September 21: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Florence Griffith Joyner aka Flo-Jo
1891: Inventor F.W. Leslie received a patent for the envelope seal.
1914: Slam Stewart was born. He was a jazz bass player whose trademark style was his ability to bow the bass (arco) and simultaneously hum or sing an octave higher. He passed in 1987 at age 73.
1929: Shafi Hadi was born. He is a jazz tenor and alto saxophonist known for his recordings with Charles Mingus and with Hank Mobley. He turns 84 today.
1942: Ewart Beckford aka U-Roy was born. He is a Jamaican vocalist and pioneer of toasting. He is 71 today.
1943: Trixie Smith passed away. She was a blues singer, recording artist, vaudeville entertainer, and actress. She was 48 years old.
1945: G.C. Cameron was born. He is a singer and was the leader singer of The Spinners. He is credited with having six different voices. He turns 68 today.
1959: ‘I Want to Walk You Home’ by Fats Domino was the number one R&B song on this day.
1959: The Isley Brothers charted pop with “Shout” (#47) their first of forty-six Top 100 hits over a forty-two-year period. The record would soon sell more than a million copies. It never made the R&B charts, however, as it was considered to be a more rock ‘n’ roll standard.
1963: Martha & the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave” peaked at #4 pop while reaching #1 R&B for four weeks and selling more than a million copies. Martha started out earning $35 a week as a secretary at Motown for Smokey Robinson and the writers of “Heat Wave,” Holland-Dozier-Holland.
1969: The Fifth Dimension performed on The Woody Allen TV Special on CBS.
1971: Alfonso Ribeiro was born. He actor, television director, dancer, game show host, and comedian. He is 42 today.
1973: Actress of film, stage and Broadway Diana Sands passed away. She died of leiomyosarcoma at aged 39.
1980: Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in Manhattan’s Central Park and was later told he had cancer.
1981: Nicole Richie was born. She is a fashion designer, author, actress and television personality. She is 32 today.
1984: James Brown married Modell Rodriguez.
1987: The Paris twins, Courtney and Ashley were born. They are known for their achievements in basketball and both play for the WNBA. The are 26 today.
1987: Ruth Attaway passed away of injuries resulting from an apt. fire. She was an actress of theater and film, radio and television. She was trained as a social worker and in between acting gigs worked with the American Red Cross. She was 77 years old.
1991: Diana Ross performed the last of three sellout shows at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, grossing more than $650,000 (not a bad weekend’s work).
1996: A remixed hip-hop version of Roberta Flack’s 1973 hit, “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music chart. The remix release was motivated by the success of the Fugees’ cover of “Killing Me” from earlier in the year.
1998: Olympic Gold Medalist Florence Griffith Joyner passed away on this day at age 38. She died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure. She was a track & field athlete and considered the ‘fastest woman of all time’.
2008: Nancy Hicks Maynard passed away at age 61. She was a pioneer in newsroom diversity and co-founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. In 1970 at age 23 she became the only second black female reporter at the New York Times.
2009: Sam Carr passed away at age 83. He was one of the best blues drummers in the country and considered an anchor on the blues scene that continues to draw fans to the poverty-stricken Delta region where the music form was born.
2009: Rev. John (Bootsie) Wilson passed away at age 69. He was the former lead singer and last surviving member of the soul group The Silhouettes
2012: Scott Hunter passed away at age 49. He was a North Carolina State Capitol police chief since 2003 who came to the department after nearly 20 years with the State Highway Patrol.