September 11: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Lola Falana
1902: Robert Hicks aka Barbecue Bob was born. He was an early Piedmont blues musician. His nickname came from the fact that he was a cook in a barbecue restaurant. He died in 1931 at age 29 of a combination of tuberculosis and pneumonia brought on by influenza.
1942: Lola Falana was born. She is a singer, dancer and actress. She is 71 today.
1945: Felton Perry was born. He is an actor of film and television. He turns 68 today.
1951: Ray Charles, having recently signed to Atlantic Records, attended his first recording session with producer Jesse Stone at the helm.
1956: The Harptones recorded the legendary “Shrine of St. Cecilia” ($80) and “On Sunday Afternoon” ($80).
1959: Duke Ellington was awarded the Spingarn Medal for his musical achievements.
1961: Aretha Franklin’s “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby” was released. It became her only Top 40 single of nine pop charters (#37) while on Columbia and in the misguided hands of Mitch Miller, who never saw her soul potential. Aretha was all of 21 years of age when she did the following performance in 1963. She comported herself as if she had been playing and singing for many years. The song is featured on her 1963 album, “The Electrifying Aretha.”
Here’s James (Papa’s Brand New Bag,” Aretha’s “Rock-A-Bye,” and Marvin Gaye performing “Hitchhike.” Don’t forget to drink thee glasses of milk everyday!
1965: “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Part 1” by James Brown was the number one R&B song this day.
1965: New York trio the Toys hit the big time with “A Lover’s Concerto” (#2 pop). The song’s melody was based on a Bach’s minuet from the Anna Magdalena Notebook.
1968: Sly & the Family Stone arrived in london to begin a tour, but customs officials ended that plan when they found drugs in the member’s baggage. The group spent a week in London but didn’t do a single performance.
1970: Taraji P. Henson was born. She is an award winning actress of film and television. She turns 43 today.
1972: The New Bill Cosby Show made its debut on this day.
1975: O’Neil Bryan aka Elephant Man & Energy God was born. He is a Jamaica dancehall musician. He turns 38 today.
1977: Ludacris was born. He is a rapper, entrepreneur and actor. He turns 36 today.
1987: Paula Abdul won the best Choreography award at MTV’s fourth annual Video Music Awards for Janet Jackson’s ”Nasty.” Abdul would go on to choreograph videos for such diverse talents as Dolly Parton, ZZ Top, Duran Duran, and Debbie Gibson.
1987: Peter Tosh was fatally shot. He was a singer, songwriter and musician. He was 42 years old.
1993: Janet Jackson made her film debut when the motion picture Poetic Justice hit theaters this day.
1996: B.B. King and the Neville Brothers performed at new York’s Radio City Music Hall in the Blues Music Festival ’96.
1996: Isaac Hayes’ publisher slapped a cease and desist demand on the Dole presidential campaign for using Isaac’s song “Soul Man” as “Dole Man” without the publisher’s permission. The embarrassed Republican promptly stopped using the song after the story hit the press.
1999: Serena Williams won the USA Open.
2001: Two hijacked aircraft crash into the World Trade Center in New York City, while a third smashes into The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, in a series of coordinated suicide attacks. A fourth hijacked airliner crashes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Altogether, 2,996 people are killed.
2005: Al Casey passed away. He was a swing guitarist and composer. He was 90 years old.
2007: Willie Tee passed away at age 63. He was a New Orleans keyboardist, singer, and songwriter who melded pop, rhythm and blues, jazz, funk, and Indian street music into a signature blend.
2009: Zakes Mokae passed away at age 75. He was a Tony-winning South African actor whose partnership with his countryman, playwright Athol Fugard, in plays like The Blood Knot, Boesman & Lena, and Master Harold … & the Boys, brought the brutality of apartheid to the attention of a world audience.