December 30, 1928 Elias Otha Bates (Bo Diddley), vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, was born in McComb, Mississippi. In 1934, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois where in the early 1940s Diddley began to perform. In 1954, he recorded “Bo Diddley” which became a number one R&B hit in 1955. He continued to have hits during [...]
February 16, 1932 Otis Blackwell, singer, pianist, and songwriter, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Blackwell learned to play the piano as a child. In 1952, he won a talent contest at the Apollo Theater, but his real love was songwriting.
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 [...]
December 9, 2010 James Moody, jazz saxophonist and flute player, died. Moody was born March 26, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 and played in the “Negro band” on a segregated base until he was discharged in 1946. In 1948, he relocated to Europe because he had [...]
Tags: bandleader, Big Band Hall of Fame, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Jazz Hall of Fame, jazz singer, National Medal of Arts, The Hi De Ho Man, “Plantation Days"
November 18, 1994 Cabell “Cab” Calloway III, jazz singer and bandleader, died. Calloway was born December 25, 1907 in Rochester, New York. After graduating from high school, Calloway joined his sister in a touring production of the black musical revue “Plantation Days.” In 1930, he assumed leadership of his orchestra and they became the co-host [...]
September 30, 1935 John Royce “Johnny” Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas. As a teenager, Mathis was known for his singing and athletic abilities. At San Francisco State College he broke classmate Bill Russell’s high jump record and in 1955 had to decide whether to pursue a recording career or tryout for the 1956 Olympics. [...]
August 9, 2008 Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr., musician, songwriter, singer and actor, died. Hayes was born August 20, 1942 in Covington, Tennessee. He began his career in the early 1960s as a session player, songwriter, and producer at Stax Records. Along with his partner David Porter, Hayes wrote a string of hits for the artists [...]
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