This Day In Music: May 12
May 11 ~ Birthdays/All ~ May 13
May 12, 2023 ~ Keyboardist Francis Monkman passed away ~ Co-founded Sisyphus in the late 1960s. The band would evolve into the pioneering progressive rock outfit Curved Air, with whom Monkman recorded the albums Air Conditioning, Second Album, and Phantasmagoria, before departing the band over artistic differences. After his departure from the band Monkman has guested on recordings by Renaissance, Al Stewart, and Lynsey de Paul, collaborated with Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno in the short-lived 801, worked with classical fusion band Sky, and recorded as a solo artist ~ Monkman was born in 1949
May 12, 2022 ~ R&B singer Ben Moore, full name Benjamin Moore Jr, passed away ~ Sang with Otis Redding and James Brown. Member of Jimmy Tig & the Rounders. Teamed up with James Purify in the mid-1970s adopting the moniker Bobby Purify previously held by Robert Lee Dickey. The reformed James & Bobby Purify would re-record I'm Your Puppet reaching top 20 in the UK in 1976. Subsequently Moore would also record as a solo artist, keeping the Purify moniker, retiring from music by the 1990s. By the end of the decade returned to music, encouraged by Ray Charles, and later joined gospel outfit the Blind Boys Of Alabama ~ Moore was born in 1941
May 12, 2018 ~ Singer Netta wins the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Lisbon, Portugal ~ Representing Israel, Netta wins with the song Toy written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger. Runner-ups would be Eleni Foureira representing Cyprus with the song Fuego in 2nd place, and Cesár Sampson representing Austria with the song Nobody But You in 3rd place
May 12, 2011 ~ Drummer Lloyd Knibb passed away in Harbour View, Jamaica ~ Considered one of the most important and influential Jamaican drummers, credited with helping shape ska. Best known as longtime member of the Skatalites, starting in the 1960s. Got his start in music playing in jazz and swing bands, notably backing artists such as Val Bennett and Eric Dean. In-demand session musician, sought after by producers such as Coxsone Dodd, Prince Buster, Sonia Pottinger, and Duke Reid ~ Knibb was born in 1931
May 12, 2011 ~ Jazz, swing saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist Ted Nash, full name Theodore Malcolm Nash, passed away ~ Brother of trombonist Dick Nash. Leader and sideman. Worked with Les Brown, Doris Day (Day By Day), June Christy, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Georgie Auld, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini (The Music From Peter Gunn), Pete Rugolo, Lalo Schifrin, and others ~ Nash was born in 1922
May 12, 2007 ~ Singer Marija Serifovic wins the 52nd edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Helsinki, Finland ~ Representing Serbia Serifovic wins with the song Molitva written by Vladimir Graić and Sasa Milosevic Mare. Ukraine's Verka Serduchka reaches 2nd place with Dancing Lasha Tumbia, while Russia reaches 3rd place, represented by Serebro performing Song No.1
May 12, 2006 ~ Florence Karlen, commonly known as songwriter Florence Kaye, passed away ~ Best known for co-writing several songs for Elvis Presley, usually with Bernie Baum and Bill Giant. Well known songs include Roustabout, Paradise Hawaiian Style, Edge Of Reality and notably You're The Devil In Disguise. Others who recorded songs co-written by Kaye include the Everly Brothers (That's Old Fashioned (That's The Way Love Should Be)), Gene Chandler, and Cindy Malone ~ Kaye was born in 1919
May 12, 2005 ~ Frank LaRocca, commonly known as rock drummer, producer Frankie LaRocka, passed away ~ Briefly a member of Scandal, appearing on the band's eponymous Scandal debut EP released in 1982. Has also drummed for Bon Jovi, David Johanson, Bryan Adams, and John Waite. Would go on to serve as A&R executive and producer, noted for signing the Spin Doctors and producing the band's 1991 Pocketful Of Kryptonite album ~ LaRocca was born in 1954
May 12, 2005 ~ Eva Monica Nilsson, commonly known as vocal jazz singer, actress Monica Zetterlund, passed away in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Best known collaborating with Bill Evans on the acclaimed 1964 album Waltz For Debby. Known in Sweden as a fine interpreter of Evert Taube, Olle Adolphson, Povel Ramel. Known internationally for her collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Stan Getz, Steve Kuhn, Quincy Jones, and others ~ Nilsson was born in 1937
May 12, 2004 ~ Jazz clarinetist, composer John LaPorta, full name John Daniel Laporta, passed away in Sarasota, Florida, USA ~ Classically trained, LaPorta is known for fusing jazz with classical music. One-time classmate of Buddy DeFranco. Played with Charlie Ventura and Bill Harris while still in his teens. LaPorta has recorded close to a dozen albums since the mid-1950s, and is respected in both the classical world for his collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, and Igor Stravinsky, and in jazz circles for his collaborations with Woody Herman, Kenny Clarke, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, and Lester Young ~ LaPorta was born in 1920
May 12, 2003 ~ Jazz, blues pianist Bross Townsend, full name Bross Elvie Townsend, passed away ~ Worked with Jimmy Scott, Wynonie Harris, Gene Ammons, John Coltrane, Memphis Slim, Jimmy Reed, Warren Smith, Carrie Smith, Bubba Brooks, Woody Herman, Diana Ross, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Arvell Shaw, Bob Cunningham, Bernard Pretty Purdie, and others ~ Townsend was born in 1933
May 12, 2001 ~ A collaborative effort, Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL win the 46th edition for Estonia of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Copenhagen, Denmark ~ Representing Estonia, Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL win with Everybody written by Ivar Must and Maian-Anna Kärmas. Denmark would reach 2nd place, represented by Rollo & King with Never Ever Let You Go, while Greece's Antique reached 3rd place with Die For You
May 12, 2001 ~ Pierino Ronald Como, commonly known as easy listening, vocal pop singer, actor Perry Como, passed away in Jupiter, Florida, USA ~ Recorded since the early 1940s, remaining popular well into the 1960s. Best known for songs such as I'm Gonna Love That Gal, Till The End Of Time, Prisoner Of Love, Chi Baba Chi Baba (My Bambino Go To Sleep), Some Enchanted Evening, If (They Made Me A King), Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes, Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom), Round And Round, Catch A Falling Star and It's Impossible ~ Como was born in 1912
May 12, 1998 ~ The album Before These Crowded Streets by the Dave Matthews Band debuts atop the Billboard Hot 200 charts ~ As the band's two previous albums, Before These Crowded Streets was produced by Steve Lillywhite. It would be their first, however, to reach the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 200, ending a 16-week run for Titanic (Music From The Motion Picture). A critical and commercial success, highlights of the album included Don't Drink The Water, which notably featured guests singer Alanis Morissette and banjoist Béla Fleck, Stay (Wasting Time), and Crush. The band would go on to score half a dozen more Billboard Hot 200 No.1 albums through the late 2010s
May 12, 1995 ~ Domenica Berté, commonly known as singer Mia Martini, passed away in Cardano al Campo, Italy ~ Widely regarded as one of the all-time leading voices of Italian music. Internationally best known for representing Italy twice at the Eurovision Songfestival, reaching thirteenth place in 1977 wth Liber5a and 4th place in 1992 with Per Amarti ~ Berté was born in 1947
May 12, 1993 ~ Trevor Christensen, commonly known as dubstep, trap, tropical house producer, DJ Said The Sky, born in Denver, Colorado, USA ~ Frequent collaborator of Illenium. Best known for his 2016 single Rush Over Me featuring Haliene. Released his full-length Wide-Eyed debut album in 2018. Has also collaborated with the likes of 3LAU, Matthew Koma, Dabin, SLANDER, and others
May 12, 1984 ~ Indie rock bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist Jessica Dobson born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Fronts Deep Sea Diver, which also includes her husband Peter Mansen. The band released their New Caves debut EP in 2009, initially a solo project yet would evolve into a full-fledged band by the time of their full-length History Speaks debut album released in 2012. Dobson briefly toured and recorded with the Shins during the early 2010s. Has also backed Beck on his 2008 Modern Guilt tour
May 12, 1981 ~ Singer, guitarist, trumpeter, songwriter David Myles born in Fredericton, Canada ~ Actively recording since the mid-2000s with over a dozen self-released albums to his name. Steadily built a devoted fanbase through active touring and cross-genre collaborations. Best known for the 2013 collaborative single Inner Ninja with rapper Classified, the all-time biggest-selling rap single in Canadian music. Has also worked with operatic and concert soprano Measha Brueggergosman, jazz-pop singer Alex Cuba, and others
May 12, 1981 ~ Gerwin Pardoel, commonly known as rapper Gers Pardoel, born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands ~ Rapper known for a string of Dutch top 10 hits in the early 2010s. First gained attention with a guest appearance on the Opposites' 2009 single Broodje Bakpao. Released his solo debut album, Deze Wereld Is Van Jou, in 2011, which spawned the Dutch No.1 single Ik Neem Je Mee. Also known for songs such as Ik Ga Hard (a collaboration with the Partysquad), Bagagedrager and Louise
May 12, 1978 ~ Indie rock, psychedelic rock, pop rock singer, songwriter Alex Ebert, full name Alexander Michael Tahquitz Ebert, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Frontman of Ima Robot, best known for Greenback Boogie which would be used as the main theme song of the legal drama TV series Suits. Frontman of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Ebert is also known for composing the score to the 2013 action drama film All Is Lost starring Robert Redford
May 12, 1978 ~ Jason Powers, commonly known as rapper Elzhi, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Member of Slum Village, joining the band in 2002 following J Dilla's departure. First appeared on the Trinity (Past Present & Future) album released later the same year. Powers released his The Preface solo debut album in 2008
May 12, 1976 ~ Jason Drew Harrow, commonly known as rapper, DJ, producer, label executive Kardinal Offishal, born in Scarborough, Canada ~ Dubbed “the Ambassador of Hip-hop” generally regarded as one of the best hip-hop producers of Canada. Emerged from the 1990s underground scene. Member of Circle. Released his full-length Eye And I solo debut album in 1997. Scored the 2008 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Dangerous featuring Akon. Has worked with Choclair, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, Pharrell Williams, Bounty Killer, Pitbull, Melanie Durrant, Marco Polo, Estelle, Pete Rock, Method Man, Talib Kweli, Wretch 32, and others
May 12, 1976 ~ Blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, rock singer, guitarist, bassist, harmonicist, songwriter Keith Relf, full name William Keith Relf, passed away in Hounslow, UK ~ Original lead singer, key member for the Yardbirds. The band is best-known for hits such as For Your Love, Heart Full Of Soul, Evil Hearted You, Shapes Of Things, and Over Under Sideways Down. Following the band's disbandement in 1968 Relf formed the acoustic duo Together with bandmate Jim McCarthy, followed by Renaissance. Would subsequently work with Steamhammer, folk-rock band Hunter Muskett, world music group Amber, psychedelic rockers Saturnalia, blues-rock outfit Medicine Head, and supergroup Armageddon ~ Relf was born in 1943
May 12, 1975 ~ Jazz, pop accordionist, organist, singer Joe Mooney passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA ~ Went blind around 10 years of age. Recorded with his brother Dan Mooney in the late 1920s as the Sunshine Boys and the Melotone Boys. Played piano with Frank Dailey, and with Buddy Rogers in the late 1930s. Arranged for Paul Whiteman, Vincent Lopez, Larry Clinton, and for the Modernaires through the early 1940s. Started his own quartet in 1943. Sang with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra in the 1950s ~ Mooney was born in 1911
May 12, 1974 ~ Robert McArthur Hubbert, commonly known as post rock, flamenco guitarist, singer RM Hubbert, born in Glasgow, UK ~ Valued member of the Glasgow DIY scene since the early 1990s. Member of the Blisters, which also included future Franz Ferdinand-singer Alex Kapranos. Member of post rock outfit El Hombre Trajeado, known for the albums Skipafone, Saccade, and Shlap. As a solo artist praised for his First & Last album self-released in 2009, consisting of solo guitar pieces based on flamenco structures and techniques
May 12, 1972 ~ Alternative rock, garage rock, punk blues drummer Don Blum, full name Donald Joseph Blum, born ~ Member of the Von Bondies, best known for C'mon C'mon of their 2004 Pawn Shoppe Heart sophomore album. Blum also appeared on Freddy & the Four-Gone Conclusions' 2002 Wigged Out Sounds album
May 12, 1970 ~ Ifar Barzelay, commonly known as alt-country singer, guitarist, songwriter Eef Barzelay, born in Tel Aviv, Israel ~ Frontman and primary songwriter of alt-country outfit Clem Snide. The band is named after a character in several novels by William S Burroughs and has been recording since the 1990s. Barzelay is also known as a solo artist, releasing his Bitter Honey debut album in 2006, and has contributed to the soundtrack of the 2014 Rudderless musical drama film
May 12, 1969 ~ Jazz pianist, accordionist, tubist, bandleader Erlend Skomsvoll, full name Erlend Fredrik Skomsvoll, born in Bærum, Norway ~ Member of Skomsork. Member of Wibutee. Also worked with Live Maria Roggen, Madrugada, the Kaizers Orchestra, Nils Petter Molvær, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Marit Sandvik, Kirsti Huke, Morten Abel, Mark Adderley, and others
May 12, 1968 ~ Guitarist, singer Dylan Carlson born in Seattle, Washington, USA ~ Influenced by Molly Hatchet, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, the Melvins, Terry Riley. Best known as guitarist, founding member of metal drone, post-rock outfit Earth. One-time roommate of a then-unknown Kurt Cobain of later Nirvana-fame, with whom he remained good friends until Cobain's death in 1994
May 12, 1966 ~ Isabel Gilberto de Oliveira, commonly known as bossa nova, samba, Latin pop singer, songwriter Bebel Gilberto, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Daughter of pioneering guitarist João Gilberto and singer Miúcha. Ha been performing since her youth. Released a collaborative album with Pedrinho Rodrigues, Um Certo Garaldo Pereira Funarte, in the early 1980s. Released her eponymous Bebel Gilberto solo debut EP in 1986, her 2000 full-length Tanto Tempo debut album followed in 2000. Has recorded consistently to critical acclaim since
May 12, 1965 ~ British rockers the Rolling Stones record I Can't Get No Satisfaction at RCA Studios, Hollywood, California ~ Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. Recorded inbetween tour dates. One of the Stones' best-known songs. Their first American No.1 hit. Mick Jagger vocals, Keith Richards electric guitar and backing vocals, Brian Jones acoustic guitar, Bill Wyman bass guitar, Charlie Watts drums, Jack Nitzsche piano, tambourine. Notably covered by Otis Redding who claimed he did not know the lyrics of the song: “I use a lot of words different than the Stones' version, that's because I made them up.”
May 12, 1965 ~ Rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Tamio Okuda born in Hiroshima, Japan ~ Rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of Unicorn. The band is known for songs such as Working Man, WAO, and Half-Century Boy. Following the band's disbandement in 1994 Okuda has recorded as a solo artist, starting with Ai No Tame Ni, written for others including PUFFY, and worked with supergroup the Curling Sitones
May 12, 1965 ~ R&B singer Wilson Pickett records In The Midnight Hour at Stax Studios, Memphis, Tennessee ~ Written by Pickett and Steve Cropper. Produced by Copper and Jim Stewart. Released as a single the following June, b/w I'm Not Tired, it would top Billboard R&B and just barely stay out of the top 20 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. Pickett is backed by Stax/Volt's finest session musicians featuring Cropper on guitar, Donald Duck Dunn bass, Joe Hall piano, Wayne Jackson trumpet, Andrew Love and Floyd Newman saxophones, Al Jackson Jr drums
May 12, 1962 ~ Singer, guitarist, producer Brett Gurewitz born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founding member, lead guitarist for punk rock outfit Bad Religion, best known for their 1994 Stranger Than Fiction which included the singles Infected and 21st Century Boy. Gurewitz also fronted Daredevils, a side project during one of his hiatuses from the band and known for the single Hate You. Gurewitz founded the Epitaph Records label and has served as producer for the likes of NOFX, Rancid, and Pennywise
May 12, 1961 ~ William Henry Duffy, commonly known as rock, alternative rock, post-punk guitarist Billy Duffy born in Hulme, UK ~ Influenced by Thin Lizzy, the Who, Led Zeppelin, the New York Dolls, the Stooges, the Sex Pistols, AC/DC. Co-founded the Cult with Ian Astbury, known best for She Sells Sanctuary of their 1985 Love sophomore album. Duffy has also worked with Theatre Of Hate, Coloursound, the Cardboard Vampyres, and Circus Diablo
May 12, 1959 ~ Hard rock, blues rock singer Ray Gillen, full name Raymond Arthur Gillen, born in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, USA ~ Briefly fronted Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s. More of a blues rock singer than a heavy metal singer, critically compared to Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, and Steve Marriott, Gillen would become best known as lead singer for Badlands. Present on the band's first two albums, the eponymous Badlands debut album released in 1989, and its follow-up Voodoo Highway two years later. Has also worked with Phenomena, Savatage, Blue Murder, Raging Slab, George Lynch, Sun Red Sun, and Rondinelli ~ Gillen passed away in 1993
May 12, 1956 ~ Keyboardist, percussionist, musical director, songwriter Greg Phillinganes, full name Gregory Arthur Phillinganes, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Released two albums as a solo artist, Significant Gains in 1981 and Pulse in 1984. In-demand session keyboardist. Present on Stevie Wonder's seminal Songs In The Key Of Life album. Musical director for Michael Jackson, present on albums such as Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad. Other notable collaborations include Earth Wind & Fire, Paulinho Da Costa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Syreeta Wright, Tavares, Gil Scott-Heron, Flora Purim, George Benson, Minnie Riperton, the Pointer Sisters, Patti Austin (Every Home Should Have One), Lionel Richie, Donald Fagen (The Nightfly), James Ingram, Joe Cocker (Civilized Man), Al Jarreau, Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees, Joyride, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bublé, Toto, and Jill Scott
May 12, 1955 ~ R&B, soul, gospel, jazz singer, pianist, songwriter Garry Glenn born ~ While still in his teens toured with his sister, gospel singer Beverly Glenn. Released his eponymous solo debut album, Garry Glenn, in 1980. Best known as a songwriter, songs written or co-written by Glenn recorded by artists such as Dianne Quander, the Dramatics, Earth Wind & Fire (Share Your Love), the Emotions, Eddie Kendricks (Intimate Friends), Jean Carn, Anita Baker (Caught Up In The Rapture), Atlantic Starr (Armed & Dangerous), Santana, Natalie Cole (Gonna Make You Mine), and Pieces Of A Dream ~ Glenn was born in 1991
May 12, 1955 ~ Leon Eric Brooks III, commonly known as singer, songwriter Kix Brooks born in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA ~ As a solo artist known for his 1989 eponymous Kix Brooks album, spawning the single Sacred Ground. Rose to fame as half of Brooks & Dunn duo with Ronnie Dunn, debuting in 1991 with the Brand New Man album. The duo would dominate the Billboard Country charts since, scoring numerous hits including Neon Moon, Boot Scootin' Boogie, She Used To Be Mine, That Ain't No Way To Go, Little Miss Honky Tonk, A Man This Lonely, Husbands And Wives, It's Getting Better All The Time, Play Something Country, Cowgirls Don't Cry featuring Reba McEntire
May 12, 1953 ~ Blues, rock, reggae guitarist, singer Donald Kinsey born in Gary, Indiana, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Kinsey Report, which also included Ron Prince, his brothers Ralph Kinsey and Kenneth Kinsey, and patriarch Big Daddy Kinsey. Kinsey is also well known for his association with Albert King, appearing on the albums Blues At Sunset and Blues At Sunrise, both recorded live mostly at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, and as a member of Peter Tosh's backing unit including on the albums Legalize It, Bush Doctor, and Mama Africa. Other notable associations include Bob Marley (Rastaman Vibration), Burning Spear, Betty Wright, Roy Buchanan (Hot Wires), and Denroy Morgan ~ Kinsey passed away in 2024
May 12, 1953 ~ Jazz saxophonist, composer Odd Riisnæs born in Oslo, Norway ~ Son of pianist Eline Nygaard Riisnæs, brother of saxophonist Knut Riisnæs. Leader and sideman. Has worked with Dag Arnesen, Arve Henriksen, Kjell Karlsen, Geir Lysne, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Eberson, Terje Gewelt, Jon Balke, Audun Kleive, and Oslo 13
May 12, 1952 ~ Blues guitarist, banjoist, actor Guy Davis born ~ Has been recording since the late 1970s. First gained attention as actor in the mid 1980s. First combined music and acting in Mulebone, a 1991 Broadway musical featuring the music of Taj Mahal. Received critical praise for playing the role of Robert Johnson in the play Trick The Devil. Has since written his own plays and recorded numerous well-received blues albums
May 12, 1950 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Billy Squier, full name William Haislip Squier, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Enjoyed a string of 1980s hits bridging the gap between hard rock and power pop. His best-known being 1981's The Stroke and 1984's Rock Me Tonite, both of which reached Billboard Hot 100 top 20. Also noted for having guested in Ringo Starr & his All-Starr Band
May 12, 1950 ~ Singer, drummer, producer John Marcellino, commonly known as Jocko Marcellino, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Founding member of Sha Na Na, present at the original the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, in the 1978 Grease and on their eponymous Sha Na Na TV show. Also known as actor, including in films such as Rain Man and TV shows such as Law & Order SVU
May 12, 1950 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion, soul jazz organist, keyboardist Ronnie Foster born in Buffalo, New York, USA ~ Known for a string of 1970s Blue Note albums over time held in the highest acclaim by afficionados and influential on hip hop and especially 1990s acid jazz. Especially acclaimed for The Two-Headed Freap and On The Avenue released respectively in 1973 and 1975. Guested on key albums such as George Benson's Breezin' and Stevie Wonder's masterpiece Songs In The Key Of Life. Other notable collaborations include Grant Green, Roberta Flack, Roy Ayers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lamont Johnson, Flora Purim, Lalo Schifrin, the Jacksons, Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Chayanne, Fuse One, Earl Klugh, João Bosco, and Lee Ritenour
May 12, 1949 ~ Blues harpist, singer, bandleader James Montgomery born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Frontman and eponym of the James Montgomery Blues Band, active since the early 1970s. The band has recorded well over a dozen albums and would serve as launching pad for artists such as Billy Squier, Jeff Golub, Nunzio Signore, Jeff Pevar, Jeff Levine, Tom Gambel, and others.
May 12, 1948 ~ Keyboardist, singer, songwriter Steve Winwood, full name Stephen Lawrence Winwood, born in Handsworth, UK ~ Rose to fame in his mid-teens as a member of the Spencer Davis Group, scoring hits with Keep On Running, Somebody Help Me, Gimme Some Lovin', and I'm A Man. Formed Traffic in 1967, with Jim Capaldi and Winwood writing the majority of the band's material including songs such as Paper Sun and The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys. Formed short-lived supergroup Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech. Has recorded over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with the eponymous Steve Winwood released in 1977, and especially successful from the mid to late 1980s, songs such as Higher Love, The Finer Things, Valerie, Roll With It, and Don't You Know What The Night Can Do all reaching top 10 Billboard Hot 100. Over the years, notable guest credits include playing the organ on Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile as well as appearances on albums by Joe Cocker, Howlin' Wolf, Lou Reed (Berlin), Toots & the Maytals, George Harrison, Billy Joel, Phil Collins (But Seriously), Soulsister, Paul Weller (Stanley Road), Miranda Lambert, and Gov't Mule
May 12, 1945 ~ Keyboardist Ian McLagan, full name Ian Patrick McLagan, born in Hounslow, UK ~ Member of the Small Faces, for whom he wrote Up The Wooden Hills To Bedforshire and Long Agos And Worlds Apart, and its successor the Faces. In-demand session and touring keyboardist, perhaps most notably for the Rolling Stones including playing electric piano on the Billboard Hot 100 charttopper Miss You of their 1978 Some Girls album. Close friend of Stones-guitarist Ronnie Wood, regularly serving in Wood's side projects including the New Barbarians. McLagan has also worked with artists such as Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Izzy Stradlin, John Hiatt, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, and the Georgia Satellites ~ McLagan passed away in 2014
May 12, 1944 ~ Conductor, singer Brian Kay born ~ Bass singer in the King's Singers from 1968 through 1982. Choral conductor closely associated with the Huddersfield Choral Society and the Really Big Chorus. Voice of Papageno in the 1984 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-biopic Amadeus. Voice of the “lowest-voiced frog” in Paul McCartney's We All Stand Together
May 12, 1944 ~ R&B, soul singer James Purify, full name James Lee Purify, born in Pensacola, Florida, USA ~ Half of James & Bobby Purify, the other half being Robert Lee Dickey, known for the 1966 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit I'm Your Puppet and 1967's Let Love Come Between Us ~ Purify passed away in 2021
May 12, 1942 ~ Singer, songwriter Ian Dury, full name Ian Robins Dury, born in Harrow, UK ~ Emerged among wave of punk, punk-pop, early new wave though none of the era's idioms fitted him. Known for his wordplay and lyrical prowess including complex rhyming akin to rap. Debuted in 1977 with the New Boots & Panties album. Known for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, the Gene Vincent-tribute Sweet Gene Vincent and perhaps his best-known Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick ~ Dury passed away in 2000
May 12, 1942 ~ Singer, songwriter Michel Fugain born in Grenoble, France ~ Actively recording since the late 1960s. Best known for his 1967 song Je N'Aurai Pas Le Temps. It would be notably covered by John Rowles the following year as If I Only Had Time, reaching top 10 across Europe
May 12, 1941 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion drummer Trevor Tomkins, full name Trevor Ramsey Tomkins, born in London, UK ~ Backed Don Rendell for most of the 1960s and early 1970s. Would go on to work with Nucleus, David Becker, Henry Lowther, Gilgamesh (Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into), Alan Gowen, and others ~ Tomkins passed away in 2022
May 12, 1940 ~ Maj Lillemor Lindfors, commonly known as singer, comedian Lill Lindfors, born in Helsinki, Finland ~ Actively performing since the 1960s. Best known for her one-woman shows mixing music and comedy. One of the first Swedes to sing samba. Internationally known for reaching 2nd place in the 1966 Eurovision Songfestival with Nygammal Vals
May 12, 1940 ~ Songwriter Norman Whitfield, full name Norman Jesse Whitfield, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Renowned songwriter, producer, often in partnership with Barrett Strong. Especially associated with the Temptations, producing eight of their albums from the mid-1960s through the early-1970s and co-writing some of their best-known including Psychedelic Shack, Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) and Papa Was A Rollin' Stone. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Whitfield include the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye (I Heard It Through The Grapevine), Gladys Knight, Edwin Starr (War), the Undisputed Truth (Smiling Faces Sometimes), Yvonne Fair, Willie Hutch, Rose Royce (Car Wash), and others ~ Whitfield passed away in 2008
May 12, 1938 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist Jimmy Hastings, full name James Brian Gordon Hastings, born in Aberdeen, UK ~ Prominent figure in the Canterbury scene, most closely associated with Caravan with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums including the acclaimed In The Land Of Grey And Pink and For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night. Hastings has also notably appeared on albums by Soft Machine, Trapeze (You Are The Music (We're Just The Band)), Murray Head, Bryan Ferry, Chris Squire (Fish Out Of Water), Hatfield & the North, and National Health. To younger audiences perhaps best known for guesting on the 2001 Radiohead album Amnesiac along with other members of Humphrey Lyttelton's eight-piece jazz band ~ Hastings passed away in 2024
May 12, 1936 ~ Guitar builder Gilberto Grácio born in Lisbon, Portugal ~ Third generation luthier. Since his sons have no desire to continue the tradition he is the last of the Grácio luthiers, the family considered one of the most important traditional guitar makers in Europe. Towards the end of his life he still worked in his Lisbon workshop yet devoted most of his time teaching two students who kept making guitars according to his family's tradition. Musicians who played his guitars include Carlos Paredes, António Chainho, Fernando Alvim and Jimmy Page ~ Grácio passed away in 2021
May 12, 1936 ~ Saxophonist Klaus Doldinger, full name Klaus Erich Dieter Doldinger, born in Berlin, Germany ~ Best known as founder, frontman, constant member of long-running outfit Passport, active since the early and especially in its early days critically regarded as “the European the Weather Report” for its influence. Doldinger is also well known for numerous film scores, perhaps most notably for the 1981 cult film Das Boot. Its characteric lead melody would later be used by rave group U96 for their 1991 Das Boot debut single
May 12, 1935 ~ Jazz double bassist Gary Peacock born in Burley, Idaho, USA ~ Active since the early 1950s. Closely associated with Laurindo Almeida, Albert Ayler, Paul Bley, and specifically Keith Jarrett, recording over two dozen albums with the latter starting in the early 1980s. As a leader best known for his 1977 Tales Of Another album. Has also appeared on albums by Terry Gibbs, Wes Montgomery (The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery), Bud Shank, Don Ellis, Ravi Shankar, Tony Williams, Helen Merrill, Chick Corea (Live In Montreux), Leon Redbone, Michel Petrucciani, and John Surman ~ Peacock passed away in 2020
May 12, 1935 ~ Rock, jazz, folk keyboardist, organist, bassist, guitarist, banjoist, tubist, trombonist, hornist Steve Knight, full name Stephen Sanders Knight, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known as member of Mountain from 1960 through 1972, present for their 1969 the Woodstock Music and Art Fair performance. Knight appeared on the band's first three albums, Climbing, Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers Of Evil. The band is best known for their 1970 Mississippi Queen single, considered a rock classic to this day. Previously Knight has played with the Feenjon Group, the Peacemakers, Devil's Anvil, and the short-lived late 1960s psychedelic folk outfit Wings ~ Knight passed away in 2013
May 12, 1931 ~ Violinist, conductor, composer Eugène Ysaÿe, full name Eugène-Auguste Ysaÿe, passed away ~ Dubbed “the King of the Violin” for his virtuosity. Principal violinist with the Benjamin-Bilse Beer Hall Orchestra, which would later develop into the Berlin Philharmonic. Held in the highest regard by the likes of Joseph Joachim, Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann, Anton Rubinstein, Pablo Casals. Had works written especially for him by composers such as Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Ernest Chausson, and César Franck. The latter would write Violin Sonata In A as a wedding present for Ysaÿe and his wife in 1886, a composition Ysaÿe would regularly perform for the rest of his life. Close friend Debussy dedicated his only string quartet, String Quartet In G-Minor, to Ysaÿe ~ Ysaÿe was born in 1858
May 12, 1928 ~ Songwriter, producer Burt Bacharach, full name Burt Freeman Bacharach, born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA ~ Composed hundreds of songs from the late 1950s through the 1980s, often in partnership with lyricist Hal David. Had his songs recorded by over an estimated 1,000 artists including Marty Robbins, Perry Como (Magic Moments), Etta James, Gene Pitney (24 Hours From Tulsa), Dionne Warwick (Don't Make Me Over), the Drifters, Brook Benton, Jackie DeShannon (What The World Needs Now Is Love), the Jazz Crusaders, the Carpenters ((They Long To Be) Close To You), Tom Jones (What's New Pussycat), Herb Alpert (This Guy's In Love With You), Dusty Springfield, BJ Thomas (Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head), and Christopher Cross ~ Bacharach passed away in 2023
May 12, 1928 ~ Songwriter, arranger, producer, saxophonist Henry Cosby born in Royal Oaks, Michigan, USA ~ Key collaborator of Stevie Wonder during the 1960. Co-wrote, co-produced several hits for Wonder (Fingertips (Pt.2), My Cherie Amour, I Was Made To Love Her), Edwin Starr, the Supremes (Love Child), Brenda Holloway, the Miracles (The Tears Of A Clown), Marvin Gaye, and other Motown artists ~ Cosby passed away in 2002
May 12, 1927 ~ Folk, blues, jazz singer Barbara Dane born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Dubbed by some as “unsung hero of American music” and acclaimed for her 1957 Trouble In Mind album. Married to folk singer Rolf Cahn. Has worked with artists including Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Clara Ward, Little Brother Montgomery, Wilbur de Paris, and Otis Spann
May 12, 1922 ~ Jazz, swing, bop pianist, organist Gerald Wiggins, full name Gerald Foster Wiggins Sr, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Flexible pianist with over a dozen albums to his name as leader or co-leader, often working with a trio including bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Paul Humphrey. Especially noted for his 1953 Gerald Wiggins Trio album. As a sideman, Wiggins has appeared on albums by Zoot Sims (Zoot Sims In Paris), Milt Jackson, Joe Morello, Red Callender (Swingin' Suite), Buddy Collette (Man Of Many Parts), Frances Faye, Jack Millman (Shades Of Things To Come), Ray Bryant, Victor Feldman (Suite Sixteen), Curtis Counce, Billy Eckstine, Benny Carter (Aspects), Eric Dolphy, Lou Rawls, Mel Brown (Chicken Fat), Harry Sweets Edison, and Linda Hopkins ~ Wiggins passed away in 2008
May 12, 1921 ~ Guitarist, fiddler, singer Joe Maphis born in Suffolk, Virginia, USA ~ One of country's flashiest guitarists from the 1950s and 1960s. Best known for Dim Lights Thick Smoke And Loud Loud Music. Worked with Merle Travis, Johnny Bond, Johnny Burnette, Doyle Holly, the Collins Kids, Wanda Jackson, Rose Maddox, Ricky Nelson, and others ~ Maphis passed away in 1986
May 12, 1920 ~ Billie Moore, commonly known as Western swing, country mandolinist Tiny Moore, born in Port Arthur, Texas, USA ~ Best known for his work with Bob Wills during the 1940s and early 1950s, earning a reputation as one of the all-time prime mandolin players. Notably present on classic Wills tracks such as Three Guitar Rag and Bubbles In My Beer. Tired of touring, Moore would mostly retire from music by the early 1950s, keeping himself occupied running a bar, and hosting a children's TV show on a local station. Later he would serve in Merle Haggard's backing unit the Strangers for a little over a decade, and record two acclaimed albums of his own, 1972's Tiny Moore Music and 1979's Back To Back with fellow mandolin virtuoso Jethro Burns. Although best known as a mandolin player, Moore also mastered fiddle, banjo, and drums. Moore would be posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999 for his work with Wills's group the Texas Playboys ~ Moore passed away in 1987
May 12, 1910 ~ Arranger, composer, pianist Gordon Jenkins, full name Gordon Hill Jenkins, born in Webster Groves, Missouri, USA ~ Worked with the Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, the Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Nilsson, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Isham Jones, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Andre Kostelanetz, Lennie Hayton, Dick Haymes, Charles Lavere, Patty Andrews, and others ~ Jenkins passed away in 1984
May 12, 1901 ~ Conductor, violinist, composer Hyam Greenbaum born ~ Founded and conducted the BBC Television Orchestra, playing on the inaugural broadcast in August 1936 making him the world's first conductor of any TV orchestra. The orchestra was disbanded in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II as the TV service was suspended, yet Greenbaum would continue to conduct for BBC radio with other orchestras ~ Greenbaum passed away in 1942
May 12, 1845 ~ Organist, pianist, composer Gabriel Fauré, full name Gabriel Urbain Fauré, born in Pamiers, France ~ Considered of the foremost French composers of his generation. Served as the bridge between the Romantic era and modernism of the 20th century. Known for works such as Pavane, Sicilienne, Après Un Rêve, and Clair De Lune ~ Fauré passed away in 1924