Music Makers Encyclopedia: A
Click on a letter to choose an act (“S” for Bruce Springsteen, “B” for Beatles, etc.). Shown with the act are its major awards, short bios for select acts (generally adapted from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954 and Top Pop Singles: Billboard books), and links to albums and songs reviewed by the DMDB.
You can also check the search engine for names, albums, songs, and other content on this site:
R&B singer born Aaliyah Dana Haughton on 1/16/1979 in Brooklyn, New York. Died 8/21/2001 in a plane crash. Moved to Detroit at age 5. Secretly married R. Kelly, producer of her first album, when she was 15. Her name means “highest, exalted one” in Swahili.
Pop group formed in Stockholm, Sweden, using their first names as an acronym. Active: 1970-82 Members: Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad (v), Agnetha Faltskog (v), Björn Ulvaeus (g), Benny Andersson (k). Benny and Björn recorded together in 1966. Björn and Agnetha married in 1971; divorced in 1979. Benny and Frida married in 1978; divorced in 1981. Benny and Björn co-wrote musicals Chess (with Tim Rice) and Mamma Mia!.
Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott Rock guitarist with Pantera and Damageplan. Born in Ennis, Texas on 8/20/1966. Died 12/8/2004 when shot by a fan while performing on stage.
New wave band formed in Sheffield, England. 1980-1991 . Martin Fry (v: 80-91), Mark White (k/g: 80-91), Stephen Singleton (sax: 80-84), Mark Lickley (b: 81-82), David Robinson (d: 81), David Palmer (d: 82-83). #59 Alternative Rock Act.
Dance-pop singer born 6/19/1962 in San Fernando, California. Brazilian and French-Canadian heritage. As a teen, she was a choreographer and cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers. Also choreographed Janet Jackson’s “Control” video and TV’s The Tracey Ullman Show. Was a judge on TV’s American Idol singing contest.
R&B executive, record producer, and co-founder of Atlantic Records. Born 11/16/1916 in Brooklyn, NY. Died 11/9/1999.
Classical music conductor for the Utah Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years. Born 1/6/1903 in Thessaloniki, Rumelia in the Ottoman Empire. Died 9/22/1993.
Heavy metal band from Solingen, Germany. Active: 1976-.
Hard-rock group from Australia. Active: 1973-. Members: Brothers Angus Young (g) and Malcolm Young (g: 73-14) with Dave Evans (v: 73-74), Bon Scott (v: 74-80), Phil Rudd (d: 74-82, 95-), Mark Evans (b: 74-77). Cliff Williams (b: 77-), Brian Johnson (v: 80-), Simon Wright (d – AC/DC: 82-89, Dio: 89-), Chris Slade (d: 89-95)
Ace of Base
Dance-pop group from Gothenburg, Sweden. Active: 1990-2015.
Music journalist born 2/18/1908 in New York, NY. Music editor of Billboard magazine from 1943-73. Died 12/31/1977.
Country singer born 9/15/1903 in Maynardsville, Tennessee. Died 11/23/1992. Debuted on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in 1938.
Adam Ant led the new wave group Adam & the Ants. He was born Stuart Leslie Goddard on 11/3/1954 in Marylebone, London, England.
Rock singer born 11/5/1959 in Kingston, Ontario. First served as lead singer of Sweeney Todd in 1976.
R&B/gospel singer (“Shake a Hand,” “I’ll Be True,” “It Hurts to Me to My Heart”) born Fanny Tuell on 5/22/1923 in Newark, NJ.
Blues, jazz, and gospel singer (“Reconsider Me”) known as “The Tan Canary.” Born Laten John Adams Jr. on 1/5/1932 in New Orleans, LA. Died 9/14/1998.
Musical theater composer born 8/14/1924 in Mansfield, Ohio.
Alternative rock singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (“New York, New York”) born David Ryan Adams on 11/5/1974 in Jacksonville, NC. With band Whiskeytown (94-00) and a solo artist.
Lyricist (I Love Lucy theme song) born 12/10/1906 in Greenville, NY. Died 8/17/1980.
Jazz saxophonist born Julian Edwin Adderley on 9/15/1928 in Tampa, Florida. Died 8/8/1975. Led a jazz combo with his brother Nat Adderley (comet) and Joe Zawinul (piano) and George Duke (piano). Nickname derived from “cannibal” in tribute to his love of eating.
King Sunny Ade
World music singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye on 9/22/1946 in Oshogbo, Nigeria.
British blue-eyed soul singer/songwriter born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins on 5/5/1988 in Tottenham, North London, England. Won The Brit Awards Critics Choice as the 2008 breakthrough act and then won The Grammy for Best New Artist in 2009. In February 2011, she became the first living artist since The Beatles in 1964 to have two top 5 albums and two top 5 singles on the charts simultaneously in the U.K.
The DMDB Blog:
Thrash metal drummer from Lamb of God (94-19) born 11/23/1972 in Washington, D.C.
Born 12/13/1933 in Chicago, Illinois. American record producer (Sam Cooke, Carole King, The Mamas & the Papas), manager (Jan & Dean), director, and an owner of the famous Roxy Theater. Founded Dunhill Records in 1964 and Ode Records in 1967. Helped produce the Monterey International Pop Festival and cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Musical theater composer born 8/31/1921 in New York City, NY. Died 6/21/2012.
Rock drummer from Guns N’ Roses (85-90) born Michael Coletti on 1/22/1965 in Cleveland, OH.
Hard-rock group formed in New Hampshire. Active: 1970- Members: Steven Tyler (v: 70-), Joe Perry (g: 70-79, 84-), Brad Whitford (g: 70-81, 84-; Whitford/St.Holmes: 81), Tom Hamilton (b: 70-), Joey Kramer (d: 70-), Jimmy Crespo (g – The Flame, Aerosmith: 79-84), Rick Dufay (g: 81-84)
Music programmer, record producer and remixer born Nick van de Wall on 9/9/1987 in Spijkenisse, Netherlands.
New wave band from London, England. Active: 1974-82
Punk-rock band from Gainesville, Floria. Active: 97-
Composer (“Ain’t She Sweet,” “Happy Days Are Here Again”) born 10/6/1893 in Chicago, IL. Died 5/6/1979.
Bandleader born 6/22/1901. Raised in New Jersey. Died 10/25/1978.
Singer/songwriter born José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez on 8/7/1968 in San Antonio, TX.
Pop singer born 12/18/1980 in Staten Island, NY. Won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1999.
Synth-pop band from Oslo, Norway. 1982-. Magne Furuholmen (k/g), Morten Harket (v), Pal Waaktaar-Savoy (g).
Composer/lyricist/songwriter born on 9/19/1892 in New York City, NY. Died 10/20/1953.
Singer born Claytn Holmes Grissom on 11/30/1978 in Raleigh, NC. Came in second place on the second season of American Idol (2003).
Electronica/dream pop band from Versailles, France. Active: 95-
Adult contemporary/pop duo (“All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love,” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”) formed in Australia in 1975. Consisted of singer/songwriter and guitarist Graham Russell (born 6/11/1950 in Nottingham, England) and singer Russell Hitchcock (born 6/15/1949 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
R&B singer born Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam on 10/14/1981 in St. Louis, MO.
Songwriter (“Baby Face,” “Am I Blue?”) born 8/15/1894 in New York. Died 3/31/1963.
Country group from Fort Payne, Alabama. Formed as Young Country (69-72), changed name to Wildcountry (72-77) and then Alabama. CMA Awards: 1981, 1982 & 1983 Vocal Group of the Year; 1982, 1983 & 1984 Entertainer of the Year. Active: 1969-2006 Members: Randy Owen (v/g: 69-06), Jeff Cook (k/fiddle: 69-06), Teddy Gentry (b/v: 69-06), Rick Scott (d: 69-79), Mark Herndon (d/v: 79-06)
Italian operatic soprano singer born 7/22/1909. Died 8/15/2014.
Britpop singer/songwriter born 3/23/1968 in Whitechapel, London With Blur and Gorillaz, but also helmed The Good, the Bad & the Queen; Monkey: Journey to the West; and Mali Music.
Kenneth J. Alford (aka Frederick Joseph Ricketts)
One of the foremost bands of the grunge movement of the 1990s. Formed in Seattle, WA. Have sold over 35 million albums worldwide. Active: 1987- Members: Layne Staley (v: 87-96, 98: Mad Season: 95; died of a heroin and cocaine overdose in 2002), Jerry Cantrell (g: 87-96, 98, 05-), Mike Starr (b: 87-93; died of an apparent drug overdose in 2011), Sean Kinney (d: 87-96, 98, 05-), Mike Inez (b – Ozzy Osbourne: 89-93; Alice in Chains: 93-96, 98, 05-; Slash’s Snakepit: 95; with Jerry Cantrell: 98; Black Label Society: 01-04), William DuVall (v: 05-).
Alien Ant Farm
– see Blind Boy Fuller
Composer/pianist/arranger born Robert Allen Deitcher on 2/5/1927. Died 10/1/2000. Best known for songs “Chances Are” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.”
Blues guitarist born 8/17/1939 in Widener, AR. Worked with Howlin’ Wolf and James Cotton. Freddie King got him a record deal. Died 8/12/1997.
Rock keyboardist with the Allman Brothers Band.
Southern-rock group formed in Macon, GA by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman. Active: 1969- Members: Duane Allman (g: 70-71), Gregg Allman (k/v: 69-76, 78-81, 89-) with Dickey Betts (g/v: 69-76, 78-81, 89-00), Berry Oakley (b: 69-72; died in a motorcycle accident on 11/11/72), Butch Trucks (d: 69-76, 89-17; died 1/24/2017), and Jai Johanny Johanson (d: 69-76, 89-); Lamar Williams (b: 69-76; died 1/25/83), Chuck Leavell (k: 72-76), Warren Haynes (g: 95-), Allen Woody (b: 89-95), Johnny Neel (k: 89-90), Mark Quinones (k: 90-). Derek Trucks (g: 00-). Members have formed various offshoot groups. Johanson, Williams, and Leavell formed the band Sea Level. Betts, Haynes, and Neel were all in the Dickey Betts Band together. Haynes and Woody were in Gov’t Mule together.
Blues-rock guitarist born Howard Duane Allman in Nashville, TN on 11/20/1946. Did in a motorcycle accident on 10/29/1971. Worked with Allman Joys (66), Hour Glass (67-68), 31st of February (68), Gregg Allman (68), The Second Coming (69), Boz Scaggs (69), Allman Brothers Band (69-71), Delaney & Bonnie (70), Derek the Dominos (70-71).
Musician and executive born 3/31/1935 in Los Angeles, CA. Record executive, producer, composer (“Rise”), trumpeter, and bandleader. Played trumpet since age 8. Did A&R work for Keen Records. Produced Jan & Dean’s first session. Wrote Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World.” Recorded as Dore Alpert in 1962. With Jerry Moss, he formed A&M Records that same year. They formed the Almo Sounds label in 1994. Several times during 1966, Alpert held down 5 of the top 20 positions on the Billboard album charts.
Active: 1995 Members: Andy White, Liam O’Maonlai, Tim Finn
Vocal group. Active: 1900, 1910-24. Members: William F. Hooley (bass: 1909-18), S.H. Dudley (baritone: 1900), Albert Campbell (tenor: 00, 20-25), and W.T. Leahy (1900-?), Billy Murray (tenor: 1910-24?), John Bieling (tenor: 1910-14), Steve Porter (baritone: 1910-14), John Young (tenor: 1914-20), Donald Chalmers (bass: 1918-20), John Meyer (bass: 1920-25), Frank Croxton. Also known as the Premier Quartet on their Edison recordings. Bieling, Dudley, Hooley, Murray, and Porter were all also members of the Haydn Quartet. Campbell, Croxton, Meyer, and Porter were also members of the Peerless Quartet.
Alternative-rock singer/songwriter (“Silent All These Years”) and pianist born Myra Ellen Amos on 8/22/1963 in Newton, NC.
Country singer born James William Anderson III on 11/1/1937 in Columbia, SC.
Country singer born John David Anderson on 12/13/1954 in Apopka, FL.
American songwriter born 6/29/1908. Died 5/18/1975
Country singer born Lynn Rene Anderson on 9/26/1947 in Grand Fork, ND. Died 7/30/2015. Raised in Sacramento, CA. Daughter of country singer Liz Anderson. An accomplished equestrian, Lynn was the California Horse Show Queen in 1966.
Opera singer born 2/27/1897 in Philadelphia, PA. Died 4/8/1993.
One-time project formed by members of the progressive rock group Yes. Although the four comprised the brunt of the classic Yes lineup from 1970-72, the rights to the name belonged to bassist Chris Squire. Active: 1988-92 Members: Jon Anderson (v: 68-79, 83-01), Bill Bruford (d: 68-72,91), Steve Howe (g: 70-81,91,96-01), Rick Wakeman (k: 71-74, 76-80,91,96-97).
Member of Abba.
Singer born Julia Elizabeth Wells on 10/1/1935 in Watton-on-Thames, England.
Emerged from Minneapolis to become the most popular female vocal group of the entire pre-1955 era. Led by Patty, the trio appeared in many ‘40s movies and their unmistakable sound helped define the wartime era. LaVerne died on 5/8/67 at age 52; the nostalgia wave led Patty and Maxene to star in a 1974 Broadway musical Over There.
b>Active: 1938-51 Members: sisters Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne Andrews.
Pop singer/songwriter born Paul Albert Anka on 7/30/1941 in Ottawa, Ontario.
British new wave singer born Stuart Leslie Goodard on 11/3/1954. With Adam & the Ants before going solo.
Music manager for Tony Bennett and Peter Frampton.
American big band leader born Raymond Antonini on 1/20/1922.
Antony & the Johnsons
Rock band from High Green, Sheffield, England. Active: 2002- Members: Alex Turner (v/g), Jamie “Cookie” Cook (rhythm g), Andy Nicholson (b), Matthew “The Cat” Helders (d). Followed in the footsteps of garage-rock-revival bands like U.S. counterparts The Strokes and The White Stripes. First started gaining mainstream attention by making demos available to download in late 2004. Debut album sold 363,735 copies in its first week in the U.K., making it the fastest selling debut album in U.K. chart history.
Music manager for Black Sabbath.
Rock keyboardist with the Zombies and Argent (“Hold Your Head Up”).
Classical pianist born 6/5/1941 in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Songwriter born Hyman Arluck on 2/15/1905 in Buffalo, NY. Died 4/23/1986.
Songs written by Arlen:
Punk-rock singer and guitarist with Green Day. Born 2/17/1972.
Jazz singer and trumpet player born Daniel Louis Armstrong on 8/4/1901 in New Orleans, LA. Died of heart failure on 7/6/1971. By 1918, he was a protégé of King Oliver. He went to Chicago to join Oliver’s band four years later as a new jazz age was dawning. By 1926, “Satchmo” formed his own band and recorded songs which helped create a new international audience for jazz.
Country singer/songwriter and guitarist born Richard Edward Arnold on 5/15/1918 in Madisonville, TN. Died 5/8/2008. Own radio show on WMPS in Memphis from 1934-39. Lead singer of Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys from 1940-43. Hosted own TV show from 1952-56. Hosted TV’s Out on the Farm in 1954. Hosted TV’s Today on the Farm in 1960. Once known as “The Tennessee Plowboy.” CMA Award: 1967 Entertainer of the Year.
Classical pianist born Claudio Arrau León on 2/6/1903 in Chillán, Chile. Died 6/9/1991.
Artists United Against Apartheid
Britpop singer born 9/11/1971. With The Verve.
R&B singer/songwriter born on 5/4/1942 in Fairfield, SC. Died 8/22/2011. In singing and songwriting duo with wife Valerie Simpson (“Solid”). Also a producer with Motown.
The DMDB Blog:
British rock supergroup formed by veterans of the progressive rock scene, but in an ‘80s arena rock mold (1981-). Members: Geoff Downes (k: 81-), John Wetton (v: 81-90, 07-17), Steve Howe (g: 81-84, 92, 2001, 07-10), Carl Palmer (d: 81-85, 90-92, 07-), Mandy Meyer (g: 85-90), Pat Thrall (g: 90, 01), John Payne (v: 91-04), Al Pitrelli (g: 92-), Michael Sturgis (d: 94-01), Elliott Randall (g: 96-01), Aziz Ibrahim (g: 96), Ian Crichton (g: 01), Guthrie Govan (g: 01-04), Chris Slade (d: 01-04), Jay Schellen (d: 05). Downes and Howe had worked together in Yes, Wetton in King Crimson and Palmer in Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Latter day members Govan, Payne, and Schellen formed GPS after the original lineup reformed in 2007.
The DMDB Blog:
Asian Dub Foundation
Tap dancer, actor (Easter Parade), and pop singer born Frederick Austerlitz on 5/10/1899 in Omaha, NB. Died 6/22/1987.
British pop singer born 2/6/1966.
Country guitarist and producer born Chester Burton Atkins on 6/20/1924 in Luttrell, TN. Died 6/30/2001.
John Yorke Atlee
Pop singer born Lemeul Eugene Lucas on 6/24/1900 in Gainsville, TX. Died 1/24/1972.
Country singer/songwriter, guitarist, and actor born Orvon Gene Autry on 9/29/07 in Tioga, TX. Died 10/2/1998. Hollywood’s first “singing cowboy.” Worked as a cowboy and telegraph operator for the Frisco Railroad. Played saxophone and guitar with the Fields Brothers Marvelous Medicine Show. Sang on KVOO in Tulsa in 1929 as "The Oklahoma Yodeling Cowboy." Joined the WLS National Barn Dance in 1930. Hosted own Melody Dance radio series. Launched movie career in 1934; made more than 100 films. Starred in own TV western from 1950-56. Later owned several businesses, including baseball’s California Angels.
Pop singer born Francis Thomas Avallone on 9/18/1939 in Philadelphia, PA.
Record executive (Venture, Sussex).
Singer/songwriter (“Yesterday When I Was Young”, “Mama”, “She”) and actor born Shahnour Varenagh Aznavourian on 5/22/1924 in Paris, France.
Record executive/music manager born 12/22/1947 in Chicago, IL. Worked with Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Journey, Maroon 5, No Doubt, Steely Dan, and Van Halen.
Click on a letter to choose a recording act (“S” for Bruce Springsteen, “B” for Beatles, etc.). Shown with the act are its major awards, short bios for select acts (generally adapted from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954 and Top Pop Singles: Billboard books), and links to albums and songs reviewed by the DMDB.
You can also check the search engine for names, albums, songs, and other content on this site:
Last updated February 8, 2020.