This Day In Music: November 20
November 19 ~ Birthdays/All ~ November 21
November 20, 2023 ~ Rock, hip hop, funk, jazz saxophonist Mars Williams passed away ~ Influenced by Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, and Charlie Parker. Closely associated with Hal Russell, Ken Vandermark, and the NRG Ensemble. An in-demand sideman, Williams has appeared on albums by Fred Frith (Speechless), the Waitresses, Billy Idol (Rebel Yell), the Psychedelic Furs (Mirror Moves), Power Station, Die Warzau, Sister Machine Gun, Nikki Sudden, Peter Brötzmann (Short Visit To Nowhere), Wayne Kramer, and Ike Reilly (We Belong To The Staggering Evening). Described as “one of the true saxophone players” by John Zorn, who once commented: “Williams is someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. His tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays.” ~ Williams was born in 1955
November 20, 2022 ~ Jazz pianist David Ornette Cherry passed away ~ Son of revered jazz trumpeter, cornetist Don Cherry. Named after iconic saxophonist Ornette Coleman. Starting in the late 1990s, Cherry has recorded about a dozen albums drawing from world music and jazz, starting in the late 1990s. Especially acclaimed for the albums Organic Groove and Cherry Extract, released respectively in 2000 and 2007 ~ Cherry was born in 1958
November 20, 2022 ~ Ione Emily Bryant, commonly known as traditional pop, vocal jazz, gospel singer, dancer, civil rights activist Joyce Bryant, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Known for her signature silver hair and tight mermaid dresses, Bryant became one of the first African-American sex symbols earning her the nickname “the Black Marilyn Monroe”. Songs such as Love For Sale and Drunk With Love would be banned from radio for their provocative lyrics, yet would nevertheless find a wide audience. Civil rights advocate, strongly opposing the practice of racial billing at night clubs, at times even defying the Ku Klux Klan. Bryant retired from music by the mid-1950s at the peak of her popularity, only to return about a decade later as a classically trained singer working with the New York City Opera and other renowned orchestras ~ Bryant was born in 1927
November 20, 2021 ~ Singer, guitarist, keyboardist Billy Hinsche passed away ~ Formed the trio Dino Desi & Billy with Dean Paul Martin and Desi Arnaz Jr, known for mid- to late-1960s singles such as I'm A Fool, Not The Lovin' Kind and Superman. Hinsche has also regularly performed with the Beach Boys, intermittently touring with the band as a backing singer and instrumentalist from the late 1960s through the late 1970s but declined several offers to formally join the band. Hinsche can also be heard as a backing singer on recordings by America, Warren Zevon, Joan Jett, and Elton John, including on the latter's 1974 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me ~ Hinsche was born in 1951
November 20, 2019 ~ Psychedelic rock, rock, jazz fusion bassist Doug Lubahn passed away ~ Perhaps best known for his session work for the Doors, starting on the Strange Days album. The band offered Lubahn a permanent spot in the band but he declined. Co-founding member of Clear Light, known for their sole eponymous Clear Light album released in 1967. Founded jazz-rock unit Dreams with Jeff Kent. Bassist and co-lead vocalist for Pierce Arrow for whom Lubahn wrote Treat Me Right, later a Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit for Pat Benatar. Lubahn has also worked with Riff Raff, Billy Squier, and Ted Nugent ~ Lubahn was born in 1947
November 20, 2018 ~ Blues guitarist, singer Eddie C Campbell passed away in Oak Park, Illinois, USA ~ Became a fixture on the Chicago blues scene, backing the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Little Johnny Taylor, and Jimmy Reed. Member of the Willie Dixon-assembled unit the Chicago Blues All-Stars. Would find popularity especially in Europe as a solo artist, particularly acclaimed for his 1977 King Of The Jungle debut album. Has recorded over another half dozen albums since, warmly welcomed by blues aficionados, until a stroke and a heart attack while on tour in Germany in 2013 left him partly paralyzed and forced him to retire from music ~ Campbell was born in 1939
November 20, 2016 ~ Walter Howard O'Brien, commonly known as jazz pianist Hod O'Brien, passed away ~ Has recorded over a dozen albums as a leader, noted especially for Opalessence released in 1985. Active since the 1950s honing his skills backing the likes of Oscar Pettiford, Elvin Jones, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Rouse, and Lee Konitz. In the mid-1970s briefly ran the St James Infirmary jazz club in New York. As a sideman present on albums by Roswell Rudd, Joe Puma (Shining Hour), Stephanie Nakasian, Danny D'Imperio, and Herb Geller. Would marry Nakasian, the couple's daughter, jazz, bebop singer Veronica Swift released her debut album at age 9 ~ O'Brien was born in 1936
November 20, 2014 ~ Jazz, hard bop, modal jazz pianist Joe Bonner passed away ~ Influenced by McCoy Tyner and Art Tatum. Over a dozen albums as a leader, especially acclaimed for 1981's Impressions Of Copenhagen. Appears on albums by Pharoah Sanders (Black Unity), Roy Haynes, Azar Lawrence (Bridge Into The New Age), Shirley Scott, and Fred Wesley ~ Bonner was born in 1948
November 20, 2013 ~ President Barack Obama awards country singer, songwriter Loretta Lynn the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House, Washington DC ~ Known for songs such as Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' With Lovin' On Your Mind, Fist City, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Fist City, quintessential country singer Loretta Lynn is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom as “one of the first successful female country singers, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men”
November 20, 2012 ~ Guitarist Michael Dunford passed away in Surrey, UK ~ Early member of the Nashville Teens, briefly playing with the band in the early 1960s to be replaced by John Allen. Best known as key member of progressive rock band Renaissance, described as “her guiding light” by the band's singer Annie Haslam. The band is especially acclaimed for their mid-1970s work, notably the albums Turn Of The Cards and its follow-up Scheherazade And Other Stories ~ Dunford was born in 1944
November 20, 2010 ~ Albert Abraham Smothers, commonly known as Chicago blues guitarist, singer Little Smokey Smothers passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Noted for backing Howlin' Wolf on the quintessential 1958 Howlin' Wolf (The Rockin' Chair Album) album, appearing on the tracks I've Been Abused, Howlin' For My Darling, and Mr Airplane. Not to be confused with his brother, guitarist Otis Big Smokey Smothers, who also played with the Wolf. Other notable associations include Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Earl Hooker, Junior Wells, George Mojo Buford, and the Legendary Blues Band ~ Smothers was born in 1939
November 20, 2009 ~ Jazz drummer Billy James passed away ~ Active since the 1950s, quickly making a name for himself while still in his mid-teens backing Lionel Hampton. Higly admired by fellow drummers, contemporaries as well as later sticksmen. Recorded with Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Eric Kloss, Shirley Scott, and extensively with both Don Patterson and Sonny Stitt during the 1960s, including on the latter's masterpiece Soul People album released in 1966. Later associations would include Eddie Harris, Clarence Wheeler, and Houston Person ~ James was born in 1936
November 20, 2009 ~ Linda Gertz, commonly known as singer, songwriter Linda Laurie passed away in Santa Barbara, California, 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 was born in 1941
November 20, 2009 ~ Martin Robert Schopp, commonly known as radio DJ, guitarist, fiddler, actor, songwriter Marty Roberts, passed away in St Petersburg, Florida, USA ~ Member of the Tennessee Ramblers. Co-wrote You Can't Have My Love, a 1954 hit for Wanda Jackson. Best known as a radio DJ and TV personality ~ Schopp was born in 1918
November 20, 2007 ~ Ernest Paulin, commonly known as jazz trumpeter, bandleader Ernest Doc Paulin, passed away in Marrero, Louisiana, USA ~ Active on the New Orleans scene from the 1920s well through the 1990s. Paulin had 13 children, 6 of whom became professional musicians, starting in their father's band. As a local icon Paulin is featured in the 1978 documentary Always For Pleasure about New Orleans culture ~ Paulin was born in 1907
November 20, 2005 ~ Blues-rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Chris Whitley, full name Christopher Becker Whitley, passed away in Houston, Texas, USA ~ Recorded over a dozen albums starting in the early 1990s. Known best for songs such as Living With The Law and Big Sky Country. Counted Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Gavin Degraw, and Keith Richards among his fans. Following Whitley's passing at age 45 of lung cancer John Mayer would comment: “His somewhat prostrated place in pop culture earned him a sidebar of an obituary, but to those who knew his work, it registers as one of the most underappreciated losses in all of music.” ~ Whitley was born in 1960
November 20, 2005 ~ Operatic tenor James King passed away in Naples, Florida, USA ~ In-demand opera and concert singer enjoying popularity since the 1950s. Generally considered one of America's greatest heldentenors, known for roles in operas composed by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Closely associated with the Metropolitan Opera, working with the renowned company for some three decades starting with his debut in the role of Florestan in Ludwig van Beethoven's sole opera Fidelio in 1966 ~ King was born in 1925
November 20, 2000 ~ Singer Connie Talbot born in Streetly, UK ~ Reached the finals of the first season of Britain's Got Talent in 2007, coming in second after Paul Potts. Initially Talbot, who had never received formal vocal training, auditioned for the show just for fun, but her confidence increased when juror Simon Cowell described her as “pure magic” and claimed he would make her earn “£1 million-plus this year.” Released her Over The Rainbow debut album later the same year, shortly after her 7th birthday. Talbot continued to record but would be unable to repeat the success of her debut album, which sold 250,000 copies in the UK
November 20, 1998 ~ Ska, rocksteady, reggae saxophonist Roland Alphonso passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founding member of pioneering 1960s Jamaican outfit the Skatalites. They are best known for their 1965 recording Guns Of Navarone, produced by Coxsone Dodd and featuring Alphonso as lead singer. A sleeper hit in the UK, reaching top 40 two years after its initial release, the song would over time nevertheless become to be seen as a landmark recording in ska. The song would again be a hit in the UK in 1980, as a mostly instrumental cover by ska revivalists the Specials. Originally the song, written by Dimitri Tiomkin, traces back to 1961, when it was recorded by the Sinfonia Of London as the theme song to the film of the same name ~ Alphonso was born in 1931
November 20, 1995 ~ Brian Eno and U2, going by the common moniker the Passengers, release their Miss Sarajevo single ~ The song was written by Eno and U2 about a group of women who held a beauty pageant during the the Siege of Sarajevo as an act of defiance. It was the longest siege of a capital city in modern warfare, lasting from April 1992 until February 1996. The city was reduced to poverty, no longer having access to public transit, water, gas, and electricity, yet a group of women tried to fight the war with lipstick and heels, carrying on life as usual yet with each contestant carrying a banner that read “don't let them kill us”. Miss Sarajevo would reach top 10 across Europe including the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. U2 singer Bono would later comment: “Everywhere people had heard their call for help, but help never came. That was the feeling. I had tried to tackle subjects like this head-on, but I'd learnt a lesson. You have to try and make the same points, in a different, less direct, more surrealist way.”
November 20, 1986 ~ Alternative metal, alternative rock, post-hardcore singer, keyboardist Oliver Sykes, full name Olvier Scott Sykes, born in Ashford, UK ~ Cites Pantera, Black Flag, Linkin Park and the Dillinger Escape Plan as influences. Best known as co-founding member, frontman, lead singer of Bring Me The Horizon. Has guested on recordings by Admiral's Arms, Deez Nuts, While She Sleeps, and Poorstacy
November 20, 1983 ~ Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, commonly known as rapper Future born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA ~ Influential in 2010s hip-hop, considered one of the premier trap artists. Released his Pluto debut album to commercial succes in 2012 and has recorded consistently since. Well known songs include Low Life featuring the Weeknd, Mask Off and Life Is good featuring Drake. Has also worked with TI, Kelly Rowland, Lil' Wayne, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Juice WRLD, Travis Scott, Meek Mill, YC, DJ Drama, Ludacris, and Fat Joe
November 20, 1981 ~ Singer, dancer, model, actress, TV personality Kimberley Walsh born in Bradford, UK ~ Rose to fame as member of Girls Aloud, a girl group assembled though the ITV Popstars The Rivals talent show in 2002. The group became one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, recording five albums through the end of the decade selling over 4 million copies in the UK alones. Songs such as Sound Of The Underground, I'll Stand By You, Walk This Way with the Sugababes, and The Promise would all top the charts in their native UK. Following the band's disbandement in 2013, Walsh released her Centre Stage solo album
November 20, 1981 ~ Rock, hard rock, heavy metal singer, songwriter Ronnie Romero born in Santiago, Chile ~ Perhaps best known as lead singer of Rainbow since 2015. Has also worked with Santelmo, Aria Inferno, Voces Del Rock, the Lords Of Black, Walter Giardino's Temple, the Ferrymen, Coreleoni, Vandenberg, the Michael Schenker Group, Intelligent Music Project, Sunstorm, and others
November 20, 1981 ~ Indie rock, indie folk singer, guitarist, songwriter Scott Hutchison, full name Scott John Hutchison, born in Edinburgh, UK ~ Founding member, frontman, primary songwriter for Frightened Rabbit, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums. The band, which includes his brother Grant Hutchison on drums, is known for their sparse arrangements and Hutchison's plaintive singing. They are especially acclaimed for their The Midnight Organ Fight album released in 2008. Following a social media post, stating: “Be so good to everyone you love. It's not a given. I'm so annoyed that it's not. I didn't live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones,” and a second post “I'm away now. Thanks”, Hutchinson would go missing. His body would be discovered the next day by police ~ Hutchinson passed away in 2018
November 20, 1978 ~ Composer Chris Opperman born in New York, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with Steve Vai and Mike Keneally, including orchestrating their music for performances with het Metropole Orkest. Has also worked with Beer For Dolphins. Acclaimed as a solo artist though, starting with 1998's Oppy Music Vol.1 (Purple Crayon), merging alternative rock with heavy influences from 20th-century composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern and Frank Zappa
November 20, 1977 ~ Country, neotraditionalist, gospel singer, guitarist, songwriter Josh Turner born in Hannah, South Carolina, USA ~ Rooted in church gospel, founding the gospel quartet Thankful Hearts in his youth. Moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music, debuting his self-penned Long Black Train at the Grand Ole Opry in 2001, receiving a standing ovation. The song would also serve as the title track and second single of his 2003 debut album, instantly propelling him to national fame. Turner would continue to record to critical acclaim and commercial success, regularly reaching the higher echelons of the Billboard Country charts with songs such as Your Man, Would You Go With Me, Firecracker, Why Don't We Just Dance, All Over Me and Hometown Girl
November 20, 1977 ~ Rock, experimental rock, jazz, classical, opera singer, producer, film composer Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari born in Bologna, Italy ~ Notably a member of Obake, alongside Massimo Pupillo and Eraldo Bernocchi, Balázs Pándi. Wrote the soundtrack for the 2009 La Torre Riflette video installation. Has collaborated in one role or another with numerous artists including Bill Laswell, System Of A Down's Serj Tarkian, Nils Petter Molvær, Eivind Sarset, Jamie Saft, Porcupine Tree's Colin Edwin, Markus Stockhausen, Trevor Dunn, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, Cristina Donà, Gianluca Petrella, Stale Storløkken, Hamid Drake, and others
November 20, 1975 ~ David Paden Marchand, commonly known as singer Davey Havok, born in Rochester, New York, USA ~ Lead singer of rock band AFI, synth-pop group Blaqk Audio, hardcore punk outfit XTRMST, and new wave group Dreamcar. Has also worked with Son Of Sam, Tiger Army, the Transplants, the Nerve Agents, the Dance Hall Crashers, and others
November 20, 1975 ~ Singer Dierks Bentley, full name Frederick Dierks Bentley, born in Phoenix, Arizona, USA ~ Released his eponymous Dierks Bentley debut album in 2003, spawning the Billboard Country No.1 hit What Was I Thinkin'. Has consistently recorded to critical acclaim and chart success since, racking up several more country charttoppers including Come A Little Closer, Settle For A Slowdown, Feel That Fire, Home and Somewhere On A Beach
November 20, 1975 ~ Anti-folk, folk punk, indie rock singer, songwriter Jeffrey Lewis born in New York, New York, USA ~ Emerged from the 1990s anti-folk movement in New York. Released his full-length The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane debut album in 2001. Praised for his literate songwriting, often showing self-deprecating humor, and an off-kilter singing style. Has opened for the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Devendra Banhart, Jarvis Cocker, Frank Black, and Cornershop. Has collaborated with the Bundles, Kimya Dawson, Diane Cluck, and others. Lewis is also known as a comic book artist
November 20, 1971 ~ Punk rock, alternative rock, hip-hop bassist, guitarist, singer Rob Johnson, full name Robert Arthur Johnson, born in Edmonton, Canada ~ Played in local bands until joining skate punk band the Wheat Chiefs in 1992 and later the same year SNFU. Sang lead on Gaggle Of Friends of the 1996 FYULABA. Also known under the moniker Freshbread in several hip-hop projects. Founded hard rock band Air Raid Siren with drummer Sean Stubbs
November 20, 1970 ~ Jazz saxophonist Don Stovall passed away ~ Started on the riverboats in the 1920s with Dewey Jackson and Fate Marable. Would go on to become one of the great alto-saxophonists of the 1940s, working with the likes of Sammy Price, Snub Mosley, Eddie Durham, Cootie Williams, and Red Allen. Retiring from music altogether at his prime by the early 1950s, Stovall has sadly been largely forgotten ~ Stovall was born in 1913
November 20, 1970 ~ Psychedelic rock, experimental, anti-folk, rock percussionist, guitarist Joel Gion born ~ Best known as tambourine player for the Brian Jonestown Massacre from 1994 through 1999, rejoining on occasion in later years. Has also recorded as a solo artist, his 2014 Apple Bonkers album co-produced by Jonestown members Collin Hegna and Rob Campanella
November 20, 1970 ~ Malik Isaak Taylor, commonly known as rapper Phife Dawg born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Reformed hip-hop, bridging the gap between jazz and hip-hop and paving the way for alternative hip-hop, in the 1990s as member of A Tribe Called Quest alongside Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White. Well known songs include I Left My Wallet In El Segundo, Bonita Applebum, Can I Kick It, Check The Rhime, Jazz (We've Got), Scenario featuring Leaders Of The New School, Electric Relaxation, and Stressed Out featuring Faith Evans. Following the disbandement in the late 1990s Taylor released a solo solo album, 2000's Ventilation (Da LP), and would become an in-demand collaborator working with numerous artists from rap, hip-hop, spoken word and R&B ~ Taylor passed away in 2016
November 20, 1967 ~ Fazli Teoman Yakupogiu, mononymously known as rock singer, songwriter Teoman, born in Alucra, Turkey ~ Active since the mid-1980s. Member of Mirage. As a solo artist broke through in 1996 with the song Ne Ekmek Ne De Su and has recorded to warm reception and commercial succes since. Well known songs include Paramparca, Sende Once Senden Sonra, 17 and Papatya, the latter notably featuring backing vocals from rock singer Özlem Tekin
November 20, 1966 ~ Producer, songwriter, keyboardist Kevin Gilbert, full name Kevin Matthew Gilbert, born in Sacramento, California, USA ~ Also known under the moniker Matthew Delgado. Best known for his solo work in various progressive rock projects, as member of the short-lived Toy Matinee and for collaborating with Sheryl Crow on her acclaimed Tuesday Night Music Club debut album ~ Gilbert passed away in 1996
November 20, 1965 ~ Michael Louis Diamond, commonly known as rapper Mike D, born in New York, New York, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Beastie Boys, known for songs such as (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party), Hey Ladies, So What'cha Want, Sabotage, Intergalactic, and Ch-check It Out. Diamond has also remixed for Moby and Björk
November 20, 1965 ~ Yoshiki Hayashi, mononymously known as drummer, pianist Yoshiki, born in Tateyama, Japan ~ Influenced by rockers Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden, punk bands such as the Exploited, the Sex Pistols, Gauze, classical composers Franz Schubert, Arnold Schoenberg and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and drummers John Bonham and Cozy Powell. Founder and frontman of rock band X-Japan. Would go on to become one of Japan's most innovative and influential composers working in classical music, rock, heavy metal and pop. Recorded as a solo artist starting with the classical Eternal Melody album, released in 1993, working with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Beatles-producer George Martin. Has also collaborated with SKIN, U2's Bono,, Queen's Roger Taylor and Brian May, Kiss-bassist Gene Simmons, soprano Sarah Brightman, and numerous others
November 20, 1963 ~ Jazz tenor saxophonist Don Braden born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA ~ As a leader Braden released albums since the early 1990s, starting with The Time Is Now in 1991. Has performed, toured and recorded with artists such as the Harper Brothers, Dr Lonnie Smith, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Out Of The Blue, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard, JJ Johnson, Tom Harrell, Art Farmer, and others
November 20, 1962 ~ Bassist, guitarist, clarinetist, singer Gail Ann Dorsey born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Closely associated with David Bowie, backing Bowie from 1995 up to his death in 2016. Also worked with The The, Tears For Fears, the National, Lenny Kravitz, Bryan Ferry, Boy George, the Indigo Girls, Khaled, Jane Siberry, Skunk Anansie lead singer Skin, Gwen Stefani, Charlie Watts, Seal, Gang Of Four, Susan Werner, Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams. Has released a number of solo albums, starting with Corporate World in 1988
November 20, 1962 ~ New age pianist, composer, author Robin Spielberg born in New Jersey, USA ~ Founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company, with whom she acted in dozens of plays and composed the music for several productions. As a pianist has well over a dozen albums to her credit starting with Heal Of The Hand released in 1993. Spokesperson for American Music Therapy Association and in-demand speaker on the importance of music therapy, giving seminars, workshops and TEDx talks
November 20, 1962 ~ Blues rock, jam rock drummer Todd Nance born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA ~ Co-founding member of Widespread Panic, with whom he recorded about a dozen studio albums starting with the acclaimed Space Wrangler released in 1988. Nance departed the band in 2016 to be succeeded by Duane Trucks. Member of side project Brute, with whom he recorded two albums. Nance also co-founded supergroup Barbara Cue, and guested on albums by Jerry Joseph (Conscious Contact), Michael Houser, Daniel Hutchins, and Bloodkin ~ Nance passed away in 2020
November 20, 1962 ~ Post-punk, roots rock singer, songwriter Tommy Womack born in Sturgis, Kentucky, USA ~ Best known as member of Government Cheese from 1985 through 1992. Subsequently a member of the short-lived the Bis-Quits, known for their sole eponymous The Bis-Quits album released in 1993. Has also recorded as a solo artist, starting with Positively Na Na released in 1998, and had his songs recorded by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Jason Ringenberg, Dan Baird, David Olney, Todd Snider, Kevin Fowler, Scott Kempner, and others
November 20, 1961 ~ Jazz drummer Jay Rosen born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Best known as member of Trio X alongside Joe McPhee and Dominic Duval. Has also collaborated with Ivo Perelman, Vinny Golia, Jon Irabagon, the Cosmosamatics, the Resonance Impeders, Andrew Cheshire, John Gunther, Herb Robertson, Steve Swell, Paul Smoker, Chris Kelsey, Gebhard Ullmann, and others
November 20, 1961 ~ Pianist, singer Jim Brickman born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA ~ As a solo artist best known for his 2003 Peace and his 2009 Faith albums, both nominated for a Grammy Award. In-demand collaborator, has worked with Lady Antebellum, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, Leslie Odom Jr, Martina McBride, Megan Hilty, Delta Goodrem, Olivia Newton-John, John Oates, Five For Fighting, Michael Bolton, Gerald Levert, Jane Krakowski, Richie McDonald, and others
November 20, 1959 ~ Jazz, avant-garde jazz, post bop bassist, double bassist Drew Gress born in Trenton, New Jersey, USA ~ Over a dozen albums as a leader, especially noted for his 1998 Heyday debut album and 2019's Imaginary Friends. Co-founded jazz-fusion outfit Joint Venture with Phil Haynes in the late 1980s. In-demand sideman, present on albums by Allen Farnham, Randy McKean, Tony Martucco, Ethel Ennis (Ethel Ennis), Fred Hersch, Erik Friedlander, Marc Copland, Peggy Stern, Andy Laster (Polyogue), Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Jon Ballantyne, Paraphrase (Visitation Rights), Janis Siegel, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Tony Malaby, and Michael Musillami
November 20, 1959 ~ Jazz-rock, post-bop, hard rock, heavy metal drummer Steve Clarke born in London, UK ~ Got his start in music in the early 1980s working as drum tech for former Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra-drummer Billy Cobham. Would go on to form jazz-fusion outfit Network in 1986, which also included King Crimson's David Cross and Soft Machine's Hugh Hopper. The group is best known for their landmark LNC album recorded in 1996 and released in 2003. Clarke has also played with his brother guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke, appearing on the 1988 On Target album by his brother's band Fastway, and with hard rock, heavy rock units Tank, Atomgod, and Leader Of Down
November 20, 1959 ~ Pop, jazz, R&B singer, percussionist Valerie Day born in Portland, Oregon, USA ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of Nu-shooz, co-fronted with her husband keyboardist, guitarist, singer John Smith. The band is best known for 1980s dance tracks such as I Can't Wait, Point Of No Return and Are You Lookin' For Somebody Nu
November 20, 1957 ~ Singer, activist, songwriter Billy Bragg, full name Stephen William Bragg, born in Barking, UK ~ Draws from folk music, punk and rock. Influenced by the Faces, the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, the Clash. Enjoyed some regional succes and released a number of underpromoted singles with pub rock band Riff Raff, which he co-founded with Philip Wigg in 1977. After a brief training in the Army bought himself free to focus on his music, releasing the Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy in 1983. Has since established him as a storyteller touching on unrequitted love as well as socially conscious subjects, including covering several socialist anthems such as The Internationale and The Red Flag. Also wrote and first performed A New England, notably covered by Kirsty Maccoll. Since Maccoll's death in 2000 Bragg would always include the verse Maccoll added when performing the song
November 20, 1957 ~ Pop, reggae, dub drummer Jim Brown born ~ Co-founding and constant member of UB40, known for a string of 1980s, 1990s hits including My Way Of Thinking, One In Ten, I Got You Babe, Breakfast In Bed, Homely Girl, and Kingston Town, all of which reached top 10 in their native UK. Their two best known songs, Red Red Wine and Can't Help Falling In Love With You, would also top the American Billboard Hot 100
November 20, 1956 ~ Jazz clarinetist, saxophonist Achille Baquet, full name Achille Joseph Baquet, passed away ~ Worked with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Papa Jack Laine, and the Whiteway Jazz Band. Co-wrote songs such as the New Orleans Jazz Band's Why Cry Blues and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band's Livery Stable Blues ~ Baquet was born in 1885
November 20, 1956 ~ Guitarist, singer Robert Poss born ~ Co-founding and constant member of guitar-centric alternative rock band Band of Susans, active from 1986 through 1996 and considered a part of the no wave movement. Has also recorded as a solo artist and collaborated with Rhys Chatham, When People Were Shorter And Lived Near The Water, and others
November 20, 1955 ~ Singer, guitarist Bo Diddley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show, aired on CBS ~ Hours before going on air, host Ed Sullivan hears Diddley performing Tennessee Ernie Ford's Sixteen Tons backstage, and asked him to perform that song for the show. Diddley agreed, but when he looked at the set list he saw “Bo Diddley. Sixteen Tons”. Not realizing that the “Bo Diddley” was referring to him, not his hit single, Diddley took that to mean that he was supposed to play both songs back to back. Diddley was cut off after playing his first song, Bo Diddley, and Sullivan would ban the singer from the show for not following his directions. The singer later claimed he never got paid, but nevertheless the performance would be seen by millions and cement Diddley as a pioneer of rock & roll
November 20, 1955 ~ Sun Records-owner Sam Phillips sells Elvis Presley's contract to RCA-Victor for $35,000 ~ With only one year left on the running contract, Phillips sells Elvis Presley's contract to RCA-Victor for $35,000. Reportedly, at the time the amount would be the highest paid for any singer. In hindsight it may have been a poor business decision as Presley would go on to become the all-time biggest rock & roll star, selling millions of records. Yet, as Phillips would later explain, he never regretted the decision as he invested the money in a local hotel chain called the Holiday Inn. His investment would make Phillips a bigger fortune than anything he did in music
November 20, 1953 ~ Singer, songwriter, producer Anders Glenmark, full name Gert Anders Glenmark, born in Tomelilla, Sweden ~ Played lead guitar on ABBA's Money Money Money, and sang backup on both Anni-Frid Lyngstad's Frida Ensam and Agnetha Fältskog's Elva Kvinnor I Ett Hus solo albums. Sang backup on Murray Head's Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit One Night In Bangkok. Member of family outfit the Glenmarks and sibling duo Gemini, both alongside his sister Karin Glenmark. Recorded over half a dozen solo albums, starting with Känslor in 1973, and has written and produced for the likes of Eva Dahlgren, Orup, Ted Gärdestad, and Patrik Isaksson
November 20, 1952 ~ Jazz violinist, bandleader Mal Hallett passed away in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ~ Started out as a sideman for Al Moore. Best known as a bandleader employing artists who would later become noted in their own right, including Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden, Frankie Carle, Jack Jenney, Toots Mondello, Irene Daye, Floyd O'Brien, Lyle Murphy, Boots Mussulli, Brad Gowans, Turk Murphy, Teddy Grace, John Thomas Williams, and Don Fagerquist ~ Hallett was born ca.1893
November 20, 1951 ~ Raul Alberto Antonio Gieco, commonly known as folk rock singer, songwriter Leon Gieco, born in Canada Rosquin, Argentina ~ Sometimes referred to as “the Argentine Bob Dylan” known for mixing folkloric genres with rock & roll. Member of supergroup Porsuigieco alongside Raúl Porchetto, Charly García, Nito Mestre and Maria Rosa Yorio. As a solo artist known best for his 1976 El Fantasma De Canterville, which was censored by the military junta forcing him to change the lyrics yet becoming a succes anyway. Though restricted by the government Gieco would continue to record and speak out with protest songs such as Solo Le Pido A Dios, La Cultura Es La Sonrisa and others
November 20, 1950 ~ Progressive rock guitarist Gary Green, full name Gary Williams Green, born in Stroud Green, UK ~ Blues-infused progressive rock guitarist best known as co-founding and constant member of progressive rock band Gentle Giant, acclaimed for their 1975 Free Hand album. After the band disbanded in the early 1980s has mostly worked as sideman on a number of projects, notably with Mother Tongue, Eddie Jobson, Billy Sherwood, and others
November 20, 1949 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter, poet, author Ulf Lundell, full name Ulf Gerhard Lundell, born in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Influenced by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, drawing critical comparison to the latter with critics hailing him as “the Swedish Dylan” immediately after the release of his 1975 Vargmåne debut album. Has recorded to critical acclaim since with some 40 albums to his name, becoming a central figure in Swedish rock and one of the most important influences on rock singers writing and singing in Swedish. Also known as a novelist and poet, noted for his debut novel Jack published in 1976 and for his autobiographical novel A Wolf In Search Of His Pack in 1989 shattering rock myths and telling about his struggles with alcohol abuse. The song Öppna Landskap of his 1982 Kär Och Galen has been playfully suggested as replacement for the national anthem of Sweden
November 20, 1948 ~ Operatic soprano, concert singer Barbara Hendricks born in Stephens, Arkansas, USA ~ Has worked with the San Francisco Opera, the Opera National de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, La Scala. Has also performed jazz material, notably at the 1994 Montreux Jazz Festival
November 20, 1947 ~ Mary Sandeman, commonly known as pop, folk singer Aneka, born in Edinburgh, UK ~ Best known for her 1981 UK No.1 hit Japanese Boy, penned by Bob Heatlie. After the single's success would release a full-length pop album, Aneka, and a number of singles through the mid-1980s all of which made little impact. By the mid-1980s Sandeman would drop the Aneka moniker and revert to recording traditional Scottish folk under her own name and collaborate with the likes of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and others
November 20, 1947 ~ Rock, hard rock, blues rock, country rock, pop rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Joe Walsh, full name Joseph Fiddler Walsh, born in Wichita, Kansas, USA ~ Influenced by Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Beatles. Fronted the James Gang from 1968 through 1971, best known for the 1970 hit Funk No.49. Member of the Eagles from 1975 through 1980. Also worked with the Measles and with Barnstorm. As a solo artist has a dozen albums to his name, scoring hits with 1973's Rocky Mountain Way and 1978's Life's Been Good. Produced and played guitar on Dan Fogelberg's 1974 Souvenirs. Has also collaborated with Herbs, the Party Boys, John Entwistle (Too Late The Hero), Ringo Starr, America, REO Speedwagon, Andy Gibb, the Bee Gees, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Steve Winwood, and with Richard Marx, appearing on the latter's Don't Mean Nothing hit of his eponymous 1987 Richard Marx debut album
November 20, 1946 ~ Guitarist Duane Allman, full name Howard Duane Allman, born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Co-founder, original frontman of the Allman Brothers Band, present on the albums The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South, At Fillmore East, and Eat A Peach. In-demand session musician and collaborator, has worked with King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, 31st of February, Wilson Pickett, Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton's Derek & the Dominos, Boz Scaggs, Hour Glass, and others ~ Allman passed away in 1971
November 20, 1945 ~ Daniel Hatton, commonly known as singer, guitarist Danny McBride, born in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA ~ Enjoyed regional popularity with the Cavaliers in the Boston area during the 1960s. Rose to national prominence as lead guitarist for Sha Na Na including on the TV show of the same name and in the 1978 film Grease. Has since worked as musician with various bands, as actor, as voice-over actor and published several humorous pieces for a variety of magazines ~ Hatton passed away in 2009
November 20, 1945 ~ Singer, actress Nanette Workman, full name Nanette Joan Workman, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA ~ Although raised as an English speaker, Workman performs primarily though not exclusively in French earning her a devout following among Francophone audiences including Canada and France. Has recorded well over a dozen albums, starting with Nanette released in 1967. Sang backing vocals on You Can't Always Get What You Want of the Rolling Stones 1969 Let It Bleed album, opened for Johnny Hallyday, and can be heard on albums by the likes of Iain Matthews, Cerrone, Georges Thurston, and Michel Berger
November 20, 1944 ~ Jazz, traditional pop singer Doris Day, backed by Les Brown and orchestra, records Sentimental Journey ~ Written by Brown and Ben Homer. Brown had been playing the song for a while yet was unable to record it due to the musicians' strike. When the strike ended the orchestra recorded it with Day as featured vocalist, giving Day her first No.1 pop hit. The single's success coincided with the end of World War II and it would become an unofficial homecoming theme for veterans returning from the war. Over the years it would become a standard recorded by numerous artists including Dinah Shore, Conway Twitty, Ella Fitzgerald, the Platters, Booker T & the MG's, Ringo Starr, Dave Dudley, and others
November 20, 1942 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Norman Greenbaum, full name Norman Joel Greenbaum, born in Walden, Massachusetts, USA ~ Best known for his self-penned Spirit In The Sky single, one of the era-defining songs of the late 1960s. It would reach top 10 across the globe, including the Netherlands and America, reaching No.1 positions in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the UK
November 20, 1941 ~ Malcolm Rebennack Jr, commonly known as pianist, singer, songwriter Dr John, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Mixes blues, pop, jazz, boogie-woogie, rock & roll and more into a highly energetic voodoo and cajun-infused hybrid. Influenced by King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Little Richard, Guitar Slim and Professor Longhair. Started as a session musician, mostly guitar, in the late 1950s working with the likes of James Booker, Earl King and Jimmy Clanton. Starting with his 1969 debut album Gris Gris built a zydeco, voodoo, cajun and Louisiana heritage on stage persona. ~ Rebennack passed away in 2019
November 20, 1941 ~ Classical double bassist virtuoso Gary Karr born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Considered one of the finest classical double bassists of his day. Has worked as a soloist with numerous renowned orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and others
November 20, 1940 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist Jim Horn, full name James Ronald Horn, born in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Toured and recorded with Duane Eddy for five years, starting in 1959. Would go on to become a highly in-demand reeds and horn player. Present on the Beach Boys landmark album Pet Sounds released in 1966. Other notably credits include Cannonball Adderley, the Righteous Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas & the Papas, the Monkees (Pisces Aquarius Capricorn & Jones Ltd), the Everly Brothers, Joni Mitchell, the Carpenters (The Carpenters), John Lennon (Imagine), Rita Coolidge, Seals & Crofts (Summer Breeze), the Rolling Stones (Goat's Head Soup), Badfinger, George Harrison, Minnie Riperton, Marvin Gaye, Captain & Tennille, Jackson Browne (The Pretender), Steely Dan, Etta James, Emmylou Harris, Burton Cummings, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Toto, the Pointer Sisters, and kd Lang
November 20, 1940 ~ Singer Tony Butala, full name Anthony Francis Butala, born ~ Co-founding and sole constant member of the Lettermen, known for their close-harmony pop songs. The band scored two Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits, namely When I Fall In Love in 1961 and Goin' Out Of My Head in 1967
November 20, 1939 ~ Comedian, songwriter, singer, guitarist Dick Smothers born in New York, New York, USA ~ Formed the duo the Smother Brothers with his brother Tom Smothers. Tom felt he wasn't good enough a musician so they added comedy to their routine
November 20, 1937 ~ Ruth Meckler, commonly known as classical pianist Ruth Laredo, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Married to conductor Jaime Laredo. Showed musical promise from a young age, and vowed to become a concert pianist after seeing Vladimir Horowitz in concert at age 8. Well known for her recordings of works by Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Maurice Ravel ~ Meckler passed away in 2005
November 20, 1934 ~ Jazz, traditional jazz trumpeter Colin Smith, full name Colin Ranger Smith, born in London, UK ~ Best known as longtime accompanist for Acker Bilk, starting in the late 1950s. From 1977 onwards also played with John Picard, Ian Stewart, Dick Morrisey, and the Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts in an ad-hoc ensemble that would evolve into Rocket 88. Other notable associations include Terry Lightfoot, Cy Laurie, Tony Coe, Bob Wilber, and the Pizza Express All-Stars ~ Smith passed away in 2004
November 20, 1934 ~ Nouhad Wadioe Haddad, commonly known as singer Fairuz, born in Beirut, Lebanon ~ Leading singer in history of Arab music. Active since the late 1940s. Shot to fame in 1952 with the song Itab and has since become the highest-selling Arab artist with a career spanning six decades, headlining renowned venues, recording some 1500 songs, selling over 150 million records
November 20, 1934 ~ Francisco Ibáñez, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Paco Ibáñez born in Valencia, Spain ~ Fled to France with his family after the Spanish Civil War due to his father's association with the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union. Ibáñez himself would become known as a rebel artist during the social unrest in Paris in May 1968. Never wrote any of his lyrics yet transcrbed famous poems to music, especially poems by the likes of Federici Garcia Lorca, Luis Cernuda and Rafael Alberti. Also known as a fine interpreter of songs by French singer and poet Georges Brassens. Debuted in 1964 with the acclaimed Paco Ibáñez album and has recorded to a devoted fan base and admiration of peers through most of the 1960s and 1970s
November 20, 1930 ~ Claude Putman Jr, commonly known as singer, songwriter Curly Putman, born in Princeton, Alabama, USA ~ Though a fine singer in his own right, Putman is best known as songwriter. Songs written or co-written by Putman include Green Green Grass Of Home (Johnny Darrell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley), Dumb Blonde (Dolly Parton), D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Kitty Wells), Our House Is Not A Home (Lynn Anderson), I Wish I Could Hurt That Way Again (Kenny Rogers, John Conlee, Millie Jackson), and He Stopped Loving Her Today (Johnny Russell, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck) ~ Putman passed away in 2016
November 20, 1929 ~ Conductor, pianist, arranger Raymond Lefèvre born in Calais, France ~ Best known for The Day The Rains Came, and for his rendition of the Michel Polnareff-penned Soul Coaxing (Ame Caline), the latter an international hit in 1968. Lefèvre has also worked with Frank Pourcel, Dalida, Claude François, Richard Anthony, Peter van Eyck, and Paul Mauriat ~ Lefèvre passed away in 2008
November 20, 1925 ~ Shirley Luster, commonly known as jazz, cool jazz singer June Christy, born in Springfield, Illinois, USA ~ Sang with the orchestras of Boyd Raeburn, Benny Strong, and notably Stan Kenton, including on the latter's How High The Moon and his biggest hit Tampico. As a solo singer, Christy is best known for her 1954 Something Cool solo debut album, with backing from Pete Rugolo's orchestra which included her husband Bob Cooper and Bud Shank. Though somewhat forgotten over time, the album sparked the vocal cool movement of the 1950s. Christy would later comment it was “the only thing I've recorded that I'm not unhappy with.” ~ Luster died in 1990
November 20, 1916 ~ Musical director, choral conductor John McCarthy, full name Eugene Patrick John McCarthy, born in London, UK ~ Co-founded the Ambrosian Singers with Denis Stevens, a choral group known best for their association with the BBC. The group would also serve as a training ground for artists such as Heather Harper, Dorothy Dorow, Margaret Price, Robert Tear, and John Shirley-Quirk. McCarthy also served as the chorus master for the London Symphony Orchestra for most of the 1960s ~ McCarthy passed away in 2009
November 20, 1916 ~ Singer Virginia Verrill, full name Catherine Virginia Verrill, born in Santa Monica, California, USA ~ Daughter of vaudeville entertainer Aimee McLean-Verrill, with whom she appeared on-stage at a mere 5 months old. Has also sung with family friend Paul Whiteman when she was 3 years old. Would go on to enjoy popularity as a big band and radio singer, hosting her own Vocals By Verrill radio show by 1937. Has worked with the orchestras of David Brockman, Johnny Green, Orville Knapp. Also ghost-sang in Hollywood films for female stars perhaps most notably for Jean Harlow in the mid-1930s films Reckless and Suzy. Verrill retired from show business in 1942 ~ Verrill passed away in 1999
November 20, 1894 ~ Pianist, conductor, composer Anton Rubinstein, full name Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, passed away in St Petersburg, Russian Empire ~ Brother of pianist, composer Nikolai Rubinstein. Considered one of the foremost 19th-century piano virtuosos, best known for his series of historical recitals covering the history of piano music. Has written piano concertos, symphonies, chamber music and opera, most notably The Demon published in 1871 ~ Rubinstein was born in 1829