July 19: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Sylvia Wood
1895: Jodie Edwards was born. He was 1/2 the comedy duo Butterbeans & Susie. They performed stage and later Vaudeville. They used their fame and influence to help younger black comedians. Moms Mabley and Stepin Fetchit are just a couple of comedians they helped.
1932: Buster Benton was born. He was a blues guitarist and singer who played guitar in Willie Dixon’s Blues All-Stars. He passed away in 1996 at age 64.
1936: Shirley Goodman was born. She was 1/2 the duo of Shirley & Lee. She also had a disco hit later in her career – Shame, Shame, Shame. She passed away in 2005 at age 69.
1944: Dr. Walter Turnbull was born. He was a musician and the founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem. He passed away in 2007 at age 63.
1958: George Treadwell, the Drifters’ manager, walked backstage at the Apollo Theater, fired his group, walked across to the dressing room of the group’s opening act, the Crowns, hired them, and then christened them the Drifters. The Crown’s lead singer was Ben E. King.
1969: “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” by Junior Walker & the All-Stars was the Number One R&B song this day.
1973: Willie Mays named to NL all star team for 24th time (ties Musial).
1975: Esther Phillips charted with “What A Difference A Day Makes” reaching #10 R&B and #20 pop. It was her nineteenth R&B hit and her first top ten in thirteen years since “Release Me” hit no. 1 (#8 pop) in 1962.
1975: George Benson’s debut solo single, “Supership,” peaked on the R&B chart. He would go on to have twenty-five R&B charting numbers and several number ones.
1979: Patricia Harris was named US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She was the first African American woman to serve in the United States Cabinet, and the first to enter the line of succession to the Presidency.
1990: Dionne Warwick appeared at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles alongside Johnny Mathis.
1991: Desiree Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant, accused Mike Tyson of rape. He was convicted the following February and received a six-year sentence.
1992: Ebony P. Warren was crowned the 24th Miss Black America.
1993: Red Prysock passed away. He was an R&B tenor saxophonist.He died of a heart attack at age 67.
1994: Rick James was sentenced to five years plus in prison for assaulting two women and for cocaine use. He would serve his time at Folsom Prison in California.
2001: Judy Clay passed away. She was a soul and gospel singer. She did from complications received in an auto accident. She was 62 years old.
2010: Mac Foster passed away. He was a former boxer and a contender for the heavyweight championship in 1970. He died of congestive heart failure at age 68.
2012: Sylvia Wood passed away. She was a restaurateur who co-founded the landmark restaurant Sylvia’s in Harlem with her husband, Herbert Woods, in 1962. The soul food eatery is a popular gathering place for Harlem residents and tourists not far from the Apollo Theater. She was 86 years old.