Tag Archives | gospel music
Noble Sissle

Noble Sissle – December 17th in African American History

December 17, 1975 Noble Sissle, composer, lyricist, bandleader, and playwright, died. Sissle was born July 10, 1889 in Indianapolis, Indiana. At an early age, he started singing in the church choir and as a teenager toured the Midwest as part of a gospel quartet. In 1915, he met Eubie Blake and they formed a vaudeville […]

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Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington – December 14th in African American History

December 14, 1963 Dinah Washington, blues and jazz singer, died. Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a child, Washington played the piano and directed her church choir and by 16 she was touring the United States on the black gospel circuit. During this period, she performed in […]

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Pops Staples

December 19th in African American History – Roebuck “Pops” Staples

December 19, 2000 Roebuck “Pops” Staples, gospel and R&B musician, died. Staples was born December 28, 1914 on a cotton plantation near Winona, Mississippi. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade. In 1935, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he sang with the Trumpet Jubilees. In 1948, he formed The Staple Singers with […]

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Marie Dionne Warwick

December 12th in African American History – Marie Dionne Warwick

December 12, 1940 Marie Dionne Warwick, singer and activist, was born in East Orange, New Jersey. Warwick began singing gospel as a child and sang her first solo at the age of 6. In 1958, she and other members formed the Gospelaires which in their first performance together won the weekly amateur contest at the […]

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Samuel Cooke

December 11th in African American History – Samuel Cooke

December 11, 1964 Samuel Cooke, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur, was killed. Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He began his career singing gospel. In 1950, he became the lead singer for The Soul Stirrers and recorded hits such as “Peace in the Valley” (1951) and “One More River” (1955). In 1957, Cooke […]

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Walter Hawkins

July 11th in African American History – Walter Hawkins

July 11, 2010 Walter Hawkins, gospel music singer, died. Hawkins was born May 18, 1949 in Oakland, California. He began his career as a member of his brother’s chorale, The Edwin Hawkins Singers. They produced “Oh Happy Day” (1967) which was one of the first gospel songs to cross over and become a mainstream hit. […]

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Fontella Bass

July 3rd in African American History – Fontella Bass

July 3, 1940 Fontella Bass, soul singer, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Bass showed great musical talent at an early age. At the age of five, she was providing piano accompaniment for her grandmother’s singing and by the time she was nine she was accompanying her mother on gospel tours throughout the South. At […]

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