Black Music Month originated in 1979. Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month to celebrate the wonderful music, the achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.
1. Captain John Handy
1900: Jazz saxophonist Captain John Handy was born. His style was rooted in New Orleans Jazz but also incorporated elements of R&B. He passed away in 1971.
2. Lester Williams
1920: Lester Williams was born. He was a blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He passed away in 1990 at age 70.
3. Eugene Mumford
1925: Singer Eugene Mumford was born. He was a lead singer in The Larks and subsequently The Dominoes. He passed away in 1977 at age 52.
4. Frank Lowe
1943: Avant-garde jazz saxophonist and composer Frank Lowe was born. He played with Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane in the ’70s. He passed away in 2003 at age 60.
5. Clint Houston
1946: Jazz double-bassist Clint Houston was born. He played with some of the greats; Nina Simone, Roy Ayers, Slide Hampton just to name a few. He passed away in 2000 at age 53.
6. Derrick Simpson
1950: Derrick ‘Duckie’ Simpson was born. He is a member of the Grammy Award winning Reggae group Black Uhuru. In 1985, they won the 1st ever Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
7. Chuck Willis
1957: “C.C. Rider” by Chuck Willis was the Number One R&B Song on this day.
8. The Flamingos
1957: The Flamingos signed with Decca Records and the Velours’ “Can I Come Over Tonight” was issued.
9. John Lee Hooker
1960: John Lee Hooker performed at the second annual Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI, while the Flamingos, the Five Satins, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Marv Johnson played the Apollo Theater in New York.
10. Sam Cooke
1964: Sam Cooke headlined a two-week stay at New York’s famed Copacabana Club. Cooke had previously played the Copa in 1958 but as an opening act to Jewish comedian Myron Cohen.
11. Otis Redding
1966: Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Sam & Dave, Patti LaBelle & the Blue Bells and Garnett Mimms began a grueling one-nighter’s tour schedule of forty-six performances in Greensboro, NC.
12. Janice Marie Johnson & A Taste of Honey
1978: Janice Marie Johnson led A Taste of Honey onto the charts with “Boogie Oogie Ooogie.” It finally stopped “boogying” at #1.
13. Rick James
1978: Rick James debut album Come Get It! charted, reaching #3 R&B and #13 pop. James ‘s first recordings were made in Toronto, Canada, in June of 1975 when he recorded a prophetic one-off single for Quality entitled “I (Wanna Be a) Hollywood Star” under the name Gorilla.
14. Solange Knowles
1986: Solange Knowles was born. She is a singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, businesswoman, and DJ.
15. Aretha & Whitney
1989: Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston’s duet “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” was released. It became Franklin’s seventy-second chart rider (#41) and Houston’s twelfth, though it was the only single of her fourteen that did not reach the Top 5.
16. Michael Jackson
1995: Michael Jackson’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album debuted at #1 in England and would be #1 in America within two weeks.
17. Lady Marmalade
2001: ‘Lady Marmalade’ by Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink and Christina was the Number One song on this day.
18. Ira Tucker
2008: Ira Tucker, the lead singer of the Dixie Hummingbirds, passed away. He was 83 years old.
19. Fred Anderson
2010: Saxophonist Fred Anderson passed away, aged 81. He opened the Velvet Lounge in Chicago in 1982 which is known as one of the cradles of contemporary jazz.