This Day In Music: May 26
May 25 ~ Birthdays/All ~ May 27
May 26, 2022 ~ Pop rock, progressive rock drummer Alan White passed away in Newcastle, Washington, USA ~ Member of the Plastic Ono Band, backing John Lennon on songs such as Imagine and Instant Karma. Best known as longtime member of progressive rock outfit Yes, joining the band in 1972 as replacement for Bill Bruford. Has also worked with the likes of Balls, Circa, George Harrison, Terry Reid, Joe Cocker, Doris Troy, and Donovan ~ White was born in 1949
May 26, 2022 ~ Keyboardist, bassist Andy Fletcher, full name Andrew John Leonard Fletcher, passed away in UK ~ Co-founded Composition Of Sound with Martin Gore and Vince Clarke. After the addition of David Gahan the band would be renamed to Depeche Mode, releasing their Speak & Spell debut album in 1981. The band would go on to become one of the leading and most certainly longest-running acts in synth-pop, new wave, dance-rock, and score hits such as Just Can't Get Enough, Everything Counts, People Are People, Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence and Condemnation ~ Fletcher was born in 1961
May 26, 2022 ~ Conductor, music director, producer Bill Walker, full name William Alfred Walker, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ After working with Jim Reeves relocated to America, only to find Reeves had died in a plane crash. Music director for The Johnny Cash Show during the late 1960s, working on some 60 episodes until the show was canceled. Led the orchestra on TNN's The Statler Brother Show for it's entire seven-year existence. Served as orchestrator, producer for the likes of Eddy Arnold (Make The World Go Away), Roy Clark, Marty Robbins, Sammi Smith (Help Me Make It Through The Night), Bobby Vinton, Bob Dylan (Copper Kettle), and Donna Fargo (The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA) ~ Walker was born in 1927
May 26, 2021 ~ Patrick Linch, commonly known as folk singer, guitarist, banjoist, songwriter Patrick Sky, passed away in Asheville, North Carolina, USA ~ Emerged from New York's Greenwich Village folk scene. Best known for his 1973 album Songs That Made America Famous, a collection of politically radical, satirical songs. It also included the first recorded version of Kuang Prabang written by close friend Dave Van Ronk ~ Linch was born in 1940
May 26, 2015 ~ Don Roscoe Joseph III, commonly known as pianist Rocky Frisco, passed away ~ Best known as longtime pianist for JJ Cale. Also worked with Steve Pryor, the Empty Pockets, Brad Absher, Larry Spears, Susan Herndon, Lata Gouveia, Dustin Pittsley, Jesse Aycock, Rodney Lay, Widespread Panic, Dennis Crouch, Snuggle Naked, Tex Waggoner, and others ~ Joseph was born in 1937
May 26, 2012 ~ Singer Loreen wins the 57th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Baku, Azerbaijan ~ Representing Sweden, Loreen wins with the song Euphoria written by Thomas Gustafsson and Peter Boström. Runner-ups would be Russia's Buranovskiye Babushki with Party For Everybody in second place, and Serbia's Zeljko Joksimovic with Nije Ljubav Stvar in third
May 26, 2012 ~ The 43rd edition of Pinkpop takes place in Geleen, the Netherlands ~ Day 3 of 3. Sunny and tropical warm, this year's edition would draw some 79,000 visitors in total. Included on today's, Saturday the 26th's bill would be Moss, Kyuss, Anouk, the Cure, Major Tom, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, the Ting Tings, Will & the People, Afghan Whigs, and Ben Howard
May 26, 2012 ~ Singer Vello Orumets passed away in Tartu, Estonia ~ Best known as soloist for Laine from 1960 through 1977. The ensemble consisted of members of the Estonian State Philharmonic and is known as one of the few to have introduced Estonian pop music to other Soviet republics during the Soviet era. Subsequently Orumets was a member of Erfia from 1978 through 1988 ~ Orumets was born in 1941
May 26, 2007 ~ The 38th edition of Pinkpop takes place in Landgraaf, the Netherlands ~ Day 1 of 3. Mostly dry with some rain, this year's edition drew some 62,500 visitors in total. Included on today's, Saturday the 26th's bill would include Goose, Juliette & the Licks, Within Temptation, Marilyn Manson, the Noisettes, Wir Sind Helden, Good Charlotte, Viberider, Stevie Ann, and C-Mon & Kypski
May 26, 2002 ~ Singer Marie N wins the 47th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Tallinn, Estonia ~ Representing Latvia, Marie N wins with the song I Wanna co-written with Marats Samauskis. Runner-ups would be Ira Losco representing Malta with 7th Wonder in second place, and Sahlene representing Estonia with Runaway in third place
May 26, 1997 ~ R&B, soul, pop singer, songwriter Grace Carter born in London, UK ~ Released her debut single Silence in 2017. Subsequently rose to prominence opening for Dua Lipa on Lipa's tour the same year. A full-length Why Her Not Me debut album would be released the next year
May 26, 1996 ~ The 27th edition of Pinkpop takes place in Landgraaf, the Netherlands ~ Day 2 of 3. A rainy weekend, this year's edition would draw some 59,000 visitors in total. Included on today's, Sunday the 26th's bill would include Pennywise, the Butthole Surfers, Life Of Agony, the Gathering, Hedningarna, Wicked Wonderland, Leftfield, the Fugees, Moloko, the Treble Spankers, the Easy Aloha's, and the Fun Lovin' Criminals again, the latter also having played the day before
May 26, 1994 ~ Jazz arranger Gil Fuller passed away in San Diego, California, USA ~ Active mostly in the 1930s and 1940s, Fuller wrote and arranged for bandleaders such as Les Hite, Floyd Ray, Jimmie Lunceford, Billy Eckstine, Tiny Bradshaw, Benny Carter, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Machito, Tito Puente, Tadd Dameron, Gil Evans, George Russell, Dizzy Gillespie, and others ~ Fuller was born in 1920
May 26, 1992 ~ Jazz bassist George Morrow passed away in Orlando, Florida, USA ~ Best known for his work with Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, and with Sonny Stitt. Morrow has also played with Charlie Parker, Sonny Criss, Teddy Edwards, Hampton Hawes, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Billie Holiday, Sonny Clark, Anita O'Day, Curtis Amy, Earl Anderza, and others ~ Morrow was born in 1925
May 26, 1990 ~ Bandleader, pianist, singer Chris McGregor passed away ~ Influenced by Béla Bartók, Arnold Schoenberg, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dollar Brand. Founded and led the Blue Notes, Brotherhood Of Breath, the Castle Lager Big Band, and others. Played the piano solo on Poor Boy of Nick Drake's 1970 Bryter Layter album ~ McGregor was born in 1936
May 26, 1989 ~ Jazz pianist Phineas Newborn Jr passed away in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Revered pianist influenced by Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and by Bud Powell. Studied piano as well as trumpet and saxophone. First played R&B in the family band consisting of Phineas Newborn Sr, Calvin Newborn, Tuff Green, Ben Branch and future Hi-Records label executive Willie Mitchell. The band served as the house band at Plantation Inn Club, backed BB King on King's first recordings and toured with Jackie Brenston in support of Rocket '88 in 1951. Phineas would go on to back musicians such as Big Walter Horton, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus. Phineas released his debut as a leader, Here Is Phineas, on Atlantic Records in 1956. He would continue to lead several piano trios and quartets, including sidemen such as Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, Jamil Nasser, Philly Joe Jones, Ernie Royal, Sahib Shihab, Les Spann, George Duvivier, Denzil Best, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, and others. Throughout his career he would at times be underrated and underrecorded and later be plagued by mental and physical illness, hindering his career. Despite setbacks he would eventually be seen as one of the most brilliant pianists in jazz, especially by peers and critics, and perform and record until his untimely death at 57 ~ Newborn was born in 1931
May 26, 1987 ~ Pop rock, soft rock singer Richard Marx releases Don't Mean Nothing, lead single off his eponymous debut album ~ While still only in his early twenties, at the start of his career, Don't Mean Nothing is a cynical take on the empty promises easily made by entertainment executives. Issued as his debut single, it would peak at No.3 Billboard Hot 100. The next three singles off the same album also reached top 10. Marx wrote the guitar rif, but the Eagles axeman Joe Walsh played the guitar solo on the track. Marx later commented: “He only came in the studio because he heard a demo of the song and really loved the song. So I didn't know him. It was all for the right reasons. It was all just music. He heard the song, went, ‘Yeah, I really like the song, and I don't care that it's his first record.’ He was so gracious, and he spent the whole afternoon in there with me”
May 26, 1980 ~ The 11th edition of Pinkpop takes place in Geleen, the Netherlands ~ A sunny day, some 50,000 visitors show up for this edition's bill which includes the Jam, the J Geils Band, Van Halen, the Specials, Joe Jackson, Garland Jeffreys, Raymond van het Groenewoud, and de Centimeters
May 26, 1979 ~ In its eighth week on the charts, Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger peaks at No.28 Billboard Hot 100 ~ A signature song for Seger, and one of the few hits he didn't write himself. The song was originally written by George Jackson and Thomas E Jones III, and presented to Seger who changed nearly all the lyrics. Seger would later comment: “I rewrote every verse you hear except for the choruses. I didn't ask for credit. My manager said: ‘You should ask for a third of the credit’, and I said: ‘Nah. Nobody's gonna like it’.” The song would enjoy renewed popularity after being used in the 1983 Risky Business film, Seger getting a big kick out of an underwear-clad Tom Cruise dancing to the song, an oft-parodied scene
May 26, 1978 ~ Guitarist, songwriter, producer Josh Kaufman, full name Joshua David Kaufman, born in Paterson, New Jersey, USA ~ Worked with the Yellowbords, Pooja, Follow The Leader, Annie Nero, Paul Banks, Dawn Landes, Josh Ritter, Bob Weir, Hannah Cohen, Craig Finn, Bonny Light Horseman, the War On Drugs, Lisa Hannigan, Trixie Whitley, and others
May 26, 1977 ~ R&B singer William Powell passed away in Canton, Ohio, USA ~ Lead singer for the O'Jays, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums. The band is known especially for two 1972 No.1 Billboard R&B hits, Back Stabbers and Love Train, both cherished and remembered as some of the finest of the Philly soul era. Other well known songs include Give The People What They Want, I Love Music (Part I), Livin' For The Weekend, Message In Our Music, and Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet Tender Love). Following Powell's death at age 35 of cancer, the band would attract Sammy Strain as lead singer, formerly of Little Anthony & the Imperials, and continued to record to lesser success ~ Powell was born in 1942
May 26, 1975 ~ Hip-hop, R&B, soul, neo soul singer, rapper, guitarist, songwriter Lauryn Hill, full name Lauryn Noelle Hill, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Rose to fame as member of the Fugees alongide Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, known best for their 1996 The Score sophomore album which included the hit singles Fu-gee-la, Killing Me Softly and Ready Or Not. As a solo artist especially acclaimed for her 1998 The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, one of the best-selling albums of all-time and pivotal to popularizing hip-hop and neo soul. The album's Doo Wop (That Thing) single would debut atop the Billboard Hot 100
May 26, 1974 ~ Jazz drummer, bandleader Mike Reed born in Bielefeld, West Germany ~ Worked with David Boykin, Rob Mazurek, Josh Berman, Jeff Parker, Nicole Mitchell, Josh Abrams, Jason Adasiewicz, Tomeka Reid, Jason Roebke, Tim Haldeman, Loose Assembly, Julian Priester, Nick Butcher, Craig Taborn, Marquee Hill, and others
May 26, 1973 ~ Swing, dixieland, jazz trombonist JC Higginbotham passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Leader and in-demand sideman. Has worked with Luis Russell, Benny Carter, Red Allen, Chick Webb, Fletcher Henderson, the Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Kenny Burrell, Buck Clayton, Coleman Hawkins, Alberta Hunter, Cootie Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon, Louis Armstrong, and others ~ Higginbotham was born in 1906
May 26, 1973 ~ R&B, soul, pop sibling group the Pointer Sisters release their eponymous The Pointer Sisters debut album ~ An impressive debut album, showcasing the siblings' versatility drawing from R&B, soul, funk, jazz, blues, and pop. The album would reach top 20 Billboard Hot 200, peaking at No.13, and spawn the singles Yes We Can Can, which reached No.11 Billboard Hot 100 and a cover of the Willie Dixon-penned blues classic Wang Dang Doodle, the latter first recorded by Howlin' Wolf over a decade earlier. The siblings would continue to record to mixed success, scoring an occasional hit now and then, before hitting their commercial peak in the 1980s
May 26, 1972 ~ Drummer Alan White, full name Alan Victor White, born in London, UK ~ Member of Starclub from 1991 through 1994. Member of Oasis joining in 1995 as replacement for original drummer Tony McCarroll. White appeared on six of the band's albums, starting with 1995's (What's The Story) Morning Glory. White would be the band's longest-serving drummer remaining through 2004 to be succeeded by Zak Starkey
May 26, 1970 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Keith Gattis born in Georgetown, Texas, USA ~ As a solo artist known for his single Little Drops Of My Heart of his 1996 eponymous Keith Gattis debut album. Wrote or co-wrote songs recorded by Charlie Robison, Kenny Chesney (El Cerrito Place). George Strait (I Got A Car), and by Randy Houser (What Whiskey Does). Played with George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Randy Houser, Gary Allan, Ashley Monroe, Allison Moorer, Waylon Payne, Miranda Lambert, Wade Bowen, Sara Evans, Brandy Clark, the Randy Rogers Band, Randy Travis, and the Eli Young Band ~ Gattis passed away in 2023
May 26, 1968 ~ William Edward John, commonly known as R&B, soul singer Little Willie John, passed away in Walla Walla, Washington, USA ~ Known for songs such All Around The World, Need Your Love So Bad, Talk To Me Talk To Me, Leave My Kitten Alone, Let Them Talk, Sleep and Fever ~ John was born in 1937
May 26, 1967 ~ Guitarist, mandolinist Ervan Coleman passed away ~ Best known for his close association with Herb Alpert as a member of the Tijuana Brass. Wrote the hit song Tijuana Taxi. Member of Julius Wechter's the Baja Marimba Band. Also worked the T-Bones. Coleman passed away of surgical complications. Alpert's Bud from the 1967 Herb ALpert's Ninth album was written and recorded as a tribute to Coleman, nicknamed Bud ~ Coleman was born in 1921
May 26, 1967 ~ Bassist, pianist, singer Kristen Pfaff, full name Kristen Marie Pfaff, born in Buffalo, New York, USA ~ Briefly a member of Hole, present on the band's 1994 Live Through This major label debut album. Returned to her previous band Janitor Joe in the weeks before her death of a heroin overdose ~ Pfaff passed away in 1994
May 26, 1965 ~ Singer Connie Francis records Love Is Me Love Is You ~ Written by Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch, the latter also serving as producer. Released the following September in the UK as the B-side of Roundabout. Released in the USA as an A-side in February 1966, paired with I'd Let You Break My Heart Again on the flip side. Francis would also recordd German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish versions. Others have recorded versions in Dutch, Finnish, Mandarin and Swedish
May 26, 1964 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Lenny Kravitz born in New York, New York, USA ~ His 1989 Let Love Rule debut album would be an instant hit in Europe but, though receiving warm reviews, it would take a while for American audiences to catch on to his hybrid of blues, funk, soul, psychedelica and hard rock. Would score his first and only Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit with It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over of his 1991 Mama Said sophomore album. Has recorded to critical acclaim, commercial success and a devoted fanbase since. Well known songs include Let Love Rule, Are You Gonna Go My Way, I Belong To You and American Woman
May 26, 1959 ~ Country keyboardist, singer David Robbins born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Co-founding member of Blackhawk remaining with the band from 1992 through 2008. Present on songs such as Every Once In A While, I Sure Can Smell The Rain, I'm Not Strong Enough To Say No, Like There Ain't No Yesterday and There You Have It, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Country
May 26, 1958 ~ Blues singer, drummer, guitarist Leroy Foster passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Known for a number of late 1940s, early 1950s recordings such as Locked Out Boogie, My Head Can't Rest Anymore, Pet Rabbit, Boll Weevil and Rolling & Tumbling (Part 1). Backed Muddy Waters in his formative years. Also worked with Sunnyland Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Johnny Jones, Lee Brown, and others ~ Foster was born in 1923
May 26, 1958 ~ Alternative rock, gothic rock, post-punk, indie rock guitarist, keyboardist, singer Wayne Hussey, full name Jerry Wayne Hussey, born in Bristol, UK ~ Co-founding and constant member, frontman of gothic rock outfit the Mission, known for a string of mid-1980s to early 1990s releases including the UK top 20 hits Wasteland, Tower Of Strength and Butterfly On A Wheel. Guitarist for Sisters Of Mercy from 1983 through 1985, present on the band's 1985 First And Last And Always debut album. Hussey had previously worked with Dead Or Alive, appearing on the band's 1984 Sophisticated Boom Boom debut album. Hussey released his Bare solo debut album in 2009
May 26, 1951 ~ Country songwriter Richard Leigh, full name Richard Christopher Leigh, born in McLean, Virginia, USA ~ Had his songs recorded by Crystal Gayle (Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue), the Bellamy Brothers, Ronnie Milsap, Debby Boone, Carol Chase, Don Williams (That's The Thing About Love), Tanya Tucker, Steve Wariner (Life's Highway), Mac Davis, Mickey Gilley (Put Your Dreams Away), Tammy Wynette, Billy Dean (Somewhere In My Broken Heart), Randy Travis, Reba McEntire (The Greatest Man I Never Knew), Tamra Rosanes, and others
May 26, 1949 ~ Randall Hank Williams, commonly known as Southern rock, country rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Hank Williams Jr, born in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA ~ Son of country icon Hank Williams, father of singers Hank Williams III and Holly Williams. Proficient on a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, banjo, dobro, keyboards, saxophone, fiddle and drums. Influenced by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Earl Scruggs, Lightnin' Hopkins, Jerry Lee Lewis. Debuted in 1964 with Long Gone Lonesome Blues, one his father's tunes. Has released well over 100 singles and over 50 albums since. Perhaps best known for A Country Boy Can Survive of his 1981 The Pressure Is On album and for All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight of his 1984 Major Moves album
May 26, 1949 ~ Vicki Ann Axelrad, commonly known as actress, pop singer Vicki Lawrence born in Inglewood, California, USA ~ Best known as an actress, notably portraying the cold and unaffectionate Thelma Harper, the mother of Carol Burnett's character on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 through 1978. As a singer known for The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, a Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit in 1973
May 26, 1948 ~ Pop, rock singer, songwriter Stevie Nicks, full name Stephanie Lynn Nicks, born in Phoenix, Arizona, USA ~ Cited as an influence by Beyoncé, Courtney Love, Michelle Branch, Belinda Carlisle, the Dixie Chicks, Mary J Blige, Sheryl Crow, and others. Rose to fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac joining the band with her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham in 1975 in time for their massively successful Rumours album. Nicks remained with the band through 1991 and rejoined in 1997. Released her Bella Donna solo debut album in 1981 and has recorded over half a dozen solo albums since. Has collaborated with a host of artists including Don Henley, Kenny Loggins, Walter Egan, Robbie Patton, Tom Petty (Stop Draggin' My Heart Around), Phil Collins, Destiny's Child, Chris Isaak, Dave Grohl, LeAnn Rimes, and others
May 26, 1944 ~ Warren Nichols, commonly known as guitarist Gates Nichols born in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of country-rock outfit Confederate Railroad, known for the Billboard Country top 10 hits Jesus And Mama, The Queen Of Memphis and Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind. Nichols remained with the band through 2008 and would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the next year ~ Nichols passed away in 2009
May 26, 1944 ~ Terence Allen, commonly known as rock, hard rock, glam rock keyboardist, organist, singer Verden Allen, born in Hereford, UK ~ Co-founding member of glam rock outfit Mott The Hoople, present on the band's 1972 David Bowie-produced All The Young Dudes breakthrough album. Allen has also worked with Jimmy Cliff, formed the Cheeks with James Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers, was a member of the Shakedown Sound and Soft Ground, and recorded as a solo artist
May 26, 1942 ~ Bandleader, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton records Flying Home ~ Written by Hampton, Benny Goodman, Sid Robin. First recorded by Goodman in 1939 featuring solos from Hampton and guitarist Charlie Christian. The best known version is Hampton's 1942 however, especially for the Illinois Jacquet saxophone solo that would make musical history. The sax solo is widely regarded as the first ever R&B sax solo and highly influenced mid-to-late 1940s rhytm and blues
May 26, 1942 ~ Lute builder Stephen Murphy born in Sydney, Australia ~ Builder of classical era instruments based on 16th and 17th century designs operating out of the south of France. Has built over 400 lutes, archlutes, theorbos, vihuelas, and Renaissance and Baroque guitars since the early 1970
May 26, 1941 ~ Linda Gertz, commonly known as singer, songwriter Linda Laurie born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Scored a minor hit as a singer with her 1959 novelty single Ambrose (Part Five) while she was still in high school. Would record a few more sides throughout the mid-1960s, yet none charted. Eventually she found greater success as a songwriter, her songs recorded by Bobby Vinton, Sonny & Cher, Helen Reddy (Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)), Nancy Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Love Unlimited, and Diana Ross ~ Gertz passed away in 2009
May 26, 1940 ~ Mark Lavon Helm, commonly known as drummer, singer Levon Helm, born in Elaine, Arkansas, USA ~ Drummer and singer for the Band, known for their association with Bob Dylan as well as for songs such as The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Also worked with the Hawks, Paul Butterfield, Fred Carter Jr, Emmaretta Marks, Steve Cropper, Donald Duck Dunn, Booker T Jones, Dr John, Lou Marini, Howard Johnson, Tom Bones Malone, Paul Kennerley, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, his daughter Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jim Weider, Jimmy Vivino, Mike Merritt, Brian Mitchell, Erik Lawrence, Steven Bernstein, Jay Collins, Byron Isaacs, Little Sammy Davis, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, and others ~ Helm passed away in 2012
May 26, 1938 ~ Hans Liebezeit, commonly known as krautrock flutist, percussionist Jaki Liebezeit, bornn in Ostrau, Germany ~ Co-founding member of experimental rock outfit Can, notably present on songs such as Halleluhwah. Member of Phantom Band. Has also worked with Jah Wobble, Philip Jeck, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, Burnt Friedman, Robert Coyne, and others ~ Liebezeit passed away in 2017
May 26, 1938 ~ Composer, pianist William Bolcom, full name William Elden Bolcom, born in Seattle, Washington, USA ~ Married to mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, for whom he composed numerous song cycles. Best known for his 1984 composition Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience, a three-hour work for soloists, choruses and orchestra based on the writings of English poet William Blake
May 26, 1937 ~ Composer, pianist, author Neil Ardley, full name Neil Richard Ardley, born in Wallington, UK ~ Author of over 100 books on science, technology, and music. As a musician worked with the New Jazz Orchestra, Denis Preston, Ian Carr, Nucleus, Tony Coe, Norma Winstone, Trevor Tomkins, John Martyn, and others ~ Ardley passed away in 2004
May 26, 1936 ~ Jazz trumpeter Charles Turner, full name Charles Henry Turner, born ~ Best known for his association with Frank Sinatra. Also worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Dorsey, Ralph Flanagan, Harry James, Charlie Spivak, Count Basie, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ava Gardner, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, Robert Goulet, Red Skelton, John Denver, Vic Damone, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé, and others ~ Turner passed away in 2006
May 26, 1934 ~ Trumpeter, composer Bernard Vitet born in Paris, France ~ Considered a pioneer of free jazz in his native France. Closely associated with François Tusques, Michel Portal, Jean-Jacques Birge, and Francis Gorge. To more mainstream pop audiences, Vitet is known as a superb accompanist for the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, Barbara, Yves Montand, and Colette Magny. Vitet has also collaborated with a host of international jazz artists including Lester Young, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Gato Barbieri, Martial Solal, and early on in his career with Django Reinhardt, Eric Dolphy, and Albert Ayler. Has recorded prolifically, most notably well over a dozen albums with Un Drame Musical Instantané, and has invented several instruments such as the reed trumpet, a multiphonic French horn, a variable tension double-bass, and the dragoon. Besides trumpet, Vitet also sang and played flugelhorn, piano, and violin ~ Vitet passed away in 2013
May 26, 1932 ~ Stage, film, cabaret, TV singer, actor Alvin Ing born in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ~ Closely associated with the musical Flower Drum Song, composed by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, performing the role of Wang Ta in numerous tours. Has also appeared in Chu Chem, Pacific Overtures, City Of Angels, and other musicals ~ Ing passed away in 2021
May 26, 1931 ~ Jazz drummer Frank Gant born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Worked with Donald Byrd, Sonny Stitt, Yusef Lateef, Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, Billy Mitchell, Pepper Adams, Little John Wilson, Billie Holiday, Alvin Jackson, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Rouse, Jamil Nasser, Harold Mabern, and others
May 26, 1928 ~ Jazz pianist Gene Dinovi, full name Eugene Salvatore Dinovi, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Joe Marsala, Chuck Wayne, Buddy DeFranco, Benny Goodman, Chubby Jackson, Brew Moore, Boyd Raeburn, Buddy Rich, Artie Shaw, Lester Young, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Danny Bank, John Carisi, Bill Crow, Tony Fruscella, Dave Schildkraut, Carmen McRae, Ruby Braff, James Campbell, Don Thompson, Memo Acevedo, Dave Young, Terry Clarke, Tony Bennett, Charlie Barnet, Aura, and others
May 26, 1926 ~ Trumpeter Miles Davis, full name Miles Dewey Davis III, born in Alton, Illinois, USA ~ One of the most important and influential jazz musicians. Helped birth if not spearheaded several radical changes in jazz, perhaps most notably jazz fusion merging jazz and rock. Recorded prolifically since the 1950s. Acclaimed for albums such as Kind Of Blue, Sketches Of Spain, Filles de Kilimanjaro and Bitches Brew, many of his albums widely considered pivotal to the developement of jazz ~ Davis passed away in 1991
May 26, 1924 ~ Cellist, conductor, composer Victor Herbert, full name Victor August Herbert, born ~ Best known for composing Broadway operettas successful from the the 1890 through the start of World War I. Co-founder of ASCAP. Extremely productive, having written over 40 operettas, over 30 compositions for orchestra as well as operas and compositions for cello, violin, piano, choral works and orchestrated numerous works by other composers ~ Herbert was born in 1859
May 26, 1923 ~ Mildred Elizabeth Cummings, commonly known as R&B, jazz singer, songwriter Little Miss Cornshucks, born in Dayton, Ohio, USA ~ Never became a household name yet was invaluably influential on other singers such as Lavern Baker, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wynona Carr, Billy Wright, and Johnnie Ray. Known for songs such as Papa Tree Top Blues, Gonna Leave Here Walkin', When Mommy Sings A Lullaby, Cornshuck's Blues, True (You Do Not Love Me) and her signature song So Long ~ Cummings passed away in 1999
May 26, 1921 ~ Label executive, producer, songwriter Frank Guida born in Palermo, Italy ~ Best known for discovering Gary US Bonds, known for New Orleans and Quarter To Three, both produced by Guida. Helped establish “the Norfolk Sound”. Also worked with Leroy Toombs, Jimmy Soul (If You Wanna Be Happy), Tommy Facenda (High School USA), Lenis Guess, Pamala Stanley, and others ~ Guida passed away in 2007
May 26, 1921 ~ Ingeborg Simon, commonly known as soprano Inge Borkh, born in Mannheim, Germany ~ Closely associated with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Bavaria State Oper. Especially known for her roles in Richard Strauss operas such as Salomé and Elektra. Has also worked with the Metropolitan Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and others ~ Simon passed away in 2018
May 26, 1920 ~ Norma Deloris Egstrom, commonly known as singer, actress, songwriter Peggy Lee, born in Jamestown, North Dakota, USA ~ Pop, jazz, standards singer. Among one of the few who at the time welcomed and embraced the music of a younger generation. Also a popular actress and respected songwriter and lyricist ~ Egstrom passed away in 2002
May 26, 1919 ~ Jazz pianist, bandleader, composer Calvin Jackson, full name John Calvin Jackson, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Frankie Fairfax, Mildred Bailey, Ray Charles (arranger on the Sweet & Sour album), Buddy Collette, Fred Katz, and others ~ Jackson passed away in 1985
May 26, 1919 ~ Rubén González Fontanills, commonly known as Afro-Cuban jazz, son, danzo, mambo pianist Rubén González, born in Santa Clara, Cuba ~ Active since the 1940s. Alongside Lilí Martínez and Peruchín defined modern Cuban piano playing. Has worked with artists such as Paulina Álvarez, Arsenío Rodriguez, the Orquesta Riverside, Enrique Jorrin. Resurged in the 1990s playing with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and gaining international exposure with the Buena Vista Social Club ~ González passed away in 2003
May 26, 1914 ~ Harold Baker, commonly known as jazz trumpeter Shorty Baker born in St Louis, Missouri, USA ~ Active since the mid 1930s. Played the riverboats. Moved to work with Don Redman, Teddy Wilson, Andy Kirk, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Billy Strayhorn, and others. He was with Duke from 1942 through 1962 ~ Baker passed away in 1966
May 26, 1914 ~ Harry Aaron Finkelman, commonly known as jazz, swing trumpeter Ziggy Elman, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Known for a number of late 1930s recordings including Bye 'n Bye and Frallach In Swing, the term “frallach” referring to what would later become known as klezmer music. Closely associated with with Benny Goodman, playing in Goodman's orchestra from the mid-1930s through the end of the decade. Has also worked with Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Jess Stacy, and others ~ Finkelman passed away in 1968
May 26, 1891 ~ Mamie Robinson, commonly known as vaudeville, jazz, blues singer, pianist, dancer, actress Mamie Smith, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ Made blues history in 1920 recording That Thing Called Love and You Can't Keep A Good Man Down, making her the first African-American singer to be recorded and her success prompting record companies to seek other female singers ushering in the era of classic female blues ~ Robinson passed away in 1946
May 26, 1886 ~ Singer Al Jolson born in Seredzius, Lithuania ~ Dubbed the “King of Blackface” performers, performing with a tainted blackface depicting African-Americans, though he has been credited to fight racism on Broadway as early as 1911. Starred in the first talking picture The Jazz Singer in 1927, followed by a series of successful musical films during the 1930s. The first to perform for WW2 troops overseas. The first to perform for the military overseas during the Korean war, a tour which left him physically exhausted. He was posthumously awarded the Medal for Merit by Defense Secretary Marshall. ~ Jolson passed away in 1950