September 27: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: R.B. Greaves
1827:Hiram Revels was born. He was a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a politician. He was the first person of color to serve in the United States Senate, and in the U.S. Congress overall. He passed away in 1901.
1905:The first published blues composition hit the streets of America. W. C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” went on sale in Memphis, TN.
1933:Greg Morris passed away. He was an actor of film and television. He was 62 years old.
1936:Don Cornelius was born. He was a television show host and producer and the creator of the nationally syndicated dance/music franchise Soul Train. He passed in 2012.
1952:The son of a former Memphis preacher, Johnny Ace (actually John Alexander Jr.) hit #1 today on the R&B charts with his first single, “My Song.” His “song” would stay there for nine weeks. Sixteen years later (1968), Aretha Franklin would reenergize “My Song” to the tune 0f #10 R&B (#31 pop).
1953:Robbie Shakespeare was born. He is a Jamaican bass player and producer. He turns 60 today.
1954:Keith Barrow was born. He was a R&B singer and composer. He died 1983 at age 29 from AIDS related illness.
1968:The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, and Shorty Long performed at a benefit for the Mayor of Gary, IN, at the Gilroy Stadium in Gary.
1969:The Originals’ “Baby I’m For Real” (#1 R&B, #14 pop) was released. Freddie Gorman of the quartet had penned the Marvelettes hit “Please Mr. Postman” eight years earlier.
1969:’Oh, What a Night’ by the Dells was the number one R&B song this day.
1970:Actress Tamara Taylor was born. Her most famous role is that of Dr. Camille Saroyan, head of the Forensic Division, on the forensic crime drama Bones. She is 43 today.
1972:Sylvia Crawley was born. She is a former professional women’s basketball forward, licensed minister and motivational speaker.
1982:Lil Wayne was born. He is a rapper, producer and CEO.
1982:Darrent Williams was born. He was a NFL player for the Denver Broncos. He was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in 2007 at age 24.
1987:Marvin Gaye received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1992:The Neville Brothers performed in Luciano Pavarotti’s horse stable in Modena, Italy (now there’s an interesting venue), as a fund-raiser to benefit leukemia research.
1994:George Benson sang a duet with the Muppets for the “Kermit Unpigged” album, which was issued today.
2000:Frank Wills passed away. He was the night watchman who found evidence of a break-in at the Watergate Hotel.
2003:116 Black African boys were rescued from a slave labor camp in Nigeria. Police rescued the boys, who were as young as four years old who had been put to work in the granite quarries in Southwest Nigeria.
2004:Louis Satterfield passed away. He was a bass and trombone player primarily as a session musician. He was 67.
2008:George “Wydell” Jones passed away at age 71. He was a rock musician who wrote the doo-wop hit “Rama Lama Ding Dong” and performed it as a member of The Edsels.
2010:Ed Wiley Jr. passed away at age 80. He was a jazz and blues saxophonist who recorded the 1950 hit “Cry, Cry Baby” and was considered an early influence in rock ‘n’ roll.
2012:R. B. Greaves passed away at age 68. He was a rhythm and blues singer whose 1969 hit “Take a Letter, Maria” reached No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart.
2012:Frank Wilson passed away at age 71. He was a Motown record producer and songwriter who worked with the Supremes, the Temptations, and Marvin Gaye.