September 29: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Sylvia Robinson
1908: Eddie Tolan was born. He was the first non Euro-American to receive the title of the “world’s fastest human” after winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters events at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He passed in 1967 at age 59.
1926: Chuck Cooper was born. He was the first African-American to be drafted by an NBA team in 1950. He passed in 1984 at age 57.
1934: Shirley Gunter was born. She was one of the first women in rock & roll and helped to pave the way for other women to lead their own groups
1945: “The Honeydripper” by Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers was the number one R&B song on this day.
1948: Bryant Gumbel was born. He is a television journalist and sportscaster. He turns 65 today.
1956: The Marigolds’ “Juke Box Rock & Roll” ($350) was released. Lead singer Johhny Bragg and the rest of the quintet were all residents of the Tennessee State Prison, as was Bragg’s previous group, the Prisonaires.
1955: Gwen Ifill was born. She is a journalist, television newscaster and author. She is the managing editor and moderator of Washington Week and a senior correspondent for the PBS News Hour, both of which air on PBS.She turns 58 today.
1959: Little Anthony & the Imperials recorded “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop” (#24 R&B, #14 pop), a song that would become their last hit for five years and a record Anthony was quoted as calling “stupid.”
1969: DeVante Swing was born. He is a record producer, singer, rapper, songwriter and founding member of the R&B group Jodeci. He turns 44 today.
1970: Jason Lewis aka AMG was born. He is a rapper from Cleveland, Ohio. He turns 43 today.
1973: Former New York model Millie Jackson nudged her way onto the Top 200 album list with “It Hurts So Good” (#175), her second of 14 hit LPs.
1975: Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack on-stage during Dick Clark’s Good Ol’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue at Cherry Hill, NJ’s, Latin Casino. The Spinners and Barry White were among several acts that held benefits to raise money for his medial expenses. He was singing “Lonely Teardrops” at the time.
1976: The Penumbra Theater in St. Paul, MN opened with its first production.
1977: Debelah Morgan was born. She is a singer and songwriter. She is 36 today.
1984: Geater Davis passed away. He was a soul singer & songwriter and has been described as “one of the South’s great lost soul singers, an impassioned stylist whose voice was a combination of sweetness and sandpaper grit. He died of a heart attack at age 38.
1985: Calvin Johnson was born. He is a NFL wide receiver for the Detroit Lines. He turns 28 today.
1988: Kevin Durant was born. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist and a NBA player with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He turns 25 today.
1990: Ray Charles and B.B. King began a world tour in the Taiwan capital, Taipei.
1990: The Braxtons, a trio of teen sisters from Maryland, charted with their soul debut, “Good Life,” reaching #79 R&B. One of the siblings would soon go on to solo success: Toni Braxton signed with Arista Records in 1991.
1990: Take 6, an a cappella gospel group, did the near impossible in the rap era when they charted R&B with “I L-O-V-E U,” reaching #19.
1992: USA Today called Shabba Ranks the new Bob Marley. Meanwhile, the new Marley was accused of rape by a woman appearing in his video “Loada Girls.” It was the fourth time Shabba had been accused of rape.
1995: Kool & the Gang, the Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden at the KISS-FM Classic Soul concert.
1998: Tom Bradley passed away at age 80. He was the 38th Mayor of Los Angeles and the only African-American mayor of that city, and his 20 years in office mark the longest tenure by any mayor in the city’s history before term limits passed by California voters in 1990 came into effect. His 1973 election made him only the second African-American mayor of a major U.S. city.
1999: China Anderson was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 14 today.
2001: Gloria Foster passed away at age 67. She was an award-winning actress of stage, Broadway and films.
2008: Milt Davis passed away at age 79. He was an all-Pro defensive back who helped the Baltimore Colts to win two NFL championships in the ’50s.
2011: Sylvia Robinson passed away at age 76. Some proclaimed her to be the mother of hip-hop and was later known as one of hip-hop’s early founders for releasing “Rapper’s Delight” rap’s first mainstream success.