1. August 1: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Ron Brown
1619:The first black Americans landed at Jamestown, Virginia.
1834:Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire – Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into effect.
1867:Blacks voted for the first time in a US state election in the South (Tennessee).
1887:S.C. congressman Joseph Rainey passed away. He was 55 years old.
1895:Benjamin E. Mays, SC, black educator (Morehouse, Howard University) was born.
1936:Benjamin E. Mays named president of Morehouse College.
1941:U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown was born. He died in a plane crash in 1996. He was 54.
1942:R&B and Soul Singer Jean Wells was born.
1953:Happy Birthday to Robert Cray who turns 61 today.
1960:Happy Birthday to rapper Professor Griff who turns 54 today.
1960:Happy Birthday to rapper, author & producer Chuck D who turns 54 today.
1963:Happy Birthday to musician, rapper, chef, actor, and record producer Coolio who turns 51 today.
1968:Happy Birthday to NBA player Stacey ‘Plastic Man’ Augmon who turns 46 today.
1968:Happy Birthday to model, actress, author Roshumba Williams who turns 46 today.
1973:Happy Birthday to actress Tempestt Bledsoe who turns 41 today.
1974:Happy Birthday to rapper Rampage who turns 40 today.
1977:Happy Birthday to Ghanaian film and television performer Van Vicker who turns 37 today.
1977:Happy Birthday to actor Chris Williams who turns 37 today.
1978:Happy Birthday to Edgerrin James who turns 36 today.
1983:Happy Birthday to actor, producer, songwriter and singer Leon Thomas III who turns 21 today.
1986:Happy Birthday to actor Elijah Kelley who turns 28 today.
1996:Happy Birthday to Cymphonique Miller who turns 18 today.
1998:Happy Birthday to actor Khamani Griffin who turns 16 today.
2001:Korey Stringer died from complications brought on by heat stroke during the Vikings’ training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. He was 27 years old.
2012:DeAndre McCullough, a Baltimore drug dealer since age 15 whose experiences inspired writer David Simon and Edward Burns to feature him in the book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood , which later became an Emmy-winning miniseries on HBO. He was found dead this day, aged 35.
2013:Georgia State representative Quincy Murphy died of cancer. He was 60 years old.
2. August 2: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Philippa Schulyer
1924:Novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic James Baldwin was born. He passed away in 1987, aged 63.
1931:Philippa Schulyler was born. She was a child prodigy and pianist who became famous in the ‘30s and ‘40s. She became disillusioned with racial and gender prejudice and abandoned music to follow her father into journalism. She died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1967, aged 36.
1941:Doris Coley Kenner was born. She was a member (and sometimes lead singer) of The Shirelles. She passed away in 2000.
1941:Singer, songwriter and record producer Homer Banks was born. He passed in 2003, aged 61.
1945:Happy Birthday to Jewell Jackson McCabe who turns 69 today. She is a feminist, executive and a social & political activist.
1949:“Fat” Larry James was born. He was an R&B, Funk musician and band leader. He died of a heart attack in 1987, aged 38.
1962: American Bandstand welcomed newcomer Aretha Franklin, who was making her national debut singing “Try A Little Tenderness” and “Don’t Cry Baby.” She was still four years away from the soul style she would become famous for.
1963: Freddie Scott appeared on American Bandstand singing what would become his biggest hit, “Hey Girl.”
1964: Ray Charles performed at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Only a few years earlier, the venue had been the launching pad for the career of the Beatles.
1968: Junior Walker & the All-Stars started a European tour in Britain that would take them through Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France. Their kick-off gig was at the California Ballroom in Dunstable. Junior began as a construction worker and was influenced by sax man supreme Earl Bostic.
1969: The Whispers made their R&B chart debut with “The Time Will Come,” reaching #17. They would go on to have forty-nine hits through 1997, including “Lady” and “Rock Steady.” The group continues to record and perform more than forty years after forming in Los Angeles.
1970:Happy Birthday to Zelma Davis singer and member of C+C Music Factory. She turns 44 today.
1972:R&B singer Chris Bender was born. He was shot and killed while sitting in his car outside of his mom’s house in 1991. He was 19 years old.
1974:Happy Birthday to actress Kia Goodwin who turns 41 today.
1980:“One in a Million You” by Larry Graham was the #1 R&B song this day.
1983:Motown session player (bass guitar) James Jamerson passed away this day, aged 47 of complications due to alcoholism. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
1990:Happy Birthday to WNBA star Skylar Diggins who turns 24 today.
1991: Rick James and his girlfriend, Tanya, were arrested at his Hollywood Hills home on charges ranging from false imprisonment to assault with a deadly weapon. The alleged victim was a woman who was staying at James’ house in July. James was granted bail of $1 million and released.
1997: Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) charted R&B with “Mo’ Money, Mo Problems,” reaching #2, his fifteenth hit. The Brooklyn-born rapper, who was shot to death outside of a car museum in Los Angeles five months earlier, has had more chart singles after his death (eighteen through 2004) than before.
2001: Ron Townson, singer and co-founder of the Grammy-winning pop group the Fifth Dimension died at his home in Las Vegas. He was 68.
2003:Colorado’s oldest black cowboy (and the creator of Black Rodeo) Alonzo Pettie passed away this day, aged 93.
2010:Former Detroit Lions cornerback James Hunter died of a heart attack. He was 56 years old.
2011:Delois Barrett Campbell passed away, aged 85. She was the eldest of the three gospel-singing Barrett Sisters, who electrified audiences worldwide with their powerful harmonies.
2012:R&B singer & songwriter Jimmy Jones passed away, aged 82.
2013:Lawyer & civil rights activist Julius Chambers passed away. He was 76.
2013:Steve Jones passed away, aged 57. He was a longtime USA Today music critic whose career spanned nearly 28 years at the paper. Jones introduced readers to a variety of artists and trends, shedding light on their cultural and artistic significance.
3. August 3: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Syreeta Wright
1920:Charlie Shavers was born. He was a jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger. He passed in 1971, aged 50 of cancer.
1936: Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.
1940:Composer and jazz instrumentalist Roscoe Mitchell was born. He turns 74 today.
1941:Happy Birthday to singer & member of The Shirelles Beverly Lee who turns 73 today.
1946:Singer and Songwriter Syreeta Wright was born. She died from complications from treatment for breast cancer in 2004. She was 57 years old.
1949:Happy Birthday to B.B. Dickerson who turns 65 today. He was a member of the band War. He currently plays in the Low Rider Band with four of the five surviving members of War.
1950:Happy Birthday to actress Jo Marie Payton who turns 64 today.
1951:Happy Birthday to the Earth, Wind & Fire lead guitarist Johnny Graham who turns 63 today.
1959:“What’d I Say” by Ray Charles was the #1 R&B song this day.
1959:The Shirelles charted with “Dedicated to the One I Love” reaching #83.
1959:Happy Birthday to Director, screenwriter, producer Antwone Fisher who turns 55 today.
1963:Happy Birthday to actor Isaiah Washington who turns 51 today.
1964:Lucky Dube was born. He was South Africa’s biggest-selling reggae artist. He was murdered during a carjacking in Johannesburg. He was 43 years old.
1969:Little Richard sang a duet with Janis Joplin at the Atlantic City Pop Festival.
1971:Happy Birthday to DJ Spinderella who turns 43 today.
1973:Happy Birthday to actor Michael Ealy who turns 41 today.
1974:Barry White charted with ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” reaching 1 Pop & R&B in Britian.
1974:B.T. Express entered the R&B hit list with “Do It (Til You’re Satisfied)” and going to #1.
1979:Jazz vocalist and lyricist Eddie Jefferson was born. He passed away in 1979, aged 60.
2006:Arthur Lee passed away, aged 61. He was the frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of the Los Angeles rock band Love.
2010:Singer Bobby Hebb passed away. He was 72 years old. His version of the 1966 pop music classic “Sunny” reached No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart.
2011:Former NFL great turned actor Bubba Smith passed away. He was 66 years old.
2012:Frank Godden passed away, aged 101. He was an assistant to a real estate developer in the ‘20s, and played a significant role in the development of Val Verde also known as “the black Palm Springs” in the Santa Clarita Valley.
4. August 4: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: President Barack Obama
1901:The Father of Jazz Louis Armstrong was born. He passed away in 1971, aged 69.
1931:Dr. Daniel Hale Williams passed away this day, aged 73. He was a general surgeon, and performed one of the first successful pericardium surgeries. He also founded Provident Hospital, the first non-segregated hospital in the United States.
1937:The legendary Golden Gate Quartet recorded an amazing fourteen songs in two hours at the Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC.
1941:Happy Birthday to comedian & actor Paul Mooney who turns 73 today.
1951: The Swallows, an excellent doo-wop group from Baltimore, charted with “Will You Be Mine,” reaching #9 R&B. The real gem, however, was the flip side, the incomparable ballad “Dearest,’ which is a $1,500 collectible.
1956:The Ravens’ powerful “Kneel & Pray” and the single “Tonight” came out from the original Supremes—a male group recording on Old Town.
1958:Gene Mumford, lead singer of the Ink Spots, the Larks and the Dominoes, signed as a solo act with Columbia.
1958:Bobby Day charted with “Rockin’ Robin,” an eventual #1 R&B and #2 pop hit that is considered a rock ‘n’ roll classic today.
1961:Happy Birthday to President Obama who turns 53 years old today.
1962: Nelson Mandela was captured by the South African police.
1964: Civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James E Chaney and Michael Schwerner bodies were discovered in an earthen Mississippi dam.
1968:The Chambers Brothers performed at the Newport Pop Festival in Costa Mesa, CA, with Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, and Steppenwolf, among others. Three years earlier, the band had played the Newport Folk Festival, one of the few Black acts ever to appear at both festivals.
1971:Happy Birthday to Hip Hop Artist Yo-Yo who turns 43 today.
1981:Happy Birthday to singer and actor Marques Houston who turns 33 today.
1984: Prince’s “Purple Rain,” album sailed to #1 & stayed #1 for 24 weeks.
1984:Carl Lewis won a gold medal in 100-meter dash at LA Summer Olympics.
1985: California Angel Rod Carew got his 3,000th hit.
1985: “Dreamgirls” closed at Imperial Theater NYC after 1522 performances.
1986: Michael Jackson began work on his follow-up album to Thriller with Quincy Jones at Los Angeles’ Westlake Studios. Also in attendance were his constant companions, Bubbles the chimpanzee and Crusher, his 300-pound snake.
1987: At the Kingdome, Ruppert Jones hits a foul ball that got stuck in a speaker.
1990: While performing at a concert in St. Louis, Janet Jackson collapsed from an ear infection and was hospitalized. She had only gotten through three songs.
1992:Happy Birthday to singer Tiffany Evans who turns 22 today.
1995:Darryl Strawberry joined the NY Yankees
1996: Al Green and Stevie Wonder performed at the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Pointer Sisters also performed, singing “I’m So Excited.”
1997: “Keenan Ivory Wayans Show,” premiered on Fox TV
2011:Sherman White passed away, aged 82. He was an all-American forward at Long Island University of Brooklyn whose prospects for a brilliant NBA career with the Knicks were shattered by his involvement in the 1951 point-shaving scandal that shook college basketball.
5. August 5: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Naomi Sims
1882:Anna Douglass passed away. She was an abolitionist, member of the Underground Railroad, and the first wife of American social reformer and statesman Frederick Douglass, from 1838 to her death.
1900:James Augustine Healy passed away. He was the first African-American Roman Catholic priest and the first African-American Roman Catholic bishop in the United States. He was 70 years old.
1907:Ernestine “Tiny” Davis was born. She was a jazz trumpeter, vocalist and member of the all female band International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She passed away in 1994 at age 87.
1928:William Alexander Scott, II, 26 years of age, founded the first successful Black daily newspaper in the US on this day ‘The Atlanta Daily World.’
1930:Damita Jo DeBlanc was born. She was a recording artist, entertainer, actress and comedian. She passed away on Christmas Day in 1998. She was 68.
1934:Zakes Mokae was born. He was a Tony Award winning actor of film and television. He passed away in 2009 at age 75.
1938:Happy Birthday to James Cone who turns 76 today. He is a theologian best known for his advocacy of Black Liberation Theology.
1938:Happy Birthday to actress, artist and singer Ja’Net DuBois who turns 69 today.
1946:Happy Birthday to Dr. Shirley Jackson who turns 68 today.. She is a Theoretical Physicist and appointed Chairperson of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1995.
1951:Happy Birthday to Laverne ‘Chip’ Fields who turns 63 today. . She is a singer, actress, television director, consultant, dialogue coach and Kim Field’s mom.
1957:Lester Hill aka Joe Hill Louis passed away. He was a singer, guitarist, harmonica player and one-man band. He died at the age of 35, from tetanus contracted as a result of an infected cut to his thumb.
1960:’A Woman, A Lover, A Friend’ by Jackie Wilson was the #1 R&B Song this day.
1960: When the originally scheduled vocalist did not show, producer Ike Turner took his twenty-two-year-old wife, Tina, and recorded her on “A Fool in Love,” which was released today. It rose to #27 and became the first of twenty Hot 100 hits for the volatile couple.
1960: Aretha Franklin recorded her first secular songs upon signing with Columbia Records. The songs included “Over the Rainbow,” “Today I Sing the Blues, Right Now,” and “Love is the Answer.” She was eighteen years old.
1962:Nelson Mandela was jailed in South Africa. He would not be released until 1990.
1962:Happy Birthday to retired NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing who turns 52 today.
1980:Happy Birthday to actor Peners Griffin who turns 34 today.
1969: B.B. King performed in front of more than 110,000 fans at the Atlantic City Pop festival in Atlantic City, NJ, along with Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, and Creedence Clearwater revival.
1981:Happy Birthday to Carl Crawford nickname The Perfect Storm who turns 33 today. He is a professional baseball outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers of MLB. He bats and throws left-handed and has more triples than any other active baseball player.
1981:Happy Birthday to actor Jesse Williams who turns 33 today.
1982:Happy Birthday to Lolo Jones who turns 32 today.
1984:Edwin Moses and Evelyn Ashford took home Olympic Gold Medals in Track & Field.
1984:Isadore ‘Tuts’ Washington passed away. He was a Louisiana blues pianist who exemplified the New Orleans rhythm and blues style, also made famous by musicians such as Professor Longhair. He was 77 years old.
1987: The rap trio Salt-n-Pepa’s debut album, Hot, Cool, and Vicious, charted, reaching #26. It lingered on the Top 200 for more than a year, finally going platinum in 1988.
1997: Wyclef Jean, Aaliyah, Salt-n-Pepa, Ginuwine, and Blackstreet, among others, performed at the Summer Jam concert in George, Washington. (Yes, there really is such a place.)
2000: William Rosko Mercer, the legendary disc jockey known as Rosko, died today at age seventy-three. He was the first Black deejay in Los Angeles (KBLA), and the first Black news announcer on WINS in New York.
2002:Matt Robinson passed away. He was an actor, writer and Holly Robinson-Peete’s father. He was 65 years old.
2009:Titus ‘Baatin’ Glover passed away. He was a rapper who co-founded the progressive hip-hop group Slum Village. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia years before and was found dead in Detroit. He was 35 years old.
2009:Naomi Sims passed away from cancer. She was the first model to grace the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in 1968, a breakthrough event in the “Black is Beautiful” movement. She was 61 years old.
2011:Meda Chamberlain passed away, aged 94. She was a longtime local leader of the National Council of Negro Women who spent 30 years working in tandem with major civil-rights activist Dorothy Height.
6. August 6: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Rick James
1848:Susie King-Taylor was born. She was a teacher, nurse, educator and an autobiographer. During reconstruction, she organized the women’s Relief Corps. She passed away in 1912 at age 64.
1930:Anna Marie Wooldridge known by her stage name Abbey Lincoln was born. She was a jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. She passed away in 2010 at age 80.
1942:Byard Lancaster was born. He was a jazz saxophonist and flutist. He passed in 2012 at age 70.
1950:Happy Birthday to actor Dorian Harewood who turns 64 today.
1950:Happy Birthday to actor Nathan Purdee who turns 64 today.. He is an actor who helped open doors for other actors in the daytime soap arena. He was in The Young & the Restless and One life to Live.
1953:Happy Birthday to Lynn White who turns 62 today. She is a Memphis Soul & Blues Diva.
1955:’A Fool for You’ by Ray Charles was the Number One R&B song on this day.
1956: Filming began on Alan Freed’s classic rock flick Rock, Rock, Rock, featuring LaVern Baker along with Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Flamingos, the Moonglows, and Chuck Berry.
1958:Happy Birthday to Randy DeBarge who turns 57 today. He is an R&B singer, songwriter and musician. He turns 57 today.
1960: Chubby Checker debuted “The Twist” on national TV when he performed it on American Bandstand.
1962:Jamaica became independent from the United Kingdom on this day.
1965:Happy Birthday to NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson who turns 49 today.
1965:Happy Birthday to Ravi Coltrane who turns 48 today. He is a post-bop jazz saxophonist, composer, bandleader and record producer.
1966: The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” was issued and raced to #1.
1971:Happy Birthday to actress Merrin Dungey who turns 43 today.
1972: Michael Jackson’s “Ben” charted en-route to #1 pop (#5 R&B). Written for the movie Ben.
1973: Stevie Wonder was seriously injured in a car accident on the road to Durham, NC, when his car crashed into a logging truck.
1979:Joyce L. Alexander was sworn in as the first African American woman U.S. Magistrate Judge in Boston.
1998: Ray Charles performed at radio City Music Hall in New York. He was 68 at the time.
2004 The King of Punk Funk Rick James died on this day in his sleep of a heart attack in his Los Angeles home. He was 56 years old.
2010:Phelps (Catfish) Collins passed away. He was an R&B and blues guitarist. He was a veteran of James Brown’s J. B.’s, Parliament-Funkadelic. He was 66 years old.
2011:A peaceful march in protest of the death of Mark Duggan, a 29 year old fatally shot by police, in Tottenham, London ended in a riot, sparking off a wave of rioting throughout the country over the following four nights.
7. August 7: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alice Coachman
1904:Ralph Bunche was born. He was a political scientist, academic, and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine. He was the first African American and person of color to be so honored in the history of the prize. He was involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations and in 1963, was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy. He passed away in 1971 at age 68.
1906:Ernestine Wade was born. She was a pioneering actress of radio, television & film. She had her 1st acting gig when she was only four years old. She passed away in 1983 at age 76.
1929:Rev. Julius Cheeks was born. He was a preacher and a gospel singer who enjoyed the majority of his success with The Sensational Nightingales. He passed away in 1981 at age 51.
1932:Abebe Bikila was born. He was a double Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia, most famous for winning a marathon gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics while running barefoot. A stadium in Addis Ababa is named in his honor. He died in 1973 at the age of 41 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Over 75,000 people attended his funeral.
1932:Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. was born. He was an ophthalmologist, author and administrator. He passed away in 2005 at age 72.
1945:Happy Birthday to Alan Page who turns 68 today. He is an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1946:Sculptor Isaac Hathaway became the first Black chosen to design an American coin.
1948:Alice Coachman made history when she became the first black woman to win a gold medal following a record-setting performance in the high jump.
1950:Happy Birthday Allen Keyes who turns 64 today. He is a conservative political activist, author, former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office.
1954: New York Giant Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays’ recording with the Treniers, “Say Hey,” was released. The Treniers were an American rock/swing band, led by identical twin brothers Claude and Cliff Trenier.
1954: Ruth Brown charted with “Oh What a Dream,” reaching #1 for eight weeks.
1956: The Harptones recorded two of their classics for Rama Records, “Three Wishes” and “That’s The Way It Goes.”
1961: Gary “U.S.” Bonds charted with “School Is Out,” eventually peaking at #12 R&B and #5 pop, his third Top 10 single in less than a year.
1963:Happy Birthday to actor Harold Perrineau who turns 51 today.
1965:’In the Midnight Hour’ by Wilson Pickett was the Number One song on this day.
1965: Martha & the Vandellas’ “You’ve Been In Love Too Long” was released. It was their ninth hit (#36) in just two years.
1966:Happy Birthday to David Mann who turns 48 today.
1968:Curtis Davis aka Big Mello was born. He was a rapper from Houston, Tx. He died in 2002 in an auto accident. He was 33 years old.
1974:Happy Birthday to actor Chico Benymon who turns 40 today.
1991: LL Cool J was sued for palimony in New York family court by his girlfriend. She asked for half his income; he conceded to pay $1,650 a month.
1993: Cypress Hill’s album Black Sunday reached #1 pop in its first week on the charts. The album also reached #13 in England.
1997: Twenty-seven years after reaching #1, the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” was certified platinum by the RIAA.
2012:Ranking Trevor passed away. He was a pioneer of rap reggae during the ’70s. He was killed in an auto accident at age 60.
8. August 8: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: John H. Johnson
1866:Matthew Henson was born. He was an explorer and the most famous being a 1909 expedition in which he was the 1st person to reach the North Pole. He passed away in 1955 at age 88.
1907:Benny Carter was a jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader. He passed away in 2003 at age 95.
1910:Lucky Millinder was born. He was a Rhythm & Blues Swing bandleader. He passed away in 1966 at age 56.
1911:Rosetta LeNoire was born. She was a stage, screen, and television actress, as well as a Broadway producer and casting agent. She passed away in 2002 at age 90.
1920:Jimmy Witherspoon was born. He was one of the greatest jump blues singers. He passed away in 1997 at age 77.
1934:Julian Dixon was born. He was a politician from the state of California. He passed in 2000 at age 66.
1935:Joe Tex was born. He was a singer, songwriter and musician who gained success with his brand of Southern Soul. He passed away in 1982 following a heart attack five days after his 47th birthday.
1940:Jazz Hall of Famer Johnny Dodds passed away. New Orleans based jazz clarinetist and alto saxophonist. He died of a heart attack at age 48.
1948:Happy Birthday to actress Veronica Redd who turns 67 today.
1949:Happy Birthday Airrion Love who turns 65 today. He was a member of the group Stylistics and was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
1952:Happy Birthday to Robin Quivers who turns 62 today. She is a radio personality, author & actress and long-time sidekick/co-host to Howard Stern.
1959:Dr. William A. Hinton passed away at age 76. He was the first black professor in the history of Harvard University. A pioneer in the field of public health, Hinton developed a test for syphilis which, because of its accuracy, was used by the United States Public Health Service.
1960:Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twisted’ charted on the R&B chart reaching number 2.
1962:Happy Birthday to rapper & Grammy winner Kool Moe Dee turns 52 today.
1968: Little Richard performed in New York’s Central Park for the Schaefer Music Festival.
1968:Happy Birthday to actor Jimmy Jean Louis who turns 46 years old.
1970:’Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours’ by Stevie Wonder was the #1 song this day.
1975:Cannonball” Adderley passed away. He was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s
1977:Happy Birthday to Marsha Ambrosius who turns 37 today.
1978:Happy Birthday to actress & singer Countess Vaughn who turns 36 today.
1979:Happy Birthday to NBA player Rashard Lewis who turns 35 today.
1981:Happy Birthday to actress Meagan Good who turns 33 today.
1987: Michael Jackson’s duet with Siedah Garrett, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” charted, reaching #1 pop and R&B and #1 in Britain.
1998: Prince performed at the Plaza de Toros in Malaga, Spain, as part of his newest European tour.
2005:Publishing legend John H. Johnson passed away of congestive heart failure. He was the first African American to appear on the Forbes 400 list. He was 87 years old.
2006:Happy Birthday to web video star Isaiah Fredericks who turns 8 years old today.
2008:Eleo Pomare passed away at age 70. He was a dancer, choreographer and activist whose wit tempered his angry social-protest pieces about the human condition and the plight of blacks. He first stunned audiences in the ’60s with works of originality and forcefulness.
9. August 9: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Whitney Houston
1898:Robert N.C. Nix, Sr. was born. He was the first African American to represent Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives. The Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is named in his honor. He passed away in 1987.
1920:Allen Farina Hoskins was born. He was an actor and played the character of Farina in the Our Gang short films from 1922 to 1931. He passed away in 1980.
1936:Summer Olympic Games: Games of the XI Olympiad – Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the games becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympiad.
1939:Bill Henderson was born. He was a singer and an original member and founder of The Spinners. He passed away in 2007.
1945:Ken Norton was born. He is a former heavyweight boxer and former WBC Heavyweight Champion. He passed away in 2013, aged 70.
1947:Happy Birthday to singer Barbara Mason who turns 67 today.
1947: “True Blues” by Roy Milton & His Solid Senders charted, reaching #4 R&B.
1953: The Drifters recorded their first hit, “Money Honey” (#1 R&B).
1959:Happy Birthday to Kurt Walker aka Kurtis Blow who turns 55 today.
1961:The Honorable James Parsons became the first Black Federal District Judge appointed with life tenure this day.
1963:Multi-talented superstar Whitney Houston was born on this day. She passed away in February of 2012, aged 48.
1967:Happy Brithday to Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders who turns 47 today.
1969:’Mother Popcorn, Part I’ by James Brown was the #1 Song this day.
1971:Happy Birthday to Dedrick D’Mon Rolison aka Mack 10 who turns 43 today.
1974:Happy Birthday to NBA Coach Derek Fisher who turns 40 today.
1982:Happy Birthday to Olympic Medalist (Track & Field) Tyson Gay who turns 32 today.
1986: Janet Jackson hit the charts with “When I Think of You,” the first of ten eventual pop #1s through 2001 for the youngest member of the Jackson family.
1989:Happy Birthday to MLB player Jason Heyward who turns 25 today.
1990: Aretha Franklin performed at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.
1990: LL Cool J began a twenty-one show tour in Bloomington, MN.
1991: The Shirelles performed at the Apollo R&B Reunion to help raise funds for the financially strapped New York Theater.
1992:Happy Birthday to rapper Jeffery Williams aka Young Thug who turns 22 today.
2003:Gregory Hines passed away. He was an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer. He was 57 years old.
2008:Bernie Mac passed away. He was a comedian, actor and voice artist. He was 50 years old.
2012:Carlo Davis passed away at age 77. He was a record producer and music impresario who helped to shape the sound of Chicago soul
2012:Al Freeman, Jr. passed away. He was an award winning actor of film, television and daytime soap ‘One Life to Live’. He was 78 years old.
10. August 10: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Isaac Hayes
1872:Bill Johnson was born. He was a jazz musician, considered the father of the ‘Slap’ style string bass playing and was founder and manager of the first jazz band to leave New Orleans and tour widely in the 1910s, The Original Creole Orchestra. He passed away in 1972 at the age of 100.
1927:Vernon Washington was born. He was an actor of film and television. He passed away in 1988 at age 60.
1943:Happy Birthday to Ronnie Bennett who turns 71 today. She is a rock & roll / popular music singer and was the lead singer of the girl group ‘The Ronettes’.
1946:’Stone Cold Dead in the Market’ by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan & His Tympany was the Number One Song on this day.
1948:Lucille Bogan passed away. She was a blues singer and one of the first to be recorded. She was 51 years old.
1950:Happy Birthday to Grammy winner Patti Austin who turns 64 today.
1956: Almost two years after their original hit, the Penguin’s re-recorded version of “Earth Angel” was released when the group signed with Mercury Records.
1959: The Platters’ four male members were arrested in a Cincinnati, OH, hotel room for soliciting prostitutes. The fact that three of the women were white probably had more to do with the incident becoming a scandal than anything else. Though the group was let off with a warning, radio stations began deleting Platters from their play lists.
1959: Lloyd Price charted with “I’m Gonna Get Married,” reaching #1 R&B and #3 pop.
1963: Stevie Wonders’ “Fingertips, Part 2″ reached #1 pop for three weeks and #1 R&B for six weeks. It was the first live recording to top either chart.
1964:Happy Birthday to singer Aaron Hall who turns 50 today.
1967:Happy Birthday to retired pro boxer Riddick Bowe who turns 47 today.
1967:Lorraine Pearson was born. She is an author, singer and founding member of ‘Five Star’ a pop group.
1967: The Temptations performed at the Copacabana in New York, starting a two-week engagement.
1968: The Chambers Brothers (four brothers and drummer Brian Keenan) debuted on the pop charts with “Time Has Come Today.” The mixture of psychedelic soul and their fusion of folk, gospel, pop, and blues made for an exciting style.
1968:Happy Birthday to Michael Bivins who turns 46 today. He is the founder and member of the R&B group New Edition and the hip hop group Bell Biv DeVoe.
1971:Happy Birthday to Kevin Randleman who turns 43 today. He is a retired mixed martial arts fighter and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
1989:Colin L. Powell, four star general was nominated by President George Bush as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1991: The Fifth Dimension received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1996:Happy Birthday to dancer, actor & singer Jacob Latimore who turns 18 today.
2006:Barbara George passed away. She was an R&B singer and songwriter. She was 64 years old.
2007: Irene Morgan Kirkaldy passed away at age 90. She was a black woman whose refusal to give up her bus seat to white passengers triggered a landmark US Supreme Court decision more than 10 years before Rosa Parks gained recognition for doing the same.
2008:Isaac Hayes passed away. He was an Oscar winner and a Grammy Award winning songwriter, singer, actor and voice actor. He was 65 years old.
11. August 11: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alex Haley
1887:Crying Sam Collins was born. He was a blues singer and guitarist. He passed away in 1949 at age 62.
1921:Writer Alex Haley was born. He is best known as the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the co-author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He passed in 1992 at age 70.
1943:Kenneth Gamble was born. He is 1/2 the songwriting and record production team Gamble & Huff. The team was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
1956:’Rip It Up’ by Little Richard was the #1 R&B Song on this day.
1956:’Let the Good Times Roll’ by Shirley & Lee charted.
1956: Billy Ward & the Dominoes charted pop for the first time (after five years and eleven R&B chart singles) with “St. Theresa of the Roses,” reaching #13.
1958: The Spaniels’ classic version of “Stormy Weather” was issued.
1962: Formerly known as the Primettes, the newly named Supremes hit the Hot 100 with, “Your Heart Belongs to Me” (#95), their first of forty-seven pop hits through 1976.
1962: Booker T. & the M.G.’s charted with the tight, percussive instrumental “Green Onions.” It went on to #3 pop and #1 R&B. M.G. stood for Memphis Group, as they were all session musicians at Stax Records in Memphis.
1964:Happy Birthday to actor Miguel A. Núñez, Jr. who turns 50 today.
1965:Race riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles, CA. began. The six-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city’s history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
1965:Happy Birthday to actress Viola Davis who turns 49 today.
1965:Happy Birthday to Duane Martin who turns 49 today.
1965:Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court on this day.
1966:Joshua Howell aka Peg Leg Howell passed away. He was a blues singer and guitarist. He was 78 years old.
1969: Diana Ross invited 350 guests to the Daisy Club in Beverly Hills to unveil her new discovery, the Jackson 5.
1970:Happy Birthday to DJ, rapper and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad who turns 44 today.
1972:Vietnam War: The last U.S. ground combat unit left South Vietnam.
1974:Happy Birthday to comedian, actor & dancer Affion Crockett who turns 40 today.
1978:Chris Kelly was born. He was 1/2 the duo Kris Kross with Chris Smith. He passed away in 2013. He was 34.
1983:Happy Birthday to actress Antonique Smith who turns 31 today.
1984:Percy Mayfield passed away. He was a songwriter famous for the songs “Hit the Road Jack” and “Please Send Me Someone to Love”, as well as a successful rhythm and blues artist known for his smooth vocal style. He was 63 years old.
1985:Happy Birthday to actor, singer & rapper J. Boog who turns 29 today.
1999:Tommy Ridgley passed away. He was an R&B singer, musician and bandleader in New Orleans. He was 73 years old.
2005:Ted ‘Double Duty’ Radcliff passed away. He was a professional baseball player in the Negro leagues. He is one of only a handful of major league (including the Negro leagues) players who lived past their 100th birthdays. He played as pitcher, catcher and became a manager. He was 103 years old.
2007:Phyllis Wright Davis died after being fatally stabbed by an unknown assailant in her home in Georgia. She was a hard-working volunteer and a youth adviser for her local NAACP chapter and won national awards for her work there. She was 49 years old.
2012:Michael Dokes passed away. He was a former box and held the WBA version of the world title in the early ’80s. He was 54 years old.
12. August 12: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Ophelia DeVore
1890:Lillian Evanti was born. She was a soprano, composer and was the first African American to perform with a major European opera company. She passed away in 1967.
1907:Gladys Bentley was born. She was a blues singer during the Harlem Renaissance. She passed away in 1960.
1920:Percy Mayfield was born. He was a songwriter famous for the songs “Hit the Road Jack” and “Please Send Me Someone to Love”, as well as a successful rhythm and blues artist known for his smooth vocal style. He passed away in 1984.
1922:Businesswoman and former model Ophelia DeVore was born. She was the first African-American model in the United States. In 1946, she helped establish the Grace Del Marco Agency, one of the first modeling agencies in America. She passed away earlier this year.
1922:The home of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C. was declared a National Shrine.
1926:Joe Jones was born. He was an R&B singer, songwriter and arranger from New Orleans. He passed away in 2005.
1950:Happy Birthday to August Darnell who turns 63 today. He is the founder and member of Kid Creole & the Coconuts.
1957: Billy Ward & the Dominoes’ “One Moment with You” and the Five Keys’ “Face Of An Angel” were released.
1958:Photographer Art Kane assembled 57 legendary jazz musicians, for Esquire magazine in 1958 in Harlem. Eventually this photograph would become the basis for a documentary, A Great Day in Harlem.
1962:Happy Birthday to psychic reader Miss Cleo who turns 52 today.
1963:Happy Birthday to Anthony Ray aka Sir Mix-a-Lot who turns 51 today.
1964:South Africa was banned from the Olympics due to the country’s racist policies.
1966: Junior Walker & the All-Stars performed at the Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, SC.
1967: Aretha Franklin headlined the first New York Jazz Festival at Downing Stadium.
1971:Happy Birthday to actress Yvette Nicole Brown who turns 43 today.
1972:Happy Birthday to Teren Delvon Jones aka Del the Funky Homosapien or Del tha Funkeé Homosapien or Sir Dzl who turns 42 today.
1976: Happy Birthday to (retired NBA) Antoine Walker who turns 38 today.
1977:Happy Birthday to Plaxico Burress turns 37 today.
1978:’Three Times a Lady’ by the Commodores was the #1 R&B song this day.
1978: Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” reached #3 pop and #5 R&B. It would go on to earn an Academy Award for Best Song (from the film Thank God It’s Friday) in 1979.
1984: Lionel Richie performed “All Night Long” as the last song of the closing ceremonies of the XXIII Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The spectacle included 200 dancers and was seen by more than 2.5 billion people around the world.
1986: Prince performed in England for the first time in five years at London’s Wembley Arena. Unlike his last, poorly-attended performance in Britain, all three of his dates were sold out.
1988:Jean-Michel Basquiat passed away. He was an obscure graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and evolved into an acclaimed Neo-expressionist and Primitivism painter by the 1980s. He died of a heroin overdose. He was 27 years old.
1993:Happy Birthday to actress Imani Hakim who turns 21 today.
1994: Dionne Warwick was a guest on the Geraldo (Rivera) TV show, but drew criticism when she supported and sympathized with O.J. Simpson regarding the murder of his wife.
1997:Luther Allison passed away. He was a blues guitarist and worked with many of the legends. He was 57 years old.
2006:Drummer Bruce Carter passed away. He helped make the Portland high school group ‘Pleasure’ into a nationally successful band. He was 49 years old.
13. Augsut 13: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Kathleen Battle
1831: Nat Turner saw a solar eclipse, which he believed was a sign from God. Eight days later he and 70 other slaves kill approximately 55 whites in Southampton County, Virginia.
1892:The first issue of the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper was circulated.
1911:James B. Parsons was born. He was the first African American to serve as a United States Federal Judge. He passed away in 1993.
1919:Charles E. Anderson was born. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Meteorology. He passed away in 1994.
1921:Jimmy McCracklin was born. He was a blues pianist, singer and songwriter. He passed away in 2012 at age 91.
1925:Benny Bailey was born. He was a bebop and hard-bop jazz trumpeter. He passed away in 2005 at age 79.
1932:Pistol Allen was born. He was a musician and most notable as a Motown session drummer with The Funk Brothers. He passed away in 2002. He was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of the Funk Brothers.
1933:Joycelyn Elders was born. She was a pediatrician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States.
1935:James T. ‘Mudcat’ Grant was born. He is a former MLB pitcher who played for serveral teams. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to studying and promoting the history of blacks in baseball
1938: Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson performed at the Three Forks Roadhouse outside of Greenwood, MS. Known as a womanizer, Johnson took a swig from a bottle of moonshine whiskey which was poisoned (presumably by the husband of one of Johnson’s conquests) and fell deathly ill.
1938:Happy Birthday to Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez who turns 76 today.
1948:Happy Birthday to Kathleen Battle who turns 66 today. She is one of the most famous African American sopranos of all time.
1957: The 5 Royales recorded from the original version of “Dedicated to the One I Love,” which was covered two years later by the Shirelles.
1961:Happy Birthday to actress Dawnn Lewis who turns 53 today.
1971:Grammy Award winning King Curtis passed away. He was a saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk and soul jazz. He was fatally stabbed outside his building. He was 37 years old.
1973: Johnny Moore rejoined the Drifters when the American group made the unprecedented move of signing directly with a British label while having no U.S. Company. Moore had been with the original Drifters eighteen years earlier, in 1955.
1974:Harold Floyd ‘Tina’ Brooks passed away. He was a hard bop tenor saxophonist and composer. He died of liver failure at age 42.
1977:’Float On’ by the Floaters was the #1 R&B song on this day.
1982:Happy Birthday to Shani Davis who turns 32 today. He became the first Black athlete (from any nation) to win a gold medal in an individual sport at the Olympic Winter Games, winning the speed skating 1000 meter event.
1982:Happy Birthday to Kalenna Harper who turns 32 today. She is a singer, songwriter and a member of the hip hop group Diddy-Dirty Money.
1982:Joe Tex passed away. He was a musician who gained success in the 1960s and 1970s with his brand of Southern soul, which mixed the styles of country, gospel and rhythm and blues. He died of a heart attack five days after his 47th birthday.
1986:Happy Birthday to mixed martial artist Demetrious Johnson who turns 28 today.
1987:Happy Birthday to NFL player Brandon Gibson who turns 27 today.
1990: Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed during an outdoor concert on Wingate High School’s football field in Brooklyn, NY, when a lighting stand fell on him during a storm.
1990:Happy Birthday to Demarcus Cousins who turns 24 today.
1994: Twenty-five years after the one and only Woodstock, Richie Havens returned to Bethel, NY, to perform at Woodstock ’94.
1994: The Isley Brothers and Bobby Womack performed at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
2003:Ed Townsend passed away. He was an attorney, songwriter and producer. He was 74 years old.
2005:Francine Hurd Barker passed away. She was 1/2 the duo Peaches & Herb and earned that nickname during childhood because of her genteel manner. She was 58 years old.
14. August 14: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Ernest Just
1883:Ernest Everett Just was born. He was a pioneering biologist, academic and science writer. He was the first recipient of the Spingarn Medal. He passed away in 1941 at age 57.
1922:Rebecca J. Cole passed away. She was the second African American woman to become a doctor in the United States. She was 76 years old.
1929:Dick Tiger was born. He was a talented boxer, commercial venturer and considered as one of the greatest fighters to come out of Africa. He died of liver cancer when he was 42.
1946:Happy Birthday to actor Antonio Fargas who turns 68 today.
1946:Happy Birthday to musician, songwriter & producer Larry Graham, Jr. who turns 68 today. He was a member of Sly & the Family Stone and founder & frontman of Graham Central Station.
1951:Happy Birthday to actor Carl Lumbly who turns 63 today.
1956:Happy Birthday to actress Jackee Harry who turns 58 today.
1959:Happy Birthday to Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson turns 55 today.
1960:Happy Birthday to singer Sharon Bryant who turns 54 today.
1961: The Marvelettes’ first single, “Please Mr. Postman,” was released. It delivered to the tune of #1, their only #1 of a twenty-three hit career.
1961: Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” spent its second week at its peak of #8 pop, adding fuel to the worldwide “Twist” fire.
1961: The Bar-Keys performed their instrumental hit “Last Night” on American Bandstand.
1965: The most soulful White duo on the music scene, the Righteous Brothers charted with “Unchained Melody,” climbing almost as high on the R&B charts (#6) as they did on the pop charts (#4).
1966:Happy Birthday to Oscar winner Halle Berry who turns 48 today.
1968:Happy Birthday to actor Adrian Lester who turns 46 today.
1969:Albert Moss aka DJ Uncle Al was born. He was known for his trend setting and innovative abilities in music producing and broadcasting as well as his philosophy of “peace in the hood” and non-violence in the community. He was fatally shot in 2001. He was 32 years old.
1971:’Mercy, Mercy Me’ by Marvin Gaye was the #1 R&B song this day.
1980:Happy Birthday to actor Lamorne Morris who turns 34 today.
1985: Michael Jackson drove a wedge into his relationship with Paul McCartney when he outbid the ex-Beatle for the ATV Music Publishing catalog, which contained more than 250 Lennon/McCartney songs. The price was $47.5 million. Michael had no trouble paying for the catalog, as he had received a royalty check three months earlier from Epic Records for more than $58 million.
1990:Lafayette Leake passed away. He was a blues and jazz pianist, organist, vocalist and composer. He was 71 years old.
1992: Tony Williams, lead singer of the famous Platters, died of emphysema at his New York home. His last live performance was with his wife, Helen, and son, Ricky, as Tony Williams & the Platters on New Year’s Eve, 1991, in Thailand. He was sixty-four.
1994:Alice Childress passed away. She was an award-winning playwright, actor and author. She was 81 years old.
2000:Anthony Ervin became the first African American male to make the U.S. Olympic Swimming team after qualifying in the men’s 50-meter freestyle.
2012:Charles Maynard passed away. He was a Bahamian politician and Nat’l chairman of the Free National Movement political party. He died of a heart attack at age 42.
15. August 15: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Richie Havens
1911:Buster Brown was born. He was a blues and R&B singer best known for his hit, “Fannie Mae”. He passed away in 1976 at age 64.
1925:Oscar Peterson was born. He was a jazz pianist & composer and called the ‘Maharaja of the Keyboard’ by Duke Ellington. He passed away in 2007 at age 82.
1925:Billy Pinkney was born. He was a singer and a member of the Drifters. He passed away in 2007 at age 81.
1934:Bobby Byrd was born. He was an R&B/Soul singer, songwriter, bandleader, talent scout, record producer and musician. He was also the founding member of the Famous Flames. He passed away in 2007 at age 73.
1935:Happy Birthday to Vernon Jordan, Jr. who turns 79 today.
1938:Happy Birthday to Maxine Waters who turns 76 today. She is a U.S. Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district.
1944:Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter & producer Frederick Knight who turns 70 today.
1950:Happy Birthday to singer & songwriter Billy Griffin who turns 64 today.
1953: The Prisonaires, five inmates from the Tennessee State Penitentiary, had their debut disc, “Just Walkin’ in the Rain,” issued on Sun Records. Lead singer Johnny Bragg had been helped with his diction during their June recording session by a young would-be vocalist who was hanging around the studio. The teen’s name was Elvis Presley.
1958:Big Bill Broonzy passed away. He was a prolific blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s when he played country blues to mostly African-American audiences. He was 65 years old.
1958:Happy Birthday to actor Rondell Sheridan who turns 56 today.
1961:Stick McGhee passed away. He was a jump blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He died of lung cancer at age 44.
1964: The Four Tops debuted on the charts with “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” which reached #11. They would go on to have forty-five hit 45s through 1988. The quartet originally signed with Motown records for a $400 advance.
1969:The Dance Theater of Harlem was founded.
1970:Happy Birthday to actor Anthony Anderson who turns 44 today.
1981:’I’m in Love’ by Evelyn Champagne King was the #1 song this day.
1981: After a man was shot and killed returning from Stevie Wonder’s concert at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA, Stevie gave his gold album for Hotter Than July to the young man’s girlfriend.
1984:Happy Birthday to actor Quinton Aaron who turns 30 today.
1985:Happy Birthday to actress Andrea Lewis who turns 29 today.
1985:Happy Birthday to rapper Nipsey Hussle who turns 29 today.
1990:Happy Birthday to rapper Cash Out who turns 24 today.
1992: Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” reached #1 pop today and stayed for a precedent-setting thirteen weeks.
1992: Mary J. Blige’s first single “You Remind Me” peaked at #29 on the pop charts while going on to #1 R&B. Mary, who sang in a Pentecostal church choir while living in Savannah, GA, started her pursuit of a musical career with a demo she did of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture” on a Yonkers, NY, shopping mall karaoke machine.
1995:Happy Birthday to rapper Chief Keep who turns 19 today.
1996:Joe Seneca passed away. He was a songwriter and actor of film, stage and television. He was 77 years old.
1998: Obviously a good day for Mary J. Blige, her fifth album, The Tour, topped off at #7 R&B. Three of Mary’s five albums (What’s the 411?; My Life; and Share My World) had reached the top spot between 1992 and 1997.
1998: Richie Havens, who performed at both Woodstock concerts and the twenty-fifth anniversary Woodstock ’94, returned yet again to a Day in the Garden, a festival to commemorate the original achievement on its thirtieth anniversary.
16. REGISTER NOW for the 2014 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion taking place August 28- September 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida! For booking information, call 407-248-9191.
17. August 16: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Robert Johnson
1888:Armand J. Piron was born. He was a jazz violinist, bandleader and composer. He passed away in 1943 at age 54.
1902:Wallace Thurman was born. He was a novelist, dramatist, columnist, essayist, editor, publisher and intellectual. He passed away in 1934 at age 32 of tuberculosis.
1915:Al Hibbler was born. He was a baritone vocalist who sang with Duke Ellington’s orchestra before going solo. He passed away in 2001 at age 85.
1922:Louis Lomax was born. He was a journalist, author and the first African American television journalist. He passed away in 1970.
1925:Edna Hicks passed away. She was a blues singer, musician and popular in black vaudeville. She died in a freak accident while assisting her husband to fill their auto up with gas. She was 29 years old.
1938:Blues icon Robert Johnson died in Greenwood, MS, after being poisoned by a vengeful husband four days earlier. His music and guitar style became an influence for future generations of stars to come. He was 27 years old.
1939:Happy Birthday to British broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald who turns 75 today.
1952:Happy Birthday to actor Reginald Vel Johnson who turns 62 today.
1958:Happy Birthday to actress Angela Bassett who turns 56 today.
1962: Little Stevie Wonder’s first single, “I Call It Pretty Music (But the Old People Call It Blues),” was released. It never charted but an original 45 today is an $80 collectible.
1963:The Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The stamp was designed by George Olden, who was the first African American to design a U.S. postage stamp.
1969: The Dells’ re-recording of their hit “Oh, What a Night” (#10 R&B) charted thirteen years after the original.
1969: Appearing at one of music history’s most legendary concerts, Richie Havens performed his song “Freedom” at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in Bethel, NY. The song became an anthem of the times and his performance was included in the movie Woodstock.
1969: The Supremes performed at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA, with the Jackson 5, who were making their performance debut as a Motown group.
1986: Anita Baker, former lead singer of Chapter 8, swept onto the bestseller’s list with “Sweet Love” that became her first pop hit.
1986: Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell became the first rap album to reach #1 on the R&B chart.
1990:’Upside Down’ by Diana Ross was the #1 song this day.
1995:Bobby DeBarge passed away. He was a singer, songwriter and musician. He contracted AIDS from intravenous drug use. He was 39.
1997: Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton, Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, and Seal, among others, performed at London’s Wembley Stadium for the Songs & Visions: The Carlsberg Concert ’97 show.
1998:Dorothy West passed away at age 91. She was a novelist and short story writer during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. She is best known for her novel The Living Is Easy, as well as many other short stories and essays, about the life of an upper-class black family.
2007:Max Roach passed away. He was a jazz percussionist, drummer and composer. He was 83 years old.
18. August 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Pearl Bailey
1887:Marcus Garvey was born. He was a political leader, activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator. He passed away in 1940 at age 52.
1937:Luther Allison was born. He was a blues guitarist. He passed away in 1997.
1959: Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” became his first million-seller when it reached #6 pop and #1 R&B. The song, written by Charles, would go on to become a rock ‘n’ roll standard and would be recorded in the ’60s by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bobby Darin.
1959:’Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis was released. It was the best selling jazz recording of all time.
1961:Happy Birthday to actor Larry B. Scott who turns 53 today.
1963:’Fingertips, Pt. 2′ by Little Stevie Wonder was the #1 Song this day.
1963: The Crystals charted with “Then He Kissed Me” (#6 pop).
1966:Happy Birthday to Maysa Leak who turns 48 today.
1969: The Woodstock Festival’s closing night included performances by Richie Havens, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix.
1970:Happy Birthday to singer & actress Tammy Townsend who turns 44 today.
1971: Five months after they performed together in San Francisco’s Fillmore West, Aretha Franklin was singing at the funeral of King Curtis, who had been murdered on a street corner four days earlier. Joining Aretha in prayer and song were Cissy Houston and Stevie Wonder.
1973: Temptations member Paul Williams, deep in tax hell and with health and family problems overwhelming him, shot himself to death. He was found in his car a few streets from the Motown offices in Detroit.
1977:Happy Birthday to soccer great Thierry Henry who turns 37 today.
1986: Run-D.M.C. performed at a concert in Long Beach, CA, and more than forty people were injured during a riot between rival gangs. It was the group’s sixth concert with audience clashes and contributed to the association of rap with violence.
1986:Happy Birthday to Bryton James who turns 28 today. He is an award winning actor and had his first role at age three on Family Matters portraying Richie Crawford.
1989:Happy Birthday to Rapper Lil B who turns 25 today.
1990: Miles Davis, George Benson, and B.B. King, among others, performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, RI.
1990:Pearl Bailey passed away. She was an award winning actress, singer, dancer and entertainer. She was 72 years old.
1993: The King of Pop was accused of child molestation as a police investigation started on this day based on charges brought by a thirteen-year-old’s father. The allegations revolved around activities at Michael Jackson’s home.
1996: Bobby Brown had another bad day behind the wheel when he crashed his wife Whitney Houston’s Porsche into a street sign in Hollywood, FL. Having only minor neck and leg injuries, he was treated at a local hospital and released.
2004:Bernard Odum passed away. He was a bass guitar player and was a member of James Brown’s band. He died of kidney failure at age 72.
19. August 18: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Rafer Johnson
1928:Sonny Til was born. He was a singer and original lead singer for the group The Orioles. He passed away in 1981.
1935: Gail Fisher was born. She was an actress who broke down barriers for other black actress. She is also the first African American woman to win a Golden Globe. She passed way in 2000 at age 65.
1935:Happy Birthday to Rafer Johnson who turns 79 today. He is a former decathlete and film actor. He was the 1960 Olympic gold medalist as well as a real life hero. He along with Rosey Grier tackled Sirhan Sirhan moments after he assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.
1943:Happy Birthday to Edwin Hawkins who turns 71 today. He is a Grammy Award winning gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer and arranger. Oh Happy Day sold over 7 million copies worldwide and earned him a Grammy.
1945: The Legendary Delta Rhythm Boys teamed up with the “First Lady of Jazz”‘Ella Fitzgerald, on “It’s Only A Paper Moon,” which entered the R&B hit parade and eventually reached #4 and #9 pop
1945:Happy Birthday to Sarah Dash who turns 69 today. She is a musician, singer, songwriter and actress.
1945:Happy Birthday to R&B singer Barbara Harris who turns 69 today. She was also a member of the 1960s girl group The Toys.
1948:Happy Birthday to actor Joseph Marcell who turns 66 today. He played the butler (Jeffrey) on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
1951: The Five Keys had their chart debut with “The Glory of Love,” which reached #1 for four weeks.
1953:Marvin Isley was born. He was the youngest of the Isley Brothers and the bass guitarist for the group. He died in 2010 at age 56 from complications of diabetes.
1962: ‘You’ll Lose a Good Thing’ by Barbara Lynn was the #1 Song this day.
1963:James Meredith became the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
1968: The Drifters and Bill Haley & the Comets performed at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom.
1969:Happy Birthday to rapper Jamel Arief aka Masta Killa who turns 45 today.
1970:Happy Birthday to Malcolm Jamal Warner who turns 44 today.
1973: The Pointer Sisters charted with “Yes You Can Can,” reaching #12 R&B and #11 pop with their debut Top 1100 disc.
1983:Happy Birthday to Daniel Swain aka Danny! Who turns 31 today. He is a rapper, record producer and songwriter.
1990: Michael Jackson, well-known for his love of children, invited 130 from the YMCA to visit his Neverland Ranch, spending the day at his video arcade, theater, and zoo.
1992: El DeBarge and Chaka Khan performed at New York’s Beacon Theater. Two months earlier Chaka had become a grandmother at age thirty-nine.
1995:Happy Birthday to actress Parker McKenna Posey who turns 19 today.
1998:Leonard ‘Chick’ Carbo passed away. He was an R&B singer and musician and member of the New Orleans’ group ‘The Spiders.’ He was 71 years old.
20. August 19: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
1791:Benjamin Banneker published his first Almanac.
1814:Mary Ellen Pleasant was born between 1814-1817. She was a 19th Century entrepreneur who used her fortune to further the abolitionist movement. She worked on the Underground Railroad across many states and then helped bring it to California during the Gold Rush Era. She was a friend and financial supporter of John Brown and well known in abolitionist circles. She passed away in 1904.
1919:Ambrose Campbell was born. He was the leader of Britain’s 1st black band. The West African Rhythm Brothers and was a revolutionary force in world music.
1924:William Marshall was born. He was a dynamic leading actor, director and opera singer. He passed away in 2003 at age 78.
1940:Happy Birthday to Johnny Nash was who turns 74 today.
1940:Henry Hampton was born. He was a documentary filmmaker and founder of Blackside, Inc. in Boston. He was committed to social justice and civil rights. He passed away in 1998 at age 58.
1944:’Til Then’ by the Mills Brothers was the Number One R&B song this day.
1946:Charles Bolden was born. He is the current Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General, and former NASA astronaut. He turns 68 today.
1954: The Platters, B.B. King, and Johnny Otis performed at the Savoy Ballroom in Hollywood.
1954:Ralph J. Bunche, diplomat and the first Black recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, was named undersecretary of the United Nations.
1957: The Chantels’ debut 45, the harmony standard, “He’s Gone,” was released.
1957: Bobby “Blue” Bland charted on his way to #1 R&B with his first chart single, “Farther Up The Road.”
1959:Blind Willie McTell passed away. He was a ragtime/Piedmont blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was 61 years old.
1969:Nathaniel Hale aka Nate Dogg was born. He was a singer, rapper and actor. He passed away in 2011 at age 41.
1969:Paula Jai Parker was born. She is an actress and comedian. She turns 45 today.
1970:Eric Martin aka MC Eric was born. He is a multi-instrumentalist singer, song-writer and music producer born in Cardiff, Wales. He turns 44 today.
1972: Curtis Mayfield’s “Freddie’s Dead” from the film Superfly charted on its way to #4 pop and #2 R&B, his biggest hit of his thirty-two R&B singles between 1970 and 1997.
1972: Michael Jackson had his third Top 10 single in a row in England with a song never released in America, a cover of the Bill Withers’ hit “Ain’t No Sunshine: (#8).
1975:Happy Birthday to actress Tracie Thoms who turns 39 today.
1976: Marvin Gaye faced two five-day jail terms for non-payment of child support and alimony and for contempt of court.
1978: George Clinton and Funkadelic (originally Parliament) charted with “One Nation Under A Groove, Part 1,” which would become Clinton and company’s third #1 R&B hit. By now the demonstrative performer was touring with an entourage in the neighborhood of forty musicians. His live stage shows included the use of an enormous flying saucer.
1989:Happy Birthday to Romeo Miller who turns 25 today.
1999:Kim Perrot passed away. She played in the WNBA for the Houston Comets. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and passed away 6 mos. later at age 33.
2001:Betty Everett passed away. She was a soul singer and pianist. Her single ‘The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)’ sold over a million records. She was 61 years old.
2006:Clinton Bristow, Jr. passed away. He was an attorney, academic official and the 16th president of Alcorn State University.
2008:LeRoi Moore passed away. He was the saxophonist and assisted in arranging many songs. He died at age 46 from complications following an auto accident.
2008:Julius J. Carry 3rd passed away. He was an actor who had a long career in films and on TV, including a scene-stealing turn as Sho’nuff, the bad guy who yearns to be the “Shogun of Harlem” in the cult action-comedy The Last Dragon. He died of cancer at age 56.
2009:Robert Decatur passed away. He was a former (original) Tuskegee Airman who later became a judge and civil rights lawyer and recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal. He was 88 years old.
2012:George Hickman passed away. He was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen and a longtime usher at University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks games. He was 88 years old.
21. August 20: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Roger Arliner Young
1830:The first Nat’l Negro Convention was held in Philadelphia, chaired by Richard Allen.
1856:Wilberforce University was founded.
1899:Roger Arliner Young was born. She was a scientist of zoology, biology, and marine biology. She was the first African American woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology. She passed away in 1964 at age 65.
1931:Happy Birthday to Boxing promoter Don King who turns 83 today.
1941:William Gray was born. He was a politician and member of the Democratic Party. He passed away in 2013 at age 71.
1942:Issac Hayes was born. He was a singer, composer, actor and the first African American to win an Academy Award for music. He passed away in 2008 at age 65.
1949:Dinah Washington entered the R&B hit list with ‘Long John Blues’ peaking at #3.
1954:The Orioles began a week-long engagement at Weekes Cafe in Atlantic City.
1954:Happy Birthday to Quinn Buckner who turns 60 today. He is an Olympic Gold medalist NBA player and former coach. He currently is an analyst and announcer.
1954:Happy Birthday to Al Roker who turns 60 today.
1955:Chuck Berry’s debut ‘Maybellene’ charted on its way to #5 Pop and #1 R&B.
1965:Happy Birthday to Lawrence Parker aka KRS-One who turns 49 today. He is a rapper and the 2008 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for all his work and effort towards the Stop the Violence Movement as well as the overall pioneering of hip hop music and culture.
1974:Kenneth Moore aka Big Moe was born. He was a rapper from Houston. He died in 2007 at age 33 of a heart attack. There was speculation that recreational codeine use in the form of Purple Drank may have contributed to his death.
1977:’Best of My Love’ by the Emotions was the #1 Song this day.
1988:”Loosey’s Rap” by Rick James and rapper Roxanne Shante topped the R&B chart and went to #1.
1988:Karyn White, a former studio singer, stormed the R&B charts with ‘The Way You Love Me’.
1992:Happy Birthday to actor Alex Newell who turns 22 today.
1996:The Emotions, Billy Preston, the Brothers Johnson and Isaac Hayes performed at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, CA especially for Hayes, it was his 54th birthday.
2008:Gene Upshaw passed away at age 63. He was the longtime head of the NFL Players’ Association.
2008:Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones passed away. She was the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio and a leader in the fight against predatory lending practices. She died after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was 58 years old.
2008: Sherman Rose passed away at age 88. He was a flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen. Rose was among the first blacks to receive pilot training as part of the US government’s Civilian Pilot Training Program, which led directly to the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black unit trained at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Ala. that helped to break racial barriers while gaining fame escorting bombers in World War II.
2012:Meles Zenawi passed away. He was the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and an ally in the U.S. war on Terror. He was 57 years old.
22. August 21: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Harold Dow
1904:One of the best-loved and most legendary bandleaders of all time, William “Count” Basie was born today. He passed away in 1984.
1920: A terrific singer who began her career out of necessity, not desire, Savannah Churchill was born this day. When her husband died in a car accident in 1941, she began performing to support her two children. Recording mostly with the vocal group the Four Tunes, she scored her biggest hit with “I Want To Be Loved,” which was #1 R&B for eight weeks, and “Daddy Daddy” (R&B #3). She also played a mean violin. She died in 1974 at age 53.
1928:Art Farmer was born. He was a jazz musician and composer. He passed in 1999, aged 71.
1932:Happy Birthday to Melvin Van Peeples who turns 82 today. He is an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist and composer.
1936:NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain was born. He passed away in 1999 at age 63.
1939:Happy Birthday to actor Clarence Williams III who turns 75 today.
1943:Harriet M. Waddy became the first black female major in the Women’s Army Corps.
1949:Happy Birthday to Loretta Devine who turns 65 today.
1954:The Harptones’ “I’ll Never Tell,” with Bunny Paul singing lead, and the Singing Wanderers’ “Say Hey Willie Mays” were released.
1954:Happy Birthday to former NFL running back Archie Griffin who turns 60 today. He is college football’s only 2-time Heisman Trophy Winner. He is 59 today.
1961:Motown releases what would be its first #1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes.
1965:The Ramsey Lewis Trio charted with their signature single, “The ‘In’ Crowd,” reaching #2 R&B and #5 pop. A year later, two-thirds of the group, Eldee Young and Red Holt, would form their own trio, the Young Holt Trio, and have the hit “Wack, Wack.”
1971: Howlin’ Wolf charted with his album The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions, reaching #79 pop and #28 R&B.
1971: Diana Ross reached #1 in England with “I’m Still Waiting.” The single wasn’t well-received in America
1976:Who’d She Coo?” by the Ohio Players was the Number One R&B Song this day.
1979:Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter Kelis who turns 35 today.
1983: Andre Crouch, Shirley Caesar, and Barry White performed in Jerusalem, Israel, at the first Annual Gospel Festival.
1986:Happy Birthday to Usain Bolt who turns 28 today.
1994:Danitra Vance passed away. She was an actress and comedian. She was the first African American woman to become an SNL repertory player in 1985. She died at age 40 of breast cancer.
1996: Rick James was freed from Fulsom Prison after serving two years and thirty-four days of a five-year sentence. While there he had written more than 200 songs, though many turned out to be rough or unfinished. Others would become the nucleus of Rick’s 1997 Urban Rhapsody album.
1996:Happy birthday to singer & actress Jamia Simone Nash who turns 19 today.
2003:Wesley Willis passed away. He was a singer-songwriter and visual artist. He is best known for his simple but unique music that featured his bizarre, humorous, and frequently honest, yet obscene lyrics. He was 40 years old.
2003:Archie Epps passed away. He was dean of students at Harvard College from 1971 to 1999. He was one of the first black administrators at Harvard. He was 76.
2009: John E. Carter passed away. He was an R&B singer, the last surviving founding member of The Flamingos and two-time inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. He was 75 years old.
2010:Harold Dow passed away suddenly at age 62. He was an Emmy-winning CBS News correspondent who helped to shape the documentary program 48 Hours and covered the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst and the Sept. 11 attacks. Dow’s nearly 40 years with the network also included reporting for CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS News Sunday Morning. Over the years he won five Emmys.
23. August 22: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Nick Ashford
1831: Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced just after midnight in Southampton County, Virginia, leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who were killed in retaliation for the uprising.
1917:John Lee Hooker was born. He was a singer, songwriter and musician. He passed away in 2001 at age 83.
1934:Diana Sands passed away. She was a dramatic actress. She died of cancer in 1973 when she was 39 years old.
1936: The “Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown was born. He passed away in 2012, aged 75.
1950:Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.
1953: “Dragnet Blues,” by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, charted R&B, reaching #8. The song was inspired by the TV show Dragnet.
1958:Vernon Reid was born. He is a guitarist, songwriter, composer, bandleader and best known as the founder and primary songwriter of the rock band Living Colour. He is 56 today.
1960: Jackie Wilson reached #1 R&B for four weeks (#15 pop) with “A Woman, A Lover, A Friend.”
1964:’Where Did Our Love Go’ by the Supremes was the #1 Song this day.
1964: Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Streets” charted, eventually reaching #2.
1966:Happy Birthday to Gary Grice aka GZA who turns 48 today.
1968:Happy Birthday to Michael Curry who turns 47 today. He is a retired NBA player and currently is the associate head coach of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
1973:Happy Birthday to Grammy winner Anthony Davis aka Beenie Man who turns 41 today.
1988: Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul, one-hour public television documentary, was aired. Appearing on the program with Aretha were Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, and Eric Clapton.
1989: John Lee Hooker performed with Albert Collins, Carlos Santana, and Robert Cray, among others, at his seventy-second birthday party in the San Francisco-area Sweetwater Club.
1989:Huey Newton passed away. He was an activist and co-founder of the Black Panther Party. He was 48 years old.
1997: Two of the most raucous rock ‘n’ rollers you’d ever want to see, Little Richard and James Brown, performed at the New York State Fair.
1997: Usher (Usher Raymond) jumped on the R&B hit list with “You Make Me Wanna,” reaching #1 and #2 pop. It was the biggest of his twenty chart entries between 1993 and 2004.
1998: The O’Jays, the Isley Brothers, and Earth, Wind & Fire performed at the Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, GA.
2011:Nick Ashford passed away. He along with his wife Valerie was an award-winning husband & wife songwriting-production team and recording artists.
24. August 23: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Brock Peters
1900:The National Negro Business League was founded.
1902:Rosalie King was born. She was an actress, singer and was an original member of the Katherine Dunham Company. King was known for the timbre of her contralto voice. She became a favorite of playwright Langston Hughes, who wrote original material for her. She passed in 1997 at age 95.
1924:Wynona Carr was born. She was a gospel, R&B and rock and roll singer-songwriter, who recorded as Sister Wynona Carr when performing gospel material. She passed in 1976 at age 51.
1954:The father of the Internet, Philip Emeagwali, was born. He is an engineer & computer scientist/geologist. He turns 60 today.
1963: Lou Rawls performed at Detroit’s Twenty Grand Club.
1967:Happy Birthday to Cedella Marley who turns 47 today. She is a singer, dancer, fashion designer, actress and entrepreneur.
1969: Ray Goodman & Brown’s cover of the Platters’ “My Prayer” (#47 pop, #31 R&B) charted, becoming the last of their fourteen Top 100 entries (including eleven as the Moments).
1969:’Share Your Love with Me’ by Aretha Franklin was the Number One R&B song this day.
1971:Happy Birthday to rapper Wayne Hardnett, Jr. aka Bone Crusher who turns 43 today.
1975: Drummer Buddy Miles had his last of five R&B hits when “Rockin’ and Rollin’ on the Streets of Hollywood” charted, reaching #33.
1978:Happy Birthday to Kobe Bryant who turns 36 today.
1986:Skyler Gordy aka Sky Blu was born. He is a singer, rapper, producer, DJ and dancer best known as one half of the musical duo LMFAO, along with his paternal uncle Redfoo. He turns 28 today.
1986: New Edition’s “Earth Angel,” from the film Karate Kid II, reached #3 R&B and #21 pop. The song had originally been a hit and subsequent standard for the Penguins in 1954-55.
1994:Eugene Bullard, the only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
2004:The Public Dedication of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center took place.
2005:Brock Peters passed away. He was an actor of film, stage and television. He was 78 years old.
2008:Andre Young Jr. passed away. He was the 20-year-old son of Grammy-winning rap impresario and multiple platinum record producer Dr. Dre.
2008:Lt. Col. Howard Lee Baugh passed away at age 88. He was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Baugh enlisted in the US Army in 1942 and joined the all-black fighter group that trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He flew 135 combat missions as part of the 332nd Fighter Group’s 99th Fighter Squadron in Sicily, Italy during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the USAF Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. In 2004, he received the French Legion of Honor.
2012:Byard Lancaster passed away. He was a jazz saxophonist and flutist. He was 70 years old.
25. August 24: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Bayard Rustin
1889:Jan Matzeliger passed away. He was the inventor of the shoe lasting machine. Prior to his invention, shoes were made by hand (around 10 a day). His machine could produce up to 700 pairs a day. He died of tuberculosis at age 37.
1905:Arthur Crudup was born. He was a Blues, delta Blues and Rock & roll guitarist and singer. He passed away in 1974 at age 68.
1919:Harold Delaney was born. He was a scientist and worked as a chemist on the Manhattan Project in World War II that led to the development of the atomic bomb which ended the war. He died in 1994.
1942:Jimmy Soul was born. He was a singer. His 1963 hit ‘If You Wanna Be Happy’ was a number 1 hit. He died of a heart attack in 1988 at age 45.
1948:Edith Mae Irby became the first Black student to attend the University of Arkansas.
1950:Edith Sampson became the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.
1956: The Five Satins, the Channels, the Clovers, the Valentines, and the Schoolboys appeared at D. Jive’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Show at the Apollo Theater.
1962: Bob B. Sox & the Blue Jeans recorded the Phil Spector produced “Zip–Dee-Doo-Dah” (#8 pop). The group was really the Blossoms, with Darlene Love and studio singer Bobby Sheen on lead.
1965:Reggie Miller was born. He is a retired NBA player who spent his entire 18 years with the Indiana Pacers. He is an Olympic gold medalist and Basketball Hall of Famer. Currently, he is a commentator for TNT. He turns 49 today.
1967:Amanda Randolph passed away. She was an actress, singer and musician. She was the first African-American performer to star in a regularly scheduled network television show, appearing in DuMont’s The Laytons. She was 70 years old.
1968:’Stay in My Corner’ by the Dells was the Number One R&B Song on this day.
1973:Happy Birthday to Dave Chappelle who turns 41 today.
1978:Jomandi Productions, an African American Theater Company, was founded.
1978:Happy Birthday to Karrine Steffans who turns 36 today.
1987:Bayard Rustin passed away. He was a leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights. He was 75 years old.
1989: Patti LaBelle appeared in the Who’s Tommy, with an all-star cast including Phil Collins and Elton John, at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. She played the part of the Acid Queen.
1991: Boyz II men’s debut album, Cooleyhighharmony, reached #3 pop. The quartet was discovered by New Edition/Bell Biv DeVoe member Micheal Bivins, who was performing at Philadelphia’s Civic Center. They began singing to him as he left the stage, and two months later he signed them to Motown through his production company.
1991: Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’ Over Til It’s Over” reached 32 pop, becoming his biggest hit.
1992: Wilson Pickett was arrested for driving with open bottles of vodka and beer cans in his car. This might have resulted in a lesser charge, but the discovery was made by police after Wilson hit the car of an eighty-six-year-old man, sending the driver to the hospital.
1996: Brandy, with help from Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, and Tamia charted with “Missing You”
1997: As Michael Jackson was about to start a concert in the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland, an escaped mental patient attempted to set fire to the stage and was subsequently carried away by police.
2011:Esther Gordy Edwards passed away at age 91. She and her brother Berry Gordy, Jr. successfully built Motown Records. She was an executive there for nearly 30 years.
26. August 26: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Dan Bankhead
1867:Robert Russa Moton was born. He was an educator and author. He served as an administrator at Hampton Institute and was named principal of Tuskegee Institute in 1915 after the death of Dr. Booker T. Washington, a position he held for 20 years until retirement in 1935. He passed away in 1940 at age 73.
1900:Hall Woodruff was born. He was a nationally known printmaker, draftsman and painter and a leading artist of the Harlem Renaissance. He died in 1980.
1901:Jimmy Rushing was born. He was a blues and swing jazz singer. He passed away in 1972 at age 70.
1918:Katherine G. Johnson was born. She is a physicist, space scientist, and mathematician who contributed to America’s aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. She turns 96 today.
1943:William Dawson was elected Black Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate.
1946:Valerie Simpson was born. She was 1/2 the duo Ashford & Simpson, singer, songwriter and performer. She turns 68 today.
1947:Dan Bankhead became the first Black to pitch in the Major Leagues (Dodgers).
1957: The Shells’ “Baby Oh Baby” (#20 pop) and the Schoolboys’ “Carol” (#91 pop), were issued.
1960: The Drifters reunited with former lead Clyde McPhatter (for a show) at the Apollo in New York. Also on the bill were the Bobbettes.
1960:Happy Birthday to Branford Marsalis who turns 54 today . He is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader.
1961: The Temptations’ first single, “Oh Mother of Mine,” was released on the Motown-affiliated Miracle label but did not chart. They were signed to Berry Gordy’s company under the name the Elgins but were renamed by member Otis Williams.
1964: The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” was #1 on this day. Before Diana Ross left in 1969, the trio would have eleven more chart-toppers.
1967: Jackie Wilson charted with one of his best records, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” reaching $1 R&B and #6 pop.
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience charted with their debut album Are You Experienced?, which rose to #5 on the pop album charts. Jimi would go on to have twenty-eight chart albums through 1995, twenty-two of which charted after his death in 1970. Experienced would stay on the charts for 106 weeks.
1978: Singing and songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson entered the R&B hit list with “It Seems To Hang On,” peaking at #2. Though the duo had thirty-five R&B chart singles through 1997, they are best-known for the songs they’ve written for others, including “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (Ray Charles), “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye), and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell).
1986:Happy Birthday to Casandra Ventura aka Cassie who turns 28 today.
1988:Happy Birthday to Evan Ross who turns 26 today.
1989:’It’s No Crime’ by Babyface was the #1 song this day.
1993:Happy Birthday to Keke Palmer who turns 21 today.
1995: Newark, NJ, rapper Redman (Reggie Noble) charted R&B with “How High,” reaching #10 and #13 pop.
2002:William Warfield passed away at age 82. He was a concert bass-baritone actor and singer.
27. August 27: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alice Coltrane
1902:Mary ‘Diamond Teeth’ McClain was born. She was a blues singer & entertainer. In the ’40s, she had diamonds removed from a bracelet and set in her upper & lower teeth, creating a dazzling stage effect. She passed away in 2000 at age 98.
1909: Lester Young, one of the early jazz tenor saxophonists, was born today. He’s best known for the hits “Just You, Just Me” and “Sometimes I’m Happy.”
1937:Alice Coltrane was born. She was a jazz pianist, organist, harpist and composer. She died in 2007 at age 69.
1949: The Orioles charted with their classic version of “A Kiss and a Rose,” reaching #12 R&B.
1949: Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra charted with the macabrely-titled “Lavender Coffin,” eventually reaching lucky #13 R&B.
1955:’Maybellene’ by Chuck Berry was the #1 Song this day.
1959:Happy Birthday to Downtown Julie Brown who turns 55 today.
1960: Lloyd Price appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, performing “Personality.”
1961:Happy Birthday to Yolanda Adams who turns 53 today.
1963: Sam Cooke performed on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.
1963:W.E.B. DuBois passed away at age 95. He was a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor.
1963:Garrett Morgan passed away. He was an inventor who invented a device-like gas mask, traffic signal and hair-straightening preparation. He was 86 years old.
1966: Eddie Floyd hit the R&B charts with his single, “Knock on Wood,” a 45 that would reach #1 and #28 pop. Over the next eleven years the soul singer would chart R&B eighteen times, but “Knock” would always be his biggest hit.
1968: The Staples Singers performed at San Francisco’s Fillmore West with Santana and Steppenwolf.
1968:Happy Birthday to Eric Bobo who turns 46 today. He is a percussionist and a member of Cypress Hill.
1969:Happy Birthday to award winning actress Chandra Wilson who turns 45 today.
1971:Lil Hardin Armstrong passed away. She was a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer and bandleader. She was 73 years old.
1975:Happy Birthday to Ma$e who turns 37 today.
1986:Happy Birthday to Mario who turns 28 today.
1994: “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men began an incredible run of fourteen weeks at #1, surpassing the group’s record-breaking streak of thirteen weeks in the top spot in 1992 with “End of the Road.” Written by Babyface, the song marked his first writing success without former partner L.A. Reid.
1996:Greg Morris passed away at age 62. He was an actor of film, stage and television.
2010:Thomas White Jr. passed away at age 71. He was a longtime New York City councilman who represented the 28th District in southeast Queens, which includes Jamaica, South Jamaica, and Richmond Hill.
28. August 28: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Emmett Till
1818:Jean Baptiste Point du Sable passed away. He was the ‘Founder of Chicago’ and his date of birth or much else is known about him. In Chicago, a school, museum, harbor, park and bridge have been named, or renamed, in his honor; and the place where he settled at the mouth of the Chicago River in the 1780s is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, now located in Pioneer Court.
1929:Roxie Roker was born. She was an actress and half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time TV (The Jefferson’s). She was the mother of Lenny Kravitz and grandmother to Zoe. She passed away in 1995 at age 66.
1932:Carlene Polite was born. She was a writer, teacher, dancer and worked with organizations for Civil Rights, Human Rights & the NAACP. She passed away in 2009 at age 77.
1952:Rita Dove was born. She is a poet and author, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the first African American to be appointed as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She turns 62 today.
1954: The Midnighters’ “Annie Had A Baby” (#1, $30) was released.
1955:Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy was murdered by a group of white racists who were later acquitted of kidnapping and murder. His death is noted as a pivotal event motivating the Civil Rights Movement.
1956: Alan Freed’s second anniversary Rock ‘n’ Roll Show at the Brooklyn Paramount featured the Harptones, the Penguins, the Cleftones, and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers.
1958: The Chantels and the Quintones performed at the Apollo Theater in New York along with the Spaniels, the Coasters, and the Olympics.
1963:The March on Washington (around 250,000 people) and Dr. King delivered the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
1964:The Philadelphia Race Riots began on this day and lasted three days. No one was killed but 341 were injured, 774 people arrested and 225 stores were damaged or destroyed.
1971:’Spanish Harlem’ by Aretha Franklin was the #1 Song this day.
1971:Tony Clarke passed away. He was a singer and songwriter. He wrote hits for Etta James and charted a hit of his on with ‘The Entertainer’ in 1965. He broke into his estranged wife’s home armed with a tire jack and she shot and killed him in self-defense. He was 31 years old.
1975:Happy Birthday to actor Eugene Byrd who turns 39 today.
1986: Tina Turner was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of Capitol Records, the company she recorded for.
1989:John Steptoe passed away at age 38 of AIDS. He was an award-winning author and illustrator for children’s books dealing with aspects of the African-American experience.
1991: PBS-TV aired Going Home to Gospel with Patti LaBelle from Chicago’s Quinn Chapel.
1992:Happy Birthday Kyle Massey who turns 23 today.
1993: Jodeci reached #4 pop and # 1 R&B with the single “Lately,” a remake of Stevie Wonder’s 1981 ballad. It was their fourth #1 R&B in two years.
2008:Wonderful Smith passed away at age 97. He was a comedian whose envelope-pushing comedy routine in Duke Ellington’s satirical revue Jump for Joy—staged in Los Angeles in 1941—broke new ground.
2010:William P. Foster passed away at age 91. He was also known as The Law and The Maestro, was the creator of the noted Florida A&M University Marching “100”. He served as the band’s director from 1946 to his retirement in 1998.
29. August 29: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Michael Jackson
1910:Vivien Thomas was born. He was a surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s. He was the first African American without a doctorate to perform open heart surgery on a white patient in the United States. He passed away in 1985.
1917:Isabel Sanford was born. She was an actress and in 1981, she became the first African American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She passed away in 2004 at age 86.
1920:Charlie Parker was born. He was a jazz saxophonist and composer. Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.” He died in 1955 at age 34.
1924:Dinah Washington was born. She was a jazz singer and pianist, cited as the most popular black female recording artist in the ’50s. She is an inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She died in 1963 at age 39 of a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
1945:Happy Birthday to Wyomia Tyus who turns 69 today. She is an Olympic Gold medalist, athlete and the first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m.
1946:Happy Birthday to Bob Beamon who turns 68 today. He is a former track & field athlete best known for his world record in the long jump at the Mexico Olympics in ’68.
1953:’Crying in the Chapel’ by the Orioles was the #1 song.
1954: Capitol Records signed the Five Keys. The group went on to have four Top 1oo hits, including the standard, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” These hit were in more of a pop style than they had when recording R&B for Aladdin Records.
1958:Recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time, Michael Jackson was born. He was a musician, singer, songwriter, arranger, dancer, entertainer, choreographer, music producer, actor, businessman and philanthropist. He died in 2009 at age 50.
1958: Alan Freed’s Brooklyn Fox show featured the Cleftones, the Danleers, and the Olympics, among others. The show ran for ten days.
1964: Six years after his first Top 5 hit, Bobby Freeman was back, peaking at 35 with “C’mon and Swim.” The record was written and produced by a San Francisco-area disc jockey named Sylvester Stewart, who would later form his own band, Sly & the Family Stone.
1966: In a tribute to one of the artists who most influenced them, the Beatles performed Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” as the last tune of their final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
1968:Happy Birthday to Meshell Ndegeocello who turns 46 today. She is a singer-songwriter, rapper, and bassist. She turns 46 today.
1981: The Pointer Sisters’ “Slow Hand” reached #2 pop and #7 R&B, becoming their biggest pop hit. The song that kept it from #1 was Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’s “Endless Love.”
1996:Isaac Hayes, who co-wrote the Stax Classic ‘Soul Man’ sent a letter of protest to presidential candidate Bob Dole after his campaign supporters changed the lyrics to “I’m a Dole Man” without consent to do so.
1998: Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Maze, and others performed in the KMEL-FM All-Star Jam at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.
1998: Janet Jackson was honored with the International Female Artist of the Year award in Oslo, Norway, at their first annual Hit Awards.
2005:Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the US Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,836 and causing over $80 billion in damage.
2011:David (Honeyboy) Edwards passed away at age 86. He was a Grammy-winning guitarist believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman, whose roots stretched back to blues legend Robert Johnson.
30. August 30: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Chris Lighty
1901:Roy Wilkins was born. He was a prominent civil rights activist and Executive Director of the NAACP. He passed away in 1981 at age 80.
1948:Fred Hampton was born. He was an activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was assassinated while sleeping in his apartment during a raid of the SAO, Chicago PD and the FBI. He was 21 years old.
1953:Happy Birthday to NBA Hall of Famer Robert Parish who turns 61 today.
1963: New York disc jockey Murray the K held his annual Labor Day spectacular at the Brooklyn Fox Theater, featuring the Miracles, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Tymes, the Drifters, Ben E. King, Little Stevie Wonder, jay & the Americans, Randy & the Rainbows, and many others.
1963: After six years of weekday shows, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand held its last weekday shindig and became a Saturday-only affair. The show had been in the forefront of promoting Black artists and their music since its 1957 inception.
1966:Happy Birthday to actress Michael Michele who turns 48 today.
1967: Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1970: Jimi Hendrix performed at what would be his last British concert when he appeared on-stage at 3:00 a.m. at the Isle of Wright Festival.
1972: Stevie Wonder performed at a benefit for Willowbank Hospital at Madison Square Garden in New York with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
1975: Natalie Cole bounced onto the Hot 100 with “This Will Be” (#6 pop), her first of eighteen hits through 1997.
1983:Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford, Jr. became the first Black astronaut.
1986:’Love Zone’ by Billy Ocean was the Number One Song this day.
1988:Papa Dee Allen passed away. He was a member of the group War and was a pianist, vibist and soprano saxophonist. He was 57 years old.
1990: The Neville Brothers performed as guests of their longtime fan Linda Rondstat at her concert at Jones Beach Theater in Long Island, NY.
1994: Gangsta rapper, former member of N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude), Dr. Dre (born Andre Young) was sentenced to five months in a Los Angeles jail for violating his probation in a 1992 assault on a TV show host during a brawl.
1997: James Brown performed in Beirut, Lebanon, at the Hotel Albustan. Soon after, he would leave for Moscow to perform at the Kremlin Palace.
2012:Chris Lighty was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was a hip-hop manager who helped Sean Combs, 50 Cent, and Mariah Carey attain hit records and successful careers outside music. He was 44 years old.
2012: Lucimarian Roberts passed away at age 88. She was the mother of Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts and the first black to head Mississippi’s board of education
31. August 31: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
1900:Todd Rhodes was born. He was a pianist, arranger and an early influence in jazz and later R&B. He passed away in 1965 at age 64.
1935:Eldridge Cleaver was born. He was a writer and political activist who became an early leader of the Black Panther Party. His book Soul on Ice is a collection of essays praised by The New York Times Book Review at the time of its publication as “brilliant and revealing”. He died in 1998 at age 62.
1935:Happy Birthday Frank Robinson who turns 79 today. He is a former award winning MLB outfielder and manager.
1937:Happy Birthday to Bobby Parker who turns 76 today. He is a guitarist and toured with Bo Diddley, Otis Williams, Sam Cook, Jackie Wilson, etc. He continues to perform as a regular act at Madam’s Organ Blues Bar in Washington.
1955: Chuck Berry’s ”Maybellene” reached #5 pop while spending eleven weeks at #1 on the R&B hit list. Chuck began his musical career as a member of the Johnny Johnson trio in St. Louis in 1952.
1955:Happy Birthday Edwin Moses who turns 59 today. He is a former track & field athlete who is also an Olympic Gold Medalist.
1959: The Coasters’ “Poison Ivy” charted, eventually becoming the group’s fourth and final R&B #1.
1962: The Shirelles, ben E. King, Little Eva, Chuck Jackson, Dee Dee Sharp, the Marvelettes, the Ronettes, the Del-Satins, the Majors and Tony Orlando (years before Dawn) performed at Murray the K’s annual New York Labor Day Rock ‘n’ Roll show at the Brooklyn Fox Theater.
1963: The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey” charted en route to #3 R&B and #8 pop.
1968:’You’re All I Need to Get By’ by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell was the #1 song this day.
1969: Richie Havens performed at England’s Isle of Wright Festival with the Moody Blues, the Who, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, and others.
1971:Happy Birthday Chris Tucker who turns 43 today.
1976: George Harrison was found guilty of “subconscious plagiarism” of the Chiffons’ hit “He So Fine” for similarities to his million-seller “My Sweet Lord.” In a case of sweet retribution, the Chiffons then recorded their own version of “My Sweet Lord.”
1980:Happy Birthday Joe Budden who turns 34 today.
1987: Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns aired on CBS-TV, featuring his seventeen-minute video “Bad.”
1990:Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton passed away at age 67. He was one of the first African American to play in the NBA.
1994: R. Kelly married new chart sensation Aaliyah in Rosemont, IL. The marriage was later annulled as Aaliyah was only fifteen years old at the time and the state law required that people to be sixteen to marry.
2002:Lionel Hampton passed away. He was a jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. He ranks among the greatest names in jazz history. He was 94 years old.
2007:William R. Hudgins passed away at age 100. He was a former door-to-door salesman in Harlem who helped to start the Carver Federal Savings Bank, now the largest black-owned bank in the nation, and was its president for 18 years.
2012:Ed Vincent passed away at age 78. He was the first black mayor of Inglewood, California before entering state politics.