July 27: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Reggie Lewis
1847: After departing New York Port in 1820 the first group of freed blacks landed first in Sherbro Island in Sierra Leone and later moved on to Bushrod Island in what is today in Monrovia and established a state. By 1847 the country declared its independence. This was the first Republic set up by freed slaves!!!
1917: Moses Rascoe was born. He was a blues singer and guitarist. Rascoe’s guitar picking style was essentially an individuated variant of melodicalternating-thumb fingerpicking. He passed away in 1994 at age 77.
1929: Harvey Fuqua was born. He was an R&B singer, songwriter, record producer and record label executive. He passed way in 2000 at age 80.
1940: Billboard Magazine began publishing its best seller charts of albums and singles on this day.
1946: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan entered the R&B hit list with “Petootie Pie,” reaching #3—pretty good for a B-side. The A-side was the huge #1 hit “Stone Cold Dead in the Market.”
1959: “There Goes My Baby” by the Drifters was the Number One Song this day.
1962: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested for the third time in Albany, GA.
1972: Maya Rudolph was born. She is a comedian and actress. She turns 41 today.
1974: Dionne Warwick teamed with the Spinners on “Then Came You,” which charted today. It became her first #1 after forty hits in twelve years.
1976: Tina Turner filed for a divorce from Ike.
1984: Prince’s film Purple Rain premiered across America. The motion picture was loosely based on the artist’s life, with emphasis on his romantic involvements.
1984: Rev. C.L. Franklin passed away. He was a preacher and Aretha’s dad.
1985: Whitney Houston’s solo single debut, “You Give Good Love” peaked at #3. A year earlier, the then-unknown singer recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, “Hold Me,” which only reached #46.
1991: When Natalie Cole brought the idea of singing a duet album with her late father Nat King Cole’s old recordings to her label, EMI refused. She signed with Electra Records, recorded the album, titled Unforgettable. . .With Love, and today topped the album charts.
1993: Reggie Lewis passed away. He was a player for the Boston Celtics. He suffered a sudden cardiac death on the court during an off-season practice. He was 27 years old.
1995: Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood” was finally certified gold twenty-eight years after its release. More than sixty versions of the song had been recorded through 1995, and Floyd, an avid collector of his own hit, has a copy of every one of them.
1996: “Elevators (Me & You)” by OutKast jumped on the R&B Top 100, reaching #5 and #12 pop.
2011: Charles L. Gittens passed away. He was the first black US Secret Service agent. Gittens joined the Presidential protection outfit in 1956 in the Charlotte, NC office and later mentored young blacks like himself who were coming up through the ranks. He was 82 years old.