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JEWDAYO ROCKS! Jewish Rock & Roll Dates for January

December 31, 2013
Research by Bennett Muraskin and Lawrence Bush breadlineJANUARY 1 Country Joe McDonald (pictured with breadline, at right), founder of Country Joe & the Fish, was born on this date in 1942 in Washington DC to a radical Jewish mother. (Joe was named for Joseph Stalin.) They were best known for the anti-war classic “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag,” but were great players of psychedelic and raga rock, too. To see them playing “Sweet Lorraine,” look below.

JANUARY 5 Kate Schellenbach, drummer for the Beastie Boys and Luscious Jackson, was born in New York on this date in 1966. Chris Stein, cofounder, guitarist, and songwriter of Blondie, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1950. To see them rocking on “One Way or Another,” look below. Maynard Solomon, founder of Vanguard Records, was born on this date in 1930. Solomon signed the Weavers, Joan Baez, Odetta, and Country Joe and the Fish, among others, and was a major force in the folk music revival. JANUARY 7 Jann Wenner, who co-founded Rolling Stone magazine with Ralph Gleason in 1967 with $7,500 in borrowed funds, was born in New York on this date in 1946. Ira Kaplan, co-founder, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for Yo La Tengo, was born on this date in 1957. JANUARY 8 Bill Graham (Wolfgang Wolodia Grajonca), founder of the Fillmore West and Fillmore East and a major rock promoter, was born in Berlin on this date in 1931. Graham was a Kindertransport refugee. Robbie Krieger, guitarist with the Doors, was also born on this date in 1946, in Los Angeles. To see him playing flamenco guitar, look below. wex-with-rethJANUARY 10 Donald Fagen, co-founder, songwriter and keyboardist/vocalist for Steely Dan, was born in Passaic New Jersey on this date in 1948. Fagen has brought jazz elements, highbrow lyrics, and extraordinarily sophisticated musicians to the world of rock, both with Walter Becker in Steely Dan and in his solo career. To see him singing “Tomorrow’s Girls,” look below. Jim Croce, a convert to Judaism through marriage, was born on in Philadelphia on this date in 1943. Croce was a singer-songwriter (“Time in a Bottle”) who died in a plane crash at the age of 30. Jerry Wexler (with Aretha Franklin at right), who coined the term “rhythm and blues” (as a replacement for “race records”) and recorded some of R&B’s greatest performers, was born in New York on this date in 1917. JANUARY 17 Susanna Hoffs, vocalist and guitarist with the Bangles, was born in Los Angeles on this date in 1959. To see them in action, look below. Simon & Garfunkel released their second album, Sounds of Silence, on this date in 1966, and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on this date in 1990. freed-1JANUARY 20 Alan Freed (Jewish father), pioneering disk jockey known as Moondog who coined the phrase, “Rock and Roll,” died at 44 on this date in 1965. Lee Julian Pockriss, who wrote the melodies “Catch a Falling Star” (Perry Como, 1957), “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (Brian Hyland, 1960), and “Johnny Angel” (Shelley Fabares, 1962), was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1924. Paul Stanley (Stanley Harvey Eisen), front man and rhythm guitarist for Kiss, was born in New York on this date in 1952. To see KIss in action, look below. JANUARY 24 Neil Diamond, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1941. He has sold 125 million records worldwide. Warren Zevon (Zivotovsky; Jewish father), whose hit songs include “Werewolves of London” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” was born in Chicago on this date in 1947. He died of cancer at 56. To see him playing “Werewolves. . .,” look below. JANUARY 26 Alison Steele (Ceil Loman), the pioneering FM disk jockey known as “The Night Bird,” was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1937. JANUARY 30 Marty Balin, tenor singer of the Jefferson Airplane and Starship born in Cincinnati on this date in 1942.