February 26, 1989 Roy David Eldridge, jazz trumpeter, died. Eldridge was born January 30, 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He originally played drums, tuba, and trumpet. Eldridge led bands from his early years, moving to St. Louis and New York, where he played in various bands in the early 1930s. From 1941 to 1943, he played […]
February 17, 1982 Thelonious Monk, jazz pianist and composer, died. Monk was born October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina and began playing the piano at the age of six. In the early to mid-1940s, he served as the house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, New York which featured most of the leading […]
February 8, 2005 James Oscar “Jimmy” Smith, jazz organist, died. Smith was born December 8, 1928 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Originally a pianist, he switched to the organ in 1953 and over his career recorded almost 100 albums, including “The Sermon” (1958), “Prayer Meetin’” (1963), “Root Down” (1972), and his last album “Black Cat/Daybreak” (2001).
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- March 16th in African American History – Virginia Estelle Randolph
- September 3rd in African American History – Jeff Chandler
- December 23rd in African American History – William Vernell “Willie” Wood, Sr.
- February 19th in African American History – William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr.
- February 14th in African American History – Gregory Oliver Hines