Author Archive for Jon Kutner

May births and deaths

May 1

Births

1928    Sonny James
1939    Judy Collins
1945    Rita Coolidge
1954    Ray Parker Jr
1955    Nick Feldman – bass Wang Chung
1957    Steve Farris – guitar Mr Mister
1957    Rick Driscoll – vocals Kenny
1958    Paul Gardiner – bass Tubeway Army
1959    Phil Smith – saxophone Haircut 100
1960    Mike Bryant – synthesizer Fluke
1962    Owen Paul
1966    Johnny Colt – bass Black Crowes
1967    Tim McGraw – US country singer
1968    D’Arcy Wretzky – bass Smashing Pumpkins
1979    Michelle Barber – vocals Girl Thing
1983    Jennifer Ellison – UK actress/singer

Deaths

1904    Anton Dvorak – classical composer
1965    Spike Jones – US comedy singer
1985    Hylda Baker
1986    Hugo Peretti – vocals Hugo and Luigi
1992    Sharon Redd
2006    Johnny Paris – Saxophone Johnny & The Hurricanes
2013    Chris Kelly – vocals Kris Kross

May 2

Births

1901    Bing Crosby (b: Harry Lillis Crosby)
1920    Joe ‘Mr Piano’ Henderson
1929    Link Wray – US rock guitarist
1936    Engelbert Humperdinck
1944    Bob Henrit – rhythm guitar Unit 4+2
1944    John Verity – guitar Argent
1945    Judge Dread
1945    Randy Cain  – vocals Delfonics
1945    Goldy McJohn – keyboards Steppenwolf
1946    Lesley Gore
1950    Lou Gramm – vocals Foreigner
1951    John Glascock – bass Chicken Shack/Jethro Tull
1954    Prescott Niles – bass The Knack
1955    John Callis – guitar Rezillos/synthesizer Human League
1961    Robert Howard – vocals Blow Monkeys
1969    Ben Leach – keyboards Farm
1985    Lily Allen

Deaths

2013    Jeff Hanneman – guitar Slayer
2014    Jessica Cleaves – vocals Raw Silk
2016    Paul McDowell – vocals Temperance Seven

May 3

Births

1919    Pete Seeger
1924    Jane Morgan
1933    James Brown
1934    Frankie Valli
1938    Napoleon XIV
1944    Pete Staples – bass Troggs
1945    Dick Allix – drums Vanity Fare
1947    John Richardson – drums Rubettes
1950    Mary Hopkin
1951    Christopher Cross
1952    Jake Hooker (b: Jerry Mamberg) – guitar Arrows
1953    Bruce Hall – bass REO Speedwagon
1955    Steve Jones – guitar Sex Pistols
1959    David Ball – piano Soft Cell/Grid
1960    Philip Cilia – guitar Waterfront
1965    Simon Smith – drums Wedding Present
1969    Jay Darlington – keyboards Kula Shaker
1972    Mark Morrison
1974    Nick Keynes – vocals Ultra
1979    Daniel Foster – vocals Hear’say
1997    Desiigner – US rapper

Deaths

1972    Les Harvey – guitar Stone The Crows
2020    David Greenfield – keyboard Stanglers
2020    Bob Lander – guitar Spotnicks

May 4

Births

1943    Nick Ashford – vocals Ashford and Simpson
1943    Ronnie Bond – drums Troggs
1945    George Wadenius – guitar/bass Blood Sweat and Tears
1949    Zal Cleminson – guitar Sensational Alex Harvey Band
1949    Stella Parton
1951    Bruce Day – bass Santana
1951    Colin Bass – bass Foundations
1951    Jackie Jackson – Jackson 5
1956    Jacob Miller – vocals Inner Circle
1959    Randy Travis
1961    Jay Aston – vocals Bucks Fizz
1962    Oleta Adams
1972    Mike Dirnt – bass Green Day
1977    Victoria Bergsman – vocals Concretes
1979    Lance Bass – vocals ‘N Sync
1985    JME – grime rapper

Deaths

1980     Joe ‘Mr Piano’ Henderson
2001     Jerry Merritt – guitar Gene Vincen’s Blue Caps
2004     Coxone Dodd – reggae producer
2012     MCA – vocals Beastie Boys
2018     Abi Ofarim

May 5

Births

1924    Joy Beverley – vocals Beverley Sisters
1927    Teddie Beverley – vocals Beverley Sisters
1927    Babs Beverley – vocals Beverley Sisters
1938    Johnnie Taylor
1942    Tammy Wynette
1943    Gerry Freeman – drums Applejacks
1943    Roy Phillips – vocals/organ Peddlers
1943    Michael Palin – Monty Python
1944    Eddie Amoo – vocals/guitar Real Thing
1948    Bill Ward – drums Black Sabbath
1948    Trevor Gordon – vocals Marbles
1950    Maggie MacNeal – vocals Mouth and McNeal
1959    Ian McCulloch – vocals/guitar Echo and The Bunnymen
1959    Sean McLusky – drums Joboxers
1962    Gary Daly – vocals China Crisis
1969    Andrew Sherriff – guitar Chapterhouse
1972    Alan White – drums Oasis
1975    Ronald Hagen – keyboards Signum
1975    M-Beat
1981    Craig David
1988    Adele
1989    Chris Brown – US R&B singer

Deaths

1974    Adge Cutler – vocals Wurzels
1986    Hugo – vocals Hugo and Luigi
1998    Tommy McCook – saxophone Skatalites
1998    Syd Lawrence – UK band leader
2008    Jerry Wallace – US country singer
2020    Hillard ‘Sweet Pea’ Atkinson – vocals Was Not Was
2020    Millie Small

May 6

Births

1936    Sylvia
1942    Colin Earl – keyboards Mungo Jerry
1945    Bob Seger
1948    Mary McGregor
1950    Robbie McIntosh – drums Average White Band
1950    Nick Cash – vocals 999
1959    John Flansburgh – vocals/guitar They Might Be Giants
1960    Larry Steinbeck – keyboards Bronski Beat
1962    Juliet Roberts
1964    Tony Scalzo – bass Fastball
1967    Mark Bryan – guitar Hootie and The Blowfish
1968    Toby Wright – vocals Terrorvision
1971    Sarah Blackwood – vocals Dubstar
1984    Eamon – US singer
1987    Meek Mill

Deaths

1971    Dickie Valentine
1992    Marlene Dietrich
2003    Gerry Shephard – guitar Glitter Band
2009    Viola Wills
2015    Errol Brown
2021    Lloyd Price

May 7

Births

1833    Johannes Brahams – classical composer
1840    Piotr Tchaikovsky – classical composer
1923    Jim Lowe
1931    Teresa Brewer
1936    Jimmy Ruffin
1939    Johnny Maestro – vocals Crests
1943    Rick West – guitar Tremeloes
1945    Jerry Nolan – drums New York Dolls
1946    Bill Danoff – vocals Starland Vocal Band
1946    Thelma Houston
1948    Pete Wingfield
1948    Alan Spenner – bass UK Kokomo
1949    Keith
1950    Prairie Prince – drums Tubes
1960    Anne Dudley – keyboards Art Of Noise
1968    Eagle-Eye Cherry
1974    Lynden David Hall – UK R&B Singer
1977    Hinda Hicks

Deaths

1992    Nigel Preston – drums Cult
1998    Eddie Rabbitt
2007    Carol Johnson – vocals Exciters
2010    Dave Fisher – vocals Highwaymen
2011    John Walker – vocals Walker Brothers

May 8

Births

1940    Rick (y) Nelson
1940    Gary Glitter
1941    John Fred
1943    Toni Tennille
1943    Paul Samwell-Smith – bass Yardbirds
1944    Peter O’Flaherty – bass Simon Dupree and the Big Sound
1944    Dorothy Combs Morrison – Edwin Hawkins Singers
1951    Philip Bailey
1951    Chris Frantz – drums Talking Heads/TomTom Club
1953    Alex Van Halen
1964    Dave Rowntree – drums Blur
1972    Darren Hayes – vocals Savage Garden
1975    Enrique Iglesias
1976    H – vocals Steps
1980    Michelle MacManus
1983    Matt Willis – vocals Busted
1987    Andy Brown – vocals Lawson

Deaths

1960    Hugo Alfven – composer ‘Swedish Rhapsody’
1967    LaVerne Andrews – vocals Andrews Sisters
1972    Graham Bond – keyboards Graham Bond organisation
2008    Eddy Arnold

May 9

Births

1911    Harry Simeone
1914    Frank Chacksfield
1914    Hank Snow
1923    Griff – vocals Miki and Griff
1935    Nokie Edwards – lead guitar Ventures
1937    Dave Prater – vocals Sam and Dave
1937    Sonny Curtis – guitar Crickets
1940    John Hawken – piano Nashville Teens
1941    Pete Birrell – bass Freddie’s Dreamers
1942    Mike Millwood – guitar Fourmost
1943    Tommy Roe
1945    Steve Katz – guitar Blood Sweat and Tears
1948    Richard Hudson – drums Strawbs/Hudson Ford/Monks
1949    Billy Joel
1950    Tom Petersson – bass Cheap Trick
1953    John Edwards – bass Status Quo
1962    Dave Gahan – vocals Depeche Mode
1962    Paul Heaton – vocals Housemartins/Beautiful South
1964    Kevin Saunderson – programmer Soul II Soul
1969    Peter Wilkinson – bass Cast
1970    Ghostface Killah – vocals Wu Tang Clan
1971    Paul McGuigan – guitar Oasis

Deaths

1989    Keith Whitley – US country singer
2017    Robert Miles
2020    Little Richard

May 10

Births

1899    Fred Astaire
1920    Bert Weedon
1935    Larry Williams
1941    Danny Rapp – lead vocals Danny and the Juniors
1942    Carl Douglas
1944    Jackie Lomax – vocals Undertakers
1946    Graham Gouldman – guitar 10cc
1946    Donovan
1946    Dave Mason – guitar/vocals Traffic
1947    Vic Elmes – guitar Christie
1947    Jay Ferguson – vocals/keyboard Jo Jo Gunne
1952    Lee Brilleaux – vocals Dr Feelgood
1952    Sly Dunbar – Jamaican drummer
1957    Sid Vicious
1957    Karl Hyde – vocals/guitar Underworld
1960    Bono – vocals U2

Deaths
2009    Clive Scott – keyboards Jigsaw
2020    Betty Wright

May 11

Births

1888    Irving Berlin – composer
1922    Eve Boswell
1924    Marino Marini – Italian band leader
1939    R. Dean Taylor
1941    Eric Burdon
1943    Les Chadwick – bass Gerry and The Pacemakers
1955    Jonathan ‘JJ’ Jeczalik – keyboards Art Of Noise
1961    Richard Wermerling – vocals/keyboards Let Loose
1963    Carrie McDowell – US singer
1967    Apache Indian
1980    Catherine Cassisdy – vocals – Sweet Female Attitude
1982    Cory Monteith – vocals Glee
1983    Holly Valance

Deaths

1979    Lester Flatt – US country singer
1981    Bob Marley
1997    Ernie Fields – orchestra leader
2003    Noel Redding – bass Jimi Hendrix Experience
2004    John Whitehead – singer McFadden & Whitehead

May 12

Births

1928    Burt Bacharach
1942    Ian Dury
1942    Billy Swan
1944    James Purify
1946    Ian McLagan – piano Small Faces/Faces
1948    Steve Winwood
1950    Billy Squire
1958    Shannon
1959    Billy Duffy – guitar Cult
1963    Charles Pettigrew – vocals Charles and Eddie
1971    Andy Flett – guitar Ooberman

Deaths

2001    Perry Como

May 13

Births

1937    Trini Lopez
1941    Joe Brown
1941    Richie Valens
1943    Mary Wells
1943    Clive Palmer – banjo Incredible String Band
1945    Magic Dick – harmonica J Geils Band
1947    Overend Watts – bass Mott The Hoople
1949    Marlon Hargis – keyboards Exile
1950    Stevie Wonder
1950    Danny Kirwan – guitar Fleetwood Mac
1951    Paul Thompson – drums Roxy Music
1954    Johnny Logan
1955    Brandi Wells
1957    Martin Brammer – vocals Kane Gang
1959    Kim McAuliffe – vocals/guitar Girlschool
1964    Lorraine McIntosh – vocals Deacon Blue
1966    Darius Rucker – vocals Hootie and The Blowfish
1967    Melanie Thornton – rapper La Bouche

Deaths

1988    Chet Baker – US jazz trumpeter
2006    Johnnie Wilder – vocals Heatwave
2012    Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn – bass Booker T and MG’s
2019    Doris Day

May 14

Births

1928    Will Jones – vocals Coasters
1934    Mike Preston
1934    Frederick – vocals Nina and Frederick
1936    Bobby Darin
1936    Charlie Gracie
1939    Troy Shondell
1943    Jack Bruce

1943    Derek Leckenby – guitar Herman’s Hermits
1952    David Byrne – vocals Talking Heads
1962    Ian Astbury – vocals Cult
1962    C.C Deville – guitar Poison
1966    Mike Inez – bass Alice In Chains
1966    Fab Morvan – vocals? Milli Vanilli
1969    Danny Wood – vocals New Kids On The Block
1969    Steve Hellier – keyboards Dubstar
1971    Matthew Pateman – vocals Bad Boys Inc
1973    Shanice
1973    Natalie Appleton – vocals All Saints
1973    Sinead O’Carroll – vocals B*Witched
1976    Martine McCutcheon (b: Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting)
1982    Ryan Elliot – vocals Ultimate Kaos
1984    Olly Murs (b: Oliver Stanley Murs) – X-Factor singer
1996    Martin Garrix

Deaths

1976    Keith Relf – vocals Yardbirds
1997    David Christie
1998    Frank Sinatra
2015    B.B. King

May 15

Births

1918    Eddy Arnold
1940    Lena Martell
1944    Tich – guitar Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich
1948    Brian Eno
1953    Mike Oldfield
1959    Andrew Eldridge – Sisters Of Mercy
1963    Julian Brookhouse – guitar Curiosity Killed The Cat
1965    Jon Sevink – violin Levellers
1966    Peter Wiggs – keyboards St Etienne
1966    Jake Shillingford – vocals My Life Story
1967    Mark Colwill – bass Tindersticks
1970    Martin Rossiter – vocals/keyboards Gene
1970    Prince Be – rapper PM Dawn
1972    Richard Blackwood
1982    Jessica Sutta – vocals Pussycat Dolls
1996    Birdy – UK singer

Deaths

1992    Barbara Lee Jones – vocals Chiffons
1994    Frederick – vocals Nina and Frederick
2000    Geoff Goddard
2004    Clint Warwick – bass Moody Blues
2020    Phil May – Pretty Things

May 16

Births

1919    Liberace
1934    Dorothy Jones Johnson – vocals Cookies
1946    Robert Fripp – guitar King Crimson
1947    Darrell Sweet – drums Nazareth
1947    Barbara Lee Jones – vocals Chiffons
1949    William Spooner – guitar Tubes
1951    Jonathan Richman
1951    Allen Wentz – bass Wild Cherry
1953    Richard Page – vocals Mr Mister
1955    Hazel O’Connor
1958    Glenn Gregory – vocals Heaven 17
1965    Krist Novoselic – bass Nirvana
1966    Janet Jackson
1968    Ralph Tresvant
1971    Simon Katz – guitar Jamiroquai
1973    Will White – keyboards Propellerheads
1978    Dav Ford – vocals/guitar Easyworld
1982    Billy Crawford
1985    Alex Pall – Chainsmokers

Deaths

1953    Django Reinhardt – jazz guitarist
1990    Sammy Davis Jr
1993    Marv Johnson
2010    Ronnie James Dio
2013    Paul Shane

May 17

Births

1945    Charlie Charles – drums Blockheads
1950    Bill Bruford – drums Yes
1953    George Johnson – vocals Brothers Johnson
1955    David Townsend – vocals Surface
1959    Paul Di Anno – vocals Iron Maiden
1961    Enya
1962    Tracy Bryn – vocals/guitar Voice Of The Beehive
1963    Maxi Wuletich – vocals Mary Jane Girls
1965    Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails
1967    Simon Friend – guitar Levellers
1968    Richard Hynd – drums Texas
1970    Jordan Knight
1971    Vernie Bennett – vocals Eternal
1973    Alfred Nevarez – vocals All-4-One
1974    Andrea Corr – vocals Corrs

Deaths

1996    Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson
2012    Donna Summer
2013    Alan O’Day
2017    Chris Cornell – vocals/guitar Soundgarden & Audioslave
2022    Vangelis
2022    Rick Price – bass Move/Wizzard

May 18

Births

1912    Perry Como
1932    Alma Cogan
1944    Albert Hammond
1946    Bruce Gilbert – guitar Wire
1948    Feliciano Tavares – vocals Tavares
1949    Rick Wakeman
1954    Wreckless Eric
1957    Enigma     Toyah Wilcox
1961    Russell Senior – guitar/violin Pulp
1961    Simon Ellis – keyboards Ellis, Beggs and Howard
1964    Ferry Ridderhof – vocals Doop
1969    Martika (b: Marta Marrera)

Deaths

1980    Ian Curtis – vocals Joy Division
2002    Norman Vaughan

May 19

Births

1926    David Jacobs – BBC DJ
1938    Herbie Flowers – bass Sky
1940    Mickey Newbury
1945    Pete Towshend – guitar Who
1946    Philip Rudd – drums AC/DC
1947    Paul Brady – Irish singer
1948    Grace Jones
1949    Dusty Hill – vocals/bass Z Z Top
1950    Mike Wedgewood – bass Curved Air
1950    Romeo Challenger – drums Showaddywaddy
1952    Joey Ramone – vocals Ramones
1953    Victoria Wood
1956    Martyn Ware – synthesizer Heaven 17
1960    Yazz
1962    Iain Harvie – guitar Del Amitri
1965    Ben Volpeliere – vocals Curiosity Killed The Cat
1966    Jim McCulloch – guitar Soup Dragons
1968    Paul Hartnoll – keyboards Orbital
1970    Jenny Berggren – vocals Ace Of Base
1970    Stuart Cable – drums Stereophonics
1992    Sam Smith

Deaths

2001    Mike Sammes – leader Mike Sammes Singers
2006    Freddie Garrity – vocals Freddie and the Dreamers
2011    Kathy Kirby

May 20

Births

1940    Shorty Long
1942    Paula – vocals Paul and Paula
1944    Joe Cocker
1946    Cher
1950    Steve Broughton – drums Edgar Broughton Band
1951    Warren Cann – drums Ultravox
1955     Steven George – keyboards Mr Mister
1958    Jane Wiedlin – guitar Go-Go’s
1961    Nick Heywood
1963    Brian Nash – guitar Frankie Goes To Hollywood
1981    Sean Conlon – vocals Five
1984    Naturi Naughton – vocals 3LW

Deaths

1964    Rudy Lewis – vocals Drifters
1995    John Pertwee
2012    Robin Gibb
2013    Ray Manzarek

May 21

Births

1904    Fats Waller
1935    Terry Lightfoot – UK jazz musician
1941    Ronald Isley – lead vocals Isley Brothers
1943    Vince Crane – keyboards Crazy World Arthur Brown/Atomic Rooster
1947    Steve Currie – bass T.Rex
1948    Leo Sayer
1955    Stan Lynch – drums Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers
1958    Mike Barson – keyboards Madness
1960    Tim Lever – piano/saxophone Dead Or Alive/producer
1964    Martin Blunt – bass Charlatans
1972    Notorious B.I.G
1980    Gotye
1985    Mutya Buena – vocals Sugababes
1991    Matomi

Deaths

2013    Raymond Reid – trombone Crown Heights Affair
2013    Trevor Bolder – bass Uriah Heep
2015    Louis Johnson – vocals/bass/piano Brothers Johnson
2015    Twinkle
2016    Nick Menza – drums Megadeth

May 22

Births

1813    Richard Wagner – classical composer
1924    Charles Aznavour
1931    Kenny Ball
1933    Don Estelle
1948    Des Dyer – vocals/drums Jigsaw
1950    Bernie Taupin – Elton John’s songwriter
1954    Jerry Dammers – piano Specials
1955    Iva Davis – vocals/guitar Icehouse
1959    Morrissey
1959    Jilted John
1966    Johnny Gill
1967    Dan Roberts – bass Crash Test Dummies
1973    Donnell Jones
1981    Su-Elise Nash – vocals Mis-Teeq

Deaths

2005    Thurl Ravenscroft – bass voice Mellomen

May 23

Births

1921    Humphrey Lyttelton – UK jazz musician
1928    Rosemary Clooney
1942    Fred Wedlock – UK singer
1943    General Johnson – vocals Chairmen Of The Board
1946    Daniel Klein – bass J Geils Band
1947    Bill Hunt – piano/trumpet Wizzard/ELO
1955    Dean Friedman
1955    Thereza Bazaar
1957    Baltimora
1965    Simon Gilbert – drums Suede
1967    Phil Selway – drums Radiohead
1967    Junior Waite – drums Musical Youth
1973    Maxwell – US rapper
1974    Jewel
1974    Richard Jones – bass Stereophonics
1983    Heidi Range – vocals Sugababes

Deaths

1991    Will Sinnott – bass Shamen
2002    Umberto Bindi – Italian singer/songwriter

May 24

Births

1941    Bob Dylan
1941    Charles Earland – US jazz musician
1942    Derek Quinn – guitar Freddie’s Dreamers
1944    Patti Labelle
1945    Dave Peacock – vocals/guitar Chas and Dave
1946    Steve Upton – drums Wishbone Ash
1947    Nanette Licari – vocals Reperata and The Delrons
1952    Cerrone
1956    Helen Terry
1964    Lenny Kravitz
1967    Heavy D
1969    Rich Robinson – guitar Black Crowes
1976    TQ

Deaths

1963    Elmore James – US blues musician
1974    Duke Ellington – jazz musician
1991    Gene Clark – vocals/percussion Byrds
2006    Desmond Dekker
2010    Steve New – guitar Rich Kids
2010    Paul Gray – bass Slipknot

May 25

Births

1921    Hal David – composer with Burt Bacharach
1921    Kitty Kallen
1926    Miles Davis – US jazz trumpeter
1927    Norman Petty – producer/composer
1936    Donnie Elbert
1945    Dave Lee Travis
1947    Mitchell Margo – piano/drums Tokens
1947    Jessi Colter – vocals Duane Eddy’s Rebelettes
1948    Klaus Meine – vocals Scorpions
1949    Colonel Abrams
1955    John Grimaldi – guitar Argent
1956    Sugar Minott
1958    Paul Weller
1959    Rick Smith – vocals/keyboards Underworld
1960    Julian Clary
1972    Lena Fiagbe
1975    Lauryn Hill
1988    Jamie Hamblett – vocals Union J

Deaths

1934    Gustav Holst – classical composer
2001    Brian Pendleton – guitar Pretty Things

May 26

Births

1904    George Formby
1920    Peggy Lee
1930    Sivuca
1941    Arthur Sharp – vocals Nashville Teens
1942    Levon Helm – drums Band
1942    Ray Ennis – guitar Swinging Blue Jeans
1944    Verden Allen – piano Mott The Hoople
1945    Garry Peterson – drums Guess Who
1946    Mick Ronson – guitar/piano Mott The Hoople
1948    Stevie Nicks – vocals Fleetwood Mac
1952    Berni Flint
1953    Richard Sohl – piano Patti Smith Group
1958    Marian Gold – vocals Alphaville
1959    Wayne Hussey – vocals/guitar Mission
1962    Colin Vearncombe – vocals Black

Deaths

1933    Jimmie Rodgers – US country singer
1977    Billy Powell – vocals O’Jays

May 27

Births

1935    Ramsey Lewis
1935    Rudy Lewis – vocals Drifters
1939    Don Williams –US country singer
1943    Cilla Black
1947    Marty Kristian – guitar New Seekers
1948    Peter Sears – bass Jefferson Starship
1949    James Mitchell – vocals Detroit Emeralds
1957    Siouxsie Sioux
1958    Neil Finn
1966    Sean Kinney – drums Alice In Chains
1971    Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopez – vocals TLC

Deaths

1997    Willie Woods – guitar Junior Walker’s All-Stars
2011    Gil Scott-Heron
2017    Gregg Allman
May 28

Births

1938    Prince Buster
1943    Tony Mansfield – drums Billy J. Kramer’s Dakotas
1944    Gladys Knight
1945    John Fogerty – vocals Creedence Clearwater Revival
1948    Ray Laidlaw – drums Lindisfarne
1949    Wendy O Williams – vocals Plasmatics
1956    Paul Woods – vocals Kane Gang
1959    Steve Strange – vocals Visage
1961    Kit Clark – keyboards Danny Wilson
1962    Roland Gift – vocals Fine Young Cannibals
1964    Wes Burt-Martin – guitar New Bohemians
1967    Tania Evans – vocals Culture Beat
1968    Kylie Minogue
1970    Mark Richardson – drums Skunk Anansie
1980    Mark Feehily – vocals Westlife

Deaths

1992    Duncan Browne
2001    Tony Ashton – piano/vocals Ashton, Gardner and Dyke
2015    Johnny Keating – UK orchestra leader

May 29

Births

1942    Disco Tex
1945    Gary Brooker – vocals/piano Procol Harum
1949    Francis Rossi
1955    Mike Porcaro – bass Toto
1956    La Toya Jackson
1956    Larry Blackmon – vocals Cameo
1960    Mel Gaynor – drums Simple Minds
1962    John Pedder – bass Babybird
1967    Noel Gallagher – guitar Oasis
1970    Cicero – UK singer
1975    Mel B
1978    Dan Pearce – vocals One True Voice
1978    Adam Rickett

Deaths

1997    Jeff Buckley
2010    Little Benny
2021    B. J. Thomas

May 30

Births

1909    Benny Goodman
1944    Lenny Davidson – guitar Dave Clark 5
1944    Gladys Horton – vocals Marvelletes
1949    Nicky Thomas
1951    Pete Way – bass UFO
1955    Topper Headon – drums Clash
1958    Marie Frederickson – vocals Roxette
1960    Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy
1964    Tom Morello – guitar Rage Against The Machine
1964    Wynonna Judd – vocals The Judds
1967    Tim Burgess – vocals Charlatans
1971    Idina Menzel
1974    Cee-Lo Green

Deaths

2003     Mickie Most (b: Michael Hayes) – UK producer
2010     Anita Humes – vocals The Essex

May 31

Births

1930    Clint Eastwood
1938    Peter Yarrow – vocals Peter, Paul and Mary
1947    Junior Campbell – guitar/keyboard Marmalade
1948    John Bonham – drums Led Zeppelin
1948    Mike Edwards – Cello Electric Light Orchestra (1972 -1975)
1952    Karl Bartos – percussion Kraftwerk
1954    Vicki Sue Robinson – US singer
1963    Wendy Smith – vocals Prefab Sprout
1964    Scotti Hill – guitar Skid Row
1964    Kid Frost – US rapper
1964    Darryl McDaniels – rapper Run DMC
1965    DJ Casper
1980    Andy Hurley – drums Fall Out Boy
1991    Azealia Banks

Deaths

2000    Johnnie Taylor
2009    Danny La Rue

Robin S

Robin S is 60 years old this week.

The S is for Stone and she was born in the Hempstead area of New York. Her most famous song is Show Me Love which she originally recorded in 1990 but not a worldwide hit until it was re-mixed by the Swedish producer StoneBridge and re-released in 1993 and argunally the greatest dance anthem to come out of the 1990s. Let’s enjoy.

Private Dancer (Tina Turner)

Numerous acts have made a substantial comeback after their career was seemingly over, Santana, Cher and Take That are all notable examples, but none more successfully than the singer of this week’s suggestion, Tina Turner. She first graced the UK chart with husband Ike in 1966 when River Deep Mountain High elevated to number three and their last appearance was in 1973 when Nutbush City Limits peaked at number four. Then Tina was gone for over 10 years. Thanks to Rod Stewart who asked her to be his support on his 1981 US tour which, in-turn, led to an appearance at the British Electric Foundation on a remake of the Temptations’ hit Ball of Confusion, she was back. She signed a deal with Capitol record and Tina was ready to go again.

Tina’s career, in the 60s, was with a husband Ike but it is well documented about his behaviour and how he used to beat her. She was bitterly unhappy and one night, whilst staying in a hotel in Dallas, Texas, Tina plucked up the courage to walk out on him whilst he slept. She left with nothing except the clothes she was wearing and 36 cents in her pocket. With the help of a close friend, who paid for her to fly to Los Angeles, she made a new start.

She was born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee in 1939 and it was Ike who gave her the name Tina Turner. Her comeback began in 1983 when she was 44 years old and it was a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together that put her back on the chart map when it peaked at number six. She followed it with a cover of The Beatles’ Help which stalled at number 40 and within four months she was back in the top three with What’s Love got to Do with It. She always had good some writers including Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Holland Dozier Holland in the early day. The only hit Tina solely wrote herself was Nutbush City Limits. Once she was back, songwriters wanted to write for her.

Her comeback album was Private Dancer which peaked at number four and spent 147 weeks on the chart and had a staggering six singles lifted from it. The title track was the fifth and probably the best known despite peaking at number 26 in the UK. The song was written by Mark Knopfler for his band Dire Straits.

Once it was finished, Knopfler realised very quickly that singing, ‘I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money’ was not something a man should really be singing and it wasn’t going to work so it was his idea to pitch it to Tina. In a 2004 interview, she explained her thoughts when she first got to know about it, “Mark said this song is not for a man, it’s a girl’s song. He recorded it but won’t use it so when he put the demo on, he sung ‘I’m a private dancer, dancer for money, do what you want me to do,’ I told him, ‘I think you’re right, it’s not a song for a guy. I liked it a lot. I wasn’t sure whether the girl was a hooker or a very classical private dancer but I thought I’d take it.” Mark later said, “Tina injected a whole lot of power and stuff into it.” In an interview with the late Roger Scott, Tina said, “He [Mark Knopfler] gave me the track and I copied it with Dire Straits’ people – most of them. At first, I was going to try to just put my voice on Mark’s tapes, but there was a record company problem, so we got Mark’s musicians, Dire Straits, and went into the studio… Someone said, ‘Why did you select Private Dancer? It’s a song about a hooker. Is it because you’ve been a hooker?’ And I was shocked. I didn’t see her as a hooker. I can be naive about some of these things. But actually, the answer is no. I took it because it was an unusual song. I’d never sung a song like it. And I wish you could hear Mark’s version of it. He’s got a very English-sounding voice and it was really quite beautiful. A very arty song, so I put the old soulful touch on it.”

The musicians on the track are Dire Straits’ own bass player John Illsley and drummer Terry Williams. Mark was unavailable for the session so the guitar part was played by Jeff Beck.

Over the next 15 years Tina had a further 31 UK hit singles including duets with Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton and even Barry White. Arguably her best-known song is The Best which peaked at number five in 1989. In 1996, such was her fame that she copied singers like Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross and Janet Jackson by dropping her surname from the artist credit. In the download era, her 1960s cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary charted for the first time in the UK.

In 1994, she relocated to Zurich in Switzerland. A couple of years later she announced that she was working on a musical based on her life under the title Tina. The show opened in London in April 2018 with Adrienne Warren playing Tina. She also reprised that role the following year on Broadway. That same year Tina received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and also announced her retirement at the age of 79. It didn’t last long because in 2020 the Norwegian producer Kygo lured her out of retirement to collaborate with him of his re-mix of her hit What’s Love Got to Do with It. That song peaked at number 31 but in doing so it gave Tina the accolade of being the first singer to have UK hit in seven consecutive decades.

The money over the previous 40 years has come in handy because, despite her relatively poor health these days, Tina and her husband, Erwin Bach, have just bought a $76 million waterfront estate overlooking Lake Zurich.

The 20 biggest-selling solo males artists in the world

Following on from last week, now here is a list of the 20 biggest-selling solo males artists in the world with 36 million+ records worldwide.

Rank Artist Sales
20 Bob Dylan 36m
19 Tupac Shakur 36.5m
18 Tim McGraw 37.5m
17 Rod Stewart 38.2m
16 Eric Clapton 40.1m
15 Alan Jackson 43.5m
14 Bob Seger 44.5m
13 Kenny Rogers 47.5m
12 Kenny G 48m
11 Neil Diamond 49.5m
10 Eminem 61.5m
9 Bruce Springsteen 65.5m
8 George Strait 69m
7 Elton John 79m
6 Billy Joel 85m
5 Michael Jackson 89m
4 Paul McCartney 116m
3 Elvis Presley 146.5m
2 Phil Collins 150.1m
1 Garth Brooks 157m

 

Perfect Moment (Martine McCutcheon)

Tiffany (Darwish) first charted in the UK in January 1988 and it took 11 years until Tiffany was back at the top, but this time a different Tiffany, Tiffany Raymond. This was the character name of East-end-born singer Martine McCutcheon who was given an obscure track first recorded by a Polish singer and took it to the top. Martine had a hard upbringing in the London borough of Hackney and once said, “I’d spent my whole life wanting to get away from the East End, it’s where I’m from and I didn’t want to portray reality, I wanted glamour. I wanted to do movies, or be in Dynasty, wearing shoulder pads.” Dynasty it wasn’t but Eastenders it was and it’s where she became a household name for three and a half years. When Martine topped the UK chart in April 1999 she was only the second star from the soap to get to number one – 12 years after the first which was Nick Berry with Every Loser Wins.

Martine Ponting was born on 14 May 1976 and her father, Thomas, was an alcoholic market trader who often resorted to domestic violence, so at the age of two, her mother took Martine away. Thomas tracked them down and the problems reoccurred, so when she was nine, the courts denied Thomas parental visits. Her mum later met and married John McCutcheon and Martine eventually took his surname. Martine first got the taste for show business from watching fifties and sixties movies. “I was fascinated and intrigued by them,” she recalled to Spencer Leigh. “I was beginning to dream about following my heroines – such as Barbra Streisand and Marilyn Monroe – on to the big screen.”

She won a place at Italia Conti, the Academy of Theatre Arts, where among other things, she learned to speak eloquently. “I spoke really beautifully when I left there, it was only when I got into Eastenders that I went back to my old habits.” Not long after joining Italia Conti, Martine landed her first television job in a children’s series called Bluebird, which starred Barbara Windsor and Lance Percival. “It only ran for six weeks but I learned so much about acting from Barbara, little did I know that years later she would end up as my mother-in-law – well, in the soap, anyway.”

As well as acting, she was still keen to show her vocals skills and so she auditioned successfully for the all-girl group Milan. They signed with Polydor and she, Claudia and Dionne seemed ready to take on the world. As Martine noted, “At the time, all-girl groups were quite a rarity. Bananarama had had their day and the Spice Girls were years away.” The only girl group making it big were Eternal. “We all loved Kylie and our image was vaguely Kylie-esque, with the emphasis on ‘vaguely’.” They recorded a cover of Rose Royce’s 1979 hit Is It Love You’re After, but it missed the chart completely. After a couple of years, things weren’t going well. Their management preferred Claudia to do lead vocals and Martine was reduced to a backing vocalist. They received little airplay and had to resort to performing in the dingiest clubs. On one tour they supported East 17, but that ended in disaster. “The East 17 fans thought we were getting off with the boys backstage and used to throw mints at us on stage,” recalled Martine. “As for their manager, Tom Watkins, he hated us too because he thought we were a distraction to his boys.” It was time to quit. But in 1995, the keyboard duo Uno Clio ‘borrowed’ Martine to front their single Are You Man Enough, which peaked at number 62 but at least her vocals got an artist credit.

 

Things were quiet and she’d taken a job in the Knickerbox shop briefly when her agent called to tell she’d had an audition for Eastenders. She got the job immediately and was only supposed to be in for a few weeks but she impressed everyone and ended up staying. She became a barmaid at the Queen Vic, “I loved the character,” she explains. “My mum had been a barmaid in a pub in the East End, so I knew what that life was like.”

Typically, like a lot of soap stars, managers and labels bosses want to ‘enhance’ their career, and presumably their own pocket, by enticing them into the chart and it was no different with Martine, but at least she had experience. In 1998, Martine met Simon Cowell and Hugh Goldsmith and they got on well, but as she said, “Simon knew how to make money quickly for his artists, but a quick buck wasn’t the issue. I wanted to have a long-term career in music.” It was Hugh’s friend, Cheryl Robson, an A&R expert who first played Martine a version of Perfect Moment. “This is your song,” she said. It was written by Wendy Page and Jim Marr, who had written and produced hits for Billie, it was first recorded in 1997 by the Polish singer Edyta Górniak. Martine was growing tired of the Eastenders’ storylines. “I was also getting fed up being strangled by my on-screen husband, Ross Kemp every other episode. I made a fair amount of money from the soap, but the money Hugh was talking about convinced me of a career in music.”

Martine’s storylines were pretty tragic with various members of her family having affairs and then she ended up in a coma having fallen down some stairs. Having indicated to the bosses that she wanted to resume her music career, she was eventually written out but in a more brutal way than she expected. She was eventually run over and killed by Frank Butcher. She wasn’t coming back, mind you Harold Bishop came alive again in Neighbours so anything’s possible!

Having secured a deal with Virgin’s Innocent label, Martine crashed in at number one and spent nearly four months on the chart. The follow-up, I’ve Got You, went to number six as did the next single the double A-sided Talking in Your Sleep (first recorded by Marmalade) / Love Me with all proceeds being donated to the BBC’s Children in Need Appeal. Her debut album, You, Me & Us reached number two.

She had a total of six solo singles and all of them made the top 10. her final effort was a great cover of Donna Summer’s 1980 hit On the Radio which peaked 25 places higher than the original.

As her musical career ended, she wrote her autobiography Who Does She Think She Is? and then raised her profile when she starred as the lead in the stage show My Fair Lady in 2001, then  in the blockbuster Love, Actually alongside Hugh Grant in 2003.

In 2012, she married singer-songwriter Jack McManus who had a minor hit in 2008 with Bang on the Piano and a top 30 album called Either Side of Midnight.

I read with interest that she likes music quizzes, “Sometimes we’ll go to Jack’s mum and dad’s or my mum’s, and have a music quiz on the sofa,” she said, “We get really involved, there’s even a cup, and the winning team sings We Are the Champions! Well Martine, why not come to one of mine and we’ll see how good you are!