Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

Archive for the ‘Black Jazz Artist’ Category

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 21


1. John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie, was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed “the sound of surprise”.

Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Jon Faddis and Chuck Mangione

2. Ronald Erwin McNair,  a physicist and NASA astronaut. McNair died January 28, 1986 during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L.
 

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 19


Byrd Prillerman

1. Byrd Prillerman, Co-founder of Virginia State College  one of West Virginia’s most prominent Negro educators, and former president of West Virginia Collegiate institute, now West Virginia State college.  one of those responsible for having the land-grant school located in the Kanawha Valley, was the fourth president. During his tenure, academic programs were expanded and the institution was given a new name “The West Virginia Collegiate Institute.” Prillerman Hall is named for him.

Lawanda Page

2. LaWanda Page,  actress and comedienne best known for her portrayal of Aunt Esther in the 1970s TV sitcom Sanford and Son. Known for using the “set you straight term” (Watch it sucker). 

Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers

3. Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers, served for 21 years as a distinguished member of the state Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When elected in 1967, she became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky’s State Senate.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole

4. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, The first African American female president of Spelman College from 1987-1997. She was president of Bennett College from 2002-2007. She is currently serving as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art.

Michael Stephen Steele

5. Michael Stephen Steele, Conservative politician, serving since January 2009 as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee.   

Jennifer Holiday

6. Jennifer Holiday,  singer and Tony Award-winning actress. She started her career on Broadway in musicals such as Dreamgirls, and later became a successful recording artist. She is best known for her debut single, the Dreamgirls showstopper and Grammy Award-winning R&B/Pop hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

Evander Hollyfield

7. Evander Hollyfield, Former heavyweight Boxing Champion, He is a former World Undisputed Champion in both cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, earning him the nickname “The Real Deal”. After winning the bronze medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the 1984 Summer Olympics, he debuted as a professional at the age of 21.

Brad Dougherty

8. Bradley Lee Daugherty, retired  basketball player with the University of North Carolina and later with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, joined ESPN’s return to NASCAR racing telecasts in 2007. He is currently a car owner and an analyst for NASCAR. 

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans for October 18


1.  Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson Berry),  guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and considered one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

2. Ntozake Shange( Paulette Williams),  playwright, and poet.   As a self proclaimed black feminist, much of the content of her work addresses issues relating to race and feminism.  Shange is best-known for the Obie Award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.  She also wrote Betsey Brown, a novel about an African American girl who runs away from home. Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.

3.  Terry McMillan, Novelist, editor, and educator, author. Her interest in books comes from working at alibrary when she was sixteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 at University of California, Berkeley. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.  Her first book, Mama, was self-published.   She achieved national attention in 1992 with her third novel, Waiting to Exhale, which remained on The New York Times bestseller list for many months. In 1995, Forest Whitaker turned it into a film starring Whitney Houston. In 1998, another of McMillan’s novels, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, was made into a movie. McMillan’s novel Disappearing Acts was subsequently produced as a direct-to-cable feature, starring Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan. She also wrote the best seller A Day Late and a Dollar ShortThe Interruption of Everything was published on July 19, 2005. Getting to Happy, the long-awaited sequel toWaiting to Exhale, was published on September 7, 2010.

4.   Tommy Hearns,  retired  boxer. He won 8 world titles in six different weight divisions.  Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to conquer 5 world titles in 5 different divisions.  He has scored many memorable knockouts in his career and is widely considered to be one of the greatest knockout artists of all time.  Hearns was voted the greatest Super Welterweight of all time and received the “Fighter of the Year” award in 1980 and 1984.

He fought 21 current, past or future world champions.  Blessed with exceptional height for a welterweight (6’1″), a broad back, and unusually long arms, Hearns had a unique build combined with destructive punching power. He is known best for his devastating right hand, his powerful left hook and for carrying his left hand low—a stance he used to lure foes into an exchange, as well as to maximize the speed and change the angle of his jab, a technique called the “flicker jab”.

As a fighter, his aggression set him apart, controlling fights with his incredible reach, power and great boxing skills. He lost only one decision in his entire career, at the age of 33, to Iran “The Blade” Barkley.

5.   Wynton Learson Marsalis,   Trumpeter, composer, bandleader, music educator, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of classical and jazz music often to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for Music for a jazz recording.  Marsalis is the son of jazz musician Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (pianist), grandson to Ellis Marsalis, Sr., and brother to Branford (saxophonist),Delfeayo (trombonist), Mboya, and Jason (drummer).

6. Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley-Grace (born October 18, 1968) is an American R&B/gospel singer and actress, best known for her 1988 ballad, “Thanks for My Child.”

Cheryl Riley, who worked as a nurse for handicapped children for ten years before beginning her singing career, topped the US R&B chartand hit the Top 40 on the pop chart at #32 with the 1988 ballad, “Thanks for My Child,” a song written by Full Force. It peaked at #75 in theUK Singles Chart in January 1989.[1] The genesis of “Thanks for My Child” began with Full Force member Bowlegged Lou’s experience with the complications of his wife’s first pregnancy.

As pivotal as “Thanks for My Child” was for Riley’s career, it was not the first song Lou offered to her. She refused his offer to record “I Wonder If I Take You Home” because she did not want to spread herself too thin, but after it became a million-selling hit for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam in 1985, she thought she had missed her big break. Lou then offered her “Thanks for My Child”. Riley still had her nurse’s job when the song went to number one on the R&B chart.

The title track single to her debut LP Me Myself and I made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in early 1989. Another single, “Every Little Thing About You,” peaked at number 55 on the R&B charts later that year. Her second LP, Chapters, was issued and yielded the singles “How Can You Hurt the One You Love” and a cover of Aretha Franklin’s 1968 hit “Ain’t No Way”. Her third album All That! was released by Reprise, and featured the singles “Gimme” and “Guess I’m in Love.”

After a hiatus from the entertainment industry, Riley re-emerged in the early 2000s as a star in a number of gospel plays for best-selling playwright Tyler Perry, including Madea’s Class ReunionMadea Goes to JailWhy Did I Get Married? and the film version of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Big Happy Family.

7. Vickie Winans,  Gospel recording artist.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 17


Jupiter Hammon
1. Jupiter Hammon, the first black American poet, is born in slavery. He was a Calvinist and a self-educated writer.  He was the first African American to publish his writings.  One of his poems appeared in print in 1760 and is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.

Cozy Cole

2. Cozy Cole (William R. Cole), jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record “Topsy Part 2”. “Topsy” peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart.  It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.  The track peaked at #29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a lengthy drum solo, and was one of the few drum solo recordings that ever made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was issued on the tiny Brooklyn-based Love Records label.

Lerone Bennett, Jr

3. Lerone Bennett, Jr. Historian, scholar, author and Ebony magazine editor. His best- known book is Before the Mayflower.  Bennett graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has noted this time was integral to his intellectual development. Mr. Bennett is also a distinguished member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Howard E. Rollins

4. Howard Ellsworth Rollins, television, film, and stage actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in the film Ragtime, and as Virgil Tibbs on the NBC/CBS television series In the Heat of the Night.  He also starred as Captain Davenport in the 1984 drama A Soldier’s Story which also starred
Adolph Caesar, David Alan Grier, Denzel Washington and Robert Townsend.

Mae Jamison

5. Mae Jamison, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

Ziggy Marley

6. David “Ziggy” Marley, musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is the oldest son of famed reggae musician Bob Marley.

wyclef jean

7. Wyclef Jean, musician, record producer, and politician.  He first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees. Along with being a world famous and highly respected performing artist, he is now a visiting fellow at Brown University in the Department of African Studies.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 15


Victoria Spivey

1. Victoria Spivey, Blues Singer and Pianist, Her first professional experience was in a family string band led by her father in Houston. She also played on her own at local parties and, in 1918, was hired to accompany films at the Lincoln Theater in Dallas. As a teenager, she worked in local bars, nightclubs, and buffet flats, mostly alone, but occasionally with singer-guitarists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson. In 1926, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she was signed by Okeh Records. Her first recording, “Black Snake Blues”, did well, and her association with the record label continued. She made numerous Okeh sides in New York until 1929, then switched to the RCA Victor label. Between 1931 and 1937, more recordings followed on the Vocalion and Decca labels, and, working out of New York, she maintained an active performance schedule. Spivey’s recorded accompanists included King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Lonnie Johnson, and Red Allen. She recorded many of her own songs, which dwelt on disease, crime and outré sexual images.

The Depression did not put an end to Spivey’s musical career, but she had found a new outlet for her talent in the year of the crash, when film director King Vidor cast her to play “Missy Rose” in his first sound film, Hallelujah!. Through the 1930s and 1940s, Spivey continued to work in musical films and stage shows, often with her husband, vaudeville dancer Billy Adams, including the Hellzapoppin’ Revue.

Nellie Lutcher

2. Nellie Lutcher, R&B and jazz Vocalist and pianist, who gained prominence in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She was most recognizable for her her diction and exaggerated pronunciation, and was credited as an influence by Nina Simone among others.

Mickey Baker

3. Mickey “Guitar” Baker, Vocalist and Guitaristis .   He is widely held to be a critical force in the bridging of rhythm and blues and rock and roll, along with Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, and Chuck Berry.

Marv Johnson

4. Marv Johnson, R&B and soul singer, most notable for performing on the first record to be issued from what became Motown.   He began his career singing with a doo-wop group called the Serenaders in the mid 1950s. With budding talents not only as a singer but as a songwriter and pianist, he was discovered by Berry Gordy while Johnson performed at a carnival.  Gordy had already decided to form his first record label, Tamla, and Johnson’s recording of “Come to Me” became the label’s first single in May 1959.  The fledgling label did not have national distribution and so the song was released by United Artists, and reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Between 1959 and 1961, Johnson would issue nine Billboard Hot 100 singles including two Top 10s. The first of them was “You Got What It Takes”, which reached #10 in the US and #7 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.   “I Love The Way You Love” reached #9. He scored his final US Top 40 single in 1960 with “(You’ve Got To) Move Two Mountains”. It also sold a million copies, giving Johnson his second gold disc.

Tito Jackson

5. Tito Jackson, singer and lead guitarist and original member of The Jackson 5. He is the older brother of American pop stars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.

Eric Benet

6. Eric Benet, singer. His duet with Tamia, “Spend My Life With You” was a number one song for three weeks on the US Billboard R&B chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2000.

Ginuwine

7. Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, better known by his stage name Ginuwine, Is an American singer and performer. Signed to Epic Records since the mid-1990s, Ginuwine had released a number of multi-platinum and platinum-selling albums and singles, becoming one of R&B’s top artists during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s .

Keyshia Cole

8. Keyshia Michelle Cole-Gibson, Hip-Hop and Soul recording artist from Oakland, California. She gained nationwide success when she released her platinum selling debut, The Way It Is in June 2005. Her sophomore album Just Like You came in production shortly after that and was released in September 2007. Her third studio album, A Different Me was released on December 16, 2008 and is certified Gold for selling 900,000+ units in the United States. She also achieved moderate success for her reality/documentary series Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is which aired on BET from 2006-2008 which gave a close look at Cole’s career and personal life with her biological mother and sister. In December 2010, she released her fourth studio album, Calling All Hearts.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 13


Edith Spurlock Sampson

1. Edith Spurlock Sampson, was a Lawyer and judge, and the first Black Woman Delegate appointed to the United Nations.  She studied law while working as a social worker in Chicago, taking night courses at John Marshall Law School,

Arna Wendell Bontemps

2. Arnaud Wendell Bontemps, Was a Writer (100 years of Negro Freedom), Poet   and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance.

Art Tatum

3. Art Tatum, jazz pianist and virtuoso who played with phenomenal facility despite being nearly blind.  Tatum is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time.  He came from a musical family and when younger had some formal training at the Toledo School of Music, however he was largely self-taught.  His teacher there recognized his talents and tried to steer him towards as a career as a classical concert pianist.  Tatum was more interested in the music of Fats Waller, which would be a strong influence on his music.  At 18 he was playing interludes at a local radio station and within a short period of time he had his own show.  In 1932 he was heard by the singer Adelaide Hall who brought him to New York as her accompanist.  One year later he made his first recordings, among which was “Tiger Rag”. This song which features breakneck tempo and rippling left- and right-hand cascades and crashing bass notes had every pianist in the country amazed by his astonishing dexterity.  While in New York he established his reputation in “cutting contests” with other top pianists, which he never lost.  He spent the next few years playing in Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and even England in 1938.  During this time he established himself as a major figure in jazz circles.  In the early 1940s Tatum formed an extremely popular trio with bassist Slam Stewart and guitarist Tiny Grimes.  He spent much of the next decade touring North America.  In 1953 Tatum signed by producer Norman Granz and recorded extensively both as a soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, Buddy De Franco, Roy Eldridge, Lionel Hampton, Ben Webster and others.  His incredible talent allowed him to be extremely productive during this time.  Ray Spencer in his biography, noted that Tatum was constantly “refining and honing down after each performance until an ideal version remained needing no further adjustments”.  This allowed him to achieve a remarkable work rate.  For example, his solo sessions for Granz were mostly completed in two days.  That is a total of 69 tracks and all but three of them needed only one take.

Jesse Leroy Brown

4. Jesse Leroy Brown, was the first African-American naval aviator in the United States Navy. Brown enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1946 and was appointed a Midshipman, at the Ohio State University NROTC the following year. After attending Navy pre-flight school and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1948. Midshipman Brown was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 32. He received his commission as Ensign in April 1949.

Ray Brown Musician

5. Ray Brown, Jazz Bassist, had piano lessons from the age of eight. After noticing how many pianists attended his high school, he thought of taking up the trombone, but was unable to afford one. With a vacancy in the high school jazz orchestra, he took up the upright bass. 

Shirley Caesar

6. Shirley Caesar, Evangelist, Gospel Singer, songwriter and recording artist whose career has spanned six decades. A multi-award winning artist, with eleven Grammy Awards and seven Dove Awards to her credit, she is known as “First Lady of gospel”.

Pharoah Sanders

7. Pharaoh Sanders, is a Grammy Award–winning American jazz saxophonist.  Emerging from John Coltrane’s groups of the mid-60s Sanders is known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multi phonic techniques on the saxophone, as well as his use of “sheets of sound.”

Demond Wilson

8. Demond Wilson,  is an actor, author, and pastor. He is best known for his role opposite Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford’s son, Lamont Sanford, in the 1970s NBC-TV sitcom Sanford and Son.

Reggie Theus

9. Reggie Theus, is an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is also a retired basketball player and the former head coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Jerry Rice

10. Jerry Rice, is a retired football wide receiver. He is generally regarded as the greatest wide receiver of all time and one of the greatest players in National Football League history.  On November 4, 2010, Rice was chosen by NFL Network’s NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players as the greatest player in NFL history.

The all-time leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers and the all-time NFL leader in touchdowns scored with 208, Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times (1986–1996, 1998, 2002) and named All-Pro 11 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He won three Super Bowl rings playing for the San Francisco 49ers and an AFC Championship with the Oakland Raiders.

Tisha Campbell

11. Tisha Michelle Campbell-Martin, is an actress and singer, known for her starring roles in television series Martin and My Wife and Kids and now is starring in the new television series “The Protector”. Apart from her achievements in television, she also has notable accomplishments in film (including the House Party franchise), theater, and music.

Ashanti

12. Ashanti, Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, Rapp and R&B recording artist, record producer and actress who rose to fame in the early 2000s and then largely faded from view. Ashanti is most famous for her eponymous debut album, which featured the hit song “Foolish”, and sold over 503,000 copies in its first week of release throughout the U.S. in April 2002. The album set a Soundscan record as the biggest opening week sales for a new female artist.  In the same week, she became the first female performer to simultaneously hold the top two places on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with “Foolish”, and “What’s Luv?” (with Fat Joe). Ashanti broke records again by having three top ten songs, “Foolish,” “What’s Luv?” and “Always on Time”, on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the same week, being the first woman to accomplish this feat. In 2003, the self-titled debut album won Ashanti her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album. As of 2011, she has sold more than 30 million albums.

Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For October 10


Frederick Douglass Patterson

1. Frederick Douglass Patterson, Former president of  Tuskegee University (1935–1953) and founder of the United Negro College Fund (1944, UNCF). In 1987, President Ronald Reagan awarded Dr. Patterson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Patterson received his DVM in 1923 and M.S. in 1927 from Iowa State University, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1933.  Patterson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Ivory Joe Hunter

2. Ivory Joe Hunter, was an R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist, best known for his hit recording, “Since I Met You, Baby” (1956). Billed as The Baron of the Boogie, he was also known as The Happiest Man Alive.

Harry Sweets Edison

3. Harry “Sweets” Edison, was a jazz trumpeter and member of the Count Basie Orchestra.

Theolonius Sphere Monk

4. Theolonius Monk is born in Rocky Mount, NC. He was only one of 3 jazz musicians ever featured on the cover of Time magazine.  A jazz pianist and composer considered “one of the giants of American music”.  Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including “Epistrophy”, “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Well, You Needn’t”. Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington,

Ben Vereen

5. Ben Vereen, an  actor, dancer, and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway theatre shows. He starred in the television series Ten speed and Brown Shoe, but is probably best known for his role as “Chicken George” Moore in Roots.

Cyril Neville

6. Cyril Neville, is a percussionist and vocalist who first came to prominence as a member of his brother Art Neville’s funky New Orleans-based band, The Meters. He joined Art in the prestigious Neville Brothers band upon the dissolution of the Meters.

Derrick Wayne McKey

7. Derrick Wayne McKey, retired basketball player who played the most part of his NBA career between the small forward and the power forward positions.

Michael Bivins

8.  Michael Lamont Bivins, a.k.a. Biv  is the founder and member of the R&B group New Edition and the hip hop group Bell Biv DeVoe. Not only does he perform in both groups, but he also discovers, manages, and produces for other acts, most notably Another Bad Creation, MC Brains, Boyz II Men, and 702, all of whom were signed to his Motown distributed label Biv 10 Records. He serves as the music entrepreneur and A&R man of both of his own acts.

Bivins had a minor role in the film Friday After Next, and guest-starred as a DJ on the pseudo-radio station CSR 103.9 in the hit video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Most recently, he made an appearance in the basketball film Crossover as a character known as Heart Attack. He is also in charge of Artist Development for Making the Band 4. He is CEO of his own label Sporty Rich Enterprises.

Mya

9. Marie Harrison,  professionally referred to as Mýa, is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Harrison’s eponymous debut album with Interscope Records was released in April 1998, and sold over one million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single “It’s All About Me” featuring Sisqó.

Her second studio album, platinum-selling Fear of Flying, was released in 2000 and became a success worldwide, with single “Case of the Ex” becoming Mýa’s breakthrough hit, reaching number-one on the Australian Singles Chart.[1][2] A year after, Harrison won her first Grammy Award for the worldwide number-one hit “Lady Marmalade”, a cover version she recorded alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, and Pink for the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge! (2001).

The singer’s third studio album, Moodring, was released in July 2003 and certified gold by the RIAA.[1] Following several label changes, Mýa’s often-delayed fourth studio album, Liberation (2007), received a download-release in Japan only and led to her 2008 Japan-exclusive album Sugar & Spice.

Having expanded her career to acting and product endorsement deals, Harrison has been engaged in product endorsement deals with brands such as Coca-Cola, Gap, Iceberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and Motorola and has had small roles in films such as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004), and Cursed (2005). In 2002, she had a supporting role in the film adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award.  Billboard named Mýa the 97th Hot 100 Artists of 2000s

Tag Cloud