July 22: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Jessie Mae Hemphill
1933: Caterina Jarboro became the first black prima donna of an opera company. She sang “Aida” at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
1937: Chuck Jackson was born. He is an R&B singer, who was one of the first artists to record material by Burt Bacharach and Hal David successfully.
1941: Estelle Bennett was born. She was a member of the girl group The Ronettes. She passed away in 2009 at age 67.
1941: George Clinton was born. He is a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and music producer and the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and launched a solo career in 1981. He turns 72 today.
1946: Danny Glover was born. He is an actor, film director and political activist. He turns 67 today.
1957: B.B. King charted for the first time with “Be Careful With A Fool” (#95). He had already had eighteen R&B charters; it took him six years to cross over. He would go on to have thirty-six pop singles on the hit list through 1989.
1960: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the Five Satins, Joe Turner, Ben E. King, Faye Adams, Nappy Brown, and Annie Laurie (who had an R&B hit with “Since I Fell For You” in 1947) appeared at Chicago’s Regal Theater.
1961: Keith Sweat was born. He is an American R&B/soul, singer-songwriter, record producer, radio personality and an innovator of the New Jack Swing. He turns 52 today.
1963: Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in 1 for heavyweight boxing title.
1967: ‘Make Me Yours’ by Bettye Swann was the Number One R&B song this day.
1972: Keyshawn Johnson was born. He is a retired NFL player. He played eleven seasons. He turns 41 today.
1969: Aretha Franklin was arrested and fined $50 for creating a disturbance in a Detroit parking lot. Upon leaving, she expressed her frustration by running over a road sign
1979: Little Richard, known as Reverend Richard Penniman, spoke at a revival meeting in North Richmond, CA. He warned the congregation about the evils of rock & roll music.
1983: Diana Ross gave a free concert in New York’s Central Park after the previous night’s concert was washed out by heavy wind and rain.
1988: Duane Jones passed away. He was best known for his leading role as Ben in the 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead. He was director of the Maguire Theater at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. He was the artistic director of the Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art in Manhattan. He was 51 years old.
1991: Bobby Womack performed at London’s Hackney Empire.
1998: Cypress Hill, Busta Rhymes, Canibus, Wyclef Jean, and Public Enemy, among others, performed at the third annual Smokin’ Grooves tour at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY.
2006: Jessie May Hemphill passed away. She was an electric guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist specializing in the primal, North Mississippi hill country blues traditions of her family and regional heritage. She was 82 years old.
2010: Phillip Walker passed away. He was a blues guitarist and singer who backed such stars as Etta James and Lowell Fulson. Walker performed for more than 50 years, recording many solo albums and touring with zydeco legend Clifton Chenier. He was 73 years old.