November 23: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Junior Walker
1897: Inventor A.J. Beard was awarded a patent for the Railroad car-coupler.
1913: Writer, journalist & historian Dorothy Sterling was born. She passed away in 2008, aged 95.
1926: R.L. Burnside was born. He was a blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He passed in 2005, aged 79.
1936: Legendary blues artist Robert Johnson recorded his 1st session at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX, for American Record Corporation’s Vocalion label.
1939: Singer & pianist Betty Everett was born. She passed away in 2001, aged 61.
1941: Actress, playwright, elocutionist Henrietta V. Davis passed away, aged 81. She was proclaimed by Marcus Garvey to be the “greatest woman of the (African) race today.
1960: Happy Birthday to actor & comedian John Henton who turns 53 today.
1960: Happy Birthday to GMA anchor Robin Roberts who turns 53 today.
1967: Aretha Franklin appeared in New York’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Lady in the Show Float.
1968: ‘Who’s Making Love’ by Johnnie Taylor was the number one R&B song this day.
1968: Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” charted on its way to #1 both pop and R&B for seven weeks, becoming his biggest pop hit.
1972: Happy Birthday to rapper Kurupt who turns 41 today.
1973: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, and the Stylistics performed at San Francisco’s famed Cow Palace.
1974: Happy Birthday to Malik Rose who turns 39 today. He is a former NBA player and current broadcaster.
1985: Rapper LL Cool J (James Todd Smith, whose stage name stands for “Ladies Love Cool James”) charted with “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” reaching R&B #15.
1991: Patti LaBelle sang her favorite song, “Over the Rainbow,” on CBS-TV’s Party for Richard Pryor. Also performing were the Pointer Sisters and Bobby Womack.
1994: Michael Jackson was cleared in a paternity suit after DNA results proved he was NOT the father.
1995: Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Walker), the master sax player who charted 26 times with and without his soul group the All-Stars, died this day of cancer in Battle Creek, MI. His group was named when an enthusiastically inebriated man jumped up at a show and proclaimed, “These guys are all stars.” Junior was sixty-four.
2000: R&B singer Bobby Sheen died from pneumonia, aged 59.
2001: Grammy Award winning singer O.C. Smith passed away, aged 69.
2002: Otis Redding’s widow and former manager sued Scott Freeman, author of a 2001 biography of the late soul singer that mentioned rumors to the effect that Redding’s then-manager caused his plane to crash in 1967, with a little help from the mob, in order to collect on his life insurance.
2008: The oldest living person in the world Pearl Gartrell passed away, aged 120. She did not have a birth certificate but her birth date was recorded in the family Bible as April 1, 1888. This would make her 120 years old when she
2011: Barry Llewellyn passed away, aged 64. He was cofounder of the Heptones, a leading Jamaican reggae and rocksteady trio from the ‘60s.
2012: Lawrence Guyot, Jr. passed away, aged 73. He was a civil rights activist who was the director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964.