October 19: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: LaWanda Page
1900: Henry O Tanner, painter, won the Medal of Honor at the Paris Exposition.
1920: LaWanda Page was born. She was a comedienne and actor of film and stage. She passed in 2002, aged 81.
1922: Juanita Moore turns 91 today. She is an actress of film and television and was nominated for an Oscar her role in Imitation of Live Annie Johnson.
1936: Johnnetta B. Cole turns 77 today. She is an educator, cultural anthropologist and humanitarian. She is the 1st African-American female president of Spelman College from 1987 to 1997.
1944: George McCrae turns 69 today. He is a soul & disco singer. His song ‘Rock Your Baby’ became one of the 1st hits of the disco era selling an estimated 11 million copies worldwide.
1944: Peter Tosh was born. He was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers. He was fatally shot in 1987, aged 42
1945: Gloria Jones turns 68 today. She is a R&B singer, songwriter and currently works as a musical supervisor for films.
1945: Sharon Redd was born. She was a singer and actress. She passed in 1992, aged 46 of pneumonia.
1954: The Penguins’ classic “Earth Angel” (#1 R&B, #8 pop), was released.
1956: The world premiere of the rhythm and blues film Rockin’ the Blues was held at New York’s Apollo Theater. The cast included the Harptones, the Wanderers, the Hurricanes, and the Miller Sisters. The flick was followed by a stage show featuring the Wheels of “My Heart’s Desire” fame.
1958: Michael Steele turns 55 today. He is a politician and served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee
1959: ‘You Better Know It’ by Jackie Wilson was the number one song this day.
1960: The Shirelles appeared on American Bandstand performing what had become their first R&B charter nine days earlier, “Tonight’s the Night.”
1960: Jennifer Holliday turns 53 today. She is a Tony Award-winning actress and singer.
1962: Evander Holyfield turns 51 today. He is a retired professional boxer and a former Undisputed World Champion in both the cruiser-weight and heavyweight divisions.
1963: Brook Benton began the British tour billed as the Greatest Record Show of 1963 along with Dion, Trini Lopez, Timi Yuro, and Lesley Gore. The tour’s first stop was the Finsbury Park Astoria in London.
1964: Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, and Lightin’ Hopkins began a five-day concert series at the second American Negro Blues Festival at Fairfield Halls in Surrey, England.
1966: Sinitta turns 47 today. She is a British-American singer, songwriter, actress and Britain’s X-Factor mentor.
1966: Roger Cross turns 47 today. He is an actor of film and television.
1972: Pra turns 41 today. He is a two-time Grammy-winning rapper, best known as one of the founding members of the critically acclaimed hip hop group, the Fugees.
1976: Joy Bryant turns 37 today. She is a former fashion model turned actress, currently starring in the NBC drama Parenthood.
1976: Omar Gooding turns 37 today. He is a stand-up comedian, actor, rapper, voice artist, and comedian.
1988: Son House, Jr. passed away, aged 86. He was a blues singer and guitarist noted for his highly emotional style of singing & slide guitar playing.
1991: Aaron Neville peaked at #8 pop with a cover of the Main Ingredient’s 1972 hit “Everybody Plays the Fool.” The original reached #3.
1991: The Temptations performed at the Alabama State Fair in Birmingham, AL.
1992: Donna Summer performed at the Palais Omnisports in Paris, France
1995: Don Cherry passed away, aged 58. He was an innovative jazz trumpetist.
2010: Warren Hamilton passed away at age 50. He was a City of Memphis employee and bass player for the Memphis soul/rhythm-and-blues group The Soul Shockers, known to most Memphians as one of the best r&b/soul bands in the area.
2012: Lincoln Alexander passed away at age 90. He was the son of a hotel maid and a railway porter who became Canada’s first black Member of Parliament and the first black cabinet minister. Alexander was also Canada’s first black lieutenant governor.