September 7: This Day in Black History
1917: Jacob Lawrence was born. He was an artist whose works depicted his passionate concern for the plight of his people. He died in 2000 at age 82.
1930: Sonny Rollins was born. He is a jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader. He is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. He turns 83 today.
1934: James ‘Little Milton’ Campbell was born. He was an Electric Blues, R&B guitarist and singer. He passed away in 2005 at age 70.
1942: Richard Roundtree was born. He is an actor and former fashion model. He turns 72 today.
1949: Singer, songwriter and actress Gloria Gaynor was born. She turns 64 today.
1954: Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md., public schools integrated
1956: Showing their international clout, the Platters charted in England with two hit A-sides back-to-back as “The Great Pretender”/”Only You” went on to #5.
1961 Chuck Jackson, the Shirelles, Chubby Checker, and Bobby Lewis performed at Palisades Amusement Park in Fort Lee, NJ.
1963: Eric Lynn Wright better known as Eazy-E was born. He as dubbed ‘The Godfather of Gangsta Rap’ and was a member of the hip hop group N.W.A. He died of AIDS in 1995 at age 31.
1968: Fats Dominos cover of the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” charted, though it only reached #100 pop. It would be the last of sixty-six Top 100 singles in his career.
1971: Briana Scurry was born. She is a retired soccer player and Olympic Gold medalist of the 1996 Centennial Olympic games.
1971: Shane Mosley was born. He is a professional boxer who holds many titles. He has a match schedule for October of this years. He turns 42 today.
1984: Janet Jackson announced she had secretly married DeBarge’s James DeBarge. It lasted all of seven months.
1985: “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston was the number one song this day.
1990: MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” won Best Dance Video and Best rap Video at the seventh annual MTV Video Music Awards. New Edition reunited for the event and performed.
1990: B.B. King was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2000: Legendary lead singer of the gospel superstars, the Soul Stirrers, R.H. Harris, died at his home in Chicago. He helped shape gospel music into what is today called the “quartet” style of singing with his high voice and performance gymnastics. He influenced many later R&B stars including Sam Cooke and Al Green. He was eighty-six and about to be inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
2002: Erma Franklin passed away. She was a gospel and R&B singer and Aretha’s oldest sister. She was 64 years old.
2010: Rev. Lucius Walker passed away at age 80. He was a clergyman who led an annual pilgrimage of US aid volunteers to Cuba in defiance of Washington’s nearly 50-year-old trade embargo. Walker headed the nonprofit Pastors for Peace, which since 1992 has taken tons of supplies to Cuba via Mexico and Canada—everything from walkers and wheelchairs to computer monitors and clothing.
2011: Wardell Quezergue passed away at age 81. He was a prime mover in New Orleans rhythm and blues since the early ‘50s as a producer, arranger, and bandleader for a long list of artists.