October 31: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Booker T. Washington
1896: Ethel Waters was born. She was a Grammy Hall of Fame enductee, singer and actress. She passed in 1977, age 80.
1893: William Henry Lewis, the 1st African-American college football player was selected as an All American in the sport.
1899: W.F. Burr received a patent for a railway switching device.
1902: Julia Lee was born. She was a blues & dirty blues singer and pianist. She passed away in 1958, aged 56 from a heart attack.
1922: Illinois Jacquet was born. He was a pioneer of the honking tenor saxophone. He passed in 2004, aged 81.
1945: Booker T. Washington was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.
1950: Earl ‘Big Cat’ Lloyd became the 1st African American to play in an NBA game.
1952: Pianist Johnnie Johnson hired 26 year old Chuck Berry as a guitarist in his band. While playing evening gigs in the St. Louis area, Berry kept his day job as a hairdresser for the next three years.
1952: Bernard Edwards was born. He was a bass player and record producer, both as a member of the funk/disco band Chic and on his own. He died of pneumonia while touring in Japan in 1996. He was 44.
1957: Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell turns 56 today. He is an actor of stage, film and television.
1964: The Supremes started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Baby Love’.
1964: Ray Charles was arrested by Logan Airport customs officials in Boston and charged with possession of heroin. He entered rehab and kicked the habit.
1968: Antonio Davis turns 45 today. He is a retired NBA player and currently an ESPN studio analyst for NBA broadcasts.
1970: ‘Motown Chartbusters Vol 4′ went to No.1 on the UK album chart. The album featured tracks from The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Temptations and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.
1977: Eva Taylor passed away at age 82. She was a blues singer and stage actress.
1987: Forbes Magazine listed the Top 40 American entertainment earners from 86-87 and Whitney Houston came in at #8 with $44 million.
1990: Happy Birthday to Lil’ JJ who turns 23 today. He is a stand-up comedian, musician, dancer adn actor.
1991: Garvin Bushell passed away, aged 89. He was a jazz and classical music on clarinet, alto clarinet, oboe, english horn, flute, saxophone, bassoon, and contrabassoon.
1992: Boyz II Men were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘End Of The Road’, taken from the film ‘Boomerang’.
1995: Rosalind Cash passed away at age 56 of cancer. She was a singer and actress of stage, screen and television.
1996: Slash announced he was no longer in Guns N’ Roses and stated that he and Axl Rose had only been civil to each other on two occasions since 1994.
1997: Virgil Garnett Trice, Jr. passed away, aged 71. He was a well respected chemical engineer and official with the U.S. Department of Energy.
2004: R. Kelly was kicked off a tour with Jay-Z, a day after claiming he was attacked with pepper spray by a member of the rapper’s entourage.
2007: 22-year-old X Factor winner singer Leona Lewis helped boost UK online music downloads to a record 1.7 million in one week making it the biggest week ever for download sales. Lewis sold more than 106,000 downloads of her track ‘Bleeding Love.’
2010: Artie Wilson passed away, aged 90. He was a shortstop in the Negro leagues who batted .402 for the Birmingham (Ala.) Black Barons in 1948. Wilson twice led the Negro American League in batting and became a mentor and friend to a teenage teammate, Willie Mays.
2010: Maurice Lucas passed away, age 58, after a recurrence of bladder cancer. He was an All-Star forward known as “the Enforcer” who helped to take the Portland Trail Blazers to their only NBA championship in 1977.