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Birthdays Of Famous African Americans For Aug 31


Todd Rhodes

1. Todd Rhodes, pianist and arranger and was an early influence in jazz and later on in R&B. He was born Todd Washington Rhodes, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  Rhodes attended both the Springfield School of Music and the Erie Conservatory, studying as pianist and songwriter.

In the early 1920s he played with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller, Rex Stewart, Doc Cheatham, and Don Redman in McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, a jazz group. Rhodes lived and played in Detroit in the 1930s. In the late 1940s he started his own group, Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers, and started doing more R&B arrangements. With his Toddlers, he recorded “Your Daddy’s Doggin’ Around” and “Your Mouth Got a Hole In It.” Rhodes also worked with Hank Ballard, The Chocolate Dandies and Wynonie Harris  He featured lead singers, such as Connie Allen, who recorded “Rocket 69” in 1951. After she left the band in early 1952, her position was taken by LaVern Baker.

Frank Robinson

2. Frank Robinson, a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues.   He won the Triple crown, was a member of two teams that won the World Series (the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles), and amassed the fourth-most career home runs at the time of his retirement (he is currently tied for eighth). Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Robinson was the first African-American hired to serve as manager in Major League history. He managed the Cleveland Indians during the last two years of his playing career, compiling a 186–189 record. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

Marva Collins

3. Marva Collins, educator who in 1975 started Westside Preparatory School in Garfield Park, an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. She ran the school for more than 30 years until it closed in 2008 due to lack of sufficient enrollment and funding.[1] She is famous for applying classical education successfully with impoverished students, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as learning disabled by public schools. She once wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities.”[2] She has written a number of manuals, books and motivational tracts describing her history and methods, and currently (2006) has a website and public speaking service. She was most widely publicized in the 1981 biographical TV movie The Marva Collins Story starring Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman.

Wilton Felder

4. Wilton Felder,  is both a saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of The Crusaders, initially called the Jazz Crusaders. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded the group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continues to work in its current versions, which often feature other founding members.

Claudell Washington

5. Claudell Washington,  former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics (1974–76), Texas Rangers (1977–78), Chicago White Sox (1978–80), New York Mets (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–86), New York Yankees (1987–88, 1990) and California Angels (1989–90). He batted and threw left-handed.

Washington was one of the youngest All-Stars in major league history when he was named to the 1975 American League All-Star team at the age of 20. He finished 5th in the American league in batting average with a mark of .308 and second in stolen bases with a total of 40.

Chris Tucker

6. Chris Tucker, is an actor and comedian, best known for his roles as Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour trilogy and Smokey in the 1995 film Friday.

Larry Waddell

7.    Larry Waddell, Rhythm & Blues Artist (Mint Condition)

Tamara Powell

8.    Tamara, Rhythm & Blues Artist (Trina & Tamara)

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