The month of February and Black History Month has come to a close but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating Black history. Black history happens every day and we intend to keep right on celebrating as well as featuring a gallery dedicated to those who made a difference long ago and today.
1. May 1: This Day in Black HistorySource:AP Photo/David Goldman
FEATURED: Chris Kelly
1884: Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black person to play in a pro baseball game in the U.S. In 1889, when professional baseball erected a color barrier that stood for nearly 60 years he became a businessman and advocate of Black Nationalism.
1901: Poet, writer & teacher Sterling Allen Brown born (Died: 1989).
1915: Athlete & teacher Archie Williams was born. He took home Gold for the 400 meter run at the 1936 Summer Olympics. (Died: 1993)
1924: R&B singer & pianist Big Maybelle was born. Her 1956 hit single ‘Candy’ received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999. (Died: 1972)
1926: Satchel Paige made his pitching debut in Negro Southern League.
1930: Chicago bluesman Little Walter was born. He died of coronary thrombosis. He was 37 years old.
1934: Jazz singer & pianist Shirley Horn was born (Died: 2005).
1939: Max Robinson was born. He was the 1st African American broadcast network news anchor in the US. (Died: 1988)
1944: R&B – Funk singer Marva Whitney was born. (Died: 2012)
1959: Floyd Patterson KOed Brian London in 11 for heavyweight boxing title.
1950: Poet Gwendolyn Brooks became the 1st black awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry ‘Annie Allen.’
1951: Minnie Minoso became the 1st black to play for the White Sox.
1954: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer & composer Ray Parker, Jr. who turns 60 today.
1965: The Supremes ‘Back in My Arms Again’ was released.
1965: Solomon Burke had his biggest hit when ‘Got to Get You off My Mind’ reached #1 R&B for three weeks.
1971: ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ by the Jackson 5 was the #1 R&B song.
1973: ‘Marvin Gaye Day’ was declared in Washington, D.C.
1976: Happy Birthday to Darius McCrary who turns 38 today.
1976: Civil rights leader, entrepreneur and surgeon T.R.M. Howard passed away at age 68.
1983: Happy Birthday to pro wrestler Craig Williams aka Human Tornado who turns 31 today.
1985: Happy Birthday to actress Drew Sidora who turns 29 today.
1989: Police in California were called to a jewelry store after employees reported a suspicious-looking person, who turned out to be Michael Jackson shopping in disguise.
1991: Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics stole his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category.
1992: Can we all get along? Rodney King’s appealed for calm on the 3rd day of the LA riots.
1992: Singer and actress Sharon Redd passed away at age 46 of AIDS related pneumonia.
1993: Shirley Owens Reeves of the Shirelles received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening of the doo-wop Hall of Fame of America in providence, RI.
1998: Writer and early leader of the Black Panther Party Eldridge Cleaver passed away, aged 62.
2001: A jury found KKK member Thomas Blanton, Jr. guilty of four counts of murder and sentenced him to four life sentences for the 1963 church bombing that killed Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair.
2003: Barry White suffered a stroke while being treated for kidney failure.
2011: President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US Special Forces in Pakistan.
2012: Blues & Soul guitarist Skip Pitts passed away, aged 65. He is widely considered to have been one of the architects of soul, R&B, and funk guitar.
2013: Chris Kelly died at the age of 34 of a drug overdose. He was ½ the rap duo Kris Kross.
2. May 6: This Day in Black HistorySource:AP Photo/Ed Widdis
FEATURED: Willie Mays
1787: Prince Hall founded the first Black Masonic Lodge in Boston.
1816: The American Bible Society was founded by people who were committed to the word of God and to the end of slavery.
1931: Happy Birthday to baseball great Willie Mays was who turns 83 today.
1953: Happy Birthday to award winning actress Lynn Whitfield who turns 61 today.
1960: Sam Cooke performed at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC.
1972: #1 Song – ‘The First Time’ by Roberta Flack.
1983: Happy Birthday to actress Gabourey Sidibe who turns 31 today.
1985: Happy Birthday to NBA point guard Chris Paul who turns 29 today.
1990: Aaron Neville performed at the Jazz & Heritage Festival’s 21st annual show in New Orleans.
1987: Happy Birthday to rapper & songwriter Meek Mill who turns 27 today.
1992: Whitney Houston performed on her 1st network TV special “Whitney Houston – This is My Life’ on ABC.
1994: Blues singer, songwriter & guitarist Cool Papa Sadler passed away.
1997: George Clinton & the Parliament/Funkadelic Army was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
2002: Singer, songwriter pianist Otis Blackwell passed away. Throughout his lifetime he composed more than a thousand songs, garnering worldwide sales of close to 200 million records.
2007: Boogie-woogie & blues pianist ‘Big’ Joe Duskin passed away.
2009: Pop singer Viola Wills passed away. She was discovered by Barry White and later worked with Smokey Robinson and Joe Cocker before landing a hit of her own ‘Gonna Get Along Wtihout You now’ and earned the title ‘Disco Diva’ in both the US and UK.
2013: Alyne Payton passed away at age 87. She was the mother of the late NFL Hall of Fame running back Chicago Bear’s star Walter Payton.
3. May 8: This Day in Black HistorySource:AP Photo/jw
FEATURED: Jackie Robinson
1901: Negro League Outfielder Norman ‘Turkey’ Stearnes was born. He passed away in 1979 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
4. May 10th in Black History:Source:AP Photo/Theana Calitz-Bilt, Pool, File
FEATURED: Nelson Mandela
1837: P.B.S. Pinchback was born. He was the 1st African American to become governor (R) of a U.S. State. He served as the 24th Governor of Louisiana for 35 days (Dec. 9, 1872, to Jan. 13, 1873) (Died: 1921).
1931: Eunice Levy, 1/2 the R&B duo Gene & Eunice was born. (Died: 2002)
1934: Jayne Cortez was born. She was a poet, activist, small press publisher and spoken-word performance artist. (Died: 2012)
1936: R&B / Rock & Roll singer, songwriter, producer & pianist Larry Williams was born. (Died: 1980)
1938: Original member of the Spinners, Henry Fambrough, was born.
1941: Award winning actor Taurean Blacque was born.
1943: Award winning dancer/choreographer Judith Ann Jamison was born.
1951: Ron Banks, founding member of the Dramatics was born. (Died 2010)
1952: Sly Dunbar 1/2 of the prolific Jamaican rhythm section and reggae production duo Sly and Robbie was born.
1960: The Queen of Track Marlene Ottey was born in Jamaica. She has won 9 Olympic Medals, 14 World championships, Six World Indoor, Six commonwealth and two Pan American Games Medals.
1960: Actress Victoria Rowell was born.
1969: The Temptations & The Turtles played the White House upon the request of Tricia Nixon.
1975: Stevie Wonder & his band Wonderlove played for 125,000 at the Washington Monument as part of Human Kindness Day.
1994: Tupac Shakur began serving a 15-day county jail term for attacking director Allen Hughes on a video set.
1994: Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first Black President.
5. May 13th in Black History:Source:Guillermo Proano / PR Photos
FEATURED: Stevie Wonder
1911: Jazz singer Maxine Sullivan was born. Her career spanned five decades. She passed in 1987.
1914: Boxing legend Joe Louis was born. He passed in 1981.
1943: Singer Mary Wells (signature hit ‘My Guy’) was born. She passed in 1992.
1944: Singer, songwriter & Aretha’s sister, Carolyn Franklin was born. She passed in 1988.
1949: Happy Birthday to actor & comedian Franklyn Ajaye who turns 65 today.
1950: Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer Stevie Wonder who turns 64 today..
1955: R&B singer Brandi Wells was born. She died of cancer in 2003, aged 47.
1961: Retired NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman turns 53 today.
1964: Pro bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman was born. He is an eight time Mr. Olympia winner. He turns 50 years old today.
1966: Happy Birthday to award winning singer & songwriter Darius Rucker who turns 48 today.
1967: Singer Melanie Thornton was born. She died in a plane crash at age 34.
1967: #1 R&B song – ‘Jimmy Mack’ by Martha & the Vandellas.
1971: James Charles Evers was elected as the 1st Black Mayor of Fayette, MS.
1971: On Stevie Wonder’s 21st birthday he was to be paid all of his childhood earnings ($30 M) but only received $1 M resulting in new negotiations with the Berry Gordy Co. and the establishment of his on publishing and production companies.
1985: The FBI & City of Philadelphia dropped a C4 bomb on MOVE organization’s Osage Avenue home where the members of the radical group lived. Ramona Africa and a 12 yr. old boy escaped through a basement window. 11 members (five were children) burned to death.
1989: Stevie wonder spent his 39th birthday on stage at Wembley Arena in London.
1990: George Augustus Stallings became the 1st bishop of the African American Catholic Church, a breakaway group from the Roman Catholic Church.
1996: Patti LaBelle taped a TV special with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
2013: Chuck Muncie passed away, aged 60. He was a pro bowl running back. He created the Chuck Muncie Youth Foundation in Los Angeles whose mission was to offer mentoring, educational assistance and counseling.
6. May 14th in Black HistorySource:Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock
FEATURED: Tamara Dobson (Photo: Tumblr)
1890: Rosa Jinsey Young, “the mother of Black Lutheranism in Alabama,” was born in Rosebud, Alabama. She passed in 1971.
1897: Jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer, Sidney Bechet, was born. He died on his birthday in 1959 at age 62.
1898: Arthur James “Zutty” Singleton was born. He was an influential early jazz drummer. He passed away in 1975.
1913: Clara Stanton Jones was born. She was the 1st African American president of the American Library Association. (Died: 2012)
1927: Artis Lane was born. She is an award-winning Canadian sculptor and painter.
1928: The Coasters bass singer, Will ‘Dub’ Jones was born. (Died: 2000)
1947: Model & actress Tamara Dodson was born. She passed in 2006.
1961: The Freedom Riders’ bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, AL and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob.
1963: Tennis great Arthur Ashe, age 22, became the 1st African American to make the U.S. Davis Cup Tennis Team.
1966: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, musician & producer Raphael Saadiq who turns 48 today.
1966: Fab Morvan was born. He is a French singer-songwriter, dancer and model. He was half of the pop duo Milli Vanilli, with Rob Pilatus,
1969: John B. McLendon became coach of the Denver Nuggets.
1970: Charles Calvin Rogers received the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration from President Richard M. Nixon for his actions during the Vietnam War.
1972: Happy Birthday to rapper Freaky Tah who turns 28.
1973: Happy Birthday to R&B singer Shanice Wilson who turns 41 today.
1977: Happy Birthday to Hip Hop recording artist Pusha T who turns 37 today.
1978: Happy Birthday to NBA player Eddie House who turns 36 today.
1983: #1 R&B song – ‘Candy Girl’ by New Edition.
1984: Michael Jackson received a Presidential Humanitarian Award at the White House from President & Mrs. Reagan. Jackson wore a military-styled uniform jacket to the event, which he asked for and was given by an elevator operator in NYC.
1994: While visiting the Great Wall of China, B.B. King was on hand to open the 1st Hard Rock Cafe in Beijing.
1994: Janet Jackson was the musical guest on SNL.
2009: Jazz pianist Charles ‘Buddy’ Montgomery passed away at age 79.
2013: Former baseball player Stephen Martin, Sr., aged 66, passed away. He was the first black athlete to play any varsity sport in the Southeastern Conference.
7. May 16: This Day in Black HistorySource:David Fenton/Getty Images
FEATURED: Stokely Carmichael
1826: John Russwurm became the 1st African American College graduate in recorded history receiving his degree from Bowdoin College in Maine.
1929: Grammy award winner Betty Carter, hall of fame jazz singer, was born. She passed away in 1998.
1929: Happy Birthday to Congressman & co-founder of the CBC John Conyers, Jr. who turns 85 today.
1964: Actor, talk show host & retired NBA Player John Thomas Salley was born. He was the 1st player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises.
1966: Happy Birthday to Grammy Award winning singer and actress Janet Jackson who turns 48 today.
1966: Stokely Carmichael was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
1968: Happy Birthday to R&B singer, actor & producer Ralph Tresvant who turns 46 today.
1969: W.C. Handy was the 1st Black Blues musician on a postage stamp.
1973: Happy Birthday to rapper & actor Special Ed who turns 42 today.
1975: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, dancer, producer, and activist B. Slade who turns 39 today.
1975: Lawrence Wendell Bottoms became the 1st Black moderator of the Presbyterian Church.
1979: Civil rights & labor union leader A. Philip Randolph passed away.
1981: #1 R&B song – ‘A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do) by Rayper Jr. & Raydio.
1990: Entertainer, singer & actor Sammy Davis, Jr. passed away.
1991: Ray Charles became one of the first celebrities to be enshrined at the Atlanta Celebrity Walk.
1992: Stevie Wonder began his European Natural Wonder tour in Switzerland.
1993: Singer, songwriter & pianist Marv Johnson passed away.
2010: Henry “Hank” Jones, hall of fame jazz pianist, bandleader and composer, passed away.
2012: Chuck Brown, guitarist and singer who was affectionately called “the Godfather of Go-go” passed away at age 75.
8. May 19th in Black HistorySource:AP Photo
FEATURED: Malcolm X
1925: Malcolm X was born. He was a human rights activist, Muslim minister and considered one of the greatest and most influential blacks in history. (Died: 1965)
1930: Playwright, writer, director and activist Lorraine Hansberry was born. She died of pancreatic cancer at age 34 in 1965.
1948: Singer-songwriter, actress & entertainer Grace Jones was born.
1960: Ben E. King recorded his last two songs with the Drifters before going solo.
1962: #1 song – ‘Soldier Boy’ by the Shirelles.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson chose Patricia Harris to become the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. She was the first African American woman named as an American envoy.
1968: The Fifth Dimension performed ‘Stone Soul Picnic’ on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1969: Coleman Hawkins one of the 1st prominent jazz musicians passed away at age 64.
1973: ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ by Stevie Wonder went to #1 on the Pop Chart & #3 on the R&B chart.
1976: Kevin Garnett was born. NBA player drafted out of High School. In 2000 his team won Olympic Gold.
1984: On the 3rd anniversary of his death, Island Records issued the Boy Marley compilation album ‘Legend’ and it reached #1 in Britain and stayed on the charts for 129 weeks.
1991: Willy T. Ribbs qualified as a driver for the Indianapolis 500.
2003: Rapper Camouflage was gunned down outside a recording studio. He was only 21 years old.
2006: The University of San Francisco gave an honorary degree to its undefeated 1951 football team. This tribute was for a game never played. The team sacrificed glory for honor when during an era of segregation, they refused to leave the two black players behind.
2012: NBA player Bob Boozer passed away. He won gold in the 1960 Summer Olympics.
9. May 22: This Day in Black HistorySource:Allen Berezovsky / PR Photos
FEATURED: Johnny Gill
1862: Mary Patterson became the 1st African American in the U.S. to earn a Master’s Degree.
1914: Composer, bandleader, musician, poet & philosopher Sun Ra was born. He passed in 1993.
1939: Film, stage & TV actor Paul Winfield was born. The best (and my favorite) narrator for the A&E true crime series ‘City Confidential’ which he did from 1998 until his death in 2004.
1942: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Calvin Simons was born. He was a member of the bands Parliament & Funkadelic.
1954: #1 R&B Song-‘Work With Me Annie’- Hank Ballard & the Midnighters.
1966: Bill Cosby received an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Television Series (I Spy).
1966: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter and actor Johnny Gill who turns 48 today.
1967: Poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist Langston Hughes passed away at age 65.
1970: Happy Birthday to super model Naomi Campbell who turns 44 today.
1973: Happy Birthday to R&B singer, songwriter & record producer Donell Jones who turns 41 today.
1976: Donna Summer charted with ‘Could It Be Magic’ originally covered by Barry Manilow.
1978: Happy Birthday to actor J.D. Williams who turns 36 today.
1980: Electric Ladyland Studios was robbed of four gold albums, all belonging to Jimi Hendrix.
1993: Salt-N-Pepa performed at a benefit to raise money for AIDS patients called LIFEbeat’s Counteraid.
2002: Barry Bonds hit his 583rd career home run.
2002: A jury in Birmingham convicted former KKK member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
2004: Stage & TV actor Richard Biggs passed away at age 44.
10. May 24th in Black History:Source:© RD / Robb D. Cohen / Retna Digital
FEATURED: Heavy D
1854: Lincoln University was founded.
1916: Actor Noble Johnson and his brother George, a postal worker in Omaha, founded the Lincoln Motion Picture Company. This was the 1st movie company controlled by Black filmmakers.
1937: Happy Birthday to Jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp who turns 77 today.
1944: Happy Birthday to The original Diva Ms. Patti LaBelle who turns 70 today.
1945: Singer, songwriter & guitarist Terry Callier was born. He passed in 2012, aged 67.
1950: Sweetwater ‘Nat’ Clifton’s contract was purchased by the New York Knicks.
1956: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger & actor Larry Blackmon who turns 58 today.
1961: Freedom Riders were arrested in Jackson, MS for disturbing the peace after disembarking from their bus.
1962: Dancer, actor & choreographer Gene Anthony Ray was born. He passed away in 2003 at age 41.
1963: ‘King of the Slide Guitar’ Elmore James passed away at age 45.
1967: Rapper & actor Heavy D was born. He passed away in 2011, aged 44.
1974: Composer, pianist, and big-band leader Duke Ellington passed away, aged 75.
1975: #1 Song – ‘Shining Star’ by Earth, Wind & Fire.
1981: Happy Birthday to actor Jerod ‘Big Time’ Mixon who turns 33 today.
1989: Jazz Drummer Steve McCall passed away at age 56.
2002: Actress Susie Garrett passed away. She played Ms. Betty Johnson on the TV series Punky Brewster.
2008: Acclaimed blues organist Jimmy McGriff passed away at age 72.
11. May 26: This Day in Black HistorySource:REUTERS/Mark Cardwell/Files
FEATURED: Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley
1857: Dred Scott was emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
1883: Vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress Mamie Smith was born. She entered blues history by being the first African American artist to make vocal blues recordings in 1920. (Died: 1946)
1926: Renowned trumpet player, composer, arranger and bandleader Miles Davis was born. He passed away in 1991.
1949: Happy Birthday to actress and author Pam Grier who turns 65 today.
1949: Happy Birthday to actor & singer Philip Michael Thomas who turns 65 today.
1956: Althea Gibson won the French Open Tennis Tournament becoming the 1st African American player to win a major tennis title.
1964: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter, musician and actor Lenny Kravitz who turns 50 today.
1967: Sgt. Clide Brown Jr. was featured on the cover of Time Magazine with the heading ‘The Negro in Vietnam.’
1968: R&B singer, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Little Willie John passed away.
1968: The Jackson Five signed on to Motown Records.
1973: #1 R&B song – ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More’ By Barry White.
1977: Billy Powell (O’Jays) passed away.
1990: Michael Jackson received Billboard Magazines’ Music of the ’80s poll awards.
1994: The Stylistics performed at the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame concert.
1994: Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley got married.
2006: Reggae singer Desmond Dekker passed away.
2010: Former NFL player Jarvis Williams passed away.
2012: Jamaican singer Roy Wilson passed away.
12. May 27th in Black History:Source:Arlene Richie / Photorazzi
FEATURED: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (Photo: Tumblr)
1932: Blues Hall of Famer Junior Parker was born. (Died: 1971)
1935: Happy Birthday to Grammy Award winning jazz composer & pianist Ramsey Lewis who turns 79 today.
1936: Happy Birthday to Oscar winner Lee Gossett, Jr. who turns 78 today.
1950: Happy Birthday to Grammy award winning jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater who turns 64 today.
1957: #1 R&B song – ‘School Day’ by Chuck Berry
1958: Ernest Green became the 1st black student to graduate from Central High School in Little Rock, AR
1960: Jackie Wilson broke the attendance record at Apollo Theater.
1965: Happy Birthday to actor Todd Bridges who turns 49 today
1968: Actor Dondre Whitfield was born.
1971: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes was born. She died in an auto accident in 2002, age 30.
1975: Happy Birthday to musician, songwriter, rapper, actor & dancer Andre 3000 who turns
1975: Happy Birthday to rapper Judakiss who turns 39 today.
1975: Professional boxer and former World Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles passed away.
1990: B.B. King performed at the Valley Forge Music Fail in Devon, PA before a sold out crowd.
1997: Guitarist Willie Wood of Jr. Walker & the All Stars passed.
2006: Former NFL player Craig Heyward passed away.
2011: Poet, author, songwriter, singer Gil Scott Heron Passed away.
13. May 30th in Black HistorySource:AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
FEATURED: B.B. King
1902: Stepin Fetchit was born this day. His real name was Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry. He was an actor, comedian and dancer. He parlayed the Fetchit persona into a successful film career, eventually becoming a millionaire, the first black actor in history to do so. He was also the first black actor to receive a screen credit. (Died: 1985)
1903: Poet & leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance Countee Cullen was born.(Died: 1946)
1910: Olympic Gold medalist & politician Ralph Metcalfe was born. He was known as the world’s fastest human from 1932 – 1934. (Died: 1978)
1943: Civil rights worker James Earl Chaney was born. He along with Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were murdered by the KKK in Mississippi in 1964. He was only 21.
1943: Gale Sayers was born. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. He is a successful entrepreneur in the information technology field and an active philanthropist.
1960: #1 R&B song – ‘Doggin Around’ by Jackie Wilson.
1961: Tony Award winning actor Ralph Carter was born.
1964: Dionne Warwick made her debut in England appearing on BBC-TV’s Top of the Pops.
1965: Vivian Malone became the 1st African American student to graduate from the University of Alabama.
1971: Willie Mays scored his 1,950th home run.
1974: Singer/songwriter, pianist, producer Cee Lo Green was born.
1974: Rapper Big L. was born. He was fatally shot in 1999, age 24.
1978: Actor and comedian Kevin Hart was born.
1981: Rapper & songwriter Remy Ma was born.
1990: B.B. King was honored at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 21st annual induction dinner with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
1992: Michael Jackson granted his 1st interview in 6 years with Ebony Magazine.
1993: Poet, musician, bandleader Sun Ra passed away.
2011: Actress Clarice Taylor (The Cosby Show) passed away.
14. May 31st in Black HistorySource:AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
FEATURED: Chuck Berry
1909: The NAACP held its first conference in NYC. Over 300 blacks and whites attended. Ida B. Wells was a keynote speaker.
1921: The Tulsa Race riot took place. It is considered to be the worst in American history.
1924: Trailblazer & politician Patricia Harris was born. (Died: 1985)
1931: Operatic mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett was born. (Died: 2010)
1954: Actress & singer Vicki Sue Robinson was born. (Died: 2000)
1961: Chuck Berry opened his own amusement park outside St. Louis called Berry Park.
1963: Wesley Willis was born. He was a singer-songwriter and visual artist from Chicago. He is best known for his simple but unique music that featured his humorous, bizarre, and frequently obscene lyrics. (Died: 2003)
1964: Happy Birthday to Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels who turns 52 today.
1967: Gifted composer, pianist & arranger Billy Strayhorn passed away.
1970: Wilson Pickett charted with ‘Born to Be Wild’ his 25th hit.
1972: Happy Birthday to Jazz bassist Christian McBride who turns 42 today.
1986: #1 R&B song – ‘On My Own’ by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald.
1987: Happy Birthday to actor Curtis Williams who turns 27 today.
1995: Luther Vandross performed at the Summer Pops bowl Amphitheater in Sand Diego, CA.
2000: Johnnie Taylor, “The Philosopher of Soul” passed away.
2006: Songwriter Lula Mae Hardaway passed away. She was also Stevie Wonder’s mom. She co-wrote “I Was Made to Love Her” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” with Stevie.