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: Larry B. Scott was born. He is an actor and turns 52 today.
1963: ‘Fingertips, Pt. 2’ by Little Stevie Wonder was the Number One Song this day.
1963: The Crystals charted with “Then He Kissed Me” (#6 pop).
1966: Maysa Leak was born. She is a jazz, R&B, soul singer. She turns 47 today.
1969: The Woodstock Festival’s closing night included performances by Richie Havens, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix.
1970: Tammy Townsend was born. She is an actress, singer and 1987 Miss Talented Teen California winner.
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.
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: Bryton James was born. He is an award winning actor and had his first role at age three on Family Matters portraying Richie Crawford.
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 Micheal 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.