March Black History

The Peoples Community Radio Link, 103.5 F.M Stereo

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1st. MARCH 

1780  Slavery abolished in Pennsylvania, the American State to do so.
1841  Blanche K. Bruce, made a Senator 4/3/1875, born in Farmville, Virginia, USA. (mn-ra)
1864  Rebecca Lee is the first African American to be awarded a medical degree, New England Female Medical College, MA, USA) (tr-bl)
1914  Ralph Waldo Ellison, author of the award-winning Invisible Man, born in Oklahoma City, Ok.
1927  Harry Belafonte, successful singer/actor/activist and winner of Emmy Awards, is born in Harlem, New York, USA. Moved to Jamaica at the age of eight, before returning to USA at the age of 13. After three years in the US navy, he enrolled in American Negro Theatre Workshop. He later stared in the films: Bright Road; Carmen Jones; Island In The Sun; and The World, the Flesh and The Devil. His first American Top 40 hit came late in 1956 when he took Jamaica Farewell to No. 14 . He was active in the civil rights movements, a director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, etc; he produced Lorraine Hansberry's play To Be Young Gifted and Black in 1969. (dc-bm-mn)
1939  Lee Gopthal, reggae promoter born, Constant Spring, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. (mn-cl)
1948  Norman Connors, drummer/producer born, Philadelphia, USA. (mn-jmcf)
1992  (In March) In memory of Donald Palmer, 52, south London, stabbed by two men he found attempting to break into his car. Men taunted Palmer's wife saying, 'We are the National Front'. George McKay given life sentence for murder. Wayne McGrath given 3.5 years youth custody for manslaughter. (mn)

2nd. MARCH

1807  U.S. Congress declares the importation of slaves illegal as of 1st January 1808.
1867  The U.S. Congress enacts the charter to establish Howard University, Washington, D.C.
 1922  Eddie Lockjaw Davis, jazz sax man born on this day. Dies November 3, 1986. (mn)
1943  George Benson jazz guitar/singer born in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, USA.(mn) NOTE (some text books show 22/3/43)
1948  Larry Carlton, member of the the jazz group, The Crusaders is born. (mn-jt)
1955  Bo Diddley record's Bo Diddley/I'm A Man at Universal Recording, Chicago for Checker records, It becomes a #2 on the Billboard chart and ranked 8th Most Played on juke boxes. (mn)
1968  Otis Scores with Posthumous Smash. 'Sittin' in the Dock Of The Bay', topped the Billboard chart and erned the 26 year-old Otis Redding his first gold record - posthumously. It had been recorded only three days before he died. (mn-jt) (posthumous = after death)
 1981  Britain witnesses the largest black political demonstration. 15-20,000 black people, under the banner of the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, on the streets of London. It was in response to the death of 13 black people in a house fire in Deptford on January 18th, thought to have been racist, although not proven. (mn) 
1984  Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, where Phil Spector created many of his classic hits, was closed in preparation for demolition. (mn-jt)
1999  [Dusty Springfield, the UK's greatest white soul singer passes away from breast cancer aged 59. Her fight for life had started in 1993, she had recently been given an OBE]. (mn)

3rd. MARCH 

Martyrs Day-The Republic of Malawi; National Day in Morocco.
1821  Black Invention: dry-scour clothes, Thomas L. Jennings is the first African American to be granted a patent in the United States, for his technique. (tr-iokts)
1886  Black Invention: guitar, Fleming R. F. Jr. patents it.
1938  Willie Chambers, singer with The Chambers Brothers born. The bands roots are in gospel, the Mississippi-bred Chambers Brothers would seen unlikely funk-psychedelic crossover pioneers, but they provided a reference point for the crossover groups begining to hit their stide at the time, including Parliament/Funkadelic and Sly & the Family Stone. They first rose to fame at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965. (mn-mcc)
 1966  Tone-Loc, singer/rapper born, Anthony Terrell Smith in Los Angeles, CA, USA. The first African-American rapper to enter the Billboard pop album chart, best remembered for his croaky voice on Wild Thing - a humorous sexcapade built on bare-bones beat and snatches of Van Halan's Jamie's Cryin' - would prove first a blessing and then a curse: Loc would never fully escape it's stifling shadow. (mn-gs)
2013 Bobby Rogers dies at 73. ( b. Robert E. Rogers, 18th February 1940, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 3rd March 2013, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. Bobby Rogers of the group, the Miracles, has died. Bobby passed away at his home in Detroit, from an undisclosed illness.During his career, Bobby was an accomplished songwriter, additionally sharing a partnership with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles for over 5 decades. He was co-songwriter on the several evergreen Motown classics, including The Temptations' 'The Way You Do the Things You Do', The Contours' 'First I Look at the Purse' and The Miracles''"Going to a Go-Go'. Bobby formed the Miracles in 1956, along with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Smokey Robinson. He sang on several of their classics, including 'Shop Around', 'You've Really Got a Hold on Me', 'The Tracks of My Tears', 'Going to a Go-Go', 'Ooh Baby Baby ', 'I Second That Emotion' and 'The Tears of a Clown'. Bobby shared his birthday with Smokey Robinson, and later both attended the Detroit Northern High School. He made an appearance on the Marvin Gaye song 'What's Going On', being heard saying 'It's just a groovy party, man, I can dig it' in the opening bars. The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, although Bobby was too ill to attend the ceremony. Bobby was married to Wanda Young of the Marvelettes in the early 1960's, the marriage ending in divorce in the 1970s. Bobby is survived by his wife Joan, and four children: Bobbae, Gina, Kimberly & Robert III. Bobby recorded a 90 minute radio show for PCRL in 1998. (mn/soulwalking)

4th. MARCH

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT   286: PRINCE (7/6/1958-    )     
[TED MASSEY BORN - Part of the PCRL Consortium since 1992]
 1932  Zensi Miriam Makeba, "Empress of African song," born in Prospect Township, South Africa. Makeba ranks as South Africa's greatest musical ambassador. She weathered the death of her father, a bout with breast cancer, childbirth and the first of five marriages before she turned twenty. From her start in a church choir, Miriam went on to sing professionally under the strong influence of her American idols, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Biggest hit Pata Pata, in 1960. (mn)
1944  Bobby Womack soul singer/guitar player is born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Bobby was there at the beginning, playing guitar for Sam Cooke and recording on Sam's Sar label with his brothers as the Valentinoes. He has make some great records and worked with the best over the years, he one of soul's great survivors, but sadly big-time fame has eluded him. (mn-dp)
1944  Mary Wilson soul singer born in Greenville, Mississippi, USA. With the original Supremes, America's all time best selling female group Mary stayed with the group from '60-'77. (mn
2010 Ron Banks singer with the Dramatics dies of heart attack. Ron made a 2 hour program with Bill Randle for PCRL in the late 90's. (br)

5th. MARCH

1770  Crispus Attucks first person killed in the Boston Massacre, thus beginning the American Revolution. At approximately nine o'clock on this night as a result of a call for help from a beleaguered British sentry, seven soldiers representing the might of King George III paraded towards the Commons with bayonets fixed. Attucks and fifty other men stood at the head of the street armed with clubs and sticks. As the soldiers drew near, Attucks yelled, "The way to get rid of these troops is to attack the main guard." The Americans let loose a shower of sticks and stones. Suddenly there was a crackle of riffle fire. Tall, distinguishable by his colour, and in the front ranks Attucks was the first to fall. (mn-ra)
1920  Leontine T. C. Kelly born, first black woman bishop in a major religious denomination in the U.S. (tr-bl)
1936  Joyce B. Sullivan-Johnson, first African-American registered nurse in the Washington D.C. Superior Court's Occupational Health Unit, is born. (tr-iokts)
 1948  Eddie Grant, reggae singer and member of 1960s group The Equals born Edward Monague Grant, Plaisance, Guyana, West Indies. Grant moved to England in 1960. Over the next few years, he wrote a number of ska songs, some of which have become classics, including the suggestive hit for Prince Buster, "Rough Rider". During the late 60s he enjoyed pop success as part of the Equals, with "Baby Come Back' topping the UK singles chart. Grant was 24 years old, with several further Equals hits to his credit, when he left the band to form his own production company. After producing other acts, he made his own debut in 1977 with Message Man. It was certainly a solo effort: not only did he sing and play every note, but it was recorded in his own studio, the Coach House, and released on his own label, Ice Records. Grant had developed his own sound - part reggae, part funk, with strong musical motifs and strong melodies - producing pop with credibility. More than 10 years after the Equals" first hit, "Living On The Front Line" (1979) was a UK number 11 hit, and the now dreadlocked Grant had found himself a whole new audience. "Do You Feel My Love" and "Can't Get Enough Of You" kept him in the UK Top 20. In 1982, Grant moved his home and studio to Barbados, signed Ice Records to RCA Records, and achieved a memorable UK number 1 hit with "I Don't Wanna Dance". The following year "Electric Avenue" reached number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic, and the parent album Killer On The Rampage proved his biggest seller. The huge hits eluded him for four years until he stormed back in January 1988 with "Gimme Hope Jo'anna", as if he had never been away. The dressing of the anti-apartheid message in the apparent simplicity of a pop song was typically inspired. In recent years, Grant has continued recording and writing quality material, but has concentrated his efforts on building a successful music publishing company and record label in Barbados. A dance remix of "Electric Avenue" was a huge club hit in 2001. (mn-jt-music.us)

6th. MARCH

1857  U.S. Supreme Court rules against citizenship for African Americans in the Dred Scott decision. (tr-iokts)
1926  Black invention: Method and apparatus for setting thermostats, David N. Crosthwaight, Jr. receives patent.
1933  Lloyd Price, R&B singer, born in New Orleans, LA, USA. (mn-kb)
1936  Sylvia Robinson*, soul singer with Mickey & Sylvia, born. (mn-jt) (*some books say 29/5)
1944  Mary Wilson, soul singer with The Supremes is born. (mn-jt)
1957  Ghana becomes the first African Nation to achieve freedom from colonial rule. (Independence Day in Ghana)
 1995  Delroy Wilson, reggae singer dies on this day, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Wilson was barely out of his short trousers when he recorded his debut single for Coxone Dodd's Studio One label. His first hit, Joe Liges (1963) was writen by Lee Perry. Despite being one of the best singers Jamaica has produced, Wilson was rarely able to consolidate the success that came his way; nevertheless, he remained a much-loved and respected, but sorely under used and, outside reggae circles, underrated performer. (b. 5/10/1948) (mn-cl)
19--  Flora Purim, Jazz singer born on this day. (mn-vibe)
2006 King Floyd III soul singer dies from a stroke and complications with diabetes. (mn)

2014 Charles Love dies. (b. Charles Dee Love Jnr., 18th April 1945, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. d. 6th March 2014, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
The co-founder, and lead singer of the group Bloodstone, Charles Love, has died. He was 68. The news was posted on the group’s Facebook page. According to close family friend and manager Lewis Garrett, Charles died from complications of pneumonia and had been battling emphysema for several years. Bloodstone hailed from Kansas City, and were formed in 1962. When the band were at high school, they formed a doo-wop group called The Sinceres. The Sinceres performed live, accompanied by a local group known as the Smokin’ Emeralds. By the end of the decade, the Sinceres comprised of Melvin Webb, Roger Durham, Charles Love, Charles McCormick, Harry Williams and Willis Draffen. The group relocated to Los Angeles where they teamed up with the management duo George Braunstein and Ron Hamady. Melvin Webb was replaced by Eddie Summers, and the group decided to change their name to Bloodstone.

7th. MARCH     

1539  Estvanico Esteban from Azamov Morocco, explores Arizona & New Mexico.
 1917  The first jazz (jass) record was released in the US, 'The Dixie Jass Band One Step' by Nick La Rocca's Original Dixieland Jass Band. (mn-jt)
1917  Janet Collins, prima ballerina and first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House, is born. (tr-iokts)
1942  Hamilton Bohannon, soul musician/producer born. (mn-jt)
1942  The first five cadets graduate from the Tuskegee Flying School. They will become apart of the famous 99th Pursuit Squadron.
1952  Donovan Germaine top reggae producer and proprietor of the Penthouse recording studio's, labels like Penthouse and Germaine born. Germaine started in the business in 1972 when he opened a record shop in New York where he produced his own work. His Mr. Boss Man was a huge Cultural Roots underground hit in 1980. (mn-cl-tr)
1952  Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards hailed as the best batsman in the world, is born in Atiqua.
1965  Five day March from Selma to Mongomery by Dr. Martin Luther King and thousands of followers to protest about blacks voting rights.(stopped by 200 state troopers and later carried out 21-25 March). (mn)
1987   Oldies Hold Their Own in UK Chart. Thanks to snippet coverage in ITV commercials, Ben E King's Stand By Me & When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge occupied the respective first and second positions in the UK chart for three whole weeks, at a point whe in every fourth record in the chart was a reissue or a revival of an old song.(mn-jt)

8th. MARCH 

 1820  Harriet Ross Tubman is born in Maryland, USA., known as 'Moses of her People' for her heroic trips the south to free hundreds of slaves.
1845  Woman's rights activist Hallie Quinn Brown is born in Pittsburgh, USA.
1861  El-Hadji Omar, Tukulor conqueror, starts empire with capture of Segu.
1876  After three years of controversy, U.S. Senate refuses to seat P.B.S. Pinchback, elected as Louisiana senator in 1873. (tr-iokts)
1945  Phyllis Mae Dailey becomes first black nurse in the Navy Nurse Corps.
1971  Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali, in 'The Fight of the Century'.
1971  Roxanne Shante', instant insults rapper from Queens, USA, real name Lolita Shante' Gordon, born today. (mn-ms)
1981  Destany’s Child’s Letoya Luckett born. (mn)
1998  Esther Benett soul singer with Eternal secretly marries a member of Boy Zone group. On the same day it is announced that Kelly Bryant of this same group gives bone marrow to help a twelve year old cancer sufferer. (mn)
1998  Stephen Laurence's Memorial plaque is vandalized. A plaque marking the place where Stephen was killed by racist thugs was vandalized by possibly his murderers. (mn)
1998  The drug Peroxia is announced as an aid for Sickle Cell sufferers. (mn)
2012 James T. Ellis, who belted out the dance anthem "Disco Inferno" in the 1970s for The Trammps, died Thursday in South Carolina, the funeral home handling arrangements said. He was 74. Ellis' rich baritone powered the funky Grammy-winning tune from the "Saturday Night Fever" album. It is only second to "The Bodyguard" as the best-selling soundtrack album of all time with sales of 15 million. Despite the success associated with the hit movie, Ellis and the band couldn't translate it into mainstream appeal, scoring just three R&B Top 10 hits from 1972 to 1978. But they still commanded respect in the music community. "But the Trammps' prowess can't be measured by chart popularity. Ellis' booming, joyous vocals brilliantly championed the celebratory fervor and atmosphere that made disco both loved and hated among music fans," the group's biography on allmusic.com says. The Trammps began in Philadelphia in 1972. Ellis' memorial service is scheduled for March 16 at Central Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina. (br-cnn)

9th. MARCH

1891  North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is founded in Greensboro, N.C., USA. (tr-iokts)
1933  Lloyd Price, R&B singer/pianist born in Kenner, Louisiana, USA. (mn)
1945  Laura Lee Rundless, soul singer born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. (mn)
1948  Jeffrey Osbourne soul singer born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.(mn)
1961  I Want A Guy is the first single issued by The Supremes it's a flop, although as the Primettes they had released Tears of Sorrow in 1959, by 1965 they are the world's most popular girl group. (mn-dr)
1964  Miriam Mekaba speaks before the U.N. about apartheid system in South Africa.
1968  Senate passes Civil Rights Bill of 1968, containing housing and anti-riot measures. (tr-bl)
 1997  Christopher Wallace, Brooklyn born rap star , a.k.a. Biggie Smalls a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. was shot dead in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting, his album due for release in April that year was to be called 'Life after Death!, he was just 25. Named after a stylish gangster in 1975's Let's Do it Again and Frank White from the film King of New York, but best known as The Notorious B.I.G. (Business Instead of Game and, since his death, Books Instead of Guns), was a popular rapper of the mid-1990s. His career was overshadowed by the Bad Boy/Death Row Records feud during his life, but following his untimely death in 1997, The Notorious B.I.G. has been celebrated as a hip hop legend. He is remembered for his storytelling ability, talented freestyling ability, and his easy to understand yet complex flow.There are many theories as to who is responsible for Wallace's murder. Some believe that Sean Combs may have ordered it being that rappers are more profitable while dead than they are while alive being that dead rappers don't have to be paid. Others believe that the Crip gang may have shot Wallace in retalliation for Wallace not paying for the security services they provided at a previous party. There are many other theories ranging in credibility as well.  (mn/wickpedia)
1999  Divided Soul: The story of Marvin Gaye is broadcasted on PCRL, read by Maxine Jayne and taken from the book by David Ritz. (mn)

10th. MARCH

1913   Harriet Ross Tubman, leader of the Underground Railroad, dies. In 1892 Harriet Tubman receives 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 she helped 300 slaves escape to freedom. Read Harriet Tubman: the Moses of her People by Sara Bradford (1869.) (tr-iokts-mm-ss)
 1964  Neneh Cherry, soul singer born Nenah Mariann Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden. Daughter of Swedish artist Moki Cherry and west African percussionist Amadu Jah, stepdaughter of trumpeter Don Cherry. (mn-dd)
1955  Bunny De Barge, member of soul group DeBarge is born. (mn-jt)
1969  James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the first degree murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. He is sentenced to 99 years in prison.
1989   Doc Green, singer with The Drifters dies. (mn-jt)
1999  PCRL's Great Negroes Past & Present changes to Black Heroes Past & Present. Although the series is based on a book originally written by Russell L. Adams in 1963 with a third edition in 1984, the term Negro was found to be offensive to some listeners. (mn-dp-cm)

11th. MARCH

1773  Jean Baptist Pointe du Sable founds Chicago, USA. (tr-iokts)
1950  Bobby Mc Ferrin, jazz singer born on this day. Best remembered for his hit record "Don't worry, be happy" in 1988. (mn)
1951  Katie Kissoon, singer with Mac & Katie Kissoon, born. (mn-jt)
1959  Lorriane Hansberry's 'Raisin in the Sun' becomes the first play to be written by an African-American woman to open on Broadway.
1971  In memory of  Whitney M. Young, Jr., reformer and founder of the National Urban League. Born July 31, 1921. After World War II Young earned a master's degree in social work with a thesis on the Urban League of St. Paul. This led to employment with the Urban League of St. Paul and Omaha, Nebraska and in 1954, to the position of Dean of the Atlanta University Graduate School of Social Work. Following further study at Harvard University, he was selected executive director of the League, whose prestige he lent to the March on Washington (1963), the Salma March (1965) and the Merideth Mississippi March (1966.) (mn-ss)
1985  The Shoreline - Is broadcasted by CH4 television. A short drama set in 1941 with Paul Barber as a seaman whose father came to Liverpool from the African Gold Coast. The script includes references to black film extras and the 1919 riots. (mn-sb)

12th. MARCH    

1791  Scientist/inventor Benjamin Banneker with Piere Charles L'enfant, is commissioned to survey the area that later becomes Washington D.C.
1932  Andrew Young, former ambassador, present mayor of Atlanta, born in New Orleans, La.
1940  Al Jarreau, soul/jazz singer, born, Milwaukee, WI, USA. Singing a highly sophisticated form of vocalese, Jarreau's style displays many influences. Some of these come from within the world of jazz, notably the work of Jon Hendricks, while others are external. He customarily uses vocal sounds that include the clicks of African song and the plosives common in oriental speech and singing patterns. This range of influences makes him both hard to classify and more accessible to the wider audience for crossover music. More commercially successful than most jazz singers, Jarreau's work in the 70s and 80s consistently appealed to young audiences attuned to fusions in popular music. By the early 90s, when he was entering his 50s, his kinship with youth culture had clearly diminished, but his reputation was by this time firmly established.  (mn-tt/gg-music.us)
1947  Ruby Andrews, soul singer born Ruby Stackhouse in Hollandale, Mississippi, USA. This Chicago singer made her reputation in 1967 with her one crossover hit, Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over). Popular on UK Northern Soul scene with Just Loving You. (mn-cl)
 1955   Charlie Parker, jazz saxophonist dies. The most influential jazz musician in history after Louis Armstrong. He was born in Kansas City. He played alto saxophone (very occasionally tenor), led his own combo, endlessly and effortlessly composed every time he played. Nicknamed Yardbird (for chicken) Bird for short. His greatest recordings are on Savoy & Dial (now Spotlite). (mn-dc)
1957  Marlon Jackson, singer with The Jackson Five born. (mn-jt)
1975  Kelly Bryant of the soul group Eternal celebrates her birthday. (tx)
1968  Mauritius achieves independence from Great Britain.
2000  PCRL's Father Hovis directs his show to Sandwell Hospital. (His daughter was in coma)

13th. MARCH     

Anniversary of the revolution in Grenada.
 1913  Lightnin' Slim, blues-man, born, Otis Hicks, St. Louis, Mo, USA. (Dies July 27, 1974, Detroit, Mich., USA. d. 27 July 1974, Detroit, Michigan, USA. It is as a Louisiana blues stylist that Hicks is best known, having settled in that state in his early teens. He learned guitar from his father and his brother, and made a name for himself on the Baton Rouge blues circuit during the 40s. In 1954, he recorded for Jay Miller's Feature label, and began that producer's long and fruitful relationship with the blues. These early recordings had a tough, spare sound that helps to place them alongside the very finest down-home blues of the 50s, and the quality was largely maintained over much of the next decade, with many singles leased to Excello Records. His partnership with harmonica player Lazy Lester was particularly effective and releases such as "Mean Old Lonesome Train", "Hoodoo Blues" and, especially, "Rooster Blues', provided him with commercial success and kept him in demand for tours both locally and further afield. Many of his releases demonstrate his particular facility for taking raw material from the work of other popular bluesmen, such as Muddy Waters and Lightnin" Hopkins, and turning it into something entirely his own. The relationship with Miller finally came to an end in 1965, but within a few years, Slim found a wider forum for his music when he became a regular visitor to Europe.  (mn-rs-music.us)
1940 Candi Staton soul singer born Canzette Maria Staton in Hanceville, Alabama. (mn-castle) 
1943 Frances Nero born in Asheville, North Carolina, United States. Died November 28, 2014 (aged 71) Frances made a special one hour program for PCRL in 1995. (ref md:115) (mn-br) 
1959  Ronnie Rogers singer with T'Pau born. (mn-jt)
1998  The Police Complaints Authority (PDA) five years after the murder of Stephen Lawrence by racist thugs (April 1993), recommend that a senior unnamed officer should be charged with neglect of duty. Stephen's father say's he will not rest until his killers are locked up. Only six days earlier a memorial plaque had been vandalized. (mn)
1998 [Judge Dread collapses and dies on stage (fatal heart attack). He had large UK success with his Big 6 recording. Born Alex Hughes in 1945 he found fame in the lade 60's/early 70's with a string of innuendo-inflated hits. He was inspired by Prince Buster in name and songs. He was a musical figurehead to skinheads at the time.] (mn)

14th. MARCH       

1876  Black Invention: Improvement in Furniture Casters, David A.Fisher, Jr. (sc)
1889  Menelik becomes ruler of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
 1933  Quincy Delight Jones, composer, musician and record producer, is born in Chicago. He was an early friend of Ray Charles and encouraged the blind singer, who was a similar age to himself. His first hit as a producer was Leslie Gore's It's My Party when it reached N0.1 in 1963. He's also made film soundtracks and 250 scores for TV series, most of those being Ironside. He's also famous for re-launching Michael Jackson's career with the Off the Wall/Thriller albums from  1977-82. (mn)
1934  Shirley Scott, jazz keyboards player, born, Philadelphia, USA. She was married Stanley Turrentine for a while. (mn-cl)
1957  Junior Brown, reggae artiste, born in Hammersmith, London, England. (mn-cl)
1972  Linda Jones, soul singer dies in New York City, NY, USA. She had been in ill health most of her life, and recorded some of her greatest records in much pain. (mn-cl)
1978  Glamma Kid, reggae artiste born, Hackney, London, England. (mn-cl)
1990  Big Twist singer with the Mellow Fellows dies in Broadview, Ill, USA. (mn-rs)
2001   Police in Jamaica kill seven youths in one house (mn) 
2015 Percy Sledge, Soul singer dies. In January 2014. he had an operation for liver cancer. His big claim to fame was the song "When A Man Loves A Woman" that is one of the most oldie radio played songs of all time. (mn)
20     15th. MARCH 
Joseph J. Roberts, first president of Liberia, born.
1905  Betha "Chippie" Hill, blues singer, born. (d.7/5/50) (mn-rs)
1912  Lightnin' Hopkins, blues-man, born Centerville, Texas(died Jan 30/82)
1961  In October 1960, the Verwoerd government in South Africa held a referendum among the White population to proclaim the country as a republic. The majority voted in favour. The date of the proclamation of the Republic was set for the fifty-first anniversary of the Union, 31 May 1961. At the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference in London in March 1961, the majority of the Prime Ministers were against the continued membership of South Africa because of apartheid. On March 15 Verwoerd informed the Conference that he was withdrawing South Africa's application to remain a member of the Commonwealth after it became a Republic. (mn-drum).
 1944  Sly Stone soul singer/dj born Sylvester Stewart in Dallas, Texas, USA. Fronted the group Sly & The Family Stone. Best remembered for his 60's hit Dance To The Music. (mn)
1947 Jean Carn, soul singer born Sarah Jean Parker in Columbus, Georgia. (mn)
1962  Terence Trent D'Arby soul singer born on this day in New York, USA. A former soldier, he first became involved with the music business while posted in Germany. He joined a local funk band, Touch, in 1983 he signed to CBS records in London. His first hit was If you let me stay. (mn)
1964  Rockwell, soul singer and son of Berry Gordy Jr., born Kennedy Gordy. (mn-jt)
2011 David Victor Emmanuel dies (c. 1962 – 15 March 2011), better known as Smiley Culture, was an English reggae singer and DJ known for his 'fast chat' style. During a relatively brief period of fame and success, he produced two of the most critically acclaimed reggae singles of the 1980s.He died following a police raid on his home, aged 48. Emmanuel, born and raised in South London, was the son of a Jamaican father and South American mother. He was educated at Tulse Hill School. His 'Smiley' nickname was gained due to his method of chatting up girls at school – he would ask them for a smile. Prior to his recording career he worked as a DJ with the Saxon Studio International reggae sound system, where he met and worked with a number of other reggae artists, including Maxi Priest, Papa Levi and Tippa Irie. Signed to the London based reggae record label, Fashion Records, his first single "Cockney Translation" (1984) was a Jamaican's guide to the East End dialect – "Cockneys have names like Terry, Arfur and Del Boy/We have names like Winston, Lloyd and Leroy." Simon Reynolds has often cited this song in his writings, arguing that it presaged the creation of a new hybrid accent in which white East Londoners would adopt many terms of black origin. The song's lyric was later used in schools as an example of how immigration has affected the English language. Smiley Culture popularized the 'fast chat' style of deejaying that had originated with Jamaican deejays such as Ranking Joe, and was developed further by British toasters, particularly those on the Saxon sound system such as Peter King. Emmanuel had chart success with his next single, "Police Officer", released towards the end of 1984. This was the supposedly autobiographical tale of how Emmanuel was arrested for the possession of cannabis, but then let off when the police officer recognised him as a famous reggae artist. In spite of the subject matter – and possibly because mid 1980s radio station bosses in the UK did not understand the terms 'ganja' and 'sensimilla' – the single was a Top 20 hit and earned Emmanuel two appearances on BBC Television's flagship music programme, Top of the Pops. The record, although humorous, did have a serious aspect, in that it highlighted the way black people often feel they are unfairly treated by the police. He recorded a session for Janice Long's BBC Radio 1 show in December 1984,  and was featured on the covers of Echoes, Record Mirror, and the NME in early 1985. The success of "Police Officer" prompted a re-release of "Cockney Translation". It picked up considerable airplay on BBC Radio One but only reached the lower end of the UK Singles Chart, selling over 40,000 copies in total.  His success led to an appearance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in Jamaica in 1985. After this he signed to major label Polydor, but his work for them – including the album Tongue in Cheek, and the accompanying single "Schooltime Chronicle" – did not replicate the chart success of "Police Officer". He also hosted the Channel 4 television show Club Mix in 1986 and 1987. In 1986, Emmanuel enjoyed a brief flirtation with the cinema when he made a cameo appearance in the film, Absolute Beginners. On 28 September 2010 he was charged, at Croydon magistrates court in London, with conspiracy to supply cocaine. On 15 March 2011, Emmanuel died of a stab wound during a police raid on his house in Warlingham, Surrey. (pilot/wikipedia)

16th. MARCH

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  298: BILL COSBY (1937-     )           
1827  John B. Russwurm founded The first black paper, Freedom's Journal, he was a native of Jamaica (1799-1851). (mn)
1909  Son Bonds, country blues guitarist, born, Brownville Son Bonds, Brownville, Tenn, USA. (Died August 31, 1947, Dyersburg, Tenn, USA). (mn-rs)
1970  Tammi Terrell soul singer dies from a brain tumour. She had collapsed on stage into the arms of Marvin Gaye in 1968, she was just 24 years old!. Born Tammi Montgomery in Philadelphia in 1946 she had 6 hit records with Marvin Gaye between 1968-69 on Motown records. (mn)
1959? Flavor Flav rapper with Public Enemy born William Drayton in Roosevelt, Long Island, USA. (mn-ms)
1965  Byron Stingily, soul singer with Ten City is norn. (mn-jt)
1975  T-Bone Walker, blues man dies. Real name Arron Thibeaux Walker. Guitarist singer and songwriter born 1910 and died in California. A teenage friend was Charlie Christian. Walker had a great influence in the blues as Christian had in Jazz. He was responsible for a generation taking up the guitar. After his win in a Cab Callaway amateur contest in 1930 he toured heavily and worked hard the rest of his life. He wrote the popular song Stormy Monday.  (mn-dc-jt)
1996  Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno boxing bout fetches the biggest purse ever $30 million. Evander Holifield fight Nov.9 is the same fee! (mn-ring)
2003  Kenny Sinclair, singer with the Olympics & Doo-wop Elgins dies. (basement)
2005  Justin Hinds, reggae dies. Born in 1942 in Sheertown, St. Ann, Jamaica. With the Dominoes he first made a name for himself in the 6t’s on Duke Reeds Tresure Isle label. Hits included King Samuel, The Higher The Monkey Climb, Out Of The Flying Pan and Baddaration. But it was his Rocksteady era that Hinds and his partners cut their best known tune, Carry Go Bring Come. He had been quieter more recently though he toured Europe as recently as January. (echoes)
2013 Bobby Smith dies. b. Robert ‘Bobby’ Smith (a.k.a. Bobbie Smith), 10th April 1936, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 16th March 2013, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
The singer with the group, the Spinners (later known as the Motown Spinners and the Detroit Spinners), Bobby Smith has died. He was 76. Bobby was the lead singer with the group going back to the groups early days. He was the lead singer on the Spinners initial 1961 hit ’That’s What Girls Are Made For’ b/w 'Heebie Jeebies' for the Tri-Phi imprint, alongside George Dixon, Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough and Pervis Jackson. Bobby sang on the third 1962 Tri-Phi 45 'Itching For My Baby, But I Don't Know Where To Scratch' b/w 'What Did She Use?'. He went on to sing lead vocals for the group throughout the Sixties, including the group’s Motown material, and went on to feature as lead vocalist for the groups Atlantic tenure during the Seventies.
Bobby's vocals are showcased on some of Soul Music’s evergreen songs, including ‘Could It Be I’m Falling In Love’, ‘I’ll Be Around’, ‘Games People Play’, ‘’Then Came You’, It’s A Shame’ and ‘I’ll Always Love You’ He has, at times, been a literally, unsung lead singer of the Spinners, with the late Phillipe Wynne receiving the accolades for several sides fronted by Bobby. Bobby’s passing, along with fellow Spinners members Billy Henderson in 2007, and bass singer Pervis Jackson in August 2008, now only leaves Henry Fambrough as the last remaining original member of this classic ensemble. (soulwalking)

17th. MARCH   

1806  Black Invention: sugar refining methods, Inventor Norbert Rilliex receives his patent.
1885  Black Invention: Automatic Stop Plug for gas and Oil Pipes, William Fosgrove. (sc)
1890  Black Invention: Street-Sweeper, Charles B. Brooks. (sc)
1933  Unita Blackwell born. (tr-bl)
1933  Myrlie Evers, Commissioner of Public Works in Los Angeles in 1987, the first African American woman to achieve this, born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. (tr-ml)
1939  Clarence Collins, member of soul group Little Anthony & The Imperials is born. (mn-jt)
 1917  Nat King Cole, singer Nathaniel Adams Coles is born in Montgomery, USA. Highly influential jazz pianist, Cole was the first African-American male to attain mainstream acceptance as a popular singer and the first negro to host his own TV show. Had many hit records. His daughter Natalie is also a successful singer.(d.15/2/65). (mn-ss)
1947  John Lee becomes the first African American commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. (tr-iokts)
1946  Harold Brown, member of the soul group War is born. (mn-jt)
1949  Bertha Knox Gilkey born. (tr-bl)
1959  Gypsy PCRL presenter born today. (mn-anna)

18th. MARCH      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  300: RALPH BUNCHE (1904-1971)              
1806  Norbert Rillieux, inventor of the sugar refining process, born in New Orleans, La.
1809  Gabriel de la Concepc'ion Valdes (Pla'cido), poet, is born in Havana, Cuba.
1894  Butch Cage, musician, born James Cage, Hamburg, Mississippi, USA. He was a Louisiana fiddle player whose style dated back to the pre-blues days of the nineteenth century whan black string bands played country dances and socials. (Dies c. 1975, Zackery, La,. USA). (mn-rs)
1901  Willian H. Johnson, premier painter, is born in Florence, S.C.USA. (tr-iokts)
1938  Charley Pride, country music singer. Born in Sledge, Ms, USA. (mn-jt) 1938  Kenny Lynch, soul singer/songwriter born in London. Wrote hits for Dusty Springfield, Drifters and Cilla Black. (mn)
1941  Wilson Pickett, soul singer with Falcons, later solo singer, born in Prattville, Alabama, USA. Dies in January 2006.  (mn)
1958  Irene Cara, singer/actor born. Remembered for her part in the 80's television programme Fame, all about a school of music. (mn-jt)
1963  Vanessa Williams singer born on this day in Tarrytown NY, USA. (cl)
1964  Courtney Pine U.K. jazz saxophonist born on this day. (mn-tx)
1970  Queen Latifah, real name Dana Owens, rapper/actress from East Orange, New Jersey, USA, born on this day. (mn-tx)
1982  Paralysed Pendagrass. 32-year old soul singer Teddy Pendergrass was paralyzed from the neck down as a result of his Rolls-Royce swerving across the street in his native Philadelphia, and going into a skid in attempts to avoid a collision with another vehicle. (mn-jt)
 2009 Eddie Bo dies.b. Eddie Bo (Edwin Joseph Bocage) (aka Spider Bocage), 20th September 1930, New Orleans, Los Angeles, U.S.A. d. 18th March 2009, New Orleans, Los Angeles, U.S.A. Singer and pianist, Eddie Bo has died. He was 78.  Eddie suffered a sudden heart attack. An accomplished songwriter, Eddie Bo penned 'I'm Wise', which was made famous by Little Richard when renamed and released in 1956 as 'Slippin' and Slidin'. He also wrote the 1960 Etta James hit 'My Dearest Darling', along with his own New Orleans funk compositions, 'Hook & Sling', 'Check Your Bucket' and 'Check Mr Popeye'. Eddie Bo led The Spider Bocage Orchestra and worked with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Willy DeVille, The Louisiana Legends, The District Court and The Hoodoo Kings. He produced and/or arranged records for Art Neville, The Vibrettes, Chris Kenner, The Explosions, Chuck Carbo, Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams, Robert Parker and Mary Jane Hooper. Born Edwin Joseph Bocage, Eddie grew up in Algiers and the 9th Ward of New Orleans. His first released record was in 1955 for Johnny Vincent’s Ace Records. In 1961, Eddie recorded 'Check Mr Popeye'. In 1969, he penned and sang 'Hook and Sling', for Scram Records, which reached No. 13 on the R&B charts in that year. The next year saw another hit with 'Check Your Bucket' on his own Bo-Sound imprint. In the 1970's Eddie, absorbed in the renovation business, disappeared from the music scene, but re-appeared at the end of the decade with two albums, 'Another Side of Eddie Bo' and 'Watch for the Coming,' which he produced himself. In the new millennium Eddie bought a doctor's office and salon on Banks Street which he and his sister converted into an eatery for Bo’s fans called 'Check Your Bucket' after his 1970 hit. Eddie's home and studio were hit by Hurricane Katrina while Bo was on tour in Paris. A skilled carpenter and bricklayer he took on the task of completing the hurricane damage repairs himself. Eddie Bo won many music awards including two Lifetime Achievement awards from the South Louisiana Music Association and Music/Offbeat Best of the Beat and was named New Orleans' music ambassador to Pakistan. (soulwalking)

19th. MARCH

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  301: HANK AARON (1935-     )           
1872  Black Invention: apparatus for detaching horses from carriages, T.J. Boyd inventor is awarded patent.
1894  Moms Mabeley, comedian born Loretta Mary Aiken. Dies 23/5/75. (mn-jt)
1928  Clarence Paul, record producer, born Clarence Pauling in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. (mn-cl)
 1930  Ornette Coleman, jazz musician born today in Fort Worth, Texas. He turned the jazz world on its ear in the late fifties and early sixties with his plastic alto saxophone and his radically simple idea that jazz improvisation did not require any fixed harmonic or rhythmic patterns at all . (mn-jt)
1937  Clarence 'Frogman' Henry born in Algiers, Louisiana, USA. (mn-cl)
1938  Walter Jackson, soul singer born in Pensacola, Florida. He began his singing career in nightclubs before producer Carl Davis took him to the Okeh label in the mid-60's. He stayed there six years. Later recorded with Brunswick, Epic, Cotillion, Wand and Chi-Sound. He suffered from Polio all his life. Dies June 20/83. (mn-jt-rt)
1945  John Wakefield Holder, cricket umpire, played for Hampshire, born in Barbados. Tests umpired: 10; One Day Internationals umpired: 14, County debut: 1968. One of only two black umpires, the other being Vanburn Holder. (cm-mn)
1946  Ruth Pointer of the soul group The Pointer Sisters is born. (mn-jt)
1975  The Fight Against Slavery - Is broadcasted by BBC2 and is the third and last television series acknowledging pre-1950 black people in Britain to be shown in this decade, there was none in the previous two!  A six part series written and introduced by Evan Jones. Jones was the UK's first black writer for television - the first use of his writing came with In A Backward Country, shown on 30.12.58 by the BBC. (no copy exists) (mn-sb)
1996  Nelson Mandela gets a divorce from Winnie. (mn)
2007 Luther Ingrum dies. b. Luther Thomas Ingram, 30th November 1937, Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.A. Dies, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., after years of kidney troubles and ill health, at the age of 69.Luther Thomas Ingram's professional career began in New York with work for producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Several singles followed, including 'I Spy For The FBI', which was a version of Jamo Thomas's 1966 hit version.Luther then signed to HIB Records for 'Exus Trek / If It's All The Same To You' before moving on to Koko Records, an independent label later marketed by Stax and owned by his manager and producer, Johnny Baylor. Here, alongside Mack Rice, he participated on songwriting chores including 'Respect Yourself' for the Staple Singers. Luther was also releasing his own material with a great deal of success on the R & B charts. He was, for a time, a member of the group, The Gardenias. In 1972, he released a recording of the classic Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson and Carl Hampton song, '(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right'. Produced by Johnny Baylor, the song reached number one on Billboard magazine's R & B chart, and peaked at number three on that publication's Hot 100 chart in 1972. It was was later recorded by Rod Stewart, Millie Jackson and Barbara Mandrell. The song went on to sell over a million copies and reached number 3 in the U.S. pop charts. Luther's next release, 'I'll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm)', then followed. His label, Koko struggled with financial problems. It took 8 years before Luther returned to the R & B chart in 1986 with 'Baby Don't Go Too Far'. In 2001, Luther Ingram began battling kidney disease. Various soul artists performed benefit concerts to help offset his medical expenses.  (mn-soulwalking)

20th. MARCH      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  302: LAUREL AITKEN (1928-    )         
1852  Uncle Tom's Cabin an anti-slavery novel by [Harriet Beecher Stowe] published. (mn-tx)
1883  Black Invention: shoe-lasting machine, Jan E. Matzeliger a native of Suriname receives his patent.
1949  Marcia Ball, keyboard/R&B singer, born, Orange, Texas, USA. (mn-rs)
 1957  Spike Lee (Shelton Jackson), director and actor is born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Born to a middle-class family, like his father and grandmother before him attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. Films include She's Gotta Have It (1985), School Daze (1988), Do The Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991) and Malcolm X in 1992. (mn-ss)
1980  [Pirate Radio Caroline's ship 'Mi Amigo' sank off the Kent coast in a storm after 14 years broadcasting]. (mn-tx)

21st. MARCH      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  303: ROLAND ALFONZO(C.1930'S)                        
1788  Olaudah Equiano (aka Gustavus Vassa) petitions the Queen Of England on the freedom of slaves, one year later publishes a best selling book on his life as a slave (eight editions in 5 years!). (mn-ra)
1894  Bo Carter, ribald blues singer born (rs)
1916  Choker Campbell, saxman/bandleader, born in Shelby, Mississippi, USA. He led the first of Motown's road bands that accompanied the labels act's on tour. (dies 20 July, 1993)
1930  Otis Spann, blues man, born in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. Spann was a legend in his own liftime, he died in Chicago from cancer in 1970. He was also a house pianist for Chess Records. (dies April 25, 1970, Chicago, Ill., USA). (mn-jt-dc)
1945  Rose Stone, from soul band, Sly & The Family Stone, born. (mn-jt)
1945  Rose Banks, soul singer born Rosemary Stewart in Dallas, Texas, USA. AKA Rose Stone. (mn-cl)
1950  Ada Brown, blues/vaudaville singer, dies, Kansas City, USA. (mn-rs)
1960  Laurian Rugambwa of Tanzania becomes the first black Roman Catholic Cardinal.1960  Sharpville Massacre in South Africa. 72 freedom fighters protesting apartheid killed (most of them shot in the back!, 185 injured), at Sharpville, South Africa. - "For many months the Pan-Africanise leaders in South Africa had planned a violent campaign against the pass laws. We were inspired in this campaign by our brilliant leader, Mangaliso Sobukwe. Our plan of action was that we would deliberately leave our pass books at home, and march in our thousands to the police stations to demand arrest. We would ask no bail, pay no fine. The national working committee finally decided the date of action" - Philip Kgosana. (mn-drum).
1965  Martin Luther King Jr. leads thousands of marchers from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to dramatize denial of voting rights to  African Americans. (tr-iokts)
1966  Nyahbinghi Iladays. Emperor Haile Selassie I, visits Jamaica and other Carribean nations. (the sealing of Ras Tafari and reconnition of Ras Tafari children). (tr)
1971  Don Drummond, reggae trombonist and member of Skatalites dies. Born in 1933 in Kingston, Jamaica. Led a troubled life and in 1965 he stabbed to death his girlfriend and then gave himself up to be institutionalized until his death. (mn-jt) Another reference gives date of death as 6/5/69.
1986  Debi Thomas wins the Word Figure Skating Championship.
2011 Loleatta Holloway, the soul singer best known for her 1980 hit "Love Sensation," has died at the age of 64. Her manager Ron Richardson confirmed that Holloway passed away following a brief illness. Born in Chicago in 1946, Holloway began singing in gospel groups like the Holloway Community Singers and the Caravans before signing to Aware Records and releasing her debut album, "Loleatta," in 1973. In the second half of the 70s, Holloway recorded hit disco singles like "Only You," "Hit and Run" and "Catch Me on the Rebound," while her most memorable single, "Love Sensation," hit No. 1 on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart in 1980.The singer's vocals were used on Black Box's 1989 hit "Ride on Time," and she was featured on Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch's 1991 Hot 100 No. 1 "Good Vibrations." Holloway returned to the top of the Dance/Club Play Songs chart twice following the success of "Love Sensation": in 1998 as a guest on Fire Island's "Shout to the Top," and with her own "Dreamin'" in 2000. (steve williams/billboard)
2011 "Pinetop" Perkins dies. (b. Joseph William Perkins, 7th July 1913, Belzoni, Mississippi, U.S.A., d. 21st March 2011, Austin, Texas, U.S). A Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee. Singer and pianist who collaborated with Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Hubert Sumlin, Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith and Muddy Waters. (mn)

22nd. MARCH      

BLACK HEROES PAST & PRESENT  304: PRINCE BUSTER (1938-     )                             
1492  Alonzo Pietro, explorer sets sail with Christopher Columbus.
1932  Juke Boy Bonner, multi-instrumentalist, born Weldon Bonner, Memphis, Tenn, USA. (Dies June 28, 1978, Houston Texas, USA). (mn-rs)
1943  George Benson, soul singer and guitarist born in Pennsylvania. He began learning the guitar at the age of eight. Having moved to New York, he earned respect from fellow musicians during the Sixties and early Seventies with his jazz flavoured guitar work. He was influenced by Wes Montomery and worked with Jack McDuff. His first hit record was Supership in 1975. He is a true great jazz-man. (mn)
1945  Chuck Jackson, singer with The Independents born Greenville South Carolina. USA. One time director at Playboy magazine and also found time to write sermons occasionally for his brother, the civil rights leader and politician, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He worked as a songwriter with Mavin Yancy for Jerry Butler's writers workshop.(cl)
1956  King Freed. The Rev Martin Luther king, walks free from a courtroom in Montgomery. The civil rights leader had been found guilty of trying to mount a bus boycott to end segregation on busses, but the judge suspended his $500 fine and let him go. (mn-e-mail)
1957  Stephanie Mills, soul singer born, Brooklyn, NY, USA. Stared in the Broadway show Maggie Flynn at the age of 9. Won the Apollo Theatre amateur night 6 times time in a row. Then Toured with the Isley Brothers. Then stared as Dorothy in the Broadway show The Whiz. She's had consistent minor chart success over the years. (mn)
 1973 Beverly Knight (uk singer) (born Beverly Ann Smith) in Wolverhampton. (nationmaster)
1981 Jamelia (Davis) (uk singer) born. (nationmaster)
1998  George Howard, Philadelphian saxman dies after suffering from lymphoma for several months. He was 41 years old. Howard got his first break touring with Grover Washington Jr., in the eighties and began recording his own stuff in '82 when Asphalt Jungle was released. He recorded several albums for GRP Records, his biggest hit probably Dancing in the sun. (mn-echoes)
2007 Stamps featuring Ignatius Sancho and Olaudah Equiano were issued by the Royal Mail to mark the law passed in March 1807 making slavery illegal. The set of six stamps include six individuals associated with the abolition movement. The other abolitionists featured are Thomas Clark, Granville Sharp, Hannah More and William Wilberforce. Igantius Sancho was born into slavery in 1729 on a slave ship near West Africa that was heading for the West Indies. Eventually he was brought to Britain at a time when rich individuals found it fashionable to have slaves working as domestics in their household. Sancho endured the harsh realities of life as a black servant but was spotted by the Duke of Montagu to whom he eventually sought refuge. As a butler in the Montagu household he was able to study, read and write poetry, prose and music. He eventually married a black woman from the Caribbean, Anne Osborne and bought a small grocery shop with money left to him by the Duke. Sancho rose to fame for letters he wrote supporting the abolition movement and condemning the slave trade. In addition to being an avid letter-writer he also composed music. His biography was written by Joseph Jekyll in 1782. The image of Sancho on the Royal Mail stamp is of a portrait by Thomas Gainsborough painted in 1768. The stamps were designed by Howard Brown, a graphic designer based in Yorkshire. Sancho will feature on a stamp priced at 72p. Olaudah Equiano, who was also born into slavery served as slave to a captain in the Royal Navy and later to a Quaker merchant. He eventually saved up enough to buy his freedom. When he came to London he became involved in the abolition movement and later published his autobiography: Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African in 1789 . Although the Bill abolishing the slave trade received Royal assent in 1807, it was another 26 years before the Slavery Abolition Act was passed ending slavery in the Caribbean colonies. For slaves born in the year 1807 there was no freedom for them until they reached 30, which was a terrible injustice. Furthermore whilst slave owners were compensated to the tune of £20 million, the victims of slavery received not one penny. (black britain)

23rd. MARCH

1916  Marcus Mosiah Garvey arrives in America from Jamaica. Within 5 years he had recruited more than 1 million members.
1918  Granville H. 'Sticks' McGhee is born, Knoxville Tenn., USA. (Dies August 15, 1961, New York, NY, USA). (mn-rs)
1953  Chaka Khan soul singer born Yvette Marie Stevens at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois, USA. Sang in Lyfe, Lock And Chains and Baby Huey And The Babysitters before Ask Rufus, who were remnants of American Breed. Later solo success followed 'I'm Every Woman ' in particular'. (mn)
1978  Bill Kenny, singer with The Inkspots dies. The group originally formed in New York in 1935. They started life as The Percolating Puppies, but soon realized that such a silly name would be a handicap if their career was to progress. In 1939 they achieved major disc success with I Didn't Care. This introduced the world to there pioneering vocal style. (mn-bmcd)
 1980  Jacob 'killer' Miller, reggae singer with Inner Circle dies. Dies in a car accident along Hope Road, J.A. Born in Mandeville in May 1954. Best remembered for Tenement Yard, Baby I Love You So, and Tired fe lick weed in a bush. (cd-liner-jah-b)    
1985  Patricia Roberts Harris, Cabinet member and ambassador, dies.(tr-iokts)
1992  Janet Jacks Up Virgin Advance. After prolonged negotiation, Janet, the youngest of Michael Jackson's nine siblings, landed a $16,000,000 contract with Virgin Records for three albums.

24th. MARCH      

1837   Canada gives blacks the right to vote.
1912  Dorothy Irene Height, family/woman's rights advocate, born. (tr-iokts)
1937  Billy Stewart soul singer is born in Washington, D.C., USA. He sang in the Rainbows with Marvin Gaye/Don Covay due to his weight he was known as the 'fat boy', from the mid-50's to the mid-60's only one UK hit 'Summertime.' (d.18/1/70). (mn)
1938  Don Covay, soul singer/writer, born, Orangeburg, SC, USA. The son of a Baptist preacher. His family had a gospel group the Cherry-Keys, with whom Don sang soon as he was old enough. He grew up in Washington where in the 50's he joined vocal group the Rainbows with Marvin Gaye, John Barry, and Billy Stewart. He also performed live with Little Richard, who recorded Don as 'Pretty Boy' on the Atlantic release 'Bip Bop Bip'. In 1960 he had some solo success with Pony Time (written by Don & John Barry) on the Arnold label, though it was Chubby Checker who took it to N0.1 a dance craze in 1961. (mn-rt)
1961  Cardigan Adolphus Connor, 5'10", 12.8 Hampshire cricketer is born, West End, Anguila. County debut: 1984; County cap: 1988; 50 wickets in a season: 5. (cm-mn)
1969  Joseph Kasavubu, former president of the Congo dies.
 2008 Uriel Jones dies. Motown drummer. b. 13th June 1934, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 24th March 2009, Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A. The Funk Brothers drummer, Uriel Jones, died in a Michigan hospital on Tuesday the 24th of March 2009. Uriel had suffered complications from a heart attack. He was 74. The Funk Brothers have become a little better known, in recent years, as the in-house Motown group of session players. Uriel was the last surviving drummer from the Funk Brothers. He was taken ill in mid-February, had shown signs of improvement, but had a relapse. He passed away at the Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn. Uriel was key to many of the driving Motown Funk rhythms inspired by the late Norman Whitfield, at the label. His versatility allowed him to beat out the Whitfield sound, whilst incorporating a gentler technique in other Motown recordings, epitomised by songs such as 'The Tracks of My Tears', by The Miracles, and 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted', by Jimmy Ruffin. Uriel Jones joined Motown in 1964 after touring with Marvin Gaye. With Marvin, he provided the rhythm for the songs, 'Ain't That Peculiar', 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine' and 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'. Of the three in house drummers, Motown arranger Paul Riser once said 'He had a mixed feel and did a lot of different things well'. Benny Benjamin was Motown's main drummer, however Uriel and Richard 'Pistol' Allen were more pro-actively used during Benny Benjamin's time spent fighting drug addiction. Benny Benjamin died in 1969. 'Pistol' Allen succumbed to cancer in 2002, shortly after completing production on the Funk Brothers documentary 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown'. The biographical movie saw the light of day in 2003, and gave well deserved props to Motown's forgotten session musicians. The Funk Brothers toured the world (coming to the U.K. in 2004) and won two Grammy awards. While Motown recordings utilized many musicians, the film focused on 13 players, of whom five had already passed. Four Funk Brothers are alive (and still performing) thesedays. Uriel Jones is survived by his wife, June, and three children. (soulwalking)

25th. MARCH

1807  African slave trade in British Colonies abolished. 2007 saw the 200 anniversary of the law that took some 7 years to take effect. British TV ran a few poor documentary programmes to mark the event and six stamps depicting William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano, Granville Sharpe, Thomas Clarkson, Hannah More & Ignatious Santcho were issued the same month. (mn-cb)
1887  Samori, builder of the Wasulu Empire, signs the Treaty of Bisnadugu with the French. (tr-iokts)
1931  Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, anti-lynching activist, and founding member of the NAACP, dies in Chicago, Ill, USA. Born 1862, Ida B. Wells, reformer who gathered the first statistical records on lynching in the U.S. After emancipation she attended Rust Collage and was fired in 1891 from her teaching post in Memphis, Tennessee, due to her outspoken criticism of segregation in the schools. She became editor and part-owner of a Memphis newspaper, for which she wrote anti-lynching articles. She moved to the Northwest when her writing work provoked threats and continued as a strong anti-lynching activist. She was secretary of the National Afro-American Council from 1898-1902 and one of the founders of the Natonal Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1910).(mn-ss-tr-iokts)
1933  Tommy Tucker soul singer born Robert Higginbotham in Springfield, Ohio, USA. Renowned R&B performer, recommended album listening Hi Heel Sneakers and Long Tall Shorty (Checker 1964). Died from poisoning 22 January, 1982. (mn-cl)
 1942  Aretha Franklin 'The Queen of Soul' is born in Memphis. Aretha is the daughter of the crusading Baptist preacher, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, himself a regular recorder of harmonising LP's. He gave her much encouragement in her formative musical years, as did several gospel singers who were regular visitors of the family household. Sam Cooke in particular, persuaded Aretha to follow his switch from gospel to secular R&B music. First chart success came in 1961 with Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody. But Atlantics Jerry Wexler persuaded  her to join his company. Together they made an astounding string of classics during the late 60's, that not only defined soul music but gave her the Queen Of Soul tag she carried for the rest of her life. She now lives in Detroit. (mn-BmcD)
1951  Maizie Williams, singer with Eurodisco group Boney M, born in Montserrat. They had a big hit with a Jamaican nursery rhythm Brown Girl In The Ring.  (mn-jt)
1974  Finley Quayle, reggae singer born, Edinburgh, Scotland. From a musical family Qualle was raised in Manchester and on leaving school returned to Edinburgh. First gig was at the Malcolm X centre in Bristol where he supported Luciano. Success came when he was voted Best Male Singer in the 1998 BRIT awards. (mn-cl)
2003  Brandi Wells soul singer dies in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Born in Philly in 1955)
2007 Ms Dynamite presents a BBC2 program about Nanny of the Maroons, a Jamaican folk hero on the 200 anniversary of the abolition of slavery. (mn)

26th. MARCH     

In memory of Augusta Savage, sculptor (1900-1962).
1872  Black Invention: Fire extinguisher Thomas J. Martin patents one.
1917  Rufus Thomas soul singer/dancer/entertainer born in Cayce, Mississippi, USA. In 1996 Rufus recorded a one hour program for Pcrl in his 80th year! Dies 15/12/01 (ref: MD 101). (mn-br)
 1918  Andy Hamilton  is a Jamaican-born British jazz saxophonist and composer. Hamilton was born in Port Maria, Jamaica, and learnt to play saxophone on a bamboo instrument. he formed his first band at the age of eighteen, influenced by American musicians such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie and by the Kingston-based bands of Redver Cook and Roy Coburn. He spent some time in the U.S., working as a cook and farm labourer, but also having short jazz residencies in Buffalo and Syracuse, New York. After returning to Jamaica, he worked as musical arranger for Errol Flynn on his yacht the Zaka. Hamilton emigrated to the UK in 1949, living and working in Birmingham. His day job was in a factory, while at night he played jazz — with his own group, the Blue Notes, with visiting musicians such as Art Farmer and David Murray, and with his sons Graeme and Mark (trumpet and saxophones respectively). At the age of seventy-three, Hamilton made his first album as leader, Silvershine on World Circuit Records; it became the biggest selling UK Jazz Album of the Year, The Times Jazz Album of the Year, and one of the fifty Sony Recordings of the Year. It was followed three years later in 1994 by a live album, Jamaica at Night. He continues to play regularly at the Bearwood Corks Club in Birmingham, appears on albums from World Circuit as guest musician, and is working on a new album of his own compositions. In 1996 Hamilton was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree by Birmingham University, and in 1999 he received a Millennium Fellowship for his work in Community Education (which has involved the establishment of The Ladywood Community School of Music, supported by the Millennium Commission). (wickpedia)
1936  Fred Paris, singer with Five Satins is born. (mn-jt)
1944  Diana Ross born Diane Earle on this day in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Ross was 20 when she rose to stardom as lead singer with the Supremes: with their 12 US No.1 singles the Motown vocal trio were America's hottest act of the 60's.  (mn-tx)
1950  Teddy Thoedore Pendergarass soul singer with Harold Melvin & Bluenotes and later solo, born on this day in Philadelphia, USA. In 1982 he had a near-fatal car accident which has left him in a wheelchair. (mn)
2008 Mr. Niceness (ex-PCRL DJ) dies. Later dj'd on Newstyle radio.  b.04/05/67 - d.26/04/08 (facebook tribute page)

27th. MARCH    

1905  Leroy Carr, blues pianist, born. (d. april 1935) (mn-rs)
 1924  Sarah Vaughan, singer The Divine One, is born today in Newark New Jersey, USA. (d.1990) (mn-vibe-iokts)
1932  Little Junior Parker, blues man born Herman Parker. (mn-jt)
1934  Arthur Mitchell, born,  founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City.
1935  Ramsey Lewis, soul/jazz pianist is born. (other ref: 27.5.35)(mn-jt)
1937  Johnny Copeland, guitarist/singer, born, Haynesville, La., USA (mn-rs)
1941  Bunny Sigler, singer with the Opals and later solo/songwriter born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. (mn-cl)
1959   Little Willie John , soul singer dies. Much loved by singer James Brown, so much so that he recorded an album of his songs and dedicated it to his memory. (some books say 26/5/68). (mn-jt)
1970  Mariah Carey, soul singer, born, Long Island, NY, USA. (mn-ed)
1972  Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, 5'11", 13.4 footballer born in Surinam. International Honours: Holland: 4. (bh-mn)
1984   Ahmed Sekou Toure, president of Guinea, dies. (tr-iokts)
1997   Harold Melvin dies. Born in Philadelphia in 1942, Harold was the binding force behind Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, although the lead singer on most of the hits was Teddy Pendergrass who was later replaced by David Evo. (mn)
2006 Terry Stanton of the Dazz Band is shot three times in the head and his body was then set on fire - a victim of black on black violence. (mn)
2017 Clem Curtis (The Foundations) dies. b. 28th November 1940, Trinidad, West Indies.
d. 27th March 2017, Olney, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Clem was 76. He had recently been diagnosed with two terminal cancers. He travelled to England and became an interior decorator. Clem was a boxer for a while, winning many fights as a professional. 
In 1967 Clem joined The Ramong Sound (which featured Raymond Morrison, Clem’s uncle).
The group featured Arthur Brown, for a short period, after which the group changed their name to the Foundations. After several hits, Clem left the group and went on to pursue a solo career in the United States. He later rejoined a reformed a version of The Foundations, teaming up with the original Foundations guitarist Alan Warner. In 2004 he toured the U.K. as part of a group tour with Jimmy James & The Vagabonds. Clem continued and perform until very recently. (Popular release under his own name was "Point Of No Return" in 1972.) (soulwalking/nold)

28th. MARCH      

1870  Johnathan S. Wright becomes the first African American state supreme court justice in South Carolina, USA. (tr-iokts)
1925  Countee Cullen wins Phi Beta Kappa honours at New York University.(tr-iokts)
 1936  Lee Perry, reggae producer born, Rainford Hugh Perry, Hanover, Jamaica, West Indies. Aka Scratch and the Upsetter. Small in stature, but a giant of reggae, Lee Perry began his musical career working for seminal producer Coxsone Dodd during the late 50s and early 60s, acting as a record scout, Perry had released the first of his own vocal records through Dodd.  Social and personal justice, bawdy, sometimes lewd, sexual commentary.  Also during his sojourn with Dodd, he began an association with the Wailers that had repercussions later in the decade. In 1966, Perry fell out with Dodd and began working with other producers including Sir JJ Johnson, Clancy Eccles and, in 1968, Joe Gibbs, for whom he wrote songs and produced artists such as Errol Dunkley and the Pioneers. With Gibbs, he also voiced a bitter snipe directed at Dodd entitled "The Upsetter", from which he gained his next epithet. On parting with Gibbs, Perry recorded several fine titles. In 1968, Perry set up his own Upsetter label in Jamaica, again with help from Clancy Eccles.  Perry experienced his first taste of UK chart success with tenor saxophonist Val Bennett's spaghetti western-inspired title, "Return Of Django", which spent three weeks at number 5 in the UK charts during October 1969. From 1972-74 Perry slowed down the rhythm and consolidated his position as one of the leading innovators in Jamaican music.  By 1976, Island Records had begun to release the fruits of this latest phase, including music by the Heptones (Party Time), Max Romeo (War Inna Babylon), Bob Marley And The Wailers ("Jah Live", "Punky Reggae Party"), George Faith (To Be A Lover), Junior Murvin (Police & Thieves, the single of the same title being very popular in Jamaica at the time, and becoming a belated chart hit in the UK in May 1980), Prince Jazzbo (Natty Passing Through, released on Black Wax), and the Upsetters (the classic Super Ape). However, Island rejected his own vocal album, Roast Fish, Collie Weed & Corn Bread (1978), and missed out on the Congos classic, Heart Of The Congos, which finally gained a UK release some years later on the Beat's Go Feet label. With commercial success now coming infrequently, Perry's frustrations and personal problems began to increase.  Perry's behaviour became increasingly strange and bewildering, and in 1980 he destroyed his studio and left for Britain, After living in the Netherlands in the mid-80s, he moved back to London, occasionally performing live. In 1990, he went to Switzerland, worked with a new management team, and married a Swiss millionairess. He also returned to Jamaica to rebuild the trashed and burnt-out Black Ark. Whatever the future holds, Lee "Scratch" Perry, the Upsetter, the man Bob Marley once described as a "genius", has already made one of the most individual contributions to the development of Jamaican music, as a producer, arranger and writer, and also simply as a singularly powerful guiding force during several crucial phases.  (mn-music.us)
1948  Milan Williams, member of The Commodores group is born. (mn-jt)
1958  W.C. Handy 'Father of Blues" dies, New York, NY, USA. (mn-rs)
1964  [Radio Caroline, Britain's first pirate radio station starts broadcasting from just off the British coast. (mn-jt)]
1984  Benjamin May, educator and civil rights activist  dies in Atlanta, Georgia, SA,. He was mentor to the young Martin Luther King, Jr. whilst at Morehouse College.
1870  Jonathan S. Wright becomes first black State Supreme Court Justice in South Carolina.
1969  'Salt', Rapper Cheryl James of Salt & Pepa from Bushwick; Brooklyn; Queens, born today. (mn-tx)


312: BUNNY 'STRIKER' LEE (1941-   ) Maxine Jayne born today (pcrl)
1870  America's 15th Amendment barring race and colour as voting qualification  comes into effect.
1886  Black Invention: Guitar, Robert F. Flemmings, Jr. (sc) 
1914  Sonny Boy Williamson #1, blues harmonic man born John Lee Williamson, Jackson, Mississippi, USA. (Dies June 1, Chicago, Ill., USA). (mn-jt) 
1918 Pearl Mae Bailey born. She was an American actress and singer. After appearing in vaudeville, she made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. She won a Tony Award for the title role in the all-black production of Hello, Dolly! in 1968. Wikipedia Born in Southampton County, Virginia, United States and died: August 17, 1990, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Spouse: Louie Bellson (m. 1952–1990), John Randolph Pinkett (m. 1948–1952) Children: Dee Dee Belson, Tony Bellson. Songs: Takes Two to Tango, Hello Dolly, Two to Tango, Tired (wiki)
1931  Harold Burrage singer/pianist born in Chicago, USA. Died 26/11/66. (mn)
1937  Black Invention: Signalling System, Lewis W. Chubb. (sc)
1963  Capt. Edward J. Dwight Jr. becomes a candidate for astronaut training. (tr-iokts)
 1964  Tracy Chapman, folk singer born. (mn-jt)
1969  Kieth Holmes WBC Middleweight World Champion Boxer is born. Record:30-1 (20). Best wins: Kelcie Banks; Quincy Taylor and Paul Vaden. He lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, USA. (mn-ring)
2007 Re-launched 'Black Heroes Past & Present' on the web. (mn)

30 th. MARCH      

313: BYRON LEE (1935-     )
1797  Olaudah Equiano, a chief spokesman for black people at this time in Britain dies in London aged about 52. According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker merchant, he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving. As a seaman, he travelled the world, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Atlantic and the Arctic, the latter in an abortive attempt to reach the North Pole. Coming to London, he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade, an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789) a strongly abolitionist autobiography. The book became a bestseller and, as well as furthering the anti-slavery cause, made Equiano a wealthy man. (mn-pf)
1905  Big Maceo, blues pianist, born, Major Merriweather, Atlanta, Ga, USA. Died February 23, 1953, Chicago, Ill, USA. (mn-rs)
1913  Etta Baker, instrumentalist blues guitar player born. (mn-rs)

1934  Shirley Jones, soul singer born. (mn-jt)

1962  MC Hammer, dance rapper from Oakland is born Stanley Kirk Burrell. He sold 12 million copies of his second album 'Please Hammer don't hurt 'em'. Rap music's most successful star! (mn-jt)
31st MARCH
1921  Lowell Fulson, guitarist/singer, born Tulsa, Okla, USA. (mn-rs)
 1947  Al Goodman, singer with The Moments is born. (mn-jt)
1976  Anthony B real name Kieth Blair, reggae DJ, born in Clarks Town, Trelawny, Jamaica. Best known for 'Fire pon Rome'. (tr-dubm)
2014 Frankie Knuckles dies aged 59. Chicago DJ, producer, inventer of House music, a dance music genre that started in the late 80's and still continues today. (mn)

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