Black Music Month originated in 1979. Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month to celebrate the wonderful music, the  achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.

June 15: This Day in Black Music History  was originally published on

1. John Wesley Work, III

John Wesley Work, III

1901: Composer, educator, choral director, and ethnomusicologist John Wesley Work III was born. He passed away in 1967. (Photo: YouTube)

2. Erroll Gardner

Erroll Gardner

1921:Erroll Garner was born this day. He was a jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads. His best-known composition, “Misty”, has become a jazz standard. He died from a cardiac arrest in 1977 at age 53. (Photo: YouTube)

3. James Emanuel

James Emanuel

1921:James Emanuel was born and turns 92 years old today. He is a poet and scholar who is ranked by some critics as one of the best and most neglected living poets, has published more than 300 poems, 13 individual books, an influential anthology of African American literature, an autobiography, and more. He is also credited with creating a new literary genre, jazz-and-blues haiku, often read with musical accompaniment. (Photo: YouTube)

4. Jaki Byard

Jaki Byard

1922:Jaki Byard was born on this day. He was a jazz pianist and composer who also played trumpet and saxophone, among several other instruments. He passed away in 1999 at age 76.(Photo: YouTube)

5. Natalie Hinderas

Natalie Hinderas

1927:Award winning Natalie Hinderas was born. She was a pianist, composer and Professor at Pennsylvania’s Temple University. She passed away in 1987 of cancer. (Photo: Tumblr)

6. Aron Burton

Aron Burton

1938:Aron Burton was born and turns 76 today. He is an electric and Chicago blues singer, bass guitarist, songwriter and had a long career as a sideman. (Photo: YouTube)

7. The Flamingos

The Flamingos

1953: The Flamingos performed at Gleason’s Night Club in Cleveland as the Five Flamingos. They continued performing under that name for the next two years even though they were recording since 1954 as the Flamingos. (Photo: YouTube)

8. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

1968:‘Think’ by Aretha Franklin was the Number One song on this day. (Photo: Tumblr)

9. Ice Cube

Ice Cube

1969:O’Shea Jackson better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is rapper, record producer, actor, screenwriter, film producer, and director. He turns 45 today. (Photo: Tumblr)

10. Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas

1972:R&B singer Carl Thomas was born and turns 42 today. (Photo: Tumblr)

11. Rufus with Chaka Khan

Rufus with Chaka Khan

1974: The jazz/funk group Rufus charted, reaching #3 pop with “Tell Me Something Good,” which was originally recorded by Stevie Wonder. The group was first called Ask Rufus and their lead singer would go on to stardom as a solo act. It was Chaka Khan. (Photo: YouTube)

12. The Stylistics

The Stylistics

1974: The Stylistics’ “You make Me Fell Brand New” reached #32 pop and #5 R&B , giving them their fifth and last million seller. (Photo: YouTube)

13. Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

1977: Grammy award winners Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, formerly of the Fifth Dimension, began co-hosting a summer TV variety show called The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Show on this day. They recently authored a book ‘Up, Up, and Away’ and share how they have successfully navigated Hollywood as a married couple for over 30 years. (Photo: YouTube)

14. The Five Satins

The Five Satins

1982: The Five Satins performed “Memories of Days Gone By” on American Bandstand. It was their first chart hit in twenty-one years. (Photo: YouTube)

15. Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

1991: Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick performed at a benefit concert for the family of the late Temptations lead singer, David Ruffin. (Photo: Tumblr)

16. Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass

1993: At the first Apollo Theater Hall of Fame concert from the historic venue, Teddy Pendergrass performed, “Close the Door,” the #1 hit from 1978 and Ben E. King sang “Save the Last Dance for Me,” the song he made famous as lead of the Drifters. “God Bless the Child” was performed by Diana Ross. (Photo: Tumblr)

17. Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

1996:Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald passed away on this day. She was also known as the “First Lady of Song”, “Queen of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella.” She was 79 years old. (Photo: Tumblr)

18. Wendell Logan

Wendell Logan

2010:Wendell Logan, chairman of the jazz studies department and professor of African-American music at the conservatory, part of Oberlin College, passed away, aged 69. He was a composer of jazz and concert music who more than 20 years ago founded the jazz department at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.