This Day In Music: May 8
May 7 ~ Birthdays/All ~ May 9
May 8, 2023 ~ Rita Lee Jones, commonly known as rock, pop, psychedelic rock singer, songwriter Rita Lee, passed away in São Paulo, Brazil ~ Founded Os Mutantes with Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias. As a solo artist has over 20 albums to her name, starting with Build Up released in 1970. Has sold over 60 million records. Collaborated with Tutti Frutti, Gilberto Gil, and with her husband guitarist Roberto de Carvalho ~ Jones was born in 1947
May 8, 2023 ~ Country singer Stacie Roper passed away ~ Lead singer of Canadian country trio Hey Romeo, which also included guitarist Darren Gusnowsky and keyboardist Rob Shapiro. The band released their eponymous Hey Romeo debut album in 2007 and is known for songs such as the Fleetwood Mac-cover Second-Hand News, Searchin' For You, That's What I Am, Jump Back In, and Maybe You Remember Me Now ~ Roper was born ca.1976
May 8, 2021 ~ Jazz trombonist Curtis Fuller, full name Curtis Dubois Fuller, passed away ~ Leader and sideman. Worked with Paul Chambers, Cannonball Adderley, Yusef Lateef, Miles Davis, Sonny Clark, John Coltrane, Slide Hampton, Bud Powell, Jimmy Smith, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Walter Bishop Jr, Buddy DeFranco, Tommy Flanagan, Machito, and others ~ Fuller was born in 1934
May 8, 2020 ~ Marcus Barkan, commonly known as musical director, songwriter, producer Mark Barkan, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Got his first success in the early 1960s when Adam Wade took The Writing On The Wall, written by Barkan, Sandy Baron and George Eddy, to the Billboard Hot 100 top 10. Barkan would go on to write or co-write songs for the likes of Jay & the Americans, Connie Francis (I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter), Lesley Gore, Neil Sheppard, Barbara Chandler, Shelley Fabares, Kurt Harris, Elvis Presley (Big Love Big Heartache), Lesley Gore (She's A Fool), Gene Pitney (Pretty Flamingo), the Archies, and the Monkees ~ Barkan was born in 1934
May 8, 2018 ~ Conductor, musical director Jonathan Sternberg passed away ~ Revered conductor who worked with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Alfred Brendel, the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Flemish Opera, the Harkness Ballet, the Atlanta Opera & Ballet, and other noted orchestras ~ Sternberg was born in 1919
May 8, 2018 ~ Silvana Savorelli, commonly known as singer, impresario, producer Lara St Paul passed away in Casalecchio di Reno, Italy ~ Worked with Pino Presti, Angel Pocho Gatti, Victor Bacchetta, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Roberta Flack, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Leon Ware, the Pointer Sisters, Ray Parker Jr, Chuck Rainey, Bill Conti, and others ~ Savorelli was born in 1945
May 8, 2014 ~ Jair Rodrigues de Oliveira, commonly known as singer, guitarist, percussion Jair Rodrigues, passed away in São Paulo, Brazil ~ Father of Luciana Mello and Jair Oliveira, both singers. Started in the mid-1950s as a crooner. First gained attention in the early 1960s through television appearances. Has worked with Elis Regina, the Quarteto Novo, and others. Known best for songs such as O Menino Da Porteira, Boi Da Cara Preta and Majestade O Sabia ~ De Oliveira was born in 1939
May 8, 2012 ~ Singer Jermaine Paul wins NBC's The Voice ~ Paul wins the 2nd season of NBC's talent show The Voice, runner-up would be rock singer Juliet Simms
May 8, 2008 ~ Country, gospel, pop singer, guitarist Eddy Arnold, full name Richard Edward Arnold, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Nashville sound innovator. Sold over 85 million records. Scored 147 singles on Billboard's country charts. Known for songs such as To My Sorrow, Cuddle Buggin' Baby, I Wanna Play House With You, I Really Don't Want To Know, The Cattle Call, A Little Heartache, What's He Doing In My World, Make The World Go Away, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, and others ~ Arnold was born in 1918
May 8, 2008 ~ Recording engineer Larry Levine passed away in Encino, California, USA ~ Received a Grammy Award nomination for his work with producer Phil Spector on the 1964 Walking In The Rain single by the Ronettes, which included the then-novice sound effects of thunder and lightning. Other notable recordings engineered by Levine include Herb Alpert's A Taste Of Honey single, which earned Levine a Grammy Award, and the highly acclaimed Pet Sounds album by the Beach Boys, regarded as one of the all-time greatest albums. Levine passed away of emphysema on his 80th birthday ~ Levine was born in 1928
May 8, 2007 ~ Blues, R&B, country keyboardist, songwriter Carson Whitsett passed away ~ Co-wrote Why Not Me, a 1980 hit for Fred Knobloch. As a keyboardist especially proficient on the Hammond organ. Worked with artists such as James Stroud, Paul Simon (appearring on the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon), Anita Ward (Ring My Bell), Dorothy Moore, Connie Francis, ZZ Hill, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Kathy Mattea, and others. Revered as songwriter, wrote or co-wrote songs recorded by Etta James, Eddie Floyd, John Anderson (Mississippi Moon), Johnny Adams, James Carr, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke (Don't Give Up On Me), Wilson Pickett, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, Albertina Walker, the Staple Singers, BB King, Jerry Butler, Suzy Bogguss, Irma Thomas, and others ~ Whitsett was born in 1945
May 8, 1999 ~ Free jazz, blues, soul jazz, pop singer Leon Thomas, full name Amos Leon Thomas Jr, passed away in the Bronx, New York, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Referred to as “the John Coltrane of jazz vocalists”. Influenced James Moody, Tim Buckley, Bobby McFerrin. Worked with Armando Peraza, Jimmy Forrest, Grant Green, the Jazz Messengers, Dakota Staton, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Santana (Welcome, Lotus), Gary Bartz, Jeri Brown, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Hodges, Archie Shepp, Malachi Thompson, and others ~ Thomas was born in 1937
May 8, 1996 ~ Daniel Hernandez, commonly known as rapper 6ix9ine born in New York, New York, USA ~ Controversial rapper, convicted felon. Known for his aggressive raps, public feuds with fellow celebrities and legal issuse. Hit the charts with songs such as Gooba, FEFE and his debut single Gummo. Collaborated with Trippie Red, Uncle Murda, 50 Cent, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Nicki Minaj, and Fetty Wap
May 8, 1991 ~ Organist, composer Jean Langlais, full name Jean François-Hyacinthe Langlais III, passed away in Paris, France ~ Served as church organist for the the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris from 1945 until 1988, a post previously held by César Franck and Charles Tournemire. In-demand concert organist, touring extensively across Europe and America. Prolific composer, mainly of choral music yet has also written orchestral works and chamber music, and best known for his masses Messe Solennelle, Missa Salve Regina and Missa In Simplicitate ~ Langlais was born in 1907
May 8, 1990 ~ Avant-garde classical composer Luigi Nono passed away in Venice, Italy ~ Member of the Italian Resistance during World War II, his anti-fascist political orientation would regularly also be reflected in his music. Became one of the leading composers of New Music during the 1950s, alongside contemporaries such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Known for compositions such as La Victoire De Guernica, Il Canto Sospeso, Diario Polacco Composizione No.2, and Intolleranze 1960 ~ Nono was born in 1924
May 8, 1989 ~ Kathleen Anne Brien, commonly known as dubstep, R&B, dance singer, songwriter Katy B, born in Peckham, UK ~ Debuted in 2011 with the On A Mission album, which included the UK top 10 hits Katy On A Mission, Lights On featuring Ms Dynamite and Broken Record. Would also reach the charts with subsequent recordings such as What Love Is Made Of, 5 AM, Crying For No Reason and notably Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) featuring KDA & Tinie Tempah
May 8, 1983 ~ Steel guitarist, guitarist, singer Aaron Goldstein born in Toronto, Canada ~ Active since the mid-2000s. Worked with the Surly Young Bucks where he first discovered the pedal steel guitar. Would go on to with Bucks bandmate Dan Griffin in the Regrets, record and tour with the psychedelic folk collective Lee Harvey Osmond and found his own band Huron. Has also worked with Nick Rose, the Cowboy Junkies, Zachary Lucky, Elliott Brood, the Sadies, and Daniel Romano
May 8, 1983 ~ Singer, bassist, songwriter Matt Willis, full name Mathew James Willis, born in Tooting, UK ~ First gained attention of pop punk trio Busted, known for a string of early 2000s UK top 10 hits including the No.1 singles You Said No, Crashed The Wedding and Thunderbirds/3AM. Released his Don't Let It Go To Waste solo debut album in 2006, which included the UK top 20 hits Up All Night, Hey Kid and Don't Let It Go To Waste. Reunited with ex-Busted bandmate James Bourne and McFly to form McBusted, releasing their sole eponymous McBusted album in 2015
May 8, 1982 ~ Jazz trumpeter Bernie Glow passed away ~ Influenced by Snooky Young and Billy Butterfield. Toured with the likes of Richard Himber, Xavier Cugat, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman early on in his career through the last years of the big band era. Would go on to become an in-demand session musician for radio orchestras and studio sessions led by composers, arrangers such as Nelson Riddle, Quincy Jones and Oliver Nelson. Closely associated with Miles Davis, appearing on albums such as Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess and Sketches Of Spain. Also present on albums by the likes of Sarah Vaughan (In The Land Of Hi-Fi), Tito Puente, Coleman Hawkins, Jimmy Giuffre, Dinah Washington (The Swingin' Miss D), Johnny Mathis, Lena Horne (Stormy Weather), Quincy Jones, Urbie Green, Denise Jannah, Ruth Brown, Anita O'Day, Art Farmer, Aretha Franklin (Aretha Now), Solomon Burke, Wes Montgomery, Al Kooper, Grover Washington Jr, Freddie Hubbard, and Van McCoy ~ Glow was born in 1926
May 8, 1979 ~ Pop, electronic, trip hop, new wave, bossa nova singer, guitarist, bassist Liset Alea born in Havana, Cuba ~ Co-founded drum and bass unit Etro Anime, co-writing and singing lead on all the tracks of their 2003 album See The Sound before departing the band to pursue a solo career. Released her No Sleep debut album in 2005. Well known for her association with Nouvelle Vague, remaining with the Marc Collin-led collective from 2009 through 2017. Has written or co-written for artists such as Katerine, Ewa Farna, Noemi, Ruben Hein, Chiara Galiazzo, and Elodie Frégé
May 8, 1979 ~ Jazz bassist, composer Ole Morten Vågan born in Brønnøysund, Norway ~ Brother of guitarist Petter Vagån. Artistic director of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Has also worked with Atle Nymo, Mathias Eick, David Thor Johnson, Mattias Ståhl, Ola Kvernberg, Hålkon Kornstad, Motif, Tore Johansen, Havard Wilk, Bugge Wesseltoft, Tore Brunborg, and others
May 8, 1978 ~ Singer Ana Maria Lombo born in Medellin, Columbia ~ Member of short-lived girl group Eden's Crush, the end product of the American TV show Popstars in 2000. The band released a sole album, Popstars, in 2001 which included the Billboard top 10 hit Get Over Yourself. The band would also include Nicole Scherzinger, future member of the Pussycat Dolls
May 8, 1977 ~ Joseph Leonard Bonamassa, commonly known as rock, blues, blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter Joe Bonamassa, born in Utica, New York, USA ~ Child prodigy. Guitar virtuoso. Influenced by John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Opened for BB King at age 12. Member of Bloodline. Released his A New Day Yesterday solo debut album in 2000 and has recorded to critical acclaim since. Member of hard rock supergroup Black Country Communion. Member of jazz-funk outfit Rock Candy Funk Party. Also known for his acclaimed collaborations with singer Beth Hart
May 8, 1977 ~ Folk rock, indie folk, indie rock bassist, singer Joe Doyle, full name Joseph Philip Doyle, born in Ireland ~ Member of the Frames since 1996, a band considered central to the development of Irish rock since the 1990s. Also known for backing the Swell Season on their acclaimed 2009 Once soundtrack and the album Strict Joy released the same year
May 8, 1976 ~ Folk, folk rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Martha Wainwright born in Montreal, Canada ~ Daughter of singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. Sister Rufus Wainwright. Half-sister of singer Lucy Wainwright Roche, with whom she has worked under the moniker the Wainwright Sisters. Active as a solo artist since the late 1990s, releasing her acclaimed eponymous Martha Wainwright major label debut album in 2005
May 8, 1975 ~ Singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter, actor Enrique Iglesias, full name Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler, born in Madrid, Spain ~ Son of singer Julio Iglesias. Emerged in the 1990s, releasing his eponymous Enrique Iglesias debut album in 1995. Would regulary reach No.1 on the Billboard Latin charts through the end of the decade. Broke through to mainstream with his 1999 single Bailamos, reaching No.1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 and has recorded to mainstream commercial succes since. Has collaborated with Lionel Richie, Whitney Houston, Kelis, Lil' Wayne, Wisin & Yandel, Pitbull, Nicole Scherzinger, Usher, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, and others
May 8, 1974 ~ Saxophonist, keyboardist, singer Graham Bond, full name Graham John Clifton Bond, passed away in London, UK ~ Leading figure, pioneer in early British R&B. Fronted the Graham Bond Organisation, which also included Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Jon Hiseman, John McLaughlin and Dick Heckstall-Smith. The latter would go on to use the Bond-penned Walkin' In The Park for Colosseum's debut album. First to use a mellotron, influencing later keyboardist such as Deep Purple's Jon Lord, Has also worked with Alexis Korner, Harvey Mandel, Dr John, Ginger Baker's Air Force, Pete Brown, Don Rendell, and others ~ Bond was born in 1937
May 8, 1974 ~ Singer, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, producer, engineer Nash Chambers born in Mount Gambler, Australia ~ Member of family band the Dead Ringer Band alongside his parents Bill Chambers and Diane Chambers and sister Kasey Chambers, present on the albums Red Desert Sky, Home Fires, Living In The Circle and Hopeville. Following his parents separation and the band's disbandement has worked with his sister Kasey since her acclaimed The Captain debut album released in 1999, serving as her backing musician, producer and manager since. Chambers has also worked with Troy Cassar-Daley, Shane Nicholson, Archie Roach, and Grizzlee Train
May 8, 1972 ~ Pop, soft rock singer, songwriter Darren Hayes, full name Darren Stanley Hayes, born in Brisbane, Australia ~ Formed the duo Savage Garden with Daniel Jones, best known for their 1997 eponymous Savage Garden debut album which spawned the Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit Truly Madly Deeply. The duo would release a sophomore album, Affirmation, in 2001 before disbanding. Hayes released his solo debut, Spin, in 2002
May 8, 1967 ~ Jazz pianist, composer, producer James Hurt, full name James Maurice Hurt, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Worked with Sherman Irby, Gregory Tardy, Antonio Hart, Abbey Lincoln, Rusell Gunn, Abraham Burton, Wadada Leo Smith, Elisabeth Kontomanou, Arto Lindsay, Graham Haynes, DJ Logic, Melvin Gibbs, Butch Morris, Buster Williams, Erin McPherson, Nasheet Waits, Donald Edwards, Stacy Dillard, Nate Smith, Felix Pastorius, Marco Capelli, Chris Dingman, David Gilmore, Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Corey Glover, Bernie Worrell, Maceo Parker, DJ Spinna, and others
May 8, 1966 ~ Paul Cafaro, commonly known as punk rock, garage punk, rock singer Blag Dahlia, born in Highland, Illinois, USA ~ Best known as signer of punk band the Dwarves. Has also served as producer for acts such as Mondo Generator, FYP, the Swingin' Utters, and others. Involved in an altercation with the Queens Of The Stone Age-frontman Josh Homme in 2004, after which Homme would be arrested and eventually ordered by a judge to stay at least 100 yards away from Dahlia, do community service and go into rehab
May 8, 1966 ~ Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong, commonly known as producer, remixer Rollo Armstrong, born in Kensington, UK ~ Co-founding member of Faithless, known for songs such as Salva Mea, Insomnia, God Is A DJ and We Come 1. Brother of Dido, with whom he has also worked. Has remixed for the Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red, R Kelly, U2, Moby, Grace, Tricky, Suede, and others
May 8, 1963 ~ Singer Anthony Field, full name Anthony Donald Joseph Field, born in Kellyville, Australia ~ Best known as frontman of children's music group the Wiggles. Field also co-founded pop, pub rock unit the Cockroaches, which included his brothers lead singer Paul Field and rhythm guitarist John Field, best known for their 1987 eponymous The Cockroaches debut album containing the Australian top 10 hit She's The One
May 8, 1963 ~ Gerard John Best, commonly known as rock & roll, hard rock, heavy metal bassist Jerry Best, born in Queens, New York, USA ~ Perhaps best known as member of Lion, notably present on the 1986 Power Love album. Has also worked with Mansfield, Freak Of Nature, Dio (Angry Machines), Mike Tramp, Courtney Love (America's Sweetheart), Chuck Wright, and others
May 8, 1958 ~ Jazz pianist, arranger, composer Christian Jacob born in Metz, France ~ Well-known for accompanying jazz singer Tierney Sutton, appearing on over half a dozen of Sutton's albums. Leader of the Christian Jacob Trio, especially known for their 2004 Styne And Mine album which payed tribute to the music of Jule Styne. Music director for Broadway singer Betty Buckley. Has also worked with Maynard Ferguson, Anita O'Day, Miki Coltrane, Tom Garling, Flora Purim, Pat Longo, Bud Shank, and Vic Lewis
May 8, 1957 ~ Jazz, bebop clarinetist, saxophonist Massimo Urbani born in Rome, Italy ~ Renowned bebop alto saxophonist active since the mid-1970ss. Notably collaborated with Monte Mario, Enrico Rava, Larry Nocella, Luigi Bonafede, Paolo Pellegatti, Tullio de Piscope, Mike Melillo, and others. Passed away age 36 of a heroin overdose ~ Urbani passed away in 1993
May 8, 1956 ~ Composer Javier Álvarez, full name Javier Álvarez Fuentes, born in Mexico City, Mexico ~ Known for utilizing a variety of musical styles, merging unusual instruments with new music technologies. Has composed chamber music, orchestral pieces, opera, for film and for dance companies. Well-known compositions include the electroacoustic work Temazcai, the opera Mambo, and the 1992 soundtrack Cronos ~ Álvarez passed away in 2023
May 8, 1956 ~ Sofie Thérèse Verbruggen, mononymously known as pop, jazz, disco singer Sofie, born in Antwerp, Belgium ~ Member of Belgian disco outfit Trinity, known for their 1976 hit single 002-345-709 (That's My Number). Following the band's disbandement Verbruggen would record as a solo artist, notably the modest 1980s hit I Love You, perform in musicals, and duet with Bobby Womack, Paul Carrack, and Toots Thielemans
May 8, 1953 ~ Drummer Alex van Halen, full name Alexander Arthur van Halen, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Co-founding member of quintessential rock, hard rock group Van Halen, which also included his brother Eddie Van Halen, known for songs such as Dance The Night Away, Oh Pretty Woman, Jump, Panama, and Why Can't This Be Love. Prior to their eponymous 1978 Van Halen debut album the band had been known as Mammoth
May 8, 1953 ~ Guitarist, singer Billy Burnette born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA ~ Son of rockabilly singer Dorsey Burnette. Member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987 through 1995 and notably present on 1990's Behind The Mask, the band's first studio album after the departure of Lindsey Buckingham
May 8, 1952 ~ Saxophonist John Purcell born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known as a saxophonist yet is proficient on virtually all reeds including piccolo, clarinet, flute and oboe. Well known as member of the American Jazz Orchestra from 1985 through 1991. Recorded about half a dozen albums with the World Saxophone Quartet. Especially acclaimed for his contributions to several Jack DeJohnette albums including Album Album released in 1984. Other notable credits include David Murray, Henry Butler, Benny Carter, and David Sanborn
May 8, 1951 ~ Drummer, songwriter Chris Frantz, full name Charton Christopher Frantz, born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA ~ Co-founded seminal new wave unit Talking Heads with singer, guitarist David Byrne in the early 1970s. The band would become one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 1980s, especially noted for their 1984 concert film and album Stop Making Sense. Well known songs include Psycho Killer, Take Me To The River, Once In A Lifetime, Burning Down The House, This Must Be The Place (Naieve Melody), Slippery People, Girlfriend Is Better, and Road To Nowhere. During the band's hiatus in the early 1980s Frantz formed the side project Tom Tom Club with bandmate and wife Heads bassist Tina Weymouth. The couple would also serve as producers for the likes of the Happy Mondays, Angelfish, and Ziggy Marley, and provide backing vocals on Damon Albarn's Gorillaz on their 2001 eponymous Gorillaz debut album. Frantz published his memoir, Remain In Love (Talking Heads Tom Tom Club Tina), in 2020
May 8, 1951 ~ Judith Silverman, commonly known as jazz singer, composer Judi Silvano born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Has been releasing solo albums since the early 1990s. Collaborated with Mal Waldron, Kenny Werner, and with Bill Frisell. Changed her stage name to Silvano when she married saxophonist Joe Lovano. Has also worked with Michal Bocian, Jim Pepper, James Emery, Adam Kolker, Bruce Arnold, and others
May 8, 1951 ~ Singer, percussionist Philip Bailey, full name Philip James Bailey, born in Denver, Colorado, USA ~ Influenced by Miles Davis, Max Roach, Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick. Best known as co-lead singer of R&B, funk, disco outfit Earth Wind & Fire with a hiatus from 1984 to 1987. Sang lead on songs such as Devotion, Keep Your Head To The Sky, Reasons, Fantasy, Star and Guiding Lights. Guested on recordings by Alphonso Johnson, Eumir Deodato, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Loggins, Ray Parker Jr, Anita Pointer, Dianne Reeves, Cee Lo Green, and others. Also released a number of solo albums, mostly during his EWF hiatus in the 1980s. Noted for his 1985 Chinese Wall album, which included Easy Lover, a Phil Collins-duet that reached top 10 position across Europe, the UK and America
May 8, 1948 ~ Pianist, bandleader, singer, composer Tania Maria born in Sao Luis, Brazil ~ Sings in both Portuegese and English. Draws from pop, jazz, samba, bossa nova. Actively recording since the late 1960s with over 2 dozen albums to her name. Broke through internationally with the album Come With Me, released in 1983. Has collaborated with Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Sammy Figueroa, and others
May 8, 1945 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion, classical pianist, composer Keith Jarrett born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Got his start working with drummer Art Blakey. Also notably worked with Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis. Best known for his 1975 The Köln Concert which quickly became the all-time best-selling piano album. Sued Steely Dan for copyright infringement, claiming the band's Gaucho bore a resemblance to his Long As You Know You're Living Yours of his 1974 Belonging album, and won, eventually awarded royalties and having his name added to the credits. Retired from music in 2018 after a series of stroles left him partially paralyzed and unable to use his left hand
May 8, 1944 ~ Dorothy Marie Combs, commonly known as gospel, blues singer Dorothy Combs Morrison], born in Longview, Texas, USA ~ First recorded with family outfit the Combs Family, the single I Am Free released when she was a mere 13. Best known as member of the Edwin Hawkins Singers, singing lead vocals on the Oh Happy Day released in 1967. Sang lead on Respect Yourself, a 2002 cover by Huey Lewis & the News of the Staple Singers classic track. Member of the Blues Broads, teaming up with Angela Strehli, Annie Sampson and Tracy Nelson
May 8, 1944 ~ Paul Francis Gadd, commonly known as glam rock, rock & roll, pop rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Gary Glitter, born in Banbury, UK ~ Scored some of the biggest UK hits of the 1970 and helped define glam rock with songs such as Rock & Roll (Parts 1 & 2) and I Love How You Love Me. Has since fallen from grace and is banned by several countries after repeated offenses and convictions of possession of child pornography and child abuse. Convicted to a 16-year sentence in 2015 in the UK
May 8, 1943 ~ Guitarist, singer Danny Whitten, full name Danny Ray Whitten, born in Columbus, Georgia, USA ~ Best known for his association with Neil Young, playing in Young's backing unit Crazy Horse on the albums Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and After The Gold Rush. Also worked with Danny & the Memories. Wrote I Don't Want To Talk About It, a major hit for Rod Stewart ~ Whitten passed away in 1972
May 8, 1943 ~ Rock bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, full name Paul Granville Samwell-Smith, born in London, UK ~ Co-founding member of the Yardbirds, remaining with the band from its inception in 1963 through 1966 and present on albums such as Five Live Yardbirds, For Your Love and Heart Full Of Soul. Would go on to become a producer working with artists such as Cat Stevens, Jethro Tull, Carly Simon, Renaissance, Chris De Burgh, Paul Simon, Illusion, Claire Hamill, and others
May 8, 1942 ~ Country guitarist, keyboardist, singer Jack Blanchard born ~ Formed a husband-wife country duo with his wife Misty Morgan, actively recording since the late 1960s. The duo is best known for their 1970 Billboard Country No.1 hit Tennessee Bird Walk. Other well known songs include Humphrey The Camel, Somewhere In Virginia In The Rain and Just One More Song
May 8, 1941 ~ Singer, guitarist, mandolinist Mahmoud Ahmed born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ~ Active since the early 1960s. Member of the Imperial Bodyguard Band through the mid-1970s before pursuing a parellel solo career alongside his associations with acts such as the Ibex Band, the Walias Band, Getatchew Kassa, and the Roha Band. Enjoyed popularity in his native Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s. Would reach an international audience from the mid-1980s forward, especially through the release or re-release of several collections on Western labels, notably Ere Mela Mela in 1986, and extensive touring in Europe and America
May 8, 1940 ~ Eric Hilliard Nelson, commonly known as rock & roll, pop singer, actor, teen idol Ricky Nelson, born in Teaneck, New Jersey, USA ~ Stole America's hearts as child actor in the radio and TV series The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet. Would go on to score numerous hits, popularizing rock & roll. Best known for songs such as A Teenager's Romance, Be-bop Baby, Stood Up, Poor Little Fool, Lonesome Town, Sweeter Than You, Travelin' Man, Hello Mary Lou, Teen-age Idol, It's Up To You, For You, Garden Party, and others ~ Nelson passed away in 1985
May 8, 1940 ~ Cathryn Antoinette Tennille, commonly known as pop, soft rock singer Toni Tennille, born in Montgomery, Alabama, USA ~ Formed the duo Captain & Tennille with Daryl Dragon, with whom she was also married from 1975 through 2014, best known for their signature song and 1975 Billboard No.1 hit Love Will Keep Us Together written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Other well known hits include Muskrat Love and Do That To Me One More Time. Tennille also sang backup on Elton John's 1974 Caribou album, on Pink Floyd's pivotal 1979 The Wall album, and has recorded a number of solo albums mostly from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s
May 8, 1935 ~ Label executive Jerry Moss, full name Jerome S Moss, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founded A&M Records in 1962 with trumpeter, bandleader Herb Alpert. The label's stable of artists included acts such as Sérgio Mendes, the Carpenters, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Captain & Tennille, Rita Coolidge, Wes Montgomery, Toni Basil, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Billy Preston, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Carole King, Styx, Supertramp, Joan Armatrading, Squeeze, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Janet Jackson, the Police, Sting, Atlantic Starr, Human League, and Joe Jackson. Moss and Alpert sold the label to Polygram Records in 1989 and continued to manage the company until 1993 ~ Moss passed away in 2023
May 8, 1928 ~ Recording engineer Larry Levine born in New York, New York, USA ~ Received a Grammy Award nomination for his work with producer Phil Spector on the 1964 Walking In The Rain single by the Ronettes, which included the then-novice sound effects of thunder and lightning. Other notable recordings engineered by Levine include Herb Alpert's A Taste Of Honey single, which earned Levine a Grammy Award, and the highly acclaimed Pet Sounds album by the Beach Boys, regarded as one of the all-time greatest albums. Levine passed away of emphysema on his 80th birthday ~ Levine passed away in 2008
May 8, 1927 ~ Jazz trumpeter, harpist, cornetist, hornist, saxophonist Phil Cohran, full name Kelan Phil Cohran, born in Oxford, Mississippi, USA ~ First gained attention backing Sun Ra during the late 1950s and early 1960s, present on the albums Interstellar Low Ways, Holiday For Soul Dance, In A Pleasant Mood and Angels And Demons At Play. Co-founded the Association For The Advancement Of Creative Musicians in 1965. Has recorded over half a dozen albums as a leader, starting with On The Beach with his backing unit the Artistic Heritage Ensemble released in 1968 ~ Cohran passed away in 2017
May 8, 1911 ~ Blues guitarist, singer, songwriter Robert Johnson, full name Robert Leroy Johnson, born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, USA ~ Hugely important blues guitarist, arguably the most important pre-war blues musician. Has been cited as a major influence by blues, rock and pop artists including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones-guitarist Keith Richards, Led Zeppelin-singer Robert Plant, and by numerous others. Johnson released only a mere 11 songs before his untimely death at age 27, all of which have become blues standards. Best known for songs such as Kind Hearted Woman Blues, Cross Road Blues, Me And The Devil Blues, Hell Hound On My Trail and perhaps his best-known I'll Believe I'll Dust My Broom ~ Johnson passed away in 1938
May 8, 1910 ~ Mary Elfrieda Scruggs, commonly known as jazz singer, pianist, songwriter Mary Lou Williams, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Child prodigy. Taught herself to play piano at age 3. Played in public from age 7 onwards. Played professionally since age 15. Reportedly wrote or arranged hundreds of compositions. Drew from spirituals, gospel, ragtime, blues, jazz. Dubbed “the First Lady of the Jazz Keyboard” and one of the first women to be successful in jazz. Mentor to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie ~ Scruggs passed away in 1981
May 8, 1905 ~ Ernest Loring Nichols, commonly known as jazz cornetist, bandleader, composer Red Nichols, born in Ogden, Utah, USA ~ Child prodigy. Influenced by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Bix Beiderbecke. Closely associated with trombonist Miff Mole. Also worked with Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russell, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Gene Krupa. Known for songs such Wasshboard Blues recorded with the Five Pennies, Sugar recorded with the Red Nichols Stompers, and for penning Nervous Charlie Stomp, the latter a hit for Fletcher Henderson ~ Nichols passed away in 1965
May 8, 1903 ~ Fernand Joseph Désiré Contandin, commonly known as actor, singer Fernandel, born in Marseille, France ~ First gained attention as comedian in French vaudeville, operettas and revues. Took his stage name from his mother-in-law's pet name for him, “Fernand d'elle” (Fernand of her). Would go on to become one of of France's top comedians starring in numerous films, including Italian and American films ~ Contandin passed away in 1971
May 8, 1846 ~ Theater impresario, composer Oscar Hammerstein I born in Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia ~ Credited with rekindling opera's popularity in America, specifically as entrepreneur, founder, proprietor of several opera houses in New York starting with the Harlem Opera House on 125th Street opened in 1889. Composed the comic opera Santa Maria, presented in 1896 in his fourth venue the Olympia Theatre on Longacre Square. Would produce several contemporary operas and presented American premieres of Gustave Charpentier's Louise, Claude Debussy's Pelleas Et Melisande, Richard Strauss's Salomé and other works ~ Hammerstein passed away in 1919