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Arne, Thomas Augustine (1710–1778), composer and musical performer, was born in King Street, Covent Garden, London, on 12 March 1710, the son of Thomas Arne (bap. 1682, d. 1736) [see under Arne family], upholsterer and undertaker, and his second wife, Anne, ...

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Blow, John (1648?–1708), musician and composer, was baptized at St Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, on 23 February 1649. The record of his doctorate at Lambeth Palace confirms the identification; the age on his marriage allegation suggests that he was born in 1648. He was the second of three children of ...

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Brown, Errol Ainsworth Glenstor (1943–2015), singer and songwriter, was born on 12 November 1943 in Kingston, Jamaica. The result of a teenage pregnancy, he barely knew his police officer father, Ivan Brown, from whom his mother Edna (d. 1963), a secretary, had become estranged shortly after his birth. Desperate to rescue her son from a cultural backdrop of poverty and gang violence, ...

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Browne, George Edric (1920–2007), singer, songwriter, and actor, was born Edric Browne on 4 May 1920 in Corbeau Town, Port of Spain, Trinidad, the only son and youngest of three children of Ernest Browne, a government printer, and his wife, Frances, née Noriega...

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Coborn, Charles [real name Colin Whitton McCallum] (1852–1945), music-hall entertainer and songwriter, was born Colin Whitton McCallum on 4 August 1852 at 25 Sydney Square, Mile End, London, the son of Colin McCallum (1799–1872), shipbroker and freeman of the City of London...

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J. A. F. Maitland

revised by David J. Golby

Cooke, Thomas Simpson [Tom] (1782–1848), singer and composer, was born in Dublin, and received his first musical instruction from his father, Bartlett Cooke, an oboist at the Smock Alley Theatre. He performed a violin concerto in public at the age of seven. He later studied composition with ...

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Curtis, Ian Kevin (1956–1980), musician, was the only son and eldest child of Kevin Curtis, a detective officer in the Transport Commission police, and his wife, Doreen, née Hughes. He was born on 15 July 1956 in the Memorial Hospital, Old Trafford, Manchester...

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Dacres, Desmond Adolphus [known as Desmond Dekker] (1941–2006), singer and songwriter, was born on 16 July 1941 in St Andrew, on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica. Little is known about his childhood except that after his mother's early death his father, desiring a proper education for his son, sent him to live with relatives in the quiet country town of ...

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de Paul, Lynsey [real name Lynsey Monckton Rubin] (1948–2014), songwriter, singer, and pianist, was born on 11 June 1948 at Nuffield House, Southwark, London, the younger child of Herbert Paul Rubin (1912–1988), property developer, and his wife Meta, née...

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Dolby, Charlotte Helen Sainton- (1821–1885), singer and composer, was born in London on 17 May 1821, the daughter of Samuel Dolby, a merchant. A precocious child, she first took piano lessons with a Mrs Montague. After the death of her father she entered the ...

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Fury, Billy [real name Ronald Wycherley] (1940–1983), singer and songwriter, was born on 17 April 1940 at the Smithdown Road Infirmary, 126 Smithdown Road, Sefton, Liverpool, the elder son of Albert Edward Wycherley, a shoe repairer, and his wife, Sarah Jane (known as Jean), ...

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Gibb, Maurice Ernest (1949–2003), musician, was born on 22 December 1949 in Douglas, Isle of Man, the younger twin and third of the four sons of Hugh Leslie (Hughie) Gibb (1916–1992), a Manchester-based ballroom bandleader, and his wife, the singer Barbara May, ...

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Harrison, George (1943–2001), musician and composer, was born on 25 February 1943 at 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, the youngest among the four children of Harold Hargreaves Harrison (d. 1978) and his wife, Louise, née French. His father was a former Cunard...

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Hendrix, James Marshall [Jimi] (1942–1970), rock musician and songwriter, was born on 27 November 1942 at the King County Hospital (which became the Harborview Medical Center), Seattle, Washington, USA, the first child of James Allen Hendrix (b. 1919), landscape gardener, and his first wife, ...

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Judge, John Thomas [Jack] (1872–1938), music hall entertainer and composer, was born at 18 Low Town, Oldbury, Worcestershire, on 3 December 1872, the eldest son of John Judge (1849–1888), ironworker, and his wife, Mary, née McGuire (1853–1922). His father, from Carrowbeg, co. Mayo...

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Lawes, Henry (bap. 1596, d. 1662), singer and composer, was born at Dinton, near Wilton, Wiltshire, and baptized there on 5 January 1596, the eldest son of Thomas Lawes (d. 1640), a church musician, and his wife, Lucris (or Lucrece or Lucretia) Shepherd (...

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Lehmann [married name Bedford], Elizabeth Nina Mary Frederica [Liza] (1862–1918), composer and singer, was born on 11 July 1862 at 139 Westbourne Terrace, London, the daughter of the painter (Wilhelm Augustus) Rudolf Lehmann (1819–1905) and his wife, the composer Amelia Lehmann (‘A. L.’), ...

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Lennon, John Ono (1940–1980), musician, composer, and political activist, was born John Winston Lennon at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, Liverpool, on 9 October 1940, the only child of Julia Stanley (1914–1958), a cinema usherette, and Alfred (Freddy) Lennon (1912–1976), a merchant seaman. Three half-sisters were born to his mother subsequently, including ...

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Mercury, Freddie [formerly Faroukh Bulsara] (1946–1991), singer and song-writer, was born at the Government Hospital in Zanzibar on 5 September 1946, the eldest son of Bomi Bulsara, civil servant, and his wife, Jer. His parents were both from Bombay and were Zoroastrians. At five he was enrolled at the local missionary school, and his sister, ...

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Palmer, Robert Allen (1949–2003), singer and songwriter, was born on 19 January 1949 at the maternity hospital in Batley, Yorkshire, the son of Charles Leslie Palmer, a naval engineer, and his wife, Annie, née Lockwood. He was brought up from 1950 in Malta...