Tag Archives | Grammy Award
John William “Johnny” Bristol

John William “Johnny” Bristol – February 3rd in African American History

February 3, 1939 John William “Johnny” Bristol, musician, songwriter, and record producer, was born in Morganton, North Carolina. After serving in the United States Air Force, Bristol recorded several singles before his label was absorbed by Motown Records in the mid-1960s. At Motown, he teamed with Harvey Fuqua to write and produce some of their […]

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Donna Summer

December 31st in African American History – LaDonna Adrian Gaines (Donna Summer)

December 31, 1948 LaDonna Adrian Gaines (Donna Summer), the Queen of Disco, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At 18, she left home for New York City and landed on the European Tour of the musical “Hair.” Her first solo single, “Sally Go Round the Roses,” was released in Europe in 1971. In 1975, “Love to […]

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Richard Pryor

December 10th in African American History – Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor, III

December 10, 2005 Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor, III, comedian, writer and actor, died. Pryor was born December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois. After his discharge from the army in 1960, he began working as a professional comic in clubs throughout the Midwest. In 1963, he moved to New York City and began to gain […]

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John Lee Hooker

August 22nd in African American History – John Lee Hooker

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 […]

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Ella Jenkins

August 6th in African American History – Ella Jenkins

August 6, 1924 Ella Jenkins, folk singer and “The First Lady of the Children’s Folk Song,” was born in St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Chicago, Illinois. In 1951, Jenkins earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with minors in child psychology and recreation from San Francisco State University. After graduating, she began […]

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Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.

April 1st in African American History – Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr.

April 1, 1984 Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr., instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, was fatally shot. Gay was born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. He started as a member of The Moonglows in 1958 and after they disbanded in 1960, he moved to Detroit, Michigan and signed with Motown Records. Gaye experienced his first significant success […]

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Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones

March 28th in African American History – Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones

March 28, 1923 Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones, jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, was born in Pontiac, Michigan. Jones was a self taught musician and began playing professionally at the age of 16. He served in the United States Army band from 1943 to 1946. In 1954, Jones joined the Count Basie Orchestra where he contributed […]

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