This Day In Music: May 5
May 4 ~ Birthdays/All ~ May 6
May 5, 2023 ~ Producer, label executive Chris Strachwitz passed away ~ Founder and president of Arhoolie Records since 1960, which became a leading force in blues, Cajun, roots music. The first album produced would be Mance Lipscomb's Texas Songster And Sharecropper in an edition of just 250 copies. Would go on to work with Black Ace, Big Joe Williams, Mercy Dee Walton, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Juke Boy Bonner, Clifton Chenier, Country Joe & the Fish (I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag), Big Joe Duskin, Charlie Musselwhite, Robben Ford, John Delafose, Flaco Jiménez, and others ~ Strachwitz was born in 1931
May 5, 2023 ~ Jack Rivers Lewis, commonly known as jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins, passed away ~ Influenced by Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, and Tal Farlow. Active since his teens, backing artists such as the Elgarts, Warren Covington, and Sammy Kaye early on in his career. About a dozen albums to his name as a leader, noted especially for Merge released in 1978. In-demand sideman, present on albums by Albert Dailey, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Fortune, Astrud Gilberto, Morgana King, Charles Mingus, Bob Brookmeyer, Buddy Rich, and the Manhattan Transfer ~ Lewis was born in 1944
May 5, 2021 ~ Ivor Neville Kamen, commonly known as model, singer, songwriter Nick Kamen, passed away in London, UK ~ Known for the 1980s singles Each Time You Break My Heart and I Promised Myself, both of which reached top 10 across Europe. The former was produced and written by Stephen Bray and Madonna, the latter also providing backing vocals. In his native UK Kamen is best known for appearing in a Levi's 501 television commercial ~ Kamen was born in 1962
May 5, 2020 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Ciro Pessoa, full name Ciro Pessoa Mendes Corréa, passed away in São Paulo, Brazil ~ Co-founding member of influential rock unit Titas, remaining only with the band through its eponymous Titas debut album released in 1984. Following his departure from the band has fronted numerous short-lived bands, recorded as a solo artist, and founded and fronten the pioneering post-punk, gothic rock band Cabine C ~ Mendes was born in 1957
May 5, 2020 ~ Jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger Kjell Karlsen, full name Kjell Oddvar Karlsen, passed away ~ Father of singer Webe Karlsen. Founded his first orchestra at age 16. Has worked with Karin Krog, Totti Bergh, Bjørn Johansen, Harald Bergersen, Ole Jacob Hansen, Frode Thingnæs, Erik Amundsen, Grynet Molvig, Laila Dalseth, Odd Børre, Kirsti Sparboe, and others ~ Karlsen was born in 1931
May 5, 2017 ~ Progressive rock drummer Clive Brooks, full name CLive Colin Brooks, passed away ~ Member of Uriel, Arzachel, the Egg. Subsequently worked with the Groundhogs, present on the albums Hogwash and Solid. Member of Liar, present on the albums Straight From The Hip and Set The World On Fire. Drum tech for Toto, Robbie Williams, and notably Pink Floyd from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s ~ Brooks was born in 1949
May 5, 2015 ~ Jazz double bassist Gene Mayl passed away in Harrison Township, Ohio, USA ~ Worked with Claude Bolling, Don Byas, Claude Luter, the Dixieland Rhythm Kings, Speckled Red, Terry Waldo, George Brunies, Wild Bill Davison, Billy Maxted, Bob Scobey, Muggsy Spanier, and others ~ Mayl was born in 1928
May 5, 2011 ~ Rhythm guitarist, singer Nigel Pickering passed away in St Augustine, Florida, USA ~ Rhythm 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 lead guitarist Hale's death in 1968, though their remained popularity propelled the record label to reissue compilations and shelved recordings ~ Pickering was born in 1929
May 5, 1998 ~ Ska, rocksteady, reggae saxophonist Tommy McCook passed away ~ Co-founding member of pivotal ska band the Skatalites. Also closely associated with renowned producers Duke Reid and Bunny Lee, sessioning with numerous artist through either of the two producers. Has also notably worked with Coxsone Dodd, Yabby You, Toots & the Maytals, and with Herbie Mann on the albums Reggae and its follow-up Reggae II ~ McCook was born in 1927
May 5, 1992 ~ Jean-Claude Villeminot, commonly known as comedian, actor, singer Jean-Claude Pascal, passed away ~ Representing Luxembourg won the 1961 Eurovision Songfestival with Nous Les Amoureux written by Jacques Datin and Maurice Vidalin. Would have another try, again for Luxembourg, in 1981 with C'Est Peut-être Pas L'Amérique which he co-wrote with Sophie Makhno and Jean-Claude Petit, reaching 11th place ~ Villeminot was born in 1927
May 5, 1990 ~ Singer Toto Cutugno wins the 35th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia ~ Representing Italy, Cutugno wins with the song Cutogno Insieme 1992, a self-penned composition. Ireland and France would tie for second place, represented respectively by Liam Reilly with Somewhere In Europe, and Joëlle Ursull with White And Black Blues
May 5, 1989 ~ Rapper, singer, songwriter, actor Chris Brown, full name Christopher Maurice Brown, born in Tappahannock, Virginia, USA ~ Reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with his 2005 Run It debut single featuring Juelz Santana. Would go on to score numerous hits and sell over 140 million records. Well known songs include Say Goodbye, Kiss Kiss featuring T-Pain, With You, Forever, Look At Me Now featuring Lil' Wayne and Busta Rhymes, and Turn Up The Music. Has also collaborated with Bow Wow, Ludacris, Twista, TI, Big Sean, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Wisin & Yandel, E-40, August Alsina, Omarion, Jamie Foxx, Meek Mill, G-Eazy, and others
May 5, 1988 ~ Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, mononymously known as pop, blue-eyed soul singer, guitarist, drummer, bassist, pianist, songwriter Adele, born in Tottenham, UK ~ Shot to fame in 2008 with her 19 which reached top 10 in America and across Europe including No.1 spots in the Netherlands and her native UK. Has since cemented her position as successor to quintessential British female singers such as Dusty Springfield and Amy Winehouse with mostly self-penned songs drawing heavily from R&B and blue-eyed soul. Known for songs such as Chasing Pavements, Rolling In The Deep, Someone Like You, the James Bond-theme Skyfall and Send My Love To Your New Lover
May 5, 1986 ~ Jazz guitarist Billy Mackel, full name John William Mackel, passed away in Baltimore, Maryland, USA ~ Started on banjo before switching to guitar. Best known for his association with Lionel Hampton, playing intermittently with the vibraphonist for about three decades starting in the mid-1940s including on albums such as The Blues Ain't News To Me, Newport Uproar, and Blues In Toulouse. Has also backed artists such as Milt Buckner, Arnett Cobb, and Herbie Fields ~ Mackel was born in 1912
May 5, 1984 ~ Pop group Herrey's wins the 29th edition of the Eurovision Songfestival held in Luxembourg, Luxembourg ~ Representing Sweden, pop group Herreys win with the song Diggi-loo Diggi-ley written by Torgny Söderberg and Britt Lindeborg. Ireland reached second place, represented by Linda Martin with Terminal 3, while Spain's Bravo with Lady Lady reached third place
May 5, 1984 ~ Hardcore punk, post-hardcore, alternative rock, folk punk guitarist, bassist, singer Wade MacNeil born in Hamilton, Canada ~ Best known as co-founding member, lead guitarist for Alexisonfire, a band credited with bringing emo and post-hardcore to Canadian mainstream and especially acclaimed for their 2006 Crisis album. MacNeil has also worked with the Gallows, the Black Lungs, Cancer Bats, Dooms Children, and composed for film and video games
May 5, 1982 ~ Vibraphonist, bandleader Cal Tjader, full name Callen Radcliffe Tjader Jr, passed away in Manila, Philippines ~ Often described as the most successful non-Latino in Latin jazz, although Tjader did also explore other jazz idioms. As a leader, Tjader recorded over 50 albums, and is especially acclaimed for Tjader Plays Mambo and A Night At The Blackhawk from the 1950s, and Latino Con Cal Tjader and Bamboléate from the 1960s. On occasion, Tjader has served as sideman, including on recordings by Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Anita O'Day, Mongo Santamaria, and Eddie Palmieri ~ Tjader was born in 1925
May 5, 1982 ~ Singer, songwriter Chris Mann, full name Christopher Michael Mann, born in Wichita, Kansas, USA ~ First gained attention in 2012 reaching 4th place in the talent show The Voice. Subsequently released his full-length Roads solo debut album, reaching top 10 on the Billboard Classical charts. Toured for two years playing the lead role in the music The Phantom Of The Opera starting in 2015
May 5, 1982 ~ Synth-pop, art pop singer, songwriter Lawrence Rothman born in St Louis, Missouri, USA ~ As a solo artist best known for his 2017 Book Of Law, co-produced by Rothman and Justin Raisen and featuring guests such as Angel Olsen, Marissa Nadler, Charli XCX and Guns 'n Roses-bassist, guitarist Duff McKagan. Rothman is also an in-demand producer, having worked with SASAMI, Girl In Red, Alison Mosshart, Courtney Love, and others
May 5, 1981 ~ Pop, R&B, UK garage, hip-hop singer, songwriter Craig David, full name Craig Ashley David, born in Southampton, UK ~ First gained attention in 1999 as featured vocalist on Artful Dodger's Re-rewind hit single. Released his full-length Born To Do It the next year and has recorded to critical acclaim and commercial succes since. Best known for songs such as Fill Me In, 7 Days, Rise & Fall feat Sting, All The Way, Don't Love You No More, When The Bassline Drops featuring Big Narstie, and I Know You featuring Bastille. Has also collaborated with Tinchy Stryder, Kano, Jay Sean, and others
May 5, 1981 ~ Rock, heartland rock, roots rock singer, guitarist Tom Petty releases his Hard Promises album ~ The second of four albums co-produced by Jimmy Iovine, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Hot 200. Hard Promises also cracked the UK top 40, a first for Petty. Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks duets on the album track Insider. Petty and his backing unit the Heartbreakers in turn guested on Nicks' Stop Draggin' My Heart Around off her Bella Donna solo album, recorded around the same time
May 5, 1979 ~ Martin Hosselton, commonly known as glam metal guitarist, bassist, singer Martin Sweet, born in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Rose to prominence as lead guitarist of Crashdiet, known for songs such as Riot In Everyone, Knokk 'Em Down, Breakin' The Chainz and It's A Miracle. Has also worked with Gemini Five, Sister, and with Sweet Creature
May 5, 1977 ~ Jazz bandleader, clarinetist, violinist, percussionist Sam Lanin, full name Samuel Charles Lanin, passed away ~ First gained attention as a member of Victor Herbert's orchestra, backing Herbert from 1912 through the end of World War I. Following his departure from the orchestra, Lanin relocated to New York, where he established himself as one of the most prolific bandleaders of the 1920s, one of the first to be heard over the airwaves, and directing over an estimated 400 sessions for nearly every label through the end of the decade. Lanin only occasionally played himself, but is best remembered for recognizing young talent. Sidemen who have played in Lanin's numerous ensembles include Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy McPartland, Bix Beiderbecke, Nick Lucas, Frankie Trumbauer, and a young Bing Crosby. The 1929 stock market crash would hit Lanin heard, and he would lose a sponsorship deal and his radio show, after which his fame gradually waned. Lanin retired from music altogether from the music industry by the late 1930s ~ Lanin was born in 1891
May 5, 1976 ~ Violinist Corinne Chapelle born ~ Child prodigy. Took up violin lessons at age 2 and gave her first public performance one year later. Studied with Yehudi Menuhin who called her “one of the most promising talents of her generation.” Received numerous awards. Has worked with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Kölner Symphonie, and others ~ Chapelle passed away in 2021
May 5, 1976 ~ Tony Cottrell, commonly known as hip-hop rapper, producer Hi-Tek born in USA ~ Son of singer Willie Cottrell. Closely associated with rapper Talib Kweli. Member of hip-hop group MOOD. Has also worked with Mos Def, Common, 50 Cent, Morcheeba, D12, Soulive, Beanie Sigel, Kurious, Anderson Paak, Lloyd Banks, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, and others
May 5, 1976 ~ Guitarist, sound engineer Jeremy Ward born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA ~ Best known as sound technician for the Mars Volta. Also worked with dub outfit De-Facto and At The Drive-in. Died of a heroin overdose a month before the release of 2003s De-loused In The Comatorium, a wake-up call for Volta members Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez Lopez to quit using heroin ~ Ward passed away in 2003
May 5, 1975 ~ R&B singer, actress Marva Hicks born ~ Best known for Never Been In Love Before of her 1991 eponymous Marva Hicks album, the single reaching top 10 on the Billboard R&B charts. Other charting singles included One Good Reason and I Got You Where I Want. Would go on to become an in-demand backing singer for acts such as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. As the 90s progressed Hicks would focus on her acting career, portraying roles in action movies and TV series such as LA Law and Star Trek Voyager, voicing over animated characters often including singing, and performing in the theatre in musical plays including productions of The Lion King, Motown The Musical and The Wiz both off and on Broadway ~ Hicks passed away in 2022
May 5, 1975 ~ R&B, neo soul singer, songwriter Raheem DeVaughn born in Newark, New Jersey, USA ~ Released his The Love Experience debut album in 2005, spawning the singles Who Loves You More and You, and has recorded steadily to critical acclaim since. Best known for Woman and Customer, both reaching top 20 on Billboard's R&B charts and both taken of his 2007 The Love Behind The Melody 2007 sophomore album
May 5, 1974 ~ Metal guitarist Jens Fredrik Ryland born in Narvik, Norway ~ Best known as member of progressive metal band Borknagar from 1997 through 2003 but has joined them on-stage on occasion since. Has also worked with Vortex and is known as founder of the annual Inferno Festival, involved in its organization the first two years
May 5, 1972 ~ Metal singer, guitarist, keyboardist Devin Townsend, full name Devin Garrett Townsend, born in New Westminster, Canada ~ Co-founding member, singer, guitarist, primary songwriter of extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. Drew comparisons to Robert Fripp and Frank Zappa. Also worked with Steve Vai (Sex & Religion), the Casualties Of Cool, Front Line Assembly, Revamp, Lamb of God, and others
May 5, 1965 ~ Rock, punk rock, hard rock bassist, singer Bianca Halstead, also known as Bianca Butthole, born in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Bassist and lead singer of punk band Butt Trumpet and the all-female hard rock outfit Betty Blowtorch. Killed in a car accident when she accepted a ride from a drunk driver. A substance abuse center in Los Angeles, opened in 2008, was named the Bianca Center For Substance Abuse in her honor ~ Halstead passed away in 2001
May 5, 1965 ~ British pop group the Hollies record I'm Alive at EMI Studios, London, UK ~ Written by Clint Ballard Jr. Produced by Ron Richards. The band would first pass the song over to another Manchester band, the Toggery Five, before changing their minds. Released later the same month, featuring You Know He Did on the flip side, it would become the band's first UK No.1 hit
May 5, 1964 ~ Guitarist, songwriter, producer Olivier Libaux born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France ~ Founded rock band Les Objets with Jérôme Rousseaux in 1989, known for their 1989 La Normalité and 1994 Qui Est Qui albums. Would go on to become an in-demand collaborator working with the likes of Carla Bruni, Alex Gopher, Dominique Dalan, Jean-François Coen, Helena Noguerra, and others. Released his L'Heroine Au Bain solo debut album in 2003. Also known for founding Nouvelle Vague, covering punk and new wave songs in a bossa nova style usually employing young female lead singers most of whom did not know the original versions ~ Libaux passed away in 2021
May 5, 1961 ~ Jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist Flavio Boltro born in Turin, Italy ~ Worked with the RAI Symphonic Orchestra, Steve Grossman, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Jordan, Jimmy Cobb, Bob Berg, Dave Liebman, Don Cherry, Manu Roche, Joe Lovano, Stefano di Battiste, Michel Petrucciani, Eric Legnini, Benjamin Henocq, Rosario Bonaccorso, Michel Portal, Laurent de Wilde, Giovanni Mirabassi, Glenn Ferris, Gino Paoli, Daryl Hall, and others
May 5, 1959 ~ Steven Bruce Schneider, commonly known as ock, hard rock, glam metal, pop rock guitarist, songwriter Steve Stevens born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known for his longtime association with the Neurotic Outsiders-bandmate Billy Idol including on the pivotal 1980s albums Billy Idol, Rebel Yell and Whiplash Smile. Awarded a Grammy Award for his lead guitar on Harold Faltermeyer's Top Gun Anthem of the 1986 Top Gun film. Active as a solo artist since the mid-1980s. In-demand collaborator and session musician including for artists such as the Cars' Ric Ocasek, Michael Jackson (Bad), Robert Palmer, Juno Reactor, Peter Criss, Sebastian Bach, and others. Co-founded supergroup Bozzio Levin Stevens with drummer Terry Bozzio and bassist Tony Levin
May 5, 1955 ~ Blues harpist, guitarist, singer Billy Boy Arnold records I Wish You Would at Universal Recording Studio, Chicago, Illinois ~ Widely regarded as a timeless Chicago blues classic. Self-penned, originating from Arnold's Diddy Diddy Dum Dum from the time Arnold played with Bo Diddley. The song Diddy incorporates a Diddley style rhythm and would also serve as the basis for Diddley's Diddley Daddy recorded less than two weeks later. Arnold would released his single the following June, backed on the recording by Jody Williams on guitar, Milton Rector bass, Earl Phillips drums. The song would be covered by a number of artists, including the Yardbirds who would use it for their 1964 debut single
May 5, 1955 ~ Francis Michael Chennesky, commonly known as singer, actor Frankie Michaels, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA ~ Child actor, singer known for being the youngest Tony Award winner ever, winning the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Patrick Dennis in the original production of Mame at age 10 ~ Chernesky passed away in 2016
May 5, 1955 ~ Guitarist, singer, producer, actor, director Richard Mazda born ~ Founding member of acclaimed yet shortlived mod bands the Tours and subsequently the Cosmetics. Would go on to become staff producer of IRS Records, working with pivotal punk, punk rock, new wave acts such as the Fall, the Birthday Party, Wall Of Voodoo, the Fleshtones, Tom Robinson, the Suburban Lawns, the Scientists, and others. Would later venture into R&B producing albums for the Average White Band, Neneh Cherry and Ultra Naté
May 5, 1949 ~ Cornelis Jan Kalis, commonly known as rock, pop drummer Cees Kalis, born in Voorburg, the Netherlands ~ Worked with the Running Tides, future Gruppo Sportivo-guitarist Hans Vandenburg and with the Soul before co-founding Earth & Fire. Would leave the band after recording the Dutch top 10 hit Ruby Is The One in 1970 to complete his college education, succeeded by Ton van der Kleij. Kalis would eventually become a school teacher and only play occasionally as a hobby ~ Kalis passed away in 2006
May 5, 1949 ~ Avant-garde saxophonist, clarinetist, guitarist Kaoru Abe born in Kawasaki, Japan ~ Influential alto saxophonist who performed extensively from age 17 onwards though he has released some solo recordings. Has collaborated with Motoharu Yoshizawa, Takehisa Kosugi, Yosuke Yamashita, Derek Bailey, Milford Graves. Portrayed by punk rock singer Ko Machida in the 1997 The Endless Waltz film ~ Abe passed away in 1978
May 5, 1949 ~ Jay Randall Sandke, commonly known as jazz trumpeter, guitarist Randy Sandke born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Invited to join Janis Joplin's backing band but throat problems kept him from performing and would later switch to guitar. Has subsequently worked with the Nighthawks Orchestra, Bob Wilber, Benny Goodman, Susannah McCorkle, Harry Allen, Peanuts Hucko, Geoff Muldaur, Frank Vignola, John Pizzarelli, and others
May 5, 1947 ~ Singer, songwriter Robin McNamara born in Newton, Massachusetts, USA ~ One-hit wonder known for Lay A Little Lovin' On Me, a Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit in 1970. Had previously played the lead role of Claude in a Broadway production of the musical Hair ~ McNamara passed away in 2021
May 5, 1946 ~ Post-bop trumpeter, arranger, composer Jack Walrath, full name Jack Arthur Walrath, born in Stuart, Florida, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Best known for his associations with Ray Charles, Gary Peacock, Charles Mingus. Has also worked with Glenn Ferris, John Hicks, Pee Wee Ellis, Miles Davis. Had his compositions performed and recorded by Hamiet Bluiett, Red Rodney, Cecil Brooks III, Ray Mantilla, Hank Jones, Zé Eduardo, and others
May 5, 1943 ~ Beat drummer Gerry Freeman, full name Gerald Ernest Freeman, born in Solihull, UK ~ Member of the Applejacks, known for a number of mid-1960s singles including Like Dreamers Do penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Three Little Words and the UK top 10 hit Tell Me When. The band was also the first to record I Go To Sleep, written by the Kinks singer Ray Davies. Others who have recorded the song include Cher on her 1965 All I Really Want To Do solo debut album, Peggy Lee, the Pretenders, Graham Bonnet, Soulwax, and others
May 5, 1942 ~ Alec Woodburn, commonly known as saxophonist, harmonica player, singer Jim King, born in Kettering, UK ~ Founded the Farinas in 1962 with Charlie Whitney. The band would eventually change their name to the Family. King would appear on the band's first two albums, Music In A Doll House and Family Entertainment, before departing the band in 1969. King has since sessioned for the likes of Dave Mason and Gordon Jackson, briefly played with jazz-rock outfit Ring Of Truth, and has mostly performed as a solo artist playing jazz-tinged classical saxophone ~ Woodburn passed away in 2012
May 5, 1942 ~ Virginia Wynette Pugh, commonly known as country singer, songwriter Tammy Wynette was born in Tremont, Mississippi, USA ~ One of country's best-known and best-selling female artists. Dubbed “the First Lady of Country Music” and along with Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson and Dolly Parton credited with having defined the role of women in country. Best known for her late 1960s recording Stand By Your Man. Married to country singer George Jones from 1969 to 1975, with whom she recorded a number of well-charting duets. ~ Wynette passed away in 1998
May 5, 1941 ~ Singer David Walker born in Washington DC, USA ~ Original member of traditional gospel group the Mighty Clouds Of Joy, alongside Johnny Martin, Ermant Franklin Jr, Elmo Franklin, Richard Wallace, Leon Polk and Joe Ligon. Also recorded secular music under the moniker Bunker Hill, of which 1962's Hide & Go Seek featuring guitarist Link Wray became a novelty hit. Despite hiding his identity he was found out and asked to leave the Clouds ~ Walker passed away in 1986
May 5, 1941 ~ Jazz pianist Stanley Cowell born in Toledo, Ohio, USA ~ Co-founder of Strata East Records label. Cowell played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Marion Brown, Max Roach, Bobby Hutcherson, Clifford Jordan, Harold Land, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Gary Bartz, Larry Coryell, Richard Davis, Sonny Fortune, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, the Heath Brothers, Johnny Griffin, JJ Johnson, Oliver Nelson, Art Pepper, Charles Sullivan, Buddy Terry, and Charles Tolliver ~ Cowell passed away in 2020
May 5, 1941 ~ Blues singer, keyboardist, guitarist, hornist Victor Brox born in Ashton-under-Lyne, UK ~ Fronted the Victor Brox Blues Train. Named “favorite white blues singer” by Jimi Hendrix. Best known for his performance as Caiaphas on the original 1970 recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. Has collaborated with numerous artists including Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, Graham Bond, Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Keith Moon, and Aynsley Dunbar, notably singing lead and playing keyboards and organ in the latter's late 1960s blues, rock band the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. Brox also appeared as a Leonardo da Vinci look-alike in the 1998 Ever After film ~ Brox passed away in 2023
May 5, 1940 ~ Composer, songwriter, singer Lucy Simon, full name Lucy Elizabeth Simon, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Sister of mezzo-soprano Joanna Simon and soft rock, folk rock singer Carly Simon. Formed the sibling duo Simon Sisters with the latter, recording three albums starting with the 1964 album Meet The Simon Sisters which would include the minor hit Winkin' Blinkin' And Nod. Simon would release two solo albums in the 1970s, Lucy Simon and Stolen Time, but is perhaps best remembered for writing the score for the musicals The Secret Garden and Doctor Zhivago, which premiered respectively in 1991 and 2011 ~ Simon passed away in 2022
May 5, 1938 ~ Veronica Loretta Stoneman, commonly known as banjoist, actress, comedian Roni Stoneman, born in Washington DC, USA ~ Dubbed “the First Lady of Banjo”. Daughter of guitarist Ernest Stoneman, one of the earliest country music stars. Member of family outfit the Stonemans for over a decade, with whom she has performed at the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Grand Ole Opry. Stoneman is especially known as a cast member of the Hee Haw country music variety TV show for nearly two decades starting in the early 1970s. While she occasionally picked banjo and sang on the show, it was her comedic talent that garnered more attention, specifically in the character of Ida Lee Nagger. As a musician, Stoneman continued to perform into the 2020s, either as a solo artist or with her sister mandolinist Donna Stoneman ~ Stoneman passed away in 2024
May 5, 1937 ~ Blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson I records Good Morning Little Schoolgirl in Aurora, Illinois ~ One of the, possibly the first recorded version of what was to become a blues standard. Released later the same year, paired with Sugar Mama Boy on the flip side. Recorded during Williamson's first session for Bluebirds Records, featuring Big Joe Williams and Robert Nighthawk on guitars, Williamson's rendition would eventually become widely regarded as highly influential. Covered by numerous artists, including John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy Waters, the Grateful Dead, and Ten Years After
May 5, 1936 ~ Sanford Irving Beresofsky, commonly known as actor, singer, songwriter Sandy Baron, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Best known as an actor for stage, making his Broadway debut in the 1962 romantic comedy Tchin-Tchin, TV and film. Has occasionally written music including co-writing Adam Wade's 1962 The Writing On The Wall Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit and Lou Rawls' 1971 top 20 hit A Natural Man ~ Beresofsky passed away in 2001
May 5, 1935 ~ Edward Jordan, commonly known as jazz saxophonist, clarinetist Kidd Jordan, born in Crowley, Louisiana, USA ~ Active since the mid-1950s, backing blues and R&B artists such as Guitar Slim, Ray Charles, Big Maybelle, and Choker Campbell. Would go on to work with a wide array of artists in genres ranging from avant-garde to pop and rock, including William Parker, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Stevie Wonder, and Cecil Taylor. Later on in his career has also recorded as a leader or co-leader, noted for his 2006 Palm Of Soul album. To rock audiences perhaps best known for appearing on the REM-album Out Of Time released in 1991 ~ Jordan passed away in 2023
May 5, 1934 ~ John Henry Cannon, commonly known as rock & roll, rockabilly singer, saxophonist Ace Cannon, born in Grenada, Mississippi, USA ~ Toured and recorded with labelmate Bill Black's combo in the 1950s. The combo in turn backed Cannon on his 1961 Tuff debut single, which would reach top 20 Billboard Hot 100. Cannon would record prolifically for the next three decades, but rarely released singles and would not repeat the smash success of his debut single ~ Cannon passed away in 2018
May 5, 1934 ~ Doo-wop, gospel, R&B, soul, disco singer Johnnie Taylor, full name Johnnie Harrison Taylor, born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, USA ~ Active since the 1950s, notably as a member of gospel outfit the Highway QC's including on Somewhere To Lay My Head, and as a member of the Soul Stirrers, replacing Sam Cooke in the latter. Would be dubbed “the Philosopher of Soul” after moving to Stax/Volt in the mid-1960s. Well-known for singles such as the 1968 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Who's Making Love, Take Care Of Your Homework, Testify (I Wanna), I Believe In You (You Believe In Me), Cheaper To Keep Her, We're Getting Careless With Our Love, the 1976 Billboard R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charttopper Disco Lady, and Love Is Better In The AM (Part 1) ~ Taylor passed away in 2000
May 5, 1933 ~ Guitarist Cal Collins born in Medora, Indiana, USA ~ Collins first played the mandolin as a bluegrass musician but turned to jazz guitar after hearing Charlie Christian, Irving Ashby, and Oscar Moore perform. Collins worked with artists such as Benny Goodman, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vaché Jr, Rosemary Clooney, Ross Tompkins, Woody Herman, John Bunch, and Marshal Royal. Collins would occasionally return to country including on a 1993 tour with Jerry Douglas and Doc Watson ~ Collins passed away in 2001
May 5, 1926 ~ Pianist Vera Franceschi born in San Francisco, California, USA ~ Regarded as one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Frédéric Chopin during the late 1940s and 1950s. Has also recorded works of Muzio Clementi, Luigi Cherubini, and Domenico Cimarosa. Married to tenor Daniele Baroni, with whom she has one son ~ Franceschi passed away in 1966
May 5, 1922 ~ May Lewis, commonly known as jazz singer, actress Monica Lewis born in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Longtime voice of the Chiquita Banana animated ads starting in 1947. Daughter of pianist, musical director Leon Lewis and opera singer Jessica Lewis. Sang on radio shows from the late 1930s onwards, including her own Monica Makes Music, worked with Benny Goodman, and as a solo artist is known for songs such as Put The Blame On Mame, I Wish You Love and Autumn Leaves. Would venture into film by the 1950s. Married to record producer Bob Thiele from 1945 to 1947, to film producer Jennings Lang from 1956 until her death. Once proposed to by then-actor, future US President Ronald Reagan, whom she rejected ~ Lewis passed away in 2015
May 5, 1919 ~ Piper, singer Séamus Ennis born in Finglas, Ireland ~ Widely regarded as one of the greatest uilleann pipers of all time. Helped revive interest in the uillean pipes as co-founder of Na Piobairi Uilleann, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the instrument and its music ~ Ennis passed away in 1982
May 5, 1915 ~ Alice Jeanne Leppert, commonly known as actress, singer Alice Faye, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Popular 20th Century Fox 1930s, 1940s musical actress singer, known for her roles in On The Avenue, Alexander's Ragtime Band and perhaps most notably Hello Frisco Hello in which she introduced the Academy Award-winning You'll Never Know ~ Leppert passed away in 1998
May 5, 1900 ~ Conductor, composer Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt born in Berlin, Germany ~ Worked the opera houses from 1923 through 1945. Listed by the Nazi regime on the list of elite artists, despite his avoiding joining the Nazi party and having a Jewish wife whom he sent to England with their two sons in 1936. Best known for founding the NDR Radiophilharmonie, also serving as its musical conductor and chief conductor from 1945 to 1971 ~ Schmidt-Isserstedt passed away in 1973
May 5, 1899 ~ Jazz drummer, songwriter Paul Barbarin, full name Adolphe Paul Barbarin, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Founded the Onward Brass Band. Also worked with the Silver Leaf Orchestra, the Young Olympia Band, Freddie Keppard, King Oliver, Luis Russell, Red Allen, Sidney Bechet, Art Hodes. Died while playing snare drums during a Mardi Grass parade ~ Barbarin passed away in 1969
May 5, 1898 ~ William Samuel McTier, commonly known as blues slide guitarist Blind Willie McTell, born in Thomson, Georgia, USA ~ Recorded only very little yet had a profound influence on artists such as Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Chris Smither, the White Stripes and the Allman Brothers Band, the latter notably covering McTell's Statesboro Blues ~ McTell passed away in 1959