31.7.12

August Black History

The Peoples Community Radio Link, 103.5 F.M Stereo



1st. AUGUST

BLACK REMEMBERENCE DAY     
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  071: ROBERT L. VANN (1887-1940)
1834  Slavery is abolished in British colonies by Royal assent. However, immediate freedom was granted only to slaves under the age of six. Older slaves had to serve an apprenticeship of between four and six years.  A gravestone inscription at Newent dated 7 October 1829 remembers Thomas Bloomsbury 'a native of Africa and for&ldots;55 years a faithful servant to the late Samuel Richardson Esq’. Our Untold Stories This scheme however became unmanageable. Eventually all British slaves were freed at midnight on 31 July, 1838. Many former slaves migrated to Britain from the various Caribbean islands, and this pattern continued until the 1930s when the Depression brought a pause to this movement. There are well-documented details of the lives, achievements and contributions made to British society by an array of people of African descent born, brought to or living and staying in Britain from the early 19th century. They cover almost every field of endeavour, from politics and medicine to sport and entertainment
1851  William Wells Brown chairs a meeting of fugitive American slaves in  London along with black West Indians, prominent British abolitionists and Tennyson. He travelled over 12,000 miles and spoke at over 1,000  meetings. Sold 12,000 copies of his book Narrative in 1850. (mn-pf)
1874  Charles Clinton Spalding, U.S. businessman, born. Although he was best noted for his business leadership, Spaulding was also involved in political and educational issues. As national chairman of the Urban League's Emergency Advisory Council in the 1930s, he campaigned to secure New Deal jobs for African-Americans. As chairman of the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs, he engaged in voter registration efforts and convinced city officials to hire black police officers. Spaulding also supported education for blacks while serving as a trustee for Howard University, Shaw University, and North Carolina College. He died in 1952. (tr-iokts-aareg)
1895  Benjamin E. Mays, educator and former president of Morehouse college  born.Benjamin Elijah Mays, was born in 1895 in South Carolina, and graduated from Bates College in Maine in 1920.  He went to the University of Chicago for his master’s degree and doctorate, and while he was working on those degrees, he was ordained into the Baptist ministry. He taught at Morehouse College and at South Carolina State College. From 1934 to 1940, he served as dean of the Howard University School of Religion and then moved on to the presidency of Morehouse College, a position he distinguished for the next quarter of a century. He also served his community well, becoming the first black president of the Atlanta school board. He spoke early and often against segregation and for education. He received nearly thirty honorary doctorates and other honors and awards including election to the Schomburg Honor Roll of Race Relations, one of a dozen major leaders so honored. He had been a model for one of his Morehouse students, Martin Luther King, Jr., and he served the young minister as an unofficial senior advisor. He gave the eulogy at King's funeral. Among his books were the first sociological study of African-American religion, The Negro's Church, published in 1933; and The Negro's God, of 1938; Disturbed About Man, of 1969; and his autobiography Born to Rebel, of 1971.  These books reveal a combination of sharp intellect with religious commitment and prophetic conviction.  (mn-jc)
1914  Marcus Masiah Garvey launches the U.N.I.A. and had plans to establish  an institute in Kingston similar to the Tuskegee institute run by Booker T. Washington in the USA. Wrote to Booker T. and was invited to visit the USA to raise funds and see Tuskegee. Unfortunately, Booker T. died before Garvey Arrived. It was originally chartered under the name "Universal Negro Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities League" (the word "Conservation" later removed) in Jamaica on August 1, 1914. The organisation is also known as the UNIA-ACL or simply the UNIA. (tr)
1941  Ronald H. Brown, former chairman of the Democratic National  Administration, born. He was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Harlem, New York, in a middle-class family. Brown attended Hunter College Elementary School, and Rhodes Preparatory School, reputable schools of New York City, New York. Ron Brown was the first African-American member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a national men's collegiate fraternity. Upon learning of Brown's membership, the National Headquarters of SigEp demanded that the chapter expel him or face closure of the chapter. The chapter declined to remove Brown and was shut down by the national organization, but was later re-opened. Brown joined the army in 1962, after graduating from Middlebury College in Vermont, and served in South Korea and Europe during his tenure. After being discharged in 1967, Brown joined the National Urban League, a leading economic equality group in the United States. Meanwhile, Brown enrolled in law school at St. John's University and obtained a degree in 1970.  (tr-jc-iokts-wickpedia)
1942  Jean Wells, gospel/soul singer born West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. She grew up on Belle Glade. Her family were musical and she sang in church choirs as a child and taught herself the piano. Started singing secular before leaving school. Made her first record in Phlly in 1959, 'Song Of The Bells'. Popular in the UK for 2-Step track 'What Have I Got To Loose' and Northern floor fillers; 'Best Thing For You Baby', 'I Feel Good' and 'With My Love And What You Got' on Calla records. (mn)
1953  Robert Cray, singer/guitarist, born, Columbus, GA, USA. Robert Cray was among artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Thorogood, who got wider radio airplay and regular MTV video exposure during the late 1980s. He started playing guitar in his early teens. In high school his love of blues and soul music flourished as he started collecting records. By the time he was twenty, Cray had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert, and decided to form his own band. His band started playing college towns on the west coast. After several years of regional success, Cray was signed to Mercury Records in 1982. His third release, Strong Persuader, received a Grammy Award, while the crossover single "Smokin' Gun" gave him wider appeal and name recognition.  (mn-ap-wickpedia)
1960  Aretha Franklin goes pop. Having made only gospel records since she  was 14 she joined Columbia Records under the guidance of A&R man John  Hammond. (mn-jt)
1960  Chuck D, rapper with Public Enemy, real name Carlton Douglas  Ridenhour born. PE formed in Long Island, New York in 1982. They were signed to the still developing Def Jam record label after Rick Rubin heard Chuck D freestyling on a demo. It then took roughly five years before their debut, Yo! Bum Rush The Show, was released in 1987 to critical acclaim. They went on to release the revolutionary It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, which performed better in the charts than their previous release, and included the hit single "Don't Believe the Hype." The album was voted Album of the Year by the The Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, the first rap album to be ranked number one by predominantly rock critics. (mn-ms-wickpedia)
1964  Arthur Ashe is the first African American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team. (tr-iokts)
1987   Joe Liggins, R&B singer, died in Lynwood, CA, USA. Age: 71. ("Joe Liggins & the Honeydrippers"). Pianist Joe Liggins and his band, the Honeydrippers, tore up the R&B charts during the late '40s and early '50s with their polished brand of polite R&B. Liggins scored massive hits with "The Honeydripper" in 1945 and "Pink Champagne" five years later, posting a great many more solid sellers in between. Born in Oklahoma, Liggins moved to San Diego in 1932. He moved to Los Angeles in 1939 and played with various outfits, including Sammy Franklin's California Rhythm Rascals. When Franklin took an unwise pass on recording Liggins's infectious "The Honeydripper," the bespectacled pianist assembled his own band and waxed the tune for Leon Rene's Exclusive logo. The upshot: an R&B chart-topper. Nine more hits followed on Exclusive over the next three years, including the schmaltzy "Got a Right to Cry," the often-covered "Tanya" (Chicago guitarist Earl Hooker waxed a delicious version) and "Roll 'Em." In 1950, Joe joined his brother Jimmy at Specialty Records. More hits immediately followed: "Rag Mop," the number one R&B smash "Pink Champagne," "Little Joe's Boogie," and "Frankie Lee." During this period, the Honeydrippers prominently featured saxists Willie Jackson and James Jackson, Jr. Liggins stuck around Specialty into 1954, later turning up with solitary singles on Mercury and Aladdin. But time had passed Liggins by, at least right then; later, his sophisticated approach later came back into fashion, and he led a little big band until his death. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide  (info-net-answers.com)
1995  First Uk Remembrance Day for ancestors lost during the Black   Holocaust.
1997  The West Midlands Black Police Association (BPA) was launched at a ceremony attended by Mr.Crew and Sybil Spence, Lord Mayor of Birmingham. (mn-voice)
2001  Ron Townson, singer with the 5th. Dimension dies aged 68 after a 4 year battle with kidney disease.  Ron Townson, born in St. Louis, Missouri, started singing at the age of 6 and was a featured soloist on various choirs throughout his years in school. He owes a great deal to his grandmother, who realized his vocal talent early on. His parents arranged for him to have private singing and acting lessons. During high school, he won third place in the Missouri State trials for the Metropolitan Opera. He also appeared for three seasons in productions of Bloomer Girl, Annie Get Your Gun and Show Boat. (mn-br)

2nd. AUGUST   

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  072: FRANK L. GILLESPIE (1876-1925)
1847  William A. Leidesorff launches first steamboat in San Francisco Bay. He had brought it from the Russian-American Fur Company. He was a  manoeuvring millionaire. Died one year later aged 38 leaving an  estate of $1,500,000. (mn-ra)
1920  Marcus Garvey presented his 'Back To Africa' program in New York  City. (jc)
1924  James Baldwin, author/writer is born in New York City, USA. The Amen Corner and Blues for Mr. Charlie were two of his stage productions in the 1960s. (mn-ra)
1939  Edward Patten a 'pip'with Gladys Knight & Pips born. The Pips were formed in 1952, first recorded on Brunswick in 1958, later Vee Jay,  Maxx, Huntom, Fury, Motown, Buddah and CBS. Biggest U.K. hit was The Way We Were/Try To Remember reached N0.4 and in chart for 15 weeks in 1975. (mn-jt)
1940  James Govan singer in Jayhawks later called the Vibrations born. The Vibrations were notable for being equally proficient with smooth ballads (Oh Cindy, 1962) and  exuberant dance tunes (Shoop Dance, 1964). Their exciting stage show made them one of the favourites on the R&B theatre circuit. (mn-cl)
1941  Homer Banks singer born today in Memphis, Tenassee, USA. He worked as  a clerk in the offices of Satellite studio in Memphis, hoping to be recognised, later to become Stax records. At first his talents went unnoticed, but Isaac Hayes & David Porter set him up at Genie records in 1964. Best remembered for 60 Minutes of You Love (1966). (mn-cl)
1941  Doris Kenner of the Shirelles born Doris Coley. Combining sweetening strings with elements of church music with R&B, the Shirelles exerted an unconscious pivotal influence on female vocal groups. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996. (mn-jt)
1945  Jewell Jackson McCabe born. Jewell Jackson McCabe (b. 1945), African American professional. As quoted in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker (1989). McCabe was President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (tr-bl)
1949  Larry James drummer with Fat Larry's Band born. They had a bid hit in 1982 with the Commodores song Zoom, taking it to N0.2 in the UK charts. Started as a back-up musician for the 'Delfonics' and 'Blue Magic'. He then formed his own group consisting of Art Capehart (trumpet, flute), Jimmy Lee (trombone, saxophone), Doug Jones (saxophone), Erskine Williams (keyboards), Ted Cohen (guitar), Larry LaBes (bass), and Darryl Grant (percussion).  James died on December 5, 1987. (mn-jt)
1964  Ray Charles performs at Hamburg's Star Club where the Beatles had played a pre-fame apprenticeship. (mn-jt)
1983  James Jamerson, semi-unknown bassist dies. He formed a vital part of the Funk Brothers, Motown's studio session band. He's on 100's of big hit-tunes of the 1960's period. Legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson single-handedly revolutionized bass playing. Throughout the entire classic Motown catalog (and some non-Motown sides), Jamerson shaped a new inventive style of bass playing and brought what had been regarded by some as a "minor" instrument to the forefront through the use of the electric Fender bass, powered by his musical genius and amazing dexterity. Jamerson wasn't Motown's first bassist, but he was certainly the first to incorporate a fresh perspective and intuitiveness along with his own jazz/blues-oriented background to Motown founder Berry Gordy's R&B/pop leanings. (mn-dc)
1997  Fela Anikulapo Kuti Dies of AIDS. The Nigerian musician was 58. During the height of his career Fela changed part of his family name from Ransome to Anikulapo, means; 'one who keeps death in his pouch'. It's almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he's more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac. His death on August 3, 1997 of complications from AIDS deeply affected musicians and fans internationally, as a musical and sociopolitical voice on a par with Bob Marley (mn)

3rd. AUGUST    

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  073: C.C. SPALDING (1874-1952)
1897  Black Invention, the Dust Pan, Lloyd P Ray. (sc)
1908  Allen Allensworth files the site plan for the African American town Allensworth, California, USA. (tr-iokts)
1936  Long John Woodruff wins Olympic Gold Medals in the 800 metres.
1941  Beverly Lee singer with the soul group The Shirelles born. Combining  sweetening strings with elements of church music with R&B, the Shirelles exerted an unconscious pivotal influence on female vocal groups. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996. (mn-cl)
1964 Lucky Philip Dube (pronounced doo-bay) (dies: October 18, 2007) was a South African reggae musician. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans in a 25-year period and was South Africa's biggest selling reggae artist. Dube was murdered in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville on the evening of 18 October 2007. (wikipedia)
1951  Johnny Graham guitarist with soul group Earth Wind and Fire born. The group was formed in 1970 by Maurice White (drummer) and had hit records every year through-out the 70s. Their stage show was big with fireworks, magic and pyramids. After 1980 new record sales dropped off (mn-jt)
1960  The Republic of Niger receives Independence from France.
1963  Tasmin Archer was born in Bradford. She first worked as a sewing machine operator, but after studying secretarial skills she became a clerk at Bradford Magistrates' Court. At the same time she joined a group called 'Dignity' as a backing vocalist. She went to work at a recording studio called 'Flexible Response', and subsequently formed the group 'The Archers' with John Hughes and John Beck. They were signed by EMI in 1990, and recorded their song Sleeping Satellite for them in 1992. (nationmaster)
1986   Joe Thomas, tenor sax, died in Kansas City, MO, USA. Age: 77. Joe Thomas (1909-1986) was born on June 19 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He began his professional career on the alto saxophone with Horace Henderson (1930-1931) but changed to the tenor saxophone, the instrument with which he became famous, after joining Stuff Smith in 1932. Jimmie Lunceford heard him play with Henderson in 1933 in Buffalo, New York and asked Thomas to join his group. (info.net)
1997  Birmingham Carnival 2000 takes place. 300,000 took to the streets. The chairman is Gus Williams and the patron's are Sir Richard Knowles  and black Mayoress Sybil Spence. (£136.000 council grant) (mn-voice)
2010 Bobby Hebb dies. b. Robert Von Hebb, 26th July 1938, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. d. 3rd August 2010, Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. The singer, Bobby Hebb, who is probably best remembered for his Sixties hit song 'Sunny', has died. He was 72. Bobby had been suffering from a long battle with lung cancer, and died at the Centennial Medical Center, in Patterson Street, in Nashville. Bobby was born in Nashville to two parents, William and Ovalla Hebb, who were both blind. He joined the Navy in 1955, played the trumpet in a jazz band, and later played and danced with Roy Acuff's country band, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He was one of the first black musicians to perform on the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville, and sang background vocals on Bo Diddley's tune 'Diddley Daddy'. (soulwalking)

4th. AUGUST        

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  074: CLAUDE A. BARNETT (1889-1967)
1810  Robert Purvis Sr., abolitionist, born. In 1836 he was one of three black men who helped to found the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, came to Britain to do some lobbying. The Irish patriot Daniel O'Connell, when Purvis was presented to him at the House of Commons, thought he was a white American and refused to shake hands with him. Told by John Scobie who Purvis was, O'Connell greeted him warmly, explaining that he never took an American's hand without first  knowing where he stood on slavery. (tr-iokts-mm-pf)
1875  The Convention of Coloured Newspapermen is held in Cincinati, Ohio, USA. The convention's aim was to promote the establishment of United States newspapers that would focus on the African American community.  (tr-iokts)
1896  Black Invention: Curtain Rod Support, W.S. Grant. (sc)
1901  Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, Trumpet, b. New Orleans, LA, USA. d. July 6. 1971, New York, NY, USA. (Note: For many years, it was thought that Armstrong was born on July 4, but writer Gary Giddons discovered a birth certificate that had August 4 as Armstrong's birthday.) Many people have the notion that when the oldtime New Orleans Jazzmen left New Orleans, they took the Mississippi River boats up to Chicago. Unfortunately for this idea, the Mississippi River doesn't go to Chicago. In point of fact, all the old New Orleans Jazzmen went upstream a little ways by riverboat often playing as various towns en route, and eventually reached St. Louis, where they would board the Illinois Central RR to Chicago. They got off at the terminus... the Twelfth Street Station. In Aug. 1922, Joe "King" Oliver sent Louis Armstrong a telegram asking Satchmo to leave N.O. and to join King's Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. Satchmo quit his work with the Tuxedo Brass Band ( and with Kid Ory too ), and boarded the Illinois Central Railroad train. He got off at the 12th Street Station, - only 5 days after his 21st birthday. The rest is history. (info.net)
1931  Daniel Hale Williams, pioneer in surgery dies. When he died in 1931, he had devoted my life to two main interests, NAACP and the construction of the hospitials, and the training schools for Afican-American doctors and nurses. Some years after he died, about 1970, He was awarded a bill by the United States Congress that issued a commemorative stamp in my honor and became a historic figure and a promiment surgeon, not only in the African-American medical organizations, but organizations for all American surgeons.  (mn-jc)
1936  Long John Woodruff of University of Pittsburgh wins an Olympic gold  medal in the 800-meter run.
1939  Big Dee Irwin, singer born Difosco Ervin in New York City, NY, USA. Big Dee Irwin first came to prominence in the Pastels, a group that sang doo wop during the 1950s. The New York City native, whose real name was Defosca Erwin (sometimes spelled Difosco Ervin), joined forces with three other young men to form the group in 1954 when all were stationed at a U.S. Air Force base in Greenland. Lead singer Irwin joined a talent competition held for servicemen, along with baritone Jimmy Willingham, first tenor Richard Travis, and second tenor Tony Thomas. When all four singers received orders that took them to Washington, D.C., Irwin and the Pastels began to entertain at nightspots that catered to servicemen, as well as at functions hosted by the USO. In 1957, after receiving a warm and encouraging response for their performance in an annual Air Force competition called Tops in Blue that was staged on the grounds of Mitchell Air Force Base in New York, Irwin and the others set out to land a recording contract. Dies 1995 from heart failure. (mn-cl)
1940  [Timi Yuro] soul singer born Rosemarie yuro in Chicago, Ill, USA. She sang in her parents' Italian restaurant and in local clubs before catching the eye and ear of record executives. Signed to Liberty Records, she had a Top Ten hit in 1961 with "Hurt", an R&B ballad that had been an early success for Roy Hamilton. On "Hurt" and on her Top 20 follow-up, "What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You?)", Yuro showed an emotional but elegant vocal style that owed a debt to Dinah Washington and other black jazz singers. Many listeners in the early 1960s thought Yuro was black.  (cl)
1971  Yo Yo, feisty rapper from South Central L.A., USA, real name is Yolanda Whitaker, born today.'Yo-Yo'  is a Grammy nominated American hardcore rapper known primarily among hip hop fans and music critics during the 1990s. Her albums were never explicitly feminist, though she earned praise from some quarters for her advocacy of female empowerment, especially sexually. She first appeared as a guest rapper on Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted album in 1990. Her critically acclaimed debut was 1991's Make Way for the Motherlode (see 1991 in music) and was followed up by the equally acclaimed Black Pearl (1992, 1992 in music). After that, just as West Coast hip hop artists like Death Row Records labelmates Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg began topping the charts, Yo-Yo's next two albums, 1993's You Better Ask Somebody and 1996's Total Control, became less and less successful, especially after Death Row began disintegrating in the middle of the decade. In 1998, she finished her fifth and final album, Ebony, but it was not released; as such, it is a highly sought-after bootleg by fans. (mn-ms-wickpedia)
2005 'Little Miton' Campbell, singer guitarist dies aged 71 from a stroke. He  didn't recover from a coma following a stroke he suffered July 27 in Memphis. Campbell, Son of "Big" Milton Campbell was  a Grammy-nominated blues man who burst onto the scene in 1953, with his debut for Sun Records when he was just a teenager. But it wasn't until the 1960s that he made his true mark on the Blues soundscape putting out such classics as We're Gonna Make It on Chess records. The record hit number one on the R&B charts during the height of the civil rights movement. In the 1970s, Campbell found a home at legendary Memphis label Stax, where he produced his critical smash Tin Pan Alley. However, Campbell's timing was off when he landed at Stax, as the famed label went belly-up in 1975, leaving the blues singer little choice but to pick up with the TK/Glades label, an imprint more focused on its funk acts at the time. During the last 20 years, Campbell toured the world (especially Europe and Japan) and recorded what may now be his best known track, "The Blues Is Alright." The song became his calling card abroad, where it remains popular with blues fans. The Blues Hall of Fame guitarist was awarded the W.C. Handy Award for Blues Entertainer of the Year in 1988. His most recent release is his debut for Telarc Records, 2005's critically well-received Think of Me. (e-net.com)
2011 Mark Duggan shot dead by police in Tottenham. Riots broke out in Tottenham two days later after a peacefull protest was made on a police station. Riots also broke out in Birmingham city centre four days later. (mn)

5th. AUGUST   

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  075: A.G. GASTON (1892-   )
1892  Harriet Tubman recieves a pension from Congress for her work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War. Often called Moses of her People, Tubman was the best-known African American woman  abolitionist. Through the Underground Railroad he helped 300 slaves  escape to freedom. Read Harriet Tubman: the Moses of her People by  Sara Bradford (1869) (tr-iokts-mm-ss)
1948  Wint First In 400-Metre Final. Read the headline the next day in Jamaica's Daily Gleaner newspaper. Jamaica did it.... and 'God Save The King' was played for the first time, continued the headline. It referred to an Olympic ceremony that had taken place in Wembley Stadium. Arthur Wint had ran 400-metre's in 46.2 which equalled the world record. (mn-ts)
1930  Damita Jo, vocals, born; Austin TX, USA. d. 1998 née: Damita Jo DuBlanc. In 1949, Black Disc Jockey (in Los Angeles) Joe Adams began to promote her career. She had been appearing at the Club Oasis, in L.A., for a couple of months when the independent label Discovery Records put Joe in charge of their fledgling R&B department. Joe immediately signed Damita. In the spring of 1950, she made her first recording, and in that summer she returned to the Club Oasis, where she appeared with Count Basie and his new sextet featuring Wardell Gray and Buddy DeFranco on saxes. From 1951 to 1953, Damita was the featured vocalist with 'Steve Gibson and the Red Caps', then appearing at the Riviera Club in New Jersey. From 1959 to 1960, she was again with the Red Caps (during which time she was also married to Gibson) then appearing at the Club Martinique, in Wildwood, New Jersey. When the group disbanded in the early sixties, Damita Jo's career continued, but now as a solo performer. Subsequently, she worked as a regular on the Redd Foxx TV series. She also found some success with two solid Pop releases in the early sixties. Her 1960 R&B single 'I'll Save The Last Dance For You' was conceived as an answer to 'Save the Last Dance for Me', -a huge hit for 'The Drifters'. Her 1961 single 'I'll Be There' made it to #12 on the pop charts. While none of her subsequent releases never got that high again, she did remain a popular performer. (info.net)
1951  Philip Bailey, vocalist. b. Denver, CO, USA. Member group: 'Earth, Wind & Fire'. Philip Bailey first gained fame as the mesmerizing lead falsetto of '70s supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire . The singer/percussionist's four-octave range set a high standard for upper-range pop vocalists. Bailey's shimmering falsetto blended perfectly with Maurice White's charismatic tenor to help the group build a reputation for exciting, live shows (complete with feats of magic) and innovative recordings. Six-time Grammy winners Earth, Wind & Fire had 46 charting R&B singles, 33 charting pop singles including eight gold singles. (info.net)
1962  The Black Pimpernel Nelson Mandela was arrested in Howick, Natel and tried Johannesburg regional court for leaving the country without a  passport and for incitement to strike. He was sentenced to five  years' imprisonment and sent to Robben Island, near Capetown and placed in Solitary confinement. (mn)
1962  The British Union flag was lowered at midnight and Jamaica's flag was raised for the first time in it's place, similar flag raising ceromies were also held in parish capitals throughout the island. (mn-cb)
1984  Track and field stars Evlyn Ashford and Edwin Moses win gold medals in the L.A. Olympic Games. Edwin Moses was one of the greatest  hurdlers in the history of track & field, won the Gold Medal in 1976/1986 Olympic games. Three times the nation's top amateur athlete, he was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame after he earned the Bronze Medal in the 1988 Games. (mn-ss)

6th. AUGUST

49th Independence Day - Jamaica (2011)
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  076: JOHN H. JOHNSON (1918-   )
1918   [Norman Granz], Producer, born, Los Angeles, CA, USA. d. Nov, 22, 2001. Founder of the Verve and Pablo record labels. (info.net)
1922  Willie Nix, singing drummer/tap dancer, born, Memphis, TN, USA. Though he never found great success, he was a hard working entertainer. By age 12, and as a teenager during the late '30s, he toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels Shows as a Tap dancing comedian. In the early '40s, he appeared in local Memphis, TN venues and performed on the streets and in the parks around town. In 1947, Nix, with Robert Lockwood, Jr., was heard on a Little Rock, AR radio station. He was also on Memphis radio when he appeared with such stars as B.B. King and Joe Hill Louis. Subsequently, he worked with the Four Aces touring Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. The group consisted of Sonny Boy Williamson II, Willie Love, and Joe Willie Wilkins. In 1951, he cut his first records (in Memphis) for the RPM label. In 1952, he cut some sides for the Chess Records' Checker subsidiary. In early 1953, Sam Philips signed him as a singing drummer with a band for the Sun label, promoting him as "the Memphis Blues Boy". In Chicago, he recorded for Art Sheridan's Chance label. During the mid '50s, he worked with Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, Johnny Shines, and Elmore James. The end of the 1950s found him back in Memphis, where he also did a short stretch in prison. During the '60s and '70s, his health and abilities deteriorated, and he only performed occasionally. (info.net)
1932   Dorothy Ashby, jazz harp player born in Detroit, Mich, USA. Her recording career ran from 1958 until 1984, with about 10 albums including 3 on the Cadet label. Dies 13th April, 1986 in Santa Monica, USA. (mn)
1938  Isaac Hayes pianist/soul singer/producer/actor born (other bio. say's 20/8/42). Started as a studio musician for Stax records. Later songwriter with David Porter for many of the labels early hits. He then had album success's including the movie soundtrack for Shaft which established him internationally. Very visual; Bald headed with African fur boots. (mn-jf)/(cl-20/8/42)
1947  Dennis Alcapone, reggae singer born Dennis Smith, Clarendon, JA. Alcapone's career began in 1970 with the debut single "El Paso". Over the next six years, Alcapone released numerous hits, including "Maca Version", "Number One Station", "Wake Up Jamaica", "Teach The Children", and "Guns Don't Argue". He was one of the dub musicians to hit it big toasting in the wake of U-Roy's Wake the Town for Duke Reid, and the work of Sir Lord Comic and King Stitt.  (cl-wickpedia)
1953  Lynn White, Blues vocals, born, Mobile, AL, USA.She was six years old when she began singing in church, and began her professional career during the late 1970's. Lynn's debut single came in 1981 with 'Am I Too Much Woman for You'. In 1982, she recorded the single 'I Don't Ever Want to See Your Face Again' for the Sho Me label. The single was picked up by Willie Mitchell (best known for his work with Al Green), who reissued it on his Waylo Records. Willie approached Lynn in for a few studio sessions, resulting in her remaining with Waylo for the duration of the 1980's. In 1987, Lynn released the album 'Love & Happiness', which contained the modern mid-tempo gem 'See You Later, Bye'. The following decade Lynn formed her own label, Chelsea, where she released 'The New Me' in 1990. 'Home Girl' followed in 1991, and two years later Lynn returned with 'Cheatin'. In 1993, Lynn released a 12" single entitled 'I Don't Know Why', which became a highly sought after track on the U.K. Modern Soul Scene.  (info.net-soulwalking)
1954 Robert B Hudmon Jr R&B singer was born at West Point, Georgia and started his singing carer at a very early age, I'm a roller (1966), five singles on Atlantic/Cotillion & an album in 1978. Dies 25 August 1995. (mn)
1958  Randy Debarge soul singer with Debarge born. Groomed to be the heirs to the Jackson 5 throne in the early '80s, DeBarge mirrored  the Jacksons early success with a string of hits, but were unable to sustain their winning streak. Originally formed in 1978 and hailing from Grand Rapids, MI, the quintet was comprised of four brothers (Eldra, Mark, James, and Randy) and one sister (Bunny). The band signed on with the same label that the Jacksons started with, Motown, courtesy of their two older brothers, Tommy and Bobby (both of whom were members of another Motown act at the time, Switch). Led by the soft-and-sweet vocals of Eldra (or El, for short), DeBarge issued a debut album in 1981, The DeBarges, which showed that the group had yet to hone their hit-making style. But the quintet soon found the formula, as their sophomore effort, 1982's All This Love, would go on to become DeBarge's first gold-certified success, and spawn such hit singles as "I Like It," "Time Will Reveal," and the title track.   (mn-jt)
1959  Joyce Sims, singer/songwriter born in Rochester, New York, USA. She studied music at collage where she learned a number of musical instruments. Unable to play professionally at first, she took a job in a hamburger bar and wrote songs in her spare time. One of her songs was overheard by an agent who introduced her to Sleeping Bag Records where she signed for hits singles: All & All, Lifetime Love, Come into My life and All About Love. (mn-rt)
1960  Chubby Checker performs The Twist on American Television for the first time on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. (mn-jt)
1962  *Independence Day in Jamaica.
1962  Sir Alexander Bustamante as first Prime Minister/Sir Kenneth Blackburne a Governenor General. (cb)
1965  President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Young Rights Act, outlawing the  literacy test for voting Eligibility in the South. (tr-iokts)
1973  Memphis Minnie, blues singer dies. A child prodigy, she began playing local parties as "Kid" Douglas before running away from home to play for tips at Church's Park ( the current W.C. Handy Park) on Beale Street in Memphis. During the 1910s and early 1920s, Douglas adopted the handle of Memphis Minnie and toured the South, playing tent shows with the Ringling Brothers Circus. Truly a blues legiond. (b. 3/6/1897) (mn-rs)
1977  Sir Alexander Bustamante, dies. He was Jamaica's first independent Prime Minister. He became Prime Minister in 1962, He was also the founder of the Jamaica Labour Party. The two main political parties  in Jamaica are the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party. Sir Alexander Bustamate wanted better wages and living conditions for poor people. He formed a trades union. He was made a National Hero during his lifetime and was knighted by the Queen in 1954 and died on this day aged 93. (mn)
2010 Phelps Collins dies. b. Phelps 'Catfish' Collins, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1944, U.S.A. d. 6th August 2010, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. The older brother of bassist Bootsy Collins, 'Catfish' Collins, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 66. Phelps was a rhythm guitarist with the P-Funk collective. He was born eight years before Bootsy, who gave him the nickname 'Catfish' because he thought he looked like one! He was 'enthusiastically' protective of his family, once threatening to kill his father with a butcher knife if he saw him hurt their mother again. Often overlooked, in favour of his younger brother, Bootsy Collins, Phelps played on several records by Parliament, Funkadelic, and Bootsy's Rubber Band. In 1968, the siblings, along with Kash Waddy and, ex. Detroit Spinner, Philippe Wynne, formed a group called The Pacemakers. James Brown subsequently hired the group as his backing band, later becoming known as The J.B.'s. As the J.B.'s, they recorded many funk evergreens including 'Super Bad', 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine', 'Soul Power', and 'Give It Up or Turn it Loose'. By the start of the Seventies, Phelps and the rest of the J.B.'s left the James Brown entourage. Bootsy and Phelps Collins, along with Kash Waddy formed the group the House Guests, later joining Funkadelic, featuring on their album 'America Eats Its Young. Four'. Bootsy then joined Bootsy's Rubber Band, whose line-up included Waddy, Joel 'Razor Sharp' Johnson (on keyboards), Gary 'Muddbone' Cooper (on drums), and Robert 'P-Nut' Johnson (on vocals), additionally featuring The Horny Horns. Phelps was the gfeatured rhythm guitarist on several sides, including the 1978 Parliament dancer 'Flash Light'. Phelps also featured on releases by the likes of Deee-Lite, Freekbass, Snoop Dogg, Black Eye Peas, A Tribe Called Quest, Digital Underground, Big Daddy Kane, 2Pac, Biz Markie, Kurtis Blow, Hammer, Grandmaster Flash and H-Bomb. On his early recordings, Phelps utilised a Vox Ultrasonic guitar with built-in sound effects. (soulwalking)

7th. AUGUST   

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  077: PAUL R. WILLIAMS (1896-1980)
1894  Black Invention: Kneading Machine, Joseph Lee. (sc)
1894  Black Invention: Corn Silker, Robert P. Scott. (sc)
1904  Ralph Bunche, first African American Nobel Prize winner, is born in  Detroit, Michigan, USA. In 1950 Ralph Bunche became the first black person awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in fostering an armistice between warring Arabs and Israelis. The award brought to public attention a long record of public service. Bunche was a central figure among blacks, and although less well known during the 1940s than W. E. B. Du Bois or A. Philip Randolph, like them he prepared the way for the civil rights revolution of the 1950s and 1960s.   (tr-iokts)
1932  Abele Bikila of Ethiopia who later wins the 1960 Olympic marathon  (running barefoot), born. Abebe Bikila (August 7 1932 - October 25 1973) ƒut two ƒois victorious of the Marathon (sport) to the Olympic Games. Originating in Ethiopia, Abebe Bikila,  an officier of police force and personal bodyguard of the emperor Haile Selassie. He became a national hero after having gained two gold medals with the OJ. In 1960, with the plays of Rome, Bikila traversed the forty-two kilometers without shoes. At the time of the following plays, in 1964 in Tokyo, Bikila one second ƒois in this discipline gained. This ƒois-Ci it ran however with shoes, and beat the record in 2:12 again: 11. In 1969, Bikila had a car accident close to Addis Ababa, which deprived it of the use of its legs. It died in 1973, at the 41 years age. The national stage of Addis-Abeba bears its name. (near translation)
1936  Roland Kirk jazz musician born. Preferring to lead his own groups, Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, though he did record with arranger Quincy Jones, Roy Haynes and had especially notable stints with Charles Mingus. He played the lead flute and solo on Jones' Soul Bossa Nova associated with the Austin Powers film. His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music's history, from ragtime to Swing and free jazz. Kirk also regularly explored classical and pop music.  (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1936  Charles Pope, soul singer with The Tams born. They were originally formed in 1952, as the Four Dots, but they took their long lasting name from the Tam O'Shanter style hat that the group choose to wear on stage. Although such an early origin suggests longevity, it was not until 1960 that the group finally emerged with a single on Swan Records. "Untie Me", a Joe South composition, became a Top 20 U.S. R&B hit, but follow-up releases failed until 1963, when "What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)", reached the U.S. Top 10. Whilst never a major recording force, their longevity was due to persistence, and the occasional surprising success. For example, "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me" was a modest Stateside hit in 1964. The Tams had only one further U.S. hit in 1968 with "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy", which peaked on the Billboard R&B chart at 26, and made the UK Top 40 in 1970. However, the group stunned many (including themselves), by flying to the Number One slot in the UK singles chart in September 1971, thanks to its initial support from the then thriving northern soul scene. They were destined to not chart again until sixteen years later. Then, their association with The Shag, a dance craze and subsequent 80s film, secured a further lifeline to this remarkable group, giving The Tams another UK Top 30 hit, with "There Ain't Nothing Like Shaggin'".  (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1936  Don Bradley, vocals, b. St. Louis, MO, USA. member groups: 'The Vibrations','The Jayhawks' "The Vibrations" were an American soul music|soul vocal group from Los Angeles, California, active from 1960 to 1976. Most notable among the group's hit singles were "My Girl Sloopy" (1964) and "Love in Them Thar Hils" (1968). The quintet's members included "Don Bradley", "Carl Fisher", "Dave Govan", "James Johnson", and "Ricky Owens".  (info.net)
1937  Magic Slim, guitarist born, Torrence, MS, USA. né: Morris Holt Member: ' Magic Slim & the Teardrops', a fine Chicago Blues band. The times do change. These days (2005) Slim's no longer slim. This Mississippi native had to take up the guitar when he was forced to give up playing the piano after he lost his little finger in a cotton gin mishap. One of his boyhood pals, "Magic Sam" bestowed his 'magic' monicker on the budding guitarist . (info.net)
1939  Ron Holden, soul singer born in Seattle, Washington, USA. d. 22 January 1997. Holden's career had a unique beginning: he had been arrested for driving with alcohol and marijuana in his possession and was in the police station when a police officer heard him singing. The officer, Larry Nelson, told Holden that he was planning on quitting the police department for a career in music and gave Holden his phone number. The teenager called Nelson upon his release from jail and Nelson recorded Holden singing his own composition "Love You So". The ballad was issued on Nelson's Nite Owl label and then sold to the larger Donna label, reaching the US Top 10 in the summer of 1960. An album was released on Donna but further singles on that and other labels did not recapture the flavour of the hit and Holden retired from the music business.  (mn-cl)
1948  Alice Coachman becomes the first African-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal during the summer games in London. Alice Coachman (born November 9, 1923 in Albany, Georgia) is an American former athlete. She specialized in high jump, and was the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Coachman dominated the AAU outdoor high jump championship from 1939 through 1948, but was unable to compete in the Olympic Games as they were cancelled in 1940 and 1944 because of World War II. In the high jump finals of the 1948 Summer Olympics, Coachman leaped 1.68 m (5 ft 6 1/8 in) on her first try. Her nearest rival, Great Britain's Dorothy Tyler, matched Coachman's jump, but only on her second try. Coachman was the only American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in 1948. Coachman also excelled in the indoor and outdoor 50 m dash and the outdoor 100 m dash. Representing Tuskegee Institute, Coachman also ran on the national champion 4 x 4 100-meter relay team in 1941 and 1942. Coachman is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (wickpedia)
1948  Lynn August, zydeco accordion player, born Joseph Leonard August in Lafayette, La, USA. One of zydeco's most versatile performers, Lynn August spiked his native southwestern Louisiana sound with elements of pop, gospel and R&B. Born in Lafayette on August 7, 1948, the blind August was encouraged by his mother to pursue a career in music, and he was raised on a steady diet of zydeco, New Orleans rhythm and blues and swamp-pop. After learning to play drums on an old wash basin, at the age of 12 he was recruited to play percussion with the legendary Esquerita, who convinced him to also take up the piano; a few years later, August made the switch to the Hammond B-3 organ as well. During the mid-1960s, he played with a young Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, later mounting a solo career as well as sitting in with a variety of local swamp-pop combos; he also led a big band, and even directed a church choir. In 1988, August turned to the accordion and began his zydeco career in earnest; forming the Hot August Knights with tenor saxophonist John Hart, he also studied field recordings made in 1934 by archivist Alan Lomax to absorb the original Creole style of "jure" singing into his own contemporary aesthetic. After signing to the Maison de Soul label, August debuted with It's Party Time, followed in 1989 by Zydeco Groove; a move to Black Top heralded the release of 1992's Creole Cruiser, with the acclaimed Sauce Piquante appearing a year later.  (mn-sr-allmusic)
1962  Princess Margaret opens the first session of Parliament in Jamaica. In 1961, a referendum was called to determine whether or not the people of Jamaica should remain a part of the Federation. The Jamaican people voted for Independence. Jamaica was given a Westminster style constitution, with a Governor-general as the representative of the British Crown, and a bicameral Parliament. In January 1962, a draft of the Independence Constitution was brought before both Houses and after a full debate it was unanimously approved. It was also agreed that the 300 year old Coat of Arms would be retained and the Latin motto "Indus Uterque Serviet Uni" changed to one in English "Out of Many One People". At midnight 5th August 1962 the British Flag was lowered and the Jamaican Flag was hoisted for the first time. On the 6th of August 1962 Jamaica was given its independence. (originationsite)
1968  James Brown record's Say It Loud - I'm Black & I'm Proud at VOX Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA. Heavy times. Hank Ballard claimed to be with JB when he wrote this song, and said that it was written - along with Blackenized and How You Gonna Get Respect(when you haven't cut your Process Yet) - as I direct result of JB being threatened by sub-machine gun toting Black Panthers. Black & Proud James Brown also said in his biography he found an un-primed hand grenade with his name on it outside his hotel room on the night of this recording. It reaches No.1 in the R&B chart.  (mn-cw)
1984  Esther Phillips soul/jazz singer dies, Carson, California. Born Esther Nay Jones in Galverston, Texas, in 1935. She was discovered by Johnny Otis at a tallent contest in 1949. She made her debut as Little Esther for the Savoy label in 1950. That year Double-Crossing Blues was a US R&B No.1 . In 1960 she signed to Lennox records with Release Me, going Top 10, (later a hit for Engleburt Humperdinck in UK). All her life she suffered with additions to drink & drugs which led to her death on this day. (mn-rt-rs)

8th. AUGUST  

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  078: MARTIN DE PORRES (1579-1639)
1865  Matthew A. Henson, explorer born in Charles City, Md, USA. In 1909 Henson leads a party of 5 to reach the North Pole after a 20 year odyssey. Born on a farm in Charles County, Maryland, USA, he went to sea when he was about 12, In 1887 he met Robert E. Peary, then a lieutenant in the US navy and already  committed to exploring the Artic region. Henson began as Peary's personal assistant. For 20 years Henson led sleds and was Peary's  right hand man. On this day in 1909, Peary, Henson and four Eskimos were the first known humans to reach the North Pole. (mn-ss)
1917  Earl Cameron born is a British actor. He is known as one of the first black actors to break the "colour bar" in the United Kingdom. He also had repeated appearances on many British science fiction programmes of the 1960s, including Doctor Who and The Prisoner. In 2004, he appeared in the film The Interpreter as the fictitious dictator Edmond Zuwanie. Cameron is a practioner of the Baha'i faith. (mn-wickpedia)
1923  Jimmy Witherspoon soul/blues singer born in Arkansas, USA. He first attracted attention singing with Teddy Weatherford's band in Calcutta, India, which made regular radio broadcasts over the U. S. Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. Witherspoon made his first records with Jay McShann's band in 1945. In 1949, recording under his own name with the McShann band, he had his first hit, "Ain't Nobody's Business", a song which came to be regarded as his signature tune. In 1950 he had hits with two more songs closely identified with him: "No Rollin' Blues" and "Big Fine Girl". Witherspoon's style of blues became unfashionable in the mid-1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album, Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival. He later recorded with Ben Webster, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and T-Bone Walker, and toured in the 1970s with a highly regarded band of his own featuring Robben Ford and Russ Ferrante. He continued performing into the 1980s. (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1933  Joe Tex soul singer born Joseph Arrington Jnr., in Rogers, Texas, USA. Dies August 13, 1982. Joe Tex made the first Southern soul record that also hit on the pop charts ("Hold What You've Got," in 1965, made number five in Billboard). An early rapper he is, arguably, the most underrated of all the '60s soul performers associated with Atlantic Records, although his records were more likely than those of most soul stars to become crossover hits. He displayed his vocal talent quickly, first in gospel, then in R&B. By 1954, he'd won a local talent contest and come to New York, where he recorded a variety of derivative (and endlessly repackaged) singles for King, some as a ballad singer, some as a Little Richard-style rocker. Tex's career didn't take off until he began his association with Nashville song publisher Buddy Killen, after Tex wrote James Brown's 1961 song "Baby You're Right." In 1965, Killen took him to Muscle Shoals, not yet a fashionable recording center, and they came up with "Hold What You've Got," which is about as close to a straight R&B ballad as Tex ever came. It was followed by a herd more, most of which made the R&B charts, a few cracking the pop Top 40. Tex made his mark by preaching over tough hard soul tracks, clowning at some points, swooping into a croon at others. He was perhaps the most rustic and back-country of the soul stars, a role he played to the hilt by using turns of phrase that might have been heard on any ghetto street corner, "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" the prototype. In 1966, his "I Believe I'm Gonna Make It," an imaginary letter home from Vietnam, became the first big hit directly associated with that war. His biggest hit was "Skinny Legs and All," from a 1967 live album, his rapping pure hokum over deeply funky riffs. "Skinny Legs" might have served as a template for all the raucous, ribald hip-hop hits of pop's future. After "Skinny Legs," Tex had nothing but minor hits for five years until "I Gotcha" took off, a grittier twist on the funk that was becoming disco. In 1977, he adapted a dance craze, the Bump, and came up with the hilarious "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)," his last Top Ten R&B hit, which also crossed over to number 12 on the pop chart. In the early '70s, Tex converted to Islam and in 1972 changed his offstage name to Joseph Hazziez. He spent much of the time after "Ain't Gonna Bump" on his Texas farm, although he did join together with Wilson Pickett, Ben E. King, and Don Covay for a reformed version of the Soul Clan in 1980. He died of a heart attack in 1982, only 49 years old. Killen, King, Covay, Pickett, and the great songwriter Percy Mayfield served as pallbearers. ~ Dave Marsh, All Music Guide (mn)
1956  David Grant soul singer with Lynx, later solo, born in Kingston, Jamaica on this day. Grant became famous in the early 1980s as a member of UK soul/funk duo Linx, whose biggest hit was "Intuition" in 1981. He began a solo career in 1983 with the Top 40 hit "Stop and Go". Further hits included "Watching You Watching Me" and the Top 10 duet with Jaki Graham, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love". He has also worked as a session singer for artists including Diana Ross and The Lighthouse Family. In recent years David has become well known, along with his wife Carrie Grant, as a vocal coach on the BBC talent show Fame Academy. He also appears regularly as a panelist on the Five topical debate show, The Wright Stuff. In 2006 he appeared in the four part BBC television series The Sound of Musicals, which was filmed in 2005. (mn-wickpedia)
1967  Lorraine Peason soul singer with Five Star born. Lorraine does most of the talking in interviews and is regarded as spokesperson of the group. In 1988, she was romantically linked to the comedian Eddie Murphy. Lorraine now writes books (her novel Her, Me and Reality was published in 1989), and still appears with Stedman and Denise on stage.   (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1975  Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley saxophonist dies. He was one of the great saxophonists of his generation, His Fiery, blues-soaked interpretations of Charlie Parker's alto legacy brought jazz to many people hitherto untouched by it. (mn-cl)
1999  PCRL receives studio raid, Lady J.C. arrested 17.15 p.m. Noise had been a constant problem at this studio location. Even with blankets suspended from the ceiling around the studio console to hold back the  noise, the police were called and walked in on JC's Sunday soca music program. (she'd left the door open!) (mn)
2011 Roits/Looting takes place in Birmingham city centre. It was a Monday afternoon after a weekend of riots in London that continued all around the UK. (mn)

9th. AUGUST       

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  079: THOMAS PAUL (1773-1831)
1936  Jesse Owens wins four Olympic medals in the 800-meter run. A frequent and outspoken critic of America's racial policies, he eventually emerged as an engaging speaker and leader of youth. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1976. (mn-ss)
1939  Billy Henderson, vocals, The Detroit Spinners, 1980 UK No.1 and US No.2 single Working My Way Back To You. Originally, called the Domingoes, the Spinners formed when the quintet were high school students in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale in 1957. At the time, the group featured Bobbie Smith, Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon, Billy Henderson, and Henry Fambrough. Four years later, they came to the attention of producer Harvey Fuqua, who began recording the group -- who were now called the Spinners -- for his Tri-Phi Records. The band's first single, "That's What Girls Are Made For," became a Top Ten R&B hit upon its 1961 release and featured Smith on vocals. Following its release, Dixon was replaced by Edgar "Chico" Edwards. Over the next few years, the group released a series of failed singles, and when Tri-Phi was bought out by Motown in the mid-'60s, the Spinners became part of the larger company's roster. By that time, Edwards had been replaced by G.C. Cameron. (info.net)
1941  Willie Henderson, tenor sax/arranger/producer, b. Pensacola, FL, USA. Producer/arranger Willie Henderson's versatile talents can be heard throughout the Brunswick Records catalog as well as a myriad of sides recorded during the '60s-'70s heydays of Chicago soul. Henderson's family moved to Chicago when he was a child. Taking up the baritone sax, he began backing Otis Rush and others while in his twenties. He also studied with another arranging legend, James Mack. After graduating from Crane Junior College, Henderson began playing around Chicago, backing Syl Johnson, Alvin Cash, and Harold Burrage. Henderson joined the Chicago branch division of New York-based Brunswick Records in 1968. Working with producer Carl Davis, Henderson arranged, produced, and played on records by the Chi-Lites, Jackie Wilson, Tyrone Davis, Barbara Acklin, and other Brunswick acts. He produced and arranged Tyrone Davis' "Can I Change My Mind" and another gold single, "Turn Back the Hands of Time"; the following year, Henderson co-wrote Johnny Williams' "I Made a Mistake." Three years later, Williams hit with "Slow Motion (Part 1)," a Top Ten R&B single for Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records.  (info.net-answers.com)
1942  Jack DeJohnettte, jazz drummer born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He's played for all the Jazz greats and was session drummer for ECM label In the 70s. Best heard with the Lloyd Quartet for showcasing his style. (mn-cl)
1947  Barbara Mason soul singer born in Philadelphia, USA. First started recording with Crusader records in 1964, but no success until she signed to Artic records, with her voice sounding young and innocent in it's thinness and flatness, Mason reached the charts with the marvellous Yes I'm Ready (R&B, No.2 in 1965). (mn-cl)
1959  Kurtis Blow rapp singer born Kurt Walker.  "The Breaks" (1980) is one of hip hop's undisputed classics, with its catchy disco tune and rapping style. Blow was influenced by DJ Hollywood. Blow began his career in New York City in the mid-1970s, when he was a breakdancer until switching to DJing under the name Kool DJ Kurt and then finally rapping. He was the first rapper to record a full length album on a major label (1980). This occurred after recording "Christmas Rappin", his first single; during this time, "Rappers Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang became the first hit for hip hop. The whole field was derided as a fad, though, and thus there was much resistance to signing Blow. He has appeared in the feature films Krush Groove and The Show. Bob Dylan appeared on Kurtis Blow's 1986 album Kingdom Blow. And in 2004 he recorded the song "Hey Everybody" with Max C and Bomfunk MC's for their album Reverse Psychology. He also co-wrote songs with The Fat Boys, including their signature songs "Fat Boys" (1984) and "The Fat Boys Are Back" (1985). Kurtis Blow also became the first hip hop musician embraced by the mainstream advertising industry with his appearance in a commercial for the soft drink, Sprite. He is currently a DJ on Backspin 43, which is the old school hip hop station on the Sirius Satellite Radio service. (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1963  Whitney Houston, singer/actress born to Cissy Houston (also a soul singer), winner of both Emmy and Grammy awards is born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Whitney is one of the most commercially successful singers of all time!, she's also the first person to enter Billboard Album Charts at No.1. (mn)
2008 Bernie Mac, actor and Comedian Dies at Age 50. Chicago (AP), the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor and comedian who worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago's South Side, died.  "Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles. She said no other details were available and asked that his family's privacy be respected. The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease. Recently, Mac's brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama. Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine, Mac joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language. The performance earned him a rebuke from Obama's campaign. But despite controversy or difficulties, in his words, Mac was always a performer. "Wherever I am, I have to play," he said in 2002. "I have to put on a good show."  Mac started his comedy career at age 8, with a standup performance at a church dinner. In 1977, at age 20, he took that act to comedy clubs in Chicago. His film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans movie "Mo' Money" in 1992. Mac went on to star in the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise with Brad Pitt and George Clooney and his turn with Ashton Kutcher in 2005's "Guess Who?" _ a remake of the Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn 1967 classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" _ topped the box office. Mac also had starring roles in "Bad Santa," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Transformers."  The comedian drew critical and popular acclaim with his Fox television series "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired more than 100 episodes from 2001 to 2006 (Chanel 5 UK).  The series about a man's adventures raising his sister's three children, won a Peabody Award in 2002. At the time, judges wrote they chose the sitcom for transcending "race and class while lifting viewers with laughter, compassion _ and cool." The show garnered Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for Mac. He also was nominated for a Grammy award for best comedy album in 2001 along with his "The Original Kings of Comedy" co-stars, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer. In 2007, Mac told David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" that he planned to retire soon.  "I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977." Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the city's South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church. In his 2004 memoir, "Maybe You Never Cry Again," Mac wrote about having a poor childhood _ eating bologna for dinner _ and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing. Mac's mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up. "Woman believed in me," he wrote. "She believed in me long before I believed." (A.P)
2012 Carl Davis dies. An iconic music producer who shaped what became known as “the Chicago Sound” died Thursday at his home in Summerville, S.C. He was 77 years old. Mr. Davis had been suffering from lung disease. Mr. Davis and wife Dedra Davis relocated from Chicago to South Carolina in 2009. Mr. Davis was one of the first African-American A&R directors and produced numerous hit songs for the Columbia Records subsidiary Okeh Records.He was to Chicago soul music what the Chess brothers were to blues.His first multi-million-selling song was Gene Chandler’s 1962 smash “Duke of Earl.” Follow-up production efforts incuded Jackie Wilson’s 1967 hit “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” Major Lance’s “Monkey Time” (recorded in 1963) and the Chi-Lites 1972 ballad “Oh Girl". (BR-MN)

10th. AUGUST 
 BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  080: AUGUST US TOLTON (1854-1897)

1867  Ira Aldridge, famed Shakespearean actor dies. Born 24th. July, 1802 in New York City. Famous for his Othello, he attended the African Free School in New York City until he was 16 before joining the African Grove theatre troop there in 1821. He studied acting in Glasgow and made his first known appearance in Turinam or Slave's Revenge in 1925. His career is commemorated by a tablet at the New Memorial theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. (mn-ss-jc)
1880  Charles C. White, composer and violinist, born in Clarksville, Tn.
1909  George W. Crockett Jr., first African American lawyer with the U.S. Department of Labour, is born in Jacksonville, Fla, USA. Representative from Michigan; attended the public schools; A.B., Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga., 1931; J.D., University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, 1934; admitted to the Florida bar in 1934 and commenced practice in Jacksonville; senior attorney, United States Department of Labor, 1939-1943; hearing officer, Federal Fair Employment Practices Commission, 1943; senior member of law firm, Detroit, 1946-1966; elected judge, recorder’s court, Detroit, 1967-1979; acting corporation counsel, city of Detroit, 1980; elected simultaneously as a Democrat to the Ninety-sixth and to the Ninety-seventh Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of United States Representative Charles C. Diggs, Jr., and reelected to the four succeeding Congresses (November 4, 1980-January 3, 1991); was not a candidate for renomination to the One Hundred Second Congress in 1990; died September 7, 1997 (tr-iokts-usguv)
1943  Veronica 'Ronnie Spector' Bennett who sang in The Ronnettes born New York, USA. From a very young age, she took to singing and her large, close family encouraged her to do so, along with the other members of the Ronettes. The other members were her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley. They were a multiracial group, which was a bit unusual during the 1960s. The Bennetts' mother was black and Native American; their father was white. In her autobiography, Ronnie Spector said that she was not sure if she was black, or white, at one point in her childhood. From 1968 to 1973, she was married to record producer Phil Spector, who produced the Ronettes and brought them success. In early 1971, during Phil Spector's tenure as head of A&R at Apple Records, Ronnie recorded the single "Try Some Buy Some"/"Tandoori Chicken"; released as Apple 33 in the UK, Apple 1832 in the U.S. The A side of the single was written by George Harrison, and produced by Harrison and Spector. Although the single was not a big hit, it had one lasting influence: when John Lennon recorded "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" later the same year, he asked Spector to reproduce the same mandolin-laden 'Wall of Sound' that he had created for "Try Some Buy Some". (Lennon liked the rockabilly B-side too, and is reported to have sung it at his birthday party in New York in October 1971.)  (mn-wickpedia)
1948  Patti Austin soul singer born in New York, USA. She made her debut at the Apollo Theater at age four and had a contract with RCA Records when she was only five. With Coral records in the 60's she recorded a number of minor hits that were picked up by the Northern Soul scene in the UK. Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have proclaimed themselves as her godparents. By the late 1960s Austin was a prolific session musician and commercial jingle singer. By the 1980s she was signed to Jones's Qwest Records and she began having hits. She charted twenty R&B songs between 1969 and 1991 and had success on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, where she hit number one in 1981 with "Do You Love Me?" / "The Genie." The album containing that hit, Every Home Should Have One, also produced her biggest mainstream hit. "Baby, Come To Me," a duet with James Ingram, peaked at number 73 on the Hot 100 in early 1982. After being featured as the love theme in a prominent storyline on the soap opera General Hospital, the song re-entered the pop chart in October and went to number one in early 1983. Austin continued to have minor chart hits through the remainder of the 1980s, although no other singles reached the Hot 100 Top 40. She does not have chart hits today but she still produces new music.  (mn-tt/gg)
1948  Lucille Bogan a.k.a. Bessie Jackson, blues singer, dies, Los Angeles, California, USA. Best known to blues record collectors and historians for writing and singing Shave Em Dry, one of the bawdiest blues songs ever recorded ("I got nipples on my titties big as the end of my thumb & I got somethin ''tween my legs 'll make a dead man come"). (mn- rs)
1964   Neneh Cherry, singer born, Stockholm, Sweden. 'Buffalo Stance', 'Manchild', '7 Seconds' (with Youssou N'Dour) The daughter of West African percussionist Amadu Jah and artist Moki Cherry. Raised by her mother and her jazz trumpeter stepfather (Don Cherry) in both Stockholm and New York City, she left school at 14. In 1980, Cherry moved to London to sing with the punk group the Cherries.  After working with the Slits and the Nails, she joined the experimental funk outfit Rip Rig + Panic, and appeared on the group’s albums God (1981), I Am Cold (1982), and Attitude (1983). After this, Cherry sang with Float Up CP, and led them through one album, 1986’s Kill Me in the Morning. The band broke up and Cherry began rapping in London, releasing her first single, Stop the War. After attracting some composer and musician Cameron McVey, who, under the alias Booga Bear, wrote much of the material on Cherry’s 1989 debut LP Raw Like Sushi. Cherry’s cover Buffalo Stance was an international smash of eclectic fusion of pop smarts and hip-hop energy. After the record’s release Cherry caught Lyme disease and, apart from a version of Cole Porter’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin in1990, remained silent until Homebrew two years later. Cherry returned to the charts in 1994 in duet with Youssou N’ Dour on the global hit Seven Seconds. She then took time off to raise her children. She resurfaced with the distinctive Man in 1996. Neneh Cherry has her own groundbreaking blend of pop, dance, and hip-hop that is the emergence of both alternative Rap and Trip-Hop. (info.net-aareg))
1968  Michael Bivins singer with New Edition/Bell Biv Devoe born. As one of the original members of New Edition, Mike has always been involved with the management side of New Edition. He is mostly a background member of the group, but he once said, "Even though I am a group member, I like to still get behind the scenes and take care of things. That's why I ended up helping co-direct the video." When he said this, he was speaking of the "You Don't Have To Worry" video. It is quite obvious that Mike would rather do things behind the scenes than be upfront. With much talent, he has even started his own record label, Biv 10 Records, and he has discovered groups like 702, ABC (Another Bad Creation), and Boyz II Men, who got their name from a song on NE's "Heart Break" album and became one of the biggest R&B acts of the 90's.    (mn-jt-angelfire.com))
1993   Edward Roberts, singer dies in Akron, OH, USA. Age: 57 One of the 4 male members of: "Ruby & The Romantics". (The female was Ruby Nash Curtis, b. Nov. 12, 1939 in Akron Ohio, USA). Ruby & The Romantics was an American doo-wop group, frequently considered a one-hit wonder, which topped the charts once with 1963's Our Day Will Come. Ruby Nash Curtis, the female lead of the group, originally sang with an all girl group consisting of her sister and 2 friends. They sang at "record hops", "mixers", "talent shows" and some clubs in Akron, Ohio and surrounding areas. Some of the male members of the "Romantics" sang with a local group called "The Embers". Over time changes occurred and "The Embers" became "The Supremes". Since they all grew up in Akron and knew each other, Leroy Fann, a member of "The Supremes", asked Ruby to sing with them on a few occasions. It clicked, and the rest is history. The group auditioned for and was signed to Kapp Records, which changed their name from The "Supremes" to "Ruby and the Romantics". All was not peaches and cream. There was conflict (personality, money, music and "Diva-tude") ... the typical group thing ... and eventually they lost the feeling. After repeated attempts to match their earlier success, the group had a complete lineup change in 1965. In 1968 an all-female lineup was brought in. The group broke up in 1971. But many of the songs they recorded went on to be hits for other artists, such as "Hurting Each Other" (a #2 hit in the United States for the Carpenters in February 1972), "Hey There Lonely Boy" (which was recorded by Eddie Holman as "Hey There Lonely Girl" and peaked in the US at #2 in February of 1970) and "When You're Young And In Love" (recorded by the Marvelettes and peaking at #23 in the US in May 1967). Additionally, "Our Day Will Come" itself was covered by Frankie Valli and peaked at #11 in the US in the fall of 1975.   (info.net)
1994  Bil Baker, vocals, died in New Haven, CT, USA. Age: 58. Member: 'Five Satins'. The Five Satins are best known for the doo wop classic "In the Still of the Night," a song that was popular enough to make the group one of the most famous doo wop outfits, although they never had another hit of the same magnitude. (info.net)
2008 Isaac Hayes dies. (b. Isaac Lee Hayes Jnr., 20th August 1942, Covington, Tennessee, U.S.A.) d.10th August 2008, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A. Isaac Hayes has died at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 65. Shelby County Police were called to Mr Hayes' home after his wife found him unconscious on the floor near a still-running treadmill. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08pm. The cause of death was not immediately known. "Family members believe at this point it is a medical condition that might have led to his death," a police spokesman said, adding Mr Hayes was being treated for "a number of medical issues". (soulwalking)

11th. AUGUST       

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  081: RICHARD ALLEN (1760-1831)
Independence Day-Republic of Chad.
1873  J. Rosamond Johnson, aurthor/actor and co-composer, born in Jacksonville, Fl, USA. Dies 1954. John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954), most often referred to as J. Rosamond Johnson, was a composer and singer during the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson, from the United States, is most notable as the composer of Lift Every Voice and Sing which has come to be known in the United States as the "Black National Anthem". His brother, poet James Weldon Johnson, wrote the lyrics of the famous piece.   (mn-jc)
1914  Buster Brown, blues singer/harmonica player, born, Chriss, Ga, USA. (dies January 31, 1976, Brooklyn, NY, USA. (mn-rs)
1921  Alex Haley, aurthor and writer of Roots born in Ithaca, N.Y., USA. Two men he interviewed, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X and American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, were both assassinated. Several hundred copies of his book "Roots" had to be recalled from the publisher because they had been accidentally bound with covers meant for "Gone With The Wind". The only person in the history of PLAYBOY magazine to appear both as an interviewer and a celebrity interviewee. Had three children two daughters, and one son. Godfather to Malcom X's daughter Attallah Shabazz. He may also be the only modern writer of note to have a warship named after him. The 283-foot Medium Endurance Cutter Alex Haley (WMEC-39) was commissioned on 10 July, 1999, and is homeported in Kodiak, Alaska. Ship's missions include fisheries patrol, search and rescue, law enforcement, environmental protection, and homeland security in the North Pacific. While negotiating with Reader's Digest over their publication of Roots, he was flown out to the company headquarters on their private jet. While sipping the company's scotch and eating their complimentary nuts he thought to himself, "I guess it finally jelled!" The most amusing rejection slip he got stated, "Thanks, but this doesn't jell for us." While in the Coast Guard he submitted articles and short stories to various magazines, and posted his rejection slips on the walls of his cabin, and eventually in the galley when he ran out of wall-space in his own quarters. In 1983 he announced his intention to write a book about the true people of the Smoky Mountains, tentatively titled "Sitting in the Appalachians". The book never materialized, however. While researching his family in Africa, he was driven to an outlying village where his ancestor had come from. A crowd was waiting there, and they chanted in a language Haley didn't understand. When he asked his guide for a translation, the man replied, "They are saying, 'A son of the village has returned.'" (imdb.com)
1943  Kenny Gamble producer/songwriter/singer with the Romeos born in Philadelpia, USA.   (mn)In tandem with his partner Leon Huff, producer and songwriter Kenny Gamble was the principal architect behind the lush and seductive Philly Soul sound, one of the most popular and influential musical developments of the 1970s. Born in Philadelphia on August 11, 1943, he first teamed with Huff during the late '50s while a member of the harmony group the Romeos, a unit which also included another aspiring area musician named Thom Bell, who would become crucial to Gamble's later success. "The 81," a 1964 single by the little-known Candy & the Kisses, was the inaugural Gamble-Huff co-production, and three years later the duo scored their first Top Five pop hit with the Soul Survivors' "Expressway to Your Heart." Soon recruiting the aforementioned Bell as arranger, they subsequently scored with smashes including Archie Bell & the Drells' "I Can't Stop Dancing" and Jerry Butler's "Only the Strong Survive," gradually forging their own distinctive sound. (answers.com)
1965  Watts Riots in Southeast L.A., USA.The worst rioting of the century in the United States occurred in the Watts area of Los Angeles on Aug. 11-16, 1965. Watts is an impoverished district with a 90 per cent Negro population, most of them unskilled workers and many of them recent immigrants from the South-East. Before the riots 40 per cent of the adult population were unemployed, and illiteracy, broken homes, crime, prostitution, drug addiction, and alcoholism are common. Civil rights organizations and the Negro clergy had strongly criticized alleged police brutality. The Black Muslim movement had been strong in the area for some years, and a heat wave with temperatures approaching 100 degrees added to the atmosphere of tension.  After three Negroes had been arrested in the evening of Aug. 11 on a charge of drunken driving the onlookers alleged that the police had used excessive violence, and rioting started which continued all night and broke out again on the following evening (Aug. 12). On Aug. 13 the disorders went on throughout the day and spread to the main Negro area of the city; bands of Negroes roamed through the streets in an orgy of violence, attacking Whites and Negroes indiscriminately, looting shops, setting on fire scores of stores, shops, and offices, as well as churches and a timberyard, and driving fire engines approaching the area back with a hail of bricks and stones.   (mn-jc)
1966  Peg Leg Howell, blues guitarist/singer, dies. Peg Leg Howell was born Joshua Barnes Howell on March 5, 1888 in Eatonton, Georgia. Howell was a self-taught guitarist who was said to have connected early country blues and the 12-bar styles. Over time, he learned to be skilled in finger picking and slide techniques. The nickname “Peg Leg” was acquired from an incident with a shotgun in 1916, where his brother-in-law allegedly shot his leg off. After this incident, he could not work on a farm anymore, so he packed his things and left for Atlanta, where he pursued a full-time music career. He started off playing on street corners for change.  (b.5/3/1888) (mn-rs)
1969  Diana Ross launches Jackson Five. She invites 350 special guests to the super-trendy Daisy club in Beverly Hills to show off Motown's new signings The Jackson Five. Although few people know that Bobby Taylor was the person who actually took the groop for an audition with Berry Gordy. (mn-jt)
1984  Percy Mayfield, composer/singer, known as the Poet of The Blues, dies the day before his 64th birthday, Los Angeles, California, USA. He was famous for the songs "Hit the Road, Jack" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love". Mayfield was born in Louisiana. As a youth, he showed a talent for poetry, so he thought he would try songwriting and singing. He began his performing career in Texas and had moved to Los Angeles by 1942. He auditioned his song "Two Years of Torture" to Supreme Records (a Los Angeles-area record label) because he thought it would be a good song for Jimmy Witherspoon. The label liked his performance and asked him to record it in 1947. In 1950, he signed with Specialty Records and released several well-received R&B records. His most famous performance: "Please Send Me Someone to Love" was a number one R&B hit in 1950. His career continued to blossom with songs like "Strange Things Happening", "Lost Love," "What a Fool I Was," "Prayin' for Your Return," "Cry Baby," and "Big Question." A 1953 auto accident left him seriously injured, including a facial disfigurement that limited his performing. Mayfield's songs tend to be downbeat and his lyrics tend to be heartbreaking, but his vulnerability and emotional sensitivity prevent songs like "Life Is Suicide" and "The River's Invitation" from being maudlin. Mayfield continued to write and record for Specialty until 1954 and then recorded for Chess Records and the Imperial label. In the early 1960s, he became one of Ray Charles's favorite songwriters, writing classic songs such as "Hit the Road Jack", "At the Club", and "Danger Zone" (which has the same melody of "Please Send Me Someone to Love". Charles signed Mayfield to his Tangerine logo in 1962. Mayfield struggled with alcoholism, but he continued to write and perform until his death.  (mn-rs-wickpedia)
1999  Total eclipse of the sun in the U.K. at 11.10 am.

12th. AUGUST  

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  082: DANIEL ALEXANDER PAYNE (1811-1893)
1890  Madame Lillian Evanti, opera singer, who made her debut in France, born in Washington, D.C. Lillian Evans Tibbs (1890-1967), professionally known as Madame Lillian Evanti, was a lyric soprano who received international acclaim. She was the first black woman to sing opera with an organized company in Europe. A native Washingtonian, Annie Wilson Lillian Evans was the daughter of teachers Anne Brooks and Dr. Bruce Evans. She sang in her first public concert, a charity event, at age four. Evanti attended Armstrong Manual Training School and Miner Teachers College, and graduated from Howard University School of Music in 1917. She met her future husband Roy Tibbs at Howard. While embarking on her musical career, Evanti taught kindergarten in the DC Public Schools. In 1924 she left for Paris for further training and for better professional opportunities at a time when American opera and classical music companies refused to admit African Americans. She adopted the stage name Madame Lillian Evanti, combining Evans and Tibbs into an Italian-style name. Evanti made her professional debut in Nice in 1925, beginning a period of touring Europe interspersed with visits to her family in Washington, including a concert at the Lincoln Theatre. In 1934 she performed at the White House for President Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Evanti was also a composer, who wrote the music for “Hail to Washington,” with lyrics by poet Georgia Douglass Johnson. After returning to Washington, Evanti performed with the National Negro Opera Company, portraying Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata. The 1943 production was performed on the floating Watergate Theater barge on the Potomac River. The Evans and Tibbs families have owned and/or lived in this house since 1904. After Evanti's death, her grandson, art collector Thurlow Tibbs, Jr., lived here. In the 1970s he founded and operated an art gallery, the Evans-Tibbs Collection. Tibbs died in 1997 and bequeathed the collection to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Evans-Tibbs house was listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Places in 1985 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
1907  Glady's Bentley, caberet singer/pianist, born, Pennsylvania, USA. Died January 18, 1960, Los Angeles, USA. Gladys Bentley was a famous butch lesbian African-American blues singer during the Harlem Renaissance. Bentley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of American George L. Bentley and his wife, a Trinidadian, Mary Mote. She appeared at Harry Hansberry's "Clam House" on 133rd Street, one of New York City's most notorious gay speakeasies, in the 1920s, and headlined in the early thirties at Harlem's Ubangi Club, where she was backed up by a chorus line of drag queens. She was a 250 pound bulldyke, dressed in men's clothes (including a signature tuxedo and top hat), who played a mean piano and sang her own obscene lyrics to popular tunes of the day, in a deep, growling voice, flirting outrageously with women in the audience. On the decline of the Harlem speakeasies with the repeal of Prohibition, she relocated to southern California, where she was billed as "America's Greatest Sepia Piano Player", and the "Brown Bomber of Sophisticated Songs". She was frequently harassed for wearing men's clothing. She claimed that she had married a white woman in Atlantic City. Fictional characters based on Bentley appeared in Carl Van Vechten's Parties, Clement Woods's Deep River, and Blair Niles's Strange Brother. She recorded for the OKeh, Victor, Excelsior, and Flame labels. During the McCarthy Era, she started wearing dresses, married a man, and studied to be a minister. She died, aged 52, from pneumonia. (mn-rs-wickpedia)
1920  Percy Mayfield soul singer born in Minden, Louisiana, USA. He was famous for the songs "Hit the Road, Jack" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love". Mayfield was born in Louisiana. As a youth, he showed a talent for poetry, so he thought he would try songwriting and singing. He began his performing career in Texas and had moved to Los Angeles by 1942. He auditioned his song "Two Years of Torture" to Supreme Records (a Los Angeles-area record label) because he thought it would be a good song for Jimmy Witherspoon. The label liked his performance and asked him to record it in 1947. In 1950, he signed with Specialty Records and released several well-received R&B records. His most famous performance: "Please Send Me Someone to Love" was a number one R&B hit in 1950. His career continued to blossom with songs like "Strange Things Happening", "Lost Love," "What a Fool I Was," "Prayin' for Your Return," "Cry Baby," and "Big Question." A 1953 auto accident left him seriously injured, including a facial disfigurement that limited his performing. Mayfield's songs tend to be downbeat and his lyrics tend to be heartbreaking, but his vulnerability and emotional sensitivity prevent songs like "Life Is Suicide" and "The River's Invitation" from being maudlin. Mayfield continued to write and record for Specialty until 1954 and then recorded for Chess Records and the Imperial label. In the early 1960s, he became one of Ray Charles's favorite songwriters, writing classic songs such as "Hit the Road Jack", "At the Club", and "Danger Zone" (which has the same melody of "Please Send Me Someone to Love". Charles signed Mayfield to his Tangerine logo in 1962. Mayfield struggled with alcoholism, but he continued to write and perform until his death.  (mn-rs-wickpedia)
1922  Fredrick Douglas's home in Washington, D.C., is dedicated as a memorial. Frederick Douglass was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. A brilliant speaker, Douglass was asked by the American Anti-Slavery Society to engage in a tour of lectures, and so became recognized as one of America's first great black speakers. He won world fame when his autobiography was publicized in 1845. Two years later he bagan publishing an antislavery paper called the North Star. Douglass served as an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that guaranteed voting rights and other civil liberties for blacks. Douglass provided a powerful voice for human rights during this period of American history and is still revered today for his contributions against racial injustice. (tr-iokts)
1923  Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell born, she is the publisher of the Columbus Times. Famous quote: .... you can’t love yourself unless you know that somebody that looks like you has done something good. African American fashion model and businesswoman. As quoted in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker (1989). Referring to the importance of documenting the accomplishments of African American people. DeVore-Mitchell was a founder of the African American press archives at Howard University, Washington, DC.  (tr-bl-bartleby.com)
1926  Joe Jones, singer born, New Orleans, USA. Joe Jones (d. November 27, 2005, Los Angeles, California) (not to be confused with guitarist Joe "Boogaloo" Jones) was an American R&B singer, songwriter and arranger. As a singer, Jones' greatest hit was the Top Five 1960 R&B hit "You Talk Too Much". He composed many songs including the song "Iko Iko" which appeared in the opening sequences of Rain Man. Jones is also generally credited with discovering The Dixie Cups. Jones died in 2005 from complications from quadruple bypass surgery. (mn-cl)
1937  Jimmy Norman, soul singer born Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Jimmy Norman has stories to tell, whether in the lyrics of the hundreds of songs he has written over the past 50 years or in a remarkable musical life that's taken him from the dark side of the Chitlin' Circuit to the inner circles of American pop music. Through photos, music clips, audio interviews and video remembrances, this web site allows visitors to become part of that historic journey. Jimmy's songwriting talent led to musical collaborations with such notables as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Lloyd Price, Lou Rawls and Johnny Nash. While performing in venues extending from the smallest Chitlin' Circuit dives to the stages of the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall, Jimmy has appeared with Jerry Lee Lewis, Solomon Burke, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Ben E. King, and Ike & Tina Turner. Later, he would perform around the globe as lead singer of Carl Gardner’s popular group, The Coasters. In 1964, Jimmy wrote lyrics during an Irma Thomas recording session for the R&B classic, Time Is On My Side—later to become a major hit for the Rolling Stones. In 1972, Jimmy was featured vocalist on Eddie Palmieri’s revered Harlem River Drive, a breakthrough Latin-flavored funk album.  (mn-cl-jimmynorman.net)
1950  Kid Creole, real name Thomas August Darnell Browder, soul singer/guitarist/producer born. His music incorporates styles like big band jazz, disco, and in particular Caribbean/Latin American salsa. The Coconuts were a glamorous trio of female backing vocalists. August began his career in a band named The In-Laws with his half-brother in 1965, which disbanded so August could pursue a career as a English teacher. He obtained a masters degree, but in 1974 again formed a band with his half-brother under the name Dr. Buzzard's Original "Savannah" Band. They played to some initial success, reaching a gold and Top 40-charting album with their debut release, but could not match this on subsequent releases. August began producing for other artists before adopting the name Kid Creole (from the Elvis Presley film King Creole) in 1980, and forming The Coconuts; a trio of female backing vocalists including his wife Adriana Kaegi, and a band including vibraphone player Andy Hernandez aka Coati Mundi. Their debut album was the heavily disco-influenced Off the Coast of Me, which was critically well-received but not scucessful commercially. The sophomore release Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places was a concept album matched with a New York Public Theatre stage production; it charted briefly and garnered the Top 40 UK hit "Me No Pop I" for Coati Mundi. Their breakthrough came with 1982's Tropical Gangsters, which hit #3 in the UK and spun off three Top 10 hits with "Stool Pigeon", "Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy" and "I'm a Wonderful Thing, Baby". "Dear Addy" also made the Top 40. In the US the album was retitled Wise Guy and reached #145, and "I'm a Wonderful Thing, Baby" flirted with the R&B charts. 1983's Doppelganger was a relative commercial disappointment, despite the single "There's Something Wrong in Paradise" reaching the Top 40. August divorced his wife in 1985, leaving the original Coconuts to split and form their own group by the name of Boomerang. Darnell continued the group with a new lineup and in the mid to late 1980's contributed to various film soundtracks and other such projects. He appeared at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1986 and in this period released the albums In Praise of Older Women and Other Crimes and I, Too, Have Seen the Woods, neither of which charted despite the hit "Endicott". 1990's Private Waters in the Great Divide had a hit with single "The Sex of It", a song written by Prince and recorded at Paisley Park Studios with Sheila E. It reached Top 40 in the US and UK and is to date one of his most well-known songs. He now resides in the Dinnington area of South Yorkshire, and still tours with the Coconuts as well as leading 1970s musical revival shows. (wickpedia)
1972  Teren Delvon Jones, funk rapper from Oakland, California, USA, member of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien group born. Cousin of renowned gangster rapper Ice Cube, Del tha Funkee Homosapien got his start with Ice Cube's backing band, da Lench Mob. But Del's rap isn't as grim or violent as Ice Cube's is, in fact, he's been known to include something in his music that's far too uncommon in most rap: humor. (mn-rs)
1977  Figure-head and activist Steve Biko is arrested in South Africa. Later beaten to death by the police. (mn)
1984  Lionel Richie closes the Los Angeles Olympic Games by singing All Night Long to over 2.5 million TV viewers. (mn-jt)
1997  C.P. (Crafman Piato) Spencer, singer and founder of the Detroit Spinners/Originals appears on PCRL in a two-part serial about his  life. (mn-br MD-921)

13th. AUGUST 

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT: 
083: JAMES AUGUSTINE HEALY (1830-1900)
1881  The first African American nursing school opens at Spelman College in  Atlanta, Ga, USA. (tr-iokts)
1892  The first issue of the Afro-American newspaper is published in Baltimore, Md, USA. (tr-iokts)
1983  Daley Thompson of Britain wins decathlon championship at the World Track and Field Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Francis Morgan Thompson, CBE , known commonly as Daley Thompson, is a former English decathlete. Thompson won consecutive gold medals at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games, and broke the world record for the event four times. His best score in the event was set in the 1984 Olympic competition at 8847 points, a world record that stood for nine years and an Olympic record that stood for 20 years until the Czech athlete Roman Šebrle scored 8893 points in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He competed for an unprecedented third Olympic decathlon gold at the 1988 Seoul games, but was severely hampered by injury and could only finish fourth. Thompson was the first athlete to simultaneously hold Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World titles in a single event. His rivalry with German athlete Jürgen Hingsen was legendary in the sport throughout the 1980s. The pair consistently traded world records, but Thompson always had the upper hand in the major events, remaining undefeated in all competitions for nine years between 1979 and 1987. He was a natural showman who endeared himself to the British public with his irreverent personality, notably when he nervelessly whistled the British national anthem God Save The Queen after receiving his gold medal in 1984. Afterwards, he famously sent a message to friends back home via a TV interview by showing his medal and saying I've got the Big G, boys - the Big G! Sometimes his behaviour caused offence, not least when he refused to carry the flag at the opening ceremony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games, claiming that the effort required participating in the four-and-a-half hour ceremony would reduce his chances of winning his event. He won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award the same year. Making his acceptance speech during the live broadcast of the programme Thompson uttered an obscenity, which caused media comment. Despite this, he was awarded the OBE in 1983, followed by a CBE in 2000. Since retiring from athletics in 1992, Thompson has been associated with various football clubs and also had stints as a television presenter. However, he will always be remembered as one of the world's greatest ever athletes, who single-handedly transformed the decathlon from obscurity to an event of national and international interest. (wickpedia)
1895  Black Inventions: Guard Attachments for beds, Lewis A. Russell. (sc)
1921  Jimmy McCracklin singer born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. McCracklin was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the United States Navy in 1938 following a successful run as an amateur boxer. McCracklin began recording after World War II. His first recordings were released by Globe Records in 1945. He formed the Blues Blasters in 1946. His first recording under his name were on the Trilon Records label in 1948. He recorded on many labels in ensuing years, including Swing Time Records in 1951, Peacock Records in 1952, as well as Modern Records, Irma Records, and Gedinson's Records. His popularity increased after appearing on the TV pop show American Bandstand in support of his single "The Walk". He formed his own record label in 1961, Art-Tone Records, and enjoyed his biggest hit with "Just Got to Know". Jimmy McCracklin Sings, his first solo album, was released in 1962. He moved to Imperial Records in 1965. In 1967 Otis Redding and Carla Thomas had success with "Tramp", a song credited to McCracklin and Lowell Fulson. Following that success, he signed with Stax Records in 1971. McCracklin continued to tour and produce new albums in the 1980s and 1990s. He was given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1990. (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1938  Dave 'Baby' Cortez soul singer born. Dave "Baby" Cortez (born David Cortez Clowney  in Detroit, Michigan) is an American pop music and R&B pianist and organist. Clowney made his first record in 1956 under his own name but it was not until three years later that he scored a major success using the stage name Dave "Baby" Cortez. His instrumental, "The Happy Organ" was the first pop/rock hit to feature the organ as lead instrument. The 45rpm single went to No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 charts. More than forty-five years later, the record is still frequently played on the radio and a favorite "download" on the Internet. Cortez had another Top Ten hit in 1962 with "Rinky Dink". (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1971  King Curtis Ousley, singer/sax player dies aged 37 (murdered outside his home by a junkie), one of soul music's great saxophonists and Aretha Franklin's favourite. (mn-jt)
1971  Mark Johnson IBF Flyweight World Champion Boxer born. Record: 33-1(24). Best wins: Leon Salazar; Francisco Tejedor and Cecilio Espino.
1973  Johnny Moore lead singer with the Drifters as they sign to Bell in the U.K for and make a remarkable come-back. Johnny had been singing with the group for 18 years. (mn)
1982  Joe Tex soul singer dies. Joe Tex, 47, Recording Artist And Soul Singer for 30 Years. Joe Tex, a soul singer and recording artist, died here today, three days after suffering a heart attack. He was 47 years old. Mr. Tex, a singer for almost 30 years, performed on radio, television and in concerts on four continents and made records on the Dial label. His hits include ''Hold What You've Got,'' ''Skinny Legs and All,'' ''I Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)'' and ''I Gotcha.'' He was born in here Joseph Arrington Jr. He adopted the Muslim name of Josepth Hazziez, but kept his stage name of Joe Tex. Survivors include his wife, Deliliah Hazziez; two sons, a daughter, his mother, a sister and a grandmother. (mn-jt-new york times)
1988  Fred Below, respected 50s blues drummer, dies, Chicago, Ill, USA.Below played drums in high school and went on to study percussion at the Roy C. Knapp School of Percussion. Primarily a jazz drummer at the time, he played bebop and joined the Army as part of the 427th Army band. After the service, he returned to Chicago in 1951 to find that blues gigs were what was happening. Jazz was in a lull. Then Muddy Waters drummer Elgin Evans introduced Below to a group called the Three Aces -- Junior Wells (vocals, harp), Louis Myers (guitar), and Dave Myers (bass) -- who needed a drummer. As a jazz drummer, Below did not know blues drumming and it was a rough fit at first. The next big event came when Little Walter (on the sudden success of his instrumental "Juke") quit the Muddy Waters band and was replaced by Junior Wells. Little Walter then joined the Three Aces which he had been itching to do because Muddy Waters did not play in the up-tempo style that Walter was into. Little Walter and the Four Aces (later renamed the Jukes) were a perfect fit and this four-piece electric blues combo became the hottest band in Chicago. It is hard to estimate the effect of this band on Chicago music scene, and a large part of this success is due to the refined and elegant drumming of Below. He plays on almost all of Walter's greatest hits. He was in total demand for recording sessions. Everyone wanted him and he recorded for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, Otis Rush, Elmore James, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Dinah Washington, John Brim, the Platters, the Moonglows, the Drifters, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, and many more. Fred Below and the Aces pretty much created the standard for the blues shuffle beat. Below also was known for his use of the ride cymbal, the wood block, tom-tom fills, and many other embellishments. Just check out his drum solo on Little Walter's classic tune "Off the Wall."   (mn-rs-blueson.se)
1990  Curtis Mayfield Paralyzed after stage accident. A gust of wind at an out-door charity concert blew a lighting rig over (drummer dies), Mayfield survives in a wheelchair until his death nine years later 25/12/99. Even Bob Marley admitted to looking at Mayfield's work for inspiration. (mn)

14th. AUGUST       

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  084: HENRY MCNEAL TURNER (1833-1915)
1883  Ernest E. Just, biologist and pioneer of cell division born. A measure of his contribution to biological knowledge may be see in the words of the late Dr. Charles Drew, himself an outstanding researcher in blood plasma preservation. Dr. Drew described Dr. Just as a " biologist of unusual skill and the greatest of our original thinkers in the field." He was seen as producing "new concepts of cell life and metabolism which will make for him a place for all time". Dr Just also wrote over sixty scientific papers and two major books in his field. (jc-mn-ra)
1888  Black Invention: galvanic battery, G.T. Woods recieves patent.
1909  Hezekiah Stuff Smith, violinist, born in Portsmouth, Ohio. Smith was, along with Stéphane Grappelli and Joe Venuti, one of jazz music's preeminent violinists of the swing era. He was born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1909 and studied violin with his father. Smith cited Louis Armstrong as his primary influence and inspiration to play jazz, and like Armstrong, was a vocalist as well as instrumentalist. In the 1920s he played in Texas as a member of Alphonse Trent's band. After moving to New York he had a regular gig with his sextet at the Onyx Club starting in 1935 and also performed with Coleman Hawkins as well as with younger musicians such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and later, Sun Ra. Smith was critical of the bebop movement, although his own style represented a transition between swing and bebop. He is credited as being the first violinist to use electric amplification techniques on a violin. He contributed to the song "It's Wonderful (1938)" often performed by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald throughout their careers. Smith moved to Copenhagen in 1965, performed actively in Europe, and died in Munich in 1967. (wickpedia)
1938  Niara Sudarkasa, eductor and first female president of Lincoln University, is born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, USA. In 1987, Niara Sudarkasa became the first female president of Lincoln University, and she summarily transformed one of the oldest African-American colleges in the United States from an all-male into a coeducational institution. She was also the first African-American woman to gain tenure as a full professor at the University of Michigan. Her anthropological research focuses on comparative studies, specifically seeking to establish the ties that bind African culture with African-American culture.  (tr-iokts)
1946  Larry Grayam bassist for Sly Stone and Grayam Central Station born in Beaumont, Texas, USA. Graham Central Station was a showcase for the revolutionary pop-and-slap bass guitar of Larry Graham, an alumnus of Sly and the Family Stone largely responsible for originating the percussive groove which typified the progressive funk sound of the 1970s. Born August 14, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas, Graham was raised in Oakland, California; by his teens he was adept not only on bass but also guitar, harmonica and drums, and at the age of 15 began performing with the Dell Graham Trio, his mother's lounge act. While attending college, he served as a supporting musician with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Reed and the Drifters; in 1968 he joined Sly and the Family Stone, appearing with the group during the halcyon period which gave rise to such classic albums as Stand and There's a Riot Goin' On, as well as smash singles like "Dance to the Music" and "Everybody Is a Star," both of which prominently feature Graham's cavernous baritone in addition to his enormously influential thumping bass style.  (mn)
1956  Sharon Bryant soul singer with Atlantic Starr born.Born in New York, Sharon joined Atlantic Starr in the late 70's and was their lead singer when the group signed to A & M in 1979. She was featured on such hits as 'When Love Calls' and 'Circles,' both of which were Top Ten R & B singles. After leaving Atlantic Starr in 1984 she married Rick Gallway, a one-time member of the group Change. After working as a session singer, Sharon returned to the spotlight in 1989, releasing an album on the Wing label (via Polygram) 'Here I Am', including 'Foolish Heart'. Sharon has sung with jazz alto saxophonist Donald Harrison (his 'Power Of Cool' album 1994) and has sung lead vocals on a Cynthia Biggs Project in 2000 on the track 'No One Like You'. (mn-jt)
1959  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, basketball player is born in Michigan, USA. Johnson, African-American basketball player, b. Lansing, Mich. After winning the national championship with Michigan State Univ. (1979), he joined the Los Angeles Lakers and with them won five National Basketball Association championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987–88). Respected as a consummate team player and leader, he was named most valuable player three times (1987, 1989–90). In 1991 he announced that he had tested positive for HIV and retired from professional basketball. He subsequently worked to promote AIDS awareness, played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team,” made brief comebacks with Los Angeles in 1992 and 1996, and coached the Lakers in 1994. In 1998 he bought the Borås, Sweden, professional basketball team and has played occasional games with them. Since his official retirement Johnson has also become a successful entrepeneur, overseeing a multimillion dollar business empire based in inner-city minority neighborhoods throughout the country. He is also a vocal proponent of African-American economic empowerment. (mn)
1966  Halle Berry, actress born in Cleveland, Ohio. Oscar-winning actress who as a high school cheerleader and beauty queen was the first African American to represent the United States in the Miss World pageant in 1986. After a stint on Knot's Landing (1991–92), she moved on to films, starring in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever (1991) and Alex Haley's Queen (1993) before going opposite Kurt Russell in Executive Decision (1996) and Warren Beatty in Bulworth (1998). She has appeared in critically acclaimed roles (The Wedding, 1998) and critically panned roles (B*A*P*S, 1997). Berry won wide praise—and Emmy and Golden Globe awards—for her title role in the television biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999). Her most notable films include Bullworth (1998), X-Men (2000) and the sequel X2 (2003), the James Bond movie Die Another Day (2002), and Monster's Ball (2001), for which she won a Best Actress Oscar and a reputation as a talented, versatile actress.  (wickpedia)
1992  Platters star dies. Tony williams original lead singer dies at the age of 64 of emphysema, a condition complicated by diabetes. (mn-jt)
2010 Abbey Lincoln dies. b. Anna Marie Wooldridge, 6th August 1930, Chicago Illinois, U.S.A. d. 14th August 2010, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A. The singer and actress, Abbey Lincoln (also known as Gaby Woolridge, Anna Marie and Gaby Lee) has died. She was 80. Abbey recorded the songs 'Afro-Blue' and 'The World Is Falling Down' and worked with Benny Carter, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Kelly, Eric Dolphy and Max Roach (Who she had been married to at one time, divorcing in 1970). As an actress, she also appeared in the films, 'Nothing But A Man', 'For Love Of Ivy' (with Sidney Poitier and Beau Bridges) and 'The Girl Can't Help It' (the latter film wearing a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes'). Born in Chicago and raised in rural Michigan, Abbey was influenced greatly, by the singer Billie Holiday, meeting Billie in Honolulu during the 1950's. In 1956, she recorded her first album, 'Affair ... a Story of a Girl in Love' for the Liberty imprint, followed by 'That’s Him', released on the Riverside label in 1957. She was actively involved in the civil rights movement, recording 'We Insist! - Freedom Now Suite', after which she became involved in the political struggle to a greater extent in the following decades. Abbey's career waned in the 1970's and 1980's, following her divorce from Max Roach in 1970. She began recording on small independent labels, and realised a renaissance during 1990 when she signed with Verve Records and released 'The World Is Falling Down', an album featuring the pianist Hank Jones and the trumpeter Clark Terry. Abbey, later, starred in the Spike Lee movie vehicle 'Mo Better Blues', later receiving the National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters Award in 2003. Her singing career remained consistent right up until her time of passing, even after undergoing open heart surgery in 2007 (from which she never really recovered fully). Abbey is survived by her brothers, David and Kenneth Wooldridge, and her sister, Juanita Baker. (soulwalking)

15th. AUGUST  

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT: 
085: JOHN JASPER (1812-1901) 
Congolese National Day.
1824  Freed American slaves establised country of Liberia, on the west coast of Africa. (mn-jc)
1925  Oscar Peterson Jr., jazz pianist born. He began learning trumpet and piano from his father at the age of five, but by the age of seven, after a bout of tuberculosis, he concentrated on the piano. Some of the artists who influenced Peterson during the early years were Teddy Wilson, Nat "King" Cole, James P. Johnson and the legendary Art Tatum, to whom many have tried to compare Peterson in later years. In fact, one of his first exposures to the musical talents of Art Tatum came early in his teen years when his father played an Art Tatum record to him and Peterson was so intimidated by what he heard that he didn't touch the piano for over a week. (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1930  Jackie Brenston, a.k.a. Blind Jim Brewer, street singer, born, Brookhaven, Miss, USA. (died Decemebr 15, 1979, Memphis, Tenn, USA. (mn-rs)
1933  Floyd Aston singer with the Tams born. (mn-jt)
1933  Bill Pinkney singer with the Drifters born. The Drifters had a long a varied carrer with Bill also a member with The Coasters. (mn-jt)
1934  Bobby Byrd singer with James Brown Review born. Bobby Byrd (born Bobby Day) is an African American funk/soul/R&B/gospel musician, best known as James Brown's longtime sideman and co-vocalist. Byrd also produced a slew of solo funk tracks which have been sampled by, among others, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, LL Cool J and A Tribe Called Quest. Byrd was leader of a group called The Avons when Brown joined in the mid-1950s. The Avons later became The Flames, then The Famous Flames, before they were repackaged with Brown as the frontman. He was married to funk singer Vicki Anderson, another James Brown collaborator.   (mn-jt)
1938  Stix Nesbert Hooper drummer with Crusaders born. One of the original Jazz Crusaders, Stix Hooper remains a well-respected drummer although his own solo career has mostly found him in fairly anonymous settings. He started playing drums early on in his native Houston. When he was 16 he put together his own group which was originally known as The Swingsters. Later on it changed its name to The Modern Jazz Sextet, The Night Hawks and by the late 1950's the Jazz Crusaders. Trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor-saxophonist Wilton Felder and pianist Joe Sample became the co-leaders of the quintet (which had a variety of bassists through the years). The band's unusual trombone/tenor frontline and its ability to play soulful hard bop kept it popular and generally creative throughout the 1960's. In 1971 the Jazz Crusaders became the Crusaders and soon Henderson dropped out and the music became more r&b-oriented. Hooper stuck with the group until 1983 when his departure signaled the beginning of the end since his distinctive drumming was a large (if underrated) part of the band's sound. Stix Hooper, who led rather routine albums of his own for MCA and Artful Balance in the 1980's, has made occasional guest spots on other dates including sessions led by Grant Green and George Shearing.  (mn-jt)
1938  Maxine Waters, the second African American woman from California to be elected to US Congress is born. Representative from California; born Maxine (Moore) Carr, in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Mo., August 15, 1938; B.A., California State University, Los Angeles, Calif., 1970; delegate, Democratic National Conventions, 1972-1988; member of the California state assembly, 1977-1991; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Second and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1991-present).  (tr-iokts)
1941  Johnny Thunder, soul singer born Gil Hamilton in Leesburg, Florida, USA. He started singing in church, high school, and on street corners. Nothing was happening in Florida in the late '50s, so Thunder moved to New York City under the advice of a friend who worked as the road manager for the Drifters. Thunder even sung with the famous Atlantic Record group for a few months prior to Ben E. King leaving to go solo. After the stint, he started recording under his birth name for Capitol and Fury Records, but had no success. To keep the rent paid and food in his belly, he made his self useful as a studio background vocalist working with then-unknowns Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Cissy Houston, and others. Thunder's high mellow resonant tenor always lifted him above the others. One of his Capitol releases was "Tell Him," the same song which became a hit for the Exciters months after his version had died. (The Exciters' members included the boisterous voice of Brenda Reid, who's the mother of Antonio "L.A." Reid, who became a songwriting and record producing force with Babyface in the '80s and '90s.)  (mn-cl)
1944  Fredrick Knight singer/songwriter/producer born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. I've been lonely for so long was his big seller in 1972 for Stax Records. (mn)
1945  Little Beaver, singer born in Forest City, Arkansas, USA. He played on Joss Stone's first album. Beaver moved to Florida when he was a teenager. After recording for other labels, he recorded sides for the Cat label, an imprint of Henry Stone's TK Records of Hialeah, FL. His first charting singles were "Joey" and "Wish I Had a Girl Like You" b/w "Six Foot Hole." The next single, the hit "Party Down, Part 1," was later sampled by rap and hip-hop artists, like so much of the TK catalog. The mid-tempo groover was his biggest record. The Party Down LP featured vocals by Betty Wright and keyboards by Benny Lattimore ("Let's Straighten It Out") and Timmy Thomas ("Why Can't We Live Together"). Post-"Party Down" singles were "Let the Good Times Roll" b/w "Let's Stick Together," both on the Party Down LP; "Little Girl Blue"; "I Can Dig It Baby" (co-written by Hale, Betty Wright, and Willie Clarke) b/w "Get Into the Party Life"; "Give a Helping Hand" b/w "Mama Forgo"; "Funkadelic Sound"; and "We Three." Other Little Beaver albums are Little Beaver, Black Rhapsody, When Was the Last Time, and Beaver Fever, which was credited to Willie "Beaver" Hale (all were released on Cat). ~ Ed Hogan, All Music Guide (mn-cl)
1958  Big Bill Broonzy, blues singer/songwriter, dies, Chicago. While Broonzy himself claimed to be born in 1893, another source claims that Broonzy had a twin sister named Lannie Broonzy who had proof they were born on June 26, 1898. During this time, it was common for black men to add years to their actual age in order to get a job or join the military, which may very well have been Broonzy's case as well. Regardless, Broonzy left Mississippi in 1924 and arrived in Chicago, where he met Papa Charlie Jackson, who taught him to play guitar (Broonzy had previously been a fiddler). Broonzy first recorded as a self-accompanied singer in 1929, and continued to record in that style. Around 1936, he became one of the first blues singers to use a small instrumental group, including "traps" (drums) and acoustic bass as well as one or more melody instruments (horns and/or harmonica). These discs were usually issued as Big Bill and his Chicago Five. At that time, Broonzy was recording for the American Record Corporation on their line of less expensive labels (Melotone, Perfect Records, et al). In 1939, ARC was acquired by CBS, and Broonzy then appeared on Vocalion (later Okeh) and, after 1945, on Columbia Records. One of his best-known songs was written at that time, "Key To the Highway." (mn-rs-wickpedia)
1961  Granville "Sticks" McGhee, guitarist/singer, dies, New York. (mn-rs)
1976  David Anthony Johnson, 5'6", 12.3 footballer born in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Club Honours: FAYC '95; Div 2 '97. International Honours: E: B-1. Ipswich T paid £800,000 for him on 14/11/97. (bh-mn)
1984  People to People: Struggles for the Black Community (Tiger Bay Is My Home) - Broadcasted by CH4 television. Made in Brutetown, Cardiff, this programme reveals that there has been a black presence in the area since the 1850's, and includes interviews with survivors of the 1919 race riots. (mn-sb)
1992  Jackie Edwards, soul/reggae singer dies. Born Wilfred Edwards in Jamaica in 1938. He graced hundreds of ska, R&B, soul, rocksteady, reggae and ballad recordings since he composed and sang 'Your Eyes Are Dreaming', a sentimental ballad, and a gentle Latin-beat 'Tell Me Darling', for future Island Records owner Chris Blackwell in 1959. Probably the most accomplished romantic singer and songwriter that Jamaica ever produced. (mn-cl)
2010 Robert Wilson dies. b. Robert Wilson, 1957, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A. d. 15th August 2010, Palmdale, California, U.S.A. Robert Wilson, the bassist for the funk group, the Gap Band, has passed away. He was 53. Robert suffered a heart attack at his home in California. The Gap Band were originally known as the Greenwood, Archer And Pine Street Band (G.A.P.), who later changed their name to the abbreviated version, scaoring several dancefloor hits including 'Ooops, Upside Your Head', 'Outstanding', 'Early In The Morning' and 'You Dropped A Bomb On Me'. Formed in 1967, Charlie formed the group with his brothers Charlie and Ronnie. Charlie Wilson stated: 'My brother Robert was a bad boy on the bass and shared a bond as brothers, musicians and friends. I loved him and losing him is difficult for both Ronnie and I. The music world has lost a very talented man'. Robert was scheduled to perform at the Tulsa Timeless Music Festival later this August. He is survived by his wife Brenda and two daughters, Robin and Latina Wilson. (soulwalking)

16th. AUGUST   

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  086: ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, SR. (1865-1953)
1816  Peter Salem dies (1750-1816) A hero of The Battle for Bunker's Hill.  American Independence Wars. (mn)
1872  Black Invention: Improvement in means for Operating Car Brakes, John  V. Smith. (sc)
1922  Louis E. Lomax, author born (1922-1970). (mn-jc)
1928  Eddie Kirkland guitarist born in Kingston Jamaica, West Indies. The career of guitarist Eddie Kirkland spans 40 years and a variety of musical styles. Soon after his birth the family relocated to the southern states of America and at the age of 15 he took a day job at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. He met John Lee Hooker and became his regular accompanist both on the club circuit and on record, proving to be one of the few who could follow Hooker's erratic style. Kirkland's first recordings were made in 1952 and throughout the decade he recorded for RPM, King, Cobra, Fortune and Lupine. In 1961 he made his first deviation from "down-home" blues when he recorded with King Curtis and Oliver Nelson for Prestige. In the mid-60s he moved to Macon, Georgia, where he turned to soul music, eventually signing to Otis Redding's enterprise Volt, in 1965. Redding used Kirkland in his touring band, but Kirkland's role as a soul artist was never more than minor. In the 70s, he returned to his blues roots, recording for Pete Lowery's Trix label, both solo and with small bands, and has since maintained a heavy touring schedule in the USA and in Europe. Fresh sounding material was issued on Lonely Street, although his vocals now leave a lot to be desired, he is playing with some younger musicians, who in turn are pushing him forward. Tab Benoit and Sonny Landreth are both featured.  (mn)
1934  Ketty Lester soul singer born Revoyda Frierson in Hope, Arkansas. Revoyda Frierson, 16 August 1934, Hope, Arkansas, USA. Ketty Lester began her singing career on completing a music course at San Francisco State College. A residency at the city's Purple Onion club was followed by a successful tour of Europe before she joined bandleader Cab Calloway's revue. Later domiciled in New York, Lester's popular nightclub act engendered a recording contract, of which "Love Letters" was the first fruit. The singer's cool-styled interpretation of this highly popular standard, originally recorded by Dick Haymes, reached the Top 5 in both the USA and UK in 1962, eventually selling in excess of one million copies. The song has been covered many times, with notable successes for Elvis Presley and Alison Moyet. Its attractiveness was enhanced by a memorable piano figure but Lester was sadly unable to repeat the single's accomplished balance between song, interpretation and arrangement. She later abandoned singing in favour of a career as a film and television actress, with appearances in the series Days Of Our Lives, Little House On The Prairie, Hill Street Blues, and the movies Blacula and The Prisoner Of Second Avenue, to name but a few. She was later coaxed back into the studio, but only on her stipulation that it would be exclusively to perform sacred music.  (mn-oldies.com)
1938  Robert Johnson, blues man, dies in Greenwood Mississippi, USA. Eleven 78 rpm records were issued during Johnson's lifetime and one posthumously. They were just "race" records then--another casual attempt at trying to capitalize on the blues. Needless to say, they were enough to establish his identity wherever he went and afford him a degree of fame and fortune for the short time he lived after their release. Including the material that never saw issuance on 78's, there are 29 compositions and alternate versions of nearly half of them. Including the recent discovery of a previously unknown alternate take of one of Johnson's recordings, a total of 42 recordings remain to this day--the only recordings of one of the true geniuses of American music, blues singer extraordinaire Robert Johnson. (b. 8/5/1911) (mn-rs)
1942  Barbara George soul singer born. "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" topped the R&B charts in 1961 and has proven a popular cover item ever since. The New Orleans native had never been in the studio before she brought her extremely catchy melody to Harold Battiste's fledgling A.F.O. label. Benefiting from her pleasing, unpolished vocal and a melodic coronet solo by Melvin Lastie, the tune caught fire, vaulting high on pop playlists. Amazingly, nothing else George did ever dented the charts, although she waxed some listenable follow-ups for A.F.O. and Sue. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide (mn-jt)
1947  Carol Moseley Braun born, is a Senator from Illinois; born in Chicago, Ill., August 16, 1947; educated in Chicago public schools; graduated, University of Illinois 1969; graduated, University of Chicago School of Law 1972; admitted to the Illinois bar in Chicago 1973; prosecutor, office of the United States Attorney, Chicago 1973-1977; member and assistant majority leader, Illinois house of representatives 1978-1988; recorder of deeds, Cook County, Ill., 1988-1992; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1992, and served from January 3, 1993, to January 3, 1999; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1998; ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, December 15, 1999-2001; candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004; entrepreneur; is a resident of Chicago, Ill., Atlanta, Ga., and Union Springs, Ala.   (tr-bl)
1962  Little Stevie Wonder released his debut single, I call it pretty music but the old folks call it the blues. It was not a hit. (mn-jt)
1965  A Troubled Weekend In Wolverhampton.. was the headline in The Express & Star ... 4 Nights Worth of Forgetting 'Keep Cool' plea by racial harmonists. The troubles were in the Low Hill estate. (mn)
1970  Federal warrant is issued for Angela Davis in connection with George Jackson's attempted escape from San Quentin prison. (mn-jc)
1972  Rev. Philip A. Potter of Dominica named general secretary of the World Council of Churches.
1953  James 'J.T.' Taylor singer and Kool & The Gang member from '79, born today in Laurens, South Carolina, USA.  Taylor presided over the group's commercial -- if not artistic -- peak of the early to mid-'80s, later moving on to a solo career. Born August 16, 1953, Taylor joined Kool the Gang at a point when the pioneering funk band was beginning to lose steam amidst the rise of disco. Five years after their last hit, the group enlisted both producer Eumir Deodato and Taylor and re-entered the Top Ten in 1979 with the decidedly disco-slanted "Ladies Night," a track which topped the RB charts. The following year, Kool the Gang delivered its first number one hit on the pop charts, "Celebration." Although Top Ten placements were frequent from 1982 through 1987, Taylor left the band for a solo career in 1988, thanks in large part to the success. (One monument to his impact with Kool the Gang is that the group recruited three people to replace him -- Skip Martin, Gary Brown, and Odeen Mays.) After signing to Epic Records in 1988, Taylor found a hit on his first at-bat: a duet with Regina Belle called "All I Want Is Forever." The theme song to the Gregory Hines film Tap, it reached number two on the RB charts, but was unable to cross over to the pop charts. Taylor recorded three albums for MCA during the early '90s, failing to trump the success of "All I Want Is Forever," though "Long Hot Summer Night" made it to the RB Top 20 in 1991. After a lengthy hiatus, he resurfaced in mid-2000 with Brand New Me. (mn)
1982  Joleon Lescott, Everton FC member and England player in 2007 born. Son of PCRL DJ Mr. Merry. (mn)
2007  Max Roach, jazz drummer dies in New York, U.S.A.  Max Roach (Maxwell Lemuel Roach) b. 10th January 1924, New Land, North Carolina, U.S.A. He died in a New York hospital. He was 83. The cause of death has not yet been provided, although he had suffered for years from a neurological disorder. Max had three times married, fathering two sons and three daughters. He led The Max Roach Double Quartet, and worked with Cecil Taylor, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Anthony Braxton, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Stanley Turrentine, George Coleman, Donald Byrd, Oscar Brown Jr., Kenny Dorham and Booker Little. He was also the co-founder of Debut Records. Born in North Carolina, Max was brought up in Brooklyn. His mother was a gospel singer and he began studying piano at their local Baptist church when he was eight. Later in 1949 he was pivotal in the success of what became known as 'The Birth of the Cool', recording sessions with a 10-piece band led by Miles Davis. Max had studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music in his early years, and in 1972 he became a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts. Amongst his lifetime achievements were appointments as a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and two awards of the Grand Prix du Disque in France. He also had a park called after him in the Lambeth borough of London, eight honorary degrees, innumerable  magazine poll victories and the title of Harvard Jazz Master. (soulwalking)
2018 Aretha Franklin dies at home in Detroit aged 76 after treatment for pancreatic cancer. (born 25-03-42 in Memphis) She had been in and out of bad health for many years, giving up chain smoking in 1992, then gaining weight. She was known as the Queen Of Soul Music for good reason, some saying she was the best singer of all time. More at Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

17th. AUGUST       

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  087: HOWARD THURMAN  (17/11/1900-1981)
Independence Day - Republic of Gabon.
1887  Marcus Garvey born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, the youngest of 11 children born to Marcus & Sarah Garvey. Marcus Garvey is best remembered as a pivotal figure in the struggle for racial equality throughout the world. He founded the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) and championed the 'back to Africa' movement of the 1920s. His legacy makes him an inspirational figure for many civil rights leaders and politicians today, and in his lifetime he was hailed as a prophet and redeemer by black people everywhere. At the age of 14 he left school and worked in a print-shop. In 1908 he participated in Jamaica's first Printers' Union strike which came as a result of a major earthquake in Kingston a year earlier. Around this time he also published a small newspaper, called The Watchman. Seeking funding for future projects, Marcus Garvey left Jamaica to work as a timekeeper in Costa Rica. It was while working in Central America that he experienced the harsh realities of racial discrimination, amassing evidence that black people were victims of prejudice on a world-wide scale. Garvey encouraged workers to form unions to negotiate for better terms and started newspapers in Costa Rica and Panama complaining about poor conditions. His activities were soon brought to the attention of the Costa Rican government and he was promptly expelled from the country. (d. 10/6/1940)
1897  Black Invention: the electric railway switch, patented by W.B. Purvis (mn-jc)
1920  John Lee Hooker, blues man born, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. When he made his recording debut in 1948, scoring a nationwide hit with "Boogie Chillen," John Lee Hooker was considered something of an anachronism. Except for his thunderous electric guitar, Hooker's one-chord and two-chord modal stylings sounded very much like those of a Delta blues artist from the 1920s. But Hooker's music is altogether more fierce and rhythmic than old Delta blues. Early in his career, he played solo for the most part — his dark, hypnotic voice and relentless foot-stomping his only accompaniment. John Lee has cut records for seemingly every large and small blues label that's ever existed (and doing so without having to vary his approach). Hooker's music is raw, riveting, and almost doom-struck Mississippi blues that demands much of a listener. His music provides one of the great emotional listening experiences in the blues. John Lee Hooker stands alone as a true creative original, often imitated, but never equaled.   Dies in his sleep 20/6/01. (mn-rs-dummies.com)
1939  Luther Allison, blues guitarist born in Mayflower, Arkansas, USA. Eight-time Handy Award Winner and Gibson Endorsee Luther Allison passed away August 12 during treatment for cancer. Having had the opportunity to experience Allison's music in person on several occasions over the past year and a half, it seems shocking that someone with so much energy on stage could be deathly ill. Allsion's performances had more fire and genuine enthusism than all of today's celebrated teenage blues phenomenoms combined. The good part is that after a career that spanned three decades, Allison (who actually moved to Europe seeking an appreciative audience) was finally starting to garner the credit he was due here in the States. A fund has been set up to help pay the expenses of Luther's medical treatment and burial. If you would like to make a donation to the fund, please visit Blue Sky Artist Management's site for more information.   (mn-rs)
1947  Buckwheat Zydeco, bandleader, dies, Layayette, La., USA. Contemporary zydeco's most popular performer, accordionist Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural was the natural successor to the throne vacated by the death of his mentor Clifton Chenier; infusing his propulsive party music with strains of rock and R&B, his urbanized sound -- complete with touches of synthesizer and trumpet -- married traditional and contemporary zydeco with uncommon flair, in the process reaching a wider mainstream audience than any artist before him. Dural was born in Lafayette, Louisiana on November 14, 1947; with his braided hair, he soon acquired the nickname "Buckwheat" (an homage to the Our Gang character), and by the age of four was already touted as a piano prodigy. Although often exposed to traditional zydeco as a child, he preferred R&B, and by the mid-1950s was playing professionally with Lynn August; Dural's notoriety as a keyboardist quickly spread, and he also backed notables including Joe Tex and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. (mn-rs)
1969  Soul Superstars Bid Curtis Farwell. The funeral of saxophone genius Curtis Ousley (aka King Curtis) in New York was conducted by the Revd. Jesse Jackson, who preached a sermon to a congregation including Sissy Houston (Whitney's mother), Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Brook Benton & Others. Curtis had been murdered outside his New York apartment. (mn-jt)
1969  Posdnous, born Kelvin Mercer and sang with Del La Soul. At the time of its 1989 release, De La Soul's debut album 3 Feet High and Rising was hailed as the future of hip-hop. With its colorful, neo-psychedelic collage of samples and styles, and the Long Island trio's low-key, clever rhymes and their goofy humor, the album sounded like nothing else in hip-hop. Where most of their contemporaries drew directly from old school rap, funk, or Public Enemy's dense sonic barrage, De La Soul was gentler and more eclectic, taking in not only funk and soul, but also pop, jazz, reggae, and psychedelia. Though their style earned them critical raves and strong sales intially, De La Soul found it hard to sustain the momentum of their career in the '90s, as their alternative rap was sidetracked by the popularity of the considerably harder-edged gangsta rap.   (mn-jt)
1973  Paul Williams singer with the Temptations dies. He was an American second tenor/baritone singer. Williams is noted for being one of the founding members and original lead singer of the popular Motown group The Temptations. Along with David Ruffin, Otis Williams (no relation), and fellow Alabamians Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin, Williams was a member of The Temptations during their most successful years in the 1960s, later dubbed the "Classic 5" period. Paul Williams himself was a member of the group from its founding in 1960 until 1971, when personal problems and failing health forced him to retire. Those same problems would later cause Williams to commit suicide two years later, at the age of thirty-four. (mn-jt-wickpedia) 
2009 Usain Bolt sets a world record, 9.58 for 100 Meters Surpasses Even His Own Lofty Expectations. Usain Bolt continues his streak of making track and field history every time he steps to the starting line  in a global championship. Including his triple gold medal haul at the Beijing Olympics, his 9.58 for 100 meters in Berlin on Sunday at the World Championships makes four consecutive world records in four such finals. "I made sure if I ran a good perfect race, there was no worries, explained the stunningly relaxed 6'5" Jamaican, who concedes "I didn't think I could run a tenth (of a second) faster than my world record (of 9.69), but for me, anything is possible." There's no arguing with THAT. Bolt has improved his start and also made sure he ran hard all the way through the finish. You'll see headlines about him today in places that usually don't have headlines about running; he's expanding the sport's audience like no one else has in years. Tyson Gay, in taking the silver medal behind Bolt, actually set a new American record of 9.71. "I put everything into it," he submitted. "But I came in second. Bolt's teammate Asafa Powell took the bronze medal in 9.84. This same spectacular cast of characters will return to action on Tuesday as heats of the men's 200 begin. Are we having fun yet? You're darn tootin' we're having fun yet.    

18th. AUGUST     

LEADERS/SPOKESMEN STARTS   
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  088: BENJAMIN"PAP"SINGLETON (1809-1892) 
1859  Our Nig, by Harriet Wilson, is the first novel published by an African American writer. Harriet E. Wilson (March 15, 1825 - June 28, 1900) was the first female African-American novelist as well as the first African American of any gender to publish a novel on the North American continent. Her autobiographical novel Our Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North. Showing That Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even There By “Our Nig” (ISBN 1400031206) was published in 1859. Our Nig illustrates the injustice of the indentured servitude system of the antebellum northern United States. The novel fell into obscurity soon after its publication, and only achieved national attention when it was rediscovered by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in 1983. (tr-bl)
1925  Sonny Til soul singer with the Orioles born. Led by Sonny Til, the Orioles were the first black vocal group to sing music directly for a black audience. Through their early recordings -- which were made in the late '40s and early '50s -- the band laid the groundwork for R&B vocal groups and doo wop. The Orioles fused traditional pop songs with gospel sensibilities and arranged blues and gospel material with smooth harmonies, designed to appeal to the broadest audience possible. (mn-jt)
1945  Nona Hendryx soul singer from Labelle born. From 1961 to 1977 this singer born in Trenton, NJ was a member of Patti LaBelle & the Blue Bells and LaBelle.  Since going solo, she had such hits as "Keep It Confidential" in 1988, "Transformation" in 1983 and "Why Should I Cry" in 1987.  Her music is best described as high-energy metal soul.  She is noted for her unusual daring stage costumes.  (mn-jt)
1945  Barbara Harris soul singer with the Toys best remember for 'Lovers Concerto' born.   Barbara Ann Harris  Barbara started singing in her hometown churches at an early age, and moved to Queens, New York at the age of eleven. In high school, Harris joined a group with four other young singers: Barbara Parritt Toomer, June Montiero, Betty Stokes and Betty Blocker. Stokes and Blocker eventually left the group, while the Harris, Toomer and Montiero formed a trio. Bobby Uri, a manager and friend, named the group "The Charlettes" and got them work doing background vocals for several recording artists. At a talent show in Brooklyn they met Eddy Chase, who in turn introduced them to manager Vince Marc and songwriter/recording executive Bob Crewe. The group became "The Toys" and landed their first recording contract on Crewe's DynoVoice Records. The Toys were teamed up with songwriter/producers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. They took a piano exercise from Bach, put a Motown bassline to it, and "A Lover's Concerto" was born; the song soon rose to number two on the U.S. charts. The band followed that up with another hit, "Attack", also written by Linzer and Randell, which reached the Top 20. Barbara Harris continues to perform at "Oldie Shows" as "The Toys featuring Barbara Harris". She has also sung with Joe Rivers, known for Johnnie & Joe's classic hit, "Over The Mountain". In 1998 she produced and released her first solo CD entitled Barbara Now, for which she wrote all but two of the songs.
1963  James Meredith becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi, USA. (oikts)
2000  Secret ceremony for UB40 Star and long-time love. Read the headline in The Standard newspaper. Astro, real name Terence Wilson marries Dawn Thomas, his white girlfriend of 18 years. Astro who lives in Barnt Green, near Birmingham has four children (including one from a previous marriage). (mn)
2007  Jon Lucian dies from respiratory failure and other complications. Born 8th January 1942, Tortola Island, Caribbean. Raised in St. Thomas by a guitar-playing father and greatly inspired by Nat 'King' Cole. He relocated to New York in the mid-60's, where he began his musical career. In 1970, he released his debut album 'I Am Now'. 1973 saw the release of the, much sought after, album 'Rashida', containing the popular tunes 'Would You Believe In Me', Lady Love' and the title track. For the follow up, 1974's 'Mind's Eye', Lucien collaborated with veteran producer Dave Grusin. The album contained the rare groove tunes 'Listen Love' and 'World Of Joy'. The following year, Jon had moved to the CBS label for the album release 'Song For My Lady', followed by 'Premonition', for the same label, in 1976. Only one release spanned the years between the Seventies and Nineties, which was 1982's, 'Romantico', for the Precision label. After a long absence, Lucien returned in 1991 with a release that was very much what he'd done in his peak '70's years. Further releases included 1993's 'Mother Nature's Son'. A few months after his 17 year-old daughter Dalila was killed on Flight 800 in July of 1996, Jon went into the studio and began recording 'Endless Is Love'. Jon reflected 'My daughter doesn't want me sitting around being unhappy. I look at her and we communicate. We make music. The music is a special force.' Having carved himself his own unique niche, within the jazz market, Jon Lucien remains one of the most distinctive vocalists over the last 30 years. A 'Best Of' compilation of his earlier work was released in 2001. (soulwalking)  
Kofi Annan (b.8-4-38 - d.18-8-18) the 7th Secretary General of the United Nations dies. Born in Comassie, Gold Coast, Ghana in Africa, in 2001 he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Died aged 80 in Bern, Switzerland after a short illness.

19th. AUGUST 

LEADERS/SPOKESMEN   
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:
089: IDA B. WELLS (1862-1931) 
1791  Benjamin Banneker published his first Almanac. Benjamin Banneker was educated by Quakers, however, most of his education was self-taught. He quickly revealed to the world his inventive nature and first achieved national acclaim for his scientific work in the 1791 survey of the Federal Territory (now Washington, D.C.). In 1753, he built the first watch made in America, a wooden pocket watch. Twenty years later, Banneker began making astronomical calculations that enabled him to successfully forecast a 1789 solar eclipse. His estimate made well in advance of the celestial event, contradicted predictions of better-known mathematicians and astronomers.   (mn-jc)
1884  Black Inventions: Lantern or Lamp, Michael C. Harney. (sc)
1940  Johnny Nash reggae/soul singer born Houston, Texas, USA. He originally found fame warbling Hava Maria and the Sunny Side Of The Street on national T.V., this biggests hits was Cupid; Tears On My Pillow; There are  more Questions Than Answers. (mn-jt-tr)
1950  Edith Sampson becomes the first African American representative to the United States. On this day Edith Sampson, noted Chicago lawyer and judge, was appointed an alternate delegate to the United Nations by President Harry S. Truman and became one of the first Black U.N. delegates in United States history. Judge Sampson first made history as the only woman of any ethnic background to graduate from Loyola University in Chicago with a master of law degree. (tr-iokts)
1952  Ralph J. Bunche is named Under Secretary of the U.N.
1963  NAACP Youth Council begins sit-ins at lunch counters, Oklahoma City, USA. (mn-jc)
1972  Supremes Chart Farwell. 'Automaticly Sunshine' is to be the final big hit after a run of hits from 1964. The group's line-up changed many times in later years. (mn-jt)
1989  Bishop Desmond Tutu defies apartheid laws by walking alone on a South African beach.

20th. AUGUST      

LEADERS/SPOKESMEN   
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  090: WILLIAM MONROE TROTTER (1872-1934)
1619  The first group of 20 Africans is brought to Jamestown, Va, USA. (tr- iokts)
1830  The first National Negro Convention held in Philadelphia with Richard Allen as chairman.
1856  Wilberforce University established in Ohio, USA. (mn-jc)
1942  Isaac Hayes singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/actor born this day in Covington, Tennessee, USA. (mn-cl) (other bio say's 20/8/38) Started as a studio musician for Stax records. Later songwriter with David Porter for many of the labels early hits. He then had album success's including the movie soundtrack for Shaft which established him inter-nationally. Very visual; Bald headed with African fur boots (mn-jf)
1955  Bo Diddley makes his first appearance at New York's Apollo Theatre. mn-jt)
1965  KRS-One, jack of all raps, rapper from Brooklyn, Bronx, USA, real name Laurence Krisna Parker, born today. KRS-One (born Lawrence Parker  in Brooklyn, New York) is an American hip hop MC. Over his career he has been known by several pseudonyms, including Kris Parker, KRS One, KRS-ONE, The Blastmaster and The Teacha. KRS-One is an acronym for "'K'nowledge 'R'eigns 'S'upreme 'O'ver 'N'early 'E'veryone". KRS One is a significant figure in the hip hop community and is often referenced in works by other hip hop artists and critics as being the 'essence' of an MC and one of the greatest rappers to hold the mic. KRS-ONE, originally a member of the hip hop crew Boogie Down Productions, is known for setting the path for both hardcore rap and socially conscious political rap.  (mn-ms-wickpedia)
1998  Trinada and Tobago striker Dwight Yorke leaves Aston Villa football club after a deal is made with Manchester United for a record fee of £12.5 million for a five year contract. (mn)
2006   Unstoppable Tiger wins twelfth major. Luke left trailing in his wake. Two major championship victories inside a month have ensured this is a year that Tiger Woods will now recall with joy as well as sadness. The 30-year-old won the U.S. PGA Championship in exactly the same manner he won last month's Open — by turning an eagerly anticipated final round into a one-sided exhibition and winning by five shots from fellow American Shaun Micheel. (daily mail)

21st. AUGUST    

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT: LEADERS/SPOKESMEN   
091: COLONEL CHARLES YOUNG (1864-1922) 
1831  Nat Turner leads revolt in Southampton, VA, USA, that kills 55 whites. (mn-jc)
1904  William "Count" Basie, orchestra leader, born in Red Bank, New Jersey, USA. Dies April 26, 1984. Count Basie was a pivotal figure in American popular music. After studying piano with his mother, he went to New York where he met James Johnson and Fats Waller, with whom he studied informally. Before he was 20, he had toured extensively on vaudeville circuits as a solo pianist and director for blues singers, dancers and comedians. In 1927, he found himself stranded in Kansas City. He decided to remain. He joined the Blue Devils and later Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra with other famous performers, including Lester Young and Jimmie Rushing. When Benny Moten died, Count Basie formed his own orchestra called the Barons of Rhythm. They were heard on national radio broadcasts by famed critic John Hammond  and were picked up by Decca Records in 1936. Their style differed from other bands in the thirties in that others placed emphasis on melodies and ensemble whereas the CBO stressed rhythm and solos. They moved to New York and by the end of the thirties the band had acquired international fame. Later in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, the Basie Orchestra served as stepping stones for famous musicians. While the later bands were arguably less satisfying musically, they never lost their popular following.    (mn-cl)
1924  Clara Ward gospel singer born. Clara Ward (died - January 16, 1973) was a gospel artist who achieved great success, both artistic and commercial, in the 1940s and 1950s as leader of The Famous Ward Singers. A gifted singer and arranger, Ward took the lead-switching style used by male gospel quartets to new heights, leaving room for spontaneous improvisation and vamping by each member of the group while giving virtuouso singers such as Marion Williams the opportunity to step forward in songs such as "Surely, God Is Able" and "Packin' Up". Yet while Ward was willing to share the spotlight with her talented co-singers, she was not so generous when it came to money. Williams left the group in 1958 when her demand for a raise and reimbursement for hotel expenses was rejected; she was followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the group--Henrietta Waddy, Frances Steadman and Kitty Parham--who formed a new group, "The Stars of Faith". Their departure marked the end of the glory days for the Ward Singers, who later alienated much of their churchgoing audience by going into nightclubs and other secular venues in the 1960s. Ward's poor health forced her to retire in the early 1970s. (DUP 21 april) (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1957  Kim Sledge singer with Sister Sledge born. Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four singers, all of whom are sisters: Kim, Debbie, Joni, and Kathy Sledge. Their biggest success came in 1979 with the popular disco anthems "We Are Family" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop in the USA) and "He's the Greatest Dancer" (#1 R&B, #9 Pop in the USA), produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of CHIC. Both songs were included on their 8-song 1979 album We Are Family. Their follow up album was 1980's Love Somebody Today, which included the songs Got to Love Somebody (#6 R&B and #64 Pop in the USA, #34 Pop in the UK) and Pretty Baby. Switching to producer Narada Michael Walden in 1981, they released the album All-American Girls, yielding two hits (the title track, which reached #3 R&B and #79 Pop in the USA and #41 Pop in the UK, and "Next Time You'll Know", which reached #28 R&B in the USA). The sisters continued singing new material throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They achieved an international #1 hit with Frankie in 1985 (#1 in the UK for 4 weeks); surprisingly the follow-up single, Dancing on the Jagged Edge, failed to make the UK Top 40. Their album African Eyes was released in 1998. In 2004 they headlined the International Food and Wine Festival at the Epcot theme park. Their biggest hits have charted several times in the UK, often accompanied with fresh remixes. We Are Family reached number 7 in 1979, number 33 in 1984 and number 5 in 1993. Lost in Music reached number 17 in 1979, number 4 in 1984 and number 14 in 1993. Thinking of You reached number 11 in 1984 and number 17 in 1993. Originally their biggest UK hit back in 1979, peaking at number 6, He's the Greatest Dancer has not been a hit again in the UK as an updated version, although Will Smith used sampled the backing music in his top 3 UK hit Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.   (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1961  35 men, One Woman Face Boro' Court  - Was the headline in The Evening Gazette - An Array Of Bandages. Weekend violence and hooliganism involving literally thousands of people - as Det., insp. John Dennison described it - resulted in the appearance in Middlesbrough Magistrates Court today of 35 men and one woman. (mn)
1971  Diana Ross topped the UK chart for the first time as a solo artist with I'm still waiting. She had to wait 15 years before Chain Reaction returns her to the top. (mn-jt)
1943  Clydie King soul singer born in Dallas, USA. Started a a background singer for Dean Martin, Crosby Stills & Nash, BB King, and even the Beatles. She worked with Quincy Jones on Mel Carters's Wrong Side Of Town. She also sang in church along with Billy Preston. Recoded a single with Jimmy Holiday on Minit records, the Northern anthem  'Ready Willing And Able', not much was heard after her Lizzard album in 1969. She apeared in the Barbara Streisand film 'A Star Is Born'. (mn)
1968  Dina Carroll (born Geraldine Carroll, in Newmarket, Suffolk) is an English singer of Scottish and African American descent.At age 16, she was signed to the dance music record label Streetwave, located in London. Carroll moved to West London and recorded two singles, "Set It Off" and "One Nation", in the mid 1980s, credited to a non-existent group, Masquerade.  In 1989, Carroll secured a recording contract with Jive/Zomba and released a number of singles in 1989 and 1990. After a short time at Jive/Zomba, Carroll was spotted by Dennis Ingoldsby, one half of First Avenue Management, a small and newly founded management group. First Avenue were also managing another unknown band called Quartz. Carroll provided vocals for Quartz on their cover of Carole King's "It's Too Late". A follow-up single, "Naked Love (Just Say You Want Me)" was also released, reaching number 39. After two singles with Quartz, First Avenue decided to relaunch Carroll as a solo artist. Carroll's first solo single, "Ain't No Man" was released in June 1992. In order to capitalise on the momentum of "Ain't No Man", Carroll and Lowis worked on future singles and her debut album. Carroll was approached by Robert Clivillés and David Cole of C&C Music Factory who invited her to New York to become the first British artist to work with them. Carroll interrupted the writing and recording of her album to record "Special Kind of Love". Carroll released her first ballad single "So Close" in December 1992, which was another top 20 hit. In January 1993, the album So Close was released and entered the top 10 of the UK Albums Chart. Carroll was named Best Female Artist at the BRIT Awards in February 1994. In 2000, First Avenue Management entered into a crisis phase when most of their artists were dropped by their labels. Dina Carroll was also caught up in this, and left First Avenue at the end of 2000. 2001 briefly saw a revitalised Dina, with a new single and a greatest hits compilation released in the Spring and the Summer respectively. Carroll's cover version of Van Morrison's "Someone Like You", featured in the "Bridget Jones's Diary" soundtrack reached number 38. This wasn't helped due to the fact that Van Morrison's version is actually heard in the movie and Dina's cover tracklisted on the OST CD, which had already been available for 2 months and topped the compilation album charts. To fulfil her contractual obligations to Mercury, Carroll released The Very Best of Dina Carroll in June 2001. It entered the UK charts at No15, despite Dina only having released two studio albums to date.  (mn-discog.com)
2009  John E. Carter (the Dells) dies. HARVEY, Ill. (AP) -- R&B lead tenor , a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, has died. He was 75.  Susan Fine, a spokeswoman for Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Carter's native Harvey, said Carter died there early Friday. "We have lost an incredible voice that graced two of the most significant vocal groups of all time," said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the hall of fame. "As a member of both the Dells and the Flamingos, Johnny was one of a select few artists inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." Mr. Carter, who was known for his falsetto, was the last surviving founding member of the Flamingos. The classic doo-wop group gained fame with such hits as "Golden Teardrops" and their reworking of the pop classic "I Only Have Eyes for You." Mr. Carter left the Flamingos the first time in 1957 to do military service, and left permanently in 1960 to join the Dells, which had been formed in the early 1950s by some of his high school friends from Harvey. Stewart noted that the Dells were one of the longest-running R&B vocal groups. The quintet had no personnel changes after Mr. Carter replaced original lead tenor Johnny Funches.  The Dells' 1954 breakout hit, "Oh What A Night," sold more than a million records when it was reissued in 1969 with Mr. Carter on falsetto lead. The Dells were also famous for "Stay in My Corner," one of the first R&B hits to run more than six minutes. The group toured extensively with Dinah Washington, and later with Ray Charles. The Dells also came to the attention of Quincy Jones, who coached them into a more eclectic vocal style, incorporating jazz, soul and Broadway sounds. The Dells, consisting of Mr. Carter, baritone lead Marvin Junior, and backup singers Charles Barksdale, Michael McGill and Verne Allison, served as technical advisers on Robert Townsend's 1991 movie, "The Five Heartbeats," which was loosely based on their careers. The Dells performed publicly for one of the last times in 2004, when they did an outdoor concert in downtown Chicago to celebrate their induction into the hall of fame. The Flamingos were inducted in 2000. Mr. Carter is survived by five daughters and several grandchildren. (new york times)

22nd. AUGUST    

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:  LEADERS/SPOKESMEN
092: BENJAMIN O. DAVIS, SR. (1877-1970) 
1867  Fisk University founded. (mn-jc)
1916  Sonny Thompson, session musician born in Centreville, Tennessee, USA. Dies 11 August, 1989. (mn-cl)
1931  Roscoe Shelton, soul singer born in Lynchburg, Tennessee, USA. Started singing with the Fireside Gospel singers and The Fairfield Four before singing blues on Excello records in the 50's. He had two minor hits in 1965 for Sound Stage-7 'Strain On My Heart' and 'Easy Going Fellow'. (mn-cl)
1944  Jamaica's hit by the worst hurricane ever. It devastated the crop and left hundreds homeless. This coupled with a massive recession convinced many their fortunes lay in Britain. (mn-ts)
1951 Barbara Jean English soul singer born in Sumter, South Carolina. Moved to New York at a young age. She became a member of the New Jersey group Clickettes & recorded many sides with them in the 50's & 60's. She joined Alithea records (part of All-Platinium) in 1971. (mn)
1963  James Debarge member of Debarge born. James DeBarge is arguably more famous for his marriage to pop icon, Janet Jackson, in 1984. The marriage was annulled in 1985, after Jackson said she could not deal with James' drug abuse. As of 2000, DeBarge has worked with Compton rapper/producer, DJ Quik on such tracks as "The Divorce Song", and "Get Nekkid", by the slain rapper Mausberg. In 2005 DeBarge made the headlines again, concerning his former marriage to Janet Jackson. DeBarge's youngest brother, Darrell (who goes by the name of Young) went to radio jocks with the claim that James DeBarge and Jackson had an 18 year old daughter, named Renee. However, Jackson has denied this claim. However, James does have 3 children. A daughter named 'Kristina', (she was born sometime in 1990) she was featured on the Fox T.V. special 'American Juniors', which was a mini version of 'American Idol'. James Junior(born sometime in 1997), and another girl named Tori(born sometime after James Junior). James Debarge is currently touring with his brother Chico DeBarge.  (mn-jt-wickpedia)
1973  Beenie Man, reggae artist, born Anthony Moses Davis, in Waterhouse, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Started toasting at the age of five. Won the Teenie Talent Show at the age of eight and was introduced to Jammy's sound system, Volcano, he was was soon established as a notoriety. In 1996 Beenie Man embarked on a highly acclaimed international tour with the Shocking Vibes crew. Many Moods of Moses was another acclaimed set with the single 'Who Am I' breaking into the UK Top 10. (mn-cl)
1978  Jomo Kenyatta, president of Kenya, dies. Born to a Kikuyu peasant family about the year 1897 and was educated at a mission school. He joined the Young Kikuyu Association in 1922, became an official of the Kikulu Central Association in 1925, took up full time political work three years later. He was active in Britain in the 30's as a Pan-Africanise along with Ras Makennen, George Padmore, C.L.R. James and I.T.A. Wallace-Johnson did much to bring about the end of colonialism in Africa and the West Indies. (mn-pf) 
1997  Pride and Prejudices.  Read the feature headline in the London Evening Standard. Cee Jay (PCRL DJ) is pictured with five Black personalities all speaking on racism - in Cee Jay's case over being 'stopped & searched' over 34 times in 3 years. He believes his only crime is being Black and driving a car! Cee Jay is taking the chief constable of the West Midlands police to court.
2011 Nick Ashford of Ashford & Simpson dies aged 70. Ashford, who had been treated for cancer, died at a New York hospital with his family at his side, publicist Liz Rosenberg told Reuters. A native of South Carolina, Ashford met Simpson in the early 1960s at White Rock Baptist Church in Harlem, after he moved to New York to pursue a career in entertainment and found himself homeless. Simpson played the piano and sang in a church choir, which Ashford soon joined. The two began writing songs together and had their breakthrough hit in 1966 when Ray Charles released their composition "Let's Go Get Stoned." It was the beginning of a partnership that saw the duo marry in 1974 and write a string of hits. They were signed to Motown Records, where they penned the 1967 classic Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duet "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Gaye and Terrell also had hits with the couple's songs "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By." Ashford and Simpson's other songs include "Send It," "Found a Cure," and "Don't Cost You Nothing." Their composition "I'm Every Woman" was recorded by Chaka Khan and later by Whitney Houston, and for a time was the opening theme song for Oprah Winfrey's TV talk show. Ashford and Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Ashford is survived by Simpson and their daughters Nicole and Asia, Rosenberg said. (mn)

23rd. AUGUST    

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT LEADERS/SPOKESMEN 
093: BENJAMIN O. DAVIS, JR. (1912-    ) 
1755  Jean Baptiste Lislet Geoffrey, distinguished French geographer is born.
1892  Black Invention: horseshoe, inventor C.E. Brown receives patent.
1900  Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Mass, USA. (tr-iokts)
1936  Rudy Lewis singer with The Drifters born. (mn-jt)
1939  Paul Robeson makes his first television debut in Britain for the BBC in a ten-minute programme of songs broadcast live from Alexandra Palace. He was accomanied by Laurence Brown at the piano. (mn-sb)
1941  Bunny Lee, reggae artiste born, Edward O'Sullivan a.k.a. Bunny and Striker in Jamaica, Indies. Lee was introduced into the music business by Derrick Morgan in 1962. Morgan took Lee to Treasure Isle as a record plugger. Lee along with Lee Perry and engineer King Tubby changed the face of reggae music in the early '70. (mn-cl)
1955  Barry Isaacs, reggae artiste born, Portland, Jamaica, West Indies. He initially formed a band in the mid-70's known as  Ras Isaacs and the Rasses, prior to the emergence of the Royal Rasses. The band enjoyed a strong following in north London and the Midlands where they performed in a roots style. (mn-cl)
1973  James Brown records Papa Don't Take No Mess at International Studios, Augusta, Georgia, USA. It reaches N0.1 on R&B chart. (mn)
1998  Sam Bowers a Klu Klux Klan member is jailed 30 years after he ordered the fire-bombing of Vernon Darmer home a Black civil rights activist in 1966. He had been tried 5 times! (mn)
2000  Freddie Waters, 'recently rediscovered' soul singer, died in Lebanon, Tennessee after a short illness aged 57. (mn-i-t-b/20)

24th. AUGUST     

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  LEADERS/SPOKESMEN
094: JOHN HOPE (1868-1936) 
1915  Wynonie Harris, blues shouter, born, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. (died June 14, 1969, Los Angeles, USA. (mn-rs)
1939  Ernie Wright memeber of Little Anthony & Imperials born. Their first record for End Records was a double-sided ballad smash. The "A" side, "Tears on My Pillow", instantly launched their career into musical history. This would be one of their biggest-selling hits, with over one million copies sold, and has been one of the most enduring love ballads of the '50s. The flip side hit, "Two People In The World" made this one of the most popular double-sided ballad records in vocal group history. Anthony was sitting on a Brooklyn park bench one evening, listening to WINS radio DJ Alan Freed, coming over the radio. As he announced the next record, Anthony heard, ... "and here's a new record that's making a lot of noise ... Little Anthony & The Imperials...singing 'Tears On My Pillow'...". The nickname Little Anthony stuck, and the new group name was official. (mn-jt)
1942  Fontella Bass born. She co-wrote and recorded "Rescue Me" which was hailed as the National Anthem of Soldiers returning from Vietnam. Soon after her "Rescue Me" success, she disappeared for nearly three decades. In 1995, she made a comeback and released a new album.  (DUPLICATE mn-jt)
1942  Jimmy Soul, singer born James McClese in Weldon, North Carolina, USA. He performed gospel as a teenager, later scouted by Frank Guida and recruited to sing songs handpicked for one of Guida's other hit artists, Gary U.S. Bonds. Soul only ever had two chart hits, both which were Bond's cast-offs, "Twistin' Matilda", in 1962, and the Billboard Hot 100 number one hit "If You Wanna Be Happy" (based on the calypso, "Ugly Woman", by Roaring Lion) in 1963. After unsuccessfully trying to follow up the success of those songs with one more album, he gave up his career as a musician and joined the United States Army. He died of a heart attack on 25 June 1988, at the age of 45.  (mn-cl-wickpedia)
1948  Edith Mae Irby becomes the University of Arkansas' first African American student. (tr-iokts)
1950  Edith Sampson named first black alternate delegate to United Nations.
1952 Linton Kwesi-Johnson (singer/poet) born. (nationmaster)
1967  Michael Thomas, football player born in Lambeth, England. Played for  Liverpool; Arsenal and Portsmouth. League appearances 191 (total). (tr)
1971  Black Invention: Magnetic Computer Tape Reel, Larry T. Preston. (sc)
1979  B.B. King celebrates 30 years as an entertainer with a show at Sunset Strip's Roxy Club in Los Angeles. (mn-jt)
2006  Former USA Maryland General Assembly Woman Dies At 100.  Lena Lee, a teacher and attorney who was one of the first African American women elected to the Maryland General Assembly, has died.  Friends and relatives say Lee died in her sleep at her home in east Baltimore, where she had lived since 1940.  Lee had celebrated her 100th birthday last month.  Lee taught in city schools, earned a law degree in her 40s and wasn't elected to state office until she was 60. When she gave up her seat in the House of Delegates in 1982, Elijah Cummings -- now a congressman -- took her place. Cummings says she told him to pursue service, not celebrity. Colleagues in Annapolis referred to Lee as "The Killer" because of her reputation for getting rid of bad bills. (ap)

2016 Buckweat Zydeco dies. b. Stanley Dural, Jr., 14th November 1947, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A. d.  at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A.) (mn)

25th. AUGUST   

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:   LEADERS/SPOKESMEN  
095: MARCUS A. GARVEY (1887-1940) 
1901  Charlie Burse, guitarist, born, Decatur, Ala., USA. (Died December 20, 1965, Memphis, Tenn., USA. (mn-rs)
1908  National Association of Coloured Nurses, is founded. (mn-jc)
1925  A. Philip Randolph organizes the Sleeping Car Porter's Union, the strongest labour group among Negroes. With the Pullman car porters as a foundation, A. Philip Randolf rose to the topmost hierarchy of the labour movement to become the only Negro vice-president of the AFLCIO. He is the founder and organizer of the Negro American Labour Council. (mn-ra)
1927  Althea Gibson, first African American to play tennis at Wimbledon, is born in Silver, South Carolina, USA. She began playing tennis in the 40s but did not emerge on the national scene until she was a collage student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. In 1957 and 1958 she won the British women's singles title at Wimbledon, as well as the US national singles title. She retired in 1958 and went on to play golf. Inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971. (mn-ss-tr-iokts)
1942  Walter Williams singer with the O'Jays is born. (mn-jt)
1984 Michael Jackson's video for Thriller is shown on UK TV for the first time. (mn-jt)
1995  R.B. Hudmon, singer dies, in West Point, Georgia, USA, aged 41. Robert B Hudmon Jr R&B singer was born at West Point, Georgia and started his singing carer at a very early age, I'm a roller (1966), five singles on Atlantic/Cotillion & an album in 1978. Nice stepper track 'I could paint a picture' (mn-da)
2001  Aaliyah, (Aaliyah Dana Haughton), R&B singer dies aged 22. She was on board a light aircraft in the Caribbean after filming a video for her forth coming single. The plane crashed and bust into flames at 6:50 p.m. killing all nine on board. Born 1979 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Her early carrier was fostered by R. Kelly, producer Quincy Jones said: 'I'm devastated by the news, she was like one of my daughters, one of the sweetest girls in the world''. Born January 16, 1979, was an American R&B singer, dancer, fashion model and actress. Introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly, Aaliyah became famous in her own right during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting/production team of Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Timbaland, and their associate Steve "Static" Garrett. Notable for recording several hit records, including eleven number one R&B hits, six number one pop hit, and nine top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Aaliyah sold over 25 million records worldwide during her career. During her career she also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and starred in two motion pictures (mn-cnn-wickpedia)
2007  Rev. Jesse Jackson visits Cannon Street Memorial Baptist Church, 300 Soho Road Handsworth. Talks for an hour about the anniversary of the abolition of slavery & guns in the black community. He also does a walkabout on the 27th. Local TV Media coverage of the event was non existent. (mn)

26th. AUGUST      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:   LEADERS/SPOKESMEN 
096: OSCAR DEPRIEST (1871-1951) 
1867  Robert R. Moton, author and second president of Tuskegee Institute, born in Rice, Va., U.S.A.
1900  Hale Woodruff, noted painter is born in Cairo, Ill., USA. (tr-iokts)
1943  William Dawson is elected to US Black Democratic Party vice presidential candidate. (mn-jc)
1946  Valerie Simpson singer/songwriter, part of duo Ashford & Simpson born today in the Bronx, New York, USA. Teaming with husband Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson co-wrote numerous soul hits before the pair began a fabulously successful performing career of their own in the early '70s. Ashford & Simpson wrote for the likes of Chuck Jackson and Ray Charles before joining the production staff at Motown and creating hits for many of the company's top acts, notably Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. They tallied their own first soul hit in 1973 for Warner, racking up a solid string of smashes that include "Don't Cost You Nothing" (1978), "Found a Cure" (1979), "Street Corner" (1982), and "Solid," the duo's first R&B chart-topper in 1984. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide (mn)
1964  Supremes hit the charts for the first time with 'where did our love go' the first of 12 chart toppers before Diana Ross leaves in 1969.(mn-jt)
1983  David Meroro, national chairman for SWAPO addresses a mass rally in Luanda to mark the 17th anniversary of the beginning of the war of national liberation in Namibia. The rally was attended by representatives of the MPLA Workers party and SWAPO officials as well as by a large crowd of SWAPO and MPLA cadres. (swapo-tr)
2000  Discovery is launched at the Centennial Centre. Discovery is a community organisation set up to enrich, educate and empower the community. (mn-flyer)

27th. AUGUST     

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:  LEADERS/SPOKESMEN   
097: ARTHUR MITCHELL (1883-1968) 
1879  Robert Lee Vann, Publisher, born. (tr-iokts)
1963  W.E.B. Du Bois, scholar/author/civil rights activist and founding father of the NAACP, dies in Accra, Ghana. Born February 23, 1868 in Massachusetts, USA.  Throughout his life he hacked away at the enslaving chains and racism and prejudice with the sword of scientific truth. He wrote over 20 books and 100 scholarly articles and many magazine articles. He died at 11:40 P.M. today, the day before the Great March On Washington, aged 95. (mn-ra)
1972  Denise Lewis, World Silver Heptathlon Medallist is born in West Bromwich. Holds the Commonwealth Heptathlon Record (6736 in 1997). Olympic Bronze 1996; World silver 1997; Commonwealth Gold 1994. (mn)
1989  Rock-and-roll star Chuck Berry performs his tune Johnny B. Goode for the NASA engineers and scientists, in calibration of Voyager 2's encounter with the planet Neptune.
1975  Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie (Power of the Trinity) dies. Haile Selassie was born in Harar Province, Ethiopia July 23, 1892. He became emperor of Ethiopia in 1930, his reign ended in 1974 when military leaders over through him. Haile Salassie worked for economic and social reform, such as making slavery punishable by law.  He gave Ethiopia it's first written constitution in 1931. Ethiopia was attacked by fascist Italy in 1935 and Salassie lived in exile in England until 1941. British forces liberated Ethiopia during World War II and restored him to the throne. Rebels seised the government on December 13th 1960 while he was in South America, but he regained his throne four days later. Haile Salassie was born Ras Tafafari, he belonged to a dynasty that claimed to be the descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. When he died he was the last in the blood line. (mn-jc)

28th. AUGUST        

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  LEADERS/SPOKESMEN 
098: J. FINLEY WILSON (1881-1952) 
1818  Jean Baptiste Pointe De Sable founder of Chicago dies. On October 25th, 1968 a granite stone was placed over his unmarked grave in a ceremony of recognition. (mn-ra)
1888  Black Invention: Railway-Teleghaph, Granville T. Woods. (sc)
1912   W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" published this day. (info.net)
1963  Largest single demonstration in history of (US) the nation, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was Wednesday and Martin Luther King Jr. makes a speech to 250,000 people, I Have A Dream, black & whites gather at Lincoln Memorial. Other speakers were A. Phillip Randolf, Walter Reuther, Whitney M. Young and Roy Wilkins. (mn-jc)
1969  Kim Appleby, soul singer with Mel & Kim born. English-born sisters Mel and Kim Appleby rose to prominence in the late '80s thanks to the producing team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman. In late 1986, Mel and Kim released their debut single, "Respectable." The song combined '80s dance-pop with Stock, Aitken & Waterman's trademark slick production. "Respectable" became a huge international success, helping to launch their debut album F.L.M. up the charts in 1987. The album produced two other singles: "F.L.M." and "Showing Out."  F.L.M. was to be the sisters' only album. In 1988, Mel was diagnosed with cancer and died of the disease early in 1990. Kim recorded a solo album in the early '90s, but it was not as successful as her work with Mel and Kim. ~ Jonathan Lewis, All Music Guide  (mn-jt)
1984 The Jackson's Victory Tour broke the record for concert ticket sales, surpassing the 1.1 million mark in only two months. (info.net)

29th. AUGUST     

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT: LEADERS/SPOKESMEN 
099: MARY CHURCH TERRELL (1863-1954) 
PCRL presenter/programmer PILOT born 
1897  E. Franklin Frazier, sociologist, born. (mn-jc)
1920  Charlie Bird Parker, musician, born in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A. Musicians talk about the first time they heard his alto saxophone playing as if it were a religious conversion. It was once said that if Parker wanted to provoke plagiarism laws he could sue almost everybody who has made a record in the last 10 years. In pursuing his art with much disregard for reward and security, Charles Christopher Parker was black music's first existential hero, he changed the face jazz and shaped the course of 20th-century music. (mn-cl)
1924  Dinah Washington, singer born Ruth Lee Jones on this day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Her gutsy style, unique phrasing, gospel background and feeling for the blues transcended category. Dinah Washington won a talent contest, toured with the Sallie Martin Gospel Singers, changed her name and sang with Lionel Hampton's band from 1943 to 1946. The first session under her own name was produced by Leonard Feather in '43 with Hampton sidesmen, and Feathers songs Evil Man and Salty Papa became eternally associated with her, Washington subsequently recorded for Mercury and nearly 30 rhythm-and-blues hits from 1949-61 began with Feather's Baby Get Lost, a No.1 hit. More 20 singles made the pop charts including What A Difference A Day Makes, If It Could Happen To You, Our Love Is hear To Stay and For All We Know.  On August 29, 1963 she was found dead in her Detroit home from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. (mn-jt-dc)
1934  Gene Allison, soul singer born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He worked for several years in the famed Nashville gospel groups the Fairfield Four and the Skylarks, before he hit the R&B and pop charts in 1957 with You Can Make It If You Try. Dies 28 Feb 2004. (mn-cl)
1945  Wyomia Tyus born, the first athlete to win a gold medal for the 100-meter race in two consecutive Olympics, the 1964 Games in Tokyo and 1968 Games in Mexico City, where she set a new world record. (tr-bl)
1958  Michael Jackson singer, one of America's highest paid entertainers, is born in Gary, Indiana, USA. His 'Thriller' is the best selling record of all time selling 40 million worldwide by mid-1985. Discovered by Bobby Taylor and taken to Motown in 1969. He and his brothers were groomed from childhood to be entertainers by their father Joe. Michael later told of his sadness to have lost his normal childhood and that he was afraid of his father. By the age of 50 in 2008 his career had grinded to a halt after the second court case for child molestation was lost against him.  (mn)
1958  Lenny Henry, comedian born in West Midlands, on this day. Henry studied at Bluecoat Secondary Modern School, WR Tewson School, and Preston College, and has since obtained a degree in English literature from the Open University. His earliest TV appearances were on the New Faces TV talent show in the 1970s where he was a repeat winner. His formative years were in working men's clubs where his unique act - a young black man impersonating white characters such as Frank Spencer from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - gave him an edge in what were racially divisive times. Subsequently he was a comedy performer on The Black and White Minstrel Show.  (mn-jt)
1969  Me'Shell Ndgeocello, soul singer born, Berlin, Germany. She scored a few hits early in her career, the singer/bassist opted to concentrate subsequently on more challenging material by exploring the politics of race and sex, among other topics. Born Mary Johnson in 1969 and spending the first few years of her life in Germany (her father was both a military man and a jazz saxophonist), NdegéOcello and her family relocated to Virginia in the early '70s as the youngster developed an interest in music. As a teenager, NdegéOcello began to play regularly in the clubs of Washington, D.C., but eventually settled down in New York City after a stint of studying music at Howard University.  (mn-ds) 
1976  Jimmy Reed blues & soul legend dies. Born Mathis James Reed in Mississippi; he suffered from epilepsy from the mid-60s and died in his sleep in California, but not before becoming a much loved and influential blues singer and songwriter; he also played guitar and harmonica. He signed with Vee Jay in Chicago and had 13 influential R&B hits 1956-61, Baby What You Want Me To Do was covered by Elvis Presley, and Honest I Do by Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones.(mn-jt-dc)
195-  Brother Pilot aka., D.P. (Daddy Pilot/Anthony Jeffers) born. The longest surviving  presenter on PCRL (18 years!) Tony hosted the 'Talk-Back' programme intermitantly over this period. He brought some fine guests and speakers to the listeners over the years. The show was also closely monitored by Music Master who would let the public have a say in the programme by putting them live on the air about all subjects. The most controversial being mixed marriages and the role of religion in every day life. He was also one of the voices on the black History tapes that ran every day on the station for 5 years. Pilot was fined £3,000 and ordered to do 200 hours of comminity service for his part as management on the radio station in 2004. A list of  his shows output can be found on Pilots Page.  (mn)
1979  Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchases Mutual Black Network, making it the first Black owned radio network in the world. (mn-jc)
1998  Jamaican singer Winston Groovy talks to Music Master on PCRL about his music. Playing his song Equal Justice & Equal Rights recorded to help the Steven Lawrence case.
2000  Football Dad's No Dummy. Read the headline in the Evening Mail newspaper. Inventor Peter Morrison from Great Barr displays his football training mannequins. He patented his invention last year and is looking for a manufacturer to take up the 20 ft. circular device.(mn)
2007 Nelson Mandelea unvailed a bronze stature of himself made by the late Ian Waters in Parliament Square, London. The Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke of Mandela's work to unite all races to one harmony. (mn)
2007 Kip Anderson, singer, pianist, songwriter  has died. He was 69. Born Kipling T. Anderson 24 jan. 1938, Starr, SC, USA. Kip worked with Sam Cooke, The Drifters, Jerry Butler and Jackie Wilson. He was also vice president of Electric City Record's gospel division and recorded for Savoy, Chess, Excello, Fire & Fury, Ichiban, Savoy, Ripete (with Nappy Brown) along with several other imprints. (soulwalking)

30th. AUGUST     

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:   LEADERS/SPOKESMEN
100: MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE (1875-1955) 
1800  Gabriel Prosser's slave revolt is betrayed, Virginia, USA. (mn-jc)
1881  Black Invention: Self-Setting Animal trap, William S. Campbell. (sc)
1901  Roy Wilkins, civil rights leader, 2nd executive director of NAACP,born in St. Louis, Mo, U.S.A. (1901-1981) One of the most influential of civil rights activists and a steady voice for no-violence, Wilkins served a director of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People from 1955 to 1977. At the time of his death he was the last survivor of the civil rights leaders of the 1950s and 1960s, having outlived Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young, Malcolm X, and A. Philip Randolph. (mn-jc-ss)
1931  Carrie Saxon Perry Collins born. She was the first black woman to be elected mayor of a major New England city – Hartford, Connecticut – in 1987. She served three terms before being defeated in 1993. She had previously served as a state representative, and was known for her distinctive broad-rimmed hats  (tr-bl)
1963  Michael Lewis, t.v.'s Gladiator/Fire Fighter born, London. (mn-A1)
1982  The Voice a weekley newspaper with black journalists is launched by accountant Val McCalla who was born in St Anne's, Jamaica in 1944, the first issue was given away free at Notting Hill Carnival, 770 issues by September 1997. Now owned by Robert Maxwell. (mn)
1983  Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford Jr. is the first African American astronaut        to travel in space. (tr-iokts)
1988  Thomas Sylvester 'Papa Dee' Allen of soul band War dies. The groups first album was All Day Music in 1972. (mn-jt)
1997  Black Hair and Beauty Fair is held at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, U.K. for two days. (tr-mn)
1998  Valerie Campbell, mother of super-model Niomi Campbell helped launch a set of Carnival stamps for the Royal Mail by wearing an all stamp Carnival costume with a 30 ft. wing span at Notting Hill Carnival. It is the first time the Royal Mail has put a Black person on a stamp. (mn)
2009 Marie Knight dies. Marie Knight, whose rich, room-filling contralto voice provided the ideal counterweight to Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s more penetrating higher register on some of the most popular gospel records of the 1940s, died Sunday in Manhattan. She was 89. The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Mark Carpentieri, her manager and the owner of M.C. Records. (nytimes)
31st. AUGUST           
BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT:  LEADERS/SPOKESMEN
101: A. PHILIP RANDOLPH (1889-1979)
1904  May Alix, blues-based cabaret singer born in Chicago, Ill, USA. She sang on "Big Butter & Egg Man" for Louis Armstrong, it became his first hit in 1926. (mn-rs)
1936  Marva Nettles Collins born, she's a pioneering school founder and education activist whose methods have transformed the lives of thousands of students. (tr-bl)
1940  Wilton Felder member of the jazz/soul band The Crusaders born. At the time of there great success this band comprised Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper and Joe Sample. They originally came together in Texas in the early 50s, playing as the Swingsters. By the early 60s they were  known as the Jazz Crusaders and consisted as the above three artists and Wayne Henderson. The quartet released thier first album Freedom Sound in 1961, and followed it with a prolific series of LP's in the 60's. In 1970 they dropped the word 'Jazz' from there name as they were now playing a fusion of soul, blues and rock and not straight jazz. (mn-jt)
1947  Son Bonds, country blues guitarist dies in Dyersburg, Tenn, USA. (rs)
1954  Al Campbell,  Reggae artiste, born, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies.  Most popular for his covers of lovers rock material such as 'Gee Baby' and 'Late Nite Blues'. He has retained a position as one of the music's foremost vocalists of the 90's. (mn-cl)
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