First Born: Musicians with Birthdays on New Year’s Day

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

January 1 marks a new year, a fresh start, a hopeful set of goals, and endless possibilities. It also means a new batch of musicians could be entering into the world as we type.

Here’s a big happy birthday and happy New Year to a bunch of first-born musicians, welcomed into the world on the first day of a new year.

1. Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest

Born on the first day of a new decade, Richie Faulkner welcomed 1980 with a cry. Little did he know then, he would be shredding alongside the legendary Judas Priest as the replacement for guitarist K. K. Downing.

2. Joseph “Grandmaster Flash” Saddler of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Before he was Grandmaster Flash, he was born Joseph Saddler on this day in 1958. His interest in DJing was sparked early on as his father was an avid record collector. It wasn’t long before he would be pioneering a style and technique all his won.

3. Andy Gill of Gang of Four

As everyone was welcoming in 1956, 1956 welcomed into the world, Andy Gill. The Gang of Four rocker would pioneer a distinct guitar sound that made popular ’80s rock hits like “At Home He’s a Tourist,” “Damaged Goods,” “Anthrax,” and “I Love a Man in a Uniform.”

He passed away in 2020, exactly a month after his 64th birthday.

4. Milton “Bags” Jackson

Jazz vibraphonist Milton “Bags” Jackson was born on the first day of 1923. Jackson’s music would be defined by his swinging solos and fondness for the twelve-bar blues. He passed away in 1999 but would have been celebrating his 100th birthday today.

5. Milo Aukerman of the Descendents

Before he was an on-and-off lead singer for the punk rock band, the Descendants, Milo Aukerman was a New Year’s Day baby of 1963. In his youth, he bounced between his love of molecular biology and music, choosing the latter to become a pioneering voice in pop-punk.

6. Morgan Fisher of Mott The Hoople

Morgan Fisher was born on this day in 1950, having no idea he would become the vibrant keys behind the famed British glam rock band Mott the Hoople.

7. Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish

The first day of 1942 welcomed Joe McDonald, the soon-to-be frontman and namesake of the ’60s psych-rock band, Country Joe and the Fish. A cult favorite now, they were permanent fixtures in the rock scene, then performing at Woodstock and Monterey Pop.

8. Brody Dalle of The Distillers

On this day in 1979, the future founder and frontwoman of the punk rock band, The Distillers, Brody Dalle entered the world.

Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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