November 19 – Today In Music History

1905 – American jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Tommy Dorsey is born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. On November 26, 1956, Tommy Dorsey died at age 51 in his Greenwich, Connecticut, home. He had begun taking sleeping pills regularly at this time, from which he was so sedated that one night he died in his sleep from choking after eating a heavy meal

1936 – vocalist and percussionist Ray Collins of the Mothers of Invention was born in Pomona, California. He first started singing in school choirs. He was a co-founder of The Soul Giants which evolved into the Mothers of Invention. Collins was lead singer on their earlier albums until Frank Zappa took over. There was much tension between the two. He moved to Claremont, Calif., in 1991, where he lived on his Social Security checks and songwriting royalties “but not enough to pick up women,” Collins once told a reporter. He died on December 24, 2012. He was 76.

1938 – Hank Medress of The Tokens is born in Brooklyn, New York. They are best know for the hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” An earlier version of the band called Linc-Tones included Neil Sedaka. Medress died of lung cancer on June 18, 2007. He was aged 68

Miracles_Warren_Pete_Moore1939 – Warren “Pete” Moore (pictured left) formally of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles is 79. With Robinson they wrote The Temptations hits’ “It’s Growing” and “Since I Lost My Baby,” as well as Marvin Gaye’s hits “Ain’t That Peculiar “, and “I’ll Be Doggone,’ as well as The Miracles’ own hits “Ooo Baby Baby,” the huge hit “The Tracks Of My Tears” among others.

Moore’s songs have been recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Ramsey Lewis, Tom Jones, Luther Vandross, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and Debby Boone.

1946 – Drummer Joe Correro Jr. who spent four years with Paul Revere and the Raider is 69. He has also played with Helen Reddy, Harry Nilsson, Jennifer Warnes, the Captain & Tennille and recorded four albums with Al Jarreau.

1960 – Matt Sorum Guns N; Roses drummer (from 1990–1997) was born in Orange County, California.



1949 – At just 14 Jerry Lee Lewis makes his debut at the opening of a Ford dealership in his hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana. He plays “Drinking Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee.”

1966 – The Supremes were #1 with “You Keep Me Hanging On.” It  stayed on top for two weeks.

1979 – Chuck Berry got out of jail. He was in the big house four months for tax evasion.

1983 – A second member of Badfinger committed suicide. Tom Evans hung himself in his back yard. His family claimed he never got over fellow Badfinger member Pete Ham’s suicide. Evans co-wrote the huge hit “Without You” made famous by Mariah Carey and Harry Nilson.