Birthdays today include one of my biggest guitar heros, though you probably won’t recognize his name.  Born on this day in 1935, Nokie Edwards later went on to become one of the most influential guitarists of all time as lead guitarist for The Ventures.  I can’t begin o estimate how many guitar players learned licks from his off their albums, but I will say ‘Happy Birthday Nokie, and many more.

Also born on this date:

1937 – Dave Prater, half of the duo Sam and Dave ( Hold on I’m Comin’). He died in a car accident in 1988.

1937 – Sonny Curtis, singer with The Crickets, and songwriter whose hits include the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme.

1944 – Danny Rapp – lead singer of Danny and the Juniors – The group had two major hits with ‘At the Hop’ and ‘Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay’.  On  April 5,1983 after playing a gig at a club here in Phoenix, Danny shot himself dead in his hotel room.

1941 – Pete Birrell, bass player for Freddie and The Dreamers who topped the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘I’m Telling You Now.’

1943 – Tommy Roe  had 27 chart singles, including two #1’s (‘Sheila’ and ‘Dizzy’)

1944 – Ritchie Furay – guitarist and vocalist for Buffalo Springfield and Poco.

1944 – Don Danneman – lead singer for The Cyrkle, an American band managed by Brian Epstein.  They produced two top 20 hits: ‘Red Rubber Ball’ (written by Paul Simon, and ‘Turn Down Day.

1945 – Steve Katz guitarist and background vocalist for Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

1949 – Billy Joel

1950 – Tom Petersson – bass guitarist for Cheap trick (‘I Want You To Want Me’)

May 9, 1964 – Louis Armstrong knocked The Beatles ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ out of the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 when his version of ‘Hello Dolly’ took over the top spot.

May 9, 1970 The Guess Who began a three week run at #1 with ‘American Woman’.

May 9, 1966 – The Doors played at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, auditioning for the position as the club’s house band.  Fortunately they didn’t get the gig and went on to a much bigger career.  I shutter to think what would have happened if they had gotten the gig.  would they have been discovered and signed by Elektra Records?  Would we have never heard Light My Fire, Hello I Love You, or any of the other hit singles and albums?

Doesn’t matter, for whatever reason they didn’t get the gig.


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