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 95 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 67 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: Branford Marsalis was born. He is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He turns 53 today.
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 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: Casandra Ventura aka Cassie was born. She is an actress,recording artist, dancer and model. She turns 27 today.
1988: Evan Ross was born. He is an actor and musician. He turns 25 today.
1989: ‘It’s No Crime’ by Babyface was the Number One song this day.
1993: Keke Palmer was born. She is an actress, singer-songwriter, dancer, fashion designer, and voice actress. She turns 20 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.