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Home >> Favorite Rock and Rock Cookbook  >> Rock & Roll Stars

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Rock and Roll Stars (includes Mini-Bios)

January

January 8
Elvis Presley was born Elvis Aaron Presley in Tupelo, MS on January 8, 1935. He was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
[Died: Aug 16, 1977 (age 42) in Memphis, TN from congestive heart failure.]
[Elvis is buried at Graceland Mansion Estates, Memphis, TN, Plot: Meditation Garden]

January 19
Phil Everly was born (Philip Everly). Phil Everly is a member of the Everly Brothers. They are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The brothers are the most successful U.S. rock and roll duo on the Hot 100. Their greatest period came between 1957 and 1965. Phil was born in Chicago, IL on January 19, 1939.

January 22
Sam Cooke was born (Samuel Cook) in Clarksdale, MS on January 22, 1931. He was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music.
[Died: Dec 11, 1964 (age 33) in a shooting ruled a justifiable homicide.]
[Cooke is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) in Glendale, CA. Plot: Garden of Honor, right side (Private area, not accessible to the general public).

January 25
Etta James was born (Jamesetta Hawkins) in Los Angeles, CA on January 25, 1938. She is an American blues, soul, R&B, rock & roll, gospel and jazz singer and songwriter. James is the winner of four Grammys and seventeen Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.

January 30
Ruth Brown was born in Portsmouth, VA on January 30, 1928. She was an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and actress noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for fledgling Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean".
[Died on November 17, 2006 (age 78) in Henderson, NV from complications following a heart attack and stroke she suffered after surgery ]
[Buried at Roosevelt Memorial Park, Chesapeake (Chesapeake City County), Chesapeake City, Virginia.]

February

February 1
Don Everly was born (Isaac Donald Everly). Don Everly is a member of the Everly Brothers. They are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The brothers are the most successful U.S. rock and roll duo on the Hot 100. Their greatest period came between 1957 and 1965. Don was born in Brownie, Muhlenberg County, KY on February 1, 1937.
Feb 26
Fats Domino is born (Antoine Dominique Domino) He is an American R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. He was born and raised in New Orleans, LA on February 26, 1928.

March

March 25
Aretha Franklin was born (Aretha Louise Franklin) in Memphis, TN on March 25, 1942. She is an American singer, songwriter and pianist commonly referred to as The Queen of Soul. Although renowned for her soul recordings, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B and gospel music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Franklin No. 1 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.

April

April 2
Marvin Gaye was born (Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr. ) on April 2, 1939 in Washington, DC. He was an American singer-songwriter and instrumentalist with a three-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the sixties
[Died: April 1, 1984 (age 44) in Los Angeles, CA, murdered (gunshot) by his father.]
[Buried: He was cremated and ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.]
April 29
Carl Gardner born (Carl Edward Gardner) in Tyler, TX on April 29, 1928. He is an American singer, best known as the foremost member and founder of The Coasters. Gardner formed the group along with Bobby Nunn in 1955, after leaving The Robins at the behest of the songwriting/producing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

May

May 3
James Brown was born (James Joseph Brown, Jr.) in Barnwell, SC on May 3, 1933. He was an American singer and entertainer. Eventually referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", Brown started singing in church groups and worked his way up. He has been recognized as one of the most influential figures in the 20th century popular music and was renowned for his vocals and feverish dancing. He was also called "the hardest working man in show business".
[Died: Dec 25, 2006 (age 73) in Atlanta, GA from a heart failure.]
[Buried: Thomas Family Home Crypt, Beech Island, SC. Specifically: Temporary burial site.]

May 13
Stevie Wonder was born (Stevland Hardaway Judkins) on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, MI. His name was later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris. He is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist. Blind from shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown Records' Tamla label at the age of eleven, and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day.

May 14
Will "Dub" Jones was born (Will J. Jones) in Shreveport, LA on May 14, 1928 . He was an American R&B singer. He was a singer who is best known as the bass vocalist for The Coasters and The Cadets. His best known vocals were on The Cadets' biggest hit "Stranded In The Jungle" and his bass vocals on The Coasters' hits "Yakety Yak" and "Charlie Brown."
[Died: January 16, 2000 (age 71) in Long Beach, CA from the effects of diabetes.]
[He is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA - Plot: Section 50, Site 4458]

June

Jun 9
Jackie Wilson was born (Jack Leroy Wilson, Jr.) in Detroit, MI on June 9, 1934. He was an American singer and performer. Known as "Mr. Excitement", Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. He was known as a master showman, and as one of the most dynamic singer and performers in R&B and rock history.
[Died: Jan 21, 1984 (age 49) in Mount Holley, NJ of pneumonia.]
[Wilson in buried at the Westlawn Cemetery in Wayne, MI]

June 18
Paul McCartney was born (James Paul McCartney) in Liverpool, England on June 18, 1942. Paul is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles (1960-1970) and Wings (1971-1981), McCartney is the most successful songwriter in the history of popular music, according to Guinness World Records.

Jun 20
Billy Guy was born Frank Phillips in Attasca, TX on June 20, 1936 . He is best known as a member of The Coasters, singing lead on such hits as "Searchin'," "Little Egypt," "Run Red Run," and "Wait A Minute."
[Died: Nov 5, 2002 (age 66) in Las Vegas, NV]
[He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Las Vegas, NV. Plot: Cypress III-East.]

July

July 6
Bill Haley was born (William John Clifton Haley) in Highland Park, MI. He was one of the first American rock and roll musicians. He is credited by many with first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley & His Comets and their hit song "Rock Around the Clock".
[Died: February 9, 1981 (age 55)in Harlingen, TX after complications of a brain tumor.]
[Buried: He was cremated and ashes given to family or friend.]

September

September 5
Freddie Mercury born (Farrokh Bulsara) in Stone Town, Zanzibar on September 5, 1946. He was a British musician, best known as the lead vocalist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range. As a songwriter, Mercury composed many hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Are the Champions" and "Barcelona".
[Died: November 24, 1991 (age 45) in Kensington, London, England]

September 7
Buddy Holly was born (Charles Hardin Holley) in Lubbock, TX on September 7, 1936. He was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Elder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll."
[Died: Feb 3, 1959 from a airplane crash in Grant Township, Cerro Gordo County, IA.]
[He is buried at City of Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbock, TX.]

September 16
B.B. King was born (Riley B. King) on September 16, 1925 in Itta Bena, MS, a small town near Indianola, MS. He is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter acclaimed for his expressive singing and guitar playing. In 1987, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

September 23
Ray Charles was born (Ray Charles Robinson) in Albany, GA on September 23, 1930. He was an American musician. Charles was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm & blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. [Died: June 10, 2004 (age 73) in Beverly Hills, CA of liver cancer.] [Buried: Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, CA, Plot: Mausoleum of the Golden West, Eternal Love Corridor, Crypt A-32.]

September 23
Jerry Lee Lewis is born in in Ferriday, Concordia Parish, LA on September 29, 1935. He is an American rock and roll and country music singer and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, his career faltered after Lewis married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a transition to country music. Lewis began playing piano in his youth with his two cousins, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart.

October

October 3
Eddie Cochran was born Ray Edward Cochran in Albert Lea, MN on October 3, 1938. He was an American rock and roll pioneer who in his brief career had a small but lasting influence on rock music through his guitar playing. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else" and "Summertime Blues", captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
[Died: Apr 17, 1960 (age 21) in Bath, Somerset, England from a road accident during his British tour.]
[Cochran's body was flown home, and he was buried on April 25, 1960, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Cypress, CA]

October 9
John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was born (John Winston Lennon) in Liverpool, England on October 9, 1940. He was an English singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, and together with Paul McCartney formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
[Died: Dec 8, 1980 (age 40) in New York, NY]

October 18
Chuck Berry was born (Charles Edward Anderson Berry) in St. Louis, MO on October 18, 1926. He is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

November

November 14
Cornell Gunter was born on November 14, 1936: in Coffeyville, KS was an American rhythm and blues singer, most active in the 1950s and 1960s.
[Died: Feb 26, 1990 (age 53) in Las Vegas, NV, after being shot in his car.
[He is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, CA in Plot: El Sereno Plot, Lot 151, Grave E.]

November 15
Clyde McPhatter was born (Clyde Lensley McPhatter) on November 15, 1932 in Durham, NC. He was an American R&B singer, perhaps the most widely imitated R&B singer of the 1950s and 1960s, making him a key figure in the shaping of Doo-wop and R&B. McPhatter was lead tenor for the Mount Lebanon Singers, Billy Ward and His Dominoes, and founder of The Drifters before going solo, leaving a legacy of over 22 years of recording history.
[Died: June 13, 1972 (aged 39) in Teaneck, NJ after he died in his sleep at the age of 39 from complications of heart, liver, and kidney disease, brought on by alcohol abuse]
[He is buried at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, NJ, Plot: Block O, Lot 121, Section D, Grave 4]

November 17
Jeff Buckley (Jeffrey Scott Buckley) ), raised as Scotty Moorhead, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He was born in Anaheim, CA on November 17, 1966.
[Died on May 29, 1997 (age 30) in Memphis, TN.]

December

December 5
Little Richard is born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, GA on Dec 5, 1932. He is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and recording artist, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s.

December 30
Bo Diddley was born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, MS on Dec 30, 1928. He is an American rock and roll vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and inventor. He was known as "The Originator" because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Brownsville Station, and Eric Clapton.
[Died: Jun 2, 2008 (age 79) in Archer, FL from heart failure.]
[He is buried: Bronson Cemetery, Bronson, FL.]

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