1942 Andy Summers (guitarist for The Police) is born Andrew James Somers in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England. The self taught guitarist, renowned for his use of modern electronic effects, is also a talented photographer and publishes several books of behind-the-scenes shots of the band recording and performing.
1943 Pete Quaife (original bass guitarist for The Kinks) is born Peter Alexander Greenlaw Quaife in Tavistock, Devon, England.
1943 John Denver is born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. in Roswell, New Mexico.
1947 Burton Cummings (lead singer, keyboardist for The Guess Who) is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1948 Donna Summer is born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts. She earns her new surname when a record label misprints her married name, Sommer, as Summer.
1984 Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen crashed his Corvette Stingray, on the A57 outside Sheffield, Allen lost his left arm in the accident. Allen was on his way to a New Year's Eve party at his family's home when a Jaguar passed him. The driver had been egging Allen on and would not allow him to pass. In his rage to pass this driver, he did not see a turn up ahead and lost control of his car. He was thrown from the car, with his left arm severed due to the seatbelt not being properly fastened.
1985 Ricky Nelson was killed along with six others, when his charted light aircraft crashed in Texas. It's rumoured that freebasing c*o*c*a*i*n*e caused an onboard explosion. Nelson had played himself on his parent's US TV The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet.' (1958 US No.1 'Poor Little Fool', 1961 UK No.2 single 'Hello Mary Lou' plus over 30 US Top 40 hit singles).
1953 American singer-songwriter and musician singer Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol aged 29. Williams is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. 35 of his singles (five released posthumously) were placed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, 11 of which ranked at No.1, including 'Cold, Cold Heart,' 'Hey, Good Lookin', 'I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive,' and 'Your Cheatin' Heart.'
1984 Alexis Korner died of lung cancer aged 55. Know as "the Founding Father of British Blues", he was a major force behind the UK early 60s R&B scene. Formed Blues Incorporated; members at various times included Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond and Charlie Watts. Had hits with CCS, including a version of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' which was used as the theme for BBC's Top Of The Pops for several years. He became a radio presenter in the Seventies.
2019 American singer, songwriter Pegi Young died of cancer age 66. She first met future husband Neil Young in 1974 when she was working as a waitress at a diner near his ranch, a story he tells in the 1992 song ‘Unknown Legend’. They married in August 1978 and had two children. Her debut as a singer came in 1983 when she was a member of The Pinkettes, the backing vocalists on her husband's rockabilly Shocking Pinks tour. She released her debut solo album in 2007.
2021 Mick Bolton, the keyboardist best known for playing with Mott the Hoople and Dexys Midnight Runners died age 72. During the 80’s Bolton found a notable gig offstage; giving keyboard lessons to Paul McCartney's wife and collaborator, Linda McCartney.
1997 Guitarist Randy California from US group Spirit drowned when rescuing his 12-year old son when he was sucked into a riptide in surf off Hawaii.
2012 American rock guitarist Larry Reinhardt died aged 63 of cirrhosis of the liver. He played with Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond. At one time Reinhardt was known by the nicknames "El Rhino" and "Ryno".
2019 American musician and songwriter Daryl Dragon died from kidney failure aged 76. He was known as ‘Captain’ from the musical duo Captain & Tennille with his then-wife, Toni Tennille. They scored numerous hits on the US singles charts, the most enduring of which included ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’, ‘Do That to Me One More Time’, and ‘Muskrat Love’. They hosted their own television variety series on ABC in 1976–77. Dragon also worked on The Beach Boys' 1972 release Carl and the Passions – ‘So Tough’.