September 16: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Norman Whitfield
1925:B.B. King ‘The King of Blues’ was born.
1931:Little Willie Littlefield was born. He was a R&B and boogie-woogie pianist and singer. He passed away this past June. He was 81.
1934:Elgin Baylor was born. He is a retired pro basketball Hall of Famer and NBA General Manager. He turns 79 today.
1935:Billy Boy Arnold was born. He is a blues harmonica & guitar player, singer and songwriter. He is 78 today.
1950:Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was born. He is an author, documentary filmmaker, essayist, literary critic and professor.
1953:Earl Klugh was born. He is a guitarist and composer and considered by many to be one of the finest acoustic guitar players today.
1959: Dick Clark’s first “Caravan of Stars” tour opens in New York, featuring The Coasters, The Drifters, Lloyd Price, LaVern Baker, Duane Eddy, Paul Anka and Annette Funicello.
1964:Sam Cooke performed on the debut TV show ‘Shindig’ with the Righteous Brothers.
1967:The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s LP Are You Experienced? entered the charts.
1970: Jimi Hendrix takes the stage at a Eric Burdon and War concert at London club Ronnie Scott’s, marking the last time the guitarist will ever play in public.
1972:’I’ll Be Around’ by the Spinners charted eventually reaching number one.
1977:Musiq Soulchild was born. He is a R&B singer and songwriter. He turns 36 today.
1986:Kyla Pratt was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 27 today.
1990:Janet Jackson performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After the show she presented the UNCF with a check for $450,000.
1992:Dionne Warwick appeared at a fund-raiser for presidential hopeful Bill Clinton at millionaire Ted Field’s Beverly Hill Mansion and sang ‘Amazing Grace’.
1994:Whitney Houston began the first of seven performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York. All of the shows were sell-outs, grossing more than $2,500,000.
1995:’Kiss from a Rose’ charted eventually reaching number one Pop and winning Record of the Year honors at the Grammy Awards.
2002:A Consecration Ceremony for the Key West African Refugee Cemetery took place.
2003:The Vocal Group Hall of Fame held its 6th annual induction ceremonies. The Whispers, the Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Five Satins, the Charioteers, the Isley Brothers, the Impressions and Martha and the Vandellas all were inducted.
2004:Izora Armstead of the Weather Girls passed away. She was a singer, songwriter and manager. She was 62 years old.
2007:Louis J. Willie Jr. passed away at age 84. He was a black insurance company executive who helped to defuse a racial dispute surrounding the 1990 PGA Championship by becoming an honorary member at the host course, the all-white Shoal Creek Country Club in suburban Birmingham, even though he was not an avid golfer. Afterward, the PGA and other golf groups said they would no longer hold tournaments at clubs that lacked minorities or women as members.
2007:Ed Smith passed away. He was a Democrat operative who spent his life in a wheelchair (childhood polio) while registering voters and working for civil rights and was a force in North Carolina Democrat politics, working on at least 60 political campaigns. He died of pneumonia at age 56.
2008: Norman Whitfield passed away. He was a Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer who co-wrote a string of Motown classics including “War,” “Just My Imagination,” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” He suffered from diabetes and other related ailments. He was 67 years old.