September 4: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Beyonce Knowles
1848: Lewis Latimer was born. He was a draftsman and inventor. He is an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and holds seven patents. He passed away in 1928 at age 80.
1905: Lux Lewis was born. He was one of the great boogie-woogie pianist of all time. He passed in 1964 at age 59.
1908: Richard Wright was born. He was an award winning author of novels, short stories, poems and non-fiction. He died of a heart attack in 1960. He was 52.
1942: Merald ‘Bubba’ Knight was born. He is a singer and was one of the Pips along with Gladys Knight. He turns 71 today.
1948: Sonny Til & the Orioles’ debut disc, “It’s Too Soon to Know” was released. It reached #15 pop and #1 R&B. Never before had a Black group singing Black (not pop) music hit the Top 15.
1950: Ronald LaPread was born. He is a musician and was a member of the Commodores. He turns 63 today.
1952 Gladys and Brenda Knight, along with their brother Merald and cousins William and Eleanor Guest, performed at Merald’s tenth birthday party and decided they should become a group. They named themselves after the nickname of another cousin, James “Pip” Woods. It would be ten years before they became known as Gladys Knight & the Pips.
1953: Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs was born. He is a singer and actor. He played Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Washington in Welcome Back Kotter. He turns 60 today.
1954: Decca Records signed the Hollywood Flames.
1954: “Oh What a Dream” by Ruth Brown & Her Rhythmakers was the number one song this day.
1957: Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, called out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.
1957: Khandi Alexander was born. She is a dancer, choreographer and film and television actress. She turns 55 today.
1960: Damon Wayans was born. He is an actor, writer and comedian. He turns 53 today.
1962: New Orleans Catholic schools integrated.
1965: Otis Redding charted with “Respect,” a song he cowrote with Premiers member Speedo Simms. The 45 reached #35 pop and #4 R&B, but would be better known two years later as the defining hit of Aretha Franklin’s career.
1976: The Spinners hit the Top 100 with “The Rubberband Man” (#2 pop), which would become their sixth and final #1 R&B hit.
1976: Shar Jackson was born. She is a singer and television & film actress. She turns 37 today.
1981: Beyonce Knowles was born. She is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, etc. She is 32 today.
1996: The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly” won the award for best R&B video at the MTV Music Awards in New York.
2006: South African jazz saxophonist Moses Khumalo dubbed as one of S. Africa’s most promising young saxophonists took his life this day. He was 27.
2009: Jesse Mahelona passed away. He was a former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle where he played in 10 games as a rookie. He was killed in a car accident. He was 26 years old.
2011: Lee Roy Selmon passed away at age 56. He was a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Hall of Fame defensive end who teamed with his brothers Dewey and Lucious to create a dominant defensive front and helped to lead Oklahoma to consecutive national championships.
2012: Herman D. ‘Preacher’ Dennis passed away at age 96. He was a Delta grocery store owner who turned his store into a folk-art castle that became a roadside attraction.