November 12: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Bert Williams
1874: Entertainer Bert Williams was born. He was the 1st black to take a lead role on a Broadway stage, and helped break down racial barriers. He died of pneumonia, aged 47.
1900: Painter Henry O. Tanner was one of 6,916 American exhibitors at the Paris Exposition which closed its gates on this day. He won a silver medal for his entry.
1909: Blues singer, guitarist and songwriter Bukka White was born. He passed in 1977, aged 67.
1911: Jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton was born. He passed in 1991, aged 80.
1922: The Sigma Gamma Rho sorority was founded in Indianapolis, IN.
1939: Singer and member of Ruby & The Romantics, Ruby Nash, turns 74 today.
1941: Opera singer Madame Lillian Evanti founded the National Negro Opera Company.
1953: The Drifters recorded their eventual #2 R&B hit, “Such A Night.”
1955: Billboard magazine named Fats Domino the nation’s favorite R&B artist.
1957: Jamboree, one of the early rock ‘n’ roll movies, premiered in Hollywood with a cast of current hit acts, including Fats Domino, Louis Lymon & the Teenchords (Frankie Lymon’s brother), Count Basie & his Orchestra, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, among others. In England the film was called Disc Jockey Jamboree.
1966: ‘Love is a Hurtin’ Thing’ by Lou Rawls ws the number one song this day.
1967: Retired boxing champ Michael Moorer turns 46 today.
1974: Happy Birthday to actress R. Tamala Jones who turns 39 today.
1976: Grammy Award winning singer Tevin Campbell turns 37 today.
1977: Ernest N. Morial was elected the 1st black mayor of NOLA.
1977: The Spingarn Medal was awarded to Alex Haley.
1983: Cincinnati-based sextet the Deele made their R&B chart debut today with “Body Talk,” eventually rising to #3.
1983: James Ingram charted with his first album, It’s Your Night, which reached only #46 pop despite selling more than 500,000 copies. James’ early days included a stint recording and touring with Ray Charles.
1983: Jazz trombonist Preston Jackson passed away. He was 75 years old.
1984: Award winning writer Chester Himes passed away. He was 75 years old.
1994: Babyface made his solo performance debut at a fund-raiser for the Boarder Baby Project in Washington, DC. Also performing were El DeBarge and the group After Seven, which included Babyface’s two brothers, Melvin and Kevon.
1998: Jazz musician Kenny Kirkland died from congestive heart failure. He was 43.
1998: Ex-Fugee member Lauryn Hill gave birth to a daughter, Seluh Marley, in New York. The father was her fiancé, Rohan Marley, son of reggae star Bob Marley.
2003: Drummer Tony Thompson passed away, aged 48, from kidney cancer. He was a member of Power Station & Chic.
2007: Aletra Hampton passed away, aged 92. She was a jazz pianist, singer and founding member, who performed for years as part of the Hampton Sisters act.
2008: Darren “Chip” Lumar was fatally shot, aged 38, in an apparent contract killing. He was a prominent Atlanta businessman and son-in-law of entertainer James Brown.
2012: Kenny ‘Eggman’ Williamson passed away, aged 65. He was assistant general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies assistant.