1951 ~ Singer, songwriter Patrice Holloway born in Los Angeles, Louisiana, USA ~ Cut a debut single, Do The Dell-Viking, at age 12. Younger sister of Brenda Holloway. Worked with the Brothers & Sisters Of LA, Josie & the Pussycats, Belles, the Four J's, and with Watesians ~ Holloway passed away in 2006
March 23, 1951 ~ Contemporary Christian guitarist, singer Phil Keaggy, full name Philip Tyler Keagy, born in Youngstown, Ohio, USA ~ Actively recording since the early 1970s with over 50 albums to his name. Noted for fingerpicking guitar technique. In-demand collaborator, both in the Christian music industry and in mainstream rock
March 23, 1950 ~ Bassist Ron van Eck born ~ Member of Supersister. Wrote or co-wrote songs such as Looking Back (The Moral Of Herodotus), Present From Nancy, Memories Are New (Boom Boom), Radio, Pudding and Gisteren. Co-founded Stamp 'n Go ~ Van Eck passed away in 2011
March 23, 1949 ~ Richard Theodore Otcasek, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Ric Ocasek born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter for the Cars. As a solo artist known for the mid-1980s hit Emotion In Motion. In-demand producer, has worked with Suicide, Bad Brains, Weezer, Nada Surf, Guided By Voices, No Doubt, Weezer, Romeo Void, Hole, Bebe Buell, Black 47, Bad Religion, Johnny Bravo, D-Generation, the Wannadies, Possum Dixon, Martin Rev, Jonathan Richman, the Pink Spiders, the Cribs, Alan Vega, Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, Shwayze, and others ~ Otcasek passed away in 2019
March 23, 1948 ~ Folk singer, guitarist, songwriter David Olney, full name David Charles Olney, born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA ~ 20 albums to his name over a decade spanning five decades. Had his songs covered by Emmylou Harris, Del McCoury, Steve Young, Linda Ronstadt, Laurie Lewis, Steve Earle, and others ~ Olney passed away in 2020
March 23, 1948 ~ R&B, soul singer Sundray Tucker born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Daughter of the Dixie Hummingbirds lead singer Ira Tucker. Sister of singer Ira Tucker Jr and the Supremes singer Lynda Lawrence. Sang, mostly backing vocals, with Patti Labelle, the Three Degrees, Melissa Manchester, Stevie Wonder (Songs In The Key Of Life), and Bunny Sigler
March 23, 1947 ~ Beat organist Don Gould, full name Donald Peter Gould, born in Solihull, UK ~ Member of the Applejacks, known for a number of mid-1960s singles including Like Dreamers Do penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Three Little Words and the UK top 10 hit Tell Me When. The band was also the first to record I Go To Sleep, written by the Kinks singer Ray Davies. Others who have recorded the song include Cher on her 1965 All I Really Want To Do solo debut album, Peggy Lee, the Pretenders, Graham Bonnet, Soulwax, and others
March 23, 1947 ~ Jazz, fusion, mbaqanga guitarist, singer Ray Phiri born in Nelspruit, South Africa ~ Founding member of the Cannibals. Founding member of Stimela. Collaborated with Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo ~ Phiri passed away in 2017
March 23, 1945 ~ Mandolinist David Grisman born in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA ~ Active since the early 1960s. Member of the Even Dozen Jug Band alongside Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian. Member of bluegrass outfit the Kentuckians. Member of psychedelic rock band Earth Opera. Appeared on the tracks Friend Of The Devil and Ripple of the Grateful Dead's 1970 American Beauty album. Member of Jerry Garcia's Old & In The Way. Has recorded extensively as a solo artist and leader starting in the early 1970s. Has also worked with the Garrett Mountain Boys, Muleskinner and the Bluegrass Reunion
March 23, 1945 ~ Francesco Battiato, commonly known as singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter, film maker Franco Battiato, born in Iona, Italy ~ One of Italy's most beloved singer-songwriters drawing from a wide array of idioms including beat, new wave, progressive pop, new age, experimental, free jazz, psychedelica. Internationally perhaps best known for teaming up with singer Alice, representing Italy in the 1984 Eurovision Songfestival with the song I Treni Di Tozeur reaching 5th place despite being tapped as winner by the bookmakers ~ Battiato passed away in 2021
March 23, 1944 ~ Composer, pianist, librettist Michael Nyman, full name Michael Laurence Nyman, born ~ Minimalist composer known for numerous film scores and a number of acclaimed operas
March 23, 1943 ~ Jazz guitarist Oliver Gannon born in Dublin, Ireland ~ Married to singer, bassist Patty Hervey. Leader and sideman. Co-founded 1970s fusion band Pacific Salt. Has also worked with Fraser MacPherson, Wyatt Ruther, Ian McDougall, Gary Guthman, Dave Robbins, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and others
March 23, 1942 ~ James Miller, commonly known as producer Jimmy Miller, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with several of Steve Winwood's bands, namely the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith, and for frequently producing the Rolling Stones from the late 1960s through the early 1970s including some of their most critically acclaimed albums including Beggars' Banquet, Let It Bleed and Exile On Main St. Has also worked with artists such as Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Kracker, the Plasmatics, Motörhead, Primal Scream, Johnny Thunders, Jo Jo Laine, and others ~ Miller passed away in 1994
March 23, 1940 ~ Songwriter Alan Blaikley, full name Alan Tudor Blaikley, born in London, UK ~ Known for a number of 1960s, 1970s UK hits, often written in partnership with Ken Howard. Notable hits include Have I The Right for the Honeycombs and The Legend Of Xanadu for Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich. Others who have recorded songs written or co-written by Blaikley include Petula Clark, Phil Collins, Sacha Distel, Engelbert Humperdinck, Eartha Kitt, Lulu, and Matthews Southern Comfort. Blaikley and Howard have also written the West End musicals Mardi Grass and The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole and composed for TV series ~ Blaikley passed away in 2022
March 23, 1940 ~ Pop singer Maureen Evans born in Cardiff, UK ~ Known for late 1950s, early 1960s UK hits such as the Connie Francis-cover Stupid Cupid, The Big Hurt and Like I Do, the latter reaching top 10 in 1963
March 23, 1938 ~ Vibraphonist David Pike, full name David Samuel Pike, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Recording as a leader since the early-1960s. Worked with Nick Brignola, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, Herbie Mann, the Jazz Couriers, Kenny Clarke, Lee Konitz, Chuck Israels, Don Friedman, Volker Kriegel, JA Rettenbacher, Peter Baumeister, and others ~ Pike passed away in 2015
March 23, 1937 ~ Folk singer Stamatis Kokotas born in Athens, Greece ~ Active since the 1960s. Best known for songs such as In The Days Of King Otto, Illusory Oniro and My Son. Has collaborated with the likes of Dimos Moutsis, Antonios Katinaris, Giorgos Hatzinasios, Apostolo Kaldaras, Giorgos Zampetas, Giannis Spanos, and others ~ Kokotas passed away in 2022
March 23, 1934 ~ Joseph D'Ambrosio, commonly known as rock & roll saxophonist Joey Ambrose, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Best known as member of Bill Haley's backing unit the Comets in 1954 and 1955, present on some of Haley's best known including Rock Around The Clock and Shake Rattle & Roll ~ D'Ambrosio passed away in 2021
March 23, 1933 ~ Jazz, bebop, free jazz pianist, composer, musicologist Andrzej Trzaskowksi born in Krakow, Poland ~ Musicologist regarded as an authority on syncopated music ~ Trzaskowski passed away in 1998
March 23, 1933 ~ Jazz pianist, singer, composer, lyricist Dave Frishberg born in St Paul, Minnesota, USA ~ Cited Frank Loesser as a major influence, naming Loesser's Baby It's Cold Outside and Willie Nelson's Crazy as two of the songs he wished he had written. Has performed as a solo pianist from the late 1950s forward. Known for humorous, quirky, sardonic songs such as I'm Hip, Blizzard Of Lies, Peel Me A Grape, Slapping The Cakes On Me and probably his best known My Attorney Bernie. Frequent songwriting collaborator of the likes of Johnny Mandel, Bob Brookmeyer, Julius Wechter, Gerry Mulligan. Songs written or co-written by Frishberg have been performed by Blossom Dearie, Rosemary Clooney, Shirley Horn, Anita O'Day, Michael Feinstein, Irene Kral, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, John Pizzarelli, and others ~ Frishberg passed away in 2021
March 23, 1933 ~ Operatic bass-baritone singer Norman Bailey born in Birmingham, UK ~ Best known for roles in operas composed by Richard Wagner. Has worked with the Chicago Symphony, the Sadler's Wells Opera, the Royal Opera House, and others ~ Bailey passed away in 2021
March 23, 1932 ~ Iverson Minter, commonly known as blues harpist, guitarist, singer Louisiana Red, born in Bessemer, Alabama, USA ~ Best known for his song Sweet Blood Call. Has recorded over 50 albums ~ Minter passed away in 2012
March 23, 1932 ~ Classical soprano Maria Friesenhausen born in Altendorf, Germany ~ Best known as an interpreter of Baroque works. Closely associated with the NDR Choir, notably as soprano soloist in several Johann Sebastian Bach cantatas ~ Friesenhausen passed away in 2020
March 23, 1930 ~ Pianist Martin Canin born in New York, New York, USA ~ Acclaimed pianist. Best known as prominent piano pedagogue holding teaching positions at the Stony Brook University from 1965 through 1993 and the Juilliard School from 1976 through 2016 ~ Canin passed away in 2019
March 23, 1928 ~ Banjoist Lee Sexton born ~ Known for his specific drop-thumb fingerpicking style, developed after his hand was crushed in a mining accident ~ Sexton passed away in 2021
March 23, 1926 ~ Jazz trumpeter, arranger Herbie Jones, full name Herbert Robert Jones, born in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Worked with Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk, Buddy Johnson, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and others ~ Jones passed away in 2001
March 23, 1925 ~ Anna Maria Catharina Elisabeth Torlau, commonly known as pianist Ans Torlau, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Married to violinist Herman Krebbers, with whom she also worked ~ Torlau passed away in 2019
March 23, 1925 ~ R&B, jazz guitarist Ernest McLean born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Best known for his association with producer Dave Bartholomew playing in the house band for Cosimo Matassa's studio. Worked with artists such as Fats Domino (The Fat Man), Little Richard, Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price (Lawdy Miss Clawdy), Shirley & Lee, Earl Bostic, Herbert Hardesty, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Earl Palmer, and others ~ McLean passed away in 2012
March 23, 1918 ~ Granville Henry McGhee, commonly known as jump blues singer, guitarist, songwriter Sticks McGhee, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for first recording Drinkin' Wine Spo-dee-o-dee, which he co-wrote with J Mayo Williams, one of the songs pre-dating and pivotal to development of rock & roll. It would be covered by Wynonie Harris, Johnny Burnette, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others ~ McGhee passed away in 1961
March 23, 1917 ~ Jazz, stride pianist Johnny Guarnieri, full name John Albert Guarnieri, was born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known for his associations with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Also worked with Charlie Christian, Cozy Cole, Ike Quebec, Charlie Kennedy, Hank D'Amico, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Billy Butterfield, Slam Stewart, Sammy Weiss, June Christy, Henri René, and others ~ Guarnieri was born in 1985
March 23, 1915 ~ Homer Lee Sherrill, commonly known as fiddler Pappy Sherrill, born in Sherrils Ford, North Carolina, USA ~ Worked with the Blue Sky Boys, the Crazy Blue Ridge Hillbillies, the Smiling Rangers, Snuffy Jenkins, Byron Parker, Wade Mainer, the Morris Brothers, the Hired Hands, and others ~ Sherrill passed away in 2001
March 23, 1905 ~ Elisabeth Bunnenberg, commonly known as chanson singer Lale Andersen, born in Bremerhaven, Germany ~ Best known for her 1939 recording of Lili Marleen, a huge hit with German soldiers through the end of the war and eventually selling over a million copies. Nazi officials prohibited Andersen to perform altogether for some nine months because of the song and her association with Jewish friends. In desperation Andersen reportedly attempted suicide but failed. Forced to sing in several Nazi propaganda films before semi-retiring. After the war she returned scoring hits with Die Blaue Nacht Am Hafen and Ein Schiff Wird Kommen and represented Germany at the 1961 Eurovision Songfestival with Einmal Sehen Wir Uns Wieder reaching 13th place ~ Buttenberg passed away in 1972
March 23, 1898 ~ Tango pianist, composer Francisco de Caro born ~ Considered the most important representative of tango romanza. Brother of conductor, violinist, composer Julio de Caro. Influenced by Juan Carlos Cobián, Roberto Firpo, Eduardo Arolas. The latter would offer Julio a position in his orchestra after an impromptu performance in 1917. Francisco would later join him, as well as collaborate in other ensembles ~ De Caro passed away in 1976
March 23, 1893 ~ Big band pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger Arnold Johnson born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Worked with Rudy Wiedoeft, Freddy Martin, Harold Arlen, Vic Benton, Bob Chester, Danny Polo, and others. Johnson disbanded the band in the early-1930s and became a radio producer and director ~ Johnson passed away in 1975