August 11: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Alex Haley
1887: Crying Sam Collins was born. He was a blues singer and guitarist. He passed away in 1949 at age 62.
1921: Writer Alex Haley was born. He is best known as the author of the 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family and the co-author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He passed in 1992 at age 70.
1943: Kenneth Gamble was born. He is 1/2 the songwriting and record production team Gamble & Huff. The team was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
1956: ‘Rip It Up’ by Little Richard was the Number One R&B Song on this day.
1956: ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ by Shirley & Lee charted.
1956: Billy Ward & the Dominoes charted pop for the first time (after five years and eleven R&B chart singles) with “St. Theresa of the Roses,” reaching #13.
1958: The Spaniels’ classic version of “Stormy Weather” was issued.
1962: Formerly known as the Primettes, the newly named Supremes hit the Hot 100 with, “Your Heart Belongs To Me” (#95), their first of forty-seven pop hits through 1976.
1962: Booker T. & the M.G.’s charted with the tight, percussive instrumental “Green Onions.” It went on to #3 pop and #1 R&B. M.G. stood for Memphis Group, as they were all session musicians at Stax Records in Memphis.
1965: Race riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles, CA. began. The six-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city’s history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
1965: Viola Davis was born. She is an award winning actress of stage, television and film. She turns 48 today.
1965: Duane Martin was born. He is an actor of film & television and has a real estate career currently. He turns 48 today.
1965: Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court on this day.
1966: Joshua Howell aka Peg Leg Howell passed away.He was a blues singer and guitarist. He was 78 years old.
1969: Diana Ross invited 350 guests to the Daisy Club in Beverly Hills to unveil her new discovery, the Jackson 5.
1970: Ali Shaheed Muhammad was born. He is a hip hop DJ, rapper, producer and was a member of A Tribe Called Quest. He turns 43 today.
1972: Vietnam War: The last U.S. ground combat unit left South Vietnam.
1978: Chris Kelly was born. He was 1/2 the duo Kris Kross with Chris Smith. He passed away this past May at age 34.
1984: Percy Mayfield passed away. He was a songwriter famous for the songs “Hit the Road Jack” and “Please Send Me Someone to Love”, as well as a successful rhythm and blues artist known for his smooth vocal style. He was 63 years old.
1985: J. Boog was born. He is a R&B singer, rapper and actor. He was a former member of the group B2K. He turns 28 today.
1999: Tommy Ridgley passed away. He was a R&B singer, musician and bandleader in New Orleans. He was 73 years old.
2005: Ted ‘Double Duty’ Radcliff passed away. He was a professional baseball player in the Negro leagues. He is one of only a handful of major league (including the Negro leagues) players who lived past their 100th birthdays. He played as pitcher, catcher and became a manage. He was 103 years old.
2007: Phyllis Wright Davis died after being fatally stabbed by an unknown assailant in her home in Georgia. She was a hard-working volunteer and a youth adviser for her local NAACP chapter and won national awards for her work there. She was 49 years old.
2012: Michael Dokes passed away. He was a former box and held the WBA version of the world title in the early ’80s. He was 54 years old.