JUNE 2008 – FIRE IN LOS ANGELES
811 music artists & groups lost their master recordings in a fire…
A firefighter examines charred metal at the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot in Los Angeles on June 2, 2008. This was a day after a fire destroyed a warehouse facility housing tens of thousands of master recordings from some of the most important artists in music history. The fire was started by a worker using a blowtorch to warm asphalt shingles being applied to a building facade.
I am looking up each of the 811 artists and groups that lost the master recordings back in 2008. The names are listed here alphabetically by their last names. Also, I have added the years the artists were active, the genre of their music and some of their career highlights. Once complete, they will represent the total of 811.
Artists with the last names starting with A:
38 Special. 1974 – Present. Rock
From Jacksonville. Name originated when police gained entry into a warehouse they were practicing in by shooting off the lock. Produced 12 albums. Third album: “Rockin Into the Night” charted at No43. Had other songs but only “Caught Up in You” charted high at No1 (https://youtu.be/zg21Rkew874) (RQ 10).
50 Cent. 1996-Present. Rap
Sold over 30M records. Considered to be one of the best rappers in the world. Won one Grammy. “Snoop Dog” (https://youtu.be/UDApZhXTpH8) (RQ 8).
Abrams, Colonel. 1976-2016. R&B
19 singles, 4 No1s including: “How Soon We Forget” (https://youtu.be/ORtPn_4Y9sE) (RQ 9).
Ace, Johnny. 1949-1954. R&B
He had a string of hit singles in the mid-1950s iincluding “Work Song” (https://youtu.be/yKYQkUaRMAI) (RQ 7). Alexander died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 25.
Adams, Bryan. 1975-Present. Rock
Bryan Guy Adams (born 5 November 1959) is a Canadian guitarist, singer, composer, record producer, photographer, and philanthropist. With several number 1 singles and albums in various countries, Adams has sold between 75 and 100 million records worldwide. Including “Run to You” (https://youtu.be/nCBASt507WA) (RQ 10). According to Nielsen Music Canada’s 2019 Year-End Report, Adams was the most played artist on Canadian radio stations between 2010 and 2019.
Adderley, Nat. 1955-1995. Jazz
He was the younger brother of saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, whom he supported and played with for many years. Adderley’s composition “Work Song” (1960) (https://youtu.be/MmwsQ_dHrFM0 (RQ 9) is a jazz standard, and also became a success on the pop charts after singer Oscar Brown Jr. wrote lyrics for it.
Aerosmith. 1970-Present. Rock
From Boston. Called “The Badboys.” First five albums achieved platinum status. Had two top singles: in 2011: “Dream On” (https://youtu.be/L9srmft6STc) (RQ 10+) and in 2013 “Walk This Way” (https://youtu.be/4c8O2n1Gfto) (RQ 10+). Between 1979-81, internal conflict and drug abuse led to a breakup. The group got together again in the 90s and produced another nine Top20 songs. They included a No1 hit: “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing.” They became the best sellingAmerican group of all-time selling more than 150M records (25 Gold and 4 Grammys).
Akins, Rhett. 1992-Present. Country
Thomas Rhett Akins Sr. (born October 13, 1969) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Signed to Decca Records between 1994 and 1997, he released two albums for that label (1995’s A Thousand Memories and 1996’s Somebody New), followed by 1998’s What Livin’s All About on MCA Nashville. Friday Night in Dixie was released in 2002 on AudiumEntertainment. Overall, Akins’s albums have accounted for fourteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, including the number one “Don’t Get Me Started” (https://youtu.be/oYgQFuBJEIU) (RQ 9) from 1996.
Albam, Manny. 1956-1966. Jazz
Manny Albam (June 24, 1922 – October 2, 2001) was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, record producer, and educator. Albam wrote arrangements for Leonard Bernstein’s score for the musical West Side Story in 1957. “America” https://youtu.be/YhSKk-cvblc) (RQ 7).
Alexandria, Lorez. 1957-1996. Vocal Jazz
Lorez Alexandria, born Dolorez Alexandria Turner (August 14, 1929 – May 22, 2001) was an American jazz and gospel singer, described as “one of the most gifted and underrated jazz singers of the twentieth century”. She became established in the midwestbefore moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. She recorded 24 albums including the classic re-arranged song “Over the Rainbow” (https://youtu.be/LUfnDsbUkys) (RQ 10+).
Allan, Gary. 1996-Present. Country
From La Mirada CA. 26 singles. 4 No1s including: “Man to Man” (https://youtu.be/42G38fMfMu0) (RQ 9).
Allen, Red. 1924-1967. Jazz
Henry James “Red” Allen (January 7, 1908 – April 17, 1967) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist whose style has been claimed to be the first to fully incorporate the innovations of Louis Armstrong. An example of his work: “A World on a String” (https://youtu.be/JahE_nkOj6g) (RQ 9).
Allen, Steve. TV and radio host
Almond, Mark. 1970-1981. Jazz, Pop
Mark Almond was a jazz-influenced English pop group of the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes also called The Mark-Almond Band. The core members were Jon Mark, who sang lead and played guitar, percussion, and harmonica and Johnny Almond who played saxophone, flute and bass flute and sang back-up. Greatest airplay song: “What Am I Living For” (https://youtu.be/7FPQymvfYo8) (RQ 7).
Ames Brothers. 1948-1963. Pop
From Malden, MA (a northern suburb of Boston). Formed group with three brothers and one cousin. Their first hit was: ”Rag Mop.” (https://youtu.be/KM8Ak7z_hiU) (RQ 7). In 15 years they charted 49 songs. They have been inducted into the Vocal HOF.
Ammons, Gene. 1943-1974. Jazz (tenor sax)
Eugene “Jug” Ammons (April 14, 1925 – August 6, 1974), also known as “The Boss.” From Chicago. Recorded 90 albums. An acclaimed hit was “The Happy Blues” (https://youtu.be/_JBHAAaYzMY) (RQ 9). He was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. The son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Gene Ammons is remembered for his accessible music, steeped in soul and R&B.
Anderson, Bill. 1958-Present. Country
Bill Anderson (born James William Anderson III; November 1, 1937) is an American country music singer-songwriter and producer. He also has been credited as a television personality and author. As a songwriter, his compositions have been covered by various music artists since the late 1950s, including Ray Price and George Strait. As a singer, his soft-spoken singing voice was given the nickname “Whispering Bill Anderson” by music critics and writers. He had seven number one hits including “Still” (https://youtu.be/gmmy1Idr1aw) (RQ 5).
Anderson, John. 1959-1965. Jazz trumpeter
John Anderson (January 31, 1921 – August 18, 1974) was a jazz trumpeter. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he studied at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and the Westlake College of Music. He did a good deal of work in the West Coast jazz with Stan Kenton and others. Produced three albums including “Everyday I Have the Blues” with Count Basie (https://youtu.be/L31pDORVifQ) (RQ 8).
Andrews, Lee (& The Hearts). 1954-2000. Doo Wop
Were an American doo-wop quintet from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, formed in 1953. They recorded on the Gotham, Rainbow, Mainline, Chess, United Artists, Grand and Gowen labels. Managed by Kae Williams, in 1957 and 1958 they had their three biggest hits, “Tear Drops” (https://youtu.be/taBMfRd_RQA) (RQ 8), “Long Lonely Nights” and “Try the Impossible”.
Anka, Paul. 1955-Present. Pop, Soft Rock
Paul Albert Anka OC (born July 30, 1941) is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter and actor. Anka became famous with hit songs like “Diana”, “Lonely Boy”, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” (https://youtu.be/uvxagNIBVLU) (RQ 8), and “(You’re) Having My Baby”.
Ant, Adam. 1977-Present. New Wave
Apples, Silver. 1967-1970. Electronic Rock
Silver Apples were an American electronic rock group from New York, active between 1967 and 1970, before reforming in the mid-1990s. It was composed of Simeon (born Simeon Oliver Coxe III, June 4, 1938 – September 8, 2020), who performed on a primitive synthesizer of his own devising; and, until his death in 2005, drummer Danny Taylor. “Gypsy Love” (https://youtu.be/czBBf2HIZ50) (RQ 2).
Arden, Toni. 1946-1958. Pop
Arden was born in New York City. Her father, Phillip Ardizzone, was a singer with the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala. Her brother, Jan Arden, was also a singer. The siblings teamed up for night club performances in the late 1950s. “I Can Dream Can’t I” (https://youtu.be/Lc2hwvbcQOA) (RQ 9)
Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading (Born December 9, 1950) is a British singer-songwriter. A three-time Grammy Award nominee. Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. “Willow” (https://youtu.be/Kl3i1GMuyeU) (RC 8).
Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Known for their extensive use of twin lead guitars. “Wishbone Ash – Vas Dis” (https://youtu.be/6wAv0TplhNY) (RQ 7).
Asia. 1981-Present. Rock
This supergroup was formed in London. The members came from King Crimson, Yes, Boggles and Emerson-Lake-and Palmer. There initial album “Asia – Heat of the Moment” (https://youtu.be/wmFbFKu4Xnc) (RQ 9) was charted No 1 in several countries. They had one new single that charted Top40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Asleep at the Wheel. 1970-Present. Country
The group was from West Virginia and based in Austin. They earned 9 Grammys. They produced 20 albums and charted 21 singles. Their top hit was: “The Letter that Johnny Waller Read” (https://youtu.be/qbyXBUEOy5A) (RQ 10) which peaked at No10.
Audioslave. 2007-2017. Hard Rock
From Glendale, CA (10 miles northwest of LA). The group blended 70s hard rock with 90s alternative rock. Were also unique in that they only used guitars, drums and vocals in their recordings. In just six years, they earned 3 Grammy nominations and sold more than 8M records. Songs included: (2003) “Like a Stone” (https://youtu.be/glO58_4sXWM) (RQ 9) and (2005) “Doesn’t Remind Me.”
Austin, Patti. 1955-Present. R&B, Pop
Austin was born in Harlem, New York, to Gordon Austin, a jazz trombonist. She was raised in Bay Shore, New York on Long Island. Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have referred to themselves as her godparents. She had an R&B hit in 1969 with “Family Tree”. She sang backing vocals on Paul Simon’s 1975 number-one hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (https://youtu.be/ABXtWqmArUU) (RQ 10+). The jazz label CTI released her debut album, End of a Rainbow, in 1976. She sang “The Closer I Get to You” for Tom Browne’s album Browne Sugar, a duet with Michael Jackson for his album Off the Wall, and a duet with George Benson on “Moody’s Mood for Love”.
Average White Band. 1972-Present. Soul
From Scotland. Known for producing a mix of soul and disco style music. Best known for the instrumental track: “Pick Up the Pieces” (https://youtu.be/FnH_zwVmiuE) (RQ 8) which charted No1 in the U.S. Produced 35 singles and 29 albums.
Hoyt Wayne Axton (March 25, 1938 – October 26, 1999) was an American folk music singer-songwriter, guitarist, and a film and television actor. He became prominent in the early 1960s. He established himself on the west coast as a folk singer with a earthy style and powerful voice. He sang a duet with Linda Ronstadt” When the Morning Comes” (https://youtu.be/bIlNGz-t1IU) (RQ 9).
Ayler, Albert. 1952-1970. Jazz (Sax)
Known as an avant-garde jazz sax player. Considered to be the most innovative sax player in history. His timbre (or, tone) is of the highest quality possible. “Ghosts” (https://youtu.be/dtiSA2RKDzc) (RQ 7).
Artists with the last names starting with B:
Bacharach, Burt. 1950-Present. Pop
Burt Freeman Bacharach (born May 12, 1928) is an American composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist who has composed hundreds of pop songs from the late 1950s through the 1980s, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by more than 1,000 different artists. He wrote 73 Top40 songs including “This Guy’s in Love with You” (https://youtu.be/2dDGnl8_Dzg) (RQ 10+).
Baez, Joan. 1958-Present. Folk
Joan Chandos Baez ( born January 9, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and activist. Her contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums (the first three achieved gold record status). “Greatest Hits” (https://youtu.be/n-GueIOVNvk) (RQ 10+).
Bailey, Razzy. 1966-Present. Country
Rasie Michael Bailey (born February 14, 1939) is an American country music artist. Known professionally as Razzy Bailey. “I Hate Hate“ (https://youtu.be/kD0o6u4N9zc) (RQ 6).
Baja Marimba Band. 1963-1973. Jazz
Formed by Julius Wechten, a marimda (a percussion instrument with wooden bars on a table) player. He was a session man for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. Recorded hits: “The Lonely Bull” and “Spanish Flea” (https://youtu.be/6ejfXcRIkPU) (RQ 7). In total, he recorded 28 singles and 19 albums.
Baker, Chet. 1949-1988. Cool Jazz
Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre leading him to be nicknamed the “prince of cool”. Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals. Recorded 27 albums.”It Could Happen to You” (https://youtu.be/y9PuBOFOVys) (RQ 9).
Ballard, Florence. 1959-1976. R&B
Founding member of the Supremes. She was a part of the quartet that produced ten No1 hits. She was removed from the group in 1976 and, afterward, failed as a soloist. She died from a heart attack at 32. “Yesterday” (https://youtu.be/xGtNQmpG8xY) (RQ 7).
Ballard, Hank (& The Midnighters). 1951-2003. R&B
Hank Ballard (born John Henry Kendricks; November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003) was an American R&B singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of The Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre, releasing the hit single “Work With Me, Annie” (https://youtu.be/uh1QddgybCg) (RQ 6).
Barbieri, Gato (Argentina). 1961-2016. Jazz (tenor sax)
Leandro “Gato” Barbieri (28 November 1932 – 2 April 2016) was an Argentine jazz tenor saxophonist who rose to fame during the free jazz movement in the 1960s and is known for his Latin jazz recordings of the 1970s. His nickname, Gato, is Spanish for “cat”. Made Latin recordings. 41 albums. “Last Tango in Paris” (https://youtu.be/Z8dPNHriiZA) (RQ 7).
Barry, Len (& The Dovells). 1958-2020. Blue-eyed soul
Leonard Borisoff (June 12, 1942 – November 5, 2020), known professionally as Len Barry, was an American vocalist, songwriter, and record producer. Upon his discharge from military service, Barry returned home to Philadelphia and formed the Dovells. Barry was the lead singer, appearing on all of the group’s best selling records, such as “Bristol Stomp”, “Hully Gully Baby”, and “You Can’t Sit Down” (https://youtu.be/_t_Fso_F1lw) (RQ 8).
Basie, Count. 1924-1984. Pop & Jazz
William James “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two “split” tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. He won nine Grammy Awards. “Dance Along with Basie” in 1960 (https://youtu.be/teIhBzRxATM) (RQ 10+).
Bass, Fonttella. 1961-2012. Soul
Her most famous song in 1965 was “Rescue Me” (https://youtu.be/x7BeGDZewHs) (RQ 10). She recorded ten other charted songs. She was nominated for a Grammy award.
Bechet, Sidney. 1908-1957. Jazz
Sidney Joseph Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, beating trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months. His erratic temperament hampered his career, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim. “The Sheik of Araby” (https://youtu.be/tTq8cOi1FCs) (RQ 4).
Beck. 1989-Present. Rock
Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell; July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his experimental and lo-fi style, and became known for creating musical collages of wide-ranging genres. “Loser” (https://youtu.be/YgSPaXgAdzE) (RQ 3).
Beefheart, Captain (Magic Band). 1964-1982. Blues
Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet;January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. He conducted a rotating ensemble called the Magic Band, with whom he recorded 13 studio albums between 1964 and 1982. “Ditty Wa Ditty” (https://youtu.be/yXXFj5wzLFA) (RQ 3).
Bell, Archie (& The Drells). 1966-1981. Funk
From Houston. Had nine charted songs between 1968-76. One of the best was: “Tighten Up” (https://youtu.be/Wro3bqi4Eb8) (RQ 10). This tune earned a gold record from RIAA. They had moderate showings in the late 70s.
Bell, Vincent. 1955-2019. Pop
Vincent Edward Gambella (July 28, 1932 – October 3, 2019), known as Vinnie Bell, was an American session guitarist, and pioneer of electronic effects in pop music. “Pop Goes the Electric Sitar” (https://youtu.be/dfcwC11a0jQ) (RQ 3).
Bellson, Louie. 1931-2009. Jazz
Was an American jazz drummer. He was a composer, arranger, bandleader, and jazz educator, and is credited with pioneering the use of two bass drums. At age 17, he triumphed over 40,000 drummers to win the Slingerland National Gene Krupa contest. in 1942, he worked with big bands throughout the 1940s, with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Duke Ellington. In 1952, he married jazz singer Pearl Bailey.
Benoit, David. 1976-Present. Jazz (piano)
David Bryan Benoit (born August 18, 1953) is an American jazz pianist, composer and producer, based in Los Angeles, California, United States. Benoit has charted over 25 albums since 1980, and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. “Waiting for Spring” (https://youtu.be/q5c-7Hw6d8s) (RQ 8). No1 album of 25.
Benson, George. 1954-Present. Jazz
George Washington Benson (born March 22, 1943) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He began his professional career at the age of 19 as a jazz guitarist.From Pittsburgh. Album “Breezin” (https://youtu.be/14pitnJlcv4) (RQ 10) was certified triple-platinum, hitting no. 1 on the Billboard album chart in 1976.
Berlin. 1970-Present. Jazz fusion
Jeffrey Arthur Berlin (born January 17, 1953) is an American jazz fusion bassist. He came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the band Bruford led by drummer Bill Bruford. He first came to international attention in 1977 when he was handpicked by British musician Bill Bruford for his debut album “Feels Good to Me” (https://youtu.be/LLaCZ5yGWAE) (RQ 10).
Bernstein, Elmer. 1951-2004. Conductor
Elmer Bernstein (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an American composer and conductor known for his film scores. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he composed “some of the most recognizable and memorable themes in Hollywood history”, including over 150 original movie scores, as well as scores for nearly 80 television productions.Won an Oscar for his score for: “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” (https://youtu.be/cRhPsOwpF5E) (RQ 10).
Berry, Chuck. 1953-2007. Rock
Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the “Father of Rock and Roll”, Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive with songs such as “Maybellene” (https://youtu.be/75RiHJGfyUE) (RQ 7) (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (https://youtu.be/sij1R6cjh4A) (RQ 7) (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (https://youtu.be/7gZwSPTKe7M) (RQ 10) (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (https://youtu.be/Uf4rxCB4lys) (RQ 10) (1958). A total of 45 singleswere recorded.
Bettencourt, Nuno (Extreme). 1985-Present. Glam metal
Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt (born September 20, 1966) is a Portuguese-American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and record producer. He became known as the lead guitarist of the Boston rock band Extreme. “More than Words” (with Steven Tyler) (https://youtu.be/dxpeQTUBTeQ( (RQ 10+)
Bilge, Mary J. 1991-Present. R&B, Hip Hop
Mary Jane Blige (born January 11, 1971) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. Her career began in 1991 when she was signed to Uptown Records. She went on to release 13 studio albums, eight of which have achieved multi-platinum worldwide sales. Blige has sold 50 million albums in the United States and 80 million records worldwide. Blige has won nine Grammy Awards: (1996) “I’ll Be There for You”, (2003) “He Thinks I Don’t Know” and “Whenever I Say Your Name” with Sting, (2007) “Be Without You” (https://youtu.be/8XNaPX6MKlU) (RQ 10+) and “The Breakthrough,” (2008) “Disrespectful” with Chaka Khan and “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” and in (2009 ) “Growing Pains” Plus, she won four American Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards and has also received three Golden Globe Award nominations.
Bishop, Stephen. 1975-Present. Blues, rock
Earl Stephen Bishop (born November 14, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter, actor, and guitarist. His biggest hits include “On and On”, “It Might Be You” (in Tootsie) (https://youtu.be/Y9AVoIROBt0) (RQ 10) and “Save It for a Rainy Day”. He has appeared in and contributed musically to many motion pictures
Bizkit, Limp. 1994-Present. Nu Metal
Limp Bizkit is an American rap rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Their lineup consists of Fred Durst (lead vocals), Sam Rivers (bass, backing vocals), John Otto (drums, percussion), DJ Lethal (turntables), and Wes Borland (guitars, vocals). Their music is marked by Durst’s angry vocal delivery and Borland’s sonic experimentation. Borland’s elaborate visual appearance, which includes face and body paint, masks and uniforms, also plays a large role in the band’s live shows. The band has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, sold 40 million records worldwide. “Nookie, “Significant Other” and “Take a Look Around” (https://youtu.be/HtPL2YhK6h0) (RQ 7) were the records that were nominated.
Blackstreet. 1993-2003. R&B
BLACKstreet is an American R&B group founded in 1993 by record producers Thomas R. Taliaferro, Chauncey “Black” Hannibal, and Teddy “Street” Riley. Their debut album, Blackstreet, featured the singles: “Booti Call”, “Before I Let You Go” and “Joy”. “Booti Call” and “Before I Let You Go” were both Top 40 hits, with “Before I Let You Go” hitting the Top 10. In 1996, they released their sophomore album Another Level. It was a breakthrough success due to the top single “No Diggity” (https://youtu.be/3KL9mRus19o) (RQ 9), which was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996. In 1998, Blackstreet won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Blaine, Hal. 1949-2019. Pop
Hal Blaine (born Harold Simon Belsky; February 5, 1929 – March 11, 2019) was an American drummer and session musician, estimated to be among the most recorded studio drummers in the history of the music industry,claiming over 35,000 sessions and 6,000 singles. His drumming is featured on 150 US top 10 hits, 40 of which went to number one, as well as many film and television soundtracks. He can be heard on the Ronettes 1963 single “Be My Baby” (https://youtu.be/jSPpbOGnFgk) (RQ 8)
Blakey, Art. 1942-1990. Jazz (drummer)
Spent 35 years with the group Jazz Messengers. He has been inducted into the Jazz and Grammy HOFs. Created 86 albums. “Moanin” (https://youtu.be/uKOoxgI_xfQ) (RQ 9).
Bland, Bobby “ Blue”. 1961-2003. Blues
Robert Calvin Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), known professionally as Bobby “Blue” Bland, was an American blues singer. Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. He was described as “among the great storytellers of blues and soul music who created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed. He had 23 No1 hits including his last: “That’s the Way Love Is” (https://youtu.be/P5mFapKWF54) (RQ 6).
Blink-182. 1992-Present. Punk
An American rock band formed in Poway, California, in 1992. Since 2015, the line-up of the band has consisted of bass guitarist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, drummer Travis Barker, and guitarist and vocalist Matt Skiba. Founded by Hoppus, guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge, and drummer Scott Raynor, the band emerged from the Southern California punk scene of the early 1990s. The trio has sold over thirteen million albums in the United States, and over 50 million albums worldwide. They recorded eight albums. In 1997, “Dude Ranch” (https://youtu.be/xXMaYD2bwXo) (RQ 7) earned a gold record.
Blossoms, Gin. 1987-Present. Alternative Rock
Gin Blossoms is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona. They rose to prominence following the 1992 release of their first major label album, “New Miserable Experience”, and the first single released from that album, “Hey Jealousy”. “Hey Jealousy”(https://youtu.be/ah5gAkna3jI) (RQ 8) became a Top 25 hit and went gold, and “New Miserable Experience” eventually went quadruple platinum; four other charting singles were released from the album.
Blues Traveler. 1987-Present. Rock
Blues Traveler is an American rock band that formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band’s music spans a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. They are known for extensive use of segues in live performances, and were considered a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene of the 1990s. Most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles: “Most Precarious” No1 (https://youtu.be/GIh3Rn-WwFA)(RQ 10+), “Back in the Day” No2, “Girl Inside My Head” No 3 and “But Anyway” No5.
Bo, Eddie (and the Soul Finders). 1959-2009. Blues (piano)
Edwin Joseph Bocage (September 20, 1930 – March 18, 2009), known as Eddie Bo, was an American singer and pianist from New Orleans. Schooled in jazz, he was known for his blues, soul and funk recordings, compositions, productions and arrangements. He debuted on Ace Records in 1955 and released more single records than anyone else in New Orleans other than Fats Domino. Eddie Bo worked and recorded for more than 40 different record labels. He recorded over 50 singles, most minor hits. He had one national chart hit: “Hook and Sling” (https://youtu.be/8pBymavidvA) (RQ 9) which reached No13 on Billboard.
Boingo, Oingo. 1979-1995. New Wave
Oingo Boingo was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. The band emerged from a surrealist musical theatre troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, that Elfman had led and written material for in the years previous. The band’s body of work spanned 17 years, with various genre and line-up changes. Their best-known songs include: “Only a Lad”, “Dead Man’s Party” and “Weird Science” No45 (https://youtu.be/Jm-upHSP9KU) (RQ 9).
Boone, Pat. 1954-Present. Pop
Patrick Charles Eugene Boone (Born June 1, 1934) is an American singer, composer, actor, writer, tv personality, motivational speaker and spokesman. He was a successful pop singer in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. He sold more than 45 million records, had 38 Top40 hits and appeared in more than 12 Hollywood films. He had one No1 (1956) “I’ll Be Home” (https://youtu.be/1AhoXkV24NQ) (RQ 10) and four No2s: (1957) “Don’t Forbid Me” and “Love Letters in the Sand” (1958) “A Wonderful Time Up There” and (1962) “ Speedy Gonzales.”
Boston. 1975-Present. Rock
Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, which had its most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on multi-instrumentalist founder and leader Tom Scholz, who played the majority of instruments on the debut album, and lead vocalist Brad Delp, the band is a staple of classic rock. Boston’s best-known songs include “More Than a Feeling” No5, “Peace of Mind”, “Foreplay/Long Time”, “Rock and Roll Band”, “Smokin”, “Don’t Look Back” No4, “A Man I’ll Never Be”, and “Amanda” No1 (https://youtu.be/S4mCIsmiAWc) (RQ 10+). The band has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 31 million albums in the United States.
Boswell, Connee. 1920s-1930s. Jazz
Constance Foore “Connee” Boswell (December 3, 1907 – October 11, 1976) was an American female vocalist born in Kansas City but raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. With sisters Martha and Helvetia “Vet”, she performed in the 1920s and 1930s as the trio The Boswell Sisters. They started as instrumentalists but became a highly influential singing group during this via their recordings and film and television appearances. Connee herself is widely considered one of the greatest jazz female vocalists and was a major influence on Ella Fitzgerald who said, “My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it….I tried so hard to sound just like her.” No1 Hit (1935): “The Object of My Affection” (https://youtu.be/oslbxm1MA9E) (RQ 10)
Boyd, Eddie. 1930-1990s. Blues (piano)
Edward Riley Boyd (November 25, 1914 – July 13, 1994) was an American blues pianist, singer and songwriter, best known for his recordings in the early 1950s, including the number one R&B chart hit “Five Long Years”.20 albums. No1 hit: “Five Long Years” (https://youtu.be/5aP3xSAdNc4) (RQ 7).
Bradley, Jan. 1960s. Soul
Jan Bradley (born Addie Bradley, July 6,1943) is an American soul singer. After graduating from high school, she auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, and soon recorded the Mayfield penned “We Girls”, which became a hit regionally in the midwest (on Talty’s Formal Records label). Several singles followed, and another Mayfield song originally issued on Formal. “Mama Didn’t Lie” (https://youtu.be/mShChmuFv60) (RQ 6) was released nationally in the U.S. by Chess Records in 1963 and hit No8 on the R&B and No14 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bradley, Owen. 1940s, 50s, 60s. Country
William Owen Bradley (October 21, 1915 – January 7, 1998) was an American musician and record producer who, along with Chet Atkins, Bob Ferguson, Bill Porter, and Don Law, was one of the chief architects of the 1950s and 1960s Nashville sound in country music and rockabilly. The singers Bradley produced made unprecedented headway into radio, and artists such as Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Lenny Dee, and Conway Twitty became household names nationwide. Pop singers like Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent also recorded with Bradley in his Nashville studio. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (https://youtu.be/f9eHp7JJgq8) (RQ 10).
Brand, Oscar. 1962-2019. Folk
Oscar Brand (February 7, 1920 – September 30, 2016) was a Canadian-born American folk singer-songwriter and author. In his career, spanning 70 years, he composed at least 300 songs and released nearly 100 albums. “Hootenanny A Go-Got” (https://youtu.be/7syMivuctIg) (RQ 5).
Braun, Bob. 1981-1991. TV and radio host
Brennan, Walter. 1925-1974. Actor and singer
Brennan’s success with The Real McCoys led to him making a few recordings, the most popular being “Old Rivers” (https://youtu.be/MDYsw4t2rAI) (RQ 10) about an old farmer and his mule, which was released as a single in 1962 by Liberty Records with “The Epic Ride of John H. Glenn” on the flip side. “Old Rivers” peaked at number five in the U.S. Billboard chart, making the 67 year-old Brennan the oldest living person to have a Top 40 hit at the time, in fact, the oldest living person to have a top 5 hit. Received three Adademy Awards for his acting in movies.
Brenston, Jackie (and The Delta Cats). 1950s and 60s. R&B
Jackie Brenston (August 24, 1930 – December 15, 1979) was an American R&B singer and saxophonist, who recorded, with Ike Turner’s band, the first version of the pioneering rock-and-roll song “Rocket 88” (https://youtu.be/Gbfnh1oVTk0) (RQ 8).
Brewer, Teresa. 1949-1999. Pop
Teresa Brewer (born Theresa Veronica Breuer, May 7, 1931 – October 17, 2007) was an American singer whose style incorporated pop, country, jazz, R&B, musicals, and novelty songs. She was one of the most prolific and popular female singers of the 1950s, recording nearly 600 songs. In (1953) “Til I Waltz with You Again” (https://youtu.be/WZkTC0YmfVY0) (RQ 10+).
Brickell, Edie, (& The Bohemians). 1985-Present. Alternative Rock
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians is an alternative rock jam band that originated in Dallas, Texas, in the mid-1980s. The band is widely known for their 1988 hit “What I Am” (https://youtu.be/tDl3bdE3YQA) (RQ 10) from the album Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars. Their music contains elements of rock, folk, blues, and jazz.
Brim, John. 1994-2000. Blues
John Charles Brim (April 10, 1922 – October 1, 2003)] was an blues guitarist, songwriter, and singer. He wrote and recorded the song “Ice Cream Man” (https://youtu.be/-FXzfXBHXW8) (RC 7). It was later covered by the band Van Halen on its first album.
Broadnax, Willmer “Little Ax”. 1960s. Gospel
Willmer M. Broadnax (December 28, 1916 – June 1, 1992]), also known as “Wilbur”, “Willie”, and “Wilmer”, was an American hard gospel quartet singer during the golden age of traditional black gospel. His most common nickname was “Little Axe,” due to both his small stature and his brother William “Big Axe” Broadnax, who was a popular baritone. “You Are My Sunshine” (https://youtu.be/ziJhLHDaWLA) (RQ 8) (1963).
Brooks, Lonnie. 1953-2017. Blues
Lonnie Brooks (born Lee Baker Jr., December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017) was an American blues singer and guitarist. The musicologist Robert Palmer, writing in Rolling Stone, stated, “His music is witty, soulful and ferociously energetic, brimming with novel harmonic turnarounds, committed vocals and simply astonishing guitar work. “Two Headed Man” (https://youtu.be/F2kSQ1ceEUA) (RQ 7).
Broonzy, Big Bill. 1927-1958. Blues
Big Bill Broonzy (born Lee Conley Bradley, June 26, 1903 – August 14, 1958) was an American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s, when he played country blues to mostly African-American audiences. Through the 1930s and 1940s he successfully navigated a transition in style to a more urban blues sound popular with working-class African-American audiences. “Key to the Highway” (https://youtu.be/KN_f0WVsHuw) (RQ 9).
Brown, Bobby. 1981-Present. R&B
Starting a solo career, Brown enjoyed commercial and critical success with his second album Don’t Be Cruel (1988) which spawned five Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles including the number one hit “My Prerogative”, and the Grammy Award-winning “Every Little Step” https://youtu.be/P0FKzPfsxA4) (RQ 10+). In 1989, Brown contributed two songs to the soundtrack of Ghostbusters II. In 1992, Brown married singer Whitney Houston, with whom he had a daughter named Bobbi Kristina Brown.
Brown, Clarence “Gatemouth”. 1972-2005. Blues
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (April 18, 1924 – September 10, 2005) was an American musician from Louisiana and Texas known for his work as a blues musician, as well as other styles of music. He spent his career fighting purism by synthesizing old blues, country, jazz, Cajun music and R&B styles. He won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1983 for his album, “Alright Again!” (https://youtu.be/9QHrE8St6d4) (RQ 9).
Brown, Lawrence. 1932-1970. Jazz trombone
Lawrence Brown (August 3, 1907 – September 5, 1988) was a jazz trombonist from California who achieved recognition with the Duke Ellington orchestra. Brown worked throughout his career as a session musician, as well as recording his own solo efforts. “Blue Cellophane” (https://youtu.be/X1JkLifJoAs) (RC 10+) 1945.
Brown, Les. 1936-2000. Bandleader
Lester Raymond Brown (March 14, 1912 – January 4, 2001) was an American jazz musician who led the big band Les Brown and His Band of Renown for nearly seven decades from 1938 to 2000. “Sentimental Journey” 1945 with Doris Day (https://youtu.be/a5cUU3vA6R8) (RQ 9).
Brown, Marion. 1962-1990. Jazz
Marion Brown (September 8, 1931 – October 18, 2010) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, composer, writer, visual artist, and ethnomusicologist. He is best known as a member of the 1960s avant-garde jazz scene in New York City, playing alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and John Tchicai. He performed on Coltrane’s landmark 1965 album Ascension. Allmusic reviewer Scott Yanow called him “one of the brightest and most lyrical voices of the 1960s avant-garde. “Why Not” (https://youtu.be/9kEuCzzpB8c) (RQ 10) 1967.
Brown, Marshall. 1950s. Jazz
Brown graduated from New York University with a degree in music. He was a band teacher in New York City schools, and one of his school band’s performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in the 1950s.[With George Wein, he went to Europe to look for musicians for the International Youth Band. In the late 1950s he started the Newport Youth Band. “The Ruby Braff-Marshall Brown Sextet” (1959) (https://youtu.be/MxW0y_gEyPU) (RQ 8).
Brown, Mel. 1967-2006. Blues
Mel Brown (October 7, 1939 – March 20, 2009) was an American-born blues guitarist and singer. He is best remembered for his decade long backing of Bobby Bland, although in his own right, Brown recorded over a dozen albums between 1967 and 2006. “Eighteen Pounds of Unclean Chitlins” (https://youtu.be/1JkbfYGapZM) (RQ 8).
Brown, Michael (Left Banke). 1960s, early 70s. Pop
Michael Brown (born Michael David Lookofsky, April 25, 1949 – March 19, 2015) was an American keyboardist and songwriter, most notable for his work with the Left Banke. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of violinist and arranger Harry Lookofsky. “Walk Away Renee” (https://youtu.be/9_QVUfZv92U) (RQ 9).
Brubeck, Dave. 1940-2012. Jazz (piano)
David Warren Brubeck (/ˈbruːbɛk/; December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards including “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke”. Brubeck’s style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother’s classical training and his own improvisational skills. 112 albums. “Time Out” (https://youtu.be/_1d-Axi4mhY) (RQ 10) was the first jazz album to sell 1M .
Buffett, Jimmy. 1973-Present. Country
James William Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, actor, and businessman. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an “island escapism” lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett has recorded hit songs including “Margaritaville”(https://youtu.be/CICf8xoLyG8) (RQ 10) Ranked 234th on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of “Songs of the Century” and “Come Monday”.
Burnett, Carol. 1955-Present. Comedian
Burnett, T-Bone. 1972-Present. Country
Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett III (born January 14, 1948) is an American record producer, musician, and songwriter. Burnett rose to fame as a guitarist in Bob Dylan’s band during the 1970s. He has received multiple Grammy awards for his work in film music: “Proof Through the Night” (https://youtu.be/5mF1oJMl2u0), ”Cold Mountain” (2004), “Walk the Line” (2005), and “Crazy Heart” (2010); and won another Grammy for producing the studio album “Raising Sand” (2007).
Burnette, Johnny. 1952-1964. Rock & Roll
John Joseph Burnette (March 25, 1934 – August 14, 1964) was an American singer-songwriter of rockabilly and pop music. In 1952, he and his brother, Dorsey Burnette, and their friend Paul Burlison formed the band that became known as the Rock and Roll Trio. The wrote songs for Rickey Nelson: “Believe What You Say” No 4 (https://youtu.be/zSfdc5LKbzc) (RQ 6), “It’s Late”, “Waitin’ in School”, and “Just a Little Too Much” No 9.