While it might still be too early to think about the end of the year (and did 2016 not sock us in the gut with so many musical passings or what?), one last month filled with shining stars.
The Pacific Northwest keeps a low profile this month with 2 major personalities, one from Tacoma (December 10) & another from Seattle (December 23). But quite local, all the same.
A couple of multi-honored artists to be found, including an EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) winner on December 11 & EGT on December 13 (only an Oscar remains elusive for Mr. Van Dyke).
Christmas & New Year’s Eve are quite packed to the gills (might be a blog post in there somewhere for either of them). And serendipity that two Bee Gees (twin brothers) & two Monkees (one since passed on) each share birthdays.
A lot to be had from a month that gives birth to Beethoven, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Frank Sinatra, Taylor Swift & Eddie Vedder (who, believe it or not, as much as he means to Seattle, was born in Evanston, Illinois & grew up mostly in California).
Here are the December Birthdays!
December 1: 3-time Tony Award-winning entertainer Mary Martin (1913-1990), Soul singers Lou Rawls (1933-2006) and Billy Paul (1934-2016), Doors drummer John Densmore (1944), Entertainer Bette Midler (1945), Irish singer/songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan (1946), Jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987), Singer/songwriter Mat Kearney (1978), R&B singer Janelle Monae (1985)
December 2: Opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977), Jazz pianist/composer Wynton Kelly (1931-1971), Blue Rodeo founder/guitarist Jim Cuddy (1955), Def Leppard bassist Rick Savage (1960), Canadian singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado (1978), Entertainer Britney Spears (1981), Singer/songwriter/pianist Charlie Puth (1991)
December 3: Austrian composer Anton Webern (1883-1945), Entertainer Andy Williams (1927-2012), Singer/actress Jaye P. Morgan (1931), British folk singer/songwriter Ralph McTell (1944), Heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne (1948), R&B singer Montell Jordan (1968), British singer/songwriter Daniel Bedingfield [brother of Natasha] (1979), Singer/songwriter Andy Grammer (1983)
December 4: Singer/actress Deanna Durbin (1921-2013), Jazz guitarist/composer Jim Hall (1930-2013), Singer Freddy Cannon (1940), Byrds founder/guitarist Chris Hillman (1942), Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson (1944-1983), Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon (1948), Lynyrd Skynyrd founder/guitarist Gary Rossington (1951), Jazz vocalist/songwriter Cassandra Wilson (1955), Rapper/entrepreneur Jay Z (1969)
December 5: Blues singer/harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II (1912-1965), Rock pioneer Little Richard (1933), Rock singer/guitarist J.J. Cale (1938-2013), Opera singer Jose Carreras (1946), Rock musician/producer Jim Messina (1947), Savoy Brown founder/guitarist Kim Simmonds (1947), Great White frontman Jack Russell (1960), Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik (1965), Country singer Gary Allan (1967), R&B singer Keri Hilson (1982)
December 6: Ragtime composer Joseph Lamb (1887-1960), Composer Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), Jazz pianist/composer Dave Brubeck (1920-2012), Maze frontman/keyboardist Frankie Beverly (1946), R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck (1956), Everything But The Girl founder Ben Watt (1962)
December 7: Czech operetta composer Rudolf Friml (1879-1972), Singer/trumpeter/bandleader Louis Prima (1910-1978), Singer/songwriter/activist Harry Chapin (1942-1981), Country singer Gary Morris (1948), Singer/composer/actor Tom Waits (1949), Veruca Salt founder/guitarist Louise Post (1966), Singer/songwriters Damien Rice (1973) and Sara Bareilles (1979)
December 8: Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925-1990), Jazz organist Jimmy Smith (1925-2005), Soul singer/politician Jerry Butler (1939), Classical flutist James Galway (1939), Doors frontman/rock icon Jim Morrison (1943-1971), Rock musician Gregg Allman (1947), Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen (1957), Babes In Toyland frontwoman/guitarist Kat Bjelland (1963), Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor (1973), Singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (1979), R&B singers Nicki Minaj (1982) & Chrisette Michele (1982), Singer/songwriter/actress Kate Voegele (1986)
December 9: Jazz trumpeter/bandleader Donald Byrd (1932-2013), Singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading (1950), Entertainer Donny Osmond (1957), Classical violinist Joshua Bell (1967), Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan [son of Bob] (1969), British singer Imogen Heap (1977)
December 10: Belgian composer Cesar Franck (1822-1890), Composer/conductor Morton Gould (1913-1996), Country singer Johnny Rodriguez (1951), Tacoma-born jazz vocalist Diane Schuur (1953), Wang Chung frontman Jack Hues (1954), British composer/musician Paul Hardcastle (1957), Dinosaur, Jr. frontman J. Mascis (1965), Placebo frontman/guitarist Brian Molko (1972), Classical violinist Sarah Chang (1980), Singer/actress Raven-Symone (1985)
December 11: Composer Elliott Carter (1908-2012), Blues singer/songwriter “Big Mama” Thornton (1926-1984), Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony Award-winning entertainer Rita Moreno (1931), Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner (1938), Bread frontman David Gates (1940), Country Music Hall Of Fame/Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame singer Brenda Lee (1944), Jackson Five singer/guitarist Jermaine Jackson (1954), Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx (1958)
December 12: “Ol’ Blue Eyes”/”Chairman Of The Board” Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), Jazz singer/songwriter/pianist Bob Dorough (1923), Singers Connie Francis (1938) and Dionne Warwick (1940), Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts (1943), Jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (1943-1999), Jazz drummer Tony Williams (1945-1997), Singer/percussionist Sheila E. (1957)
December 13: Entertainer Lillian Roth (1910-1980), Tony/Grammy/5-time Emmy Award-winning entertainer Dick Van Dyke (1925), Alabama frontman/guitarist Randy Owen (1949), Television frontman/guitarist Tom Verlaine (1949), Country singer John Anderson (1954), Singer/songwriter Steve Forbert (1954), The Time frontman Morris Day (1957), Academy Award/Grammy Award-winning entertainer Jamie Foxx (1967), blink-182 founder/Angels & Airwaves frontman Tom DeLonge (1975), Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee (1981), 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Taylor Swift (1989)
December 14: Musical satirist/bandleader Spike Jones (1911-1965), Jazz trumpeter/educator Clark Terry (1920-2015), Country singer/pianist/”The Silver Fox” Charlie Rich (1932-1995), Classical guitarist Christopher Parkening (1947), AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams (1949), Waterboys founder Mike Scott (1958), British singer/songwriter Beth Orton (1970), Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld (1975), Entertainer/”High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens (1988), Singer/songwriter Tori Kelly (1992)
December 15: Music executive John Hammond (1910-1987), Pianist/bandleader Stan Kenton (1911-1979), Jazz pianist/composer Barry Harris (1929), Soul singer/songwriter Jesse Belvin (1932-1960), Blue Belles founder/Supremes member Cindy Birdsong (1939), British rock musician Dave Clark (1942), Rock drummer Carmine Appice (1946), The Clash bassist Paul Simonon (1955), DJ/music producer William Orbit (1956)
December 16: German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Classical pianist Menahem Pressler (1923), ABBA founder/keyboardist Benny Andersson (1946), ZZ Top frontman/guitarist Billy Gibbons (1949), Blues guitarist Robben Ford (1951), R&B singer Lalah Hathaway [daughter of Donny] (1968), DJ/music producer Paul Van Dyk (1971), Music producer Scott Storch (1973)
December 17: Conductor Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979), British entertainer Tommy Steele (1936), New Orleans jazz/blues pianist James Booker (1939-1983), Temptation Eddie Kendricks (1939-1992), Free/Bad Company/The Firm frontman Paul Rodgers (1949), R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills (1958), Country singer Tracy Byrd (1966)
December 18: Entertainer Betty Grable (1916-1973), Blues singer/guitarist Lonnie Brooks (1933), Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards (1943), Rapper/actor DMX (1970), Singer/songwriter Sia (1975), Entertainer Christina Aguilera (1980)
December 19: French entertainer Edith Piaf (1915-1963), New Orleans blues singer/pianist Professor Longhair (1918-1980), Country Music Hall Of Fame/Grand Ole Opry singer Little Jimmy Dickens (1920-2015), Canadian composer Galt MacDermot (1928), Jazz pianist/composer Bobby Timmons (1935-1974), Protest singer/songwriter Phil Ochs (1940-1976), Ten Years After frontman/guitarist Alvin Lee (1944-2013), Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White (1941-2016), Singer/music producer Steve Tyrell (1944), Jazz/soul drummer Lenny White (1949), Composer/musician Walter Murphy (1952), Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl (1958), Letters To Cleo drummer/American Hi-Fi founder Stacy Jones (1970)
December 20: Soul singer Kim Weston (1939), KISS drummer Peter Criss (1945), Easybeats frontman Stevie Wright (1947-2015), Music producer/”Project” founder Alan Parsons (1948), Soul singer Anita Ward (1956), Minutemen/fIREHOSE founder/bassist Mike Watt (1957), British folk singer/songwriter Billy Bragg (1957), Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson (1966), R&B singer/guitarist Robert Randolph (1980), Singer David Cook (1982), Singer/actress JoJo (1990)
December 21: Country singer Freddie Hart (1926), Composer/humorist/activist Frank Zappa (1940-1993), Soul singers Carla Thomas (1942) & Gwen McCrae (1942), Classical pianist/conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (1944), Beach Boys singer/guitarist Carl Wilson (1946-1998), Canadian singer Nick Gilder (1951), Hungarian classical pianist Andras Schiff (1953), Soul singer/songwriter Betty Wright (1953), Seether frontman Shaun Morgan (1978)
December 22: Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), French composer Edgard Varese (1883-1965), Russian conductor/”easy listening” pioneer Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980), Cheap Trick founder/guitarist Rick Nielsen (1948), Bee Gees Maurice Gibb (1949-2003) and Robin Gibb (1949-2012), Singers Jordin Sparks (1989) and Meghan Trainor (1993)
December 23: Jazz trumpeter/singer Chet Baker (1929-1988), Soul/blues singer Esther Phillips (1935-1984), Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen (1940), Singer Robbie Dupree (1946), British rock singer Graham Bonnet (1947), Rock guitarist Adrian Belew (1949), Singer/songwriter Victoria Williams (1958), Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder (1964), Seattle-born singer/songwriter/pianist Alison Sudol [aka A Fine Frenzy] (1984)
December 24: Composer Harry Warren (1893-1981), New Orleans soul singer Lee Dorsey (1924-1986), Motorhead frontman/bassist Lemmy Kilmister (1945-2015), Blues singer/guitarist Doyle Bramhall II (1968), Folk singer/songwriter Will Oldham (1970), 2-time Grammy Award-winning entertainer Ricky Martin (1971), Rooney founder/guitarist Robert Schwartzman [brother of Jason] (1984)
December 25: Singer/bandleader Cab Calloway (1907-1994), Jazz pianist/composer Bob James (1939), Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett (1946), Country Music Hall Of Fame singer Barbara Mandrell (1948), Soul singer Merry Clayton (1948), Singer/Eurythmics founder Annie Lennox (1954), Country singer/songwriter/Grand Ole Opry member Steve Wariner (1955), The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan (1957), Canadian rock singer Alannah Myles (1958), British singer/songwriter Dido (1971), Third Day frontman Mac Powell (1972), Rock drummer Josh Freese (1972), DJ/music producer Armin van Buuren (1976)
December 26: Music producer/executive Phil Spector (1939), Jazz/fusion guitarist John Scofield (1951), Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich (1963), Uncle Tupelo founder/Son Volt frontman Jay Farrar (1966), Academy Award-winning 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto (1971), Rock singer Chris Daughtry (1979)
December 27: Entertainer Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992), Composer/pianist/humorist Oscar Levant (1906-1972), Guitarist/rock pioneer Scotty Moore (1931-2016), Foreigner founder Mick Jones (1944), R&B/jazz musician T.S. Monk [son of Thelonious] (1949), Singer/songwriter Karla Bonoff (1951), Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams (1988)
December 28: Jazz pianist/bandleader Earl “Fatha” Hines (1903-1983), R&B bandleader Johnny Otis (1921-2012), Rock musician Edgar Winter (1946), Box Tops/Big Star frontman Alex Chilton (1950-2010), French pianist Richard Clayderman (1953), Country singer/Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie (1958), R&B singer/songwriter/pianist John Legend (1978), Singer David Archuleta (1990)
December 29: Classical cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973), The Band bassist Rick Danko (1942-1999), Singer/actresses Marianne Faithfull (1946) and Yvonne Elliman (1951), Jesus & Mary Chain frontman Jim Reid (1961), Offspring frontman Dexter Holland (1965), Panamanian jazz pianist/composer Danilo Perez (1965), Toad The Wet Sprocket frontman/guitarist Glen Phillips (1970), Singer/songwriter Alexa Ray Joel [daughter of Billy] (1985), Singer/”Austin & Ally” star Ross Lynch (1995)
December 30: Guitarist/rock pioneer Bo Diddley (1928-2008), Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame singer/guitarist Del Shannon (1934-1990), Monkees Michael Nesmith (1942) and Davy Jones (1945-2012), Rock singer/songwriter/poet Patti Smith (1946), Rock musician/producer/Electric Light Orchestra founder Jeff Lynne (1947), Country singer Suzy Bogguss (1956), Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay (1969), R&B singer/actor Tyrese (1978), British singer Ellie Goulding (1986)
December 31: Composer Jule Styne (1905-1994), Singer/civil rights activist Odetta (1930-2008), The Police guitarist Andy Summers (1942), Singer/songwriter John Denver (1943-2007), The Guess Who frontman/keyboardist Burton Cummings (1947), “The Queen Of Disco” Donna Summer (1948-2012), Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg (1959), Urge Overkill frontman Nash Kato (1965), Korean singer Psy (1977)