Peter Case

Singer/songwriter Peter Case, who started the power-pop rockers the Plimsouls in 1978 and led that band through its influential career, is planning to release a new album of folk-rock later this year.

Case was born April 5, 1954, in Buffalo, N.Y. Although his parents were teachers, Case quit school in 10th grade. He eventually got his GED and attended the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He was influenced by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, whom he followed around after winding up in San Francisco on a whim. Musically, Case was excited about punk and formed the Nerves in 1976 with Jack Lee and future Beat member Paul Collins. The Nerves, in which Case played bass, had a modest hit with "Hangin' on the Telephone," later made famous on Blondie's Parallel Lines.

Moving to L.A., Case founded the Plimsouls, who issued their major-label eponymous debut LP in 1981. The LP flopped, and Elektra dropped the Plimsouls, who soon released the 12-inch independent single "A Million Miles Away," from the Nicolas Cage film "Valley Girl." The track was a college radio hit, and the Plimsouls were signed to Geffen Records, on which they released 1983's Everywhere at Once. After the LP bombed, the band split.

Case formed the Incredibly Strung Out Band with Victoria Williams, to whom he was married for four years, beginning in 1985. Case's 1986 eponymous solo album was critically acclaimed and yielded the college favorite "Steel Strings."

He formed a band in 1993 with fellow ex-Plimsoul Eddie Munoz but was soon solo again on the next year's Peter Case Sings Like Hell, an LP of folk-blues. In 1996, without drummer Lou Ramirez, the Plimsouls reunited for some shows with Blondie's Clem Burke.

Though a reunion album with the Plimsouls was released in 1998, Case is now touring as a solo act. That year, he also issued the solo Full Service No Waiting, which showed off his penchant for country-blues and folk, in such songs as "Spell of Wheels."

Other birthdays Wednesday: David LaFlamme (It's a Beautiful Day), 59; Dave Holland (Judas Priest), 56; Dave Swarbrick (Fairport Convention), 53; Agnetha Fältskog (ABBA), 50; Everett Morton (English Beat), 49; Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), 35; and Paula Cole, 32.