January 10, 1976 Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, died. Wolf was born June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi. During the 1930s, he performed in the South with a number of blues musicians, including Robert Johnson and Son House. His first recording, “How Many More Years,” was produced in […]
December 11, 1926 Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, singer and songwriter, was born in Ariton, Alabama. Thornton began to sing at a very early age and at 14 she joined the Hot Harlem Revue and toured with them for seven years. Thornton began her recording career in 1951 and the next year recorded “Hound Dog.”
December 15, 2001 Rufus Thomas Jr., R&B, funk, and soul singer, died. Thomas was born March 27, 1917 in Cayce, Mississippi, but grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. By the age of ten he was performing in amateur productions. For 22 years until 1963, Thomas worked in a textile plant while pursuing a career as a […]
John Lee Hooker August 22, 1917 John Lee Hooker, singer, songwriter, and blues guitarist, was born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. At the age of 15, Hooker ran away from home and in 1948 landed in Detroit, Michigan working at the Ford Motor Company and playing in the blues venues and saloons on Hasting […]
August 15, 1958 William Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy, blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, died. Broonzy was born June 26, 1898 in Lake Dick, Arkansas but raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He began playing music at an early age and at the age of ten made himself a fiddle from a cigar box and began […]
July 25, 1984 Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, R&B singer and songwriter, died. Thornton was born December 11, 1926 in Ariton, Alabama and began to sing at an early age. At the age of 14, she joined the Hot Harlem Revue and performed with them for 7 years. Thornton began her recording career in 1951 […]
March 11, 1986 Sonny Terry, blues musician, died. Terry was born Saunders Terrell on October 24, 1911 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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Other African American History Posts
- Juneteenth Celebrations – June 19th in African American History
- January 22nd in African American History – James Anderson, Jr.
- October 3rd in African American History – Felrath Hines
- Charles “Bird” Parker, Jr – August 29th in African American History
- February 7th in African American History – Allen B. West