September 30: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Johnny Mathis
1887: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University was founded in Tallahassee, FL, on this date.
1933: Cissy Houston was born. She is a Grammy Award winning gospel singer and mother of Whitney Houston.
1935: Z.Z. Hill was born. He was a blues singer in the soul blues tradition. He died of a heart attack in 1984. He was 48 years old.
1935: Singer Johnny Mathis was born. He has sold over 350 million records worldwide with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status. He turns 78 today.
1942: Frankie Lymon was born. He was a singer and songwriter and founding member of The Teenagers. He died of a heroin overdose at age 25 in 1968.
1943: Marilyn McCoo was born. She is a singer, actress, presenter, ‘Solid Gold’ host, author and was the lead female vocalist of the Grammy Award winning group The 5th Dimension. She turns 70 today.
1946: Sylvia Peterson was born. She is a singer, songwriter and an original member of The Chiffons. She turns 67 today.
1956: Vondie Curtis-Hall was born. He is an actor of film & television and a director. He turns 57 today.
1957: ‘Mr. Lee’ by the Bobbettes was the number one R&B song on this day.
1957: The legendary girl group the Chantels’ first single, “He’s Gone,” written by Lead singer Arlene Smith, debuted on the charts, peaking at #71 pop.
1957: Little Richard’s “Keep A Knockin’ ” charted on its way to #2 R&B and #8 pop.
1957: The Val Chords’ “Candy Store Love” and the Sh-Booms’ “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” were released. The Sh-Booms were actually the Chords of “Sh-Boom” fame.
1960: Mike Howard was born. She is a jazz/R&B singer and actress. She turns 53 today.
1962: James Meredith entered the University of Mississippi, defying segregation.
1966: Kerry G. Johnson was born. He is a cartoonist, graphic designer, caricaturist & children’s book illustrator. He turns 47 today.
1967: The Precisions entered the R&B hit list with one of the great but overlooked soul singles of the late ’60s, “If This Is Love (I’d Rather Be Lonely),” reaching #26 and #60 pop.
1972: Chuck Berry’s single “My Ding-A-Ling” charted R&B, reaching #42. It went on to reach #1 pop. It was the last of Chuck’s twenty-three hit R&B singles, and the only #1 pop he ever had.
1977: The California African American Museum was founded on this day.
1983: Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones was born. He is a NFL player. He turns 30 today.
1984: Keisha Buchanan was born. She is a British singer-songwriter and was a founding member of the BRIT Award-winning girl group the Sugababes. She turns 29 today.
1991: Diana Ross, spokeswoman for the National Children’s Day Foundation, spoke before a House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, in Washington, DC.
1993: Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown had their limousine polled over at New York’s Kennedy International Airport by nine police officers with guns drawn, looking for drugs.
1995: Mary J. Blige reached #17 in England with her recording of “Mary Jane (All Night Long),” based on “All Night Long,” the hit by the Mary Jane Girls that was written and produced by Rick James.
1995: George Kirby passed away. He was a comedian, singer and actor. He was 72.
1998: Luther Vandross performed at the Johannesburg Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2008: J. L. Chestnut Jr. passed away at age 77. He was the first black lawyer in Selma, Alabama and a prominent attorney in civil rights cases. Chestnut later defended blacks in major voter fraud prosecutions and helped black farmers to make financial claims against the US Department of Agriculture for regularly denying subsidies and other assistance to them because of their race.
2011: Erik Martin passed away at age 14. He was a Seattle boy with several severe health problems and a rare form of cancer. But in his imagination Erik was Electron Boy, a superhero who saved Seattle from the forces of darkness and evil. In 2010 the Make-a-Wish Foundation created the event, and a group of independent comic-book creators published a real comic book of Erik’s exploits.
2011: Marv Tarplin passed away at age 70. He was a Motown guitarist and songwriter who shaped the sound of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and was a co-composer of “The Tracks of My Tears” and other hits.