September 10: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Roy ‘Good Rockin’ Brown
1880: Georgia Douglas Johnson was born. She was a poet and member of the Harlem Renaissance. She passed in 1966.
1925: Roy Brown, an early New Orleans influence, was born today. Starting as an amateur boxer, Brown began singing pop ballads before discovering the blues and writing songs like “Good Rockin’ Tonight.” Though many believe “Rocket 88″ in 1951 was the first rock ‘n’ roll record, many feel it was Brown’s “Good Rockin’ ” or Wynonie Harris’ 1948 version. It has since taken on even greater appeal thanks to Elvis Presley’s recording in 1954.
1940: Roy Ayers was born. He is a funk, soul and jazz composer and vibraphone player. He turns 73 today.
1940: Buck Buchanan was born. He was a Hall of Fame NFL star. He passed away in 1992 from lung cancer. He was 51.
1948: Bob Lanier was born. He is a retired Hall of Fame NBA player. He turns 65 today.
1949: Rhythm and blues great Ivory Joe Hunter entered the R&B charts not once but twice today, with recordings on two different labels. “Waiting in Vain” on King and “Blues at Midnight” on 4 Star both charted, pitting Ivory Joe in a battle with himself. “Waiting” won, reaching #5, while “Blues” stopped at #10.
1960: Dick Clark’s American Bandstand‘s Saturday night run ended. Though Clark had been a racial pioneer, bringing countless Black acts to a national audience, his last night show included eight White artists and no Black acts.
1960: At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila became the 1st sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.
1963: Marvin Gaye, the Drifters, James Brown, Martha & the Vandellas, Ruby & the Romantics, the Crystals, Jimmy Reed, Doris Troy, Inez Fox, and Major Lance began the Biggest Show of Stars for ’63 package tour.
1963: Twenty African American students entered public schools in Alabama.
1966: “You Can’t Hurry Love’ by the Supremes was the number one song this day.
1968: Antonio Hardy aka Big Daddy Kane was born. He is a Grammy Award winning rapper. He turns 45 today.
1976: Woody Rock was born. He is a singer, songwriter, musician and former member of Dru Hill. He turns 37 today.
1976: Mordecai Johnson passed away. He was one of the most highly respected clergymen, educators and orator of his time. He served as the first black president of Howard University.
1977: Jeffery Osborne and L.T.D. charted with “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again,” reaching # 1 R&B and #4 pop. It became the group’s biggest hit of fourteen charters.
1993: Luther Vandross performed at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, AL, at the beginning of a national tour.
2001: Albert Moss aka DJ Uncle Al was fatally shot. He was a rapper and DJ. He was 33 years old.
2005: Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown passed away at age 81. He was a Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist and singer.
2006: Bennie Smith passed away at age 73. He was St. Louis blues guitarist, considered to be one of the city’s patriarchs of electric blues.
2008: Rev. Simmie Lee Harvey passed away at age 90. He was a fiery New Orleans Baptist preacher and civil rights stalwart who worked alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped to plan the March on Washington in 1963.
2009: Juanita Brooks passed away at age 55. She was a New Orleans blues and jazz singer who performed at popular clubs in her hometown and all over the world.