March 16, 2008 – Ola Brunkert (Swedish session drummer for Abba) was born in Örebro, Sweden on 15 September 1946. He began his musical career as a jazz drummer. His first professional job was with the Slim’s Blues Gang, before joining the pop group Science Poption in the mid ’60s. He then formed the jazz-rock combo Opus III with the guitarist Janne Schaffer and by 1970 had become one of the most sought after session drummers in Stockholm. His first session with Abba was on their first single, “People Need Love,” in 1972.
He was not among the four members of ABBA whose faces adorned the album covers — Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad—but was a key supporting musician for the group as it achieved stardom. Brunkert played on the group’s first single “People Need Love”, their Eurovision hit “Waterloo”, and consistently on a great many of their recordings throughout the 1970s. ABBA promised that ‘one day we’re gonna let you hear him sing’ in the liner notes for the album Arrival in 1976. His last recording session with the group was in October 1981, recording their hit single “One of Us”.
February 28, 2008- Michael George ‘Mike’ Smith (the Dave Clark Five) was born on December 6, 1943 in in Edmonton, North London. His parents found he had a natural ability as a pianist that surfaced as early as age five. Smith started lessons in classical piano, and at age 13 passed the entrance exams at Trinity Music College in London.
He met Dave Clark first when they were both members on the same football team for the St. George Boys Club. At age 17, Dave asked him to join his band; his debut recording with the band was “I Knew It All the Time”/”That’s What I Said” in 1963. The band had 19 UK Top 40 hits, including ‘Bits and Pieces‘ and the No.1 single ‘Glad All Over’. They had US hits with ‘Because’, ‘I Like it Like That’ and ‘Glad All Over’, and set a record among British acts after appearing on the Ed Sullivan show 13 times.
June 17, 1954 – Donato Joseph “Danny” Cedrone was born on June 20th 1920 Born in Jamesville, New York. He began his musical career in the 1940s, but he came into his own in the early 1950s, first as a session guitarist hired by what was then a country and western musical group based out of Chester, Pennsylvania called Bill Haley and His Saddlemen.
In 1951, Danny played lead on their recording of “Rocket 88” which is considered one of the first acknowledged rock and roll recordings. At this time he also formed his own group, The Esquire Boys recording hits such as “Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie”.
He never joined Haley’s group as a full-time member. In 1952, he played lead guitar on Haley’s version of “Rock the Joint”, and his swift guitar solo, which combined a jazz-influenced first half followed by a lightning-fast down-scale run, was a highlight of the recording. He worked with Haley’s group in 1954, by which time it had been renamed The Comets.
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