March 18, 1941 Wilson Pickett, R&B singer and songwriter, was born in Prattville, Alabama. In 1955, Pickett moved to Detroit, Michigan where he joined a gospel group and developed his forceful, passionate style of singing.
March 14, 1933 Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., trumpeter, music conductor and arranger, record producer, and film composer, was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1951, Jones won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, but abandoned his studies when he received an offer to play in the band of Lionel Hampton.
Tags: Broadway, Central State College, February 10, Grammy Award, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors, NAACP, National Medal of Arts, opera, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Spingarn Medal
February 10, 1927 Mary Violet Leontyne Price, operatic soprano, was born in Laurel, Mississippi. Price earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Central State College in 1948 and her first important stage performance was in the 1952 production of “Falstaff.”
February 7, 1934 Curtis Ousley (King Curtis), saxophonist, band leader, and record producer, was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Curtis started playing the saxophone at the age of 12 and in 1950 he joined the Lionel Hampton Band. In 1952, he moved to New York City and worked as a session player until the mid-1960s.
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 […]
December 12, 1918 Joseph Goreed (Joe Williams), jazz singer, was born in Cordele, Georgia, but raised in Chicago, Illinois. By his early teens, Williams had taught himself to play the piano and formed his own gospel group. By 1939, he had started to tour with established bands and got his big break in 1954 when […]
March 18, 1938 Charley Frank Pride, country music singer, was born in Sledge, Mississippi. Pride’s initial love and life-long dream was to become a professional baseball player. However after a number of years in the minor leagues and several injuries, he turned to music. In 1966, Pride released “Just Between You and Me” which was […]
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- September 23rd in African American History – Ray Charles Robinson
- January 11th in African American History – Mary Jane Blige
- James Weldon Johnson – June 26th in African American History
- November 17th in African American History – Esther Rolle
- William Edouard Scott – March 11th in African American History