This Day In Music: May 17
May 16 ~ Birthdays/All ~ May 18
May 17, 2023 ~ Alasdair Mackie Ward, commonly known as rock & roll, punk rock singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboardist Algy Ward, passed away in Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK ~ Best known for founding Tank, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums. The band is especially acclaimed for their 1982 Filth Hounds Of Hades debut album, produced by Motörhead-guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke, considered a landmark album in British heavy metal. Previously Ward had played with Australian rock outfit the Saints from 1977 through 1980, present on the albums I'm Stranded, Eternally Yours, and Prehistoric Sounds. Ward was also briefly a member of the Damned, appearing on the 1979 Machine Gun Etiquette comeback album before being fired due to animosity with the band's drummer Rat Scabies ~ Ward was born in 1959
May 17, 2022 ~ Bassist Rick Price, full name Richard Gordon Price, passed away ~ Member of a number of Birmingham-based bands starting with Sight & Sound, and subsequently with the Move from 1969 through 1971 and perhaps most notably Wizzard from 1972 through 1975 scoring the UK No.1 hits See My Baby Jive and Angel Fingers. Briefly played with the Electric Light Orchestra, though his bass parts would not make it to the band's 1971 eponymous Electric Light Orchestra debut album. Married to singer Dianne Lee of the 1970s duo Peters & Lee ~ Price was born in 1944
May 17, 2022 ~ Evángelos Odysseás Papathanassiou, commonly known as pianist, keyboardist, composer Vangelis, passed away in France ~ Member of Aphrodite's Child, acclaimed for their 1972 666 album which is considered a landmark album in progressive, psychedelic rock. Formed the duo Jon & Vangelis with Yes lead singer Jon Anderson. Acclaimed film composer, noted for the soundtracks to Blade Runner, 1492 (Conquest Of Paradise) and Chariots Of Fire. The latter, released in 1981, would earn Papathanassiou an Academy Award for Best Original Score ~ Papathanassiou was born in 1943
May 17, 2021 ~ Singer Neal Ford passed away ~ Fronted Neal Ford & the Fanatics, known for a handful of mid- to late 1960s singles and a sole eponymous album, regarded by aficionados as early key recordings in the pyschedelic rock era. Well known songs include I Can''t Go On, Good Men and Woman ~ Ford was born ca.1943
May 17, 2020 ~ Singer, songwriter Just Sam wins American Idol ~ Singer, songwriter Just Sam wins the 18th season of the talent show American Idol aired on ABC. Singer, songwriter Arthur Gunn finished as the runner-up
May 17, 2020 ~ Judge Kenneth Peterson, commonly known as guitarist, keyboardist, singer Lucky Peterson, passed away in Dallas, Texas, USA ~ Comtemporary blues singer, drawing from soul, R&B, gospel, rock & roll and other idioms. Has backed artists such as Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton. Best known for a number of well-received late 1980s, 1990s albums, notably Lucky Strikes, I'm Ready and Beyond Cool ~ Peterson was born in 1964
May 17, 2016 ~ Singer, songwriter Guy Clark passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Singer, songwriter with over 20 albums to his name. Helped define Americana. Highly admired by peers. Known for songs such as LA Freeway, Waiting For A Train, and Homegrown Tomatoes. Had his songs recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Bobby Bare, Ricky Skaggs (Heartbroke), John Conlee, Asleep At The Wheel, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and by Willie Nelson. ~ Clark was born in 1941
May 17, 2013 ~ Singer, songwriter Alan O'Day, full name Alan Earle O'Day, passed away in Westwood, California, USA ~ As a singer, songwriter best known for his 1977 million-seller Undercover Angel. Staff songwriter at Warner Brothers Music. Artists who recorded his songs include Three Dog Night, Bobby Sherman, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Dusty Springfield, Captain & Tennille, Cher, the Righteous Brothers (Rock & Roll Heaven), Helen Reddy (Angie Baby), and Anne Murray. Moved from pop to television in the 1980s, collaborating with singer, songwriter Janis Liebhart, writing over one hundred songs for the children's show Muppet Babies as well as work on other children's programs ~ O'Day was born in 1940
May 17, 2013 ~ Composer, pianist Harold Shapero, full name Harold Samuel Shapiro, passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA ~ Initially played jazz, notably with the swing ensemble the Hal Kenny Orchestra, but would later gravitate towards contemporary classical. Well known compositions include Nine-Minute Overture, Symphony For Classical Orchestra, Serenade In D, and Credo ~ Shapero was born in 1920
May 17, 2012 ~ Ladonna Adrian Gaines, commonly known as singer Donna Summer, passed away in Naples, Florida, USA ~ Dubbed “the Queen of Disco”, known for a string of hits, often produced by Giorgio Moroder, including Love To Love You Baby, Last Dance, I Feel Love, Macarthur Park, Heaven Knows, Hot Stuff, Bad Girls, Dim All The Lights, and with Barbra Streisand, No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), On The Radio, and others ~ Gaines was born in 1948
May 17, 2002 ~ Johnny Lamont Merrett, commonly known as Blues, soul singer, guitarist, songwriter Little Johnny Taylor, passed away in Conway, Arkansas, USA ~ Member of gospel outfit the Mighty Clouds Of Joy. As a solo artist known for a number of 1950s, 1960s recordings, notably You'll Need Another Favor and Part Time Love, the latter topping the R&B charts in 1963 ~ Merrett was born in 1943
May 17, 2002 ~ Songwriter Sharon Sheeley, full name Sharon Kathleen Sheeley, passed away in Sherman Oaks, California, USA ~ At age 18 became the youngest female songwriter to score a Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit when Ricky Nelson took her Poor Little Fool to the top of the charts. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Sheeley include Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran (Somethin' Else), Glen Campbell, Brenda Lee (Dum Dum), Irma Thomas (Breakaway), the Fleetwoods, the Kalin Twins, Helen Shapiro, the Searchers, and the Ronettes. Was unoficially engaged to Cochran. Sheeley survived the same car accident that killed Cochran and injured Gene Vincent while touring the UK ~ Sheeley was born in 1940
May 17, 2001 ~ Aaron Fredrick Mitchell Jr, commonly known as pop, R&B singer, songwriter AJ Mitchell, born in Belleville, Illinois, USA ~ Gained a following in the mid-2010s after posting videos of himself singing and performing covers on Youtube and Instagram. His original single Used To Be, written at age 13, would receive over a 100 millions streams. Well known for songs such as All My Friends, Slow Dance featuring Ava Max, and Stop. Released his official full-length Skyview debut album in 2021
May 17, 2001 ~ James Paul Koncek, commonly known as roots rock singer Top Jimmy, passed away ~ Frontman of Top Jimmy & the Rhythm Pigs, best known as the Blue Mondays band at Cathay de Grande nightclub, Hollywood during the early 1980s. The band would be regularly joined on-stage by the likes of Tom Waits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Bonnie Bramlett, and Percy Mayfield. The band would be saluted in the Van Halen-song Top Jimmy on the 1984 album ~ Koncek was born ca.1955
May 17, 1998 ~ Raqhid Jevon Render, commonly known as hip-hop, trap rapper, songwriter Lil' Keed, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Best known for his 2018 single Nameless. Has collaborated with Lil' Uzi Vert, Zaytoven, OT Genasis, Young Thug, Lil' Yachty, Lil Gotit, Nasty C, and others ~ Render passed away in 2022
May 17, 1998 ~ Operatic soprano Nina Dorliak passed away ~ Married to pianist Sviatoslav Richter, with whom she worked from the early 1940s until his death in 1997 performing works by Robert Schumann, Sergei Prokofiev, Modest Mussorgsky, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Has also worked with pianists such as Konstantin Igumnov, Alexander Goldenweiser, Maria Yudina, and Maria Grinberg. Voice teacher at the Moscow Conservatory, as was her mother Xenia Dorliak ~ Dorliak was born in 1908
May 17, 1997 ~ The 28th edition of Pinkpop takes place in Landgraaf, the Netherlands ~ Day 1 of 3. Mostly sunny and warm, this year's edition would draw a crowd of in total 49,200 visitors. Included on today's, Saturday the 17th's bill would be Republica, Marilyn Manson, Korn, DJ John, Cooler Than Jesus, Johan, Death In Vegas, the Roots, and DJ Dab
May 17, 1996 ~ John Watson Jr, commonly known as blues, soul, funk singer, guitarist, songwriter Johnny Guitar Watson, passed away in Yokohama, Japan ~ Active since the mid-1950s working with artists such as the Shields, Larry Williams, Little Richard, Don & Dewey, Johnny Otis, and others. Best known for a string of funky 1970s hits such as Ain't That A Bitch, Superman Lover and his biggest hit A Real Mother For Ya, the latter reaching top 10 on the American R&B charts in 1977 and in retrospect considered one of grooviest dancefloor fillers of the day. His music would later be sampled by various hip-hop and rap artists including Redman, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Jay-Z, and Mary J Blige. Watson died of a heart attack, suffered on stage, at age 61 while on tour in Japan ~ Watson was born in 1935
May 17, 1996 ~ Producer, songwriter, keyboardist Kevin Gilbert, full name Kevin Matthew Gilbert, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Also known under the moniker Matthew Delgado. Best known for his solo work in various progressive rock projects, as member of the short-lived Toy Matinee and for collaborating with Sheryl Crow on her acclaimed Tuesday Night Music Club debut album ~ Gilbert was born in 1966
May 17, 1990 ~ Free jazz saxophonist, bassist, singer Frank Wright passed away ~ Leader and sideman. Drew comparisons to Albert Ayler. Got his start as backing bassist for Rosco Gordon, Bobby Blue Bland and BB King before switching to saxophone. Has worked with Larry Young, Noah Howard, Sunny Murray, Henry Grimes, Eddie Gale, Jimmy Lyons, Andrew Cyrille, Cecil Taylor, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Bobby Few, Peter Brötzmann, Hans Dulfer, Louis Moholo, and others ~ Wright was born in 1935
May 17, 1984 ~ Folk rock, indie folk singer, songwriter Mike Rosenberg, full name Michael David Rosenberg, born in Brighton, UK ~ Lead singer, frontman of Passenger, keeping the moniker for his solo work after the band disbanded in 2009. Best known for the 2012 single Let Her Go which reached top 10 in well over a dozen countries including the UK, America and the Netherlands
May 17, 1981 ~ Progressive rock keyboardist Alan Gowen passed away in London, UK ~ Important figure in Canterbury scene. Best known for founding Gilgamesh in 1973 and founding National Health in 1975, departing the latter in 1977 but briefly returning for their 1978 eponymous National Health debut album. Has also worked with Assagai, Sunship, and Soft Heap. Gowen passed away of leukaemia at age 33 ~ Gowen was born in 1947
May 17, 1980 ~ Heavy metal singer Dallas Taylor, full name Dallas Taliaferro Taylor, born ~ Co-founding member of Underoath, appearing on the albums Act Of Depression, Cries Of The Past and Changing Of The Times before leaving the band in 2003 to be replaced by Spencer Chamberlain. Has also worked with Maylene & the Sons Of Disaster, the Everett, Riot Head, and ZEAL
May 17, 1976 ~ Producer, pianist, vibraphonist, songwriter, arranger Charles Stepney passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Co-founded Rotary Connection with Marshall Chess and produced most of the band's output. Would go on to produce a host of artists including Rotary-lead singer Minnie Riperton, the Dells, Earth Wind & Fire, Terry Callier, Ramsey Lewis, Maurice White, Marlena Shaw, Deniece Williams, the Soulful Strings, Howlin' Wolf, the Emotions, and others ~ Stepney was born in 1931
May 17, 1976 ~ Singer, songwriter Kandi Burruss, full name Kandi Lenice Burruss, born in College Park, Georgia, USA ~ Rose to fame in the early 1990s as member of R&B, hip-hop, soul group Xscape, known for the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits Just Kickin' It, Understanding, Who Can I Run To, The Arms Of The One Who Loves You, My Little Secret. As a songwriter known for penning or co-penning songs such as TLC's No Scrubbs, Destiny's Child's Bills Bills Bills and P!nk's debut single There You Go. Debuted as a solo singer with the album Hey Kandi in 2000
May 17, 1976 ~ Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, pianist Lars Gullin, full name Lars Gunnar Victor Gullin, passed away in Vissefjarda, Sweden ~ Father of saxophonist Peter Gullin and conductor Gabriella Gullin. Leader and sideman. Aspired to become a classical pianist but settled on jazz sax after hearing Gerry Mulligan on Miles Davis's Birth Of The Cool album. Has collaborated with Arne Domnérus, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Clifford Brown, Archie Shepp, Stan Getz, Quincy Jones, and others ~ Gullin was born in 1928
May 17, 1972 ~ Keith Lamar Johnson, commonly known as gospel singer, songwriter Keith Wonderboy Johnson, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Earned the nickname “Wonderboy” while still a child for his vocal prowess. Straddled the line between traditional and contemporary gospel. Over a dozen albums to his name, starting with Through The Storm released in 1998. Best known for his 2000 Live And Alive album. Well known songs include I Wouldn't Know You, Let Go Let God and True Love ~ Johnson passed away in 2022
May 17, 1972 ~ Anthony Williams, commonly known a DJ, turntablist Roc Raida, born in Harlem, New York, USA ~ Member of DJ team the X-Ecutioners, present on the band's first three albums including the acclaimed 2002 Built From Scratch album. Served as DJ for Busta Rhymes and for MF Grimm. Has produced tracks for Ill Al Skratch, Showbiz & AG, the Jungle Brothers, Skillz, Big Pun, and others. As a solo artist released about half a dozen albums, starting with The Adventures Of Roc Raida (One Too Many) in 1997 ~ Williams passed away in 2009
May 17, 1971 ~ Singer Vernie Bennett born in London, UK ~ Member of R&B girl group the Eternal, known for mid to late 1990s recordings such as Oh Baby I, Power Of A Woman, Don't You Love Me, I Wanna Be The Only One featuring CeCe Winans, Angel Of Mine, and perhaps their best-known Stay, the latter reaching the Billboard top 20 in 1993
May 17, 1969 ~ Folk rock singer, guitarist Alan Doyle, full name Alan Thomas Doyle, born in Petty Harbour, Canada ~ Lead singer of Great Big Sea, known best for late 1990s singles such as Ordinary Day, The End Of The World and Consequence Free. Has also released a number of solo albums, starting with 2012's Boy On Bridge, produced several tracks for Russell Crowe's 2006 My Hand My Heart, collaborated with Dean Brody, and guest starred on the Republic Of Doyle television series
May 17, 1968 ~ Drummer Dave Abbruzzese, full name David James Abbruzzese, born in Stamford, Connecticut, USA ~ Member of Pearl Jam, joining the band in 1991 shortly before the release of their Ten debut album as replacement for original drummer Dave Krusen. Remained with the band through 1994 and appeared on the albums Vs and Vitalogy. Has also worked with Green Romance Orchestra and guested on recordings by Course Of Empire, Nicklebag, Stevie Salas, Bernard Fowler, and others
May 17, 1967 ~ Singer Glen Campbell records Gentle On My Mind at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California ~ Written by folk singer, songwriter John Hartford. Campbell released his Al De Lory-produced version as a single in June 1967, initially to little succes. Re-released in 1968, earning no less than four Grammy Awards, two for Hartford, two for Campbell. The song would later be covered by Dean Martin, Patti Page, Elvis Presley on the 1969 From Elvis In Memphis album, Aretha Franklin as the B-side to 1969's I Can't See Myself Leaving You, Waylon Jennings, and numerous others
May 17, 1965 ~ Alternative rock, industrial rock, industrial metal, synth-pop singer, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter Trent Reznor, full name Michael Trent Reznor, born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Started in the mid-1980s in synth-pop bands such as Option 30, the Innocent and the Exotic Birds. Rose to fame as lead singer and sole constant member of industrial metal outfit Nine Inch Nails which he founded in 1988, earning critical acclaim and commercial succes with the band's Pretty Hate Machine debut album. Mentored Marilyn Manson. Co-wrote several soundtrack with frequent Nail-collaborator Atticus Ross, including 2010's The Social Network for which the duo was awarded an Academy Award for Best Original Score
May 17, 1961 ~ Enya Patricia Brennan, mononymously known as Celtic pop, world, new-age singer, pianist, percussionist, songwriter Enya, born in Gweedore, Ireland ~ First gained attention as member of family outfit Clannad from 1980 through 1982 and present on the albums Crann Ull and Fuaim. Would go on to become Ireland's best-selling solo artist known for her work on soundtracks such The Frog Prince and albums such as the eponymous 1987 Enya album and its follow-up Watermark the next year, the latter propelling her to international stardom. Best known for songs such as I Want Tomorrow, Orinoco Flow, Book Of Days and Anywhere Is
May 17, 1959 ~ Singer Elena Ledda born in Selargius, Italy ~ Originally sang opera yet drawn to the sounds of her native Sardinia has switched to folk. Over half a dozen albums to her name as a solo artist. In-demand collaborator, notably with Greek singer Savina Yannatou on the acclaimed 2006 collaborative album Tutti Bacci, as well as with Lester Bowie, Maria Del Mar Bonet, Paolo Fresu, Andreas Vollenweider, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos
May 17, 1958 ~ Post-punk, synth-pop, new wave keyboardist, guitarist Alan Rankine born in Bridge Of Alan, UK ~ Member of cabaret band Caspian, which would evolve into post-punk, new romantic outfit the Associates. The band would be best best known for their 1980 The Affectionate Punch album and their critically acclaimed Sulk masterpiece released in 1982. Following his departure from the band on the eve of the Sulk tour Rankine would establish himself as a producer for the likes of Paul Haig, the Cocteau Twins, and the Pale Fountains. Has also recorded as a solo artist in the late 1980s ~ Rankine passed away in 2023
May 17, 1958 ~ Paul Andrews, commonly known as heavy metal, punk rock singer, songwriter Paul di Anno born in Chingford, UK ~ First vocalist to record with Iron Maiden, remaining with the band from 1977 through 1981. Has also recorded as a solo artist and worked with acts such as Gogmagog, Praying Mantis, the Killers, and with Rockfellas
May 17, 1955 ~ Guitarist, singer David Townsend, full name David Edward Townsend, born in Inglewood, California, USA ~ Son of singer, producer, songwriter Ed Townsend. Member of Port Authority. Best known as co-founding member of Surface, the R&B band known for songs such as Happy, Closer Than Friends, You Are My Everything, Falling In Love, When Your Ex Wants You Back, Shower Me With Your Love, The First Time and Never Gonna Let You Down. Townsend also served as staff songwriter at EMI, co-writing songs for New Edition (Let's Be Friends), Gwen Guthrie, and Sister Sledge (You're So Fine) ~ Townsend passed away in 2005
May 17, 1955 ~ Jazz pianist, bandleader Ernst van 't Hoff passed away in Brussels, Belgium ~ During World War II ordered by the occupying Nazis to lead a big band and play state-approved dance music, but played jazz anyway for which he was repeatedly punished and eventually, in 1944, relieved from his post. Worked with Robert de Kers, Jean Omer, Hans Mossel, Ancienne Belgique, Ack van Rooyen, and others ~ Van 't Hoff was born in 1908
May 17, 1954 ~ Orchestral conductor Henrie Adams born in Thorn, the Netherlands ~ Closely associated with the Sinfonietta Geleen. Has also worked with de Kerkelijke Harmonie St Joseph, het Limburgs Symfonie Orkest, the Royal Military Band Johan Willem Friso, the Royal Band Of Belgian Guides, and others ~ Adams passed away in 2022
May 17, 1953 ~ Guitarist, songwriter George Johnson born ~ Member of the Brothers Johnson, which also included his brother bassist Louis Johnson. The siblings backed Bobby Womack, the Supremes, and Billy Preston before venturing out on their own, releasing their Quincy Jones produced Look Out For No.1 debut album in 1976. The band would regularly reach the higher echelons of the Billboard R&B throughout the mid-1980s. I'll Be Good To You, Strawberry Letter 23 and Stomp would also reach top 10 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100
May 17, 1953 ~ R&B singer, pianist Ray Charles records Mess Around ~ One of Charles' first hits. Written by Ahmet Ertegun, drawing from earlier versions of the piano riff, notably boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson's version. The origins may be traced back to as early as 1928 in Cow Cow Davenport's Cow Cow Blues
May 17, 1949 ~ Progressive rock, rock, jazz, jazz fusion drummer Bill Bruford, full name William Scott Bruford, born in Sevenoaks, UK ~ Cited as influence by Tool's Danny Carey, Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron, and Coheed & Cambria's Chris Pennie. Co-founding member of Yes, remaining with the band through 1972. Present on the band's first five albums, Yes, Time And A Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To The Edge. Worked with King Crimson from 1972 through 1974, and subsequently with Roy Harper, Genesis and UK before founding Bruford in 1977. Has also worked with Gong, National Health, Earthworks, and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
May 17, 1949 ~ Jazz guitarist Marc Fosset born in Paris, France ~ Influenced by Yves Montand, Didi Duprat, Django Reinhardt. Member of Magma. Also worked with Michel de Villers, René Urtreger, Claude Guilhot, Franco Manzecchi, Patrice Galas, Patrice Caratini, Stéphane Grappelli, Jean-Michel Cazorla, Philippe Briand, and others ~ Fosset passed away in 2020
May 17, 1948 ~ Folk, folk rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Dick Gaughan, full name Richard Peter Gaughan, born in Glasgow, UK ~ Regarded as one of Scotland's leading singers. Well known for Both Sides The Tweed and Song For Ireland, both notably covered by Mary Black. Over a dozen albums to his name, especially acclaimed for his 1981 Handful Of Earth album. Worked with the Boys Of The Lough, appearing on their 1973 eponymous The Boys Of The Lough album. Other notable collaborations include Five Hand Reel, Andy Irvine, Ken Hyder, and Clan Alba
May 17, 1946 ~ Drummer, vibraphonist, keyboardist Christian Burchard born in Munich, Germany ~ Co-founded Embryo in 1969, once described as “the most eclectic of krautrock bands.” The band has released over 40 albums in ever-changing line-ups with an estimated over 400 musicians at one time or another in its line-up ~ Burchard passed away in 2018
May 17, 1946 ~ Samuel Fuller, commonly known as bassist Sam Fuller, born in Denver, Colorado, USA ~ Member of psychedelic pop group the Rainy Daze known best for their 1967 modest hit That Acapulco Gold and sole album of the same name. The single would make it to the high 70s on the Billboard Hot 100 but was pulled once it was realized it was a pro-marijuana song ~ Fuller passed away in 2008
May 17, 1946 ~ Singer, drummer Udo Lindenberg born in Gronau, Germany ~ Founded Free Orbit. Drummed for jazz saxophonist Klaus Doldinger, including in early 1970s unit Passport. Member of jazz rock group Emergency. Played drums for the theme song to the popular crime TV show Tatort. Well over three dozen albums as a solo artist starting with Lindenberg released in 1971. Would establish himself as a pioneering German singer, filling the gap between internationally oriented Krautrock and mainstream pop and schlager music. Paved the way for later artists such as Stefan Waggershausen and Marius Müller-Westernhagen. Well-known songs include Sonderzug Nach Pankow, Wunder Geschehen, Wenn Du Durchhängst, Ein Herz Kann Man Nicht Reparieren, and Cello
May 17, 1944 ~ James Ridout Winchester Jr, commonly nown as singer, songwriter Jesse Winchester born in Bossier, Louisiana, USA ~ Best known for songs such as Yankee Lady, Isn't That So, Sassy and Say What. As a songwriter had his songs recorded by Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Jerry Garcia, Anne Murray, Reba McEntire, the Everly Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, and others ~ Winchester passed away in 2014
May 17, 1942 ~ Henry St Clair Fredericks, commonly known as guitarist, singer and songwriter Taj Mahal, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Multi-instrumentalist. Songwriter. Film composer. Often incorporates elements of world music into his works. Played with Ry Cooder, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters, and others
May 17, 1941 ~ Guitarist, trombonist, singer Malcolm Hale born in Butte, Montana, USA ~ Lead guitarist of sunshine pop outfit Spanky & Our Gang, best known for their 1967 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Sunday Will Never Be The Same. Subsequent hits would include Making Every Minute Count and Lazy Day. The band would disband shortly after Hale's death, though their remained popularity propelled the record label to reissue compilations and shelved recordings ~ Hale passed away in 1968
May 17, 1931 ~ Free jazz, avant-garde jazz saxophonist, bandleader Dewey Redman, full name Walter Dewey Redman, born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA ~ Father of saxophonist Joshua Redman. Leader and sideman. Worked with Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Pat Metheny, Old And New Dreams, Jon Ballantyne, Ed Blackwell, Cameron Brown, Jane Bunnett, Don Cherry, Anthony Cox, the Liberation Music Orchestra, Leroy Jenkins, Roswell Rudd, Randy Weston, Michel Benita, and others ~ Redman passed away in 2006
May 17, 1931 ~ John Lenwood McLean, commonly known as saxophonist Jackie McLean, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Son of guitarist John McLean Sr who played with Tiny Bradshaw. Received informal training from Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Charlie Parker. In high school playes with Kenny Drew, Sonny Rollins, and Andy Kirk Jr. Went on to play with Miles Davis, Gene Ammons, Charles Mingus, George Wallington, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan, Ornette Coleman, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Redd, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Grachan Moncur III, Bobby Hutcherson, Mal Waldron, Tina Brooks, Jack DeJohnette, and others ~ McLean passed away in 2006
May 17, 1925 ~ Gospel singer Ira Tucker Sr born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA ~ Father of singers Sundray Tucker, Ira Tucker Jr, and Lynda Lawrence. Best known as a member of the Dixie Hummingbirds for some seven decades from 1938, starting while in his early teens, until his death at age 83. The gospel quartet is considered one of the most important and certainly longest-running gospel quartets, influential on a wide array of artists including Jackie Wilson and James Brown ~ Tucker passed away in 2008
May 17, 1925 ~ Jazz, R&B bassist Peter Badie, full name Peter Chuck Badie, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Active since the early 1950s, performing and recording with Roy Brown, Paul Gayten, and Dave Bartholomew. Member of Lionel Hampton's orchestra during the mid-1950s. Would go on to work with Hank Crawford, Edward Frank, June Gardner, Dizzy Gillespie, and Zoot Sims. Retired from music by the 1970s for medical reasons. Reemerged in the 1990s as member of Dr John's backing unit ~ Badie passed away in 2023
May 17, 1923 ~ Peter Mennini, commonly known as composer, teacher Peter Mennin born in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Has written symphonies, concertos, and numerous works for wind band, chorus, and other ensembles. Perhaps best known as President of the prestigious performing arts conservatory the Juilliard School, New York, from 1962 until his death nearly two decades later ~ Mennini passed away in 1983
May 17, 1919 ~ Singer, songwriter, actor, film producer Antonio Aguilar, full name Jose Pascual Antonio Aguilar Marquez Barraza, born in Villanueva, Mexico ~ Acted in over 120 films. Over 150 albums to his name. Sold over 25 million copies. Dubbed “Mexico's Horseman” for being an avid equastrian. Known for songs such as Gabino Barrera, Caballo Prieto Azabche, Albur De Amor and Un Puno De Tierra ~ Barraza passed away in 2007
May 17, 1916 ~ Jazz tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette born in Denver, Colorado, USA ~ Dubbed “the Vice Prez” for his emulation of saxophonist Lester Young, the latter given the nickname “Prez” by Billie Holiday. Quinichette was active since the 1940s, backing artists such as Nat Towles, Ernie Fields, Jay McShann, Johnny Otis, Louis Jordan, Lucky Millinder, and Hot Lips Page, before forming his own groups by the early 1950s with whom he recorded about a dozen albums through the end of the decade, including the acclaimed Pres Meets Vice-Pres, Cattin' With Coltrane And Quinichette with John Coltrane, and For Basie ~ Quinichette passed away in 1983
May 17, 1908 ~ Henry Cyril Franklin, commonly known as opera singer David Franklin, born in London, UK ~ As an opera singer enjoyed popularity throughout the early 1951, his career paused by serving in the Army during World War II. A throat operation in 1951 forced him to retire from performing altogether, after which he ventured into writing and broadcasting known to the public for his appearances on the BBC Radio shows My Music and Twenty Questions ~ Franklin passed away in 1973
May 17, 1908 ~ Jazz trombonist Warren Smith born in Middlebourne, West Virginia, USA ~ Learned piano, cornet and saxophone before settling on the trombone. Active from the 1920s, starting in territory bands, through the 1960s. Has worked with Harrison's Texans, Abe Lyman, Bob Crosby, Bud Jacobsen, Bob Scobey, Jess Stacy, Lu Watters, Duke Ellington, Joe Darensbourg, Wild Bill Davison, and Red Nichols ~ Smith passed away in 1975
May 17, 1866 ~ Eric Alfred Leslie Satie, commonly known as composer, pianist Erik Satie, born in Honfleur, France ~ Influential in late 19th and early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. Precursor to minimalism and repetitive music. Well known suites include Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes. His compositions would find a new audience through a series of acclaimed 1980s albums by pianist Reinbert de Leeuw ~ Satie passed away in 1925