August 19: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Johnny Nash
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: Johnny Nash was born. He is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor. He turns 73 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 67 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 44 today.
1970: Eric Martin aka MC Eric was born. He is a multi-instrumentalist singer, song-writer and music producer born in Cardiff, Wales.
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: Micheal 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: Tracie Thoms was born. She is an actress of stage, television and film. She turns 38 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: Romeo Miller was born. He is a rapper, actor, basketball player, model and entrepreneur. He turns 24 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 32.
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 of the 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.