September 9: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Otis Redding
1915: Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
1927: Elvin Jones was born. He was a jazz drummer and bandleader. He passed in 2004 at age 76.
1930: Frank Lucas was born. He is a retired drug trafficker/smuggler and the subject for the movie American Gangster starring Denzel Washington. He turns 83 today.
1940: Joe Negroni was born. He was a rock and roll pioneer and founding member of the rock and roll group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. He died in 1978 from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 37.
1941: Otis Redding was born. He was a singer and songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. He was killed in a plane crash in 1967. He was 26.
1942: Inez Foxx was born. She and her brother were a R&B / soul duo from Greensboro, NC. She sang lead and he played guitar & sang backup.
1945: Dee Dee Sharp was born. She is an R&B singer and wife of Bill Witherspoon. She is 68 today.
1957: Former Dominoes lead singer Jackie Wilson signed with Brunswick Records as a solo artist. His first single would be “Reet Petite,” recorded the day before.
1967: Sam & Dave charted with “Soul Man” reaching #1 R&B for seven weeks and #2 pop. The record became a defining moment in classic soul music for decades to come.
1972: ‘Back Stabbers’ by the O’Jays was the number one R&B song on this day.
1974: Divine Brown was born. She is a Canadian Juno Award Winning R&B and Soul singer and theater performer. She is 39 today.
1977: Soulja Slim was born. He was a rapper and songwriter. He was fatally shot in 2003 at age 26.
1979: Jazz double-bassist Wilbur Ware passed away one day after his 56th birthday.
1981: Helen Humes passed away at age 68. She was successively a teenage blues singer, band vocalist with Count Basie, saucy R&B diva and a mature interpreter of the classy popular song.
1982: Patti LaBelle opened on Broadway, co-starring with Al Green in the gospel musical, Your Arm’s Too Short to Box with God. The Alvin Theater schedule called for thirty shows, but due to rave reviews the show ran for eighty performances.
1995: B.B. King held his seventieth birthday party while performing at Nashville’s Riverfront Stadium. The concert was hosted by the Gibson Guitar Company, the organization that made B.B.’s guitar, Lucille.
1995: Talk about a slow crawl: fifteen months after its debut, Seal’s self-titled album peaked at #15 in England.
1998: Toni Braxton took over the role of Belle in the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast at the Palace Theater in New York.
1998: The Chicago Defender building was dedicated as a Chicago landmark.
2001: Actor Tommy Hollis died of a heart attack. He was 47 years old.
2004: The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain agreed to a $8.7 million settlement to resolve all lawsuits brought or supported by the NAACP. The chain was accused of segregating blacks in the smoking section and denying them service.
2007: John Garrett Penn passed away at age 75. He was a district judge, a former chief judge of the federal court in Washington.
2008: Tina Allen passed away at age 58. She was a sculptor whose monumental bronze statues and busts of prominent blacks throughout history including abolitionist Sojourner Truth and author Alex Haley fill public spaces across the US.
2012: Louis Stout passed away at age 73. He was president of the National Amateur Athletic Union who fostered a “culture of safety” after his predecessor was accused (but never charged) of molesting two young basketball players.