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 16: This Day in Black Music History  was originally published on

1. Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson

1792: Composer and musician Francis Johnson was born on this day in Philadelphia. He composed more than 300 music pieces, most of which were published. His first published work was “A Collection of New Cotillions.” He was the first African American composer to have his works published as sheet music, the first to give public concerts and the first to participate in racially integrated concerts in the U.S. He passed away in 1844. (Photo: YouTube)

2. Raymond Grant, Jr.

Raymond Grant, Jr.

1916:Raymond Grant Jr. was born. He was the bass and guitarist for the Four Vagabonds. (Photo: YouTube)

3. Eli ‘Lucky’ Thompson

Eli ‘Lucky’ Thompson

1924:Eli Lucky Thompson was born on this day. He was a legendary jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist and worked with many of the jazz greats. He passed away in 2005 at age 81. (Photo: YouTube)

4. Emmett Hardy

Emmett Hardy

1925:Emmett Hardy passed away on this day at age 22 of tuberculosis. He was an early jazz cornet player and one of the best regarded New Orleans musicians of his generation. (Photo: YouTube)

5. Chick Webb

Chick Webb

1939: Chick Webb passed away on this day at age 34 from spinal tuberculosis. He was a jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader. (Photo: Flickr)

6. Lamont Dozier

Lamont Dozier

1941:Lamont Dozier was born and turns 73 today. He was a member of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown sound and numerous hits by some of our favorite artists. (Photo: YouTube)

7. Eddie Levert

Eddie Levert

1942:Singer and lead vocalist of the O’Jays, Eddie Levert was born and turns 72 years old today. (Photo: YouTube)

8. Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan

1945:‘Caldonia’ by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five was the Number One Song on this day. (Photo: YouTube)

9. Patrick Waite

Patrick Waite

1958:Patrick Waite a member of the group ‘Musical Youth’ was born on this day. He died in 1993 at the age of 24. He was the victim of heart failure brought on by a rare virus. (Photo: YouTube)

10. The Platters

The Platters

1960 The Platters performed for the first time without longtime lead Tony Williams. Sonny Turner took over for his debut with the group at the Lotus Club in Philadelphia. (Photo: YouTube)

11. The Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers

1962: The Isley brothers charted with “Twist & Shout,” reaching #2 R&B and #17 pop. (Photo: YouTube)

12. Javon Jackson

Javon Jackson

1965:Javon Jackson was born. His musical career has been a mix of hard bop with soul and funk influences. He turns 49 today. (Photo: YouTube)

13. Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson

1970: Lonnie Johnson passed away. He was a blues and jazz singer/guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the role of jazz guitar and is recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos. He was 71 years old. (Photo: YouTube)

14. Adam Wade

Adam Wade

1975: Singer, drummer & actor Adam Wade become the first African-American to host a television game show, with the premiere of Musical Chairs. (Photo: YouTube)

15. The Jackson Family

The Jackson Family

1976: A summer variety series featuring the Jackson family called The Jacksons debuted on CBS-TV for a four-week run. Along with the Jackson 5 were the group’s sisters Rebbie, La Toya, and youngest member Janet. (Photo: Tumblr)

16. Donna Summer

Donna Summer

1979: Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” hit #1 pop (for five weeks) and R&B, making it her biggest Top 100 hit. (Photo: Tumblr)

17. Tina Turner

Tina Turner

1984 Tina Turner’s Private Dancer album charted, reaching #3 pop and #1 R&B on the charts. This was Tina’s first album without ex-husband Ike. It was a huge success and stayed in the Top 10 for ten months and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. It did really well in Britain too, reaching #2 on the charts. (Photo: Tumblr)

18. Prince


1992: Prince performed at Earls Court in London as part of his most recent tour. (Photo: PR Photos )

19. Diana Ross

Diana Ross

1995: Diana Ross performed in Moscow at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. (Photo: Tumblr)

20. Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

1998: ASCAP’s first Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award was given to Chaka Khan at their eleventh annual Rhythm & Soul Awards in New York. (Photo: Tumblr)

21. Bill Dixon

Bill Dixon

2010:Bill Dixon, was a maverick trumpeter, composer, educator, and major force in the jazz avant-garde movement of the ‘60s. He passed away this day at age 84. (Photo: YouTube)

22. Gary Shider

Gary Shider

2010:Garry Shider was a longtime musical director of Parliament-Funkadelic whose funky guitar work, songwriting skills, and musical arrangements for bandleader George Clinton earned him a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Shider became known to millions of fans as “Starchild” or “Diaperman,” the latter because of the loincloth he often wore onstage. He died of brain and lung cancer on this day at age 56. (Photo: YouTube)