September 20: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: The Cosby Show
1830: The National Negro Convention met in Philadelphia, PA. This group gathered for the express purpose of abolishing slavery and improving the status of African Americans.
1866: The Fisk Jubilee Singers was formed. These singers were emancipated slaves who toured to raise money for Fisk University.
1917: Clarice Taylor was born. She was an actress of stage, film and TV. She had a recurring role on The Cosby Show as Cliff Huxtable’s mom. She passed away in 2011 at age 93.
1921: Jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton was born. He turns 92 today.
1921: Actor and comedian Slappy White was born. He died in 1995 at age 74.
1925: Singer Bobby Nunn (The Coasters) was born. He passed away in 1986 of heart failure. He was 61.
1930: Eddie Bo was born. He was a singer and New Orleans-style pianist. Schooled in jazz, he was known for his blues, soul and funk recordings, compositions, productions and arrangements. He passed away in 2009 at age 78.
1933: Billy Walker passed away at age 73. He was a jockey and was the leading rider at Churchill Downs in the fall racing season of 1875-76 and the spring campaigns of 1876 through 1878. He was the winning rider aboard Ten Broeck in a famous July 4, 1878, match race at Louisville, KY.
1938: Eric Gale was born. He was a jazz and session guitarist. He died in 1994, aged 55 of cancer.
1947: Billy Bang was born. He was a jazz violinist and composer. He passed away in 2011 from cancer. He was 63 years old.
1952: The Ravens, one of two founding fathers of rhythm and blues (with the Orioles), charted with “Rock Me All Night Long,” reaching #4 R&B.
1956: Debbi Morgan was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 57 today.
1956: Steve Coleman was born. He is a saxophonist, spontaneous composer, composer and bandleader. He turns 57 today.
1959: The first oldies compilation album, “Oldies but Goodies” (Original Sound records), was issued. Of the twelve recordings, eleven were by Black acts, and the twelfth, the Mello-Kings classic “Tonite, Tonite,’ was thought at the time to have been by a Black group.
1962: James Meredith was temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi.
1969: Victoria Dillard was born. She is a dancer and an actor of film and television. She turns 44 today.
1973: Sly, Slick & Wicked’s single “Sho Nuff” was issued on James Brown’s People label. The Cleveland trio were performance specialists, having worked with the likes of the Dells, the O’Jays, B.B. King, the Ohio Players, Peabo Bryson, Con Funk Shun, and of course, James Brown. When records with Paramount, Motown, and Epic failed, lead singer John Wilson went on to produce for the Jackson’s.
1975: ‘It Only Takes a Minute, Girl’ by the Tavares was the number one song this day.
1978: Marvin Gaye re-inked with Motown Records for $600,000 each for the first two albums $1 million per album thereafter in a seven-year period.
1980: The Commodores and Bob Marley performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1984: Chess player and Air Force Sergeant Emory A. Tate, Jr. won the 25th Annual Armed Forces Chess Championship Tournament.
1984: The first episode of The Cosby Show aired.
1990: B.B. King and Ray Charles performed in Taiwan during a world tour that would not end for another two months.
2007: Between 15,000 and 20,000 protesters marched on Jena, Louisiana, in support of six black youths who had been convicted of assaulting a white classmate.
2008: Nappy Brown passed away at age 78. He was a gospel-influenced blues singer of such hits as “It Don’t Hurt No More” and “I Cried Like a Baby.”
2008: Ken Harris was a popular former Baltimore city councilman who stopped at a friend’s nightclub at 1:30 a.m. to borrow a corkscrew and was shot to death in an armed robbery, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was 45 years old.
2008: Bob Jones passed away at age 72. He was an author and former longtime publicist and agent for the legendary entertainment firm Motown Records whose controversial tell-all book, Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask.
2010: Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 23 years old.