September 15: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Jessye Norman
1852: Edward Bouchet was born. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Yale University and the first African American to be elected to the Phi Beta Kappa. He passed away in 1918.
1852: Jan Matzeliger was born. He was an inventor in the shoe industry. He passed in 1889.
1889: Claude McKay was born. He was a Jamaican American writer and poet who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He passed in 1948.
1915: Al Casey was born. He was a swing guitarist. He died in 2005.
1928: Cannonball Adderley was born. He was a jazz saxophonist and a jazz Hall of Famer. He died in 1975 after suffering a stroke at age 46.
1945: Jessye Norman was born. She is a Grammy award winning opera singer and recitalist. She is 68 today.
1956: The Dells’ standard “Oh, What a Nite” (Vee Jay, #4 R&B, $120) was released.
1956: The Cadets, who were on the charts with their hit “Stranded in the Jungle,” sang backup in Los Angeles on the ballad “I Confess.” The lead singer and writer was a White Canadian teenager named Paul Anka.
1963: The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL was bombed by two members of the KKK and four little girls were killed: Addie Mae Collin, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Denise McNair.
1968 Martha & the Vandellas performed on the debut episode of NBC-TV’s music show Soul with Lou Rawls.
1979: ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ by Michael Jackson was the number one R&B song this day.
1983: Prince Far I died this day after being shot in a robbery at his home. He was a Jamaican reggae deejay, producer and a Rastafarian. He was 39 years old.
1989: Natalie Cole hosted a forerunner of American Idol with her weekly show Big Break.
1991: Whitney Houston spoke at London’s Hyde Park at the Reach Out and Touch People with HIV and AIDS Rally.
1991: The mayor of San Francisco presented B.B. King with the keys to the city on his sixty-sixth birthday (actually a day early) at the annual San Francisco Blues Festival. Members of B;B.’s band on that joyous occasion included Bobby McFerrin, Robert Cray, and Boz Scaggs.
1995: James Brown performed “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
2007: Generoso Jimenez passed away at age 90. He was a legendary trombonist who redefined the role of the trombone in Cuban music and Latin jazz.
2007: Gordon (“Specs”) Powell passed away at age 85. He was a jazz drummer who recorded with Billie Holiday. In 1943, he was hired by CBS, becoming one of the first black musicians to play for a national network.
2008: Titus Antonius passed away. He was a prominent Namibian hip-hop musician and record producer popularly known by his stage name, YT-De Wet. Antonius died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he allegedly fatally shot his longtime manager and former girlfriend, Ndapanda Eigowas (21), during an argument. He was 30 years old.
2010: Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell passed away. He was a soca musician who won global fame with his 1983 hit “Hot Hot Hot.” Arrow was among the best-known artists of Caribbean-born soca, a fusion music with roots in calypso. He died of brain cancer at age 60.
2012: James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford, Jr. passed this day at age 77. He was a New Orleans R&B musician and the author of ‘Jock-A-Mo’ a hit later recreated Iko Iko and recorded by numerous artists.