October 26: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Hattie McDaniel
1899: William Juilus ‘Judy’ Johnson was born. He was a baseball player considered among the finest 3rd basemen in history.He retired in 1973, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. He passed away in 1989.
1911: Mahalia Jackson, Grammy Award winning legend and the Queen of Gospel Music, was born in New Orleans. She passed away in 1972.
1919: Edward Brooke turns 94 today. He was the 1st African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote.
1940: Eddie Henderson turns 74 today. He is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player and composer.
1951: Happy Birthday to Bootsy Collins. He turns 62 today. He is a singer, musician, record producer and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
1952: Hattie McDaniel passed away, aged 57. She was the 1st African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind in 1939.
1962: The first Motortown Revue began in Washington, DC, at the Howard Theater. The acts included the Supremes, the Temptations, Mary Wells, the Marvelettes, Little Stevie Wonder, the Contours, Martha & the Vandellas, and Marvin Gaye.
1974: Dionne Warwick teamed with the Spinners and struck gold when their recording of “Then Came You” reached #1 on this day.
1974: B.B. King hooked up with his old chauffeur Bobby “Blue” Bland for Together For the First Time. . .Live. The album reached #43 pop and hung around the hit list for twenty weeks.
1985: ‘Part Time Lover’ by Stevie Wonder was the number one R&B song this day.
1989: Chubby Checker performed on a British tour starting at Swansea Leisure Center in Swansea, Wales. Earlier, Chubby had met up with Hank Ballard, who wrote “The Twist,” and had the original recording.
1992: Cissy Houston, Odetta, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, Lucy Simon (Carly’s sister), Lesley Gore, Maureen McGovern, and the Roaches recorded “America the Beautiful” and “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” as the Clintones for torchlight parades across America to promote the Women Light the Way for Change cause.
1985: Monta Ellis turns 28 today. He is a basketball player who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA.
1994: Wilbert Harrison passed away, aged 65. He was an R&B singer, pianist, guitarist adn harmonica player. In 1959, his song ‘Kansas City’ went to #1 and sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
1996: Former member of the all-sisters group the Braxtons, Toni Braxton reached the Hot 100 with “Un-Break My Heart” (#1), her eleventh hit since 1992.
1996: Curtis Mayfield, still paralyzed from a 1990 accident, charted with the album New World Order, his first album in five years, which he recorded flat on his back.
2005: David Townsend passed away at age 50. He was a musician best known as the guitarist for the R&B band Surface, and the son of singer, songwriter Ed Townsend.
2005: Florastine Magee Creed Jacobson passed away, aged 59. She was the highest-ranking black woman in the history of the Boston Police Department (affectionately known as Flo). She worked her way up through the ranks from patrol officer, detective, and sergeant before being appointed a deputy superintendent in charge of the Office of Labor Relations.
2007: Stephan Cowans, 37, was found shot to death in his home. He spent more than six years in prison after being wrongly convicted in the shooting of a Boston police officer in 1997. Cowans was exonerated in 2004 after authorities reexamined the fingerprints and later received a $3.2 million settlement from the city and $500,000 from the state.
2010: James F. Phelps passed away at age 78. He was a gospel and rhythm-and-blues singer who performed with soul greats including Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke. Phelps was a founder of the group Clefs of Calvary and had a hit single “Love Is a Five-Letter Word” in 1965.
2012: R&B singer Natina Reed died after being struck by a car in Atlanta two days before her 33rd birthday. She was also a member of the female group Blaque.